„I really don’t think this is a good idea, Bas.“
Barry was watching his cousin moving around, discarding shirt after shirt.
“Come on, Bar,” Sebastian said as he tried on a deep red button down shirt. “I’m 21, it’s legal. And you really need to get out more. From what I’ve heard, you’re either at home, at work, or at S.T.A.R. labs – though I still don’t know what exactly you’re doing there.”
Barry sighed. Sebastian Smythe, the son of his mother’s sister, lived in San Francisco but had decided to visit Central City for the summer. Barry hadn’t been sure if that was a good idea but couldn’t find a convincing argument against it.
Which is why Sebastian was now occupying the guest room – Iris’ old room – and getting ready for a night out. To which he expected Barry to come along.
“I haven’t been out in a while,” Barry admitted. “But I’m not really sure that kind of club is the right idea…”
Sebastian turned to him and lifted an eyebrow. Barry was always a bit freaked out by how similar they looked. They could be twins.
“Please, Bar. Have you turned homophobic since we spoke last? I can’t believe you would have a problem with a gay club.”
Barry rolled his eyes. “It’s not that and you know it. It’s just… I haven’t had anything with a guy since college. And I work for the CCPD now…”
“You think there are no queers working at the station?” Bas asked dryly. “Come on. Live a little, Barry Allen. Joe and Iris know you’re bisexual, so does Uncle Henry. Who cares what kind of club you go to?”
Barry sighed but cracked a small smile. “Yeah, okay, you’re right. Let me get changed.”
He left the room and went to his own closet. He hadn’t been out since the celebration of Eobard’s death, after Barry had saved the city and Eddie by going back in time again. That time, he had been with his friends. This time he would be with his cousin, who would make sure to get a date for the night – and try to set Barry up. Barry knew exactly what kind of person his cousin was.
“Are you done?”
Barry turned around and looked at Bas. The younger man had kept the red shirt after all and was now looking Barry up and down.
“Blue looks good on you,” he said critically. “I can take you along like that.”
“How nice of you,” Barry replied sarcastically. “And I’d prefer to wear red, but you beat me to that…”
Sebastian laughed and clapped him on the shoulder before they left the house together.
“Well, if it isn’t my favorite Speedster. Didn’t expect you here.”
Len had watched the man moving to the bar a few minutes ago and only approached him when he was sure he was seeing correctly. Barry Allen at the Bull’s Eye. Definitely a surprise.
The man turned around, a beer in his hand, and lifted an eyebrow. “I beg your pardon?”
Len chuckled. “No, really. I figured you’d rather stay in the kind of clubs with more… female clientele. This is a nice surprise.” He grinned while Barry took a swig of his beer. “Guess there’s now something else I know about you, compared to my Rogues.”
He let his eyes move up and down the younger man’s frame for a moment. The red shirt with the rolled up sleeves fit him well. But still, something was off. Len just couldn’t put his finger on it.
“I see,” Barry said at that moment, putting his empty bottle on the bar he was lounging against, way more at ease than Len had ever seen him. Which was not a surprise, given their usual meetings, but still. “You think, from our limited interactions, you know what I like and prefer in my private life.” He smirked. “Seems like you were wrong there…” He looked Len up and down slowly, from the tight grey shirt, over his jeans, to his combat boots. “Mr. ACMC.”
Len’s mouth almost dropped open in surprise, he barely held himself in check. “What did you just call me?”
“Oh, sorry, was that insulting?” Barry asked in mock concern. “I’m really sorry. What should I call you then? Cradle robber? I mean, how old are you, really? You must be at least 40, and you’re still trying to get with me? Nice try, but no dice. You’re not my type.”
Len’s surprise slowly morphed into anger and he grabbed Barry’s arm with one hand. Barry’s eyes narrowed. “Listen, Allen, I have no idea what you’re talking about here -“ a horrible thought came to him. “Oh shit,” he said and snatched his hand back. “You’re one of those meta humans, aren’t you?”
