“There has got to be a better way to control this.”
Len snarled at Lisa’s famous words. How many times had she told him that over the years? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions? In the end, it really didn’t matter. No matter what she said, it didn’t stop the fact that he was dying and these short-term solutions they concocting were only slowing down the process, not fixing it.
Even now, the radiator that he was pressed against was warping and cracking, unable to power through the opposing temperature. The cold that clung to Len seeped through his ice coated skin hissed against the mild heat the radiator gave off. Normally, a radiator cranked up as high as it was would have burnt through human flesh but it barely broke through the ice sheet on Len’s back. It was only a matter of time before the radiator completely fizzled out. It couldn’t fight the cold. Not even close.
“What do you propose, sis?” Len snapped, although it was more of pure frustration at his situation than at his sister. What was it? Fifteen years of frozen skin and ice powers? “We hunt down ever radiator in Central City?”
“No,” Lisa sat cross legged, a few feet in front of him. Despite the radiator being put at dangerously high temperatures, Len’s cold made the room freeze and Lisa was bundled up to fight it.
“Then what?” Len groaned as the radiator keeled out and the heat was quickly snuffed out by his internal cold. Like a moth to a flame, Len absorbed any and all heat around him. He craved the heat, but it was never enough to satisfy him. Nothing was.
“We just got to find something with a little more heat.” Lisa’s eyes danced, new ideas already forming in her head. For years, ever since she was four, Lisa had been looking for a solution to her brother’s ailment. The cold wasn’t all bad; it definitely had its uses in their line of business. It made heists and robberies child’s play and made the siblings richer than they knew what to do with. Len said it wasn’t about the money, it was about the plan. For Lisa, it was always about the gold, and family time, of course.
Unfortunately, the cold had a price. Not only did it consume Len, but it consumed everything he touched. Lisa couldn’t remember a time when her brother wasn’t frigid, but Len claims there was, before she was born. The siblings never touched. One time Len brushed against Lisa’s shoulder when she was six and now a dead patch a skin marred her paleness forever.
The cold also brought unwanted attention, especially from their father. It was something Lewis Snart had exploited when he first discovered what his eight year old son could do; it was also what ended up killing half of his father’s crew one chilly winter although Len blamed Lewis’ hubris for the frozen corpses. Len never thought it was fair to blame a twelve year old, but the melt fire poker Lewis had told a different story.
Lisa knew that the frost and cold and ice had been a part of her brother for close to twenty years. She also knew Len was running out of time and as he grew colder and colder, his body was becoming less able to keep him alive.
Mick relished in the steam hissing around him, but even he knew it wasn’t enough. It was barely a droplet of water in a desert, but it was all he had. Even if it was enough, Mick couldn’t live inside a damn mobster meat locker for the rest of his life. He’d rather let the internal flames burn him through. He had come close to letting them do it too many times in his life.
He had only been inside the meat locker for two minutes when the metal wall he had propped himself against started melting. He was running hotter than any coolant in Keystone. No matter what he used, nothing could get his heat to drop. He’d just have to expand his search if he didn’t want to burst in flames.
Sure the idea of dying by fire was something he desired, but not yet. He wasn’t ready to give himself over to the flames yet. Mick wasn’t of the philosophy of dying young. He was barely twenty six.
Despite the cooler doing little to nothing for Mick, he continued to sit. It was better than facing the summer heat of Keystone where he’d burst into flames without warning. In the cooler he could at least maintain the flames to his fist. He’d rather sit in the barely chilled cooler for hours watching the fire dance around his palm than face the fire department’s hoses…again.
The door to the meat locker creaked open and Mick’s eyes alit as four armed men came him. He extinguished the flame on his hand, watching the smoke drift to the ceiling as the four men blocked the exit. They were probably the mobsters who owned the meat locker if Mick cared to guess. It would explain the human corpses that hung from the hooks on the wall opposite of him.
Large guns were aimed in his direction and Mick willed them to try. He’d even let them take the first punch. Fuck it. Every bullet he had ever been hit with melted and disintegrated inside him before he had the time to feel if there was any actual damage and that was if the bullet even made it to human flesh. More times than not, it didn’t.
