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Meet the Warblers

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“No.”

“Please?”

“Iris, I told you, I’m not going to your high school reunion.  Why don’t you just ask Eddie, you know, your boyfriend?” Barry tried.

“Why doesn’t she ask her boyfriend what?” Eddie asked, walking up to the group.

“I already tried.  He’s working that night.  Pleeeeaaaassseee Barry!” Iris begged.

“Oh, the reunion?  Yeah, sorry man, I’m busy so you might as well just say yes,” Eddie told an annoyed Barry.

“I didn’t even go to that school. Why would I want to go to its reunion?” Barry asked.

“Because you love your darling sister,” Iris told him matter-of-factly.

“Wait, you two didn’t go to the same high school?” Eddie asked.

“Nope, genius over here,” Iris started with a wave at Barry, “went to a snooty private school,” she joked.

“Hey! Don’t make fun of Dalton. It’s a great school!” Barry said offensively (because come on, how is that not offensive?)

“Wait?  You went to Dalton?  Home of the rich and snotty?” Eddie asked.

“I don’t think I’m that snotty.  What do you think Nick?  Do you think we are snotty?”  A voice behind Barry asked, startling them all.

Barry turned around with a disbelieving look on his face, it couldn’t be… could it?  “Jeff?  Nick? Is that you?”

“I don’t know, hey Nick, is it us?” Jeff asked.  Nick shook his head with a familiar smirk planted firmly on his face.  “Nope, it’s not us!”

Barry just shook his head.  Those two would never change.  Regardless, the smile on his face widened and he got up from his table to give the two idiots a hug. 

“What are you guys doing here?” he asked them.

“Well hello to you too, Seb,” Nick joked.  “It’s great to see you.”

Barry just rolled his eyes, “Hi guys.  It’s great to see you, but seriously, what are you doing in Ohio?  I thought you went to New York, Nick.  And Jeff, I thought you went to California?”  That had been a big thing back in school, the two best friends, who were attached at the hip, were going to school on opposite coasts. 

“Well I just graduated and decided to come back to Ohio for a while, and Jeff here, well…” Nick started.

“I’m taking online classes to get my degree,” Jeff finished for him.  Barry just looked confused, Jeff was one of the smartest kids in the school, had to be with a scholarship and all, how come he was doing online schooling?

“Uhh… So you move back to Ohio?” Barry asked, not wanting to offend his friend just yet. 

“No, actually I have a gig here in a couple days,” Jeff said a bit nervously.

“Gig?” Barry asked, now even more confused than he was before. 

“I thought I recognized you.  You’re from the band R5, aren’t you?  I’m Iris by the way, and this is Eddie, since Barry seems to have forgotten this thing called manners,” Iris, who had been suspiciously quiet since Jeff and Nick had shown up, told them.  Barry just rolled his eyes while Jeff nodded.

“Wait, that band you’re obsessed with?”  Barry asked Iris, causing Jeff to blush.  “I thought you said all their names started with ‘r’?”

“I thought they did…” Iris said, slightly confused.  Everyone but Nick turned to look at Jeff.

“Our middle names all start with an ‘r’ except for our drummer, his last name starts with an ‘r,’” Jeff told them. 

“Since when have you been in a band?” Barry asked Jeff.

“Since shortly before senior year.  That’s why I went to California.  My family was moving there anyway and my brothers, sister and I all thought that it would be a good place to get the band off the ground.”

“And you knew about this the whole time?” Barry asked Nick. 

Nick just scoffed, “Of course.  He’s my best friend, he couldn’t hide something like this from me even if he tried.”  Jeff just rolled his eyes at his friend.

“Wait, you graduated with Barry?” Iris asked, at Jeff, Nick and Barry’s nods she continued, “I thought the oldest in the band was 23?”  Everyone just stared at her, silently asking how she knew that.  “What? I like the band alright?” She defended herself.

“I skipped a couple grades in middle school,” Jeff explained hesitantly, he was always uncomfortable being reminded that he was younger than most of his school friends. 

“Yeah, he was a smarty pants,” Nick said with a fond smile while putting his arm around Jeff’s shoulders.  Jeff unconsciously leaned into him, almost like it was second nature.  A fact that was not missed by the group, what with a police officer, a forensic technician and a girl. 

