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don't leave me now (you might love me back)

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Ava paces through her office.

She has been pacing through her office for the past twenty-three minutes, to be exact. It’s a thing she does sometimes. Something she figures doesn’t always need a reason. She likes to keep busy, she gets anxious when she sits down for too long, or maybe her back starts to hurt.

But not this time.

This time it’s something totally different. The reason she’s pacing is simply just so she won’t focus on her thoughts too much. She focuses on her steps instead. Six towards the door, then six back towards her desk. She figures if anyone would see her like this they’d think she’s crazy. But it’s all she can do to stop her thoughts from spiralling.

It’s safe to say that Ava’s life has been a rollercoaster these past few weeks. Or, months. Years, maybe even. If she can even still say that. She remembers being recruited by the Time Bureau (or does she?) and she remembers spending the last five years fixing anachronisms. She remembers learning about the Legends and why she has the job that she has—why Rip recruited her. Kind of, apparently.

She remembers meeting Sara and hating her guts. She couldn’t stand her in the slightest and everything Sara did pissed her off. Sara got under her skin like no one else has ever managed to before and it set something off in Ava. Something she couldn’t quite explain, or name. She just tried not to think about it too much.

Until things started to change. They shifted. Sara got a little less aggressive. Her edges softened and her eyes got gentler. And in turn, Ava let her walls down just enough for Sara to see that maybe she wasn’t as stuck-up as her pantsuit made her out to be. And they started actually spending some time together. On cases, still, but it wasn’t hostile and they weren’t attacking each other anymore like they used to. It was actually pretty nice.

Sara was pretty nice.

So, naturally, Ava caught feelings. Because, duh. How could she not? Sara was this strong, badass woman who only seemed to let her soft side show with Ava. The Legends teased them about it sometimes and Ava would catch the other woman blushing, just slightly. It was the cutest thing Ava has ever seen.

And Sara liked her back. She truly did. They went on dates and they spent even more time together and it was great. Until the whole Mallus fiasco happened and Sara pushed her away.

Ava will never forget that day. Where she just sat on Sara’s bed, the bed they’d made love in just the night before, waiting for her girlfriend to get back from talking to her team. She was looking forward to spending the evening cuddling with Sara, being together and just enjoying the quiet before the storm. Just appreciating Sara being safe.

She’d never expected Sara to break up with her. Not like that. Not because of something that didn’t phase Ava in the slightest. Ava knew about Sara’s past. She knew about the League and the Black Canary and she knew all of what Sara had done in her life. All the people she’s killed and the people she’s hurt. But she also knew that Sara was a changed woman. That she now saw the world differently and she didn’t just turn to murder just for the sake of it. She got full control of her blood lust.

But Sara had said that she couldn’t do it and who was Ava to force her into something she didn’t want?

So she left. She exited the Waverider through her portal and ended up back at her place. Where she might’ve spent the night drinking away her feelings, wondering if maybe Sara was doing the same. And later, when Ava decided to go to bed, she tucked herself in on the right side of the bed, where she always used to lay when she shared a bed with Sara. Maybe if she pretended hard enough she could imagine Sara being next to her.

In the present, Ava shakes her head to herself. She needs to stop thinking about the past. It’s over. It’s done. All she has is now. And now Sara isn’t talking to her. And it’s freaking Ava out.

Because after they defeated Mallus they’d made some plans. To go for dinner, to go see a movie. Something. Anything. And they did. They went on a date. Or two. And now it’s been over a week since she’s heard from Sara and it’s making her panic, just a little.

What if Sara thought it wasn’t worth it? What if she decides she doesn’t want to go through with it after all? That Ava isn’t worth it?

Ava sighs, runs her hand over her face. She can’t keep this up. She needs to talk to Sara. Heading over to the Waverider seems a little too drastic, yet she has no idea what else to do since Sara won’t answer her texts or calls. So, honestly, there’s only so much left for her to do. But she has to try.

That’s what leads her to her time courier. Ava grips it into her hand tightly as she takes some steading breaths. She’s trembling slightly, not sure what’s gotten into her all of a sudden. Or maybe she does and she’s just trying to play stupid. Because she knows why she’s so nervous. She knows why she’s afraid Sara will change her mind.

But she has to know.

So she sets her time courier to the Waverider and steps through the portal before she can change her mind. As soon as it closes behind her she realizes she’s walked herself into the kitchen, where Zari is eating some French toast and Ray is doing the dishes. They both look up in surprise at the unannounced guest.

