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Put You In My Pocket And Save You For Later

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Cisco Ramon met Mick Rory for the first time back when his type was exclusively ‘looks like that could beat the shit out of anyone who makes me feel bad’. The unfortunate consequence of this was that frequently the current object of Cisco’s affections had to start with his immediate predecessor. Cisco’s at one of the neighborhood bars that tends towards a more – well, criminal – clientele, when he spots an ex by the jukebox and a guy built like a tank who looks like he could beat the crap out of anyone in the building propping the bar. The guy’s shirt buttons are almost entirely undone, revealing a set of abs to make Superman jealous, and the sleeves cling to some frankly marvelous biceps. He looks like he could probably throw Cisco over his shoulder and fight his way out of the bar without breaking a sweat, and the devil-may-care smirk on his face only adds to the dreadfully pretty picture.

Cisco aims for the bar.

“Hello.” purrs the man, when Cisco reaches him. “Can I buy you a drink?”

One drink turns into three- during which Cisco’s new friend graduates from ‘Built Like A Brick Shithouse’ to ‘Mick’ – and then into a dance – during which Cisco discovers Mick’s hands almost meet around his waist and the height difference between them is a solid eight inches – and then into a bar fight – when Cisco’s asshole ex takes issue with how close they’re dancing. Cisco kisses Mick in the alley behind the bar after they get thrown out, and Mick wraps his hands around Cisco’s thighs and lifts –

Yeah. This will work out just fine.

The next morning finds Cisco the good kind of achingly sore, marked up to hell and with scratches and scuffs on his back from the exposed brick of Mick’s apartment wall. Okay, so those weren’t so fun this morning, but he certainly wasn’t complaining at the time, with Mick’s body blanketing his, whole body jolting with each powerful thrust, and both of them delighting in the feeling. The other side of the bed is empty when Cisco rolls over to tell Mick as much – usually a bad sign – but Cisco can smell both coffee and bacon, which is a first. He grabs Mick’s button-down off the floor and slides it on as he follows his nose.

Mick’s just as pretty in the soft sunlight of his kitchen as he was the night before, the open curtains casting a soft glow over the tattoos and the long, slightly bloody nail marks and the oval-ish bruises that must be from Cisco’s heels when his thighs were curled tight over Mick’s hips that are visible thanks to the low-slung sweatpants Mick is wearing. There’s a stovetop coffee pot sitting on a cloth placemat on a farmhouse kitchen table Cisco was pretty sure he’d been kissed against last night, but didn’t quite remember, and Mick’s humming was almost entirely drowned out by the hissing of the bacon in the pan he was tending.

“Morning?” Cisco says, tentative. Mick turns and offers him a cheerful smile that turns a little lecherous when he spots the mess of darkening hickeys on Cisco’s neck and what he’s wearing.

“Good morning.” he says, voice rumbling and low. Cisco feels a shiver ripple down his spine, and he steps forward to one of the mismatched but comfortable chairs at the table. "You want milk or sugar for your coffee?"

Cisco pulls the entire pot towards himself and makes grabby hands for the mug Mick's handing him.

"Just sugar." he says, and there's suddenly a vintage-y looking sugar shaker at his left hand.

"And how do you like your eggs?"

Cisco is mildly concerned that he's dead or hallucinating, because this is nice and pleasant and not at all what Cisco usually gets after first-nights.

"Scrambled?" he offers. Mick grunts, and turns back to the stove, letting Cisco settle in at the table. It gets quiet for a while, but a comfortable quiet, while Mick makes breakfast and Cisco drinks his coffee, contemplating how unfairly attractive domestic Mick is. They eat in a similar pleasant quiet, but Cisco keeps sneaking sideways looks at Mick, because he's not entirely sure he's real. The coffee's good.

The eggs are better. The bacon is out of this world.

Mick clears the dishes when they're done, and Cisco starts to shift a little nervously, because he's done this before and he's fairly confident he's about to get kicked out.
Instead, Mick crosses to stand behind his chair and curls his hands around Cisco's neck, tilting his head back for a kiss. It's slow, and deep, and a little dirty.

"It's Sunday." says Mick, when he backs off. Cisco makes a little noise of agreement in lieu of an actual response, because he's not sure where Mick's going with this.

"You got anywhere to be?"

Oh.

So that's where he's going.

"No." says Cisco, truthfully. "That your way of asking me to stick around?"

Mick hums, leans down to kiss Cisco again. Cisco grins into it, uses his grip on the edge of the table to push up into Mick. They stay that way for a few long minutes, Cisco rising up and Mick bending down, and then Mick fists his hands in Cisco's borrowed shirt and pushes and pulls until Cisco's where he wants him.

“Fuck, you’re so little.” breathes Mick, between kisses. Cisco whines, high enough to be embarrassing if he wasn’t so turned on, and then attempts to pull himself together at least a little.

“Does that do it for you?” Cisco asks, as soon as he has control of his vocal chords again and air to say it with. Mick lifts him off the table and starts walking, and Cisco wriggles a little in his arms as they move.

“You telling me it ain’t doing it for you?” says Mick, breath hot against Cisco’s neck. He presses Cisco back against the cupboards and lets him settle on the counter, and starts his way down Cisco’s chest.

Cisco stops thinking after that.

***
Cisco’s enjoying a post-coital doze with his head on Mick’s chest and wrapped up in Mick’s arms, half-lit by morning sunlight, when someone slams the door open.

“MICK!” someone yells. Cisco jolts upright, suddenly terrified. He’s been the unintentional other man before. He really doesn’t want to do it again, especially if Mick’s secret boyfriend is someone like Mick, because that shit will hurt. Mick makes a sleepy little grumpy noise that would be just adorable under any other circumstance, and mutters something that sounds like ‘go away’ with maybe a name attached to the end.

