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all these roads lead back to you

Chapter Text

Ava sighed. She'd thought, when she'd woken up at 6 am, that maybe today would be a quiet one. She could get through her paperwork, only yell at a few cadets, have lunch with Gary and then end it laying on her couch, glass of wine in one hand, watching netflix, with her cat on her lap. It didn't seem an ambitious dream, but since she'd met the Legends, quiet days had been few and far between.
This time, they'd called her after Grodd had turned up in the Amazon rainforest in 1899, just as they were stealing back a flip phone that had fallen out of 2001 and into the hands of a native tribe. The arrival of a small troop of Time Agents had been enough to scare the giant gorilla into time jumping away, but not before smashing Ava's time courier so she couldn't jump back with her agents. Now, she was being chased by an angry and confused tribe, raining arrows down on her from all sides - she felt a tug on her arm and found herself being pulled into a small cave, barely visible in the face of a huge cliff. Ava turned, and was relieved to see it was Sara, her cheeks flushed.

"Get down." She hissed.
They knelt and watched the arrows fly outside.
"Team? Is everyone safe?" Sara muttered into her coms.

"Yeah, we got everyone. Except you and Ava." Nate's voice crackled through the earpiece. He was clearly running.

"Okay, we'll use a portal-"
Ava held up her wrist to show the shattered time courier. Sara groaned.
"We can't use a portal. Find the Waverider, bring it round to us."

"Roger that, Captain."

As Sara spoke, Ava turned around. The cave wasn't small, a short passage appeared to lead to a vast room, lit by an eerie pink glow.
"What's that?" Sara said, clearly curious, turning around to face the passage.

"We're not exploring it. We should wait here for the Legends."
As soon as Ava said it, she knew it was futile. The Captain was already making her way through, crouching slightly to fit. Ava followed, head bowed.
"This is a bad idea." She hissed.

"Yeah, yeah, tell me that when something goes wrong." muttered Sara, just as she popped out into the room, letting out a small whistle when she saw it.
The room was vast, formed of a pink granite that was reflected in the crystal-clear water that covered most of the floor. Complicated paths had been cut through the water, and Ava couldn't help but admire the intricate carving along their borders. Four huge columns stood in the centre of the room, surrounding what lit the room - a box, hovering slightly over a plinth, that was emanating a strange golden light. Ava squinted and saw it was vibrating slightly. Sara was already half way across the room towards it.

"No!" Ava said in a loud whisper, but the Captain was unperturbed. She reached out a hand, then everything seemed to happen at once - a beam of light shot out from the box just as Ava reached Sara, and the Director worked on instinct, grasping her friend by the arms and flipping them, so the light hit her square between the shoulder blades instead.

It was burning hot and she cried out, but it was gone in an instant. She opened her eyes to see Sara looking at her. At least she had the decency to look guilty.

"Your ride is here!" Nate said cheerfully, his voice making both women jump slightly.

"We'll be right out." Ava said.

"Sorry." Sara said quietly. "You okay?"

Ava just grimaced.

///

The Director pinched the bridge of her nose. The wine was getting further and further away, and she knew her cat would be pissed at her if she was late in giving him his dinner.
"So, you're telling me one of you imbeciles dropped the phone, on the dense forest floor, rendering this anachronism practically impossible to solve."

"Zari dropped it." Nate blurted out.

"Grass!" Zari smacked him on the arm and he pulled back in pain.

"It wouldn't have happened if someone hadn't tried to set fire to the Chief." Amaya said, looking pointedly at Mick, who just grunted and slumped down on the steps.

"You weren't any better! You stopped to make friends with that snake!" Ray said, throwing his arms in the air and Amaya turned to fix him with the same glare.

"Stop! You're all equally to blame!" Ava almost yelled, knuckles turning white as she gripped the edge of the console.

Don't shout at my team!

Ava rounded on the Captain. "I wasn't shouting." She said through gritted teeth.
The team fell silent.

"What?" Sara said, clearly confused. The Director just narrowed her eyes.

"I wasn't shouting, but even if I was, I can shout at who I like."

"No but - I didn't say that. Out loud."

Ava turned back to the team. They all looked stunned, mouths half open. Even Mick had put down his beer.

"I heard -" Ava stopped with a small gasp.

"The box." They said at the same time.

An image flashed in her head, of the box, and her hand reaching out, then her own face in front of her, eyes shut tight, lit by a glowing halo -

You can hear my thoughts

Ava heard Sara, heard her voice as clear as a bell, but she saw that her mouth didn't move.

"Yeah, I can." She said quietly, slightly in awe. She could feel it now, something that wasn't there before, clear and mysterious like the pools of water in the caves, sat at the edge of her mind. If she just reached out -

"What’s happening?" Ray murmured, and Ava suddenly remembered other people were in the room.

"We can hear each-other's thoughts." Sara said quietly.

"Woaah." Zari said. "How is that even possible?"

"Gideon?" The Captain and the Director said simultaneously.

"I have scanned both of you, and I can't find anything unusual." The AI said with her usual brisk tone.

Ava could feel Sara's confusion and curiosity, rippling through her mind like raindrops, and she sighed again. Poor Merlin wasn't getting any dinner tonight.

"You have a cat?" Sara said, eyebrow raised. "And you named him Merlin?"

Ava didn't need whatever this was to know that Sara was filing that information away for future teasing. "Check again, Gideon." She almost growled.

///

Two hours later, she was still on board the ship, and now beyond pissed. Whatever it was that was happening had given her a tension headache, and pain was radiating out from her temples.
Using Gideon to scour the Time Bureau archives for any evidence of this happening before was proving fruitless, largely because she couldn't focus for more than ten words at a time. Sara's thoughts were erratic, currently jumping between the bagel she was constructing in the fabricator to trying to figure out a name for their predicament - mind meld? brain squish? telekinesis?

Telepathy, idiot Ava thought, suddenly, in a harsh and unfiltered tone.

Fuck off

Ava just pinched the bridge of her nose. She probably deserved that.

You totally did

A pause, then Sara went back to thinking about putting mayo on her bagel, and Ava tried to focus on the files on the screen, but the light was just making her headache worse. She jumped when a glass of water was suddenly placed in front of her.
She turned and saw Sara, holding out two pills.

"Take this." She said, not unkindly. "For the headache. I can feel it too."

"Thanks." Ava mumbled, not looking the Captain in the eye. She swallowed the pills. Before she could sort her tangled mess of thoughts into a coherent sentence, Nate and Ray bundled in, practically on top of one another. Mick ambled in, a little way behind.

"We had a breakthrough!" Nate said, grinning widely.

"I was saying - there's no way this could be a scientific phenomenon, and then Nate said - "

"What if it's not scientific, but supernatural." The historian was beaming, and Ava felt the streak of affection that flashed across Sara's mind.

Amaya and Zari appeared in the doorway. "If it's supernatural, should we call that British weirdo?" Zari said, slightly disinterestedly, taking another bite of her doughnut.

