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Fic -- The Ties That Bind
Title: The Ties That Bind
Rating: PG
Word Count: 5665
Characters: Wally West, Roscoe Dillon, Iris West, Lisa Snart, Len Snart, Mick Rory.
Summary: It all started when two men were removed from the universe.
Warnings: Some angst, some meta stuff. A little bit of profanity.
Notes: This is probably the only time you'll see me write anything (partially) set in the New 52. Roscoe really did have a canon ability to track down the Rogues, which we saw a couple of times during Johns' run.

The place was dark and featureless. Space? No, there weren’t any stars and he could seemingly breathe just fine. So Wally began to run in search of an exit, although he almost instantly crashed into some kind of solid barrier, which left him dazed and embarrassed on the ground.
“Ow…” he muttered as he rubbed his aching face, and then heard a low chuckle from a short distance away. Startled, having thought he was alone, he immediately scrambled to his feet and prepared to defend himself.
“Who’s there?”

“Nobody here but us Rogues,” came the amused reply from the darkness, and Wally’s heart sank. He recognized that voice, and it was bad news.
Dillon. What did you do? Where am I?”
“You think I had something to do with this. That’s quaint. I’m really quite flattered, thank you.”
Wally wasn’t surprised by his evasiveness or stalling tactics, but had very little patience for it at the moment. He strained his eyes trying to see his tormentor through the gloom without success, hands balling into fists out of frustration. “Dammit, Dillon, just tell me what you want!”

“I did not bring you here, and want the same thing you do: to go home. But it doesn’t seem possible, unfortunately. We’re trapped.” The mirth in his tone had disappeared, replaced by what sounded like tired resignation.
“You’re lying.”
“Believe what you want. We’ll be spending a long time together, however. We’ve been removed from the universe, banished to…some sort of pocket dimension, I suppose. We are casualties of beings without regard for mortal lives; we simply don’t matter to them, and are unwanted.”
“How the hell do you know this?” Wally demanded, still extremely skeptical.
“One of them told me so. Some powerful being merged several universes into one, and quite a few people were left superfluous and discarded. I’m sure they must be in similar circumstances as we are, maybe in other pockets.”

Wally felt chilled, because the scenario sounded worryingly plausible. And even if it was a lie, where was his family? “Linda…the kids.”
“I have not seen anyone else. It’s possible they weren’t erased from the universe, you know. They may still be alive.”
“But if they are…they won’t remember me.” He’d traveled through time and other dimensions often enough to know that’s usually how these things worked. It was a sickening, terrifying feeling.
“Probably,” Roscoe replied flatly, sounding distinctly depressed. “Either option is not pleasant.”

There was no time for Wally to worry about how he’d gotten into this situation. “Well, I’d better get out of here and look for them, and then find a way back to our universe.”
“Good luck with that. I have been unable to leave.”
“I’ve got a lot more experience with inter-dimensional travel than a scrub like you, and have been vibrating through dimensional walls since you were just a jewel thief. Should be pretty easy,” Wally said with supreme confidence, and the other man chuckled bitterly.
“Good luck with that.”

It wasn’t clear how long Wally spent trying to vibrate and even smash through the barriers of their prison; time didn’t seem to have much meaning in the place. There was no real need to stop because he never got tired or hungry, but eventually he had to concede defeat. He’d tried everything he could think of, and even accepted a few suggestions from the otherwise taciturn Rogue, but nothing worked.

“I told you,” Roscoe said in a bored monotone, but wasn’t short-sighted enough to gloat about it. “I have bargained my way out of some difficult locales before, but there’s nobody here to make a deal with, and brute force rarely works in these situations.”
“You expect me to just sit here and rot? That’s bull!” Wally replied with obvious disgust. It was just as well that they couldn’t see each other.
“The world doesn’t always work the way you’d like it to, Flash. I’m still working on potential strategies, but…I don’t actually believe there’s a way out. The universe doesn’t want us, remember?”
“It sure as hell won’t happen if we don’t even try!” Wally retorted as he prepared for another attempt, and Roscoe shook his head in exasperation.

“You are a very stupid man and I wonder how you’ve managed to survive so long. By all means, continue exactly what you’ve been doing. At least it passes the time.”
“Not like the company’s any good,” Wally muttered, throwing himself at one of the barrier walls again. He slightly altered the vibrational frequency of his body as he did so, hoping that would allow him to slip through a weakness in the wall, although it never seemed to work. But with a strong drive to return to his family and a lack of anything else to do, he kept at it. Maybe he’d finally hit the right vibrational sequence and could laugh all the way home.

