When Ava tells Sara that no, she cannot drop in to discuss about what's happening with Mallus because it's the middle of the Time Bureau Christmas party, Sara just assumes she's joking.
As it turns out, Ava is not joking at all.
Sara arrives through a portal wearing her scruffiest jeans and a tank top. She hasn't washed her hair since yesterday, but she did have the foresight to at least tie it back, tucked into a bun that's only sort of greasy. She knows for a fact that it's a good look, sort of dashing but not like she cares too much: appropriate for the captain of a semi-rogue time ship. She steps out, and suddenly everything about how she's dressed seems like a problem.
The Time Bureau offices are fully decorated for the holidays. The central lobby is all lit up with candles and little strings of LED lights, all surrounding a huge Christmas tree in the middle of the foyer. All of the offices are shuttered and the lobby space is packed with agents, milling about and clutching cocktails in a way that reminds Sara, vaguely, of high school dances.
There are agents everywhere - suits, the word comes into her head in Mick's voice and she doesn't disagree. Everyone's dressed down, in cocktail dresses and what Sara can only assume are their idea of "fun" holiday sweaters - but they look like suits all the same.
Ava's standing near the Christmas tree, the communicator still in her hand. Now that Sara's seeing her in person instead of through a screen, it occurs to her that Ava looks good. That maybe she should have picked up on some of these details a bit sooner. Ava's wearing an actual dress, floor-length and fitted with a slit that ends halfway up her thigh.
(Sara's not thinking about thighs in the context of Ava, not like that, it's just hard for her not to notice the obvious anatomy.)
Ava's hair is down, out of that stupid bun and curling around her shoulders. When she whirls to confront Sara her expression is livid, her cheeks reddening and the tip of her nose turning a delicate, furious pink that Sara's begun to associate with trouble. As Ava stalks toward her - slowly, in formal-yet-sensible heels that give her an extra few inches of height on Sara - Sara notices two things: the bounce of her hair as she whirls, and the fact that she's wearing lipstick.
Sara could get used to Ava wearing lipstick.
Ava and her lipstick make their way toward her, past the table filled with containers of grocery store cookies and across what could generously be called a dance floor. The third thing Sara notices is that Ava's definitely been drinking; her cheeks are flushed and she smells a little like gin as she takes Sara by the arm and drags her away from the foyer. "I thought I told you idiots that this wasn't a good time," she hisses.
Ava steers them both around a corner, into an empty office that almost certainly doesn't belong to her. "I assumed you were joking," Sara replies.
"Well, clearly I wasn't," Ava says. The lights inside the office come on automatically, motion-sensor activated. It's fluorescent and unforgiving but even here Ava looks - Sara refuses to let herself think the word beautiful, but she will admit that Ava is not unattractive. The muscles in her jaw flex with anger, and Sara's eye is drawn to the line of her throat, the way the neckline of her dress emphasizes things about her chest that Sara hasn't really thought about before.
"Clearly." Sara says. She shoves her hands into her pockets. She feels self-conscious in a way she doesn't like: underdressed and too scruffy to be here.
Ava's staring at her, scowling. It takes Sara a few moments to realize that she's not actually looking at Sara's face; her eyes are resting somewhere between Sara's neck and her waist. Sara fidgets, shifts from one foot to the other and it seems to snap Ava out of her reverie. When she next makes eye contact with Sara she's blushing. "Well, you're here now, Captain," she says, her voice a little harsher than it needs to be. "What is it?"
Sara shrugs. The information about Mallus doesn't seem so urgent anymore. From outside, she can hear the first few notes of what she can only hope is a very intoxicated off-key sing along to Mariah Carey, and she feels a sudden pang of guilt. "Look, I didn't mean to ruin your party," she says. "I can come back later."
Ava rolls her eyes. "You've got to be kidding me, you love ruining things. That's what you do, you just come in here with your smug face and your nice arms, and you're pretty, and you just - ruin stuff." She lifts her hand, finger raised in a gesture that's meant to accompany a further tirade, when her ears catch up with her brain and she freezes.
