When Barry woke up from his coma, it was to a new world. Figuratively speaking, that is. In the nine months that he had been unconscious the world had changed: metahumans, normal everyday people who had gained spectacular abilities from the particle accelerator, had started emerging. At first, the public feared them: mass panic had arisen among the citizens of Central City and it only got worse once the military got involved.
But the situation calmed eventually and people began to accept their new super-human neighbours. Now it was the law that all metahumans disclose their abilities to the police.
That was the clip-notes version of what the doctor told him when Barry awoke from his coma in the hospital. Barry didn't believe it at first and he laughed in the doctor's face, which he later regretted because of how rude it must have been, but the armed guards posted at his door soon made Barry realise the truth.
They allowed Barry's father to take him home but warned Barry that 90% of those who had been injured during the explosion had become metas. The doctor told him that he should know within a couple of days if he was one too, but sometimes it could take longer for his abilities to manifest. It was only the next day when he discovered his superspeed. Within a week he was back to work and everything was almost back to normal.
Within a month he was asked to attend a metahuman task force meeting.
He'd gotten used to people staring at him as he walked around the police station. So when he walked into the room and everyone's eyes turned to him, he just ignored it and took a seat in the back. The meeting was being run by Detective Joe West; Barry had known the man his whole life, he used to be friends with Barry's father but the two didn't talk much anymore, not that Henry Allen talked to anyone much anymore… not since Nora Allen had been killed during a home invasion when Barry was a child.
Standing alongside Detective West was Captain Singh and the two civilian consultants who helped out with the taskforce: Doctor Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon. Barry had seen them both around the station, Cisco much more often than Caitlin, but he had yet to speak to either of them.
"Okay, we're going to start," Joe West announced after noticing Barry's appearance. He waited for everyone else to take seats as he and the Captain remained standing at the front of the room. "As you all already know, the Rogues struck again last night."
The Rogues were a criminal organisation seemingly comprised entirely of metahumans who were hell-bent on the destruction of the metahuman laws, and all too happy to cause as much chaos as they deemed worthy. Barry had been briefed about them yesterday prior to the meeting and so he wasn't surprised to discover that this whole thing was concerning them.
"Unfortunately," Joe continued. "They've remained smart and it seems we are no closer to figuring out who their leader is now than we were six months ago. But… there is one thing that we have now that we didn't have back then. A metahuman on the payroll," Detective West announced and Barry's blood ran cold as everyone in the room momentarily turned to look his way again.
Time slowed in the room, as it often did when Barry was feeling nervous, and he had to take deep breaths to stop his brain from processing at superspeed. After a long moment, the room sped up again.
"Allen," the Captain spoke up, "the reason we asked you to this meeting today is that we think you might be able to infiltrate the Rogues and provide us with the information we need to bring them in." Barry swallowed thickly as the Captain and Detective West went into more detail about their plan to get Barry on the Rogues' radar.
When the briefing was finished they allowed Barry some time to think it over but before the end of the day, he was already in Singh's office and agreeing to the position. He'd never done anything remotely close to this before, he was just a lab guy, but Barry had joined the CCPD to make a difference and this could do just that.
"Do I get a fake identity?" Barry joked once the Captain had called in West. Caitlin and Cisco had also joined them.
"No. Normally we'd consider it," the Captain admitted. "But we currently believe that Hartley Rathaway has joined the Rogues. He's-"
"An ass," Cisco muttered, interrupting the Captain. Barry huffed a laugh as Caitlin glared at her friend.
"A tech genius," the Captain finished, paying the young man's comment no attention. "If he decided to look then he would see through a fake identity instantly. It's much safer for us to pretend to fire you, instead."
The Captain ran through a couple of rules before getting Barry's official agreement; the main one being that no one outside of the task force, not even Barry's father or his CSI colleagues, should find out that he is working undercover. Barry had no trouble agreeing to that: his father didn't live in Central anymore and had only briefly moved back to town once Barry had woken from the coma. And he didn't really have any friends at work lately… nine months was a long time. Some people had quit or been promoted so they no longer worked together, others had simply drifted apart from him too much for their easy working relationship to be considered a friendship anymore…
A couple of days later Barry was 'fired' and then that night he donned a red hoodie and 'stole' a priceless artefact from a museum. The artefact was the main piece of a display that wasn't attracting enough viewers anymore and so the museum was getting ready to pack the whole thing up and put it into storage anyway. And the theft was bound to increase the public's interest in the exhibit once more. They would get it back once the investigation was over so it was a win-win for both the museum and the CCPD.
Barry lingered long enough to give the police and news reporters chance to get to the museum before going outside. He caught a couple of bullets, rubber ones, fired his way to show off his abilities in front of the cameras before speeding off in a flash of red and yellow lightning.
When he got back to his apartment, Barry was surprised by how exhilarating he found the case so far. He hadn't used his powers much since he'd woken up, or not for much more than getting ready quickly in the mornings before work, and so he didn't realise how light and happy it could make him feel. The sudden release of endorphins flooded Barry's system and made him feel like he was on top of the world. It was amazing.
He stashed the artefact in his apartment, he would wait until after he'd made contact with the Rogues before he sent that over to the station for the Captain to keep safe, just in case the meta criminals needed proof that he had actually stolen what he claimed.
The next night, after giving it plenty of time for the news stations to talk about the new metahuman in town and play his escape from capture a couple of times, Barry shrugged his red hoodie back on and ran over to a bar in the lower end of town called Saints and Sinners. It was a bar that had taken on a bit of a reputation for being the go-to place for metahumans and so Joe was sure that at least one of the Rogue members would be there tonight.
Barry had been given files on all the Rogues that the police knew about and so Barry kept their faces in his head as he ran directly into the building and skidded to a stop at the bar, plopping down on a barstool instantly. As usual, he felt the eyes of everyone in the room land on him. But this time it only lasted for a moment before they all went back on with whatever they had been doing before.
"Huh," Barry huffed under his breath. He was used to people gaping at him whenever he used his abilities… but he supposed the people here had seen enough metas in the past few months for them to become almost mundane. It was… nice. For a moment, Barry enjoyed just sinking into the background and becoming just another face in the crowd. But then he remembered that that was counterproductive and he had a job to do.
Barry ordered a beer from the woman behind the counter and then turned around to scan the bar for the faces in his files. Barry frowned as he didn't recognise a single person in the room. But that didn't necessarily mean that there were no Rogues in the bar, it just meant that none of the known ones were here.
He turned back around when he heard the sound of a bottle being placed on the wooden counter-top. He grabbed his wallet from his pocket and looked up, expecting to see the dark-skinned woman with a pleasant smile and big curly black hair who he had ordered his drink from. But instead, there was a man standing behind the bar.
His skin was white and his eyes were a piercing blue that caught Barry's attention immediately. Barry felt time slow again. And this time he let it happen so that he could take in the gorgeous man in front of him. His salt and pepper hair was cropped short into a buzz cut and he was wearing a soft-looking, dark grey turtle neck. His elbows were resting on the bar in between them as he leant on it. Barry watched the muscles move on the man's face as his lips formed a smirk.
Barry internally shook himself and then the room returned to its regular speed, the sound of the bar behind him suddenly flooding his ears once more.
"It's on the house," the man drawled, his blue eyes flicking down from Barry's face to the wallet for a moment. Barry blinked and looked at his hands before closing the wallet and shoving it back into his pocket.
"Thanks," Barry muttered ineloquently and the man nodded before standing back up and walking away. Barry sighed and took a sip of his beer, even though he knew it wouldn't do anything for him. A moment later the seat beside him scraped against the floor as it was moved and Barry turned to watch the gorgeous blue-eyed man sit down beside him.
"My name's Leonard Snart," the man drawled and then nodded to the bar. "I'm the owner."
"Barry Allen," Barry introduced himself, surprised that a man so beautiful would even bother to talk to him.
"And you're a thief," Leonard presumed and Barry blinked before looking at the beer bottle in his hand.
"You said it was on the house," he deadpanned and Leonard huffed a laugh, his eyes flicking downwards for a moment before meeting Barry's again.
"It is. I was talking about the pharaoh's necklace that you stole from the museum last night," the man corrected Barry. "I saw you on the news. It was a little sloppy of you to trip the security alarms like that inside… but you did good work dealing with the cops," the man complimented and Barry sat up a little straighter, realising that Leonard was probably a Rogue.
"Thank you… I guess." Leonard shrugged and turned to fully face forward, placing his arms on the counter staring down at his fingers as he interlocked them. Barry took a drink of his beer again as his mouth felt suddenly dry.
"You're skilled. But you could be better."
"And you want to help me?" Barry asked, hoping that he was picking up the right message here. Leonard titled his head to the side subtly as he shrugged his shoulders.
"And why would you want to do that?" Barry asked when Leonard didn't say anything more. The man's eyes flicked back to Barry.
"You could say that it's what I do," Leonard drawled. He looked back at the woman behind the bar and signalled her over. In one second she was leaning against the far end of the wall and in the next, she was standing in front of them. Barry jumped a little bit and resisted the urge to gape at the woman as Snart ordered himself a drink. "I have a group of other skilled individuals," Leonard continued once the woman, literally, disappeared again. "Not too dissimilar from yourself. Would you like to meet some of them?" He asked and Barry just blinked at him.
"Meet them?" Barry repeated and Snart nodded.
"I make it a priority to know the abilities of all the metas who come into my bar. But I've never met a speedster before. And neither have any of my crew, for that matter. Which means that you have never been in here until tonight. And from that look on your face just… have you ever met another metahuman before, Barry?" Leonard asked, his eyes boring into Barry's. "Except Shawna, that is," he corrected, making a hand gesture back towards the woman behind the bar. Barry swallowed thickly and then shook his head.
