"Things are back to how they should be. Well, for me, anyways."
Eobard has told him this, and left Barry to stumble home, fear and anticipation leading him. What did he do? How much had changed? He made it to the front step, adjusting his collared shirt as he went to knock. His worry melted as iris opened the door.
"Barry, what happened? Are you ok?"
"I'm-I'm fine, I just-I just went for a run." Barry replies, off kilter. Iris softened, opening the door for him to make his way inside. The room was the same, iris was the same.
"Where are Joe and Wally?" Barry asked, already back to worrying.
"Dad got called in, and you just missed Wally, he went upstairs maybe twenty minutes ago? I was just finishing my dishes before heading home, but we could order a pizza or something if you want? Eddie will probably be working with Dad on this case pretty late, anyways." She said it so casually. Eddie was alive.
"Wow, Eddie, that's-that's great." He has been waiting to find everything fallen apart, but the only change so far, was an old friend back to life.
"No, no that's fine, I actually need to check back in at star labs." Barry deflected. He couldn't just sit around, he had to know.
"This late?" Iris frowned.
"Is everything ok? You're not having any more... residual effects?" She asked carefully.
"Effects?" Barry asked.
"From the lightning. It just seems like you spend a lot of time with your doctors, more and more all the time. I just worry about you." She placed a comforting hand over his, but Barry was anything but comforted. Did she not know?
"I-they're my friends." Barry replies, as safely as he could. She smiled and nodded.
"Well at least let me drive you there. You shouldn't have to walk." She definitely didn't know.
"Great." Barry replied, following her out quietly. He got into the passenger side of her car, all nerves and worry.
"Are you sure you're ok? You seem off."
"Fine, really, just ready to, you know, hang with the friends." He laughed awkwardly.
"Well, when you find time for your Best friend, give me a call." She smiled. The rest of the ride was quiet, but iris had dropped the questions. When she parked outside of the labs, Barry was quick to get out of the car, and wave her off. The second she was out of sight, he called on the speed force and ran into the cortex. Caitlin and Cisco held down the loose papers, barely paying his entrance any mind. So at least they knew.
"Hey, guys." Barry said awkwardly.
"Hey man, how'd the interview go?" Cisco asked casually, pulling another twizzler out to gnaw on. Interview. What interview?
"Good." Barry replies, instead of voicing his questions.
"We should celebrate." Caitlin smiles as she brings in a small beaker of blue liquid.
"My latest attempt?" She offers it to Barry.
"I-uhm, maybe not tonight." Barry declines, feeling a twinge if guilt.
"Boo." Cisco replies, tossing a crumpled paper his way.
"Come on man, it's not everyday you get an opportunity like this! And if you happen to be able to get me and Caitlin tickets, you know, I wouldn't complain." Cisco shrugs. Tickets?
"Don't listen to him Barry. I know you're nervous, but if you get this chance I know you'll do great."
"Yeah, loosen up man! So come on, drinks?" Cisco coaxed.
"No, I shouldn't, I Uh, incase they call." Barry lied. He didn't know who would be calling, but that wasn't important right now.
"Fine. Spoil sport. You want to run a patrol? I can fire this bad boy up, save a few old ladies, thwart some bank robbers before we call it a night?" Cisco offers, gesturing to the main computer with his half eaten twizzler. Barry nodded with a smile. That actually sounded really nice.
As Barry ran through the city, he noticed small changes. A bakery that was now a flower shop, apartment buildings that had come up last year, now unfinished and behind schedule. He thought about the changes, about the things he would have to adjust to, since changing them back seemed so unlikely.
After stopping three mugging and a car wreck, he finally decided his best source of information would be his phone, and the internet. With that in mind, he said his goodnights to Caitlin and Cisco over the coms, before heading towards his apartment. Only, did he have an apartment in this timeline? He stopped outside the building awkwardly before spotting his window on the second floor. Yeah, that was his. He could see the small cactus with sunglasses that Cisco had bought him as a housewarming present. He sighed in relief before phasing his way inside. The apartment lay out was much the same, and most of the pictures were similar. They still had small changes, where they were posed differently, or wearing something different than in the pictures from his timeline. But there was someone new in a few of them. James, his mind supplied helpfully. Whoever James was, he was in pictures dating all the way to high school.
Barry flopped on the couch, and began searching through his phone. Weird. A lot of his contacts were missing. The only contacts he had from the police station were Joe and Eddie. Barry pulled up his own Facebook page, and stopped, startled. He wasn't CSI. According to this, he was a music technician. Wait, like a roadie? That was still a thing? He continued scrolling through, finding pictures of him and James connecting stage speakers and tuning amplifiers. Apparently they've done quite a few small shows since high school. Barry clicked into James' Facebook page, finding a bombardment of exited posts about their interview to set up for a band called winter storm. Barry flipped over to his music, surprised to find it filled mostly by songs from this band. So, the interview was really a big deal. But Barry has no idea how to do any of this. Maybe as time went on, he'd remember more, but would he forget everything from his timeline, just like he did in flashpoint? Barry sighed, closing his phone, and his eyes. It was a lot. But he was in his own home, and he could finally rest.
Barry dreamt of melodies and mosh pits; of reckless weekend drives to concerts ten hours away. He dreamt of being that sad, angry kid, of Iris giving him a burnt CD when winter storm was just starting out. He dreamt of finally going with Iris to one of the last concerts winter storm ever played in central, of meeting James there. He dreamt these memories and soaked them in, and by the time he woke up-half falling off his couch-he was beginning to understand this life a little bit better.
After waking up and getting ready, Barry was at a loss again. What was he suppose to do? In his timeline, he'd be late for work at the CCPD right now; but here... Barry's phone rang, startling him out of his trance.
"Barry we got the gig." James tells him, before Barry even says hello.
"That's-that's awesome. So cool." Barry cringed at himself, and his lack of convincing delivery.
"Damn straight it is! I'm going to send you the files they sent over, alright? Man, I can't believe this!" James kept talking, but Barry just felt a sinking in his chest. How was he going to pull this off? He had no idea what he was suppose to do.
"And there's something else man." James says seriously.
"The shows not going to be in Star city anymore. They're moving it to central." James' excitement seeps through his voice, but he waits for Barry's response.
"Wait, but, Winter Storm hasn't played in Central for the last five years." Barry found himself responding, but he wasn't sure where the words came from.
"Exciting times, man. I'll pick you up Thursday around three. Should give us plenty of time to grab something to eat first, what with your freaky appetite lately."
"Sure, I'll see you then." Barry hung up the phone, feeling somewhat unsettled. Sure, there was a lot he would just have to get use to. And clearly some part of him knew all about this timeline. He just hoped it was enough of him to do his job well.