Bart wants to stop acting, but feels like he lost himself.
The thing with acting is that every movement has to be planned, and planned quickly. At least, that was the case with Impulse, or rather, Bart Allen. Bart felt like every move he would make in the past would be practiced, and perfected in no time. As he continued acting in-character, even after the world had been saved, he felt like his life went on auto-pilot, and his character was more loved than he was. Not that anyone knew what he was actually like. He never felt confidant, but had to act like he did constantly. It was starting to wear on his mind.
He had lost himself. The Bart Allen he pretended to be wasn't that different then the one that he wished he was. He knew he has to stop. He needed someone to know the real him. He was sick of hiding behind the character he portrayed himself as. He was sick of wearing a mask even out of costume. Even after all the things he'd been through he was still acting. He felt like a fraud, and after becoming the new Kid Flash the feeling got worse. His personality was fading, and he was starting to wonder how he should act. The auto pilot had broken, and Bart couldn't help but feel paranoid about having to make a new character to act as. The old Bart Allen was almost gone. Bart had no idea who he was anymore. He no longer had to worry about the future. It was time for him to stop acting.
"Hey herman-o, think you could come over. That'd be totally crash," Bart hung up, hoping that Jaime would check his voicemail soon. He had run all the way to El Paso, hoping to crash into the boy, but after vibrating through his window and finding a messy empty room he realized the boy wasn't home. Bart looked at the phone that he had been given. He didn't use it that often, but he knew Jaime used his phone a lot. Why hadn't he picked up then? We're best friends right? Is he ignoring me?
When Bart first showed up in the past he expected to become close to Barry, his grandfather, not to become best friends with the boy who would turn into a monster that enslaves mankind. He thought he would hate Blue Beetle of the past, but after meeting Jaime, and becoming friends with the boy he realized that the meat inside Blue wasn't too bad. He actually cared about Jaime quite a bit, and that was why he close to talk to him about what was really on his mind. The mind that kept up the illusion that he was Bart Allen, the quirky kid who always had a smile to share, not the Bart Allen who was a slave his entire life, and was lucky enough to escape to the past before he was killed. The speedster that had never really ran until he managed to escape for good. The boy who was able to build a time machine with only the help of one other person. The boy who was scared that he was going to go back to his time when everything was fixed.
Unless his time wasn't truly fixed. Bart hated to think that the future that he knew and hated might still be a reality. That Nathaniel was still living in that dark smog-filled world. That he was still a slave of that time. Nathaniel wasn't really a friend of Bart's, more like an acquaintance of some sort. He was smart, and had a rough life after killing The Flash, Bart's grandfather. I'm glad I saved Barry. I'm glad I even got to meet Barry. He's so kind.
A light buzzing sound snapped Bart from his thoughts, and the boy quickly snatched the device, glad to see it was Jaime. The time on his phone had surprised him though. He called Jaime almost an hour ago. What was the boy doing?
"Oh hey-lo herman-"
"Where are you?" The boy cut Bart off quickly, knowing how the boy liked to draw out hellos. Bart took the phone away from his ear for a moment, wondering why the boy would be asking where he was, he was home and sitting on his bed...
Whoops. Bart looked around Jaime's room, realizing that he'd been sitting in his best friend's room for almost an hour, thinking. Not crash, not crash at all. Bart heart noise from the phone, and instead of asking Jaime to repeat himself, just spoke quickly into the phone, "Uhh give me five minutes and I'll be where you are. You are at my house right?" Though it's not like it's really my house. Bart shook off the thought as he waited for Jaime's reply. They future boy still had a hard time calling the Garricks' home his own. He did live there, and the couple did give him a room to stay in, but Bart never felt home no matter where he was. He guessed those feelings came from constantly being moved from place to place. Wherever slaves were needed he went, though not by choice.
"Yeah, Mr. Garrick told me that you were looking for me hermano. What's going on ese? Something I need to know about?" Jaime sounded concerned, but Bart knew he'd react like that. He was so caring towards his friends.
"I'll give you and idea of what's up when I see you. Don't move," Bart hung up and prepared for a lengthy run. He was really annoyed that he would have to run across half the country because he was at the wrong house. I think too much. I really should stop...
It had been forever since Jaime and Tye actually hung out. Jaime was so nervous when he went to Tye's house, not even sure if his long-time friend had even come back home. After a short conversation with Tye's mother, Shelly, he found out that his friend was staying at his grandfather's house. It seemed like a good idea. Tye tended to run away a lot due to Maurice, and Jaime thought it was better that his friend didn't return to his home.