“MICK!” comes the yell again, louder this time. Cisco starts to attempt to wriggle his way out, and Mick just squeezes him tighter.

“ ‘s just Lenny.” grumbles Mick. Cisco shifts.

“Is he gonna beat me up?”

Mick opens his eyes in order to give Cisco a look that says ‘are you crazy’.

“Mick!”

The man in the doorway is really unfairly pretty, with bone structure like a supermodel and eyes like fucking wildflowers. If this is Mick’s actual boyfriend, Cisco is getting thrown out of here on his ass. The guy makes eye contact with Cisco, plainly sizing him up.

“Well, aren’t you a cute little thing.” The man says, at last. Cisco makes a slightly scared little noise. “Mick, he’s adorable.”

Mick grins. “Glad you approve, then. Cisco, this is Lenny, my partner. Lenny, this is Cisco. I’m keeping him.”

Cisco preens a little, internally, at the claim. He still can’t believe that someone as desperately gorgeous as Mick wants him this much. But under that comes a sense of disquiet.

“Partner?” he asks.

“Business partner.” says Lenny, grinning. “Although the other kind too, a few times.”

“Prison doesn’t count, Lenny.” says Mick.

“According to who? Also, Gotham.”

Cisco relaxes back into Mick’s hold, suddenly at ease given the teasing tone of Lenny’s words.

“We were drunk in Gotham.”

“Are you telling me you weren’t drunk the first time you bought this cutie here home? I’m making coffee, you’re making waffles – the proper kind, mind you – and I’m going to talk to your kept boy while you do it.”

Cisco splutters at the term.

“Fuck off, I’m an engineer at STAR Labs, I am nobody’s kept boy.”

Lenny beams like a proud parent and Mick’s laugh vibrates through Cisco.

“Alright,” says Lenny, “he’s a good.”

Three weeks later, Mick and Lenny take Cisco to Gotham for a long weekend as a present. Cisco talks tech with Wayne’s ward at a party and pretends he doesn’t know Mick and Lenny are stealing gold from the safe in the basement. He leaves the party with Timothy Drake-Wayne’s number so they can brainstorm later, and a pleasant buzz in his head from the champagne. He leaves Gotham with three new hickeys all the way up where his jaw meets his neck, only two of which are from Mick, and with the knowledge that the two of them holding him down is even hotter than just Mick doing it.

***

The surprising thing about this thing Cisco has with Mick is that it just keeps working. A year slips by before Cisco fully realizes it, then eighteen months, and it’s still wonderful. Cisco has a drawer in Mick’s dresser by six months, and he’s all-bar moved in at the end of that first year. Mick still makes breakfast and coffee every day, sends Cisco off to work with lunches that make him the envy of the labs, grins with that same unbridled joy every time he sees Cisco, like he cant believe that Cisco is still there.

And the sex? That never dropped in quality. Eighteen months on, and Mick’s muscles are still making Cisco’s mouth water. It probably helps that Cisco’s been fucked against every wall in the apartment by this point, and on all the flat surfaces barring the part of the counter Mick uses for food preparation. Mick gets all lust-eyed whenever he gets his hands around Cisco’s waist, or under Cisco’s thighs, or generally anywhere on Cisco’s body that reminds him of the difference in their sizes. Cisco’s had long enough now that the inevitable dirty talk about how little he is doesn’t phase him, and just adds to the experience. It had bothered him, once, until Mick put together the world’s most spectacular Valentine’s Day ever and cemented the fact that there was a lot more than physicality making up their – well –

Look, Cisco hasn’t used the r-word to describe it yet, and he’s terrified if he does, he’ll fuck the whole thing up.

He’d said as much to Lenny, in the car on the way to Costco for their usual “Mick keeps no sugar in the house fuck we need bulk candy” run. Lenny had given him the “are you dumb” look that he and his sister seem to have down-pat, and reaches over the gearshift to pat Cisco’s thigh.

“Cisco, the only thing you could do that would fuck this up is turn us over to the police. He looks at you the same way he looks at fire.”

They drive in silence for a while as Cisco digests the information. It’s a little alarming to be told Mick Rory looks at you the same way he looks at fire. Fire is the center and orbit of Mick’s universe, and putting Cisco on that kind of tier of importance is outlook-changing.

“Really?” Cisco asks Lenny, at the next red light.

“Really.” says Lenny. “He loves you. I heard that from drunk Mick, which makes it even more true.”

Cisco ponders this all the way through Costco’s candy aisle, and doesn’t even complain when Lenny buys an obscene amount of Kraft Mac and Cheese, which is a sure-fire sign he’s planning a job. He’s still got his arms full of sour jelly worms when he marches into Mick’s garage come workshop and clears his throat.

“I love you, and this is a relationship, and it means a lot to me.” he says, a little stiffly.

Mick raises a cautious eyebrow, and sets down the wrench he’s been using to work on the motorcycle that’s his current project. Then he turns to face Cisco completely and spreads his arms out. Cisco crosses the floor faster than he thought he was capable of doing, and buries himself in Mick’s chest.

“What brought this on, Korora?” Mick asks.

“I was talking to Lenny –“ starts Cisco, and he can feel Mick’s chuckle. Even Lisa can’t get away with using Lenny as a diminutive as much as Cisco does. Mick likes to pull that out as proof of how far integrated into their lives Cisco is. “And I told him I didn’t want to fuck this up by assuming it was more than it was and he said you were doing the same thing. And I though that was counterproductive so I should just say something.”

Mick tips Cisco’s head back with a handful of Cisco’s hair, and kisses him.

“I love you too.”

