“Alright guys, wrap it up, I'm off,” drawled Leonard seemingly bored. He took the cold-gun from his holster and put it in it's case, next to Mick's heat-gun.
“We're going out, to eat. Wanna come?” Mick asked but Len just shook his head.
“I'm good. Have fun...”
He waited until every last Rogue had left their safe house, before he hastily reached for his laptop. His fingers were almost shaking when he typed in his user name and password for his e-mail account.
He smiled, when he saw that he had a new message from ScienceIsCool. They had met in a chatroom about Doctor Who (of which Len was a huge fan but would never admit it to anyone he knew). He had just wanted someone to discuss the show with. Ask who their favourite Doctor was (which ScienceIsCool made quite clear with his username) and just chat about the companions. Now, Len had exchanged e-Mail addresses with the stranger (he created a new one to stay anonymous) and somehow, they had started a friendship Len never thought he would have. From the start, they had established that they wouldn't share anything about their person. So, no real names, no addresses, no phone numbers. Len thought it gave their relationship a special kind of freedom. He wasn't scared to admit to feeling vulnerable and in return, he got to know about the stranger's weird eating habits (somehow, Science always sent him pictures of five or six helpings of food, claiming he would eat that all alone).
Reading and replying to Science's emails had become the best part of Len's day. He even smiled once or twice while reading or typing and that had become a rare occasion indeed.
Giddily, he opened up the email.
Subject: 900 years
...in time and space and I've never met someone who wasn't important.
I hope you're okay with me changing our subject. That we haven't had one before bothered me somehow. Anyway, I read this Doctor quote somewhere and I just... you know? I started thinking about it? What do you think makes us important? Do you think everyone is important? I like to think I am... I try to be. I try to do my best and to help as many people as I can even when I'm just smiling at them. You must think that I think very highly of myself if I truly believe that my smile makes me important. But let me tell you this: I had a really shit day the other day. You know, the kind of day where you wake up and immediately know that something is wrong. So by the time I had forgotten my jacket and it started to rain cats and dogs (love the expression by the way, just imagine! Little kittens!), my boss had left me not one but three angry voicemails because I was late. I just had to... you know, calm down for a minute so I walked into this coffee shop and there was this old lady and she just smiled at me and it made everything so much better. How sappy is that, huh? But anyway, I like to think that my smiling at people could do that for someone, too.
Anyway, how are you doing? How is your day?
You said you needed to sort some things out with your family, I hope everything is alright.
I have to stop now, my colleague just came in and said he needed my help. But I'm looking forward to hearing from you, as always!
Len smiled before he hit the reply button and then sat there thinking. He loved Science's philosophical questions. Not that he would be caught dead smiling at strangers. He had a reputation to uphold! But not for the first time, Len asked himself how Science looked like. From the way he sounded, he was quite sure that his smile could light up anyone's day.
He also couldn't help but notice that Science had remembered the fight he had had with his sister. It warmed his heart that he - a complete stranger - cared enough to ask about it two weeks later, when all Mick had done was nod.
He thought about his reply for what seemed like hours and when he was finally satisfied with what he had written, he hit send.
Feeling accomplished and happy, he made his way out of the safehouse and to his shabby apartment. Only barely resisting the urge to whistle a happy tune.
When Barry woke up, the first thing he did was make coffee. Because coffee is important. The second thing he did was turn on his computer. Just the day before, Iris had asked him why he had been so happy lately. Well... what was he supposed to tell her? That he had met a guy (or girl, he really didn't know but he suspected a guy) online and that he had the best conversations ever? No. But that didn't mean he wasn't buzzing with excitement when he opened up his e-Mail program, hoping that Snow had had time to reply to him. His eyes lit up and he couldn't help smiling, when he saw that he did indeed have a new e-Mail...
Subject: Re: 900 years
actually I do think that everyone is important in their own way. For at least one other person. I have this friend and people always call him stupid but he makes me smile. He's just there when I need him, never questions me, always just rolls along with it... he's a real friend and I don't know what I would do without him.
I am sure that your smile makes people's days brighter, I do... to be completely honest, you kind of make my days brighter, too. Just seeing that little 'one' over the new messages icon makes me smile because I can be honest with you. I am myself with you. People... don't usually like me. I mean they are not wrong. I kind of do things that a lot of people judge and I am sure that at least 90% of the city I live in would like to see me behind bars but here I am. Free and kicking.
But the point is Science, that you do make my day just by replying. I am sorry I cannot give that back to you but I am glad old ladies in coffee shops have that ability.
Yeah, my sister and I have patched things up, thanks. In fact, we just came back from a family outing... so to speak. We had fun. Got some stuff. She got a new necklace she likes to it all turned out well.
I hope you could sort out the problem your colleague had.
Barry's grin grew until he had reached the end and his fingers were itching to reply. However, before he could hit the reply button, his phone rang. Barry groaned and answered:
“Barry, we have a robbery at the art museum.”
Barry groaned again.
“Cisco, do me a favour and tell me it's not-”
Barry didn't even bother hanging up. He changed into his flash suit at super speed and made his way to the museum. Didn't he just let the Rogues get away with stealing the night before? They were getting cocky.
He came to a stop a few metres from where Snart stood. Goggles on, cold-gun firm in his hand.
“Flash,” he drawled.
“We missed you last night.”
“Two robberies in two days, Snart, really? I mean it's not even 9 am. Why are you doing this to me?”
Barry thought about the hot cup of coffee on his kitchen table and the open e-Mail on his computer and sighed.
Barry looked up and straight into Leonard Snart's smirking face.
“Zoned out there for a moment, did we?”
“Oh shut up,” Barry rolled his eyes.
He looked around and saw – no one.
“Where is everyone else?”
Cold just looked at him.
“You know, the rest of your gang?”
Barry squinted his eyes when his enemy didn't answer. He sighed again:
“Okay, don't tell me. Just tell me what you stole and whether or not you hurt anyone.”
Barry already knew that nobody had gotten hurt. He had speeded through the entire building before confronting the thief.
“No,” Captain Cold drawled.
“Nobody has gotten hurt and believe it or not but I am alone and I have not stolen anything...yet.”
Barry was taken aback. So was Cisco apparently, who usually kept quiet during those little tête-à-têtes the Flash had with Captain Cold, but spoke up:
“That can't be, Barry! Someone called the police, they will be there soon, it must be a trap, it must be!”
Leonard rolled his eyes.
“Relax. It was me who called the police. I needed a chat with the Flash.”
The revelation didn't make Barry's nervousness dissipate in the slightest. The only thing it really did made him even more suspicious. Before he could ask though, he heard police sirens drawing nearer and nearer.
He didn't really think about it. It was a spur of the moment decision. One he only thought about when he was standing in the middle of the woods with an armful of Leonard Snart. He put the villain back on his feet.
“You don't look so good,” he commented dryly as Cold tried not to topple over.
“Yeah well, I didn't think being flash-ed away bridal style would feel this much like a roller-coaster.”
“What do you want?” Barry wasn't here to bicker, after all. He was supposed to be at work soon. Wanted to get home to his coffee and e-Mail first.
Snart stood up straight and fixed him with a serious look.
“Okay Barry, here is the deal. There is this new meta-human I cannot take out on my own.”
Barry just stared at the other man, daring him to go on.
“Oh jesus, Snart, get on with it, I have places to be!”
Sometimes, Snart's way of speaking slowly could drive Barry mad. Sometimes it was a good-mad (what could he say, he did like low, deep voices) and sometimes it was just infuriating.
“He can read minds.”
