"I'm sorry?" Cisco stared at HR as if the words he had just said were complete gibberish... Not an uncommon interaction for them. HR pulled a face, and it was funny how Cisco was still not used to seeing very different people with the same face.
He remembered when he'd first met Wells - Thawne - Wells: he'd been breathless, his heart beating in his ears. Harrison Wells was a genius, and Cisco revered him. It was an honour to meet him in person, let alone work for him. With him. That first day, Cisco could barely breathe, his heart in his throat, talking to his hero. A hero whose first name matched the mark on the back of Cisco's knee (and that had taken a few solo games of twister to decipher. It wasn't exactly an uncommon name, but it was... Well, it was hard to say if Cisco was hopeful or afraid, meeting Harrison Wells. Either way, the emotion had changed to a coordinating shade of relief and disappointment when he saw the worn, thin mark on the scientist's wrist when they shook hands.
The first time that Cisco dreamed about Dr. Wells confessing to be someone else right before killing him, he thought it was Freudian at best. But the dreams kept coming. He was almost relieved when Barry told him it wasn't a dream.
Cisco was the one to find the body of the real Harrison Wells. He was dedicated to solving the mystery; to finding the truth about "Dr. Wells"; to helping Barry. But there was a part of him that noticed that with the advanced decomposition of the body, it was impossible to know what Harrison Wells's soul mark had said. A part of him needed to know. A part of him badly needed not to.
When he met the Wells of Earth-2, Harry cared about nothing and nobody but getting his daughter home. He had a mark, and it most definitely was not Cisco's name.
Cisco had just gotten used to having him around when he left.
It took time for him to even begin to trust HR. It was baffling how many physically identical men could screw up Cisco's heart, and he wasn't inclined to do it again.
But the lovable dork was winning him over, with his easy smiles and his stupid haircut and his meditation and constant drumstick tapping. Even if HR could never really fill the same role that Wells - Thawne, dammit - had filled in Cisco's life; at the very least, they were in real danger of starting a band together.
He'd never asked HR about his mark. He'd never really thought about it.
And then one day, HR had come in radiating good will to all men while Cisco was up to his elbows in wires and on his second lollipop of the project. The "Hello, Francisco!" had jarred Cisco so much that he dropped a spanner and swore pretty creatively if he said so himself, and rounded on the man with a, "Cisco, man! It... It's Cisco. Why-" He broke off, clenching his fists beside his head in misplaced frustration. "Whyyyyy is that so hard for you?"
"I dunno." HR shrugged, more sheepish than truly apologetic (though there was a little of that, too). "I just like it. It sounds... Right." He tilted his head, playing with the name like he was imitating a bird call. "Fraaan... Cisco...."
"Dude." Cisco shook his head.
"I'm just saying," HR leaned on the desk, folding his arms and gesturing with the drumsticks, "that's your name, isn't it? Isn't that what 'Cisco' is short for? That's the name that would be on your soulmate's hip, for instance?"
"I'm sorry?" Cisco stared at HR as if the words he had just said were complete gibberish... Not an uncommon interaction for them.
HR pulled a face with a dismissive wave of the drumsticks. "Well, never mind where, but if it's your name, why wouldn't you want to answer to it?"
"Dude." Cisco tilted his head forward, raising his eyebrows at his... Friend. "You go by HR."
"Utterly fair," HR nodded after the briefest thought. "What are we working on?"
Cisco was too distracted to say that we weren't working on anything, but Cisco was working on a portable power source that would help give the world clean energy and more importantly allow a person to play video games in a black out. HR leaned in close to see the wires and lights as if proximity was what kept them from making sense to him, and Cisco explained each part and it didn't make any difference, but it was kind of nice, having someone interested in the process of him making something, instead of just the flashy finished result.
Every now and then, he'd catch HR glancing at him sideways. Then again, almost as often, he caught himself looking sideways at HR. He knew he ought to ask, but for now, he was happy to watch HR pointing an inquisitive drumstick at various wires while making bomb jokes. He swore to himself that he was going to find an excuse to steal a glance at HR's hip.