anon said : snowbarry - 'the fire alarm went off at 3 am and now the cute guy from the flat next door is standing next to me in his underwear' AU

Just Maybe

Caitlin tugged the red nightgown further down on her arms, clutching it in between cold fingers. Winding her arms around her body, she felt the chill of night like a breath smoothing against her shivering skin, beneath the red garment that covered most of her modesty.

3 freaking am, and the shrill alarm had pierced the sleepy atmosphere, and the residents of the small, fairly dingy flats, had been forced to vacate their beds, and stand in the winter chill, awaiting the hopeful sound of a fire engines cry.

Caitlin was annoyed, she was. She'd been working late the entire week at S.T.A.R labs, and had been looking forward to getting a full night's sleep for once. But some asshole roasting s'mores apparently hadn't got the memo. She was out, in the cold, at 3am and she wasn't happy.

And yet, she found she still couldn't blame the cold, for the blooming blush on her cheeks.

But she could blame the man next to her.

The mostly naked, firm-looking, shivering, and somehow at the same time both adorable and really quite attractive, man next to her.

Damn him.

When the alarm had rung, she'd been sleeping in shorts (there'd been a problem with her central heating, it was freezing outside, but a Tropicana inside her small home) and a flimsy top, and amid sleep deprivation and rising panic, had only pulled her red nightgown from its hanger on her wardrobe, not realising her mistake until she'd taken her first step outside, and then it was too late to turn around.

She'd thought she'd be in the worst state out there, but glancing again at the man standing next to her in just his underpants, she realized, she was far from it.

She couldn't help but stare at him out the corner of her eye because it shouldn't be possible for a man that adorable to be attractive.

He had brown hair that looked like he ran his hands through it a lot, shockingly green eyes that she yet to grow accustomed too, (just so brightand distracting) and, as her eyes slipped further down, subtle muscle and smooth skin that made her bite her lip and blush deeper.

He had a much taller frame than her too, meaning she had to crane her head upwards to look at him, which made it much harder when she was trying to be sneaky.

Her neighbour, Barry Allen, had moved into the flat next to hers a couple months ago, but they had yet to become formally introduced to one another, only occasionally exchanging polite smiles when their eyes met, (admittedly, this really wasn't the first time she'd stared at him) or that one morning they both came out their doors the same time.

He was moving so fast she'd barley caught the smile he'd sent across his shoulder.

But now… well.

Really, when was there a better time to introduce yourself to the man you'd formed a schoolgirl crush on, at 3am, with both of you with very little clothing?

She was thinking of a way to start a conversation, when she heard the low voice startlingly close to her ear.

"It was a joke."

She turned suddenly, seeing Barry leaning slightly, head turned towards her, and a wide grin enveloping his features.

She gulped.

"Excuse me?" She asked, eyebrows knitting in confusion.

"My attire. My friend, Iris, she thought it'd be funny to stealmy clothes. She's annoying like that." He rolled his eyes good-naturedly, and her lips folded into a smile of their own.

"I wasn't gonna sleep in jeans, and uh, here we are." He finished, and she heard the nervousness in his voice. (A mental fourteen year old Caitlin 'awed' internally).

"I had a heating malfunction in my apartment. It's like a sauna in there and I've been rendered helpless to the situation." He grinned, eyes briefly fleeting down to slim legs left uncovered by the robe.

She blamed the red blooming on her cheeks to the wind.

She leaned a little closer to him, eyebrows lifting as though she were about to spill a secret.

"I wouldn't have slept in jeans either."

He laughs lightly, and the sound is so soft and gentle against the harsh mumbles and groans against muttering people forced from their beds, that she lets out a quiet laugh as well, and she can't remember the last time she laughed so freely.

He's still grinning when she looks back at him, and her smile's still fixed firmly in place, and it's not awkward, as they just stare at each other for a little while.

He offers his hand, palm outstretched, and she has to lean back a little so it won't brush against her chest. (Don't you dare blush, Snow.)

"Barry Allen. I've, uh, actually kinda wanting to introduce myself, but I've been pretty busy as of late." He scratches the back of his head with the hand that is not outstretched, and she suddenly realises that she's just gazing at him.

"Oh! Oh, yeah I mean I know. Not-Not that you've been busy, ha, no I didn't know that, I mean that would make me some kind of stalker. I'm not! I swear I'm not actually a stalker, I have a job that keeps me busy and um and I meant I knew your name because uh, sorry what was I saying?"

The bemused grin plastered across those lips is enough to make her face turn beetroot red – no mistaking it for the wind now.

"Y'know, I'm not actually sure."

She laughs unsteadily, as he struggles to contain bouts of laughter.

She slips her hand into his, squeezing lightly, and ignoring the slight butterflyeruption in her stomach.

"Caitlin. Caitlin Snow. It's nice to meet you, even if I've embarrassed myself already." She brings a hand to her cheek, biting her lip with. The urge to hide behind her hands is really, quite overwhelming.

"No, not at all. It's my pleasure, Caitlin." So maybe she likes the way her name rolls off his lips and the way his eyes are still full of laughter, and the way he holds onto her hand for just a second too long before releasing it.

Maybe she liked it.

Just maybe.