“One of my... Rogues, encountered him on her way home last night and he knew exactly who she was, what she was thinking, anticipating her every move... She is currently holed up in one of our safe houses because the encounter shook her up so much.”
“A meta-human who reads mind and does... what exactly?”
Barry had sworn to himself only to fight against meta-humans who were harming others in any kind of way. At the moment, he failed to see the relevance. If the meta-human hadn't killed or hurt anyone, who was Barry to judge?
“He tells people their innermost secrets, Barry. The things people don't want to think about. He looks for those things and he makes them admit to it. Emotional damage.”
Barry looked at Snart for a while. Who knew the thief cared about the state of people's mental health? But he got it. There were one or two things he himself really didn't want anyone to know.
He finally nodded.
“Alright, I'll help. Where do we find him?”
Leonard was having a bad day.
For one, he absolutely hated asking the Flash for help. It wasn't that he hated the kid (far from it), but he liked to be in control. And whenever the Flash was involved, he certainly wasn't. The second reason for him being in a sour mood was, that he hadn't received an e-Mail from Science that morning. Normally, he received an e-Mail in the morning and replied at night. Always. But this morning, his inbox was empty and it unnerved him immensly. Even a great thief like him could have self-image issues and feel insecure from time to time, thank you very much.
He just hoped it wasn't him. He hoped Science was held up at work or had overslept or anything like that, really. He still had this nagging voice deep inside his chest that said 'you wrote something he/she didn't like', when he made his way into one of their safe houses, where Shawna was currently holed up. He placed the pizza he had brought on a table and called her name.
When she finally appeared, she looked like she hadn't slept at all.
“How are you feeling?” he asked. He had asked a couple of times since she had had her run-in with the new meta-human but she had yet so say something useful about the meta.
“Okay,” she said weakly.
Leonard nudged the pizza towards her.
“You should eat. And tell me things about the meta, for example what it is exactly that he found out about you. We need to eliminate him or it could turn out very bad for our business.”
Shawna was just about to bite into one of the pizza slices before putting it back down.
“That's all life is about, huh? Business? Can't you just be a normal human being, for once? Just you know...?”
She seemed tired and exasperated and properly shaken up, which is why Leonard chose not to say anything about her little outburst and just squinted his eyes at her instead.
“Eat,” he commanded.
“Sleep and tell me what happened. That's all I ask.”
Neither of them said anything for a while and Shawna picked up her piece of pizza again. Finally, she spoke up:
“It was this man in the bar. I was just going for a drink because I had such a stressful day, right? With, you know, what we did before...”
Len nodded. He did know. Shawna was with them 100% but he knew how much her powers could take out of her sometimes.
“So he was just coming over and I told him no and suddenly he kept telling me about...” she paused and blushed.
“About my past and all of the things I just want to forget...”
Len could see tears in her eyes and decided not to push it.
“What did he look like?”
“I don't know, about 6 feet? Very hard, blue eyes, tattoo sleeves... blonde relatively short hair,” she considered Len's head, “Like maybe a couple of inches more than you have but there wasn't really a proper cut in it? Like he'd just shaved it off at one point and it grew a bit?”
Len couldn't help but smirk.
“Well, you got quite the good look at him, haven't you.”
“Well, I saw him coming and was considering talking to him, so yeah he got a once-over?”
Len nodded and left it at that.
Tattoo sleeves, blue eyes, blonde short hair. She had just described every second guy in Central City.
When he got to his apartment, he sat down on his couch and tried logging into his neighbour's wifi. Somehow, they had noticed him using their connection and changed the passwords every couple of weeks. But today he was in luck, after a couple of minutes he was in.
He placed the laptop on his knees, while it set itself up, leaned back and groaned.
He didn't like this day at all .
He first wrote a quick e-mail to STAR labs with his business account, telling team Flash what he had learned. Half a minute after he sent it, Cisco wrote back:
That's all, Snart? It could be anyone!
Len rolled his eyes.
As if he didn't know.
He then logged into the e-Mail account he used only for writing e-Mails to Science, hoping that he would have gotten an e-Mail. He watched the refresh button do its thing, until... a new e-Mail was announced.
Len sat up straight and clicked on the small icon that was the subject and read.
Subject: Re: 900 years
Sorry for the late reply but something came up at the usual time I talk to you. I had to take care of a couple of things and didn't find the time to reply, I hope you can forgive me.
Anyway, I know exactly what you mean. I have those friends, too. Especially two people, who always have my back and are real heroes so to speak but never get any credit for what they do. I get it most of the time instead and it makes me uncomfortable because we are a small team in my line of work and we are equally important, I'd say, but it seems that some people disagree. I would be absolutely lost without them.
Flattery will get you everywhere, by the way! I actually kind of blushed when I read the bit about my e-Mails making your day! That is actually such a sweet thing to say! Also: not so sweet, how can you talk about yourself like that? I am sure – nay, absolutely certain, that you would be the very last person to deserve being behind bars. You are one of the nicest people I have ever met and you have all of the right opinions about the world (from what I can tell).
I am glad your family outing went well. I am just about to have dinner with my... sister. I think she wants me to meet her new boyfriend, so fingers crossed I won't hate him completely. So far, I hated them all but hey, I am open for surprises!
All in all though, I have had a pretty exhausting day and I can't wait to indulge in an episode of the Doctor, later. I was thinking about maybe the one with the dinosaurs on the spaceship? I absolutely love that one and could watch it over and over again.
“I've got a gang, yes!”
I want a gang.
Alright, talk to you later!
Len read the e-Mail and hat to snort a couple of times. He was glad that Science would still talk to him, especially since their e-Mails were so funny and nice and made Len's insides do funny things (not that he would ever admit to that. Evil Mastermind that he was). He walked into his kitchen and returned with a bottle of beer. Replying to Science's e-Mails was the best part of his day and he would enjoy every moment of it. For the next ten minutes or so, he would just put all thoughts about meta-humans who read minds and the Flash out of his own head and just... relax.
Barry stared open-mouthed at his computer screen.
Subject: Re: 900 years
You really do like Eleven the best, don't you? How were the dinosaurs for the 123904892384th time?
Can I get sappy with you for a minute? It is kind of brilliant that you don't know who I am because otherwise you would laugh at me because I really don't seem like the person to like something like this but there is this one quote from Ten (who is my favourite by the way), this one quote that gives me goosebumps and makes me teary-eyed every time I hear, read or see it:
“I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demigods and would-be gods; out of all that, out of that whole pantheon, if I believe in one thing... just one thing... I believe in her.”
This is just the most wonderful thing, you know? To have someone you believe in 100%? Someone who believes in you 100%? I don't know, I guess I get a little bit lonely sometimes. I feel like I have a lot of people around me who are there because of convenience, not because I believe in them. This is kind of my biggest wish (Jesus Christ I cannot believe that I am actually typing this out)... it is my biggest wish to find that one person that is to me what Rose is to Ten. That one person I unconditionally believe in. I mean I am very sure that that will never happen but I can dream, right? These things are why Ten is my favourite. He's just... so real. Also, have you seen David Tennant's hair (how the hell is it so fluffy)?
Anyway, now that I have told you my innermost secret, let's move on.
I am very happy that you have people in your life you can count on no matter what. Friends, Family... all of that is incredibly important and you only really notice when they're absent. So keep them very close to you.
I am not sure if I can reply to your next E-mail at the usual time but I will try to.
