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Calling That A Win

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He found Harry back down in the accelerator room. Because Harry was a morbid bastard sometimes. Of course he was. You'd think they'd all be used to that by now.

Cisco didn't say anything for a couple of minutes. He probably should, it was kinda creepy to be standing in a doorway staring at the guy, but ... Harry looked like he needed a couple of minutes. So did Cisco, before he walked back into that room. So he waited, watching Harry stand there in front of the machine with his hands laced behind his head, the muscles in his back all stiff and rigid and exhausted. Cisco wiped a hand across his face and waited.

"... You going to say something or are you just going to stand there all day?" Harry asked eventually. Without moving, without turning around, with no indication whatsoever that he'd even known Cisco was there before he spoke. Cisco would be weirded out, but, you know. Harry. He shook his head and ambled into the room instead. Harry turned to look at him. Brought his hands down off his head to rub at his shoulder instead, the picture of nervy, ramped-up exhaustion. Yeah. Cisco knew the feeling. It'd been a rough few days, all right?

"So," he said, drifting to a halt beside the man, looking carefully up at him instead of over at the source-of-their-misery-machine. "So that happened. All that ..." He waved a hand vaguely in the air. "That happened, huh?"

Harry's face did a thing. A tired, complicated, 'I want to snark at you but actually no' sort of thing. He shook his head and rubbed both palms across his face.

"Yes," he said, dropping the words with exasperated irony. "All of that did, in fact, happen. Excellent observation, Ramon."

Cisco smiled at him. He felt it, felt it go a little weird around the edges, felt the quiver where his face wanted to do something else, like maybe start crying. Which was stupid, you know, they were actually up on where they'd been a few hours ago and kind of for the last few days as well. They were up. They had Barry back, they had Barry's speed, Jesse and Wally weren't dead or even in a coma anymore. Nobody was dead. They were on the up. Of course they were. Everything that could have gone wrong had gone wrong, and then it had gone right again. Which almost never happened, so, you know. He should be more grateful for it. He should be a-okay with smiling right now, even if it was at Harry.

Just ... long day. Long few weeks. Too many things to be worried for and scared of at once.

"... I think it was the zombie that got me," he said, breathing out something like a laugh and moving over to sit himself gingerly on the steps. Harry, after a complicated second, followed him. Sat down beside him, even, a tall streak of gloom and exhaustion. Cisco leaned over slightly against his arm. "I mean, all the rest of it too, obviously. Seriously, is it so much to ask for things not to be complicated around here? But the zombie was just ... Why? Why was that a thing the universe thought needed to happen? Do we not have enough problems already without literally raising them from the dead for us as well?"

He meant that, too. It wasn't just ... Like, the zombie was probably actually the least of his worries, had been even at the time, what with people ... dying and undying and waking from comas and Caitlin still missing and Barry lost in the Speed Force and everything, the whole shit, but the zombie was just ... just that little thing extra where you just had to ask why. Why did the universe hate them that much. Seriously, what had they done?

Harry huffed out a breath, a little chuckle sort of a thing. Creaking around the edges, wanting to be a different sort of sound. He sat there beside Cisco shaking his head.

"Do you want me to repeat the line about tragedy and farce?" he asked lightly, looking over at Cisco with genuine humour in his eyes. Mostly hysterical humour, but still. "Because it is getting hard to tell the difference, I'll grant you that. Clearly something has a sense of humour where we're concerned. A perverse one, but nonetheless."

Cisco blinked at him in dismay. They were getting tired, he thought. That's what this was. They were tired, and it was nearly worse when something went right, worse because there was this gap, this place to feel it in, and seriously after all this shit they were really. Really tired. Very tired. And they weren't anywhere close to done yet. This whole thing, it just kept going. Zoom, that fucker, he just would not stop. And then the universe threw other shit on top of them as well, because why not, they were good enough at juggling so far. Except no, except not, they were dropping balls all over the place, and great. Now Cisco was imagining Harry in a clown suit juggling pulse rifles with that grim, dead serious expression in the middle of it. O-kay. With the zombies and the absurdity and okay. Okay. He was officially losing the plot over here, just a little bit. Good to know. Okay.

