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Chutes and Ladders

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“Barry, get to Starling City. Now.”

“Huh?” Barry said sleepily, barely awake but already moving, speeding into his clothes. “Oliver? What’s wrong?”

“Some of your metahumans are destroying my city.” Oliver sounded grumpy, like usual, but there was an unfamiliar edge of hysteria that Barry had never heard from the man before. “This is fucking ridiculous.” 

“What can they do? What are their powers?” Barry asked immediately, speeding to Star Labs and opening Cisco’s toy room. If he knew what he was dealing with, maybe there was something ready-made to take it down. 

“The idiots are alternately freezing, melting, and fucking golding everything in sight,” Oliver growled. “Half of my employees are stuck in the building because the doors are frozen solid. I have more important things to deal with, Allen.”

Barry paused and sighed, closing the door on Cisco’s fancy gadgets. Rubbing at his eyes, he had to wonder what prompted this sharp change of M.O. “Oliver, those aren’t metahumans. They’re…idiots,” he repeated, using Oliver’s word. “I’ll be there in two minutes.”

It wasn’t what Barry was expecting. Even through the thermal protections of the suit, he was assaulted on all sides by varying extremes of heat and cold. It seemed like half of Starling was burning, the other half completely absent of motion, and varying points in between shone with the gleam of gold. It was hell frozen over. 

“Thank fuck,” Oliver said, dropping down next to Barry in his Hood uniform. “Get these assholes out of here!”

“It’s not that easy,” Barry sighed. “Though I don’t know why they’d be here in the first place, he explicitly told me that he only works in Central City.”

“Maybe I decided to try something new,” Snart announced, stepping dramatically from behind a building, cold gun in hand. “Central City was getting a little dull,” he enunciated the word like he was rolling it around in his mouth. “Mr. Queen here, however, has proven to be a less than adequate opponent.”

Oliver immediately tensed, hand wrapping bruisingly around Barry’s forearm. “How does he know?” he hissed, eyes flashing behind the mask. 

Leonard took a few steps forward, eyes flicking to Oliver’s hold. “I know everything, Mr. Queen.”

Barry sighed again. He’d almost forgotten how annoyingly cocky Captain Cold could be. “He does know everything,” Barry confirmed, attempting to loosen Oliver’s grip. “Don’t worry, he won’t tell anyone.”

“Barry,” Oliver ground out, instead pulling him closer to his own body. “You can’t be sure of that.”

“Hood,” Snart said, voice darkening. “I have business with you, and I would prefer if you would release the Flash immediately.”

Oliver turned to face him, eyes calculating. Still holding Barry’s arm. “What business?”

“The business of first releasing the Flash,” Leonard said, finger twitching on the trigger.

Oliver scowled and let go of Barry only to swing an arm over his shoulder and squeeze them together. 

“Ugh,” Barry said, looking between the two.

“Why do you care what I do to the Flash? Look what you’ve done to my city!” 

“Well maybe I wouldn’t have done anything to your philistine city if you didn’t continually interfere with my plans!” Leonard shouted back. 

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Oliver yelled. “I’ve never even seen you before!”

“Guys,” Barry said.

“Stop distracting the Flash with your inane problems!” Snart said, stepping even closer. “His presence in Central City is a vital part of my planning, and if he’s out helping clean up your messes all the time, then my calculations are completely ruined! Now release him!”

“Oh,” Oliver grinned. “I see.” He reached up with his free hand to press his palm against Barry’s face. “I’m messing up your plans, am I?”

“I’m right here,” Barry deadpanned, instinctively pulling away from Oliver’s hand but unable to move because of his rock-solid grip.

Leonard growled. Actually growled like an animal. He held out his gun and used it to freeze the building next to Oliver and Barry, the cold blast nipping the exposed parts of Barry’s face and causing a shiver. 

“Are you cold?” Oliver asked, but he was looking straight at Snart. This time he wrapped both arms around Barry, who, while grateful for the body heat, was extremely flustered by the PDA that was completely out of the realm of normal Oliver Queen behavior.

“I will destroy you,” Snart said, scowl deepening further than Barry thought possible. 

“Okay, well, I’m going back home,” Barry said, speeding from Oliver’s grip. “You two obviously have some alpha male issues to work out.”

“Barry, you said you’d get this idiot out of here!” Oliver complained.

Barry sighed. “Captain Cold, what will it take to get you out of Starling City?”

Leonard turned his attention to Barry. “I suppose I could be convinced with a ransom.”

“How much?” It was Oliver who growled this time.

“Oh, say, a billion dollars or so?”

“Go fuck yourself.”

Barry rubbed a hand over his head. “You know what? You two deserve each other.” Ignoring attempts by both men to catch his attention, he sped back home, stripping out of the suit and climbing back into bed. They’d probably both survive.