Cisco mentally replays the last few minutes so he can bask in the statement, and then lets his face twist up in puzzlement.

“Korora?”

Mick does that ‘I can’t look at you straight’ thing he does when he’s a little embarrassed about something. Honestly, why didn’t he say something earlier, the fact that he knows all Mick’s tells and expressions should be more than enough evidence.

“It means Little Bird.” says Mick, but something’s still a little off in his face.

“What kind of bird?”

“It might be a penguin?”

Cisco pulls back from his otherwise very nice snuggle to give Mick his best incredulous stare.

“It’s a Blue Penguin.” says Mick, as though this makes it better. “They’re little and quick and clever. Like you.”

Looked at the right way, that’s flattering, Cisco supposes. He can live with being a penguin if that life has Mick in it, so he buries himself back into Mick’s arms. There’s a shutter noise from the doorway.

“Awwwwwwwwww.” says Lenny, sickly sweet. “That would go on Instagram, if I had one. Maybe we could caption it with something soppy and romantic, too.”

Mick throws a socket wrench at him, and Lenny ducks out of the way, laughing all the while.

If Cisco makes Lenny send him the picture later, that’s no one’s business but his own. And if he posts it on his Instagram with a tragically soppy caption that’s entirely Troye Sivan lyrics, he’s going for maximum gay points and he’s in love, so really that’s just to be expected. That post does lead to one of the oddest conversations he’s ever had, however, when Hartley Rathaway comes up to him in their lunch hour the next day to ask where he met his unfairly attractive partner. Cisco blames him inviting Hartley for drinks at Saints, where he met Mick, on that weird itchy feeling in his stomach that begs him to make everyone else as happy as he is. When Hartley leaves, Cisco’s number and the address of the bar in his phone, Caitlin is staring at Cisco is unadulterated shock. Cisco puts on his best baffled face, and shrugs.

He regrets it, though. Oh, dear God on high, he regrets it. Lenny and Hartley take to each other like long-separated soul mates as soon as they are introduced, and no one deserves that amount of combined shade in any kind of context, especially from two people as terrifyingly intelligent as Hartley and Lenny. Lenny goes to get another round, and Hartley excuses himself, and Cisco turns to Mick and smacks him on the shoulder several times in a fit of successful matchmaking joy.

“It worked!”

Mick smiles at him, fond and proud. Cisco jerks round again, a new thought leaping into his head.

“I am not sleeping with Hartley.” he hisses. “Don’t get any ideas.”

Mick quirks an eyebrow, and the couple of millimeters of movement manages to convey ‘are you sure about that?’ as easily as a paragraph of words. Mick absolutely learned that from Lenny.

“No.” says Cisco.

“You’re the one who jumped to that being an option.” says Mick, deliberately nonchalant.

“No.” says Cisco, with more emphasis.

“What’s Cisco saying no to?” asks Lenny, putting the drinks down. Hartley still hasn’t returned from the bathroom.

“Foursome.” says Mick. Lenny makes the same expression that Mick had, proving Cisco’s hypothesis about where Mick learned it, and Cisco lets his forehead drop down to the table.

Hartley is surprisingly not-weird about it the next morning, but then again, it is very hard to make something awkward when Mick’s made brunch – entirely because the food is so good you can’t even consider leaving. He also continues to be not-weird about it for the whole next week, which is good, because Lenny’s decided that Hartley is going to be the other half of his criminal power-couple dreams, and Hartley becomes a fixture at the apartment.

“Get your own place!” Mick yells, hand over his eyes theatrically, about the fifth time he walks in on them fucking. Lenny flips him off and Hartley cackles, and the status quo, as unconventional as it was, continued.

***

All things considered, Cisco was surprised it had taken this long for him to be kidnapped as leverage. The men who took him and Hartley all look far too smug for this to be any kind of pleasant surprise thing from Mick or Lenny, and the zipties they used to restrain their hands are anything but comfortable. It’s his fault, he supposes. He had taken Hartley out to get smashed in honor of Hartley getting fired – and wasn’t that a shitshow. The reasoning appeared to be somewhere between Doctor Wells being unwilling to delay the Accelerator date and being pissed that Hartley was so very happy in a relationship that didn’t involve him, and Cisco’s immediate reaction had been to think of the top-shelf vodka at Saints with the “Heartbreak” post-it on it that Lisa liked to break out whenever she ran into Rosa Dillon again.

The whole bottle in shot form later, here they are, ziptied to chairs in a creepy abandoned warehouse. They might also be totally smashed.

“Why are we here?” asks Hartley. “And did someone build this warehouse specifically to be creepy?”

“They must have.” says Cisco. “The warehouse district is too busy for there to be creepy run-down ones, so someone owns this and has deliberately made it look creepy to fit a cliché.”

One of the henchmen looks chagrined.

“Don’t get me wrong, a little melodrama is great.” says Hartley.

“You have to say that.” says Cisco. “Lenny’s the biggest drama queen alive, and you’re banging him.”

“Len just has a nice sense of dramatic irony, Cisquito.” Hartley retorts.

“He is the closest a human being can get to a spoiled house cat.”

Hartley makes an indignant noise.

“I’m not kidding! He even does the fucking ‘stick my leggy out’ thing when he wants attention.”

One of the henchmen clears his throat, and both Cisco and Hartley turn to look at him.

“Aren’t you dating Rory?” he asks.

“They like to share.” says Hartley, in what passes for a stage whisper when you’ve drunk half a bottle of vodka in an hour. Cisco beams, and nods.

“It would be a crime to deprive Hart of That Thing Mick does.” he confides, his eyes huge-wide and voice sincere.

“Or Len’s tongue.” agrees Hartley.

