There was a time that Barry knew all of the people who lived on his floor in his apartment building. The building wasn't large, only four units per floor and six stories high, just a few blocks from the "bad" part of town. It was small, but it suited his needs for a place to sleep and keep his clothing as he spent most of his time at the police station or at Joe's. It was also the best that he could afford on his salary with all of his student loans.
On his return home after waking from his coma, Barry idly noticed that he had a new neighbor across the hall from him. It wasn't terribly surprising; he had been in a coma for nine months, after all. He was just sad that he hadn't been able to say goodbye to old Mr. Weber. He wondered who his new neighbor was.
It wasn't until he'd been home for a week that Barry got his first glimpse of his new neighbor. The man was older than him, but not as old as Mr. Weber had been. He'd been leaving his apartment when Barry was unlocking his. He had close-cropped hair that was just starting to show some gray, a bit of scruff on his jaw, and the most brilliant blue eyes that Barry had ever seen. They'd locked eyes, briefly, before his neighbor had smirked and walked toward the stairway. Barry's eyes couldn't help dropping to watch the man's ass in his sinfully tight black jeans that his black leather jacket luckily did not cover.
As the man disappeared from view, Barry slowly released the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding before finally entering his apartment. Now that was a neighbor he was definitely going to need to meet.
Len had been living in this apartment for a month now and he'd never seen the hot young guy who lived across the hall from him… until today. The building gossip was that he'd been struck by lightning and was in a coma. Like that was something that actually happened to people.
The younger man certainly didn't look like he'd spent the past several months lying in a hospital bed. His skin virtually glowed with healthy energy and he had the softest jade eyes that Len had ever seen. He'd had to suppress a shiver at the lust he could see written all over the man's face when their eyes locked, Len smirked at him just a bit as he feigned indifference, knowing that he still had it. Who's to say if he added a bit of extra swagger to his step as he felt those eyes on him as he headed towards the stairs.
While he normally didn't go making nice with the neighbors while he was planning a heist, he might need to make an exception in this case.
The kid across the hall must have a boyfriend, or girlfriend, Len decided. It was the only explanation for why he hadn't seen him again after several weeks. He'd been keeping a close eye on the other apartment, and from what he could tell, no one was going in or out of it. Which meant the guy was sleeping somewhere else.
After months in a coma, he couldn't blame the guy for making up for lost time. Not with a body like that, lithe, like a runner's. He wasn't the kind of guy Len would normally be interested in, but he couldn't get him off his mind, no matter how much he'd tried. And he really couldn't afford the distraction right now.
He was just starting to think it had all been his imagination when there was a tentative knock on his door.
It was late afternoon and he had possible driving routes spread out before him. Len carefully hid the plans and grabbed his gun before silently making his way to the door to look out the peephole.
"Who's there?" he called out.
"Hi, m-my name is Barry Allen," the young man said, nervously. "I live across the hall."
Len quickly slid the gun into the back of his pants and opened the door. The kid, Barry, immediately smiled at him, a look of relief washing over his face. Len couldn't help thinking that the guy's face was an open book. He hadn't been around anyone that easy to read in ages.
"Was starting to think I'd made you up," Len drawled in greeting.
"You saying that I'm the man of your dreams?" Barry asked, cheekily.
Len raised an eyebrow at that and enjoyed how Barry's cheeks immediately flushed. "That remains to be seen."
"Hi, I'm Barry," he said, again, this time holding out his hand. "We didn't get to actually introduce ourselves last time."
Len slowly slid his hand into Barry's, enjoying the warm strength of it as they shook. "Len." Reluctantly he let the other hand go.
"I, um, brought you a housewarming present," Barry said, holding out a pastry box.
Len slowly took the box and opened it, a little dumbfounded. "You baked for me?" Inside was an assortment of cupcakes.
"Oh no, I bought those from this great bakery up the street," Barry quickly corrected.
"You know that I've been here for nearly two months," Len said, turning to take the cupcakes into the kitchen, leaving the door open for Barry to follow if he wanted.
"Yeah, but I wasn't around then," Barry said, closing the door behind him as he trailed after Len. "I was kind of…"
"In a coma, yeah, I heard," Len finished for him. "The super is a terrible gossip."
