There is a lot of music in here. You can skip it. Lyrics are in here. The songs are at the end of the chapter if you want to listen to them

Smoke. Darkness. Heat. Screams. No child should even think to have this in their childhood. But it existed in his.

"Mom!"

"I'm over here," answered a voice hidden in an extremely thick blanket of smoke. Scared, frightened and blind, the child walked over.

"Why can't I see you mom?" he cried again before tripping. He landed in a pair of reassuring arms. They hugged him tightly. His mother's arms. Hot tears fell from her face and on to his. But all he noticed was his mom, and the horrid heat accompanied by thick choking smoke. The heat had become unbearable. He started to cry himself when he felt another hand stroking his hair.

"Dad?"

"I'm right here," he responded. The kid cried again. They were alone in the smoke filled room.

"Sh….sh…, you're my honeybunch, sugarplum

Pumpy, umpy, umpkin, you're my sweetie pie, You're my cuppycake, gumdrop

Snoogums, Boogums, the apple of my eye," she sang choking on smoke.

"And I love you so, and I want you to know

That I'll always be right here," his dad continued,

"And I love to sing sweet songs to you

Because you are so dear."

The child smiled and blacked out in his parents' arms. A second later a firefighter broke down the door.

"Anyone in here?" he cried.

"Over here!" cried the dad. The mom was coughing violently. The firefighter ran over.

"Holy Shit!" he cried. Both parents were tapped under burning rubble.

"Please," cried the mom, "Get our son out."

He looked in the woman's arms to see a small child unconscious. He lifted it from the mother's arms. He saw as she chocked from tears.

"Don't worry. More firefighters will be up shortly to get you out," he said taking the kid out of the building. It was a long time before they were out. As he ran outside, kid still in his arms, he saw falling rubble. He sprinted like hell away from the building. The last World Trade Center had fallen. He looked down at one of the newly orphaned children from this incident. He was covered in grime and soot and smelled like smoke and burnt paper. His clothes were badly burnt as well. His body wasn't much better. Looking at him, he couldn't help but think that his hair was the fire, his body was the smoke by contrast.

Almost ten years later.

The silver iPod just lay there. It was small. An older model. Palm sized. The team had seen it numerous times. No one listened to it. It was just there. But it wasn't in plane sight. It was in the cabinet in the kitchen where they kept there cereal. The first person to listen to it was Conner. He had an idea what it was from television. Placing the buds in his ears he hit play. No one else was around.

I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom to make it all better
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom who will love me whatever

I want a mom that'll take my hand
And make me feel like a holiday
A mom to tuck me in that night
and chase the monsters away
I want a mom that'll read me stories
And sing a lullaby
And if I have a bad dream to hold me when I cry

Oh,
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom to make it all better
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom that will love me whatever, forever

When she says to me, she will always be there
To watch and protect me I don't have to be scared
Oh, and when she says to me I will always love you
I won't need to worry 'cause I know that it's true

I want a mom when I get lonely
Who will take the time to play
A mom who can be a friend and a rainbow when it's gray
I want a mom to read me stories
And sing a lullaby
And if I have a bad dream, to hold me when I cry

Oh,
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom to make it all better
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom that will love me whatever, forever
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom to make it all better
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom that will love me whatever, forever
I want a mom
I want a mom
I want a mom that'll last forever
I want a mom that'll last forever
I want a mom
I want a mom
I want a mom that'll last forever
I want a mom
I want a mom that'll last forever
I want a mom that'll last forever
I want a mom...

Conner couldn't help but think, what was a mom? He knew it was someone who shared DNA from a parental point of view, but what did this song mean? He didn't have time to think about it when the next song began to play.

In the morning I was comforted
watching you from bed
rushing off to catch your bus
and kissing my forehead

while I was busy making plans
you held my life in your hands

was it so long ago
when there was a family close?
and I have been holding on
all alone, all along
but maybe you're gone
and maybe my family slipped away

frozen here like Mona Lisa
with a painted smile
balls and caps and crayon drawings
thrown into a pile
they no longer make the bed
all these children in my head

Conner quickly took the headphones out. He felt pain. A clone of Superman wasn't supposed to feel this. Was it some elaborate training set up by Batman? He put the small device back, and went off to ponder what he had just learned and felt.

