Title: A Whole New World
Recipient: gabby_silang
Character(s): Wally West/ Flash III (The Flash)
Author: jamjar
Email: jamjarring@mac.com
Story notes: Wally, Kyle and Piper take a little trip. A story devoid of any higher meaning.

"There!" Piper says. He shakes his head. "The resonances are freaking me out, but I'm pretty sure we can--"

"I'm on it," Wally says.

"I've got it," Kyle says. He's gesturing and it looks like he's been reading up on his mythology, probably to impress Diana, because Wally can see a suspiciously hydra-like green silhouette, standing in the wreckage of the main generator. It splits into two, chasing down the operators and Wally rushes around, picking the foot soldiers up and jamming them in a makeshift jail and picking civilians and putting them out of the way.

"Stupid-- did he even think about what the wreckage would do?" Wally mutters.

"He probably assumed you could handle it," Piper says.

"I could have handled the whole thing, with less damage to the surrounding area. He doesn't need to come into my city and--"

"'My city?' I'm sorry, when exactly did you turn into Batman?" Piper says. "And he's helping with the clean-up." He nods at where Kyle's lifting a wall and putting back together an apartment block.

"Hey, I'd help if they let me. Show-off."

"But he has a great butt," Piper says appreciatively.

"Don't you have a boyfriend?"

"I may have been born deaf but there's nothing wrong with my eyes."

"Don't thank me or anything," Kyle says, swooping down.

Wally opens his mouth, but Piper beats him to it for once. "I'm still picking up dimensional rips."

"We're in danger of another invasion?" Kyle asks.

Piper shakes his head. "The frequency's changed. The harmonics are all different, out of focus. They seem to be dying down, mostly, but you should probably keep an eye on them. I'm picking up a big one near the main crash zone." He frowns, heading over. "I think it's--"

And then his voice splinters. The world around them fractures and is reassembled, like a jigsaw puzzle with half the bits floating in the air. He can see the rip near Piper, growing, see Piper trip and start to fall back into it and he's moving, fast as he can.

He reaches out to grab him, pull him back, but there are dimensional skips everywhere, pushing him back by seconds and Piper's gone, sucked into the tear. Wally races after him, only to find himself held by green. "Let me go! I have to get him--"

"You don't know where he went or how to get back," Lantern yells. "I can--"

Wally doesn't listen, just vibrates harder, disrupting the energy until he can run through. He's aware of Rayner following him from what seems like years behind, and then he's through the rip and out onto the other side. He can see Piper and he starts to shout out his name.

There's a thump of something hitting his back, throwing him forwards, knocking Piper into one of the smaller echo-rips and him into another, and when he lands, he's somewhere in Texas. It takes him half a second to get back to Keystone, cursing Rayner under his breath all the way. He goes back the alley to see Rayner, who must have followed him through, doing something to the rip with his ring.

"Just making sure we can get back," he says. "I thought it might be nice."

"Piper's not here," Wally says.

"Not here, not in this area? Or not here, not in this dimension?"

"He was here. When you came through, you pushed me and Piper into one of the smaller rips. I landed in Texas. Piper could be anywhere."

The Lantern nods. "So, I guess we start looking for him."

Wally shakes his head and zips into his civvies, briefly grateful that this world has a jeans-and-T-shirt feel. He's been on enough worlds where harem or bondage gear is the norm to be grateful for ones where Levis are considered appropriate street-wear. "First, we check out the world. I've been doing this a lot longer than you-"

"Yeah, since you were in diapers, I know. I've done my time visiting alien worlds, without the back-up of the League or the Titans or whatever. I'm not a complete novice. "

"Alien worlds aren't the same as alien dimensions, rookie. This world looks pretty close to ours, but we don't want to make waves until we're sure we won't drown in them."

Kyle nods, a little reluctantly, and is back in civilian clothes and no mask. They head out of the alley, doing a pretty good casual walk.

It looks like Keystone. Buildings are a little different, more rounded edges, but the feel is the same. Same mix of people, too, which is always a good sign. No giant monkeys dragging people in chains, no sign of Nazis with alien tech. He sees a young Asian woman with a couple of kids who looks enough like Linda to make him stop, until she turns around, waves at a pretty black woman who comes over and. Oh. Kisses her.

