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Unexpected Development

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Len gets his one phone call in the holding cells of the CCPD and blanches, not that any cop would ever be able to tell. Mick is in the next holding cell over, roaring and hissing like he loves to do whenever he’s surrounded by pigs of the two-legged variety, but he sees it all the way down the hall. He waits till Len’s been tossed back into his cell and then pounds on the wall, snarling death threats. They’ve developed any number of codes over the years for situations where they can’t talk, and there’s a few that play on Mick’s supposed crazy.

This one says did something go wrong with the escape plan? because Len wouldn’t have taken them out in front of the television unless he had a specific escape plan for their inevitable capture. Likely something at the prison, or maybe in the process of transfer; Mick was holding out hope that Lisa would be involved – it’d been years, since obviously Len had won her in their little split, so he was looking forward to seeing how even more kickass she’d gotten.

“There’s no need for you to make so much noise, Mick,” Len calls back.

Interesting. That’s code for yeah something’s gone wrong and we’re going with plan B, because otherwise Len would’ve managed to fit in the word ‘Relax’ in there somewhere.

“You got us into this, Snart!” he roars back, meaning so what’s the plan, boss?

“You really ought to learn to trust me by now,” Len replies, which means we’re going to bust out of here right now which, holy crap, really? Something bad must’ve gone down on the phone.

Len leans as far out as he can from the holding cell and says, with a smile, “Hey, boys. I need another phone call.”

“Fat chance,” one of them says shortly.

“I’ll convince Mick here to let you take his fingerprints without violence,” he offers.

Mick never fails to be amazed at how quickly the pigs buy into the bullshit Len sells them. Sure enough, the CSI guy reappears and edges over to Mick, who’s sitting quietly.

“Um, hi,” he says.

Mick grunts.

“So my name’s Barry Allen and I’m going to be taking your fingerprints today…”

Len leans against the bars again. “Allen, huh?” he muses. “That’s unfortunate.”

The kid turns and scowls at him. “Why’s that?”

“You’re Doc Allen’s kid, aren’t you?” Len says, shaking his head. “Iron Heights, B Wing?”

The kid’s starting to turn red.

“I hate to put any more pressure on the poor guy,” Len continues, all eyes on him as Mick shimmies out of the chain to the table they attached to his handcuffs for the fingerprinting process. “Not that many people in prison are actually innocent, you know, or at least they don’t stay that way. Your dad’s good people.”

The kid is obviously taken aback, but also equally obviously pleased that someone’s noticed Doc Allen’s good qualities. In fairness, Len has a way of sniffing out guilt or innocence on any matter, large or small – large usually being crime, small usually being who ate the last brownie.

“You really think so?” he asks.

“Oh, certainly,” Len says. “That’s why it’s real unfortunate that you’re the CSI that got assigned to us. I guess we’ll apologize to him next time we swing by Iron Heights.”

The kid’s starting to look alarmed, but by that point it’s too late. Mick grabs him, pulling his handcuffs around his throat like a garrote, and Len pushes his door open with the key he lifted off of one of the more careless guards, swiftly disarming the guards who jerk out of their somnolence a second too late. “Sorry, kid,” Len says, sounding – and likely even being, knowing Len – sincere. “We gotta run, and it looks like you’re coming with us for a bit.”

“Oh crap,” the kid (Barry Allen, he said his name was) says.

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

They’re in the fourth car that they’ve swapped by the time Mick relaxes enough to ask Len what happened.

Len makes a face. “You remember Charlie?”

“The psychopath you keep in contact with for reasons that defy understanding, yeah,” Mick says. “What about him?”

“I keep in contact with him because he’s good at picking up intel about what crazy people do,” Len says defensively. “In this case, he’s got a solid job offer blowing up Central’s mainline at 8AM tomorrow morning.”

Allen, who’s been politely handcuffed in the back and given a case of Twinkies in case he’s hungry (which he’s finished already; he’s pretty cool for a hostage), starts in shock. “Central’s mainline?” he exclaims. “That’ll blow up –”

“The entire main road system that lies over it,” Len finishes. “And during rush hour, too. The Darbinyians would normally have crushed anything like it, but they're figuring it'll get blamed on the two of us and they're still a little steamed about that whole affair with the hookers –”

“You mean the time you unionized them,” Mick says with deep amusement.

“– okay, those conditions were unsanitary and they were underpricing themselves compared to other cities.”

“They’re hookers.”

“So, what, they don’t deserve proper medical care?”

“It just means it ain’t your business to fix it, Lenny,” Mick says with a sigh. “Also, you sold two Monets to get ‘em starting capital enough to fuck with the Families, and those were half mine, you dick.”

“We weren’t even talking at that point!”

Allen is goggling and also trying to hide a smile. Mick turns to him and says, “Lenny once saved a school bus full of orphans and nuns,” because that is his favorite fact in the world and he will literally tell it to absolutely anyone at any point.

“I didn’t realize they were freaking orphans!” Len exclaims, like that’s the issue. “And what was I supposed to do, let the bus go straight into the burning building?”

“It was hilarious,” Mick says solemnly, because it was.

Allen is cracking up and trying to hide it.

Len glares at him.

