"Hello there, lovely."
The sudden weight of a hand on his hip made Barry flinch. He fought down the lightning surging through his veins, an ill-advised fight-or-flight response when he wasn't wearing the suit. Instead, he twisted around at what could almost have passed for normal speed to face the man who was crowding him against the counter. It was a short, burly guy with a droopy eye who Barry was sure he'd seen before in Joe's mug-shot book. Then again, that was likely true for the majority of the clientele of Saints and Sinners, meeting place of Central's most wanted and unwanted that it was.
Droopy Eye sidled closer until Barry found himself wedged between the counter and the stool behind him.
The hand against Barry's hip tightened like a claw, uncomfortable even through the thick layer of denim. He wondered if he'd have to fight his way out of here after all until the guy leaned in with a leer and asked, "How much for a BJ?"
"What?" Barry blinked as realization hit that he wasn't being threatened. Not in the way he'd thought, anyway. "Man, you've got the wrong —"
He was cut off before he got to clear up the misunderstanding. "C'mon, doll, don't play hard to get now. I been watching you. You may have a mouth like a dream, but you ain't exactly scoring much tonight. Can't be picky now, can you?"
Droopy Eye scowled at Barry and reached inside his stained jacket, throwing thirty bucks on the counter with the air of a hassled customer who thought he was being particularly generous.
Wow, the guy was a real charmer. Before Barry had a chance to tell him where exactly he could shove his money, another voice cut in, all frosty threats and familiar drawl. A shiver ran down his spine, an almost Pavlovian response Barry marked up to trepidation.
"Get lost, Bob. You can't afford the kid," Leonard Snart said, pushing between them in a way that forced Droopy Eye – Bob, apparently – to take a step back, dislodging his grip on Barry. Instead of some grubby stranger pawing at him, Barry got the length of Snart's body pressed against his, back to front. They were so close that he could feel the muscles in Snart's back shift with every tiny movement, and it was surprisingly difficult to convince himself that it should probably be making him feel every bit as cornered and uneasy as Bob's importunity just had.
Bob clearly didn't like the interruption. His scowl intensified. "Fuck off, Snart. I made the boy a good deal and he knows it. You act like you got some claim on him."
From where he stood, Barry couldn't make out Snart's expression or what silent communication passed between them, but he got to watch Bob's reaction up close: the way he blanched and swallowed, hands coming up in a quick gesture of surrender.
"Okay, okay, I got it. Boy's all yours. He's too jailbait for my likin', anyway."
He hurried off like he couldn't get away fast enough, disappearing in the gloomy lighting and smokey air. The rush of relief Barry felt was short-lived when the implication of Bob's words sank in.
"Hey, I — " he started, loud enough to be heard clearly over the music blasting from the speakers, but the warning glare Snart threw him when he turned around made Barry swallow his protest. The move put some distance between them. It was a good thing, Barry told himself. Breathing room was nice. It was. It should have been.
He took a deliberate step away from the counter, aware that every pair of eyes in the room was turned on them. It seemed wise to lower his voice a little. "Dammit, Snart, I had him handled. And you just made it worse. Now everyone in this place thinks I'm a hooker."
And it wasn't all they thought, Barry'd wager, Bob's parting words echoing in his ear: Boy's all yours.. Snart dubiously coming to his rescue could easily have been mistaken for possessiveness rather than gallantry – especially considering who Snart was, and who they assumed Barry to be.
Snart shrugged, clearly unapologetic. "Your own fault, coming in here looking like that."
The weight of his gaze when he looked Barry up and down was heavy, physical like a touch. The suggestiveness of it brought a rush of blood to Barry's cheeks.
"Looking like what?" he hissed. "I look exactly the way I always look."
He realized it was the wrong thing to say as soon as the words were out of his mouth.
A raised eyebrow and a twitch of Snart's mouth, like he was trying to say 'That's my point, kid!', and Barry's flush deepened. Damn the guy. Barry knew how to protect himself against a blast of the Cold Gun, but Snart had a way of getting under his skin even when he was unarmed.
He leaned in, close enough that his breath fanned against Barry's cheek, warm and faintly minty, making Barry brace himself for innuendo wrapped in a terrible pun. It didn't come. Instead, Snart said, "Think about it this way, Barry. Could be worse. Long as they take you for a rent boy, they won't think you're a badge."
And. Well. Snart had a point. It may not have been the cover Barry would have picked for himself, but it wasn't a bad one.
His eyes flitted through the room. Most people seemed to have stopped paying attention to them, probably having lost interest after the scuffle they'd expected had failed to happen. It was just as well. In a place like Saints and Sinners, it was best to fly under the radar and blend in.