The other man frowned. “What the fuck are you talking about?” he asked and rubbed his wrist where Len had grabbed him. “I’m –“
“Bas!” came an alarmed voice from behind them and a man pushed between Len and –
“Wait, what the fuck, there are two of you?” Len gaped at the third man, looking exactly like the first – just a bit older, maybe, and clad in a blue shirt instead of a red one. “What is going on?”
“I didn’t know you were interested in older men, Bar,” the first man – and how could Len think for one second that was The Flash? He was too young, way too cocky, nothing of the puppy look Barry sometimes wore – asked with a little laugh.
Barry was red-faced and flailing his arms. “Shut up, Bas,” he hissed and looked everywhere but at Len. “This is not – I just – goddamnit, I knew it was a bad idea to come here.”
The man’s – Bas’ – eyes narrowed again. “Who is this guy, Bar?” he asked. “Is he giving you trouble? He was talking like he knew you.”
Barry’s eyes finally locked with Len’s, even though it was only for a second. “It’s complicated,” he ground out. “Let’s just go, we can find another club for you.”
Len’s brain finally caught up with the situation. “Aren’t you going to introduce us?” he asked with his usual smirk. “I didn’t know you were hiding a younger brother, Allen. Were you holding out on me?”
Barry opened his mouth, but the other answered first.
“Sebastian Smythe,” he said, sticking out his hand. “I’m Barry’s cousin, from San Francisco. And who are you?”
“Leonard Snart,” he answered, gripping Sebastian’s hand a tad tighter than polite, earning himself a wince. “Barry and I are kind of… colleagues.”
"Your hands are freezing," Sebastian exclaimed. "Need someone to warm them up?" He followed with a leer.
"No!" Barry snapped and gripped his cousin's arm. "He certainly does not!"
"Sorry, Bar," the other said, not an ounce of remorse in his voice. "Didn't know you're suddenly against sharing your toys."
Barry spluttered as Len's brain short circuited for a moment at that thought.
Barry was flushing by now, clenching his hands at his sides. “Okay, you introduced yourself, we can go now,” he said, grabbing Sebastian’s upper arm.
The younger man looked up in alarm. Apparently, he finally got an inkling of Barry’s obvious dislike of the situation because he let himself be moved away.
“Nice to meet you, Leonard Snart,” he called out before they went too far to be heard over the music.
Len watched them go, grinning to himself. Oh, he would have fun with this.
"Okay, spill," Bas said as soon as they're outside. "Why are you so freaked about him?"
Barry stayed silent.
"Is he an ex?"
More silence but with an incredulous look.
"A disastrous one-night-stand?"
Barry groaned and shook his head.
Bas had way too much fun with this. "Oh! I know! He's an old bully from high school, the one you were always attracted to but never made a move on because -"
"He's a criminal!" Barry finally exploded and turned on his wide-eyed cousin. "He runs around with a gun that can freeze stuff, a stupid parka and these ridiculous goggles, and he commits crimes. He goes by the name Captain Cold, for crying out loud!"
Sebastian stared at his cousin. He'd rarely seen Barry this agitated.
"I've heard about him, a little," he said. "He's a thief, right? Robs banks and stuff?"
Barry shook his head, feeling suddenly tired. He wanted to go home. "He's also a murderer," he said quietly and nodded at Sebastian's gasp. "Just... Stay away from him. If you see him, run the other way. I don't want you to get hurt, Bas."
Sebastian took all this in for a few minutes as Barry looked around for a cab. “You didn’t call the police,” he finally said.
Barry grimaced. “It’s complicated,” he said again, opening the door to the cab that just stopped beside them. “Come on. Let’s get home for tonight.”
Sebastian followed him without a word. In hindsight, that should have been a sign.
"So, my Cousin tells me you're a criminal."
Len barely kept from choking on his drink. What is it with people searching him out at the Saints and Sinners?
He slowly turned around. "And yet, you're here, talking to me."
Sebastian was clad in a similar outfit as a few nights ago; tight jeans and button down shirt. Not red this time, and Len was weirdly grateful. He wondered how he ever thought this man was Barry. They looked alike, sure, but the way Sebastian held himself was completely different.
Bas shrugged. "He told me to stay away from you," he admitted freely. "But I wonder: if you're a criminal, why didn't he call the police the other night?" He grinned a bit. "And why does he have your phone number, together with this address, in his phone?"
