Author's Note: Hello folks. I just had to write this because it was nagging me. This was originally going to be a Dacey fic, but I can't write for them anymore and I didn't want this idea to go to waste. I know some of you will hate this and think it's rushed, but oh well. I must warn you that there will be song lyrics. I'm a singer and I love music. Sue me.

Thank you for reading my story. I hope you all enjoy. I really, really would like feedback even if you hated it. I can take it. But I honestly had so much fun writing this. I really did and I like the finished product. It's ok if you don't. Though I know how hated me and my stories are, I still like to know what I did wrong. Writing professionally is a dream of mine. :) Reviews are hugs!


Iris West is a lover of lots of things. Writing, brownies, singing, her father, and her best friend, Barry Allen. Those things weren't necessarily written in chronological order, but these were the things she loved with everything in her. She could readily explain her love for all those things except for her love for her best friend. She loved him dearly. He knew all her secrets.

All except for one.

She was madly and hopelessly in love with him. It seemed like everyone could see how much she loved him except for him. He was an insanely huge nerd and seriously the cutest thing she had ever laid eyes on. She remembered thinking how cute he was when they met the first day of kindergarten. She fell in love when she looked into his eyes. His big green eyes, surrounded by eyelashes most people had only seen on girls seemed to darken with worry. She could almost hear his knees shaking together. She knew the feeling because she was scared too. None of the other kids seemed scared. She figured she and Barry could be scared together.

And they did.

They became thick as thieves. Completely joined at the hip. They were like a pair of mismatched socks. They looked odd when you put them together, but they worked well. Barry as the nerdy, shy, and too tall for his age white boy and Iris as the energetic, fast talking, and super tiny black girl. Nobody would ever think to put those two opposites together. But they found their way to each other. And that's where they remained.

They became the weirdest set of friends ever when Barry's parents died and Iris' father took him in. They suddenly became like brother and sister though they really weren't and nobody really thought they were. They were just best friends that lived together. Joe loved them both dearly, and when people saw them out together, sure Barry looked like the odd man out, but they still looked like a family.

That's what made things become weird for Iris. Barry was still her nerdy and skinny best friend that suddenly started to grow facial hair, and whose voice got deeper, and whose arms started to look like he was hiding something in the sleeves of his shirt. She started to think something was wrong with her when she would lay in her bed and think about her best friend that lived in the room next to hers. She wasn't supposed to think about Barry in that way. So she tried as hard as she could to not think of Barry as a viable option for her.

It really didn't work.

Not only was Iris madly and hopelessly in love with Barry, he was madly and hopelessly in love with her too. He felt like a huge perv thinking of his best friend like straight boys thought of girls. He thought Iris was beautiful even at age 5 when she walked up to him on the first day of school. Her smile made him less scared. She became the best thing to ever happen to him. He thought about her and talked about her always. There were four things he loved dearly. His parents, science, Iris' dad Joe, and Iris. Well, five things. Iris' smile was one thing he loved all on its own. Her smile really healed him when his mom and dad died in a car accident and he went to live with Joe and Iris. She had lost her mother too so she knew how he felt. They still had Joe.

Barry had always loved Iris but he figured he started to really fall in love when they were about 14. Iris was no longer the little girl that helped ease his fears the first day of kindergarten. She was now a young woman and looked like one. He thought he was a weirdo for imagining that Iris was his girlfriend like some of his friends had. He wasn't supposed to think of Iris like that at all. So he kept it to himself and hoped that it would go away eventually.

It didn't.

So he just kept his love for Iris hidden, though everyone could see it. Everyone but her. He suspected Joe could tell too, he just never said anything.

Joe did know. He knew all about Barry's love for Iris. He knew all about Iris' love for Barry as well. He just wondered when his two hugely clueless kids would come to the realization that they were in the same boat of loving their best friend.


Iris was working her way through grad school to become a journalist. She worked part time at this place called Jitters. Coffee shop by day, live music bar by night. She sang there 5 nights a week because the exposure was great and so was the money.

Barry was already in his career as a forensic scientist working at CCPD with Joe. They both came by on Iris' performance nights for moral support. Barry had moved out of the West house right after he got his job at CCPD. He figured he had lived with Joe and Iris long enough. Plus he worked with Joe. He didn't want them to get tired of each other. Joe told him that his home was always with them, but Barry insisted. They still had their usual Sunday and Wednesday dinners when Iris wasn't singing at Jitters.

It was Sunday afternoon and Iris was working on new music with her friend and fellow barista Linda. Iris was hoping that Linda wouldn't bring up her favorite and least favorite topic: Barry. She kept insisting that Iris should say something to Barry. Iris always brushed her off. She didn't want to ruin what they had. It had to be done.

"So where did you get this idea?" Linda asks while they're sitting at the dining room table.

Iris looked up at her. "I don't know. It kind of just hit me one day. I hope I can pull it off." She says hopefully.

"Of course you can. People love to hear you sing."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence."

Linda treaded lightly. "Have you talked to Barry about it?" She asks casually.

Iris held in the sigh she wanted to let out. "No, not yet. I figure he'll find out when everyone else does."

"You sure have a habit of not telling him things." Linda says.

Iris did sigh this time. "Look. Today is a holy day. Don't make me curse at you."

Linda smiled. "Curse at me for what?" She asks in mock confusion.

"That subject that I don't want to talk about." Iris says almost harshly.

"Why not? You're only in love with your best friend. You act like it's the end of the world."

"It will be the end of the world if I tell him how I feel, and he says that I'm like his sister." Iris replies.

Linda laughed out loud. "He does not think of you as his sister."

"Of course he does. He knew me before I had breasts. He has seen me in my 'days of the week' panties. He used to run into my room and climb in my bed because he was afraid of the dark. He thinks of me as his sister." Iris adds painfully.

"You're just making excuses. I'm going to tell him myself." Linda taunts.

"You're not going to tell him anything." Iris says in a raised voice.

"Why not? He needs to know." She taunts more.

"Linda, if you tell him that I'm in love with him, they will never find your body. My dad is a cop. I can make it happen." Iris says.

"Jeez. You are brutal, Ms. West." She says. Iris goes back to working on her music. Suddenly, Barry walks in the door carrying grocery bags. "Speak of the devil." Linda says under her breath.

