“You honestly think you can make more arrests that me?” Sharpe asks, a mocking smile on her face. “I don’t even know where to start with that. I don’t even think you can read, let alone beat me at arrests. I happen to have a perfect record.”
Her arms are crossed, and she’s staring Sara down. Sara mirrors her posture, stepping closer. “Well, Detective Sharpe, I happen to have an… almost perfect record.” There had been a couple of unfortunate incidents to mar her record, but, in her opinion, none of them had been her fault. Frankly, they had been Captain Jiwe’s fault, assigning West and Heywood to help her instead of Gary. Gary might be slightly incompetent sometimes, but he makes up for that in enthusiasm. West and Heywood don’t seem to have any sort of enthusiasm for police work, and it makes working with them almost impossible.
Ava looks at her with disdain, rolling her eyes. “Exactly. Almost perfect. Not perfect, and, in any case, most of your arrests are just luck. One day, that’s going to run out, and I am going to be there to watch it happen.”
“Did you just admit you like watching me?” Sara asks, a smirk on her face.
That pink tinge that Ava gets sometimes when Sara teases her rises on her skin, and Sara watches it spread with amusement, before its progress is slowed by Ava clenching her jaw, frustration evident on her face. “No. I did not, Detective Lance. I don’t enjoy watching you do anything. It’s just part of my job, and I do it, because, unlike you, I like to remain professional.”
As she says this, she sweeps her eyes disapprovingly over Sara’s outfit. Her ripped leather jacket, crop top, and jeans are maybe slightly less work appropriate than even her usual attire, but, in her defence, she’d forgotten to do laundry and the top was all she had. Ava, in her usual pantsuit and blazer, looks practically black tie.
“I can see your stomach,” Ava says, almost horrified.
Sara looks down, drags the shirt up a little bit, exposing her abs just a little more. “This stomach?” she asks, and Ava is speechless for a second, the shocked look on her face only growing stronger, before she makes a frustrated noise, turning away and walking out of the bullpen without another word.
It’s at that moment that the Captain appears in the door of her office, clocking Sara’s outfit immediately. Her voice is long suffering when she says, “Lance. Change your shirt.”
Zari looks up from her phone, eyes Sara’s outfit. Her voice is slightly amused when she says, “I could’ve told you she wasn’t gonna like that.”
Sara smirks again, digging around in her bag for the backup shirt she’d brought, collapsing back in her chair. “I know. I just like seeing Sharpe’s face when I dress like this. Her face was definitely worth it.”
From behind her, Palmer speaks up. “You shouldn’t try to rile her up like that. You’re partners. You’re supposed to work together, not hate each other”
“It’s so fun, though,” Sara says. “She gets that cute frustrated face or sometimes her indignant face and then storms off and it’s, somehow, just as entertaining each time I do it.”
“You know,” Zari says, her voice dry, “You’re the only one who pays attention to all of her different faces. None of the rest of us care.”
Sara dismisses this with a wave of her hand. “Yeah, because I have to sit opposite her all day every day. You learn a person’s face.” That’s the only reason she knows Sharpe’s emotions so well. There’s no other reason.
“Mhmmm,” Zari says. “Sure. That’s why.”
That’s the only reason why, Sara thinks, as she leans over to Sharpe’s desk, nudging the tiny rainbow flag she’s been slowly moving across the desk slightly further to the left, wondering how long it’s going to be before Ava notices that it’s not even anywhere close to where she’d placed it.
“Clearly the only way to settle this is with a bet,” Zari says, a day later, after Sara had spent the entire rest of the work day bickering with Sharpe over their respective arrest rates. “Whoever gets more felony arrests in… a year wins.”
“Easy,” Sara says, hardly even looking at Sharpe. She examines her nails nonchalantly, knowing that her casual demeanour will rile her up even more. “I’ll bet anything. I’m not losing.”
“What about your car?” Nora suggests, an evil twinkle in her eye.
