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Sweet Destiny

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Westallen Week – Day #6 Prompt: Time (ex. past, future, time travel, etc.)

~o~o~

Chapter 1: Sweet Destiny

STAR Labs, a few months after the kiss:

Caitlin, Cisco, and Dr. Wells were watching Barry on the treadmill push himself beyond anything they had ever seen before.

“This is scary,” Caitlin commented. “Just how fast is he going anyway?”

“He’s past Mach 1 now, close to 800 miles per hour,” Cisco replied. He glanced at Caitlin.

“Dr. Wells, maybe he should slow down,” Caitlin suggested urgently.

“He’s okay, just let him do this,” Dr. Wells said, seemingly unconcerned. In fact, he thought that it wouldn’t be long now.

Suddenly, Barry disappeared right in the front of their eyes.

Caitlin screamed, Cisco checked his readings, and Dr. Wells felt the urge to stand up and cheer, but he refrained.

“Where did he go!?” Caitlin asked terrified for him.

“I have no idea,” Dr. Wells replied and inwardly smiled.

~o~o~

Ten years into the future:

Seconds later, Barry woke up, but Caitlin and Cisco weren’t there. He touched his forehead. He had a headache. He slowly stood up, but no one was there. “Where is everyone?”

He left the speed room and walked out into the main Lab. “Caitlin, Cisco, Dr. Wells?!” He felt like screaming. Is this a dream? He wondered.

He turned at the sound of footsteps. It was Dr. Wells and he wasn’t in a wheelchair. “What in the world is going on? You’re walking? It’s a miracle.”

Dr. Wells glanced down at himself. “Barry, I didn’t know you were here.” He then realized that something was terribly wrong. He came closer. “Humor me, Barry, what day is it?”

“What; ummm, it’s May 12, 2015,” he replied, confused and very concerned.

“Come with me Barry,” Dr. Wells said but just as they turned the corner, Iris walked in.

“Iris?” Barry asked, confused. “What are you doing here?”

She frowned. “You didn’t answer your phone and I needed to see you. It’s about the kids.”

Dr. Wells inwardly groaned and Barry almost fell over. Dr. Wells held him up.

“What kids?” Barry blurted out. Then he thought the worst. “Did you marry Eddie and have babies with him?”

“What the hell is going on here?” Iris was utterly confused. “They’re your kids Barry.” Iris glared at Dr. Wells. She crossed her arms. “You sir, have a lot of explaining to do.” It wasn’t the first time Barry had traveled to the future, but this time must be his first.

“Let’s go in here,” Dr. Wells instructed. Iris followed him. Barry was rooted to the spot unsure what to do or even to trust them. It was Iris, but she looked different; older maybe? And Dr. Wells had miraculously regained the use of his legs. He was so confused. He touched his forehead then he fainted.

Iris ran to him, leaned down and touched his forehead. “He’s burning up!” She exclaimed, so worried about him.

Dr. Wells also touched his forehead. “Help me move him.” They managed to carry him inside the med lab and placed him on the examination table.

Barry’s eyes fluttered open and Iris, or someone who looked like her, was hovering over him. She took his hand. “Iris, is that you?” He asked hoping it was true.

“Of course it’s me, silly. Just relax and we’ll figure this out.”  She glanced at Dr. Wells and he was gathering his equipment. “You have to tell him the truth.” He had no choice; Barry needed to know what happened to him.

“The truth, what truth?” Barry asked.

Dr. Wells sighed. “You’re in the future, Barry. It’s May, but the year is 2025,” he explained.

Shocked and confused. “Did you say 2025?”

Iris squeezed his hand. “Yes honey, it’s 2025.”

Barry was surprised by the endearment; he loved it. He relaxed a bit and let the feeling wash over him. If what they were saying was true, it meant that they were still together, they were married and that they had kids.

Dr. Wells touched his forehead again. “His fever is reducing. He’ll be okay.”

Iris was so relieved. She touched his forehead, but it was different from Dr. Wells. He closed his eyes enjoying the feeling of her hand on his forehead.

Iris smiled and smoothed his hair. “Feeling better?”

He opened his eyes. “Yes, much better,” he replied. It was the same smile he remembered.

Suddenly, Dr. Wells got a beep. It was Barry. “Excuse me,” he said and hurriedly left the Lab.

“Barry, where are you?” He asked.

“I’m about a mile from the Lab. Is everything alright?” Future-Barry replied.

“No, you should go home. Iris left a message for you. Go on now,” he replied hoping he would listen to him.

“Alright, I’m headed home now,” Future-Barry answered, but he was confused.

Back inside the Lab, Iris was talking to Barry, telling him about the kids. If things progressed like before, he wouldn’t remember any of it. She showed him photos of his children.

Barry’s eyes watered. “They’re beautiful. But did you say Dawn and Don? That’s odd. Was that your idea or mine?”

“It was your idea and I went along with it. Our lives are so unpredictable and a bit odd, so I went along with it. I thought it was sweet and unique. They are so like you, Bear.”

“Oh, you still call me Bear?” He wanted to burst into tears and he did. Iris handed him a tissue.

Dr. Wells came back inside. “It’s time to go back, Barry.”

He didn’t want to leave Iris, but he knew she was waiting for him in the past. “Alright,” he replied and sat up. She helped him down from the table. Her arm was around his shoulder supporting him and holding him up.

Barry was so grateful that he instinctively pulled her into a hug. “I love you, Iris.”

“Oh, Bear, I love you too, always.” She pulled away and touched his cheeks with both hands. “Remember that.”

“I won’t forget; I promise.” He smiled at her, and the feelings were there. He leaned down and Iris couldn’t resist him. She leaned up on her tiptoes and they kissed. It was sweet but very nice. “I’ll see you soon.”

Iris was going to cry. “Go on now.” She gave him a bit of a shove.

“Alright, it’s time to go,” Dr. Wells said and escorted him back to the speed lab. Iris stood on the outside and watched as her love run faster and faster. Then he was gone in a flash.

~o~o~

Back to the present:

Iris was there waiting for Barry to come back. Dr. Wells had called her. He remembered what happened in the future and so he called Iris. Apparently, Iris knows the truth about Barry and, because this was his first time in the future, she should be there.

Moments later, Barry appeared before them. He collapsed and fell down. Iris rushed inside and helped him up.

Barry was confused at first then he stared at his love’s lovely face. “Iris?”

“It’s me,” she replied.

“It is you!” He pulled her close and kissed her like there was no tomorrow.

“Ok, we should go,” Cisco muttered and turned off the speed lab.

“He’s home now,” Caitlin said.

Dr. Wells frowned for a bit then he followed them.

Barry was the first to pull back. “What happened?”

“You disappeared and no one knew where you were. I was so worried.” Her hands couldn’t be still. She touched his cheeks, his hair, shoulders, and arms. He was home. Her eyes watered. “Are you Ok? Do you remember anything? Dr. Wells said,” she couldn’t finish.

“I remember,” he replied and then he kissed her again. She kissed him back over and over.

TBC!

 ~o~o~

Song Inspiration: Vision of Love, Mariah Carey.

A/N: Aww, my babies. *sniffles* I hope you enjoyed it. I had to write this. My head canon would not go away. Thanks for reading! Reviews/kudos is love! An update is coming so stay tuned! :D

Chapter Text

 

Porn Battle Golden Oldies: DCU: Barry Allen/Iris West, time travel, future, alternate universe – future, speed force, what-if

~o~o~

Chapter 2: Don't Give Up

STAR Labs, a few minutes later:

Minutes after their sweet reunion, Iris and Barry slowly stood up and having eyes only for each other, they walked out of the speed room, but then Harrison in his wheelchair slowly rolled back in.

Unsure how to proceed, Harrison watched them both closely and wondered how much Barry knew about him.

Barry stiffened. Should he reveal what he saw in the future to Iris and to him? He thought about it for a second. But for now, he decided not to. "Dr. Wells, Iris and I need to talk."

Harrison realized that he had made a terrible mistake. His plan for him to travel to the future worked, but now his plans may have to change. "Of course, I'll talk to you later." He turned and wheeled himself back out.

Iris picked up on something. "Are you alright? What's going on?" Iris asked concernedly.

Barry was silent, still watching Dr. Wells.

"Barry, please talk to me." Iris was beginning to think maybe the after effects of his time travel experience may have hurt him in some way.

He shook his head to clear it. "It's nothing; I'm Okay." He turned to her then pulled her close. "Thank God for you, Iris." He took a deep breath and breathed her in. "It's good to be home."

"Aww, I missed you too," she said knowing exactly how he felt.

He tried to be upbeat then he pulled away. "Let's get out of here. Hey, have you seen my apartment … lately?"

"No, not since that first week," she replied and wiggled her nose.

He chuckled. "I've cleaned it up since then."

"Well, I would hope so," she said and grinned.

A little while later, they were about to enter his place, then, "Wait here," Barry said.

Iris knew what this was about. A minute later, he came back out. "You may enter," he said and raised an eyebrow and bowed at the waist.

She shook her head at him. "You are not fooling me, Barry Allen." She entered his small but cozy apartment. It was spotless, not a shoe or pizza box was anywhere to be seen. "I'm impressed," she said. After moving further inside, she turned to him. "So why am I here?"

He came closer and took her hand. They sat down on the two-seater sofa. "I needed to talk to you in private; it's important."

She frowned. "Okay, what is it?" Her heart began to pound for some strange reason.

He squeezed her hand. "Iris, when I disappeared, and I know this is going to sound like some science fiction novel, but."

"Where did you go?"

"Well, I think I must have blacked out or something, but … when I opened my eyes, I was on the floor in the speed room but no one was there."

"What do you mean, no one?"

"Caitlin and Cisco weren't there but Dr. Wells was there and … he was walking."

She gasped. "Walking; he wasn't in a wheelchair, but how can that be?"

"I had no idea and so I asked him if it was a miracle that he was walking again. Then he asked me something and I still can't believe it."

"What did he ask you?"

He hesitated then looked into her eyes. Should I tell her about the future … about them?

"Barry, you're scaring me; please just tell me." He was looking at her so strangely.

So many things were running through Barry's mind. Their beautiful future together; married with children, or was it all a dream? Was it something his mind cooked up because he wanted so much for it to be true? "I'll tell you about it later, not now."

"But, I don't understand." He was silent, not looking at her. "Barry, we decided, no more secrets, Ok; just tell me."

He inwardly sighed then turned to her. "You know I love you, Iris, but."

He was distancing; she was terrified. "I love you too, but please you're scaring me." Her eyes filled with tears. She was afraid he was going to let her go because of this superhero thing. It was always in the back of her mind and now that she knew the truth, it was always there between them; like some evil monster ready to tear them apart.

He sensed her fear. "It's Ok, just come here," he said and pulled her close, her head under his chin. He took a deep breath and wondered about the future, their future, together, fighting the good fight, together with a family.

It just wasn't fair to do that to her; then he told her part of the truth. "It's about Wells. You and I will have to find the real reason why he's hiding the truth; that he can walk. Are you with me?"

She pulled away and tried to read him. "Of course I am; I'm right beside you Barry always. Remember that."

Barry's mind flashed back to the future. She said exactly the same thing and now so did he, "I won't forget; I promise."

He pulled her back into his arms. He closed his eyes and thought of the future; their sweet destiny; like some beckoning fantasy, but was it really true? He pulled her closer, but it would never be close enough.

My heart knows the truth. We will get there, no matter what.

~o~o~

Back to the future, that same day, May 12, 2025:

After speaking with Dr. Wells, and unable to reach Iris, Barry streaked home to check up on his family. The sitter was there and after speaking to her about Dawn that she had given her some fever medication; he sent her home. Don was still at school. Barry would be there and once his wife returned home, everything would be okay.

He knocked and walked into his daughter's room. She had a fever, a low-grade fever, but she was sitting up in bed.

"Hey sweetie, how are you feeling?" Barry asked his six-year-old daughter. He sat down beside her. He touched her forehead. Her curls so reminded him of Iris. He missed them, but little did he know they would show up again in his beautiful daughter.

"I'm alright, Daddy, it's just a fever."

"Honey, you know temperatures are dangerous. It's a sign of something else. Is your throat sore?"

She swallowed, "No."

"That's good. You should lie down and try to sleep. Mommy will be home soon." He helped her get settled. She closed her eyes and after a few more minutes, stood up, leaned down and kissed her forehead. It was a little warm but not too bad. She was soon asleep.

He closed the door and pulled out his cell, but before the call went through, Iris walked in. He was surprised because they hadn't spoken, and then her emotions got the better of her. She rushed over to him and pulled him close. "You're home."

"I'm here," he whispered and pulled her closer. Barry sensed something was wrong, but she would tell him what was bothering her when she was ready.

She pulled away and wiped at her eyes with a tissue. "How is she?"

"She's asleep. Her fever is low-grade, 99 degrees, no more than that," he replied. He watched her for a moment. "Iris, what is it? Why are you crying?"

"I need to see her," she replied not answering his question then headed to Dawn's room.

Barry followed her. "She's fine, so where were you? I tried to call you back, but it went straight to voice mail." He watched her stroke Dawn's hair and her forehead, but she didn't wake up.

She turned to him and she couldn't help it. Her eyes filled with tears again.

He came closer. "Honey, what is it?"

"I'm silly; it's nothing," she lied, head down, not looking at him.

He didn't believe her. "Come here," he whispered and pulled her close again. He kissed her temple holding her tightly to him. "Let's go in here and sit down for a minute."

They headed to the living room and sat down, but Iris was quiet and wringing her hands. He squeezed her hands hoping to give her some comfort. "Tell me."

She raised her eyes to his face. "I'm scared, Barry, truly scared."

"Of what; what happened today? Why couldn't I reach you?"

"I couldn't reach you either. It was strange how everything just happened; like it was some kind of dream or something." Iris was honestly perplexed.

"Honey, you're not making any sense."

Apparently, he had forgotten. "Barry, what's today's date?"

He frowned. "It's May 12th, but," he replied then it dawned on him. "Oh."

"Yeah, today was the day. It actually happened," she said.

"I completely forgot," he said and shook his head.

"Me too. It's happened so many times, you traveling to the future, but the first time really threw me."

He rubbed the back of his neck. "I was too." They both relaxed for a bit. "But why were you afraid?"

"I was scared of what it could mean for you and me because of Dr. Wells. We can't trust him, Barry. I never know from one day to the next what he's up to."

"Well, he's been neutralized now, honey. He's not a speedster, not anymore. He can't hurt us," Barry told her firmly.

"But in the past, he could hurt us, Barry. We may never have this, our future, our home, our children, and if that happens?" She let that thought trail off. Then they both had the same thoughts and turned toward their children's rooms. Suddenly anxious and extremely concerned, they quickly entered Dawn's room and she was still asleep like a little angel. Iris was terrified for all of them. She stroked her daughter's beautiful brown curls.

They both sighed with relief. Barry tried not to worry. "This is crazy. We're together now," he whispered faithfully. After guiding her from the room, he closed the door, and then she turned to him.

"Barry, the future is not set. It can change in an instant." Her eyes watered again. He pulled her close, but he was scared too.

He needed to reassure her and himself. Then he took her face between his palms. "You and I will never change, not back then, and certainly not now." She still looked worried; then he leaned down, closed his eyes and kissed her passionately. She kissed him back; needing his comfort and reassurance with every fiber of her being.

He picked her up, kissing her all the while, took her to their bedroom and closed the door. "Believe in this," he whispered and then he was kissing her again. Her arms went around his neck and she kissed him back.

"Oh, I want to; I need to," she murmured between kisses. She pulled away. "I want all of you, Bear."

He smiled from ear to ear. "All of me?"

She smiled. "Oh yes, all of it," she replied. He set her down, but then Barry's heart nearly stopped, it was pounding so hard. Iris was standing there completely naked in all her glorious beauty. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her thoroughly. He picked her up and laid her down, kissing her sweet mouth. He couldn't get undressed fast enough. He nearly fell to the floor trying to get his pants off.

"Slow down, Bear, I'm not going anywhere." Iris stared at him and once he had removed all his clothes, she could see how much he wanted her. She felt the same way. She had to have him, as she held up her arms inviting him in.

Barry's mouth crashed down on hers. She smells and tastes so good. I won't be to able get enough, and I don't want to. I know if I had a lifetime, I'd never get enough of her.

Iris opened her eyes and drank in the dark form that was above her. She felt lost. He moved on top of her, touching her, and kissing his way down to her breasts. She arched her back and moaned. It felt so good. "Barry, don't stop."

"You know you like it." She tasted like heaven. She was so responsive to his touch. Her hands were in his hair, on his shoulders, down his arms, and his thighs, moving that part of him that was so ready and willing. Barry moaned. Iris was touching him. He touched her there, and she nearly flew off the bed.

Barry was thinking he didn't want to rush this. He knew she was ready for him, but not quite yet. He kissed his way down her beautiful body. His mouth was on her knee nibbling and licking down her smooth thighs, her long legs, and beautiful feet. Then, his hot breath was at the juncture of her thighs. Iris closed her eyes, held her breath and waited.

"God you're beautiful," he murmured. Then his fingers parted the lovely folds, two fingers slipped inside her, her inner muscles immediately clasped and caressed, as if to draw him deeper. Barry was rapidly losing control. She was so warm and ready for him, her juices flowing over his hand. Her eyes were half-closed as a hot passion blush swept over her body. "Oh, Barry." She was moaning and shaking.

His fingers pushed higher and higher, as Iris' hips, lifted off the bed. Then his mouth replaced his fingers, teasing and licking the straining little peak. Iris gasped in delight as he found his mark and his flash-tongue and face licked and sucked over and over. His talented tongue moved feverishly through her folds, finding what he sought. Iris ground herself against his face. Barry did not pause or relent, moaning in satisfaction, driving her higher and higher until at the last, she screamed and shuddered with rapture.

He couldn't wait anymore. He kissed his way up her body, tasting her lovely breasts, her soft throat and then her sweet mouth. He entered her slowly at first. Holding her face in his hands, he kissed her passionately, his tongue thrusting in rhythm with his hips. Iris wrapped her arms and legs around him.

The pleasure was almost too sweet. Soon though, he could feel the residual contractions from her orgasm rippling along his length, and the sensation evoked an answering tremor in him. He tried to focus on something other than the pleasure that pulsed between his legs. He attempted to rein in his compelling need to release that his body demanded, but he was too far gone to pull back, and his climax rocketed through him with a mind-numbing force.

