Who: Billy Kaplan and Bart Allen Where: Billy's house, then Manchester, Alabama. When: Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 - After school. What: Hanging out after school - Video Games, Power Displays, the usual. Rating: Safe. Status: Gdoc, but may be continued in comments.
When Billy had told his parents that he wanted to have a friend over from school, they were ecstatic. They knew that Billy didn’t have many friends and was having a hard time being accepted in school. So when Billy had approached them about it, they quickly accepted. After all, Billy was getting great grades, never got in trouble, and always got his chores and schoolwork done. There was no reason for them to say no.
Billy had quickly sent the twitter to Kid Flash, not knowing if he’d actually want to hang out. Or even have time, for that matter. At least if he wanted to, he already knew where Billy lived from dropping him off from St. Louis. He didn’t even know the kid’s name. What if he came in costume? It didn’t matter. He’d just tell his parents the same thing he’d originally assumed, which was that he was practicing for the school drama club.
Bart showed up without the costume, thankfully. His own guardians (technically his grandparents) were also ecstatic when Bart said he was going to meet a friend after school. He had so few friends, and all of those were also either superheroes or some other form of enhanced... beings.
He showed up at the Kaplan residence with a plate of cookies that Iris had baked just for the occasion (she wanted Bart to make a good impression) and rang the doorbell. Then rang it again. Then knocked... a lot. It wasn’t forceful, just... rapid, and persistent.
“Got it”, Billy called from upstairs. Dashing out of his room, he about stumbled on the second to last stair, catching himself against the wall of the landing. Did he leave his magic books open upstairs? He couldn’t remember now, but it didn’t really matter. His parents were pretty good about not invading his privacy. Which was good because there were plenty of things that he didn’t want to have to explain to them just yet. Like magic, and Loki, and boys...
Opening the door, he cocked his head before his manners caught up with him. Without the costume, Bart looked... like a teenager. Like him. Not that that was a bad thing or anything. At least, he assumed that this was Kid Flash without the outfit and with cookies. Nah.... with the two quick doorbell rings and the knock... it had to be an impatient speedster of some sort.
“Come in?” Billy stepped away from the door so that Bart could enter. The house wasn’t tiny, but it wasn’t overly large either, and Rebecca had gone through great lengths over the years to furnish it in such a way to make it feel like home. Pictures adorned the halls of the foyer, most of them of either the family as a group, or Billy through the years.
“Hi!” Bart chimed, holding out the cookies. His red hair was sticking every which direction in the same manner that Kid Flash’s always seemed to.
He stepped into the house and looked around in awe-- not because of the size of it or even the decor, but the fact that it was a real house where real people lived, and it was evident by all of the pictures of the family around the house; and the special devotion that had been taken to chronicle Billy’s growth up to the present day. At the Allen household, Iris and Barry were only just now adding some of Bart’s pictures to the walls-- then again, they hadn’t even known they were going to have children until their grandson had shown up and let the cat out of the bag; so he could understand the delay.
“Woooooooooow. This is your house...”
Billy nodded as he shut the door. “Yep. Home sweet home.” he shrugged as he pointed up stairs. “My room’s upstairs, or I can give you the tour.” He accepted the cookies with a grin and held up the plate to look at them. They looked tasty.
“You hungry? My mom was going to order us some Chinese food... I mean, if you like Chinese. I’d offer pizza, but I don’t think mom’ll go for it... the whole kosher thing.” Billy shrugged again. “ I got a couple movies and some video games, board games, or cards. Take your pick.”
“What’s kosher?” Bart asked. He knew it was something Jewish people did but he didn’t really understand it- having never had a Jewish friend that he could ask about it. “I like Chinese.” He said, nodding. Bart was always hungry- that was a problem with an overactive metabolism. He had to be eating almost constantly to keep up with the demands of his hyper-energetic body.
“Video games are awesome! What games have you got? I have a couple at home I could run back and get too if we beat them all or something.”