There’s a muffled little pop, and then the goon that they’d been talking to keels over.

“Really?” asks Mick, lowering his gun. For a man so comfortable with sharing, he gets weird when details are divulged.

“We are so drunk.” says Cisco, because it’s true. Lenny’s laugh echoes out from behind them, where he’s cutting the zipties.

Cisco wakes up the next morning hungover and embarrassed, but that doesn’t stop Mick from fucking him against the bathroom counter for their first round of ‘thank god you’re alive and unharmed’ sex. Or from fucking him against the wall next to the closet for round two. While he’s getting dressed, Cisco can hear Lenny making coffee in the kitchen, and Hartley’s put something soft and jazzy on the record player that is most likely Nina Simone. For a moment, the world is soft and sunlit and good.

Then the fucking Particle Accelerator blows up.

Cisco listened to Hart, okay? They might as well be in-laws now, and as much as he hates to admit it, that foursome was memorable. As a result, he built a switch in that will allow them to divert the blast up remotely – and it’s lucky he did, because Ronnie was ready to sacrifice himself to do it manually, and Cisco doesn’t want to meet a post-Ronnie Caitlin Snow. Wells seems really off – incredibly calm for a man who’s life’s work just literally blew up in his face, and for a man newly confined to a wheelchair. And then there’s his fixation on Barry Allen, the man struck by lightning. Cisco texts the groupchat about it with one hand while programming systems to track Barry’s vitals and send them alerts if something changes while they’re not around with the other.

‘I don’t know, he’s just creeping me out.’ says Cisco’s last text.

Mick sends a shrugging emoji and an offer to fight Doctor Wells. Len suggests waiting for more evidence so the police will believe him.

Hartley replies by sending ‘I told you so’ with the gentle effect.

***

Then Barry wakes up, and Cisco is consumed by the fact his life is now a comic book daydream made real. So consumed, in fact, that he completely missed the amount of Kraft Mac and Cheese that’s suddenly appeared in the house, or the way that Mick and Hart have been holed up in Mick’s workshop for the last two weeks.

Then the cold gun he made because being a mob wife made him a paranoid fuck is stolen, and everything drops into place.

“What new exhibitions have come into town recently?” he asks, interrupting Doctor Wells’ lecture on protecting Barry – which was creepy intense, again.

Wells shuts up remarkably quickly at the interruption.

“There’s a diamond exhibit at the Museum.” says Barry. “The centerpiece, the Khandaq Dynasty Diamond, is coming in by armored truck tomorrow. I don’t see what that has to do with the gun you built to stop me.”

“I’m a little concerned when a guy I actually have never met suddenly can run faster than light, and I have no idea what his morality is.” says Cisco. “I’d rather be safe than sorry.”

“Why didn’t you tell me, once you got to know me?”

“Because you didn’t know me.” Cisco admits. “Look, I’m pretty sure I know who took it, though.”

Wells throws his hands in the air. “So do something about it!”

Cisco pulls his phone out of his back pocket and hits speed dial 2 before putting it on speaker.

“Fuck you.” says Lenny, when he picks up. “I was in the middle of something.”

“On any other day, I’d ask you to say hi to him from me.” Cisco says, already grinning. “But today, we’re going another route. Hi, Lenny, when are you planning on using my Cold Gun to steal the Khandaq Dynasty Diamond tomorrow while it’s being transported?”

There’s silence at the other end of the line.

“Does this mean you want in, this time?” Lenny asks, finally.

“No. You hurt my superhero and I will be very upset.” says Cisco.

“I’ll return him in mint condition.” says Lenny, drawling the way he always does when he thinks he’s coming out of a situation on top.

“And you’d better return my boyfriend in mint condition, too.”

Lenny actually squawks.

“I haven’t forgotten about that warehouse fire, Lenny.”

“One time!” Len whines.

“One time you almost killed my boyfriend, Lenny.”

“They both come back pristine, and you give me a supervillain codename.”

“They both come back pristine, you all get away clean, and you get your codename.” Cisco bargains.

“What the fuck!” Barry interrupts, finally. “What the fuck, Cisco!”

“Ooooh is that him?” asks Lenny. “He sounds a treat.”

“Hart won’t like that.” Cisco sing-songs, and Lenny sighs.

“See you tomorrow, then, Flash.” purrs Lenny, and hangs up.

Lenny gets away clean – so do Mick and Hartley, who’s got gauntlets that control sonic vibrations, that’s the project that’s kept him and Mick so occupied – and Cisco gives Len his codename.

Captain Cold.

Lenny loves it, of course. Hartley decides on Pied Piper, and Cisco makes Mick a flamethrower and christens him Heatwave. After the incredibly enthusiastic round of thank you sex, Cisco heads into the cortex to face the music more thoroughly. Len saves him from too much indignant Barry by texting him in the middle of the Inquisition.

“Is that him? Is that Snart?” Barry demands.

“Yeah. He says to tell you that he and Pied Piper have talked and apparently would not object to sharing in this case.”

His phone buzzes again.

“And that the view when you leave is almost worth getting arrested for.”

Barry goes beet red and loses the ability to string a sentence together, and Cisco makes his escape.

It’s a great escape, right up until someone grabs him from behind and shoves a bag over his head while they grab and tie his wrists. When the bag comes off, Cisco braces himself for the Santinis or the what’s left of the Darbinyans, and ends up looking straight at Mick, in full supervillain gear.

Oh god why was that so hot? That should not be hot. Mick grins, harsh and sharp.

“Scared?” he asks. “You should be.”

Mick is angling for a supervillain roleplaying moment. The terrifying thing here is that Cisco is absolutely going to go along with it.

“What do you want, Heatwave?” Cisco asks, forcing his voice to quaver with faux-fear.