He groaned, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees and scrub helplessly at his face. Harry twitched a bit beside him, a half-aborted motion of concern. Cisco could feel the man staring at him, hovering anxiously with that constipated expression where he didn't know how to care about people. Doing it anyway, putting this angry, panicked caring out there because he couldn't actually help it, but not knowing what to do about it. With anyone, probably not even his daughter. God, Harry was messed in the head. They all were. Getting worse about it all the time.

"... Jesse's okay, isn't she?" Cisco asked at last, leaning back and looking over at him. Harry blinked at him, transparently worried, but nodded carefully nonetheless. That flicker of an expression across his face, that thing that was always there when they were talking about his daughter. Cisco nodded back at it. He looked forward again, at the machine, and shoved a hand determinedly through his hair. "Jesse's okay. Wally's okay. And Barry, Barry's okay. It worked. We're mostly okay, or at least not dead yet. So you know what? I'm calling this one a win. Just ... we're calling it a win. It could have gone ... and it didn't. So. Win. Right there. Don't even argue with me."

Harry blinked at him for a second. Then he opened his mouth, of course he did, he had that look on his face where he argued just for the sake of it, just because Cisco had said something and Harry was physically compelled not to let that ride. Harry opened his mouth, to remind Cisco about Zoom or Caitlin or all the myriad ways the universe was still out to kill them all in increasingly ridiculous ways, and then ...

Then he stopped. Then he closed his mouth again, then he looked ahead and let his shoulders slump and reached up to scrub a hand through the mess of his own hair in turn. He curled his fingers in the back of it, grabbed a fistful and gripped for a second, that complicated expression flickering across his face. I want to snark at you but no. Not now. Just ... none of that right now. Harry blew out a breath, pulled his hand slowly and carefully out of his hair, and nodded silently to himself and Cisco both.

"Okay," he said. Just that, all quiet and tired and determined. "Okay. It could have gone ... so much worse, and it didn't. We got Barry's speed back, and we didn't ..." He made a face, fluttered a hand through the air. "We didn't kill anyone doing it, at least not permanently. So. Yes. This one, we'll call it good."

And there was a thing in that, a very personal sort of relief, but Cisco got that. He'd been on the roof with the lightning rod, he'd been in the cage reaching through dimensions to grab onto what they'd lost. He got it. That relief was okay by him.

"Damn straight," he said, maybe a second too late to be casual about it, but Harry didn't seem to mind that. Harry looked over at him, a wearier but more honest sort of smile on his face, and Cisco leaned over and punched him gently on the shoulder. "We're good, we did good, and we're just ... we're gonna keep doing that, and sooner or later we're gonna fix it all. Fix everything. Caitlin and ... and Zoom and everything. We're the man, and we're gonna do that. Somehow. Right?"

Harry opened his mouth, and Cisco looked at him, and Harry visibly scrunched up his face around the instinctive scepticism for a second, holding back the doom and the gloom with what looked like a mighty effort, and then Harry blew out his breath and nodded at him. Harry let it out, let the tension slump all the way of him, and Harry nodded.

"Somehow," he agreed wryly, a grim, tired clown who hadn't killed anybody yet, despite his own and the universe's best efforts to the contrary. "Sure, Cisco. Why not?"

"Just shut up and go with the flow, Harry," Cisco said, leaning back in against the man, companionably and somewhat more happily now. Harry leaned into it too, after a second. Stiff and hesitant and too damned tired to give a shit anymore. Harry sighed once and leaned against him in return. "We're not dead. Just for this, this ten minutes or so, we're just gonna be happy about that, okay? Shelve the doom and gloom. There's gonna be more than enough of it soon enough anyway. Right here and now, we're gonna sit here, and we're gonna be happy, and we're gonna call this one a win. Okay?"

Harry shook his head, his mouth curling a bit into the strangest sort of smile Cisco had ever seen, but he didn't argue. "Whatever you say, Ramon. Whatever you say."

Cisco nodded firmly. "Damn right," he said. And then, after a minute, because Harry and silence didn't go well and because he couldn't quite help it:

"Seriously, though. Zombies. What did we do that this is our life?"