by Hitman 44077
As noontime arrived in Central City, the sky began to cloud. But this didn’t deter any who wished to pay their last respects to Barry Allen. Nora and Henry Allen stood in amazement as several prominent citizens arrived.
Ralph and Sue Dibny arrived first, followed by Robert and Mary West, with Ira West. Dexter Myles arrived next, then Captain Darryl Frye and several others that Barry had been close to on the CCPD. Troy and Mack Nathan showed up as well. Cecile Horton was next to arrive. She was Barry’s lawyer in his murder trial, and she offered her condolences to the Allens. Others arrived as well, like Hal Jordan, Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, and a man that Wally had never seen before, who was talking to Hal. Wally walked toward them as Fran started a conversation with Cecile.
“How are you doing, Wally?” asked Hal.
“This has been hard… real hard, but I’m glad we found what belonged to Barry. Who’s this?” Wally asked, referring to the unfamiliar man.
“We spoke yesterday, Wally, at the Bunker. John Jones, detective,” the man said, slightly smiling. Wally knew then that it was the Martian Manhunter in his human identity. “From one police officer to another, I’ve come to pay my last respects to my friend Barry Allen.” The two men shook hands.
“I’m glad you made it. Is Arthur coming?” Wally asked.
“Arthur Curry will not be here. He’s involved with other ventures, mourning the losses in his land and supervising his land’s repairs. I don’t know if we’ll be seeing him anytime soon,” John said sadly.
“He should be here — he was one of us,” Hal said with some anger. “He speaks of responsibility and trying to keep the League going, but then he turns his back on it — and his friend? God knows these have not been our finest hours, but we need to come together, like we are here.”
“Hal, part of me feels that way, but another part of me understands,” Wally said. “Aqualad, from the old Titans, lost his girlfriend in the Crisis. The war was being waged on all fronts, from what I understand, and Atlantis was one of them. I’m just glad you and the others are showing up.”
“The world’s going to need heroes more than ever before, now. Hopefully we’ll be able to grow stronger from these events,” John said.
“I hope so. I’m going to talk to the Allens. I’ll see you in a bit,” Hal said.
“OK, Hal,” Wally said. Hal walked over to the Allens, and Ralph Dibny and Clark Kent walked over to Wally and John. “Ralph, I’ve got to thank you and Clark for letting everyone know what time we were doing this,” Wally said with appreciation.
“Wally, I just want to be able to help. You and Barry were good friends to me,” Ralph said.
Walking inside the funeral home next were Oliver Queen, Dinah Lance, Zatanna, and Ray Palmer. Carter and Shiera Hall followed closely behind. “After Ralph called me, I alerted the other Leaguers that were close to Barry. They all agreed to come,” Clark said.
Zatanna walked over to the men. She hugged Wally and said, “I’m so sorry. Barry was a special man and a great friend. He confided in me at times after the death of Iris. During that time, I learned how lucky Iris was to have been married to Barry.” She wiped her eye with her handkerchief and continued. “Sometimes I wished that we could have been more than just friends, but it was too soon after Iris’ death. I even showed him the costume I’d designed for myself before I unveiled it to the League. He used that knowledge to help me rediscover my identity after a foe brainwashed the rest of us.”
“I remember that venture. I was a construction worker, you were a homeless woman, and Ralph was a short-order cook,” Clark said with a smile. “Barry saved the day as he had before. We were fortunate to know him.”
“We all were,” Ralph said.
“I’m going to talk to Bruce. I had to talk him into coming. I think he’s still slightly unnerved, after what he saw in regards to Barry,” Clark said, referring to Batman’s viewing of the disintegrating Flash image.
“I understand. I’m going to catch with Cecile while she’s here. I’ll talk to you later,” Wally said to the group, as he walked off.
Wally walked toward Cecile Horton, but a familiar voice stopped him. “Wally?” the female voice spoke.
