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You Should Be More Careful

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"Doctor Sharpe!" Gary called. "Got someone for you on 322."

Ava grabbed the file he offered, "Thanks, Gary," she said quickly, already heading towards the exam room.

She scanned the file before opening the door, only really registering the medical information. She found herself hesitating at the door when faced with the deep blue eyes of her patient. Ava often had beautiful patients, of course she did, but she was a professional and could normally ignore anyone's attractiveness. This woman, though, had a pretty smile and had just given Ava a very obvious once over.

"I'm Doctor Sharpe," Ava said, putting her professional mask back on. "What brings you here today?"

The patient grinned, "A dare gone wrong. Well, not wrong since I still got it done."

It was only Ava's professionalism that kept her from rolling her eyes. "Can you show me the wound, please…" She checked her file, "Miss Lance."

Ava blinked, a little surprised, when the woman just promptly pulled her black tank off, turning around a little so her back was to Ava. There were lines of mostly dried blood running down her back from a cut on the left side of her spine. Ava frowned, wondering how the woman looked so calm with an injury like that. She grabbed a pair of disposable gloves and pulled the stool closer to the bed so she could take a proper look at the cut.

"How bad is it?" the patient asked just as Ava grabbed what she needed to clean the wound. "I don't even know what it was, really. Just noticed because I felt the blood." She quickly wiped the blood away and throw the dirty supplies in the trash.

"You'll need stitches. Lucky for you, it's not that deep." Ava got up to pick up supplies for the stitches. "You should be more careful and not accept dares."

Ava wasn't one to get involved in her patients’ lives, let alone give them advice, but then again, adult women as old as Ms. Lance shouldn't be accepting dangerous dares either.

"Aye, Doc!" she chuckled.

Ava focused on doing even stitches, losing herself in the practised motions. As she finished up, she couldn't help but notice a few other scars around the patient's back, some old but others looked newer. She briefly wondered if she should say anything but decided against it. It was best if she stuck to not getting involved in patients’ lives unless she absolutely had to.

She gave the instructions on caring for the wound and when to get back to take the stitches off.

"Are you going to be the one to do it?" the patient asked with a small smile.

"Probably one of the nurses, why?" Ava asked distractedly and wrote down some details on the patient file.

The woman grabbed the leather jacket she had discarded on the bed when she arrived and pulled it on carefully.

"Just wondering if I'll get to see you again," she smirked, opening the door, "I sure hope so."

 

Ava finished updating her patient's file with a sigh, she hated giving bad news. She moved her neck, trying to get rid of the tightness she could feel there. She had been working around 12 hours almost non stop and it showed. She knew the bags under her eyes were more than noticeable, but she also didn't have time to worry about that when there was so much work to do.

"Doctor Sharpe, Nurse Green was asking for you. He's at exam room 109," someone said as they passed by.

Ava nodded. "Thanks, I'll go meet him."

Ava took the stairs down to the exam rooms, it was faster than waiting for the elevator sometimes. She found Gary standing outside the room, looking around almost nervously.

"Gary? Something wrong?" she asked approaching him with a worried frown.

Gary smiled, relieved, when he saw her. "No, just this patient...She refuses to let me take her stitches off. Said she'll only let you do it."

Ava blinked in surprise, her tired brain taking a few seconds to properly understand the words. Gary seemed to take her silence as disapproval and swallowed hard.

"I know you have other things to do but she…" he leaned closer, lowering his voice, "she's scary."

Ava shook her head. "It's fine Gary, I'll deal with it. God knows I could use something like taking stitches off after the messes I've been dealing with lately."

Gary grimaced sympathetically. "Good luck."

He hurried away from the room and Ava allowed a tiny fond smile to grace her lips before slipping on her mask of professionalism.

"Good, Nurse Scared Pants found you."

Ava found vaguely familiar blue eyes watching her with quiet satisfaction. The woman who had cut herself because of a dare.

"Miss Lance," she greeted dryly, "how may I help you?"

"I'm ready to get these out," she said, pulling her dark blue sweater off with one quick motion.

