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A Shot of That

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Caffeine is part of any American's daily life. When it comes to superheroes, caffeine is practically a food group. The energetic buzz keeps them alert and soothes their weary souls. Except for Speedsters – whom it does nothing for.

Speedsters, as you can already guess, have a hyperactive metabolism. Alcohol, medicine – those are the kinds of things that do absolutely zip squat for them. Their bodies have a different genetic enhancement, so despite being human, despite being Earthlings, they more closely relate to some alien races. In fact, you could consider them Earth's own aliens.

Now Speedsters are heroes, mostly (minus Zoom). As earlier mentioned, caffeine is one of a heroes loves. After a long day of fighting crime, there's nothing like a good cup of coffee or black tea. Unless you're a Speedster, in which case you turn to food.

Food, which is more expensive. Not to mention that due to their metabolism, Speedsters need to ingest a whole boatload of it to replenish their strength and to keep their stomachs from going nuclear on them.

Okay, so alien grade alcohol and medicine tends to work better on the physiology. Stronger grade means it's more likely to stay inside their system for longer and actually work than simply trickle through like water.

No, no. It does work. Even the Earth stuff works. It's just through their system so fast that it makes little difference in the scheme of things. That's why the afore mentioned alien grade alcohol and medicine works better.

Now, returning to the subject of caffeine. Who doesn't love caffeine? Besides an insomniac.

Barry is one of the first to say that he loves coffee. It has such a strong flavor and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Cookies, drinks, milkshakes, desserts – yes, he loves his coffee.

Wally, however, is a fan of tea. Hyonmi Nokcha, also called Genmnai-cha in Japanese. Irish Breakfast Tea. Green tea. Matcha. Wally loves his tea and he definitely loves his tea cakes and cookies. There's even nama-choko (Japanese fresh cream chocolates) that are tea infused.

It's safe to say that love for caffeine runs deep with Speedsters.

Caffeine – which does zilch for Speedsters.

Or does it..?

In actuality, the belief that caffeine has no effect on Speedsters is a skewed perception. Caffeine is much like alcohol and medicines. The amount on Earth does little for them, but it does enough for a very small fraction of a second. It's like the burn of alcohol that slides down your throat but ends up being more like a spicy water. Well, at least that's what it appears to other people. To Speedsters, not so much.

Wally thoroughly enjoys the effects of caffeine, no matter how minimal they are. He knows his uncle Barry does too. Caffeine has a unique, but short, effect on Speedsters. Although with super-speed, short is only relative.

Wally sips his Irish Black tea with half-and-half cream, surprisingly no sugar. His caffeinated beverage doesn't need it. Sure, sugar is nice sometimes, but it's just as delicious without it.

It scalds his tongue and throat as he finishes the drink in rapid speed with his eyes closed. Opening them, lies the brief world of absolute silence.

You see, when Speedsters ingest caffeine their cellular structure works four times as fast as it normal does and for a few heartbeats, everything stops.

The rain stops mid-air, hanging there like stars in the sky. Leaves freeze mid-breeze as the wind rustles through the trees. People, animals, life – it all just stops. It's the most realistic 4-D painting, except it's everywhere.

Friends, family, everything just ceases to move. It's like time is an imagined concept, because nothing is moving. No one is breathing. It's an odd construct of Heaven and Hell all at the same time. Peace and solitude.

Caffeine is the perfect thing to be alone and yet utterly surrounded by chaos.

In a way it's like those little energy shots they sell in grocery stores. Under the influence (of caffeine) a Speedster can move twice as fast if they feel the need. It's more stressful on their bodies, but it can be done. Thus caffeine is good for an emergency. But Wally and Barry tend to just enjoy the little moments.

Wally sighs as the moment breaks. His body already draining itself of the caffeine as things start moving again. Rain slowly falls, drop by drop until it's pouring. Noises pick up and people are talking and walking. Car horns honk in the distance.

Sometimes it just gets too loud and Wally and his uncle just enjoy their caffeine trips.

They joke that caffeine is their “drug of choice” and nobody really understands what they mean. Everyone expected caffeine to be that terrible, horrible thing that set off a hyper Speedster, but it wasn't. Not that they knew. So the Speedster “drug of choice” was left as a mystery to outsiders. It made them smile.

Sometimes Barry and Wally had their little caffeine shots and watched the rain freeze in the air and the people become stiller than statues. They liked the private moments when they could see everything around them, that made them feel like they could do anything.

So they weren't like other heroes who nursed their caffeinated liquids for the following hour or so buzz. They got their own kind of buzz. It the Speedster kind – the kind that fell away in an instant, that was too fast for everyone but a Speedster to notice. That was okay with them. There was nothing quite like the beauty of that instant. A shot of caffeine and they felt like they were on top of the world, even if it was just for a moment.