"That's what I thought," Leonard drawled. The woman, Shawna, was suddenly back in front of them and she placed a drink in front of her boss. Her eyes flicked over to Barry for the briefest of moments before she disappeared again. Leonard Snart took a sip of the golden liquid in his glass before speaking again. "So would you like to meet some?" He asked and Barry nodded without delay.
Leonard looked Barry over for a moment longer before picking his drink up and standing. He gestured for Barry to follow him as he began to walk away and Barry scrambled after him, following the man through a small gate which put them both behind the bar.
Leonard shut the gate after Barry and then led him towards a door which opened onto an ascending staircase to the floor above the bar. Barry felt nervous as he followed the older man up the stairs quietly.
"What did you do with the necklace?" Leonard asked and Barry shrugged, not that the man walking in front of him could see that.
"It's still in my apartment," he muttered and Snart nodded.
"Good. You should sit on it for a while. At least until the heat dies down," Leonard suggested.
"I, er, will. Thanks." They were at the top of the stairs now and Leonard opened a door in front of them. Barry followed the man into a brightly-lit and spacious room. It was very open plan; the majority of the room appeared to be a living area with several couches and armchairs: there was a table in the far left corner of the room and at the opposite end the soft brown rug became cream tiles in a small kitchen area.
There were several people in the room, three of which he recognised from the files Joe had given him: Hartley Rathaway, Mick Rory, and Mark Mardon were all lounging across various chairs as another woman with long dark brown hair lay across one of the sofas and flicked through the channels on the TV. Another young woman stood in the kitchen and popped her head, covered in bright pink hair, up from the fridge as Barry and Leonard walked in.
"This the speedster, Lenny?" The woman on the sofa asked, sitting up a little bit as Barry entered. Leonard nodded. She sat up completely then, swinging her legs back onto the floor, and tapped the cushion next to her as she made eye contact with Barry. "Sit here, Sweetie," she said, the predatory look of her smile overpowering the sweetness to her voice.
"If you value your personal space," Rathaway muttered with a grin. "Then I'd decline." Everyone in the room laughed and Lisa pouted. Barry wasn't sure what to do so he looked towards Snart who was leaning against the far wall, arms crossed, and smirking at Barry. They made eye contact and Leonard held his gaze for a moment as Barry felt his neck and chest heat up.
"Barry, this is my sister, Lisa," Leonard announced, indicating to the woman on the sofa without breaking eye contact. "And this is Mark, Mick, Hartley, and Frankie." Snart pointed out each person as he introduced them and Barry managed to pull his gaze away from Leonard's eyes to smile at them all in turn.
They all smiled back at him, except Mick who just grunted. Frankie moved from the kitchen with a bottle of water in her hands and collapsed into the seat beside Lisa that Barry had been warned not to fill. Lisa shrugged and brought her feet up onto Frankie's lap. When Barry looked back at Leonard he wasn't surprised to find that the older man was still staring at him, his gaze calculated and his smirk playful. But then Leonard's stunning blue eyes turned towards the metahuman also known as Weather Wizard.
"Mardon, show him what you can do. Something small, this time. My carpeting can't live through another indoor hurricane, thank you very much," Leonard drawled, drawing a grin from Mick and a laugh from Frankie as she brushed her bright pink hair from her eyes.
"Don't worry, Boss. I've got something in mind that's right up your alley," Mark laughed. He raised his hand in front of himself, palm up, and within a few seconds, there was a visible disturbance in the air directly above it. Barry stepped forward, gaping, as a small swirl of snowflakes appeared and moved slowly in a circular motion about a foot above Mardon's fingers. "You look like you've never seen anything like this before," Mark muttered, a frown on his face, and Barry shook his head.
"I haven't. Not in person, at least," he replied, thinking momentarily about the news reports he'd watched.
"So, you've been out of Central this whole time?" Hartley asked and Barry shook his head without taking his eyes off of the snowflakes.
"No. A coma," he muttered. The snowflakes disappeared and Barry frowned before realising what he'd just told them. Every eye in the room was on him. "I was struck by lightning on the night of the particle accelerator," he elaborated.
"Wow. What was that like?" Mick muttered and Barry shrugged.
"I wouldn't recommend it," he deadpanned and Leonard huffed a laugh from across the room. Barry felt awkward standing in the middle of the room so he took a seat in the nearest armchair and took a swig from his bottle.
"How about we get you something stronger than that, Barry?" Leonard drawled.
"You trying to get him drunk, Lenny?" Lisa laughed, winking at her brother, and Leonard shrugged before turning back to Barry.
"Nearly a year in a coma only to wake up to this mess of a City? A fun night could do you some good." Why did that sound so… suggestive? Was Leonard actually flirting with him or was that just Barry's mind wishing that someone as attractive as Leonard Snart would give him the time of day? Barry shook his head.
"I can't get drunk anyway," he admitted. "Super speed comes with super metabolism… apparently." He took another drink from his beer and shrugged.
"Your life just keeps sounding worse and worse, Kid," Mick muttered and brought his own glass, of what appeared to be whisky, to his lips. "So, are you gonna join?"
"Join?" Barry asked, feigning confusion.
"The Rogues," Lisa answered for Mick. "Did Lenny not give you the pitch yet?"
"Haven't got around to it yet. But, since you've brought it up…" Leonard drawled and moved from where he was still leaning against the far wall to take a seat on the armchair next to Barry's. "We are… what you might call a criminal organisation. We work together to reach a common goal."
"And that goal is?" Barry asked, his eyes entirely focussed on Leonard.
"To bring down the anti-metahuman laws," he replied, with a small hand gesture, as though it was obvious.
"And to steal a lot of stuff in the meantime," Mick added and Leonard smirked over at him before his blue eyes returned to Barry once more.
"The way you took down those cops was impressive," Leonard complimented, sitting forward on his chair. "You were vastly outnumbered… and yet you made a cool escape without putting a single one in the hospital. I don't know many people who could say that. There's no denying the… benefits you could bring to the Rogues."
Everyone else in the room was quiet as they allowed Leonard to give the 'pitch', which made Barry wonder if Snart was the leader of the group that Joe had been so far unable to identify.
"And, in return, you get a chance to learn from the best. We can show you how to get in and out without tripping a single alarm. So that, next time, you won't have to dodge bullets." Leonard stood up, his eyes finding the door. "There are some rules, of course. Lisa will fill you in on those while I'm gone. If you're willing to agree to them, then hang around for a while. Get to know the crew. And come back tomorrow with your answer, 10 pm sharp. If you're not on time, then I'll take it as a no."
Leonard had been moving towards the door and when he got there he turned to look back at Barry, his eyes roamed up and down Barry's body for a moment which made the younger man blush and his heart quicken.
"And that would be a shame," Leonard drawled. Barry nodded and swallowed thickly as his mouth became suddenly dry from the fire in Leonard's eyes. "I hope to see you tomorrow, Barry," Leonard said, reaching towards the door handle.
"And you, Leonard." Snart smiled down at the floor and then looked up at Barry again through his eyelashes.
"Call me Len," he said and then opened the door and walked through.
"Damn," Hartley muttered under his breath as the door closed behind Len. "I would kill to have him look at me like that." Lisa dug a pillow out from behind her back and threw it at Hartley, hitting him square on the head. Barry blushed and looked down at the bottle in his hand, picking at the label. Lisa ran through the rules with Barry: always stick to the plan, wait at least a month before spending any money earnt on a Rogues heist, and no collateral damage... especially not children or cops. That last one surprised Barry and it must have shown on his face because Lisa went on to explain that it would put them under too much heat with the law.
Barry wondered for a moment if that was the full extent of the reason behind that particular rule or if Len and Lisa just didn't like killing. They didn't seem like bad people, per se. In fact, everyone in this room seemed fairly happy and normal. Except Mick, maybe, who seemed to have a permanent scowl on his face.
"So, have you got a name yet?" Hartley asked and Barry frowned.
"Yeah, a supervillain name," he clarified and Barry shook his head.
"Er, no. Not that I know of."
"Well, I'm sure the papers will come up with something great for you, Speedy," Lisa stated with a grin on her face. She pursed her lips and looked Barry up and down for a moment. "But you are definitely going to need an outfit change before you join us on any heists," she muttered and Barry frowned down at his red hoodie and dark blue skinny jeans.
"What's wrong with what I'm wearing?"
"Nothing. She just likes to give people makeovers," Frankie muttered and earned a glare from Lisa and a snort from both Mark and Hartley. "My hair was black before I joined," she said, gesturing to her now pink locks.
"And I used to wear sweater vests and comb my hair," Hartley muttered, drawing attention to his slightly dishevelled look and scruffy leather jacket. "You can try to resist all you want, but eventually Lisa will win."
"Damn right," Lisa grinned and took the glass from Mick's hand. He growled at her but she just shrugged off his complaints and took a swig of the amber liquid in the glass as the rest of the room laughed. Barry was surprised by how close and comfortable they all were with each other. They were more like a family than a dangerous criminal organisation.
  
Barry showed up at Saints and Sinners the next day ten minutes early. The woman behind the bar, Shawna, smiled at him as he approached and nodded towards the back door to indicate that he go right on through.
As Barry climbed the stairs he wondered whether he should knock on the door at the top or just go on straight through. Was it an apartment? Did Len live up here? Or was it just a place for the Rogues to hang out? He decided to knock, just in case. He waited a moment and then Leonard Snart was opening the door, looking as good as the first time Barry had laid eyes on him. Tonight he was wearing black straight cut jeans and a grey Henley; Barry wondered for a moment if Len owned any clothes that weren't black or grey. He didn't realise he was smiling until Len smirked at him and made Barry blush… again.
"Well, if it isn't the Scarlet Speedster," Len drawled and Barry blinked at him before frowning.
