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Dirty Computer

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Part 1: If you look closer, you'll recognize I'm not that special

Rip watches the 12th AVA out of the corner of his eye, while half listening in on a mission debriefing. He watches the clone file away paperwork quickly and efficiently. Her movements sure and precise. One of the previous AVAs had established their filing system years ago and this one had picked up on the system without needing it explained. All the AVAs had been like that, picking up where the others had left off and fitting into their role seamlessly.

It was no secret that Rip employed the services of Advanced Variant Automation. When he first started the Time Bureau, he desperately needed agents. Agents who would listen to him, follow his every order without hesitation, and most importantly, were replaceable. So, to accomplish this goal, he went to the year 2213 and purchased himself a clone. The first AVA was a hard worker, a damn near perfect agent. Exactly what he needed while he was trying to get the Bureau up and running.

The perfection of the AVAs was also their major flaw. They were too perfect, their words too practiced, and their mannerisms too robotic. The AVA was human enough, but just different enough that other agents noticed. The AVAs being clones was not a secret that could remain hidden for long.

Other agents were already weary of the AVA initially, but when the first AVA died and was replaced with the second AVA, they grew visibly more uncomfortable around her. The more AVAs that passed through the Time Bureau, the less people tried to befriend or even engage with the AVAs. The last couple of AVAs were positively robotic. The clones became more efficient with each Advanced Variant Automation upgrade, but less human-like in manner. Nowadays, the other agents mostly ignored the AVA and the AVA just went about her work as usual, following their orders without question.

This AVA though, the 12th AVA, isn’t like the previous AVAs and it worries him. The 12th AVA organizes all her paperwork in purple file folders because this AVA seems to have a color preference. The previous AVAs only used plain manila folders and never once thought to choose another color.

The previous AVAs had always been obedient, never saying no to his commands or the commands of his senior agents. This AVA sometimes took creative license with her orders on missions. He only allows this because her split moment decisions more often than not end up saving lives.

The previous AVAs never reacted to anything. Nothing seemed to surprise them. They always seemed calm in the face of danger, so it surprised him when the 12th AVA flinched at the crack of thunder one afternoon. A flash of something like fear crossed her face, but he chalked it up to the fact that she had only been made a few weeks ago.

“It’s okay Ava, it’s just thunder,” he told the clone in a soothing voice.

This AVA prefers his female agents to his male agents. The previous AVAs had no preference and were not interested interacting with other agents beyond what was required for a mission. The other AVAs seemed sexless. He’s pretty sure this AVA would be into women, if she was capable of forming real emotional attachments.

That being said, the previous AVAs did not get attached to people, but this one liked to stick by the side of Agent Gary Green. Despite telling Agent Green that the AVAs were incapable of forming meaningful attachments, the agent continued to try and befriend each AVA. This AVA seemed to like the attention.

A year passes and to his surprise the 12th AVA is still miraculously alive. This has got to be the longest living clone the Bureau has ever had. As the months fly by, the more human the 12th AVA becomes. She almost seems like a real person, almost. He allows her to move in with Agent Green, but only because she is the best at keeping Green out of trouble. They give her a real name, Ava Sharpe (not terribly creative, but the clone seems to like it) and a cover story to blend in with the rest of the world.

Rip knows that he will need to continue to monitor Ava closely. He has had one clone go rogue before and it wasn’t pretty. He thinks too much freewill may have been may be the reason behind the loss of that clone.

 

 

Sara Lance, Captain of the Waverider, portals into the Time Bureau using her stolen time currier. She might not care for the Bureau, but she has to admit that the tech is cool. Her mission today is to hunt Rip down and demand that her team be allowed to fix anachronisms without Bureau agents crawling up her ass all the time. They seemed to be everywhere she looked these days. Every time she stepped into a different time, there they were with those god-awful polyblend suits.

As she strolls down the hall, she realizes that she doesn’t actually know where Rip’s office is. She just might need to ask for directions. This floor of the Bureau is suspiciously empty however, but she stops when she spots the woman who had apprehended the Legends when they first broke into the Time Bureau. The corners of her lips turn downward as she remembers how the agent roughly pushed Ray to the ground and pointed a gun at her face. The agent in question realizes that she’s being watched and glances in her direction. The blue-gray eyes that are trained on her are cool and assessing. The agent holds her gaze for a moment before turning back to what had originally been holding her attention.

Sara turns her head in the same direction to see what has the agent so captivated. It seems that the other agents are celebrating someone’s birthday in a breakroom. The woman’s face is perfectly blank as she watches them, but the way this agent is watching the other agents so intently has her curious. She does not know much about the agent. From impromptu visit last time, she gathered that this woman had some kind of rank in the Bureau, but it seemed now that she was also an outcast.

She saunters over with a smirk on her lips. “What’s the matter? The other reindeers won’t let you join in their reindeer games?”

The agent in question tears her eyes away from the scene in front of her to look at her.

“I don’t understand,” the agent replies, with confusion marring her admittedly lovely face.

The woman was such a government stiff. “Didn’t get an invite to the party?” She tries again.

The woman blinks and says, “I’m an AVA”

Sara squints her eyes in confusion. “Okay? I’m Sara.”

The agent shakes her head. “Yes, I know your name Miss Lance. I meant that I’m an AVA.”

Sara rolls her eyes in frustration. This woman was already getting on her nerves. “I got your name the first time around.”

The woman turns to face her fully now, hands clasped behind her back. “AVA stands for Advanced Variant Automation. I’m a clone, Miss Lance.”

She rocks back on her heels. “No shit.”

Ava frowns. “Pardon?”

This wasn’t the weirdest thing that she has ever been told, but it definitely ranked up there.

“Okay, so you’re a clone.” She’s learned that it’s just easier to roll with things. She has after all died twice and is now the captain of a crew with assorted powers that travel through time together. A clone wasn’t that big of a deal in comparison.

“Yes,” Ava says with a little nod.

“And you’re out here because,” she prompts.

“I’m an AVA.”

Sara lets out a little huff of frustration. Talking to this woman was like talking to a brick wall. “Yes, you said that already.”

“You want a more thorough explanation.” The agent realizes.

“Now she gets it.”

“My presence makes people uncomfortable. To minimize discomfort, I keep a respectful distance always, unless ordered not to.”

She peers at the woman more closely. There doesn’t seem to be anything unusual about her, nothing overtly frightening either. “Why would you make people uncomfortable?”

“I’m artificial. I’m one of thousands, made in a lab. I’m not real,” the agent lists off matter-of-factly.

It sounds like something straight out of a science fiction novel and she has to actively school her features.

“You seem pretty real to me.” She says instead.

Ava whips back around to look at the break room in a quick, jerky movement. If she wasn’t watching Ava so closely, she would has missed the way the woman’s face crumpled for about half a second.

“Most people pay me no mind. It would be wise for you to do the same thing,” the agent advises.

She grins. “Well, no one’s ever accused me of being wise.”

“Shocking.” Ava deadpans.

Sara lets out a snort of an amusement. “Rude, and to think I was going to try and steal you a piece of that birthday cake.”

“Stealing is illegal,” Ava tells her sternly. “And I don’t eat cake.”

She crosses her arms over her chest. “Right, so what do you eat, little Miss Perfect?”

Ava shrugs. “I eat what I’m told to eat and that doesn’t include excessively sugary foods.”

She pauses at this. That statement just rubs her the wrong way. “That doesn’t sound like much fun.”

Ava shrugs. “I do what I’m told.”

“And do you like this?” She asks carefully.

The woman in front of her goes perfectly still. “I do what I’m told.”

She’s about to press further, but another agent interrupts them. In the presence of the other agent, Ava steps back, making herself small and unobtrusive. She has no idea who this dude is, but she already dislikes him for the way he made the other agent shrink in on herself.

“Captain Lance, I can take you to Director Hunter.” He turns to Ava and says, “You can go now.”

Ava nods. “Of course, sir.”

Okay, now she kind of hates the guy. Was it necessary to be so rude to Ava? Was her being a clone that big of a deal? She made a mental note to talk to Rip about this whole situation.

 

 
The next time Sara sees Ava, its on a mission. The legends had maybe bungled another lower level anachronism and Agent Sharpe had to maybe come in and save the day in a rather quick and efficient manner. To add insult to injury, the agent had even managed to pull her out of the trajectory of a speeding car, probably saving her life.

Currently, they were on the bridge. Agent Sharpe was trying to get more details about what had happened with the anachronism in question prior to the Time Bureau’s arrival and she was being a little shit about it. She finds herself fiddling with some buttons on the pilot console, so she doesn’t have to look at the agent’s stupid smug face, even if it is a pretty one.

“Can you just answer my questions?” Agent Sharpe says frustratedly behind her. “And could you face me when we talk please?”

Sara whips around and grins at her. “Why? So you can stare at my gorgeous face?”

She watches as the agent’s brow furrows first in confusion and then in mild disgust. “What? No!”

She smirks and gives the agent a visible once over. “You know I don’t mind, not when its someone who looks like you.”

This seems to make the other woman even more confused. Sara flirts with people. It’s what she does. It throws people off their game and allows her to slip in and take control of situations. She had thrown out some flirtatious comments earlier in the mission and was met with stoic silence, but now she’s getting a reaction and that in itself is interesting. The befuddled look currently on the agent’s face is almost endearing, almost, because Agent Sharpe is still largely a huge annoyance to her and the Legends.

A seductive smile spreads slowly across her lips and she watches as confusion turns to wariness on the other woman’s face.

“What-. What are you doing?” Agent Sharpe stutters out.

Sara shrugs and turns around again to fiddle with something on the screen in front of the pilot’s chair. “I can’t compliment a pretty lady?”

“Are you flirting with me?” Agent Sharpe asks, her voice colored with incredulity.

She turns around briefly to throw a wink in the agent’s direction. “For the last couple of hours. Thanks for noticing.”

To her delight the agent flushes pink. “Stop that.”

She turns around fully to grin at the agent. “I think you like it.”

“I do not,” Agent Sharpe protests. But Sara thinks she really does.

The agent’s face goes blank in the robotic way that reminds Sara that Ava is a clone. Not that she cares about the clone thing, as far as she’s concerned Ava is her own person. A person who is less than 2 years old and was made in a lab, but still a person nonetheless.

“You really shouldn’t do that,” the agent says in strained voice.

Sara purses her lips and then asks, “And why shouldn’t I do that? Are you dating someone?”

“No,” Agent Sharpe says like that’s the obvious answer. “You know what I am. That sort of thing isn’t done with clones.”

Sara scoffs. “Is that like an official rule? You’re not allowed to date? Too young or something?”

“An AVA cannot form real emotional attachments to people or things,” the agent states.

She gives the woman a sharp look. “Bullshit, I don’t believe that for a second.”

Ava’s eyes widen in surprise and her pink lips part in a way that is only vaguely distracting to Sara. “I-. I should be going now. I have enough information for my report. Have a pleasant day, Captain Lance.”

Sara watches as Agent Sharpe opens a portal faster than she’s ever seen and disappears. Well, Sara thinks, at least Ava has conquered the very human skill of running away from difficult situations.

 

 

She’s sees Ava frequently over the next few weeks and is surprised that she starts to see the woman less as Agent Sharpe and more as Ava. She tries to ignore the little burst of happiness she feels when she walks onto the bridge one day to find Ava discussing something with Zari. What appears to be a tricked out looking USB drive sits on the console in front of them. Her resident hacker listens as Ava explains about the anachronism database update the USB contains.

Zari soon leaves with the USB drive in hand, but the agent stays and stares out of a window watching temporal matter swirl around outside the Waverider. She approaches Ava, but the other woman doesn’t hear her, seemingly lost in thought.

“Agent Sharpe, I didn’t know that you were going to be gracing us with your presence today.”

Ava startles slightly, finally noticing that she’s no longer alone.

Sara arches an eyebrow questioningly. “Penny for your thoughts?”

“I only accept small bills.” Ava says seriously.

She opens her mouth to speak, but the expression on the agent’s face makes her stop. Its not a smile, no she’s never seen Ava smile, but those blue-gray eyes are definitely amused.

She arches an eyebrow at the agent. “Are you making jokes now?”

“AVAs aren’t capable of making jokes.”

Sara only has minimal information on what the other AVAs are like thanks to Gideon, but this one in particular doesn’t seem like the rest of the clones. That much is clear. She doesn’t match the fembot description provided to her by the Advanced Variant Automation company.

“Right. It just seems like you’ve got a lot on your mind.”

Ava looks down and puts a hand on her neck. “I was just thinking that I’ve been alive for two years today.”

“Oh, it’s your birthday!” Sara says cheerfully.

Ava nods shyly. “Something like that, I guess.”

