It was absurd. Completely, inexplicably absurd. As usual.
The mission should have been an easy in and out detainment. The Legends were chasing a demon calling himself Vitus who drew his power from making people dance to the point of collapse and coma, and the effects would only be reversed once he was captured and his powers contained. The team had a very simple plan, one that involved sneaking into a 1990’s rave with an aura blocker constructed using Ray and Constantine’s combined tech and supernatural knowledge.
It was so simple that Sara brought only Constantine and Ray to mingle with other club-goers as a backup in case something went wrong with the tech.
The first part of the plan worked flawlessly, with Sara charming her way into the VIP section off to the side of the dance floor with minimal effort. It was remarkable what a flirtatious smile and lingering eye contact could accomplish.
After Sara got behind the rope, Constantine couldn’t help but comment over comms.
“Does Director Sharpe know what a shameless flirt you are, Captain Lance?”
Sara rolled her eyes.
“One of the many things she loves about me, I’m sure,” Sara said, scanning the crowd to make sure she wasn’t being watched or followed.
Most of the people around her were too high, drunk, horny, or a combination of the three to pay much mind though. Outside of the occasional leering creep, Sara had made it almost to her target, the VIP bar, without raising any suspicion from Vitus or his henchmen disguised as bouncers.
She was about to stick the magnetic device to a pole under the bar when she felt an unfamiliar and very unwelcome hand brush against her back and stay there. Sara spun around, glaring at the guy murderously, a drunk creep leaning way too far into Sara's personal space as he rested his hand on her back.
“Care to dance, sexy?” he asked, his hand starting to drift down.
Any bit of restraint Sara had snapped. She grabbed the guy’s hand, twisting hard as she slammed it down on the bar.
“I don’t remember saying you could touch me,” Sara said. “Do you?”
“No, no, please let go, oh god it hurts,” he said, his voice high and whiny. “I think you broke something, please let go.”
“It’s not broken. I know what it feels like to break someone’s bone, and I know exactly how to do it,” Sara said, low and threatening next to his ear, pressing a little harder as she did.
“Sara, don’t get me wrong,” Ray said in her ear. “I’m loving the vigilante justice thing you’ve got going right now, but it looks like you might've attracted some attention.”
“What?” Sara snapped under her breath. She was suddenly having a hard time hearing Ray. The beat had just dropped on a particularly loud, aggressive song and the flashing lights, normally no more than a minor distraction, suddenly felt like enough to fry her brain.
“Dance floor, your 2 o’clock,” Ray said.”Looks like three of them.”
Sara looked up at the dance floor. Sure enough, a few of Vitus’ henchmen were making their way towards her and the handsy creep, doing their best to blend in and sneak up on her. She roughly released the guy.
“Next time, ask before you touch,” Sara said, shoving him away.
The guy nodded and hurried off towards the bathroom. Just as he disappeared from sight, the henchmen, three big guys undoubtedly carrying weapons approached her.
“Hey boys, what can I do for you?” Sara asked with her most charming smile.
“Is there a problem? It seemed like you were causing a bit of a commotion over here,” the biggest one said.
Sara looked around and shook her head, shrugging and smiling innocently.
“No, no commotion here,” she said, keeping her hand behind her back as she tried to feel for the metal of the bar behind her so she could place the device and activate it.
Normally, Sara could do that kind of thing stealthily and lightning-quick in her sleep, but her fingers didn’t seem to be cooperating at the moment. As a matter of fact, all of her instincts seemed to have slowed to a crawl.
“What’s behind your back?” the guy, likely the leader, asked.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean,” he said, resting his hand on his hip where the gun clearly was as the other two took a step closer. “What is in that hand behind your back?”
Sara’s vision tilted and shifted as the guys got closer. She squeezed her eyes shut to focus then opened them again, which was a mistake because it was so much worse. She snapped her eyes shut again.
“Not feeling so good are you?” one of the men said as Sara kept her eyes shut. “You know what I’ve heard helps out? Dance!”
With every last bit of will power she had, Sara pressed the button on the device. Nothing happened.