“Ava,” Zari says, her fork hanging mid-way between her plate and her mouth, “hey!”

Ray almost drops his sponge on the floor as he looks at her and if Ava wasn’t this stressed she’d probably think it’s funny. Maybe she has taken a liking to this group of idiots. A little bit.

“Hi.” Ava mutters, her right hand fidgeting with the sleeve of her blazer behind her back. “Is, uh, is Sara around?”

Zari shakes her head, “No. She’s out fixing an anachronism in 1732 with Amaya and Wally.”

Ava tries to not let her disappointment show as she reaches for her time courier again. It’s then that Ray steps in.

“They should be back soon, though. So if you want to wait, you can?”

“No.” Ava replies, shaking her head, “It’s alright. I will just, uh, head back. Can you tell Sara I was here?”

“Of course,” Ray says gently, a small smile on his face. “We will.”

Ava nods her head once, before opening a portal back to her office. “Thank you.”

As soon as the portal closes behind her and she’s back at the Time Bureau, she lets out a frustrated groan. She just wants to know what’s going on, but for some reason she can’t get a grip on Sara and it really feels like the universe is trying to tell her something she doesn’t want to know.

 

•••

 

It’s been three days since Ava tried to get a hold of Sara on the Waverider. Three days of nothing but radio silence. Ava starts to wonder if she’s done something wrong. If, maybe, Sara realized she doesn’t want to be with a clone and Ava truly isn’t worth her time.

She tries to keep herself from hurting, but she knows it’s useless. The more she thinks about it, the more it hurts. But the longer she goes without talking to Sara, the more she thinks about it. And she truly doesn’t know how to get Sara to talk to her except for stalking her. So when the Time Bureau comes with the news that there’s a level 9 anachronism that needs fixing before they do anything else, she’s kind of relieved she gets to go break the news.

Ava doesn’t waste a second and she’s on the Waverider before you can say Sara.

This time she walks onto the bridge and she’s pleased to see everyone is there. Even Sara. They lock eyes almost immediately and Ava is pleased to see that Sara at least has the decency to look guilty. She decides to ignore that for now, because she’s here for business and business only. At least until this new anachronism is fixed.

It’s easy to tell them why they have to go to 2074 and what they have to do. Ava is pretty sure they won’t mess up. Or at least not until the point where it’s not fixable. So when Sara sends off Amaya, Nate, Zari and Wally, Ava can finally relax again.

Sara looks at her, then, from across the bridge, and Ava swears she can see the tension in her shoulders. It looks like she’s literally carrying the weight of the world. Ava wishes she could help her. Wishes she could carry some of that weight for her. But she can’t if Sara won’t let her—If Sara won’t talk to her.

It’s awkward. Because Mick and Ray are still hanging around and Ava doesn’t want to have this conversation where they can eavesdrop. But when she starts to walk over towards Sara, the other woman spins on her heel and walks towards the library. Ava sighs in defeat, not sure if she should go after her.

When she catches Ray’s eye and he nudges her on, she takes a deep breath and hurries after Sara.

“Sara, wait,” Ava breathes, “please.”

Sara stops in her tracks in the middle of the hallway, annoyed with herself for not even making it to the library. Damn Ava and those long legs that she loves so much.

“I—” Ava doesn’t know what to say, really. What can she say? She’s not the one who’s been avoiding the other. She’s made attempts to talk, to say what’s on her mind and how she’s feeling.
Sara turns around slowly and Ava is not surprised to find her staring at the floor instead of meeting her gaze. She should’ve known better than to expect Sara to look at her.

Don’t get her wrong. Sara is brave and tough and she’s not scared of a fight. But conversations about feelings and emotions are something Sara is not good at, something she runs from and something she’d rather just not do. Ava knows this. She knows that’s part of the reason why Sara has been avoiding her. But she also knows things can’t go on like this and she needs to know what’s on Sara’s mind. No matter good or bad. She might walk away from this with a broken heart, but at least she’ll know.

“Can you at least say something?” Ava asks, quite desperate.

Sara glances up at her then, eyes wet and scared. “What do you want me to say?”

It’s the first time Ava’s heard Sara’s voice in nearly two weeks and a soft gasp escapes her lips. Only now does she realize how badly she’s missed Sara. It hurts to see her this distant. Ava sighs, frustrated.

“Something. Anything. Why you’ve been avoiding me, preferably.”