"What?" He asked, ineloquently, and Len opened the door a little wider before taking a step back to allow Barry into the room.
"That's what they're calling you on the news," Lisa called over from where she was lounging on the couch in the same position that she had been in the previous night. Barry would have questioned whether she had moved at all if it wasn't for the fact that she was wearing fresh clothes. "Well, one station is. The other is calling you the Flash… which do you prefer?" Barry walked into the room and sat in the nearest armchair, there was only Len, Mick, and Lisa up here tonight.
"I'm… not sure," Barry admitted and Len sat in a nearby chair, his eyes boring into Barry's.
"I'm partial to Scarlet, myself," Len admitted. "It suits you better." Barry felt his chest and neck heat up with another blush and sighed because, yeah, Len was probably right there. Len just continued to grin at him and Barry couldn't help but think how beautiful the man was.
This was really going to become a problem, Barry internally chastised himself. He had to get a grip. He was here to infiltrate the Rogues, not flirt with the leader.
"So, Barry. Should I take your appearance to mean you've made your decision?" Len asked, leaning forward in his chair and clasping his hands together.
"Yeah. I, er, I want in," Barry muttered, trying to sound confident even as his heart was beating out of control. Len stared at him for a moment, his gaze becoming calculating once more, and Barry tried not to flinch away.
"Good," Len eventually said with a short nod. He then proceeded to give Barry a rundown of how they work as a group and where their safe houses were. This place apparently wasn't Len's apartment; it was just the main safe house where they met to discuss plans in between heists.
Halfway through the induction, Frankie wandered in from a door next to the kitchen area that Barry assumed led onto a bedroom. Len looked over at her with a frown and paused in his briefing.
"Aren't you supposed to be at home? Asleep?" Len called over to her and the girl rolled her eyes.
"I'm sixteen, not twelve," she muttered back to him as she grabbed a snack from a cupboard in the kitchen.
"You work with teenagers?" Barry interrupted. He sounded appalled to his own ears and he suddenly started to worry that he'd already fucked this up on only the second day. But Len just frowned at him.
"Cool it, Kid. Frankie's not a thief," Len said and Barry frowned back at him. If she wasn't a thief, then how was she a Rogue?
"I'm more of an honorary member," Frankie elaborated, answering Barry's unspoken question around a mouthful of chips. "I just kinda… hang around and annoy them when they're trying to work," she laughed with a shrug. "Being here is better than being at home with my foster father," she muttered and Barry tensed as he realised what she was implying. He looked from Frankie to Len, whose face was carefully blank but his eyes were darker and colder than Barry had seen them so far, and his fears were all but confirmed.
Frankie moved back towards the bedroom and Barry made a mental note to hear about whatever abuse she was receiving at home and look at getting her foster father arrested for it.
"We look after her," Len said, and there was something in his voice that made Barry believe him. He nodded, realising that Len cared about Frankie and what happened to the young teenager. Barry knew he would still have to look into it himself, but he trusted that Len would do everything in his power to keep Frankie safe.
After that, Len continued to give Barry the introduction for joining the Rogues. And then he grabbed him a drink from the fridge, a can of Coke, and asked if Barry had any questions. Barry looked around a moment as he got his thoughts in order. His eyes landed on Lisa and Mick who were sat watching TV and talking quietly together. He realised that he didn't know the powers of anybody on this floor.
Barry knew that Mick's was something to do with fire but since he'd never been caught on camera, and had only been identified through a sketch given by an eye witness, Barry didn't know the specifics of it.
"Do I get to know your skill now?" He asked, paraphrasing Len's words from the previous night.
"I could show you my… skill, if you'd like?" Len drawled, leaning closer to Barry as his eyes raked predatorily down his body.
"Gross," Lisa called out from where she was still draped over the sofa, not even looking their way, and Barry blushed. But he couldn't deny the interest he felt stirring in his gut at the thought of him and Len…
No. Barry had to shut that thought down right now. He could not have sex with the leader of the Rogues! Len just smirked and leaned back on his chair before shrugging.
"I'm not a metahuman," he said and then titled his head to direct Barry's gaze to the other two people in the room. "Neither is Mick."
"Then… why did you form the Rogues?" Barry asked, confused. Everything he'd heard about the Rogues so far suggested they were made entirely of metas.
"Because I am," a voice whispered very close to Barry's ear and Barry jumped and spun around.
Standing, no floating, behind him was a woman with long blond hair. Her skin glowing with golden light. Barry blinked at her, Golden Glider the papers called her, before recognising her face. He frowned and then turned back to Lisa on the couch who smiled and waved at him. Mick was laughing his ass off beside her and even Len looked like he was holding back a fully-belly laugh.
"It's called astral projection," Len said, his voice sounded lighter with amusement, and Barry nodded slowly. He'd heard of that. He remembered one of his mum's favourite shows from when he was a child, Charmed; if he remembered right, astral projection had been one of Prue's powers.
"Right," he mumbled and watched as Lisa's astral form faded and disappeared into thin air. He swallowed thickly and nodded before turning back to Len, his eyes perhaps a little too wide still. Len grinned at him for a moment longer and then his face turned serious again.
"I don't believe that my sister's rights should be taken away from her just because she has powers," Len all but growled. "For now you have to disclose your abilities… but how long until you have to wear trackers? Or be segregated into special communities? I'm going to keep fighting for my sister's rights until all the metahuman laws have been torn up," Len announced seriously and tension filled the room.
"Thanks, Bro," Lisa smiled and blew Leonard a kiss, which seemed to lighten the atmosphere a little more.
Barry wanted to defend them, he did, he worked for the government and was supposed to abide by its laws. But what could he say? The law only came about because people were scared. It was put in place to reduce the panic in the public and protect the metahumans from any hate they might receive from any frightened individuals.
But, the more he thought about it, the more Barry realised that the law only treated metahumans like second class citizens. And he couldn't help but make the connection between the anti-meta law that forced all metahumans to declare themselves to the city with the anti-Jew law from the Nazi's where they were forced to wear the yellow star so that they could be easily identified by the controlling government.
Barry felt ridiculous for even thinking that. It was crazy. It wasn't like there wasn't going to be another holocaust!
But the similarity was undeniable.
"I have to go," Barry announced, standing up. He had already swapped numbers with Len so that they could get in touch easily when they needed to and so he called goodbye to Frankie before running out of the room. He ran all the way back to his apartment, stopping at his door to dig out his key and making his next-door neighbour jump.
He smiled at the woman and she just stared back at him as though she was expecting him to do something evil like… steal her shopping out of her hands, or something. And that was the way that everyone had been looking at him this past month, Barry realised, like they didn't trust him anymore. Maybe that was even why he couldn't seem to make plans with any of his colleagues since he'd woken up and declared himself as a speedster… maybe their lives didn't actually get hectic since he'd been in a coma, maybe they just didn't want to spend time with a metahuman.
Barry rushed inside his apartment and slammed the door after himself. He couldn't really believe that… could he? No, he couldn't. He couldn't believe that he was being discriminated against because he now had powers. He couldn't believe that it was going to get worse. Because… because if he did then he would be on the same side as the Rogues.
Barry really needed to get his mind off of this. He closed his eyes and tried to think of something else. Anything that didn't include his now wavering loyalties to the law. Len was the first thing to pop into Barry's mind. Len with his beautiful smile and stunning eyes... Len who acted like a protective older brother to not only Lisa but also to Frankie. Len... who Barry suddenly realised he was developing real feelings for that went past the glaringly obvious sexual attraction.
He was so screwed.
  
Two days later, Barry was still freaking out over how conflicted only two meetings had made him. But he had a job to do and his first-week undercover was coming to an end and so, when Len texted him and asked if he felt up to testing out his abilities today, he agreed to meet him in an abandoned warehouse a few blocks away from Saints.
Barry splashed some water on his face and then ran right over there. Len was leaning against a table and looking down at his phone, probably reading Barry's reply, but he looked up again when Barry skidded to a stop in the room.
"That was fast," Len drawled, locking his phone and dropping it onto the table behind him.
"Yeah, that's kinda what I do." Barry laughed and Len smirked at him.
"Hopefully not… all of the time," he said suggestively and Barry felt himself stir with interest. Before Barry could start stuttering out a reply and make himself blush even brighter, Len turned around and picked something up off the table. "I like to know the limits of all of my Rogues," Leonard stated, still not facing Barry yet. "It comes in handy knowing what you can and cannot do. So if you're up to it, Barry, I'd like to do a few assessments."
"Good." When Len turned around, Barry saw that he was loading a clip into a gun. He tensed. "Don't worry. The bullets are rubber this time." They were last time, too, Barry thought. Len added a silencer to the gun. "And I won't be aiming at you, either. I want you to catch as many of the bullets as possible, Barry," Len stated and then instantly turned and fired the gun in the opposite direction of where Barry was standing.
Time slowed. Or, Barry's mind accelerated would be a more accurate description... But, either way, the bullet appeared to be moving at only a fraction of its prior speed. Barry flashed over there and plucked the bullet from mid-air. When time resumed to its normal pace again, Barry grinned and held the rubber bullet up at eye level in between his thumb and finger for Len, who nodded his approval, to see.
Leonard then turned and started firing again. He fired multiple times in multiple different directions and Barry was able to catch them all.
"Impressive," Len admitted with a nod and placed the gun back down on the table. Barry walked over to him and opened his hand, watching all the rubber bullets fall to the table and bounce momentarily before settling. "How fast do you think you can move?" Leonard asked and Barry shrugged.
"I never really got the chance to test it out," he admitted. "But I know I can heal a broken arm in as little as an hour, depending on how bad the break is."
"Really?" Len asked, sounding mildly surprised.
