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An entire week passed, seven days, one hundred sixty-eight hours, ten thousand eighty minutes since she’d seen or spoken to Ava. She missed her more than she could express. Her nightmares were no longer of just the little girl, Ava was in almost every single one of them. In most of them, she took the place of the little girl whose father she’d killed. Instead of the girl finding the man whose life she’d taken it was Ava, standing with a look of pure disgust, fear, and horror on her face. She’d wake up, out of breath and covered in sweat, her first instinct to reach out to the warm body that was never there. She longed for Ava’s gentle touch and reassuring words that she was okay, that she was with her. She once again gave up on sleep and moved about the quiet ship as everyone slept.

“Captain Lance.”

Gideon spoke into the communications piece in her ear as she passed by the medbay, being reminded of the night she’d landed most of her team in a med chair. “I’m fine Gideon.” She knew the AI was concerned, everyone was concerned. They walked on eggshells around her, she hated it but she couldn’t really blame any of them. She’d hurt all of them in the worst way, she knew Mallus was to blame for some of it but at the end of the day, she was the one that had wielded the death totem. She was the one that had inflicted physical pain on all of them. She was the one that had been too weak to fight Mallus, too weak to fight her past, she’d allowed for Mallus to use the Canary to reach her most inner insecurities.

“I believe fine is not an accurate statement Captain.” The AI had been worried about the Captain, with each passing day she monitored and observed as the Captain’s fears manifested into nightmares, as she closed herself off from the team. “I am concerned, as is the team. Come to the medbay Captain.”

For a second Sara wanted to decline, to continue her aimless stroll through the ship, after all, physically she felt fine, it was mentally that she was struggling. She turned into the medbay seeing what Gideon had for her. She’d thought about asking her for something to dull the pain but just like drinking, the emotions always came back once she sobered up.

“Have a seat and put the monitor on your wrist,” Gideon instructed her while shutting the door to the medbay.

“Nothing you can give me will take away what I’m feeling Gideon,” she told the AI, she felt so beaten but did as Gideon had asked.  

“I don’t believe anything can take away what you are feeling Captain and that is not my intention.” She slowly started to administer a sedative.

The next thing Sara knew she was out in the hallway again, this time she wasn’t alone. “Gideon,” she asked, looking at the tall slender woman that now stood with her in the otherwise empty hallway.

“Hello, Captain.” She smiled at the tired woman.

“What are we doing here Gideon.” She motioned to their surroundings. “Not that I’m not happy to see you, the whole you.” She looked her up and down. “You’re kind of hot Gideon.” She winked at the AI.

“Thank you, Captain.” Gideon stood beside her. “I thought it would be easier for us to talk in person.”

She was about to say she was fine again when she stopped herself. She wasn’t fine, she hadn’t been fine in a long time. Sara closed her eyes and leaned against the closest wall sliding down to the ground. “I don’t know what I’m doing Gideon,” she whispered to the AI. “I feel lost.” She admitted out loud for the first time.

Gideon smiled sadly as she took a seat beside the gloomy Captain. “Has closing yourself off from everyone helped you.” Gideon already knew the answer to her question, she just wanted Sara to think about her decision to isolate herself the past week.

“I could’ve killed them.” She looked at Gideon. “I, she wanted to kill them. I could hear them talking to me, begging me to stop.” She rested her head against the wall and closed her eyes to keep the tears from falling.

“That was not you Captain.” Gideon reached out a comforting hand placing it on her extended leg.

“But it was Gideon, why else would the totem bond with me, it was calling out to me because I am death.”

Gideon stayed silent thinking of her response, Sara was very fragile and she didn’t want to push her over the edge, she was surprised that Sara was opening up to her at all. “You are not death Captain, you have experienced more death than anyone, have you thought that maybe the totem bonded with you because you once died and were brought back.” She was amazed when Sara opened her eyes and looked at her in surprise. “Captain, I think you are one of the smartest and strongest women I’ve had the honor or serving, you cannot tell me that the thought didn’t cross your mind.”

“I guess my mind was preoccupied with other things.” She leaned against Gideon for support.

“Like hurting your teammates and the woman you love.” Gideon brought her arm up and around Sara’s shoulders. She’d been worried the action would be too much for the blonde but smiled when Sara relaxed against her instead.  What amazed her even more than Sara not rejecting physical contact was that Sara didn’t deny that she loved Ava. “The team forgives you, I know this because I’ve been monitoring their vital signs when they’re both around you and when they’re by themselves. They’re worried about you Captain. They don’t blame you for anything that happened.”

“I know they don’t blame me Gideon, but they should. I could’ve killed them.”

“But you didn’t. I overheard Ms. Tomaz telling the others that there was a moment where she saw you, where you broke through the hold Mallus had on you.”

