"Dude, no one is going to care."
But that was just it, wasn't it? Wally stared down at his arms, his skin marred with almost unnoticeable scars, but with very prominent darkening of his skin and protruding lines that ran up and down their entire length. There were patches of skin that were wrinkled and rough, not a space was left untouched. Like a candle after hours of being lit, his arms looked melted.
The worst part was that they ached and itched a lot, specially in cold climates and when there was too much humidity in the air. He could always tell when it was going to rain because of it.
He looked up at the mirror in the bathroom, green sad eyes meeting their twins. Wally brought his arms up so they showed in the telling glass, trying to study them from a stranger's perspective.
Immediately he lowered them with a sigh. As an outsider, all he saw was gruesome, mutilated flesh that made you queasy and stare at the one sporting them with disgust and horror.
Dick might not have cared, he still didn't know how the Boy Wonder could stand to look at his arms, but then again... it wasn't like Wally had willingly showed them to him.
Batman had called Flash for a… 'consult' (the Bat would never admit to needing help... ever), and Barry had brought him along. Robin had been ecstatic to work with both his best friend and the Scarlet Speedster, and so had Kid Flash. The plan had been simple. The 'adults' (argh even then they had been treated like little wet behind the ears kids), would infiltrate a warehouse the Joker was staying in while the two side- partners would scout the surrounding area, taking note of everything they saw and reporting back to their mentors should someone leave.
And someone did, though it wasn't one of Joker's lackeys… but the Joker himself in all his psychotic glory. And he had a weird gun…
As a piece of wall melted as the substance in it hit, right where Wally had been less than a second before, they realized what it was. An acid gun.
Wally hated acid.
Even if Robin had been going through the first stages of rebellion as a sidek- partner, he wasn't stupid or suicidal, immediately contacting Batman, the Dark Knight ordering them to fall back and wait for the Flash.
They followed those orders, (because seriously? Not even Super-freaking-man wanted to be alone in a dark alley with the Joker who. Had. An. Acid. GUN), or at least they tried to, but that sadistic bastard had laid a trap that was every speedster's nightmare… dark marbles everywhere, which wouldn't have been that much of a problem, except for the small fact that they blew up at contact.
Wally hated marbles.
Oh and the Joker wasn't done. His disturbing laugh echoing through the alley, he pounced and shot his gun. Aiming directly at Robin, the little Bird too distracted with trying to avoid stepping on the marbles to notice. Kid Flash did the only thing that would save his friend from a face full of acid.
He sped through the gaps between the little death balls, grabbing a few and throwing them at the clown, simultaneously placing himself in front of his friend, facing the horrified looking Bird.
The pain had been excruciating, but having felt it before when he got his powers, it had been expected.
The last thing he heard was Robin's desperate yell of, "KF!" before everything went black.
Wally really, really hated clowns.
Waking up in the Batcave was a dream come true. Maybe not under the current circumstances, but hey… It was probably the only way he would ever get to see it. And holy crap it really was a freaking cave! With actual Bats! Although that didn’t say much about the Batman’s sanity.
With all the gadgets the Dark Knight used, high tech and incredibly epic (but not as much as having super-speed), he'd have thought the Batcave was actually an underground high-tech facility with future looking, well… everything. This was kind of spartan compared to that dream. But he did have an awesome -"definitely from the future"- looking computer.
Still, he had almost had a heart attack waking up to Batman's face, those white covered eyes staring blankly down at him.
"You're awake." And here Wally thought the World’s Greatest Detective hated stating the obvious.
He was saved from any more awkward moments by a blur of red and suddenly Batman was gone -pushed out of the way- and his uncle was there, cowl-less and with that worried when-we-get-home-I'm-locking-you-in-your-room-and-going-to-mother-hen-you-to-death look.
Thanks a lot Joker.
"How do you feel kid?" There was something strange in his voice. Like he was feeling guilty about something. Not unusual, Barry tended to be overprotective, but this was different.
"Fine. Back's a little sore but-" Oh. Wait. He sat up quickly, his mind now registering why he felt cold. His suit was missing, and he was only wearing medical sweatpants.