Barry relaxed a bit, having been afraid that if Len knew about the coma, then he'd know about his new alter ego, too.
"I was struck by lightning and it put me in a nine month coma," Barry finally confirmed.
Len let out a low whistle. "That's a long time."
"Tell me about it. It's a good thing my father, well, foster father, was able to keep up the rent on my place and hold onto my job for me."
"You work for your dad?" Len asked.
"No, not really. He's a cop - detective, actually - and I'm a CSI at the same precinct," Barry shared.
Len felt himself stiffen and consciously forced himself to relax. Of course his hot new neighbor was a science cop, with a cop father. Although having a… friend… on the inside might come in handy.
"How nice for you," he forced himself to say.
"And what do you do?" Barry asked, casually looking around Len's sparsely decorated apartment.
"Oh, you could say that I'm in acquisitions," he vaguely answered. "Look, I'm just going to cut to the chase here. Are you currently dating anyone?"
Barry laughed in surprise. "What? I don't know what business that is of yours. I mean we just met, I saw you earlier… but no, I'm not."
"Hmm," Len mused. "I'd assumed that you were because you don't actually sleep in your apartment."
"What makes you say that?" Barry asked, suddenly wary.
"I pay attention. You may still have an apartment across the hall from me, but you're never there," Len said, stepping closer to Barry.
"That's just because I kinda have a second job, at night," Barry said, taking a step back, forcing his body away from this very tempting man, his hand coming up to rub the back of his neck. "My schedule has been kinda crazy lately and I'm usually just running in for naps and a change of clothes. I definitely live here; well not here, but there, across the hall. And I'm really going to make an effort to be there more."
"Oh?" Len practically purred, closing the distance between them. "What's changed?"
Deciding to just go for it, Barry dropped his arm and said, "Well, this really hot guy moved in across the hall from me. Kinda hard to run into him if I'm not around."
"Well, you could try bringing him something sweet," Len drawled, eyes dropping to Barry's lips.
"So you think he has a sweet tooth?" Barry asked. "Cupcakes were the right way to go?"
"I'm more in the mood for a cinnamon roll right now," Len said, running the pad of his thumb over Barry's lower lip.
Barry's face fell and he started to pull away. "I guess I can run out and get some of those instead."
Len rolled his eyes and pulled Barry back to him, kissing him soundly. It only took a second for Barry to catch up and then he was kissing Len back hungrily, his hands grabbing the back of his neck to pull him closer.
Fully aware of the gun at the small of his back, and afraid that Barry's hands would start to wander, Len slowly moved them towards the couch, mouths still locked together. He sat and pulled Barry down to straddle his lap before resuming the kiss.
When they finally parted, both panting for air, Barry said, "So, I'm the cinnamon roll?"
"Yes, Barry, you are the very definition of a cinnamon roll," Len said, his long fingers trailing up and down Barry's spine. Barry's horny confusion made Len want to kiss that expression off his face. "Apparently you missed that meme while in your coma."
Barry's mouth dropped open. "You seduced me with an internet meme?"
"It worked, didn't it?" Len smirked, his hands squeezing Barry's hips.
Barry was leaning back in for another kiss when his phone beeped. Recognizing the tone, he reluctantly pulled back and grabbed his phone out of his back pocket. It was from STAR Labs.
"Shit, I'm sorry, but I've gotta go," Barry said, pushing to his feet. He hastily added, "It's work."
"Got a crime scene to investigate?" Len drawled, standing.
"Yeah," Barry said, hoping he didn't actually hesitate while speaking. "I really wish I didn't have to go."
"Can't say I'm happy about it myself," Len agreed. "But you know where to find me."
Len followed Barry to the door, pressing him against it as he kissed him again, tempting him to remain with his tongue as he refused to do with words.
It was the nearly constant beeping of Barry's phone now that finally separated the two men. "I better go."
"If you must…" Len drawled, finally releasing Barry from the door.
Barry opened it, but before he was fully out in the hall he turned back to ask. "If I'm a cinnamon roll, what does that make you?"