Yet even Wally lost heart after he’d run out of things to try, and then tried them all again. The situation was obviously futile, so he finally collapsed to his knees and tried to keep his rising emotions calm, lest he be mocked by a supervillain. But thoughts of Linda and the kids weighed heavily on his mind, and he choked back a slight sob. How could things have ended this way?

The other man didn’t respond to his sounds of defeat, and for a while there was silence between them. But eventually Roscoe cleared his throat contemplatively.
“You know, Flash, I wonder if there’s still some other option. Years ago, your predecessor and I worked together to neutralize one of Mirror Master’s bombs, with my spinning acting as a counterbalance to his vibrational frequency. This enabled the other Flash to escape the building without setting off the trap. It’s possible that a similar stunt could get us out of here -- provided, of course, that we can find the frequency which will release us.”

“Anything’s worth a shot,” Wally admitted, despite some skepticism that the scheme was better than what he’d been doing. “How do we find the frequency?”
“Trial and error, I suppose. But the real problem will be attaining the same wavelength when we can’t see each other.”
“Not a big deal. I should be able to sense and match whichever one you’re working at,” Wally replied with a bit more confidence.
Roscoe grinned, and it was evident in his voice when he spoke. “Then let’s get started.”

Without much fanfare, Roscoe got to his feet and began to spin in place. It wasn’t difficult for Wally to copy him, and although there were no apparent results, they simply tried other vibrational frequencies. Sometimes they matched each other and other times they worked at opposing oscillations to achieve harmonic resonance, and Wally switched between running and spinning to see if that would have any effect. There was usually no reaction, but every so often Wally thought he might have been breaking through, as though the walls which held them were beginning to weaken. It seemed like they were finally making slight progress, although he had no idea how long they’d been trying and didn’t want to think about how much time might have passed on Earth.

“Modifying,” Roscoe announced as he cycled to yet another frequency, and Wally adjusted his to match. That didn’t have any effect, so the speedster moved to one of a slightly different phase, prompting a strange sound to roar briefly in his ears.
“What the hell?” Wally noted in confusion as he slowed down. “There was the weirdest noise just now, one I’ve never heard before.”
“Maybe we should replicate the circumstances,” Roscoe suggested, and it seemed like a good idea. Wally began to run again while Roscoe continued spinning, and this time the roar was audible to both.
“Faster!” Roscoe urged, and the noise grew louder as both increased their speed.
“Something’s happening…” Wally shouted over the din while continuing to run. The once-solid ‘wall’ in front of him was beginning to give way, and as he pushed his speed even further, he suddenly fell through.

There was a brief sensation of tumbling out of control, and then Wally hit the ground and rolled a few times. He briefly wondered whether Roscoe was behind him, and moments later heard the Rogue land heavily nearby, with curses muttered under his breath.
“We did it!” Wally exclaimed jubilantly as he scrambled to his feet. Despite his general dislike for Roscoe, he grabbed him in a tight hug; they were free, and he probably couldn’t have done it alone. The other man froze in his arms and looked profoundly uncomfortable, but relaxed somewhat when he realized it was just a friendly gesture. Even so, Wally quickly released him and they scooted apart.
“Yes, but where are we?” Roscoe asked as he glanced around. “This doesn’t look like the Twin Cities.”

In fact, none of their surroundings seemed familiar. Both guessed they were in a city park, but neither recognized it or the gleaming buildings nearby. Roscoe cocked his head curiously as he surveyed the area with puzzlement, and wandered over to a statue which stood a short distance away. He let out a heavy sigh after reading its inscription.
“We’re somewhere in the future. There’s a date of 2083 mentioned here.”
Wally ran to his side in an eyeblink. “I’ve time-traveled more often than you’ve had hot dinners. No big deal.”

