Chapter 1: Jamie Dwyer: PG-13 Movies Are Overrated
Barry is 7 and he's at his best friend's house. His best friend is Jamie Dwyer, who lives two doors down from Barry and has two older brothers, which means he has all the best toys. He also has a babysitter who lets the two of them watch PG-13 movies as long as they're quiet and don't tell their parents about it. For the first time in their lives, Barry and Jamie feel like the coolest kids around, even if they can't really tell anyone about the movies they're watching. The actual movies don't tend to live up to the thrill of the idea of them--someone says "damn" every so often, but Jamie's Aunt Connie says worse stuff all the time. Mostly, people seem to kiss a lot more.
"I thought this would be cool," Jamie says. He's lying upside down on the couch, making a face at the TV, where the two main characters seem to be trying to lick each other's mouths for some reason.
"Maybe it's cool when you're old?" Barry suggests. He doubts it. It looks gross.
"Let's try it," Jamie says. "Maybe it's cool now."
"I don't want to touch your spit," Barry says.
"What if it's awesome?" Jamie asks, sitting up. His hair is sticking straight up and his face is bright pink. "What if it's really awesome and we get to be the first kids at school to know?"
"No," Barry says. On screen, the couple are kissing again. He doesn't get it. Maybe Jamie has a point. "OK. Let's try it."
He shifts so he's facing Jamie on the couch and leans in. The first thing he learns about kissing is that if you try to go straight on in, you just end up smacking noses. The second thing he learns is that adults have a weird idea of how to spend their time, because kissing is just kind of weird, and gross, and he still doesn't want to touch Jamie's spit.
"Adults are gross," he says.
"Yeah," Jamie agrees. "Want to go see if we can get the Oreos before she notices?"
"Uh huh," Barry says.
The Oreos are way better than his first kiss.
Chapter 2: Zach Ennis: (Not So) Homesick At Space Camp
Barry is 16 and he's at Space Camp. Space Camp is awesome. Space Camp is perfect. He wants to spend the rest of his life at Space Camp, where being an awkward, excitable nerd is a good thing and not a reason to get the crap kicked out of him. Everyone here is as into science and geeky things as he is, and they're getting to do awesome, geeky, sciency things every day. This is where Barry belongs.
Plus, they have space ice cream. Space ice cream is amazing. Barry never wants to eat normal Earth food again.
His team is Team Ride, and he's a little bit in love with every single person on it, but especially with Zach Ennis. Zach is 16 as well, and he laughs at Barry's terrible jokes and argues with him about physics and has beautiful blue eyes that Barry sometimes stares into a little too long. Luckily, Zach either doesn't notice or doesn't mind, and Barry's prone to spacing out enough that no one else seems to think anything of it.
Yesterday they'd build space landers for eggs and Team Ride had won, so they get first dibs on seats at the astronomy show today. Barry had been to the one in Central City before, wih Joe and Iris, and he knew that the best spot was right in the middle, but when Zach grabs him by the wrist and pulls him to the very back row, he goes along easily. They settle into their seats and watch the rest of their campmates settle in below, a few drifting up towards them but most staying closer to the front, where the presenter was setting up.
"You know, there's a better view down there," Barry says.
"I know," Zach says. "But up here no one can see us."
"What--" Barry starts, but the presenter calls for silence and the lights start to dim, so he stops talking and looks up as the room fills with stars. He's never spent much time out of the city, where light pollution blocks out most of the stars, and the first time he'd seen how many there really were out there, it had taken his breath away. Even now he's awed by it, picking out the constellations and following the spill of the Milky Way across the ceiling. He's so absorbed in the show that he nearly yelps when Zach reaches out and takes his hand.
At first, he assumes that Zach just wanted to get his attention, but moments pass and Zach remains quiet, his fingers intertwined with Barry's. It's too dark to get a good look at Zach's face, but Barry can feel his heart pounding in his chest. He wonders if this is really happening.
