I'm Fine

Chapter 2

It's longer than the first one but it's still kinda short and I'm not really all that happy with this, but I'm just not that great a writer and I feel like this is the best I can do. At least for now. I might go back later and redo it. Sorry if you're disappointed by this chapter but after all the amazing feedback I got for the first chapter I really couldn't not continue it.

It had been a few days since his dad's outburst in the car but Wally was still feeling a bit anxious around him. The only time he raised his voice in anger at Wally was when he was drunk. It just wasn't something he did.

He found himself stalling on his way home from school and staying in his room more than he used to.

But things felt different now. Before it had been easy to separate his dad sober from his dad drunk because he was so different he might as well be another person.

But it was like that morning in the car had opened his eyes to his dad's behaviour.

There weren't violent temper tantrums and he wasn't verbally or physically abusive; it wasn't anything as big as that. At least not when he was sober.

But he seemed less happy. More likely to snap at Wally or his mother, more easily annoyed at every little thing.

And Wally wasn't sure what to do about it.

Wally didn't actually mind doing homework. Even if it was for a subject he hated and he couldn't go at a much faster that normal pace because it would tear the paper. It was a chance to just let his mind work. He always had so many thoughts speeding around his mind but having something to work on calmed it down a bit.

He was deep into his geography homework when he heard a crash from downstairs. At first he ignored it. His dad had probably just dropped something. People dropped stuff all the time, it's normal.

But when it was followed by a loud angry voice, Wally felt a jolt go through him.

His mother was out so his dad couldn't be talking to her and he was sure it was his dad's voice so that ruled out the TV. But his dad only ever talked to himself when he was drunk.

"There is no way he's been out. I would have heard him leave!" Wally thought. "But he never drinks at home. What's going on?"

He sat there, frozen in his chair, pen still on the paper, not sure if he should go down and check on him or not. He didn't really want to.

But a second later there was another crash before he heard heavy footsteps come thundering up the stairs.

For a moment he contemplated going out the window. His room was only on the second floor and if he got a running start he might make it to one of the trees outside.

But as he listened to the steps coming steadily closer he couldn't ever move. He felt like a deer caught in the headlights of a train.

The door burst open and Wally flinched but otherwise did not move.

"Where are they?!" His dad yelled, his words slurred. Wally finally looked up from his homework. He could smell the beer on him from across the room.

He stood up not feeling safe sitting. There was no way of knowing why his dad had been drinking – and Wally sure as hell wasn't going to ask him – but he definitely wasn't in a good mood.

"Wh-where are what?" His voice shook and he cursed himself for stuttering.

"Where are they? Where did you hide them?" He yelled again as he stormed over to Wally's closet and started throwing his clothes everywhere.

The bed was already standing between them but Wally pushed his chair in front of himself as well, wanting to have as many things separating them as possible.

"What are you looking for? I didn't take anything!" "No, no! Idiot! Don't get his attention!" He scolded himself.

His dad turned abruptly, his arms flailing as if not fully attached to his body.

"Liar! I know you have them!" He pointed an unsteady finger accusingly in Wally's general direction.

Rudolph took a step towards his son who quickly threw up his hands in front of in a sign of surrender.

"T-tell me what you're looking for and I'll help you find them," Wally offered in a rush.

His dad scoffed and sneered at him.

"I don't need your help. I can find my own damn car keys," and with that he turned and left Wally's room, knocking over a lamp as he went.

Wally felt himself go cold. If his dad attempted to drive anywhere he had no doubt he would crash. He could hurt or kill himself and who knows how many others.

Wally rushed out of his room. He had to find those keys before his dad did.

His dad had gone to his and his mom's room and was now thoroughly ransacking it. Wally was not looking forward to cleaning that up later, but if he didn't his mom would know something was not right.

Wally practically flew down the stairs and into the kitchen; he quickly found the car keys hanging on their usual peg on the wall.

