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Always a cop

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“This isn’t fair, Dad!” Iris yelled at her father, “I did everything right, you can’t take away my chance to even apply. You’re letting Barry study forensics. Why can’t I go the academy?”

“Because I said so. My daughter is not becoming a cop and that’s final,” His voice was his dad and cop one, which meant that he wouldn’t listen to anything else she said tonight.

She bit her lip before going up to her room, she wouldn’t slam the door or cry, not where he could see her, she was an adult. There was a creak as Barry’s door opened a few inches while he peered out, “Iris?”

“Why are you even here? You have a dorm room.”

“Laundry,” He gave her one of his awkward smiles, he had a lot of them, this was the ‘please don’t be angry at me’ variation. Iris considered him before pulling his door and sitting down in the chair she knew would be there for her. It had become a tradition after the first time that she sat in his room and did her homework beside him. The chair wobbled since it had been carried over from Barry’s house all those years ago and a leg had broken after some accident, she couldn’t remember what exactly. Something involving Barry being stupid and then fixing the chair since it was his and hers, she always sat there.

She clicked the door shut, her dad had never worried about the two of them or if he did, he didn’t make a thing of it, “Why won’t he let me be a cop?”

“Cause he’s your dad.”

“That’s not an answer and you know it. That’s like saying the sky is blue because its the sky,” Even though it was true, her dad never stopped being a cop, sometimes he was just less of a cop. Today he was more of one.

“But its true, he’s your dad and a cop and he doesn’t want you to be a cop.”

“Why? He’s letting you,” It wouldn’t have been as bad if Barry wasn’t allowed to be one either, but her father had convinced himself that it was fine for Barry to be a scientist. Maybe he was worried what Barry would do if he was told no, since he had never minded really breaking the rules.

“No, I’m going to be a lab tech and only see crime scenes after the fact,” He wasn’t pleading but his voice was almost there.

“That still involves dead bodies,” She said with a sigh.

“Yes, that’s the general idea, but no one pulls a gun on me.”

“Barry, are you arguing his side?” Of course he was, because he was trying to be fair and not get yelled at.

His hands went up and she realized that he’d gotten taller again somehow as his shirt tugged up and she saw a strip of skin. She wasn’t going to even go there, he was Barry.

“No, I’m not. I’m explaining, you know I do that,” He stopped with an awkward shrug of apology,

“Not the time for it,”

“Coffee?” The word came out quickly, she almost missed it.


“Jitters or someplace else that’s not here,” It was a clear ploy to get her out of the house and him from a place of not being as in-between, but a good idea too.

“You don’t need more coffee, you never do.”

“That’s not a no.”

“Fine, we’ll go out and do something until I don’t want to slam doors. Happy?”

His answer was to close his notebook and grin at her, the smug look that she loved and hated since it only happened when he was right. She didn’t want him to be right about this, that it mattered because of what he was doing and that he was Barry and that she was Iris. “You’re buying mine.”

He smiled, the one that was for her, nothing was fixed yet or even close to but they were fine.