Remind me again… Why am I at Barry's bachelor party?
Leonard reclined back in his seat, content to babysit the group's booth while the others were off celebrating with darts, pool and shots at the bar. It wasn't quite like him, he knew. Even with the buzzing crowd and the hot blare of TVs blasting tonight's game, he would still normally have preferred to get a little action. The old Leonard would've at least swiped a few wallets and abused Allen's tab before showing himself out.
But tonight, all Leonard cared about was his phone. Specifically, the messages he'd been getting on his phone all night.
From one Sara Lance.
It was either Barry's party, or go back in time and help Rip fight Vandal Savage all over again, she replied. I checked. Those were the only timeline safe options ;)
Leonard chuckled at her joke, wishing for the umpteenth time that Sara were here and not at the other end of a text message.
Oh yeah, he typed, his eyes glued to the screen. Tough choice. Once was enough for that mistake, though.
Sara's response was instantaneous. You know, that mistake was how we met.
Leonard paused, re-reading the words several times before he could breathe again. The message sent his imagination into overdrive, hearing innuendo in her tone that he knew probably didn't exist. It was just too easy to see her leaning playfully toward him, her eyes drinking him in, her smile an open invitation to explore the benefits of that meeting…
That part, I'd do again.
He sent the message before his brain could catch up with his thumbs, then stared down at the phone with an odd sense of dread.
Ever since he'd been reunited with the Waverider – since he'd seen Sara again – he'd been afraid. Afraid that all the long days and nights he'd spent thinking about what the future might hold if only he could find the team were pure fantasy.
After all, so much time had passed for them. For her. Nothing was the way it had been, so how could he expect to just pick up where they left off?
He died. They'd moved on.
They couldn't have known that he was still out there, somewhere, just waiting for them. While he'd been dreaming about seeing them again – seeing her again – they'd been letting go, accepting that he was gone.
He scrolled up through older messages from Sara, thinking about the day they'd finally found him, and the handful of weeks since. About the disbelief on familiar faces, the anger on unfamiliar ones. And Sara's face… She'd been so closed off. Guarded.
He couldn't have prepared himself for that. And it made him wonder – had she missed him even a fraction of how much he'd missed her?
Leonard scrolled all the way to the top of their messages, to the very first one since his return:
You still up, crook?
It'd taken two weeks before she sent him that message. Two weeks he'd spent wondering how she felt, learning all he'd missed and beginning to understand her apprehension around him.
You know I am, he'd said.
Feel like a game of cards?
He stared at the message, remembering and feeling all over again the relief, the elation, the…hope, that the words had brought him.
Always, he'd said.
Sara spent hours in his room that night, talking and swapping stories, getting a picture of what they'd both been through in their time apart. It killed him, that he hadn't been there for her through all of it. He couldn't help imagining what he would've done if he'd been there when she found out about Laurel, when she'd faced another version of him, when Rip almost killed her… The list went on. And on. And he never wanted to leave her side again.
Captain…you played so badly, I'm afraid you deserve a demotion, he teased her, later.
Ugh. Don't call me that.
What, "Captain"? Why?
These messages still made him smirk, weeks later.
It's too weird, she'd said.
Not when everyone else says it.
That's them. You're…you.
After that, things had been – well, not exactly "normal," but at least, more like they'd been before.
The same banter and barbs as before. The same flirting and heated looks. And as before, he wondered if things would ever go further than that.
Maybe Sara had lost any real interest. Maybe she was just humoring him.
The doubt left him paralyzed.
Suddenly, the messages scrolled back to the present, breaking him out of those thoughts. Leonard watched as little dots bounced across the screen, showing that Sara was typing. He bit the inside of his lip, second guessing himself yet again, and cut her off with another message of his own.
What're you ladies up to now? he asked, changing the subject.
The dots stopped. A pause. Then started again.
Oh, you know, she said. Getting into trouble. The usual.
Leonard sighed, both relieved and disappointed that she'd let whatever she would've said go.
Don't do anything I wouldn't do, he said.
Unbidden, the image of Sara making out with some pretty stranger sprang to his mind. He had no delusions – there'd been plenty others since he'd been gone, and maybe there would be plenty more. He wished again he was with her, so that just for tonight, he could scare anyone else away.
I think you mean "don't do anything I WOULD do." But ditto, back at you, she said.
For a moment, Leonard felt a swell of pride, imagining a twinge of jealousy in Sara's words. He shrugged at his empty booth – there was no one here he'd rather be talking to, no one else who could occupy his attention so completely. Her jealousy was unnecessary and probably non-existent, and still, he clung to the hope of it.
That leaves bar fights on the table, right? he asked.
Hmm, she said, taking a few seconds before the next message appeared. It's Barry's night, so maybe not.
I bet he'd love breaking one up though, Leonard countered. Kid can't take a night off from the heroics.
Ahhh. How… heroic… of you to think of him.
Leonard snorted. He was sick of the h-word, and Sara knew it. And so of course, she used it with him as often as possible.
Tell me, is your party as boring as mine? he asked, refusing to take the bait.
Well, our strippers are probably better, she said, and Leonard swallowed back another surge of jealousy. Kidding, she added, after too long of a pause. Iris made us leave the strip club as soon as we got there. I blame Thea- she picked the spot. Too trashy.
"Who're you texting?"
Leonard started, ungluing his eyes from his phone to find himself suddenly not alone at the booth.
"None of your business, Nathaniel," he snapped, glancing back down as his phone buzzed again in his hand.
Now we're at some bar. Uh oh, Felicity and Caitlin are about to do another shot. Gotta go.
"Come on," Nate whined. "You've been texting this woman all night. Are you seriously not even gonna tell us who it is?"
"How do you know it's a woman?" Leonard countered, tucking his phone in his pocket and crossing his arms across his chest. "And maybe I'm texting lots of people."
"Pfft." Mick plopped down suddenly, pushing the table several inches as he settled in. "It's one person," he said, raising his eyebrows at Leonard. "It is a woman. And, seriously, Pretty?" he scoffed, turning to Nate. "You don't know?"
Nate frowned, pointing at Mick. "You do?"
"Duh," Mick took a pull from his beer. Then belched. "It's Blondie."
Leonard mentally groaned, watching as the quizzical look on Nate's face turned to understanding – and then shock.
"Wait," he blurted. "Do you mean Captain Lance?"
"Don't call her that," Leonard said, automatically, not denying.
"But that's who she is!" Nate sputtered. "That's who you're texting? For real?"
"What're we talking about?" Ray asked, sitting down.
Leonard rolled his eyes as Ray patted him on the shoulder. While the inventor didn't annoy him nearly as much as he once did, he could only make this conversation worse.
"Leonard here has been texting Sara," Nate wasted no time in explaining. "All night."
"Really?" Ray grinned. "That's great! I'm so glad you two are picking back up where you left off. Have you made a move yet?"
"What?" Nate whined, his face falling in disappointment. "You knew about this too? How am I the only one who didn't know?"
"Didn't know about what?" Barry asked, pulling up a chair.
Leonard swallowed another groan – the only man worse than Ray; Barry Allen.
"Leonard and Sara," Nate supplied. "Did you know they're a thing?"
Barry's eyebrows shot up as he considered Leonard. "Sara Lance?" he asked, no small amount of admiration in his tone. "Really," he added, waiting. Leonard refused to confirm or deny anything.
Barry laughed, then, seeming to take Leonard's silence for admission, and his face broke out in a grin. "Man, she's what, twelve years younger than you?"
"More," Mick corrected.
"Depends on if you count those years in the fifties," Ray inserted. "But regardless of age, she could kill him about two hundred ways – without even thinking about it," he added.
"Yeah," Barry agreed, nodding at them. "Len, you have…" he trailed off, watching Leonard's face darken, dropping whatever he'd been about to say. "…Good taste."
"There is no 'Leonard and Sara'" Leonard snapped, belatedly, glaring at Nate. "Stop spreading rumors."
"Oh yes there is," Mick inserted. "Come on. We all know it."
"He's been texting her all night," Nate nodded, reiterating the point.
"There's definitely a 'Leonard and Sara'," Ray agreed. "There has been since you guys almost froze to death together."
"It started the second they got on the Waverider," Mick corrected.
"Nope. We are not talking about this," Leonard refused, crossing his arms and hunching his shoulders around himself.
"Oh yes we are," Barry insisted. "It's my night. And if you don't tell me this 'almost froze to death together' story right now, you're gonna ruin it."
"It's exactly what it sounds like," Leonard sighed. "It got really cold. We almost died. We didn't. The end."
"You're leaving out the part where Sara came out of that room wearing your jacket," Ray said.
"You can guess the rest," Mick agreed, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
Ray grinned. "Tell us, how long were you cuddling for warmth before I got you guys out of there?"
Leonard clicked his tongue. "I don't cuddle."
"Ohh-h-h!" Barry grinned, taking far too much pleasure watching Leonard squirm. "Snart, are you in love?" he teased.
"Yes," Mick inserted.
"I am so fascinated by this," Nate said, staring at Leonard like he'd never seen him before. "How did you guys happen? Why have I never heard about it before?"
"You weren't there when it happened," Ray shrugged. "They were so cute. Always playing cards together and talking."
"And drinking," Mick added. "And coming on to each other. And the eye sex, god, watching you two was like watching the start of a porno."
"We weren't cute," Leonard said, ignoring Mick.
"You were inseparable," Ray said.
"I still don't get it," Nate said, annoying Leonard with his staring. "Sara's a tough nut to crack. How'd she fall for Leonard? I mean, she friend-zoned me like right away."
"You're not her type, Pretty," Mick said.
"Hmm," Nate hummed, taking a sip of his beer as he thought. "You're right. I'm probably too masculine for her."
Mick chuckled. "Keep telling yourself that."
"Yeah, you're probably more Mick's type than Sara's," Ray said, grinning.
Nate tilted his head, regarding Mick speculatively. "Really?" he mused.
Mick's eyes slid to Ray, shooting him a look Leonard couldn't quite interpret.
"Have you kissed her yet?" Barry asked Leonard, drawing the conversation back to the topic at hand.
"Once," Leonard answered automatically, then inwardly groaned at the honest answer. They were getting to him, and fast.
Mick almost spit out his drink. He swallowed it with a hard gulp, clearly surprised. "When?"
"Right before the Oculus blew," Leonard said, without thinking. His heart sank as the table quieted, suddenly sobering.
"What happened?" Barry asked, his expression full of concern.
Leonard was man enough to know when he was cornered. He had to tell them, now. "She found me with my hand on the failsafe," he said, quietly. He took a pull of his beer, remembering. "But we both knew it was too late." Leonard paused, staring down at the table and avoiding everyone's eyes, even as he could feel them boring into him.
"And?" Ray prompted.
"And I told her to get out of there," Leonard snapped, his hand curling into a fist at the memory. "I told her to take Mick and go. Which she did. But before that..." He frowned. "It wasn't much. My arm was all the way up a bomb for God's sake. I couldn't even touch her. And then she was gone."
Nate whistled. "Wow."
"I'm sorry, Leonard," Ray murmured.
Leonard ignored them both, instead letting his eyes dart to Barry's quiet, thoughtful expression before returning his stare to the table.
"I've never heard that story before," Mick said.
"Yeah well," Leonard shrugged, feigning indifference. "I didn't have much chance to tell you. Not really surprised she didn't, either."
"So, wait," Barry said. "That was the last thing that happened before Sara thought you…died. Have you talked about it?"
"No," Leonard answered, shortly, taking another drink.
"Don't you think you should?" Barry pressed.
All his doubts and insecurities pressed down on Leonard again, weighing so heavy he thought he could choke. "If she were still interested, she'd tell me."
"What else is she saying by texting you all night?" Nate asked, incredulous. "Dude, she can't make it more obvious than that."
Leonard channeled his doubt into annoyance, throwing it all on Nate. "Really, Nathaniel?" he asked, laying on the sarcasm. "Texting is the epitome of interest?"
"Twenty-first century romance, man," Nate said. "Get with it."
Leonard rolled his eyes. "Well, that's ironic, because the nineties just called. They want their slang back."
"Oh snap, step off," Nate said. "Doesn't make it less true."
"I think you're missing the point," Barry said. "Sara clearly has feelings for you. She thought you were dead for a year – now you're back. And you're just sitting on that?"
"Maybe I don't know what to say," Leonard admitted. "I lived a year without all of you, too."
His phone buzzed, cutting off his train of thought.
"Is that Sara?" Barry asked.
"Yes," Leonard, Mick and Ray said at the same time. Leonard ignored Ray and narrowed his eyes at his friend – who just smiled behind his beer.
"What'd she say?" Nate asked.
"She says you're all a bunch of nosy teenagers."
"Come on, Len," Barry wheedled. "I'm a taken man now, I need this. Plus, you made me agree not to stick you at the single's table. You gonna have a date to my wedding or not?"
Leonard sighed. "She's just telling me about what the girls are up to. Felicity and Caitlin have had a little too much to drink, it would seem."
"Tell us exactly what she said," Barry insisted.
"It really doesn't matter."
"Yes, it does. What did she say?"
Leonard rolled his eyes, again (he'd lose them in the back of his head, soon), but unlocked his phone, re-reading Sara's latest message. "'Crisis averted. Some dumb guys bought Felicity and Caitlin kamikaze shots, but I drank them before they could and scared the guys off.'"
Barry's mouth quirked up in a smile before he steeled his expression. "Okay, here's what you say back –"
"Seriously, Allen?" Leonard sighed. "You want to dictate my texts?"
"Try, 'Nice work.'" Barry suggested, ignoring Leonard and drumming his fingers on his beer as he thought. "Then, 'Guess I can understand those guys. If I were there, I'd be buying you shots.'"
"'And I wouldn't be scared off so easy.'" Nate added, nodding at Barry.
"Really?" Leonard drawled. "That sounds like I want to get her drunk. And assault her."
"Well what were you planning to say?" Ray asked.
"Couldn't think about it with you all butting in," Leonard snarked. "Something like…" He shrugged, getting stuck himself. "Maybe, 'I'm sure Queen would appreciate that.'"
"Oh god, do not mention her ex," Ray groaned.
"Dumbass," Mick snickered.
"Yeah, probably don't want to bring up Oliver," Barry agreed.
"I've got it," Nate said, holding up a finger. "Start with, 'That's my girl.' Eh?" He grinned, wiggling his eyebrows. "Then…" he paused, frowning. "Actually, just stick with 'That's my girl.' Then see what she says."
"What could she possibly say back to that?" Mick asked.
"She could say something like, 'Your girl, huh?'" Ray suggested.
Mick took a sip of his beer. "And then what's he gonna say?"
Nate and Ray paused, exchanging a glance.
"Um. 'Obviously'?" Nate said, uncertainly.
"You guys have no game," Mick grumbled. "None."
Ray and Nate were saved from having to answer by Harry and Cisco joining the group. They'd finished their game of pool and left Oliver and Joe to play Stein and Jax, with Wally and Ralph watching on the sides. They slid over new chairs, placing their beers on the table.
"What're we talking about?" Harry asked.
"We're helping Leonard figure out what to text Sara Lance," Nate said.
"You and I have very different ideas about what it means to 'help' someone," Leonard grumbled.
"Sara Lance?" Cisco asked, eyeing Leonard with surprise.
"Right?" Barry agreed. "Apparently, they had a thing for a long time before he, you know."
"Died?" Cisco supplied.
"Uh, yeah," Barry said, sheepishly.
"But now you're back," Harry said. "You still have feelings for her?"
"Definitely," Mick said.
"And she's into him too?" Harry asked, directing the question at Mick this time, since he was the one answering.
"Right here," Leonard reminded them.
"Oh yeah," Mick confirmed.
"They kissed right before he died but still haven't talked about it," Nate added.
"Thanks for the recap, guys," Leonard snapped. "This isn't a TV show you know."
"I can't believe it," Cisco said, ignoring him. "Captain Cold and White Canary." He paused, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "I dub thee… White Cold!" he said, then frowned. "No wait, Cold Canary! Wait. No," he shook his head. "Got it: Captain Canary."
"I love it," Barry said, grinning.
"I'm the master of hero names, villain names and couple names, what can I say?" Cisco smirked.
"Alright, what was the last thing she said?" Harry asked, nodding to Leonard.
Leonard opened his phone again, reading back the message with a sigh. "'Crisis averted. Some dumb guys bought Felicity and Caitlin kamikaze shots, but I drank them before they could and scared the guys off.'"
"We think he should start his response with 'That's my girl.'" Nate said.
"Wait," Cisco said. "'That's my girl' like, 'atta girl'? That's totally friend zone."
"No," Nate corrected. "You have to hear it in his voice. Leonard, how would you say it?"
"Yeah Leonard," Ray agreed. "Pretend I'm Sara. Say it to me."
Mick choked on his beer so hard he spit liquid from his mouth.
"Yeah Snart," he said, through coughs that sounded suspiciously like laughter. "Imagine Haircut's Blondie."
Leonard refused to even look at him. "No."
"She's going to hear it in his voice, so you have to imagine it coming from him," Nate insisted. "Just say it, Leonard."
Leonard ran his hand over his face, then sighed, for the umpteenth time that evening. He leaned forward, staring at the table and imagining Sara there. He pictured her in his mind, the smug little grin she'd be wearing after telling those guys off, the flush to her cheeks after the alcohol and victory. The way she'd be looking at him, that spark in her eyes, the way her mouth would shift a bit, from the grin into something more reflective of desire.
"That's my girl," he murmured.
For a moment, the table was quiet.
Then Cisco swore. "Damn."
