Chapter 1: Making Time
Forcing one eye opened, Eddie glared at the burst of light streaming through the half-closed blinds, wishing that he'd remembered to shut them before crawling into bed at 3am. It was nights like those that reminded Eddie why he sometimes hated being a cop. While he loved helping people, he wished it didn’t always seem like he spent more time with criminals than the man he loved. Especially in the last month…
Wasn’t the whole point of living together to actually see each other? Unfortunately, texts and notes left on mirrors and pillows were all either him or Barry managed and Eddie was definitely going to change that, starting today. On Sundays, he normally rolled out of bed with the sun and headed for a run, but today he wasn’t going anywhere and neither was Barry, if Eddie had anything to say about it. He planned on them spending the day together, even if was just curling up together and watching movies all day.
With his mind made up, Eddie pushed up and leaned over Barry’s still slumbering, grabbing the other’s phone and switching off his alarm. While Eddie’s Sundays were never really thought out, Barry had a standing brunch with Joe and Iris, and sometimes Henry when he was in town. Not that Eddie minded, he actually thought it was pretty great that Barry had that kind of relationship with his family.
“What time is it?” Barry mumbled without bothering to open his eyes. With yesterday turning into a slow day for the Flash, Caitlin decided to put Barry through his paces and give him his annual physical, which had left Barry just wishing for his bed and sleep. Not necessarily in that order.
“Early,” Eddie told him, keeping his voice down, so not to draw Barry further into wakefulness. “Go back to sleep.”
Barry nodded disjointedly, seeming to fall back into sleep, but then he jerked, eyes opening blearily as he finally looked at Eddie. “Why do you have my phone?”
“I was turning off your alarm,” Eddie replied before dropping the phone back on the nightstand and pulling Barry into his arms.
“You’re going to make me late,” Barry protested half-heartedly while groping blindly for his phone until Eddie pulled his arm away and trapped both of his arms in a bear hug.
Eddie pressed a kiss to Barry’s forehead and murmured, “No brunch, no runs, just us.”
Snuggling closer, Barry hummed sleepily. “I like the way you think… sleep now?”
“Yeah, Barry,” Eddie chuckled. “Sleep.”
“I’ve missed you.. this.”
Eddie felt his heart skip a beat. “I’ve missed you too, Barr,” he murmured before closing his eyes and following Barry into sleep. It may be only sleep, but at least they were doing it together.
Chapter 2: Partners in Crime
prompt: Brothers and Sisters
“This is an intervention,” Iris announced, causing Barry to look away from the crime scene samples he was analyzing.
A look of confusion passed across Barry’s face before returning his focus on the samples. Captain Sighn had wanted the results yesterday, but given the current meta of the week, the samples had taken a back seat until now. “I wasn’t aware that I had an addiction.”
“You do,” Iris insisted while jutting her chin out determinedly.
“I do?” Barry parroted. Though, this time, he twisted in his seat, giving Iris his full attention. Otherwise, he knew he wouldn’t get rid of her until this conversation was over.
Tilting his head, Barry continued staring at Iris like she had recently grown a second head. “To…?”
“Eddie,” Iris supplied solemnly. While she didn’t have anything against the pretty boy detective, she was starting to feel like Barry didn’t have time for her between being The Flash and spending his free time with Eddie.
“Iris, I’m not sure a boyfriend can be considered an addiction,” Barry sighed, though barely able to stop himself from rolling his eyes.
“It can be when you start to neglect your favorite sister,” she pointed out.
This time, Barry did roll his eyes. “You’re my only sister.”
“Not the point, Barry Allen.” Iris glared as she put her hands on her hips to show she meant business. Before the Eddie, before the coma, before the Flash, Iris and Barry were as thick as thieves, attached at the hip. And though she understood that growing apart was part of becoming an adult, it didn’t mean she had to like it and couldn’t fight back.
“Isn’t?” Barry asked still perplexed by Iris, which was incredible considering he’d grown up in the same house as her.
Iris waved her hand at Barry’s question and walked further into the crime lab, peering at the bits of paper littering Barry’s workspace. “Grab your stuff, Barry. We’re going out.”
“Out?” Barry echoed as he glanced at the clock hanging on the far wall. “Out where? It’s only 4.”
With a scowl at her foster brother, Iris flounced over Barry and slung her arms around his shoulders, leaning into his space before pressing a kiss to his cheek. “Happy hour, Barry. It’s called happy hour. I know you’ve heard of it.”
“Will Cisco and Caitlin be there?” He asked, knowing there was no point in fighting Iris when she got like this. Her mind was made up and Barry wasn’t going to win this fight, so he might as well roll over and take it.
“Just me and you… like the old days,” Iris told him.
Barry laughed and shook his head. “We aren’t that old.”
“I don’t know about you, but paying bills and rent make me feel old,” Iris deadpanned as she straightened up and pulled away from him.
“You know Joe would love it if you moved home. It’s just him and Wally now,” Barry reminded her.
Iris sighed, hating that her intervention had become so maudlin. “I know, but it wouldn’t be same without you.”
“Yeah, I can see that, Iris. Me moving home with Eddie in tow. Joe would love that,” Barry joked, causing Iris to laugh at the image.
While Joe might have made peace with Barry and Eddie’s relationship, it didn’t mean that he was happy about it, especially when Barry and Eddie had gotten a place together. But if his partner loved his son as much as he did, then Joe could live with it.
“So where are we going for this happy hour?”
“That new place, Vizia,” Iris told him, smiling. Since it opened a few months ago, Iris had been dying to go, but she could never seem to find the time or anyone to go with her. So tonight was the perfect opportunity because she had such a willing partner in crime.
Knowing that he couldn’t stall any longer, Barry crossed the final t on his report and closed it, planning to leave it Singh’s desk on his way out. “Meet you at the car in 10? I need to drop this report off and tell Eddie I’ll be late.”
Iris smiled and then left with every intention of giving Barry his 10 minutes, and if he wasn’t on time, she’d call in reinforcements because there was only one person, who wanted to stay on her good side more than Barry and that was Eddie. Besides, he was the one who had given Iris the idea to stage this little intervention.
“10 minutes, Allen or I’m sending in troops!” Iris called out as she left.
Chapter 3: Movie Night
“Ghost is not a paranormal movie, Caitlin,” Cisco stated while giving her an ‘are you kidding me’ look.
The younger members of Team Flash, with the inclusion of Jessie and Wally had decided to have a paranormal movie night at Barry and Eddie’s apartment. But what should have been a lesson in Earth-1’s classic films for Jessie was quickly turning into a debate over whether Caitlin’s movie choice was actually paranormal.
“By definition, Cisco, it is,” she countered.
Cisco scowled and looked to Barry, who just shrugged and then tucked in closer to Eddie’s warmth. Barry had been friends long enough with both of them to know when not to get involved with one of their debates, and from the look, it so had everyone else.
“Then I object to watching a romantic movie,” Cisco announced. “If I wanted to see one, then I’d go home and watch Love Actually. Not that I’ve ever seen it.”
“Oh, I loved that movie,” Jessie interjected, causing most of the room to look at her. Shrugging off the looks, Jessie took a bite of her pizza and continued reading the blurb on the back of the DVD case in her hand.
“Any who, I’m vetoing Ghost.”
“Fine!” Caitlin conceded as she reached out and grabbed her glass of wine from the coffee table. She wasn’t going to sulk, even if she really wanted too.
“We could always watch IT,” Iris supplied while giving Barry a very impish look, which caused the speedster to groan softly.
Hearing Barry’s soft groan, Eddie turned his head, looking at Barry with equal parts concern and curiosity. Even after two years of dating and six months of living together, there was still so much Eddie didn’t know about his partner. “What’s wrong?”
“You’re evil,” Barry shot back, causing her grin to widen before she mocked him by blowing a kiss in at him. “I was 13!”
“And you screamed like a girl,” Iris added gleefully.
Barry groaned louder this time, causing Eddie to rub his shoulder soothingly. “I still don’t like clowns.”
“Vetoed!” Cisco and Hartley yelled at the same time, unable to stop their collective shudder.
Wally’s eyes widened, a little fearful of what he was witnessing. While he had hung out plenty of times with Iris and Barry (Eddie by extension), this was the first time he was experiencing them in the company of the rest of their friends, which was a bit intense.
“They get like this sometimes,” Jessie offered as she set the DVD on the table and glanced over at Wally. “They’ll calm down… eventually.”
“Speaking from experience?”
Jessie shrugged again and said, “Let’s just say I spend a lot of time with my cousin Caitlin.” The lie rolling a little too easily off her lips.
“Let’s just vote,” Eddie suggested. As much as he lived for these little team bonding movie nights, he did want to crawl into bed with Barry at some point.
“I’m with him,” Caitlin agreed, wanting this discussion to end. Maybe they should have just voted to begin with or picked one movie before tonight, instead of each of them bringing their own choice.
Reaching out, Iris snagged the three remaining movies from the table, holding them up. “All those for Cisco’s The Shining?” A series of hands went up before she moved on to the next movie. “Barry’s Aliens?… And finally, Eddie’s An American Werewolf in London.”
“An American Werewolf in London it is,” Iris announced once the voting was finished, causing Hartley to roll his eyes and Cisco to punch him in the arm for being a dick about the group’s choice. After all, someone needed to keep Hartley’s sporadic dickish behavior in line. Tossing the DVD to Wally, she all but ordered, “Queue it up while Barry and I get the popcorn started… Barry?”
“Yep,” Barry said as he rose from the couch, but not before squeezing Eddie’s hand and following his foster sister into the kitchen. He had to admit, movie nights with Team Flash were never boring…
Chapter 4: I Know
prompt: Star Wars
“Eddie, I’m home!” Barry called out, shutting the apartment door behind him and throwing his bag and jacket on the nearest chair. While they may have arrived at work together that morning, Eddie ended up leaving early for a reason that Barry still wasn’t exactly clear on.
“Hey, Barry,” Eddie greeted, unable to stop himself from fidgeting. Luckily, Barry was more focused on putting his stuff down than on him at the moment, which Eddie was grateful for. Not that Barry would ever make him feel dumb for doing this…
“Hey, is ev—” Barry started before the words died in his throat when he finally looked over at Eddie, who was still standing—though not as nervous as he once was—in the doorway of their bedroom. “I love you,” Barry breathed as his gaze racked across the clothes Eddie was wearing.
Barry had seen a lot of cosplayers over the years, but nothing compared to seeing the man-you-loved, who hadn’t seen the films until you made him watch them, dressed from head to toe as Han Solo, thigh holster included.
“I know,” Eddie mimicked in almost the same manner as Han Solo, but with one huge difference… there was no desperation or Stormtroopers ready to give him a carbonite death.
In less than a blink, Barry was across the room, crowding into Eddie’s space. “How?” He asked, punctuating the question with a kiss, which Eddie gladly gave.
“The internet is a scary place,” Eddie grinned. “Cisco helped a little. Told him I wanted an outfit for the next convention you decided to drag me too.”
“And he bought it?”
Eddie became serious for a moment and said, “I have a very trusting face, especially when it comes to your friends.”
“Just my friends?”
“Joe might be okay with our relationship, but I’ll forever be the guy, who corrupted his sweet and naïve Barry,” Eddie pointed out.
Barry snorted. “True… though I’m the only one who has actually witnessed the depths of your devious mind.”
“I only use my powers for good.”
With eyebrow raised, Barry gave Eddie a very pointed look. “Good?”
“Yep, like getting you naked and under me,” Eddie smirked, causing a slight flush to deepen Barry’s cheeks. It never ceased to amaze Eddie how he was still able to make Barry blush like a schoolboy. “What do you say to making that happen?”
“Does this make me Luke?” Barry asked innocently. “I’m not sure I could rock the gold bikini like Leia,” he added, going as far as to bat his eyelashes at Eddie.
Reaching out, Eddie grabbed Barry roughly and pulled him close, forcing an involuntarily squeak from the other man. “Oh, this definitely makes you Luke,” Eddie agreed as he walked backwards into the bedroom without letting go of Barry. “Can’t say that Leia ever got me hot and bothered.”