Barry felt his heart skip a beat at seeing Iris. He thought she looked great like this. She had her hair in a messy ponytail and had her glasses on. Nobody outside of the house has ever seen her in glasses and he thinks they look great on her. He told her and she just rolled her eyes. "Hey, Iris. Hey, Linda." He says as he walks further into the house.

"Hey, Bear." Iris says. She quickly took in Barry's appearance. The boy could open a cardigan store. He looked good in them though. His broad shoulders and his arms filled out the powder blue sweater nicely. He was such a huge dork and she loved him dearly.

"Hey, Bear. You look great." Linda says in a mildly seductive tone. She only said that to mess with Iris.

Iris hated how Linda greeted Barry. It was worse than how that nightmare of a girlfriend Becky Cooper greeted him. Iris just knew she would get touchy feely and start using that baby talk voice that she hated just to piss her off. Iris almost cheered when they broke up. Who is she kidding? She did cheer. She actually sang, "Ding dong the bitch is gone," until Linda had to beg her to stop.

Barry just squinted his eyes at Linda. She confused him sometimes. Sometimes she would treat him like her dorky cousin or something, then sometimes she would mildly flirt with him. He wasn't interested in her. It was hard to be interested in her when he was in love with her friend. Somedays he just wished that Iris would flirt with him the way Linda did. Maybe he'd spill his secret of being in love with her. He's been told he should so many times that if he had a nickel every time someone said it, he'd be rich. He couldn't. He was a huge nerd and Iris was a goddess. Plus she thought of him like a brother. He'd just be making an ass of himself if he told her that he loved her as more than a friend. They wouldn't even be friends anymore if he told her that. "Thanks, Linda." Barry says tentatively.

"What's all that?" Iris asks as she looks at him again.

"Just some things for tonight's dinner. Did you forget that it's my turn to cook?" He asks.

"No, I didn't forget. But you almost never bring groceries with you when you come here. That's why I asked."

"I know, but I needed to make sure I had this." He says as he pulls out a bottle of clam sauce.

Linda watched the exchange and wanted to laugh. She also wanted to make them join hands and go up to Iris' room and bang it out. It was ridiculous how blatantly obvious it was that they were in love with each other. "So, Barry. How's life?" She asks.

"Great. Can't complain. How are you?"

"Great. Can't complain. You seeing anyone?" Linda asks.

Iris looked over at Linda and the sly smile she had on her face. She wanted to slap Linda sometimes.

Barry just looked at her and furrowed his brow. He had the right mind to lie to her and tell her yes. He was afraid she would ask him out. "Uh…no…Not seeing anyone." He says and leaves it at that.

"Why?"

Barry looked at Linda again. Because I'm in love with her, he says to himself as he looks at Iris. "Uh…no reason."

"Is it due to lack of prospects? Because I happen to know this girl that would be perfect for you." Linda says and smiles widely.

"Perfect for me? Really?" He asks with much skepticism.

"Yup. She's perfect and perfect for you." She says and smiles widely again.

"What's wrong with her?" He asks.

"Nothing! She's gorgeous, smart, funny, talented, hard working, loyal, and dependable. What more could you ask for?"

Barry knew that a woman like that didn't exist. Except for Iris. Only Iris wasn't perfect for him. She was perfect for that pretty bastard named Eddie that worked at the station with them. He blatantly flirted with Iris right in front of him. Always referred to Barry as "Iris' brother" and Barry wanted to punch him for saying that. He was NOT her brother.

He decided to humor Linda anyway. He just knew she was talking about herself. "So, what's her name?"

"I'll give you a hint. It has an 'I' in it."

Iris exhaled loudly. "Linda. Didn't you say you had laundry to do?"

"Nope. I did it yesterday."

"Barry excuse us for a moment." Iris says as she stands and grabs Linda by the arm. She pulled her from the dining room and walked her to the door. She pushed her out of it and shut the door. "I should fucking kill you." She says as she scowls at her friend.

Linda just laughed. "What? I said it had an 'I' in it. Not that it started with 'I' and had another one in it. My name has an 'I' in it too."

"Go home and never come back." Iris says harshly.

Linda kissed Iris on the cheek. "I love you too. Have a good dinner with bae!" She says and then she's off.

"I'm going to fucking kill her." Iris says and she watches Linda hop in her car and drive away. "So much for me not cursing on a holy day."

She walked back into the house and found Barry in the kitchen. He pushed the sleeves to his sweater up and walked up to the sink and washed his hands. Iris pretended not to notice the veins rippling in his forearms.

Barry dried his hands and looked at Iris. "What was that all about?" He asks.

"Linda just being her obnoxious self. She's an only child. She does a lot of things for attention. She can't help herself." Iris says.

"We're both only children." Barry points out.

"Technically, we are. But we grew up together so…" Iris says.

Right. She thinks I'm her brother. Barry felt his heart sink. "You're right. Joe paid us both enough attention that we didn't have to act out for it."

"Plus we had each other." Iris says and smiles. She couldn't manage to say that she and Barry were like brother and sister. She hated that he thought of her that way. She hated that she felt that way about him. They never should have grown up together. Then Iris felt horrible for thinking that. Her life would suck without Barry in it. She couldn't really remember her life before he came along. She imagined them growing old together while they watched their grandchildren play in front of them. She wondered if her future husband would like Barry. He had to. She wondered if she would like his future wife. She figured she had to as well. As long as it wasn't Becky Cooper, or anyone like her.

Barry smiled because Iris' smile was infectious. He hoped her smile was the last thing he saw before he took his last breath. He remembered the first time he saw her smile clear as day. That's the day his life started. "That we did." He says. He felt a little sad thinking that one day, he'd have to move on and marry someone, and so would she. He figured he would have a female best man, since Iris is his best friend, if that made sense. Iris teased that he would be her "Male of Honor", though it killed her to think that. She wanted to marry him. But he thought of her like a sister. The universe gave her Barry, but not all of him. She had to make the best of it.

Iris watched Barry get a little lost in thought. "Are you ok, Bear?"

Barry shook his head and put on a fake smile. "Yeah, sure. I'm just wondering about what Linda said."

"Oh?" Iris asks in confusion. Why is he thinking about what Linda said.

"Do you…uh…think she was…trying…to hit on me?" Barry asks.

Iris felt like she had been shot with darts. What? Why is he asking me this? She asked herself. "I don't know…"

"Oh." Barry says and now wishes he had never said anything.