Barry's heart was beating faster and faster as he read the e-Mail about a hundred times over and over again. After reading the part about believing in someone, Barry thought he might be a little bit in love with Snow. Which was absurd of course because Barry didn't even know who Snow was. Barry didn't even know who he would like it to be. A guy, a girl? Tall, short, skinny, fat, blue-eyed, green-eyed, long hair, short hair? And suddenly he came to the realisation that it didn't matter at all. If he ever were to meet Snow, he would love them. Instantly. Because he already did. It was a realisation that he found incredibly scary. It wasn't necessarily that he loved them in a romantic way, he just loved them. How do you love someone who you know nothing about? Alright, that wasn't quite true. He knew a lot. He knew Snow's innermost thoughts, their feelings. But other than that? Age? Line of work? Nothing.
It didn't really matter to Barry, though. He instantly replied before making his way to STAR-labs. After all, the manhunt (or metahunt) for the meta who could read minds would begin that day and Barry was anxious. Not only because of the meta but because of working with Snart. He wasn't sure if agreeing to do this had been the best idea but the longer Barry thought about Snart, the more he relaxed. Because he did believe in Leonard Snart. He did believe that for once, the thief could and would do something for other people and not for his own gain.
“Well well well, the scarlet speedster graces us with his presence,” Snart drawled when Barry came to a stop in front of his team.
“Funny, Snart,” Barry replied, not really in the mood for their usual banter.
Snart was standing over a map of Central City, pointing to places where he knew the metahuman to have been.
Barry looked over Cisco's shoulder, who marked the places.
“He's been at the waterfront most,” Cisco mumbled.
“See?” he pointed to a spot where five crosses marked places in a very small radius.
Snart nodded and looked closer.
“There is nothing but fisheries and ware-houses there...” he looked over to Barry.
“What do you say, kid? Hideout and we'll just see if he comes and if he does, what exactly he does?”
Barry shook his head.
“You want us to sit by and watch him use his powers on people?”
Snart stood up straight, fixing him with a stern look.
“Do you have any better ideas? Until we know how he works, we can't really stop him now can we?” he drawled, fingering the cold gun in it's holster. Barry searched his face for a moment before he nodded.
“Alright. Let's do it.”
They walked around aimlessly, just searching their surroundings for anything suspicious. Suddenly, Barry didn't feel Lenoard's presence next to him anymore and turned around just in time to see how the thief knelt down in front of a young girl, sitting on a bench, looking absolutely freaked out.
“Hey, are you okay?”
Barry heard him asking. Voice softer than he had ever heard it. No trace of his usual sarcasm.
The girl started sobbing and as Barry walked over, she silently said:
“I- I'm fine. There was... this, this man and he,” she hiccuped “he knew everything about me...He... he told me that he knew I like girls and...”, she hiccuped again.
“My parents can't know, they can't!” she was getting restless, fidgeting and looking at Snart, eyes full of terror. He smiled at her softly and started to softly wipe away her tears with his thumb.
“It's okay, you're okay. For the record? It is not a bad thing to like girls when you're a girl, yeah? See, I happen to like boys. Which is also fine. Don't be afraid to be who you are. I am sorry that you feel like you can't tell your parents about this and I am even more sorry that the man knows... but you are perfect, just as you are.”
Barry didn't know what to do. Didn't know what to think and then he just thought... Captain Cold is gay? He didn't know if he was suprised by that or not. Because after all, he didn't really know anything about him, really. He didn't know that Snart could be so incredibly sweet. But here he was, comforting a young girl. Barry stared at the two of them with wide eyes and he found it hard to breathe. His brain just shut itself off as he watched until the girlfelt alright enough to go home. Only when she was out of sight, Snart turned back around.
“What's up, kid? You look a bit.. frozen,” he smirked.
“You, I, what?” Barry rambled and couldn't take his eyes off his enemy.
Len rolled his eyes.
“Let's go hunt that bastard down, alright?”
“Only if you stop being so frosty towards me. You were positively nice to that girl.”
Len grinned widely at Barry and Barry felt like all the air had been punched out of his lungs.
“Really? This is how you want to play it? If you weren't so slow, I am sure we would have gotten to him way faster. You could almost say we would have had him in a flash.”
Barry snorted, mostly to conceal how giddy he felt.
“Yeah, yeah, Snart. Lead the way.”
Unfortunately, they hadn't found the meta-human that day. After about four hours of aimlessly running around Cental City, they had called it a day.
Len was glad about that, too. He'd always found Barry fascinating and the more time he spend with him, the more fascinated he became. And that just wouldn't do.
Lisa had told him once, that she suspected him to have a crush on the Scarlet Speedster. Which of course was utter bullshit. He told her as much but she seemed determined in her opinion. When he had told her that he would be asking Team Flash for help, the knowing (or not really knowing) smirk on her face had become permanent. Which in turn meant that Len was trying to avoid her as much as possible.
Now though, after having spend half of his day with Barry, he had to admit that he had enjoyed their little outing more than he should have. Especially exchanging puns with the younger man had started a small fire in his stomach.
Back at STAR-Labs, they had to report that they had...found nothing, really. Cisco listened to them with a small smile on his face.
“Okay, okay. You're both going to love me in a second-”
“Don't be too sure,” Len interrupted, squinting his eyes at the Lab geek. He liked him really, but Lisa's infatuation with the boy made him suspicious.
Cisco rolled his eyes at him.
“Yeah, yeah, anyway, I found out a little bit more about Mental Smasher. For example his name.”
“Mental Smasher?” Len's eyebrows rose and Barry had to stifle a laugh.
“Well, yeah. Don't,” Cisco held up a threatening finger in Len's face, “don't you come in here and insult my nickname abilities, Captain Cold.”
Len smirked and with a sideway glance to Barry said: “Wouldn't dream of it.”
“Good, anyway,” Cisco ran his hand through his long hair before pulling up a picture on his computer. They saw a stern looking man, and Shawna's description fit perfectly. Len almost shivered when he first saw those piercing eyes. He would certainly not want him to look into his mind, either.
“His name is Stephen McPalm. He's 30, lives alone, no family and has been arrested several times for fraud and petty theft,” Cisco explained.
Barry took a closer look at the picture.
“I've seen him before,” he mumbled absent mindedly.
His friend nodded.
“I would think so, he works as a security guard at the science museum.”
“Yeah, yeah, would never forget that face. Even without abilities, he always seemed like he could look directly through you,” he paused for a moment and shuddered.
“So what, we just go to the science museum and bring him in?”
Cisco shook his head.
“He doesn't work there anymore. He's been in a coma after the explosion, just like you. He just left the hospital a few weeks ago. I'm afraid that's where our trail ends.”
Barry made a dismissive motion with his hand.
“Yeah but usually? When you're attatched to a place? You come back,” he turned to Len,
“Tomorrow morning? They open at 8?”
Len studied him for a moment, trying not to find Barry's excitement cute or sweet or any other words that immediately popped into his head.
“Bit overeager, are we?”
Barry had the decency to look sheepish.
“Well, I haven't been in a while and I thought if we catch him early, I could... look at things.”
Len's willpower was lost. The kid was just god damn adorable as he stood there, fidgeting with his hands, colour rising on his cheeks.
So he finally just nodded.
“Tomorrow at eight sounds fine, scarlet.”
Barry grinned at him and that was his cue to go, lest he did something stupid like 'aw' over the kid's face.
“See ya tomorrow, then,” he said before turning around and leaving the building.
When he came home to his flat, he sunk down on his couch with a heavy sigh. This should not be happening. He didn't have time for an unhealthy crush on the Flash no less.