“And Luke did?” Barry laughed.
“What can I say… I like a man who knows how to use his lightsaber,” Eddie quipped before pulling Barry down on the bed with him.
With a pained groan, Barry buried his face in Eddie’s chest. “Don’t quit your day job.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Eddie asked as he tugged at Barry’s dress shirt, untucking it from the waistband of Barry’s trousers so he could get at the warm, smooth skin underneath.
“Let’s just say, leave the puns to Captain Cold,” Barry gasped when Eddie’s hand finally slipped inside his trousers, cupping him through his boxers.
“As you wish,” Eddie murmured before catching Barry’s lips in a heated kiss, chasing all thoughts of a Star Wars and The Princess Bride crossover from his lover’s mind.
Chapter 5: Standing on the Moon
“Max… little dude, stop moving,” Cisco scolded becoming a more than a little exasperated by the 8-year-old’s continued twitching. Not that he really blamed the kid… He’d been the perfect living mannequin the first hour or two, but that was a long time in the eyes of the child. Like father, like son.
“I don’t remember book report presentations being this elaborate,” Barry remarked to Eddie as they watched Cisco affectionately tortured their son.
Originally, the plan was to order a deluxe astronaut costume off the internet. Yet the moment, Cisco had heard that he became very offended that they hadn’t come to him first. So now, what should have just a couple clicks of the mouse had snowballed into a costume of Comic-Con level proportions.
“In a world full of superheroes, I think she’s trying to drive home the idea that you don’t have to have powers to be looked up too,” Eddie recited almost verbatim the answer Max’s teacher had given when he’d asked the same question.
“There’s some irony for you,” Barry deadpanned, deliberately ignoring the scarlet speedster costume hanging just behind their son and Cisco.
As Eddie laughed, Barry leaned down and wrapped his arms around his husband, who was seated in front of him, propping his chin on the crown of Eddie’s head. “You have to admit, he will be the only kid with a fully operational astronaut suit.”
“I can’t decide if that’s a good thing.” From where Eddie was sitting, the suit looked like an exact replica of the one worn by Alan Shepard, one of the original Mercury Seven. Made of an aluminum-coated nylon, the suit was designed to hug Max’s body due to the various zippers and straps that crisscrossed his arms and chest. For his shoes, Cisco had overlaid a pair of military-styled boots with the same aluminum-coated nylon as the suit.
“It’s not,” Barry deadpanned.
“Whatever it is, I didn’t do it,” Cisco exclaimed, his eyes zoning in on the helmet in Hartley’s hand as he stormed down the stairs from Caitlin’s lab. Though more than happy to collaborate on Max’s Project Mercury suit, Hartley and Cisco still managed to turn almost every aspect into the opportunity to get in a few well-placed jabs.
As Cisco and Hartley began bickering over some design aspect of Max’s suit and helmet, the 8-year-old couldn’t help but giggle because of how much they reminded him of his own dads’ playful fighting.
“I thought they were almost finished.”
Hearing Caitlin’s voice, Barry pulled away from Eddie and looked at her. “Us too.”
“We’re going to give them a few more minutes and then pull the plug. Max has a birthday party at one,” Eddie added, following it with an oh-so-brief pause before finally voicing what had been rolling around in his head for weeks. “Cisco I get, but Hartley doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that’s into cosplay and conventions.”
“He’s not,” Caitlin stated matter-of-factly.
With a sigh, Eddie flapped his hand at the scene in front of them, which was clearly illustrating the contrary to Caitlin’s assertion. “Then…?”
“Oh, right. When he started dating firefighter Chip, he created a mock-up for a new type of flame retardant suit. And he loves Max, so…”
“Yeah,” Eddie breathed as he gazed at his son, who now had the helmet on his head while Cisco and Hartley gestured and spoke in half-finished thoughts on either side of him.
“We did get pretty lucky,” Barry grinned. It was hard to imagine that over six years had passed since the night Max was made an orphan and the Flash had saved him. Even though the start of their family was less than ideal, Barry wouldn’t trade their origin story for the world because it was theirs.
With a clap of his hands, Eddie called the room to attention while managing to pull Barry from his less than happy memories. “Alright, buddy, it’s time to go.”
“What? Go where?”
Cisco and Max exclaimed, talking over each other. If Cisco’s dejected face wasn’t so tragic, Eddie would’ve laughed, but they needed to leave now or Max would be late.
“Max’s friend’s birthday party is at one, so we need to get going,” Barry explained as Eddie rose from his seat and stretched.
Stepping back, Cisco allowed Eddie space to herd Max into Caitlin’s lab, so he could change back into his clothes in relative privacy. Max’s exhibitionist days were becoming few and far between, especially when a girl (i.e. Caitlin, Jessie, or Iris) was in the room which managed to sadden both men because it meant their little boy was growing up. A fact neither were ready to admit yet.
Chapter 6: No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service?
“Barry! He’s escaped!” Eddie shouted as soon as Max ran out of the bathroom door, naked as the day he was born. Eddie had tried to grab the toddler, but still being wet from his bath made Max much too slippery to handle.
“I thought you’d closed the door,” Barry remarked from the living room, where Max was no doubt headed in their small apartment, which meant Barry was ready for him.
In the last three months—since rescuing and deciding to foster him--, Eddie and Barry had stumbled upon a few home truths about the toddler and their home. One, Max was an exhibitionist… he didn’t like wearing pants, so more times than not, the couple would find him half-clothed. Two, their apartment might be the perfect size for two grown adults; it was much too small when a mischievous toddler was thrown into the mix. Three, as much as Max’s arrival had disrupted their life together, there was no way they were going to give him up, which was why they were in the process of officially adopting him.
Grabbing a blanket off the sofa, Barry stood and then waited, poised for the perfect moment to grab the rambunctious toddler. As Max rounded the corner of the sofa, Barry jumped into action, bundling the now wiggling toddler into his arms. “I got you!”
“No, put down,” Max giggled, fighting half-heartedly against his foster father’s hold. He wasn’t too upset at being caught, because to him, it was all just a game.
As though they were on the same page, Barry and Max glanced at each other and then the door, holding their breaths and waiting to see what happened.
“I’ll get it,” Eddie laughed as he came out the bathroom and saw Barry and Max, who were still staring at the front door like it held the answers to the universe.
“How… Ms. Clements?” Eddie faulted before opening the door wider to Max’s social worker, allowing her to enter their less than clean apartment. “Is everything okay?”
Ms. Clements smiled, hoping to set the men at ease. Out of all her foster parents, they were by far her favorites because she could see how much they loved Max and wanted the best for him, even if it turned out not to be them.
“I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d stop by… Did I come at a bad time?” She asked, unable to not tease them with a pointed eyebrow at Max’s lack of clothes and blanket-clad self.
“No, of course not,” Eddie assured her. “Barry, why don’t you get Max dressed while I make some coffee. Cream, two sugars?”
“Thank you, but I really can’t stay,” she replied, waiting until Barry had disappeared into the bedroom with Max. “Don’t worry about it, Det. Thawne.”
“All toddlers seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to picking the perfect moment to be naked,” she explained with a grin. “My nephews were the same way at that age.”
Breathing a sigh of relief, Eddie asked, “When did they grow out of it?”
“My sister would argue they don’t.”
Leaning down, Barry tried to smooth his son’s cowlicks, but they were just too stubborn, much like the 4-year-old they belong to. “Now do you remember what I told you?” Barry asked him gently.
“Pants stay on,” Max echoed, fidgeting uncomfortably in the suit that Aunt Iris was forcing him to wear for her wedding.
Max twisted his face in thought. “Or Aunt Iris will be sad.”
“Exactly,” Barry agreed before straightening up and looking over at his best friend, who waiting patiently with her dad for the music to start. It had taken almost 3 years for Iris to get to this point with her editor and Barry couldn’t be happier for her. He just wished she hadn’t made him her ‘Man of Honor’ or Max the ring bearer because, in addition to trying to keep Iris calm, he had to corral his exhibitionist son.
As the processional music began, Barry glanced away from Max and meet Iris’s eye, silently asking if she was ready to do this. With an almost blinding smile, she nodded before turning and kissing Joe on the cheek. Content with the knowledge that Iris wasn’t going to meltdown, Barry looked down at his son and sighed. “Okay, buddy. I’ll be right in front of you, so just follow me okay.”
“Okay!” Max beamed when Barry handed him the pillow holding Iris and Scott’s rings.
Somewhat assured that his son understood the gravity of the situation, Barry turned his focus on making sure he wasn’t the one to mess up Iris’s wedding. Unfortunately, Barry should’ve known that Max was luring him into a false sense of security… Because just as Iris and Scott were getting ready to say their vows, Max drops his dress trousers and takes off down the aisle, showing the whole church his Green Arrow underwear, with Eddie hot on his heels trying to wrap him in his suit jacket.
“In the living room,” he called back from the sofa, where he, Eddie, and Max were watching the latest Disney film.
Closing the door behind him, Cisco laid his bag on the hallway table and entered the living room, stopping dead in his tracks. “What the h—Is this some kind of disease?”
“No,” Barry said, laughing at his friend’s pained expression at the state of their dress, or lack thereof. While they may have started out the morning, fully clothed, by noon—through various incidents and accidents—all three of the Thawne-Allen men had managed to lose their pants in some way.
“Seriously, dude,” Cisco exclaimed. “I told you I was coming over. At least you can do is put on pants.”
With a nonchalant shrug, Barry glanced at his husband and son, then said, “The washer’s broke and we’ll out of clean pants.”
“Clean pants!” Max cheered, causing Eddie to tickle his sides and send him into a fit of uncontrollable giggles.
“It’s a sickness, it’s just gotta be,” Cisco lamented while shaking his head before deciding to leave it alone. If Barry and Eddie were okay with being manipulated by their six-year-old into not wearing pants, then who was he to judge. “I’m just gonna go. Call me when you have pants on,” he told them, making a speedy retreat. Those Thawne-Allens were a strange bunch…
Chapter 7: A Chance Meeting
“Barry, it’s 2013, not 1913,” Iris complained, yet she still followed him through the train station to his platform.
Without glancing back, Barry rolled his eyes and continued walking, ignoring Iris’s good-natured ribbing. In middle school, he’d read an article about airplanes and all the things that could wrong, and afterwards, he never wanted to fly again.
“There is nothing wrong with taking the train, Iris,” he countered as he stopped in front his train before turning to look at his best friend.
“I’m not saying there is, Barr. All I’m saying is that it’s quicker to fly,” Iris told him. “It’s 4 hours by train and if you flew, you’d be there in 2.”
“I’m not flying. I’m taking the train.”
At Barry’s tone, Iris stuck her tongue out and then sighed. “Well, have a good trip and call me when you get to your hotel,” Irish practically ordered before leaning in and kissing his cheek.
Even though he was an adult, Iris and her dad still worried about him, especially when he had to go out of town. When Barry left for college, Iris didn’t think her dad actually got a full night’s sleep until he came home for Thanksgiving that first year.
“I promise,” Barry assured her, smiling. As much as he wanted to find the humor in it, he couldn’t help but feel a little insulted that neither Iris nor Joe thought he was capable of taking care of himself. But it was nice to know they worried so much about him.
Kissing Barry’s cheek one last time, Iris shoed Barry onto the train and then left. As much as she wanted to stay until Barry’s train pulled out, her shift at Jitters started in half an hour and she still needed to go by the police station to see her dad.
Once on the train, Barry quickly found his seat and settled in, pulling out the latest book on his reading list. While his family understood his drive to become a forensic scientist, it never stopped them, especially Joe, from wishing that he’d followed his passion for physics.
“Sorry,” a voice uttered over Barry’s head, causing him to glance up and into the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. “I think that’s my seat,” the guy continued while pointing at the seat on the other side of Barry.
With a nod, Barry closed his book and stood, moving into the aisle long enough for the handsome blonde could squeeze into the row.