Ava was used to seeing bodies, she saw all types of bodies every day. She wasn't bothered by them, it was all part of her job. Still, she couldn't help but appreciate the very well defined muscles of Miss Lance's abs for the brief moment she saw them before the woman turned around.

"I'm a busy woman, Miss Lance. Nurse Green is more than qualified to take those out."

Miss Lance turned her head so she could look at Ava over her shoulder and half shrugged.

"I don't want Nurse Green," she said in an almost hard tone.

Ava was ready to argue and point out that that was part of his job, but something stopped her, she didn't know why, but the sight of Miss Lance’s bare back scattered with freckles and scars tugged at her heart. An urge to take care of this woman that she barely knew.

She shook herself out of her thoughts and went to work. The easy task helped her relax a little.

"All done," she announced, putting the scissors away. "You can put your shirt back on."

Miss Lance started to do just that, a hiss escaping her lips when she tried to put her right arm through the sleeve. Ava frowned, her back couldn't be hurting still, and it was on the other side.

"Do you have any other injuries I should know about?"

"Nah, just managed to bang my hip and it's a little sore," Miss Lance said, managing to shrug the sweater back on.

"Let me see," Ava ordered, already stepping closer and reaching for the sweater before she could stop herself.

Miss Lance didn't pull away but she didn't miss the eye roll at her actions. "It's nothing, just a bruise."

She was right, it was just a bruise.

"You really should be more careful, Miss Lance."

She grinned. "Aw, but what's the fun in that?"


The third time it happened, Ava already knew who she was going to find inside the exam room when she got there. She had no idea why Miss Lance kept coming back and asking, more like demanding, that Ava be the one to treat her. If Ava was being honest, it was a little annoying. She wasn't her personal doctor, she had other patients that needed her and so far Miss Lance's injuries were nothing life threatening.

"Really?" she asked as a way of greeting.

Miss Lance smiled. "Did you miss me?"

Ava rolled her eyes. "What did you manage to get yourself into this time?"

Miss Lance put her right leg up on the bed and pulled her pants up, exposing her calf where there was an angry line of dried blood that stopped just a few inches short of her knee.

"Got caught on a piece of wire."

Ava frowned, thinking it looked too clean of a cut for that, but went to work without another word.

Ava sat down at the table next to her friends, relief washing over her at finally being able to relax after a busy morning.

"Hey Ava, how's your girlfriend doing?" Zari asked, chewing on a piece of bread.

"What?" Ava blinked, confused.

Amaya smiled gently. "Your patient that comes in every other week with a random injury."

Ava shook her head. "Sara, she asked me to call her that, is a very clumsy person as far as I can tell. Last time she was here, she had a dislocated shoulder, said she ran into a wall."

Zari snorted. "I bet she's finding ways to get hurt so she can be treated by you."

"Or," Amaya interjected, "she could be, you know, abused. You said she had a lot of scars and some bruising most of the time."

Ava moved her food around on her plate thoughtfully. "I've considered asking but… I don't know. Her injuries are too random to be from something like that. I do feel like she's not being entirely truthful with me about how she got them."

"The fact that she won't let anyone else take care of her is also troubling," Amaya pointed out.

"I know." Ava bit her lip. "What do you think I should do?"

"I dunno," Zari said, taking a sip of her juice, "maybe try to talk some more with her while patching her up. Get to know her a little more instead of just asking about serious stuff."

"You know we have to ask these things, though, right? It comes with the job," Amaya reminded her girlfriend.

Zari shrugged. "Hey, it's not my job. I wouldn't even get anywhere close to a hospital if I wasn't dating you."

"Good to know you don't come here to see me, too, Z," Ava joked.

"As much as I like you, Ava, I only come here for Amaya. You're just a bonus."

Ava chuckled, grateful for the distraction for the moment.


Ava found herself almost looking forward to Sara's visits; she wasn't even sure why. She was a little worried about Sara ending up with a more serious injury, of course, but there was something nice about seeing a patient regularly like that. Especially since it was always a mystery of when she would show up and what she had gotten herself into.

