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There's No Place Like Home

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Another successful mission. Well, mission. Could it really be called a mission when they had actually been kidnapped into another dimension by alternate versions of themselves (of the others, Wally reminded himself, his version was dead) for the sole reason of...of taking him in? Because they missed his alternate version so much?

Only Lord Batman did, a thought at the back of his mind reminded him. The others hardly looked at me the welcoming way. 

But they had helped regardless. Had worked together with Lord Batman to get the other’s under control, to give the people some form of help that they had been missing since his alternate self's death.

Still, it was successful and Wally was fairly sure that Bruce would declare it as a successful, albeit weird, mission in a report. That’s just how Bats was.

They had just said their goodbyes, the other’s having already walked through the portal while he gave a friendly wave to Lord Batman, his own Batman crowding the space at his back to encourage him through the portal. What was Bats so nervous about? It wasn’t as if Wally meant to stay back and live out his life here.

He shook his head and stepped forward, the energy radiating off from the portal touching his foot when he felt another, different kind of energy at the back of his body. It wasn’t as weird as the portal's, no, it was simply...heat.

Confused Wally turned back again, just in time to see a laser beam close in on them. On Bruce, seeing how the other was more or less pushing against his back.

“Bats!” Wally called out but the sound got swallowed as he jumped to action and threw himself into Bruce’s body, causing both of them to fall to the side and away from the portal.

Both men grunted as they hit the floor, the speed with which he had moved far greater than he had meant it to be.

“Are you hurt?!” Hastily, Wally got off of Bruce and let his hands flit over the other’s body, only to jerk back when Bruce curled up with a groan, his hands on his right side. Blood was already staining the already black fabric of the suit and the faint smell of burnt material and flesh wafted up to Wally.

Whatishappening?!

Mind in disarray, Wally only then looked up (stupid, don’t let your guard down now) to see Lord Superman hover in front of Lord Batman, the latter’s’ hands flying over the console. The portal powered down a second later. Wally could feel and hear it as the cave became quiet, save for a few faint echoes of sound.

“What…,” Wally began and looked at both Lords, Lord Superman’s face a look of anger and smugness.

“Did you think you could get away so easily, Wally?,” Lord Superman said with a sneer. “That we would let you go after building something that can cross dimensions for you?”

“Why?!” Wally placed his hands on Bruce’s shoulder, already glancing at all the nooks and crannies in the cave for a way out. The cave was similar enough for him to successfully make his way out of there, he’d just have to buy time. “I thought...I thought we were over this?” The last bit was aimed at Lord Batman, who had avoided looking at them until now.

Now he stepped up to stand beside Lord Superman, who was tense and ready to spring. “Because-”

“Enough talking!” With a roar, Lord Superman suddenly charged them and it took every muscle in Wally’s body to get him and Bruce out of harm's way.

It had only been a few meters but enough to cause their enemy to barrel past them, giving Wally a few more seconds to think about an escape plan. Bruce would be no help to him, the other was sitting up but Wally could hear the strained breaths coming from him. 

“Give me a moment,” Wally murmured to Bruce and was suddenly gone, only to be intercepted from Lord Superman.

“Oh, you won’t get out of here,” he taunted at Wally and moved to grab the speedster, only to have his hand go into empty air and Wally already on the other side of the cave again. Lord Superman followed, shifting into faster gear now that there was a Speedster to obtain. “That’s cute,” he commented as he intercepted Wally once more.

“What?” Wally all but barked at the wrong version of his friend. “You think you can contain me?!” They needed a way out. They needed a way out and enough time for Wally to actually pick Bruce up and get out of there. But how-

“I’m faster than you think I am,” Lord Superman countered, but all he received was a scoff and his expression turned to a sneer. “You haven’t seen me at my fastest.”

Wally took a step back when Lord Superman's eyes started to glow a faint red. He even managed to show no fear on his face (but he was afraid, he wanted to go home), only determination. “And you’re slower than you think you are.” With that Wally was suddenly at Bruce’s side again, helping the other up on shaky feet, there were faint sparks dancing over his arms and feet.

“Wally-,” Bruce began.

“Not now,” Wally cut him off, glaring at Lord Batman and then at Lord Superman to note their positions.

“He’s going to get away!”

Lord Batman started to run towards them - What’s he planning to do? Threaten us to stay?! Wally scoffed inside his mind - while Lord Superman flew towards them, faster than when he had intercepted the Speedster.

In between the second it took for Lord Superman to actually reach them Wally sneered again. “Slowpoke,” he mocked mere meters away from their enemy - whose eyes were glowing real bright - as he picked up Bruce with all he had (it was more of a tackle to the side into the other’s already insured body) and gave a mock salute and a grin that looked as stressed as he felt. Then they were gone. Out of the cave and out of Gotham.

One of his legs felt hot, like having a cramp.

