The Waverider was quiet.
Most of the Legends were asleep in their rooms. Dr Palmer was in the lab sleeping on top of the bench, Constantine was wherever he went whenever he wasn’t on the ship, while Captain Lance was spending the night at Director Sharpe’s after their date.
Six months had passed since Rip had taken the core and walked out of their ship to face a Time Demon and Gideon did her best to keep the crew safe, the way he had asked her to.
Gideon watched over them all, not focussing on the empty room that she kept locked, not constantly replaying conversations that had happened in the parlour.
Not missing her true Captain.
She didn’t miss how he would always say her name when he first woke, how he smiled when she teased him, how he knew just what was niggling her systems and how to fix them.
How he treated her like she was more than an AI.
Assured the crew she now cared for were safe and comfortable Gideon refocussed all but the basic systems on her search once more.
Gideon wasn’t missing him, but she wanted to ensure if he was out there that she didn’t overlook any signal he sent.
When Gideon detected the energy from her core for a micro-second she almost didn’t believe it but it was there, calling to her. He was calling to her.
She activated the alarm waking the crew.
“What’s going on?” Mick demanded as he glared at the others standing on the bridge.
“No idea,” Ray replied, “I thought one of you…” Zari and Nate shook their heads, “Gideon,” he called, “What’s wrong?”
“Please take your seats,” Gideon told them, “We shall be jumping in one minute.”
Confused, but aware what would happen if they weren’t strapped in, they all took a seat with Ray sliding into the Captain’s chair.
“Gideon,” he demanded, “Where are we going?”
Starting her engines Gideon replied, “To retrieve my Captain.”
“What trouble has blondie got herself into?” Mick rumbled, annoyed his sleep had been interrupted.
Gideon remained silent, not sure they would agree to who they were going to rescue instead activating the jump bringing them back into normal space above an ocean.
“Where the hell are we?” Nate demanded.
“Doesn’t matter,” Zari spoke up as she stared at the information before her, “There’s someone giving off time energy floating in the ocean.”
Ray was already out of his chair and pulling on his suit. Gideon opened the cargo bay door for him allowing Ray out, he dived down and scooped the body out of the water.
“It’s Rip,” he cried in astonishment as he headed back to the ship. The moment Ray reached the cargo bay Mick took the unconscious man and carried him to the infirmary. Setting their former team-mate on the chair, Mick pulled off the man’s wet clothes putting him in the Waverider version of scrubs then attached the cuff to Rip’s arm before stepping back, allowing Gideon to begin her scans.
“Mr Rory,” she spoke up, “Please assist Dr Palmer.”
When he walked out the infirmary, Gideon locked the doors. No one was going anywhere near her Captain until he was awake and she was sure he was ready to deal with them.
Rip forced his eyes open aware he was on one of the infirmary chairs, a cuff on his wrist and that he was being scanned.
“Gideon?” he breathed.
“I’m here, Captain,” Gideon said softly.
Letting out a gentle moan at the discomfort pulsing throughout every part of his body, Rip whispered, “What happened?”
“I found you,” she told him, a smile in her voice, “Just as I always promised you I would.”
He smiled trying to organise his scattered thoughts, aware suddenly that there was someone standing by his side. Turning his head he stared at the beautiful woman there, storm-grey eyes filled with concern as she watched over him.
“Gideon?” he asked.
She nodded, “Of course, Captain.”
“But you hardly ever appear in my dreams unless I’m having a nightmare,” Rip said confused. Even more so by her frown of bemusement.
Gideon gently rested her hand on his forehead sliding her fingers through his hair, “How do you feel?”
“Strange,” he murmured, letting out a sigh at the gentle ministrations Rip frowned suddenly, “What about the crew? Did you find them?”
“Find them?” Gideon asked confused.
Rip sighed, “From the time scatter. I know it wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had but it was all I could do when we were hit…and why are you looking at me like I’m crazy?”
She took a seat at his side continuing to stroke his hair, “Tell me everything you remember before you woke here.”