He froze, staring down at his scarred, ugly arms feeling extremely self-concious, bringing his arms to his chest as if to protect them. He couldn't look at Batman in the eyes now. What must he think? He was so off the team now.
"Um, do you have a shirt?" He asked in a low tone. "My back?" Because really, his arms were enough, he didn't need to add a mutilated back to the list of all the things that were wrong with him, like his father liked to point out.
Barry sighed, eyes tired.
"Healed." Huh, so speed healing would work on everything except the original chemical burns? He didn't know if he should feel happy or extremely pissed off. "You're okay." Except he wasn't, because Batman had seen. And if the Dark Knight knew…
The young speedster finally looked around the room. Batman was behind Barry, expressionless as always, but no, that wasn't correct. He seemed… softer somehow, specially considering how his uncle had rammed the Goddamn Batman out of the way a few seconds earlier.
Crap. Crapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrap... Pity from Batman, that was just great.
He looked away, to the other side of the medical bed he was in, and his eyes locked on the form partially hidden in the shadows. Silent and… still, face blank.
The room was drowned in a tense silence. No one moved, not even his uncle. After what seemed like an eternity, Wally looked away, ashamed…eyes on his lap in a childish attempt to hide from the world.
"Wally." His uncle started, a gentle hand on his shoulder. "It's okay."
No it wasn't.
A sigh. "Bats, can you show me that thing you talked to me about?"
Subtle uncle Barry. Real Subtle. No wonder they never sent him on covert missions.
"… This way."
Just like the, the two Leaguers left, leaving him alone with a deadly little Bird. The hiss of the door sliding shut as ominous as the Joker's laughter.
Argh, he really hated clowns.
The silence that followed was deafening, even worse than the one before. Wally twitched. He wanted to run. Run all the way back home, to his room in aunt Iris and uncle Barry's home -his sanctuary- lock the door, close the curtains, grab his Flash duvet, and curl under his bed with a bag of chips.
"You're an idiot." He cringed. Robin sounded so… angry. Probably at him for keeping the fact that he was so disgustingly disfigured all hush-hush. Who wanted a friend like that?
He hunched down even more, using his body to cover his arms, eyes still locked on his lap.
An exasperated sigh, followed by almost soundless footsteps.
Still Wally didn't look up, not even when he could see through his peripheral vision Robin's legs and cape.
"Wally." The 180 Rob's voice did had him slowly tilting his head in the raven head’s direction. His tone was soft now, soothing, and maybe even a little… hurt.
"Wally, you could have told me."
"Told you what? That I'm like… this?" He wanted to be angry as well, but his voice died at the end in resignation. He was losing his best friend, his only true friend, because his arms were hideous.
"Don't be stupid!" Robin yelled. "I'm not going to push you away because you have some scars and burns on your arms. What, you think Batman's body is perfectly healthy? Dude, your scars are a paper cut compared to some of the scars he has." Dick said frustrated, remembering the giant scar left after Bane decided it was a good idea to break Bruce's back.
The young speedster looked up, green eyes shining with so many emotions, Robin had to take his time to decipher them. Confusion, hurt, hope, and finally, acceptance. Reluctant, but it was a start.
"So… you don't.. mind?"
He received a smack for that.
"Kid Idiot. Of course I don't mind. What I do mind is you being an idiot and jumping in front of an acid gun and taking the hit!" He yelled again, giving his friend another smack for good measures.
"Ow! Would you stop that!?" Wally crossed his arms, sitting straight and glaring at the domino mask. "Fine, next time I'll let you get acid in your face, it's not a very nice experience you know."
Robin's glare softened.
"Yeah. Yeah, I'm… thanks." He said softly, smiling up at the speedster. "You just worried me. When we got you here and Flash took your suit off." He paused shuddering. "But you healed, you healed in two hours… your back healed, and then I saw your arms."
Wally looked down again.
Robin was silent for moment, remembering how he demanded to know how they had happened, because when he looked closer, they were old scars. But Barry, as opposed to his carefree, smiling self, had been tightlipped and a little intimidating.
"Flash said you'd tell me.. about them… when you were ready." He said hesitantly.
