Half an hour later the potion was ready and Sara had to wake up Lena from the couch. It took almost five minutes to get the teenager on her feet and ready to leave. Danny was nervously playing with the vial in his hands. His excitement had died down, turned into apprehension. He'd never heard stories of his mother before she'd joined the Legends and started dating his dad, and he didn't know what to expect at all.
They'd said goodbye to the team before going to the Time Bureau. Lena had reminded them it wouldn't be forever anyway, but Ray had still been a bit teary.
They went through the portal and Sara led them back to the holding block, where Ava was waiting with Gary. Gary instantly stopped talking when he saw Lena.
"Oh my god, she's like a mini Director Sharp! You're like a mini Director Sharp!"
Ava rolled her eyes.
"Hello, Gary. Nice to see you too."
"You know me?"
"Yes, you babysat me most of my childhood."
Gary was elated.
"I did? I mean, I will?"
"Yes, there's work to be done. I'll be on my way."
He glanced at Lena and Danny one last time and walked away, turning every few steps to look at them again. Ava looked down at Danny.
"You can go in. We'll wait here."
Danny nodded. He pocketed the vial, afraid to drop it, and took in a deep breath. Lena smiled down at him.
"It's okay. You're going to do great."
He nodded and walked to the door. Ava opened it for him. He walked in.
Nora had been seating in apprehension, waiting for the door to open and the boy to walk through. When he did, she didn't look up. She waited. She heard a few tentative steps, and finally took a good look at him.
The first thing to strike her was how little he resembled her. He so strikingly looked like Ray it was incredible. Well kept black hair, all limbs and the beginning of a defined jaw. Even when he wasn't smiling he looked like him. And we he did smile, the comparison was impossible to avoid. But his eyes. They were gray, like hers. There was something so smart and pure shining from them, it struck her.
"Hello. My name is Daniel Palmer. I'm your son. I mean, I will be. It's complicated."
And he was rambler too. She couldn't help but smile.
"I need a lock of your hair to save you. Is that okay?"
He nodded and walked closer. He stopped just a few inches from the force field.
"You should be able to come in. Only I can't come out."
He took a deep breath and walked through easily. Once he was inside, he suddenly realized just how small it was. The room was big, cavernous even, but the cell was very small.
He approached Nora and stopped beside her. She was still seated, looking up at him.
"Do you have a preference? I'm not a very good wizard I don't know how magic hair works."
Once again, Nora found herself smiling.
"Do you need a specific lock?"
He shook his head.
"John didn't say."
She swept all of her hair to the left side and took a small lock from behind her ear between two fingers.
"Here. Cut his one."
He nodded and pulled a swiss army knife from his pocket. He pulled the scissors out and, with slightly trembling fingers, managed to cut the lock and not drop it. He quickly put the army knife away and took the vial out. The liquid inside was amber, glowing like a sunset sky. He opened it and tried to put the hair inside, but the tips kept sliding away from the vial's opening. Nora noticed how his hands were trembling. Instinctively, she took his hands in hers.
"It's okay. You're doing great."
He finally put the hair in the vial, and they dissolved quickly, turning the liquid purple. He closed the vial and let out a breath. Then, he smiled.
Nora was about to smile, but Danny threw himself in her arms and hugged her fiercely. She was stunned for a moment. He was shaking against her. His fear was apparent. She hugged him back and felt him sob against her shoulder.
Once the door had closed on Danny, Sara had turned to Ava.
"I'll go picked up the things we confiscated from them. I'll be right back."
She sent a pointed look to Ava, the meaning of which didn't escape the taller blonde. Now was the time to talk. She waited until Sara was at the door to look down at Lena.
"I'm sorry about earlier. I shouldn't have run away like that."
"No, it's... it's my fault. Gideon said it would be okay to tell you guys but I didn't think about how you would react."
"I'm glad you did."
Lena turned to Ava, surprised.
"Yes, well. In a way, I'm glad. I don't think we would have gotten anywhere if you two hadn't decided to talk."
Lena smirked and crossed her arms. She looked so much like Sara when she did that.
"I was pretty well trained, I have to admit."
"I don't know how I feel about that."
"You have plenty of time to figure it out, don't worry."
"Am I..." Ava stopped herself.
"You were going to ask questions about the future?"
"It's okay. I already told something to Sara I shouldn't have, but it's fine. What do you want to know?"
Ava bit her lip. She really shouldn't. It was a terrible idea. Lena was looking up at her with a mischievous glint in her eyes. The 'Who cares if we get into trouble' glint, the one Sara always had when she had a plan who could get them into even more trouble. An official Lance glint, apparently.
"Am I there enough for you? Balancing work and Sara is already hard enough, and with Sara having the Legends on her side... I'm just afraid having a kid stuck in the middle could be a big problem. I'm afraid you'd feel left behind."
"I guess between now and the moment I was born you two figured out how to make it work. I was never left behind, never stuck between your two works. You always found a way to make it work. I mean, now it's not a problem anymore anyway."
"I've got a job. So to speak."
Ava looked at her questioningly. Lena was struck that in almost twenty years her mother's questioning glance was still the same.
"I'm not gonna tell you. This was the center of an entire debate that lasted for years. I don't want to spoil that. It was very entertaining."
Ava rolled her eyes but didn't push further.
Once Danny had left Nora's cell, Ava escorted the teenagers back up to the entrance hall, where Sara was waiting for them.
"The potion's ready?"
"Good. Here is your notebook, Danny."
She handed Danny a tiny notebook, and he placed it in the back pocket of his pants.
