STOP! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T GO FURTHER UNTIL YOU'VE READ THIS!
STOP DON'T READ IT YET!
Okay, good. Yes, you hate me. YES, you can kill me. But for YOUR greatest chance of viewing enjoyment, READ THIS. Some of you may have noticed the instant updates of TWO chapters, that is correct. BOTH ARE THE LAST CHAPTER, with a twist.
My lucky 510th reviewer had requested "GAH! I really want you to make an AU where wally actually gets to become his pet xD well maybe for awhile, but not forever anyway"
Well, I kinda went crazy with it, which is why this took so long. So guess what guys? You get to pick the ending. Chapter 23- Wally wins, Klarion loses. Chapter 24- Klarion wins, Wally loses. Now you choose, ARE YOU FOR JUSTICE, OR EVIL? XD I'm torn myself.
WHAT I RECOMMEND BECAUSE I'M THE AUTHOR AND I CAN:
Read the ending you WANT first (…andletmeknowwhatyouthought), THEN read the alternative. I'd like to know what people liked best, but I tried to play these close. It really could go either way guys. The world makes ripples, and those ripples change EVERYTHING.
IF YOU PICKED 24 KEEP READING NOW. This is a rollercoaster of 12000 words, which is slightly shorter than the other ending, but hopefully still worth it. I kept it to my heart this long because I wanted to make sure you'd love it, AND YOU WILL OR FREAKING ELSE. Em… swearing, there's maybe 'A' swear. And blood, lots of Klarion bl- err, blood. :D
ALSO IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: no review replies at the bottom, it was too long, BUT. Witch08, Klarion is ALL yours first, and then everyone else can beat him up in their own creative ways. But you get first dibs!
Okay, I'm sorry, go read now!
Chapter 24- EVIL ENDURES
This was a nightmare. No, worse than a nightmare. He had been dealing with a nightmarish life for the last month. This was much worse.
This was reality.
His fight against Klarion had been reduced to nothing but feeble attempts to disengage the now much thicker and suffocating black thing that held him captive in his own mind. Wally couldn't bring himself to struggle anymore. He had tried, he tried! But he was just so tired now, he was sick of having the promise of freedom ripped from his hands, sick of trying to figure out what was real and what was fake, what was Klarion and what were his own doubts.
It hurt, it hurt that he, Kid Flash, third partner to a super hero, the one who always stayed bright and positive, wanted to give up and give in. But he did. He knew he had hurt Artemis, really hurt her. And he didn't recall attacking the others, but he can feel the phantom memories of punching a rough shirt, throwing sharp rubble, and hearing muffled gasps and cries. Klarion had done that through him, had used him. Roy had realized it was him, but had the others? Did they think… did they think he left them? Turned on them? Just like the nightmares?
Worst of all, what Wally hated the most, was he could feel him. Klarion. Shifting through his mind, his thoughts, controlling him to do who-knows-what. It made him furious to be so helpless, at the mercy of a heartless demon. But after all this, was it really worth fighting anymore? What was he going to wake up to if he did fight back? The mangled bodies of his friends? The Justice League coming to kill him in retribution?
This is all for you, pet.
No, no it isn't… He thought bleakly. Because it wasn't for him, it was for Klarion. Klarion, who he had practically given the power to destroy those that mattered the most to Wally.
It is. You cannot truly come into your power until you let go of your childish loyalties and ideals. And if you will not break them yourself, I will break them for you.
Wally didn't answer. He couldn't. What was there to say? 'No, I'll stop you'? 'You'll never break them'? Hadn't he already?
Pet, I can end this right now for you. For whatever reason, Klarion's voice hit him harshly, rather than falling over him in smothering wave, and Wally realized that it was because the Lord of Chaos was angry. Just like Wally was getting sick of struggling, Klarion was getting sick of the rebellion. Sensing Kid Flash's sudden spark, the voice waves came even stronger. Give yourself completely; don't fight my control any longer! I can make you forget, I can shield you from the pain.
Klarion pushed his worst fears forward, wrapping him in the mess of despair until the speedster was wishing for it to end. Something stirred in him- hadn't Klarion said something like this before? Yeah, he had, how by the end Wally would be begging for him to take his memories away. The memories of hurting Artemis, attacking his friends. But did that also mean the memories of them hating him? Would he destroy the nightmares too? Would he erase whoever Wally had been? Would he? Did Wally want that? To just let go of the struggles, be free of the heart ache and fear of the consequences that awaited him if he ever did escape Klarion?
It was terrible how tempting this suddenly sounded.
That though echoed out from his very core, fighting past the dark control to reach him. At once Wally recalled the strange dream of meeting his double, but more than that, was reminded of his team. His team fighting alongside him in battle. His team laughing as they hung out like regular kids. His team bickering. His team protecting. His team willing to do anything to save him, regardless of his fears towards them.
What do you have to live for anymore, little runner? The friends you've killed? The mentor you've let down? The League who hates you?
Self-doubt, echoed by the clutching blackness, swarmed around him. Wally didn't fight the pushing of Klarion's mind on his own, stirring up memories and notions that had tortured his conscience for so long. The team hurting him, the team hating him, the team leaving him to Klarion in disgust. He whimpered and curled into himself, absently wondering if his outer body was mimicking the inner projection of his form.
I can make it better Wally. I promise you'd be free from this pain, you'd never feel like this again. Just surrender to my will…
Surrender… He wanted to, he was so tempted to. He choked a little as the black mass suddenly came at him, penetrating him and forcing itself upon him until he weakly couldn't try to wretch himself away. He barely even noticed as Klarion pushed and prodded at his thoughts, at his choices. This is what he wanted, right? He just wanted to be free, free from all of this. Klarion was trying to free him, right? Klarion was stronger, was trying to protect him, because his teammates… something about his teammates…
DON'T STOP! KEEP RUNNING!
The words echoed in a way that sent the black mass slithering out of his form with an inhumane shriek. Suddenly, the area around Wally flashed, and with a lurch he was suddenly on his knees, looking at a dirty hole in Uncle Barry's backyard and holding his third grade project. This was his memory of when he, essentially, decided to do what he wanted for himself, not what others decided for him.
Why am I here? Why this memory? But that wasn't what this was, was it? It wasn't a memory, it was a… a test, a decision. He felt the black mist slowly crawling its way forward, he could see it looking through the cracks at the fence, the windows in his house. He looked up in shock when Klarion appeared in a flash of red. He looked angry, just as Wally had thought, but his face also held that sickening desire of possession, anticipation.
It's your choice, pet. If you want this all to end, throw them into the hole. Confused, he looked down at the papers, why would he need to- oh. Those papers, that was him, this is what he needed to do to surrender. But how could he? A shudder ran through him as a darker part of him whispered out, why shouldn't he? I've made it ready, but now you need to put them in. Do it, Wally. Klarion hissed impatiently.
Despite the scenery, the faint tinge of real that this mindscape had, Wally was still infinitely tired. Was this really all it would take, to give himself up? Just a casual muscle relaxing in his arms, the papers would fall in, and Klarion would win? Wait, did he want Klarion to win?
