Title: A Distraction of Ice and Fire
Series: Overprotective Criminals 'Verse
Fandom: CW's The Flash
Pairings: Barry Allen/Mick Rory/Leonard Snart
Warnings: Established relationship, polyamory, violence, relationship troubles, past child abuse, mention of panic attacks
Summary: After the reappearance of the Man in Yellow, Barry's distraction with getting ever faster leads to Len devising a distraction of his own.
Disclaim Her: Not mine.
A/N: This technically stands in for s1e10, Revenge of the Rogues. And I wasn't going to write anything more for this AU – as mentioned in the last A/N – but my muse handed me a scene (which actually ends up glossed over in this) and wouldn't let me sleep until I'd scribbled down a number of potential ideas for this. Damn him.
Yes, there's going to be more after this. The third fic is waiting to go through a reread, and the fourth fic is plotted out and just needs to be written. Gods help me.
This one is in Len's POV, because Barry is so very busy with other things. Also, this is Len's terrible idea. (istf, Len)
Many cheers again to StillNotGinger10 for playing beta reader and just generally egging my muse on.
"Ya wanna what?" Mick demands before Len can finish explaining his idea.
Which, fair, his opening pitch had...maybe not been his best. "If you'd just–"
"No, Snart," Mick snaps, and Len barely manages to hold back his wince; it's never good when Mick starts throwing around his last name when they're not in the field. "If you wanna be stuck on the couch 'til the end'a forever–"
"I don't want–!"
"Ya wanna shoot him in the back when he's already down, s'what ya want!" Mick roars.
Len can't quite keep from flinching at that, taking a step back, a part of him forever that terrified little boy who could never do anything right, and he hates that little weakness, that tell.
Mick lets out a rough breath and turns away, walks six paces so the length of the couch is between them. Safe distance. And he doesn't turn back around right away, gives Len a minute – fifty-seven seconds; numbers have always been calming – to settle himself.
(As much as he hates it, Len is honestly glad Mick knows him well enough to back off; watching one panic attack was all he'd ever needed to know that Len doesn't do well with people standing over him and shouting, especially when those people obviously have mass on him.)
"He's not down," Len says once he's certain his voice will come out steady, because it's one of the few things he's certain about when it comes to their third; if Barry's down, he'd be hiding under the blankets in their bedroom, refusing to eat and ignoring the (no doubt) persistent ring of his mobile, not running around the abandoned airstrip at Ferris Air while his team of do-gooders chase him down with drones armed with real ordinance. (Len tries not to think about that too often, if only for the sake of his own sanity; some days, he wishes Barry was a little less good about letting them know how many ways he almost died during his training with his scientists. He wonders, sometimes, if it would be more or less terrible if he could actually see signs of the damage on Barry's skin when he finally makes it home.)
"The fuck d'you know?" Mick snarls, twisting just enough to glare over one shoulder.
Len makes a show of rolling his eyes, because Mick's just being daft, now. (And maybe a little protective, in all fairness; Len also tends to be protective of Barry, and if Mick would just remember that for a minute, this would be a lot easier.)
"I'm not going to hit him," he says.
Mick turns properly, then, and his expression is that particular turn of unimpressed that he used to turn on Barry when the young idiot thought he needed to stay up all hours working on something for school. As if proper sleep wouldn't do far more for him than going to class exhausted.
(If Len's being honest, he's also been on the receiving end of that look a few times, though usually because he's too focused on a plan for a heist.)
Len sighs and puts on his best entreating look. (One which has, possibly, started looking more like Barry's hopeful eyes than the sly smirk he and Lisa used to practice on each other.) "He's obsessing and running straight into a burning building; I know you see it, too." Because Mick had started employing his octopus routine the past couple of days, in an attempt to get Barry to stay in bed longer. Which had worked a lot better before the shit could slither out of any hold faster than they could react. Mick would figure out how to hold him still eventually, but Len is fairly certain that Barry will burn out before then. So, plan B. Or A, depending.
"So ice the buildin'," Mick shoots back. And then he grimaces, like he's only just realized he's given Len an easy line.
Kindly, Len doesn't take it. Instead, fully serious, he says, "I would very much like to. But the yellow fucker's gone back to ground."