"Yep. I, er… I didn't always have the best of control over my speed," Barry admitted, scratching the back of his neck nervously and looking down at his shoes. "Starting running was easy. But stopping…? I ran into a lot of walls," Barry laughed and he saw Len move closer to him so he looked up and directly into Len's bright blue eyes.
"That's amazing," Len eventually said and Barry felt his heart flutter.
"You're the first person who's ever thought that," Barry admitted. Everyone had always seemed uncomfortable around him when he used his powers, occasionally they even seemed flat-out scared of him. Barry had understood at first… with the way he moved? He could do pretty much anything and no one would be able to stop him. But now… that fear he'd seen in his father's eyes the first, and only, time he'd seen Barry dropping out of the speed force in front of him… how could anyone justify that?
"People are scared of things they don't understand," Len said, softly, as he stepped even closer to Barry. His hand skirted along the edge of the table and moved closer and closer to where Barry's hand was dangling just over the tabletop. Len's finger's brushed against his own and Barry felt the hairs on the back of his arm stand up. "That doesn't make this wrong," Len drawled. And Barry got the feeling that they weren't talking about powers anymore.
Barry wished he could say that Len kissed him… that Len initiated the entire thing and Barry was just going along with it to help his cover. He wished that he could say that. But it would have been a lie. Because Len had been leaning forward, but Barry was definitely the one who closed the gap between their lips. Len's hands were wrapped around his waist, pulling him closer as he deepened the kiss.
Len's tongue danced against his own and Barry moaned as he pawed against Len's clothes. For a moment he heard the voice in his head reminding Barry of who he really is and what a bad idea this was… but then Len was lifting him up and laying him horizontal on the table. And, yeah, Barry really couldn't care if this was wrong because Len's hands pushing Barry's shirt up his body felt so right.
Barry began tugging at the older man's shirt and Len just brushed his hands away with a shake of his head. Barry frowned but didn't say anything about it as Len's hand momentarily left him. Barry looked down to see that the older man was unclipping a holster from his thigh and dropping it next to them on the table. The weapon inside of it looked a similar shape to a gun, but it was no gun that Barry had ever seen before.
"What's that do?" Barry asked, momentarily distracted. Len looked at the weapon and shrugged.
"It's my cold gun. It shoots a substance that reaches absolute zero," he muttered quickly before resuming the kisses on Barry's neck. And, God, that tongue could do some amazing things. For a moment, Len's words didn't even sink in. But when they did Barry opened his eyes and blinked several times.
"Absolute zero… you're Captain Cold," Barry realised. The police had always assumed that Cold was another metahuman but, apparently, they were wrong. "Oh my God, now all of the cold puns make a thousand times more sense."
Len huffed a short laugh against his neck before pulling back. His eyes were sparkling with amusement as he drawled "Barry, I'm doing some of my best work here and you're not even paying attention."
"Right, yeah, shutting up now," Barry muttered and kissed Len again. Len's hands popped the button open on Barry's jeans and Barry shivered in anticipation. Len's fingers brushed over the outline of Barry's weeping cock through his boxers and the younger man moaned, needing more. He bucked into Len's touch as he shivered again. But this time it felt… different. Len pulled back, startled, and Barry whined at the loss.
"Barry, did you just… vibrate?" Len asked him and Barry frowned.
"What?" Barry muttered and Len, after a pause, shook his head. He ran his fingers up the inside of Barry's thigh, slowly inching their way back to Barry's dick. Barry bit his lip and hummed appreciatively as the palm of Len's hand pressed against his cock once more, just enough pressure to get Barry moaning but not enough to give any real type of friction. Desperately, Barry bucked his hip up into Len's touch and it sent another shiver down his spine. Except… holy crap! He was vibrating!
"Shit," Len cursed and Barry's eyes opened suddenly as he recognised the buzzing of his powers under the surface of his skin. This was… new. Len was looking at him with unfiltered lust, his pupils blown wide. And then he was kissing Barry again, pushing him down against the wooden table, and Barry began pawing at his partner's jeans. "You're amazing," Len murmured against Barry's lips as his hands wrapped around Barry's waistband and pulled his boxers down quickly, exposing his dick to the cool air in the warehouse.
He was vibrating again as Len wrapped his big hand around his weeping cock and began stroking him. Shit, Barry was not going to last for very long at all. He couldn't waste any more time. He quickly shoved Len's pants down past his hips and took the other man's cock in his hand, surprised by its impressive length.
Len began biting and kissing at Barry's neck again, seeming determined to leave marks and annoyed when they weren't taking. They thrusted desperately into each other's hands and panted against one another's skin as they chased their orgasms. It was messy and amazing and Barry was vibrating, he couldn't have stopped if he wanted to.
Len's hand pumping on his cock was sending sparks of pleasure across Barry's body, particularly his spine, making his legs weak and his mind blank to everything except Len's skin against his own. It was intoxicating and Barry wanted to come so badly, but he also wanted this to last. All too soon he felt his orgasm building and he came with Len's name on his lips, his bed (or, well, table) partner only a few more thrusts behind him.
Barry collapsed back against the wooden table, feeling sticky and sated. If felt like every muscle in his body was glowing happily and all he wanted to do was close his eyes and lie there in the afterglow. Len momentarily rested his forehead against Barry's collarbone as he panted against his sensitive skin. But soon the older man was picking himself up and moving away.
Barry watched as Len disappeared under the table and stood back up with a packet of baby wipes that he was pulling out of a duffle bag. He took a couple to clean himself up with and then passed the packet to Barry who smiled at him.
"You came prepared?" Barry laughed and Len smirked.
"Just call me a boy scout," he muttered and Barry laughed louder as he imagined that. "Hey, I'll have you know I was an excellent boy scout," Len insisted and Barry could no-longer tell if he was joking anymore. Len leaned close against Barry's ear, his lips brushing against Barry's skin which caused him to shiver (and this time it was a shiver, not another vibration). "I excelled at knot tying. I could give you a… personal demonstration some time," Len drawled suggestively before moving away, tucking himself back into his jeans.
Barry bit at his lip and his dicked twitched as he imagined Len tying him up and fucking into him. He cleared his throat and stood up to pull his trousers back up. Len was already attaching the holster back to his thigh and Barry's hands shook a little bit as the realisation of what just happened came crashing down on him. Had he really just had sex with Captain Cold?! He had to get out of here. He had to get away so that he could think. Barry adjusted his t-shirt, which was thankfully clean of come if not a little sweaty, and then turned around to look at Len. The man looked perfect and beautiful and that just wasn't fair.
Because Barry couldn't be having sex with the leader of the Rogues! Not while he was undercover and trying to bring their organisation down. It wasn't right. He couldn't do this! But he knew, without a doubt, that he wouldn't stop it if Len decided to kiss him again. Len was just too enticing for Barry's own good!
"I should go. But that was… that was something else," Barry admitted, feeling his customary blush spread across his neck and ears. Len smirked and nodded.
"I'll be seeing you, Barry." And then Barry ran away. He was planning on going straight back to his apartment but he decided that he could do with some time to clear his head, so he kept running. He went faster than he ever had before as he ran circles around the City. And by the time he got back to his apartment, he had to hurriedly kick off his shoes as the friction caused them to suddenly burst into flames.
"Ah!" Barry yelped and he quickly threw them into his kitchen sink and turned the tap on. He didn't relax again until after the last flame had been extinguished. Then he just sighed and collapsed onto his sofa. Barry thought about Len and he thought about the Rogues. He thought about what they were fighting for.
And, at some point, Barry realised that he didn't want to bring their organisation down anymore. He didn't agree with their methods… but he agreed with their cause.
This was not going to end well.
  
"Have you ever thought about going about this another way?" Barry asked two days later. He was in the safe house above the bar again because apparently, it was the only one with cable so it was the Rogues' favourite, with Lisa and Len. It was the first time he was seeing Len since that day in the warehouse and so he hadn't been too sure how to act around him at first. But Len didn't broach the subject of the, quite frankly, amazing sex they'd had, and so Barry was willing to keep his mouth shut about it too.
"What do you mean?" Lisa asked as Len sat quietly on his laptop.
"Just that, you know… it might be easier to fight these laws if we weren't stealing from innocent people," he said quickly. Both of the Snart siblings frowned at him and… wow, when they did that it was so easy to tell they were related.
"I'm sorry," Lisa started, her voice a little bit higher with disbelief. "But didn't we recruit you because we saw you steal a priceless necklace from a museum? I mean… pot kettle, right?" She laughed and Barry just shrugged and looked from their faces to the glass in his hand. This was a bad idea. He should never have brought this up. But… maybe if he could get them to stop stealing and fight against these laws in a more legal way then Barry wouldn't have to turn them into the cops…
"Yeah…" Barry muttered. "But, you know, I wasn't a Rogue then. I wasn't doing this in the name of metahuman rights," Barry continued. Such a bad idea!
"Maybe you're right," Len said slowly. And wait, what? He'd hoped but he hadn't actually expected either of them to agree with him. Barry lifted his head once more but Len was no longer looking at him, he was staring at the TV with a blank look on his face.
"Come again?" Lisa asked. Barry couldn't see her face, because she was looking in the other direction, but he imagined that her eyes were wide and her mouth was hanging open in shock.
"There are plenty of rich assholes supporting the anti-metahuman laws. If we focussed on them then it might get our point across clearer," he said with a shrug and then turned the laptop around so that Barry and Lisa could see what he was looking at. "Like the Rathaways, for example." On-screen was an auction site, the picture of a painting clearly displayed with the word 'sold' in big red letters. Barry was too far away to read the small print but he had to assume from Len's words that the Rathaways had bought it and that it was worth a lot of money.
"Ooh," Lisa said, happily. She got up from her sofa, the same one she had been sitting at every other time that Barry had been here, to move closer to her brother and the laptop. Barry sat on the edge of his seat but he didn't move to get up. "Hart will be so happy," Lisa muttered with a gleeful laugh.
