The funny part, Sara decides, is that the rest of the team are less bothered by the fact that Snart is fucking Mick until he screams and more bothered by what he's screaming.
There's actually a pretty heated debate.
"Look, it's up to Snart to decide if it bugs him. And they've been together for a while, right?"
"At least twenty years," Sara says. She looked up their arrest records before she left, to be sure she knew what she was walking into.
"Twenty years. It's fine," Jax says.
"I don't know. It feels fetishizing," Kendra says. "Like, I would never go with a guy who called me exotic. Or chocolate."
"That's getting with a guy, though. You can develop, you know, jokes and stuff."
Kendra nods, a little sideways; he has a point, but she isn't conceding the argument.
The crew is gathered in the kitchen, such as it is; standing and sitting around the bar table that surrounds the Every Fluid Tap (Sara is pretty sure Ray was thinking of Harry Potter when he named it; according to Rip it's a "hydrator") and the Offensively Tasty Granola dispenser (the Professor named that one, and Sara agrees). Professor Stein has a cup of tea and Rip is staring grimly into a glass of something green.
"But why would he say that?" Ray says with a confused frown.
"I know for a fact you've had sex, Ray," Sara says.
"No--of course things are said while, uh, in the moment--I just don't understand why you would say that to a white man?"
"He's mixed," Kendra says, at the same time that Jax says, "Because he's not white."
Ray looks from one to the other. "Really?"
"You can't tell?" Kendra says.
"I didn't realize either," the Professor admits.
(Sara has never considered the issue. She divides people differently now, during her second lifetime.)
Kendra and Jax look at each other. "But, like--his face," Jax says.
"And his name," Kendra says.
"What about his name?" the Professor asks.
"For real? White people are named, you know, Raymond," Jax says. "Nobody looks at a tiny white baby and says 'Leonard.' That is a black ass name."
"It's true," Kendra says.
"My great-nephew is named Leonard," the Professor says.
"But you're Jewish," Jax says.
"Absurd tribalism," Rip mutters. He downs his green stuff. "I need to return to my work. Gideon, can you do something about this racket?"
"Shall I seal off the chamber and incapacitate the inhabitants?" Gideon says.
"No!" Rip says.
"Tribalism? What's that supposed to mean?" Jax says.
"What shall I do, then?" Gideon says.
Rip gestures, probably rudely, but is cut off by the Professor saying, "My Jewish identity means a great deal."
"But this is interesting," Ray says. "Race is a social construct--"
"Whoa! Whoa, whoa, do not go there--" Jax starts.
"A social construct! As is the family, and other vital structures--" the Professor says over and between him.
"I didn't mean--" Ray says.
"Color of skin could not be less important," Rip says.
"The hell kind of space racism is that?" Jax says.
"That's erasure," Kendra says.
She feels someone at her shoulder; it's Snart, smirking, watching, shirtless. He must have just gotten up; he's sweaty, and barefoot as well, wearing nothing but his trousers, blunt toe tapping against the ship floor. He has a few prison tattoos on his shoulder--a dagger, an ankh, some thorns--and a quality tattoo of a blue crown over his heart.
The smell of him hits her just below the navel and creeps down her belly between her legs. He smells like a long, hard fistfight, or a climb up the side of a mountain.
"So there are no brown people in the future?" Jax demands. Rip is rolling his eyes, dismissively. Sara is sure Jax won't hit him, but she would put even odds on Professor Stein, who is steaming like a brisket.
"I think I understand what he's saying," Ray says, but he is immediately cut off when the Professor whirls on him with an angry finger and starts in about five thousand years of history and culture that will most certainly be relevant in the future, thank you, and meanwhile Rip is clearly trying to escape, but is cut off by Kendra and her blazing eyes.
"What happened here?" Snart asks.
"Your big black cock happened," she says. "Mick is loud."
Snart shows teeth. "He is, isn't he? Gideon, two beers."
The noise of the Every Fluid Tap interrupts the arguments. Jax says, "Cold, tell this fool that race matters."
Snart raises an eyebrow. Rip pushes past, escaping down the hallway to his room, as Snart moves to the tap and takes his glasses of beer.
