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Better Late Than Never

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Barry fumbled with his tie in front of the mirror. Since high school, he's become become a genius forensic scientist and the superhero vigilante, but he still hasn't mastered neckties. After 5 minutes of frustration, he gives in.

"Iris......" he turns to see her already waiting behind him with a clip on tie and a smirk. He snatches it from her hand as his cheeks turn pink.

Iris giggles. "Why are you nervous? It's just a stupid high school reunion."

"A lot of people we used to know are going to be there. Most of whom remember me as the weird, nerdy boy who's mom got murdered by his dad and now he believes in conspiracy theories. I want them to realize that they were wrong. Not just about the impossible being possible and my dad being innocent, but about me in general. I'm more than just a nerd." Barry says as he fixes his hair.

"Of course you're more than just a nerd, baby. You're also really attractive." Iris teases. She holds his chin and the he can't help the way the coroners of his lips raise. "I still don't understand why we can't just stalk them on Facebook from the comfort of our couch while eating ice cream."

Barry rolls his eyes and gives her a peck on the lips. "You don't understand because you were cool back then. I'm cool now."

Iris raises an eyebrow. "Babe, you use the word 'whom'. Ok, you're still not cool."

Barry feigned anger. "I knew I should've asked Cisco to go with me." he says, pushing her against the wall "But he takes forever to get ready, so I guess I'm stuck with you." Iris' smile is eclipsed by Barry's lips. He gently tugs on her lower lip, causing her breath to hitch. She opens her mouth, inviting him in. Just as heat starts rising in Iris, Barry pulls away. "You're not going to distract me. We're going."

"Fine." Iris sighs.

Barry resumes styling his hair. Iris goes upstairs to get the fancy heels she picked out for tonight. They're in her childhood bedroom. She and Barry are staying at Joe's house tonight since it's closer to the high school than the loft. When Iris comes back down the staircase, Barry is waiting for her by the door. The addition of high heels to her outfit doesn't go unnoticed. Barry's eyes are fixated on long legs, which look even longer now.

"I'm ready." Iris tells him.

Barry doesn't reply. He's still staring at her, smiling like an idiot.

"What is it?" Iris asks.

Barry shrugs. "It's like deja vu. We're at the house, getting ready to go to CC High. You look stunning. I'm hopelessly in love with you." Iris tilts of her and bats her eyes. "It's just like old times." Barry finishes. He put on his jacket and takes her hand. "Except," His eyes look adoringly into hers. His other hand caresses her cheek. "Now I get to tell you, and everyone else, how much I love you."

Iris goes weak in the knees. "Barrrrryyyy..." she says.

Barry often makes statement like that. Sweet, heartfelt declarations of his life long love for her, that she doesn't know to respond to. A kiss usually works, so Iris reaches up to neck and pulls his lips to hers. Iris wants the kiss to last all night long, who cares about the stupid reunion. But Barry breaks away, not persuaded by the longing look she gives him.

"I'm driving us." Iris says, pulling her car keys out of her purse.

"Just like old times." Barry repeats, remembering how she'd drive them since he didn't have a license.

 

The Central City High School gymnasium is filled balloons, streamers, a banner reading "Welcome Back Class of 2007", loud music, and barely recognizable people. Barry and Iris enter and are flooded by nostalgia. "Look," Iris points to a corner of the gym, "I threw up there once." They both laugh. "And the punch bowl is in the same spot they put it in for prom!"

Barry's arm is around Iris and she's leaning into him. They pick up their name tags and join the crowd of their former classmates. They make small talk with a few of Iris' old friends from the cheerleading squad, laugh at stories told by the valedictorian about his time in Amsterdam, and cringe at the jocks who peaked in high school. A few people apologize to Barry for comments they made about his father. It means a lot to Barry. The chemistry teacher tells Barry how proud she is that he achieved his dream of being a forensic scientist. After using the ladies' room, Iris visits the vending machine in the hallway she used to get snack from every afternoon. It still steals quarters.

