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Not your me, yet

Chapter Text

In the two years the Legends started using the Bureau’s couriers, the team realized that those pesky watch-like objects actually needed more maintenance than one would imagine.

Or they would malfunction in the weirdest of ways.

 

The first courier the team stole was Rip’s and they never returned it, thinking they must’ve somehow broken it. They only managed to use it a couple of times, before it left Nate and Martin stranded on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in 1675.

It took Gideon two weeks to track them down.

The two men never really spoke of what happened and, while Martin never ate anything with coconut in it again, Nate developed an irrational fear of crab legs.

 

*

 

The team’s second courier was Ava’s.

It worked perfectly for over two months, faithfully taking them on missions and, thus, allowing them to fix multiple anachronisms at the same time. Sara began to rely on it, as it was so much easier to spread the team out through time with a courier, the jumpship and the Waverider.

Until, one day, instead of New York’s roaring twenties, it delivered Zari and Mick on the edge of an active volcano. Both got back to the ship safe and sound, but they were a little too enthusiastic about the accident, so Sara decided it was time to return it to its owner.

Two days later, the now Director of the Time Bureau walked in her office to find the courier on her desk, with a note that read:

“Thanks! Have someone take a look at it.”

 

*

 

After Mallus’ defeat, the Bureau and the Legends – or better Sara and Ava – agreed that working against each other wouldn’t benefit any of the parties involved. There were anachronisms to be fixed and time demons scattered across realities and time: they needed to cooperate if they wanted to be successful.

The first thing the two heads of the agencies did was sit down and develop a careful plan. The first day – and night – of the negotiations turned out to be unsuccessful, because of “unforeseen circumstances”, as the two women divulged upon exiting the conference room, with ruffled hair and disheveled clothes.

The next day, Zari suggested other people attend the meeting as well, in order to avoid an endless reiteration of these “circumstances”.

 

After a full week of negotiations, the two parties finally came up with a solid accord: the teams would trade members when necessary, the Bureau would have access to Gideon’s knowledge and the Waverider’s resources when needed, while the Legends would be granted two Time Couriers, with the promise to bring them in for maintenance every two months or one hundred trips, whatever came first.

“What happens if we don’t?” asked an uneasy, but still curious Ray Palmer.

“It’s better if you don’t find out,” the technician asserted.

The Legends shared a knowing look that left Ava very confused and mildly concerned.

 

*

 

It was Christmas Eve and the Legends were setting up the table for dinner, when Ray realized he had forgotten everyone’s gifts at the apartment he still owned in Star City. He was always usually very careful not to abuse work resources, but, after all, this was an emergency.

 

On New Year's Eve, the team found him in the garbage compactor.

 

Fortunately, the courier had transported him in time as well and for him it had only been six hours.

Once the courier was analyzed, the Bureau tech found 354 trips to Aruba 2018.

Everyone looked at Mick.

He never denied anything.

 

*

 

“It’s just lunch, babe,” Sara was leaning against the doorframe, her arms crossed, as she was taking in the image of her very nervous half-naked girlfriend who was frantically lurking inside every possible drawer for the second if not third time. 

Ava turned to face her, frowning. “Are you kidding me?” She protested incredulous.

Sara couldn’t hide the huge grin curving her own lips. “Don’t you dare mock me with that grin, Sara Lance,” Ava looked dead serious and that only made Sara smile wider. The other woman turned back to the wardrobe and grabbed the seventh shirt that morning.

While Ava was studying the button down as if it was an ancient scroll to decipher, Sara uncrossed her arms and moved closer. She stopped behind the woman and pressed her torso against Ava’s back, softly resting her palms on the woman’s naked belly. Sara brushed her lips in between Ava’s shoulder blades and rested her chin in the same place. As she did so, she felt Ava’s whole body relax against her own.

As she turned to face her girlfriend, Ava put the shirt back on the hanger. Her cheeks were flushed, and her eyes still wouldn’t meet Sara’s. “I… I just… don’t want to screw this up, you know?” She looked up, concern manifest on her gaze.

Sara turned her grin into a soft smile and pulled Ava closer. “You couldn’t possibly screw this up even if you tried," she paused, drawing Ava towards her. "My mom’s going to love you,” as she finished the sentence, Sara stood up on her tiptoes and pecked the taller woman on the lips.

They both opened their eyes at the same and Sara glanced at the clock on the wall.

Her loving smile soon turned into an impish smirk. Catching some sort of silent agreement in Ava’s expression, she thrust Ava against the wardrobe, pushing the door shut in the process. She put her hands on Ava’s hips and started placing soft and steady kisses on the woman’s skin, tracing her jawline with her lips and with the tip of her tongue, her fingers gradually outlining Ava’s spine. As she felt her girlfriend try to suppress a moan, Sara started moving her mouth slowly, just half an inch at a time, only to linger on the woman’s neck for a few more seconds.

Sara was surprised when Ava’s hands pushed them apart. She lifted her head, confused and anxious she crossed a line when she didn't explicitly ask her girlfriend if they were both on the same page. “Is everything alright?”

“No…” Sara’s eyes widened in terror. “I mean, yes!” Ava blurted out, evidently a little out of breath. Sara tilted her head and gave her a questioning look. “It wasn’t anything you did. I, uhm, just… don’t really want to meet your mom with a hickey on my neck?”      

“Oh!” Sara relaxed and let out a sigh of relief. “Well, then,” she started, her mischievous look back in place. “I guess I’m going to have to work on somewhere less… noticeable. Only if you want.”

Sara waited for the other woman to acknowledge her offer and, as soon as Ava smiled, she started to softly press her lips first on her collarbone, then on her chest. Maintaining her descent steady, she tried to avoid the obnoxious bra she knew Ava wouldn’t let her remove lest them be late for lunch. She progressed, leaving a trail of wet kisses on her stomach and her belly. As Ava caressed her hair, Sara’s thumb brushed against an old scar Ava had on the right side of her abdomen.

Before going any further, Sara looked up at the other woman, who smiled down at her, softly. “As much as I hate to say this-”

“… we’re going to be late?” Sara teased.

“Yep,” Ava bit her lip and reached down to helped her up, pulling her close. It was her turn to place a tender kiss on Sara’s lips, as she whispered into her ear. “But if you behave, I’ll make sure to make it up to you later.”

Sara’s grin grew wider.

She pulled the taller woman into a short but passionate kiss, before hissing “I’m counting on it.”

 

Sara reluctantly broke contact and sat on the bed. She watched as Ava opted for a white sundress, that Sara knew would highlight every inch of Ava's perfect body. 

As she sat waiting for Ava to dress up, her eyes caught the scar on Ava's side again. “You know,” she paused. “I never asked you how you got that scar,” she continued as she pointed to it.

Ava looked down.

Clearly perplexed, she hesitated for a moment before answering. “I, uhm... I don’t really remember. I went on this mission a couple of years ago, I got separated from the unit and knocked unconscious pretty soon,” she paused, brushing it with the tip of her finger. “I came to a couple days later in the Bureau’s med bay, all stitched up,” she let out a small laugh, as if to dismiss a fond memory. “I guess, I got lucky.”

Sara stood up and placed a kiss on the woman’s cheek. “We both did,” she cooed as she headed towards the adjacent room.