“Get up!” one of the armed men ordered, fear evident in his tone. It wasn’t everyday one found a man such as Mick half-naked in a meat locker of dead bodies and a stench of smoke.
Mick complied regardless, the wall he had been leaning against already gone, leaving a sizeable hole in the meat locker.
The guns followed Mick’s movements and he decided he might as well give a show. If he couldn’t find a coolant to keep his flames at bay, letting them take over, even for a minute, relieved the tension in his body enough to give him a few days. But a few days didn’t matter when his time almost up. His internal biological clock told him that if he got any hotter, he’d combust in a glorious fire.
One gun dropped as the armed men watched fire ignite at Mick’s hands and trail up his arms, over his shoulders and down his back. It felt too good to stop, so Mick let the fire consume him once more, covering his entire being until his eyes were replaced by two white balls of fire. Two of the arm men began to shoot, bullets melting in the flames surrounding Mick before they could touch him. They never had a chance.
Before the last one could make a decision of fight or flight, Mick had turned them all to ash.
Upon entering the apartment, Lisa knew something was wrong. It was cold, sure, that would never leave her brother, but it wasn’t freezing, not like it normally was. It was significantly warmer in the apartment, so much so that Lisa could shed off at least one jacket and possibly the scarf. It could only mean one thing.
“What’d you do?” Lisa asked, sitting across from her brother at the kitchen table. Len was scanning blueprints to a building. Reading upside down, Lisa could see it was an incinerator on the opposite side of town. Not their craziest idea. Len was still refusing the volcano one, for now.
“Paid a visit to the jewelry store on 5th.” Len was already digging deep into one of the many pockets of his deep blue parka. “Got you a little something.”
Lisa smirked at the golden necklace that rested on the table. It was bejeweled with sharp cuts of emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and a diamond. Despite Len’s gloves, she knew she had to wait a full ten minutes before risking a touch of the jewelry. The ice burns on her fingers were a testament to her past impatience.
“You got that for me?”
“Saw you admiring it the other day on the way to school,” he shrugged, already turning back to his blueprints. A small smile was painted on his lips. Even if he couldn’t swing an arm around her or show physical affection, Len knew of other ways to shower her with love.
“Don’t reward me yet,” Lisa winked She reached into her school bag and pulled out a folded manila folder. “I got you a little something too, courtesy of our friends at CCPD and their national database.”
Passing it across the table, her brother picked it up skeptically before opening it up and reading. Lisa waited patiently, eyeing the necklace on the table. 3 oval emeralds, six little round sapphires, 2 large square rubies and one magnificent diamond, rather impressive but Len knew she preferred the fine gold it was set in.
“I don’t think more cold is the answer,” Len rolled his eyes, shoving the folder aside. “I don’t have a problem cooling down; I have a problem heating up.”
“No, but you read about his cryogenic suit?” Lisa asked insistently. “I’m not sure how it works, but it keeps him at a steady temperature. The way you are going, no matter what radiator or incinerator,” she gestured to the blueprint, “it’s not going to be enough and you’ll freeze over. With this, you might actually stand a chance.”
Len didn’t speak for a while, analyzing the information his sister had laid out. “It’s an ugly suit,” Len grumbled.
“We can style it up,” Lisa rolled her eyes. “Besides, the old guy won’t be needing it much longer. Heard his wife is dead anyways.”
“It said he froze her,” Len muttered, reviewing the previously discharged folder again. “He put her in cryo-stasis after he found out she was terminally ill.”
“Great, whatever, he can join her in whatever freeze they store her in,” Lisa stood up. “So are we making a little trip?”
Len didn’t get up but he did smirk. “We got to take some prep time.”
“So the incinerator is still a go?” Lisa groaned.
“Gotham is pretty far away, Lisa.”
Mick knew he wasn’t alone. He had heard reports of burning men from Metropolis to Smallville to Coast City. A few times Mick considering seeking them out, finding out how they dealt with the flames that cannot be cooled. How they can burst into bright explosions but not overheat?
The closest he ever came to doing so was when Mick had made a special trip to Opal City when clothing was becoming an issue. Mick had managed through his youth and teens by stealing clothes and a fireman’s jacket that were flame retardant, but only to a degree. One threat and a little show for an Alex Sartorius and Mick left Opal City with a trunk full of clothes, fabrics, and sheets that would be able to handle his heat or at least handle it until Mick combusted.