"I'm not saying that race doesn't matter, I'm saying it's a social construct, and it's fascinating how those things change," Ray says. He doesn't run. He's kind of a dope, for a smart guy.
"My penis started a race war?" Snart looks down toward his pants. "That's a first, even for me." He glances back at Sara, smirking, his eyes glinting.
"Can you confirm that Leonard is a black name? It's under debate," Sara says. She can't help smiling back.
Snart raises his other eyebrow. "My mother named me after her father, Reverend Leonard Washington. You tell me."
"Reverend Washington? Bible study on Wednesdays? Your mom has fifteen church hats?" Jax asks, grinning.
"Exactly," Snart says.
"My brother. 8th Street or Water?"
"Reed Ave, the storefront next to Harvey's Barbershop--"
Jax points. "It's Kutz now! And that's right, there was a storefront church there. Now it's a Cricket store."
"Grandpa meant for me to take over his ministry. It didn't work out."
"I guess not, being gay and all," Jax says.
"Far less of a problem than the criminal record, which is itself less of a problem than the atheism."
"Wow," Ray says. "I had no idea."
Snart looks at him. "That I'm a criminal or that I'm an atheist?"
"No, I meant--"
"I know what you meant," he says. He sounds annoyed. "My mother was light-skinned. My father was white. They're both dead. What does it change, exactly?"
"I suppose it doesn't change anything. But I do wonder how it impacted your crimmf," Ray said, cut off by Jax's hand over his mouth. "Mnf?"
"Calling time out on the race war," Jax says. "Goodnight, guys. Ray, shut the fuck up, I swear to God." He hauls Ray out by his neck. Ray waves goodnight.
Snart watches them go. "I'll have to thank Jax later. I would hate to have to kill Ray. Mick likes him."
"Jefferson is a mensch," the Professor says. "Leonard--next time--a little quieter, for all our sakes? Please?"
"Absolutely not." Snart's eyes glitter with amusement. The Professor opens his mouth, about to make another argument, but he makes a small sound and retreats instead.
"So, noise-cancelling headphones," Kendra sighs. Sara shivers at that sigh. Kendra is a very, very pretty girl.
Then Snart and Sara are the last two. Snart sips his beer. He looks at Sara.
"I would bang her like a screen door if it weren't such a bad idea," Sara tells him.
"Oh, certainly. Can't add a sexual confusion crisis to the race war." He offers her the second beer. She takes it. "Come back with me? We're not quite done. Could use an assist."
"Do you even like women?" she asks.
Snart leans closer. His eyes flick down her body. "You have strong hands," he says. His voice is full of promise.
A smile flicks at the corner of his mouth. "He's an ass man."
She laughs. "Yeah?"
"He eats the booty like groceries," Snart says deadpan. "Gideon, another beer."
Sara, not quite believing herself, leads Snart back to his room.
Mick is flopped on his stomach on the bed, naked, his face buried in the pillow. His arms and back are ridged with burn scars. He's even broader than Snart, thick with muscle. The lump on his head is livid purple. "Did you get me a beer?" he asks.
"A beer and a woman."
"Awesome." Mick turns over just enough to take the glass. The bed is the same in all the rooms, a big platform with storage underneath. It's big enough for three but just barely. "Canary."
"Heat Wave." She sits on the bed, letting both their beers rest on her thigh.
He reeks of sex. She's missed that smell so much. She thinks of sparring with Nyssa for hours, the way they would both shake at the end, exhausted and ecstatic, sweat pouring down both their bodies, simultaneously filthy and clean. She hasn't fucked anyone since Nyssa. Since she died.
She fucked plenty of people before that, though. She knows how this goes. She looks up at Snart. "Can either of you still get it up?"
Mick grunts and slaps her butt. Ass man, she thinks. It sounded like fun.
"I guarantee this worth your time," Snart says. He sets down his beer and drops his pants. Sara drinks, checking him out with long sweeps of her eyes. Snart isn't an old man, but he's old enough to know what he's doing. He isn't an athlete, but he's strong enough to handle himself. He isn't a big man, but he's sturdy enough not to break.
She probably can't hurt him. Unlike Kendra.
Mick sits up enough that he can drink as well. He grunts. "Going to feel that tomorrow."
