Subject: Re: 900 years
I am not sure what to tell you right now. I read and re-read your e-Mail a hundred times trying to figure out what to say. You wrote all of these beautiful words and I know that I cannot equal them. But let me try: I love the idea of soulmates. I love the idea that there is one person out there who can love you unconditionally. Who could love me despite everything that I have done in my life – and believe me, I have done some pretty awful things. I love love. Love is great. But unfortunately love is also the single scariest thing and deadliest weapon. Love can crush a person. Love can make you feel like there is no air in the room, like you are drowning. So it is safe to say that I am incredibly afraid of love. If you know what I mean.
Despite all of that – there is this person I like. Which is horrible. I see them and I feel like I can't breathe anymore. I start smiling in inappropriate moments and I get giddy whenever they touch me. But I am in quite the similar situation to your's. It's just not possible. Despite there being a huge age gap, I can't see how they would ever like me. Be civil, yes. Like? Absolutely not. So I understand your pain, Science, I do. Jeez, I wish I could just marry you, actually. I can't even bring myself to care about your gender, age or looks. Does that make me pansexual? Huh. I always thought gay was my ticket.
I really hope my ramblings didn't weird you out and that you will still be friends with me despite my very bleak view on things.
Also I feel the need to tell you that I think you should make it work with your person. Because you are absolutely wonderful and anyone would be happy to have you.
Barry read the e-mail with a frown on his face. Who in the world could think so lowly of themselves? Think that they are worth so little?
He sipped his coffee and decided to reply after his big day. Because this actually was his big day. Sure, they were going to the museum to find the meta-human but in the back of his head, Barry couldn't but be excited for the day. Going to the museum with someone is the perfect date in his opinion. And if he pretended a little bit... it wouldn't hurt anyone, would it?
He picked out his clothes very carefully (like he would if this really were a date). He decided that a blue button down and skinny jeans was the way to go. Of course, he wore his Flash suit underneath, just in case that they did meet McPalm.
When he arrived at the museum, he knew that he was early. Which never happened. But when he got there, Snart already stood at the entrance, casually leaning against the wall. He raised one eyebrow.
“You're four minutes and 23 seconds early,” he said impressed.
Barry looked sheepish as he scratched at the back of his neck.
“You're never early.”
“I'm... how would you know?”
Snart raised both eyebrows this time and Barry felt it better not to ask any further. He didn't even want to know.
“So, let's go in?” he asked instead.
Len nodded and held the door open for Barry to walk through.
Not a date, not a date, not a date
“Where to first, then?”
Len asked after he had paid for their tickets (“Give it a rest kid, the least I can do is take you out to the science museum for helping me.”) and started to read the brochure they had been handed at the entrance.
Barry colored. He knew where he wanted to go. Especially since Len was with him.
“Uhm, just take a walk through? But er, I would love to see the astronomy section...”
Len stared at him blankly.
“Didn't know you were into astronomy.”
Barry huffed, he had hoped that he wouldn't have to explain his actions and motive (which was simply that the room was dark and full of stars and it would feel very date-y) but alas.
“Yeah, I do.”
Apparently, that was enough for Len because he just nodded and told Barry to lead the way.
Barry knew the museum as well as the back of his hand and he kept his eyes and ears open for anything that wasn't the way it was supposed to be. But by the time they reached the astronomy section, he hadn't seen or heard anything of the guy they were looking for.
Suddenly they were standing in the middle of the universe. A thousand stars around them. It was all projected by a computer but non the less mesmerising.
Barry was in awe of the different lights around the two of them and he saw Len's face illuminated by the soft light of the fake stars.
Barry thought he was beautiful.
Since it was in the morning of a week day, the two of them were the only ones in the room. Soon, the place would be buzzing of students who went there with their schools but for now, Barry enjoyed himself immensely.
“What's that, there?” asked Len, pointing at a star with a red shimmer around it.
“That's the R Aquarii... it's a symbiotic star.”
Len looked at him in bewilderment.
“How is that star symbiotic?”
Barry grinned and took a step closer. He gesticulated at the mechanism.
“See, it's actually two stars. But they are symbiotic. It's just like in biology where two mechanisms co-exist in very close proximity with each other and interact with each other.”
“So stars live in monogamous relationships, then.”
He took a step forward and came to stand right next to Barry, looking at the projection more closely.
Barry wasn't looking at the star anymore, his eyes were fixed on Len's expression of open curiosity.
“Yes, it is.”
Suddenly there was a loud bang and they heard people scream. Quickly, they ran out of the dark room and towards the noise. The first thing they saw was a little boy crouching on the floor, squeezing his eyes shut in pain.
McPalm stood only a couple of feet away from him and had his eyes fixed to the boy.
Barry didn't even think and started running (at human speed, he wasn't in his suit after all) to where the boy was crouching.
“Barry, no!” he heard behind him but he didn't stop. He stood protectivly between the boy and the meta-human.
“Leave him alone,” he said with a low voice that was almost a growl.
The meta merely grinned.
“Bad day to play the hero, let's see what you have in your head...”
The meta's piercing eyes flashed neon blue and Barry braced himself for whatever was to come. A flash of panic overcame him. After all, McPalm would probably know his secret identity soon. He closed his eyes but the 'impact' never came.
When he opened them again, he saw Len kneeling in front of him, face scrunched up in pain.
“My, my, what do we have here...” McPalm almost sang and laughed.
“So much courage, so much pain and yet... so much love...”
“Stop it,” Len ground out.
“Stop it? You mean you don't want me to comment on your pathetic crush? Do you really think that anyone will ever love you back half as much as you seem to love this... oh, it's a boy, isn't it?”
The meta-human closed his eyes in concentration.
“Yes.. Yes, I see it's a boy,” he mused and opened his eyes again, glanced at Barry and smirked “Oh, isn't this a coincidence...”
But the meta-human didn't get any further because Len had produces his cold gun and shot him with it. McPalm fell to the floor, obviously in pain.
Len turned his face to look at Barry.
“Go, get him,” he ground out, seeminly in pain himself.
Of course, Barry didn't need to be told that twice and not even half an hour later was McPalm safely secured in one of the cells at Star Labs.
Len sat on a chair in front of Caitlin as she checked him for any damage. She looked at the computer screen intently that measured Len's brain functions but all Barry could look at was Len's face. He looked tired, defeated.
Barry thought back about their moment in the astronomy room. It had been so wonderful to him. So easy to forget that they weren't there together, on a date.
But now, back to reality, he couldn't ignore what the meta had said. That Len had a crush. And from the sound of it, it was a big one. How could Barry compete with that? He knew that he shouldn't feel this sad. That he should have guessed as much. Captain Cold could never like him, could he?
He was pulled out of his musings by Caitlin, who told him that she prefered if Len wasn't alone for the next 24 hours. Barry nodded.
“If it's okay with him, he can crash at my place.”
He didn't even think about it. Didn't even spare one thought to the fact that he just invited his enemy back to his private home.
Leonard smiled at him thankfully and they walked back to Barry's little apparement in silence.
Not half an hour later, Len was tucked in on Barry's sofa and Barry sat at the kitchen table, looking at him. He sighed. He felt melancholic and decided that now was probably a good moment to reply to Snow's e-Mail. At least there was one person out there who would understand him.