“Leonard!” Your voice rang out among the sounds of battle in the warehouse as you watched your teammate go skidding into a wall, gun sliding in the opposite direction. You raced to his side, kicking aside a man advancing on him. “Are you okay?!”
He grunted as he climbed to his feet. “Peachy.” A sigh of relief slipped by your lips. If he had energy enough to be sarcastic, he couldn't be too badly injured. The two of you jumped back into the thick of it, but you quickly noticed him favoring his left leg. He must have hurt it in the slide. Immediately you shifted to cover his left side, throwing kicks and punches like a maniac to help cover him. A small smirk appeared on his lips. “Bit energetic today, are we?”
You threw a punch, hitting a man square in the jaw as he fell away from you. “Just...trying...to help!” Your body spun with grace as you brought your foot into an attacker's side, making him crumple. Already your breathing was growing ragged. It had been a hectic mission and now defending yourself and Leonard was taking its toll on you. Sweat dripped down your body and your exhaustion didn't go unnoticed by Leonard.
As he grabbed a stray pipe and wailed a man over the head with it, he quipped at you. “I know you like to be a hero, but you won't help anyone by pushing yourself this much.”
A snarky remark was finding its way to your lips when you let out a raspy cough. Maybe he had a point. “Rip! We need to retreat!”
Your captain fired off a few more shots before yelling back. “An outstanding idea! Firestorm! Some cover if you please!”
Overhead Firestorm blasted a wide arc of flame, effectively separating your team from the enemy. Everyone turned as they started to retreat, but suddenly you saw a bright light shining through the flames, making you pause. “What the...oh no.” Your eyes flicked to Leonard’s slightly limping form and it barely took you a second to decide, to react. You would have done the same for any of your teammates, but especially for Leonard. Ever since you first met in Central City, you had silently swooned over him because, villian or not, he was pretty damn hot, ironically. Yet as time went on you had seen a softer side to him at moments. It had made you fall head over heels for him, making you willing to do anything to protect him...anything.
“Leonard!! Look out!!!” He turned at your cry just in time for you to shove him away. Leonard stumbled away before regaining his balance and scowling at you, but his scowl quickly dropped away as your body flew away in a burst of light. His widened eyes followed your form as it flew across the warehouse, colliding with a pillar some ways off. Your body crumpled weakly to the floor and you lay still, the front of your suit covered with frost.
“I must admit…” Leonard’s head snapped back towards the fire as Savage walked through the opening he had made for himself, gazing at the cold gun in his hands. “You always made this look incredibly easy to use, time after time. Yet the recoil is more than anticipated and to judge the power of the blast?” Savage made a light clucking noise of amusement before turning a falsely sympathetic gaze on Leonard. “I don't believe she'll be getting up any time soon...or at all in fact.”
Leonard ground his teeth in anger, torn between going after Savage and racing to your injured form. From the corner of his eye, he could see you still hadn't moved since the fall and it made his heart quicken in fear. There were few things or people in this world Leonard genuinely cared about, but you made the cut. With your fierce determination and drive, as well as your kindness and compassion, you had stirred up long forgotten feelings in him. Besides his sister, Leonard didn't “love,” but you...he had learned to love again when he met you. He was a better man around you, a man he may have become if his father hadn't beaten it out of him long ago. Everything about you, your personality, your faults, your abilities, he was fond of it all. He still maintained his tough guy image, unable to bring himself to show a possible weakness by caring, but he always had an eye on you, whether in battle or hanging around the ship. Now he may never get to tell you how he felt, to act how he wanted to towards you, deep down. “You son of a…” Anger nearly radiated off his body.
“Need some help?” Firestorm flew by firing at Savage. The tyrant tried to fire the gun at the blast, but didn't use enough power and went flying. The cold gun made a slow arc through the air, driven away from Savage’s greedy hands.
“I got it! I got it!” Ray bounded over before flying up and grabbing it. He landed and staggered back a step. “Whoa! Heavy. You always make this thing look so light. Here ya go, Sna...hey! Where'd he....?” His eyes scanned until he saw Leonard hurrying best he could to you.
Leonard knelt down at your side, the slightest shudder running through his hands as he reached for you. Hair had fallen to cover your face as you lay on your side. He saw your hair move just barely from your breath and sighed softly in relief, but it didn't last long as his eyes slid down your body. The cold gun had hit you square in the top of your chest, vines of frost reaching out over your chest and collarbone, away from the impact point. Savage hadn't had the gun full power, thank God, but you were in severe shape. “(Name)...” His voice was breathy as he spoke your name, hand reaching forward to brush the hair away from your face. As his hand gently skimmed your skin, your eyelids opened halfway to meet his gaze.
