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Bent With Longing

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“Well, that’s a neat room.”

Amaya, Nate, Ray, Ava and Sara had all moved into the Waverider gym, adjacent to the lab; all the other Legends had stayed behind. Sara was looking around, impressed at all the equipment adorning the room. Heavy bags, speed bags, double-ended bags, treadmill, salmon ladder, stability balls, weights… there were even some lockers, an intimidating array of weapons, and a water dispenser in a corner. Sara bounced on the mats littering the ground, an intrigued pout on her face.

“This is a newly-built room, actually. It wasn’t here before.” Nate explained, lightly punching the heavy bag in the middle of the gym area, “Courtesy of the Time Bureau, they added it back when they transformed our poor ship into a glorified training simulator.”

“Your previous “training room” was back in the cargo bay of all places. You should be thankful for the upgrade.” Ava interjected, matter-of-factly. Nate shrugged and nodded in defeat, and Sara chortled at her stern tone. Ava had tried her best to ignore Sara as soon as she had stepped foot on the ship, but she could still feel her lips proudly quirk up at the sound.

“Okay, so, how are we gonna do this?” Sara asked, grabbing boxing gloves and inspecting them before looking up at Ava. “Are you just gonna throw punches at me and hope I dodge them out of reflex?”

“Something like that, yes.” Ava answered without looking at her. Sara snorted, but her smile dropped when Ava’s face stayed blank and humorless.

“Wait, you’re serious?”

Amaya rolled her eyes at them, and walked to a locker - Sara’s, if the name on it was any indication - and put out a sport bra and hand wraps before tossing them at their owner.

“Here. You should gear up. There is a cabin around the corn-”

Sara didn’t let her finish and unceremoniously started to strip on the spot, already pulling up her shirt over her head. She did not put her bra back when she dressed up earlier. Everyone in the room barely had enough time to look away.

“Dude, what the f-” Nate averted his gaze in a panic and almost tackled Ray in an attempt to shield his eyes in a hurry.

Amaya swiftly looked up at the ceiling, putting both her lips in her mouth, eyes wide. Ava almost snapped her own neck as she turned her head hastily. She put her face in her hand, hoping that’d help clear her cheeks of the burning blush creeping on them, and looked down at her feet.

“Oh. Sorry. Am I usually, uh, modest?” Sara spoke up once her bra was in place and noticing the wide array of crimsons and pinks on all the faces around her.

“Not really, but seeing your boobs was never on my checklist.” Nate strainly answered as he temptatively opened an eye, then the other once he realized it was safe. He let go of Ray, before continuing: “Mainly because I don’t want you to murder me once you remember all of this.”

Ray just mumbled something incomprehensible - something about giving Sara privacy? - before hastily walking out of the room, Nate on his heels.

“You know what,” Amaya started, scratching an invisible itch on the side of her neck nervously, “You don’t need an audience. I’ll let you two… do your thing. Gideon can tell me if anything of consequence happens.” On her way out, she added: “Oh and Ava, there’s some clean gym clothes in the third locker that should be your size. Alright… just… try not to kill each other.”

And Amaya was gone. The use of Ava’s first name wasn’t lost on her. The Legends and her were getting a little too familiar for her taste. Still, she complied and went to retrieve the yoga pants and tank top Amaya had pointed her to, intently avoiding looking at Sara in the process.

She made her way into the changing cabin and dressed up swiftly. She was tying up her hair in a loose bun when she heard Sara’s voice from outside the door:

“So, how long are you gonna avoid talking to me? Do you just plan on punching me without even a hello first?”

Ava heavily sighed, loud enough that Sara could hear her, before opening the door. Sara was leaning on one of the glass windows encircling the gym area, arms crossed and hair now messily tied up in a ponytail, a challenging look on her face. Ava walked past her and stepped on the mats, looking down at her wrists, adjusting her hand wraps

“Hello.” She eventually said as she looked up.

Sara rolled her eyes, arms falling to her sides, before walking in after her and planting herself right in front of Ava.

“Hi.”

A little too close in front of Ava.

Sara squinted at her, trying to catch her eyes. Trying to catch any signs or tells of what she was thinking. Why she’d been so distant since she materialized on the deck.