"Why would he want to steal from his family?" Barry muttered, confused.
"They disowned him last year for being gay," Lisa answered as she took the laptop from her brother and started reading.
"And any hope of reconciliation went away the second he declared himself as a meta," Len finished, his voice conversational but his eyes were hard and angry. It struck Barry again how much Leonard cared for the people in his Rogues Gallery.
"How long do we have to plan this?" Lisa asked, looking up at her brother again.
"They bought it in France last night. But they don't seem to have any plans to fly back to Central until February. So, unless they send it back ahead of time or their trip gets cut short, we have four weeks, four days and…" Len checked his watch. "three hours, thirty-five minutes. Give or take a few minutes depending on the weather."
"Perfect." Lisa grinned and then looked between Barry and Len. "I'll go tell Hartley right now," she announced before closing the lid of the laptop and standing up. "I'll get dinner out, too, so I'll be a while. Don't wait up," she said and winked at Barry before exiting the room. Barry frowned at the door that she'd disappeared through before turning back to Len, whose full attention was now aimed at Barry.
But before either of them could say anything, Barry's phone started beeping from inside his pocket. He frowned and dug it out, surprised to be getting a call from anyone since he'd checked in with the precinct last night and he didn't really know anyone else who would call him. Barry's frown deepened as his dad's number flashed across his screen.
His dad only ever rang him at the beginning of the month for a ten-minute catch-up. But today was the fourteenth. Barry instantly started worrying that something was wrong. He stood up and shot an apologetic smile towards Len while hooking his thumb over his shoulder to point towards the door behind him that led into a bedroom and en-suite.
"I should take this. Do you mind?" He asked and Len nodded for him to go ahead. Barry moved towards the bedroom and accepted the call. "Dad? Is everything okay?" He asked as he closed the door behind him and hovered in the middle of the empty, mostly unfurnished, bedroom.
"Everything's fine here. But why didn't you tell me you got fired, Barry?" Henry Allen asked, sounding concerned, and Barry's stomach dropped to the floor. His dad wasn't supposed to hear that. Who did he even still talk to in Central to hear that Barry had been fired? Not that he really had been fired… it was just an extra detail to add to his cover in case any of the Rogues went snooping into his background.
"I, uh… you heard about that, huh?"
"What happened, Son? I thought you were doing well there."
"I was. But there was… erm, cutbacks. And after the coma… I just didn't make the cut," Barry muttered and hoped his lie was at least slightly believable. The lie he'd been told to tell the Rogues if they ever found out was that the police had forced him out of the job since they found out he was a meta. But he didn't want to tell his dad that in case Henry got angry about it and started talking about suing them for wrongful termination.
But his dad didn't seem any happier with the answer he had given.
"They can't do that!" He argued. "It's not your fault you were struck by lightning. They can't fire you over it!"
"No, Dad, that's… that's not what I meant. But, it's okay! I… I already got another job. And it's better pay, too," he lied. Though he did actually get a serious raise for working undercover. "I'll tell you about it next time," Barry dodged the inevitable next question. "I'm a little busy right now." His father remained quiet for a moment before sighing.
"Okay, Barry. I'll talk to you soon."
"Bye, Dad," he muttered and then hung up. His father wouldn't ring again until the beginning of next month, so he'd bought himself another two weeks to come up with a great job that would mollify his dad. Barry pressed the mobile against his forehead for a moment and closed his eyes before shoving it into his pocket and walking back out into the main room.
Len was in the kitchen and so Barry loitered nearby instead of going to sit back on the sofa.
"Is everything okay?" Len asked and Barry nodded
"Yeah, it was just my dad."
"You don't talk to him very much?" Len asked though it sounded like he already knew the answer. "You seemed surprised when he called," Len explained when Barry just frowned at him.
"Yeah… I was. And we don't, no," he answered, not that he really needed to.
"Is it because you're a meta?"
"What? Oh. No. I mean, I don't really think that that helped anything…" Barry rambled, remembering how eager his father had seemed to leave Central again after Barry had woken up. At the time, Barry had just assumed that it had been because he wasn't comfortable around Barry anymore after all the years they'd been apart… but maybe it was the meta thing too? "Truth is, he's never really been there for me. Not since my Mum died."
Barry remembered that time all too well. He'd been thirteen when he came home from school to find his mother's dead body in the living room. The police said it was a burglary gone wrong. He'd really needed his dad then but Henry Allen had been… distant. By the end of the year, he had quit his job and got a new one selling medical supplies across the country. Barry spent a fair amount of the following year and a half at Joe's house while his dad was out of the state on business trips.
But when Barry was fifteen, Joe and Henry had a falling out. His dad stopped shipping him off to Joe's house and instead told him that he was old enough to stay home alone. So he spent the majority of the next few years in an empty house.
When Barry got into college, Henry sold the house and now he'd spent the past seven years living out of his suitcase as he moved from state to state. Soon the two phone calls a week dropped to once a week, and then to bi-weekly, and then to every few weeks, and then it settled on once a month. And always on the first, as though his father had written it into his calendar: a chore that he wanted to get over with so that he could enjoy the rest of his month without guilt.
"Huh," Len muttered. "The Rogues is seeming more and more like a group of lost criminals with horrible parents," he joked and Barry frowned.
"What do you mean?"
"You, Hartley, Frankie… me and Lisa," Len admitted with a shrug and Barry felt his stomach twist as he wondered what had happened to them. "A couple of others who you haven't met yet..."
"Your parents abandoned you too?" Barry asked slowly.
"Mother did. My dad left more… physical scars," Len admitted and Barry's chest ached at the thought of anyone hurting Len.
Barry suddenly remembered their last… encounter and how Len had been insistent on keeping their shirts on. He wondered how many scars Len was talking about and his eyes drifted to Len's chest, covered in a black woollen jumper.
"So… want to have sex?" Len asked and Barry blushed, taken aback by the abrupt suggestion.
"What? Like… right now?" Barry stuttered and Len shrugged.
"Do you think that's wise? I mean, you're basically my boss…"
"Probably not," Len admitted. He put the cap on a bottle of water he'd been holding and placed it onto the counter before swiftly entering Barry's personal space. His eyes were mesmerising this close up as they roamed Barry's face. "But it's fun. And I want to fully test out that vibrating of yours."
Len leaned in and kissed Barry. Or maybe Barry kissed Len? Maybe it didn't matter. Because their lips were moving in synchronicity. Their tongues were dancing against one another. Barry wanted this and, for once, he didn't care about the consequences. Barry allowed Len to guide him back towards the bedroom, pulling at each other's clothes as they went.
  
Barry was going to hell.
He was going to hell and he… kind of didn't care? Though that wasn't really his fault. It was hard to care about anything, even eternal damnation, when he was lying naked in Len's bed and coming down from his orgasm high.
This was the fourth time that they'd had sex now and Barry just had to accept that he was a very weak individual who just couldn't seem to help himself whenever Len was nearby. As Len would say, Barry was drawn to him like frost on an ice cube tray.
Len grunted as he got up out of bed and bent over to grab his trousers off the floor, giving Barry a nice view of that gorgeous round ass. All too quickly, Len was pulling his jeans up and Barry sighed. When Len turned around he was smirking at Barry. And oh did that smirk do things for him.
"You should get up," Len drawled as his eyes flickered down Barry's exposed, naked, body. "The other's will be here soon." Right. The others. Because Len was still preparing to steal that painting and he'd decided that it was time that he let the other Rogues in on his plans. Len threw Barry's clothes at him and then turned to get a fresh Henley out of a nearby chest of drawers. They weren't in Len's house because he was staying in one of the safe houses for the time being; apparently, he didn't like going back to his actual residence so soon after a heist and they'd only stolen the Kahndaq Dynasty diamond a couple of days before Barry'd shown up.
"You know, you don't have to hide your scars from me," Barry blurted out once Len moved towards the bathroom to get changed. This was the fourth time they'd had sex but not once had Len taken off his shirt in front of Barry. Len slowly turned back around to face Barry, his face was entirely blank and unreadable.
"They're kind of a mood-killer," Len eventually drawled and Barry shrugged.
"Honestly… I don't think there is a thing in the world that would make me want to not have sex with you," Barry admitted, solemnly, and Len raised an eye at his tone of voice but didn't question it. He seemed to be weighing his options for a moment and Barry barely managed to stop himself from fidgeting as he waited for Len's answer.
Slowly, as though he was a little uncertain of his actions, Len took a few steps back into the room. He dropped the clean shirt onto the dresser and swiftly pulled his sullied one over his head. Barry was glad that he'd taken time to prepare himself, because if he hadn't then he might actually have gasped. Len's entire torso was littered with scars: some small and clean, others big and jagged. Barry tried to swallow past the knot of emotions building in his throat but it wasn't working very well.
Instead of pulling the clean shirt over his head right away, Len dropped the dirty one to the floor and stood still as he looked Barry straight in the eye. Steadily, Barry stood up from the bed and moved the two steps towards Len. He looked Len in the eye, silently asking for permission, before he gently raised his hand and brushed his fingers over a collection of scars on Len's bicep that looked like cigarette burns.
"Your dad gave you these?" Barry asked, his voice tight. "All of them?"
"Close enough," Len said with a swift nod. His voice was completely cold and emotionless and it ached Barry's chest to hear it. Barry didn't know what he was going to say next but he was surprised by the rage that he could feel bubbling inside himself. He'd never wished someone dead before… not until this very moment.
"Lenny!" Came a shout from the front of the house which made Barry jump and drop his hand. The sound of people talking and walking around filtered into the room and Len sighed. "Cover up your junk, you have guests!"