For a second, Sara feels a small amount of fear. Her car is her prize possession. But she’s not admitting to the tiny doubt she has that she might not win, so she just smiles at Sharpe. “If you win, Detective Sharpe, you get my car, and all the knowledge of what’s happened in there,” she says, raising her eyebrows suggestively. Sharpe looks genuinely disgusted, her nose crinkling, her mouth curling up. “Maybe the ghost of all the girls in that car will finally give you some game.”
“I don’t need any help in that area, thank you,” Sharpe says, primly, and Sara purses her lips, tilting her head, examining Sharpe’s face for any trace of a lie, because she’d always just assumed that part of the reason Sharpe had such a stick up her ass was because she gets none, but none of Sharpe’s tells (not that Sara has spent time learning what Sharpe looks like when she lies) are there.
All of a sudden, thoughts are clouding her mind, thoughts that she shakes away, before leaning forward, her elbows resting on her knees, hands under her chin, her gaze on Sharpe intent. “What are you going to do when you lose?”
Everyone turns to look at Sharpe, and she shakes her head. “I don’t know.”
“Well,” Zari says, obviously enjoying herself. “Sara’s offering up basically her most prized possession. Losing that would be literally the worst thing to ever happen to her. So, what’s the worst thing you could imagine doing?”
Sharpe turns back to Sara, and when she speaks, her voice is dripping with derision, a sneer on her face that should be unattractive, but isn’t. “Being one of the girls in Sara’s car.”
Everyone in the room erupts, and Sharpe has a satisfied grin on her face as she stares directly at Sara, not breaking her gaze, hardly even blinking. It just makes Sara want even more to beat her, to see the look on her face when she realises she has to get into the car.
“So, a date?” Sara asks, pushing off the table she’s been sitting on, moving closer. “When you lose, you have to go on a date with me.” Ava seems to already be regretting her decision, the confidence behind her eyes wavering. “And, honey, it’s going to be terrible.”
“I wouldn’t expect anything less of you,” Sharpe says, and then hesitates slightly, before holding out her hand. “Deal.”
Sara smiles, taking the hand, shaking it. “I hope you’re ready for the worst date of your life.”
“I hope you’re ready to take the subway everywhere,” Ava counters. “Enjoy the last year of having your car in your life.”
“The Waverider isn’t going anywhere except on our date.”
“You named your car the Waverider?” Sharpe asks, incredulous.
“Yeah,” Sara says, looking up at Sharpe with a grin on her face, “because she helps me ride that wave of—”
“Okay!” Ray says, interjecting, his voice overly cheerful and slightly frantic. Sara feels his hands on her shoulders, and then she’s being steered backwards, away from Sharpe. “If Lance loses, Sharpe gets her car. If Sharpe loses, Lance takes her on a date.”
Sara nods, goes to turn away, but not before she sees more open disgust on Sharpe’s face. She decides to make it worse, making a wave motion with her hand, winking in Sharpe’s direction. Sharpe just rolls her eyes, shaking her head.
Sara wins. There were a couple of moments where she wasn’t sure she’d manage it, a couple of days where she and Gary had to pull extra long shifts in order to close a tricky case, but, when the bet finishes, exactly a year later, Sara is two arrests ahead.
There had, maybe, been moments where she’d annoyed Sharpe so much that she’d unfairly managed to snatch arrests out from under her nose with her hardly even noticing, but Sara had never said she’d play fair—and, in any case, she had far more to lose.
Sharpe is so sure she’s winning, and then, right at the last second, a sting that Sara had been working on for months pays off, pulling in a ring of dudes who’d been stealing large amounts of money while dressed as obscure mascots—one of them had been large and blue and Sara had had no idea what he was supposed to be—and Sara has ten more felonies to add to her list, and Ava loses.
Sara might have spent way too long planning her winning celebrations, might have planned confetti and music and a dance routine, but it’s all worth it to see Sharpe covered in bits of tiny coloured paper, a defeated look on her face, while Sara attempts to do a backflip.
Attempts, only because Palmer stops her, not because she can’t. She had spent one very long weekend learning how to do them, but now never gets a chance to show off her skill. Maybe she can make Sharpe watch her.
