by Hitman 44077
With his super-speed at its peak levels again, the Flash arrived at the Flash Museum of the thirtieth century, still holding what remained of Manfred Mota within a glass cylinder. He stood outside briefly, watching as the city workers finished repairing the damage caused by Mota earlier in the day. It looks like things are returning to normal, he thought as he finally walked inside the familiar structure. Of course, for me lately, normal hasn’t played a role in my life.
Flash continued walking through the Museum, still reflecting upon the events he’d experienced within the past few days. I’ve had so much to work through, and there were times the doubts began creeping back inside my soul. But I did it. Somehow, I managed to pull myself together in time to stop Mota and his followers. And now, to finally be cured of the disease and, even more than just that, knowing that Aunt Iris is alive and well, pregnant with Barry’s child… I know that whatever happens next, I’ll be prepared.
Upon reaching the Cosmic Treadmill, Flash stepped onto the device and activated it. I know there’s some fallout from the events that I still need to deal with. Mom, Dad, Nora, Henry, and the rest must be worried sick. And though I wish I could just arrive back shortly after I’d vanished, I know I can’t — not without seriously disrupting history, he thought as he set the proper calibrations for his trip home.
“There. That should do it. Now… it’s time to go home,” Flash said as he began to run on the Cosmic Treadmill. Faster and faster he ran, until the Treadmill itself finally began to transfer the scarlet speedster backward through time, back to his rightful era.
Back in the twentieth century:
It was 2:51 AM on June 2nd, 1987. Inside the apartment of Wally West were the many citizens who had been kidnapped by Manfred Mota and his three partners. It was an uneasy atmosphere, as all thoughts were on the man who’d seemingly given his life for all present. Mary West found herself sitting in one of Wally’s chairs, still holding onto the uniform that was left in the wake of her son’s sacrifice. She felt weary, emotionally drained as the reality of the situation continued to register with her soul.
“Mary, please, you have to get some rest,” her husband Robert said, walking over to her. He handed her a glass of water and kneeled down to her. “There’s a lot we’re going to need to do.”
“How am I suppose to face this? We lost our son, Robert! Our little boy is gone!” Mary angrily said, flinging the glass at a wall, where it shattered. She then closed her eyes as the pain of the loss only grew, her tears the only way to express her feelings.
“This is killing me too, Mary,” Robert said as he removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. The harsh reality gnawed at him as much as his sister Iris’ death did only a few years earlier. “He gave everything he had to save us and this city.”
“What he did earlier will be remembered for a long time to come,” Henry Allen said solemnly as he approached the couple. “Nora and I know the loss of a child better than anyone here, and I am so sorry for the two of you.”
“He was wiser than his years, and I think he picked up a lot of his traits from both of you as well as Barry and Iris,” Ira West said.
“Thanks, Grampa!” a sudden familiar voice called out within the room. The faces of all present were written with complete shock as they turned toward the direction the voice came from. And standing there next to the apartment door was the Flash.
Shock turned to joy as Mary and Robert ran toward him and finally hugged their son. “Oh, God! Thank you! Oh, thank you! Oh, Wally!” Mary shouted as she clung tightly to the Flash.
“Thank God you’re safe!” Robert himself shouted as he continued to hold his son and wife. “Where were you? What happened?”
As his parents released their hug, Flash set the glass cylinder down on the chair his mother had been sitting on. “Believe it or not, I had a few things to take care of in the future,” Flash confided, though he was careful with the exact facts. “You see, what happened earlier yesterday will have serious effects many years from now, but rest assured, things went better than anyone could have ever predicted.”
“What about your… well…” Darryl Frye started to say, unsure whether or not to ask in regards to the health problems his young friend had been experiencing in recent days.
“That’s a thing of the past,” Flash said confidently, knowing what Darryl was getting at. “But it’s something I should have told you about before now. You see, several years ago, I had a disease which caused me great pain when I used my super-speed powers. I was literally killing myself every time I used my powers, but it went into remission. Until a few days ago.
“It returned, and every attempt I made to locate a cure failed. On top of that, there was Mota and his little group doing what they could to break me. Kidnapping nearly everyone in this room, attempting to ruin another man’s reputation, even playing their sick grave-robbing game. I’m just thankful all of you are safe.”
“But the disease…” Robert started to say.
“I’ve been cured,” Flash said with a smile. “I have a clean bill of health, and I’ll never have to face that ghost of my past ever again. A little perk of my trip through time. That and the new costume.”
