Chapter 1: Beginnings
Cynthia is sitting at her desk in the police station, trying to ignore her oncoming migraine. It seemed unfair that she should be miserable when it was such a warm, sunny day outside. Her office was small, more like a closet, but the fact that she had her dream job, and an office, was good enough for her. Suddenly, Cynthia’s cell phone rings, breaking any chance of calming the pain.
“Cynthia Allen,” she answers, holding her throbbing head.
“Cynthia, it’s Joe. Have you seen your brother today? He is supposed to be at my crime scene right now,” the voice on the other end asks.
“Hey. Yeah, he left to meet you there, but late as usual,” Cynthia replies to her adoptive father.
“We have got to figure out a way to get that boy on time,” Joe sighs. She can hear his frustration.
Cynthia moaned in pain, resting her forehead against the cool desktop, “Yeah good luck with that.”
“Are you having another migraine? Take something for it okay,” Joe suggests to her.
“Yeah, okay. Just let Barry use me as part of his excuse this time okay?” Cynthia gives in.
“Will do. I have to go, but I will probably see you later in the office,” Joe remarks.
“Bye Joe,” Cynthia finishes and hangs up the phone. She reaches into her desk and pulls out some prescription migraine pills. Taking one, she drinks half a bottle of water with it before going back to work. Later that day, after getting some work done, Cynthia goes upstairs to find her older brother. Walking into Barry’s lab, Cynthia sees it’s in its normal organized chaos.
“How you find anything in this place I will never figure out,” she says.
Barry looks up at her and smiles, making him seem younger, “Like you’re any better?”
Coming up next to him, Cynthia starts, “Well it is one of the…”
“Allen family traits,” they both say together. Barry is taller and leaner than Cynthia, but they have the same colored hair and eyes, but other than that they don’t look like siblings. Of course, they do share some traits: Like the need to help people.
“Hey, thanks for covering for me today Cindy,” Barry says. Barry is the only one who can call her Cindy: It’s always been that way.
“No problem. What excuse did you use this time?” Cynthia inquires. She thinks she should know in case someone else brings it up.
“I was picking up your migraine prescription. That seemed to shut them up quickly since they remembered when you were out,” Barry tells her. Cynthia smiles, remembering that incident. She had run out of pills and a particularly strong one had come on during a busy work day. Captain Singh had come to ask her for a report and she had yelled at him, putting him in his place for how he ordered her around: She was surprised she hadn’t gotten fired for that one. Even more surprising: Since then Singh has treated her with more respect than anyone else in the station.
“Okay I am ready to see this atom smasher smashing thingy,” Iris announces as she walks into the room.
“Hey Iris,” Cynthia greets her adoptive sister. Iris was, in terms of height, in between Cynthia and Barry. She was also black and the most fashionable one.
“Hey Cynthia,” she returns the greeting.
“There was a shooting today: Your dad needs me to process some evidence, which means I don’t know if we’re going to make it to STAR Labs,” Barry explains, getting back to work.
“Seeing this thing turned on is like your dream, your sad, nerdy dream. Besides, I canceled a date for this,” Iris responds, taking one of Barry’s fries.
“Hands off my fries,” Barry complains and takes the cup of fries away from her. Fortunately for Cynthia that means the fries are closer to her. She smiles at Iris and takes a few of Barry’s fries, stuffing them in her mouth. Barry turns to her,
“Unbelievable,” he says as he shakes his head and puts the cup of fries back down and walks over to another table in the lab.
“I’m stress-eating over my dissertation. We started selling cronuts at Jitters, I ate two today. If I don’t graduate soon, I’m gonna be more muffin-top than woman,” Iris complains.
Barry glances up at her and comments, “You look amazing.”
“What’s so important about this particle accelerator thing anyway?” Iris wonders as she picks up a science magazine where the cover story is about whether the particle accelerator is safe.
Barry gets a smile on his face, “Harrison Wells’ work in quantum theory is light-years ahead of anything they’re doing at CERN.”
“He’s doing that thing where he isn’t speaking English isn’t he?” Iris asks Cynthia without looking away from Barry.
“Yeah,” Cynthia agrees.
Barry walks over to a big, rolling, clear dry erase board and starts to explain, “Okay, just imagine that this dot is everything that the human race has learned up to this point.”
“Does that include twerking?” Iris questions as Barry makes a dot on the board. Cynthia chuckles at Iris’s comment as Barry continues.
“This is everything we could learn from the particle accelerator. It’s a whole new way of looking at physics. It will literally change the way we think about everything,” Barry finishes as he draws a large circle around the dot.
“We have got to get you a girlfriend,” Cynthia comments jokingly. She knows that Barry is in love with Iris and has been for a very long time. Although she loves Iris dearly, Cynthia just doesn’t think they would work out in the end. In theory, they are perfect for each other, but if Iris hasn’t realized that Barry has a crush on her after all these years, then Cynthia just doesn’t feel like Iris is right for him. However, Cynthia will let Barry work it out, and be there if her brother needs her: She has always tried to be there for him.