"Constantine?" Ray said, slightly confused.

An image flashed in Sara's mind, and Ava stepped backwards, shutting her eyes tightly. "Sara!" She almost squealed.

"Wait, didn't you sleep together? At the asylum?" Amaya asked, but was quickly cut off by Zari laughing.
"Did you just think of his -"

"Don't do it again!" Ava squeaked. She could feel herself blushing and knew it was making the tips of her ears red. The team was laughing now, even Mick, though his low chuckle sounded more like the rumble of an engine. Ava straightened her blouse and desperately tried to regain some composure. At least Sara had the decency to feel guilty.

Sorry, Ava

Just call him

Ava turned and left. Maybe if she went far enough away she could scrub the image from her mind -

I said I was sorry!

Chapter Text

They found Constantine. Eventually.
His house was exactly what Ava expected for a demonologist, filled with books from floor to ceiling, as well as bird cages, dead flowers, tiny skulls, intricate bottles -
She focused on the surroundings whilst Sara explained their predicament.
John hummed quietly.
"I think -"
He took a book down from a shelf, flicking through before slamming his palm down on a highly decorated page.
"Looks about right." He muttered.

Ava sighed loudly. "Can you hurry up? I want this over with."

"Alright, pet, keep your knickers on." John said with a grin. He pointed to a diagram of a box on the page, surrounded by swirls that Ava presumed to be a form of writing. "They call it the Soul Vessel."

"Sounds ominous." Sara said with her slightly flirty smirk that Ava pretended she hated.

Pretended?

"What does it do?" Ava asked quickly.

John shrugged. "Says it's the essence of a soulmate, whatever that means."

"Can you make it stop?"

John shrugged again. "If I had the vessel ..."

Ava could feel Sara beginning to form a plan, which she immediately vetoed. Sara glared at her.

Let my team go back for it - You know we can do it

I'm not letting your ridiculous team anywhere near that artefact

So you want to be stuck like this? In each-other's heads forever?

No - We send in my agents and they can retrieve it

John waved a hand between the two women, and both jumped slightly when they realised they hadn't been having the conversation out loud.

"We'll get you the artefact." Ava said quietly, before turning and walking out. She didn't turn and see if Sara was following her.

///

When they reached the bridge, Ava almost groaned when she saw Gary.
"Director Sharpe!" He said with a beaming smile. "I'm so glad you're okay! The Legends said something weird is going on?"

"Yeah, you could say that." Ava sighed, before turning back to the Legends. "I need to get back to the Bureau. We can sort this tomorrow."

For all his faults as an Agent, Gary was at least an excellent right-hand man. He'd already opened a portal to her office by the time she'd finished her sentence. She locked eyes with Sara, a wordless warning not to try anything crystallizing in her mind, then she turned around and stepped through.

The pain was intense and immediate, radiating out from her chest like a flame, burning her up from the inside. Ava fell to her knees, gasping for breath, clawing at her chest in a vague attempt to stop the pain, but it was only getting worse. The blackness danced at the edge of her vision, and she barely noticed Gary bodily pushing her back through the portal. The instant she was on the Waverider again, the pain disappeared, and she slumped against the console, panting slightly.

"What the hell." She muttered, looking up to see the Legends all gathered round their Captain, who was also partially upright on the floor. It was obvious from her mind that she'd just experienced the same pain, but the memory was coated in something - familiar. An image of her hands around an arrow embedded in her chest flashed up, but it was gone in a second.
Gary had his hands around her arm as he helped the Director to her feet, but she brushed him off and stood up. "I'm - I'm fine Gary."

We can't be too far apart

I'd got that, genius Sara thought dryly, sarcasm clearly unaffected by the ordeal.

"You'll have to come back to the Bureau with me." Ava said, out loud, more for the benefit of the team than Sara. The Captain just glared at her.

"No way, I'm needed here. You can stay on the ship."

"I'm the Director of the Time Bureau! You don't think they also need me?" Ava didn't know it was possible for someone to both physically and mentally glare at someone, but it was certainly happening to her now. She sighed and decided to try something new.

Please. I need to be there, I can't tell you why, just -

Ava sank all of her tiredness and worry into the thought, and Sara looked a little taken aback.

"Fine."

"Fine?" Now it was Ava's turn to be shocked. "Really?"

"Just for a few days. Until my team can get the box back, fix the anachronism and we can end this."

Ava nodded, her relief overtaking her apprehension at letting the Legends taking the lead on retrieving the artefact.

The Legends looked almost shocked at their Captain's admission. Sara pointed to them with a stern expression, which Ava now knew she called 'mean mom, level 1'.
"Amaya is in charge. Don't fuck up history. I'll be back in three days."
They all nodded, and Mick just grunted.

///

It took Sara ten minutes to pack a bag, and in that time, Gary had gone back to the Bureau and fetched another time courier. Ava used it to open a portal, inputting the co-ordinates she'd learnt by heart on her first day on the job.
The Captain finished saying goodbye to her team, and, with one final warning nod from Ava, they stepped through.

Until that precise moment, Ava had not considered that Captain Lance would be in her apartment, and suddenly she saw everything from Sara's perspective. Ever the ex-assassin, she'd already pinpointed all of the possible entrances and exits. It wasn't difficult. Ava's apartment was pretty small and largely functional - a small kitchen was separated from the main living area by a table, and the room contained little more than a TV, coffee table and a large and slightly lumpy sofa. Ava cringed internally, wishing she'd had time to clean up the few books and coffee mugs that covered the table.

Sara snorted. This is hardly messy, Aves

Ava blinked. She'd never heard the Captain use a nickname for her out loud - did that mean she called her Aves in her head? Luckily, Sara's thoughts were now preoccupied with finding her cat, and she didn't appear to hear Ava's confusion.

"Merlin?" She called out experimentally, and the large ginger cat appeared from behind the table, meowing furiously. He wound his way towards Sara, sniffing her outstretched hand experimentally, before pushing his forehead into her palm. Then he dramatically flopped at her feet and Sara crouched down to stroke him properly.
Ava couldn't even begin to try and mask her confusion. This cat had refused to go near anyone she'd ever brought round to her apartment - mostly failed dates and failed attempts at making friends at the Bureau - and Gary still refused to visit, no doubt the memory of Merlin clawing at his arms still fresh in his mind. Yet here he was, putty in the hands of someone who was a self - professed 'dog person'. Ava knew it was extremely petty, but she couldn't help feeling a little betrayed.
Sara must've heard that, because she looked up with an impish grin.
"Are you mad that your cat likes me?"

"No." Ava said petulantly, mind clearly conveying that she was lying. It only made Sara's grin grow wider. The Director ignored her, bending down to pour some cat food into the silver bowl by the edge of the cabinet. Only then did her treacherous cat stand up and move away from Sara. Ava knew it was futile, but she glared at him a little.