Mick's angry growl is a perfect match for the little ball of icy rage that's been burning in Len's heart since Barry told them the truth of his mother's murder. (And Len wants to be hurt that it took him almost eight years to tell them, but he can admit, at least to himself, that he's not sure how he would have reacted before the particle accelerator explosion turned reality on its side. Barry's determined certainty that his father was innocent was one thing, but telling them there had been a man in lightning? At best, Len would have laughed hard enough that Barry would leave for a couple months; at worst, he would have called him a liar and kicked him out.)
"He needs a distraction," Len insists. "And what better distraction than a couple of sexy thieves on a spree downtown?"
Mick sighs and closes his eyes. "If he retreats t' West's house for this, I'm sendin' ya in there after 'im."
Len grimaces. "Yeah, well, if this goes that far south, I'll gift wrap myself."
Mick snorts and moves forward until he's stopped right in front of Len. "Best call up yer insurance, then," he says before kissing Len, hard and angry.
He probably deserves that.
(And Mick might have a point about ringing Lisa and making sure she's free to break him out of prison, if necessary.)
Len's forte has always been in the planning, picking out the flaws in security and counting the seconds so everything turns out exactly so. But, judging by the way Barry's been focusing all of his energy on getting faster – not to mention a snarled 'I wish you would' when Len joked about icing the man in yellow as a Hanukkah gift; Barry may accept that Len and Mick aren't afraid to get blood on their hands, but he's never condoned it quite so wholeheartedly before – Len's pretty sure he doesn't have the time to do a slow perusal of his options and find the most difficult place to break into just to make a point. (Not that he does that on the regular, or anything.)
Mick, on the other hand, is the ultimate master of winging it, which is at least half the reason Len needs his help for this to work. When shit hits the fan – literally, on one memorable occasion, which everyone involved had sworn to pretend never happened – Len usually turns to Mick to get them the hell out of Dodge before the badges show up and things are in danger of going full-on bloodbath. Given, Mick's off the cuff plans usually involve something being on fire – see the incident that had them separating most recently, and resulted in Len being in the figurative doghouse because no one warned him Barry had become a fucking superhero – but Len half expects that to be necessary to get Barry's attention; by all reports, he's been ignoring minor crimes, but he'll usually involve himself in fires. Probably because of potential loss of life.
Well, Barry really will retreat to West's house for a week or four if Len and Mick endanger lives, so they shop around for options a bit, Len keeping an eye out for places that will return the greatest reward in smallish packaging – jewelry and electronics shops – while Mick looks for buildings that will burn especially well, preferably without endangering any apartment buildings.
One of the shopping centers along the river happens to be home to an art gallery with some of the worst art Len and Mick have ever seen. (And they've seen a lot. Though, in all fairness, neither of them have much taste for the art itself, just the price tag people stick on it.) The place just barely meets fire code – the proprietor is clearly spending his money on things like renting the space and supplies for more bad art, rather than the security of his building – and the building sits enough apart from the rest of the center that, when it goes up, it shouldn't spread. And, if it does, the only shop that's open twenty-four hours is on the other side of the center, next to a jewelry shop that practically glitters in the sunlight.
"So, this looks like a good option," Len decides around the frozen yogurt they'd got as an excuse to meander a little bit without anyone giving them a suspicious look. (Well, Len had got frozen yogurt. Mick's buy was more brownie and hot fudge than frozen yogurt, but that was pretty par for the course, for him. Len suspected he'd be paying for the frozen yogurt by being dragged to a hibachi grill on their way home, but at least it was cold enough out to ease that particular trade-off.)
Mick grunts, his eyes on the gallery. "Need some supplies."
Len debates pointing out that his new gun should be able to burn whatever he turns it on, but decides he doesn't really want to stand through another one of Mick's rambling explanations about how to build the 'perfect' building fire. "We'll make a stop past the hardware store."
Mick takes another moment to stare at the gallery, then turns to Len and deadpans, "And then hibachi."
Len sighs. "And then hibachi."
Mick's responding grin is just mad enough, Len half expects a passerby to 'helpfully' suggest a psych ward; it wouldn't be the first time.