“Hey, leave him alone. He’s working,” Joe interrupts.
“Hey Dad,” Iris says. Joe was a big man and the same color as his daughter. At that moment, a beeping sound comes from the computer making everyone in the room turn to it.
“Sounds like your test is done,” Cynthia announces. Barry strolls over and starts clicking away.
Then he turns to Joe and reports, “I think that the Mardon brothers are hiding on a farm. The fecal material I found on the street was cow manures that contain trace of an antibiotic. Only four farms around Central City still use it in their feed.” Barry hands a sheet of paper to Joe that contains the locations of all four farms. “I bet you’ll find a sweet Shelby parked at one of them,” Barry finishes. Iris goes over to her dad and pats him on the shoulder.
“Dad, seeing as Barry solved your poop problem, how about letting us go to STAR Labs,” Iris proposes. Joe skeptically glances up from the paper at Barry.
“Fine go ahead,” Joe reluctantly gives permission.
“Yes!” Barry and Iris celebrate.
“Do you want to come with us Cynthia?” Iris inquires.
Not wanting to be a third wheel, Cynthia politely tells them, “No thanks. You guys go ahead.”
Barry grabs his coat, and as they run out of the lab he remarks, “Thanks Joe. Goodbye Cindy.” Since Cynthia has finished her work for the day, she decides to go back to her apartment. She is cleaning and about to go do some laundry when she gets a text from Iris about Barry being beaten up.
Immediately concerned for her brother Cynthia calls him.
“Hey Cynthia,” Iris answers Barry’s phone.
“What happened?” Cynthia requests sternly.
“We were at STAR Labs and someone took my laptop. Barry ran after the thief and he hit him with my laptop a couple times,” Iris tells Cynthia calmly.
“Is he alright? Do I need to come over there?” Cynthia wonders, getting more frantic and worried.
“No,” she hears Barry in the background.
“He’s fine. Don’t worry, you don’t have to come,” Iris relays.
Cynthia sighs in frustration but agrees, “Alright let me know if anything else happens.”
“Will do. Talk to you soon,” Iris concludes and hangs up. Suddenly, from the apartment above her loud music starts to play. Cynthia looks up at the ceiling and takes a deep breath.
“Another party. Oh joy,” she complains sarcastically. The apartment above her was constantly having parties. She could move, but she had gotten such a sweet deal on the apartment that it was just too good to pass up or give up. Cynthia completes a load of laundry and starts the second load when it starts coming on. The music combined with the loud clanging of the old washing machine has brought on another migraine. It is raining outside so she can’t open the window to have the cool night air help with the pain. Cynthia walks over to the window where she can see some of the city. Out of nowhere, the sound of an explosion comes from the direction of STAR Labs, and a wave of something reverberates through the city. The wave hits Cynthia and she falls down, passing out. Cynthia is woken up to the very loud and extremely annoying ringing of her cell phone. She gets up off the floor and grabs her phone. “Yes, Hello,” she groggily answers.
“Where the hell have you been? I’ve been trying to contact you for hours?” Joe demands.
“Sorry Joe I got another migraine so I tried to sleep it off,” Cynthia lies because she isn’t sure what happened.
“Barry’s been struck by lightning,” Joe informs her. She is immediately more alert and starts running around her apartment.
“I’m on my way,” Cynthia replies. Joe tells her which hospital and room number and then hangs up. Cynthia changes her clothes and gets to the hospital as fast as she can.
When she gets to Central City General, Cynthia almost runs to the room number Joe had told her. When she gets there, Joe and Iris are standing by Barry’s bed. Barry is unconscious and hooked up to many different machines. Cynthia walks over to the side of the bed opposite Joe and Iris. Nobody said anything as they just watched Barry, hoping he would get better soon. The next three weeks were miserably spent by Barry’s bedside. Cynthia had reluctantly visited her dad and told him what had happened, it was horrible to see her father so concerned yet not able to do anything. Lastly she made some other phone calls, including one to Starling City.
She has encouraged Joe and Iris to go home, shower, sleep, and eat every once in a while, even though it makes her a hypocrite since she barely leaves the hospital herself. When she feels up to it Cynthia works from her laptop. Since she is just a forensic profiler and Central City isn’t as crime ridden, as say Gotham City, she can do most of her work from her there. Right now, Cynthia is trying not to fall asleep while reading a report when Iris and Joe come into the room.
“Cynthia it’s been three weeks. You barely eat. You barely sleep. You need to go home,” Iris pleads.
“No, I’m alright,” she responds, sounding anything but alright. Suddenly, Barry starts seizing and his heart rate plummets to zero. All three of them jump up: Joe runs to the door and yells for a doctor.
“Oh my God!” Iris cries.
“They said he was stable,” Cynthia almost shouts, a tear falling from her eye.