“Kosher?” Billy had never really had to explain it before. He scratched his head and thought for a moment before speaking again. “My family believes in the rules of the Torah, which outline a series of specific food rules that we can’t break. Eating dairy and meat together is forbidden, so most pizzas are out. There’s a bunch of them, but between you and me, I’d rather have the pizza.”
“Uh... I got that Walking Dead game you mentioned. I’m not that good at it yet, though.” It had been a chore convincing his mother to actually buy it. She was concerned about the violence that it might have, but Billy had managed to be extra convincing... a feat that he might not be able to duplicate again for quite some time. “I also got the new Mario game for the Wii... the multiplayer one, and others. You can look through them and see if there’s anything you like.”
Billy walked into his room and stared at the book on his bed. Yep, he’d left it out. Casually as he could, he walked over and set the cookies down on the nightstand and closed it up, setting it on his desk. It was an old book about witches and magic. Billy had actually found some useful things in it, unlike the last book that Loki had torched during their first meeting.
He pointed toward the tv and gaming systems at the opposite end of the tidy room. “You can take a look and see if there’s anything that interests you. I’ll go let my mom know that Chinese is okay.”
“Ooooohhh.” Bart said, nodding his vague understanding of what kosher meant and why that excluded pizza. “Mario’s good! I don’t have a Wii. My Grampa says I’d probably break something.” Which was true.
He glanced behind him once, halfheartedly check to see if Billy’s parents were watching, then zipped over to look at the video games, “Oh man! You’ve got a lot of great ones!” He said, clearly impressed. “Hey, by the way,” He paused and looked over his shoulder at Billy, “I’m Bart.”
Billy chuckled. “I guess it’s good to have a name to call you, besides Kid Flash.” He headed out of the room and went to his mother’s office to let her know about the food situation, and then quickly returned. He popped on the Wii and grabbed two of the controllers, handing one to Bart as he kicked off his shoes and flopped on the bed. The controllers had the safety cords designed to go around the wrist, which Billy did.
“So how was school,” he asked as he navigated a couple of menus to get the game started.
Bart mimicked Billy, putting the safety cord around his wrist and tightening it. He didn’t want to break anything of his new friend’s after all. Particularly not something as all important as TV or video games. How would he watch cartoons if the TV was busted? And Bart couldn’t imagine life without cartoons.
“S’okay.” Bart answered halfheartedly. The truth was that he hated school. It wasn’t that he hated learning or even that he was dumb-- rather, Bart was bored. Whatever the class was learning, he’d already read the textbook for and he would even do all the homework if the teacher would just give it to him all at once but no, they had to parcel it out on a daily basis to try to eat up more and more of his free time that he had so little of; particularly since Barry had insisted he take a sport for every season and try out a club as well. This season’s sport was track and field. And Bart wasn’t allowed to win. Comic Book Club was alright though, even if they did meet after school and just complain about how such and such writer did such and such blasphemous thing to their favorite character. Seriously, kids, get a life!
On top of all that, he was Kid Flash which was pretty much a full time occupation (or at least Bart liked to think so), so in the end it was probably better that he didn’t have any friends-- it’s not like he would have had time for them.
“You? What grade are you in? How old are you? Have you lived here all your life? What do your parents do?” And so the questions started...
Billy almost said ‘slow down’ in reference to the flood of questions, but then remembered who he was talking to. That particular phrase might actually be impossible for Bart, he didn’t know for sure. So instead, he tried to remember the order of the questions and waited for the first respite so that he could collectively answer them.