Sharpe can’t say no to anything, including Sara’s mock proposal with a $1 ring. Sara slides the ring onto her finger, and for a second their hands are touching, and she has to pretend like she doesn’t feel anything, like her breath doesn’t hitch slightly at the feeling. She shakes her head, shakes the feeling away, tries to concentrate on feeling victory, looks up at Ava hoping to find satisfaction in her expression—but all she sees is open-mouthed shock, and it stirs something inside her, so she looks away, spinning around a sign, another gloating piece of decoration that she’d planned.
When she looks back, Sharpe has collapsed in her chair, still looking shell-shocked. When the day ends, when there’s no-one else around but the two of them, Sharpe looks up.
“There isn’t anything else I can do? I’ll do your overtime. I’ll literally give you money,” she says, her voice verging on desperation.
Sara shakes her head. “Nope. You’re going on a date with me. We’re going to go to a bar and dance and you’re going to wear a dress and meet Gideon.”
Sharpe sighs, then her eyes crinkle in confusion. “Who’s Gideon?”
Smirking, Sara just says, “You’ll see.”
“Yes,” Sharpe says, sighing again, then leaning to gather up her things. “I suppose I will.” She gets up, and then stares down at her desk, her eyes narrowing. “Is my flag in a different place?”
Sara shrugs, sitting down. “Who knows? I don’t keep track of your personal items, Sharpe.”
Sharpe eyes her suspiciously, but doesn’t push it. “You’re not leaving yet?”
Sara shakes her head. “Gotta file a load of paperwork. You know, from all those felonies I just brought in,” she says, grinning, leaning back in her chair and putting her feet up on the desk. Captain Jiwe doesn’t like it, but she’s not here right now. And even if she were, it would’ve been worth it for the way Sharpe’s eyes follow her legs, before flicking quickly away, trying to pretend she wasn’t looking there.
“You’re literally the worst person,” Sharpe says, exasperated. “I’d tell you not to do that, but you wouldn’t listen would you?”
“No,” Sara says, crossing her arms. “I’d just do it on your desk, as well. Get all your nicely arranged stationery out of place.”
“I despise you.”
“And you get to go on a date with me,” Sara says, a sweet smile on her face. “Aren’t you lucky?”
Sharpe just rolls her eyes, picks up her coat—sensible, boring, just like her—and is gone.
Sharpe’s house is just as boring looking as she is, in an actual nice bit of town. Apparently her windows are double glazed, so, as she had told Sara in no uncertain terms, there’s no point beeping. Sara’s pretty sure Sharpe just doesn’t want her disturbing her surely equally boring neighbours, but it doesn’t matter, because the horn on the Waverider has been broken for months, and Sara’s both too cheap and too lazy to bother fixing it.
Sharpe opens the door, and she’s wearing the dress Sara had sent her. She’d chosen it because she was sure it would look ridiculous, but, somehow, it doesn’t. It was supposed to be just the wrong length, supposed to hit just at the wrong place, and be an unflattering colour, but, somehow, Sharpe is pulling it off.
“I look weird, don’t I?” No, Sara thinks, but she doesn’t say it. “This dress is ridiculous. Do I have to wear it? God. Stop fucking staring, Lance, I know it looks stupid.”
It’s hugging curves Sara hadn’t even been aware that Ava was in possession of, and, somehow, against the light tan of her skin, the colour doesn’t look insipid. It looks almost… nice. Sharpe looks… good, but Sara isn’t going to admit that. Especially when she had purposely dressed ridiculously, in tiny short shorts and one of her (male) roommates’ blazers, the sleeves dwarfing her arms.
“I’m just shocked, Sharpe. I thought those pantsuits were surgically attached to your body. I wasn’t sure you’d even be able to wear the dress.”
“Haha,” Sharpe says, her tone mocking. “Very funny. I do actually wear things other than those suits.”
Sara leans in, tilting her head. “Really? Like, those fancy pyjama sets that kinda look like pant suits?”
“No,” Ava says, too quickly. Sara raises an eyebrow. “Okay, kinda. But other things, as well. Sometimes.”