He didn't notice that Artemis passing him. She was off to do something she would rather not do, but it wouldn't leave her alone until she did something about it. The iPod. She wanted to know what was on it. She opened the cupboard. She pulled it off the shelf and shuffled the songs. Then pressed play.

Give me a reason to believe that you're gone
I see your shadow so I know they're all wrong
Moonlight on the soft brown earth
It leads me to where you lay
They took you away from me but now I'm taking you home

[CHORUS:]
I will stay forever here with you
My love
The softly spoken words you gave me
Even in death our love goes on

Some say I'm crazy for my love, Oh my love
But no bonds can hold me from your side, Oh my love
They don't know you can't leave me
They don't hear you singing to me

[Chorus]

And I can't love you, anymore than I do

[Chorus]

And I can't love you, anymore than I do

People die, but real love is forever.

Artemis cocked an eyebrow. Whoever owned this sure was a depressing person. She let herself go right into the next song.

Hold on to me love
you know I can't stay long
all I wanted to say was, "I love you and I'm not afraid"
can you hear me?
Can you feel me in your arms?

[Chorus:]
holding my last breath
safe inside myself
are all my thoughts of you
sweet raptured light it ends here tonight

I'll miss the winter
a world of fragile things
look for me in the white forest
hiding in a hollow tree (come find me)
I know you hear me
I can taste it in your tears

[Chorus]

Closing your eyes to disappear,
You pray your dreams will leave you here;
But still you wake and know the truth,
No one is there...

Say goodnight,
Don't be afraid,
Calling me, calling me as you fade to black.

(Say goodnight) Holding my last breath
(Don't be afraid) Safe inside myself
(Calling me, calling me) Are all my thoughts of you?
Sweet raptured life, it ends here tonight

(Chorus)

(Holding my last breath)

Artemis drops the iPod. The buds drop from her ears. Whoever owned this… They needed help. She walks off to see if she can piece together who the owner is. She passed an overly happy M'gann in the hall. She was flying to the kitchen. Artemis thought it was to bake. But M'gann was going to "learn" about people from the mysterious silver iPod. She went to the cabinet and pulled it out. She put the strange buds in her ears after many attempts. She fumbled with the buttons until she heard something coming out of them.

When the curtain fell for me
the reason for living died.
Deep within the deep I call
get me by.

Get me by before the river runs dry
Get me by, get me by, get me by
Get me by 'cause I can't cry no more
I can't cry no more.

Holding on, holding on to your love,
Holding on, holding on to your love,
Holding on, holding on to your love,
Holding on, holding on to your love.

So I found the reason: not my will
yours be done as you intended
and I'll be still.
Yours be done as you intended
mine's done, I surrended.
Yours be done as you intended
mine's done, I surrended to you.
I surrended to you.
I surrended to you.

Holding on, holding on to your love,
holding on, holding on to your love,
I'm holding on, holding on to your love.
Holding on, holding on to your love.

Someone once told me
how to deal with loss.
He said, Wrap it up in a rainbow
and leave it by the cross.
Leave it by the foot of the cross, boy
leave it for me.
Leave it by the foot of the cross, boy
leave it for me.
Just leave it for me.
Leave it for me.
Leave it for me.

Holding on, holding on to your love,
I'm holding on, holding on to your love,
I'm holding on, holding on to your love.
I'm holding on, holding on to your love.

M'gann didn't understand. Love she did. But shouldn't love be happy? Why did this person make it sound so sad. So painful. The next song started. It was very sweet. Almost happy.

During the rain there was thunder and lightning,
during the rain you could hear somebody cry,
during the rain there was somebody fighting,
and like the rain they fell out of the sky.

Go ask the rain why there's thunder and lightning,
go ask the rain why they fell from the sky,
Go ask the rain why so many are crying,
I don't think the rain knows the answer to why.

Before the rain they were somebody to someone,
Before the rain they were just like you and I,
Before the rain they would get no words of caution,
Then came the rain and they fell from the sky,

After the rain there'll be thunder and lightning,
after the rain you'll hear everyone ask why,
after the rain there'll be somebody fighting,
giving their all so no more have to die.

Go ask the rain why there's thunder and lightning,
go ask the rain why they fell from the sky,
Go ask the rain why so many are crying,
I don't think the rain knows the answer to why
.

But she really wasn't listening to the words. She liked how sweet it sounded. She took out the buds, with a new perspective on people. As she left Robin walked in.

