The first day, they thought little of it. It wasn't like the kid's got a set schedule when he can get called into action at any moment. Criminals don't care what time it is – except for the Rogues, because, seriously? Kid's got school.
That's why they don't think much of it at the time...
One day becomes two. Two days becomes three. And before they even realize it, a week has gone by with no contact from the kid.
“Lennnnnyyyyyy~” James whines, propping himself up on the carpet as he looks up at the Rogue leader. “I miss Baby Flash! When is he coming back?”
Len looks up from the newspaper. He'd been reading about a new jewelry exhibit that sounded intriguing – something he'd like to continue reading, James. “I don't know, James,” Len answers. “He's probably just busy.”
James' lower lip juts out, pouting. “But it's been forever since we last played with the Baby~!” he wails, overdramatically.
He cringes a little inside at James' voice, but it's not like James is wrong. Len feels it too. It's a small rock in the bottom of his stomach, sitting there – immobile. It weighs his stomach down and feels like the seconds before one's stomach drops. “I know, James,” Len admits, sighing. “It's concerning.”
“However, you have to remember that as a Speedster, he can be anywhere in the world doing what Baby Flash does,” Len adds. “He can't always be here in Central.”
“True,” the voice of Hartley draws their attention to the doorway, where he's leaning against it with his arms crossed. “But don't you think we'd hear about it if something that major was going on? I've been scanning news sites from across the world, and there's been no mention of Baby Flash anywhere.”
James whimpers, thinking the worst already.
“That's… slightly concerning.” Len can't really help but think about everything he's seen in his time as a criminal. There are horrible monsters hiding under human skin literally everywhere. They like to hurt others, they like to see them break into bloody pieces… Len doesn't want to think about any of them getting their hands on Baby Flash, but sadly, it's always a possibility. The world can be a dark place.
And there's no way he wants to lose such a bright light as Wally's to it.
His fingers crinkle the newspaper with a grimace. “Keep digging, Hartley. We need some answers or at least a hint of where to look for the kid before we go anywhere.”
“Right,” Hartley left, cracking his fingers to go after the information.
Despite what Len said about waiting for answers, he couldn't focus on reading the newspaper anymore. His eyes skimmed over upcoming events at the museum, new priceless displays to come, yet he couldn't retain the words. He read them, but they meant nothing to him. All he could think about were the possibilities of where Wally is now.
Although, to be honest, Len had James whining about wanting to see “Baby Flash” and if that's not a distraction, he doesn't know what is.
“Lennyyyyyyy~ I wanna play with Baby Flash! I wanna Baby play Flash – Wait, got that backwards. I wanna glomp the baby!” James complains, rolling around on the carpet with his arms and legs kicking all too closely to the coffee table.
“That's disturbing,” Mick says, walking into the room with an eyebrow quirked in both amusement and worry. “Is he trying to give you a headache?”
“It almost feels like it.” But Len knows that this is more than just James. This is Wally, who they care for and can't get in touch with.
“Um...” Even James stops mid-roll to look up at Hartley who's hovering in the doorway. Sheepishly, Hartley holds up his phone. “Flash is on the phone?”
Len gives Hartley a look. “Is that a question or a statement?”
Hartley rolls his eyes, walking over to Len and hands him the phone. “Flash. Phone.”
“Baby Flash,” James wails, making grabby hands towards the phone.
There's nothing to fight as he takes the phone from Hartley. “Well, hello there,” Len purrs, turning his inner Cold up. “What can we do for you, Flasher?”
Flash groans over the speaker. “I can't seriously believe you still call me that. If GL ever finds out, I'm so going to die of embarrassment...”
“Well, in that case… I'll be sure to spread your little nickname,” Len plays, a grin forming on his face.
“No,” Flash huffs. “This isn't why I called. Bats said you've been doing some digging… Why?”
Len's head jerks over to Hartley who winces. Catching the Bat's attention is never something good to do. Hartley mouths 'I'm sorry.'
“James has been wondering why Baby Flash is,” Len replies, truthfully. Well, almost. It's not like he's going to admit that they all miss him.