"Oh, I'm a sinnamon roll, too. Emphasis on the sin," he purred.
Barry swallowed hard and practically slammed the door as he forced himself to leave. He swore that he was going to kill Cisco if this wasn't a real emergency.
It was not a real emergency.
Dr. Wells wanted to run more tests on him.
While he was waiting around for Wells to set up whatever he wanted him to do, Barry turned to Cisco and asked, "Hey, what does cinnamon roll mean to you?"
"Beautiful Cinnamon Roll Too Good For This World, Too Pure," he immediately quoted, his hand over his heart.
Barry sat forward. "Okay, but what does that mean?"
Cisco laughed at the question, before seeing the earnest expression on Barry's face. "Oh, right, you were all… asleep… when that happened." Barry gestured for him to go on. Cisco started typing on his tablet, then turned the screen to show Barry. "So, The Onion had this headline a few months ago, 'Beautiful Cinnamon Roll Too Good For This World, Too Pure' and the internet went crazy with it. People started taking it to mean anyone who is sweet that ends up experiencing a lot of pain for no good reason."
Barry sat back in his chair. "Wow, I really am the definition of a cinnamon roll."
"That you are, my friend," Cisco agreed. "What brought this on?"
"Oh, um, nothing," Barry hedged, suddenly finding his fingernails very interesting. "Just something I heard today."
"Uh huh. Um, yeah, no. Someone obviously said it to you." Cisco grinned. "Did you meet a girl? You dog, why didn't you tell me?"
"I didn't meet a girl." Barry stood and began to pace. "It's just, my neighbor. I finally met the new guy across the hall from me and he called me a cinnamon roll." Barry really hoped his cheeks weren't as red as his suit. He tilted his head. "He said he was a cinnamon roll, too. Emphasis on the 'cin'. What's that mean?"
Before Cisco could press him for more information or enlighten him, Caitlin came running into the room. "What happened? What's wrong?"
Barry and Cisco looked at each other before looking back at Caitlin.
"Nothing's wrong," Barry said.
"Then why did your heart rate speed up so suddenly?" she demanded, gesturing towards the monitor strapped to Barry's arm.
Barry groaned and tipped his head back while Cisco whooped.
"I knew it," Cisco crowed. "Wait a minute; you said your neighbor was a dude. Why did a dude make your heart race?"
Barry glared at Cisco. "Why do you think?" he deadpanned.
Cisco's mouth dropped open, then he closed it with an audible snap. "But…Iris?"
"Cisco," Caitlin said, having caught on right away. "Stop being obtuse. He's obviously bi."
Before Cisco could put his foot in his mouth, again, Harrison Wells rolled into the room, saying, "If we're done discussing Mr. Allen's sexual orientation, perhaps we can get back on task."
Barry had never been more grateful for Dr. Wells's tests as he was at that moment.
Len was starting to get frustrated. He was only days away from the armored car heist, which meant that he needed to focus all of his attention on making sure that every angle was covered. This was made much harder by how blue his balls currently were.
While he'd seen Barry a couple of times since their first real meeting, the younger man had to run off just when things were getting good. Every. Damn. Time.
If he didn't know better, he'd say that fate was trying to tell him something. Good thing that he didn't believe in things like fate and destiny.
He swore that the next time Barry stopped by; he was just going to carry him straight to his bedroom. He'd make sure to drop Barry's phone on the way. No more damn interruptions.
Len knew it was his own damn fault that he and Barry hadn't exchanged phone numbers so that he could just ask him to come over. He was too paranoid this close to the heist to give his number to a cop, even if he was a sizzling hot, science cop.
Len leaned back against the couch, staring up at the ceiling, his legs splayed as he tried to figure out why this man had gotten so far under his skin.
As if he'd summoned him by sheer force of will, Barry knocked on the door, calling out to Len as he did so.
Len felt his lips curl into a smile as he stood to open the door.
"H-" Barry started to say, but the word was immediately swallowed up by Len's mouth. Barry was pressed into the wall next to the door as it was slammed closed and he wrapped his arms around Len's back, pulling him close.
Len broke off the kiss and bent to lift Barry in a fireman's carry.