Len was so startled by that, he actually let his mouth fall open. "He what?" He asked incredulously.
Sebastian smirked. "Thought that would get your attention.”
He ordered himself a beer and gave Len a moment to control his face.
"He said you murdered people," Bas said nonchalantly. "But he also keeps your number and favorite bar to himself. He's not a cop, but he does work for the CCPD. Joe is a cop. I wonder why he doesn't help them arrest you."
He took a sip of his beer and looked at Len expectantly.
Len thought about what he'd just heard for a few moments longer.
"He and I have an... Arrangement," he finally said. He didn't think Sebastian knew about his cousin's extracurricular activities. "Sometimes he asks me for help. I promised not to kill anyone, he promised to keep out of my way, somewhat."
Bas was positively giddy with this information. "So he made a deal with the devil?" He asked and laughed. "Fucking hypocrite. This is better than Christmas. "
Len wondered if madness ran in Barry's family. „Nice to see you being so amused,“ he said dryly.
Bas calmed himself down slowly. “Sorry,” he gasped out. “It’s just… He gives me such a lecture, every time we talk about my… not so legal activities. And to know that he has an arrangement with a wanted criminal? Seriously, this makes my night.”
Len lifted an eyebrow. “Your criminal activities?”
Sebastian shrugged. “My dad cut me off when I told him that I’m not gonna be a lawyer but a counsellor,” he admitted freely. “He’s not happy with me studying in San Francisco, either. And this way he can also punish me for being gay without saying so. Tuition isn’t cheap; neither is housing.” He took a sip of his beer. “Barry helps, but he can only work so much. He already moved back in with Joe; I know he did that partially for me. But I decided to take care of myself, even though I couldn’t find a job to pay for tuition and give me enough time to finish my degree early.”
He grinned at Len. “So I suck some dicks and get fucked by the board of directors so they’ll waive my fee.”
Len, who had just taken a drink himself, almost choked again. He looked at Sebastian in disbelief. “Are you serious right now?”
The younger man shrugged. “It’s not a hardship,” he argues. “I like it well enough, and I’m good at it. Saves me a lot of money. I want to be able to help people when I’m done. Doesn’t matter how I get there, really. No shame in that kind of work.”
Len had a sudden flashback of himself, willing to do anything and everything to make sure that Lisa could follow her dreams of becoming a famous ice skater. He hadn’t become a criminal just for the heck of it after all.
“Jesus, kid,” he breathed out. “No wonder Barry lectures you. Who would want their family being forced to do that just for their dreams?”
Sebastian frowned a bit. “Not exactly what I thought you would say,” he pointed out. “Aren’t you supposed to be this cold-hearted criminal?”
“Doesn’t mean I can’t distinguish right from wrong,” Len retorted dryly, making Sebastian laugh.
They stayed for two more beers, just doing smalltalk.
“Keep away from him.”
Len lifted an eyebrow. “Your cousin is an adult, Flash,” he sneered. “If he decides to seek me out, I don’t think me shooing him away will do the trick.”
Barry ran a hand through his hair, feeling exhausted. “Please,” he said, ignoring the way Len’s eyes widened. “He’s my family. I need him safe.”
"He doesn't know you're the Flash, does he?" Len asked.
Barry snorted. "Of course not. I want to keep him far away from... All this." He made a gesture that probably included all of Central City.
"I didn't even want him coming here but he's remarkably stubborn." He made a face. "He's studying to become a counsellor. He wants to help people be themselves, come clear with their troubles. He wants to become the person he needed in high school. He is a singer, and a dancer. He's cocky, way to uncaring about his wellbeing, and he's my cousin. I don't want him to be a part of this mess."
Barry looked at Len. "Tell me you wouldn't want the same for Lisa."
Len nodded slightly. "Good point," he conceded. With a sigh, he pushed away from the wall. "I'll try to keep away from him," he said. "I can't do anything against him searching me out, but I'll do my best to keep every interaction brief."
He smirked. "Though it's not easy with him being all flirty every time we meet."
Barry blanched. "Oh my god, don't you dare, Snart. Don't even joke about that."