Then Iris screamed his name and he collapsed on top of her, his breath coming in short gasps. After a moment, he rolled to his back taking her with him. He pulled her closer, stroking her hair and arms. Several minutes passed while their breathing returned to normal.

Iris tilted her head and looked at her lover. His eyes were closed beneath the dark fringe of his lashes, his lips swollen from their kisses. The scent of his skin combined with the musky smell of sex wafted to her nostrils. Her senses were filled with him and her heartache, her love for this man astounded her and filled her with joy.

Barry slowly opened his eyes and smiled at the amazing woman who held his heart captive. He stroked her hair and kissed her temple. He was silent deep in thought.

After they had cleaned up a bit, but Iris was still worried. "What are you thinking?"

"I won't lie to you, Iris, but I'm worried too."

She leaned up on her elbow. "What can we do?" Then she thought about it. "Maybe you could travel back there like before and warn them and help them in some way?"

He chuckled. "It's strange to speak of ourselves in the third person."

She chuckled too then leaned into him pulling him close. "We're strange; you can't deny that."

"That we are, but I was thinking. Maybe I will head back and take a peek."

"Just a peek?" She asked and knew it would be more than that; far more.

She knew him so well. "Maybe not," he said, "but right now, I have other things on my mind." He kissed her temple, her cheek and then her mouth drawing forth moans and sighs.

But then, Dawn woke up. "Mommy!"

They both sighed. "Duty calls," Iris murmured and got out of bed.

His hands behind his head, he watched his wife put on a robe and left him in bed. He then got up and slipped on his pants and walked over to his daughter's bedroom. He stood back and watched and listened as Iris soothed their daughter's pain.

"Feeling better?" Iris whispered stroking her daughter's forehead.

"Yes, Mommy, much better," Dawn whispered and closed her eyes.

Barry's eyes filled with tears. I won't lose my family; I won't.

TBC?!

~o~o~

Song Inspiration: The Thing About Love, Alicia Keys.

A/N: I actually want to continue just not sure when; maybe after the time travel episodes have aired or maybe sooner. We'll see if my Muse has more to say. I actually cannot wait to see those episodes. Thanks for reading! Reviews/kudos is love!

Chapter Text

Chapter 3: To Where You Are

Still in the future, the Westallen house:

It's now early evening, and Iris and Barry were now in the kitchen finishing up dinner preparations. Dawn's fever was now gone and she felt up to eating with the family. Don was now home from school. At Barry's request, Henry had picked him up from school, and everyone was about to have dinner. The kids were in the living room with their grandfather.

Henry was thrilled to be with his family. He felt blessed to be there. The circumstantial evidence against him was finally picked apart, but not without the diligent and persistent detective work of not only Barry, but Cisco, Joe, and Iris, played a part in his release from prison over a year ago. The monetary restitution from the state penal system meant that he wouldn't have to worry about finances. He found a small apartment not far from his family.

Barry came back into the living room and watched his Father play with his children. He closed his eyes for a moment feeling so many things. Not only had Barry found a way to reunite with his Father, but the fact that he would have died in prison from a heart attack, if not for his travel to the future. After telling Joe what he had found out, they managed to revert a disaster that would have taken his Father from his life forever.

Henry looked up and Barry had a strange look on his face. "Is everything alright?" He asked.

"Everything is great," he replied. Barry then explained to him about his plans to travel back in time.

Henry was afraid to think of the consequences of such a decision. "I don't know son, it does sound like a good plan, but," he hesitated.

"Dad, now, you can't change my mind. I have to do this for my family. Iris understands," Barry said and glanced at his wife.

"Is this true, Iris?" Henry asked. Iris had just put the food on the table. But before she could answer him, the doorbell rang.

"I'll get it. It's probably Joe." Barry answered the door and it was his father-in-law.

"Hey, Barry, I'm starved. Something smells good," Joe said in greeting.

"Grandpa!" the children chorused. They ran to him and he gave them a hug.

"Hey kids," Joe said and gave them each a kiss. Then he brought them back into the living room. "Hi, Henry, how are you?"

"I'm Ok; how's work?" Henry asked.

"It's good, a bit quiet, so I can't complain," Joe replied.

"Dinner is ready, Joe," Barry said.

"Hi, Dad, I'm glad you could make it," Iris said. She gave him a hug.

"Thanks, sweetie," Joe said. "Ok, let's eat!"

Once everyone was seated at the table, Henry discretely mentioned Barry's concerns about Harrison Wells, in the past and his intention to go back and help his friends.

"I see," Joe said. "You know how I feel about going back in time Barry. The first time you did it, well, things were turned upside down and sideways."

"I've learned my lesson, Joe," Barry said and chewed his food.

"Have you really?" Joe asked. He glanced at his daughter. "You aren't going along with this plan, are you, Iris?"

"Well, I think he should do it. I mean, if Wells continues the way he is, all of this, we could lose it and we can't let that happen," she replied becoming emotional.

Don picked up on something. "Grandpa, is something wrong?" He asked Grandpa Joe.

"No, go ahead and eat kids," Joe replied. He glanced at the adults at the table. "We'll talk about this later."

After dinner and the kids had finished their homework and were put to bed, Iris, Barry, Joe, and Henry were in the living room hashing out Barry's plan to return to the past.

"As I said earlier, I learned a hard lesson the first time and I know who to avoid … you know, certain people," he said and glanced at his wife.

"You mean me, right?" Iris asked.

"No, I don't me you, Iris. You know my secret now, and after the first time, we should be able to talk like before."

Iris chuckled. "We didn't talk that much the first time, Barry if I recall," she said and smiled at him.

Henry glanced at Joe. "What happened the first time?" Henry asked his friend.

"Iris and Barry kind of ran into each other," Joe replied.

"What happened?" Henry asked.

"I'll let Iris tell that story. I didn't remember most of it, but, go ahead, honey," Barry said and hid a smile.

She shook her head at him then began her story.

~o~o~

Eight years ago, the lakeside retreat:

Barry's plan to return to the past and save his Mother had not gone as intended. He had waited and waited for the man in yellow to appear, but instead of stopping him this time, his Mother was killed again but he managed to escape. He watched it happen only to be stunned to finally realize the truth.

He made this trip to change his future with Iris. Of course, he wanted to save his Mother, but at the time he made the decision go back again, he wanted to transform his relationship with Iris. There must be a way to save his relationship with her. After his confession, maybe she was confused and he thought maybe she would change her mind, meaning not to move in with Eddie.

The next morning on his return to the future, he made a side visit to the day after he had given Iris the ring and after he had confessed his love. He then decided to follow her and she ended up at their lakeside retreat. It was actually the same spot he had changed his clothes and his bag was there as well. It must be fate.

He was getting excited and then he saw her. She looked so beautiful that he couldn't stop the emotions that welled up inside of him. And she was wearing the ring he had given her for Christmas. So that meant that she hadn't moved in with Eddie yet.

He watched her from behind an enormous tree. She seemed to be deep in thought as she walked along the shoreline. She was probably thinking about his confession. But his timing had been so off that he wondered if she would ever speak to him again. Things were desperate, but he had no one to blame, but himself, so he had to do this for them; for their future.

Taking a deep breath, he stepped out from behind a tree, startling her. "Iris?"

She gasped and put her hand over her heart. "Barry, you startled me. What are you doing out here?"

He came closer. "I had to talk to you, so I followed you."

She frowned. "You followed me? But why; has something happened?"

Instead of answering her, he came closer then he glanced at the ring. "I see you're wearing the ring I gave you."

She touched it reverently. It rested just above her heart. "Yes, I just wanted to thank you again. It was an incredible gift and I'll cherish it forever."

He came closer. "Do you ever wonder why I gave you the ring?"

She frowned, but then she thought of his heartfelt confession. She wasn't ready to talk about that. She stared at him and she sensed he wanted her; she felt it to the core of her being. She swallowed and looked away. "Well, you knew how much it meant to me, and," she hesitated then she felt compelled and looked up into his face, "Was there another reason?"

He came closer and feeling bold, he took her hand and she didn't pull away, "Yes, Iris, there was; I wanted to tell you something; something important."

"What was it?" She asked but inside she knew.

"This; this is what I wanted to tell you," he whispered throatily then he reached out to touch her cheek. "So soft," he whispered and stroked her cheek. He came closer.

Iris was still. "Barry, what?" The look on his face was compelling.

"Don't talk, just let me," he whispered then her face was between his palms. He leaned down and kissed her sweetly, and then she responded to him. He deepened the kiss. Barry was thrilled beyond measure. After a few more kisses, he pulled away. "You have no idea how much I've wanted to do that."

Iris was reeling. "Barry, I … I," she stammered, still confused but a part of her enjoyed the kiss.

"I know you're confused and it's my fault that everything is so crazy between us, but I wanted you to think about the kiss and what I told you before. I want you in my life, Iris and not just as a friend."

She shouldn't be surprised, but she was. "You do?" Iris was beginning to imagine it.

Grinning a bit, "Yeah, I do." He was about to kiss her again when he heard screeching tires and they were close by. He turned and he witnessed two cars speeding down a road not far from them, and then there was an accident. "We have to go." He grabbed his bag and hurriedly headed for the crash.

"Wait here!" He needed to change but should he reveal himself? It could change everything, and so he did right in front of her, then he was gone.

Iris gasped and screamed "Barry?!"

Barry wasn't listening then he quickly helped the drivers of the second car. Joe and Eddie were inside apparently on a police chase, and the other one may have been a lawbreaker on the run.

A sharp curve and speed were the culprit. The perpetrator's car had swerved down an embankment and then moments later, the car had exploded. Joe and Eddie's automobile also went over the embankment. It flipped over several times and came to rest on its side, but there were smoke and flames coming from the hood. They didn't have much time.

"Oh no!" Iris ran toward the scene. She couldn't see who was inside the second vehicle, but she wanted to help in some way.

"Stay back, Iris!" Barry screamed at her. He headed down the embankment and quickly helped Joe and Eddie from the car. They were both alive, but no sooner had he done that then their vehicle exploded, sending them all flying into the air. Barry and Eddie landed and were unconscious but only for a few minutes.

Iris was trying to stay calm. Joe hadn't woken up yet. She hurried down the embankment almost losing her footing, but she made it. "Dad, wake up, please!" Iris screamed. She checked for a pulse then she shook him several times.

He woke up suddenly. "Iris?"

"I'm here; are you Okay?" Iris asked and helped him to sit up.

Joe held his head; it was pounding. "I think so."

Barry thought it best that he left. "Iris," Barry said and came over to her. "Remember," he whispered and then he was gone.

Eddie, groggy from a head injury, also heard what he said. "What did he mean by that?" He asked Iris as he touched his aching head.

She shook her head to clear it, "Just to remember everything that I saw; I am a witness," she lied, still watching where Barry had disappeared.

~o~o~

Back to the future:

"Then what happened?" Henry asked, curiously needing to know more.

"Everything changed after that. I decided to rethink my decision to move in with Eddie, but the next time I saw Barry, he pretended that the kiss never happened." She turned to her husband. "What was I supposed to do?" She asked him meaningfully.

Barry winced at that correct statement. "I didn't remember my trip to the past; that's what happened."

"And how was I supposed to know you were a speedster from the future and my future husband?" She raised an eyebrow. He was silent, "Well?"

Both getting upset, they stared at each other, not saying a word.

"I see now, so if you didn't remember your trip, then why do you think this next trip will be any different?" Joe asked.

Barry didn't have an answer. He sighed then, "I may remember or I may not; I honestly don't know."

Henry shook his head truly worried about this trip. "I'm surprised you two got together at all. What happened after the accident?" Henry asked.

"She decided to play hard to get," Barry replied and raised an eyebrow.

Iris was insulted. "That's not true. I didn't know you were the other one plus you were involved with Linda."

"You know I liked Linda, but she wasn't you. It was as simple as that."

"Right, nothing is ever that simple, not with us, Barry."

He chuckled at that correct statement. "You knew the truth about me being the Flash, but you never said anything."

"Well, I wanted to but after we saw each other again and again, you obviously changed your mind and pretended you hadn't kissed me, so I decided to move in with Eddie anyway."

"So it was payback to hurt me, wasn't it?" He didn't mean that.

"Barry, don't say another word, Okay? We were both wrong to pretend that we didn't have feelings for each other. You pretended to move on and I pretended I didn't love you, so we were both wrong."

Joe put his foot down. They were acting like children. "Ok, guys, you made your point." He shook his head at them then he turned to Henry. "Do you see what I had to put up with all of those years? Should I tell her; should I tell him? It drove me batty."

Iris and Barry glanced at each other then they both grinned. They could laugh about it now but back then, it definitely was not funny; not at all.

Iris decided to call a truce. "My Father is right, Barry. It took a miracle before we finally woke up and smelled the coffee," Iris said.

"A miracle; what kind of miracle?" Henry was definitely intrigued now.

"You tell this one, honey," Iris said.

Barry took a deep breath then told his side of the story of how Barry Allen and Iris West – finally got together, sort of.

Iris rolled her eyes also thinking about the impossible … They were actually a couple. A couple of idiots, she thought.

~o~o~

Back to the past:

Barry and Iris were at an impasse. About a month later Iris still remembered the kiss, but Barry apparently didn't remember it at all. She knew the truth about him being the Flash but refused to tell him. She was still living with Eddie and Barry was still dating Linda.

After Barry's confession that he didn't remember the kiss, their relationship was so off-center and abnormal. It was like trying to find their way through an elaborate maze unsure if they would reach the exit or not. Because the harder they tried, the further away from what they both wanted seemed impossible.

Barry, of course, couldn't stay away from her. He had saved her life several times because of his dealings with meta-humans and Iris being Iris, was far too inquisitive. She was still drawn to the Flash and he to her, in spite of Iris knowing the truth about him.

Then something unexpected happened. Neither of them realized that they were working at cross-purposes. She was investigating S.T.A.R. Labs and Barry was having his doubts about Harrison Wells, as well. But instead of confiding in each other the way they used to, they were in the dark about their personal and professional lives.

One day, Iris visited S.T.A.R. Labs for an interview on a story she and Mason Bridge were writing about the particle acceleration and why it happened. She just showed up without warning. Barry was there but managed to hide from her, but he was able to hear every word.

Iris began by greeting them cheerfully because she thought of them as friends. They had saved Barry's life, but now that she was a member of the press, she sensed their reluctance to talk to her, which, of course, made her even more suspicious.

She asked a lot of questions, many of which they couldn't answer, like:

~~Was the particle accelerator accident intentional?

~~Barry was saved by S.T.A.R. Labs, so was it possible that she knew a few of these meta-humans? One of them she knew, Tony Woodward, was it possible she knew others as well?

Caitlin and Cisco were stunned by all of these questions. Harrison side-stepped all of them; oh, he was the calm one alright.

But Iris would not be deterred, and then she asked for a tour. Harrison immediately refused. She reluctantly let that pass.

~~Then Iris wanted to know about all the other meta-humans that were captured; where were they? They weren't in prison, meaning Tony again, that she knew about. There weren't any criminal trials that she knew about either.

~~Then she asked about the 'burning man,' which got even more worried looks and glances, but still no answers. They were definitely hiding something. She would find out one way or the other.

Harrison called the interview to an end. She thanked them, gave them a brilliant smile, then she turned on her heel and left.

Barry followed her. Once out in the street and by her car, he called to her. "Iris, wait."

Iris stiffened then she turned to him. "What do you want, Barry?"

"What are you doing?" He asked.

"I could ask you the same thing. Wells is hiding something and you're doing what? Why are you here, Barry? You have a job at CCPD."

"I'm helping Dr. Wells you know, about meta-humans," he half-lied.

"I see, well, does my Father know about your dealings over here away from the force?"

"Of course, he knows."

"I see, but I don't have the right to know? What else don't I know, Barry?"

He frowned still confused. "What are you getting at?"

She shook her head at him, getting upset. "You honestly don't remember do you?"

"Remember what?" Barry was at a loss. He thought about it. It wasn't the first time he was supposed to remember something but couldn't, like when he traveled to the past. Oh, no, he thought.

Iris was furious. "I can't believe this; I'm leaving," she said and tried to open the car door. Her vision blurred and she couldn't think straight and the key would not go in. "Damnit," she blurted out.

He touched her hand on the door handle. "Here, I'll do it."

She gave him the keys and stepped away from him. She wiped at her eyes and tried to stay calm, but her heart was racing; she was so upset.

He watched her for a moment then he opened the door. He handed her the keys. "Iris wait, please?"

She didn't get in. "What is it?"

"Why won't you tell me? I want to remember, I do, but I don't."

She frowned. Something wasn't right then she dived right in. "Do you remember rescuing my Father and Eddie from an accident at the lake?"

Confused and worried, he touched his chest. "Are you sure it was me?"

Iris could not believe him. "Of course I'm sure it was you."

"I swear, Iris, I don't remember it." She shook her head at him. "I'm not lying, I swear."

He sounded so convincing. Does he have amnesia or something? Maybe this will jar his memory. "Do you remember this?"

Then she leaned up and shocked him with a kiss.

TBC?!

~o~o~

Song Inspiration: Whatever It Takes, Leona Lewis.

A/N: Oh man, this changes things. I had so much fun writing this update. But I know time travel is confusing; that's an understatement. But it kind of makes sense (in my story anyway) that Barry doesn't remember his travels to the past but going to the future, he does. It's weird, huh? Anyway, wouldn't that be cool though if Iris found out (at the lake) but didn't say anything? I think it's awesome, but how long can she keep her mouth shut and wait for him to tell her? I don't believe it's a stretch at all for her to wait. I hope you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading! Reviews/kudos is love!

Chapter Text

Chapter 4: Undo the Hurt

Barry's story, still in the past:

Barry was completely stunned. Iris was kissing him. He didn't know what was going on, but from what she told him, apparently, they had kissed before. But when and how did it happen? Why can't I remember?

He was pulled out of his unsettling thoughts when Iris kissed him more deeply and he couldn't help responding to her. He pulled her closer and deepened the kiss. They both moaned and Barry decided he should stop this before things got out of hand.

He was the first to pull away. He waited for her to open her eyes but before he could ask her why she kissed him, she said something that completely surprised him.

"Barry, I know." She had to tell him; she had to or did she?

"You know what?" He tentatively asked and held his breath and waited.

"I know you're hiding something about Dr. Wells, about his suspicious behavior. Just tell me Okay? I won't print it. He did save your life, after all."

