February 04, 2017:

Spoiler asks Flash for a safehouse to crash in. She didn't realize that to Flash, that means his apartment. The two spend a morning together.

Barry Allen's Apartment - New York

A simple studio apartment on the Lower East Side


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: Extreme - Hole-Hearted

Fade In…


Spoiler dropped down onto the balcony she asked Flash to open for her shortly after getting the address to his place. It was an odd call from Spoiler: "Flash. I'm in the area, need a secure space for a few hours. Give me an address." There was the sound of wind in the backgruond of the call, as if she were on a high place. The night was clear, which means it is cold outside. If Spoiler is in New York, she likely drove this way from Gotham, at night, in her outfit, in this weather. As she steps into the room from the balcony, she tugs off the bike helmet to shake out her hair. It hides the shiver to anyone without the perceptive capabilites to realize it.

She may have asked for Flash, but she gets Barry. "Huh, whatzit?" he asks tiredly when she makes her querry. "Sure." he manages to give the address to an apartment in Queens. When she arrives on the balcony, he unlocks the door, a robe pulled around him and fuzzy slippers on his feet as he beckons for her to enter. "Morning." he offers sleepily.

The smell of coffee may assault her senses for a moment, his apartment is warm, if cozy. A studio apartment, the kitchen and dining area are combined, and the bathroom is really the only private place, as a murphy bed doubles for the bedroom. A love seat and a couple of chairs are in the living area, with a television and a game system. He pulls the curtains tight once she's inside. "You can stay as long as you need to, hon." he offers to her, a tired kiss to the side of her mouth before he moves towards the love seat, apparently offering her the bed.

Barry was not what she was expecting. Not even slightly. Still in 'work mode', Barry's casual attire and warm greeting and kiss all make Stephanie's head spin for a moment. She's going to blame the sudden temperature change. Having the curtains drawn closed, Spoiler shrugs out of the backpack she was wearing over the jacket. Extra clothes.

"Sorry for waking you," she says, moving further into the apartment. Her steps are slow, careful, as if she's afraid of intruding and might just turn and leave any moment now.

"It's okay." Barry responds, rubbing the back of his head with a tired yawn. She may see hints of his shirt 121 Um - the Element of confusion. But his legs are decidedly bare. Runner's legs, for sure. "Are you hungry? I can heat up a burrito or something." he says as he gestures. "I'll get a sheet up so that you have some privacy." No expectations, she needs a place to pumpkin.

"Shower runs hot, not that it's a complaint." he adds with a chuckle. "Mi casa is su casa, or however the saying goes."

"I really didn't mean to put you out," Spoiler replies, holding her ground against the war of wanting to run for it and climb into that hot shower at the same time.
"This was unexpected, unplanned, and unscheduled," she's saying, backpack in one hand, helmet in the other, when her tummy decides to give her away. She presses her plum lips together to ignore it.

"I should have called earlier, let you know I was thinking about being in town…"

There's a moment of thought, before Barry reacts. Instead of saying anything, he steps right into the woman, his arm slipping to the back of her neck to capture the nape of her neck and pulls her into a long and hopefully understood kiss as he presses his lips to her plum ones to take a long drink from her. Compared to her still being chilled from being outside in the cold, he is quite warm as he presses to her nomex for a moment before he pulls back, his teeth pulling on his bottom lip as he looks down at her. "Shush." he whispers softly to her, a soft whimper in his voice.

Spoiler had been about to say more, perhaps give more excuses so she can start to back away. Sure. Babs gave her advice. Take it slow, take it easy, make sure this one's not going to blow up like… well, let's not draw comparisons. Yet, slow with a guy that can make it from New York to Gotham in less than a minute is all relative. Lips parted on a half formed word, Barry's kiss catches Stephanie completely flat footed.

Nothing has prepared Stephanie for the warmth and the complete understanding she can taste on his lips. Both have Spoiler melting into the kiss, backpack and helmet falling from her still ice cold fingers to the floor, as she flings her arms about Barry's neck to pull herself further into the embrace.

"Shushing," Stephanie replies, blue eyes opening, body now shivering, desperate for warmth after all night in the cold, freezing temperatures of the night.