"Wha-at?" Barry laughed as he suddenly found him staring at Len's ass. Not that this was a bad thing. He heard a soft thump and tried to see what had made the sound. "What was that?"
"I am leaving your phone out here," Len said, having dropped the phone he'd plucked from Barry's back pocket on the couch on his way towards his bedroom, "so that I can have my wicked way with you with no interruptions."
"Shouldn't I have some say in this plan?" Barry asked, not really protesting.
"Do you object?" Len drawled. He set Barry on the bed before crawling over him.
Barry swallowed hard and had to lick his lips before speaking. He could hardly believe the hunger he saw in Len's eyes was for him.
"Not at all," he finally said, leaning up to kiss Len.
Len smirked in triumph as he set about stripping Barry for what was sure to be a very enjoyable afternoon.
Len tried to ignore the adrenaline flooding his system as the armored truck drove past them.
"One hundred eight-two seconds, gentlemen," Len said as two guys in his crew pulled out from under the bridge to follow the truck. The large tow truck he was in smoothly drove up, backwards, to the armored truck and one of the guys hooked them together. The tow truck slammed on the brakes and now they were in control of the armored truck.
While the guys on the motorcycles took care of the guards, Len climbed out of the tow truck, a liquid nitrogen tank strapped to his back, and walked towards the armored truck.
"Hey, cool it. One hundred fifty-eight seconds to go," he reminded them - the guards were supposed to be left relatively undamaged - and sprayed the back door of the armored truck.
Once he was sure the door was frozen, he jumped from one truck to the other, crashing through the door.
Before he had a chance to grab the diamond, he heard the sounds of fighting, which should not be happening. He poked his head out the back of the truck and a red blur pulled him to the ground. He yanked his mask off to get a better look, but he was gone.
Well, not gone, but distracted. While the man in the tight red suit was fussing over the guard one of the idiots with him had shot, they sped off on their motorcycles.
All of that careful planning ruined by the man in red. Len didn't like when his plans fell apart.
That man was going to pay.
The entire time Barry was running the injured guard to the hospital and back he tried to force himself to believe what he'd just seen. The man he'd pulled from the armored truck...the thief... was Len. His Len.
The man he was falling for, who he'd just had sex with a couple of days ago, was a criminal.
He pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind as he ran back to the crime scene and switched back to his street clothes. Time for his day job.
"Sorry, Captain. I was at the hospital... visiting a friend," he said, joining Captain Singh and Joe.
"There's nothing missing. It looks like someone interrupted a robbery," Joe said.
"Guard says there were three of them," Captain Singh reported.
"Actually, there were four," Barry said. "I mean, that's how many I would bring if I were doing a robbery of this nature. That's definitely a four guy truck. A driver, two more to cover the guards, and... Somebody used liquid nitrogen to crack open this door, so four bad guys."
"Thank you, Mr. Allen, for your brilliant insight," Captain Singh said as he walked away.
"For somebody so fast, you're a little slow on the improvising," Joe commented. "Did you see anything that could help us catch these guys?"
"Yeah, one of them lost his mask. I saw his face," Barry admitted, hoping he didn't sound as upset by this fact as he truly was.
Back at the station, Joe handed Barry a binder. "So look through these mug shots of Central City's most wanted, and see if you can find our guy."
"That's him," Barry said, knowing that face all too well.
"Damn," Joe said, amazed at how quickly Barry flipped through the pages. "Leonard Snart."
"Leonard? That's almost as bad as Bartholomew," Barry said, his stomach clenching in knots. He guessed it was good that Len hadn't completely lied about his name. It's not like Barry went around introducing himself as Bartholomew. He was also just now realizing that Len had never told him his last name; because Barry had naively told him he worked for the police on their first meeting.
"Snart ain't sexy, either. Snart's father was a cop... Was a bad cop. Took his anger out on his kids until he went to prison."
"Snart's dad's in prison, too? We should start a club," Barry airily said. Was it a good thing to discover they had even more in common than incredible sexual chemistry?
Joe continued, oblivious to Barry's internal dilemma. "He shows up, like, every six months. He cases a job for weeks before he makes his move. Then, he does the job... Gets away."