“Thanks. I’m Eddie, by the way,” the man replied, smiling cheerfully while holding out his hand for Barry to shake.
“Barry…Allen.” Reaching over, he shook the offered hand quickly and then opened his book again, intending to lose himself in Martin Stein’s book. But it seemed Eddie had a different idea of how to pass the 4-hour train ride.
“Are you just visiting or do you live here?”
Closing his book again, Barry slipped it inside his bag and then twisted in his chair, so he could look Eddie in the eye. “I’m local,” Barry told him before asking, “What about you?”
“Job interview.” Eddie bit the side of his lip and then shrugged.
“Didn’t go so well?” Barry asked in an almost apologetic tone, seeming to pick up on Eddie’s social queues.
Eddie laughed. “It’s complicated.” Causing his eyes to crinkle as he smiled.
“We do have 4 hours until Hub City,” Barry reminded him with a smile. A smile that Iris had told him more than once was his best asset… besides his ass.
“That’s not going to be enough time for me… Barry Allen,” Eddie murmured before laying his hand on Barry’s knee, all the while hoping he wasn’t reading the situation wrong.
Reaching down, Barry squeezed Eddie’s hand and said, “Me either…”
Chapter 8: Everything I Am
Prompt: Mother's Day
Pushing the blankets back, Barry crept silently out of bed, trying to not wake the still slumbering blonde. It might have been easier to use his powers, but there was just something normal about doing it this way.
At the sound of Eddie’s raspy voice, Barry turned and glanced down at his sleep-rumpled partner, who was squinting at him with one eye. “Go back to sleep,” Barry soothed as he leaned down, running his fingers through Eddie’s hair.
“What time is it?” Eddie murmured while rubbing his cheek against the softness of his pillow. Sundays were meant for sleeping in, not getting up at the crack of dawn.
“Seven,” Barry told him.
With a soft groan, Eddie made a half-hearted effort to kick the blankets away before Barry stopped him with a look. “I’m going with you.”
“No, you aren’t.” Rolling his eyes, Barry tucked Eddie back into bed and finally made his way to the dresser, pulling out a pair of jeans and a shirt. “We aren’t meeting your mom until eleven, so sleep. I’ll be back in a couple of hours.”
“Are you sure?” Eddie asked with an expression that made Barry want to just hug him, but Barry had to go or he’d be late.
Smiling softly, Barry finished pulling on his clothes and said, “Yeah, I’m sure. Now sleep!”
“Okay, okay,” Eddie laughed as he pulled the blankets further up, snuggling back into the warmth of their bed. “Tell your dad I said hi.”
“I will,” Barry replied, grabbing his wallet from the bedside table as he left, closing the door behind him.
The grass was damp under Barry’s shoes as he walked, a bouquet of flowers clutched in his hand. He hated that it had taken so long for them to do this, but what day was more fitting than today…
“Hey, son,” Henry breathed, raising his head and turning when he heard Barry’s approach.
“Hey, dad.” Barry crouched down and laid the bouquet in front of his mom’s gravestone, then brushed his fingers across her name etched in stone. “Hi, mom… Happy Mother’s Day.”
Following Barry’s lead, Henry bent down and placed his hand on Barry’s shoulder, squeezing gently. “Hi, honey. Sorry, it’s been so long,” he apologized. Shortly after being cleared of Nora’s murder, Henry had visited her grave once before leaving the painful memories Central City brought and that had been over a year ago.
“A lot's happened,” Barry began with tears in his eyes. Visiting his mom was always hard, but Mother’s Day seemed to make even harder because everywhere he turned, he was reminded that his mom had been taken from him by a madman. “Eddie proposed and I said yes.”
“That’s wonderful, son,” Henry exclaimed, drawing him into an enthusiastic hug before parting, allowing Barry to continue. After all, today wasn’t about him, it was about Nora and… Barry, who had spent too much of his childhood without his mom.
Chapter 9: Quantum Sock Theory
With laundry basket in hand, Eddie pushed the dryer down closed with his foot and walked the short distance into the living room, where Barry was seated on the couch, glaring at the massive pile of clean clothes in front of him.
“Glaring isn’t going to change anything,” Eddie reminded him as he set the basket on the floor next to the other ones. Between work and S.T.A.R Labs, they had somehow let their dirty clothes overtake their apartment, leaving them without a single pair of boxers between them.
“I could have this done in a minute,” Barry replied, nudging the basket of socks with his foot. While Eddie had been changing their clothes out, Barry had already separated their socks from the rest of the clean clothes, setting them aside in their basket. The worst of folding laundry was matching socks because without fail socks always ended up being an odd number.
Eddie sighed and pressed a kiss to Barry’s hair, sitting down next to him. “True, but we are doing this together. Now start folding,” Eddie told him before reaching down and pulling clean sheets from the basket in front of him.
The pair continued folding laundry in silence until Barry groaned, “It’s a conspiracy!”
“What is?” Eddie asked, glancing between Barry and the unmatched socks draped over his knee.
“Socks!” Barry exclaimed as he picked up one of the unmatched socks and shook it wildly. “It never fails! A pair goes in but only one comes out!”
Eddie slowly blinked at his boyfriend then reached over and rubbed his shoulder soothingly, hoping to stop the crazy. “Barr… You’re starting to sound like Cisco and I need you stop.”
“But, but…” Barry murmured while he continued to shake the sock in his fist.
“It’s not a conspiracy,” Eddie assured him as he reached out, taking the sock from him.
With a defeated sigh, Barry released the sock and then seemed to fall sideways, laying his head on Eddie’s broad shoulder. “I’m tired,” he yawned innocently.
“I’m on to you,” Eddie warned with a shake of his head. “Come on, up. It’s naptime.”
“What about the laundry?”
Tugging Barry to his feet, Eddie wrapped his arms around his boyfriend, leading him through the maze of baskets littering their living room. A nap might not have been in his original plan for laundry day, but the idea of curling under clean sheets with his boyfriend didn’t sound like a terrible idea.
Chapter 10: Day 10: Moving Forward
prompt: Clean Room
Leaning against the doorjamb, Joe watched as Barry moved around his bedroom, placing things into various boxes. “You don’t have to take it all with you,” Joe reminded him gently.
“Isn’t that the whole point of moving out?” Barry asked while giving Joe a look. Fourteen years was a long time to fill with memories… And as much as he loved Eddie, Barry wasn’t ready to leave just yet. “To clean out your room?”
“No, Barry,” Joe sighed before pushing away from the doorway and entering the room. “It’s to take what you need to start your life with him. Most of this stuff will keep and I don’t mind,” he continued as he placed his hand on Barry’s shoulder and squeezing. “This is your home, Barry and it always will be. Unless you think your new apartment needs a collection of science fair awards thru the years.”
With a laugh, Barry shook his head and smiled. “Thanks, Joe.”
“Anytime, Barr… Now where’s that boy of yours with our pizza?”
“He’s on his way back,” Barry told him still grinning. “I still don’t see why you wouldn’t let me run to Coast City.”
Sighing, Joe glanced at Barry and then room pointedly. “It’s your room, son, and I don’t think you want Eddie or me packing your stuff.”
As Barry opened his mouth to agree, Eddie voice came from downstairs. “I’m back!”
“Break?” Barry asked while looking at Joe, who nodded and grinned before taking off down the stairs with Barry hot on his heels. Even with Caitlin’s special diet, the speedster could and would eat everything in sight, so Joe definitely wanted to beat Barry to the pizza.
Chapter 11: Day 11: Welcome to Peaksville
prompt: Twilight Zone
“What the hell was that?”
After pushing his chair away from the computer console, Cisco threw up his hands and said, “I have no idea, dude.”
“He’s like Bill Mumy’s telepathic character from the Twilight Zone,” Eddie remarked, looking away from the GPS screen to Barry then Cisco.
“Time out,” Cisco said as he made the universal sign for time-out. “You’ve never seen Doctor Who, but you’ve watched the Twilight Zone?”
With a nonchalant shrug, Eddie continued, “Yeah. My nanny used to let me stay up and watch it with her while my parents were out.”
“I don’t know if I should feel sorry for you or just jealous,” Cisco admitted solemnly.
“Cisco!” Caitlin’s voice rang when she entered the control room. He may be her best friend, but she would be first to admit that Cisco lack an internal filter to stop things from coming out of his mouth.
“What! My Twilight Zone experience only started in college, a fact that saddens me greatly.”
Seeing a break in the conversation, Barry decided to throw his two cents in. “I’ve never seen it.”
“Barry, my man, how it that possible?!?!”
“Say no more, bro,” Cisco interjected, cutting the speedster off while staring at Eddie, who appeared to be staring back like they were having a silent discussion with their eyes. “There is only one way to rectify the situation.”
Even though he could sense where this was headed, Barry still asked, “By?”
“Twilight Zone Marathon!” Cisco exclaimed, fist pumps and all.
“Cisco, no,” Caitlin pleaded. For a reason that she didn’t care to understand, Cisco’s marathons tended to be what nightmares were made of and she didn’t want to experience that again anytime soon.
“I have the whole series on DVD…” Eddie announced before the wonder-like expression on Cisco’s face caused him to stop and itch away.
“Yes…?” Eddie drawled. “Why is that so surprising?”
“Because you’re…” Cisco began, pausing long enough to gesture at Eddie’s clothes, which caused the detective to give him an unamused look. “You,” he finished lamely, if a bit sheepishly. As much as he liked Eddie and it was clear that Barry loved the guy, he wasn’t exactly like the rest of their group of misfits.
“Thanks, Cisco,” Eddie deadpanned.
With a clap of her hands, Caitlin brought the room’s attention back to her, waiting until everyone was loving at her before finally speaking, “So psychotic, telepathic meta on the loose… any ideas?”
“Now, I was thinking…”
Chapter 12: There Once Was A Man...
There once was a fellow called Flash
Who liked to dash and cause whiplash
He ran down the street
With no shoes on his feet
Lamenting the lack of mustache
“No, that doesn’t work. It’s only 6 syllables, I need 8 or 9,” Cisco murmured more to himself than the room. For the last hour, he’d been pouring over words, trying to create genius, but appeared to be getting nowhere.
“Cisco, what are you doing?” Barry asked even as Hartley gestured wildly behind the engineer, trying to stop him from asking.
“I’m trying to write a limerick and it’s harder than it looks,” Cisco told him, looking very put out by his lack of progress. The first couple of lines had come easy, yet the last line was proving to be the hard part. He could either have it make sense or had it be complete nonsense, hence the current line.
With a roll of his eyes, Hartley sighed then banged his fist against his forehead when Barry followed up with, “Why?” Asked in the most innocent and confused ways like he wasn’t ignoring Hartley’s social queues to not engage. What should have been a quick drop-off of equipment for Wells had somehow turned into an hour of listening to Cisco try and write a limerick.
“What about crime? Is there a way to include Eddie?” Cisco pondered out loud while scrolling through a list of rhyming words.
Tipping his head back, Hartley stared mournfully at the ceiling before finally giving up. “I’m going home,” he announced with a half-hearted wave as he left. “Good luck, Barry.”
“Thanks! I think…”
“I’m making a run to Jitters,” Caitlin said as she entered the control room, glancing at Cisco then settling on Barry, who still looked very confused.
“Is he okay?”
With a laugh, Caitlin picked up her purse and said, assuring, “He’s fine. He gets like this on Limerick Day.”
“Limerick Day?” Barry parroted.
“A day that honors English poet, artist, and author Edward Lear. He was famous for his limericks,” Caitlin explained then swiftly changed gears. “Coffee?”
Smiling, Barry nodded. “Sure. Eddie’s working today, so I think I’ll take him a cup.”
“I’m sure he’d liked that,” Caitlin agreed, matching Barry’s smile with one of her own. Then the pair walked out, leaving Cisco to pour over words and syllables.
Chapter 13: IDK... The Dog?
prompt: Blame Someone Else
“Come on, Bear.”