"Where am I gonna sleep?" Sara said, wandering around the apartment, fingers running over the titles of the books on her small bookcase, leaving Ava feeling a little exposed.

"You can take my bed, I'll take the couch."

Sara looked at her, eyebrow raised. "Nope, you take your bed, I take the couch." Ava started to protest but Sara lifted a finger to stop her. "No arguing. I know you don't want to, and I can sleep basically anywhere."

League of Assassins really teach you to do that?

It's a useful skill!

"The bathroom's on the right. I'll see you in the morning." It felt strange speaking, almost unnecessary, which was an entirely new feeling. Sara just nodded.

It wasn't long before Ava was in bed, feeling a little bad that she was in her king-sized bed, surrounded by a duvet and a small mountain of pillows, when Sara was on her very old couch, under a pile of blankets. She felt a little less bad when she felt Merlin settle at Sara's feet.

Jealous, Aves?

Goodnight, Miss Lance

C'mon Ava, I'm literally in your head, you can stop with the formalities

I'd rather not

Say it

Say what

Say it! Say it!

Ava groaned slightly.

Goodnight, Sara

Sara made a happy little sound and Ava smiled, against her better judgement.
Soon, the Captain was drifting off to sleep, her thoughts slowly losing their coherency and becoming less frequent, dissolving into the feeling of being soft and warm. Ava sighed. She was going to have to ask in the morning how Sara managed to fall asleep so quickly - whatever technique the assassins used was clearly effective. Ava had barely finished the thought before the day suddenly caught up with her, and she was asleep.

///

She walked into the dimly lit room, steps becoming a little faster and lighter when she saw her dad. "Daddy!" She said, grin widening. "I've missed you!"

(That wasn't her voice? That wasn't her dad?)

"I've been looking everywhere for you! I went to Laurels but it was empty - " Her dad's face fell and Ava felt something strange in the pit of her stomach - apprehension, dread -

(This wasn't her memory, this was her memory)

"Hey, baby." Her dad said, smile forced. "Something - something's happened, I -"

"Dad?" It was Sara's voice, and she sounded so scared, and Ava could feel it, the cold fear running down her spine - "Where's Laurel?"

The memory shifted - her dad was holding her as she cried, then he was gone, then Darhk was there, his smile twisted and gleeful, holding her sister in his arms, as she gasped, her blood pooling on the concrete floor -

(Wake up!)

Ava sat up suddenly, hand coming up to wipe away tears she didn't realise she'd been crying. That wasn't her dream, that was - her mind reached out subconsciously, reaching into the darkness, and she heard -
Sara was crying softly.
Ava could hear her, could feel everything, her pain and loss and heartache, the countless nights she'd spent having the same dream, over and over.
She was halfway to the door before she realised what was happening, but she pressed on, trying not to startle the Captain as she made her way to the sofa. Most of the blankets had been thrown haphazardly onto the floor, and Sara was sat at one end, knees pulled up to her chin, hair falling in front of her face. In the slivers of silver light that the curtains couldn't quite block out, Ava saw her eyes, as clear and blue as the sky, and the tears that snaked down her cheeks.
"Sara, I'm ... I'm sorry." Ava sat at the other end of the couch, hands fidgeting in her lap. The Captain didn't move, didn't take her eyes off the window.
"Is there anything - "

No

The thought was final, and Sara shifted, wiping her face harshly and pulling the blankets back up. "Sorry you had to see that." She said quietly, her eyes finally looking up to meet Ava's.

"Hey, it's okay." Ava didn't know what else to say. She tried to think comforting thoughts, tried reaching out with her mind again, but too late she realised she was also reaching out with her hands. Her palm made brief contact with Sara's knee. It felt like static shock, and for a tiny moment, everything was so much more intense, and she could feel Sara's pain and longing as if it was her own. She put the hand back, thumb rubbing experimentally over Sara's grey sweatpants. If she felt this too, Ava reasoned, maybe Sara wouldn't have to feel it so strongly anymore.

"Thanks." Sara muttered, slowly shifting so she was sat with her legs crossed. "The - the touch thing. That's new."

"Yeah." Ava sighed slightly, pulling her hand back. It felt a little silly now. She stood up as the Captain pulled the blankets back onto the couch.
"Goodnight, Sara." She said, absentmindedly straightening the top quilt.

Chapter Text

Ava groaned, blinking slowly. The light was on her face. It was too early for this. She rolled over, blearily slapping the bedside table for her phone. It took her a few seconds to process what was on the screen.

9:35 AM
(11) Missed Calls from: Gary

Shit! Shit oh no nono no

Ava's stream of expletives was constant, half out loud and half in her mind, as she dressed and rushed into the kitchen.

"You're thinking way too loud." Came a muffled voice from the couch, as Sara dramatically flipped the blankets away from her face.

"I was meant to be at work like, two hours ago - we've got to go."

"You're the boss, take a day off."

Ava could tell Sara was trying to go back to sleep, so reached over and pulled the blankets off completely. The Captain groaned, throwing an elbow over her face.

"I can't just not show up to work." Ava said from the bathroom as she pulled a brush through her hair. Luckily, she could do her regular bun hairstyle in under two minutes. She ignored Sara's nonverbal suggestion that she should leave it down. "Please get dressed."

"I need -"

"We can pick up coffee at the Bureau."

"What about breakfast?"

Ava tried not to groan. She'd thought - maybe, last night, maybe there was a new understanding between them, but now, Sara was clearly intent on making her even more late for work. She hadn't even sat up yet.

"I will not hesitate to pick you up and carry you through a portal myself, whether you're dressed or not."

"You couldn't pick me up." Sara snorted, but she had at least sat up.

Ava pulled on her heels and jacket. She turned to hurry Sara along, but the words died in her throat. The Captain had started to change, and her arms were raised as she pulled her top off, giving Ava a clear view of her back, all taut muscle and smooth lines.
She tried to think of something else, anything else, as she turned around to face the door.

Like what you saw?

Sara was suddenly behind her, thankfully fully dressed, smirking.

"I thought you were in a hurry?"

Ava just opened the portal, focusing on the numbers and nothing else.

///

It was approaching 1:30, so said the clock on her office wall, but Ava doubted she'd done more than fifteen minutes work. Sara had gone almost immediately, ignoring Ava's pleas that she not disrupt the bureau too much. Ava assumed that the images of trees and the sound of cars and people in the corner of her mind meant Sara had gone out into the city. She felt horrible. They shouldn't be this far apart, it left her with a heavy, nagging emptiness in her chest, the same feeling that came with wondering if you really did lock the door when you left the house that morning. Her mind was also racing, going over everything that had happened that night and morning. Being confronted with feelings, whatever they were, was unnerving, even more so when she knew Sara could be listening in at any moment.

You want lunch?

Ava jumped. Actually jumped, pen flying from her hand. She felt herself blush and heard Sara laugh, a strange sound in her head.

