Wally was 11 when Iris discovered that Rudolph had been abusing him. Mary and Rudy were sent to prison and he was taken in by Iris and Barry instead, but he never told the team about his past. 4 years later his mother is being released from prison and the team starts to realise his stories doesn't add up.

September 24th, 2010. 20:43

It was actually quite rare for them to be able to relax like this. Most of the time they either had a mission with the team, or someone had a mission with their mentor. Right now, neither was true, and they were able to relax for the first time in what felt like ages. But still it wasn’t complete.

Wally was the one missing right now.

Robin was the only one who knew what the real reason was behind Wally’s absence, the rest thought they knew the truth. They thought Wally was away with Barry on a training mission of some sorts. Which wasn’t a weird lie as they had done it more than often, Barry and Wally were close after all. And the team knew.

But right now the only thing they knew what a lie made up by Barry and Dick combined. Wally had kept his secret about his real name a secret, and Dick was determined to return the favour by covering for Wally right now. So he told the reason for their teammate’s absence was a training session.

He didn’t tell them about the nightmares, and the mental breakdown.

Dick shook his head, looking around the room before reaching for his mobile, opening it. The rest of the team didn’t seem to mind, still looking at the television.

“You whelmed?” Dick texted swiftly, making sure none of his teammates noticed what he was typing, or to whom he was sending the text. But apparently they didn’t notice him texting in the first place, or they didn’t care. It took a few minutes before Wally responded.

“She’s being released in two days” Wally texted back, straight to the point, which worried Dick. He frowned.

“Do I need to come w/ you?”

“Who are you texting Robin?” Artemis suddenly called out, causing Dick to quickly put away his mobile and looked up at the blonde archer. He shrugs nonchalantly.

“No one in particular” He said with a smug expression on his face, but only to hide the worry he was feeling for his best friend. He frowned as Artemis shrugged as well, turning back to the television. He grabbed his phone again, eyeing at Artemis as he did so but she just looked away with almost a bored expression as they locked gazes.

“If you want”

“Consider it done” Dick quickly responded before putting away his phone for good. He knew Wally didn’t want to talk much, as he had already blown him off this morning, so he decided to just leave Wally alone for now. He knew that his best friend wasn’t alone right now either way.

Spending time with Barry and Iris at home as they prepared for the moment Wally’s biological mom was released from prison.

Soon they were all watching the television again. Both M’gann and Artemis were in their Pj’s, sitting next to each other while Conner was sitting on a separate chair. Dick watched them carefully from behind his sunglasses, beaming inwards at seeing Artemis and M’gann building a friendship close to siblings.

Kaldur and Dick were both sitting on the couch, both out of uniform but Dick wearing his signature sunglasses to keep his identity hidden from the team.

Nothing interesting was on the television so they just watched a movie about someone finding her long lost sister because they apparently shared the same rare DNA defection or something. Dick didn’t really pay attention to the movie at all, his mind only focused on his best friend.

But at the same time, he enjoyed spending time with the team.

“I have a question” Connor suddenly spoke up, causing the whole team, minus Wally, to look at the clone of Superman. “They have the same DNA because they are twins” Conner states and Dick and Kaldur frown at the comment while M’gann and Artemis just seemed curious at the reason behind his statement.

“Identical twins yes, why?” Dick answers, scooting upwards a bit.

“So their parents carried the same disease-”

“The recessive part, yes” Kaldur cuts in and Supey eyes at him for a second.

“The twins inherited the disease because it was in their parents’ DNA” Superboy almost asks and Kaldur nods, all four still confused why Superboy would ask something like this. Didn’t they teach him this at Cadmus?. “So if Wally were to have kids, they would have superspeed as well”

Immediately Dick paled, somehow knowing where this was going. Not now . He whispered in his head, but he knew all too well that Supey was realising something odd.

The lie they had built around Wally’s parents, it wasn’t consistent. But he and Wally had hoped no one would question. Would be satisfied with Wally being the only one with normal parents and a normal background. Kaldur hadn’t been raised by his real biological parents.