There was an odd sound behind them, and both turned to see a uniformed man with a gun pointed at Roscoe.
“Excuse me, Flash, but this man is under arrest.”
It took a moment for Wally to remember he was wearing his costume, as was Roscoe. “Everything’s all right, Officer; he’s with me and hasn’t committed any crimes.” He smiled and reached out to shake the man’s hand, but the officer seemingly interpreted that with suspicion because he quickly aimed the gun at Wally instead. Roscoe tensed at this strange act of aggression, and Wally scowled while putting up his hands as a show of good faith.
“You're with him, Flash?” the policeman asked incredulously.
“Yeah, but—"

The officer shot at him. It was child’s play to dodge, but the cop continued firing at the nearest target within range, which was the supervillain. Roscoe scrambled to get out of the way, slipping on the grass as he began to spin, and Wally knew he had to help. He chopped his hand through the gun with the intention of slicing off its barrel, but the futuristic device unexpectedly backfired in the officer’s grip.

“Oh my God,” Wally gasped in horror as he stared at the screaming cop’s burned fingers. He didn’t recognize the man, but couldn’t help picturing some of his police force colleagues in the officer’s place. “I’m so sorry -- I didn’t know it would do that. Are you all right?”
“We need to get out of here!” Roscoe hissed with extreme agitation, and sprinted in the other direction. Torn, Wally looked back and forth between his fleeing comrade and the injured officer, and finally decided to follow Roscoe. They ran until they’d put significant distance between themselves and the policeman, and finally took cover in a quiet residential neighbourhood.

“You really shouldn’t have run,” Wally scolded when the duo ducked into an adjacent wooded area.
“He tried to kill me! And you as well, so I don’t know why you appear unbothered by it.”
“It was obviously just a misunderstanding. And you’re welcome for the rescue, by the way.”
“A rational cop does not start shooting for no reason, so it’s really best to get away from him…and from all his buddies who are doubtlessly already hunting us.” There was a pause, and he looked away with a cranky expression. “Thank you, I suppose.”
“Glad you’re grateful,” Wally replied with exaggerated flourish, while Roscoe rolled his eyes heavenward.
“Let’s please get back to our own time period, Flash.”

Wally didn’t usually bring non-speedster tag-alongs with him when he traveled through time, although Roscoe’s spinning did grant him a certain speed. Nevertheless, Wally did most of the legwork and was able to guide them to a time which was roughly analogous to the last date he remembered. But both immediately realized something was amiss when they arrived.

“This doesn’t look right either,” Roscoe frowned as they stared at more unfamiliar surroundings, and Wally shook his head in confusion.
“I don’t get it -- this should be the right time period, more or less. I’ve time-traveled a lot and it feels like the right time. You get a sense for these things.”
“Could we simply be in the wrong area? Maybe another country?” Roscoe wondered, and got up to have a look around. Wally ran ahead of him to explore, but returned only moments later with an ashen face.

“The city’s abandoned,” he said numbly. “It might be Keystone, but there’s nobody here. Or nobody that I saw, anyway. The buildings are empty and falling apart.”
“What time period is this?” Roscoe asked with dismay. He was suddenly worried for the few people he cared about.
“It’s about 2010, give or take a few years. I saw a newspaper blowing around. What the hell happened? Is this why we were stuck in that pocket universe?”
“I don’t know…maybe. We need to find out what happened. Maybe people had to evacuate the area and are living safely elsewhere.” It was something to cling to, a belief more comforting than what both had already imagined. So they began walking in search of answers.

The deserted city was eerie but not silent. It teemed with animal life, and the men kept watch for diseased or aggressive creatures of any species, including possible human stragglers. As they wandered they noticed elements of the city which resembled Keystone, but it was clearly not the home they knew, and the situation was becoming more confusing.
“There’s a library ahead,” Roscoe noted, having been searching the downtown core for it. “We might get some answers there.”

The library’s signage clearly stated the city was Keystone, so that was one mystery solved. Wally ran on ahead to skim through the newspapers he could find, while Roscoe looked at atlases and encyclopedias in the reference section. It didn’t take long for Wally to return with a conclusion.
“History’s all wrong. I think we’ve ended up on an alternate earth, or maybe some other dimension.”
“I was going to suggest that too,” Roscoe replied curtly, distinctly annoyed that he hadn’t been the one to say it first. He wasn’t sure if he was relieved that this wasn’t their home, or irritable that they’d ended up somewhere else yet again. “We can’t keep jumping around like this. We need to find our earth and the correct time period, and should do so before those responsible for the city’s fate learn we’re here.”

