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Secrets at the Gala

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Barry was well known, well-liked, and well trusted in the department but only in the department. Normal civilians and regular bad guys wouldn’t know him. Which is probably why he was chosen for this undercover work. Joe and Singh had decided and approached Barry with the idea. Barry had agreed. Of course, he had. He would do anything to help take down a bad guy and make the city safer.

He was only starting to regret the decision when he was at the gala. A gala filled with mob bosses and enforcers and influential people. A gala he was at alone with no backup because there was a chance anyone, he went with would be revealed as an officer. And there was no way Joe would let Iris join him. Not that Barry wanted her here surrounded by danger.

Singh had paid for him to have a tailored red suit for the gala. It was tighter than most of his wardrobe and Barry was uncomfortable. In the clothes, the environment, the whole situation was just very uncomfortable for him. He knew his mission. He needed to get information on the Darbinyan Don and Santini Don. The word on the street was the two crime families were putting aside their differences to take on an up-and-comer. Someone who would also be there. Barry was there to confirm this rumor. They’d heard it too much to dismiss it.

Barry would need to get close to the bosses to confirm or refute this claim though. And that would mean he would have to leave the safety of the wall he was perched on. He was wearing a discrete recorder, courtesy of Cisco Ramon, the newest civilian contractor at CCPD.

Barry surveyed the scene over his glass of champagne. It was still early in the evening and people were mingling. He saw both Dons, but they hadn’t made their way over to each other or left the room. He decided to bite the bullet and remove himself from the wall but only after finishing his glass.

Neither boss had looked at anyone too long so Barry had no idea who the newest threat could be. But he picked up another glass and decided to look at the art, that’s what other people were doing, and they were at an art gallery after all. He needed to be within six feet of someone to hear their voice clearly, which would be a problem if the Dons left the room.

“Oh! I’m so sorry!” a lady yelped, bumping into him.

He caught her before she fell. She had dark brown hair, a stunning gold dress, and piercing blue eyes. “Oh, uh, no. It’s okay. Are you okay?” He asked floundering a moment.

“Yes, no, I’m fine, I wasn’t looking where I was going. I seemed to have lost my date, so I was going to text him, but that’s what I get.” She bent down to pick up her phone with a broken screen.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry,” Barry said feeling instant guilt. Sure, she had bumped into him, but he hadn’t even spilled his drink.

She waved him off. “Don’t be, it was my fault. I’ll just get another tomorrow. Actually, I’ll make him get me one since it’s his fault I’m here. Oh, I’m so rude. I’m Lisa, by the way.” She held out her hand.

Barry was not good with people. That’s why he was in a lab all day and not interacting with people. “Barry,” he said, shaking her hand. She had a surprisingly strong grip.

“I do hope I’m not interrupting you and your date. I should let you get back to them,” she said, glancing around.

Barry should stay quiet and let her leave. She was looking for her date after all. He did not.

“I actually don’t have a date.”

“Oh?” She paused. “Handsome guy like you is here alone?”

Barry let out a nervous chuckle. “Yes, but I’m getting a piece for my private collection so it’s not a big deal.” He was here under the guise of an art collector. Something vague he could keep straight and people wouldn’t ask too many questions about.

“Nonsense, art always needs a second opinion.” She grabbed his arm. “Until my date shows back up, I’ll be your date. Maybe even after,” she said with a laugh.

Barry smiled nervously. This was not part of the plan. He was supposed to be alone so he could sneak close to the Dons, or sneak after them if it came to that.

But Lisa was on his arm and he didn’t want to be rude. “Thank you.”

She grinned and for the next ten minutes, they walked around, just chatting about the paintings. Then they came to the dessert table.

“Please do not think poorly of me, I’ve been eyeing this jello all night. Want me to grab you one?” She asked.

He laughed, “No, thank you, I’m fine.”

“Then please hold my glass while I go get an obscene amount of jello,” Lisa said handing him her glass, then she was gone to the other end of the table.

Barry let out a sigh then leaned against the pillar. Lisa was nice and well versed in the paintings, so she was doing most of the talking. But the Dons were getting closer to each other. And while they had gotten closer to Darbinyan, he wasn’t within range.