Ava cleared her throat. As she was avoiding Sara’s probing eyes, she noticed her bare hands. She pointed at them.

“You haven’t put your hand-wraps on.”

“I don’t know how.” Sara took the two rolls out of her shorts’ pocket. “And considering the look on your face right now, I’m assuming I was supposed to know how. So, we’re off to a great start already.”

Sensing Sara’s rising frustration, Ava felt a very small pang of guilt in her chest. Alright. She could do this, she could deal with her “newfound” feelings for her without being a total asshole; she just had to find a middle-ground. A safe, professional, platonic middle-ground. No problem. Piece of cake. She could do this. She held her hand out to Sara.

“It’s okay, I’ll show you.”

Sara smiled briefly and handed her the wraps. They both sat on one of the round sofas in the room, and Ava proceeded to wrap Sara’s wrists. With each new twist of the wraps, she carefully explained the process as simply as she could, and Sara listened intensely. Ava was focused on the task at hand, but Sara’s not-so-subtle glances at her were making her screw up a step and having to start all over again. Three times around the palm, once around the thumb, in-between the fingers, around the side, down the bottom, back to the top, again… she repeated to herself in a mantra. Sara was so close, Ava was sure she could count her freckles if she turned her head to look at her. Three times around the palm, once around the thumb… She adjusted Sara’s hand on her knee to get a better angle and heard Sara swallow. In-between the fingers, around the side, down the bottom… She saw Sara glance at her again and bite her bottom lip briefly from the corner of her eyes. Ava could feel her hands getting sweaty, painfully aware it had nothing to do with the wraps around them. Back to the top… Sara took in a breath and opened her mouth to say something, but Ava handed her the rest of the wrap and abruptly stood up.

“You got it, try to wrap your other hand yourself and we can start.” She blurted out sharply, walking away to grab a water bottle - and to compose herself. Apparently finding a middle ground was not a piece of cake. She heard Sara scoff behind her.

“You know, you literally running away from me every time we’re being friendly is getting a bit old.” Sara stated, irritated, and wrapping her left hand as best she could.

“I don’t run away.” Ava grumbled after taking a swig from her bottle and putting it back at its place.

“Oh, really?” Sara stood up, wiggling her fingers to test out the elasticity of her wraps. A bit tight. Oh well. She locked her eyes onto Ava and continued, more harshly: “Then what do you call what you just did? Or how you left yesterday?”

“It was late, I was tired, you were too, and.. and- what is this? Why are you mad all of the sudden?!” Ava snapped back, turning to look at her.

“Because-” Sara started, her voice rising slightly “Because I don’t really know the extent of our history or whatever you wanna call it, because all I know is what you and my friends graciously accepted to share… and you’re still not telling me the full truth! So, what’s your problem?”

“I don’t have a problem!” Ava’s anger was starting to rise along with her voice, too. She didn’t plan on Sara confronting her of all things. She didn’t plan on being so damn obvious to begin with. This was on her, and the thought of failing to hide her emotions, failing at anything so badly, drove her crazy. Sara’s own burst of anger was the perfect opportunity to let that frustration out. She noticed Sara’s hands tightening into fists, and Ava’s shoulder muscles twitched in preparation, recognizing the signs of an imminent strike. Okay wait, no… maybe that wasn’t the way they should be doing this. Ava put a hand out in a defensive stance. “Sara-”

“You’re lying.” Sara cut her off, snarling. She took one step closer to Ava, Ava took a step back. “You know why I asked you to carry on my exam in the first place? Because I knew, I could tell, that you weren’t going to coddle me like they were.”

They are your friends.” Ava forcefully answered, compelled to defend the Legends for a reason that escaped her entirely. But the uncharacteristic venom in Sara’s words had made the hair behind her neck rise up. Something was wrong. She scanned Sara’s eyes and something wild started back, something she hadn’t seen before. Something that scared her. She gulped as one particularly uncomfortable thought flashed through her mind: Sara couldn’t be affected by her Bloodlust in her amnesic state… right?

Sara started circling around her, trying to get closer. Ava wanted to stand her grounds, but the intensity of Sara’s eyes only made her circle along with her, trying to stay as far away as she could. If she was right, she’d better be keeping her distance. If she was wrong, well…

Sara noticed the fleeting fear in Ava’s eyes and tilted her head.