Barry sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. "Fine, whatever. I came here to find you anyway. I... may have a business proposition for you."
Snart leaned against the counter, propping his chin on his hand and eyeing Barry speculatively, like he was trying to figure out Barry's game. Whatever he saw made him snort, mouth curling into a sneer. "Meaning you need my help. Again." The tone was like a whiplash, snappy and cutting.
Barry winced. He'd tried very hard not to phrase it like that, hoping he could entice Snart's curiosity without the usual kind of quid pro quo, but it seemed increasingly unlikely at this point.
"There's a... situation," he admitted. "Your skills would come in handy."
The moment stretched until it took an effort not to squirm under the cool, blue-eyed stare. Snart had him at a disadvantage and they both knew it; no amount of trying not to blink first was going to make a difference, but that didn't mean Barry was willing to back down. He jutted his chin and held his ground by sheer force of will. Amusement flashed across Snart's face, come and gone so fast that only Barry's superhuman senses let him detect it.
Snart inclined his head. "Fine. Let's talk." He held up his finger, halting Barry's explanation before he even got a word out. "Outside. Too many ears listening, and you already made quite the spectacle of yourself. Got everyone's attention. Bad for business."
He pushed himself off the counter and stalked off, not bothering to turn and see if Barry was following. The sheer presumptuousness made Barry bristle, but when it came down to it, what else could he do but hurry after the other man?
Lightning bristled around him like static when he came to a standstill in front of Snart, who was watching him in blatant, unconcealed fascination. Barry grinned. He couldn't deny that it was a rush, knowing that even after all this time going against each other and occasionally teaming up, his powers still had that kind of effect on the other man. He swallowed down the surge of pride at the thought.
"You're aware that every single person in there thinks we went outside to have sex?"
"Shocking," Snart deadpanned.
He took a few steps forward until he was in Barry's space, and Barry became acutely aware of the wall at his back. He reminded himself that he could easily flash away at any time, but it didn't stop the sense of being cornered, the twinge of anticipation in the pit of his stomach, not entirely unpleasant.
"Now that you mention it... We haven't discussed what you're going to owe me for my help. You know I don't work for free." Snart's lip curled into a smirk. The slow, drawn-out once-over he gave Barry was as subtle as a brick, making the heat burn under Barry's collar like he was standing too close to Rory's gun. "What'd you say, Scarlet? Willing to take that cover story of yours a little further?"
Barry laughed. "For real? The last time you asked me for a ridiculous amount of money before having me erase your records, and you tell me this time you'll settle for — What? A back alley fuck? Come on, Snart, I know you aren't selling your services that cheap."
The idea was preposterous. Then again, he shouldn't have been surprised; Snart's negotiation tactic was pretty much the same as the last time: start off with a ludicrous demand so that his second one would seem sensible in comparison and Barry would have a hard time denying him. He wondered what it was going to be this time, bracing himself for something illegal that was bound to drive him to the edge of how far he was willing to compromise his morals.
What he didn't expect was for Snart to back him further towards the wall, leaning in with his right hand braced against the bricks beside Barry's head. The space on Snart's left side remained open; he wasn't caging Barry in, he wasn't even touching him apart from where the unzipped front of his leather jacket brushed against Barry's shirt in a soft rustle, but the way he was eyeing Barry held him in place as effectively as if Snart had used the Cold Gun to freeze him to the spot.
"Hm. If you think that's cheap, then maybe, like our good friend Bob, you underestimate your value."
It wasn't the well-calculated follow-up demand Barry had predicted. Snart's drawl was more pronounced than it usually was when he was out of costume, and the way Barry's body reacted to Snart using the Captain Cold voice was all kinds of wrong and nothing short of embarrassing. Maybe that's why it took him entirely too long to catch on.
"Wait — You're... actually being serious." Laughter bubbled up his throat again, but this time he was aware that there was an edge of hysteria in the sound.
Snart offered a one-sided shrug. "Maybe."
The caginess was self-protection, Barry realized. Plausible deniability, ready to brush it off as a joke depending on Barry's reaction. But Snart's offer had been real. If Barry agreed, there would be no further demands, no bid for a Get Out of Jail Free card, no insistence that the Flash owed him. A quick tussle behind Saints and Sinners and all debts would be paid.
