“Wait for someone who bumps mouths clumsily with yours cos they’re too busy smiling to kiss you properly. Yeah. Wait for that.”- Azra Tabassum
Cisco wakes up to the quick warm feeling of lips pressing against his own.
Okay. That was meant to be a name.
He cracks his eyes open enough to see a red streak zipping around the room. He catches sight of himself in the mirror leaning against the opposite wall. His face is covered in a curling sheet of black hair. Looks like today is a ten-minute battle with the hairbrush before giving up and just accepting his bad hair day. Great.
“I am so so sorry,” Barry babbles, zipping back in front of Cisco with a harried look on his face and his body half in his shirt, “Singh called, there’s been a murder down near the docks, not meta related as far as they can tell and he needs me down at the station like, twenty minutes ago. I didn’t want to wake you, but I didn’t want to leave you either and-“
“S’alright,” Cisco mumbles, sleep-addled brain still catching up with what’s happening, “Mmm, lunch?”
Barry grins his megawatt smile and ruins a perfectly good kiss with its stunning brilliance. Cisco doesn’t much mind.
“Yeah,” he chuckles and strokes a hand through Cisco’s hair, “We’ll do lunch.”
“Hmmm, no meta fights.”
With one more warm kiss and a zap of red light Barry is gone, leaving a rumpled and grinning Cisco in his bed.
Cisco sits up and looks around through bleary eyes. This is most definitely not his bedroom. The bed is well made and there isn’t a Pacific Rim poster hanging over it. Plus all of the clothes on the floor look too big for him. Not that Barry is that much bigger than him, but a combination of being taller and having broader shoulders means that whenever Cisco accidentally puts on Barry’s shirts it's endlessly hilarious to the speedster. Except when he’s wearing nothing but one of those shirts. Then Barry doesn’t laugh.
Cisco recalls one time Barry woke up and found Cisco cooking breakfast in nothing but a pair of really old, really tight shorts. They were so late to work that Caitlin called Joe, afraid that they’d been kidnapped. That had been embarrassing, but amazing in equal measure.
Being with Barry is just straight up amazing 24/7, and Cisco doesn’t know what he did to deserve any of it.
They got together sometime after they got back from Earth-2. They’d been shaken by what had happened to their doppelgangers and Jay, but instead of talking about any of it with each other they pushed it down and barely spoke at all. The labs were really really quiet for a few weeks.
And then one day he and Barry did the impossible; they had a fight. Barry had been reckless when he was fighting a new Rouge that Cisco named Abra Kadabra, getting too close to the guy's freaky power blasts and not listening to the team’s frantic advice on how to bring the guy down. They’d got him in the end after they sent in Joe armed with a specially modified Boot-Gun Cisco had thrown together, but Barry had already been hurt by then.
Everyone had given him a piece of their mind when he’d gotten back to the lab. Everyone except Cisco. He’d left the room for his laboratory so he could repair the damaged Boot and not focus on how much he wanted to scream at his best friend. But Barry had sought him out, striding into his workshop with his hands twisted in his hair and wearing half the suit.
They’d fought, argued about how reckless Barry had been since they got back from over there, how he had been seeking out fights left and right instead of slowing down and actually dealing with his problems. It takes a lot for Cisco to actually really fight with someone, but after everything they had been dealing with the frustration came quick and easy.
(“You can’t just keep running head first into these things! You’re going to get yourself killed!”
“There was no time!”
“There was plenty of time, Bear! We were five seconds away from telling you how to bring him down and you just didn’t care!”
“Are you so wrapped up in this self-hate cloud of yours that you actually want to die?!”
“Of course not!”
“Well prove it!”)
And somewhere between advancing on each other and Cisco’s final cutting remark Barry fell in love or something and decided that kissing the life out of Cisco was the correct response to the situation. And he wasn’t complaining in the slightest.
Turns out Barry was running away from more than just his sadness. He was also running away from wanting to ask Cisco out for the last few weeks and not knowing how to do it because they both were just recently broken up from some amazing women so it was all a little weird. And he said all of that in one breath.
But then Cisco said that he’s had a crush on Barry since he woke up from the coma and they ended up making out on the floor of his workshop so the awkwardness was pretty thoroughly dispelled.
And they’ve kinda been together ever since. Ever since meaning about three and a half weeks.
Cisco smiles widely up at the ceiling. Being with Barry is awesome.
