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The Observer Effect

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"Look, about what Caitlin and I said earlier—about moving too fast?"

Barry looks to the ceiling and sighs. While he's glad it's just the two of them in STAR labs it doesn't make him want to talk about this any sooner than never.

"Since you got your powers, you've—" Cisco trails off, waving his hands vaguely.


Cisco raises his eyebrows and waves his hands more pointedly toward his crotch.

Barry feels his face heating up. "Cisco!"

"I'm asking for science, dude! Would you rather be asking Caitlin?"

"Oh god, no." It'd be worse than the sex talk Joe gave him years ago, thousands of times worse. Caitlin is too close to have the clinical distance of a doctor but not close enough to talk about any topic with ease. And while Barry likes her in a platonic way Barry doesn't know how to talk with girls he's friends with about sex. He can barely handle talking to guy friends about sex.

Cisco looks like he heard everything that just went through Barry's head. "So you're stuck with me. Answer."

"Yeah, I have."

"Did anything seem different?"

"No?" Barry wonders how Cisco can ask about this stuff without dying of embarrassment. He could probably talk to Caitlin about sex without feeling weird about it.

"What I mean is—do you think time is speeding up when you're, y'know?" Cisco's cheeks might be a little flushed.

He'd never thought of that. He'd never even considered it. "I don't know."

"Do you—" Cisco ducks his head, finally looking as uncomfortable as Barry feels. "Watch anything?"

"No. I've tried, but I never find anything that doesn't—nobody looks like they're having fun and that kills any interest." Maybe he's not finding the right kind of porn, but his imagination has always been vivid enough it's not like he has to have it anyway.

Cisco nods. "Ah, gotcha. You'll have to test it."

"How? Watch a clock?"

"That's the only option that doesn't involve an outside observer!"

Barry feels a tingle of interest low in his gut at that last word. Oh, no.

"If you don't figure this out you might reveal your secret to anybody you're with! The list of people who know who you are is short so unless you want to call up somebody else or give me a show, a clock will have to do." Cisco hastily adds, "Not that I'm asking for one, because—" his words cut off as he looks at Barry's flushed face. His eyes dart down. "Oh snap, I was right. I WAS RIGHT!"

"Dead puppies," Barry groans, trying to will his erection away. This is worse than when he was a teenager. So many times worse. He'd only thought about it the tiniest bit and it happened in seconds! "Nuns."

"That's like, romance-novel instant. Impressive." Cisco seems to finally realize what he's been talking about and goes still, brown eyes meeting Barry's gaze before turning away. "Sorry, man. Sorry. I'll just—go."

"Cisco." He should shut up, he shouldn't go there. But it's Cisco. If there's anyone Barry is willing to tell everything, it's him. And he started it. "I'm a show-off. You know that already."

"Oh." Cisco turns around, eyes wide. "Oh." He gulps. "Look, full disclosure here, I'm like a 2.75 on the Kinsey scale and if you want me to do this, I'm there. I'm very there. I mean, I've got eyes and you're great. But I need to know what it means for you. I don't want things to get weird."

"I don't know what I am. I didn't experiment much in college, and I like Linda but she broke up with me and I want to move past Iris but I don't know if I can, and I feel like I must be a jerk to ask this. But I want to try it. As a one-time thing."

"Just watching?" Cisco's lips are parted, his breathing heavier. "For science?

Whatever Barry's sexuality beyond Iris is, he knows he likes the weight of Cisco's gaze. "We are in a lab."

"If you get anything on my stuff I will end you." Cisco's eyes go to the suit and Barry bets that if he pushed, Cisco wouldn't mind it getting messy. No, too much. Not today.

"Medical room?" Barry starts walking.

Cisco follows, making a face as he says, "Caitlin will end you. Messily."

"If she finds out. Which she won't, because I'm not telling her." Barry hops up on the exam bed. Weird, but not too weird. Trying this at home or in Cisco's apartment would probably be weirder, too much like a real thing and not…whatever this is.

