The sun of the desert was blistering, great waves clear over each sand dune. Despite the hardship, Genji marched on.
He struggled in the heat, his primarily robotic body did not respond well to this extreme heat. It was frustrating, since he couldn’t move when his systems overheated. And though his body was made to be able to withstand extreme temperatures, being in this direct sunlight constantly was proving to be too much. Even though he kept every part of himself covered from the sun, he still regretted ever stepping foot in the same.
After hours of sun torture, he came upon an omnic rest station, one not far from the next town. They were set up all over the desert specific distances from each other so that any omnic, or robot of any kind, could come in and cool if before tempting the heat again. Crazy as they had to be, these helpful folks who ran the stations knew you couldn’t keep any free spirits from crossing the desert is they so choose.
Genji pulled his scarf down from his face a little and sighed. He stood atop the sand dune over it, debating going down. He knew much longer under the sun would do him no good, and it was too early in the day to chance making it to town.
With complete reluctance, he pressed on and walked towards the station.
“Welcome to the Oasis!” A friendly woman behind the counter greeted him. She smiled warmly as Genji walked in, closing the door behind him, “How can we be of service?”
Genji pulled his hood down from his head. He could understand what she was saying, but wasn’t sure how to respond exactly. She was speaking English, but his comprehension of the language was limited.
He suddenly regretted skipping out on his tutoring lessons when he was younger.
Genji looked around the counter near her. She seemed to be patiently waiting for him to decide. The counter was covered in flyers for the various treatments they offered. Oil changes, tune ups, specially designed meals, and…
Genji stepped closer, his legs letting off enough steam to be visible, and pointed to one flyer on the counter that read “cooling treatment.”
The woman looked where he pointed and smiled at him, nodding again, “Alright, follow me into the back. We’ll get you cooled down in no time.” She stood and started walking down a back hallway. Genji just followed her, looking to the sides as they passed a bunch of room.
Most of the rooms were empty, spare a couple which were treating a couple omnic merchants. The smell of motor oil was evident, though he couldn’t tell exactly where it came from.
The woman stopped at the end of the hall and opened a door for him, “Here we are. You just sit in here for about 20-30 minutes, until you feel you’re cool enough. Let me know if there’s anything else you need, okay?”
Genji just nodded once and stepped inside, the heavy door closing behind him. The cool breeze of the room blew through him as he sat in the closest chair. His skin beneath the armor became cooler instantly as the metal over the rest of his body did. He felt himself relax as he leaned his head back. For the first time in a long time, he didn’t feel like a monster.
And then, the sharp instincts brought him back to reality as he realized he wasn’t alone. He snapped his head forward again and quickly got to his feet, looking around. Straight ahead he saw the familiar face of the omnic monk he had met a couple weeks back.
“You again!” Genji exclaimed.
Zenyatta waved his hand just a little, “It is good to see you doing well, my not so similar brother.”
Genji growled a little, “I told you we are not alike!” He turned and swung the door open, walking back out to where the woman wwas.
The woman looked at Genji, confused as he stormed out, “Oh, sir? Is something wrong?”
Genii pointed to the back as Zenyatta followed him out, “Watashi wa kare no chikaku ni iru koto wa dekimasen!”
The woman looked confused, “Uh, e-excuse me?”
Zenyatta hovered beside the woman, “Please excuse my friend, miss,” he said.
“Watashi wa anata no yūjinde wa arimasen!” Genji snapped at him.
“Sir, if you don’t calm down, I will have to ask you to leave.”
The couple other omnics and attendants in the station we’re peeking out the doorways at this point, all curious to what was happening.
Genji pulled his hood back over his head, covering his face again as he scoffed, “Domo.” He turned abruptly and headed back out the front door.
Back out in the sun, Genji sighed. He started to walk towards the town, wishing he had had a chance to stay longer in the cool room. He felt better, but still was dragging his feet through the sand.
“I do apologize, my friend,” Zenyatta was floating beside him. He was wearing a hood similar to Genii, likely to keep the sun away, “But it is nice to see you again.”
Genji stopped and turned to him, Zenyatta stopping with him, “What do you want?”
“Want? I do not want anything,” Zenyatta responded, “But what is it you want?”
Genji sneered, “I do not wish to play this game with you, monk!” He snapped, turning and walking ahead, “Now do not follow me. Just leave me be!”
“I must apologize again,” Zenyatta said, floating beside him, keeping pace, “I am also heading into town.”
It’s Iris’s first big assignment for the CCPN and she is running the
risk of literally being left standing in the rain thanks to the
unpredictable weather - when a kind (and cute) stranger comes to Iris’s
rescue and saves her day.