Nate nodded sagely. "Panty. Dropper."
Leonard raised his eyebrows at him.
Nate lifted his hands. "Dude, I'm just saying. You've got this."
Harry shrugged, nodding. "The assumptive close. She's yours, but not in an overbearing way. It's good. You have to ask her a question though you know, or she'll have nothing to say back."
"Oh, that's a good point," Ray said. "Can't believe we forgot that."
"I can," Mick muttered.
"Ask her if she likes the adjustments I made to her suit," Cisco suggested.
Barry shook his head. "Come on, Cisco, we're being serious here."
"What?" He shrugged. "I seriously want to know."
"Ask her yourself later," Barry said.
"Can I see your phone?" Harry asked, holding out his hand to Leonard.
Of all of them, Leonard did trust Harry to be the least stupid. The man waved his fingers, motioning for Leonard to put his phone in his hand. Reluctantly, Leonard gave it to him.
"Okay, let's see…" Harry scrolled up, reading back through some of the messages, chuckling when he got to the end. "You're right about the heroics," he said, smirking at Leonard. "And she used a winky face," he added. "That's a good sign."
"She's sending you winky faces?" Nate asked, incredulous. "Dude. Tap that."
"Thanks," Leonard deadpanned, ignoring Nate. "But I'd like to answer her before she forgets what she even said."
"Alright," Harry agreed, turning his attention back to the phone and typing out a message with his thumbs. "How about this?"
Leonard took his phone back and looked down at the screen.
That's my girl. I bet those dumb guys tried to buy you a shot, too?
"Not bad," he said, grudgingly.
"It's brilliant," Harry corrected. "It's flattering, and it turns the subject to her relationship with men, which you can steer toward talking about her relationship with you." He folded his arms across his chest, looking satisfied with himself. "But see what she says first."
"What're you saying?" Nate asked.
Leonard read back the text, feeling incredibly foolish but not knowing what to do about it. When everyone around the table nodded in approval, he sent it, locking his phone again and leaning back in his chair, muttering to himself.
I can't believe I just let them dictate my text message – by committee no less.
The group quieted as a waitress came to the table, dropping off wings, fries, and an assortment of other fried foods.
Then his phone buzzed.
"What'd she say?" Cisco asked.
As one, the group turned to look at Leonard. He knew it was a lost cause to argue, so he just rolled his eyes before unlocking his phone and reading the message aloud.
"'Well, yeah. But I don't let just anyone buy my drinks.'"
"What?" Leonard shot at him.
Harry rolled a napkin between his hands, shaking his head at Leonard. "You know what you have to say, right?"
Leonard just raised his eyebrows.
"Give me your phone."
Thanks very much for your kind feedback on this! I'm so happy you're loving it so far. If you know ClaudiaRain, you know there's another Flarrowverse pairing she loves even more than CC, so of course they'll be making an appearance here. I hope you enjoy it!
Half an hour earlier…
Sara sidled up to the bar, fanning herself and tugging at her dress as she took the open seat next to Caitlin.
"I know I was the one who let Thea fabricate our dresses from the Waverider," she said, "but could she have made them any sluttier?"
"Yes," Caitlin said, nodding emphatically. "Trust me. She tried."
"Thankfully, Ray caught her," Felicity added. "He was scandalized by the digital model alone."
"But he let her get away with this?" Sara asked, gesturing to her skimpy outfit. "I think I'd flash the bar if I bent over."
"Yeah," Felicity agreed, looking down at her own cleavage. "But I kind of like the attention."
"Doesn't Oliver give you enough attention?" Caitlin teased.
Felicity preened. "What girl doesn't like feeling wanted?"
"Yeah well, you'd better stop shooting glances at those guys," Sara warned, nodding down the bar. "They're gonna come talk to you soon."
"Yes, and?" Felicity asked innocently, taking a long sip from her straw.
Sara chuckled. "What're you having?" she asked, pointing at Felicity's drink.
"The bachelorette special," Felicity said, wiggling her eyebrows and holding it a little closer. "Try Caitlin's, mine's almost gone and these are like ten bucks a pop."
"Oh, is that why you're trying to get those guys to come over?" Sara grinned. "You want them to buy you a drink?"
"Duh. You know the Arrow doesn't pay well."
Sara leaned over, ignoring Caitlin's protests as she took a generous sip of her drink.
"Woah," she said. "What's in this?"
"What's wrong?" Caitlin asked, snatching it back. "Taste too strong for you? I can't taste any booze at all."
"That's the problem," Sara said, eyeing the drink suspiciously. "It's so sweet. It tastes like punch from a frat party. There's probably five different kinds of liquor and a splash of sprite and grenadine."
"I'm not complaining," Felicity said, grabbing a barstool as it opened on the other side of Caitlin. "Oh my god my feet," she sighed. "These shoes are so pretty, but so evil. Evil!" She glared down at her feet, as if she could make them stop hurting with a look. "Wait, Thea is the evil one for making them. Where is Thea?"
Sara laughed, scanning her eyes around the room until she saw Iris, Jesse, Thea and Amaya, spinning around each other and giggling on the dance floor.
"She's had a few bachelorette specials herself," Caitlin pointed out.
Sara used the pause in conversation to check her phone, smiling when she saw a text from Leonard.
Remind me again… Why am I at Barry's bachelor party?
It sort of made her feel like a teenager again, the way her stomach flipped at the sight of his name on the screen. It still caught her by surprise whenever she saw a message from him, and still, even a few words could leave her light-headed.
Which made sense, really, because she'd never thought she'd see him again. This him, anyway. She'd never thought she'd talk to him again, or hear his voice again, or play cards, or touch him, or kiss him…
Well, maybe they'd never kiss again.
But the rest… Finding him alive had been a second chance she'd never let herself hope for, after everything else she'd lost. That first day they'd found him, she'd been so guarded – so afraid that it was all a trick, or maybe a dream. For a week, she'd wake up every morning asking Gideon if it was true. She kept her distance from Leonard, worried that the second she let him in, she'd find out it was a lie, or he'd leave, and she'd be alone again.
It took two weeks before Mick finally pulled her aside, locking her in the training room and literally knocking the sense into her.
"When're you gonna stop ignoring him?" he'd asked, while she'd dodged his punch.
"I'm not ignoring him," she'd insisted.
"Then talk to him."
"I'm not not talking to him," she'd argued, weakly, as he swept out her feet. She hit the floor, hard, her breath catching.
"Talk to him," Mick repeated. "You owe it to yourself. And to him." He'd sighed, then, and held out his hand to help her up. "I know you think it's too good to be true," he added. "Gideon told me – I ask her if he's real, too."
She'd balked, dropping Mick's hand. "Gideon!"
"You lot need to stop insisting on suffering alone," Gideon had replied, primly. "I wouldn't need to interfere if you did."
Mick nodded at the ceiling, pinning Sara with a knowing stare. "What she said."
Sara had texted Leonard that night. She'd felt like a coward, hiding behind a phone screen, but she'd needed that to break the ice. They'd played cards, and talked, and flirted, and she'd relaxed. She finally let herself believe that he was back, for good. That maybe they'd have time now to explore everything left unsaid between them.
So now…yes, even a few weeks later, a short message from him still left her a little breathless. And before she knew it, she'd spent ten minutes just texting and grinning at her phone.
"Who are you talking to?" Caitlin asked, eventually, jarring Sara out of it.
"No one," she said, innocently, slipping her phone in her pocket mid-message. At some point, a drink had materialized beside her without her even noticing. She took a sip, resolving to be less oblivious for the rest of the evening.
Felicity raised her eyebrows, watching her doubtfully. "'No one' as in 'no one we'd know' or 'no one important' or 'no one you want to tell us about'?" She gave Sara a pointed look. "Whoever it is, you've been texting them all night."
Caitlin hummed in agreement. "Sara, are you seeing someone?" she asked. "Come on, you can tell us!"
Sara rolled her eyes. "No, it's not like that," she sighed. "It's Leonard."
"Wait," Caitlin said. "Leonard as in Leonard Snart?"
Felicity gasped. "Leonard Snart, Leonard Snart?"
"As in Captain Cold?" Caitlin added.
"As in, the sexy villain Barry always turns to for advice?" Felicity asked.
Caitlin raised her eyebrows. "As in, the villain who once kidnapped me and tried to murder Barry?"
"As in, recently returned from the dead after becoming a hero and saving the world?" Felicity countered.
"Alright, I'll give him that," Caitlin admitted, shrugging. "That's who you've been texting?"
"Yes," Sara said, knocking back the rest of her drink in one go. "The one and only."
"Oh my god," Felicity said. "Why didn't you tell us?" She downed her drink too, slamming the glass on the bar and hopping down to stand in front of Sara, resting her arms in her lap and staring up at her intensely. "I need to know everything. Now."
Sara laughed, cupping Felicity's face in her hands. "You're like a puppy," she cooed.
"My cuteness does not get you out of this," Felicity insisted. "I want details. Start from the beginning!"
A handsome twenty-something in a leather jacket interrupted their conversation, saving Sara from having to answer. He leaned on the bar next to Caitlin casually, smiling at them.
"We're about to do a round of shots," he said. "Come join us if you can."
"Yes," Felicity said, a little breathlessly.
"Don't you think you've had enough?" Sara asked, but Felicity didn't hear her. She'd already grabbed Caitlin's hand and dragged her over to where the guy and his friends were waiting, a little way down the bar. To Sara's horror, the men immediately placed a round of shots in their hands.
Sara shook her head, finishing her message to Leonard and sending it before following.
She made it over to the group just in time to watch one of the guy's hands wander from Caitlin's back dangerously lower. Sara grabbed his wrist and yanked it away, forcing herself to handle him more gently than she really wanted.
"Ah ah," she said, wiggling her finger at him. "You're free to look, but keep your hands to yourself." She looked back at Caitlin and Felicity, both paused with their shots halfway to their mouths. Delicately, she plucked the shots away from them, downing both herself back to back.
"Kamikazes," Sara groaned, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. "Trust me, you'll be glad you didn't take those."
"I'm a grown woman, damnit," Felicity pouted, but followed Sara away from the bar and toward a table where the other girls had landed.
"We got you guys another round!" Iris called, waving them over.
"Alright, you're forgiven," Felicity said to Sara, accepting a drink from Jesse.
While Felicity and Caitlin regaled the others about the hot young men who'd hit on them and bought them shots, Sara took the opportunity to text Leonard again, letting him know she was back.
"Hey wait," Felicity said, pausing in her story. "You're texting Leonard again, aren't you? Ah! We were totally talking about you and Leonard, I'm so sorry we got distracted!"
"You and Leonard?" Amaya echoed, raising her eyebrows speculatively.
"Stop," Sara groaned. "There is no 'me and Leonard.'"
"Sure seems like it," Caitlin countered. "You've been texting him all night."
"Oh my god, Sara!" Iris exclaimed, grinning. "I need all the details, come on girl."
"Spill it!" Felicity agreed.
"Wait," Jesse said, holding out a finger. "Is Leonard the sexy broody one with the big parka?"
"Your dad would die if he heard you say that," Iris laughed. "But yes."
"Ooh," Thea cooed. "He's yummy. An older man, Sara, I like it. You're a woman after my own heart."
Felicity poked her. "Oliver would die if he heard you say that."
Thea shrugged, winking at Sara.
Jesse sighed. "He's so beautiful, I was too intimidated to even talk to him."
"And he's a bad boy," Caitlin added.
"But quite the hero," Amaya said, eyeing Sara thoughtfully. "How did this happen?"
"He's a thief, right?" Jesse asked. "I'll bet he stole a kiss."
Sara's heart twisted at the thought, and she buried the feeling in her drink, quickly downing it.
"But Sara would've gutted him," Thea protested, oblivious to Sara's thoughts. "Unless he stole her knives first."
"He seems too shy to pull such a move," Amaya added. "But I have seen how he looks at you. It's enough to make even me blush." She paused, regarding Sara. "Are you in love?"
"Why didn't you tell us you were in love?" Felicity cried, grabbing Sara by the arm and shaking her.
"Okay, that's enough guys," Sara laughed. "Fine, if I tell you, will you please drop it?"
They nodded eagerly – liars, all of them, Sara knew. Still, they weren't going to let her off without giving them something.
"It started when we got on the Waverider," she said. "He annoyed me at first, but there was always this…push me, pull me, kind of attraction there, you know?" She sighed, remembering those early days on the ship. "We have a lot in common, and we ended up spending a lot of time together.
"We played cards," she continued. "We flirted. He gave me his jacket when we almost froze to death. Long story," she added, at the confused expressions around her. "The point is, we got close. Really close. And I think we were dancing around more, but. Then he died."
They all sat back a little at that, frowning at Sara's words.
"But, he's not dead after all," Felicity said, patting Sara's arm. "He's alive, back on your team. What's been going on with you since then?"
Sara shrugged. "Not very much," she said, trying not to show her disappointment about it. "A little getting reacquainted. As of now, we're just friends."
"Why?" Amaya asked. "It doesn't sound like what you want."
"Honestly, I'm a little nervous," Sara admitted. "And he's been a little distant, and I'm trying to give him his space. I know it's been a tough time for him, too. I wanted to give him a chance to adjust before we brought it up again."
"Have you ever kissed?" Iris asked.
"Once," Sara said. "Right before he died." She dropped her eyes down, remembering. "That was the last time I saw him until about a month ago."
"Wow," Iris murmured.
"Yeah, your love story can't end there," Felicity said, pounding her drink on the table. "I refuse to let that happen!"
"Felicity, I don't think you can actually control that," Caitlin said, not that the other woman heard her.
"What's his text say?" Thea asked, pointing at Sara's phone, which had just lit up.
Sara picked it up, reading the message on the lock screen and laughing under her breath.
"I told him about the guys at the bar who bought Felicity and Caitlin shots, and how I drank them and scared the guys off."
Felicity pouted. "I worked for those drinks."
"Yeah, yeah, so what'd he say?" Jesse asked, waving Felicity off.
"He said, 'That's my girl. I bet those dumb guys tried to buy you a shot, too?'"
"Ooh," Iris grinned. "'My girl,' huh?"
"That's bold," Thea said. "I like it."
"A little presumptive, but cute," Felicity added.
"He sounds kind of like Harry," Caitlin said.
"'My girl,'" Amaya mused. "Well, he's a little arrogant, but he certainly wants you."
Sara smiled, firing off a quick response.
"Hey," Iris complained. "You didn't even give us a chance to help you decide what to say."
Sara tilted her head. "Why would I need help?"
"You're no fun." Iris sat her head in her hand, sighing. "Well, what did you say then?"
Sara glanced down at her phone. "I said, 'Well, yeah. But I don't let just anyone buy my drinks.'"
"That's not bad," Jesse said.
"Could use some improvement, but it'll do," Thea agreed.
Sara smirked. "What would you have said?"
"What she would've said would've been the start of a porno," Felicity inserted. "Don't listen to her."
"Oh, and we should listen to you, miss smooth?" Thea asked sarcastically, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Okay sure, I've put my foot in my mouth a time or two," Felicity admitted. "I'm still smooth!" A beat, and then she closed her eyes, scrunching her face. "Why did that sound like a bad innuendo?"
"Yeah, I think 'a time or two' was an under exaggeration," Thea laughed.
The girls went on bickering, but Sara lost track of what they were saying when her phone buzzed again. She paused, reading the message over several times before interrupting.
"Uh, guys?" She swallowed. "He texted back."
Everyone spun their heads to look at her.
"Well, what did he say?" Iris prodded.
"He said, 'How about me?'"
A hush fell around the table.
Then Thea cat called, and the other girls joined in, whistling and ooh-ing and just generally giving Sara a hard time.
"I think he's ready to talk," Iris said, smartly.
Sara bit her lip, staring at her phone. "Maybe."
She tapped out the first thing that came to her mind, sending it before she could think better of it.
"What'd you say?" Caitlin asked.
"I said, 'You wanna buy me a drink, Leonard?'"
Sara dropped her phone to the table, burying her face in her hands with a sigh.
"That was pretty tame," Thea said. "What's wrong?"
"I just keep thinking about this conversation we had, right before he died," Sara said. "I was mad at him. Long story, but he deserved it. And maybe it was because he could tell things were about to go wrong and didn't want it to go unsaid, or he was just sick of waiting, but he chose that moment to tell me he was thinking of a future with me."
The girls cooed around the table, giving Sara puppy dog eyes.
"Yes, it would've been much more romantic if he hadn't just pulled a gun on me a few hours before that." She stopped at the looks on everyone's faces. "Like I said, long story." Sara sighed again. "Anyway, I was still so mad, that all I could say back was, 'You wanna steal a kiss from me, Leonard? You'd better be one hell of a thief.'" She curled her hand into a fist on the table, still frustrated with herself after all this time. "Again and again, I've wished I could just go back to that moment, and steal a kiss myself. I've replayed it a thousand times."
Iris frowned. "You couldn't have known what was going to happen."
"No," Sara agreed, "but he died, and that's all I was left with."
"He's not dead anymore," Thea reminded her. "You guys can have everything you didn't think you could have. Take advantage of this, Sara."
Just then, Felicity clutched at Sara's arm.
"Uh oh," she muttered, covering her mouth with her hand.
"Uh oh?" Thea asked. "What's 'uh oh'?"
Felicity's words were muffled behind her hand. "I think I'm going to be sick."
"You can't get sick," Caitlin protested, covering her own mouth. "If you get sick, I'll get sick."
"Come on, let's get you to the bathroom," Iris said, hopping down from her chair and dragging Felicity away. Sara followed with Thea and Caitlin, who was nervously covering her mouth and her stomach.