You know what happens if you keep fighting me…
He did, he could see it now as he looked into Klarion's impatient red eyes. The bodies of his friends, the horror from Barry and Iris, and hatred from the League. All because of him, all because of what Klarion had done through him. He didn't want to remember, he didn't want to face it.
Throw them in, pet.
He lowered the papers in, watching as the dirt started falling on top as they sunk in. There was no point in fighting anymore. He didn't want to feel like this anymore. Didn't want to care. Klarion's expression was transforming from impatient anger to gleeful satisfaction.
That's right. Let go…
The red head turned from the dirt pile, his papers half-way smooshed in. Though he felt a roiling threat that was Klarion's anger return, he himself wasn't surprised. Of course his saving grace would be this person. "Uncle Barry?"
The figure smiled, and Wally realized of course this wasn't Barry, this was his mental projection of how he would always see Barry. With less laughing lines, less weary posture. This was the uncle who had first showed him loyalty and unbiased love. "Heya, kid."
His decision suddenly hit him for what it was, and he couldn't fight the wave of miserable anguish that rolled over him. He wanted to give up so bad; he didn't want to keep fighting! But his Uncle, his dad had come for him, he wouldn't want him to give up, and… "It's not fair, Uncle Barry!"
The blonde haired man kneeled down beside the teen, his own pants getting smeared with the tilled earth. "I know, Wally."
The freckled teen looked down wretchedly, unable to meet the eyes of his mentor, mental projection or not. "I don't want to try anymore."
Barry's hand came and guided Wally's face back up to meet the blue-gray eyes, which visibly dimmed at his words, looking sadder. "I know, kiddo."
Wally bit his lip, looking up at the man he loved more than anyone else in the world. "… so, what if I give up?" Will you hate me? Will you leave me for good?
Barry stood and stepped back, looking broken hearted. "We don't always make the right decisions, but what matters is that we make them, and not someone else for us."
Wally felt his own face dim, hating how sad his uncle looked. Hating how he could feel Klarion trying to destroy this figure. "I can't be like you, uncle Barry. I don't want to fight this anymore."
And there was Klarion, gripping his shoulders and snarling into his face- keeping his vision blocked from his uncle. You can't fight this anymore! You're not like your mentor, you never have been!
He's right, no matter how hard he tried; he never seemed to be able to catch up to Barry, to Barry's greatness. Abruptly a figure came out from around the tree over Klarion's shoulder, his gaze as penetrating in that straight forward boldness. Klarion, furious, turned to see what had captured his attention, but Superboy didn't even acknowledge his existence, eyes only on Wally. "You don't have to be like him, you just have to be you."
Wally looked down at the papers in his hands, the papers he was so proud of that he was still clinging to, hovering over the dirt hole. This was him. "I don't want to be me." He clenched the project in his hands, crinkling the papers. He hadn't even realized he had pulled them out of the hole. "I'm not like you guys, I can't keep fighting." Where had fighting this ever gotten him? Nowhere! His friend's could probably do escape, Robin would have been able to defeat the stupid witch easily! Wasn't that proof enough? Who he was, was nothing- he wasn't good enough. "I'm sick of being weak!"
Give yourself up! I will make you no longer weak!
Slender, tan hands appeared in his vision and gently smoothed out the project, grasping his wrists with her healthy, not broken fingers. He looked up into Artemis's unmasked face, dark gray eyes showing that beautiful iron will. Even knowing this wasn't her, it still took his breath away. "You're a lot of things, Wally. But weak is not one of them."
Wally blinked at her, and then turned to see the rest of the team now stood near his uncle. "But… why are you all here?"
Ignore them! They are not important! Klarion clenched his fists, furious that his efforts were once again being thwarted. I'm warning you Wally, enough!
"Dumb question." Roy stepped forward, also ignoring the villain present. He was dressed in his Red Arrow garb and looking as pissed as ever, mask missing so his blue eyes pierced Wally. "We're here to take you home."
"Home?" Wally stood up and faced them fully, somehow ignoring the livid witch seething at his action.
Kaldur's cool grey eyes hit Wally with a sense of loyalty and respect that always came with the Atlantian's attitude. "We are your team, your friends. And we will not leave you to fight this alone."
"Will you come with us?" Megan asked timidly, looking sad as well, making Wally feel a horrible pang for making the bright cheerful girl so down hearted.
Robin stepped out of the crowd, previously hidden. He had that cocky, self-assured grin on his face, the one that always said no matter what, they would pull through. Artemis went and stood next to him, placing a hand on his shoulder as the boy wonder held out his hand. "I told you, we're not going without you."
You're not going anywhere.
Wally let out a cry as the black mist that had stayed at bay suddenly burst through with fierce intent. In horror, he watched as his friends faded into the black mist, the mental scenario destroyed in wake of Klarion's anger until there was nothing around him but the pulsing black mist. It edged towards him, licking at his heels as Wally tried to wildly avoid it. He cried out as his foot caught on nothing, and turned to right himself. The hole in the garden from his memory had become a large, dangerous chasm.
And the mist was pushing him right to it.
Give in, Wally. Turning away from the hole, he saw that the black fog was parting for its master, who walked forward in a graceful manner that made the speedster think of a large angry cat. I am done being patient with you, done trying to make this easy for you! His face erupted into a blaze of fury, the wall of black spiking around him as it read his mood. The power of the speed force will be mine! It IS mine! I am the Lord of Chaos, the Havoc Bringer, the Destroyer of Order! And I. Will. Have. CHAOS!
The black power boiled past Klarion, climbing and clutching onto Wally- who had nowhere else to go. He yelled out as the mass picked him up and carried him over the now huge black hole. He twisted futilely, whimpering as the form clung to him, invaded his ears, his nostrils, his eyes.
Say you give in, say it!
"I-" this was horrible, this had to end, this had to, "I-" but he thought of his friends, somewhere outside of this mess that was his head, fighting for him, probably even fighting him, but still trying to save him nonetheless. He couldn't fight Klarion on his own, he wasn't strong enough.
Still, he couldn't just give up, not if there was still a chance...
"I won't!" He yelled out, eye clenching shut. He felt the broil of Klarion's fury, and while he clung to the knowledge that this was the right decision, he quailed at what was to come.
And was not disappointed.
He cried out as the pain echoed through his bones, thrashing as the nails on his fingers felt like they were being pried back. He had never experienced something so terrible, not in all his years of being a hero. He felt the faintest flickering of that past voice, the one calling for him not to stop, to keep running, but it was muffled indefinitely by the sheer agony, unable to alter what was happening.
Through it all Wally could feel Klarion's presence, contorting the black mass to his will, practically humming with fury. You don't want to give in, FINE! You want control, then I will give it to you. He will die by your hands, and you will watch.
Before he could even guess what that meant, he felt a familiar lurch of pain as his brain went from being nearby to being his. Not understanding quite what was going on,he felt rather than saw his arm, vibrating at speeds that were shaking his core, get released with Klarion's last command. His brain connected that the trajectory of where his arm's punch would land was likely to obliterate the target.
And then he saw. Really saw.
Wet black hair. Bruised purple cheek. Vivid blue eyes hidden under a terrified domino mask.
