by Hitman 44077
Kid Flash sped toward Central City, the events of the past day still haunting him. The revelation that Barry Allen was one of several casualties in the Crisis on Infinite Earths had sunk into his head, but he knew what he had to do. In his arms was a package that contained the collected ashes of Barry Allen found inside his Flash costume, as well as the costume itself. He carried them toward the home of the people who Barry knew best — his parents, Henry and Nora Allen.
This is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, Kid Flash thought as he moved closer and closer to the Allen home. I don’t even know what to tell them.
He stopped running once he reached the Allen home and changed out of his costume and back into Wally West’s casual clothes before knocking on the Allens’ front door. It was Henry Allen who answered the front door. His face was nervous, although he put on a brave front.
“Wally!” Henry said, surprised. “What are you doing here?”
“I — I needed to see you. Both of you,” Wally said quietly.
Henry noted the serious tone written on the young man’s face and said with concern, “Come on in, Wally.”
Walking into the Allen home, Wally still carried the package that contained Barry’s legacy. He noticed Nora Allen sitting on the couch, rubbing her eyes with Kleenex and obviously distraught. She looked up at Wally, noticing she had company. “Wally?” she said, trying to keep from crying.
“Nora, I needed to talk to both of you… about Barry,” Wally said, his face still expressing sadness.
“Wally, there’s been reports — rumors that the Flash was killed,” Henry said. “We haven’t seen him since he was acquitted a few months ago. Do you know anything, Wally?”
Looking down at the package, Wally closed his eyes as a tear dropped from his face. “Both of you need to sit down,” he whispered, trying to keep himself from crying. Henry sat down next to Nora. “I’m sure you know about the problems our world has suffered through in recent days — the Crisis — that’s what it’s being called,” Wally said, sitting down himself in a chair. “Throughout this Crisis, there’s been no sign of Barry.”
“When we saw him last, he told us he had to go away,” Nora said, beginning to cry. “He didn’t tell us where, but he told us he’d be back eventually. He told us not to worry.”
Wally watched as Henry comforted Nora and knew he couldn’t skirt around the issue. “I don’t know how, exactly, but Barry was captured by the creature known as the Anti-Monitor. This thing was behind the Crisis. Among other plans the Anti-Monitor had, he built a cannon that was poised to destroy our world and others. Barry escaped from his prison and decided to destroy the cannon. It — it was powered by concentrated antimatter, and Barry had to force its energies back into the device.” Wally paused as he remembered what the Psycho-Pirate had told him. “Running at his fastest speed, Barry successfully destroyed the massive cannon. But there was a cost.”
Opening the package, Wally slowly pulled out Barry’s Flash costume and gently handed it over to Henry and Nora. The horrified look revealed their greatest fear come true. They listened to Wally as he wept.
“Barry sacrificed his life to save everything he knew — both of you, Fiona, Cecile, his friends, and everything else that lived. I was called out of retirement to help with the heroes’ efforts, and I joined them in the final battle against the Anti-Monitor. I — I found Barry’s costume in the antimatter universe pinned underneath massive amounts of rock. I’d hoped that maybe there was a chance that he still lived, but–”
Wally handed the urn that contained Barry’s ashes to Nora Allen. She rubbed the tears from her eyes as more tears replaced them. “I had STAR Labs scan the costume for any human remains, and they found human ashes, bone fragments, and a few hairs within the suit.” He was overcome with grief. “Oh, God, you two, I am so sorry — so sorry.”
The Allens held the costume and urn in their arms, crying. In their many years of marriage, they had only conceived one child together — their son, Barry. He had been the best son they could have ever hoped for. They remembered what he’d accomplished in his life and had done everything right. Had he been perfect? No, but he’d been God’s gift to both of them. He embodied the best of his parents, and it was their raising him that made him a hero, whether it was working as a police scientist or becoming the Fastest Man Alive. He would never be forgotten.
Henry regained a sense of composure and spoke to Wally, wiping tears from his eyes. “Wally, thank you. You brought our boy home. We can never thank you enough.”
“I needed to do this… for both of you and for Barry,” Wally said, regaining some composure himself. “I would have felt horrible if there had been public confirmation before I spoke to you two. If there’s anything I can do, please let me know.”
“What are we going to do, Henry?” Nora said, burying her face in Barry’s costume. “Our boy’s gone. Oh, Lord, he’s really gone.”
Henry paused before speaking. “Nora, the world has believed Barry to be dead for a while — since before the trial began. But he deserves to be remembered for the good he did as the Flash. I think what would be best would be to have a funeral for Barry — where we and his closest friends and colleagues could say goodbye to him. I wouldn’t be opposed to his closest super-hero friends attending, either. He was close to Wally, here, and Ralph. I’m sure there were others he was close to as well. The only thing we’d like to do is have a closed casket funeral. That way, there’s no media circus surrounding us. Afterward — after we’ve laid our son to rest — I’d like the world to know just who was the Flash.”
