“You can’t keep rooting for him. He’s going to let you down and hurt you,” Joe says, jabbing his finger aggressively in the air.
“I understand you’re worried, Joe. But I know there’s good in him,” Barry says, gesturing with his open palms forward.
“You can’t just see good in every person, Bear! Captain Cold is a bad man,” Joe says as his voice steadily rises.
“I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again. Leonard Snart is a good man. His circumstances doesn’t excuse his past actions, but he cares, Joe. He’ll do anything for his sister, anything to protect her.” Barry curls his hands into fists; his fingers digging into his palms.
“You’ll do anything for Iris and you haven’t crossed the line,” Joe insists.
“That’s not true. Maybe not for Iris, but I’ve killed people too, Joe. I didn’t want to, but I have. What’s the difference between killing someone to save multiple lives and killing a sociopath who has a history of abuse and violence to save one life? To finally end the control this man had on Lisa’s and Lenny’s lives? How is that any different?” Barry says. His voice grows louder every second.
“You had Lewis Snart in custody. Cold didn’t need to kill him.” Joe responds with the same fervor.
“No, but do you blame him? Wouldn’t you if it was Iris on the line?” Barry says, frustrated.
“It’s not the same thing, Bear! You need to stop defending this guy.” Joe shouts.
“No! He’s a good guy. He doesn’t believe it, but it’s in there. He may have not helped me take down Mardon and the Trickster, but he went out of his way to warn me. He was an escaped fugitive who could have skipped town and waited for the heat to blow over. Instead, he risked his hide to warn me, because he knew that those innocent people and I were going to get hurt. Don’t you dare tell me he’s not worth believing in,” Barry shouted back, seething. He was hurt that Joe couldn’t see what he saw, that Joe couldn’t have a little faith, or at least trusted Barry on this.
Joe sighs, rubbing his face. “I just don’t want you to get hurt, Barry.”
“I know. Even if I did, Joe, it would be worth it. Just so there’s someone out there that believed in him.” Barry says, tired.
“Have it your way. I’ll see you at home,” Joe says before turning to leave.
When Joe’s footsteps fade, a voice from behind Barry says, “My, my, Barry. I didn’t know you felt like that.”
Barry jumps in surprise before turning around and being greeted by Len’s smug infuriating smile.
“How long were you standing there?” Barry asks; his face is a shade of crimson red.
“Long enough,” Len says, stalking forward. He stopped merely inches away from Barry’s face. His intense gaze flickered to Barry’s lips.
Barry lost all of the air in his lungs. He couldn’t move or do anything else, but stare back into Len’s icy blue eyes.
“Thank you,” Len says softly. After a couple loud beats of Barry’s heart, -Barry’s pulse was racing, but seconds seemed to slow down - Len leans forward to give Barry a gentle kiss. He turns away and leaves as quickly as he came.
Barry’s lips tingle for the rest of the day.
Len walks into Saints & Sinners, expecting to sit down at a booth and order some fries. Instead, he finds Barry in his booth.
Len and Barry lock eyes, and that damn kid’s face just lights up, so bright that Len wants to follow the blush down Barry’s neck and play connect the dots with his moles.
“Lenny,” Barry says; his eyes squinting as his smile grows and grows until all Len can focus on is Barry’s dimples.
“What are you doing here?” Len says gruffly as he slips into the booth opposite of Barry.
Barry’s smile dims, just so slightly. He looks down and scratches the back of his head.
Len pauses to let Barry answer. When he’s met with silence, he tilts his head up to signal for a server, but there’s no one there. For once, Saint and Sinners was packed. Kids and regulars were hounding the bartenders; the pool tables were filled and every seat in the house was taken.
Initially, Len had ignored the commotion for Barry’s bright smile, so bright that Len felt like a moth to Barry’s flame. But now, he regrets not grabbing a beer before sitting down. The awkward tension of their combined silence is dampening Barry’s smile and bringing down Len’s chill.
“I’ll get us something to drink!” Barry blurts out, almost yelling. He shuffles to his feet, almost running into a stranger.
The man -that is almost run over, but isn’t - starts cracking his knuckles in a menacing fashion until he sees Len’s icy glare. Len nods and the stranger backs away slowly, before joining his buddies again.
Len looks back to the spot Barry was a second ago, but Barry’s gone. Len searches the crowd, pushing himself up to get a better angle. He doesn’t have to look long. There’s a huge commotion by the bar as the rest of the place becomes instantly silent. Len’s eyes zero in on Barry.
“You know you could do a lot better than a two timing criminal,” a young muscle builder says loudly, leaning against the bar as his lecherous gaze rakes Barry’s body.
Len felt his hands go numb from how tight he was clutching the table. He starts to make his way over.
“Excuse me?” Barry says as he takes a step back, curling his body inward.
The douche smirks and inches closer before saying in a smug tone, “Captain Cold isn’t worth it. You should hang with me instead.”
Len shoulders his way through the crowd. He tightens his fist, ready to step in, and show the asshole what regret feels like.
Barry gawks at the man in surprise. He straightens his posture, lifting his shoulders up. Len gets to the front of the crowd, but stops when he sees Barry chuckle and smile. Len tenses, worries Barry would actually accept.
“Am I hearing things correctly? That you’re crazy enough to insult Captain Cold? He’s a criminal; that’s true, but he’s still a better man than you’ll ever be.” Barry says before giving the asshole a once over. “You also got nothing on him in the looks department.”
Len’s heart loosens at the sound of Barry’s voice. He stalks over, curling his arm around Barry’s waist and giving the asshole the iciest glare.
The asshole’s friends start pulling him away, but not before he shouts at Barry, “Fuck you, slut.”
Len lets go of Barry and socks the fucking douchebag in the face. “Get out,” Len growls as blood runs from the asshole’s nose. His friends collect him and zip it to the exit as other patrons start to pound the tables and crowd into the group’s space.
Len turns to face Barry and his concerned eyes. Barry carefully pulls Len’s bloodied fist to his chest and caress his knuckles.
“You shouldn’t have done that.” Barry says softly, gaze downward at Len’s fists.
“He was an asshole.” Len says, unapologetic.
“You don’t usually lose your cool.” Barry says, looking up with a small smile.
Len laughs, and pushes Barry against the bar. He kisses Barry, filthy and deep, as the bar erupts in catcalls and whistles. Len can feel Barry’s cheeks grow hot against his face, but Barry returns the kiss, sucking on Len’s bottom lip.
Len pulls away slowly, pressing small kisses on the side of Barry’s redden mouth. Barry’s long lashes and beautiful green eyes blink open and he smiles the dopiest grin; it almost makes Len’s heart stop.
“Meet me for coffee later?” Barry asks, worrying his bottom lip.
Len nods, unable to trust his voice, and let’s Barry pull away to leave.
Leonard Snart is in over his head.