“I want the Flash.” says Mick. “And if you can’t tell me that, well-“ He’s smiling his bonfire smile, the one that comes out when things are going up in flames and its beautiful and deadly.

“What if –“ Cisco doesn’t even have to force himself to swallow to sell the scared image, his mouth is already dry with how much he’s gagging for it. “What if I offered something else in exchange for my freedom?”

Mick tilts his head to one side, considering a foregone conclusion.

“It would have to be a damn good offer.” he says. Cisco fights back the grin threatening to break out across his face.

“What do you want? I’ll give you anything.” Cisco declares, with a certain flourish.

“That’s a dangerous offer, Little.” Mick purrs, and Cisco shivers and opens and closes his hands where the soft rope has them bound at the small of his back. “There’s a lot I want to do to you.”

Cisco leans in when Mick fists a hand in the front of his shirt and hauls him up for a kiss.

***
It’s Dante’s birthday, and Cisco’s been invited home for the party. Considering the last time he saw his parents was right after the accelerator exploded, Cisco feels obliged to go. He tells Caitlin as much on their way into STAR Labs one morning.

“I could go with you?” she offers, all open smiles and honesty.

“Cait, I love you, and bless you for offering, but Dante will spend the whole time flirting with you. I’m gonna take my boyfriend.”

“You’re going take your criminal boyfriend to your brother’s birthday party.” says Caitlin, emotionless. Cisco – hasn’t told her who Mick is. He will. One day. He’s just not sure he could take the lecture right now.

“Yes.” says Cisco. The upside is that literally no one at that party will start shit with Mick at his shoulder. The downside is that Mick is very charming when he wants to be, and may in fact charm three recipes and Cisco’s baby photos out of his mother if Cisco isn’t careful.

Cisco isn’t careful. He stopped being careful about the same time that he rolled into bed and pulled Mick Rory, pyromaniac thief, down on top of him, begging with teeth and tongue and hips and thighs that Mick never leave again.

Mick gets the whole recipe book, and promises to never tell Lenny or Lise or Hart about that one time Cisco dressed up as Rictor for Halloween.

If Cisco’s being honest, he prefers the party after that. The one at Saints and Sinners that Mick and Lenny and Lisa throw to celebrate his and Mick’s second anniversary. Cisco dances with Mick, and then with Len, and then with Lisa, and then Hartley, and then finds himself six shots in and standing on a table doing Take Me Or Leave Me with Mark Mardon of all people. Two more shots later and he’s being pressed against the door of the bathroom with his legs wrapped tight around Mick’s hips, head tilted back and panting for breath.

“Just like old times.” says Mick, against Cisco’s throat. “Only this time I can say I love you.”

Cisco kisses him, hard.

***
Cisco wakes screaming in Mick’s bed in the safehouse, the night after he makes Lisa Snart a gun to match her brother’s as a birthday present.

“Korora, wake up, it’s okay, you’re safe.” Mick’s murmuring into Cisco’s hair, strong arms pulling Cisco into his broad chest. Cisco gasps and shakes and thanks anyone who’s listening upstairs for the man he’s coming to realize might be the love of his life. The door slams open as his breathing starts to settle, revealing the rest of Cisco’s family. Len’s got the Cold Gun in one hand, his other flat against the door he’s just opened, and his eyes are the only thing giving away how scared he actually is. Hartley is half-behind Len, fists clenched inside his hastily-donned gloves, and Lisa’s Gold Gun is rubbing against the bare skin of her thigh that her oversize t-shirt doesn’t cover.

“Cisquito-“ starts Hartley, “what’s wrong?”

“I think I died?” Cisco tries, testing the statement out on his tongue.

“In the dream?” asks Lisa. “That’s happened to me, it sucks.”

“No. In – “ Cisco pauses, considers how he wants to phrase it. “In another timeline? I think? I need to talk to Ba – to the Flash.”

“Talk to Barry.” says Len. Cisco nods, and starts reaching for his phone, only to freeze and look back at him.

“Honestly, Cisco, you think we didn’t go research possible IDs and do the recon as soon as he showed up?”

Cisco shakes his head, smiles down at the rumpled sheets of his bed in his house with his family. He’s not letting anyone take that away from him. Barry picks up on the third ring.

“Cisco?”

“Hey, Bare, it’s me. Listen, have you travelled through time recently?”

“What – how – what?” Barry splutters.

“Okay so you did. Listen I think Doctor Wells is the Man in Yellow and he absolutely murdered me in that timeline.”

Mick sits up bolt upright, and Lisa yelps ‘what!’.

“Did you just call me by my name in front of your supervillains?”

“Relax, Scarlet, we knew already.” Len calls, loud enough that Barry will hear him. “Also, if it’s Wells, I will kill him myself.”

“Like hell you will.” grumbles Mick. “I want him.”

Cisco switches the call to speaker.

“No one’s killing anyone.” he says. Len raises an eyebrow that says ‘just you fucking watch me’, and Cisco attempts to glare him down, Mick’s fingers tracing up and down Cisco’s spine.

“Wait, Cisco, how did you know?” asks Barry. Cisco looks up at the crowd in the door.

“Fuck, I’m a metahuman.” he says.

“Fuck, you’re a metahuman.” echoes Hartley. Then, more tentatively, “snap?”

Barry hisses out a breath through his teeth and behind Cisco Mick tenses – not out of fear of Cisco, but rather fear for him. Metahumans – aren’t popular, in Central. Too much wanton destruction from dumbasses with vendettas.

“We’ll confront him.” says Barry. “I’ll call in the Arrow for help, and we’ll confront him. If we stop him, my dad gets out of prison.”