Chapter Text

“Should I have gotten her something? I should’ve gotten her something,” Ava started spiraling again. “She is going to think I am so rude. What kind of person shows up empty han-”

“Ava, will you please stop panicking?” Sara smiled as they hurried down the stairs to catch the Uber waiting for them. She was about to turn around to reassure Ava that her mother was going to be super-thrilled to see her daughter happy after everything that happened in the last twelve years, when her phone started ringing.

As soon as she saw the caller ID, she grimaced.

 

“What is it, Gideon?” Her tone was less than enthusiastic.

“I am sorry to interrupt you, Captain, but there’s an emergency onboard the ship.”

“Of course, there is,” Sara mumbled through gritted teeth. Ava turned around and shot her a hesitant look as she was about to open the car’s door. “Care to explain?”

“The demon in holding escaped and somehow locked itself in the galley. It’s fascination with the fabricator is keeping it distracted for the time being. Despite the team’s reluctance to contact you, I am doubtful they are equipped to deal with the situation on their own.”

Sara sighed, massaging the bridge of her nose. She mouthed an “I’m sorry” to Ava and begrudingly announced “I’ll be right there," hanging up, she turned to Ava, who didn't look surprised at all. She was probably getting used to the Legends' infamous timing. “I am so sorry. I’ll be forty minutes… one hour… tops,” she took one of the woman’s hands in her own and squeezed it. “Meet you at the restaurant?”

Ava nodded, brushing Sara’s lips in a swift kiss. She then pulled something out of her purse and placed it into Sara’s palm. “It’s my spare,” she explained. “It’ll be quicker than the jumpship,” Sara thanked her, grateful she had a girlfriend who understood this type of emergencies and would never hold it against her. Before rushing back inside, she went for another quick peck on the lips. Ava pulled her closer, into a deeper, more passionate kiss, that made Sara feel as if she had the wind knocked out of her. When they parted, Sara felt a strange knot forming in her stomach. Ava was smiling from ear to ear and, before letting go of her, she whispered a breathless "Good luck." 

A very confused Sara let go of her girlfriend and turned back to the building, the courier tight in her palm.

Crossing the threshold, she began to pray for the lives of her teammates.

Not that she was worried about the demon hurting them.

She was going to kill them.

 

*

 

Agent Ava Sharpe was nothing but scrupulous when it came to missions, especially those involving high profile historical figures such as a teenage Leonardo Da Vinci roaming the Louvre’s corridors in 1978. She had assembled a team of specialists to rescue the Italian artist and take him back to the appropriate time period. She had spent the morning talking to an uncooperative Da Vinci, alongside experts of late Medieval and Renaissance history, trying to determine his exact age, in order to place him back at the precise date he had been extracted from. She had studied the case herself, she had contacted the most prestigious scholars in the world on the subject and, yet, they still managed to get the wrong date.

Six times in a row.

After hours of jumping back and forth across the second half of the XV century, she was beyond annoyed. She was enraged.

Still, accompanied by the very curious teenager, an excited Gary Green and two other agents, she managed to keep her composure as she prepared to open what was probably the fifteenth portal that day. Stuck in a narrow alley, in Florence 1469, she set the date to two years earlier and, as she closed her eyes, she hoped for the better.

The time courier on her wrist started vibrating and emitting an indistinct and unusual buzzing noise, before shutting off and giving absolutely no sign of life. Ava straightened her posture and clenched both her fists but tried to remain as composed as she could. “Gary,” she hissed, making sure her tone remained professional.

“Yes, Agent Sharpe?” he queried, trepidation radiating from his voice.

“Could you please lend me your courier?”

“Of course, Agent Sharpe!”

 

As she opened a portal to 1467, the five of them stepped onto a narrow path in the middle of a large field. She turned to the unimpressed boy, who was obviously less than eager to be coming back from the future. “Do you recognize any of this?”

He reluctantly nodded. “My grandpa’s house is that way,” he declared, pointing north-east.

“Good,” she heaved a sigh of relief. “Lead the way.”

 

*

 

“I can’t believe we met Leo Da Vinci!” Gary joyously rambled, as they were hiking back to where they first appeared, in order open a portal to 2017 as far as possible from lurking farmers. “Granted, he was a bit of a brat, but, oh my gosh!

“Stop gushing, Gary and open a portal,” she blurted out in a harsher tone than she had intended. “Please,” she added readily, knowing perfectly well none of this was Gary’s fault, but she was tired – exhausted even. She just wanted to go home, run a bath, drink some wine and sleep in her own bed for the first time in three days.

 

The moment he reached for his wrist, an expression of panic gloomed on the man’s face. Ava’s eyes widened, dreading the answer she already knew she would get from the question she hadn’t even asked yet. “What is it?” she snarled.

“I, uhm,” he gulped, looking back and forth from one agent to the other. “I seem to have… misplaced my courier, Agent Sharpe.” If she could’ve slammed her own head repeatedly against a wall, she would’ve. “Leo must’ve… he… I think he lifted it off me before we wiped his memory. He was fascinated by it, all day. I should have seen it coming, I am so, so sor-”

"Enough, Gary!" Ava lowered her head in defeat. She wasn’t going to see the end of this day anytime soon. She heaved a sigh and quickly glanced at the wrists of the other two agents. “Alright,” she resumed in a calmer disposition. “You three go back to the Bureau. I’ll go get the courier.”

“But-”

“No ‘buts’ Gary. It’s quicker this way. You can report back, and I will prevent the Renaissance from becoming a sci-fi kind of scenario.” Not that it wouldn’t be amazing to see what Leonardo Da Vinci would be able to do with access to future technology, but she had a mission and it was to put history back to how it was supposed to be. Nothing would get in the way of that. “If I’m not back in 48 hours, send an extraction team,” she instructed.

Agent Mitchell nodded and opened a portal. Instantly, the three agents and the strikingly white walls of the Bureau disappeared along with Ava’s already feeble hope of returning home at a decent hour.     

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe you did that!” Nate shouted as they all rushed through the portal, making a hard landing on the ship’s bridge. He was holding his shoulder, scowling at Zari from a distance.

“Next time try not to get in the way when I’m using my totem!”

“I wasn’t in the wa-”

“You jumped right in front of me to tackle the demon!”

“I steeled up!”

“I see how that went for you,” Zari sneered, throwing herself on the bridge’s stairs.

Sara shook her head and decided to let the children sort it out themselves. She reached for the controls to check on the state of the anachronism map – now complete with their own “Demon Tracker” update, courtesy of a Zari Tomaz and John Constantine team up – to make sure they hadn’t made history implode in the process of dealing with a minor demon.  

They were forced to make about at least thirty jumps through time and dimensions to put the demon back where it belonged. Since ‘I don’t own a phone’ John Constantine was apparently nowhere to be found and they hadn’t been able to find the right incantation on the first try, Sara decided that trial and error would be the best course of action. Luckily enough, history seemed still intact, despite their messy way of fixing things. Ava would be proud. Well, maybe not proud, but at least relieved.

Ava. Oh, crap. With all the commotion she forgot about lunch. “Gideon, what time is it?”

"It’s 1:30 pm, Captain Lance. It appears you will be able to make it to your lunch-date. And congratulations on the successful mission!” The AI seemed a little too cheerful for her taste.

