Story will contain spoilers. Big spoilers. Like, the entire plot of the first and second seasons will be pretty much spoiled for you if you read this. Just a heads up.
Red Arrow, known to his friends as Roy Harper, was drinking in his apartment after Wally's funeral. He was on his fourth can of beer now, and he still wasn't drunk enough. He needed to be absolutely plastered before he started thinking again. The thinking was bad. It hurt. He needed to be drunk enough to stop having coherent thoughts.
Maybe he'd pass out.
Maybe he'd die.
Then he wouldn't have to think about it anymore.
He knew deep down that he couldn't die. He couldn't leave Lian. Ollie would probably go insane, not that he cared. Black Canary would probably get mad at him for it anyway. Wally would be mad at him too. When he got up there. He'd probably yell at him for a while.
No, he couldn't die. He couldn't deny that right here, right now, he wanted to, dear god how he wanted to, but he knew he couldn't.
He still couldn't believe that he was really gone. It felt like a stupid prank, the kind that Wally and Dick would play on him all the time back in the good old days. Back when they were brothers and it was the three of them against the world. Well, the three of them and an occasional Kaldur. That was always how it was.
Wally was one of his best friends.
Wally was his brother.
And now he was gone.
It just didn't seem real. It didn't even seem possible. It felt like Wally would come zipping in any second now and say something really stupid and then Roy would punch him in the arm and yell at him for scaring him like that. And then Wally would hug him and he would hug back, and then he'd never let go.
His head was in his hands and he was pretty sure that he couldn't breathe. The weight in his chest was suffocating, and his heart was pounding so hard that it hurt. He was thinking again. Thinking and hoping and wishing, and he just needed to stop, he needed to breathe, he needed to drink...
He threw back another can before crushing it in his fist. He stared at the crushed metal in his hand, the small amount of alcohol left in it dripping on to his fingers. His hand was bleeding where the metal has cut it, and the liquid stung when it made contact with the broken skin, but he couldn't bring himself to care. He knew that he had to get up, he had to take care of the slice on his hand, but he just didn't want to. He just wanted to sit here and wallow in his own misery for the night, possibly the rest of his life if everyone would just leave him alone.
"Wow." There was a voice. Someone was talking, in his apartment, but it wasn't him. It sounded like him, it was his voice, but it wasn't him. No, that was wrong. It wasn't his voice. It belonged to the other boy, the one who was real, the one that was original. "This really is sad. Ollie said that he was worried about you, but I didn't think that... Wow."
Red Arrow didn't even look up. He didn't move an inch, just sat there, crushed, dripping can still in hand.
"Thanks for the pep talk." His voice came out angry, if not slightly slurred, which he let out a sigh of relief at. At least the beer was working. He waited for the other to respond, but when he got no answer, it just made him more angry. "What do you want!? Why are you even in my apartment!?"
He threw the crumpled mass of metal in his hand as hard as he could, initially aiming for the other boys head, but the other hero didn't even need to dodge as he watched the can hit the wall next to him, hard enough to leave a dent.
He didn't really mean it. He wasn't that mad at him. But before he could even tell what he was doing, he was taking out all of his anger on someone who wasn't even involved. Somewhere deep in his head, in a part that wasn't completely drunk yet, he knew it was ridiculous. But the part that was here, now, controlling him, that was the part that was angry, drunk, and hurt. He'd never been very good at dealing with his feelings, even when his wasn't angry, drunk, and hurt.
He stood up, he was about to start yelling, about to start screaming at the top of his lungs because how dare he show up in his apartment when this mess is his fault and if it wasn't for him then this wouldn't have happened. He was looking for the words to hurl insults and throw blame at the boy currently standing in front of him, but just as quickly as this crushing, burning, choking anger appeared, it was gone again. It left him again and all Red Arrow could do was sink back down into his couch seat and put his head in his bloody hands again, smudges of red making their way onto his face.
"That cut on your hands pretty deep. We're gonna have to sort it."
His voice was soft, yet slightly mechanical, like he was trying to be nice, to be understanding, but just wasn't too sure how to go about it. Red just closed his eyes and sighed into his injured hands, which turned into a deep groan when the air hit the cut.
"Why?" He didn't sound as angry anymore, even though he wanted to, was trying to be angry, because being angry was easier than being sad or hurt or fragile. But he sounded more subdued now, still slurred, but the edge had left his tone, making him sound more tired. Beaten. Broken.
"What do you mean why? If we don't sort it then it'll get infected, and then who knows what'll happen. The league won't have an archer who can't pull a bowstring. After all, and archers hands are the most importan-"
"That's not what I meant." Red cut him off, finally moving his head from his hands to look at the other archer. He was in his civvies, the usual hard glare visible through his mask replaced with bright blue eyes, much too similar to his own, looking at him with a hint of worry. He wore a red t-shirt, and he could see the light from the window reflect off the silver of the boys new arm. He didn't have a bow, or a quiver, and Red could tell easily through his t-shirt and jeans that he wasn't armed. Naturally, there were always the weapons built in to his arm to worry about, so Red didn't let his guard down completely, but it didn't look like the boy had come to fight. "You know that wasn't what I was talking about."
