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Title: Date Night at the Aquarium
Fandom: DC TV
Rating: PG
Word Count: 272
Characters: Len, Mick
Summary: I had a canon excuse to geek out a bit about sharks, okay?



There were a couple surefire ways to get Len as happy as a little kid- a new security system to take apart, something being called impossible to steal and anytime someone recognized him as Captain Cold. Likewise there were some date-related acts that were always a foolproof hit- homemade tiramisu, going ice skating or, in this case, a trip to the aquarium.

It wasn't for any particular reason, just one of those spontaneous ideas that struck Mick while they were lazing around the safehouse, telling Len to get dressed and in the car. They'd been to the aquarium often enough that Len recognized where they were going halfway there. A smile spread over Len's face, trying to play it cool by looking out the window but his hand reached for Mick's on the stick shift, lacing their fingers together after every gear change.

Mick paid for admission and tried to ignore the way that his heart fluttered when, in the empty space between outer and inner doors, Len took his hand one last time for a quick squeeze. For them, that amount of PDA was downright risque.

Len led the way, bypassing the big tanks full of bright coral and colorful tropical fish, the wall of sturgeon, portholes of jellies and the enclosure with two dragon snapping turtles and an albino crocodile. Though they did stop to watch the octopus for a bit, having been given a food-filled hamster ball for enrichment.

But they already had a destination in mind- the sharks.

It was marked by a path that bridged a large pound inset in the floor where blacktip reef sharks and a couple rays leisurely swam. "Blacktip reef sharks have small homeranges," Len said, as if Mick hadn't heard every shark fact Len knew every time they came by, "making them ideal for aquariums."

Then through an underwater tunnel with turtles, a couple more rays, some gigantic fish as long as Mick was tall and a group of whitetip reef sharks chilling along the sandy bottom. "Whitetip reef sharks can pump water over their gills," Len explained. After that was the big tank with all the huge sharks and other things.

"The one with all the thin, hooked teeth is the sand tiger shark. Looks scary but generally leaves people alone. Unless they've got food. The one with the dots are, surprisingly, zebra sharks. They were named because when they're young they have stripes. The juvenile and adult forms were originally considered different species. Sawfish aren't sharks, they're rays. The most obvious difference is that rays have their gills under their bodies and sharks' are on their sides."

Then it was the big circular tank, Len naming each shark as it went by, "Leopard, epaulette, angelshark, whitespotted bamboo, brownbanded bamboo," and the biggest tank in the whole aquarium that housed two fully whale sharks. "Whale sharks are one of three filter feeding sharks, the other two being the megamouth and basking."

Mick didn't say anything, didn't even grunt. Len wasn't paying attention to him anyway, enraptured as always by the sharks.
It wasn't the Len didn't care about the rest of the marine life, it was just sharks were his favorite no matter the species. Mick had asked him why several years back. "Everyone sees sharks as scary, vicious, mindless beasts but they're really amazing. Gorgeous and built to be the best at what they are." He'd turned to Mick, the emotions in his eyes endless and unfathomable. "They're magnificent."

When he realized Len was obliquely referring to him, Mick had thought his heart was going to burst.

Once he had his fill, Len turned to Mick with a soft smile on his face. "So what brought this on?"

Mick shrugged, leaning up against a nearby wall. "Just felt like it." Sharks and aquariums were pretty cool but really there was no other opportunity when he could stare at Len so freely. No other time Len's guard fell so much, the soft light filtered through the water turning that look of unabashed wonder into something almost ethereal. Some days Mick loved that more than fire.

The sentiment must have shown on his face because Len stepped boldly into Mick's space and leaned in for a kiss, tender and chaste, before pulling back to murmur with promise, "Head back home?"

Mick shivered and licked his lips. "Yeah."

July 2017

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