"Are you interested? In Linda?" Iris asks in a semi scared tone. She did NOT want to hear the answer. She would have to pour herself a stiff drink if he said yes.

Barry hunched his shoulders. "I don't know. Maybe."

Iris felt all the air leave her lungs. She wanted to scream. "Well…ask her out. I guess…" She says.

"Do you think you could find out if she wants me to first? I don't wanna get shot down." Barry says and cringes, though he wanted it to look like a smile. He didn't even know why he was asking Iris that. He wasn't interested in Linda. But wishful thinking wanted him to date her to see if Iris would get jealous. Who was he kidding? Iris wasn't interested in him. She was out of his league anyway. She dated pretty boys like Detective Thawne.

"Sure." Iris lies.

No way in the fucking world was she asking Linda that.


Iris had a rough evening with Barry and her dad. After Barry dropped that asking Linda out bombshell, all she wanted to do was go to her room and put on some sad ass music. She kept it together as best as she could, but Joe and Barry picked up on her not being herself. She went to bed with a headache and a heavy heart. Barry was going to meet someone. It was just a matter of time. And while she knew it wouldn't be Linda, she'd still have to watch him be with someone else. She decided right then and there that if Barry met someone and got engaged, she would leave Central City. She would. And only come back for holidays. She didn't deem it possible to watch some other woman become Mrs. Barry Allen. Maybe she'd give Detective Thawne a shot. He was hot. He liked her. But she knew she'd only be dating him to get over Barry. And to see if Barry got jealous.

She laughed out loud at that. Barry? Jealous? Of me with someone? That's laughable. He never liked any of her boyfriends because he always said she deserved better than those clowns. Of course he thought that. He was like her brother.

Ugh! Iris thought as she got dressed and headed in for her shift at Jitters.

Linda was already there. Iris mumbled "Good morning" as she put her apron on.

"Rough night?" She asks.

"You can say that."

"Did you spend all night having sex with bae?" Linda asks playfully.

Iris looked at her and frowned. "No, I did not. I spent all night thinking about Barry meeting someone. Oh, and he wants to know if he should ask you out by the way." She almost snapped.

Linda laughed. "What?"

"He wanted to know if you were hitting on him and if he should ask you out. He told me to get the green light."

"Are you shitting me? That was your chance to tell him."

"What was I supposed to say, Linda? I'm sorry Barry, but you can't ask Linda out because I'm in love with you and have been since we were kids. I know we grew up in the same house and some might think we're like brother and sister, though we're not because we share no DNA, but I still love you and want to have many babies with you."

"Yes! That's exactly what you say." Linda urges.

"I'm not telling him that."

"Well, you should. He's about as in love as you are. Probably more."

Iris scoffed. "Barry is not in love with me."

"Speak of the devil again. I'm beginning to think this dork has us bugged." Linda says as she watched Barry approach them.

Iris looked up and saw Barry rushing towards them. Always late. He'd be late to his own funeral. He had on his usual uniform, button down, jeans, Chucks, and a blazer. He was so boring and predictable. She loved that about him though. "Hey. Good morning." He says to them both. He smiled at Iris despite the weird family dinner they had.

"Hey. Good morning." Iris says.

"Good morning, Barry." Linda says and smiles. She felt like fucking with Barry and Iris. "So, Barry. Iris told me you wanted to ask me out and I accept."

Iris jerked her head to look at Linda. She had that smile on her face. Iris wasn't in the mood for it at the moment. Not even in the mood for Linda's shit.

Barry looked more shocked than Iris did. "What?" He asks.

"I accept your offer for a date. How does tonight sound?" Linda asks.

"Uh….tonight? Yeah…tonight. Ok." Barry reluctantly says. He didn't know what else to say.

"Great. I'll pick you up at 7." Linda says.

"You'll pick me up? Shouldn't I pick you up?"

"No offense, but you're always late. I'll pick you up." Linda says and giggles.

"Ok."

Iris made Barry's usual in silence. She just gave him his cup without a word. "Thanks, Iris." Barry says. He slid her a $5 bill and walked towards the door.

Iris then looked at Linda with fury in her eyes. "I fucking hate you."

Linda laughed.


Barry made his way to the station with his date with Linda on his mind. He noticed Iris' reaction and wondered what that was about. She seemed…angry? Pissed off? Did he dare say jealous? No, she wasn't jealous. She's never jealous. She wasn't jealous of Becky. She just hated her.

Barry sighed and picked his heart up from the floor as he ran into his friend and weapons specialist, Cisco Ramon. He almost spilled his coffee on him. "Sorry, Cisco. Hey. Good morning." Barry says glumly.

"Good morning. No harm, no foul man. What's with the long face?" Cisco asks.

"Weird family dinner last night. And I have a date tonight." Barry says in a less than enthusiastic tone.

"You have a date tonight? With who? Iris? You should sound a lot happier than that, man."

"No, not with Iris. I wish. I have a date with Linda."

"Linda? As in Iris' friend, Linda? Really? How in the hell did that happen?" Cisco wonders.

"Linda was at the house when I got there yesterday. She asked me if I was seeing anyone. Told me she knew someone that was perfect for me and that her name had an 'I' in it. I asked Iris about it and she got a little huffy. I saw them at Jitters this morning and Linda told me Iris talked to her. She asked me out right on the spot. She's picking me up at 7."

Cisco wanted to laugh at this ridiculous situation. Barry was so clueless about Iris that it was insulting to watch considering how smart he is. It's obvious Linda was trying to play matchmaker. And this idiot was about to go on a date with her. "You don't think that's weird?" Cisco asks.

"Of course it's weird. But what can I do? Iris thinks of me as her brother. I can't ruin 20 years of friendship over something silly like my feelings."

"But why would you go out on a date with Linda? The friend of your best friend whom you just happen to be in love with. Are you trying to make Iris jealous?" Cisco asks.

"No, I'm not trying to make Iris jealous. How can she get jealous? She has Detective Pretty Boy." Barry says bitterly. He didn't even realize that he said "Detective Pretty Boy" or Eddie's name in almost the same tone as Iris said, "Becky Cooper."

Those 2 dorks would be the death of everyone around them.

"He just likes her right? She's not dating him, last I heard. Or did something change?"

"I don't think they're dating. Iris would have told me. She tells me everything." Barry looked at his watch. He was already late as hell. "I gotta go. Captain Singh will be on my ass if I'm too late again. Check you later."