Sorry, Aves
Come get lunch with me?

Where?

Ava knew she shouldn't, she had far too much work to do. But she was tired and the ache in her chest was almost painful, and all she wanted to do was see Sara again. The image of a little café not far from the Bureau flashed in her mind, and she stood up to put her blazer back on.

///

It didn't take her long to reach the café, and her face melted into a smile when she saw Sara was already inside, giving her a little wave and a grin. The ache in her chest was gone, replaced by something that felt almost like butterflies.

She sat down, just as the waitress put down their drinks - one chocolate and one strawberry milkshake, then a plate of nachos. Ava quirked up her eyebrow and Sara just shrugged.

"I thought of this place, you thought of nachos and milkshakes. I wasn't gonna question it."

Ava blushed a little. This was where she came with Gary at the end of the month, to eat unhealthily and gossip about the Bureau, or for him to veto her matches on Upswipes and for her to edit his Star Trek fanfiction.

Sara snorted. "You edit Gary's fanfiction?"

"Please don't tell him I told you that. He wants the Legends to think he's cool."

"My lips are sealed." Sara mimed zipping her lips, before smirking and picking up a nacho. They ate in silence for a few minutes.
"Wait, have you ever had both at once?"

Ava didn't need clarification. She could already see what Sara was planning to do.

"Oh - Sara, don't -"

"Let's see if this thing can transmit tastes." Sara said, winking, honest to god winking, before plucking a nacho from the plate, dipping it into her milkshake and popping it into her mouth. Ava almost gagged as the salty sweet taste hit her tongue.

"Oh, that was disgusting. That was worse than when you thought about John's -"
She stopped.

"You can swear, y'know. It's okay."

Ava tried to stop it, but the thought was already there. Dick

"Use your words, Ava." Sara said, face light and eyes bright, and Ava didn't know how something could have such an effect on her.

"Dick." She whispered, and Sara burst out laughing, and Ava felt the sound inside and out.

"See, that wasn't so hard, was it?"

Sara took a sip of her milkshake and Ava decided to focus on using the straw to scoop up the cream, her tongue darting out to lick it off. Sara's thoughts made a strange, stuttering sound. Then, they switched to something that wasn't English, something just beyond Ava's understanding -

"Are you thinking in another language?"

"Yep. I was wondering if you could tell."

What is it?

Arabic - I had to learn as part of League training

"Oh." Ava never knew what to say when Sara brought up the League.

"Do you speak any other languages?" Sara said, mercifully changing the subject.

"Some French and Italian. I was learning Russian before I joined the Bureau, but then Rip gave me one of those translator pills. Seemed a bit pointless then."

Sara just hummed in response. The plate was almost finished now. They both reached in at the same time, and as their fingertips brushed, Ava felt the same jolt of electricity as the previous night. She pulled back quickly.

"That - that's odd too." She muttered.

"Why do you think it's happening?"

"I'm not sure. There's no record of anything like this happening before at the Bureau, so there's no precedent."

"We could -" Sara's image of their hands intertwined rendered the rest of her sentence useless.

Ava reached forward before she could think better of it, hand covering Sara's, as she moved to interlock their fingers. It felt strange, light almost, like Ava was floating and this was the only thing anchoring her to this world.

"About last night - I'm sorry." Sara said suddenly.

"It's okay." Ava ran her thumb along the back of Sara's hand, and her thoughts stuttered again.

The sudden ping of Sara's phone brought them back to reality, and they broke apart, Sara's hand going to her pocket and Ava putting both of hers back in her lap.

"It's the team." Sara clarified. She passed her phone over so Ava could read it too.

ray: Hey Sara! Mission going well. We found the phone! It's back on the ship now. Next stop: the mystical artefact!

"Told you they could do it." Sara said, smirking slightly. Her phone pinged again.

nate: yeah its goin great, turns out mick rlly knows how to befriend the locals
they said theyd take us to the thingy tomorrow
u havin fun? ;)

Sara quickly snatched her phone back, and Ava cleared her throat.

"I should probably be getting back. Do you have the time?"

2:05
Wait, aren't you wearing a Time Courier?

Funny that, it doesn't actually tell the time

Sara smiled at that, standing up along with Ava.

"Oh, you don't have to come if you don't want." Ava quickly clarified, but Sara just waved her hand.

"Nah, I was bored anyway. And - you felt it too right? That weird emptiness?" She motioned to her chest and Ava just nodded.

"I'll find you something to do at the Bureau. Something to keep you out of trouble."

"You wound me, Aves."

Ava's teasing reply was lost when Sara put her hand in the crook of her elbow, linking them as they walked back down towards the office block that disguised the Time Bureau.

Sara did keep out of trouble, mostly, and Ava rewarded her by leaving at 6:30 (instead of her usual just-before-midnight.) They ended up back at her apartment, dancing around each-other in the kitchen as Ava made pasta and Sara played with her cat, talking about everything and nothing.

Chapter Text

The room was lit with the pale glow of the evening sun, and Ava could feel nothing but the cold sheets underneath her and the warm body pressed against hers. Their lips met and she carded her fingers through Sara's soft hair, which looked almost golden in the light. She tugged slightly, revelling in the appreciative moan she elicited.

Someone’s eager

Shut up, Sharpe

It was her voice, so close, right there in her head. She'd never heard anything so beautiful.

Tell me what you want, Aves

I - I want -

Use your words

Ava didn't know when Sara took control, but she had, and she didn't even care - Sara broke the kiss, moving her lips down, across her jaw, down her neck, sucking on the sensitive spot on the collarbone. She knew what Ava wanted before she could say, because she was there, inside her mind, and she could see everything. Ava's eyes fluttered closed.

"I want - I want you, baby, all of you." She said, almost breathless, falling apart as Sara's mouth worked on her neck and her hands moved across her chest, smooth and sure.

Say it, Aves

"I - Fuck that’s - I want you - I want you to fuck me - Sara please - that’s -"

Ava's thoughts lost all coherency when Sara finally, finally, put her fingers where she needed them most.

You're so wet for me baby

For you, just for you, fuck -

Suddenly their positions were switched, Ava was on top - but that wasn't right, the soft body underneath her was her - she was back, the sheets underneath her again - she was so close -

Ava sat up, almost panting, in the dark. Alone. It had been a dream.
But the need in her stomach and the heat between her legs was real enough, and she could hear Sara. Her thoughts were a stream of expletives and Arabic, but it couldn't mask the need she was also feeling.

Fuck fuck shit -

She'd heard the dream. She'd felt it. Sara knew - knew what Ava wasn't sure of yet. Ava could feel herself blushing, face hot, and tears in the corner of her eyes. She'd never been so humiliated. There was no way she could ever face her again, maybe anyone ever again -

This box has some weird side effects, huh

Sara's voice in her head was unexpected, but it did stop Ava spiralling further. Of course. Of course it was the box, she didn't really want to sleep with her. It had just been a dream. They hated each-other. She felt something flash across Sara's mind - hurt? disbelief? but then it was gone, replaced by Arabic.