Sara's similarly stunned. The word pretty hits her like a blow, knocking emotion into her chest that she doesn't really want to name. She feels it when she breathes: her heart beating faster than it should, her breath coming more shallowly, like it's getting caught in her throat. She can't tell if that's from anger or something sweeter, but she does her best to squash the first stirrings of lust and what if as they rise up. It doesn't matter. Ava's made it more than clear, what she thinks of Sara and her team, and Sara's too angry about that to ever consider anything with her.
(Even if she's sort of pretty herself. Even if the little cutout at the front of her dress is making the swell of her breasts look great. Even if all of that.)
They both stand still, regarding each other. Ava's still red-faced, but the longer she stands here with Sara, the more Sara has trouble distinguishing the effects of alcohol from embarrassment from anger. Whatever it is, the flush to her face seems to grow deeper with every passing moment. "I, um, I don't care." Ava coughs, shifts on her feet. She raises one hand to the end of her hair, starts twisting and untwisting a lock of it around her index finger. Somehow, it's comforting to know that even Ava has nervous habits. "That you're pretty."
"Cool," Sara replies.
"And you definitely ruin everything," Ava says.
Sara shrugs. Ava takes a step toward her, and now she's near enough that Sara can smell her, the soft floral of her hair and skin products with the sharp scent of gin and lime. The air around them seems warmer, somehow, and Sara should be above being tempted by this but she's just not. "Only because you ruined it first," Sara says.
Ava's mouth opens and closes, some unnamed emotion in her eyes. She's so near that she's almost leaning against Sara. Sara can sense the heat of her skin, can hear Ava's breath and the way that it catches with every inhale. It feels like losing something to admit it but Sara wants to smudge that lipstick of hers so badly that she can almost taste it. "I take it back," Ava says. "I don't think you're pretty."
Sara tilts her head toward Ava, juts her chin out and says, "Too bad. No take-backs."
Ava frowns and something in her expression twists and then Sara's being backed up against the wall, Ava pressed along the length of her. Ava's kiss tastes like juniper and her mouth is overeager, a little uncoordinated. Sara's not really surprised, but at the same time she is, enough that she relaxes into it instinctively. She lets Ava lick into her mouth, learn every inch of her lips and the way she tastes. She lets herself enjoy the way this makes her feel, the way being kissed sends sparks along her skin and leaves her breathless.
The kiss breaks when they both remember themselves, and that takes longer than it should. Sara pulls away with a turn of her head, leaves lipstick smeared across the corners of Ava's mouth. She's sure there's a matching smudge across her own face, but Ava's looking at her dazed, wild-eyed and lustful and rumpled and that makes it worth it. Sara hasn't felt this proud of a kiss in ages.
Ava reaches up, drags her thumb across the edge of her own mouth and frowns when it comes away lipstick-red. Sara feels a thrill of desire at the sight of it, lets herself enjoy the way it spreads through her chest and settles between her legs. "You should call me," Sara drawls, suddenly confident. "After your party is over. We still need to talk about Mallus."
Ava's expression is still unfocused. It takes her a moment to drag her gaze onto Sara, to nod like she's processed her words. "I should," she says. "We'll talk about that."
Sara taps the time courier at her wrist and steps through the portal onto the Waverider, leaving Ava at her Christmas party, alone.
Ava appears unceremoniously, right in the middle of game night. It's been a day or two since they last spoke, and from the look of her, the rest of that Christmas party in 2017 has done nothing to improve her mood. She's scowling as usual as she steps through her portal, arms crossed, and says, "Captain Lance. I believe you wanted to speak with me."
It's almost Sara's turn to play. They're playing Catan - Ray's choice - and she's got three ore and two grain in hand, one victory point away from winning. She stacks her cards together and sets them face-down on the table. "Oh, is this a good time?"