"Alright." Cisco says. He watched Barry walk away and chuckled to himself. It was funny to him how Iris told him everything, yet she hasn't told Barry that she loves him.


Iris went home to rest up for her gig at Jitters. She needed to be on for her performance. She was starting something new tonight. She hoped it went over well. She really wanted to showcase how talented she hoped she was.

She also tried not to think of Barry and Linda. She didn't speak to Linda unless it was necessary the rest of the day. She hadn't talked to Barry either. Maybe he was excited about his date.

Maybe he was nervous and getting ready. He was taking it seriously. Linda wasn't. At least Iris hoped that she wasn't. She knew how she felt about Barry. She didn't think Linda would betray her in that way. Then she started thinking that if she had to watch Barry date someone and become serious about her, it could be Linda since she actualy likes her. Then she thought, "Fuck that." She didn't want Barry dating her friends. She wasn't that free. She didn't want him after one of her friends had him either, no matter how in love she was. There are just some things that friends shouldn't share, and dates are one of them. She didn't want him dating anyone except for her.

But he was about to go out on a date with her friend. It was enough to make her want to pull her damn hair out.

At least she had singing at the club to distract her from it. And she really had to focus and be in the zone for the new thing she was starting. She wanted to do something fresh and different. She got excited about it and went on and got herself ready to rehearse with the band and go over a few things. She was glad that it was Monday and the club wouldn't be as busy as it is on Friday and Saturday nights. She could work out the kinks, and if it didn't work, she could drop it before it got to her busiest nights. she got really excited again as she drove to Jitters. So excited she put Barry and Linda completely out of her mind.


Barry was almost a complete trainwreck his whole day at work. He kept thinking about his date with Linda. He didn't really want to go on a date with her. He felt like he somehow got tricked into that. It was hard to explain. Maybe subconsciously, he wanted to make Iris jealous. But that bombed. He knew he could never make her jealous by dating someone. She just wasn't in to him in that way. She thought he was her nerdy best friend/foster brother. He was NOT her brother.

He wanted to think of a way to cancel this date. It wasn't really a date anyway. Barry felt like kicking himself for the situation he was now in. He was standing in his room, in his boxers and tee shirt, just staring into his closet. He needed to get dressed for his date. His date with Linda. He should laugh about it, though it wasn't particularly funny. He really didn't want to go on a date with Linda. He liked her as a friend and cool girl and that's all. He was not interested in Linda. He was interested in Iris. He was in love with her. And he was going on a date with her friend. He never should have asked Iris to ask Linda that hoping it would make her jealous. Of course it didn't. She told Linda. And now they were going on a date. He groaned in agony. Then he heard a knock at his door. He had spent so much time obsessing over the date and looking for something to wear that he was late as hell. As usual.

He slipped on some jeans and went to the door. He was expecting to see Linda, and sure enough, there she was. He took in her appearance and saw that she was just wearing jeans, a blouse and leather jacket. She wasn't all decked out so maybe she wasn't taking the date seriously. He hoped that was the case.

She looked at him standing there at his door and chuckled. "You aren't ready yet?" She asks incredulously.

"No, I'm not ready yet." Barry replies in a snarky tone.

"Now you see why I insisted on picking you up?"

"Funny."

"Just throw on a shirt and some shoes and we can go. Or do you want me to pick something out for you?" Linda playfully asks.

"Where are we going anyway?" Barry asks as he turns towards his bedroom.

"Jitters. We're going to hear Iris sing." Linda couldn't wait for his reaction.

He stopped dead in his tracks. "Going to Jitters? Why? Why…why would we go there for our date?"

"Because Jitters is awesome. It's quiet on Monday nights. It'll give us time to talk and really connect."

Barry felt a sense of dread. And hope. Maybe this would be enough to make Iris jealous and want him. He didn't want to use Linda like that, but he was desperate. Well, almost. He wasn't so far gone that he would just confess his undying love for her and just say goodbye to her and their friendship. She definitely wouldn't want to be friends with him after that. She thought of him as her brother. He thought about that constantly and hated that it made him feel like a weirdo. Iris was in the exact same boat. Too bad neither one of them was brave enough to tell the other what they were feeling.


Iris rehearsed a few times with the live band as usual before she got ready. She then dressed in a emerald green sweater dress and boots. She smiled when she thought that the green matched Barry's eyes. She was thinking more and more along those lines lately and didn't know why. She just finished getting ready for her performance and hit the stage. She wondered if any of her family and friends were there. That's when she really started to think about Barry and Linda again. She wondered where they went on their date. She didn't want to hear a thing about it.

She walked on to the little stage and got ready. Her nerves had almost completely gone away. She had wonderful stage presence and rapport with the crowd. Most of them were regulars and loved her act. They even told her she should try to sing professionally, but it was just a hobby that she loved dearly. Journalism was her true calling.

"Hello everyone. How are you guys feeling tonight?" Iris asks the crowd.

She got an onslaught of cheers and greetings. She just usually sang 2 or 3 songs while the band just played. She started out with a classic that everyone that has ever heard music before has heard. Then she decided to test the waters with the new thing she wanted to start.

She had no idea that Barry and Linda were in the crowd. Linda figured her plan to bring Barry there was brilliant. She had an idea. One she was going to see pan out. Even if it killed her.

Barry just sat in awe and watched Iris perform like he always did. He admired her and her talent. He loved how much of a good performer she was. He wished that he could do that. He was too shy to put himself out there like Iris did. Plus her voice did something to him. He loved hearing her sing. Always did, always would.

"Ok. So I had this idea. Trying to improve my craft a little. Hopefully I won't bomb and you guys will have to boo me off the stage." Iris says and smiles. "So, I'm going to randomly select four people to give me a word. A small word, or a big one. Doesn't really matter. And I'm going to sing you a song off the top of my head and incorporate those four words into it. How does that sound? Do you guys think I can do it?" Iris asks and gets plenty of cheers. "Ok, so the rules are nothing too profane or vulgar. And don't go too crazy on me. This is my first time."

Iris was met with some whistles from that. A guy a table over from Linda and Barry asked, "Can I be your first?"

She looked at him and shook her finger at him and smiled. She couldn't help but notice that he was cute. Not as cute as Barry, but cute. Then she noticed Linda and Barry. She said, "Shitshitshitshitshit!" to herself several times though she wanted to say it into the microphone. She kept her smile on her face and waved at them.