The phone is silent, no response from Flash for several moments. Which is always a sign of worry when it comes to Speedsters. “Flash?” Len inquires, brows furrowing.
“Ye-yeah, well. Well… Well! He's – good!” Flash chokes on 'good'. “A-absolutely no prob-problem here!”
Muscles going tense, Len sits rigid. “If you're supposed to be reassuring, then I hate to break it to you, but you've failed. Where. Is. He?”
“Ugh! Fine. You know that silver mirror you gave the Kid? Have Mirror Master find it, and get your tails over here before someone finds out,” Flash sighed, giving up.
“Now that sounds more reasonable,” Len nods. “See you soon, Flasher.”
“Hey! Don't call me th-”
Len hangs up the phone with an eye-roll. Since when did he ever do what a hero said? (Baby Flash doesn't count.)
“Sam?” Hartley finishes. “On it.”
Huffing, Len crosses his arms. “When did everyone get so bratty?”
“The day they met you,” Mick grins, completely and utterly unphased by Len's glacial glare.
“Why me?” Len looks up at the ceiling, questioning the world.
When Hartley comes back with Sam, they look at James, who just shrugs while he's upside down. “Don't even ask.”
It's always a weird feeling – stepping through space, a dimension where it feels like everything is look back at you, but Len pushes the feeling down as he usually does. “Got it!” Sam cries, triumphant as they approach a window with silver tinted around it.
“Thank fuck,” Mick mumbles. Nothing burns in this place. Nothing to burn to be honest. It may appear to be the same as the real world, but it's just a trick. Damn, Mick hates it when he's cut off from flammables.
James leaps in front of them, sticking his head out of the mirror. “Knock, knock!”
“We're here, James,” Sam pats his back. “All the way out.” Mick has half a mind to pick James up like Digger would if he were there too and just waltz right in.
Luckily, Len wraps an arm around James' shoulder and proceeds to walk right through the mirror and into a large room. It has bright lights for some place that seems dark and enclosed. 'Too artificial,' Len thinks automatically. He certainly wouldn't want to live here. Wherever here is.
“Boringgggg~” James sings as Mick, Hartley and Sam follow them through the mirror.
Before they can get a good look at the room, the wind blows their clothes around and Flash is standing in front of them. “Is walking impossible for you?” Hartley grumpily questions as he paws his hair back into place.
“Probably?” Flash replies, looking sheepish. “So… how's it been?”
“Peachy,” Len flatly says. “Now, where's the Kid?”
“Um… Well…..” Flash rubs his neck, nervous.
“Get back here!”
“He's going on the couch!”
“Don't you think I'm trying!?”
Things fall in the background, echoes bouncing off of the walls. Len can only blink and stare at Flash. 'What in the world…?'
Flash's shoulders fall. “Well.. that would be him.”
“What?” Hartley questions, confused.
Opening his mouth to say something, Flash seems to think of something better and closes his mouth. His lips curve in a frustrated frown. “Maybe you should come see for yourself...”
Following Flash turns out to be more of a chore than Len thinks. Every time they see a room, someone wants to open the door. It's like taking children to a museum. 'Stop touching things!' That's why it's a relief when the hallway opens up, ceiling wide and high above their heads as they enter the main room.
Len quirks a brow, concern turning into pure curiosity. It's hard not to wonder what's going on when every baby hero is tense, making a blockade around the couch.
“What the Hell..” Mick started to say, but then they saw it. A small flash of orange-ish red standing out against the bland brown of the couch cushions. Mick could only blink.
“No way...” Sam awes.
The ball of colored fluff perks up at their voices, ear flicking as it looks over to them. It's limbs tense for a moment before it leaps onto the Bat's bird and jumps through the air towards them. “Meowwwwwwwww!”
It lands on Len's face, claws digging into his clothing making him breathe in fur. “Really, kid?” Len huffs, feeling his breath in the small space.
The kitten meows.