“There’s always a first, Gideon,” she chuckled, as she exited the bridge. She was about to open a portal straight to the restaurant, when she realized the state she was in: some sort of plant was entangled in her hair, her dress was torn, and she was covered in dirt and what she was pretty sure was demon bile.

She stopped by the fabricator and set it to a pair of black jeans, a white t-shirt and a brown leather jacket. She wasn’t really in the mood for a dress. It was just lunch after all.  

 

Once she felt clean enough, she went back to the bridge and snatched the courier from Nate’s hands who was fumbling with it.

She turned to her team. “I’ll be at lunch. If anything else happens, I will personally kick your asses to the demon realm and leave you there.”

Sara opened a portal with Ava’s spare courier and stepped through.

 

*

 

The landing wasn’t what she expected. Hard, but soft at the same time? She also felt sore in so many places and a bit nauseated.

She massaged her head with her palm and opened her eyes. Her vision was still kind of blurry, but from the chirping sound of birds and the smell of manure and hay, she realized she was nowhere near the restaurant. Or a city for that matter.

She managed to push herself up on her knees and tried to catch her breath. What the hell just happened? She squeezed her eyes, trying very hard to discern her surroundings, but the high noon sunlight was almost blinding. After a few seconds, her eyesight adjusted enough to realize she was in the middle of a field or a pasture, that extended as far as she could see. It was enclosed in steep hills and it was hard to see farther than maybe a mile or two in every direction.

Still disoriented and fighting what was going to become a hell of a headache in a couple of hours, Sara tried to calm her breathing and looked down. As she was about to close her eyes to concentrate, she caught a glimpse of something conspicuously blue, amid the seemingly unchanging green. She squeezed her eyes tighter and gasped at the sight.

She hurried on her feet and ran over to the woman lying face down on the grass.

“Ava?” she tried as her fingers were frantically searching for a pulse. When she found it, she let out a breath and started to lightly shake the unconscious woman. “Ava!”

Ava’s eyes fluttered open, confusion reigning on her expression. She grunted and pushed herself up, trying to sit upright, her frown betraying the pain she was in.

So, that’s what Sara had landed onto when she stepped through the portal.

“Are you ok?” She asked, trying to assert the nature of Ava’s injuries or, at least, if she had any.

Ava suddenly jerked away from her and for the first time, she lifted her gaze. She looked shocked and confused and pissed.

But mostly pissed.

“What the hell are you doing here, Miss Lance?” she groaned, while she attempted to straighten the collar of her blazer.

Sara gave her a sly smile and tilted her head, teasingly. “Miss Lance?”

“You should know by now I’m never going to acknowledge you as ‘Captain’,” she hissed harshly, still a little bit bleary and obviously trying to avoid eye contact.

Sara’s mouth fell open.

It couldn’t be.

“What?” Ava inquired, disdain outpouring from every word. “Just because you gave up Rip, it doesn’t mean we’re suddenly friends or on good terms for that mattter,” Sara was frozen in place. Her expression a mix between amused and concerned. “Are you going to answer or what?”

“I, uhm…” she suppressed a sly smile. This was not her Ava. Not yet, at least.

“Yes?” Ava stared at her, expecting an answer.

She needed to come up with an excuse. Something believable. 

She was drawing a blank. 

As Sara’s arm shot up to scratch her head, she noticed Ava’s eyes widen and her jaw clench. “Where did you get that?” She pointed at the courier. “You can’t keep stealing Time Bureau couriers!” Ava was almost yelling now.

“Av- I mean, Agent Sharpe, please. I can expl-”

“You can explain why you knocked me unconscious in the middle of a very sensitive mission and why you’re using stolen technology?” Ava stood up, she took a few deep breaths and started to fix her hair back into a dignified bun.

“Yes,” Sara started calmly as she pushed herself up as well. She needed to find something to say and fast or she would probably end up in a Bureau cell, possibly breaking time in the process. Ava said that she just had given Rip up, that meant they were a long way from the Vikings mission. Which also meant, unfortunately, that she and Ava were still kind of hating on each other. She had nothing to work with, nothing to offer her that wouldn’t seem like a lie. She took a deep breath, hoping this was the right call. “You gave me the courier.”

Ava’s shock, if it was even possible, seemed to get worse. Her mouth hanging open. “I,” she blinked incredulous. “I did what?”

“Listen, Ava,” Sara stepped closer taking Ava’s hands into her own. She stared directly into her eyes. A gesture she had lovingly done a hundred times, but that felt strange and somehow wrong the moment Ava winched at her touch. But the agent didn’t back away. She just glared at her, confused and aghast. Sara continued. “I can’t tell you much. I just… well, I think the courier malfunctioned, and I ended up here. I’m not here to hijack or mess with your mission, I don’t even know what mission this is.”

Ava kept staring for a few more seconds. Studying her expression, surely trying to see if she was lying. She moved away and the moment her hands slipped away, Sara felt her heart ache. She knew this wasn’t her Ava. Not yet, but her antagonism and rejection, despite the initial humor of it all, hurt more than she would’ve thought possible.

Ava let out a small cough, to clear her voice. “I don’t know what you think you’re doing, Miss Lance, but-”

“I’m telling the truth,” she urged. “I wish there was a way to show you. A way that you could possibly trust me, but I can’t-”

“You’re from the future,” Ava stated coldly. It wasn’t a question.

There was no point in lying anymore. They could always wipe her memory later. “I-”

“Don’t,” she commended, as she was trying once more to avoid eye contact. “Anything you say will make things even worse.”

Sara just nodded. “Well, since my courier is broken, I’m going to have to borrow yours, to… you know…” she made some sort of gesture with her hands, trying to mimick a time courier portal whooshing open.

Ava raised one eyebrow. She then displayed her bare wrist and Sara exhaled a very deep breath. “A teenage Leonardo Da Vinci has it.”

“So, that’s where we are!” Sara looked around, she always imagined the Renaissance period to be more… well, she didn’t know exactly what she imagined it to be, but she wasn’t expecting barley fields and pastures. “Anyway, where to?”

Ava scanned her surroundings and pointed to a narrow path uphill with her head. “He’s living with his grandparents. As far as I know, their house is in that direction.”

“Alright, Agent Sharpe,” Sara teased, bumping her jokily with her shoulder. “Ready for a team up?”

 

*

 

They had been walking in silence for about twenty minutes. Engulfed in the distressingly loud sounds of nature, burning beneath the midday Tuscany sun and adding the fact that she was hiking with a very irritable past version of her current girlfriend, Sara was starting to lose it.

“How long?”

“You asked that five minutes ago.”

“You didn’t answer five minutes ago.”

“It’s because I don’t know,” Ava seethed.

“No need to be rude,” Sara nudged. “I’m not the one who keeps getting her couriers stolen,” she muttered, which made Ava stop in her tracks.

“So, you admit you stole that courier!”

“I never said anything like that,” she huffed. “I didn’t steal this one.”

“Oh, my God!” Ava was losing her patience and so was Sara, who, even if she knew she would eventually fall in love with this uptight, insufferable, overbearing know-it-all, was tempted to ditch everything and start her new life in the late Middle Ages. “You are impossible.”

“Hey, you’re the one who said I shouldn’t say anything lest we screw up time!”

"Well, you did screw up when you abused government technology and ended up stranded here!" Ava scoffed. "Those things need constant maintainance. You would know that, if you hadn't acquired one illegally." 

