“C’mon, pup, you like baths,” Mick wrestled a fussy speedster into the tub.
Barry had doffed his clothes, sat up on all fours, and held his collar in his mouth: the signal that he’d wanted this tonight. His collar was scarlet velvet with a thunderbolt, a burning clock, and a marshmallow encased in ice. Len latched it on and tsked. Their puppy had gotten dirty during Flash business that night.
Mick took on the task of washing him up while Len started dinner. Barry followed him into the bathroom obediently enough, yet he was having none of it after Mick filled up the tub and took off his collar.
Mick did finally wrestle him into the tub and even got a dollop of shampoo in his hair. Barry grumbled yet behaved as Mick lathered his hair with soothing circles across his scalp.
But all fucking hell broke loose when Mick squirted body wash onto the loufa.
“Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf!”
Barry’s growls were too cute to take seriously until he bit the hand that held the loufa.
Mick spanked Barry’s ass red, then gave him the rest of his bath. Mick had toweled him off and put his collar back on when Len came in to check on them.
“He fuckin’ bit me!”
“Barry...” Len narrowed his eyes at him while he rubbed lotion into Mick’s inflamed hand.
Barry scowled up at Len.
“I already spanked him.” That would usually do it for Barry, but tonight had wrapped barbs into his bones. Mick’s lips twitched in dismay. “I dunno what’s goin’ on...”
Looking over Barry’s expression again revealed something akin to pain rather than malice. Maybe it was guilt from biting Mick—although it didn’t break skin.
“Follow, pup,” Len agreed to take care of Barry while Mick fixed dinner.
Len settled into the armchair, thinking Barry might hop into his lap. Barry paced the bedroom instead. Len watched him fight to stay alert and keep moving. Barry’s head drooped until he jolted and blinked.
Barry slunk over, settling to the side of Len’s leg when Len directed him.
Len began petting him: a slow ghosting over his hair. Barry had his mouth clamped shut, so it sounded like he’d moaned, but there was no hiding the neediness in the noise. Len deepened the touch to card through his hair. Barry mewled. His cheek sunk against Len’s leg. He mewled again—miserably warring with his body to stay awake.
“Shhhhh, sleep, Barry, I’ll wake you up when dinner’s ready,” Len talked him down into finally surrendering to what he needed.
Barry almost fell face first into his bowl twice. He ate enough so Len and Mick wouldn’t worry about hypoglycemia, but he had no energy for anything else.
Mick and Len tucked him into his dog bed: a well-cushioned thing with plush lining that felt fuzzy against Barry’s bare skin. They wrapped him up in plenty of blankets and a quilts so he wouldn’t get cold. He could fully stretch out in his bed, so he looked tiny like this.
“So that’s what it is,” Mick yawned. “Our pup’s dead tired.”
“He’s not on call this weekend,” said Len. “I’ll call the lab rats in the morning to keep an eye on the city so we can make sure he gets some sleep.”
“Sounds like a plan, Lenny,” Mick nuzzled his shoulder before drifting off himself. “Nigh’ par’ner.”
“Good night, partner. Sleep tight, Barry.”
Barry mumbled some gibberish before curling up tighter.