“So, when is your gig?” Eddie asked, changing the subject.  Jeff shot him a thankful smile.

“It’s in a couple days, the band got a few days off between shows in our tour.  Figured since I would be in town for a few days I would come say hi to some friends,” Jeff responded. 

“Oh, do you live close to Central City?” Iris asked Nick.

“Uh, no, I live closer to Dalton.  But I’ve actually been touring with Jeff and the band since the tour began,” Nick told the group. 

“You’ve been touring with them?” Barry asked.

“Yeah, I’m kinda their new manager.”

“Best manager we’ve had,” Jeff told them proudly.

“You’re biased,” Nick informed Jeff.

“Psh, I’m never biased… ok maybe a little.”

“That’s what I thought,” Nick said smugly, “Hey!” He yelped when Jeff slapped his arm. 

The rest of the group just laughed at the two best friends.

“Are they always like this?” Iris asked Barry.

“Are who always like what?” Cisco asked, walking up behind the group with Caitlin before Barry had a change to answer.  How many people were going to sneak up on them tonight? Geez.

“Them,” Barry told Cisco and Caitlin pointing at Jeff and Nick who were currently having an intense staring competition.  “And yes,” he told Iris and Eddie. 

“Who are them?” Cisco asked.

“Friends of mine from high school.  Hey stop having eye sex and introduce yourselves,” Barry said, whacking his two friends, starling them.

“Ha! I win!” Jeff gloated triumphantly at Nick, who just rolled his eyes at the younger boy while turning to the new additions to the group. 

“Hey, I’m Nick–”

“And I’m Jeff.”

“Cisco.”

“Caitlin.”

“So how do you guys know Seb–” Nick started until he noticed a glare from Barry. 

“Barry, how do you guys know Barry?” Jeff finished, ending the awkward silence before it got much of a chance to start. 

“Uh, we were his doctors while he was in his coma and after, we became friends,” Caitlin told them. 

“Speaking of which, we have a bone to pick with you,” Nick said, turning to Barry. 

“Yeah, care to inform us why you didn’t feel the need to tell us that you were awake from your freaking coma?” Jeff asked indignantly.

“Yeah, we had to find out from Kurt that you woke up, Kurt! Who doesn’t even like you,” Nick added. 

“Sorry guys, I’ve just been really busy since I woke up, catching up on work and everything.  Telling people outside of Central City kind of slipped my mind.  And in my defense, I didn’t tell Kurt, Joe did, because he was the only one who’s number hadn’t changed since high school,” Barry told his friends.  “And besides, Kurt and I are friends now,” he finished weakly.  Nick and Jeff just snorted.

“Whatever man, we’re just joking.  Trust me, we understand busy,” Jeff said, trying to make his friend feel less guilty.    

“So are you guys going to sit down or are you just planning on standing there the whole night?” Eddie asked Nick and Jeff, who were still awkwardly standing beside the table. 

“If you guys really don’t mind us joining, we can always just catch up with Barry some other time,” Nick said to the group of friends. 

“Of course we don’t mind, you can tell us embarrassing stories of Barry in high school.  I missed all of them, not going to the same school as him.  Was he as nerdy in high school as he’s always been?” Iris asked. 

While sitting down, Jeff and Nick snorted, “Barry, nerdy?  I mean yeah, we have plenty of embarrassing stories, but are you sure we are talking about the same guy here?” Jeff asked. 

“Yeah, Seb was the cool guy everyone, who didn’t know him of course, wanted to be,” Nick told a stunned group. 

Barry just sighed, “Nick…”

“Why do you do that?  You’ve called Barry that before,” Iris asked.

Nick just looked to Barry, wondering what he should say.  Barry just nodded, resigned to them all knowing.

“Well you see, to get into the Warblers you have to audition by singing a Disney song of the councils choosing.  For Barry here, they chose Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid. His Sebastian kicked ass,hence the nickname ‘Sebastian,’” Nick answered. 

“What are the Warblers?” Caitlin asked.

“It was our school’s glee club.  Seb was actually the leader our junior year,” Jeff told them while Barry just hid his face in his hands, knowing what was coming next.