“Have you considered teaming up with the Flash?” Mick teases, trying to keep a solemn face and mostly failing. “I mean, you did just break out of jail to go stop a terrible crime –”

“I’m not letting some crazy asshole with a grudge blow up my city!”

“– so really, heroism is the next logical step. You know, when you swap over to the hero side, I hear you get to wear lots of skin tight leather…”

Now even Len barks out a laugh. “The Flash does look like he escaped from a BDSM club, doesn’t he?”

Allen chokes a little in the back seat.

“I’ve literally met hookers wearing outfits that left less to the imagination,” Mick says, then smirks. “Some of ‘em in your little union.”

Len rolls his eyes.

“C’mon, you gotta admit you’d hit that,” Mick prods. “You don’t dress up as a supervillain for anybody.”

Allen’s kinda making some sort of wheezing sound. Mick wonders if he has asthma or something. He digs around in the bag of stuff he was arrested in and tosses the kid an inhaler, which gets him a weird look.

“In fairness,” Len says. “Who wouldn’t hit that? Have you seen those legs?”

Mick sniggers. “When he’s moving slow enough, sure,” he agrees. “Forget those legs, have you seen that ass? But seriously, imagine the potential for friction burns.”

“I was thinking about the potential uses for super-speed vibrations, personally.”

“Ooh, nice, good one.”

“Can’t take credit for it – overheard the thought from some of the cops…”

“Some of the cops are talking about that?!” Allen shrieks, his voice having jump up by an octave or so.

Everybody’s gonna be talking about that after our little stunt with the television. Now that everyone knows the Flash exists, things are going to change, even putting aside the impact on Central City's masturbatory habits,” Len says, pleased with himself. “For one thing, heists are going to be harder to plan if he works with the city, but that’ll just make it more fun.”

“So you’re going to go save the city from a bomber, but then you’re going to go pull more heists?” Allen says. “How do you even keep that straight?”

“Lenny here has layers,” Mick says. “Like an onion.”

“I am never letting you watch Shrek again,” Len says threateningly.

“I only watched it ‘cause you kept quoting it in the first place.”

“So how are we going to stop the bomber?” Allen interjects, clearly not wanting to hear them bicker over an old kids’ movie, which, fair.

“We?” Len says. “You’re our hostage, remember? You just sit back and let us do our thing, and we’ll drop you off before we split town. No harm, no foul. Don't need the heat of killing a hostage.”

“I can help,” Allen says stubbornly. “I want to help.”

“Your cop friends won’t be too happy about you helping us,” Mick warns. “No one ever believes criminals when we say anything, so if we manage to stop this bombing Len’s heard about, the cops won’t actually believe it was ever a thing, and then you’ve got aiding and abetting on your record, plus questions about if you intended to help us escape.”

“I’ll tell them it was early onset Stockholm Syndrome,” Allen says dismissively. “Please – it’s my city too.”

Len’s a softy at heart when it comes to non-criminals, so he sighs and says, “Fine, but if it looks like trouble, I’m pulling you out. I wasn’t kidding about your dad being good people; I ain’t getting his only son killed.”

Allen has hearts in his eyes hearing Len talk about his dad. Mick would foresee this being a problem, but Allen’s pretty cute and if there’s one thing he’s managed to impress into Len’s head after all these years together, it’s how to share and share alike.

So he just grunts and reaches over to undo Allen’s handcuffs. “Just don’t double-cross us,” he warns. “I take that personally.”

“I won’t, I promise,” Allen says eagerly. “So where to?”

“Here’ll do for now,” Len says, pulling in by an abandoned building. “We can pull some city planning docs and see how he’s planning on doing it, maybe try to get ourselves in on the plan and bust it up from the inside…the only question is if this has got to do with Mr. Banana again.”

“Mr. Banana?”

“I didn’t come up with the name,” Len says stiffly. Every last bit of drama queen about him can't stand the name and it physically pains him every time he has to use it. Mick smirks.

“Central City criminal underworld reports sights of a man in bright yellow wandering around at night,” Mick tells their ex-hostage cheerfully. “Usually moving too fast to be seen, like the Flash does, but sometimes people catch a glimpse of him right around where there’s a murder or a disappearance discovered the next day and there are proverbial old fishwives that gossip less than Central’s black markets. But not everyone’s got your kid's talent for coining names.”

“The man in yellow,” Allen says, looking thoughtful. “I hadn’t realized he’d been seen…do you know where?”

“Do good on this job and maybe I’ll see about getting you some dates and places,” Len says, climbing out of the car. “Wouldn’t be too upset if either CCPD or the Flash took down Mr. Banana – I don’t appreciate serial killers in my city, either, and honor amongst thieves only applies if they’re actually thieves. Now, keep in mind, doing good means listening to what I say, when I say it.”

Mick nods and gestures for Allen to follow. “He’s the boss.”

“Got it, boss,” Allen says, beaming and clambering out of the car after Len.

Mick takes a moment to enjoy the view.

Then pauses, because he recognizes that view. Allen’s got the same taste in skinny jeans as a CSI as he’s got in leather when he’s being the Flash, and his assets are – shall we say – memorable.

Mick’s always been better at recognizing people based on body movement and shape than Len is, so he’s betting that Len hasn’t figured it out yet. He grins toothily.

This is going to be fun.