Sleep came, but not quick enough.

///

Ava went about her morning routine, overly focused on each task to stop her thoughts wandering back to the previous night. She felt Sara wake up slowly, colours, light and sound filtering back into her thoughts piece by piece.

They ended up together, Sara sat at the table, Ava lent against the worktop. Ava handed the Captain a mug of coffee. She looked adorable, eyes sleepy and hair sticking out in odd places. Her thoughts were slightly fuzzy around the edges.

"You got any breakfast?" Sara said out loud, catching the apple thrown at her.

This sucks

"Yeah, well, not all of us have a food fabricator." Ava muttered.

The sound of Sara biting into the apple only emphasised the awkwardness in the air. Ava wondered if it was too much to have two cups of coffee before 9 am.

"Christ, Aves, it's not like we actually slept together."

That was clearly the wrong time to take a sip, as Ava spluttered, most of the hot coffee ending up down her shirt. Sara snorted with laughter and Ava just scowled.

"I don't want to talk about it." She said, furiously dabbing her shirt with a tea towel, before giving up and going to the bedroom to get changed. A hand shot out and grabbed her wrist, and the sudden skin to skin contact send electric tingles through her arm. Sara was smirking up at her.

"Are you sure? Because I remember you quite liked it -"

"Don't, Miss Lance, I don't even -" She shut her mouth, but it was too late - I don't even like you. I never should've let your ridiculous team fix this on their own, I just want you out of my head so this can be over with.

Ava could see the hurt on Sara's face, her lips pressed into a thin line. She let go of her wrist abruptly. "Fine."

As soon as Ava had changed her shirt, she opened a portal. She didn't need to look at Sara to know she was seething, half formed insults flashing across her mind. Once they'd stepped through, Sara left the office.

The ache in her chest was somehow more awful than the day before.

///

Ava knew Sara was in the doorway before she saw her, as the image of herself sitting at her desk flashed in her mind. She looked up. "You came back."

"Couldn't stay away." Sara said, a smirk playing on the corner of her lips. "You okay?"

"I'm fine." Ava knew there was no point in lying, but she tried anyway. Sara could probably feel the waves of tiredness, hunger and loneliness coming off her, mixing with whatever Sara was feeling to create an unholy mess.

"You haven't eaten."

"I've been working."

"What’s so important that - "

Ava just turned a piece of paper to face her.

"A disciplinary hearing? Wait - you're the director, surely you make the rules now."

"No one is above the rules." She said quietly, not looking up from her work.

"Why?"
Images flashed in her mind before she could stop them - the Romans, pulling Sara from Mallus' realm, the Jungle.
"Us?" Sara said quietly.

"I kept disobeying orders. Now I face my punishment." Ava sighed and adjusted the papers. She couldn't remember the last time she'd been this tired. "It would've happened sooner had Director Bennett not been killed."

"Wait, so this was already happening when you came to 1899?"
Ava nodded, although she knew Sara already knew the answer.
"But you came anyway."
Sara's expression was unreadable.

"You needed me."

There was silence. It was quiet at the Time Bureau, it was almost 9 - everyone had gone home.

"C'mon." Sara said, holding out her hand. "Lets go home. I can order food."
Ava started to reply, but her stomach gurgled treacherously. Sara laughed, and she felt the blush rise in her cheeks.

"But - "

Sara sighed. "I promise I'll wake up at whatever ungodly time you want me to so tomorrow we can come in and work on it. Now, come on, please, I'm starting to get second - hand hangry."

There was no arguing. The Director stood up, opened the portal and took Sara's hand. The reaction was instantaneous - she felt the warmth spreading over her chest like a blanket, the rush of trust and care and home that she was starting to feel like she could get used to.

//

They ate the pizza in near silence. Ava didn't even complain when Sara took $20 to pay the delivery boy from her purse, claiming 'being a legend doesn't pay well'.
Ava barely ate half of hers, letting Sara finish the lot.
"You'll be okay." the Captain said quietly.
They sat together, side by side on the sofa. Merlin sat on the arm nearest Sara, and her mind was completely focused on the feeling of his soft ginger fur between her fingers.

"They have every right to remove me."

"Well, if they do, they're idiots. And there's always a space on the Legends for you."
Ava looked up. Sara was still focused on the cat.

"You'd let me join your team?"

"I mean, if you wanted to."

Their eyes met and Ava felt her heart flutter, or maybe Sara's heart did, she wasn't sure what was real or what was her own anymore. Everything was intertwined with Sara and it almost hurt to realise it had been that way almost since they'd met.

"I mean, what else would you do? Because I've worked in retail and it sucks."

Ava snorted. Sara's thoughts weren't so focused on the cat anymore, but were flitting between his scrunched-up face and images of Ava joining in with the Legends - eating with them, on the bridge, then a flash of something that could have been skin - suddenly her thoughts were back on the cat.

"I'd probably go back to the military."

"You were in the military?" Sara asked, almost in awe.

"Yeah." Ava said with an almost wistful sigh, bringing up images of the aircraft carrier she was assigned to, her bunk, then of herself in uniform. Sara made a small noise.

"The Navy?" She said, with a squeak.

Ava blinked as Sara's thoughts cycled through a million different things at lightning speed, before shifting to Arabic.

"I should - go to bed." Ava said stiffly.

"Yeah." Sara said, far too quickly, her thoughts still shrouded.

Come with me

The thought was fully formed before Ava could stop it. Sara looked up.

God - no - not to - obviously - I'm just so tired and your touch - helps - no wait -

Ava was pretty sure the blush forming on her cheeks and the tips of her ears was laced in her thoughts as she mentally tripped over herself. Her hands went up to cover her face. For the first time in the whole ordeal, Sara's mind was completely, enigmatically blank.

She was halfway to her bedroom when she felt a hand on her wrist.

"Your sofa sucks." Sara muttered. "C'mon."

Ten minutes later, Ava lay in her bed, Sara's head on her chest, arms round her waist, their legs entangled. Ava almost wanted to look outside to see if the stars were still in the sky, or if they'd disappeared to take up residence in her chest. She let a long breath out, trying to remember the last time she'd felt this ... safe.

Sara was still awake, her thoughts soft and disconnected.

"I'm sorry." Ava whispered. "About this morning. I didn't mean it."

"I know." Sara's voice was muffled against her pyjama shirt.

"Goodnight, Sara."

"Goodnight, Aves."

Within ten minutes, Sara was asleep, and Ava felt her chest get a little lighter. She couldn't remember the last time she'd apologised to anyone, let alone the infamous Sara Lance. Ava couldn't deny the part of her that wanted Sara to like her, maybe more than like her - Sara snuffled slightly in her sleep, and Ava gave up. She twisted slightly, pressed a kiss to the top of her head, and fell into a deep and mercifully dreamless sleep.

