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Snowed In

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Barry misses coffee.

Okay, so he misses a lot of things - warmth and showers and internet, his friends and his family and even some of his villains, not to mention not having this constant gnawing hunger that he can’t do anything about, because even if he could somehow gather the money to buy enough food to fill a speedster’s belly, the village doesn’t have that much to spare for a single person.

But right now he’s sitting in this corner with a mug of sour ale and he misses coffee, while outside winter has fallen, darkness and bright white piles of snow that he could run across with ease, except his suit got lost a few months back and he doesn’t really have the funds to replace the sorry clothes he’s currently wrapped up in.

The Middle Ages suck. It took him ages to even learn a little of the local language, and everything is just - there’s not enough food for anybody in winter, and there’s plenty of work for a strong young man, but he’s not as strong as they’d like him to be, and using his speed to compensate only works if nobody sees him. He learned that lesson early on.

He’d tried to run - far and fast, lightning across the fields - tried to run home, but it didn’t work. Time travel has never been a precise science as far as he is concerned, not something he can predict and use.

It would have been nice, though, not to accidentally run yourself centuries into the past.

Anyway, he’d learned pretty quickly to stay away from towns. Too many people, not enough hygeine. Not to mention that the locals wouldn’t hear the word superhero for the next many many years - and after a couple of close calls, well - it was better to stay in the countryside, to find what work he could at the farms and villages, and to keep on the move.

At least he didn’t need to worry about bandits or wolves. He could outrun them all.

But then winter had come and perhaps he could have outrun it, but he hadn’t, and so here he is, in a snowed-in village, curled up in a corner of the local smithy that doubles as the local inn, curled up with a mug of sour ale and nothing to eat except some stale bread and some cheese that frankly smells suspicious.

Barry misses coffee.

“Well, well, well! If it isn’t Mr Barry Allen!”

He hadn’t even raised his head to look at whoever had pushed open the door, letting in the winter cold, but now he does, eyes widening in disbelief.

The man who has just entered is wrapped in a wolf-fur mantle, and there’s a sword at his side that looks worn, like it’s been used and used often, and Barry almost thinks he must have been hearing things - except Leonard Snart’s blue eyes are looking straight at him, a smirk curling the corners of the lips on that familiar face even as the man walks closer.

Barry doesn’t think, doesn’t remember that he’s supposed to be slow and careful - next thing he’s wrapped his arms around Snart, perhaps regretting it a tiny bit as he feels the other man tense - except not really, because if Snart is here, surely that must mean…

“Please tell me you’re here to get me home,” and he buries his face in the wolf fur, soft and just a bit wet with freshly fallen snow.

“Nice to see you too, Red,” and Barry reluctantly starts to let go as Snart pushes him away, almost gently, before grabbing his shoulder and spinning him around and pushing him out the door and into the winter dark.

When Snart closes the door to the smithy behind them it grows darker still.

“Found him!” he announces, loudly, and something swoops down from the smithy’s roof and Barry doesn’t really have time to think of dodging before finding himself hugged - Kendra, it’s Kendra!, and when she’s done there’s Jax, and he doesn’t actually object as he’s hustled along, as somebody - Raymond Palmer? - wraps a much better fur around him before giving him yet another hug.

Not that Barry’d dream of objecting to any of this. He’s missed hugs too.

They lead him out of the village, out into a barren field where something big and science fiction-y - a spaceship! cool! - flickers into existence in front of him, and there’s an open hatch, a man in a trenchcoat leaning against it and at his side a woman in white who looks kinda familiar.

As they lead him into the ship, Barry asks: “How did you guys find me?”

Ray Palmer, walking next to him and rubbing his arms, because apparently the fur he wrapped Barry in was his own, answers.

“Felicity left me a voicemail. I mean, I do try to check it whenever I get a chance, so - and they’d figured out you’d gotten lost in time, and - well. It turns out that even a somewhat rogue Time Master thinks it’s a bad idea to a have a speedster running around in time - to quote Rip, “Bloody speedsters. They’ll break the laws of time every day before breakfast, and twice on a sunday”, so - here we are!”

There’s a bit more to it than that, of course - a tale full of scientific breakthroughs and temporal misadventures and his rescuers getting sidetracked a time or three - a story that Barry is regaled with while the ship’s AI gives him a check-up, after he’s been introduced to the few unfamiliar faces and after Leonard Snart of all people has handed him a steaming mug of glorious, glorious coffee.