"Is it really him?" Jax blurted out, looking at Martin sleeping fitfully on the couch. Each of the team stared at this new Martin, clearly younger than the man they had known in the end.
Captain Sara Lance stood next to him, her eyes wide. "Sorry to barge in, but when Jax told us, no one wanted to stay behind."
"I understand," Clarissa said with a soft smile. These were Martin's true friends. "It is really him... sort of?" She looked at Caitlin-12.
"We're from a different Earth. Our Cisco learned how to open breaches between worlds with his powers, and we came looking for someone to bond with Professor Stein. My husband..." she choked up. It was had to talk about Ronnie on a good day, and today was not a good day.
"I get it," Jax said kindly. "I felt it, felt him, as soon as you came through, I think. I just didn't know what it was I was feeling. It's been awhile." For Jax and the Legends, it had been four months since Martin Stein's death. Jax had actually been considering leaving the Waverider, it was getting too hard thinking and seeing memories of Grey at every turn.
"But can he bond with someone from a different Earth?" Jax asked.
The Caitlins looked at each other, thinking. "I don't think we have any choice but to try," Caitlin-1 said. "His temperature is rising too fast, he'll burn up if we don't do something."
"Hang on," both Ciscos said at once, and grinned at each other. "You thinking what I'm thinking?" "If we merge the frequencies of the different quantum splicers, we should be able to bring them together and keep them stable."
Jax nodded and pulled out his old quantum splicer from his pocket as Cisco-12 pulled out their quantum splicer from his bag. The Ciscos bent their heads together and spoke in intense low tones for a moment, vibing the right frequencies. They looked up, and said together, "Ready."
"Put this one on, and then put the other one on over it," Cisco-12 instructed Jax as the Barrys went to help up Martin.
"Five more minutes, Clarissa," the professor mumbled feverishly in his sleep. Team Flash-1 looked startled. "That's literally what he said right before he merged with Jax the first time," Caitlin explained to the room.
"Let's take him outside. I don't want to merge in the house, just in case it isn't smooth," Jax said. The Barrys helped a groggy Dr Stein to his feet as they explained that Jax had arrived and that they needed to do this *now*.
Martin could barely walk, barley open his eyes, as he was helped to the backyard. He just wanted to lie down and fall into an endless sleep. He looked up to see a strong, self possessed young man standing in front of him. He could see pain and hope in his eyes, and maturity, too.
"You ready for this, Grey?" Jax asked him, hand up, the way young kids shook hands on Martin's world.
"I have no idea," he answered honestly, putting his hand out to clasp Jax's. Everyone saw Jax's grin as the Firestorm matrix consumed them.
Firestorm was reborn, and everyone could tell it was a new version - the old colors of red and black of the Firestorm "outfit" had been replaced with an orangier color and black pinstripes.
"You here, Grey?" Jax as Firestorm said out loud.
"Yes, I'm here, and feeling much better. Thank you, Mr. Jackson," he heard Grey answer back in his mind. "He's here," he said to the crowd of friends, emotions making him just a little choked up. He hoped no one noticed, but knew that everyone had.
"I don't want to fly around here, I don't think anyone needs to know there's a new Martin Stein, yeah?"
"Take the Waverider, go do some good. We've all got a lot to talk about, anyway," Cisco-1 said, looking at his doppelgänger. Cisco-12 nodded.
"Come home soon, Dad," Lily said through tears.
"I'll bring him back after a few adventures, I promise," Jax said seriously. "I won't let you down again." He pushed in the way him and Grey had learned to communicate without speaking, and it worked - Martin unmerged, standing tall and obviously much better.
He went to hug Clarissa and Lily. "Your Martin may have left for many adventures, but I think I've had enough. I will be back. And then we can talk." He wanted to be their Martin, now. He wanted this.
Clarissa nodded, holding back her tears. Martin had died a hero. And now his family could have him back, at least in a way. Kadima. Forward.
A/N: I think this is where I'll end this story. I have a lot more fermenting, so stay tuned!