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we were alone and I was singing

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The karaoke bar is crowded but Caitlin isn't paying too much attention to the singers, instead is watching, fascinated, as Barry and Iris scan the crowd, trying to find someone to set Cisco up with. Cisco is at their side, exercising the odd veto here and there, but not complaining too much, casting a glance or two at Caitlin as if to check if she's ok. Which is ridiculous. She's told him as much, several times - just because she's not there with the whole "dating again after losing the love of your life" thing, doesn't mean the rest of the world has to stop too. 

Suddenly though, Iris covers her face with her hands. "Oh my God, just kill me now," she announces, turning her back on the stage, which of course makes the others turn their heads in that direction. 

When Cisco sees Joe up there, he grins broadly. "I didn't know Joe did karaoke."

Barry's smile is more cautious. "He doesn't usually." A tiny line appears between his eyebrows as he frowns and it might even, Caitlin thinks, be because of Iris's reaction. 

Then Joe starts singing and she stops thinking. 

Because she knows the song, even though she'd only ever heard it once. 

It had been playing the night that she'd arrived at the West house, looking for Barry. He'd been out for the night - it had been during his brief fling with Linda - but Joe had invited her in, handed her a cup of coffee and they'd talked about their days and the meta humans and all manner of things. 

She remembers thinking how nice it was to have someone to talk to at the end of a day, how much she'd missed that. 

She remembers laughing, feeling younger than she'd felt in over a year. 

She doesn't remember who kissed who first but she remembers arching into his touch with wild abandon, wanting, needing him with a hunger that was so powerful it was frightening. 

She remembers that Barry didn't come home that night and how she and Joe both agreed that that was probably a good thing, right after they agreed, tangled up in the sheets and each other, that this had been a bad, if nice, idea and that they shouldn't do it again. 

Tonight, as he sings Donny Hathaway's words, the words that were playing as he kissed her for the first time, he looks into the crowd and his eyes meet hers, just briefly, before he looks away. Caitlin swallows hard, knows that he's singing just for her and she has to look down to hide the tears for what might have been.