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find a way or make one

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When they first arrived in Gotham, Eobard had opened his hotel door to find Barry in the hallway, his suitcase in hand. Eobard had stared at the luggage, and then at Barry himself--and Barry had looked back at him with wide, unblinking eyes, as if he wasn't quite sure what he was doing there either.

They were supposed to have separate accommodations. "Mr. Allen?"

Barry barreled past him with his luggage dragged haphazardly behind him, and Eobard watched him stalk past with raised eyebrows, his mind roiling with a sudden confusion of amusement and terror. He followed Barry into the bedroom, where the boy transformed into a whirlwind of movement, emptying his suitcase and arranging his things; his toothbrush was placed next to Eobard's on the sink, and some of their clothing suddenly shared space in a drawer. Barry's actions were incredibly appalling, absolutely reeking of entitlement, but something about Barry's posture--the tenseness of his shoulders, perhaps, or maybe the slight rigidity in his limbs--suddenly made it apparent to Eobard that instead of the self-satisfied confidence at which Barry was pretending, he was in actuality incredibly nervous. The sight was oddly touching.

Pitching his voice to dryness, Eobard said, "Miss me already?"

Barry froze for a long moment.

"Barry?" Eobard tried again, trying not to smile.

The boy turned to look at him, his movements slow and reluctant. "I'm not--" he blurted out, but whatever he wasn't, he never finished saying, because he took a deep breath instead. When he let it out again, his entire body was relaxing. "Tons," Barry finally said, his tone of voice matching Eobard's.

It was the type of response Eobard had been trying to elicit; he looked Barry over with a sense of satisfaction. From the look of things, it appeared that Barry had packed for himself--always a frightening endeavor. The boy was accustomed to superspeeding through the city to retrieve anything he needed or wanted, and he had apparently counted upon that instinct in his trip to Gotham. Eobard could see what seemed like a decent suit, navy blue and middling in price by the look of the fabric, laid out across the duvet, but nothing else within Barry's suitcase looked promising. They would have to go shopping.

Keeping his voice even, Eobard said, "I see you packed lightly."

"Uh huh," Barry said, instantly amused.

Eobard was laughing when his back suddenly hit the mattress, and he immediately gathered Barry close, relishing in the way the boy was absolutely buzzing with Speed Force. He smoothed his hands down the line of Barry's back; he was perched above him, propped up on his elbows over Eobard's head. "If you wanted me to buy you things," Eobard said, feeling gratified, "all you had to do was ask."

Barry shrugged sheepishly. "It wasn't a thing," he said. "You buying me things, I mean. Really."

"At least it wasn't before."

"But now it kind of is?" Barry squinted down at him. "Maybe. Should I be sorry?"

"Do I look sorry?"

Barry flashed a grin at him. "Are you sure you want me to answer that question?"

"That depends," Eobard said, raising an eyebrow, "on how indulgent you expect me to be."

A smile curled over Barry's lips, and with a huff of laughter, he rolled off Eobard to lie next to him. Their shoulders pressed together tightly. "You know, I think you're calling me a gold-digger."

He had left Barry S.T.A.R. Laboratories and more besides; Barry had no need for money. "Can you be bought?" Eobard asked maliciously.

"I don't know," Barry said, rolling his eyes. "Can I?"

Eobard reached for Barry at that, all at once giving up on his half-formed intentions of teasing him, and pulled him close to kiss him soundly. Their lips met with Barry's laughter between them, and if Eobard had expected the sound of it to be unkind, he was sorely disappointed. Barry's voice was brimming with tenderness, full of a bemused understanding, as if nothing Eobard said would be taken amiss. It was a promise of good faith, entirely unexpected. Absolutely undeserved. Eobard felt his breath catch.

Taking Barry's face between his hands, he said quietly, "You're impossible."

"You don't know the half of it," Barry said, his voice almost a whisper. His face was creased with a conspiratorial smile, the look entirely put-upon, and it was Eobard's turn to roll his eyes. Then they were kissing again, both of them exasperated and welcoming, until Eobard finally hauled Barry up from the bed and ordered him to shave. The opening ceremonies of the conference were about to begin; they had half an hour.

And that had been the whole of it. Nothing else had happened. Eobard didn't know what had changed between their time in the hotel room and their meeting in the elevator. They had headed to Wayne Enterprises directly--where their relationship, abruptly, had ended. Or somewhat ended; there was still the mission. Eobard found himself forcing his expression into near-perfect nonchalance; he had buried rage and hatred for fifteen years, once upon a time. Infuriated bewilderment was almost nothing by comparison; if it was necessary, he could bury that, too.