At first, Barry thought he was dying. He was only 12 years old when his wrist started hurting, burning like he’d lit his arm on fire. His yelling had startled Joe, only having been in his household for a few months, causing him to almost brandish his firearm as he ran into the living room before he saw Barry.
Panic subsiding only a little seeing Barry rather unharmed, he quickly gathered him up and took him to the kitchen, wetting a rag as he saw Barry’s wrist under his hand was red and inflamed. Running the rag cooly over his wrist, Joe finally saw what had caused the child so much pain. A word. Well, four words to be precise. ‘I have no soul’ was splashed in fractured dark blue ink with a white hue on the skin of one of Barry’s main veins in his arm a few inches away from his wrist, surrounded by red from the burning feeling of it emerging. He’d gotten his Soulmate mark.
Now, this was puzzling as children usually got their marks around 5 years of age, but Barry was always a late bloomer, Nora herself when she was alive would swear up and down it was Henry’s fault and he’d just laugh, shrugging his shoulders at Joe who laughed back. Joe was brought out of his reverie by a sniffle and sighed, getting on one knee seeing Barry looking up at him, large eyes wet. “Looks like your Soulmate mark came in, son…”
Over the years, Barry’s soulmark, those four little words, caused him a lot of feelings. Mostly indifference, sometimes pain, sometimes curiosity, but never love. At least, not yet. When he became a CSI, Barry elected to study about ‘Soulmarks’ as an extra credit elective so he could get his degree, but he was also curious.
The curious feeling had started to come in droves a few years ago when he was 16, when one day, his wrist stung bad. Looking down and rubbing away the concealer (he’d wore it only occasionally.), hew saw that the bottom of his soulmark was turning more whitish than it was in the last couple of years, trying in a vain attempt to blend in with his skin again. It had caused him a little panic, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He soon found out why when the lecture started on the history of it.
“In this day and age, children receive their soulmarks between the ages of 5 years to an extreme 18 years of age if late or undecided. The soulmark should appear on the part of the body that has the most contact with the soulmate’s DNA and in the colour or colours that the soulmate prefers over others and vice versa.” The lecturer droned on. “If the soulmate is injured badly enough, whether it be mental or physical or a combination of both, this can result in a condition known simply as ‘faded’, where a soulmate’s name can mildly or severely fade into a soulmate’s skin, a little lighter than the wearer’s pigment.”
Huh. Barry looked down under the table at his covered over appendage and felt sorry for his soulmate, though he’d never met them. With as much ‘fading’ as his mark had, they must have been either abused or hurt so bad they didn’t really recover well. He didn’t like to think that.
The lecturer cleared his throat seeing many students looking around and waited till everyone turned their attention back to him before continuing. “However, when a soulmate dies, it brings about extreme feels of sorrow and depression. It also results in burning, scarring or disappearance of the soulmate’s name from the body completely. In rare cases, only a few thousand in the world alone, the soulmate’s name will be rewritten with a new name after the previous soulmate passes.”
Barry frowned at that statement. That sounded awful, the feeling that came with losing your soulmate. He’d seen it with his Dad, only vaguely however, but he’d seen it. There was more gray on his hair every time he came to visit him in Iron Heights and he seemed weighed down by heartbreak, though he smiled for Barry. He hoped he’d never go through it, he had too much of a big heart as it was. It only got bigger when he suddenly found himself zooming around in red tripolymer protecting his city from danger with people behind him that he loved.
When he’d first met Leonard Snart, the man who’d not stolen Cisco’s cold gun, but used to for intimidation of others, he didn’t know what to think. Snart was obviously dangerous and he only proved that when he took Cisco hostage with his brother Dante, but he also had let them go when he finally knew his name. The man known as ‘Captain Cold’ seemed to have not intended to hurt Cisco, nor Dante, but he wouldn’t admit that even as he stood before Barry defiantly in the clearing they’d found themselves that night.