The most important part of the plan is, of course, ensuring that Barry's going to be keeping his usual hours at S.T.A.R. Labs. Because they're trying to avoid human collateral, they plan their crime for late enough that dark has long since fallen and most people have been home for at least an hour, dinner long since finished.
Even when he was just a normal CSI, Barry wasn't known for keeping the most normal hours, though a lot of that was due to his habit of always being late and needing to make up work, compounded by living with two night owls. But, now that he's taken to playing Central City's own (not-)leather-clad superhero, he's been keeping the same sort of hours as Len and Mick, while also struggling to get out the door and across the city to work before he ends up with another citation for being late more often than not. (At least he doesn't have to fight with the city's crappy excuse for public transit, any more. Something he likes to joke about often enough, Mick's developed a particular expression to shoot at him so he shuts up. Which probably shouldn't entertain Len as much as it does.)
Spending most of his time focusing on getting faster hasn't changed that new schedule, though it has resulted in him coming home and collapsing onto the first relatively bed-like object he can find with enough space to fit his lanky self. (On the other hand, it's been a couple weeks since he's come home with a still-healing wound. Mick had been required to hold Len back the first time Barry came in with a limp he wouldn't explain the origin of, after he'd moved back in with them. Apparently, that had been a regular occurrence early on, especially as Barry struggled with turning corners at speed, and he'd often take stairs a little too fast, miss a step and either face-plant on the ground, or sprain his ankle. Len doubted he was still struggling with controlling his speed in the same way, but given how many times Len or Mick had hunted down whatever fucker with a death wish had tried attacking Barry on his way to one of their safehouses, he was probably just doing his part to keep them from storming the precinct to teach his attacker a lesson.)
When Barry finally answers the text Len had sent while Mick was debating which bottle of accelerant he wanted – Len's tactical retreat down the aisle had been solely for the purpose of texting without distraction, not an attempt to keep Mick from explaining the benefits of each option, he swears – they're back to the safehouse after hibachi, with all of Mick's purchases strewn across the table in a similar fashion to how Len usually leaves his blueprints and plans when someone drags him away from them to eat or sleep.
His message is quick and to the point: 'Home late yes. I'll get a BBB. Sorry.'
"He's going to Big Belly again," Len mutters as he clears the text; the less that's on his mobile to tie him to Barry, the better.
Mick grunts from where he's pulling what looks suspiciously like dynamite out of the coat closet.
(Len can't even pretend to be surprised any more. Though, he will forever enjoy the memory of the first time Barry found a box of explosives in the bathtub and Mick had to explain that there were too many other boxes of weaponry under the bed and in the bedroom closet for it to fit. Which had resulted in the current rule of no explosives and only two handguns and a shotgun allowed in the bedroom. But only after Barry'd spent almost ten minutes alternating between yelling and hyperventilating.)
"His diet cannot possibly be healthy," Len adds, eyeing Mick, because his partner always throws a fit when Len resorts to junk food because he's distracted by planning.
"His metabolism burns through healthy food too fast," Mick says, sounding cross. "'S long as he's eatin' a good breakf'st here or at his dad's and the lunch I send with 'im, I promised t'let 'im alone."
Len is really glad he missed that argument. He also wonders if he should try to find a way to get Barry to start coming home for dinner; knowing he's getting three solid meals should ease Mick's mind a little bit. And, in all fairness, before this mess with the yellow fucker returning, Barry had been either coming home or meeting up with them for a quick dinner before returning to his rounds of the city.
Len is going to find this man and ice him so hard, his great-grandparents will feel it, he swears.
Helping Mick pick through everything for exactly what he wants to take – apparently some of the stuff he's bought is for another one of his and Barry's warehouse explosions, and Len makes a mental note to go out there soon to check the various extinguishers and ensure they're facing the right way so Barry and Mick can see which one they're grabbing, because he knows neither of them will have kept up with that maintenance – and carting it all down to the van they usually use for jobs that require moving explosives, takes most of the rest of the day. A quick dinner, then Mick double-checks his supplies, and they both pull on clothing that fits their new guns, which are slid into the holsters on their legs.
