Character(s): Dick Grayson/Nightwing, & Wally West/Kid Flash.
Genre: General, & Angst.
Length: 2,300+ words.
Pairing(s): None in this story, but mentions of Artemis/Wally, past!Garth/Tula, and one-sided!Kaldur/Tula.
Rating: Teen, for swearing.
Setting: Set during Dick & Wally's conversation inside the Hall of Justice's living room.
Summary: Dick yells at Wally about his accusations on Kaldur, and tells Wally about his own faults. While Wally ponders on about his decisions, and mistakes.
Warning: Spoilers for Season 2, especially Episode 9 'Darkest'.
I watched episode 9 today, and I'm sad about Wally's character changes. So I wrote this, and I included the fact about Wally's powers causing him to deteriorate, as a reason why Wally wasn't on the team in Season 2. Because Wally loves the hero life more than anything, and he wouldn't just ditch it for living a normal life, practically because he's never wanted a normal life, since he loves helping people, and his friends.
The story switches from Dick & Wally conversing, to Wally's thoughts; to show people what I believe is the reason why Wally isn't on the team now. I made Dick & Wally swear/curse, because c'mon, they're boys, and they're clearly above 16 years of age, and angry, so cursing does tend to come in between their yelling and accusations. Plus they do curse in the comics too~
Please Read, Review & tell me what you think about this.
of realities & truths...
Nightwing stayed silent, letting the blunt & harsh accusations Wally was spouting, sink into his mind.
And after they do, he bursts out angrily, "Would you even listen to yourself?! THIS IS KALDUR WE'RE TALKING ABOUT...of course I fucking trust him with my life! You know what I should be asking here, is do you Wally? Did you ever trust Kaldur?! Does his fucking sacrifice mean anything to you, other than the fact that Artemis's life is in danger? Is she more important to you than me or Kaldur? Or even La'gann, Bart, & Jaime? You DON'T even give a damn about the risks that he's taking to make sure this plan works!" Nightwing told Wally, with absolute venom and anger-laced words.
"Are you kidding me?! You're suggesting I don't care about anyone other than Artemis? You guys almost died! For the sake of a stupid plan! It's not worth it. And of course I care about Kaldur! I'm just saying that it's quite possible for him to have changed sides, after all that's happened to him." Wally defended himself, a scowl on his lips.
"Yes, I am. You quit the team to live a normal life with your girlfriend, who consented, because she loves you. She never wanted to quit the hero life, but she did, because of you. And there's Kaldur, whose first love died because of The Light, who finds out that his father, his biological father, had been trying to kill him since he became Aqualad."
And Nightwing pauses to take a breath, before yelling out loud, "How the HELL do you think he feels?! He's working for the man who tried to destroy his home countless of times, and was involved in the plan that killed his first love, and one of his oldest friends. He's fucking devastated! He's pretending to be evil, so that we can win. So that the Light won't gain the upper hand, and their Invasion fails. And after 7 years of knowing the guy, you still doubt him, as if he was the enemy."
Nightwing looks disappointed beyond words. And Wally feels shame flood his mind.
"In a way, I think I'm glad you quit the hero life. You're not the Wally who was Kid Flash. You're not my best friend, not the one I knew...and I'm sure that the person you are now, isn't him." his tone weary, like he's finally giving up trying to make Wally understand, and the graveness in his tone makes Wally wonder, 'How bad has this gotten to make even Dick give up?' as Dick turned and walked away.
Wally can't even bring himself to utter "So you're just gonna walk away? Like this?" because, Dick's words, no matter how much they hurt, were nothing but the truth.
His throat feels choked, and the silence is terribly loud, except for the almost-silent steps of Dick's footsteps.
When Dick was about to reach the Zeta-Beam of the Watchtower, he turned to tell Wally.