In public, which is cool, and no-one's looking shocked, so it's probably a pretty tolerant place. There are a couple of older guys with their arms linked as they check out a window display. And two girls walking along, holding hands, looking completely at ease. It's more tolerant than Keystone normally is, even. There's even a honeymoon display in the travel agent's window with a bride and bride, heading off to Hawaii.

Kyle rubs the back of his head. "Uh, West, you notice something a little... off about here. Not off, just, uh... unusual."

"It seems like a good place," Wally says. "Not a lot of..."

Straight couples, actually. It's early summer, lots of couples strolling down the shopping street, and can't see-- no, wait, he can see one couple that's made up of one guy and one girl, together.

Kyle moves a little closer, keeps his voice low, and says, "I think on this world, ho--"

"Hi! Can I interest you too in our special couples discount on season passes?" A young woman dressed like something out of Grease says. She hands them a flyer. "Drive-in for Drought! Retro-romance at the flicks, all for a good cause."

"We're not a couple!" Kyle says, moving away from Wally in a rush that fortunately distracts the woman from noticing how Wally zipped a good three feet away from Kyle faster than she could blink.

"Well, they don't ask for a make-out test," the girl says. "You can go as friends, or double-date. It's for a good cause!"

Wally takes another flyer from her, before she moves on to ambush the next couple.

Wally takes a few relative minutes to calm down a little, so he's perfectly cool when he turns to face Kyle.

"She thought we were--"

"It is the norm here," Wally says. "Is that a problem for you, or-"

"No! Just, I don't know why she just assume we're a couple. It's not like we were--"

Wally rolls his eyes, making sure it's slow enough that Kyle can see. "Grow up, Kyle. What, are you afraid of gay cooties? Are we in middle school?"

Kyle crosses his arms. "Hey, I don't have a problem with this. I've got a problem with you, but that's completely unrelated to that."

"Whatever. Look, let's get something to eat and figure out what we're going to do next."

"Fine."

They head into a small diner with linoleum floor and leatherette seats and pick a booth at the far end. Wally orders coffee and a couple stacks of pancakes and manages to avoid arguing with Kyle by concentrating on his snack.

Kyle at least waits until he's finished before leaning back in his seat. "So, oh wise one, what's the plan? I'd assumed you had one when you ran here."

"If you hadn't stopped me, I could have got Piper and been back out before you even knew it."

"If you waited, I could have grabbed him with the ring without risking any of us. You didn't have--"

"You didn't have to come through after!" Wally says. "You knocked us through those mini-rips, sending Piper God knows where, instead of just--"

"For all I knew, you could have been sent somewhere past Pluto! I was trying to help. But you had to do it all by yourself. If you would just trust me for once, we wouldn't--"

"Sorry if I'm not going to close my eyes and trust that your oh-so-impressive mighty green ring will take care of everything, when you--"

"I'm not asking for that! But a little respect isn't too much to ask. You always pick at every damn thing I do, you never think I know what I'm-"

"Because you don't!" Wally must have said that a little too loudly, because it makes everyone in the diner turn to look at them.

"You guys are getting a little loud," the waitress says, pouring his refill.

Wally and Kyle exchange looks. "I'm-We're sorry," Wally says.

Kyle nods at the waitress. "Yeah. We shouldn't be getting into this in public."

She nods, sympathetically, and starts refilling his coffee. "Just keep it reasonable."

"I try," Kyle says.

Wally doesn't actually snort, but only by sheer act of will. Kyle glares at him, so he puts on his best all-purpose-apologetic look.

The waitress finishes pouring the coffee. "You-if you don't mind me asking, you guys work together, right?"

Wally and Kyle nod. The waitress looks satisfied. "I get it. It can be hard, getting involved with someone you work with. You just gotta learn to keep the work stuff outside of the relationship stuff." She looks over at the kitchen. "Trust me, me and Lucy have been together for fifteen years and counting." She wriggles her fingers, showing off her ring. "I know what I'm talking about." She heads back over to the counter.

Wally chokes on his coffee and superspeed means no-one else saw that. Kyle isn't so lucky. "She thinks we're-" Kyle says. "Not that there's anything wrong with being gay, just that... It's you."