"Apparently we woke the neighbors. Professor Stein would appreciate it if I gagged you next time."
"Fuck no," Mick says.
"That's what I said too."
"Use the lighter next time. Really make them scared."
She's not sure if they're showing off their kinkiness or if this is just the way they are. Same difference, she decides. She leans back against Mick. She's not the slightest bit worried about him. "So, going to make me scream?" she says.
Mick throws his glass against the wall. She laughs as he pulls her backwards onto his chest.
She holds up her knees in invitation. Snart takes her ankles and rests them on his shoulders, and he unzips her boots as Mick licks her throat. Teamwork.
Snart runs his hands down her thighs, leaning in, folding her legs up as he finds the button for her pants and Mick slips his rough hands under her shirt.
Mick finds her nipple and Snart takes off her pants. She didn't bother with underwear that morning. "Trade me," Mick breathes, and Snart nods, and Sara lets herself be flipped.
She grabs Snart's hip bones hard when Mick dives into her ass with tongue and teeth. "Oh my freaking god," she says.
"OH MY FUCKING GOD."
She's coming in two minutes, Mick's tongue on her tenderest flesh and his thumb damn near up to her cervix. It shivers through her like a drink of cold water and it's not nearly enough.
"Keep going?" Snart asks.
Sara growls in response. She shakes him by the hips.
"Where are the condoms?" Snart asks Mick.
"Shit," Mick says. "I don't know."
"I don't care," Sara says. "Gideon can just cure whatever you give me. Right, Gideon?"
"I have cures for all sexually transmitted diseases save Diplos Exploding Boils," the ship responds.
They all pause.
"None of you suffer at present from Diplos Exploding Boils," the ship says.
"Exploding, though," Sara says, holding very still.
The ship doesn't respond.
"But I don't have that," Mick says.
"No. You are clear of that disease," Gideon says. "In addition, I cured you of herpes and chlamydia during your medical evaluation."
"Ooh, dirty boy," Snart says.
Ew. "You cured him?" Sara says, just to be 100.
"Mr. Rory is clear of all disease. Ms. Lance is clear of all disease and is in addition infertile. Mr. Snart suffers from hypothyroidism which is controlled--"
"That's enough," Snart says.
"Kind of out of the mood now," Sara says. She knew about the infertility--she hasn't had a period since she died--but it's terrible pillow talk.
"No consequences. I like that," Mick says.
He has a point. She digs her nails into Snart's hips to get his attention and twitches her hips to rev Mick up.
Sure enough, Snart licks his lips and Mick's cock prods her in the guiche. "Gonna take too long to get you in the back door. Come in the front," Sara says, which earns a filthy smile from Snart.
"Okay." Which is all the warning she gets before Mick slides up in her pussy.
He feels great. His hands are rough on her ass and he's solid as a granite dildo inside her. Snart takes her left hand and brings her fingers to his mouth to suck.
He really does like hands; his eyes are sliding closed with pleasure. His tongue curls around her first two fingers and his teeth stroke over her knuckles. He's warm. Alive.
She tugs on Snart's jaw after a minute, wanting him down with her. She puts his lips on her breast and moves between the two men, between hard cock and open mouth.
Mick groans behind her. "Fuck, you've got a nice ass."
"League of Assassins' finest," she says.
Snart bites her nipple, hard enough to feel, light enough to be good. He slides his hand between her and Mick, so that Mick slips through his fingers into her snatch, and he looks up at her, watching her face. When he puts pressure on her clit, she bites her lip--sensitive--soft--and when he presses hard, closing his fingers around Mick's cock as he pounds her, she growls and holds onto his head with both hands as she chases her nut.
Fuck, it's almost there, if she rides Mick a little harder, if she rubs against Snart's hand, if she lets the electric feeling rip through her--
The second orgasm is always a little harder, but a lot better. She shouts as she comes on Mick's cock, Mick's thighs, Snart's hand, Snart's mouth, a team.
She's not sure if Mick came as well, but he's not pounding her any more, so she guesses he did. Snart, meanwhile, has both his hands on her wrists.
She might be strangling him a little, between her hands and her breasts.
She lets go.
Snart inhales, rolling his eyes up at her. "Well, it's not the worst way to go."
