A disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice or anything DC.
The bell begins to ring, signifying the first class of the day is about to begin. Wally West, science prodigy steps into the halls of Blue Valley high school. Looking down at his feet, Wally begins his way towards his locker. His locker is next to his first class of the day Chemistry, his favorite subject. He only has to make it until the end of the school day. Then, he gets to wait until he can go to Mount Justice. Wally shrugs his shoulders removing the excess snow off his jacket. The jacket is light brown and thinner than most normal people will wear in the middle of winter, but his body is a natural furnace. He arrives at his dark blue locker and begins to open it.
He swings the long door of the locker open only to have it slam shut with a loud bang ringing throughout the hall. Laughter tickles his ear causing the redhead to try to calm himself down. Take a deep breath in. Hold. Exhale. Calmed? Nope, not in the least.
"Hey Wallace," a thick voice says from behind him.
Does Dick go through this too? Wally has a hard time imagining the kid allowing anyone to bully him around. But Dick is not Robin in school he is just Dick. Like how Wally is not Kid Flash in school. Just lame Wallace West: geek, loser, science nerd extraordinaire.
"What do you want Heller," He says quietly, much too meekly for his liking.
"Who says I want anything," Heller says, "Wallace."
Wally turns around and looks at the football star and his group of dimwits. The kid is a senior and two inches taller than he. Peter Heller's arms are abnormally big, but Wally knows he can take him as Kid Flash in a millisecond. The kid's brown hair is slick back except for a defiant bang that is rigid against his temple. His blue eyes are dark and show the lack of thought behind them.
"Hey Heller," another voice enters the group.
"This does not involve you Elkin," Heller says his voice dropping an octave looking at the other boy.
"Wow, you actually know the word involve?" Tommy says mocking surprise, "did your mommy give you that as the word of the day?" He smiles at the jock.
"Shut it Elkin!"
"Make me Heller."
The bell rings and both boys back down. Students who are watching the normal exchange begin to file into their respected classrooms.
"You're lucky this time Wallace," Heller says giving Wally a sneer.
Wally turns to his locker and opens it again listening to the jocks walk away from him and his friend. Tommy Elkin is a Cherokee Indian and his only friend in this pit. Tommy's usually short black hair, hangs loosely over his ears and the nape of his neck, which cause the boy to swipe at his bangs annoyingly.
"Wally," Tommy begins, "when will you stop letting Peter Heller push you around?"
Wally shuts his locker with his Chemistry and Calculus book in hand. He exhales noisily, "Tommy, you know how I feel about fighting." Wally turns and makes his way inside his classroom with Tommy not far behind him.
"Dude," Tommy makes his way to his desk next to Wally's. "Fighting and standing up for yourself are two different things."
Wally just sits. Even if Wally wants to explain it to him, he will not understand. He is Kid Flash. He cannot let some punks like Peter Heller and his Goons get him to put his guard down. He cannot have people finding out he is Kid Flash, out of some petty vengeance.
"Alright class," The teacher, Ms. Keyes, says gaining the student's attention. Her brown eyes scan the room attentively. "Due to a break in last night in the science labs, I regret to announce we are unable to start producing the copper sulfate crystals today." She says remorsefully tugging at the sleeve of her bright yellow cardigan. Wally notices she does that when nervous or annoyed.
Looking around though, Wally can tell not many kids are that upset. Honestly he has already made copper sulfate crystals with Uncle Barry a couple of summers ago, he enjoyed it. It is really fun to watch the crystals grow. Especially if you grow a crystal seed first, it takes a little longer, but the crystals grow larger. In his opinion, the wait is worth the results.
"Instead today we will be discussing chemical equilibrium." She says and a volcano off groans erupts throughout the classroom. "Class, quiet down," she smiles, "I will try to make this fun."
Wally really likes Ms. Keyes, but she is not very funny. Her making chemistry funny is like M'gann not burning her cookies, it's impossible. The worst part about Ms. Keyes jokes is that it seems like she just looks them up on the internet and reuses them. Like this one here:
"Old chemists never die, they just stop reacting," Ms. Keyes says laughing.
Wally opens his eyes and looks out the window. Funny the first twenty times, after that, not so much. He wants to buy her a joke book for chemists, just so she will have new material. Other than the repeated jokes, Ms. Keyes is actually really cool. She loves what she does and anyone who looks at her can tell.
