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Safe as Houses

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Cisco eased the door open and glanced behind it. He gagged. “Ok, there’s something dead back there.”

Len squeezed past him, using the toe of one shoe to shove the door all the way open, hiding the… whatever it was between the door and the wall. “Yeah, I wouldn’t go looking behind things or under things or anything like that. You don’t know what you’ll find, and you probably don’t want to know.”

Cisco shuddered, a full-bodied movement that started at the top of his spine and ended at the tips of his toes. “I can’t stay here.”

"It's a safe house, short stuff." Mick pulled a beer out of the fridge. Because of course the fridge had beer, even while the rest of the place was three inches deep in grime. "'Not supposed to be pretty. Supposed to be safe."

"There is nothing safe about tetanus!"

Mick dropped down on the couch, sending a plume of dust into the air. He motioned Cisco towards him and patted one broad thigh. "We've all had our shots. C'mon, have a seat."

"Oh, no, you're not touching me. Neither of you are touching me, as long as this place looks," Cisco gestured around them, "like this. No one is touching anything or anyone, if I have my way."

"Be reasonable." From behind, Len gripped him by the shoulders in defiance of what Cisco had just said. He gave a squeeze then released him to step around to Cisco's front. "We didn't exactly pack cleaning supplies, and we're not going to leave you unprotected just so we can go on a supply run."

“No one’s kidnapping you on our watch,” Mick added.

“That would be so much more reassuring if you hadn’t kidnapped me once.”

"And here I thought we'd been forgiven for that." Len trailed fingers along Cisco's jaw. "I died for my sins and everything. I'm practically Jesus at this point."

"For the hundredth time, that's not how Jesus works." He reached up to rub his temples in hopes of staving off the threatened headache, but then dropped his hands when he couldn't remember what he'd touched since he’d walk through the door. Instead, he turned to look at Mick where he sat on the couch. Mick looked down at the beer in his hands, picking at the label glued to the glass bottle. Mick didn't like being reminded of Len's death. Yeah, he'd come back, but Len'd been well and truly dead as evidenced by the nights when he woke up in a cold sweat, choking on suppressed screams. Mick needed a distraction. And Cisco needed to feel like he wasn’t going to get horrible diseases just standing there. “Please tell me we have running water.”

“We have running water. I’m past the point in my life where I’m willing to squat over a bucket.”

“Okay, ew.” The apartment was gross, but the image Len had just given him was worse. “As much as I want to douse this place in bleach, if there’s at least running water, we can scrub things down."

"With what?” asked Mick. “We might have water, but we don’t even have a bucket to piss in. What do you want us to do? Splash it around with our hands?”

Cisco flinched at the use of that particular saying. He pointed to the drop cloth over a chair. “What about that?”

“I wouldn’t remove that if I were you,” said Len. “Who knows what might be nesting underneath there.”

And Cisco might have been better off being kidnapped by the newest supervillain on the block, because he'd at least be tied to a chair that probably wasn't filthy and definitely did not contain mice. “Well, since you're so full of ideas, why don’t we just use your shirt?”

His irritated outburst got a quiet snort of laughter from Mick. “Yeah, Snart, take it off.”

Len went quiet, as he looked from Cisco to Mick and back again. It occurred to Cisco that he’d dared Captain Cold to take his shirt off, which put into those words seemed like a terrible idea. Neither Mick nor Len were body shy, prison having squashed any such inclination, but that was a different thing from asking Len to put himself on display.

Len reached down and lifted his shirt over in a single, smooth move. And now it seemed like a great idea. Because that was a lot of skin on display. And while Len always argued against it, said it made him sound ridiculous, Cisco was of the opinion that Leonard Snart was a beautiful man. Even the scars were simply part of what made Len who he was. Cisco's observance was interrupted when Len tossed the shirt at him. "There you go, short stuff."

Cisco grabbed the shirt before it hit him in the face. “What is it going to take to make you stop calling me short stuff?”

Mick took a swig of his beer. “Grow.”

“Ha-ha.” Cisco flung the shirt at the back of Mick's head. "Now, are you going to help me or not?"

"I say not," Mick said.

A pair of arms slipped around Cisco's waist. Len’s drawl sounded in his ear. "I'm with Mick on this one. What's in it for us?"

Cisco pulled forward, out of Len’s arms. “Let me put it this way. If you want this,” he gestured down the length of his body, “ever again, you will help with that.” He indicated the surrounding mess.

“Hey, now, is that a threat?”

“No…. Maybe…” Cisco considered the issue. “It might be blackmail instead.”

"You can't be serious." Len watched him with narrow eyes.

Cisco met his gaze, stare for stare. "Try me."

They locked eyes for several long moments, until Len spun on one heel, holding out one hand. "Mick, if you would?"

"If we're doing this, I want a reward. And not beer. I already have beer." He gripped the edge of Len's shirt in both hands, tearing the fabric with a sudden jerk of both arms. And twice more, until the shirt was reduced to three separate pieces. Mick handed one to Cisco and one to Len. "Seriously, a reward."

Cisco had to go up on his tiptoes to place a kiss on Mick's cheek. "There will be rewards all around. After we clean this place up."