Even as he rested in the middle of the Keystone Ice Rink, steam fogging the large room and the ice beneath him already beginning to give way, Mick knew it was pointless to seek out someone like him. He needed to cool down, not heat up again. Getting close to another flame just raised his temperature quicker. It was the sole reason he had to through away his fire-starting gear. One mishandling of the propane taught him that much. He still had his lighter but it was more for the soothing touch of warm metal than the dancing flame. Why use a lighter when his entire arm could ignite on command?
Mick had only heard whispers of his opposite. Someone who could only leave trails of frost, ice and cold in their path. Mick knew one was in Gotham, and deadly to boot. You don’t get to be a notorious ice villain and stay under the radar. That applied to the idiot robbing jewelry stores and banks in Central City, leaving winter wonderlands and ice fields in his wake.
The thing was Mick was running out of time. No amount of ice skating rinks, meat lockers, or barren waste lands was going to work for him. He needed something colder, available and willing. He needed to pick one of the opposites and...well, Mick wasn’t sure what he’d do afterwards but the other would. The guy in Gotham was supposed to be a mad genius and Mick didn’t care as long as he was tolerable. The guy in Central City certainly had a form of genius if he could commit robberies for nearly twenty years and not get caught.
He’d have to pick carefully. He didn’t exactly have time to explore them all, and he had heard rumors of up to twenty all across the world. Distance was a problem too, there was not many modes of transportation Mick could take without them overheating and melting after lengthy exposure. The half melted car in the parking lot and the melted steel doors to the ice rink were a testament to that. Central City was closer but held a ghost, but the man in Gotham was a sure thing with records Mick could track. All he’d have to do is convince the guy to lend him some of that cold. In return, Mick would provide all the heat he needed. It was a long way to Gotham, but it would be worth it.
Mick couldn’t take no for an answer. He couldn’t afford it. He also couldn’t afford it be wrong. If he ran too hot for the opposite, they’d melt away and Mick would be back where he started but with less time. He needed an opposite that could give him more time.
But Mick didn’t have any other options. The way he was going, he had less than a month before he had a nuclear meltdown down. Before the flames couldn’t be held back and he burned.
“Len,” Lisa rounded on her brother, arms crossed tightly across her chest. “Where the hell do you think you are going?”
Len rolled his eyes. She wasn’t supposed to be back for another hour; school wasn’t out for another hour. He had planned it all accordingly, but Lisa was never one for exact timing. That was his job.
“Gotham,” Len sneered. He would have pushed past his little sister but he didn’t want to hurt her. Even with all the layers each wore, one touch and Lisa would have to deal with frostbite. That was the exact reason he was leaving her behind. Gotham was a long ways away and he couldn’t risk exposure and her getting in the cross hairs, should things go wrong. She was supposed to be able to live a normal life now that Lewis was behind bars. She could go to school and make friends, but Lisa was stuck worrying about her older brother.
Everything Len touches might freeze to death, but that destruction was nothing in comparison to Lisa’s sharp glare.
“That is not happening,” Lisa growled. “I found this guy! It was my idea! So I’m coming with!”
“No,” Len snarled, using his older brother voice. It rarely worked on Lisa, not even when she was a little kid, but Len might as well pull all the stops. “It’s dangerous.”
“Sitting in an incinerator is dangerous,” Lisa bit right back. “Robbing banks and pulling heists are dangerous. Confronting some old man in an abandoned warehouse in Gotham is not dangerous.”
Len buried his face into his hands, rubbing his cheeks and eyes in agitation. “I wasn’t calling the old man dangerous.”
Lisa got it immediately, her glare only hardening. “Oh, don’t pull that ‘I’m only a monster that can hurt you’ crap with me.” Lisa was already done with Len’s self-hate, grabbing her pre-packed duffle bag and heading out the door. “Come on, Lenny,” she called down the hallway of their apartment building, “I thought we were on a timed schedule?”
When Mick was fourteen, he awoke on a bed of flames. Smoke stung and clouded his vision while the roaring of fire and the screams of his family deafened him. Stumbling out of the bed, Mick managed to navigate through the burning building unscathed.