At Max’s voice, Barry and Eddie stopped and looked up, watching as their son entered the kitchen dragging a piece of string behind him. Like usual, he as dressed in just his Arrow underwear and a t-shirt, having taken his pants off once more.
“Max, bud… Who’s Bear,” Eddie asked while turning down the flame under the eggs, so he could give his son his full, undivided attention.
Eddie’s question caused the 4-year-old to stop with puzzled expression on his face. “My dog… Can’t you see him?”
“Of course,” Barry agreed as he nudged Eddie with his elbow, a sign to play along. “He’s a cute little—“
“Big dog,” Barry finished. “I’m sure he’s going to love it here. Now, what does he like to eat?”
After sharing a grin at Max’s reply, Eddie said, “Coming right up. Hey Max… where are your pants?”
“Bear ate them,” Max told them as solemn as a 4-year-old was capable of, which only made Eddie and Barry look at each other before shrugging it off. First thing they learned as parents was knowing when to pick their battles and sometimes fighting Max about wearing pants was more hassle than it was worth.
“Bear did it!” The 6-year-old accused, pointing at the empty space next to him. In the two years since Bear’s arrival, Max had become a pro at blaming his imaginary dog for almost anything. But blaming him for coloring on the walls was a first, especially when the 6-year-old, in question, had the red marker still clutched firmly in his hand.
“What did dad and I say about coloring on the walls?” Eddie asked without missing a beat as he kneeled in front the child. “Markers are meant for paper not walls.”
“But Bear wanted to draw a permanent picture,” Max told him mournfully.
With a sigh, Eddie reached out and scooped up his son, hugging him close. “How about you and Bear draw me a picture that we can frame?”
“Come on, Bear,” Eddie called out only stopping long enough to make sure the imaginary dog was following behind them. An hour or two wasn’t going to make any difference when it came to scrubbing the crayon off the wall, so for the moment, Eddie would rather sit and draw with his son instead of helping the 6-year-old scrub marker off the wall. Besides, Max’s drawing was a pretty good likeness of Barry as the Flash and he’d hate for his husband to miss seeing their son’s drawing of him.
“The dog did it,” Max replied off the cuff like it was most natural thing in the world.
Twin eyebrows went up as Barry and Eddie turned as one and stared at their 9-year-old. It had been almost two years since Bear or the hint of an imaginary dog had disappeared from their son’s vocabulary, so it was a bit of a shock to hear those words leave Max’s mouth.
“We don’t have a dog,” Barry reminded him gently, still a little confused by his son’s statement.
Shrugging, Max put his hands in his pants’ pockets and said, “Maybe we should get one,” before turning with the intention of walking away from the mess he’d made. But Barry was quicker, faster than Eddie could blink, Barry reached out and grabbed Max’s shirt collar, stopping the 9-year-old in his tracks.
“Not so fast, hot-shot. Want to tell us why you decided to dig a hole in the backyard?”
“But I didn’t,” Max whined while giving his dads the look of innocent. “It was the dog.”
Eddie sighed and shook his head. “One, we don’t have a dog, and two, I’m finding it hard to believe you when your hands are covered in dirt and there’s a shovel lying on the ground next to you. So want to try your answer again?”
As Eddie spoke, Barry was forced to bite his lip because without fail, even when he was interrogating their son, there was something incredibly sexy about Eddie’s detective voice as he liked to call it.
Tipping his head down, Max stared at the ground and mumbled, “I was looking for buried treasure.”
Eddie smiled softly as he reached out, laying his hand on his son’s shoulder, causing the boy to look up. “How about we clean up this mess and then call Uncle Cisco and borrow his metal detector?”
“Yeah, bud,” Barry agreed while kneeling down next to Eddie. “Uncle Cisco has been looking for a reason to test it out and I can see no better reason than a treasure hunt.”
Max jumped and then punched the arm with his fist. “Yes!!” Before hurrying over to grab the too-big shovel and start putting all the dirt back into the hole he’d dug.
“Did you really refer to Cisco’s latest invention as a metal detector?”
“It detects metal and other minerals, doesn’t it?” Eddie deadpanned.
Blinking, Barry turned and looked at his husband, then added, “In metas…!”
“He doesn’t have to know that!” Eddie replied before turning his attention back to their son, who was just finishing covering up the hole he’d made in their backyard. “Come on, let’s get clean up and go see Uncle Cisco.”
With Eddie’s words, Max took off like a shot towards the back porch, clambering up the stairs as fast as he could. “Come on, I don’t want to be late!” He waved before disappearing inside their home.
Arms linked, Barry and Eddie followed their son up the stairs and into the house, knowing that one of them would have to oversee the washing up, otherwise and without fail, Max would manage to only clean the palms on his hands and think nothing of the dirt smudges running the length of his arms.
Chapter 14: FORE!
prompt: Miniature Golf
Caitlin knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. Someone was going to become overzealous, causing someone else to end up getting hit with a ball; she just never expected it to be Barry. As she opened her purse, Caitlin walked over to him, where Eddie was already examining him.
“As the fastest man alive, you’ve got terrible survival instincts,” Eddie teased while tipping his partner’s head forward, so he could get a better look at the egg-shaped knot forming.
“Funny,” Barry grumbled, crossing his arms as he continued to sit on the artificial turf. Normally, he would have zipped out of the way of the approaching ball, but Eddie’s golfing technique (read: him bending over and causing the seat of his jeans to pull hug his assets) proved to be a little too distracting… cheater.
Tapping Eddie on the shoulder, Caitlin waited until the detective moved to kneel in front of her patient. “Barry, look straight ahead,” she ordered as she shined a light in his eyes. “I need to make sure that you don’t have a concussion.”
Never one to be fused over, Barry pushed her hand away and said, “I don’t have a concussion. I’m fine, see…” he told her as he climbed to his feet with Eddie gripping his elbow to keep him steady.
“Sorry, bro!” Cisco yelled and waved. While Caitlin and Eddie were fusing over Barry, the other half of their group had already moved onto the next hole. “I didn’t mean to try and brain you. My bad!”
“It’s fine,” Barry called about, then turned to Caitlin and Eddie repeating it. “I’m fine. I’ve had worse.”
With a roll of her eyes, Caitlin planted her hands on her hips, staring Barry down. “True, but let me remind you that you are still recovering from what the last meta of the week did to you.”
“I got it, I got it,” Barry said, a little dismissively, causing Eddie to finally interject.
“Caitlin, why don’t you give us a minute and go make sure that Cisco doesn’t try and maim anyone else.”
Giving the pair a grim expression, especially Barry, she turned and walked away, catching up with the other three members of their group.
Eddie waited until Caitlin was gone before turning on Barry and tugging him farther away from the path while still being mindful of the mini golf players behind them. “Hey Bar, what’s going on?”
“We’ve been together long enough and I call bullshit. What’s up?”
Shrugging off Eddie’s touch, Barry stared into Eddie’s eyes and admitted, “I don’t like when all of you get like this.”
“Get like what?” Eddie replied dimly, though he did have a vague idea of what was rolling around in Barry’s head, but he needed him to admit it.
“Treating me like glass,” Barry grumbled. “I mean, I have one bad run-in with a meta and I’m automatically a damsel-in-distress.”
With a silent pray to the heavens for guidance, Eddie reached out and cradled Barry’s face in his hands. “You were in a coma for two weeks, Barry. And we worry because we care. I don’t know what I do if I lost you, Bar. So humor us a little, yea?”
“Fine,” Barry murmured while looking none too happy with the thought of being coddle. But as quick as it came, it was gone, replaced with a mischievous glint in the speedster’s eye. “Oh and I’m onto you, Det. Thawne,” Barry teased.
“I have no idea what you are talking about,” Eddie grinned as he followed Barry back to their friends.
Chapter 15: Be At My Side
prompt: Peace Officers' Memorial
As we gather today to celebrate the opening of the Central City Police Officer Memorial, I want us to take a moment to remember that we’re here today to honor those fallen officers for their achievements, their courage and their dedication, and to say thank you for their sacrifices.
The Greek philosopher Thucydides once said, “The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”
From the back of the crowd, Barry stared out across the sea of blue seated in front of him. While he couldn’t tell where Eddie and Joe were seated, Barry couldn’t help but be thankful that they were here instead of their names forever memorized in granite stone. Since the particle accelerator explosion, too many CCPD officers had lost their lives in the line of duty and as much as the Flash tried, it still never seemed to be enough.
“It never gets easier, does it?”
Barry turned at the voice, looking in the face of Captain Singh’s husband, Rob. “How do you cope?”
“I have to tell myself that he’s doing what he loves and I can’t fault him for that,” Rob admitted. “Though, having the Flash on our side does make me sleep a little easier.”
“Even though the Flash can’t be everywhere…?” Barry tentatively asked, not all together certain that he wanted to know the answer.
With a slight lift of the shoulders, Rob said, “I realize that even with powers, the Flash is still very human. Besides… David is trained to protect himself, so I can only pray it’s enough for him to come home to me.”
“I used to be terrified that I would lose Joe the same way I lost my mom because I had no one.”
“What about Iris?” Rob asked.
Tucking his hands in his pockets, Barry glanced away from Rob and back towards the mayor, who was still speaking. “Joe had family, who could and would take her. I just couldn’t imagine them opening their home to me the same way that Joe did.”
“Luckily, it never came to that,” Iris told him as she came up behind the pair, which caused them to both to turn and look at her. She was carrying a small notebook while a Central City Picture News photographer hovered a few steps to her left.
“Hi, Iris,” Rob greeted with a smile. “Enjoying the speeches?”
Iris smiled back. “The things I do for my job,” she quipped before leaning in and kissing Barry on the cheek. “Hey Barry.”
“I thought someone else was going be covering today?”
“Unfortunately, that someone decided a trip to Coast City was more important. Can’t say that I’ll be all that sad if Scott decides to fire them… I’m not exactly this person’s biggest fan.”
“Dating the editor didn’t endear you to them?” Rob joked.
“Surprisingly no,” Iris deadpanned, though she only managed to hold a straight face for a few seconds before breaking out into a grin. “I need to go mingle. I’ll see you tonight for family dinner?” She added while staring directly at Barry.
“Eddie and I will be there,” he replied.
Rob waited for Iris had walked away before bringing up an idea that had been rattling around in head for weeks. “We should do dinner one night.”
Unable to keep a straight face, Barry burst out laughing while shaking his head. “I’m not sure which kill us first, Singh for having to have dinner with me, or Eddie for having to have dinner with his boss.”
“Don’t let David fool you,” Rob countered. “His bark is worse than his bite. He actually kind of likes you.”
“Who kind of likes Allen?” Captain Singh asked, coming up the pair, who hadn’t moved, even after the mayor’s speech was over.
“Nobody,” Rob replied innocently, reaching out to squeeze his husband’s hand. While David was in no way ashamed of their sexuality or their relationship, he did believe that public displays of affection had a time and a place, and in the middle of a police officer memorial celebration—surrounded by Central City’s finest and their friends and families—was definitely not the place.
Captain Singh gave his husband a skeptical look, but then decided it best to leave it alone until they got home to discuss why telling Barry Allen that he actually liked him was a bad idea. “Ready to go?”
“Yeah,” Rob told him, then with a last wave to Barry, he followed David back into the crowd of attendees.
As he watched the couple disappear, Barry felt the light touch of hand on his hip before Eddie’s chest collided with his back. “What’s a guy got to do to take you out to lunch?”
“Promise to buy 4 of the largest Big Belly Burgers known to man and I just might consider it,” Barry quipped.
"You’ve got yourself a deal, Mr. Allen,” Eddie agreed before pressing his grin into the skin at the base of Barry’s neck. While this day was meant to celebrate and honor those lost in the line of duty, Eddie found himself reflecting on all good in his life… and even if he was taken from the Earth tomorrow, he knew that he was loved.
Chapter 16: Why I Love Trees
prompt: Love a Tree
Chapter 17: Memories and Junk
prompt: Pack Rat
Stopping at the top of the stairs, the dark haired man looked into the airy space that was filled to the brim with boxes of various shapes and sizes and odd bits of furniture that never seemed to make to charity, no matter how many times someone commenting on the item needing to be taken.