Wally made a small resigned noise. "Well, now that you've seen them and don't seem to care…" He was still wary of his reaction it seemed, but the speedster shrugged nonchalantly. "Might as well tell you now."
Robin blinked. It always surprised him how open and trusting the Flashes were. Batman was always saying how too damn trusting they were and how he and the League had to keep an extra eye on the Scarlet Speedster every time they went on a mission. The guy could make friends with anyone, most of the time he just didn't notice said new friends wanted to kill him.
Still, he was not expecting Wally to tell him right off the bat.
"It happened when I got my powers. You know how Flash got his right?"
Robin nodded, having been made to study every Leaguer's and meta human's profiles the Bat-computer had.
"He recreated the accident that gave the first Flash his powers."
"I did the same but.. it kinda.. went wrong." His eyes shut tight, face contorting in pain as he remembered the white hot agony he'd felt when the lightning struck, and then… the smell of burnt flesh, the liquid fire that spread through his arms before blissful darkness.
"We still don't know why or how it happened, since Jay-uh, the first Flash, and uncle Barry came out fine with a clean bill of health and untouched bodies, but the chemicals burned me, and they never healed." A sigh. "I guess I'm lucky I threw my arms up and managed to cover my face."
Robin stared, reaching out to place a hand on Wally's bare shoulder. Kid flinched, giving him an apologetic smile, which the young detective returned with his own shrug and don't-worry-about-it smile.
"You- really don't care." Why was that so unbelievable to Kid Thickhead?
The truth was that Robin could care less. About the scars that is. He had freaked when he first saw them, but not in disgust or anything. He'd been scared and angry, because those burns had to have happened when his best friend was younger, and they had to have hurt so much. All he had wanted to do was find a way to make all that pain go away, and if someone else had caused them, he would make them pay.
"Is that why you wear long sleeves all the time?" Dick had always wondered, because even when it was like they lived in the freaking sun, he'd seen Wally in long sleeved shirts, and he wouldn't be the World's Greatest Detective's protégé if he hadn't noticed and made speculations. He hadn't thought about this though.
Wally looked sheepish now. "Um, yeah. But you can't tell anyone!" He said hurriedly. "Okay?"
Robin huffed indignantly. "Of course I won't tell anyone Kid Stupid." His tone softened. "But you know you don't need to hide right?"
"I know, but… I feel better." Which translated into: "I feel less vulnerable, I feel safe."
"And I know I can trust you with this." Wally smiled. "I trust you with my life."
Why, why was it so simple for speedsters to wear their hearts on their sleeves? How was it possible for them to be so damn honest and blunt and... trustful? The only conclusion he could come up with was that they weren't from Gotham.
He stood stunned, blinking stupidly, and he felt.. bad. Awful. Like... trash. Here Kid Dork had trusted him with this secret which was apparently - from how both Flashes had acted- a very taboo-y subject for the speedster (even if he sorta kinda didn't have a choice seeing as his secret had been exposed for him), and Robin... Robin hadn't even told him his real name.
Dick remembered when he had been introduced to the two speedsters.
"Robin, this is Flash and his protégé, Kid Flash."
"Hi." He said politely, trying to mimic his mentor's intimidating stare, only to be startled by their response.
"Hey kiddo, you can call me uncle Barry when we're alone." The Scarlet Speedster said, ruffling his hair.
"And I'm Wally!" A red and yellow blur materialized in front of him, grabbing his hand and shaking it enthusiastically. “This is so cool! You’re the first like me, lets be friends!” The smile that had accompanied those words nearly blinded him and left him feeling uncomfortable by the amount of innocence in it.
But what left him shocked, was that in two seconds they had broken the first rule Batman had drilled into his head. Keep your real identity a secret from everyone. And so easily… so why couldn't he?
"Robin?" Startled from his thoughts, Dick looked up at the worried face of his best friend. He blinked again, his expression suddenly determined. Bruce could kill him all he wanted, no more secrets.
Wally tilted his head. "Huh?"
Slowly, Robin grabbed the end of his mask and pealed it off, blue eyes staring straight into surprised, wide green eyes.
"Hi." He stretched his hand out. "My name's Richard Grayson, but my friends.. "He smirked. "Call me Dick."
