Sara’s heart kept breaking again and again; every time she had to face- to fight – Leonard, she felt like she was losing a little piece of herself, like with each battle she was slowly and yet inevitably slipping back to being the cold killer from the League of Assassins. She knew she wasn’t the only one feeling like that; Mick had been a partner in crime to Len, and in this new timeline, it was like they had never met to begin with… and the whole crew from the Waverider, they all remembered the old world; they all remembered Len, and what kind of sacrifice he had made, and now… now, they had to face him, and his partners- in-crime, knowing that he had no idea who they were or what kind of impact he had had on their lives.
For Sara, though, it was different. Harder. It wasn’t just the blossoming romance she and Len had shared, the feel, the certainty in that first kiss, that he was it for her, that she had finally found her soulmate; Len had been her friend, her anchor. He had believed in her like no one else aboard the ship.
And now… now he was their prisoner on the Waverider, and all he knew about them was that they were his enemies, and that they were interfering in Luthor and Lord’s master plan.
Leonard knew he was supposed to hate them, and yet, he was holding himself back; he had had the chance of killing the Canary, and yet he hadn’t done it, because he had felt like he couldn’t- like it was wrong. He didn’t know how to explain it, and yet, in each and every battle, he needed to seek her out; he wondered if Darhk or Merlyn or one of those brainers knew that more than once he had interfered, saving her life when she was in danger despite knowing all too well that he shouldn’t have to.
He had done the same for the one nicknamed Heat Wave, he had saved his life, wondered what it meant that their weapons were so similar, and then promised to the poor guy that it would have never happened again. And yet deep down he knew it wouldn’t have been the case.
He cared about them. He didn’t know why, he didn’t know how, but he did. And for some unknown reason, they felt the same as well. Not only Canary and Heat Wave- all of them. He could see in their eyes that they would always hold themselves back when in battle with him, that there was always, always something on the tip of their tongues that they couldn’t bring themselves to say.
And then… then, once aboard the ship – once becoming a prisoner - everything started to go the hell. Or maybe the pieces were starting to get together, who knew.
He was having dreams. Only, they didn’t feel like dreams at all. They were vivid and filled with particulars and it was like he felt them, in the deepest recesses of his heart.
Heat Wave- Mick Rory- and the Canary… Sara… they were there. Always. He would often see the Canary in those dreams, and nine times out of ten it was about a kiss and a promise of things to come… sometimes, instead, he saw himself screaming, filled with rage as he promised to be the hero of his own history, that he was done being a puppet… and Sara and Mick were there, holding each other and crying and mad and their hearts just plain broken, a pain he could see in their eyes.
He didn’t say a word about what was happening to him. He didn’t give them the satisfaction of making him…weak. Besides, they probably had a telepath on board, so the drams, visions or whatever they were, they didn’t have to mean anything at all. They were probably just playing the long con.
Until the day he finally managed to escape; somehow, he felt like he knew the ship, inside out, and he wasn’t sure why, but he was dragged- there was no better word for it- towards the core of the ship; he looked, astonished and in fear, and yet knowing, feeling that it was supposed to go that way, to the bluish energy sphere, filled with chronal energy; he remembered The Reverse Flash saying that it was that energy that allowed the Waverider to navigate the time-stream… had he destroyed it, he would have earned the respect of his peers. He would have made it as a criminal- a real meta-criminal.
And yet… he couldn’t. Discarded his cold gun, he tentatively touched the surface of the sphere, and cold energy run through his whole being, and he felt like tons of data were suddenly dumped into his brain; he saw all the dreams, all the visions, from the previous days, and he felt- no, he knew- that they were real, that they were memories.
Sara and Rip dragged him away from the sphere, and he looked at them like he was a wild, scared animal, as Sara was gulping down a mouthful of saliva waiting for him to do something- anything; without thinking twice, he palmed her face, and, an hand running through her soft blond locks, he kissed her forcibly, desperately, like a starving man.
Without thinking twice, she hit him in the face. Hard.
“Now, now, now, pretty bird, is it the way to treat the man who died to save you all? Especially after the promises we’ve made to each other…” He chuckled, massaging his injured jaw, and stood, looking at his astonished companions. “So, who wants to fill me in, in English, if possible?”
“You got your memory back, man?” Jefferson asked him as soon as he and Stein separated, not sure he believed the older man.
”Yes. And I suddenly have not one but two lives to account for. So, who do I have to thank for this mess? Because I think I already said that I don’t like being manipulated or played with.”
“Well, Mister Allen, in an attempt to save his family, he… broke the timeline and rewrote history. And that’s probably why you have another life as well… even if I can’t understand how he could have kept the memories from both the time-lines. The only reason we did was because we were inside the time-stream when the Flashpoint Paradox took place… unless, of course, it was some residual effect from being exposed to energies of the Oculus and the Vanishing Point…” Stein tried to answer the question each and every one of them was asking.
“Of Course it’s the boy scout…” Leonard drawled the words, rolling his eyes dramatically and exaggeratedly, speaking more to himself than to the others. He should have expected it. If something was odd or wrong in his life, it was either because of Ramone or Allen.
“Ehy! It’s like in that TV-show, Fringe!” Ray explained, very, very cheerful, like he was struck from a sudden epiphany; everybody looked at him like he was crazy. Or maybe they just didn’t know what he was talking about, which was probably the case. Vixen came from the previous century, Rip from the future, Stein was too old, Jackson was too young and Sara and Mick didn’t look like the kind of people who enjoyed sci-fi shows.
“In Fringe, Peter sacrifices himself to save his universe, and he is erased from history. But his love for Olivia makes so that he reappears again, even if no one knows of him- and their love makes so that Olivia at the end remembers the old time-line like she had lived it to begin with, even if it’s not the case.”
Sara rolled her eyes, her cheeks turning a lovely shade of dark pink; she almost stuttered, not liking one bit where the discussion was heading, still flustered by Len’s kiss- one filled with desperation, longing and passion and regrets. “Ok, just for the record, love is a bit too big of a word, all right? Being… intellectually attracted to someone is a whole other matter.”
Mick chuckled, barely resisting laughing out loud. “Oh, yes, because there’s plenty of intellectual where Snart and I are involved….”
“Ehy, I actually resent that!” Len smirked. That smirk that all of them had gotten to know so well- the one that they had missed in the last year or so. One that none of them had actually believed they would have gotten around to see once again.
He was back. Their friend- their partner- was back. Like he had never been gone to begin with.
As Stein and Rip started talking about a plan, about how use the information that he had surely collect to their advantage, Sara and Leonard’s eyes met at opposite sides of the room; the breath died in her throat as he looked at her, sure of himself, and yet not smug, and the sounds around them became nothing but white nose; suddenly, there were only the two of them.
He took a few steps, and she did as well, meeting him halfway.
They didn’t exchange words. They didn’t have to- not yet, at least. There was going to be time for that. For now, they simply enjoyed the briefest touches, and made room to new memories. New adventures.
He was back.
And until that moment, she hadn’t known how much she had missed him. Nor, maybe, just maybe, how important he was for her.
But it didn’t matter.
Because now they were going to have time to explore what was between them, and build a future upon that.