Barry Allen had just finished an extremely long day. It had started how every day seemed to start, with him making a mistake. This morning it was forgetting to charge his phone before he went to bed, therefore his alarm didn’t go off. So when he finally did wake up he had 15 minutes to get to the precinct, rushing to shower properly, and change into clean clothes he managed to get to work just in time. Only he wasn’t. His phone, if it was charged would have alerted him that he was needed at a crime scene in the opposite end of town and Barry didn’t register this until Sign was halfway through his regular Barry Fucked Up rant.
Racing up to his lab to grab all the necessary equipment and then managing to get across town on public transport didn’t take that long but it was the scene he arrived to that made the day worse. The corpse lying on the road was a few hours old and therefore already contaminated but this was made worse by Officer Johnson, a senior member who should know better than to touch Barry crime scenes by now, poking at the victim's stab wound, holding the weapon in his ungloved hand.
Joe would later tell Barry that the look of pure hatred Barry had given Officer Johnson would’ve been enough to give a hardened criminal pause. Barry didn’t tell him it had, thoughts of his many run-ins with those outside the law running through his head.
God, that was a strange concept, until a few months ago it would’ve been the weirdest thought to have but now he was used to it.
When Barry was a kid his mother was murdered. If that wasn’t enough, his dad was framed for it and no one believed Barry’s side of the story, given that he was found unconscious and bleeding five blocks away. After being rushed to hospital due to a stab wound to the chest and severe head trauma Barry was in and out on consciousness for a few weeks. During that time his house was sold, his father sentenced to life in prison and Barry was adopted by Joe West, the father of his best friend and the lead police officer in his dad’s arrest.
During his stay in hospital Barry met another little boy named Roy, who was staying in the same room as him. At first, nothing seemed from with Roy, he was just pale and he slept almost as much as Barry, but then his seizures started, and Barry overheard one of the nurses tell Roy’s parents that he had a brain tumor.
Barry faced a rapid decline of Roy over his stay in the hospital and the day before Barry was released, Roy was moved to the emergency children’s ward. After that Barry found himself begging Joe to let him visit Roy as he begged to be allowed to visit his father. Only one of these desires were granted.
Visits to Roy were always short, he didn’t have much energy and his parents fussed over him incessantly. One day when Barry arrived Roy was extremely excited. Some people had visited him from the Wish Making Association, they had told Roy that he could do anything he wanted, he could meet someone famous, he could go overseas. He got one wish and he wanted to go to Disneyland. He also invited Barry to come with him.
Sadly, when the time came for his wish to be granted, Roy was too sick to go so he and Barry stayed in the hospital room and marathoned Disney movies for a whole weekend. By the next Saturday Roy had passed away.
Barry’s friendship with Roy had changed his life. He still wanted justice for his father, he was still drawn to the strange and outlandish happenings and crimes but he also always remembered his time with Roy. Each Christmas after that Barry would donate some of his toys or allowance to the WMA.
When he was in college he had another encounter with the WMA, Jessica, a classmate in one of his criminology classes was a volunteer Wishgranter who helped put together children’s special days. She had a charity drive at the college and Barry signed up his name to help her out with a fun-run, which had been a mistake for him but had set the pace for the rest of his college experience. He didn’t get much free time but what he did he spent joining Jessica with various Wishmaking duties, not as a full volunteer but as a helper.
When he graduated with a steady job as a forensic apprentice at the CCPD Barry made his volunteering official. He didn’t make much money and still had to pay off student loans but he made sure to donate a sizable amount to the charity when he could. As time went of Barry granted several wished both big and small, the most notable had been for a young girl named Sarah who had lost one leg to a cancer which had spread to her heart, Sarah had wanted to hike a mountain which was pretty outlandish for completely healthy kids. Barry had figured out a way around this though, after calling up every nearby ski park that was open, which given that it was summer, wasn’t many, but one had a large hill that had a ski lift which led almost to the top. Thankfully the owners of the park were happy to volunteer the lift and resort for the day and Sarah was taken most of the way up and was then wheeled up in her chair the rest. At the very top of the hill she had hobbled around on her crutches and had insisted on getting a photo with Barry. Which he had framed and sitting on his desk at work.
Barry had gotten into the habit, not long after his trip with Sarah to carry around a polaroid camera with him, a worn polaroid camera Iris had handed to him after she’d grown bored with in college, after she’d gone through a photographer phase. Each photo he had was reprinted and he gave the family and WMA a copy while keeping the original for himself. There was a wall in his apartment half-covered with the bright faces of little kids completing their biggest wish.
It was, however, a more recent event that changed his life forever.