“Man, I can’t believe it’s really happening…” The young man voiced as he took the final step onto the attic flooring. This space used to be one of wonder when he and his little sister had been younger, but with every passing year, it became more and more cluttered with things collected over the years.
“Max?” Looking up from the box he was sorting, Barry smiled at the sight of his oldest. It was hard to believe that Max would turn 40 this year.
Max grinned and walked further into the attic, his hands lightly brushing across soft toys sticking out of the nearest box. “Hey, dad. Need any help?”
“Sure, if you want to grab that box and take it down to your dad,” Barry suggested while pointing to another box that looked be filled with old electronics that had seen better days.
“Where is he?”
“In the garage, labeling things like a maniac,” Barry replied as he stood and stretched. He might have enhanced healing abilities, but it didn’t stop his muscles from tightening up from stooping too long in one place.
After picking up the box, Max paused and glanced at all the bits of furniture and boxes that had managed to pile up over the years in his old home. Just idea of setting most (if not all) of these things out on the curb to sell or giveaway was a little much for him. He was 5 when they moved into this house, so it was the only home that he had clear memories of.
“Max, you okay buddy?” Barry asked as soon as he noticed that Max had yet to really move.
“Yeah, dad… Just thinking.”
With a nod, Barry stood and walked over to his son, reaching out to squeeze his shoulder in a comforting manner. “I know it’s hard. But the move to Opal City will be better for your dad’s health and it’s not like we will be that far away.”
“I know, dad. It’s just that this was my first home and I’m going to miss it,” Max told him, sighing.
When his dads had announced their plans to move at Caitlin’s suggestion, it had really hit home that everything was changing. Moving out for college was one thing because he knew he’d always have a home to come home too and even after college when he moved in with his college girlfriend, but helping his dads sort through and pack up their home was completely different.
“Believe me, I get it,” Barry assured him because he did. He had never admitted to it anyone, not even Iris, but the hardest part, in the days after his mother’s murder was not seeing his father being accused of the crime, was knowing that on some level he’d never go home again.
Joe had tried to make it easy by packing Barry’s room and taking items that he thought Barry would want, but in the end, Barry hated how many things were left behind, given away, or sold without his input. Which was the main reason he wanted Max and Christina involved in cleaning out the house, he didn’t want his children to feel like he had all those years ago.
“Does it get any easier?” Max wondered out loud. As much as he loved Eddie, growing up Max felt closer to Barry because they were each an orphan in their own way, unlike Christina, who had been adopted as a newborn and this was the only family she’d ever known.
Max’s question caused Barry to pause before giving the best answer he had. “A house is just four walls and a roof with things inside. The important thing to remember Max is that no matter where we go in life we’ll always have our memories and each other.”
“Oh god, dad’s right,” Max groaned jokingly. “You have become a sap in your old age.”
Barry grinned. “Someone has to do it.”
“Come on, you two,” a female voice yelled up the attic stairs. “Ms. McGarth from across the street is hitting on dad and he looks like he needs saving.”
“We’re coming, Christina,” Barry called back before grabbing a box of his own and looking around the room. It was hard to believe that thirty-five years of memories (and junk) was piled high to the rafters in the 8x10 room.
Noticing that his dad wasn’t following him down the stairs, Max turned and asked, “Everything okay, dad?”
“Yeah, just thinking.”
“About…” Max drawled while raising an eyebrow.
“Our packrat tendencies,” Barry laughed.
Max rolled his eyes and shook his head, then continued down the stairs, knowing that his dad would follow him as soon as he stopped laughing at his terrible sense of humor. Sometimes, Max found himself wondering who was worse between his dads and Uncle Cisco when it came to telling bad jokes.
Chapter 18: To Look and Absorb and Learn
“Museum, museum, museum,” she sang while swinging her dad’s hand that was firmly grasp around her smaller one. Laughing, Eddie brought his free hand down and brushed it across the crown of Christina’s dark red hair, causing the six-year-old to look up and grin.
“Excited?” Eddie asked even though he knew the answer. It was her first trip to the museum with her kindergarten class, so for the weeks leading up to it, it seemed to be the only thing that she wanted to talk about. To the point where her big brother, Max, was threatening to move in with Uncle Joe.
Christina’s grin seemed to spread wider as she nodded enthusiastically at her dad’s question. “I want to see the fish and the castle and the bugs,” she told him without seeming to pause for breath.
Ruffing her hair, Eddie kneeled down, so he could peer into her angelic face. Just having the ability to stare into her face (and her brother’s) and hear her call him daddy, continued to take his breath away. Growing up as the short, overweight kid, whose father was hated by the city, Eddie never imagined that one day he’d have a loving husband and two amazing kids, who thought he hung the moon.
“We’ll see it all,” Eddie assured her as he reached out to adjust the straps of her pink backpack, “but first, we need to wait for everyone to get off the bus.”
With a determined nod, Christina set her feet and then waited as the rest of the kindergarten classes got off the buses. Though as much as she wished that her other daddy could have come to, having this daddy here for her first field trip was just as good. Christina’s eyes shifted back and forth across the various faces of her friends until one face caused her to stop and tilt her head in confusion.
“Christina, what is it?” Eddie asked, seeing the look of confusion on his daughter’s face. Twisting his head, Eddie searched the faces until he landed on a face that must’ve been the cause for his daughter’s confusion.
“What’s Uncle Len doing here?”
Rising to his feet, Eddie sighed and shook his head as he brushed his hand across Christina’s head again. “I have no idea, sweetheart.”
“Can I go say hello?” She asked with such eagerness that Eddie couldn’t possibly tell her no. If it wasn’t for Snart, Barry and he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to love and raise such a wonderful little girl.
After Lisa’s death, Snart knew his lifestyle wasn’t capable of taking care of his barely month old niece, so he had made the choice to hand her over to one person, he knew would love and accept her without question… Barry Allen. In the years since Barry and Leonard Snart had fallen into an almost friendship and Eddie couldn’t really blame the guy for wanting to be a part of his niece’s life.
“Sure, sweetie,” Eddie told her as he released her hand, so she could run full tilt at the not-quite-reformed criminal. Staying where he was, Eddie waited until Snart had caught Christina in his arms before finally walking over. “Snart,” Eddie greeted with a nod.
Snart pulled his head away from Christina’s and then shifted her on his hip, so he could look the other man in the face. “Detective.”
“Don’t tell me you’re casing a children’s museum?” Eddie joked if a little awkwardly. While Barry and Snart might have a rapport with each other, Eddie was still wary of the criminal, even if Barry thought he was an okay guy.
“All right, I won’t tell you that,” Leonard quipped more to Christina than Eddie with a wink.
Giggling softly, Christina wiggled in her uncle’s arms, a sign that she was ready to get down. Once Leonard had set her down, she grabbed his hand and tugged. “Are you going to come with us?”
“Only if your teacher doesn’t mind,” Leonard told her softly before sparing a brief glance at Eddie, who just nodded. With every passing year, Snart had lessened his visits to see Christina, understanding that while she might be his only family, he wasn’t hers and that he didn’t have the right to monopolize her time, even if he really wanted to.
“Yay!” Christina cheers as she released his hand before taking off in the direction of her teacher to ask.
Now that she was gone, Eddie turned to Snart and said, “Barry told you…”
“Yeah,” Leonard agreed. “You got a pretty good husband.”
“I know.” Putting his hands in his pockets, Eddie turned away and began walking towards his daughter, who was appeared to be waving animatedly at her teacher… most likely telling her all the reasons why having her Uncle Len as a chaperon was such a good idea.
Chapter 19: Surf, Sand, and Sun
Shades on, Barry leaned back on his elbows and gazed up into the bright blue sky that hung overhead. With all the overtime he was having to put in at CCPD along with his duties as the Flash, it had been far too long since he’d a vacation. He was definitely going to enjoy the next week off with nothing but surf, sand, and sun to keep him occupied.
And Eddie. Nothing could beat having Eddie Thawne dressed in a tight t-shirt and a pair of board shorts with dark sunglasses perched on his face.
Licking his lips, Barry reached out and took the offered cup from his husband… husband! It was hard to believe that only a day ago they legally became husband and husband. And now, they were on their honeymoon in Coast City. It might not be the most romantic place in the world, but it was more than enough for them.
“Thanks,” Barry smiled, his eyes never leaving Eddie’s body as the detective settled on the beach blanket beside him.
Once seated, Eddie stretched his toned and tanned legs out in front of him and then settled back, digging into his frozen treat. “So what time is our surfing lesson?”
“Two,” Barry replied before stuffing the largest spoonful of strawberry ice cream in his mouth, moaning softly as the tartness of the berry flavor hit his tongue. “Remind me again, why we are taking surfing lessons.”
“Because it’s fun,” Eddie grinned with a hint of mischievous in his face.
Eddie’s response caused Barry’s eyebrow to lift as he tilted his head. “You’ve been surfing before haven’t you,” Barry accused teasingly.
“I might have surfed a little in college,” Eddie admitted sheepishly before elaborating on his explanation, “So there was this girl in my freshmen seminar and she might have been a surfer.”
“Oh, I see how it is,” Barry joked, “you just want to relive your youth. Is that it?”
Laughing, Eddie reached out and wrapped his hand around Barry’s neck, forcing the speedster to lean in, so their foreheads rested against each other’s. “No, I want to share something amazing with the man I love.”
“Don’t forget, I can walk on water. I’m already pretty amazing.”
While still laughing, Eddie pressed a kiss to Barry’s lips, loving how he got to spend the rest of his life with this amazing and slightly vain man. “Well, it’s only twelve now, what do you say we got back to the room and enjoy this beautiful sun from our room?”
“I like the way you think,” Barry murmured as he pulled away from Eddie’s kiss. “What if we miss our surf lesson?”
“There’s always tomorrow.”
Just the thought of spending the rest of the afternoon in bed with Eddie was enough to send shivers down Barry’s spine. With his ice cream cup still in hand, Barry climbed to his feet and then waited until Eddie was standing before tugging the detective in the direction of their hotel room.
Stretching out against the luxurious sheets, Barry groaned softly as he turned and looked at his husband’s slumbering face, which for once was free of the worry lines that seemed to be a product of being a police officer. Sometimes Barry forgot how much Eddie had on his plate when it came to keeping both sides of his life balanced.
“Eddie…” Barry brushed his fingers across the apple of his husband’s cheek, feeling the faint stubble there. “We missed our lesson.”
The blonde hummed softly before gathering the speedster into his arms, relishing the feeling of Barry’s naked body pressed firmly against his own. “Tomorrow,” he reminded him as he took Barry in hand causing the other man to gasp at the sensation.
“You fight dirty, Mr. Allen-Thawne,” Barry stammered while bringing his leg up and laying it across Eddie’s bare hip.
“I know,” Eddie teased, after that, no other words were needed as he pulled Barry into a heated kiss, showing the speedster exactly how much he desired him.
Chapter 20: B.Y.O.R (Bring Your Own Rain)
prompt: Bike to Work
“Where the hell is Allen?!”
Miles away, the man in question rolled over and snuggled closer to his bed partner, trying his best to ignore the sound of his alarm clock going off. Normally, Barry would have immediately jumped out of bed and scrambled to get dressed and out the door, but given last night’s enthusiastic activities involving a very hot, blonde detective from Keystone City, Barry was reluctant to leave his bed.
“Barry?” Eddie murmured as he reached over his boyfriend to turn the offending sound off. “It’s time for work.”
Groaning softly, Barry rubbed his face against Eddie’s shoulder much like a cat as he wrapped his arms around Eddie’s chest. With the detective only in town for a few days, Barry didn’t want to waste a minute. Unfortunately, Captain Singh had refused his request for leave, citing staffing issues, so instead of being able to spend the day with his boyfriend, Barry was stuck having to go to work… work that he was already late for.