"Oh, trust me. I know," she quipped. "And for the hundreth time, I didn't steal it!" 

 

Ava groaned in exasperation. She took a couple of breaths, before heading back to the path. She didn’t turn around, but she soon addressed Sara in a calmer voice. “Anyway, I’m not the one who lost the courier. Mine broke,” so, she had been here with a team. It had seemed odd to Sara that a Bureau agent would be left to roam the XV century all alone. “Da Vinci stole Gary’s. I sent the team back to the Bureau, while I went to retrieve it. I didn’t think I’d get knocked out by a Sara Lance from the future.” Was that a hint of humor Sara caught in her tone?

“Well, I’m sorry I messed up your day, but it’s not like I was planning on crashing through time,” she admitted. “I kind of had other plans too.”

She caught Ava turn slightly to face her: she was studying her through the corner of her eye. She immediately turned back to face the road and started speeding up.

“We need to hurry. We have no idea of the consequences of leaving Leonardo Da Vinci with a time courier if he figures out how to-” Ava cut herself off and stopped in her tracks.

“What is-” before she could finish the question Ava shushed her.

Sara heard a whooshing sound coming from the barley plantation on the left side of the trail. How could she have missed it? There were at least two people walking towards them. The two women shared a knowing look and simultaneously assumed a fighting stance. Sara was basically a stranger to Ava at this point in her life, but she was reassured by the fact that they had been on the same page from the start when it came down to a fight.

A man appeared behind Ava and, from the other woman’s expression, she knew another one was just a few paces behind her as well. The trail was narrow, but a third figure wielding an axe appeared in between the two women just a few seconds short of his associates.

Three medieval bandits. Great, as if she needed to ruin another outfit.

Ava tilted her head and offered Sara a mischievous look she had come to know so well. She instinctively returned one and before the three men could even move, Sara could see Ava extract her expandable baton and lunge forward.

Since Sara was supposed to be having a lovely lunch with her mother and girlfriend and the only blade she was supposed to be handling, at the moment, was the one to cut the filet mignon she had been dreaming about for twelve hours, Sara really wasn’t as prepared for a fight. Despite that, she never left the ship without at least a couple of shuriken and a knife. In one swift movement, she threw three stars into the chest of the man behind Ava – who fell down with a loud thud – while with the other hand she reached for the needle point knife in her boot. One down, she grinned.

From the corner of her eyes, she saw Ava sparring effortlessly with the axe brandishing man, who – in the time it took Sara to face the guy behind her – was already on his knees, trying to wriggle out of Ava’s choke hold.

The man in front of her leaped forward, a big dagger in his hand. She easily predicted the trajectory of the blade and smoothly avoided it, moving her whole body sideways. Her attacker, caught off guard, lost his footing and landed face first into the ground, groaning loudly as he hit the dirt trail. The dagger fell from his hand and, before he could even start to crawl towards the weapon, he was knocked out by Sara’s knife’s handle making contact with his temple.

Sara didn’t even break a sweat.

She turned around to see Ava letting the axe wielding man's body fall to the ground. She let out an amused chuckle.

She was just starting to relax, when she felt someone tackle her from the side.

A two hundred-pound, foul-smelling, bearded brute was pinning her to the floor. She managed to turn her head enough to see Ava had her hands full as well with another two – if smaller – bandits. Sara’s attacker had her knife hand immobilized, as he was trying to wiggle the blade out of her fingers. She let go of the knife and seized the chance of him diverting his gaze to pick up the weapon to headbutt him in the nose. She didn’t seem to do much damage, but he was definitely taken aback. He loosened his hold on her just enough for Sara to free one of her legs and knee him in the groin.

He cried out in pain and let her go. He was strong, but she was fast.

By the time the ache faded enough for him to realize Sara had broken free from his grasp, his throat was already cut, and his body was collapsing in the dirt.

Sara turned around and she smiled in relief, resting her palms on her knees and bending slightly to catch her breath. Ava was facing the other way, but Sara could clearly see the agent standing over the bodies of the other two attackers, a bloody dagger in her hand.

“So much for not attracting attention, huh?” Sara joked, in between heavy breaths.

Ava turned around, responding to Sara’s playful comment with a smile of her own. “I have to hand it to you, Miss Lance,” she was panting, and her voice was hoarse. Sara straightened herself and gave the other woman an inquisitive look. “You sure know how to have fun.”

With that, Ava raised her right hand and placed it on her side.

Just as Sara lowered her gaze following Ava’s movements, Ava collapsed on one knee.

Before she could touch the ground, Sara was already by her side, breaking her fall.

 

 

Chapter Text

Ava was hovering above the last of their attackers. She kicked him lightly, making sure he wasn’t going to get up anytime soon. She heard Sara Lance’s voice, followed the sound and directed a snarky remark as an answer to the woman catching her breath a couple of feet from where she was standing.

The fight had probably taken the last bit of energy she had left, because, the moment the words exited Ava’s mouth, her voice didn’t sound right.

 

She started to inhale and exhale deeply, trying to control her breathing and heartbeat.

 

Something hurt.

Really hurt.

She lifted one hand and placed it on the burning side.

She flinched.

Her shirt was wet and cut and the skin underneath felt warm and tender beneath her fingertips.

Shit.   

 

It wasn’t her first time getting slashed or stabbed or shot, but each time she forgot how much that actually hurt. She lowered her gaze, glancing at the blood covered palm.

She tried to think back to the fight, on who or what had slashed her belly open, but the pain was somewhat blinding.

Her mind was foggy, her legs unsteady. Every breath she took felt like daggers straight into her lungs and it was getting harder and harder to stay upright.

She fought the pain and the exhaustion… until she couldn’t.

 

Her knee touched the ground and her gaze shot up to check on the last woman she thought she’d get to fight alongside with and not against. Despite all the animosity between the Legends and the Bureau, it was oddly reassuring to be stuck here with her.

She didn’t really know Sara Lance, but, having read all there was to read on the former assassin, Ava believed the Legends’ so-called “Captain” was probably someone she’d never have a normal conversation with – or at least a conversation that didn’t involve veiled insults and/or yelling – but she was perhaps one of the best resources when it came to field-related emergencies.

Not that she would ever trust her fully to handle a situation without major repercussions but having her there with her made the oozing gash on her side seem less unfortunate than if she had been, say, with... Gary.

 

Ava shook her head to clear her mind. When she lifted her gaze, she noticed Sara’s eyes were filled with dread and worry, emotions she never thought she’d see on the woman’s face. Especially not because of her.

Her vision was becoming blurry and it was getting hard to stay focused.

She watched as Sara lunged forward and the moment the other leg gave out under her, she felt two strong hands lift her up.

 

She was now struggling to stay awake, but she could still make out bits and parts of what was happening. She was laying on the grass, Sara’s hands were holding her head, as they gently placed it on her own lap. Ava opened her eyes and tried to form a smile, hoping Sara would catch the irony of it all.

Ava’s palm was still pressed firmly against her abdomen. She moved her head slowly and shifted the hand, trying to take a peek of the wound. The lower half of her white shirt and her pants’ waistband were drenched in blood. Sara’s hand hurriedly went to cover the open gash, probably trying to keep the blood in.

Where it was supposed to be.

Not all over her clothes.

How considerate of her.

She felt the other woman softly brush a strand of hair from her face.

