This dinner wasn’t anything Sara had hoped for; since the moment she had been allowed a short leave, along with her team-mater, Sara had craved the company of her enlarged family, after so many months. And yet, right from the start she had felt a snagging feeling, in the back of her neck, that something would have gone oh, so wrong.
But, she had decided, for once, to not trust her assassin training, and hope for the best. She has hoped that her family would have been happy to have her back, even if just for a short while, and they would have minded their own business. But nope. Apparently, it was impossible, when you father is a cop, you sister a DA by day, vigilante by night, and the Smoaks are your steps.
So, really, Sara should have been awaiting Laurel’s third degree. And yet, it caught her off-guard- or maybe it was because, even when you are a killer, you are not expecting your older sister to question you about your (lack of) love-life while you are checking the oven.
“So… is there anything you want to share with your elder sister?” Laurel asked as she jumped to sit on the kitchen isle, swinging her legs like a child.
“I don’t know what you are talking about?” Sara half-asked, half-answered, feigning an unawareness she was far from feeling; Laurel, in answer, lifted a perfect eye-brow, and then turned her head in direction of the dinner table, and then again to her sister.
Sara sighed, barely resisting the temptation of slamming the oven closed, just because then Laurel would have gotten how annoyed she was by her line of questioning. Along with the rest of her family. And her guest.
“It’s not what you think.” Sara sighed again, but now a small smile was gracing her features. She quickly cleaned her flour-covered hands, and went to sit at her sister’s side, her eyes on the table where her family- real, enlarged and surrogate alike- was getting ready to eat dinner.
“And… what it is that I think?” Laurel asked, smiling just like her sister, nudging the younger Lance in the side; Sara didn’t answer- not at words, at least, because her look spoke volumes.
“Ehy! Hi, sorry to interrupt, but… can you at least come and sit with us?”
“Ooh…. You see? Ollie finds this whole situation awkward! Isn’t it sweet?”
Ollie glared at Laurel- one of his well-studied, well-trained, normally effective glares- with even his hands on his hips for emphasis. “Awkward? No. I just hope that something very wrong may happen in the next five seconds. Either as mayor or….” He didn’t said the words at loud, but all the three of them knew at what he was referring.
The Lance siblings left their position, and decided to have mercy of their family, joining them at the table while they were waiting for everything to be ready, Oliver Queen, their common ex, walking behind them.
“No need to be coy, Ollie. Len knows you’re the Green Arrow. He even knows where the lair is.”
Oliver shook his head, closed his eyes, and counted to ten before he would say something…. Inappropriate, or would hear Donna say he need anger- management sessions (again) because he was keen to lose his temper. “Sara… do you mind me asking you why a super-criminal knows everything there is to know about us?”
Felicity groaned in her red wine, rolling her eyes. “Ok, first, trust me, this guy here? He is neither a villain or a super-criminal. C’mon, Oliver, we’ve met Villains and super-criminals. And he is neither. Trust me. I mean, I’ve been close and personal with all of your nemesis, so I know what I’m talking about.” She turned to look at their gust, grinning a little. “Not close and personal like that. More in a Felicity gets kidnapped at least a couple of times a year sort of way. I’m a good girl! Well, at least now. I was a criminal, once upon a time. Nothing too bad- I didn’t steal anything, I just liked to create chaos on the net. Well, I did steal a few times, but in a very Robin Hood sort of way, as in, I never kept anything for me. Differently from my daddy. The Calculator, never heard of him? He is a super-villain of the CSI:cyber kind.”
“I’m not hearing it!” Quentin begged, looking at least ten years older than his actual age and very, very tired. He didn’t like the situation. Everything was a little… absurd. His family dinner were already awkward enough, with his step-daughter (Felicity) engaged to Queen, who happened to be Laurel’s ex (and also the brother of the girl who had killed Sara), and his second wife (Donna) who was the mother of the girl (Felicity) who was engaged to his daughters’ ex (Queen) . And now, today there was also Sara present- another girl Queen had dated- who had been dating Queen’s ex-wife, who happened to be Laurel’s best friends. AND there was also Sara’s… friend? Boyfriend? Acquaintance? He really hoped it was the last case- because his life was enough of a soap-opera without adding to the mix his daughter dating the former nemesis of his step-daughter’s former… crush? Who was Barry Allen again for Felicity?
Donna, sat at Quentin’s side, looked deeply in front of herself, lost in her thought. “Wow. Sweetheart, every one of your daughters- your step-daughter included – enjoy breaking the law on a regular basis. In the past, in the present, and even in the future!”
Felicity closed her eyes, and looked again at their guest, Leonard Snart- Len, like Sara kept simply calling him. “Ehy, is there any chance that you’ve met a telepath? Because, hello? I trust more him with our deepest secrets than my mother!”
“Sweetie!” Donna sighed, pouting like a disappointed child; Laurel, who had been around her longer than her sister, could already feel the approaching storm, so she decided to change subject. Also because she didn’t want for her father to change subject first- or else, he would have asked Leonard what his intentions with his daughter were.
“So… how’s saving the future going? Being doing something so super-heroic you needed to slow things down and take a vacation or…”
“What… what exactly are your intentions with my daughter?” Yeah. She had spoken too soon.
“Dad!” Sara groaned, covering her eyes in shame. She had never wanted to disappear as much as in that very moment.
“No need to worry, Sara. It’s a fair question, coming from a father who worries when a strange man is brought to his table.” Len smirked, tilting his head to the side in his own peculiar way. “I fear, Captain Lance, that your daughter simply took pity on me, as my partner bailed on me preferring the company of a former associate of yours, Ray palmer. He is under the impression that Doctor Palmer is - using his words- a badass.”