Still stunned by her kisses, he shook his head to clear it. I actually thought she knew the truth about me, but maybe she doesn't. Was she going to ignore the kiss as I had supposedly done? Why can't I remember? I'm going insane. He desperately wanted to tell her the truth; he did, but his promise to Joe made him stop and think. Taking a deep breath, he told her about his suspicions. "Yes, it's true; I do have doubts about him, about his motives."

After that answer, Iris was thinking that maybe if they bonded over this, he might begin to remember the kiss, and then finally, they could talk about their feelings. "What can we do to find out the truth? You're close to them, Barry. They don't trust the press, so we need to know what is really going on with him."

He nodded. "I will, but you have to trust me and try not to interfere and give me some time to figure this out; it's important."

She narrowed her eyes but decided that she did trust him. "I'm not interfering; I'm trying to do my job… but I do trust you Barry; I do."

"Iris, I need to know. Why did you kiss me?" Barry asked.

She lowered her eyes; she couldn't look at him. "I don't know; maybe for the same reason you kissed me," she lied.

He didn't believe her then he raised her chin. "Was that the real reason?"

"I care Okay? I care about you and I don't want anything to happen to you," she confessed and looked away to hide her feelings.

He decided not to push her. "Oh, Iris," he whispered and pulled her into his arms. "I care about you too, very much."

She relaxed against him and of course she was thinking about their kiss at the lake. Closing her eyes, she enjoyed their closeness. It warmed her through and through, igniting feelings and emotions she didn't want to think about, but she had to admit they were always there just below the surface.

Barry was thinking about kissing her again, but then he heard something. "Iris, I have to go." She awkwardly moved out of his arms, although she didn't want to. He wanted to kiss her; she could see it clearly. But he didn't. "I'll see you later?"

"Sure, call me at the paper and we'll talk Okay?" She tried to smile.

"I will," he whispered and then he was gone.

Iris closed her eyes and took a shuddering breath. Once in her car, tears blinded but only for a moment, then she started her car and headed home to Eddie.

~o~o~

Back to the future:

After Barry had stopped speaking, they stared at each other, not saying a word, each thinking about that fateful moment and how things could have been so different if only.

Henry and Joe decided they needed to talk alone. "It's getting late; time to call it a night," Joe said and stood up. Henry also decided to leave.

Iris and Barry snapped out of it. They escorted them to the door and everyone said their good nights with hugs and kisses.

Once the door was closed, they turned to each other. They both hated it when they fought.

"I'm an idiot; forgive me?" Barry apologized and tried to smile then he held out his arms.

She went into his arms. "Of course, I do," she whispered. "Oh, Bear, why do we hurt each other this way? I hate it so much," she whispered holding him close.

He pulled her closer. "I hate it too. I guess because we're both very strong willed?" He replied.

"I know we are; but why were we so stubborn back then?" He guided her down the hall; they checked on the kids on their way to their bedroom.

"Beats me; maybe arrogance I guess; I don't know," he thoughtfully replied.

"Are you talking about my ego?" Iris didn't believe that. Once in their bedroom, they began to undress.

"I didn't mean that to be hurtful. Maybe we were thinking about what we wanted for ourselves, not what was most important to us. Does that make sense?"

She sighed then slipped on her nightgown and climbed into bed. "You may be right. My career was just getting off the ground and you were very involved with Dr. Wells and your superhero adventures."

He climbed into bed and pulled her close. He kissed her temple. "I'm still finding it hard to believe that you knew the truth about me but didn't say anything."

She sighed and tried to explain. "I know it was crazy of me not to say anything, but the way I saw it, it wasn't my place."

"But, Iris, I," he began but she interrupted him.

"Let me finish." She leaned up on her elbow. "We've always had this trust thing going. All of our lives, we looked to each other for encouragement, truth, and acceptance, but everything changed when you confessed and then you decided not to tell me you were the Flash."

"I see," he said and lowered his eyes, feeling regretful.

She stroked his cheek softly. "A part of me felt as if you couldn't trust me to tell me about your feelings years ago, and I felt," she hesitated.

"You felt betrayed, let down, and maybe a little deceived?" He finished for her, but then he felt horrible, knowing all of it was true.

Her eyes watered. "Yeah, a little of all of those things," she finally admitted it.

Her tears made him sad and so very ashamed. "I wasn't thinking about you; specifically, I was thinking about myself, how I had to tell you to make me feel better." He paused as he wiped away a stray tear. "I'm so sorry."

She went back into his arms. "It's Ok, we're Ok now," she whispered and pulled him closer.

"Iris, I don't think you know how sorry I am about the past and what we went through to be together."

"I think I do," she whispered.

"No, you don't. All during my confession, deep down, I actually thought you felt the same way. But then, you didn't say anything, so I left. I thought I had made a horrible mistake; that I had read you wrong, and now everything would be different. I hated myself."

"Oh, Bear, please don't say anymore. We've wasted far too much time and let's not waste any more worrying about the past and all the mistakes we made."

He sighed and pulled her closer. "You're right, but sometimes we need to talk about the past so we won't repeat it," he whispered.

"I agree, but I'm tired now," she whispered and kissed his cheek.

"Get some rest. Tomorrow, I'll go back and make things right; I will."

Iris couldn't help but worry about him, but she was also relieved that things would be set right once and for all.

~o~o~

Daybreak, still in the future:

The next day, May 13, 2025, Barry Allen slowly awakened more determined than ever to correct the past, but as he awakened fully, he turned his head and Iris wasn't in bed. He frowned and checked the clock and it was early. The kids needed to be awakened to get ready for school.

He sat up and looked around and something wasn't right. It was a bedroom, but it wasn't the bedroom he knew or his home either. His heart constricted. "Iris; where are you?"

He jumped out of bed and looked around. "Where am I?" Then he thought of his travels to the past and what must have happened. His vision blurred because he knew exactly what was happening. "No, no, no!"

Upon exiting the bedroom, the entire house was unfamiliar to him. He panicked and ran and opened the first door, hoping all of this was a dream; it wasn't. It was a home office full of equipment, a desk, a computer but no sign of his children and his beloved wife.

This can't be happening, he thought. It was real; all of it was real; Iris, my wife, our home, our children; it was real, but they're gone. No, no, no! He slowly slid to the floor and started to cry as if the world had come to an end. His heart was crushed never to be whole again. He sat there and cried and cried, his heart broken. He was startled when his cell phone rang. He dashed the tears away and ran back into the bedroom and picked it up.

Stunned as he read the caller ID then placed it to his ear. "Mom?"

"Hello, son, sorry to call so early, but I wanted to make sure that we're still on for lunch today. I know how busy you are with your duties with the Justice League and your job with the police. I'll understand if you can't make it, but," she stopped and realized he was far too quiet. "Barry, are you there?"

"I'm here," he managed to reply. It was her voice; wasn't it? It had been so long since he heard her voice. He tried to think, but it was his Mother, and she was speaking to him. I'm dreaming; it must be a dream.

"Barry, I'm worried about you; living all alone with no one in your life. I thought maybe you could get in touch with, what was her name, Iris, yes, Iris West? Your Father and I, God rest his soul, saw how much you cared about her. You two grew up together; attended the same schools, and you two even went out a few times, and," Nora said, rambling a bit. Barry interrupted her.

"She's not in my life now, Mom," Barry managed to say. The truth of those words sent a sharp pain inside his chest somewhere in the region of his heart.

"I know that, son, but you could give her a call, and," Nora began, but he interrupted her again.

"Mom, I have to go," he hesitated, "Just know that I love you … and I always will."

"I love you too, son. I'll see you later?"

Barry was losing it, "Yes, I'll see you soon."

"Goodbye, son."

Tears flowed down his cheeks, he whispered, "Goodbye, Mom."

He hung up then he glanced around the unfamiliar bedroom. "Oh, Iris, what happened to us? This is all my fault, but I will fix this; I will get my family back; I will." He wiped away his tears and blew his nose.

Quickly heading to the closet, he pulled out his costume and then he slipped it on in seconds. Placing a few articles of clothing in a backpack, he made this final trip to find the right timeline that would restore his life and bring his family back home where they belong.

~o~o~

Back to the past:

Barry returned to the correct timeline; which had actually taken several attempts, but he found the right one. He knew this time stream very well, and so with a purpose, he put his plan into action. He would not fail; failure was not an option; not this time.

A few days after their disastrous double date seemed like a good point to finally talk about their feelings. But all during his search for the correct timeline, Iris's voice rang true in his mind:

"Oh, Bear, I love you too, always. Remember that."

"I'm right beside you, Barry always. Remember that."

"The future is not set; it can change in an instant."

"I'm so sorry, Iris. I will get you back; I will."

Barry streaked on with only one thought in his mind. Tears blinded for a few minutes then he thought of his Mother. He didn't remember saving her, but he must have done it at some point in the past. He was now firm in his belief that there was only one way to make things right. Iris would have to be told the truth which meant that he would lose his Mother. It was the painful truth, but he had accepted his Mother's passing for the past fifteen years. There would be no going back.

In the past, he and Iris were consumed by this gaping hole of mistrust, deceit, and anger. Their hearts were broken and wounded, but not beyond repair. He actually believed that with his whole heart.

His first stop was to find Iris and he found her at Picture News working. After catching a glimpse of her, he breathed a sigh of relief. Then he headed to Jitters, knowing that Cisco and Caitlin would be there on a coffee break. It was another way to confirm the timeline. He needed to speak to them about Dr. Wells. He made his way to the upper level and they were positively surprised to see him.

"Hey guys, what's up? Mind if I join you?" He asked and approached them, coffee in hand.

"Barry, where did you come from? I thought this was your day off," Caitlin asked.

"Well, I got bored and decided to meet you guys here. So, how are things?" He asked and sat down then sipped his coffee.

"The same, except," Cisco paused then he leaned in," Dr. Wells is hiding the truth from us," he whispered and glanced around.

"What truth?" Barry asked, but he knew the answer.

"He can walk," Caitlin admitted bluntly.

"What did you just say? But how is that possible?" Barry asked.

"He's from the future, that's how," Cisco said.

Barry acted surprised. "Cisco, now, how did you come to that conclusion and where exactly did you get this idea?" He asked unbelievingly.

"It's true, Barry. Dr. Wells was not in his wheelchair. I saw it myself," Caitlin admitted.

"Maybe he has two different chairs, perhaps?" Barry asked.

Cisco and Caitlin glanced at each other.

"Maybe," Caitlin began to doubt what she saw.

"Did you ask him about it?" Barry asked.

"Well no, I wanted to talk to Cisco about it first," Caitlin replied.

"But why didn't you tell me?" Barry asked and couldn't help but feel left out.

Cisco finally admitted it. "Detective West and I have been investigating Dr. Wells and his involvement with … your Mom's death."

Barry stiffened. "I see; well I have to leave; Joe and I need to talk."

"Barry, wait, you know he's looking out for you and for Iris. He's concerned about how you've been acting lately," Cisco said.

Barry frowned. "What do you mean?"

"Well, this idea of traveling back in time to save your Mother? You truly should rethink that decision," Cisco told him firmly.

He was silent, thinking of the horrible mistake he had made. "I see, so Joe told you my plans?"

"Yes, he did. We know about Iris too and why you've been, you know, trying to move on and Joe doesn't think you're handling it very well," Caitlin said.

He pretended to be shocked. "He said that?"

"Yes, he did, and Iris well, she's not doing well either," Caitlin said.

Inwardly pleased, he was going to reply but then he sensed something. He turned and Iris walked in. She instinctively looked up and she saw him. He stiffened and wondered how he was going to handle seeing her again. The kiss at the lake had screwed up all of his plans to right all the wrongs between them. Another kiss from either of them was definitely off the table.

Iris was shocked to see him at Jitters. She had just left him at the house. "Barry!?"

"I'll see you guys later," he said then he headed downstairs and tried to act nonchalance. "Iris, hey; how are you?" He inwardly winced at that stupid greeting.

She frowned, and then she grabbed his arm and pulled him to a table. "Sit down, Mister; I have a bone to pick with you."

He obediently sat down. "What's going on?"

"What do you mean, what's going on? We just saw each other at the house. You invited me to lunch and we talked, you know, about Dr. Wells," she whispered and glanced around. Iris wondered why he had changed his clothes.

"Oh, I remember," he said and racked his brain but nothing was coming to him.

Iris read him like a book and she couldn't believe it. "You're doing it again, pretending that nothing is going on between us and you know that's not true; first our kisses at the lake, the double date, and now this?"

"Iris, we can't talk here. Can we go somewhere and," he began but she interrupted him.

"I'm not going anywhere with you. Just stay away from me," she said completely fed up. He grabbed her arm before she could leave. He had no choice; he had to tell her everything. It was the only way.

~o~o~

Earlier that day at the lake:

Things were not getting any better and after their disastrous double date the other night, it was time to end it now. The entire evening consisted of them staring at the other, teasing and flirting, first discretely, and then out and out blatant flirting which lead to their 'significant others' to ask questions. There were also moments of awkward stares then smiles as if they had a secret, probably thinking about their 'supposed' kisses at the late and outside of STAR Labs. The evening was a total disaster. They couldn't even finish the first match before everyone called it an evening and went their separate ways.

Barry took Linda home and he left and headed for the lake to think. Then quite by accident, he spotted his doppelganger speed changing. "Hey you; what the hell?"

Future-Barry had just finished putting on his street clothes, and then he stopped and slowly turned to face his doppelganger. Neither said anything, then, "Let me explain."

Barry was so stunned, but he managed to put two plus two together. There was only one explanation. "Who the hell are you?" Then it dawned on him. "Are you from the future?"

"Yes, I am, but," Future-Barry replied. "I'm here to help; that's all."

He wasn't truly surprised then he suspected the truth. "You kissed her; didn't you?"

He sighed. "Yes, I did; it was the only thing I could think of to get you two to talk to each other, but it didn't work."

"I'll say it didn't work; she's barely speaking to me," Barry said, frustrated and worried.

"Look the only way to salvage your relationship is to tell her everything, about me and about you, everything." Future-Barry was steadfast about this.

Barry paced and ran his fingers through his hair. "I don't know, but you may be right."

"Of course, I am. Once she knows, everything will fall into place; I'm sure of it."

He had to know. "Will Iris truly forgive me for lying to her for months?"

His eyes skidded away from him. "She will in time." He watched him for a minute. "She told me about your first trip to the future. You remembered, didn't you?"

"Yeah, I did," he happily replied.

"Then hold on to that." He paused and decided to tell him the truth. "There's something else you should know." After he told him about the other timeline, Barry almost passed out.

It was a nightmare coming true. "My Mother was alive; my Father was dead, and Iris and the kids, they," he couldn't finish.

"Yes, they were gone just like that; no longer in my life. My entire world fell apart, but I had to come back and set things right."

Barry couldn't believe it. "You just woke up and they were gone?" He was completely stunned. He felt a pain in his chest; his vision blurred.

"Look at me Barry, Iris will remember everything. She hasn't forgotten and neither have you. She will forgive you; just be patient," Future-Barry said, firm in his belief.

He shook his head finally accepting the truth. "So, it's true, the future, it was all true; it wasn't a dream?"

"No, it wasn't a dream; all of it was true," Future-Barry replied and grinned kindly at him.

"I just need to be patient; just be patient," he muttered to himself and took a deep breath. "God, I hope, you're right."

TBC!

~o~o~

Song Inspiration: Un-Break My Heart, Toni Braxton.

A/N: Having the two Barry's meet seemed inevitable at this point. Iris and Barry's relationship was so damaged that something drastic needed to be done. I do have to say that the alternate timeline was gut-wrenching to write, but adding that scene actually pulled the entire story together. I hope you enjoyed this update, even though it was sad. The next chapter will arrive in about a week. Thanks for reading, everyone. As they say, reviews/kudos is love!

Chapter Text

Chapter 5: My Saving Grace

Back at Jitters, present time:

Future-Barry would not let her go. "Wait, come with me, I have to show you something."

"I told you; I'm not going anywhere with you. I'm done playing games," Iris said and tried to pull away. "Let go of me."

Then he noticed something. "What is that?" He was staring at the ring around her neck. It was his ring. Oh, yes, yes, he thought.

"What do you care?" Iris was done with him.

"Tell me!" Future-Barry suddenly began to have hope.

Iris was silent for a moment then, "After our double date, I started to think about you and me and how much things have changed, and," she finally admitted it.

"You mean, your feelings, don't you?" She was silent. "Oh Iris, the way you looked at me, I knew you were thinking about us and the way you pushed me toward Linda; I knew it. I could tell you were lying." She seemed shocked. "Iris please, don't deny it anymore. We can't keep doing this. We owe it to ourselves, to Eddie, and to Linda to work this out; whatever it is." He could clearly see she was thinking about it. "Please come with me, and I may have a theory about Wells," he was begging now and that little tidbit just may change her mind.

Iris thought about his words. The double date opened her eyes to a lot of things. She did care about him, no, it was more than that; far more. He was right; it was time to face it and get it all out in the open. And what did he find out about Dr. Wells? "Alright, I'll go," she said then he followed her to her car.

~o~o~

A little while later, at the lakeside retreat:

Neither Barry nor Iris had been back to the lake since their first kiss. But he was there waiting for them in his costume. Just behind a tree, then he spotted Iris's car, so he moved forward so they could see him. He stood there staring at them.

Iris exited the car and glanced at the two men. "Barry?!" She whispered, not believing her eyes. They could be twins, but that didn't make any sense. Too stunned to speak, she just stood there and to see him again in his costume standing before her; her heart swelled with emotion.

She gathered her wits. "You're the Flash, but then," she whispered then she pointed to Future-Barry, "Who are you?"

Future-Barry was stunned for a moment. I'm your husband, he thought then he said, "Let's go talk over there just beyond those trees." He escorted her over to where Barry was waiting for them.

Iris looked at the two men and then asked the obvious question. "How is this even possible?"

"I'll let you answer that," Barry replied.

Future-Barry stood up straighter and prepared himself to explain, but they had agreed that Iris would not be told about the future, specifically about their marriage or their children. But they would have to say something to explain this bizarre situation.

"Well, I'm waiting," Iris said impatiently.

"I'm from the future," Future-Barry finally confessed and waited.

"The future, but," she murmured, and turned to Barry. "You never said anything, but Dr. Wells told me that you traveled to the future." She narrowed her eyes. "You kept this from me; why Barry?"

Future-Barry then said her words back to her. "Iris, the future is not set. It can change in an instant, so there was no point in telling you anything about the future."