Looking up, she realized Sara Lance – even if somewhat misty right now – had really pretty eyes.

                           

“That ought to leave a mark,” Ava murmured, as she managed a half smile.

Her throat burned.

Her breaths were short and ragged.

It was getting really hard to keep her eyelids open.

 

This is no time to crack a joke, Ava Sharpe, she reprimanded herself as she gave into the exhaustion.

 

*

 

Everything was really quiet.

Too quiet.

The annoying chirping sound that had accompanied her through the whole trip into the XV century was still there, but it seemed distant and somewhat dull.

She tentatively tried to open one eyelid, but realized the light was too bright for her to succeed anytime soon.

It was going to take a few tries.

 

“Hey, there…” a familiar voice caught her attention. It was soft and caring. She felt someone sit next to her on what she was now sure was some sort of bedding. The other woman took her hand in hers and started to brush the back with her thumb.

It was oddly pleasant.  

Ava managed to crack open one eye enough to make out Sara Lance’s silhouette hovering over her. As her eyes adjusted to the light, she watched as the woman’s features softened, matching her tone. It looked like she went from concerned to… what exactly? The bright light coming from the window behind her engulfed her whole figure, highlighting the wavy – if messy – blonde hair that in turn were framing Sara’s sharp features. Her lips were curved into a sweet smile, while her eyes looked fraught with sympathy and something she couldn’t really put her finger on.

Ava Sharpe felt an uneasy knot in her stomach that had nothing to do with her injury. She gulped as she hurried to attempt and sit up straighter. This was the second time she regained consciousness to a concerned Sara Lance: she had looked vulnerable enough to last a lifetime – she needed to regain some sort of composure and respectability. Especially, in front of this woman who–

In that moment, she realized the chill she was feeling was due to the lack of a shirt on her body.

Great.

 

Agent Ava Sharpe of the Time Bureau was sitting – or better, struggling to sit – half naked in front of Sara Lance, former assassin, former vigilante, part-time superhero and time criminal, whom she had been trying to apprehend for the better part of the last three months.

She felt her cheeks warm up.

She really hated her body for making her blush, as if she wasn’t already embarrassed enough.

“You really shouldn’t mov-” Sara tried, but Ava’s icy glare interrupted her midsentence.

As she managed to sit upright, she grimaced when she felt the wound on her side sting as if it had been stitched closed. She glanced at her abdomen and noticed a clean bandage enveloping the lower part of her torso.

As soon as she was settled and somewhat comfortable, she took a quick look around the room and from the simple agrestic furniture, the smell of mold and embers, and the naked stone walls, she realized they were definitely still in 1467.

“You were in and out long enough for me to drag you to Da Vinci’s house,” Sara started, shifting Ava’s attention back to her. “The boy went to visit a friend in a nearby village, his uncle said he’ll be back soon.”

Ava nodded. “How long was I out?” Her voice was hoarse, and her throat felt like it was on fire.

Sara handed her a cup of water which she accepted gladly. “After I stitched you up, you dozed off almost immediately,” Ava was starting to remember Sara and a middle-aged man standing above her, frantically trying to avoid even more blood loss, while she came in and out of consciousness. “You slept through the night.”

“The night?”

“Yes. Da Vinci wasn’t coming back until today. His uncle was kind enough to let us in and spend the night.”

 

“Alright,” Ava took in a deep breath as she rested her head against the wooden headboard. She closed her eyes, trying to concentrate. Simultaneously, Sara eagerly shifted her body so that she was now fully facing the agent. 

“So, what’s the plan, Agent Sharpe?”

Ava lifted her head, her eyes betraying her utter confusion. “I didn’t think you followed anyone else’s orders but your own, Miss Lance.”

Sara cackled and casually patted Ava’s hand with her own, which sent an odd shiver down the Agent’s spine. What the hell was happening? “Well, Ava,” Sara began, obviously trying to provoke her. “I kind of ruined your mission. So, it’s just good manners, you know.” She offered a mischievous grin that any other day would’ve made Ava’s blood boil.

“There’s not much to do,” Ava concluded. “We wait for Da Vinci, get the courier, wipe some memories and get back home.”

“Sounds easy,” Sara commented skeptical, as she stood up and started pacing around the small room.

“You don’t sound convinced,” Ava prodded, trying to understand another piece of the puzzle that this version of Sara Lance was proving to be.

Sara seemed lost in thought, when suddenly she registered her comment and looked back at her. “No, no,” she assured. “It’s just… everything I did yesterday was supposed to be easy too,” she offered a troubled, almost bittersweet, smile.

Ava studied the woman for a few moments. She had her arms crossed and she looked nervous enough to make her restlessly pace back and forth. She didn’t look like the Sara Lance she had come to know: the reckless, more brawn than brains, use-dynamite-to-kill-a-fly kind of Captain she had been so hell-bent on arresting. There was obviously more to the woman than what the two-dimensional descriptions in her file had offered, but this – whatever this was – looked like something else entirely.

 

Ava scanned the room and noticed a clean white blouse sitting on a wooden table near the window, a few inches from her own bloody shirt and blazer. She slowly got up and moved to the edge of the bed, until her bare feet were touching the ground.

Sara halted and stopped to stare at her, almost as if she was refraining from rushing to help her. She gulped. “Do you, uhm… do you need anything?”

Ava pointed at the clothes. “Just the blouse, it’s getting a bit chilly.”

“Oh, yes, of course,” she managed, looking like she was just now realizing Ava was half naked in front of her. “I, well… I guess I’m sorry I undressed you,” she cautioned, visibly struggling to find the right words.

Ava suppressed a chuckle, she never thought she’d ever be able to witness the formidable and terrifying League trained assassin blush. It was kind of cute, honestly. “Well, it’s not like you wanted to,” she replied, and she could swear she saw a glimpse of Sara’s face turning crimson before she turned away from her and faced the window.

She threw the blouse on, careful not to pull the stitches in the process. She brushed her fingers over the bandage and turned back to Sara, who was keeping herself busy going through what looked like very messy notes scribbled backwards. “Thank you by the way,” when Sara shot her with an inquisitive look, Ava glanced down at the bandage.

“Ah, no problem,” she dismissed her gratitude with a shrug. "It’s not like I could’ve left you there.” Sara offered a quick smirk and what looked like an attempt at a wink. 

“Well, I have been threatening your team and calling you an idiot for the past few weeks,” she conceded, a hint of sarcasm not-so-hidden in her tone. “You must’ve been at least tempted.”

“Nah,” Sara sat on the edge of the bed and stared directly at her. “Despite that,” she proceeded to gesture up and down, indicating Ava’s whole figure. “Stern and uncompromising demeanor… you’re a good one, Ava Sharpe.”

Ava lowered her head but kept her eyes on Sara as she offered a timid smile.

Great, she was blushing again.

 

Sara tilted her head, staring at her with a very distracting grin on her face. “Are you getting soft on me, Miss Sharpe?”

“I, uhm,” caught off guard, Ava swallowed, almost choking on her own words. “What?,” she adjusted the collar of her blouse and tried to stand up straighter, putting her hands behind her back and trying to regain a bit of posture. “I assure you, Miss Lance, that’s never going to happen.”

Sara flashed her a knowing grin and, as she stared out the window, Ava Sharpe was left with a million questions she wasn’t entirely sure even her thorough Bureau training would be able to keep her from asking.

