Notes (03/02/2017): This was one of the fics I was working on a few months back. To be clear, Barry and Iris aren't together here. It's set post-3x07 a day or so after the Killer Frost incident, and it starts out as angst and then turns into shameless fluff… Sorry not sorry?
Cross-posted from my Tumblr and AO3.
I've been closing my eyes
Love me slow, hallucinating
Swinging me all of your light
Do you know
I'm digging down holes without you
Can't be on my own without you
I'm a little bit lost without you . . .
— Oh Wonder, "Without You"
It's nearly one in the morning, and Barry can't sleep.
He's already been around the block of Cisco's apartment a few times, but not even that helps. He's too restless. He's a live wire—the speed force is scuttling under his skin, his blood's surging in his veins, electricity's crackling down his spine, and Caitlin's—no, Killer Frost's—accusations keep echoing his mind—you keep messing with everyone's lives—some things you break can't be put back together—you're the reason that Dante's dead—
Her words burn like acid. He knows he's made a mistake—it's a gaping wound he pries open again and again, because this mental self-mutilation is the only atonement he knows—but it's not until she hisses it to his face that he realises how pointless his self-mutilation is. He's wallowing alone in his pain, while Caitlin and Cisco and Joe and Iris and Wally are alone in theirs, and they all pick at their wounds in their own dark corners until they fester… And yet they still barrel on with their lives as if nothing's wrong. Her words may have hurt, but all she really did was remark on the stench.
He runs a hand over his face. Had he really been so busy trying to save the city from Savitar that he hadn't even noticed that his own friends were battling their own demons?
But, God, how could he not have noticed what Caitlin was going through? She has never been one to talk much, but she has always been there for him. She's a quiet, reassuring presence in his life, one he always sought out during his darkest moments, and it hurts to think that during her darkest moments, he wasn't the one she sought. It hurts even more to think that she believed she had no one to turn to, that she had to let Killer Frost take over because she thought getting ahold of Alchemy herself was the best way to save them.
If only he'd been a little more observant, a little less self-absorbed, he would've noticed what she was going through sooner, and she wouldn't have felt so utterly alone…
Barry flings the blanket aside, sits up, and rakes both his hands through his hair. He can't stand this. Even after everything, he's still here, rehearsing everything that exacerbates his guilt, and doing absolutely nothing to change it.
He can't keep doing this. He can't keep thinking that the only way he can forgive himself for his mistakes is to chase them around in smaller and smaller circles.
He needs to move. He needs to run.
There is somewhere he needs to be, someone he needs to see.
. . .
It's half past twelve in the morning, and Caitlin can't sleep.
Her windows are open, and her gossamer curtains are billowing in the breeze. She watches the moon behind the swell and shrink of fabric—clear and luminous against the dark sky in one moment, hazy and trembling in the next—and she listens to her own steady breathing, unbearably loud in the dead of night.
She absently fiddles with the string on her waistband. Twirls it around her finger until the flesh is swollen, and unwinds it when she reaches the end of the thread. She's forgone her usual pyjamas for shorts and a tank top that she only uses on unforgiving summer nights, and she hates that this is one concession she has to make to her—she hardly feels comfortable in temperatures above 60 degrees anymore; she can only breathe properly when she can feel the November breeze on every inch of skin—and she hates that she can feel the part of her mind that is her purring with relief.
She inhales, exhales. Deeply, evenly. The cold is crawling through her veins, devouring what little heat it can from her hand on the sheet. She watches frost form on the worn cotton. She traces a circle on it, and the frost trails after her fingertip, delicate, deadly—
She hates it.
Seized by an irrational passion she scrapes the frost off with her nails until it chafes the soft skin underneath. She hates her powers, and these days she can hardly disentangle her hate for her powers from her hate for herself, for the part of her that is her powers. Even if Barry has already forgiven her, she can't forgive herself for how easily she'd hurt him, how savage her desperation had made her. She hates her helplessness; she hates her guilt, that wild animal clawing at her ribcage; she hates knowing that there is nothing she can do to appease either.
