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Rogue Heart

Chapter Text

Mardon stood before the infamous Leonard Snart. The citizens of Central City knew the man as Captain Cold, leader of the Rogues Gallery.

Captain Cold was a legendary thief. He was rarely caught. If he was, he would always escape custody before stepping foot inside Iron Heights prison. The arrests on Cold's record were from his teens, when he was just starting and the fault of someone or other on his crew. Now the man had a well-oiled machine of criminals working for him. They were all too good to get caught under the leadership of Cold.

Cold was silent, contemplating Mardon's request. Finally, he spoke, voice cold and calculating, "You want to join the Rogues to get revenge against Detective Joe West for the death of your brother. To do this you need the help of the Rogues. In exchange for our help, we keep all the money from the ransom. Is that correct?"

"Yes."

"Mmm... If I agree to this, there are a few rules you must follow. This kidnapping will operate like any other heist for the Rogues. I will plan out the heist to the last second. You will follow my instructions to the last second. No shooting cops. That is a last resort. We don't need the heat."

Mardon nodded along with each rule. "Is that all?"

"While we are holding the West girl, minimal injuries are to be inflicted. We do not torture innocent people."

Mardon paused in nodding.

Cold's eyes narrowed as if reading Mardon's thoughts. "If any of these rules are broken, the deal is off and you will no longer be a part of the Rogues."

"I understand."

Chapter Text

It had been two months since Mardon went to Cold. Two months, since he joined the Rogues. Two months, since they started working together. Two months and they had nothing to show for it. And that is exactly what he said to Cold.

When Mardon's ranting had finally stopped, Cold looked up from the set of blue prints he had been studying. "For the last two months, Shawna and Hartley have been alternating following Iris West. Both collecting details of her schedule, her friends, and the best locations to grab her. Lisa took a job at the same coffee shop as our target to gain more information that might be useful later on if needed. I, myself, am currently going over every blue print of every building Ms. West frequents the most deciding on which location would result in the easiest and cleanest get away for us. I'd say we have quite a lot to show for two months."

Mardon slammed his hands on the table. The fact that Cold barely blinked only made him angrier. "Then why haven't we grabbed the bitch already!"

"As I have already stated, I am deciding on which location would be the best place to grab her and have a clean get away. Now, unless you want to try and get the girl yourself, you will leave me to my work."

Cursing under his breath, Mardon stormed out of the office.

Cold went back to scheming. As long as Mardon followed his instructions, everything would be fine. The man wanted revenge and he wanted it fast. Len could relate. If anyone had so much as laid a hand on Lisa, Len would have lost his cool, too. But it wasn't Lisa and Len was in control.

This job would be going down in two days at least. As long as Lisa's intel from today didn't have any unforeseen details, everything would go according to plan.

--------------------------------------------

Lisa was currently serving another coffee to another man who had yet to finish the one he already had. That was often the case for any single (some not), straight man that so happened to find themselves at Jitters when Lisa was on shift. While this wasn't the usual con Lisa would run, she was getting hefty tips from a lot of the men.

As she made her way back to the counter, Barry Allen walked in. The first few days Lisa had started working at Jitters, she hadn't really paid attention to the boy until she noticed he was usually there to see Iris. Then, she started keeping tabs on him. That quickly became difficult.

The boy didn't seem to have a set schedule of when he came to Jitters. There were quite a few times Lisa had overheard Iris's greeting of "you're late." Each time she heard it, Lisa couldn't help thinking of Len and how that would irritate him to the point of freezing something. From other the baristas, Lisa had learned that Barry and Iris were close and that he worked as a CSI for the CCPD. 

Today, Lisa planned on getting some more intel from Iris. If Barry is her boyfriend, we could probably threaten him and get Iris to come with us without a struggle, Lisa schemed.

Lisa sauntered over to where Iris was too busy making four coffees to have noticed Barry. "Looks like Loverboy's here for his daily Iris fix," Lisa sang. 

"What?!" Iris handed the coffees off. "Who?"

Lisa nodded to where Barry had taken a seat. He waved when Iris looked over.

"Ohh!" Iris laughed. "Barry and I are just friends."

"Then you won't mind if I give him a try."

Iris laughed again. "I'm sure he'd be flattered but Barry's gay."