“What are you doing?” Sara’s voice was low, but the anger in it faltered.

“Making sure you don’t pounce on me and strangle me?” Ava answered truthfully, hands at the ready and confused at the sudden shift in Sara’s whole body language. Okay… maybe she was wrong.

“What? Why would I do that?!” Sara stopped moving, shaking her head and taking a step forward, before pausing when Ava twitched at the movement. “Are you afraid of me?”

Shit. She definitely was wrong.

“You have a…” Ava debated uttering her next words, but they escaped her before she could stop them, “... certain history.”

“Of strangling people?” Sara asked incredulously. It hit her then, the memory of her bloodied hands. She remembered a primitive feeling, a terrible and cold instinct she’d felt in her crazed state the day before. She looked down at her hands before dropping them to her sides, puzzling everything together with a pained frown on her face, as she felt her ever-present migraine throb behind her eyes. She whispered: “I’m a killer, aren’t I?”

Ava tentatively put a hand out toward Sara, opening her mouth to talk, but Sara spoke again:

“Is that the real reason why I’m on this ship? Is that why everyone is so afraid to tell me the truth?” her voice wavered.

“No.” Ava sternly answered, taking hesitant steps towards Sara. “No. You’re here because you’re an expert tactician, a damn good fighter, and a caring and competent Captain to your team. And they just wanted to protect you.”

Well that left a bitter taste in Ava's mouth to admit out loud.

“Sure.” Sara huffed with a pained smile.

“Well, your friends probably should be the ones convincing you of that, but...“ Ava debated stepping further into Sara’s space but decided against it. She added with a tilt of her head: “... but it’s the truth.”

“So, is that why you have been keeping me at arms length - literally?” Sara looked up at Ava, searching her eyes.

“No.” Ava sighed. She had a second chance to re-think her strategy: To put all of her cards on the table and admit everything, or to lie and ultimately hurt Sara even more than she already had. None of these options suited her. She hated how indecisive Sara had made her, how unguarded. How uncertain. She swallowed, and continued: “I couldn’t care less who you used to be.”

“Then why?” Sara asked in a tired plea, taking half a step toward Ava.

“You already know why.” It came out in a whisper, and Ava hated it. She hated all of it. The vulnerability of it all, her fingers twitching to reach for Sara’s face, licking her lips unconsciously. It drove her mad, how much damage Sara had done to her resolve and carefully crafted defenses. “You’re not stupid, and I’m, sadly, not nearly as subtle as I want to be.”

Sara’s lips parted and Ava wanted to scream at herself for even noticing. She especially wanted to scream when Sara moved so close she could feel her hair brush her cheeks and her breath on her lips. She could read the silent request in Sara’s eyes, pleading, begging:

Don’t run away.

Ava’s feet didn’t move, but her fingers twitched when Sara closed her eyes and leaned into her. She inhaled sharply as she impulsively grabbed Sara’s wrist, and Sara’s lips stopped just as it brushed against her own. Ava swallowed and opened her eyes - when did she even close them? - before pulling away, enough to be able to look Sara in the eyes. She squeezed her wrist.

“I can’t.” Her voice was barely a whisper.

“It was worth a try.” Sara whispered back, a sad smile softening her eyes as she looked in Ava’s own.

Ava let out a short, breathy laugh at that. She took a small step back but didn’t let go of Sara’s wrist.

“Do you remember the move to get out of a wrist hold?” She asked after a few seconds, trying desperately to regain back some control. Sara only snorted in response.

“So we’re just going to carry on and ignore everything that just happened?”

“We can talk about it when you get your memories back.” Ava didn’t intend on that sounding like a challenge, but Sara lifted an interested eyebrow nonetheless.

“Okay. That’s one way to motivate me.” Sara smirked, and before Ava could retort, Sara had twisted her hand away from her hold, grabbed her wrist and pulled at her arm, making her lose her balance. With an additional swift-kick hitting her behind her ankles, Ava tumbled backward on the mats with a loud thud.

She groaned, then opened her eyes with a pained chuckled. Sara just smirked as she looked down at her.