Dick’s died when he was just 8, even if the rest of the team didn’t know that but they thought Batman was his father, which was a scary thought to begin with. If only they knew how much Bruce cared under that cowl. Conner didn’t have parents like normal humans had.. and Superman basically didn’t want to know him.

Artemis had Sportsmaster and Huntress as parents, and Cheshire as sister. M’gann was a white martian.. which already said enough. She ran from home.

Heck, even Roy didn’t have normal parents.

“I believe they would, as the experiment has altered Wally’s DNA” Kaldur acknowledges. Dick shuddered slightly and Supey eyes at him, hearing the spike in his heartbeat but he looks away.

“Then why did he need that experiment in the first place if Flash is a meta as well?” There it was. Dick’s head swirled at the comment and for a second he felt lightheaded, sheer panic rushing through him. So why was Connor the one to find out? Why not M’gann who could read minds?

Who always seemed curious of life on earth, who always questioned the team about families on earth, how things worked.  

Why not Artemis who seemed to be so sceptical, was questioning everything, seems suspicious of every little odd thing, or something that didn’t add up. How wasn’t Kaldur the one to question about his parents? He knew Wally the best after Dick and Roy, he grew up with Wally since he became a sidekick, a partner to the Flash.

How did anyone question it? Why did anyone question it?

The rest of the team fell quiet and Dick had no intention of breaking the silence, but if he was going to keep his promise to his best friend.. he had to.

“It doesn’t work like that Supey, Flash may be related to Wally’s mom but that doesn’t mean they have the same DNA” Artemis asks with an almost sarcastic undertone, Dick’s breath hitches in his throat, swallowing it down before anyone could notice. He was sure Connor noticed but he was too confused to comment on it.

“Of course not, they aren’t related” Conner frowns, still under the illusion that Flash was Wally’s father. It would be impossible for Wally’s mom and the Flash to be related.. they were married right?

“You do realise Flash got his powers after Wally was born? Flash’ DNA got altered after Wally was born, so he didn’t pass on the superspeed” Dick chirps almost, causing the team to look at him. And from the looks on their faces, especially Kaldur and Artemis, he knew that they knew something was off.

“Hold up Boy Blunder” Artemis cuts in, glaring and immediately sitting up straight. “ You and Kid Mouth told me that Flash was his uncle, but apparently he doesn’t know that” Artemis continues, pointing at Conner.

“He isn’t?” Conner questions, lifting an eyebrow.

“Robin, why would Wally lie to Conner about that?” Kaldur asks, calm as ever but his eyes were full of curiosity. Dick falls silent for a moment before he shakes his head.

“It’s really none of your business” He mumbles, getting up and flipping over the back of the couch. Before he can walk off Kaldur reaches for his arm, wrapping his fingers around the arm with a firm but yet gentle grip.

“Robin” Kaldur says sternly but Dick just glares behind his glasses.

“Kaldur” He hisses, focusing his glare on the hand around his arm. Then, without saying anything Kaldur reluctantly releases Robin’s arm, allowing the youngest member to walk away.

“Recognised Robin, B01” Rang through the cave, signalling Robin’s departure.

“What was that?!” Artemis exclaims, turning her attention to Kaldur who was frowning in confusion. “Flash is Wally’s uncle right?” She asks, a little bit calmer than seconds before. Kaldur nods slowly, not sure of the situation himself.

“Conner, what did Kid tell you about his parents?” Kaldur asks, glancing at Artemis. “And no, I do not know what has happened either Artemis” He clarifies, before looking at Conner.

“He offered me to stay at his and his parents’ home when you just rescued me from Cadmus, that was all. I felt no reason to doubt it because his mom looked just like him”

“You mean Iris West, the woman with red hair just like Wally?” Kaldur asks and Supey nods. “That’s his aunt, not his mother”

“What do you know Kaldur? If that’s his aunt, who are his parents?” M’gann asks softly, speaking up for the first time since that night.