Len laughed and left the alley. Teasing Barry was way too easy.
"You've gotta be kidding me."
It hadn't been a very good day for Len. He had planned a heist at the Central City Museum. Had planned it for the last two months, really. Lisa and Mick were in position, probably already doing their thing, distracting the Flash, and he should be there, too.
Instead, some Mafia upshot from Starling City had crashed his bike, taken his phone from him, and then basically told him to help him rob Central City Bank with them or get shot in the head. They even took his Cold Gun which pissed Len off even more. He hated when someone got the drop on him. Well. Except Barry. Then it was just interesting and plain fun.
But Barry wasn't here right now. Sebastian was.
The young man was sitting with the other hostages, staring at Len with wide eyes. Len was almost sorry to burst the man's bubble like that.
"I still don't know what you need me for," he sneered at the leader. “Seems like you have it all well in hand here."
He threw a pointed look at the men throwing money in their bags.
"You're our insurance," the burly man said with a nasty grin. "We know you have encountered the Flash before. If he turns up, you'll take care of him for us."
"Not if I don't have my gun," Len answered dryly. "Not much I can do against the Speedster without my weapon."
He realised his mistake the second he said the word. Bas' eyes widened even more as he mouthed "Speedster" back at Len. The word he'd used at their first meeting.
"You're right, of course," the mobster said. "Hand him his gun," he told one of his men and Len couldn't believe how stupid the man was.
"Give me your phone," he hissed at Sebastian while the others were distracted by cheering at the vault opening. Sebastian, to his credit, didn't hesitate in slipping him the unlocked device.
"I'll get you out of here, I promise," Len added before moving slowly to a corner. "Have to make a call," he told the mobster who turned around at his movement. "Won't be long, chill out."
He clicked on Barry's name, doing all he could not to show anything else than nonchalance.
"Not a good time, Bas!" Came Barry's voice from the phone, together with the unmistakable sound of Lisa's gun.
"It's me," Len said and he could practically hear Barry freezing.
"Why do you have Bas' phone?"
"Listen," Len hissed. "I'll keep him safe for you. I promise. But we're in a bit of trouble at Central City Bank. I need you to get here."
There was another blast of Lisa's gun.
"I'm a bit tied up, thanks to your Rogues," Barry retorted. There was an edge of panic in his voice. "Len, if something happens to him -"
"I'll keep him safe," Len promised again. "Tell Lisa 'Kilt'."
"Kilt?" Barry asked incredulous, just as there was a gunshot and a cry behind Len.
Len blanched. "Just do it and get here!" He said and hung up.
He turned around and saw one of the hostages pressing his hand to his shoulder, tears running down his face.
"What the fuck?" Len growled and stalked closer to the mobster who was now standing close to Sebastian. Way too close for comfort.
"He was trying to run," the man said calmly. "He's lucky it wasn't a headshot."
Len grit his teeth. "You don't go around shooting people in my city," he ground out. "You might be some big fish in Starling, but here? You're nothing. You're on my turf now."
A precise shot locked the men inside the vault, leaving Len alone with the mobster.
"Fuck you, Cold," the man growled out. "You're just some little -"
He looked at Sebastian. "It's him," he realised and Bas' eyes widened in panic as the man grabbed him and pressed the gun to his head.
"You talked to him and suddenly you're working against us. I'm gonna blow his pretty little head off, what do you say, you fucking cocksucker -"
Len shot precisely at the man's face, freezing him, just as the Flash blurred into the room.
Sebastian wrenched himself from the frozen mobster with a cry and stumbled back, right into Barry's chest.
"You're okay, you're okay," Barry said and looked Bas up and down frantically.
"Barry...?" Sebastian asked, his voice still ringing with panic. "What... You're..."
"Why don't you talk about this in private?" Interrupted Len, putting his gun back into his parka. "We should probably go."
Barry zeroed in on him. "The police is on their way," he said. "Lisa and Mick went home, I think. You -" his eyes flitted to the frozen mobster and he took a deep breath. "Thank you. For keeping him safe."
Len nodded. "I promised, didn't I?"