She curls into a ball on her bed, tucks an arm under her head, careful to avoid the cool metal of her cuffs, and shuts her eyes. But even in the darkness she can see—she can see him crumple to the ground when she'd speared his shin; see his face falling with each accusation she'd hurled; see his confusion when she'd kissed him, his eyes fluttering close as she'd devoured his life; but most vividly of all, she can see his belief in her, shining underneath his hurt, even when she'd pressed the tip of the icicle over his heart—
And suddenly she aches for him. She knows that she doesn't deserve him, knows that he has already done so much for her, but she needs to see him. She needs the assurance she'd felt when that icicle had clattered to the floor, when she'd wrapped her arms around him and had known with solid certainty that she didn't kill him—that he was right there with her, warm and bright and alive…
Before she knows what she's doing, she's already out of her bed, grabbing the first set of clothes she sees. She gets her phone and her set of keys, haphazardly puts on gloves—just to be safe—and sweeps out the door.
She needs to touch him, needs to feel him alive.
Needs to know that she didn't break him.
. . .
Barry wrenches the front door open, but before he can flash away he barrels into the small, soft body on the other side of the door.
"Cait!" he exclaims, quickly grasping her forearm to steady her. He's surprised to see her here, but somehow not entirely unexpected—after all, they've always had the uncanny knack of finding each other when they're at their lowest, so coincidences like these aren't uncommon. He wonders if that should mean something.
She straightens, and it doesn't escape his notice that she quickly pulls herself away from his touch. It also doesn't escape his notice that she's wearing gloves.
"Hey," she says, giving him a tentative smile. "Are you heading out?"
"Yeah, I was," he admits. And he adds, absent-minded and guileless, "To take a peep at you, actually."
She arches a brow at him.
"I meant check up on you!" he amends quickly, a blush creeping up his neck. "That, uh, that came out creepier than I intended, but I swear I meant it in the least… you know, stalker-y way possible—I mean—it wasn't meant to be stalker-y, even—not at all—"
Her surprise melts into amusement, and she gives him a smile that makes her eyes shine. Barry wonders briefly how long it's been since he's seen this smile of hers. He wonders at when he'd been able to tell the difference between her smiles. "And peeping into a lady's apartment at one in the morning isn't stalker-y at all," she tells him dryly.
He grins sheepishly, but gestures at her with a more playful look. "You're one to talk, Dr. Snow. You're standing in front of my apartment at one in the morning."
She mirrors his posture and sniffs, "Technically, it's not even your apartment," and she says it with such characteristic sass that he laughs out loud and stands aside to let her in, sweeping his arm out in a mock-bow, while she rolls her eyes fondly in return.
Oh, how he misses this. He misses their easy banter. He misses seeing her with her guard completely down. He misses being with just her, outside the lab, at the end of the day.
"So," he says, pulling up a chair for her, "what brings you here at this unholy hour?"
Her expression turns pensive. "I'm not sure," she admits after a few moments. "I guess I just—I needed to make sure that you're… that you're okay. After—after what happened."
"I am," he says automatically. "I heal fast, remember?"
"No, not that kind of okay," she says. "I said a lot of things that hurt you, and…" She takes a deep breath. "God, I don't even know where to start—"
"You don't have to apologise," he says. "I know it wasn't really you, Cait."
She looks so troubled that on impulse, he reaches out and gives her gloved hand a reassuring squeeze, but even before he can touch her, she pulls her hand discreetly out of his reach. So instead he frowns and awkwardly tucks his hand into the pocket of his hoodie. Her insistence at avoiding his touch disconcerts him.
"No," she says slowly, looking away. "No, not… exactly."
His brow furrows in confusion. "Not exactly…?"