Outside there was no one. Living on a farm meant your neighbors were miles away. Living on a farm meant you were alone.
Mick had looked back at his home to see it caving in and crumbling. There were no more screams as Mick sat in the dewy grass on his front yard. If there were screams, Mick didn’t hear them as he was captivated by the flames, his mind going blank.
An hour later the local fire department arrived, but it was too late. All that was left was small flames licking the lone standing wall. He was pulled away by a man in thick gloves that grated his skin and then was seated on an ambulance.
A man in a police uniform asked if he set the fire. Mick didn’t answer; too busy watching the firemen dowse the remaining life out of the flames. When asked why his clothing was scorched and he had no burns, Mick looked down surprised to see his shirt seared and torn, his pants in no better state.
When the first responder went to touch Mick’s arm but flinched away, Mick felt a tickle deep in his gut and steam surging up his throat. When no one was looking, Mick slipped into the corn field, leaving burning footprints in his wake, captivated by the flicker on a flame on his index finger.
When Len was eight, he burnt his father. It had been an accident, Lewis swinging his fist across Len’s face as he had done before. Len knew what was supposed to happen, except something had changed and when his father reeled back from the swing, clutching his hand, Len saw the bubbling, red burn.
Len and Lewis watched each other in horror, Len fearing the punishment to come while Lewis still trying to wrap his mind over the injury. When Lewis took a step forward, Len reacted.
Father and son watched in amazement as a wall of thin ice separated them, neither of them sure how it got there. Len crowded behind the wall, his father watching it thick and grow with Len’s fear.
“Leo,” his father spoke slowly with a grin that made Len’s skin crawl, “look at what you can do.”
Mick surveyed the Gotham harbor with little interest. He hadn’t come to see the sights, only set on finding the ice man. All he knew was that Victor Fries had locked himself up in a warehouse in the Gotham harbor after escaping Arkham and Mick was willing to burn down every single one of them to find the man. He just hoped that loony in the bat suit didn’t come looking for him. Mick would hate to kill Gotham’s Dark Knight over some old cold bastard.
The chilling air did next to nothing for Mick’s elevated temperatures, but he greatly preferred it to the heated summers of Keystone. Mick used to love all things hot and smoldering, but the fear of a meltdown was enough for Mick to abandon his passions, only able to revel when he let himself burn over. He barely went out in the summer, not since he developed this…curse? Mick wasn’t exactly sure what to call it and wasn’t sure how he got it. He just woke up with it and had to adapt.
He still set things on fire, he couldn’t stop that even if he wanted to, he just couldn’t get lost in the flames anymore, not completely, not without the risk.
Walking past the line of warehouses, Mick pinpointed the one he was looking for, the air around it plummeting past below zero, calling to him.
Funny thing about Mick was that he had some kind of sixth sense to extreme cold temperatures. It was as if his body knew what it needed. Mick could feel the pull in his gut and there was almost nothing that could deter him from seeking it out and burying himself deep in it. It was a type of itch that Mick could- and has –killed for. Although, nothing had truly ever satisfied that need. He still burned too hot.
As he approached the warehouse, Mick paused upon seeing a motorcycle with a sidecar attachment outside. The sidecar was still warm, but the actual motorcycle was stone cold, like ice, colder than possible for the temperature outside. Mick didn’t even know what hit him until he had his hand pressed against the ice cold metal of the bike. It was far colder than it should be and for a split second, it quenched the heat in his palm. That was before his palm overpowered the lingering cold and began burning into the metal.
Mick pulled away, ignoring the sting of melted paint on his hand. A smile was on his face as he glanced down at the license plates of the bike: Central City. So the little ice thief wanted to join the party?
Well, wasn’t Mick in a stroke of luck? Two opposites in one location? Well, now Mick had options. He’d just need to see which one gave him the better offer.
Abandoned? Fucking abandoned?
Len was going to lose it, if he hadn’t already. The temperature of the warehouse had dropped so much that Lisa was struggling for breath, but Len couldn’t contain himself. He barely had the frame of mind to tell her to leave.
He’s gone. Fries is gone and Len’s only hope of not freezing over was fucking gone.
Below him, frost began covering the concrete floor in slick sheets of ice. A cold, low fog hung around him. Ice crackled and clumped against his skin.