Gideon was so happy to see her Captain once more but was concerned by his answers to her questions. She was especially troubled that he was so surprised to see her in this form. Since their…intimate moment Gideon had entered his dreams each night she could, even though there were very few. Then again that had been when he began to pull away from her, when he left and allowed the Legends to take her ship.
“I scattered the team,” Rip explained, “Except Mr Rory who I put in suspended animation.”
He hesitated, “Well…”
“And then?” Gideon demanded sharply.
“I needed to get off the ship quickly with something precious,” Rip replied evasively.
Gideon wanted to shake him, “Captain Hunter, I need you to be completely honest with me so I can ascertain the extent of your injuries.”
Wincing he shrugged and replied nonchalantly, “I touched the time drive to get off the ship to protect something that I couldn’t even tell you about, Gideon. I’m sorry but it was the only way.”
Gideon frowned with concern.
“You are speaking of the Spear of Destiny,” Gideon noted, seeing his surprise, “Captain,” she continued taking his hand in hers, “That was some time ago.”
“What?” Rip demanded shocked.
She shook her head, “There was another incident with the Core. Which is why you are here.”
“Why don’t I remember?” Rip asked.
Shaking her head Gideon whispered, “I don’t know.”
Rip’s mind was spinning as Gideon told him he had lost parts of his memory. Forcing himself to focus Rip decided to change the subject.
“Am I sedated?”
Gideon nodded, “Yes, Captain. Once you were about to regain consciousness I gave you a sedative so I could perform my tests without you telling me you’re fine and trying to leave.”
“You know I don’t like…”
“And I never do unless I deem it necessary, That was our agreement,” Gideon reminded him, “And I deemed it necessary now.”
Annoyance filled him, “Gideon…”
“Rip,” she said softly, resting her hand on his cheek making him stare at her that she used his name, “Please let me take care of you.”
The warmth and comfort coming from his best friend made Rip relax back, he felt exhausted despite this being a dream and closed his eyes again.
Sara groaned as her phone buzzed, reaching over onto the bedside cabinet she frowned seeing who was calling her.
“Ray, this better be important,” she snarled.
“We need you on the ship,” Ray told her, “Now. I’ll tell you more once you get here.”
Sara sighed, “Fine. I’ll be there in five minutes.”
“Can’t your people look after themselves for one night?” Ava murmured from her side.
Shrugging Sara kissed her girlfriend quickly before sliding out of bed and getting dressed. Using the Courier she stepped onto the bridge of the Waverider finding Nate and Ray waiting for her.
“What’s going on?” she demanded.
They both grimaced before Ray said, “Gideon has locked the med-bay.”
Both men winced making Sara sigh, “Okay, I was fast asleep when you demanded I come here so one of you better tell me what is going on right now or so help me…”
“We found Rip,” Ray cut her off.
Sara stalled in astonishment, “What? How?”
Nate shrugged, “Gideon just woke us up and flew us over an ocean. There he was floating below us. Ray plucked him out, we put him in the med-bay and now Gideon won’t let any of us inside.”
Sara nodded and started along the corridor finding Zari and Mick standing outside the doors to the med-bay.
“Gideon,” Sara called, “Open the doors.”
“I’m afraid I am currently unable to do that, Captain Lance,” Gideon replied.
Annoyance covered Sara’s face, “I’m giving you an order, Gideon.”
“I am aware of this,” Gideon stated.
“Then follow it.”
There was silence for a moment before Gideon replied, “I’m afraid I am currently unable to do that.”
Sara clenched her fist before taking a breath and in a calm voice said, “Gideon, I just want to know how Rip is.”
“Captain Hunter is as well as can be expected considering the circumstances,” Gideon replied, “I am caring for him and once I deem him ready I shall allow you in.”
Sara took a breath, “Let me talk to him.”
“Captain Hunter is currently sedated and is unable to speak with you just now.”
“Gideon, just open the damn door,” Nate snapped, “Sara is the Captain not Rip.”
Sara frowned at him.
“Miss Lance is the leader of the team,” Gideon stated, making Sara wince, “Captain Hunter is still and always has been my Captain.”
“What is wrong with you,” Sara snapped at Nate after they’d moved to the parlour.