"I see, but Barry knows, doesn't he?" She turned to him. "Oh, I see, it's fine for you to know, but not me." It was a statement. She closed her eyes for a moment. "I get it; you still don't trust me with the truth." She was getting upset. "Do you have any idea how much this hurts, even more than all the lies you told me to cover up the fact that you're the Flash?"

"Iris, you don't understand. The future will be there, no matter what, but trust us, believe in us, and we'll get there. We just have to believe it; that's all," Barry told her firmly.

She sighed. "I honestly don't know what to think." She looked at the two men. "I'm living in a science fiction novel, but it's all true."

"Iris, I'm sorry for not telling you that I'm the Flash. I wanted to, but Joe was insistent and I went along with it, then everything spiraled out of the control," Barry admitted.

"My Father," she sadly stated. But to lie to his own daughter to protect her, and she supposed Barry would do the same because he loved her. She never doubted that; not for a minute, but now she wasn't sure about any of it.

Barry came closer. "Tell me you believe me." She was silent. "That first night on the roof when I came to see you. You were so sweet and understanding and I knew that I couldn't love you any more than at that moment." His eyes watered. "But I was wrong. The night that we named the Flash together, I felt this connection, something that we never had before; it was wonderful."

Future-Barry also remembered those moments, as well. He turned from them and walked over to the shoreline. He took a deep breath and blinked to clear his vision, but he could still hear them.

"Oh, Bear," she whispered remembering.

"And then later, when I gave you the ring, and then I told you that I loved you, and," he stated, but Iris interrupted him.

"Why are you telling me this?" Then she thought about it. "Are we together in the future or not?" She paused becoming emotional. "Am I still with Eddie? You told me the day I moved out, remember? You said we were still friends, but I was happy with Eddie. Is that what you're trying to tell me?"

It was too much; Barry turned from her. "I can't do this."

She grabbed his arm. "Why won't you tell me?" Then she thought the worst. "Am I dead?" Her voice was flat and lifeless.

"No, no, Iris you're not dead," he quickly replied.

"Why should I believe you? You could be lying to protect me." She then turned to the other one. "Do you have a photograph of me in the future?"

He couldn't lie to her. "No, nothing recent," Future-Barry sadly replied.

She understood. "So it's true; I am dead." Then she had an epiphany. She grabbed his arm and turned to Barry with a pleading expression. "I don't want to be with Eddie. I want to be with you." Holding back tears, she pleaded with him, "Please, I need to be with you; you're my future. Please, tell me the truth." A lone tear flowed down her cheek.

Barry couldn't take it anymore. He pulled her tightly to him. "You're with me, Iris, not Eddie Okay? Stop crying, just stop." He briefly opened his eyes and Future-Barry was gone.

After he helped Iris to her car, changed his clothes then he took her to his place, where she belonged.

~o~o~

A little while later, Barry's new apartment:

Iris was holding him close. He carried her into an apartment building. "Where are we?"

"It's my new place. I moved in not long after, you know," he replied. Waiting for the elevator, he tried to explain, "Joe was pretty fed up with me. My working hours as the Flash are pretty wild and," he began.

"Not to mention your bachelor life." She felt him stiffen. "I shouldn't have said that. I understand about wanting a private place that belongs to you." Then she thought about it. "Does Linda know about this?" She then had visions of him bringing her there. She didn't want to think about it; she pushed the jealousy down. She hated feeling this way, but it was not surprising.

"No, Iris, no one knows about this place, except Joe, of course, and you," he quickly replied.

She hid a smile at that response. They entered the elevator up to the fifth floor. He took her hand they entered a rather large two bedroom apartment. Iris was surprised at how big it was. The kitchen and dining areas were spacious. There was no furniture in the living area, but there was a king size bed in the master, and a home office was set up in the other bedroom. "This is nice, Barry, but why don't you have any furniture?"

Standing next to him like this, watching him out of the corner of her eye, she realized why he had done this. She was still amazed she hadn't figured it out until he had revealed himself only a few short months ago. He was quiet, not looking at her. But she looked at him; really looked at him.

"Were you waiting for me to decorate this place?" He didn't answer her. "I …I can't believe it's really you; all this time."

Barry didn't answer her question about waiting for her; he didn't really need to. He had other things on his mind, like apologizing, then, "I'm sorry, Iris. I have quite a few apologies stored up for you."

She tried to smile. "Well, you are incredibly good at it."

They both smiled. "It's strange being here with you like this." He followed her into the kitchen then into the master bedroom.

Barry was thinking maybe it wasn't a good idea to bring her there. "Iris, you wanted to be happy and I didn't mean to stand in the way of that."

"I know you did." She pulled herself together. "We need to talk. You start."

He took a deep breath. "Ok, about Dr. Wells, things are not the way they seem," he began.

She frowned. "What do you mean; what did you find out?"

"It's true that he's been acting strange, keeping secrets about his disability, and Future-Barry told me some things about him."

"What did he say?"

"Dr. Wells is not the man in yellow, but he is a speedster, just not like me."

"But if he's a speedster, then is it possible that there is two of him as well?" She asked putting it all together.

"Yes, I believe it's true. You see, Iris, because there are two of us, it's possible that the future and the past can collide and sometimes it can cause paranoia. Changing the past to the way you want in order to change the future; it can become an obsession. Dr. Wells knows about me in the future and about us. I think he wanted to protect not only me, but you as well."

"That's fascinating, but when I asked him about the explosion being intentional, he denied it, but I think it was. He needed you to exist. It all makes sense."

"You're very perceptive, but I think you're right," Barry thoughtfully said.

"I also believe he's struggling between what's best for you and what's good for everyone in the Central City," Iris said and then paced for a minute.

He frowned as he read her mind. "Iris, you agreed not to print any of this; remember?"

"I won't, but I have to tell Mason about all of it," she replied.

"No, no, don't tell him; just write about me and what I'm trying to do, find the evil speedster. That should be enough for your story. Then later, we can talk about Future-Barry and how he fits into all of this."

She thought about it. "Alright, I won't mention him or the future."

He was relieved. "Now, there was something else I wanted to talk to you about."

She glanced at her watch. "Can it wait; it's late, Barry, and Eddie is probably looking for me."

Shocked, he stiffened. "You're going back to him?"

"No, I'm not going back to him. I know where I belong, but I have to explain why it's over between us." She came closer. "He knows about us; it won't be a shock." At his confusion, she continued, "The double date opened everyone's eyes, including Linda."

"Oh yeah, the infamous double date; who could forget that?" He came closer and looked into her eyes; he wanted to kiss her so badly, but instead he said, "We should go."

He also wanted to tell her his suspicions about Eddie, who also may have an evil speedster in the future. But it may be too much all at once. She knew about their future together, Future-Barry's sudden appearance and his new place, well, it was enough for now.

She took a deep breath. Understanding their need to part ways. Their attraction was palpable, but she was still upset about Eddie, what's to come, and everything else that was revealed to her. Her eyes watered, but they were happy tears.

He tried to reassure her. "Iris, I don't know what will happen but just know … I'll always be here for you. I'll always care about you."

She felt the same way about him. He was reckless and a bit too cocky, and far too handsome for his own sake, but she did care, far more than she realized until now. She closed her eyes and when she opened them, the look on his face was compelling. Sanity returned. "Oh, Bear; what am I going to do about you; about us?"

He grinned and then he made a decision. "Let's just take it one day at a time?"

She reached up and touched his cheek then her hand moved to the back of his neck and pulled him in for a kiss.

He returned her kisses, and then he decided to stop this before something happened. It was time for them to go. After a minute, he pulled away, "You're a very special lady, Ms. West."

"You're the one who's special Bear. You're the Flash, a red streak of hope, watching out for us and I don't think I've said it before, but I'm very proud of you."

He really needed to hear that. "Thank you, Iris."

"You're very welcome," she whispered, and touched his chest.

He placed his hand over hers and squeezed reminding him of when he saw her again after the coma. He would never forget it. "Are you ready?"

She glanced around his place. "Yes, I'm ready."

He took her hand. "Let's go."

A little while later, Eddie was home then he happened to look out the window and he spotted them exiting her car. He frowned and wondered where they had come from. She actually walked over to him, leaned up and kissed his cheek. He watched as Barry left her standing by her car and she didn't seem to be in a hurry to come inside.

His heart began to pound from jealousy, fear, and few other emotions he refused to acknowledge.

~o~o~

Back to the future:

It was after midnight when Barry arrived back home to his wife and kids. Without disturbing the children, he tucked them in and kissed their foreheads. Eyes watering for a minute, he entered their bedroom and Iris was asleep. He undressed and slipped into bed and pulled her into his arms. She snuggled close and whispered. "Welcome home."

His eyes watered again. "It's good to be home." After a few minutes, he was getting excited. Iris was kissing his cheek and his throat.

"Hmmm, I missed you," she whispered between kisses. Before he knew what was happening, she pulled his head down and kissed him thoroughly slipping her tongue into his mouth thrilling him and turning him on.

Iris was in heaven, and he was home where he belonged. No more trips to the past; no more. Their future together was secure and she couldn't be happier. He pulled away and stared into her eyes. Her heart melted just by the look on his face. She loved him with her whole heart.

Barry's breath left his lungs at the mere sight of her. She was there with him. Her long hair was hanging about her shoulders waiting for him to touch it, to touch her, all of her before he could speak again, Iris came into his arms.

He closed his eyes and pulled her close. She kissed his neck, his ear, his cheek, and then she pulled his head down and kissed him again. He couldn't resist her even if he wanted to. He kissed her back forgetting what he was going to say. Barry was lost. This is their future. This is their forever, and ever. "Umm, Iris?" He tried to speak past his pounding heart.

Barry was in heaven too. She tasted and felt so good to him. 'Good' wasn't a word he would use to describe how he was feeling right now. He pulled her close as his mouth closed over hers. Her lips parted under the pressure of his tongue as it slipped inside her mouth, demanding a response. She melted against him. He kissed her thoroughly, as she came into his arms whimpering her need.

His lips moved down her neck where he sucked lightly at her skin, and she tilted her head to the side to give him more access. Iris knew his need, felt his hunger in the intensity of his kisses. His excited moans and rapid breathing fueled her own desire and she clung to him, trying to pull him closer. His fingers moved to her center, as Iris gasped into his mouth and arched her back. "Please!"

He couldn't wait anymore. That word, along with her tugging motion on his erection, finally spurred him into action. He positioned himself at the entrance of her body and thrust home in one smooth glide. And then he was kissing her again, his mouth slanting across hers in a deep, consuming kiss as he began to slowly move in and out of her lush body.

He loved her, needed her with every fiber of his being and knowing that she returned that love with an equal intensity made his heart swell with unparalleled joy. His body moved at just the right angle to pleasure her and him, as they began that climb until they reached the highest peak, soaring together through the heavens.

Finally spent, he lowered his weight to rest gently on top of her, pressing tender kisses to her lips, her cheeks and her eyelids. As their breathing returned to normal, they lay together, Iris' head on his chest and their legs entwined. Iris sighed against his chest feeling content and happy.

Even though she was drifting off to sleep, she couldn't wait to tell him what happened. "Well, should I say what happened or can you wait until morning?"

He was almost asleep. "Humm?"

"You heard me."

He sighed. "You're dying to tell me, so go ahead."

"Well, it all started when you, Barry and I had a chat out by the lake."

He inwardly groaned. "Tell me I did not do that."

"Yep, you sure did," she said and chuckled.

"I don't want to hear anymore. You can tell me at breakfast."

"But, I want to say it now," she whined barely holding in a laugh.

"Why are you so cruel to me? I honestly did not want to meet him, but it couldn't be helped."

"Right, you probably planned the whole thing."

"I certainly did not," he said with a straight face.

"You truly are too much," she chuckled and snuggled closer.

"Go to sleep."

"Yes sir," she said and smiled. Iris lay within the circle of her husband's arms hoping to make light of what happened to them in the past. Pulling him closer, her eyes watered remembering her terror of possibly dying without being with him or not facing the truth about her feelings. It was time; way past time for both of them to trust in each other and their future together.

Barry sensed she was holding it in for his sake. "Everything is going to be alright; our future is set; I made sure of it." He pulled her closer loving his life, his home, and his family. He knew now what was most important.

He loved being the Flash, but nothing compared to having someone special to share it with. It was a hard lesson to learn, but he learned it and so did Iris. He wasn't ready to tell her about the other timeline without her and their children. He didn't think he could ever work up the courage to say it. It may be my secret forever.

He kissed her temple and pulled her closer. "I love you, Iris," he whispered. But she was already asleep.

He closed his eyes confident in their future and whatever happened, they would be together, always.

TBC?!

~o~o~

Song Inspiration: Halo, Beyoncé.

A/N: That was difficult, especially Iris trying to reconcile her real feelings about Barry and the future he witnessed. Eddie's jealousy shouldn't be a surprise. He suspected Barry's feelings months ago, but, of course, Iris denied it, but apparently, that wasn't the end of it. Stay tuned for more. Thanks for reading, everyone. As they say, reviews/kudos is love!

Chapter Text

Please be warned: From this point to the end of the story, spoilers/speculation for unaired scenes ahead. Read on!

~o~o~

Chapter 6: Through the Storm

The next day after the encounter at the lake:

Barry entered STAR Labs with a bounce to his step. He'd spoken to Iris a short while ago and Eddie knew the truth about them. He took it badly, but she would be moving out and back home to her Father's house that evening. Excited and thrilled beyond belief, he quickly told his friends the news.

"Wow, really?" Cisco asked, stunned a bit.

"Yeah, she's moving tonight; isn't that great?"

Cisco and Caitlin glanced at each other.

Dr. Wells had a rather odd expression. Barry took it wrong. "What is it? What's going on?" Barry asked. "I thought you guys would be thrilled about us getting together. She loves me and I love her. It's always been that way."

"We know that Barry, but something has come up about … the yellow speedster," Cisco replied.

"What; have you found him?" Barry asked, coming closer.

"Yes, we have, and you may want to sit down," Dr. Wells replied.

Barry stiffened. "Just tell me."

"We think he's connected to … Eddie Thawne," he lied.

Barry relaxed but decided not to tell them about his future self. "I suspected it."

"You did, but Iris could be in danger. We have to get her away from him like right now," Caitlin said actually worried about her.

"He won't hurt her," Barry said, convinced of it.

"But the yellow speedster could hurt her; they're connected," Cisco also stressed his point.

"I think it's a stretch, but," Barry began.

Caitlin and Cisco glanced at each other. "We've been investigating what happened to Simon Stagg. He's missing and the police were here a little while ago."

Harrison spoke up. "It's purely a coincidence that I visited Stagg on the night he died."

Everyone glanced at each other. "And you think the yellow speedster could be behind it?" Barry asked.

Harrison picked up on something. "I think it's possible." It was a statement.

"Well, you have been acting strange lately; you can't deny," Caitlin voiced all of their concerns.

"It's only because I'm concerned about Barry and about Iris. The yellow speedster seems to be fixated on you Barry and your family, and that includes Detective West."

Frustrated, Barry ran his fingers through his hair. "We're sorry about doubting you, but everything has been so crazy lately. I just keep worrying about Iris," he admitted. He didn't mention Joe's suspicions about him being at the house that night, and that he may have killed Staggs, although he denied all of it.

"Barry, we have to do something about this. Someone is going to get hurt, and," Cisco began.

Barry stiffened. "You mean, Iris, don't you?"

"Yes, Eddie is closest to her, I mean, besides her Father," Caitlin said and winced at Barry's expression.

He narrowed his eyes. "That's going to change; the sooner, the better," he stated more determined than ever to keep her safe.

~o~o~

Meanwhile, later that same evening:

The double date fiasco would not leave Eddie's mind. It was patently obvious that something had changed between his girlfriend and Barry Allen. She didn't deny it, explicitly, and so it grew in his mind like some insidious disease that he was going to lose her. He vehemently rejected that idea, but the doubts were still there. After a rather awkward and tense dinner at the apartment, Eddie invited Iris out for a walk to talk about their double date among other things, meaning Barry Allen.

"But it's freezing outside and," she hesitated.

He stiffened and whispered, "You what?"

She did not want to argue with him. "Let me get my coat," she replied and followed him.

They drove into town and entered an area that was unfamiliar to her. "What is this place?"

"Don't you recognize it? It was where I asked you to go out with me for the first time. Don't you remember?"

"Oh yes, of course, I remember," she replied, but most of that time of her life was a blur. Barry had been in a coma for about a week and she was desperate for the companionship, plus he was a good friend.

They walked along a raised walking bridge. He took her hand. Neither of them had on gloves and it felt awkward and strange. Iris knew he felt it too. She tried to smile as they walked along. He stopped suddenly and turned to her.

"So, it's over; isn't?" Eddie asked without preamble.

Her eyes watered. "I'm so sorry."

He stiffened, but in his heart, he did have a small amount of hope that it wasn't true. He turned from her and tried to be strong. "It's Barry, isn't it?"

She couldn't lie to him, not anymore. "Yes, we love each other. I'm so sorry," she said it again.

He turned from her looked out over the bridge. "I can't change your mind." It was a statement.

"Eddie, I'm truly sorry," she said and tried not to cry. She actually did love him but as a friend.

He took a deep breath. "Please stop saying that," he snapped.

His voice startled her. He was angry and she was suddenly afraid, having never seen him angry before, not like this.

A voice came to her out of nowhere and it was vaguely familiar. She and Eddie both stepped back. "Don't you come near her," Eddie spoke as if he knew this man.

Iris was stunned but terribly afraid. It was the yellow speedster and his eyes seemed to glow a bright red. She gasped and backed up. Eddie did the same.

The yellow speedster suddenly grabbed Eddie by the throat. "Stay out of my way and you and your girlfriend will not be harmed."

"She's not … my … girlfriend," Eddie barely got the words out.

Shocked and appalled, Iris stared at Eddie with something akin to shame. Does he hate me that much?

"Well now, the truth is finally out." The yellow speedster leaned down directly in his face. "You don't deserve her. You never did." Then everything happened in slow motion. Eddie was lifted up and thrown over the railing and then he landed on the hard ground in an awkward way then he was still.

Iris screamed. "Eddie!"

The next thing she knew the yellow speedster was directly in front of her. It happened so quickly, but then she blinked and then he was gone. She blinked again and Barry was there in front of her.

She went into his arms holding him close. After a minute, she pointed to the railing. "Eddie, he," she couldn't finish.