He got himself a beer from his fridge and settled down again, this time with his laptop. He knew that Science had told him that it could take a while for him to reply but Leonard just hoped for a new message. Something to distract himself. And of course: any kind of reaction to his confession. Which he was still insecure about. Which was stupid because he had told Science so much already. About his fears and dreams. But never before had he let himself dream about love. About companionship. About that special someone. The reason for him even allowing himself to think about these things, was definitely his e-Mail buddy. He owed them so much and he didn't even know their name.
To his delight, he did find one new message in his e-Mail account and nervously clicked on it:
Subject: Re: 900 years
thank you for sharing that with me. I love that quote as well and I love how much love it entails. Also, I will stop using the word love now. Promise. Anyway, I think you are right in waiting for that special someone. To wait for him or her and to believe in them. I like to think that I am very romantic myself. Not chocolate or hearts or flowers romantic but... I am waiting for my soulmate. I thought I had found them at first but then I realised that I was so much in love with the idea of love that I projected it onto them and that at the end of the day, it wasn't real.
The thing is though, and I am very embarrassed for admitting this, the thing is that there is this person that I find incredibly attractive. And I find myself drawn to them. Like an invisible thread binding us together. The problem here is just that it can and will never be. Because we play for entirely different teams. We are constantly fighting and sometimes even hurting each other. I cannot allow these feelings to spread. But I am actually off right now to see them. This time, we will have to work together and I have no idea how that is going to go but I hope it will be fine. Maybe I'll get over my little crush, that would be lovely.
Anyway, is there anyone that you like? That you already do believe in? At least a little bit? I kind of hope there is. You, Snow, deserve all the happiness in the world, I know it.
With this, I leave you until tomorrow!
Leonard read and re-read the email and sighed, tears prickling behind his eyes. He just wasn't used to this much truth. He sipped his beer slowly and took his time to reply, feeling utterly understood. Feeling safe, feeling guarded. Since he never really had that (especially in his childhood), it was a new feeling and the calmness that Science's e-Mails evoked in him, was nothing but utterly lovely.
Subject: Re: 900 years
I am not sure what to tell you right now. I read and re-read your e-Mail a hundred times trying to figure out what to say. You wrote all of these beautiful words and I know that I cannot equal them. But let me try: I love the idea of soulmates. I love the idea that there is one person out there who can love you unconditionally. Who could love me despite everything that I have done in my life – and believe me, I have done some pretty awful things. I love love. Love is great. But unfortunately love is also the single scariest thing and deadliest weapon. Love can crush a person. Love can make you feel like there is no air in the room, like you are drowning. So it is safe to say that I am incredibly afraid of love. If you know what I mean.
Despite all of that – there is this person I like. Which is horrible. I see them and I feel like I can't breathe anymore. I start smiling in inappropriate moments and I get giddy whenever they touch me. But I am in quite the similar situation to your's. It's just not possible. Despite there being a huge age gap, I can't see how they would ever like me. Be civil, yes. Like? Absolutely not. So I understand your pain, Science, I do. Jeez, I wish I could just marry you, actually. I can't even bring myself to care about your gender, age or looks. Does that make me pansexual? Huh. I always thought gay was my ticket.
I really hope my ramblings didn't weird you out and that you will still be friends with me despite my very bleak view on things.
Also I feel the need to tell you that I think you should make it work with your person. Because you are absolutely wonderful and anyone would be happy to have you.
Barry read the e-mail with a frown on his face. Who in the world could think so lowly of themselves? Think that they are worth so little?
He sipped his coffee and decided to reply after his big day. Because this actually was his big day. Sure, they were going to the museum to find the meta-human but in the back of his head, Barry couldn't but be excited for the day. Going to the museum with someone is the perfect date in his opinion. And if he pretended a little bit... it wouldn't hurt anyone, would it?
He picked out his clothes very carefully (like he would if this really were a date). He decided that a blue button down and skinny jeans was the way to go. Of course, he wore his Flash suit underneath, just in case that they did meet McPalm.
When he arrived at the museum, he knew that he was early. Which never happened. But when he got there, Snart already stood at the entrance, casually leaning against the wall. He raised one eyebrow.
“You're four minutes and 23 seconds early,” he said impressed.
Barry looked sheepish as he scratched at the back of his neck.
“You're never early.”
“I'm... how would you know?”
Snart raised both eyebrows this time and Barry felt it better not to ask any further. He didn't even want to know.
“So, let's go in?” he asked instead.
Len nodded and held the door open for Barry to walk through.
Not a date, not a date, not a date
“Where to first, then?”
Len asked after he had paid for their tickets (“Give it a rest kid, the least I can do is take you out to the science museum for helping me.”) and started to read the brochure they had been handed at the entrance.
Barry colored. He knew where he wanted to go. Especially since Len was with him.
“Uhm, just take a walk through? But er, I would love to see the astronomy section...”
Len stared at him blankly.
“Didn't know you were into astronomy.”
Barry huffed, he had hoped that he wouldn't have to explain his actions and motive (which was simply that the room was dark and full of stars and it would feel very date-y) but alas.
“Yeah, I do.”
Apparently, that was enough for Len because he just nodded and told Barry to lead the way.
Barry knew the museum as well as the back of his hand and he kept his eyes and ears open for anything that wasn't the way it was supposed to be. But by the time they reached the astronomy section, he hadn't seen or heard anything of the guy they were looking for.
Suddenly they were standing in the middle of the universe. A thousand stars around them. It was all projected by a computer but non the less mesmerising.
Barry was in awe of the different lights around the two of them and he saw Len's face illuminated by the soft light of the fake stars.
Barry thought he was beautiful.
Since it was in the morning of a week day, the two of them were the only ones in the room. Soon, the place would be buzzing of students who went there with their schools but for now, Barry enjoyed himself immensely.
“What's that, there?” asked Len, pointing at a star with a red shimmer around it.
“That's the R Aquarii... it's a symbiotic star.”
Len looked at him in bewilderment.
“How is that star symbiotic?”
Barry grinned and took a step closer. He gesticulated at the mechanism.
“See, it's actually two stars. But they are symbiotic. It's just like in biology where two mechanisms co-exist in very close proximity with each other and interact with each other.”
“So stars live in monogamous relationships, then.”
He took a step forward and came to stand right next to Barry, looking at the projection more closely.
Barry wasn't looking at the star anymore, his eyes were fixed on Len's expression of open curiosity.
“Yes, it is.”
Suddenly there was a loud bang and they heard people scream. Quickly, they ran out of the dark room and towards the noise. The first thing they saw was a little boy crouching on the floor, squeezing his eyes shut in pain.
McPalm stood only a couple of feet away from him and had his eyes fixed to the boy.
Barry didn't even think and started running (at human speed, he wasn't in his suit after all) to where the boy was crouching.
“Barry, no!” he heard behind him but he didn't stop. He stood protectivly between the boy and the meta-human.
“Leave him alone,” he said with a low voice that was almost a growl.
The meta merely grinned.
“Bad day to play the hero, let's see what you have in your head...”
The meta's piercing eyes flashed neon blue and Barry braced himself for whatever was to come. A flash of panic overcame him. After all, McPalm would probably know his secret identity soon. He closed his eyes but the 'impact' never came.
When he opened them again, he saw Len kneeling in front of him, face scrunched up in pain.
“My, my, what do we have here...” McPalm almost sang and laughed.
“So much courage, so much pain and yet... so much love...”
“Stop it,” Len ground out.
“Stop it? You mean you don't want me to comment on your pathetic crush? Do you really think that anyone will ever love you back half as much as you seem to love this... oh, it's a boy, isn't it?”
The meta-human closed his eyes in concentration.