He will die by your hands, and you will watch.
Robin's head. That's where his body was targeting, what Klarion had said to him as he forced him to have a front row seat to the horrible deed he was about to commit.
No! Nononono! Ohgod, Godno!
His brain wasn't even able to form words at the horror he felt, it just kept repeating nononononono without stop. He was going to kill Robin, his best friend. His friend who he had beaten and hurt, he was going to murder him! Klarion was about to make him do the unthinkable!
Though he could not control his body, he could still helplessly watch within. His mind flailed, screamed and thrashed against the hold, desperate to stop the inevitable. He tried to change the course with all his might, all his desperate strength. Even as his mind worked furiously to change the path and at the same time desperately cried for anyone, anyone to stop him and save Rob.
Please, just don't let him kill his best friend!
Klarion knew Kid Flash had failed even without witnessing the moment. When he released the veil over Wally's sight to the real world, he let his own power side step so Wally would take the wheel, take control. But it was at just the last moment, and he knew what the outcome would be. His willful pet had barely felt confusion before spiking to such panic and fear that Klarion had shuddered just from the echo of connection.
Those feelings quickly turned to a blind and terrible despair. Klarion gasped when his connection was hit with it, an everlasting cry of agony that was nothing like when he had physically hurt the boy. NONONONONO ROBINNOTROBINOHGODSTOP PLEASEHELPGODNO ROBINROBINROBIN- The unintentional attack was so powerful that it brought the witch to his knees, his heart hurting from the temporary breech in the connection. Gritting his teeth, Klarion quickly got a hold of himself- of the spell. He built up his control again, not yet taking over his puppet, but at least preventing further leaking in the connection of those disturbing… senses.
He grinned, victorious. That impudent bat brat was dead, finally. The despair from Wally roiled, the spell still laying quietly in the speedster's mind telling Klarion that the red head had pulled his hand away from the destruction, and was runner was fixated on the dark red and various textures that now marred his hand. N-no…
Oh pet. Precious, broken pet. The powerful force that had continued to aid his speedster had gone strangely quiet, as if mourning itself the loss of Wally's friend. You don't need him Wally, you're mine, no one else can have you! Recovering, Klarion stood and gazed about the kitchen he was still trapped in. This wouldn't do, he needed to get to his precious runner, before anything else tried to stop him. Wally's emotions safely at bay, he couldn't help the smile of satisfaction crawling over his face.
No longer having to try and control both the sidekick and escape, he thought hard for a moment before intoning a less used spell of evasion. Slowly his body slid out of the barriers, gently setting him on the cave floor.
The scene had not really changed, although the remnants of the smoke from the baby hero's diversion still wafted here and there. The sidekicks were not moving, and Klarion was satisfied to see the stupid arrow clone knocked senseless nearby.
Klarion baulked as another onslaught of raw pain escaped from his grip on the speedster (I did it, no I- please God, please- I), and quickly reigned in his control. It shocked him that the boy broke his defenses not once, but twice. The teenager's despair was more dangerous than Klarion had thought. He would have to consider what he did next carefully.A dry sob echoed from nearby, and instantly the demon child turned towards his little chaos.
He saw the blood first.
It was hard not to, with the boy's back to him, covering view of the body; he could only really see how the dark dead red contrasted so glaringly with the canary yellow and brick red. The baby bird's body was limp, looking completely whole from this angle- the upper torso and head hidden. His little toy was shuddering violently, mumbling in a cracked voice just low enough that Klarion couldn't discern the words from his distance.
The Lord of Chaos quickly schooled his expression. He wasn't good at it, but it would not benefit him to grin like mad in front of the devastated runner. He walked over deliberately, letting his foot fall echo within the room so Wally had adequate warning. The gesture was ignored, however. It seems that he couldn't work yet past what had happened. Poor little hero-
Oops, well. He wasn't really much of a hero anymore.
Inwardly he allowed himself a satisfied smirk at that gleeful thought. His prize remained shaking over the fallen form, weak gasps occasionally escaping his string of mutterings. About three feet from the slumped form Klarion stopped, assessing. "I gave you control, are you happy now?" The incoherent jumble of words ceased. Slowly, almost hesitant in his movements, Wally swiveled around to face the witch boy.
He frowned in surprise.
Wally looked… broken. Klarion understood this from the sensory overload earlier, but here he was so, so… destroyed. Tears trailed down his face, unchecked. The blood had splattered, everywhere. His freckles replaced by the vivid red, the symbol on his chest heavily covered. He honestly looked more terrifying than the Lord of Chaos. He just stared at Klarion, not fully comprehending as his mind tortured him with what just happened over and over.
Klarion felt it through his spell, the wave of turmoil that was destroying his pet. And while he couldn't show it outwardly, he felt drawn to the beautiful pain. His foolish heroic nature was his downfall, allowing his conscience to guilt him about the inevitable failure. He could see it, the little tiny lines of thought wrapping over and over themselves on his failure, how he should have done anything different and this wouldn't have happened. Which was foolish, there was nothing he could have done, that was why Klarion let him control his body once again.
While the pain was glorious (because he caused the pain, he was the one who made this vessel of power so vulnerable!), it was not actually the result he wanted. He wantedhis chaos!
Klarion furrowed his brow, "What was that, Wally?"
"I-it's a nightmare, this didn't happen, this couldn't be…" He brought his hand- the bloodied fist that had done the deed- up to his face, staring at it mesmerizingly. "It can't be real- you made a nightmare, just another nightmare…"
He's almost there, but not quite. I need to push further… "No, pet." He drew the speedster's attention back. "You won't wake up from this."
"No…" Wally turned back towards the body, his voice rising in desperate fever. "No! Y-you're lying! Anotherlie, just a nightmare. God, its- a nightmare, a bad dream…" He made to clutch the cooling body, soaking his uniform further with the remains of the past friend, but Klarion grabbed him from behind before he could, ignoring his half-coherent pleas that were escalating in volume. "Get away from me! It's a nightmare! It can't be Rob, I couldn't have…" His voice choked off, his struggles weakening significantly.
"Oh, little runner." The villain sighed wearily, suddenly sick of being at this cave, playing with the heroes.
While he knew it wouldn't last, he relished Wally's anguish, the undisguised sadness that literally left him feeble in his arms. He held the boy back until the feeble attempts to reach the destroyed form died down, the captive in the end leaning into his iron hold. Wally's silent tears becoming pain ridden sobs. "Not Rob…" He wept desolately, "not Rob…"
Wally didn't turn to look at him, didn't acknowledge Klarion's still absolute control, but no longer fought, quietly suffering in his kidnapper's arms. His sharp nails sought out the pitiful boy's head and shoulders, stroking him the same way he would Teekl when she was down. "There there, it's over little runner." The sidekick made a sound that was absolutely pitiful, reaching out and grasping Robin's hand, but Klarion shifted his hold so he could carefully pry away the limp grip. "No, Wally. Let go."
"Why?" He didn't fight out of the grasp of that pale appendage, staring at it like he'd never seen Klarion before. He couldn't seem to stop crying. "Why should I trust you?"
