(A/N): I don't know where this came from, except maybe a gifset that was going around with a lot of Iris/Caitlin scenes, and several of them had Caitlin lying her head off to Iris. So I thought they should have it out in a way we really didn't get to see.
The croissant was what made Iris finally lose patience.
It sat in a bag at the desk where Iris most often sat when she came to Star Labs. She'd called an hour ago to say she was coming by with some research on Hunter Zoloman, and Caitlin had said brightly, "We'll be here!"
The pastry was crisp and warm, wrapped up in a napkin, so it had been purchased within the past half hour. And Barry wasn't around, so it couldn't have been him. Plus, Caitlin was sneaking looks at her, in between studying the background information on Zoloman.
Cisco was rambling about Columbia, (Zoloman's alma mater, supposedly) and wondering aloud whether one of his WoW guild might be available to confirm that. Apparently she was a professor when she wasn't busy being an elf-mage or whatever.
Iris grabbed the bag with the croissant. "Cisco, can you excuse us for a minute?"
He'd already started texting and just waved absently.
Iris beckoned Caitlin into the next room. "What," she said, dangling the bag, "is this?"
"A croissant . . . ?"
"Nnnnnooooo," Iris said. "It's a bribe. Isn't it?"
"Don't you like croissants?"
"Of course I like croissants. You know that. I also like macchiatos, jewelry from that one lady with all the tattoos at the farmer's market, and incredibly cheesy historical romance novels, all of which you have given me in the past month, for apparently no reason. Caitlin, what are you doing?"
Caitlin chewed her lip and stared at her like Bambi facing down the muzzle of a mama-killing shotgun.
Just when Iris thought she might have to break out the thumbscrews, she blurted, "I just feel really bad."
Ah. Ahahahahaha. Finally. God, it took long enough. "About lying to me?"
"Even when I asked you point blank?"
"Yes! I'm trying to make it up to you. Can't you let me do that?"
"This is how you show your regret? With stuff?"
"Well," Caitlin said.
"Caitlin," Iris said. "That's not how this works. Yeah, you lied. A lot. And some of those lies were really stupid. I mean, lightning psychosis, honestly?"
Caitlin had the grace to blush. "Not my finest hour, I admit. And I know it's kind of stupid. I just - I'm not very good at - at people. I want to be your friend, I do. But I don't know how to make it right."
"By apologizing," Iris said. "With words. And then - this is really important. By not doing it again."
"I - " Caitlin looked at the ceiling. "I'm sorry," she muttered. "I knew it was wrong. I told Barry it was wrong. But I still - I'm sorry."
Iris nodded and unfolded her arms. "I accept your apology."
"Remember the second part? Not doing it again?"
She set her jaw. "Look. I can't promise there won't be things I can't tell you about. Or things that aren't my secret to tell."
"Then, that's fine. You know what you say? 'Iris, I'm sorry, I can't tell you that.'"
"And you'll accept that? Really?" Caitlin looked intensely skeptical. "Really."
"I'll accept it from you. Because I know you're not keeping something from me that could hurt me or the people I love. Right?"
"Right. Of course."
Iris considered. "I mean. I might go do my own investigation - "
Caitlin narrowed her eyes. "Is that meant to strong-arm me into just telling you everything anyway?"
"Well, no, but if that's a consideration - "
Caitlin still looked wary, so Iris grinned. "Kidding! Kidding. Mostly. Look, if you promise to be as honest as you can be, I promise to let you know if I'm going to look into it myself."
"I think that's reasonable," Caitlin said.
"Okay. Good. That's settled." Iris opened up the bag and pulled out the croissant. "Want half?"
"Yes," Caitlin said. "I would. With hot chocolate."
"I like the way you think."
They went to the break room and raided Cisco's stash of Swiss Miss. While the microwave was heating up the mugs of water, Caitlin turned to her. "But you did like the things. Right?"
"Of course I did," Iris said. "I just hated the thought that you were trying to bribe me. If my friend gives me something, I'd much rather it was just because they thought I'd like it, and don't want anything in exchange."
"No more bribes," Caitlin promised. "In fact, the next round of macchiatos are on you."
Iris laughed. "Deal."