“Yes.. Yes, I see it's a boy,” he mused and opened his eyes again, glanced at Barry and smirked “Oh, isn't this a coincidence...”
But the meta-human didn't get any further because Len had produces his cold gun and shot him with it. McPalm fell to the floor, obviously in pain.
Len turned his face to look at Barry.
“Go, get him,” he ground out, seeminly in pain himself.
Of course, Barry didn't need to be told that twice and not even half an hour later was McPalm safely secured in one of the cells at Star Labs.
Len sat on a chair in front of Caitlin as she checked him for any damage. She looked at the computer screen intently that measured Len's brain functions but all Barry could look at was Len's face. He looked tired, defeated.
Barry thought back about their moment in the astronomy room. It had been so wonderful to him. So easy to forget that they weren't there together, on a date.
But now, back to reality, he couldn't ignore what the meta had said. That Len had a crush. And from the sound of it, it was a big one. How could Barry compete with that? He knew that he shouldn't feel this sad. That he should have guessed as much. Captain Cold could never like him, could he?
He was pulled out of his musings by Caitlin, who told him that she prefered if Len wasn't alone for the next 24 hours. Barry nodded.
“If it's okay with him, he can crash at my place.”
He didn't even think about it. Didn't even spare one thought to the fact that he just invited his enemy back to his private home.
Leonard smiled at him thankfully and they walked back to Barry's little apparement in silence.
Not half an hour later, Len was tucked in on Barry's sofa and Barry sat at the kitchen table, looking at him. He sighed. He felt melancholic and decided that now was probably a good moment to reply to Snow's e-Mail. At least there was one person out there who would understand him.
Len woke up slowly. His head hurt and he felt like something wasn't right in there. He didn't know that one could actually feel their mind, but now that someone has been in there... he felt it. He felt uneasy. Kind of molested, actually.
He opened his eyes and the first thing he saw was Barry, lounging on the armchair right next to the sofa, hugging a pillow and looking at him.
Len sighed contently. He didn't really know that all it took was Barry's presence for him to wake up and feel okay but he did. He felt okay. A little uneasy but Barry just being there calmed him.
“Morning Scarlet,” he mumbled sleepily.
“Morning, how are you feeling?”
Len groaned and tried to get a clear head.
“Like my head isn't my own anymore,” he finally said.
That made Barry jump up from where he sat and walk over.
“What do you mean?” he asked – and was that actual concern in his voice?
He placed one hand on Len's forehead and Len had to concentrate very hard not to sigh again.
“You're hot,” Barry mumbled and continued to put the back of his hand all over Len's face which made him chuckle.
“Yeah? I'd rather you found me ice cold.”
Barry rolled his eyes and snorted.
“Really? You're having a fever and you're making cold puns?”
“What can I say, it's a gift.”
He studied Barry's face. He didn't think he had ever been that close to the younger man before. He could count every hair on his stubble, every eyelash. And Barry stared back, still kind of stroking Len's cheek.
“Barry,” Len whispered because he didn't know what else to say. Barry's face was so soft. So open and honest that it scared him a little if he was completely honest.
What scared him even more was that he wasn't even able to tell if this was really happening. If what he saw and felt was true. His mind felt so disrupted that he wouldn't be surprised if he really was hallucinating.
Barry came nearer and nearer. Soon, Len could feel Barry's breath on his face and only seconds later, his lips on his lips. He closed his eyes and let himself sink further into the sofa cushions only to feel Barry's weight on him.
And then he opened his eyes again.
There was a throbbing pain right behind his eyes and the first thing he saw was Barry on his armchair, hugging the pillow.
“Morning,” he said confused.
“Morning. You're awake.”
Len just looked at the other man, trying to contemplate what was happening.
He jumped up from the sofa and the blanket that had been draped over him fell in a heap on the floor.
“I, er, should go,” Len said hastily and tried to figure out what to do and say next. Alarmed, Barry jumped from his chair as well and approached Len.
“Are you sure? Caitlin said...”
“Yes, I know. I am perfectly fine.”
Barry tried reaching his hand up to his face but Len flinched away.”
“She said I was supposed to see if you had a fever.”
Len was getting frantic. He edged to the door, took his leather jacket on the way.
“Nah, no fever, just a headache. Okay, see you soon, Scarlet, bye.”
With that he was out of the door. He closed it behind him and let himself rest against it for a minute.
What the hell was happening?
He went home, shaking. He didn't know what was real and what wasn't anymore. He just lay down on the sofa, trying to stop the ringing in his head.
He needed to talk to the meta. He figured that only then he would find the answers he was looking for. He guessed that Dr. Snow and Cisco would do some tests on him today but tomorrow, Len thought, tomorrow should be safe. Because he sure as hell wasn't telling Team Flash about his current... predicament. Especially not if said predicament included kissing their superhero, no thank you.
He just lay on his own sofa all day, trying to figure out what to do until he thought it was a good idea to distract himself. He eyed his laptop and turned it on real quick, to see if he had a new e-Mail. He was in luck.
Subject: Re: 900 years
I am absolutely terrified right now. I'm writing this from the comfort of my living room, while my (I'm pretty sure) soulmate is right next to me. RIGHT next to me. What do I do? They are sleeping. I don't even know how I came to be in this situation. I am absolutely freaking out and the only reason why I am writing this distressed e-Mail to you is because I am sure that you will understand and I feel like you are the only person in the whole world I can talk to about this. The more I look at them, the more I love them. And this is a problem.
I will now try to reply to the rest of your last message in a calmer manner just to distract myself.
I am absolutely not weirded out, I promise. Actually, I have a confession to make. I did kind of fantasise about how us two would meet someday and fall in love just because I feel really connected to you. I can tell you about anything and you would never judge me for it. I wish it could be this simple. I wish we could just be soulmates from just corresponding, without other people we liked. It would make my current situation so much easier, let me tell you.
I love how in love you seem, though. This is so nice. I wish someone would ever feel about me what you feel about your... person. And thanks, same goes for you. I cannot see how you declaring your feelings to someone would go wrong. You are wonderful and you are important. Don't you ever forget that.
By the way, I was asking my friend yesterday if he wanted to do a Doctor Who marathon? He said no? Can you believe that? The nerve of some people...
Talk to you soon,
Len smiled at the screen. He did like to indulge in feelings, sometimes. He didn't think it was safe, though, to reply as long as he had this weird mind of his. Lest he actually told Science who he was. He couldn't have someone running around knowing who he was and that he had... feelings like that.
At all. It would probably be too easy as well, to find out who he had these feelings for. He felt that if someone knew him, it was fairly obvious. He was surprised that Mick hadn't caught on yet.
He put the Laptop back down and closed his eyes. He would deal with the mess in his head soon. After he was sure that noone would see him sneak in and out of STAR Labs. Maybe even the next night.
Barry had to wait longer than usual for one of Snow's precious e-Mails. So when it finally came while he was sitting in his lab, having lunch (after Captain Singh had given him a lecture about being late – again), the familiar 'bing' of his computer had him all but jump off his chair.
Instantly, the sandwich he was munching on, lay forgotten beside the keyboard as Barry was furiously trying to open the e-Mail.
Subject: Re: 900 years
first of all, I would like to apologize for the late reply but something came up. Also, please excuse me if I seem a bit off in this mail as I am not on top of my game at the moment.
If you don't mind me asking: How the hell did you manage to have your soulmate sleeping next to you in your apartment and how the hell do you think this is the moment to be writing to me? Talk to them! Or maybe you have already done that. Judging from how freaked out you sounded (or read) makes me think not. Why not, though?