“I knew Flash and Iris were his aunt and uncle, I never met his parents. He told me his parents did not know of his superpowers, and did not know that their son was Kid Flash. So whenever we visited his house it was his Uncle’s, because their parents would recognise me as Aqualad”

“Maybe Wally didn’t want Conner to know that his parents didn’t know?” M’gann asks but Artemis shook her head.

“Why would he care that Conner knew?” Nobody answered, because nobody knew the answer. But they were determined to find out.

May 26th, 2006. 17:34

“Hey babe” Barry flashed a smile, wrapping his arms around Iris’ waist and gently kissing her neck. Iris laughed, turning around and teasingly pushing Barry away.

“Hello to you too” Iris said, ruffling his blond hair and turning around to stir the food so it wouldn’t burn.

“How was your visit?” Barry asks and Iris frowns at the mention. She sighs, turning around again. Barry noticed her sullen look and took a step forwards. Iris rested a hand on his chest and Barry tugged on a piece of loose hair, tucking it behind her ear.

“The same I guess, he’s just not the same as I remember” Iris shudders and Barry just stands in front of her, unable to comfort her. “He used to be fun, and took care of me like a big brother would.” She sighs.

“But he’s still your brother” Iris looks up, green eyes piercing blue ones.

“He changed Barry, he’s so distant lately.” She says. “But it was nice to see Mary again”

“And Wally?” Barry asks, fond of the stories Iris told him about his nephew. A nephew he had unfortunately never met because Iris and Barry hadn’t been together for that long, and Iris was almost ashamed of her older brother. So she generally didn’t talk much about him.

Until recently, after Barry and Iris had just moved in together and Mary had called one time to ask when Iris was coming over, but only Barry was home to answer the phone. Up until now, Barry hadn’t visited Iris’ brother, unlike the rest of her family, whom he had met plenty of times.

“He was grounded, I didn’t see him actually” Iris smiled sadly, she adored her nephew, and it was clear Wally adored her as well. So Wally not being able to see his aunt was a bigger punishment almost than being grounded. Still it saddened her that she didn’t get a chance to see her nephew, as she already saw him so little.

“What for? The kid is so well-behaved”

“Rudolph didn’t say exactly but he misbehaved at school and the principal wanted to talk to Rudolph and Mary” Iris explained and Barry hissed playfully.

“Ouch, poor kid” Iris nodded, turning around to stir in the pan. The conversation fell silent after that.

If only they had questioned the explanation Rudolph had given them about Wally’s misbehaviour, if only they had asked for the exact reason why the principal had asked them to come. If they only questioned why such a well-behaved boy like Wally would misbehave, they would’ve seen it wasn’t like that.  

Rudolph wasn’t lying completely.

Wally’s principal had called to talk. Wally had fainted in class, after having endured 2 periods full on trembling from exhaustion. The teachers noticed how thin he was, and were concerned if he was eating enough. And he seemed to be constantly exhausted in school. Him fainting was the last straw.

So they called his parents. But Rudolph had assured them it was okay, and even the principal believed it when Rudolph said Wally had just been having trouble sleeping. That’s all.

Wally’s house

The door shut.. the door shut. And his aunt was gone, just like that. From one moment to the other he was alone again, alone with his parents. Wally whimpered, snaking his arm around his stomach. His arm instantly soaked with liquid and he whimpered pitifully again, shuddering on the hard ground.

Silent tears rolled down his chest and his nose wrinkled at the smell of blood.

Why him?

He suddenly tensed as he heard footsteps coming his way, he cringed, turning his head away from the light as his door was opened.

“Honey?” His eyes fluttered open as his mother approached him, still he didn’t uncurl himself, he didn’t react. “Come on honey” Her voice was urgent and she carefully hoisted him up by his armpits.

Wally cried out from the pain in his abdomen and back but his mom didn’t stop, because she knew that she had limited time because she didn’t care. Wally held on onto the first thought, he preferred that one, he preferred that his mother still cared about him. His back started to throb in pain again, or he just now started to notice it again.

But he kept his mouth shut as his mom carried him over to the bathroom, placing him at the side of the tub, before turning on the warm water. He watched with dull green eyes as the water started to rise, he allowed his mom to get his clothes off of him, revealing the large gash on his stomach, and the lashes on his back.

