I can barely breathe. Barry lies on a hospital bed in Star Labs, currently struggling for air. His face is grimaced, his head turned away from the long metal claw that is sticking out of his shoulder. I’m trying not to cry; he’s been through stuff like this before, but this is the first time I have been there to see him in pain. Caitlyn moves swiftly through the lab as she grabs everything she needs to remove the claw, ordering Cisco and HR to get certain materials that they probably have no idea what they look like.
“Don’t worry Iris,” Barry says through clenched teeth, “I’ll be okay. I’ve been through worse… I think.” All of sudden, Barry passes out.
“Oh my goodness! Barry, baby wake up,” I started shouting.
Caitlyn rushes in with Cisco and HR following her; all of them have on latex gloves as they surround Barry. “Iris, shouting at him is not going to wake him up. Plus, this is probably the best thing right now; pulling this thing out will be a nightmare,” she explains. “Cisco, HR, I need you guys to pull this thing out of Barry.”
“WHAT?!?” Cisco shouts, his eyes growing wide. “We can’t do this! We might kill him!”
HR grabs Cisco’s shoulder firmly and says “Francesco, if we don’t pull it out, Barry will die anyway.”
Cisco takes a deep breath and finally agrees to do it. He goes to Barry’s side and HR goes on his other side, both of them griping the metal claw. “On the count of three,” Cisco utters as sweat beads down his forehead, “One, two, THREE!” Together, both men fiercely pull the claw out of Barry’s shoulder, splattering everyone with blood.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” I exclaim, covering my mouth. Caitlyn rushes over to me with a small bucket, and I immediately vomit in it, still crying.
“Um, guys,” Cisco says in a worried tone. “Something’s wrong. Barry; he won’t stop bleeding.”
Caitlyn assesses the wound and her face goes pale. “Oh my God.”
“What is it? What’s wrong?” I ask as I rush up to Caitlyn.
“He’s, he’s…” She struggles to get the words out. “He’s not healing...” Caitlyn grabs a cotton swab and dips it in Barry’s shoulder, in which blood is oozing down his arm. “Cisco, grab a towel and apply pressure to Barry’s arm; a lot of pressure. I have to look at his blood cells.” Cisco obeys as Caitlyn begins to put the blood on a flask and under the microscope.
“What is it? What do you see? What’s wrong? Someone better tell me what the hell is going on right now!” I cannot stop crying and yelling is the only thing keeping me from breaking down completely.
“Well, the good news is that the parts of his cells that make him regenerate are still there,” Caitlyn says nervously, biting her nail.
“What’s the bad news?” I ask, worried out of my mind.
“The bad news is that those parts are very weak. They aren’t glowing as much as they usually are,” she says almost hopelessly.
HR comes up behind us with the claw still in his hand. “Hey guys, what do I do with this thing?”
Caitlyn’s eyes suddenly widen in the microscope. “That’s it! It’s the claw that’s weakening the cells. Every time it is near the cells, they stop glowing completely. HR, take the claw in a room far away from here.”
“Got it,” HR exclaims, and runs out of the room.
“Whoever put this claw in Barry must have known about his regenerative powers,” I whisper to myself. I decide to go back to Barry’s side and hold his hand, hoping everything will be fine. Cisco is still holding the towel on his shoulder that is now red (which used to be white).
“Caitlyn, he isn’t bleeding as much anymore,” he states, still sweating from which I assume nervousness.
After a good thirty minutes, Barry has stopped bleeding completely and Caitlyn has managed to dress the wound. He is sitting up, propped up on the back of the hospital bed with his arm in a sling. Suddenly, his eyes flutter open. “Hey, Iris,” he says with a faint smile.
“Barry! Oh my goodness I am so glad you’re awake!” Accidentally, I squeezed his arm as I give him a tight hug in which he responds with a loud curse. I immediately let go. “I’m so sorry; I didn’t mean to hurt you—”
Barry cuts me off. “Its okay, Iris,” he chuckles though his face says differently.
Caitlyn comes into the room with a glass of water and a huge smile on her face. “That wasn’t a nice word, Barry,” she jokes, giving him the water.
Barry laughs. “Sorry, I guess I’m not used to being this sore.” He downs the water quickly and hands the glass back to Caitlyn.
She rolls her eyes as she takes the glass back. “I’ll give you two some privacy,” she says as she walks away.
After she’s gone, I lean in to kiss Barry on the lips, gently this time so I don’t hurt him. He kisses me back more passionately than I expected. “So, I guess you learned a lesson today, eh?” I joke after breaking apart the kiss.
Barry smiles as his face turns red. “Uh, yeah. Don’t go chasing Savitar by myself.”
“Don’t do it at all!” I nearly yell. “You could have easily died today. I know you’re trying to save me and all, but at the same time you could get yourself killed before you even get a chance to slow him down.”
Barry looks down in shame. “I know. I’m sorry.”
My face softens a bit as I comb my fingers through is hair. “That’s okay, baby. I’m just glad you’re alive.”