“The newspapers said something about the Secret Society issuing an ultimatum to the president, and I’d guess they did this,” Wally said with a frown, casting a resentful look at the other man. He was a villain, after all, and likely a member in good standing with the Society.
“Any Rogues in this world probably wouldn’t have gone along with it,” Roscoe retorted irritably, a contemptuous expression on his face. Wally was momentarily tempted to hit him, but forced himself to take a deep breath to calm down.
“Look, it’s stupid to argue about this, because we don’t really know what happened.”

Roscoe didn’t seem any happier about letting go of the debate, but turned away. “Fine. If I can determine the location of our world and time period, and have it act as a beacon, do you think you can get us there?”
“I’d pretty much guarantee it. Is that really something you can do?”
“I think so,” Roscoe said after a few moments of pondering. “But I’ll need some raw materials and a bit of time to build a device.”
“There’s nobody here to complain if you take anything,” Wally replied with a shrug, and they departed in search of supplies.

The men foraged for tools, spare parts and food for more than half a day, eventually choosing an abandoned house as their base camp. Most of the food they found had long since spoiled, but they’d gathered a fair number of non-rusted cans and eagerly began the first meal since their escape.
“I really missed eating while we were in that weird dark dimension,” Wally said between bites of tinned pasta. “It was nice not to get hungry, but eating’s just kinda fun, you know?”
“You are talking to a former ghost who spent far too long in Hell. I’m accustomed to not eating, but it’s something I always miss too,” Roscoe nodded. He was already sketching blueprints while he ate, glad for a new technical challenge and eager to get home.
“Yeah, I guess that would be tough,” Wally acknowledged politely. It seemed gauche to ask about it or suggest he’d deserved it, even though he probably had. But the two men needed each other’s help right now and it was a good idea to remain on speaking terms, and he had to admit that he really wanted to talk to someone. He’d prefer to speak with somebody friendlier, but beggars couldn’t be choosers.

“I guess you don’t have a wife and kids waiting for you back home,” Wally said tentatively, although he sometimes wondered how many illegitimate children the Rogues had scattered around.
“No. Nobody.” Roscoe already sounded annoyed, and if he hadn’t been so desperate for conversation, Wally would have left him alone.
“Then why do you keep coming back? From Hell and the dark dimension, I mean. Why come back if there’s no one to return to?”
“Would you really want to remain in Hell, Flash?” The exasperation was obvious.
“I guess not.” Wally went silent for a few minutes, but something had been gnawing at him since they’d arrived on this world, and he wanted to get it out.

“I’ve time-traveled a lot, as I said. And you know how I’ve always found my way home? My wife Linda, she’s my anchor -- I find my way home by reaching out for her. Why am I having so much trouble getting home now? Is she gone? What you said about people being erased from the universe: is it true?”
He was trying very hard not to cry; tears in front of a supervillain would be incredibly embarrassing. But his anguish was nearly tangible, and Roscoe looked at him with an expression which resembled pity.
“I don’t know, Flash. I hope not.”

The other man laughed with a hint of hysteria. “Call me Wally, okay? We’re going through all this crap together and we’re talking like we’re enemies. We can be enemies again when this is over, but for now let’s put that aside.”
“That’s fine. I’d like to put your mind at ease, Wally, but I really don’t know. All I know is what the being told me, and he said that some people were removed.”
“But why?”
“The powers that be are indifferent to our suffering.” There was more than a tinge of bitterness in his voice, but his demeanor was calming. Not particularly warm or friendly, but soothing.
“I can live with being ‘removed’ from the universe, and I could even learn to accept it if Linda is gone too. But my kids. What kind of sick animal would do that to children?”
“I suppose it’s understandable for beings that live far longer than we do, and possess much greater power. I couldn’t get angry at the demons in Hell, for instance. They were just doing what came naturally to them.”

“But…why are you so damned relaxed about all of this? Doesn’t it piss you off?”
Roscoe put down his blueprints and stared intently at Wally, clearly getting annoyed again. “I was in that pocket dimension for a considerably lengthier time than you were, and of course I was angry. I spent far too long raging about my fate and cursing at the universe. But I learned patience when I was dead, as well as how to play the long game. There may be an opportunity for revenge later, and if so I will take it, but right now I see no reason for ire. What would be the point?”

