Barry was a somewhat recognized member of the Central City police force. He wasn’t a cop out in the field really, but every bit just as important in the dishing out of justice. He was a part of the CCPD, and there were certain rules he had to follow as a result. Number one being, don’t date the criminals you’re supposed to be putting behind bars…
That being said, there were certain rules he had to break.
Len wasn’t a bad person by any extent of the word. In the years Barry had come to know and slowly love him, Len had been a very good person… who sometimes did bad things. He had been dished out a bad childhood, and the effects could still be seen. Raised on the other side of a gun, he could be doing much worse things than stealing. He only stole when necessary. He never purposefully hurt anyone. These were all the things Barry kept telling himself. He knew he was walking a thin line between two sides of the law, but in the end it was all worth it… That’s what he told himself. Over and over again. It worked for them. The relationship they shared was anything but typical. The thief and the cop.
“So, you have an admirer.” Joe didn’t state it as a question. Barry pinched the bridge of his nose. He could feel a headache coming on. He glanced from his adoptive father to the ridiculously large, annoyingly bright bouquet he held in his hands. Joe’s face was unreadable as Barry fumbled for something to say. It was times like these that he had to remind himself that yes, he did love Len with all his heart. Barry chuckled nervously.
“I guess so.” He cringed internally. He almost didn’t want to ask but…
“Who’s it from?”
“It didn’t say. It was just sitting there on your desk. We were afraid it was a bomb at first,” Joe replied sheepishly. Barry huffed out a breath. Was it really that unbelievable that someone would get him flowers? He crossed his arms defensively over his chest.
“Once we determined they were safe, the station was in a real frenzy. Everyone’s trying to figure out who it is.” Barry wanted to bang his head against a wall as Joe passed him the flowers before heading back to his own desk, leaving him to stare dumbly at the colorful bundle. He sighed. It was going to be a long day. He tried to ignore the prying looks that followed him up the stairs to his lab.
“So, did you get the flowers I sent?” Barry glared at Len as he slid into the seat across from him. They were currently at Saints and Sinners, a place Barry had come to know well in the past few years. The people around them were loud and unruly, most of them too drunk off their faces to care about them. It was the perfect place to go unnoticed. Plus, he had grown quite fond of many of the regulars that came here. Most of them were surprisingly pleasant to be around, and Barry understood why Len had always loved the place so much.
“You’re an ass, you know that? Everyone thought it was a bomb.” Len smirked, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
“It’s not funny. They’re all trying to figure out who you are now.”
“Let them,” Len said with a shrug. Barry instantly deflated. He reached across the table to grip Len’s hand in his own. For a guy who had a reputation of being cold, his hands were always surprisingly warm.
“You know why we can’t,” he said softly. Len sighed.
“I know that, but it would be nice if I could take you somewhere nice for once. A proper date without having to worry about who sees us.” Barry swiped his thumb across a calloused palm in comforting circle.
“I wish we could too,” he said. He drew away when the waitress came to take their orders. When their food came, they ate in silence. Barry took the time to wonder what it would be like. It would be nice to be able to bring Len home and introduce him to Joe, not as the criminal they had faced on the streets countless times, but as his boyfriend of three years. He wished they could walk hand in hand, not only in the darkest parts of the city. How different it would be to be just Barry and Leonard, not the Flash vs Captain Cold.
When they parted ways that night, it was with a impossible thoughts heavy on their shoulders.
“One day,” he promised. Len smiled at him and gave him a quick kiss.
“I’ll hold you to that.” Barry raced off. It would be a long night as the Flash.
When Barry walked into the station the next morning, tired from a sleepless night of crime-fighting, he really shouldn’t have been surprised to see another bouquet sitting on the reception desk waiting for him. He nodded stiffly to the lady behind the desk as he took the flowers- this time red roses- and headed upstairs. Once he got to his lab, he tossed them on his cluttered desk. He slumped into his chair with a sigh and stared at them, running his finger nervously through his already messy hair. He had thought this would be done, that Len understood where he was coming from when he said they couldn’t do this. Apparently not. The man was nothing if not persistent. Len’s stubbornness rivaled Barry’s own. This really shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
He stood up, refusing to look at them any longer. He had work to do. Too many cases were beginning to pile up lately. As much as he hated the paperwork that came with it, at least it was a good distraction. He happily got lost in the words that poured off the pages and the silence of his empty lab.
He should’ve known the peace wouldn’t last. He looked up from his last report as Joe walked in. His eyes immediately landed on the roses on his desk. Barry had almost forgotten about them.
“Do you know who they’re coming from,” Joe questioned, never one to beat around the bush. Barry shook his head.
“No.” Something on his face must’ve shown, because Joe didn’t look convinced in the slightest. Joe clapped a hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently.
“Barry, when you’re ready to tell me more about this special someone, the door will be open for them,” Joe said with a smile. Barry returned it, something clenching in his chest uncertainly. If he only knew. Would he be so accepting? He watched as Joe turned to leave, too many doubts running through his mind. He sighed and slumped in his chair. What was he going to do?
They just kept coming and coming. Every day there was something new. Everything from colorful bouquets, to chocolates, to a little stuffed bear (Barry would deny the tiny squeak that came from his mouth as he laid eyes on the adorable plush creature). It was getting ridiculous. He was afraid what would be waiting for him next.
By this point, the station had cooled down a little over the whole situation. There were still those curious as to who this mystery person could possibly be, but they were no closer to cracking the case, for which Barry was beyond relieved.
The next time he met up with Len, it was at the park one night. The stars were twinkling in the sky, and the moon bathed them in a bright glow. It was quiet. Despite his annoyance with the other man, the moment Barry saw him, all the stress from that week just seemed to melt away. He happily fell into him, wrapping his arms around the bulky coat Len refused to take off. Len chuckled in amusement, raising an arm to rest his warm hand atop Barry’s head.
“You haven’t given me much of a chance to miss you,” Barry huffed as he buried his face into the other’s neck, breathing in deep. He could practically feel the wide grin that spread across Len’s face. Barry sighed as he steeled himself for his next words.
“I want you to come home with me.” His voice was muffled, but Barry knew Len heard him as he suddenly tensed. He waited for a response, content to sit in silence. It wasn’t often he was able to catch Len off guard like this.
“Are you sure?” It was Barry’s turn to grin as he nodded.
“Yeah. I want them to know.” As he said those words, a warmth grew in his chest and he knew they were true. He wasn’t ashamed of Len. Never had been. He was one of the most important parts of his life, and he wanted everyone to know it. He tightened his hold before pulling away to grab his hand. As they exited the dark park and were greeted with the sounds of the city, Barry was practically vibrating with excitement. He pulled Len along, their pace leisurely. Even so, it didn’t take long for the house to come into view, and suddenly they were at the door. The lights inside lit up the windows, warm and welcoming. Barry smiled. He didn’t know what was going to happen now. All he knew was that it felt right. He glanced over to Len and gave his hand a quick, reassuring squeeze. He looked unsure.
“Ready?” Len looked like he wanted to say no, and Barry wanted to laugh, or kiss him, or both. Then Len smiled, and Barry knew he was going to kiss him.