He grabbed them and cast about for a place to hide them. He could hear his dad coming down the stairs already, there was no way he could get out of the kitchen without being spotted, and he might be a speedster but he'd never get the windows open in time. His dad might even decide to follow him through the window and who knew what could happen then.

He put the key in his pocket and hoped for the best.

His dad stumbled into the kitchen, not seeming to notice Wally standing by the opposite wall. Wally took the chance to try and sneak out, maybe he could just avoid his dad until he either gave up and went to sleep or passed out.


Of course, he couldn't be that lucky.

Wally froze. How he wished he could just speed away from there. He'd give anything to be anywhere but that kitchen. He tried to force himself to just go, there was no way his dad would ever catch him; he could go to uncle Barry and aunt Iris' house, or he could go to the cave and hang with Megan and Supes, or Gotham and spend the night with Dick.

He knew none of his friends would mind. Batman might be a bit ticked but he wouldn't send him back. Especially not if he told him everything. It was such a tempting thought, to get away from the pain and fear.

"Wallace West, you will look at me when I'm talking to you!"

But he couldn't run, there was no escaping. This was his own personal hell.

He turned slowly, his body moving against his will.

"Where is your mother?" Rudolph demanded.

"What?" The question surprised Wally. His mom had gone out with some friends, going shopping or to the movies or whatever mom-people normally do.

But his dad already knew this. Wally really hoped he did at least, considering he'd been the one to tell Wally when he got home from school.

"Don't pretend you didn't hear me! I want to know where my wife is!"

Rudolph stomped across the room towards his petrified son.

"Come on, you can do it! Just run! What kind of speedster are you if you can't even run?"

But Wally still did not move, even though the few second it took for his dad to cross to the other side of the room was more than enough time.

His dad gripped the front of his t-shirt and pushed him into the wall behind him. The cupboards shook with the force and Wally choked a bit as fists hit his throat.

"I don't know! She's with her friends, I don't know where!

This was obviously not the answer his dad was looking for. His features darkened further until he resembled an ogre but he didn't say anything. He shook his son once and slammed him into the wall again before throwing him to the floor.

His head hit the hard floor and for a second he saw stars. Wally automatically curled up to protect his stomach and head. "You said so! When I got home from school! You told me she was out!" Wally half yelled hoping his dad would listen.

After a few moments, when it became apparent that the expected blows weren't coming, he dared to look up at his dad.

Rudolf looked confused – still angry, but confused – and Wally really didn't know if this was any kind of improvement, but at least he wasn't being slammed into the wall any more.

When his dad turned his back on him, mumbling about something indistinctly, Wally decided that confused was definitely a good thing.

As his dad stomped off to the fridge Wally took the chance to sneak away. It went against his very nature to leave someone when they might still harm themselves or others, but he was going to the cave after school the following day; meaning he could not afford to have unexplainable bruises or pains.

He might have improved his lying skills well enough to hide things from his mother but Conner would hear his heart rate change, Megan would probably feel something was wrong, and Dick was being trained to be a master detective. By Batman! There was no way he would be able to lie to them if they asked him straight out what happened.

They might not be doing to great at the moment but he still wanted to keep his family, thank you very much!

Wally paused when he's gotten up the stairs and around the corner to assess the damage. His back was in agony, he had a serious headache and his throat hurt. His back and throat would probably bruise but most like wouldn't be visible in the morning and he guessed the pain would be gone before school was over. He'd gotten off lightly this time.

He dragged himself into his parents' room to clean up before his mom got home. Luckily, since Mary didn't see her friends very often she usually stayed out late when she did.

He wasn't exactly familiar with the layout of their room but it should be too hard to put back to pretty much the way it was. The room was complete chaos but, by speeding up a bit - even though his back was screaming and his head was pounding – he got it done in about twenty five minutes.

When he was done he risked a peek downstairs in the living room to check on his dad. He hadn't heard anything from him in the last ten minutes or so.

He could see the flickering light of the TV screen in the dark living room from where he was standing at the top of the stairs.