"Ready?" Len asks after giving Mick a long moment to observe himself in the old-new fireman's jacket he'd stolen a couple days after they'd taken out Woodward. Which, in all fairness, he looks damn good in; if nothing else, having all three of them in costume will hopefully be enough to get Barry to come home at a reasonable hour.
"Yeah. Lisa on call?"
Len flashes him a sharp smile. "Of course." (She's actually about eleven hours' drive out from Central, but she'll still get there in plenty of time to break them out before they make the security gate at Iron Heights, should such prove necessary.)
Mick grunts and leads the way down to the van, climbing into the driver's seat without checking if Len wants to drive, because he knows he prefers not to. (As much because of how much it reminds him of working with Lewis, as because Mick is just the better getaway driver; Len tends to get caught up in his options a little too much to effectively make the split-second decision of left or right when the cops are on their ass.)
Back at the shopping center, they pick a spot under a broken street light, then watch as lights turn off in the shops and employees trickle out and get in cars or hurry over to the closest bus stop.
Only once they're certain the only shop with people inside is the twenty-four hour grocery, does Mick put the darkened van into gear and roll them quietly to a space that should be a safe distance from the gallery, but still close enough that they aren't likely to be spotted carting armfuls of materials between the van and the building.
Len goes ahead, easily picking the lock and disabling the pathetic security system inside. He does one quick sweep of the building – they'd got there too late to ensure the curator had actually left – and ends up having to knock out one security guard who was working on swallowing down a lukewarm cup of coffee in what appears to be an employee breakroom.
Mick helps him carry the guard out back to lay in one of the abandoned loading docks of the other shops a ways down, well-bound with the ropes Len had tossed into the van as a just in case. Then they finish bringing in the last of the supplies Mick had brought, and Len helps him set up a couple of things that work better with two people.
Once Len's shown him how to activate the security system, as a back-up to the fire alarm, and Mick knows not to set it off or start lighting any fires until Len's had enough time to get into the jewelry shop, he books it across the shopping center.
The alarm at the jewelry shop is a little more impressive than the one on the gallery, but given the usual level of complicated Len strives for, disabling it is child's play. Which...kind of sucks, if he's being honest. But, then, this isn't meant to be about the adrenaline rush of tackling a so-called impossible heist and dodging the cops; this is about getting Barry away from his speed training.
The security alarm at the gallery is clearly silent, but the fire alarm isn't, and Len shakes his head with an amused little smirk before setting off the alarm at the jewelry shop, then picking out a few nice pieces of jewelry; the holidays may have just passed, but Lisa never complains about getting new gold or diamonds. Especially if it's gold with diamonds.
Mick joins him just before they hear the sirens, grinning wide and delighted, soot darkening his bare skin as much as it does his stolen jacket.
Barry shows up just before the emergency services, and while he starts heading for the gallery, he deviates before he reaches it, stopping in front of the jewelry shop as Len and Mick step out, their pockets full of pretty things.
"You're shitting me," Barry says, and Len is familiar enough with that tone of voice to know that he's wearing that particular unimpressed look that he usually dons when he gets home after cleaning up one of their crime scenes.
"Hello again, Flash," Len drawls, clicking on the cold gun and aiming it just over Barry's right shoulder.
Barry shoots the gun a disgusted look and takes an obvious step to the side, further out of the line of fire; Len, kindly, lets him have the space. "Can't you find a hobby that doesn't involve destroying public property and stealing other people's things?" he complains, just enough whine in his voice that Len hears it, and he's certain Mick does, too, but he doubts his little scientist team does.
"The building didn't meet fire code," Len says with a shrug, and Mick snorts at his shoulder. "Mick here was just making sure the owner got the message."
Barry closes his eyes in that way that means he's trying to decide if he should laugh or yell.
"The art's all ugly, anyway," Mick adds.
Barry chokes, and Len knows he would be laughing if he didn't have his scientists listening in.
"So," Len says, raising his gun to point up, the butt resting on his shoulder, and looking past Barry at where the flashing lights of the oncoming firetrucks and police cruisers are lighting up the street beyond the carpark, "what's say we all walk away without starting a second fire." He nods to Mick, who helpfully flicks on the power of his gun, which hums in harmony with Len's.
Barry looks between their guns once, then looks over his shoulder at where the lead firetruck is just turning into the carpark. Then he sighs and steps aside, motioning for them to pass him.
