1000 Reasons Not to Hang Out with Barry Allen

December 21, 2014: Ronnie and Barry go for a run until they are mugged! By a mugger!

New York

The Big Apple



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Mood Music:

Eventually, Veronica's phone finally buzzes. He's not sure how long it's been, but Barry is fairly sure that enough time has passed for him not to seem like an overeager doofus.

"Hi. It's Barry from the movie the other night. Wondering if you're in the mood for running or whatever."

It's a Saturday and while he still has things to do as the Flash, work has at least subsided enough for him to do something other than focusing on putting criminals away. He's lounging in his apartment (small as it may be) wearing a Central City Central High School sweatshirt and jogging pants and staring at a television he never seems to find the time to watch.

"Mom? Mom, I need to take this. No, it's work. Yes! Work! Mom. I'll talk to you tomorrow. I promise. Okay? Okay, Mom. Yes. Happy Hanukkah to you too, Mom. Yes, I'm lighting th— Mom! Mom, this is work, I have to GO. Okay. Love you too. BYE."

Three seconds later, Ronnie is texting back: "sure lol."

Then, .5 seconds later (an eternity to a speedster!): "Hudson River Park" and some more specific coordinates.

The Hudson River Park running path is well lit, even in the wintry dark, which is probably why she picked it. Plus, there's enough… STUFF around that it's not an ideal spot for, say, a villain to jump out of nowhere and mug a runner. Not that Ronnie is worried about herself. More about Barry.

Certainly Barry doesn't look very tough. He's very thin and looks rather nerdy-he's very much a runner in mind, body, and spirit. It's no wonder why Ronnie might worry for his health. "HRPark is good. Let me know when you're close."

And then Barry does nothing. He sits and toggles between a boring documentary about the booming industry of Silicon Valley and a boring news station talking about the need for superhero registration.

He exhales, looking around, thinking of how to kill the time. He washes some dishes, tidy's up the place, makes a shopping list, re-arranges the furniture in his small main room. He looks at his watch. That took about 40 seconds. He decides to go to his computer and pull up his greatest distraction; the evidence files on the death of Nora Allen.

Ronnie, meanwhile, rushes to change into her running clothes, and then rushes to the subway, and so on, and so on — it's almost a workout just getting there!

Winter is also a good way to justify Ronnie's hyper-fit physique being hidden. Kinda-baggy grey sweats, running shoes, and a blue hoodie labeled 'COAST CITY UNIVERSITY.' A sweatband is pulled up, high on her forehead to keep her hair out of her face. A bottle of water is in one hand. Not that she really needs it. But… keeping up appearances.

Ronnie has her phone in her other hand, and texts "Here" as she leans on a street light's post to wait for Barry to show.

Barry waits for a ten count before he checks his phone about a mile away. In an instant, he's jogging up towards her. "Hey there," he says sporting the same outfit he was wearing earlier, plus a dark blue beanie hat with matching gloves.

As he smiles, white foggy breath billows out from his mouth. "So, you're going to go easy on me, right?"

"Also, I should ask if you're one of those people who enjoys talking while they run, or do you hate that? It's important to know."

Ronnie grins when Barry shows, and gives her nerdy laugh when he suggest she go easy. "Says the cop to the person whose doctorate revolves around sitting in front of a TV screen." She winks.

"I select… talking," Ronnie then says, after a moment of faux thought. "Especially if we don't talk, how am I gonna know when you need a break?"

Barry grins wider at her joke. He supposes it's factual to refer to him as a cop, but he rarely does any policing. Most days are spent sitting in a lab right in front of a computer instead of her television screen.

"I was hoping you'd say that," he says before looking around. "Do you want to go this way or that way?"

"Eeny meeny miney… /moe/," Ronnie decides, via an extremely scientific method. She breaks into a jog right after the 'moe.' Maybe she thinks she's being cute by not giving Barry a cue, by being too fast for him — as if.

"I'm glad you texted," she says as her opening conversational gambit once the run is underway, at a jog's pace. "I mean, you know, it was just, I'm glad you wanted to give this whole friends thing a shot instead of just leaving us as, uh, two people who talked once at a part for five seconds."