He notices the snow slowly coming down from the sky. The bare trees covered in snow and a few scattered people huddle into their jackets. A smile laces his lips. Today is a peaceful day. Well, outside of the fact that he has to deal with Heller the rest of the day. Oh, and that he will have to deal with his Dad when he gets home. But today he gets to go to Mount Justice and hang with his best bud. If it is 7:23 here where he is, then it is about 8:23 where Dick is. Man, how Wally cannot wait for lunch time. He can feel the hunger already pull at him. What class is Dick in now? If Wally is to text Dick, will Dick answer him? Duh, Dick always answers Wally, but not while he is in class.
Wally looks towards the clock. It feels like a minute has passed, but only the second-hand moves forward. He looks out through the window again. Its times like this he wishes time moves normally.
The school bell rings and Wally gathers his things. Finally the school day finishes. He smiles to himself stuffing his US History book in his backpack. Sadly, he will have to take it with him. He looks at the blackboard once more memorizing what is written on it.
Test Monday – Chapter 12 -14! Have a great weekend!
Ha! Have a great weekend of studying. He does not see the point in history. Yes, it's good to know about what has happened in the past. Let's not make the same mistakes, yet we still do. How it will really help him in the real world? He is planning on going into physics. He is a scientist, not a historian. Maybe he can get Dick to help him study. The kid is a genius. Feeling better about the upcoming test, Wally makes his way out of the school. Stopping by his locker to grab his jacket he hears someone slam his head into the locker next to him.
"Did you hear about the big history test?" Tommy groans.
Wally lets out a small laugh at his friend, "just had the class." He shut his locker. Tommy joins him, making their way down the hallway to the exit. "I plan on studying all weekend," He lies, a bit. He does plan on studying, but in between missions.
"Yeah, you will need to," Tommy laughs at his friend.
Wally glares at Tommy, but a smirk finds its way to his lips. He knows his weaknesses. History is one of them, as well as English.
"Hey," A booming voice yells from down the hall, "It's the Geek Patrol!"
"Heller," Tommy frowns below his breath looking at Wally.
"Ignore him Tommy," Wally continues walking, "he's not worth it."
"Hey Wallace, Elkin," Heller throws his arms around the two. "You guys going to have an Eta Pi meeting today?" Heller laughs in Wally's ear sounding like a donkey. "Or is Wallace's Flash Fan group meeting today," the rest of the students in the hall begin to laugh at Wally's expense.
"My Flash Fan club is today," Wally says, continuing walking towards the two double doors just a few feet away. He has to fight the urge to run at top speeds away from this place. "You know, got to exchange Flash sightings and trade cards." Wally says with venom. He feels the familiar weight of Heller's arms around his shoulders stopping him just next to the doors leading to his freedom.
"Hey Wallace," Heller drags his name out, "there's no need for rudeness." Heller smiles broadly at the shorter teen.
Wally shakes the arms off him and pushes the doors open. A hand grasps his wrist pulling him back into the hallway. Wally turns quickly, maybe a little too quickly, and shoves the owner away. Heller falls to the tile floor of the hall. The students stop, shocked and anticipating the battle that is to come after. Wally backs away towards the doors slowly. Great, all he needs is to get into a fight with his bully.
"Hey Heller," Wally's back is to the doors. One of his hands up in front of him while the other searches for the door handle, "I'm sorry I did not mean…." He stops talking.
He watches as Peter Heller, the wide receiver and captain of the football team, look at him with disgust. First a laugh barks from a random student. Then, a few giggles from the cheerleaders. Next thing Wally knows the hallway is laughing. Everyone that is, but Peter Heller, whose glare only a few seconds ago is calm compared to the one he is displaying now.
"Hey Heller," The kid who started laughing first, George Harris, steps out. "Getting beat up by little old Wallace," He laughs again making the rest of the students laugh once more.
Wally looks at George, silently pleading him to shut up. The class clown never knows when to shut up and Wally's backward search for the door handle starts again. He did not realize he had stopped earlier. Wally watches Heller leisurely and calmly stand up. He looks towards George. The kid is still laughing however and does not notice the irritation in Heller's eyes.
Heller shoves George against a couple of other students, "Shut up idiot," Heller growls.
Wally has fought a lot of bad guys before, but Peter Heller makes Wally's blood run cold. Run. Right. Wally turns and opens the door, not worrying about anything, but getting away from this place fast. Well, normal fast, not his fast. He does not look back and runs as slowly as he can without getting caught by Heller. He does not want to get caught by that guy.
"Idiot, idiot, idiot," he mutters, "Why am I such an idiot?"