“All right, man, just asking,” Wally said defensively. He’d seemingly struck a nerve and didn’t want to keep trampling on it. Having confided his worries and talked them out a little bit, he decided to leave the other man alone for a while to do some work. Getting home and learning the fate of his family (for good or for ill) would at least bring some peace of mind, and it would happen sooner if Roscoe could build his device. So Wally busied himself making their hideout slightly more comfortable, and eventually went to sleep while the Rogue continued tinkering late into the night.

Roscoe spent much of the next two days working intently on his invention, occasionally offering distracted conversation but mostly leaving Wally to entertain himself. With plenty of time and very little to do, the speedster explored the city and wider world, discovering that much of the region was uninhabited. From what details he could find, it appeared that the Secret Society had attacked the Twin Cities with a weapon which vapourized bodies but left infrastructure intact, and that most people still avoided the area for fear it was contaminated. Horrified, Wally thought about traveling to another world before their device was completed, just to get away from this place, but Roscoe liked the quiet. Being a temperamental genius had its advantages, so they stayed where they were and Wally became increasingly restless.

Four days after they’d arrived on this Earth, Roscoe squinted at his device and pronounced it finished.
“It has a reading on what it believes is our world and time period, courtesy of my own particulate matter.” Wally seemed confused by this, so he explained further with slight impatience. "I sampled some of my blood and tissue, and sought the universe with the closest harmonic match.”
“Is this really going to work?”
“I think it’s probably accurate, but we won’t truly know until we get there. And you’ll need to take us to the correct location or it’s all useless,” Roscoe reminded him with a raised eyebrow.
“Yeah, I get it,” Wally grumbled as he looked closely at the readout on the crude screen. The device was pinging softly, ostensibly showing them the route home. “I’m pretty sure I can match this. At least we should be able to keep trying, right?”
“Yes, although we risk being harmed or stopped every time we jump into a world full of uncertain elements.”
“I know, Mom. Let’s get this show on the road.”

Roscoe shook his head and chuckled at his colleague’s nervous banter, because even he felt anxious too. There was no one waiting for him back home, but it would be wonderful just to get home -- the world he’d yearned for while trapped in Hell and assorted limbo dimensions. It was a world which hated him for his crimes and he’d occasionally despised in return, but it was where he’d been born and died and spent the happiest years of his existence. He reasoned that it was better than any other places he knew of.

Wally took the device in hand and gave his traveling companion a rueful look.
“I think it’d be more efficient if you held on to me, so I can concentrate on where we’re going and not worry that you’ll fall behind. And no, this isn’t something I like either.” Giving rides to Hartley was one thing, but it felt a lot weirder when the person might literally stab him in the back. Roscoe sighed and linked his arm with the speedster’s, hoping that no Rogues would ever see him like this.
“You ready?” Wally asked, and the other man nodded. “We’re off in 3…2…1.”

Roscoe had experienced a lot of unusual and stressful events during his existence and thought he’d seen it all, but nothing quite compared to their sprint through time and space. It was far more intense than even their recent trips between worlds, and felt utterly hellish. He was fairly certain he was screaming as they ran, although all sounds were drowned out by the ceaseless roar and blinding lights around them, and he often feared he’d lose his grip on Wally’s arm. For his part, Wally gritted his teeth and kept running despite the burden weighing him down, and thought of nothing other than his family. He would get back to them come hell or high water, and nothing else mattered to him. He'd run until the end of time if he had to.

Without warning the roaring and lights came to an abrupt halt, and the duo was sent sprawling onto a city street. Passersby were amazed when two men seemingly appeared out of nowhere and skidded across the pavement, and the one in stripes threw up all over himself.
“The Flash!” several people exclaimed, and went to see if he was all right, but he waved them off in a hurried manner. Even Roscoe politely declined assistance, and was so rattled that he never noticed they didn’t recognize him.

“I never want to do that again,” Roscoe gasped as he shakily got to his feet, though his comrade’s thoughts were already a million miles away.
“I think we made it,” Wally said anxiously. “This place looks right, at least, and the machine says it’s our home. I’m gonna go look for Linda, and you can do whatever you like.”
“We should meet up if things don’t go well,” Roscoe told him before he could leave. “In front of the Flash Museum at noon tomorrow.”
“Things will go well!” Wally shouted at him with more than a hint of desperation, and was gone in an instant. Roscoe shrugged, and decided to see what he could find on this world.

