Hartley is finishing his breakfast when Wally texts him asking to come over. Hartley lets his spoon slide back into his cereal, before he gets up and opens his door. Then he sends Wally a text saying his door is open. He smiles slightly when Wally is suddenly there in his apartment a moment later.
“Thanks,” Wally grins bouncing on his toes a little before moving in for a hug. Hartley closes his eyes and sinks into that hug. He doesn’t like the way it makes him ache. He’s thrown himself into being so busy at work so he can excuse his lacking social life. Wally pulls back, but only enough to give him an apologetic smile.
Hartley wonders if he should step back.
“I don’t want to do that ask you for help and then disappear on you thing, but I do need your help,” Wally confesses. His hands slide to Hartley’s waist and squeeze. Hartley quells down the sarcastic comment and wets his lips.
“Our friends at Star Labs send you?” Hartley asks. “I thought you were on a time traveling space ship?”
“The Legends need your help,” Wally clarifies.
“You’re lucky you’re cute. Have them email me and I’ll see what I can come up with.”
Wally hesitates, but his hands are still warm against Hartley sides. Inwardly Hartley groans. Wally West has no right to be that gorgeous, especially when he’s trying to talk Hartley into something he knows Hartley doesn’t want to do.
Hartley sighs, “I can’t. I can’t play games of being friendly and sociable with people that only want to use me briefly and then forget I exist.”
“We’re friends,” Wally frowns.
“Yes,” Hartley agrees.
“Favor as a friend and I can pretty much guarantee they won’t all be sociable. Mick kinda freaked me out at first, but he and Zari always have snacks so they’re kinda the best and John is kinda an acquired taste, but he’s totally a magic expert and…what?”
Hartley shakes his head. He’s not about to admit how attractive he finds it when Wally babbles. “Hungry?”
Speedsters are always hungry.
While he sets Wally up with a bowl of cereal he asks if he’ll need his gloves. He turns to find Wally frowning at his lap top. “You’re leaving?”
“I told you I was looking for a new job,” Hartley reminds as he places the milk on the counter near the bowl. “I already turned an offer in Gotham down.”
“You applied for a job in Gotham?” Wally wrinkles his nose as he pour milk on his cereal.
“No, I put my application out there. A company in Gotham offered, but Gotham isn’t the best place for metas.”
“It isn’t,” Wally agrees. “I’d probably stay away from Star City too.”
“Not looking to be a hero,” Hartley agrees. “And they don’t need me here, and I need to be somewhere that doesn’t remind me of how my family cut me out of their life so I’m just looking.”
“As long as I can still visit,” Wally barters.
Hartley laughs at the hopeful look on Wally’s face. “Well, we are friends.”
“Friends,” Wally agrees with a nod as he looks at his cereal.
“What problem do the Legends have that I can help with?” Hartley asks.
“They had a team member blow up and they thought he died, but he didn’t. He’s somehow still alive, but he’s at a different frequency, and not solid.”
Hartley smirks, “You would bring me a problem that would pique my interest.”
“So you’ll come to the Waverider?” Wally asks.
“After you finish your cereal.”
When they get to the Waverider they find Len pretending to sit in a chair in the dining area. Mick is sitting across from him sipping a beer. A tall woman with pale purple skin sets a beer in front of Len and then sits between the two men and takes a sip of her beer.
“I hate to remind you, but I can’t lift the bottle,” Len complains as he starts to stand.
“Sit,” she tells him. “Be social.”
Len sits back down as he tilts his head towards her. “You know you’re hotter than when Mick first described you.”
She arches her eyebrows at him. “Slow. I not understand.”
“You’re getting there,” Mick encourages.
“Ah Len, Mick, Garima, this is Hartley,” Wally introduces.
Len and Mick greet him. Garima shakes his hand. He explains that he may want to use his gloves to get a better reading on Len with his powers, but he’s going to head to the lab first and see what findings they already had.
“Good, tell the Eagle Scout to at least attempt to make heads or tails of the tests he put me through,” Len sneers.
Garima knocks on the table in front of Len and chides, “Rude.”
“You like Palmer?” Len challenges.
Garima points at Mick.
Len sighs. “Yeah, he does.”
Mick is still laughing when Wally says a quick goodbye to them so he can show Hartley where the lab is. When they get there Ray is asking Sara, “Do you really think the key to getting Len to not want to punch me to is to let Garima handle the situation?”
“He seems to like her as much as Mick does,” Sara shrugs before she introduces herself and Ray, then thanks Hartley for agreeing to come help them. Then he and Ray get to work going over the information that Ray’s already gathered. Hartley does end up looking Len over with his powers.
“He’s the right frequency that this is his reality, his Earth, but everything is also shifted enough that he’s not solid,” Hartley tells Ray before they get back to figuring out how to shift Len back into being solid and alive. He gets Ray to explain how the Oculus worked and let him look at the information they have on that.
Wally stays in the lab the whole time, only leaving to get them snacks or drinks. He jokes with Hartley and seems to know when to offer a distraction. He gets them to stop at the end of the day and offers to take Hartley home.
“You can stay here,” Sara offers. “John isn’t using the room we offered him.”
“Or I could take you home,” Wally chimes in.
“If a mission comes up we’d come back as soon as we can,” Sara puts in. “It’d be easier on us if you stayed, but I understand if you have to get home too.”
“You only have one bathroom,” Hartley shakes his head, then pokes Ray where he’s fallen asleep at his work station with his head pillowed on his arms. He should make Wally take him home, but he has tomorrow off and he’s exhausted. He should try to go home.
“I could get you whatever you want to sleep in and clothes for tomorrow,” Wally reminds. “It wouldn’t take very long.”
“I appreciate it, but it’s not good for me to sleep with my hearing aids in and the device that lets me sleep with them out is at home.”
Gideon brings up text on the tablet he’s been using to let him know she would be able to reproduce what his device does for him in the room he’d be occupying, then she brings up the data. Hartley thanks hers, then Sara, before accepting that Wally’s going to walk him to the clothes fabricator and bathroom, making sure he has everything he wants. They’re still talking when Hartley gets to the room they’re letting him use. Wally gives him a hug good night and Hartley holds him close for a moment.
Wally smiles when he pulls away. “I missed you. I’m glad you’re helping us.”
Hartley wets his lips. “I missed you too.”
Wally hesitates a moment longer, but then says good night and turns towards his room. Hartley tells himself he shouldn’t, that he’s going back to his life and Wally is busy traveling through time being a hero, but he reaches out and grips Wally’s elbow. Wally turns to look at him. Hartley closes the distance between them. Wally smiles into the kiss, of course he does, but then he’s kissing back.
“Does this mean I can ask you on a date?” Wally asks between kisses.
Hartley pulls back. “Are you even in town that long?”
“I could learn to fly the jump ship,” Wally tells him.
“First you have to explain what the jump ship is,” Hartley shakes his head, before giving Wally another kiss.
“Cuddles and sleep tonight?” Wally bargains.
“That sounds nice.” He’s too exhausted for anything else.
Wally smiles. “A date after you and Ray save Len?”
Hartley smiles back. “After.”