And Wally? Wally squealed, hand grabbing his to shake it like it was the best thing in the world, the speedster laughing in delight.
"Wow!" He said after a few moments of glee and pure unadulterated joy. "Batman finally let you tell me your name?"
A tilt of the head.
"You told me your secret, so I'm telling you mine. You better keep it, Kid Mouth."
Wally smirked right back. "You better keep mine Boy Blunder."
"Ha! Told you he wouldn't wait for your approval. Pay up!"
"Shut up Barry."
Throughout the next few years, they met Roy Harper -their big brother-, they were blown away when they met Aqualad (scuba diving had never been that much fun, until Aquaman almost banned them from the ocean for their antics)- they fought along side several heroes, and became even closer, they became brothers.
Then they found Superboy in a pod, they met Miss Martian, and they formed a team.
Wally loved it. Their own team, with covert missions, with an awesome HQ.
...And then they wanted to go swimming.
Wally acted accordingly.
"Dude, they're not going to care." Dick said, tone soft and gentle, but with a hint of exasperation underneath. They had been over this a thousand times, but Kid Stubborn would not budge.
"Well I care Dick, now are you going to help me or not? I saw Wayne's medical catalogue, don't you guys have like a scar covering creme or something."
"Please Dick, I'm begging you here! It'll look really suspicious is the Wall-man doesn't show up for a beach day!"
A set of teary, green, puppy eyes.
The sad part was, in his panic, Wally had forgotten he had school the day of the beach outing. He'd been disappointed, highly disappointed, heavy on the dis-.
It wasn't often that Wally could feel the wind on his arms, not unless he was in the middle of nowhere, in a place undiscovered by man, and even then he was self-concious because, well... satellites.
Dick had felt bad for his friend. He knew he wasn't actually looking forward to the outing itself, but to the fact that he wouldn't need to hide. Kind of. He would be able to run around shirt-less with the scar covering creme he had... 'borrowed' from Wayne Tech's medical wing. Swim and feel the cool water without fear of being discovered. Be... normal. Not that Robin thought he wasn’t normal, but try telling that to Kid Moron.
Wally felt like the fates had conspired against him that day. Everything went wrong. School was hell. Boring teachers, faulty water fountains, bullies in gym, basketballs to the face, and the slowest clock in all of creation.
And when he got back to the cave? The outing was over, and they were welcoming a new teammate that was trying to replace their big brother.
No. Just no.
Worst day, ever.
"Why do you always wear long sleeved t-shirts?"
Wally froze, sandwich halfway to his mouth. Dick tensed next to him, and silence descended like a mantle.
"Uh… because I like them?" Kid Flash answered tentatively, receiving a glare from Artemis. "Look, it's my style. Do I question your taste in clothes? Cause really, that outfit just screams slutty."
He dodged an arrow, and the subject was dropped as Kaldur tried to restore peace and Wally resorted to hiding behind Superboy.
From his seat, Dick sighed.
Roy had known something was wrong with the kid the moment he saw him in civvies.
Ollie had teamed up with the Flash to catch some tech geek super-villain that drove a very, very, very fast escape car.
Roy would forever deny the fact that he was- and he wouldn't even dare use the word excited- curious about the Flash's partner, Kid Flash.
He'd met Barry once, and surprisingly liked the guy. He was carefree, funny, and didn't treat him like a child… much. Roy suspected it was only becasue the speedster seemed good at reading people and the moment he greeted him with a "Hey kid.", his face must have been very expressive because Barry never called him kid again… that day.
He wondered if this... Kid Flash would be the same. He'd met Robin a few months earlier, the Boy Wonder had talked a lot about his bro Kid Flash, told him to convince Ollie to meet him soon - cause they would hit it right off-.
After all the stories he had heard from the little Bird, the hyper ball of energy wasn't all that unexpected.
"Hi! I'm Kid Flash, but you can call me Wally." He had smiled at him, all teeth and wide green eyes. "And before you say anything about how unoriginal Kid Flash is, you had already taken Speedy!" The overly friendly demeanor? He kinda didn't know how to handle it, Robin hadn't been this…open with him. So he winged it, and acted… normal. Like himself.