Chapter Text

“I assure you, Miss Lance, that’s never going to happen.”

As Ava uttered those words, Sara’s smile turned into a huge grin. Suppressing the laugh that was about to come out, she moved to the window and pretended to be very interested in whatever it was that was happening outside.

“It must be hard for you,” Ava’s voice caught the other woman’s attention. She didn’t fully turn around, but sent a glance over her shoulder, letting the agent know she was listening. “I mean, being stuck with someone from the past. Every choice you make could affect the future,” she paused for a few seconds, then added “Do you think you’ve changed it?”

Sara swirled around to face the woman, a mix of curiosity and mild worry on her face. “What do you mean?”

“By saving my life yesterday,” Ava looked… troubled. Was she really thinking what Sara thought she was? “You probably should’ve left me there.”

 

Sara tilted her head and was grateful Ava was looking away: there was absolutely no way she would've been able to wipe that kind of loving gaze from off her face. She moved closer and sat down next to the agent, who was nervously dangling her legs from the edge of the mattress. The Bureau armor she had insisted on wearing even half-naked had completely shattered and she looked so vulnerable, almost like the Ava she had come to know, the Ava she had come to love.

Sara had to refrain herself from putting an arm around her not-yet girlfriend’s shoulders. She swallowed, carefully weighing the words in her mind before speaking them out loud, as to not slip-up. “History wants to happen,” she just stated. Ava gave her a puzzled look, as if not satisfied with the explanation. “I can’t really say why,” she continued still trying not to reveal anything time-changing. “But I’m pretty sure the future’s unchanged. I have a feeling this happened before,” she reassured, soothingly patting the woman’s hands that were resting in her lap.

 

Looking relieved, Ava smiled briefly, but her expression immediately shifted to something Sara could only interpret as guilt. “So… I don’t die in your timeline,” it was a statement, not a question.

“I really can’t confirm or deny anything,” Sara started with a very serious, very professional look on her face. “There’s this uptight and bossy lady who will have my head if she finds out I disclosed information about the future to someone,” she joked, lightly bumping Ava’s shoulder with her own.

“You…” Ava bit her lip and let out a weary chuckle. “You are impossible, Sara Lance, you know that?”

“It’s part of my charm,” Sara turned away, hiding her face. She didn’t want Ava to see the smile forming on her face as she finally saw a glimpse of the woman that would become her girlfriend.

The woman she had left all alone to meet her mom, probably embarrassed, or worried or annoyed. Or a combination of the three.

She let out a frustrated sigh.

“Is everything alright?” Sara was caught off guard by the sudden concern. Also, probably realizing Sara noticed her apprehension was sincere, Ava stiffened up and let out a small cough to clear her voice. “You’ve been acting… unlike yourself. I mean, the ‘you’ I know, anyway.”

Sara smiled softly. “Yeah, it’s…” how was she supposed to tell this Ava what was bothering her without influencing her future in any way? Time-travel surely was a constant head-ache. “I have this… this girl waiting for me. We’ve been dating for a while now and I was supposed to introduce her to my mother yesterday.”

“Wow,” Ava looked surprised and, maybe… disappointed? Sara raised a questioning eyebrow. “I didn’t think Sara Lance was the settling down type.”

 “Neither did I,” she conceded. Or, at least, not post-Lazarus Pit Sara Lance, she thought. Her mind drifted off to memories of her Ava and she desperately tried to hide her beaming expression, but she was probably failing miserably. “I guess… it took the right girl.”

 

*

 

The flash from the stun device blinded her for a few seconds as they erased the memories of the whole Da Vinci family. They had managed to convince Leonardo to give up the courier without too much fuss, as he didn’t recall its function and hadn’t had time to test or study it. He parted from it with only a slightly inquisitive look on his face.

Sara started heading towards the narrow dirt road that had led to the Da Vinci country mansion when Ava grabbed her arm. “Do you want to do it in the barn?”

It was very obvious she regretted the phrasing as soon as she blurted out the question. “Well, I don’t know, Agent Sharpe,” Sara would really miss teasing this former version of Ava Sharpe. “Shouldn’t you buy me dinner first?”

Ava let out a groan and shook her head irritated, but Sara caught the corner of her mouth curl up into a half smile as she turned away. The agent started walking to the barn’s door, completely ignoring Sara’s very proud and very smug look.

 

“Alright,” Ava started once inside. “You go first,” she urged as she handed her the courier.

“You sure?”

“Yeah, it’d be hard to explain why I’d ever let you into the Bureau,” she confided.

“True, true,” Sara nodded as she started inputting the Waverider’s coordinates. The now familiar whooshing sound alerted them of the portal opening. “Well, that’s my cue.”

As Sara offered a smile and was about to walk onto the ship’s bridge, Ava extended her arm and cleared her voice. “Thank you, Miss Lance,” she hesitated, waiting for Sara to shake her hand. When she did, Ava added with a light chuckle. “I never thought I’d ever say this but… it was a pleasure working with you.”

Sara was fighting the urge to jump forward and just place a well-deserved kiss on the woman’s lips. “The pleasure was mine, Agent Sharpe,” she turned to face the portal that was now showing the Waverider’s uncharacteristically calm bridge. Before stepping through a doubt crossed her mind. “Just one thing…”

“What is it?”

“Are you going to wipe your memory?” she mused.

The agent looked stunned in place. She hesitated, as she straightened her back and promptly placed her hands behind it. “It’s Bureau protocol,” she assured.

“I figured,” Sara shrugged and, as she walked through the portal, she could swear she heard the other woman let out a very long and ragged breath.

 

*

 

The moment she crossed the portal, Sara stepped in the middle of the Waverider’s bridge.

“Back so soon, Captain?” Gideon’s voice greeted her.

“What do you mean?”

“You literally just left, Sara,” Wally’s voice was coming from one of the seats.

Sara looked around, trying to see if the Legends were messing with her.

“Also... why are you covered in dirt?” Zari asked sitting next to the young speedster, while stuffing her face with pop-corn.

“Oh, my God!” started Nate, his tone a mix between concerned and excited. “You had a fight with Ava, didn’t you?”

“I hope you didn’t break up with the Time Lady, boss,” added Mick, chugging on his beer.

 

Everything was happening so fast, she wasn’t really sure what was actually happening. She knew she had left at least twenty-four hours before, but each member of her team was in the exact same place as she had left them. She shook her head and walked up to the controls. She checked the current time and realized she was indeed back to the day before, two or three minutes after leaving. The timeline also seemed unchanged despite her encounter with past-Ava. 

Sara breathed a sigh of relief and shook her head lightly: the day she figured out how time-travelling actually worked, she was going to first throw a huge party and then maybe retire into the woods, to a life of serenity and calm amongst nature.

Then, she realized: she was still in time for lunch. Or dessert, at least.

Over one hour late, but Ava and her mom were probably still at the restaurant.

She turned around and hurried to the fabricator to get changed.

Again.

As she started typing in Ava’s contact, she heard the team complain behind her back.

“So? No explanation?” shouted Nate.

“You can’t leave like this!” protested Ray.

She heard a loud chuckle coming from Zari.

“Should I speed up to her?” suggested Wally, then, just a moment later, there was a loud “Ouch!" followed by "It was just an idea!”

Soon the voices were too far to make them out clearly, but she could still hear the friendly banter in the background. She started typing.