Sara shrugged. “A lot of good that did, I almost broke her arm two seconds later.”

“What you’ve been through was not easy Captain and anyone else would’ve either succumbed to Mallus or died. You’ve once again beat the odds stacked against you and survived.”

Sara said nothing, she continued to lean against Gideon, the team always referred to her as the mom of the group but she was realizing that it was Gideon that was actually the mom. She was always taking care of them, giving them sound advice.  “I don’t know if I can keep going Gideon, I can’t be the strong leader they need me to be.”

“Not the rate you’re going no, you won’t last much longer.” Gideon looked down at her waiting for a fight, Sara only sighed feeling defeated. “The Legends are only as successful as they are because you are a family, you did more together as a team than Captain Hunter ever did on his own.  You cannot continue to push everyone away, and I know you don’t want to hear it but you should not push Director Sharpe away, you will only destroy yourself and the team in doing so.” She’d looked into Sara’s dreams enough times to know that the Director was Sara’s biggest concern.

“I don’t want to hurt her.”

“I’m afraid you’ve done just that.” Gideon had no shame in admitting she’d been listening to the couple’s conversation before the time agent had left in tears.

“I’m the worst person in the world, she’s better off without me Gideon. She doesn’t know all the things I’ve done, I don’t deserve someone like her. Not after everything.” Sara wiped the tear that fell, she wanted to be with Ava more than anything.

“It’s not too late to make things right.” Gideon encouraged her.

“What if I end up hurting her, I’m not good for her.” She argued.

“Why don’ you allow Director Sharpe to make that decision.”

Sara sighed. Logically she knew Gideon was right, but deep down she was not only afraid of hurting Ava but Ava rejecting her once she found out that she was a killer. “Thanks, Gideon.” She pulled away and stood up. “So how do I get out of here, not that I’m not enjoying time with the live you.” She smiled.

“You’ll be waking up shortly Captain.”

“Hey Gideon, thank you.” She hugged Gideon.

Gideon returned the hug, it felt good to be able to physically interact with the team. “You’re welcome Captain, I hope that you will take my advice, make things right, you are stronger together, if you fight alone, you will lose, Mallus will win and the world will know the true meaning of death.” Gideon reminded her once again.

Sara lay in the med chair for a few minutes after regaining consciousness. She felt exhausted but she knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep, not until she took care of the one thing that was keeping her up most nights. “Hey Gideon, I’m taking the jump ship.”

“You can do this Captain, I have faith in you,” Gideon assured her.

Once in the jump ship Sara jumped to 2018 and went to Ava’s apartment hoping to find her there. She knocked on Ava’s door and waited a few minutes for her to answer before knocking again. When after five minutes she didn’t answer she slumped against the door and slid to the ground bringing her knees to her chest and resting her head in her hands.

Ava walked tiredly towards her door, it had been an extremely long day, she wanted nothing more than to crash. She was missing Sara greatly, work was overwhelming and Gary had let slip that he’d spent several nights that week with Constantine which had further annoyed her. She stopped in her tracks when she saw the woman that had occupied much of her thoughts sitting outside her door. “What.” She cleared her throat. “What are you doing here.” She didn’t move any closer. Having Sara there shocked her, she was happy, scared, and worried to have her there, most of all she was angry. It had taken her a week to finally be able to function through an entire workday almost normally.

She smiled nervously. “I was hoping we could talk.” Sara stood up and brushed off the dirt on her pants.

Ava didn’t return the smile, nor did she move forward. “You’ve said everything you needed to, I’m not sure what else there is for you to say.” She knew she wasn’t being fair to Sara but she was afraid that if she let her guard down, even for a second, that she would be back to a week ago, broken and in tears.

Sara lowered her gaze to the ground. “I deserved that.” She took a step towards her. “I understand if you want me to leave, but please hear me out first.” She pleaded. “Please, Aves.”

Ava sighed and moved past Sara unlocking the door. “Let’s go inside.” She was a private person, she didn’t need her neighbors eyeing them and being in her business. Once inside her living room, she turned around and looked as Sara expectedly.

“I’m sorry Ava,” Sara apologized. “The last thing I wanted to do was hurt you.”

“Well, you did a bang-up job of that.” She crossed her arms not letting her guard down.

“Ava.” She moved towards her but stopped when Ava took a step back. “This was a mistake.” She stepped back towards the door. “I’m sorry I bothered you.” Maybe Gideon was wrong, there was no making things right. She’d done something that she never wanted to do and that was hurt Ava the way she had.

Ava panicked as Sara turned for the door. “Sara wait,” she called out to her. “I’m sorry, it’s just, this is hard.”

