This is an edited response to a prompt I got on tumblr from bold-sartorial-statement! You can find me on tumblr as scarlett-ice.
"Sorry Barry, I like you but you're not cut out for the kind of life I lead. We wouldn't be good together. Besides…there's someone else I've got my eye on."
Barry didn't miss the way Len glanced over to the TV in the corner of the room, playing news coverage of the Flash's latest fight. He barely managed to stop himself slamming his head against the bar counter.
Barry had thought his only problem was falling for a criminal. He hadn't anticipated said criminal falling for the Flash. And only the Flash.
When Barry first entered Saints 'n' Sinners, he'd been undercover in an attempt to find out about some underground metas. He'd entered with the plan to keep to himself, subtly listen in on a few conversations and get out again. Of course, as most things did when Barry was involved, it all went downhill within a matter of minutes.
"What's a pretty thing like you doing in a place like this? What's your price?"
It had taken Barry a few seconds to realise what this guy, with his dirty long blonde hair and ripped up jacket, had meant but before he could even stammer out that he was not a prostitute, there was another guy joining them. A much more handsome one.
"Now, now, Kenny. We don't want a repeat of last time, do we"
'Kenny' had scurried away quickly and that was when Barry learned that Leonard Snart, thief extraordinaire and rescuer of scandalised undercover metas, knew his father in prison. It took a bit of quick thinking and some help from Wells and Caitlin to explain just what Barry was doing there but between the three of them, they managed to develop a story convincing enough to justify him returning to the bar. More often than not Len would be there too and even when he wasn't, he might as well have been since the other patrons made a point of keeping their distance.
After the first few visits, despite the protests of his friends, Barry ended up turning off the comm. He might be a criminal, had near enough admitted it to Barry's face, but Barry was really starting to like him. Not only did Barry appreciate looking at him, but he had a unique sense of humour and apart from the whole stealing thing, seemed to be a decent man.
And then the Flash met Captain Cold.
His voice had been unmistakable and it was only habit that had Barry masking his own voice so that his own identity was kept secret. Things got complicated after that. While the Flash's relationship with Captain Cold was tremulous at best (or, so he thought), Barry's relationship with Len improved, despite this extra knowledge he held about the man. He saw where Len and Captain Cold merged, understood what motivated him and realised that even with his new weapon that Barry really wasn't a fan off, he still liked him. He saw the good in him.
And that's where the first problem arose. The second…he had no idea how that even happened.
After Len's rejection, Barry decided to visit Saint's less. He would have stopped altogether but he still had a job to do (he'd managed to pick up a few good leads) and so he settled for changing up his times. If Len happened to be there as well, he'd risk doing what Wells had made explicit he should not do under any circumstance – reveal his identity.
Throwing himself into his work as the Flash helped. Take that moment for instance, he didn't have time to think about Len, or how handy his cold gun would be, while fighting a fire-breathing meta while her partner was busy stealing some valuable artefacts.
"My, it looks like you really need to chill out."
Sometimes it really felt like the universe was against Barry.
"Cold?!" Barry yelped, only just managing to disguise his voice in time as he narrowly dodged another stream of fire. "What are you doing here?"
"I was in the area and saw you were in a hot spot. Thought I'd offer my services."
"In the area. With your cold gun," Barry said bluntly, watching as the approaching flames met a blast of ice.
"What can I say, I always come prepared. Besides, this is my favourite museum. I'd hate for things to get damaged."
Barry rolled his eyes, fighting a grin. "Do you think you can take her? She has a partner I need to stop."
"Please Flash, this is kid's work. Off you go."
While the Flash might not always trust Captain Cold, at that moment Barry was trusting Len to handle himself. It didn't take him long to find the other woman, currently raiding the Egyptian section, and at the sight of him, she sighed.
"Isobel promised me she'd keep you busy," she whined. "I knew we should have traded places. Oh well, come and get me Flash."
Barry didn't need any encouragement but the moment they locked eyes, he found himself frozen.
"Uh, Barry? Why'd you stop?"
Barry would have loved to answer Cisco but he literally couldn't move a single muscle. Fear began to build as he realised he was little more than a statue and it didn't look like the speed force could help him.
"And see, this is why we should have traded! So easy," she muttered. "Now, you're going to be a good boy and watch as I steal all this lovely, expensive, jewellery."
"Paralysis," Caitlin breathed, as if Barry didn't know he was well and truly stuck.
"That's some creepy Medusa stuff right there," said Cisco, before Barry heard the sound of snapping fingers. "That's gonna be her name!"
Despite the others coming up with ways Barry might be able to throw off the paralysis, nothing worked and all Barry could do was watch as Medusa finished putting all of the jewellery in her bag. In the time that had taken, all Barry had managed to do was blink his eyes, a blessing considering how dry they had become.
However, instead of head to the next room to raid or escape, Medusa began stalking towards him. "I've always been curious who's under the mask," she said conversationally. "Someone famous, perhaps?"
With the gang's protests ringing in his ears, Barry was helped to stop her as she removed his cowl. Her face fell slightly.
"Well, you're no Tony Stark but you're cute, I'll give you that. You know, I think I'll just leave you here like this for the police to find you. Soon, your secret identity won't be so secret anymore Flash."
With a parting blow of a kiss, Medusa disappeared and with renewed determination, Barry willed something, anything, to move. He knew his friends could delete footage from the cameras around but that wouldn't help him if the police found him. He'd be lucky if his face wasn't on the news. Maybe they could get Joe up here first…
"Someone's being slow today. I thought they called you the Fla-Barry?"
That wasn't good. That was very not good. At least Wells couldn't blame him for this.
Len stepped into view and the surprise that had been on his face was replaced with a mask of neutrality. "So, this explains what you were really doing in Sinner's then. Tell me, did Barry Allen really like me or were you just being the good little boy Flash in there, doing his duty to the city?"
Thanks to a small miracle, Barry regained enough control of his stiff mouth to say, "It's not like that."
Len took a step forward, corners of his mouth turning down as he scanned Barry up and down with his calculating eyes. "You can't move, can you? The other meta?"
"Yes." Despite the effort it took to speak, Barry was able to carry on with, "My cowl. Please, Len." There was the sound of approaching footsteps and Barry looked at Len desperately. There was more than one person coming and even if Joe was one of them, he wouldn't be able to stop everyone from getting a good look.
Len's lips pursed but he followed Barry's request, pulling the cowl back over his face with more gentleness than he'd expected.
"We'll talk about this later Barry. I need to get out of here."
When the police arrive, Len is gone and his identity remains protected.
As he nursed a beer that didn't affect him, a shadow fell over Barry as the seat opposite him became occupied.
"So, I suppose you can handle this kind of life then?" Len said and Barry grinned.