"Barry," Zach says, voice barely audible over the presenter's speech about the use of stars in navigation. "Want to make out?"
"Yes," Barry says, and he's hoping that the whisper hides the fact that his voice just cracked.
"Good," Zach says.
It's awkward. They bump noses three times before they manage the first kiss, and the armrest between them digs into Barry's ribs when he leans over it to get a better angle. It's also amazing, once they figure things out--Barry's had a little bit of experience with kissing, but not much; Zach seems to know what he's doing, though, and it doesn't take much for Barry to get giddy with the feel of Zach's mouth against his. The fact that they have to be quiet so no one notices just makes it more exciting, although Barry really doesn't want to get caught.
They miss the rest of the presentation, completely absorbed in each other, and only break apart when the lights start to rise. Zach's mouth is dark pink and wet and Barry tries very, very hard not to stare at him. He's pretty sure he looks equally guilty, but he doesn't entirely care.
"We should do that again some time," Zach whispers as the presenter starts taking questions.
"Definitely," Barry agrees. He can't stop grinning.
Space Camp is awesome.
Chapter 3: Roy Harper: Under Cover & Under Surveillance
Barry is 26, and he's holding hands with Roy Harper. This is weird, and not just because he knows Felicity is watching them on every camera they walk past. Barry can't shake the feeling that if he so much as leans into Roy, Ollie's going to appear on one of the rooftops and threaten to shoot him, even though he knows that's ridiculous. He's doing this because of Ollie--which is weird enough on its own, really. But there have been three hate crimes against gay couples in the last week, and Oliver Queen's a little too recognizeable to go walking around holding Roy's hand, and Diggle's out chasing down a lead on his brother, so. So Barry's here, in Star City, holding Roy's hand in an area that's not exactly known for being welcoming.
If Barry's honest with himself, it's not really a hardship to hold Roy Harper's hand. Roy's attractive, not quite Barry's type, but still. He's not hard on the eyes, and he's got warm hands, and it's maybe been a while since Barry's had someone to hold hands with. Not that this counts, really. But it's still nice, even if it's weird.
"Anything?" Felicity says into his ear. He jumps slightly and catches an amused quirk of Roy's lips out of the corner of his eye.
"Nothing yet," he mutters. "Other than a couple of old ladies glaring. It couldn't be old ladies, could it? Maybe they're hitting people with canes."
"Probably not," Felicity says. "Maybe try pushing things a bit?"
"Are you asking us to make out?" Barry hisses, glancing at Roy again.
"For justice!" Felicity says.
"I--" Barry says. He can feel his cheeks flushing.
"Sure," Roy says, giving Barry an amused look. "For justice, right?" And he winks, which--okay, he's not Barry's type, but that's not fair. So Barry doesn't resist as Roy turns towards him and rests his hands on Barry's hips.
They take a few seconds to get situated, Barry having to nudge Roy's chin up to get the angle right--it's obvious that Roy's not used to kissing someone taller than he is. When their lips meet, it's tentative, but when Barry tries to back off, Roy tugs him closer. Barry decides that means he's got permission to make this a little more realistic, and he rests his hand on the back of Roy's neck, deepening the kiss. Roy doesn't resist in the least, meeting Barry halfway, one hand sliding along Barry's hip to rest on his lower back. There's absolutely no reason for Roy to slip him some tongue for the display they're putting on, but Barry isn't complaining.
"Oh wow," Felicity says, completely breaking the moment. Barry starts laughing into the kiss and Roy steps back, looking sheepish but pleased.
"Anything?" Roy asks.
"Um," Felicity says. "I may have been a little distracted. Let me see--two guys just came out of that hardware store, and they don't look happy. They're not on the move, though, just standing in the doorway. Maybe you should kiss again?"
"Are we doing this to keep the streets safe or to provide you with a show?" Roy mutters, but he pulls Barry back in with a grin.