Wally ignored the feeling as he rounded Earth two times before he stopped on the other side of it, away from Gotham. He skidded to an easy halt before setting Bruce on his feet, though Bruce leaned heavily on him and dry heaved a few times, spit slowly trickling down until Bruce spat it out all at once.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”

Bruce shook his head and took deep breaths, letting Wally hold most of his weight before looking around. “We….we need to get back to Gotham.”

“What?! Are you insane? I just got us here. Supes is fast but not that fast!” Maybe he shouldn’t have gone that fast. Maybe he had damaged Bruce’s body somehow and whatshouldtheydonowohmygod.

“Calm...calm down Wally,” Bruce said quietly, one hand pressing against the wound on his side. Blood was slowly dripping down from it. “They’ll know where we are and we...have to evade them. For now.”

Bruce’s legs were shaking and for one second Wally thought the other would collapse, only for him to regain some control and remain standing. Sometimes Wally admired the other’s pain threshold...or stubbornness. Whatever kept him upright right now..

“But why Gotham? That’s like...getting back to them!”

“If you were ever to get away from me in that fashion, then I know that you’d choose to go the farthest. So we have to get back, hide under their noses. Outside of Gotham until we have a better plan. Take us there but stay under the speed of sound.”

“I...what? Why?” Wally’s head was swimming with all that information. It didn’t surprise him too much that Bruce kinda knew how he’d behave in case of running away but...it was still scary seeing Bruce get into Lord Batman’s head like that.

“He can detect your pattern if you run faster than the speed of sound, because I can do that too.”

What?!

“We shouldn’t stay here too long,” Bruce looked around as if Lord Superman would show up any second now. “We need to go now.”

“Alright, okay...just...slow. I can do that, sure.”

It was easier to pick Bruce up when the other was actually helping out (but he was still so heavy) and Wally couldn't help but stagger a bit before simply starting to run. Momentum would help him keep the other within his arms.

At first he ran slowly, just enough to get used to the weight - they didn’t dare to do piggyback with Bruce’s wound - and then began to get faster. Staying below the speed of sound wasn’t too complicated but it did complicate his route. He stayed mostly on water and avoided mountains since he was fairly sure they wouldn’t make it across them in one piece. It was one thing when he tripped at full momentum but it was another with Bruce in his arms.

When he was on land, Wally even slowed down some more and checked the sky, taking to forests despite the added difficulty of avoiding trees. It was better to stay covered.

Soon enough Gotham was in sight again and Wally stopped in a forest just outside of it. They could see the outskirts of the city from where they were but it was still rather far away. All they could see were just some faint lights.

Here it was raining, the soft pitter patter of water on the trees making this almost like a nice experience. If it weren’t for the being chased part.

Carefully he let go of Bruce and looked around, the sky already getting darker now that the night was approaching.

He was pulled out of his observation when Bruce staggered to the side and fell on one knee. Wally immediately took hold of the other’s arm again and helped him sit down.

“We need to find shelter,” Bruce murmured. “From the rain and the night. We’ll wait the night out and then see what we can do. Look around but do it slowly.”

Of course. Bruce was injured and barely standing but still giving orders like it was no one else's business (thank god he was, because that meant he was well enough. Right??).

Instead of replying, Wally just zipped through the forest around them, doing so at a very slow pace.

Usually he’d scoff at the notion of being chased, because who could catch up to him? But in this case, knowing that a Batman and a Superman were on his case...that was scary. Lord Batman because...well...any Batman was scary if they focused on something enough and Lord Superman because he was so ruthless. Why catch Wally and keep him there? Did they think he’d roll over and take whatever cell they’d give him and play pretend? They were out of their minds if that was the case.

Shaking these thoughts off, Wally scoured the forest for any kind of shelter and stumbled upon a rather big tree with hollow roots. It wasn’t exactly a cave and wind would still get to them but it was the first thing he had come across that provided what they needed at the moment. They’d just have to make do.

He was back within the next second, mindful of his speed, as he grabbed Bruce’s forearms with both hands and helped him up. The other followed easily without asking any questions and managed to get up on his feet again.

“Alright?” Wally asked concerned but Bruce just shook his head and motioned for Wally to lead the way.

It took a few minutes without his speed to get through the underbrush of the forest. It wasn’t that thick, it certainly wasn’t a jungle, but the rapid lack of light and already wet ground didn’t make things easier for them anyway. Bruce barely managed to stay upright on his own and that unnecessary feeling in his left leg made walking annoying. He didn’t need any weird side effects of his metabolism right now.

He breathed out in relief when he saw the hollowed-out tree and led Bruce to the roots, helping him crawl underneath it before making sure that their tracks were covered. Along the way he got two fallen off branches and placed them over the opening of the roots after he crawled in as well, blocking the outside world off to some degree.

The space underneath the tree wasn’t that generous and Wally found himself more or less sitting beside Bruce, their shoulders touching. It was then that he noticed the faint shaking of the other’s body. Right, the wound. He hadn’t forgotten about it but he had..kind of forgotten about dealing with it, now that the issue of running away had been dealt with. But he didn’t get to ask about it because Bruce spoke up first.

