039: "I just came home to you crying while watching a movie, please tell me what’s going on." COLDFLASHHHHH <3
(this is absolute crack and I’m almost sorry)
Barry feels his heart jump up and lodge in his throat when
he opens the door to his apartment and is greeted by the sounds of loud,
choking sobs. He flashes into the living room, because he can hear the TV
running as well – and freezes in the doorway for just a micro-second before
he’s kneeling in front of the sofa, in front of his
maybe-a-little-bit-boyfriend-but-we-never-said-it. He can distinctly remember
Len having his leg broken in three places and still laughing in the face of the
meta who nearly killed him (Barry was a lot less amused by the whole situation)
– so Len letting tears stream down his face like there’s no hope left in the
world? Definitely ranks as ‘serious’ in Barry’s books.
“Hey,” he mutters, trying for a soothing tone, and reaches
out to touch Len’s hands, curled into fists in his lap. “What’s wrong?”
Len sobs again and shakes his head; Barry’s heart squeezes
in fear as he mentally lists all the people who could’ve been hurt, all the
things that could’ve gone to shit in order for Len to react this badly. Barry’s
trembling himself by then, mind swirling with the terrifying thoughts of Lisa
getting hurt or worse, or the world being destroyed. Courtesy of Iris, Barry’s
pretty sure that Lisa was more than fine just a couple of hours ago when he
(unintentionally) saw her sitting on Joe’s counter, sipping coffee out of Joe’s
mug in just her bra, shameless and amused and apparently content. But Barry also
remembers his own adventures in dimension-traveling and wonders if Len has not
had to see Lisa die in some other universe, if he hadn’t had to hold his sister
while life escaped her breath by breath – Barry remembers that strange paradox
of knowing it’s not real and understanding it is.
He squeezes Len’s hand again, and Len’s fingers uncurl
enough to tighten around Barry’s palm.
“She’s… she’s…” Len starts and breaks into tears again. Cold fear trickles down
Barry’s spine, but he doesn’t let go.
“Who?” he asks, even though he fears the answer. A lot could’ve gone worse in a
couple of hours – if something happened to Lisa, Barry wouldn’t even know who
to console first, his maybe-boyfriend or his for-sure-sister. He dreads to
know, but he has to, he needs to ask-
“Elsa,” Len sobs, and Barry’s eyebrows shoot up to meet his hairline. Wait.
“Elsa. She’s so alone… it’s sad,” Len sniffles. Barry slowly, slowly turns and
tunes in to the background noise of the TV set, on which, indeed, Frozen is playing.
“What the fuck,” he exhales, relief and indignation warring in his tone, and
shoots Len a suspicious glare. “Have you been hanging out with Sara again?!”
Len sniffs again and gives a reluctant half-shrug, half-pout
that says it all. Barry leans closer and yes, there’s a hint of a smell he
ignored before, when he was afraid something truly awful happened to Len. Well.
Something worse than smoking weed
stolen somewhere in the 1970s. Honestly, Barry’s not even sure why they keep
doing that: it’s not like it’s so difficult to get something to smoke in their
actual time. Sara keeps insisting the old stuff tastes better, but Barry
assumes it’s only the illicit daring of going behind Rip Hunter’s back when he
explicitly forbids them to steal anything. He can imagine Len going after the
thrill of the chase, at the very least.
Unfortunately for him, the fierce hunter turns into a
sobbing mess every damn time, and no matter how many times Barry tells him, Len
flat out refuses to believe anyone who tells him how he behaves when he’s
With a sigh, Barry pulls himself up and settles on the sofa
next to Len, curling his arm around his sobbing probably-boyfriend.
“Would you like me to watch with you?” he offers, even though he knows he
should get mad about this instead of being such a pushover. But then again… it
wouldn’t be productive to get mad at someone who wouldn’t even remember it:
Barry’s going to save the doghouse for the time when Len sobers up (and likely
vomits from all the Chinese takeout he’s likely to order and inhale in the next
Len snuggles up to him: that’s the one side-effect Barry will never complain
about, but also will never admit to liking. With his nose buried in Barry’s
slightly stale shirt, Len heaves a content sigh – Barry knows that another fit of ugly sobbing is about to
follow, probably in about five minutes, judging by the progression of the movie…
but hey, it’s not the worst movie Len has ever cried about, so Barry’s going to
let it pass – at least until Len’s well enough to remember the lecture.