“Guess I do remember that.” was all Sara had to say for Ava to strike back without restraint, attempting a spinning kick to her stomach as she got up. Sara dodged it, her smile only growing. They both regained their grounds.

They gauged each other for a short moment. Ava readied herself in a classic defensive boxing stance, knees slightly bent and her bare feet strongly grounded into the mat. Sara could feel her every muscles move instinctively, locking herself in a defensive pose of her own: legs bent, one arm drawled out in front of her, the other behind her, ready to strike. They both smiled. Sara’s migraine flared up, but it barely made her twitch. She knew what it was now, she could feel the same pain resonating in the muscles of her calves, her back, her neck, her shoulders... Her entire body and soul working together, straining themselves, forcing themselves - forcing her - to remember. She knew, so she accepted the pain with open arms. She wasn’t afraid anymore. She was ready. She was ready to get her life back. She was ready for all of it.

She twisted two fingers toward Ava in a taunt, smirking.

“Don’t hold back.”

Ava smirked back, tilting her head, accepting the challenge.

They both moved at the same time, punching and kicking and twirling. It felt familiar, it felt easy, it felt good. They clashed against each other in a rehearsed, violent dance. Their feet banged against the mats, their steps resonating into the room. Knuckles slammed into palms and shins crashed into awaiting shoulders. Their brief pauses to breathe the pain away from their sore muscles were the only moments their smiles left their lips. Their erratic pants, strained screams, and pained grunts were music to both their ears. They didn’t slow their pace for five, ten, fifteen minutes. Sara was on total autopilot, muscles clenching and limbs moving on their own, and Ava was ready for all of it. She’d studied all of these moves for years, and even more closely these past few months. She’d already seen it all, she was always three steps ahead of Sara, who eventually noticed. After Ava had blocked one of her punches for the eighteenth time and knocked her down for the twentieth, she held up a hand in defeat from where she laid on the ground.

“You’re giving up already?” Ava taunted, panting, arms still up protecting her face and ready for Sara’s next strike.

“Nope. I just… I just need some water. Can you… ?” Sara groaned in between heavy breaths, flexing her fingers for emphasis. Her other hand unceremoniously rubbed at the scar on her forehead, trying to appease the growing pain hammering her skull.

Ava relaxed and breathed out, wiping away the sweat on her forehead with the wrap on her wrist. She grabbed a water bottle and as she approached Sara to place it in her hand, Sara grabbed her arm and pulled, accompanying her movement with a foot on Ava’s stomach. Ava felt herself get thrown over and violently crashing onto the mats behind Sara. She let out a pained grunt. Sara swiftly stood up, grinning victoriously.

“I should have known you wouldn’t play fair.” Ava winced, painfully getting back on her feet after a few seconds of trying to find her breathing again.

“I still want some water, though.” Sara held out her hand again with a smile. Her ears started to ring and her eyes twitched in pain, but the mischievous twinkle in them never left.

“I’m not falling for it twice.” Ava huffed as she back-slapped Sara’s hand away and swiftly kicked the side of her heels, making her legs wobble. Before she could fall, Ava slammed her forearm into Sara’s chest and forcefully pushed her against the nearest glass wall.

The pain that followed didn’t come from Sara’s back slamming into the cold surface, but from a brutal jolt of electricity exploding behind her eyes and forcefully tearing its way through every inch of her brain, crackling down her spine, flaring into every single one of her nerves, and setting her muscles, her skin, her bones on fire - before disappearing completely. She only realized she’d been screaming when her ears stopped ringing and her throat started to hurt. She didn’t register Ava’s voice right away, either. She first noticed Ava’s eyes searching hers, then her forearm still on her chest.

“Did I hurt you?!” Ava asked, panicked, her chest heaving in erratic breaths. “I didn’t put that much force into it, I don’t know what happened.”

Sara’s head was still spinning. Past memories - old and new - entangling themselves back together in her mind, twirling in a mix of confusion, pain and relief. Everything was a little bit too much, and she felt her legs giving out, but the arm solidly draped over her chest held her in place.