' The more I look at them, the more I love them' – I love this. You are adorable. You deserve the person you want to have so so much I can't even begin to tell you how much only that I found myself reading that line with a smile on my face.
That might just be the sweetest thing someone has ever said to me, thank you. Although I am sure that it would be lovely if you would turnout to be my soulmate (why are we even talking about this, you could be a 16 year old girl from Sweden and I could be a 60 year old man from China from all we know about each other), anyway. I lost track of what I was saying. Ah, yes. I like that you make things so easy. Hey, let's be soulmates, let's fall in love, let's marry. But I am actually more of a problem than I am worth. And don't you go quoting eleven on me now, I mean it! So no, your situation wouldn't be easier is what I am trying to say. Now go wake up your soulmate and talk to them!
As for your friend: quit the friendship as long as you can. There is a person NOT up for a Doctor Who marathon? Impossible. I wish we could do one someday.
Barry grinned and thought back to when Len was lying on his sofa, sleeping peacefully. He blushed. He didn't even think about how it would work between them. As much as Snow had joked about age differences, the one between him and Leonard was...well, there. So was the problem of him and Captain Cold. But Barry absolutely refused to think about that. It would simply have to work.
He replied quickly and finished his sandwich to continue his shift. He promised Cisco to swing by STAR Labs after work and he really didn't want to be (too) late.
When he finally arrived at the Cortex, Caitlin and Cisco were already waiting for him.
“Hey guys, what's up?” he asked smiling, pretending not to feel the tension in the air.
He only heard Caitlin mutter under her breath about stupid boys and mistakes, when Cisco spoke up.
“So, Captain Cold broke in last night.”
Barry didn't say anything. He couldn't really comprehend what he was hearing. Why would Len do that?
“What...did he do?”
He asked carefully.
Instead of answering, Cisco turned the computer screen, so Barry was looking at the security camera footage, facing McPalm's cell.
Barry stepped closer, Len wouldn't have...
Cisco turned on the sound and soon, Barry could hear what was clearly Len's voice. Obviously, he was outside of the picture but Barry was sure that it was him.
“Whatever you did to me, undo it.”
The Metahuman laughed.
“What is done is done, dear Mr. Leonard Snart. I have snooped around in your head. Nothing you or me can do about it. Is it me or I? I never know -”
“I don't care.”
Barry could hear how tense Len was and slowly edged closer to the screen.
“Such a temper. Surprising as you write the most beautiful things in those e-Mails of yours.”
“Why don't you tell that boy... that Barry Allen, how you feel about him?”
Barry's breath hitched. Was he hearing this right? His heartbeat sped up and he put his hand over it as if to calm it back down.
“Come on now, don't give me the silent treatment. Do you only talk about him with that that penpal of yours? What's his name? ScienceIsCool? Not very original, don't you think?”
Barry's eyes slowly widened. Suddenly, he felt like he couldn't see or hear anymore. There was a ringing in his ears that made him sit down. He stared at the screen, thoughts flying everywhere. It couldn't be.
The meta grinned.
“Feeling a bit touchy, are we?”
“Listen. All I want is that you stop that noise in my head. I will not listen to your bullshit. Just tell me how to fix my head.”
“It will go away in a couple of days I hear. Nothing to worry about. You should wake up tomorrow with a clear head.”
There was a long silence stretching between them.
“I'll come back if not.”
“Oh, I'm so scared.”
The meta stood there grinning for a couple of seconds before sitting down on the floor again, indicating to Barry that Len really was gone.
Barry stared at the screen, only barely hearing Cisco call his name.
“Huh?” he finally said, mind swirling.
“What are we going to do about this?”
Barry looked at his friend. He needed to get home, he needed to... something. Anything. For all he knew, Len wasn't only his soulmate but he was Snowflake. The one person in the whole world who knew him best. He just knew it.
“Nothing?” he finally said, not knowing what his friends looked at him so stern for.
“Captain Cold broke into our facilities and you want him to get away with it?”
Barry just blinked at them.
“What do you mean? He didn't take anything. He just wanted to try to clear his head. Because he jumped between the meta and me. If it wasn't for Len, the whole world would probably know my secret by now because I wouldn't have been strong enough to stop him. I owe him everything.”
During his little talk, Barry had gotten up from his chair and glared at his friends. How dare they judge Len for what he did.
“I need to go,” he just mumbled before he went home at flash-speed.
He tapped his foot nervously while the computer took his time to turn on. He couldn't believe it, he just couldn't. If Len was who he thought he was...
Barry read through all of their correspondence, every single one. Up to the point they started talking about their crushes (a thought at which Barry had to wince because he just realized that he had asked his crush to help with his crush which was kind of pathetic). First he made sure that he hadn't been too obvious about his feelings lest Len knew who he was talking to. But Barry thought that that was pretty unlikely.
Once he went through Len's e-Mails again, he read them with mixed feelings...
'... People... don't usually like me. '
' I guess I get a little bit lonely sometimes. '
' Love can make you feel like there is no air in the room, like you are drowning. '
How had he never noticed that Leonard actually felt that way? He always put on his absolutely infatuating smirk and made puns and was just so lovely to strangers (something he had just been witness to recently) and still, the man seemed to have the worst picture of himself and it made Barry unbelievably sad.
Although, he couldn't help smiling and feeling butterflies in his stomach whenever he read some other passages:
'... there is this person I like .'
' I see them and I feel like I can't breathe anymore. '
' I start smiling in inappropriate moments and I get giddy whenever they touch me'
' Despite there being a huge age gap,'
Barry didn't dare to hope. Even though the meta had actually used his name in one sentence with feelings, Barry didn't dare. For all he knew, Len could hate him so much that the meta had picked up on it. So instead, he went through all of the male rogues (since he knew that Len was, in fact, into boys only), and tried to find anyone connected with Len who was younger (or older?) than he was. He came up short. That means, if Len wasn't into the shady elderly bartender in his favorite bar or Cisco, that would only leave...
“me,” Barry breathed and tired to calm himself down.
It actually was him. It had to be him. The meta would have been right. But could he really trust a criminal? With a start, he noticed that he already did. He jumped from where he sat on hiy kitchen table. He would make the hugest idiot out of himself, he already knew that. But his heart was beating faster than it should (even for speedster standards) and he was shaking with nerves. Without even thinking about it, he left the apartment at super speed, determined to find him. He didn't know what he was going to say yet but he had to say... something. Anything. He was his soulmate .
As it turned out, the meta had been right. Len's head had been fine from the moment he had gotten up. He still felt somewhat weird and kind of shaky but he thought that that might just be the aftereffects you were supposed to have after having someone go through your head. He had deemed it best to not exhaust himself so he had stayed home the entire day. Once or twice, his thoughts went to the Flash team and he asked himself whether or not they had found out about his visit.
He would like to say that his mind swayed to Barry only once or twice but in reality it was more like a hundred times.
He just didn't know what to do. When he saw that Barry was directly in front of the meta, nothing there to save him, Len hadn't even hesitated. Nobody was allowed to hurt him. Nobody.
Len was currently sitting at his kitchen table, reading Science's last e-mail.
Subject: 900 years
it was... complicated. They were in a compromised position, I am not going to shout something like “I love you so much” in their face in a situation like this. Well, not ever but particularly not in this moment. I just don't know about anything anymore. I just... I really really like them, Snow. I really do.
Haha, if it helps, I am not a 16-year old girl from Sweden. This is all you'll ever get from me, though. But this is fun. I could be a 90 year old woman from Sweden. Or a 13 year old from France or maybe even a 53 year old grumpy man from Canada, you will never know.