"How much do you lift?" He rubs his neck.
"We should work out together," Mick says. He pulls her backwards and she rolls back into his embrace, squeezing her breasts. "Then shower together."
"Sure," Sara says, and closes her eyes for a minute.
Mick is curled around her with two fingers in her pussy and his other hand on her breast, making happy little noises against her shoulder blade. She'll get up eventually, but not right now.
Snart is stretched out in the opposite direction, Mick's feet in his lap, his brow furrowed. His thumb strokes the pale underside of Mick's foot idly. He's clearly thinking something over. His eyes flicker over her when he notices that she's awake.
"Gideon," Snart says. "Is there a cure for adenocarcinoma?"
"If detected before significant organ involvement, adenocarcinoma can be fully cured with nanotherapeutic drugs," Gideon replies.
Mick reacts. His hand slips out of Sara. "What is that?"
"Lung cancer," Snart says.
"Don't do it."
"She got a month. The old man turned real nice at the end, bought her flowers every day, told her he loved her. You think it's better if she never gets sick and he beats her to death instead?"
Snart narrows his eyes. "Or I go back, give Mom the cure, and shoot Dad in the head twenty years early."
"Excuse me, sir," Gideon says. "A paradox of that magnitude might well rupture the time stream. I must inform Captain Hunter of your intentions."
Snart lets out his breath. "Go ahead." He tips his head back against the wall.
"We can't fix everything," Sara says. "My sister brought me back from the dead. It wasn't the right decision."
"You'd rather be dead?" Snart asks.
"But not all."
"Do you think your mother would want to see you become a murderer?" Sara asks. "Because I wish my father hadn't."
He doesn't respond, just stares her down with his dark, glittering eyes.
"She hated seeing us in jail," Mick says. "That time she bailed us out and wouldn't stop crying, remember?"
"Mm," Snart says.
"You had to drive us home. She told me not to pay her back unless I got a job. Not to steal it. So I never paid her back."
"I paid her back. I dipped wallets on Grant for a week. Wasn't caught once. That means you owed me, but I took it out of your share of the Eagles heist, so we're square."
"I knew that was light! You rat."
"Don't do it. She doesn't deserve more of the old man."
"No," Snart says. "Nobody does." His face says he's not convinced, but--
The door flies open.
Mick and Snart both have their guns in their hands in one motion. Sara jumps to her feet, fists clenched. "You cannot interfere with your own lived history!" Rip shouts. "The effects would be catastrophic! You might as well explode the sun!"
"I'm down with exploding the sun," Mick growls beside Sara. "Just say the word."
"Isn't this what you're doing? Changing your history? What makes you so different?" Snart bites out.
"What makes me different is that I know what I'm doing!" Rip says.
"So explain it!"
"I don't have the time to put you through ten years of Time Master training! Can you just for once believe me when I tell you where the danger is?"
Snart puts up his gun. "Fine. I believe you. Big danger, boom. Now leave."
"I'm most serious," Rip says.
"So am I. Leave or take off your pants."
"What?" Rip blinks and looks at them in all their glory. "Oh."
Mick cups his hands over Sara's breasts, covering her nipples. The chivalry makes her smile. "It's not polite to stare," Sara says.
"Excuse me," Rip says, turning his back.
"Thank you," Sara says. She thinks about staying, for a moment, but the mood is thoroughly broken. She turns and kisses Mick on the cheek. "Goodnight, boys." She kisses Snart as well.
"Meet you in the gym tomorrow."
"You're on." She picks up her clothes. To her surprise, Snart picks his clothes up as well.
Rip leaves first. Snart runs an affectionate hand over Mick's head. "I'll find something to set on fire tomorrow," Snart says.
"You better," Mick says. He throws himself back on his bed.
She and Snart exit Mick's room. "Why so tense?" she asks.
"He liked 2046. Didn't want to leave." Snart seems actually bothered.
You could do better, she doesn't say; that's not the point, and neither of them are nice guys, Snart just has better manners. "Bummer. Sleep well," she says instead.
In the morning, the Professor is teaching Jax Hebrew over their Disturbingly Tasty Granola (seriously, why is it so good; it's mechanically processed chunks of nutritionally complete food and it has no right to taste like cinnamon and love), while Kendra is reading a book.
