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The Princess and Her Canary

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Sara surprised Nyssa with breakfast in bed. They kissed languidly between sips of tea and bites of parfait. The sun was pouring in the window so they knew it was late morning or early afternoon.

Sara hummed into a kiss and then pulled back with a blissful smile, “This is nice.”

“It is,” Nyssa laid on her side with her head on her pillows. She was deeply content in that moment with Sara. She loved the way Sara’s hair glowed in the light coming in from the window. She loved the way Sara would smile at her after they kissed, like she’d just tasted the greatest taste in the world.

“I should check on your stitches,” Sara placed her hand on Nyssa’s side, tenderly stroking the skin under her shirt.

Nyssa propped her head up and rolled onto her back, “I’m sure it’s fine. You did most of the work last night.”

“I did,” Sara grinned. “You’d think that would earn a girl a massage or something.”

Nyssa watched Sara push up her shirt, “I supposed you did earn a massage.”

Sara inspected the wounds and saw they weren’t ripped or even bleeding again, “I think you earned one too. It’s your first day without pulling open your stitches.”

Nyssa grinned, “I was just the assistant last night. I hardly moved at all.”

“Thank you for that,” Sara pulled Nyssa’s shirt down.

“It was my pleasure,” Nyssa pushed Sara’s hair out of her face and then put her hands behind her head. “However, in my haste to get to bed, I may have left my phone in my armor.”

“We can go pick it up,” Sara shrugged. “Then we can go to the Rockets game.”

Nyssa continued to smile although she found the sport of baseball agonizingly boring. “I’ll buy a Rockets hat on the way.”

Sara knew that Nyssa hated baseball and didn’t actually plan to make her go. She kissed Nyssa, “We’re not going to a baseball game.”

“We can if you’d like,” Nyssa offered, “I’m sure I can find a way to bide my time in a stadium full of people.”

The blonde rolled onto her side next to Nyssa and stretched, “I guess we could do what we did last time we were stuck at a baseball game.”

“I don’t think it would look good on your father if you were caught pickpocketing people just to get a look at the year they were born,” Nyssa turned on her side as well to face Sara.

Sara chuckled, “Can you just admit that I’m better at guessing people’s age?”

“I’ll admit nothing,” Nyssa playfully narrowed her eyes, “We didn’t get to finish deciding who was better because you got caught.”

“And you left me in a Mexican jail for seven hours,” Sara laughed.

“It would have been less time had you not tried to pickpocket the police chief,” Nyssa countered and poked Sara’s stomach.

Sara sat up in the bed and looked down at Nyssa. She put her arms on either side of Nyssa’s torso and then slid her hands up the bed until they were under Nyssa’s should. She let her elbows gently touch the bed so that her torso was laying partially on Nyssa’s and her hair was tickling Nyssa’s shoulders. “You know wouldn’t have known he was the police chief either.”

Nyssa tucked some hair behind Sara’s ear, her smile fading to a wisp of a content grin, “I know.”

Sara loved the look on Nyssa’s face. It made her heart feel like it was about to come out of her chest. She loved that Nyssa had let her guard down and she felt like they were almost back to where they were at the peak of their romance. She wanted nothing more than to get back to that place and stay there for the rest of their lives.

Sara saw Nyssa’s eyes stay on her, but her thoughts drift away. Nyssa’s eyebrows furrowed only faintly, but Sara knew it meant Nyssa’s mind was on something troubling her.

“What’s wrong?” Sara asked, gently running her fingers up and down the back of Nyssa’s shoulders.

Nyssa bit the side of her bottom lip between her teeth for a moment before answered, “I haven’t heard from my father.”

“He’s probably hunting Sensei down,” Sara assured Nyssa, “Sensei isn’t stupid enough to go back to Nanda Parbat to fight Ra’s fairly. He’s probably running for his life.”

Nyssa inhaled and exhaled slowly, “You’re probably right. Sensei will not win if he fights fairly.” Nyssa bit the inside of her cheek, “Do you think there’s a way that I can contact Talia?”

Sara smiled. Nyssa’s caring for her sister was always covert, but still there. Sara nodded, “I’m sure that Felicity can figure something out.” She kissed Nyssa. She started to pull away when she found Nyssa’s lips following her. Sara smiled against Nyssa’s lips and pushed Nyssa back into her pillow. She was trying to ease away Nyssa’s worries, but she knew she would never be able to completely until Sensei was dealt with.