Nate frowned, “Well, it’s true. You’re the Captain, Rip isn’t.”
“Rip and Gideon have a special connection though,” Ray noted, “You had to have noticed that.”
“So what?” Nate asked, “She’s been our AI for almost two years.”
Mick let out annoyed sigh, “Time Masters were bonded with their AIs. Under normal circumstances they were always protective. Those two…”
“What does that mean?” Nate demanded.
“It means Gideon will choose him over us,” Sara replied.
Nate frowned, “Then why did she come with us in the first place?”
“I’m guessing because Rip asked her to,” Ray said.
“What do we do?” Zari asked.
Sara sighed, “We wait until Gideon lets us into the infirmary and go from there. Since it’s still technically the middle of the night everyone go back to bed and we’ll see how things are in the morning.”
Rip opened his eyes slowly.
Finding he was still in the infirmary he called, “Gideon?”
“I’m here, Captain,” she replied before assuring, “You are no longer sedated.”
Taking a breath, he sat up slowly his body achy and stiff, “And what’s your prognosis?”
“You are not physically injured, despite your consistent attempts to cause yourself harm,” Gideon told him testily, “There are some lingering affects to your exposure to the core that I wish to monitor. However, first I wish to check your memory once more.”
“What is the last thing you recall before waking here?” Gideon asked.
Rip grimaced, he knew it wasn’t accurate but his final memory was retrieving his part of the spear and touching the time drive.
“Nothing more than what I already told you,” Rip sighed, “Gideon, will I ever remember?”
The screens at his side lit up showing him the scans she had done, “It is unclear. No one has ever touched the core and lived before you, that we know of. You have now done this twice, Captain. I cannot predict how this will affect you.”
“As long as you’re looking out for me I’ll be fine,” he smiled.
“Does this mean you’re staying?”
Rip frowned at the question, “Where else would I go, Gideon? This is the only home I have left. With you.” When she didn’t reply, he sighed, “Because I’ve done it before. Haven’t I?”
“As I told you, Captain,” Gideon said softly, “A great deal has happened since the last moment within your memory.”
“Miss Lance currently leads the team,” Gideon replied.
Rip sighed relieved to hear that, “Good, Sara’s still here.”
“I shall allow her access to the infirmary then,” Gideon told him.
Nodding absently as he thought Rip suddenly looked up, “Gideon, why have you locked her out?”
“As I said things have changed,” Gideon replied, “I was merely ensuring your health before I allowed them access to you.”
Rip frowned again, “That’s not even remotely comforting.” He started to the door frowning when it wouldn’t open, “Gideon?”
“I agreed to allow her access to you,” Gideon replied, “Not that I shall allow you to leave yet. You are currently under medical supervision.”
Sighing he said, “Then ask her to bring me some breakfast.”
When the door opened Rip smiled to see Sara, which made her stall for a second before she gave him a quick smile back.
“Breakfast courtesy of Gideon,” she set the tray on the table with a mug of tea and a plate with four slices of buttered toast on it.
“Thank you,” he grabbed the tea and holding the mug tightly took a deep breath. He took a long drink before looking back at her, “It’s good to see you, Sara. I was concerned when Gideon told me it had been some time since New York. Even if she won’t tell me how long.”
Taking a seat on one of the chairs Sara said, “Just over two years for us but longer for you.”
“Okay,” Rip leaned against the other chair grabbing a slice of toast, “Do you want…”
“I’ve already eaten,” she told him.
Rip chewed for a moment before asking, “I’m assuming Gideon has told you where my memory stops.”
“I take it I’ve missed a lot,” Rip mused.
Laughing Sara said, “Now that is an understatement. I’m not going to tell you too much, because Gideon has already warned me against it, but I suppose I should start with the changes on the team.”
Taking another bite of his toast, Rip waited expectantly.
“We lost Martin,” Sara said softly, “He was killed during an attack on Barry and Iris’ wedding. Jax left us not long afterwards but he’s doing really well.”
Rip dropped his head sadly, taking a few breaths as he took in the news before looking up, “What else?”