“Can you slow your heart rate close to what is considered non speedster?” While asking, Bruce moved one of his hands over his belt and checked some of the pouches there.

“I...yes. I guess I can do that, why?” But he was already drawing in deeper breaths, using the same kind of control over his heart as he had done to trick Lord Batman before. The only difference was that slowing down wasn’t as easy as speeding up, especially if he was to keep it up the entire night.

Bruce fished some kind of small, white disk out of a pouch and clicked on it, causing it to expand. “In case Lord Superman searches for us with his ears. I don’t think that he can distinguish us that well with all the noise on Earth but we shouldn’t take any risks. Here,” he handed the disk over to Wally who took it, though he looked confused at it.

“Tap it twice and then press it against my wound. It will heat up and burn it close.”

“W-what?? Burn it close? But what about inner bleeding?!”

“It will have to be enough for now. With any luck most of it was sealed off by the heat of the initial attack and all that’s left is to stop the bleeding.” Now that the stress of moving around was over, Bruce seemed to show more and more signs of how much pain he was in. Before he had seemed fine enough to order Wally around, to give commands and handle the traveling but now the faint shaking had involved to something more. Even his voice was slightly slurring, giving Wally the impression that Bruce might not be awake for much longer.

That thought scared him.

Uncertain, Wally glanced at the disk and then Bruce’s side where blood was still leaking out, albeit sluggish. If they sealed this off and there was internal bleeding Bruce would slowly bleed to death...but if left open the same would happen anyway. Bruce was right. In the end they’d just have to be lucky.

He could steal a First Aid kit from somewhere but… he wasn’t a doctor. What would he do once he got that First Aid kid, except from putting them into danger by running around? No. The disk would have to do.

“Brace yourself,” Wally murmured and did as instructed. Upon tapping the disk twice it suddenly lit up and the faint smell of heat reached his nose. Without waiting he leaned forward and pulled Bruce’s hand away from the wound and pressed the disk against it. There was an ugly hissing noise upon contact, the smell of heat turning into the smell of burning flesh and Wally found himself gagging once before he quickly steeled himself against it.

Bruce’s reaction was more severe. Gritted teeth and a tension that could snap anyone’s back as a repressed growl escaped him. The hand that Wally had pulled out of the way now gripped Wally’s wrist with a force that might have crushed it if his body weren’t already going against it by constantly healing any of the applied pressure. It still felt as if he was losing all blood in his fingers.

He didn’t know how long he was supposed to hold the disk there but didn’t get a chance to ask. The disk stopped glowing after a few seconds and there was no heat radiating off of it anymore so he slowly took it away. Where the wound was, was now burning edges of the ripped open suit and a sealed off wound. The skin was shiny and raw, exactly what one would expect after getting burned to a certain degree. Whatever scar would stay from that one wouldn’t be a pretty one.

“There...done,” Wally breathed out and turned the disk over in his hand. When no reply came from Bruce he looked up, only to find the other with closed eyes and a calmer breathing pattern than before.

Unconscious.

Nervously he put the disk aside and removed Bruce’s hand from his wrist, no tension in the fingers anymore, and took the glove off. He checked the other’s pulse and was glad to note that it didn’t seem too slow or erratic. (To be honest Wally didn’t know. He didn’t know and could only guess and he should’ve asked Bruce about this sometime, shouldn’t he?)

Putting the glove back on proved to be too difficult so he set it aside for the moment. Instead he made sure that Bruce was laying down comfortable, taking up most of the space underneath the tree, and sat himself near the entrance. Sitting like this caused Bruce’s arm to be in constant touch with Wally’s lower back, since he had positioned the ungloved hand on Bruce’s chest. 

So that was it then. Night had quickly fallen and two mad but powerful beings were on the hunt for them. The most discouraging thing about this was probably the knowledge of having no way to return home. Heck, they were in a different dimension not just over at the next house.

Wally wondered what their friends were thinking right now. Maybe they had panicked after the portal had closed without them having come through. Maybe they thought the portal had malfunctioned and they were just stuck on this side, happily working together with Lord Batman to get it to work again. Or would they suspect foul play?

If Bruce were just...better and not hurt. He turned his head to the side, watching Bruce’s face, a neutral expression on it. At least that meant he wasn’t in too much pain. Or couldn’t feel it.

Unconscious not sleeping, remember?

“What do we do?” Wally murmured and turned his head back to the entrance. If Bruce weren’t hurt then they would probably already planning some kind of scheme to get into the Batcave and turn the portal on. But now? Now they had to recuperate and the Lords would have enough time to device any kind of defense against them. 

Blinking a few times, Wally pulled his knees up to his chest and held them close, hiding his face against them. How could Lord Batman betray them like this?! They had fought against the Lords together! Had brought them in and….we had brought them all in, Wally suddenly realized. Did that mean the others were free too?! Was there some Lord J’onn out there mentally searching for them?

Oh god.

They were fucked, they were utterly and thoroughly fucked.