“I—I haven’t, I’m just—”

“Bullshit, Sara.” Ava says sharply, “Ever since the other night you’ve been ignoring my calls, my texts. What am I supposed to think?”

“That I don’t want to talk to you.”

Ava’s eyes widen at Sara’s sudden response. She tries not to let her face fall, but Sara sees it anyway. Ava knows by the way Sara presses her lips together. But, honestly, she’s too tired to keep pretending. So she lets her shoulders sag and she exhales heavily.

“Oh.” She whispers. “Okay.”

She takes a small step back, then. Hurt by Sara’s lack of engagement, by her lack of empathy. She should’ve known better than this, right? She should’ve known to run when she had the chance. But instead she chose to give her another chance.

“You could’ve just told me that. Would’ve saved me a lot of sleepless nights.”

Sara’s eyes widen at that, but Ava doesn’t care. She tries not to, at least. All she wants to do now is get out of here. Leave. Get over this embarrassment and get over Sara, because clearly this isn’t going to work out. She shakes her head to herself as she looks at Sara, who’s just standing there, her hands balled into fists at her sides.

When she realizes Sara’s not going to say anything, Ava chuckles dryly. “Okay. Got it.”

It’s only then that she turns and leaves.

 

•••

 

“Sara?”

“Go away, Zari.”

Soft footsteps and then the dip of Sara’s bed as Zari sits down.

“Do you want to talk?”

“No.”

“Sara.”

“No.”

A sigh.

“I’m not leaving before you talk to me.”

Another sigh. Annoyed, this time. Sara.

“I fucked up, okay? Again. Because that’s what I do.”

“Maybe you did. But maybe you can still fix it. If you want to.”

And boy, does she want to.

 

•••

 

Sara’s never been the kind of person to call ahead. Ava knows this. But she’s still not expecting Sara to just show up in her living room as she’s heating up some leftovers in the microwave in the kitchen.

At first she’s confused, because there’s a portal closing and she wasn’t expecting anyone. So she leaves her plate in the microwave and she walks into the living room, finding Sara with her hand in her hair and her head tilted down towards the floor. Ava isn’t amused.

“What are you doing here?”

Sara looks up, then. Ava is surprised to notice she keeps looking her in the eye.

“I—I came to apologize. Explain. If you let me.” Sara mutters, a little hesitant. “If it’s not too late.”

“You didn’t want to talk to me.” Ava says—deflects, really. “What changed?”

Sara groans softly, throws her head back. Ava knows she hates this. Hates being vulnerable and open and honest. But they both know it’s necessary. Because, yes, maybe Ava thought it was over and she’d never talk to Sara again, but she was also hoping for Sara to come after her, to talk about things. Ava just didn’t think it’d upset her this much just to see Sara. She thought she’d handle it better than she is handling it now.

“I just,” she sighs, “I’m sorry. I know I’ve been the worst and you don’t owe me anything, but I freaked out. Which is, you know, stupid. And I should’ve been honest and I should’ve talked to you instead of running. I know. But it’s what I do best, Ava.”

“So. What changed?” Ava repeats herself.

Sara hesitates. Ava can tell.

“I’m done running.”

Ava shakes her head. “You think it’s that easy? That you can just come up here and all will be forgiven?”

“Of course not, Ava.” Sara says, eyes pleading, “I just want a chance to explain myself and tell you why I’ve been avoiding you.”

“Okay.”

“Okay?”

“I’ll listen.”

Sara nods, probably more to herself, before she takes a deep breath. Her eyes meet Ava’s once again and Ava has to try her best not to reach out to her. Sara looks so fragile and small. She’d be surprised if this was the first time seeing Sara like this. Surprisingly it’s not.

“I broke up with you because of what happened with Mallus,” Sara starts, “Because I didn’t want to hurt you. Because that’s what I do. I hurt the people closest to me even when trying to keep them safe. And I know—I know you don’t necessarily need my protection. But that’s who I am as a person. I want to protect the people I love.”

Ava’s breath hitches in her throat, then. This is the first time she’s told Ava she loves her after everything. After that first time on the Waverider. Her heart skips a beat.

“And if the only way I can protect you is by staying away from you, then that is what I’ll do. Because your safety is more important than my happiness, Ava.”

“Sara, you’re—”

“I’m not finished, please.”

Ava nods.

“But then we defeated Mallus. And I spoke to some people. Friends, if you will. And they made me re-think my decisions. About everything. About you. They made me realize that maybe I could do it. Maybe I could be happy and keep you safe at the same time.”