“I thought that looked a little different,” Albert Desmond said.
“It still serves the same function. Pretty much the same as the suit I wore only a day before, only the torso lightning is slightly different. That, and the metallic appearance,” Flash said before returning to important matters. “I know that Mota met his fate, but what about the others? Last I knew, Albert here took out Doctor Alchemy, and Fiona finally decided to seek some mental help, but was there any news on Malverk?”
“Unfortunately, no,” Darryl confessed bitterly. “Malverk seemed to literally vanish off the face of the Earth, and I thought that maybe his disappearance may have been connected to yours. Alvin Desmond is in jail, and we’ve taken precautions with that Philosopher’s Stone of his so that he won’t reclaim it. Fiona herself is cooperating fully. She really wants to change her life… and rededicate it in the name of Barry.”
“I hope so. I really do,” Flash said. “This Malverk thing has me puzzled, though. I don’t know where he went, but it’s something I’ll need to take care of.”
“Really, Wally, right now it’s not something to lose any sleep over,” Henry said. “You have to be tired after all you went through.”
“Tired?” Flash said, a little amused. “Honestly, I feel alive, Henry.”
“I haven’t seen you this positive in a long time. It’s as if you knew something more than what you’ve told us so far,” Nora Allen said.
“Let’s just say there’s something all of us have to look forward to. I can’t name a specific day, but trust me. The happiest day in all of our lives has yet to come,” Flash said, the memories of his reunion with Iris and the revelation she was pregnant still fresh in his mind.
“I like a good surprise,” Ira said, smiling. “It’s good?”
“The best, Grampa,” Flash responded. “Believe me when I say that.”
“I’m so glad you’re OK, Wally. It’d probably be best if all of us left, though,” Robert said.
“You all have to be beat,” Flash said with understanding. “I had to come back after history recorded the headline Flash Vanishes, and not before. Have all of your homes been checked out?”
“I personally took care of the locks and other such items in the time you were gone,” Darryl said. “Everyone’s home is safe.”
“Good. I don’t want this to ever happen to all of you again,” Flash said. “What about Barry’s ashes, rings, and costume? Was it laid back to rest?”
“Yes it was, and we made sure to set an alarm within the coffin alerting the CCPD in the case anyone dares tamper with it again. That’s the least we could do for Barry and the Allens,” Darryl said calmly.
“Thank you, Darryl,” Flash said with gratitude.
“Now, get some rest, my friend. You’ve definitely earned it this day,” Darryl said with a confident smile.
“I’ll do just that,” Flash said, still grateful that the people he cared about so much were alive and well.
“You two are welcome to stay at our home tonight,” Henry Allen said to Robert.
“We really appreciate it, since Blue Valley is a long drive away,” Robert said graciously before turning to his son. “Wally, I love you. I am so happy you’re safe. You take care, OK?”
“I will, Dad,” Flash said.
Mary hugged her son once more and kissed him on the cheek. “You mean so much to me. Always stay safe, hear? I love you, dear.”
“I love you too, Mom,” Flash said as he kissed the top of his mother’s head. “And I’ll be here for all of you.”
With the usual goodbyes and shared hugs, all exited Flash’s apartment. When the door was finally shut, Flash removed first his ring, then his costume, and rubbed his hand on the cloth. He eyed the suit and thought, Barry did a good job with this thing.
Wally placed the costume on his chair and compared it to the suit Barry had left him several years before. So much has happened in the nearly two years that I adopted your identity, Barry. It’s almost fitting that for tomorrow and forever, I wear the outfit you’d made while in the company of Iris, he thought with pride.
There’s a lot I still need to do. Tomorrow, I’m going to see the League and let them know I’m back to stay. I’ve also got to see the Titans and let them know that I’ve finally been cured of the disease. I’ll even head to STAR Labs and talk to Mac. Let him know I’ve been cured. I’ll also spread Mota’s ashes at the cemetery his wife and child were buried at. And then… there’s Fran. I’ve got to repair the damage Alchemy did to her place. ‘Course, I still don’t know where she went, but if I want to try and save our relationship, I’m going to have to explain this whole four-day mess to her. There’s no telling if she’ll understand, or even forgive me, but I know I love her. I won’t allow myself to lose her, he thought with determination.
Wally placed his newer Flash ring on his hand, and sure enough, with but a quick thought, the suit was pulled into the ring. Wally smiled and continued to think.
This was my toughest case ever — the ultimate trial by fire — but I won. The future belongs to me. My name is Wally West. I’m the Flash.