She runs her teeth over her bottom lip. "I… I don't completely understand it, but…" She gives him a pained look. "She—Killer Frost—would never do or say anything that I haven't thought to do or say myself."
"What do you…"
It takes a second for her words to sink in, but when they do, he feels like he's been punched in the gut. He stops mid-sentence and gazes dumbly at her.
So all those times Killer Frost had hurt him—all those accusations Killer Frost had hurled, all those injuries Killer Frost had inflicted—had been Caitlin all along? He could stand Cisco's sullen bitterness and Joe's and Iris's lecturing looks, but he doesn't think he can live with himself if Caitlin, the one person who'd always believed in him, had hated him so deeply all this time—
"No, wait, let me explain," she pleads. She moves to touch his face, but she hesitates. Instead, she nudges his chin with a light touch, so he would raise his eyes to hers, but he resists the gesture.
"I probably deserve it," he mumbles, shying away from her. "After all, the reason you're suffering from your powers is because I altered the timeline—"
"—so you took it out on me, just like how Cisco does—"
"Barry, stop," Caitlin hisses, and this time she grips his hands so hard he's forced to look at her fierce brown eyes. "Just stop. Don't be like this—"
"No, Cait, this"—he gestures at her hands—"this is my fault! And I didn't even notice what you were going through… Did you know what I thought when I came back from messing the timeline? I thought to myself that at least you were the same, at least I could depend on you to be constant in all that chaos, when I of all people should've been the first one to notice something different—"
"Well, I didn't want anyone to notice anything in the first place," she replies tersely. "That was the whole point of hiding my powers—"
"But why did you have to hide them, though?" his face falls. "Did you think we'd just… kick you off the team if we found out? How could you trust Killer Frost more than us?"
She grimaces. "Barry… Killer Frost is me," she murmurs. "And you know how I am. I'd rather solve my own problems myself than add to yours, but then I ended up doing exactly what I was trying to avoid—"
"No, don't say that," he says roughly. "Don't say you're Killer Frost. You can't be—"
"But I am!" she insists. She says it with such blazing conviction that his protest dies on his tongue.
"Barry, I am Killer Frost." She softens, her features turning sad. "Just… Let me try to explain. Killer Frost is me, but she's—she's the worst version of me. I think… I think it's because my powers manifest when I'm feeling strong negative emotions. And it's a vicious cycle—negative emotions trigger my powers, and my powers feedoff those emotions until there's just rage, and then that affects my mind—I just hyper-focus on one goal, and do everything I can to get it done." She smiles ruefully. "It's not so different from how I normally am, isn't it? —No, that was rhetorical, Barry. Don't fight me on this. So everything I did to you—the things I said, the way I hurt you—began because I was scared and desperate. It's not an excuse, and—"
"Did you hate me?" he asks suddenly, peering into her eyes. "When you were Killer Frost, did you hate me?"
"What? No! Of course not." Caitlin clutches his hand. "It wasn't hate directed at you. You were just a convenient outlet for it. I could've lashed out at anyone." She sighs. "It's just that, I've also always wondered—what life would be like, you know. If you hadn't altered the timeline." He winces at that, but she holds his gaze steadily. "Don't get me wrong. I was never mad at you, but I… I wondered. I wondered how my life would be without these powers. I wondered about what it'd be like if I was just a normal bioengineer. I wondered about what it'd be like if… if Ronnie were still alive." She swallows. "And that threw me over the edge. I was so mad and desperate that I needed a reason for it, and my mind latched onto you. And the fact that you were so persistent didn't help. I wanted to hurt you so you'd leave me alone." She inhales sharply. "I was so devastated when it was all over, and so relieved that I didn't—that the ice…" Her expression is anguished. "Barry, I'm so sorry—"
"Hey, it's okay," he says, gently putting a finger under her chin. "I guess I should even thank you for making me come to my senses." She blinks and looks at him in confusion, so he continues carefully, "Cait, we… we never talk about Flashpoint. We always avoid the topic when it comes up, and Killer Frost—you—made me realise that. If I'd said something sooner…"
"You talk about Flashpoint as if it's entirely your burden to bear," she protests, "and it's not just your burden. We were all avoiding it. Cisco would explode at you and then clam up. I would watch him sulk and let him be. HR just kept making inappropriate jokes." They share a fond eye-roll at that. "No one was trying to fix anything."