“Lenny?” Lisa whispered. “We need to go.”
Len shook his head sharply. What was the point? At some point, Len had to be the older brother and stop putting Lisa in a situation where she could get her heart crushed. Len let Lewis break her heart, but Len had done it far too many times with these false hopes of finding a solution, a cure. It was time he realized there was no solution, no cure. He was a ticking time bomb and now he was dragging Lisa down with him.
Walking further into the warehouse, Len heard Lisa crumble to the floor. Looking back at her, he could see her sitting petrified and shaking. Len wished more than anything he could pull her up and hug her, but in doing so he’d kill her. Plain and simple.
Distance is what they needed, so Len would make the final cut and sever them. Len would stay in Gotham, find that Mr. Fries if he could, but he couldn’t drag Lisa with him. He wasn’t allowed to break her heart anymore. He’d rather kill himself than-What is that?
Len snapped his head around and stared past Lisa at the closed warehouse door. Lisa stopped her shaking for a moment to look up at him curiously.
Len ignored her, not that he wanted too. Something just snapped inside him because outside the warehouse there was heat. Len craved blazing temperatures, almost turning to a bitch in heat when anything over 150º was in the vicinity. Outside the warehouse, it was hotter than any radiator or incinerator Len had encountered before.
The sheets of ice that had slowly begun covering Len’s arms flared up, expelling another drastic drop in temperature as frost hung around him. As if answering his call, an explosion of heat poured into the warehouse from the door, melting the frost that covered nearly the entire expanse of the warehouse floor.
Lisa, caught in the middle, jumped up as the two very different temperatures mingled.
“Lisa,” Len spoke hoarsely, almost unable to speak at the warmth calling out to him, “I need to you go. Now.”
“Now.” Len didn’t know who or what was on the other side of the warehouse door. Gotham was a strange place and he didn’t want to get Lisa hurt. “Take the other exit and wait for me there.”
Lisa, always an expert at understanding Len’s tones, silently followed his order and raced for the exit.
Just as she made it out, the warehouse door began to melt starting at a hole in the center. Len waited patiently as the hole got bigger and bigger, flames licking their way through and Len found he was anxious to see the source. It was a type of excitement Len rarely felt anymore.
Once the door was laid to waste, Len watched a burning man walk through. Muscle and fire were the only things Len could pick out from the shape, the flames surrounding the man too intense for Len to see any other details. The image should have scared him, any sensible human would have been petrified, but Len licked his lips in glee. He’d never see anything to warm.
“Well, well, well,” the man spoke, his flames drawing back enough for Len to meet his blazing eyes, the white balls of fire being replaced by two flaming brown human eyes, “I thought there would be two of you, but I suppose you’ll do just fine.”
Narrowing his eyes, Len let his cold reach out toward the man again, going through his lowering heat to touch him. Len watch in amazement as the man let out an almost orgasmic moan as frost crawled up his hand.
“You were here for Fries too?” Len asked, withdrawing the cold and watching the man’s eyes chase it, flames licking after the cold.
“Yeah,” the man spoke slowly, his voice gravelly. “See, I run a little hot. I need something to keep me cool.”
Well, wasn’t this just kismet?
Len did not miss the underlying purr in the man’s vice and ignored the fact that it was getting to him. It had been years since Len had human contact of any sort. He couldn’t touch someone without them developing frostbite and that was the best case scenario.
It was taking every ounce of his strength not to close the twenty foot distance between Len and the other man. Clearly, he was under the same effects as Len, rather than cold he had heat. Len wondered if his heat and flames were just as untethered as Len’s cold and ice.
“Come on, you got to sweet-talk a guy first,” Len felt a smirk coming to his face, “I don’t even know your name.”
“Mick,” he answered immediately, taking a step forward. Len felt his willpower draining the closer they got. When was the last time Len wasn’t freezing? When was the last time Len had truly felt warm?
“Mick?” Len thought about it for a moment before cataloguing it. “And what do you do Mick?”
“Is this a fucking interview?” Mick growled, flames on his back roaring for a moment. Len could see Mick was worse off than him. Len might have had a few months before he froze over but Mick looked minutes away from combusting.
“I need to know what I’m getting into before we-” Len paused, frowning slightly. What were they going to do? Great, they found what they needed but how did Len use that heat and how did Mick use his cold?