Could he do it? He should have been scandalized by the idea. Repulsed. But if Barry was honest with himself, he wanted it – had been wanting it for longer than he was comfortable admitting. He couldn't deny that he liked the idea of letting Snart pressing him against the bricks at his back, of wrapping his legs around the other man's hips and getting rid of the tension between Flash and Captain Cold in a different way, one that didn't involve high-speed punches and icy blasts from the Cold Gun. Desire buzzed through his veins, leaving a metallic taste on his tongue.
Snart's gaze flickered down to Barry's mouth, and Barry realized he'd been gnawing on his lower lip. When he licked the bruised flesh, he tasted blood. Snart's eyes darkened, the pale blue swallowed by the black of his dilating pupils, and a fresh wave of want made Barry sway towards him.
He stopped himself before they could touch, coming to a decision.
"No," he said, more conviction in his tone than he felt. Snart instantly took a step back. If he was at all disappointed or indeed surprised by the response, he didn't let on. "Being mistaken for a prostitute may have worked in my favor in there, but I'm not actually one. If you wanna make a deal in exchange for your help, fine, but it's not going to involve sexual favors. If you wanna get in my pants —" Barry stumbled over his words.
He took a deep breath before he pressed on, holding Snart's gaze. "You don't double-cross me, you don't let me catch you on a heist, you buy me a coffee, and maybe you'll get lucky."
If Barry didn't know Snart as well as he did, he would have missed surprise on his face, instantly replaced by amused satisfaction. He all but squirmed under Snart's narrow-eyed stare that silently held him fixed for too long, wondering if he'd just made a mistake, his offer betraying too much, giving new ammunition to a man who'd proved in the past that he was willing to use everything he had at his disposal against Barry.
"That's a no to the back-alley fuck, then?"
Barry tensed. "Snart —"
He reached out and pressed his finger across the cut in Barry's lip before letting it trail down across his chin and the line of his throat, dipping into the tender hollow. Under different circumstances, the gesture might have been a threat. Tonight, it felt like an offer.
Barry swallowed, fighting against the urge to close his eyes.
"Leonard." He tested out the name on his tongue, surprised when it didn't feel weird. He struggled to remember what he'd been about to say. Something forbidding. Arguments why this was a bad idea. His mind felt hazy, the words lost to him. He let his head thud against the wall behind him, Leonard's hand still resting at his throat.
Heat flared in Leonard's gaze. "Jesus, Barry, you should see yourself."
His leg pushed between Barry's as he moved closer, one muscular thigh pressing against his groin, Leonard's erection hard against his hip.
Barry felt trapped, choking with want, the urge to regain control warring with the need for release until he remembered Bob's words and he realized that there was a way to get both.
With a burst of lightning, he reversed their positions so that Leonard was the one with his back towards the wall. Barry didn't give him enough time to regain his senses before he dropped to his knees, reaching up to open Leonard's belt. The way Leonard sharply drew in air when Barry pulled down his pants was gratifying, easing some of the nervousness burning under Barry's skin.
He raised his head and looked up at Leonard, watching the curl of his lips and the glint in his eyes in the flickering neon light of the Saints and Sinners sign, waiting for the smart-ass remark Barry knew was going to come.
Leonard didn't disappoint. "If I'd known how eager you were to get on your knees for me, I'd have put you there a long time ago."
Despite the rush of heat that shot through him at the words and the mental image they evoked, Barry snorted. "You hardly put me there."
"Semantics." Leonard's fingers combed through Barry's hair with unexpected tenderness before his hand curved against Barry's cheek, thumb brushing over his mouth until it fell open under the touch. "Come on then, Flash, show me what you got."
It was a dare Barry couldn't have resisted if he tried. He threw Leonard a quick smile, reckless and cocky, high on desire and adrenaline and the sheer thrill of anticipation at making Captain Cold lose his cool. He leaned in and licked a wet stripe along the underside of Leonard's cock, testing the weight of it against his tongue, the salty-sweet taste of precum pooling from the head.
Leonard's fingers were back in his hair, not pushing him, just resting there while moving in tiny, pleasant circles across his scalp. Their grip tightened when Barry closed his mouth around Leonard's cock and swallowed him down as far as he could without gagging. He tried to move, but Leonard held him firmly in place.
Looking up, the tense expression on Leonard's face went straight to Barry's cock. Gone were the unruffled composure and the infuriating smirk. His face flushed and his pupils blown and his mouth dropped open, Leonard look wrecked, and Barry had barely even started. It felt like more of a victory than all those times he'd stopped one of Cold's heists and delivered him to the CCPD.
