Hello all you lovely readers out there. Sorry I haven't updated or written in a while. I have a lot of work in progress stories. Anyway I don't own the Flash or any of its characters. I am, however, more than entitled to think that Grant Gustin is hot and to ship Snowbarry because Iris just makes things too dramatic and complicated. Seriously, Barry; it ain't gonna work out! I love you all! No flames please! And remember; reviews are love!
Caitlin sighed wearily as she relaxed for the first time in an hour; it had been a long night. The Team had intercepted an all-points bulletin—APB—from the police scanner. The chatter told them that a group calling themselves the Royal Flush Gang was holding a bank hostage. Naturally, the Flash rushed in and 'saved the day'. What police and witness accounts did not say is that the Flash took a bullet to his shoulder before escaping. Cisco immediately hacked the case files as soon as they were made and ordered that the blood samples be destroyed. Unfortunately, Barry had fainted from blood loss the minute he had made it back to safety—gracelessly skidding into the lab, unable to stabilize himself without moving his arm and wound up slamming into the wall opposite of the entrance. By the time that Caitlin had rushed around the corner of the computers, Barry was out cold.
Blocking out Cisco and Dr. Well's toil she set to work on Barry. Despite protests from Cisco—that she ignored—Caitlin immediately took a scalpel to his beloved suit. Upon further inspection, Caitlin found that the bullet had gone straight through, thankfully avoiding any tendons and merely ripping through the muscle tissue. She proceeded to apply gauze to the points of entry and exit and tape the wads in place. Then she dragged over her desk chair, propping Barry's feet up to fight off the shock; without him conscious that was the best she could do. Thankfully she doubted he was going into a hypovolemic shock—he hadn't lost over one fifth of his blood and his skin wasn't clammy, no perspiration either.
"Temperature?" she shouted over to Dr. Wells, who was monitoring Barry's vitals via the suit readings.
He glanced over the read outs before calling back as she continued surgical treatment on the floor. "Ninety-four degrees and still dropping."
She continued to apply pressure to the wound. "Faster or slower?" she snapped back, her concern giving an edge to her tone as she stood and darted into the medical bay to retrieve an IV bag and the rest of her kit.
Understanding the sharp words, Dr. Wells created a quick graph showing his temperature reading of over the last few minutes. "Slower since you applied pressure." He answered.
Nodding her thanks and returning her focus to Barry, she stabbed the IV bag's needle into his hand, practiced precision finding his vein. "Cisco!" she yelled. "Get me a blanket. We need to preserve his body heat."
"On it." He was out of the room in a second.
With a moment of tense silence, Caitlin felt her concern mounting.
Dr. Wells seemed to sense her distress. "How is he?" he asked, trying to keep her talking.
Allowing a wave of gratitude to temporarily overwhelm her nervousness, she continued the treatment. "Unconscious, thankfully," she answered shortly. After a second of feeling Harrison Wells' questioning stare in her back she answered him. "If he was awake his blood pressure would be elevated and that would just make things worse," She peeled away the gauze and began to swab his wound clean. "The entry wound is actually quite clean and the exit wound is just as awful as all exit wounds, but not untreatable. I'm cleaning it so there's no chance of sepsis…"
"What sis?" Cisco questioned, as he laid a blanket over a still motionless Barry Allen.
His prompt earned him a withering glare. "The spread of bacteria or fungus into his bloodstream," she replied. "But since I'm cleaning it, infection won't be a problem. Dilution is the best solution," she quipped as she emptied a water bottle over the injury. "And this will help with the bleeding while I get a suture ready."
"What is that?" Cisco asked as Caitlin dug around her purse.
"A tampon," she retorted, smirking at Cisco's immediate discomfort while she ripped the wad out of the plastic wrapping and placed it in the puncture. Then she whipped out a needle. "And this is a tetanus shot." The snip earned a very mature mock imitation from her friend.
Afterwards, the sutures went in neatly and quickly. Then there was the awkward matter of getting Barry off the tile floor and onto a med bay bed. Dr. Wells snickered in amusement from where he watched Caitlin and Cisco struggle with their friend; both were admittedly not very strong and Barry wasn't very light—despite his protests that it was all muscle. Looping his arms under Barry's, Cisco hauled him off the floor while Caitlin lifted his legs. After more uncomfortable shuffling, Barry was laying down on the sterilized bed and, according to the charts, stable. The most important thing now was to keep the wound clean and finish up with his exit hole that Caitlin hadn't cleaned to her liking. With Cisco and Dr. Wells resuming their work in the main lab she stripped the top of the suit off Barry and pulled him up to lean against her shoulder. Frowning in concentration, she swabbed a hunk of gauze soaked in alcohol around the tissue, dabbing at the fresh stitches that should be gone in a couple of hours.
