11:30 a.m. | Midtown, Manhattan, New York City
This, Wally thought, was a nice change of pace. No supervillains. No flaming buildings, no crashing planes. No physics textbooks, no multivariable calculus, no statistical mechanics or differential equations; no Barry to tell him to put down his phone and pick up his books, no Rudy to point out his numerous, embarrassing failures as not only a son, but a human being – no, there was none of that. There was just him, his friends, the bustling, ever-busy pulse of New York life, and Marv’s Pizza.
“Oh my gob – thish pizza’s sho good,” said Wally. The cheese. The tomatoes. Just the right amount of pepperoni. They all combined into a blast of such intense flavour, he didn’t know how to begin to describe it. He was already digging into his fourth pie, and he was in heaven. “I’m in heaben.”
He swallowed. “This is probably the one thing Flash and I can agree on. New York pizza’s the best.” He paused to contemplate, tapping his finger against his chin in a blur, and sighed. “Wait, no. He likes Chicago’s better. Say, Babs, are you uh… are you gonna finish yours?”
The redhead roused herself from where she’d been staring contemplatively out the window at nothing. Trying idly to figure out whether the busted street light outside increased her chances of hopping the subway turnstile without getting caught. More officers on the street, sure. But just traffic patrol, and I’m at least as good as Dad as far as they’re concerned…
“Maybe, maybe not,” she shrugged nonchalantly. “But do you really wanna test me?” Babs lips curled into something that was either smile or smirk, depending on how long a person looked.
“Absolutely. My feelings for pizza are stronger than my fear of you.” But he made no attempt at stealing her slice. “Shame Dick couldn’t make it. I didn’t expect to hear back from Roy, but it’d be nice to get Batboy out of his cave sometimes, y’know?”
She didn’t answer right away, taking a too-big bite of the slice before her, feeling sauce and cheese scald the roof of her mouth in a way that felt almost indulgent. Behind her, the place was loud with chatter and alive with the motion of people milling from door to table to pinball and back again. At the counter, a tourist was ordering two cheese slices in broken English. Babs thought she heard something vaguely Mediterranean in the accent. Outside, a motorcycle roared by, close. Somewhere on the far side of the room, a family groaned off-tune strains of happy birthday over a child’s ever-louder screaming. A radio overhead played decade-old pop hits from a former Disney star, static just beneath the dim glow and fainter hum of neon, and everywhere the sheer overpowering scent of mozzarella and tomato and oregano.
Three officers on the street, two at the corner. He’s gotta just be getting off a long shift, way he’s pacing like that. I bet he wouldn’t stop me if I jumped the turnstile. If he noticed...
She swallowed and looked back at Wally without ever having given indication that she’d left.
“He wanted to be here, but that’s the Bat-life.” She shrugged again, gave him a wry smirk, more genuine this time. “Think Barry’s bad? Try Bruce.”
“Nuh-uh. No thanks. My head’s already exploded from Feynman diagrams and atomic processes, I don’t need any more neurosis on top of my neurosis. Especially not the Bat-kind.”
"I don't quite see the big deal about pizza," Donna interjected, quizzically holding up a slimy triangle of bread and cheese with a look somewhere between bemusement and disgust. "It's mostly just grease, Wally. Fire-warmed bread wrapped in grease."
She turned to the squat figure seated next to her, what looked like a child no older than 12 with a shock of dark hair and bewildered look plastered on his face.
“A little different from what you're used to in Atlantis, Garth?"
The young Atlantean was currently quite discombobulated by the whole experience. The surface metropolis was like a forest of glass and stone, surrounded by the wheeled chariots that they called ‘cars’ -- some of which were the size of small whales!
Equally strange was this… pizza. Arthur had often brought souvenirs of his visits to the surface communities along the northern coastal regions, but those had been seal jerky, smoked fish, or whale meat. This was…
The boy held the triangular slice in his hands, as though trying to figure out just what it was. Grease and cheese ran down one side of his hand. Vibrant, violet-colored irises glanced up at the remark from the Themysciran Amazon. “I don’t think this would do well in the ocean,” the boy offered in a light-hearted manner.
At least it was a food that could be enjoyed with hands. Atlanteans didn’t have the same kind of cutlery as these surface dwellers it seemed. The miniature trident in particular confused the boy. “What’s… uh, what’s bread again?”