"Because I'm all you have left, little runner." Klarion felt the boy jolt at his words, and pressed on. "Your friend is dead, because of your attack. It won't matter that you didn't mean to, what do you think your friends will do? Your family? The League?"
The red head turned to stare at him, green eyes wide. "N-no, no, they… You did this." He turned back to the body, his hands trembling as they lay in the puddle of blood. "You did this…"
Klarion paused, but continued to rub the soft head. "That's right Wally. I did." He had to, his pet was no good to him if it wasn't loyal, and he had to break his loyalties to anyone else. Whether by choice, fear… or this. "And it won't matter at all; they will still turn against you."The red head's breath suddenly caught, his body tensing in Klarion's grip. The witch boy furrowed his brow, briefly wondering if his precious speedster was about to go into a deeper stage of shock. "Pet?"
"You killed him." Wally spoke softly, his voice strangely off kilter. He began to shake, and then vibrate so suddenly that Klarion jerked out of his hold over him as if he was burned.
He looked down in shock at his hands, he was burned. "Hey!" He looked back up to his pet, seeing the blurring form slowly turn to face him. The desolated eyes had turned dark, instantly locking on him with an intensity that sent a shiver running down his back. It was only then he felt the distinct thread of emotion pulse through his pet. Something that coming from Wally was black, dark and unfamiliar.
But the Lord of Chaos recognized it, and he knew what it was. He felt a grin twitching onto his face by the sudden revelation, knowing what his pet was feeling. There was no time for it to fully form, though.
Klarion hadn't even seen him move.
One second Wally was there, looking at him with a furious intensity, and then he was gone. And Klarion was smacking into the far wall, his cheek bone broken and bruised all over. Before he could slump to the ground, the speedster was there, grasping the front of his shirt in his bloodied hands. "You killed him!" His voice wasn't even recognizable, a guttural yell that had never before blackened such a light heart. His pet clearly was half-cracked with fury, and the witch gazed raptly as Wally's form was weirdly going hazy, like something was smearing the edges of his person.
And Klarion knew. Oh, he knew what it was.
He couldn't help his grin, but it only aggravated the speedster more, his hands clenching and his eyes almost having an eerie glow as he stared daggers. The haze settled into the runner's form like it was meant to be just slightly out of focus, making the colors of his suit and lines that defined him strangely intensify. "You. Did. This!"He punctuated every work with the slamming of the thinner form's body into the wall. "You. Killed. Robin!"
Klarion gnashed his teeth as blood spilled out, but otherwise made no acknowledgment that he even felt the bone crushing impact. His whole body was thrumming in excitement, ignoring the pain. He could feel it! He could feel the speedforce rising out of Wally's form, coating his being! How far could he push, how far would Wally go? "You think so?" He ruthlessly ignored the pang in his gut, needing to see that power from the vision unleashed. "I wasn't in control when that happened! I gave you what you wanted, and you were too weak to change it!" He yelped slightly as Wally smacked him into the wall, but persisted. "It doesn't matter anyway- he didn't matter!"
The green eyes flashed, a bellow of fury erupting from the normally tame form. "HE DOES MATTER!" Klarion was flung from the wall, skidding across the floor in a hazardous tumble that would have snapped a lesser person's back. With the grace of a brick he smacked into the far wall. He rolled himself over and coughed up blood, facing where he knew his pet was coming towards him.
He looked up, ready to yell at his pet for treating his master like this, and froze.
Beautiful, powerful eruptions of lightning were crackling around Wally's deadly form, casting eerie shadows about the room. He walked an even pace towards the crumpled form, the lightning starting to form a strange, chaotic dance around his vibrating body. "He was the one that mattered most." His expression darkened into a form that was never seen on a speedster before, clouding any hurt the voice may have rang with. "He was my friend, my best friend." Klarion felt a thread of glee at the barely suppressed power. It was perfect. He was couldn't help but burst into another fit of twisted laughter at the realization.
And then was promptly crushed senseless.
It could not have been more than ten seconds, but the Lord of Chaos didn't stand a chance. Lightning dancing around his runner's suit, clinging to him and lashing out at his surroundings as Wally attacked. He punched Klarion in the face, the gut, the side. He threw him in the walls, into the ceiling, leaving perfect imprints from the force of the impact. He snapped one arm and broke the left shin, shoved his organs from one side of the body to the other and deflated several of them on broken ribs, all in the span of ten seconds. Each action was barely completed before he was suddenly there again, tossing the villain around like rag doll and decimating what was left of the cave's room- the sounds of the hits echoing off the walls like gun shots.
His prize had finally unleashed its potential.
It hurt, god it hurt, Klarion didn't know how people could be mortal and take this. He blacked out briefly, but couldn't have been under long, because the next moment he was blearily opening his eyes to seeing Wally's body tremble with the sheer thrill of power running through him. He was beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
Kid Flash's body now glowed from the constant velocity that was echoing around his form, humming at the intensity of him standing alone. The black swirl of anger, of power in the boy's form that thrashed in the power of the speedforce was simply intoxicating.
The witch's head swung until a swollen shut eye was peering at him, wheezing faintly. Klarion assessed the speedster's form before grinning with his bloodied teeth. He knew exactly what his possession was thinking, and knew exactly what to say. "You don't have the guts, hero."
His little pet, now covered in Klarion's own blood, sent a flash of disbelieving wrath through their connection. His heart pounded in a mix of thrilling anticipation and slight apprehension as Wally leaned in, his expression black as any villain's. "I'm no hero." Cracking his knuckles, he pulled back his fist to send the killing blow. A blow that would be so very similar to Robin's end. If Klarion's jaw wasn't broken, he would have let loose one last crazy cackle of success. As it was, his swollen eyes stayed glued to the vessel's form, brimming in anticipation.
Both Klarion and Wally jolted, each forgetting that they had, up until this point, had a sleeping audience with them. The speedster's gaze stayed furiously on his for a moment longer before slowly turning to look, revealing the Superman clone half rising towards them. Not only him, but fishsticks was raising himself into a sitting position too.
Kaldur spoke up, quietly, "Kid Flash, what are…" he trailed off, finally taking in Wally's bloodied form. Klarion smiled, knowing what was coming next. Oh yes, this was perfect, better than script! What will you say, pet? Will you tell them? He watched as the two heroes sized up Wally's position, to Klarion's battered stated, then their eyes slowly trailing over to the prone form of the youngest hero.
Robin who was dead.
It's happening, it's actually happening. Part of Wally had been clinging to the idea that this was a dream, another concoction from Klarion to mess with him, because he knew, he knew this couldn't really happen. Not to him.
Not to Rob.
But no matter what he did he couldn't wake up- wouldn't wake up. And then Klarion had taunted him, had treated this like it was nothing, like Dick- his best friend, the closest thing he would ever have to a brother- was nothing but lint finally flicked off his shoulder!
It burned Wally, and before he knew it he had reacted in fury, bashing the villain to pieces. He was nothing! HE wasn't worth letting live!
And then the nightmare started all over again and grew worse, because now he remembered Robin was dead, and the others were about to find out.
"No…" Conner stared in horror, and Wally could literally see the pieces falling into place in the clone's mind. "Robin?"