“Did okay on my Latin test, so that’s good. The seniors didn’t tease me as much as they usually do, so that’s good also. Junior. Sixteen, Seventeen next month. My parents bought this house before I was born, so yep, been here all my life. Dad’s a Cardiologist and my mom’s a Psychologist.” There. He thought he got them all, but decided to continue anyway. “I’m the oldest of three, two younger brothers. My Dad wants me to go into medicine like he did, but I’m not sure that I want to do that. I play guitar, but I’m not that good at it.” He pointed toward the corner of the room with the Wii Remote to a stand with an acoustic guitar sitting on it. He wanted to add that he was being trained in magic by the god of mischief, but he remembered Loki’s stern warning prohibiting such knowledge being exposed, and refrained.
Bart absorbed all of this knowledge as quickly as he had asked it. “You take Latin? That’s so cool. I have to take stupid Spanish. Donde esta mi pantalones? En la biblioteca con el pollo loco. Que? Callate tu boca ahora!” He demonstrated, completely aware that the crazy chicken had absconded to the library with his pants.
With the questions returned to his court, Bart stalled a little, “Um.” He supposed that telling Billy some things about him wouldn’t be that bad. After all, it wasn’t like he was ever going to meet Bart’s parents. Maybe his grandparents but he’d leave them mostly out of this for now. “I’m a freshman and it sucks. I’m fifteen, I’ll be sixteen in September. I wasn’t born here-- actually I’m from the Midwest like... well we were in Missouri the other day and where I’m from isn’t far from there. Well I guess part of it is in Missouri but the other part is in Kansas and that’s kinda where my family is from but my uh... my Uncle Barry and my Aunt Iris live here in Metropolis so now I live with them but I used to live in Alabama and before that in the Kansas/Missouri type places.” And before that, in Virtual Reality but Bart kept that part to himself (and people wondered why he loved video games). “My parents are... “ To tell the truth, Bart had no idea what his parents had done. His mom was the daughter of the president and his dad was a career superhero-- part of the duo known as the Tornado Twins made up of Bart’s dad, Don and Don’s twin sister, Dawn. It got confusing after a while so Bart went with the simplest answer, “I live with my Aunt and Uncle. She’s a reporter and he’s a forensic scientist. He works for the police! It’s really cool.”
Billy listened attentively as Bart spoke, nodding every so often like his mother did whenever he would talk about his day. Truthfully, he was surprised that Bart had even said anything, considering that he was Kid Flash. But the information wasn’t specific, so Billy just supposed that it had to be nice for the other teen to be able to talk to someone.
“Freshman year was hard for me too,” he admitted. “I was all arms and legs and clumsy. At least you can.. well... you know. I was just the scrawny bookworm kid that everyone picked on.” He looked down at his slight form and sighed. “Actually... that’s not changed much in the last couple years. I bet it is cool though, hearing about what your uncle does. If he tells you, that is.” Billy assumed that secrets might be kept on both sides of that family, since he didn’t know the details. Much like his father and mother didn’t tell him everything about the details of their days, and he certainly didn’t tell them everything about his, or what was going on in his head, much to his mother’s dismay.
“So... uh... not to pry, and I won’t tell anyone... but what’s it like being.. you know... him?” He meant Kid Flash, but didn’t exactly want to voice it out loud so as to protect Bart’s secret.
it was nice for Bart to have someone to talk to-- a teenager who wasn’t reporting back to his grandfather about all the ways in which he was immature and not ready and screwing up. A friend that he could hang out with and be, at least for a moment, normal with. He didn’t even have to hide his secret identity-- not really. It’s not like Billy would have known who Bart Allen was aside from Kid Flash. That was pretty much Bart’s whole schtick anyway. And, as of yet, Bart hadn’t even told him that he was from the future.
Bart looked over at Billy after rolling a hypothetical video game bowling ball down the hypothetical video game alley. He didn’t do too poorly, either. “I don’t know. A lot of people talk about it being like somebody else-- like you know in the Comic Books where the dark hero is all like ‘Oh this is me and that’s this other persona of me’ or whatever...? But it’s not really... like that.” He said with a shrug, “Not for me. I’m me, and then I’m me in yellow and red. And it’s not like I can just turn it off. “ Bart wasn’t sure that he would turn his superspeed off even if he could-- though he could certainly think of some situations when he’d rather not have had it. “I just...” Bart stopped for a minute. He’d never actually been asked this question in any sincere sort of way. He frowned.