"Hi Robin!" she said cheerfully. Robin smiled back.

"Hey. That creepy iPod still there?"

"Uh-huh. It's so sad," she said floating off. Robin cocked his eyebrow. He wasn't there to look at the iPod. Or even listen to the stupid thing. But it seemed to have put M'gann in deep quiet thought. He just had to see what did this. He grabbed it and pressed play. Started off instrumental.

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying the stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying the stairway to heaven.

Robin turned it off and put it away. Stairway to heaven could be rather depressing. But who listened to it? Being Batman's protégé he had to, for the sake of his honor of being the student of the greatest detective, figure out whose it was. He left leaving it on the counter. Kaldur walked in as Robin left. He noticed the iPod on the counter. He sighed and put the buds in. He figured it would help him become a better leader if he understood his team better. He fumbled with the buttons until music came out.

It's true, we're all a little insane.
But it's so clear,
Now that I'm unchained.

Fear is only in our minds,
Taking over all the time.
Fear is only in our minds
but it's taking over all the time.

You poor sweet innocent thing.
Dry your eyes and testify.
You know you live to break me.
Don't deny sweet sacrifice.

One day
I'm gonna forget your name,
And one sweet day,
you're gonna drown in my lost pain.

Fear is only in our minds,
Taking over all the time.
Fear is only in our minds
but it's taking over all the time.

You poor sweet innocent thing.
Dry your eyes and testify.
And oh you love to hate me, don't you, honey?
I'm your sacrifice.

(I dream in darkness
I sleep to die,
Erase the silence,
Erase my life.)

Do you wonder why you hate? (Our burning ashes,
Blacken the day)
Are you still too weak to survive your mistakes? (A world of nothingness,
Blow me away.)

You poor sweet innocent thing.
Dry your eyes and testify.
You know you live to break me.
Don't deny.
Sweet sacrifice.

He first thought it was Robin, or even Artemis. It was so depressing. The next song interrupted his thought.

Tuesday morning, I'm off to work
Hustling to the car still buttoning my shirt
Like every other day, turn on the radio

Something 'bout planes crashing, buildings burning
The minutes passing by, we're still learning
What's goin on...nobody knows

It's the day the lights went out, the day the lights went on
The day our hearts were broken and our spirit strong

CHORUS
I'll always remember
The way we came together
Mother and father, sister and brother
Total strangers helping each other
The day the world grew bigger
I'll always remember

Same time each year, it comes back on the news
These images and tragedies giving me the blues
Look at my life, who I am and how I feel

I want to be a better mother, better person
Better friend to those who are hurtin
Make sure the moments in my life are real

It's the day the lights went out, the day the lights went on
The day our hearts were broken and our spirit strong

CHORUS
I'll always remember
The way we came together
Mother and father, sister and brother
Total strangers helping each other
The day the world grew bigger
I'll always remember

It's the day the lights went out, the day the lights went on
The day we got it right, the day we got it wrong
It's the day that we were weak, and the day that we were strong
It's the day we found a better way to get along?

CHORUS
I'll always remember
The way we came together
Mother and father, sister and brother
Total strangers helping each other
The day the world grew bigger
I'll always remember

Kaldur took it out of his ears and left it on the counter. That tone didn't match anyone on the team. M'gann was too happy. Conner was well, Conner. Artemis was too serious. Wally was Wally and Robin was more into athletics than music. He walked out of the kitchen and into the living room. Where an argument was taking place.

"It's not mine!" yelled Artemis.

"Not mine!" yelled Robin. They were going back and forth at it.

"ENOUGH!" yelled Kaldur. Everyone turned and looked at him, "This thing is tearing us apart. Whoever owns it please just take it."

"Take what?" asked a voice. They all turned to see Wally, with the iPod in hand. One ear bud in, the other one out. Everyone started. Wally gave them a look. His clothes didn't help him either. A black turtle neck, long brown pants, and fingerless gloves.

"Um… the iPod in your hand is…?" began Kaldur.

"Mine," he answered. Everyone looked at the speedster. He was a happy uplifting person who really didn't seem to care about things that weren't fact. But he liked depressing music? Kaldur looked at him closer. A strange red thing seemed to be on his neck. Discolored skin.

"Wally, can I see you for a minute?" asked Kaldur. Wally looked at him.