Ava bristles. Sara tries not to feel pleased with herself, but it's just so easy, to make her quirk that one eyebrow in utter exasperation and huff. Ava's voice is sharp as she says, "Perhaps if your team is otherwise occupied playing games, we should have this discussion in your office?
Sara slides back from the table and indicates to the team that they should go on without her. She'll get her victory point another time. Ava leads the way to the bridge like it's her ship, her perfect posture and set jaw unwavering. Sara resists the urge to roll her eyes.
Something shifts about Ava, once the bridge doors shut behind them and they step into the office. Now that Sara's not distracted by the game, she's able to take Ava in and notice all the ways that she's different, today.
She's not wearing her suit jacket, just a shirt and trousers, and there's something about her eyes - like she's wearing a little more makeup than usual, maybe. Her hands are still crossed in front of her but she's fidgeting a little, one thumb running back and forth across the knuckles of her other hand. Sara doesn't miss that nervous tell, or the way that her eyes travel across Sara's body with something approaching interest.
"So," Sara drawls. She sits on top of the desk, lets her legs swing over the side. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"
Ava shifts again, lets her eyes slide down to Sara's mouth and says, "You said that you had intel regarding Mallus. I'm ready to hear it."
Sara nods. She has information, and that's important, but she just needs a few minutes to savor this. For once - finally - she has Ava off balance, and it's a rare treat. She shrugs. "You sure this isn't a social call?"
Sara sing-songs on the word social, the way she used to when she was trying to bother Laurel, and it works just as well now as it did then. Ava's jaw clenches so forcefully that Sara can see the muscles flex. She's not far from Sara, but she takes a step forward and comes in close enough to touch, grabs Sara's arm. "I don't want to talk about it," she hisses.
Sara smiles. Ava's hand is wrapped around her upper arm, gripping tightly enough that it's almost painful. Sara pushes back against her instinctively, twists her arm backward and pulls away from Ava's grip. She doesn't miss the way Ava's mouth opens and shuts, the way her cheeks start to warm.
"What, you kissing me after one too many glasses of holiday cheer?" Sara asks. "Or was it the part where you called me pretty."
"You're such an ass," Ava says. She's standing as tall as she can, her full height plus her shoes, as if she thinks Sara will find that intimidating. There's something about the way she looks that just makes Sara want to push back, to get under her skin even further.
Without thinking, she says, "Takes one to know one."
Ava's mouth twists. She starts to say the first syllable of a sentence that starts with the letter 'f' before she thinks better of it, reaches up and laces her fingers through Sara's hair to drag her into an angry, searing kiss.
Sara lets her.
She also kisses back, because Ava's kissing like it's a competitive sport and Sara will be damned if she's going to let her win. She tears into Ava's mouth, all teeth and hard tongue, nipping at her upper lip until she's rewarded with another hiss and a shift of Ava's body weight against her. Sara's tongue slides into Ava's mouth and Ava groans. She tugs at Sara's hair, her fingers flexing on instinct but pulling just a little too sharp, the barest edge of pain. Sara can't help but enjoy it, the contrast between pleasure and pain blurring into something that settles between her thighs with an insistent throb.
Sara returns the favour, drags her nails against Ava's nape hard until she releases Sara's hair and pulls back to stare at Sara breathlessly.
They regard each other for a moment, both panting, kiss-mussed and full of adrenaline. Sara can feel herself grinning. She lets herself enjoy the moment and the way Ava looks mussed. Her hair is already falling in tendrils around her face and her lips are swollen, a small spot half-bruised from Sara's mouth. All Sara wants to do is unspool Ava further: to leave marks and tear at her until that stupid, smug, perfect Time Bureau facade is crumpled in a heap on the floor.
Ava moves first. Sara counts it as a victory when Ava's hands find the bottom of her sweater. She undresses Sara in a few swift movements, sweater and then bra and then she's practically diving down to Sara's chest, kissing at it for a few moments before she realizes that's the wrong angle and straightens to use her hands, instead.
