So.. random plot bunny (which is a term that is not used enough anymore):
Barry gets hit by lightning. He falls into a coma.
When he wakes up, he has been replaced at the CCPD.
He gets a different job while Joe and Singh try to get his job back. During this time, he starts dating a guy called Len. One day he is Len’s +1 for some fancy party. (Len sells antiques or something… he doesn’t talk about his job much.)
Only someone gets murdered, who happens to be part of the hosting family. Who apparently blames one the visitors. Barry then points out how that isn’t possible because the wound is wrong for the height of the suspect and the body has been dead for xx time at which the suspect was in the other room with them.
And that’s how Barry gets hired by Central City’s underworld to solve a murder. Because apparently his boyfriend is actually a world class thief (and Barry is not sure if he is more mad or sad for being lied to, mostly he is just overwhelmed) and the other criminals might not trust him, but they know him well enough to know he wouldn’t be involved in a murder like that, so the cute ex-CSI he has *obviously* turned to the dark side is the perfect choice to figure out the murderer.
Afterwards, Barry is trying to get his job back, but keeps getting hired by criminals who don’t want the police involved. He tries to say no, but usually the mysteries are too good to pass up or it’s clear there will be no justice if he doesn’t help… So he kinda keeps accepting. Len is proud of him and keeps sending Barry cute gifts for every solved case, and while he is trying to be mad for being lied to, it doesn’t work for long.
When Iris finds out, she bullies Barry into opening a detective agency with her. Joe is not happy.
(Could be powered or un-powered)