"Smart choice," Len tells him with a sharp, obnoxious smirk.
Barry crosses his arms over his chest and scowls. "Just get out of here before I change my mind."
Len leads the way to the van, which Mick had wisely moved closer to the jewelry shop before joining him inside, so their escape isn't cut off by the firefighters.
The police, however, are a different matter, and Len doesn't bother buckling in as Mick turns the engine over, instead rolling down his window and shifting so he can lean out just far enough to ice the pavement of the carpark between them and the incoming cruisers.
He's fairly certain he hears Barry cursing as he runs around the van and onto the ice, towards where two of the cars look like they might crash into each other.
Mick roars with victory as they speed past the edge of the icy ground, driving over the edge of the curb and turning a little too sharply to get on the roadway – Len is, thankfully, braced for just such a move, having ridden with Mick enough times to be familiar with his various evasion techniques – then flooring it and pulling far ahead of the two cruisers that managed to avoid Len's ice trap.
Len debates icing the roadway behind them, but decides there's too much danger of the trap catching some unknowing driver out late, so he buckles himself in and grabs the panic bar above the window. "Lose them," he orders.
Mick's answering grin is manic, and Len's glad he's buckled in when the first thing his partner does is make three sharp turns in a row, then blasts down a mostly empty street, barely avoiding hitting the handful of cars he has to dodge around.
(Why, yes, fire and car chases are Mick's absolute two favorite things. What gave it away?)
They lose the police well before they reach their neighborhood, which means Mick takes the six blocks closest to their current safehouse at a far more sane pace.
They just barely make it into the house, when Barry's flashing in behind them, snarling, "What the fuck was–"
"Oh, good, you're home," Len interrupts, turning away to calmly start putting his coat and gun away. "All that excitement, I could use a good fuck." He turns to flash a smirk at Barry.
Barry doesn't smile back, his arms crossed tight across his chest and his shoulders held so tense, Len half expects him to start vibrating. "Yeah," he bites out, acid in his voice, "you'll have to get that from Mick. I'm going to Joe's." And then he turns away.
Mick throws Len a furious look, and he foresees himself sleeping out in a snowdrift if he doesn't fix things real fast.
"So, we'll see you tomorrow night, same game?" Len says, forcing his voice to come out smooth.
Barry spins to face him again, and his glare is a lot less cute and a lot more dangerous than Len had actually expected.
Len just offers him a sharp smile and tilts his head to one side, perfectly content to wait him out; even before he gained superspeed, Barry hadn't been very good at tense silences, something which Len was fairly certain could be tracked back to West's particular brand of parenting.
Indeed, Barry's glare slowly eases into something less enraged and more uncertain. He glances at Mick, who doesn't offer any sort of verbal response, before swallowing and looking at Len's feet. "I don't have energy for...whatever this is, okay? Can we just...not?"
"Oh, we are doing this," Len tells him, though he gentles his voice, trying to coax Barry into acting less like the terrified teenager he and Mick had saved from suicide by mob. "Do you know why?"
Barry frowns and shakes his head, still not meeting Len's gaze.
"Because there's only one thing that's opposite of speed, and that's cold."
Barry looks up, then, looking more confused than anything else, but Len keeps quiet, gives him a beat, and–
"Are you jealous of the man in yellow?"
That...is not the answer he'd intended Barry to reach.
"Yup," Mick says with a satisfied pop of the 'p', the traitor.
But Barry's laughing, looking so much freer than he has since that meta hit him with his anger gaze at the beginning of December, and Len has to give that one to Mick.
"I'm not jealous of some asshole in a knock-off costume," he mutters, half in an attempt to save face, half resigned to being the butt of a few jokes. (So long as neither Mick nor Barry decide to mention it to Lisa, because then he'll have to vanish for a week to punish them.)
That's apparently the right thing to say, though, because he's suddenly being hugged by Barry, breathless laughter tickling across his clavicle. And it had taken Len so long – four hundred thirteen days – to get used to Barry's habit of hugging him without warning, but it's always so very much worth it to not flinch, to be able to reach right up and hug him back with an annoyed huff, all for show.