“We have to celebrate,” she declares. She still remembers that time when she caught Ava staring longingly at a breakroom birthday party she wasn’t invited to.

She gathers the other agents in the kitchen for the impromptu birthday party. She’s managed to fabricate a cake with pink frosting and purple piping that spells out ‘Happy Birthday Ava,’ and Ray and Nate have somehow scrounged up balloons and party hats. Ava sits at the kitchen table, wearing a party hat that sits at a jaunty angle atop her head, looking adorable and eyeing the cake warily.

Ava turns to her with an uneasy expression on her face and tells her, “I’m not allowed to eat excessively sugary foods. It’s not healthy. Director Hunter’s orders.”

She gives Ava a pointed look. “Well Rip’s not here, is he?”

Ava looks around briefly as if expecting the director to be walking around the corner at any moment. She hates the nervous look on Ava’s face. She’s aware that Ava takes orders from Rip and from other agents, but she’s beginning to realize how little choice Ava actually has in her own life and its kind of pissing her off.

“Ava,” she says, her voice growing serious. “When you’re on this ship, you make your own decisions. Screw what Rip and everyone else tell you. Now, do you want some cake?”

“I do,” Ava says while nodding vigorously. “It always looks like it would taste really good.”
Her heart kind of breaks a little at the yearning she hears in Ava’s voice. She wants Ava to have all the cake now. She would bake her a damn cake every day if it would make her happy.

“Wait, wait!” Sara runs over to a drawer in the kitchen and pulls out some birthday candles and matches. Ava watches in fascination as she places two pink candles on the cake and lights them.

Sara smiles at the birthday girl. “Make a wish and blow out the candles.”

She watches in confusion as Ava’s face falls slightly at that.

“A wish? I don’t think mine can come true.” The agent trains her eyes on the tabletop and consequently misses the exchange of glances between the Legends. Ava shrugs and says in a small resigned voice. “I don’t think wishes are for me.”

Okay, she might actually murder Rip now. Her heart aches at the agent’s words.

“Yes, they are,” Zari blurts out. “They are for you.” The genuine anger in the hacker’s voice is surprising. Or maybe it isn’t, with Zari being from a police state where there was very little choice and freedom was limited, maybe she can relate. “You’re allowed to hope, Ava.”

Ray and Nate nod in agreement.

“Go on,” Amaya says in her soft calming voice. “Make a wish, sweetheart.”

“Yeah, make a wish pantsuit,” Mick grunts out.

Sara has never been more proud of her crew. She smiles encouragingly at Ava and Ava looks at her and then at the Legends and seems to come to a decision. She watches as the agent closes her eyes and blows out the candles. While the Legends erupt in cheers, she can’t help but wonder what Ava wished for.

 

 

The Waverider touches down in a clearing in the woods somewhere in Ontario, Canada in the year 1845. Sara rolls her eyes when she sees that the Time Bureau has beat them there. She does a quick scan of the clearing, eyes stopping when she spots Ava talking to a small cluster of young agents, probably cadets.

The Legends spill out behind her as she strolls out of the ship and the agents in the field spare them only a quick glance, before turning their attention back to their fearless leader, Agent Sharpe.

Sara gives each Legend their instructions and makes them promise to check in with her in half an hour. They leave her in two groups, one going north, the other heading south. She pauses to watch Ava order some of the cadets around and smiles and then tells herself to stop. Ava, being all bossy should not be cute. It’s not. The agent barks out a few commands and then the cadets are splitting off into pairs and disappearing into the woods.

She approaches the agent once it’s just the two of them in the clearing. Ava is standing ramrod straight when she reaches her side, her whole body is tense and her face arranged in that robotically blank face that puts Sara on edge.

“Good evening, Captain Lance.” Ava’s voice is even, no inflections, no hints of emotion.

Sara frowns. She expected at least an eye roll at the Legends’ presence. Still Sara gives her a small smile.

“Well that wasn’t the warm welcome I’m used to.”

Ava clasps her hands behind her back and looks off in the distance scanning the perimeter.

“I apologize Captain Lance. I can try something different if you’d like?”

Sara tenses at her words. Something seems off. She peers more closely and Ava doesn’t so much as flinch when she takes a step forward suddenly. She’s know that Rip has had several clones before Ava and she wonders now if this is her Ava.

“Ava?” She says cautiously.

Something flickers across the agent’s face, too fast for her to name. Ava looks over her shoulder and then all around the clearing as if making sure no one else is watching them. The agent doesn’t answer her, instead Ava keeps staring blankly at the trees in front of them.

Something is definitely wrong. If something happened to Ava or if Rip did something to her or replaced her, she was going to scream or hit someone. Probably hit someone.

“Is it you?” She tries again, this time her voice is just a whisper.

She reaches out and gently grabs the other woman’s hand. She just has to know if this is her Ava. It’s important. She knows that Ava isn’t a Legend, but she feels protective of her nonetheless. She isn’t even sure why. Maybe it was just the right thing to do.

The expression on the agent’s face doesn’t change at her question, but she feels Ava squeeze her hand ever so gently before pulling away.

“It’s me,” Ava says softly.

“What’s going on?”

Ava shushes her, then looks around again discretely. “I think…. I think there’s something wrong with me. I don’t think I’m like the other AVAs.” The worry is evident in the agent’s voice.

“You’re not.” Sara easily agrees.

Distress is clear on the agent’s face. “Don’t say that!” Ava hisses.

“You are different,” she whispers back fiercely. “You are special. You are not like anyone else.”

“Don’t say that! It’s dangerous.” There is desperation and fear in the agent’s voice this time and Sara feels something in her chest tighten at the sound of it.

“What do you mean?”

“It means that if they find me to be defective, they’ll send me back to Advanced Variant Automation to be reprocessed.”

She’s about to press further, when a pair of agents pops out of the brush. Ava leaves her behind in favor of addressing the two cadets.

She doesn’t know what reprocessing is, but she sure as hell is going to find out.

Chapter Text

She doesn’t see Ava for a solid two weeks after the fiasco in the woods. She tries not to worry too much, but completely fails in doing so. She checks all of Gideon’s databases to figure out what reprocessing means, but comes up empty. She thinks she knows what it might mean and desperately hopes that she’s wrong.

She’s heard that Ava lives with Agent Gary Green and persuades Zari to hack into the Time Bureau, so she can pinpoint the coordinates to Agent Green’s residence. When she steps through the portal, the room she finds herself in is incredibly unremarkable. The walls are white and bare. There is a bed resting against the back wall covered with a light purple comforter. A night stand with a lamp sits to the left of the bed and dresser sits across from it.

The only interesting thing about the room is the bookshelf that sits to the right of the bed. Its packed with books. Apparently, the Bureau does not restrict what Ava reads. She spots the Harry Potter Series, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the entire collection of A Series of Unfortunate Events among her books. She snorts in amusement. She can almost imagine Ava staying up late into the night reading under the covers with a flashlight in hand.

There are other books too, books on nature and art, there are biology texts, history books, and to her surprise there are romance novels. She pulls one off the shelf only to see that it features two women kissing on the cover. She purses her lips and then smirks. It doesn’t really surprise her. She has been getting vibes off the woman since the day they met.

The sound of the door banging against the wall jolts her from her wanderings and she whips around to see Ava pointing a gun at her. She raises her hands in surrender and winks at the agent. Ava scowls at her, but lowers her gun.

“Captain Lance, to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure,” the agent asks with annoyance coloring her voice.

She shrugs nonchalantly. “Oh, you know, I was just in the neighborhood.”

“Sara,” Ava warns.

She rolls her eyes. “You’re no fun.”

“It’s not in my coding.”

Sara squints at the agent, not sure if Ava is joking again or actually serious. Joking, probably joking. Not knowing what else to do, she plops herself down on Ava’s bed and settles in to watch the agent putter around her dresser.

“By all means make yourself comfortable,” Ava grumbles.

She grins. “Why thank you Agent Sharpe, I will.”

She lays back on the bed with her head resting on the pillow, the comforting scent of Ava surrounding her. The bed is not too firm or too soft, a happy medium, and it feels amazing. The last couple of nights had been rough on her. Hours spent awake trying to avoid those awful nightmares full of the faces of people she had killed as an assassin. The opening of a drawer brings her back to earth and she refocuses her attention on Ava who was standing in front of the dresser with her back towards her.

The agent had somehow managed to shed both her standard issue blazer and pants, leaving the woman wearing just a white button up, exposing what seemed like miles of glorious legs for her viewing pleasure. She makes strangled sound at the sight before her, but covers it up with a cough.

“What are you doing?” Her voice sounds weird, even to her.

“Changing out of my uniform.” Ava says matter-of-factly.

“Right, right.”

Ava slips on a pair of lavender pajama bottoms and then begins to unbutton her shirt. There is a rustle of fabric as the shirt slides off Ava’s shoulders and down to the ground. Sara knows that she should look away and give Ava her privacy, but her eyes remain glued to the agent, mesmerized by all the skin on display.

The bra follows the shirt and a thousand inappropriate thoughts run unbidden in her mind. Sara swallows and finally looks away. She turns on her side and trains her eyes on the wall in front of her. Moments pass before she feels the bed dip on the other side of her. When she rolls over, she finds Ava, clad in her lavender pajama set, laying on her back with her hands clasped over her stomach. The agent’s hair is down and tumbling across her shoulders in golden waves.

Ava looks different like this. Softer, but no less beautiful. She props herself up on her elbow, supporting her head with a fist beneath her chin.

Ava turns her head, gray-blue eyes focusing on her. “Why are you here Sara?”

“I haven’t seen you for a while. I got worried.”

Ava nods and the movement dislodges a lock of hair from behind her ear. “I’m still me. They were watching me before”

Sara can’t help herself. She reaches out and tucks the lock back behind Ava’s ear. The agent’s eyes slip closed in contentment for half a second. It’s possible she might adore this woman.

“Who’s watching you?”

“Rip mostly and a few senior agents. My behavior hasn’t been as predictable as the previous AVA’s. They’re afraid, I’ll go rogue. I think it must of happened with one of the other Ava’s before, a malfunction or something. I think it’s okay now. I’ve either thrown them off my trail or they’re just too busy with Damien Darhk and his daughter.”

“So, you’re in the clear now?”

“It would seem so, Miss Lance.”

Sara lies down so that her head rests on the pillow again. “Good, good.”

She sighs and closes her eyes. The last couple of sleepless nights finally catching up with her.

“You look tired,” Ava observes.

Sara snorts and says with her eyes still closed. “Jerk.”

“I didn’t mean that as an insult. I just meant-.”

“I know,” she says quickly, cutting Ava off. “I haven’t been sleeping well.”

Ava doesn’t say anything after that. Sara starts only slightly when she feels a hand in her hair. The touches are tentative at first, but she soon finds herself being lulled to sleep as the agent strokes her hair.

“Is this okay,” Ava whispers.

She’s at the at edge of consciousness now and just barely manages to reply. “Mmm S’good.”

“Sweet dreams, Miss Lance.”

Sara sleeps blissfully for a span of two hours before the nightmares begin. Another face she will never get out of her mind and more blood on her hands. She wakes with a start, eyes flashing as she looks wildly around the room before remembers where she is. By the illumination of the bedside lamp, she can make out the worried features of Ava’s face.

“Hey, hey it’s okay Sara. I’m right here.” Ava’s voice is soft and calming.

Ava places a hand over her racing heart. It’s a warm and comforting weight. She places a hand over the agent’s, holding her there until little by little her heart stops racing.

“Nightmare?” Ava asks.

“Yes. They’re the worst.”

“I get those too sometimes,” Ava offers up. Sara is glad for the distraction.

“About what?”

“About the lab I was made in. I get lost in a sea of faces exactly like mine. I guess it’s not really a nightmare, more like the truth.”

She feels Ava tense and try to pull her hand back, instead Sara threads their fingers together and continues to hold Ava’s hand close to her heart.

“You might be genetically identical to the rest of the AVA’s, but you’re nothing like them.” At least from what Sara’s read. There is nothing robotic or cold about her Ava.

Ava scoffs. “Because I’m defective.”

“You are not defective,” she chides. “You are unique and wonderful.”

“I just wish-.” And then Ava stops herself and turns on her side to face away from her. “Nevermind. It doesn’t matter.”

Sara sighs at the stubborn women, but lets her have her silence. Instead she slots herself in behind Ava, spooning her.

“What are you doing,” Ava asks her indignantly, but the agent doesn’t move away from her.

“Cuddling you. I’m a ferocious sleep cuddler. If I’m staying the night, I might as well cut to the chase,” she says with humor in her voice.

“This isn’t terrible.” Ava says reluctantly after Sara puts an arm around her and pulls the agent even closer to her.

Sara lets out a snort of laughter. “Don’t lie, you love it.”