Barry has to work at not getting distracted this time, but soon enough Felicity's saying, "They're heading over to you. A third guy's coming from the other direction. They must have called for backup. I don't see any weapons, but that doesn't mean they're unarmed."
"I think we've got this," Roy says against Barry's mouth. "Pretend to notice them, take off down that alley to our left. You can zip off and do your quick change thing--I'll hold down the fort."
"Got it," Barry says, and kisses Roy again, just because he can.
The plan goes smoothly. The assholes were expecting to take on a couple of regular guys on a date, not Arsenal and the Flash, and the whole thing is over in about five seconds. It's nearly anti-climactic, but Barry feels good about it anyway. Felicity uses her techno powers to stop the hardware shop's owner from erasing his security files, and everything and everyone gets turned over to the cops, with the bigots already turning on each other for getting caught.
"Fuckin' should have known that anyone who runs around dressed like that is a little faggot," one of them says, spitting at Roy. Roy just waves at him as a cop hauls him back to the cruiser.
"Want a ride back to your HQ?" Barry asks once the excitement is over.
"How about my place?" Roy asks, and the look he gives Barry makes his meaning pretty clear.
"I'm gonna log off now," Felicity says. "Right now. Have fun and be safe! Not--like--well, yes, like that, okay, sorry, going now!"
Barry starts laughing, then says, "As long as Felicity doesn't have your place under surveillance, sure."
"You know, she probably does. Do you care that much?" Roy says.
Barry considers it. "No," he decides.
Chapter 4: Oliver Queen: I'm Tabloid Famous on Earth-5, I Swear
Barry is 26, and he's on another Earth. Specifically, he's in Earth-5's Star City, which is stunningly gorgeous, all big parks and tall glass spirals, oddly hushed without traffic. From where he's standing, he can hear children playing nearby, and a lively conversation in what sounds like Esperanto, frequently broken up by laughter. He can't hear any sign of the meta he'd been chasing, nor of the police-bots that had been chasing him as he'd been chasing the meta. Given that his target was eight feet tall and roared when cornered, Barry is going to assume that he's lost the trail for now.
He finds a local park and flops onto a bench, running a hand through his hair. If he could just get home, he'd leave the city's police-bots to deal with the meta on their own, but the portal-creating meta who'd sent him here had disappeared as well. So far, he's spent two days tracking any kind of meta activity that he can find, none of which has resulted in anything more than a headache. He's been reduced to using his speed to steal food just to stay alive--darting in and out of the city's grocery stores, never taking more than a couple of things from each, but he still feels awful about it.
Not for the first time, Barry's eyes are drawn to the tallest, prettiest spire in the city, with QUEEN emblazoned along it from every angle. He's heard a few mentions of Oliver Queen on the news, and his archer alter-ego in this Earth seems to be no secret. If anyone might know where to find the meta he's hunting, Green Arrow seems like a good possibility. Barry's just not sure of his own place in this world, and he doesn't want to show up in Oliver's office building only to find out that he's a known villain or dead or something. If he could figure out this Earth's internet, he'd look himself up, but everything seems to require some kind of id scan that he doesn't have. He could pick-pocket someone for their card, but he can't quite bring himself to cross that line. He'll have to find another way.
He's half-asleep, soaking in the sunlight and taking this moment to recharge, when he hears someone say, "Excuse me, are you Barry Allen?"
The speaker is a kid, maybe 12 or so, staring at him with wide brown eyes. He looks nervous, but not scared, which Barry takes as a good sign.
"Yes," he says, curious as to what's going on.
"Like, the Barry Allen? The Flash?" the kid asks.
"Yes," Barry says again, pleased to hear that he's the Flash here too. On Earth-4, he'd been the Streak. Again.
"Cooool," the kid says. "You're my favourite hero! Can you sign this?"