Kendra glances at Sara and looks down with a tiny smile. "Oh, you heard us?" Sara asks.
"I'm not embarrassed. Guys. I had sex with Heat and Cold last night. Two thumbs up, would fuck again."
Jax looks astonished, then grins. "Ah, youth," the Professor says.
"Don't act like you're so old, Gray. You're still married. I know how you think about your wife."
"A relationship with my wife of thirty years is rather different than a spontaneous midnight fling, which is entirely the province of the young," the Professor says.
"Well--not necessarily. I worked as a nursing home attendant for a while," Kendra says. "Ninety year olds don't give a damn. Residents were having affairs all over the place."
"Huh," Jax says. "My great-grandma is eighty-nine. She says men suck the life out of you. I'm pretty sure she's not dating."
Kendra shrugs. "Not all grandmas."
(Sara is pretty sure she's not going to see ninety. It's okay.)
Snart saunters in. "Is Mick up?" he asks Sara.
"Not that I've seen."
"Mm." Snart gets some granola chunks. "Suppose they recycle our shit for this?"
"Yeah, they do," Jax says.
The Professor makes a small noise and pushes his bowl away. "Gentlemen."
"Hard truths, Gray," Jax says. "They do. It's processed down to the protein level, though, so there's no, you know, bacteria and stuff. And mostly it's made of the stores of raw material loaded in at the beginning of the trip. We burn most of the calories we take in, so the ship has to have something to start with. It does mean that if supplies get low, we can just dump, like, dirt and trees and garbage into the processors and get food out. Get this stuff out, anyway. I miss eggs."
The Professor looks pleased as punch. "You have been reading up."
"Yeah. Me and Kendra," Jax says. He smiles at her.
Snart holds up a chunk. "It's like Nutraloaf, but good."
"Nutraloaf? Health food?" Sara asks.
"Prison food. A punishment. It tastes like prison smells."
"An old-timer told me once it was more edible if you pissed on it. I never took his advice, but maybe I should have. This is better than my sister's cooking." Snart pops a piece in his mouth.
"Not better than my cooking. You should see what I can do on top of a mountain with a rabbit and a twig."
Snart cuts his eyes at her. "I'll remember that."
She needs to stop flirting with him. He has Mick, and she's mostly gay, and she doesn't even think she likes him. It's so fun, though. He bounces back at her as hard and fast as a Superball off a bridge.
Can you be friends-with-benefits with a person you don't like? She's really starting to wonder.
Frenemies with benefits? Is that a thing?
She would still bang the fuck out of Kendra, so at least she has her Kinsey 5 bona fides.
There's a thump in the hallway. "Ray!" Mick bellows.
"Uh, good morning! Uh, let me go, please!"
"Is he in trouble?" Kendra asks.
"No promises," Snart says, getting up. He looks into the hall, and pauses. He crosses his arms.
Ray slides--is hurled--past Snart into the kitchen, ass over teakettle. He skids to rest beside Sara on one shoulder, legs folded up over his head. "Well, he's in a good mood," he says, muffled under his own shins.
Sara takes his ankle to help him untangle himself.
"Don't leg wrestle with Mick Rory," Ray says. He's flushed but smiling. "Hi."
Mick runs into the kitchen, catching Snart at the waist, spinning in circles with Snart over his shoulder. "It's a good day! Give me some food and something to burn!" He sets Snart down roughly at the table and leans on him, hip to hip, nose to nose, looming in a jovial way.
Mick is a little taller, a lot bigger, but Snart just keeps his tiny smile. "Suppose breakfast will burn?" Snart says.
"Most things do!" Mick flicks his Zippo right next to Snart's head. Snart hands him a chunk of granola without flinching. Mick applies flame to food and actually gets it to catch. "Groovy," he says.
"Well; an evening of exertion often leads to a good night's rest," the Professor says.
"I slept like a baby," Sara says.
Mick pops the smoldering chunk into his mouth and blows smoke rings at Ray.
It's a good day.
It could be a good team.
Things are looking up.
(Frenemies with benefits has to be a thing.)
Sara bites into breakfast, tasting hope and rainbows, and smiles.