 

              SARA: am I still in time?

 

Sara tossed her dirty clothes across the bathroom floor and threw herself into the shower. She was already late, but she wasn’t about to show up smelling like manure and dirt.

She stepped out after a few minutes and checked the screen of her phone.

  

              AVA: Of course, you are, babe.

              AVA: Your mom’s amazing. We missed you x

 

She breathed a sigh of relief and typed in a quick reply with one hand as she struggled to clasp her bra with the other.

 

             SARA: be right there

             SARA: love u

 

Still mostly wet, she finished putting on pants, a tank-top and a flannel and watched as the other woman failed to reply.

She was getting nervous.

Ava was used to her life, they both had had their share of being late and cancelling plans, but today, well, it was a big deal. Dinah was the last blood-family both of them had left and she had really tried to make everything as perfect as she could. On top of it, knowing the Ava she had just finished hanging out with, there was absolutely no way she hadn’t followed protocol and not erased her memories, leaving Sara without a decent excuse to explain the disastrous delay.

 

As her worry worsened, three dots appeared below her own text. 

 

              AVA: Love you, too.

              AVA: Hurry!

              AVA: I have a promise to keep. ;)

 

Sara’s frown turned into a beaming smile.

As she stepped through the fiftieth portal that day, she closed her eyes, hoping for the best.

Chapter Text

“It’s Bureau protocol.”

She couldn’t shake her own words from her mind as she hurried to input the Bureau’s coordinates to 2017.

Yes, protocol dictated that agents should wipe their memories when in contact with sensitive information about the future, but, in truth, she hadn’t learnt that much about it.

Really.

Just bits and pieces and maybe the notion that Sara Lance would become less insufferable and, probably, slightly less of a problem to her and the Bureau – which would save her a lot of headaches and the ulcer she was pretty sure she would develop soon.

On the cons side, Ava realized that she had indeed spent more than twenty-four hours with someone from the future and the Bureau called for memory wipes even after the briefest of contacts.

And this wasn’t exactly a casual someone.

It was Sara Lance, someone uniquely yet inevitably intertwined in her own timeline.

Amongst the things she learnt, there was also the substantial information about her own fate: she was going to survive. She didn’t know exactly for how long, but this Sara Lance obviously didn’t come from the near future. What if, knowing of her own fate, made her more reckless? What if she became a liability to the Bureau? What if agents got hurt because of this knowledge?

 

As she stepped through, her line of thought was interrupted when she felt something hit her hard, knocking the wind out of her lungs. Gary Green had launched himself over to her, hugging her tight. She gritted her teeth as the seething pain in her side was enhanced by the sudden display of affection.

“I know you said forty-eight hours, but it’s been thirty-two! Thirty-two hours without any kind of contact! I was so worried! I wanted to send an extraction team, but ‘she can take care of herself, Agent Green’, that’s what Director Bennett said, and of course you can, but, oh my-” Gary blurted out in a single breath, still clinging to her as if his own life depended on it.

"Calm down, Gary. Breathe,” she whispered, half smiling. She did welcome the hug, but she didn’t really want the rest of the agents to see her soft and loving to the rookie. She pushed Gary away, as she stared into the faces of the stunned and slightly frightened agents surrounding them, to whom she offered a strict and icy glare (she was aware they called her the ice-queen around the office, so she wasn’t about to lose her respectability because of this).

Everyone hurried back to their daily business and, even if she was keeping him at a distance, Gary still kept his hands firmly on her shoulders as he was studying her up and down.

“What happened to you, Agent Sharpe?” he yelped, horrified. “Are you hurt? Should I get you to the infirmary? I should call a doctor.”

As he was about to place one hand on her forehead, probably trying to feel her temperature, she slapped it away. “Personal space, Gary,” she snapped, still trying to suppress a smile. She circled around him, heading towards the med bay.

Protocol called for her to flash her memories away, yes, but first she needed to get her injury looked at by a real doctor, take some pain meds, and throw herself into the shower.

Gary started trotting behind her, a little less concerned but still evidently nervous. “You still haven’t told me what happened,” she shook her head, hiding a smile.

She heaved a sigh and halted, turning around to face him. “I’ll tell you over lunch tomorrow, ok?” she placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Now, please. I really need to get some rest.”

“Alright, Agent Sharpe,” he conceded, a little disappointed. “I’ll be around if you need anything.”

“Thank you, Gary.”

 

*

 

The gash wasn’t as deep as she had first thought. There was no internal damage, nor the wound had given any sign of developing an infection and, even if the doctor had to change Sara’s makeshift stitches, Ava had been allowed to go back home and get a good night’s sleep in her own bed, with a prescription of pain medication and antibiotics, and the ban from field missions for at least a couple of weeks – three if necessary. She had groaned but reluctantly agreed.

 

The morning after, she decided to sleep in and, strangely enough, she woke up calm and rested and somewhat relaxed. The only source of anxiety was due to the fact that she still needed to wipe her memories, but there was time. She had to brief the director and write a report, first, so as long as she didn’t talk to anyone about Sara and the mission she would be fine.  

She rolled to her side and checked her phone. It was almost 8:15am and she had 5 new messages – all from Gary.

 

              GARY: goodmorning Agent Sharpe! briefing at 10AM w Director B on Davinci & Legends mess.

              GARY: also…

              GARY: lunch at tony’s after?

              GARY: I hear they have a new penis up

              GARY: PEA SOUP*

             

Ava let out a small chuckle and wondered what the hell could the – current – Legends have gotten themselves into, while she was dealing with a future version of their Captain.

 

              AVA: Sounds great! Thanks for the heads up. See you in a bit.

             

*

 

“Alright, Agent Sharpe. Let’s start from the Da Vinci mission,” Director Bennet was sitting across the conference table. It felt nice to be in her Bureau uniform and, even if the stitches under her tucked in shirt were pulling like crazy, she was happy to be back in the office and was ready to occupy her mind with some work.

“Before I start with the details, the mission was diverted by an individual whose identity I cannot disclose due to security reasons according to title 75, section 9,” Bennett just nodded, and she kept going. “After a few unsuccessful attempts, we were able to locate the right date the displaced Da Vinci was from. We placed him back in his timeline, but one of our couriers was stolen. Determining the task to be fairly easy, I instructed the team to report back as I set to retrieve it.  There was some commotion involving the aforementioned individual and I got wounded when attacked by roadside bandits. I was taken in by the Da Vinci family and I managed to retrieve the courier. This morning, I analyzed the timeline with our technicians and made sure this encounter did not cause any sort of new anachronism or aberration. I will disclose as many details as I can in the written report I will submit this afternoon, before I proceed per protocol.”

“Alright,” he looked satisfied enough. “In the meantime, you will take one week to rest and recover-”

“But, sir-”

“This is non-negotiable, Agent Sharpe,” he ordered. She just nodded and still sitting as straight as she could given the pain in her side, she looked down at her hands to hide her disappointment.

Then… you will monitor the Darhks’ movements from the control center. They have been causing all sorts of mayhem since the London incident. Rumors say they even managed to put Sara Lance in a coma,” when she heard Sara’s name her head shot up, her mouth indecorously hanging agape. The moment she realized Director Bennett was giving her an inquisitive look, she hurried to compose herself.