"Well, to be honest with you, I haven't met a lot of friends since I moved to New York so I have to cultivate every opportunity. Thanks for coming out," Barry says as he catches up to her, and seems quicker than he looks. "Besides it's always a good idea to make friends with people who like movies because there's always something to talk about, and if there isn't, you can just go see a movie."

As they run, Barry takes a look upwards, not really having appreciated New York, at night, this close to Christmas.

Ronnie laughs at his comment about friends who like movies. She replies, "And people who like movies love making friends with people who haven't seen all the classics already, because now we have someone to natter on and on at!" She, too, looks over at the sights, and says, "Isn't it great? I love California, but it doesn't have ANY sights like that, even in LA."

"LA has its own great parts, of course," Barry says as he looks over at her. "I think I just enjoy the holidays in slightly colder weather. Seems more right to me. That being said, in February I'll be regretting that statement and wishing I was hanging out on Catalina, I'm sure." Barry continues on, seeming no worse for wear as far as the jogging goes. He goes quiet, trying to think up something to talk about.

"Oh, I love the holidays, too," Ronnie says with a smirk. She doesn't even seem like her breathing has changed its rate, even though the running has ramped up a bit — she might as well be walking. "Daily calls from my mother to make sure that I'm observing all the Hanukkah rituals that got drilled into me as a kid. It's some kind of holiday cheer, that's for sure," she laughs.

"Yeah, I hear you screaming there. The Wests had a lot of holiday rituals that were different and it took some getting used to. Looking forward to getting back to Central City for a couple of days next week," Barry responds, thinking that a few months away will allow enough space for himself, Joe, Wally and Iris. Hopefully things will have simmered by this point. "Hanukkah kids were always so lucky. They got presents for days and days. Well, at least they got to open them early."

"That's the consolation prize we get for every TV commercial from November 1st onward being about Christmas," Ronnie says with a grin. She's about to say something else when, from behind a tree, a man in black runs out and tackles her from behind, to the ground. "—guh!" The impact and momentum are enough that the two end up rolling off to the side of the path, into the darkness for a moment, both struggling.

"Ronnie!" Barry exclaims as the pair go tumbling off the side of the trail. Apparently whoever this mugger was didn't think that much of Barry to be so daring. As things speed up, the world around begins to slow down for Barry Allen. He waits until Veronica is facing away from him before he moves into action.

He's not using the full assault of his powers. He doesn't want to knock the guy's head clear off his shoulders, but he does not for an instant plan on having a conversation about the whole thing. He moves right into action, cocking his hand back and delivering an extremely hard punch right to the mugger's skull.

Ronnie and the mugger — or whatever — land in some thorny bushes, with the mugger on top. This makes his skull easy pickings for a sucker punch, especially from the one and only Flash. With a noise sort of like "EUUNNHHH," the mugger is out, and Ronnie is left lying there, not sure what happened.

Ronnie stands up. "Barry! Barry?" She looks down at her hands. Blood on them. She must have punched the guy without realizing it. "I'm okay! I think!" she says, stepping forward, into the light. The thorn bushes have torn her hoodie, revealing absolutely killer abs underneath.

Also, there's a knife sticking out of her side, which she doesn't seem to have processed yet. "I'm fine."

"You're not /fine/," Barry exclaims as he looks at her side. You're stabbed!" Barry kneels down and takes a look at the knife sticking straight out of her side. Immediately he's gauging the depth and how much trouble they're in. He goes immediately to his cell phone.

Thumbs move fast getting to Cisco's number, "Cisco. Is Caitlyn there? I need to know the closest hospital to where I'm at. Right now." There's some murmuring on the other side, "Yes, right now." He hangs up the phone and immediately it starts to beep with directions; some sort of unfamiliar app.

Cisco must be a cop or something.

Or something.

Ronnie DOES seem fine in every other respect until Barry points out that she's been stabbed. She looks down and then blinks a few times. "Wh… oh." She seems almost sheepish about it.

The knife isn't very long, so it's not in very deep. Just some cheapo pocket knife. It's bleeding, but not badly. Nothing vital seems pierced. Just… horribly inconvenient. And painful. Or, it should be. "I… I'm not really sure how to react here, uh."

"Are you in pain?" Barry immediately realizes he sort of over reacted. And true to form, Caitlyn is blowing up his phone with GPS coordinates, texts, and similar jumping of the gun. "It doesn't look too deep, I can maybe pull it out. If there's a store nearby I could probably get it clean for you."