Caitlin briefly presses a finger to his lips. "Stop. You're ruining my apology."
His eyebrows raise in surprise. "I wasn't aware that this was just your apology—"
"Well, I did get here first, so I get apology rights. Now let me finish."
"Apology rights?" he repeats, amused. "You know, you're being awfully pushy for someone who's apologising—"
She's half-glaring at him now. "I was ready to grovel, but since you started apologising, I find it necessary to be pushy."
He grins mischievously. "So if I let you finish apologising, do I still get to see you grovel?"
"No," she sniffs. "It was a one-time offer, and you just forfeited."
"What? Why? But I wasn't even aware of the fine print—"
"Well, too bad for you. Now I can't even remember what I was going to apologise for. There was something—oh." She sobers up quickly, and Barry feels inclined to do the same, even if he would rather just tease her a bit more. "You don't have to feel so guilty about everything. You may have changed a few things directly, but you can't claim to be responsible for anything else beyond that." Her lips quirk up in a small smile. "The multiverse doesn't revolve around you, you know."
He's not sure whether to be amused or offended, but he lets out an incredulous laugh.
"I was under the impression that I was getting an apology, not a lecture."
"Well, it was the only way I could get through you," she returns. "Although I wish the same could be said for all my other lectures—you know, the ones on being careful and not rushing headlong into life-threatening situations."
"To be fair, Dr. Snow, what's life-threatening to normal people isn't always true for me."
"Oh, don't be so cocky," she huffs. "I only ever lecture you when it's life-threatening to you. Have you ever wondered why I never brief you when you rush out to stop ordinary robberies?"
"Now that you mention it…"
She rolls her eyes at him. "Honestly, my PhD is wasted on the likes of you."
He gives her a sheepish smile. "You mean on the likes of an unemployed, homeless guy in a flashy red suit? Then yup, I'd have to agree."
He thinks that he's caught her off-guard, because she blinks in surprise, and then a light blush begins to bloom on her cheeks. It strikes him how beautiful she is at that moment, disarmed by his compliment, utterly unaware of how brilliant she is.
"Really, Cait," he says, quietly this time. "I wouldn't be here without you."
She smiles weakly at him. "You give me too much credit."
He shrugs. "Not enough, really."
Her amused, I-still-don't-believe-you look doesn't quite leave her face, but she dismisses the subject by glancing at her watch and making her way over to Cisco's fridge. "So, it's probably time for your first meal of the day," she says. The clock on the wall reads two-thirty in the morning. "How does ham and cheese omelette sound?"
Leave it to her to be mindful of his irregular eating habits. "Like I said," he says, beaming, "I don't give you enough credit."
She rolls her eyes fondly at him, and then immediately starts preparing the ingredients. He offers to help her, but she tells him that she prefers doing it herself, so instead Barry makes himself useful by setting the table.
There's a comfortable silence between them as they work, and Barry is content to watch her cook. The earlier guilt roiling in his gut has subsided. Not permanently, no doubt, but after Caitlin had admonished him like that—the multiverse doesn't revolve around you, you know—he doesn't think he can feel guilty anymore without laughing at himself.
He just keeps falling in love with her more and more, he thinks, smiling.
The thought comes so naturally to him that he doesn't fully realise what he's just admitted.
Not yet, at least.
. . .