She takes a small step closer towards Ava and the latter stiffens, making Sara stop in her tracks.

“And then we went on those amazing dates and we had sex and I just—it was so easy to fall back into this rhythm with you. It was like second nature to open myself up to you, to let go. And that scared me.”

Ava frowns. “Why?”

“Because if I let my walls down you might realize that I’m not all that. And so I pushed you away again. Because it would hurt less to push you away, instead of knowing you wanted to leave.”

“So you just made that choice for me?”

Sara shakes her head, purses her lips together. It’s a thing she does when she’s upset, Ava knows. “I didn’t see it as a choice, Aves.”

The nickname slips. They both know it. Ava flinches just slightly, but Sara doesn’t apologize.

“It wasn’t a choice to me. I just want you to be happy and I thought I did what was right.”

“No.” Ava says, stern. “You don’t get to do this. You don’t get to break my heart, again, only for you to tell me you want me to be happy.”

“Ava, I-”

Ava holds up her hand, a signal for Sara to stop talking. So she does. Because she always respects Ava’s boundaries, no matter in what kind of situation they’re in.

“If you truly wanted me to be happy, you would’ve talked to me. You wouldn’t have just pushed me away. A relationship is a two-way street, Sara. You don’t get to decide these things on your own. I get to have a say in this, too. Especially about my happiness.”

Sara’s head drops, ashamed. “I know. I’m sorry. You’re right.”

Ava sighs, not knowing what to do with this now. For so long she’s just wanted to talk to Sara about this and now that she has she has no clue where they’re standing. On the one hand she wants to just forget about it and move on, with Sara, but she can’t get the nagging thought out of her head that this is a thing Sara does whenever she feels like it’s the only way out. And who’s to say she won’t feel like this again anytime soon? Who’s to say she will talk to Ava then?

“Look, Ava,” Sara says, pulling Ava out of her thoughts, “I know I can’t ask anything from you. And I’m not. I’m not expecting anything, okay? I just—You deserved the truth. I just was too afraid, again. Which, you know, is ironic, kind of. Since I’m a former assassin and all. And fear isn’t a thing I normally do.”

Ava doesn’t laugh. Neither does Sara. She just shifts on her feet and runs a hand through her hair.

“But I care about you. A lot,” Sara goes on, “And you’re the one thing in my life that has value to me. The one person that I would do anything for. And that scares me, Ava, because everyone I’ve cared about this much before has left me. Laurel? My dad? I can’t go through that kind of pain again.”

Ava’s heart stutters in her chest at this. Sara cares about her just as much as she did her family? She’s not sure she can handle this kind of information at this point. So she averts her gaze and bites her lip. God, she needs to be alone.

“And I know. I know, maybe you don’t want to be with me anymore after, I don’t know, everything. I’d understand. I’d respect that,” Sara says softly, “And I know you’re not deadly sick or anything. But with our line of work something could always happen and then I’d lose you. And I don’t—I can’t do that.”

“So you figured it was just better to not have me in your life at all?”

Sara sighs. “I—I made the wrong choice, Ava. I know that now.”

“Yeah, you did.” Ava agrees.

“Can I just..” Sara hesitates, “.. say one more thing? Then I’ll leave. I promise.”

Ava nods.

It takes a few moments for Sara to get herself together and to gather her thoughts. Ava realizes she’s struggling a bit by the tension in her shoulders and the clenching of her jaw. It’s her tell-tale. Ava knows whenever Sara is having a hard time getting her shit together or making up what she wants to say.

“The way I feel about you? That’s.. new. And scary.” Sara admits, eyes looking everywhere except Ava’s face. “I’ve had a girlfriend before. Her name’s Nyssa. I mean, you’ve read my file, you know all this. But then I died and I—After they resurrected me everything felt different to me. The first time I kissed someone it felt like the first time. And then I met you and, yeah, I’ve been in love before, but this time it just. I don’t know. It felt like it hit me square in the chest, if that makes sense? It’s like something I’ve never felt before, Aves.”

Ava doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t know what to say anyway.

“I care about you more than I’ve probably ever cared about anyone else. And that’s a scary feeling. Because I don’t know what I’d do if something were to happen to you. And now I know that I went about this the wrong way. I really do. But I just needed you to know all this. Okay?”

All Ava can do is nod. Her eyes meet Sara’s briefly and she’s taken aback by the genuine look of affection in her eyes. Maybe things will be alright after all.