“Whatever you say, Sharpe,” Sara says, reaching behind her to close the door, then holding out a hand to her. “You have to take it.”
That’s part of the rules. Sharpe has to do anything Sara wants—but she’s not going to make her genuinely uncomfortable, so if Sharpe doesn’t take it, she won’t force her. But then she does, making an exaggerated show of wincing, and Sara can’t help but smile a bit as she turns away. And then Sharpe’s fingers weave between hers, and she turns back just in time to feel Sharpe pull away, as if she’s just touched something hot. Sara raises an eyebrow. “Sorry. Automatic reaction,” Sharpe says, and Sara’s immediately intrigued again, as to who Sharpe’s been holding hands with.
Sara leads her across the road, to her car. Ava follows her, the heels that Sara had debated giving her, for fear of feeling small, but that she had eventually decided on giving her just because the idea of Sharpe in four inch sparkly silver heels was too amusing to pass up, click on the road. “The Waverider,” she announces.
Ava frowns at it. “This piece of junk? God, I’m not even sure the scrapheap I was in contact with would’ve taken it.”
“Hey!” Sara says, indignant. “It drives. What more do you want in a car? Time travel?”
Ava eyes the car. “Does it drive? Or do you just use it as a hookup spot?” There is obvious distaste in her voice at the words, as if imagining Sara hooking up with people really is the worst thing she can think of.
“It does.” Sara tilts her head. “Most of the time. And it’s your lucky day, because, today, it’s driving.”
“I’m thrilled,” Ava says, her hands tight around her clutch.
“I thought you would be,” Sara says, leaning against the door to examine Ava. “Okay, before we get going, two more things.”
“What might those be?” Sharpe says, sounding thrilled at the idea of more things she’s required to do.
Sara steps closer, then motions at Sharpe to spin around. Sharpe does, reluctantly, pivoting on her heels, and only winces slightly when Sara pulls the pins out of her bun, letting her hair fall loose down her back. “No work hair on dates,” Sara says, in explanation. She opens her mouth to say something else, but it’s gone when Ava shakes her head, and her hair ripples and glows in the light of the street lamps, looking more than a little magical.
Looking like someone’s attached a sheet of molten gold to the back of Ava’s head.
When Sara doesn’t say anything, Sharpe spins back around, and her face is wary. “What’s the second thing?”
Sara looks up at her. “No matter what happens, you’re not allowed to fall in love with me.”
Sharpe stares back at her, a pitying smile on her face. “Won’t be a problem.”
Smiling, Sara opens the car door, motioning Sharpe inside, and Sharpe gets in, slowly, examining every spot of the car, as if it might give her a disease. Sara walks around to the driver’s side, settles in, and looks over at Sharpe where she’s still clutching her purse as if it’s the only thing keeping her afloat. “What do you think?”
“I’ll reserve judgment until I see whether I arrive at our destination in one piece.” Sharpe pauses. “Speaking of, where is our destination? Or am I not allowed to know that?”
Sara smiles again. “Gideon? Where are we going?”
Sharpe frowns. “Who are you talking to?”
“Sat-nav. Named her Gideon?”
“For fun. Plus, I got one of those fancy ones that responds to voice commands.”
“It’s not responding, though, is it?” Sharpe says, pointing out the obvious, her voice dry.
Sara examines it for a second, before flipping a switch, and trying again. “Gideon, can you tell Ava where we’re going?” she asks, her voice sweet.
A British voice echoes through the car, emanating from the speakers. “I have been instructed not to reveal our destination.”
Sharpe raises an eyebrow. “How long did you spend programming that in?”
A while, but she’s not going to say that. “That’s not all I can do. Say something to her.”
“I’m not saying anything to her,” Sharpe says.
Sara had been expecting that. She presses a button on her phone, and Gideon speaks again. “What a bitch.”
Sharpe gapes. “Did your sat-nav just call me a bitch?”
“You programmed your sat-nav to be able to swear?”
“I can get her to say other things as well, there was this thing I found that can make her say sexual shit as well, if you want to—”
“I do not want to hear your weird British sat-nav saying anything even remotely sexual, thank you very much.”