Don't look, don't see. Wally felt himself tremble, refusing to look at the body and focusing solely on his teammates who were getting up (don'tthinkaboutit, don'tthinkaboutit).Conner's expression was breaking Wally, and making him fear even more when that sadness would turn to anger- and then turn to him.
"Robin!" The meta staggered up, rushing forward to the corpse (NO. ItsRobin, ItsRobin- Its not- it can't-) but he ended up stopping a few feet away, unable to tear his gaze off it (don'tthink don'tthink don'tthinkjustSTOP).
Kaldur stared too, wide eyes disbelieving. "Kid Flash, what has happened?" He was shaking his head unconsciously, not willing to trust his eyes. He gaze swung to the speedster, still trusting, still flaring with brief hope. That it wasn't too late, that this could be changed (it can't, no matter what I want, it can't).
"He…" Wally clenched his teeth, the fury leaking away as fear and despair creeped in. "I-I couldn't stop…" The waking up and seeing Robin and Robin afraid of him and trying but Icouldn'tandnow-
A choked gurgle sounded behind him, and Wally recognized the sound of Klarion laughing. Laughing at this sick and twisted nightmare he had made for the runner. That deadly flare of hate sprung up again. He turned back, picking him up and bashed him into the wall again. "Shut up!" He cried, coming undone at the seams. It was wrong, all wrong, and his brain couldn't make it go back and it wasn't a nightmare but it had to be a nightmare-
The two bleak faces turned in alarm to their comrade, finally taking in his glowing aura and the all-but-dead villain. "Wally, stop!" Superboy cried, shocked and angry at everything that was going on. Probably angry at Wally. He knows, of course he knows, and hehatesmenow, Supeyhatesme-
"No! You weren't awake; you didn't see what he- what happened! He deserves this!" And he did, he does, but Wally can't help but be glad they did not see- did not see him do it (soft skin quickly parting away for crunching bone and splatters of bloodENOUGH).
"Wally," Kaldur stood, clutching his arm to his side, but his sad eyes stayed trained on the glowing form of his friend. "Look at him. You need to stop."
The green eyes glared into his souless black, the anger returning in a blaze. "I am looking; do you see how much damage he's done? To the cave, to you, to Robin?" Robin, Robin, Robin-
"Stop! You've done enough!" The clone yelled.
Conner's fury directed at him brought the speedster's flurry of violent thoughts to a halt. You've done enough. Hurt people enough. The words finally helped the red fury in his vision ebbed, and he did see. He saw the extent of the injuries, the physical deformities and blood loss. He saw that the form of Klarion was practically destroyed- barely alive. Like Robin, hurting Klarion, like Robin-
He hadn't attacked Klarion defensively to save his friends; he had done it aggressively in anger. Out of revenge. No, no, no. This wasn't something a hero was supposed to do.
But a villain? Yes, a villain would do this. A villain would finish this.
"I'm no hero."
No, no, no! Wally's eyes widened in shock and finally did drop the magic user, numb guilt paralyzing him even as the speedforce continued to embrace his form. "No…" He shook his head in horror, trying to find a way out, clawing for any chance of stopping this madness. He looked down to the battered form, trying to find his anger, his disgust, anything to drown the guilt. "T-This is your fault, your fault."
The words made Klarion wheeze out again, his weak body convulsing as it laughed at him. He really was nothing more than a pile of broken flesh by this point. I did this, I did this.
"No, Wally…" The Lord of Chaos leaned forward, blood dripping from his stupid grin as he strained to pronounce his words. "It's yours."
Wally flinched back as if he had been struck, the golden lightning still dancing over his form.
"Kid Flash," Wally turned back. Kaldur's eyes were heavy, so heavy with the weight of what had happened. Wally's heart twisted in pain even more. "Was this… Did Robin…?"
Wally turned and faced them, his very posture screaming fear. How could it not? With what was coming. "It…" He… he couldn't look at them, couldn't face them. He hung his head, unable to look at their faces, his words nothing but a whisper. "It was an accident."
But of course, there was a being with super hearing in the room. "You did this?" Superboy called, his expression shocked.
"No!" Wally's head ricocheted up, the speed force flaring around him. It's happening, they blame me, it'shappening! "No! It wasn't- I wasn't-" 'It wasn't my fault, I was controlled!' Oh, if only he could claim that. I didn't mean to! I- I… He looked desperately at Conner and Kal, wishing he could explain, but he couldn't. Every time he'd try he saw that brief moment of Rob looking terrified and then- Nononononono, no. Please, wake up, just wake up. The speed force slowly ebbed around him, unable to maintain its physical form as his concentration broke in the growing panic. What would the others say? When they woke up, when they saw, what would the League-
Oh god, Barry. His Uncle, Iris, Black Canary, Batman. No. He couldn't handle this. When they found out- (They'll betray you, Wally.)
When they realized- (They'll turn against you, forever.)
He couldn't- (It's too late, much too late.)
He couldn't- (They'll destroy you, like you destroyed Robin.)
He focused back on who was left of his team (nononono don't think that, no)- who were watching him with a mix of dismay and anguish. "I couldn't stop…" They knew, their expressions said they knew, and couldn't believe it. Worse, he realized that the cooling wet trails on his face weren't blood, but tears. "I'm so sorry, you guys. I never, I…" I killed my best friend. He froze, the words finally sinking in.
I killed Rob, I killed my best friend.
He couldn't- he didn't know what to do, what to say- he couldn't-
"My poor little runner."
Wally swung around, shocked by what he saw. Klarion's hapless body still lay boneless on the floor, but gradually it began to shift and put itself back together, bones snapping into order and cuts threading shut. His stomach was grotesque to watch, the organs within aligning to their correct position made it look as though some other organism was alive and wreathing inside of him. With the final crack of his jaw, Klarion stood, impeccable save for the blood on the surrounding floor. The speedster backed away in incredulity. Nonono, what is happening? He came back but not Robin? Why not Robinwhy-
"You forgot, didn't you, pet?" Klarion grinned, his sharp canines stark against the lighting. Wally made to backup further, shaking in alarm, but the witch boy snapped his fingers, dissolving into the air. An instant later, pale hands grasped his shoulders, the snarky tone sounding just above his head. "I'm immortal."
He distantly heard his friends cry out on his behalf, but it was hard to hear over the incessant pounding of his own blood. IdiotidiotIDIOT! He wrestled out of the hold, turning to face the villain and backing away in dread. This was a nightmare, this was never ending! The Lord of Chaos was grinning like mad, eyes knowing. Wally had forgotten, Wally had been so wrathful and broken that he didn't even remember his foe's greatest strength. Behind Klarion, Conner had turned from his best friend's form and was rushing towards them, Kaldur fighting to stand and do the same, but not having any luck with his hurt leg. The villain ignored them both, moving forward at a casual pace while the speedster stumbled backwards.
"Enough, Wally." Klarion spread his arms, like he was corralling a finicky animal. "You lost, I won. I knew the speedforce would be powerful, and what you've shown proves it." He gave a fanged smile. "Come here, pet."