“That’s my fault.” Sara let go of the door handle and turned to Ava, she wanted so badly to wrap her arms around her. “There is a lot that’s not in my file. A lot you don’t know about me. I’m not who you think I am. If you knew some of the things I’ve done then you’d want nothing to do with me, you wouldn’t want to be with a damaged monster.”

It was the second time Ava had heard the word ‘damaged’ being used to describe Sara. She was foolish to think that Sara wasn’t damaged after everything she’d been through, Constantine had been right. “Sara you never gave me a chance to learn things about you, you decided for me what was best.” She was so frustrated with Sara. She wanted to reach out and shake her but at the same time kiss her.

“You’re right,” Sara agreed with a nod. “I should’ve talked to you instead of deciding what was best for you. You have to know that I just wanted to keep you safe.” She moved towards her. “And I’m the farthest thing from safe. I was pretending to be something I’m not, and that is a killer, I’m a monster Aves.”

It was breaking Ava’s heart to hear Sara talk about herself so negatively, this was nothing like the Sara she’d been used to, confident, sarcastic, and fearless. “You are not a monster Sara.” She closed the gap between them to only a few feet.

Sara shook her head as she cried. “But I am, my biggest fear has always been that I was a monster, that there was no redemption for me, Mallus was right, I am a monster, I hurt people just like I hurt you.” She didn’t bother wiping the tears that ran down her cheeks. “I killed an innocent man, a father, because Ra’s Al Ghul told me to, he begged me, begged me not to kill him, told me that he’d disappear and I didn’t care, I looked him right in the eyes as I impaled a dagger into his chest. His daughter ran in screaming for her father, she was with him as he took his last breath.” She stopped backing up when her back hit the door. “How can someone beautiful and pure like you be with someone as damaged as me.”

All of Ava’s restraint went out the window when Sara dropped to the ground on her knees as she sobbed. She moved to Sara hurriedly and knelt in front of her taking her tear soaked face in her hands. “What you did doesn’t change the way I feel about you Sara, look at me.” She waited until Sara opened her eyes before she continued. “Yes you’re damaged, I’m sorry I didn’t see it before, but you don’t have to pretend with me, I want you to be yourself, I want you to tell me when you feel the darkness suffocating you, I want you to tell me about your nightmares that are clearly not just nightmares, I want you Sara, all of you.” She kissed Sara pulling her into a tight embrace. “You’re not perfect Sara, you’ve taken life but believe me when I say you are not a monster because if you were, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. If you were a monster, the Legends, Gary, Constantine and I would all be dead, you’d have silver hair and doing Mallus’ bidding.” She sat down on the ground pulling Sara with her, wrapping her in her arms.

“I’ve been feeling so lost Aves, being without you, it hurts more than anything else I’ve had to go through.” She hung onto Ava tightly afraid that if she let go then Ava would disappear. “I heard you, when I was with Mallus, I heard you and I felt you. No matter how lost I felt, I heard you, you gave me strength, you.” She stopped to take a deep breath to steady herself. “Nora offered me a life free of pain, free of regret. I wanted so badly to take her offer, I wanted to badly to be free of the little girl that haunts my dreams, but then I heard your voice and I just couldn’t do it because a life free of pain and regret meant a life free of you. I never want to be free of you, I messed up Ava.”  She turned around to fully face her. “I’m really sorry I hurt you, I love you, I want to be with you more than anything because you ground me, you make me feel safe and most importantly you make me happy, you make me feel like I’m not the monster I feel I am.” She cupped Ava’s cheek and wiped the tears running down her face. “I’m so sorry Ava.”

“Stop,” Ava whispered as more tears fell. She grabbed Sara’s hand when she tried to pull it away quickly. “No.” She held onto her hand and placed it back against her cheek. “I meant, stop apologizing.” She turned her head to kiss the inside of Sara’s palm. “Yes, you hurt me, Sara you broke my heart, you were hurting and in pain and there was nothing I could do and that hurt me more than anything. I’m sorry for not seeing you were struggling, I’m sorry for pretending that you weren’t damaged, you are damaged but you know what,” she asked when Sara lowered her head.

Sara looked up, her lip trembling. “What,” she whispered.”

“I love you Sara Lance, damaged or not, I love all of you. I love everything that makes you, you. I don’t want you to be perfect just like I don’t want you to be normal.” She smiled and was pleased when Sara returned her smile both recalling their argument that was followed by a long beautiful kiss that started their relationship. “Come here.” She pulled Sara into her. “Do you have to go back,” she asked hopeful the answer was no.

Sara shook her head.

“What do you say we go to bed,” Ava asked. Sara looked worse than Ava felt, the exhaustion from the long week having caught up with both of them.

Sara nodded. She would do anything for a few hours of decent sleep. That night when Sara woke up from a nightmare Ava was right there to assure her that she would be okay, that she wasn’t lost and alone.