And it's only because of the laughter breathing across his skin and the warmth of someone he cares far too much for in his arms, that Len manages to whisper, "We miss you."
Barry's laughter cuts off and his arms tighten around Len, barely two seconds, then he's pulling back, looking between Len and Mick, his expression troubled. "Oh," he says. And then he's covered the two feet between Len and Mick and is hugging Mick, who responds with a grunt of annoyance that's as much for show as Len's huff had been.
"I guess," Barry says once he steps back from Mick, staring at the ground between them, "I've been a...little distracted."
"Obsession has its place," Mick says with the sort of wisdom that's hard-earnt, "but sometimes the best thing is to take a step back, yeah?"
Barry winces, then peeks up at them, reaching one hand towards each of them. "Yeah," he agrees quietly.
Len reaches out and threads his fingers with the hand Barry's holding towards him, same as Mick is doing on the other side, because they're both long used to their third's tactile nature, any more.
Len gives them a moment to enjoy the quiet peace, then asks, "Does this mean I don't get to freeze your feet to the roadway next time you try to keep us from making off with a handful of ice?"
Barry groans before Mick, but only by four seconds. "I regret everything," Barry decides.
"I say we toss him out into the snow," Mick rumbles, shooting Len an annoyed look. "Naked."
"He'd match the parka, that way," Barry says cheerfully.
Len snorts, because he knows they're joking. (Or, at least, if they do toss him out into a snow drift, they won't leave him out there. If only because he'll pick the lock and upend the ice tray over them after they've gone to sleep, as Mick learnt early on in their partnership.)
They do not, in fact, throw him out into the snow, naked or otherwise. Instead, the three of them retire to bed together, warm and comfortable in a way that has been missing for too long.
In the morning, Mick retreats to the kitchen to make a ridiculous amount of food, while Len accompanies Barry to the couch and doses on his shoulder while he calls Wells to tell him he's taking the day off from training, which he'd like to ease back on a little bit in general.
"This is a change, Mr Allen," Len hears Wells say, his head close enough to the mobile to make him out. "Might I ask why?"
Barry's nails scrape pleasantly over Len's shorn hair, and he can't quite keep from leaning into the touch, though he does manage to bite back any noise of pleasure, mostly because Wells will have heard him through a speaker before, him having faced the Flash twice, now, and he'd rather avoid giving the man any ideas about who Barry spends his limited free time with.
"My boyfriends made a good case for me slowing down," Barry says, his tone gone a little wry.
Len raises an eyebrow, though; he knows the Wests are aware that Barry is in a polyamorous relationship with two other men, but he hadn't realized that the scientist team had been told. Not that he's going to complain – they'd made it clear early on that it was up to Barry what he told people about his relationship with them, though his foster dad being a cop, and then Barry becoming a CSI, had made it impossible to actually meet any of Barry's friends or family in Central City – he just hadn't thought they were quite so close. (Perhaps it's time he gets more about Barry's team from him.)
"Ah, of course. Significant others tend to be a little clingy when they feel slighted."
Len frowns and presses his lips together as tightly as he can, because something about the tone of Wells' voice is making him want to start a fight.
Barry's nails scrape over his scalp again, just the littlest bit harder than before, and Len doesn't need that tell to hear the tenseness in Barry's voice when he replies, faux cheerful, "Something like that. I'll see you tomorrow, Dr Wells."
"Of course. Enjoy your day off, Mr Allen."
Len gives Barry a moment after he ends the call, before he says, "And here I was hoping the good detective would be the only father figure of yours I'd want to punch."
Barry huffs out a laugh and tosses his mobile onto the coffee table before twisting to give Len a hug, hiding his face against the side of his neck. "You have a problem, Len."
Len snorts, but doesn't argue; he's well aware that he has a problem with fathers. (In his experience, Henry Allen being a generally good guy who loves and accepts his son unconditionally is something of an outlier.) "Just don't let him make you feel ashamed of your sexuality," he says, the same thing he should have said back when Barry had fled West's house because the man hadn't been able to stomach the idea of his foster son sleeping with two men. Except, back then, Len hadn't known how to say those words, so he'd stirred them into a mug of crap hot chocolate, dumped way too many mini marshmallows on top, and hoped Barry got the general idea. Which he had, because he has enough emotional maturity to make up for the deficit both Len and Mick struggle with.