Of course, Barry chose that moment to wake up. Caitlin stiffened in a temporary shock as he groaned into her shoulder and an involuntary shudder shot through her spine.
"What's…going on?" Barry mumbled dazedly, his limbs still refusing to function and let him move.
He is so out of it. Caitlin realized with relief. "Welcome back, Barry," she said briskly as she pulled the gauze away. Leaning forward, she braced her arms and let him sink back, smiling at the adorable look of confusion that crossed Barry's puppy dog face. "You're in the lab. Do you remember? You got shot." She watched critically for his reaction. She could already tell by his pupils that he had a concussion—should be gone within the hour—but amnesia was a side effect she disliked.
He glared over her shoulder in concentration before comprehension made his forehead relax again. "Oh yeah…" he muttered blearily. "The Royal Flush Gang…right?"
His hard work earned him a soft smile from Caitlin. "Good," she murmured, keeping her voice low and reaching out impulsively to affectionately tussle his hair. "How're you feeling?"
A second of silence passed as Barry stared blankly at her before his eyes widened and he let out a howl of pain. "Ow!" he sputtered indignantly. "Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!" he whined before collapsing back on the bed dramatically. "Alright, Caitlin, I'm ready. Pull the plug." He groaned, his uninjured arm reaching for his shoulder.
Smacking his hand away, Barry earned a harsh glare that morphed into a smile at his childish, indignant yelp. "Oh no, don't you dare pull your stitches, Mister." She warned, beginning to put away her supplies.
"To answer your question, I am experiencing an amount of pain that I was unaware the human body was capable of," he quipped through gritted teeth—his nerd-like personality making an appearance—while the agony receding to a dull throb. "…and my head hates me." He slurred tiredly, his voice rough with exhaustion and pain.
Caitlin snickered at his antics, influenced by fatigue. "Alright geek," she sighed. "You're still high on blood loss and you've got a concussion you need to sleep off. Get to it." she ordered, standing abruptly and extending a hand to run her fingers through his disheveled hair.
Barry smiled under her touch, grinning drowsily while his eyes closed contentedly and he relaxed against her hand. "Aye, Captain." He mumbled distantly, his eyes already closing.
An affectionate smile graced her neat lips before she turned and walked out of the room, enjoying some quiet while she waited an hour for Barry to heal before waking him up.
When Caitlin walked back in later, she felt hard guilt halt her footsteps.
Barry was still fast asleep on the medical bay bed. His bruises were already faded, his cuts were healing and Caitlin had no doubt that the bullet wound was scarring over and would be healed by morning. But what really pulled her heartstrings, was Barry's face. Their line of work was not easy—when is being a superhero ever easy?—but Barry had managed to keep up his carefree and happy personality despite the psychos he dealt with regularly and the guilt he must struggle with. Caitlin had seen Barry beaten, bloodied—enraged, miserable, elated, victorious, and laughing—but it was a rare treat to see him relaxed. Barry's face was smoothed, free of creases—be they of concentration, anger or fear—and instead his expression looked innocent, almost naïve and free of the scars from the things he's seen. Lightly closed, his eyelids fluttered, a sure sign that he was dreaming and Caitlin could hear his steady breaths from across the room, each exhale made know by a puff of air that filtered out between Barry's lips. His hair was still tousled and unbrushed but Caitlin found that attractive in spite of herself. And there was also the matter of him being shirtless, showing off his muscular shoulders and sculpted neck and collar. But he was completely tranquil, every muscle in his body lax; and that made Caitlin happy; but she had to wake him.
Sighing in dismay, she moved forward and placed a gentle hand on his uninjured shoulder. Applying a hint of pressure, she shook. "Barry…" she murmured soothingly. "C'mon Barry. It's almost eight. Joe will kill you if you don't get home in time."
Groaning childishly, he half-heartedly swatted at her hand, squeezing his shut and beginning to roll away from her. "Never…" He mumbled in reply. "I want to sleep forever."
She snickered before hauling him up by his good shoulder. "Good luck with that." She muttered, letting him sag against her as he struggled to find his footing. There was a kind of simplicity to her and Barry's relationship; they were just always there for each other. Barry was a sweet guy who was blunt with the way he felt—for the most part—and in a world of science where her coworkers were unable to truly understand emotions and their complexity, Caitlin appreciated Barry; a friend who could be emotionally stable for her despite his own demons. And for that, Caitlin would be forever grateful.
Did'ja like it? I hope so. And FYI that is the honest to goodness best way to treat a bullet wound. Always keep it clean! Infection is the worst thing that can happen. Anyway, enjoy your lives now that you know how to properly treat a bullet wound. Do I really need to say don't try this at home? Don't. And don't get bullet wounds. Be smart peeps. Any more wisdom? Uh…crack is whack. I like my peoples healthy. Love you's and I love you too Grant Gustin.