"Not my fault you have zero creativity Kid Mouth-" Now he understood why Rob had called him that. "Couldn't you have picked Dash, or Bolt, hell even Blur?" And that had shut the young speedster up.
"Yeah well! … Speedy isn't an archer's name anyway stupid so... there!" He huffed, crossing his arms indignantly.
Roy's eye twitched. And thus was born a beautiful relationship, or it became beautiful when their mentors had finally pried them off each other and some ground rules were established. On the top of a very, very long list were #1: Don't shoot Kid Flash with exploding, stun, or pointy arrows, in fact don't ever aim a sharp object in Kid's direction- words courtesy of an overprotective Barry who had growled at him!- and #2: Don't ever try to vibrate through Roy and try to make him explode. Ollie had actually laughed while Barry yelled, but yeah, that was mostly how their first meeting went.
Robin had almost gone into a coma by lack of oxygen when he heard about it and hacked into security footages to see the famous meeting take place.
After a few more encounters, and seeing that Kid Flash should have been named Kid Trouble Magnet after the thousand close calls and saving his ass, Roy became a big brother, and God help the poor SOB that laid a hand on his little brother. A few missions with Wally and Robin made Roy even more protective and earned him two worshipping younger brothers, something Ollie brought up every. Single. Time.
When they met as civilians, Robin had his shades on and Wally was sporting his usual smile which, at that age, made him look incredibly adorable to the female population, which Roy had to keep away, because no matter how much Wally said he didn't mind, death by boob asphyxiation was not on his list of things to witness that day.
But as the day went on, walking behind his two 'brothers' like a bodyguard from hell (he’d like to see someone just try to get to his brothers), he noticed certain… ticks. Wally would scratch his arms, or stretch them in front of him, then upwards, and sometimes behind, as if trying to get rid of muscle ache. He'd also pull his sleeves down continuously, almost obsessively and look around worriedly when one went up too far.
Robin would stare at him, sometimes with concern, sometimes with exasperation. And all Roy could think about was… ‘he's hiding something’.
And he wouldn't be Roy- fucking- Harper is he didn't get to the bottom of this, because having lived on the streets for a while, and being paranoid when it came to his brothers, very dark scenarios came to mind.
Ollie was gone on a League mission, so he took them back to the pent-house and started asking questions as soon as he closed and locked the door.
"So. What are you hiding." He did not like the way Wally tensed at that, or the way Robin glared at him.
"Wh-what do you mean?" Crap. He like that scared, vulnerable voice even less.
‘Don't lose your cool Harper.’
"Your arms, were you hurt in battle or something?" His eyes narrowed when the speedster lowered his head. Robin, hands on hips stepped forward.
"Let it go Roy."
Um, okay. No. Not when something had Robin, Boy Wonder, eleven years old protégé to Batman this protective.
"Look, whatever it is you can trust me with it." He didn't let the hurt he felt at the thought of not being trusted by the two boys in front of him show, but Robin- fucking Robin must have seen it anyway, becasue his glare softened and he sighed.
A thought he hadn't wanted to entertain made its way to his mouth. "Is Flash hurting you?"
Wally's head shot up so fast, he feared for a moment that his neck would break.
"What!? NO! Why would you even think that!?" Oh, he forgot never to insult or bad mouth a Flash, they were way overprotective of each other. But he had to make sure.
He shouldn't have suspected Flash of hurting the kid anyway. When he stopped to think about it, Barry, hurting anything was a preposterous thought. The man had probably never hurt a fly, merely speed grabbed them in a jar, ran to the middle of nowhere and set them free.
"Tch, touchy." Wally glared at him.
But Roy wouldn't give up. "Are you being hurt by anyone?"
Lots and lots of tension left him. As well as several plans that would make an assassin jealous.
"Then what?" He asked exasperated. Robin had yet to say anything. He just stood there, studying them both.
The little Bird sighed. "Just tell him Wally. You know how I reacted, Roy will probably be the same. Plus- " He looked at the archer. "We do trust him. Right?" Huh, so the Boy Wonder had seen through his angry glare earlier.
Both looked over at a suddenly mellowed speedster.
"Y- yeah." His shoulders dropped, and he shifted from side to side. They waited patiently for him to make a move.