Gotcha. Barry smirked, as well as he could around a mouthful of cock, and bobbed his head experimentally, tugging at Leonard's grip until he finally let him move. Above him, Leonard made a choked sound, broken off like he was trying – and failing – to hold back, and fuck, this shouldn't be as hot as it was.
Leonard had been right: he should have done this a long time ago. If only he'd known that all it took to win their constant tug of war was to drop on his knees and blow Cold he could have spared himself a hell of a lot of frostbite.
He reached down and fumbled with the button on his jeans, groaning in relief when he slipped under the waistband of his briefs and finally closed his fingers around his leaking erection, trying not to lose his rhythm as he was bringing himself off.
Time stretched and constricted, seconds turning into hours and minutes shortening into nanoseconds as Barry lost himself in the steady movement, the heady build of arousal, the smell and taste of sex all around him. His jaw was getting tired and his hand was sticky and his knees were aching, but it was all just background noise, drowned out in the hazy rush of endorphins. As he felt himself getting close, it became harder and harder to fend off his orgasm and draw it out. The fiercely competitive part of him that knew that any encounter between him and Cold, no matter the occasion or the kind of intimacy involved, would always be some kind of power play couldn't stand the idea of coming first. The next time he moved forward, he stilled and, looking up at Leonard through his lashes, let his tongue vibrate against Leonard's cock.
A bitten-off shout and Leonard came down his throat, his hand tightening its hold in Barry's hair until it became painful, and Barry choked on the cum filling his mouth. And maybe Barry was more of a masochist than he'd thought, because between Leonard's restraining fingers and the lack of oxygen, it only took a few shallow thrusts against his slippery palm until his own orgasm hit him, heavy like a blast from the Cold Gun, hollowing him out.
He barely noticed Leonard's grip loosening or his softening cock slipping from his mouth, overwhelmed by sensation as he swayed forward and caught his breath, his forehead resting against the heated skin of Leonard's stomach. It took a moment until the roaring in Barry's head subsided.
Above him, Leonard was slumped against the bricks, his breathing heavy and his pants still pooling at his feet. His gaze was sharp and alert, though, following each of Barry's motions like a hawk. Barry couldn't stop himself from blushing under the intensity of the stare, suddenly embarrassed.
He stood and wiped his mouth, his hands shaky as he fastened his jeans.
"Worth more than the thirty bucks Bob was going to pay me?" he asked. The cockiness that had come so easy earlier felt fake now, like a fumbling show of bravado.
Leonard huffed out a laugh. It lacked the usual disparaging edge, genuine amusement adding an unfamiliar kind of warmth.
"Like I told him, he couldn't have afforded you." There was a teasing note in his tone. "Not sure if I can. Might have to pull some high-class heists if I want to keep buying your services."
Only Leonard Snart would find a way to place the responsibility for his criminal exploits on Barry. Barry didn't know whether to be amused or exasperated by the brazenness.
"Good thing I'm not expecting payment, then."
Leonard did up his pants, a speculative glint in his eyes as he considered Barry. "You mean you're still gonna owe me if I help you with whatever you came to find me for?"
Oh, for —
Barry rolled his eyes heavenwards. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but yes. Like I said, I'm not trading sexual favors." Sometimes, he hated his principles.
"Guess I can't offer my help for free, either. Don't want to offend your delicate sensibilities."
"Wait a moment —" If Leonard decided to throw him a freebie out of the goodness of his heart, which was in no way connected to the blowjob he'd just received, that didn't make Barry a sex worker, right?
"Don't worry, kid, I'm sure I can come up with some morally immaculate, though maybe not so legal, favor you can owe me."
The smoothness of his drawl, mockery curled around the words like a snake, made Barry weak-kneed. It wasn't fair. Leonard could say the most outrageous things and that voice would still disarm Barry, every time.
"You're an ass," he shot back, lacking any kind of conviction.
Leonard chuckled, and Barry had an abrupt flashback to the night at the airfield, the amusement on the other man's face when he gleefully told him, "I'm a criminal and a liar and I hurt people and I rob them." He was too distracted by the memories for his reflexes to work at their normal speed when Leonard reached for him, and before he could react, he was spun around, pushed up against the bricks again, caught between the wall and the bulk of Leonard's body.
It could have been an attack, but Leonard's hands had settled on his hips, his thumbs teasing the skin at his waist where his shirt was still loose.
"I gave you an out, Barry. Several, in fact," Leonard reminded him, serious for a moment until his mouth twitched. "Not my fault you gotta do everything the hard way."
He leaned in and caught Barry's lips in a kiss, passionate and hungry and long overdue, and Barry decided he'd let the awful pun pass. Just this once.