When Nyssa finally did let Sara go, Sara touched Nyssa’s face and held her eyes as she said, “Let’s go see if Felicity is in the Cave yet and we’ll check on Talia.”

Nyssa nodded. She smiled, silently thanking Sara for her thoughtfulness.

They got dressed in their new clothes, taking their time. Sara wore the boots that Nyssa bought her and Nyssa looked at her new clothes until Sara walked into the closet and pointed out three pieces of clothes that Nyssa shoulder wear. Nyssa got them out and wore what Sara suggested.

As they left, Sara picked up her phone and was surprised to find that it was a lot later than she thought. It was almost sunset by the time they got in the car.

They walked into the Arrow Cave together and found Felicity already hard at work. Sara walked straight to her while Nyssa stopped by the bow table to put away her bow that she was too tired to put away the night before. Once it was secured on the rack and out of the way.

“I’m glad you’re here,” Felicity told Sara and tapped Nyssa as she walked pasted, indicating that she was supposed to follow.

They all walked to Felicity’s computer terminal and the computer whiz sat in her seat while the assassins stood behind her. “Unfortunately, it’s not good news.” She typed in a few things and then looked up at Nyssa and Sara for their reaction to the image on the screen. “Look familiar?”

Nyssa’s fists clenched. She growled, “Sensei.” She studied the picture, seeing her enemy walking into a door, being held open by some kind of doorman. Nyssa narrowed her eyes and asked, “Where was this taken?”

“Across town,” Felicity told her. She resumed typing on the computer, “I’ve been tracking him since the computer told me he was here. As far as I know, he’s still at the Starling Regency.”

Nyssa walked over to where her armor was resting on a mannequin. She took off her shirt and picked up the Kevlar undershirt Felicity purchased for her.

“I’m sorry,” Felicity stood up from her computer, “What are you doing?”

“I’m ending this,” Nyssa yanked the shirt over her head, “Before anyone else gets hurt.”

“Nyssa, this isn’t the time to stand on the mountain and yelled at him to come get you,” Sara pleaded with Nyssa. She grabbed Nyssa’s arm to stop her from picking up her veil, “Let’s just go somewhere else. We’ll dig up my grave and disappear.”

“If he doesn’t come after me, he comes after my family,” Nyssa turned to Sara and tried to make her understand, “This is my family. You cannot tell me that you wouldn’t do the same for Laurel and your father.”

“Why would you dig up a grave?” Felicity asked the first of many questions she was getting from their conversation.

Sara took Nyssa’s hand, “Nyssa…”

“I can’t hide anymore,” Nyssa shook her head, “I can’t run.”

A loud beeping filled the room. Felicity quickly moved to her computer and her finger started flying over the keyboard. “Oh no,” she breathed out.

“What?” Sara moved behind her to look at the screen, “What’s happening?”

Felicity pulled up live video footage of a series of explosions rocking the Starling Regency Hotel. Sara squinted at the screen. She couldn’t really articulate exactly why, but she knew that Sensei was behind the explosions. There was something about them that screamed evil mastermind. He was calling Nyssa out.

When Sara turned back around, Nyssa and her armor were gone. She quickly grabbed her stuff and pulled Felicity out of her chair, “I need you to drive me to the Regency while I change.”

Felicity grabbed her tablet and followed Sara. “I’ll call Oliver too.”

Nyssa flew through the streets of Starling on Sara’s motorcycle. She knew what she was going into. She was ready. She was ready for everything to be over.


Nyssa almost swerved off of the road when she heard the voice. “What the bloody hell?”

“I put a comm device in your cloak,” Felicity told her, “When your veil is up it transmit the sound through her jaw bone so no one else can hear it.”

Nyssa could see the smoke rising from the crippled building. She scanned the horizon for any sign of Sensei.

“Where are you-” Felicity started saying in Nyssa’s ear. “Sara! What’s that?”

“It’s Darrk!” Sara called, “He’s alive! Nyssa -”

There was an explosion in her ear. “Sara,” Nyssa quickly pulled a u-turn and sped in the direction in which she came. They were doing it again. They were targeting Sara to get to her.