Ava pulled the curtains aside and found a bloody faced Sara waiting for her.

"Sara! Didn't the nurse check you out when you got here?"

"They did, this is dry blood." She rubbed a finger down her stained cheek. "See?"

Ava pulled her gloves on and grabbed a few supplies so she could clean Sara's face before examining the wound.

"What was it this time, another dare? A bet gone wrong? Tripped on a sidewalk?" Ava asked, teasing.

Sara smiled. "Would you believe me if I said I hit my head on a doorway?"

"How? Were you in a dwarf house?"

Sara snorted. "Hey, Doctor Sharpe has a sense of humor!"

Ava's lip twitched into a small smile before she put her professional face back on and finished cleaning the wound. The cut started on Sara's hairline and stopped a little before it reached her right eyebrow. It wasn't deep, no stitches required.

"No stitches this time," she said, throwing the dirty gauze and grabbing a light, "you probably have a concussion, though."

She shined the light in Sara's eyes for a second before turning it off and discarding her gloves.

"Yeah, you have a concussion. Do you have anyone that can stay with you tonight?"

Sara shrugged. "I'll be fine."

"Sara," Ava said firmly, "if you don't have anyone to stay with you, I can't release you. You'll have to spend the night here."

"Oh no, I'm not doing that," Sara was quick to protest, "I've had concussions before, I'll be fine."

Ava sighed and looked at the clock on the wall behind her. Her shift was almost over and she was eager to go home and to her own bed.

"I can't force you to stay but you really shouldn't be alone. Would you at least let me keep you company for a while then? There's a 24h place close by."

Ava really didn't know what possessed her to just invite a patient to go out like that, it obviously wasn't a date but still, so not like her. She didn't know why she even cared this much if Sara had someone or not.

"Yes. I'm starving!" Sara said, hopping out of the bed. "When is your shift over?"

"In twenty minutes." Ava glanced down at Sara's blood stained white shirt. "We should probably get you a clean shirt. I have some spares in my locker, they'll be a little big but clean."

"All right. Thanks."

 

The diner was empty, as was to be expected at that time. The only two staff were watching TV in a corner, but were quick to take their orders and serve them. Sara didn't waste any time digging into her food with gusto and Ava was only a little worried she was going to stain Ava's white button up shirt. As much as Ava hated to admit even to herself, Sara looked adorable in the slightly bigger shirt. She had rolled up the sleeves past her elbows and tucked the hem into her pants messily.

"Something on my face?" Sara asked as she caught Ava staring.

"N-no. Just… checking the wound."

Sara smirked. "Okay. Can you please drop the Doctor Sharpe act for a bit though? We're not in the hospital."

Ava smiled. "I suppose I could."

"Tell me your first name then?" Sara asked with a hopeful smile.

Ava chuckled. "Ava."

"Doctor Ava Sharpe. I like it."

They ate silently for a few minutes, letting the news about some vigilantes on the TV serve as background while they focused on the food.

"So," Sara started pushing her plate away, "did you always want to be a doctor?"

 

Two hours later and Ava found herself actually having a good time. Sara was smart and flirty and infuriating but in a way Ava couldn't help but find alluring. Ava learned Sara had divorced parents and a sister that she loved dearly. She worked at Sink Shower & Stuff and sometimes bartended for a friend at a local bar.

"So, any boyfriends?" Ava thought about the looks and winks Sara had thrown her way. "Girlfriends?"

Sara smiled, taking a sip of her juice. "Not currently. Why? You Interested?"

Ava shook her head but smiled. "I was just wondering…" She bit her lip, turning serious. "The bruises and…"

"Oh. No, no. Nothing like that." Sara shook her head. "I promise all the bruises I've gotten from partners were 100% consensual."

Ava couldn't help but smile at the way Sara smirked, grateful by the reassurance and to know Sara wasn't being abused.

"So, you're just really that clumsy?" Ava asked.

"Yup, clumsy with a touch of bad luck."

They smiled at each other for a second before Sara changed the subject and they fell into easy conversation. Soon after, Ava insisted on walking sara home since she had said it was only a couple blocks away.