“Whatever. I do not.” Ava grumps.

She props herself up and leans over the agent briefly to turn off the lamp near Ava’s side of the bed. She catches the agent’s sullen expression and cute pout before plunging them into darkness.

“You’re adorable,” she can’t help but say.

Ava lets out a long-suffering sigh in response.

“So adorable.” She teases.

“Miss Lance, if you don’t shut up. I will kick you out of this bed.”

“Rude. Alright grumpypants, let’s go back to sleep.”

0oo0oo0


They start to spar together. It’s rare that she meets someone who can match her in hand to hand combat, so Sara never passes up an opportunity to get in a sparring session with Ava. They’ve been going at it for a while now. She’s sweaty and growing tired and she can see that Ava is also slowing down.

She uses the hem of her sweat soaked shirt to mop more sweat off her face. Her shirt falls back into place and she grimaces at the feel of moist fabric sticking to her skin. Before she can think better of it, she pulls her shirt over her head and discards it on the ground next to her, leaving her in just her sports bra and yoga pants.

She gets in a ready stance and waits for Ava to do the same, but the agent is frozen in place. Those gray-blue eyes are looking her up and down with interest. She pauses and takes in the agent’s flushed cheeks, her roaming eyes, and the way Ava bites her lower lip while watching her. Heat pools low in her belly at that hungry look.

Ava snaps out of her daze and throws a punch at her abdomen. She blocks her hit and they continue fighting in earnest. Somehow Ava manages to tackle her and pin her down, but by this point she’s too tired to care. She’s laid out flat on her back while Ava hovers above her on her hands and knees, with the agent’s hands gripping her wrists and keeping them pinned on the ground. She admits defeat and rolls her eyes when Ava gloats over her win.

Sara props herself up on her elbows expecting Ava to move, but the agent doesn’t back off, if anything she gets even closer. Ava sits back on her lap, effectively straddling her hips with her thighs and keeping her in place. The training room is silent now with only the sounds of their ragged breaths filling the room. The agent’s hungry gaze jumps from her abs, to her cleavage, to her face. Her lips curl into a smirk as she lets Ava have her fill.

“See something you like?”

Ava blinks and looks her over slowly one more time before answering. “Yes.”

She gives Ava a crooked smile. Was Ava actually flirting with her?

Sara gives Ava a once over of her own, the heat of her gaze clear as day. “You’re not so bad yourself.”

Ava seems to consider her words, tilting her head quizzically as if she’s never considered her own beauty. She wonders if Ava knows what a knockout she is.

“Am I aesthetically pleasing?” Ava asks, her brow furrowed and her question genuine.

Sara rolls her eyes at the agent’s phrasing. “You’re not a decoration Ava.” She takes a moment to push a few strands of hair out of Ava’s eyes. “And yeah, you’re beautiful.”

“Objectively speaking, you are very pretty,” Ava tells her and Sara’s cheeks warm at the compliment. “At the moment, however, I believe that the more appropriate word would be hot. You’re hot.” Ava pauses and asks, “Am I using that right?”

Sara laughs, a belly aching laugh. Ava never stops surprising her. “Yes, Aves, you’re using it correctly.”

“Oh good.” Ava beams at her and she can’t help gasp.

“What? What’s the matter,” Ava asks, suddenly concerned.

“I’m fine, I’m fine. It’s just in all the time I’ve known you, I’ve never seen you smile.”

Ava puts a hand up to her mouth, covering her smile. “Oh, I try not to. The last few AVAs were programed to smile all the time and it bothered the other agents.”

She gently pulls the agents hand away from her face. “Well, they’re idiots. Your smile is gorgeous.”

Ava ducks her head and looks at her shyly from beneath full lashes, a soft smile still on her lips. Before she can think better of it, she reaches out to cup Ava’s cheek in her hand, the tips of her fingers sliding into impossibly soft hair.

She worries that she may have crossed a line by being this familiar with the agent and tries to pull her hand back, but Ava stops her. Ava places her hand over her own, anchoring her in place. She watches as Ava closes her eyes and leans into her hand. Sara holds her breath, not wanting the moment to end.

“You’re the only one who ever touches me,” Ava says with her eyes still closed.

“Yeah?” Sara breathes out.

She had wondered about that. Okay, she had wondered if Ava had ever been intimate with anyone, had ever been kissed. She thinks she remembers something about Rip not allowing her to date. She hopes that Ava remembers that those rules don’t apply when she’s here.

Ava frowns. “Well sometimes Gary hugs me, but he always squeezes me too tight.”

She chuckles at that. “He’s probably just excited to see you.”

“I like it better when you hold me.” Ava admits.

“You did like cuddling! I knew it!” She crows, her Caribbean blue eyes sparkling with amusement.

Ava pushes her hand away in mock annoyance and chuckles. “Don’t let it go to your head, Captain.”

“I make no promises.” She pauses and then cautiously says, “You know, we could get cleaned up.” Separately of course. “Get into bed. Watch a movie. Cuddle?”

A better plan would be to get cleaned up together in the shower, fall into bed and do something that is decidedly not watching a movie. The snuggling though would definitely still happen, just later, because she is a total ho for cuddling. But Ava is new to, well, everything. She likes Ava, like really likes her, and it’s been so long since she has felt this way about anyone. She doesn’t want to rush it or scare Ava away. She doesn’t even really know if Ava likes her like that.

Ava looks at her thoughtfully though. She knows her words could be taken as another joke or taken at face value, but when Ava opens her mouth to reply, the ringing of a phone interrupts them.

Ava sighs. “It’s probably Rip. I should get going.”

Ava stands up and she misses the warmth of her on her lap immediately. She schools her features to not let her disappointment show as Ava packs up and disappears through a portal.

0oo0oo0

The Time Bureau is in chaos when Ava arrives back from her latest mission. She is the only survivor from this truly disastrous attempt at taking out Damien Darhk and his wayward daughter.

The plan had seemed perfect to begin with, but by the time they had drawn the Darhks out, they realized their mistake. It was a trap. They never had the element of surprise and her team had suffered because of it. By shear dumb luck, she somehow managed to be just outside of the magic blast radius that took down the entire team. During her hasty exit, she had grabbed one agent that looked like he might still be alive and tumbled through a portal onto the main floor of the Bureau.

The floor erupts in chaos upon her arrival. They see her, looking relatively unscathed, and the agent next to her lying crumpled on the floor. A flurry of questions are thrown her way and she answers them all calmly and patiently, but the voices only grow louder and angrier. The loudest of these voices is Agent Roger Davin.

Davin has always been a particular thorn in her side. He has never hid his anti-clone sentiments and of all the agents, he has always gone out of his way to point out how not human she was, how different she was from everyone else. She always got this tight nervous feeling in her chest when she was around him.

Despite all the yelling going on around her, Ava feels completely numb, still in disbelief that she had lost her team. This has never happened to her before. She has been successful in almost all of her missions with only minimal casualties.

She had worked with these agents every day and now they were just gone. They weren’t like her. They couldn’t be replaced just as easily as she could. She feels their loss keenly and there is this new heaviness in her heart that feels just awful.

Ava is drawn out of her thoughts suddenly when she finds herself being hauled forward. The momentum of the pull sends her stumbling over her feet, but Agent Davin’s tight grip on the lapels of her blazer keep her from falling. Davin is still yelling at her, asking her questions that she doesn’t have answers too.

“What the hell did you do clone? How could you fuck up this badly?!” He growls at her.

“I don’t expect that you would have done any better. Leadership isn’t really your forte, now is it,” she tells him. Her words come out sharp and cruel, not the steady even tone she usually uses. She’s angry, because its easy to be angry right now.

And what she said was true. Davin is a junior agent, with poor leadership skills. He did not have a mind for strategy and was too impulsive and too hot tempered. It showed when Davin failed his Bureau Advancement Exam, a failure that Ava knows he’s very much embarrassed about.

His hand strikes her face in retaliation. The sound of the strike reverberates through the room like a crack of thunder and the force of it splits her lip and leaves half her face stinging in pain. She stumbles back in shock, eyes on Davin. She can see his hand winding back for another strike, but she is frozen in her spot. She thinks, maybe she deserves this.

“That’s enough,” a voice yells out from somewhere in the background.

The crowd of agents part as Director Hunter comes striding through them to stand in front of her. She shrinks away from him, her cheeks burning with shame. She had failed her mission. She had failed him.

The portal that he had walked through was still open and the Legends come spilling out after him with Sara leading them, still in her White Canary getup. The captain’s eyes are electric, sparking with fury. Her body is tense and her hands are closed in tight fists as she stalks over to where her and Director Hunter stand.

She tries to step back and make herself smaller, invisible. There are more emotions running through her in this moment than she has felt in her two short years alive. Anger, grief, embarrassment, pain, disbelief, and so many more. It feels like she’s collapse in on herself, like a dying star. She isn’t equipped to deal with so many emotions and as far as she knows, most AVAs don’t feel this much, ever. They aren’t supposed to. Emotions get in the way of orders and made AVAs less efficient.

Her breaths came in shorter and something hot and wet rolls down her cheek. That drop of liquid is followed by another and then another and she realizes that she is crying. Something she has never experienced before, something she is sure an AVA shouldn’t be able to do.

The room is dead silent and all eyes are on her. The faces of the other agents express a range of emotions from curiosity, to surprise, to guilt.

Sara watches her with concerned eyes for a few moments and then seems to come to some sort of decision. The captain spins around, hauls her right arm back and decks Agent Davin. He goes down with a thud and wisely chooses to stay down

“Sara! Was that really necessary?” Director Hunter admonishes.

“Absolutely.”

Sara glares down at the agent on the ground. “If you ever lay a hand on her again, I’ll remove it for you, finger by finger. That goes for all of you,” Sara says, looking out at the sea of agents.

Agent Davin scowls at the Captain and growls out, “Whatever, clone fucker.”

Something in the captain snaps and she watches as Sara launches herself at Davin, blade suddenly at his throat. Chaos erupts again. The Legends rushes in and pull Sara off of Davin.

“Everyone clear out!” Director Hunter yells. “Sara, Agent Sharpe, with me now!”

Minutes later she finds herself sitting in a chair in front of the director’s desk. Hunter and Sara argue with raised voices off to the side. Sara’s voice is sharp, like the blades she always carries. Director Hunter’s voice is placating and grating on her ears.

“This is wrong Rip and you know it.”

There is silence for a beat.

“I know,” Rip finally admits.

“Then fucking do something about it!”

Sara glares at the director and then glances over to her, making sure that she’s still okay. There’s a tenderness in the captain’s eyes that makes her heart ache. No one has ever cared this much about her.

Her lower lip begins to tremble again and she has to look away from Sara. She looks up again when she feels a steady hand on her back. Sara’s at her side now and Rip looks on helplessly between them.

“This isn’t you Rip. You’re better than this. Ava is a person. She has feelings. She has likes and dislikes just like anyone else. She has friends-.”

“Sara, stop.” Worry flares up in her. Now Director Hunter will know exactly how defective she is, but Sara ignores her and continues on.

“She deserves to be free. She deserves to be happy. She deserves to live her life the way she wants to.”

“I know,” Director Hunter says quietly.

“Then why are you doing this?”

“It’s complicated and I can’t just make the decision to let her go by myself. Sara, there’s a whole board.”

“Well, screw the board. I don’t care. Fix this.” Sara’s voice is low and absolutely deadly. “We’re going now.”

Rip sighs. “You can’t take her with you.”

“Oh, I think I can,” Sara practically taunts. And if on cue, the Legends come bursting in. “Ava, lets go.”

She wants to. She really wants to, but at the same time Director Hunter orders her to stay. And so she does. Sara looks at her in disbelief and she hangs her head in shame.

“I’m sorry,” she whispers.

“Don’t be,” Sara says softly. “Mick grab her.”

She is unceremoniously thrown over Mr. Rory’s shoulder in a fireman’s carry and brought through a portal onto the Waverider. She ends up in the med bay with Amaya and Zari fluttering around her. Her split lip and bruised face are healed, but she doesn’t really feel any better.

She brushes the wetness off her cheeks and pulls herself together, letting her face go carefully blank. Zari fidgets uneasily beside her and Amaya frowns at her sudden change in demeanor.

“Hey, you’re okay,” Amaya says kindly, while reaching out to squeeze her shoulder comfortingly. She flinches away violently on reflex.

“Sorry. It’s not you.” And its not. Amaya has never been anything but sweet and kind to her.

Amaya gives her a small sad smile. “Don’t worry about it.”

When Sara finally walks into the med bay, she lets out a sigh of relief. Amaya, Zari, and Mick quietly sneak out, leaving the two of them alone. When it’s just them, Sara takes her face in her hands and places a sweet kiss on her forehead. Tears burn behind her eyes and her face feels hot. She’s wrapped up in a hug before the first tear even falls.

