Author's Note: I know I haven't been back in a while. Like I said Marvel owns my soul and I was working on a bunch of Cosplay stuff. But I have returned. I still own nothing.

17. Ongoing

A short conversation with Barry had Joe grinning again at the end of the day. It slipped slightly as Eddie stepped up to him, shooting a friendly greeting to Barry as she left the bullpen.

"I searched Wells' house like you asked. There was nothing Joe." Eddie glanced over his shoulder at Barry making her way up the stairs to her lab. "Are you sure you want to do this Joe. Investigate Wells?"

"One hundred percent sure." Joe said his eyes following his daughter up the stairs.

Cisco turned around and left the Pipeline a frown etched into his face. Dr. Wells had gone home, apparently workers were coming to replace his windows that afternoon. Caitlin had taken off for the day as well. He didn't know if she was going home to get some well deserved rest or if she was out chasing Firestorm, whatever that was. He took a shaky breath. His hands were shaking. What if there was a way to find and save Ronnie? What if Hartley was telling the truth? Thinking about it Hartley hadn't lied the entire time. Everything he'd said about Wells was true. He sat down hard in one of the chairs, still shaking.

Wells wasn't stabilizing. The realization was frustrating but not wholly unexpected. The tachyonic device was never supposed to be a final solution. For that he needed Barry, at a speed she had yet to reach. Soon though, her progress was good. But his powers would come and go like real lightning in a flash of brilliance and at unexpected times. He took a deep breath and calmed himself as he removed the device and set it back on his suit. He sat back down in his chair and wheeled it forward.

"Show me the security feed of the cortex." Giedion complied and an image of Cisco going over what little remained of the footage from the night of the accelerator explosion appeared. He didn't manage to watch it all the way through though he slammed the pause button and turned away from the video, shaking. Not his problem right now. Barry wasn't here. Neither was Caitlin. He sighed soon he would be able to get home.

The next night found Barry riding high after saving a couple from a deadly car wreck. She spun in the chair and grinned at Cisco who laughed.

"That is pretty badass. I'm even having problems getting mad at you for dirtying up my suit." Barry rolled her eyes at him.

"At what point do we start calling it my suit?" Cisco frowned slightly, like he was thinking hard about it her question.

"I'd be comfortable calling it our suit." Barry laughed loudly.

Caitlin waited until everyone had left to talk to Cisco about looking into Ronnie. His words stuck with her as she headed back to her apartment. She had said she was moving on from Ronnie. Whoever he had been he clearly wasn't the same person anymore. He hadn't been seen since Christmas. There hadn't been any more sightings of the Burning Man in Central either. Maybe Ronnie really was gone this time. She sniffled at the thought and tried to shake off the feeling.

That morning found Barry in a cell at Iron Heights prison. She was taking samples from a prison break.

"So, half the prison camera's go down and Clay Parker, who the guards log says was safely locked up in his cell, disappears into thin air." Barry shook her head.

"Not completely." She held up a small tube and Joe raised an eyebrow at the substance inside which looked a bit like chipped paint off a wall floating in clear goo.

"What is that?" Joe asked looking like he didn't really want to know the answer to that question.

"No idea." Barry shrugged. "It's definitely organic, some kind of particulate but I've never seen anything like it. I found traces of it in here, out in the hall, in front of the broken cameras. The trail led me all the way outside." Barry shot Joe a loaded look. Joe nodded.

"You should get that back to the lab." Barry nodded and packed her case. As she stepped out of the cell and up to Eddie, who was acting as her protection detail as the male side of Iron Heights could be a very dangerous place for a young woman, two guards came around the corner escorting a prisoner and Barry's face lit up. The guards stopped and nodded to her as her father smiled at her.

"Dad!" She stopped just short of touching him, knowing that this impromptu visit would be quickly cut short if she tried. Eddie's eyes lit up with comprehension. He smiled.

"Hi Barry." His smile was bright and full despite the setting. "You look like you're doing well." Barry nodded, tears building slightly in her eyes. Both guards looked away pointedly and one nudged Eddie with his foot and he turned as if he had something important to say to Joe. If none of them were looking Barry could finally have physical contact with her father in god knew how long.

Barry glanced around them and quickly squeezed her father's hand. The camera's in this hall were broken, no one would get in trouble for this. He let go after a few minutes. Both of their eyes were damp.

"So word is that Parker pulled a Shawshank." Joe nodded from the door of the cell.

"Yeah, and no one heard or saw anything." Henry Allen shook his head.

"Or they wouldn't tell you about it." Barry stepped back slightly.

"Leaves us with not a whole lot to go on." Henry smiled at her.

"If anyone can figure out how Parker got out of here it's you." Barry gave him a slightly watery grin. The guard tapped Henry on his shoulder.

"Come on Allen." Henry nodded and smiled at Barry one last time, nodding to Joe as he was led away. Barry watched him go, a few tears slipping down her face. Joe handed her a handkerchief.

"So my dad just happened to come by?" She asked a little sarcastically as she cleaned up her face. Joe shrugged.

"The guard owed me a favor."

"Thank you." Her smile was blinding as Eddie followed her down the hall towards the exit.