"And your knife, Lena."
Lena took the knife off of Sara's hand like it was nothing and folded it, to put it back in her pocket.
"Thank you. Or, you know, you could have just kept it, gave it back for my fifteenth birthday."
Sara and Ava exchanged a glance before looking at Lena.
She mimed zipping her lips one last time.
"And I suppose you'll need this to go home."
She handed the time courier back and Lena tied it to her wrist easily.
"Don't mind if I do."
"You guys ready to go?"
"Yep. I'll drop Danny home before going back to mine."
"Yes, I suppose one of us is going to want their time courier back," Ava declared.
Lena shook her head.
"This one is mine. I worked hard to get it, and... I probably lost it, for now anyway."
"The price to success, I guess."
Ava rolled her eyes.
"I'll see you guys soon, I suppose."
"But not too soon," Sara added.
"Not too soon."
She opened a portal in the inside of a house. Danny jumped through and disappeared deeper into the house. Lena turned back one last time, smiling and waving at her mothers, before closing the portal behind her. Sara waved back. Once the portal was closed she let out a breath of relief.
"Now that this mess is sorted out, I want to sleep!"
"Let's go take care of Nora first, then sleep."
Sara nodded and they began walking back down.
"You're sure about Nora? What happened to that one month trial?"
"It was blown away by our future daughter. But more seriously, I think Nora is going to do everything in her power to remain on the good side this time. She has something to look forward to."
Nora was rather surprised to find herself being released. Of course, there was a condition. Joining the Legends, however, was a small price to pay, if it meant being free. As free as you could be in a big time ship. So maybe she was just being moved to a bigger cell. Still better than anything.
Sara took her to the Waverider through a portal and called for a meeting. All the Legends were shocked to see Nora standing beside her, but Sara quickly explained:
"Nora helped Danny, and in exchange, she becomes a Legend. That was the deal we made with her. Now, I think we all deserve some sleep. Ray, can you show Nora to an empty room? I'm going to bed. Don't call me unless someone forgets to build the Great Wall of China or something."
Sara opened a portal and disappeared through, leaving everyone too tired to question her decision for now. Ray smiled at Nora, the same way Danny had smiled not an hour ago.
"Follow me. I think there's an empty room beside Charlie's."
Charlie turned her head to see why Ray had called her, but when she realized it was nothing, she just kept on walking. Nora walked slowly beside Ray. Her heart was hammering in her chest. Had Sara seriously asked Ray on purpose? She wouldn't put it past her.
"I'm glad they finally let you out," Ray began. "I can't imagine what it must have been like in that cell. I'm sure you'll like it here, it's never boring."
She smiled at his comment. The air around them was awkward, though it seemed to pass right over Ray's head. They stopped in front of a door, and she expected him to say it was her room. Instead, he began rambling again:
"You got to meet Danny, I guess? This kid is great. He helped me with my new suit. He's super smart. I gave him a swiss army knife to thank him. Do you know who his dad is?"
He seemed to suddenly realize what he'd said, froze, then tried to apologize:
"I'm sorry. I mean, it's not my place to know. It's just, he's an awesome kid. You'll be lucky to have him one day."
Nora was confused for a second. Had no one told Ray? She burst into laughter. How had he not noticed?
"He introduced himself to me as Daniel Palmer."
"I mean, that's a surprise, cause he didn't say anything to me, he just.."
Nora pushed herself on her toes and grabbed the nape of Ray's neck to pull him down. She kissed him quickly, shutting him up once and for all. She pulled away and slid into her new room before he could shake out of his confusion. Her heart was racing. He was smiling dumbly.
"Good night, Nora," she heard through the door.
She didn't have the courage to correct him that it was already morning, and he didn't seem to realize his mistake. He just went straight to bed.
"So, what are we watching tonight?"
"How about Back to the Future? Just for the joke?"
"Please. You don't have enough time travel at work?"
"I'm vetoing Back to the Future because it's not even a funny joke."
"Fine. You chose. I don't care."
A portal suddenly opened behind them, in the middle of the living room, and Lena walked through. Both Sara and Ava pushed themselves up to look at her over the couch.
"Well, look who finally decided to show up."
Lena froze when she saw both of her mothers staring at her from the couch.
"Oh, hum... I thought you were still at work."
"Apparently we don't need to work since you've been doing the work for us."
Lena pursed her lips.
"I'm sorry. Again. But I just wanted to help."
"Save it," Sara declared. "We've basically had twenty years to forgive you."
Lena let out a breath.
"But you're still grounded for two months and I'm confiscating your time courier," Ava added.
"I should have expected it."
She took the time courier off her wrist, sad to have it taken from her after he'd just been barely returned.
"Does that mean I'm not interning anymore?"
Ava shook her head.
"No. You'll be interning with me until we deem you can have your time courier back."
"I guess I deserve it."
She walked around the couch and fell in it beside Sara. She handed the time courier to Ava, who put it on the small table beside her.
"Better. Alive. I just stayed to make sure the potion would work."
"Well, at least this entire adventure wasn't pointless," Ava declared.
Sara rolled her eyes.
"You did good, kid. Be proud of yourself."
"I am. I'm proud and grounded."
"The price of success."
Lena crossed her arms.
"I feel like I basically gave you the ideas for my punishment. I punished myself twenty years ago."
Sara reached around Lena's shoulders and pulled her into a hug.
"Alright, let's watch something!"
Lena smiled, glad that this whole adventure was basically already forgotten. What else could she expect from her mothers, who'd seen far, far worse in their many years of time traveling?