"Sure." He said. Wally and Conner walked out, leaving the team to think/discuss how they couldn't know it belonged to Wally.

"So, what do you want to talk about?" asked Wally. Kaldur grabbed his shoulder to make sure he didn't run away.

"Your neck. Your skin seems…"

Wally's face turned pale. He took a step back. His legs felt like Jelly. He didn't want to remember. He didn't want them to know. It hurt to much. Almost ten years. And he still couldn't bear to tell anyone. He grabbed his neck. To hide his scar. Tears filled his eyes. He let none of them fall.

"I'm fine," he chocked. He looked away from Kaldur, "May I go now?"

"Of course," he said letting go. Wally sped off. Kaldur grabbed his communicator, "Batman, I'm sorry to be calling you, but something is wrong with Wally. He is hiding something. He looks like he's in pain."

"I'll be right over."

In about an hour, Batman had shown up for physicals. Wally was extremely jumpy. He forgot to cover up. He prayed that Flash would get here soon enough to help him. He was lucky that everyone went before him.

"Wallace. You're up," said Batman. Wally looked at Kaldur. His eyes were pleading.

"Please Batman, I'm not feeling too good. Maybe another time?" he begged. Robin cocked an eyebrow. He never would give up a chance to show M'gann how fit he was. What was he hiding?

"No. Now."

Wally whimpered. He looked at Batman and the rest of his team. He grabbed the bottom of his shirt. But he couldn't make himself lift it.

"WALLY!" yelled a familiar voice. Barry ran next to him. He noticed Wally was taking off the shirt. But he didn't read the atmosphere at all.

"So you're finally showing them?" he asked. Wally's face turned away.

"Showing us what?" asked Batman. Barry then realized he was called to prevent it.

"Uh… a small injury from Captain Cold. But you know it should be healed by now."

"It's a team physical," said Batman. Barry rubbed the back of his neck.

"He's fine. I take care of him."

"Flash. As leader of this team, I need to take care of their health. And from what I understand, something is wrong with him."

Wally looked away.

"I'm not ready," he finally said. He ran off.

"Don't be mad guys. Ten years ago, everything was right with the world. Ten years ago it fell apart. Five years ago, he gained his powers," he said.

"What do you mean by that?" asked Kaldur.

"He'll tell you. When he's ready," was all Flash could say.

"Come on! You're his dad! Why can't you tell us?" asked Robin. Everyone was listening intently. The Flash looked at them for a minute before letting out a weak smile.

"You thought… I was his…? Oh no. I'm not his dad. I'm his uncle."

"Uncle?" asked Artemis.

"Yeah."

"But he lives with you!" yelled Robin. The Flash rubbed the back of his neck.

"That was after the attack," he mumbled. He remembered it too well. He was stuck in Central fighting crime when he heard. And it was a year later they identified two bodies. His wife's brother and his wife. He went there to mourn with Iris. But there were two people there before them. A small child with red hair. And an older man nearby.

He later figured out it was Wally. The custody battle took forever, but Barry and Iris had won. But they often times invited the man (named Charlie) over to see Wally. He always did.

He didn't realize Batman had heard him. He emitted an extremely dark aura.

"Flash. We need to talk."

They both walked out, leaving the team behind as Wally walked in.

"Wally!" cried M'gann. She was full of energy, "I have a question."

Wally winced. Did she see his burn?

"What does "Someone once told me
how to deal with loss.
He said, Wrap it up in a rainbow
and leave it by the cross.
" Mean?" she asked. Wally let out a small smile.

"Oh. You were listening to my music. Well, it means," he began tears starting to fall from his eyes, "When you lose something, think of the good things. And then leave it in a place where light can always get to it."

"You're in pain?" asked Conner. Wally rubbed his eyes.

"I've been in pain for ten years Supes. They've been gone for so long. Because…, some guy wanted…, to make a point."

His eyes were fogged. He knew he'd have to tell them. And he wasn't ready. But it had to be said.

"I'm an orphan of a terrorist attack."

Songs used in this are

I want a mom who will last forever

Everyone needs a family

Even in Death

My Last Breath

Holding onto your love

Go ask the rain

Stairway to heaven

Sweet Sacrifice

I'll Always remember

This is a nine eleven tribute. It's long. Not very good. If it isn't obvious, Wally was the kid earlier in the story. I have no life. But this has a purpose. Please review.