“Felicity!” Nyssa heard Oliver yell in her ear. She spotted another small pillar of smoke rising into the sky and knew that was what she was looking for. She sped around the corner and found the car that Sara bought mere days ago, upside down. Oliver was dressed as the Arrow and was helping a bloodied Sara crawl out of the window.

“He’s still around here,” Sara told both Oliver and Nyssa who was walking up to the car.

Nyssa moved to the other side of the car and found that Felicity was alert and laying sideways on the roof of the car, trying to get her tablet back in working order. Nyssa offered her hand to Felicity who finally got out of the car. Felicity stood up and looked at her tablet, “My taps on the city cameras are glitching out.”

Sara looked up at the tops of the buildings around them for where Darrk went, “I thought Darrk was dead.”

“Apparently not,” Nyssa joined Sara and surveying their surroundings. She turned to Sara when she didn’t see anything, “You have to leave. They’re going to keep coming after you to get to me.”

“I’m not leaving you to fight them alone,” Sara looked at Nyssa. She looked into Nyssa’s eyes and knew that more than anything Nyssa wanted to keep her safe. “If something happened to you… I couldn’t live with myself either.”

Nyssa marveled at Sara’s ability to articulate exactly what she was thinking. Nyssa used her sleeve to wipe the blood away from a cut on Sara’s forehead. Then she smiled lovingly, “If you don’t say here, I’ll tie you to a streetlamp.”

“Incoming,” Felicity interrupted the moment when a hummer turned the corner and started driving toward them.

Nyssa looked and saw Oliver with his bow in his hand. Sara pulled out her staff. Felicity tapped around on her and looked at Nyssa, “I can get you cover.”

Nyssa nodded to her, “Do it.”

Felicity pressed the last button and the streetlamps around them all went dark. Oliver moved Felicity away from the street and told her to stay put before joining Nyssa and Sara in the middle of the street, in the headlights of the approaching vehicle.

Nyssa readjusted her grip on her bow before quickly shooting out the headlights of the vehicle. They were plunged back into the darkness once more.

Nyssa and Oliver each drew another arrow, readying themselves for the fight that was surely ahead. Sara watched a large group of men getting out of the hummer. The last one to get out was Ebeneezer Darrk. He straightened out his suit jacket and held a shiny gun in his hand.

“You should give up now Nyssa Al Ghul,” he called into the darkened side of the block. “Your family’s reign over the League of Assassins is over. If you surrender now, your Canary’s death will be painless.”

“Get ready guys,” Felicity told the team of warriors on the street. “Shield your eyes.”

There was a brief second before all the lights on the street came on. They kept growing brighter until everyone on the street had to cover their eyes. Then all the lights broke and the street was dark again. The sound of flying arrows filled the air. Gun muzzles blasts started flashing in the street.

“Cover your ears,” Sara yelled into the comm piece. She had lost track of Nyssa and Oliver in the dark and had taken cover behind a stoop to keep from getting shot. A second later she stuck her hand out from her cover and set off the Canary Scream.

The gunfire stopped and the men started screaming in pain. Nyssa had snuck behind the hummer and crawled on top of it before the canary scream. She took the opportunity of the scream to drop on Darrk. She knew he was the most skilled fighter in the bunch.

However, he was anticipating her. He moved out of the way and hit her as she fell.

“Foolish child,” he scoffed at Nyssa. She swung her bow at him and hit him in the face. He retaliated by punching at her. Nyssa dodged it and swept his feet out from under him.

“Foolish old man,” Nyssa returned the insult. She didn’t have time to gloat because the men had found her behind them and attacked her.

Sara had launched her own attack against three of the mercenaries with her staff. Oliver was sweeping up a few of the men who were running away and keeping them away from the alley Felicity was hiding in.

 A scream pierced the night and Nyssa threw a man off of her, “Sara?” She ran toward the scream, “Sara?”

“I’m fine,” Sara winced. “I-”

Nyssa continued moving toward the voice when she saw Sara on her knees with two guns pointed at her, one held by Darrk.

Darrk smiled wickedly. “Checkmate, Princess. Put down your bow. We’ll go to Gotham and pick up your sister so that we can draw your cowardly father out of hiding.”