“He's adorableeeeee!” James squeals, reaching up and pulling Baby Flash from Len's face. “Who's a cute wittle kitten? You are! You are!” He snuggles the kitten to his chest, petting its small, fluffy forehead. “So cute!”
The kitten whined in James' arms, struggling, until it finally gave up.
“So that's really..?” Len began to question, hesitating.
“Yup,” Flash nodded with a sigh, rubbing the back of his neck. “Apparently, someone forgot to mention that the other side had a magician on their hands, and well.. when the Team did find out...”
“Baby Flash took it upon himself to get rid of the voodoo guy,” Len completed. Of course he did. Always trying to do things in a flash, running headfirst without thinking. The kid's going to make Len go gray.
“Magic,” one of the young heroes – Robin – spoke up.
Len waved a hand. He didn't really care about being politically correct with a guy who messed with their Baby Flash. Might as well just call the guy a 'blob'. “So, Kid takes a hit and..what? He's suddenly a feline for the rest of his life?” Makes an adorable kitten.. It's a lot quieter too, but there's just something not right about it. It's not their Baby Flash.
“Actually, he should return to normal in a few days,” Aqualad spoke up, polite and official.
“S'at so?” Mick gruffly said. “In that case… we'll keep him.”
“Mick!” Len snapped lightly as Flash and the young heroes' eyes widened.
“What? It's not like they can watch him. The baby heroes will have other missions to go on, and Flash'll be busy.” Mick shrugged, arms crossed over his chest. “Why can't we keep him?”
Hartley raised his hand. “I agree. We are better equipped to watch over him than they are.”
“Me too!” James jumped on the balls of his feet. “Me too! We should totally keep him! He's just so fluffy~” The Trickster crooned at the kitten in his arms.
Baby Flash rolled his slitted eyes and gave a pitiful meow. He obviously seemed to know what he'd be going through if the Rogues didn't take him in. ..If the untouched can of Fancy Feast is anything to go by.
Flash sighed. “Fine. Fine. You can watch him. But I call brushing him!” Flash waved a brush in the air from wherever he pulled it from.
Len looked unamused. “We'll see about that..”
And that's exactly how they end up back at the safe house with small cat toys strewed about.
Len has to admit that this is quite entertaining, having Baby Flash as a kitten. He might have secretly taken photos of Wally with his little tail in the air, wiggling it as he prepares to go after a mouse toy ladden with catnip inside. ..Yeah, he's a cat person. Sue him – if you dare that is.
“Awe~” James cooes, watching Baby Flash's fur puff up as a scary trailer comes on TV. “Puffy puffed up!”
“Yeah, yeah,” Mick grunts, putting a plate of crockpot chicken down on the coffee table. “C'mon, kid. Time to eat.”
Baby Flash paws at a feathered toy on the couch before smacking it out of his way and leaping onto the coffee table to eat. At least the fact that he licks his plate clean isn't any different than before. Still the same appetite.
The Rogues marvel as Baby Flash curls into a variety of positions when he sleeps, flexible in ways that will never cease to astonish them. They watch as he licks a paw, curling it over his ear in an effort to clean himself. And they definitely take videos of Flash brushing his younger feline companion who purrs loud enough that the whole house can hear him.
It's a sweet sight. It's full of playfulness, innocence.. There is no doubt that this is an unusual situation, but it's completely and utterly painless.
Which is why, on the third day, they can only wince with sympathy as the kid tumbles off the couch, trying to readjust to two legs instead of four. “Darn it!” Baby Flash curses, frowning as he rubs his tender limbs.
“Time to eat!” Mick calls from the kitchen as Hartley helps the kid up, looking him over as James pouts.
“What's for lunch?” Sam loudly asks.
“Salmon,” everyone hears Mick answer.
“Salmon!?” Wally perks up as his stomach growls. “YES~!” He goes to leap over the couch, foot catching on the back and falling forward onto his face.
He's definitely going to have to work on getting back on two legs.
And thus ends Wally's time as a feline.
Except for all the photos and videos the Rogues took. Immortalized for eternity in random blogs and hidden photo albums. “Lookit Baby Flash the kitten!”