“OHHHH! Who is this big cutie?!” Barry says, immediately reaching for the beautiful, snow white Maine Coon in Mick's arms. He pulls the fairly reluctant cat out of Mick's lazy hold and holds it under it's forearms. The rest of it's body dangling below it. The cats claws dig into his suit and it's back legs begin flailing as it gives a warning growl. “Oh now. Don't be such a grumpy bum. Mister grump.” Barry coos. He brings the large cat into his hold, hefting it's back legs further up his body and snuggling his face into its head giving it lots of kisses. He's too busy smothering the poor creature with love he doesn't notice the stifled laughs from the Legends or Joe shaking his head fondly.
“He's a cat person.” Joe speaks in explanation to the bewildered group.
“Yeah...” Sara starts, “He might wanna stop because that cat is Leonard and the last time someone tried to hug him that happened.” She points to Rays scratched up face causing Mick to snort.
“Yeah Mister Grumpy Bum doesn't like hugs.” He grumbles out. Barry lifted his head from fur at the mention of Snart and was now very gently petting the extremely still cat in his arms. The only thing giving away the cats unhappiness was the wildly flicking tail.
“Leonard?” Barry questions the cat. Who simply blinks at him forcing his way out of Barry's death grip.
“We don't think he knows who he is.” Ray states. “Long story short... we were getting rid of this thing the Time Masters were using to control the time line and for some reason. We have no idea why. Instead of killing Leonard in the blast to destroy it... it turned him into a cat.”
“Wait.” Barry says, “Snart sacrificed himself? He was a hero?” Barry asks because as the unofficial president of the 'Leonard Snart defence squad' it needs clarifying.
“Well it was meant to be me.” Ray states.
“Then me.” Adds Mick.
“But yeah.” Ray finishes. Barry nods, trying really hard to keep in his excitement at finding out he's a hero and not dead, even if being a cat isn't a great alternative. Anything is preferable to not dead. He walks into the med bay where Leonard has made himself comfortable on the cot. As he gingerly sits next to him the cat lets out slight warning grumble.
“I'm not a vet.” Caitlin adds but then sighs at the pleading look from the Legends and Barry. “I'll do my best.” She states. “But if I get scratched, he's getting hosed.” She warns pointing at the cat. Barry laughs and gently pets Leonard again who seems to allow it for now. Even going so far as to rub into Barry's palm which makes his heart ache even if he knows it's just a cat. Barry's always loved when 'anti-social' animals warm up to him and he's totally talking about the cat and not very human Leonard Snart. After various tests Caitlin concludes that it is very much beyond her medical science and seems to have qualities beyond science. “As a woman of science I'm loathed to say magic but... well... it seems to be magic.” She sighs frustratedly.
“So what? We need Harry Potter?” Mick says with his usual grumble.
“No but I might know a guy!” Sara says with a snap of her fingers. “Come on crew!” She says already half out the door. “Oh Barry? You'll look after Leonard won't you. He seems to like you most after all.” She throws over her shoulder with a shit eating grin. Barry just sighs and continues to pet the fluffy monster that had made itself comfortable with it's head in his lap. Caitlin gives him a sympathetic look and pats his shoulder. He gently rubs his fingers on the cats head.
“Time to go home Kitten?” He asks Leonard who blinks up at him. “Okay. We'll have to go slower so I don't set you on fire but please don't freak out at the super speed.” He's not sure why he's explaining it to the cat. It's not like Leonard can understand him. He picks up the cat and tries to situate him comfortably in his arms, which is difficult with a cat twice the size of an average one. “Ooof, you're a lump.” He says and the response is claws digging into his shoulder. Barry speeds himself and Leonard back to his new one bed apartment. It's not big by any means but it's Barry's. The first time he's lived alone and he's enjoying the freedom of not having to answer to other people in his space. He decides his meals without debate, his morning routine, what to watch on tele all without having to discuss what others what as well. The only thing missing he thinks and he sets a frazzled looking cat on his sofa is a companion.
He regards Leonard and scratches his head. He had been thinking of getting a cat. Not exactly like this. Maybe it would be a good trial run for a cat in the apartment. Maybe if Leonard is stuck like this Barry could keep him permanently? No. No thats wrong. Leonard's a person. He can't just keep someone. Even if they are stuck as a cat... but then... Leonard as a cat isn't aware he's Leonard so? He decides to stop that train of thought dead and make dinner. Without any cat supplies he decides to just feed Leonard some ham and chicken he had left over which is he seems to enjoy. Barry settles down to watch some TV for the evening and just as he settles into the latest Game of Thrones a fluffy body appears on the coffee table in front of him.
“Yeah Leonard?” He asks and Leonard just meows back at him. “What do you want? Toilet?” He asks awkwardly. Leonard just hops onto the sofa next to him and lays his long body the length of Barry's leg. “Oh...” Barry brings his hand down gently to the soft fur of his head and sweeps his hand down his body. A deep rumbling purr erupts from Leonard and in Barry's shock he stops stroking. Leonard stops and turns his head from the TV to Barry with a content slow blink. When Barry continues the soothing rumble starts up again and Leonard turns back to apparently watch GOT.