“It’s okay, baby. I’ve got you.”

She stays on the Waverider and lets Sara fuss over her. She eats dinner with the Legends who try very hard to cheer her up. Its nice. She imagines that maybe this is what it might be like to have a family. At the end of the day, she knows that she has to go back to the Time Bureau. She has to deal with Director Hunter and the loss of her team. There are reports to fill out and family members to contact.

But after the events of today, she feels different somehow, lighter when she knows she probably shouldn’t. There’s a little spark of what she thinks has to be hope, burning inside her now. With Sara and the rest of the Legends fighting for her, freedom might be a possibility someday.

Chapter Text

Gary had loved all the AVA’s that had passed through the Time Bureau. Each one of them was just a little bit different from the previous one, but most other agents never noticed. Most agents were repulsed by the AVA’s and he never understood why. They were so pretty and so smart and had such shiny hair.

He had tried to befriend most of the AVA’s, but remained unsuccessful until the most recent AVA, his Ava. His Ava is nothing like the previous AVA’s though. This Ava is his best friend and roommate, and he’s been nothing but thrilled about the fact that Ava prefers to spend her time with him. No one was ever as happy to see him as Ava was, even if she didn’t smile much. He could tell that she was glad for his company at the end of the day.

He had to admit that his Ava has been spending more time with the Legends, especially Captain Lance, but that was okay because the Legends were like the definition of cool. Secretly, he wished he could be a Legend. Be a hero, kick ass, and go on adventures. It would sure beat the desk job he currently had at the Bureau.

Earlier tonight, once Ava had returned to the Bureau to deal with the repercussions of the loss of her team and the showdown between Captain Lance and the Director, he had watched Director Hunter call her into his office. He had taken it upon himself to wait for her, pacing and wringing his wrists anxiously outside the door.

Sweet Beebo, he had been so nervous for his friend.

When Ava had finally come back out, she had looked exactly like she usually did. You would have never have known that she had cried for the very first time that day. When they got home later, it was a different story. Gary has seen Ava smile only a handful of times, but as soon as they walked through the door of their shared apartment, she practically beamed at him. She looked so beautiful like that and it was such a relief knowing that he wasn’t going to lose his best friend, such a relief that she wasn’t going back to the AVA corporation. He could have kissed her then, he was so happy, but Ava has already told him to respect her personal space and he always does. Well, he had to sneak in a hug every now and again.

Ava would have more freedom now, more choices, and he couldn’t be happier. There were so many things she couldn’t do before and he can’t wait to do all those things with her.They both know she isn’t completely free because they know the rest of the board is still wary of her. Also, it’s kind of hard to be free when the Time Bureau literally owns you, but for now it’s enough.

They’re sitting on the couch at the moment drinking hot chocolate, which they used to drink in secret, but is now no longer forbidden. He guesses that he can take all of their forbidden foods out of their hiding places (the Bureau does a random spot check of the apartment once month) and put them into the pantry.

Ava has had a long, long day. First that terrible mission, then the blowup with Davin, Director Hunter, and Captain Lance, and then she was kind of kidnapped by the Legends. He can see how exhausted she is now. Its late, way past Ava’s Time Bureau curfew (not that it matters anymore). He’s removes the mug from Ava’s hands once she’s done and places a purple fuzzy blanket over their laps. Ava leans infinitesimally closer to him, signaling to him that this is one of those times that she would like some comfort. He eagerly obliges and wraps an arm around her pulling her close, while Ava rests her head on his shoulder.

“Everything is going to be okay. I just know it,” he tells her. He just hopes that’s true.

A phone rings breaking the silence and they ignore it, but when it rings again Gary glances over at the table.

“Oh, it’s your phone.”

“I know,” Ava says tiredly. “Its Sara. I kind of ran away from the Legends. I had to fix my mess at the Time Bureau.”

The phone rings again and his friend makes no move to answer it.

He nudges her. “You should answer it. There’s no curfew anymore.”

He can’t imagine that they’ll stop monitoring her calls though, nor will they stop tracking her movements, but at least she could go where she wanted to go (within reason) at whatever time she wanted to.

“What if she’s mad that I snuck off the Waverider?” Ava says worriedly.

“I think she would understand why you had to.” He picks up the phone off the coffee table and hands it to her.

“This is Agent Sharpe,” Ava says, her voice too stiff and too formal for a social call.

He almost facepalms. How many times had he told her that she didn’t need to answer her phone like that when it wasn’t a work-related call? They had been working on phone etiquette recently. Sara was quite the texter, but Ava didn’t text much beyond what was necessary. His friend found the barrage of emojis, memes, and selfies she had recently begun receiving from Captain Lance confounding.

She’s slowly learning, but still refuses to use emojis or send selfies. Although, he’s noticed that she has saved all of the captain’s selfies including the ones where Sara shows off her abs. They’re actually really impressive.

He hopes these lovebirds get together for real. He ships them so hard.

Gary is close enough to hear the captain’s voice over the phone already, but he leans even closer not even bothering to pretend he wasn’t eavesdropping. Ava only gives him a look, but otherwise says nothing.

“Hey Aves. I just wanted to check in on you. You disappeared after dinner. I was worried.”

“I had some work to do back at the Time Bureau,” Ava says cautiously.

“Ava,” the captain softly admonishes.

Ava worries her bottom lip with her teeth and tenses up just a little beside him. “Are you mad at me?”

“No baby, I’m not mad at you. I just wish you would have told me you were going back.”

He almost squees out loud when she calls his friend baby. This might be the cutest thing he’s ever witnessed. Avalance is definitely going to happen.

“Are you okay?” the captain asks, sounding worried.

“I’m fine,” Ava responds, but it’s in that flat monotone voice she uses when she’s pretending to be one of those emotionless AVA clones. She’ll never be like the other AVA’s. He knows this in his heart.

He hears a sigh on the other side. The captain doesn’t seem reassured by her answer either.

“Gary are you there,” Sara says loudly. Ava winces and pulls the phone away from her ear.

He moves his face closer to the phone. “Yes! Yes, I’m siting right next to her.”

“Great. Is she okay?” Sara asks.

He doesn’t answer. Instead he takes the phone out of Ava’s hand, turns it onto camera mode, and faces the screen towards the two of them.

“What are you doing?” Ava says irritatedly.

“Gary,” Sara warns.

“Just look at the camera and smile,” he tells her and for once she allows him to take her picture.

It’s a selfie of the two of them with him smiling brightly and Ava next to him with a small hesitant smile on her lips. She’s wearing her usual lavender pajama set, her hair is down and messy, and her gray blue eyes belay her exhaustion. She might not be beaming, but she looks cute, like a sad little puppy you just want to hug forever.

He sends the picture to the captain before Ava can complain. Ava scowls at him and snatches her phone back.

“Is this-? Ava Sharpe did you just send me a selfie?” Sara asks incredulously.

Ava glares at him. “Gary did that! Not me.”

“Aww, you look cute,” Sara coos.

“Thank you!” He says earnestly.

The captain snorts. “Gary, I meant Ava.”

“Oh,” he says, disappointment bleeding through his voice.

“You’re cute too Gary,” Sara adds, humoring him.

He grins. “I am? Oh, yay!”

Sara chuckles. “Okay, okay, can I go back to talking to Ava now?”

“Hey,” Ava says letting the captain know it was just her now.

“Hey,” Sara says back, that one word infused with so much warmth and affection. “You’ve had a rough day, Aves. Do you want me to come over?”

He watches Ava bite her lower lip, as if to stop herself from saying yes right away, and gives her a nudge.

“Say yes,” he mouths.

“Ava, honey,” Sara says gently. “If you need me for anything, no matter how small, I’ll be there. Okay?” The sincerity in the captain’s voice is strong and true.

Ava’s lower lip trembles and he worries that she’s going to start crying again. He doesn’t think his little heart could take her crying. He personally hasn’t seen her cry, but the Time Bureau rumor mill is abuzz with stories about the AVA clone having emotions.

“Okay,” Ava finally says, her voice cracking on the word.

A portal opens up instantly just in front of the coffee table. Captain Lance steps through, wearing black sleeping shorts and navy-blue tank top and looking like an absolute snack in his humble opinion. He watches as Ava jumps up and rushes into the captain’s arms, immediately engulfed by the other woman.

Sara murmurs something to Ava, too quiet for him to hear and his friend nods in response. He watches as Sara laces her fingers with Ava’s and pulls her towards her bedroom. He hopes that Sara will be able to soothe Ava and help her cope with the mess of things that happened today.

Losing a fellow agent was hard enough. He can’t imagine what it’s like to lose your entire team in one go. His poor Ava.

He worries about there being even more repercussions than the angry mob of agents that assembled earlier today. He can’t imagine that the other agents will be happy when they learn the AVA will be getting more freedoms. They probably think she should be punished, even though the failed mission wasn’t Ava’s fault.

At least she has him and Captain Lance and the rest of the Legends looking out for her.

 

 

The Legends had just finished their fourth mission of the week and everyone was really feeling it. They were worn out and in low spirits. The last mission in particular was really rough and they ended up having to call the Time Bureau in for back up, which ultimately resulted in Agent Sharpe berating them for at least 10 minutes in front of a handful of cadets and junior agents.

It was humiliating and the fact that it was Ava doing it only made it worse. Sara knew that they deserved it. They shouldn’t have rushed into this anachronism without much of a plan, especially when they were still tired from the last mission and basically running on fumes. They should have deferred this anachronism to the Time Bureau.

She tried to make eye contact with the agent, but Ava only shook her head before leading her team through a portal. It was times like this when she hated how professional the other woman was, how easy it was for her to separate her work life from her personal life.

To be honest, Sara wasn’t particularly happy with the Time Bureau in general as of late. They owned Ava. Rip said as much, hinted that there was paperwork somewhere that said it. She kept pushing and pushing Rip to talk to the board, to figure out a way to give Ava autonomy over her own life, but Rip was becoming increasingly more obsessed with the Darhks and some unknown big bad that he would only hint at.

So today hadn’t gone well, but that didn’t mean that the night had to be shit either. She makes a decision then and spins back around to face her team.

“Okay, so today wasn’t our best work.”

Zari snorts and the rest of the team make defeated murmurs of agreement.

“Right, so today wasn’t our best work, but you know what? Those last three anachronisms weren’t that bad,” she says and they really weren’t. “We just got sloppy on this last one, okay? I think what we could all use is a break. Everyone get cleaned up, eat something, and meet back here in two hours. We’re going dancing,” she crows.

This gets smiles out of Nate and Ray and an eye roll out of Zari. Amaya nods a head in her direction and Mick merely grunts. They all disperse and she makes her way to her room, intent on ringing up Ava while she waits her turn for the sole bathroom on the Waverider.

She just wants to make sure she didn’t screw anything up for Ava. The agent hasn’t said anything to her, but she’s pretty sure work has been less than ideal. Ava has been a model agent as of late, not that she wasn’t before, but she’s damn near perfect these days. So by the books that its painful, like she’s trying so hard to be the good little worker clone that they want her to be. She hates seeing Ava with that perfectly blank face, speaking in that flat robotic tone.

Outside of the Bureau, it was a different story. They talk every day after work. Sometimes over videocall, sometimes in person. Ava talks about the new foods she’s tried, the new places she’s gone to, and the new clothes she’s purchased. No more wearing Bureau issued garments outside of work. She listens to Ava, makes comments, and gives her opinion on things when asked. In return, she shares stores about her childhood, about what it’s like growing up and having a family. Ava listens to these stories with rapt attention, like she’s being told the secret to life.

Ava picks up her call on the third ring. She’s sitting at her desk in the Bureau. Her face has lost that unsettlingly blank expression, but the agent wasn’t happy by any means.

“Miss Lance, can I help you with something?” the agent says brusquely. “Do you require more assistance?

Irritation flares up in her and she nearly forgets the purpose of her call. “Is that what you were doing earlier? I couldn’t tell from all the yelling going on. Thanks for that by the way. Nothing more demoralizing than being reprimanded in front of your crew and a dozen other Time Bureau agents.”

Couldn’t Ava cut her some slack? They were supposed to be friends or whatever.

Ava purses her lips and looks off the screen for a moment before looking at her again. “I don’t like yelling at you.” Ava states.

“Could’ve fooled me,” she mutters, more sullen and hurt than she realized she had been. So maybe today had bothered her more than she let on.

Ava frowns. “I don’t like yelling at you,” the agent says again.

The corners of her mouth twitch up after Ava repeats herself and she feels herself relax. Ava pretty much always says what she means and when she does try to lie it’s never convincing. This isn’t just Ava trying to placate her, this is what she actually felt.

