And now another bedtime story for you all wonderful readers out in the world…
Once again, love all the messages and reviews I've gotten from you, means the world. I hope all of you are staying safe and keeps following the safety instructions.
Sorry for taking long with this one.
Now to answer some reviews:
Guest(s): Glad you guys love it.
Patnher-10: My idea for this story and the previous season, Enter the Demon, was that you, the readers, would place a face to the OCs if you feel like it. Personally, I haven't done it as it could be anyone. So in your case and any other readers, as you read the chapters, you are free to place whatever face you want on the OCs.
Ultimatrix bearer: Sibling squabble, nothing more.
Starpottergeek: Love the ideas, will take them into consideration.
Timbarney110: There's personality changes to Ruby Hale as she was plucked away from the future. She still has her training of course, but now she's focusing on becoming a hero. Her family trusted Jay so did she in response.
So without further ado…
Chapter 30: Clash of Kings
Caitlin's heart skipped a beat. No… hundreds of heartbeats skipped at the sight before her. She couldn't stop her tears from falling. She didn't even bother getting up from her knees behind him…
She felt safe behind him like this.
… and the pieces of their once shattered world slowly rose back up, forming… one piece at a time…
Joe, Harry, Cisco, Jesse and Iris widened their eyes in shock and happiness. Barry laughed when seeing him again. Olivia and Matt smiled widely at the sight of the elemental mutant returning to them.
Frankie couldn't believe she got to see her father again after so long. Her smile was so wide it actually hurt her when she tried to stretch it even further. Ruby and Evelyn were no different. They saw their father again for the first time in very, very long time.
And they were happy because… it meant their family would be able to reunite again.
The only one who was not happy to see him… was Zoom as he pulled himself out of the wall. He looked at the back of his right hand, the wound already healed. Then he turned his pitch-black eyes to the elemental. "Venom!" He growled.
But Seth… he had better things to take care.
Seth turned around and smiled to his girlfriend. "Hey, Cait."
"Seth?" Caitlin asked as though it was unbelievable to see his face. He nodded, holding out a hand for her which she took and let him help her up. "Is it really you?" She asked.
"The one, the only, yours truly." Seth quipped, stroking her cheek and wiping away the tears with his thumb. "Tears really never suited you, it's like they're trying to hide your beautiful face…" She smiled lovingly. "It's still wrong."
"You remember that?" She asked. Caitlin couldn't believe that he remembered those words, the words he saw when she fell in love with him…
"Hit my head few times, but still works, somehow." Seth joked. He looked over to the others, turning to the platform and saw the group of people there. "Good to see you guys again. It's been too long." He greeted them, but his eyes instantly fell to his daughters, narrowing on Frankie. "Your hair's gotten longer, baby…"
"Daddy?" Frankie asked, eyes stinging with tears.
Seth smiled when hearing that word again after more than a year on that other Earth. "God, I missed you." He pointed a wiggling finger to her sisters. "I hope you and your sisters have been nice… I don't wanna be the guy who grounds his daughters just when he got home." Through their tears, they did chuckle at his joke.
"I missed you all… I really did…" He directed his next words to the love of his life. "And I got so much I want to tell you all…" They smiled while Zoom growled. "But first…" Seth snapped his cold blue eyes to the evil speedster. "I got to take out the trash."
"Good luck with that… Venom." Zoom sneered before charging for the mutant.
"Cait, sorry about this." Seth grabbed her by her shoulders.
Caitlin looked confused. "What-"
"Matty, catch!" Seth called out, spinning his girlfriend around before throwing her into the air to the armored mutant.
As Caitlin screamed her lungs out, Matt quickly lowered himself and caught her. "Got you!" He assured the doctor who wrapped her arms around his neck. "You come back, and first thing you do is throw your girlfriend like she's a baseball. Typical, Seth."
"Missed you too, Matty!" Seth shouted whilst lightning sparked over his entire body. Jumping backwards, he dodged the evil speedster and attached himself to the ceiling. Symbiotic skin came over his outstretched his right arm, forming claws. For a second, he flexed them before launching his arm. The limb stretched, digging into the ground.
Zoom dodged the attack, looking up to the mutant who pulled himself to the ground via retracting his arm. The evil speedster ran to him, pushing him back. Seth dug his foot into the floor, turning his entire body into adamantium to increase his weight.
Struggling to pushing him, Zoom raised his hand and phased it.
Seth smirked. "Forget something?" Lightning returned to course his body, intensifying and meeting the evil metahuman's lightning, cancelling out his phasing. "Think haven't changed that much, Zoom!"
"What's happening?" Harry asked, directing to the nanite mutant.
Matt lowered Caitlin to the platform. "Seth intensifies the lightning in him, making it erupt out of his body. The lightning coursing over a speedster's body and his meet each other, causing them to cancel out the speedster's phasing."
"So he might just have a chance to defeat Zoom?" Harry surmised.
"Yup… and he's not even at full strength yet." Matt said.
"Plus… unlike Barry, and possibly Zoom too, Seth got a shitload of combat experience." Olivia smiled.
Reeling his arm back, he punched the speedster's face. The blow to his face pushed Zoom back. But the evil speedster was met with another adamantium fist connecting with the other side of his face. Growling his anger, Zoom spun around and kicked the elemental with a roundhouse kick.
Sliding to a stop, Seth held his stomach and looked down.
"Feeling down already, Venom?" Zoom cackled, the others forming shocked and worried expressions behind him. "Can't handle fighting a demon…"
Seth showed an evil smirk, all of his clothes covered by black symbiotic mass. "Didn't I tell you already… I'm the bigger demon…"
"I missed this." Olivia smiled. But it fell when suddenly white spikes came out of her brother's back.
"And what the hell is that?" Matt paled in shock.
Ruby smacked her lips with realization. "Oh yeah, we didn't exactly tell you guys everything from our Earth-2 stay."
"What exactly did you forego to tell us?" Iris asked.
Evelyn grinned sheepishly, pointing a finger to her father. "That."
The symbiotic mass expanded over his entire body, enlarging his form. The mass crawled up, reaching Seth's smirking face and engulfing it completely. Shooting out of his back, the white bone spikes spiraled around his arms and dug into the back of his hands. His red eyes locked onto Zoom, the skin of his face sizzling before the white skull extension erupted from it.
"… He got scarier on Earth-2. Course he did." Joe said with frantic nod while his face was without blood.
Venom released his serpentine tongue. "We are the bigger demon, Zoom!" He growled at the evil speedster. Swinging his arm backwards, elongating it and wrapping it around the handle of his sword before yanking it out of the wall and back into his hand. "Bring it!"
Zoom growled and ran after him.
Lightning sparked over the mutant's large body again before Seth swung his sword. Zoom dodged the crystal sword, but he didn't get the chance to dodge the demon's free hand that ensnared his form. Venom roared, slamming the metahuman into the ground repeatedly. The floor cracked as he wa
"Holy…" Jesse didn't know what to say. She's seen him fight repeatedly like a violent animal on Earth-2. But seeing him fight like that on home turf seemed different.
Zoom used his own claws, cutting the oil-like flesh of the mutant's symbiotic skin. Gritting his teeth in annoyance, Venom threw him into a wall. Sticking his sword into the ground, Seth thrusted out both arms, turning them into adamantium before splitting them into waves of striking tendrils. Each and every one of them slammed into the wall, wrapping the speedster's form.
The lightning around his body increased, crawling over his tendrils and shocking the evil metahuman. Whilst he was electrocuting Zoom, Venom dragged him threw the walls with brutal swings of both his arms.
Gulping when he saw Seth coming close to stabilizer rings and the breach, Cisco called out. "Seth, don't hit the rings around the breach!"
"Fine!" Venom loudly responded, retracting his arms and pulled Zoom close to him. The evil speedster saw the lightning around the mutant's body dissipating. Using that moment, he raised his feet and pushed himself out of the mutant's grip.
Shifting his eyes between the elemental and the group on the platform, Zoom formed a smile. "Time to choose… Venom."
Sirens blared in Seth's head at those words. Nothing good was gonna come next.
And it showed itself when Zoom ran around in a circle. "This again." He was gonna use the same tactic as before: Hurl lightning at him.
Zoom stopped and thrusted out the lightning with a swing of his arm. Seth saw the trajectory of the lightning attack and backflipped into the air, landing in front of his friends and family and tanked the attack. Venom screamed in pain at the blue lightning hurt his body, making him fall to his knees.
"Seth?!" Olivia screamed.
"See ya soon, Venom…" Zoom cackled. He looked to Flash. "You too, Flash."
He sped away, travelling into breach behind him.
"NO!" Barry screamed.
"We need to close it!" Harry shouted, holding back the Scarlet Speedster.
"We don't have any implosion reactors!" Cisco shouted.
Venom perked up, getting back to his full height with his sword in hand. Jumping off the platform. he stood before the breach. "Everyone get back!" He declared. His friends and family got another big surprise when they saw him flex his bulging muscles and pitch-black flames erupted all over his body.
"Oh what the hell?" Joe shouted.
Not paying attention to his friend's words, Venom snarled at the breach and concentrated the black flames around his body. He forced them to travel to his right arm, running over his hand and over his fingers. The flames travelled up, reaching the crystal blade. When connecting with the blade, the flames completely and instantly enveloped it.
What no one saw was that the eyes of the demonic mouth hilt glow bright red, and in response… lightning sparked in the middle of the flame-cloaked blade. Twirling the sword in his hand, the mutant thrusted his blade towards the breach. His blazing sword released its flames in a column of pitch-black flames.
Everyone in the Breach Room watched the abyssal flames connecting the swirling interdimensional gateway. The breach's spiraling motion took in the flames, making the flames pass into its inner ring. With addition of the black flames throw into the mix, they saw the blue breach turn completely black in a matter of seconds.
Confusion and shock and surprise… they didn't feel like those words could justify their feelings when they saw the breach shrink…. No… they watched it get torn into burning pieces… they watched the big breach completely burn into pieces…
Till… it was completely gone.
Reeling his sword back, Seth breathed out. "We hate speedsters." His voice morphed as the head opened up and he spoke through his own mouth as the symbiote retreated back into his body.
Seth perked up. He snapped around and saw Frankie walking down the small stairs of the platform with slow steps. Gasping at the sight of his daughter, the elemental let go of his sword and covered his mouth with one hand.
Tears wettened his eyes. "F-Frankie?" He asked in disbelief at the sight of his daughter. He was having trouble seeing her so grown up now. "Is it really you, baby?"
"Y-Yeah." Frankie frantically nodded her head, tears in her eyes. She rushed to him-
"Wait, Frankie!" Both Frankie and Seth snapped their eyes to Olivia who looked suspiciously at her brother. "What if that's not Seth?" She posed the question.
"What?" Frankie asked, her father and uncle Matt looking to the psychic like she has two heads.
"Really? You think I'm some imposter with identical powers as your big brother or what?" Seth asked with hints of annoyance.
"Your words not mine, but it does raise the question, yeah." Olivia nodded with a serious look, struggling to not grin. She walked forward, leaning against the railing. "What is the one thing you got from Dad after he adopted us?"
"…Really? You just want to embarrass me?" Seth pieced her plan together. "After so long… you just want to embarrass me?" Olivia awaited his answer. "Oh, for fuck's sake… Fine… If a toast is cut diagonally, I can't eat it."
"Hahahahaha!" Olivia's laughter reached the high heavens when hearing her brother spill the bizarre detail of his life. She had to hold her stomach. "Oh yeah, that's him, alright?"
"Really, Dad?" Frankie asked with shock.
"Sweetie, there's a reason why you haven't seen me eat toast." Seth shrugged his shoulders with that response. He turned his eyes to his laughing sister with an evil grin. "Now can I hug my daughter, or do you want me to prove myself even more by telling everyone here about your first attempt when you tried to dye your hair?"
Olivia ceased her laughter instantaneously, replacing it with a murderous sneer. "You tell anyone about that, I'll split your mind into thousand pieces before shoving this entire facility down your throat!" It was like her voice could compete with an earthquake as it literally felt like the room itself shook.
Seth smiled. "And now I'm assured that's my baby sister. Missed you, Bubble."
"Missed you, too, Bro." Olivia said with a smile.
Ruby looked to Matt. "Are they always like this?"
"Their way of talking involves punching each other." Matt answered with a chortle.
The mutant looked to his daughter and shot out a tendril. He attached it to her and pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her. Frankie reciprocated, wrapping her arms around her father. Seth looked up and saw Ruby and Evelyn looking at them.
As he went to unwrap his arms, he stopped when Evelyn shook her head and wordlessly told him… To hug his first daughter.
He nodded and kept them tight around his daughter.
He returned his eyes upwards again and saw Caitlin walking down the stairs. Seth smiled but saw her face and her wobbly walking. "Cait?" She couldn't keep her eyes open anymore and they closed shut but she couldn't keep herself up anymore.
Lightning came over the mutant's body, his muscles pulsating with his element. Quickly pulling out of the hug with his daughter, he rushed to her and caught her. "Wow!" He let out and lifted her into a bridal carry, keeping her close. "I got you, Caitlin." Seth softly assured her as he walked up the stairs, standing on the platform.
"What just happened here?" Iris asked, still reeling in the shock that followed this array of electrifying events. But her focus then diverted to Barry who glared at the previous place of the breach. "Barry-"
"Open it up." Barry growled, shifting his eyes between Harry and Barry.
"Allen…" Harry told him.
"I need to go back." Barry steadfastly said.
"I can't do that."
"Open it up!" Barry screamed at Harry.
"Barry!" Seth got his attention. "He can't open something that's not there anymore. The breach didn't close, I destroyed it. It's gone for good."
"That's impossible." Barry countered.
"Well sorry to steal your thunder, pal, but I just did the impossible." Seth said back. "Also, you're welcome."
"This guy is still a dick." Venom noted.
"Some things never change, do they?" Seth thought back.
"The breaches are closed." Harry walked closer to him. The speedster didn't seem to accept that. "All the breaches are closed."
Inwardly Joe was ecstatic to see his friend again, but he had to participate in conversation. "Why can't we just open one of them?"
Matt looked to them and answered. "Aside from what we tried to with that one before Seth burned it to cinders, the quark matter energy that we used to seal the breaches, it prevents them from being opened, ever again."
Inhaling deeply, Harry said with a sigh. "There's no going back to our world."
"Amen to that one." Seth said while cradling Caitlin. He wasn't looking forward to another visit to that place.
But Jesse wasn't onboard with that. "Wait. We're trapped here for good?"
"Looks like Whiney is up for permanent residence on Earth-1." Ruby quipped, but then Evelyn elbowed her.
"Choose your moments, seriously." Evelyn sternly told her.
Jesse was in disbelief, staggering away.
Seth got up from the ground, holding Caitlin close. "I'm gonna take Caitlin upstairs to the lab."
"Okay." Olivia nodded before her brother walked towards the exit.
Throwing a glance back, he called out. "Girls, come when you're ready, okay?" They nodded to their father before he resumed walking out of the Breach Room.
Barry shook his head; he didn't want to believe this. "No, we can't just let Zoom get away with this. He just murdered Jay right in front of us and almost killed one of our own."
"And Seth stopped him from killing Caity, Barry." Olivia stated.
Joe was no better than his adoptive son. "There's got to be something we can do."
"There's not." Harry confessed. He turned around to face the detective. "Not this time." He turned back to the angry and frustrated speedster again. "It's over."
"No." Barry stomped up the stairs.
Matt stopped him. "Calm down!" He whispered loudly in his face. "You're not the only one who failed. Get that through your head, okay?"
"…" Barry didn't say anything. Instead, he pushed his hand away and walked away.
"Think he'll be okay?" Joe asked the nanite mutant.
"Hell if I know." Matt said. "One thing's for certain, he's gonna put all of that on his shoulders, and his alone."
(S.T.A.R. Labs, The Cortex)
Seth didn't know whether to be worried or happy in his current situation.
After carrying Caitlin to a gurney, bypassing a lot of cracks and rocks on the Cortex floor, he gently placed her on it and pulled the covers over her. Standing up he watched her for a few minutes, which felt like hours, before he had to pull a chair closer and took a seat beside her.
But as he stood there… he couldn't help but feel conflicted.
He imagined seeing her face so, so many times on the other Earth. He imagined seeing her face across the street and just running to her, unintentionally scaring her before laughing as he brought her into a tight hug. He imagined kissing her lips like it was the first thing he had to do after weathering through the storm. He imagined hugging her and… just holding her close for all eternity if he could.
However… he didn't expect her to faint before his eyes.
"What happened to you, Caitlin?" He muttered the question to himself as he watched her sleep.
"She's been fighting man." Cisco said as he stood at the doorframe to the lab. "Things been cray-cray for a while now."
"Yeah…" Seth nodded to the mess in the Cortex. "What happened in there? An earthquake or something?"
"Actually… an earthquake-causing metahuman while we were on Earth-2." Cisco said, getting a look of curiosity from the elemental. "Liv gave me the rundown."
"Oh." He nodded his realization. "Damn…"
Cisco chuckled. "Sorry we didn't throw you a welcome home party."
"Nah, don't worry about that." Seth smiled. "Besides you'd have to make it, really, really epic to meet my high standards."
"Missed you, Seth." Cisco admitted, pointing at him with an object in his hands.
"You too, Cisco." Seth narrowed his eyes at the object. "Wait a second, why do you have your doppelganger's goggles?"
Cisco turned shocked. "How'd you know it's my double's?"
"I've spent too much time on that Earth, man." Seth said with a chuckle. His chuckle faded when he returned his attention to Caitlin.
"Shouldn't we get her home?" Cisco asked.
"Tried to wake her up, but she… She didn't wake up." Seth ran both hands down his face. "What happened to her?"
"First she lost Ronnie… Then you… then she saw a friend die before her eyes…" Cisco said with a sigh. "Honestly, I'm afraid what this triple dose of grief is gonna do to her. I mean, she's pretty shell-shocked. Not to mention the entire single parent she's been…"
"God…" Seth groaned. "The amount of pressure that must have been on her with three kids." He got up from the chair. "… I hate myself for it."
"She didn't seem stressed about that, bro." Olivia said when she entered the Cortex. "She got happier and happier with each day that passed with those kids around…"
"She did?" Seth asked, glancing at Caitlin's sleeping form.
"Yeah, she did. She's a tough girl, she can weather through this." The psychic said.
"No kidding." Matt pitched in. "She'll be fine."
Having followed the nanite mutant, Harry said. "Snow's strong." Seth faced him and tensed up, the symbiote in him slithering underneath his clothes. "She'll get back on her feet, stronger than before. But in the meantime, I would not say anything to her about her counterpart from my Earth. That goes for Joe and Iris too." He made sure his eyes pointed at the elemental. "Especially you, Fury."
"Come again?" Seth questioned.
"You spent more time on my Earth than Allen, Ramon and Stark… You've been more influenced. It's gonna be harder for you to distinguish the two Earths." Harry argued.
"We'll see about that, Wells." Seth said back, thought it sounded like a challenge which didn't go unnoticed.
"We will." Harry looked to the side, seeing Barry walk in. "You don't talk about Earth-2 either, Allen. With anyone."
"Why?" Barry asked with an angered tone, the sight of Zoom driving his hands into Jay's back not leaving his mind anytime soon.
Harry answers. "Because you don't want to influence their reality in ways that should not be influenced."
"Like in the same way as when Barry time travels?" Cisco deduced.
"Yeah that was a peach." Seth stated sarcastically and the speedster gulped at the words.
"Exactly, but also, what's the point?" That made them snap to Harry with surprise. "Those people are not your people. Their lives are not your lives. Never were, never will be. Bury it. Move on." He looked between them.
"That point right there… that's gonna be seriously hard." Seth agreed. "… But trust me it's gonna be easier for you guys than me."
"Why do you say that?" Barry asked.
Seth nodded to them. "Cause you guys spent two days on that Earth. I spent a year on that Earth with its ups and downs. But Wells got a point. The people on this Earth and the other one…. They're different in every thinkable way, and yeah, they're not the same. They shouldn't be affected by the lives of their doppelgangers…"
"He understands." Harry looked to Cisco. "Ramon?"
"Yeah, I can do that." He accepted.
"Allen?" Harry wanted the same from him. The speedster nodded. "Stark?"
"You got it." Matt answered. Harry nodded before walking away to talk with his daughter. Barry and Cisco inhaled deeply before walking off to finish their own business.
Seth looked to his brother-in-law and his little sister. "Can I hope you guys went on your honeymoon?"
"We did, recently." Olivia answered before stepping forward and wrapping her arms around her brother's form. "God, I missed you, bro."
He wrapped an arm around his sister. "Missed you too." He looked to Matt and opened up his other arm. "You too, scrapheap."
"Missed you, pal." Matt laughed and joined the hug. They stood in the caring hug for a few minutes before letting go. The nanite mutant pulled on the elemental's brown trenchcoat. "Nice threads."
"Got it from an Earth-2 friend." Seth answered.
Those words made Matt don a serious expression. "About that Seth, where the heck were you? I looked everywhere for you. Suddenly I scan outside of Central City-2, and it shows you're there with Caitlin's doppelganger, Killer Frost. But she said you disappeared and then you show up, on this Earth with a new sword and a new look."
"Killer who?" Olivia asked with shock.
"Long story, gonna tell you all about it later." Matt promised his wife.
"I'm sorry." Seth said. "But I got into some trouble and had to ask some other friends for help. After that, my friend told me of a knight fighting Zoom then I had to sprint like hell to catch up to you guys, which wasn't easy when you brought along a speedster." He mock glared. "When I caught up to you guys, I saw you on the edge of the Woodlands, turning the other way to the city!" He whispered loudly.
"So that's how you came to S.T.A.R. Labs." Matt understood. Gesturing to his body, the nanite mutant asked. "What about that new look and your sword?"
"When I thought I had gone boom in the Singularity, I woke up in Zoom's cell and my powers didn't work for six months." Seth said, getting shocked eyes from his fellow mutants. "Yeah that part sucked, and Venom couldn't function right either. After six months I broke free, took Evelyn, Jesse and Ruby with me. Zoom send his metas after me and I stopped most of them. They followed me into the precinct, ganging up on me and beating me. I was almost killed and then… I just got back up and Venom took over and I just got this new look all of a sudden."
"Cool." Olivia said. "But what about the sword?"
"Another fun story, I lost my sight for a moment because of a metahuman and this sword… I don't know how to even describe it. But somehow it came into my hand and I got my vision back." Seth said
Olivia raised an eyebrow. "You got blinded?" Seth nodded. "By a meta?" He nodded again. "A light meta?" He nodded. "Dr. Light?"
"Yeah… How'd you know?" Seth asked.
"Some of Zoom's metas were sent over to this Earth, trying to kill The Flash, trying to kill Barry." She explained. "They didn't succeed, they ended up defeated thanks to the four of us."
"Four?" The elemental asked with a tilted head.
Matt didn't know if he wanted to hear this, but he answered, nonetheless. "Frankie joined the battle too."
"Really?" Seth turned surprised.
Olivia nodded. "She's really become a great hero, bro. You'll be proud of her."
"Speaking of…" Matt pointed to the exit. "Your kids are waiting, want us to escort you back?"
"Actually," Seth looked to his sleeping girlfriend. "can you guys drop them off for me? I think I'll stay a while here with Cait."
"Sure." Matt fist bumped with his brother-in-law. "Glad you're back again, man."
"Likewise." Seth said before hugging his little sister. "See you later." He told them both as they walked to the exit. Inhaling deeply, he walked to the nearest chair and took a seat in it. "Frankie turned into quite the hero, huh?" He said out loud, leaning against the back of the chair.
"Guess I shouldn't be surprised… with a mother like you on her side." Seth looked to Caitlin's back. "The letter I made you, Caitlin… I had no idea it'd take me forever to write that letter. Then again… you're worth taking forever to write a letter for." He sighed, trying to gather up the courage and solidify it inside of him. "I'm sorry for not coming back sooner, Caitlin. I really wanted to, but I had to stay behind. I felt like I let you down and just put a huge amount of pressure on you with Ruby and Evelyn thrown into the mix… I'm sorry for that."