"No." Wally hissed out, shaking his head as he continued to back up. "No Klarion, please." Notagain. His connection with the force was all but tapped out, and even in his weakened state he knew Klarion would push his form until his attack was completed. Unless he told Klarion to do it himself. No, that's not an option (but they'll hate you now), neither of these is an option (if you don't destroy them, they'll destroy you for what's happened). He juped horribly as his back hit the wall, realizing there was nowhere to run. Why?! Why…
Seeing his prize was temporarily trapped, the witch boy stopped moving forward and shook his head mockingly. "It's no use begging, after what you've shown me tonight, I only want you more. And I will have your power, no matter the cost. So don't struggle this time. You're coming with me, whether willingly or not, your baby pals alive or not," his grin turned predatory, prompting a shudder through Wally, "is up to you."
As if on cue, Conner came up behind Klarion, ready to pound him into the cave floor. He roared savagely as he sought to protect his friend, but in one swift hand motion from Klarion he froze mid-air, red energy coming out to bind his form tight enough to make the Kryptonian growl in pain. The demon child made one graceful swipe of his hand and then Superboy was before him, trapped and helpless as the witchling dug his sharp nails into the extended throat. "Well, pet? Kryptonian skin is tough, but we have only a hybrid here, and I hear the alien gene is notoriously vulnerable to magic." He flexed his grip threateningly, black eyes victorious.
Ican'tIcan'tIcan'tIcan't- "Klarion, wait!" Wally looked at Connor, who was staring furiously at the witch boy as if he could produce laser vision. He could see it, the image dancing in front of his eyes of Conner's throat being torn out, his gaze turning lifeless as blood drained from his throat. Dying, like Robin-
"I give up!"
Klarion stilled, staring intently at his prize. "You give up?"
Conner turned to face him, blue eyes widening in surprise (so like Robin, why like Robin? WhyRobinwhy-). "No, Wally!" His voice strangled out, the grip on his throat weakening the words.
But it was enough; it proved what Wally had to do. "I surrender, I'm done fighting." He tried not to cringe backwards, tried to push back all his panic in favor of standing strong as he looked his tormentor in the eye. "I'll- I'll come quietly with you, just… stop. Don't hurt them anymore." He felt his expression crumple, his mind fixed on Robin's last expression of fear. "You don't care about them, right? Not as long as you have me." Not as long as I'm yours. It was the last thing he could do right; protect what friends he had left.
Klarion kept his grip on the clone, eyes appraising the wilting form. Wally couldn't stand it. He knew what he had just writing himself off to, he remembered all that time alone with Klarion. But he had to, for his friends, he had to. After an eternity, he slowly lifted his claws off Conner's throat, and with a wave pushing the form back a safe distance. "Come here then, pet."
"Don't Wally!" Conner called, furiously squirming in the magical restraints. He raised his eyes back to Wally's green, his expression unexpectedly vulnerable. "You don't have to do this. We can't lose you too!"
"Sorry, Supey." If losing me keeps you alive, then I'll do it. He walked hesitantly forward, fighting as hard as he could not to tremble, not to think. He had to do this. There's nothing left, his mind flashed back to Robin, his expression, his fear. Nothing.
The Lord of Chaos raised a hand towards Wally's face, the very tips slightly red from someone's blood at some point. Wally flinched instinctively as it drew near, and Klarion quirked an eyebrow, expression jeering.
You said you'd give in, follow through. Protect your friends, protect your friends… He stayed still this time as Klarion's hand came to rest against his cheek, caressing it as if savoring the ability to do so. Both ignored Conner's outbursts from behind, Wally fighting to keep his breathing even as the Lord of Chaos followed some invisible pattern only he could see across his features. "Good, good boy. You know you belong to me now, you know not to fight." His hand drifted up to rest against the center of Wally's forehead, and the runner felt his own panic rise with the knowledge of what was coming. He clenched his jaw, but kept his eyes opened, his breathing only hitching a little. "Relax, pet. You gave your word."
"Just don't hurt them." He rushed out, keeping his eyes trained on Klarion. Nothing else matters. "I won't fight back ever again, but you have to let them go." Don't hurt them; don't drag them into this again.
"Hmm," the magician hummed in acknowledgement. "Still trying to protect your little pals, Wally?" Before Wally could answer, he felt the sudden push of the dark magic return. Gasping, he unthinkingly reached out and grabbed the hand on his forehead, at the last second remembering his promise. Fearfully, he didn't move, still holding onto the hand as a twisted sense of support. It was still a revolting feeling to have someone intrude such a personal space, but he forced himself to stay still, thinking of Superboy who was furiously calling out still for him not to give in, thinking of Kaldur who was helpless on the other side of the room, thinking of the others not even aware of what was going on.
Klarion moved languidly around his mind, this time not shutting Wally down or hindering his own control, but merely looking into his feelings and exploring different thoughts. Wally knew what this was- a test. He was looking for any signs of resistance, and Wally had to stay the good little pet and not react. The probe delved deeper, sinking into who he was, searching. He watched what Klarion watched- a weeping Wally at his father's house- a laughing Wally at the fair with his aunt and uncle- he and Robin snickering as they watched their latest prank victim throw a fit- Wally crying out in pain as he was attacked on a mission-
All at once it came to a point Wally had never felt it go past- never looked to himself. His hold mind was screaming to fight the slippery intrusion (Don'tstopkeeprunning, don'tstopkeeprunning!). He knew what this was- his connection to the force, the part of him that had fought so hard. Even now it urged him not to give up, not to share the power, but he could still see Conner, see Kaldur and his friends. See Robin's body. Not another Robin, not another friend. I surrender.He thought helplessly, keeping relaxed despite the welling despair. I give in.
Just like that, with a wavering sigh, the probe sunk in. Both beings gasped as a warm echo of ambience that felt brightwarmfasthissuddenly entered. It held a sense of rightness that filled Wally to replace the pain from Klarion's attack, smothering his discomforts. It was a light. Wally looked at it, feeling like the presence was a familiar one, so much different from when it had mixed with his furious attack. It was… a part of him, but he wasn't sure what that meant. For the briefest of moments it caressed him, trying to meld with Wally's form again.
But before he could bask in it further, the light was being sucked into the dark intruder.
"Yes." Klarion hissed gleefully, his form beginning to have a contrasting yellow aura that was quickly melting into orange, small sparks dancing around his form curiously. "The speedforce, the power, finally mine!"
Wally couldn't help but feel apprehension build as the immortal grew in power right before him. It triggered the memory of his attack on Klarion, the blind force and destruction he did in a matter of moments with that power. Now he was freely giving that power over to Klarion. The Lord of Chaos.
What had he done?
Klarion, sensing his revelation, grinned victoriously. "I knew you had potential, my precious chaos." Concentrating, the demon child stared into the speedster's eyes, the orange energy fairing for a moment. "But that does not excuse you from being punished."
Within moments Wally dropped to the ground, white hot pain searing his brain. The probe, so carefully laid before, was now expanding, bridging and connecting so much more fully to Klarion, helping to center his control. He heard the being giggling above him, cooing useless words of comfort at his screams while the probe continued, melding firmly into Wally's very being.