“I can’t give you special treatment Sara.” And then more quietly Ava mumbles, “Things are bad enough as it is.”

Sara squints. “People bothering you, Aves? Do I need to come down there?”

“It’s nothing,” Ava badly lies not even looking her in the eyes. “Look, losing your entire team doesn’t really engender any trust. It will blow over. People have always had difficulty accepting the AVA’s.”

“And I’m sure all the new freedoms you’re getting is definitely helping with that.” Sara arches an eyebrow in challenge.

Ava sighs. “Can we just drop it? I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

She has a feeling that Ava will never want to talk about it. The agent has always been tight-lipped about her dealings with the Time Bureau. She wasn’t sure if Ava was just prohibited from talking about the Bureau in detail or if she truly did not wish to talk about it.

“We can drop it for now, but if I hear that things are getting worse, I swear I’m going to march down there and mess a couple of people up.”

Ava snorts. “I don’t doubt that Miss Lance, but I would advise against such actions.”

“That’s because you’re no fun and speaking of fun, you should come out with us tonight. The Legends and me, I mean. We’re going out for drinks and dancing. We could all use a break.”

Ava seems to consider it and then frowns. “I’ve never danced before and I’ve never had a drink before. I suppose there’s nothing stopping me from doing those things now.”

She has to school her face to hide the shock. She knows that this is something she should have expected, that Ava isn’t what you would call normal, but never having a night out on the town just seems like a damn shame.

She grins at the agent. “Well Aves, tonight it your lucky night. We’re going to paint the town pink.”

“I thought the expression was paint the town red?”

“Whatever. I will text you with the details. Just meet us whenever you get done with work. Bring Gary if you want.”

Ava smiles for a brief moment and then grimaces. “Please choose somewhere in 2019. I’ve yelled at you enough for one day.”

Sara rolls her eyes. “You’re hilarious. Fine, I will stick to somewhere in your time and place, okay?”

 

 

A few hours later finds Sara leaning against the bar in the Verdant nightclub surveying the scene in front of her. The dance floor is packed and the music blasting as different colored strobe lights flash across the dimly lit club. Most of the Legends were off dancing, except for Mick who is hunkered down at a booth surrounded by a couple bottles of beer.

She herself was just getting another drink. She has a good buzz going, but she doesn’t want to be drunk before Ava gets here. Gary had texted 10 minutes ago saying that they were nearly there and she’s kept her eyes trained on the entrance of the club since then.

Tonight, she was thrumming with a mix of exuberant energy and anxiousness. This isn’t a date she has to remind herself, it was two friends hanging out together. She definitely did not dress with the agent in mind: ankle boots, tight black leather pants, and a nearly sheer black tank top that hinted at a lacy plum and black bra underneath.

Yep, she did not dress for the agent, but she hopes that her outfit might be slightly distracting. She turns away from the entrance when she hears the clink of a glass next to her as the bartender serves her a shot. She throws it back like a pro before returning to watching the entrance.

When she finally spots both Ava and Gary walking into the club, she nearly chokes on her own spit. Gary had said that he was going to take care of getting Ava club ready, but she definitely wasn’t expecting him to be so good at it.

The woman looks like sex in heeled boots. She’s wearing some kind of lilac colored corset top with black lace detailing beneath a black leather jacket. Her tight dark blue jeans look like they’re painted on and her honey blonde hair is loose and lightly curled.

Ava looks up, scanning the crowd for her. She only has to wait a few seconds before the agent’s eyes locks on hers. She vaguely notices Gary going off to join the Legends on the dance floor.

Ava looks damned good she thinks as the agent saunters over to her. Good enough to eat. Good enough to skip drinks and dancing all together and sneak off into the bathroom and drop to her knees for the woman, but obviously she wouldn’t be doing that. This was Ava’s first night out after all.

Ava smiles at her and she melts. The agent is still sparing with her smiles, but she gets one at least once a day now and she lives for those smiles. She almost certain that she’s the only one that gets to see Ava like that and she is honored.

Before she knows it, Ava is standing in front of her. On closer inspection she can see lips painted a dark red, the smoky makeup around gray blue eyes, and tantalizing cleavage practically spilling out of that corset. She feels so overwhelmed by the hotness that is Ava Sharpe. She knows the woman is beautiful, but this is almost too much. She might actually pass out.

“You look…wow,” she manages to get out because there are no actual words that will do the woman justice.

Ava scans her up and down, taking her time as she does. “You look wow as well,” Ava tells her with humor in her voice.

She grins at her and Ava smiles back. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world. A particularly blinding strobe light passes across them just then and she sees Ava wince at the light.

“This place is bright and loud,” Ava tells her. “I think I need some time to acclimate.”

Sara chuckles. “Acclimate?”

“Acclimate means to become accustomed to a new climate or conditions,” Ava rattles off.

“I know that.” Okay, so maybe she only kind of knew. “I just meant what do you need to do to acclimate?”

“Oh, well I think I just need to observe my surroundings for a little. Get used to all this …stimuli. Could we hang by the bar for a bit?”

“Of course. Let me get you a drink. What do you want?”

Ava’s brow furrows in confusion. “I honestly don’t know. I’ve never had alcohol before.”

“Right,” Sara says drawing out the word. “I’ll get you something sweet and fruity.”

“That sounds good.”

“Alright, just wait here. I gotta get the bartender’s attention.”

She ventures to the other end of the bar and squeezes into a spot between two barstools waiting for the bartender to notice her. She can’t help but glance back over to where Ava is leaning against the bar. The agent is on alert, her expression watchful as she takes it all in.

“What can I get for you?” The bartender asks.

She turns back around and places her drink order. A hand on her shoulder causes her to tense up immediately, but she relaxes again when she finds that its just Zari. The hacker orders a water and they wait together for their drinks, leaning against the bar and looking out at the dance floor. Her eyes are drawn to Ava again naturally. She just can’t stop looking at Ava. Ava is always beautiful, but tonight she is simply stunning, captivating, a true work of art.

Zari bumps her shoulder apparently having followed her gaze. “So, Ava is lookin’ hot tonight,”

She grins. “I know. Don’t get any ideas.”

Zari snorts. “Relax, your girlfriend is safe.”

Sara groans. “We’re just friends.” Unfortunately.

“Sure, friends. Cause I drool over all my friends like that.”

She finally drags her eyes away from Ava to look at a smirking Zari. “Okay, so I’m no saint.”

Zari actually laughs at that. “You’re good for each other. She makes you happy,” the hacker says more seriously. “And Ava is crushing on you so hard. Have you seen the way she looks at you?”

She shakes her head no.

“Like you’re the only person in the room.”

Sara sighs. “I just don’t want to rush her into anything. Everything is so new to her and she has enough problems to deal with at the Time Bureau.”

Zari puts a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Yeah, but I bet you’re her favorite problem. You know, I think you should go for it.”

“You’re giving me more credit than I deserve. I’m not that brave,” she says turning back to Ava.

She curses internally when she sees that Ava is no longer alone. She should have known this would happen.

Zari follows her line of sight and smiles in amusement. “You’ve got some competition, Lance.”

She scowls and Zari lets out a huff of laughter at her unhappy expression. There are two guys chatting with Ava. Ava doesn’t seem uncomfortable, but her face is neutral and she can’t seem to really get a read on the woman.

Zari nudges her. “Go save your girl.”

“She doesn’t need saving,” is her automatic reply, but she can’t help but agree with Zari’s statement.

Zari waves a hand dismissively. “Yeah, yeah, she’s a strong independent woman.”

They watch Ava interact with the objectively cute guys for a few minutes, before things take a turn for the worst. One of the guys, the taller one, whispers something in Ava’s ear and places a hand on the agent’s hip eliciting a response from both herself and the agent.

They watch as Ava grabs the man’s wrist, too hard by the looks of his face.

“Okay Captain, now would be a good time for you to step in.” Zari says while giving her a shove in the agent’s direction. “She might not need saving, but the other guys might. I’ll watch your drinks, go.”

She makes her way over to Ava and slides in beside her, putting a possessive arm around the other woman and pressing their sides together.

“Having fun, babe?” She whispers, her lips brushing against Ava’s ear. She smiles when she feels a shiver run through the agent’s body. Ava, effectively distracted, drops the man’s wrist immediately. She gives the men in front of her a look and pulls Ava even closer, staking her claim, the message loud and clear, ‘fuck off, she’s mine.”

She’s a little worried that she may have gone too far. She’ll admit that she’s been more affectionate with Ava lately, using every excuse to touch her, a steadying hand on the small of her back, tucking a flyaway hair behind the agent’s ear, hands on her hips to help her with her fighting form. And of course, there’s the cuddling. It’s happened enough times now that it’s become a thing and lately Ava has been experimenting with being the big spoon. She complains about it, but god she loves it. She feels so safe and warm wrapped up in Ava’s arms.

So, they’re affectionate with each other, just not in public. It turns out that she doesn’t need to be worried, because Ava just looks down at their sides pressed together and then trails her gaze up to peek at the lace of her bra beneath her sheer shirt, up to her lips, and finally her eyes. If those guys didn’t know Ava was into girls, they sure did now.

She smirks at the men standing in front of her and they wisely choose to leave, disappearing into the crowd without another word.

When she looks back at Ava, the woman is just watching her and not making any attempt to move. The way Ava is looking at her is so intense. For a moment everything fades away, all the people, the music, the flashing lights, everything. It really does feel like there is no one else in the room. It’s just the two of them. So maybe Zari was right about the whole crush thing.

She gets their drinks back from Zari. There’s a little umbrella in Ava’s sugary sweet drink and the agent is delighted at the sight of it. She has to tell Ava to slow down, remembering that the bartender was generous with the rum when he made the drink.

They lean against the bar and sip their drinks and she watches Ava watch everyone on the dance floor. The agent’s face is almost thoughtful now.

“So that’s dancing?” Ava asks her.

Sara turns to look at her, tilting her head curiously.

“I’ve seen it on TV, just not in person,” Ava explains.

She throws back the rest of her drink and holds out her hand. “So, let’s dance.”

“Sara, I can’t. I don’t know how to.”

She winks at her. “Well lucky for you, I’m a great teacher.”

They stop at the booth Mick is currently occupying and Ava strips off her leather jacket and tosses it onto the empty bench across from Mick. The lilac corset top Ava’s wearing is strapless, and all she can see are smooth naked shoulders. She didn’t even know shoulders could be this sexy, but here they were. She has the urge to press a kiss on one of those shoulders and nip and kiss her way across it and along the soft skin of the agent’s neck. She has to physically shake herself to get her thoughts away from that.

She leads Ava onto the dance floor instead and the crowd seems to swallow them up. They move further across the floor and stop when they’ve reached a little pocket of space that fits the two of them. Ava looks a little overwhelmed, her eyes darting to all the moving writhing bodies surrounding them. Different colored lights flash around them and the bass of the music thumps through the floor.

She puts her arms around Ava’s waist and pulls her closer. There’s not much space between them now, but they aren’t quite touching yet.

“Hey,” she says and Ava’s darting eyes focus on hers.

“What do we do now?” Ava asks.

“Just move.”

Ava’s brow furrows. “How?”

Sara starts to move her body, swaying her hips to follow the rhythm of the music. Her movements are both sensuous and fluid. It’s been a while since she’s done this. She almost forgot how much she loves dancing. Halfway through the song she tilts her head upwards and runs a careless hand through her hair as she gives herself up to the music.

She dances for Ava, only Ava, giving her an example of what she should do. When the song is over and a new one begins, she puts her hands on Ava’s hips and tries to get the agent to start swaying with her, but the woman doesn’t budge. She’s frozen.

Ava’s eyes are dark with naked want as they look upon her with an almost laser focus. She squeezes Ava’s hips and this seems to bring the agent back to earth. The blush that develops across Ava’s cheeks is visible even in the dark and she can’t help the smirk that crosses her lips.

She leans in closer. “See something you like, Sharpe?”

She doesn’t let Ava answer. Instead she pulls the agent by the hips closer to her, so that they’re touching now and then she takes Ava’s hands and positions them on her hips. She starts to sway her hips again and the moves Ava’s hips to match her own movements.

Ava moves awkwardly with her, looking embarrassed at her own ineptness.

“No one is watching you,” she assures the agent, but Ava doesn’t look convinced. “Close, your eyes then,” she says instead. “Just feel the music and move in time with the beat. Nothing else matters.”

Ava’s eyes flutter closed and her movements become less robotic and more graceful. A definite improvement. They go on like this for a song, before Ava feels brave enough to open her eyes. She steps back from the agent, like she’s teaching a kid to ride a bike and letting go for the first time. Ava face flickers with worry for a second, but she keeps dancing.