“L-Leo...n-nard...are y-you...ok-kay…?” A cold chill went down his spine at the tremble in your weak voice from the cold and the pain. Your skin had been like ice as well.
He immediately began to shrug off his coat, eyes never leaving your face. “You shouldn't have done that.”
“Heh... Guess I'm...j-just that...st-stupid…” He wrapped his jacket around you and lifted you up into his arms. Your body seemed terribly small and helpless in his arms, like a fragile, broken angel. Now that you were in his arms, he could feel your body lightly shaking from time to time. Your skin was so pale...body so weak…
“Shhh. Don't talk.” He hurried to where the others waited. His leg ached in protest, but he pressed on. You needed to get to the ship. NOW.
“Ahhhh…” A contented sigh slipped past your lips, making Leonard's eyes flick down to you. His coat was large on you, making you seem even smaller, more defenseless. Your face nuzzled into his chest and for a moment he felt a flutter run through him at the contact, but then you spoke and your voice made his worries heighten ever more “So...sl-sleepy…”
Your eyelids began to close and Leonard jostled you gently to keep you awake. “Hey, no sleeping. Stay awake.”
Leonard’s voice had a note of urgency and your mind couldn't figure out why through the haze that hung like a cloud over your every thought. “B-but it's so...so c-comfy...I just want...to sl-sleep...in your arms…”
The man’s heart pounded faster as he joined the rest of the team and raced alongside them to the ship. Leonard wasn't quite sure if his heart was racing from what you said or the exhausted breathlessness of your voice, but he didn't have time to think about it.
“She's so pale…” Kendra gazed at you in concern.
“We need to get her to the med bay fast.” Sara kept stride with Leonard easily as they reached the hatch, voicing her thoughts as well. There was a grim note in her voice that made Leonard angry, but he bit back his harsh words, more focused on you right now.
Once everyone was on the ship, Gideon brought the ship to flight and flew away from the warehouse. The team slid away from Leonard and Rip as they raced you to the med bay. Leonard’s eyes flicked down to see your eyes closed, breathing shallow. He could barely see your chest moving as you breathed anymore. Even your shaking seemed weaker, as if your body didn't have energy enough to even tremble in pain. Behind your trio, there was a flash as Firestorm separated, but the three of you hurried onward. It seemed to be miles and miles before they finally reached the door to the med bay. By that point not only was your skin ghostly pale, but your skin was taking on a pale blue shade around the edges of the ice.
Leonard gently set you in the chair, body limp. One of his hands took your hand closest to him, while his other hand cupped your cheek, willing your eyes to open, even a little, but they refused. “Come on…” His urgent whisper did nothing to stir a reaction out of you and his usual fondness for cold things was lacking as he stroked your soft freezing skin. Usually you'd turn to his voice, always hovering near him like a second shadow, and he'd complain or try to shoo you away, but right now he would love that if you would just. Open. Your. EYES!
There was a soft whirring as a machine moved over you. It vaguely reminded Leonard of a vacuum cleaner, but he didn't care what it was as long as it helped you. Rip walked to join Leonard, standing on the other side of you. “This machine will help take care of her hypothermia and heal any damage to her organs she may have sustained, but it will take a while so it doesn't damage her any further by rushing the process.” Leonard’s gaze followed Rip’s as he stared at a screen. It was an internal diagram of a human, but there was obviously something wrong in the chest. The heart was a bright red, small warning icons outlining it.
Rip sighed as the machine glowed a faint orange over you. “Despite the advances in technology since your time, there are still limits. If the damage was too severe…” His voice trailed off as he cleared his throat. “We should let Gideon heal her...give her some time to rest.”
A soft growl sounded from Leonard’s throat. “Like hell I'm leaving her.” His hand gently squeezed yours as he met Rip’s eyes with a vicious glare.
Rip nodded, a sad smile appearing on his lips. “I lost my Miranda...I pray you don't lose yours.” The man gave you one last look before he turned and walked out, door closing with a hiss behind him.
Leonard’s eyes shifted back to your face. Your expression was peaceful and he hoped it was just the feeling of your body being healed that put you so at ease. He slid over a chair and sat beside you, withdrawing his hand from your cheek to join the one grasping your hand. Rhythmically, he traced circles in the back of your hand with his thumb, searching your face for any sign of consciousness. Hours passed and he refused to leave your side. Once in awhile, someone from the team stopped in to check on you, but they didn't stay long. Everyone had the same nagging feeling they were walking in on something personal, something intimate, and they were. Without even knowing it, you had caused Leonard Snart to show his feelings, his emotions, fully in front of others. His masks and defenses were lowered in his desperation to know you were alright. Yet, with each passing minute his heart filled even more with dread and as each hour changed over to the next his hope sank lower and lower. He was going to lose you...the one person that had made him feel like he was worth something...could be something good… He was going to lose the woman he loved…
“Mr. Snart…” A hand gently shook Leonard’s shoulder, making his eyes glide open. He had fallen asleep, arms resting on your thigh and head on his arms. Leonard sat up and looked up at Rip. The man’s saddened expression said it all.