“I don’t wanna,” he whined before seeming to fall back into a light doze, which caused Eddie to start shaking him. While he knew Barry had a serial punctuality issue, there was no way he was going to be blame for it this morning.
“You have too,” Eddie reasoned gently as he continued to shake Barry, who finally after a few minutes had had enough and rolled away from his boyfriend’s hands. But Eddie wasn’t having it; he was now a man on a mission… a mission to make sure that Barry actually made it to work.
“I could always call in sick.”
Playfully rolling his eyes, Eddie turned and looked at the brunette. “I think your boss is going to know you aren’t sick.”
“Because you already asked and was denied vacation for part of this week,” Eddie pointed out, causing Barry to sigh. “Now get your ass out of bed, Mr. Allen and go to work!”
“I’m going, I’m going,” Barry mumbled as he practically threw himself out of bed and stumbled his way into the bathroom. When Eddie used his detective voice, it just had a way of making Barry do almost anything.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Barry grumbled as he stopped his bike under the branches of a large oak tree, hoping to stay somewhat dry as he waited out the downpour. Usually, he would have taken the bus, but since the weather had been so nice the last couple of days, Barry had been biking to work. Unfortunately, it seemed today the weather gods were just not with him.
As he waited not so patiently for it to stop raining, his phone began ringing loudly, almost like it was telling him that if he didn’t pick it up, he’d be deader than he currently was. “Joe?” Barry greeted after a quick glance at the display.
“Where are you, Barry? Singh is having a fit and we have a dead body,” Joe told him, not even bothering to give his foster son a hello. He was beyond frustrated with Barry at the moment, especially having to listen to Singh bitch for the last hour about where the hell he was.
“I’m about 15 minutes away,” Barry admitted sheepishly. Through the phone connection, Barry could hear Joe groan painfully.
“Please tell me, you didn’t ride your bike today.”
Biting the edge of his lip, Barry weighed his options, trying to decide which would get him yelled at less, but given how exasperated Joe sounded, he was going to be yelled at regardless of his answer. “Okay, I won’t,” he replied.
“Barry…” Joe drawled almost painfully. As much as he loved his foster son, there were times like these when he really wanted to ring his neck. But according to Henry, Barry had been late from birth, so there was nothing that could be done to fix the problem. “Where are you exactly?”
With a quick glance, Barry rattled off the street and the cross street, then waited for Joe’s confirmation before asking, “How dead am I?”
“There are not enough words to describe how dead you are, Barry,” Joe confessed. “I’ll be there in five, so stay where you are.”
Chapter 21: From the Desk Of...
Chapter 22: Starlight Dances
“I feel ridiculous,” Barry mumbled while staring at his reflection in the mirror. He should have known better than agree to come with Eddie to visit his parents, especially during an election year. Now, he was stuck in a suit—a suit he only wore when he had to go to court--, so he wouldn’t embarrass his boyfriend while they spent the evening being introduced to Senator Thawne’s various friends.
“You look amazing,” Eddie countered as he came up behind Barry and wrapped his arms around the brunette’s waist. For the last few minutes, he’d been enjoying how hot and dapper Barry looked in the well-cut suit, which seemed to only accentuate all of his boyfriend’s best features… long legs, trim waist, and an ass that Eddie couldn’t get enough of.
With a roll of his eyes, Barry turned his head and kissed Eddie on the cheek. “Are you sure? I mean I don’t want to embarrass your parents tonight.”
“And you won’t,” Eddie assured him gently, hating the sound of anxious in Barry’s voice. This trip was originally supposed to be a chance for Barry to Eddie’s parents to meet, but due to a “last minute” event, the pair was being forced to mingle with some of the Senator’s most influential donors.
While Eddie still had Barry in his arms, he began to sway gently back and forth before pressing a faint kiss to his boyfriend’s temple. He hated this ability that his parents had on those he loved, which was one reason why Eddie never brought anyone home, but with Barry it was different. This was the man he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, so he couldn’t put it off any longer.
“You both look so handsome,” a refined and feminine voice remarked from the doorway of the bedroom.
As one, the pair turned and looked at Eddie’s mother, Daphne, who appeared the picture of elegance in a navy blue floor length dress with an off-the-shoulder neckline. Her light blonde hair was pulled back in a knot at the base of her neck. From where Barry stood, Daphne Thawne was beautiful woman, yet she was a bit too made up… too perfect and not just tonight. There was a bit of fakeness about her, even though she was a truly sweet woman by welcoming him with open arms. He could see how much she truly loved her only son.
“Is it time?” Eddie asked without feeling the need to release Barry. If it had been his father, Eddie probably would have taken a step back, but he knew that he mother was happy that he had found Barry. She had even told him earlier that if he didn’t put a ring on his boyfriend’s hand soon, she just might adopt the scientist in order to keep him in the family. That’s how charmed she was by the adorkable young man.
“The car’s downstairs and your father is waiting,” she replied with a gracious tilt of her head. Daphne waited for confirmation before turning and leaving the two men to follow.
While she was doing her best to keep her temper, she really wanted to strangle her husband and his aides for pushing this event forward. What should have been a wonderful weekend getting to know Barry had quickly turned into a rush to make sure that everything was executed to her tastes for tonight’s fundraiser.
“Ready?” Eddie softly asked as he gazed into Barry’s face through the mirror’s reflection.
“Yeah,” Barry breathed as he squared his shoulders like he was readying himself for battle and in a way, he was… Eddie had grown up in this world, but for Barry, this was a whole new experience.
Stepping away from his boyfriend, Eddie reached out and grabbed his hand, leading him from his childhood bedroom.
“First time at one of these?”
The sound of a young woman’s voice startled Barry from his thoughts, causing him to look over at a sultry redhead, who’s dress and youth seemed a little out of place in a sea of old money and style.
“I’m sorry?” Barry asked, still a little in awe of the fundraiser’s location. Nowhere in all the various discussions that had taken place since arriving had anyone mentioned that the fundraiser was taking place on a cruise ship where dinner and dancing were the activities of the evening.
“This?” She repeated with a wave of her hand. “Sorry, Ava Clements. I’m George Clements’s wife.” At Barry’s blank expression, the young woman sighed and then pointed to an older man, who appeared to be a good twenty years her senior if Barry had to guess.
“Oh, sorry,” Barry told her sheepishly before reaching out to shake her hand. “Barry Allen, I’m Eddie Thawne’s boyfri—partner.”
The redhead hummed thoughtfully. “Pity,” Ava murmured while her eyes drifted over the sea of people. She didn’t want to be here anymore than Barry did, but unfortunately, duty trumped her wishes.
Tilting his head, Barry quietly studied her, not certain what she meant by her “pity” remark, but thought it best not to ask for clarification. “So what do you do?” He asked awkwardly, trying to fill the silence that had fallen over them and hoping that Eddie would return from the bar with his drink.
“Do?” Ava laughed. “I don’t do anything. I shop and look pretty on his arm… So what is it you do?”
“I’m a forensic scientist for Central City Police Department,” Barry explained.
Ava hummed again. “I wanted to be a doctor when I was younger.”
“Why didn’t you?” Barry asked, partly out of politeness but mainly due to curiosity. She clearly wanted to talk about it, why else bring it up.
“I met George during my second year of college. I was working part time at his gym and everything just kind of clicked,” Ava related with a touch of melancholy. “I wanted to help people. Now all I seem to do is smile for the cameras and make an appearance at his favorite charity gala once a year.”
“Have you ever thought about going back to school?”
Barry’s question caused Ava to twitter with laughter; however, before the pretty redhead was able to answer, Eddie reappeared with two glasses of champagne and the woman’s husband at his elbow. “Barry,” he greeted before motioning to the older man next to him, “I don’t believe you’ve meet George Clements.”
Taking that as his queue, Barry held out his hand, which was met with a firm handshake in return. “Nice to meet you,” he replied.
“I see my Ava has been keeping you company,” George remarked jovially. “Luckily, I have nothing to worry about,” he continued, adding a wink in the men’s direction for good measure.
With a glance at Eddie, Barry could see the frown now marring his boyfriend’s face. It was look that usually only directed at him when the Flash did something stupid and probably highly unnecessary in Eddie’s mind. As Barry continued to gaze at Eddie from the corner of his eye, the detective quickly drained his glass before placing it on the tray of a passing server. “I believe my father is trying to get our attention,” Eddie announced with a flick of his hand like he was signaling that he saw him. But as far as Barry could see, Senator Thawne appeared to be deep conversation with one a local businessman. “If you’ll excuse us…” Taking Barry’s free hand, Eddie pulled him away from the offending man and his young, if tragic, wife.
“Where are we going?” Barry asked once they were a safe distance from the couple and headed nowhere near Senator Thawne.
“Just wait,” Eddie told him as he continued to lead the younger man in the direction of the stairs, which would take them to upper deck.
Daphne hadn’t missed a beat when she chose this ship for tonight’s fundraiser. The ship consisted of two large spaces, one on each level. The lower room ran almost the length of the ship with large windows that provided guests with panoramic views of the water, making it the perfect location to serve dinner and cocktails. While the upper deck, which also ran almost the length of the ship, was open area space that allowed guests to stargaze, but tonight, it had been transformed into a dance floor with a small bar at one end and intimate tables dotting the remaining floor space.
Once on the upper deck, Eddie reached out and relived Barry of his glass, leaving it on a nearby table, before pulling the speedster onto the dance floor with him. Barry hesitated at first because it was one thing to slow dance in the comfort of their own home, but slow dancing in front of Senator Thawne’s friends was an entirely different matter. He didn’t want to embarrass Eddie or his parents by his lack of coordination.
Sensing his boyfriend’s reluctance, Eddie lightly rubbed Barry’s hip, hoping to soothe his fears, before laying the hand on the small of his back, holding him close. “Ignore them,” Eddie murmured as he leaned forward to rest his temple against Barry’s. “It’s just you and me under the stars.”
“The last time it just you and me under the stairs, we almost got arrested,” Barry quipped, feeling some of the tension in his shoulders lessen. As long as he had Eddie with him, Barry would get through this night and hopefully never have to do it again.
“Luckily my badge saved us,” Eddie laughed, his lips pressing a grin into the skin of Barry’s temple.
Barry snorted and shook his head. “You shouldn’t have had to use it. I could’ve gotten us out of there.”
“Yeah,” Eddie drawled. “And then by morning the whole police station would know that either I was cheating on you with the Flash or that you were the Flash…”
“Good point,” Barry conceded as Eddie spun them in a circle. As he did, Barry caught sight of Daphne, who tipped her glass to them and smiled, probably wondering how long it would be before she saw them on a dance floor again…hopefully at their wedding.
Chapter 23: In Your Shoe
prompt: Lucky Penny
Something old, something new,
something borrowed, something blue,
and a silver sixpence in her shoe.
“Okay, okay,” Caitlin mumbled as she consulted the checklist in her hand. While her spur of the moment wedding to Ronnie was more than she could ask for, she wanted Barry and Eddie’s wedding to be perfect. And with Iris’s help, she was going to make that possible. “Something old?”
“Henry has that covered,” Iris told her, looking up from the invitations she was hand addressing. With Barry and Eddie more than willing to have the addresses printed, it fell on Iris to make sure that every envelope got that extra bit of something by having a handwritten address.
“With?” Caitlin prompted while tapping her pen against the desk. The scientist in her wanted to having everything meticulously documented.
“A family tradition,” Iris replied distracted with making sure her handwriting was legible and elegant.
Caitlin rolled her eyes and sighed. “Of?”
Looking up finally, Iris met Caitlin’s eye and smiled guiltily. “Sorry, Caitlin. Nora’s family had a tradition of giving the bride a sixpence for good luck. So it’ll cover Barry’s something old and the silver sixpence.”
“I would like to point out, in case that it has escaped everyone’s notice, that they are both men,” Cisco remarked as he walked into the room. Somehow between Caitlin and Iris, he had gotten roped into helping them plan Barry and Eddie’s wedding.
“Thanks, Cisco,” Iris said sarcastically. “They’ve both decided to honor the tradition because it’s supposed to bring good luck to them and the marriage. Besides… it’s kind of sweet.”