"Don't worry, pet. Ssh… I'm almost done…"
As suddenly as it started, the probe settled and ended its movements. With a sharp intake of breath his body slumped to the floor, utterly exhausted and wanting to just find refuge in the black abyss of his mind. He blearily witnessed his body rising into the air, Klarion's magic pulsing possessively around him as the speedforce's power fused to its nature. It cupped him, held him carefully as if he was its master as well. Wally couldn't even move, and hated the inexplicit feeling that something precious, something his, was being used by the witch boy. It didn't hurt, and it wasn't draining him even though it was leaving him, but the distinct aspect that this was wrong clung to his very being.
He whimpered thoughtlessly when familiar nails tangled into his hair. "Quiet, Wally." Klarion murmured, leaning down into the blood speckled hair so his words fell close to the boy's ear. "It's over now."
The last of his reserves gone, Wally fell into oblivion.
The League arrived minutes later.
The Cave was destroyed, utterly and totally, the mountain having literally collapsed in on itself. J'onn and Captain Marvel immediately went to action with scanning the rubble, not seeing any sign of their children. Batman called an Omega level emergency, knowing all available heroes would be there as soon as possible with the zeta beams down- Superman and Wonder Woman hopefully within minutes. He remained stoic throughout the whole exchange, but both he and Barry could not fight down the bitter swell of dread.
They found Superboy first.
He was alive, barely, and had used the last of his strength to shield Miss Martian from the falling debris. Both lived, but Conner's invulnerability was strangely compromised by what appeared to be several blasts of powerful magic. They would pull through, but not soon. Later, while Megan had no recollection of the battle, Conner would haltingly try to explain what had happened. How he couldn't stop them, how Wally sacrificed himself in vain, because Klarion then attacked them stronger than ever. How he was so, so sorry he hadn't been able to save everyone.
Kaldur had been crushed, his Atlantian heritage unable to withstand an attack of this magnitude. His pulse was weak, and he awoke briefly, calling out for his mentor before succumbing to darkness's arms. Hours later he died from internal blood loss. King Arthur took his soldier's remains home to his grieving family and friends.
The rest were… unable to be fully recovered. Fate, arriving later due to his fight with Teekl, helped locate what was left of the sidekicks. Oliver, one of the immediate responders to the Omega call, broke at the news of losing both his partners. Months after the incident he would still be inconsolable, his relationship with Dina taking a turn for the worst as the both suffered from the absence of the teens. Artemis's mother cut off ties from everyone, reclosing even further from the loss of her little girl. Roy, aside from Green Arrow and Black Canary, did not have others outside of the League to mourn for him, but one assassin later broke into the mainframe, stealing the data of what had happened, trying to understand how the two most important people in her life were taken.
Batman… found his son's body. He worked tirelessly until it was recovered, and then refused let the heroes take the corpse from him. While destroyed beyond recognition from the debris crushing the frail form and several other wounds, he was still able to eventually assess the killing blow to his partner. He was the world's greatest detective, after all. It brought him no comfort that the death would have been swift. If anything, it haunted him, as well as the Flash, more. The dark knight turned dangerously menacing after that, his light in the world of justice gone, and making his lines between right and wrong blur together even more. Weeks after the event, he would quit the Justice League, indefinitely. Wishing he had never formed the Young Justice team in the first place.
Wally was never recovered, never found, and wouldn't be seen for years. Like Batman, the speedster had worked furiously, desperate to save his nephew, to beg his forgiveness for not being there to stop Klarion. All they found, after the debris was cleared, was a canary yellow mask that was speckled with blood and scortched etchings nearby simply proclaiming:
The hero was literally crippled; the loss of his nephew more destructive than any attack a villain could put to his person. He stepped away from his duties as Flash for awhile, consoling his wife and setting up the necessary arrangements for Wally's civilian life. They did not give up hope, but all efforts to find the bright light of their lives ended in disappointment. Knowing what Wally was likely forced to do, Barry painfully wondered if it was good the League could not find him.
After Conner and M'gann recovered, they were forcibly retired until they came of a much, much later age. Superman, finally coming around to the boy who suffered so much loss, offered to let him build a new identity with Clark Kent, and even stay on the farm with his parents. M'gann stayed with her uncle, often taking time to visit Zatanna, who mourned the further loss of loved ones horribly. The superhero community never fully came back from the experience, it was a massive blow to the League. A rule was made to declare that a League member no longer could recruit actual sidekicks any longer. It was for the young ones safety. Despite their best efforts, they remained weaker, broken, and less united.
Just as the Light had planned.
When Wally woke up, it was to total darkness.
Unlike previous times, when he had gradually woken, he had started up. His brain pulsed erratically as he frantically tried searching for a sign of where he was. What had happened? Was he on a mission? Was his team in danger-
"No…" He leaned back, finding a rough hewn wall behind him. He curled his arms around his legs, realizing it hadn't been a nightmare. "I thought it was a dream, it should have been a dream, I didn't, I…" He had murdered someone. He had murdered his best friend. What would the League do to him? What would Aunt Iris think? Or Uncle Barry? Was he even a hero anymore?
That thought started a whole new revelation, one that made his insides go cold.
He had surrendered to Klarion.
Klarion, who had used the speedforce, had fused his magic with its power. But what happened after that?
An even more chilling thought- where was he? It was warm, wherever he was, but so dark… was he even alone in the room?
He stayed curled up where he was, unwilling to venture out and test his dark prison. It was the least he deserved, anyway. He didn't want to be alive anymore. Wally wanted to be with Robin, with his team before this all happened. He didn't want to be lost in the dark.
He wished he was dead.
"I see you're awake."
Wally started at the voice echoing out of the darkness. Shakily, he used the wall to stand, glancing around futilely. "Where are you?"
"Do you wish to see me, pet? Afraid of being alone again?"
He let out a shuttering breath, knowing Klarion wanted to get a rise out of him, and fearing what would happen when he did. "What are you going to do to me?"
"Why, whatever I want, little runner. You're mine now, after all." He suddenly emerged from the blackness, his pale complexion oddly glowing in the shrouded room.
Startled at the sudden proximity, Wally made to lean away, but the witch boy reached out immediately, grasping his arms and preventing his escape. Almost instantly after the contact, Wally felt the immortal enter his mind, swerving through his psyche until he reached the controls. Moments later his legs gave out, dragging him to the floor and body completely unresponsive to any self-preservation tactics. Fearful, but knowing there was nothing he could do, the youngest speedster looked frightfully at the victorious being's face before quickly ducking his head. Whatever expression he was making, it caused the Lord of Chaos to chuckle in amusement. "There's no need to look like that, pet. I told you before that I take very good care of my possessions, and I haven't had one as fun as you in centuries."
The red head nodded, dumbly, not knowing how to better respond. "What… what did you do to my friends?"
The villain's hold tightened warningly, but he did not attack. "They are no concern of yours any longer. In fact, you're going to forget all about them."
Wally opened his mouth to protest, but felt the words choke in his throat. He… he didn't want to remember. He didn't want the last memory of his friend to be that terrified face has his fist collided with Robin's skull. He didn't want to remember the Aunt and Uncle who loved him and would never see him again. He didn't want to remember Connor, Megan, Kaldur, Roy, Artemis… He had failed them, and it wasn't right, but he didn't want to be reminded of his failures the rest of his miserable existence. "Will…" his voice faltered for a moment, heart breaking that it had come to this. "Will it hurt…?"