The night air was surprisingly pleasant and they walked slowly, enjoying the empty streets.

"That's me," Sara said, coming to a stop in front of a small building. "Thank you for walking me home, Doctor Sharpe." Sara grinned.

"Just making sure you're okay."

"I am."

They stood there looking at each other for a few seconds.

"I should go," Ava said quietly.

Sara nodded. She stepped closer to Ava and cupped her cheek in one swift motion, standing on the tip of her toes to press her lips to Ava's. Ava's tired brain took a few seconds too long to realize what was happening and she couldn't help but notice how soft and warm Sara's lips were before she pulled away.

"I can't," she said with a shake of her head. "Good night, Miss Lance."

Ava didn't wait for a response and just turned around and started back the way they came with quick steps.

 

It had been over two weeks since Sara had kissed her and Ava hadn't seen nor heard from her. It wasn't like she was hoping Sara had gotten hurt but she did seem to get injured a lot and Ava was starting to get worried. Of course, there were other hospitals and other doctors, but Ava was still worried.

She had shared her worries with her friends after almost writing the wrong thing on a patient's file from how distracted she was. Zari and Gary had suggested just dropping by Sara's place since she knew where it was. Ava had immediately rejected the idea, it was very unprofessional of her to just drop by a patient’s house. But Sara wasn't just any patient anymore, they had spent hours talking and sharing stories about themselves and that wasn't something Ava did with just anyone.

There was also the kiss. Ava could come up with all the excuses she wanted but in the end it wasn't unwelcome , in fact, she had enjoyed it, and it was only her want of keeping things professional that had made her pull back. Zari had pointed out multiple times that it was all bullishit since Ava wasn't really treating Sara, she was just someone who happened to get injured a lot. There was nothing really standing in their way if they wanted to date.

With all of that running around her head for days, Ava finally caved and went by Sara's house on her day off. If anything, they could just try to clear the air about the whole kissing thing and Ava could go back to focusing on her job without distractions.

An older lady let Ava into the building without a question and Ava went straight to Sara's door, apartment 4 according to the intercon downstairs. She knocked and heard a curse coming from behind the door before it opened.

"Laurel I told you I'm f-..." Sara trailed off when she saw Ava standing there awkwardly. "Ava?"

"I'm sorry for dropping by uninvited, but it's been a while since I saw you and I was worried you got injured again, but didn't want to come to the hospital because of how we left things." The words just bursted out of her when she saw the surprised look in Sara's blue eyes and she consciously took a breath to stop the flow.

"Yeah, well I'm a little tied up at the moment—" Sara pushed the door open fully so Ava could see the clutch she was leaning heavily onto— "managed to fuck up my ankle the other day and my sister basically forced me to stay home."

Ava scanned Sara's foot worriedly, noticing how swollen it was.

"Did you go to another hospital to get that checked?"

"Nah, it's just a sprain, I've had those before. Just have to stay off my feet for a few days," Sara said with a shrug.

"Sara, you're not a professional physician, you can't just decide what's serious and what's not!" Ava said sternly. "Go sit and let me take a look at that."

Sara watched her seriously for a second before she smiled. "Aw, doc, didn't know you cared so much." She limped back to the couch where she had made a nest of blankets for herself. "I like when you get bossy," she added, flopping down.

Ava closed the door and followed her, face heating up at the last comment. She had taken a bag with medical supplies with her, wanting to be prepared for any outcome. She pulled up a chair that was close by and dragged closer to where Sara was resting her feet.

She pulled her gloves on and started her examination with gentle fingers. Sara watched her quietly through it all, only answering Ava's questions about pain and medication, her stare making Ava's skin burn.

"You should be wearing a splint," Ava said when she finished. "And you clearly aren’t staying off your foot, your sister is right to be worried."

Sara shrugged but Ava thought she looked a little embarrassed.

"I'm serious, Sara. You have to be more careful and actually go to the hospital when you get hurt, no matter how much pain you know you can handle." Ava grabbed Sara's hand, squeezing gently. "I'm sorry about how I left things off the last time, we can talk about that if you like, but please promise me you'll take care of yourself. I know we haven't known each other that long but I would like to consider you a friend."