“We can figure that out later.”
Apparently, that earlier display was Mick holding himself back. The line of fire that had been curling around Mick’s body engulfed him once more. Len watched in amazement as the flames poured off Mick and travels around him. Unable to hold himself back, Len reacted. Ice covered his body and raced toward the flames. A loud hiss erupted into the space. Len wasn’t sure what he was doing but he knew he had to reach Mick. He needed the warm, he needed the heat, he needed the human touch. It had been too long, too fucking long.
Len wasn’t sure if he was the one to move closer or if that was Mick or if they had moved in tandem but Len practically whimpered at the hand that wrapped around his bicep. Marveled in the fact that Mick didn’t rip himself away from Len and the fact that his frost didn’t over power the flames, Len’s mind blanked.
Instantly, he pressed his entire body against Mick’s clawing at the available skin. He needed it, he needed all of it and Mick seemed more than happy to give, hauling Len closer and burying his burning face into Len’s frigid neck. Len let out a horrifically loud whimper as he pushed up the thin barrier of Mick’s shirt to touch skin.
Mick’s skin was red and angry, looking like a fresh sunburnt as opposed to Len whose skin was translucent and tinged blue from hypothermia. However, where they touched, the skin shifted away from their angry/cool colors, turning a fleshier, human tone.
Len felt his mind shut down as his body shifted from its usual high-strung and tense stiffness into limp and relaxed. Len could barely keep his eyes open and barely had the sense to know Mick had brought them to the floor. Len was more than fine with it, his legs ceasing to function anymore.
All Len could think as his vision grew dark was this is way fucking better than that boxy cryogenic suit.
Mick wasn’t sure how long he had been lying wrapped around the icy stranger. All he knew was when he had arrived in Gotham, evening was beginning to fall. As his eyes wrenched themselves open, he could see mid-afternoon peeking through the cracks of the warehouse.
Mick had every intention of going back to sleep. He hadn’t had a peaceful sleep ever since he had woken ablaze in fire with his home burning around him and his family crying for help. It was like the over ten years of insomnia had finally caught up to him and he could sleep. It definitely helped that the younger man curled against his chest hadn’t burnt to a crisp and was still delightfully cool to the touch.
Glancing down at said human ice-pack, Mick grinned. He didn’t look half bad; Mick could definitely see expanding their relationship of temperature control to something else. Mick couldn’t actually be with anyone else…unless he wanted them to burst into flames. This guy however could handle it. Mick just hoped this guy didn’t try to run for it. It was the first time in years that Mick felt normal, that the metal he rested against didn’t melt at his touch and that he could actually touch another human being. He was still running hot, Mick could feel it, but it was nowhere near as hot has he usually ran.
A cough sounded in the warehouse and Mick’s head snapped up. It was only then he realized a third person in the warehouse, a younger girl sitting crossed legged on an empty wooden crate with a pistol in her hand. She watched the two contently. She couldn’t have been older than thirteen or fourteen.
Before Mick could question who the fuck she was, she answered in a bored drawl.
“His sister,” she cocked her head to the side, examining him. “And I’ve never seen him sleep so-” she paused, considering her word choice before continuing “-normal.”
Mick felt the compulsion to push the stranger away, despite every cell in his body screamed for Mick to pull him closer. It was a strange sensation, being drawn to something that wasn’t fire. It was also a strange feeling to have someone watching him sleep.
“What’s your name?” the girl on the crate asked, watching over her brother and Mick with hawk-like vigilance.
"Lisa," she introduced, a funny smile coming to her face.
"And his name?" Mick realizing he never got any information out of the ice-pack.
"You didn't get it? Lisa looked amused.
"We got a little distracted," Mick muttered, looking down to see the guy still passed out, his face pressed into Mick's chest to avoid the afternoon sun. His ice cube hands were still tucked under Mick’s shirt and he had no intention of removing them.
Lisa raised both eyebrows. "Well, aren't you two quick. I thought you saved that for third dates?"
One look at the smirk planted on Lisa's face and Mick could see the family resemblance to the man in his arms.
"Not quite like that, sweetheart," Mick rumbled as a cold hand patted him on the face, hitting him on the nose.