"Put yourself in his shoes. Put yourself, in the place of a man who is one of my closest friends, -not yours anymore, I'm not even sure you ever considered him a close friend, did you Wals?- who would sacrifice everything, including his life, for our team, and for the sake of the mission. And then tell me Wally, WHO IS the traitor? Kaldur, or you? He wasn't the one to run away, so he could try and live a normal life. He never stopped being a hero, that's more than I can ever say for you."
Dick's words echoed throughout the empty hallway, as his figure vanished into the beam of red light.
In the living room, Wally's shoulders are slouched, as he slumped down on the chair, feeling more tired than he's ever felt in years...
As his left hand began to vibrate, the colors & lines blurring, and almost vanishing into nothing, he wondered. He wondered if it was so wrong of him, to want to be selfish, to need to spend his last moments with his girlfriend, before he died.
But Dick's words haunted Wally's mind.
Was he really betraying Kaldur by his lack of trust in him?
As he looked back on his past experiences, and memories, the truth that dawned on Wally made him feel nauseous. Wally was betraying his friend by his lack of trust. Because out of all his teammates, Kaldur didn't deserve half of the shit he and the others put him through on a daily basis. He still remembers the mission in Bialya where they almost forgot about Kaldur and almost left him to die.
Roy had been quite angry then, it was terrifying to confront him, and explain why they forgot about Kaldur, a person they'd known for more than a few months, and though Kaldur had eased Roy with validated explanations, the guilt never left, they just buried it away, and pretended that Kaldur didn't almost die, and as teammates, had almost lost both a leader and friend.
He was betraying the friend who never questioned them, who always tried so hard to make sure they were fine. He wonders, bitter tears stinging his eyes, and was he really the only one who never bothered to ask, if Kaldur was fine? Who didn't check & see if Kaldur was alright with Tula's death? He felt disgusted with himself.
Wally had never understood why Conner & Dick never questioned Kaldur, when it came to orders, or even simple suggestions. He'd also wonder why Artemis was so close with Kaldur at times. Why Roy always considered Kaldur his closest friend out of all the original sidekicks.
He didn't understand the trust that Dick had in Kaldur, because Wally wasn't a leader, not like Dick was-is. He never understood the unwavering loyalty that Conner had for Kaldur, because Wally knew what it was like to have a family, he just didn't realize that Kaldur was considered as family by Conner. He never knew that Artemis would be able to have more things in common with Kaldur, than he ever could, but they did, and the trust between them went beyond anyone's understanding of the two. And Roy. Roy trusted Kaldur for the great person he is, and he always cared about bringing Kaldur back, because Kaldur was the only one who cared about Roy, who never doubted Roy, who'd die for Roy to save Roy.
And now, Kaldur was gone. Along with Artemis, and all Wally could do was doubt his friend. Maybe he really was the traitor instead of Kaldur, for quitting the hero life. For questioning his friend, for walking away...
Dick was right, but then again when was Dick not right? Kaldur cared more about the team, than his own life. And here Wally was, one of Kaldur's supposed friends, questioning Kaldur, as if he really was the enemy.
How could Kaldur even be a triple agent?! What would Kaldur gain from working with Black Manta, who was the reason why Aquagirl died, and Garth, went solo as Tempest.
The answer being:
He would gain nothing, only more misery.
This time, his right hand vibrated harder, moving faster than the normal human eye would notice, but Wally wasn't normal, hasn't been for about 8 years now, he's a meta-human. So of course, he could notice that the speed in which his hand was moving in. he could also notice that it would sometimes border past the speed of sound, before it would flicker into transparency, like Wally was becoming a ghost. It would've been almost funny, if it weren't such a painful and agonizing process.
He wondered if this, was why he was so slow nowadays. As the vibrations increased, the numbness began to spread throughout his fingers, up to his wrist, until they moved up to his elbow, and that's when Wally felt extreme pain.
He bit his lower lips, hard, to keep any sounds from leaving his lips. The need to yell out, only increased with every second, making Wally bite his lips harder, until blood filled the taste of his mouth, as everything would move too slowly.
And he laughed at himself.
