by Hitman 44077
Outside, the Flash spotted his three Titans teammates, Changeling, Cyborg, and Wonder Girl, and walked over to them. “It seems the clothes make the man, Flasher! I’m happy for you!” Changeling said, offering his hand to Flash. The two shook hands.
“I appreciate it, Gar. I’m sorry I didn’t mention it earlier,” the Flash said.
“It’s quite all right, Flash,” Cyborg said with a smile. “Sure you don’t want to rejoin the Titans?”
“Vic, I’d love to, but I need to get settled in Central City before I can fully commit. I can help often, but not as an all-the-time thing right now. I’m sorry,” Flash said sadly.
“Wally, believe me, I completely understand. Seeing you in that costume, it has me wondering if maybe I shouldn’t do something like that in honor of Diana,” Wonder Girl said.
“Donna, you need to do what feels right for you. Personally, after what’s happened, I don’t think there’s a general rush to assume the Wonder Woman identity. Just think it over, but only commit if it’s what you truly want to do,” Flash said.
“That sounds like the right advice, Donna. We will all be here for you, no matter what choice you make,” Cyborg said.
“Thanks, all of you. I will give this some thought, and I promise I won’t make a rash decision,” Wonder Girl said with a smile.
“That sounds like a plan. I’d love to talk some more, but I need to talk to my folks about my decision. I hope you don’t mind,” Flash said.
“It’s fine. This is a big transition for you, Wally. Moving out is one of the biggest decisions in one’s life, but I think you’ll do OK. We’ll see you soon,” Wonder Girl said.
“Take care,” Flash said to his three friends. Then, with his super-speed, the Flash headed for Blue Valley to speak to his parents about his new identity.
The Flash quickly arrived back in Blue Valley and headed straight for his parents’ home. Once he arrived, he let himself into the home and walked inside. He pulled his mask off and walked toward the living room, where his parents were sitting. The sight of seeing Wally in the Flash costume disturbed them.
“Mom, Dad, we need to talk,” Wally said.
“Wally?! What are you doing in that costume?” Mary West asked, growing worried.
“Mom, I’ve decided to adopt the identity of the Flash,” Wally said, noticing her concern.
“Wally, I’m not sure if that’s a good idea…” Robert West began to say.
“I know what you’re thinking, Dad. I’m not doing this for me — I’m doing this for Barry’s memory, and what he stood for,” Wally said cautiously.
“Robert, please, talk some sense into him,” Mary West pleaded.
“Listen, I’m not going to lie to you, Wally,” Robert said cautiously. “Before you graduated, you revealed to us that you were Kid Flash. We accepted that, despite our worries, and were proud when you entered college. We even supported you when you rejoined the Teen Titans. But this… this is a lot different than that. I’m not sure that this is the best thing to do.”
“I know, Dad. I did a lot of thinking on my way here… about you two, myself, and my responsibilities as the Flash. I think what would be best is if I moved out,” Wally said. “Frankly, it’s something we all need to do when we grow up. We need to earn our place in the world. And… I have another reason. I know that my new identity is going to be demanding and dangerous. I can’t risk your safety living here. I don’t want you ending up as targets for any enemies seeking to make a name for themselves. I love you two too much to do that to you.”
“Wally, I guess I knew this day would come. I’m just worried, though. Being the father of a crime-fighter is difficult at times, and I don’t want to bury my son. But I do respect your decision. You are a man, my son, and I’m proud of you, despite our concerns. You know, there’s no rush for you to leave,” Robert said, trying to remain strong.
“I appreciate that, I really do. But after I head to STAR Labs for my tests, I’m going to start packing,” Wally said with sadness in his voice.
“Wally, please don’t do this,” Mary said, nearly in tears.
“Mom, I am sorry. But I need to do this, even if I wasn’t adopting the identity of the Flash. Simply put, it’s time,” Wally said, trying to remain strong. He walked to his mother and hugged her. Mary began weeping in her son’s arms.
“Wally, I want you to know that you’re always welcome here. Please don’t be a stranger,” Robert said, wiping a tear from his eye.
Wally let go of his mother and spoke. “I won’t, Dad.”
“You plan on finishing college, don’t you?” Mary asked, wiping her tears away.
“When I have enough money, yeah, I’ll go back. Until then, I’ll support myself,” Wally said, pulling his mask back on. “I’d better go, but I’ll be back later. I promise.”
