After so long worrying over chances both taken and missed, after worrying about how they dealt with one another, the day had finally dawned where their inaction had pushed Caitlin-albeit willingly- back into Ronnie's arms. The darkness and craziness of the past year, was being balanced by something a lot more normal, something more beautiful and lovely, at least that was what they were telling themselves. Ronnie and Caitlin had decided that after the heartache of the particle accelerator, they would not risk the chance of never being together again, and so they were getting married. The bride to be was all dressed and ready, in a beautiful white dress, her hair was done in a nice bun, and her cheeks had a lovely tint of red to them. She looked truly beautiful, anyone with eyes could see that, Ronnie was a very lucky man, to be marrying someone as kind and good as Caitlin, and that she would be happy, there was no doubt of that. At least that was how it seemed to those outside, to those who had known her over the past year, but for the bride herself as well as for a certain Scarlet Speedster, things were not as clear cut.
Barry leans against the door, looking at Caitlin, his heart feeling strangely heavy, he's not sure what about this is making him feel this way. He cares for Caitlin deeply, she's his friend, his physician, the person who has helped him through injuries both physical and mental. He is happy for her, he knows how much she missed Ronnie, and yet for some reason, his heart pangs, as if he has lost something. He looks at her and says. "You look beautiful Cait." That was an understatement of course, but Barry does not think there are any words to truly describe how Caitlin looks now, how she has always looked.
Caitlin smiles back in response. She looks at Barry and sees not only the Flash, but her friend, someone who she cares for deeply, and perhaps even loves, not in the way she loves Ronnie-though there had been a chance, she is sure of it- but she loves him all the same. "Thanks" she replies softly. "You don't look half bad yourself Barry." She says teasingly.
Barry grins in response, and then sees Caitlin's smile fall, to be replaced with a blank expression. Moving closer towards her he asks. "Is everything okay Cait?" The sigh she gives in response, lets him know that perhaps all is not well.
"I…I…I'm not sure." Caitlin replies, her voice sounding uncertain to her own ears.
Barry quirks an eyebrow at that and asks. "What do you mean?" he asks her tentatively; he has always thought that perhaps there might have been something there between them. Especially after their night out, but neither of them had acted on it, and he is beginning to wonder if perhaps that was a mistake.
"I... I…I love Ronnie, I know I do, but something just seems strange. I used to dream about getting the chance to marry Ronnie, before he came back, before we found him. And I always used to think that I would feel more…I don't know, different, and I'm not sure why." Caitlin replies honestly, something has felt off to her ever since Ronnie had returned and she's not sure why.
Barry looks at Caitlin and sighs. "Well…I…guess it would be normal, if that word even has any meaning for us anymore." He smiles slightly at the giggle that comes from Caitlin at his words, and feels the familiar flutter in his chest at the sound. "After all, he did disappear, or die, and then come back. A year is a long time, people change. We've all changed in some way or the other. I guess, after so long expecting it, now that it's here, maybe you're just a bit worried?" he ends on a question, not sure if he's explained himself properly.
Caitlin sighs, she finds herself wondering not for the first time how it is Barry always knows what she's thinking- well apart from before Ronnie came back, but that's neither here nor there now- she looks at him and smiles, delighted that he smiles in return. "I guess you're right. I don't know it just feels strange. I love Ronnie, I know I do, and yet something just feels different."
A silence passes between the two of them then as they digest what Caitlin has said, Barry moves forward, resting a comforting hand on Caitlin's shoulder, and then breaks the silence. "Well, different isn't bad Cait. You love Ronnie, he loves you, you both love one another, that's obvious to anyone with eyes. I think you just need to give it a go, see what happens. I know you'll make it work." He looks down into her eyes and smiles reassuringly, feeling his heart flutter once more at the smile that he manages to draw from her, every smile feeling like a victory.
Caitlin nods, leaning in slightly, so that her head rests against his arm, an unconscious move, and something she started doing a while ago. Sometimes she finds herself wondering what it would be like to go out with Barry, like on a proper date, a thought she thought she'd buried, but then it remerged when Bates, as Barry had kissed her. She knows they can't be, but sometimes she wonders, and she feels bad about it, because she loves Ronnie, she knows she does. Realising that she's been silent for a while, she replies. "You're right Barry." She smiles and then laughs at the surprised expression his face.
Without really thinking about it, Barry leans down and kisses the tope of Caitlin's head, when he pulls back they both feel a little flushed, but then he moves back and extends his arm. "Shall we head out then Cait?"
Her heart feeling heavier than it was mere moments ago, Caitlin takes a breath and nods. "I think we should. Thanks for escorting me up Barry, it means a lot."
"Of course." Barry replies simply. He feels his heart lurch slightly when his and Caitlin's arms link together, but then his heart settles, and they walk from the room, arms linked. They walk in silence, there is no need for talking now, everything that could have been said, and should have been said is in the past. If there is one thing they have learned from the past year, it is that sometimes it is better to just let the past lie.
They arrive at the front of Star Labs, where the wedding is to take place, Iris and Eddie holding hands-something that doesn't cause Barry's heart to sink as it once did-, Joe, Cisco, Dr Stein and then finally Ronnie. Ronnie smiles brilliantly when he sees Caitlin, Barry smiles to see the two of them together, and then Caitlin breaks contact with him and stands to Ronnie's right. As the vows are exchanged, Barry keeps a smile on his face, but finds his thoughts being diverted. What comes after this is something that both excites and terrifies him. A chance to go back in time and save his mother. Something he has always wanted to do, it weighs on him, but deep down he knows it is the choice he needs to make. It is something he has always wanted to do, when he hears Iris cheer, his thoughts are broken and his face goes blank when he sees Ronnie and Caitlin kiss. For her part, Caitlin kisses Ronnie, but there is something lacking in their kiss, though she tries not to think about it. They break apart, and then they all move back into Star Labs in preparation for the reason for all of this.
They all stand before the entrance to the particle accelerator, all of them feel different things, but Barry looks at Caitlin before looking to anyone else. They might not know one another should he change things, but he knows he will always remember her, how could he not. He hugs her and whispers. "Thank you."
Caitlin does not need to ask why he says that, she just hugs him and tries to fight the tears that are threatening to pool up. All she says in reply is. "See you soon." And then they break apart, and she hold Ronnie's hand, fighting once more not to cry, as she watches Barry say his goodbyes to everyone else.
He says goodbye to Iris last of all, but does not feel the heartache he thought he would, instead he feels relieved, he had spoken to Eddie before the wedding, to clarify things, and is relieved they are good now. He likes Eddie, he hopes Eddie and Iris will be happy together. Before stepping into the accelerator, he looks back at Caitlin, taking strength from her smile, he turns takes a breath and walks in.