Sara watched their hands silently for a second, as if she was mulling the words around in her head. She nodded.

"I will." She looked up into Ava's eyes. "I promise."

"Okay." Ava smiled, squeezing her hand once before letting go.

"Want to stay for a bit? Make sure I'll stay off my feet?" Sara invited after a moment.

Ava rolled her eyes. "Sure."

 

Things went back to normal after that, Sara still showed up to be patched up and Ava would treat her and scold her about being more careful. Except now they spent more time talking instead of a quick professional exam. They had also exchanged numbers and would text each other through the day. Ava started to look forward to Sara's texts, with how busy she was she didn't have much time to text back but Sara didn't mind and would spam her with the most random topics or just things she thought Ava would like.

Zari kept making jokes about them dating now but Ava tried not to think too much about it. They hadn't mentioned the kiss again and even though sometimes their talks could be considered flirting, Ava wasn't ready to deal with that possibility. Sara was nice and funny and Ava just enjoyed talking to her, and that was good enough for her.

"Ava, let's go!" Zari said impatiently, pushing Ava towards the door.

"I'm going!" Ava put her phone away, sending a text. "Did Amaya forget to feed you again? You're so irritable."

Amaya snorted as she closed the door of the apartment. "She has been saving room for those Nachos you mentioned earlier. Don't worry, we'll be there soon."

Amaya grabbed her girlfriend's hand and pulled her towards the building's door, leaving a smiling Ava to catch up.

They hadn't done a girls night in a while, Amaya's and Ava's schedule making it almost impossible, and Ava was just glad they did find some time to enjoy themselves. Most days she only went from the hospital to her apartment and back and it was good to have a change of scenery.

The trio was having so much fun they didn't see the time pass, finally calling it a night when it was past midnight. Ava had felt so relaxed she had ended up drinking more than usual and felt the pleasant buzz of the alcohol running through her veins when they left the restaurant.

"I'm never gonna eat again," Zari groaned, leaning against Amaya.

Ava chuckled, trading an exasperated but fond look with Amaya. It was a common occurrence, Zari always ate too much when they went out and just never learned.

Ava was so distracted by her friend's antics and the relaxed state she was in, that she didn't notice the man approaching them until he was right in front of her. He was holding a sharp looking knife. That was the first thing she noticed. The second was that he was wearing a black hoodie and smelled really bad.

"Gimme the bags! And all the cash!" he demanded menacingly. "Phones too, quick!"

Amaya handed him her purse, stepping slightly in front of a pale looking Zari. Ava wasn't one to play hero, she knew it was better to just hand things over and not get hurt. But she also didn't want to lose her documents and phone.

"Didn't you hear me, bitch!?" The man stepped closer to Ava and rested the knife against her neck. "Give me your fucking bag!"

Before she could do anything, she saw a flash of white from the corner of her eye and then the man was being pulled away from her. A small figure, all clad in tight white leather, was dragging their attacker to the floor with quick, powerful movements. Ava watched in stunned silence as the White Canary fought the man, managing to throw the knife far away and leave the man gasping for air on the floor.

The White Canary turned towards them, long blonde hair whipping around with the movement. She stepped closer to Ava, jaw tight with anger and something else Ava couldn't figure out.

"Are you okay, Aves? Did he hurt you?" the White Canary asked softly.

Ava shook her head. "No, he-"

The man had managed to get up and was limping away from them. The White Canary turned around so fast that her hair brushed against Ava's arm. She chased after the man, who had also started running despite his injuries. They soon disappeared, turning into a corner and into the shadows.

Amaya grabbed her purse from the floor with shaky hands. "Everyone okay?"

Zari and Ava nodded almost at the same time.

"All right then, let's just go home," Amaya said tiredly.

Ava nodded again, not questioning the words even though they lived in opposite directions. There was only one thing in her mind, taking up all her attention.

"Aves."

There was only one person who called her that and there was no way the White Canary would know her name, let alone her nickname, unless she was that person. Sara.