He moved to the back entrance. "I'll see you later, Scarlet."
Bas turned to Barry as soon as Len was gone. "You should leave, too," he said shortly. "I have to stay here for the police. I'll tell them... I'll tell them Captain Cold changed allegiances or something." He looked at the other hostages who stared at them, the injured man out cold by now. "I'm sure they'll back me up."
Barry fought with himself for a minute but eventually gave a jerky nod.
"Okay. I'll... I'll see you later," he added, mirroring Len's words. Then he blurred and sped away.
Two hours later, Barry was back at the crime scene, as a CSI this time. He did his best to re-create the steps taken, not letting on he’d already been there.
He didn’t know how Sebastian had managed it, but not one of the hostages mentioned the Flash to the police. They all went with the story that Cold had been coerced to help the mobsters until he took his chance to take them out.
Joe was grumbling under his breath. He wasn’t happy that Cold appeared as the good guy in the story.
Barry just shook his head and took Sebastian with him to S.T.A.R. labs after the official procedures were done.
He’d told Caitlin and Cisco what had really happened at the bank and that he’d bring Sebastian around for the whole explanation.
Which… took a while. Sebastian asked intelligent questions, but still had problem wrapping his head around the fact that his cousin was a superhero.
“I mean, Jesus, Barry,” he said at the end of the story. “You’re just… that’s amazing, but also pretty terrifying.”
His eyes widened. “That’s the arrangement between you and Snart, isn’t it?” he asked. “He knows your identity, so you can’t arrest him!”
Barry groaned and rubbed a hand over his face. “Yeah, among other things...But that’s not what you should get hung up on.”
Cisco laughed and Caitlin rolled her eyes as Sebastian shrugged. “Why not? It’s an interesting fact.”
He leaned back in his chair. “Okay, so everyone knows about this? I mean, everyone important? Joe, Iris, Uncle Henry…?”
Barry nodded, munching some chips Caitlin had bought for him. “Yeah. Took a while, but they all found out. Eddie, too. And now you.”
Bas nodded thoughtfully. Suddenly, his eyes lit up. “Wait, there was this report about the Flash working with the Arrow… do you know the Arrow, Barry?”
Cisco barely held onto his chair as he laughed while Barry just shook his head. “I’m not gonna help you fuel your fantasies of the Arrow, Bas!”
Sebastian pouted, which caused Caitlin to laugh, too.
The rest of the day went in a relaxing and fun manner, Team Flash telling Sebastian various funny stories about their life in the superhero business.
“How did he take it?”
Barry took the phone away from his ear and looked at the caller ID. Nope, still Unknown.
“Cold?” he asked scandalized, thanking god he was home alone.
A chuckle was his answer. “Catching on quick, aren’t you, Scarlet?”
Barry groaned. “Oh my god… Where did you even get my number?”
“Stole it from your cousin’s phone,” Len answered, the sound of a bottle opening in the background. “Figured it might come in handy. So, Barry, tell me. Has he left Central City already, screaming in fear of the unknown?”
Barry laughed despite himself. “You don’t know my cousin at all if you think that’s possible. He’s taking to it like a fish to water.”
Len made an appreciative noise and Barry swallowed.
“So, while you’re on the phone,” he began. “I wanted to thank you again. Bas told me what really happened and I just… Thank you. For keeping him safe.”
“It’s nothing, Scarlet,” Len said, his tone unreadable. “I promised you to do it. Also, I know you’d have done the same if it had been Lisa in there.”
And, well. Not like Barry could deny that.
“Still,” he insisted. “As much as it pains me to say, I owe you one.” Barry laughed lightly. “Within reason.”
There was silence on the other end for a moment.
“Let me think about it,” Len said finally and Barry remembered the time at the Saint & Sinners where the criminal had said the exact same thing. This time, it didn’t fill him with as much dread though.
“Alright,” Barry said softly. “You have my number now, so… Just tell me when you’re ready.”
“Hm,” Len responded. “Bye, Barry.”
Barry was left to stare at his suddenly silent phone. He wondered if he’d just screwed up royally.
"Okay, my last night in town. What are you gonna do for me?"
Barry groaned. "Seriously, Bas?"