I don't like how you talk about yourself. I am not sure why you talk about yourself in this way, only that I don't like it. You are absolutely amazing and anyone would be lucky to have you – myself included. Even if you are a 60 year old man from China. You hear me?
What? I didn't hear you there, do you not want me to... “The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant”.
(You know you love it!!!!!)
I mean it, though. Even if you have done some bad things, so what. Whatever it was, it was probably not so bad. Don't let the bad things in your life make the good things unimportant. Or spoil them. Listen to the Doctor. He knows, he's the Doctor!
Talk to you soon!
Len grinned. That nerd. He was just about to hit the reply-button, when there was a loud knock on his door. He groaned. It could only be Lisa and he was not in the mood for talking to his baby sister with the pounding in his head.
He heaved himself up anyway and made his way to the door. Might as well get it over with. She knew how to pick his lock anyway.
It would be an understatement that he was surprised to come face to face – not with his sister – but with the scarlet speedster himself.
“Barry,” he breathed. Surprise evident on his face. Barry was standing there, panting (he never panted, Len wondered), staring at him.
“I believe in you,” he blurted out in a rush.
Len blinked at him.
“I mean,” Barry shook his head a couple of times before continuing just as rushed as before:
“I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demigods and would-be gods; out of all that, out of that whole pantheon, if I believe in one thing... just one thing... I believe in you.“
Len didn't understand. Well he did understand, it was his favorite quote from his favorite show but why would...
Then it occurred to him. The meta. He had said things about Barry, about Len's penpal, about... Science.
Instantly, all of his blood rushed in his head and his heart began to pound. Quickly he closed his door in Barry's face and leaned against it for support.
After a couple of seconds, there was a soft knock on the door.
“Len? Len, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have...”
Len could hear his own heartbeat in his ears and Barry softly exhaling.
“Listen... are you listening? Can you please tell me if you're listening?”
Len grunted. Because he didn't know what else to do. Because he wasn't able to form any words or coherent sentences.
He was so confused. What was going on? Did they know? Were they able to read his e-Mails to Science? If Barry knew, who else knew?
“Okay, so I am going to talk now,” Barry said before there was a soft thud and Len wondered if Barry was currently sitting on the floor, leaning against his door. He mimicked what he thought the other was doing and slid down the door until he was in a sitting position. He closed his eyes. The ringing in his head was still there.
“I saw the security footage,” Barry started and Len felt like he was close to tears.
“He talked about... your...feelings for me. And he talked about your e-Mail friend.”
There was a small pause in which Len tried everything is his power not to start sobbing.
“Snart... Len, I am ScienceIsCool.”
At this point, Len thought his heart stopped. He hurried away from the door, not able to listen to a single word Barry had to say. It couldn't be, could it?
He grabbed his laptop from the kitchen table and read through all of the e-Mails. He didn't know when Barry left but he was certain he must have at some point.
He re-read the exchanges again and again and buried his head in his pillow. How could he have been so stupid? Of course this would be his luck. Finding someone he connected with on a personal level and have that one person being the person he could never be with. He was just about to start reading through everything again, when there was a new e-Mail in his inbox.
Subject: Are you a wheeping angel?
Because I can't take my eyes off you.
I'm sorry, this is horrible. Please talk to me.
Len didn't know what to do. He stared at the text and at the name signed at the end. The things he had said. The feelings he had displayed... he could never take that back. He had never felt so vulnerable in his life.
He closed first his laptop and then his eyes. He thought about Barry. Barry, good-natured, sweet, amazing Barry. Who had talked to him. In real life and e-Mail. Who had told him that he believed in him – more than once, in different settings. Who had told him that he was worth something, even though he didn't know who he was talking to at the time. Who Len told about his crush on... him and he told him he supported him.
Len hadn't cried in a very long time but he was very close.
Which was when his phone beeped. He reached over just to see another new e-Mail.
Subject: You must be a new breed of Ood...
… because my heart is in your hands.
Please don't crush it.
Talk to me.
That was just it. Len's tears ran freely. How could he give in to this? He wanted this. He wanted nothing more than this but how could he? There was not one scenario in which this would end well.
He decided to sleep on it. He wasn't ready to talk to Barry or to reply to any of his messages.
Sleep was the safest option right now.
Barry didn't hear a single sound from Snart over the next week. Neither as Barry, nor as Science, nor as the Flash. He should feel rejected, he should feel mortified at his enemy/crush finding out all of these very intimate things about him. Instead, he had a feeling that Snart would need a bit more time to come to terms with their situation.
Barry had even dreamed about an outcome like this. So many daydreams spent, thinking about how absolutely perfect it would be if the person he felt such a deep connection to online and the person he loved in real life would be the same. So he just couldn't give up.
He didn't know how many e-mails he sent exactly but whenever he read or thought about a witty pick up like (or so he thought), he would send them. In hopes of showing Leonard that he did take this seriously (i.e. still sending them after all that silence he got in return) and trying to make him laugh to see past his own fear (at least Barry hoped it was fear and not something worse like him actually liking someone else).
Lazily, Barry opened his laptop on Sunday morning. He opened his e-Mail program and a new message. After he hit send, he lay back down. Sending a lot of e-Mails was important. Sending them regularly was important, too. So he actually set himself an alarm to send an e-Mail at the time he would usually send one, just before he left for work. Barry hoped that Lenoard would appreciate it.
Subject: You must be from Skaro
Because you are Dalek-table!
Talk to me!
Barry knew that his behavior was obsessive. His friends and family were even starting to look at him funny. They knew that there was something going on, he was sure of it. He just didn't feel the need to talk about it.
Joe, however, apparently did. Barry sped to STAR Labs on his day off (he had groaned and cursed when he saw Cisco's text that he should come in) and arrived to a full blown intervention.
There were several versions of:
“Barry you can tell us anything.”
“Barr, what's wrong?”
“You can't keep going like this, you seem so tired all of the time.”
At one point, Barry just broke. He started laughing uncontrollably.
“Here is something you guys will have to deal with,” he announced still grinning.
He didn't want to tell them, especially not like this but somehow he felt giddy with anticipation. Maybe deep down he wanted people to know.
“I am in love with Leonard Snart.”
Silence. Everyone around him just gaped and stared.
“What do you mean?” Joe finally asked.
“I mean,” Barry ran his hand through his hair, “that I am currently trying to woo Leonard Snart. I don't know if it's working. But I like him – I love him. And I am going to try.”
Another round of silence.
“How,” Caitlin spoke up, “How did that happen?”
“I kind of had a minor crush before McPalm showed up and now I cannot think about anything else. I just...” he trailed off, unsure of what else to say.
“Weirdly, this makes perfect sense.”
Everyone else turned to her, gaping, including Barry.
“What? You were over eager to go on that museum date?” she asked, taken aback.
And just like that, the tension seemed broken. Cisco laughed with them, Iris looked incredibly confused but said that she didn't actually hate Snart and Joe was just very very quiet. Barry hoped that he just had to wrap his head around the situation.
Having this particular issue out of the way, Barry thought it was time for another e-Mail to his far bigger problem. He quickly got out his phone and sent one off.
Subject: Fezzes are red
the Tardis is blue
Custard is lovely
and so are you.
Talk to me.
He pocketed his phone and joined his family again. Joe was still a little bit uncertain but Barry just refused to worry about this. He already had something in his life he worried about.
