Before they reached the river, Flash had told him everything about his
junior high school, the women he'd wanted to date, the women he'd
*actually* dated -- maybe -- his sixteen favorite restaurants in Central
City, and...

John's head was starting to hurt.

He'd been just fine with the 'tradition' of Lanterns and Flashes
working together -- though he suspected that had as much to do
with Wally's apparently deeply close friendship with Rayner than
anything else -- and he'd been just fine with the idea of the two of
them getting to know each other. It makes perfect sense to get to
know the others in this war, though from what John's seen there
aren't enough real *soldiers* among the spandex set to fill a unit.

Really, *all* of it makes sense, or is at least agreeable, but Wally is
just a little overwhelming.

"We're almost there," he says, more to interrupt the flow of
babble than anything else.

"Really? Great! I've never really been on a picnic before, you know?
It always seemed like something people did on television or on
dates or something. Er. Not that I think you want to date me.
Which would be okay. I just didn't think you swung that way."

John stares resolutely forward. He's not going to ask.

"I mean, I've thought about it. Doesn't everyone? Locker rooms
and... anyway, yeah, you're actually really hot and I didn't just say



John raises an eyebrow, and Wally has stopped. Or stopped as
much as he probably can. He's rocking on his heels just a little
too fast for John's mind to categorize as normal and staring at
the ground. And at John's chest, and face, and chest, and
face, and -- "Wally."

"Heh. I... you know, there's this thing the speedsters call
'subjective time.'"

"My hour is your..."

"*Forever*. I'm just. You know. Had some time to think.
And... er." And Wally is *leering* at him.

Right. "I haven't," John says, and keeps walking toward the

"That's fine! But you'll let me know, right? I mean, you
know, and if you wanted to --"

John takes one of the sandwiches out of the basket and
shoves it in Wally's mouth.

[A red-haired character / a story that begins 'Before they reached the river...']