"Good." And this time, Barry doesn't pull away from her. Slow is a relative term when you're a speedster. Feeling the cold fingers on his skin brings him to a shiver against her and he grins down at her as he keeps her close. "Stay as long as you want." In the apartment. In his embrace.

In his life.

Her cheeks are the first to gain extra warmth. The kiss, the need, and warmth are enough to leave her breathless. Her lips part to gasp in a quick lungful of air, to accept the invitation. At least, for the moment.

'Don't go too fast' her mind warns her.
'Like I could beat HIM in a race!' her body retorts.
'Do I get a say in the matter?' asks her heart.
'No.' reply mind and body, and Stephanie whines as her hands slip to shoulders in order to push a half inch of space between them. Her heart's racing, pounding against those forces that act against it angrily. It has her breath coming is quick swallow pants.

He feels the push, and Barry reads it. There's need, want, all of it in a clash, but in the end, she has the say so. She pushes away, and his hands release. "Sorry.." he murmurs against her mouth, his cheeks violently red suddenly at what he reads as the unwanted advance as he steps back and laughs nervously. "I'll uh.. go get that coffee and food for you." he murmurs as he starts to move towards the kitchen.

And he is winded. Perhaps for the first time in a long time, he feels the rush of energy, adrenaline, the battle of his own heart, body, and mind a jumbled confusion as he closes his eyes to rub at the bridge of his nose as he walks.

Released, Spoiler sways slightly. Unsteady, shuddering breaths escape her as she shivers in the sudden cold of his absence. It's a harsher chill than that of the weather outside.

"Thank you," Spoiler rasps, finding her Growl in that moment of internal conflict, or his offer of coffee and food. Well, mostly of food.

"Just food. Need sleep," she continues, shoulders wanting to slump as adrenaline keeps her tight and wound up. She watches him walk away, his casual grace, the tension on his frame. So good at reading people, Stephanie sees the war, same as her own. She turns for the bathroom.

"I meant for the food and the place to stay for a few hours," she says as if suddenly realizing her 'thank you' could have been taken as 'thank you for getting the hell away from me'. Communication is important, after all.

"Not for… I enjoyed… I'm just cold… Not thinking. Didn't want to…" See. If she had superspeed, likely her thoughts would not have gone by too quickly for her to sort out.

"It's okay.. you've had a long night." Barry flashes a smile over his shoulder as he digs around in the fridge and starts to assemble a sandwich for her, trying to be sympathetic, fighting that internal conflict that she feels as well as he gets it put together and sets it on the counter. "I just really like you, Stephanie, and for a moment, I let that get the best of me."

He draws in a breath, reaching up to rub at the back of his neck, still feeling the coolness of her gloves on his skin as he closes his eyes and swallows. "I'm glad you know you're safe here." he finally says, an offer to bridge the gap, grasping with his broiling emotions for the young woman that has become so much to his life. "Let me see about getting that sheet up." He makes sure the tie on his robe is good and secure and is a blur of motion as he sets up the divider between bed/bath and living area. "There." He's trying to be accomodating, and glances to her, meeting her eyes, and the blush anews for a moment as he sighs. "I really like.. you.. us. Whatever this is becoming." Something he had hoped to talk about tonight.

"I just want to make sure we.. make any decisions like.. anything deeper.. together."

He let it 'get the best of him'. Stephanie fights not to bow her head, moving to the bathroom as Barry blurs about to get the curtain set up.


She meets his gaze, pausing there, brows drawing together under her mask. "Sounds like we should talk," she says before thumbing over a shoulder. "So. I'm going to change. I'm… overdressed," she adds. Because he's in a shirt and… bed robe (and nothing else?!) and she's in spoiler gear. His blush has her blushing and she retreats to the bathroom, closing the door and leaning her forehead to it.

Please. He's decent. Boxers! Not that she can see that. When she retreats, Barry sighs to himself. "Well, you just blew that, Allen." he murmurs to himself as he sweeps into the kitchen to clean up the mess and cover the sandwich until Stephanie can come back for it. Flopping onto the loveseat, he pulls the blanket over himself and stares up at the ceiling. He sleeps in microbursts, and now awake, really, he's just staring at the ceiling, counting the little divets made by the drywall paint.