He pulls out a notebook, which has Barry's face on it with the Flash mask on one half of it. He hands Barry a marker and Barry signs it, feeling incredibly awkward--what if this version of him has a totally different signature? What if the kid figures something out?--but the kid looks delighted, so he figures that things are alright.
"Thanks!" the kid says. "Any chance your husband is around?"
Barry blinks twice at him, absorbing that information and wondering about the kind of world where he was an openly queer and still beloved hero, one who isn't afraid to have his identity known. For a brief moment, he wants to stay, but this isn't his home, and the people he loves are back on Earth-1. This world is beautiful and intriguing, but it's not his.
"Sorry, not at the moment," he tells the kid, who sighs.
"Well, you're the cooler one anyway," the kid says.
"Thanks, buddy," Barry replies. "That means a lot to me."
The kid ducks his head, looking flustered, and takes off at a run towards his friends.
Barry looks up at the Queen building again and decides it's worth a shot. At least he knows he's alive and liked.
The office spiral is even more stunning up close. The glass is crystal clear and glowing softly as the sun starts to set, with beautiful designs carved into it around the entrance. Barry stops to examine them, spotting an arrow motif, something that looks like the wiring on a computer chip, a frost pattern, feathers, a sun, and something that might be lightning. He wonders if the designs represent various heroes--a few look pretty familiar--and if so, whether this is their headquarters.
He steps into the atrium, which has the same ambient glow as the outside and is filled with plants. The receptionist looks up and smiles brightly when she sees him.
"Mr. Allen! I wasn't expecting you this early. I'll let Mr. Queen know you're on your way up."
"Thank you," he says. He drifts over towards the elevators, which he's relieved to see aren't made of glass, and steps onto the one that opens. There aren't any buttons to be found, but he hears a familiar voice say, "Which floor, Mr. Allen?"
"Oliver's office, please, Gideon," he says, hoping that her name remains the same in this universe.
"Of course. One moment."
The elevator rises smoothly; he's surprised to see how high up he is when he steps out of the doors on arrival. The wall of windows across from him looks out over the city, now lit rose-gold with the setting sun.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Oliver asks, coming to stand next to him. "I know you like dawn best, but I think this is prettier."
Barry turns to him, ready to explain his situation, but Ollie's cupping his cheek with one hand and leaning in, and Barry barely has time to register that Ollie's about to kiss him before their mouths are pressed together. He's too startled to do much more than go wide-eyed, and Ollie steps back with a frown.
"Wait," he says, after a second. "You're not my Barry, are you?"
"No," Barry says, intensely relieved that Oliver seems to be aware of doppelgangers. "No, sorry. I'm from another Earth."
Ollie looks sheepish. "I probably should have figured that out. You look a little different, and you're not wearing your wedding ring."
Barry glances down at Ollie's hand, spotting a gold band on his ring finger that appears to have the Flash symbol on it. The kid's question about his husband comes back to him, and he smiles.
"I meant to tell you, but you moved a little fast, even for me," Barry says.
"I take it we're not together on your Earth?" Ollie asks, stepping back and gesturing towards the plush chairs by the windows. Barry settles into one. "Do you want a drink? Water? Tea?"
"Water, please," Barry says. "And no, we're not. You're--taken. And we're just friends."
Ollie nods and brings Barry a glass of sparkling water. "Well, that's my loss, I guess," Ollie says with a charming smile. "So how did you end up here?"
Barry tells him the whole story, and Ollie nods along. It's so relieving to find someone who understands not just about metahumans, but about the multiverse and travel between it.
"You're not the first extra-dimensional visitor we've had," Ollie says, smiling. "And a number of us have made our own excursions into other Earths. A tip from someone who knows--if you find yourself in an Earth where everyone's got little imps sitting on their shoulders, get out of there as soon as possible."
"Noted," Barry says. "Any idea if there's someone around who could help me get home?"
