Iris shivers as she quietly shuts the door of the bathroom behind her, wishing she had put on more than just Barry's shirt when she'd gotten up a few minutes ago. She tiptoes back to their new bed, not wanting to wake Barry, but when she comes back inside the bedroom she finds Barry is awake, looking out of the window.
She smiles at him, and for some reason it takes a moment for Barry to come out of his reverie and smile back.
"You okay?" she asks softly, joining him on the bed. It still feels new, not unlike the feeling of his bare chest beneath her palm. She traces a slow circle on his abdomen with her finger, before lying back on the pillows.
"Yeah," he says, but she doesn't believe him. Barry's never been the best liar and now, with his eyes still hooded with sleep, Iris can see right through him.
"What's on your mind?"
"Nothing, I just… wanted to watch the sunrise." Barry gestures to the window, where they indeed have a clear view of the rising sun in orange sky.
"It's beautiful," she says.
He turns to her, then, and kisses her gently. "So are you."
The tips of her ears turn pink, and she feels her cheeks heating up at his words, but she closes her eyes, cups his cheek with her hand.
"Something's wrong, Bear." He tries to turn away from her, but she doesn't let him. "Hey. Whatever it is… you can talk to me."
"What makes you say something is wrong?" he tries, and at this Iris gently swats him on the shoulder.
"Is it me? Is it… us?"
"It's not you, Iris. I promise you that much."
"So it is about us. In answer to your question… you have that look on your face," Iris says. "The same one that you had when you were telling me about that article being written by that other person. Like you're worried. About our future."
"I am," he admits, "but I… don't know if I should tell you."
"That is an automatic sign that you should, Barry. Look, whatever it is, we'll get through it. Together." She takes a deep breath, then says, "Barry, I love you. No matter what."
But somehow her words don't seem to help; his face automatically falls and she wonders - not for the first time - what she could be doing wrong.
"I'm sorry, I just… love you too. So much." He leans in as if to kiss her, and she lets him, for a few seconds, before she pulls away.
"So tell me."
"You said we won. That we got the bad guy. But… I know we didn't."
She's not sure what she's expecting but it's not that.
"How do you mean?"
"I mean when I was throwing the stone into the Speedforce, I… ran forward in time. To about - six months from now."
He hesitates, then, and she lifts her hand, strokes his cheek. "And? What did you see?"
"Savitar," Barry answers. "I don't know how but somehow - he comes back. And he has you, Iris, and -"
Barry halts, and she realises that there are real tears in his eyes, now. She leans forward, rests her forehead against his.
"Shhhh. It's okay, Barry." He doesn't have to say anymore. She gets it now. And she gets why Barry can't bring himself to say anything more. "Barry… I'm right here."
He looks up, meets her eyes, and they are their usual startling blue, still a bit watery but piercing as ever. "I know you are," he says faintly, "but I - watched you die."
"I watched you die, Barry," Iris says. "Over and over. You still came back to me."
"Savitar, he - stabbed you right in the chest. I saw you die in my arms."
"That doesn't mean it's going to happen, Barry."
"You don't know that."
"I mean it," Iris says determinedly. "Remember what I told you? I make my own future. And we make our own, too. That includes whether some speed god wants to kill me, Bear."
"I know," Barry says quietly. "I know that. Jay told me as much. He said it was just one possibility of the future."
"But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop worrying," he adds. "I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you, Iris. Actually," he amends, "I do. And it would not be pretty."
"Iris, I've fucked up in a lot of ways in my life. But that guilt is nothing - nothing - compared to what I'd feel or do if I ever lost you."
"Then don't," Iris says simply. "Do what you've always done, Barry, and just - be there for me. Be my guardian angel."
And in the now golden sunrise there's something beautiful about the way Barry's eyes light up at her words. And suddenly arousal is tugging at her groin and she groans softly when Barry kisses her.
"How do you always know the right thing to say to me?" he whispers in wonder.
She shrugs. "I have no idea. All I know is - I want you, Barry. Now and forever. And Savitar - however he does come back - isn't going to get in my way."
Iris kisses him. "I promise."
She starts unbuttoning her shirt - his shirt - from the bottom, and he fumbles with the buttons at the top, and when they're all undone he gently pulls at the sleeves so she's just as naked as he is. His gaze rakes her body from top to bottom, and when he meets her eyes once more she can feel the gooseflesh rising on her spine. It'll take a little getting used to, she's sure, but she doesn't mind if he's going to look at her like that - like she's his whole world - no, his universe, and he's the luckiest man in the multiverse to have her.
Still he searches her eyes, asking silently for permission, and she nods, lets him cup her breast with his hand, thumb brushing against her now erect nipple. Iris sighs, lies back, but she gasps when moments later she feels the slight roughness of Barry's tongue encircle her breast while, with his other hand, he plays with her left nipple, teasing it expertly with his fingers.
He doesn't stop there, though. He buries his face into her neck and reaches down, hand trailing down her abdomen until it's right between her legs, and she moans needingly when his fingers ghost her entrance.
He lifts his head then and looks up, meets her eyes. "Is that okay?" he asks.
"Yeah, it is, I just - need you," she gasps. "Right now."
Obediently he climbs on top of her, and he's hard for her, that much she can feel, but nevertheless she can't resist her hand straying beneath his navel for a few seconds, making him groan. He meets her eyes and she wonders for a second if he's going to come right there. But he closes his eyes, as if concentrating, and when he's inside her she sighs in relief, glad for some of her arousal to finally be satiated.
Like their first time, though, it doesn't take much for him to come, even though it's obvious from his pink cheeks that it's an orgasm he's tried to stave off for as long as he can. He buries his face in Iris's neck again, murmuring in apology like he did earlier.
And just like earlier Iris says firmly, "It's okay."
She catches his hand, guides his fingers back to her centre. "Really."
He takes the hint, going slow at first, tortuously so, to the point that she grabs his wrist and kisses him roughly, teeth nipping his bottom lip.
Then he inches further inside her, exploring, finding her weak spot, and suddenly he's speeding up and his fingers are vibrating inside her, and she's moaning his name and urging him on, arching her back against him, reaching a high that feels almost out of this world, to the point that when she comes she's blinded by the rising sun outside and when she surfaces from her climax she can see stars.
"That's what you said the first time," Barry says teasingly.
"Love you," she whispers, hand going up to curl around his bicep.
"I love you too. I - thank you."
Still a bit breathless, she tugs at the comforter so it's covering the two of them better.
"What are you thanking me for, exactly?"
"For just… being you. I don't know what I'd do without you."
Impulsively Iris kisses his nose, makes him laugh. "You won't ever have to find out."
She curls up against him on the bed, getting more comfortable, and they drift off to sleep together in the light of the sunrise.