Sara rolls her eyes, but doesn’t push it. “Your funeral,” she says, putting her key in the engine, and pulling away.
“We’re at a lesbian bar,” Sharpe says, confusion on her face. “Why?”
Sara orders them two ridiculous drinks, handing one over to Sharpe, then looks at her, twisting her expression into one purposely patronising. “Because, in case you hadn’t noticed, we’re two women. I want this date to be terrible because of me, not like, actual homophobia,” she says, and she doesn’t miss the look that passes briefly over Sharpe’s face.
“Oh,” she says. “Right. That’s… thoughtful… I guess?”
Sara hadn’t really expected Sharpe to comment on that, hadn’t expected to have to explain her choice, and the slight smile on Sharpe’s face is too much, so she downs her drink, and pulls her onto the dancefloor, determined to wipe that expression away.
“Don’t get soft, Ava,” she says, her voice sugary sweet. “We’ve got a lot of terrible date to go. Just because I thought of that one thing doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for the worst date ever. We’re dancing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Sharpe groans, but she follows along, and seems to decide she’s not giving in until Sara does, because she’s more enthusiastic than Sara was expecting, keeping going as if it’s a competition to see who lasts longer, and Sara’s ashamed to admit that it’s Sharpe.
Eventually, Sara gives in, mainly because being that close to Sharpe is doing strange things to her insides, and she needs a drink. While she’s ordering another them, she loses Sharpe, and then, when she has two new drinks, she turns around, and spots her at the end of the bar, talking to a woman, a woman who’s leaning in, twirling with her hair, and unmistakably flirting. Sara’s insides flip again, and then Ava turns around, sees Sara, and moves away, an expression on her face that looks almost relieved.
Sara frowns. “That woman was flirting with you.”
Sharpe looks down. “Yeah, I know. Sorry. That’s against the rules, right?”
“No! I mean. No. This isn’t a real date. You could’ve talked to her. I don’t care.” She’s sounding like she does care, but she doesn’t. Ava can date who she wants. “We can drop this whole thing. It’s fine. I don’t want to hold you back from anything because of a stupid bet—”
“Shut up, Sara,” Sharpe says, her voice harsh, and Sara blinks. “I lost that bet fair and square. I’m not disappearing off with some woman in the middle of this. You’ve got me until midnight, remember?”
“Right,” Sara says, slightly shell shocked. “Okay.”
Ava looks at her, suspiciously. “Why were you so eager to just give up on this all of a sudden?” She pauses, then a scandalised look appears on her face. “Wait, did you like… plant her? To fuck with me?”
“God, Ava, no.” The first name slips out without her meaning it. “I’m not a literal sociopath.”
Bare-faced shock must be obvious on Sara’s face, because Sharpe seems to accept that without question. “Right. Sorry,” she mutters. “I don't actually think you're that bad. I was just— you were suddenly giving up on something you've been gloating about for a literal year. It was confusing.”
“Just keeping you on your toes, Sharpe,” Sara says, lightly, pushing down the feelings that are trying to rise up. “Come on, we've got lots more terrible date to get through.”
It's at that moment, as she's dragging Ava away from the bar, that her phone buzzes. She groans. Only texts from the Captain are set to make any sort of sound.
On her screen are two texts.
One is from Gary.
If you want to do something Ava will hate, ping pong isn't the answer. She's amazing at it. But aren't you like… putting far too much effort into this?
She ignores that. She's putting the exact right of effort you should put into something you've been planning for year.
The other one is from the Captain, and her eyes scan it, sighing.
Call me immediately. There's a developing situation in midtown, and Gary told me you have taken Detective Sharpe to a bar in the area.
The name gives her pause for a second, and it takes her another second to realise that, the second she saw Ava with that girl, something had shifted, and, now, it’s suddenly impossible to think of her as anything but Ava.
So much softer, approachable, inoffensive than Sharpe, and then she shakes her head because no, she’s not thinking that, she’s not doing that, but then Ava notices her sighs, says “Something wrong?” and there's genuine concern on her face, and Sara doesn't have enough time to unpack that, so she looks away, back at the phone.