"Sure," Ollie says. "We've got a portal system in the basement. It's one-way only, so we don't use it much, but that's what you need. I'll get Vibe in here to tune it up, and we'll get you home safe and sound."
"Oh thank god," Barry says, collapsing back on the couch in relief. "This place is amazing, it really is--I wish my Earth were a little more like it, really--but I just want to see my friends and sleep in my own bed."
"Well, I'll call up Cisco right now, and in the meantime, I bet you could use a good meal or four."
Barry ends up in the basement of his own Earth's Queen Consolidated--Palmer Tech, these days--and after a frantic explanation to a very unsettled Ollie, he's being hugged by both Oliver and Felicity, with Diggle giving him a friendly if wary pat on the shoulder once he's released.
"So, you met another me?" Ollie asks. "What was he like?"
"Well, I'm not supposed to say anything," Barry says. "But I will tell you that he's a great kisser."
Ollie's eyebrows shoot up and Felicity looks at Barry with her mouth open.
"Barry! You can't just say that and not share details!" she says. "I want to hear all about you making out with Oliver!"
She turns red as Oliver turns to look at her, but Barry just laughs.
Chapter 5: Leonard Snart: Cold in the Cold
Barry is 28, and he's on a rooftop, staring down into a dimly lit, trash-filled alley. In an hour or so, that alley should--by all reports--be filled with members of both the Santini family and the Colella family, there to put the finishing touches on a deal that will see them form a tentative alliance, the first ever truce between the two sets of mobsters. The Organized Crime department at work has been on this case for months, wiretaps and pigeons and double and triple overtime, and when Barry had left work that evening, the nervous tension in the air had been enough to set him on edge. For the cops waiting all around him, tonight is going to be one of the biggest busts of their career.
For Barry, tonight involves being on a rooftop in his Flash gear, bored, cold, and tired. The weather has been dismal for the last week, and tonight it's worse than ever, with a pervasive cold, damp wind that sucks the heat right out of him even as he keeps moving to keep his temperature up. If he hadn't promised Joe he'd be here keeping an eye on things, he'd be at home, in a hoodie, with a cup of hot chocolate and the most ridiculous sounding pseudo-documentary he could find on Netflix. Instead, he's hoping that his super-healing skills also work on colds and pneumonia, because he's pretty sure he's never going to get warm again.
"My kind of weather," someone says from behind him.
Barry barely avoids yelping, turning to glare at Captain Cold as the other man chuckles. Barry amends his previous thought--tonight is a pretty big night for him, because it's the first night that Joe's ever specifically included Len in a request for Barry's assistance. Given that Len's been working alongside him on and off for almost two years now, the invitation is long overdue.
"I should have volunteered you to be the one keeping watch," Barry says. "You've got a parka."
"Mm, but planning has never been your forté," Len says, smirking. "I assume nothing has happened."
"Nada," Barry says. He rubs his arms using his speed, trying to keep them warm. "I know I shouldn't want the bad guys to break from the plan, but the faster they exchange goods, the faster I can go home."
Len shakes his head and leans back against the wall of the stairwell. "Patience is a virtue, hero," he says.
Barry looks back out over the alley and tries not to shiver. "Maybe I should have asked Green Arrow for advice on lurking on rooftops, waiting for criminals to do their dastardly deeds," he says. "This is really more his deal than mine."
There's silence from his partner and Barry glances back. Usually Len's got something sharp to say about Ollie; the couple of times they've ended up working together, they've bristled at each other like angry cats. Len's just looking at Barry with a frown.
"What?" Barry asks, rubbing his arms again.
"You've really been standing out here in this weather in that suit?" Len says. "Skin-tight leather--"
"It's not leather," Barry says, rolling his eyes.
"I know," Len says, with a smirk. "But still. It's made for heat and friction, not for keeping out a chill."
Barry laughs. "Since when are you the mothering type?" he asks, just as a particularly cold gust of wind catches him and his teeth chatter a little.