“It’s fun and stuff but it’s hard. You don’t want to let anyone get hurt- but people get hurt. You don’t want to let down the Grown Ups,” he used the term clearly to mean the Heroes like The Flash, “but you do. But then again, you get to go all sorts of places and beat up all sorts of bad guys and that’s really fun. And then people like you too, at least in our town they like us, and so that’s fun too. You know they have a Flash Day in Central City and Keystone? It’s like this whole big holiday and they have a parade and everything and that’s for us. And my... The Flash, he told them not to do it because we didn’t need it. But they said they wanted to, to thank us. There’s a whole museum and everything. I’ll take you sometime. It’s really neat.”
He wasn’t sure if that answered the question really, but Bart got quiet after that, focusing on the game.
Once again, Billy listened attentively, and only once Bart was done did he hop off the bed and go push the bedroom door closer to closed, so that their conversation didn’t go trailing down the hall. Sitting back down on the bed, he looked at the younger teen. “That’s really cool, I mean, that you have people around you supporting you. I’m not... sure I’d have that.” He glanced at the door wistfully before looking back at Bart.
“I’ve not been entirely honest with you.” He took a deep breath before continuing. “I was asking because I’m thinking about doing the same thing. I mean... being a superhero type... thing-person.” He was practically tripping over his words. Taking another breath, he pushed forward. “What I mean is... when I found out that you could, you know, do what you do... I should have told you that I can do things too.”
Billy focused back on the screen like it was the most interesting thing in the world as he kept talking quietly. “I just... I don’t have a lot of people around me, and I didn’t want you to, I don’t know... freak or something?” Well... there it was, at least in the most roundabout awkward way possible.
Bart was, surprisingly enough, very quiet. He put the controller down and folded his legs up under him, Indian Style, and set about look at Billy with curiosity evident in his face. Curiosity and maybe concern-- if the Boy Known As Impulse could be considered to ever show such maturity and regard for fellow human beings.
“I’m training so that I can be the Flash someday.” Bart said, matter-of-factly, without ego. It was simply a statement of what Bart was determined to achieve-- though many people swore up and down that it would never happen, even if he was the “rightful heir” to the Flash legacy.
“That’s why I’m a...” superhero wasn’t the right word. Bart shrugged instead of trying to find a new one.
“What can you do?” He asked, that curiosity that was on his face leaking into his voice. Suddenly his usual smile was replaced with a bright grin, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”
“I’ve already seen yours,” Billy retorted with a perverted grin that only teenaged boys seemed to be able to effectively make. Still though, he wondered how much he could show without Loki finding out and being extremely angry with him. It wasn’t like he was giving up the name he was given, or knowledge of the stones, or of Loki himself. He decided it would be safe enough to show him something small.
Pulling off the Wii remote from his wrist, Billy adjusted himself so that he too was sitting cross-legged on the bed. He pressed his palms together in front of his chest and half-closed his eyes, his voice taking on a lower, sonorous quality as he intoned “I want to rise”. He’d practiced this effectively enough that he really didn’t even need the words, but his nerves were on edge by having an observer, so they helped focus. Within moments, he was hovering in the same sitting position about eight or so inches off the bed.
Opening his eyes, he smirked at Bart as he hovered near him. “This isn’t all, but I’ve not quite gotten the rest of it down yet.”
Bart was staring when Billy looked down at him, his eyelids all peeled back from his eyes. He started, then barely managed not to yell “HOLY CRIPES THAT’S AWESOME!!”
Zipping around Billy, he stuck his hand out as he ran around the other boy, trying to look for any wires or platforms that might be holding him up. There wasn’t. And it was AWESOME.