Chapter Text

Sara could feel Ava was nervous. It was laced in her every thought, as her mind jumped from the faces of the people in the lobby to the coffee in her hands, to a toad she'd found in her garden as a child -

"I can feel you listening in." Ava whispered.

The hall they sat in was filled with time agents, it probably wasn't wise to broadcast their connection, lest they be taken in and experimented upon.

"It'll be okay."

She could feel Ava didn't believe her, so she reached over and squeezed her hand once, putting all of her hope into the touch. She felt the feeling bloom like a flower in Ava's mind, and she smiled.

"Thank you."

"Director Sharpe?" A man in a suit emerged from the nondescript door in front of them. He looked just like any other time agent, but then, Sara thought, they all looked the same to her. Except Ava. "They're ready for you."

It had been almost an hour when the team showed up, looking bedraggled and distinctly out of place. "Where were you?" Sara said tersely. She knew she was being rude, but her own nerves mixed with Ava's was really getting too much. She waved her hand. "Doesn't matter, you're here now. Lets go."

They pushed through the doors, and every suit in the room turned. Sara had worn what she considered her formal leather jacket, but the other legends looked significantly worse for wear. Nate was missing a sleeve and Zari was still picking twigs out of her hair. The room was just a large conference room, with a large oval table in the centre. Ava was sat at one end, hands fidgeting in her lap. Sara didn't know what she was expecting, but this seemed bland, even by bureau standards.

"Miss Lance? What's the meaning of this?"

"It's Captain - Captain Lance."

Is now the time for that?

I'm here for you, jerk

"We're here as character witnesses. For Director Sharpe."

The suits looked at each-other. One nodded.

"Uh - Proceed." The one at the head of the table appeared to be leading this.

His name's Agent Nova - he's a dick

Sara tried to hide her smile. She elbowed Ray in the side, and he stumbled forward slightly, giving her a surprised look before realising what she meant.

"Uh - right. Agent Sharpe, Director Sharpe, she's - mean, I guess, but that's a good thing. It's good to be mean. That's cool, she's cool, I mean - in like a professional sense, I'm not talking personally, I don't know her - personally - is it hot in here? Are you hot? Is it?"

Sara groaned slightly as he stepped back, still muttering. She poked Zari, who stuffed the last of her gummy worms in her mouth.

"Yeah, Director Sharpe is cool, and it's kind of a dick move that you're punishing her when she's doing her job."

Amaya stepped forward quickly.
"What she meant to say was, Director Sharpe has been a real asset to our team and has definitely stopped us messing up time more than we normally do. Which I think is in everyone's best interests. If she disobeyed orders, it was only to do her job better."

"Yeah, Director Sharpe's saved our asses loads. She's like, an honorary Legend." Nate piped up but fell quiet when Sara glared at him. "Sorry." He hissed.

"Agent Hotcakes - " Mick started, pausing when the whole team turned to glare at him. "Sorry, Director Hotcakes is kickass. I respect that."

Sara raised her eyebrows, smirking slightly at the astonished tone of Ava's thoughts. From Mick, that was almost a compliment. She then realised all eyes were on her.

Fuck. She hadn't prepared for this.

"Uh ... Ava - Director Sharpe - she's saved my life a few times now. I've saved hers too, we're probably even now -"

Fuck I'm gonna get her fired -

Hey, Sara, it's okay, you're doing fine

Sara let out a steadying breath and looked up to see Ava, giving her the smallest smile, and for a second the crinkles at the corner of her eyes was all Sara could focus on. She felt her shoulders relax.

"But that's not important. Director Sharpe sticks to the rules when it's important, but she knows when to break them, if that's what’s best for the mission. She'll do anything to protect her agents and the timeline, and she's inventive and professional and one of the best fighters I've ever seen. And - I trust her. I trust her to make the right call. She also works harder than anyone here. You know just as well as I do she's the only person for the job."

The room was silent and still, but Gary could've leaped on the table and performed a strip tease at that moment and Sara wouldn't have noticed - all she could focus on was the strange mixture of confusion and happiness and maybe something more that was exploding like fireworks in Ava's mind.

The lead agent coughed. "Right. Well, moving testimony from each of you. We'll make our decision now."
Another agent ushered them outside, and Sara fought the urge to stay and maybe hold Ava's hand.

///

They waited outside for nearly forty minutes - all the Legends stayed, even when Sara told them they could go. Granted, Ray and Zari had been officially reprimanded for hacking into the vending machine and forcing it to spit out every chocolate bar at an unfortunately high velocity, resulting in some agents with bruised heads and burnt clothes, as Mick decided to use the flying chocolate as an opportunity for target practice. Nate had also managed to spill water all down his shirt.

All the chaos stopped when the door opened, and the agents stepped out, Ava in the middle of them. They soon dispersed, and the Director stood alone, head bowed.

"What did they decide?" Amaya said quietly. Sara already knew the answer.

Aves, I'm so sorry -

"They've fired me. Agent Nova is now the Director and I - "
Her voice broke slightly, and Sara stepped forward, running her hand up her arm.
"- I've got twenty minutes to clean up my office."

"Bureaucracy sucks." Zari muttered, and the rest of the Legends nodded.
"Yeah, they made the wrong decision." Nate said earnestly.

"No - no it's okay. I mean - Agent Nova worked for weeks on his case against me, neglecting his actual work to make sure I was deposed, and he could get the position." Ava's nose wrinkled at the thought of someone shirking their duties. "He put rules and protocol above everything. But you, you came to defend me even though I've been nothing but a pain for you. Thank you."

The team nodded by way of a response, and Ava sighed. "How is the search for the artefact coming along?"

"Oh! Well we're nearly there!" Ray said brightly. "We'd found the cave and were gonna start scoping it out when Sara called."

"Right, well - seeing as I'm not needed here anymore, and you'd probably benefit from having your captain back -" Ava eyed the still smoking remains of the vending machine.

"The jumpship's parked outside." Amaya said calmly. "We'll meet you back there."

The team walked away, being careful to avoid the mess of chocolate and ash that covered a surprising amount of the Time Bureau's lobby.

Sara smirked. "Sorry we trashed your shiny building."

"It's not mine anymore." Ava said, almost wistfully, and Sara moved her hand, which was still resting on her friend’s arm, and intertwined their fingers.

///

All of Ava's personal belongings fit neatly into one box - her keys, a spare set of clothes, a framed photo of her family and a phone charger. Ava raised her eyebrows when she saw Sara throw a stapler and a hole punch into the box.

Stealing office supplies is an important part of any job, Aves

As if to make her point, Sara pulled a plant from the shelf and stuck it in the box too. Ava just smiled, pulling her keys from the box and twirling them around her finger.

"Guess I'll actually have to use these now. I've been portalling in and out of my house for 5 years now, I'm not sure I remember how to."

"They took your time courier?"
Ava lifted her arm and pulled down her sleeve slightly to show her bare wrist.
"Oh. Well you can just have one of ours."