“Sara, I got an alert that the button was pressed. It’s not working,” Ray said. “It needs an amplified magnetic field to generate enough power. You need to place the device first.”
“I told you we should have done a spell and called it a day,” Constantine said.
“That spell posed a threat to innocent bystanders and had unpredictable effects on nearby magical entities. This device focused the mystical and electrical energy-
“Guys, can you finish this lovers quarrel after we keep me from dancing myself into a coma,” Sara snapped. She managed to slip the device in her back pocket just before feeling the irresistible impulse to move to the dance floor.
It was strange because she felt she had to dance, but initially had some limited control over her limbs, over how to dance as long as it was to the rhythm of the music. Sara figured this out quickly enough that she managed to engage a few of the guys in some hand to hand combat by choosing a combination of martial arts and breakdancing. Because of course a Legends mission would end up in a literal dance fight.
“Oh, yeah, yeah, I’ll try and get the aura blocker activated,” Ray said. “Where is it again?”
“In my back pocket,” Sara said, spinning low to sweep the legs out from under one of the henchmen who had come to help out the first three, then leveled another one with a high kick.
“Oh, oh boy, that could,um--
“Oh, bloody hell, I’ll do it,” Constantine muttered.
Sara kept on dancing, faster and with a little less control as she went, and noticed that everyone but the henchmen was giving her a wide berth. She felt Constantine try to grab the device from her pocket, tried to let him. Instead, Sara elbowed him in the face, forcing him to stumble back, clutching his nose.
“Sara, what the--
“I can’t help it, Constantine, it’s, this thing is getting worse,” Sara said breathlessly. “Find this guy and distract him or something. Ray, call the ship for back up if you need to.”
“Roger that,” Ray said as Constantine stumbled off to help.
And Sara kept dancing because that was apparently her new job now. With all Vitus’ men either unable or unwilling to fight her anymore, Sara had nothing else to distract her body, nothing to focus her movements other than the rhythm of the music. The low light and the quick, throbbing beat were intoxicating, and Sara could feel it to the point that it was becoming the only thing she could feel, the only thing she cared about.
Sara almost didn’t even care how long she danced, how exhausting it would be to keep up this pace. Her body just wanted to dance, and she had always been damn good at it. Dance always felt good, but this felt too good. Too good to be anything but bad news.
The music picked up the pace, and Sara was vaguely aware of people watching her now, some cheering her on as she sped up the pace to keep up with the music. She was edging towards the point of exhaustion, and the club was hot and sweaty and poorly ventilated to begin with, which really wasn’t helping.
Sara needed to stop soon, but she couldn’t, was even losing control over how to dance. She hoped Ray had something up his sleeve or Constantine had some brilliant spell because the rate Sara was going at was not remotely sustainable, not with Vitus intent on making her dance herself into unconsciousness.
Sara was on the point of collapse when the music abruptly cut off and changed. When she heard the first notes, Sara grimaced and rolled her eyes. So Ray did have a plan, and apparently that plan was to make Sara do the famous Dirty Dancing routine in the middle of a rave. At least it was slower.
Sara felt herself doing some ridiculous twirl to the opening notes as her eye instinctively searched for a dance partner. She was about to settle on searching for Ray because “I’ve had the Time of My Life” was Ray’s go-to karaoke song, and he was the reason she even knew the dance to begin with. Then her eyes settled on a much more appealing option.
Ava was suddenly there in front of Sara wearing jean shorts and an uncharacteristically bright pink and purple t-shirt.
“Heard you needed a dance partner,” Ava said, stepping forward. “Just hang in a little longer. Ray’s on it.”
Ava took Sara into her arms, seamlessly stepping right into the choreography. Sara would normally prefer to lead, but, under the circumstances, she absolutely would not complain. Mostly because it saved energy to have Ava lead, though there was also quite an appeal in Ava taking control without a second’s hesitation.
Ava held Sara in her arms, dipped her at the right time, pulled her closer at the right times. Right around the time she was pressing back into Ava, with her head tilted back, close enough that their lips brushed, Sara was really glad she hadn’t settled on Ray for this one. For a moment, Sara even forgot what was happening, just that Ava’s body was pressed into hers, and her lips were right there.