Eventually any hints of self-consciousness fall away from Ava and the agent genuinely seems like she’s having fun. Its nice to see Little Miss Time Bureau let loose. It’s still a bit of a strange sight, but one she is currently loving.

She finds herself moving closer to Ava as the night progresses. She had been trying to give the agent room to move, trying not to crowd her on the hot, humid dance floor, but all she wants is to be close to her.

The song changes, the bass low and pulsing. She can feel it reverberating through the floor. The song is the dirty kind, one that begs for grinding and hot wet kisses right there on the dance floor.

She moves closer to Ava and tries and fails at not tracing the bead of sweat making its way along Ava’s neck, across her chest, and disappearing beneath her corset with her eyes. She desperately wants to trace that same path with her tongue.

When she drags her gaze back up to Ava’s face, she finds the agent looking at her with dark lust-blown eyes. She steps closer, reaches out to put her arms around the taller woman’s neck and then moves her body against Ava’s. She can hear Ava gasp lightly in her ear and heat pools low in her stomach at the sound. The agent presses her face against her neck and she can feel lips brush against the skin there, light enough for her to think that the action was by accident.

Ava’s hips push closer against her’s and move in time with the music. Its feels so good. Ava is so warm and soft in her arms, and the way Ava grinds into her is almost unbearable. Little jolts of pleasure every time. With a mind hazy with lust, she presses a thigh between Ava’s, not really thinking about it. They keep dancing.

She presses her thigh a little harder against Ava’s center and she thinks she can hear a moan over the sound of the music. And then Ava is clutching at her back and whispering urgently in her ear, “Sara, Sara!”

She pulls back instantly and looks at Ava. The agent’s face is flushed, and her eyes wide in a mix of wonder and confusion. The poor thing is nearly trembling in her arms. It’s too much for her Ava, too much stimulation in a place that’s new and foreign to her. She can tell that Ava is on the edge and Sara feels bad about pushing her this far and thinking only of herself.

She pulls Ava off the dance floor and gets them both waters while they cool down by the bar.

“You okay,” she asks, still feeling guilty. She wasn’t planning on being this big of a tease tonight.

“Yeah, that was…. I’m good, more than good I think.” Ava’s voice sounds a little dreamy, a little breathy, and it makes her feel marginally better.

She plays with the condensation on her glass not making eye contact. “I’m sorry if that was too much.”

“It was,” Ava says carefully. “But I liked it? I’ve never felt like that before, at least not to that intensely. Is dancing always like that? Have I misunderstood what dancing actually is?” Ava’s voice is genuinely curious.

She can’t stop the low chuckle that makes it past her lips. “No Aves, you have not misunderstood what dancing actually is. Dancing is sometimes like that, not always. Usually you just dance to have fun, but sometimes it’s…a little more purposeful, more sensual.” What they were doing definitely constituted as sensual, it was downright erotic. “We were grinding, dirty dancing.”

“Oh,” Ava says slowly, like she’s trying to process what she had just heard. “Is that how you always dance?” Ava’s voice sounds so causal, but she can hear the thin veneer of jealously behind the agent’s words. It’s almost cute.

“No, not always. Sometime I do dance like that though.” She shrugs. She’s not going to lie to Ava. “I like the way it feels too.”

“Right,” Ava says and the word comes out dripping with displeasure. The agent purses her lips into a straight unhappy line, jealously clearly showing now. It shouldn’t be, but it’s really fucking adorable.

She steps closer to Ava and catches her eyes. “If it makes you feel better, I won’t dance with anyone else like that anymore. Only you.”

Ava nods her head sharply. “Yes, please do that.”

She lets out a laugh and pulls Ava into a hug and kisses her cheek. “You got it babe. I’m all yours.”

She can feel all the tension leave the agent’s body and lets herself relax as well. She hasn’t ruined anything tonight. In fact, she might even be getting somewhere with the Time Agent, but she would need to be more careful not to push Ava into anything she wasn’t ready for. She could work the long game.

Ava yawns in her arms and suddenly looks sleepy now that the adrenaline from dancing is wearing off. She wants to kiss her so badly, but that would go against her plans of taking things slowly and being careful.

“Ready to go home?”

“Yeah,” Ava says sounding more tired by the second.

She texts Gary and lets him know that she’s taking Ava back to the Waverider and then sends a text to Amaya to let her know that she’s leaving. She decides that she’s going to count tonight as a success, despite accidently working Ava up with her dirty dancing.

Chapter Text

Part 4: Text message God up in the sky

Ava wakes up sweaty and overheated for the third time since that night out in the club with Sara. Just like the other two times she’s experienced this phenomenon, her heart is beating a little too fast, her body feels tingly, and there’s a pleasant throbbing between her thighs. It’s that same overwhelming feeling she had felt when she and Sara had danced with their bodies pressed up against one another. They had moved against each other and she had felt heat, a thrum of something build and build until she got scared and stopped it.

She had felt that feeling strongly in the dream she had just awoken from. The dream had been confusing, with Sara sitting on the edge of her bed in the middle of the day when they both should have been working. She had watched as Sara’s deft fingers made quick work of the buttons on her shirt, revealing a pretty bra and toned abs. She watched it all with hungry eyes, unable to look away from the enticing view.

And then they had kissed, like she’d seen in television shows and read about in her romance novels. Sara’s hands had been all over her bare skin. Somehow along the way she had lost her clothes too. She couldn’t remember ever taking them off, but there she was stripped down to her underwear.

The last thing she remembers before waking is Sara’s hand sliding past her breasts, over her stomach, and hovering just between her thighs where that heat had been growing. And then she woke up.

She sits up on her bed fully awake now, waiting for her breathing to even out. Sunlight filters in through her blinds illuminating her rumpled lavender pajamas and her messy honey blonde hair damp with sweat. It’s still early and it was her weekend off. She has 48 hours of uninterrupted free time to do as she pleases. She used to hate having these long breaks, mostly because she was so restricted in what she could do and who she could see, but now she has so many options.

She could spend all 48 hours on the Waverider if she wanted to. She could go shopping, go to the park, visit a bakery, so many possibilities. She stands up and stretches the kinks out of her back before walking over to the bookcase in her room and grabbing her laptop from the top shelf.

She takes a seat on the bed again, boots up her laptop and pulls up google. She intends to get to the bottom of these dreams and what they mean. Her fingers hover over the keyboard as she thinks of what to write in the search bar.

She searches dreams about kissing, which leads her to searches about sex dreams. She decides that this is a proper descriptor for what’s happening to her.

She types in: “Why am I having sex dreams about a woman?” This leads her to a number of yahoo answers that ask similar questions with an added question asking if having those dreams meant they were gay.

She clicks on one of the links out of curiosity.

 

I keep having dreams about going down on the cute barista at my local coffee shop. Does this mean I’m gay?

 

She reads the first answer, which is also apparently the best answer.

 

You’re gay and you like her.

 

She nods to herself. She already knew of her attraction to women. Although, for most of her short life, she had tried to ignore these feelings because AVAs weren’t supposed to feel things like sexual attraction. They weren’t really supposed to feel anything. She was different.

She reads the answer again. Maybe she did like Sara in a romantic sense? What she felt for Sara was different from what she felt for Gary. Gary was her friend, but she cared deeply for Sara like she never had before. Her feelings for the captain were so intense and so wonderful, but also a little terrifying.

Sara made her feel so many things. Sara made her feel safe, made her feel happy and at ease with herself. Sara made her yearn for things she hadn’t even known she wanted. Those things that happened in her dreams, she wanted to do that with Sara. What she felt on the dance floor, she wanted to feel it again. She was curious now, almost insatiably so.

She returns her attention back to her laptop, looking over an unfamiliar phrase in the yahoo question. She doesn’t know exactly what ‘going down on a girl’ means, so she enters the phrase in the search bar. A number of websites show up and even some videos. She hovers her pointer over one video and then moves it down to the video below, which has the word lesbian in the title.

She clicks on the link and suddenly her screen is filled with the image of two naked women, a blonde and a brunette. The sound of their moans fills the room. Her eyes grow almost comically wide as she watches the brunette tug on the blonde mane of hair between her thighs.

There’s a knock on her door soon after the video starts and she scrambles to stop the video before the door opens, but it’s too late. Gary enters the room with his mouth open to say something, but he freezes when a particularly loud moan echoes across the room.

She panics and slams the laptop shut as her friend just stands there in shock with a confused grin plastered on his face. He looks at her and then at her laptop and then at her again. She can feel her face heating up, mortified, but she tries her best to look cool and unaffected.

“Did you need something,” she asks in her best professional voice.

He swallows, his eyes never leaving hers, and then says, “no.”

She nods and he slowly backs out of the room and shuts the door. A sigh of relief escapes her when he’s gone. With any luck, they’ll just put the whole awkward situation behind them and never speak of it again.

When she opens her laptop back up, she manages to exit out of the accursed window and continue her search. She avoids videos for the time being. She bookmarks a couple of pages on relationships, sex, and other forms of intimacy, and concludes that she will need to conduct further research if she ever intends to evolve her relationship with Sara. She doesn’t think that she’s ready for sex just yet, but she is definitely interested in it, if her biological responses in proximity to the captain are anything to go by.

Her phone rings as she’s shutting down her laptop, Director Hunter’s name flashing across the screen. She answers it immediately.

“Agent Sharpe, there’s been an incident. Damien Darhk and his daughter have finally made another appearance.”

“Mallus-?

“No,” he says quickly. “But I’m giving you command of the delta team. I’m going to need you to come in immediately.”

“Of course. Sir?”

“Yes, Agent Sharpe.”

“Perhaps, it’s time to share your knowledge of Mallus’s existence with the rest of the directors? Our agents are at a disadvantage without this information and we’re already struggling to manage the Darhks as it is.”

He sighs because they have had this conversation before. “We don’t have proof yet.”

“But the Legends know,” she protests.

“The Legends are crucial to my plan,” he says cutting her off. Not that she was privy to the details of said plan. “And there are fewer Legends than there are agents. I need Captain Lance and her crew to survive. Forewarned is forearmed. Now please hurry and get to the Time Bureau.”

“Yes, sir.”

Well so much for having a day off, she thought.

 

0ooo0oo0

 

Agent Roger Davin is already in a bad mood when he enters the Bureau training room, but when he sees that the AVA clone is already there training and seemingly having a good time, his anger grows exponentially.

That thing is a waste of space and Time Bureau resources.

He can’t believe they let her take lead of the delta team, his team. He would have been the highest-ranking agent, if Rip fucking Hunter didn’t just hand up his team to the clone on a silver platter.

He was still grieving over the loss of his best friend who had died on that colossal fuck up of a mission led by the clone. She should have been sent back for reprocessing or at the very least punished for her misdeeds. Instead the clone had been rewarded and given more freedom, which was the very last thing that they should have done. Apparently, the directors hadn’t learned from the 7th AVA who had gone rogue and tried to take out a whole squad of agents.

In his opinion it was time for another AVA or better yet, do away with the clones all together. He understands why the directors had used the clones in the first place, but now that the Time Bureau is fully staffed with trained agents and thriving, he just doesn’t get why they continue to use these sub-humans.

The clones are just science experiments, not real humans. They barely have feelings. The last few clones were basically robots and the current clone is clearly defective.

On top of all this, he had just failed his practice Bureau Advancement Exam again and no matter how much he studies, he just can’t seem to get a passing score. So, he isn’t good at exams. So what? He knew he was ready to lead a team, but here he was still a junior agent after years of hard work and yet the AVA clone was already a senior agent.

He zeros in on the 12th AVA and then takes stock of who else is in the room. It’s midday so most agents are out in the field or at their desks, but his two buddies that he’s meeting up with were already there. He nodded to each of them before striding across the room in the direction of the clone.

“Let’s go a couple rounds, Twelve,” he calls out.

Twelve turns around. Her face is arranged in that unpleasant neutral robotic expression, but he can see her hesitate before answering.

“Of course,” she says. After all, the clones are here to serve the Time Bureau and its agents. What other answer could it give?

He waits for her to get into ready stance and then they go at it. She’s a skilled fighter, but that skill was engineered not borne of rigorous practice and hard work. He puts all his anger into his moves, fighting recklessly and hitting harder than he should for a sparring session.

At first, they’re evenly matched, but he begins to wear down. He realizes he made a mistake and wasted too much energy at the beginning of the fight. The clone is still going strong. She kicks him in the gut and he stumbles back, cursing out loud.

“You should have conserved your energy,” the clone points out. “Fight smart, not hard.”

“Fuck off,” he tells her. “I didn’t ask for your advice.”

Twelve merely shrugs and gets in ready stance again. He throws a punch, which she dodges easily.