Green eyes met his own clear blue, full of determination and… trust. "Yes, I trust you, just like I trust Robin so… yeah I'll show you."
Roy blinked, heart doing an odd jump at the young boy's passionate words.
Taking a deep breath, Wally slowly rolled up one sleeve.
Speedy had seen a lot when he was living on the streets, before Ollie found him. He'd seen people get stabbed, shot, and tortured, which left for a lot of scars and sometimes missing limbs, the popular solution for those with little money and a lot of damage to said limb or body part.
So the sight of Wally's scarred arms didn't shock him so much. He knew chemical burns when he saw them. It wasn't the fact that Wally had scars that shook him, but that something like this had happened to Wally.
The room was silent as the speedster rolled up his other sleeve, similar scars wrapping around his arm like strange tattoos. His eyes were stuck to the floor, and Robin was staring at Roy, and the archer knew that the Boy Wonder was telling him not to make a scene. This was obviously a sore subject for the speedster.
He sighed once the sleeve rolling was over and Wally glared at the floor.
"You're an idiot."
Wally stared wide eyed.
"Right? That's what I said!"
"You don't mind?"
"Why would I mind?"
"… cause they're ugly and disgusting?"
"So are you eating habits, and I still put up with you."
Maybe not as gentle, soothing, and understanding as Robin had been, but it was a true Roy reaction.
That same night, Robin told Roy his secret identity. There were no more secrets between them, not between brothers.
Of course the team would find out the same way Robin did.
“I can’t stop the bleeding!”
Gotham. It just had to be in Gotham.
“Contact the League, get Flash here ASAP!”
And who in Gotham had to shoot a harpoon at him?
“Damn it the Joker is getting away!”
“Wally, Wally stay awake!” Ah that was Robin, he’d recognize that voice anywhere. The others? Not so much.
“Urgh Ro- Rob?”
“Yeah KF, it’s me. You’re going to be fine, just concentrate on my voice.” Eesh girly much?
“Wh-” He coughed, and it hurt. “Hap-”
“Don’t talk. You got hit by a harpoon.” The grip on his shoulders tightened. The shock from the sudden pain was wearing off. He cracked open his eyes, checking his surroundings. He was laying on the bioship’s floor, his head on Robin’s lap while Megan frantically flew the ship following the Boy Wonder’s directions. Dick’s face gazing worriedly down at him. Superboy was sitting next to them, eyes hard and looking like he would kill the next person that came close.
Good ‘ol Supey.
Kaldur was talking to someone, but it sounded too far away. He caught the words ‘Batcave’ and ‘wounded’ but his brain was too tired to make any connection to their meaning.
“Come on Wally, stay awake.” Robin urged, voice starting to sound desperate.
The speedster whimpered when pain exploded from his abdomen.
Superboy was pressing down hard, as hard as he dared, on the gaping wound on his stomach, nostrils flared in anger.
“‘s okay. Mmm ‘m tired.” He mumbled, feeling his eyes drop.
“No. No, nonono Wally stay awake!”
“We’re almost there!” A female voice said frantically.
The voices were getting farther and farther away, and everything was turning dark.
When Wally woke, he found himself mentally screaming “DEJÁ VU!”. There was Batman staring down at him, and he felt cold and... ah yes there it was, The Batman had just been shoved away by a blur of red.
“You know, you really have to stop this Kid. There’s only so many scares I can take.” His uncle said. But even though he was grinning, something was off.
Dejá Vu came back full force. The last time this had happened he’d been with Robin, and he had seen. Now, he had been with the whole team. Which meant...
“You’re an idiot.”
“Would it kill you to put me in a shirt!?” He snapped at Batman, the Dark Knight standing next to Barry. The only difference from last time, was that now he seemed ready to kill his uncle for ramming into him. Again.
“Wally why didn’t you tell us?” Megan appeared in his line of view on the other side, eyes teary.
Kaldur was next, his eyes worried and sad. Awesome. “Wally, you did not need to hide this from us. We would not have treated you any differently.”
“Becasue you’re doing such a great job right now.” Wait, what was Roy doing here?