"I still feel like I said in the letter: Like I betrayed your trust and your love." He intertwined his fingers. "I left you, Frankie and the rest of crazy family for months… I hate myself for it. But it meant making sure you're safe… But I'm really, really sorry that I left you alone, Caitlin." He got up from the chair.
"But I will become better… for you and for our family. You're worth becoming better for…"
He wanted to say more, even more than what he's already said. He wanted to pour his heart out for her. He wanted to brave the deadliest seas for her. He'd fight thousands of wars single-handedly for her to crack a smile. He'd willingly venture through the blazing sea of fires in the underworld, burst open the gates and travel back and forth as many times as it took for her…
He'd cross universes for her, even if it meant death.
"You can probably cross that one off the list." Venom mused.
"You're never not gonna annoy me, are you?" Seth inquired.
"Package deal, dumbass." Venom cackled.
"Glad to be back." Seth smiled, walking out of private lab.
The moment he passed out of the lab, Caitlin stirred in her sleep, turning around and faced the same direction of the mutant elemental with open eyes. She narrowed her eyes, watching him take his new crystal sword and place it on his back.
She couldn't help but think to herself. "He's really changed." But she smiled really, really much.
Caitlin missed him.
Cutting open the box of scotch she picked up from storage, Joan Celia placed the box cutter in her back pocket before pulling out two bottles of scotch. She looked to the shelves, she sighed when seeing the only empty shelves are on the top.
"Great, gotta get a ladder now." JC groaned. Her golden hair pulled into a ponytail. Tired brown eyes looking over the shelves whilst clad in blue jeans and a red flannel shirt. She hated being alone so late in the evening and working. Her eyes perked up when she heard the entrance doors open. "Sorry, bud, we're closed."
"Really? Not even for an old friend." JC snapped around with wide eyes, shocking striking her when she saw Seth walking closer to the bar counter. "Wow, really feeling the love."
JC then shocked him. "You missed months of work, buddy. You're gonna have to work for free."
"Wow." He did not expect it to be about work so quickly.
"Kidding." JC quickly placed the bottles on the counter. Jumping over it, she rushed to the mutant and hugged him tightly. "Good to see you again, man."
He reciprocated. "You too, JC." He looked around the bar. "This place has seen better days."
"No kidding." The bartender chuckled hollowly, pulling out of the hug and gestured to their surroundings with their hands. "After that ugly hole in the sky holed up, it completely totaled the place. And because it was close to it happening, a lot of people are actively trying to stay away."
"Must have worked well when it comes to scaring off the drunks." Seth chuckled.
JC scrunched her face. "Not exactly, no. Some of them still show up, drunk off their knockers."
"And the vultures?" Seth sweat dropped.
"They stayed away, don't worry." She smiled. "But maybe if they see you here again, they'll be running back and stuffing onesies in your G-string in no time."
Seth sighed. "Glad to know you're already planning on pimping me out."
"You made the mistake of coming back." JC said, reaching over the bar counter and pulled out a bottle of scotch and two tumblers. "When you'd come back?"
"Few hours ago." He answered while she poured scotch in the tumblers. "Where's your Dad?"
"In a coma." Seth snapped his eyes wide open. "When the freaky hole opened up, my Dad was in the middle of the bar. Wooden beams fell on top of him. He's been in a coma ever since that for the entire year… I hate it…"
"I can check on him in a few days, if you want me to?" JC nodded her answer to his question while downing her drink. "Sorry to hear about Stan."
"Thanks…" JC trailed off when she realized something. "Shouldn't you be like with your family or something? You've been gone from them for so long after all."
"I thought I'd pay a little visit before going back home." Seth said. Finishing his drink, he turned around. "But think most of the visit's over, so I'll go home now."
"Later, skater!" JC called out with a happy tone. She was glad that he was back again.
Even though he had just gotten home, in a darkened city of the evening, Seth remained true to himself…
And did not use the front door like a normal person. He used an open window. Seth smiled as he crawled through the window, which he closed as soon as he placed his feet in his home. It felt so different to be back again, but he looked around it like it was the first time he entered the place. Like it was a loft, a new home.
It remained divided into two floors. The ground floor accompanied with a kitchen underneath the small staircase and a dinner table near the kitchen area. He grazed his fingers across the surface of the small table with the recliner chairs and couches around it near the staircase. He looked down the small hallway, showing the way to the toilet and a room to the side which leads to the master bedroom which he and Caitlin use.
Looking upwards, he chuckled at the sight of the second floor. Before he threw his daughters across universes, that floor was only for Frankie. But with Ruby and Evelyn here now, he assumed the additional bedrooms were used by them.
"Feels weird to be back here again." Seth said, leaning against the dinner table.
Evelyn appeared in a shroud of shadows and looked to the side. "Hey Dad."
"Hey, Evie." He walked over to her and hugged her tightly. "Missed you baby girl." Seth kissed the top of her head.
Giggling at his gesture, Evelyn nuzzled her head into the hug. "Missed you too, Dad." She smiled. "Glad you're back."
Pulling out with a chuckle, he ruffled her hair. "Really happy you and Ruby are settling in good with your new sister and Caitlin. Must have been hard with the way things are… Hope you guys haven't been fighting too much so your mother couldn't handle that."
Evelyn giggled. "You're talking to the wrong daughter. Then."
"Tattletale!" Ruby called out when walking down the stairs. Evelyn stuck out her tongue. "Dad, Evie's been stealing from the neighbors!"
"Tattletale!" Evelyn shot back.
"Wow, really? Don't know what to address first, the stealing or the fighting." Seth questioned himself. "But first…" He pulled Evelyn into another hug with one arm, the other arm held open for Ruby. "Come here, kiddo."
"Nah, I'm good." Ruby shook her head.
Giving her a mock glare, the mutant shot out a tendril and wrapped it around her before pulling her into the hug. "There we go!" He exclaimed happily with his arm pulling her in tight. Ruby conceded and hugged her father. "Now, we're missing only one thing…"
"Who?" Frankie asked as she crawled into her home through an open window.
While hugging her sisters, Seth looked upwards to see her crawling on the ceiling. "Wow, sweetie, you really picked up your old man's habit." He noted.
She chuckled before detaching herself from the ceiling, landing on the floor and looked to her father and her sisters. "So what'd I miss?" Frankie asked coyly.
"Get in here!" He didn't give her the time to think about it before another tendril wrapped around her and pulled into the hug. Frankie smiled and joined the hug. "I missed you three." Seth kissed the tops of their heads, tightening his hold on them.
"Dad!" Evelyn hoarsely said. "We still need to breathe!"
"Oh, sorry." He apologized, releasing his arms. For a moment, he wondered if they'd taken drama classes in school because they began to pant and huff and take in sharp intakes of air. "Oh okay, stop being so overdramatic, girls. It's not like I turned into metal and hugged you."
Ruby huffed. "Felt like it."
Evelyn coughed and looked to her father's back. "Dad, why are you wearing your sword in the house?"
"Oh." Taking hold of the handle, he pulled it off his back and placed it against the nearest wall. "Sorry, just felt natural is all." He looked at the clock. "Shouldn't you guys be in bed by now?"
"Yeah, but then you came in." Evelyn blamed her father.
"Wow, blaming your father, you guys are hurtful." Seth feigned mock hurt. "Up in beds, all three of you!" He ordered, pointing to the second floor. Evelyn grabbed her sisters by their shoulders and teleported out of the living room. "Wow, she's set on teleporting now." He blew the smoke away with his hand.
"Guess you don't have to worry about driving lessons." Venom.
"One out of three, Venom. One out of three." Seth said back before walking to the master bedroom.
Inhaling deeply, he twisted the handle to his door and opened it. He stepped into the bedroom and smiled. Caitlin changed the curtains, switching them out with some dark blue ones. Looking behind him, he saw the framed group photo of him, Olivia and their father, Nick Fury. He noticed the photo of him, Olivia and Matt graduating from S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy with their diplomas in hand.
The one beside it was the picture of him, Bucky and Stefanie from their trip to Hawaii. Looking at that one it was like peering into another lifetime. But it still made him form a smile. Then there was one of him and Frankie after she was officially adopted and welcomed into the Fury clan.
He also saw the photo of him and Caitlin wearing wide smiles before sharing a hearty and passionate kiss with intertwined fingers. It remained forever one of the best times he and Caitlin spent together.
"We gotta get a new photo with all of us now." Seth chuckled.
"Things are really different now…" Venom noted. "Gonna be weird acclimating to this Earth again."
Seth nodded. "Yeah… but it's gonna be awesome to see the others again, our people and family this time."
"Get us some chocolate, then we'll agree." The symbiote joked with a dark laughter. But then the Klyntar confirmed. "Seriously, give us some chocolate now!"
"Tomorrow. You'll sleep hangry." The mutant said back before moving to the bed, abruptly jumping onto it. The bed creaked when he landed on the mattress. "Okay me and Cait need to get a new bed."
"Who is it?" Seth asked, knowing full well it was one of his daughters.
But a shroud of shadows disappearing proved him both right and wrong.
Right, it's his daughters.
Wrong, it's not one of them, but all of them.
"What the heck?" Seth asked when the shadows faded and showed Evelyn, Frankie and Ruby before him. "What happened, girls?" Now he wondered if he should have brought his sword into the room and not leave it in the living room.
Like any irrational person would do.
"Nothing… it's just…" Frankie spoke for them but hesitated with a blush. "Could… We maybe sleep here tonight?"
"All three of us." Evelyn asked.
Titling his head in surprise, he made a show of thinking it over in front of his daughters. A minute of it passed, and his daughters tilted their own heads in unison. Seth smiled at that, he found it adorable. "Your Mom's gonna be sleeping at S.T.A.R. Labs tonight, but I'll check on her in couple of hours, after some sleep. So get in here." He landed on his back on the bed again.
His daughters smiled widely before jumping onto the bed. As they settled in black tendrils slithered out of him and intertwined with pink tendrils coming out of Frankie's body.
The father-daughter Klyntars are happy to be reunited again, just like their hosts.
The next day, Joe West reached into his fridge, pulling out of a pair of cold beers. He took a glance in it and saw the six pack from yesterday is still there. He'd probably need to pull it out sooner than later this day.
Closing the fridge door, he walked out into his living room and placed the cold beer in front of the elemental mutant who held his head down with both hands intertwined on the back of his neck. "You doing good there, pal?"
Joe had to ask because when the mutant wanted to hang out today, he knew he'd have to give him the entire story of his wife not being dead and returning to Central City to see Iris and introduce her son to the rest of his family before she couldn't get the chance for it.
And when he finished, he could see that Seth was unresponsive and held his head down.
"There's no possible way for me to good anymore, Joe." Seth hung his head to quickly sum it up. "Your wife who you said was dead, to me, not to mention your kids, came back to Central City to see you and Iris again, to reconnect with you and tell you of your son, Iris's little brother, Wally, so you could be a family for a single time before she would die of MacGregor's Syndrome. Did I miss anything?"
"Oh yeah, my son's a drag racer and Iris was the one to tell me to stop acting like his friend and act more like his father." Joe said before taking a seat in the couch beside him.
"Fun detail to miss, Detective." Seth quipped while taking the beer bottle. Turning and twisting the bottle cap, he opened it with his bare hand. "But shit… I seriously need the update on what happened here while I was gone."
"Gone's not exactly what we thought." Joe uncapped his own bottle. "We all thought you were dead. Until a day we tried to trap Zoom which ended badly."
Seth raised an eyebrow. "You tried to trap Zoom, it ended badly, I get that. But what about this part about you finding out I was dead until that day."
"Cisco's powers." Joe sipped on his drink.
"Cisco has powers?!" Seth screamed, shooting up to his feet with his voice echoing through the entire house and made the detective cough on his drink. "Since when?!"
"It's at these times I wonder why I haven't shot you yet." Joe said. Calming himself down after a few minutes, the elemental sat back down again and gestured for him to continue. "But yeah, he's got powers. According to Thawne, he got them back from the Particle Accelerator explosion. That's why he was able to see how that other time zone went."
"You mean the other timeline, right? You know, the one where I died, my girlfriend became the host my cannibalistic roommate and your son sent my daughter off to fight a tsunami like any mentally-ill person?" Seth reminded him.
Casually, Joe nodded. "Yeah, that one." Seth did not expect such a mellow tone from him. "But he saw a vision of Wells's daughter running into a forest and Zoom appearing before her, about to attack her, I think. Later on, thanks to your sister linking our heads together-"
"Linking your brains together." Seth corrected.
"Yeah that." Joe nodded. "And we saw you, alive and well saying a "knock-knock"- joke with Zoom and then attack him."
"Yeah, Jesse ran away for a moment, which was very annoying. I chased her, met Zoom, punched him a few times, he ran away, I got back to HQ, happy ending." Seth took a big swig of his drink. "But damn, Cisco with powers? That's crazy."
"Almost as crazy as sending daughters through universes like fan mail." The detective said back, the elemental threw him a dry look. "But how's it's going with life since you came back? You spending time with the family?"
"Something like that…" Seth said slowly.
"What do you mean?" Joe inquired.
"Caitlin's been weird. The girls are doing good since I got back, but Cait's been… standoffish." He said, unsure of how else to say it.
"Could have something to do with you being back again, you know." The detective said. "Might need time to settle back in that old lifestyle with you being back and all." He suggested. "Give her some space."
"Will do." Seth showed a grateful expression. "And thanks for taking care of my family while I was "dead." Frankie told me how Uncle Joe helped them at every turn and corner. Heard you even dropped off meals for them when they were busy."
"Yeah, well… they're family, they help each other." Joe chuckled. "Speaking of which, you got plans for tonight?" He shook his head. "How about you bring the entire Fury clan over tonight? We're gonna play some games tonight. Me, Barry, Iris and Wally. Be a nice chance to hang out and all."
"Not sure you want me to play games with your son." He said.
"You haven't talked with Barry yet about the opening a hole in the sky?" Joe pieced everything together.
"Nope, not at all." Seth said. "But don't know about coming tonight though, Joe. It might be too… intrusive."
"It ain't intrusive if I invite on you, so just come. Bring your kids, bring Caitlin. It's gonna be fun." Joe said back. "Just come, it's gonna be nice."
"Yeah…" He conceded. "Fine, I will." Seth said with a smile, but he saw the detective looking elsewhere. "What is it?"
Nodding to the back of the couch, Joe asked. "Why are you hauling that huge-ass sword with you? Why'd you even bring it here? Expecting to cut a cake?"
Seth thought Joe would point out his sword at some point during this conversation. "Just brought it is all."
"You're not gonna bring it tonight, are you?" Joe had to ask.
Then later that day, nighttime finally came, and the two clans were under the same roof in the West household. Iris and Wally played with Ruby, Evelyn and Frankie, stacking cups on the coffee table in front of the couch. So far Frankie holds the highest record for stacking cups. Unbeknownst to the youngest West member the Fury girl uses her symbiote's powers to increase her speed.
When she'd see her sister using her powers, Ruby would use her own and would topple the pyramids of cups with a mere tilt of her head. Evelyn giggled to herself when that happened and Frankie would glare at the gravity manipulator.
Barry sat on the floor in a trance.
Caitlin, Seth and Joe are in the kitchen, preparing some snacks.
Joe nodded to their smiling daughters. "Guess we can say this night went successful with your girls smiling the way they are."
"Alright, you're right, it's nice to see the kids smile. To see them be kids." Seth said.
Closing the fridge with a pair of cold soda cans in her hand, Caitlin nodded her agreement without a smile. "You're right, it's good they're smiling like this." She then told the men beside her. "But you guys might want to check your wallets."
"What do you mean?" Seth asked but Caitlin walked over to the girls and handed them their sodas instead of answering.
Obliging to her suggestion, Joe felt around in his pockets. Sighing at the familiar empty feeling, he looked into the living room, calling out. "Evie, sweetie!"
Evelyn leant back against the couch, peeking into the kitchen. "What is it, Uncle Joe?!"
"Think you know what, honey!" Joe said back. The elemental gave him a weird look. "Trust me you'll understand."
Evelyn walked into the kitchen area with a sheepish expression and a blush. With her hands in the front pockets in her red hoodie for a moment, she pulled them both out and held out a wallet in each. "Sorry, Dad, Uncle Joe."
As Joe took the wallet in the left hand, Seth took hold of the other one. Flipping it open he saw that it was indeed his wallet. "Sweetie!" He exclaimed, inwardly conflicted whether he should be surprised, angry or impressed. Though he was leaning towards impressed right now. "You took our wallets?"
"That's nothing. One time, your kid here stole my badge when I hugged her before work. My captain said he expected better of me when I showed up without my badge." Joe said with a chortle.
Seth looked to his daughter. "Evie, come on." Evelyn pouted. His resolve fell at those puppy dog eyes. "Proud of you, baby." He hugged her.
"Thanks, Dad." Evelyn said before moving back to the living room.
Seth smiled but after turning to Joe it fell. "You're weak." The detective said.
The elemental didn't response and walked into the living room to join the others. "So, who's going next?"
"My turn, and I'm gonna whoop your kid's ass!" Wally boasted, rubbing his hands excitedly as he stood up before the pyramid of red cups. "Get ready!"
"Put your money where your mouth is, West." Ruby said. "You're not gonna beat Frankie."
"Yeah, I'm the champion in this house!" Frankie boasted, pointing to herself with both thumbs.
"Honey, it's not the best look on you." Caitlin said with a happy tone, but she didn't crack a single smile for some reason.
Iris then clapped, getting everyone's attention, aside from Barry, and her baby brother stood ready. Like an announcer, she said. "All right, Wallace. Get set, on your marks… Go!"
Wally went to work, stacking cups as quickly as he could before his big sister reached zero.
"Seven… Six… Five… Four… Three… Two… One…"
Everyone cheered aside from Seth who focused on Caitlin who didn't do anything. Joe and Wally cheered while the Fury sisters hung their heads at their defeat. The speedster on the floor didn't react like the rest of his family.
"Yes!" Wally exclaimed. "Ain't nobody faster than me." He looked to Frankie. "You're gonna have to do better next time, Fury." Frankie nodded with a mock hurt look.
"Careful, Wally, these kids might end up biting back." Joe warned him.
"Do I need to rethink about you being their Uncle Joe?" Seth quipped when he heard him say that.
"Seth's got a point on that." Caitlin agreed with a gesture of her hand. Seth smiled and
"Calm down, brother, you know you raised them that way." The detective told him. He looked to Wally. "And wait a second before you start your victory dance, Wally. We still have one more competitor…" Joe looked to absentminded Barry. "Earth to Barry."
"Oh, yeah?" Barry gasped.
"It's your turn, dude." Joe pushed the cups to him.
He looked hesitant at that, which only Seth noticed, and Iris said. "Yeah, it's time to show these little punks who the fastest stack attacker alive is."
"He uses his superspeed, we bite off his head." Venom threatened.
"His stupidity might be contagious." Seth mentally quipped.
Barry shook his head. "One of you guys go ahead. I'm gonna pass."
"Not in the mood, Barr?" Seth asked him and Barry nodded his answer.
Wally looked skeptic at him. "You're afraid of a little competition?"
"Nah, just not in a gaming mood right now." Barry answered. Iris and Joe looked worried.
Seth had his eyes focused on Caitlin who looked to be a deep trance herself. Their daughters shifting their eyes between their parents.
"Okay, well, I guess that makes me the champ." Wally called out. He looked to the clock and saw the time. He got up from the couch. "Anyway, I'm gonna go meet up with some friends."
"All right." Joe got up and shook hands with his son, bringing him into a hug.
Separating, Wally hugged his sister. They separated and the former racer looked to Seth. "Gonna prove you can beat me at some point, too, Fury?"
"Next time, West, and you're gonna eat my dust." Seth challenged.
"Nice meeting you and your family." Wally chuckled before looking Barry. "…Maybe next time, we can stack, Barry." He said before walking out of the house.
Caitlin got up from the couch, dusting off her legs. "Think we should leave too Seth. These kids have school tomorrow."
"Good point." Seth nodded and got up too.
"Seriously?" Ruby groaned.
"Why? What's wrong with school now?" Seth asked her.
Slithering a tendril behind the couch pillows, Frankie poked Ruby who hissed at the small spike poking her lower back. "Nothing, just homework is all." She answered for her sister, trying to cover their tracks and not tell him of what's going on in school.
"Thought you guys finished that before coming here?" Seth asked, recalling the opposite answer before.
"Me and Evelyn did, I was lazy and didn't." Ruby responded with a smile.
"Something's going on there." Venom said.
"Okay, gonna hold onto that." The mutant said back in his mind. "Okay, let's go then." He gestured to the exit with his family. They walked to the exit, but Seth quickly told Joe. "Thanks for inviting us, Joe. It was great."
"Sure thing, buddy. Glad to have you back again." Joe called out to him.
With Wally and the Snow-Fury family out of the house, Iris took her brother's seat in the couch and looked to Barry. "I thought you were the competitive one in the family."
"I know, right? What's up, Barr?" Joe asked.
"Nothing." Barry said. "Just…" He got a dry look from Joe and Iris. "I don't know, I don't think Wally likes me too much."
Iris gave him a questioning look. "Sure you're not confusing him with Seth?"
"No, I'm not." Barry shook his head. "But you're not wrong on that, Seth does not like me."
"Well, we can fix both, kinda" Joe added unsurely at the end. "I mean, for Wally, you been so busy running between alternative realities, you two haven't had a chance to any time together."
"What do you want us to do together?" The speedster questioned.
"Get to know each other, find something that you guys have in common." Iris suggested.
Joe nodded agreeingly to his daughter's proposition. "He's part of the family now, Barr. You're gonna have to give it a chance."
Nodding quickly, making the reporter and the detective skeptical, Barry said. "I know. And what about Seth? Chances are he hates me for the entire Singularity incident, like his family did in the beginning."
"But they got better again, didn't they?" Joe reminded him. "Give Seth some time. He spent more than a year away from his family on another Earth, for the second time in his lifetime… he's gonna need some adjusting. Give him some time, then talk with him. Before you know it both of you are back together in the field, fighting side by side. Flash and Venom fighting evil."
"Demon and Streak back at it again." Iris announced. A flash of realization came over her before letting out loudly. "Gotta make a really good article about him returning, it's gonna be great!" She thrusted her fist into the air.
"All right… Well, look, I'm gonna head to bed, all right?" Barry got up on his feet and walked to the staircase. "Good night." He told them.
"Good night." Iris said back, she threw him a strange look when he had gone back up the staircase.
Joe formed a strange look. "Something is up with him, and I don't think it's just Jay's death or Seth coming back to this Earth. He's been acting weird ever since he came back from Earth-2."
Iris looked to her father. "Did he say anything to you about what happened over there?"
"No, not a thing." Joe said. "You?"
Iris had to shake her head; she didn't hear anything about the speedster's Earth-2 visit. "What about Seth? Did he say anything about it? He'd know better than anyone."
"Nope, he didn't, and I didn't ask either." Joe sighed. "But he did act different in a way."
"How so?" Iris inquired.
"Like he… he had to be ready." The detective didn't know how else to explain it.
Seth walked down the Wests' porch and saw his family by the car. "Ready to go home?"
"Dad, we got a metahuman who can teleport. We don't have to drive in the car all the time, you know." Ruby said.
"So I'm private transport now?" Evelyn pouted. "Lovely."
"First time she ever complained, Dad. I swear on my life." Frankie pointed out.
Looking to Caitlin, Seth said. "So how long has our daughter's been used for transport?"
"For a while now, actually." Caitlin answered without a smile. Pulling a strand of hair behind her ear, she said. "Seth, mind if I take the car and drive to S.T.A.R. Labs? I wanna get some work done, actually."
"This late?" Seth asked with a gesture to darkened clouds over their heads. "You sure?"
"Just got some work is all, I'll sleep there, don't worry." Caitlin said.
"Okay, sure. I'll be there after dropping these three off." Seth said.