"I'll go check on him. Don't move, Okay?"

She nodded, unable to speak. Barry quickly headed down the embankment. Eddie was alive but barely. He checked his pulse, then pulled out his cell phone and called 911.

Eddie's eyes flooded open. "Iris, is … she … alright?"

"She's okay, relax; the paramedics are coming; you're going to be Okay." Barry turned and the ambulance had just pulled up. Minutes later, he was carefully loaded onto a stretcher and taken to the hospital.

Barry escorted Iris there and waited for Joe to arrive, and then he changed and returned to the hospital to wait for news about Eddie.

~o~o~

In the hospital, a little while later:

Iris, her Father, and Barry were there waiting for word. Eddie was now in surgery. About an hour later, the doctor approached them and they thought the worst from the look of his face.

"He has a concussion and he hasn't awakened yet. He also has a punctured lung, bruised ribs and his right arm is also injured. But he will recover."

Everyone sighed with relief.

"Does he have any family to call that you know of?" The doctor asked.

Iris thought he should say something and so she did. "His parents live here in Central City, but I haven't called them yet. I wanted to wait for news." She glanced at Barry. "I'll call them now." No sooner had she said that and pulled out her cell phone, and then she fainted.

Barry caught her before she could hit the floor. "Iris, Iris, wake up!"

She awakened moments later. "That was strange." Then she glanced at Barry. "Do I know you?"

Barry glanced at Joe. "Yes, I'm a friend; my name is Barry Allen. What's your name?"

Iris was drawing a blank. "I don't know. What's happening?" Her eyes watered; she was in a panic.

"Everything is going to be alright." He helped her to stand. "Here, sit down for a minute." Barry took charge of the situation. He spoke to the doctor first. "We'll contact his parents."

"Thank you. Is your friend Okay; maybe we should?" The doctor began.

"We'll let you know; thank you, Doctor," Barry replied.

Joe sat down beside his daughter. "Iris?"

Iris blinked then she touched her chest. "My name is Iris?" She glanced at Barry. "It must be true."

Joe's eyes filled with tears. "Yes, your name is Iris West and me … I'm your Father."

"I'm sorry, but I don't remember." She was going to cry. "Why don't I remember?"

"You will in time and Barry and I will be here for you," Joe said and took her hand. She didn't pull away.

She glanced at Barry then cocked her head to the side. "Are we really friends?" She asked shyly.

"Yes, we are," Barry barely got out. "I … umm … I need to contact a friend of yours, but I need your phone. May It?"

"Yes, of course," she replied and handed it to him. She did seem to trust him.

Barry called Eddie's parents, then, "Joe, could I speak to you privately?"

"Is this about me?" Iris asked. They nodded. "Please don't shut me out. Something is wrong with me and I need to know what happened."

"Sure, but I need to speak with the doctors first about your problem. And then we can decide what to do; Okay?" Barry asked her permission.

Iris didn't know why but she said it anyway. "I do trust you, Barry."

"Thanks, Iris. I'll be right back." He left them alone. He tried to keep his composure. He called his friends at STAR Labs. He spoke to Joe about his suspicions. "The yellow speedster did something to Iris's brain and Dr. Wells may be the only one who may know why this happened. Was Dr. Wells the yellow speedster, or was he someone else?" Barry had no answers and neither did Joe.

He also spoke to the nurses on duty about head injuries and amnesia. She recommended a doctor who was also on call that night who may be able to help them.

A half-hour later, Iris was admitted to the hospital only a few doors down from Eddie. Shortly after that, his friends from STAR Labs showed up. Barry explained everything to them. They were utterly and completely shocked.

"Why would he hurt her like this?" Caitlin asked, apprehensive about Iris.

"He knows that Eddie and Iris had broken up," Barry replied, and suspected that the yellow speedster did this to hurt him. Apparently, he knew about his feelings for Iris. That was the only explanation.

"And Eddie got caught in the middle," Dr. Wells stated.

"Apparently, so, but we won't know until Iris gets her memories back and Eddie is ready to talk to the police. Then, we'll know what actually happened," Barry said. He felt awful about not getting there in time to help them both. "So tell me, Dr. Wells, how did he do this to her?"

"How would I know that?" Dr. Wells played innocently.

"We know about you," Cisco stated.

"You know what?" Dr. Wells asked, still playing innocent.

Barry was getting upset. "We don't have time for games. We know you're hiding something about the future and about speedsters."

He raised his eyebrows. "Are you insane?"

"I saw you in the future. You can walk, so get out of that chair and help me help my friends," Barry stated firmly.

He had no choice. It appears that Barry does not know his real name, nor that he does not have a dual identity, so he played along. They all waited for him to stand up and he did.

Joe had just come from Iris's room and he witnessed Dr. Wells stand on his own two feet.

TBC!

~o~o~

Song Inspiration: That's How Strong My Love Is, Alicia Keys.

A/N: That was very hard to write because amnesia is so tricky, but it will be devastating for them. The trick is finding a catalyst to restore memories and I have to say I haven't figured that out quite yet. So, we have to deal with this uncertainty for a while. I feel awful putting them through this, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. We may be winding down, I think. We'll see what happens. Thanks for reading, everyone. As they say, reviews/kudos is love!

Before we move on, here are a few thoughts about 'Out of Time.' Well, the kiss and the reveal happened and it was glorious. I'm also very relieved about Cisco. Whew! Now, as far as Barry inadvertently reversing time, erasing the kiss and the reveal, well, I won't be writing how that may play out. I'll watch those episodes the same as everyone. My story parallels only that Iris remembers and Barry does not; so in my fiction, all of that has been resolved. I sincerely hope Barry doesn't return to the past to try and save his Mother. But we'll see what the writers come up with in the coming weeks!

Chapter Text

Remember, we're still in spoiler/speculation mode. So please be warned!

~o~o~

Chapter 7: I Will Be the One

Moments later, still at the hospital:

Shocked and appalled, everyone stared at Dr. Wells, and then everyone sat back down and waited for an explanation.

"So, it's true, all this time, you've been lying to us," Caitlin stated what they were all thinking.

"Let me explain." Dr. Wells wanted them all to know the truth; well part of the truth.

"Alright, start talking," Joe said. But he was impatient, worried about Iris and her amnesia or whatever it was.

"It's true; I am from the future," Dr. Wells confessed.

"But I saw you in the future myself. How can there be two of you?" Barry asked even though he suspected the truth.

"That's a real question," Dr. Wells stated, then, "The answer is yes," he lied. "One in the past and one in the future; Barry knows what I'm talking about."

Everyone glanced at Barry. "Yes, it's true. We met not too long ago, here in present time."

"You're joking right?" Caitlin asked shocked. He was silent. "You're not joking." She couldn't believe it.

"Yes, it's true. He contacted me, quite by accident, and explained the reasons why Iris and I were at odds, but we straightened everything out." He paused. "She was going to … break up with Eddie."

Dr. Wells had a feeling that was the case. "Barry, sometimes speedsters have two identities, past, and future. And sometimes when this happens, things tend to get confused about where they belong. Their minds get distorted about where they may end up and they also get angry and," he tried to explain.

"So, there are good ones and bad ones?" Cisco summarized the situation.

"Yes, and it appears the yellow speedster is outraged at you and Eddie and it seems Iris was caught in the middle."

Barry put it all together. "He killed my Mother, and now he wants to hurt Iris as well." He paced in front of them. "He could have killed them both. I should have been there."

"Please don't blame yourself. He was determined to hurt them. There was nothing you could have done," Joe said hoping to help him.

Moments later, a doctor came over to them. "Mr. West?" He asked.

Joe stood up. "Yes, Doctor, how is she?" He asked coming forward.

"Your daughter appears to have seen a shocking or unacceptable situation which may be too painful to remember, and it's then retained only in her subconscious mind. The technical term for this is repression." At their shocked expressions, he continued, "We did a brain scan and there seems to be no physical reason for her amnesia. It appears to be caused by trauma. I believe her memory will return in time. She needs stimulants from people and places that she knows and she will recover."

Barry and Joe had tears of relief in their eyes. "Can we see her?" Barry asked.

"Yes, you can sit with her." He paused. "She's asking for Barry," he replied.

Joe nodded. "Go on in," he said.

"Are you sure?" Barry asked.

"Yes, go on now," Joe whispered and gave him a shove.

After Barry had left, Joe turned to the Flash team. "Thank you all for coming." He shook his head so worried about his family. "This yellow speedster, he's determined to destroy Barry's happiness and we have no idea why he hates him so much."

Dr. Wells sighed. "I may have the reason," he said, hoping to deflect their suspicions away from him and onto Eddie.

Everyone stared at him confused by that comment.

~o~o~

Meanwhile, in Iris's room:

Iris was anxious, worried, and edgy thinking about what was going to happen to her. Her memories were still elusive. She was standing by the window. It was dark outside just like her mind, blank and totally empty. All she could do was concentrate on her feelings. She felt as if she were inside a long black void. There was no light, nothing to live for, nothing to give her any hope, but the one light she sensed she needed and wanted was out in the hall or she thought he was. Where was he? For those few minutes they were together, she had sensed they were more than friends but maybe she had been wrong about that.

Clothed in a hospital gown and a robe, looking impatient and ready to leave this place, but where would she go? Pulling her robe tighter around her, she felt alone, lost, and so very unhappy. Tears welled up, and then she reached for a tissue and tried to stay calm, but she was terrified.

She turned at the sound of someone entering her room. It was him and the way he looked at her, something inside lifted and for some odd reason she felt relief. "You're still here?" It was clear that she was definitely relieved to see him.

Barry was stunned at his emotions upon seeing her like this and her reaction to seeing him again. A part of him, an enormous part of him, wanted to pull her close and tell that he loved her; that he would never leave her; no matter what happens. But inside, he felt as if he were losing her all over again; he desperately needed her to remember. Their entire lives were inside her mind waiting to come out and there must be a way to bring those memories back; there has to be.

He came closer and whispered, "Yes, I'm here; how are you feeling?"

Her eyes watered. "I can't remember anything; there's nothing there," she sadly replied then she couldn't hold it in anymore; she broke down.

He couldn't bear it, then he rushed over to her and pulled her into his arms. "It's alright," he told her and stroked her hair; the feelings welled up inside of him, causing him to pull her closer. "It's Okay; you're going to be Ok. Don't cry; please don't cry. You'll have me in tears if you don't stop," he whispered teasing her a little, but his eyes were blurry too.

She awkwardly pulled away and after a few more sniffles, she wiped at her eyes. "I'm sorry; I'm just afraid that I'll never," she couldn't finish. He interrupted her.

"You will remember, but it will take time. The doctors are sure of it."

Her eyes brightened in spite of her tears. "Truly?"

"Yeah, honestly," he replied. "You should rest for awhile." He helped her get settled then he pulled up a chair and feeling bold, he took her hand and she didn't pull away.

She stared at him; her eyes roamed over his face, trying desperately to remember. Then she cocked her head to the side, and whispered, "Are we more than friends?"

He was a bit stunned, but he couldn't lie to her, not anymore. "Yes, we are."

"How long have we known each other?" Iris had a feeling it must be a long time; not sure where that thought came from.

"Our whole lives, actually," he replied thinking of all their wonderful memories.

"Oh, I see; that's a long time," she whispered feeling so many things. Of course, she knew about love but was he the one who truly loved her or was it someone else? She had to know, "You're in love with me … aren't you." It was a statement. Her heart pounded with dread or excitement, she wasn't sure. She waited breathlessly for an answer.

The way she phrased it, it sounded as if she wanted it to be true. Maybe she sensed their closeness; that was the only explanation for all of these questions. "Yes, I am, very much so," Barry replied firmly. He shouldn't get his hopes up, but he couldn't help it. Maybe she was just curious; which was Iris through and through.

She didn't believe him, not at first. "You're not just saying that to make me feel better … are you?"

"No, I'm not. I honestly can't remember a time when I didn't love you, and that's the truth," Barry replied.

She needed to know more, but for some reason, what he might say terrified her. But she was determined to find out, then, "I'm in love with you; aren't I?"

"Yes, you are," Barry replied, knowing in his heart that it was true.

Suddenly nervous, she whispered, "Wow; that's a lot to take in."

Now Barry was worried. "I'm sorry, maybe I shouldn't have told you."

"No, it's Okay really; I'm Okay." She looked so relieved that Barry had to smile. She smiled at him but only for a moment. But then, Iris suddenly had a headache. Her mind was in turmoil. Memories of him confessing his love for her months ago came into her head, but the pain was unbearable so she pushed it away. She was in agony. "Arghhh, it hurts; it hurts!"

Barry panicked. "I'll go get the doctor." He also rang for the nurse; then rushed from her room. The nurse came forward. "Please help her; she's in pain." He managed to say; his eyes watered.

Joe came forward. "What happened?"

Barry was terrified for her. "I don't know; we were talking and she just leaned back and grabbed her head. She's in pain, Joe, a lot of pain." He paced back and forth. "I don't want to leave her, but I have to find him, Joe; I have to. He wanted to kill her, but seeing her like this; he knew. He knew this would devastate us." His head began to pound. "What's happening?" He managed to sit down.

"Barry, what's going on?" Joe was concerned about him.

"I don't know, but the pain seems to be subsiding." That was odd, he thought.

Minutes later, the nurse came out to see them. "The doctor gave her a sedative, and she's resting. She'll be out for a while."

"Joe, you go and please stay with her. She's so afraid, but I have to leave." He was thinking maybe telling her about their feelings brought on the pain. He hoped that wasn't the case, but it hurt him to his soul to see her like this and to think he was the cause of it; it was too much.

"Of course, I understand," Joe said and left him to be his daughter.

~o~o~

The Flash team approached him. Cisco had a thought. "Barry, I was wondering about your pain, that you and Iris were suffering together. That was actually weird."

"Yeah, I know, and I certainly can't explain it," Barry said.

Dr. Wells didn't find it strange at all. "You two are connected in more ways than love Barry."

Barry frowned. "What do you mean?"

"You and Iris are like these ancient beings from decade's past and the future that always manage to find each other, but it's never easy. The fates always pull you apart, but then there you are again, back together. So, you feel her and she feels you. It can't be changed and it can't be denied," Dr. Wells thoughtfully replied.

"Wow," Caitlin muttered. "Barry, you and Iris are blessed. I'm happy for you."

"Happy? Well, I'll try and hold that thought," he muttered genuinely worried about them.

"I know you're worried, but don't give up; have faith. Ronnie and I found each other again."

Cisco touched her shoulder. "He'll be back; he will." He hoped to keep her spirits up.

"I know, but it's hard sometimes," Caitlin said holding it together.

"I have to find him somehow. Please help me find him," Barry begged his friends.

"Let's head back to the Lab and this time, we won't fail; I can promise you that," Dr. Wells said.

They headed to the Lab, determined to find the yellow speedster.

~o~o~

Unfortunately, Barry had one stop to make before he returned to the Lab. He had to see Linda. He called her first and she was at home. He knocked, closed his eyes and waited. She opened the door for him.

"Hey, Linda," Barry said and walked inside.

"Hey yourself," she said and closed the door behind him. It was written all over his face. "I know why you're here. It's about the double date; isn't it?"

"Yeah, about that," he began.

But she interrupted him. "Barry, I'm not blind. It was obvious that Iris has feelings for you and you still care for her; don't you." It was a statement.

"Linda, please believe me; I do like you very much, it's just," he couldn't finish.

"You love Iris." It was a statement.

"Yeah, I do. I wanted to get to know you and maybe, you know," he started and realized how lame it sounded.

She chuckled. "Well, there's no need to explain. Love is like that; believe me I know."

He needed to get to the Lab, but he needed to tell her about Iris. "Well, I should probably say this; it may be all over the news tomorrow."

"What is it?" Linda asked.

"Eddie and Iris were attacked by a meta-human, a yellow speedster, similar to the Flash. They're both in the hospital. Iris has no memory of us, of our lives in the past and Eddie will survive, but barely."

"How horrible for Eddie and for Iris. So, she has no memory at all about her life?" Linda was stunned.

"No, none at all." He sighed heavily and rubbed his tired eyes trying not to break down.

"Oh, Barry I'm so sorry," she whispered and touched his shoulder. "If I can help in any way, please let me know."

"Thank you, Linda; it means a lot. And one more thing, Iris hasn't been at Picture News very long, and," he began.

"Don't worry about it. I'll make sure her job is secure," Linda said, giving him a sad smile.

"Thank you, Linda." A moment, then, "Well, I have to go."

"Of course," she said and tried to smile.

"Goodbye, Linda."

"Goodbye, Barry." She escorted him out.

~o~o~

Back to the Lab:

On his way there, he called Joe. Iris was still asleep. Joe had checked up on Eddie and the doctors indicated that he would be waking up soon and then he could be interrogated. Barry wanted to be there when that happened. Joe assured him that he would call as soon as Eddie was cleared to speak to them. Barry hung up.

Once inside the Lab, there was no bounce to Barry's step. In fact, it felt as if the world was out to destroy them. They were holding onto each other for dear life but would it be enough to keep them together? At this point in time, he began to have doubts. Was all of this my fault? Is Iris better off without me in her life? Just the idea sent him into throes of pain and regret. He couldn't live his life, not without her.

"How's Iris?" Cisco asked.

"No change; still no memories of her life; nothing is there; nothing," Barry sadly replied.

Everyone glanced at each other. "She will recover; I'm sure of it," Dr. Wells spoke the truth for a change.

"I hope you're right, but it could happen again if we don't find this guy," Barry said firm in his resolve to find him.

"Are you sure the yellow speedster is Eddie's future self? It all sounds far-fetched to me," Caitlin said.

"Yes, he is. I don't know who else it could be," Barry replied.

Cisco was quiet, far too quiet. Dr. Wells picked up on it. "Cisco, do you have any thoughts on this?"

"Well, maybe; you see, Detective West and I were getting close; very close to who the yellow speedster could be and," he thoughtfully replied then he hesitated.

"And?" Dr. Wells prompted.

He glanced at Barry and Caitlin. "It's nothing; just a hunch," he finally replied.

"Cisco, we need every idea, every suspicion, anything to catch this guy; now please, what were you thinking?" Barry asked.

"Well, it could be another speedster. I get the feeling that there are multiple ones, not just Eddie." At their curious glances, he continued, "Think about it. In the future, there are lots of ways to simulate speed and maybe people found a way to duplicate you, Barry, or someone who has similar powers. Anything is possible."