Well, being with Barry is a lot like being friends with Barry. They still have movie nights when they can, still act like their geeky selves when they’re at STAR labs and just generally act like really good bros. But now every now and again Barry will smile at him from across the room, or press him up against a wall to kiss him softly or cuddle up with him while they’re watching Star Trek. It’s the same but different and so totally awesome.
Also the sex. The sex is so good.
With a groan, he hefts himself up from the bed and goes about finding his pants. He was going to go in late to work so he isn’t in a rush to get anywhere. He slips into his clothes from last night but forgoes his own shirt for one of Barry’s, a soft blended knit one that hangs down off his shoulder when he moves a certain way. It drives Barry crazy, which will come in handy when they get lunch later.
He’s walking into the kitchen and tying half his hair into a bun when he hears a throat clear.
Oh yeah. Barry’s place equals; Barry’s cop stepdad.
“Good morning, Cisco,” Joe says from where he is sat at the table, peering at him over the top of the morning paper, “Sleep well.”
Shit. Did they tell Joe they were dating? Right now he can’t remember, but surely he’s figured it out right? He’s a detective and all.
Crap gotta say something back before it gets weird.
“What- yeah, like the dead?”
Way to not make it weird.
Cisco winces and Joe continues to stare him down for a few seconds before a grin spreads across his face as he giggles.
“Just messing with you man. Coffees behind you,” Joe says with a chuckle.
Cisco’s heart restarts
“Oh, ha yeah. I can’t, um, stay-“
“That thing I said last year where you’re welcome in my house whenever you want, it still stands,” he stops to take a sip of coffee, “even if you are sneaking around with my son.”
“Oh god,” Cisco says face heating up as he pours himself a cup of coffee and swipes an apple from the bench, “Did, uh, Barry tell you about-” he waves his free hand around in the air for a moment, “-us?”
“Yeah,” Joe says suspiciously, eyes following him as he sits down opposite him at the table, “Should he not have?”
“No, its fine I was just worried,” Cisco laughs awkwardly, “I was kind of expecting a meet the parent’s type deal with you and Iris and a long scary shovel talk.”
Joe chuckles and grins at him.
“Seriously? Damn, we totally should have done that. Barry would have had a heart attack.”
Cisco snorts. He totally would. Barry would be the most freaked out by the whole thing. Cisco kind of wants photos from this theoretical situation.
“Did that happen when he met yours?”
“Your parents. Did they do the whole shovel talk thing, threaten to bury Barry in the backyard?”
Cisco looks down at the swirl of his coffee so he doesn’t have to look Joe in the eye.
“He … they haven’t met.”
Cisco sits back in his chair and forces himself to look at Joe.
“Barry hasn’t met my parents.”
“Oh,” Joe says softly, brows creasing, “Do they not know?”
“No, I told them,” Cisco admits quietly, “I thought calling them would cause the least bloodshed. It- they never really got me, you know? And their latest phase of them not getting me includes telling me I’m ‘too old to be messing around with boys’ and trying to set me up with their friend's daughters.”
“Yeesh,” Joe winces.
“Yeah. My folk's everybody.”
“If you want I can, uh, talk to them.”
“You really don’t have too.”
“Thank god,” Joe sighs and then winces again, “Not that I wouldn’t, I just don’t-“
“-have much patience with homophobes. Barry’s told me the stories from high school.”
And the second-hand stories of when Joe was just new on the force. He was very unapologetically bisexual before ninety percent of the population even knew the word. Joes never had time for any kind of ignorance. He’s kind of Cisco’s hero.
“Yeah,” Joe sighs and looks back down at his paper, “That does explain some things though.”
Cisco snaps back to reality and frowns at Joe.
“Huh, what do you mean?”
“Barry was acting funny the other day,” Joe sighs, “All squirrely. Kept asking me questions.”
“Questions?” Cisco asks, voice shaking slightly despite himself, “What kind of questions?”
The last few weeks had been hectic. They’d been going after Zoom at full speed, working themselves ragged to try and find a way to stop him. Between working two jobs and the odd impromptu date/Netflix and nap session, Cisco hadn’t noticed anything the least big squirrelly about Barry.
“Ah you know,” Joe continues absently, “Kept asking questions about how you know when a guy is serious or not. You’re his first boyfriend so he’s probably a little nervous about it all. Worried your relationship is gonna implode like the last few have.”
And suddenly there it is in Cisco’s mind. He has been wrapped up in the center of Barry’s life since before he woke up from a coma. He knows his medical and childhood history by heart, hangs out with his stepdad on a daily basis and shows up to every important family gathering. He knows everything about Barry, and besides the things he has told Barry and the personality traits he wears like armor Barry knows very little about Cisco’s life from before they met.