When Snart had boarded a train and taken it hostage, Barry trying to make him surrender, he scoffed. “I don’t have any good in me, Flash.” Snart growled at the red clad man, oblivious to how he looked at him. “I have no soul.”
Barry almost doubled over in shock, sputtering before he finally choked out. “That’s a lie.”
In front of him, Snart literally froze, hand coming up to cup his right shoulder before reverting back to his “Captain Cold’ persona, angrily trying to freeze him on the spot before jumping off, later making his getaway when Cisco came out of nowhere with the gayest vacuum cleaner Barry had ever seen.
More meetings had followed over the course of 2 years, Barry starting to become different around Snart by flirting instead of really fighting like he should be didn’t help, then Snart had gotten in with the Legends gang and he hardly saw him at all.
He supposed that was normal, after all, though Barry could travel through time, he wasn’t going to follow Snart on the hunch that he was in danger. He wasn’t going to sink that low. He wasn’t that desperate to see the man who obviously was his soulmate. He knew he knew too, but they didn’t acknowledge it. Well, until Snart got injured that is.
Rip Hunter was to blame. Snart somehow had gotten in front of him during a fight in the 1960’s, causing Snart to be shot badly by a futuristic weapon. Barry’s soul almost fell off his wrist and though the floor to descend to hell when he got the call from Professer Stein that he was listed as Snart’s emergency contact other than Lisa (like it should have been by now) or Mick (like he assumed it would have been if the day ever came).
He was rather relieved to find Snart with only a broken left arm and a bad graze that would heal over time and before he could stop himself, he threw himself on his good side, breathing out a “You’re okay…” and rested his head on Leonard’s shoulder. It was if the electricity that gave Barry his powers short circuited Snart because instead of pushing him off, he grabbed onto Barry’s hand and wrist and squeezed it, a smirk on his face. ‘Yeah, I’m okay, Scarlet.”
Understandably, it took a while for both Barry and Leonard to accept eachother. In time, Leonard opened up, telling Barry of the horror that had happened to him, the abuse (Barry had been right and he tried not to feel sick at the thought), their mother leaving them to fend for themselves, the nights he spent up with Lisa, the hospital’s questions, when he took Lisa and left at 16, the day he turned 18 and came back and burned down his own house, the joy and sadness of killing his father, all the darkness he had inside him.
Barry did the same as Leonard's broken heart was out on a limb and told him of all the good in the world, of summer vacations in Paris, afternoons with ice cream and laughter, of being a gay snob in Glee Club in America (he wasn’t proud of that endeavor, but it got Leonard to laugh, which made it worth it), of being loved by more than one person, the heartbreak of losing both of them, the pain of seeing his father behind a piece of two inch thick glass. The efforts to understand each other's opposite didn't go unnoticed or unacknowledged and that was good.
They got married in the spring of 2021, when Leonard had slightly reformed, while Barry had become Head of Forensic Science at his precinct. They were both still the Flash and Captain Cold respectively, but only when needed.
Then Barry disappeared 3 years later. Snart couldn’t handle it. The reason why? When Barry disappeared, his words did as well. His colours and sentence wiped from Leonard’s shoulder like it was never there. He didn’t tell anyone that however, convinced it was just a fluke, that it would come back and Barry was fine and the bastard was always late, so this was no different.
People tried to help, but the more time Barry didn’t come back and the more Leonard realized it wasn’t a dream that he’d disappeared, that the words had gone and he’d wake up with him next to him again wouldn’t be a possibility, it did it’s job.
Then, one day it happened. Leonard disappeared. No one could find him. Then they did.
Leonard Snart was found in the forest next to the interstate when he’d first come to known the man known as Barry Allen a month after he went missing, surrounded by alcohol bottles and holding a gun in his limp hand. A note that was scrunched up in his hand revealed a terrible truth that was coming, but no one wanted to believe.
‘I have no soul….because he was taken from me. I’m coming, Scarlet. I’m coming to get you.’