After Barry scarfs down the impromptu midnight snack she'd cooked up, they settle in front of the couch and decide to watch an old movie. Neither of them are particularly sleepy yet—with his regenerative abilities, Barry doesn't need eight hours of sleep so much as he needs power naps, and Caitlin, with her mild insomnia and extreme workaholism, needs only four hours a night. In an odd way they do make quite a pair.
Caitlin watches Barry as he rifles through a stack of Cisco's old DVDs. She doesn't think he notices how he's mumbling running commentaries about each film under his breath, soft enough that she knows he's not addressing her, but still loud enough for her to hear, anyway. It's rather endearing. She doesn't understand how easily he forgave her, even managing to feel guilty about the entire Killer Frost incident, when she was the one who'd nearly killed him…
"…you hadn't thought of doing?"
She blinks at his expectant gaze.
"Sorry, I spaced out. What did you say?"
He rubs the back of his neck. "You said Killer Frost wouldn't have done anything that you hadn't thought of doing yourself."
He clears his throat. "This is going to sound weird, but I'm just really curious, and I wanted to ask it some other time, but then I came across Polar Express, and the snow reminded me of—of your powers, which reminded me of—of you know."
He pauses and looks at her.
"No, I don't. I'm… not sure what you're getting at here, Barry."
"Well," he says, his movements becoming more agitated, "I mean, it reminded me of—of when Killer Frost kissed me, and… so… if you and Killer Frost are essentially the same person, does that mean that—that you wanted to kiss me?" A blush is creeping up his neck. "But, like, without giving me hypothermia?"
Caitlin gives him a long stare.
"Really? Really? I nearly killed you, and that's what you want to know?"
She fidgets on the couch. "Is it too late to say that the Killer Frost you fought was my Earth-2 doppelgänger?"
She realises the tactical error on her part only after she'd said that, and Barry picks up on it too, if his smile morphing from sheepish to sly is any indication.
Oh, she does not like that look.
"Come on, Dr. Snow. I'd think someone with an MD and a PhD can answer a simple yes-or-no question."
She arches a brow at him. "Well, Mr. Allen, given my profession, I don't think it's ethical to give my patient an answer to that."
"And I don't think it's ethical to visit your patient in the middle of the night. Sounds pretty scandalous, in fact."
"So is asking your doctor if she's ever thought of kissing him."
He grins. "Ah, but Dr. Snow, I don't have to be ethical. I can ask all the scandalous questions I want. Unemployed homeless guy, remember?"
She purses her lips in mock-displeasure, and he laughs at her expression.
"Gotcha," he says gleefully. He flashes beside her, abandoning the DVDs on the floor, and she shivers at the sudden onslaught of heat from him. She bites her lip and angles her body away.
"Will you tell me now if kissing me ever crossed your mind?"
She places a pillow strategically between them, as if it could actually deflect the heat rolling off him in waves.
"You're awfully persistent about this."
"You're awfully evasive about this."
"I have a perfectly valid reason."
"So do I."
"Let's hear it, then."
"Let's hear your valid reason. Why are you so persistent about this?"
For once, he's speechless. It looks like she's caught him off-guard.
"Actually, you don't have to—"
"Because I thought of kissing you," he blurts out. "A few times, actually. And I, uh, I did kiss Killer Frost back—"
She gapes at him. "What—I thought—I didn't think—Barry Allen, do you have no sense of self-preservation?"
"Well, you were a very good kisser—"
She hurls a pillow at him.
"—and I like you!" he says, his words so rushed that Caitlin's not sure if she's hearing them properly. "Not only in, uh, in a friend way—in a—in a I-would-kiss-your-evil-alter-ego-back-because-I-thought-she-was-you-and-besides-that-was-probably-the-only-chance-I-would-get-to-kiss-you way—"
"Oh my god—"
"—and it's not a secret kink or anything, just to be clear, I'm not a masochist or a threesome sort of guy, although if you had a secret kink I wouldn't judge you—oh my god, I'm rambling, aren't I—this has got to be the most awkward confession in the history of—of super awkward confessions…"
He trails off, and she's smiling at him, amused.