Then the beat picked up, and Sara’s body had to keep dancing. Still Ava didn’t miss a step.
“Didn’t know you could dance, this dance,” Sara managed to say. She hadn’t realized how breathless the dancing had made her until she tried to put together a full sentence. Even that sapped Sara’s energy.
“I’m full of surprises, aren’t I?” Ava replied as she twirled Sara out, then pulled her back in. “You holding up ok?”
Sara nodded breathlessly. Ava kept dancing because Sara wasn’t going to stop, but she frowned and kept her eyes on Sara.
Sara could feel the sweat pouring down her face, and even the relatively manageable rhythm was wearing her body down. She felt herself relying more on Ava for physical support, and Ava was apparently sensing that. She spun and twirled Sara at the right time, but Sara vaguely heard Ava mutter impatiently.
“Any time now, Ray. I don’t know how much longer she can keep this up,” Ava said.
Sara heard Ray’s voice say something into the comms, then maybe Constantine, but she was too focused on not collapsing to make any sense of it. Sara was right at the part where Patrick Swayze jumps off the stage and wondering what the hell her body would have her do when everything stopped. The music, the movement, like a light switch it was gone.
There was a split second of lingering confusion among the club-goers before the lights started flashing again and the music played and everything went back to normal. It took every bit of Sara’s energy to keep herself from passing out on the spot.
Sara smirked up at Ava and gave her a kiss.
“Good dancing, babe,” she mumbled as she smiled against Ava’s lips, before leaning into Ava’s arms. “Now take me to bed. Let the rest of the team wrap this one up.”
Ava shook her head but smirked indulgently as she picked Sara up easily. Sara rested her head against Ava’s shoulder as she felt Ava carry her outside into the cool, refreshing air. Then the whoosh of a portal opening up and the familiar, comforting low hum of the Waverider. Sara opened her eyes to see that they had portalled right into her room.
“As you requested,” Ava said, setting Sara down on her bed. Ava took off Sara’s shoes, then pulled the rumpled sheets up over Sara to her shoulders. “Bedside delivery.”
“Mmm, I could get used to this,” Sara said as she looked up at Ava, aiming for flirtatious though it came out more sleepy as her eyes drifted shut. “A beautiful woman carrying me to bed.”
“Well, let’s try not to,” Ava said as she slipped off her own shoes. “I’d rather you not land with any regularity in situations where I need to carry you home at the end of a mission.”
“I didn’t need to be carried,” Sara argued. “You took the initiative on that one.”
Ava folded her arms and raised her eyebrows.
“You all but collapsed in my arms and told me to take you to bed,” Ava said.
“I was flirting, couldn’t you tell I was flirting?” Sara replied sleepily with a grin playing at the corners of her lips, her eyes drifting shut. “You going to get in here and snuggle me or not?”
“I didn’t want to assume anything,” Ava said. “You need your rest after all.”
“And I will rest much better if I have my amazing girlfriend to cuddle up to,” Sara said, reaching out and tugging weakly at Ava’s wrist.
Ava grinned, then stood to climb under the covers and pull Sara close.
“Much better,” Sara said as she rested her head on Ava’s shoulder and put her arm around Ava’s waist. Ava traced her fingers, slowly, soothingly where they rested against Sara’s arm.
Sara let her eyes drift shut as she enjoyed Ava’s warmth and the soft, safe feeling she got in Ava’s arms. Everything felt good and right, and Sara could easily fall right back asleep if not for one nagging question that had entered her mind and wouldn’t leave.
“Yes, my love?”
“How the hell did you end up in a 90’s rave playing Patrick Swayze’s part from Dirty Dancing?”
“You mean that’s not a normal Legends rite of passage?” Ava replied.
Sara swatted at Ava’s arm without opening her eyes.
“I’m serious,” Sara said. “I don’t know much after I started dancing. I just want to know how my team arrived at that scenario as the sanest possible solution they could think of.”
“Maybe you should get your sleep before getting a debrief,” Ava said.
“It’s not a debrief. Call it a bedtime story if you want,” Sara said. “Now, come on, spill.”
Ava sighed dramatically.