Focuses on the call, and not on Ava.
“I have to call someone.”
She calls the Captain, and she's short, succinct, and refusing to budge. She doesn't care about the bet.
Sara sighs again, looks at Ava. “We’re leaving,” she says, grabbing Ava’s arm, pulling her out of the bar.
“Captain called. We gotta go stake out some warehouse three blocks away. We’re gonna have to sit in my car if you don’t want to freeze.”
Something passes over Ava’s face, and then crosses her arms. “I’d rather freeze.”
Sara rolls her eyes. “Fine. Captain gave us the location of a convenient rooftop. We can sit there. I just need to get something out of my car.”
“Let me guess. Snacks. I bet you can’t go more than half an hour without eating.”
“It’s called having a fast metabolism, Sharpe,” Sara says, as they walk back to her car. “I need to eat this much because I’m ripped and that needs lots of calories.”
It’s Ava’s turn to roll her eyes. “So you keep saying. I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Sara scoffs. “You’ve already seen it. In my crop tops. Like, don’t pretend you weren’t looking. You can’t look anywhere else every time I turn up with my stomach out.”
“All I’ve seen is a small amount of muscle. For all I know, it’s hardly a two-pack,” Ava says, primly.
Sara shrugs. They reach her car, and she unlocks it, reaching into the backseat, pulling out a black hoodie and shirt, before, very deliberately undoing the buttons of her shirt.
“What are you doing?” Ava hisses, her eyes widening, but not, Sara notices, looking away.
“I’m changing,” she says, as she stretches upwards, sliding the shirt on over her head, making sure that every single muscle on her stomach is on show, including the deep v trailing down towards her pelvis. “I don’t want to be in bright white on top of a building. That would be way too obvious.”
Ava just crosses her arms, her eyes rolling skyward, resolutely not looking.
It’s too late, though. Sara already saw her staring.
Once she’s changed, she reaches into the car, pulls out the flask she had stashed in there earlier. It takes a second for her to remember why she brought it with her, and then she remembers, and lets out a laugh.
“Okay, turns out we would’ve been freezing in my car anyway.”
“The heating is broken. And the horn, not that that’s really relevant, apart from that it is great for car sex, because you don’t have to worry about leaning on it and—”
“Sorry. Right. Yeah. Heater’s broken. So I bought coffee. I didn’t want you freezing to death.”
At that, there’s, once again, confusion on Ava’s face. “The coffee was… for me as well?”
“You think I’m mean enough to sit there and drink coffee and let you sit and shiver?”
“Uh, yeah, definitely.”
Sara winces. “Okay. Fair. But that… that wasn’t my plan.”
Ava raises an eyebrow, steps closer. Suddenly, Sara forgets how to breathe, her fingers clutching at the flask, her knuckles going white. “Really?”
“Really,” Sara manages to get out, before Ava shrugs, snatches the flask from her, starts walking away, and Sara is finally able to breathe again.
“Come on, Lance. Let’s go on a stake out.”
Right. Lance. She’s still Lance, and Ava is still Sharpe, and she needs to remember that. Needs to stop feeling whatever she’s feeling. Needs to stop thinking about how soft her hair was when she was pulling it down. How, when her fingertips brushed Sara’s skin while she took the flask, it felt like Sara had been burnt.
How insanely fucking good her tits look in that dress. How her arms are so much more toned than Sara ever expected, how she’s wearing lip gloss and her lips are sticky and shiny and just tinted a little bit pink, and look like they’d feel perfect against Sara’s lips, against her skin, against her—
“Lance! Come on.”
Sara snaps out of it.
“Cats are jerks.”
Ava clutches the steel mug in both her hands, looks at Sara. “Let me guess. You’re a dog person.”
“I like ‘em dumb and loyal.”
Ava tuts—and then looks away, but not before Sara can see something pass over her face, something that’s gone by the time she turns back, says, “That’s how you get all those girls into your car, huh? You just choose the dumbest ones? The ones that won’t notice what a piece of shit it is?”
