It was a simple mission. It wasn't supposed to end like this. Not with Barry collapsed on the ground with blood gushing from his stomach, shivering. All Iris could do was drag Barry deeper into the alley so no one could see him. She bit her lip so the tears wouldn't fall. She needed to be strong for Barry. She needed to be calm because Cisco, Caitlin and her dad were coming to get bring Barry back to STAR labs. Iris never felt so helpless before, even when Barry attacked Eddie because he was under the control of another meta human, did she feel this helpless. She couldn't even pull out the dagger out of Barry's bleeding stomach.
Iris could remember the mission clearly. The memory was still fresh in her mind. It was a normal day, considering the fact that Barry was the Flash. The police was chasing a man who was carrying dangerous unidentified toxins, her dad had called in the Flash to catch him quickly so no civilians could get hurt. The man's name was Norman Quine. Iris was getting coffee at Jittery Joe's.
Cisco was telling Barry where Norman was located.
" Be careful Barry this guy has been able to severely injured two cops already. We don't know what's up his sleeve now. " Caitlin warned Barry as he was advancing towards the criminal.
" What does Barry have to worry about? He's the Flash, this guy isn't even a meta human." Cisco questioned Caitlin, then stating that she worries too much.
" Okay- " A scream of pain sounded on the coms.
" Barry? Barry what happened? Oh my gosh his vitals aren't doing good. Barry what happened!? Barry! " Cisco frantically called hoping that Barry would answer. Nothing. All they could hear was Barry's heavy breathing.
" I'm calling Iris. She said that she was getting coffee, right? " Caitlin looked at where Barry was. He was a few meters away from Jittery Joe's, Iris should be there.
" Hello? " Iris answered.
" Barry is in trouble. He shouldn't be far away from you. He's hurt real bad, we need to know what's wrong can you find him? " Caitlin quickly said into the phone.
A minute later Caitlin could hear Iris say, " Oh my gosh! Barry! "
" Iris what's happening? What happened to Barry? " Caitlin tried to keep her voice calm but she knew that it wavered. She put it on speaker for Cisco who looked as worried as her.
They could hear muffled sobs then Iris spoke, " Barry has a dagger impaled in his stomach and is bleeding heavily. Do I pull it out? " Cisco said no then further instructed her to pull Barry out of sight.
" We'll be there soon, just keep Barry alive. We'll call Joe right away. " They ended the call only to dial on Joe's phone number.
Iris did what Cisco told her to do. She gingerly put her arms under Barry's, dragging him as gently as she could further into the alley. Her heart hurt when Barry let out a weak groan in protest of being moved, the wound in his stomach gushed out blood sporadically. Iris hushed Barry's cries of pain with whispers of comfort. She pushed him onto his side, letting him cough up the blood in his throat. Iris used a napkin that she got to hold her coffee to wipe away the blood that was dribbling blood down the corner of Barry's mouth. She felt tears blurring her sight, but she couldn't cry. Not now.
Joe arrived two minutes later, with Cisco and Caitlin in a van. They brought a gurney with them. Iris watched helplessly as they picked up Barry, trying to stop the bleeding the dagger was causing. The next thing Iris knew was that she was in STAR labs.
" He's lost too much blood! "
" He's losing too much blood! "
Iris ignored what they were saying as they were running around in the room, getting things that they needed. She didn't need to understand what they were saying. She slowly went towards the gurney, everyone too busy to notice. Barry was awake and he was in pain. He was breathing in short, pained puffs as he attempted to curl into himself. But Joe stopped him, holding him down so Barry wouldn't injure himself further.
" Don't worry Bar, don't worry. " Joe gave his daughter a look that beckoned her over. Barry fought against Joe's grip with fading strength.
" The man- dagger in his- " Barry kept muttering incomprehensible words under his breath as he tried to breathe normally. " The dagger- hurts- GET IT OUT! " Barry screamed suddenly before arching his back in desperation.
" Hold him down! " Caitlin ordered as Barry's legs started kicking as he started struggling wildly.