“I—I think I need some time.” Ava admits, then.

Sara nods. “Okay. I’ll go. You know where to find me. If you want to.”

After that Ava just watches how Sara opens a portal and walks away. There’s a big hole in Ava’s chest – she can feel it – and somehow she feels like it’s taken on Sara’s shape. Ava knows it’s the right thing to think things over, to not jump right back into Sara’s arms. She does. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still suck big time.

 

•••

 

Ava thinks about it. A lot.

Not for long, since it’s only been about two days. But she does think about it a lot. She juggles her thoughts perfectly, for once, with work and she knows why. Because it’s clear as day what she needs to do. What she wants to do.

So she tries to finish up early at the Time Bureau and even asks Gary to do some of her paperwork. Once she explains why he gladly snatches the pile of papers from her arms. She smiles at him and thanks him, before heading home to clean herself up. She doesn’t want to go see Sara all roughed up from work and fixing anachronisms all day.

It takes her about an hour and thirteen minutes to shower, comb and dry her hair and pick out an outfit. Picking the outfit took most of the time, but she wouldn’t tell anyone that.

She can do this. Right? Just go over to the Waverider and talk to Sara. Tell her how she feels and what’s really going on.

Because, she figured out, after lots of thinking, that she was also portraying her fears onto Sara. The fear that Sara wouldn’t want to be with her anymore. It wasn’t just Sara’s behaviour. Ava’s thoughts added a lot to it, too. And she owes it to Sara to tell her that and get it all of her chest. And perhaps then they can move forward.

When she arrives on the bridge it’s strangely quiet. She’s not sure what’s going on or where everyone is, and she’s not sure she’s allowed to snoop around and find out. All she wants to know is where Sara is anyway. Ava walks towards Sara’s room, slowly and quietly, looking around every few seconds.

There’s faint noises coming from further down the ship and when she focuses on it better, Ava can hear cheerful voices and people laughing. Maybe some music. So figures everyone’s in the kitchen.

Once Ava reaches the kitchen she’s met with a sight that makes her smile. Apparently it’s someone’s birthday, because there’s cake and hats and balloons and Ray is singing this dumb song while Nora is blushing furiously. Ava figures it’s her birthday.

When Ray finishes his song, Ava clears her throat softly, making everyone in the room look at her. She feels awkward, showing up unannounced and totally random. For everyone else, at least. When she looks at Sara it seems like the other woman has been waiting for her. She seems hopeful. Ava smiles at her, just a little.

“I, uh—I believe congratulations are in order,” she turns towards Nora, “happy birthday.”

It’s been hard for Ava to get over the grudge she held against the youngest Darhk, but Sara managed to change her mind and now she can see the woman is actually a pretty decent person. With a huge crush on mister Palmer, obviously. From what Ava can tell the feeling is absolutely mutual.

“Thank you, director Sharpe,” Nora says, the blush slowly fading away. She seems grateful for the distraction. “Do you want a piece of cake?”

Ava shakes her head. “No, I’m here for Sara, actually.”

Whoever wasn’t paying attention earlier clearly is now. Ava sighs. What a bunch of idiots. She looks at Sara again, her hands clasped together behind her back- needing to feel confident, especially in casual clothes and not having her Time Bureau pantsuit as an armor.

“Can we talk?”

Sara nods, gets up from her chair and walks towards her. Then she turns back towards her team and points a finger at them.

“Don’t.” Her voice is stern, yet Ava can hear the smile in it, “Just—Go on with the party. I’ll be back later.”

When Ava follows her, she can faintly hear her tell Gideon to close off the comms and to not give them any access to listen in to their conversation. Ava smiles a little. She follows Sara into her room and watches how the other woman takes a seat on the bed, her one leg bent at the knee and her hands clasped together in her lap.

“I wasn’t expecting you,” Sara admits, her eyes trained on her hands.

Ava sighs. “I know. I needed some time to think.”

“That’s okay. I just really wasn’t expecting you. I didn’t think you’d want to see me again.”

Her heart breaks at that, knowing she’d caused Sara as much pain and stress as Sara caused her before. Ava steps closer and sinks down to the floor onto her knees, so she can look up into Sara’s eyes.

“Of course I do, Sara.” She says, hand coming up to rest on Sara’s knee. “I just needed to make sense of it all so I didn’t say things the wrong way or upset you even more.”

Sara nods, searching Ava’s face. “I get it.”