Wally made his way down the stairs, moving slowly and quietly, not wanting to alert his dad to his presence.

Reaching the bottom of the stairs, he could clearly see his father's sleeping form sitting slumped over on the couch, one hand still loosely gripping a half full beer bottle.

The relief hit him and the tension left him in a rush, leaving him leaning on the banister so he wouldn't fall flat on his face as his knees buckled.

It was a few moments before he could put himself back together and calm his emotions enough to tiptoe into the living room. He knew his dad would be out like a light – nothing short of a large scale earthquake would wake him now – but it couldn't hurt to be careful.

He quietly and carefully located the remote and turned the TV off, retrieved the bottle from his father's limp grasp and laid a blanket over him.

Afterwords he located the things his dad had dropped on the floor in his frantic search for the car keys.

One was a hideous wooden statuette – of what Wally had no idea, and he was pretty sure he didn't want to know – the other was a glass flower vase they had never used. The statuette he just put back, it had gotten a small scrape but nothing really noticeable; but the vase was completely destroyed. He'd have to come up with some kind of excuse, in case his mother asked.

He quickly got it cleaned up, went to the kitchen to throw it away and noticed the fridge door was open and some of it's contents had ended up all over the floor. He couldn't quite hold back a groan at the thought of wasted food. A lot of it could be salvaged, still being in it's original wrapper or container, but some had to be thrown away.

That, at least wouldn't even need an excuse, given who he was.

He stopped by the living room to check on his dad again - just to be safe - and found him still in the exact same position he left him in, snoring lightly, before heading upstairs to his room. He stuffed the clothes back into the closet, not bothering with sorting any of it, and put the lamp back where it was.

His half finished geography homework was still lying where he left it on his desk, but he had no desire to continue it. Sighing he opened the window so he would hear it when his mom got back and resigned himself to reluctantly finish his work. His back was quick to let him know it did not approve of the hard chair as he sat down.

He finished his homework in about ten minutes then just sat there waiting for the sound of a car pulling up in the driveway. It was another half an hour before he heard what he'd been waiting for. He threw on another turtleneck sweater and ran downstairs as fast as the small spaces and his injuries would allow, getting to the door before his mother. He quickly peeked into the living room; Rudolph still had not moved. Opening the door quietly, he saw his mom still getting out of the car, looking a bit surprised to see him.

"Wally? What are you doing up? Tonight is a school night," Mary said, sounding slightly cross.

"I know mom, I was just finishing my homework when I heard the car. Just wanted to let you know Dad's asleep in the living room." Wally paused and cleared his throat, trying to get his voice to sound slightly less hoarse. "I don't think he's gonna wake up so it might be best to just leave him alone. He was real tired earlier."

Mary's expression quickly changed from stern to a worried frown.

"Sweetheart, are you alright? Your voice sounds horrible." She walked over to him in the doorway and put a hand on his forehead. "You don't have a fever but you're pale as death! Maybe you should stay home tomorrow. Go to bed and I'll bring you up some soup." She closed the door behind her and started towards the kitchen.

"It's nothing, I'm fine, really! I'll go to bed and it'll be gone by morning." He hoped he sounded convincingly reassuring with his voice cracking like he just entered puberty. He hoped that particular problem would be gone by the time he got to the cave or Robin and Artemis would never let him live it down.

Mary was about to reply but was cut off by a hastily stifled yawn.

"You should get to bed too. I'm not the only one who's got an early morning tomorrow."

She took a moment to consider it. "Well, if you're sure,"

"Sure I'm sure!" He gave her his most winning smile. "You know me, nothing can keep me down for long! A small simple cold like this is nothing."

She smiled indulgently. "Alright then, you win. I'll see you in the morning. Goodnight Wally." She gave him a kiss on the forehead and headed upstairs.

"Goodnight mom." He let his smile fade as she disappeared from view.

"How long can I keep this up?"

He turned off the rest of the lights and checked on his dad one last time before finally getting to bed.