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An Evening Full of Surprises

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A simple mission. That’s what Gideon had told them. Simple. Granted that’s how it looked on paper but Sara hadn’t expected reality to be this different. Turns out the Sheriff of Nottingham really knew how to train his deputies with a sword. It had all started out simple enough. Go in, steal Prince John’s gold, give it to the poor, start the legend of Robin Hood since the real one had gotten the plague. Like an idiot.

These are the thoughts running through her head as Sara limped toward the drop ship, trying to keep pressure on her thigh and move forward at the same time. Practically, stumbling through the door onto the back bench she clenches her teeth as the door automatically closed. “Gideon, get me out of here. Somewhere safe.”

Ripping the sleeve off her shirt Sara tries to stifle the blood flowing down her leg as the ship takes off. Those dicks working for the Sheriff really knew their way around their swords. Granted it had taken five of them against her to make this fun little cut on her thigh, but still she’d have to up her training because clearly she was getting soft. Sara holds her breath against the pain when the jump ship jolts into the temporal zone. Once she gets back on the ship it’ll take Gideon no time to stitch her up and she can only hope Ava doesn’t freak out too much once everyone gets back to the Waverider.

Closing her eyes she tries to breathe evenly as her blood slowly soaks her hands through her makeshift bandage she feels another jolt that means the jump ship is docking. So she waits for the rush of the hydraulics that mean the doors have opened and she only has to somehow crawl to the medbay. But instead she just grits her teeth against the pain when the ship jolts again. Leaning forward and looking out the windshield Sara sees not the inside of her ship, but a nighttime sky.

“Gideon where the hell did you take me?”

“Somewhere safe captain, just as you commanded of me.”

Sara lets her head make a dull bang against the bulkhead behind her, “Let me be more explicit, take me to the Waverider.”

The AI sounds almost apologetic, almost. “I’m sorry captain, but I’m afraid the jump ship is too close to its overheating temperature to make another jump right now.”

“Fuck.” Ripping the earpiece out of her ear, probably getting blood across her cheek, and throwing it across the small cabin Sara takes a deep breath before taking stock of the situation. Her leg needed medical attention, soon. So that was priority number one. She didn’t know where or when she was but staying on the ship wasn’t an option because the only medical equipment on board was Sara’s other sleeve. Which she just ripped to make another bandage and used the hem of her undershirt and half her staff to make a make shift tourniquet. Unzipping her now vest and leaving it on the bench Sara stands in her new crop top doing her best to ignore the pain radiating from her leg as she limps across the ship, pushing the button to release the door.

Stepping off the ship she swore softly again. She’s in an alley looking at an apartment building that has become incredibly familiar to her. Of course Gideon would associate her mom with safety. Shaking her head because she literally had no other options Sara activated the cloaking device on the ship and limped as quickly as she could across the street. Her torn jacket sleeves only doing so much and she could feel the blood beginning to drip down her leg again.

She makes a beeline for the elevator once in the building and prays no one else gets on as she stands in the corner making a small puddle of blood on the floor. Thankfully, no one does and the hallway is empty when the doors open. Hobbling toward her mom’s door Sara leans a hand on the door while she shakily unlocks it using her key with the other, wincing at the bloodstain she leaves on the cream colored door. Slipping inside Sara exhales a sigh of relief, the kitchen light is on so her mom is home. Leaning against the door as she closes it Sara allows herself to slip onto autopilot setting her keys and phone on the table near the door, calling for her mom as she does.

“Sara?” Dinah’s voice gets louder as she comes down the small hallway, “I wasn’t expecting you until this weekend-”

Her mom has the smile on her face Sara knows comes with her visits, a smile that slips off her face just as suddenly when she sees her youngest daughter. Sara can only imagine the sight she is, leaning against the door still to get her weight off her leg, blood practically covering her white canary uniform and dripping onto floor.

“Hi Mom, I-I could use some help.”

The slight waver in her voice seems to snap the elder Lance from her thoughts because she’s at Sara’s side in a moment. “Come on sweetie I’ve got you now, let’s get you sitting down.” Dinah takes the weight completely off her leg and leads her toward the kitchen, helping her sit heavily down in one of the chairs and lift her leg onto a different one before disappearing into the bathroom and reappearing a moment later with a first-aid kit the size of a carry-on suitcase.

Sara laughed weakly at the sight, “I don’t know if I’m offended or happy at the size of that kit.”

Snorting softly as she kneels next to her leg, Dinah sets the kit on the floor. “Sara, are you attached to these pants?” At the shake of Sara’s head her mom hands her gauze and murmurs for her to keep pressure on it before getting to work cutting the leg of her pants off, above and below what Sara would still like to believe is a “little” cut in her leg, below her knee was still incased in her now less than white boot.