West was standing at the
bus stop, sending a warning glare towards the very dark, very cloudy
sky. “Don’t you dare raining today,” she muttered under her
breath, feeling both irritated and anxious. Today was the day of
Iris’s first big assignment as a journalist of Central City Picture
News. She had started out as a mere intern, her main task getting the
‘real’ journalists of CCPN their coffees and – yeah, that pretty
much had been it (after all, people were busy and couldn’t be
bothered to answer the trivial questions of an
intern). They soon found out that Iris wasn’t one to back
down; she had annoyed the heck out of the staff by pestering them
with questions (well-thought-out, important questions, mind you,
while also being mindful enough not to keep anyone from getting their
job done in addition to carrying out the tasks assigned to her –
like getting coffee and files). In the end, her “pesky behavior”
– as Iris’s mentor Mason Bridge liked
to call it– paid off: after her internship Iris got offered
a job at CCPN. She had spent the first months of her employment
writing small stuff for
whenever the newspaper needed a filler article and while that on its
own was often very frustrating and unrewarding, Iris was determined
to make use of every chance she got offered to prove her worth. And
now that she had finally been assigned a real story (covering the
re-election of Mayor Bellows), she was at risk of looking like a
drowned rat by the time she was going to arrive at City Hall –
because Iris had forgotten to pack an umbrella.
weather,” the journalist growled lowly, angry at herself for being
ill-prepared and angry at those dark gray, water-heavy clouds above
her head that had turned up without so much as a warning (yesterday’s
weather forecast hadn’t mentioned stupid rain at all).
single rain drop landed on Iris’s nose.
the drizzle could turn into a full-fledged rain shower, the bus that
was to take Iris to the city center turned into the street and came
to a halt. The journalist hastily got on the bus. As soon as she had
hopped on board, the rain was coming down in buckets.
maybe the rain is going to ebb down before I have to get off… or
it’s just a shower and will stop soon altogether,’ Iris reasoned,
trying to think positively. The
rain drops drummed with even more force and a more erratic rhythm
against the bus windows.
Iris sank deeper and deeper into her seat close to the door,
carefully avoiding the drenched people boarding the bus and the
dripping wet umbrellas that were hauled around (not that her effort
to stay dry would matter later when she was going to get off her
destination, she realized grimly).
final bus stop was on next and it was still raining like crazy.
Sighing, Iris gathered her bag (glad that it was water-proof bag and
could be zipped closed; at least her notes weren’t going to get wet),
maneuvering around rain jackets (of the prepared) as well as damp
arms and dripping hair (of the unprepared). Iris stood at the door,
waiting for the bus to come to a full stop, a (dry) tall young man
next to her. He was clutching a big red umbrella close to his body,
the water running down the umbrella dripping down on his worn out
horrific weather really came out of nowhere today, huh?” He said
conversationally, giving Iris a bashful smile.
was all the response Iris could muster, pulling her face into an
expression that must have come across as a pained smile, because
immediately after that, the stranger
examined her more thoroughly, suddenly becoming aware of
Iris’s lack of protection from the elements.
he began apologetically, realizing his blunder. Before he could say
any more, the bus doors opened.
a deep breath, Iris hopped off the bus, barely
navigating around the big puddle awaiting her outside. The
first few rain drops were hitting her hair and skin, big and cool and
heard an umbrella pop open behind her. The sound was followed by a
nervous, “um, hey, excuse me?”
turned around, seeing the tall young man
who had tried to strike up a conversation with her, smiling
sheepishly. Iris noticed that he was currently holding the big, red
umbrella very awkwardly in a sweet attempt at covering them
both from the cascades of rain still coming down from the heavens,
despite them standing fairly far apart.
Iris asked, taking a step closer to the stranger, so he could at
least get a more comfortable grip.
he muttered, a faint blush blossoming on his face.
couldn’t help but notice that he was kind of cute, with his boyish
looks and pretty green eyes, framed by unfairly long lashes.
no matter how cute the guy was, Iris had a conference to get to and
the sooner she made her way to City Hall, the more likely was she
going to have a chance of getting herself at least decently dry
before Bellows was going to make his speech.
she repeated, with a little more urgency this time.
um, I’m sorry for – I didn’t realize…” Umbrella-dude was
gesticulating frantically, stumbling over his words.