"Huh. Too bad." Lisa glanced over at Barry as if she was actually disappointed. "So, how close are you two?"

Iris was making another coffee, most likely for Barry. "We're practically brother and sister. He moved in with me and my dad when we were young, after his father-" Iris cut herself off. "I really shouldn't be telling you this."

"Oh, come on. Who am I going to tell?" Lisa gave her a trusting smile. "After his father-?" In the last few days, Iris had grown to trust Lisa. So, it wasn't that surprising that she finished her sentence.

"After his father went to jail." Iris turned fully to look at Lisa. "Don't tell Barry you know. He had rough time as a kid because of it."

"My lips are sealed."

Iris thanked her, before rushing off to gossip with Barry.

---------------------------------------------------------

"Any new information, Sis?" Len didn't need to turn around to know it was Lisa. He could hear the clink of her heels as soon as she stepped into the bar.

Lisa pulled off the blonde wig as she sat down. "Her friend, Barry Allen, is more of a brother than friend. West raised both of them after Barry's father was sent to jail. Think that's useful?"

"It might be. For now, it seems the plan should go just as planned."

Chapter Text

Barry and Iris walked out of the movie theater arm in arm, laughing. They had just finished watching the latest Sci-Fi parody. Now, they were on their way back to Joe's. It was late and the streets were mostly empty.

As they walked along, Barry turned to Iris, "I'm going to take a guess that you haven't told Joe about you dating his partner."

Iris shook her head, "No. I'm just waiting for the right time to tell him."

Barry laughed, "What, are you going to wait until you and Eddie are married with children?"

"Do you think I could pull it off?"

Barry laughed again. "But seriously, Iris, you have to tell Joe. He is going to notice the two of you sneaking around sooner or later." They turned down an alley that was a short cut past the traffic of Central City. "It would be better if he found out from you than-"

"You know it's dangerous to be out here at night," a deep voice came from behind them.

Barry wanted to keep moving, but Iris stopped to look at the man. Of course, she also decided to say something to man. "Then what are you doing out here?"

Sighing, Barry turned to apologize, tell the man they mean no trouble and were just passing through. All words died on Barry's tongue when he saw the man. The man was covered in what looked like soot. A glint of metal caught Barry's attention, drawing his eyes to the man's hand, which was holding a gun. From what Barry could see, it was no ordinary gun. The man was Heatwave, one of the Rogues.

Heatwave smirked. "Why, Sweetheart. I am the danger."

"Iris, come on." Barry grabbed Iris's hand, dragging her out of the alley. But now, two men stood in their way. One Barry recognized as Mark Mardon. The other was blonde and had glasses. Barry didn't recognize him, but he knew that he and Iris were in serious trouble now.

The blonde spoke to Mardon. "Do you think Cold would let me play around with the boy? Since you're getting the girl."

Barry pushed Iris behind him, shielding her from them as best he could. Iris, either not sensing the serious danger they were in or thinking she could scare them off, tried to talk their way out of this. "My dad's a cop." That might have worked on horny high school boys but these were career criminals.

"Oh, we know, Princess." Mardon grabbed Iris's wrist, pulling her towards him.

This isn't random, Barry realized. Joe had killed Mardon's brother. The man was here for revenge. Barry wasn't about to let him hurt Iris.

Barry jumped on Mardon. Not expecting Barry to fight back, Mardon wasn't able to defend himself. They both went down, knocking the blonde down, too. Barry hit Mardon as hard as he could, shouting, "Iris! Run!" 

Iris ran out of the alley into the street. Shouting as she went, trying to draw attention.

Heatwave didn't go after her. Instead, he pulled Barry off of Mardon. He wrapped Barry in a choke-hold. Barry struggled but the man was a lot stronger than him.

"WHAT THE HELL!?!" Mardon screamed at Heatwave. "Why didn't you go after her!?!"

"She's gone. Cool down, Mate. Cold said that the girl was ideal but the boy is just fine." Heatwave turned back towards the other end of the alley, dragging Barry along. "Come on, you don't want to be here when the cops show up, do you?"

Chapter Text

By the time they had gotten back to Saints & Sinners, a storm was seething beneath Mark's skin. He was beyond angry. Not only did they not get the West girl, Cold had instructed Rory to take the boy without telling Mark.