Holling Longshadow didn't live too far away from Tye's mother's house, and Jaime felt nervous as he approached another door that his friend could be behind After three knocks the door was open, and the signature orange headband of Tye was a welcoming sight as Jaime smiled at his friend, hoping that he forgave him for how he had acted when Tye ran away from STAR. Jaime was ashamed of the actions that weren't quite his. He hated every second of being on-mode, and he hoped that Tye knew that he was himself again. Jaime had been avoiding Tye since Tye told him off about eight months after the invasion had ended. Jaime decided it was time to see his friend again. A few seconds of the boy's simply looking at each other was all it took for the long haired boy to decide to forgive his friend's actions. After all, Jaime was his friend since they were young.
"Get your board and let's go," Tye turned away from Jaime, getting his longboard that was set right by the door, ready to be ridden. Jaime suited up and flew alongside Tye, excited to finally be hanging out with his amigo again. His phone went off, but Jaime decided to ignore it. If it was nightwing he could would keep calling, and if it was someone else it wasn't too important to him. It was almost an hour later when Jaime's phone went off again, this time loud enough to bother Tye.
"Just answer it Jaime. It might be important, hero business " Tye began doing simple tricks on his board, fully prepared to keep himself occupied as Jaime checked his phone. Oh it's just that girl in my algebra class nothing important.
Jaime Reyes that is not all of the messages on your device.
"I know I'm checking it." Tye gave Jaime a look, but didn't say anything as the boy spoke to himself, seeming to have an argument with whatever other voice he was talking to. Something about an impulse and his friend. Jaime put the phone to his ear and listened to the short message.
That was odd. Usually it's hard to get Bart to shut up. Why would he leave such a short message.
The impulse was very direct in what he wanted from you Jaime Reyes. A long message would not be practical considering his request.
"He isn't Impulse anymore," he's Kid Flash now... It was such a hard thing for Jaime to get used to. When Bart had changed his colors from red and white to yellow and red Jaime couldn't help but find it odd. Yes, Bart was honoring Wally's sacrifice, but he wasn't himself anymore. Ever since the younger boy switched his uniform he had been acting odd, and after two years of Bart acting strange Jaime wanted to know what was wrong with him. He wanted to know more than anything. Bart was calmer, and didn't joke as often. He was always thinking and didn't concentrate as much on the missions on hand. Jaime noticed this due to the several missions he had led.
Go to the Impulse. He obviously has the answer to what you wish to know, Jaime.
"Okay I guess I'll go then" Jaime got up and was about to reply before Tye put his hand up, telling him to be quiet.
"It's okay man, you have somewhere to be. Just know I'll be here okay?" Jaime smiled and armored up, flying to where he knew the closest Zeta-Beamed was, and beamed to Central City, and quickly shed his reach armor, and walked to the Garrick's residence He'd been there so many times in the past couple months that usually when he opened the door Mr or Mrs. Garrick would just call down the hall letting Jaime know where Bart was. Today was a bit different though.
"Why hello Jaime, I thought Bart was at your house?" Mr. Garrick walked over to the hispanic boy and put a hand on his shoulder as he gave the boy a confused look. Why isn't he here?
"He called me asking for me to come over," Jaime's confusion showed on his face as he sat down, getting out his phone and calling the boy. Where was he if he wasn't home. As a speedster he literally could be anywhere on the planet. Jaime ran his fingers through his thick hair as he waited for the boy to answer the phone. When the phone clicked signaling Bart answered Jaime didn't wait for the lengthy hello he usually got when talking to the boy.
Whenever Bart ran all he could feel was the wind. He could hear the buzz of conversations he had passed, but mostly he heard the wind rush past his years. He let the noise distract him as he traveled towards his destination. Bart honestly was getting sick of thinking so much. He could barely focus on anything outside of his thoughts lately, and when he was on a mission that could be dangerous.
Bart vibrated through the door, pausing for a moment to greet Mr Garrick before rushing upstairs to Jaime. His door was already open, so he was glad he didn't have to vibrate through it. The moment he entered the room Jaime gave him a look then jumped up, "You weren't running around like that were you? Bart you need to protect your identity, especially now as Kid Flash," Bart flinched when Jaime said Kid Flash, but he was sure that the other boy didn't notice his flinch.