Len looked from the bedroom door back to Barry and then swiftly wrapped his hand around the back of Barry's neck and brought their lips together. Barry melted into the kiss and let it drown out all of his anger until all he could feel was Len's tongue in his mouth and his fingers in his hair. Len pulled back far too quickly and Barry's eyes fluttered open, surprised by the raw emotion that he could see in Len's.
"Get dressed," Len drawled and stepped back. Within an instant, he was back to his cool, collected, self. He winked at Barry and left the room, pulling his clean shirt on as he went. "I'm here, Sis," Len called out in the other room and Barry could hear Lisa talking to him but he couldn't really make out her words.
"Right…" Barry muttered to the empty room as he stood completely still for another few seconds. After a moment he shook himself and grabbed his clothes off the bed, speed dressing. He took a moment to look in the mirror and make sure he didn't look too much like he'd just been fucked to within an inch of his life. He fluffed his hair a bit before finally just giving up and leaving the bedroom.
He stepped out of the door and into the living room of the small bungalow, hoping to just merge into the group unnoticed. This whole thing between himself and Len had been a secret so far, only Mick and Lisa knew they were… whatever it was they were. Together? No, that sounded too concrete… But apparently, someone was paying attention because Mark spoke up loud and clear when he saw Barry emerge from the bedroom.
"Really? You've been here like two minutes and you're already fucking the boss?" Barry froze and blushed a bright red as all of the eyes in the room turned to face him, including a couple of new people who Barry hadn't met yet. Everyone except Len, who didn't look up from where he was sorting through some blueprints at the far end of the room next to Lisa and Mick.
"You sound jealous, Mark," Hartley muttered after a brief pause. "Didn't think you swung both ways."
"I don't," Mark bristled. "I just don't think it's very professional for our leader to be blurring lines with the newbie."
"Who I choose to have sex with is none of your god damn business, Mardon," Len drawled, not once looking up from the papers in his hands.
"And anyway," Lisa butted in. "Aren't you dating Shawna?"
"She's not a Rogue," Mark insisted and Barry relaxed slightly as the tension was drawn away from him. "She's just a bartender."
"'Just a bartender,' huh? I'm sure she'll be happy to hear that," Lisa snarked and Mick snorted.
"You know what I mean! She doesn't help us out on heists," Mark defended but before anyone could speak again, Len laid the papers out on the table at the front of the room and everyone snapped to attention as though they knew he was going to speak. It was odd how well Len was able to command a room with simply a shift in his body language. Odd and, truthfully, a bit of a turn on.
Len led the Rogues through a quick summary of what he had so far and Barry tried to hide his discomfort. He'd been undercover for barely a week and so, for the most part, he didn't really have anything yet that he could report back to the task force at work.
But if they went through with this heist then Barry would have no choice but to be an eye witness to the robbery once he went back to his regular role as a CSI at the precinct. He would have to turn on the Rogues and… and he really didn't want to do that. Barry was surprised by just how much he wanted to protect them. Well, not all of them… he would happily throw Mark Mardon to Joe, gift-wrapped. But Lisa, Hartley, Frankie… Len…
Barry just didn't think he had it in him to turn on them. He had to stop this heist… but how?
Len finished the briefing and the Rogues slowly dispersed. Mark gave him a glare as he left. Yep, Barry would definitely have no qualms over turning him into the police. He hung back a little bit, not quite sure whether he should stay or leave with the rest of them. That moment back in the bedroom kept replaying in Barry's mind. It had been so… intimate. Barry worried that he had accidentally barged past some unspoken rule of Len's and ruined whatever it was that they had with each other. But before he could think too hard about that Len was meeting his gaze from across the room and then walking towards him. So maybe it hadn't been ruined, after all?
"So, what do you think? Want to come to stake the building out with me tonight?" Len asked.
"I'm offended that you don't think I'll have any plans on a Friday night," Barry muttered and Len smirked.
"That's not the point," Barry laughed and he could see Len's smirk widen just enough to, maybe, be considered a real smile.
"I'll pick you up at seven," he announced. "Where's your apartment?" Barry rattled off the address and wondered if that was crossing some border. He was undercover, after all. Was he going to have to move now once he went back to work? "I'll see you tonight then, Barry. Wear something smart," Len instructed and then walked away and so Barry took that as an invitation to leave.
  
At exactly seven o'clock, Leonard knocked on Barry's apartment door. Barry looked down at the clothes he was wearing, the only suit that he owned, and shrugged. He didn't know why he really had to dress up if they were just going to sit in a car all night surveilling the building, but if this is what Len wanted then he would go with it.
When he opened the door, however, he got his breath knocked out of him. He hadn't realised how absolutely stunning Leonard Snart would look in a suit. Barry was not going to live through the night.
"You look… great," Barry muttered and Len looked Barry up and down with an appreciative glance.
"As do you, Barry." Len led him out of the building and towards a sleek black car. It looked recently washed and waxed as the paintwork glistened in the moonlight.
Len opened the passenger side door for him and smirked when Barry blushed, as though that had been his goal all along. Barry still wasn't sure why he needed to put on a suit for this and so he asked Len after the older man climbed into the driver's seat and started the ignition.
"Maybe I just wanted something pretty to look at," Len drawled and Barry gaped at him.
"Are… are you being serious?" Barry asked. "Because I can never really tell."
"You'll just have to wait and see." Len shrugged with a playful smirk on his face. When they arrived at the building in front of the small landing strip where the Rathaway's private plane would land in four weeks' time, Barry was surprised to see Len drive right past it and instead pull into the valet line for the restaurant across the road.
"I thought we were staking out the building?" Barry asked slowly.
"We are. I booked a table next to the window, this restaurant will give us a good view of the security office so we can see how often they do walkthroughs and get an idea about the shift change pattern. Also, it does amazing duck," Len shrugged and got out of the car after they got to the front of the queue.
Barry immediately followed and Len led him into the restaurant. The maître d' led them to a table by a window at the front, facing the building across the street, just like Len said. Then he gave them both menus and Len had ordered some posh red wine before Barry had even taken his seat.
Barry looked at the leather-bound menu in his hands and then around at the low-lit restaurant with smooth jazz playing softly from overhead speakers. The tables were all covered in a cream coloured cloth with lace trimmings and the seats were covered in soft brown leather. He knew before he even opened to the starters that he couldn't afford this place. And his suspicions were confirmed when he opened to a random page and bulked at the prices.
"I… didn't bring this kind of money with me," Barry said slowly. He had his wallet and the card that the station had provided him with for his undercover work in his back pocket. But he didn't exactly think he could get away with putting this kind of credit on there without a serious reason. And this was far more money than Barry would ever reasonably consider spending on a meal.
"It's on me." Len waved away Barry's objection and Barry frowned at him for a moment longer. Eventually, he closed his menu and put it down on the table.
"Is this… a date?" Barry asked. It certainly didn't feel like they were there to surveil a building for a heist. And Len shook his head.
"As my sister has told me countless times this afternoon, a stakeout is not a date."
"Well, if it's not a date then-"
"Just... enjoy it, Barry," Len interrupted, pushing the food menu back towards him. Barry looked at the item for a moment and then back up at Len's stunning blue eyes. After a moment he found himself nodding and then Len went back to looking at his menu.
"Enjoy it. Yeah. I can do that," He eventually muttered. And he did. It was… odd that he was so capable of relaxing around Len, the leader of a criminal organisation that Barry was supposed to be trying to bring down from the inside. Having sex with him was one thing… it was fulfilling a need, a carnal desire. But this was something else. Having a date with Captain Cold, because that's what this is… Len wasn't even pretending to look out the window at the other building, and having real feelings for the man… it was dangerous. And stupid. And everything that Barry tried his hardest not to be.
Except he wasn't fighting this. Not in the slightest. It was as though he'd been trying so hard all of his life to be that guy who never did anything wrong, and now he was just tired of suppressing this part of himself. It was his turn to make a mistake. A big, big, mistake that would no doubt lead to some serious consequences later. He knew this and yet he didn't try to put an end to it. Instead, Barry ordered the duck, Len's recommendation, and he smiled and they talked and he laughed at Len's ridiculous puns.
And then after the meal, which he was sure was going to be the most amazing thing he would ever taste, Len ordered them six different desserts to share because apparently they were all incredible and he knew that Barry would be able to finish it all no matter how much he ordered. (And, yeah, Barry had been wrong earlier. Because that white chocolate cheesecake was so good he almost had an orgasm right there in the middle of the restaurant). And he really, truly, enjoyed himself.
Especially when, after they'd finished eating and went back to the car, Len drove only a couple of streets away before he pulled up at the side of the road and blew Barry in the passenger seat.
Maybe it was the endorphins from the amazing food or maybe it was the adrenaline from the thought of being in public, where anyone walking past would be able to see exactly what they were up to, or maybe it was both… but, whatever it was, that blowjob ended up being the single greatest orgasm Barry had ever experienced.
The muscles of his legs still felt weak with it ten minutes later when Len dropped him off at his apartment. Yeah, definitely a date. And a damn good date, at that.
But, eventually, Barry had to face the fact that he was now dating Captain Cold. And that moment came the precise second that Barry closed his eyes after climbing into bed. His heart rate suddenly picked up and his stomach twisted as he worried over what he was going to do. Barry was dating the leader of the Rogues! And soon he would be forced to turn him into the police.
This was not good. In fact, it was very, very, bad.
Barry buried his head into the pillow and tried to think of something else, but sleep continued to elude him. And it remained that way for the next hour or so until Barry finally came up with a plan for how to deal with his situation. It wasn't a very good plan, and all it was really doing was delaying the inevitable, but it managed to quiet his mind and settle his stomach long enough for him to finally reach unconsciousness.
