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Not Again

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“Barry, I’m going to kill you if we get out of this alive,” Lisa growled. She was tied to the chair behind him. Likely in the same way he was, hands behind her back and a blindfold on.

“You didn’t have to come with me,” he hissed back. He was trying to wiggle his hands free, with little success.

“Right, then the cult would be sacrificing you by yourself and there would be no chance you survive,” Lisa grumbled.

He hated that she was probably correct. They had met in an Alternative Religion and Cults class at the beginning of the semester. Barry had such an avid interest it usually drove others away. Lisa had taken it as an opportunity to learn more, and to learn what made Barry tick. That had annoyed him at first but there seemed to be no way to get rid of her.

She had slowly gone from an annoying presence to an annoying friend.

And now they were investigating a cult that claimed its members could do “super-human feats!” People who visited the cult would sometimes come out injured but claimed they had never felt better and others still claimed they could do superhuman feats. If that were true then it wasn’t too much of a stretch to think the Man in the Lightning might’ve had powers, and that could be the proof he needed to help his father.

“Did you at least get out that message to your brother?” Barry asked. He stopped trying to get out, all he was doing was rubbing his wrists raw.

“I think so, I sent my location but that was about it, and who knows if we’re even in the same spot,” Lisa sighed. “On the bright side if we are you finally get to meet Lenny.” Barry could hear the smile in her voice.

“Yes, because after getting his baby sister kidnapped I want to meet ‘Overprotective Big Brother Lenny.’ If the cult doesn’t kill me he certainly will.” Barry rolled his eyes under the blindfold. He heard Lisa giggle.

“Finally! Worthy sacrifices!” a new voice boomed.

“I really think you should rethink worthy,” Barry called.

“Yeah, totally not worthy over here,” Lisa finished.

“Nonsense! Our gods will appreciate such fine beauty!” Barry could tell this guy thought he was important because he shouted everything. That didn’t make you important; that made you annoying.

“This is worse than being hit on at the club,” Lisa mumbled.

Barry couldn’t back a snort.

“Do you think our gods are funny, boy?” Shouting Guy asked loudly.

“No! I mean, probably not. Well, they could be. Humor is a good thing and I’m sure gods have it, so maybe?”

He really should have been expecting the smack. His head whipped to the side, but the chair didn’t move.

“You’ll be able to find out just how funny our gods are when we summon them! You’ll be the first to be devoured!”

The guy grabbed him by the front of the shirt and he yelped as he was drug out of the chair. A chant started up around him and he could hear Lisa frantically calling out to him. He wanted to assure her he was okay, but the guy threw him to the ground. A heavy boot landed on his chest, forcing the air from his lungs.

The chanting grew louder until it was basically just wailing and Barry wished he could cover his ears. Then it cut off completely, then there was a loud bang, then silence.

For several moments it seemed nothing was happening and no one was moving.

“Well, this isn’t where I thought I would end up,” a voice that Barry knew mused. “Hello all, how did I get here?”

The boot lifted and kicked him towards the god that just arrived. “Master, we have prepared sacrifices for you!” There was a bunch of dull thuds and Barry just imagined all the cultish dropping to their knees.

“Oh boy, I just love a good sacrifice.” The god walked over and before Barry could react he pulled the blindfold down. “Hi Barry,” Professor Damien Darhk said, cheery as always.

“Professor?” Lisa asked.

“And Lisa you’re here too? Barry, I expected this from you but you Miss Snart, I’m going to have to expand my lesson plan to include ‘don’t investigate unknown cults aren’t I?’” he sounded exasperated but the smile didn’t leave his face.

“This wasn’t my fault!” Lisa called. “That lesson is for Barry!”

“Uh, Master, sir?” the cultish leader asked.

Both Damien and Barry turned to look at him.

“Why are you, uh, conversing with the sacrifices?” he sounded hesitant and looked even more unsure.

“Oh, right, sacrifices, so you all can, what? Have powers?” Damien asked. He glanced around at the cultist.

Barry and Lisa had estimated about twenty to thirty people in the cult. If Barry had to guess he would say it was closer to the twenty range.

“You know what’s funny?” Damien asked shaking his head. The guy’s eyes widened. “That staff you had was powerful enough to grant you powers.”

Barry was a bit confused about the tense of the words until the staff flew from his hands and into Damien’s. “Barry, you know what happens when stupid people play with powers they can’t control?”

“Bad things?” Barry chanced. If his lectures and the look in Damien’s eyes were anything to go by bad things were going to happen.

“Very bad things.” He snapped his fingers the leader’s neck snapped.

