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Unexpected Development

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What.

What even.

What the hell even just happened?!

First Mick and Barry are standing in the tunnels, talking, realizing what’s going on, then Mick’s telling Barry to go run and disable the rest of the bombs in their section as fast as he can while Mick goes to find Cold, and for Barry to catch up later.

Mick’s emphasis on the whole “as fast as you can” is a little weird, since he says it with a lot of stress and repeats it, like, three times, but Barry doesn’t think much of it – Mick’s probably super worried about his partner in crime and wants to be sure Barry won’t slack off on his part of disarming the bombs. Cold would be upset if they let the city infrastructure crumble just because they got distracted trying to save his life, even Barry has figured out that much about him by now.

Cold is such a bad supervillain.

Or, well, he’s pretty good at supervillaining. He’s just really bad at evil.

Either way, as soon as Mick takes off towards the west side at a run, Barry can speed up to full Flash mode. Sure, he doesn’t have his suit, but that’s not necessarily an impediment when he’s moving faster than people can see.

The rest of the thugs aren’t a problem, either, as it turns out. The second they see lightning, they all shout, “The Flash!” and turn tail to run, dropping whatever bombs they have left.

It’s…kind of weirdly offensive, actually?

Barry’s a superhero. People should not be running scared like he’s going to hurt them or kidnap them or something awful. Not even bad guys!

Maybe Cold’s whole “it’s better for people to know about the local superhero as more than just a legend” thing has some merit to it after all.

...maybe not disappearing supervillains into the Particle Accelerator jail would help, too. Just maybe.

Something to think about.

Barry defuses the bombs pretty quickly – honestly, at this point he’s barely even following Mick’s directions, he’s just ripping them apart with his bare hands, but it still works pretty well – and then turns around and zips after Mick, only slowing down when he’s in the tunnel directly behind him so he can jog the rest of the distance like a normal person.

After all, if Mick saw him arrive in a burst of lightning, he’d probably be a little suspicious.

More than he’s already going to be, given that Barry’s clothing is kinda-maybe-sorta sizzling from how fast he was running and his sneakers’ heels are starting to melt a little bit from the friction.

Yeah. Definitely suspicious.

Which would be bad.

For…reasons that Barry will have to remind himself about later.

After all, if he's discovered, terrible things would clearly happen. Like, he might be blackmailed into helping support their fight for economic justice and against gentrification and there will be barbeque and sexy threesomes

The secret identity thing is important. Barry has to remind himself of that.

But at least it's clear that Barry’s supervillains are obviously the best.

Oliver’s gonna be so jealous.

Not that Oliver’s going to get told about this whole disaster of a day. Ever.

Barry’s just going to...convince everyone in Central City to take a vow of silence about it. Forever.

Yeah.

That’ll work.

It's not like the media would pay all that much attention to a jailbreak from the middle of the CCPD headquarters –

Oh god, Oliver already knows.

Barry is so doomed.

But first they have to make sure that Cold isn’t.

Barry runs down the rest of the tunnel at his best attempt to mimic a more normal speed, which ends up being a sort of half-jog, half- skip sort of thing because if he actually tries to run he goes straight into lightning mode and wow he really needs to work on that, but one way or another he ends up catching up with Mick.

“Get ‘em all?” Mick asks when he sees him, and Barry nods. “Good.”

Oh, good, he doesn’t question why Barry’s there so fast or why he's skip-jogging instead of running. Secret intact! Barry mentally pats himself on the back. He’s doing great.

That’s when they both hear a blast.

“Bomb?” Barry asks, eyes wide.

“No,” Mick says grimly. “That was more like a truck hitting a wall real fast.”

A truck, yeah. Or a person.

Mr. Banana – it’s actually kinda funny how quickly Barry picked up that moniker, given that he’s called him ‘the man in yellow’ for years on end and Cisco has been campaigning to get ‘Reverse Flash’ in as the guy’s official nickname – is springing his trap for Cold.

For Len.

Damnit, Barry, if you’re going to sleep with them, you really ought to call them by their first names, not their supervillain names.

…okay, apparently at some point in this whole mess, Barry’s subconscious has decided he’s up for it if they are.

Which they wouldn’t be if they knew he was the Flash. Their nemesis. Their archrival. Their superhero enemy.

Well. You know, there's actually a chance that they still would; they did have all that discussion about the Flash being really attractive earlier, so maybe – but no, it would never come up, because Barry wouldn’t be able to tell them or else they’d know his secret identity and –

Wow, this is so horribly inappropriate to be thinking about when Mr. Banana is planning to kill Len.

Barry can barely force himself to stop from flashing forward and yelling “don’t you dare touch my (prospective) boyfriend (out of two) you bastard!” or something stupid like that if Mr. Banana is there.