At a motion from her mom she takes the gauze off for a second and Dinah takes the tattered remains of her pant leg off before getting a good look at her “little” cut. Shaking her head her mom reaches into the kit pulling a suture kit and bottle of rubbing alcohol out. “Well Sara you definitely need stitches and despite the impressive size of my kit I don’t carry anesthetic in it so you may feel a bit of pain.”

Looking away toward the ceiling Sara breathes out trying to relax, “Trust me mom the stitches won’t bother me-fuuuck” A strong burning in her leg made the curse practically jump from her mouth. Sara glares down at her mom who only shrugs back, closing the bottle of alcohol. “I never said it was the stitches that would hurt.”

Swearing quietly Sara rests her head against the arm that’s propped on the table and closes her eyes as she feels her skin begin to be pinched and knitted together, “How do you know how to do this?”

Her mom’s calm tone answers, “Your father hates hospitals and doctors, always has. I took a few first aid classes so when he’d get home from a rough shift he wouldn’t have to go. It also came in handy when you tried to learn how to ride a bike without any help and when Laurel decided to take up skateboarding by taping a piece of wood to her roller skates.”

“I don’t remember that.” The stories bring a small smile to her face despite the situation. She’s missed hearing good things about her childhood. Sara’s eyes stay closed, she just lets the sound of her mom’s voice roll over her in calming waves as she told her stories of her and Laurel needing to be stitched and patched up as children. Now that the adrenaline is wearing off Sara can feel herself getting a more lightheaded and tired with each minute. Probably from blood loss she realizes belatedly. “Hey mom, I-I need to lay down soon.” She slowly blinked her eyes open, looking down at her mom.

Dinah looks up, taking in just how pale her daughter was, how heavily she was leaning back in the chair, “Ok sweetie I am almost finished here and then we’ll get you into bed.” Tying off the last stitch, and lifting her younger daughter’s leg to wrap gauze and bandages around it. Quickly unlacing and slipping off Sara’s boots and the other half of her mangled pant leg off before reaching out and gently cupping her cheek. “Come on sweetie let’s get you to bed.”

Almost lifting her daughter so she isn’t putting any weight on her leg, Dinah gets her to the “guest” room that had become more of “Sarah’s” room in the previous months. She manages to get her into a clean pair of shorts and a tshirt before Sara passes out as Dinah shifts her legs up onto the bed. Sighing softly the sight of her daughter in front of her, Dinah takes a deep breath letting the first full breath out since she’d rounded the corner to find Sara dripping blood on her welcome mat.

Leaving the room for a moment and walking back into the kitchen Dinah pointedly ignores the blood-soaked gauze and pink tinted boots and pant leg next to her table as she fills a bowl with warm water and grabbed a clean rag and going back to the bedroom. Setting the bowl on the bedside table and sitting beside her daughter’s form, Dinah slowly starts cleaning Sara of any trace of blood before pulling the covers up to her shoulders. Gently moving a lock of hair off her forehead Dinah gazed down at her daughter, wondering how the hell they’d gotten here.

