And again, a prompt: She couldn't call him Savitar, not when he wore Barry's face.
(The Plan changes. Iris really wishes she was a speedster right about now.)
“Hey,” Iris placates, stifling panic as she approaches the two speedsters in the grass. Barry – their Barry, her Barry – has his gaze fixed on her, jaw clenched, not daring to make a move with a claw embedded in his back. It has to hurt, but he doesn’t make a sound, staring at her. Don’t come any closer, his burning golden eyes warn.
She nears. Barry’s doppelganger smiles and drags her Barry back a step, his low groan reverberating in the air between them as the claw digs in deeper, halting her in her step. “Iris,” he breathes, pleading, and she can’t listen, because he’s telling her to run.
“Let him go,” she tells his doppel without taking her eyes off him. She can’t call him Savitar; not when he wears Barry’s face.
“Why?” His doppel looks at her unblinking, a genuine question. “Why? There are a hundred billion just like him. You want another Barry?” They disappear and Iris’ scream doesn’t even have time to build before he’s back, holding a distinctly younger, clearly panicked Barry up by the throat. “I can give you all the Barrys you want,” he growls, throwing the younger Barry to the ground, and a sonic blast forces him back before he can close.
Iris runs towards them, knowing she’s not fast enough, and her fingers close on empty air as Barry’s doppel disappears. Appearing behind them, another twin holds his ground, a contemporary with clouded eyes. His gaze fixes unerringly on her. “All of them,” Barry’s doppel rasps, “are replaceable.”
They vanish. Iris feels tears on her face but doesn’t say a word. When the doppel returns with her Barry, she doesn’t hesitate.
“Why? Because you’ll always be my Barry,” she tells them, plural, them, singular.
Her Barry stumbles, and Iris holds her breath when Barry’s doppel appears directly in front of her, scarred face, clouded eye, hands close enough to kill, and he looks into her eyes and asks, “How can you say that?”
Iris puts a hand on his shoulder and it burns, a nuclear force uncontained, but he doesn’t flinch back and neither does she. “Because it’s true,” she tells him, and he steps back, repulsion like regret overtaking his expression, a mix of pain and panic, and abruptly he vanishes, leaving only wreckage in his wake, two shadows and one real Barry, hunched over his knees.
Weak with relief, Iris stumbles towards him, falling to her own knees beside him and hugging his head to her chest, holding onto him, don’t leave me, and he presses into her arms and insists quietly, “Iris, I’m okay.”
Her tears fall on his hair; does he know they were the last words he ever said to her before he died last time? She hugs him and doesn’t say anything, afraid to shatter the peace, afraid to let go – aching to keep him.