Sebastian smirked. "I'm not asking you take me on your superhero patrol, Bar. I just want to go out with you."
"Last time we did that, it didn't work out so well," Barry answered dryly.
"What, just because we met Len? It wasn't that bad."
Barry stared at his cousin. "Since when do you call him Len? Why would you do that?"
Sebastian shrugged and rooted through his bag. “It’s better than Leonard and I’m not calling him Cold. That nickname thing you guys have is ridiculous.”
Barry sighed. “You’re such a pain in the ass; please, just keep away from the known criminal!”
Sebastian took off his shirt and changed into a new one. “Why? Because you want him for yourself?”
He grinned as Barry sputtered. “Please. You don’t arrest him, you’re acting civil with him, you find him hot - and don’t try to deny that, I know you. You want to see him naked.”
Barry buried his face in his hands. “I hate you so much sometimes,” he mumbled.
“Yeah, yeah,” Sebastian said and took off his jeans. “Come on, get ready. I want to do Karaoke.”
“You know, speaking of people we want to see naked - “
“HA!” Sebastian crowed. “You’re not even denying it anymore!”
Barry rolled his eyes. “What about you and Kurt?”
Sebastian sobered immediately. “There’s nothing between me and Kurt. We had some hate sex, he left, end of story.”
Barry lifted an eyebrow but didn’t pry. One day, Sebastian would come to his senses and go after Kurt Hummel, the one that got away. Barry just hoped it wouldn’t be too late then.
They were late enough to arrive that the bar was already packed. Sebastian went to find some seats while Barry got them drinks.
Ten minutes later they sat at a table close to the stage and looked through the song book together.
“How about we choose for each other?” Sebastian said, smirking. “No way out, just like old times.”
Barry rolled his eyes. “You just want to embarrass me again. But fine. It’s not like anyone here knows me. And I’ll never come back, either.”
They got a second song book to start looking for songs for the other.
“I’m done,” Barry said after a few minutes and pushed the book away, getting up to sign Sebastian up. “You’ll love it.”
Sebastian rolled his eyes. “Meaning I’ll hate it, thank you so much.”
Barry laughed and went to the stage, quickly scribbling down Sebastian’s name and the song, before getting them new drinks and going back to the table.
Sebastian took off to sign Barry up as soon as he got back. Barry knew he wouldn’t cheat and look at his name, so he was ready to laugh at the disgusted surprise his cousin would express later.
“You’re gonna enjoy your song, too,” Sebastian told him when he came back and Barry rolled his eyes.
“Of course I will,” he said, leaning back in his seat.
It took half an hour until it was Sebastian’s turn to sing.
The two cousins had spent the time rating the already done singers, most of them in the lower numbers. Barry admired their guts to get up on the stage when they probably knew they couldn’t hold a tune.
At least he knew he could sing, Sebastian told him often enough. He just didn’t like it.
“Alright,” Sebastian said as he stood on the stage. “This song was selected by my lovely cousin Barry -” he pointed to their table and Barry waved - “don’t hit on him, his heart already belongs to someone else highly inappropriate.”
Barry flushed at the laughter and vowed to get Sebastian back somehow. He was not in love with Leonard Snart!
At that moment, the music started to play and Sebastian stared at Barry in disbelief.
“Really?” he asked in a judgemental tone, as the opening chords to Ashley Tisdale’s Don’t touch came from the speakers.
The crowd cheered as Sebastian did his best to turn the cheesy song into a great show, sending flirty looks into the crowd and shaking his finger in a No-gesture at appropriate times.
Zoom zoom in under my skin
Gotta slow down now to begin
Baby, don't rush
You can look but don't touch
Zoom zoom in to my head
Gotta know me to be my man
Boy, prove your love
You can look but don't touch
Zoom, zoom, zoom
Barry laughed at the image of Sebastian not wanting to score with a guy, as the song suggested. He couldn’t imagine his cousin settling down with just one person - though he still hoped it would happen someday, even if just for his own sanity.
He dutifully applauded with the rest of the crowd as Sebastian bowed and took his leave of the stage, moving quickly back to their table.