Nyssa looked at Sara and at the guns pointed at her head. Behind them, she saw Oliver and Felicity had been captured as well.

There were sirens sounding down the road. Nyssa could see the flashing lights approaching. If she, Sara, Felicity, and Oliver couldn’t take down the men, the police of Starling didn’t have a chance.

Nyssa slowly moved her bow to the ground and surveyed the situation again.

“Nyssa you can’t give up,” Sara told her. She caught Nyssa’s eyes and used them to point to her right. Nyssa looked to the right and knew what Sara was going to do. It was risky, but was their only chance.

Sara thrust her entire body against Darrk, sending Nyssa into motion. Nyssa shot three arrows in rapid succession, one on the only other gun that was trained on Sara and one in each person that was holding onto Felicity. Oliver escaped his guard and disarmed them with a burst of energy.

A gun went off as Nyssa shot an arrow in Darrk’s neck. Sara cried out and Nyssa’s heart sank. She ran to Sara and saw that she’d been shot in the leg by a man who was now bleeding out on the street.

“I’m okay,” Sara told Nyssa, grabbing onto Nyssa’s armor with one hand and the bleeding hole in her leg with the other one. She looked over and saw the approaching police cars. “We have to get out of here.”

Nyssa and Oliver carried Sara to her motorcycle and Nyssa slipped on in front of her. They sped off just as the police sirens arrived. Nyssa could feel Sara breathing heavily behind her. She knew that there was only one place she could take Sara.

Nyssa stripped her armor down to her pants, shirt, and boots and helped Sara do the same. They handed off their clothes to Oliver and Felicity in an alley by the hospital. Then Nyssa carried Sara into the hospital. They were able to pass it off as part of the events that happened after the explosion.

“I’m sorry,” Nyssa sat on the stool next to Sara and held her hand while the ER doctor extracted the bullet from her leg.

“I’m fine,” Sara kissed Nyssa’s hand.

“I’m fairly certain that you’re in shock,” Nyssa told her. She looked down at Sara’s leg and knew that it wasn’t the worst injury that Sara had ever sustained, but it still hurt Nyssa to see it.

Sara laid back in the bed and winced when the bullet was pulled from her leg, “Shock or not, you know I’ve had worse.”

Oliver, Felicity, and Quentin came into the triaged ER.

“Dad, what are you doing here?” Sara looked away from her leg when she saw the group arrive.

Quentin waved his phone in the air, “The ER nurse called, you know, the one we met several times when you were younger.” Nyssa stood so that Quentin could take her seat. He saw down and asked, “What happened?”

“Just…,” Sara looked at the doctor cleaning her wound. Then she eyed her dad, “The usual stuff.”

“You’ve got to stop scaring me like this,” Quentin took her hand.

Sara smiled at her dad and patted his hand, “I’ve been though much worse with much less medical care.”

“That worries me,” Quentin shook his head.

Sara leaned back on the bed and leisurely watched the doctor start to sew up her wound. She lulled her head back toward her father, “I just hope that – wait. Where’s Nyssa?”

Oliver and Felicity looked around. “She was right here,” Felicity looked at the spot next to her.

Nyssa was walking out into the night when she heard a familiar voice yell at her to stop. Then he yelled at her to freeze. Nyssa knew there was a gun pointed at her back, but she kept walking knowing that he would not shoot her.

“Hey! I don’t know if you’ve forgotten, but I’ve saved your life,” Quentin yelled as Nyssa walked toward a dark alley next to the hospital, “You owe me.”

Nyssa turned around and narrowed her eyes, “Had you not stuck an arrow in that soldier’s neck, I would have been fine. I have been fighting since before I was born. I have seen unspeakable things, a lot worse that you could ever dream of in this criminal kiddie box you call a city. I do not need your help. I do not want your help. I will avenge Sara and I will not leave anyone standing. Then I will disappear forever because my presence is what endangers her.”

“Sara endangers herself,” Quentin put his gun down. He put it into the holster and put his hands up, “She does it because she loves this city and she loves you.” Quentin swallowed, “She thinks this is her fault and if she thinks that she caused your death, it would crush her because if you go into this fight alone, and then you disappear, she’ll think that you’re dead and that I’m lying to make her feel better.” He took a step forward, “I’ve seen you fight. You don’t need me. I’d probably hurt you more than help. At least, call the Arrow. Call his friends. Felicity’s inside. She can get a hold of him. Don’t go on a suicide mission for Sara. Sara would rather have you than whatever honor you’re trying to show her.”