"Anything is possible," he parroted. "You may just have a point." Then he thought about what his future self and what he had told him about speedsters. Dr. Wells was depowered so it couldn't be him, but he never mentioned any other speedster in the future. But that didn't mean that they didn't exist. The next question that entered his mind had him utterly terrified. Was it possible that all speedsters from the future were evil out to destroy him or just insane, wrecking mayhem and death? He prayed it wasn't true.

But before he could think more about that question, his cell phone rang; it was Joe. Eddie was awake and ready to make a statement.

"I have to go. Eddie is ready to talk to the police. Please keep me informed about your hunch, Cisco. I think you may be onto something." Then he was gone.

Dr. Wells was silent as he watched Barry leave. He had been so tempted to kill Iris, but their children needed to be born. It was the only way to secure his future and his plans. Iris's memory loss would definitely buy him some time, how much time depended on Eddie and his desire to keep Iris to himself.

~o~o~

Back at the hospital:

Barry rushed inside and checked in on Iris. He slowly opened the door and Joe was there. "How is she?" He whispered. She was still asleep; he could see that.

Tears blinded then he couldn't resist; he smoothed her hair. She instinctively turned her head to the side and murmured his nickname, "Bear."

Barry was losing it. He covered his mouth with his hand. Joe touched his shoulder. "Let's go outside."

Barry had to be shoved from the room. "That one word gave me hope."

"Yes, it's a start. Barry, look at me. I did speak to Eddie briefly, but he won't talk to anyone else, except you."

Barry wasn't surprised by this. Eddie knew they were a couple now. He's probably furious with him, but he was recuperating from his injuries and did not want to start an argument. He sighed. "Alright, let's go."

~o~o~

Eddie was sitting up in bed. His chest was wrapped in bandages, his arm was in a sling and his head was covered. Intravenous medication was being pumped into his arm. He looked like he had been hit by a truck.

Joe and Barry glanced at each other.

"Are you ready to talk now?" Joe asked.

"Well, I suppose I am," he replied staring at Barry. "How's Iris?"

"She's going to be fine; just tell us what happened out there," Joe asked.

Eddie had asked around and he found out about Iris and her amnesia. He was a vengeful man and so he lied. "Did she tell you Barry that she wanted to stay with me?" He smirked at him.

"What are you talking about?" Barry asked.

"Oh, that's right, she doesn't remember. She wants to be with me, and when I'm ready to leave the hospital, she's coming home with me; not you."

Barry stiffened. Joe held him steady. "You're lying."

"I don't think the doctors will agree with that. She was with me when she was hurt; not you. She's lived with me for months; not you. She loves me; not you. She told me that on numerous occasions." At his apparent shock, he turned the knife. "Actually, we talked about getting married and having children."

"You're lying; why are you lying?" Barry was beginning to think that it was true. Eddie was actually evil.

Joe had to put a stop to this. "Eddie, just tell us what happened."

He sighed. "Iris and I were taking a walk. She held my hand, and then after she confessed that she had made a mistake about you, we were attacked by the yellow speedster. I've seen him before at S.T.A.R. Labs, but he said a few things to me," he continued and realized he may have said too much.

"What did he say?" Joe asked.

He lied again. "He said that he knew that Iris and I were together in the future and he wished us well, but in order for that to happen, Iris's memories had to be erased. I begged him not to, but he did it anyway."

"You knew he was going to hurt her?" Barry wanted to kill him at that moment. "You're insane."

"I tried to stop him; I did try," he said bringing up false tears. "We fought but I was no match for him. He threw me over the railing like I was a ragdoll. I thought I was going to die." He wiped at his eyes.

Barry and Joe glanced at each other. "That's all for now," Joe said. "We may have more questions for you later."

"Of course, I'll help in any way that I can," he said but that sentiment did not reach his eyes.

Barry was furious; he wanted to strangle the man.

TBC!

~o~o~

Song Inspiration: After All, Al Jarreau.

A/N: Sorry to end it there. I sincerely hope we've seen the last of him, but I guess not. Eddie is not a good man; he coerced a grieving Iris into his bed and took advantage of her kindness. Barry and Iris are being bombarded by both sides to keep them apart. Will their love survive this war, and believe me it is a war? Stay tuned for more in about a week. Thanks and please leave a comment/kudo if you get a moment. Thanks so much.

Chapter Text

Remember, we're still in spoiler/speculation viewpoint. So be warned!

~o~o~

Chapter 8: This Time Around

Minutes later, still at the hospital:

Both stunned by Eddie's statement, Joe and Barry left him alone.

Out in the hall, Barry was at a loss. "I can't believe he said those things."

"I don't believe him for a second and neither should you," Joe said, actually shocked by Eddie's demeanor. He felt as if he didn't know him; not at all.

Confused and upset, Barry ran his fingers through his hair. "I know she loves me. It's in every look she gave me. You didn't see her in my apartment. She didn't actually say it, but it was there in her eyes."

"Your apartment, but when was this?" Joe asked.

Barry felt uncomfortable for a moment. "Yesterday evening; after she confessed her feelings, I took her there to talk. It was entirely innocent, but she did kiss me," he confessed. At his surprise, then, "She knows about our agreement, Joe."

"I see," Joe said but he wasn't worried. Iris will forgive him in time. He touched his shoulder. "I understand, Barry, but," he hesitated, then, "What Eddie said was true. He technically has a claim on who takes her home."

"But you're her Father. She's not married to him; they're just living together," Barry said desperately hoping it wasn't true.

"Barry, she's an adult. But I'll check on that and let you know. You should go in to see her. She may be waking up soon."

Barry sighed and pulled himself together. "Thanks, Joe." He poked his head in and Iris was awake.

She sat up and to her shock she sensed something was wrong. "I can see you're upset. What is it?"

Barry was relieved to see her looking so well. "Nothing is wrong. How are you? I'm sorry for not coming back to see you right away, but my job … and." He stopped and realized she was grinning at him. "What's so funny?"

Iris felt he was avoiding her, but why? "You're lying; I can tell."

Things were looking up; he could feel it. "Well, maybe a little."

"But why; why would you lie to me about that? Didn't you want to see me?"

She sounded hurt and Barry felt horrible. Seeing her like this, it was painful to think that she doesn't remember anything about their life; their love. It hurt so much, but it wasn't about him; it was about her and what she was going through. Instead of answering her, he walked over to the window and looked up at the sky. He swallowed and tried to gain his composure. "You have no idea how much."

She left the bed and walked over to him. "I think I do because I wanted to see you too."

He closed his eyes with that statement and then he felt her touch his shoulder.

"I missed you, Barry. I can't explain it, but I did."

"Oh, Iris," he covered his eyes and tried hard not to cry.

He needed her and it felt right. She couldn't explain it; didn't understand it, then, "It's alright," she whispered hoping to make him feel better. The feelings welled up inside of her. It wasn't unfamiliar. It just seemed right.

"I'm Okay," he admitted and awkwardly stepped away from her. "We shouldn't; I mean."

She sighed. "I know; I need to remember everything, not just you and me, but my Father, my job, my home, and." She frowned. "Wait; I do have a job; don't I?"

"Yeah, you do; don't worry. Your job is secure. It will be there when you're ready."

She was so grateful. "Barry, I … thank you." She wiped at her eyes, stared at him and the longing to be in his arms was overwhelming. So, she decided to put some distance between them and went to stand over by the bed.

He followed her but didn't stand too close. "Do you remember anything at all?" Barry asked, desperate for something more.

She frowned. "No, I don't," she replied and she could see how much it hurt him. She felt horrible. "I'm sorry."

"No, no, it's not your fault. The memories will return in time. You're going to be Ok."

Iris wanted desperately to believe him. "You sound so sure."

"Trust me Okay?" Barry needed that above everything.

"I do; I do trust you," she admitted and tried to smile then she remembered. "Barry, there was something. Earlier tonight, it happened just before you came back."

His eyes lit up. "What was it?"

"I woke up and I could see images at first, but a few things came back."

"Like what?" He encouraged, happy for her.

"I remember another man. His hair was blonde; his face was a blur. It's all jumbled in my mind."

Stunned, Barry stiffened and stared at her at a total loss as to what to say. He pulled himself together. He definitely wasn't ready to talk about Eddie. "I know you don't remember us or our past, but believe me, it's there, you and me. And in time, you will remember. We do love each other very much."

Deep inside a place that knew of such things, she sensed he was telling her the truth, but a part of her was still confused. "I don't know what to say."

He decided not to push her, but just when he thought he was beginning to get through to her, he turned at the sound of the door opening.

It was Eddie, in a wheelchair, and a nurse was behind him.

~o~o~

After a few moments of stunned silence, the nurse moved further inside. Unsure if she should leave them alone or not. She did sense animosity toward Mr. Thawne. "Should I leave or?" She asked.

"I'll be Okay; thank you, nurse," Eddie replied. He should have been surprised to see Barry in her room, but it actually wasn't a surprise.

Iris stared at him, but it wasn't the reception he imagined. She obviously didn't recognize him. "You don't remember me; do you?" He paused for effect. "I'm your boyfriend," he stated bluntly.

Barry stiffened. He turned to Iris. "Iris, he's not your boyfriend. You broke up with him last night, and."

She backed away from him. "Both of you can't be my boyfriend. Someone is lying; but who?" She looked at them, then her head began to pound, not as bad as before, but she couldn't do this. "You should both go; I have a headache." Not looking at them, she climbed into bed and pulled the covers up to the chin. She wanted to ball her eyes out.

Barry was furious. He turned to Eddie. "Let's go, right now."

"I need help please," Eddie said indicating the chair.

Barry sighed and wheeled him out into the hall. The nurse was still there waiting for him.

"I'd like a word with Mr. Thawne, please," Barry said.

"I'll just wait right over there," the nurse said and headed to the nurse's station.

"You have no right to be here with her. It's over between you two," Barry stated.

"Not according to Iris. She doesn't remember either of us, so you have as much chance with her as I do."

"Iris is in no condition to see us fighting over her. Her mind is fragile right now and you aren't in any shape to help her," Barry said.

"I can speak for myself and she needs to know the truth. I'm sure you're pumping her full of lies about you two. She will come home with me and there's nothing you can do about it."

They were about to go at it. Joe stepped between them. "This conversation is over."

"Nurse?" Eddie called and then they headed back to his room.

~o~o~

Barry calmed down a bit. He then explained to Joe about Eddie and his evil speedster.

"Dr. Wells had a theory and I'm inclined to believe him. It's the only explanation. Eddie knows the future and everything about his life here, including Iris. He hates us, Joe. All this time he was pretending to love and care for her, when his ultimate goal was to destroy all of us."

Stunned, Joe slowly sat down. "What did you just say? That's crazy."

"I'm sorry, Joe, but it's highly likely that the Eddie that we know has been lying from the moment he arrived in Central City. He may not remember that he's a speedster, but his future self is a very powerful man, intent on causing all kinds of pain for all of us."

"Wait a minute, his future self? How far in the future are we talking about?" Joe asked.

"Long after you and I were born, centuries maybe, but he's here in the present, and his future self is damaged. He's a psycho, determined to destroy me and the ones I care about, my family including my Mother, you and now Iris."

He shook his head to clear it, "So what you're saying is that Eddie pursued Iris to … to keep you away from each other?" Joe couldn't believe it.

"Yes, Joe. He was using her. But our future together; he couldn't let that happen."

"This makes no sense, but you believe all of this? Wells could be making this up to divert suspicion from his part in all of this; I still suspect him."

"I do believe him, Joe. Who else would want to hurt us this way?"

Joe closed her eyes trying to take it all in. "That's the key, Barry, but I don't understand why, why does he hate us? Eddie is my partner; yes, he did pursue Iris, but apparently, she thought he was a good guy, and," Joe said rambling a bit, trying to understand Eddie.

"I don't have an answer to that; he's just a dangerous man." Joe was quiet. "I thought he was a good guy too. I just wanted Iris to be happy and if that meant being with someone who was good for her, then I was willing to step aside," Barry admitted although it pained him to say it.

"I know you did," Joe said with sympathy. "But I don't see how we could possibly arrest him. You saw his injuries, and without Iris's testimony, we have to take him at his word."

"How about a lie detector; he's lying about his feelings for Iris and why he came here to Central City?"

"Barry, he hasn't committed any crimes that I know about. We can't prosecute him for something his 'evil twin' may or may not have done."

He stood up agitated and so worried about Iris. "She can't go with him; I won't allow it."

Joe's eyebrows rose. "Now, Barry, calm down; we'll figure something out." He also paced for a moment. "Let me make a call." He dialed the D.A.'s office and spoke to a friend. "Yes, I'll hold." He held up his hand to stop Barry from talking. Joe then went on to explain to his friend about Iris and Eddie. "Yes, I'll wait."

"He's checking the law now," Joe told Barry. "Yes, go on. I see; are you sure?" He sounded relieved. "Thanks, Matt, I'll call you later. We have good news for a change. Because Iris is virtually childlike, and because she's not married, her closest relative should have custody. I know she's an adult, but her mind is the key, Barry, nothing else."

Barry was so relieved; he wanted to cry. He glanced at the door. "She may not want to see me." He paused. "She remembers Eddie."

"She does?" Joe was stunned.

"Yeah, a little, just his blonde head, as far as I know, but."

"That is a good sign. She may remember what happened at the bridge. I think it's key to all of this."

"I hope so," Barry said still staring at the door.

"I'll go check with the Doctor to see when I can take her home."

"Alright, thanks, Joe," Barry said.

He watched him move down the hall. He had to see her and explain. He poked his head in and she was crying. "Oh, Iris," he whispered.

"Go away," she managed to say.

"I'm so sorry, but all those things I told you; it was true and I meant every word; please believe me."

She wiped at her eyes and turned to stare at him. "I want to; I do."

He came closer. "Believe it, because all of it was true."

Her eyes roamed over his face. "Oh Bear," she whispered.

He grinned. "That's my nickname. You've called me that for years since we were little." His eyes watered.

"How little?" She asked curiously.

"About this high," he replied and pointed to midway up his chest.

"But you're really tall," she stated the obvious.

"Yes, I am," he said.

"How tall are you?"

"About six one, I think," he replied. He came closer and pulled up a chair. "May I?"

"Go ahead," she replied needing to know more. Sitting up a little straighter, she had so many questions for him, but the other one refused to go away.

Barry sensed she had questions for him. "Ask me anything?"

"Even about the other one?" She asked and watched him squirm. "We don't have to talk about him if you don't want to."

"No, it's alright; ask me anything," Barry said.

"He said he was my boyfriend. Was that true?" She needed to know about the other one. Her feelings toward Barry were instantaneous which she still didn't understand.

He had to tell her the truth, although it pained him. "You broke up with him hours before you were attacked. I know because you called and explained everything."

"I see," she whispered.

"Iris, I know this is confusing, but," he began.

"I don't want to talk about him anymore."

"Then you believe me?" He held his breath and waited.

She didn't know why, but, "Yes, I do; I do believe you."

Moments later, there was a knock on the door. It was the Doctor.

"I spoke to your Father, Ms. West. I have your release papers and a prescription for you. Please return to the hospital if your headaches continue or become more severe. Use these only if you need them, one every six hours should help. They will help you get some rest, as well."

"Thank you, Doctor," Iris said. She took the prescription from him and signed the release papers.

"I see no reason why you can't go home tonight. Your Father will see to your care. Please return here in two weeks. Hopefully, your memories will return before that time. If so, please call and let us know."

"Yes, of course, I will; thank you."

Barry shook his hand. "We'll take care of her."

Things were awkward for a moment. "Well, I'll let you get dressed; Joe and I will be right outside."

"Thank you, Barry, for everything," she said and tried to smile.

"Don't thank me; just get better." He smiled then left her alone.

~o~o~

A few days later:

Iris had been at her Father's house now for several days and her memories hadn't returned. Joe and Barry were at their wit's end. They had hoped that being back at the house would help restore her memories.

That first day back was hopeful. She did remember their last Christmas and a special ring, but that was it. Barry was thrilled when he found out. He wanted to be there for her every day, but that wasn't possible.

His search to find the yellow speedster was the only thing he could do to save them; to keep their future together. He even considered returning to the future to get the real story about Dr. Wells, but it was a just a thought. The first trip wasn't planned; it just happened, but to do it again, he couldn't risk it. If he couldn't return, it would spell disaster for all of them.

As far as he knew, Eddie was still in the hospital, but he would be leaving in a few days to stay with his parents for at least a week. According to Joe, he was in no shape to return to the force.

A few days later, Barry had an idea and it just may work. The lake retreat was the key to everything that had happened to them in the past month. Taking her there could trigger something; anything that could regain her memories.

Iris was reluctant; Joe was unsure, but Barry convinced them that it may work. They truly had no other options.

~o~o~

Back to the lakeside retreat:

It's now been over a week since the attack on the overhead bridge. It was early evening and most of the spectators were gone.

Iris and Barry had become close. She trusted him; believed in all of the stories of their past lives. They actually grew up together in the same house; her Father's house. Joe West was her Father. There was no mistaking the love that emanated from him.

The same could be said for Barry; it was written all over his face, but it was different with him. She felt different when he was near. Every time he came to see her; he tried to hide it, but it was there nonetheless. The stories of their friendship over the years gave her hope that one day she would remember all of it. She actually hoped so.

Barry decided to drive and after exiting her car, they climbed the hill, but Iris didn't seem to want to move any further. He brought his bag just in case. It was just them and a few other people, but they were leaving.

"Are you Okay; we're almost there?" Barry asked.

He was looking for a secluded spot to talk. "I don't know; why did you bring me here? I thought we were going to my job at Picture News."

"I wanted to talk so more," he replied. "It's not far, here, come with me," he said and held out his hand.

Iris wasn't sure about this, but she did trust him. She took his hand. They reached the top of the hill and looked out over the lake.

Barry sensed her apprehension. "Do you remember anything?" He asked.

"I don't know. What am I supposed to remember?"

Barry felt deflated, but he wouldn't give up. "Well, you and I, and someone else talked right over there just beyond that tree. Do you remember?"

"Someone else?" She narrowed her eyes remembering. "I'm confused, but it was you, wasn't it?"

"Yes, it was, but the other one was a little older than me," he replied then he waited.

Her eyes lit up, remembering. "He said he was from the future, is that right?"

"Yes, what else do you remember?"

"I remember feeling sad and afraid to face the truth," she replied. Her eyes filled with tears.

