In a Flash
Piper barely looked up from his paper as James Jesse sauntered into the room. The FBI agent and former criminal known as the Trickster looked down at the other man with a grimace. "Where is he, Piper?"
"Who?" Piper turned the page with a sigh. "Be specific. I'm not an Oracle, you know."
"Flash! Where is he? All hell is breaking loose and no one has seen him in weeks!" Agent Jesse leaned closer pulling the paper out of Piper's hands.
The strawberry blond raised an eyebrow and looked at him in disdain. "You can't be serious."
"I'm very serious! Where is he?" James growled at the other Rogue.
A loud crash came from the kitchen followed by a screamed curse.
James looked up with a wicked grin.
Piper shook his head. "I wouldn't go in there if I was you. It isn't worth it. Just go on out to the sanity that is the riots, and leave this mess in here, to me."
Piper picked up his paper once more as he calmly folded it to the crossword section. "Wally... is in a... mood." He pursed his lips as he clicked his pen. "I find it best to read my paper until it is over."
A clatter arose from the other room sounding as though every pan in the apartment had tumbled out of one cabinet. A very inventive string of curses issued forth from the same direction.
"Hm, I was under the impression your parents were married Hartley!" James snickered. "What the hell is he doing in there? And why is he threatening you... um... grievous bodily harm?"
Piper clicked his tongue as he filled in an answer to the puzzle. "They were, he's cooking, and for some reason he blames me for every problem that exists in the universe at the moment. Don't worry about it, he'll snap out of it in about ten minutes or so. The good thing about his meta abilities, is not only does he move fast, his emotions move just as fast."
"Wally is cooking? Piper, Wally never cooks, he can't cook..."
"You'll get no argument from me. Luckily, I'm on a special diet." Piper nodded marking down another answer.
"What kind of diet?" James narrowed his eyes.
"Whatever kind of diet will get me out of eating whatever the hell he is making diet." Piper sighed with a shake of his head. "Now, don't you have something to do? Remember, riots? Shoo!"
"I can easily get you out of eating charcoal, and it will also stop the riots." James leveled a finger at him as he turned toward the kitchen.
"Don't go in there! I mean it! It can be very bad! Just... sit out here with me if you don't want to go back to work, but don't bother Wally!" Piper warned again as another barrage of curses streamed from the closed door. "It is so not worth it!"
"Piper, I don't know what is going on between you two since Linda died, and it is none of my business, but Wally needs to get out there and help put a stop to these riots!" James roared.
Piper shushed him uselessly, wincing as the door flung open to reveal Wally.
All of Wally.
"My God! What did he do? Swallow a basketball?" James gaped.
"Shut... up... James!" Piper hissed through his teeth.
"What did you say?" Wally stalked forward tossing down a burnt log onto the table.
"He didn't say anything of importance, he wants to play basketball, later..." Piper said weakly. "Hey! Looks good! Dinner done?"
"Well done!" James muttered.
"Shut up, James!" Piper all but sang softly. "Go back to the nice quiet riots while you can."
"Seriously though, what is wrong with Wally?" James asked while Wally continued to glare in his direction.
"Wally! Uh, sweetheart! You know, you worked so hard to make this, why don't you sit down and rest, I'll walk James out. He has to go back to work... *now*!" Piper smiled, though his teeth looked suspiciously bared. "You just relax!"
Piper grabbed James by the upper arm and all but pulled him out of the room. As the door shut between them and the rotund Scarlet Speedster, Piper turned on James ferociously, "Are you insane?"
"What is going on? What is wrong with him? A tumor?" James gestured at the door wildly.
"No!" Piper spat then just as quickly rubbed his head with a tired sigh. "Oh, God, gay men shouldn't have to put up with this kind of thing. Not that I truly mind... just... "
"What kind of thing?" James asked.
"Look, you remember how Linda died?" Piper winced as James nodded. "Well, what you probably didn't know was that Linda was pregnant at the time. Wally tried to save her, look I don't know how all this Speed Force mojo stuff works, but from what I understand it works on a somewhat instinctual level. The baby was already tied into the Speed Force, despite being a small little fetus. Wally reached out with the Speed Force somehow and snagged the baby before Linda was destroyed in the blast and brought it back toward him. Unfortunately there was no other place for the baby to go, being so young... with the exception of the one who had caught him. Wally."
"Whoa, wait, are you saying... Wally is pregnant with Linda's child?" James stared in disbelief. "That is crazy, Piper!"
Piper shrugged. "I know, but I've seen the ultrasounds myself, hell, I've felt the baby move! Somehow, the Speed Force is protecting the baby inside Wally until it is big enough to be born, therefore, Wally can't use his powers directly. He can't help you in the riots right now. One, he doesn't have access to his speed, two, he's carrying a life within him, his last link to Linda. You wouldn't ask a pregnant woman to go into battle would you?"
James numbly shook his head.
"Look, I have Jesse Quick's number, call her, call Jay, call Bart, I don't care, call the entire Justice League and the Titans. But leave Wally out of it!" Piper narrowed his eyes. "Just leave him alone! He's having a tough enough time without you adding a heap of guilt on top for not doing his 'job'!"
The door opened slowly and Wally stuck his head out. Sad green eyes peered from underneath unruly red hair. "Piper, I'm sorry. Look, I'll order pizza. What do you want on it? Hi, James, you can come back in if you want. I'm sorry..." Wally broke off with a sigh.
Piper smiled. "Nothing to be sorry about! And James really was just leaving, he's on duty or whatever it is FBI agents call it. He's supposed to be working, not gossiping with the locals!"
Wally crossed his arms over his chest, but it looked more like he was hugging himself. "Are you sure?"
James nodded slowly. "Yeah, I've got to make some calls, but I can come back later? If you want? Catch up with you!"
Wally nodded as he came up to hug Piper.
Piper brushed a strand of hair from Wally's face and tucked it behind his ear. "We need to get your hair cut again, it's growing so fast!"
"I can't figure out why." Wally shook his head as Piper smiled fondly.
"I'll be inside in a second. Go ahead and order that pizza!" Piper chuckled.
As the door closed behind Wally, Piper turned to meet James' eyes.
"Moving a little fast isn't he? With you I mean." James asked ruefully.
"With Wally, most everything happens fast. Including falling in love. Not that I'm complaining. But just because he cares about me, doesn't mean that he loves Linda any less. And if heaven is real, she knows that. Now, these are the numbers you should call..."