Barry is worried Cisco isn’t serious about them.
I mean that’s just-
For the first two or three, or maybe five days of being with Barry Cisco had spent hours worrying that he was just a stepping stone, a stopover before Barry realized he wanted to be with Iris. Because Iris is amazing and single, but still in mourning maybe? And Cisco doesn’t blame Barry for being a little in love with her cause Cisco sure is a little bit too and-
It was an anxious couple of days.
And then Barry showed up at his door with food and a look in his eyes and Cisco couldn’t breathe. Because Cisco had seen Barry look at Iris like Barry was looking at him. Barry doesn’t fall in love quickly, but he may be a little bit in love with Cisco. And Cisco may be a little bit of a lot in love with him too.
And suddenly Cisco wasn’t anxious anymore.
But maybe Barry has been walking around for weeks with that kind of anxiety. The dummy. Cisco is crazy in love with him. He wouldn’t have don’t half the crazy shit he’s done in the past couple of months- hell past couple of years- if he wasn’t. But maybe Barry can’t see that.
Wally wanders into the kitchen while Cisco is still mulling that over, bleary-eyed and zombie-like as he makes a beeline to the coffee machine. He takes two long sips, sighs, and then startles when he notices other people in the kitchen.
“Cisco!” he startles, slopping coffee everywhere while Joe bursts into laughter, “When did you get here?”
“Um... last night sometime?”
“Oh…Oh!” he flicks his eyes around, “Is Barry here?”
“Nope, he was called into work.”
“Which is where I should be heading,” Joe groans as he gets up and shrugs on his suit jacket, “One of you boys lock up behind you, will you?”
“Sure thing,” they reply and with a wave, Joe is gone.
“So, ah, any reason you’re hanging out in my kitchen at ass o’clock in the morning?”
“Oh, your kitchen?”
Wally rolls his eyes.
“I’m…” Cisco bites his lip for a moment, “I’m actually having a relationship epiphany.”
“Oh. Well, stay as long as you need then,” Wally laughs, “I’ll make pancakes.”
Which is how he and Wally end up having breakfast together while Cisco plans how to make Barry-cute-oblivious-moron-Allen realize he is ass over heels in love with him.
Cisco doesn’t get to implement his plan until after King Shark happens. Because of course, his luck is still shit at best.
Zoom is still a problem, but they get a day, a single blessed day, and Cisco takes advantage of that. He tells Barry be is taking him out for lunch and has him speed out to the west side of town.
“Uh…” Barry says with a confused frown as he looks around at the houses that most certainly aren’t restaurants, “Are you sure we’re in the right place.”
“Yep,” Cisco replies with a pop and starts striding down the sidewalk, his heart going a million miles a minute.
“Oh-ok,” Barry stutters and skips to keep up, “Are you going to explain to me whats happening?”
Cisco is too nervous if he stops now to explain what’s happening to Barry his nerves may overwhelm him and he’ll turn around and go home. But this needs to happen. Barry needs to see.
They come to the end of the block and stop in front of an old well-kept house. There is a row of rose bushes by the gate and a rug is airing out on the railing of the front steps. Christmas lights are still strung along the gutters and candles can be seen in the window of an upstairs bedroom.
Cisco takes a deep breath. No turning back now.
“Barry,” Cisco starts and Barry instantly snaps into serious boyfriend mode, intent listening face in place and everything, “Okay-um. How do- I don’t care what my parents think.”
“I mean I don’t care what they think. About me, about the weather, about anything. Their opinions mean nothing to me,” Cisco tugs on his hair nervously, “In fact for a long time there were only three people in the world where I actually cared about what they thought of me. Then stuff happened, and I joined the lab, and I met you and everyone- and that pool has expanded exponentially.”
Barry smiles at him softly.
“One of those people was my brother.”
“Dante? Have you two been patching things up? how are his hands I’ve been meaning to look into-”
“No- well he’s one of them, but I meant my other brother. Armando,” he chews his lip for a second, “My dead brother.”
Barry’s face falls. His big brown eyes get impossibly bigger and sadder.
“Cisco I’m- I had no idea-”
“I don’t broadcast it,” Cisco runs a hand down Barry’s arm to clasp his hand, “So three people; Armando, Dante and … and who lives here.”
Cisco tugs on Barry’s hand before he can say anything and walks him through the gate and up the stairs of the old house. Barry splutters but Cisco’s not stopping now. He knocks on the door and they both listen to light footsteps approaching.