“I hate you,” he told Barry cheerfully. “For your sake, I hope this doesn’t turn anyone off on helping me get my rocks off tonight.”
Barry grinned. “You could use a night alone, Bas,” he said. “You don’t sleep enough as it is.”
Sebastian rolled his eyes. “I haven’t had sex once while I was here,” he pointed out. “It feels unnatural.”
He took a sip of his drink. “It’s your turn though, Barry. Better get up there. You wouldn’t want to leave your fan hanging.”
Barry narrowed his eyes. “What are you talking about?”
Sebastian smirked and pointed to another table.
Already fearing the worst, Barry turned around. Sure enough, Len was sitting there. Alone, mercifully, but staring at them. As he saw Barry watching, he tipped his beer in his direction and lifted an eyebrow.
Barry groaned and hid his face in his hands. “Why do you hate me?” he asked Sebastian.
The smirk grew bigger. “Don’t pout, Barry,” Sebastian said. “It’s not cute. I did you a favor by telling him we’d be here, believe me.”
Barry shook his head and got up to head to the stage. “You called a known criminal, my enemy, to watch me sing. There’s something really wrong with you if you expect me to be thankful for that.”
Sebastian didn’t answer, just took a sip from his drink again and shooed him away.
Dread pooling in his stomach, Barry went up to the stage. He wondered what kind of song Sebastian had selected for him. Whatever it was, his cousin probably expected him to sing it to Len. Which would not happen. No way.
“Well, Sebastian always has an agenda when he gets me on a stage,” he said into the microphone, making the crowd laugh. “Pretty sure I should be afraid right now.”
He couldn’t place the opening chords and stared desperately at the screen. Usually, they chose songs they at least knew, not something completely unfamiliar.
As the words appeared, he paled a bit and shot a desperate look at his cousin, who just leaned back with a laugh.
“I hate you so much,” Barry said before he started to sing.
He couldn’t help the look he sent at Len during the chorus, and then he couldn’t look away.
Be my bad boy, be my man,
Be my weekend lover, but don't be my friend.
You can be my bad boy, but understand
That I don't need you in my life again.
The other man sat up straight, hands flat on the table, and stared at Barry. Their eyes met and didn’t look away until Barry had to look back at the screen for the next part of the song.
You once made this promise to stay by my side,
But after some time you just pushed me aside.
You never thought that a girl could be strong,
Now I'll show you how to go on.
When the song was done, Barry left the stage on shaky legs, numb to the applause and cheering. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to kill Sebastian or thank him, as he saw Len coming his way.
“Very impressive,” Len said, crowding Barry against a wall.
Barry swallowed and looked somewhere over Len’s shoulder, seeing Sebastian giving him a thumbs up before turning to talk to someone, probably the guy he’d spend the night with. Yep, Barry would definitely kill him.
“I didn’t know you could sing like that, Scarlet,” Len continued, one hand ghosting over Barry’s side.
Barry’s eyes snapped to Len’s, in shock at the touch. He couldn’t look away, drowning in the heated promise he found there.
“It’s not part of my routine,” Barry managed to get out, licking his lips. He noticed how Len’s gaze flittered downward for a second. “Not something that would have come up with you…”
Len smirked. “Maybe something else came up instead?”
Barry groaned. “Stop it with the puns,” he begged. “They’re not as funny as you think.”
“Of course they are,” Len said dismissively. “But not what I want to talk to you about.”
Len’s hand moved from Barry’s side to his face, caressing his cheek. “It’s Saturday,” he pointed out.
A confused sound left Barry as he unconsciously leaned into the hand on his cheek. Len’s hands were warmer than he’d expected.
“That means it’s the weekend,” Len elaborated and Barry’s eyes widened.
“Oh,” he breathed and his lips parted slightly. “That’s true.”
Len smiled - no smirk, no grin, an actual smile - and kissed Barry briefly, too briefly. Barry moved after Len as he moved his head back, whimpering a bit.
“Let’s get out of here,” Len whispered, taking Barry’s hand.
Barry squeezed it and leaned forward to kiss Len again. “Yeah, okay,” he murmured against Len’s lips, and followed him out of the bar.