Warnings/Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing. Warnings include a pointless title, Wally whump/angst, neglect and verbal abuse NOT physical abuse, character deaths (mother dies in childbirth, father commits suicide) (could this be considered an AU then?), and OOCness to match the angst of one Wally West to order. Also written in an abstract(ish) detached style.
Six year old Wallace peered up at this lady's face. She said she was his aunt, Daddy's sister, but Daddy said that Wallace didn't have anything, so he didn't believe her. Then she did something weird. She put her arms around him and squeezed. Wallace had never had that happen before.
He was squished and he pushed at her to let go. She did, asking if he didn't like "hugs." Was that what that squishing was? No, he said, he did not like hugs. Daddy told him later that he didn't deserve hugs for killing his Mommy, so Wallace avoided hugs.
Bad Wallace, it was your fault.
Ten year old Wallace met his "aunt's" boyfriend. He thought the man was weird, being so happy and patting him all the time. Iris and Barry kept trying to call him "Wally" too. Dad said he didn't deserve an affectionate (nick)name, so he only answered to Wallace. It's what his mother would've called him if he hadn't killed her.
Twelve year old Wallace found out that "uncle" Barry was the Flash. Wallace thought that maybe if he saved people, then it wouldn't be his fault as much. If it worked. If it didn't, that was okay, because it was his fault and he deserved no better.
It hurt a lot but that was okay, because it did work, and Wallace became Kid Flash at thirteen. (Barry insisted on training for a whole year before giving him a costumed name).
Dad thought he didn't deserve to be called a hero for saving people when he'd killed his Mom. Wallace let the villains hurt him sometimes. Was that okay? Dad said he deserved that. Okay.
Eleven year old Robin thought Wallace was weird. Said he was fake, but didn't know why.
Wallace knew he was fake, always pretending that it wasn't his fault, because going to school had shown that most kids didn't think things were their fault, so he faked. No one had ever seen through him before.
Wallace didn't deserve a best friend.
Robin clung on anyways.
Barry got upset and protected him when Captain Cold took him hostage once. Barry said he didn't deserve that. Didn't he? Dad said he did. Barry hugged him afterwards and Wallace let him because he was tired. Being squished was still weird.
Fourteen year old Wallace came home from school on Thursday and found that his Dad had swallowed a bottle of pills and left no note.
It was his fault.
The funeral was on a Tuesday.
Wallace lived with Iris and Barry now, and Robin snuck in through his window at night to listen to Wallace apologize to his Dad's photograph.
Fifteen year old Wallace and thirteen year old Robin joined a team.
Wallace was afraid of M'gann. She could get inside of his head and see that he was fake like Robin had, only she would see the real. He flirted badly because he never had before, but it made her uncomfortable so he kept doing it so that she would avoid him. Kaldur and Superboy usually left him alone to his own devices. Wallace was scared of Artemis too. She was just like Speedy(Red Arrow now), unafraid to voice their opinion and bold.
Roy… Wallace met Speedy when he was thirteen, a few months after meeting Robin. Roy couldn't see that he was fake, but it sometimes seemed like he could. Artemis was like that too.
Wallace didn't have friends. He didn't deserve any. He'd killed his parents.
When something goes wrong on a mission, Kaldur tries to take the blame as leader, but Wallace knows it's his fault. Batman and the team all look at him when he admits it and claims he deserves the punishment.
Wallace stares at the names on his cast and denies that he likes seeing them.
Bad Wallace, it's your fault.
Iris and Barry write nice things on it too, and he sees "Wally" on it more than once. He doesn't deserve a (nick)name, Dad said. Dad's dead. His fault.
He asks Batman to put fresh plaster over it. Batman does, and Wallace avoids markers and pens until it's gone and his arm's all better.
He deserves to say that it's his fault.
The fake mission inside M'gann's head brought his fake to the surface.
When the Justice League were eliminated and he saw Iris and Barry die on tv, Wallace broke a little and had started chanting that it was his fault. The team had picked him up and kept moving, but each one died one by one, and it was all his fault. Wallace pulled Robin close in the first hug he had ever initiated and whispered an apology as they died.
Then they woke up. Then they all knew that he was fake.
It was his fault.
Black Canary sat him down for a long time, trying to coax the reason why he thought everything was his fault out of him. Wallace didn't understand. It just was- always was. Dad said so. Dad's dead. His fault. Mom's dead. All his fault.
Black Canary said it wasn't.
He didn't believe her.
Everyone remembered what he'd said and told him it wasn't his fault after the therapy session.
He didn't believe them either.
Grateful that something wasn't his fault, he initiated his second hug (their first) and hugged Iris and Barry when he went home, because they were alive, and he wasn't to blame for something that didn't happen. He said he was sorry anyways. They hugged and kissed him and said it wasn't his fault.
He didn't believe them… did he?
He wasn't fake anymore. He didn't flirt with M'gann and he didn't fight with Artemis anymore. He kept quiet and to himself and waited for them to blame him again.
The team never did.
Superboy started picking him up and carrying him places, as if Wallace was Wolf or Sphere and needed taking care of. Robin often tagged along, holding onto Wallace's hand. M'gann made mountains of cookies and insisted he eat them all, like if he ate enough, he'd be better. Kaldur thought it was his fault that he hadn't noticed Wallace's "condition." Wallace told him it wasn't and managed the tiniest of ironic smiles. Artemis didn't understand what was "wrong" with him. His fake persona had all that she'd known, and this quiet withdrawn apologetic Wallace wasn't the Kid Flash she'd happily bickered with. She wanted him to smile back, and have it be genuine.
Wallace was still fake with the villains on missions, but quieted again when it was over. He would drift to each teammate and whisper apologies and they'd reply that it wasn't his fault.
He didn't understand why he didn't deserve their blame. Dad had told him for years that it was all his fault. Why did no one say it was his fault now that they saw what he was under fake?
Wallace knew he was being babied, but didn't think he deserved to complain. Why would he complain? He didn't… know. He didn't deserve to be babied? Was that it?
Barry carried him to bed sometimes when Wallace passed out on the couch. He always apologized about that in the morning. Shouldn't he?
Everyone was confusing him.
Why wasn't it his fault?
Why did he suddenly deserve things?
But Dad had said…
Black Canary said that Dad shouldn't have said those things- that it was Dad who was wrong.
Wallace was so confused.
Everyone had been calling him "Wally" for so long now… months. Wallace couldn't remember when he'd stopped ignoring it and started responding to it. Was he "Wally?" Or was that his fake? He was Wallace… right?
He said, myfaultmyfaultmyfaultmyfault myfaultmyfault.
They said, itsnotitsnotitsnotitsnotits notitsnotitsnot.
He didn't know who to believe anymore…