“This one’s new,” Nyssa’s voice is a drowsy murmur, her breath warm on the spot just below Sara’s shoulder blades, a fraction to the right of her spine – Sara feels her kiss it, run her tongue over the scar.
“Yeah, courtesy of one of your guys.”
“You send someone to kill me and you’re shocked when I end up with scars?”
“I’m shocked they managed to mark you at all. You must have been sleepy that day.”
Sara glances back at her, cocks an eyebrow. “Hey.”
“And I sent no one to kill you,” Nyssa returns her mouth to Sara’s back, mouthing gentle hieroglyphs across the skin, working her way down her spine.
“Oh, right, yeah – you just wanted them to threaten my family.”
“Did you kill him? The man who marked you?”
“Well, then. I think the balance of morals is redressed.”
Sara snorts. They’ve been having sex and bickering for the last six hours. It’s… exactly like old times. “Do you ever think about how weird our lives are?”
“You’re - well, you're you. And I'm me. And we have sex and get into quarrels about whose fault it is that one of us has recently tried to kill the other – I just - .”
“I did not try to kill you.”
“You totally had a go,” Sara glances back at her again – Nyssa has reached the small of her back and is sucking at the skin, gently scraping it with her teeth. Then she stops, and Sara has to admit to being disappointed.
“Is it strange?”
“What?” Sara’s concentrating on the feel of Nyssa’s fingers creeping up under her thigh.
“Us? Are we strange?” Nyssa has propped herself up on an elbow as she teases Sara’s skin with her other hand, and seems to be contemplating the idea seriously. “I never think of my existence in those terms, but I haven’t known anything different. I suppose from the outside we can't be considered ordinary.”
“Yeah, trust me – we live kinda fucked up lives.”
“Is that why you wanted to leave? You wanted something less…” Nyssa waves a hand – Sara wishes she would put it back where it was a moment ago, “….fucked up?”
Sara shrugs. “Maybe. Kinda.”
“You wanted to be away from me?”
“A little,” Sara lets her cheek rest on the pillows of the bed they’re sharing, watching the way Nyssa guards her expression, the hurt that runs hot beneath that carefully neutral gaze. “I can’t think around you, Nyssa. How am I meant to figure out what I need when all I want is you? I had to make some space.”
“And now?” Nyssa sounds sulky – Sara’s definitely not imagining it. If she weren’t far too dignified for such expressions, the Heir to the Demon would be pouting. “Do you know what you need now?”
Sara shakes her head, slowly, and sees Nyssa sigh. “You did love me, once.”
“I still love you,” that’s a slightly reckless thing to say, given the circumstances; Sara’s tired or she’d be more cautious – you don’t casually declare love to the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, fuck knows she’s already learned that the hard way. “But you and the League are basically the same entity – I can’t have you without your family, can I?”
“You want me and not my father.”
“Can you blame me? Your dad’s kinda butt-ugly.”
Nyssa pinches her.
“Ow – Jesus – ”
“Rude.” But it’s got a smile out of her: that curious, crooked quirk of Nyssa’s mouth and the way her eyes go suddenly light and merry makes her look much younger.
“You’ve said worse about him.”
“You’re such a child.”
Sara smiles too – the quick, easy, dimpled smile that she knows melts Nyssa down to her bones. And when she looks at Nyssa from under her eyelashes there’s nothing guarded left in the assassin’s expression: it’s all hunger, all tenderness, all heat and light. Sara gets that look directed at her every so often (the first time after she first bested someone with the bowstaff) and it took her a while to realise that she’s probably the only person left alive who’s ever seen it. She’s glad to see it again.
It’s more of a relief than it should be. She hasn’t irreparably damaged what’s between them, then, if Nyssa is still capable of looking at her like that. That’s good. Because the thought that she’d done it, totally fucked it up, like she’s always totally fucking things up, has literally been giving her nightmares. Awkward nightmares to explain to Oliver, waking up next to him feeling sick and lying to him and telling him she dreams of drowning, of blood, of darkness – rather than of Nyssa crying.
She reaches back, offering Nyssa her hand. “C’mere.”
Nyssa slides up the bed, and kisses her, and then nips at her lower lip. Sara lets her, breathing in the heat of her, touching Nyssa’s jaw.
“What is it with you biting me lately? That’s new.”
Nyssa shrugs, “Perhaps I just feel like biting you.”
“How do I taste?”
Nyssa’s smile is wolfish, before she bites her shoulder.
Sara squirms. It shouldn’t feel so damn good but it totally does. Nyssa’s good at finding weird stuff like that. She lets her head tip forward so that Nyssa can push her hair aside, mouth finding the nape of her neck, and she works another hand beneath her, seeking skin.
“I love you,” she says it in Arabic, then again in Mandarin, then again in Spanish. “Sara, please don’t leave me again.”
It takes a great deal of courage for a woman like Nyssa to ask something like that – Sara reaches, pulls Nyssa down beside her, onto her back, into her arms.
"You used my old name."
"You have been released from the League - you are no longer Ta-er al-Asfer," Nyssa touches her chin, gazing up at her, "no longer my yellow bird."
"But - if I still wanted to be? At least some of the time?"
Nyssa inhales, softly, winding a strand of Sara’s fair hair through her fingers. It was her hair that first earned her the epithet, really. It started as a joke from other members of the League when she first arrived, a slightly more affectionate version of ‘that white chick’. Ta-er al-Asfer: the yellow bird, Nyssa’s odd, yellow-haired waif.
And the thing is that Sara can’t promise not to leave, she really can’t – she can’t promise to stay away from Starling forever, she can’t promise to make Nyssa her sun, her moon, her stars, her whole damn world because that will mean making the League her world and that… is not going to happen. Not when Sara’s seen the world without her, without the League, and lived there and been okay (however much she missed Nyssa).
“I promise I will always come back,” she offers, instead, and she means that – and after a moment scanning her expression, her brow creased, Nyssa nods, stroking Sara’s jaw.
“I will hold you to it.”
“Wouldn’t expect anything else.”