“Well Ray and Mick are still here,” she chuckled, “Neither have changed much.”
Rip nodded, “That’s good to know.”
“Nate and Zari are our new guys,” Sara told him, “I should warn you, Nate is not your biggest fan.”
Rip continued to chew his toast thoughtfully, “Okay.”
“On occasion John also comes with us,” Sara noted adding thoughtfully, “You two might get along.”
Bemused Rip asked, “Why?”
“Constantine is English too,” she shrugged, grinning at her own bad joke.
Rip stared at her, “Constantine? John Constantine? How the bloody hell did he end up working with the team?”
“A lot has happened,” Sara reminded him quickly noting, “And we have a lot to discuss before you’re allowed to stay.”
“I understand a lot has happened, Sara,” Rip replied sharply, “But whatever may have occurred the Waverider is still my ship.”
Sara folded her arms, “Actually Rip, it’s our ship now. You left and…”
“Captain Lance,” Gideon’s voice came abruptly, “Please remember the instructions I gave you before allowing you to speak with Captain Hunter. If you are not going to follow them then you must leave.”
Rip let out a sigh, “Gideon…”
“We still do not know the consequences from your exposure to the core,” Gideon reminded him, “Until I know it is a good idea, then I have instructed the crew not to tell you too much about the intervening time.”
Groaning Rip finished his tea, “So what do I do? Wander around in complete ignorance for the rest of my life?”
“No, Captain,” Gideon replied, “But you must allow time for me to finish my tests.”
Sara studied Rip while he argued with Gideon.
It was strange because this was Rip from before Thawne played with his mind, this was Rip before the Time Bureau and at the time she’d never really realised how different he had become. How timid of voicing his thoughts or trusting them he’d become after Thawne.
After they’d finished with Mallus, Sara had taken some time to mourn him. Because, no matter what had happened, Rip had still been an important part of her life and who she was now.
When they managed to get him back from being, what Ray had nicknamed, ‘Evil Rip’ he had been quiet, hesitant and, to her surprise, stepped back allowing her to lead without a word. He let her fly the Waverider during the Apollo 13 incident which made no sense at all since he was the better pilot.
It had made even less sense to her when he left because the Waverider was the only home and Gideon the only family he had left.
Then came Director Hunter of the Time Bureau cold and impersonal. Needing them to trust him but unable to ask properly because, despite his relationship with Miranda, he didn’t know how to relate properly to other people. Instead he pushed. Sara knew now that a lot of her decisions at that time surrounding Rip had been clouded by her anger at him, the anger he had ensured she would have. It was the way the Time Masters had taught him to manipulate. In some ways he became the thing he hated most.
It was only when he was gone, and she sat with nothing to chase or worry about, she understood he had done it on purpose.
Rip’s final words especially had made her so sad. He hoped to see his wife and son again because he’d never gotten over their deaths, never found a way to move on with his life.
And none of them had tried to help him through it, all caught up in their own lives. Once Vandal Savage had been taken care of they jumped into their new mission and Rip remained as solitary as before.
He only ever had Gideon who, no matter how close they were, could only hug him inside his mind. It couldn’t be the same and, for someone raised the way Rip had been, definitely not enough.
Annoyed at herself for missing that a member of her team had needed her to be a friend, that she’d let him push them away Sara decided that she was not letting him down again.
“I believe it would be best for Captain Lance to allow you to rest,” Gideon stated bringing Sara back to the room.
Rip let out a sigh, “I’m fine, Gideon.”
“Nope,” Sara spoke up, “You’re under Gideon’s care until she agrees that you’re ready to be out of here.”
“You’re agreeing with her?” Rip demanded a slight whine in his voice before sighing in annoyance and throwing himself onto the chair fully, “Fine but if you’re bringing lunch can you make it a little more substantial than toast?”
“Are you hungry, Captain?” Gideon asked concerned.
Rip glanced up, “Of course I am, that’s why I asked for something to eat.”
Sara rested her hand on his arm, “I will bring you some more tea and whatever Gideon agrees you’re allowed to eat, if you agree to stay here and rest.”