"Like you could do better."

"I'd rather date Captain Boomerang," Kyle says.

Wally is just above responding to that, just. He finishes his coffee, wonders if he can get away with another double-stack of pancakes, and tries to think what they can do to find Piper fast. Kyle finishes his own coffee and fiddles with a napkin, folding it in random halves. The waitress comes over with their second refill.

"Ma'am, we're, uh, we're not together," Kyle says.

"Oh? Oh!" She grins. "I see."

"No, we're not-- I don't even like him," Kyle says. "We just work together, that's it. There's not a chance in hell I'd ever date someone like him, ever. I've got better taste than that. He's a complete asshole. Seriously, picks at everything I do, never gives me credit for anything."

"I don't give you a free pass, just because you got lucky and got it handed to you on a platter, instead of having to work at it like the rest of u--"

"Fuck you! I'm good at what I do, and you just won't admit it because I'm not Hal!" Kyle says, starting to stand up and lean over the table.

"That's right, you're not!"

"Uh huh," The waitress says. "Sounds like you boys have a lot to work out. Lotta tension in the air."

"It's not--"

"No, I get it."

"The whole place gets it," someone sitting near the counter yells out.

"But like you said, there's a time and a place for you to talk about these things. I think maybe you boys should go, find yourself a room and work out your differences."

Wally's face is red and Kyle's looks about the same. They pay for the bill and slink out.

"We head back to the same spot we dropped in," Wally says. "That's our base. You wait there and I can run out an look for Piper."

"That's your plan?" Kyle says. "We should find this world's league and ask for their help."

"If this world has a League," Wally says.

"Fine." Kyle looks around and heads into a side street, then conjures up a distinctly retro-looking TV and starts channel surfing.

"Our very own Linda Park has been taking a lot of trips to New York lately. Since her special in-depth interview with model and super-hero Koriand'r, the Titans' Starfire, gossip has linked these two exotic beauties and I am pleased to report as an Channel Four exclusive, that Linda and Koriand'r have released a press statement confirming their relationship. So Bill, what do you think about this latest--"

"--JLA are still assumed to be in action on J'xzol. Meanwhile, in domestic news, the JSA were seen in New York, apparently in pursuit of the Ultra-Humanite. We go live to--"

The channel changes. "And here in Star City, the annual pride event is in full swing. We can just see the Association for Mixed-Marriage coming round the corner. It's been a great year for them, hasn't it, Sarah?"

"That's right, Juan. Recently, Kentucky and California joined the list of states that recognise heterosexual unions and -oh! I think we-do have confirmation? Yes, it looks like the Arrow/Canary group are making their customary representation. This is kind of their pet cause, right Sarah?"

"It does seem so, Juan, and rumours linking Grace Choi of the Outsiders to--"

Switch.

"--latest rebuilding of the Flash museum will include a controversial exhibit on Barry Allen's rumoured relationship with reporter Iris West, as well as updates on special wing concerning the relationship between the Flash and Green Lantern, which has continued through the genera--"

Kyle switches off the screen. "So, we know it's pretty close to our world, right? Except for the--" he makes a vague gesture. "The sexual norms thing. There's still a League, and it sounds like there are familiar faces in it, so we should probably contact them."

"...Right," Wally says. "Contact J'onn, he can help us get Piper and get out." Good old, tick-the-"Other" box on any survey, J'onn. It's not that he's uncomfortable with this world, because he's not. It's the same for Piper in their world, and maybe the rips pulled that out of Piper's head, which is why they're here instead of one of more familiar alternate earths.

He's just trying hard not to think about what that wing in the Flash museum means, and what a rumoured straight romance in this world equates to in theirs. It's actually easier to wonder who this world's Wally is dating. Dick? Roy? Piper, even?

Kyle looks at him, smiling a little. "That kind of freaked you out, right?"

"What? No? I'm not a bigot, I'm okay with this world being-- You're the one that feels the need to explain that we're not a couple to everyone."

"Nothing to do with being gay. I just don't like anyone thinking I'd settle for you," Kyle says.

