A/N: This chapter was requested by a guest reviewer - I hope you like it!
Also, this will be the last chapter of this drabble series. My plan was for it to roughly span Season 1 of the show, which it did. We'll see what I end up doing for Season 2!
Note: Italics are flashbacks and the main story is set 6 months after the rest of the chapters.
Enjoy and please review =)
"Remind me again why we're doing this?" Caitlin muttered in his ear as they walked down the long hallway towards the lavishly decorated ballroom ahead. "Because I do not dance."
"It's called an 'undercover mission'," Barry whispered back. "So going undercover is kind of a key part." He tightened his grip on her hand reassuringly, hoping that she would take comfort from the gesture. "And besides, I think it's-
"Invitations, please?" A man wearing a tailored suit interrupted Barry. He held out his white-gloved hand imperiously, obviously waiting for them to produce the document.
Here goes nothing, Barry thought, flashing the usher a cheery smile while he reached into his own suit jacket with his free hand and pulled out the carefully-forged invitation. It had taken them hours to come up with a reasonable reproduction and now he was nervous that all their efforts would be in vain.
"Very good," the older man scanned the paper, then handed it back to Barry with a nod of his head. "Welcome, Mr. and Mrs. Allen."
"Thanks," Barry and Caitlin chimed in chorus before moving out to mingle with the crowd assembling on the dance floor.
"Would you like to dance?" Barry asked, smiling impishly down at the beautiful woman on his arm. Caitlin had risen to the occasion and was wearing a floor-length dark blue gown that shimmered in the natural light coming from the giant skylight on the roof and showed off her slim figure. The long slit in the skirt allowed glimpses of her legs as she moved gracefully in her heels. Her curled hair left Barry longing to tangle his hands in the silky strands. But, despite the perfection of her appearance, it was the enchanted smile on her face at the sight of the fairytale ballroom that Barry liked the most. He loved seeing her that happy.
She arched an eyebrow at him. "Weren't you listening to anything I just-?"
"Fine," Barry shrugged. "But I don't want to be the one to explain to Cisco that we ruined the mission because you refused to get into character…"
"...we could mingle on the sidelines…"
"...and all it would've taken to save hundreds of lives would be one, teensy-weensy dance…"
"Barry Allen!" Caitlin swatted him playfully on the arm. "Stop trying to guilt me in to it."
"Who, me?" Barry widened his eyes in mock hurt. "No, I'm just thinking about the mission. And the fact that I have the most beautiful woman in the room as my date and I would be incredibly stupid to pass up the chance to dance with her."
A faint blush appeared on Caitlin's cheeks, and Barry knew that he had won. He had to fight the urge to smile in victory. "Fine, one dance," she conceded, obviously trying to suppress a smile of her own.
He didn't waste any time leading her out onto the floor and whirling her into his arms - he was still nervous that she would change her mind.
"So, Mrs. Allen," he whispered into her ear, holding her close against him as they swayed to the music, claiming a small piece of the floor as their own, "have I told you yet that you take my breath away?" Calling her 'Mrs. Allen' had seemed like a good idea a second ago, but now Barry found it difficult as he realized he wanted it to be true. He wanted to wake up each day and call her 'Mrs. Allen.' And that was a terrifyingly wonderful thought.
Resting her arms around his neck, Caitlin gazed deep into his eyes. "I still don't like dancing," she told him, trying and failing to sound stern.
"Yeah, I can tell. You look absolutely miserable," Barry teased. "The smile really gives it away."
The scent of lavender filled the air, its sweet aroma adding a magical, surreal feeling to the scene.
Barry held Caitlin close against him, savouring the feeling of his girl in his arms. This was where he belonged, where they belonged. Together.
Their song - "Kiss Me Slowly" - started playing. Caitlin had insisted that if there was going to be dancing, that was the only song she would agree to dance to. Laughing at her insistence, he had agreed. After all, he wanted everything to be perfect for her.
"May I have this dance?" he asked formally, echoing the words he had said the very first time they had danced together.
Caitlin beamed up at him, her eyes shining with happiness. "I never thought I'd actually be excited to hear you ask that," she responded as they started to move gently to the beat of the music.
"Did you just admit that you liked dancing?"
She giggled. "Maybe it's not as bad as I thought."
"Time?" Barry asked tensely, scanning the large room for a sign of their target.
"9:57," Caitlin replied. "Three minutes until show-time, if our sources are correct."
"They'd better be," Barry muttered. He knew that they were infiltrating the party just because they had heard reasonably credible rumours that a metahuman had a grudge against the rich man throwing the party and was planning to crash the celebration, but dancing with Caitlin had made him wish that they were just a normal couple and that he didn't have to worry about saving the lives of everyone there.
"You'd better get changed," she told him. At his nod, she reached out and placed on hand gently on his arm. "And Barry? Be careful."
He smiled and, taking her head in his hands, kissed her thoroughly. "I love you, Cait."
"I love you too," she returned. "Now, go play the hero."
"You realize you're going to have to start listening to me now," Caitlin told him as they exited the dance floor for a quick moment alone together. "When I say 'be careful'-"
"I'm always careful!" Barry claimed indignantly. At her raised eyebrow, he sighed and amended his statement. "Well, as careful as I can be."
"I just love you too much to want to see you hurt, especially now."
