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we talk until the morning's done

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WALLY leans against the cortex computer desk, his back to the entrance as he stares forward into space. The room is empty, save him and his unflinching gaze. Behind him, IRIS steps into the arched entrance.

IRIS: Did I tell you yet that I like the new haircut?

Wally rubs subtly at his eyes as he turns to face her, mouth quirking up into a smile.

WALLY: Ah, no. I don’t think so. We’ve been a little… preoccupied.

IRIS: (nodding) Right, right.

She steps away from the entrance and into the cortex proper, Wally’s eyes tracking her as she crosses in front of him.

IRIS: Well, I do. You really needed one.

WALLY: I know, you told me the old one didn’t look right with the suit.

IRIS: Because it didn’t! Honestly, I don’t know how you got along before without a sister.

WALLY: Yeah. Me either.

As he looks down at her, Wally’s eyes begin to water and Iris smiles.

IRIS: Oh, come on. If you start, I will too.

WALLY: (choking up) You said… that you wanted a brother.

IRIS: I did. And you’re better than any brother I ever could’ve asked for.

She reaches up to wipe at his eyes and Wally instead wraps her up in a bear hug, burying his face in the shoulder of her jacket. Iris embraces him, her fingernails catching in the fabric of his suit.

WALLY: (mumbled) I want more time. I want-

IRIS: Shhh. I know, Wally. Me too.

Wally lets Iris go, only to find tears tracking down her cheeks as she gives him a watery smile.

IRIS: Maybe this was why I was supposed to find out about you, to bring you back into our lives.

WALLY: Iris.

IRIS: Dad is going to need you, and I know it’ll be hard, but you can be there for him. You have the best parts of our parents, Wally. You’re brave and honest and-

WALLY: (desperately) That’s you. That’s who you are, I’m just following your example. I'm just- I'm a poor substitute.

Iris cradles Wally’s face in her hands as he looks down at her miserably.

IRIS: (voice wobbly) You are a hero, Wally West.

Wally lets out a sob and shuts his eyes, but Iris only continues.

IRIS: You are going to do great things, and there is not a big sister in the world who could be prouder than I am. You have to take care of each other, you and Dad and Barry. My boys.

Slowly, Wally’s eyes open, and he lifts them to meet Iris’ steady gaze. Her eyes are bright, but they’re dry now.

WALLY: (whispers) You too.

IRIS: What?

WALLY: You’re better than any other sister I could’ve dreamed up too.

They share a small smile as JOE rounds the corner to the cortex, talking as he does.

JOE: Hey, kids? Is everything-

He pauses when he sees his children, his mouth twitching slightly.

JOE: Everything okay?

Iris pulls away from Wally, smiling cheerfully at her father.

IRIS: Everything is-

She pauses - it’s not good, exactly, is it? Wally cuts in, reaching around to pull his sister in a one-armed hug.

WALLY: We’re okay.

Joe crosses towards them to pull them into a group hug.

JOE: My kids.

The West family embraces as the scene cuts.