Nodding, Caitlin moved on to the next item. “What about Eddie?”
“His Grandmother’s necklace,” Iris supplied, giving the doctor her full attention. She knew the quicker she answered all of Caitlin’s questions, the quicker she could return to envelop addressing.
After scribbling the answer on her checklist, Caitlin asked, “Something new?”
“Their suits and rings,” Cisco said this time, deciding to humor Caitlin and her tendencies. Besides, who was he to say they couldn’t adopt the tradition and make it their own...?
“Barry a pair of my dad’s cufflinks,” Iris rattled off, “and Eddie’s his grandfather’s pocket watch.”
A smile graced Caitlin’s face as she gazed at the other woman, happy that Iris was willing to humor this one time. “Something blue… handkerchiefs monogrammed in blue with their initials and the date of their wedding,” she jotted down quickly. After all, it was her idea. Barry had been at a loss on what to do and Caitlin had remembered reading in a bridal magazine about doing this to your veil or the inside of your gown and she thought it would be the perfect idea for handkerchiefs. “Now, what about Eddie’s sixpence?”
“I can see if I can find one online,” Cisco offered, but Iris immediately shook her head.
“Believe it or not, but a penny that Eddie found on their first date,” Iris told the pair, watching as both Caitlin and Cisco’s faces broke out in twin expressions of awe like one does when a kitten does something adorable.
“It’s official,” Cisco declared, stymied by his friends’ personalities, “they are just too much for words. How are they real people? Real people don’t act like this!”
With a glance, the women shared a sigh before returning to their original tasks, leaving Cisco to lament on the seeming perfectness of Barry and Eddie’s relationship.
Chapter 24: Black and Write and Read All Over
prompt: Scavenger Hunt
“Did we not learn anything from that failure of a trivia night that I’d rather not remember,” Eddie mumbled, though more to himself than the people he was with. Reaching up, Eddie pulled off his baseball cap and ran his fingers through his blonde hair before setting it back on his head.
When Iris had originally pitched the idea of participating in Central City’s annual scavenger hunt, Eddie had stupidly thought it would be a relaxing day spent with friends. Instead, it was anything but… Within minutes of arriving, the eight person team had become two 4-person teams after Cisco and Iris had started talking smack to each other.
“Okay, okay. What’s the next clue?” Iris urged excitedly as Wally used his phone to scan the next QR code.
“I can be read, feel blue, make you green and yellow too, the sun makes me beam, in my corner you must gleam!,” Wally read off, then once finished, he lifted his head to look at his teammates, who all appeared to be in various states of thought, except for Eddie, who seemed to be staring into the May sun.
“Things that can be read… newspapers, books, billboards,” Barry reasoned, “but the sun doesn’t make any of those things beam.” With a shake of his head, Barry immediately dismissed them.
Humming, Wally scanned the clue again and asked, “What can the sun make beam?”
“Glass,” Iris shrugged, knowing it wasn’t the correct answer but still saying it. According to Barry’s ongoing text stream with Caitlin, both teams were neck and neck with six clues to go. While they might have been competing against roughly 20 other teams around the city, the bragging rights within their group of was the ultimate prize.
“Steel…” Barry murmured as he looked over at Eddie, whose gaze had moved from the sun to the park across the street, where they had found the answer to their last clue, a statue of Central City’s founder. “Eddie?”
Smiling sheepishly, Eddie turned and looked at his partner. “Sorry, what’s the clue?”
“I can be read, feel blue, make you green and yellow too, the sun makes me beam, in my corner you must gleam!” Iris recited after reliving Wally of his phone.
“A window?” Eddie tentatively asked. So far, he had provided very little in way of answers because he didn’t want to appear stupid in front of his friends. Not that they would ever make him feel that way, but he knew that he was at a disadvantage when it came to the rest of the group.
With a wide grin, Barry leaned over and kissed Eddie on the cheek before exclaiming, “That’s it!”
“What’s it, Barry?” Iris asked, not really following Barry’s leap in logic.
“The answer is a window,” Barry explained, still grinning proudly at his partner’s smarts. “But it’s a specific kind of window. One that will make you green and yellow…”
“Stained glass,” Wally blurted out, jumping onboard the clue train. “It’s a stained glass window.”
“Of course!” Iris agreed. “Most have passages and when you stand under one, your skin always seems to be green or yellow, even the red panes.”
Reaching out, Barry grabbed Eddie’s hand and tugged. “Come on! St. Margaret’s is 4 blocks away and they have the most impressive stained glass windows in the city.”
Chapter 25: Domestic Mornings
As soon as he entered the kitchen, Barry stopped and smiled at the sight that greeted him, Eddie slumped over the counter, snoring softly. When the police detective had slipped out of bed an hour ago, Barry hadn’t bothered to ask where Eddie was going, but now he knew based on the two half-finished lunches resting beside Eddie’s head.
“Eddie,” Barry murmured as he crossed the threshold on silent feet, trying to not wake the sleeping man. With Christina’s arrival, Eddie had immediately taken paternity leave and thus had taken over running their house, making sure that both Christina and Max were taken care of and Barry hated that he couldn’t help as much as he wanted too.
While Captain Singh had been sympathetic, due to budgeting and staffing issues, he couldn’t spare both of them for more than a couple of weeks. So after a two week vacation, Barry had returned to work, leaving Eddie to take care of both of their children. Fortunately, Singh had agreed to allow Barry to take his paternity leave once Eddie returned from his.
Once he was beside Eddie, Barry laid his hand on the blonde’s shoulder and gently shook him, hating to have to wake him.
Looking over, Barry smiled at Max, who was still in his pajamas and rubbing the sleep from his eyes. It was hard to believe how fast their boy was growing. “You’re up early,” Barry remarked.
“Couldn’t sleep,” Max told him. “Poor dad… he doesn’t sleep enough.”
“Yeah,” Barry agreed before turning his attention back to Eddie, who slept on, despite them talking at a normal volume. “What to help me by finishing our lunches while I get dad back upstairs.”
Max nodded and then bounded over to the counter, ready to help his dads in any way that he could. Opening up the nearest lunchbox, Max peered inside and took inventory of what was already in there before walking over to the refrigerator to grab what he needed to make a couple of simple sandwiches.
“Eddie,” Barry said again as he watched Max move around the kitchen gathering the supplies he needed. “Eddie!” The sharpest of Barry’s tone caused the detective to bolt up his chair, looking around the room widely.
Using the hand still laying on his husband’s shoulder, Barry rubbed circles into Eddie’s t-shirt, which made the blonde finally stop moving his head widely and focus on Barry’s face. “Hey,” Eddie greeted sleepily, following it with a yawn.
“Come on you,” Barry chided while nudging Eddie to his feet. “Back to bed with you.”
“But I need to finish making yours and Max’s lunches,” Eddie protested through a yawn.
Shaking his head, Barry smiled and said, “Max’s on the lunches and you’re going back to bed. Christina should sleep another hour, so take it while you can.”
“No buts, Detective. You are going back to bed!” Barry told him forcibly while giving him a very pointed look, which given his tone caused Max to giggle as he squeezed mustard onto his first, almost finished sandwich. Taking his eyes off Eddie, Barry focused on Max and said, “Hold down the fort until I get back and then I’ll help you.”
Nodding, Max set the mustard down and snapped off a sloppy salute. “Roger,” he giggled, watching and waiting until his dads had left the room before slipping over to the pantry to get his prize, an extra fruit snack for his own lunch. What his dads didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them, right…?
Chapter 26: It's a Bird, It's a Plane...
prompt: Paper Airplane
“Welcome welcome welcome to to—“
“Sorry!” Cisco called back with a sheepish grin, which quickly morphed into a shit-eating one as he said, “To the first annual paper airplane competition.”
With a roll of his eyes, Harrison went back to designing his paper airplane for their make-shift competition. A few days ago, Max had come to S.T.A.R. Labs for help in making and designing a “kick-ass” paper airplane for his school’s competition. Being the type of people they were, everyone had immediately jumped on board.
“Max, my man,” Cisco bellowed as he pointed at the 10-year-old, who was on the other side of the large loading dock. “Wanna grab the measuring tape and measure out twenty-five feet?”
“Sure.” Spinning on his heel, Max bounded over to the center of the room and placed a line of tape on the floor, then began to measure out twenty-five feet like his Uncle Cisco wanted. This competition was going to be so cool and Max couldn’t wait to see and learn how to make his own paper airplane the best possible.
The trio worked in near silence for the next few minutes until Eddie arrived with Christina slung over his shoulder. After a traumatic day at daycare (or at least in her mind), Christina had clung to her blonde dad and refused to let go. “How’s it going?”
“Good,” Max told him, grinning. “We should be ready for the first test run as soon as everyone gets here.”
Eddie nodded. “Your dad is running late. Captain Singh needed his report ASAP, but he’ll get here as soon as he can.”
“Okay!” Max bellowed a little too enthusiastically, causing Christina to jerk awake with a high pitched shriek. “Sorry!” He yelled again as he dashed over to his dad and sister, intending to apologize to his little sister from waking her up from her much needed nap.
When he and dad had arrived at Christina’s daycare, the poor girl was in hysterics and nobody could figure out why. So Eddie had just bundled her into the car and gotten over to S.T.A.R. Labs as quick as he could, hoping that the car ride would lessen her crying… it hadn’t. The only thing that had stopped it was Eddie walking through the halls of S.T.A.R. Labs while bouncing her gently in his arms.
Kissing her temple, Eddie tried to soothe the agitated 2-year-old as he watched Max consult with Harrison Wells over design ideas. Maybe he should talk to Barry about having Snart come and spend the day with Christina, she’d probably like that.
Chapter 27: Summer Loving
prompt: Grape Popsicles
Sighing, Eddie rummaged through the freezer, shifting various cartons of half-empty ice cream before he finally found what he was looking for… the box of popsicles, or the last of it.
“Did you find it?”
Eddie turned his head and called back, “Yeah,” as he opened the box, discovering much to his disappointment that the box’s contents were not what he really wanted. “But there’s only grape left.”
“Bring them anyways!”
With the box in hand, Eddie closed the freezer door and walked back to their bedroom where Barry was exactly as he left him, spread eagle on the bed and clad only in his boxers. Sometime during the night, the central air had gone out and unfortunately, the day’s temperature had swelled to well in the 90s, leaving both men in an uncomfortable situation.
“Now where’s my prize?” Eddie asked, standing in the threshold of the room with a hand on his hip. After 5 rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock—which he only won one round, Eddie had been shoved out of bed and ordered to go get the frozen popsicles out of the freezer. Though Barry had promised that if he did it without complaining, he’d get a prize and Eddie was definitely going to collect.
Barry made a grabby motion and then waited until Eddie was close enough for him to reach out, tugging the police detective onto the bed with him. With Eddie right where he wanted him. Barry took the popsicles from Eddie and set them on the bedside table before pushing his boyfriend onto his back and climbing on top of him, straddling his hips.
“I’m still not a huge fan of grape,” Eddie remarked as Barry grabbed one of the frozen treats and opened it.
“Good thing, you won’t be eating it,” Barry quipped before wrapping his lips around the top of the treat and sucking on it, moaning as the coldness burst across his tongue. Using his free hand, Barry brushed his wondering fingers over the ripples of Eddie’s stomach until he reached the t-shirt’s hem, pushing at it. “Off,” he grunted impatiently, taking the popsicle from his mouth.
Happy to comply, Eddie leaned forward and quickly lost his shirt, throwing it over Barry’s shoulder as the speedster bent forward, laving at Eddie’s lips with a grape flavored tongue. Now that Eddie was distracted by his kisses, Barry took the popsicle and began to trace shapes into Eddie’s chest, grinning when the coldness caused the blonde to jump. “Barry…” Eddie groaned, finally breaking their kiss.
Shifting backwards, Barry stretched across Eddie’s chest and licked at the stickiness the popsicle had left in its wake, teasing Eddie with his tongue. “Like your prize so far,” Barry asked, lifting his head and giving Eddie a wicked grin.