"How many time couriers do the Legends have?"
The numbers filtering through Sara's mind as she mentally added them up did not paint a good picture.

How??

"We have a bet going. The person who steals the most stuff off Gary wins $100, and everyone else has to do their chores for a month. I think we're on at least 20 time couriers by now, as well as ... six flashers, three coats and like, so many pairs of glasses."

"I thought it was odd how many he said he must've dropped down the toilet." Ava muttered, before straightening up. "That's not very nice. And definitely against regulation." She paused for a second. "But I guess I don't have to follow regulation anymore, so, what the hell! Do what you want." Ava tried to make it come off as a joke, but her tone clearly betrayed her. Sara looked up at her with a soft, sad smile.

"I'm sorry Aves. You don't deserve this."

Ava wrapped her arms around her midsection, trying desperately to hold back tears. It seemed so stupid, to cry over losing her job, but she'd spent the last five years in this building, putting her life in danger to protect something she believed in. It was a lot to realise it had never believed in her. Her spiral was stopped when she felt strong arms wrap around her, one hand splayed across her back.

It's okay, I'm here

Ava let out the tiniest of sobs and ducked her head down to rest it on Sara's shoulder, breathing in the warmth and feeling it spread across her chest. She felt Sara squeeze tighter, just for a moment, before stepping back, one hand moving to her elbow and the other reaching up to tuck back some hair that had escaped her bun.

"Is that offer still open? To join the Legends?" Ava whispered. She was so close to Sara that she could see all the freckles that dusted her cheeks and forehead.

"Of course." Sara smiled, true and genuine, and Ava was pretty sure she would follow her anywhere.

Chapter Text

They'd been able to portal directly outside the cave, and the team had made their way inside carefully. Sara and Ava brought up the rear of the group, and both looked surprised when they entered the main room, as it was completely empty. The pink granite columns were still there, and the pools of water rippled enticingly, but the box was gone and the room was largely in shadow. At the end were three passage ways that Ava hadn't noticed on their first trip, as they were set so far back into the rock.

"The tribe might've moved the box, they know we're looking for it." Nate muttered, running his hand over the central plinth. "Probably deeper within the cave system."

Sara nodded. "Okay, looks like we've gotta split up and look for clues. Ray, take Mick, Nate and Amaya go with Zari and I'll stay with Ava." She gave them each a look that she mentally called 'mean mom, level 2'. "That clear?"

The team nodded. "Look out for traps!" Nate chimed in, before following Amaya and Zari down the first passage. Ray tried to give Mick a high five, but he was pointedly ignored, and they both went through the second opening.

Sara turned to Ava, smirking slightly, and holding out her hand.

Shall we?

The passage was long and twisting, and Ava only slightly resented that Sara could walk through it with relative ease, whilst she had to duck her head.

Are you saying I’m short

Keep walking, Miss Lance

The passage was narrowing slightly, and Ava tried to distract herself from the grey and slimy walls. Sara’s mind was in flux, worrying about the team, mentally mapping out the turns they’d already taken so they could find their way back –

Quit listening

Sorry

“You okay?” Sara’s whisper bounced off the walls, echoing slightly.

“Yeah. I’ve missed this.”

Sara snorted.

“You didn’t think I joined the Bureau to do paperwork, did you?”

“But you love paperwork!”

Ava started to argue but stopped when they emerged from the tunnel into a vast cavern. At one end, surrounded by eight guards, was the box. The guards didn’t react to them entering, and Ava crouched down, pulling Sara with her. The guards didn’t seem human, rather human shaped bundles of rocks. They stood stoically.

Look, there

Sara pointed – on the opposite wall, on a high ledge, she could just make out the faces of Ray and Mick. Ray gave her a cheery wave, before pointing across, indicating the rest of the team were on a similar ledge. Sara nodded.

The team jumped down and Ava leapt up, running towards the nearest guard and delivering a swift kick to his abdomen, biting her lip as her foot connected to what was definitely solid rock. The guard didn’t even flinch, so she ducked out of his way. The rest of the Legends were having better luck.

“Scissors beats rock, dumbass!” Nate yelled, his silver fist smashing into the head of one, shattering it into dust.

“Technically, rock beats scissors.” Ray quipped, quickly turning back to use his laser to blast the arms off another guard.

“Less jokes more focus.” Sara was using her bo staff to keep one guard occupied, throwing her second stick over to Ava, who caught it and brought it down on the guard’s head. It had little effect.

“I’m gonna grab the box.” She yelled. Ava rarely felt useless, but she had to admit, between Mick’s gun, the totems, the Atom suit and Nate’s steel frame, the Legends had it more than covered. She ducked under a swinging fist, and noticed the box was shaking violently, light becoming visible as it started to open. She reached forward, but was turned around. Ava felt the white-hot heat, but not on her back – Sara opened her eyes and grinned.

Figured I owed you

Ava grinned, pulling a black bag from her pocket and scooping it up, careful not to touch it. As soon as the box was covered, the guards fell to the ground, nothing more than dust again.

The Legends began to whoop and cheer, slapping each other on the back, before walking forward to take the passage back to the entrance. Ava hung back to walk with Sara, who was limping slightly.

“You okay?”

Sara grimaced slightly, but it was quickly replaced by a smile. “I’m fine. That rock thing got me pretty good in the ribs.”

Ava could feel the pain radiating out from her side as if it was her own, and bent down slightly, wrapping her arm around her friend’s waist.

Thanks, Aves

It wasn’t five minutes later when Sara stumbled, and Ava barely had time to catch her. Sara gasped slightly, hissing in pain.

“We can use the portal.”

No – no I’m fine, let’s just catch up with the others

Ava could feel something was wrong – the pain was different now, spreading across her chest and down her back. She’d broken ribs before, and unless Sara had punctured a lung –

“What’s taking so long, Cap?” Zari yelled jokingly from up ahead. Suddenly, Sara stopped, dropping to her knees with a strangled cry.

“She’s hurt - I’m gonna use the portal to get her to Gideon.” Ava shouted back, hands shaking as she opened the portal.

“Is she okay?” Ray came into view, eyebrows raised, but Ava didn’t answer, just wrapped her arms around Sara’s back and under her knees, lifting her easily. Her head fell back, and Ava jumped through the portal.

///

"Gideon?"

"Over exposure to the artefact is causing her organs to fail. I'm sorry, Miss Sharpe, there's nothing I can do."

"Okay, but you can keep her alive, we can take her - find some future technology -"

"We both know that is not a good idea, Miss Sharpe."

Ava wanted to scream. She could still feel her connection with Sara, but it was fading, disappearing over the gaping horizon. She could feel only emptiness.

"How long does she have?"

"Minutes." The AI said quietly.

Ava stood next to the chair and put her hand to Sara's cheek. She didn't even look injured or ill, just pale, hair falling in waves over her shoulders and eyes closed. Ava felt tears on her cheeks. She moved the hand down, settling it over her chest.