"Thanks." Caitlin said before getting into the car. She drove away after a short minute.
The elemental rubbed the back of his head with a conflicted expression. "What is going on?"
"What do you mean, Dad?" Frankie asked, looking to him with a curious look.
"Something…. I don't know, I feel like your Mom and me aren't exactly in sync or something, maybe. It's like… things are really, really different right now." Seth answered honestly. He looked to Frankie. "Did something happen while I was gone or something with your mother?"
"Yeah." Frankie nodded and Seth tensed up. "She thought you died, Dad. It wasn't not easy her or me, or anyone here. We lost someone important, a family member. But Mom took it the hardest. She cried a lot and was heartbroken."
Ruby and Evelyn moved closer to each other.
"…" Seth sighed. "Glad to you became so smart, honey." He laughed. "You got any advice on how I can get back into her heart?"
"Be yourself." Frankie giggled. "Worked the first time around."
"So glad you're smart, baby." Seth hugged her and kissed the top of her hair, making her blush and burst into giggles. "Thanks, I'll try it out. But how about Evelyn and Rub- They're gone." He finally noticed that his other daughters are gone.
"Evie does that a lot." Frankie commented. Evelyn's shadowporting made it easy to get around in the city, but sure did get annoying when she'd do it without notifying anyone.
Seth smirked, throwing his daughter a challenging look. "Wanna see who can make it back home first?"
"Game on, old man!" Franke instantly said, shooting out a tendril and swung off the streets.
"Old, huh?" Seth muttered, jumping into the air he swung after his daughter with his own tendrils.
(S.T.A.R. Labs, The Cortex)
The next day, at S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin and Cisco are at hard work. The mechanical engineer saw that she hadn't been doing anything than working this entire day. She did greet him when he showed up but with a flat greeting, unlike her usual cheery greeting.
And Cisco, more than anything, expected her to be with Seth right now and skip work for a few days.
But she didn't and that worried him.
Exhaling he got up from his computer and said, directing it to the bioengineer. "Hey, so… I've been thinking." He walked to her, Caitlin's eyes moving up from her work to look at him. "You've been working around the clock. Maybe you want to get some rest, go home, be with Seth, your kids, eat fondue."
Caitlin narrowed her eyes at that last point. "Fondue?"
"In my defense, I don't know what you guys do at home. You two could be up to anything." Cisco continued. "You know, a good night's sleep wouldn't be the worst thing in the world."
She turned her eyes back to her screen. "I'm fine. Seth needs some alone time with the kids, anyway."
"Look, I get it. You're having a hard time with what happened." Cisco said. "You've been through a lot this year. It's a lot to take so soon after-"
"I said… I'm fine." Caitlin slowly said with a flat tone with hints of anger. She got up and moved to the private lab.
Cisco followed her with his eyes, gulping because of that threat.
Cause it sounded like a threat, to him.
Seth walked into the middle of the Cortex from the other room. "Yo, Cisco."
"Hey." Barry greeted when he walked through the entrance.
Shifting his eyes between them, Cisco asked. "You guys hear that?"
"No, what'd you hear? And do you know if Caitlin's here?" Seth asked quickly.
"You really didn't hear her?" Cisco asked them again, the two of them shook their heads again. Pointing to the other lab to the side, he informed. "Caitlin just bit my head off."
"That's not Caitlin, you know that Cisco." Seth argued.
"Bro, I know what I heard." Cisco countered. "She's been all business, no emotion lately." Assured that the other doctor is out of earshot, he continued. "She's been… cold."
Barry gave a dry look. "Cold? Come on, Cisco." And Seth was close to holding his stomach, he was about to burst into laughter.
But Cisco gestured to the lab. "This could be the beginning of her becoming evil."
"You mean, her, compassionate, nice, loving, caring Caitlin Snow, becoming her cold and sadistic doppelganger, Killer Frost?" Seth laughed at that comment. "What the hell is going through your head, man? That's cuckoos even for you, Cisco."
"You're not worried about that?" Cisco asked.
"No, I'm not worried about that." Seth said.
"Yeah, Seth's right." Barry agreed with the elemental.
"Caitlin's not gonna become Killer Frost." Seth said. "Sure, there are similarities, but that's only the obvious ones. And that's all." The mechanical engineer looked doubtful at his words. "Cisco, you spent 48 hours on Earth-2, only seeing Killer Frost for a few hours. I spent more than a year in that universe. Not to be that guy, I think I'd know if Caitlin would turn into a sadistic ice queen, much like her doppelganger."
"Her doppelganger seemed to like you, very much so." Cisco said.
"Hah, guess both Caitlins have the same taste." Barry mused.
Seth glared at him. "Does that mean both Barrys have the same taste in women?" Barry paled. "Yeah, I heard about you fornicating with another married woman. Finally showed you have a bad bone in that sack of goody bones."
"It was not on purpose." Barry assured him.
"Sure, it wasn't, horndog." Seth countered. "But if Barry and Iris leave each other because of you, your ass is grass, Iris has a gun."
Confused by his words, Cisco asked for assurance. "You're talking about their Earth-2 doppelgangers, right?"
"Yeah, of course. They're married, this Earth's are not." Seth answered.
"If that happened here, it'd prove this world has seen too much Game of Thrones." Venom mentally shivered
"Thanks for that image, dick." Seth insulted his partner.
Dark thoughts came over the speedster's mind. "Wait, Cisco. You haven't mentioned anything about Earth-2, have you?"
"No, cause I know how to keep a secret." Cisco said, offended by that question.
"Nothing's wrong with Caitlin." Seth said. "It's gonna take some time to put the entire Earth-2 chapter behind us all…. Which I will help with." He said with a smile, walking towards the lab she occupied.
The moment Caitlin walked into the other lab; she came to an immediate stop at the sight of the object on the desk. She couldn't help but form a smile at the sight, walking closer to it.
She raised a hand, grazing the petals of the white roses in the colorful vase. Caitlin picked one up and pressed it to her nose, sniffing and took in the smell. Hearing footsteps behind her, she coyly asked. "Now, who could these flowers be from?"
"Hint: Sometimes a nice guy, other times a dangerous maniac, other other times, a romantic." Seth coyly answered and walked deeper into the lab. "What do you think of it?" He hopefully asked her.
"I love it." Caitlin turned around, facing him and sniffed the white rose in her hand. Her lips curled up and formed a bright smile…
… for a second, Seth thought he had to shield his eyes because that smile alone could light up the world. Brighter than any sun could possibly do. But damn, he was really, really happy to see her to smile for the first time since coming back to this world.
And he didn't have to fight any wars for her to crack it, so he's happy.
But he'd still fight wars for her without hesitation.
"Thanks." Caitlin smiled. "It's… It's really beautiful, Seth."
"Not as beautiful as you, Cait." Seth said. He watched her try to conceal her blushing face with the flower head. "I said this while you were sleeping, but I'll say it again. I'm really happy to see you again, Cait. It's the one thing that got me going all that time on Earth-2. Just the thought that I could see you again."
Caitlin walked closer to him. "That sounds very much familiar to Cisco's vibe."
"Vibe?" Seth looked confused.
"That's what he calls it when he sees different things happening in his head, like these visions. And Vibe's also the name of his superhero identity." Caitlin explained.
"Okay, at some point, you're gonna have to give me the run down on what happened while I was stuck on Earth-2." Seth said.
"Maybe over fondue?" Caitlin chuckled and Seth titled his head in confusion. "Cisco gave me the idea that we eat fondue."
"Where'd he get that idea?" Seth asked and she shrugged her shoulders. "You feel like fondue later tonight?"
"… Maybe after work, then yeah… sure." Caitlin said but she still wore a bright smile.
"Awesome." Seth nodded.
"Guys?" They looked to the side and saw Matt sticking his head in. "We got company, splash some cold water in your face and get in here."
"Beat it, junkyard." The elemental said.
"Screw you, parasitic dumbass." Matt countered.
"Let's go." Caitlin said, placing the flower back in the vase and walked into the Cortex. Seth saw her action and gave it a narrow look before following her.
He turned surprised when he saw John Diggle and Lyla Michaels in the Cortex. The elemental also saw that his daughters, his best friend and his little sister have joined them. "John, Lyla good to see you again."
John looked wide-eyed. "Didn't you die?"
"John, we told you that he was alive, just on another Earth." Caitlin reminded him.
"Oh yeah… but he's back now." John said with wide eyes.
"Like a bad penny, I'm back and ready to rumble." Seth quipped. "But what brings you guys here? Last I checked this isn't Starling City."
"It's Star City now and we came here to give Barry a head's up." John answered.
Barry looked confused. "About what?"
Lyla then answered. "A metahuman who escaped from A.R.G.U.S. custody, goes by the name King Shark."
"Who?" Seth asked, directing it to Caitlin who chuckled at that question. She had so much to tell him.
"King Shark?" Cisco fought the urge to gulp in fear. "You mean the half-man/half-shark that tried to kill Barry months ago. I thought he was dead."
Joh corrected their thoughts. "That's what A.R.G.U.S. wanted you to believe when they snatched him up, but believe me, this half-shark is very much alive, and his biological imperative is telling him to do one thing. That's kill you, Barry."
After Barry scoffed his disbelief, Cisco gulped this time and admitted. "We're gonna need a bigger Flash."
A while later, Harry have joined them to pitch in on their team meeting.
And Seth had to ask again. "Who the hell is King Shark?"
"Like Cisco said, bro, huge-ass half-man/half-shark metahuman that once tried to kill Barry, but he was saved by Frankie." The psychic explained. "Well, also by Wells, but he played a small part in it."
"Small?" Harry asked.
"Frankie did more of the work." Matt argued. "She fought the damn thing head-on."
Frankie smiled, dusting off her shoulders braggingly. "Yeah, I'm the best."
"Show-off." Evelyn chuckled.
"And… how do you two know about King Shark?" Seth pointed to the two Starling City natives.
John walked to his wife. "Well, as the new Director of A.R.G.U.S., Lyla's job is to clean up Amanda Waller's messes. King Shark was one of the bigger and weirder ones."
"And it appears under her directives, A.R.G.U.S. had been monitoring metahuman activity for the past two years." The director of A.R.G.U.S. said.
"And King Shark reached your radar?" John nodded to the nanite mutant's inquiry.
"Do we have a photo of him? Cause… I kinda feel like I've heard this before." Seth asked. Cisco went to work, bringing up the latest photo of the shark metahuman. Gaping his mouth in realization, he nodded. "Oh yeah, Sharkbait. I saw him on Earth-2."
At that moment, Olivia regretted all the times she and her brother watched Finding Nemo as kids. Something stuck.
"You did?" Lyla asked.
Caitlin snapped her fingers. "Right. This guy was afraid of Magenta when he saw her. After we saw Cisco's vibe, we found that most of the Earth-2 metas were afraid of Magenta because she reminded them of you."
"My daughter reminded Earth-2 evil metas of me?" Seth chuckled. "Guess Venom and Magenta are loving this."
"So proud of our child…" Venom trailed off with a mental sniffle.
Harry looked at him. "Wait, King Shark is scared of you?"
"Why is he scared of you?" Lyla asked.
"I don't know, just fought him a couple of times on Earth-2 and then he disappears." The elemental shrugged.
Jesse, Ruby and Evelyn looked at him incredulously.
Olivia would always trust her brother no matter what, but something about his words didn't seem right. She turned to Ruby and Evelyn. "Girls, what did your father to the walking pile of fish sticks?"
Giving his sister a questioning look, Seth said. "What's that supposed to mean? You don't trust me now, Sis. What the hell? And why are you asking my kids? You think they'll ju-"
Ruby started. "Dad punched King Shark, sending him flying off into a mural, the one in the police precinct on Earth-2. Then kicked him deeper into it with metal feet. It looked like he was gonna throw up all of his blood."
Evelyn continued. "And then when he was about to lose consciousness, Dad took his arms and just tore them off. When he did finally lose consciousness, Dad just kept punching him without mercy."
Jesse finalized. "Oh, and don't forget the fight where Seth lifted King Shark over his head and threw him away like yesterday's garbage. Which gave him that cool name, "Demon King.""
"That's how you got it?" Cisco asked.
Everyone in their eyes turned their wide eyes to the mutant who looked around, seeing the disbelieving eyes on his form. Every single part of them thought Seth had turned out better after his time on Earth-2. But then the words they just heard, proved them otherwise. He then said. "Okay, I can't say anything for Jesse's case, but who the hell turned my daughters into rats?"
Matt chortled at his protest. "That might be on you, man. You're the one who let a detective into their lives."
"Wow, Uncle Joe turned my daughters against me…" Seth acted hurt. "Why?"
"Calm down, Drama Venom." Caitlin quipped. "It's good they have that in their lives, especially with Evelyn stealing." Evelyn pouted and Seth hugged her caringly. But then the bioengineer turned to the matter at hand. "But why'd you have King Shark in the first place?"
"Well, to see if any of those powers could be exploited." John said.
Harry knew a better word. "Weaponized."
Barry asks. "How do you know that he's coming after me?"
Lyla faced the speedster. "While in our custody, he kept saying the same thing: "Zoom wants the Flash dead." And although he removed the tracker we had in him," she nodded to the screen of latest locations behind her. "the readings we did receive show that he was headed towards Central City."
"Let him come." Barry confidently said.
"Not the best time to be cocky, Barry." Matt commented.
"He's right. Barry, this thing is a killing machine." John argued. "We just came here to warn you, man. Let A.R.G.U.S. handle it."
"Nah, I can't do that, guys." Barry shook his head. "I'm sorry, but all year, we've been sitting ducks for Zoom and his Earth-2 henchmen. This is the last one. I'm not gonna just waist for him to attack."
"You sure you shouldn't let Seth or his kids handle this?" John pointed to them. "Cause they seem to actually have fought this guy, stood their ground against him, they might have a chance."
"No." Barry persisted. "I'm going after him first. I owe that to Jay."
Seth watched the heads and expressions on the others' faces falling with regret. They're still dealing with this Jay's death and not letting go of it any time of it.
Barry looked to Harry. "Wells, he's from your Earth. What do you know about him?"
Quickly bringing up the information, Harry said. "Real name, Shay Lamden, he was a… get this… a marine biologist before my particle accelerator changed him into King Shark, and Zoom put him under his control."
Caitlin threw Seth a quick glance, smiling to herself briefly, before looking to Harry. "So how did you track him when he fought my daughter?"
"Kinda obvious on that, Caity." Olivia pitched in. "Zoom sent Sharkbait to this Earth to off Barry."
Nodding his agreement to the psychic's words, the Earth-2 scientist said. "I just followed."
"Yeah, but you did track Grodd down." Barry argued.
"Wait, Grodd's back too?" Seth jumped in.
"Nope, not anymore, we sent him to Earth-2 a few months ago." Olivia answered.
Groaning loudly, Seth complained. "I had a chance to shave and kill that horrible ape and I didn't even know about it!"
"Wow, things are really not going well for you, huh, Dad?" Ruby rubbed.
"Love you, too, honey." Seth said, hugging her and bringing her into a one-armed hug. "But Wells, if you could find that dumb ape, wanna add that walking pile of sashimi to your list of tracked animals?"
Harry walked away. "I can try."
"All right." Barry walked to the screens with the last sightings. "Okay, well, all these locations are next to a body of water."
"Doesn't sharks usually have to get back into water to re-oxygenate?" Seth recalled something from his days of reading back in S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy.
"They do." Caitlin confirmed. "There must only be a few hours before he needs to submerge to re-oxygenate his blood."
Matt gestured between all of them. "And with all the heroes we have here, we can cover each area with at least two or one hero at them."
"Yeah." Frankie nodded. She turned to her father. "Dad, what's wrong?" She asked when seeing that strange look.
"Nothing, sweetie." He assured her, rubbing her shoulders.
Barry looked to Lyla. "Can you have your team handle the rest?"
"I'll get them on it." Lyla agreed before leaving.
"Nice." Matt said. "And girls," he turned to Evelyn and Ruby. "you're gonna have to get ready yourself."
"Sure." Evelyn replied before moving away with her sister.
"Matty?" Seth walked closer to him as Frankie walked away with her sisters. "They're all three going out?"
"Yeah. Don't worry, me and Cisco came up with some suits and weapons for them to use out in the field, and well, Frankie's got Magenta so no worries on that front." Matt assured him with a smile.
"Okay…" He trailed off in thought.
"You okay?" Matt wondered.
Shaking off his concerns, Seth answered. "I'm fine, don't worry." He looked Cisco and Caitlin. "What about Lamden's doppelganger?"
"Seth's got a point, maybe we could get some insights from his Earth-1 counterpart." Olivia agreed with her brother.
As they spoke, Cisco went to work and tried to find his doppelganger. But his search did yield results, just not good ones. "Or not. Looks like he died when the particle accelerator exploded."
Caitlin suggested. "What about next of kin?"
Returning to the search, Cisco found something. "He's got a widow, Doctor Tanya Lamden. She's a research scientist at Nautilus Labs, and she studies… wait for it… sharks."
"A match made in the deep." Seth quipped. Caitlin cracked a smile at his lame joke.
"Maybe the two of you can go and see if she's discovered anything in her research that could help us." Barry suggested to Cisco and Caitlin.
"Sure." Cisco agreed. Caitlin nodded.
She faced Seth and walked to him. "Hey, take care of the girls out there. They got some experience already, but still nothing like fighting a man-shark."
"Of course, you don't even have to ask me of that, Cait." Seth assured her with a smile.
"Thank you." Caitlin smiled back, momentarily stunning Seth with that small smile. She saw it and blushed. Parts of her thought she couldn't do that, but she countered her lucky stars since she could still do it. And especially do it with Seth. Turning around she walked after Cisco.
Barry got a call from Joe, walking away to the separate lab to talk without interruption.
Olivia walked closer to her big brother; a curious expression clad on her face. "What's with you and Caitlin?"
"You could see that?" Seth asked, not sure any games he could play would affect his sister.
"Well I have eyes, so yeah, I did." Olivia sarcastically said. "But what's happening? I would have thought you two would have been all over each other by this point."
"Brother." Seth gestured to himself. "Me, hearing my sister say that, I get grossed out. Talk like that again, I will vomit."
"Lovely." Olivia said. "But seriously, stop dodging. What's going on?"
"Don't know… Think just some things are really different between us since I came back, you know." Seth answered.
Matt jumped in, stating his suggestion. "Maybe you should go to therapy."
"I'm not sure about that. First time I tried that was with Stefanie, that did not go well." Seth shook his head.
Olivia narrowed her eyes. "That was after you punched that teacher wasn't it? You told me and Matty to babysit Bucky while you did."
"He pushed my kid; I punch his teeth out. End of story." Seth exclaimed.
Caitlin and Cisco made their way to Nautilus Laboratories. The two scientists were directed to Dr. Lamden by the receptionist. When they came face to face with Tanya Lamden, the two S.T.A.R. Labs scientists explained their situation… well parts of it, anyway. Obviously forgoing the doppelganger of the shark biologist's late husband.
Holding a clipboard in her hand, Tanya said. "It's been two years since our particle accelerator exploded." She started before walking deeper into the lab with Caitlin and Cisco behind her. "Seems a little late to be asking questions about my husband, doesn't it?"
Caitlin bluntly asked. "Your husband passed away from cancer, correct?"
Tanya stopped, facing the other female scientist. She hesitated for a few moments before saying vaguely. "I suppose you could say that. It only took three days for every cell in his body to grow uncontrollably." They looked empathically to him. "Whatever cancer he had, it turned him into something… Not human."
Cisco nodded his understanding. "Well, that's why we're here, actually."
Continuing for her colleague, Caitlin stated. "There's a metahuman in Central City whose body seems to be mutating in the same way as your late husband, but he didn't die… he became a dangerous monster."
Tanya glared at him. "My husband was no monster."
Before Cisco could say something, Caitlin corrected herself. "Of course, that's not what I'm implying. I'm sorry."
At those words, Cisco smiled in relief.
"What does this have to do with me?" The shark biologist asked.
"We've read about the research you're doing here on sharks." Caitlin stated.
Tanya hummed her confirmation. "Yeah, I've had some encouraging results, although still preliminary."
"We need to see it." Caitlin demanded.
Sending another glare at her, Tanya asked. "I beg your pardon?"
"Your research, all of it." She clarified.
He immediately see the red flags popping up. Cisco pitched in. "What my colleague here means to say is that if you could please let us take a look at your findings, it could help us stop this metahuman from hurting anyone."
"Thought the number of heroes in Central City increased? What are the chances that this metahuman would hurt anyone?" Tanya asked. But she quickly threw in another question. "You're with S.T.A.R. Labs. I'm just supposed to trust you?"
He didn't exactly trust Caitlin to be the empathic one now, so he had to take the reins on this one. Cisco inched closer to the other scientist. "Please, Mrs. Lamden. This could help save lives."
While she didn't like the words of the cold female scientist, Tanya did slowly feel the words of the male scientist. She nodded. "I'll email you what I have."
Cisco smiled. "Thank you."
Tanya Lamden walked between them, making her way over to her computer to email all the research she had on sharks.
"Little harsh." Cisco stated, alluding to her antics when conversing with the residential scientist.
"I was being direct." Caitlin argued.
"Direct? I've seen Seth be direct, and he can be nicer than that, and yeah, I'm talking about the scariest guy in Central City." Cisco said. "And to be honest, direct doesn't seem to fit your behavior."
Caitlin narrowed her eyes, seeing her friend fidget. "You've been acting differently toward me ever since you got back from Earth-2. What's your problem, Cisco?"
"Me? What about you? You're the one who hasn't been with the love of your life yet? And not… eat fondue…" He squeaked out weakly at the end.
"What is your deal with fondue today? And more importantly what is your problem?" She asked him.
Cisco locked eyes with her. "Nothing." He answered. "Let's just go." He moved away.
Caitlin gave him a suspicious look. She walked after him but came to a stop when she saw a cylindric glass vase on a nearby desk. Her eyes lifted up, getting a sheer of happiness to come over them and smiled at the white rose in the vase. It was lone single rose in the vase.
She couldn't help but mentally compare that singular rose to the bouquet of roses in the vase back in her lab that Seth gave her. The flower before her was alone and without any company. But the one the elemental brought her was surrounded with a bunch of lovely roses…
Like the bouquet was a family of roses…
The thought of that beautiful bouquet popped into her mind like a shooting star. She couldn't help but widen her smile. Caitlin would have to get back to that bouquet soon enough… and she might just pick on and place it over her ear.
Armed A.R.G.U.S. agents at every shore with a body of water in Central City. Each of them stood fully armed with firearms and aimed them at the water body in front of them, ready to take out the evil shark metahuman should he appear before them.
Around them they had a hero or two.
The Flash sped past every single body of water to check out the situation himself.
Each of the heroes at the different areas gave their status report along with the A.R.G.U.S. agent.
Iron Knight twirled around, scanning the body of water under him as he hovered above it with his HUD screen. Not getting any "fishy" results, Matt informed his team with a sigh.
"Grid one's shark-free."
Eclipse appeared, showing up in a cloud of shadows on a wooden bridge on the shore. She unclipped the modified binoculars from her belt, placing them over her eyes and scanned the body of water in front of her.
Evelyn looked from side to side and got the same results as her uncle. She pressed the earpiece.
"Grid Four's the same."
Destroyer ran along the shore, pushing up sand with each step she took. Along with the A.R.G.U.S. Agents, she looked at the body of water. In case of the shark metahuman appearing, she'd be better prepared now unlike on Earth-2 where she couldn't do anything against. She had her Chakram blade now, which she unequipped from her back.
Ruby looked with a groan, getting the same result as her uncle and sister.
"Bupkis on Grid Two."
After John and Lyla got out of the black jeep, they met up with the Scarlet Speedster.
"Anything?" John asked the speedster.
Coming a halt, Barry replied with a shaking head. "No, man, nothing yet."
"Yeah, so far, nothing on our end either." John regretfully answered.
"Let's just hope Wells is doing better than we are." Harry let out hopefully.