Barry yelped and scrambled back with what little movement he had. The cultists collectively gasped. Then there was screaming as some tried to get away while others came at him. Barry was sure it was to attack, but instead, they dropped to their knees in front of him.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been summoned like this. Stay back.” He held up a hand and it was like the people hit a force field. “Barry, go get Lisa. There’s a distressed man in the field that is wanting to see her.”

The ropes fell away and he scrambled over to Lisa. Quickly he undid the ropes and Lisa ripped off the blindfold. “What the hell is happening?” she demanded quickly taking in the people trying to escape and the ones on their knees.

“Hi, I’m the Hell that’s happening,” Damien said giving her a small, but excited wave. “Now, I believe your brother is out there trying to get in here to you. I couldn’t let him interfere though, so he’s locked in his car. You’ll be able to open the doors, but once you’re in you won’t be able to open the doors until you’re back in Central. Then you’ll be fine. I recommend staying away from the news for the next few days if you have a weak stomach. Toodles!”

Barry and Lisa took their cue and ran out the doors behind him. They slammed shut and that’s when the screaming happened.

They didn’t stop running until Lisa pulled him over to Lenny’s car. She opened the back door and shoved Barry in before scrambling in herself. There was a handsome, but confused man in the front seat.

“Hey, Lenny, we’ll catch you up: this is Barry and we’re pretty sure a cult is being murdered, but for now we just need you to book it back to Central,” Lisa said in a rush.

Barry wasn’t sure if it was the rushing, the fact they were out of breath, or just Lenny’s own desire to get out of there, but he didn’t ask questions, just threw it in reverse and sped out of there.

They were quiet for about five minutes before he said, “Spill.”

So they did. They told him about investigating the cult the last few days, about how this night had the new moon and that’s when the cultists would try to summon the thing. They wanted to investigate before and after the powers so they went in close. And how they’d gotten captured, Barry hit first, giving Lisa just enough time to send her location. They told him about waking up tied to the chairs and how they were pretty sure their Professor was a god, or at least powerful at magic and was probably murdering the cultists.

Barry got really excited about the fact magic was real. There was a chance the Man in the Lightning wasn’t so impossible after all! Lisa must’ve caught on to his line of thinking because she also chimed in with her theories about magic.

“Enough!” Lenny finally yelled. “You could’ve gotten killed over a fairytale.”

“But we didn’t,” Lisa pointed out.

“How could you take her with you?” Lenny demanded. His voice a little more than a growl and ice blue eyes glared daggers in the rearview mirror.

Barry couldn’t hold back a shiver. “Uh, I didn’t ask her to come with me. She just kinda did,” Barry said hesitantly.

“I’m an adult Lenny, you can’t stop me and neither can he. We didn’t die, we’re fine,” she snapped.

“Yeah Lenny,” Barry mocked.

That was a mistake and Barry realized that.

The car swerved hard enough to throw Lisa into him and to bounce him off the window. Lights danced in his eyes as he groaned.

“What the hell, you jerk!” Lisa scrambled off Barry and smacked her brother in the shoulder repeatedly.

“Pipe down, train wreck, you’re the only one that gets to call me Lenny,” he growled. Barry saw his fists tighten on the steering wheel in anger.

“Well too bad, I’m adding him to the list,” Lisa said pulling Barry close.

Lisa and Lenny argued most of the way until Lenny finally relented, he wasn’t happy about it and made no promises to respond but he wouldn’t beat Barry down every time he called him Lenny.

Thus began a weird friendship between the two.

[…]

“Barry, how is it, I see you again after a few years and my life is already in danger again?” Lisa asked sweetly in a low voice. The bank robbers may be distracted but they wouldn’t be for long is Lisa brought attention to them.

“Hey, you are the one that asked me to run some errands with you,” Barry countered.

He had just been enjoying a drink at Jitters. Since graduation, Lisa and Lenny had moved to Metropolis, It had been too far to visit while he was working at the police station. They messaged on and off and he and Lenny even messaged a few times a month. But it wasn’t the same as seeing them every day.

“I should’ve known this would happen,” she lamented with a grin, “I’ve missed you, Barry, and the danger that seems to follow.”

He just sighed and shook his head.

“Hey! Shut up!” one of the robbers keeping an eye them snapped.

Barry held up his hands in a placating way, “Sorry.”

The guard glared at him another moment before he went back to scanning the hostages.

“I see you still have a knack for pissing off the people that kidnap you,” Lisa muttered. She shifted against the wall so they were more firmly pressed together and could speak in a lower volume.