"Amaya and I will stay here and keep the table!" Jesse called, as they disappeared into the crowd.
Felicity moaned. "I hate getting – " she paused, a tell-tale reflexive sound starting in the back of her throat. Iris pushed her into the bathroom and to a stall, blessedly just in time for her to make the toilet. The other women cringed sympathetically.
"Aren't you glad I took the kamikaze shot for you now?" Sara called, over the sounds of Felicity retching.
"Are you…going…to gloat, or hold my hair back?" Felicity panted. Thea waved Sara off, joining Felicity in the stall.
"There, there," she cooed. "Get it all out, and then we can get you a fresh drink. Maybe some wine."
Caitlin gagged, nose wrinkling at the smell. Then she darted into the stall next to Felicity's, getting sick herself.
Iris groaned sympathetically. "Oh, Caitlin, hang on." She wetted a few paper towels, handing some to Thea before joining Caitlin in the stall.
"Anyone else need to get sick?" Thea called, sarcastically. "Speak now or forever hold it."
"You're not funny," Felicity groaned.
Sara glanced at her phone, heart sinking when she realized Leonard still hadn't responded to her last text. She read the messages back, second-guessing herself.
Well, yeah. But I don't let just anyone buy my drinks, she'd said.
How about me?
You wanna buy me a drink, Leonard?
She could see that he'd read her message – so why hadn't he responded? Maybe she'd misread his flirting, or had she taken her own a step too far? Maybe he was as scared as she was, and it was still too soon for a real conversation.
Hold that thought, she said, typing a new message. Felicity and Caitlin are getting sick.
She put her phone away, her face suddenly hot. She'd had too much to drink, and it was getting to her head. She knew that. But she couldn't help the flush of embarrassment she felt, heating her body all the way from her toes to her ears.
The flush of a toilet made Sara jump. She turned on the faucet, running cold water and dabbing it to her face.
"Alright!" Felicity called, as she and Thea crashed out of the stall. "I'm ready to get back out there."
"Have a Listerine strip," Thea suggested, handing her one from her purse. "Way to puke and rally, champ."
"How're you doing in there, Cait?" Felicity called, wiping at her forehead and straightening her dress.
"'M okay," Caitlin replied, weakly.
Suddenly, the bathroom door banged open, and a man strode purposefully into the women's room.
Well, not just any man, Sara realized – it was Harrison Wells.
"Harry?" Caitlin asked, as she and Iris propped open the stall door, peeking out.
He brushed by Sara, dropping to his knees before the stall. "Are you alright?" he asked, voice full of concern.
"Is that…?" Caitlin paused, staring at the bag Harry was fumbling with. "Did you bring me saltines and ginger ale?"
"Yes, of course," he said, absently, as he opened the soda and handed it to her, then started opening the crackers, too.
Caitlin stared at him, her eyes round and glassy. "Thank you," she murmured, taking a sip. Then she started. "Wait," she said, frowning.
Harry looked up from the half-open crackers. "Is it the wrong brand? It's all they had, but I can call Allen and –"
"No, it's fine," she said, cutting him off. "But how did you know I'd need it?"
Harry stilled. Then he half turned around, glancing at Sara.
"She texted Leonard that you were getting sick."
Sara's heart stopped. "And he told you?" she sputtered. "Why?"
"I assume because Allen loves interfering with his friend's love lives," he said, shrugging, and handed Caitlin a cracker.
"What?" Sara asked, ashamed when her voice came out as a squeak. "But I literally just texted him that. How did you get here so fast?"
Harry passed Caitlin a second cracker as she finished nibbling the first. "Allen flashed me over," he muttered.
Iris's eyebrows shot up. "Barry carried you here?"
"You swore you'd never let him do that," Caitlin said, incredulous.
Harry huffed. "It was an emergency," he said. "I had to get here as soon as possible."
"She just had a little too much to drink," Felicity said, confused.
"Yeah, she probably wouldn't have even puked if light-weight over here hadn't," Thea added.
"She didn't have anything to drink tonight," Harry grumbled.
Felicity stared at him. "What do you mean? Of course she did."
"No," Harry argued, "she didn't."
"You weren't even here," Thea scoffed. "How would you know?"
Harry dropped the crackers, throwing his hands up. "Because she's pregnant!"
The room fell quiet as the women stared at Harry in surprise.
"You knew," Caitlin said, eventually, breaking the silence. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I was waiting for you to tell me," he said, eyes downcast. "I figured you weren't ready to talk yet, but I've been worried."
"I didn't mean to worry you, I just –"
"Harry, are you the father?" Felicity gasped, interrupting. "Oh my god. Oh my god!" She covered her mouth with her hand, staring down at the couple in shock. "Iris, did you know?"
"Yes, I knew," Iris said, carefully, glancing back and forth between Harry and Caitlin. "I was there when she found out."
"How long have you two been together?" Felicity went on, as if Iris hadn't spoken, working herself up into a frenzy. "Was this a secret? Why haven't we talked about this? What else are you hiding?"
"We're not hiding anything," Caitlin protested. "Well, I mean, I guess we were. It started when Harry came back. We were just waiting to tell everyone until we knew it was serious," she said. "But when I found out about the…baby…I was afraid you'd think it was too serious," she finished, looking at Harry.
"I've been serious since day one," he said, softly. "This doesn't change my feelings in the slightest."
Caitlin softened, her eyes visibly watering. "Really?" she whispered.
"Well," Harry amended, "except that I'm thrilled. And worried about you. And want to take care of you."
"Oh my god," Felicity whispered, hands on her face. "I could die. That's so sweet."
Iris stood, making room for Harry to slide into the stall with Caitlin. He pulled her into his arms, rubbing her back and dropping a kiss onto the top of her head. "How're you feeling?" he murmured.
Caitlin wiped away a tear. "Much better now," she smiled, her voice thick. "I'm never going to let you live down getting 'Flashed'."
Harry rolled his eyes, but he smiled right back.
"Oh, hey Sara," Thea said, swatting Sara's arm. "You never told us what Leonard texted back to you!"
"Oh," Sara said. It hardly seemed important, compared to the scene that was Caitlin and Harry holding each other on the bathroom floor. She pulled out her phone, only to find that Leonard still hadn't responded to her last messages. She dropped it on the counter, sick of looking at it.
"He never said anything," Sara explained. "I think I spooked him." She sighed. "I guess he's not interested, or not ready…"
"What?" Harry snapped. "Are you kidding me? You people are all so oblivious." He looked down at Caitlin. "Why are all of our friends so completely oblivious?"
Caitlin shrugged, sipping her ginger ale. "That's why you can never leave us."
"Sara," Harry sighed, craning his neck around to look at her. "That man is crazy about you. He hasn't texted you because he's got half a dozen guys over there all giving him god-awful love advice and arguing over what he should say."
Iris laughed. "I hope he's not listening to Barry," she said. "Poor Barry was terrible at flirty texts before we got together."
"God help him if Oliver is telling him what to say," Felicity added. "I don't think he has a witty bone in his body. After all this time, I still haven't rubbed off on him."
Thea hummed. "I'm trying to think if any of those guys would be any help." She tilted her head. "No," she decided. "The only one who'd be any use is you, Harry, and you're here…"
"Exactly," Harry agreed. "That's why he hasn't texted you," he added, to Sara.
"The other guys are giving Leonard love advice," Sara repeated, still stunned. "About me?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "Who else? You're clearly it for him."
"I am?" she asked, dazed.
Then her phone buzzed from the bathroom counter.
Thea grabbed it before Sara could, eyes widening as she read the message.
"Well," Thea drawled. "Damn. Sara?" She passed the phone back. "You want to read that."
Half an hour earlier…
"Give me your phone."
Leonard glanced around the table, warily noting the others' eager faces – could he survive their advice if he didn't? – and reluctantly placed the device in Harry's outstretched hand.
"You know," Cisco started, craning to read over Harry's shoulder.
Harry snorted. "No."
"You should tell her she shouldn't have taken those shots," Cisco continued, undeterred. "There are some pretty scary dudes out there these days."
"Like you?" Leonard muttered, and Mick choked mid-bite on a fried zucchini.
"Ooh yeah," Nate agreed, oblivious. "Never know what they could've slipped in her drink."
"Shut up, Ramon," Harry snapped. "And Ramon junior."
"Wait – Cisco's right," Ray argued, suddenly startled.
Harry rolled his eyes. "That never happens."
Ray's brow furrowed, and he half-stood. "But what if those kamikazes were laced with ketamine?" he cried.
"Sara can take care of herself," Leonard said, calmly motioning Ray back to his seat. "She's too smart to fall for that." But then he faltered, catching some of Ray's concern – enough that he considered leaving to check on her, too.
"She'll be fine," Barry said, reading Leonard's thoughts. "Besides, if anything happens, I can always Flash her to S.T.A.R. Labs."
Mick paused his steady inhaling of fried food, shooting Barry a frown. "If you flash Blondie, she'll kick your ass." He took another bite, considering. "Then I'll kick your ass," he added.
"Don't kick it too hard," Ray joked, appeased. "It is the man's bachelor party, after all."
"At least avoid his face," Nate said. "You know, for photos."
"Snart," Mick barked, "Scarlet here's gonna flash your girl. If you care."
Barry flushed. "That's not what I –"
"You're welcome," Harry said, interrupting to hand Leonard his phone, all ready with a message typed and waiting to send.
Leonard read back a few messages, assessing.
That's my girl. I bet those dumb guys tried to buy you a shot, too?
Well, yeah. But I don't let just anyone buy my drinks, she'd said.
Then he read Harry's suggested text, so short and simple, yet saying so much:
How about me?
Leonard nodded, pressing send and shoving his phone in his pocket before he could overthink it.
And yet… Now that the message was sent, he couldn't help but wonder…
How about me?
Did he really want to find out?
Suddenly, the bar was too hot for his parka. He pushed it off, then grabbed his beer and finished it in one pull. Not because he was nervous, obviously. That would be stupid.
Barry leaned in, watching him. "What'd you say?" he asked, urgently.
Before Leonard could dodge the question, Oliver, Joe, Wally, Ralph, Jax and Stein all joined them, crowding in around the table with a fresh round of drinks and food. Leonard mentally groaned – he didn't need more of an audience, especially if Sara was about to shoot him down. Then again, maybe the newcomers would distract the others, and he could quietly melt into the background…but he'd probably jinxed himself by hoping it.
"How was your game?" Cisco asked, waving to Wally and moving his chair to make room.
Oliver shrugged, then smirked a little behind a fry. "We won," he said, simply.
"Best two out of three," Jax reminded him. "The physicist in the group here over thought every shot, luckily for you." Jax sent Stein an annoyed glance, which Stein easily ignored, taking a prim sip of his drink.
"And what debauchery have you all been getting into while we were otherwise occupied?" Stein asked, with a bored sarcasm Leonard truly appreciated.
"Well," Nate started, rubbing his hands together and wiggling his eyebrows – the man was worse than a gossiping school girl.
"Leonard and Sara have been texting all night, and we're helping him ease out of the friend zone," Ray cut in, stealing his thunder.
"Dude, I wanted to tell them!" Nate complained.
Leonard audibly groaned. Here we go again, he thought.
"Leonard and Sara?" Jax asked, taking a bite of his chicken wing. "That's awesome man, I'm glad for you guys. It's been long enough of a wait."
"Yes," Stein agreed, raising his glass at Leonard. "You and Captain Lance have always had a certain repartee, and an obvious attraction. It's high time you acted on it."
"Aw, Snart! That's so sweet," Barry cooed.
"Literally everyone knew about this but me, didn't they?" Nate grumbled, pouting back in his seat.
Harry smirked. "Yes."
"You just found out tonight too!" Nate protested.
"Wait," Wally cut in. "I'm not sure I know who Leonard or Sara are."
"Leonard's right there," Barry said, pointing. "And Sara's the captain of the Waverider, remember? Blonde hair."
"The one with glasses? Sexy librarian type?" Wally asked.
"That would be my girlfriend, thanks," Oliver said wryly.
"Yeah Sara is Oliver's ex-girlfriend, Wally, keep up." Cisco said.
"Sorry guys," Wally said. He leaned over to Joe. "I still don't know who Leonard is. Why is he here again?"
"Used to be a bad guy, now he's a good guy. For awhile, he was a dead guy, but he got over that," Joe said.
"Leonard," Oliver said seriously, raising his eyebrows at him. "Sara Lance is a very special woman. And, she's still a close friend of mine –"
"That's so nice you stayed friends after you broke up," Ray said, cutting him off. "Felicity and I don't talk anymore, but I know you were outrageously jealous of me, so I can understand."
"I cannot keep up with all the inbred relationships in this friend group," Nate complained. "Did Barry used to date Sara too? Is she into everyone but me?"
Cisco laughed. "Sara is way too scary for Barry," he said. "There was that time he and Felicity kissed, though. Didja know about that, Ollie?"
Oliver gave him a blank stare, just one eyebrow raised – and Leonard had the distinct impression that no, as a matter of fact, he had not known.
Barry winced. "It was more like a friend thing!" he claimed, stammering. "You know, like a European goodbye."
"You said you kissed her full on the mouth!" Cisco protested.
"Our man Bare here has the heroic good looks and boyish charm women just can't resist," Ralph said, clapping Barry on the shoulder. "That's why I keep telling him not to get married. Alas, he won't listen. Can we go to the strip club now, Barry?"
"You know, Ralph's got a point – for once," Cisco agreed. "There was that time I could swear he and Caitlin were going to get together, too."
Harry's head snapped up at that. "Allen and Caitlin used to date?" he asked, incredulously.
"No –" Barry tried, not that anyone was listening.
"Well they've kissed, I'm pretty sure," Cisco said, scratching his chin and trying to remember. "And there was that one time they went out when Caitlin got super drunk and stripped, and Barry had to put her to bed. He blushed for weeks, am I right, Bare?"
"You kissed her?" Harry turned on Barry.
"No – " Barry sputtered. "That was a shapeshifter pretending to be me."
Strangely, this didn't appease Harry. "You saw her naked?"
Barry laughed nervously, avoiding Harry's eyes. "Not exactly…"
"What was it then, exactly?" Harry asked, intensely.
"And then there was that reporter, and Penny, of course," Cisco continued, ignoring them, "and Kara, the hot alien chick from another Earth."
"Kara and I are just friends!" Barry insisted, watching carefully as Harry let the Caitlin subject drop. "Super friends, yes, but only friends. Can we all remember that we're at my bachelor party, because I'm marrying Iris?"
"Yes," Joe said, "and I'm so glad to know my daughter came last in a long line of women."
"At least I never dated Kendra," Barry said, pointedly looking between Cisco and Ray.
"Oh yeah," Ray said. "Well, thanks for flippantly bringing up one of the worst heartbreaks of my life."
"It wasn't just you, man," Cisco said, raising a drink to Ray. "We've all felt that pain."
"Too bad you don't have Scarlet's 'boyish charms,' Snart," Mick laughed, elbowing Leonard. "Watch out, I think he's got his eyes on Blondie."
"No, I don't," Barry insisted. Then he grinned. "But I do think Leonard has the perfect kind of charm for Sara," he teased.
Mick snorted. "What kind of charm is that? Non-existent?"
"Sarcastic?" Nate supplied.
"Deadly?" Cisco asked.
"Eh," Ray said. "He's kind of a softie these days."
"Maybe it's that he's got half a brain," Harry suggested.
Mick hummed. "I dunno about that."
"I'll bet he is good with his hands, though," Stein commented.
"Gross, Gray," Jax said, shaking his head.
"He's a thief. It's an obvious observation," Stein said, standing. "Now if you'll excuse me, Lilly's calling – probably a question about the baby."
"Oh, I know – he's a smartass," Mick said, guessing again as Stein left the table. "It's sorta funny sometimes. Not often, but sometimes."
"No," Barry said, as Leonard groaned. "He doesn't want anyone to know it, but he is totally heroic. I bet Sara loves that – a bad boy with a heart of gold. Right, Snart?"
Leonard covered his face with his hands. "You're all unbearable."
"Wait," Wally said suddenly, "is Sara the one who's always flipping a knife around?"
"Uh huh," Joe nodded, looking bored as he helped himself to another fry.
"Wow, Leonard," Wally said, "you must be either really brave or really stupid."
"Or really turned on by dangerous women," Ralph added. "I can appreciate that."
Oliver forcibly coughed, calling attention back to himself. "I think it goes without saying, Leonard, but I'll say it anyway: If you hurt Sara, you'll have to answer to me."
"That's your shovel talk, huh, Queen?" Leonard asked, as Oliver just stared him down.
"Noted," he drawled, eventually, when Oliver refused to speak. "Kind of lame, since we all know Sara would skewer me herself – but I can appreciate the sentiment." Then he shrugged, sighing despite himself. "It's a moot point anyway... I'm not sure she's interested."
"What?" Oliver barked, surprised. "Are you kidding me? She's definitely interested."
Nate hummed doubtfully. "How do you know?"
Oliver gave him a withering look. "Because she told me."
They all quieted at that, staring at Oliver in surprise. Leonard froze, too stunned to believe it.
"When?" Barry asked.
"We had coffee this morning," Oliver said, shrugging, as if it were no big deal and not the biggest news Leonard had heard in weeks. "For the record, she told me about you when you first died," he added, watching Leonard. "When she was grieving you and Laurel." He paused, taking a sip of his beer. "Now you're alive again. Obviously we talked about it."