“You can fly?!!?! WOW!” Bart said, clearly excited, “Let’s go outside!! I WANNA FLY!” He did, really, want to fly-- because at the moment, his phobia of having his feet several feet off the ground didn’t seem to factor into his thought process. ===
“Shhh,” Billy hissed quietly, flopping back down on the bed and sticking out his palm to cover Bart’s mouth. “Nobody knows... except you.” Billy’s cheeks flushed a bit and he pulled his hand away, picking up the controller as if nothing had happened at all. “Well... that’s not entirely true,” he said after a moment. “I ran into that boy that you mistook me for. Tommy Shepherd. I told him, but only because of the monumental weirdness. But other than that... you, me... and these walls. I can’t let my parents find out.”
Tommy! Tommy was Bart’s speedster friend. Bart’s mouth kept moving and he kept mumbling when Billy tried to shut him up, but once Billy let go of Bart again, he had resorted to whispering. “Okay. Do you want to see the rest of what I can do?”
“There’s more?” Billy asked with surprise. He sort of assumed that the super running fast was kind of the extent of that sort of power. Of course, Bart could have been talking about something else entirely unrelated, Billy didn’t know for sure.
“Yeah,” he answered, nodding his head before furrowing his brow. “As long as it’s not going to... you know, draw attention or anything. I’m really not wanting to have that conversation with my mom and dad just yet, so if we can avoid breaking anything, that’d be perfect.” He smiled, just so Bart knew that he was kidding... mostly. Avoiding broken things would be good.
“Oh yeah, I know just the place.” He said, already opening the door. He didn’t speed down the stairs but he did take them two at a time, yelling at Billy’s mom, “THANKS BILLY’S MOM, WE’RE GONNA GO OUTSIDE, BE BACK IN A FEW MIIIINNNUUUUTEES!”
And then he was out the door and tapping his toe impatiently, wating for Billy to catch up--- though he had managed not to start chanting “C’monc’monc’mon.”
Billy shut off the tv and Wii and put the controllers up quickly before heading after Bart. He shook his head at Bart’s message to his mom and headed out the front door, closing it quietly behind him.
“Okay, lead on.” Billy said with a grin, wondering if this place was going to involve being carried like the damsel in distress again. Not that he really minded or anything.
“Sorry.” Bart said, rushing in and picking Billy up again, one arm behind his knees and the other supporting his back. “There’s not really like a good way to carry a guy.” He said by way of apology, already putting on the gas.
Again the world streaked by, but Bart and Billy were unaffected by laws of physics-- like the friction that should have torn their skin off or the G-Forces that should have crushed their bones like egg cartons.
Bart dug his heels in and stopped them out in the middle of a field, covered in wildflowers. He set Billy back on his feet. “So this is where I used to live. Well, nearby anyway. This is Manchester, Alabama.”
“I... don’t mind”, Billy countered as he was hoisted off his feet and sped hundreds of miles in but a few blinks. Knowing what to expect this time, he handled it better, though he still closed his eyes, since he wasn’t sure how the rapidly moving landscape would affect him. Fortunately, he was rather slight and light for a person his age, so he wasn’t a burden on the speedster’s arms. It felt... comfortable - and part of Billy didn’t want it to stop. Still though, the trip was over quicker than he’d expected and Bart set him down.
Billy glanced around at the wildflowers and the open skies as Bart spoke. “Alabama, huh.” With hands on his hips, he took a couple steps out into the field away from Bart before turning around and looking at the other teen with a lopsided grin. “Not much out here, huh?”
Bart held up one finger as if to say ‘Aha!’, his whole face contorting into the proper Mad Scientist-esque expression, “Not much out here to break, either!”
Billy nodded as he walked back toward Bart, hands now in his pockets. The other teen made a good point. With nothing but sky, ground, and a couple of trees, there really wasn’t much that could be damaged, unless one were to count the wildflowers. Billy withdrew one of his hands and traced his fingertips through the tall rustling grasses nearby.