“Oh honey, you need to be careful with your clothes, this is the second one this week” Wally flinched at the comment but didn’t complain. He didn’t protest anymore, didn’t shout that it wasn’t his fault that his dad didn’t remember to pull of his shirt before hitting him. He didn’t shout that a dad wasn’t supposed to hit him .

Because he had no idea.

He closed his eyes, silently accepting his mom helping him in the tub, only wearing his underwear. He accepted the love and attention like a starved dog who knew he wasn’t getting any food. The water slowly turned a shade of light red from the blood and his mom carefully threw some water onto his back, causing Wally to cringe.

“You need to stop misbehaving Wallace” His mom whispered and Wally just bowed his head, not saying anything as his mom carefully dried him off, careful for the bruises that were slowly developing on his stomach, adding to the already existing ones, and the open wound on his stomach.

Not to mention the still healing, and now reopened gashes on his back.

He nodded slowly as his mom bandages his stomach. He would try, he would try not to make any more mistakes. He knew he could’ve done better on that test, he was smart enough to get higher than a C. My fault, I didn’t study enough . So he stayed up the rest of the night to study.

His hand protecting the now slowly healing gash on his stomach in the shape of a ‘C’.

September 24th, 2010. 22:13

“Dick?” Bruce called out as he heard something clatter to the ground upstairs. He frowned, walking up the stairs until he reached the hallway where Dick’s room was, and Wally’s and Roy’s. The first thing he saw was the fallen closet that was once standing up. Luckily nothing was in the closet yet.

“Dick?” Bruce called out again, falling silent as nobody answered him. The only reaction was a small sob coming from behind his bedroom door. Bruce frowned, walking over to the door and carefully opening it. Dick was leaning against the wall next to the door, knees drawn to his chest and his hands over his temples.

Angry tears were streaming down his face, his sunglasses lay next to him, ripped off his face and his teeth were grit.

“What happened” Bruce asked, closing the door behind him and clicking on the light. Dick blinked a couple of times but turned his head away from his father.

“They know” He grit out and Bruce staggers slightly at the sentence.

“Your identity?” He asks softly, kneeling in front of his son.

“No, about Wally.” Dick spat out, standing up and walking to the middle of the room. “I promised him I would keep it a secret Bruce, and now they know!” Bruce frowns slightly, but knowing what his son was talking about, Wally’s past with his real parents.

“Did you tell them chum?”

Dick turned around, eyes wide as if he was horrified at the thought of ever willingly spilling his best pal’s secret. “Never, they just…. Conner asked about Wally’s parents, the Flash, and Artemis asked .. Conner realised that Barry and Iris weren’t his parents…”

“And they realised something was off as they had two different stories” Bruce added, putting a hand on Dick’s shoulder to cut him off. Dick looked at Bruce with wide eyes, nodding painfully.

“I promised I’d keep it a secret” He whispers, blinking back the tears. Bruce sat down on his knees, bringing his son closer to his knees.

“It isn’t your fault chum, they would have figured it out sooner or later” Of course this didn’t calm Dick down.

“He kept my identity a secret! Even after the team continued to ask, he was the one to make clear that I didn’t want my identity to be revealed, he kept them whelmed and now... “

“Oh chum don’t beat yourself up over this, Wally will understand.” Bruce whispers, rubbing Dick’s back to try to comfort him. “Can you tell me why you’re so upset over this?” He asks and Dick buries his face in Bruce’s chest in embarrassment, wiping the tears away with his sleeve as he pulls out of the hug.

“I don’t know” Dick softly spoke and Bruce face falls even more at the lost tone in his voice. But Bruce already understood why Dick was upset. And it were moments like this that reminded him that Dick wasn’t the invincable Boy Wonder who fought alongside The Batman almost every night.  

He was just a young traumatised boy right now, who thought he failed to keep the one secret his best friend asked to keep.

And it were these small, maybe insignificant things that he couldn’t’ve prevented, that made him break down like this.