Leonard took a shallow breath. Grieving you. The words were too casual to convey their meaning, the fact that Leonard's death had meant even close to as much to Sara as her sister's had. It hurt, to think of her pain, and yet he couldn't fight back the lump of hope that rose in his throat.
"What did she say?" Barry pressed, eagerly.
"She's waiting on him," Oliver said, gesturing to Leonard. "She doesn't know how he feels. She doesn't think even he knows how he feels, so she's giving him space to figure himself out after everything."
Leonard made a strangled noise as he tried to speak. "That's not necessary," he managed, his voice low. "I know exactly how I feel."
"Well, I'd tell her that," Oliver said, studying him. "And Leonard, you don't need to overthink it with Sara. She doesn't need a grand gesture or a speech. Just…stop acting so aloof." His mouth half curved up in a small smile. "Sara is a very confident woman, and you've got her rattled. That's impressive."
"Impressive, or stupid?" Mick wondered.
"Sounds like you're both a little nervous," Oliver observed. "Just tell her how you feel."
"Oh, hey pot, meet kettle," Barry joked, raising his eyebrow at Oliver.
"I know it's easier said than done," Oliver admitted. "But it's worth it." He pointed at Barry, and then to himself. "Take it from two guys who waited way too long to tell their dream girls how they really felt."
Barry grinned, raising his drink to Oliver. "But take it at your own pace," he said, earnestly. "When the time is right, you'll know it – just don't let that moment pass you by."
"You've let about a thousand go by now," Mick muttered.
Leonard sighed, rubbing his face. "You're right."
"Wow," Jax said. "Snart admitting Mick's right, no sarcasm at all? He really must be crazy in love right now."
"Love makes fools of us all," Harry said, chuckling at Leonard's eye roll. "How do you feel, Leonard? What's she mean to you?"
Leonard fidgeted, averting his eyes. It's the things I didn't do that keep me up at night, he thought, remembering the last time he was almost brave enough to tell her.
"I'm not the sentimental type," he said, stalling, as the others groaned around him. "But." He swallowed. "When I was stranded, I thought about her every day. Every damn day." He frowned, remembering the nights that felt like eternity. "And in all that time thinking, I couldn't imagine what I'd do if I came back and she…" he faltered. "If she'd moved on, or – or if something happened. If I never had the chance to find out…what if."
"Awww!" Barry, Ray and Nate cooed in unison.
Harry smiled, knowingly. "I think you'll get the chance soon. Tonight, even, if you keep letting me help you."
Leonard huffed, ignoring them, choosing to pull out his phone instead and thinking about what he might say to Sara next. Evidently, he had a lot to get off his chest.
But a message from Sara was already waiting for him.
"Ooh," Cisco teased, reading over his shoulder.
Barry leaned over, craning to see. "What now?"
Leonard's head spun as he read the text aloud. "She said, 'You wanna buy me a drink, Leonard?'"
He smirked, setting his phone down and resting his head on his fist.
"Well, damn," he said.
"Why does that sound like an inside joke or something?" Nate asked.
Sara's voice echoed in Leonard's mind, reminding him of everything he wanted.
You wanna dance, Leonard? You wanna steal a kiss from me?
Yes, yes, yes.
"Let's just say it's a challenge," Leonard said, shielding his thoughts.
"How're you gonna answer it?" Cisco asked.
"I think you should say –" Ray started.
Leonard stopped him with a glare. "I've got this one, thanks."
But before he could respond, another message appeared:
Hold that thought. Felicity and Caitlin are getting sick.
"Oh no," Cisco groaned, reading the text before Leonard could snatch the phone away. "Felicity and Caitlin are getting sick? That sucks."
Harry spun around. "What did you just say?"
Cisco frowned, his eyebrows raising at Harry's intensity. "Uh, the girls are getting sick," he repeated.
"Felicity and who?" Harry asked.
"Caitlin," Leonard inserted, glancing between his phone and Harry, remembering the man's reaction to the thought that Barry and Caitlin had dated…
"Allen," Harry said, turning to Barry, his voice low and urgent. "I need you to Flash me to The Wreck. Right now."
"What?" Barry asked, confused.
"The Wreck," Harry repeated, "it's the bar the girls are at."
"How do you know?" Ralph complained. "I've been trying to find out all night. I thought it was 'a secret.'"
"I need you to Flash me there right now," Harry insisted, standing up. "Oh!" He put a hand to his forehead. "First, I need you to Flash to the nearest convenience store and get ginger ale and saltines. Then Flash me. But quickly!"
"I'm confused," Mick said. "Why's he wanna get flashed so bad? I thought he had the hots for the scientist."
Barry stood up, his brow furrowed in concern. "Harry –"
"There's no time!" Harry snapped. "The Wreck is a ten-minute drive, and I need to be there now. Can you help me?"
Barry took in Harry's panic, the worry written all over his face, and nodded. "Back in a flash," he promised. Then he disappeared with a whoosh.
Good on his word, Barry was barely gone a few moments before reappearing with a plastic bag. He held open his arms to Harry. "Ready?" he asked.
Harry winced, visibly gulping. "As I'll ever be."
And then they both were gone.
"Am I the only one lost again?" Nate asked.
"Sounded like Harry wants to bring Felicity and Caitlin ginger ale," Ray said, grinning with his goofy, lop-sided smile. "He's such a nice guy."
"Uhh," Joe hummed, as they all stared at Ray. "Yeah, no, I've got no idea what just happened."
"Me either," Ralph said. Then he shrugged, changing the subject. "Can we go to The Wreck too? I wanna talk to that Thea – she's a babe."
Oliver glared at him. "You know she's my sister, right?"
Ralph nodded, unconcerned. "Good gene pool."
"How about we don't go see the girls," Wally suggested. "Jesse's there and it's been super awkward since she broke up with me through her dad."
"Could be a good chance for closure," Joe said. "I hear post-break-up sex is good."
"Dad," Wally said, aghast. "Are you drunk?"
Joe just shrugged, slowly eating another fry. "Maybe I am. Or something like that."
Just then, Barry returned, panting and pushing his hair out of his eyes.
"It's snowing out there," he said, wiping his forehead. "Word on the news is it's going to blizzard later."
"What was that with Harry?" Cisco asked, ignoring Barry's blatant attempt at a subject change.
Leonard enjoyed watching Barry squirm under the scrutinizing eyes of his friends, but he enjoyed being right even more.
"He's seeing Caitlin, isn't he?" Leonard said.
Barry gulped, tugging at his collar. "Did you ever text Sara back?" he asked, voice rising noticeably as he dodged the question.
He hadn't, Leonard realized with a jolt. He looked back at his phone, re-reading Sara's last messages.
You wanna buy me a drink, Leonard?
Yes, he thought – that, and so much more. He typed out his reply, sending the message before anyone else could share their "advice."
I want everything with you, Sara. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. For now, I think a drink would be a pretty good place to start, don't you?
His hand shook a little as he put the phone back in his pocket, hoping he hadn't just ruined everything. But he'd waited long enough to make a move, hadn't he? And he'd always believed anything worth having was worth the risk of taking – and she was worth everything.
"What'd you say back?" Barry asked, sitting down and accepting a fresh drink from Cisco.
Leonard shrugged – he wouldn't be reading that message aloud. "Basically, I said yes."
Oliver chuckled behind his drink. "Well, I would hope so."
"Yeah, that was pretty much a slam dunk," Nate agreed.
"Watch, he managed to screw it up anyway," Mick added.
Ray was aghast. "Aren't you rooting for them?"
Mick laughed. "Sure. I just know his track record."
"That answers one question – sort of," Cisco said. "Now what was going on with Harry? He and Caitlin aren't actually dating…are they?" he asked, his expression almost pleading.
"I always thought they were," Ralph said. "Are they not?"
Joe scoffed. "You did not. You've been trying to get Caitlin to go out with you for weeks."
Ralph shrugged. "And now I finally understand why she wouldn't!"
"That had nothing to do with it," Joe muttered.
"You're being too quiet, Bare!" Cisco yelled.
"Um, well, it's not really, you see…" Barry stuttered, watching Cisco's incredulous face.
Cisco let out a strangled cry. "Caitlin and Harry are actually dating?"
"Caity's seeing Dr. Wells?" Stein exclaimed, returning to his seat. "Well! I'm so happy for her." He paused, smiling, oblivious to Cisco's grief. "No one will ever replace Ronald, of course, but she deserves love. Don't you agree, Cisco?"
"Well, yeah," Cisco said, visibly trying to calm himself. "But Harry? No. No way."
"Deny all you like, Ramon, but that doesn't change a thing," Leonard said, smirking. "Your friends are doing it. And it's pretty obvious, so you should feel bad you missed it."
"You're the one who almost missed your shot with a Lance sister," Cisco complained. "Take a good, hard look in the mirror, Captain Oblivious."
Leonard chuckled. "Ouch," he teased, laying on the sarcasm. "That really hurt."
"Why does the idea of Caitlin and Harry bother you so much?" Nate asked.
"Not that it's any of your business," Cisco snarked, "but it's just. It's Caitlin! And Harry!"
"Yeah, I think we got that part," Mick said.
"They can't be dating," Cisco continued. "If they are… Where does that leave me?"
"Friends with two happy people?" Ray suggested.
"No," Cisco said, "now I'm best friends with someone dating an asshole."
"I thought you and Harry were friends?" Ray asked. "You're always teasing each other so good-naturedly."
"Shut up, Ray!"
"Uh guys," Barry interrupted. "I just got a message from Iris. She wants me to send her the address of this bar."
"Yes!" Ralph cheered. "Not that you guys aren't great and all, but this sausage fest is really cramping my style."
Wally frowned. "I thought you wanted to do separate parties?"
"We did, but…" Barry trailed off, reading as another message came through. "Ohh." He smiled, typing out a response.
"Can someone tell me what's happening?" Joe asked. "I'm lost again."
"No, Dad, you're high," Wally complained.
Joe shrugged. "And?"
Just then, Leonard's phone buzzed with a message from Sara:
See you in ten.
With a whoosh, a shot of amber liquid materialized in front of Leonard.
"Thought you might want a little extra courage," Barry said, winking. "Ready to get your girl?"
Thanks everyone, for all your kind comments on this so far - I hope you've been enjoying it! At least one more chapter left after this :)
Thanks so much for all the kind reviews on this so far! You guys really inspired me :) I'm having too much fun here, so there will be one more chapter after this. I hope you enjoy it!
"Sara? You want to read that."
Sara gulped, her heart pounding. "Good, or bad?" she asked, hands shaking as Thea passed her the phone.
Thea nodded, her face unreadable. "You'll see."
Sara took a deep breath, steeling herself before looking down.
"Thea," she pleaded, "just tell me what it says."
"Just read it!" Thea urged.
Finally, Sara unlocked the phone, heart stilling as her eyes flew across the screen:
I want everything with you, Sara. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. For now, I think a drink would be a pretty good place to start, don't you?
She re-read the message, then read it again, her hands going weak.
"What is it?" Felicity cried. "What did he say?"
Sara swallowed. "Um," she started, too stunned to articulate anything.
Felicity grabbed the phone for herself, reading the message aloud.
"'I want everything with you, Sara,'" she started. "Oh my god. 'I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner.' Oh. My. God. 'For now, I think a drink would be a pretty good place to start, don't you?'" She put her hand to her heart. "Oh my god!"
"Oh my god," Iris echoed. "Sara, that's…"
"Way more romantic than you thought Captain Cold could be?" Caitlin suggested.
"Well, yeah," Iris admitted. "Do you think he had help?"
"No," Harry said. "Those other half-wits couldn't have been so sincere. That sounds like him."
"Sara," Thea said, seriously, "if you don't bone him tonight, you're gonna regret it. Trust me."
"Thea!" Caitlin said, eyes big.
"It's true!" Thea insisted.
"It's just so romantic I can't even handle it," Felicity said, fanning herself. "Not the boning thing," she added. "The, 'I want everything with you,' thing. Damn, girl."
"Sara," Iris said, "you're being awfully quiet. Are you okay?"
Sara blinked several times, trying to remember how to breathe.
"Uh, yeah," she stammered, shaking her head. "It's just. After all this time, I kind of can't believe he…"
"Actually feels the same?" Thea suggested.
"Or that he admitted it?" Caitlin added.
"That he's finally ready to make a move?" Iris said.
"Yeah," Sara managed. "All of it. I just. I wish he were here. I need to see him, I – "
"I'm texting Barry," Iris said, her thumbs flying over the screen. "I'll find out where the guys are."
"They're at O'Halligans," Harry said.
"That's such a dive," Caitlin complained.
"Must be nickel shot night, huh?" Thea said, eyes on her phone. "Alright, I called an Uber. It's three minutes away. Let's go people!"
"I texted Leonard for you," Felicity added, handing Sara her phone.
Sara opened her messages as Thea pushed her out of the bathroom.
See you in ten, she'd said.
"That sounds way calmer than I feel right now," Sara said, Thea now dragging her by the arm back to their table with Iris, Felicity, Caitlin and Harry in tow behind them.
Felicity laughed. "Good! You want him to think you're cool and collected."
"Because I doubt he is!" Thea agreed. "Alright, ladies," she said, speaking to the booth. "Finish your drinks, we've got two minutes before the Uber gets here."
"But why?" Jesse asked, looking sadly at her full drink.
"There, there," Felicity said, plucking Jesse's drink away and handing it to Sara. "Here. She needs this more than you do. Drink, Sara!"
"Hey!" Jesse complained.
"What's going on?" Amaya asked.
"We'll explain in the car," Thea said, looking at her phone. "We've got like a minute, he's just around the corner."
"Sara, you wanna drink that," Felicity said, pointing at the glass.
Sara stared at it dubiously. "What's in – "
Before she could finish, Thea pushed the glass to her lips, tipping it back for Sara to drink.
"Alright," Sara coughed, pulling away before she could finish. "Wow," she added. "Is that the real bachelorette special? No wonder you puked, Felicity."
Harry leaned over, sipping from the straw. "Good god, Jesse, have you been drinking these all night?"
Jesse's jaw dropped as she noticed Harry for the first time. "Dad! What're you doing here?"
"No time!" Thea yelled. "The Uber's here, let's go!" She grabbed Jesse's hand, pulling her toward the door. Felicity took Sara by the shoulders, steering her through the crowd until they made it out of the bar. They huddled under the shelter of an overhang, watching the snow fall as they looked for the car.
"What are you wearing?" Harry cried, once they were outside, staring at Jesse in horror.
"Dad, I'm wearing the same dress they are," she said, pointing to the others.
Harry glanced back at Caitlin, eyebrows shooting up as if just noticing her outfit. "Wow," he stammered, his eyes traveling from her bare legs up to her low neckline. Then he shook himself, taking off his coat and pushing it at his daughter.
"You need to wrap this around your waist," he grumbled. "I can't believe you wore this in public."
"Blame Thea," Jesse shrugged. "Besides, it's a bachelorette party. You're lucky we're not wearing temporary penis tattoos."
"We almost did," Felicity said, as Harry's mouth hung open.
"I'm just going to wear this," Caitlin said, taking the coat and slipping her arms into the sleeves. "It's so cold. I can't believe no one else even wanted a jacket."
"No one else needed one after those two shots we took back at S.T.A.R. Labs," Felicity said. "How could we know yours weren't really shots?"
Jesse tilted her head, brow furrowing. "What do you mean hers weren't really shots?" she asked, looking between Caitlin and Harry. "Dad, what are you doing here?"
"Explain in the car!" Thea said, yanking Jesse away as the Uber rolled to the curb. "This conversation isn't going to ruin my five-star rating."
Thea ushered them into the SUV, directing them to seats. "Alright, Caitlin, you're gonna have to sit on Harry's lap, and I'll sit on Felicity's."
"You've got too many people," the driver noted.
"Yes, but we're very small people," Thea said, slipping the driver a few bills.
The driver inspected the money before nodding. "Alright, but only because it's freezing out there."
"And because we're all dressed like hookers?" Felicity suggested, as Thea shushed her.
They all squeezed inside, shoulder to shoulder, wiping off melting snow. To Sara's horror, she'd somehow wound up in the back, sandwiched between Jesse and Harry, Caitlin on his lap.
"Seriously, Dad, what's going on?" Jesse asked again, leaning over Sara to study her father.
"Oh, please tell me she knows you're dating Caitlin," Felicity whispered.
"She can hear you," Jesse muttered. "And yes, I know."
Felicity breathed a literal sigh of relief. "Oh, thank god."
"What I don't know is why you're here," Jesse continued.
"Sara texted Leonard about me and Felicity getting sick," Caitlin explained. "Leonard told Harry, and, being the overprotective sap that he is, he came to check on me." She shrugged. "You know how he gets."
Jesse narrowed her eyes. "But how'd you get here so fast?"
"Where are we going?" Amaya cut in, catching on to the mounting tension. "And why'd we leave The Wreck? Cute men were buying our drinks."
"They were buying your drinks?" Felicity huffed. "See, Sara? You should've let me keep working it."
"Felicity, you threw up. You didn't need more drinks!" Sara argued. "And Amaya, what about Nate?"
Amaya looked confused. "What about him?"
"We're going to O'Halligans," Iris said, twisting around to talk from the passenger seat. "That's where Barry and the guys are."
"O'Halligans?" Jesse complained. "That's a dive!"
"And how would you know?" Harry asked sharply. "You're not even 21."
"Since when has age ever stopped a pretty girl from going into a dive bar?" Jesse countered.
"We're going so Sara can talk to Leonard," Iris explained. "He sent her a very sweet text and we all agree it's time that they finally get together."
"What did Leonard say?" Amaya asked.