When they pulled up to the back of the bar, Mardon pushed past Rory, Rathaway, and the unconscious boy. Storming into to Cold's personal office, Mark shouted, "What game are you playing at, Cold!"

Mardon half expected the Cold Gun to be shoved in his face, the man must not have seen him as much of a threat. Cold remained calm. Not even looking up at Mardon, he catechized, "And what game are you insinuating that I am playing?"

"Don't bullshit me, Snart!" People rarely called Captain Cold by his real name these days, especially those in the Rogues' Gallery. In doing so, Mardon drew all of Cold's attention. But the man seemed more annoyed than anything. Mardon continued, "We didn't get the girl! Instead, Rory decided to grab her boyfriend!"

Cold put down whatever he had been working. "I was aware that you wouldn't be able to keep your cool during the heist. Figuring you would let your guard down, I instructed Mick of a secondary target that could be just as beneficial to the plans."

"By kidnapping the girl's boyfriend? I don't see how that gets back at West."

"He isn't her boyfriend. He's her foster brother. Joe West took in Barry Allen when the kid's father went to prison. For all purposes, he is Det. West's son."

Mardon let that sink in. I could have had both of his kids! "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I knew you would have wanted to take both of them. That would of been to much of a risk. CCPD would more likely hunt us down than give us the money if we kidnapped both of them." Cold turned back to his work. "Go cool down, Mardon. Tomorrow, a message will be sent giving West 24 hours to get us the ransom."

**********

Mardon didn't sleep that night. Instead, he prepped for the 24 hours he would spend with the kid. Cold might have been planning on letting Barry Allen go, but Mardon was going to make sure the kid didn't leave Saints & Sinners. Cold wants money. Mardon wants revenge.

Chapter Text

Barry had been knocked-out for the ride to Saints & Sinners. When he opened his eyes, he was is dark storage room. Shelves lined two of the walls. The room smelled stale and of dust. It seemed that it hadn't been used as a storage room in a long time. There were no windows. The only light in the room coming from beneath the door.

He was cuffed to a pipe against the back wall. Even though the pipe was old, didn't budge when Barry pulled against. He had also been gagged. Barry wondered if it was because they were somewhere were someone might be able to hear him. He waited for one of the Rogues to walk through the door. Barry couldn't help but think of the different ways they could kill him. Leonard Snart, most commonly known as Captain Cold, liked to freeze people with his Cold Gun. 

It could have been hours, it might have been minutes, before someone came to the room.

Barry watched as the light was broken-up by someone standing on the other side of the door. He could hear the door being unlocked before it swung open. The light from the hallway blinded Barry for a moment. When his eyes had adjusted, Barry could see the man. It was the last person Barry wanted to see, Captain Cold.

Cold stood over Barry. The man smirked, tossing a newspaper on Barry's lap. He took a picture, picked up the paper, and left without saying a word to Barry.

Barry's heart pounded. Cold was a terrifying man. He took a proof of life photo, Barry tried to calm his racing heart. That means they need me alive.

------------------------------------------------------------

Barry couldn't tell how much time had past since Cold came to take the picture and someone else came to the room. Mark Mardon. Barry hoped the man didn't know him and the Wests.

Mardon had a duffle bag with him, which he tossed down beside Barry. He crouched in front of Barry. He watched Barry squirm for a moment before speaking, "You know, at first I thought, when Heatwave grabbed you under Cold's orders, that the man had double-crossed me. We were suppose to get the West girl, but Cold seems to believe that you're just as important to West as his daughter. Let's see how true that it."

Mardon unzipped the duffle bag. Its contents were a lot of terrifying knives. Barry glimpsed what might have been a gun but it was buried under all the knives, so he wasn't certain.

Barry tried to calm himself down by telling himself that they needed him alive to get the ransom money. They need me alive. They need me alive. They need me alive...

Picking up one of the knives, Mardon inspected it. "Cold said not to hurt you," Mardon stabbed Barry in leg. Barry's scream was muffled by the gag. "What Cold doesn't know, will only hurt you."

Chapter Text

Len had made the decision to grab the West girl on her way home after her usual Friday night movie. From the intel Lisa had gathered (and after seeing the boy now), Barry Allen was not a threat to the plan. And yet, the boy managed to take on Mick, Rathaway, and Mardon long enough for the girl to getaway.