He turned around, and there, standing with her husband Terry Long, was Donna Troy Long. She stood there, tears streaming down her face, her own grief taking hold. She understood Wally’s grief more than any person there, as she had lost her mentor and friend. Her sister, Diana, had been Wonder Woman. Diana was the Anti-Monitor’s final casualty before the monster was stopped. Wally’s heart sank as he saw his friend’s grief. He walked to her, and the two embraced. She clutched at him, burying her face in his chest, her full grief pouring forward. Wally cradled the back of her head with his hand, still hugging her. He closed his eyes as he tried to be strong for Donna.
“Donna… I’m so sorry,” Wally whispered.
“I know,” Donna said through sobs. “I know.”
They had been two completely different people. Wally grew up with the love of both parents, while Donna grew up without knowing her real family. Still, from the moment they met, they were friends. From their first case as Teen Titans to this day, they had been linked. Now and forevermore, this tragedy would link them closer than they could ever know.
“I’m so sorry about Barry. Terry told me after I arrived back from Paradise Island, and I knew I had to be here. I wish I’d been able to have the support that you have here today, but the Amazon laws are to be abided by. Thank you for being there, Wally. I’ll never forget your support,” Donna said, regaining a sense of composure.
“I’m glad that Barry was so loved. The others here, Clark, Hal, Bruce, they cared about Diana as much as they did for Barry. I think they’d be glad to see you and lend support, as well. If you need anything, I’ll be there for you. I promise,” Wally said with determination.
“Thank you, Wally,” Donna said, as she kissed his cheek. They let go of the hug and stood before each other.
“I contacted Vic and Gar, but they wanted to keep Barry’s privacy intact… at least until the Memorial Service at the Flash Museum,” Wally said. “Kole’s in the hospital, I understand, and Dick, Kory, and Joe are still off-planet. I hope Kole recovers… she’s a good kid.”
“She really is. I brought her to the hospital, and they have done all they can. I pray she pulls through,” Donna said sadly.
“She has an inner strength from what I’ve seen, Donna. She’s a fighter, and she won’t give up. Will you and Terry be going to the cemetery as well?” he asked Donna.
“Yeah, we’ll be there,” Donna said.
“Then I’ll see you in a bit. Thanks, Donna, I am so glad you came,” Wally said. “I have to thank someone before I continue.”
Wally walked toward Terry Long and offered his hand. “Thanks for coming, Terry. I’m glad you came,” he said to Terry, as the two shook hands.
“I told you, no matter what, I’d be here today. You’re a good man, Wally, and a good friend. I’m proud to say you’re both to me,” Terry said. “There’s a lot of people here that cared about your uncle, and they care about you, too. Anytime you need to talk, I’m here.”
“I appreciate that, Terry,” Wally said. “I’ll see you two later. I’m going to talk to my grandpa for a bit.”
“We’ll see you, then,” Terry said.
Wally waved to Donna and Terry, then walked toward his grandfather, Ira West, who was speaking to the Allens. “How are you doing, Grandpa?” Wally asked.
“Not well… not well at all,” Ira said sadly. “It seems like I just lost Iris all over again. My memory just hasn’t been the same for a few years now, but somehow… I don’t know, Barry’s death hurts more than I would have realized. It’s as if he was more than a police scientist or my beloved son-in-law. He was a good man, and I was so proud of him when Iris and he married.”
Barry told me that Ira helped him shortly after I became Kid Flash, Wally thought, remembering why his grandfather had this feeling. I think it was in regards to the chemical used to condense his costume, and he revealed his identity to him. Something happened, and Grandpa developed amnesia in regards to Barry’s identity. He’s also been slightly absent-minded since.
“Barry’s been a source of strength for us all over the years, Grandpa,” Wally confided. “I’m just glad that he’s been reunited with Iris.”
“I used to think how nice it would be if they could have had children together, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be,” Ira said, wiping a tear away.
“I know. I learned so much from Barry, as much as I learned from you and Dad. All three of you taught me how to live, to act, to make yourself the best that a person can be, and I’ll never forget or neglect those lessons,” Wally said.
“You’ve grown into a fine young man, Wally. I think, despite this grim day, a part of Barry will live within you… always,” Ira said with a smile.
“Thank you, Grandpa,” Wally said with a smile of his own.
Cecile Horton walked toward Wally. “I’d like to talk to you for a few minutes, Wally. Would you mind?” she asked.