“Hold on, okay, I’ll get you your water.” Ava took her arm off of Sara and before she could turn away, she felt two shaky hands grab the insides of her forearms. Sara’s grip made Ava wince, as her fingers were digging into her skin. Ava instinctively held Sara’s elbows, grounding her against the wall, not letting her fall and slide down. Sara inhaled like she had been holding her breath forever, her irregular panting making her chest rise and fall visibly. She looked into Ava’s worried eyes and smiled, slowly.

“I remember.”

Ava froze, for the exception of her fingers unconsciously clutching Sara’s elbows tighter. She searched Sara’s face frantically.

“You remember?” She asked tentatively, not sure she heard that right.

“Yeah.” Sara smiled more widely, her hands tugging at Ava’s arms, pulling her closer.

“Everything?” Ava blurted out.

“The Gambit, the Amazo, Lian Yu, the League, dying, coming back, sleeping with the Queen of France, saving your ass from an entire Roman army… everything.” Sara’s eyes were shamelessly fixated on Ava’s lips, but Ava stopped her from pulling her closer, grounding her feet.

“I mean, do you remember everything everything. Grodd, hitting your head...” Ava was still frantically scanning Sara’s entire face, looking for a specific answer, a specific green light. “Yesterday, everything we’ve talked abou-”

“God, please, shut up.” Sara growled as she pulled Ava closer more forcefully, flushing their hips and chests together; and that familiar, insufferable tone alone was all the green light Ava needed before grabbing Sara’s face and fervently crashing their lips together.

They both took in a shaky breath, melting into one another, clutching at each other. Strength came back into Sara’s legs only for them to wobble again as Ava opened her mouth over her own. She threw an arm over Ava’s shoulders, angling herself to deepen their kiss and keep from falling. Her other arm found Ava’s lower back, sneaked under her top and pulled with an open palm, drawing their bodies closer. She dragged her nails onto the damp, burning skin of Ava’s back when she felt her bite her lip, both the actions making them hiss a moan in satisfying pain. Ava bluntly grasped Sara’s thigh and scraped her fingers against the length of it, trying to reach under her knee, and Sara got the message. As she raised her leg, Ava forcefully grabbed it and locked it over her own hip, thrusting a thigh between Sara’s legs in the process. Sara’s growl against her lips and arche against her thigh made Ava smirk into the kiss.

“Don’t be smug.” Sara snarled on Ava’s lips, which only made her smirk grow as she grabbed Sara’s other under-thigh and lifted her up, slamming her back against the wall once again. When Sara’s only response was to cross her legs and dig her heels into the small of her back with a breathy moan, Ava chuckled.

“You were saying?” She arched her lower body into Sara’s for emphasis.

“Fu-” Sara inhaled, wrapping her arms tightly around Ava’s shoulders. Her fingers slid up behind Ava’s neck, finding their way in her now-undone hair, grabbing a fist-full and pulling. She swallowed Ava’s groan hungrily, and angrily bit her lips.

“Captain Lance-”

“Not now, Gideon.” Sara growled. Ava’s nails were leaving angry trails on her side and she didn’t find it in her to focus on anything else at the moment.

“I thought you’d like to know that the Legends are currently making their way to the gym.”

Ava froze at the words, but Sara was unphased, dragging her lips from Ava’s mouth to trail her jaw then her neck with opened-mouth kisses, and biting down on her fluttering pulse point.

“Sara.” Ava warned, the name only ending in a moan. She dug her fingers under Sara’s thigh and let her forehead rest on Sara’s shoulder, panting as she felt teeth grazing at her ear.

“Do you want me to lock the door?” Gideon’s voice peeked through the speakers again.

“Yes.” Sara feverishly whispered in a growl against Ava’s ear, sending a warm, unexpected jolt into Ava’s lower stomach, who just breathed harshly in response before coming to her senses:

“No!” Ava winced at how high-pitched her voice had gotten as she pulled her head away from Sara and lowered her back to the ground. When Sara’s hands untangled from her hair to grab the hem of her pants and draw her back closer with a hungry smile, Ava almost caved in. There had to be one responsible adult in this equation, though, and it took every bit of her fragile resolve to push Sara away by her shoulders. The heavy footsteps and distant voices coming from outside the room made Ava point a warning finger at Sara, coupled with a “don’t you dare” look. Sara let go of Ava’s pants and threw her hands out in the air in concession, huffing away her disappointment.