"What truth, Iris?" He took her hand.

"The truth about you and me," she managed to reply.

"Go on," he prompted.

She swallowed. "What you said in the hospital, that we loved each other. It's true, isn't it?"

"It's true, Iris, we do," he said. "Do you remember anything else?"

"The bridge; the bridge; I remember what happened." Her eyes watered again.

"Here, let's sit down for a minute." He took her hands in his. "Go on."

"Eddie denied me. The yellow speedster assumed he was my boyfriend but Eddie refused it, and then," she couldn't finish. He pulled her close.

But before she says anymore, a voice came to them and it was him, the yellow speedster. His voice was disguised, but it was familiar. "Well, well, isn't this a cozy scene?"

They stood up moved further away. "Get behind me, Iris!" Barry instructed. He then twirled into his costume.

Iris gasped then she began to remember everything about that day and more.

Barry had the cold gun in his bag, but he would wait for the right time. All kinds of things were running through Barry's mind, but the one thing that stood out was, 'He won't get another chance to hurt her.' "Don't you come near her; I mean it."

"It's not her I want; it's you!"

"You got me!" Then they streaked toward each other.

"NO, BARRY, NO!" Iris screamed.

Then they fought; crashing into each other; rolling around on the ground. Their speed made it seem like a blur to Iris. All she could see was red and yellow streaks of lightning. It went on and on. Iris had her hand over her mouth. They were going to kill each other.

Terrified, she screamed again, "PLEASE STOP!"

TBC!

~o~o~

Song Inspiration: It's Not Over, Daughtry.

A/N: I'm mean; sorry about that. The fight rages on, but who will get the upper hand? You have to come back in a week to find out. Thank you for reading. And please leave a comment/kudo if you get a moment. Thanks again.

Chapter Text

Remember, although I'm still speculating about spoilers, what's ahead in this update is massive and it could happen in the finale. So please be warned. I can't stress that enough!

~o~o~

Chapter 9: Long Time Coming

Seconds later, still at the lakeside retreat:

Suddenly, the fighting stopped. Barry's lip was bloody and his eye was swollen. Unfortunately, the yellow speedster had gotten the upper hand; he was choking him. Everything had been moving so fast that Barry was unable to retrieve the cold gun, but Iris did.

Stunned by the fight, Iris had only a few seconds before the unthinkable happened. She spotted the gun, grabbed it, and with only a few moments before Barry would be choked to death, she fired the gun.

Frozen for a moment, the yellow speedster collapsed on top of Barry.

Iris rushed forward fearing the worst. "Is he dead?"

"No, he's not dead, just immobile, but I don't have much time," he replied then glanced at Iris and she was shaking. "Are you Okay?"

She glanced at the gun. "I think so."

"You saved my life, Iris." Barry was so grateful. "I have to take him to STAR Labs," he urgently said.

"Go and I'll meet you there!" Iris said and tried to smile.

Then they were gone in a flash.

Still holding the gun, Iris was so stunned by what had just happened that she froze for a moment. Then her cell phone rang. Pulling it from her pocket, the answered the call. It was her Father. "Dad?"

"Iris, are you still at the lake with Barry?" Joe asked.

Iris finally gathered herself together. "Dad, Barry and the yellow speedster, they fought and … Barry managed to capture him and they ran off. Barry took him to STAR Labs."

Joe realized that Iris must have her memories back. "I see, you should meet us there, but do you know where that is?"

"Yes, I know." She paused. "Dad, I know everything." She let that hang.

Joe didn't want to get into that now. "I'll see you at the Lab. Goodbye, Iris."

"Bye, Dad." She hung up and headed for her car.

~o~o~

Minutes later, at STAR Labs:

When Iris arrived at the Lab, Barry was there, holding the yellow speedster captive. He was in chains on the legs and on his wrists. She was so relieved that he was still alive. She sensed Barry's hatred, but he hadn't killed him. He wanted to do it; she had no doubts about that. She then handed the gun over to Barry.

Holding the cold gun, it was time for the reveal, and then Barry removed his mask.

Joe, Iris, Caitlin, Cisco, and Barry all gasped, shocked to see Dr. Wells.

"Well, this is not a surprise," Joe finally spoke up.

"Dr. Wells?" Caitlin and Cisco spoke at the same time. Staring at them; he was silent.

Barry was stunned by all of this. "Nothing to say?" He was still silent, then, "Why; why did you kill my Mother?"

He didn't reply. Barry cocked the gun, meaning he was willing to kill him and no one would blame him.

"I was after you; Nora got in the way," Harrison finally replied with no remorse.

"But that makes no sense. I was upstairs; my Mother was alone and unprotected. She was no threat to you, and I was just a child." Barry thought about it. "There's more to it; isn't there." It was a statement.

"Nora was the key to you finding out the truth. I couldn't let that happen," Harrison stated.

"What truth; what are talking about?" Barry asked.

"My name is Eobard Thawne. I was trapped here fifteen years ago. I needed you to exist, but I had another problem." He paused. "Eddie is your brother; your twin brother," he stated shocking the entire room.

"What did you just say?" Barry was shocked. He glanced at Iris.

Iris caught his look. "I had no idea," she stated also stunned.

"How is this even possible?" Joe asked.

"Nora had twin boys, but one was given to the Thawnes without her knowledge." At their totally stunned expressions, he continued. "Eddie grew up with the name Malcolm, but it was changed. He had to keep you away from Iris for as long as possible." He paused at their silence. "He did not have a happy childhood, but he resented you, Barry. Unfortunately, that hatred found its way to Iris. He wanted her, and," he continued.

"SHUT UP!" Iris screamed at him then she covered her ears and ran from the room.

"IRIS WAIT!" Barry ran after her. He caught her in the corridor.

Tears blinded. "He used me; he came between us on purpose. He wanted to keep us apart."

He took her by the shoulders. "It didn't work. Do you hear me? It didn't work." He clutched her to him tightly.

"Oh Bear; don't let go, please don't let go!" She cried holding him close.

"I won't ever let you go; I promise," he stated firmly. He pulled away and stroked away her tears. Then he leaned down and kissed her sweetly at first, and then they were kissing as if their lives depended on it. They couldn't get close enough.

After a minute or two, Barry was the first to pull away. Breathing sharply, he rested his forehead against hers. "As soon as Dr. Wells is settled, we're head to my place," he whispered, his meaning clear. "You remember everything, don't you?"

"Yes I do," she replied and gave him a smile.

"Come on," he said, and with his arm around her shoulder, they headed back to the main Lab.

"Are you alright?" Caitlin asked coming over to them.

"She's okay," Barry answered for her.

"What about him?" Cisco asked.

So many questions were running through Barry's mind. "Does Eddie know that we're brothers?"

"Yes, he knows," Dr. Wells replied.

Iris buried her face in Barry's chest.

He pulled her closer. "So, it's true; he wanted to keep us apart." It was a statement.

"Yes, and you'll find out eventually. Eddie is my … great-great-great-great, grandfather."

Everyone gasped at that statement. "But he doesn't know who you are?" Joe asked.

"No, he doesn't know about me," Harrison replied.

"I have a question," Caitlin said. "Was the particle accelerator explosion an accident?"

"No, it wasn't," he confessed. Iris glanced at Barry. It all made sense.

Caitlin and Cisco were furious but not entirely surprised. It made everyone sick inside at what this could mean.

Joe was trying to understand. "So the meta-humans are here because you needed Barry. That was the only reason." He paused. "But I don't understand. You were a brilliant scientist. Why would you intentionally hurt all of those people? This entire city is suffering because of you."

Harrison was silent for a moment. "I never intended for all of those people to be harmed, but there was no other way for the Flash to exist; no other way." He sounded regretful. Everyone was shaking their heads.

"You were thinking of yourself, but you changed all of our lives," Joe stated the truth.

Barry felt horrible. "Part of this was my fault if only." He couldn't finish.

"Don't say that Barry. None of this was your fault. You help them as best you can. That's all any of us can do," Joe said.

"What are you going to do with me?" Harrison asked. On the outside, he was calm and collected, but inside he was terrified. I'll go crazy if they put me in that place.

Barry glanced at his friends. "Any ideas?"

"I think he should be depowered and placed inside a real jail cell. Do you agree Detective West?" Cisco asked.

"Good idea, Cisco," Caitlin definitely agreed.

Joe thought about it for a minute. "We do have his confession and," he began, then he turned to Barry, "Do you know what this means?"

Barry's eyes lit up like the sun. "My Father; he can be released, right?"

"Yes, it may take a little time." He paused for a moment then turned to Cisco. "But how would you depower him?" Joe asked.

Barry handed Cisco the gun. "We'll think of something. In the meantime, let's go," Cisco said and pointed toward the cell block.

Head down, Eobard stepped that way. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Caitlin followed them.

Barry pulled Iris close to his side. "Iris and I, well, we need to talk," Barry said and stared at her.

"Just one more thing," she said. "Dad?" Iris went to give her Father a hug.

"Oh, sweetie; you remember? I'm so happy for you," Joe said, holding her close. "So, you and Barry worked things out?"

She pulled away. "Yes, I remember, and Barry and I we're together now." She decided to let him off the hook. "I don't blame you for keeping Barry's secret." She shook her finger at him. "But if you ever keep something that important from me again," she stated and narrowed her eyes.

"Oh, I learned my lesson," Joe said and smiled.

"Good," she said and returned his smile.

Hand in hand, Barry and Iris left the Lab.

~o~o~

A little while later, in Iris's car:

They were both quiet both thinking about Eddie. "You want to do a DNA test; don't you?" Iris asked.

"It wouldn't be difficult. Cisco can help us."

"Barry, I don't think you should. I think you should drop it." At his surprise, she took his hand. "It will only open up more questions about him, and if he isn't willing to discuss it, then," she said.

"I think I know how to find out the truth and he won't lie to me."

"You mean your Father, right?" Iris knew the answer.

"Yeah, my Father will tell us the truth."

~o~o~

A little while later, at the prison:

Henry was completely surprised to see Iris and Barry on the other side of the glass. "Barry, Iris, what's happened? I mean, why are you here together like this?"

"Dad, this is Iris, my … she's," he stopped unsure what to say.

"I know who she is, son. Hello, Iris."

"Hello, Mr. Allen," Iris said a bit shyly.

A few moments of awkward silence, then Barry spoke up. "Something has happened Dad. There's a man here in Central City. His name is Eddie Thawne. Do you know who he is?"

"No, I've never heard that name," Henry replied.

"Please Dad, think really hard about this; it's important," Barry stressed.

"I'm sorry son, but I don't know any Thawnes." Barry appeared upset. "What is this about?" Barry was silent.

Iris spoke up. "Mr. Allen, Eddie Thawne and I dated for nearly a year, mostly during Barry's coma, and we found out recently that Eddie and Barry may be twins."

"What, but that can't be," he said, but then it dawned on him. "Oh my god!" He gasped, stunned by the impossible truth.

"What is it, Dad, what do you remember?" Barry asked.

"Nora was pregnant with twins, but one was stillborn. At least, that is what we were told."

"But, I don't understand, why would they hide a child from you and Mom?" Barry was getting upset. "I had a brother and he was taken from us. We need to find out why this happened." Iris touched his arm to give him some comfort. He took several deep breaths to calm down.

"I have the doctor's name, but he was a mature man when you were born, Barry. He may not be alive, and."

"Give me his name."

Henry told him his name. "Barry, I'm just as shocked as you are, and your Mother was devastated by the loss of her other son."

"I can't believe this," Iris muttered. "We need to find out the truth."

"We will," Barry stated. He shook his head to clear it. "I do have some good news."

"What is it; we definitely need it," Henry said.

"We have the killer in custody. He confessed to killing Mom."

"You do? But who was it; who killed your Mom?" Henry asked.

"His name is Eobard Thawne. He's a speedster from the future."

Henry frowned. "So, he's like you?" He let slip that he knew the truth.

"So you know about me?" Barry asked, but he wasn't surprised, not really. His father was very intuitive.

"Yeah, I know. But I can't believe this. He came from the future to kill your Mother, but why?"

"He said he wanted to kill me, not my Mother."

"But you were an innocent child, Barry. I don't understand," Henry stated shocked and upset.

"He's insane Dad. He wanted me dead. He also wanted Eddie with Iris, not me. Mom must have gotten in the way of his plans."

Henry's head was spinning with this new information. Then he smiled from ear to ear. "So, I'm getting out of prison and I have another son. I would say it was a good day."

"Yeah, you could say that," Barry said and tried to smile.

Henry sensed Barry wasn't happy about it. "Barry, I'm sorry that Eddie tried to come between you and Iris. Maybe he was confused by his feelings and," Henry began.

"Don't make excuses for him. He did it intentionally. He resented me because he knew who his real parents were and all of that hatred fell on me and on Iris."

"I'm sorry, son, I didn't mean that he didn't know what he was doing, but," Henry began.

"Mr. Allen, Barry and I are not at the point of forgiveness for Eddie. He did and said horrible things to both of us," Iris said.

"Forgiveness can be difficult, but it's not impossible." Henry actually believed that.

The guard indicated that was a time for them to leave.

"We'll be in touch. Goodbye, Dad."

"Goodbye, Mr. Allen," Iris said.

"Goodbye son, goodbye Iris," Henry said.

Then they were gone.

Henry frowned at son's apparent demeanor, but then he had to smile.

Barry's twin is alive. He's alive.

~o~o~

Later that day, at Jitters:

After leaving the prison, Barry hadn't said much. They were sitting opposite each other, sipping coffee. "What are you thinking?" Iris asked.

"I don't know what to think. I suppose I could understand why my parents never told me about Malcolm or Eddie or whatever his name is."

"I can understand it as well. There truly was no point."

"Well, I emailed Cisco about that doctor and I'm waiting to hear back." Just then, he got the text from Cisco. He read it out loud. "Dr. Gilmore died about five years ago under mysterious circumstances. His office was closed soon after that. Apparently, he was a drunkard and a few patients filed lawsuits against him."

"Wow, was he murdered?" She paused and thought about it. "But for him to do this to your parents? That's horrible," Iris stated.

Barry thanked Cisco and hung up. "I wonder how he died," Barry thoughtfully said.

"Maybe it was natural causes." She watched him for a moment. "I know what you're thinking. You think it was Eddie, don't you?" She paused and realized what she had just said. "I can't believe any of this," Iris stated shocked by the thought of Eddie being a murderer.

"We do think alike," Barry said.

"No, I can't believe it," Iris said convinced it wasn't true.

Barry decided not to get upset by her apparent misplaced faith in Eddie. He did not, however, feel that way. He sipped his coffee. "We should leave. You have a job and I need to check in with Joe and at the Lab."

"You're upset, aren't you?" Iris said and put on her coat.

Although it pained him to do so, he decided to keep an open mind. "Look, I won't pass judgment until we find out more about this Dr. Gilmore and how he died."

"I guess I can live with that," she said, watching him carefully.

They left Jitters but things were a bit strained between them.

~o~o~

Later that evening, at Barry's apartment:

Iris was actually nervous about being alone with him like this. Barry sensed this and decided not to push her. He left her in his home office and headed for the kitchen. "Are you hungry!?"

"I'm okay!" She replied and touched the microscope she'd given him for Christmas.

She spotted the photograph, the same one she had in her desk drawer at the office. Of course, she would glance at it every day as if she needed to see it, but she didn't really need to. He was always there inside her mind, teasing her, making her laugh. Her eyes watered.

"Here you go," he said and handed her a glass of wine. "Are you Ok?"

"I'm alright, just feeling a little nostalgic." She picked up the photograph.

"When you picked it up and took it with you, I thought, well, maybe she really would miss me, just a little."

She shook her head at him. "You knew exactly why I took it."

He seemed shocked. "I did?"

"Yes you did," she replied and smiled. "Barry, I wanted to thank you for not giving up on me, and I guess I didn't want you to."

"I would never do that," he stated firmly.

Things were awkward for a minute. "Well, what should we drink to?" He was becoming emotional. "Barry?"

He pulled himself together. "To us!"

"Yes, to us!" They took a sip and then the air in the room stilled. They glanced at each other from over the tops of their glasses.

He came closer and took the glass from her. He suddenly picked her up, surprising her, and took her to his bedroom.

"I thought we were going to talk," she whispered, staring at his lips.

"We'll talk, sure; we can talk," he whispered then he set her down. "You lay on that side and I'll just lie down over here; just like old times."

Iris chuckled and did as he said. "I remember Barry; all of my memories are back." Suddenly shy, she then mentioned their first kiss.

"But that was the other one; it wasn't me," he said feeling a sad about that.

She chuckled. "It was you in every way that mattered; it was you." She paused, thinking about the kiss. "And besides, when you kissed me, it made me feel special, cherished and worth it."

"Oh, you're worth it alright; don't ever doubt it." But he also relieved that she didn't hold it against him. "You're amazing, do you know that?"

She smiled and shrugged but accepted the compliment.

He took her hand and squeezed. And so, they talked about the past, the present, and the future. But then she needed to talk about Eddie and so she did.

"Barry, I know it will take a long time to forgive Eddie for what he did to us, and I honestly don't know if we can." She paused as she thought about him. "When I was with him, I was little clueless about what to say to him. I think he knew all along about us, that there was something between us. But he took it as though we were learning new things about each other and we didn't want to step on each other's toes, and not be an idiot."

Barry also confessed. "It was the same with Linda and me."

"It's strange to hear you speak of her that way. I was jealous."

"I know you were, and I was jealous of Eddie, but I was determined to move on. Talk about being an idiot."

She sighed. "That's behind us now. It's just; I couldn't talk to him not like we do. All that time, I was still trying to figure out who he was, how we fit together." She stared at him. "I wanted to be happy for you Barry; I really did."

They turned to each other. "I know you did, and I wanted the same thing for you." He paused to gather his thoughts. "It's just for so long I thought it was going to be you and me. It was strange but when I was with Linda, I felt as though I was cheating on you."

"Oh Bear," she whispered and squeezed his hand.

"I guess I did a pretty damn good job of messing things up for us. I mean what little chance we had; I blew it by confessing my feelings."

"Bear, I don't blame you, not anymore." She paused as she stared at him. "You know something; you're the best friend I ever had. I finally stopped taking myself so seriously." They both chuckled. "No one could make me laugh the way you do."

"Or make you cry as often as I did," he said knowing that was true.

"Well, you can't have one without the other," she whispered believing it. "You know, you and I, we've grown up, haven't we?"

