The Flash: The Funeral of Barry Allen, Chapter 9: The Decision

by Hitman 44077

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The next morning, Wally West woke up after a long sleep and felt reassured after the events of yesterday. Today’s going to be an important day, but I’m prepared for it, Wally thought, sitting up in the bed. I’m glad Dexter’s allowing us to meet in front of the Flash Museum. It was so important to Barry. He deserves nothing less.

Wally stood up and walked to the bathroom, where he shaved his face. Afterward, he walked into the shower, and the hot water helped wake him up. Soaping up, he cleaned himself, and after rinsing the soap away, he turned the water off. He dried off with a towel and walked back to his room. Inside the room, he picked up his Kid Flash ring and his new Flash ring that Henry Allen gave him the previous day. He placed his Kid Flash ring on his finger, released the Kid Flash costume from it, and reflected on the career he had as Kid Flash.

I’ve worn this costume for over ten years. When Barry designed it, he wanted it to be distinctive from his costume, so that I would have my own identity. Sometimes I’ve been proud to wear this, and other times I’ve wanted no part of it, Wally thought as he used his super-speed to don his Kid Flash costume for the final time. But today, I can think of no finer tribute to honor the man who was so important to me. Wearing this costume on this day, I just hope that I honor the costume and identity of the Flash as well as I did my Kid Flash identity.

Kid Flash placed the Flash ring that Barry had made some time ago on his gloved left hand and walked downstairs, where his dad was eating breakfast. Robert West noticed his son clothed in the Kid Flash costume and spoke.

“How was your sleep, Wally?” asked Robert West.

“Surprisingly, it was a good rest, Dad,” Kid Flash replied. “Don’t get me wrong — I still feel a little drained from the stress and the sadness of the last few days, but now, I do feel better to a large degree.”

“It’s good to be able to accept the grief, as well as deal with it. I think that’s the only way one can truly move forward. Dad’s doing a little better, but your mom and I might stop by his place later, just to see how he’s doing,” Robert said. “It looks like you’re ready to go to Flash’s memorial service. Are you ready for this?”

Kid Flash looked at the ring on his left hand and smiled before speaking. “Yeah… yeah, I am. After yesterday, I know there will always be a part of him staying alive within me.”

“I’m glad, Wally,” Robert said with his own smile.

“I’d like to talk about that when I get back, but I’d better head out to Central City. Even with super-speed, I don’t want to be late,” Kid Flash said.

Robert West stood up and spoke. “I understand, as long as you have time for a hug from your father.”

“Of course, Dad.” With that, Kid Flash and Robert shared a hug.

“I’ll see you later,” said Kid Flash as he walked to the front door.

“Good luck, son,” said Robert, waving to his son.

Kid Flash opened the door, and after walking outside, shut the door behind him. He then took off for Central City, prepared for the future. Whereas his previous trip to Central City had taken hours by car, he arrived on foot within minutes. In Central City, he headed straight for the Flash Museum. As he approached, he noticed a large crowd of heroes, more than he’d anticipated.

My God, he thought, awed by the sight. I never imagined that the turnout would be this large. It almost reminds me of the crowd in Death Valley. From members far and wide of the Justice League of America to the Teen Titans, the Global Guardians to the Metal Men, nearly everyone that considered himself or herself a hero was at the scene. Kid Flash smiled as he slowly walked toward the Flash Museum and the stage that was set up in front of the Museum. He would be so proud to know what impact he had on all of our lives, he thought.

“Hey, Fleet-Feet!” yelled a voice behind him. Kid Flash turned around to see Wonder Girl, Cyborg, and Changeling walking toward him.

“Hey, guys. I’m glad you could make it,” Kid Flash said with a smile. He offered his hand to Cyborg, who shook it.

“My thoughts were with you yesterday, Wally. I hope you weren’t mad at Gar and I, and I hope the funeral went all right,” said Cyborg.

“No. I understood totally, Vic. As for the funeral, you know how they go. It’s not something you look forward to, but it’s something we all have to deal with. I’m just glad Barry’s been laid to rest,” Kid Flash said. Turning his attention to Wonder Girl, he spoke softly to her. “How are you feeling, Donna? My heart was breaking for you yesterday.”

“It’s very… difficult, even though it’s been a few days. I’ve woke up crying quite a bit, and on more than one occasion I’ve had this nightmare. I’m a baby again, and I’m trapped in the burning apartment. Diana comes to rescue me, but as she holds me in her arms…” Wonder Girl paused, as her nightmare brought her more fear. She wiped the tears in her eyes and continued. “I look at her… and all of a sudden, she begins to burn. Hera help me… she begins to burn away, and I swear I feel the pain as I’m trapped in her arms.”

“Donna,” Kid Flash said consolingly, “It’s going to take a long time for the wounds to heal. Believe me, I know all too well. Believe me also when I say this…” Kid Flash placed his hands on her shoulders as he spoke. “If you need anything, I’ll be there for you. Any time.”

Wonder Girl smiled a little as a tear dropped from her face. “You’ve always been a good friend to me, Wally. Thank you,” she said, hugging him. He returned the hug.

“No problem,” he said, his desire to help his friend unwavering.

The two slowly let go of the hug, and Changeling spoke. “Vic and I saw Kole last night in the hospital. I don’t want to give false hope, but it seemed to me she was doing better, no matter how slight it would appear. I hope so, ’cause we’re going to need a team of Titans to occupy our new Tower. And there’s still no sign of when Dick, Kory, and Joe are going to be back. Hey, maybe you can convince Fran to adopt an identity. God knows we’re going to need all the help we can get.”