"Maybe I just don't want to explain to Detective West that the first time he trusted me to watch your back, you died of exposure," Len says. He pushes off the wall and walks over to Barry, unzipping his parka. Barry looks at him in confusion as Len shrugs out of it, then reaches out and settles it around Barry's shoulders. The movement brings them closer together, Len less than an arm's length away, and Barry leans into his warmth without even being aware he's moving. He can smell Len's aftershave on the parka and his heart skips a beat in his chest, or maybe it just starts beating so fast that even Barry can't feel it. He really hopes that no one at STAR Labs is about to freak out about his vitals, because trying to explain that it's just his crush on Len acting up again would be pretty embarrassing.
Barry's so startled by Len's closeness that he doesn't even register that he's now wearing Len's nice, warm parka for a few seconds. When he does, he blinks, eyes widening, and says, "Oh!"
Len's smirk is belied by the fond look in his eyes, the one that sometimes makes Barry think he might have a chance. He's never acted on those thoughts--it's only recently that they've even figured out how to work together without Barry getting frustrated by Len's plans and Len getting frustrated by Barry's lack of plans, and the friendship between them is still tentative and new. Barry doesn't want to make things uncomfortable and weird and drive Len away by pushing for something more than this, even if he does end up distracted by how blue Len's eyes are and the way one corner of his mouth tucks in slightly more when he's really smiling.
"Better?" Len asks.
Barry nods. Len goes to step away and Barry reaches out, catching him by both wrists and earning a surprised look from Len.
"Won't you be cold?" Barry asks.
"I'm fine," Len says, but when Barry lets him go he stays there, close enough that even in the faint light lingering from the sunset, Barry can see the thoughtful look on Len's face. He licks his lips nervously as Len continues to stare at him, and Len's eyes flicker down to Barry's mouth. Barry breathes in sharply as Len leans in towards him--
And from below, there's the unmistakable sound of a gunshot and a return volley. Barry groans, then says, "Ready?" to Len, who nods, his jawline tense.
A second later, the two of them are in the middle of an all-out gang war, Barry zipping through the mobsters and whisking weapons out of hands and bullets out of the air, while Len--parka back in place--freezes both sides in place, ice building up around expensive Italian loafers. It's a method that they'd worked out for any situation that involved multiple combatants who needed to be taken out quickly, and it works well. By the time the cops arrive, the families are trapped and disarmed, although the threats that the younger members are screaming back and forth are loud enough for Barry to count them as some kind of sonic weapon. Maybe he should get Hartley to look into making some earplugs.
"Good work, both of you," Joe says, walking up to them and nodding. Barry glances over at Len, whose stoic expression doesn't quite hold up in the face of actual approval from Joe. He beams at his foster father, who shakes his head with a smile. "Fine, yes, I admit it--you work well together. But be careful."
"Yeah, yeah," Barry says. "Gotta run, we were having an important conversation before these jerks decided to ruin this lovely evening."
"Lovely evening?" Len asks, amused, but Barry's too busy grabbing him and running back up to the roof. He puts Len down exactly where he had been before the shots had rung out, and grabs Len's parka to wrap back around himself.
Len blinks at the resetting of the scene, then laughs and reaches out to push the hood back, his hand dropping to brush against Barry's cheek softly before coming to rest on Barry's shoulder.
"I take it this is a sign that I should try that again?" he asks. Barry nods, trying not to let the butterflies he's feeling show. Len leans in again and Barry tilts his head up, keeping his eyes open to look into Len's as their mouths meet, the kiss surprisingly soft and gentle and yet hot enough to spark lightning inside Barry's blood. He melts against Len, resting his hands on Len's hips and closing his eyes to focus on the feelings running through his body, the heat of Len's mouth countering the chill in the air. When Len breaks the kiss with a soft sigh, Barry stays pressed warm against him.
"Wow," Barry says.