"I will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat, but I won't tell her either. This stays between us." Cisco uses his ankle to snag a rolling chair and sits down, adjusting the height so he's high enough for a good view. His feet dangle a little and Barry finds it endearing for no reason at all. Cisco pushes himself off to roll over to the cabinet and tosses Barry a box of tissues, then wheels back to in front of the exam bed.

Holding the box, it sinks in that this is really happening. He's going to jerk off in front of Cisco like it's normal, like he's done this more than once with a girl he dated a couple months in college. But the way his heart is thundering in his chest, his fingers tingling with excitement, the way Cisco is leaning settling in the chair with his knees wide apart, only make him want to do it more. He'd softened a little while they hashed things out but it's so easy to get excited again.

Cisco notices, his eyes wide, and Barry likes that. It feels like a dare, a push for more. His hands to go his uncomfortably tight jeans. He doesn't look down as he pops open the button and pulls down the fly. Barry watches Cisco, leaning forward in his chair like he wants a better look but doesn't want to roll closer. His eyes follow the movement of the zipper, transfixed.

"Shouldn't you be taking notes? For science?" Barry thumbs the elastic of his boxers.

"I'll remember." Cisco runs his hands up and down his thighs—maybe his palms are sweaty, maybe he wants the contact, maybe he needs the distraction. "I'll definitely remember."

Barry slides his hand into his boxers but doesn't pull them down. Cisco's brow furrows a little in frustration, and he shifts in his seat, but he doesn't complain. He's too busy watching. Barry finally, finally touches himself, gripping his dick and giving it a slow pull. Dry isn't his preference but looking for lube in Caitlin's medical supplies is not happening. He does it again, grip loose enough it's hardly satisfying.

Cisco's hands are white-knuckled where they grip his knees. "Now you're just being mean."

"It hurts me way more than it hurts you." It's hard to joke when every part of his body is screaming for stimulation, but the way Cisco's looking at him is worth it. He runs fingers down the vein, lower until he reaches his balls, then back up to the head—Cisco's breath hitches. He likes that. Barry circles the flared edge of the head, thumbs his slit and sees the way Cisco's knees get wider and wider. The teasing is too much now. He starts jerking off at his normal pace, loose skin shifting over his shaft with each tug of his fingers. This is so much better than anything he could think up.

Cisco's hands are gripping his thighs, breath heavy. He licks his lips, then looks up at Barry.

It's too much. Barry can't get enough of the way Cisco's entire focus is on him, at the way his eyes are wide and his mouth is caught between panting and smiling. He's so turned on and it's because of Barry and that's one of the best feelings in the world, god, it's so good, and he needs more and—

Barry barely manages to grab a tissue in time to prevent a mess.

"Daaaaaamn," Cisco whistles. "It was all a blur at the end there. Couldn't see a thing."

Barry's heart sinks in disappointment. It'd felt so good and he'd thought only about himself. And he really is going to be stuck ending everything too fast and unable to hide his powers.

But Cisco is already turning over the possibilities. "What's your refractory period? I mean if you're fast, you're probably fast about everything."

Barry smiles with renewed hope. "Do you want to find out?"

Cisco squeezes his eyes shut. He stifles a groan as he shifts his hips. He's still hard. "I don't think I could handle it."

"You could—" Barry gestures in the direction of Cisco's pants, his heart beating faster. "I want you to. If you want to."

"Best science experiment ever," Cisco laughs as he rushes to unzip his fly. The sight his bare stomach and the outline of his dick has Barry getting hard again. But it's not enough.

"This time, I could—"

Cisco's eyes crinkle with humor even as his breath hitches. "I'll show you mine and you show me yours?"

Barry shakes his head. "When you put it like that."

"What if you kept pace? To slow yourself down, I mean."

"That will only work with other guys."

"True, but learning to focus works with anyone. With some practice you'll figure out how to stay slow. It's worth a shot."

Cisco doesn't even mind that Barry is talking about having sex with other people in the middle—god, he's being a total jerk. Except isn't this what he wanted? He'd said it was a one-time thing and Cisco said he was fine with that. Why should Barry be bothered by him really being fine?