“...no…” Leonard’s heart dropped as he climbed to his feet.
“I am so terribly sorry…” Rip squeezed his shoulder firmly. “Gideon did all she could, but she was just too weak.”
“No…” He spun to look at you. Your face was just as peaceful as when he had last seen it, but he didn't see your chest moving anymore. No. Nonononono. It was a continuous chant in his head. Distantly he heard Rip saying you had been lost to them during the treatment, but it made little sense to him. You couldn't be gone. You couldn't leave him. You just couldn't...
Suddenly, arms encircled him and pulled him away from you. Mick’s rough voice was in his ear, full of grief. “I'm sorry, Snart…”
“Let me go, Mick!” He tried to break free of his partner’s grasp, but Mick was the muscle for a reason. While Leonard was strong, he wasn't nearly as strong as his partner. The man easily held Leonard back as he hauled him away, but Leonard growled at you in anger, desperation, and helplessness. “No! (Name)! Open your damn eyes! You're tougher than this!” Leonard’s voice caught and became raspy from crying out. “Damn it, (Name)! I swear if you don't open your eyes right now!”
His eyes stayed trained on your face as he fought at Mick’s hold, trying to get back to you. He had to hold you, smooth your hair away from your pale face. The only time he got to hold you, you were injured badly. The only time he got to stroke your skin, your hair, was to see if you would show him you were alive. Damn it all!!! He was a thief, a tactician, and a brilliant mind, but he couldn't do anything to help you! You had died defending him… No… No it couldn't end like this...it just couldn't! He finally had something good in his life, that he had worked for. Someone that he loved and cared for, and she was taken from him.
He never even got to kiss you...to tell you he loved you…
His eyes squeezed shut painfully as he fought tears that he thought had long ago dried up beyond use. Yet, his eyes threatened to water… Strength left his body as he lost the will to fight Mick. You were gone...what was the point?
What was the point?
“LEONARD!” A hand was roughly shaking his shoulder and Leonard’s eyes flew open as he jerked up. His arms had been on your thigh, head on his arms as he dozed. Still disoriented from sleep, he scanned for whoever had been shaking him when his gaze saw the hand still on his shoulder. Leonard’s eyes slid up the arm to meet your worried eyes. “Are you okay…?” Your voice was a scared whisper.
“(Name)...?” Leonard wasn't sure if he actually whispered your name or if his mouth just silently moved, but you continued to speak as if you hadn't heard anything.
“You must have fallen asleep waiting for me to wake up. I'm sorry you had to wait and then I went and woke you, but you started mumbling and shifting around. You seemed really upset. Plus, you almost looked like you were tearing up.” Your face flushed as you realized what you had just said. “Well, I don't know what the dream was so no judging…”
Leonard stood and pulled you into a sudden hug. You made a small noise of surprise as he pressed your head to his chest. He could feel your heartbeat, good and strong, and your breath on his shirt. “It was a nightmare…” Leonard pressed his lips to your hair as he murmured softly.
“Oh, I'm sorry…” Your arms slid around him in a hug. “It must have been really bad…”
“Heartbreaking…” His voice nearly caught on the word, the nightmare still too vivid in his mind.
You paused for a moment, thrown off by his actions. Finally, you spoke. “Do you want to talk about it?” Your voice held a note of uncertainty.
“No. I want to forget it ever happened.” Leonard softly kissed your hair, making your face warm. Yet, something in him wanted to tell you, to say what losing you had done to him. “I lost the love of my life.”
A gentle teasing note was in your voice, trying to lighten the mood. It wasn't like he could mean you or anything...that'd be too good to be true. “You lost a big ole bag of money?”
Leonard pulled away enough to give you an amused smirk, but stayed close enough you were still in each other’s arms. “No. I lost something much more valuable. Something irreplaceable.”
Leonard’s eyes never left yours as his expression softened. “I lost you.”
Your eyes widened, confusion filling them. “Wh...what? Me?” He nodded, waiting. “But you said you lost the love of your life?”
“That's right.” You looked down as you worked through it.
“But...you lost me. So, that means…” He gazed at you patiently as you finally returned your eyes to his. “You love me…?”