"Here," Sara said, passing her phone up for Amaya to see for herself. She didn't know if she could read the message aloud, when she still couldn't really believe Leonard sent it.
"Wow," Jesse said, reading over Amaya's shoulder. "That's so sweet. Who knew sexy parka man could be so romantic?"
Harry made a strangled noise. "Excuse me?"
"I wouldn't have guessed he could be so forthcoming with his feelings," Amaya agreed.
"What're you gonna say to him when we get there?" Iris asked.
"I have no idea," Sara admitted.
"You have to tell him you're in love!" Felicity said, reaching back to smack Sara's leg.
"Ouch!" Sara winced. "Why do you get so handsy when you're drunk?"
Thea grinned. "Tell him that you're gonna reward him for being so romantic by sucking –"
"Harry," Felicity cut in. "Thea's about to say something x-rated. You may want to cover Jesse's ears."
"I'm not a kid," Jesse groaned. Then she scrunched her face. "Wait, is Wally at this bar? I really don't want to see him."
"Yeah," Harry huffed, leaning over Sara from the other side. "Trust me, it's awkward enough already, since I'm the one who actually broke up with him."
Jesse shrugged. "I made the break up cube!"
"And that wasn't childish at all," Harry said.
"Guys," Sara pleaded, as Harry and Jesse fought over her, "can this argument wait until we're out of the car?"
"You suggested it!" Jesse protested, ignoring Sara completely. "And okay, enough distractions – what're you really doing here, Dad?" she asked again. "And Caitlin, were you really not drinking the whole night? Why did you pretend you were?" She paused, and the entire car fell silent as her eyes moved between Harry and Caitlin. "Are you pregnant?"
"Wow," Felicity whispered, "that cat got out of the bag SO fast."
"I can still hear you!" Jesse yelled.
"Guys," Thea cut in. "I need you to be respectful of the nice Uber driver and use your inside voices. My rating is at stake here."
"Yes," Caitlin said, biting her lip. "It's still really early – I just told your dad. But, I'm sorry you had to find out like this."
Jesse's mouth dropped. "Oh my god. Really?" She paused, waiting for denials that never came. "I didn't think you were actually going to say yes!"
The car rang with awkward silence, which the driver filled with a lackluster, "Congratulations." The others echoed a chorus of belated, quiet "congrats" of their own, watching Jesse for her reaction. Thea clapped her hand over Felicity's mouth as her monotone "hooray" dragged on too long.
"Jesse – " Harry started.
"Dad," Jesse interrupted, stone faced. "You can never lecture me on birth control again. Literally, ever."
"But – " Harry tried.
"Nope," Jesse said, lips popping the word. "Don't pretend you got pregnant on purpose. You are way too practical for that."
"It's true," Caitlin agreed. "He is."
"Well – " he stuttered.
"Are you happy?" Jesse asked, raising her eyebrows in a very-Harry-like, scrutinizing fashion.
"Most definitely," Harry said, looking up at Caitlin with a smile. "Are you?" he added to her. "I never even asked."
"Incredibly," Caitlin said, grinning. "Even if, yes, it was an accident. Some of the best things in life are unplanned." She paused, thinking. "I mean, I'm also scared out of my mind – don't get me wrong. But mostly happy."
Jesse reached over Sara to grasp Harry's hand. "As long as you're both happy," she said, mouth twitching up in a smile, "then I'm so happy for you guys." She laughed. "I can't believe I'm finally going to be a big sister. I've only asked for a sibling a million times!"
For a moment, Harry was speechless. He looked down, squeezing Jesse's hand. "Thank you, Jesse," he said eventually, his voice thick. "I want you to know this won't change anything between us." Then he leaned over Sara, giving Jesse a half-hug with his free arm.
"Personal space?" Sara muttered, trying to melt back into her seat. "No? Okay."
"Of course not," Jesse agreed. "Except maybe you'll be less of a helicopter parent to me."
"Thank god," Sara breathed, as they broke off their hug and returned to their own seats.
Harry laughed. "I'm impressed you're not more shocked at the news."
Jesse shrugged. "Joe's girlfriend is pregnant too, right? I guess empty-nest syndrome is leading a lot of older couples to have kids again later in life. It's a subconscious impulse."
"Hey," Harry protested, "I'm not that old. You're the one who called Leonard 'sexy,' and he's about my age."
"That's different," Jesse said. "Leonard looks like a prematurely gray 30-something."
"And he's not her dad," Felicity added. "Harry, you knocked Caitlin up, clearly you've still got it."
"Speaking of Leonard," Thea said, with a sly smile. "Tell me you're going to bone him tonight, Sara!"
"Don't listen to Thea," Iris said. "You don't have to rush anything."
"I dunno," Felicity said. "How long have you been waiting? Maybe you should go for it, before you both get too shy again."
"He's got such a smart mouth," Thea sighed. "The things I'll bet that tongue can do…"
"Stop imagining it," Sara said, grinning despite herself. Now that the shock of Leonard's message had worn off a little, and her last couple of drinks had kicked in, she couldn't help but feel, well, happy. Light-headed, yes, terrified, slightly, but above all, happy. She had no idea what she'd say to Leonard, but she couldn't wait to see him, to touch him, to –
"Sara," Amaya said, breaking Sara's thoughts. "Don't waste this chance, okay? I know it's been a long time coming."
"I won't," Sara promised, her mind imagining Leonard before her, his blue eyes dark and wanting. "Actually… Can I have my phone back?"
Amaya handed it over, watching as Sara typed out another message to Leonard. She pressed send just as the car stopped.
Iris grinned as she hit the door handle. "We're here!"
"And with an extra tip for the excellent driver," Thea said, handing up more cash.
Meanwhile, at O'Halligans…
"What just happened?" Mick asked, looking between Barry, Leonard and the shot on the table.
"The girls are gonna come over here for a round," Barry said, winking at Leonard and saving him from having to explain.
Wally groaned. "You know, I think I have some homework I forgot to submit online…"
"Sit down son," Joe said, grabbing him by the arm. "You've gotta face your demons sooner or later."
"Ooh, I guess we're gonna have the chance to see Len here in action," Nate said, clapping Leonard on his shoulder.
"Don't do that," Leonard said, but there wasn't any malice in his tone. He couldn't manage that now, not with the light feeling in his stomach.
"What? I just want you to know that I'm here for you," Nate said.
"You've got like ten wingmen tonight," Jax agreed. "We've got you."
"Well," Stein said, "more heads are usually better than one, but in this case…"
"Why do I feel like I'd be better off on my own?" Leonard agreed, not that the others heard him.
"Definitely!" said Ray. "And with that, Leonard, we need to get you ready for when the ladies get here."
Leonard rolled his eyes. "I can handle it."
Cisco laughed. "No, you can't."
"You have to kiss her tonight," Barry said. "No more waiting – this is it!"
Leonard rolled his eyes. "Thanks for the motivational speech."
"Seriously, Leonard, promise me you'll at least try," Barry insisted.
"It's probably the best timing," Nate agreed. "Lots of romance in the air with the wedding coming up, but much less pressure than at the wedding itself."
"But at the wedding, she'd be more likely to bang him," Ralph argued.
"You're both a little drunk, that should help. A lot," Mick added.
"Just remember the 90-10 rule," Ray said.
Leonard raised an eyebrow. "The what?"
"For kissing. Look!" Ray grabbed Nate, turning him until they were facing. "She goes in 90 percent of the way…" he moved his face toward Nate's, coming perilously close. "Then you come the last ten!" he finished, brightly.
Nate frowned, shoving him off. "Bro, did you just mis-quote Hitch? And pretend you're the girl in the equation?"
Ray's brow furrowed. "Was it the other way around…?"
"Ray, you're quoting Hitch wrong. That's wrong!" Cisco cried, disgusted. "You should never quote Hitch at all. Everything about that was wrong!"
"Yeah, that was bad, Ray. Like, really bad," Jax agreed.
"C'mere, Haircut," Mick said, pulling Ray into a side hug. "Just sit over here by me. Don't listen to them – they're just a bunch of meanies."
"They are mean," Ray complained, resting his head on Mick's shoulder.
"So, wait," Oliver said. "The rule is the guy goes in 90 percent of the way for the kiss, then lets the woman finish?" He shrugged, nodding to himself. "That's actually what I always used to do. It worked every time."
Ralph frowned. "Maybe that's where I've been going wrong all these years…"
Joe snorted. "As if you ever get that far."
"Can we stop talking about Hitch and start talking about how unprepared Leonard is to seal the deal with Sara tonight?" Cisco asked.
Leonard bristled. "Excuse me?"
"What?" Cisco protested. "How many times have you been alone with this woman? And of those times, how many have you managed to pull a move? You've got a terrible hitting average."
"It's called a batting average, Cisco," Oliver said, lightly.
Cisco waved him off. "Whatever, mister star running back!"
"Quarter back," Oliver corrected. "And that has nothing to do with baseball."
"You know I never played sportsball!" Cisco shrugged. "The point is, Leonard here is being called up to the major league, but he's not ready for the spotlight."
"And it will be more challenging in a bar full of people," Stein allowed.
"Whose side are you on?" Leonard complained.
"I can see it in his eyes," Cisco continued. "He's gonna choke."
"Just tell her she looks nice and buy her a drink," Nate suggested. "Take her to some secluded corner. Let the romantic ambiance of the evening take care of the rest."
"The romantic ambiance of nickel shot night at this dive bar?" Cisco asked, looking around in confusion at the crowded, smoky room. "You should write romance novels, Nate."
"Romance novels?" Nate laughed. "Aren't those just porn for women, written by women?"
"Hey!" Mick barked. The others turned to look at him, surprised, and Mick coughed uncomfortably. "It's uh, nickel shot night, huh?" he asked no one in particular, looking around shiftily. "Why didn't anybody say so? I'll be right back."
"Get her out of this joint," Ralph said, as Mick pushed by. "Take her to a strip club. That's where the real romance happens."
"Eugh, Ralph!" Wally complained. "We're not going to a strip club."
"Just you wait," Ralph said. "Cisco's got a concoction for Bare that will get him drunk enough to go literally anywhere."
"Oh, oh, I've got it this time!" Ray said, smiling. "All you have to do is the leaning thing."
Joe raised an eyebrow at him. "I want whatever he's on."
"Like in While You Were Sleeping, with Sandra Bullock," Ray continued, undeterred. "No?" He looked around at the others' blank faces. "Okay, doesn't matter. Just lean in toward Sara with your whole body. Get into her space." He paused, watching the rest of the table stare at him. "I swear you used to do that to her all the time on the Waverider!" he tried, unconvincingly. "You know, you'd just go stand wherever she was standing, really close, and look at her." He shrugged. "I think it was working for you."
The others were unimpressed. "You gonna quote You've Got Mail next?" Nate asked.
"So obviously you're not doing any of that," Jax said. "What's your opening line gonna be, Leonard?"
"I'll think of something," he hedged.
Barry raised his eyebrows, smiling as devilish a smile as he could manage, for a squeaky clean hero. "I dunno, Snart," he teased. "I saw the girls before they left. Sara's dress might leave you speechless."
"It's true," Ray agreed. "Their dresses are scandalous. Not even Samantha would've worn that in Sex and the City."
"I hate that I got that reference and not the batting average thing," Cisco groaned.
"If I were you, Mr. Snart, I'd invite her somewhere else," Stein said, wisely. "Anywhere else. As soon as she gets here."
"You can't go anywhere else!" Barry protested. "We have to be able to see you."
"If only the world knew the Flash was a voyeur," Leonard commented, drily.
"Time's ticking, Leonard," Cisco said. "What're you gonna say to Sara?"
"You should definitely compliment her, at least once," Wally said.
"And what do you know about women?" Joe asked. "Your girlfriend dumped you."
"Dad! Smoking makes you mean."
Oliver nudged Leonard's untouched shot. "Maybe you should just talk to her," he said. "She makes it easy. You know that."
"She does," Leonard agreed. He blocked out the others, thinking about Sara. It was too easy to imagine the way her eyes sparkled, even in the darkness, the way her cheeks dimpled whenever she gave him that special, sly smile, and the way her breath always caught when he came a little too close. Maybe Ray was onto something with the leaning thing, after all.
He took the shot. At this point, if it calmed his nerves, it couldn't hurt.
"No, Ralph, I don't want to take the speedster drink yet," Barry was saying. "I need to see Leonard get together with Sara. That's something I never wanna forget, and Cisco said his shot might make me black out!"
"Come on, Bare," Ralph whined. "It's your bachelor party! You're no fun."
"Perhaps he could take half," Stein suggested, fairly.
"Why not start with half?" Ralph agreed, pointing at Stein.
"What, Gray, do you wanna go to the strip club, too?" Jax asked, appalled.
"That's not what I'm saying," Stein argued. "But it is the man's bachelor party…"
Leonard's phone buzzed in his pocket, distracting him from the chatter around him with another message from Sara.
I know this stuff is hard for you to talk about…it's hard for me, too. So, before we get there, I just want to say that I missed you. Every day. And I'm really glad you're back. And if you still want to, I want to see what the future holds for us.
Leonard re-read the message half a dozen times before he could even think about responding. By the time he started getting his thoughts together, his heart still lodged somewhere in the back of his throat, the doors to the bar opened.
And Iris's bachelorette party walked in.
Barry was right.
It was rare that Leonard found himself without a quip or comment for any situation, even if he chose to keep it to himself.
But the sight of Sara Lance walking through the door, her hair mussed from the wind, her cheeks flushed from the cold, and that dress – that dress – left him utterly speechless, not a thought in his head.
Only the ache of how badly he wanted her.
The others trailed in around her, but he hardly noticed. He couldn't take his eyes off her. He watched as she cast her gaze around the bar – looking for me, he realized, a warm feeling spreading through his chest.
And then several things happened at once.
"Who wants a shot?" Mick called, holding up a tray full of them.
"Alright, I'll try a little sip of Cisco's speedster drink," Barry said. "Just a tiny one!"
"Hey!" A young woman with Iris's party yelped, jumping away from a large man.
"Did you just grope my daughter?" Harry yelled, furious. "Asshole!"
"Barry," Ralph complained, "that was nothing. Take one more sip, come on."
"Who d'you think you're calling an asshole, asshole?" the man threatened, pushing Harry back.
"Shots, anyone?" Mick called again.
"Save your breath," Harry spat, "you'll probably need it to blow up your next date."
The man did a double take. "Excuse me?"
"How about a gulp, Bare?"
"You heard me," Harry growled. "Or are you too stupid to get that I insulted you?"
"Dad," the young women warned, and Leonard started – Harry had a daughter?
"Hey Snart!" Mick called. "Your and blondie's song is starting on the jukebox."
The man's face crumpled in anger. "Why, you – "
The cheery twang of a piano bounced across the room.
And that was about when Harry punched the jerk in the face.
"Woah," Barry slurred. "That kicked in – hic – ree-ally fast. Like, hic, as fast as me."
"You're welcome!" Mick added.
Love will keep us together.
Harry's daughter screamed. "Dad!"
"I'll kill you," the thug threatened. Harry ducked, avoiding the man's retaliating punch.
Unfortunately, Felicity did not.
Think of me babe, whenever…
"Uhh, I might have slightly miscalculated the bachelor drink," Cisco said.
"Oh!" Felicity cried, holding her face.
"Felicity!" Oliver yelled, leaping from his chair.
Some sweet-talking girl comes along, singing her song.
The man recoiled, surprised by hitting a girl, then rounded on Harry.
"You're a medical marvel," Harry goaded. "How do you live without a brain?"
"No!" Caitlin yelped, as the man took Harry out with a one-two punch.
Don't mess around, you've just got to be strong.
"Ollie!" Barry called, watching Oliver shove through the crowd. "I'll take care of that bagel, doughnut you worry." He giggled. "I made a joke!"
Just stop. 'Cause I really love you.
But Thea had already pounced on him. "How dare you!" she screamed, twisting him into a chokehold.
"Thea!" Iris cried, trying to pull her off.
I'll be thinking of you.
"Seriously, none of you dimwits wants a shot?" Mick complained.
Look in my heart and let love…
Finally, Sara's gaze landed on Leonard. Their eyes met from across the bar, and her lips curved up in a knowing smile.
…Keep us together.
Then all hell broke loose.
A handful of men materialized to help their friend, shoving Iris away and pulling at Thea themselves.
Barry burped. "Iris!" he yelled, whipping his head back and forth. "Whoosh," he muttered. "Did I save her?"
Leonard was more than happy to join the fray. The warble of Captain & Tennille faded behind the noise of scraping chairs, breaking glass, yells, kicks and punches.
"Get yer dirty paws off him," Mick growled, throwing his tray of shots down as a man grabbed Ray by the shirt.
"Gray!" Jax cried, as Stein was pushed aside.
"Everyone, stop!" Joe yelled. "I'm a cop!" Then two men tackled him to the ground.
"And I'm the Flash!" Barry announced, grinning.
Leonard punched and shoved his way through the crowd, adrenaline propelling him forward. He kept his eyes locked on Sara as he went – he'd always loved watching her fight. Seeing her take out those goons in that dress was like something out of a fantasy.
"Bare, can we go to the strip club now?" Ralph begged, yelling over the chaos.
"Oh my god, Oliver, I can't believe I puked on you! I'm so, so, so sorry!"
"It's just my shirt, Felicity."
The sounds of his friends' voices faded as Leonard's pulse rushed in his ears. The closer he came to Sara, the more everything around him just ceased to exist.
But he did notice as three thugs finally tore Thea off her chokehold. She toppled them all, taking out a table and chairs along with them.