“All right. Grandpa, I’ll talk to you later,” Wally said.
“OK, Wally,” Ira said as he began to sit down in a chair.
Wally and Cecile walked toward a table holding coffee and cups. Cecile poured herself a cup. “Wally, I wanted to talk to you about the trial. For a few months, I’ve been friends with the Allens, even after my stunt,” she said.
“I wasn’t too pleased that you did that to him, Cecile,” Wally said civilly, holding his anger in. He remembered Barry’s trial, and the day after he gave his testimony in court, Cecile seemed to learn that Barry Allen was the Flash. She proceeded to reveal his identity in court, but when she unmasked Barry, his face was different. “Barry had to live with so much those months, and though his identity wasn’t revealed, I felt that was uncalled for.”
“I know, and I also know that I wanted to clear his name,” she replied.
“Do you understand that, had his identity been revealed that day, his life would have been effectively over? Think about it. Barry Allen breaks the neck of his wife’s killer. You understand that it would have appeared that he planned the Reverse-Flash’s death as revenge. Imagine this, too: his identity is public knowledge. Now his life, and the lives of those he cares about, are in constant jeopardy. Maybe a Rogue wants revenge, or some unknown hood wants to make a name for himself,” Wally said.
“I screwed up, and I admit it. But I grew to be a trusted friend to Barry and the Allens. But I wanted to talk to you. I figured out that you were Kid Flash after the trial, and I know the trial was tough for you. I just wanted to say… I was sorry,” Cecile said, removing her glasses and wiping her eyes with a handkerchief. “I am going to miss him greatly, Wally. At the trial, you stated that you were permanently retired. Are you still?”
Wally began to feel sympathy for Cecile. If she was indeed a trusted friend to Barry and the Allens, then she would have his support. “Not anymore. The reasons behind my retirement from crime-fighting have been dealt with. I will continue to fight crime… for what Barry meant to all of us. Look, I’m sorry I was mad at you. You cared about him as much as anyone here, and I’m glad you came,” Wally said calmly.
“I almost didn’t, Wally. Though Barry’s acquittal was looked as by most as a victory, I still felt as if I’d failed him and his family. I was ashamed, to be honest. I don’t even know if I want to continue to practice law anymore,” Cecile confided, wiping the tears away.
“I can see why, with the many criminals that flood the system. I don’t know what to tell you, Cecile, but you’ve got to do what you feel comfortable with. That’s the only way you won’t second-guess yourself,” Wally said.
“You learned a lot from Barry, didn’t you?” Cecile asked with a smile. She put her glasses back on.
“I’ve tried. I just wish he was still alive,” Wally said.
“I know… I know,” Cecile said.
Suddenly, music began to be played, signaling the start of the funeral service. “We’d better find our seats, Cecile. I’ll see you later, OK?” Wally asked.
“OK. ‘Bye,” Cecile said as she walked toward an empty seat.
Wally himself walked over to where Fran was sitting as the music began to fade. The Allens walked toward the small podium to speak.
“I’m glad to see so many of you here today,” Henry Allen said. “We’re here to remember one man, someone that was special to all of us. Maybe he was a work colleague, maybe he was a friend, or maybe he was family. To us, he was our son. He was Barry Allen.”
Nora Allen spoke. “I remember that day at Fallville Hospital, the day our baby boy was born. He was two weeks late, but he was so beautiful. He had such a knack for science and chemistry, and he excelled in that field. So well, in fact that he earned a college degree with his knowledge and interest. Above all else, he just wanted to help others, and it was that desire that led him to become a police scientist for the Central City Police Department.”
Henry continued. “He was a valued member of the department and strove to uphold the law in his field. He had a personal life outside work, and he held himself to those same standards. Most of you here know that, though,” Henry said with a smile. Those crime-fighters in attendance smiled, as it was his way of acknowledging Barry’s identity as the Flash. “But his happiest times were spent with the woman he loved with his heart and soul. Her name was Iris West.”
“Iris, as most of you know, was a reporter here in Central City,” Nora said. “They were complete opposites, but that might be why they fell for each other. Iris was the love of his life. She was a wonderful daughter-in-law, and they brought each other so much happiness. It nearly broke our hearts when she died. Barry seemed lost, not knowing what to do. Despite this tragedy, he managed to move forward, not forgetting her or the love they shared. She would live inside his heart for the rest of his life.”
