Chapter Thirteen

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Barry's heart bled for Caitlin as he watched her tearfully beg Zoom for his freedom. The guilt consumed the scarlet speedster. It was as if molten lava fury had set his insides on fire. Even though this was not the first time she had saved his life, there was no doubt in his mind that it had to be the hardest; given that not too long before after this, Zoom would kidnap her and later on tell her that Barry was dead.

Zoom's hand clutched Barry's throat to the point where he was almost blue in the face. Barry could've easily gotten out of it, but he had just surrendered his powers in exchange for Wally's freedom. It was a choice he wasn't afraid to make as he looked at Joe and Iris and remembered something Caitlin had said when he lost his powers the year before: "Without or without your speed you're still you, Barry".

"If you have any humanity left, please just let him go" Caitlin begged, a stream of tears cascading down her face as she pleaded with Zoom.

Zoom did as he was told and Barry fell forward onto the ground, finally able to breathe once again. But the enraged speedster was not yet completely satisfied. The next time Barry blinked, Zoom had taken Caitlin. His heart shattered like glass, watching it happen again. He wanted to scream out, but he instead a voice inside him began to think the unthinkable. Perhaps Caitlin and Wyatt deserved better. They deserved a husband and father who was guaranteed to come home in one piece after a hard day's work of protecting the city.

"Caitlin! We gotta get Caitlin back" Cisco said firmly from the other side of the viewing room door.

"Stay here. Don't move" Barry whispered to Wally, holding his hand out in warning.

Wally nodded his understanding as he watched Barry sneak throughout the cortex to find the speed force transmitter. As Barry arrived at the med bay, the hairs on his neck stood up; which let him know that he was not alone. Upon turning around, he was met by a less than pleased Harry with a gun in hand; who at this point in time was still looking for Jesse.

He threw things off the desk in a fit of frustration, worrying that he would never be successful at his mission.

"I don't have my daughter, you don't have your speed. Zoom has Caitlin and this whole thing is going to hell in a hand-basket!" Harry exclaimed; seconds away from breaking the transmitter in half, but not before Barry convinced him not to.

Thinking on his feet, he reminded Harry that people from Earth 2 vibrate at a different frequency than those on Earth 1. Perhaps Harry could track her that way. Harry nodded his thanks.

"Figure out how to find Snow" he said sternly as he gave up the transmitter by pushing it against Barry's chest.

"Did you get it?" Wally asked, appearing in the med bay the next time Barry blinked.

"Oh yeah, I got it" Barry confirmed proudly. "Let's build this thing".

But their celebration was abruptly put on hold as Zoom stood before them, blocking their path. The blue lightning surrounding his suit crackled; sending Barry and Wally's hearts racing.

"You're not going anywhere... Flash" Zoom growled.

Zoom chased Barry and Wally out of the room. However, the pair was confident that they could lose him in the breach. He was inches away from grabbing Barry by the hood of his sweater when suddenly a Time Wraith flew down to push Zoom out of the way. Meanwhile, memories were displayed on the wall behind Barry and Wally as they continued to make their escape, such as: the face of Hartley Rathaway, The Flash vs Peek-A-Boo and Flash being given the key to the city.

~

"No!" Barry shouted as the speed force transmitter appeared broken; having landed onto the stone cold pavement in their next time-destination.

Barry's face reddened as his frustration and self-doubt continued to grow.

"Agh! I knew we shouldn't have done this. Now we have no way to stop Cicada and I don't even know when we are" Barry said, feeling defeated.

His heart ached as he pictured never getting back to their timeline and Caitlin having to raise Wyatt all by herself. The guilt continued to consume him as he remembered how nervous she was about having a baby. But he assured her that this time would be different. He was determined now more than ever to keep that promise.

"Hey man, it's gonna be okay" Wally replied with a reassuring look in his eyes. "We can fix this".

"I can't fix this, Wally. Cisco can't even fix it. This is Wells's tech" Barry explained.

"Then let's go back to him" Wally suggested as if it were so simple.

"We can't" Barry revealed. "Harry's mind isn't what it used to be".

"I'm not talking about Harry. My dad told me about the one that built the particle accelerator" Wally replied.

"No. That was not Wells. That was Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash".

Getting his help was the last thing Barry wanted to do.

"What if he can help us?" Wally suggested.

"No!" Barry said firmly, to the point where he nearly shouted. "Look, the only person Thawne ever helps is himself".

In Wally's attempt to apologize for his suggestion, Barry took a couple steps forward without saying a word. He furrowed his eyebrows as he examined his surroundings with deep concentration. He immediately recognized his legs in the old maroon suit beside the rusted blue dumpster.

"What is it?" Wally asked.

"I know where we are" Barry answered as his full, unconscious body came into view.

Barry could see the temptation in the younger speedster's eyes as he prevented Wally from reviving the Flash on the ground. But he was quick to remind Wally about the consequences of the timeline.

"I know exactly what this is. I traveled to this exact timeline, asking for Thawne's help" Barry confessed.

"So you have done it before" Wally replied.

Barry could only respond with a less than proud nod; one that seemed to exude regret more than anything.

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