 

Ava was a mess. She couldn't stop thinking about the White Canary and Sara and how everything fit perfectly. All the injuries and how the cuts never looked as accidental as Sara made them out to be. But then she didn't want to jump to conclusions and would start thinking about all the little details that could prove Sara was not the White Canary. It always came back to her name though. There was no other explanation for the White Canary to know her name, let alone her nickname that only Sara used.

It was driving her crazy. She was distracted at work, couldn't focus. It was so bad her boss had sent her home and told her to sleep off whatever it was that had her acting so strange. Not that it was any better at home. She kept anxiously pacing around, nothing seemed to hold her attention for long, and her thoughts would drift back to Sara and the White Canary.

After spending the whole day worrying, Ava finally decided to just go knock on Sara's door and ask her directly. She grabbed her bag with the first aid kit as an afterthought and practically ran out of her apartment.

Sara's street was dark, most of the lamps not working anymore. Ava quickened her steps as she got closer, eager to get out of the streets. There was no answer when she buzzed Sara's apartment and she started to doubt her decision of going there. She buzzed a few more times, still not getting a response from Sara's.  

Ava decided to wait it out for a while, standing close to the doors so she wouldn't miss Sara when she got home. After half an hour, her legs were starting to hurt and it was getting cold. Ava started to consider going back home when one of the building's tenants appeared and let her in. Ava made a mental note to talk to Sara about her neighbors just letting anyone inside the building, but at the moment she was thankful for their carelessness.

After knocking a few times on Sara's door just in case, and getting no response, she sat down by the apartment's door, her decision to wait renewed by the warm environment and a place to sit.

Almost an hour later, Ava was startled out of her thoughts by a bang to her right, at the corridor's window. A gloved hand appeared at the windowsill, followed by a blonde head and, a few seconds later, the White Canary was stumbling into the corridor.

Ava got up with a jump, heart hammering in her chest when she noticed the red spots on the white outfit.

"Sara?" Ava asked nervously.

The White Canary looked up and Ava found herself gazing into the blue eyes of her friend, of Sara. Ava was stepping closer to Sara before she had even made the conscious decision to do it, her worry taking over any other thoughts.

"Are you hurt? What happened?"

Ava helped Sara sit up, eyes tracing Sara's body, looking for the source of the blood. She found Sara's left hand covering a red spot by her left hip.

"Sara! What happened? You need to tell me so I can help you."

Sara licked her lips before speaking. "Got a little shot."

"You got shot! Why didn't you go to the hospital?" Ava asked, voice rising with worry.

"Couldn't, they would ask too many questions."

Ava sighed. "Let's get you inside so I can patch you up. We can talk later."

Sara nodded. Ava helped her get up and practically carried her to the door. Sara produced a key from somewhere and Ava quickly opened the door and lead Sara to lay down on the couch. Ava grabbed her bag and took a closer look at the wound, without much success as the White Canary suit was in the way.

"Sara, I need you to take off your clothes."

Sara smirked. "Sure, but you should probably take care of that hole on my side first."

"Sara!" Ava said in disapproval, a small smile taking the bite out of it. "I need to be able to actually see the wound."

"If that's the excuse you want." Sara grinned, slowly trying to sit up. "You'll have to help me with the zippers."

Ava helped Sara undress, trying to channel all her professional focus and treat Sara like any other patient. It wasn't easy, with how her heart clenched with every scar she uncovered and all the pained gasps Sara let out. When the upper half of the Canary suit was off, Ava put her gloves on and went to work.

Sara only groaned in pain a few times, but otherwise was quiet. Ava tried to be as quick and gentle as she could, not wanting to cause Sara more pain than necessary. She briefly wondered if that’s why doctors didn't treat family and friends.

Ava threw the dirty gauze away, along with her gloves, and finished up by wrapping a bandage around Sara's waist.

"All done, doc?" Sara asked quietly.

"Yes, I'll just give you something for the pain."

Ava grabbed some water and a cup and handed them to Sara, who drank it all quickly.