They decided to get dinner together and suddenly, hanging out with them seemed like the best idea Barry had ever had. He had no idea why he didn't tell them before. He did not however, tell them about the e-Mail exchange. That was just very very private. Barry had to smile whenever he thought about all of the wonderful things Len had said in his e-Mails. And a frown appeared, whenever he thought about how Len talked about himself in them.
If anything, both of those aspects only made Barry love him more. He really hoped that they could turn this around.
Team Flash stayed out pretty late, so when Barry came back to his apartment, he was absolutely beat. He felt like he could collapse into his bed and instantly fall asleep. First, he felt the need to send another e-Mail off to Len, just because.
He quickly got his laptop and brushed his teeth while waiting for it to turn on.
Lazily, he lay down on his bed and clicked on the little icon of his e-Mail program.
He was just about to automatically click on the new message button, when he saw it.
'One new Message'
Barry sat up straight. His heartbeat quickened and he started to shake. There, in his message box, was one unread e-Mail. Barry stared at it for a long time.
Subject: RE: Fezzes are red
I am not a princess in need of woo-ing, Barry.
Barry glanced at the time the e-Mail was sent. It had been sent only 10 minutes ago. He clicked on the reply button so fast that he was afraid he'd break it and shot a message back.
Subject: RE: Fezzes are red
I needed to get you to reply, see, it worked :)
Please talk to me? Please.
I have several things I need to say and I would rather do it in person.
Barry sat on his bed and kept clicking on the refresh button, until there was one new message:
Subject: RE: Fezzes are red
Come over, then.
Barry didn't even wait long enough to shut his computer down. He just jumped up and ran.
As soon as he had sent the message, Len poured himself a glass of scotch and waited. He would have been fine with ignoring Barry's e-Mails for all eternity (okay, that wasn't really true) but in the end it had been a very forceful visit from his sister and Mick that had made him reply.
Both of them had threatened to never speak to him again if he didn't speak to Barry and really, he could not not speak to the only family he had, now could he?
So he told Barry to come over. And now he waited. Not five seconds later, he heard a crackling sound and there was a knock on his door. Slowly, he walked over, bracing himself for what was to come. He opened it and looked right into Barry's smiling face.
He had almost forgotten how beautiful Barry was. With his carefree attitude even though he had already been through so much in his short lifetime. The big smile on his face, his crinkling eyes... Len swallowed hard before letting the speedster into his apartment.
“Come in,” was all he said in greeting.
Barry walked in and stood in the middle of the living room, uncertainty evident in his eyes.
Barry sat down on the sofa.
Both of them looked at each other but neither said anything.
“Okay,” Barry sighed, “I'll start, shall I?”
Len was leaning against his kitchen counter which separated the kitchen from the living room, almost as if to have as much space between him and Barry as possible.
“I'm in love with you,” Barry said. Voice strong and loud.
Hearing these words spoken out loud did things with Leonard he didn't know were possible, he actually felt weak in his knees.
“When I found out that you were... that you are Snowflake... I couldn't believe it. After watching the footage, I went straight on home and re-read all of the messages, trying to figure out whether or not it could be true. And you know what? I re-read all those messages, having in mind that you are the one who wrote them and I fell for you even more. I mean, jesus Len, I was talking to you about the crush I have on you. This is really messed up. But you said – on multiple occasions – that I am important. And that I am wonderful and I quote 'anyone would be happy to have me'. Did you just say that because you thought you were talking to a stranger or did you mean it? Because if you meant it... I meant every word I have ever written to you. To you, about you. Every single word. I think you are amazing and I do fall in love more and more every time I look at you...” Barry paused, not knowing what else to say and then added: “And I do want to have a Doctor Who marathon with you. And kiss you and someday marry you because I do believe – I really do – that you are my soulmate.”
Then it was silent again. Barry was so nervous he felt like his heart would jump out of his chest while waiting for Len to reply.
Len cleared his throat.
“I... I don't know what to tell you, Barry.”
“Well, best case scenario would be that you tell me you love me back, actually, but no pressure.”
“Gee, thanks,” Len smirked.
Oh how Barry loved that smirk. Not that he would ever tell him that.
Len's face went blank once more and he scratched the back of his neck.
“Look, Barry, I'm... I'm just gonna be honest with you here. I feel like I'm floating – or drowning – without anything I can hold on to. Since you told me that you were Science, I... this makes me so incredibly vulnerable and I feel very powerless. I said things in those e-Mails I never would have said to your face – or anyone's face, really. I am scared and I am tired and I would have left if... if I wasn't so hung up on you. The thing is though, that while I did talk to you about you – which you are right, by the way, is weird – I always talked about this fantasy. Because I know that you and me.. it wouldn't work. I mean you are the Flash, I am Captain Cold. There is this huge age gap, you would get in trouble with your friends and family and it's just not worth it.”
He took a large sip from his glass and looked at Barry, nervous about his reaction.
“Did you say you like me back?”
“Is that all you took from that?”
“It's the only important thing you said.”
He slowly stood up and walked over to Len. He took Len's glass out of his hand and placed it on the counter. He then continued to get closer and closer.
Len's breath hitched slightly, which Barry took as an invitation and kissed him. Softly at first and then it became more and more urgent, before they had to break the kiss for some air.
Barry tugged on Len's shirt but he removed Barry's hands from his waste.
“I'm shocked,” he drawled.
“Barry Allen, master of seduction. I'll have you know that I don't put out so easily. You'll have to buy me dinner first.”
Barry put his arms around Len's neck and grinned at him.
“Can do. I'm not quite ready to let go of you, yet though. Not even long enough to get food.”
He kissed him again.
“I'll be the Ten to your Rose,” he murmured and kissed Len again. Len huffed and Barry took it as a positive sign.
“I'll be the Rory to your Amy.”
He kissed him again but Len broke the kiss and looked at him obviously fighting a grin.
“How come I'm always the girl?”
Barry grinned before leaning in again.
“Because I will always be here to protect your Pandorica.”
Len laughed out loud and tried to get out of Barry's embrace.
“This is horrible,” he said trying to make Barry let go.
“I would have waited so many millennia for you to reply. You could have called me the boy who waited.”
Len ducked out of the embrace and put a couple of feet between him and Barry.
“No, Barry, no! I can't even look at you right now! Go, stand in the corner,” he exclaimed still laughing.
Since the living room wasn't really big, Barry flash-sped over to Len, knocked him to the ground and straddled him.
He leaned down, kissing him again.
“You know you love it.”
Len grinned, he had his eyes closed and felt so much happier than he could remember ever being.
“Mhh,” he finally murmured.
“Unfortunately, I think you're right.”
“I'm always right.”
Since he still had his eyes closed, he couldn't see Barry but he could still feel his breath on his own face.
“Yeah, and I have another bit of wisdom for you, Captain Cold.”
Len laughed (one could say it was a giggle, but Leonard Snart did not giggle).
“Yeah? And what's that?”
“That you should wear a bowtie.”
Len opened his eyes and looked straight into Barry's highly amused face.
“Why would I do such a thing?”
“Because bowties are cool.”
Len couldn't really argue with that. That was why he just grabbed Barry at the back of his neck and dragged him down to meet his own lips with his.
If Mr. Barry absolute-sunshine Allen was certain that they could make it work, who was he to not believe in him?
Due to very stressful weeks ahead of me, I thought I'd post the last chapter early :) I hope you guys like it! Thank you so much for sticking with this story! I really wasn't sure in the beginning that anyone would read it really because... Coldflash with e-Mails and Doctor Who puns? Didn't really see that happen, which is why I am so happy that all of you actually read this! Thank you to every single one of you who supported this story and left these amazing comments and kudos! Cheers, guys!