It was only Len's foresight, expecting something to go wrong without him there, that he had instructed Mick to grab Allen. 

Len had taken the ransom picture himself because he wanted to see who could have possibly taken on three Rogues. When Lisa had told him that Allen was his type, Len thought she was trying to open the door to getting to set him up on a date again. But she had been right. Barry Allen was blonde, slender, and young. Maybe too young.

After giving the photo to Rathaway to send it to West, Len retreated into his office. There he checked the kid's ID, legal. Len still couldn't believe it. He still looked so young.

His curiosity got the better of him within the hour.

Pulling out his laptop, Len searched Bartholomew Allen. Most of the articles that came up were about his father and said the same thing. Dr. Henry Allen murdered his wife in cold-blood in front of their son. Allen claimed he was innocent and is now a resident of Iron Heights.

"Seems like you and I have a few things in common, Barry," Len muttered. He then typed in "Barry Allen CCPD." Barry Allen was the top CSI for the Central City Police. It seemed whenever there an important case, Allen was most likely the CSI.

Len wondered if he ever worked on of Len's cases. Thinking it might be fun to talk the kid, Len closed the laptop. He headed towards the room where Allen was currently tied-up.

It had been six hours since he left the kid this morning.

**********************************************

Barry's screams had been muffled by the gag. There were cuts, gashes, and stab wounds covering his body. His clothes had been shredded. He didn't know how long it had been since Mardon started the assault.

Sometimes, Mardon would feign gentleness as he trailed a knife up and down Barry's skin. Then he would slowly press the blade into flesh. Mostly he would plunged the weapons quick and hard.

Mardon pulled out the blade that was currently in Barry's abdomen. Barry watched warm blood drip from the cold steel. His blood.

Mardon was speaking. Barry had stopped comprehending what the man was saying. It was all the same anyway. "...West needs to learn his place..." "...I was hoping to this to the girl..." "...I wonder how long you're going to last..."

Barry's eyelids were getting heavy. They slowly closed, only for them to snap open a second later as a sharp point pressed against the skin above Barry's heart. Mardon stared wickedly down at him. "Stay awake, kid. We don't have a lot of time."

Barry groaned. He almost wished Mardon would end it. Then he thought of his dad, Iris, and Joe. Joe is going to blame himself. Tears blurred Barry's vision. I'm not going to be able to tell him that it's not his fault... That I don't blame him.

"Now that's what I like to see." Mardon's smile grew. Just as Mardon drew his back, ready to plunge into flesh, the door opened. Mardon paused midway to Barry's flesh.

Barry wondered why he had stopped when the newcomer spoke, "Exactly, what are you doing in here, Mardon?" The temperature in the room seemed to drop with Captain Cold's words.

Mardon ignored the question. "Is this why you said no torture? You wanted to do it yourself."

Cold came forward, but he didn't attack Barry. He grasped Mardon's arm that was holding the knife. He pulled the man up and threw him against the wall of shelves. Mardon didn't have the time to react before Cold's hand was wrapped around his throat. With deadly calm, Cold asked, "What part of 'we don't torture innocents' did you not understand?"

Chapter Text

Mardon was lucky Len had left the Cold Gun in his office, otherwise the man would be an ice cube right now. Hand still around his throat, Len pushed Mardon out of the room. He kicked him to floor. "Rathaway," Len barked as the blonde came around the corner. "Tell Baez we need her expertise, now! And get Mick."

Hartley nearly dropped his tablet as he ran to get them. Mick arrived a few seconds later. "Who screwed up?" He asked coming around the corner. Seeing Mardon, he asked, "Do I get to torch him?"

"For now, lock him up. I'll deal with him later." Len went back into the storage room as Mick dragged Mardon away. The man was screaming at Cold but the criminal paid no attention to the words. His attention was on the bloody boy before him.

Barry's eyes were closed. Len checked his pulse. Just passed-outLen remoded the gag and cuffs. He gently laid Barry on the ground, using his jacket as a pillow. Len tried to gage which wounds were the worst but there was just too much blood.

"Cold?"