***

It doesn’t work. The Arrow and Firestorm and Barry all together manage to do nothing but aggravate him, and then Eddie’s taken and the particle accelerator is turning on and they have to move all of the metas in the pipeline. Cisco slides into the booth that Mick and Hartley have colonized in Saints and leaves Barry to talk with Len. Hartley slides one of the hard ciders Cisco prefers over to him, and then snickers when Len puts “Cold As Ice” on the jukebox.

“Drama queen.” says Mick, teasing, and curls an arm around Cisco’s shoulders. Cisco snuggles in to his side and listens in to Barry and Len’s discussion. His eyes widen at what he hears, and he looks back at Hartley.

“Yes, this is sexually charged as hell, I know. Lenny and I talked. The only way this changes is if you think he wouldn’t be a submissive, adorable, eager to please little fucker in bed.”

Cisco has, in fact, considered such things. Barry’s a human vibrator. Sue him.

“Nah, he will be.”

Hartley gets a dirty little smirk on his face.

“What do you want?” Barry asks, up at the bar, and suddenly Cisco knows exactly how this is going to play out. Len writes something on a napkin, slides it across the bar, and Barry goes bright red and stammers.

“Really? I’ll give you almost anything, and that’s what you want?”

“Really. That’s what I want.”

Barry swallows hard, but not out of fear. Not if his pupils are anything to go by. God, they might as well make being queer and having a soft spot slash hard on for bad guys an entrance requirement for joining Team Flash.

***
“You know, I thought this would be more awkward.”

Cisco looks up from wrangling with the coffee pot into submission and takes in where Barry is leaning on the doorframe, arms folded across his still-marked-up chest and fading ligature marks staining his wrists.

“Speaking from experience, that’s how it usually goes in this house.” says Cisco with a wry grin. “You want coffee? Lenny and Hart probably won’t be up for a while.”

“Sure.” says Barry, and then rubs at the back of his neck like he always does when he’s nervous. “Should I be gone before that happens?”

“Boss would hate that.” says Mick, from the doorway. He’s wearing nothing other than the criminally soft sleep pants he prefers, so both his burn scars and his ta moko are on display. Barry’s jaw is on level with his pecs when Cisco drags himself away from his ridiculously hot boyfriend to sneak a look at him.

“Stay put, Scarlet.” Mick tells Barry, and then he takes a seat at the table. “I’ll even make you breakfast after I’ve had some coffee.” Cisco rolls his eyes in response to that, because what Mick means by ‘after I’ve had some coffee’ is ‘after I’ve stolen about half of Cisco’s mug of coffee by means of being weirdly soft in the mornings and cooing at him in Maori’ and even though Cisco knows its coming, its going to work. He resigns himself to the inevitable and pushes himself off the counter to go get his morning kiss off his boyfriend. Mick winds an arm around Cisco’s waist when Cisco’s leaning down, and then uses that arm to wrangle Cisco into a sitting position on Mick’s lap. One day, Mick being able to manhandle him that easily will stop being a turn on. Today is not that day. To be perfectly honest, this time next year isn’t looking to good either.

“Korora.” Mick coos, and Cisco sighs and lets Mick wrap his hand over Cisco’s on the mug and steal a few mouthfuls of his coffee. He looks up and is suddenly struck by the fact Barry’s staring at them with an expression somewhere between hearteyes, disbelief, and the kind of jealousy that absolutely blindsides you. Honestly, Cisco doesn’t know what to make of that, just as he’s not entirely sure what to make of Lenny’s actual Plan for this morning, as it had been outlined by Mick last night. Cisco settles in to wait for Hart and Lenny to arrive, fully aware that Mick wouldn’t let him go anywhere until he’d decided he was caffeinated enough for cooking. Barry took the seat opposite them and rests his chin on his hand.

“So, the threesome thing –“ Barry says, after Mick and Cisco have collectively drained the mug, because apparently Barry Allen does not understand subtlety.

“Not uncommon.” says Mick, because Mick and Barry have similar ideas about bluntness and getting to the point in conversations. Mick gets up and starts pulling ingredients out of the fridge.

“And, um, repeats?”

“That rather depends on your opinion on the Geneva Convention, Scarlet.” drawls Lenny, from the doorway. Cisco’s about ninety-five percent sure that those jeans are Lisa’s, and Lenny’s paired them with the washed-soft Rocky Horror t-shirt that appears to have become communal property and the almost-clear framed glasses he only ever wears on slow mornings. Barry’s cheeks are already heating up.

“What do you mean?” Barry asks.

“The metas you’ve got in the Pipeline.” says Lenny, serious, “you’re holding them illegally.”

Barry stares at a point over Lenny’s shoulder for a solid two minutes.

“Fuck.” says Barry. “We are. Fuck, that was his idea.”

“I have a plan.” says Lenny. He lays it out, slowly, and Cisco watches Barry consider it, watches how Barry realizes how much better it will be.

“Ollie’s going to hate it. So much.” says Barry, and then slams his hands over his mouth once he realizes what he’s just said. Mick grins, and puts a stacked-high plate of waffles and bacon and eggs down in front of Barry.

“Relax, Whero, we’d guessed.”

Barry does not look at all appeased by this.

“You can never let him know that.” he hisses. “He will fucking shoot you. He shot me in the back. Twice. And he likes me.”

Lenny tilts his head back and laughs.

***

It has somehow slipped all of their minds that while everything is going very smoothly on this end, there are in fact members of Team Flash who had not been informed of the situation. Which is why Cisco is sitting at his usual seat in the Cortex, listening to Barry and Joe yell at each other about trusting criminals.

“He’s absolutely going to use you!’ Joe yells.