He looks perturbed as his eyes go toward the mugger. "And we should probably call the police."

The mugger is lying in the bushes face-down, totally unconscious. No longer a threat.

"Well, yeah, it hurts," Ronnie says, and then after saying that, makes a pained face. "I don't — I don't know, am I in shock or something? Is this shock?" SHIELD training never really covered the whole 'getting stabbed while on a friendly running thing' situation so she improvises by making herself go into hysterics. "No!! Don't— Don't pull it out! what if — what if way more blood comes out that way and I bleed out?!"

Barry chuckles, "I don't really think it's all that deep, Ronnie. I think you're going to be fine." He reaches up towards the knife, and without asking, just yanks it out. He replaces it with his hand, but it's not too bad. "I'm going to call the cops and we should head over towards the street and see if we can find a store to get a bandage."

"I don't mean to be rude, but holy cow you are ripped for someone who watches TV all day. What do you /eat/?"

"Um," Ronnie says, and doesn't seem close to actually answering. "Um um um — aaaah!" she squeals, voice rising an octave as she gets the knife yanked out. When Barry presses his hand on her — it's like she's made of steel cable. Far beyond just 'being in shape.'

"I don't know, I do a lot of yoga! And I'm mostly vegan! Aaaa, that hurt, why didn't you WARN me?"

"It would have hurt a lot more had I told you before hand," Barry responds as he looks up toward her. He leans back and looks up at her. "You know, if you're a mutant, you don't have to worry about it. Just because I'm from the Midwest doesn't mean that I would be funny about that or anything."

Clearly he's not buying the yoga thing.

Ronnie goes wide-eyed, giving Barry a LOOK like he just asked her something much more rude. "I— wh— This is already really weird, this, right now, with your hand on my actual, literal stab wound, can we not make it weirder?!"

"Sorry. Right. Here," Barry says as he takes her hand to cover the wound. "It's not really bad. Here, come on. Let's go towards the road." He pulls out his phone and calls the police. "Hey Trinity. Yeah, it's Barry. Never gonna believe this, but …well, yeah. Mugging. Friend of mine. No, she'll be alright." Pause. "He's outcold." Pause. "Sure, we I'll get you her address. I don't think she needs an ambulance, no."

Ronnie pinches her eyes shut and pretends it's because of the pain that she feels but is not actually all that troubled by. A knife wound is pretty bad, but she knows enough that it's not /really/ bad or anything. But she has to act like she has no experience with anything worse than a hangnail. 'Trinity.' Who's Trinity? She wonders if she should cry, then decides that no, it's too late, crying now would just make her look like she has emotional issues.

"That was dispatch, they're sending a squad car out, come on." Barry leans down to pull off the mugger's mask. "Any idea who he is?" he says, assuming that it's a random sort of thing. Barry puts his arm around Ronnie in a sort of protective way and kind of heads her towards the road, if she follows along. It's not very far."

"Who? O-Oh, that guy, um, no, I— no." Ronnie babbles, but it's more rattled than phony. Because it's true. It was a random thing. Just the wrong person at the wrong time. Ronnie doesn't resist the arm around her, and then puts two and two together aloud: "I, holy shit, Barry, that guy wanted to, like, maybe, maybe kill me with a knife, I… what even just /happened/?"

"Well, to put it frankly, it appears that you were mugged," Barry says to her as they cross a small grassy lawn and head out onto the street. Barry tries to act nonchalantly as they end up walking out among some people. "There's a store right over there."

Ronnie makes a face like Barry just told her she drank poison. "Oh, man, my mother can never find out about this, I'll hear about how awful New York is until I'm sixty-eight," she half-wails. "How are you so CALM? Why aren't you— I'm freaking out right now, why aren't you freaking out!"

"I've been told that I tend to stay calm under pressure, I don't know," Barry shrugs as they walk through the doorway of the convenience store. "Hi," he says the woman at the counter, "We were just mugged over there in the park, can we get some bandages?" Again, really calm as if crisis situations are normal for this guy.

Ronnie gives Barry a wide-eyed stare when he says that, then looks at the clerk, as if silently apologizing for this guy asking to help treat her wounds. It's a thing. Maybe she'll grow out of it one day. But for now some medical attention would probably be nice.

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