"I was wondering when you'd run out of steam."
"I could go on, actually, but I've run out of dignity."
She laughs. "You're ridiculous."
"In a good way, I hope."
"Fine. In a good way."
"How about in an attractive way, too?"
"Don't flatter yourself."
"I have to. It's part of my charm."
"I don't know yet. Witty comeback still buffering. My mouth's faster than my synapses, you know."
"Your brain and your body are perfectly in sync, Barry."
"It was a just a speedster figure of speech. Cait, please. I'm dying of suspense here."
His eyes are shining with such earnest that Caitlin feels like she's obliged to give him an answer. She sighs. "Barry… it's not going to work."
"So… you like me."
"…You're awfully optimistic, you know that?"
"I know. It's how I've stayed alive for so long." He grins briefly, but sobers again. "I don't see why not."
She huffs. "Not to brag, Barry, but aside from those psychotic speedsters you were up against, I'm the only other meta who can kill you. It's like my powers were made to stop you." She takes a deep breath. "That, and I'm an obvious threat to society. I can't touch anyone without these cuffs, and I'm always scared of myself. I'm scared of losing control, Barry. I don't even want to imagine what can happen if I do…"
"Cait," he says gently, "if there's anyone that can recover from your powers, it's me, and we've already established that you could never kill me. And you won't hurt anyone again. You can take control of your powers—"
"I've tried everything—"
"That's the thing—you've tried everything, but we haven't. If we all put our heads together, we can probably find a way. I mean, if there's anyone who can master something that's not yet known by modern science, it's you."
She still gives him a hesitant look. "Still, I don't think—"
"Look," he says, more passionately this time, "you took care of me when I was in a coma, and back then you knew nothing about meta-humans. Now you're an expert on speedsters. You know more about how our bodies work than me, Wally, and Jesse combined, and Jesse had five majors." He looks at her pleadingly. "Let us help you. Please. We can do this."
He moves to touch her hands, and on instinct she pulls away.
"I still don't think this"—she gestures between them—"is a good idea. Not until I figure out how to get rid of these powers."
"And I still don't see why not," he insists. "We don't have to tell anyone yet. We don't even have to kiss. We can just have dinner and watch movies, like what we're doing now. I just want to be with you. In any way—in every way possible."
Caitlin feels herself wavering under the intensity of his gaze, at how strongly he hopes. She remembers this hope. This was the same hope he carried with him when he faced off against Jay—a hope so sure of itself that it borders on madness. But it's also the kind of hope that spreads fastest, like wildfire. And right now, it's streaking through her system, flaring up around her heart, melting her resolve.
"I want to be with you, too," she admits, very softly. It's the first time she allows herself to say this. "But I want you to be able to be proud of me. I don't want to you to feel like you have to hide this."
"I'm already proud of you," he says. "You're the most brilliant woman I know, and I want to introduce you to everyone I can so that you'll be the most brilliant woman they know, and then they'll all be jealous of me, and they'll wish they were the lucky bastard who could be with you."
She softens. "You're ridiculous."
"In a good way, I hope."
"In an attractive way," she concedes.
His responding smile is brilliant, but his features quickly soften. "Let me hold your hand," he murmurs. He moves to touch them again, his gaze holding hers. "Please. I just want to touch you."
Her breath catches in her throat at the intensity in his eyes, and she wants this so badly that despite all her best intentions she doesn't think she can refuse.
Maybe she can allow herself this selfishness, just this once.
So she swallows and nods.
His eyes light up, and he slowly takes her hands in his. "May I?" he asks, tugging on the ends of her gloves. "Not the cuffs, if you don't want them off. Just this."
She hesitates, but when she sees his expression, she takes a deep breath and nods imperceptibly. "Alright. Just the gloves."
He peels them off, slowly, without touching her skin, and leaves them on the couch beside him. Then he takes both her hands in his, and she's flooded by an onslaught of heat.