The first place Wally ran to was the house he shared with Linda and the twins, and his frenzied knocking brought a stranger to the door.
“Do you live here?” he asked frantically, and she nodded. “What about the Wests? Linda Park-West -- do you know her?”
“Sorry, never heard of her,” the woman replied warily as she all but shut the door in his face. The man was dressed more or less like the Flash, but his behavior seemed very odd. He then disappeared without another word, leaving her scratching her head in confusion.

Next, Wally ran to Linda’s parents’ house, and no one had seemingly heard of them either. A trip to the library, at which he worked so fast he couldn’t be seen, turned up no evidence of her existence. And nothing about his own existence, either. But he couldn’t allow himself to break down just yet, not while there was still the possibility of hope, so he found the address of his aunt Iris and ran there at supersonic speed.

Too desperate to knock on the door, he simply vibrated through and went inside. It was obviously the home of a single woman and not a married couple, which only increased his turmoil, and Iris was suddenly confronted by a frenetic intruder wearing a Flash costume.
"What are you doing here? What gives you the right to enter my home?" she shouted angrily, picking up a lamp to throw at him. He thought he might cry with relief when he saw her alive; at least this was someone familiar.

“Aunt Iris,” he pleaded. “It’s me, Wally.”
“Who?” she demanded as she threw the lamp at him, and in his agitation he didn’t even dodge.
“Your nephew Wally. The Flash,” he said while pulling off his cowl. From her reaction it was obvious she didn’t recognize him, but the ever-diligent reporter saw an opportunity for a scoop.
“I don’t have a nephew. Who the hell are you?” she retorted as she pulled out a phone and a pen. In an instant she’d called the police, though because he wasn’t acting aggressively she was already taking notes about the possible unmasking of the Flash. But Wally’s heart was utterly breaking.

“I just…I’m sorry. Sorry to have bothered you,” he replied numbly, tears running down his face.
“The police can help you. They’ll let you talk to somebody,” she told him gently, obviously believing he had mental health issues. He didn’t want to deal with the police or anyone else right now, and simply wished to be alone with his thoughts, so he vanished moments later. He planned to run until exhausted.

Roscoe walked the streets of Keystone in satisfied silence, looking around for recognizable landmarks and just enjoying the ambience. He was alive, he was apparently home, and he was content. The place really did seem familiar, and he smiled when he passed by a favourite bar and bookshop. He had no biological family to visit and his adopted Rogue family probably wouldn’t be keen to see him, but he still planned to find the Rogues to say hello. His ability to track them was quite useful in such situations, and he leisurely made his way to their hideout.

The Rogues’ current safehouse was in a seedy part of town with which he was well acquainted. Trust Len to lead them into squalor, he thought dismissively, since a bit of resentment still burned that Cold was their chosen leader over him. He felt a lot of anger about getting killed by Len, but now tried to suppress it. He was back from the dead, newly returned to the universe, and this could be a fresh start. Maybe he could even rejoin them and have some friends again.

He ducked in through the false store front and heard a fair amount of noise coming from the basement. But he was detected before he could walk down the stairs, and suddenly a blonde woman floated up through the floor to confront him. His jaw dropped. She looked totally different, but he was certain who it was.
“Lisa. Oh my God…what happened to you?” he gasped, completely astonished. He ran to embrace her, but she was startled and he went right through her. The other Rogues then came running up the stairs to find the intruder, and Roscoe stared at them all in shock. None looked the same and most seemed younger, although he could guess their identities from their appearances and costumes.

“Who the fuck are you, and what are you doing here?” the apparent Captain Cold demanded. He raised his hands threateningly, which were crystallizing with growing ice.
“You don’t remember me,” Roscoe replied in a defeated tone. He was sure that this was Lisa, and yet she stared at him as though he were a stranger. “I’m Roscoe Dillon, the Top. I was once a Rogue. Lisa, how are you here?”
“I’m actually not,” she said curiously, staring at him intently. “How do you know my name?”
“Because we were a couple. Because we were in love,” he said bitterly, forcing himself not to cry. Seeing her had been a complete shock, and not being recognized by her was a cruel blow he’d never prepared for. His guts were tied in knots, and he probably would have vomited if his stomach hadn’t emptied earlier.