“Hello, sweetheart,” a deep-voiced pulled him from his thoughts. He glanced up to see Markus Darbinyan looking over him. He was taller and boarded than Barry. And Barry was backed against a pillar. Not where one wanted to be when the Don’s son was looming over.

“Um, hi?” He said uncertainly.

“Saw you with that brunette, you looked like you were needing an escape, figured I’d offer,” Markus said.

And, oh no, had Barry been that obvious? He didn’t want to be rude to Lisa. “No, no, we were looking for her date,” Barry said to try and explain all his looking around.

“So, if you didn’t come with her who did ya come with, sweetheart?” Markus pressed, getting closer, not in his space yet but closer than what was polite.

“Uh,” Barry scrambled for some believable lie. Telling Markus, he was here alone did not seem like a good idea on any level.

“That would be me,” a cool voice drawled beside him.

Barry startled at the man suddenly beside him. And oh, dear god, if Lisa was beautiful this man was gorgeous. Shaved salt and pepper hair, strong jawline, tailored navy-blue suit, and stunning blue eyes. Piercing blue eyes, just like Lisa’s. Oh, Barry was in trouble.

“Snart,” Markus sneered, clearly showing his dislike.

“Markus, if you step back from my date, I’d appreciate it.” Snart slid in close, pulling Barry to him. He went willingly. “Tell your father I look forward to our chat,” Snart taunted.

Markus grit his teeth but walked off without another word.

“Never did like that guy,” Lisa said sidling up to Barry with, she was correct, an obscene amount of jello. “Thanks, Lenny, poor Barry here looked like a deer trapped by a bear.”

“Yeah, thanks, uh I mean, thank you,” Barry said trying to step away but Snart held his waist.

“Why don’t you stick with us, kid? Lisa says you’re here alone,” Snart said as Lisa plucked her drink from his hand.

“Oh, um, sure. I’m Barry, but uh, Lisa probably told you that,” Barry said somewhat lamely.

Snart grinned wolfishly. “Call me Len.”

And so, Barry did. They continue to look around the gallery. Every now and then someone would stop them to talk to Len and he was cool smiles and kind words when they did. Lisa would smile and flirt, slinking off to any single man she could see before slinking back.

By midnight Barry had consumed more drinks than he meant to and was laughing at Len’s corny lines, getting flustered when both Snarts bordered on sexual with him and having an all-out good time.

Until…

“Snart, Santini wants to see you,” Markus said from behind them.

“‘Bout time,” he muttered turning them. “If Santini wants to see me why are you telling? You his lap dog as well as your father’s?”

Markus wanted to respond, that was obvious. But he didn’t. Mostly. “Your boy toy stays out here.”

“Nope, I’ve taken a liking to him.” He pulled Barry impossibly closer. “Decided to keep him.”

Barry could feel his face flush even deeper and he hid it in Len’s chest.

“Whatever,” Markus grunted and started walking.

They kept up, Lisa closer to his side than before, as they were led out of the main art hall and into a private room off to the side. They were patted down, and Barry thanked god that Cisco’s microphone was in his jacket buttons. They were let in with little fuss, only taking the phones, except Lisa’s broken one.

“Snart,” Don Santini greeted sitting at a table. He gestured to a seat and Len took it, pulling Barry into his lap.

“You gentlemen had business with me?” Len began in the same cool tone he used to get Markus to back off.

Barry had a horrible realization that he probably should’ve had earlier. Len - Snart - was the up-and-comer the Dons were worried about. Which meant Snart was some type of mob boss. That also meant the three most dangerous people at the gala were in that room, and Barry was on one of their laps’. Not just that. The one that was so dangerous he made the other two nervous. Barry swallowed thickly but didn’t react. This is where he needed to be after all.

“So glad you could finally join us,” Don Darbinyan said, looking bored. But it was that put-upon boredom when someone was trying too hard.

“I’ve been back for a few weeks now. I was waiting on you gentlemen to make the first movie,” Snart practically purred. His thumbs rubbed soothing circles into Barry’s hips. Barry suppresses a shudder.