Leaving the bedside lamp on she walks back into the kitchen and to start cleaning up. Gauze and tattered pants in the trash, while the table and floor had been cleaned and sanitized, Dinah had just put the first aid kit away and moves toward the living room with a strong gin and tonic to try and figure out how to get the bloodstains out of her welcome mat when she hears and incessant vibrating coming from her entryway. Following the noise she saw Sara’s phone and keys sitting on the table next to the door. Picking up the phone as it moved slowly across the table the photo ID of a beautiful blonde woman caught mid laugh and the name “Ava” stared up at her. Before she can answer it the phone kicks it to voicemail and almost immediately starts ringing again. This time Dinah swipes accept and raises the phone to her ear.

~~~

“Gideon where the hell is she?” Ava is asking the question before her portal closes as she steps onto the bridge of the Waverider, leaning heavily on the console.

“I’m sorry Director, but all I am at liberty to tell you is that the Captain is somewhere safe.”

“Goddamnit.” Turning away from the console she pulls out her phone out, dialing Sara’s number. When there’s no answer she tries again. And again. After five voicemails Ava feels like she could scream. The last time she saw her girlfriend she’d been limping away with a sheet of blood coating her leg telling the team she’d meet them back at the ship. But the dropship never redocked, and her brilliant dumbass of a girlfriend never turned the tracker on. And now the stupid AI was refusing to tell her where Sara was and Ava is a hairsbreadth away from losing it. So, she dials Sara’s number again. She was nothing if not stubborn and hits the redial button again after the voicemail picks up again.

She’d just keep calling until someone answered because unless either Gideon got her hypothetical head out of her hypothetical ass or someone answered the goddamned phone she had no way of finding her girlfriend. Ava loses count around twenty and is just hitting redial on automatic when someone picks up. She doesn’t give her girlfriend a chance to talk first. “Sara Lance where the hell are you? You don’t get to disappear covered in blood and order Gideon to not tell me where you went. Now where the hell are you?”

There’s a pause on the other end of the line before a woman’s voice that Ava doesn’t recognize speaks hesitantly. “Hi, Sara is here with me. I promise she’s safe…”

The woman doesn’t sound threatening but the fact that it isn’t Sara isn’t helping Ava’s nerves, “And who are you?” She puts a little bit of an edge to her voice but honestly who can blame her.

“Sorry, sorry I should have said that first, this is her mother, Dinah.” The woman has gone from hesitant to flustered and Ava groans internally, rubbing her forehead with her palm at the entire situation. Because she hasn’t met Sara’s mom yet. It’s been on their to do list since Sara was kidnapped a couple months ago but, well life had gotten in the way. And now apparently the ‘safe place’ Gideon had sent an injured Sara was her mother’s and there was no way Ava wasn’t going to go there so apparently this is now the new perfect time to meet the older Miss Lance.

Ava takes a steading breath, “Ok Miss Lance, can you give me your address and the date and time it currently is for you?” Sara’s mom quickly gave her the information and Ava input it to her time courier as she spoke. “thank you, I’ll be there shortly.” Ava hung up without another word. As much as she wants to make a good impression, her worry for Sara outweighs anything else at the moment.

Opening a portal straight into the apartment building’s hallway she stops in front of the proper door, her breath catching in her throat at the bloody handprint on the door. Looking down Ava notices more soaking into the hallway carpet all the way to the elevator. Where she’s willing to bet there’s a small puddle of it in the corner. Shit. Knocking with perhaps a bit more force than strictly needed. Ava can hear footsteps approaching the door before it opens, not enough for her to walk in but enough to get a good look at the woman on the other side. She and Sara have the same eyes. And it nearly takes Ava’s breath away because she has never met another person whose eyes just seem to bore into her before. Gulping slightly and nodding once, “Miss Lance.”

“I’m going to assume you’re Ava, I didn’t think you’d get here quite that quickly.” At her nod, the door opens enough for Ava to slip through before closing it. Ava murmurs some sort of reply but her eyes lock on the trail of blood that leads down the hall and follows it without waiting.

Ava is aware that she’s being rude to her girlfriend’s mom, but there’s enough blood between the hallway and the apartment to make her anxious. All she needs is to see Sara, then she will be the most gracious person Sara’s mom has ever met. Following the blood to the kitchen she can smell antiseptic, the kitchen very recently became immaculate. Feeling what she can only describe as a pull to a room toward the back of the apartment with a dim light coming from it, she turns into a bedroom and on the bed in the soft light of the bedside lamp is Sara, she’s either sleeping or passed out but Ava zeroes in on the steady rise and fall of her chest and wavers back into the door frame as relief washes over her.

Taking a deep breath Ava pushes herself forward until she’s sitting on the edge of the bed gently picking up Sara’s hand and tangling their fingers together. She’s paler than usual but her pulse is steady under Ava’s fingers and she’s clearly been taken care of.

“She passed out right when I finished stitching her back up.” Ava tears her gaze away from Sara to find eyes so much like Sara’s staring at her. Sara’s mom is leaning against the doorframe with her arms crossed over her chest. This is the first time Ava is actually getting a good look at her, she’d never thought about where Sara had gotten most of her mannerisms from, had actually assumed they were mostly from the League, but the way Sara’s mom is standing is almost exactly how Sara does right down to her leaning the side of her head against the door jamb. “Ava, she isn’t going anywhere. How about we get some tea and you can tell me exactly how my daughter turned up bleeding on doorstep.”

Well shit. This was the part where she had to make a good impression on the woman who raised the woman she loves. Taking a deep breath, Ava stands to follow Dinah but before following she leans down, gently kissing Sara’s forehead murmuring, “I’m gonna be so mad at you when you wake up,” before following Dinah out of the room.

~~~

Breathing deeply as she returns to the land of the living, Sara smells the mixture of scents that made up her mom’s apartment with a hint of antiseptic thrown in for good measure. She didn’t want to open her eyes yet, but can tell the lamp on the bedside table is on, still half asleep she murmurs, “Gideon.” She needs a progress report on how all her kids are doing, if only to make sure her ship was still in one piece. And call Ava, because her girlfriend had to be worried sick. When only silence, not an AI, greets her Sara snaps her eyes open.

“Gideon, what’s the ship’s status?”

There’s more command in her voice this time, a tone Gideon has never ignored before. Reaching up for her earpiece she finds the reason for the silence, her earpiece is gone and it dawns on her that she chucked it across the dropship. Ok, so she just needs to contact Gideon on her phone…which is definitely out in the living room.

