The Flash: Dawn, Chapter 1: Special Delivery

by Hitman 44077

Return to chapter list

Christmas Eve, 1985:

Central City, like many other cities, was busy with last-minute shopping. Wally West, who had won a local lottery a month or so ago, had his shopping done. But upon a last-minute check he realized he had run out of Christmas cards, and he was planning to drop off the last batch of them today.

I spent the better part of last week each day dropping off Christmas cards in between stopping thugs and replenishing my calorie and electrolyte intake, the twenty-one-year-old thought to himself. It’s still so much of a new experience as I grow into my new responsibilities as a “not-as-fast-as-I-used-to-be” Flash. I’ve bounced around from protecting Central City to joining the new and improved Justice League of America, and aiding the Titans when I could. (*) It’s almost surreal. Thankfully things seem to have calmed down considerably, compared to this past summer.

[(*) Editor’s note: See Justice League of America: The Final Chapter and The New Titans: Fragments.]

Walking into a card shop, Wally thumbed through cards and finally found a decent assortment to give to the family and friends that were close by. I have to say it was really nice that both the League and the Titans invited me to separate Christmas Eve parties. Maybe Fran and I’ll stop by one or both. With that thought, however, the entirety of this past calendar year brought back so many memories, so many still vivid as if they had happened just yesterday.

I essentially started this year focused on my own mortality, then with almost a synchronized level of danger and devastation, I was witness to and participant of matters I’d never expected to face in my life during the Crisis, he thought, carrying the cards to the register. (*) I’ll more than take being a slower speedster compared to what I was facing this time last year. And on that note… I’ve always loved Christmastime, but I can admit that this year has been understandably rougher than I’d expected it to be.

[(*) Editor’s note: See Kid Flash: Wally West in Crisis.]

Once the cards had been paid for, Wally made his way back to the Kingsley Apartments where he’d moved into not too long ago. Upon entering his apartment, he took his coat off and began writing out the last of his Christmas cards, all the while still lost in thought. Mom and Dad are doing Christmas dinner tomorrow, so that’ll be fun, complete with Mom’s chestnut dressing and the usual trimmings, he thought with a smile as he continued work on the cards.

It was then that Wally heard a knock on his apartment door. Opening it, he saw his girlfriend Frances Kane standing there with a few festive items. Wally took some of the items in her grasp, helping her carry in her baked goods and gifts.

“Hey, you!” Fran said as she entered with a smile. “Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas, Fran,” Wally said with a smile of his own, placing the items on the kitchen table. Once Fran put the rest of her items on the kitchen table, the pair shared a kiss and a hug.

“It’s good to see you, Fran,” Wally said with a pleasant smile. “I only got back here a short while ago myself. I’ve still got to get used to you living so close by, but believe me — it’s so good to have you here in Central City.”

“I know, Wally,” Fran said warmly with a smile of her own. “It’s been good for both of us. It really has. I’m looking forward to Christmas dinner tomorrow with your folks, your Grandpa, and the Allens.”

“I am, too, Fran,” Wally responded, though there was a tinge of sadness in his voice. “Maybe it’s just me, but out of all that’s happened in 1985, I never could’ve imagined just how different we’ll leave this year compared to how we entered it. There’s been a lot of happiness and sadness that’s taken place.”

A look of understanding appeared on the blonde woman’s face. “I know,” she said as they shared a warm hug.

“I’ll say this, Fran,” Wally began as they let go of their hug. “If I was still the sorry sack I was when the year began, I’d only see my own sadness. Instead, I can now see just how many people are hurting, too… not just with Barry, either, but so many others: civilians, heroes, and even villains. I’ve tried to give back as best I can, and I know that the clothes, food, and toys I anonymously donated to the charities in Central City will go a long way towards helping those less fortunate. Yet I’ve been thinking about my Aunt Iris and even my grandma more than usual. She passed when I was very young, and for whatever reason, I’ve been thinking about her quite a bit today. Strange, right?”

“Not really, Wally,” Fran replied with continued understanding. “Christmastime is the happiest time of the year, but it’s also in some ways the saddest, too. Every Christmas we celebrate is a blessing, but there’s always the great possibility that for one or more of our loved ones and friends, this might be their final one.”

Fran slowly grabbed a tissue and dabbed the corner of her right eye, her words reminding her of her own family losses. “Heh,” she said with a nervous chuckle as she dabbed her left eye. “I’m in the same boat.”

Wally, with his own understanding, gave her as warm a hug as he could. The strength he had gained over this last year had become a matching rock of support as she’d been to him in the last year or two. “We do what we can as best we can, and if one of us lacks that strength, then we do what we can together,” he replied with determination before they shared another kiss. “I love you, Fran.”

“I love you, too, Wally,” she said with a smile, dabbing the corners of her eyes once again. “There’s still a few things I’ve got to do before we head back to Blue Valley later tonight, so I’d better get back to that. Are you still planning on attending the Christmas Eve parties you were invited to?”

“I’m thinking about it,” Wally answered. “I’ve got to finish my cards and drop them off before I can commit to that. Safe to say that, if I do attend, I’d really like you to join me at either one, but it’s still your call. They’d be just as happy to see you as I would, and in the past Barry would bring Iris, G.L. would bring his now-ex, Ralph would bring Sue… it’d be a whole family/friends affair. The Justice League’s Christmas party is even taking place at the Secret Sanctuary, just like it did when I had my first super-hero Christmas party as Kid Flash.”

Fran paused for a few moments, contemplating what Wally said. She finally said with a warm smile, “You know what? I think I will. I’m not a super-heroine myself, but after meeting some of them a few months back, I can safely say they’re good people.”

Wally’s face lit up as this step that Fran took was a major one. Though she had magnetic abilities, she didn’t use them unless she either had no choice or had used them to aid Wally at times over the past year. “They really are. They’ll be happy to see you again — the League, I mean,” Wally said with a smile, “and the Titans are always happy to see you. We’ll figure out which to attend first and plan accordingly.”

“Sounds good,” Fran said with genuine appreciation as she put her coat back on. “I’ll get what’s left of my stuff finished, and I’ll wait for your call.”

“Good idea,” Wally replied with a smile. “I’ll call you when I get back from the cards delivery, and we’ll go from there.”

“Okay. Take care, Wally, and Merry Christmas,” Fran said as she opened the apartment door.

“Merry Christmas, Fran,” Wally said as Fran pulled the door shut. Wally then got back to work on finishing the Christmas cards, using his super-speed just enough to keep the pens, cards, and envelopes from catching fire or becoming entrenched with ink. Once they were finished, Wally pressed his Flash’s ring button and, within a second or two of his costume’s release, clothed himself in the costumed identity he’d taken over only three months before.

I know that today’s schedule is usually reserved for Saint Nick, but I don’t think he’d have a fuss about another red-suited individual fitting in his own schedule for Christmas card deliveries, the Flash thought with a sly grin before taking off, cards in hand — or in this case, within a heat-resistant sack. I’m glad I had the foresight not to try and squeeze this into one long day of deliveries.

Return to chapter list