"So you and Lois. . .pretty competitive, huh?"
Chloe shrugged, glancing up to see why, exactly, the cute guy was asking questions about her cousin. She had grown tired of that game back at Camp Rolling Waters when they were kids. "Not so much, anymore, but yeah, for a long time, I guess we were." Don't ask why, don't ask. . .
"Why?" Wally glanced down at her, holding up both hands to withdraw the question if it offended. "If I'm out of line here, feel free to say so." He smiled, and on anyone else it would've been a leer, but this strange, slightly manic man somehow made it work. "I just don't see where there's a comparison between the two of you."
Chloe broke into a pleased grin that hopefully conveyed the brownie points he had just scored. Major brownie points. Batches and batches of brownie points, because the delivery sounded genuine. "Well, she did the whole reporter thing first. She works for the more prestigious publication, she, er, works with my high school sweetheart--"
"That's what they're calling it now days?" Wally shot her a cryptic smile.
Chloe stopped abruptly. "You know?"
"Maybe." Wally faced her, arms crossed over his chest, leading Chloe to briefly wonder if they practiced superhero stances down at the Justice League during down time. "What do you think I know?"
Tilting up her chin, Chloe squinted suspiciously and mimicked his stance. "Why don't you tell me what you think, that I think that you know."
"Why don't you. . ." Wally broke off, brows knitting for a moment in consternation. "Hey! No riddles. I get enough of that when Gotham misbehaves."
"I like words, you'd better get used to it," Chloe teased with a grin. "So you know about Lois and Lex, huh?"
"Are you kidding me? I have the thankless job of being Clark Kent's confidant." Wally shook his head as they started along the path again. "The things I know would singe the tips of your hair, Chloe."
"Doubt it," she shot back, smirking up at him wryly. "Who do you think Lex and Lois talk to?"
"You're--? No way!" Wally laughed and shook his head. "Tip of the lightning bolt to you, Dr. Ruth."
"Is this or is this not the most suicidal thing you could possibly imagine?"
"I'd rather french kiss a hand grenade." He glanced down. "He has these massively X-rated dreams."
"He has a massively X-rated life, and someone's going to get hurt." Chloe sighed, shaking her head as they stopped to watch fireflies dancing across the park green. "Oh."
Wally glanced down, prodding curiously at her sad sigh. "He's a big boy, he can take care of himself."
"No, I'm not it's not that." Chloe pointed at the opposite side of the field where a tanker truck trundled along, spraying for mosquitoes. "Pesticides. Those poor fireflies."
She felt a stir of air and glanced up, then around, finding herself alone. "Wally?" There was a sudden breeze rustling the trees and she watched in amazement as the fireflies disappeared in a blink, gasping when he reappeared at her side with a soft woosh. Warm and smelling like fresh grass and summer wind, his large hands cupped together in front of him. "Did you--?" Chloe watched, amazed, as a firefly escaped between two fingers, before she nudged it back into its temporary hiding place. It was every clich,, in the world to even think it, but Chloe felt something inside of her light in answer to the faint glow from the hollow of his hands. Words so soft and pleased, he might not have even heard them. "You did."
"So let's go find a new home for these guys, what do you say?"
Chloe supervised the release on a distant side of the park that wouldn't be sprayed again this summer. It was quiet and still and she wondered if Wally was holding his breath too, until they saw those first flickers in their new habitat. She thought she felt him exhale as she slid an arm around his waist and they watched the show.
It was nice to tip her head back and watch him unguarded, enjoying the light show and maybe a little proud of himself. "That was a pretty amazing thing, Flash."
He shrugged expressively as he dropped an arm around her shoulders, casting a sly smile down at her. "All in a day's work, Miss Sullivan."
Sometimes life was cheesy like one of Lex's black and white movies, and it was good.
When Wally kissed her, the world stopped. When he cradled her face in his hands it lurched back into motion. It was dizzing and breathless, as playful and brash as Wally himself, like the best kind of roller coaster going way too fast. He tasted like sugar and mint from the Tic-Tacs she had caught him downing like amphetamines, when she returned from the restroom at the restaurant. She would personally kick Clark's ass for making another boyfriend paranoid--as soon as she decided when Wally West had become a boyfriend.
There was time enough for that, later. Tonight, fireflies were dancing.
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