He stared into her eyes. "Yeah, we have." He paused as he stared at her lovely face. "I tried to give up on you, but I just couldn't," Barry whispered. He reached up and smoothed her hair behind her ear.

She closed her eyes and touched his hand on her cheek. They continued to talk most of the night and then they both fell asleep.

TBC!

~o~o~

Song Inspiration: Worth It, Whitney Houston.

A/N: Well, they needed a breather, but yeah, that's a lot to take in. I know it's confusing about Barry and Eddie being twin brothers, but it kind of makes sense. I wouldn't think the show would reveal these truths so soon, but I never imagined that Dr. Wells was actually Eobard Thawne. What a shock! As far as the rest of this chapter, it's just wishful thinking on my part. But I'm very excited to see what happens next for our speedster and his lady love! One more chapter to go! Thanks again for reading.

Chapter Text


 photo 7c390686-5825-43fb-85b1-8050d23ca29b_zpswmxsmfcf.jpg


There are mild spoilers in this chapter. Read on!

~o~o~

Chapter 10: All That I Need

Barry's apartment, present time:

The next morning, dawn was breaking, and Barry was awakened by sobbing. It was Iris. Without even thinking, he pulled her into his arms. After a few more sniffles, he handed her a tissue. She wiped at her eyes and blew her nose.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Barry asked as he stroked her hair.

Taking a deep breath, she whispered in a voice barely heard, "I remember what happened on the bridge, Barry."

She needed to do this. "Go on."

"We went for a walk and he knew that it was over between us, but I told him that we were in love and … he couldn't accept it. I apologized numerous times, but … he got upset and snapped at me, and that's when the yellow speedster showed up. It was horrible."

He pulled her closer. "Don't say anymore."

"But he lied in the hospital, Barry; why, why did he do that?"

"He didn't want to lose you, Iris," he replied. Barry was thinking that he may have done the same thing, but to deny her and put her in danger; no, he wouldn't have done that.

"I'm so glad you're here. I don't know what I would do without you," she confessed.

"You don't have to worry about that; not anymore," he stated firmly. His heart was pounding. He couldn't help himself. He wanted to comfort her, but he wanted so much more. "Iris?" He whispered in her ear, and kissed her temple, her cheek, and then he went lower. She didn't push him away.

"Oh, Bear," she whispered softly and closed her eyes. "You know it's strange to be here with you like this."

"I know." He sensed she wanted to talk some more. "I just wish I knew the right thing to say."

She pulled away and watched him carefully. "You always know what to say to me."

He chuckled. "Well, what do you know, I don't suck at everything." He paused and looked into her eyes. "But I believe in us for whatever that's worth."

She nodded. "That was the right thing to say," she said and smiled at him. "It's kind of like we're speaking the same language; like you know what I'm thinking, so you know what I want to hear."

All of that was true. "It's in the eyes, Iris."

"What are my eyes saying now?" She asked, staring into his eyes, heart pounding triple time.

"This," he replied, feeling encouraged. He lifted her chin, closed his eyes, and then he kissed her softly at first and then more deeply. He pulled away after a few minutes. "Oh, Iris." He sighed into her hair and pulled her close. He pulled away and smoothed her hair away from her face. "We'll take our time Okay?"

"I need you, Barry," she whispered softly.

"I need you too," he said. He leaned over and kissed her again, but instead of coaxing her, he waited for her to respond and after a few moments, she did. Pulling him closer, her hands in his hair, she opened her mouth inviting him in. Barry groaned as his mouth slanted to gain access and then his hands roamed over her body.

He pulled away after a moment of sweet kisses. Soon, they were naked and in each other's arms. Iris couldn't get close enough to him. Now that they were going to do this, her heart had never felt so free as if anything were possible. "Oh, Bear," she whispered, kissing his cheek, his ear, and his lips.

His open mouth kisses were everywhere and Iris could not catch her breath. His lips rained down her throat until they reached her beautiful breasts. He reached out and touched the nipple and it puckered waiting for his kisses. Her back arched in invitation and he happily obliged.

"Iris, you're so lovely," he murmured. Making love was a completely new experience for him, but with her, he knew it wouldn't be awkward or embarrassing. Everything with her just felt right. Barry immediately latched onto the nipple and swirled his tongue around it, then pulled it gently into his mouth and sucked to his heart's content. His lips moved to the other breast and Iris wanted to scream, it felt so good. His lips returned to hers, his tongue demanding an answer, his body pushed her down into the soft mattress as Iris wrapped her legs around him. Her arms curled around his shoulders and then they were in his hair to pull him closer. When he moaned deeply and pushed his hips against hers, she broke their kiss on a sigh and tried to pull air into her lungs.

Iris gasped at the sensation, her chest lifted up off the bed, the pleasure so sweet she moaned loudly as the heat pooled between her legs. His tongue shot back into her mouth, inflaming her. Iris squirmed and opened her legs wider, an invitation he couldn't ignore. His hand slipped beneath her and then penetrated her body with his finger sliding over her silky folds. Iris gasped again her head thrown back, her mouth open on a small moan. "Oh Barry, please," she panted.

Barry slid another finger inside her and moved them slowly in and out of her body. She was so hot and the little sounds she was making were driving him crazy. He couldn't wait another minute. Iris cried out as he filled her clinging to his shoulders. It felt so good, he was incredibly hard inside, and the position she was in caused him to sink so deeply inside her that he pressed against her cervix with each stroke.

Iris was on fire and moved with him matching his rhythm stroke for stroke. And then her orgasm broke over her as she trembled in his arms. But then she didn't know anything else as they made that climb high into the heavens where only lovers met and then fell back down to land safe and secure in each other's arms.

After he could gather enough air into his lungs to breathe, he kissed her temple and snuggled close.

"Bear?" Iris whispered pulling him closer. "What time is it?"

"It's still early," he replied and kissed her again.

She chuckled. After a few moments, she managed to speak, "I have to check in at work."

Barry sighed and pulled her closer. "I do too, but we have a bit more time," he said knowing that they needed to confront Eddie eventually.

She sighed as well. "Ok, let's not waste anymore."

He definitely agreed.

~o~o~

A few days later, at the station:

After Iris had checked in at her job, they decided to wait a few more days before confronting Eddie. According to her Father, Eddie had apparently returned to work.

Hand in hand, Iris and Barry entered the station and everyone stopped and stared at them.

They glanced at each other and, without speaking, she headed to talk to her Father, and Barry approached Eddie, who tried to ignore him.

"Got a minute?" Barry asked.

"What is it Allen?" Eddie asked then poured a cup of coffee.

"We should talk, but not here," Barry responded.

Eddie sighed and turned to him. "We may as well get this over with; follow me."

Barry followed him upstairs, and then he entered the workout room. He wondered if they were going to beat each other to a pulp.

Eddie walked over to the window. "Well, spit it out." He sipped his coffee.

Barry followed him. "Iris has regained her memories, and she and I are together … for good."

"And?" He asked seemingly unconcerned.

"Is that all you're going to say?" Barry was getting worked up. Eddie was silent. "Look, Eddie, the only way for us to move past this is for you to apologize for what you said to her on the bridge. Just explain that you were afraid, and," he began.

"I meant every word I said. She is not my girlfriend. I was clear about that."

"But you lied to her in the hospital. She broke up with you and you lied to the speedster and to Iris."

"What does any of this matter?" He turned back to the window.

"It matters because, maybe we could," he stopped when Eddie turned and glared at him. Barry was taken aback by the venom that spewed from his eyes. How can I possibly tell him that we're brothers? I can't do it.

"If you expect friendship out of this, then you are sadly mistaken. I have no desire whatsoever to be friends with you or Ms. West for that matter. So, stay away from me and I'll stay away from you. Is that clear?"

"Very clear," Barry replied. He watched him leave, but he had one more question for him. He rushed after him. "Eddie, wait."

"What is it now?" Eddie asked still glaring at him.

"Does the name 'Malcolm Thawne,' mean anything to you?" He watched him carefully for any recognition of that name.

"Who the hell is that?" Eddie was getting fed up.

"Dr. Wells said that you two are connected, and," Barry replied, but he was interrupted.

"That quack? He's lying to you." He paused. "Did he tell you how this Malcolm is connected to me?"

"No, he didn't," he lied.

"You have to ask yourself why that is; now, I have a job to do." He left him in a huff.

Minutes later, Iris walked in. "How did it go? Did he deny it?"

"Yeah, he did," Barry thoughtfully replied.

"So he has no idea who this Malcolm Thawne could be?"

"He may be lying about that, but we really need to find out about this Dr. Gilbert and how he died. There must be a record somewhere about Malcolm and who he really is."

Iris sighed and touched his arm. "Maybe you should drop it," she told him again, feeling awful about all of it.

"I don't think I can. If he's my brother, then," Barry started. He hated to admit it, but a small part of him was hoping they could get along, at least for his Father's sake.

"Bear, it's going to take time for all of us to heal. And like I told your Father, it may not be possible for us to be friends, at least not right away."

He sighed and pulled her close. "You may be right," he whispered.

She knew him so well. "But you won't give up, will you?"

He pulled away. "Let's not talk about him, not right now."

"I agree," she said then she leaned up and kissed him.

Of course, he kissed her back.

~o~o~

About a week later:

Iris was now all moved into Barry's apartment. Her Father was worried that they were moving too fast, but they were insistent on doing this. So much time wasted, and to think they could have been together over a year ago if only.

Barry was in the kitchen fixing dinner and Iris was in the living room surveying their new furniture, which had arrived over an hour ago. He shook his head at her. She was really into this furniture thing. They had shopped at three stores before finding the right living and dining room sets. He came into the living room and decided to play with her for a minute.

Iris seemed pleased with the furniture. "Well, what do you think?" She was a little worried about the placement, but everything seemed fine.

"I don't know, Iris, but the sectional is way too large. I thought it would fit; we measured it and everything." He paused at her outraged expression. "And the dining room," he shook his head, "That table is way too big and the chairs; I don't know," he began.

Iris frowned and looked at the furniture again. The living room set consisted of a sectional sofa, which was black leather, with accent pillows, a leather ottoman, lamps, and side tables. The dining room table was big enough, but not too big, with six chairs. Everything looked wonderful. "What are you talking about? These sets are perfect; modern and comfortable," she asked.

He scratched his chin. "We may have to return everything; we have a week. The salesman said if we weren't happy, we could do that without any questions asked."

Unreasonably upset, Iris crossed her arms, then, "Over my dead body."

He hid a chuckle, and then his eyebrows rose. "Wow, you're really into this furniture."

"Barry, there's nothing wrong with these pieces; everything is perfect." She glared at him and was that a twitch to his lips? "You sir, are a dead man."

"You have to catch me first," he said then turned and ran toward the bedroom. He was in bed, hands behind his head, and then Iris skidded to a stop. "What took you so long?"

"Oh you!" Then she jumped on top of him. They both laughed and rolled around for a minute, and then he tickled her. "Stop it; I can't breathe!"

"You know you love it!" Barry said and watched her face. She was so beautiful and desirable. It was all he could think about. Suddenly, the laughing stopped. Barry was on top of her, she was breathing heavily trying to catch her breath, and then the air in the room stilled.

Not taking his eyes from her face, he reached out and moved his hand underneath her shirt and before he knew what was happening, he touched her breast and squeezed, just brushing the nipple.

Iris closed her eyes, her chest lifting as if asking for more. He was only too happy to oblige. He leaned over her and helped her remove her shirt and her bra.

"Your turn," she whispered and helped him remove his shirt. Then they were clutching each other close.

He was kissing her cheek, her neck and then he went lower, and then, "What about dinner?" She purred in his ear.

"Oh, no!" He exclaimed and jumped out of bed.

Iris rolled her eyes, grabbed her shirt and slipped it on. Upon entering the kitchen, she watched him scurry about, moving pots and pans around, trying to save their meal. "Well, should I call take-out or not?"

He sighed. It was no use. He then handed her the cell phone. "Sorry."

Sighing, she dialed for pizza; with his favorite toppings.

"How much time do we have before the delivery man shows up?" He wiggled his eyebrows.

"Thirty minutes," she replied and ran back to the bedroom.

He caught her in seconds, picked her up and headed back to the bedroom.

Thirty minutes later, after making love, they were exhausted, but hungry too. The doorbell rang.

"I'll get it; don't move!" He said and slipped on his pants.

Soon, they were eating pizza in bed. It was so good, they savored each piece. After finishing off most of the pizza, they stared at each other.

"Bear, is this actually happening, I mean?" Iris was still surprised at how easily they had slipped back into their old ways.

"This is us; you and me. Sure, we have these deep feelings for each other, but it's different now, and I have to say, I've never been happier," he admitted smiling.

"I am too; I mean, when I got upset about the furniture, I just," she hesitated.

"You what?"

"I don't want to mess this up; not with you," she admitted tearfully.

He reached for her and pulled her close. "If anyone messes up, it will be me, but we've both learned a lot over the past year."

She pulled away. "What did you learn?" She was serious about that question.

He could see that she wanted an honest discussion. "Well, I learned not to take anything for granted. I took you for granted Iris. I thought you would always be there waiting for me, but then the coma happened and," he couldn't finish.

She touched his cheek. "I learned a crucial lesson too; after your confession, I learned the hard way, not to hide from what's paramount, meaning you and me and our feelings."

He pulled her close, and then she couldn't help but think about the other one. "Barry, you told me that I hadn't died in the future, but," she began.

"Iris, there was nothing else I could say about that, only that we are together. You are not with Eddie; that's all I know," he lied.

"Okay; I won't ask you again," she said and pouted prettily.

"Good; now, no more talking," he whispered and lean back pulling her with him. She was on top of him. She smoothed her hair away from her face, then he thought about it and maybe this one thing will stop her from asking about the future, at least for a little while. "There is one thing I can tell you about the future."

Her eyes brightened. "What is it?"

He chuckled; she looked like an excited child. "Well, you and I will become the hottest team in Central City, meaning," he let that hang.

"Do you mean that you and I are working together to save our city and maybe even the world?" She'd dreamed of that happening. He nodded. "Oh Barry, that's wonderful." She threw her arms around his neck and she kissed him soundly.

He kissed her back. After a few minutes, still kissing her, he then rolled her onto her back, and then he pulled away and smiled, "Happy?"

Eyes shining, she whispered, "What do you think?"

They both smiled from ear to ear. She pulled his head down and kissed him again.

~o~o~

In the future, the Westallen house:

It was early morning and Barry was finding it difficult to sleep. He left Iris in bed and went into the living room. Glancing at the family photos, he sat down thinking about the past.

Iris found him minutes later. She touched his arm startling him. "Hey, I missed you; what is it, or do I need to ask?"

He chuckled. "You know what it is."

Sighing, she sat down beside him. "The past?"

"Yeah, I just regret not telling him everything about you know; the Thawnes," he sadly replied.

"Honey, you did the right thing. They had to find out for themselves."

"I know, but," he began, but he was interrupted.

"Mom! Dad!" It was the kids and they were definitely awake.

"Come on," Iris said and pulled him up. "Time to eat."

Before she could go, he pulled her to him and kissed her quick. "I know what you're thinking."

"Oh you do, do you?" Iris asked.

"Oh yeah, you're thinking of the younger one, aren't you?"

He amazed her sometimes. "Yeah, I was, he sure was good-looking, and so young," she murmured and grinned at his expression. He shook his head at her. She smiled and pulled him close. Sighing, then, "I was also thinking about that day when I finally confessed my feelings and," she couldn't finish. After a moment, Barry suddenly realized that Iris was getting upset. "Honey, what's wrong?"

"Oh, Barry, nothing is wrong. In fact, everything is wonderful. It's just … I never really had the chance to think about what could have happened if I hadn't regained my memories or the fight with the yellow speedster." She paused and pulled him closer. "You almost died Barry."

He kissed her temple and hugged her close. He hoped to make her feel better by talking about her favorite subject; their children. "You know, Don, he's so much like you Iris, it scares me."

She pulled away a little surprised by that comment. "Like me? Really?" She sniffed and smiled at that.

"Yes, he is. He's always asking questions about everything under the sun. Does that remind you of anyone?"

"Well, maybe me, just a little. And Dawn, who is she like?"

"Dawn is smart and has the kindest heart I've ever seen much like ...Ummm," he hesitated.

"Like someone you know... she's exactly like you, Bear and don't tell me you don't know that."

"Yeah, I do, and that scares me too. She's too trusting, believing everyone is good inside, but that's not always the case."

"I know, but they're still so young and have a lot of growing up to do. I'm so relieved we don't have to worry about your secret being out there and we can live our lives in peace." Barry was also thinking about that, but she continued. "I was thinking that in ten years before they're fully powered like you, ten years before they start racing all over town, just like you, and goodness knows what else."

"And let us not forget, in ten years, they'll be teenagers and we both know what that's like." Barry shook his head remembering.

"Oh, my god Barry, teenagers?!" Iris gasped. They both stared at each other not quite believing it could actually happen. Then, they shook their heads, smiled and hugged each other knowing that they'll be together as a family, and that's all that mattered. They would be there for each other no matter what.

"MOM! DAD! We're hungry!"

"Coming!" They both cried in unison.

A little while later, after everyone was seated at the table for breakfast, Barry stared at his family. Iris knew what he was thinking, so she took his hand.

After breakfast, the kids were on their way to school and they were about to head off to work, but Iris needed to say something. "Bear, I forgive you."

He frowned. "Oh boy, what did I do now?"

She chuckled. "It's nothing bad; it's about me always asking questions about this, the future; all of this, you and me, and our family."

"Oh, I see." He then thought about her countless questions. "I wanted to tell you so badly."

"I'm so glad you didn't."

"Really, are you sure about that?"

"Well, you finally did tell me when our children were born, which was the perfect gift, well besides the kids."

He chuckled. "I thought so too." He took her hand. "Are you ready to go?"

"In a minute," she replied then she leaned up and kissed him sweetly.

Everything would be alright now, and they would be together, no matter what the future may hold.

The end!

~o~o~

Song Inspiration: Find My Way Back, Cody Fry.

A/N: Aww, they are so sweet. Well, I hope you enjoyed this final chapter. The season finale is right around the corner. I'm excited to watch it and hope the writers give Iris something to do, but finding out Barry's secret, is at the top of that list. They may not get together officially by the end of the season, but maybe we'll see that spark that always happens when they're in the same room together! Thank you all for taking this journey with me. Please, comment or kudo for this last chapter. And keep reading! :D