“Stay.” Ava sternly ordered, trying to keep her lips from growing into a smile at Sara’s idiotic pout.

“Ouh, bossy.” Sara drawled out, mockingly.

“Shut up.” Ava spat out as she hastily put her rolled-up tank top back in place, just in time for the doors of the lab to open.

“Hey, Gideon told us Sara’s memories were back?” Ray happily bounced into the room, completely oblivious to the tension still hovering in the air, followed by all the Legends.

What a fucking snitch, Ava thought harshly as she smiled tightly, angrily glancing up at the ceiling. She clasped her hands behind her back and stepped away from Sara. Her heart was still pounding in her chest and she could still feel her skin burning uncomfortably. Sara, however, composed herself way too efficiently and quickly for Ava’s taste. She watched her happily make her way out of the gym area to greet her friends, a toothy smile on her face.

“Damn right they are.” Sara chuckled as she gave Ray a hug. As she pulled away to hug Amaya, she added “Sorry, I probably smell a little.”

“Welcome back, Boss.” Mick grunted with a half-smile, and Sara clicked her tongue with a smile of her own, drawing him into a quick one-armed hug.

She made the rounds hugging everyone else, accepting comforting pats on the back and words of relief. She only drew away from hugging Nate after forcefully grabbing the back of his head and whispering loudly into his ear:

“Punch me again and there won’t even be a body to be put in your casket.”

She pat him on the shoulder with a dangerous smile, and Nate just gulped, frozen in place. Amaya chuckled at the scene, arms crossed, as she walked toward Ava who was busy unwrapping her hands. Amaya lightly elbowed Ava’s arm to make her look up.

“Thank you. For everything.” She smiled warmly at her.

“No problem.” Ava said after a moment with a smile of her own, too tired to pretend she wasn’t warming up to the entire team and their idiotic antics. “Glad I could be of help.”

“I’m sure you are.” Zari interjected with a snort as she walked up to them, looking Ava up and down. She circled a finger toward her own neck, loudly whispering, “You got a little something here.”

Ava slapped a hand over the bite mark she could still feel stinging on her skin, cheeks burning up. The motion only made Zari’s snickering louder. Damn it. Ava angrily looked up at Sara to find her eyes in an attempt to silently blame her for her mortification, but when Sara only stared back with a thankful smile on her lips, Ava’s anger faltered. Seeing Sara happily surrounded by her friends, smiling, whole again… she found that maybe, the mortification, the exhaustion and the terrifying feeling tugging at her heart were all worth it.

 

_

 

Everyone was back on the deck, already making plans to celebrate Sara’s recovery. Ray left to grab a pack of beer in the galley, and Mick and Leo were arguing whether or not to plot a course to somewhere fun instead of celebrating inside the ship. Aruba won Zari and Nate’s votes and Leo threw his hands in the air in defeat.

Sara smiled at the happy chaos in the room, accepting a sweater from Amaya to put over her shoulders - the sweat from her sparring session had cooled off against her skin and started to make her uncomfortably cold. She glanced at Ava who was carrying her Time Bureau clothes in a bundle under her arm and frowning at her watch, until Mick captured her attention by addressing her.

“You staying with us to celebrate, Hotcakes?”

“I don’t think so, I should go. I technically abandoned my post at the Bureau to come here, I need to go back before anyone notices I’m not at work.” Ava answered.

“Boring.” He grunted, turning his attention away to contently accept a beer from Ray.

Ava shook her head at him and found Sara’s eyes in the room. She walked up to her, clearing her throat before speaking:

“I need to go back to work, but-” she searched the pocket of her blazer and pulled out Sara’s little notebook, “Here, I wanted to give that back to you. I must have taken it by mistake yesterday.”

Sara smiled and grabbed her elbow to lead her away from the deck - away from prying eyes. She stopped in the hallway and patted Ava’s hand holding the book.

“I put it in your pocket.” Sara explained. Ava frowned at her, looking down at the worn littler cover then looking back at Sara again.

“Why would you do that?”