Looking up, Len found Baez standing over them. "Found Mardon torturing the kid," he explained at her look of horror. Baez had only been arrested for petty crimes and agreed to work with the Rogues as long as she wasn't involved in the torture of anyone. "He's lost a lot of blood but can't tell from where."

Realizing Len hadn't condoned this, Baez got to work. Opening her medical bag, she tore off the rest of Barry's ruined shirt and accessed the wounds. Len stood back as she worked. She bandaged the cuts and stitched the deeper ones. She looked up when she was done, "None of the wounds had hit a major artery. He has lost a bit of blood but his heartbeat is still good so he should be fine."

"Thank you," Len dismissed her.

Once Baez was gone, Len picked Barry up. He carried Barry to Len's room and laid him on the bed. Covering him with the blanket, Len whispered, "This shouldn't have happened." He stormed out the room to go deal with Mardon.

*******

Joe West was sitting at his desk staring at the picture of Barry that had been sent to him this morning. Along with the picture had been a demand of $10,000 in exchange for Barry's safe return. Joe had no idea how he would come up with that much money in one day.

Eddie spoke up, "We'll find him, Joe."

Joe simply nodded.

Before he could ask what leads they had, both of the detectives were drawn to a commotion at the front of the station. An officer came rushing up to the detectives. "Mark Mardon was just thrown from van in front of the station."

Mardon was one of the men that had abducted Barry. "Where is he," Joe demanded.

"He's being rushed to the hospital. He was missing an arm!"

Joe and Eddie rushed out to the car.

Chapter Text

Barry kept his eyes closed when he came to. He remembered being kidnapped by the Rogues. He remembered being tortured by Mardon. He remembered Cold pulling Mardon away from him. Barry doesn't remember what happened after that. He certainly did not remember taking off his clothes and going to bed.

Barry was lying in a bed. Under the soft sheets, he was naked. Barry's mind raced, terrified of having been raped while he out. But as Barry catalogued what parts of his body were in pain, he was relieved to find there was none down there.

Deciding that he wouldn't get any more information from keeping his eyes closed, Barry opened his eyes. The room was reasonably sized. A book shelf was against one wall. A desk was against the other.

"You're finally awake."

Startled, Barry sat up looking for the person who spoke. Sitting at in a chair at the foot of the bed was Captain Cold. As Barry took the man in, he realized something was different about the imitating man. His eyes weren't as hard or as cold as they were the last time Barry saw them. The man was studying Barry as well. Barry remembered as the man looked him over that he was naked.

Barry blushed under the eyes. Pulling the blanket up more, he asked, "What happened?"

The question brought back the older man's hard stare, but it wasn't directed at Barry. "I thought I had Mardon under control, but I didn't. He decided to take things into his own hands. I walked in on him torturing you. Don't worry. He won't be bothering anyone for a long time."

"Did you kill him?"

Cold huffed, "No." The man stood up, heading to towards the door. "There's some clothes in the dresser. Take whatever fits." He paused in the doorway. Turning back to look at Barry, he said, "I'm sorry." The man quickly left before Barry could respond.

Barry was stunned. Captain Cold had apologized to him. 

Slowly, Barry climbed out of the bed and went to the dresser. It was full of dark and blue sweaters and jeans. Everything was too big for Barry. He decided on taking a pair of medium blue jeans and a navy sweater. It was large but not by much. Barry found his shoes by the door. He slipped them on.

Looking at the door, Barry wondered if Cold had left it unlocked. Testing the knob, Barry found he had. Smirking slightly, Barry opened the door only to be startled at who waited outside. Cold was leaning against the opposite wall. Barry blushed at being caught.

Cold just smirked, "Come with me, Scarlet." Cold began walking down the hallway.

Barry paused at the nickname. Thinking it was better to listen than not, Barry followed. "Wait. Where are you taking me?"

"Home." Cold lead him to garage. A motorcycle was waiting for them.

"Joe paid the ransom. Wait! How long was I out?"

"Twenty-six and half hours. Now get on the bike," Cold ordered as he handed Barry a helmet. Barry slid on behind Cold. He lightly wrapped his hands around the man. Cold smirked, "Going to want to hold on tighter than that, Scarlet."

Barry was about to ask why when the bike revved to life. The surprised force almost knocking Barry off. He wrapped his arms tighter around the man.