"Yeah, but gotta admit, I feel better with our numbers a bit bigger now." John said with a chuckle. "I remember the days when it was just you, Oliver, Seth and Matt. Now we have thrown in Seth's sister, his daughters and Cisco has powers too. What a strange world it's turned into."
"Same world where a black hole opened in the sky." Barry let out hollowly. He then changed the subject. "Hey, how's Felicity doing?"
John's not surprised to hear Barry express his concerns for Felicity. They're close and anyone who's close would be in constant worry about a friend who's been riddled with bullets from a terrorist organization.
He had to be honest. "Well, I'm not gonna lie, Barry, it was pretty rough there at first, but you know Felicity, she's tough."
"Yeah, she's just not returning any of my calls." Barry voiced his thoughts.
"She has a lot going on right now." John replied. "Man, I'll ask if she can give you a call when this is all over."
Barry then gave his inner frustration a voice. "Just want to catch this thing, man, have everything to do with Zoom and Earth-2 put behind us, so we can just move on with our lives."
John saw something familiar in the speedster, something he had only seen it in the green archer from Star City. "Starting to do that thing Oliver does, Barry, carry the weight of the world on your shoulders." Barry didn't respond. "Got to stop that, man, it's gonna slow you down."
"Maybe…" Barry trailed off, thinking about his words.
"What about Seth? How's he doing with being back again?" John inquired.
Barry paled. "I don't know, I'm afraid of asking him."
"Because of that black hole mess?" The speedster nodded quickly. "Talk with him, he's gonna be okay… I think." Barry looked confused by John's words. When he saw the look, the Star City native explained. "Something about him seems… Different… like he's… on guard."
"What do you mean?" Barry wondered.
"Think you need to take that step yourself, Barry, and ask him. Not hard, you know." John stated.
The speedster wondered if he was telling the truth. If there was something going on with the elemental. If he truly was on guard the entire time. But honestly, Barry couldn't see or think of any reason as to why he would be on guard…
However parts of him thought that he is the reason for the elemental to be guard.
"Still nothing." Lyla joined the two men.
"Try Grid Six, the one where Seth and Frankie is." John suggested.
Lyla nodded, pressing her earpiece. "Status check, Grid Six."
At the docking area, surrounded docking containers, Venom and Magenta landed on pile of containers and looked down from the high vantage point. The elemental looked down at the four A.R.G.U.S. agents spreading around the area, hiding behind containers with raised firearms.
"They're ready at least…" Venom noted. Glancing to his daughter, he asked. "You ready, honey?"
"Ready, Dad." Magenta nodded. She showed a wide smile. "It's good that you're back again, Dad."
"Thank you, honey. Me too." Venom stroked her head and made the young metahuman give out a happy demonic giggle. "Magenta." She gave her father her full attention. "When Sharkbait shows up, you get the agents away and to safety, we'll fight him in the meantime. And the same for the next fights, we'll handle him while you stay behind, okay?"
"Okay." Magenta tilted her head. "But you've never mentioned Finding Nemo once before."
"Great Disney movie." Venom chuckled. "We'll have a family movie night." He promised his daughter.
"Promise?" Frankie held up a pinkie.
Seth smiled, holding a pinkie himself. "Pinkie promise" The two symbiote bearers wraps their pinkies around each other's to solidify their promise.
"Hold on. We got something."
Snappily unwrapping their fingers, the father and daughter looked down to the containers when they heard the agent talking through his earpiece to notify both the director and the others. As they looked for King Shark, Seth's crystal sword came out of his back and he took hold of the handle before pulling it out.
They saw the shark metahuman appearing in front of two A.R.G.U.S. agents. The agents paralyzed by fear and struggled to even pull the triggers of their weapons as King Shark growled at them. He licked his teeth, more fear sinking into the humans and made them stagger.
"Time to work." The father said before Venom and Magenta jumped off the pile of containers.
Frankie shot out both arms, splitting them into tendrils. As they closed in on the two human agents, the pink tendrils wrapped around them and pulled them away just as King Shark was about to grip them so he could sink his teeth into them.
King Shark was confused by what he saw. But that confusion was replaced with pain when the elemental appeared before him, punching him with an adamantium fist in in the snout and pushing him backwards a few feet.
Venom growled just as the shark metahuman slid to a stop, looking upwards and fear came over his large form like a tsunami. For a second King Shark blinked repeatedly to try and shake off the disorientation, hoping that was the reason why he stood before the demon again.
But he realized he wasn't disorientated and stood indeed face to face with Venom, and he couldn't stop his body from shaking in petrifying terror. "Monster!" He screamed and stagged back.
"Missed you too, Nemo." Venom cackled before holding up the sword. "Now, who wants sushi?" He joked before charging the shark metahuman. He swung his sword for him. King Shark took hold of a metal beam behind him, holding it up to block the sword strike like a shield.
Reeling back his other hand, Venom flexed his arm and turned it into adamantium before wrapping it around his throat. Earth pulsated in the mutant's body before Seth forced the shark metahuman to the ground, embedding his large frame into the ground.
King Shark wrapped both hands around the mutant's skull-extension and swung him away from him. Venom spiraled into the spin, attaching himself to the side of a red shipping container. Growling at him, the mutant jumped off it and raised his sword. As he came down, he brought it down
The shark metahuman dodged the attack, forcing the sword to dig into the ground. Venom snapped his red eyes to him and let go of his sword. Jumping backwards to put distance between them, Seth ignited flames and sparked lightning around both fists. King Shark thrusted out his hand, which collided with the mutant's flame-coated hand.
Their other hands did the same, meeting each other.
Both large beings pushed their heads forward, their heads clashing against each other. Pushing the shark metahuman's hands away, Venom removed his head from him and jumped up into the air. Shooting out tendrils from the sides of his hands, he wrapped them around King Shark's torso.
Pulling on them all, he yanked the shark metahuman into his hands and lifted him over his head. Just like he did on Earth-2, Venom lifted King Shark into the air. Shay growled, trying to get free but it was useless as the mutant spun around to gain enough momentum.
Reaching a sufficient level of momentum, he threw Shay away and into shipping container. The empty shipping container was too weak to handle the force of the shark metahuman flying into it, causing it to split in two and King Shark flew through gap and into the water with a loud splash.
Venom plucked his sword out of the ground and rushed to the edge. He looked around from the edge, trying to find King Shark. Magenta made her way back, walking up to her father's side. "Is he gone?"
"Don't know." Venom answered his child.
Shortly after, John and Lyla joined them with other A.R.G.U.S. agents. They joined the two symbiotic heroes, helping them search for King Shark.
But… John struggled to do help out as he saw Venom's new form. He had trouble to understand Venom and Iron Knight the very first time he saw them in front of him, but now… He was absolutely paralyzed by the hellion-like look. Every time he tried to pick up his jaw from the ground, it fell to the ground once more as though it was trying to punch its way to the Earth's core.
And he wondered how he'd have to tell baby Sara that drugs would be way easier to understand than seeing elemental mutant's new look.
Thankfully, Lyla's words managed to help out of his shell-shocked trance. "So much for cleaning up after Waller's messes. We don't find King Shark soon, someone's gonna be cleaning up after mine."
While her father looked around from above another pile of containers, Magenta walked over to the married couple. "Chin up, Lyla. We'll find him."
"Glad someone's positive." John chuckled but found it ironic as it was from someone with a demonic look.
Flash walked up to them. Venom jumped off the pile of containers as the speedster explained. "All right, I searched the whole area. He's gone."
"Think we should have torn his legs off this time." Venom thought and regretted not thinking of that sooner.
"Should you really have children?" Lyla mused the question. The elemental stuck out his serpentine tongue, making it spiral and point at her which made the A.R.G.U.S. director's insides turn.
John swallowed his stomach contents again before stating. "He couldn't have gotten far."
"Still, he knows we're here now." Lyla nodded to the large elemental. "And that we have a secret weapon. We lost the element of surprise."
Barry shook his head. "Not if Wells can figure out a way to track him."
"In the meantime, we'll keep looking." Lyla said. "We also asked the other heroes from your family to help out with the search."
"Good idea, we'll help out too." Venom assured the director.
"I'll meet you with you guys later." Barry added. "I got to go see Joe's son." He said in a groan.
John gave a bemused look. "Okay, I thought our relationship was hard to follow." He looked to his wife who laughed.
Magenta pointed to her and her father. "Really? Each member of our family are from different universes and we make it work, and Mom and Dad aren't even married."
"You have a kleptomaniac in your family." Barry added.
Seth gave the speedster an evil look. "Come again, Speed-Freak?"
Barry paled. "Bye!" He blurted out before speeding away.
"Dad, I'm hungry." Magenta whined.
Wrapping his hand around her waist, Venom placed his daughter on his back with a chuckle. "Big Belly Burger's on the menu. Let's go!" He jumped onto the nearest wall and jumped from it and onto other buildings.
As they sped and jumped away, John looked at them. His wife chuckled at his expression and said. "He's fast, John, the other one's big and alien-like with a daughter the same way, get over it."
"Never." John shook his head, his eyes kept on the direction of the heroes.
(S.T.A.R. Labs, The Cortex)
After the two S.T.A.R. Labs scientists got all of a Dr. Lamden's research on sharks, both immediately began to read through it all. Seated by the main console, Caitlin read through the files, projects, theses and what else she could find. Cisco looked through his own batch in the private lab.
Having finished reading the last page of the thesis she found, she found another one with the title, "The Mysterious Epigonal Organ." Caitlin groaned at this new thesis. "This is a complete waste of time. We're not gonna find anything in Doctor Lamden's research to tell us how to find King Shark."
Cisco walked back into the Cortex, making his way to the bioengineer. "Maybe I should take a look."
Giving her an incredulous look, she stated. "Oh, yeah, cause you're the doctor with a specialty in bio-chem, like Seth and I."
Standing in front of the console, Cisco said. "I'm just saying maybe you could use another set of eyes, considering…"
Drifting her eyes upwards, Caitlin asked. "Considering what?"
This time he wasn't gonna hold back. "Considering the way you've been acting lately."
Pulling back from her computer, the incredulous look on her face intensified. "What does that mean?"
"You are not yourself, Caitlin," Cisco whispered loud enough for her to hear. "and it's been freaking me out, cause you have this icy look in your eye just like you did over there."
Caitlin narrowed her eyes. "Over there?" Cisco realized his mistake. "You mean Earth-2?" She inquired.
"No. Uh, no." Cisco shook his head. Caitlin glared at him as she rose to her feet. "Um, what I meant to say was-"
"You met my doppelganger, didn't you?" She inquired, walking around the console till she got close to him.
Cisco nervously laughed his disbelief at her question. "What? No."
"Cisco." Caitlin persisted.
"Look, I'm not supposed to say anything." Cisco told her.
"Why not?" She questioned.
"Because I'm not supposed to say anything." Cisco answered.
An angry look came over the bioengineer's face, layer of icy anger coating her face. "Francisco Ramon, if you don't start talking-"
Completely terrified right now, Cisco conceded. "Okay, fine. Yes, I met your doppelganger. She's a coldhearted ice queen named Killer Frost, a metahuman who enjoyed killing a lot and had a thing for Seth. There, great." He sighed. "Now, Harry's gonna kill me and throw myself across the room."
She felt like she didn't have to say the obvious but now she knew she had to. "Cisco, I'm not a metahuman."
"Okay. I hear you, but you're acting just like she did over there. You're being shut off. You're being detached. You're being cold." Cisco admitted.
"Because I have to be right now." Caitlin started. "We watched Jay get killed right in front of our eyes, I was about to be killed by Zoom himself… Just when I was starting to feel normal and good again, just when I was beginning to have hope again… So I let myself feel, if I let all of that pain and anger and fear out, it's never gonna stop, and that's not gonna help me either, and it's gonna affect my kids in a bad way, so let's just get back to this research and figure out how to find King Shark."
"Okay." Cisco accepted before walking out to the other lab.
Caitlin sighed and walked back to the main console, taking a seat again. She closed her eyes to mentally prepare herself for another work hour of diving into shark theses. Opening her eyes again, she turned shocked when seeing a pair of arms stretching out from behind her. Each hand holding items, the left hand placing a Big Belly Burger bag and the right hand placing a box of sushi on the table.
"Seth?" Caitlin spun around in her chair and saw the elemental looking down at her. Behind him, she could see his crystal sword leaning against the doorframe.
"Hey you." He took the seat beside her. "Frankie said you didn't eat enough yesterday."
"That girl of ours has a big mouth." Caitlin chuckled.
"She's just worried about you… and she's not the only one." Seth confessed.
"You heard me and Cisco talking?" She wondered.
Nodding to her words, Seth said. "Yeah… I did. Fun thing about my family and friends, they feel each other's pain. They share the pain so that the one member doesn't bear all that pain, anger and fear and becomes enveloped by it, like they're sinking into the dark deep ocean. They keep each other afloat…" He looked to her eyes, his blue eyes meeting her brown ones. "I don't know what happened with your friend Jay, but I know it's still hurting you and the rest here. I'm sorry I wasn't here to help out."
"You came in time…" Caitlin instantly felt the memory of the evil speedster about to strike her, causing her fear to return. But it was immediately replaced when she remembered Seth returning to save her in time, stopping Zoom from hurting her. "Thanks for that…"
"You don't have to thank me, Cait." Seth took her hand, stroking the back of it with his thumb. "I'll always protect you above all else, damned be whatever I have to stand against to fight. I'll tear through anything to protect you… I'll protect our family no matter what." He exhaled. "But whatever pain you feel, you can tell me all about it, I'll help you along with it. I'll shoulder some of it for you, help you through it. It's okay to feel things."
"Not when you have a family." Caitlin said. "I don't want our kids to see me like this, in pain… They don't need to go through that."
"They'd understand, Cait." Seth told her. "They're tough enough so they can handle it… they can handle their mother being human for a second."
"Pretty sure I'm the only human in our family." Caitlin quipped.
Laughing at that joke, Seth let go of her hand and got up. "What are you gonna do now?"
"I'm gonna stay here tonight again, just burn the midnight oil, I guess." Caitlin said with a nervous chuckle.
"Sure, I got some oil of mine I need to burn through." Seth started. "Me and Frankie promised A.R.G.U.S. to help them with their search for Sharkbait. Don't worry, I'll make sure not to have her stay out too long." He promised her.
"Good." Caitlin smiled. She saw the mutant walking over to his sword and picked it up. "Seth?" He turned to her. "Why'd you bring your sword here?"
"Just… I don't know…" Seth unsurely answered as though he didn't want to answer that question. "Anyway, I'm gonna go out and make sure our daughter doesn't hit a bird or something?" He walked out and into the hallway.
Those words… made Caitlin's head grow with dozens of questions.
In the West Household things were a little tense between Wally and Barry. The speedster had agreed to help Joe's son out with his project essay to get into Central City University's engineering program. The topic he chose to write about is turbine supercars, but they'd run on bio-diesel.
Joe and Iris chose to leave them alone to work on it… but parts of them wondered if that was a good idea or not.
As Barry speed reads through the project essay, Wally explains a problem. "Hardest part was amping up the torque without increasing drag. A heavier engine would only slow things down, but this streamlined version should optimize both the torque and the horsepower."
Barry lifted his eyes. "Yeah, I'm just worried it's… won't be enough still." Turning back to the screen, he began typing in his idea. Wally shows hints of irritation. "Here, let's do this… use a one-to-one transfer gearbox to drop the output shaft of the engine, reverse rotation and send more power to the torque converter."
The 3D model of the engine disassembled, switching out the pieces with other ones that Barry came up with.
Wally couldn't hide his annoyance. "I didn't come for you to just do it for me." Barry looked to him. "I thought we were gonna work on this together."
"Yeah, we are, I'm-" Barry stammered. "I'm just trying to speed up the process."
"Why?" Wally inquired. Barry didn't have an answer for that, but the drag racer did. "What, you got somewhere better to be?" He packed his stuff again.
"No, Wally, I'm- Wally." Barry struggled to say anything to stop him, and Wally just kept packing his stuff. "All right. Do you have a problem with me?" He asked after scoffing.
This time, Wally is the one to scoff. "Who could have a problem with you? You're Barry, right? You're perfect. Never do anything wrong." He pulled his backpack over his shoulder. At this point he clearly showed how vexed he was with how Joe and Iris thought he was the golden son. "Always this, always that." he moved towards the exit.
"Wally." Barry got up from his chair.
"I mean, take a look around you, man." Wally gestured to the photos. "You're in every picture in this room." He turned around to face him. "You know, thanks for your help, but I'll just take care of this myself."
Both of them felt a tremor coming through the West Household, the mass of the house breaking apart as King Shark pounded the roof with his humongous hands. Barry and Wally pale at the sight of the shark metahuman peering into the house with a roar.
"Where's The Flash?!" Shay Lamden screamed. He looked around, searching for the Scarlet Speedster. "I know The Flash is here!" Iris and Joe rushed down the staircase to see the humongous shark metahuman. The detective had his hands tightly wrapped around his firearm.
"I can smell him." King Shark said.
Joe stepped in front of his family. "Everybody get out!" He ordered them and they rushed up the stairs to the upper floor for safety while the detective pulled on his trigger, firing lead bullets at the shark metahuman.
Shay shielded himself with his hand blocking the bullets. When the bullets stopped coming, he shouted. "Where is he?!"
King Shark barely had a moment to snap his head to the direction of the voice when a pink mace with black and white veins smashed into the side of his face, launching him off the building. Magenta stood on the edge of the torn rooftop, looking into the household and faced her Uncle Joe. "We got this!"
Joe nodded and watched his niece jump off the rooftop, initiating a fight with the shark metahuman.
She landed on the road and looked at the shark metahuman who got back on his feet. "What's wrong, Fish face?"
"Little Monster!" King Shark roared. This time he wasn't gonna be terrified by either of the symbiote bearers. Especially this little one that stands before him.
Flash sped to her side and looked up at him. "Talk about an unpleasant surprise."
"Yeah, no kidding, Sharknado bursts through your wall like the Kool-Aid Man." Magenta quipped.
King Shark looked at the speedster. "Flash, Zoom wants you dead!"
Barry groaned. "Yeah, I know. Then you get to go home, right? Well, guess what, man."
"All the breaches that Zoom used to bring you guys here, they're closed. Every single one!" Magenta sneered. "They're never opening up again."
"There's no more Zoom." Barry continued. "There's no way back to your Earth."
"You know what that means, right?" Magenta's tongue slithered over her teeth in a menacing manner. "You're gonna be locked up here for a very long time. Like a fish in a can." She formed her other hand into a spiked mace, crossing both maces over her chest. "You're going down."
The Flash ran forward, speeding around the humongous shark like a vortex. King Shark snapped his eyes around, trying to find the speedster. Taking a chance, he swung his arm like a hammer, fortunately slamming him away and into a car.
Magenta jumped forward, uncrossed her arms, slamming both maces into the shark metahuman's stomach and pushed him back. Reforming her arms back to normal, she shot them out and grabbed onto his shoulders. The magnekinetic launched herself over King Shark's head. Spiraling in the air, she slammed her right foot down on the top of his head.
The impact forced him down to a knee but managed to grip hold of Magenta's leg and threw her into the air.
Taking advantage of the momentum, Magenta spun around and performed a spin and landed on the electrical conductors. She looked to the shark metahuman who took hold of a car and lifted it over his head. He threw it after her.
Thrusting out her hands, Frankie split the car in two with her magnekinetic powers. Reeling them back, she threw them after the metahuman again. King Shark dodged them, grabbing another car and threw it after her.
This time, Frankie couldn't see it coming due to the two car pieces she threw clouding her vision and it sent her off the conductors. "ARGH!" She let out in pain as she flew in the air.
But her flight was short-lived when an array of black tendrils wrapped around her body. She felt herself be pulled back and into the arms of Venom.
"Are you okay?" Seth expressed his concerns.
"I'm fine." Frankie assured her father, jumping out of her father's arms and saw King Shark walking toward the downed speedster.
But the shark metahuman saw Venom and Magenta side by side and also heard the distinct sound of car tires closing in. Staggering back a few feet, he pointed to the downed speedster. "You might be fast, but not as fast as I am in water! Neither you or the Demon King will catch me!"
King Shark turned around, running away from them.
"Let's chase him!" Magenta went to run.
But Venom grabbed her. "No!" he shook his head. He narrowed his eyes in thought.
He didn't… he didn't expect things to go the way it was.
(S.T.A.R. Labs, The Cortex)
"Frankie what was that?" Seth asked when he and his daughter returned to the facility. Matt, Olivia and Caitlin were there too with Ruby and Evelyn.
Frankie turned her confused eyes to her father. "What?"
Seth turned disbelieved. "I told you back at the shipping container area, that when we see King Shark again, I'd be the one to fight him while you stay behind. So tell me why I just saw you fighting him alone?"
"Cause I was closer to the area while I was searching for him, Dad. I saw him attack Uncle Joe's house and stopped him from hurting them." Frankie said.
"This guy is another one of Zoom's metas, Frankie. He's an animal on a leash, he wants to go home no matter what. He could have killed you." Seth said.
Her eyes flickered magenta before she argued. "Dad, you told me Magenta is Venom's child, therefore she's stronger than him. Stronger than you! I can handle fighting him, I've trained to fight any threats that comes up."
Frankie's blue eyes turned completely magenta. "God, you're beginning to worry about me now."
"Frankie!" Caitlin stopped her.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Seth demanded to know. "I'm your father, of course I'll worry about you."
The magenta in her eyes shined brighter, anger coming over her. "It's been a year, Dad! You haven't been here for over a year! You were on another Earth. Most of that year, everyone here thought you were dead! I had to grow up, I had to move on. But it hurt all the time still and I couldn't stop it… I directed it by being better as Magenta!" Tears fell from her eyes. "You had a chance to come home, Dad, but you didn't…. You stayed there… It's been a year, you can come back, and I'm happy about that…"
Frankie's hands clenched the entire Cortex shaking violently but Seth didn't flinch and listened to her words.
"But you don't have the right to come back here and question everyone's choices, Dad." Frankie finished off, storming away and jumped through the skylight, swinging away into the darkened city.
Seth stood still in state of self-hate. But only for a moment before walking out of the Cortex in long strides.
"What just happened there?" Matt asked everyone.
"Seth's struggling to adjust to this world." Olivia got everyone's attention. "He has no idea on how to adapt to this world since he's been gone for more than just a year."
"And Frankie's struggling with her father being back?" Caitlin asked.
"Think she's struggling with her father still seeing her as the person she was before the Singularity, the little girl he adopted after Carnage's attacks and needed his help with everything." Olivia clarified.
"She's unsure of how to deal with this just like Dad." Evelyn deduced.
"Yup." Olivia groaned. "Can't believe I'm gonna have to shrink out my own big brother." She walked to the exit of the Cortex.
"Mom?" Caitlin looked to Ruby. "Shouldn't you go to Dad?"
Caitlin nodded. "I will, sweetie. But in the meantime, can you and Evelyn find Frankie, make sure she's okay?"
"Where would she go when she's angry?" Ruby wondered.
"I have an idea." Matt walked to the skylight. "Evelyn take your sister and follow me!" He told them while equipping his suit and flying out of the skylight. His nieces followed shortly, disappearing in shadows.
"…" Caitlin turned around and walked out of the Cortex, making her way to the Fury siblings.
(S.T.A.R. Labs, Breach Room)
Seth hated himself. He sat on the small staircase, both arms placed on his legs and his hands clutching onto his kneecaps.
All this time… He thought about how his family needed him, how they thought he died because of him trying to stop the Singularity. That was the feelings that drove him all that time on Earth-2, his fuel that kept burning in him.
The mutant thought that… he thought that his first daughter would need him just as she did when he first adopted her… No, he thought Frankie needed him even more than that. But every single thought he had were wrong because… his little girl had grown up while he was…
… while he was dead…
"I'm a fucking idiot." Seth sneered in self-hate, clenching his hands. Unbeknownst to him, the black flames had long since erupted from his body and blazing along the lengths of both his arms. The flames had traveled down the sides of his body, burning the seat he had taken on the staircase. With each tightening clench on his kneecaps, the flames danced more dangerously on his form.