“I’m glad to hear that there’s an improvement with Kole,” said Kid Flash tentatively. “I’ve stated before, if you need any help, I’ll do it. I’m not sure about actually rejoining the Titans, but I wouldn’t rule out helping you guys in different cases. As for Fran, that’s for her to decide. And from what she’s said before, she has zero desire to become a hero, much less a Titan.”

“I can respect that,” Cyborg said. “This isn’t an easy life we lead.”

“Exactly. Look, I’d better find Superman, Ralph and G.L. before this memorial service gets underway. I need to talk to them. I’ll see you three later, and thanks again for coming,” Kid Flash said appreciatively.

“You’re our friend, Wally. We will always be there for you. Don’t ever forget,” Wonder Girl said with a smile.

“Thanks, Donna. That means a lot,” Kid Flash said, smiling. As he waved to his friends, Kid Flash walked toward the Flash Museum after spotting Superman enter the complex. Kid Flash walked inside and located not only Superman, but Green Lantern and the Elongated Man.

The Elongated Man smiled as he spotted his friend walking toward him. He stretched his arm out to where Kid Flash was standing. “Hey, Wally,” he said as Kid Flash shook his hand. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m feeling better than I have in a while, Ralph. In fact, I was hoping to talk to you three before the start of the memorial service,” Kid Flash said.

“I’m glad you’re feeling better, Wally,” said Green Lantern, though his mind seemed elsewhere. Superman noticed that Green Lantern was troubled.

“Are you okay, Hal?” Superman asked.

“I wish I was, but the fact of the matter is, frankly, I feel like I failed Barry,” Green Lantern confessed. “It’s been on my mind the past few days. I keep thinking about how selfish I was on the JLA Satellite when I was deciding to quit being a Green Lantern. Here was my friend, who’d had so many problems to deal with, and all I could think about was giving up this ring. I couldn’t give him the support he needed greatly, and I can’t live that down.”

“You were close to Barry, just as Wally and Ralph were. He wouldn’t want you feeling like this.” Superman placed his hand on Green Lantern’s shoulder and continued to speak. “Let me assure you, after all we went through in the Crisis, there have been times I’ve felt like I failed. I was nearly homicidal after the Anti-Monitor killed Kara. I wanted nothing more than to kill him. We will never be the same way that we used to be, but if we dwell on our apparent failures, we will fail this planet as its champions. Hal, rest assured that you never failed Barry as a friend.”

“Hal,” Wally said, “Superman’s right. Barry held your friendship in high regard. You’ve got the ring again. Make every second count; if not for Barry, then for the innocents that would look at you as a hero.”

“You’re right, both of you,” Green Lantern said. “I swear, to some degree, this also reminds me of when the Doom Patrol gave their lives. It’s that same sense of loss, but we need to stand together, become stronger. Anyone that’s died in our line of work, even my Uncle Larry, the original Air Wave, that’s what they’d want. Thank you for being my friends.”

“That’s why we’re here, Hal,” Ralph said.

“Wally, you’ve really matured since the days you were a boy. You’ve grown into a hero, and I know Barry would be proud,” Superman said.

Kid Flash was taken aback, somewhat awed at Superman’s words. “Thank you, Superman. Hopefully, what I say next won’t change that,” he said.

“What do you mean?” Superman said, somewhat puzzled.

Kid Flash hesitated, fearing possible criticism. He finally spoke. “Yesterday at the cemetery, I kept thinking about how to properly honor Barry… and how to keep his legacy alive. Once I realized how, I spoke to the Allens about it. They gave both their permission and their blessing. In honor of who Barry was, and what he stood for…” Kid Flash swallowed the growing lump in his throat, but spoke with determination. “I’ve decided to adopt the identity of the Flash… to keep what he represented alive.”

Superman, Green Lantern, and the Elongated Man stood there, their faces showing shock. Superman looked at Green Lantern and Ralph, then addressed Kid Flash. “Is this want you want to do?” he asked Kid Flash.

“Yes. I have these super-speed powers, the same that Barry had. I won’t let his memory fade away,” Kid Flash said, stronger and more assured.

“Well, then,” Superman said sternly. “And you say that the Allens have given their permission and blessing?”

“Yes. I wouldn’t adopt the identity otherwise — it would be wrong,” Kid Flash said.

“I see. Since that is the case…” Superman remained emotionless, until a slow smile appeared on his face. “You have our support.” He offered his hand to Kid Flash, who took it and shook his hand. “Congratulations, Flash.”

Green Lantern and Ralph offered their own congratulations as well. “Barry would be proud,” Ralph said, giving a high-five to Kid Flash.

“You have the same inner strength as Barry. It takes a man to be a hero, and I’m confident you have what it takes to be the Flash,” Green Lantern said with a smile. He shook Kid Flash’s hand as well.

“It means a lot to have your support. I told the Allens, and I’ll tell you guys, too: I will never fail the Allens or Barry’s memory. I won’t fail you guys, either,” Kid Flash said.

“The odd thing is that Barry crafted a Flash ring and costume for me the day I graduated from high school. He never gave it to me because he didn’t want me to feel like I was being forced into the role. Henry said it was Barry’s final gift, and I’d tend to agree.”

“He obviously had faith in you, and I think he still does. We’d better get started. Nearly everyone is here. How do you want to do this, Wally?” Superman asked.

“I was hoping you’d speak first, then Hal. After that, I’d like Ralph to speak, and I’ll finish up. There’s no rush; just speak from your hearts,” Kid Flash said.

“Okay, then. Let’s start,” Superman said with a smile. He walked outside the Museum and toward the stage set up in front.

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