He knows he just made his school life for the rest of the year a living hell. Hell. Heller. Wally laughs. He comes to a stop when he is a mile from his school. He looks at the open field covered in snow beside him. He lets the cool breeze burn his cheeks. He looks up at the sky finally realizing it is no longer snowing. He begins to walk home. The crunch of the snow under his feet and the occasional chirp of a bird brings him peace. Nature has a way of calming him. He loses himself in his chemistry set at his Aunt Iris and Uncle Barry's house and feels oddly content when upgrading his computer, but nature is science at its best. He feels his phone vibrate in his back pocket of his pants. He reaches for it and looks at who is calling him before he answers.
"Tommy," He says.
"Hey Wally," Tommy replies, "um, how are you?" He asks unsure.
Wally laughs, "Dude, I'm fine."
"You know you're going to have a pissed off Heller the rest of the school year."
"You are the one who says to stand up for myself."
"Well yeah," Tommy begins, "but dude, you just took off!"
Wally winces. Did he run too fast? "Sorry, I didn't know what else to do in that situation."
He hears Tommy laugh on the other end, "Not run away, Wally." Wally looks towards a tree at the end of his street. Almost home. "Besides, now the school cannot stop talking about Peter Heller losing to Wallace West."
"What," Wally stops his eyes growing wide.
"You know how rumors spread." Tommy laughter dies, "but seriously Heller is not happy. You will be careful come Monday."
"I will," Wally states, "hey, I'll see you Monday. I got to go."
"Alright I'll see you later Wally."
The other line ends with a beep and Wally leans against the oak tree. He looks down the street to his house. He looks at his phone for the time. 3:15. Even with the Heller incident he arrived earlier than normal. He shoves his phone back in his pocket and pushes off the tree. Maybe he can get a few minutes of peace before his parents come home. He walks to a blue house with a tree in the front yard. It is a little broken down, but no worse than any other house on this street. Wally fishes in the front pocket of his backpack for his house key. Opening the door and stepping into the empty house. Wally smiles running upstairs to his room and tosses his backpack in. If he is fast enough with his chores maybe he well be able to leave for Mount Justice earlier. He speeds downstairs and into the kitchen.
He starts to clean the kitchen. Flies gathering over the dirty dishes in the sink from last night's dinner. He quickly does the dishes, swatting at flies when they land on him. Hand washing is a pain sometimes, but when one does not own a dishwasher it's got to get done. He speeds over the green counter with a rag and kitchen cleaner, making sure they shine. He moves to sweeping and cleaning spills off the tan tile floor. Looking at the now clean kitchen, he can't understand why his parents painted the room green. It's not a nice pale green, but a dark musty green that makes the room suffocating. The kitchen is one of Wally's least favorite rooms.
He turns to the clock hanging over by the back door. 3:24. He shoves a banana or three, down his throat. He turns and looks in the living room. He has thirty minutes before his Dad gets home. Less before his Mom came home. Wally can only hope his Mom's day at work has been ok. She is really moody when her day did not go well. If he has any chance of leaving early he has to get this house cleaned before she comes through the front door.
He tosses the banana peels into the trash and walks into the off-white living room. The brown carpet is littered with empty beer bottles. Wally runs around the room picking up each one and throwing them in the recycling. He breathes out and wipes the sweat from his brow. He goes to the kitchen and gets the duster. He pushes all the crumbs off the side tables and coffee table. He smiles at his work. He will finish in no time if he keeps this pace. He goes to the closet in the hall to retrieve the vacuum.
The front door slams shut causing the redhead speedster to stand up straight in the hallway next to the stairs. What time is it now? Was it his Mom? Does it matter; the door slamming is never a good omen in the West's House. He is so close to having the downstairs clean too. He breathes and carries the vacuum into the front room. He listens to the footsteps in the kitchen. The refrigerator door opens and closes. The sound of a bottle cap hitting the kitchen floor resonates in his ears. Wally stops in his action and his heart hammers against his ribcage. He puts the vacuum down and takes a deep breath in. His Dad is home early.
"Hey Dad," Wally says trying to sound cheerful, "how was work?"
"It was work, but what would you know of actually working?" His Dad grunts taking a swig of his beer.
"I'm going to vacuum the living room real quick," Wally says plugging the vacuum in and walking towards it.
"I want this done before I get home," His Dad states. "Keep the house clean, that is the only thing I ask of you," He pauses to take another drink, "that you actually do."
"I know Dad," Wally says gripping the handle of the vacuum.
"But you can't even do it, can you?" His Dad walks into the living room and looks at him, "worthless selfish brat. You think the world is going to give everything to you on a platter?"
"Because that's not how the world works boy, you actually have to work for the things you want." His Dad guzzles the rest of his beer and walk into the kitchen to get another one. "But you think being a superhero makes you better than everyone else." His Dad yells from the kitchen, "Gives you the privilege of getting ahead, while the rest of us 'normals' have to work twice as hard just to measure up."