“But he’s not wrong about the illegal imprisonment thing.” Barry hisses back. “And I trust him.”

“Why on Earth would you trust him?” demands Joe. Barry, predictably, goes bright red and starts at the back of his neck again. Joe looks like he might actually take flight in his rage at this point, and Iris looks like she’s about to scream at the implications, so Cisco wades in to try and diffuse the situation.

“Look, I trust Lenny too.”

Joe spins.

“Lenny?” says Iris, plainly confused.

Fuck. Okay, Cisco’s just made it worse.

“Thanks, Cisco.” Lenny purrs from the entrance. “Alright, Flash, here as ordered.”

Behind him, looking swanky and evil in a lot more black leather than any of them bar Lisa usually wear, are Mick and Lisa and Hartley. Hartley blows an obnoxious little kiss at Caitlin, who scowls. Cisco fights down a smirk, fully aware that Hart delights in getting a rise out of people. The whole situation would probably have been marginally less terrible if Barry had been in costume.

Barry is, needless to say, definitively not in costume.

“Leonard Snart knew who you were before me?” bellows Iris, perfectly justified in doing so, if you asked Cisco.

“It just sort of happened?” says Barry.

“How the hell does something like that just happen.” hisses Joe. “They all know, now!”

“To be fair,” starts Hartley, and Cisco lets his head drop noisily onto his desk, because he knows where this is going and Caitlin is about to murder him with a scalpel for not telling her. “We were going to find out eventually, one way or another. Cisco was sure to slip up at some point.”

Cisco keeps his forehead on the desk and raises one hand in order to flip Hartley off.

“See if I ever get you the Heartbreak Vodka ever again.” Cisco tells him.

“Oh no, how will I ever cope? It’s not like I’m fucking the Boss and get whatever I want.”

“What is he talking about, Cisco?” says Caitlin. Fuck, he really should have told her who Mick was, beyond the ‘my very large and scary and sweet criminal boyfriend’.

“Um, Cait, remember my very large and scary and sweet criminal boyfriend?”

Caitlin looks up at the crowd in the doorway. Mick waves.

“Holy fuck, Cisco.” says Caitlin. And then, almost nervously, “wait, does that mean the guy you set Hartley up with was –“

Lenny grins like a shark.

“I hate all of you.” Cisco tells the desk.

“Really, Cisco?” says Lisa, “Even after I was so good and didn’t flirt with either of the very gorgeous women you’ve just put in front of me?”

Cisco looks up for long enough to take in the fact that both Caitlin and Iris are blushing. Okay, being queer for morally ambiguous supervillains is totally an official entry requirement now.

“Especially you.” he tells Lisa. She pouts. It’s very pretty. Iris somehow manages to get redder. Joe looks like he’s about to have an aneurysm.

“I’m not going to ask about this.” says Joe, waving his hand to encompass Cisco and Mick and Iris and Lisa and Caitlin. “But I still want to know what possessed you to tell Leonard Snart your identity!”

“Sort of my fault?” says Cisco. “But they’d already figured it out.”

“Mostly my fault.” says Barry.

“Part of my – payment – for being here.” says Lenny, because Lenny loves to stir shit.

Joe and Iris turn on Barry in unison, looking horrified.

“He’s exaggerating.” says Barry. “I was totally on board with that part.”

Iris looks impressed despite herself, and Joe still looks vaguely murderous.

Which is, of course, when Oliver Queen walks in.

***
Cisco is back in his usual seat in Mick’s lap, arms wrapped firmly around his boyfriend’s neck, glaring at Oliver. Mick’s grinning.

“Korora,” says Mick, “it’s an arrow graze. I have had far, far, worse.”

“I don’t care.” says Cisco, because he doesn’t. “You don’t shoot our allies, Oliver! Oh wait, I forgot, you do, and you call it ‘training’.”

Lenny sniggers. Barry’s planted himself between Hartley and Lenny and Oliver, and Iris was looming at Oliver’s side between him and Lisa. If that’s foreshadowing, West family dinners could be about to get very interesting.

“Don’t we have some more pressing concerns?” Hartley asks, once the staring competition has dragged on a few more minutes.

“We do, yes, thank you, Hartley.” says Barry, and claps his hands. “Len, if you wouldn’t mind?”

Mick sighs, and slides a hand down Cisco’s back.

“I need to go with him.”

Cisco lets him up, and pulls him down into a hard kiss before he lets go.

Barry blushes in Hartley and Lenny’s general direction.

“What do you say to one for the road, Miss West?” asks Lisa with a flirtatious grin, and Iris suddenly can’t look at either Lisa or her father.

“I will never understand your relationship with your criminals.” Oliver tells Barry.

“I never thought I’d agree with you on anything.” Joe tells him.

Lenny grins his shark grin again, and swaggers out of the Cortex to explain the situation to the criminals in the pipeline. Cisco turns on the cameras and the sound so the rest of them can follow along. As expected, Nimbus wants nothing to do with Lenny – Lenny’s been anti-Families for as long as he’s been a major player in the Underworld. Cisco knocks him out with a button, ready for transport. Baez is an easy sell – her boyfriend had manipulated her as much as Wells had Barry, so for all her anger, she understood.

“Can I hit him? Just once?”

Lenny frowns.

“I tend to take issue with my people damaging what’s mine, no matter how recent the claim.” he tells her. Barry blushes, and Cisco pretends not to notice the possessive and anchoring grip Hartley has on Barry’s wrist, where Hartley’s thumb is sweeping across Barry’s pulse point.

“What about the engineer who built these things then, can I hit him?”

“Fuck no.” says Mick, firmly.

“Let me guess, that one’s yours?”

Mick grins. Shawna shakes her head with a smile.

