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“She’s the love of your life.”

“She was the love of my life.”

Honestly, Barry wasn’t surprised at seeing how he turned out after seeing Iris die. What more could this world and his destiny as The Flash take from him that it hadn’t done already. It had taken his mother, his father, his childhood, and was already going to take his future. Taking the love of his life was nothing compared to changing the trajectory of the life he was supposed to live. 

He stared at the future version of himself and felt for him. 

“Stop it,” the future him whispered. “I can tell what you’re thinking. It’s like an old memory, but I know what you’re thinking. Just go home and enjoy the time that you have left with her. Please.”

And when she breathes her last breath-“  

He actually isn’t sure of anything that happens next. Iris is in his arms and she’s still warm but he knows that the life that was in her body has passed. 

He tried to not be the way he was in the future, but Future Barry was right. This was different. It was just too much. All he had the power to do now was just keep his friends from making the same mistake that ended with Wally catatonic, Cisco with no Vibe, and Caitlin stuck in a prison. 

Joe now had Cecile and Wally so he didn’t have to hold himself back. Central City would still have a Flash. Cisco, Caitlin, and H.R. would still have a reason to be at STAR Labs without him. 

After another night of staying awake in a place for the two of them was suffocating. He couldn’t breathe and the only other place he could go to was where she was last left. 

Before he could think of moving he was already in front of her grave and kneeling. The marker was cool to the touch as he used it to rest. He hadn’t done much but he was tired. The anger that the future Barry had felt towards Savitar wasn’t in him anymore as he had already seen what that anger had done towards those around him and the creation of Savitar. He couldn’t save his Iris but he could end whatever twisted game Savitar thought he would play into. The timeline would take care of the rest as it moved on to catch up to him. 

“I’ve done what I could but I don’t think I can stay here. Not without you. I see you everywhere and I just can’t handle that you aren’t here anymore.”

He was talking to himself, but he felt like he had to explain it to her. He couldn’t stay here anymore. He’d done what he could but he couldn’t breathe in the city that he had lost his parents and Iris in. He couldn’t settle anymore. There was no one to hold him to this place anymore. 

“I won’t be gone forever, but I’ll have a piece of you with me.”