"I won't," Barry says, quiet and certain. "As much in awe of him as I may have been in college, and as much respect as I have for him as a mentor now–" he pulls back, meeting Len's eyes "–I'll always love the both of you far more."
"It is way too early for you to be so sentimental," Len complains, but then he leans in and kisses Barry, because a declaration like that deserves a reward of some sort.
Barry huffs a laugh against his lips and kisses him back with a bit more intent than Len had originally been going for, but he's always game for a make out session on the couch.
"You two gonna suck face all mornin' or eat real food?" Mick demands after not quite long enough.
Barry's stomach lets out a loud grumble, and Len laughs against his shoulder while Barry blushes and helplessly agrees, "The second option?"
Mick snorts and Len gathers himself enough to get off the couch, pulling Barry up with him, and they enjoy a proper breakfast for what feels very like the first time since the weekend before Barry's trip to Starling City. And then they retire to the couch and argue over what to watch on Netflix, then all end up falling asleep fifteen minutes in.
In short, it's exactly what all of them need.
"Can you, I dunno, not steal other people's things?" Barry asks not quite a week later, doing a really shoddy job of not smiling behind his mask.
Len takes his time observing the emeralds they'd broken into the warehouse for, trusting that Mick standing guard at his back will be more than enough to keep Barry from snatching them away from him.
Then he slips them into the pocket of his parka and flashes his most obnoxious smirk at Barry. "If Mr Marks didn't want us stealing things, he shouldn't misplace them in dusty, unguarded warehouses."
Barry very pointedly looks behind himself, where a half dozen guards are groaning on the ground, all of them suffering from superficial fire or ice burns, and the – admittedly rather impressive – security system is melting from Mick turning his heat gun on it while on the highest setting.
"As I said, poorly guarded," Len says perfectly even, then flicks the power of his gun on and turns it towards Barry before he can call him on the correction, carefully keeping it pointed over his shoulder, instead of dead-center. "Now, if you'd be so good as to let us naughty little boys leave?"
Barry takes a breath and straightens. "Not this time, Cold," he says, bravado in his voice.
Len's smile is probably more honestly delighted than he's aiming for, but he can't really bring himself to care; facing down the Flash before discovering who he is, is still one of his favorite memories.
Barry has a bad habit of making everything that littlest bit more exciting.
Len fires over Barry's shoulder, Barry dodges and makes a run for him, Len ducks to the side and ices the ground, laughing as Barry slides right past him with a curse.
"Mick!" he shouts, because his partner is just standing there.
"Not feeling too hot, Heatwave?" Barry calls once he's safely on un-iced ground, wearing a wide grin.
"Oh hell no," Mick says, finally turning his gun on Barry. "I'm bannin' puns!"
Len chortles and Barry's grin widens and Mick looks like he's seriously debating which of them he should be aiming at.
And then Mick aims up, at the sprinkler above them, and fires.
"Fuck!" Barry shouts, as Len points his own gun up and turns the water into ice, while Mick grabs his arm and drags him between the crates, towards the exit they'd parked next to. "Come back here! You can't just throw ice at me like that!"
When Barry gets home that night, they fall into bed laughing, and Len's already planning their next heist.
A/N: Just a little note: Wellsobard's issues with Barry's relationship actually have nothing to do with the gender or number of his partners, and everything to do with Barry being happily married to Iris in the future he's from. Yes, he's trying to find ways to change that, but Joe's refusal to let Iris have anything to do with Barry's secret identity is making it difficult. He's half-way hoping everything just sorts itself out on its own, at this point. (This is your own doing, Wellsobard. I hope you realise this. Moron.)
Part One: Criminal Partners
Part Three: Relationship Status
1/Cisco Ramon || 2/David Singh || 3/Felicity Smoak || 4/Eddie Thawne || 5/Henry Allen
Part Four: Whatever Happens Here, We Remain
One ||| Two ||| Three
Part Five: Nobly Save or Meanly Lose
1/Angel's Wings || 2/Damini's Shock || 3/Mini Mia || 4/Kerry's Flame || 5/Jackie's Force