The witch boy smirked, his expression not quite softening, but understanding. "Not if you don't fight it. It will be… like a dream," he described, sensing the irony to the situation.
The runner looked down to the floor. "The Nightmares?"
"I don't want you thinking of anyone, only me." Klarion asserted, hands trailing up again to his orange locks. "I'm all you have now, all you need." The freckled teen felt tears threaten again, and nodded hurriedly before they could fall, determined to get this over with. What would it matter once it was done anyway? Sensing Klarion's satisfaction, he stayed still as the captor leaned forward until their heads were touching. "It'll be over soon…"
Wally looked up from his homework to see his dad at the door way.
"We're heading to the park, are you going to come with?" Wally peaked past his dad and saw his mother there with him, smiling happily at her little boy.
"Sure!" Wally pushed back his chair and hurried over, only to discover his parents were already gone from the door. "Mom? Dad?" The house was empty; he somehow knew they were gone. They left him. He felt sadness rise, but then after a moment paused, wondering who they had been anyway.
He looked down the stairs to see Trickster and Captain Cold, weapons ready and pointed at him. "You're coming to play darts with us!"
Wally grinned at the challenge, ignoring the danger. "You're on!" But as he headed down the stairs they hurried out the door. "Wait up!" But by the time he was there, the Rogues were gone. Left again. But who were the Rogues? And why did everyone keep leaving?
The little boy turned, relieved to see his Uncle Barry and Aunt Iris, they'd know what's going on! "Guys, do you know who those people were?"
The blond man smiled in confusion, eyes never leaving his nephew. "What people?"
"Those," Wally turned to point, "the ones who went around the corner…" he turned back, but found his porch empty. Who had he been talking to…?
He turned again, this time finding almost his whole team in the driveway. Not only them, but every League member he had ever gotten to know. Black Canary stood calmly next to Red Arrow, Green Arrow smiling happily behind them. Superman, Green Lantern, Captain Marvel, Batman, they were all there! Inexplicably, he knew whatever was going on- even though he didn't know what was going on, would happen to them too. He hurried down, and not taking his eyes off them, reached out. Almost everyone pulled away, out of reach, but the initial caller, Artemis, grasped his hand in hers.
She quirked an eyebrow at him, her costume melting off her to become just civilian Artemis. "What's up? Normally you'd have said something dumb by now."
"I think… I think I'm forgetting something." He blinked and started. Had they always been alone? "I'm afraid I'll forget you too."
"Of course you won't." Artemis scoffed. "You can't stop thinking about me."
"Well, I sorta like you." The words came easily to him, things he would have never said in real life now so easy to confess in this white landscape. "I have for awhile, but I knew you'd laugh at me if I ever asked you out."
Gently, she pulled her hand out of his grasp. "Never, Wally. I would have said yes in a heartbeat."
"Wait, really? Because-" Wally started, but realized again there was no one there. Was this all in his head, was he talking to nothing? It left a brief moment of sadness in his soul. He couldn't recall anyone he could have been talking to, literally no one, accept-
Turning once more, Wally realized his entire world was white. There was nothing. No house, no distinguishing marks, nothing. But that voice- that voice was familiar, he knew it-
He swung around, eyes finally landing on the domino masked hero. "Robin?"
The figure cackled and started to walk towards him. "Took you long enough!"
"Don't disappear!"He blurted, not even sure what he meant. But as the figure drew closer, Wally recalled other things- horrible things. "Rob… I, I killed you…"
The figure stopped a few feet in front of Wally, his expression sad. "Yeah, I know. It was an accident KF, I know you didn't mean to."
He felt sadness, a horrible sadness that he was going to lose Robin all over again, even though he was right here. "Are you leaving too? Can you stay?"
The smaller boy hesitated, his movements muffled in the white world. "…no, I'll have to leave too. I need to be with Arty and Roy and the others."
Wally didn't know what he meant, and felt even worse because of it. "But you're my best friend, why can't you stay?"
The boy snorted, slapping a hand on Wally's bicep reassuringly, but the speedster realized with a pang that it was fading. "I'll always be your best friend, even when you don't remember me."
Wally watched the ghostly child slowly fade away, his heart breaking more. "Do you forgive me?"
But nobody answered him.
And he didn't even know why he asked.
Wally turned to see Klarion, floating casually with a devious smirk on his face. "Are you going to come with me?"
Wally backed up, but didn't have anywhere to go. "No, you're not supposed to be here." At least, he thought that was true.
The smirk widened. "Everyone else left you. All you have is me."
It took Wally a moment, but he realized that Klarion must be right. He couldn't remember anyone caring, anyone looking for him. He looked over the blue boy hesitantly. "You won't abandon me, will you? I-I don't want to be alone anymore…" He never wanted to be alone again.
The witch boy smiled and floated down, landing gracefully to take the boy's hand. "No Wally, you're mine, and I'll never let you go."
Klarion watched his vessel sleep, a grin permanently plastered on his face. His pet would need to be trained again, and wouldn't be able to play in the outside world for quite some time. But that was alright, Klarion would stay with his little being of chaos, he would keep the runner company. Vandal had promised after all, and the Lord of Chaos was emphatic to use all the time he had.
Finally, Wally was his.
Mine, he thought again, his hand trailing through the soft locks. Despite all the fight his pet had put up, all the fear and anger and rebellion, Klarion had still won in the end. With his memories gone, the child would be even more willing to follow him. To go to Klarion when he was scared, when he was happy, when he didn't want to be alone.
The speedster's powers were not completely ready for the outside world, not by a long shot. But that was alright, it did not matter the amount of time.
After all, a Lord of Chaos has all the time in the world.
Wow I am not satisfied with that ending. But! There you go, ITS FINALLY OVER!
It's the end of an era… I need to stop starting eras and just finish stories in a reasonable amount of time. Thank you to EVERYONE who ever reviewed, read, or like this story! It started on a whim, and turned into so much more.
For the last unanswered questions: I am sorry Rogue fans, no matter what I did they didn't fit right for the ending format. BUT, I will be adding them to some other stories I can FINALLY start now that I finished this hefty thing. Fun fact, my 'Possession Extras' document that held what I didn't put in the story (whether different scenes or other POVs, etc), was 20000 words strong. I structured this baby until it was a monument of epicness.
I will also be making an AU Possession story- I've seen it done before, and its seems fun. There will be a series of one-shots that I will update WHEN I FREAKING FEEL LIKE IT- NO DEADLINES- that I will write based on Private Message Requests on what people would have liked to see in the story. Whether it's a scene from a different character's point of view, a scene that was never in there that you would have liked to see, or a twist on something already written. I'd love to play with that, so let me know via PM in you have ANY requests!
I have finally delivered. If you could let me know which ending you preferred and why, or review both even, I would greatly enjoy that. But his is up to you, who have honestly been more than patient with me and I understand if you don't want to.
… it would just really be cool of you to do since this IS the last chapter.