“I’ve never seen you in my life!” she retorted, suddenly concerned that her boyfriend Sam would be upset about this. The man with the icy hands had seen enough of this stranger, especially considering the overly-familiar way with which he spoke to his sister.
“Get out now or we’ll kill you,” he told the intruder, and he and Mick took some menacing steps towards him. At this point Roscoe didn’t particularly care if they killed him, but Lisa took pity on his distraught face.
“Guys, leave him alone. Roscoe, or whatever your name is, I think you should leave.”
“That’s a stupid costume,” Mick spat at him with a furious scowl, annoyed at losing the chance to burn some troublemaking stranger. It was all over -- the meeting, his relationship -- and Roscoe took a painful breath.
“I love you, Lisa. Goodbye.”
She didn’t say anything when he turned and spun away.

Wally and Roscoe met in front of the Flash Museum at noon the next day, and neither had to say a word. Their troubled faces and body language told the other about everything that had transpired.
“What do we do now?” Wally asked bleakly, and Roscoe shook his head.
“I don’t know. Does it matter?”
“It matters if I can find Linda and the kids. Maybe they’re still out there, like we were. Trapped, but can be freed.”
“Maybe they won’t recognize you,” Roscoe muttered. He was filthy and hung over, having robbed a liquor store the night before to drown his sorrows.

“Well, I’m going to try. I’m not going to give up until I know there’s no hope,” Wally declared, and although he didn’t have much optimism to begin with, making plans was a slight comfort. Taking action was surely better than wallowing in the dreary muck Roscoe had dragged himself through.
“Good luck,” Roscoe told him without much spirit. Wally reached out to shake his hand, because despite everything he felt some kinship with the other man, but then stopped and put a hand on the Rogue’s shoulder instead.
“Hey. Do you want to come with me?”

Roscoe laughed at the absurdity. This was his enemy, a man who’d kicked him in the face and punched out one of his teeth, and to whom he’d done a long list of terrible things in return. A man who’d sent him to prison, and seen him at his worst while taunting him about it.
“Sure, why not?”

  • 1
Aw! Poor Wally and Roscoe! I feel for them so much! Especially Roscoe with his chance meeting with Lisa and utter rejection. I'm glad you had Wally get Roscoe to stick with him. They both definitely need each other especially now. Did you plan to continue this story? I was thinking it'd make a great comic especially as a cliff hanger ;)

Thank you, I was very proud of this story :) I might do a sequel, and have been kicking around ideas, but was extremely disappointed with how little interest there was in this fic. Not sure if it's worth doing a sequel. And now Wally's coming back in the New 52 anyway, so that kind of pulls the rug out from under the premise (even if Wally is very different in current continuity, which he's been hinted to be).

But yeah, I really enjoyed writing their budding friendship. So it's possible I might continue it solely for that reason.

Well, I'm not a lot of folks, but I'm definitely interested in your work :) You know you are one of the very rare few that I'll read their fics and it not be a 'spanking' fic... that says a LOT about how much I like your writing! =D I would love to see Wally and Roscoe continue their growing friendship. I think Wally could actually care enough to try and understand Roscoe, and I think deep down that's what Roscoe really needs to get past a lot of his anti-social behavior. :)

It can be hard for me to get past Johns' Wally, who was always so cruel to Roscoe (and aside from Johns' work, Wally only met Roscoe one other time after he became the Flash). But yeah, it'd be nice to see them get to mutual understanding and friendship.

And thank you very much, I'm so glad you read my work and enjoy it :) It's very much appreciated!

John's is a tool that projects his own opinion on characters which is something I expect from a rookie writer but not a seasoned one like him. It's a form of Mary Sue writing that I can't stand, a true writer knows when to distance their own feelings from that of characters, and Wally is not the type of person to be such an asshat :/

I really do love your work, even if it does take me forever to get the chance to read some of them ;)

Johns is still doing that, I'm afraid: his New 52 Len is dumber and slightly more cowardly than his pre-boot self (this was established by Manabooch, not Johns himself), but he's still a badass when the situation calls for it. As exasperating as that can be, I'm actually glad to see a bit of the pre-boot Rogues shine through every now and then.

Thank you, I appreciate that :D

John's could be worse I suppose... he could be Loeb ;) That guy RUINS most characters he touches in his totally off portrayals of characters :)

Yeah, Loeb is a disaster. Johns is hit and miss, although for me he hits more than misses. I'm just annoyed with some of his worst habits (retcons, having pet characters).

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