It starts with Bruce buying coffee, then dinner, then enhancements for the suit.
“It’s nothing to worry about, Barry,” Bruce says, placing a gentle hand on the back of Barry’s neck, holding him still even as he shakes him lightly. His thumb presses slightly against Barry’s pulse.
It starts with Batman standing between Flash and some Atlantean whose name Flash doesn’t remember.
Flash is more than capable of taking care of himself, but there’s still a thrill of looking up and up that large expanse of black leather and armor – an impenetrable wall made of Batman’s favor and goodwill, the shadows of which Flash never wants to step out from.
It starts with a close call with Captain Cold and Barry running to Gotham, he’s high off panic and adrenaline and it’s not until he collapses on the floor of the cave that he realizes where he’s at.
But Bruce is there, picking him up gently, asking him questions that Barry can’t quite hear over the roar of his blood and the sharp bursts of pain.
“Easy,” Bruce is saying, the only word that cuts through the clamor in Barry's head. “I’m gonna take care of you.”
Then he feels the suit being peeled away, piece by piece, and then hears water flowing.
Bruce lowers him gently into the bath, takes a washcloth and scrubs away the sweat and the grime and the blood from still-healing wounds. Bruce’s fingers gently feel around his scalp – searching for more injuries still – before he starts washing Barry’s hair.
Barry’s not sure what happens after – but he wakes dressed in pajama pants far too long for him and snuggled under a thick blanket, warm and content. From somewhere on high, he hears Bruce say, “Go back to sleep, Barry.”
It starts with Barry leaving the station just to find Bruce waiting for him, leaning against the side of some ridiculously expensive sports car.
“Fancy seeing you all the way out here,” Barry says, swallowing against his suddenly dry throat.
Bruce is as dressed down as Barry's seen him outside of the cave – wearing slacks and a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbow – looking like something out of the dreams Barry hasn’t been able to shake since his night under Bruce’s care.
“I’ve got business to attend to,” Bruce says, shrugging. “Thought I’d drop by.”
Barry’s curiosity is piqued. “Do you have business or business?” he asks, unable to help himself as he steps in close, under the guise of keeping his voice lowered.
Bruce heaves a long-suffering sigh, says, “Just business, unfortunately.” Then his eyes are darting over Barry’s shoulder, looking at something over the rim of his sunglasses – whatever he sees elicits a mischievous smirk and it’s the only warning Barry gets. Bruce suddenly pushes himself off the car, definitely standing in Barry’s space as he leans forward, his lips not quite touching Barry’s ear as he says, “Your co-workers are staring. Tell me right now if you don’t want to mess with their heads a little.”
Barry tilts his head back, feels his pants tighten as he meets Bruce’s eyes before pointedly looking down to Bruce’s lips. “Why the hell would I do that?”
Bruce chuckles low in his throat, it rumbles between them as he gently grabs Barry’s waist and pulls him so their bodies were flush. Bruce then presses an obnoxiously loud kiss to the side of Barry’s neck, laughing, but then there’s a shout (sounds like the Captain has just left work) and Bruce is pulling back.
Still laughing, Bruce opens the door with an exaggerated bow.
Barry climbs in even as the Captain’s yells get louder and louder – “Barry, what the hell are you thinking—” and “If you hurt him, Wayne—” – then there’s only the squeal of tires as Bruce’s car cuts into traffic.
It starts with a laugh and ends with Barry holding Bruce by his tie and asking, “What if I wanted this? For real?”
It ends with Bruce herding Barry back and back until his legs hit the bed, then he pushes him down, crawls over him, and says, “Barry, son, all you had to do was ask.”