Uh, boyfriend’s probably a bit premature, and that’s not even the biggest thing wrong with that sentence.

What is wrong with him?

(Answer: his libido. Clearly.)

And that’s when Mick barrels out of a tunnel and onto some rubble, Barry right behind him, and, shit, Mr. Banana is there, vibrating too fast to focus the way Barry can, and Len is on the ground just like Mom had been – oh God no, not again – and the Man in Yellow is saying something that Barry can’t hear through the roaring in his ears, and Barry’s shouting “No!” futilely because even at Flash speeds he won’t be able to get there in time to stop what’s going to happen because he’s just not fast enough and then –

Uh.

And then –

Okay, and then Barry’s brain needs to go reset itself because suddenly the Man in Yellow (Mr. Banana, Barry reminds himself) has a bright red lacey bra hanging on his head and he looks vaguely stupefied about it.

This may be the only instance in which Barry sympathizes with the bastard.

To reiterate: what just happened?!

It’s not the only piece of underwear, either; the next thing that happens is that someone, somewhere, manages to pitch what appears to be a pair of booty shorts composed about 90% of shiny pink sequins right at Mr. Banana’s face, followed by something involving bright blue tassels but not a lot of fabric otherwise.

Superspeed reflexes or no superspeed reflexes, Mr. Banana immediately drops all attempts at murdering Len in favor of batting the increasing shower of various pieces of underwear away from him.

“What in the world..?” he demands, sounding absolutely baffled.

Barry kind of agrees. Not going to lie.

“You know,” Len drawls from where he’s sitting on the ground, “this here’s union territory. You really ought to be careful about who you try to knock off; they take that personally.”

“Union?!” Mr. Banana exclaims. “What union?”

“Oh my god,” Barry says. It can’t be.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Mick says flatly, briefly shutting his eyes as if that could make what’s happening stop happening by sheer force of willpower.

But nope, it’s happening.

There they are, appearing on all of the rooftops and in the alleys and all around.

Leonard Snart’s goddamn hooker union.

Barry bursts out laughing.

And not just laughing, full on belly-slapping, howling and hollering, tears streaming down your face laughing.

He can’t help it.

It’s just –

Do you know how hard it is to be scared of someone, even if it is someone who murdered your mother, framed your father, and traumatized you for life, when they have a set of red-white-and-blue flag-themed undies hanging off one of their lightning-shaped ear-spikes?

Also: how did it not occur to Barry how dumb those look? Man, he is seriously going to have to have a talk with Cisco about a few redesigns.

Mr. Banana twists around to stare at where Mick and Barry are standing.

Barry’s making hooting monkey noises again, he just knows it, but he can’t help it.

This is just so dumb.

This is the dumbest thing that has ever happened.

They’re literally just throwing underwear at him and he's paralyzed.

The great Man in Yellow, defeated by shiny stripper underwear.

Obviously the Flash needs to turn in his superhero card because this is clearly a superior crime-fighting method.

Maybe he should consider adopting it.

Oh, oh, and the underwear could have little lightning bolts on it -

Nope, now Barry’s laughing even harder.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Mick says again, and his voice is still disbelieving.

Barry glances at him, still trying to keep from strangling himself laughing.

“It’s a pun. That fucker.”

“What?” Barry manages to choke out.

“Mr. Banana,” Mick says, and he looks up at the sky as if asking for help. “You said he calls himself the Reverse Flash, right? He wants to be the enemy of the Flash? And Len stopped him –”

That’s when Barry gets it and he has to cover his face because no. No. Len didn’t.

He did.

“– with a flash mob,” Mick finishes.

“I really hate the fact that I’m gonna sleep with that guy,” Barry says, aiming for a meme-appropriate despondent tone but probably not making it anywhere near because he’s still giggling.

“I feel you,” Mick groans. “What’s worse, I actually found that funny.”

Yeah, Barry too.

“I’m gonna suggest you get the hell off our turf,” one of the ladies (Barry is not calling her a hooker!) says.

“How did he even get all of you to come here?” Mr. Banana asks, absolutely bemused.

Someone sling-shots something sparkly at him. Barry’s not even going to try to figure out what it is, but there’s even less fabric involved than the thing with the tassels.

“Standing up for each other’s what a union does,” the lead lady says smugly. “Time for you to go now.”

She’s got something in her hands.

A phone, actually.

“And how do you plan to make me?” Mr. Banana snaps. He sounds angry.

No, he sounds pissed off, and that’s almost enough to get Barry to stop sniggering uncontrollably, because he knows how dangerous he is, but every time Mr. Banana spins around, the flag-colored underwear flaps around behind him like a little waving flag and yep, there Barry goes losing it again.

(Mr. Banana keeps glaring at him about it, too, which for some reason keeps setting Barry off again. He looks so offended, even through the blurring.)