Stephanie takes a few moments to try to get herself in order before changing and washing her face of the makeup. Dressed like just a normal college school girl, Stephanie steps out of the bathroom, dropping her back pack on the floor by the wall. She looks at him staring at the ceiling for a moment before moving over to drop next to him after grabbing the blanket to lift and steal most of it to url up under. So cold.

Settling next to Barry, Stephanie leans just her head on him at first before sighing and shifting to press into his side, hand on his chest. She's still shivering.

"Okay… Talk."

She's cold. He's heat. His heart speeds in his chest, and when she makes it clear that she's joining him, Barry looks surprised for a moment, but his arm moves to curl around and hold her in return as his other moves to cover the one on his chest as he feels her pressed to him and draws a breath. "I wanted to kiss you Stephanie." he says quietly, honestly. "I wouldn't take that back for anything. I just want to make sure that I'm not rushing you or making you feel like I just want to sleep with you, and that's it."

This brings a hard blush for some reason, perhaps an admission to other things unspoken as he moves to brush his fingers into her hair. "You're beautiful, intelligent, determined, have a strong heart.. and we have a lot in common. I feel drawn to you and I just can't explain it. I know you can take care of yourself, yet I worry. I find myself smiling when I get your text in the morning. Even if morning is 5 am."

His honesty is a wonderful thing. So much was always left unsaid before that the honesty is a welcome change of pace. The feel of his voice in his chest against her ear has Stephanie sighing into the furnace that is his embrace, still shivering.

"I wanted to kiss you too. I'm glad you did. You're not… rushing me? Sometimes you are, but you're really not. I.." She blushes hard too at his words that he's not just looking for a quickie. (snerk) It causes Stephanie to sigh again and snuggle in closer, eyes drifting closed. Her shivering slows and bigger more contented sigh pulls her shoulders up then has her melting into him and his brushing fingers.

"You're beautiful too," Stephanie murmurs, body growing heavy. "Like your texts too. Makes patrol go faster. She's gonna hack our phones." The last is mumbled on a chuckle, as if the thought was completely amusing to her sleepy brain.

There's a sigh, a little contented noise. She's next to him. And for now, that will have to do. Which is just fine.

He gives her a gentle kiss, sweet and loving. "You're gorgeous, Steph." he admits as he moves to press to her in return. They fit together almost naturally.

"You need rest. We can talk more later. Maybe figure out my case." he offers quietly.

Something else is murmured, quietly, not for her ears. But for his own alone.

"Yeah… Timey whimey, bad date writing," Stephanie mumbles, a smile on her lips. Ten more seconds and her breathing's evened out into sleep, body heavy against his. Even if he got up, she'd stay asleep for a solid four hours before she stirred again.

He wouldn't, even if he wanted to. He's going to enjoy her closeness and company. And pray she doesn't regret it come into it in the morning, as he waits for her. Barry just lightly plays his fingers into her hair as he considers her, watching the way she sleeps, the rise and fall of her body against his.

And trying to keep those hormones in check with the gorgeous young woman pressed into him.

Finally, after three hours, he moves from her to step outside and get some cool air. He needs it. Seriously. After staring blearily at the morning sun for a few moments, he draws in several deep breaths and slips his ring on as he pops the costume out and takes off across the city, spending a good thirty minutes trying to clear his brain. Clear his thoughts. To not admit the fact out loud..

Spoiler Alert: He's falling in love.

He hits home before she awakes, and the sound of the shower comes from the bathroom - before it's joined by a voice. His own, ringing out cheerfully if not a little quietly to try not to wake her up.

o/` This heart of stone is where I hide
These feet of clay kep warm inside
Day by day less satisfied
Not fade away before I die

Rivers flow into the sea
Yet even the sea is not so full of me
If I'm not blind why can't I see
That a circle can't fit where a square should be

There's a hole in my heart
That can only be filled by you
And this hole in my heart
Can't be filled with the things I do. o/`

Priorities do confuse the mind. Espeically when it comes to inner peace. Stephanie, stretched out on the sofa, inhales and blinks awake at the sound of water and a rich tenor voice. She presses herself up, eyes tracking to the light coming in through the windows as she gets up. Looking over toward the bathroom, and Barry's singing, Stephanie smiles softly. This was a good song. And so apropo. She does feel like she'll fall short with the things she does. Heading to her bag, Stephanie takes the time she waits for Barry to finish his shower to brush her hair, straighten her nap-rumpled clothes, and then fold the blanket and tidy the sofa she crashed out on.