******************************************

It was a long ride back to Joe's. An hour. Maybe longer. Barry wasn't sure. 

He was almost upset when Cold came to stop at the end of the block. The ride been nice.

Barry had yet to let go of Cold. The man spoke up, "This is your stop, kid."

Blushing, Barry quickly slid off the bike and handed Cold back the helmet. He was turning to head to the house but then turned back to Cold. Barry didn't know why, but he felt like he needed to say something. But what came out was, "Why didn't you let Mardon kill me?"

Cold started the bike up before answering, "I don't kill innocent people." He rode away before Barry could fully take in the words. Barry wondered how true the statement was.

Barry walked quickly up to Joe's house. He didn't have his keys, so he had to knock. Iris answered the door. Her eyes were red and puffy. "Barry," she whispered. She threw herself at him. Wrapping her arms around Barry's neck, she cried, "Barry!"

Joe came running to the door. "Barry!" Joe joined Iris in hugging Barry. "We were so worried. Come inside."

Iris hadn't let go of Barry as they went inside to sit on the couch. Fresh tears ran down her face. "We thought you were dead."

"What? But you paid the ransom, right?" Barry looked at Joe.

The man shook his. "Before I could, another message was sent saying payment was no longer necessary."

"We thought that meant Mardon had killed you." Barry turned to see Eddie standing to the side. The man smiled at him before continuing. "Mardon told us that he stabbed you."

"He had," Barry said. "But Cold stopped him before he could kill." Cold hadn't taken the money?

"We're all just glad you're safe now, Bear," Joe said.

Chapter Text

Joe had taken Barry to the hospital as soon as he found out Barry had indeed been stabbed. The doctor had removed the bandages to make sure the injuries weren't infected and checked for internal bleeding. Joe nearly blew up when he saw how many times Barry had been stabbed.

"I'm going to kill Mardon!" Joe was seething as he paced back and forth.

Expecting this reaction, Barry calmly spoke, "He's already in jail, Joe."

"Then I'm going to kill Cold!"

"If it wasn't for Cold, I would be dead right now."

The doctor, Dr. Caitlin Snow, cut in at this point. "You're right. You would be dead. Even though major arteries were avoided, if someone hadn't bandaged these wounds, you would have surely bled to death." Joe and Barry stared at her. The doctor continued as she put fresh bandages over the wounds. "Whoever did this, knew what they were doing. No infection, no internal bleeding. I'm guessing you were given some type of pain medication since you aren't in any right now."

Barry rubbed the back of his head as he considered this. "I guess so."

Dr. Snow stood up, "I'll write you a script for pain meds you can take when these wear off."

Once she was gone, Joe turned to Barry. "Do you remember anything about where you being held? Any landmarks? Any noises? Did you over hear anything that could help us locate the Rogues?"

Pulling his, Len's, sweater back on, Barry answered, "I was held in an old supplies closet. I was unconious for the ride there. The ride back, I think Cold purposely went out of his way to take streets without any landmarks. I didn't hear anything besides Mardon's babbling. As for overhearing, I was with either Mardon or Cold when I was conious."

Joe sighed, "I'm sorry, Barry. This is my fault. Mardon wanted revenge against me."

"Then it's my fault, too."

"What?! Don't say that, Barry! You're the victim-"

Barry cutoff Joe's rant, "If I hadn't tried to fight back, I wouldn't have been taken." He didn't say 'then Iris would have been' because Joe didn't need to think about that. And, from what Barry had gathered at home, Iris hadn't told Joe that they were there for her not him. "You're saying that if you had let Mardon's brother get away, then the Rogues wouldn't have kidnapped me. But then a murderer would have been free. It's not your fault, Joe."

Joe sighed, "I know you're right. I just can't help thinking I could've done something."

Barry hugged him. "I get." I've felt the same about mom's death.

---

Outside Barry's hospital room, Len was listening in on their conversation. He was dressed in scrubs so as not to draw attention to himself. Doctors and nurses passed by him without a second glance.

Originally, Len had planned on staying only long enough to make sure the kid was alright. Then West was asking about the Rogues and where to find them, Len waited to make sure he and the Rogues didn't have to pack up and move to a new safe house. But Barry didn't know anything.