"How the hell could I have been so blind?" He asked himself in another growl.
"Calm down… it's okay." Venom tried to ease his host's pain with waves of soothing emotions.
But Seth shook them off, blocking them from ever forming and taking affect. "I was a blind idiot."
"In more ways than wrong, dumbass." Olivia said as she walked into the Breach Room. She put some distance between the black flames on her brother's form and herself. "Those flames are abysmal."
"Sorry." Seth relaxed his body and every nerve in him, the pitch-black flames retracted and returned into his body. "They're dangerous, don't touch them."
"Oh yeah, I got that when I saw you burn that breach into cinders." Olivia chuckled. She saw her brother return to his full height as the flames had fully returned to his body. "Nice trick by the…" She saw his arm with burnt skin, extending all the way to his shoulder. "What the hell happened to your arm? Scratch that, arms." She added quickly when she saw his left arm with smaller black lines.
"This black flame didn't come with safety guidelines when I absorbed them." He said.
"It's a dark matter element, right?" Olivia asked, walking down the stairs to stand before her brother.
"Yeah, it is." He pulled on his brown suede leather trench coat. "Guess you wanna talk about what happened up there?"
"You know my way of getting answers, Bro. It hadn't changed even." Olivia reminded him.
Her way of getting answers was simply for her patients to talk. To talk their hearts out, to spill their guts and try to lift the burden on their shoulders via letting go of it all. Words weighted more than most know.
He sighed. "Before I sent them over, Ruby and Evelyn were hunted by Zoom." Seth didn't even have to look to his sister to know she got widened eyes. "Six months I was in Zoom's prison with those kids, my powers were dormant, and I couldn't make them work in any way. I… protected them as best as I could after I got out of Zoom's lair. I trained them, simple fighting moves and helped them with their powers. But… I know it wasn't enough. After I got these black flames, I found a breach. Zoom found us and kidnapped Jesse again, but I had stay behind while sending Ruby and Evelyn to this Earth."
"But what does that have to do with you losing your cool on your daughter like that?" She asked him. "I've never seen you do that, Bro. You're better than that."
"When you, Matt and Cait told me that Frankie's going out like you and Matty… It dawned on me that that's my daughter's life too." Seth confessed. "One day she's gonna have an entire group of evil metas, armed humans, gangsters running after her and trying to take her down. What the hell am I supposed to do? Just-"
Seth should have expected his little sister to slap him out of the blue. While the stinging pain from the slap spread over the right side of his face the elemental looked to his sister who retracted her hand. "That your new way of saying you missed me?"
"It's my old way of correcting my idiot brother." Olivia said. "Frankie moved on when she thought you were dead, we all did. But she was the one who moved on the most. She started to become better and better to fill your shoes, she even went to Felicia to get her to train her."
"Caitlin knew about this?" Seth asked.
Olivia answered. "In the beginning she didn't know about it, but then she noticed Frankie sneaking out more and more in the evening. She contacted Felicia and they agreed it was okay. She just wanted to be like her old man, like you."
"I know… But the thought of her being hunted scare-" He stopped, snapping his hand up and grabbed Olivia's hand. "Not again, Quasimodo."
"Please, if I was Quasimodo, your head would have the structural integrity of a pancake." Olivia quipped. Her brother released her hand and she continued. "Frankie's Magenta and she's been this city's protector for a long time now, and she's really good at it. Every evil Earth-2 metahuman that've showed themselves, Frankie was the first to stand before them."
The psychic pulled out a folded piece of paper from a newspaper. Folding it, she showed it to her big brother. "And that's not all she's been doing."
Taking hold of the paper, Seth looked at it and got widened eyes.
"Magenta Saves Children from Burning Hospital." He read the title out loud, his eyes taking in the photo of Magenta… His daughter carrying children in her arms. She gently gave them back to their worried parents who had tears all over their faces.
While he read the article, Olivia explained. "Months ago, four months after the Singularity incident, a pipeline burst in an empty operation room at Central City General, and because of failed wiring, the gas was ignited. Almost the entire floor was set ablaze. Firemen were on their way but not close enough."
"But Frankie was." Seth deduced.
Nodding her confirmation, Olivia continued. "Like she was flying, Frankie performed acrobatic acts with ease and jumped into the burning building in a heartbeat. Other nights, she'd be swinging through traffic with ease. Jumping off skyscrapers and still landed on both feet. She'd the first one to fight dozens of thugs of the night, anyone who tried to hurt innocents. She was trying to become like you, the way she was training to do so, how close she keeps getting to that goal…it was remarkable. And what she didn't realize she didn't become liker her Dad-"
"She became Magenta, The Rose Demon." Seth finished.
"Iris came up with that name." Olivia nodded to the article. "She wrote the article too on her blog, and Caitlin had that same article laminated while she worked at Mercury labs. Most of the city thought she was you with a new look, which was pretty ridiculous." The psychic chuckled and her brother joined in. "Your daughter, your little girl, Seth… she grew up and became a really, really strong young woman with the powers to defend others and she has an iron resolve."
"…Can't believe she grew up so much…"
Olivia could see that he was still struggling with something on his mind. "Bro, whatever's on your mind now… You need to talk about it with someone. I'd say I would, but I'm guessing you want to save that for someone else."
"Guess I do…" Seth chuckled and wrapped his arms around his sister and pulled her close. "Thanks, Sis. I missed you and I definitely needed this."
"Don't thank me." Olivia said, wrapping her arms around her brother. "Make things right with your family, dummy."
"I will." He unwrapped his arms. Olivia reached into her pocket. "What now?" Seth inquired when she showed him a stack of folded articles.
"It's other articles about your daughter. No, your daughters…as they've all decided to try and become like their old man and be heroes. Heroes who can handle being hunted by metahumans, can even handle aliens chasing them through the entire multiverse." Olivia handed them to him before she walked up the stairs to the platform. "Look at them and realize your kids have grown up, Seth. Things have changed around here."
"Thanks." Seth retook his seat on the burnt staircase, unfolding the articles.
When she passed through the threshold and turned a corner, she unsurprisingly found Caitlin leaning against the wall, having listened to the entire conversation between the Fury siblings. "You wanna go to your man or something, Caity?"
"No, not now." Caitlin shook her head.
Olivia decided to be a bit honest herself. "Caity, I don't know what's going on with you now, or maybe I do. But whatever it is, it's hurting both of you, because neither you nor my dumbass brother are being honest."
"Like you, Baby Mama?" Caitlin shot back, nodding to her lower abdomen.
"That's my and my hubby's business, I'll tell my brother about it when the time's right. And it's not hurting anyone unlike the two of you because you're not honest with each other." Olivia said, walking forward. "You two are holding back your true feelings, and if you don't let them out soon, you're gonna explode. So take care of it, soon." She demanded before walking past the native bioengineer.
Caitlin looked to the door. Right past it is the man of her dreams and the one her heart beats for her…
… just like his beats for her…
But like the psychic mutant revealed, she couldn't be honest with him… But she trouble believing that Seth wasn't honest with her.
He wouldn't do that… would he?
Teary eyes with hurt and anger looked down on the city she's been protecting for the past year with her family and the team at S.T.A.R. Labs. She couldn't believe that she returned to the ledge of the tall building again to process her emotions.
First time she did this was when she lost her father after the Singularity explosion. The second was when she had to deal with the fact that her father sent her new sisters to this Earth without him coming along. Now she… found herself here because she was angry at her father.
It was the first time she's ever been enraged by her father. When she thought he was dead, she wanted it nothing more than to be a bad, bad dream that she could wake up from at any moment. She'd hope that she'd wake up to see her father by side, alive and well, concern plastered on his face before cradling her and telling her it was all a bad dream and that he wouldn't go anywhere.
But those dreams plagued her for a long time because that was the reality she lived in. Her mother shared her pain and tried to help her to the best she could, but it didn't erase the pain and the void that was in their lives. They couldn't fill that empty hole no matter what, even if they tried to help the whole city.
They missed him, after all.
He was back… her father was back again… but she didn't know what to do now after that he acted so… She didn't know what to call it.
"Are we really going to have this conversation again? Where I try to talk to you, but you leave me hanging?" Magenta questioned, and as she predicted her host didn't answer. "Don't make me sing Barney's "I Love You" song."
"That's a kids song, Magenta." Frankie reminded her.
"How old do you think I am? I'm two years old! My first words were part of an entire sentence!" Magenta shot back. "I am a kid!"
"There you are!" Hearing the muffled voice coming behind her, Frankie looked back and saw her Uncle Matt descend to the rooftop. A second later Ruby and Evelyn appeared in a shroud of shadows. The nanite mutant's mask dematerialized, revealing his head. "Hey, kiddo."
"Hey." Evelyn greeted. Ruby didn't say anything and walked to the ledge, taking a seat on it beside her sister.
"Hey guys." Frankie greeted them.
Matt and Evelyn walked up to the ledge. The mutant asked his niece. "You wanna talk?"
"No." Frankie answered with a shake of her head.
The former HYDRA assassin then asked. "Frankie, do you regret having me and Evelyn here?"
"No, never!" Frankie exclaimed. She couldn't imagine her life without her sisters now. She may have lived it months ago, but that was a distant thing of her past now. "I don't regret that."
"Then what's on your mind, Frankie?" Evelyn asked, stroking her sister's back to try and ease the answer out of her.
Frankie shook her head. "Nothing."
"Think you don't regret your father sending your sisters, you regret your father not coming along with them. Am I right, Frankie?" Matt inquired while leaning against the ledge to watch the same city. Frankie and her sisters looked to him. "You hate how your Dad had to stay behind despite having a way back in front of him."
"… I didn't think I did." Frankie said. "… But I guess I did."
"Frankie, you know your old man is a good guy."
"I know." Frankie nodded.
"He was keeping a promise." Evelyn pitched in. "He promised to keep Jesse safe, and us too as well. That's why he stayed behind."
"I know…" Frankie buried her face in her sleeves. "But I really, really… hate that happened… cause I just wanted my Daddy." Ruby and Evelyn shared a brief glance before leaning over to her and hugged her from both sides.
"We know honey." The nanite mutant nodded knowingly. "It's understandable too…"
"What do I do now then?" Frankie asked.
"Talk." Frankie gave Matt a confused look. "Spare me that confusion, honey. You know what and who I'm talking about." He scoffed. "You three are part of the Fury family, but try not to be like your Dad and your aunt and communicate through fighting, alright?"
"Snow-Fury." Ruby corrected her uncle. "We're the Snow-Fury family, Uncle Matt."
"Then I'm praying you three take after your mother." Matt confessed.
He could handle Seth and Olivia fighting each other. But the three of them joining in on the fun? This city would face a threat worse than the Singularity.
(S.T.A.R. Labs, The Cortex)
Running a hand through his hair, Seth walked through the hallway as he made his way to the Cortex. After reading all of the articles that his sister brought him, the elemental spent the following time to come up with an apology that would explain all of his feelings and hope his daughter could forgive him.
"Cross everything you got, Venom, we're gonna need it." Seth told his "other."
"Why?" Venom startled his host with that single word. "We're on good terms with our child. This is your mess, pal."
"No chocolate for you in a month, Slither." Seth growled his threat.
"Try it, you lose your liver. Imagine life without alcohol." Venom shot back.
Seth didn't respond to the threat and walked onwards. Before passing the threshold, he took in a deep breath to ready himself. He walked in and was shocked to see that brother-in-law and his three daughters aren't in the Cortex. Lyla, John, Barry, Cisco, Harry, Jesse, Caitlin and Olivia are the only ones in the Cortex.
"Hey?" He got Caitlin's attention, making her spin in her chair. "Where's Frankie and the others? I… I really need to apologize to her."
"They're out talking with Matt." Caitlin answered. "How're you doing with what she said?"
"Honestly, I feel like shit but that's because she was right." Seth formed a pained expression like a hot knife was slowly driving into his chest which Caitlin noticed. "I gotta apologize to her."
"She's out now, just… talk to her when she comes back." Caitlin said.
"Are you kidding me?!" Olivia growled before walking to them with long strides. "Look, I love you both but if you two don't start being honest with each other, I'm gonna throw you in a room, lock it and give the key to Sharkbait!"
"Calm down, Liv!" Seth exclaimed. Before Caitlin could agree with him, the two of them watched the psychic cry and cover her mouth.
While she sobbed, Caitlin shared a confused look with Seth before looking back to Olivia. "Liv, are you okay? Why are you crying?"
"It's just… Sharkbait makes me think of Dory." They looked confused. Olivia sobbingly continued. "I mean, Dory's such a good friend and helps Nemo's dad to find his son… but she's just so dumb and forgetful." She shook her head, wiping away tears. "I need a minute." She walked towards the private lab to the side.
"What just happened?" Venom asked with a mentally wide-eyed look.
Pointing a finger in her direction, Seth looked to Caitlin. "Did you guys break my little sister while I was gone? Cause I vaguely remember her pity laughing at Dory's forgetfulness."
"…She's… in a strange place." Caitlin sheepishly answered.
"Okay…" Seth accepted with skeptical nod.
Cisco got their attention with his words. "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the suburbs, King Shark shows up at your house."
"Must have heard about Joe's casseroles." Caitlin quipped.
"Oh those are good." Seth admitted, he remembered when splitting a casserole with the detective before the Singularity. They're good.
"I mean, I don't even know how he found me." Barry stated his confusion. "It's not like I was The Flash while I was at home."
"Must be a reason." John said.
Seth were a bit unsure. "But we gotta find him. Any luck in with tracking Sharkbait?" He directed to Harry.
"Nope, I don't have enough information to create an accurate location algorithm." Harry said.
Having dried her tears, Olivia returned to the Cortex. "Sorry I was gone, but I did get the gist of everything you said. What about Sharky's doppelganger's widow? We got to have something from her research."
"I didn't think so at first," Caitlin started but then walked to the monitor. "but then I found something that I think might help us." She pressed a key before explaining. "Sharks are predators. In order to track their prey, they use what's known as passive electrolocation."
"English, Caity." Olivia begged.
Caitlin sighed and then Seth explained for her. "It's the way sharks are able to sense the bioelectric potential around a fish's body."
Caitlin nodded her agreement. "Exactly, which means the reason why King Shark was able to find Barry."
"He senses the electricity in Barry's system." Harry realized.
"Wouldn't that go for Seth too?" John nodded to the elemental.
Seth shook his head. "It's one out of eight elements in my body. Combined, they overlap each other and must be difficult for him to track me. Barry's system produces more lightning than mine which stores various elements with different potentials."
"Okay," Lyla nodded. "that explains how King Shark can track Barry, but how is that going to help us track him?"
Caitlin snapped a finger out. "We flip it. Instead of King Shark being the predator, we make him the prey, and track him using active electrolocation."
"What?" Question marks appeared over the psychic's head.
Cisco explained. "We reprogram our satellite to generate a specific electric field and then measure any electrical distortions that correlate with a 1-ton walking shark."
Harry chuckled. "That'll help us get him." he faced his daughter. "You help me out?"
"Sure." Jesse smiled and followed her father.
"Great, but what if that doesn't work?" Lyla asked, hoping they have a contingency plan in place.
"Well best we got, we let Seth go hell hath no fury like Venom on King Shark." Cisco's eyes widened and he gasped with realization. "Greatest Deathmatch of all time. That is SO happening!" He thrusted his fists into the air.
"Gee, missed you too, Cisco." Seth really felt the love.
"You know I love you, bro." Cisco assured him.
Lyla chuckled. "Let us know when you locate him and we'll take it from there."
"Okay." Barry nodded.
"Let's get the team ready." Lyla directed to her husband before the two of them walked out of the Cortex.
Caitlin faced Seth. "Seth, you know I'm gonna come with you out there."
"I know." Seth nodded. "Which is why I'm coming with you guys. As much as I trust A.R.G.U.S., which is not a lot, I don't trust them to protect you." Caitlin smiled at that, liking that he'd protect her. He turned to his sister. "What about you? You wanna join us, Lady Crybaby?"
"Funny." Olivia quipped. "But no, I'm not gonna go. You guys have fun with Sushi-Face. I'm gonna have a snack, I'm starving."
"Sure." Seth accepted and watched her go to the spare kitchen. "Don't remember her ever saying no to a fight."
"She's gotten lazy." Caitlin answered.
Seth raised an eyebrow.
"What exactly are those?" John nodded to the strange plush-like figures floating in the ocean at the port. One was a figure of Flash and the other was of Venom.
John and Lyla had their A.R.G.U.S. team ready with them. Barry walked with them in his Flash suit. Seth walked behind them in a skin-tight symbiotic suit with red eyes and spine extensions around his arms and the skull over his face. Caitlin walked close beside him.
Her eyes would occasionally shift to the crystal sword on his back with curiosity.
Facing the plushies Seth said. "That, Dig, are baits."
"A Flash and Venom lure?" Lyla inquired.
"Gotta admit Cisco, this is not the best idea you could come up with." Seth admitted.
(S.T.A.R. Labs, The Cortex)
Hearing their conversation on his end in S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco answered. "It's the best I could come up with given the time frame."
"You weren't alone." Matt noted. He and his nieces returned to the Cortex, heard of the plan, and decided to stand by. Harry and Jesse checked the scanners on the console with Olivia typing away on the computers before her. "Both of them are rigged to mimic and enhance the electric field Barry's body generates."
Cisco nodded. "King Shark takes one whiff of that, cue the "Jaws" soundtrack."
"Plus, both of them are stuffed with enough tranqs to knock him out for a month." Matt said. "If that doesn't work, go primitive and hit his head like Donkey Kong." He looked to his wife who continued to type away on the computer. "Babe, what are you doing?"
"Hacking Caitlin's small computer and Seth's earpiece so we can hear what they're talking about." Olivia announced.
"You know how to hack?" Jesse asked with shock.
While hacking away on the computer, Olivia replied. "Don't be so surprised honey, I'm married to a genius, after all. Some of his stuff tend to rub off. Plus it gets his motors revving."
"That it does." Matt confirmed with frantic nodding.
"Ew!" Ruby grimaced. Her sisters followed quickly.
"Either of those work, it'll make him a lot easier to reel in." Barry stated from the docks.
John nodded to the container behind them. "And that container? Strong enough to hold him once he's sedated?"
Caitlin nodded her assurance. From S.T.A.R. Labs, Harry explained through the comm devices. "It's made of promethium metal. It's impenetrable."
"And it also contains vibranium shackles inside, which are super-light but incredibly dense and can restrain him." Caitlin added.
Seth looked to her. "You got vibranium on this Earth?"
"Matt and Liv returned to 616 for their honeymoon and Matt used some of it for making suits for the girls, plus vibranium weaponry. He had some extra and reforged it into shackles." Caitlin answered. "And we'll be able to keep track of King Shark with this," she gestured to her small computer. "and the cameras that are on the lures. Whatever he does, we'll have eyes on him."
"All right, then. Let's go fishing." Lyla said, feeling assured they were ready for King Shark as she placed her binoculars over her eyes.
"But damn that Venom lure looks weird…" Seth confessed. It looked like him, but it also looked like it was melting. "Plus, Cisco, that one of me won't work."
"Sure it will." Cisco confidently said.
"No it won't, for two reasons." Seth started. "First I don't give off powerful electricity signals. Second, that thing doesn't have a symbiote which King Shark's animal side would detect and be terrified of. Without that in it, you basically made him a Venom chewtoy."
"It'll work, Dr. Negative." Cisco said. "And Caitlin, I don't understand why I can't be the one playing Quint in this scenario. I should be the one out there, not you."
Caitlin shook her head as though Cisco was speaking to her in front of her. "I need to do this."
"Plus, Cisco… She got me." Seth assured the mechanical engineer in S.T.A.R. Labs. "Sharkbait's gonna have to go through me before getting to Caitlin." He pulled his sword off his back and braced it against his right shoulder.
John did the same with his assault rifle as he walked up to the powered men. "Water is this monster's natural habitat. He's gonna be a lot stronger here. You guys sure about this?"
"This ends tonight." Barry was looking forward to putting an end to the last chapter of Earth-2 adventures.
"I trust the team and their plan." Seth nodded. He was in the same situation as the speedster, he wanted to put an end to all of this now. "Worst case scenario, we'll force him out of there and up on flat ground to skewer him once and for all."
And then… along with their team at S.T.A.R. Labs… they waited for the inevitable…
As the rain continued to pour over them, John and the other A.R.G.U.S. agents shielded their vision with their hands. Caitlin looked around in search along with the agents but her eyes would ultimately return to Seth who shifted his eyes away from her when he caught her looking in his direction.
John flashed the water with his flashlight. "Maybe he's not gonna fall for this."
"Remember he's an animal, John." Seth said. "His animal instincts will tell him to come this way."
The speedster nodded his agreement. "Anything, Cisco?" he pressed his earpiece.
(S.T.A.R. Labs, The Cortex)
Cisco yawned returning from his soon-to-be nap. "Uh, nope, nothing that looks like it could be him." He answered while he and the others paced back and forth.
"We got two lures out there, he's bound to come." Matt told them.
"Let's be patient." Olivia said, her eyes drifting to her nieces who remained close by. "You guys know you'll have to be ready if the worst happens, right?"
"Sure." Frankie said with a saddened tone with hints of anger.
Harry faced the native engineer. "You programmed the satellite though, right?"
"Yes, Harry." Cisco answered.
Matt looked to him. "You did punch in the correct parameters, right?"
"You too, Matt? I feel like my intelligence is being insulted." Cisco said in hurt.
"But they've been waiting for hours." Harry reminded him.
"I know they've been out for hours." Cisco said.
Jesse snapped to the native engineer. "Hey, you set the right distortion scope, right?" Harry smiled.
"Oh, for real? Okay." Cisco had to lay down the law. "You know what, we're gonna play a game here. It's called, if you're from Earth-2 or Earth-616, you're gonna be quiet, okay?"
"Oh yeah, forgot Whiney had a brain in that small head." Ruby chuckled.
"God, I did not miss nickname." Jesse groaned her annoyance.
Back at the ports, Seth walked closer to the edge of the ports. Out of bore alone, he stretched out his sword and let the tip of his blade dip into the water. He twirled it around in a circular motion.
Barry watched the elemental try to kill time with his sword. "…Better now than ever…" He walked closer to him and asked. "Hey, you okay, Seth?"
Retracting his sword out of the water, Seth answered with a hollow chuckle. "First time I've become bored from shark hunting. But what about you? You look… tense. Not like that cheery guy I remember from a year ago."
"That guy was the reason a black hole opened up in the sky, remember?" Barry said. "Ever since Zoom beat me here and on Earth-2, I've been running away from things, instead of towards them. That needs to change." He turned around to face the mutant, pulling his cowl from his head.
"I'm sorry for what happened that day of the Singularity, Seth." Barry started. "I started that entire mess and… You cleaned it up for me and I'm sorry for that. I thought you died but instead you were alive and well on Earth-2, fighting Zoom and his metas before us… If I could take it back, I would-"
"I wouldn't." Seth interrupted him. unbeknownst to him, his friends and family on the other end in S.T.A.R. Labs heard him and turned wide-eyed. Turning to face the metahuman, the symbiotic black suit with his white skull opened up and slithered down to his throat to reveal his face. "I'm not gonna lie, I hate the fact I was away from my family for over a year, no kidding, I hated being away from them. I hate the fact I had to go boom in a black hole, or tried to at least and ended up ricocheting in the inner ring like a pinball instead, and ended up another Earth, couldn't use my powers for six months or my partner…"
"But all the bad things that happened following the Singularity situation…" Seth chuckled. "It gave me two new daughters… and my first daughter grew up… If I had to choose to let all the bad things that happened till now and still get the same result, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Even if it meant me being attacked by Zoom's metas, blinded, hunted by two groups on another Earth, attacked by a psychopath with black flames and another psychopath with a doll thing… I'd fucking do it again because I love my kids. All the pain's worth it." Seth confessed.