Song finished, he finishes his shower in relative quiet. Shower done, Barry shakes off the water in the shower - yes, much like a dog. The ultrafast vibration gets rid of the water quickly. When he comes out of the bathroom, he's in a pair of running shorts and T-shirt as he smiles at Stephanie, walking by her to sneak a kiss against the of her cheek. "Good morning, hon." he whispers against her ear as he moves to head into the kitchen. "Do you want to push our date up to a morning thing, or do you need to head home?"

It's all so domestic and not at all like anything that's ever happened that the sneaked kiss is sneaked and makes Stephanie jump slightly. Eyes wide, cheeks pink, she looks over at Barry, lips smiling.

"Umm.. morning." she replies, watching him go to the kitchen, one hand coming up to hold his warmth to her ear.

"I'd rather not drive back on THAT bike in full daylight. Plus, I'd just have to turn right around and come back, so… maybe we can.. just… spend the day? Together?" That's not too fast, right? Or too slow? Ah! What the hell is the speed limit on this sort of thing again?!

He blushes, and Barry considers for a moment. "Sure." he finally says, not giving her a chance for take-backsies. "There's some great restaurants nearby, we can get dressed go for a walk, and enjoy the very cold New York weather.. or we can stay inside, order some food, play some games, and see where the day takes us?" he suggests as he goes to get the small file folder and sets it on the counter to tease Stephanie with. "I took out any information that would give you the obvious answer."

"Any of that. All of that? Yes," Stephanie replies, nodding her head in that cheerleader way of hers. She bites her lower lip a bit, moving to follow to the kitchen because food must be had. All without realizing that she said a girl's magic pick-up line.

"Actually, it's been a while since I took a day off. I'm not.. really sure what to do with myself."

"Well, you're welcome to my little home as much you want." Barry says, offering her a reassuring smile as he considers her. She may have tossed a pick up line, but it went right over his head. "I know it can be a total pain, so I'm not going to try to wear you out by dragging you all over the place. Let's see.." he says as he digs out some eggs and starts to look for a pot. "When last we left our case, you had two separate dates, and you knew that one of them was changed later, but not a reason why."

"Nor do I know which was changed, because you wont TELL me," Stephanie retorts, grabbing the file and leaning to the little bar that opens the kitchen to the rest of the apartment. Opening it, she starts reading, blue eyes looking through all the information Barry's giving her.

"And I don't mind being drug about. I dont' get to spend time here, so everything's new."

"I haven't had a chance to do much exploring either, we can be all touristy together." Barry says with a little chuckle as he starts the heat to set up the eggs. "I didn't give it to you, because I want you to put yourself in the shoes of the detectives working it at the time, not the person looking at it fifteen years after it was solved." he points out with a grin at her. "How do you like your eggs?" he asks casually.

"Can we see the statue of Liberty?" Stephanie asks looking up from the file. Her smile is bright as the sun, hopeful as a child on Christmas. His remrk about the file and the solved case has her stiking her tongue out at him before she returns to her studying. She gets it, and will take this as a case study. It's good for her.

"Scrambled with cheese?" she asks hopefully.

"I can do that." Barry says with a whew of breath. "I thought you were going to say over-easy, which would end up scrambled. Scrambled is really all I can do." he teases as he starts to crack the eggs to empty the contents into the bowl. "Sure, we can go there, maybe go up into the new World Trade Center and see the view from the observation deck?" he suggests with a smile towards her.

The file has the pictures of both crime scenes. There's still a few not quite patches of snow around where the body was found of the victim, the victim face down in the water, showing the first signs of water bloat and decomposition.

The suspect is slumped in his chair, hand to the side, a remote control on the floor.

Stephanie giggles at the admission, blue eyes coming up to watch Barry cook.