“To be fair, the one time I was targeted because they thought I was gay and wanted to sacrifice me before the rest of you. That time I just told him I was bi and he freaked,” Barry said.

It had been a homophobic cult that Lisa had discovered by accident. They had been looking into cults since they’d met freshmen year and they were juniors at the time. Lenny had been so pissed that they’d been taken again and was even more pissed when he found out the reason.

“Yeah, he screamed at you about having to choose women over men or the demons would drag you under for sure,” Lisa said fighting a smile.

“I probably shouldn’t have told him to suck my dick though,” Barry mused.

Lisa lost it. She couldn’t hold back the laughter at the memory. Even though Barry had to go to the hospital afterward, Lenny had gotten the police and the dangerous cult members were in jail. They counted it a win.

“Shut up bitch,” the guy snarled. He raised the large gun right into her face and her eyes widened. Barry shifted in front of her, now having the gun in his face. “That your girlfriend, punk?”

Barry knew she shouldn’t answer, Lisa knew he shouldn’t answer, and all the hostages watching knew he shouldn’t answer.

So he answered.

“No, my girlfriend’s waiting at her house and calls you son, but calls me daddy,” Barry snarked.

The gun bashing across his face was better than eating a bullet that was for sure. Barry lay sprawled out on the floor but smirked up at the guy with blood stained teeth.

“I will end you, you little shit,” the guy snarled. He raised the gun to fire as Barry stared up at him but he never got the chance.

Another shot rang out and the man dropped to the floor. From behind the teller glass, Lenny stood up. Barry could only gaze up at him in shock. Then back to Lisa, then back to Lenny.

“So, we may have been busier than I let on,” Lisa said with a guilty smile.

“Ya think?” his voice was about three octaves too high.

“Hello, lovely people. Wonderful of you to join me here. Don’t worry, no harm is coming to you. I’m here for my money and then I’m leaving,” Lenny said, the drawl of his voice thicker than Barry had heard and he had to fight a snicker.

The other two robbers had rushed back out and this time Lenny shot them in the shoulders, incapacitating them but not killing them. He then proceeded to grab the bags they had dropped.

“You can’t take that,” Barry said rising to his feet.

“And why not?” Lenny asked. Even under the goggles, Barry could see the amusement in his eyes.

“It doesn’t belong to you,” Barry said.

Lisa laughed but covered it with a cough. Barry glared at her and she just shrugged at him.

“Right,” Lenny drawled. “It’s insured, it’ll be fine.” And with that, he slipped back under the desk. Barry rushed over but didn’t see a tile out of place, but a hole in the floor had to be how Lenny had gotten in.

The police were on the scene only a minute or two later. Barry stayed close to Lisa. Joe wanted to make sure they were okay. He’d never met Lisa, but Barry talked about her often enough that Joe knew Barry would not have made it this long without her.

“And you’re sure you didn’t know the guy?” Joe asked again.

“I’m certain Joe, I just knew he was stealing and I couldn’t let that happen, or at least I tried to,” Barry lied.

“He shot a guy for you,” Joe pointed out.

“Maybe they were rivals, Joe. I wish I had more answers, but I don’t I’m sorry,” Barry insisted.

“Okay, okay. I’ve gotten both of your statements. You can go. You wanna stay at my place tonight Bear? I know seeing someone die can be tough, especially for you,” Joe trailed off.

“Thanks, Joe, but I think Lisa and I are just gonna chill at my place,” Barry said.

“Okay, Bear, text me later.”

Barry assured him he would and they didn’t speak until they were back in Lisa car.

“He doesn’t know does he?” she asked without looking at him.

“Of course not! How would I tell him I’m the one accidentally getting those cults murdered? They happen all over the US, most people don’t even connect them!”

It had become a theme after the first time they’d almost been sacrificed that they would try to get the cult arrested if they were doing illegal things, like kidnapping. Or Barry would sweet talk his way out of it and the cultist would end up meeting a horrible end.

Lisa had joked he had a deal with the devil; Barry joked that would have been easier.

“So, why did you really go to the bank today?” Barry asked rolling his eyes over to her.

“It certainly wasn’t to distract the tellers while Lenny snuck in the back if that’s what you’re thinking,” Lisa said with a too innocent smile.

“You were going to use me to do that, weren’t you?”

“I was originally going to flirt then pass out. But with you, I was going to accuse you of cheating and make a scene.” She batted her eyes at him.

“I’m almost glad the other robbers were there,” he muttered and she laughed.

They pulled up to a nice house in a decent neighborhood. Lisa pulled into the driveway and grinned at Barry.