As the conversation continued, Len was shocked when Barry was the one consoling West. Kid is kidnapped, tortured, and nearly dies and yet, he is comforting others when it should be the other way...

Dr. Snow was coming back to the room. Len turned away and headed down the hallway.

Normally, Len would never think of Barry Allen again. But, for some reason, he just couldn't get the kid out of his head.

Chapter Text

Barry had been on recovery leave for two weeks now. While he enjoyed having the time off, he was not enjoying Joe's frantic worrying. Joe would often hover in the doorway when Barry wasn't looking. 

Barry knew he was there.

Then there was Iris. For the first week, she wouldn't stop apologizing. The second week had her almost back to normal, except Barry would catch her staring at him with a look of... It wasn't pity... It was more of 'it should be me sitting there instead of you.'

Today, Barry would have the house to himself. Both Joe and Iris were working. That is, if only Joe would just walk out the door. The man kept heading towards the door, only to remember he forgot to tell Barry something. When Joe came back a fifth time, Barry had had enough. "Joe! Just go. I'll be fine."

"I know, I know. Just remember, you can call me anytime and I'll answer and be back—"

"Joe, I'll be fine."

"Alright," Joe nodded but still looked worried. "Call if you need anything. Anything."

"I will."

Finally, Joe walked out the door.

---

An hour had passed before Barry grew bored of sitting on the couch. While Netflix had an endless selection of shows and movies, Barry had already spent yesterday watching the endless shows and movies. And the day before. And the day before that. And the day before that.

Barry had had enough and decided to go for a walk. Which inadvertently led Barry to decide to go to Jitters.

"BARRY!" Iris shouted as Barry entered Jitters, drawing everyone's attention. She quickly made a beeline for him. "What are you doing here?" She asked him as she dragged him over to a table.

"I was going crazy just sitting at home. I went for a walk and thought I'd come visit you."

"Dad is going to kill you."

Barry shrugged, "Only if you tell him."

"Oh! You're putting this on me now?" Iris asked with a serious face. But Barry could see the smile shining in her eyes. "So, how are you feeling?"

"Um, better."

Now, she smiled, "You are a terrible liar."

Barry ducked his head, "I know." Looking back up, he added, "But it doesn't hurt as much."

"That's good."

"Yeah." Changing the subject, Barry asked, "How are things with Eddie?"

"Fine. But we were talking about you."

Barry tried again, "Have you decided when and how you're going to tell Joe?"

Iris sighed, "You know, one day we are going to talk about what happened."

Just not today. "Come on, tell me the plan."

Iris backed down and dove into detail about the different plans she had come up with.

Barry knew he was running out of ways to keep Iris from asking him about the kidnapping. She felt guilty enough already. Barry didn't want to add that guilt with details of what happened.

How do I tell my best friend that I can't stop thinking about the man that kidnapped me? Captain Cold, the most wanted man in Central City. How do I tell her that I want to see him again? 

Chapter Text

If anyone were to ask Len why he was following Barry Allen, he would have given them one of his coldest stares until they left him alone. The truth was that Len didn't have a good answer. He wanted to make sure the kid was okay. He wanted the kid to be safe. He was curious. While all those things were true, they weren't the kind of reasons a criminal like Captain Cold should have for following a CSI.

Even though Len knew better than to be following around the son of a detective that wants to throw him in jail, here he is watching Barry Allen from outside a cafe. Len at least had the right of mind not to follow him inside. Because honestly, with what Len has been doing for the last two weeks, the man had to be losing his mind.

He was leaning against the bricks of the establishment across the street from Jitters. "Establishment" because, well, Len didn't even look to see what the building was. I'm losing my fucking mind!

Len watched Barry sitting at one of the tables with the West girl. It looked as if she was scolding him before they fell into easy conversation. Another girl came up to them and deposited coffees in front of them even though they hadn't ordered. Len was unable to see the woman's face. Her back was to the window. The woman ran back to the counter, grabbed another coffee, and headed towards the door. As she came towards him, Len realized it was Lisa.

"You know," Lisa started as she handed Len an ice coffee. He muttered a thanks before taking a sip. "Of all the crimes you have committed and will commit, I never thought stalking would be one."

"Not stalking."

"Oh, so you haven't been following Barry Allen for the last two weeks?"

