I know, I know, I should be continuing on my other story instead of starting a new one. But seriously, if I try to write Hetalia when all I can think of is Young Justice We're gonna end up with superpowered countries and weird bromances.
I'm not sure if I'm gonna continue this. It was (again) just something I wrote at work.
Wally winced as he woke, feeling like an apple someone had dropped down a couple hundred fights of stairs. Even though his body was – mostly – physically fine, he had discovered that if his emotions were too heightened when he got injured the pain tended to linger as though he hadn't healed at all. Sometimes it would last for days, although the record so far was close to two weeks.
In short, his body knew he'd healed but his mind didn't.
So the only person who could really hurt him with minimal effort was his own father.
"I'm lucky he's not a villain," Wally thought humourlessly as he forced himself out of his nice, soft bed.
But it really wasn't that bad, Wally would tell himself. His dad only got violent when he was drunk and it's not like he's an alcoholic or something. He only drank a few times a month when his work friends would convince him to join them. And he always apologized after. Either he would come to his senses mid-punch and drop to his knees, sobbing and begging Wally to forgive him – Wally always did. Or he would pass out on the couch when he got tired and apologize in the morning.
Wally wasn't sure which one he hated more.
He'd either have to deal with his dad being a half drunk emotional mess when all he wanted was to go to sleep or he would get an incredibly awkward and stiff but earnest apology in the morning. Today it would be the latter.
He got ready and dressed as slowly as he could. He did not want to go downstairs and face his dad. Last night had been especially bad. His dad had not only gotten completely shit-faced but he had managed to lose several hundred dollars at a game of poker with his friends. So when he got home he was already furious and thoroughly embarrassed. Normally when he came home drunk he would be in a sort of neutral mood – not happy but not mad or violent – until Wally would suggest that he sleep on the couch so he didn't disturb his mom. Wally would not risk his dad getting violent with his mom.
And some times – when he was in an exceptionally good mood or sober enough to see reason – he'd actually listen and go to sleep on the couch without a fight. And Wally would go to bed wishing every time would be that easy.
But sadly this was a rare occurrence.
Normally he'd barely even get though the first sentence before the first punch. Because Rudolph West did not like being told what to do.
Wally was never really sure how long a beating lasted – being a speedster was cool and all but it seriously messed with his sense of time – but it had felt like forever.
Wally looked at the clock – 7:18 – and knew he had to stop stalling. If he was too slow his mother would think something was wrong.
That was probably the best and the worst thing about this whole situation. His mom had no idea what was going on.
Every night Wally knew his dad would be drinking he made sure his mom took her sleeping pills – she couldn't sleep without them – and got to bed well before his dad would get home. Then he would sit in the living room and wait.
That was why he couldn't simply run away or lock the door to his room before he got home. If his dad attacked his mom, Wally would never forgive himself.
Mary could stay happily unaware of what her husband was doing to her son and what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her. Only Wally.
But Wally was okay with that. He was a hero after all, and if he couldn't even protect his own mother, what good was he?
He just wished he was able to protect himself as well. Normally it would be no problem. He could easily hold off nearly anyone else without causing injury to either of them.
But this wasn't just anyone. This was his father. One of the few people he'd looked up to for most of his life.
The man who had taught him how to ride a bike and helped him with his homework when he was little. The man who had sat up with him all night when he was sick and couldn't sleep, even though he kept forgetting to cover his mouth when he coughed and snot was running down his face like a miniature waterfall.
And now he was the man who beat the crap out of him every few weeks.
Wally would fight back if he could. But every time he saw his father coming at him, face contorted in rage and fists held high, Wally would feel his muscles seize and he could hardly breathe, never mind protect himself.
Wally had one last look at himself in the mirror, checking again for any evidence of last night. He hoped no one would question the fact that he wore a turtleneck sweater despite the warming weather. He still had a bruise on his neck from when his dad had actually picked him up but the throat and slammed him into the floor had enough to make the house shake.
The only reason he was even still alive was probably because being a speedster made him a bit tougher than the average human. He shuddered to think about what something like that could do to his mother.
Satisfied that his reflection told him nothing other than the fact that he was likely to suffer from a heatstroke, Wally grabbed his backpack and went downstairs to join his parents for breakfast.
"Morning!" He greeted them as he entered the kitchen.
"Good morning, Wally," his mother said. "You took an awfully long time getting ready. Is everything alright?"
Wally saw his dad wince and a guilty look settled on his face.
"Yeah, I just couldn't find my homework. No big," Wally didn't like lying to his mother but there was really no way around it.
Breakfast from there proceeded as usual, with the exception of his father frequently giving him worried looks. If his mom noticed her husband acting strangely she didn't say anything.
After they had eaten his dad offered to drop Wally off at school on his way to work.
Normally he'd love for his dad to drive him; he did still love his father and did enjoy spending some – non-violent – time with him.
Today though, he'd rather walk barefoot over broken glass than get in a car with his dad.
But he put on a cheerful face and thanked his dad as if he hadn't seen it coming. He did this after every time, after all.
Everyone thought Wally was a horrible actor but he was able to fool his mom well enough; and she was not normally a woman easily fooled. He'd had a few close calls in the beginning but now it was almost too easy.
It scared Wally a bit. It shouldn't be so easy to hide something so big.
Part of hm really wanted to tell someone. He would feel so much better if he had someone to talk to. But he knew that whoever he told would notify the police and he didn't want his dad to go to jail or his mom to know what had been going on while she was sleeping. It would tear their family apart. And he didn't want uncle Barry and the team to know how weak he was; how could they trust him to be able to keep up on missions if he couldn't even protect himself from a civilian? And aunt Iris was his dad's sister! How would it affect her if the truth got out?
No, Wally could dead with it for however long he would have to.
The car ride was awkward and silent for the first few minutes.
Rudolph kept clearing his throat and opening his mouth as if he was about to speak, but he kept stopping himself before he actually said a word.
After the eight time Wally'd had enough.
"Dad, it's fine. I'm fine!"
His dad still looked hesitant.
Eventually he sighed. "Wally, you know I love you very much, right?"
Wally looked at his dad, somewhat surprised. He was not a man who liked to talk about his feelings.
"Uh, yeah, love you too dad," he thought he could see the older male relax a bit at that.
"And I am so sorry for everything I put you through. I don't want to hurt you,"
"Then how about you stop drinking so damn much?" Wally thought but said instead, "I know, It's okay, I-"
"No, damn it! It's not okay!"
If it hadn't been for the seatbelt Wally would have jumped right out of his seat. He was happy Rudolph never took his eyes from the road because he could feel the blood drain from his face and didn't want his dad to know he'd actually scared him.
Rudolph took a deep breath and seemed to calm down.
"It's not okay." he said in a more normal tone of voice.
"I wish you would stop confronting me when I get home."
"As if that's the real problem here." Wally continued to keep his thoughts private and after about half a minute of silence -which seemed more like half an eternity to Wally – Rudolph gave up waiting for a reply.
"Go. You'll be late."
Wally just nodded and stepped out of the car, slinging his backpack onto his back as he stood up. He just barely caught himself before he winced at how much that hurt.
He walked away from the car without saying another word.