Barry rolled his eyes and got out of the car. Lisa nearly skipped to the door. She swung it open and Barry walked in.

“Was wondering when you’d turn up,” Len drawled, leaning on the living room wall.

“Lisa said you’ve only been back a week. You’re fine,” Barry scowled.

Then both he and Lenny broke out into smiles and Barry rushed to give him a hug. “Missed you, Scarlet,” Len murmured.

“Are you ever going to let it go?” Barry groaned. To raise money their college had a drag show. Barry entered in a form-fitting crimson dress and had sung for the talent portion. Lenny had called it nothing but scarlet to get on his nerves so Barry entered under the name Scarlet.

“Of course not.” Len pulled back. “Now I’m going to assume the reason you’re here and the cops are not is because you decided not to rat me out?” Len guessed.

“Yeah, but you’re taking me out to dinner and the two of you are going to explain what you’ve been up to,” Barry grumbled.

“Deal,” Lenny said taking his hand.

[…]

“This is all your fault Flash,” Lisa hissed through clenched teeth.

“N-not really,” Barry shivered. “If any-anything it’s C-C-Captain Cold’s fault.”

“They were targeting you, Scarlet” Lenny, as Captain Cold, countered.

They were trapped in a freeze. Barry had been hit by the cold gun by Lenny. They had worked out that Captain Cold could shoot him if it did not risk being fatal but a shot to the legs slowed him down and give Captain Cold a fighting chance. Then while he was down, someone hit him. Then Captain Cold had been hit. And even Lisa, as the getaway driver, wasn’t out of the woods and have been knocked out with them.

Barry had woken up chained spread eagle to the wall. He was sitting legs spread in front of him and arms spread above him. Lenny and Lisa were chained to the other side of the wall, but they were chained to the wall together and had a blanket over them.

“O-okay, yeah, yeah th-th-that’s true,” Barry grumbled.

This was the first time Len was chained with them. Barry had no idea if his team would be able to find him or if they would manage to get out of this one. His comm had been broken and the lightning bolt symbol had been removed from his chest. He was pretty sure those were the only two trackers on him, but with Cisco, he wasn’t really sure.

The door opened and in walked a truly unremarkable looking guy. Barry was kinda insulted this was the guy that managed to get the drop on him. He was just an average looking guy, Barry could’ve past him on the street and not realized it, he probably couldn’t pick him out of a lineup.

“Well, Flash, glad you could chill with me for a bit,” the guy said.

Lisa and Barry groaned but Lenny snapped his head up to him.

“Cold is my thing, get your own thing,” Lenny growled.

“I don’t think so. After all, I’m going to be the Flash’s newest and best enemy. And you’ve given me a way to do that successfully.” The guy grinned and clapped his hands.

“There’s more to Captain Cold than just pointing and shooting,” Lenny growled.

“Oh, I know, like you know the Flash’s identity.”

“I don’t,” Lenny said at the same time Barry and Lisa said, “He doesn’t.”

But the guy just laughed. “See, I knew you did. Just tell me and I’ll let you out of the freezer.”

He looked so hopeful and Barry couldn’t stop the look of disgust on his face. “No, why-why the hell would I tell you?” Barry fought hard to keep the shiver out of his voice. “I’ve got plenty of other villains, I don’t n-need you. So just let me go and-and we can forget this ever happened and go on with our lives,” Barry also couldn’t keep the annoyance out of his voice.

The guys expression turned hard, Barry might even call it cold.

“Then maybe we need to get rid of some of your villains,” he said casting a glance to Lisa and Lenny.

He stormed off and slammed the freezer door shut.

“Seriously, how has no one killed you yet?” Lisa moaned. “Because you manage to piss off everyone.”

“Luck? Or lack thereof,” Lenny grumbled. “If this guy kills us, I’m haunting your ass.”

“Just my ass?” Barry teased.

“It is your best feature,” Len mused. “Especially in that leather. It just all out there to see and be haunted.”

“Hey!” Lisa smacked her brother and the chains rattled. “I’m right here!”

“That is true, shut up Flash, my sister has delicate ears,” Lenny said with the biggest shit eating grin.

“Why don’t you make me, Cold?”

“How dare you tempt me while my sister is right here? I’ll have to find a way to keep that mouth busy so it doesn’t corrupt her precious ears.”

“I take it back! Anytime you want to end me if fine with me!” Lisa yelled scrambling the few inches away from her brother.

The door opened. “Didn’t need your permission but I’m glad you’re ready to make the sacrifice so I can be the best.” He walked back in with the cold gun. It whirred to life and everyone tensed.