"I'm not going anywhere, Cait," he promised, holding her hands in his and looking deep into her eyes.
"I know." Her simple, honest assurance that she believed him said more than any other words could.
And then he couldn't resist kissing her again.
"Help," Caitlin whispered, her eyes wide and terrified.
Barry had never been more afraid in his life. Not when the lightning had hit him. Not when Dr. Wells had killed his mother and nearly all his friends. Never. "Let her go," he ordered the obviously insane metahuman who was holding a knife to the throat of the woman he loved.
"Stay where you are!" the man ordered gleefully, a sardonic smile twisting his face. "She'll be dead before even you could get here, Flash."
Barry knew he was right - the guy could create something Cisco termed 'temporal disturbances' which were basically bubbles where time was sped up or slowed down. Essentially, he could negate all the benefits of Barry's speed. Cisco called him the "Speed Demon" - an apt description considering he was turning into a murderer before Barry's eyes.
"She's an innocent," Barry pleaded desperately. Looking around the frozen crowd around him, Barry tried think of a way that he could reach Speed Demon without entering the slower bubble that was keeping all the guests essentially immobile, but nothing came to mind.
"So was I, once," the man hissed. Before Barry could so much as move, he plunged the knife into Caitlin's side and threw her against the floor like a rag doll.
She screamed in pain.
Barry's blood ran cold.
Channelling his fury, he shot towards Speed Demon, but then felt his body hurtle past his target as he entered a bubble where he moved even more quickly in relation to reality. With a roar of fury, Barry spun around and tried to force thoughts of Caitlin, lying prone on the floor, out of his mind so he could…
"Uh uh, Flash," Speed Demon taunted. "You're not going to accomplish anything like that, now are you?"
Barry snarled, and launched himself at his target again. But this time, Speed Demon moved unnaturally quickly out of Barry's path before he could so much as punch the guy.
"Might as well give up now. My power is much stronger than yours. I'm unbeatable." Speed Demon spread his arms out in triumph. "And now, all these people are going to die."
An idea occurred to Barry, an idea that might actually work even if it was a little crazy. "Except you made one mistake - you hurt Caitlin," he told his enemy in a menacing voice. "And so you're going to be a prisoner for the rest of your sorry life."
"Big threats for someone who can't even get near-"
Before he had finished his sentence, Barry was gone. For his plan to work, he had to be right about one thing - Speed Demon's powers only affected what he could see. So, if he had no clue where Barry was, he was powerless. Barry had to attack unexpectedly, where Speed Demon couldn't see him coming.
That meant an aerial assault.
Barry speed up to the skylight and prepared himself for how much this insane idea was going to hurt. But, then he thought of Caitlin, slowly bleeding out and he couldn't even get close enough to help her, and his resolve strengthened.
Speed Demon never saw him coming. Or, maybe landing would be a better word, since Barry and millions of shards of glass rained down on his head.
"You should never have touched her," Barry growled as his fist connected with Speed Demon's head and knocked him unconscious.
Then, heedless of his multiple cuts and the fact that he was almost positive he had dislocated his shoulder with his impact, Barry crawled over to Caitlin. "Caitlin," he whispered, grasping her blood-covered hand in his, "please, oh please don't be…"
"Barry?" Caitlin asked, her voice weak.
"I'm here," he replied, unashamed of the tears pooling under his mask. "And you're going to be okay. I'm going to get you to the hospital and they're going to fix everything…" He didn't know if he believed his own words - her injury was bad and she had lost a lot of blood. But there was no time to waste - he had to get her the hospital immediately.
"I think...my dress," Caitlin muttered, her head lolling against his injured shoulder as he picked her up. "So much blood…"
"Don't worry about that, okay?" Barry reassured her as he took off. "We'll take care of it."
"Barry?" she asked again, her eyes drooping as she struggled to stay conscious. "If I live, can I be Mrs. Allen?"
Barry's heart almost stopped at that plea, so much along the same lines of what he'd been hoping earlier, before things had all gone so wrong. "We'll go to Vegas the second you can walk," he promised, and then fervently hoped more than anything that he would have the chance to fulfill that promise.
"I bet Vegas is sounding pretty good right now," Barry whispered to Caitlin as the never-ending line of people approached them to congratulate the newly-married couple.
"Oh shush," she admonished him, but there was still a sparkle in her eyes that told him she didn't mind his teasing. "I we'd eloped, who would have held my bouquet for the vows?"
Barry laughed. Trust Caitlin to think about what's important. "And I guess that would've meant no first dance."
"Hmm, maybe Vegas wouldn't have been so bad."
Barry let the conversation die out and allowed himself a moment just to admire the woman next to him, the woman who had essentially proposed to him (although he had done a proper proposal with a ring later), the woman who had stolen his heart. Her white silk wedding dress showed off her creamy skin and her bouquet of lilies and violet pansies perfectly represented the soft femininity he loved about her. She was perfect.
"Wanna get out of here, Mrs. Allen?" he asked, seeing that the line was finally starting to dwindle.
She shot him a huge smile and pulled him in for a breathtaking kiss. "I thought you'd never ask, Mr. Allen."
They give us a Ronnie/Caitlin wedding? I say fight back with a SnowBarry wedding!
Please leave a final review, and thank you all so much for reading and being amazing!