Barry noticed the look on Iris' face when she saw him and Linda together. It was one of surprise and something else. He wondered what. He thought he knew all her emotions by now. He hoped, really wished that it was jealousy, though he never wanted to hurt Iris. But of course she wasn't jealous. She looked ok with waving at them.

"Iris looks great, doesn't she?" Linda asks.

"Yeah. But she always looks great." Barry adds truthfully.

Iris smiled at the audience after that minor blip. "So let's get started. Give me four words."

She pointed to two women and two men and got back:

"Crazy."

"Running."

"Scary."

"Fight."

"Alright. I think I can work with that." Iris says. She gave the band a signal and started to sing…

I wanna be good to you baby, ooh
(Call me crazy but I think I found the love of my life, that's right)
Have you ever felt warm on a cold, cold night?
That's how it get you when you least expect it, and you can't reject it
That crazy little tingling feeling pain in your chest yes

You feel that fire, just let it burn
There's no running when it's your turn
(Call me crazy but I think I found the love of my life)
Just let it burn
Let it, let it burn
Just let it burn
Let it, let it burn
(Call me crazy but I think I found the love of my life)

Feel it crippling your heart
Ooh baby can you feel it tearing you apart?
That's right that's love
When it comes, you never wanna give it up
And baby, I'm caught in the light and I ain't gonna fight it
There's no use in tryin', I'm yours
And I want you to want me the way that I want you and more
(So if you ready to take this ride
We could go all around the world baby
Shit, we could even go to the stars if you like)
I know it's scary
Cause someone always gets hurt when you're caring
And I felt that way too
But ready or not, it's coming for you

You feel that fire, just let it burn
There's no running when it's your turn
(Call me crazy but I think I found the love of my life)
Just let it burn
Let it, let it burn
Just let it burn
Let it, let it burn
(Call me crazy but I think I found the love of my life)

You can't get away from love
Come on yours and get you some
Watch what It'll make you do
Knock the cool right outta you (that's love)

You feel that fire, just let it burn
There's no running when it's your turn
(Call me crazy but I think I found the love of my life)
Just let it burn
Let it, let it burn
Just let it burn
Let it, let it burn
(Call me crazy but I think I found the love of my life)

Iris finished singing and was met with applause. People were deeply impressed in how she just came up with a song off the top of her head like that. The guy at the next table seemed to almost be in love as much as Barry.

"Wow. She's amazing!" The guy says to his friend.

"Yeah, she is."

"She's gorgeous too. I wonder if she's available." The guy says.

Barry felt his blood boil. Linda noticed it and decided to fuck with Barry some more. She leaned over to the guys at the table. "She's available." She says to the guy.

"She is?" He asks in surprise. He was surprised that a woman that beautiful was available.

"Yup. We're her friends and I know for a fact that she's available. This is her best friend here. Has been since they were kids." Linda says and smiles.

The guys looked at Linda and Barry. Then they looked at Iris again. "That's your best friend?"

"Yes." Barry replies.

They then looked at Linda. "How long have you two been together?"

Linda laughed. "Oh, we're not together. This is our first date though. Right, Barry?"

"Right." Barry replies.

The guys looked at each other and then back at them. They just shrugged and looked at Iris on the stage again. Linda knew what they were thinking. Everybody thought it. "What?" She asks and smiles.

"Oh, nothing." The dark haired one says.

"No, tell me. I'm curious to what you have to say." Linda says. She wanted to show this fool that she was on a fake date with how even strangers could see what was clear as hell.

"Well, we're not trying to offend either of you. Honest. Especially you because you're pretty, but..." The guy trailed off. He couldn't finish it without sounding like a jerk.

"You're wondering how she's available, and they're friends, yet he's on a first date with me. Am I right?" Linda asks.

All three guys look at her in shock. Barry turned red. "What?" He says as he looks at her some more.

"Yes, that's exactly it. Like you never tried to get with her?" The other guy asks.

"Nope." Barry says bitterly.

"Did she put you in the friendzone?"

"Nope. She put me in the brotherzone." Barry says, again in a bitter tone.

"Wow. Sorry, man."

Linda laughed out loud. "No, she didn't."

"Yes, she did. Linda, don't start. She thinks of me like her brother."

"No, she doesn't." She other guys were interested in what was going on. "I'll prove it. Iris!" Linda calls and waves Iris over.

"What are you doing?" Barry asks in a hushed whisper.

"You'll see."

Iris sighed but walked over to the table anyway. She tried not to let her emotions show too much. She wanted to keep stage Iris out for the moment. She wasn't in the mood for Barry and Linda though. She really wasn't. "Hey, you guys. I didn't think you were coming tonight." She says and smiles.

"I wanted to see how your new act would go. You did great." Linda says truthfully.

"Yeah, you really did." Barry says.

"Thanks." Iris exclaims happily.

"You look great by the way. Your dress matches Barry's eyes." Linda says to fuck with them. They were ridiculous.

Iris cut her eyes at Linda. Barry just looked at her and wished she would shut the hell up. Iris blushed and looked at Barry. He blushed too and locked eyes with her. Iris self consciously looked down at her dress and back at Barry. "I guess it does."

Linda subtly looked at Jesse and Tyler. She knew they could feel the sexual tension as well.

"We made some new friends." Linda says as she turns to the guys at the table. "They loved your song."

"We did. I'm Tyler." He says and sticks out his hand.

"He's right. You're amazing. Name's Jesse." He says and shakes her hand too.

Iris beamed. "Thank you. I'm Iris. I'm glad you came by. I'm here every night except for Wednesday. That's family dinner night." She says and just subtly looks at Barry. "Well, I'll do another song since you guys liked it." Iris says and she's off.

Jesse and Tyler exchanged glances and then looked at Linda and Barry. They shook their heads again. Linda just watched them. "So, what did you think?" She asks. They both took sips of their drinks to not answer. "Oh, come on. You might as well say it." Linda urges.

"Well, it's painfully obvious that you're in love with her." Jesse says to Barry.

"It is." Tyler agrees.

"Really? Is it really that obvious?" Barry asks.

"Yes. Here's the thing. It's painfully obvious that she's in love with you too." Jesse adds.

"Thank you!" Linda almost yells.

"Wait, you're not upset?" Tyler asks Linda.