“Well, I was actually reading for book club when Nate came and told me there was a problem, that Ray needed my help ASAP, ” Ava said. “I went right there, and they told me that you were under Vitus’ power and were beating up anyone who tried to get too close to the one device that could safely stop it. Ray said they asked for me because they thought I was the only one who might be able to beat you.”
“Seriously? They thought you could kick my ass in a dance fight?” Sara said, opening her eyes to look up at Ava, then resting her head back on Ava’s shoulder. “I mean you’re really good, but I was pretty unstoppable out there.”
“I’m sure you were, babe,” Ava said. “Which is why I suggested an alternative.”
It took a long second for that revelation to sink in.
“Wait. You were the one to suggest the Dirty Dancing reenactment?”
Ava shrugged, and Sara knew Ava well enough to know she was probably blushing.
“When I found out you could dance on our first date, I may or may not have looked up iconic dance scenes. I know you secretly love that movie, so I may have learned that dance to surprise you,” Ava said. “I always enjoyed dancing myself, so it was a fun little project.”
“It’s a decent dance scene, but I do not secretly love that movie,” Sara insisted, perhaps a bit too strenuously to be believable. “I’ve seen it a dozen times because it's one of Ray’s guilty pleasures, and I like to be supportive of my team.”
“If you say so,” Ava said. “So I suggested instead of fighting, I find a way to get close to you. That was when Ray suggested he could, as mini-Ray, do some rewiring at the DJ booth to play any song I wanted. Quick brainstorm and we realized that Dirty Dancing gave me a good chance to get close enough to get the device out of your pocket and pass it off to Constantine standing in the crowd.”
“Sneaky, sneaky Director Sharpe,” Sara said, smiling faintly as she pulled Ava a little closer. “Using your feminine wiles to pick the pocket of a trained assassin. I’ve taught you well. Although I’m a little disappointed those wandering hands were only part of the job for you.”
“Well, I never said I didn’t enjoy my work,” Ava said, pressing a lingering kiss to Sara’s lips that Sara tried to deepen. Ava smiled into the kiss but pulled gently away. “What happened to getting your rest?”
“I will,” Sara said, her fingers tracing under Ava’s shirt. “Just as soon as I show you how much I appreciate your dedication to your profession.”
Ava, still smiling shook her head.
“As tempting as that is, I think you need some sleep,” Ava said. “I know I do, and I’m not the one that nearly had their lifeforce siphoned out of their body by a dancing demon.”
Sara pouted, but Ava didn’t seem moved enough to change her mind. Sara hated it, but Ava was right, as she usually was about these things. As tempting as Ava was just about all the time, Sara was exhausted. She definitely wouldn’t be able to do her best work, put in the kind of effort Ava deserved.
“Fine,” Sara said, keeping her hands resting just under the edge of Ava’s shirt. “At least let me get us out of these ridiculous clothes. Even if you do look super hot in 90’s rave chic.”
“Allow me,” Ava said as she sat up enough so that Sara could pull the shirt over Ava’s head. Sara’s hands hesitated at the bra, unsure of what Ava’s expectations were, but Ava quickly answered that question. “I never could sleep with a bra on.”
Sara smirked and made quick work of the bra, tossing it on the floor without taking her eyes off of Ava. She would never ever complain about being in bed with topless Ava, but, even bone-tired, there was an awful lot of temptation to do something about it.
With that in mind, Sara kept eye contact with Ava managed enough energy to sit up and straddle Ava’s hips. She pulled her own shirt off, then unclipped her own bra with one hand and tossed it aside without ever letting her eyes leave Ava. Ava closed her eyes and took a deep breath like she did when she was trying to slow her mind down. Then opened her eyes and smirked at Sara.
“I know what you’re doing,” she said.
“Is it working yet?” Sara asked.
“It’s not not working,” Ava said, letting a hand rest on Sara’s hip. “You want some help with your shorts?”
Sara nodded and shifted a bit so that Ava could unbutton and pull them down. Sara finished the job, kicking them off, discarding her underwear along with it. Because even if she wasn’t trying to tempt Ava, it felt good to take everything off after a long mission. The fact that Ava swallowed hard when she realized what Sara had done was an added bonus.