[Four Weeks Later]
Len was angry. He'd never had a heist stolen from him before now. Statistically, he knew that it could happen: there were plenty of thieves in Central and so it made sense that they might also have their eyes on Len's targets. But as he looked at the news report paying on the TV he couldn't help but fume with anger.
The plan was simple and that's why Len had liked it: Hartley, backed up by Mick, would confront his parents about kicking him out of the family while Len and Lisa hung back and swiped the painting. At that point, Len would give the signal to the other Rogues, who were strategically placed throughout the city, and they would start causing trouble to divide the police's attention. It didn't matter what they did as long as they didn't hurt anyone.
Len and Lisa would stash the painting into the back of the unmarked van they'd acquired and then drive around to pick up Mick and Hart before dashing away. Len knew that the theft would fall short on the police's list of priorities while Weather Wizard, the Trickster and the Top were all out there. And so he knew that he would make a clean getaway back to the preordained safe house. And if any of the Rogues got arrested while creating their diversion, well, that's what Barry was for. The Flash would be able to pull the Rogues out of the moving car and carry them back to the safe house before the cops could even blink an eye.
The plan was nearly foolproof. Except…
Except that the plane never showed. Len waited 31 minutes after the plane was destined to land before he called it quits and told everyone to report back to the safe house, sure that the Rathaways must have taken a detour on the way home and stopped off somewhere else. He would find out where Hartley's parents had flown to and then the Rogues would complete the heist when the Rathaways finally did make it back to Central.
However, that was when he saw the news report: Rachel and Osgood Rathaway's private plane had been diverted to an airport in Kansas after a false report of oil on the Central City runway. The painting on board was then stolen, the thief wasn't seen and so far hadn't left any evidence. If Len wasn't so angry, he would be impressed.
The other Rogues were disappointed, Hartley understandably more so than the others, but they shrugged it off. All of them but Barry who seemed… happy? Len wasn't sure. He was trying to hide it but there was a definite lightness to Barry's eyes that didn't fit with the situation.
And this wasn't the first time that Barry had seemed… off. In fact, it seemed to be a fairly common occurrence. Len had just shrugged it off when he first noticed it and chalked it up to Barry being new to the job. But what if it was something more? Len couldn't help but think about Barry's blatant hesitance when it came to talking about his past.
Len had been understanding of that. Barry hadn't had quite the same rough upbringing as Len and Lisa had had, but there was no doubt that his teenage years had been troubled at best. It was understandable that Barry wouldn't want to talk about that. But, oddly, Barry seemed more open about his mother's murder and his father's abandonment than he was about the past 7 years of his life. Len didn't even know what he studied at university or what job he'd had before his coma.
Len liked Barry, he really did. Barry was different from the other criminals he'd met. He still had a brightness to him… a hope in his eyes that hadn't quite been snuffed out just yet. Len was drawn to Barry and at first, he'd thought it was just a mutual physical attraction that spurred on his actions. But then Barry had touched his scars and he'd seen anger light up Barry's big green eyes – it was the first sense of anger that Len had seen from Barry and it was for a man that the kid had never even met.
And instead of annoyance over the unneeded protectiveness, Len felt something warm bubbling inside his chest. He would have made a crack about Barry melting his heart if it wasn't so eerily accurate. Because Len had given up on any thoughts of a relationship a long time ago, decided they were just too messy and unfitting for his line of work, but then Barry had shown up… and within a week he'd already had Len questioning his own rules.
So no, Len hadn't wanted to push for fear of losing whatever he and Barry had. But, he'd also never had a reason to push. But now… Len had to wonder if this heist hadn't been stolen from him by Barry himself. Barry was fast, getting faster every day, and he was smart. He would easily be able to plant false information about an oil spill into the computers without anyone seeing him. And running to Kansas and back would take him next to no time at all.
The closer Len looked at the situation, the more Barry's perfectly constructed image began to look cracked. Even that first heist of Barry's that he'd seen on the news reports didn't make sense anymore... Barry was fast: he could have been in and out of that museum with the necklace before the alarm that he'd tripped had even sounded. So why did he dawdle enough for the police to show up? Unless he wanted the cameras on him to broadcast his abilities to the entire city.
Len didn't want to believe it, but it was possible that he had been duped. He looked over to where Barry was talking animatedly to Lisa in the kitchen and Len frowned. There was a long list of criminals in Central that Len had pissed off, Barry could be working with any one of them. But would Barry really go as far as to have sex with Len to trick him?
As the afternoon went on, Len thought long and hard about it and he decided that he was probably overreacting. Everything that seemed off about Barry could easily be due to nerves and being unprepared. But he knew that he couldn't just let it drop like this. Quietly, Len pulled Hartley off to the side of the room.
"What's up, Boss?" Hart asked, having mostly gotten over his disappointment over not being able to confront his parents.
"I need you to look into someone for me. Discreetly," Len insisted and Hart nodded.
"Sure. Who do you need dirt on?" He replied, quieter this time. Leonard looked over his shoulder at his boyfriend for a moment before his eyes landed back on Piper.
  
Barry drifted into consciousness and snuggled down into the warm blanket over his naked body. Len's arm was wrapped around his waist, his fingers tracing patterns into Barry's skin. It was peaceful, he loved mornings like this and he was glad that he got to have a few more of them. Stealing the painting yesterday hadn't been ideal… but at least it meant that the Rogues didn't get to go through with their plan and Barry wasn't forced to testify against them.
The painting was now safely locked away in the back of his walk-in cupboard under a mess of spare bedding, towels, and old jackets that he never wore anymore but didn't want to throw out just yet. In a month or so he would leave it, anonymously, in a police station to be given back to the rightful owner. It was only a short term fix and Barry knew that he wouldn't be able to do that again next time because the Rogues would surely know that there was a mole in their group. It wouldn't take long for fingers to point to Barry and assume that he was leaking information at the very least.
But Barry would worry about that bridge when he came to it. For now, he just relaxed back against Len, feeling his boyfriend's breath on the back of his neck. Len's fingers reached around and entwined with Barry's, making him smile into his pillow. Yeah, he loved mornings like this. But then Len's phone had to start blaring and ruin it all. Barry's moan of complaint made Len chuckle.
"You stay right here," Len whispered into Barry's ear, making him shiver, as he rolled away to grab the phone from his bedside table. Len answered the call as he left the bedroom and Barry pulled the quilt up to around his neck to try and make up for the absence of Len's warm body behind him. It was a poor substitute.
He didn't notice how long Len was gone for, but soon he heard the door open again and Len slipped back into the bed behind him. Barry sighed contently as Len tucked his arm around Barry's waist once more. His fingers were a little colder now but Barry was happy to feel Len's hand travel up Barry's body until the palm of his hand laid flat against his chest.
For a moment they both stayed entirely silent and still, the only sounds in the room were their soft breaths. But then Len shifted forward just enough that his lips brushed against the shell of Barry's ear.
"Barry…" Len whispered and Barry made a humming noise and half turned his head towards his boyfriend, so he was facing up to the ceiling, which was the most effort Len was going to get from Barry this morning. "Why didn't you tell me you used to work for the cops?" He asked and Barry's eyes shot open suddenly.
He tried not to tense, knowing that Len was plastered against his back and would definitely notice that. Barry tried to gauge from the tone in Len's voice how he was feeling but Len was an expert in hiding his emotions and so his voice just sounded casual.
"I, uh, I didn't know how you would react," Barry muttered and he heard Len hum behind him, his thumb running circles on Barry's chest. But Barry realised suddenly that Len's palm was pressed flat against Barry's skin, directly over where his heart was. "Are you, er, are you trying to feel my heart rate to see if I'm lying? Because you know that isn't really accurate when I have a hot, naked, guy pressed up behind me," Barry tried to laugh but he realised he probably shouldn't have said anything at all.
"Barry…" Len said slowly, his voice still sounded casual and that made Barry even more nervous than he already was. "Are you still working for the CCPD?" Len asked. Barry swallowed thickly. He should deny it, he knew that he should deny it… the task force had given him an entire speech to recite off by heart in the chance that the Rogues would find this out, but he didn't want to keep lying to Len.
And even if he did lie… what was the point? Len wasn't an idiot; he already knew. So Barry might as well just own up to it. He took a deep breath before responding, his voice coming out broken at barely a whisper.
"Yes." Len didn't say anything and for a long moment they both just laid there, neither of them moving. But then Len pulled away and rolled out of his bed. Barry turned instantly and he watched as Len grabbed Barry's clothes and threw them at him on the bed, his face completely emotionless.
"Get dressed and get out," Len said, his anger finally coming through as his voice turned sharp and cold.
"Wait, no, Len. I haven't told them about you!" Barry said, cutting straight to the point because he had to make Len understand. "They didn't know who you were before I came here and they still don't know now!" He insisted sitting up onto his knees on the bed. "I promise; I haven't told them anything! Not about you, or this, nothing!" Barry said but Len just glared at him. "I… please."
"Get out," Len snarled and Barry felt tears stinging at his eyes.
"Now." Barry's throat closed up on him at all the anger that Len was directing his way. He nodded and dressed in superspeed before running out of Len's house without another word. Barry went back to his apartment and collapsed against his door. His heart felt heavy in his chest and Barry let it drag him to the ground. He sat in the dark, cold, room with his back against his apartment door and finally let the tears come.
Barry wasn't sure how long he sat there, slowly watching the sunlight from a gap in the drapes move across the floor of his living room, but eventually he managed to pull himself together. He had to fix this. He couldn't just leave it like this. Barry dug his mobile out of his pocket and called Len.
He guessed he shouldn't really have been surprised when Len let it ring out without answering it. Barry had been lying to him since the moment they first met and Len had every right to be pissed at him. After a few minutes, Barry nodded to himself and pocketed his phone. He needed to give Len some space if they were going to have any chance of working through this. It killed Barry to even admit that to himself but he really had fucked up.