“Yes, clearly,” Darbinyan said with a roll of his eyes. “Is that why you’ve been taking our territory?”

“Oh, come now. It’s only been a few streets, nothing to stress about. They didn’t even make you that much money,” Snart countered.

“A few streets in a few weeks,” Santini hummed. “Seems ambitious.”

“What can I say? Just wanted my old stomping grounds back.” Snart grinned.

“Clearly. Where is Rory, if you’re so keen on your old ways? Seems to me you're looking for something a little,” Santini glanced at Barry, “fresher.”

“He’s around,” Len mused. “No use putting all the eggs in one basket.”

“Who needs the eggs when the chickens are right here?” Darbinyan said looking pointedly at Len then Lisa.

But Len just laughed. “Anything important to say to me other than to stop? Because we were having a lovely evening before it was rudely interrupted.”

“One more thing. I think these paintings could use some more red, don’t you?” Darbinyan said with a grin.

A gun cocked and Len sighed.

“Just because the eggs aren’t in this basket doesn’t mean they aren’t around,” Len mused.

The lights went out and the emergency lights went up, followed by the fire alarm starting to flash and wail. Len took the moment of confusion to strike.

He lifted Barry off, assisted by Lisa who tugged him to the wall and dove at the mob bosses across the table. Barry couldn’t see what was happening, but the grunts of pain were enough. It must’ve been only two minutes - three tops - before Lisa was pulling Barry out the door.

“Len,” He squeaked as the door started to close. Only for Len to come out before it did. His lip was busted, and Barry thought his cheek was a shade darker, but he grabbed Barry’s other hand and led them out the side door.

Barry saw the cop cars already out front with firefighters. Smoke was rising from the building. They really set it on fire, Barry realized.

“Who the kid?” A gruff voice asked.

“Insurance,” Len said shoving Barry in the back of the limo. Lisa crawled in after him and Len followed, sitting across from them.

The gruff man, Mick Rory if he had to guess by the fire and Santini’s comments, got in the driver's seat. They slipped away with no one the wiser.

Joe was going to kill him if these guys didn’t first.

“Um, was I just kidnapped?” Barry asked dumbfoundedly.

“Don’t think of it like that sweetie,” Lisa purred. “Think of it as a late-night adventure.”

“Am I going to survive this adventure? Because I feel like I should put up more of a fight if the answer is no,” Barry said.

Rory’s harsh laugh made him tense. “I like this one. He’s feisty.”

Len was smirking, “Cute, kid. You’ll survive as long as you do me one, well two, little favors.”

Barry turned his worried glance on Len. There was no telling what Len, Snart, could want from him. And in this position, he wasn’t thinking of refusing. “Yes?” he squeaked.

“Give me whatever camera or recorder you have.”

Barry felt ice around his heart. There was no way Snart knew about that. “I don’t, I don’t have a camera,” Barry said, silently cursing his slip.

“Ya see, I wasn’t sure before. But now? You are not good at tailing people Barry. And you are not good at keeping an inconspicuous eye on them. Lisa and I knew you were watching them the moment you started. It’s a good thing they were too busy watching each other and me to notice. Now give it. I would hate to ruin that pretty face. Or have to find it on your corpse,” Len said easily. Smirk still firmly in place.

Barry’s hands were shaking as he removed his jacket. “They’re in the buttons,” he muttered. He handed it to Len… who immediately handed it to Lisa. She carefully crushed all the buttons with her stiletto heel then cut them off for good measure.

“And the second thing?” Barry asked, proud his voice didn’t shake.

“I don’t know who you were getting it for - the tabloids, the police, or even a rival - but I want you to tell them to not come after me. Those areas were shit and the protection provided was barely better than the threats they were protected from. I’m not in the mood for a turf war, but I won’t see my people suffering. I don’t plan on taking more unless my hands are forced. Don’t be surprised when those places get better.”

Barry blinked up at Len. That was not at all what he was expecting. “That’s… actually not villainous. Like, that’s kinda heroic.” He was pinned by Len before he could get out another word.