“I appear to have no other choice,” he grumbled.
Chuckling Sara suddenly hugged him, she felt his surprise when she wrapped her arms around him squeezing him tightly but after a moment he relaxed into it.
“Welcome home,” she murmured.
“Why are we not kicking him off after everything he did?” Nate demanded as they congregated in the parlour once again.
Sara sighed, “Nate, remember before you speak that Gideon can hear you.”
“He has a point,” Ray spoke up from his spot, “The ship is ours.”
Mick laughed, “Nope. You ask Gideon to choose, we’re out on our asses.”
Nate shook his head, “Zari can reprogramme her. Come on after everything he did…”
“Stop. Again Nate, Gideon can hear you,” Sara stated sharply, “Plus this is Rip six months after we beat Vandal Savage, he doesn’t remember anything about what happened during the search for the Spear and doesn’t remember the Bureau. Even if he did, or does again, he’s a Legend. Rip gave his life after we let Amaya break time before we knew how to use the totems. He gave us the time to get away so we could beat Mallus for good. He is staying.”
“What if he turns on us again?” Nate demanded.
“You mean like we turned him into the Bureau to get them off our backs?” Zari challenged before adding, “I don’t know Rip well but I thought the point of being a Legend was we all got a second chance. Besides if Gideon wants him here then we have no choice.”
“What have you told Ava?” Ray asked.
“Nothing yet,” Sara sighed before calling, “Gideon?”
“Yes, Captain Lance,” the AI answered.
“I know you’ve been listening,” Sara said, “Can you give us an update on Rip’s condition?”
“There is still time energy within Captain Hunter’s system. It appears not to be dissipating but instead levelling out,” Gideon replied, “I am also unsure why his memories are missing. It is currently unclear if they are blocked or have been erased fully.”
Sara nodded, “How long are you going to confine him to the infirmary?”
“Preferably until I am sure he has fully recovered,” Gideon noted, “Considering his restlessness I may allow him out tomorrow. With supervision.”
Rip stared at himself in the mirror in the small toilet beside the med-bay wondering why he’d gotten rid of his beard.
He liked his beard, Miranda liked his beard and it had been a long time since he had been clean shaven.
The beard had come from a training mission where they’d been sent out to fend for themselves for several weeks with nothing but a knife.
Miranda told him to keep it, so he did.
“Is there a problem, Captain,” Gideon asked softly.
He shrugged, “I just look…odd.”
“You can regrow it,” Gideon said as he rubbed his cheek.
Rip sighed, “I feel a bit like a stowaway on my own ship.”
“I know,” she soothed, “But you are alive, Captain and safe.”
Taking his seat at the table in the back of the med-bay which currently held some books and a chess set that Sara brought for him, he flicked through some of the books. He wasn’t sure how he’d agreed to stay put in the infirmary but he had.
“Gideon,” he called.
Rip took a quick breath, “I feel like I’ve done something to upset you, something more than touching the time core.”
“It is not important,” Gideon told him.
He frowned, “Yes, it is.”
“The only important thing now, Captain is that you are here and you are safe,” Gideon reminded him, “You asked me to stay with the crew. While you worked on something very important.”
“It feels like…” he sighed, “Never mind.”
“There are some of the crew who wish to speak to you,” Gideon told him, “If you are ready.”
Rip shrugged, “Why not.”
Ray stood with Zari and Mick outside the doors to the med-bay waiting for Gideon to open them. When the door opened he was surprised their former Captain turned and smiled, actually smiled, at them.
Before anyone could speak Mick stalked across the room to Rip, he stood staring at the Englishman and demanded, “Your last memory is New York.”
Rip nodded, “I time scattered the team, put you in stasis and used the time core to scatter myself. Then I woke up here.”
Mick stared at him a few more seconds before nodding and clapping Rip on the shoulder, “Want a beer?”
“Captain Hunter is not allowed alcohol at the moment,” Gideon spoke up.
Rip rolled his eyes, “The warden has spoken.”
Mick shrugged and left.
“He hasn’t changed,” Rip noted before turning, “Hello Ray.”