Red stared at him for a few seconds before he got an answer. "I don't know what you mean. Anyway, if we don't get it fixed, then it'll-"
"There, you did it again!" Red shouted, earning a raise of the eyebrows from the younger boy.
"'We should sort it', 'we need to fix it or you won't be able to pull a bowstring', since when has there even been a we? What are you doing here!?" The anger in his voice had returned, but it didn't run deep like before, and it wasn't as fuelled by the alcohol, either. It was gentler, more in control.
"I figured I'd come down and give you a hand." He said, detaching his prosthetic hand and hiding it out.
Red stared at him for a few seconds, trying desperately but failing to keep the shadow of a smile off his face. "Seriously?"
The teenager sighed. "I knew it was stupid." He answered, reattaching his hand to his arm. "Ollie said you'd think it was funny. I told him it was stupid. Thought I'd give it a try."
"Ollie?" Red raised his eyebrows. "Is that why you're here? Did he send you to babysit me?"
"I told him that you'd want to be alone. He wouldn't listen. He never understood wanting to be alone, he loves people." Red smiled a little at that. He remembered what it was like living with Ollie- and no doubt the other boy did too. He wasn't good with privacy. "I convinced him to let me come instead. Told him I could talk to you."
Red scoffed. "Why would you tell him that?"
"Because I knew you'd just push him away. And I know that because that's what I'd do, too." The guard that he had been keeping up during their conversation crumbled, and he walked forward to sit on the couch next to Red. Red was still resistant to talk to him, but relaxed slightly as the other boy did.
"So? Why do you care? I'm just your clone." He spat the word like they were poison in his mouth, meaning to sound angry but mostly coming out hurt.
"Who says I care?" Was the reply he was met with, which earned the other boy a scowl. The teenager pressed a button on the inside of his mechanical wrist, opening a compartment in his arm. It looked like had tricked out his arm to be able to do even more than Luthor's tech originally could, and Red made a mental note to ask him more about that later. Using his other hand, he pulled out a small first aid kit, and began to deal with Red's profusely bleeding palm. "This is gonna need stitches."
His hands were cold, and moved swiftly, and the deep cut was quickly see up by the younger boy and bandaged expertly. Red could have and would have done that himself, but he merely left the boy to it, curiosity plaguing him. That, and those stitches were neater than anything he could have done with his left hand.
"If you don't care then why? Why come here? Why do this? It all seems pretty pointless to me."
The boy sighed, finishing up the bandages. They sat there for a moment in silence, heavy breathes and traffic from the open window the only sounds to fill the apartment. Red could see a mild look of hesitation on the other boys face, and for a second he thought that he wasn't going to answer, but after a long silence, he opened his mouth again. Even hen he didn't seem eager to tell.
"I... I may or may not need your help with something."
Red raised his eyebrows at that. Roy Harper, asking for help? That hardly ever happened. Back when Red was the only Roy, he never asked for help. Never. Not unless he'd jumped in head first to something much bigger than he anticipated, or he was chasing down something seriously huge and wasn't sure how to proceed.
He wondered which one it was that had driven the original Speedy to ask him.
Red thought the younger boy would take the silence as his chance to elaborate, but he seemed to be waiting, gauging Red's reaction. Silence enveloped them once again, and Red couldn't stand it anymore. He needed to break it.
"What sort of help." It wasn't really a question. It didn't sound like a question. It was too dry, it sounded more like a statement. The younger boy looked him in the eyes for a second before he turned his gaze to the fresh dent in the wall where the can had been thrown.
"I got a lead on Luthor. And it just happens to be something that I can't do alone." Red tried to ignore the way the teens face contorted like it was physically painful for him to ask for help, but he couldn't let it go unnoticed how hard it must be for the other boy. But that does beg the question; what sort of lead is this if he can't handle it himself, and felt that his clone could help?
A dangerous one, that's what.
He wasn't sure what to do. He knew that it was a bad idea to agree to help him on something that was probably going to be really dangerous. And never agree to something when you're drunk, that's what they say, isn't it? Well, that's what Ollie always told him.
He knew he should be careful, what with Jade trying to get out of the Shadows and now he had Lian to think about. He wanted them to start being a family, he did, and he knew Jade was trying...
So he had to try too. He had to do something to pull himself out of the alcohol filled self loathing pit that he hadn't fallen back into since Jade told him about Lian. And then they went on that big mission to find the real Speedy. Big missions always pulled him out. He needed something to pour his concentration into until he was okay. Okay enough to be able to think of Wally and see the happy memories without the pain.
"I'm not saying yes, but if I did, what would you need help with?"
I hope you enjoyed chapter one, I'll see you after the new year for chapter two! I really like this story, I'm very passionate about it and I think it's going really well.