Sara gasps in mock shock. “Ava Sharpe. You think that was a euphemism for my sexual preferences?”
Ava’s mouth scrunches up, and then she looks down, stares at her coffee. “Wasn’t it?”
Sara shrugs, ignoring the butterflies in her stomach, ignoring how every single thing Ava is doing is making her mind spin, making her question every interaction they’ve ever had. “Not really. I don’t really have a type. Not like that, anyway. And I dispute the idea that I’m the one doing the seducing.”
Sara shrugs again, takes a sip of her coffee. “I don’t know what to tell you, Sharpe” — either Ava just flinched at the name, or Sara’s seeing things—”I’m just a babe magnet. I don’t need to convince anybody. They’re just all into me already. Don’t need to do any work.”
She doesn’t know why these words are coming out of her mouth. She’s never been one to brag quite this much, but she’s desperate for some sort of response out of Ava, desperate to get a rise out of her, to get some sort of sign that she’s not imagining how Ava’s been glancing at her all evening, brushing their legs together, blushing and smiling and laughing when Sara told her stories about her time in her elementary school play.
“You’re saying you never have to seduce anybody? They just come to you?”
Neither of them has looked away from the other in at least thirty seconds. Ava’s lips are parted, and then her tongue swipes over her lips, and, god, she’s trying with all her might to get Ava to make the move, to confirm that the tension between them is so thick she can taste it, but if Ava lasts a minute longer, she’s going to break.
“They all just… make the first move?”
Ava’s still staring at her. Sara just nods, unable to say anything. Ava sets her mug down, looks down, her fingers twisting in her lap.
“You’re really insufferable,” Ava says, her voice quiet.
Sara raises an eyebrow. “Takes one to know one.”
Ava scoffs. “Shut up.”
Ava looks up, her eyes wide, and then she’s leaning forward, closing the gap between them, her fingers going towards Sara’s face, and they’re kissing, and she’s exactly as good at it as Sara thought she would be.
Her fingers are soft and her lips are softer and she tastes like coffee.
Sara shifts closer, her hands going to Ava’s waist, then sliding them further upwards, up and up until they’re resting on Ava’s chest, not even in a sexual way (although Sara would be lying if she wasn’t thinking about that a little) but just so she can feel the way Ava’s chest is rising and falling, feel her heartbeat, touch her and be close and get lost in her lips.
It feels like she finally has her head on straight. She’s been going crazy through this whole date, this date that was supposed to be a disaster, this date that shouldve been a disaster with the way things had gone.
This date that is anything but a disaster.
Sara moves one hand even higher, curling it around Ava’s neck, keeping them close, holding her tight, determined to show in every way possible that Ava kissing her had been exactly what she’d wanted, that she’s loving it, that she doesn’t want it ever to end—
Ava pulls back, her eyes wide. “Shit. Shit.”
Sara feels her face fall. “I’m s—”
“No. No. Not— not you. The kiss was great. It’s just— a car’s driven up to the warehouse. We need to go. Now.”
Ava’s up in a second, gathering up all their things. Sara’s a little frozen, still thinking about how good Ava had smelt, has tasted, had felt.
“Sara?” Ava’s staring at her. “You coming?”
“Yes. Yeah. Sorry.” She shoves her things int the pockets of her jacket. Ava holds out a hand, and Sara takes it, letting herself get pulled up, until they’re toe to toe.
Sara’s expecting Ava to let go as soon as she’s up, but she doesn’t, just pulls her across the roof with urgency, doesn’t let go until they reach the bottom of the staircase, until they burst into the cold again.
She reaches into the back of her shorts, pulling out the gun she’d stashed there at the beginning of the stakeout, then looks at Ava. “You need my spare?” Ava just shakes her head, leans down, and pulls up her skirt just enough to show a thigh holster, a gun strapped to her leg. “You had that there the whole time?” Sara asks, her mind spinning, trying not to show how hot she thinks it is.
Ava just shrugs. “Always gotta be prepared, Lance,” she says, and then she winks, before moving across the street. “NYPD! Hands up where I can see them!”