“Your turn,” Sara said. Then added, because she never wanted Ava to feel pressured. “If you want to.”
Ava nodded without hesitation.
Sara moved to lay next to Ava so that Ava could pull the tight jean shorts and underwear off and toss them on the growing pile of clothes to the right of the bed.
“Much better,” Sara said, snuggling into Ava’s side. She rested her arm over Ava’s stomach and her chin on Ava’s shoulder, getting as much skin on skin contact as she could manage. Sara loved the way their bodies fit together, the comfort she got from holding Ava close and feeling the warmth of her skin.
“Yes, just as nature intended,” Ava said, grinning against Sara’s forehead.
Sara closed her eyes and smiled against Ava’s shoulder.
“Be careful, you’re starting to sound like me,” Sara said, her eyes still closed as she traced lazy circles on the skin of Ava’s stomach.
“Worse things could happen,” Ava said. “You’ve started to grow on me.”
“You’re not so bad yourself,” Sara said.
Ava laughed softly and there was a lingering comfortable silence, during which Sara felt herself drifting off to sleep. She kept letting her fingers drift in lazy patterns over Ava’s skin and felt Ava shift and sigh as Sara’s fingers ventured a little below the belly button, and that sigh always did things to Sara, regardless of how tired she was. Sara pressed a soft, quick kiss to Ava’s shoulder.
“You know, I think I’m getting my strength back. If you change your mind about me showing my appreciation,” Sara mumbled.
“What’s so funny?” Sara asked without moving.
“You’re half asleep, Sara,” Ava said.
“Means I’m half awake,” Sara argued, even as she kept her eyes shut.
“We’ll have plenty of time when you wake up, babe,” Ava said, pressing a kiss to Sara’s forehead.
“M’kay,” she mumbled. “Love you.”
“I love you too,” Ava said just as Sara felt herself drifting off to sleep.
When Sara woke a few hours later, she found herself half on top of Ava, as often happened when they shared a bed. She laid there for a minute, allowing herself time to wake up before attempting to roll off of Ava to give her a little bit of room to move. As soon as Sara made an attempt to move though, her muscles screamed in protest, aching down to her bones and Sara flopped gracelessly onto her back with a groan and a grimace.
The movement and sound must have been enough to wake Ava.
“Morning, babe,” Ava said groggily, turning her head to look at Sara in profile. “You feeling alright?”
“Yeah, just feel like maybe I won’t move from this spot for the rest of the day,” Sara said, keeping very still as she looked up at the ceiling. “Gideon, why am I so sore?”
“Without seeing you in the medbay, I can’t be certain,” Gideon said, then added with Sara swore was a little bit of amusement. “But I do believe being compelled to dance to the point of collapse by supernatural forces intent on draining your life force will result in some rather intense delayed onset muscle soreness.”
Ava smirked and rolled onto her side to face Sara, propping her head up on her hand.
“I guess I’m going to have to take care of you today,” Ava said.
With some effort, Sara turned her head to look at Ava and scrunched up her nose.
“But I was supposed to take care of you,” Sara protested.
“That’s going to be a challenge if you don’t plan on moving the rest of the day,” Ava said, shifting a bit, enough that the sheets slipped down to reveal more of her bare body.
“I can do it,” Sara insisted, her eyes lingering on Ava’s bare chest. “Just, I don’t know, sit on my face or something. I think I could do that without moving too much.”
Ava smiled and shook her head.
“As romantic as that proposition sounds, I think maybe you still need some rest,” Ava said, reaching out to tuck a strand of hair behind Sara’s ear. “Although I wouldn’t be opposed to revisiting the idea when you’ll actually be able to enjoy it.”
Sara raised an eyebrow at Ava and couldn’t help the little smirk that crept onto the corner of her lips. She’d been half-joking, but if Ava was willing to try something like that, Sara was more than ready to give it a shot. It also made her more eager to get this crippling muscle soreness done and over with.
“Gideon?” Sara said without looking away from Ava.
“Yes, Captain Lance?”
“How long would it take you to heal me up?”