Nyssa looked at the ground near Quentin’s feet as she thought. She swallowed. Tears filled her eyes and she angrily bit her lip looking up at Quentin, “I let her down.”

The words really struck Quentin. He took a few steps toward Nyssa and stood in front of her, “I’m sure you didn’t.”

Nyssa nodded, “I never wanted anything to happen to her. I swore to her. I swore to you.”

“Hey, Sara’s mother and I learned a long time ago that the only way Sara wasn’t going to get hurt at all was if we locked her in her room,” He offered Nyssa a hopeful smile, “I mean, after she turned ten that didn’t work anymore because she just climbed out her window.”

Nyssa took in Quentin’s gaze and licked her lips. “What do I do?”

“Get your head on right,” Quentin put his hand on Nyssa’s shoulder. “Go back in there. Make sure Sara knows that you have a plan. Then get Felicity to call the Arrow and his friends. If there’s anything I can do, let me know.”

Nyssa nodded and was thankful for Quentin’s fatherly advice. Her father’s advice would have been the complete opposite, but Nyssa knew Quentin was right.

They walked back toward the hospital together only to find Sara moving quickly out the door on crutches while Felicity and Oliver tried to slow her down.

Quentin flashed his phone at Sara, “I gotta get back to the explosion site. Love you.” He kissed her cheek and then pointed at Nyssa, “You take care of her. Make sure she gets somewhere safe.”

Nyssa bowed her head in acquiescence.

Quentin ran off leaving Sara, Oliver, and Felicity standing outside the crowded ER. Nyssa’s attention was stolen by a quick pain in her shin. She looked up and saw that Sara had just whacked her in the shin with her crutches. “Don’t run off like that.”

Nyssa bend down and rubbed her shin, “I’m sorry. It was rash. I wasn’t thinking.”

“Oh,” Sara was sure she was going to have to at least yell at Nyssa to get her point across.

“How are you feeling, my darling?” Nyssa moved to Sara to look her over. She was wearing scrub pants with one of the legs cut off.

“Hobbled,” Sara looked down at her leg. “If I walk, it’ll rip the stitches.”

Nyssa nodded. She was thankful that Sara wouldn’t be participating in the last fight she had again Sensei. She knew it was going to be hard and bloody. She didn’t want Sara to be part of any of it. “Let’s get you home.”

“I’m not going home,” Sara started moving through the parking lot. “You’re going to take me to the Cave.”

Nyssa wasn’t used to Sara being that forceful and looked to Oliver and Felicity who were just snickering with each other.

Nyssa tried to talk Sara into riding with Oliver and Felicity in a car, but she insisted on riding on the back of the motorcycle with Nyssa so she couldn’t run off. Felicity took her crutches to Oliver’s car.

As they drove, Nyssa could feel Sara burying her face in her neck and wondered what was wrong. She asked at a stop light and Sara rested her chin on Nyssa’s shoulder answering, “I was scared when you left.”

“I failed you,” Nyssa could barely choke out.

“You didn’t fail me,” Sara shook her head, “I shouldn’t have been so easy to trap. They’re going after me because I’m the weak link.”

Nyssa drove slowly so that they could talk. “They’re going after you because I love you.”

“What are we going to do?” Sara asked as they drove up to the Foundry.

“You are going to stay safe in the Arrow Cave,” Nyssa stated pulling to a stop. She put the kickstand down and dismounted the bike.  

Sara dismounted the bike and stood on one leg, “You can’t just expect me to sit around while you-”

Nyssa smiled and gestured to Sara’s leg, “Unless you can produce an artificial leg, you’re staying here.”

Sara tried to put weight on her leg and found the pain excruciating. She huff. “Come here and carry me downstairs.”

Petulant Sara was really one of Nyssa’s favorite incarnations of Sara. She walked around the bike and turned around, offering her back to Sara. The blonde easily hopped up using one leg and Nyssa carried her into the secret entrance and down the stairs.