"I'm - I'm sorry it's me. I know you would have wanted ... well, anyone else, and I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." The tears were blurring her vision now. "I'm sorry you got stuck with me. And I'm sorry I didn't get to - apologise, for saying all that mean stuff, before, and I'm sorry for not talking about how I really feel, and I'm so sorry I'm wasting your last moments apologising - "
She took a breath. The emptiness was yawning at her.
"Come back to me, Sara, please. I - I don't think I can do this without you." She whispered.

Then, she lent down and kissed the Captain. The ship was quiet. The universe was quiet, and Ava knew Sara was dead.

Then -
Ava was thrown backwards against the wall. The screens of the med bay exploded, showering her with sparks, and Ava sat up, groaning. She looked up.
Sara was floating six inches above the chair, arms spread wide, eyes white. She was glowing - more than glowing, she was shining, a light so bright Ava could scarcely look at her, but she couldn't look away. Sara grinned.

She dropped to the floor, then stood up slowly. "That was a kick." She said, groaning slightly.

"You're alive." Ava whispered, almost reverently.

"Yeah. Should I not be?"

Ava stood up and gathered Sara up in her arms, suddenly feeling everything, crying tears of joy and sadness and hope all mixed together. She moved away to take Sara's face in her hands.

"You're okay." She whispered, and Sara grinned.

The moment was broken when they heard shouts echo down the halls of the Waverider. They made their way back to the bridge to see the rest of the team, quite dirty and dishevelled, but all in one piece. Amaya placed the box carefully in the centre of the console.

"Captain! You're okay!" Nate said with a grin.

"Yeah, I said it was nothing serious." Sara said with a shrug.

“Captain Lance, you died for 36 seconds."
Gideon's voice almost seemed to echo as the room fell silent.

"What?" Ray asked. "Wait - how are you - "

"Miss Sharpe brought her back." The AI stated, in her matter of fact tone, and Ava felt her stomach drop.

"Woah, I wanna see this." Zari had already begun to tap at the console, and the video was brought up before Ava could stop it. Her own voice, slightly distorted, emerged from the speakers.

"Come back to me, Sara, please. I - I don't think -"

She didn't stay to hear the rest.

///

"Ava, wait -"

Ava was in the middle of opening a portal, her utter mortification clouding her judgement. She shut it when she saw Sara round the corner, and her hands went up to hide her face.
"I'm so sorry." she whispered.
Sara smiled, not her usual cocky grin, but the soft smile Ava had come to see in their week together. It made her heart flutter.

"You have nothing to apologise for. You saved my life again." Her hands went up to pull Ava's hands from her cheeks so she could intertwine their fingers.

"I kissed you." Ava whispered, a treacherous tear falling onto her cheek. "I kissed you, without consent, I thought you were dead -"

Sara rocked up on her tiptoes and pressed a kiss to her lips, so gently and carefully it took Ava a second to process. She could feel Sara's hopes and nerves and wonder, swirling and shining, and she lent down and kissed her properly.
Ava had kissed people before, of course she had, but she'd never kissed anyone like Sara. It felt as if she was a million miles away, shooting through an endless sky, falling and flying all at once. She didn't know anything could be so miraculous.

They broke apart and Ava realised she was still crying.
"Softie." Sara whispered, reaching up to wipe the tears away with her thumb.
"Jerk." Ava giggled, the insult having lost its bite a long time ago.

Chapter Text

Ava sat up suddenly. The Waverider was dark and mostly silent, save the creaking and groaning that she'd taken a while to get used to. It had been three weeks since she'd joined the Legends, and although she technically had her own bunk, she'd spent every night in Sara's bed. Her stuff had also started to creep over, with her clothes folded on the chair and a few of her books on the nightstand. Her bra was also somehow on the lampshade.
She blinked, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
Something was wrong.

"You okay?" A groggy voice came from beneath the blankets, and Ava felt Sara move next to her, arm shifting so she could pat Ava's leg. Then it dawned on her.

"I can't hear you." She whispered.

"What?"

"Your thoughts, I can't - I can't hear you."

"Oh. I can't hear you either." Sara sat up too, and Ava reached for hand in the darkness. The touch was warm and safe, but there was no spark, no rush of emotion.

They sat in silence, and for the first time in weeks, it really was silent.

///

They told the rest of the team what had happened in the morning - Ray seemed a little put out that the antidote that he'd been working on would be useless, but Constantine seemed relieved, giving the Captain a mock salute before portalling away. Ava hated to think how he had somehow come by a time courier.

Three days later, the Soul Vessel was put back in the Amazon rainforest, and it was almost novel how smoothly it happened.
Ava had stayed behind, making up some excuse about needing to do her laundry. She'd just figured out how the washing machine worked (with Gideon's help, who'd certainly warmed up to her since she'd saved the Captain's life) when the door opened.

"You're back quickly." Ava said quietly.

"Cut the shit, Aves." Sara's harsh tone startled her slightly. "You've been acting all ... weird. What’s up?"

"I haven't been -" Ava scoffed, trying to brush it off, but she stopped. She knew Sara didn't need a weird mental connection to know when she was lying. She suddenly had no idea what to do with her hands, settling for placing them behind her back, in a stance she hadn't used since losing her position as the Director. It looked slightly out of place as she wasn't wearing her suit, but instead just jeans and a t-shirt.
"I'm still paying rent on my apartment. It's still mine." She said, stiffly, looking anywhere but at Sara.

"The apartment? Why -"

"I can leave now. If that's what you want. Now we can be apart, I can leave and go back there." Ava took a deep breath, finally looking up at Sara. She stood about a foot away, eyebrows knitted together in confusion.

"Aves, you're part if this team. Why would I want you to leave?"

"You said it yourself - before - the artefact, it could've had some weird side effects - it could make you - feel things - " Ava tried to stop herself rambling. She could feel the blush rising in her cheeks and she hated it.

"You think the way I feel about you was because of the box?"

Ava nodded, not looking up.

"Is that because - I mean it's been different since we lost the connection, but I don't - do you feel differently?" Sara asked quietly. She seemed to fold in on herself slightly, and Ava had never seen her look so vulnerable. She took a step forward before she could think better of it.

"Oh, Sara, no, of course not. I'm pretty sure I was falling for you long before all this happened. And I still feel the same now - I - I care about you. So much. That hasn't changed."

"I feel the same." Sara whispered, a small smile playing on her lips. "God, Aves, of course I feel the same, no box tells me how to feel. I would never want you to leave."

Ava took another step forward and they met in the middle, lips crashing together like they'd done a thousand times before.

"Our communication skills suck, we should've just stayed in each-other's heads." Sara said, pulling back slightly. Ava let out a breath of laughter and grinned as she saw Sara's dimples appear as she smiled too.

Ava lent down to kiss her again, and she knew she was finally home.