"Barry?" Cisco wheels forward a few inches. They could touch.

"I'm ok. I just got a little lost in my head." How could he, with Cisco sprawled in a chair like that, his jeans pushed down and his shirt rucked up. "Oh."

Cisco raises his eyebrows. "Do I have your attention now?"

"Yeah," Barry watches as he shimmies his jeans down a little more, shoving the fabric down with his boxers until Cisco's dick is out. It's—well, it's a dick, nothing remarkable about it aside from being one of the very few Barry has seen erect in person and that it belongs to Cisco.

Cisco looks back up, uncertainly in his eyes. "It's cool?"

Barry can't do anything but nod and hurry to get his dick through his fly. "Yeah. I mean, it's you." Which is the most terrible reassurance ever, but—

But Cisco is smiling, so maybe he did ok by saying the simple truth. Cisco moves his hand, the head emerging further from the foreskin and wow, wow. Porn has nothing on this. Barry remembers he's supposed to be moving and hastens to match Cisco's pace. It's hard to focus on Cisco's hands. Everything else is so much more interesting. He wants to see the open curiosity, wants to see every little reaction to what he's doing. Cisco licks his lips, making them seem even redder. Like they've been kissed recently. The thought of kissing Cisco is new, and nice.

Cisco leans back a little more, the armrests of the chair making it hard to get his elbows in a good position. Barry sees the moment he tips it too far, Cisco's eyes going wide and his hair fanning out as gravity takes hold. Time slows down.

He launches forward, slower than usual because it's hard running with his pants open. It's an awkward scramble as he scoops Cisco into his arms, cradling that beautiful brain with both hands to protect it from impact. Cisco and Barry land tangled together on the floor a few feet from the chair, Barry mostly on top of Cisco, his elbows and knees burning from the impact.

Cisco winces, not entirely shielded from the fall. "Ow."

Barry's hands are tangled in Cisco's thick hair. He shifts his fingers, feeling for sore spots. "You ok?"

"Bruised ass and ego, no big. You?"

"My limbs took a hit but they're healing." He shifts to his hands and knees more to give Cisco some breathing room.

Cisco glances down and bursts out laughing. Barry freezes, the cool air reminding him that neither of them had their pants on properly. "Oh god."

The laughter only gets louder, hooting and wheezing and tears streaming from Cisco's eyes. "Bet you've never rescued anyone—"

"Oh god, Cisco, shut up—"

"With li'l Barry hanging out!"

Barry can't stop himself from laughing too, big belly laughs that shake his whole body. He doesn't know how long it lasts but it feels like hours. Good hours, curling over Cisco and trying to calm down, but then their eyes meet and they giggle like teenagers all over again. Little ripples that build into wave after wave of laughter.

They finally calm down and untangle themselves, tucking away their dicks and putting their pants back in order.

Maybe he's supposed to be disappointed that they got interrupted like that but he isn't. It felt nice to end on laughter. "Definitely not going to share that story."

"Definitely," Cisco agrees, wincing as he leans over to set the chair upright. "Way too embarrassing. It's like something out of a bad teen sex comedy. But before that—"

"Before that?" Barry echoes, chest tight.

"It was awesome." Cisco's smile is wide and soft. "Experiments can be unpredictable but that doesn't mean the data is bad."

"Very true." He ducks his head and looks at Cisco, knowing it's his puppy-dog face and using it for all he's got. "Worst case scenario, you need to repeat the experiment. Confirm results."

Cisco pretends to pout. "No rolling chairs next time?"

"Nothing that can pop a wheelie." He steps closer, the closest they've been this whole time. He can feel Cisco's body heat, but he doesn't touch. "Have to observe safety protocols."

"Sounds good." Cisco reaches out and puts a hand on Barry's shoulder. He slides it slowly inward, giving Barry eons to move away, to tell him to stop. Barry lets Cisco get all the way to his neck and pull him down. Their lips meet, slow, soft, exploratory.

Barry doesn't know what exactly is going on between them now, but it'll be fun to find out.