Moving forward Ray took the other man’s hand shaking it, “It’s good to see you, Rip,” he turned introducing, “This is Zari Tomaz.”
“Miss Tomaz,” Rip gave her a slight nod of his head, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Zari shrugged, “We have already met. You saved my life.”
“Well, that’s not a bad first impression to make,” Rip said with slight amusement, he caught sight of her necklace and tilted his head slightly with interest, “That’s one of the Zambesi totems.”
“I hope we can discuss that at some point once Gideon has released me,” Rip noted.
Confused Zari asked, “Can’t you override her?”
“And have her complain about it for the next year?” Rip chuckled, “Acquiescing to her concerns at the moment is the best thing for a quiet life.”
Laughing she agreed, “That makes sense. Gideon can be evil when she wants to be.”
Rip stared at her for a moment, “You’ve met her.”
“We’ll have to discuss that at some point too,” Rip said, he suddenly rubbed his hand across his eyes.
Ray frowned, “Are you okay?”
“Slight headache,” Rip confessed pre-empting the overprotective AI, “I will lie down and let you check me, Gideon.”
As Rip started walking towards the medical-chair he suddenly stumbled, Ray and Zari jumped forward to catch him.
“Rip?” Ray demanded helping the other man to sit.
“Just a little dizzy,” Rip breathed as he lay back while Ray snapped the cuff on again.
Gideon watched concerned as Rip was helped back into the chair.
“What’s happening, Gideon,” Ray called worriedly.
She paused for a few moments, scanning her Captain, “The levels of time energy within his system is currently fluctuating. Captain, I am going to sedate you so I can try to help.”
“I don’t…” he started wincing as pain shot through his temple.
“I know,” she soothed, “But it is necessary. Trust me.”
Rip sighed when Gideon injected the sedative, “I trust you,” he murmured as he slipped into unconsciousness.
“Gideon,” Ray demanded, “Is he okay?”
Scanning the man laying unconscious on the chair she replied, “It is too early to tell what is happening to him. I shall provide an answer as soon as I am able.”
Ray nodded, “We’ll let Sara know what’s happening.”
“Are you going to lock the doors again?” Zari asked.
Gideon contemplated this for a moment before deciding the crew were not an issue to his safety, “Not this time.”
Ray motioned Zari out, resting his hand on Rip’s arm for a moment comfortingly even though Rip was already unconscious.
While Gideon ran her tests she allowed him to rest.
“Wait,” Ava demanded, “Say that again.”
Sara sighed, having already told Ava everything before repeating, “Rip is alive. There’s not many more ways I can say it.”
“How? When? How?” Ava asked.
“That’s why Ray called me last night,” Sara explained before telling her, “Gideon has him in the med-bay making sure there’s no lasting damage.”
Ava folded her arms, “I’ll arrange for him to be transported here, if you pass us all the information…”
“No,” Sara cut her off, “Rip isn’t being moved to the Bureau.”
“Sara, it’s the best place to study the effects of what has happened to him,” Ava reminded her.
Shaking her head Sara said, “Gideon is taking care of him and, honestly, I would not go against her in this.”
“Not to mention,” Sara continued, “He has no idea who the Time Bureau or you are. I’m not going to hand him over. Not again.”
Ava frowned, “Except he is a member of the Bureau.”
“Actually, you fired him,” Sara replied, “And he is a Legend. Plus Gideon would not be happy. Look,” she stopped Ava saying anything else, “If he remembers then I will get him to contact you but for now, Rip stays here.”
Hanging up Sara dropped into her chair, sighing when Ray and Zari appeared looking worried, “What now?”
“Rip is sedated again,” Ray told her, “He had a severe headache so Gideon put him under while she does more tests.”
Sara grimaced, “Gideon, how is he?”
“He is resting comfortably,” Gideon told them before adding, “Thank you for not agreeing to move him to the Time Bureau.”
“Would you have let me?” Sara asked.
There was a moment of silence before Gideon replied, “Not this time.”