He's so incredibly warm.
Instinctively, her eyes flutter close to savour it. Barry's heat fingerprint has always felt different from everyone else's. It's true that each person's heat is unique—Cisco, for one, is the warmth of a fireplace, and Julian is the scorching desert wind—but Barry… Barry is a world apart. Barry is the sun. He's the first ray of sunlight slicing through the dark sky; he's the warmth that dispels the chill of the night; he's the golden glow of a lazy Sunday morning.
Barry's thumbs graze the surface of her skin. He runs his fingers over the length of hers and skims over her knuckles, and then quickly brings them to his lips to press a kiss there. Caitlin's eyes snap open, surprised by the gesture, but by then he's already pulling away and unfolding her curled hands, weaving his fingers through hers.
Before she can say anything in admonishment, he leans forward, quicker than her eyes can follow, and brushes his lips to hers in a chaste kiss.
He's smiling mischievously when he leans back.
"I thought you said we didn't have to kiss."
"Just giving back the one you stole," he says cheekily. "You're cute when you're mad, you know."
She rolls her eyes. "Is that why you're always making me mad?"
He grins and touches his forehead to hers. "I'll answer that if you let me kiss you again."
"It was a rhetorical question."
"Damn," he laughs. "Just one more? Please? One last one."
She arches a brow at him.
"At least for tonight," he amends.
"After what happened, a normal person would've been too traumatised to kiss anyone ever again."
"Well, I'm not a normal person. I'm the Flash."
She laughs and shakes her head, and he looks so roguishly charming that on impulse she leans in and kisses him again herself. She intends it to be quick, but before she can pull away, Barry runs his tongue over her lower lip, and when she gasps in response his tongue sweeps into her mouth—and she feels like she's been set on fire. Suddenly little pinpricks of heat are erupting all over her body, and her mind is blanketed in haze. Driven by the honeyed fire in her veins, she whimpers in his mouth, tangles her fingers in his hair, and slants her lips over his to kiss him more thoroughly.
"Cait," he groans, pressing even closer to her, nipping at her lip, running his hands over the contours of her waist, brushing his thumbs on the underside of her breasts. She melts under his touch. She doesn't know if it's her powers, or because it's been far too long, but she feels everything so keenly. She's so lost in his delicious warmth that it takes all her self-control to pull away.
"Barry, we have to stop," she breathes, and when she tilts her head to avoid his kiss he trails hot, open-mouthed kisses down her throat. And, the bastard, she can feel him smirk against her skin.
He flicks his tongue out to swirl around her pulse point. "You were saying, Dr. Snow?" he murmurs, before nipping at the sensitive spot, and her body arches towards his mouth. It's almost embarrassing how easily he can undo her.
"Barry, I mean it," she says, pulling back again and gently pushing at his shoulders. "You—you feel too good, and I don't want to lose control. Heat vampire that feeds off your life force, remember?"
He places one last quick kiss to her jaw before he relents, with a sheepish smile. "Alright, alright. Sorry, I couldn't help it."
"Neither can I, and that's not a good thing," she sighs.
"Well, you'll just have to master your powers soon. And then we can kiss all we want. And maybe save the world after the kissing."
"You make it sound like you just want the kissing part."
"Oh, I want far more than that," he says, wagging his eyebrows, and when she swats his arm he yelps and adds, "I was just going to say I want you to be happy! I swear."
"Ah," she hums, placated, and tucks herself into his side. "Well, that's not so hard. I'm already reasonably happy now."
He grins. "Then that's reasonably good enough. For now, at least." He intertwines their hands again. "Don't worry, Cait. You'll master your powers and get your life back."
She rests her head on his shoulder smiles. It's hard to keep doubting in herself when he believes so strongly in her. "I will. As long as you'll be with me."
"Of course I will." He presses a kiss to her hair. "I always will."