Len’s right hand was around his throat, left hand pinning Barry’s wrist, and he was trapping Barry’s thighs with his own. Pinning him by sitting in his lap.

“If you want to survive once you’re out of the car, I recommend you don’t say that,” Len growled his ear.

Barry shuddered, not entirely unpleasantly. Len wasn’t squeezing his throat, just holding. The grip on his wrist was firm, not bone-breaking, and Len was perched above him, not hurting his legs. He could feel the heat radiating off him, feel the power coming from him, and despite it all, Barry wasn’t afraid.

“Okay, okay,” he breathed. “I’ll tell them to leave you be.”

Len grinned, “Good boy,” And his thumb caressed Barry’s jaw for a moment before the limo stopped. Len stole a glance at his lips. But the door opened, and the spell was broken.

“Your stop kid,” Rory grunted, not at all perturbed by the sight.

Len crawled off him and Barry stumbled out of the car. Lisa chucked his jacket after him. “It’s too nice an outfit not too have all the pieces.”

Barry was surprised he caught it before it hit the ground. The door shut and Rory dropped some change in his hand, nodding to a payphone. Then he turned around, and they were off.

Barry trudged over to make the dreaded call. There was only one ring. “Hey, Joe. I’m fine. I’m alive but I need to see you and the Captain immediately.”
***
Two weeks went by and Barry thought things would be normal. He debriefed Joe and the Captain, watering it down a bit. He’d met Leonard Snart and that was the guy the Families were worried about. He didn’t mention Rory, didn’t have to, fire report all but confirmed it, and he didn’t mention Lisa. As far as he could find she didn’t have a record. The Families were quiet, Barry would bet licking their wounds and planning revenge.

Singh agreed they couldn’t go after Snart, and as long as he kept his nose clean, Singh wasn’t going to complain if he cleaned up parts of the city with him. Barry felt like he could breathe again.

He unlocked his apartment door and let his bag drop. Popcorn sounded like a good dinner, but he froze when the lights flicked on.

“So. It was for the police,” Leonard Snart said sitting at his table, gun out.

Barry took a step back hitting the door. “Len,” He squeaked.

“Mmhmm,” he hummed standing up and stalking over to Barry. “You need better locks.”

“I told them what you wanted me to. Less, really,” Barry said quickly. He pressed against the door as of hoping it would absorb him.

“Oh, I know, it’s the only reason you’re still breathing, Barry,” Len said, cool as ever. He stopped only a few inches from Barry, “That’s not why I’m here.”

At this, Barry glanced up at him. “What?”

“I could use someone like you on my crew,” he began.

“I won’t falsify evidence for you,” Barry said braver than he felt.

But Len only laughed, warmer than the cold mocking one he used with the Dons, “I don’t need you to falsify evidence when I don’t leave any. No. What I need is someone like you; young, unassuming, brave, and beautiful. I brought you into the Dons’ meeting as a distraction and it worked. They didn’t pay any attention to Lisa activating her ‘broken’ phone. All eyes were on you. That’s what I need.”

“A distraction?” Barry asked, not sure where Len was going.

“Lisa’s unknown for now, but as my Right Hand, she’ll become too well known to distract. Rory’s my Enforcer and good when I need cover. But you? You can captive and entertain without even trying. All you would do is join me at public events and a few private meetings. Nothing illegal and nothing to report back to your boss. I’d even pay you so you wouldn’t feel you were wasting your time,” Len said crowding him.

“And if that means I get to spend more time touching you and showing you off, well, I was never one to look a gift horse in the mouth. So, what do you say Barry? How about a little more undercover work with much better benefits?”

Maybe Barry was high off the danger of Len in his apartment or the idea of going undercover again or even something as simple as Len’s cologne. All he knew was that he was feeling daring and dangerous. Len has done nothing but compliment him since he got here.

“Sounds like fun.” He wrapped his arms around Len, pulling him into a searing kiss. One Len returned happily, pressing Barry against the door and quickly taking control of the kiss. Barry moaned when Len’s hand found his hair.

He could definitely get used to being a little bad.