Then time slowed down. Well, not for Barry but he knew the others wouldn’t see it in real time.

A burst of red lightning came from the doorway and suddenly a hand was sticking through Wannabe Villain’s chest. It pulled out and he dropped to reveal the Reverse Flash in all his glory.

Then time went back to normal and Lenny and Lisa gasped. They knew about this guy but they’d never seen him and Barry had hoped they never would.

“Well, well, well Flash,” the other speedster growled. “Captured again, I see.”

“What do you mean again?” Barry growled.

“I’ve been following you Flash, cleaning up your messes, each time you tried to find me, each group and cult you went to. The friendly ones were left alone, but the ones you couldn’t get arrested, well, I couldn’t just let them get away with touching what is mine, now could I?” He growled.

Barry just raised his chin defiantly and the Reverse Flash grabbed it in a bruising grip. Barry’s lip twitched but otherwise, he gave no indication that it hurt. This made the older speedster grin and go to a knee, on Barry’s crotch. That caused a hiss of pain.

“There are those sweet noises you make,” he purred. They were inches apart by now and Barry couldn’t get any farther from him.

Len recovered first. “Get away from him you bastard!” he growled trying to launch himself at the speedsters, the cuffs of course stopping him. But a moment later Lisa was also launching herself at them.

“If only you weren’t so important to the timeline.” The Reverse Flash shook his head and shifted, causing Barry to grunt in pain. “And if only these two weren’t either, I would kill them and keep you for what I need.”

Lightning fast his grip went to Barry’s throat, cutting off his air entirely. Barry struggled for a breath, chains rattling as he frantically tried to get out and fight. His lips turned blue, and no one was sure if it was from the cold or lack of oxygen.

Barry’s struggles got weaker and through blurring vision he saw the red eyes dim and the face stop blurring. He wished desperately that he could see the face of the man who killed his mother. But all he saw was a twisted grin.

“Soon, Barry Allen, soon.”

Then Barry was sucking in glorious air, even it if was cold and burning his lungs. There was a crash as whatever the siblings had been chained to crashed to the floor. Lisa scrambled to the body and found the keys, unlocking Lenny then herself.

“Shit, Barry, I’m so sorry,” Lenny mumbled as he undid Barry’s cuffs. He gently put Barry’s arms down, even as he hissed in pain.

“We need to get him out of here and get him warmed up.” She undid the cuffs on his feet. “Stay with us Barry, honey,” she cooed giving him a gentle tap on the cheek.

When Barry was out the cuffs Len maneuvered him into his parka and scooped him up. They passed the bodies of the others that must have hit them but paid them little mind. Barry was still shivering, barely but he was, and was curled into Lenny as they rushed to the garage.

“You drive,” Lenny said as he loaded Barry in the back of an SUV. “Take us home, Barry can change into some of my warm clothes.”

Barry was still wrapped in the parka when Lisa looked back in the rearview mirror. He was curled into Lenny’s side, eyes closed.

“Yep, I’m sure getting him warm is the only reason you want to put him in your clothes.”

Len didn’t bother to hide the smirk when he saw Barry’s lips pull into a smile.

[…]

“Should’ve just stuck to the plan Barry,” Len growled. He crowded Barry into the corner.

“I know, but no one ended up captured or dead so I’m going to count that as a win.” Nothing could take the smile from his face at this point. With Lenny and Lisa helping out taking down the Reverse Flash aka Harrison Wells aka Eobard Thawne had been a breeze.

Mostly, he’d gone after Len right as he was dying and although Lenny could’ve gotten out of the way Barry had stepped in and Thawne had shoved a hand through his shoulder. It was wrapped and Barry would heal so he felt no remorse dragging Lenny into a storage closet. He felt high on life and he wasn’t going to let anyone take that away.

“You got hurt,” Lenny reminded him.

“And I’ll heal, but for the love of god let me enjoy the fact that the man who ruined my life is dead with the man who makes my life so much better,” Barry pretty much begged.

“Fine but-” Lenny didn’t get to finish that sentence.

Barry surged forward to crash their lips together and it was everything Barry had hoped it would be.

Len settled his hands on Barry’s hips, gentle, letting Barry lead.

Which is how Lisa found them about ten minutes later. With Barry leading they ended up with Len pinning him to the wall, hand in his hair, sucking marks into his neck while Barry literally vibrated.

“I hate you and I regret that I ever introduced you two!” Lisa shouted slamming the door shut once again.

Barry and Lenny just stared at each other a moment before they burst out laughing. They regretted nothing.