“You... Are you going to make a crop circle or something?”
“Nah.” Not that Bart couldn’t make a crop circle or anything-- but this was way more fun, and definitely more impressive. “Okay, watch this!” He said, walking slowly up to a large tree.
Bart stared at it for a long time, concentrating. His whole body seemed to be shaking though he himself wasn’t actually moving-- rather, he was concentrating in on the molecules that made up … well... him. His body, his hair, his clothes, his organs-- Bart focused in on them and sped them up, making each other vibrate at just the right frequency and then...
… The Boy From the Future walked through the tree.
Billy watched Bart... stare at the tree for what seemed like forever in the country before the other teen walked through it as easily as one would walk through a beaded curtain. Easier, actually. Billy gasped and clapped his hand over his mouth as Bart popped out the other side, eyes growing wide in amazement.
“You... you just walked t-through? You... wow!” That wasn’t something that Billy could readily duplicate. At least not yet. Perhaps, with the development of his powers, he would eventually learn a spell that would allow him to pass through materials. For now though, Bart was king of the nifty tricks.
“That was awesome,” he gushed as he pulled his hands through the errant strands of hair that the wind had already started to mess with.
“Yeah I know right?!” Bart cheered, equally as excited, if a little winded. He’d learned that a while ago and it still took a lot of effort for him to pull it off flawlessly, but he was getting better at it.
“Okay your turn!” He said, plopping down in the tall grass to look up at Billy like a little kid waiting for a story.
Had it not been for the way Bart was looking at him, Billy might not have done it. Though he had reservations about displaying his power, what harm would it really do? It wasn’t like he was revealing any of Loki’s secrets. He’d told the god of mischief that he wouldn’t tell anyone that he was his disciple, and he intended to keep his word. All he was doing here was having a little fun.
He stepped away from Bart and looked skyward, his hands and eyes already starting to glow with an eerie blue light as he quietly chanted his intent. The magical energies within him quickly bent to his will and carried him skyward, free from the grasp of gravity and unaffected by the winds that lightly blew across the open field. Billy smiled and felt free and comfortable in the embrace of his power as he soared into the air, spinning a few times for dramatic effect as he ascended until he was almost out of sight.
He breathed deeply of the purer air of Alabama as he glanced down to where he was only moments before. He could barely make Bart out from this distance, but waved anyway, unsure of if the other boy could even see it from this far away. Then, after doing a couple of loops and a flip or two, he willed himself back to the ground, his descent much slower than that of someone being pulled down by gravity, until he felt his feet touch down in front of Bart.
“Like that?” he asked with a smile. It had been liberating to be able to not worry about someone seeing him.
Bart had waved back, frantically, like a fan might wave to Superman as he took off. When Billy finally came back down, Bart was running in circles like a lost dog, not quite yipping with excitement. As Billy touched back down, Bart buzzed around him.
“THATWASTOTALLYWICKEDAWESOME!! YOU CAN FLY! THAT’SSOOOOCOOL!!” He was still impressed, if only because - like most people- Bart couldn’t fly. And it just seemed like such fun.
“Did you go up in the clouds? Was it fun? Have you ever flown that high before? what’s the fastest you’ve ever flown? Do you want to race?”
“No, yes, yes, um... maybe ninety miles per hour. I get going faster than that and it starts hurting from the friction, so you’d probably win in a race.” Billy shrugged and grinned. He was pretty sure that he’d gotten all the questions. The friction thing wasn’t entirely true. Yeah, as he started going faster, he could feel the air around him, but something about the magic let him just ignore it. The real reason he’d never tried to go faster was that he was always worried that he’d lose control over the magic and crash... or that he’d be caught by someone.
“I’m just glad I didn’t hit any bugs that time,” Billy laughed. “That’s not pleasant at all.”