Len looked up from where he was seated in a booth. He’d just finished a game of pool and was about to have Christmas dinner when he just…had the familiar feeling he always got when Barry was around. Especially when he was around when he shouldn’t be.
“Scarlet, to what do I owe the pleasure? I thought we agreed to spend Christmas apart.” Len said, raising an eyebrow. That was the plan, after all. They’d agreed to it. SWAK, even.
“You know I never liked that idea.” Barry said as he slid into the booth, facing Len, hands on the table, posture and body language open as he leaned forward a bit against the table and smiled.
“Yes, well…I think you’d like it even less if Detective West shot your boyfriend on Christmas Day.”
“He wouldn’t shoot you.” Barry smiled fondly and shook his head at his boyfriend’s dramatics.
“If you say so, Red. Still, I’d rather be safe than sorry.”
“He said you could come over for Christmas dinner, Len. He’s coming around. I told you he would.” Barry’s voice was soft and Len kind of wanted to melt. It was difficult not to when Barry used that tone with those puppy eyes.
“I’m already having Christmas dinner.” Len said, taking a sip of his cocoa.
“You’re drinking cocoa and eating a piece of pie in a bar.” Barry said, flatly.
“Saints and Sinners makes the best pecan pie in the state.”
Barry gave him a skeptical look, “not the point, Len.”
“And what did you do to twist the good detective’s arm to get him to let a criminal celebrate Christmas with him?”
“Len, come on. Stop it. You haven’t used this attitude with me in half a year. You don’t have to be defensive with me like that. I’m not here to fight. I just want to have Christmas with my boyfriend.” Barry said, reaching across the table and lightly touching Len’s hand.
Len looked down at their hands, at Barry’s fingers gently caressing his and moved his own fingers so that he could lace them with Barry’s, relaxing his own posture a bit, letting the tension start to slip away.
“He probably only agreed because you gave him those puppy eyes and threatened to cry, Scarlet. Nobody really wants me there and it’ll just be awkward.”
“I did NOT threaten to cry,” Barry huffed but then shifted his position a bit, leaned down slowly to get Len’s attention, to catch his eyes with his own and keep the eye contact, “and the only thing that matters is that I want you there…”
Len was silent, thinking it over, keeping Barry’s gaze the whole time.
“Please, Lenny…” Barry whispered, tone and look on his face both insecure and worried.
Len sighed. That was dirty pool.
Looking away for a moment to collect his thoughts and his emotions, he reached over and picked up his cup of cocoa with his free hand and brought it to his lips to take a generous, deep drink of it, allowing the bittersweet chocolate and the oversweetness of the melted marshmallows mingle on his tongue and enjoying the warmth as it all slid down his throat, before setting the cup aside again. Liquid courage of a different sort tonight.
“Alright. I suppose I can do that for you, Barry.” Len answered, looking back over at his boyfriend.
Barry stared at him for a moment and then…what the hell was so funny?
Barry cut him off by leaning forward and flicking the tip of his tongue over the tip of Len’s nose, surprising the older man a bit, and then moving down to give a much slower lick to Len’s lips, prompting a kiss that turned deep and only broke when they needed air and Barry’s position leaning so far across the table became uncomfortable.
“Mmm…what was that for?” Len asked, smiling. “Not that I’m complaining.”
“Come on, Sugar Lips. Let’s go.” Barry said, smirking without answering.
Len started to get up from the booth, but he looked curiously at Barry. “Really? Sugar Lips?”
“Yeah, well…” he handed Len a napkin from the table they were getting ready to leave, “you had a little something…” he gestured with his free hand toward his own nose and lips while holding the napkin toward Len with his other, “from the marshmallows.”
It took Len thirteen seconds to realize what Barry meant and he took the napkin to wipe any residual marshmallow fluff of his face.
The blush on Len’s cheeks while he did so softened Barry’s smile quite a bit, before they linked hands and walked out of the bar together and headed in the direction of Len’s motorcycle.