“Be careful out there, Wally,” Robert said.
“I will, Dad.” The Flash walked toward the front door of the home and opened it. He stepped outside, shutting the door behind him, and headed east toward Metropolis, while Robert West comforted his crying wife.
Meanwhile, a man walked into Central City Cemetery. Someone familiar to Barry Allen, or rather, the Flash, walked toward, and finally stopped, at his grave marker. A fugitive from the law, Len Snart, otherwise known as Captain Cold, had come to pay his last respects to his greatest foe.
“Well, who would have ever thought this would happen?” Snart muttered, his cold demeanor pouring through. “You face someone like this for years, many times over, and you grow to hate each other.
“I could never figure you out, Flash. Christ, we could have taken over this city, but you had to be a hero, and a damn good one, too.” Snart held a bottle of beer in his hand and drank up.
“Despite everything, your being a good guy, and me trying to stop you, there was an unspoken respect I had for you, my old foe. Yeah, I wanted you dead at times, but not like this.”
Snart took another sip of beer, staring at the grave. “God, we made your life hell, and we enjoyed it.” Snart smiled, reminiscing about the many battles he and the Rogues had engaged the Flash in. “I think they respected you at times, too.”
Finishing his beer, Snart held onto the empty bottle. “Now you’re gone, dead after all that’s taken place in the past few days. I’ll miss you, my greatest enemy. I’m grateful that the last time I saw you, the Rogues and I helped you defeat Abra Kadabra. Maybe that helped you.
“Right now, I feel lost. Yeah, I can always steal, and I probably will again, but for now, I need some time to decide what I need to do. Maybe I should fight crime in honor of what you represented.” Snart paused a few minutes, then a sarcastic smile slowly appeared on his face. “Nahhh. I spent years forging a reputation as a villain. I’d be a fool to throw that away, like Desmond and Heat Wave were. But I will remember you. Rest in peace, Flash. Your race is over.”
Snart exited the cemetery, glad that he’d paid some small tribute to his foe. He tossed his beer bottle in a garbage can and walked off.
The Flash arrived in Metropolis and headed straight for STAR Labs. Entering the complex, he walked to Dr. Jenet Klyburn’s office and knocked on her door. “Come in,” she said.
Flash walked in, which surprised Dr. Klyburn greatly. “F-Flash?” she said in astonishment.
“Yeah, but behind the mask, I’m the same person that you wanted to determine how much my body chemistry’s changed,” Flash said.
“I didn’t expect to see you in this costume, Kid — er, Flash. Sorry about that,” Dr. Klyburn said.
“It’s quite all right. It will take some time getting used to,” Flash said, reassuring Dr. Klyburn. “Let’s just get those tests done.”
“All right. Follow me,” Dr. Klyburn said.
For several hours, the Flash engaged in various tests to determine how much his body chemistry had been changed. Dr. Klyburn and several members of her staff went over the various data ascertained from the Flash’s tests and finally were able to determine just how much the antimatter in his body had altered his powers.
Later, in Dr. Klyburn’s office, she spoke to the Flash and explained everything to him. “Our tests have confirmed something we’d suspected from your last visit. Your powers have been decreased quite a bit. Obviously, you’re still very fast, but it may be a long time before you regain your previous speeds. I will say this: Do not push yourself beyond what your body’s currently at, speed-wise. Until we learn anything further, the results could be disastrous. We’re going to need you to come in for check-ups every six months. That will be able to determine how your body chemistry has settled.”
“So that’s it, then. My body is no longer as fast as it once was. At least I’ll be able to carry on for Barry, though,” the Flash said.
“I am glad you came back for the tests, and I’m confident that you will regain your top speed in a few years. Just be careful,” Dr. Klyburn advised.
“I will. Thank you,” the Flash said.
“No problem,” Dr. Klyburn said with a smile.
Flash left STAR Labs and stood outside for a few seconds.
It’s odd. In the span of a few days, I’ve gone through so much. Returning to action as Kid Flash, then participating in the Crisis, then learning that Barry had died for everything he cared about. The lessons learned in this time were many, but I’ll carry them forever. I will always miss you, Barry, but I will keep your memory alive forever. My name is Wally West… and I’m the Flash.
Finishing his thoughts, he smiled and began to run, ready to face his future.