“Look at you, then, the valiant White Knights.”

“Big damn heroes is what we are.” Mick and Len say in unison, because contrary to popular belief, they are both giant nerds. Shawna pops herself down the hall ahead of them when they open her cell, and then into the cortex, where she grins up at all of them.

“Sorry about the trying to kill you thing.” she tells Iris and Caitlin. “I’d gone a little stir-crazy in there.”

Lisa’s got her appreciating eyebrow raise going on, and she bumps Iris with her elbow a little. Iris looks torn between scandalized and turned on. Cisco’s intimately familiar with that feeling, and the speed with which it hits when a Snart is around. Shawna gets collected into the space between the two of them, and Len and Mick head over to Mardon’s cell.

“No killing Joe West.” Len says, hand hovering over the release button after Mardon’s agreed.

“Why?” demands Mardon.

“Because revenge blinds you to truth. And because my boy will be very unhappy with me if he dies, and you would not like to be the reason my boy and I have an argument.”

Barry’s got the dopiest little smile on his face at all the possessiveness, and Hartley looks smug as hell. Christ, Cisco’s going to have to get used to Barry as a permanent fixture in that relationship, isn’t he? And if Shawna and Iris move in with Lisa, the kitchen is going to be damn crowded in the mornings. Cisco leans over to the intercom button.

“Lenny, if you’re recruiting them all I am kicking you out of Mick and my apartment.”

Lenny turns and looks straight at the camera.

“What the fuck, Cisco?”

“There will be too many people in Mick’s kitchen, Lenny. It’s not happening.”

Mick laughs, loud and delighted. Mark’s grinning too, now.

“Who’s that?” Mark asks, jerking his chin up at the camera.

“You remember Cisco Ramon, right?” asks Mick, steadying Mark as he crosses the threshold of the cell.

“I do.” says Mark, and then, to the camera, “Hi Cisco!”

Cisco grins, and says hi back on the intercom. He ignores the scowl coming from Joe, mostly because he knows Joe will come around eventually and it’s always better to be nice to the scary and hardened criminals that Mick and Lenny know, mostly because it means they all underestimate him.

Everything happens quite quickly after that – Barry skids off to drop a meta-cuffed Nimbus to the police, Caitlin and Cisco figure out Eddie’s in the accelerator, Cisco has to physically separate Lisa and Shawna from where they are latched to Iris’s neck in a supply room so they can rescue Eddie (Iris looks only a little bit guilty about that last part, but Cisco supposes that her fight with Eddie had never really resolved itself, so technically she had nothing to be guilty about), and they whisked Eddie out of there with Shawna’s help. And then Eobard was back and he was goading Barry about his mother and Barry looks like he’s seriously considering running back in time. They all leave together so they can consider their next move, and Cisco finds himself halfway down the hall, chasing Barry down.

“You know that whatever you decide to do, I won’t be angry, right?” says Cisco.

“What if me rewriting history means we never meet? What if it means you never meet Mick? What if I never meet Len, or you never introduce him to Hartley?” Barry babbles.

“Hey, listen, whatever happens, you know I won’t hold it against you, right?”

“Right.” says Barry, softly. “And we’ll still find each other. In any timeline. The Universe wants us to be bros.”

“Yes.” says Cisco, just as quietly. “It does.”

Barry runs. Barry returns. Barry slams the time machine into a thousand pieces and deposits Thawne in front of Lenny. Lenny raises the cold gun. Lenny shoots him.

Barry falls to his knees and starts to sob, his shoulders shaking. They circle up around him, all of them together, Iris and Joe and Cisco and Mick and Hartley and Lenny and Lisa.

“Where did he go?” Mark asks, looking at the shuddering wreck of the man who had so scared him.

“To watch his mother’s murder.” says Joe. Shawna makes a sad little whine of a noise, and Mark crosses to join their circle in but a few steps. Cisco doesn’t know how long they stay that way, but when they untangle, Barry looks something approaching alright. He won’t be, not yet, but maybe he’ll get there, with help.

Mick and Cisco get the apartment to themselves, that night. Lenny and Hart went with Barry, after the wormhole opened, and Lisa, Shawna, and Iris are at one of Lisa’s safehouses. They spend the whole night just clinging to one another, like they’re some kind of anchor. When the sun spills over the windowsill and Cisco wakes from the half-doze he’d been in, Mick rolls over and pulls open a drawer in the side table.

“I almost lost you, today.” Mick says. “Almost lost our family. I never want that to happen.”

“I get that.” says Cisco. “But if that’s a wedding ring you’d better be prepared for both actually never getting rid of me and about six separate shovel speeches from the CCPD.”

“So that’s a yes. Have I ever been scared of the CCPD?” asks Mick, and Cisco’s laughing when Mick slides the ring on and pulls him into a kiss.

***

You could have heard a pin drop in the bullpen of the CCPD. Cisco Ramon – little bitsy tech guy, Cisco Ramon – stood in the path of the officers hauling Mick Rory in for questioning. He has his arms folded across his chest and his face twisted into a scowl, and Mick Rory looks fucking sheepish.

“Mikaere Rory, what the fuck did you do?”

David Singh grins.

“Albert! This case is yours.”

Julian Albert, the new metahuman specialist, looks up in surprise.

“Why me? Heatwave’s not a meta.”

David looks back at where Cisco is frantically scolding Rory, hands sweeping across bound shoulders, checking for injuries.

“Allen and Ramon can’t work on this one. Conflict of interest.”

Albert’s eyebrows shoot up.

“But try to be quick about it?” David asks, fully aware of the eavesdropping officers surrounding him and ready for that fucker Harrelson to spit his coffee across the room. “Mick and Cisco’s wedding is this weekend.”