"Yeah, that's it," Wally says, not quite rolling his eyes. "You know, for a single artist that lives in Greenwich Village, I'd think you'd be a little more--"

"I'm perfectly comfortable with this," Kyle says. He looks around, then slips his arm round Wally, pulling him close enough that their hips almost bump together. Wally manages not to jump. Kyle looks at him, a little smug. "What's the matter, West? Worried people will stare?'

Wally fights the urge to hit him, and snuggles in closer, letting their hips touch. "Yeah. Mostly because people are wondering what a guy like me's doing with a scrub like you."

"Getting very lucky," Kyle says, then stops. "I mean, because I'm out of your league. You're dating way, way up with me. That kind of lucky."

"Feeling a little uncomfortable, Rayner?" Wally says. He's a long way away from the jerk that reacted so badly to Piper's coming out. Hell, he used to pal around with Dick and Roy when Dick was still in panties and Roy was five minutes away from humping the furniture. It's gonna take a lot more than this to make him uncomfortable.

"Fuck you, West," Kyle says.

"Yeah, like you'd have the-" He honestly doesn't see it coming, but suddenly Kyle's mouth is there, too hard at first, misjudging the distance and Wally feels smug for a moment before Kyle adjusts and actually kisses him, drawing back and looking pretty pleased with himself.

Wally never could back down from a challenge. He pushes Kyle back, down an alley and against a wall before he can blink, and kisses him back, hard and aggressive. Tongue and everything, says a voice in his head that sounds disturbingly like Roy.

And yeah, he's definitely got the upper hand now, so he pushes it a bit further, grinding against Kyle, then drawing back.

Except Kyle glares at him, manages another, "Fuck you, West," and Wally has time to think, "really original, Rayner," but not enough time to say it at a speed Kyle would actually hear, before Kyle is kissing him like a teenager on prom night, messy and hard and fast.

It's not the only thing that's fast, because his hands are moving, groping like he's got more than just two, and Wally thinks that maybe Kyle's putting his ring to some unauthorised use, but Kyle's going down to grab his dick and if he gets to Wally's before Wally gets to his, that probably means he wins or something. Hands are hands are hands, and mouths are just mouths, and nothing new there, but dicks are *different*, and he has to prove to this stupid asshole that he's-

"Wally, there you are! I was-- Uh. Oh. You're not my world's Wally, are you? Carry on, then." The voice is familiar and amused.

Piper. It's Piper standing in the alley looking at them, and Wally pulls back, moves to the far side of the alley.

"Sorry, I thought you were someone else," Piper's saying. "You two just, uh, get back to what you were doing." He shakes his head, kind of smiling. "This dimension just keeps getting more entertaining. Although perhaps you could help--"

"Piper, it is me."

"Yes, but I'm not... That is, I'm from an alternate universe. I was hoping my world's Flash and Green Lantern might have followed me here."

"We jumped in the portal after you," Wally says. He's changed back into his Flash costume for reasons that have less to do with the mask than the jock.

Piper looks shocked for a moment, then disbelieving, then kind of smug. "Really. Just checking, but in our dimension, you're dating...?"

"Linda," Wally says, hoping Piper will just leave it at that.

Piper turns to Kyle. "And are you from this dimension or--"

"Same as you," Kyle says. He's back in costume, mask covering his face, and failing to hide his embarrassment.

"Are you sure? You see, in my dimension, the current Green Lantern and Flash tend not to make out with each other. At least, as far as I know."

"We weren't--" Wally starts to say. "We were just proving a point," he says, at the same moment that Kyle says, "Trying to blend in."

"Really," Piper says. "So what point would this be, exactly?"

The kind of point that sounds really stupid and kind of homophobic if you say it out loud. He's pretty sure that playing gay-chicken isn't the sort if thing a mature, tolerant guy does.

"Just a point about blending in. You know, who can manage undercover stuff better," Kyle says, and maybe Wally would be grateful for that intervention, if this wasn't all Kyle's fault anyway.

"Yeah? Who won?"

"I did," Wally says, a split second before Kyle does. "Not that it was a big deal or anything."

"You were all over me," Kyle says. He leers at Wally.