"Sounds like you." Barry chuckled. "But, you, me… We good?" He asked hopefully.
"Definitely." Seth held out his right hand after embedding his sword to the ground. Barry smiled and shook hands with him. "But…" The mutant turned his hand into adamantium and tightened the handshake with the speedster, making the metahuman squeak in pain. "Next time you open a black hole, I'm gonna cut you in half and throw the useless part into it."
"Useless part?" Barry asked through the pain.
"The one with your brain." Seth said happily said before releasing his hold on Barry's hand. As he saw the speedster hold his hand, the mutant rolled his eyes and patted his back hard. "Calm down, it's a love squeeze."
"More like a death squeeze." Barry said with repeated sharp intakes of air through gritted teeth.
Caitlin laughed at their behavior, covering her face with her computer screen. But then she thought to herself.
"… I can't keep hiding from this…"
She inhaled deeply before walking towards the mutant with determination. "Barry?" The speedster faced the female doctor. "Mind giving us a few minutes?"
"Sure, at least I know that won't get me into trouble." Barry said.
"Wanna take that bet?" Seth challenged with an evil smile.
"No thank you!" Barry pulled his cowl over his head before walking over to the married couple.
"Scared Barry immediately. Guess you can cross that off your to-do list." Caitlin quipped.
"Small stuff first, then go immediately to the bigger stuff… like apologizing to our daughter." Seth said with his eyes pointing downwards.
"Seth… Why did you go off on our daughter like that?" Caitlin asked him slowly.
"Cause I'm scared out of my mind." Seth confessed, once again the others back at the facility listened in anticipation.
"Scared? What?" Caitlin asked confused, almost considering dropping her computer.
Seth sighed. "I talked with Liv before, told her that I was scared that one day Frankie. Evelyn and Ruby would end up being chased by groups of evil metahumans like I was on Earth-2. Truth is… that's part of the reason, but not the biggest part."
"What is the real reason, Seth?" Caitlin asked. She saw him hesitating and she persisted. "Don't zone out Seth. Tell me. What is the real reason?!"
"I'm afraid they don't need me!" Seth exclaimed, tears wettening his eyes. Caitlin listened, as did the ones back in S.T.A.R. Labs. "What if none of our daughters need me anymore? I'm their father and was gone for more than a year on Earth-2. Away from our family, Cait… and… I saw how much Frankie grew up when she fought King Shark."
"I saw that our little girl had grown up to become an incredible protector and an even better hero… You wouldn't believe how proud I was when I saw her fight like that. Our daughter grew up into a capable young woman while I was gone… and instead of telling her my true feelings, how proud of her I was… Like an idiot, I made it all about myself and bit her head off." He ran a hand through his hair. "Parts of me wanted to tell her to stop growing up… but I can't stop that."
"Liv showed me the articles of what the three of them have been doing while I was gone… Can't believe they've grown up so fast and so much… And I wasn't there to see it."
"Seth." Caitlin shook his forearm, making him turn to her. "All this time we thought you were dead, we kept you close." She placed a hand over her chest. "In here. Matt, Olivia, Joe, Felicia, Cisco, Barry, Frankie… and Me. We thought you were dead, but we always remembered you in our hearts. Then Cisco's vibe showed us that you were alive and fighting to get back to us… it made me so happy."
"I'm glad I was able to make you smile again, Cait." Seth smiled, wiping his eyes. "I'm sorry for all the pain I caused you, and I… I'm gonna apologize to Frankie for acting like a complete idiot. I'm gonna make sure to tell her how proud of her I am."
"I hope so…" Caitlin smiled. "Cause the three of them still need their father. I know I can't handle them on my own."
"I'm not going anywhere again." The mutant promised her. "I'm staying here."
"Good…" Caitlin gulped. "But Seth… why do you keep that sword to you at all times? I don't think I've ever seen you actually put that down, not even for a second." With each word coming out of her mouth she had a finger pointed at the crystal sword.
"I…sigh… Ever since Earth-2, I felt like I always had to be ready for anything that might happen. Like I had to be on guard the entire time." He nodded to the sword. "With all the things that happened around here, I felt like by always keeping that close I'd be ready for anything that might try to pull a fast one over me."
"Like you can't afford to relax and had to ready to fight at the sound of a twig breaking." Caitlin deduced. Seth nodded in agreement. "That part of you needs to change… to let yourself relax again." She took his hand and held it tightly. "We'll get you there."
"Thanks… and thank you for not giving up on me." Seth expressed. Others might have just given him the boot, but Caitlin wouldn't do that to him. She'd be standing right beside the ones she loves without moving an inch even if the entire planet shook.
"Not in a million years, dummy." Caitlin showed a heartwarming smile.
"But what's wrong with you, Cait?" Seth inquired. Caitlin showed her confusion. "Come on, Cait. I opened up my heart, and my eyes work, I can see that you're holding back because of something. What is it?"
Shock, terror and devastation came over the mutant. "God, you moved on, didn't you? You found someone else?!" Seth said horrified.
"Wait, what? No!" Caitlin exclaimed. Before he could utter another word, the female doctor slammed her hand over his mouth to keep him from talking. "Stop talking and let me speak."
With his mouth covered, he nodded his head.
Keeping his mouth covered, Caitlin smiled warmly and said. "You cute dummy." The two shared a deep look. "Can't believe you'd think that. Parts of me hurt from you not being there, but I couldn't forget you. Actually, I didn't want to move on because that's how much I love you."
Seth's heart beat like crazy when he heard those words coming out of her mouth. He longed to hear her say that again after so long.
"After you died in the Singularity, I spent so, so many times in the Time Vault. I kept reading, reading and reading that article about you and me… about…"
The two said in unison.
Caitlin formed another world lightning smile. "Yeah… It made me hope again. I knew the chances of you being alive was small back then, but… I just couldn't help but think that. Maybe I'd change my name, and become Snow-Fury in the future, but I was still hopeful." She removed her hand from his mouth, sliding it to his cheek and cupping it gently. "You can't believe how happy I was to see that my wildest dreams became reality."
"I'd have some idea, trust me." Seth assured her with a smile.
"But I did feel guilty…" Caitlin saw the mutant giving her his full attention. "Remember when you didn't say anything about your situation, about Carnage's poison in your body before?" Seth nodded; it wasn't something he'd ever forget. "I used the pain I felt from that to help a friend of ours, Jay Garrick."
"The one Zoom killed before I came through the breach." Seth pieced it together.
Nodding her confirmation, Caitlin said. "He was the Flash of Earth-2, but he lost his speed because of a speed drug he injected into himself. We thought it was because of Zoom in the first place, but we found out the truth later. He was dying from cellular degeneration. We… I gave him a modified version of the drug, called Velocity-9. It reactivated his latent regenerative capabilities."
"Cait, I don't understand…"
"I used the frustration I felt from you not telling me about the poison in you, frustration from my own father dying and I couldn't do anything about that," Seth made a metal note of that. "and poured everything I had in trying to save Jay's life, but I failed." Caitlin said. "And he died. That's why I kept my distance lately and stayed at S.T.A.R. Labs instead of coming home to you and our wonderful, strange kids."
"Cait…" Seth lifted her head, making eye contact with him. "You're a great, compassionate, caring and loving person, a doctor, a mother… You're all that and even more. You chose to help Jay because that's who you are… Someone who's gonna help anyone and everyone in pain. That's who you are. It wasn't because I never told you about the poison, but it was because you are the single best and greatest person in this city. I can say that with confidence after meeting your evil doppelganger."
"Yeah… Heard nothing good about her." Caitlin said. "But you and me… I'm glad we're together again…"
"Always and forever." Seth quipped. "But I need your help with our daughter. Our first step together starts here."
"Course… Or maybe it's first swim." Caitlin quipped as she intertwined their fingers. "We also need to talk about our daughters' school?"
Snapping to her, Seth inquired. "What about their school?
Everyone in S.T.A.R. Labs heard the conversation between the two doctors on their end. And had different reactions.
Jesse and Cisco thought it was sweet that the two of them cleared the air and talked about everything. They could see and feel they've been acting differently around each other since the mutant returned. But after hearing their conversation… they were happy to hear they're on the right track again.
Harry sipped on his coffee… and didn't think this was the right time for them to talk about feelings.
Matt smiled his happiness and turned his eyes to his wife who wiped a tear away. "You expected this happen, didn't you?"
"Yeah I did, and I didn't even bother finishing that couple's therapy course in S.H.I.E.L.D Academy." She chuckled.
The two mutants then drifted their eyes to the side and saw Frankie tearing up with tears rolling down her face like a waterfall. She listened to the words her father spoke and couldn't stop the tears no matter what she did. Wiping away the tears she could, new ones immediately slithered out of her eyes and took their place. Like her body was trying to dry itself, she had to take a seat on the nearest chair she could find. Her sisters wrapped their arms around her form from both sides.
Ruby chuckled. "You and Dad are gonna have one weird conversation."
"I think I'll like it." Frankie said through her tears. "I love him."
"So do we and we love you." Evelyn followed up.
"Guess that psychology degree is not just for show, huh?" Cisco joked, directing it to the psychic.
Olivia made a show of dusting off her shoulders. "Course not."
Jesse smiled at their antics, loving the familiar love they shared. She stopped when she saw something beeping and flashing on the radar on the monitor. Walking closer to it, she saw a mass nearing the lures. "Uh, hey, guys. What is that?" She pointed to the screen.
Harry, Cisco and Matt swung their heads to the screen and saw the same as the younger Wells.
"The big, big kahuna. Guys, incoming." Cisco informed his friends at the docks.
"He's headed for the baits!" The viber continued over the comms.
Caitlin turned her eyes downwards to her small computer screen. Seth looked at the screen as well. Both saw the same mass traveling underwater towards the two baits.
Seth's body expanded till he grew to his full size as Venom and lower half of his mouth split open, his serpentine tongue rolling out of it. "We're ready." He pulled the sword out of the ground and spun it in his hand. "Caitlin, stay back if that guy comes close."
"Don't worry about me." Caitlin told him.
Venom grinned. "You know us better than that, right?"
"Huh?" Caitlin got both Barry and Seth's attention. "He's only going for the Flash lure."
"For real?" Barry said shocked.
Laughing demonically, Venom said. "He's scared of us."
As though they heard an underwater roar, they saw the water near the Flash lure ripple. But, only for a moment, before King Shark shot up and dug his teeth around the head of the lure before diving back into the water with it.
"He ate the lure!" Caitlin said excitedly.
At that moment, Barry wondered if she was excited King Shark ate the lure or that he ate that specific lure and left the Venom lure alone. He wouldn't ask her, just for his sake.
Venom narrowed his eyes on the water. Flash turned around to instruct John. "Reel him in, all right?"
John pressed the button on the machine with the specialized metal rope. The wheel turning and retracting what they caught.
"Let's hope we caught him." Caitlin thought out loud but then she saw the skeptic look on Seth's face. "What's wrong, Seth?"
"Something doesn't feel right? King Shark's better than this." The mutant stated.
As if on cue, the line stopped pulling… and the hook floated back to the surface.
"Where'd he go?" John shouted.
To get a better vantage point, Venom jumped onto top of a wooden pillar beside them. He looked around with narrowed eyes.
"Guys stay alert! He's headed for the docks." Matt alerted them.
Venom drifted his eyes downwards, to the front of the docks and saw the water rippling in front of them. He jumped back down, landing in front of Caitlin before facing her. "Caitlin, step back." She nodded.
Barry turned to the A.R.G.U.S. agents. "Get ready for fire!" He instructed them.
The water rippled before roaringly King Shark jumped out of the water and into the air. The agents raised their firearms, pointing them at him before pulling their triggers. Bullets connected with his skin but never penetrated and ricocheted off of him.
The shark metahuman landed on the docks before the speedster and the elemental. "Those guns won't stop me! First, I'll kill you, then Venom, then I'll kill them."
"Wanna say that again, Sharkbait!" Venom growled.
"Let's do this, then. Let's go!" Flash challenged, speeding away and ran across water.
Seth grabbed hold of his throat and lifted the shark metahuman into the air. "Let's play "Find Flash."" He threw King Shark into the water. Everyone saw the evil metahuman chase after the speedster.
John looked confusedly to the mutant. "Why didn't you just finish him off right then and there?"
"Flash has a plan." Venom shrugged. "But honestly, we want to see him fight and see if he's progressed at all."
Caitlin then admitted. "Then you're gonna be disappointed. Our daughter has more fighting skills than him."
"Does not surprise us, Caitlin." Venom stated.
Flash ran around zig-zag pattern to try and stay ahead of the shark metahuman who swam after him in a straight pattern. King Shark jumped out of the water with a roar each time he tried to strike down the speedster.
Once he was sure that he was far enough ahead of the shark metahuman, Barry changed pattern and ran around in a circle. King Shark came to a stop underwater, looking upwards to try and find the speedster but he accelerated, turning into a blur as he ran around in a circle.
"What is he doing?" Lyla asked, seeing the screen in Caitlin's hands and saw the spiral forming from the metahuman running.
Caitlin caught on. "He's electrifying the water."
"So he got smarter then." Venom smiled. "Not bad, Barry." Seth thought.
Barry jumped into the air, having gathered enough lightning and then swung his arm, launching a lightning bolt for King Shark. Everything was in slow motion, and the speedster watched the lightning travel through the water and connect with the evil metahuman's body.
King Shark felt the lightning touch his body and screamed in pain.
Venom heard the scream rippling through the water and reaching the ears of the ones on the docks. But despite that scream, Seth didn't feel assured in the least. He actually grew more worried.
Barry returned to the docks, pantingly falling to his knees. "Now… Now we can reel him in." John and Lyla looked impressively at his action.
Caitlin smiled but it fell when she saw that Seth hadn't come out of his Venom form yet. "Seth what is it?"
"We fought King Shark four times. Our daughter fought him. He didn't go down from any of those encounters, nor did he die from Wells' attack." Venom took a battle stance. "He's not down yet."
Caitlin saw the speedster's electrifying attack, but her instincts told her to turn her eyes to the screen in her hands. Her eyes widened when she saw the King Shark's body moving on the radar, diving deeper into the water before changing directions and closing in on them rapidly.
Caitlin's words were cut short when the humongous shark metahuman shot out of the air. His arm raised before closing in on the exhausted speedster, and bringing his fist down on Barry's body, punching him into the ground and knocking him out.
"Open fire!" Lyla ordered, her and her agents opened fire on the shark metahuman again. Seth snatched Caitlin with tendrils, pulling her close and out of harm's way.
Along with Caitlin, Seth watched as King Shark removed his fist from Barry. Showing a smile, he wrapped his fingers around him and lifted him into the air.
"Hold your fire!" John ordered; the other agents followed suit.
King Shark raised himself to his full height, looking down on all the small humans around him. He then turned to the red eyes of the mutant. "Demon King!" He roared. "Flash is fast on land, but not fast when he's down. You're next!"
He jumped into the water again with Barry. Agents around the docks opened fire, shooting at the water surface to try and hit him.
"Stop shooting!" Venom ordered the agents with a roar. The agents dropped their firearms. Literally throwing their assault rifles to the ground and defensively raised their hands. Turning his head around, the elemental saw King Shark jump out of the water and ran towards the streets…
…deeper into Central City…
The tendrils left her form and Caitlin horrifyingly said. "He's going into the city."
"With Barry." John added.
Lyla raised her walkie-talkie to her mouth. "All units converge to Central City. Target is moving into the city. I repeat, target is moving into the city."
"We'll get take care of him and get Flash, have your agents get citizens to safety." Venom announced.
"You think you can handle him?" Lyla questioned.
"He's out of the water, and we can use the buildings around to our advantage."
"He's got better mobility in the city, Seth can handle this." Caitlin said.
"Not just me." Venom corrected her before pressed the side of his earpiece. "Matt, you there?"
"Course I am." Matt said.
"…" He inhaled deeply, glancing at Caitlin who read his eyes and gave him a confident nod. He gave one of his own before continuing.
"Get your armor and jump in… and bring Evelyn, Ruby and Frankie with you, as well."
(S.T.A.R. Labs, The Cortex)
"Are you sure, Dad?" Frankie jumped to the main console with a worried look.
"We are, Frankie… And we're gonna give a much longer apology later, but for now, we're really sorry and we need you and your sisters to help us out with this guy. Someone's gotta help your old rust bucket of an uncle out in the field."
"Old, huh?" Matt gritted his teeth. "Just you wait, I'll tank missile your ass, pal." He equipped his suit.
"Okay, Dad." Frankie's clothed shifted and she turned into her alter-ego immediately. "We'll be there."
"Let's go." Ruby pulled her hood over her helmet.
Evelyn placed her mask over her eyes. "Ready!"
The three Fury sisters are ready for action and so is their uncle.
King Shark barreled through bustling traffic. Passengers immediately took notice of the humanoid shark and rushed out of their cars. Citizens on the streets ran away in fear, trying to find the closest place that would spare them from the shark metahuman's wrath.
With his other hand wrapped around the unconscious speedster's body, King Shark slammed his free hand into the car in front of him, flinging it out of the way.
The family of four in the car were paralyzed in fear, even though the two parents wanted to reach into the backseats and pull their daughter and son close to them. But it was too late as they saw themselves coming close to collision with a brick wall. They closed their eyes.
But they opened their eyes again when they felt a thudding come through their mini-van. Surprise and shock splashed over their faces when they looked directly into a pair of blood-red eyes. The family of four widened their mouths when they saw it was the thought-to-be-dead Venom who saved them with a new look.
Venom jumped off the wall and placed the vehicle on the ground. He watched the parents shoot out of the car, opening the back doors to pull their kids into hugs. "Are you okay?"
The mother faced him. "Thank you… Venom?"
"Is it really you?" The boy in her arms asked surprisedly.
Venom nodded. "The one, the only." He grinned before jumping away and running towards the shark metahuman. Lashing out his arm, he stretched out his clawed hand and attached to the side of a building before swinging forward.
Letting go of it, he performed a spin while retracting his arm before diving down to the shark metahuman. Turning his entire body into adamantium, he brought down his right foot down on King Shark's head, forcing him down to the ground.
Landing on the ground further away from him, he shot out a tendril and pulled Barry out of the shark metahuman's hand.
King Shark returned to a standing and glared at the mutant. "Demon King!"
"Bring it, Sharkbait!" He challenged him, throwing the speedster down to the ground while pulling out his crystal sword.
"Don't forget about us!" Magenta shouted as she swung into the air before landing beside her father. Shadows erupted beside them and Eclipse and Destroyer appeared out of the shadows.
Venom saw Frankie reform her hands into swords. Then Ruby reaching behind her and pull out her Chakram blade. Finally, Evelyn emanated shines of both darkness and light as she pulled back an arrow on her bow with her elements wrapping around her weapons.
"Strange world." Seth thought to himself.
King Shark charged them with his shoulder.
"Girls, out of the way!" After his daughters jumped out of the way, Venom turned his body into adamantium and tanked the charging metahuman. He wrapped his arms around his form, tightening them around King Shark's body.
Evelyn slid across the asphalt. Coming to a stop, she pulled out two more arrows and pulled them back along with her other arrow. Her light sharpened the arrows and the darkness wrapped around the shafts. Looking across her arrows, she locked onto the shark metahuman's right thigh.
Releasing her arrows, she watched as they flew through the air and pierced into his thigh. King Shark screamed in pain and was forced down to one knee.
Taking advantage of the moment his daughter created, Venom released his hold on him. Bright red flames ignited around both of his arms while lightning sparked around the spine extensions around his arms. The moment Shay looked up he was immediately met with a series of flame and lightning coated fists raining down on his face.
Grabbing him by the face, the elemental swung him around and threw him to the ground.
Reeling her right hand back, Ruby launched Chakram blade. King Shark returned to his feet, but the side of his face was immediately cut by the vibranium blade. Enragedly he faced her before running towards her with a raised hand.
Remembering the time on Earth-2 when this guy tried to attack her, Evelyn and Jesse, Ruby smirked behind her mask as she clenched her right fist, her gravitational powers converting into it. "This is revenge from what happened on Earth-2, bitch!"
She hurled her fist like a rocket, her fist colliding with the shark metahuman's fist. The gravitational powers traveled through her fist and pushed the shark metahuman backwards.
King shark came to a stop and pulled out the arrows embedded in the back of his thigh and threw them away. He turned to the side and saw an array of arrows coming his way. Raising his left hand to shield his face, the arrows dug into his hand.
Yanking them out, the wounds healing quickly, King Shark charged for her. Eclipse reached for another arrow, but her bow was slapped out of her hand by the shark metahuman. Teleporting back a few feet, the young metahuman placed both hands together. Thinking quickly, focusing, she formed a shining light sword with darkness wrapping around it like streaks.
Holding it over her head like a samurai, she challenged. "Not gonna be like last time, Fishface." King Shark swung his arms for her, but she dodged each attack. Spinning low in a spiral, she swung her sword and cut the back of his left thigh and brought him down.
Slamming his fists into the ground, Shay pulled up a huge chunk of asphalt and threw it for her. Knowing that defenseless people were behind her, Eclipse emanated darkness from her body, and it formed into tendrils and slammed into the chunk of rock, turning it into scattering pieces of rock.
The shark metahumans saw an opportunity and charged for her. But pink tendrils wrapped around his arms and his neck before he felt a pair of small feet touch his back. Magenta pulled on her tendrils, forcing King Shark's head and arms backwards and made him groan in pain.
"Giddy up, Sharky!" She joked as the shark metahuman tried to force her off, thrashing and struggling wildly to get her off of his back. "Okay, I'm gonna have to give you a one-star review, mostly because of the rocky ride!" King Shark spun around, trying to shake the young metahuman off but to no success still. He tried with all of his might, but it was very hard.
But with one final effort, pouring all of his strength into his right arm, he managed to reach behind him and grabbed the young girl by her shoulder. Roaringly he pulled her off of his back and threw her away.
"ARGH!" Magenta screamed as she traveled through the air.
Venom jumped off a wall and grabbed her before landing on the ground. "Are you okay?" He asked his daughter.
Shaking off any dizziness residing in her head, Frankie looked to her father and assured him with a nod. "I'm fine."
"Good." Venom clutched his hand around her. And just as she formed a confused expression, aiming it at him, her sisters appeared around him. "Time for some family fun."
The girls seemed to understand him and they jumped into action.
Evelyn jumped in front of her father and sisters and cupped her hands. Light took the form of a sphere. Letting out a cry, she threw the ball of pure light at the enraged shark metahuman. Too late to dodge it, King Shark had to hold his eyes from the searing pain that followed the ball exploding in his eyes.
Ruby ran ahead, rushing towards the huge metahuman. When within jumping distance, she used her gravitational powers, pouring them into her feet and legs before leaping off the ground in a single jump. She passed over the shark metahuman's head, thrusting out both hands and sending out a gravitational blast and forced King Shark deeper into the ground.
Releasing his daughter, letting her fall to the ground, the two symbiote bearers smirked while clenching their fists.
Venom clenched his left fist, turning it into adamantium with lightning cloaking it entirely.
Magenta clenched her right fist, turning into a mace with spikes.
The two jumped forward in a dash, reeling back their hands. When coming close to King Shark, both father and daughter raised their fist and slamming them into the underside of the evil metahuman's face. The combined force of the two fists punching Shay, forced him out of the asphalt and into the air.
Retracting their fists, they watched King Shark fall to the ground with a heavy thud. His head falling to the side, his tongue slithering out of his mouth.
Worriedly, Eclipse stepped closer to the metahuman. Curiously, she tapped his hand. When she didn't get any response, she looked to her family. "He's down."
Walking to her metahuman sister, with her bow, Destroyer looked at her with an incredulous look. "Are you seriously checking to see if the huge shark is awake? He's more likely to bite your foot off."
"Fun image." Evelyn quipped as Ruby threw her bow back to her.
Venom got his sword back and placed it on his back, making tendrils wrap around it like a sheath. He was about to open his mouth to converse with his two new daughters but stopped when he felt a pair of arms wrap around his left arm. Facing downwards, he saw Magenta hug him.