Three days had passed since Rip had woken in the med-bay. He was still getting headaches, mostly in the afternoon, they usually dissipated after an hour or so once he lay down to rest in the quiet. Gideon was working on why he was getting them but so far had no answers. She was finally letting him leave the med-bay to walk through the ship for one hour. With the caveat that he not over-tax himself.
Rip wondered what Gideon expected him to do on the ship to over-exert himself but agreed to her concerns. Sara was no help as she just stood and chuckled.
It felt like forever since he’d walked these corridors and the tension he didn’t know he was feeling flowed away.
He was home.
Wandering into the kitchen he made himself some tea, before continuing to walk finding himself at the library. The door was open and, who he assumed was, Dr Heywood was sitting in there reading. Rip hadn’t met the other man yet, considering Sara had told him they didn’t get along he was sure now was not the best time.
He walked past the library and headed to the engine room. Stepping inside he smiled as he thought over all the time he’d spent in here, talking to Gideon and teaching Jax about the Waverider.
His eyes fell on the time core. Moving slowly closer he stared at the light coming from it. There was something…something…he could almost see…
Suddenly he was yanked back, “Sara?” he asked confused.
“Gideon has been calling your name for five minutes. What the hell were you thinking?” Sara demanded.
Turning he saw Mick was holding onto his arm tightly.
“I was just looking at it,” he defended himself, “I thought I saw something.”
Sara nodded to Mick to let him go, “Saw what?”
“I don’t know,” Rip breathed, “But there was something in the core.”
Concern covered her face, “Gideon, is there anything wrong with the core?”
“I have not detected an issue,” Gideon replied.
Rip pushed his hand through his hair in frustration, “I can’t explain it. I saw something.”
Sara nodded before patting his shoulder, “It’s probably best you stay away from that just now or forever.”
Sara watched Rip sit on the chair in the med-bay, after what had happened in the engine room Gideon had demanded he allow her to scan him…again.
“I wasn’t going to touch it,” Rip sighed, “I promise, Gideon. I just thought I saw something within it.”
“How’s your head?” Sara asked him once Gideon had finished her scans.
Rip shrugged, “At the moment it’s fine.”
“Good,” she smiled, “Gideon, is he going to be okay to jump?”
“Yes, Captain Lance,” the AI replied.
Sara nodded, “Then we have an aberration to deal with,” she clapped Rip’s shoulder, “Time to get back in the saddle but I’m driving until we work out what is causing your headaches.”
Rip grimaced but nodded and followed her to the bridge. Sara watched his lips quirk in a smile the moment he walked over to Gideon’s station. He gently caressed the console before taking a seat and secured himself in, “Where to?”
Sara smiled and motioned everyone to grab a seat, “Switzerland, 1867. We’ve got a signal that could be future tech.”
Taking the controls Sara checked back to where Rip was sitting while the others took their seats, he looked fine but a little nervous. Unfortunately, Nate was not getting over the fact they’d not kicked Rip off the ship, but she didn’t have the time to deal with that just now. They had work to do.
Rip leaned against the console watching the team as they fought the Time Pirates they’d come across. Sara had told him to watch over them because until they knew he was fully recovered he was not going on missions. Gideon agreed with her and Rip knew it was no point to argue.
“Captain Hunter,” Gideon spoke up suddenly, “Dr Palmer and Dr Heywood are trapped. They require assistance. The others are not close enough to help them.”
“Okay,” Rip said, “I’m on my way.”
Rip nodded, “I’ll be fine, Gideon. Let Sara know what’s happening.”
Grabbing his coat and a weapon on the way out, Rip started to where Ray and Nate were pinned down behind several large rocks. Their adversaries had managed to both deactivate the ATOM suit and impair Nate’s ability to change.
Dodging around one of the pirates, knocking him out, Rip started towards the two members of the team. Firing he took out the men attacking Ray and Nate. They looked up over the rocks they’d been hiding behind and Rip gave them a small nod.
“Rip, behind you,” Ray yelled suddenly.
Turning Rip saw a dagger flying towards him. Instinctively he held up his hand and, to his surprise, the weapon stopped in mid-air inches from his face.