When Iris returns to the reunion, she scans the crowd for Barry. Her eyes bulge and her blood pressure increases when she spots the name tag of the girl standing next to him.

It's Bec-ky Coo-per.

Iris walks right up to Barry and throws herself at him. She's kissing him with jealous passion, desperate for more of him. Barry stiffens at first, completely shocked by her sudden reappearance and outburst of affection. But then, he kisses her back. Their tongues dance together. Iris presses against him, feeling like nothing is close enough for her liking. She lifts a leg around him and he holds it up under her knee.

Iris' lips leave Barry's. "You're so hot, baby." she whispers, purposefully loud enough for Becky to hear. Iris can't keep her lips off him, so she kisses all over his face, his jaw, his neck. Her hands are running through his hair, messing it up. She yanks off the clip-on tie and starts buttoning his shirt. His collar bones are revealed and Iris waste no time before kissing them. Barry doesn't understand why Iris is doing this but it's ridiculously hot and he hopes she continues.

"Umm, I'm gonna go..." Becky says.

Only then does Iris cease her relentless kissing of Barry's body. He looks disappointed. Smudges of Iris' deep red lipstick mark up his face and neck.

"Oh, Bec-ky." Iris fakes a smile. She put her left hand on Barry's chest, flashing her wedding ring. "I didn't see you there."

"I always knew you liked him!" Becky laughs. "I think that's why we didn't get along. Anyway, see ya."

Becky walks away and Iris watches her leave with a smug expression. Barry bites his lip and glares at Iris. Once Bec-ky is out of sight, Iris turns back to Barry and buttons his shirt back up.

"I don't know what came over me." Iris confesses.

"Whatever it was, I liked it." Barry assures her, easing Iris' embarrassment slightly. He gives her a hug.

"Can we go now?" Iris asked, hopefully.

 

They sat in the parked car for a little while. Iris was mortified by her own behavior. "I saw her over here talking to you and something in me just.... snapped." Iris whispers with her face in his neck. "I wanted to claw her eyes out. I wanted to sink to my knees and suck your dick right there in front of her."

Barry gulped. His brain offers no suggestion of what to say next, except 'please do.'

"Uh, did you know that Patagonian maras get jealous too? They pee on their mate to mark their territory."

Barry regrets the words as soon as they leave his mouth. He needed to say something, but holy shit does he wish he said something else.

Iris screwed up her face in disgust. "Eww. Are you saying I'm like the Patagonian maras?"

"No! No, no not at all. I was jus-" Barry spluttered.

"Why do you even know that?"

"Well, I just, I, it.................... I'm not cool."

They both erupted in laughter.

"Just like old times." Iris said once the laughter subsided. "Nerdy Barry, my best friend."

He blushes. Their arms warm around one another. Exchanging looks of admiration, they're both blushing now.

"Becky was right." Iris admits.

"About what?"

"I did like you. Fuck, I was in love with you. I just didn't realize it was love. It was so natural to me that I didn't even think about it. I thought everyone felt that way about their best friend."

Barry smiles a somber smile. "I almost told you how I felt about you when we were dancing in this gym at our junior prom."

"Why didn't you?" Iris asks.

He's kicking himself for missing out on all those years he could've been more than friends with Iris. "I was a coward."

"Don't say that. You're the bravest person I know."

"You've always been my favorite person."

"And you've always been mine, Bear." They kiss, this time it's soft and sweet. Decades of love conveyed through their lips.

"I should've thrown myself at you like that at junior prom." Iris laments.

Barry beams. "Well, better late than never."

Iris climbs over the center console to share Barry's seat. He gladly welcomes the uncomfortable lack of space. Their next kiss is far less chaste. Iris is straddling Barry, his hands gripping her ass. The buttons of his shirt are being undone again. Her hands make the mess of his hair even messier.

Iris suddenly needs to know, "Do these seats go all the way back?"