"What is it, honey?" Venom asked her in concern.
"Nothing… Just missed you, Dad." Magenta smiled.
Venom smiled and rubbed the top of her head with the back of his finger. But he stopped when he saw a camera flash hitting his eye. Shaking off the shock, he and his daughters looked around and saw dozens of citizens clapping, showering them with their applause. A lot of citizens had their phones brought out, their cameras flashing as they took thousands of photos of the four heroes.
A certain reporter witnessed the fight and had already snapped tons of photos of the hero who was thought to be dead.
Flash had long since returned to the realm of consciousness and had a wide smile when seeing the mutant and his family together again.
"Welcome back, Seth." He muttered under his breath.
Frankie nudged her father with her elbow. "Dad, come on."
Seth looked confused. "What is it?"
"You know." Magenta giggled knowingly.
Realizing what she meant, the demon decided to really announce his return to his home… and he opened his mouth, reeling back his head and let his mark be known to the city.
From above, in the sky, Iron Knight looked down on them, his HUD screen forming a spiraling scope and locked onto the roaring elemental.
He narrowed his eyes in confusion as he noticed something weird about Seth…
And that didn't stop the eerie feeling from spreading in his body.
Several moments later, A.R.G.U.S. arrived and paved their way through the gathering of civilians. The promethium container followed behind them and came close to the site where King Shark and the Furys are.
After Venom and Magenta threw in Shay Lamden, they met up with Destroyer, Eclipse, Caitlin, Lyla, John and Barry.
John looked between the mutant and the metahumans. "Hell of a catch, guys."
"Easy." Venom said with a morphing voice as his form shrunk to his normal size. "Besides, family fishing trip. Can definitely cross that one off the list."
"Dad, your bucket list sounds super boring." Ruby admitted.
"Kinda like you, Rubs." Evelyn countered with a smile.
Ruby glared at her sister but Caitlin hugged her from behind, stopping her. "Don't even think about it, you."
"Can we keep the public fighting to a minimum in this family?" Seth asked jokingly before looking to the moving container. "Or at least, until we're done with this guy."
"Yeah, let's just make sure he doesn't become "the one that got away."" Barry said hopefully.
"So do I, cause I don't know about you guys, but one family fishing trip is enough for the Snow-Furys." Frankie quipped.
Seth rubbed her head as Lyla assured them. "Won't let that happen again."
While hugging her daughter from the future of Seth's native universe, Caitlin asked Lyla. "What are you gonna do with him?"
She shrugged unsurely. "I don't know yet. But one thing's for sure, A.R.G.U.S.'s plans to turn King Shark into a weapon died with Amanda Waller."
"Amen Hallelujah." Seth agreed.
"I think our time would be better served learning about how he came to be and how to cure him." Lyla said, deferring from the path that Amanda had made and insistent on paving her own path as the director of A.R.G.U.S.
Caitlin had a flash of inspiration. "You know, you should really talk to Dr. Lamden. She's done a lot of research, and I think it could be helpful to you."
"I'll do that." Lyla faced the mutant and the metahumans. "Nice to see you again."
The girls each gave their thumbs and Seth nodded along with the speedster. As his daughters followed Caitlin and Lyla for a bit, the elemental faced Barry and John. "What a day, huh, guys."
"No kidding, man. Some world you came back to." John chuckled.
"At least it's my world." Seth smiled behind his mask.
"That is never not gonna be weird for me." John said with a pale expression.
"Well, thanks a lot, Dig." Barry said.
"Yeah, he's right. Thanks for it." Seth gestured to the dispersing citizens. "If not for you and A.R.G.U.S., the body count would have been through the roof."
"Hey, I got to thank you, you two." John said appreciatively. "Got Lyla her first win, I got to watch Barry run on water, was proved that Seth can get scarier than I thought." He chuckled. "It was biblical."
"Sure you don't mean diabolical?" Seth said with a smirk. John and Barry laughed at his words.
The Star City native stopped chuckling and said, directing his words to the speedster. "Look, Barry, when I was in Afghanistan, I lost a lot of friends… brothers. So you guys losing one of your own, losing Jay, I know what it feels like. Question yourself. Blame yourself for his death. And that guilt, it can tear you apart, but trust me, man, you got to get control of it, or it'll rip you up inside." Barry listened closely. "Use this, man, let it guide you, so it never happens again."
Barry smiled. "All right, thanks, man."
"You got it." John smiled before facing the mutant. "And now for you."
Seth scoffed. "You got magical words for me too?"
"Kinda." John started. "I heard you and Caitlin talking before…. And I've seen it a few times before with some of my friends who actually got home from wars. Before the war, they're able to relax with ease. But after, it's like they have to be ready for anything at the small sign of conflict. Some went and got jobs, big companies, firms for lawyers even construction workers… but they always had a registered firearm with them no matter what and no matter where. They couldn't relax no matter how hard they try. Without their weapons, it was like they'd crumble to pieces."
"Let me guess, they went to support groups and talked with them about their issues?"
"Nah man." John shook his head. "They talked with their reasons for going to the war. They had a long talk with their wives, family, children, even to the headstones on their parents' graves. They were their reasons for joining the army, to make the world safer for the hundreds of people who are like them around the world. I know it's gonna be hard to let go of that sword, Seth, but you just gotta talk… then again, you already did, right?"
"Definitely." Seth smiled. "And it's only one small talk compared to the long one I'm gonna have with her." He faced Caitlin who met his eyes and he saw her smile widely.
"Good man." John patted his back, making sure not to touch the spine extensions coming out of them. Just out of fear and disgust. Mostly, fear though.
Seth looked to him again. "Say hi to everyone for us, alright?"
"I will." John said with a nod.
Seth and Barry walked towards the women. "Anyone need a lift?" The speedster offered.
"No way!" Frankie immediately said. "I'm gonna go with Evelyn, she's better." She walked over to her sister and held hands with her.
"Yeah, I'm gonna go with my sisters." Ruby said and took Evelyn's spare hand.
Evelyn shrugged. "Yeah, you have my answer." She instantly disappeared in a shroud of shadows.
"Wow, that was… hurtful." Barry said.
"Are you really surprised? You're not exactly five-star transport. Heck Uber is safer than you, and less nauseating." Seth confessed.
Barry slumped. "And I'm feeling way worse."
Caitlin chuckled before facing Seth. "Wanna go home, Seth?" The mutant tilted his head with surprise. "You know the way you do it…"
Smiling widely behind his skull extension, he lashed out a hand, shooting out a tendril, pulling her close to his body. "Hold on." He warned while securing an arm around her waist and shooting out another tendril from his other hand, attaching it to a building.
Caitlin slid her arms around his neck. "Always."
With another wide smile, he shot off the ground and swung into the air with Caitlin pulled tight to his body. He couldn't help but relish in the feeling of his mate… close to him once more.
With a smile, Barry shook his head before speeding away.
John's phone vibrated as he walked up to his wife who had a baffled expression. "Yeah, okay. That's kind of freaky, all of them." She confessed and had to agree with all of her husband's previous antics when witnessing their powers.
"Yeah, yeah, see? I told you." John rapidly said, answering the call and placed it to his ear. "Hey, Oliver, what's up?"
(S.T.A.R. Labs, The Cortex)
Seth inhaled deeply, he had to strengthen himself for the most difficult conversation to ever have with his child. He and Caitlin returned to the facility a moment ago, meeting up with Olivia, Jesse, Harry, Cisco and Barry. Their daughters were in the medbay on the left side of the Cortex, sitting on the beds and talking.
"What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do?" Seth chanted nervously.
"Try this:" He faced Caitlin. "Take a deep breath." He inhaled deeply, obliging to her words. "And walk into that room and talk with your daughter."
"Our daughter." Seth corrected her. "Okay, I will." He walked forward, but he came to an immediate halt. Reaching behind him, he took his sword and placed it against the console railing. Turning around, he was met with a proud and happy smile on Caitlin's face. "One step at a time."
"There's my guy." Caitlin cooed.
Seth wanted so badly to kiss her right now, but he had to push that aside and take care of an important talk with his daughter. He walked across the Cortex, stopping at the sight of his daughters conversing by the door frame. After burning the image of his daughters laughing together in his mind, he knocked on the doorframe to get their attention.
"Hey girls." Seth started.
Frankie looked to her father. "Hey Dad."
Ruby and Evelyn shared a look before facing their father. "Hey, Dad, we're gonna wait in the Cortex, okay?" Evelyn said, pulling her sister away with her.
"Stop pulling!" Ruby complained.
"Quit whining, you're sounding like Jesse!" Evelyn countered.
"Hey!" Jesse heard it and complained.
As they were pulled out of the medbay, Seth gave them a strange look while walking towards Frankie. "Are they always like that?"
"Ever since you dropped them off, Dad. Speaking of, think it's good-parenting to throw children into another universe like fan mail?" Frankie quipped.
"Spur of the moment." Seth countered and walked over to his daughter, sitting beside her on the gurney. He could feel his partner helping him with waves of soothing emotions to calm him down for his talk. "Frankie, I'm-"
"I know, Dad." Frankie cut him off. Registering his confused look, she clarified. "Aunt Liv hacked you and Mom's comms. It let us hear everything you and Mom said."
"God, I hate my sister." Seth sighed. "But gotta admit her skills to get people talking works pretty good. Guess it does make what I'm about to say… pretty easy."
"You don't have to, Dad."
"Yes, I do." Seth stated before beginning. "I'm really, really sorry what I said before, honey. I didn't mean what I said… I was just… too emotional to recognize the obvious: That my little Magenta had grown up." He stroked her hair with his hand, tears forming in his eyelids. "That you've become… a real hero, a protector of your own kind."
"And instead of accepting that, I was an idiot and selfishly thought that my daughters wouldn't need me anymore. I was gone for more than a year; I should have expected this. That you, Ruby and Evelyn would grow up so much. I was away from our family." He smiled happily, he and his daughter shedding tears. "But I saw how much you had grown when you fought King Shark before. You wouldn't believe how proud I was when I saw you fighting him… You might just be better than me now, honey. You grew into a capable young woman, better than I as a boy at your age."
"I saw you fight out there, and I desperately wanted you to stop growing, so I could… I could still call you my baby girl."
"I never stopped being that Dad." Frankie said with tears all over her cheeks. "I never stopped being your baby girl…"
Seth liked that and wrapped his hands around her, pulling her close. "I saw how hard you've been fighting now, along with your sisters. And I am so proud of the three of you. I just hate I wasn't there to see it for myself."
Ruby and Evelyn smiled at their display. They turned around, about to walk away.
"Where are you two going?"
They stopped and looked back into the medbay to see Seth and Frankie looking at them. The elemental waved them over and they dashed towards them. The father wrapped his arm around them and pulled them into a hug, both of his arms tightly wrapped around his children. "I'm not going anywhere again, I'm gonna be here for the three of you and your mother no matter what. Not even Heaven and Hell are gonna keep me from you three anymore, I swear."
"I love you girls." Seth said.
"We love you, Dad/We love you, Dad/We love you, Dad"
The mutant was instantly riddled with love and care when he heard his three daughters express their love for their father.
That only made him hug his children tighter than ever.
"Aww." Caitlin cooed. But she felt like she ruined the moment when the four faced her. "Sorry for that."
"No, you're not." Seth wrapped a tendril around her and pulled her close. Caitlin gasped and joined the hug.
"No I'm not." Caitlin clarified.
Olivia and Matt chuckled at their display, the wife holding up a phone with her powers and taking a photo of them hugging. The familiar of five heard the flash and snapped their heads around to the source. The psychic cheekily responded. "What? Thought you guys needed a new family photo."
"Funny, and thanks, Liv." Seth expressed.
"Of course, bro." Lowering her phone, Olivia rubbed her fingers and said. "Oh yeah, since you're back now, Seth, that means you can hear all about Frankie's little crush on a boy in her class."
At those words… Seth saw red!
"What?!" Seth boomed, snapping out of the hug and jumping up to his feet. "Who's the little pervert?!" He directed to his daughter.
"Dad!" Frankie shouted embarrassedly.
"Dude, calm down." Matt told him.
Facing him, Seth said angrily. "What is wrong with you two?! You're letting some pervert near my daughter! Are you crazy?! You call yourselves responsible adults?!"
Olivia ran her hand down her face. "Told you once, gonna tell you again: Not all boys are perverts!" she shouted.
"I'm dead for a year, and the two of you have no problem with letting some perverts near my daughters! What's wrong with you?!" Seth listed off, a finger raising for each item. "Did you guys get them checked?! Did you check them for rabies? Made sure they got their shots? Did you guys even check their GPAs?"
"Paging, Dr. Fury, they're human boys, not dogs." Matt reminded.
"They're all dogs." Seth sneered, exuding a menacing presence like an ominous aura.
Matt scoffed. "Wow, guess that doctor's degree is a joke if you can't tell the difference between a boy or a dog."
"Well at least I don't send my kids into the arms of slobbering dogs." The elemental growled.
"You were on another Earth." Matt reminded him.
"Unless I'm dead, unless I'm burned to cinders, unless I'm in the ground, unless I'm disintegrated, you are not now, or ever, to let my daughters anywhere near boys." Seth said with clenching hands.
"You're an idiot." Matt stated.
Which was a mistake as an adamantium fist slammed into the nanite mutant's face, hurling off his feet and sending him flying into the middle of the Cortex. Whilst he held his face with both hands, Seth stormed into the room as he clenched his hands.
"Try saying that again, Scrapheap." Seth growled.
Harry and Jesse wanted to help them, but Barry and Cisco pushed them back, making sure they're out of harm's way. Matt growled through gritted teeth. "Okay, that's it!" He jumped back to his feet, slamming his arc reactor on his chest and let the nanites swarm over his form. "I'll kill you, and this time, make sure you stay dead, Parasitic Moron!"
Symbiotic mass erupted around the elemental's body, engulfing his head. "Try it, Tin Can!"
Iron Knight charged for him, reeling back an energy blade pulsating with repulsor energy. But Venom grabbed him by the blade, swinging him around before throwing him out of the skylight. "You're dead!" He shouted, jumping through the skylight to chase him.
Olivia chuckled as her nieces and Caitlin walked back into the Cortex. Harry looked to the psychic. "Shouldn't we stop them?"
"Nah, this is their thing, don't worry." Olivia waved off his concern. But their concerns returned when they felt a tremor coming from the top of the facility. "Don't worry, small stuff."
"Are they always like this?" Evelyn directed to her mother.
Caitlin nodded, hugging her metahuman daughter. "Unfortunately, yeah."
"But you get used to it." Frankie braced herself when another tremor ran through the facility. "Mostly."
"Cool." Ruby loved this family.
Jesse looked between them. "Sure we shouldn't stop them?"
"Don't look at me, I ain't getting in between that. Besides, I'm starving." Olivia said.
"I ain't doing anything." Barry jumped in. Cisco shook his head frantically as well.
They still appreciated their lives and didn't want to mess with two of the most dangerous mutants in this universe.
The next day, at CC Jitters, Wally had arranged for Joe to come to the coffee shop to take a gander at his proposition for the turbine vehicle in his engineering project. They chose to do it on the upper floor of the coffee shop, and Wallace had to admit something to his father.
"You're a really slow reader." The drag racer confessed as the detective took forever to read. Holding up a finger to continue reading in silence, Joe began to laugh impressively. Wally heard him. "So?"
Removing the hand from his mouth, Joe pointed to the screen, tremendously impressed by what he's reading. "I want one of these super cars. I mean, especially if I can run it off the bacon grease I collect? I mean…" Wally laughed happily, glad that his father was intrigued by his project. "Man, Wally. I'm so impressed."
Wally smiled. "Thanks." He lowered his head. "But Barry gave me a lot of help, so…"
Joe argued. "Yeah, he did, but this was all your idea, this is your hard work. It's all you." He pointed to the computer with each sentence. "Barry'd say the same thing."
Forming a doubtful look, Wally said. "Would he?"
He had a feeling it would come to this. Joe closed down the laptop and started. "Look, Wally… Iris and I took Barry in when he was 11, and the reason he came to live with us is because his mother was murdered… and his father was wrongfully imprisoned for it. And I have been overprotective of that kid since that day. we gave him all the love and support he needed to get through that tragedy… and become the man he is now. So that… that pride you see when Iris and I are talking about him, is because… things could have gone very differently."
Wally wondered if the detective knew how those words truly affected him.
"But he's not perfect," Wally snapped to Joe. "and he's not favored over you or Iris or anybody else. So you have nothing to worry about… He's my son… just like you are."
Wally smiled again; this time wider than before. Possibly the widest smile he has ever formed in his life since meeting his father and his big sister.
(S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco's Workshop)
Cisco was working hard on his dead doppelganger's goggles in his workshop. He had to see if he use these like his evil doppelganger, and peer into the veil between universes.
Caitlin walked into the workshop, emanating a dominant presence. "What are you doing with those?"
She stepped closer to him and he answered with his eyes glued to the goggles. "I'm adjusting the wavelength trigger, see if I can get these to work over here."
"So you can catch some breachers?" Caitlin placed a hand on his forearm.
The cold touch made the mechanical engineer inhale sharply. "Dear God! Caitlin, your hands are freezing." He faced her with a surprised look.
And what he saw… was a cold look looking back at him.
"Caitlin… I've always hated that name." She said with a cold and emotionless tone.
"Oh, no." Cisco gasped, getting up from his chair. "No, no, no, it's starting." He staggered backwards. "You're starting to become-"
"Killer Frost?" She finished off for him, inching closer and closer to him. Cisco was stricken with fear and couldn't stop it from growing… and then…
Caitlin couldn't hold it in any longer.
She tried desperately not to crack up, but she couldn't anymore and started laughing at his fear.
Cisco's fear fell. "That ain't right. That ain't right, that's just rude. Who put you up to this? Seth put you up to this, didn't he?" Caitlin continued to laugh. "Oh, I should've known you two were..." He didn't know what to say.
But thankfully, Caitlin did. "Cold?"
"Yeah." Cisco nodded.
"You deserve it for thinking that I could ever become like her." Caitlin smiled before she assured her dear friend. "Cisco, you need to stop worrying about me. I may be sad, I may want to be alone for a little while, maybe even stay away from my wonderful but weird family, but I promise you, Killer Frost will never exist on this Earth, okay? Besides, you tested me. I don't even have the metahuman gene, so please stop worrying about me, okay?"
It was gonna be hard to not worry about his friend, but for her sake, he would try. "Okay. But it's just weird that you didn't spend any time with them, even when Seth came back."
"I think I know how I can fix that last one." She smirked before walking out of the workshop.
In the other workshop, Seth took a seat at the table and brought the photo close to him. He chuckled at the old photo.
It was the photo of that he, Frankie and Caitlin took back at the restaurant from the night they defeated Bug-Eyed Bandit, Brie Larvan. He loved how it turned out after capturing it on a camera. He loved how his daughter looked happy to beside him and Caitlin who shared a kiss.
He sighed at that old photo. "Feels like an eternity ago…"
"What does?" Caitlin asked, walking into the workshop. Like she did with Cisco, she'd try and trick Seth into believing she's Killer Frost.
Glancing at her, he held up the photo of the three of them. "Just looking at this one and… couldn't help but smile, you know."
"Is that so…" She trailed off. Snatching the photo from his hand, making him raise an eyebrow. Caitlin gave it a once over. "Huh." She said before placing it on the table. Surprising the mutant with her next action, she dropped down into his lap.
"What the heck, Caitlin?" He asked with surprise and blushed. But he couldn't help but like it. Caitlin formed a flirty smirk, crossing her legs and wrapped her cold hands around his neck. Seth gasped. "What's with your hands? Did you go Polar Bear swimming or something? They're cold!"
"Like ice?" She quipped, running her nails over his cheeks.
Seth widened his eyes with realization. "Cait, are you okay?"
"Cait? Only one person get to call me that… and luckily," She grazed the tip of his nose with her finger. "you're the one." Grabbing him by his cheeks with one hand, she brought his face closer to her own. "And you… are all mine."
Seth widened his eyes again. "What?"
Caitlin couldn't keep it up any longer, cracking up and laughing in his face. She had to place her head against his forehead. "Sorry I couldn't stop myself. Did you believe it?"
"Well… Not to be critical, but your doppelganger might need to give you some points on how to be bad, you know." Seth said, but he pulled her closer to his body and made her gasp, closing the distance between their faces. "But I very much liked it."
"Course you did, bad doctor." Caitlin said, gracing him with a genuine warm smile, pure contrast to her fake cold behavior. "I really, really missed you, Seth."
"And I missed you, Cait." Seth confessed.
Neither of them knew who initiated it, but the next moment, their lips pressed together and… their forgotten world returned to them. Piece by piece raised up into the air… slowing forming the lock and key… placing over the entrance to their newly reformed world that only they could enter.
The key passed into the keyhole, twisting immediately with a clicking sound that they blissfully relished in, opening up the world to them… once more.
After so long again, the two passed the threshold and entered their own little private world. The facility they are in physically isn't empty by any means, yet the moment they set foot in this private world, its only the two of them.
It was the first kiss they shared since they were finally reunited, and both of them poured their entire being into this kiss. The cracks in their hearts mended, patching right up again like they never cracked to begin with.
Desperately she clung to his body, telling him that she wouldn't let him go again. He got the message, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her even closer to him, deepening the kiss they shared.
When they finally separated, their foreheads touched pressed against each other.
"Gotta admit," If it were possibly to pull her even closer to him, he would have done so already. "I missed this and thought I wouldn't get the chance to kiss you again."
"That makes two of us." Caitlin quickly kissed his lips again before cheekily stating. "But who's the better kisser? Me or Killer Frost?"
Seth paled. "Wait? You know I kissed your doppelganger?"
"I didn't. You just confessed." She revealed, kissing his cheek quickly. "But I figured you did."
"With that face, yeah. Though to be fair, first time she kissed me, I was unconscious, and she found me attractive. Second time, I was awake and thought she was you. Third time, I had to kiss her to get information about our daughter."
"Wow, you been through a lot." She said. "You're gonna tell me all about that, okay?"
"Promise." Seth said. Caitlin moved off his lap and stood back to her full height. "You're gonna have to tell me your story this Earth, right?"
"Of course, yeah." Caitlin assured him as he got back to his feet. "Wanna come? Think the others are waiting for us."
"Thanks, but go on ahead." Seth told her, his words shocking her. "This is about Jay and you guys knew him, I didn't. Besides, I got some other stuff to take care of."
Caitlin narrowed her eyes. "You mean…"
"Oh yeah." Seth nodded, pulling his trenchcoat on. He walked to her. "Plus you might want to work on that circulation. You could get Raynaud's, or you might have it."
"Don't worry, I'm a doctor, I can keep that from happening." Caitlin told him.
"Sure?" He leant close to her ear. "I wouldn't mind playing your doctor."
"Course you wouldn't." Caitlin bumped him with her hip. "See you at home?" Seth snapped to her with shock. "Yeah, I meant what I said. We'll see each other at home, alright?"
"Definitely!" Seth excitedly said as he walked out of workshop with Caitlin. The two went their own way.
The mutant had to do some stuff of his own, correct some stuff.
The school bell rang and the students of Central City High rushed into their classes. The three Fury sisters returned to their classroom and took their seats. Their classroom was arranged with four rows of two-person tables and chairs.
Evelyn and Frankie were seated next to each other at their own two-person table and Ruby was seated behind them, sitting at a two-person table by herself. The three Fury sisters could see their classmates snickering and pointing at them. Cheerleaders laughed at them and jocks did so too.
Ever since the news of their father not being here in the city reached the high school, the bullying started. Her classmates started to think that Seth just left them and dropped off two new daughters on their mother's case because he wouldn't deal with them, and he just ran away to live on with his life and do as he please.
The teachers knew of their father's situation, that he was using his expertise in bioengineer to help out in other cities after the black hole opened up. And though they tried to help out the girls however they could, it only lasted for a while before they began again.