“You think you’re so great. You haven’t earned anything that you have,” he taunts. “You shouldn’t even be allowed to be here.”

“What happened on that mission was out of my control,” Twelve says calmly. “I’m here to help.”

Anger flares up in him and he lowers his arms, momentarily distracted. “We don’t need your help.”

Twelve sweeps his legs out from beneath him and he tumbles to the ground.

“Clearly, you do,” the clone mocks from above him.

“I wouldn’t be so smug if I were you. I will be here for a long while, but you, one day they’re gonna toss you away just like they did with the other 11 clones. You think Director Hunter will keep protecting you? You think anyone gives a crap about you?” He snarls.

The clone’s expression darkens suddenly and she glares at him, showing her true colors. “That’s not true.”

“You think that Canary bitch cares about you. She and the Legends are a bunch of fucking idiots. You’re just a toy to her. She doesn’t love you clone, and you’re not even capable of loving anything. You’re just a waste of space.”

Twelve clenches and unclenches her fists, clearly getting worked up with every word.

He looks over to his buddies who are watching the pair apprehensively from the sidelines. He nods discreetly to them and they understand his meaning intuitively. He watches as his friends stalk over to grab the clone and hold her still.

“What are you doing,” the clone says while struggling in their grip. “Stop.”

If no one else is going to put this clone in her place then it’s up to him. He’s doing it for the good of his fellow agents. He takes his time walking over to her, enjoying the way panic and fear build in her eyes.

Without any preamble, he begins to really pound on her. Aiming for her face and when that’s good and bloody he aims at her gut next.

“Stop!” she gasps in between punches. “Stop please!”

His two friends restraining her grow visibly uncomfortable.

“Come on man, that’s enough,” one says.

Twelve sags in their arms, still conscious but just barely. His friends lower her to the floor like the cowards they are, but he gives the clone a few swift kicks and watches in satisfaction as she curls up in pain, arms going to protect her face.

“That’s enough,” his friend says again, but this time he’s deadly serious.

He backs up a foot away from the clone who is now whimpering on the floor. He feels a twinge of guilt, feels like maybe he went a little too far, and then quickly tables it.

He leaves her there and his one buddy follows him but the other stays behind to help the clone. He glances back for a second to see him picking her up bridal style, the clone limp in his arms, finally unconscious.

 

0oo0oo0

 

When Ava comes too, the room is white and glaringly bright. She blinks a couple of times before adjusting to the fluorescent lights of the med bay where she’s currently laying on one of the treatment chairs. Her vision clears and she becomes aware of someone holding her hand.

Gary is sitting in a chair pulled up next to her, looking on worriedly. She tries to sit up and he immediately moves to assist her. She’s a little achy, but other than that feels fine. She brings a hand up to her face and to her relief finds that there is no blood and no puffy, swollen skin.

“You’re done healing, Ava.” Gary tells her.

“So, I can go then?”

He hesitates before answering. “Yes, you can go home and rest.”

“No. I’m fine, Gary,” she says distractedly while unclasping the medical band around her wrist.

When she makes a move to get up, Gary stops her with a hand on her shoulder.

“Ava.”

The seriousness of his voice makes her look at him, really look at him. Her friend is pale, even in the florescent lighting of the room, and his eyes are red rimmed like he’s been crying.

“Do you remember what happened,” he asks softly.

She looks down at the floor and remains silent.

“Agent Smith brought you in and said you had been hurt. Attacked. He didn’t name names and he didn’t go into detail. Do you remember anything about it?”

“No,” she says her voice wavering slightly. She still can’t lie well and she knows she sounds unconvincing, but she doesn’t want to talk to Gary about it. She doesn’t want to talk about it at all.

Besides why would anyone care about what happened to an AVA clone, she thought bitterly. She felt a pang of pain in her heart as she remembered what Agent Davin had said, especially about Sara. But that just couldn’t be true. Maybe no one else cared about her, but she knew for certain that Gary cared and so did Sara.

And she knew that she herself was capable of caring too. She cared about Sara a lot. Sara was the first thing she thought about when she woke up each morning and the last thing she thought about before going to bed each night. She wanted to be with her all the time. When they were apart, she wondered what Sara was doing, if she was okay. Did Sara miss her with the same intensity that she did her?

The strong, warm feelings that she had for Sara grew stronger and stronger every day. She just didn’t have a name for these feelings, but care didn’t seem to be the right descriptor.

She hops off the treatment chair without warning, filled with a sudden urge to see Sara. To confirm what she knows in her heart to be true. She knows Sara cares, but she just needs her to say the words out loud, to make it real.

Gary makes a little squeak of surprise at her sudden movement. “What’s wrong?”

“I think I will take the rest of the day off.”

“To rest?” He says hopefully.

She shakes her head. “No, I want to see Sara.”

Gary lets out a sigh of relief. “Good, I’ll let her know…”

“No,” she blurts out. “I don’t want her to worry. I’m fine. I’m healed up now and we should just move on from this.”

He puts a hand on her shoulder again. “Ava, we need to report this.”

“No. I don’t think that’s a good idea. It will just draw more negative attention my way and I can’t afford that right now. Strategically, the best thing for me to do is to keep quiet.”

“But,” Gary protests.

“Gary,” she says quietly. “We knew that there would be backlash after I was granted more freedom from the board. There could be more. I don’t want to make any trouble or make myself a target. If I’m not careful, they’ll send me back.”

Gary goes ghost white, knowing exactly what she’s alluding too.

“Please,” she pleads. “Just keep this to yourself.”

Gary looks at her for a long while, his gaze filled with sorrow and concern.

“I hate this,” he confesses, “but you’re right. Go. Go to Sara. I’ll explain your absence if anyone asks.”

She makes her way to the locker room first, strips out of her still bloody clothes, and steps into the shower. Davin’s cruel words swirl around her mind as she stands under the hot spray of water. It feels like a special kind of torture.

When she feels clean again, she dries off and pulls on her spare change of workout clothes. She beelines to her office next, opens a portal and steps through with the single-minded purpose of finding Sara and asking her the one question that matters most to her.

She finds the captain in her office pouring over some documents on the table in the center of the room. Sara looks up and smiles warmly at her when she enters. She picks up her pace and practically crashes into the other woman.

She wraps Sara up in a hug and clings desperately to her. Her face feels warm and tears prick in the back of her eyes. She hasn’t cried since the loss of her team, but it looked like it was going to happen again. Sometimes she genuinely liked the new range of emotions she was now able to feel, and sometimes they just felt like a curse.

“Aves, what’s wrong?”

She buries her head in the crook of Sara’s neck instead, tears slipping down her cheeks. Sara lets her stay like this for a few moments, rubbing her back calmingly and making gentle shushing noises.

“Ava,” Sara says softly while trying to gently extricate herself from Ava’s grip, so she can look at her. “What’s wrong?”

“Do you like me?” she asks, her voice thick with emotion. Sara looks at her in confusion, obviously not expecting this answer. “Do you care about me?”

Sara’s brow furrows. “I-…what? Of course, I care about you, Aves. So much.”

Ava stares at her with gray-blue eyes that are wet with tears, hanging on to her every word. Sara cups her face with one hand and rubs her thumb softly across her cheek. She can’t help but lean into the captain’s hand seeking comfort.

“You are so special to me. I treasure every moment we’re together.”

She screws her eyes shut at these words and more tears roll down her cheeks. All of the tension leaves her body. Everything is okay now because even though some of the things Agent Davin had said might have been true, he was dead wrong about Sara and that’s all that really mattered.

“I care about you too,” she rasps out. “Sara, I care about you.”

“I know, baby,” Sara tells her.

“Good.”

Sara wraps her arms tighter around her waist, pulling her closer, and then kisses her forehead. The captain looks at her for a long time after that, searching her face for something, before resting her forehead against her own. Her nose rubs against the captain’s and she can feel Sara’s breath against her lips.

She wants more from Sara. She wants to kiss her because that’s what people did in books and in movies when they liked someone this much. She’s dreamed about it, certainly. She’s done some research, but she has no practical experience. She waits a heartbeat and then moves her lips lower to brush against Sara’s.

Sara’s lips are soft and warm and she gets this little thrill in her stomach when Sara kisses her back. Kissing Sara is wonderful, she decides. It might be the most wonderful thing she’s ever felt. Their kiss doesn’t last very long because the captain pulls away far sooner than she would have liked.

“Hey,” Sara whispers to her. “As much as I loved that, I don’t want to do that when you’re upset and crying.”

She nods understanding why Sara wants them to stop, but not really pleased about it.

“Was that okay? I’ve never done that before,” she admits.

Sara grins at her. “That was an amazing first kiss, babe”

She smiles shyly at the captain and tucks a piece of hair behind her ear self-consciously.

“No come on, let go crash on the couch and watch something. You look exhausted.” Sara’s hand slips into hers and she lets herself be led down the hall.

“Did something happen today?” Sara asks suddenly, pausing in the hall. “That didn’t just come from nowhere.”

Ava shrugs, avoiding the captain’s probing gaze. “It was just something someone said. It’s doesn’t matter.”

The captain narrows her eyes in suspicion, clearly not buying her excuse. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah. Can we go sit now? You’re right. I am feeling tired.”

Sara sighs, but otherwise lets her get away with her nonexplanation.

 

0oo0oo0

 

Sara knows that something isn’t quite right with Ava. Last week the agent had come to her crying and needing validation of their…friendship with no real explanation. Since then Ava had been around more often (which she loved) and infinitely clingier, even in front of the other Legends (which worried her a little). Ava held her hand every chance she got and snuggled up to her on the couch, even during movie night with the whole gang present.

The agent had spent nearly every night since then in her bed and was sleeping very poorly, which is really unusual for Ava. The woman usually went out like a light and stayed asleep the whole night, something she had always been envious of. But now Ava fought going to sleep, opting to stay up past her self-imposed bedtime. When Ava did manage to fall asleep, she would wake up a few hours later, panicked and gasping for breath.

It hurt her to watch Ava suffer like this, but the agent refused to open up about whatever she was going through. She did her best to be there for her and to offer up her support and that seemed to be enough. She was glad that the other Legends could sense that something was off as well and were all taking care of Ava in their own way.

A few weeks pass and she notices that Ava seems to be doing better, much better. Maybe almost back to normal, which is good because the Darhks have been kicking all of their collective asses and it’s pretty much all hands on deck at this point.

She’s been trying very hard to hold it together and to not think about Laurel every time she sees Damien’s ugly face, which is partly why she’s so disappointed when the agent begins to sleep at her apartment again. As she should have predicted, she’s started having nightmares about her sister. It made nights alone unbearable. She had gotten used to Ava’s warm, comforting presence in her bed. It’s so much easier to sleep when Ava was there.

The agent in question is about to leave for the night again and she sits dejectedly on the bed watching Ava gather up some files on the Darhks and her blazer.

“You could stay,” she says as nonchalantly as she can. “You know we can just fabricate you a suit for tomorrow.”

Ava pauses in the gathering of her files. “I didn’t want to impose. You’ve been really understanding these last couple of weeks and I … didn’t want to wear out my welcome, so to speak.”

She rolls her eyes. By now Ava has to understand how crazy she is for her. “Ava, I think it’s been established that I love having you here and as a certified snuggle fiend, I love when you sleepover.”

“You do?” Ava says with only some hesitance.

She grins. “Of course, I do. Now get over here, babe.”

She opens her arms wide and watches as the agent drops her belongings and practically flings herself across the room. She is unprepared for the sheer amount of enthusiasm displayed by Ava and they topple back onto the bed together, giggling as they do.

Ava lays half on top of her, looking down at her with the definition of heart eyes. She can’t help herself, she leans up and places a soft, chaste kiss on Ava’s lips. This is their second kiss. She hopes there will be many more, but she’s really hesitant to push it.

Ava looks at her then like she’s something precious and wonderful. She gets lost in the warmth and affection so clearly telegraphed by those blue-gray eyes. They watch each other for a few moments longer, before Ava leans down to brush her lips against hers again in their third kiss. She buries her hands in that honey blonde mane to hold her close and deepen the kiss just a little.

She pulls back when she feels her desire ignite and her control start to slip.

Now is not the time to be horny. Now is the time to be patient and understanding.

Ava lets out a cute little noise of protest, so she rubs her hands down the agent’s back distractingly. Her hands slip beneath the agent’s untucked shirt, feeling the warm skin of her back and the slight bumps of her vertebrae as her hands wander upwards. Ava buries her face in the crook of her neck, warm breath against her skin. She moves her hands downwards again, scratching lightly as she does.

Ava lets out a small but audible gasp and presses closer. Her restraint nearly crumbles then. She sits up this time putting a stop to this pleasurable activity. Disappointment is written so clearly on the agent’s face that she almost regrets not letting this continue and develop into a full blown makeout session. Maybe Ava is ready? Maybe. But they should probably have some kind of talk first.