"Shut up," the human ice-pack groaned, pushing himself impossibly closer to Mick. There wasn't any space between them yet the freezing man seemed determined as all hell to make sure.
"Come on, Lenny," Lisa whined and Mick raised an eyebrow at the new guy. Lenny, huh? "I just wanted to get to know your new friend," she drew out the word and above Mick, Len grumbled silently. "He's coming with us, right?"
Oh, there was no way Mick was abandoning this guy. Mick loved his flames, but being about to operate through life without everything he touched burning was nice. Mick liked the idea of control over his heat, even if that control was now contingent on being near this little guy.
"Well?" Lenny looked up at him, ice blue eyes clashing with fiery amber ones. "You coming along, Mick?"
Mick couldn't help but grin. "Yeah, buddy, I'm in."
Len waited until Lisa was outside the warehouse (he had to ask five times until she finally listened to him) before sitting up. His thighs were still hugging Mick's hips but it was time to see what happened when they separated. While Len loved the heat Mick carried, he wasn't too thrilled at the idea of constantly wrapping his body around the guy. He still didn't know what type of person Mick was. Just because they were compatible temperature-wise, didn't mean that compatibility went into other important aspects.
Mick waited, watching Len's movements. Both were anxious. It had probably been far too long for Mick since he had human contact and had his inner fires at a manageable level. Len understood the pressure all too well.
"Are you going to keep taking your sweet old time?" Mick snapped, his eyes hard on Len. Len was beginning to see anger was a first-response emotion in Mick's book. That wouldn't do.
"Chill out," Len smirked at his own little joke. He peeked up at Mick to see the guy sharing the smirk. Well, he passed that test. Lisa barely tolerated his puns, but Mick seemed to like them well enough. Then again, he'd have to see how long that lasted.
Not willing to waste another second, Len stood up and took three quick steps away from Mick.
Whatever they were expecting, they weren't expecting there to be no changes.
Both blinked, Mick climbing to his feet and looking at his hands in amazement. Len, less notably, did the same. He still could feel his cold and he knew he wasn’t at the average 98º but he didn’t feel that far off, at least in compassion. Mick seemed to be realizing that he wasn’t over the boiling point. If Len had to guess Mick was running a high fever, but still manageable to the normal person. Even the harsh red skin of Mick was more subdue. Len looked down at his how hands to see that his translucent skin was of a healthier color now. He clocked in his own temperature at around 75º.
“How long do you think it’ll stay like this?” Mick asked the question on Len’s mind. They knew it couldn’t be forever, but if they could go a day or two like this, it might be worth it.
“Don’t know,” Len was already heading to the door of the warehouse. There was one thing he needed to do before he went back to freezing temperatures. He might not get another chance.
Lisa was checking the bike. Len noticed a melted handprint on it but barely found he caring as he touched Lisa’s bare shoulder.
While she jumped in shock, she didn’t cry out in pain. Both Snart siblings marveled at the touch. Almost instantly, Lisa had her arms around Len’s neck. Len pulled her close; dimly aware their new acquaintance was watching from the sidelines.
When they pulled away, Lisa locked eyes with Mick. “You’re not going anyways,” she grinned.
Mick shrugged like he didn’t care, but Len could feel the heat increase by a degree or two. Nothing Lisa would have caught, but Len could always tell even the slightest different in temperature.
“So what’s the plan?” Mick asked, his eyes locking with Len’s.
Len’s eyes danced as he considered his answer and Mick waited. Lisa rolls her eyes, already climbing into the sidecar, locking the helmet into place
“We all go back to Central City and figure out what we can do for each other,” Len decided. “Figure out this new partnership and set some terms.”
He climbed onto his bike and realized Mick would need a mode of transportation. Len scooted forward in the seat and patted the seat behind him. Mick’s only hesitation was a raise of an eyebrow before climbing behind him, an arm locking around Len’s waist.
Despite his best attempts to remain calm and collected, the second he felt Mick’s heat behind him, Len let out a breathy sigh. Lisa laughed and Len would have felt embarrassed if it hadn’t been for the way Mick grunted in relief and moved until they were flush against each other.
With Mick’s pressed against his back and his sister on the sidecar next to him, Len decided to call their little trip to Gotham a success.