Henry spoke. “He never forgot her, but he grew close to another woman as time went by. Her name was Fiona Webb, and they dated quite a while. As their relationship began to blossom into love, Barry felt guilty. He felt at that time, he was betraying Iris’ memory. I think he was afraid of Fiona’s mortality, as well. After a rocky period, they finally declared their love for each other. Barry made peace with Iris’ memory, and they proceeded to marry. Sadly, they wouldn’t be married,” Henry said, as he knew he had to lie about his son’s disappearance.
“He… vanished mysteriously,” continued Henry. “We didn’t know what had happened to him, but we were greatly concerned. The predicament seemed to imply that Barry was the victim of foul play. For over a year, we’ve had no idea as to Barry’s whereabouts, or whether he was still alive. Yesterday, we learned the sad truth. Barry was dead, and we never got to say goodbye to our boy.” Henry wiped his eyes.
Nora spoke. “As a parent, you expect your child or children to live beyond your own life. Sadly, we’re here to lay our son to rest. We are going to miss him so much, and our lives are forever changed. We will never know our baby boy’s love again, but I assure you all, he will never be forgotten. We will never stop keeping his memory alive in our hearts. We love you, Barry. God bless,” Nora said, as her emotion overwhelmed her. Henry embraced his wife, holding her for a few minutes, then the two sat down.
Wally stood up and walked to the podium. “There will never be another like Barry Allen… ever. I was fortunate to know him for half of my life. I remember the day my Aunt Iris introduced me to him. He was a likeable guy, and I grew to become his friend. He never treated me as a child or as an annoyance, but as an equal. Here I was, just a kid, but we were on equal footing. He taught me so much over the years, and I’ve never forgotten. I feel he helped me grow up before most teenagers ever hit eighteen. He was selfless, and he always thought of others before his own well-being. I think I held him in the same regard as my father; respect, support and friendship were all key.
“I can’t tell you how happy I was that day when Iris and Barry married. Two of the best people I’ve ever known, united in holy matrimony. So much changed over the years, but Barry never changed. He remained the tried and true friend that I met for the first time all those years ago. And now… he’s gone. I’ll never enjoy his company again. He never let himself be beaten, even when everything went to blazes. He never quit, and I’ll always cherish his memory and example. I hope he’s proud, wherever he is, and at peace. I love you, Barry,” he said, managing to hold his emotions inside his body.
He walked back to his seat, and the minister, Thomas Walken, approached the podium. “Today is a very sad day for us, my friends. I was fortunate to know Barry as a boy at St. James church here in Central City. I had just started as an assistant at the church, and I watched Barry grow up. He was a bright boy, and he had a strong belief in God. He lived a life that some dream about but never achieve. I remember a time, shortly after I became the full-time minister at St. James, when Barry arrived late for services. I kidded with him that the good Lord enjoys the day of rest that this was the one day he wasn’t late for. He looked at me and said, ‘He was lucky to accomplish his goals in six days. Sometimes I feel like I’ll be six days late for my graduation!’ We both laughed, and he was never late again. I will remember his desire to do right for the world, and had he chosen a similar path as I, I think he would have preached the good word. His was an example all of us should strive for. I, as well as all of you here, will miss him greatly. But he has only closed the door on his Earthly body. His soul will live eternally in the gates of Heaven and in the company of his wife Iris and our lord God. May he rest in peace.
“This service is concluded. We’ll be heading to Central City Cemetery, where we’ll lay our friend to rest. Afterwards, there will be a gathering at the Allens’ residence. May God keep you safe in your travels,” the minister said.
The many guests in attendance stood up. All walked by the casket, paying their last respects to Barry, then walked outside the Warner Funeral Home and toward their cars. Inside, Captain Frye and the others he’d chosen as pall bearers picked up the casket, and walked outside to a hearse. There, the casket was placed inside and secured. Police cars were set up in front of the Funeral Home, and as all cars formed a line, they followed the police car and the hearse toward Central City Cemetery.