a/n: I’m writing another series of vignettes from Wally’s pov. Here’s the preview of the first one. Puppies.
Heaven looks an awful lot like a dog pound.
One moment Wally had been running circles around an alien technology that was intent on nuking him like he was mosquito caught in the world’s largest electric bug zapper. The next he’s standing in a white room, lined with crusty cages, feeling like he just got soaked in scalding water.
Every pore on his body is tingling and strangely clean. He’s just about to inspect himself because he has a sinking suspicion that he’ll be able to see right through the flesh on his hands, when the door on the other end of the room slams open and he comes barging inside.
He’s smiling and Artemis is right behind him, punching him playfully on the back so he’ll move enough to let her in the door.
Wally watches, stares, says, “Hello?”
But neither himself nor Artemis looks up at him so he’s guessing he’s invisible. If this is heaven it looks an awful lot like a tour of his greatest hits. He isn’t complaining.
Artemis crouches in front of the corner cage, reaches a hand through the bars. There’s the sound of a lapping wet tongue, sliding against her skin and she throws her head back and laughs.
“This is the one,” she says, lowering her face to stare intently through the bars. “I’m naming him Brucely.”
“You sure? Brucely? I fear for our future children with your knack for inventing godawful names,” Wally says, kneeling beside her.
Wally watches as Artemis turns to look at him, the other him, with wide eyes and pale, yellowing skin. Her fingers twitch, sliding from Brucely’s mug to grasp a bar.
“Who says I want you to father my children?” she says, and she would sound petulant if her voice wasn’t shaking and she didn’t look so damn scared.
They’d only been dating three years at this point and there were so many walls still in place behind her eyes. This was one of them. One of the hardest to knock down. The fear that she wouldn’t be good enough for a family, be good enough for him.
The other him places his hands on either side of her face and swipes his thumbs across her cheeks. They stare at each other before Wally leans down and kisses her. No words. There would be time for words later.
Or there would have been time for words then, now Wally finds himself shouting and thrashing as the dog pound is swallowed in a thick white mist and disappears entirely.
He runs for awhile. But no matter how long he runs, which direction he runs, how fast he runs, he gets nowhere. And isn’t that the story of his life.