"I'm only a fan of sunny-side-up.. and then only when they are on pancakes drowned in syrup," she offers. The smile stays warm, pleasant, much more like her 'usual' demeanor now that she's had sleep.

"Sounds like a solid plan," Stephanie nods happily.

Scrambling the eggs, Barry moves to go take the cheese out. "Mixed in, or sprinkled on top. Did you bring a change for the date tonight, or should we go shopping for that as well?" he asks curiously as he grins up at her, and blushes a little as he sees how bright and cheerful she is, and it warms his own heart and causes it to jump a beat as he bites on his bottom lip.

"Both?" Stephanie asks, biting her lower lip too. "I was going to wear this? Maybe? We could shop," she says wandering how good of an idea it would be to let him play camera for How To Shop for Date Night Outfit. Thus handing Babs MORE ammunition. The blush flares hot and bright and straight to the tips of her ears.

When she blushes, his own blush returns, for different reasons. "No no, what you're wearing is fine. I mean, you look great.. gorgeous really." Barry offers quickly, backpedaling. "I mean, I just.. I don't mind it." he says as he lowers his head and returns the attention to the eggs, adding cheese and setting up a plate for her. He puts the eggs down, and hands over the salt and pepper as he puts the plate in front of her, and feeds some bread to the toaster.

The blush doesn't fade. Especially at the gorgeous remark. She tucks a some hair behind an ear, leaving the salt and pepper to the side as she grabs a fork. About to dig in, she spots toast in the making and so waits.

"It'd be fun. Maybe… if you can hold a camera?"

"For a video!"

"For my You Tube channel! Like.. What Not to Wear! Sort of.."

Do you like red? Flash suit red? Stephanie's doing a rather fair impression.

Now Barry looks really confused. She pushes and pulls at him, and he's just left to figure out how to translate it all, and hes lost. It shows on his face that he's not even sure how to answer at this point as he looks around, trying to find anything to distract him. The pop of the toaster has him grabbing it quickly and adding it to the plate as he nervously blurs as he gets out several jelly packets to set on the counter for her. "Pick the one you like.. so, want another clue on the case?" he offers quickly, trying his best to stay on course. Slow, she said. Dont make a flirty comment. Rein it in, Allen.

With Barry not responding, Stephanie swallows. She looks to her food, pressing at it with her fork, trying to kill the heat on her face.

"Ummm… Yes. Thank you," she says, picking out grape jelly and jellying up her toast, then putting egg and cheese on top of the jelly.

And now it's completely awkward. Crashing and burning, Barry. This is where you screw it all up. What do you do?

"…the victim's body was dumped in a freezing lake. It suspended her decomposition. Which is why the date of death was wrong." he finally says.

"Because it was COLD," Stephanie says, putting her fork down and picking up the picture of the victim to peer at again. While eating toast and jelly topped with cheesy egg in one bite. "Of course. God, Steph. You're so blonde some days."

"It took Scotland Yard fifteen years to figure it out, Steph. You're not dumb. Blonde. Yes. Beautiful. Yes. Ditzy or dumb? Not in a million years." Barry offers quietly, honestly. "I know of the smart, intelligent, eager to learn woman beneath the pretty blue eyes and blonde locks, and that's the woman I'm really falling hard for." he says too quickly, before he can realize his mouth and brain aren't exactly in synch. He immediately realizes what he just did and looks down, picking at the eggs on his own plate awkwardly.

Chewing on her bite, Stephanie looks up as Barry comments about her being beautiful but not ditzy or dumb or any of the blonde girl stereotypes she lives with on a daily basis. And then he goes on, admitting how hard he's falling for her and she goes quiet. He was looking right at her, and now he's looking down and poking at his eggs, the same way she had when she awkward-turtled about him being a camera man. So, she does the only thing she can think of. Stephanie puts her fork down on the counter then pushes her plate off the edge just to her left, turning to face what she's going. It's like a cat, pawing breakables off the edge.

And no sooner does she do this and wait for Barry to zip around to keep the plate from breaking and the food from going everywhere than she does what she had wished he had done to comfort and soothe her with she AT'd earlier: Stephanie leans over and plants a kiss on Barry's lips.

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