Her police voice is, perhaps, even hotter than the holster. Sara spends a split second lost in it, and then kicks herself into action, following Ava across the road, her gun up.
Sara collapses in her chair. Ava does the same opposite her.
“That was… eventful,” Sara says, carefully, trying to gauge exactly what’s happening between them. Ava hasn’t said anything since she let go of Sara’s hand, and Sara’s a little terrified that she’s decided it was a mistake.
Ava looks up, laughs a quiet laugh. “Which bit? The bit where we busted a ring of drug dealers, or the kiss?”
“Well… both. But mainly… the kiss. Because, like, if you’re regretting it, or, whatever, you know, we can just go back to hating each other.”
Ava rolls her eyes. “You think I hate you?”
Sara blinks. “I mean. Yeah. Kinda.”
Ava laughs again, and then she’s getting up, pulling her chair around to Sara’s side of the desk, sitting down again. “I don’t hate you. You’re stubborn and frustrating and reckless and an absolute pain in my ass.”
“Is this going to get like… complimentary towards me, or…?”
Ava reaches across, hits Sara on the arm, lightly. “Shut up. You are… endlessly frustrating. But you’re also… clever and funny and kind and the best detective I know.”
Sara raises an eyebrow. “Is that including you?”
Ava tilts her head, screwing up her mouth in a way that is ridiculously adorable, her nose crinkling, before letting out a breath, saying, in a rush. “Sometimes. Not always. Sometimes.”
“Wow,” Sara says, laughing, reaching out for Ava’s chair, pulling herself closer, until their knees are touching. “That’s a big admission. You must really like me.” The words slip out without her meaning, and then she winces. “I mean. You know, just normal liking, not like, liking-liking, you know, unless you… do…” she finishes, trying and failing to keep her voice sounding casual.
She doesn’t know why she’s like this. Why one kiss from Ava Sharpe has her acting like a lovestruck schoolgirl. Why she can’t find her cool, no matter how desperately she searches for it.
Ava just rolls her eyes. “You can stop panicking, Sara. I don’t… not like you.”
Sara sighs, leaning forward. “So you’re saying you… do like me?”
“Yes, Sara, that’s what I was going for.” There’s half a smile on Ava’s face, and, to be perfectly honest, she’s never looked hotter.
“Well,” Sara says, standing up, relishing in the way Ava’s eyes follow her upwards. “You’re always saying that I have the listening capabilities of a five year old child, so you gotta make it really obvious for me, Aves.” She looks around the bullpen, checks that they’re not being watched by anyone on the night shift, and then holds out her hand, her turn to drag Ava where she wants.
Ava takes it, lets herself be pulled into the evidence room, lets herself get pushed against one of the shelves, lets Sara kiss her again, only pulling back to gasp for air. “Like,” Sara says, reaching up to tuck some hair behind Ava’s ear, “for example, you could say, ‘Sara, you’re super hot, super clever, and I like you and also kissing you.’ You know. Something like that.”
Ava raises an eyebrow. “I could say something like that?”
“Yeah.” Sara shrugs. “Or you could just kiss me again.”
Ava does, and it’s magical, hot and cold and making shivers run through her body, goose pimples on every inch of her skin. Eventually, Sara moves away from Ava’s lips, traces her mouth down towards her neck. “You know,” Sara says, in between light kisses on Ava’s skin, learning the lines of her throat. “I told you not to fall in love with me.”
She feels when Ava laughs. Feels it under her mouth, but also under the hands resting on Ava’s waist. “Okay, firstly, we’re not quite at love yet, Sara,” Ava says, her voice light, a little breathless, as Sara nips at her skin, teasing and kissing and loving feeling Ava reacting to it.
“Yet,” Sara breathes, and Ava doesn’t contradict that, and it spurs Sara on, sucking down hard enough to leave just a hint of a bruise. When Ava doesn’t speak again, nothing but the sound of their heavy breathing filling the room, Sara tears her mouth away, looks Ava in the eyes. “What was the second thing?”
Ava laughs again, and it lights up her whole face, makes her look positively radiant. “When have I ever followed a order from you, Lance?”