"You bitch," one spat, kicking at her legs.
Thea laughed, jumping and dodging him. She stuck out her tongue as he regained his balance, grabbing a chair and swinging it at her.
"Wow, you're even dumber than you look," Thea said, smirking.
The man growled, rushing her with the chair raised above his head.
At the last moment, Leonard saw Thea tense, readying to duck – and leaving an unwitting Sara directly in the man's path.
Leonard reached her just in time, grabbing her by the hand and spinning her away right as the chair whipped by.
"Oh!" Sara gasped, crashing into Leonard's chest.
Time seemed to slow then. Sara blinked up at him, dazed, and all thoughts fled from Leonard's mind.
"Hey," he murmured.
Eloquent, groaned a voice in his head. It sounded suspiciously like Ramon.
"Hey," she breathed, her eyes wide.
For a moment, they just stared at each other. Slowly, Leonard became aware of his arm wrapped around Sara's back, and his hand resting on her hip. She relaxed, her body leaning into his, as if she were noticing those same things too, at just the same time.
Ninety-ten rule, he thought, wildly, then cursed Ray and the others and their awful advice. But while he panicked, his face dipped automatically down, closer to her, then closer still, pausing a hair's breadth away from her nose.
"Sara," he said, watching as her eyes drifted to his mouth, and her own lips parted. "I missed you, too."
Her eyes met his then, two dark, endless pools. He swallowed, trying not to drown in them.
"Then what are you waiting for?" she whispered. "Do you still want to…"
"Yes," he said, emphatically, hands holding her tighter, suddenly afraid she'd slip away. "No more waiting."
Her hands slid up his chest, arms looping around his neck as she closed the last distance between them.
…And let love keep us together.
The closing notes of their song – if there'd been any doubt, it certainly was now – echoed in Leonard's ears as Sara's lips brushed against his. He sighed, something shifting in his chest at the contact, and deepened the kiss.
Somewhere seemingly far away, Barry whooped. "All right, Snart, get your girl!"
Sara laughed against his mouth, and Leonard couldn't help but grin. He pulled away, despite Sara's very convincing protests, turning to glare at the Flash.
Barry just cheered, jumping and clapping. "You're getting this, right Cisco?"
"Yup," Cisco grumbled, holding up his phone and rolling his eyes. "It's okay if you black out and forget. You can watch this over and over."
Leonard turned his glare on Cisco. "You're filming us?"
Sara's breath was warm in his ear. "That's kinda hot," she whispered, taking his face in her hands and dragging his mouth back to hers.
It was all the encouragement he needed to forget Barry's cheers, Cisco's phone and everything else but her.
Unfortunately, it didn't last long.
"Uh, guys?" Ray called. "I think the manager's calling the cops!"
"I already got us Ubers," Thea said. "They're outside!"
"Jesse – Wally!" Caitlin yelled. "Can you do your thing?"
It all happened so fast, Leonard didn't even know what hit him. The next thing he knew, Sara was gone, and Harry's daughter was pushing him into a black SUV.
"Am I being arrested?" he snarked.
The girl grinned, holding up a finger. "Just get in the back!"
Leonard climbed into the back seat, just in time for Iris, Thea, and Cisco to follow. The next second, the passenger door opened, and Barry appeared, smiling blearily at the driver.
"Hun," Iris said, watching Barry with a frown. "What's all over your face?"
"I think it's chicken wings," Barry slurred, shrugging. Then he grimaced. "Ohh," his face twisted in pain. "I miss the chicken wings. Why did I have to eat them so fast?" He stared at his empty hands, his eyes woefully distant as he curled them into fists. "Damn it, Flash!"
"You're marrying him," Thea reminded Iris, helpfully.
"Cisco," Iris growled.
Then, suddenly, Sara was sitting in Leonard's lap.
"Hey," she said, looking as startled as he felt. But the surprise melted away at the warmth of her body against his, a generous reminder that just seconds ago, they were –
"You're welcome," Harry's daughter winked. "I'm getting in the next car. Let's go, guys!" She pulled away, ushering in Mick and Ray.
"Uh," Ray stammered, considering the seating arrangements as he hung half out of the car. "I guess I can sit on the floor?"
Mick sighed. "C'mere, Haircut," he said, gesturing to his lap. Even in the dark, Ray's face blushed bright red.
"Ah, Thea," Iris said, intervening before Ray could speak.
"Yup," Thea agreed, swapping to Iris's lap so Ray could have her seat.
"You guys aren't as small this time," the driver noted, watching them from the rearview mirror.
"And not as many of us look like hookers," Thea muttered. To the driver, she said, "But it is snowing very hard."
"Hard?" Ray asked. "What's hard?" He laughed nervously. "I mean, yeah! I think it's going to be a blizzard."
"And you know we tip very well," Thea added, handing up a wad of cash.
"Buckle up," the driver agreed.
"So," Mick said, stealing a not-so-nonchalant glance back at Ray. "Where're we going next?"
Sorry for the long wait! This has been sitting on my computer almost finished for more than a month, but I got a mean review on the last chapter that made it hard to come back to. I'm sorry for letting it affect me like that, but I'm glad to finally complete this story! This was always meant to be just a fun, silly team story for my dear friend ClaudiaRain, and if it made her and all of you laugh even once, then it was worth it. Thank you, as always, for reading. I hope you've enjoyed the ride!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Sara was drunker than she'd meant to be.
She had to be. After all, one moment she'd been happily kissing Leonard (something she might've been dreaming, in and of itself), and the next, she was sitting in his lap in the back of some SUV.
"So, where're we going next?" Mick asked, glancing at the back seat as the car rocked into motion.
Thea smirked. "You'll see."
Mick rolled his eyes. "Never put a Queen in charge."
Thea preened, shrugging. "Tell me about the new guy on your team, Barry. The tall one."
"Ralph?" Iris asked, surprised.
"Ralph is the best!" Barry slurred. "And I think he has a crush on you," he added, false whisper so loud Sara cringed from the back seat.
"I wouldn't call it a crush," said a low voice in Sara's ear. Leonard's, she realized, remembering the position they were in. "More like a casual lusting."
The car jolted then, rolling over a bump and throwing Sara off-balance. She grabbed on to Leonard automatically, her arms looping around his neck, just as his arms wrapped around her. One found its way to her waist, and the other to her thigh – thanks to Thea's ingenious dress design, his fingers found more skin than anything, and Sara warmed against the touch.
"Lust, huh?" she breathed, meeting Leonard's eyes.
"What're we talking about?" Ray whispered, leaning in conspiratorially. Leonard glared at him, while Sara just laughed. Ray frowned, sitting back and pouting.
"Well I was wondering about that," Thea said, continuing her conversation. "He kept staring at me earlier. I can't decide if it was creepy or cute."
"Creepy is a good word for Ralph," Iris said.
"Aw, he just likes you!" Barry cooed.
"Yeah, and he likes strippers, too," Mick muttered.
Thea bristled. "Should I be insulted?"
"No," Cisco said, at the same time Mick said, "Probably."
"Cisco-oo-oh!" Barry sang, twisting around in the front seat to peer in the back with bleary eyes.
Cisco sighed, pointedly looking away from Iris's glare. "Yeah, Bare?" he asked.
Barry grinned. "Will you send me the – hic – video of – hic – Snart and Sara?" He absently rubbed at the smear of hot sauce on his face, his smile wilting into a frown. "I already forgot how it happened."
Ray frowned. "How what happened?" he asked, as Leonard sighed in Sara's ear.
"Cis-COH-oo-oh!" Barry insisted, slapping his arm rest.
"Cool it, buddy," the driver warned.
Thea ripped Cisco's phone from his hands, handing it up to Barry. "Sorry, Cisco," she said, not sounding sorry at all. "Whatever it takes to shut him up."
Barry fussed with the phone from the front seat, tapping at the screen seemingly at random, with much greater force than necessary.
"Careful with that!" Cisco complained.
"Shhhh," Barry hushed, turning the phone this way and that. Then, without warning, the metallic echoes of their bar fight blared through the car. Sara could even make out the notes of Captain and Tennille – she was starting to feel surprisingly sentimental about that song.
Thea grimaced. "Ugh, turn it down!" she yelled, as Barry's voice whooped through the phone.
"Get your girl, Snart!" he said through the video, as the real Barry raised a fist in triumph.
"Seriously, what is that?" Iris asked, shooting Cisco another annoyed look. "And how long is Barry gonna be like this? I've never seen him so drunk in my life."
Cisco just shrugged, putting his hands up. "It's a video of Leonard and Sara kissing. Sorry guys," he added, sending a pleading look to the back seat. "I'll delete it as soon as I get my phone back."
"You guys kissed?!" Ray exclaimed, face lighting up. "Leonard did the leaning thing, didn't he? I can't believe I missed it!"
Just then, Sara's phone buzzed. She extricated herself from Leonard's arms to rescue it from her dress, noting dimly that other phones were buzzing across the car, too.
"Where was that hiding?" Leonard murmured, his breath warm against her neck, and she smirked.
"Wouldn't you like to know?"
But then Sara saw the message waiting for her on the screen. It was a video, shared in the "Legendary Flarrow Friends" group chat (who'd named it that?) with nearly twenty people – the entire bachelor and bachelorette parties for the evening.
She could tell just from the playback screen that it was the video of her and Leonard at the bar.
"Barry!" Iris snapped, staring at her phone in horror. "Why would you send this video to everyone?"
Barry tilted his head, jaw going slack. "Huh? No. I just sent it to myself!"
"You sent it to everyone," Thea confirmed, playing the video on her screen. "Damn, Sara!" she whistled, watching. "He literally swept you off your feet." She twisted in Iris's lap, turning to wink at Sara in a way that said, "and I know you're on your way to bone town."
"This is fantastic!" Ray exclaimed. "Aw, you guys are so cute!" He zoomed in on his screen. "How'd you catch this, Cisco? Your timing was incredible."
"Thanks," Cisco muttered, avoiding Sara and Leonard's eyes. "But it was Barry who told me to start recording. He had a sixth sense about it."
"Very smooth, Leonard," Ray added, grinning at him. "So glad you listened to all our advice!"
"Looks more like he ignored it completely," Mick said, watching his own screen. "Not bad, Snart. Oh, and you owe me twenty bucks, Ramon."
"You bet on Leonard?" Ray said, turning his grin on Mick. "I knew you were a closet romantic."
"Was more betting on Blondie," Mick grunted, accepting the bill Cisco handed him and – interestingly – avoiding Ray's eyes. "But sure."
"I'll admit, you've got more game than I gave you credit for, Snart," Cisco said.
"Gee, thanks," Leonard snarked, the promise of retaliation thick in his tone. Sara chuckled to herself, glancing back at Leonard to find him watching her.
"Wanna see it?" she asked, not sure how he was taking all this.
"You know I like to watch," he murmured, and the sound sent a shiver down her spine.
But before she could press play, a barrage of messages began lighting up her phone.
SARA, YOU'RE MY HERO, read the first message. Of course, it was from Felicity. GET SOME! she added, then, GET THAT SEXY BAD BOY ASS! She followed that message with a string of – while individually innocent, when combined – sexually explicit emojis.
Thea grinned at her phone. "I hope you're taking notes, Sara!"
What Felicity said! Jesse wrote, adding several winky faces to the mix.
Go girl! Caitlin said.
Happy for you both! Amaya said.
NO OLIVER, YOU CAN'T CONFISCATE MY PHONE, Felicity added.
We should've been getting advice from you, buddy, Nate said. Nice work.
You didn't need our help as much as you thought, Harry added. Just a little.
Nate's actually going nuts over here, Jax said. He can't believe 1. He missed that and 2. That Sara's actually into you.
Jax is just jealous, Nate denied. He's had a crush on Sara forever.
Lies! was Jax's only response.
"He definitely used to have a crush on you," Ray said, elbowing Sara.
"Don't worry, we set him straight," Mick added.
"Mick gives surprisingly good relationship advice," Ray agreed. Mick just grunted at that.
"Do I have competition?" Leonard murmured, his breath still tickling the back of her neck.
Before Sara could process any of that, Felicity launched into a new barrage of messages.
OLIVER IF YOU TAKE MY PHONE AGAIN YOURS WILL STOP WORKING FOREVER, she said. YOU'RE ALL WITNESSES. There was a pause, then, BTW- Sara- Star Labs is stocked with condoms if you need some! Another pause. Wait. Do ninja assassins need condoms?
Why wouldn't they? Wally asked.
Better question, Jesse said. Why are there condoms at Star Labs? There was a pause, then she added: Not like anyone's using them.
SHADE! Felicity said.
It's rude to throw shade at your dad, Harry added.
Is it shade? Jesse asked. Just stating a fact.
SO MUCH SHADE IN THIS CAR! Felicity said.
Felicity, how did you know about my condoms? Ralph asked.
We found them, duh, Felicity said. They're not exactly hidden.
Ralph, Joe said. Why do you have condoms at STAR Labs?
Never know when you might need them! Ralph said.
Wait, Wally said. Felicity, you and Oliver had sex at Star Labs?!
You haven't? Felicity countered. Iris said everyone did!
You know, I don't need to be part of this conversation, Joe said (at the same time Ralph said, Everyone?), then left the group message.
"I don't get it," Cisco said, looking up from his phone. "What shade is Jesse throwing at Harry?"
"He obviously doesn't use condoms," Thea said, shrugging, "since Caitlin is pregnant."
An entire planet could have fit in the hole of Cisco's mouth as his jaw dropped, his brows painfully high.
"That's how she got pregnant," Thea explained, slowly, misinterpreting Cisco's confusion. "Unprotected sex."
"I know how pregnancy works!" Cisco exclaimed. "But Caity?" His mouth opened and closed several times. "Caitlin is pregnant? With Harry's…?" He cut off, too speechless to finish his thought.
"Uh," Iris grimaced. "I can see this is upsetting for you."
Ray snapped his fingers. "Oh, that's why Harry needed to get flashed to The Wreck."
"Glad you finally figured it out," Mick sighed.
"Of course it's upsetting!" Cisco cried. "I can't believe she didn't tell me. Did you all know?"
"No," Iris said, at the same time Barry chirped, "Yup!"
Cisco's mouth dropped yet again. "Barry knew?!"
"Iris told me!" Barry said, happily. Then he frowned, gulping. "Uh oh."
"What's 'uh oh', Barry?" Iris asked. They all turned to Barry, who was sitting in suspicious silence.
Then, suddenly, he wasn't silent at all.
"Oh god," Cisco gagged, as Barry barfed.
The car came to a screeching halt.
"That's it!" the driver yelled. "Everyone out. I tolerate a lot, but I draw the line at puke."
"But –" Thea started, reaching for her wallet.
"Nope," the driver stopped her, not sounding sorry at all. "There's not enough cash in the world to make up for this. Out!"
"But it's snowing!" Thea protested.
"OUT!" the driver repeated, and Thea reluctantly opened her door into the cold.
"Cisco!" Iris growled, as they filed into the snow.
"It's his bachelor party!" Cisco argued. "And he only drank half his drink."
"Exactly!" Iris cried. "How strong did you have to make it?!"
Cisco's answer was muted as he exited the car. Sara felt cold the moment Leonard released her, and she was freezing by the time she made it to the door.
"Oh my god," she swore, her toes curling as soon as her feet hit the ground. She shivered, rubbing her bare arms and cursing Thea for her skimpy outfit.
But a moment later, something warm and soft settled around her shoulders.
"As stunning as that dress is," Leonard drawled, "I'd hate for you to freeze in it."
Sara slid her arms into the giant sleeves of Leonard's parka, shivering again even as it warmed her.
"No need to insult me," Leonard sighed.
"But I'm the Flash!" Barry yelled, as the driver forcibly pushed him from the car. "I'll clean this mess up so fast," he added, "like, whoosh. See?"
"Sorry, sir," Iris apologized, pulling Barry away as the car sped off.
"Look, S-s-sara," Thea shivered, "another perk to dating sexy parka guy."
"Here," Mick grunted, draping his leather jacket over Thea.
"Thanks, sexy fire guy," Thea mused, eyeing Mick speculatively.
Behind them, Sara caught Ray's mouth twist into a frown.
"Here, Iris, take my coat," he said, pulling it off.
"No!" Barry argued. "She can have mine."
"You're not wearing a coat, hun," Iris said. "Just a t-shirt. And it's covered in hot sauce and puke."
"It's all yours," Barry said, tugging the hem up over his head. "Oh god, I'm trapped!" He struggled for a moment, pulling and twisting at the shirt. "Ugh, it smells!"
"Put your shirt back on, Bare," Cisco said, helping Barry extricate himself. "No one needs to see that."
"Where are we?" Ray asked, helping Iris into his coat.
"Well, only about a mile from the bar we were headed to," Thea sighed, hugging herself.
"There's no way I'm walking that far through the snow in these heels," Iris said.
"Nope," Sara agreed, staring glumly down at her own feet. The shoes had seemed sexy earlier, but now that her bare toes were covered in snow, she was starting to regret them.
"Hey!" Barry said, his head finally free of his shirt. "Leonard's apartment is like one block that way!"
"So it is," Leonard sighed, again. "All this time, my arch-nemesis knew my favorite hideout."
"You always knew where I lived!" Barry argued. "Only fair."
"He's sober enough to tell directions, but couldn't swallow his puke like a man?" Mick grumbled.
"Perfect," Thea said, her thumbs flying across her phone. "You lead the way, Leonard. I'm texting everyone to meet us there."
Leonard frowned. "It's a very small apartment."