“You sing!?” everyone at the table asked, looking shocked. 

“Only a little bit, it’s not like I’m that good,” Barry tried to tell them. 

Nick and Jeff just scoffed (they seemed to be doing that a lot), “What the idiot means to say is ‘yeah I sing, and I’m great, which is why I was voted captain of the glee club as a JUNIOR,’” Jeff said in a bad imitation of Barry’s voice. 

Barry just rolled his eyes, “Like you have room to talk mister ‘I’m in a world famous band but never got a solo in high school.’”

Nick just smacked him upside the head, while everyone else was shocked, they had never really seen Barry act like this.  Jeff just laughed, he had known this side of Barry for too long to take what he said to heart. 

“Wait, world famous band?” Cisco asked, looking confused. 

“Yeah, Jeffy here is apparently a member of the band R5, which he failed to tell me,” Barry answered, looking pointedly at Jeff and Nick.

“You forgot to tell us you had woken up from a 9 month coma, dude.  I feel like we are even,” Nick replied, smirking when Barry had no witty comeback.

“What, no comeback?  You’ve gotten soft on us, Seb,” Jeff mocked.

“Oh shut up.”

“Excuse me?” A voice asked behind them.  Honestly, how many people are going to be able to sneak up on them tonight?  The girl behind them blushed when they all turned to look at her.  She hesitantly turned to look at Jeff and asked “Are you Riker from R5?”

 Jeff just put on a smile and nodded at the girl. 

“Can I have your autograph?” she asked him.

“Of course, who should I make it out to?”  Jeff asked talking the piece of paper handed to him. 

“Megan,” the girl – Megan, said with a smile.  “Thanks, um, can I have a picture also?”

“Uh, sure.”

“I can take it,” Nick told his friend.  The girl smiled and handed him her phone, going to stand next to Jeff.  After he took the picture, the girl smiled at the group, said thanks one last time and walked away to go sit back with her friends. 

There was a silence amongst the group while Jeff started blushing, hiding his face in Nick’s shoulder.  He never was really comfortable with people recognizing him.  All of a sudden, they all busted out laughing, causing Jeff to glance up and glare at them.

“Oh shut up.”

“I thought your name was Jeff?” Cisco asked after he had calmed down.

“It is, Riker is my middle name and what I go by for the band,” Jeff told Cisco and Caitlin, having temporarily forgot that they weren’t there the first time he explained this. 

“Anyway, new topic, I think Seb should go up and sing something for us, show if he’s still got it,” Nick said with a smirk, pointing at the stage where people were singing karaoke.

“Uh, no.  I don’t think so,” Barry told them.

“Ah, why not?  We’d love to hear you sing.  Gives us more blackmail on you,” Iris said with glee. 

“Yeah, come on Barry.  Pllleeeeaaasssse,” Caitlin begged.

“Fine.  But,” he said before everyone could start cheering, “Only if Nick and Jeff come up and sing with me.”

“People might riot if they see someone famous go up there to sing karaoke,” Eddie said.

“Eh, I’ve been here for almost an hour now and only one person has recognized me.  It should be fine.  This isn’t exactly the kind of place most of the band’s demographic hangs out at,” Jeff told them, giving Barry a smirk. 

“Yeah, come on, let’s go,” Nick smirked at a glaring Barry.  Barry let out a long suffering sigh and got up, all the while giving his two so called friends a death glare. 

“You can pick the song, Seb!” Jeff said, more excited than he needed to be in Barry’s opinion.

“I don’t care. You can pick. Just make sure it is not something too embarrassing,” Barry grumbled to his friends. 

“When have we ever been embarrassing?” Jeff smirked while Nick looked through the songs.  Barry just rolled his eyes. 

“I’ve got it!” Nick exclaimed excitedly.  He turned to whisper to Jeff, who got a frighteningly excited smirk. 

“Let’s do it!  Come on Seb!”

“What is it?” Barry asked wearily. 

“A song very near and dear to your heart,” Nick said mysteriously while pulling him up on stage with Jeff as the previous act left. 

Barry just groaned when familiar music filled his ears, the first chords of Uptown Girl playing over the speakers. 