Felicity looked quizzically at Snart. “Wait. Ray Palmer? As in, my ex-boyfriend? Also known as the Atom? That Ray Palmer?”
Sara nodded solemnly. “He and Mick bonded in a gulag over some beating.”
“Anyway, switching topic! Enough with the billionaires my daughter left! Sara, I know that as your step-mother I don’t have any voice on the matter, but trust someone’s been around a lot longer than you…”
“Certainly not that much longer….” Len said, scoring yet another point with Mrs. Lance.
“Anyway, gentlemen such as him are a dying species. This man over here?” She said indicating Len with her manicured index finger. “He is a keeper.”
“Yep, and he even has Barry’s seal of approval. Which is, like, pivotal.”
“…And we keep giving away secrets identities at our dinner table! Seriously, people, am I the only one worried about this?” He felt like having dinner with the added company of Cisco and Barry- mostly Barry. All right, he was the king of the lame excuses, but at least he was good at keeping secrets. These guys over there? Not so much. Just in case there was someone who wasn’t yet aware of the secret identity of someone in their group.
Thanks God he hadn’t introduced any of them to the Batman- or they would have managed to spoiler his secret identity over dinner as well.
“Actually, you know what?” Quentin wondered, massaging his freshly-shaved chin. “I think they may have a point. You could be the best guy any of my daughters had ever bought home. Present company included.” He turned to Oliver. “Sorry, Queen, I came to appreciate you, but… the only reason you are still dating my step-daughter it’s because you got engaged before I married her mum.”
“Ooh… It’s ok, he knows that I keep him around just because he is the greatest cook I’ve ever seen in my whole life, past present and future.” Felicity patted his hand, like Oliver was a child. “That, and the shirtless training, of course. He trains shirtless. I don’t. Train shirtless, I mean. Because I do train. Sometimes. Just, not a lot. Not that my step-father needs to know any of that. Ok, you know what? I think that I’ll take some more wine and I’ll stop talking in 3, 2, 1…”
“Nyssa wasn’t all that bad…”
“Honey, she was the daughter of the guy who ruled over the League of Assassins. Now, I’m the first one who doesn’t believe in the whole apple for the three thing, but….” Quentin sent her a knowing look.
Sara wanted to die. As in, for real. Or at least disappear. Anything but that torture.
“And she married Oliver! Not that any of us ever thought it was real, or official. And let’s not forget the whole thing with Thea!”
“Oliver was married? Oliver dear, what were you expecting to tell me my daughter’s not going to have the marriage of her dreams because you are a divorcee?”
“What? Oh, no, it got annulled. It was just a League of Assassins thing. Never really counted out here in the real world!”
“You know, dad has a point. At least in my case. I dated billionaires with a bad boy attitude, vigilantes and Sebastian Blood. Even if it was only, like, twice. Between the three of us Felicity is probably the one with the best taste. She did date Ray and Barry, after all.”
No, really, where was an assassin when she needed it the most?
“No need to feel ashamed, sweetheart.” Len nudged her in the side, and smiled- a real smile, not a grin, feeling her uneasiness at the whole situation; despite everything, it was still hard for Sara dealing with, well, people in general, between her training as a member of the League of Assassins and her death and her resurrection.
“I’m sorry, they can be a little…. overwhelming.” She would have used other words to describe them, but she was too polite. Even for herself.
“I’d take them over my father and the majority of my family any given day, sweetheart.” Len grinned, and, still talking with Sara, his eyes landed on Sara’s recently acquired step-sister, Felicity, who was busy trying to stop her mother before she would show anyone pictures of what wedding dress her “baby” would surely look good in. “Me and your new sister alike, I seem to understand.”
Sara nodded, smiling; Oliver and Laurel had said a little about what had happened between Felicity and her father- and Felicity too had name-dropped him sometimes, mostly in the negative and only in passing- and she guessed Len was right. Sometimes she really felt like strangling them, but ehy, she loved them.
And… she hated to admit it, but maybe Laurel was right. Maybe there was something between Len and her she didn’t understand yet. She knew he was a good friend, and that he understood her in a way no one else could or had ever done- not even Oliver, with all their shared history; Len got her- but mostly, he didn’t judge her. He accepted and took her for what and who she was. For better and for worse.
In that moment, the fire alarm started to beep like crazy, and a dark smoke came from the kitchen.
“Girls? Did any of you turn off the oven?”
“Don’t look at me! I’m only good with computers and apps!”
“I thought that Sara did?”
“Nope, I’m the guest! You were on kitchen duty!” Sara laughed under her breath as the other were running in the kitchen, with the exception of Felicity, who took Oliver and went on the balcony of the apartment, deciding the chilly night was worth leaving Sara and her “friend” some room. “Ehy, you know what? I think we’ve done pour duty, so, we should bail and hang out in my old secret headquarter while we wait for Jax to get us so that you can get some time with your sister in Central.”
“A secret headquarter?” Len asked mischievously.
Sara nodded, grinning, clearly amused. “It’s in an old clock tower.”
“Sexy. Very League of Assassins, indeed, my lady.”
“Oh, you have no idea…” She smiled, and as they laughed, shaking their head while looking at the rest of Sara’s enlarged family out of the corner of their eyes, they went away in the chilly night, hand in hand.
They didn’t know what the future had in hold for them. They didn’t care.
They were going to live it soon enough, after all.
(It was going to have a lot of kisses, though, of the hot, sexy, dirty, messy, wet kind- of that much Sara was sure.)