Over the past month, he'd been purposefully not thinking about how Len was going to react when he found out the truth, but when it had popped into his head Barry had spent many days and nights coming up with the perfect explanation. He was so far past caring that Len was a criminal, he would never turn him, or Lisa, into the police. Maybe Mick… Mick scared him sometimes. But never Len or Lisa. Barry was going to tell Len that, he just had to get the chance to.
Barry felt like a ball of nerves for the next two days as he paced his apartment and stared at his phone. It didn't help that his nerves kept making time slow down, either, the days seemed to drag on for an entire week. But, eventually, Barry decided that he'd been waiting long enough. If Len hadn't calmed down by now then Barry feared he would never get his chance to explain.
Barry took a deep breath before he dropped into his armchair and pressed on Len's number. The seconds of silence that passed before the phone would start ringing was agonising and Barry bit down a little too hard on his bottom lip. But the ringing never came. Barry's stomach twisted as a machine picked up the call with "I'm sorry but the number you are trying to reach has been disconnected."
Barry let the phone fall from his fingers and then he was running. He ran and he didn't stop again until he was outside Len's house and staring at the 'for sale' sign on the lawn. With wide eyes, Barry tried the door; it wasn't even locked, opening up into a big, spacious, hallway. One completely devoid of coats, shoes, wall decorations, even the long grey rug that used to run along the wooden floor was now gone.
"No," Barry muttered to himself. He flashed into the kitchen: empty. The living room: empty. The bathroom, study, dining room… all empty. "No, no, no, no." There wasn't even any furniture. The only thing that Barry could see was a cardboard box in the bedroom with Barry's name scrawled across the top. He opened it to find his own stuff inside; specifically, everything that he had left at Len's.
Barry shook his head, refusing to give up. Len wasn't here but that didn't mean he wasn't in Central anymore. There were many safe houses that he could be crashing at and Barry knew all of them. He went to the bar first. It was the Rogues' favourite safe house because it had cable and easy access to alcohol. He didn't particularly think it was a good idea to be talking to the other Rogues right now… but if they knew where Len was then it was worth a try.
Barry slowed down from superspeed as he went into Saints and Sinners. But he quickly rushed to the gate at the bar and walked through, heading towards the staircase at the back that led up to the safe house.
"He's not here," a voice said, stopping him in his tracks. Shawna was polishing glasses behind the bar and he turned to look her way. "We have a few codes set up as protocols in case of emergencies. He sent everyone the 'pack what you can and run' code a couple of days ago," Shawna clarified and Barry's shoulder's drooped as the last of his hope sunk away. Of course, Len would have protocols for something like this, he prided himself on being prepared for anything. "Whatever you did, Barry. You really fucked up."
"I know," Barry muttered, sombrely.
"It's strange. I always thought Len would be the one to fuck up what you two had. Never thought I'd be glad to be proven so wrong before," she laughed momentarily and then grimaced as she turned back to Barry. "Sorry."
"It's fine. What are you talking about?"
"Len gave me the bar when he left," she said with a shrug and a shy smile. "I never thought of owning a bar before. I was only working here because I was desperate for money and it's great pay. But now that I've got it… I don't know, I kinda like it."
"That's great, Shawna," Barry said on automatic. He cast one last look at the staircase beyond the door at the back of the bar and then he turned to leave, feeling empty.
"Hey," she called out and Barry looked back at her. "I can't promise that he'll ever come back to Central," she said and it felt like she was twisting a knife in Barry's side. "But… if I see him, I'll let you know. I mean, you got me my own bar. It's the least I could do to say thank you," Shawna clarified and Barry nodded once before leaving.
[One month later]
"Are you sure?" Len asked over the phone. If he was really going to do this, then the kid better be damned sure about his information.
"Lenny, he's sure," Lisa muttered. Len knew that she was getting a little bit fed up with him lately and Len didn't really blame her for that. But, still…
"Hartley?" Len grunted and he could practically hear Hart's eye roll.
"Trust me, I'm sure. The police firewall is a joke. Not only did I find out this, but I also was able to delete all of our criminal records. Happy Christmas," Hartley muttered.
"It's March," Len snarked back.
"Then happy St Patrick's Day." Len sighed loudly and Lisa smacked his arm, mouthing 'be nice'.
"Thank you," he begrudgingly muttered. He didn't really need his criminal record wiping, neither he nor Lisa ever left behind enough evidence for the cops to ever be able to convict them, but he supposed it made it less likely that the police would be able to pin any future crimes on him.
"You're welcome. Now, trust me: Barry didn't even mention you, Lisa, or Frankie in his report. Not my real name or supervillain moniker. The only people he mentioned were those who the police already knew about. And let me tell you, I'm reading it right now and Barry flat out lied on at least half of this. The only person he said anything vaguely incriminating against was Mark and, I mean, can you really blame him there?" Hartley laughed. No, he couldn't, Mardon was an ass.
"Thanks, Hartley," he said once more and hung up. Len placed his phone on the coffee table in front of him and stared blankly at it for a moment as he thought over his options.
"So, he turned you in?" Frankie asked from where she was sitting on the floor, her back pressed against the sofa behind her.
"No… he didn't."
"Then why do you look like he left your ice cubes out of the freezer?" She muttered and Len glared her way as Lisa laughed beside him. "What? You can make ice puns but I can't?"
"Homework," Len ordered and Frankie rolled her eyes.
"Yes, Dad," she muttered and turned back to her books. And that… that made Len's chest warm. When he'd adopted Frankie last month, under a fake name, it had simply been a means to an end: he had to get out of Central but he didn't want to leave her unprotected around her abusive foster father in case he started hurting her again. And that was that. But, during the short period of time that Len had known her, she really had become like a daughter to him. It was… different having someone rely on him again. But a good different.
"So, we're going back to Central then," Lisa muttered and Len shrugged.
"I'm not sure."
"No, that wasn't a question. We're going back to Central and you're going to make this right with Barry. Because I've had enough of your moping," Lisa ordered and then stood up, she shrugged off Len's glare and grabbed her keys from her purse. "I'm going to go pack. Frankie," she said and turned back to the teenager on the floor. "You miss your old friends, right?"
"Perfect." Lisa grinned and left the apartment. Len weighed the benefits of arguing the point but he eventually decided it just wasn't worth it.
"Does this mean I still have to do my homework or…?" Frankie asked and Len sighed.
"Go pack," he allowed and she jumped from the floor before he could change his mind.
By the end of the week, the three of them were back in Central and Frankie was re-enrolled in her old high school. Len's house hadn't sold yet and so he took it off the market and settled back in, kind of regretting the decision to give away all of his old furniture. But Frankie was happy, at least. She was thrilled at the prospect of choosing every aspect of her new room.
Len left her and Lisa surrounded by catalogues and colour swatches. And then he went to Barry's apartment. He didn't knock on the door, though. He just waited, sat across the street in his matt grey Sedan. He trailed Barry a few more days, much to Lisa's amusement ("he's not a diamond, Lenny. You don't have to surveil him," she'd laughed). But Len had to do this. Barry had tricked him before and so Len had to know how much of it all had been a lie.
Len was happy to find that Barry didn't seem to have a new boyfriend. Less happy to see that he was still working for the CCPD… but that was something Len was willing to look past. And he was… surprised when he followed Barry on the Saturday morning and found him taking part in a metahuman rights rally. Though he was probably more surprised by just how many people were gathered there. Len didn't like hope… it was a dangerous emotion. But he felt it flutter inside his chest right then. Maybe there really was a possibility that these anti-metahuman laws could be abolished.
And if there was hope for that then maybe… maybe there was hope for him and Barry. After the rally, Len followed Barry to a coffee shop named Jitters and decided that it was time to actually do something about this. He parked up his car and walked into the shop, lingering as he watched Barry pick up his coffee cup.
He was looking down at his phone as he turned around and so Len moved into just the right position so that Barry would accidentally bump into him as he walked away.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" Barry apologised instantly, looking up from his phone to Len's face, and his eyes went wide.
"It's cool, Barry," Len waved it off, smirking.
"Len. I… you're back?" He stuttered and Leonard shrugged as he watched a myriad number of emotions flash across Barry's face, too fast for Len to be able to identify them all.
"I am," he allowed.
"Can we talk?" He asked instantly and Len nodded. Barry sat at the nearest available table and began to play with a sugar packet as he decided on what he was going to say. Len just waited. "I'm sorry," Barry eventually said. "I should have told you myself that I was undercover."
"I think that would have probably defeated the purpose," Len drawled and Barry shook his head.
"I made up my mind before we even really started dating that I wasn't going to turn you in," Barry admitted. "And I didn't. I swear!"
"I know." But Barry kept on explaining. He insisted that it had all been real between them and that he regretting lying to him. And Len listened until Barry, eventually, ran out of words. "I believe you."
"You… you do?" Barry asked, his voice quiet and filled with so much hope. Len nodded and all of the tension on Barry's shoulders seemed to dissipate. "I missed you," Barry eventually admitted, a shy smile on his face. "And… I know that this is crazy, but do you think that maybe we could go back to how we were before? Minus the lying," Barry laughed nervously and Len allowed himself a small smile.
"Maybe," he drawled. He'd had an entire month to cool down and, after finding out once and for all that Barry hadn't turned him or Lisa into the cops, Len knew that this was something that they could work past. But that didn't mean that he wasn't going to make the younger man work for it. Barry's answering grin was wide and beautiful and enough to make Len feel weak at the knees. And he knew that it wouldn't be long before Len could no longer resist kissing that ridiculous smile off of that ridiculous face.
And when, a couple of weeks later, Len found a forgotten $25million painting hiding in the back of Barry's walk-in cupboard… well, Barry certainly wasn't going to miss that.