She cleared her voice. “And, uhm, is she… going to be alright?” Ava already knew the answer but couldn’t help but feel queasy. She had learnt in the five years working at the Bureau – and having thoroughly studied Flashpoint – that time wasn’t fixed and there wasn’t always a way to put it back as it was supposed to be. On top of it, with the threat they were about to face, she wasn’t entirely sure the Bureau was going to be able to repair everything before some of the anachronisms and aberrations cemented.   

“We have no idea. Apparently, Nora Darhk is far more potent than anticipated. The rest of the Legends are currently in Vietnam 1967 dealing with a super-intelligent gorilla. We are monitoring them very closely, but so far it doesn’t seem like the anachronism got any worse,” Ava scoffed, while scanning through her tablet to check on the state of the mission. The Legends were already ill-equipped to fix anachronisms on a normal day, without Captain Lance to keep them in check, what made them think they’d be capable to deal with a Level 8?

When Bennett finished briefing her on everything that had managed to happen in the thirty hours she had been absent, she kept swiping the files on her tablet, until she found the Hollywood 1937 mission report, looking for clues on current-Sara’s condition.

The file included only half a page that revealed even less than what Bennett had already told her.

Her heart sunk.

She shook the feeling of uneasiness that was threatening to cloud her judgment and headed towards her desk. She had a team of agents to organize for her week of absence, a report to fill and submit and a whole week of mandatory vacation to finish all the paperwork that had piled up since the Legends had broken time.

She didn’t have time to think about Sara Lance.

As she brushed the tablet’s screen with her thumb, Sara’s personal file popped up and Ava found herself staring at the picture attached to it. She suddenly remembered the way the woman had taken care of her. Her smile, as she had woken up the day before. Her soft and reassuring touch. The sunlight highlighting her figure-

“Is everything alright?” Gary came up behind her.

“Everything’s fine,” she hissed, shaking the thought from her mind.

“Why do you look worried?”

“I’m not worried!” Certainly not worried about fricking Sara Lance.  

“Are you sure you’re alright?”

She softened up. “I’m fine, Gary. Let’s just go try that new pea soup, ok?” She smirked and nudged him with her shoulder. He blushed and nodded awkwardly. “I’ll meet you in the lobby in five minutes.”

As Gary started heading to the elevator, Ava opened her desk’s drawer and took the stun device out. She stared at it for a few seconds – conflicted, for the first time since joining the agency, about following protocol.

These memories were only going to endanger her and everyone else.

There was a reason there were rules in place.

She needed to get rid of those thirty-two hours as soon as possible.

She thought about Sara Lance one more time.

“History wants to happen,” she murmured as she tightened the grip on the device.

 

*

 

An alarm started beeping.

Sara groaned and turned around, covering her ear with one pillow. She hated mornings. She heard the woman next to her move, so she pretended to be as still as she could, in order not to alert her girlfriend she had indeed heard the alarm, in the hope she would leave her alone.  

Ava laughed – Ava always laughed when Sara had trouble getting up.

“Babe,” she whispered, shaking her shoulder gently. When Sara didn’t move, she repeated. “Babe, come on. I know you’re awake.”

“Five more minutes,” she complained, her voice muffled by the fact that her face was now completely buried in the mattress.

“This is ‘five more minutes’, Sara,” Ava cackled. “I’ve been hitting snooze for half an hour now.”

Sara swirled around and faced the grinning woman on the other side of the bed. “It’s not my fault someone kept me up until five,” she protested.

“Alright, so now it’s my fault?” Ava scoffed, still giving no sign of wanting to get up either.

Sara offered a huge smile in return. “I mean,” she insisted, pulling Ava closer. “I had fun.”

“You did, uh?” Ava’s lips were now dangerously close to her own, as they both kept smiling.

“Yup,” Sara leaned closer, brushing the tip of her nose against Ava’s, before placing her lips on her girlfriend’s. “You kept your word alright,” Sara grinned, memories from the previous night replaying in her still drowsy mind.

“I guess I did,” she returned the kiss. “Even if someone didn’t really behave.”

“It’s not like I did it on purpose!” Sara pretended to frown. She couldn’t believe Ava would bring up her lateness after having been a super-girlfriend about it the day before. “I told you, I kind of crashed into someone and had to fix a huge mess.”

“Uh, is that so?” She teased. “Should I be jealous?”

“What? No!” Sara was taken aback. How was she supposed to answer that? It’s not like one can cheat with a past version of their current partner. Also, nothing happened. Why was she suddenly feeling guilty? “I mean,” she shook her head. “Of course, not!”

“You’re blushing, honey.”

“I am so not blushing,” she whined, as she covered her face with the covers. “I swear, it was nobody important…”

“Oh, yes? Then why won’t you tell me who it was?” Ava moved closer and brushed Sara’s arm, while sporting a very adorable and very infuriating pout.

“I just,” Sara grimaced, trying to find the right words again. “It’s, uhm… complicated.”

“Did you run into an ex?” she was sulking now.

“Uh,” she was being unfair. “S-sort of?”

“What does ‘sort of’ mean?”

“It means, she kind of was like… once, but wasn’t? I don’t know how to explain it-”

When she noticed Ava was so very obviously trying to suppress a laugh, Sara’s mouth fell open. “Oh, my God!” she barked, half incredulous and half impressed. “You never wiped your memory, did you?”

“Uh-uh.”

Sara teasingly slapped Ava’s side, her mouth agape. “Why did you never tell me?”

“You should know by now I don’t mess with time,” Ava bit her lip seductively, but Sara was determined not to let this go – even if she was slightly tempted to just give in and try and exceed the night before.

“I hate you,” she grunted, unconvincingly.

Ava moved closer and pushed her whole body against hers, softly brushing Sara’s cheek with her thumb. “No, you don’t.”

“You’re so unfair,” she moaned against Ava’s lips.

As they broke apart from a very tender and playful kiss, Ava rolled on her back and turned her head to meet Sara’s dumbfounded gaze. “I didn’t know how far we’d make it, until you told me you were going to introduce me to your mom. For a long time, I wasn’t that sure it was me you were talking about.”

“I can’t believe that Ava would break protocol,” she observed. Part of her was really surprised about past-Ava’s behavior, but she was really glad she opted out of erasing her memories in the end. “I mean, you were kind of a stuck-up, uncompromising bureaucrat back then,” she teased, wetting her lips with her tongue. She could see Ava was struggling to keep a serious expression on her face.

“Well, I can’t believe you said I was ‘nobody important’!” Ava scoffed, and Sara gasped, as she turned around, clearly offended. She soon felt Ava move closer, her stomach resting on Sara’s back and one arm hugging her tight. “Your words, not mine,” she whispered softly in her hear as she leaned in even closer.

“You know I didn’t mean it like that! Also, I’m not the one who’s been keeping a secret for years,” she mumbled as she hugged the covers, trying to pretend she was still very much insulted and wasn’t at all enjoying the cuddling.

Sara Lance was not a cuddler.

And even if she were, she sure as hell wasn’t the small spoon.

Most of the times.

Ava placed a quick kiss on her cheek. “I forgive you,” she conceded, as she stood up and pushed the bathroom’s door open. She halted and turned around, lingering in the doorframe. “Now… why don’t you let me make it up to you.”

As Ava disappeared into the bathroom, Sara eagerly followed, realizing mornings weren’t so bad after all.