His girlfriend and his friend, went undercover, to save the world -because they were heroes -and only he and Dick knew that.
Here he was, a civilian, who's no longer a hero, about to die from the same power, he had so desperately wanted at the age of 12, living miles away from his parents, with his best friend clearly angry at him. And all Wally could feel, was lost...
He was going to die, and nobody would notice.
He laughed harder, as the pain spread, and his lips formed a slight grimace for a mere millisecond. The pain seeming endless, like time always did for him, as a speedster.
His time was running up, and all he could do was worry that he didn't get to tell Artemis how much he loved her. That he couldn't tell Kaldur, he was very sorry for his lack of trust, and to apologize to Dick, about what an asshole he was being lately.
But as his hand stopped vibrating, his fingers were still shaking. The pain lingered on, like poison, still coursing inside his veins.
Maybe he'd never get the chance.
At this rate, he'd be glad if he could even make it to his 21st birthday party. Though he's sure that he won't make it.
His time was running out of with each and every passing day. Using his powers to help Barry with Jay & Bart had been the catalyst of the increasing vibrations, and migraines. He'd helped because he felt guilty, he felt like he owed it to Barry after suddenly quitting as Kid Flash without any warning. And there was also the fact that he couldn't handle being replaced by a stranger, even though they were apparently related, because Wally loved being a hero, and he didn't want to let go of Kid Flash, but he was deteriorating, or rather, dying slowly. He didn't want to suddenly vanish on Barry when on a mission, and make his uncle feel guilt, he'd rather vanish when no one would be looking, so that no one would be sad.
The process of his death had speeding up since then.
He was drowning in uncontrollable speeds, and he didn't even care anymore.
It was almost sad.
He'd already tried to find a way to stop it. He couldn't. His efforts were useless. And as a science genius, -also due to the fact that he is a Science major at his university- when it came to experiments, it had to mean something. And yet, he could do nothing, but watch himself slowly deteriorate away.
He smiled sadly, as his chest heaved slowly.
His greatest dream would be his greatest demise.
'Oh the irony...' Wally thought sadly.
Maybe he really deserved this after all.
He stood up, took one last lingering glance at the Zeta-Beam gateway, and walked away.
The team already had a much faster speedster now. He was already too late to fix his mistakes. To save himself.
He just hoped he could see Artemis, before he died. He still needed to tell her "I love you". And to tell both Kaldur & Dick, he was sorry for all that's he'd done, and said.
He also needed to apologize to Conner, for not greeting him on his birthday. To apologize for lying to M'gann, Paula, and really everyone he knew.
As he watched his hand stop shaking, he wondered if they'd be glad or angry he didn't tell them he was dying.
He's already made his choice.
The door to the Hall of Justice closes, and Wally West walks away from the hero life once more. He hopes it's for good, because if he tries to move his body, beyond the speed of sound, one more time, he's sure he really won't make it alive this time.
He doesn't want anyone to be upset about his death.
He's not sure if the last thing he sees from the people he cares about, are their tears. It would break him completely.
He wants to remember them smiling.
Not sad. Never Sad.
He never ever wanted them to be sad, that's why he used his 'need for normalcy', as an excuse, to which he was positive that Artemis doubted, but never questioned. He didn't want her to give up the hero life, but he also didn't want to let her go.
She followed him, because she wanted to. And Wally, well-he let her. It's not like her could've told her no anyways, not to Artemis, and not in his last moments.
Wally wasn't a good liar, when it involved lying about other people, but when it came to keeping secrets, he was good at it.
He looked at the countless stars in the sky, and felt guilty that he wouldn't be able to learn all their names, or see where they lead to.
Oh well, a promise for another lifetime~
And he hopes he has more days to live, before he joins the people up in the skies above, twinkling brightly as stars, and alone. He never liked being alone much.
He just wishes he had more time. Too bad, he doesn't even have that.
Wally walks away silently into the night.
And away from everything he could and would never have again...