She’s not sure how much Ava knows about these kinds of things. The night she accidentally turned the agent on with just dancing, Ava had seemed surprised at her own want. What did Ava know about being with another person? How much did she really know about sex beyond biology?

No, they needed to have a proper talk about all this, and about what they were to each other, which was kind of scary. Really scary.


0oo0oo0

 

Ava doesn’t understand why Sara is so reluctant to engage in more physical intimacy. She knows from her file, that the captain had pretty frequent amorous encounters with historical figures throughout time. Sara had told her time and time again that she was cute, that she was beautiful, so the physical attraction was there.

She thought about what she knew about dating and courtship rituals from her books. Perhaps the captain needed to be wooed? Maybe she just needed to make her intentions clear. This was most likely the problem, she decides.

She starts by visiting a flower shop intent on starting off this courtship with what appears to be a classic and quite popular gift. She browses the many bouquets of brightly colored flowers filling the shop and thinks about how impractical they are. She has to admit that they are beautiful, but why would someone want a present that would just decay after a week?

She turns her attention over to the small section of potted plants in the corner. There are a variety of succulents decorating the shelves. They seem hardy to her and much more practical than the delicate blossoms and blooms of the other flora in the shop. She picks up a small, sort of round and squat looking cactus. Its label states that it’s a flowering cactus, only it’s not flowering at the moment.

She decides that it’s a perfect blend of practical and pretty (or it will be when the cactus finally flowers). She purchases the chubby little plant in its terracotta pot and makes her way eagerly to Sara.

She’s practically vibrating with excitement by the time she makes it to the Waverider. She presents her gift to the captain with fervent enthusiasm, hoping Sara will understand the message she’s trying to convey, a declaration of her intention to date.

She thrusts plant towards Sara. “This is for you.”

Sara accepts her gift with a bewildered expression on her lovely face. The captain examines the little plant with some confusion before looking back at her with a smile gracing her lips.

“Thanks Aves. It’s really…unique,” Sara tells her.

It’s clear to her then that Sara does not understand what she’s trying to tell her. The little cactus had failed her. She smiles back at Sara, somewhat disappointedly and then heads to the Bureau for the day. Back to the drawing board.

She tries her luck with a gift of chocolate next. She visits a well-reviewed confectionary store and purchases some truly decadent chocolates for Sara. These are well received by the captain whose Caribbean sea blue eyes actually light up when she sees the sweets.

“You’re spoiling me,” Sara tells her before stuffing a chocolate into her mouth. The moan that leaves the captain’s lips after is almost obscene.

The sound makes something coil low in her stomach and heat creep into her cheeks. It reminds her of the moans from the pornographic video she had accidently watched. Her mouth goes a little dry as she remembers that she still needs to respond to the captain’s comment.

“You deserve it,” she says, her voice coming out low and raspy.

Sara looks at her then, a little smirk gracing her lips like she knows what the sound of that moan does to her.

“Aww Aves, you’re too sweet,” the captain practically purrs.

Her eyes dart to pink lips as Sara swipes her tongue over them to clean off excess chocolate. Entranced by this action, she barely comprehends that Sara is slowly moving towards her. She jumps when there are hands suddenly at her waist pulling her in.

The captain’s lips brush against her’s insistently and she reciprocates instantly, pulling the smaller woman against her, loving the feel of her curves pressed against her body. She feels a tongue swipe along the seam of her mouth and gasps in surprise. Sara takes advantage of this and slips her tongue in, carefully licking into her mouth. She feels a jolt of something run through her body and settle between her thighs and is surprised to hear a moan pass from her own lips. Sara grips her tighter.

Sara tastes like chocolate, rich and sweet. She gives herself over to Sara completely and their kissing grows more intense and a little wetter. There’s a throbbing between her thighs and a general buzzing feeling throughout the rest of her body. Her fingers dig into the warm skin beneath Sara’s t-shirt, while Sara’s fingers slip into her hair mussing up her carefully coiffured bun. That pleasant throbbing feeling between her thighs begins to ramp up reminding her of those inappropriate dreams she keeps having about Sara.

She moves her hands along Sara’s sides feeling the heat of her skin beneath her palms. She remembers how Sara had touched her in those dreams and is overcome with this need to touch Sara like that, to really feel her.

Sara pulls away all too soon leaving her heated and breathless with a faint aftertaste of fudge on her tongue. She stares at Sara in awe and Sara stare’s back at her, blue eyes dark with lust. She aches with a need she doesn’t really understand. She just knows that she wants more, more kissing, more touching and whatever else comes after that.

She feels her phone vibrate in her pocket and already knows its from the Time Bureau. It’s back to work for her no matter how much she wants to stay and continue this. She says her goodbyes to Sara and the captain presses a rather chaste kiss against her lips before she leaves. She spends the rest of the day in a daze at the Time Bureau, replaying the kisses in her mind.

 

After the success of her chocolate gift, she decides to try her hand at seduction and enlists Gary to help her take a gym selfie. They’re in the cadet training room because she has been avoiding the main training room after the incident with Agent Davin and generally keeping a low profile at the Bureau. It’s been working so far.

She avoids working on teams with him and is trying her best to get past the incident. Every day she feels better and better, less scared and more like herself. She does still feel a little guilty for not telling Sara. She knows the captain has been worrying about her, on top of dealing with the Darkh’s and the memories of her sister’s death. She would like to minimize Sara’s stress however possible.

The cadets are off participating in some training simulation, so they have the room to themselves. She’s wearing heather grey yoga pants and a matching sports bra with the brand name written across the front of it in mauve lettering. The sports bra is Gary’s suggestion. He claims that it counts as a shirt, but she’s not so sure about that.

“What do I do now?” She asks as she fiddles with the camera setting on her phone.

Gary takes it from her and pushes her to a well-lit corner of the room and maneuvers her into a pose.

“Stop slouching,” he tells her. “Okay, now big smile.”

She bares her teeth in what she hopes is a satisfactory grin, but she can tell that it’s not a very good one by the way Gary grimaces.

“Okay let’s try a smaller smile, less teeth. Okay that’s great,” he says as he begins to snap what seems like way too many pictures.

She lets her friend select the best pictures since he has more experience in this type of thing.

“Do you think she’ll like it?” She says uncertainly as Gary narrows her choices down to two pictures.

She did like Sara in her tight-fitting workout clothes, especially when she was wearing a shirt that showed off her abs, so it would be reasonable to assume that the opposite would be true.

“Definitely. These are very sexy,” Gary says nodding to himself. “Excellent abs and cleavage. Do I take good pics or what?”

Her cheeks turn pink at the word sexy. She’s never really used that adjective in relation to herself before.

“Send this one,” he says decisively.

She takes her phone back from him and her finger hovers over the touchscreen keyboard. “What do I say?”

Gary shrugs. “Just say something generic and let the selfie work its magic.” He wiggles his fingers at her phone and grins a goofy grin at her.

She types in, ‘Hope you’re having a good day,’ and attaches the image to the text. She presses send and hopes for the best.

 

0oo0oo0

 

The purple blast of energy from Nora Darkh’s hands sends her reeling into the wall of the warehouse holding military grade weapons. Her back aches as she gets up to face Darhk’s daughter again. She’s distantly aware of Ray and Nate battling it out with Damien behind her. They had showed up in 1963 Washington, DC, during Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a Dream speech only to find the Darhk’s wreaking havoc just for the pure fun of it. They fixed the anachronism and were now just battling it out with the evil duo.

Nora raises her hands to blast her again, but Amaya shows up just in time to use gorilla strength to knock the witch down. Nora glares up at her from where she lays on the floor, eyes flashing completely black for a fraction of a second before returning back to normal.

Mallus.

Rip had hinted that there was more going on with the Darhks than just magic. When she finally managed to get it out of him, it was so much more than she was expecting. A time demon, hellbent on destroying time for reasons unknown to them or at least that’s what Rip had told them. She had never seen the demon before. Nora Darhk had only ever been the powerful witch who always threw her into a wall whenever they were in the same room together.

But the demon bleeds through now and she can see the monster lurking beneath the witch’s skin ready to come out and play. It’s terrifying and distantly she wonders why Nora would ever agree to let someone else inhabit her body. Did she really choose that?

The doors to the warehouse bang open and a military grade vehicle comes screeching in with Mick behind the wheel.

Thank god. They were getting their asses handed to them … again.

The witch is directly in the vehicle’s pathway, but is distracted, not moving from her spot. Nora’s eyes flash black and then return to normal once again. This process repeats several more times until Nora shuts her eyes tightly with her lips curved downwards into a pained grimace. Sara can see the internal battle going on within the witch. The witch is fighting it she realizes. She’s fighting for control of her own body.

Mick is still barreling towards them and she struggles with what to do.

If she does nothing Nora goes splat and it would be a win for the legends, but she can’t do nothing. It wouldn’t feel right, not with how much blood she already has on her hands. There’s a difference between letting someone purposely die and winning a battle fair and square. Maybe the difference was honor. She nearly scoffs at herself for that thought. There was no honor in killing, even if they were your mortal enemy. It was just something that had to be done when others couldn’t bare to do it themselves.

By the time she comes to a decision it seems that Nora has won the battle, eyes clear and staying that way, but it’s almost too late. She lunges forward just as Ray decked in his suit comes sweeping past her, scooping the witch into his arms and flying her off to safety. She stutters back and feels a whoosh of air as Mick drives past.

“Great work, Atom,” she says through her comms.

She finds herself on the floor again when Damien sends out a wave of magic knocking everyone in the room down. Damien whips around and focuses his attention on Ray who is hovering in the air, unsure of what to do with the Nora.

Nora struggles in his arms, looking more like a grumpy cat than an all-powerful witch. “Put me down, you numbskull!”

Damien glares at Ray, a fireball already forming in his palm. “Hands off my daughter bucko, or you’ll be going back without any.”

Well, it looks like we found his weakness.

“Ray just do it,” she whispers into her comms. “Legends let’s get out of here.”

Ray did as he was told, depositing Nora gently on the ground while Sara opened a portal for rest of the Legends to retreat in. Once they were back Gideon confirmed that the time line was safe once again. She sent her crew off to get cleaned up and get some rest. She needed to think about what they were going to with the Darhks and Mallus, who apparently lives in Nora Darhk.

But Nora had fought against Mallus. She had seen the struggle with her own eyes. If Nora was working with Mallus, wouldn’t she have willingly relinquished control of her body? Oh course, it’s also possible that the Darhk’s were trying to hide the demon until a more crucial point in time. Keeping their cards close to their chests.

She has a gut feeling that she’s right about Nora, but maybe that’s the key to defeating the Darhks? She could call up Constantine and see if he had a way to remove the demon from her. Better yet maybe they could convince Nora to join their side, use the demon removal as a bargaining chip?

Sara frowns at this. It’s unlikely that Nora would ever actually go up against her father, but at the very least she can separate Mallus from Nora and banish him, which she knows is Rip’s biggest concern. And that just left Damien Darhk himself. She could finally end him.

She starts in the direction of the captain’s quarters intent on getting out of her White Canary getup and calling Ava to share her idea. She pulls out her phone before she even reaches her room and her lips curve into a smile. Speak of the devil, she has a text from her favorite Time Bureau agent.

She pulls up the message chain and then walks directly into the doorframe of her quarters because the picture that is attached to the text has rendered her insensible.

“Oh, fuck!”

She hisses in pain and puts a hand to her aching forehead. Once the pain has mostly subsided, she glues her eyes to her phone screen because Ava has blessed her with a gym selfie and god, she looks so hot.

She feels a little zing of pleasure as she inspects the picture more closely. Arms, abs, and a considerable amount of cleavage. This is an A+ selfie. One that she is going to keep forever. She’s not sure what she did today to deserve this, but she’s not going to question it. Hell, she’s not even sure what she did to deserve her other gifts, the truly indulgent chocolate and the funky little plant. If she didn’t know any better, she would think that she was being wooed. She finds this behavior from the agent sweet and very encouraging.

Without hesitating she calls the agent, hoping she’s free.

“Well, hello there gorgeous,” she husks.

“This is Ava,” the agent says somewhat confused.

“Yes babe, I know. I just called to tell you how much I enjoyed your gym selfie. A very generous gift. That was bold of you. What’s next nudes,” she jokes.

“Nudes?” She can hear the confusion in Ava’s voice.

“Uh, never mind.” She pauses. “Just that picture was really something. I’ll have to return the favor soon.”

“You will?”

“Yep.”

“Oh,” Ava says a little breathless. “I think I’d like that very much.”

“Good.” And then she switches gears. “Hey are you busy? I have a theory about the Darhks.”