A few seconds later a tiny woman opens the door. Her hair is caught back in a bun and she has a smudge of flower on her cheek under the rim of her pink-framed glasses.
Cisco feels a giant goofy smile spread across his face.
Barry tenses beside him, not so hopeless at Spanish that he doesn’t know what that means.
“quien es este hombre guapo?”
“Abuela, this is Barry. Barry this is my Abuela Louisa.”
“Hi,” Barry waves his free hand, adorably nervous, “Nice to meet you.”
“He’s my boyfriend.”
Barry tenses again. He’s going to pull a muscle at this rate. Or start vibrating.
Louisa raises her eyebrow and steps out of the doorway. She doesn’t even make it up to Barry’s chin.
She looks Barry up and down, frowns, and pokes him in the stomach.
“You’re in luck,” she announces, “I’m making Pasteles,” she cups Cisco’s face as her eyes twinkle, “Have you not been feeding him? He’s as thin as a rake.”
Cisco laughs as Barry splutters.
“He eats like a dying man, Abuela,” he laughs, “He just can’t gain any weight.”
“Oh,” the tiny old woman’s eyes sparkle, “We’ll see about that.”
Abuela Louisa ushers them into the house, and Cisco sits at the kitchen table watching Barry help her make scores and scores of pasteles. And then they both watch in horrified fascination as Barry puts away four times more food than either of them, and still has room for ice cream. His abuela glares at Cisco when he tells her he told her so, but there is humor in her eyes. She steps out to deliver some of the leftover Pasteles across the street to one of her friends, while he and Barry wash the dishes.
“She likes you.”
“Yeah?” Barry says, sounding hesitant.
“She gave you ice cream, bear, and now she’s left you unsupervised in her house. Her house,” Cisco laughs, “She’s practically given you my hand in marriage.”
“I’m not unsupervised, you’re here.”
“I’m her grandkid and her youngest one at that. I so don’t count as a responsible adult to her.”
When everything is clean they flop down on the couch in the living room.
Or rather Cisco flops down, Barry barely touches the coach before he is zooming over the mantel.
“Is this you?” he asks, zipping back to the couch with a wide grin and a photo in his hands.
Cisco takes the photo from him and nods.
“Yeah, that’s me in the middle, and that’s Dante to the right.”
“…is this Armando?”
Cisco swallows. They took the photo two weeks before everything that happened, happened. Cisco is hanging of Armando’s back, and Dante is tucked under one of his arms. All of them are grinning at the camera with wide unselfconscious grins. They look so young.
“Yeah,” Cisco ignores how his voice cracks around the word, “We had just, uh- we had just been playing in the street, Dante loves soccer like you wouldn’t believe, and Abuela came out to take the photo, and we couldn’t stop laughing. It was one of the last things we did all together.”
Barry slings an arm around Cisco’s shoulders and pulls him close to his side, giving him the chance to hide his face in the side of Barry’s neck. Cisco knows Barry knows what it feels like to lose and lose the people you love. Neither of them needs to say it. The sit together in silence for a long peaceful moment, enjoying the warmth of the afternoon.
“You know I’m completely gone on you right.”
Cisco can’t say love yet, can’t spit it out, but it’s there for anyone to see.
He feels Barry smile against the side of his head.
“Yeah,” he says softly, kissing Cisco’s hair, “Yeah I think I’m pretty gone too.”
Cisco grips Barry’s thigh. He needs Barry to hear this.
“You’re like involved in ninety-five percent of my life, Bear,” Cisco sighs, “You just came in and-and you’re everywhere. You made friends with my friends, and your family is my family too now-”
He can practically hear Barry’s giant grin.
“-and this is the other five percent, Bear. Abuela and Dante, outside the team they are basically all I give a crap about. And I just need you to know that we’re not going to implode, we’re solid, we’re-”
Barry ducks down and tries to kiss him, but he’s grinning too wide for it to really work. Cisco giggles, bringing his bands up to tip Barry’s head to the side so he can properly kiss him. Barry laughs into the kiss.
They here a click and break apart to look up and see Louisa standing in the doorway with a camera in her hand.
“What,” she says, catching the instant image as the camera spits its out, “You never let me take pictures of you anymore. And, I’m just saying, if one day you ever get married-”
Barry turns as red as a tomato and hides behind Cisco’s hair. Cisco thinks this is the happiest he’s been in a while.
He looks down at the photo in his lap and Armando looks back. Cisco smiles.