“It’s okay,” Iris
reassured him, strangely touched by his awkward stammering. “Not
all of us can be perfect boy scouts,” she added teasingly, nodding
at his umbrella, “always prepared, huh?”
guy gave Iris a bright smile, ducking his head shyly. Gosh, he really
was cute. And Iris
needed to get going.
um, I’ve got to go… I have to get to City Hall for the press
conference and well, I’m from the press, so… Wouldn’t want to mess
up my first big assignment, right?” Oh God, why was she babbling
like a complete idiot now?!
yeah, of course, I didn’t mean to keep you, sorry,” Boy Scout
started gesticulating wildly again. “Oh, and here, take this,”
he added as an afterthought, practically shoving his umbrella into
dumbly stared at the umbrella in her hand, then at the guy who had
given it to her, before she finally finding her voice again: “What?
No, I couldn’t-”
Boy Scout simply waved her protest aside: “It’s no big deal,
really. I just have, like, two blocks ahead of me and then I’ll be
safe at work, so no problem,” he gave Iris a reassuring smile,
before hastily adding: “Oh and good luck with your assignment, I’m
sure you’re gonna do great, bye!”
with that, he turned around, hurrying down the street
kept staring at his retreating figure, completely befuddled. The rain
was still pouring down like crazy, drumming angrily on the bright red
fabric of Boy Scout’s umbrella. Iris couldn’t fight the wide smile
forming on her face, the realization of what had just happened slowly
took her a few minutes until she finally snapped out of her reverie
and made her way to City Hall.
following Tuesday was yet another rainy day. It was 7 p.m. and
someone with a bright red umbrella was standing on the front porch of
door opened and Detective Joe West appeared in the doorway, smiling
at his visitor: “Oh man, it’s really coming down this week, isn’t
it? Come in, baby.”
gave her father a bright smile, always happy to see him for their
weekly family dinner.
entered the house, closing the umbrella she had been carrying around
with her ever since a cute, adorable stranger had given it to her in
time of need, putting it in the umbrella stand right by the front
door. The journalist would never have admitted it out loud, but she
had actually considered trying to find Boy Scout again.
Unfortunately, she didn’t have too many clues to go from: all she
knew was that he had a job somewhere close to City Hall and that his
first name probably began with either a “B” or a “D” and that
his surname was something like “Allan” or “Allen” (at least
that is what she could make out from that sloppy scrawl on the
umbrella’s tag). Iris knew that a Google search could probably help
her out a lot, but it felt like a creepy thing to do (not that
spending almost half an hour trying to decipher almost illegible
handwriting wasn’t any less creepy or pathetic). But Iris wasn’t that
desperate. At least not yet.
heavenly smell of her dad’s homemade lasagna that wafted from the
kitchen, as well as the clamorous arrival of Wally, who had still
been out due to one of his later college classes, startled Iris out
of her musings. With her energetic little brother in the house, the
evening immediately turned into an endless string of teasing and
joking around, effectively distracting Iris from her thoughts about
tall cute strangers with pretty eyes.
enough, it was her Dad that brought (albeit
unknowingly) Boy Scout back to Iris’s attention, when he began
telling a story about “that tardy CSI Allen-kid” during dessert.
perked up her ears: “Allen-kid?”
now did the journalist realize that her father’s precinct was pretty
much about two blocks away from the bus stop she had met her Boy
this “Allen-kid”’s first name now started with either a “B”
kid’s a brilliant forensic scientist but heaven forbid he actually
arrives at the precinct or a crime scene on time! That
tardiness of his drives Singh absolutely mad… Last Wednesday Allen
arrived fifteen minutes late, completely drenched from the rain,
looking like he had swum to work or something,” Joe was about to
conclude his story, before adding, incredulously: “He was in a
surprisingly great mood though.”
weird.” Iris remarked casually, eyes trained solely on the cherry
in her fruit salad she was about to spear with her fork, hoping that
her dad and brother weren’t able to notice the blush she was fighting
day, during her lunch break, Iris gathered up her courage and Barry
Allen’s red umbrella and made her way to the CCPD. She was greeted by
a few officers of the precinct and asked her way to the CSI lab
upstairs while making sure to avoid her dad (Iris wasn’t naive enough
to think that she could outsmart the Detective West; and she
wasn’t ready to face the interrogation
that would undoubtedly follow revealing the reason why she was
actually dropping by; she was nervous enough at it was).
didn’t take the journalist long to climb the stairs that led her to
the open door of the crime lab. Iris peeked inside to find her Boy
Scout – Barry Allen – seated by a desk, studying something under
in a deep breath, Iris knocked on the metal door and carefully enter
the room with an upbeat “Hi!”
forensic scientist’s head snapped up from the ocular, green eyes
widening with surprise as they took her in.