"Are we cool?" Len asks, and he keeps a straight face even as Barry collapses against his shoulder, laughing so hard there are tears in his eyes.
"You," Barry says once he can breathe again, and he can't figure out what to say after that so he just leans in and kisses Len again, smiling through it.
Chapter 6: Epilogue: I Did It For The Puns
This part is TK's fault.
Len sniffles. Barry gives him a concerned look, but Len's neutral face is in full effect, and he's pointedly looking at the news footage playing on the big screen in the labs. Bethany Snow is covering the night's raid, which means it's a big time story, and even though Len pretends otherwise, Barry knows he's vain enough to enjoy seeing his heroics make the news.
"Continuing to surprise those who doubt his change of heart, Captain Cold seems to have gained the trust of the Central City Police Department above and beyond his role in the metahuman task force. Cold, along with the Flash, helped CCPD take down--"
Everyone turns to look at him and he scowls, then sneezes again.
"Oh my god," Barry says. "You have a cold."
"I do not," Len snaps. "I'm just allergic to--" A third sneeze interrupts him.
"Cold's got a cold," Cisco says. "I would have figured you'd be immune, man, what with your whole schtick and the parka and all that."
Len fixes him with a withering glare and Cisco shrugs, the glare having lost its effectiveness months ago. Barry takes a few seconds to will himself not to blush at the mention of the parka and edges closer to Len on the couch.
"Hey, Caitlin, am I immune to getting a cold?" he asks.
Caitlin hums thoughtfully. "Probably not immune to getting one, but you'd burn through it pretty quickly," she says.
"This is what I get for being nice," Len mutters, curling up on the couch with an annoyed expression. "A cold."
"Wait, you were nice?" Cisco asks.
Barry goes to stand up--he doesn't want to get caught in this particular war of words--and then yelps as Len's hand latches onto his wrist and holds him in place.
"Oh no you don't," Len says. "It's your fault I'm sick, so you're going to keep me company." Barry's eyes go wide as Len tugs him onto the couch and wraps a possessive arm around Barry's shoulders. "Stay put, space heater."
"Um," Cisco says, eyes flickering back and forth between Len's challenging expression and Barry's flustered one. Caitlin looks less confused and more pleased, which is almost more concerning. Barry waits a few seconds, then gives up and snuggles into Len's side. His friends would have found out sooner or later, and he may as well be comfortable.
There's a long moment of silence, broken by Len sneezing.
"I'll make you a cup of tea," Caitlin says. "Barry, if you start feeling any symptoms of a cold, let me know--I want to monitor you." She smiles at them both before getting up to head into the lab's kitchenette.
Cisco remains staring at them, although by now his expression has shifted to thoughtful. Barry is starting to worry.
"So, if you guys are--" and here, Cisco makes a hand gesture that Barry doesn't even want to try to interpret-- "does that mean it's cool if I ask Lisa out? I mean, if we're going to go with the whole dating converted villain things, I just want in on the ground floor."
Barry feels Len growl more than hears it, but then Len sighs and sniffles again. "Lisa likes you," he says, relaxing back into the couch again. "Go for it. I'm not even going to threaten you over it."
"Only because you know I know you'd kill me," Cisco says, grinning when Len nods. "She'd kill me first, though, and I'm not that stupid."
"So we're cool?" Barry asks. Cisco stares at him in shock and Barry thinks that maybe he's wrong, maybe this isn't something Cisco is okay with, except--
"Oh god, no, the puns are sexually transmitted," Cisco says.
Caitlin walks in just in time to hear that, and her look of absolute horror is enough to get Barry and Cisco cracking up. Even Len huffs a laugh as he accepts the mug graciously.
Once he's done laughing and has caught his breath, Barry snuggles in closer to Len and sighs happily as Len presses a kiss against the top of his head. Barry's aware that he's probably going to catch a cold now, but he's also caught a Cold of his very own, and that's definitely worth a few sneezes.