“Is there more?”
With a burst of laughter, Barry started drawing shapes across Eddie’s skin, chasing the sweetness with his mouth. “Like your prize?” Barry asked with touch of faux innocent.
“Does this answer your question?” Eddie retorted, moving just enough for Barry to feel just how much he liked his prize.
Barry hummed. “I guess so,” he teased, lapping at the popsicle juice that had dripped into Eddie’s belly button. “But I wouldn’t be against you showing me…”
“Oh don’t worry, I’ll show you,” Eddie murmured with a slow smile as he proceeded to do just that.
Chapter 28: Happy Birthday
With Christina, Max, and the rest of the kids running circles around the field, Barry took a moment to stare at his gathered family, feeling very thankful for each every one of them. As a child, it had only been him and parents, so he never imagined that his mother’s murder would lead to him gaining more family than he thought possible.
Turning his gaze away from their gathered family, Barry met Iris’s gaze and smiled. “Yeah?”
“Everything okay?” Iris continued with a touch of concern in her voice.
“Just thinking,” Barry told her nonchalantly.
Iris nodded as she came to stand next to Barry, looping her arm through his. “Anything important?”
Shaking his head, Barry focused his attention on his dad and Joe, who appeared to be arguing over the correct way to grill burgers while Cisco and Hartley chimed in with their own suggestions. Yet the funniest part of it was watching Leonard Snart slipped in behind the debating group and throw a couple of burgers on the grill, completely ignoring them.
Originally, Barry had been on the fence about inviting Snart to Christina’s fifth birthday party, but after hearing how much his daughter wanted her uncle at her party, Barry couldn’t say no to the girl. Even though, they were her forever family, Barry knew that without Snart’s selfless act, they would’ve never had the opportunity to know her.
“How long do you think until they notice that Snart bet them to the punch?” Iris asked, her voice breaking him from his thoughts.
Barry shrugged as he mumbled, “Who knows…” With that, the pair fell into a comfortable silence as they continued to watch the comedy of errors that was occurring across the field. Barry didn’t know what was funnier, the fact that Snart was still standing there as he cooked the burgers or the fact that nobody had realized he was there yet.
“Max! Christina! Kids!” Snart shouted, finally making his presence known. “Burgers are ready, come and get them.” And just like that, all the kids took off for the picnic table where Snart was waiting with the cooked burgers.
“He really does love them,” Iris remarked, watching as Max and Christina began making their hamburgers with Snart’s help.
“Yeah, he does,” Barry nodded. “They’re really lucky,” he added softly.
Squeezing Barry’s arm to get his attention, Iris waited until he looked her direction before saying, “No, we’re the lucky ones… for them and for each other, Barr.”
With one last nod, Barry tugged on Iris’s arm, leading his oldest friend down the hill to join the rest of the birthday party. After all, his little girl only turned 5 once and Barry had every intention of enjoying it.
Chapter 29: The Ants Go Marching
“I don’t remember agreeing to this,” Eddie pointed out as Barry continued piling various containers of food onto his already dangerously high load.
“You didn’t,” Barry hummed, focused on making certain that he didn’t forget anything because he didn’t want to have to come back for it. With their new house being at the end of the street, the central location for the neighborhood block party wasn’t exactly in their favor. “Iris saw the invite and thought it would be a perfect way to meet our new neighbors,” Barry reminded him gently.
It wasn’t that they were against meeting their neighbors, it was just they wanted to do it at their own pace. Unfortunately with a friend like Iris, the minute she saw the invitation, she knew that it would be the perfect opportunity to meet their new neighbors, and as she so unhelpfully pointed out, with summer vacation starting, Max would have the chance to make new friends before the school year began in September.
“Oh yeah,” Eddie said while making a face, though Barry couldn’t see it due to all the things in his arms. “Max, you almost ready, buddy?”
“Uh huh,” the six year old yelled from the living room where Barry and Eddie had left him with orders to put on his socks and shoes while they were in the kitchen getting everything together, so they could walk down to the block to the party. “But I can’t get my shoe tied!”
“Hang tight, Max. I’ll be there in a minute,” Barry called back before turning back to Eddie. “You got this?”
Nodding, Eddie then turned his head just enough so he could see around the containers in his arms. “I just need you open the door.”
“On it,” Barry said as he walked ahead of Eddie to their front door. After leaving the door open for Eddie, Barry went to see about Max and his troublesome shoe. “What’s the problem, buddy?”
“It’s all knotted,” Max whine as he held his shoe-clad foot up for his dad’s inspection. “And I couldn’t get the bunny ears right.”
Barry frowned sympathetically then brushed his hand over his son’s hair, feeling the short hairs tickle his palm. “They still hang me up too.”
Barry nodded as he sat down on the coffee table in front of Max. “But don’t worry, you’ll get them. It just takes time and a lot of practice.”
With rapt eyes, Max followed Barry’s movements, watching as the speedster slowly unknotted the offending laces and retied them into a near perfect bow. Once finished, Barry patted the sole of Max’s shoe then stood, signaling that it was time to go. Jumping off the couch, Max followed his dad to the front door, where Eddie was just coming up the stairs.
Taking Max’s hand, Barry crossed the threshold and met Eddie on the front porch, pressing a sweet kiss to his lips. “Looks like it. Let’s get this show on the road.”
“Ready to meet the neighbors, Max?” Eddie asked before he turned on his heel and walked down the stairs again.
“I guess…” Max told them, a bit shy about meeting a bunch of new people. “Can I pull the wagon?”
“Of course,” Barry assured him as they joined Eddie on the driveway where Max’s red wagon was waiting filled to the brim with food and games.
Hopefully, Iris’s urging wouldn’t back fire in their face, especially where Max was concerned. The poor kid had cried for days after they told him they were moving and that he’d no longer be carpooling with Sam to school, never mind that he wasn’t changing schools. Barry didn’t think his heart could take such a sight again if Max didn’t meet any new friends at this block party.
As Max bounded over the wagon, Eddie held out his hand for Barry to take, who smiled as the speedster did just that. “We should have made Iris come,” Eddie remarked while squeezing his husband’s hand.
“And have the whole neighborhood more confused than they already are,” Barry deadpanned, referring to the first Saturday after they closed on the house. With Eddie working the Saturday shift and Max spending the day with Henry, Iris had drug Barry over to the new house to take measurements for new furniture and other furnishings, so she could get a sense of the space before she helped the two men buy furniture to fill the spaces of their new house. It was all going okay until Mrs. Lacy next door had decided to drop by and say hello. Enough said about it the better as far as Barry was concerned. “No thanks.”
Laughing, Eddie pulled Barry into a kiss, right in front of some of their neighbors as they passed in front of their house. “I don’t think that’s going be a problem,” Eddie murmured against his lips once they parted.
Barry snorted but decided against contradicting Eddie… maybe he should stop imagining the worst. With his hand still in Eddie’s, Barry pulled away and turned to Max, who was waiting patiently, well as patiently as a 6-year-old could, and asked, “Ready to roll?”
“Yep!” He chirped before starting down the driveway to the sidewalk, tugging his wagon slowly behind him without a care of whether his dads were following behind. After all, he knew unquestioningly that wherever he went, his dads would never be far behind him.
Chapter 30: May Flowers
prompt: Water a Flower
It had been years since Barry had taken pleasure in sinking his fingers into freshly turned earth, toiling to create life from such little seeds. He could remember kneeling next his mom, helping, as she planted rows and rows of flowers in the garden and along the house’s borders. After her murder, Barry lost a lot of the loves he had with his mom, so he never asked Joe if he could plant flowers at his house, even though he wouldn’t have care (and probably would’ve offended to help). Yet in those early months, Barry had been defiant and found that the only way to rebel was by denying Iris and Joe pieces of himself.
Fortunately, time and truths had helped Barry see reason that 11-year-old Barry lacked, making it a little easier for him to share this tradition with someone he loved… his son.
“Look dad! A worm,” Max shrieked with glee as he held his prize up for Barry to see. Other than a few trips to the local farms on school trips, Max had rarely gotten the chance to dig up the earth and see what he could find underneath.
With the smell of fresh rain still lingering in the air, Barry and Max had trudged into the back garden, allowing Eddie the chance to sleep in. “Can you tell me one fact about worms?” Barry asked, kneeling next to Max so he could get a better look at his son’s find. Early on, Barry had realized that with everything Max did or said there was the opportunity to help Max learn and explore the world around him.
Max’s face screwed up in thought and his tongue poked out slightly from between his lips. “Worms can… re-gen-er-ate?”
“Regenerate,” Barry assured.
“Yeah that,” Max nodded and grinned. “Can I keep him?”
Shaking his head, Barry laughed softly and then said, “If you keep him, Max, he’ll miss all of his friends.”
“Oh,” the little boy replied, frowning at his dad’s answer. “But I can be his friend,” he reasoned while looking at his dad with pleading eyes, but Barry held firm because he had too, otherwise, Eddie would kill him for bringing a worm into the house.
“Max…,” Barry sighed as he laid his hand on Max’s head. “Let’s leave him here and go get the flowers off the porch, okay?”
Max pursed his lips and thought about his dad’s question for a minute or two before agreeing with an enthusiastic nod. With Barry following at a slower pace, Max raced across the damp grass and then jumped onto the porch where all of the flowers (Cornflowers, Azaleas, Hyacinths, and even some daisies) they had picked out at the nursey last weekend had been placed.
Picking up a seedling pot in each hand, Max turned and grinned at Barry before an itchy nose caused him to rub a streak of dirt onto his face. Barry had to bite his lip to keep from laughing as he followed Max’s example and picked up a seedling tray in each hand. “Lead the way, bud,” Barry told him with a slight gesture of his arm.
“Okay!” Max chirped as he did just that. Once back to their plot of toiled earth, Max set his two seedlings on the ground and kneeled, waiting patiently for his dad to join him. And within minutes, after a little direction from Barry, Max was gently placing their new flowers into the pre-dug holes, grinning the whole time. Once all the flowers were planted, Max gazed at his dad and asked, “What’s next?”
“Now, we water.” Lifting the watering can, Barry waited until Max had placed both of little hands on the container before slowly pouring water over the newly planted flowers. “The water will help them grow big,” Barry explained gently with a soft smile on his face.
“Cool,” Max said, his voice full of awe… a sound that Barry knew he’d never get tired of, no matter how old Max got because these were the moments he would cherished for the rest of his days.
Chapter 31: Weekend Getaway
prompt: Couples Meditation
Reaching out, Eddie groped for the menu that Barry had thrown onto the bedside table. With the speedster dozing practically on top of him, Eddie was reluctant to wake his husband just so he could read what the hotel amenities were. Once he had the card, Eddie flipped it over and scanned the offerings, his thoughts wondering if Barry would actually be willing to do anything listed. While this weekend was supposed to be a chance for them to reconnect as a couple, Eddie wouldn’t put it pass Barry to try and spend the whole time in bed.
“Couples meditation,” Eddie read off softly, making certain to keep his voice low to not awake the man next to him; unfortunately, sometimes it seemed like Barry had gotten super hearing in addition to super speed.
“Aren’t we doing that right now?” Barry murmured sleepily as he snuggled closer to Eddie, doing his best impression of a gopher burrowing a hole.
With a chuckle, Eddie pressed a kiss into Barry’s hair and then turned on his side, pulling his husband flush against his chest. Over the years, Eddie had discovered that sleepy Barry was his favorite Barry because it was the only time that he allowed all his guilt go, even if it was just for a little while. “I don’t think this is what they mean,” Eddie teased.
“Then they aren’t doing it right,” Barry retorted, his eyes already fluttering close again as he started to doze off again, but not before adding, “I love you, Eddie.”
“Love you too, Barr,” Eddie told him before resting his lips on Barry’s forehead in a not-quite kiss. On second thought, after 15 years of marriage and two kids, they had definitely earned themselves a break, and three days in bed with Barry didn’t sound like such a bad idea, after all…