“I heard everything you told me, Sara. And first of all I want to thank you for telling me. I didn’t know that that was how you were feeling.” Ava tells her gently, her hand still on Sara’s knee. “I really appreciate you being honest with me. That’s why I want to be honest with you, too.”

“Okay.”

“I realize now that part of why I got so upset with you isn’t because you were avoiding me. Well, it was, but what made it worse was just my own thoughts.”

Sara frowns, shifts a little on the bed, “What do you mean?”

“I know you, Sara,” Ava says, “and I think, deep down, I knew why you were avoiding me. I knew what was going on and why you did what you did. But there was also this part of me that was just scared that you had changed your mind. About me. About being with me.”

“Ava,” It’s a breath. Soft and silent and shocked.

Ava shakes her head, squeezes Sara’s knee. But Sara isn’t having it. She pulls on Ava’s arm gently until she stands and then she motions for Ava to sit down next to her on the bed. She wants to do this properly and she can’t with Ava kneeling in front of her. Sara wants to have her closer.

“I wouldn’t.” Sara says. “I haven’t. I promise.”

“I know. I’m just still scared that you will. Because of who I am.” Ava mutters, “What I am.”

You,” Sara says, “are the most wonderful and beautiful woman I have ever seen. You’re hardworking and dedicated and you’re so funny. You’re kind and you’re loving and you would do anything for the people you care about. Aves.”

Ava shakes her head, reaches for Sara’s hand. “I’m still a clone, Sara.”

“I don’t care.”

“What you said got me thinking.”

Sara’s confused. “What do you mean?”

“What you said about something happening to me on the job.” Ava explains. “You’d never know, Sara.”

“What are you talking about?”

Ava sighs, tangles her fingers with Sara’s, her gaze dropping to their hands. “They could just go and get a new me. Reset her memories, her thoughts. Everything. You wouldn’t know.”

“No, they couldn’t.” Sara fights back. “Rip brought this onto you. Onto us. And he’s gone. No one else can go to 2213, Ava. Only you. There is no other you. Especially not for me. Not ever.”

Ava thinks that makes sense. She hadn’t thought that far, actually. She’s kind of relieved now. But still, there’s this nagging feeling at the back of her head that maybe Sara does deserve better.

“I just don’t understand why you’d want to be with me.” Ava admits. “There’s so much better for you out there.”

“Hey,” Sara says softly, her free hand coming up to cup Ava’s cheek, “don’t go pushing me away now, please? I want to be with you.”

“But—”

“No. I love you, Ava. I want to be with you. Not anyone else. Ever. You’re my person.”

Ava’s eyes are wide and maybe a little teary, but she does look up into Sara’s and she can’t help but smile. When she came her earlier she didn’t think she’d get this emotional, she didn’t even think they’d end up holding hands sitting on Sara’s bed. But here they are.

“I love you, too.”

Sara lets out a wet chuckle, her eyes sparkling, “See? You’re real. And you’re beautiful. And I love you.”

She puts her hand over Ava’s heart and ducks her head a little, a smile taking over her face. Ava can feel her heart beating against Sara’s hand and it’s oddly grounding. Now she knows how Sara feels when she puts her hand on her chest after a nightmare. Ava grips Sara’s wrist and squeezes.

“Honestly, Aves.” Sara says, “There might be a hundred of you out there in 2213, but there is only one you. And you are the one I want to be with.”

“Yeah?”

Sara nods. “You’re stuck with me, Sharpe.”

“Good.”

And then Sara is in her arms. She’s hugging her tight, her face hid in the crook of Ava’s neck, arms tightly wrapped around her waist. Ava relaxes for the first time in what feels like months, yet it’s only been days. Maybe weeks. She’s not sure. She doesn’t even think it matters, anyway. Not anymore. Because Sara is here and Sara loves her and she loves Sara back.

“Will you stay?” Sara asks, “Please?”

Ava pulls back at that, a small grin on her face at Sara’s bashful face. “I’d love to.”

“Perfect,” Sara mumbles, her gaze dropping to Ava’s lips, “and again, I’m really sorry, Aves.”

“It’s okay, Sara. I promise. We just have to communicate and talk and work things out together, okay?”

Sara nods. “Yes. We’ll work on it. Together.”

“Great.” Ava says, smirk on her face.

“Great.”

“So.”

“So?”

Ava rolls her eyes playfully. “Are you gonna kiss me, or what?”

“I thought you’d never ask.”

And she kisses her. Finally.