Sitting up and throwing back the covers Sara goes to stand and hisses through clenched teeth. Apparently, she’d passed out before taking any ibuprofen. Grabbing the wall to use as support Sara slowly makes her way across the room and through the short hallway.

Rounding the corner she stops at the sight that greets her in the kitchen. Ava is sitting in Sara’s usual spot at the counter having a quiet conversation with her mom, there are mugs of tea in front of both of them and holy shit this isn’t how Sara envisioned Ava and her mom meeting but they clearly get along. Neither of them have noticed her yet so she takes a moment to just watch her family, it’s a better sight than she ever dreamed of seeing.

There’s a distinct lack of wall from where she’s standing to the island counter her family is at but Sara thinks she can make it. The wave of pain that radiates up from her leg as she takes her first unassisted step proves her otherwise. Pain which forces a wince past her lips and her eyes to go down to her leg.

That wince in turn tells both her mom and Ava that she’s awake, she hears a “Sara what the hell are you doing up” and “Sweetheart you should be resting” before she’s being helped over to the couch and her leg is being lifted onto the coffee table. Ava sits down next to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and Sara just relaxes into her girlfriend’s side.

Once she’s properly settled Dinah looked down at the pair of them for a moment. “I’m going to go grab my kit so we can check that leg, yell if you need me.” On her way past the couch Sara feels a kiss on the crown of her head before her mom’s footsteps fade down the hall.

After a moment she feels another kiss in her hairline before Ava murmurs into her hair. “That was really stupid of you.”

“Which part?” She could feel Ava’s small smile.

“All of it, not letting Gideon tell me where you were. Not turning on the dropship’s tracker. Not going to the Waverider. Getting out of bed just now. Take your pick.”

Pushing closer so there was even less space between the two of them, Sara tangled their hands together. “First, I didn’t know Gideon wouldn’t tell you where I was and she and I will be having a little chat about that when we get back to the ship. Second, I thought I was going to the Waverider. I asked her take me somewhere safe and she took me here and then told me the jumpship needed cool down before making another jump. Third, I didn’t know you were here and wanted my phone to let you and the team know I was ok.”

“I let Zari know as soon as I did that you were ok and we’d be back later.” Gently, her girlfriend traces patterns on her arm. “You promise to talk to Gideon about her current protocols?”

“I promise baby, how did you find me anyway?”

“By calling your phone until someone answered. That someone just happened to be your mom and here I am.”

Sara feels a small laugh bubbling up, “Yeah, not exactly how I pictured the two of you meeting.”

“Trust me it wasn’t exactly the first impression I was hoping to make but you had me scared Sara. You wouldn’t pick up your phone, Gideon refused to tell me where you were, and the last time I saw you there was a lot of blood on you.”

“Hey,” Sara tightens the grip she has on her girlfriend’s hand, turning her head to look at Ava. “I’m sorry for putting you through that. We’ll figure out better systems and protocols with Gideon and the team so we all know what happens with each other.”

Ava’s gorgeous eyes look down at her full of love and relief, “It’s ok, the important thing is that you’re ok.” Her brow furrowed a little. “You are ok right? Your mom said you passed out, and you looked pretty pale when I got here.”

Stretching up Sara pressed a kiss to Ava’s jaw, “I’m ok baby, Mom patched me up way better than anticipated.”

After that they just sat there, soaking up each other’s presence until her mom came back in lugging the suitcase of a kit with her. Sitting beside her leg on the coffee table her mom sets the kit next to Sara on the couch. Shaking her head at the line of red in the bandage on her leg, “I swear Sara Lance if you tore any stitches trying to walk around by yourself...”

“Mom as soon as I get back to the Waverider Gideon will fix me right up.”

“I’m sorry are we currently on your timeship?”

“No”

“Good, then until you are on your timeship, you aren’t putting any weight on this leg.”

“But what if I need to pee?”

“I’m pretty sure Ava or I can help you to and from the bathroom or with anything else you need.”

“But-” Sara withered slightly under the look her mom gave her. Leaning back into Ava’s shoulder, accepting defeat.

Her girlfriend looked at her mother with a sort of awe, “How did you do that? She never listens to me about getting some rest.”

“Just takes a mother’s touch Ava.” With a wink her mom went back to checking her stitches and rewrapping the cut.

That’s when Sara noticed it, the comfortableness between her mom and Ava. The lack of awkwardness and Sara felt her heart soar, because her two favorite people in the world really seemed like they got along. And her mom was right, they could help her with anything she needed. Whether with a little cut on her leg or whatever life threw at her, Sara settled into the couch between her girlfriend and her mom and for once in her life let herself be taken care of.