Chapter 1

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Barry's Point of View

I can't seem to stop myself from pacing, I can see it's making Caitlin anxious but I needed something to do. The city has been quiet recently; I've rarely needed to suit up. Cisco thinks we may have finally caught all of the meta-humans. He's with Joe right now trying to find a definite answer. Whenever I'm alone with Caitlin I see this side of her that never shows around anyone else. It's like an honest and open part of her, one of the reasons why I can't take my eyes off her. You'd think that my biggest fear would be Zoom coming back, or losing my powers, but I know deep down it's losing her. Every day, seeing Caitlin gives me a reason to smile and do what I do, she deserves to smile too. I didn't think after the stress I had with Iris I would ever be open to loving someone new, although the more I think about it, the more clear things seem to become. I think I've liked Caitlin for a lot longer than I've been aware. All I want to do is tell her and see what happens, if I'm going to fall in love with anyone again, I'd want nothing more than it to be her, but I know if I tell her how I'm feeling I'll probably get shot down, if something was going to happen it would have by now, surely?

I catch her eye with the corner of mine and see her smile. Her smile highlights her eyes and makes them shine in a way I hope only I can see. It sends goose bumps down my arms and butterflies in my stomach every time. I smile back a little distracted by how far we've come. I remember the day I first met her, she hardly smiled and it felt like she didn't know her place. Now, sitting in front of me is a confident scientist and one of the bravest people I know. 

"Barry, what's going on with you?" Caitlin says, interrupting my thoughts. 

"What do you mean? Nothing." I reply, confused as I hadn't done anything.

"You've been staring into space for a while now, completely lost in thought." She states as if it was supposed to be obvious to me. There's so many things I'd like to tell her right now, but I can't be rejected, not again. I look over to meet her gaze and find the worry in her eyes. 

"I was just thinking about how far we've come, as a team. It's pretty incredible." I shrug. She smiles again and nods her head. Just as she opens her mouth to speak again Cisco walks in closely followed by Oliver? I blink a few times to double check I'm seeing right. What is Oliver doing here? He only ever comes to Central City when I need help, and he's too proud to admit when he needs help. 

"Barry." He says, without another word.

"Oliver?" I say trying to get more of an explanation out of him. He's in his everyday clothes so he can't be here due to work. "Is everything okay?" I finish still urging an answer. 

"Yes, Dig and Felicity suggested I 'get out more'. So I thought we could, you know, get a coffee and catch up or something." He rolls his eyes but I know he wants to meet up as much as he was forced, otherwise he wouldn't have come. I look to Caitlin but can't seem to work out why. 

"Sounds great, lets go. Bye Caitlin, Cisco." I nod to them both as Oliver and myself leave. Slightly annoyed that Caitlin and I won't get a chance to be alone again for a while now. I love Cisco, but he's always around. I walk beside Oliver still wondering about why he's really here. For some reason I don't see him being the type of person to be told what to do. 

When we arrive at Jitters I'm greeted with surprise to see Iris working. She quit ages ago to work as a reporter. Oliver takes a seat and stares at the menu, deciding what to get, when Iris approaches us. 

"Hi Barry," she says smiling at Oliver, "hey Oliver." Oliver looks up and smiles faintly at Iris, still paying attention to the menu. 

"You don't work here anymore Iris." I state, realising it should have been a question. 

"No, I know, I still help out every now and again, some extra money I guess." She shrugs her shoulders and and leaves us to serve some people. I see Oliver grin above the menu and laugh a little bit. 

"So how'd you get over her?" He says with a smug grin on his face. Before I could even begin to answer I try to work out how he knew. He's not spoken to me in months, and I've not been with him for even an hour yet. 

"How'd you mean?"

"You don't completely freeze when you see her anymore, or struggle for words to keep the conversation going. You hardly even fluster when she looks your way." He says with raised eyebrows almost shocked that I couldn't see it. Not knowing what to say I let out a laugh to try and end the conversation, but he speaks again. "So, I know it didn't just happen. What changed?" I quick as I am, I couldn't think of a lie quick enough.

"There's a chance I could be getting feelings for someone else." I look down not wanting to see Oliver's reaction as I had no choice but to hear it. 

"Who? Barry this could be big!" I find myself laughing because not only is it the first time I'm speaking out loud about my feelings, I'm speaking to Oliver Queen about them. It's one of the first times in our friendship I've actually heard him excited about something, apart from Felicity of course. 

"Caitlin." I figured I'd get it over with like taking off a plaster, quick and painless. However the painless half was still to be confirmed. I look up to see his eyes widened and a small grin slowly growing. If he's being positive about this, maybe I can too.

"Since when? I've always thought you guys would be great together." 

"I'm not sure how long, obviously when we met I knew there was something special about her but I guess I've always thought that was just a good friend as Iris has always been my priority. There's only so many times you can be knocked down by one girl and picked up by another to realise the second is better for you. She makes me feel happy and safe, and just wanted you know?" I begin to stop as I realise I'm going on a little too much. Iris will always be a big part of my heart, but I know it's not in the same way it used to be. 

"Have you told her how you feel Barry? Don't make the same mistake I did and keep it to yourself." He suddenly became a lot more serious. 

"How did you make a mistake, you and Felicity are together?"

"Only because I almost lost her to Ray, even you at one point. Don't let her slip away if you know it'll hurt you seeing her with someone else." I nod along with what he's saying to show I agree. The thought of Caitlin with anyone else leaves this heavy feeling on me, she needs to know how I feel, at least then if she doesn't feel the same I'll know that nothing could've happened and I didn't act on it. 

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