"No, not at all. I'm trying to get these two idiots together."

"Then why are you two on a date?" Jesse asks.

"Because I'm trying to get these two idiots together."

"By making her jealous?" Tyler asks.

"Something like that." Linda says.

Barry was about to lose his shit over this. "Wait? What? Iris is not in love with me." He says.

"She is." Jesse says. "You don't see the way she looks at you? It's almost how you look at her. You're seriously the heart eyes emoji when you look at her."

Barry was confused as hell. He felt like he had been set up. Maybe this was some joke between Iris and Linda. He wondered why Iris would do something so cruel. Linda too. Those other dudes didn't matter. It's obvious Linda knows them and got them to say that. He was ready to leave.

"Ok, since you guys liked that so much, I'll give it another shot. Give me four words people." Iris says and again picks out two men and two women. She got back:

"Clue."

"Innocent."

"Time."

"Daydream."

Iris again gave her signal to the band and started to sing.

I coulda been the one you noticed
I coulda been the one for you
I coulda been like all the others
Is that what I'm supposed to do?
I don't wanna be disappointing
I don't wanna have to prove
How I really feel about you
But you don't even have a clue

I try to be sensitive
I try to be tough
I try to walk away
I try to be innocent
I try to be rough
But I just wanna play

You're my daydream, you know that I've been thinking about you lately
And every time I look at you
I can't explain I feel insane, I can't get away
You're my daydream

You're making me insane
And you know, and you know, and you know, and you know,
You're doing it again

If I tell you what I'm thinking,
If I let myself trust you
Can you give me what I'm missing
Can you make my dreams come true

I try to be sensitive
I try to be tough
I try to walk away,
I try to be innocent
I try to be rough
But I just wanna play

You're my daydream, you know that I've been thinking about you lately
And every time I look at you
I can't explain how I feel insane, I can't get away
You're my daydream, yeah

And you know, and you know, and you know, and you know,
You're making me insane
And you know, and you know, and you know, and you know,
You're doing it again
And you know, and you know, and you know, and you know,
You're making me insane
And you know, and you know, and you know,
You're doin' it again

She was again met with applause at coming up with a song just that fast. Linda looked over at Barry. Iris would kill her, but she was tired of caring. They needed to be together. "She's singing about you, you dork."

"She is not singing about me."

LInda sighed. "She is. You're too smart to be this stupid."

"So, what should I do Linda? Ask her out?" He asks just to play along. He knew that Iris didn't love him the way he was in love with her. He started thinking she really couldn't love him at all to go along with whatever she and Linda were up to. He needed to talk to her alone. He would do it at family dinner night Wednesday.


Iris was having much success with her new gimmick. It brought in more people and she got more requests for songs. She was finding it hard to keep up, but she loved it. She was glad that it was Wednesday and she could rest up. Plus she wanted to see Barry. Without Linda around starting shit. He came in Jitters for his morning fix, but he seemed distant. She wondered what that was about. Maybe he was really liking Linda. She hated that thought. She hoped that wasn't it. Maybe he met someone else. Then she would have a whole new set of worries.

She was standing in the kitchen looking in the freezer when Barry came in. She was expecting him and her father. They usually came home together. Maybe Joe still had some paperwork or something to finish. She looked at Barry and could tell something was wrong. "Are you ok, Bear?" She asks. She feels like she's been asking him that a lot lately.

Barry frowned but tried to hide it. He didn't want to frown at Iris. It was hard to. He loved her so much. He was kind of messed up about what was going on. "I just have a lot on my mind."

"Wanna talk about it? You know I'm a good listener." Iris says and smiles, hoping it will get him feeling better.

He searched her face and only saw love and concern. Iris would never hurt him. This was all his shit. "It's about Linda." Barry says. He saw the look on Iris' face and wondered what it was. Then he realized what it was. Iris didn't want to talk about Linda with him.

What? About Linda? Oh, fuck no! This can't be happening. Iris thought to herself. She put on her best friend hat anyway. "Ok. What about Linda?" Iris braced herself for the inevitable heartbreak.

"Well, I really like her." Barry lies. He looked at Iris. He didn't like the look on her face. Was Linda right? Could Iris really be in love with me too?

Iris felt like she had been splashed with ice cold water. Then kicked in the gut. "Ok." Is all she says. It's all she can say.

"Do you not like me liking Linda?" Barry asks timidly.

"What?" No, I don't like it.

"You're not jealous, are you?" Please say yes.

"What?" Yes, I'm jealous! "Why would I be jealous?" Iris asks to buy herself some time.

Barry looked at her intently. He could tell Iris was lying to him. "I don't know Iris."

"I don't know what to tell you, Bear." I want to tell you that I love you, but I can't. And now you like my friend.

Barry opened his mouth to say something else, when Joe walked in. "Hey kids." He says when he walked into the kitchen. He immediately felt the tension. "What's going on with you two?"

"Nothing. We were just talking. I'll let Barry tell you what about." Iris says.

Barry just looked at Joe and the expectant look on his face. "It's nothing important."

Iris was ready to end this family dinner night. "Dad. Bear. I think you two will be on your own for dinner tonight." She says in a sad tone.

"Why? What's wrong?" Joe asks.

"I just suddenly don't feel so well. I'm going upstairs to lay down." She didn't even say goodbye. She just went to her room. This shit was not supposed to happen like this. She wanted to strangle Linda. This was all her fault.

"What the hell is going on, Barry?" Joe asks once Iris is gone.

"I don't know what you mean." Barry lies.

Joe looked at Barry. Even though he wasn't his father, he has watched this boy grow up and knew him just as well as he knew his own flesh and blood. "Yes, you do. What's going on with you and Iris?"

"Nothing." Barry says bitterly.

Joe looked at Barry like he was truly stupid. "You don't think I know what's going on in my house with my kids?"

Barry became flustered. "What? And I know you took me in and raised me, but I am not your kid, Joe."

"You don't want me to call you my kid because you're in love with my kid. Right?" Joe asks as looks at Barry almost crumble in front of him.

"Joe...I..."

"You love Iris." Joe says surely.

"Yeah..."

"And you feel bad because of what you just said. But you shouldn't. You two have two totally different sets of parents. I didn't raise you two as brother and sister. I took you in, and raised you like your father would have wanted me to, but you're right, you're not my kid. But you are."