“You seemed to like it.” Sara shrugged, “I haven’t written anything in it in a while, anyway. I started to copy parts of old books and parchments I’d find during random missions when I first joined the Team. Trying to translate them in my down time was a way to exercise and improve my linguistic skills.”

Ava looked at her incredulously, not believing her.

“What? It’s a hobby like any other.” Sara snapped and crossed her arms. She looked at her feet, suddenly weirdly self-conscious.

“You’re a nerd.” Ava breathed out in fake distaste, a smile growing on her lips. “The infamous Sara Lance, renowned Assassin, Breaker of Time, is a big, fat nerd.”

“You tell anybody and I’ll have to hunt you down,” Sara drawled out, annoyed, as she put a hand on Ava’s chest and pushed her slowly until her back met the wall. She stepped closer to whisper without the slightest hint of humor in her voice: “And I’ll also probably have to kill you.”

Ava snorted, unimpressed. She slid the notebook back into her blazer pocket before grabbing one hem of Sara’s open sweater and pulling her closer. She leaned down until their noses were touching.

“I’d like to see you try.” She breathed an inch away from Sara’s lips, tempting her. She smirked when Sara’s mouth opened in anticipation, and chuckled when she pulled away and Sara sighed in frustration.

They both fell silent. Sara analyzed Ava’s face, her hand now resting on Ava’s chest, absentmindedly twisting a strand of her hair in thought. Ava rested her head against the wall and toyed with the zipper on Sara’s sweater. She smiled as she moved her finger to trace Sara’s abs lazily and heard Sara’s breathing pick up. Her finger paused, and they both stilled, settling into the quiet moment.

They could each hear the other think. The events of the last two days were a lot to process for the both of them, the logical move now would be to figure it all out. Take it slow. Learn how to navigate their own lives again after that unexpected shift. They needed to find their bearings. Find a balance between both their professional positions, and opinions, so they wouldn’t end up tearing each other apart.

Ava raised her hand to brush her thumb against the little chip still humming on Sara’s temple.

“You can take this off now.” She said quietly, trying not to break the moment by talking too loudly.

“Yeah, no, not before I wipe away all its data from Gideon’s system.” Sara scoffed. Ava quirked an eyebrow, intrigued. “What? I don’t want anyone to ever know what went through my head for the last 24 hours.”

A sly smile appeared on Ava’s lips. Sara squinted at her, silently ordering her not to even think about snooping. She spoke up again, so Ava wouldn’t get a chance to further comment on the subject:

“You can’t go back to the Time Bureau smelling like a skunk.”

Ava rolled her eyes and huffed, half-offended, half-annoyed because she knew Sara was right.

“So, here’s my plan” Sara continued, a cunning smile growing on her lips as she hooked a finger into the front of Ava’s pants, tugging at it to drag Ava further into the hallway, “We are going to take a shower, we are going to find a very good excuse to explain your absence at work, then we are going to follow the Team to the sleaziest, less reputable beach in Aruba and we are going to get very, very drunk.”

Ava bit her bottom lip in a smile, letting Sara lead her to the bathroom. Yeah, there was no taking it slow when Sara Lance was involved.

The logical part of her brain knew how stupid this all was, how she shouldn’t even consider lying to her superiors more than she already had, how she was letting her principles be broken by the hectic and chaotic ways of the Legends - by Sara’s ways. She knew she was stepping on a slippery slope, and that it would most definitely not end well for her. But she found she didn’t care, because it was a long time coming. Her principles had been compromised for a while now. She’d been bent with longing the moment she’d first laid eyes on Sara after she broke into the Time Bureau, kicking her way into her life and shattering her carefully crafted defenses one by one ever since - one snide remark and complacent smile at a time. She’d known then. She knew now. There was no escaping.

They reached their destination, and Sara locked the door behind them before grabbing Ava’s hips and forcefully pushing her against it. Ava let go of the clothes she was holding to wrap her arms around Sara’s shoulders, and happily sighed against Sara’s mouth as eager fingers found their way under her top. The same fingers left angry trails down her ribcage, then her stomach, until softly, reverently, finally sliding past her waistband.

With a sharp gasp and digging her nails into Sara’s shoulders, Ava wholeheartedly surrendered to her inevitable demise.