One person who didn't partake in the bully was a boy, Rueben Arias, son of their Homeroom and Math teacher, Samantha Arias who moved from Metropolis High School to teach in a new environment. Ever since he saw her, Rueben would divert his eyes to Frankie and at times she'd catch his gaze.
Ruby giggled and leant forward, tapping her sister's shoulder to get her attention. "Looks like someone's got a crush on you, sis."
"Stop it." Frankie whispered her complaint, pushing her sister back to her seat. "He doesn't."
"Maybe, you're the one with the crush?" Evelyn teased.
"Stop it, both of you!" Frankie whispered again, this time a little louder.
Emma, the blonde head cheerleader, scoffed and leant over to them. "Maybe you tell your Dad all about him. Oh wait, he's gone." Frankie lowered her gaze as the head cheerleader laughed.
Seeing her sister's reaction, Ruby clenched her fist enragedly. "Keep talking like that, bitch, you'll be cartwheeling in a coffin."
"Sure I will, little bitch." Emma countered with a smirk.
"That's a week's detention, Emma." The door closed after their homeroom teacher; Samantha Arias walked into the class whilst clad in a grey pantsuit with a bag. Before Emma could complain, Samantha stated. "Save your complaints, I heard what you said to Frankie. Ruby, try not to insult people so much."
"They go for my sister; I go for them." Ruby smirked while Emma flipped her the bird.
The head cheerleader sent a smirk to Chaz, a football player who had his hand around a small remote. It was connected to a stink bomb under Ruby's chair. The moment he pressed the button, it'd cause the bomb to explode and make the girl smell like worse than a trashcan full of dead animals.
It'd be epic.
Samantha turned to the blackboard, writing a number. "Okay, guys, take out your books and turn to page 67, we're gonna focus on Trigonometric Functions today."
The teacher turned to the door, as did her class when the knocking sound reached them. "Come in!" Samantha said.
"Excuse me." Evelyn, Frankie and Ruby turned their heads upwards in shock when they saw their father walking into the classroom with three paper bags in his right hand. "Sorry for interrupting." Seth directed to the homeroom teacher.
While the male students reeled back in slight shock at him, the female students turned intrigued, their teacher looked confused. "Sorry, who are you?" Samantha asked.
"Oh, I'm Seth Fury, Frankie, Evelyn and Ruby's father." He introduced himself. A lot of gasps came from the students. Hearing the gasps, he looked around. "Surprise?"
Samantha chuckled. "I'm sorry for my students' behavior, they're just surprised. They're mostly used to your other half, Dr. Caitlin Snow, Dr. Fury."
"I'm not that formal, Seth is fine, Ms. Arias." He assured the teacher and shook hands with her. "My other half told me about you and said you're an excellent teacher, as have my daughters."
"I try to be." Samantha said, retracting her hand. "But what brings you to our classroom?"
Holding up the bags in his hand for empathy, Seth answered. "My kids forgot to take their lunch with them." he said as he moved towards their seats.
"I know that feeling." Samantha sent a mock glare to her son, Reuben who pulled his hoodie over his head. As the doctor gave his children their lunch bags, the teacher asked. "Mr. Fury?" She got his attention. Knowing of how her students treat his daughters, she thinks she might be able to help ease their pain and stop the bullying in her way. "Frankie told the class that you had to stay at other cities for a while, correct?"
"After the Singularity, yeah." Seth confirmed as he moved back to the front of the class. "Why?"
Gesturing to her class full of students, she answered. "Maybe you could tell us a bit about it before we continue with Pre-calc?"
"Sure." Seth faced the classroom. "What'd you, kids, like to know?"
Shooting the three sisters a glare, Emma raised her hand and stated her question. "Why were you gone for so long? You left your family alone for a long time."
Noticing the hate and anger in his daughters' eyes, Seth answered. "After the black hole in the sky opened up, my friend, Detective Joe West referred me to outside cities who were also damaged by the Singularity opening up. They contacted me shortly after and asked if I could help them out."
"What'd you help with?" Reuben asked.
"I'm a bioengineer and a doctor, so I helped out understaffed hospitals, children's hospital, mostly." He sent a smile to Ruby and Evelyn. "Where I thankfully met my two new daughters, Evelyn and Rub…" he trailed off when something caught his eye.
"Dad?" Frankie asked when she saw him trail off.
Seth stormed down, walking between the rows of tables and chairs, making his way to his daughters' tables while Samantha and her students awaited his continuous.
Ruby looked to her father when he came close. "Dad, what is it?"
"Nothing important, honey." Seth stopped by her table, crouching down and reached under her chair. Grabbing hold of the object, he said. "Found it!"
"What'd you find, Seth?" Samantha asked with crossed arms whilst seeing Emma and Chaz look sheepishly.
Tearing it off with ease, Seth returned to his full height and showed off the stink bomb. "I found this under my daughter's chair, a stink bomb." He examined the bomb. "Poor design."
"What?!" Samantha screamed, shooting her eyes between her students. "Who made that thing?" She demanded to know. None of them answered. "If the person responsible doesn't come forward, all of you are getting a month's detention and no prom!"
The minute her warning left her mouth, the entire classroom immediately voiced their complains and expressed their anger in motions, punching their tables or even standing up and shouting at the teacher.
"Quiet and sit down!" Samantha demanded, her students shut their mouths and returned to their seats. She turned to the bioengineer who examined the stink bomb with a worrisome expression. "Dr. Fury what are you doing?"
"I'd be less concerned about the class getting detention, and more concerned about the person who made the stink bomb itself." Seth said and got every single student and the teacher to face him. While walking up to the front of the classroom, he said as he examined the bomb. "The metal here is from Keystone, where I was sent to, which got so rusty that it excreted a contagious toxin."
"What?" Samantha asked.
Chaz swallowed a gulp.
"The metal is from Keystone Ironworks, which had a nasty incident with a human and a pot of melted iron, any metal product constructed from that same metal began excreting a dangerous toxin shortly after which is curable when inhaled but dangerous when comes in contact with human skin and not treated immediately." Seth exhaled sharply and Samantha studied his expression. "Sorry, but if things go sideways, you might have one less student by the end of the day."
Chaz couldn't handle it anymore, sweat pouring out from all over his head and soaking his red beanie. "Wait?! It was me!" He jumped out of his chair and stood up, the bioengineer and teacher facing him as did the rest of the class. "It was just a prank; I didn't know what kind of metal it was. Please help me."
Unimpressively Seth pointed the stink bomb at the sweating teenager. "And there's our culprit."
"Wait what?" Chaz looked confused.
Samantha fought the urge to chuckle. "To make it simple for you, Chaz, he tricked you into confessing."
"Say what?" Chaz exclaimed.
"Lower your voice." Seth coldly demanded, the student gulping. Pointing to the front of the class, he ordered. "Go to the front of the classroom."
"What?" Chaz asked.
"Go. To. The front. Of the classroom." He recited, slowly saying each part in a dominant tone. Chaz didn't dare challenge him and walked forward to the front of the class. He stood in front of his teacher's table. Seth walked up to him and Chaz tensed the moment he saw the bioengineer reach over his head.
Chaz felt his beanie leave his head. "Hey!"
"Stand there." He ordered and held the beanie to the class. "Hats are supposed to be off when you're inside a room. Have some manners." Seth reminded them before throwing the beanie into the trashcan.
"What the hell, dude? That's my hat!" Chaz said.
Unfazed by his words, Seth countered. "Then you know where to find it when the day is over." Holding the stink bomb over the trashcan, the mutant twisted it from both ends. The entire class watched as the doctor effortlessly pulled the stink bomb apart, pouring its contents into the trashcan and over the beanie in it.
Chaz couldn't believe that happened to his favorite beanie.
"You might wanna give that hat a good and thorough wash when you go home." Seth told him before placing a hand on his shoulder, pulling him close. "Also the next time you think of pranking anyone, especially my daughters, don't. Otherwise, I'll take a job at this school, and make sure you don't ever graduate, okay?"
Chaz didn't want that. His reputation couldn't handle it if he were stuck in the same class as his little sister in a year.
He nodded frantically. "Yes."
"Yes, what?" Seth said.
"Yes, sir." Chaz said noddingly.
"Go back to your seat." Seth pushed him in that direction. Chaz walked quickly to his seat. The mutant faced the teacher and placed a small remote on her table.
Taking the remote in her hand, she asked. "What is this?"
"The remote control for the stink bomb that Chaz made. Sleight of hand is a nice skill." Chaz searched his body for the remote, but it was nowhere to be found. Seth then said. "You're gonna have to work hard on those students."
"I know." Samantha smirked evilly. "Dr. Fury, Frankie also told me you're a bio-chem teacher. Would you mind, if the need arises, to perhaps show the class a live experiment."
Seth smirked. "With pleasure, I do like experimentation…" He faced the students again. "But I do prefer dissection." That small piece of information had the students shaking like leaves. Checking his watch, he noted. "Oh, I gotta leave soon."
"Dr. Fury?" Samantha stopped him. "We need to arrange a PTA meeting with your and Dr. Snow, about your daughters' "behavior" in class." She stated with air quotations.
"What'd they do?" Seth asked, Ruby and Evelyn lowered their heads.
"Short version: Ruby has a tendency to be a bit violent in P.E. ever since they started practicing Martial Arts and Evelyn has a much bigger tendency to steal from every teacher nearby." Samantha declared.
Seth chuckled. "Yeah, sent me a mail, we'll arrange a meeting." He watched her nod and then faced his daughters. "Girls, love you, see you at home!"
"Dad!" The three of them said in unison, each of them as embarrassed as the other.
"Boys," he got the male students' attention. "stay away from my daughters if you value your futures and if you value a career." They nodded quickly. "Good." Seth finalized before walking out of the classroom.
Emma faced Frankie. "Did he just threaten an entire classroom of students without a care in the world?"
"Yup, that's our dad." She answered.
"Wow…" Emma smiled. "He's hot."
(Central City Newspaper)
Iris looked up from her computer and saw her new editor, Scott Evans walking to her. She shot up from her chair. "What is it, boss?"
"Don't call me boss." Scott started off. "Read the piece about those four female heroes and their sidekick, this other Flash. Nice take."
"Didn't exactly write him as the sidekick." Iris noted.
"First piece, he was saved those younger heroes, whom, honestly looks like a bunch of teenagers, and they did more work than him. Next piece, they held up a building thanks to Angel Fury returning, he sped in and out pulled people out." Scott listed. "You disagree?"
"…" Iris struggled to argue with that logic.
"Never mind." Scott waved her off. "But what do you have next? Heard you had some interesting piece in the works? And, please, for God's sake, not something about The Flash speeding in and saving everyone again. People are gonna be disappointed if they keep reading the same crap over and over."
"Then what about Venom returning and fighting a huge half-man/half-shark?" Iris stated.
Scott's interest piqued immediately by her words. "Continue."
Iris waved her new editor over to her table. Retaking her seat, she turned her screen to Scott who looked at it. His eyes widened at the title and photo accompanying it.
"Clash of Kings: Venom Returns." He read out loud and took in the photo of Venom fighting King Shark along with Eclipse, Destroyer and Magenta. "Not bad…" He thought it over. "I want it done, at my table by the end of the day."
"You got it, boss." Iris said, returning to her work.
"Don't call me that." Scott said, walking away to leave her to her work.
As she was left alone to work, Iris thought to herself as she wrote down the words.
"We thought we had lost our hero the day of the black hole… but he returned in style that only he could live up to. Scary he was when he left, scarier he turned out when he returned to our little city. With a new look, Venom returned and fought off the humongous King Shark along with his three young partners. People were saved and, in the end,, all those he saved applauded to the return of Venom… the king who stood victorious in the end."
Thinking quickly, she ended with another sentence.
"The Lethal Protector returned, roaring his return to his city."
(Central City General Hospital)
Pressing his hand on the glass on the outside, Seth pushed the window open and crawled into the hospital room. Closing the window, he looked at the patient in the room. "Good to see you again, Stan."
He walked around the gurney, taking in Stan's hospitalized form. His former boss was clad in a hospital gown and lying peacefully in the gurney. The mutant walked to the IV drip and checked the contents and saw how much it was pouring into his body.
"Good…" He sighed and turned to Stan. "I heard what happened to you, Stan. Your daughter told me. JC's been running the place like a champ. You'd be one proud Papa Bear." Even though he couldn't hear him in his comatose state, Seth continue talking to him as though he could.
Taking a seat beside the hospitalized man, he continued. "I feel like I need to apologize to you. When I first came to this world, I was a simple man without a home and yet you offered me not only a home but also a job. You and your family helped me out a shitload and I can't thank you enough for it."
"But parts of me… feels like I almost made the mistake of involving you and your family into my life." Seth sighed with a saddened expression, running his hands over his face. "Because you and your family knew me, I... It painted a target on your backs. Carnage came for you and your daughter. JC got poisoned and could have died. Granted, she didn't. But it was my fault it happened to begin with."
"I don't regret meeting you guys, but I do hate that you were pulled into my mess because I didn't finish off Carnage any earlier than before… not doing that… Well, it had a lot of consequences. Just like when a friend of mine went back in time and tried to save his mother. He didn't, but that choice still had a lot of consequences."
"Just like him, my choices will haunt me for the rest of my life." He tapped his boss's hand. "Just like how I know it haunts your daughter that she can't do anything to help her old man who's in a really bad situation. My friends, my family, the people I love… the woman I love above all else… They suffered from Zoom and Jay's death…"
"On that other Earth, I could have spared them that pain if I had the chance to defeat them." Seth said. "I don't regret it because I chose to prioritize the safety of the innocent than defeating the big bad evil, I own that. I may not have stopped him on Earth-2, sure… but me and my team… we will stop him on this Earth, on my home turf. Don't know the how… but I know we will."
"I was the protector of Earth-2… I left it… but I'm not done with it."
"We aren't done with it." Venom corrected his host.
Seth nodded and stood back up. "Thanks for hearing me out, Stan… as much as you could… but that's not why I'm here." With his partner making sure that they were alone after a mental look around, the mutant walked closer to the head of the gurney. Raising his hands, lightning sparked over all his fingers. "Not exactly the approach a normal doctor would take, but for me, it'll do."
He placed his hands on Stan's temples, the lightning erupted from his fingers. While the lightning entered his mind, Seth explained. "Neurons communicate using electrical impulses. Don't worry, I'm just using my powers to stimulate other areas of your brain. Targeted electroshock."
Stan's eyes stirred behind his eyelids… they opened up and looked up at the ceiling. He groaned and tried to look around.
He didn't find anyone…
"What the…" Stan trailed off.
With a victorious smile on his face, Seth opened the door to his and Caitlin's apartment and closed the door. The moment he did close the door, his nostrils flared at the familiar smell of… Fondue?
He spiraled around and did indeed find that exact food item on table. Along with a single metal covered plate, with steam coming out of it. The mutant couldn't help but salivate at the smell coming out of it. He literally had to wipe off drool.
"Holy crap, that smells good." He admitted.
"Good to hear." Caitlin revealed herself to him, clad in a blue dress with black and white stripes. "I spent a lot of time heating all of this up for you. Hope you appreciate it."
"Anything you make, I'll eat it like it's my last meal on Earth." Seth assured her, while stepping closer to his mate.
"Really?" She dared.
Nodding he said. "Oh yeah, even if it's cold as a corpse." He stepped even closer to her.
"Even after it's been on the table for some time?" She inquired with a shy expression, walking closer to him.
"Oh, well, not gonna lie I have been craving some good food, but I guess I can stifle it." Seth smirked.
Caitlin licked her lips, making the mutant freeze in his tracks. "Glad to hear." She grabbed him by the collars of his trenchcoat, pulling him close. Their faces mere inches apart, her features cloaked by the thin sheer of steam from the meals on the table, like a mysterious fog cloaking the beautiful siren on the island. "Because I'm been craving something too."
Before Seth could even smile at her playful tone, his mate smashed her lips into his. Pulling away from her, Caitlin pushed his coat down his arms, sliding off his limbs and to the ground. Flashing him a magical smile, she grabbed hold of him again and pulled him into another steamy, passionate kiss.
Ever since Seth came back… Caitlin had the greatest desire to kiss him. Nothing more than that, she wanted all that.
And judging from Seth's actions, she saw that he had the same thoughts about her. He was just inwardly happy that she was the one to make the move.
Their mouths parted and their tongues began exploring one another immediately. Blood in their veins boiled, running hot underneath their skins and their hearts felt emotional earthquakes, and their kiss intensified.
Caitlin didn't know what came over her, but she released her lips from him and pushed him back, pinning him to the nearest wall. "Wow!" Seth let out in surprise before her lips found his again. The mutant pulled her closer to him, the other doctor responding by jumping up and wrapping her legs around her. Their lips remained locked onto each other, their tongues fighting one another in a dual for dominance.
As he placed a hand on the back of her neck, lightning sparked over his hand and touched her skin. Feeling her skin be touched by his lightning pleasure hit her repeatedly, and Caitlin moaned into his mouth and intensified the kiss. Shortly disconnecting, she planted kisses over his face.
Using that opportunity to his advantage, he focused his attention on her vacant neck. Unbeknownst to him, his teeth reddened before biting onto her skin. She moaned even more from the feeling of his hot teeth on her skin, mimicking his action and biting onto his skin.
At that moment, Seth thought Caitlin was a vampire, trying to suck out his blood.
Her hands went to work, Caitlin quickly and effortlessly removing his clothes. When he felt the clothes on his torso leave his body, he mimicked his mate's actions and moved his hands along her exquisite skin, reaching the hem of her dress. The way her skin felt was like a piece of heaven itself, making him tighten his hold with adamantium hands.
Another moan came through her mouth, the feeling of his cold metal touching her body ignited every single feeling in her body that she thought was dead. Her fingers traveled through her mate's hair, digging her nails into the sides of his head. She thought she could never feel this again, with him… now that she did…
She wasn't gonna hold back. Not even an ounce. She released it all… but her clothes were all of a sudden too tight for her.
She jumped off the mutant, making him confused, worried he did something wrong. But he didn't have to ask when he saw her reach behind her and pull down her dress the next moment. Her dress hung off her waist, her torso only covered by a red bra, and Caitlin smiled with disheveled hair hanging down her face, covering the right side of it.
Seth saw her and couldn't think she could get any more beautiful than she did now.
She began walking backwards, walking towards the bedroom. "Gonna stare all day or come with me?"
"You're beautiful, Cait…" Seth said longingly, as he followed her. He brought her close to his body again, hugging her from behind. He worshiped her exposed skin like a servant pleasing a goddess, running his hands down her shoulders, her stomach, kissed he sides of her face, playfully biting her earlobes with electrifying teeth.
Moaning loudly, Caitlin leant her head back, placing it against the mutant's shoulder. In her own way, she gave him unlimited access to her neck and he happily obliged, showering her neck with kisses. Sensations took over him, making him lace his lips with all of his different elements. The sensations hit her like a tidal wave, overwhelming her as though she was drowning in what he's doing to her. He worshiped her with the most loving and caring actions he's ever known in existence…
Turning her head to face him, facing her mate with a longing look that he matched.
"I missed you…" Caitlin confessed.
"I missed you, too…" Seth said back.
As though they're alone in this big wide world, Caitlin and Seth stared lovingly into each other's eyes… each other's souls… each other's hearts…
"I love you…" They said to each other before slamming their lips into each other, their tongues spiraling in each other's mouths. Their actions fueled by the tornados of sensational emotions coursing through them both.
They finally reunited, given another chance to enjoy a blissful life again… to continue their life together in whatever way they want to… Together, they'd weather through anything and still come out hand in hand, no matter how unpredictable future would turn out, they'd be together… through the good, the bad, the demonic… heck, even the unknown terrors of time and the multiverse too…
Spinning her around, Seth pulled Caitlin up, and she responded with her legs wrapping around his body. What remained of his clothes slithered back into his body as he carried her across the loft and into the bedroom, their lips never leaving each other no matter what like magnets.
Passing the threshold, Seth kicked the door close… too hard and caused the doorframe to crack.
But something in the mutant's clothes on the floor… in his trenchcoat… rolled out of the inner pocket…
… a shining crystal… the size of a marble… emitting mysterious multi-colored light from with…
( .R. Labs, The Cortex)
As everyone have left the facility, Matt walked into the Cortex and took a seat at main console. "Jarvis?"
"Hello, sir?" The AI responded.
"Set up a blood scan for me, designed for mutants." Matt said pulling out a small box.
"As you wish." Jarvis immediately constructed a program and showed it to the nanite mutant. "May I ask who you want to scan?"
Opening the box, Matt pulled out the small tip of his energy blade which he broke off after his fight with the elemental mutant. The tip of it stained with fresh blood and he held it up to his eyes, focusing them on the bloodied tip.
"Object for scanning: Seth Fury."
(Earth-2, Zoom's Lair)
As the male prisoner in the strange metal head protector sat shakily in his cell… his attention was directed elsewhere the next moment…
A blue light flashed over his eyes… making him face the direction and saw Zoom walking deeper into the lair…
Carrying Jay Garrick's body…
As the blue lightning emanates over the evil speedster's body, Zoom dropped Jay's corpse to the ground. The sight of the dead heroic speedster made the masked prisoner shake and breath heavily, making him shake and bang the glass wall with his head.
Barely finding his male prisoner's actions worth turning to, Zoom pulled off his mask…
Revealing the face of… Jay Garrick… who sighed his confusion as he looked at Jay Garrick's dead body at his feet.
"Well, this is a complication…"
To be continued…
And that's a chapter, peeps!
Seth returned to Earth-1, his home world, and reunited with his family again after fighting Zoom who returned to Earth-2 with the corpse of Jay Garrick. Not only did he hurt and take a stand against the evil speedster from the parallel Earth, he also showed off the ability to destroy breaches with his new pitch-black flames.
After Olivia made sure it truly was her brother by making fun of him in front of their team, friends and family, Seth was allowed to hug his daughter but briefly as his mate, Caitlin Snow suddenly fell. He grabbed her and took her upstairs, placing her on a gurney to her sleep.
He confessed his feelings to her before leaving her, unbeknownst to him she listening to him and missed him. He returned home. Next day, he met up with Joe who told him most of the essential stuff, his wife not being dead and returning for one last family reunion with her family and to tell her daughter and husband of their family member they didn't know about. The Fury Family were invited to a game night at the Wests, but Barry wasn't much for participating which didn't go unnoticed by Wally.
Things took a turn when Cisco tried to help Caitlin who… turned cold… like her doppelganger on Earth-2, Killer Frost. Seth didn't believe that and laughed it off before walking to her when she was surprised by a vase of roses.
But the team had to help A.R.G.U.S. fight off King Shark who escaped their custody. To say the least, Seth wasn't happy to see Nemo's step-brother. Along with A.R.G.U.S. they tried to find him and Venom fought the shark metahuman who was thrilled to see him.
The evil metahuman managed to get away and Caitlin and Cisco went through Shay Lamden-1's widow's research to get anything to help them find King Shark. Unfortunately, Cisco wasn't able to keep everything to himself and spilled the beans about Killer Frost.
After an attack on the West house by King Shark, foiled by Flash and Magenta, Seth disciplined his daughter and told her to listen to him. That enraged her, making her blurt out that he couldn't just return after a year and act like everything the way it was before the Singularity.
Thanks to a helpful stack of articles and a generous slap to the face from his baby sister, Seth came to the realization that his daughter had grown up to become a young capable woman, a protector in Central City. He saw that firsthand when their plan to apprehend King Shark at the bay failed and he and his daughters had to take over.
Victoriously, they continue onwards to the next day, which is the day that Caitlin and Seth initiate their kiss since reuniting with one another. After that, Seth used his lightning element to help Stan out of his coma, after he had helped his daughters out with their school issues. After that… He and Caitlin returned to some familiar activities.
And on Earth-2… Zoom dropped Jay Garrick's corpse to the ground in his lair… before taking off his mask, making him look at himself one more time.
Stay tuned and find out what happens next!
Until next time, peeps!