Wally spoke cautiously. “Should I contact Fiona? She and Barry were almost married, had it not been for Zoom.” He liked Fiona, never viewing her as a replacement for his aunt Iris, but considered her a friend.
Henry answered. “I’d like to, but I’d rather not. She had a breakdown when she thought Barry was dead before. I can’t imagine what it would do to her to learn that he did live for well over a year before actually dying. That could do some serious damage to her mental state.”
“I understand. If you’d like, I’d prefer to contact those who you want to attend the funeral. Anything I can do to help you two right now I will do,” Wally said, standing up.
“Oh, Wally.” Nora stood up and gave Wally a big hug, which he returned. “Th-thank you. Thank you for helping us. We love you.”
“I know. I loved Barry, too,” said Wally. “Look, I’d better head to the Central City Police Department. I remembered one of Barry’s closest friends on the force was at the nuptials with Fiona. I’m going to see him, and I think with his help, we’ll be able to avoid any coroner problems. I’ll be back in a bit.”
“All right, Wally. We’ll see you in a while,” Henry Allen said.
Wally walked outside the house and, behind it, changed back into Kid Flash. He then headed out at top speed and quickly entered the Central City Police Department, moving so fast that no one noticed him. He made his way to Captain Darryl Frye’s office — he had been one of Barry’s closest friends on the force — and entered it, closing the door behind him.
Captain Frye sat inside the office, just noticing the young speedster had entered. “Kid Flash? What are you doing here?” Captain Frye asked, surprised.
“Captain Frye, I needed to talk to you. It’s — it’s about Barry Allen,” Kid Flash said somberly.
The mention of Barry’s name surprised Frye. “Barry? Have you learned anything in regards to his vanishing?” he asked, obviously concerned.
Kid Flash spoke quietly. “Yes. I — I’ve found proof that Barry’s… I’m sorry. He’s dead.” The look of sadness overcame him as he bent his head down and closed his eyes.
“Oh, my God.” The captain looked completely stunned by this news. “What did you find?”
“I’ll tell you, but I need you to swear to me that you won’t disclose anything until Barry’s parents wish it to be made public.”
“Kid Flash, if he’s been murdered as we’ve suspected, then we’re going to need to examine the body. Have you found a body?” asked Captain Frye.
“That’s not possible,” said Kid Flash, knowing what he had to do.
“What do you mean, ‘it’s not possible’?” asked Frye, growing annoyed.
“I guess I don’t have a choice here. Look, just swear to me not to disclose anything I’m about to tell you,” Kid Flash demanded.
After a pause, Frye replied, “All right. I swear I’ll keep this between us. Now then, what do you need to tell me?”
“There is no body. But there is proof that he’s gone. You see,” said Kid Flash, removing his mask, “Barry Allen was the Flash. I know that, because I was his partner for several years. I’m really Wally West.”
“I-I never suspected. Barry was the Flash? My God, it puts everything into perspective,” Frye said, astonished. “He was always late, and it was because he was fighting the various foes this city had to offer. He went to trial for murder, only trying to protect his fiancée from the Reverse-Flash. You mean to tell me he’s dead? Are you sure?”
“I’m positive,” Wally said quietly, putting his mask back on. “The Flash vanished after his acquittal, but somehow he was captured by a creature set to destroy our universe. This thing was the mastermind behind the Crisis. Barry sacrificed his life to save our universe. His costume and ashes are what’s left of his legacy. I found them in the final battle the heroes had with the Anti-Monitor. The ashes were human, and I turned both the costume and ashes over to Henry and Nora Allen. They’re making funeral arrangements.
“You were one of Barry’s closest friends on the force — close enough to be invited to his wedding to Fiona Webb,” Kid Flash continued. “You’re also high up on the police force. Barry’s parents want a private funeral with his closest friends. They’d rather reveal he was the Flash after they bury their son. That’s why I came here. I needed to tell you privately and try to avoid anything that would connect the two before we’re able to say goodbye.”
Captain Frye grew quiet, pondering what to do. After a few minutes, he spoke to Kid Flash. “I’ll take care of the coroner’s report — state that the matter is pending investigation. That should buy some time for the Allens. I still can’t believe Barry was the Flash. He was a good man… a great friend.” Captain Frye rubbed his eyes and continued to speak. “He was one of us — a cop. He will receive the only thing we can give him: a police officer’s funeral. He deserves more, God knows he does, but until his identity becomes public knowledge, that’s all we can give him. I will miss him, I really will. I’m so sorry… for you and the Allens.”
“Thank you. Thank you so much. This means a lot to the family. I’d better go, but I’ll contact you with the details of when we’re having the funeral. I’ll see you later,” Kid Flash said.
“You take care. I’ll see you in a few days,” Captain Frye said.
Kid Flash exited the police department as fast as he could and began his trek to find Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man.