"I don't think that way Dad." He looks at the brown carpet silently hoping hell will open up and take him.
"Yes you do." His Dad says looking at him from the kitchen. "You think you are better than us, but you're not." His Dad walks into the living room and stands in front of Wally. "You will clean this house from top to bottom before you can go to your little superhero club house."
"I will Dad."
"Oh, you bet you will. You eat us out of house and home and then run around playing hero. You have responsibilities here. You use us for a roof over your head and food in your stomach. Just remember one thing Wallace, I can take it away from you just as quickly as you can run." His Dad leans down sneering at him, his face as red as Wally's hair.
"It's not okay," His Dad yells at him a vein showing on his forehead.
"Alright," he looks down, lost at what he can do to end this argument.
"It's not alright."
"I'm going to vacuum," Wally says turning on the vacuum, happy to get out of the deadly cycle of okay-alright-argument.
He never learns to avoid the dreadful reply of okay. Nothing will ever be okay or alright anyway. He vacuums at a normal pace; his Dad hates it when he uses his speed. His Dad thinks he is showing off. Wally exhales, he need to finish as quickly as possible without using his speed. He is not feeling the aster today, not in the least. He began to laugh quietly to himself. He cannot wait to hang out with Dick before the mission.
Without any more problems from his parents, Wally finishes cleaning in an hour He walks into the living room and sees his Dad watching a football game. His Mom is nowhere, maybe in the kitchen.
"Hey Dad, I finished cleaning." Wally starts, "May I go now?" He silently watches his Dad drink another beer.
"Ask your Mother," his Dad grunts at him.
Wally is making his way to the kitchen. He see's his Mom sitting at the kitchen table with her paper work scattered all over it. His Mom is in deep concentration. She's a workaholic. His Dad's an alcoholic. They both have anger issues. They really are perfect for each other.
"Mom," Wally stands beside the table.
"What is it Wally," She says not looking up from her work. He notices she has yet to change from her suit.
"May I go to Mount Justice?" He watches her face for any sudden changes. He does not notice any.
"Did you finish your chores?" Her long manicured nails run through her brown hair.
"Yes, you can go." She noisily exhales through her nose.
"Mom," Wally asks.
"What now Wallace?" she says impatiently.
"Can I stay the weekend there?" He looks at her.
"I don't think so young man," She says looking at him with a stern look.
"But Mom," Wally says, "it will be easier for you and Dad. And you won't have to cook as much food."
"Fine, but you will be doing everyone's laundry and taking out the trash next week." She says.
"I will Mom," He grins, "Thanks."
He walks towards his room passing his Dad. Luckily, he did not stop to talk to him. He walks upstairs passing by the family photo on the wall. All of them with fake smiles, a façade of a happy family. He makes his way to his room and opens the door. The usually messy room is spotless. Part of the 'clean house from top to bottom' agreement. He opens his closet grabbing whatever. No one is going to care what he wears, but makes sure he grabs three shirts and another pair of pants, last time M'gann noticed he was wearing the same shirt two days in a row. He snorts; she is the only one who really notices those things.
He grabs a gym bag from under his bed and throws the clothing in. He opens his backpack and puts his history book and a notebook in the gym bag. He smiles for his awaiting freedom. He picks up his gym bag and looks around his room. The room walls a pale blue and a football border around the top of the walls. His father wanted a sportsman like him for a son. He got Wally. The walls has posters of The Flash and the Periodic Table. There are a few trophies he won at science fairs, when his Dad let him enter. Uncle Barry is still a little sad at the fact that Wallydoes not enter anymore. Uncle Barry will never say it, though he can tell. His bed is next to the window and is Flash themed. His desk is next to the door leading into the hallway. A picture of Dick wearing his notorious sunglasses and Wally grinning like an idiot with his arm around Dick's shoulders at the beach a couple of years ago is next to his computer. On the other side of his computer is a picture of his Uncle Barry, Aunt Iris, and him in front of their house. They had just bought the house that summer after their marriage. Wally was ecstatic to help them move. He missed the wedding and hated himself for it. His stomach turns angrily; he still hates himself for missing their wedding.
He shakes his head, now is not the time to think about that. He still needs to get out of here. He smiles again and exits his room. He walks into the living room to announce his departure.
"Alright Mom, Dad," he says, "love you," he lies, "I'll see you Monday," he turns to leave.
"One second Wallace," his Dad stops him from the couch, "Mary, come in here."