Red Arrow pushed himself away from the door he was leaning on, the same one Flash and Batman had left the first time he had been here (and which he just noticed they had left through again), and stood at the end of the bed glaring down at him.
“Why is it every time you come to Gotham you get stabbed or hurt or get a back full of acid?” Dick had told him how he had found out when the archer questioned them so long ago and Wally had explained how he got his powers and by extension, his scars.
“Shut up Harper.”
Wally cringed. Artemis. Crap, he wasn’t ever going to live this down. He tried to sit up, only to hiss in pain, his arms quickly wrapping around his stomach as muscles cramped.
Robin and Superboy were suddenly there, where Flash and Batman had been.
“Easy KF, you’re still healing.” Robin said placing a hand on his shoulder and forcing him back down.
The speedster tried to say something about how he was fine, but Superboy’s glare had him going limp.
God he hated silence.
“Alright, you all obviously saw.” He started, drawing his arms to his side, trying to hide them under his body.
“Yeah Kid Stupid, we saw.” Roy glared at Artemis. Only people he approved of got to call him that, and he still didn’t trust her.
Wally looked away, before a webbed hand had him locking eyes with Kaldur’s gentle ones.
“My friend, please do not fear. Your scars do not bother us.”
“Speak for yourself.” Wally’s head turned quickly, looking with wide hurt eyes at Superboy. Before Roy could do something drastic, or Robin get the Kryptonite he knew was hidden in his utility belt, the clone continued. “I don’t care about your scars, I care about who gave them to you.”
Red Arrow went from ‘you’re dead’ to ‘I approve of you’ in less then a second.
Robin cackled at the murderous look on Conner’s face, his laughter echoing through the cave when he saw the rest of the team mirror his expression. “Well, you can alway carry out your revenge by killing Wally, but I think that would be counterproductive.”
Kid Flash shifted uncomfortably. “Um, this was... no one hurt me. It was... an accident.”
The team sans Roy and Dick stared at him in confusion. They all traded glances, and Wally realized they were communicating telepathically.
“You mean-” Artemis started. “That you did this to yourself?”
“Well, I didn’t do it to myself for kicks or anything like you’re implying.” He glared at her. “I recreated the experiment that gave Flash his powers and the chemicals burned me, okay!”
Again there was silence, and wow Superboy actually looked disappointed that there was no one he could maim. Megan came closer, lifting a hand over his arm.
“May I?” She asked cautiously.
Wally blinked. “What? You want to touch it?” He asked, his tone a mix between horrified awe and incomprehension. “Why?”
The Martian stared at him hard, and the speedster could only nod, swallowing as anxiety took over.
Everyone in the room caught their breath as she gently lowered her hand on his blemished skin, running it up and down his arm tenderly.
Wally started shaking, eyes wide, never leaving the hand that seemed to cool down the burning feeling he always felt, like a phantom pain that would never go away.
She stopped, her eyes rising to meet his. There was no disgust, no anger, no pity. “It feels fine.”
He didn’t expect it, he really didn’t. His vision suddenly blurred, chest constricting, feeling like something had dislodged itself leaving him, feeling... at peace.
Before he knew it, Wally found himself crying in her arms. The team gathered around him. Artemis and Kaldur on one side, holding him. Superboy, Robin and Roy made their way around the medical bed, Dick sitting next to his friend to join the hug, Roy tentatively putting a hand on his head the other on his shoulder, combing his fingers through his little brother’s red hair, and Superboy wrapped his arms around them all.
Wally let himself be hugged, felt their arms, hands, their skin touch his deformed and twisted flesh. Each touch seemed to cause a miracle, the rough wrinkles seemed to smoothen, the grotesque protruding lines flattened, his skin didn’t look so dark. With each touch, he felt less ugly, less disgusting, like it didn’t really matter, had never mattered that his skin and flesh were burned...like he was being healed.
They stood there for a long time, until Wally calmed down and let out a chuckle.
“So. Does this mean... you don’t mind?”
He could feel the eye rolls coming from Roy and Dick, someone huffed (probably Artemis), Megan and Kaldur were reassuring him that no, they did not mind at all. And Superboy smacked him over the head.
“You’re an idiot.”
“That’s what we said!”