When it came time to sing, the three boys easily slipped back into their high school roles, Nick and Barry singing the solos they originally had in the Warblers with Jeff singing backup and the solos that other previous members of the group had.  However, they didn’t do the dance, because while Jeff’s dance skills had improved, (not that they ever needed to…) Nick and Barry’s were no longer quite as good as they used to be. 

They left the stage to a huge round of applause, some people louder than others, having recognized Jeff while he was performing.  Jeff was right though, not many people knew who he was thankfully. 

“Yup, you still got it,” Nick said, patting Barry on the back.

“I still don’t see why you had to pick Uptown Girl.  I thought I said nothing embarrassing,” Barry was saying as they got back to the table. 

“I told you, it is near and dear to your heart, don’t even try and deny it,” Nick laughed.

“Hey, he could have picked Whistle,” Jeff said to Barry, who just shuddered. 

“Why is Uptown Girl ‘near and dear’ to Barry’s heart?” Iris asked confused.

“It was the first song he performed with the Warblers,” Nick told them.

“So mister, I have a bone to pick with you,” Iris said, turning to look at her brother. 

“What?” Barry answered cautiously.

“Why did you never tell me that you could sing that well? You guys were great up there!” Barry just blushed at the compliment. 

“It just never came up, and you technically never asked if I could sing,” Barry said.

“I also never asked if you were the Flash, but I know you would tell me if you were, so that is not an excuse,” Iris ranted, missing the look that passed between Barry, Caitlin and Cisco. 

“So,” Cisco started, wanting to change the topic quickly, “what about those embarrassing stories of Barry?” he asked Nick and Jeff, grinning at Barry’s glare. 

“Well, there was the time he got his tie stuck in a blender…” Jeff told them.

“How in the world did he get his tie stuck in a blender? And was it on his neck at the time?” Eddie asked.

“He said he was making coffee,” Nick said, confusing the group, “and yes, it was on his neck at the time.”  At Barry’s ‘don’t ask’ glare, Eddie and Cisco decided it was best to keep their comments too themselves.  For now.

“Oh! There was also the time he ripped his pants during a performance,” Jeff started.

“No, that was Thad,” Barry protested.

“Oh yeah… then what happened to you that night?” Jeff asked.

“He tripped over Thad after he sat down so no one would see that he ripped his pants,” Nick said, while the rest of the group laughed.  Even Barry was cracking a smile.

“This is great, I like you guys,” Cisco said after he stopped laughing.

“Thanks.  I like us too,” Jeff grinned. 

“So what else did Barry do in high school?” Iris asked.

“Well, there was the –” Nick started before Barry interrupted.

“Ok, that’s enough, new topic.”

Glancing down at his watch, Jeff suddenly got up. “Crap, sorry guys, I got to go.  It’s getting late and the band has an early interview tomorrow.  It was great meeting you guys though!”

Suddenly Nick leaned over and whispered something to Jeff, who nodded excitedly. 

“Hey, why don’t you guys come to the concert?  You could meet the rest of the band and then we could hang out again afterwards?” Nick asked them. 

“Really? That sounds great!” Iris said. 

“Alright! I’ll get the tickets to Barry tomorrow, see you guys then!” Jeff said as he and Nick were leaving, Nick throwing an arm over Jeff’s shoulders.

The rest of the group waved and then turned to Barry. 

“Ok, are those two dating?” Caitlin asked.

“Yeah, they were pretty close and touchy,” Iris confirmed. 

“Honestly, I’m not sure, they have been like that since I met them,” Barry told the group. 

“Well if they are, they are pretty freakin cute,” Iris said, the rest of the group agreeing. They then slowly broke off into their own conversations.  Iris going back to trying to convince Barry to go to her reunion with her, Eddie just laughing at them, and Barry and Cisco talking about some scientific thing no one but Barry really understood. 

Barry looked down when he heard his phone vibrate on the table where he had placed it earlier.  Seeing it was a text, he unlocked his phone and just sighed, once again wondering why he was friend with Nick and Jeff.

From: Jeff

Hey, I got the tickets, front row seats.  Hope you enjoy!

And Seb, remember to have some fun, because after all, we’ve got to Live While We’re Young ;)