“Yes. I love you.” Then Leonard was leaning closer to you and your heart quickened as he softly pressed his lips to yours. The kiss was gentle and tender as he cradled you in his arms. Your hands gripped the back of his shirt, keeping him to you. A part of you was tempted to deepen the kiss, but you were enjoying this sweet, gentle side of Leonard too much and didn't want to ruin the moment. Finally, the two of you pulled away. Leonard gently rubbed your cheek with the back of his hand, amazingly his eyes were filled with a tender loving look as he gazed down at you.
“I love you too, Leonard…” You moved to stand, to hug him better, but you were still weak from earlier and your legs crumpled under you. In an instant, Leonard had caught you and scooped you up into his arms.
“Easy. We don't need you overdoing it.” You shyly nodded as he held you close.
As he wrapped his arms more firmly around you, the fur of his parka tickled your cheek, making you realize you were wearing it. “Your coat? I'm wearing your coat? Do you want it back?”
Leonard sat on the chair you had been laying in, you on his lap as he chuckled. “Eventually. For now I don't mind seeing you in it.” His signature smirk appeared and you grinned.
“Maybe you won't get it back! If I'm dating a thief, I should learn how to steal!”
He chuckled once more, gently tugging your head against his chest. “Yes because that would go over so well.” His drawl always made you smile. “You're not bad, (Name).”
“Speaking of which...is this the side you'll be showing from now on?”
“No.” His reply was firm as his hand gently rubbed your arm, chin resting on your head. “Only you get to see it...and my baby sister once in a great while.”
You giggled softly. “So I'm special, huh?”
“More than you could ever know…”
“It would appear that (Name) is now awake.” Gideon’s calm voice rang out over the bridge.
“Awright!” Jacks jumped to his feet and hurried to the door.
Stein tsked under his breath. “Perhaps you should wait for the rest of us, Jefferson?”
Before the pair could begin to bicker, Kendra stepped between them, a pacifying smile on her lips. “He's just excited. We all are!” The rest of the team joined them as they hurried off to greet you.
The group moved swiftly to the med bay when they suddenly heard low voices. “Yes. I love you.” They peeked through the open doorway and saw Leonard leaning down to kiss you. The two of you seemed so happy in the sweet kiss, holding each other close, that the team quietly snuck away before they were seen.
As soon as they were out of earshot, Kendra squealed. “(Name) and Snart?! It was kinda obvious she had a thing for him, but that's great! Good for her! Good for them.”
“Well, we can't all have an eternal love affair…” Sara smiled at her wryly. “...but I still think they make a pretty good pair.”
Stein nodded. “Yes. (Name) certainly brings out the best in him.”
Jacks snorted. “She makes him less of a jerk, that's for sure.”
“I agree with Jacks, Dr. Stein.” Ray shot the older man an apologetic smile. “Just saying she has a good affect on him!”
Rip smiled as his crew discussed the new love affair. It was nice for the conversation to be pleasant for once, not arguing or grave. “I'm relieved they were able to confess and that (Name) will be alright. We'll give her a little time to rest and for both of them to enjoy this newfound love before we plot our next move against Savage.”
Kendra smiled as she lightly teased the captain. “Awwww...getting a soft spot, Rip?”
“Simply wanting to enjoy this moment of peace. We've all earned it.”
“Ya know, you've been surprisingly quiet through this whole thing, Rory. What gives?” Everyone paused at Jacks’s question and turned to the arsonist.
Mick shrugged, trying to dismiss the question. “This sweet and loving stuff ain't my style.”
“So? He's your partner. What do you think?” Sara crossed her arms stubbornly.
His eyes slowly scanned the group and saw they wouldn't give in until they got a solid answer. Mick looked away to some point on the wall as he spoke, voice seeming hesitant at voicing his feelings. “We know you think of Snart and me as just criminals. We're just crooks, bad guys to you, but we had tough beginnings. Snart...didn't have the best family. He told me when we were in juvy together. He's...never had much love in his life and not a lot has gone good or right for him.” A very small smile showed up on Mick’s face at his next thought. “I'm glad this got to happen for my partner.”
Dr. Stein smiled at the thought. “That was very heartfelt, Mr. Rory.”
“I think that's the most you've ever said at one time, Mick.” Ray joked.
Jacks snickered and elbowed him. “We can't all be chatterboxes all the time.”
The conversation slipped into gentle teasing and joking amongst the group, but what Mick said was true. Through thick and thin, Leonard had his back and he had his. He had realized how Leonard felt long ago about you and was relieved his partner had finally told you and that you felt the same way. He watched the group move ahead of him as he had stopped walking. His voice was a rough whisper as he smiled, genuinely happy for his partner. “Good for you, Snart. Good for you...”