"Are you kidding?" Barry laughed. "It's huge! You have two fireplaces."
"And I like my space," Leonard said. "Emphasis on mine. Can't we get another cab somewhere else?"
"With this snow, are you kidding me?" Thea scoffed. "Demand's too high. And now that my rating is decimated, it'll be even harder to get one."
"I'd love to see your place," Sara said, slipping her hand into Leonard's. "Those fireplaces sound pretty nice."
His eyes softened as he turned to her, smiling as she drew his furred hood over her head.
"Fine," he agreed. "But if Allen pukes anywhere but the toilet, you're cleaning it up, West."
"No, Cisco's cleaning it up, aren't you Cisco?" she said.
"Yes ma'am," he gulped.
They trucked through the snow, Sara hanging on to Leonard's arm a little more than precisely necessary. He didn't seem to mind though; he drew her close as the others followed behind.
"When do you think Ray's gonna admit he's got a crush on Mick?" Sara asked.
"I think it's a bit more than a crush," Leonard said. "Especially since it's mutual."
"I think you're right," Sara agreed. "Maybe they need a little encouragement."
"They'll figure it out eventually."
"They helped us," Sara said. "Maybe it's our turn to help them."
Leonard glanced down at her, a smirk playing at his lips.
"Mick hates meddling."
"He's meddled," she argued, "to your benefit."
Leonard turned pensive at that.
"Wow, didn't know you had a place in such a nice part of town!" Ray said, catching up to them as they approached Leonard's building.
Leonard shrugged. "I'm flattered by your surprise."
"Swanky," Thea agreed, rushing to the front to reach the doors first. "Don't be grumpy, Len. I just heard most of our friends won't be coming, since they'd already made it to the hotel."
"Who is coming?"
They filed into Leonard's building, the foyer empty and quiet this late in the evening. The group heaved a collective sigh of relief as warmth washed over them.
"I think just Caitlin and Harry," Thea said, admiring the small fountains and plants flanking their entrance. "I guess Caitlin wanted to take him to a hospital after he got knocked out, so they got in a different cab. But he's saying she's the only doctor he needs to see."
"Gag me," Cisco groaned, jabbing the elevator call button.
"Why do you have such a problem with Caitlin dating Harry?" Iris asked.
Cisco sighed. "I guess it's fine. I just can't believe she never told me." He ran a hand through his hair, frowning. "We've known each other for years. We've been there for each other through the hardest times. But she kept this a secret?"
Barry placed a hand on Cisco's shoulder, both for comfort and support, it seemed, as the elevator doors opened and they staggered in. "I know how much secrets can hurt people you care about," he said, in an odd moment of lucidity. "I'm sure she had a good reason."
Cisco glowered quietly as the others piled into the elevator with them.
"Which floor?" Ray asked helpfully, looking to Leonard as he waited to press a button.
"The penthouse, duh," Barry answered for him.
"Wow," Thea whistled. "I'm officially impressed. I'm sure Sara is too," she added lightly, shooting Sara a wink.
Sara hummed, smirking at Leonard as she squished into the elevator next to him. "We'll see."
The elevator let their party out onto a landing twenty stories high, with a wall of windows to one side offering a breathtaking city view.
"Okay, yeah, this is impressive," Sara admitted. Leonard's mouth twitched up in a small smile that he did his best to hide as he led the way to the door, entering the code into the key pad.
"Too bad my security system isn't as speedster-proof as I thought," he said, stepping back to let the group inside. "I'll have to make some adjustments."
"Not from me, Len!" Barry cried, aghast. "I'm just your friendly neighborhood speedster. Also. Do you have any chicken wings?"
"No." Leonard sighed yet again. And don't call me 'Len,' he almost added, but lost the words at the adorably lost look on Barry's face. "Bathroom's that way," he said instead, pointing.
"Come on, hun," Iris said, guiding Barry away. "Let's check out Leonard's fancy bathroom."
This apartment was fancy, he knew, watching the looks of awe on the others' faces with satisfaction. Like the landing before it, the ceilings stretched with floor-to-ceiling windows flanking one entire wall. The doorway led straight into an open-concept living space, filled with dark wood, glass and stainless steel finishings. Everything was decorated tastefully, but it had an empty, unlived-in air, too.
"It was supposed to be the developer's apartment," he explained, smiling at Sara's raised eyebrows. He needed to stop smiling, he realized, or he'd ruin his rep. "I bought it fully furnished when he decided Central City had a few too many meta-humans for his liking." Then he felt his smile fade. "I'm surprised it's been so well-kept in my…absence."
Sara started. "You haven't been here since…"
Since before the Oculus.
"It's been a long time," Leonard agreed. "I suppose the cleaning crew is due for a tip."
"Hey Leonard!" Ray called, snapping him out of that depressing line of thought, "I hope you don't mind we're drinking your beer," he said, while Mick helped himself to the fridge.
"Sure," Leonard muttered. "Those beers are more than a year old anyway."
"Uh Ray!" Cisco called, rushing to stop Ray from drinking.
"Well, this is great, but I'm still freezing," Thea said, peeling Mick's now-wet leather jacket off. "Think you and Sara could get us some spare clothes?"
"Of course," Sara said, taking Leonard's hand. "Want to show me to the bedroom?" she asked, hint of suggestion in her voice and a sly smile spreading across her lips.
Leonard smirked at that. "I'd love to."
The bedroom was just as impressive as the living room, with the same floor-to-ceiling windows and its own fireplace.
"Nice view," Sara said, admiring the cityscape as Leonard shut the door behind them. "We'll have to spend more time here, the next time we're in Central City."
"Next time, hm?" Leonard crossed the few steps between them. "I like the sound of that."
"Me, too," Sara agreed, slowly unzipping the parka, and hell if that wasn't the sexiest thing he'd ever seen.
Caitlin's head peeked in through the door. Her nose scrunched as she waved tentatively, seemingly torn between saying hello, asking a question and apologizing in advance.
"I'm sorry, but can I use your bathroom? Barry's in the other one." She really did sound sorry, as sorry as Leonard felt as his eyes darted between Sara and the door.
"Of course," he said, a beat belatedly.
"Thanks for letting us crash here," Caitlin added, as Leonard pointed her toward the master bathroom.
Leonard shrugged. "Wasn't really my choice," he said, but there was no real bite to the words, and he softened as he turned back to Sara, Caitlin forgotten before she even shut the door.
"There should be some sweats in there," he nodded to the dresser next to Sara. "Enough for you all to get out of your dresses, at least."
Sara kicked off her shoes as she opened a drawer, and Leonard watched her deft hands moving through his clothes. He felt suddenly entranced by the moment, by simply being here, with her.
"Wanna help me?" she asked, glancing at him and chuckling at whatever she saw.
"I never thought I'd get to show you this place," he said after a moment, handing her a shirt. "I hoped, once, but…"
He trailed off, not needing words for the rest.
Sara froze, the shirt dropping from her hand. "What else did you hope for?" she murmured, turning her face up to his.
"Sorry!" Caitlin squeaked, interrupting as she scurried past from the bathroom. "Carry on!" she added, closing the bedroom door behind her.
Leonard's eyes fluttered closed as he pushed down his annoyance, mentally swearing to put a lock on that door in the morning, and Sara burst out laughing. He chuckled, too, then, his mouth curving up slowly, because he couldn't help it, not with her.
"What else did you hope for?" she asked again, shrugging the heavy parka off her shoulders and letting it drop to the floor. He paused, his mind suddenly blank. He'd forgotten just how breathtaking she was in that dress. In anything, really, but like this – in his room, hair damp, lights low…
"Would it be cheesy if I said this," he started, finally recovering his speech, "was too much to hope for?"
Sara let out a ghost of a laugh, turning her back to him as she unclasped the hook of her dress and worked the zipper down. "What?" she asked, innocently, "You never imagined me undressing for you?"
"Well," he drawled, "I might have imagined it. A time or two, or…" His throat caught as the dress slipped down, pooling at her feet, leaving a vision of golden, endless curves before him. She glanced over her shoulder at him, a teasing smile on her lips. Then she threw his shirt over her head, spinning back around as she pulled her hair out, letting it fan over her shoulders.
"How about me undressing you?" she asked, taking a step closer. "Did you ever imagine that?"
His shirt went down to her thighs, but he was far too aware of how little she was wearing beneath it. "If I did," he hedged, as her fingers curled around the hem of his sweater, "it wasn't with an apartment full of heroes in the next room."
Sara grinned, tugging his shirt up anyway, and if it'd been anyone else, he would've pulled away, but it was her, and he'd wanted this for so long, so, so long, so he let her, raising his arms so she could lift it over his head. She was kissing him before it even hit the ground, her arms looping around his neck and drawing him closer. He couldn't keep track of his hands; they were everywhere – in her hair, trailing up her side, teasing at her thigh, reaching under her borrowed shirt – his shirt – and winding a path along skin he'd dreamed of so many times it hardly felt real. She gave as good as she got, her fingers sliding up the ladder of his ribs, winding around his chest, the kiss turning deeper, needier, as the moments passed. They'd totally forgotten that –
"GUYS!" Barry burst in, startling them apart.
– his apartment was full of heroes in the next room.
"See!" Barry yelled over his shoulder. "They're not making out. I told them," he added, conspiratorially, to Sara and Leonard, "but no one would believe me." Barry yawned, stumbling to Leonard's king-sized bed. "They all said you guys were in here making out, but I said you wouldn't do that while we're all here!" He threw himself down onto the covers, stretching his arms and legs wide.
Mutely, Sara handed Leonard a fresh shirt.
It was just over his head when Iris came in, shaking her head at Barry. "Sorry," she said. "Barry, come on, get off Leonard's bed." But it was too late – Barry was already snoring, his mouth hanging open wide and drooling.
"Did you guys find pajamas?" Sara asked, startled.
"Oh," Iris said, looking down at her sleepwear. "Jesse ran clothes over to us. We didn't want to interrupt you," she added, looking sheepishly between Sara and Leonard.
"Well, this isn't awkward at all," Leonard quipped.
"Don't worry, I'll get Barry out of here," Iris said.
Leonard sighed, his mind already running through all dozen new locks he planned to purchase for the apartment. "No need," he said. "It's your party, after all. You can sleep in here – just let me finish changing," he added, glancing regretfully at Sara. Her answering smile promised they'd finish that kiss, eventually – and that was enough, for now.
By the time they emerged from Leonard's room, the rest of the group had devolved into a mad dance party, having obviously unearthed Leonard's stereo system.
I can't stop this feeling, deep inside of me. Girl, you just don't realize what you do to me.
"We never should have left them unsupervised," Leonard muttered.
Sara, now sadly wearing shorts under Leonard's shirt, laughed, taking his hand. "Come on, crook. Isn't it time we had that dance?"
I'm hooked on a feeling. I'm high on believing that you're in love with me.
"Who is DJ-ing this?" Leonard wondered, even as he let Sara sweep him onto the dance floor that had become of his living room. There wasn't much room with all his furniture and so many people in the way, so they let themselves sway in place, watching the chaos of their friends all around them.
"Ray, duh!" Cisco called, spinning Caitlin around.
"Are you guys good?" Sara asked, watching the nerd and the scientist skeptically.
"They made up while you guys were making out," Thea explained helpfully, bopping by.
"It was really sweet," Ray added, dipping Felicity. "Too bad you missed it."
Sara frowned. "Felicity, when'd you get here?"
Felicity chuckled. "You guys were in there longer than you thought." Then she turned back to Ray, forgetting them already. "HOOKED ON A FEELING!" they sang – or yelled, depending on who you asked.
"Glad to see you don't need our help anymore, Len," Harry said, clapping him on the shoulder as he and Iris danced around them.
"I never needed your help," Leonard protested.
"And the student becomes the master," Harry laughed.
Only Barry, passed out on Leonard's bed, and Mick, standing alone by the fireplace, weren't dancing.
"How'd he get that sandwich?" Leonard wondered, watching Mick eat.
"Seriously, we weren't in your room that long," Sara said. "And will you please talk to him?"
"I've got an idea," Leonard agreed, pulling his phone out as they swayed and typing a message to Mick. Across the room, his old partner opened his phone. He squinted at it a moment before his eyes rolled into the back of his head, and then he sent a glare directly at Leonard.
"See?" Leonard said. "He doesn't like meddling."
"What did you even say to him?" Sara protested.
"Don't worry," Leonard said, watching with satisfaction as Mick left the fireplace, tugging at Ray as he stalked to the kitchen.
"Let's get another beer, Haircut," he grumbled, and Ray followed happily.
"They'll figure it out," Leonard added, feeling himself smile at the pleased look on Sara's face.
"Just like we did," she said.
"Just like we did," he agreed, spinning her around before pulling her close.
I'm high on believing that you're in love with me.
Eventually, the party died down, and they all found a surface to sleep on. Leonard gave the guest room to Harry and Caitlin, insisting he'd never let a pregnant woman sleep on the couch. Felicity and Thea were happy with the couch, on the other hand, since it was a roomy sectional. They found Cisco curled between Iris and Barry, clutching a small trashcan to his chest in case of emergencies. Ray took one of Leonard's arm chairs, and Mick insisted the floor by his feet was just fine with a pillow and blanket.
Sara and Leonard curled up in Leonard's other arm chair, which Leonard dragged over to the window, giving them a semblance of privacy from the others and a beautiful view of the falling snow.
"You're snugglier than I imagined you'd be," Sara said, nuzzling rather adorably into his neck.
"You, too," Leonard agreed, his hand drifting into her hair. "Are you saying you imagined snuggling with me?"
Sara hummed, the sound so warm and filling that it reverberated in his chest. "I mean, I imagined you might snuggle after I imagined you doing lots of other things to me," she said, teasingly.
"I'm so glad I'm here," he said, unable to contain the feeling any longer.
"Me too," she murmured. "And I'm glad you came to Barry's party. And that our friends meddled."
"Me too," he admitted. "Don't tell them I said this, but… What would we do without them?"
"Good thing we'll never have to find out," she said, and he could practically feel her sleepy smile.
Leonard's phone buzzed from somewhere beneath them. He groaned, struggling to fish it out from between the cushions.
"Well, we're moving to another state," he sighed, reading the message on screen.
Guys, Leonard just said he doesn't know what he'd do without us! Ray's message read. To the entire Legendary Flarrow Friends group.
The messages about that subject lasted well into the morning.
The Legendary Flarrow Friends were too fun to let go, so I decided to add an epilogue after this chapter! Hope you enjoy it :)
Chapter 6: Epilogue
For every crazy night out, there's always a morning after...
Surprise! I thought this story was finished, but couldn't resist adding an epilogue as a little belated birthday gift to myself (treat yourself, right?). Also, happy belated birthday to my birthday twin, crazygirlne! And happy half-birthday to ClaudiaRain, who this work is dedicated to ;) I hope you all enjoy it.
Waking up was a slow, angry thing for Felicity Smoak. (Yes, Smoak, not Queen, despite her mother's meddling.) Daylight broke bright and harsh through the slits of her eyes, exacerbating her blistering migraine. She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment, cringing, then blinked, bravely peering around at meaningless blobs and shapes around her.
"Where are they?" she muttered, fumbling for her glasses, which were not at her bedside table where they belonged. And – "Oh!" – she tipped forward, nearly falling out of bed as she reached into nothing, because her bedside table wasn't where it belonged, either. With a pit in her stomach growing even faster than the nausea crawling up her throat, she realized that she wasn't in her own bed at all.
"Why am I so damn blind?" she groaned, feeling around frantically now. She was on somebody's couch, she decided, noting the leather cushion. You don't need to see, she told herself, placatingly. You're brilliant. You'll figure this out. She reached down, groping around the floor as far as she could reach – and then a little farther…
…And then she rolled off the couch, landing with a thump and a squeak, face down into the carpet. Her glasses were officially lost. So was her dignity.
"You're a brilliant idiot," she told the floor.
At least her facefull of carpet blocked out some of the godawful light, and the force from the impact had briefly distracted from her migraine. Although, there was something hard sticking into her stomach…
"Aha!" She pried herself off the floor, gripping her cellphone triumphantly. OLIVER, she typed, squinting at the screen and typing furiously. SOS. Glasses stolen. Location unknown. HURRY.
Her heart beat faster than those damn little bubbles as she waited for his response. She realized, suddenly, what a precarious position she was in, all sprawled on the ground in a strange place. What if she was in danger? After all, what kind of maniacal villain had such big windows to let in so much horrible, horrible light?
Just got off the elevator, Oliver said. Can you see to let me in?
Felicity frowned. That was an awfully blasé response to this – this crisis. She rolled forward to her hands and knees, following the edge of the couch until –
Her knee came down hard on her glasses, bending them the wrong way and splitting one lens down the middle. She threw them on anyway, rushing to the door with her sight restored.
"Oliver!" she cried, burying her face in his chest. "Where am I? What happened? Was I kidnapped again?"
"Kidnapped? What – no." Oliver half laughed, half sighed, prying her face gently from his chest. "Felicity. Don't you remember anything from last night?"
"Shouldn't you be more concerned?" Felicity countered, balking at the amused look on his face. "Look what I've been through!" She pointed at her glasses, half hanging off her face.
Oliver's eyes darted up as he shook his head, the way he always did when he was feeling fondly exasperated with her. By the time he looked back down, he was smiling, hushing her as he fixed her glasses. "You went to Iris's bachelorette party," he reminded her, guiding her back to the couch. "You threw up on my shirt. Ring any bells?"
"What?" Felicity snapped. She never threw up. "No –" She paused, staring down at herself. "What am I wearing?"