"You started it!" Wally says, and he knows that Piper's laughing so hard he has to lean against a wall. He even knows that Piper's probably going to tell Linda about this in unnecessary detail, but he can't *stop*. "That was your tongue in my mouth, buddy, so--"

"You dragged me down the alley! It's a good thing we didn't get any further, or are you as fast there as you are-"

"I wasn't the one using my powers to grope other men, you-- Uh." Wally stops. Piper's standing there, casual as anything, arms crossed. He raises an eyebrow, which Wally is *conditioned* to panic at. "Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just saying. And it doesn't matter, because I was just proving my point."

Piper shakes his head and smiles. "Fine. Proving a point. With both hands and mouth, by the look of it. I can't say I'm completely surprised. Maybe it's something in the atmosphere." He looks at Wally and grins. " You know, we don't have to go back right now. We could bring your friend Nightwing over, just to see if--" He stops, catches Wally's expression, then bends over, laughing so hard he can barely stand. "You two just-- excuse me, I need a minute."

Wally crosses his arms and looks at Kyle. "So, you said you've got a way to get us home?"

"I trapped a fragment of the dimensional rip with my ring," Kyle says. "If I open it up, we should be able to go through without any problems." He hover above the ground, does something with the ring and there's a dimensional rip, nicely framed in green.

"Excellent. You guys are sure you don't want to stay here a little longer? It looked like you were finally making progress on your relationship..." Piper grins, then waves Wally forwards. "After you, Wally. Hey, you had any thoughts on how you're going to put this in your report to the rest of the Le-"

"--ague," he continues on the other side. "Or Linda. I mean, she's pretty open-minded, but I don't know if that includes her boyfriend groping his teammate in an alley."

"There's nothing to report," Kyle says when he comes through. He gestures, and the green frame around the dimensional rip contacts until it disappears. "Nothing to talk about, because nothing happened, right?"

Piper shakes his head. "But what about potential long-term effects of the alternate dimension? Aw, he's gone." He turns back at Wally and grins. "I knew no-one could be in a team with Nightwing and Arsenal and be totally straight. So, did he really make the first move?"

Wally shrugs, trying to come up with the best way of dealing with this. "I'm irresistible."

Piper laughs. "Wally, my friend, I can't wait to hear you explain this to Linda."



End!



Bonus!

Wally explains to Linda!



"-but honestly, we never even got much below the belt." Wally says, and the advantage of having these conversations in the living room is that he can stare at the magazines on the coffee table as a way of avoiding looking Linda in the face. "So it wasn't like anything really happened, but I thought I should tell you, before Piper does. Get my side of the story in first."

"You and Green Lantern. Groping in an alley like a couple of teenagers."

"Yeah. It wasn't anything, it was just-you know, mirrorverse rules. When in Rome, wear a toga so you don't stand out."

"You and Lantern. Were you in costume or...?"

"Civvies. I'm pretty sure he used the ring in ways the Oans never intended it to be used for." Wally tries to sound disapproving.

"Mmm. Terrible. So, you had him up against the wall, and you were-"

"But it's not like we got off."

Linda looks disturbingly disappointed and mutters something that Wally chooses to believe was not the word "Tease", before looking back up at him. "So, we weren't together in that world, right?"

"Right."

"So who was I with?"

"That's what you want to know?"

"Oh, come on. Jesse? Michelle?"

"Who?"

"You know, that girl at the coffee shop. Oh! Lois Lane. I met her a conference once, and if I wasn't she straight and she wasn't married-"

Wally tries to keep the hit-by-Grodd expression off his face. "Koriand'r! You were with Kory, alright?"

She raises her eyebrows. "Really? Huh. Gay Linda did okay for herself. I am so dating below my level with you." She elbows him and smirks. "Or maybe I just like redheads."

He settles down next to her, one arm around her shoulder. "Remind me not to leave you alone with Poison Ivy," he says, then stops. "You. Ivy."

"Or when Roy comes round," she says.

"Shh. I'm having a moment here." He closes his eyes, then opens them, sliding his hand up her leg and leaning in to kiss her.

"Shh, I'm having a moment here. You. Roy. Mmm, good moment." She opens them. "Although Nightwing is maybe more your type. It seems you like them dark-haired. Pretty. Limber." She climbs on to his lap.

Wally grins. "Are you up for a challenge, Miss Park? *Nightwing* can cross his ankles behind his head."

Linda stares at him.

"But I'm sure you have good points too-- Wait, that didn't come out right..."