"That's before The Streak was around," Barry said.
"Did you just refer to yourself in the third person?" Joe teased.
"I referred to The Streak, which I'm pretty sure I can top. I've been thinking of a new name. What do you think about The Fla…"
He didn't get to finish because Iris was suddenly standing there, with coffee. And then when they got to his lab, Felicity was there.
Could his life get any more complicated?
If anything were going to get thoughts of Barry out of his head, it was this blur.
Len was precise. He didn't make mistakes. Not anymore.
Not that he'd made a mistake this time, either. Unless you counted the fact that he had not heard about some superspeed hero moving into his city since the last time he was there.
This blur was a challenge. And there was nothing that Len loved more than a challenge.
Every challenge needed the proper tools, and he'd just found the best one. He hefted the cold gun appreciatively.
If Plan A wasn't going to work, it was time for Plan B.
He was so focused on obtaining his goal that he didn't even notice that Barry hadn't come around for a while.
When Barry finally caught up to Len on the train after his failure at the theatre, he knew it was time to come clean.
"There's nowhere to run," he said, skidding to a stop after clearing the passengers from the car.
"I didn't see you before. Your mom know you're out past your bedtime?" Len snarked.
"Funny, you weren't making jokes about my age the other night," Barry said.
Len cocked his head. "I hadn't heard your voice before, either. Do I know you?"
"Intimately," Barry said, pulling back his cowl.
"Barry," Len drawled. He tilted his head back and rested the cold gun against his shoulder. "I should have known."
"Well, so should I," Barry said. "You lied to me, about everything."
"Misled, not lied," Len corrected.
"You told me you were a businessman," Barry said.
"No, I told you I was in acquisitions and allowed you to assume that meant business," Len pointed out.
"Did you know who I was the whole time?" Barry asked. Had he somehow slipped up?
"That you were the mysterious Streak? No, I learned that just now," Len reluctantly admitted.
"Were you even going to say goodbye?" Barry asked, ignoring the slight whine in his voice.
"I never made you any promises," Len said, ignoring the question.
"No, I guess you didn't," Barry had to agree. "I really liked you."
"You didn't even know me," Len sneered.
"I suppose you're right. Leonard Snart is a complete stranger. That should make this easier." Barry pulled the cowl back over his face. "You know, if you wanted to get away you should've taken something faster than a train."
"That's if I wanted to get away," Len said. "I saw your weakness at the armored car, then at the theatre." He gestured towards the other cars on the train. "See, while you're busy saving everybody; I'll be saving myself." Len fired the cold gun down, freezing the undercarriage of the train and the rails beneath, causing the train to start going off the track. As he prepared to jump from the train, he shouted back, "Good luck with that!" He landed hard and turned to watch the carnage, secretly hoping that Barry would be able to save everyone.
Barry sped through every train car, depositing passengers on the ground as fast as he could until he collapsed in exhaustion.
Len was waiting for him when Barry finally stopped, shooting him in the back. "Pretty fast, kid, but not fast enough. Thank you."
"For what?" Barry panted, the cold burning through his suit.
"You forced me to up my game, not only with this gun, but with how I think about the job. It's been educational."
Barry watched as Cisco came up behind Len. "Drop it," he said, the large gun he was carrying whirring to life. Len turned his head to look at him, his gun still trained on Barry. "This is a prototype cold gun, four times the size, four times the power."
"I was wondering who you were talking to," Len said, turning away from Cisco and back towards Barry.
"Hey, unless you want a taste of your own medicine, I'd back the hell up," Cisco said.
"Your hands are shaking. You've never killed anyone," Len said.
"There's a first time for everything, Captain Cold." Len grinned at the name. He liked it. "I will shoot you."
"You win, kid." Len put up his gun. "I'll see you around," he said to Barry.
"Hey, leave the diamond," Cisco said as Len began to walk away.
"Don't push your luck," Len said, not looking back.
As he left, he heard Cisco tell Barry, "So, your boyfriend is a 'sinnamon roll', s-i-n-n-a-m-o-n, as in, looks like he could kill you and could actually kill you."
Barry said, sullenly, "Not my boyfriend."
We’ll see, Leonard thought.