I dreamt there was this room which made some people very, very twitchy if shut in there alone. Which would be hard to distinguish from regular hey why is the door locked twitchy. But it was like sensory deprivation, like people in that room that is Too Quiet. It shut off a sense most people aren't consciously aware of, the one mages use, a sort of reaching out part. So it filtered for people who could be trained, which was handy, but this particular room was designed for something else.
As this group found when Barry Allen closed the door behind himself, and while the world got shut out, that left them real focused on the sense of each other.
If there wasn't anything to reach outside for, certain spells, inset in the floors, could encourage, basically, soulbonding.
It hadn't been done for a while, not formally or consciously. Mick and Len were in there and had their own little bond humming away. But the more people in a bonded group, the stronger the bond, the greater the distance it worked at, the more strength each could share with the others, and the more knowledge. This room was set up for a bond of five or six, and they hadn't found rooms for larger. Which ought to be a clue this was going to get wild, but, they had an urgent need to be better, faster, stronger, smarter, and, rather importantly, able to trust each other.
Barry Allen, Mick Rory and Leonard Snart, Cisco Ramon, and... some random guy who was impressively good with curved swords. The random guy knew he was a random. But he was a random who maybe might be able to join a bond.
And since they'd found a lot of emphasis on how the bond needed maintenance, preferably daily, they thought it would be temporary.
... it's never temporary.
So Barry explained all this and how the bonding part worked and then he got naked.
... pretty sure the fic of this would be popular, with a slightly tweaked cast list.
So, bonding happened, in all the available combinations.
This was made possible partly by the designs inset in the floor. Which were a sort of hexagonal pixel grid made of sliced sections of color pencils. The wood is a traditional wand material, the colors less so, but each dot could be made of all sorts, so you could get super complex workings going on.
... no I'm not going to write up the bonding today.
But when they were done, they could hear each other at least all across the city, and showing a design to Len got Cisco level comprehension, with Len's tactical sense. And that was just the beginning, they had a lot more to learn from each other.
Mick and Len were used to just feeling really in synch and not needing whole sentences to figure each other out, but that was like texting compared to the full on experience they could get from each other now. Which was kind of like drinking from the fire hose, so they suddenly spent much less time together and latched on to others instead. Mick and Cisco, Len and Barry. Random guy is still random, it was kind of sad, there were fears of being a redshirt. But everyone got superb at hand to hand. Still, Barry kept trying to include everyone, but he also wanted to spend time with Iris, because wife. ... you kind of have to be Barry to physically manage that. Recovery times are otherwise an issue. Except everyone would get just a little share of his healing, sooo...
You'd think Barry and Cisco would be the tightest, being relatively emotionally available and actually liking each other, but they actually found the sex parts weird and Cisco was the only one with an emotional 'we're cheating on Iris' hangup, and so they mostly bounced into other orbits. Which seemed to be working out.
Except, all that about maintaining the spell? That'd be because if it gets wonky, it gets wonky for *everyone*. Any weird feelings either get dealt with or bounce back and forth until the whole group has them. And Len's first reaction, be cold and walk away, don't warm up to people, way too dangerous to care... well usually it gets balanced by Mick's fire or/and Barry's persistence running after people, but, those are now conflicting feelings on the *inside*, and then it gets weird. Random guy is still feeling shut out, except that means *everyone* starts feeling like they're shut out, spare, surplus, rejected, which compounds on the fact Len is consciously trying to reject them and emotionally as wildly possessively attached as he ever has been, as if they're all Mick now, which he can't always deal with when there's just one of it. Oh, and Cisco's feeling they're cheating? Yeah, messy.
So now they either have to deal with their emotional problems or... well, not deal with anything, because it's going to get loud in there.
The bond isn't temporary, it's *tricky*, and using it to force trust is pretty much their worst idea ever.
But it totally could work out, they've got the framework, especially if someone notices that it doesn't all have to be sex.
And in the dream Barry specifically had a conversation about Iris about how he was feeling bad because if he's poly now then shouldn't he just, like, love everyone the same? And that needs sorted out, because no two couples are the same, he needs to realise what each specific relationship means to him and work on it as its own thing.
So it's a whole thing about sex and communication and how you can't rely on sex, except with soulbonds and superpowers and being able to be five or six supergeniuses who can work at some level of superspeed even if it's just by sending Barry to read books and then redistributing the new knowledge so they each hold on to parts of it even while it mostly fades.
Many advantages, with the disadvantage of actually requiring open and honest communication about emotions.