"So, you can tell that I'm in love with her?"

"Everybody can, Barry."

"How long have you known for?"

Joe laughed. "I have watched you be in love with Iris since before you even knew what love was. And you lived in my house. I could've kicked you out, but I didn't. Because it's not weird that you're in love with your best friend. She's not your sister. She's your friend. Big difference. And you are my kid. Do you think people think it's weird for people to call their in laws mom and dad?"

"No, it's not. But you're not my father in law, Joe."

"I know." Is all Joe says. Yet, is what he thought to himself.


Iris pretty much stayed holed up in her room until she had a early class the next day. She was glad that she didn't have the morning shift at Jitters. She didn't want to see Barry. She didn't get her wish. She ran into them leaving as she was coming in.

"Iris. Hey!" Linda says happily.

"Hey!" Iris matched her tone. "Hey, Bear!"

"Hey, Iris." Barry says. He was messed up about the evening before, but was happy to see Iris back to her normal self. He hates seeing her upset.

"Where are you two off to?" Iris asks.

"Oh, we have a lunch date." Barry says happily.

"Oh?" She says and looks at Linda. She wanted to kill Linda. She had a feeling Linda got to know Barry and realized how amazing he is. Iris now hated Linda's guts.

"Yeah. We should be going. You don't need to get back to work too late." Linda says.

"Right. We'll see you later, Iris." Barry says.

"Yup. Later, Iris." Linda says happily.

And then they were off. Iris watched her heart leave with them.


Iris successfully avoided Barry and Linda for the rest of the day and the next one as well. Saturday morning, Linda came over. Iris saw that it was her at the door when she opened it and slammed it shut in her face. "You can't avoid me forever!" Linda yelled as she pounded on the door. Iris just went back to her room.

Joe came downstairs and opened the door. "Linda. What's going on?"

"Can I come in?" She asks.

"Why did Iris slam the door in your face?" He asks before he lets her in.

"Can I come in and explain?" Linda says.

"Sure." Joe stepped aside and let her in.

Linda looked around. "Where is she?" She whispered.

"Upstairs in her room. So, what's going on?"

"I went out on a date with Barry." Linda says.

Joe sighed. "So that's why she's upset?"

"Can you just make her tell him she loves him? Or make him tell her? Or you just tell her?" Linda asks.

"That's not for me to tell, Linda. Though I've thought about doing it for years." Joe admits.

"So you're ok with them getting together?"

"Yes. They belong together."

"That's what I said. They both think the other thinks of them as a sibling. It's so nerve wracking. I only went out with Barry to make her jealous so that she would finally say something. I kind of hinted something to Barry. He lied and told her he really likes me-" Linda starts but Joe interrupts her.

"That's what she was upset about at family dinner night. She didn't even stay. Said she didn't feel well. So Barry said that to get her to confess?"

"Yeah, but she didn't. He thinks I'm wrong, that I'm lying. I'm sorry, but I had to do something. This is getting out of hand."

"I agree. Especially since they're both depressed. And now she's mad at you." Joe says.

"I know. I would never do anything to hurt Iris. I love her."

"Go on up." Is all Joe says.

"Thanks." Linda says and runs up the steps. She went to Iris' room. "Iris, please let me in."

Iris just went over and snatched the door open. "Why are you here? Shouldn't you be having brunch or something with Barry?"

"You know damn well I don't like Barry. I wouldn't do that to you. I don't want a guy that my friend loves. That's definitely breaking the girl code. Too many guys out here for that." Linda says.

"I know." Iris says and pouts.

"Cheer up. You have to perform tonight." Linda says and gives her a hug. She kissed her on the cheek. "I just needed to see your face and give you a hug. I love you and I'll try to be there tonight. I have a real date this time." Linda says and winks.

"With who?" Iris asks skeptically.

"That guy Jesse that was there the other night. He asked me out."

"While you were on a date with another guy?"

"Iris, everybody knew that wasn't a real date." She says and laughs then she's off.

She said a few more words to Joe before she left the West house.


Iris went to Jitters to rehearse. Saturday nights was a big night for them. They always had a huge turnout. And she really needed to be sharper because of the bigger crowd. Maybe she'd get to do more songs with her new gig. She was really loving it. She was no longer mad at Linda, but she was hurt about Barry. He really liked Linda. And she clearly wasn't interested. She loved him and he thought of her as his sister. They hadn't really spoken in days. It seemed longer than that. She needed her Bear back. As if on cue, Barry walked into Jitters just as she looked up. She instantly smiled at seeing him.

His heart soared at seeing her. It just made everything better. Iris would always have to be a part of his life. She had to be. Unless he was dead or in a coma or something. "Hey. Are you feeling better?" He asks kind of awkwardly as he stands and just stares at her.

"Yeah. I feel a lot better. Thanks. How are you?"

"I'm great." He says and smiles.

"How are things going with Linda?"

"Why did you say it like that?"

Iris smiled. "Like what?"

"Like the way you used to say Becky Cooper."

Iris frowned. "Don't bring that name up to me."

"Why?"

"Because she was a nightmare and you never should have gone out with her."

"So Linda is Becky level? That's your friend." Barry says.

"I wouldn't go that far. Yeah, she's my friend. I just don't think she's the right one for you." Iris says.

"Do you have someone in mind?" Barry nervously asks.

Iris smiled then laughed. "No, not really." She lies. "But I'll think about it."

"I'm going to hold you to that." Barry says. "Well, I just wanted to check on you to see if you were feeling alright. I can't make it tonight. I switched with Patty because she has a family thing to go to."

"What about Patty? She might be good for you." Iris suggests.

Barry shook his head. "Nah. Patty is not the woman for me. I'll see you, Iris." Barry says and then he's off.

Iris just watched him leave. She couldn't help but notice he seemed not as awkward as his normal self and wondered why. She just went back to what she was doing until it was time for her to get ready. She decided to wear this form fitting white dress, that looked amazing on her. She had to look great for her large crowd.

And what a large crowd she had. She was a little sad that Barry and Linda wouldn't be there, which she would have found suspicious, but she let it go. She saw her father and Cisco and was happy to have them there. They both gave her a thumbs up as she took the small stage. "Hello everyone! I'm so happy to see all of you tonight. As some of you may know, I started doing this new thing where I would ask the audience for four words, and I would incorportate them into a song that I just make up cold turkey. It's been going well. Thankfully, people haven't been giving me too many crazy words. Like typewriter, or unicorn, prison or something. Can we keep that going?" Iris asks and laughs, so does the audience. "Ok, let's get started. Ground rules, nothing vulgar or profane. So, give me four words." She did like she normally does and pointed to two women and two men. She got back:

"Ecstacy."