Instead of answering, Len asked, "What are you still doing here? The con ended weeks ago."

"Yes, but we don't want them to connect me to the crime. Remember? It would look suspicious if I quit around the time Barry disappeared."

Len did remember. He taught her that.

"Plus, the tips are really good," she added with a smirk.

"Just stay out of trouble."

Lisa waved off his words.

They were silent for a few moments. Lisa watched Len watching Barry.

"What?" Len could feel the wheels turning in her head. While Len was the one that ran the big cons and planned elaborate robberies, Lisa was just conniving as her big brother. Though her plans would usually revolve around her brother.

"I was thinking: I can do some recon for you."

"There's no con."

"Not for a con. For you." Lisa rolled her eyes at her brother's confusion. "I can find out what Barry thinks of you. If he likes you and such."

"He doesn't like me." He glared across the street at were Barry was gossiping with the West girl. As he watched the boy laugh at something she said, he could feel the anger dissipate into longing. "I kidnapped him."

"Yes, but, while he may have named you and Mick as being a part of the kidnapping, he also made sure that every report identified Mardon as acting alone in torturing him."

Len looked at her with a raised eyebrow. "And how would you know that?"

Lisa shrugged, "I've been talking with Iris. She's divulge some information as well as concerns about Barry."

"What concerns?" Worry tugged inside Len's chest. A feeling that used to only concern Lisa and, on occasion, Mick.

Lisa shook her head. "No. If I'm doing this we are not doing it like a con were I tell you every little detail. I'll get the info and decide what to tell you and what I keep to myself."

Len scowled.

"Come on, Lenny," Lisa placed a hand on his shoulder in mock consolidation. Her eyes were twinkling with mischief. "If you actually stand a chance of making this work, we don't want Barry to know you're stalking him."

"Not stalking," Len growled. But as Len struggled for a better word, he lost the bite of the statement. "Following."

Lisa smiled innocently, "Whatever you say, Lenny." She stood on her toes to give him a quick peck on the cheek. "But it's still stalking, " she said before dashing off back across the street.

Chapter Text

Back inside Jitters, Lisa headed over to Iris and Barry. "I hate to interrupt," Lisa says as she approaches the table. "But it's time for my break and they could use a hand at the counter."

"Oh!" Iris stands up and rushes back to work.

Lisa drops into the seat Iris just vacated. "You don't mind if I sit hear, do you, Barry?"

"Uh, no. It's fine." Barry struggles for a moment before asking, "Lisa, right?"

"Right." Lisa gives him one of her sweetest smiles. It's an innocent smile unlike her usual flirty smirk. "I know we haven't spoken much but I just wanted to make sure you're alright."

"Oh, yeah, I'm alright." Barry nervously rubs the back of his neck. "I'm doing better."

"I'm glad." Time to find out what you think of my brother, Lisa thought before letting her smile fall into a look of fear. "I can't imagine what you went through. I mean, I thought Captain Cold was bad before, but after hearing what happened to you," Lisa paused to shake her head as if she was shaking the thoughts from head. "That's just plain evil."

Barry dropped his hand from his neck. "He's not evil." The words are almost a whisper, but they're spoken so fiercely, Barry might have as well have been screaming.

"What?"

"Le–Captain Cold isn't evil." There's a fire in Barry's eyes as speaks. "Yes, he kidnapped me but he also saved me. Mardon was the one torturing me. I would be dead if it wasn't for Cold."

 "Really?"

"Yes. He got a friend to patch me up. He even let me sleep in his bed and gave me some clothes." Barry's gaze became distant.

Lisa could tell Barry felt something for her brother. She placed a hand over his, "Barry." His eyes snapped back to the present. Her next words were spoken softly, "Do you have feelings for Captain Cold?"

Barry's cheeks turned pink as he pulled his hand away. "What!? No! Of course not." Barry wouldn't meet her eyes.

He's a terrible liar. I can use that. "I'd get if you did though." Lisa picked up Barry's phone and quickly entered her contact information. "If you ever need an unbiased ear," Lisa looked over at Iris serving a couple a few tables away. "I'm happy to listen."

"Um, thanks," Barry fumbled taking the phone back. "I-I should go." Barry stands up and nearly runs out of Jitters.