“Clearly you don’t understand. I could kill each and every one of you in the time it takes to blink,” Mr. Banana continues, glaring at all of them. “And there’s nothing any of you can do to stop me! There’s no weapon fast enough!”

“Think the Flash might object to that,” Mick says.

“He’s not fast enough to stop me,” Mr. Banana scoffs.

Barry bites his lip, his laughter fading.

That’s true. He’s not fast enough. It’s on him, because if only he were faster –

No, wait. Len had been very clear, earlier, that the Flash’s weakness (Barry’s weakness) was that he kept playing into people’s expectations. He’d even proposed that Mr. Banana was setting up this whole trap to make Barry have to run faster.

It wasn’t that, of course, the aim of the trap was Len, not Barry.

…wasn’t it?

Mr. Banana could’ve killed Len a dozen times over before Mick and Barry got there, given how slow they were moving, but he didn’t.

Think, Barry, think.

He wants you to run faster. That’s why he taunted you – he wanted you set up the trap with the bait so that he could escape. He was playing you then, he’s probably playing you now.

He’s jealous of Len being your rival, just like Mick deduced.

So why not kill Len efficiently? Unless -

Mr. Banana wants Barry to see this.

But – why?

“You might be able to kill us,” the lead lady says with a sniff. “But we’ve got you on camera – on a lot of cameras, now – and we’re going to bring down the whole of Central City on your head.”

“Central City,” Len adds helpfully. “Not the Flash. Hell, there’s that army base outta town that’s been real into speedsters recently; I bet they’d be into helping out. And all the Flash’ll have to do is sit back and wait. Wouldn’t even have to take the time to fight you himself.”

Mr. Banana looks even more pissed off by that.

“You’re not gonna be much of a rival for the Flash,” Mick observes, “if he never even bothers to fight you.”

“Yeah,” Barry says. Oddly, Mr. Banana seems to be avoiding looking in Barry’s direction now that he’s no longer laughing, even though Barry knows he knows who Barry is. Almost like he doesn’t want Barry to look at his face too hard or something. “Not much of a rival at all.”

Mr. Banana looks super angry.

Mick is definitely right about him.

“The Flash will come out to fight me,” he boasts, but he’s looking around at all those cameras, scowling. Seems pretty clear he doesn’t want this to be made public yet.

Barry figures out what he’s going to do a second before he does it, but there’s no time to stop him and no way to stop him, not without speeding up himself and revealing himself in front of all those people – and he can’t do that, not with Joe and Iris and everyone depending on him –

He hesitates.

Mr. Banana flashes off, zipping around the square and grabbing all the phones. Barry’s the only one who can see fast enough to see what he’s doing, but it’s okay: he doesn’t hurt anyone, just grabs the phones. His restraint is weird, but Barry’s not going to complain, not when people aren’t dying.

But by the time he’s back in his original position, smirking, phones gathered in his arms, Len’s gotten his gun back and Mr. Banana steps right into a beam of frozen light that ices over his feet up to the knees.

Heh.

“If Len smashes him to pieces after freezing him, would that make him a Banana Split?” Barry loudly asks Mick, who groans.

“You’re goddamn perfect for him and he’s going to be so disappointed if you turn down his little offer,” Mick grumbles back even as he leads the way forward, gun pointed at Mr. Banana. “You know that, right?”

“He’s not going to say no,” Len calls back, grinning like a maniac; just as Barry had intended, he’d heard Barry’s question.

Mr. Banana is making a disgusted face, so he clearly also heard what Barry said.

Maybe he’s judging himself for setting himself up as Barry’s nemesis now or something.

Clearly, Len and Mick are a better class of villain.

So there, Mr. Banana!

But Mr. Banana kicks his way out of Len’s ice pretty easily – how does he know how to do all of this stuff?! – and stepping forward.

“Your stupid puns aren’t going to save you,” he sneers, ignoring Barry entirely. “And neither is your ice.”

“Cold,” Len says, sounding annoyed. “Not ice.”

Mr. Banana rolls his eyes. “Your cold won’t save you.”

“How about gold then?” a female voice drawls from behind him.

Barry looks.

There’s a vaguely familiar-looking woman there, brunette, in a slick leather jacket with gold chains, and she’s pointing what is a very recognizably Cisco Ramon created gun, colored dark yellow this time, right at Mr. Banana.

And, much to his surprise, Cisco and Caitlin are standing right next to her.

Well, to be fair, they’re slightly behind her, but that’s fair. She’s the one holding the gun.

She looks really familiar for some reason, but Barry’s pretty sure he’s never seen her before.

“Hey, sis,” Len says, sounding pleased.

Oh.

That’s why.

Dear god, there’s two of them.