"Joy."

"Always."

"Prison."

Iris just looked at the guy that gave her prison. "Really? Prison?" She says and smiles. She looked at the band and they started to play.

Such a good feeling
That's where I want to be (Yeah)
Locked in your prison
Of total ecstacy (All right, all right)
You're so strong and you're so together (Baby)
Next you there is nothing better

Always there (To please you)
Always there (When I need you)
Always there (To love you)
Always there (Thinkin' of you)

And if you want to
If you want to do it too

There's nothing better than being here with you
Cause your love is a precious treasure (Baby)
Only you can bring me joy and pleasure

Always there
Always there (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Always there
Always there (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

Always there
Gotta be there baby

Iris finished singing and was met with applause as usual. She was really loving the reception she was getting from this. She looked at the guy that told her prison. "You really thought you got me with that word prison, didn't you? What's next? Lions, tigers and bears. Oh my?"

The audience clapped and said, "Yes!"

Iris laughed and said, "That's more than four words, but I'll do it. Give me a sec." She stepped back and talked to the band. They were laughing and eager to play.

I'm not scared of lionsand tigers and bears (oh my)
But I'm scared of (loving you)
I'm not scared to perform at a sold out affair (that's right)
But I'm scared of (loving you)
Am I the only one who thinks an impossible task?
Why it don't last? Is that too much to ask?
Why do we love Love, when Love seems to hate us?

Sorry if I sound so filled with gloom
You say you care and I know you do
But this is from my experience
And my conclusion only makes sense
Just cause I love u and u love me,
It doesn't mean that that we're meant to be,
I can climb mountains, swim cross the seas,
But the most frightening thing is you & me!

Most circumstances I know my fate
But in this love thing I don't get the game
Why does it feel like those who give in,
They only wind up losing a friend?
Just cause I love u and u love me,
It doesn't mean that that we'll ever be,
Fly cross the ocean, sing for the Queen,
But the most frightening thing is you & me!

I'm not sure no, I'm not sure
But if we never try we'll never know
It's better to have loved than not to love at all
But trying is worst than to stumble and fall
And if what we do?
I'd rather it be with you
Cause at least there will be
Sweet memories

The crowd really went wild after that. They couldn't believe she sang a song based off lions, tigers, and bears, oh my. "Guys. This is so much fun." She says. She looked up and saw Linda come in with that Jesse guy and waved. She saw them walk up to Cisco and her father. "As I was saying, this is so much fun. It was just an idea I had that I thought I would bomb on. But I'm happy to say I haven't so far. Now I know I asked for you guys to not go too crazy, but I really want you to stump me this time. Ok? Now, ladies and gentlemen, give me four words. Four good words." Iris says happily and again points to two women and two men. She got back:

"Will."

"You."

"Marry."

"Me."

She looked at the audience like they were crazy. "Really? You expect, "Will you marry me," to stump me? If I wasn't doing this, I'd really think someone was really asking me to marry them." She says and then just laughs.

"Someone is." Iris heard someone say and she knows that without a doubt it's Barry's voice.

She looked around and finally saw him walk past Linda, Jesse, Joe, and Cisco. "What's going on?" She asks Barry as he approaches her. Iris almost lost her shit when he got down on one knee and actually opened a box. And it had a fucking ring in it. What is he doing? "Barry, what are you doing?" She asks lowly as to not embarrass either of them.

"I'm asking you to marry me. Iris, I love you. Will you marry me?" Barry asks. He was nervous as hell, but the good kind of nervous.

Iris blinked away tears and looked at the audience and then back at Barry. "Is this a joke?" She asks just to be sure.

"No, It's not a joke. I would never joke with you like that. I'm serious. Iris, I love you. I always have. Will you marry me?" Barry asks again.

"I love you too, Barry. I always have. Yes, I'll marry you." Iris says and Barry quickly put the ring on her finger and hopped to his feet. He kissed Iris like he had been dying to his whole life. He picked her up and pulled her into his arms. He has always wanted to do that too since he's so tall and she's so short.

The audience practically went wild. Barry finally put Iris down and held her hand. "Congratulations!" The audience yelled out.

"You guys were in on it, huh?" Iris asks and laughs as she wipes away another tear. "I just need a moment. I know you guys don't mind." She says and leaves the stage. The band just started to play as she pulled Barry off to the side. They needed some alone time.

"You didn't just say yes to not embarrass me, did you?" Barry asks nervously.

"Of course not. I said yes because I wanted to. But how did you find out? How did you do this?"

"Linda." Barry says happily. "I didn't know until that fake date. She kind of told me that you were singing to me and that we were both idiots in thinking that we didn't love each other back. I really thought you thought of me as your brother, that's why I never said anything. But even the guys at the table could see that I was in love with you. They said that you were in love with me too. At first I thought Linda put them up to it, but we had a really nice talk. I told you I really liked her to get you to tell me, but you didn't. Then that lunch date was us picking out your ring. I was going to do it earlier, but you still weren't biting. I had to take this last chance. After I told Linda I would kill her and make sure no evidence was ever found if you said no."

"I told her I would kill her too. I told her they would never find her body, but..." Iris dropped that thought as she kissed Barry again. It felt so, so good to kiss him. "But Barry, how can we just up and get married? We haven't even been on a date."

"Iris, we've been dating since we were 5. But I'll take you on a date if you insist." Barry says.

"I would like that very much. Plus the other thing." Iris jokes as she looks up at him.

"What other thing?"

"Sex. What if it's bad?"

"Well, there's only one way to find out." Barry says and grabs her hand and marches toward the front door.

Joe, Linda, Jesse and Cisco just watched them leave. "I don't think she's coming back to sing." Joe says.

"Doubtful." Cisco replies.

Linda laughed. "That's a negative. We won't see them for days."


A/N 2: This story contained lyrics of "Let It Burn" and "Lions, Tigers, and Bears" by Jazmine Sullivan, "Daydream" by Demi Lovato, and "Always There" by Incognito.

This was originally going to be a one shot to not give away the ending, but I have since changed my mind.