“I can’t say precisely without doing a full scan, but based on previous treatments, I’d say two hours at most,” Gideon said.
“Perfect. That’s all, thanks Gideon,” Sara said. “Now all I have to do is get myself to the medbay.
Getting to the medbay, as it turned out, was a lot more of a project than Sara anticipated. She got there, but it took a lot longer than it needed to. To start with, Ava couldn’t find Sara’s robe in what Ava deemed ‘this disaster of a closet’ before Sara remembered it was actually tucked in her pajama drawer.
Then there was the matter of actually moving her body from the bed to the medbay, which was a lot easier said than done. Sara had managed to sit up and pull on the robe, slowly, painstakingly, even going so far as standing up. She thought she only grimaced a little, but on seeing the effort it took, Ava insisted on carrying Sara to the medbay. Sara was starting to realize she had developed a Thing for being carried by Ava, so she wasn’t about to complain too much.
True to Gideon’s word, Sara passed out in her chair in the medbay for about an hour and fifteen minutes before waking feeling light and pain-free. She was a little surprised to see that Ava wasn’t in the seat she’d been sitting in when Sara plugged into the chair. She disconnected and sat up to hop off the chair and wander out of the medbay in search of Ava. She considered asking Gideon but decided against it for the moment. It appeared most of the Legends were still sleeping, having likely done a bit of celebrating after returning from capturing the demon, and Sara didn’t want to wake them.
She poked her head in the kitchen and found nothing but a half-eaten bowl of Mick’s favorite popcorn and a few empty beer bottles. She moved to her office and saw nothing out of the ordinary, no signs of Ava, so she moved to the library. Still no Ava.
Sara went to the last place she could think of. Gideon silently opened the door for Sara, and Sara smiled at the sight in front of her. Sprawled out on top of the sheets still in her robe, Ava was fast asleep with an unopened book by her side. Sara leaned in the doorway and watched to see if Ava would notice. When Ava didn’t stir, Sara tiptoed over to the bed, took off her robe and slid under the covers on her side of the bed.
She laid on her side and reached out to tuck a strand of hair behind Ava’s ear.
“Hey there,” Sara said softly enough that if Ava was fast asleep it wouldn’t wake her.
Ava hummed sleepily.
“I fell asleep,” Ava said without moving or opening her eyes. “I came to get a book, and was going to come back and I fell asleep.”
“It’s ok,” Sara said. “What do you think about getting under the covers with me though?”
Ava mumbled something nonsensical and nodded, but didn’t otherwise move. Sara smirked and, with some maneuvering, managed to pull the sheets and comforter up over Ava’s body.
“You’re the best,” Ava said sleepily as she squinted her eyes open to look at Sara. “I’m sorry I fell asleep. I didn’t get much rest after our little dance party.”
“Too much excitement for you, Director Sharpe?” Sara asked.
Ava shook her head.
“Too much worry,” Ava said. She paused and bit her lip before continuing. “When we were dancing I, I could feel the energy leaving your body and it scared me. So I stayed awake to watch you for a while.”
“Oh, babe. I’m ok. I promise,” Sara said resting her hand on Ava’s cheek. “Besides, it’s going to take more than one minor demon to take down any captain of the Legends,”
“I know, I just,” Ava reached out and laced her fingers with Sara’s, looking down at their hands. “It takes a while to turn that off sometimes. I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to you.”
“Well, you can sleep now,” Sara said, pulling Ava closer. “And I will hold you the whole time.”
“That sounds amazing,” Ava said, resting her head against Sara’s chest, wrapping her arm around Sara’s bare waist. “Sara?”
“Are you naked?”
“Yeah,” Sara said. “I always like to be prepared.”
Ava smiled against Sara’s shoulder.
“Next time I’m awake I’ll put that preparation to good use, I promise,” Ava said.
“There’s no rush, I can be naked as long as you want,” Sara said. “Sleep as long as you need.”
Ava smiled again and nodded.
“Thanks, you’re the best,” she said.
Sara pressed a kiss to Ava’s forehead, and, even though she wasn’t tired in the least, closed her eyes and savored the feeling of having the woman she loved in her arms and all the time in the world.