Sara starts in on Ava's shirt. Her hands are clumsy and she's half-tearing, not interested in anything but contact. Ava bites down on her shoulder, says, "If I lose a single button I swear I'll -"
Sara laughs. She's got three buttons open and she's working on the fourth, the one that falls right at the apex of Ava's breasts. She gives the shirt a sharp tug and is rewarded by a pop and the sound of a button flying off, falling to the floor. "You'll what?" she asks.
Ava frowns and leans in to tear at Sara's mouth once again. Sara makes quick work of the rest of Ava's shirt, unbuttoning as carefully as she can and shoving it down her arms. It gets stuck at her wrists, and she gives it a few experimental tugs before Ava hisses at her, exasperated: "Wait, wait."
Ava lets go of Sara's breasts, unbuttons the shirt cuffs with practiced movements and lets it fall to the floor.
Even Ava's bra is sensible and standard-issue, plain white with soft cups and not a speck of lace. Sara's not sure what else she expected. "Take it off," Sara says.
Ava rolls her eyes. "What, you don't think you can manage?"
Ava's hands are already behind her back, unclasping her bra as Sara says, "You're the one who gets all upset when I mess up your clothes, agent."
"Fuck you," Ava says.
But her bra is off and her tits are amazing and Sara's already got both of them in her hands. She's rewarded with a sigh and Ava's back arching toward her, feels the sound between her legs as strongly as if it were touch. She didn't know someone like Ava could make her this wet but here she is, practically aching to get fucked already. "In a few minutes," Sara says.
She bends her knee, wraps one leg around Ava's waist and urges her forward. Ava's legs part and her crotch ends up pressed against Sara's other thigh, overheated even through her stupid Time Bureau trousers. Ava grinds down against her and Sara feels her own inner walls flutter in anticipation, shifts her weight and lets herself appreciate the way everything feels slick and overheated.
Sara's jeans are already unbuttoned. Ava undoes her trousers and Sara reaches forward. She's fumbling, trying and failing to get her hand into Ava's underwear - her trousers are too tight and Sara ends up just barely out of reach. Ava's running into a similar problem, fingers pawing at the waistband of Sara's underwear but not quite close enough, hitting the fly of her jeans.
Ava is the one to break them apart. She whispers, "Fuck it," and steps back to wriggle out of her trousers and underwear. (Also plain, and Sara can't tell if the Time Bureau has uniform-issue underwear or if Ava's just like this, can't decide which she'd prefer.)
Sara takes the opportunity to undress herself, and she's barely out of her jeans before Ava's got hands on her underwear, helping her out of them and sliding her fingers between Sara's legs. Ava's fingertip on her clit is amazing and Sara has to bite back a moan, already worked up more than she should be. Ava's finger slides up and over the hood of her clit, teasing at real contact. Sara feels herself shift, hips angling up and thighs spreading wider, begging for touch with her whole body. She's already shaking, letting Ava hear whimpers she can't quite suppress and she's already on the edge of orgasm, nearly there with just this almost-touch and the fact that it's Ava doing the touching. Sara doesn't want to come this fast, knows Ava won't let her hear the end of it if she does. Ava chuckles, whispers, "You like that?"
Sara bites back a sigh, but she can't keep her desire out of her voice as she huffs, "I'm surprised you're not going down on me. I figured with that mouth of yours. . ."
Ava rolls her eyes, but she also licks her lips and shoves Sara backward onto the desk. There's a moment, between hitting the desk and Ava's mouth on her cunt, when she has the foresight to whisper, "Gideon, lock the doors to the bridge."
Gideon doesn't respond on the overhead; her voice goes directly to Sara's earpiece. "Already done, Captain," she says, and Sara's never been so grateful for her in her life.