" GET IT OUT! " Barry's pleas broke Iris's heart. She was pretty sure that it hurt everyone as well. She'd never heard Barry so desperate before. The gurney shook as Iris moved to hold down Barry legs. He stopped struggling after a minute of screaming and doing everything he could to try to escape their grasp. His breathing was growing more erratic as he was unconsciously trying to catch his breath. Cisco put a hand under his jaw to check his pulse.
" He's fading fast. We need to get the dagger out. Now! " Cisco yelled panic thick in his voice. Caitlin rushed over to him bandages in her hand. They wheeled the gurney into another room their voices fading away.
Iris felt herself being pulled away from them by her dad. He was saying some comforts to her but she ignored him. Her best friend was dying. She looked up at her dad, she could see despair written all over his face. His eyes glistening with tears.
An hour later Caitlin emerged from the room with an exhausted look on her face. She looked extremely distraught. Iris felt her heart beat in anticipation. The silence was practically deadly as they waited for someone to speak.
" Well? " Joe broke the silence, his voice was strong. At least he hoped it was.
" We got the dagger out, but it was laced with some sort of poison that's killing Barry. Cisco is trying to find a way to slow it down. " Caitlin informed them sadly not looking directly at them.
" You mean there's no cure? You can't make a cure. " Joe said, his voice was gruff. Caitlin looked towards Cisco as he walked into the room with a tablet, looking more serious than he ever had been.
" No, we can't make a cure because we don't have enough of the toxin to actually find out what to make to cure him. The only sample of the toxin we have is too diluted by blood. But we're pretty sure that Norman Quine has more of it. So- " Cisco was interrupted by Iris, who seemed somewhat relieved.
" So all we have to do is find that man? Then you can save Barry. " Iris concluded looking at her dad. He seemed to be deep in thought, deep concern etched on his face.
" But how would anyone know how to do this? It has to be someone extremely smart, someone smart enough to understand how the Flash can do the things that he does. It can't be Norman though, he's not that smart. " Joe voiced his concerns out loud, one look at Caitlin or Cisco and you could tell that they already had thought about this.
" We thought about that but right now we need to worry about how to save Barry. His stab wound also got infected, he has a high fever now. It's obvious that the poison is weakening his immune system. Which really isn't helping. We're trying to get the fever down but he won't stop trying to get up. I'm pretty he's delirious. You think you can calm him down, get him to rest? He needs to save his strength so he can fight against the toxin. " Cisco informed them pointing at the room that Barry was in.
" Yes. " Was the answer from both Iris and Joe. When they walked in they saw Barry, still in his suit, lying on a bed surround by several machines. He had an oxygen mask on that he seemed to be trying to take it off with little success. The oxygen mask was strapped on his head, though Barry didn't seem to be aware of the strap or that Joe and Iris had walked in. He looked exhausted with dark circles under his eyes, along with long lines of dehydration. A sheen of sweat was evident on his face.
He was close to snapping the strap that held the oxygen mask on him before Iris stopped him. She gently grabbed his trembling hand that was grabbing the mask, she squeezed it trying to get his attention. He looked at her with half-lidded eyes that were glazed with fever.
" What're you doing silly? You need that on to help you breath. " Iris said in a teasing tone knowing that he was delirious, hoping that he would understand. He shook his head adamantly before looking up at Joe who was behind Iris.
" No I- I need to.. him. I need- need to find Eddie. Have to stop-stop..Grodd. " Barry stuttered trying to get up, only to be stopped by a wave of pain from his stomach. His stomach was wrapped up in thick bandages.
Joe took a seat beside Iris who was gripping Barry's hand, with both of her's, tightly. Joe tried to remind Barry that they already stopped Grodd saying, " Don't worry about the gorilla. All you need to do is rest. " Joe stroked Barry's forehead pushing his matted, sweaty hair away from his eyes.
Barry started to blink languidly, his eyelids started to get heavier and the need to sleep was overwhelming. He soon fell asleep his head dropped onto the pillow, that was placed there after the removal of the dagger. His chest rised up and down unevenly as he took in rattling breathes. Joe got up when he heard Cisco walk up behind them, while Iris contuined to hold Barry's hand with both of her's.