His Dad sends him a grin. It's not the supportive smile of Uncle Barry or the loving one Aunt Iris gives him. No, this smile was like the smile Peter Heller grants him. A smile that Wally has learned over time is not a good sign.
"What is it Rudy," his Mom walks in messaging the bridge of her nose. "I still have paperwork to finish and I still have to make dinner."
"I just wanted to tell you that I received a call from Wallace's school today."
"What?" She looks at her husband and Wally feels like his palms begin to sweat.
"Wallace got into a fight today," his Dad gets up and walks towards Wally, "and ran away." The smile on his Dad's face gone and replace with disappointment and another emotion he can't identify. Not quite anger and not exactly hate.
"Wallace," his Mom looks at him, eyes demanding an explanation.
"I just pushed this guy away from me and he tripped over his own two feet." Wally says, "He fell, I left."
"You start a fight you better finish it," his Dad states, "what good is being a superhero if you can't fight."
"Dad, that's not what it's about," Wally says.
"Wallace, Rudolph," She says looking between the two.
"Mary, I think it's best if we don't let him go superhero this weekend."
"What," Wally shouts, "Mom, you already said I could go."
"Wallace stop acting like a child," his Mom says, "your Father has a point."
"Mom you can't."
"I can't?" she asks.
"I have to go," Wally begins backing away from his parents. His feet itching to run, but he stands his ground.
"Do not disrespect your Mother, boy!" His Dad steps forward and snatches Wally's wrist.
Wally resists the urge to wince at his Dad's grip. His Dad is using more force than is necessary, but this is normal. Wally's Dad pulls him closer and slaps him. The sting of the slap is quickly replaced with discomforting warmth. Wally keeps his gaze at the edge of the carpet where it meets the wall. He dares not move, knowing a slap is nothing in comparison to what will happen if he does.
"I'm sorry Mom," he says. Not raising his eyes from the spot.
"What are we to do with you Wallace?" She says the agony clear in her voice.
"C-can I still go, Mom?"
"I don't think that'd be a good idea Mary," his Dad says letting go of Wally's wrist, "what lesson will he learn if we let him go?"
"I promise I'll be good when I get back." Wally says begging. He can't stay here, not now, "please."
"Fine," his Mom says closing her eyes, "but when you get back on Sunday, we will be discussing your behavior at school and at home."
"Yes Mom," he says picking up his eyes to look at her, "Thanks Mom, Dad." He says and walks out the door.
He takes a deep breath and lets it out. It's good to get out of the house. He smiles and puts his gym bag around his body and opens it. He digs his hand inside, feeling around the clothes for his goggles. His fingers graze the smooth glass of the lens and he takes them out. He begins to walk towards an open field making sure no one is in sight. He tosses a look over his shoulder towards his house and frowns. Looking at the horizon once more, a smile etched across his face. Freedom, his freedom. He puts his goggles on and begins to run towards Happy Harbor.
His smile increases, not caring of the snow or the rain he will meet on his way. Running is his freedom. The spirit of the world speeding past him, the asphalt, dirt, mud, snow under his feet, and the wind tossing his hair and kissing his skin. This is paradise, his world away from the world. He is feeling the aster now.
AN: Well there we are. I will only have the disclaimer here. I just want to clarify things before moving forward.
1) I will be using DC original birthdays and event dates. Wally's b-day is January 16th and Dick's is November 11th.
2) Peter Heller's name, I stole from an author. He wrote The Dog Stars. I needed a name and looked at my bookshelf. I liked it. So thank you to him ~Oh! And the character Peter Heller is made up by me. I don't think all jocks a like that. My brother was a jock and he... nevermind, bad example. Ha-ha just kidding!
3) Yes that title is off the song Disarm by The Smashing Pumpkins. This song came on while I was trying to figure out a title for the story. It fit so weirdly into the whole of my story that I had to use it. Damn! Spoilers! Don't worry, I'm not really spoiling much.
4) This will be rated T for the time being, but most likely I will have to pushing up to M, mostly for abuse, torture, cursing, and ect. Anyway thank you for reading, I have the next chapter half way done. If you find ANY problems let me know. Have it be: grammar, spelling, someone out of character, story not flowing correctly, whatever! Let me know. I do have trouble editing, It's hard to see the mistakes after reading it over and over again. I tend to miss the little things or big things.
:Oh! And all the mention of Dick (ha-ha, sorry I'm a grown child) was not intentional. Um, I didn't realize how much 'my Wally' thought about him, until I was finished writing. I didn't want to take it out 'cause for me it fit, Wally's best friend and all. Anywho, thanks for reading!