Oliver considered her, biting his lip in a clear effort not to laugh. "Looks like you're wearing pajamas."
"Wipe that stupid grin off your face right now," Felicity warned. "Whose pajamas am I wearing?" she insisted. "They're not mine."
"I don't know," Oliver shrugged, mildly. "You were so drunk, I don't even know how you managed to make it here."
Ridiculous. Felicity chose to ignore him, instead finally taking in her surroundings. She found herself in a lavish living room, with floor-to-ceiling windows covering an entire wall, shining that awful light that made her head pound. And all around her were her friends, sleeping on various pieces of furniture – except for a lump she took to be Mick Rory, who was sleeping on the ground beside an armchair holding Ray Palmer.
Then she did a double take, tipping her broken glasses up to look at them properly. "Did they fall asleep holding hands?" Felicity wondered, noting the way Ray's arm was dangling from his chair, his hand draping the ground near Mick's. "About time," she added, as Oliver chuckled at her again.
"Have you ever been this hung over before?" he teased.
Just then, a head popped up from an armchair near the window.
"Mmph." Sara Lance squinted at Felicity from across the room. "Could you keep it down?" Sara asked, her voice cracked with sleep. She covered her ears with her hands. "You're shouting."
Suddenly, a third hand emerged from her blanket, blocking Sara's eyes.
"Just pretend they're not here," came a drawling, sarcastic voice. "Go back to sleep, they'll leave eventually."
Felicity realized with a start that there was a man in Sara's chair. And not just any man. Leonard Snart. That meant…
Sara Lance is cuddling with Captain Cold.
But no. It was worse than that. Because then Sara laughed, dropping her hands from her ears to cup Leonard's face instead. He chuckled, lifting himself up just enough to kiss her, lightly and sweetly on the mouth.
Felicity would never be able to rescue her jaw from the floor. It was glued there. Permanently.
"Aww," Thea cooed, her voice raspy. "You guys are so cute," she said, watching Sara and Leonard. "Not even hangover morning breath can stop your PDA."
Sara chucked a pillow across the room, hitting her with startlingly good aim. Thea just laughed, snuggling into it and hiding her eyes. "Leonard," she added, "you need to get hella curtains in here. This light is gonna burn my eyeballs out of my head."
"Where are we?" Felicity whispered, horrified, turning back to Oliver. He was still watching her with laughing eyes, even as he tried to hide his smile.
"Leonard's apartment," he said, sliding down off the couch to sit on the floor and stretch his legs out.
She looked around again at the large space and rich furnishings. "Should've expected something like this from the jewel thief," she muttered. "And how did I get here?"
"We made it back to our hotel," he said, "but you went kicking and screaming into another cab. You insisted you couldn't miss the after party," he explained, shrugging. "You wouldn't let me come with you," he added, at her raised eyebrow.
Unlikely. "And since when are Sara and Captain Cold an item?" she hissed. Nothing about this was sitting right with Felicity – it made no sense. Maybe she'd been abducted by aliens and was having a bizarre coma dream?
"Since last night," Oliver said, his smile flashing through before he could master it again. He shifted, turning around to kneel before her, taking Felicity's hands in his. "And speaking of…" His smile faded away, his tone suddenly serious. "I need to ask you something."
Felicity stilled, her mind going blank. No. This was definitely an alien coma dream, because he couldn't be…
She felt her head shaking slightly of its own accord. Felicity squeezed Oliver's hands as her eyes widened, surprise and horror kicking her nausea back into gear.
"Please warn me the next time you want to drink so much?" he finished, mouth curving up in a sly smile. "I really liked that shirt you puked on."
She dropped his hands, falling back in relief. "Don't do that, Oliver," she sighed. "I thought you were going to ask me to –"
A squeal echoed through the apartment, followed by a chorus of repeated yeses and laughter, and then Caitlin Snow was sprinting across the living room.
"Iris!" she cried. "Harry proposed!"
Felicity sprang up in shock. "Caitlin and Harry Wells?" she gasped, looking down at Oliver for confirmation.
"Well, yeah," he said, eyes dancing with mischief. "She's pregnant with his kid, after all."
Felicity gaped. "What?!"
That was the last straw. There was absolutely no way that Felicity had gotten so drunk that she could have forgotten all of this. There was only one good explanation:
"Barry Allen!" Felicity shouted, jumping from the couch and trailing behind Caitlin. "You changed the timeline again! How could you?"
She found them all in the bedroom: Caitlin had squeezed onto a king-sized bed next to Iris, Cisco and Barry, and was showing off an enormous diamond engagement ring.
"You swore you'd never do it again!" Felicity roared, leaping onto the bed to reach Barry, slapping at him as she crawled over the others. "Remember baby Sara?"
"Felicity – what – stop!" Barry sputtered, pawing her off. "I didn't change the timeline. Iris, help," he begged, "I think I'm having one of those awake-dreams. I promise I'll never drink so much again!"
"Felicity," Iris laughed, tugging her back. "What's gotten into you? Did you black out last night?"
"I have never blacked out in my life," Felicity insisted, indignantly. "Cisco, if you don't move your hand off my boob right now, I'll –"
"Sorry!" Cisco squeaked. "I didn't mean it! You trapped my hand under you when you leapt on top of me."
"I don't think the Arrow accepts apologies," she said, primly.
"No, but he does give them on behalf of his crazed girlfriend," Oliver said, sighing, watching the scene unfold from a safe distance.
"Girlfriend, huh?" Caitlin asked, peering up at him and twisting her new engagement ring. "When're you guys gonna finally –"
"Morning!" Ray called, cheerfully interrupting as he wandered into the room, typical grin lighting his face. Felicity would've kissed him for the distraction, if it weren't generally frowned upon to kiss one's ex.
"Aren't you hung over?" Barry whined, pressing his hands into his eyes. "How is he smiling so much right now?"
"Oh, I had a spare hangover pill from the future," he explained, brightly.
Barry peeked his eyes out hesitantly. "Please tell me you have more?"
"Uh, no," Ray wilted slightly, then shrugged, clearly glad he'd used the pill on himself. "Sorry Bare! So, are we trying to see how many people can fit onto this bed?" he asked, flopping himself down across their legs without waiting for an answer. "We should all get together more often," he said, as the others groaned. "This is so much fun."
"You won't think it's so fun when you realize we're living in an alternate timeline!" Felicity cried.
"We're not in an alternate timeline!" Barry, Iris, Cisco and Caitlin shouted in unison. "You just drank way too much last night," Iris added. "What's the last thing you remember?"
Felicity paused. That was a good question. "We came to Central City for your bachelor and bachelorette parties," she said, slowly.
"Uh huh," Iris agreed. "And?"
"Oh my god, that was last night!" Felicity groaned, slapping her forehead as memories trickled back. "We wore super slutty outfits and went to that club and drank –"
"The bachelorette special," Thea finished, making quite the entrance by draping herself over knees and thighs as she laid down between Felicity and Ray. "You puked and rallied, remember?"
"Yes," Felicity moaned, pushing her fists into her forehead. The night was coming back to her in flashes. "And you puked, too," she said, pointing at Caitlin, "but not because you were drinking. And Harry showed up –"
"Because we're pregnant," Harry agreed, ambling into the room and leaning against a bedpost.
"Please tell me you're not getting on this bed too," Caitlin groaned.
"Oh, no," Harry chuckled. "But I am taking pictures, don't worry."
"That's a big ring, Harry!" Iris said, grabbing Caitlin's hand and grinning at him. "How long have you had it?"
"Months," Harry admitted, somehow finding space to sit beside Caitlin on the bed. "I knew right away, once things became romantic, that this was where I wanted us to end up."
They all cooed, watching the couple fondly.
"There's another couple I missed last night," Felicity said, quickly shifting the subject away from marriage. "Sara and Leonard?"
"That was group effort," Ray explained, happily. "We helped them express their feelings for each other via text message."
"Group effort?" Harry scoffed.
"Are you guys talking about us?" Sara asked, entering the room with Leonard in tow.
"Allen," Leonard gave a long-suffering sigh. "I expect you to change these sheets before you leave. I see that spot of puke at the corner."
"Babe," Iris complained.
"Cisco," Barry returned, shooting a glare at his friend.
Cisco let out a disgruntled groan. "If I ever get free again, fine," he agreed, struggling beneath the weight of his friends.
"I can't believe I don't remember Leonard and Sara getting together," Felicity added, sighing into her hands.
"Don't worry," Cisco said, consolingly, "there's a video."
"Oh yeah!" Ray brightened. "I've gotta watch that again. It's in the text stream!"
"Text stream?" Felicity wondered, pulling her phone out.
She had to scroll up through a sea of gifs the group had sent each other that morning, commiserating over their hang overs. So many grumpy cats, sleepy dogs, crying children, and then a woman bent over a toilet, being petted by a broom, with the caption Felicity.
"Hey!" she grumbled, insulted, until she got back to the texts from last night. Then, her indignation froze into horror.
"I did not tell everyone about the condoms at S.T.A.R. Labs!" she shrieked.
"Oh yes you did," Cisco said, grinning. "That was hilarious."
"Ugh," groaned Iris, turning to Barry. "I'm not sure if we can ever face my dad again."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Barry said, grabbing the pillow from behind Cisco's head and covering his face with it. "And I don't want to know," he added, voice muffled.
Just then, voices called from the front door.
"We brought champagne!" Amaya yelled.
"And vodka!" Nate cheered.
"With orange juice and bloody mix," Jax added.
"If anyone needs a little hair of the dog," Stein agreed.
"You can't be hung over if you're still drunk!" Nate said.
"And we brought groceries for breakfast," Amaya added. "So, get up, everyone!"
It was an effort for the group to untangle themselves from the bed. And it wasn't pretty. Limbs jutted into guts, Felicity had reason to slap Cisco in the face, and no one managed to get up until Barry finally rolled out of the bed.
"Your face is how I feel," Felicity said to him, sympathetically.
Finally, they all stumbled to the kitchen, where drinks and coffee were waiting for them. The Legends team had never seemed more legendary than in that moment, Felicity thought, accepting hers gratefully from Amaya – unless they were all hoarding hangover pills. Then they just sucked.
"Alright, Mick, you can be my sous-chef!" Ray said, cheerfully digging into the bags of groceries.
"Don't call me Sue," Mick grumbled, finally emerging from his spot on the living room floor to join the others. Somehow, he already had a beer in hand.
"I mean, you can be my assistant chef," Ray explained, searching through Leonard's cabinets for cookware.
"Pfft," Mick scoffed, rolling his eyes. "Assistant my ass," he grumbled, pulling a pan out of the first cabinet he tried. "No one does breakfast like Mick Rory!" he bellowed, and immediately set to it, leaving a bewildered but impressed Ray to watch.
Over the next three cups of coffee, chocolate chip pancakes and bacon, Felicity slowly pieced her night together from her own vague recollections and the others' stories.
"No wonder my head hurts so much!" she exclaimed, when Jax mentioned the drunk who'd accidentally punched her at the bar instead of Harry. "I can't believe I forgot that. Oh," she cringed, cradling her face as it stung with the memory of pain.
The others laughed, except Oliver, who put his arm around her consolingly. Felicity had to admit, he was racking up the brownie points today. Too bad he was being so smug about it.
"So, Sara," Jax said, evidently deciding Felicity had been teased enough. "I can do some renovations to your room if you want." He glanced slyly between Sara and Leonard. "Turn it into a suite, with your own king-sized bed."
Sara smirked herself, her eyes not so slyly drifting to Leonard's. "You think you can make me a bed that fits seven people, like that one in there?"
"King-sized beds are all the same size," Jax sighed, "but yes. Just like that one."
Sara hid her growing grin behind her coffee mug, never taking her eyes off Leonard. "That would be great, thank you, Jax."
"Of course," Jax added, hurriedly. "I'd need to get out of galley duty for a few months. So that I could find the time, you know."
"I'll bet Mick would take your shifts," Ray inserted, slapping Mick on the back. "He's never had any, since he claimed he couldn't cook." He gave Mick a pointed look, scooping a bite of chocolate chip pancake in his mouth.
Mick rolled his eyes, but he didn't seem very bothered. "Fine, if Haircut will be my souse chef," he said.
"No, you don't say the – " Ray started, then sighed, smiling. "Sure, Mick. I'd love to."
"They make a good team," Nate noted, innocently.
Stein stared at him blankly for a moment. "You're blind, you know that, right?" he asked, drily.
Just then, a phone buzzed from the counter. Thea glanced at it, then gasped, her eyes going wide.
"Is that mine?" Sara asked, as Thea snatched the phone up.
"Sara," Thea stammered, ignoring the question. "There's something I have to tell you."
Sara's eyes narrowed. "What is it?"
Thea's mouth worked, opening and closing a few times before she could speak. "I sort of…texted your dad last night."
Sara blinked. "What do you mean, 'sort of'?"
"Well," Thea hedged, "I was drunk. Does drunk texting really count?"
"Yes," Sara said, warningly, "it really does. What did you say?"
"Nothing!" Thea insisted. "I just…sent him the video of you and Leonard kissing. And a few exclamation points."
"You what?" Sara hissed.
"I was just excited for you guys!" Thea threw her hands up, watching Sara warily. "He's your dad, I thought he would be excited, too."
Sara rubbed a hand over her face, groaning. "Okay," she said, shaking her head. "What did he text me?"
Thea looked back at the phone, speaking hesitantly. "He said, 'When do I get to meet your new fella? He seems impressive.'"
They all burst out into riotous laughter, even Sara, who laughed so hard that tears sprang to her eyes. "Give me my phone back," she said, "I'll handle it."
Later, when they'd all eaten their fill – and had finished all the mimosas and bloody marys – Felicity stood with Oliver, watching the others getting ready to leave.
"I can't believe all our friends have coupled up," she said. "Iris and Barry are getting married. Caitlin and Harry are too – and they're having a baby. Sara and Leonard can't wait for us to get out of this apartment so they can take their relationship to the next level," she added, smiling wistfully. Barry had spared Cisco from changing the sheets on Leonard's bed, but only so he could make a show of it. He'd claimed his Flash powers still weren't working, taking his sweet time with the job, all the while teasing Leonard mercilessly.
"How about us?" Oliver asked, interrupting Felicity's thoughts. "What's our future look like?"
She blinked at him, doe-eyed, heart stuttering.
"I know you thought I was going to propose again," he said, softly. "Why does that terrify you so much?"
"It doesn't," Felicity said, thoughtfully. "Not exactly. But I know we're going to be together, always, no matter what," she added. "And that's enough for me."
Oliver nodded, although Felicity didn't think he was entirely convinced.
"You know," she added, bumping her shoulder against his. "I'm really glad you were here right when I needed you this morning. I don't know what I would've done without you."
His face softened, his mouth curving into the boyish grin she loved. "I'll always be there with you when you wake up, Felicity. Every morning, from this day on."
She could only roll her eyes at that. But she kissed him, just the same.
Eventually, when the morning had slid away into mid-afternoon, the last of Leonard's "guests" finally left his apartment. He closed the door behind a still-jabbering Ray, waiting to hear the satisfying hiss of the lock before wandering, lazily, back toward Sara. Of course, she'd stayed.
She watched him approaching, her small smile full of anticipation, her blue eyes dark.
"You know I love our friends," she said, wrapping her arms around his neck, "but it is nice to be alone."
"Finally," he agreed, breathing in the smell of her, of coffee and bacon and – home – he realized.
But before he could really digest that comforting thought, she pulled back, grabbing her buzzing phone from her pocket.
"It's my dad calling…"
Well, that wouldn't do.
"Your dad, hmm?" Leonard tugged her back to him, stealing a kiss and plucking the phone from her surprised hand.
"Hey!" she complained, but the word just melted against his mouth.
"Forget the phone, Sara," he murmured. "Turn it off for a while."
She laughed as he steered her back toward the bedroom, kissing her between breaths. Sara relaxed, lulling him into a false sense of security before lunging to snatch it back. "He's going to think –"
"That you must be very busy," Leonard said, suggestively, holding the phone out of reach. He knew her too well to be fooled. "He's not here. Right now, it's just me…and you."
"And my dad," she protested, "once he gets here from Star City to knock down your door."
Leonard grinned, dropping the phone in the hall and shutting the bedroom door behind them with a foot. Barry had left a fire crackling merrily in the fireplace, and the room was cozy and quiet, the world outside a white haze of falling snow.
"How far is it from Star City again?" he wondered, kissing her before she could answer.
She let him, for a few perfect moments. Then: "Like six hours?" she breathed, blinking up at him, as if she'd almost forgotten the question.
Leonard quirked an eyebrow. "Well then," he said, backing them toward the bed, "we don't have any time to waste."
She chuckled, giving in even as she eyed him reproachfully.
"Something will interrupt us again sooner or later," he added, cradling her face in his hands, watching the way the firelight danced in her eyes. "But I finally have you to myself. Don't think I'm letting you go without a fight."
"Oh really?" she smirked, her hands playing mischievously at the hem of his sweater. "And what's your plan to keep me here, huh?"
The truth was, he'd never planned for this at all. He grabbed one of her hands suddenly, lacing her fingers with his.
"Forget the plan," he whispered, leaning in close.
Just then, Leonard's phone, forgotten in his back pocket, began buzzing distractingly.
"As I was saying," he sighed, slumping. Sara laughed, pulling his phone out before he could. "Who is it?" he wondered.
But she'd already turned it off. "Forget the phone, Leonard," she teased, tossing it to the ground and pushing him onto the bed in one fluid motion. "It's just me…and you."
Leonard grinned, pulling her down with him.
"It's about time."