Hi.” The CSI greeted her, blinking furiously like he couldn’t
really believe she was actually there. “How come… So, you just
happened to… Um… You’re here. In my lab.” He spluttered
nervously, clambering to his feet.
couldn’t help her cheeky reply: “A very astute observation, CSI
scientist blushed furiously.
just… I didn’t expect you to turn up here – though it’s nice to
see you! And, um, what brings you here?”
was amused to see him gesticulating wildly again; the way he was
talking with his hands was kind of endearing: “Just wanted to
return your umbrella – thank you so much for lending it to me,”
she smiled up brightly at him (he was really tall), while handing
over the umbrella, “you really saved my day.”
CSI blushed slightly, dismissively waving his empty
hand: “It was nothing, really.”
eyed her curiously, “You could have kept it, I didn’t expect you to
give it back – hey, how did you find me, anyway?”
couldn’t fight the grin blossoming on her face: “I’m a journalist,
remember? Also, you did write your name on the tag, so that
look on the scientist’s face was absolutely priceless.
right… you could read that?”
couldn’t help but laugh at his obvious surprise: “Just barely. I
pity the poor detectives that actually have to decipher your
a daily struggle,” the CSI replied gravely, the apparent smile
tugging at the corner of his lips betraying the (fake-)serious tone
in his voice.
can imagine – I wasn’t sure if that first initial was supposed to
be a “B” or an “D”…”
forensic scientist looked at Iris in amazement: “And you figured
out who I was and where to find me simply from my nearly illegible
quite,” Iris admitted, “ I had figured out your last name and
then my dad actually mentioned
your name during dinner yesterday – he’s a cop,” Iris explained,
“ and I realized that the precinct is about two blocks away from
the bus station – so here I am.”
Boy Scout muttered under his breath, concentrated look on his face,
“- so you’re Detective West’s daughter?”
I am,” Iris confirmed
laughingly, holding out her hand for him to shake, “great solve,
went along with her
gesture, assuring her
that “Barry works just fine.”
journalist nodded in acknowledgment, then introduced herself as
you really just came by to return the umbrella, or…?”
time it was Iris’s turn to blush. “I
don’t know…” She averted her eyes, unable to bring herself
to meet his – she hadn’t really dared to figure out why she had so
desperately wanted to return that umbrella to Boy Scout – Barry –
just now became acutely aware of how ridiculous her plan (if you
could even call it a plan) had been: all it had accomplished was that
she had utterly embarrassed herself in front of a guy who just was
read your article.”
Iris said unintelligibly, raising her gaze to look at a sheepishly
looking Barry Allen.
read your article,” he repeated, nervously rubbing the back of his
neck with his free hand, “ I mean, I didn’t know your name yet, so
I just read about every article that covered Bellows’ re-election;
and in case I didn’t read it, I certainly will look it up now – but
I really wanted to read your article.”
looked so nervous, wringing the umbrella he was still holding with
fumbling hands while
also wearing a tentative, hopeful expression on his face. Iris’s
heart fluttered at the sight.
really sweet of you.”
The CSI asked tentatively, a small smile stealing its way unto his
face before he ducked his head again, slightly blushing
Barry Allen really was just too adorable for his own good…
had an idea: “Hey, I was going to go grab some lunch before I have
to head back to the CCPN… Do you wanna join me?
question was met with a beaming smile by Barry: “That actually
sounds really great.”
quickly grabbed the jacket that was draped over the chair by his
desk, shrugging it on. The two of them were just turning around to
leave, when the sudden sound of rain pelting against the lab windows
caught both their
unexpected rain shower.
Iris stared at the window: “Unbelievable.”
guess you didn’t bring another umbrella?” Barry asked
teasingly, before offering: “We can share mine.”
smiled. It felt kinda appropriate.
like a plan,” she said happily, giving Barry’s arm a brief tug,
ready to head out: “let’s go then.”
Mine is a little weird since it’s partially not anything that was TECHNICALLY on the show and it’s not really one thing, but way early on after the casting news for Iris, I was Googling around for more info and I found site that had some audition sides for Iris. There was one that was just Iris and Barry chatting and another that was a version of their convo from the pilot when he attempts to confess to her before the coma.
And their dynamic, the comfort and sweetness between them, was so clear just from the sides that I knew if the actors could bring any fraction of that to life I would love it forever.
That mixed in with the reunion scene bits from the five minute trailer hooked me, since how well they worked together was clear from that (HAND ON HEART IT’S STILL BEATING) and then, there was a bit from a draft of the pilot script I saw with young Iris and Barry that didn’t make it in (I hold out hope that SOMEDAY!!) but completely wrecked me.