"Uh yeah I didn't think of that. I'm still getting used to the whole secret identity thing... and the new name," Bart wanted to scream when he didn't reply with a witty remark. He still had the urge to act like he normally did, but he wanted to get away from all that. Bart wanted to be himself again, Bart Allen. He pushed his door shut with his foot before sitting on the bed, patting the spot beside himself for Jaime to sit. Jaime sat down without a word, ready to know what was up with Bart. If Bart was going to tell him.
"Jaime I can't keep this to myself anymore..." Jaime felt his stomach turn as he remembered when Bart had first told him about the future. Was Bart going to tell Jaime something like that again? Is there still a chance of me turning into that Blue Beetle? Bart sighed, not sure how to start what he wanted to say properly. The hispanic boy told Bart to take his time, and that he won't leave until Bart says what he wants to say, even if it take all day.
"It's just that... I'm not happy herman-o." Saying that small amount of spanish he had copied from Jaime made Bart happy, but he still felt like he was acting. Bart's back slumped as he closed in on himself. The now fifteen-year old boy felt naked as he told Jaime how he felt. He knew that he could be telling Nightwing, or Black Canary this, but he had to tell Blue. Blue was his closest friend, and he cared about him so much. He wanted Jaime to be the one to help him through this. "When I came to the past I had to change myself, and now I'm not sure if I can keep up with my act anymore. I can't force the personality anymore. I just can't."
Even though Jaime was three years older than Bart, he wasn't sure what to do with the upset boy. Bart's body shook, and by the way his hands were covering his eyes the eighteen-year old boy guessed he was crying. A tan hand rubbed his back as the older boy tried to think of what to do. He was no good at helping people when they were crying, especially boys.
The impulse is not crying Jaime Reyes. He acts this way due to frustration.
"Bart I'm not sure what you're trying to tell me." Jaime was really confused. Forced personality? Frustration? What did Bart mean.
"This is me." Bart said through his hands that were now covering his whole face. His voice sounded different. He seemed jaded, and yet it wasn't bad. The sound was muffled a bit, but the words still came out clearly to Jaime.
"I know you're you."
"No," Bart practically moaned the word as he lifted his head and looked into Jaime's brown eyes. The color was so deep that Bart had to take a second to really look at him before continuing. "I'm not who you think I am. I'm not always a joker, and I'm not always happy. I had to act that way when I came to the past so that no one..." Bart gasped as he tried to finish his thought. "So that no one... no one knows how bad the future was for me. I was a slave. I was a slave to you Jaime. Do you know what that does to a person. Anyone who has lived through what I have would not be able to be cheerful, or act that way. I can't do it anymore Jaime. I couldn't let anyone know what a wreck the future was going to be. How much of a wreck I am," Bart's voice cracked as the boy started breathing heavily, hoping to get his breath back. His chest lurched when he breathed in, his anxiety got the best of him. Soothing circles rubbed into his back confronted the boy as Jaime just sat there in silence. The gasps of Bart filled the room for a few moments before Jaime spoke up.
"You're not a wreck Bart. You saved the world. You saved me even though I hurt you in the future. You don't have to act happy all the time," Jaime wrapped his arm around Bart, pulling him in for a hug, and resting his chin on Bart's head, "and... you don't have to be the happy future kid anymore. If you want to be happy then I'll make you happy. You won't have to act. If you're upset I'll try everything in my power to fix it. I want to find out who you are if you're not the Bart I know."
Bart gasps were starting to slow as the boy was calming down. The younger boy was surprised that he hadn't shed a single tear the entire time he was talking to his best friend. Jaime knew what to say to make everything better. Bart loved him for that. Even with this 'new' personality of Bart's showing Jaime didn't act any differently towards the auburn-haired boy. Jaime cared about Bart because he was Bart. He didn't care how he acted. He just wanted Bart to be happy and to be himself.
If only I knew what being myself was like.
A/N: The end? I'm not sure if I want this to be mult-chaptered or not, so I'll leave it up to whoever reviews. I definitely could make it longer, but I'd need motivation, and that's where reviews come in. I like hearing what people think of my writing. I actually finished this story today because a reviewer(FelixFeroxFilia) made me want to write some more.
I just really wanted to write about that line that Bart says in Bloodlines- "Well, I better get in character". I just thought it was so interesting that he made the character of how he acts when he goes to the past, and that got me thinking, what if he wants to go back to how he was. Will he get sick of acting all the time? As someone who really loves acting I really enjoyed writing this.
Edit 5/20/13 I added a bit more and edited this chapter and others. Hopefully it sounds a bit better now.