The doctors and nurses come in and push them out of the room so they can work. Iris runs away down the hall. Cynthia starts to run after her but gives up, not having the energy. As she walks back to the room she hears Joe talking to someone. When she gets closer she discovers it is Dr. Wells, the man who built the particle accelerator which had exploded: He is trying to convince Joe to let him treat Barry.
Cynthia interrupts as she turns the corner, “But that’s not his decision.” The men watch her as she goes to the door and looks through the window, and watches the doctors work on Barry. Turning to Dr. Wells, Cynthia straightens up. “As his sister and only blood relative, I am the only one who is in a position to make decisions for Barry, so it’s me you have to convince, ” she argues.
“Well then Ms. Allen, I am not going to promise you some miracle cure, but the technology at my lab will help Barry have a future,” Dr. Wells proclaims. Cynthia really looks at Dr. Wells now. She has seen pictures of him before, and he looks slightly different now. It’s not just the fact that he is in a wheelchair: She can tell that the particle accelerator explosion had affected him in ways other than his reputation. Cynthia stares into Dr. Wells’ eyes and tries to read him. There is mostly determination in his eyes but also something else, something she can’t quite define just yet. Cynthia breaks her gaze with the doctor and looks at Barry one more time.
“You can take him to STAR Labs, but I am coming as well,” she finally declares.
“Alright then,” Dr. Wells agrees with a nod and a somewhat trepidatious smile.
Cynthia turns to Joe, “I’m going to go home so I can shower and eat. Will you stay with Barry until I get back?” Cynthia knows she needs to clean herself up.
“Of course, ” Joe says. Cynthia is so tired; her movements are zombie-like as she ambles off down the hall to the elevator so she can go back to her apartment.
After a warm shower and a change of clothes, Cynthia eats a couple of sandwiches and a bag of chips: She is just cleaning her mess from her impromptu meal when she gets a text from Joe saying Barry had been moved to STAR Labs. She makes her way there, getting more tired by the minute. After finding her way around the massive structure, Cynthia finally finds the room where they are keeping Barry.
As she looks around the room, Cynthia thinks it was probably the main control area back before the explosion. There is a large table filled with multiple computers and screens in the middle of the room. Off to the sides there are two different lab areas: Barry is in the area at the back of the room. He is stable and looks better without the breathing and feeding tubes in his mouth. Everything looks very expensive and high tech. There are two people Cynthia doesn’t know standing around Barry.
“Ah there you are Ms. Allen. Welcome to STAR Labs,” Dr. Wells welcomes her as he wheels into the room. “Joe got an important call from the police station so he had to leave but assured me that you were on your way,” he informs her. The two people had turned to look at them when Dr. Wells entered the room. He goes over to them and turns to face Cynthia, “Let me introduce you to my team. Dr. Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon, ” Wells introduces the others. The man, Cisco, smiles at her and the women, Caitlin, nods. Cynthia’s manners kick in and she goes and shakes hands with both of them, “Caitlin, Cisco, this is Mr. Allen’s sister,” Wells finishes.
“Cynthia, please. We don’t need to be formal,” Cynthia insists.
“Well, Barry is stable,” Caitlin informs them.
“That’s what they said at the hospital,” Cynthia says acerbically.
“Yeah, they did, but trust us. Our technology is far superior to theirs,” Cisco reassures her. Cynthia nods with a sigh and finds a chair which she puts next to the bed and sits down: Waking up after sleeping awkwardly in a chair is something Cynthia has gotten used to lately. However, when she wakes up at STAR Labs it takes her a minute to remember everything, and her muscles complain about the position she slept in. As she stretches, she notices that a blanket was around her. She could go cross-eyed staring at the monitors all the time, but seeing them with fresh eyes, she sees they are unchanged from when she went to sleep. Cynthia is just going to get out her laptop to do some work when a cup of coffee appears in front of her. She looks up and sees Cisco holding it out to her.
“Thank you, Cisco,” Cynthia says gratefully as she takes it.
“You are a very devoted sister,” he comments.
“He’s my only family. I mean Joe and Iris are our adoptive family, but our mother is dead and our father…isn’t around,” Cynthia explains. She doesn’t know why she is telling him any of this, but he does seem to be a least mildly interested. Cisco just nods.
Cynthia takes a couple of gulps of coffee before asking, “Did you give me this blanket?”
“Yeah that was me,” he answers with a smile.
Cynthia smiles a little in return and says, “Thank you again.”
“Your smile brightens the room. You should smile more,” Cisco compliments. Usually Cynthia would just think that was a cheesy pick up line, but when she looks up at Cisco she can see how genuine he is and that he is a bit nervous talking to her. A warmth fills her and she genuinely smiles for the first time in more than three weeks.
“You’re sweet Cisco,” Cynthia responds. They start talking and getting to know each other and she starts to feel a little less sad.
Author’s Note: So much happens in this first episode that I felt I needed to split it up into two chapters. What do you think? Please leave a comment. This story is not beta’d. If you would like to beta it, please contact me. I don’t own The Flash.