By about 11:30pm Barry starts nodding off and decides that his bed is a blessing. As he turns off the TV and gets up for bed Leonard gives him a grumbling meow and hops down too. He goes through his nightly routine as usual except having to let Leonard out to pee or whatever. He didn't watch. It felt embarrassing for both of them. As he settles into his mattress Leonard's head pops up over the side with his little paws which Barry finds utterly adorable. “What's up? You want up?” Barry asks not feeling anything weird about sharing his bed with a cat. Even if that cat was a grown man yesterday. He raises the edge of blanket revealing his bare torso and Leonard jumps up, settling himself into Barry's chest. His body so large it ranges the length of Barry's front, his tail reaching down to Barry's knees and his head near the pillow. Barry laughs as his fur tickles him. “That tickles! You keep shuffling and I'm not going to get any sleep.” He says and oddly Leonard stills but does start purring again. He settles his arm around him and decides to risk giving him a kiss to his head. “I wish I could keep you.” Barry whispers in the dark. He's at least 60% sure he means only the cat and not the thief he knows is inside it as he drifts off to sleep.
The routine of that first night continues for the next week while the Legends track down Constantine to “cure” Leonard. Barry goes to work and comes home and there's Leonard, waiting on the sofa for him with a bouncy little meow. He runs up to rub around Barry's legs. After that first night Barry had decided to push his affection boundaries and to his surprise Leonard had accepted most. He's not fond of belly rubs but not many cats are. Barry can live with that. The spend the evenings watching TV unless Barry has to run out for Flash duty and then they snuggle in bed together and Barry falls asleep to the heavy rumble of purring against his chest. It's the best sleep he's had in months. On day 7 he comes home 3 hours early to Leonard's usual greeting and swoops down to pick up the fluff ball. “Hey Grump.” he says causing Leonard to make a little whine so Barry his him kisses on his face which makes him settle. “Guess what! Your pals found Constantine which means hopefully we can get you back to normal.” Barry says. He tries to sound excited but he knows it doesn't quite hit the mark and he knows he needs to hide the sad frown on his face before he goes to the Lab. Leonard leans up to sniff at his forehead and give it a little lick which makes Barry laugh. “Eww thanks Leonard.” he affectionately rubs his cheek making him purr. “Let's get you fixed hmm.” Barry nods and speeds them to the Lab before he can change his mind. When they arrive the gangs all there and Constantine is drawing some weird symbols on the floor in... what is that? Blood? Of course it's blood.
“Excellent! The star has arrived!” Constantine turns around and grabs Leonard very unceremoniously from Barry. Barry just about stops himself from grabbing at thin air and Leonard growls and grumbles at being separated. He pops Leonard in the centre of the symbols and Barry watches enchanted as he starts speaking forcefully in latin. For a minute nothing happens but as he continues to chant Leonard's cat body begins to glow. Barry finds himself biting his thumb, part of him secretly hoping that it doesn't work. Which isn't fair he knows but he's enjoyed having a companion at his home. He got used to the cuddles and warmth as he slept. The light gets brighter and brighter until they all have to shield their eyes. They all finally look back when they hear a very human groan from the floor. Sara reaches up to cover Ray's eyes while Mick has the biggest grin. Barry's blushing terribly and trying hard not to eye up the very naked Captain Cold sitting in the middle of the room. He's failing and failing bad.
“First person to laugh gets iced!” Leonard growls just to remind them exactly who he is. In reply Mick burst out laughing.
“I've see enough of your pasty butt in Iron Height's showers I don't need to see it again now.” He mumbles as he walks way. Barry's trying not to laugh and also not think about the fact he's been sleeping next to that for the past week. If only Leonard hadn't been a cat. He coughs to cover his blush and throws Leonard some star labs sweats. Who gratefully nods.
“Okay shows over.” He grumbles pulling some sweats over his ass. Barry bobs his head to that.
“Yes. I have to get back to work.” Barry says. “Guys, maybe stick around we can do drinks tonight or tomorrow.” He says to the room at large before speeding off. He's struggling to face Leonard as a human again and it's easier to run than face problems. He's a coward when it comes to awkward conversations. Sue him.
He comes home 2 hours later than his shift end. Admittedly he was putting off coming home to an empty apartment. He really needs to get an actual cat to come home to not one that's actually his archenemy/sometimes ally/maybe friend. When the door opens he expects to be alone. What he doesn't expect is Leonard to be lounging against the back of the sofa which faces the door. He gets up and walks towards a very startled Barry who has yet to even close the door.
“So as it turns out...” Leonard starts. “I was actually fully aware of all my cat-like state.” He claims. To which Barry's brain short circuits. Shit... he remembers. He knows. Leonard stops a few feet from Barry. “and frankly, I'm wondering where my good evening kiss is?” he smirks.
“What?” Barry says, dumbstruck and blushing. “Kiss?” Leonard smiles moving closer. He pushes the door shut behind him and crowds Barry against it. “Yes Barry, Kiss.” He cups the speedsters face gently and leans down to brush their lips together in a soft caress. When he pulls back Barry's eye flutter open.
“Can I keep you?” Barry asks on impulse.
“Please do.” Leonard smiles, leaning in to claim his lips again in a deep longing kiss he's been wanting all week.
And if Barry comes home a week later to Leonard trying to get a small, white Maine Coon kitten out from under the sofa mumbling “Here little Snowflake!” well that's just the icing on the cake.