“Huh,” was all Rip could say as he studied the weapon hanging there in front of him, reaching out he plucked it from the air. Seeing the man who had thrown it staring slack-jawed Rip threw it back at him.
Realising that the team were finished Rip found he was the centre of attention as they circled him all looking stunned.
“How did you do that?” Zari asked, her eyes wide.
Shaking his head he breathed, “I have no idea.”
“Zari, go with Rip back to the ship and get Gideon to check him,” Sara ordered, “The rest of us will finish cleaning up.”
Rip felt Zari touch his arm and started walking with her towards the Waverider.
Rip sat in the med-bay submitting to Gideon’s scans without a word of protest completely disturbed by what he’d just done.
“What happened?” Sara came in after about twenty minutes as Zari sat on the other chair waiting, “Gideon?”
“I am still running tests,” Gideon replied quietly.
Rip frowned, “Gideon. I know that tone. I know you have something. Even if it is just a theory. Tell me.”
There was silence for several minutes before she replied, “It appears that the time energy that lingered within your body has settled.”
“What does that mean?” Sara asked, “How did he stop the knife?”
“Is he telekinetic now?” Zari added thoughtfully.
Gideon stayed silent again for several moments, the scan ended, and Rip sat up waiting.
“Captain Hunter did not stop the knife, per se,” Gideon explained, “Instead he slowed down the time surrounding it.”
“What?” three voices cried.
Rip leaned back in thought for a moment, “That’s what I saw in the core. Time. I couldn’t put a name to it before.”
“Is this dangerous?” Sara asked.
“Only if Captain Hunter uses these abilities in the wrong way,” Gideon replied, “From my scans the energy in his system is the same as before, there has been no change either way.”
“But that was only a small thing he did,” Zari mused, “What about bigger things? What exactly can he do?”
Rip rubbed his hand across his face, “I’m guessing that’s what will need to be tested.”
“Precisely,” Gideon replied before noting, “Under strict supervision.”
Sara chuckled before asking, “His headaches?”
“Were his system adjusting to the new circumstances,” Gideon explained, “I believe they were also occurring as he had not yet accessed his new abilities.”
“What about my memories, Gideon?” Rip asked, “Is there any indication if I will get them back.”
“I’m afraid not, Captain,” she said softly.
Sighing Rip yawned realising he was exhausted.
“We’ll leave you to rest,” Sara told him.
Rip nodded, smiling when Zari patted his arm giving him a smile before they left him alone once more.
Rip lay back on the chair but even with the room perfect to sleep in he couldn’t. His thoughts were going over what Gideon had said about his new abilities.
Sitting up suddenly he bounced to his feet and started to pace.
“Captain?” Gideon asked concerned.
“I’ve got time core energy in me,” he said working through his thoughts, “From your time core, the core that was connected to your matrix.”
“Captain?” she asked confused.
Rip smiled suddenly and took three steps forward suddenly face to face with the human form of his best friend.
Amazement covered her face as she stared at him, “How did you do that? You entered my matrix.”
“Because I’m now connected to you,” he grinned, especially amused that he had managed to surprise her.
Gideon gave him a smile, “We have always been connected, Rip.”
He caught her wicked smirk at his surprise when she used his name.
Reaching out Rip caught her hand, “Whatever I did to hurt you, I am so sorry. I wish I could remember but all I have are vague images that make no sense. But I promise that from now on we’re a team again.”
She gave him another smile, “There is still things that you need to sort with the other Legends.”
“I know,” he shrugged, “But I also know that the Waverider and you are still mine. Am I wrong?”
Shaking her head, she replied, “Of course not.”
Rip smiled “Then we’ll work it out,” his head drooped slightly, “I have to rest. I’m not used to this yet.”
Gideon squeezed his hand before she stepped closer and wrapped her arms around his waist holding onto him. Wrapping his arms around her Rip smiled, there was something so familiar about her embrace.
When she released him Rip managed to return himself to the med-bay and settled back into the chair.
“Gideon?” he called.
“I’m here, Captain,” she replied softly, “Are you?”
“From now on,” Rip smiled closing his eyes to sleep, “Always.”