Ava's tongue hits Sara's cunt, and Sara can't help but shout. She feels Ava run the flat of her tongue directly against her entrance, before she slip-slides higher and then Sara can't pinpoint anything. She just gets lost in sensation, in the feel of her clit being touched and the way her orgasm is building, faster than she'd expected. Ava's fingers come up under her chin and she slides two of them - maybe three - just barely into Sara, stretching and teasing at her entrance. It's not quite being fucked, and part of Sara wants to demand it, to sink down and let Ava fill her up, but the rest of her is so focused on Ava's mouth and whatever it's doing to her clit that she doesn't care.
Ava's eating her out like she's trying to win a medal, tongue flicking fast and it feels so good, so much, that Sara can't hold out any longer. She comes, hard and loud and wet against Ava's mouth, her hands fisting into paper on the desk that she's sure at one point was important.
It's actually - Ava is better at sex than Sara would have expected. She's got that dreamy afterglow happening, feels pleasantly drowsy like it'd be alright for her to just float away and rest here, for a moment.
But Ava's also wiping her mouth on Sara's thigh and leaning back to watch her. She's got this little self-satisfied smile playing at the corners of her mouth, and it sets Sara's competitive side going all over again.
Sara's going to win this or die trying.
She flexes her stomach, half-flips and leans forward. The movement tips her off the table and onto Ava, knocks Ava onto her back on the floor. Ava gasps, and maybe that's because she's a little winded but maybe that's because Sara's knee is between her thighs. Now that Ava's undressed, Sara can really feel her, the slick of her cunt making a mess of her knee and that's exactly how this should be.
Ava grinds against her. She's digging her nails into Sara's ass, trying to draw her closer, and the obvious neediness of it is supremely satisfying.
Sara moves her knee just a little, enough that she can slip her hand in between their bodies and touch Ava's cunt. She slips two fingers along Ava's lips, and god everything about her is velvety-slick and warmer than Sara could have imagined. She's so wet that Sara practically slips inside her, one finger and then another. She hardly even has to fuck Ava; she pauses for a moment and just the feeling of being filled makes Ava whimper and grind down on her hand.
Ava wriggles again, her hips stuttering. She doesn't say please. She'd never say that, not to Sara, but she does whisper, "Come on, don't you dare leave me hanging."
Sara adds a third finger and presses her thumb against the base of Ava's clit. Ava cries out, fucks herself onto Sara's hand. Sara can feel Ava's orgasm building in the tension of her inner walls, in the way she starts to moan, high and breathy and needier than Sara could have imagined. Sara feels the sudden pulse of Ava's cunt against her hand before she sees Ava's face go slack, and then Ava's climax hits her in a long, slow wave.
Sara lets herself take all of it in. Ava's utterly undone, naked on the floor of Sara's office, her cunt pulsing around Sara's hand. It's perfect.
Sara waits as Ava's sighs start to slow, as her inner walls slowly relax. She curls her fingers forward, and is gratified with another shout, a sigh, and another round of fluttering against her fingers.
It's a while before Ava seems collected enough for Sara to slip her fingers out of her. She's frowning, obviously trying to regain composure, to keep Sara from noticing all the ways she just came undone. Her chest is still flushed red and she's still breathless as she closes her legs and tucks them under herself, sitting up as properly as she can given the circumstances.
(She also seems relaxed, moreso than Sara would have expected. Sara has tried very hard not to think about the Time Bureau's policy on orgasms, but looking at Ava right now, she wonders.)
"Right," Ava says, businesslike. "We should get dressed."
Sara stretches, doesn't miss the way Ava's gaze follows the lines of her chest as she moves. "Sure," she says.
Sara's jeans and underwear are halfway across the room, her bra draped over the globe, and it takes her a while to collect everything and sort herself out. She leaves her bra on the globe for now, throws on her sweater and underwear and leaves her jeans on but unbuttoned.
When she turns around, Ava's wearing underwear and her extremely practical bra and most of a shirt, that one button still missing. Her trousers are somehow across the room, next to Sara. "Here," Sara says, passing Ava's trousers to her.
Ava gives her an actual smile, suddenly soft and shy for the briefest of moments. "So," she says. "You had that thing you wanted to talk about."
"Right," Sara says. "That thing."