" How long does he have? " Joe asked glancing quickly at Barry's limp form.
" If we don't slow down the process, probably a week. The toxin is working very fast. " Cisco answered gravely tapping on his tablet.
" How're you going to slow the process down? Cause don't think I can find Norman in a week. Norman knows we're hunting him down, he'll be in hiding. " Joe said in an angry voice. His son was dying and he couldn't do anything about it.
Cisco turned his tablet around to show Joe. He had a blueprint on the tablet. It showed two poles with what seemed to be lights on the top of them. Cisco pointed at the screen saying, " These will put Barry in something similar to suspended animation. It'll slow down the toxin from killing Barry immediately. It gives us at least three weeks. You should be able to find Norman then. Right? "
Joe nodded grimly already thinking of how they were going to catch Norman. Iris walked in having heard the conversation. She looked at Caitlin saying, " Can we get Barry out of the suit? If he's going into a deep sleep can't we make him comfortable? It's not like he's going anywhere as the Flash anytime soon. " Caitlin nodded pointing towards Barry, who was still asleep.
" Good idea. I'm gonna to change his bandages soon, you should bring him clothes so we could change him then. " Caitlin said smiling faintly trying to be polite. Joe left soon after that, promising that he would find Norman as soon as possible. Iris left to get Barry clothes so he would be comfortable.
" When do you think you can make the, well you know the poles? Barry will only get even worse if we take our time. We'll need a breathing tube because the mask isn't going to work when he's in suspended animation. " Caitlin looked at Barry as he struggled to breath in his sleep.
Cisco nodded in agreement. " Yeah I'm going to start right now. " On his way out of the room Cisco called out, " We'll need to put a feeding tube in him too! "
Caitlin walked next to the bed that Barry was sleeping in. She checked the machine that showed his vitals trying to take in some comfort knowing that he, eventually was going to be okay. Joe will find the criminal and get the toxin then both Cisco and Caitlin will make the cure and save Barry. She crouched down next to Barry, a flashlight in her hand. Then she lifted opened his eyelid avoiding the oxygen mask then shined the light into his right eye, noting that the pupil reacted sluggishly. She opened his left eye about to shine the light into his eye when she heard footsteps. Caitlin got up from her crouched position as Iris arrived with a bundle of clothes in her arms.
" I'm sorry did I mess you up? " Iris apologized putting the clothes down on a table. She saw the flashlight in Caitlin's hand.
" No don't worry about that. I was just checking his vitals. " Caitlin assured Iris before eyeing the clothes on the table. " Can you help me with changing his bandages? It'll be easier with two people working together. "
" Uh, yeah sure I'll love to help. I also brought some food for you guys. If you're hungry or not. " Iris said picking the clothes off the table walking over to Barry's bed. After awhile they both succeeded in changing Barry's bandages while getting him into a plaid shirt with jeans. Caitlin lifted the plaid shirt looking over her and Iris's work.
" I smell food, did someone bring us dinner? " Cisco called out loud emerging from his work. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation. Iris handed him one bag while she handed Caitlin another, Iris herself already had gotten food and eaten of the way back to STAR labs.
" Thanks for dinner. " Cisco's words were muffled by food but Iris could still understand. She turned her attention to Barry.
" Can he eat anything? " Iris asked looking at the empty bags that once held food.
" No, but he can probably drink something. " Cisco answered a thoughtful looked appeared on his face. Iris got a cup of water bringing it over to Barry. She shook him awake coaxing him to drink some water.
When Iris came back she looked concerned. She said, " I got him to drink some water and to go asleep again but he seemed barely cognizant. He was slurring his words and he called me.. mom. I'm worried about how he seemed to get worse in a short amount of time. "
Caitlin and Cisco also shared a look of concern. Cisco got up throwing away any trash telling them that he was going back to work.
" I'm pretty sure he's just tired. He couldn't of gotten worse of such a short period of time. " Caitlin tried to reassure Iris but it was useless.
" Let's just hope my dad finds Norman before anything else happens. "