"I think I'm gonna nap." Sara mumbled, eyes already closed.

Ava sat down in the closest chair, watching Sara quietly as she fell asleep. Once her breathing was evened out Ava finally started to relax, the adrenaline and worry from the past few hours seeping out of her. She still had many questions about the whole White Canary thing, of course, but in that moment it was enough to know Sara was okay and close by.

 

Ava woke up with a start and immediately felt a shooting pain on her neck. She had not planned on falling asleep on the chair but she had and now her body was protesting loudly. She got up and stretched, moving her neck to free herself from the stiffness.

"A girl could get used to waking up to that," Sara said, voice hoarse with sleep.

Ava gave her a small smile. "How are you feeling?"

"Like someone beat the shit out of me and then shot me."

Ava bit her lip, not wanting to unpack that right after waking up. "How about I make us breakfast and then we can talk?" she offered.

"Can you make pancakes?"

 

Ava made them breakfast, pancakes for Sara and eggs for herself. They had been sitting and eating in silence for a while before Sara spoke up;

"Go on, I know you have questions."

Ava put her plate down with a sigh. She didn't know what to ask first, couldn't seem to organize her thoughts now that she had Sara right in front of her, looking so small wearing only the bottom half of her White Canary uniform and bandaged waist. In the morning light, her scars and bruises seemed even more prominent and Ava didn't know if she wanted to hold her or punch her.

"Why?" Ava asked. "Why do you do it? Why risk your life every night doing someone else's job?"

"Because they weren't doing it right," Sara said staring vacantly ahead. "Because the people that are supposed to be protecting innocents are the ones hurting them."

Ava shook her head. "Sara, this is dangerous! You could die! You got shot last night, you could've bled to death! What the hell were you going to do if I wasn't here?"

"I would've figured something out. I have been doing this for a while now, haven't died yet." Sara chuckled without humor. "And I'm not an idiot, I know how to stitch myself up if I have to, I managed just fine before you!"

" Did you now, because you're such a trained Doctor. I can tell which of your scars were done by you by how crooked they are!" Ava took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down. "You shouldn't be doing this! Shouldn't have to stitch yourself up every week!"

Sara opened her mouth only to close a second later without saying anything. She sighed, looking down at her half empty plate.

"Why do you care?" she asked softly.

Ava blinked, surprised. That was not what she was expecting.

"Because I care about you."

They gazed at each other silently for a few seconds, the words echoing in the quiet room.

"I need a shower," Sara said, pushing the blanket that was over her legs away.

Ava swallowed her comments about moving around and messing up her stitches and helped Sara get up.

"It's fine, I can do it," Sara said once she was up.

Ava stepped away, letting her walk slowly towards the bathroom. She tried to remind herself that Sara probably just needed a moment alone, not that that was happening if she really planned on showering. There was no way she could do it by herself without getting her stitches wet, but it was hard not to take it personally. She had just been vulnerable in front of her and Sara's reaction was to get up and leave.

"Ava—" Sara's head poked out of the bathroom— "I need help."

Ava bit her lip to hide a smile at how adorable Sara looked in her resigned and frustrated state. Ava entered the bathroom, finding Sara standing there with her pants halfway down her legs.

"I can't bend down."

Ava crouched down to help her take the pants off and hide her smile. It was hard to stay annoyed at Sara when she looked so adorable while asking for help.

"I'll have to help you shower too," Ava said softly, "is that okay?"

She stood back up to get a better look on Sara's face and read her expression. Sara swallowed and nodded.

"Okay," Ava breathed out.

Ava went to get Sara's panties off and just then realized what exactly she was about to do. She had helped people shower before, obviously. It was a medical necessity. And yet, this was Sara, someone she really cared about and who she, as much as she tried to deny it, felt attracted to.

Ava mentally took a deep breath and just pulled Sara's panties down, making sure to keep her eyes on her own hands. After that was done, she helped Sara into the shower, using all her medical training to keep her focus on helping her friend and nothing else.

They were both quiet during it all, only a few quiet requests for turning around or give an arm breaking their silence. After Sara was properly cleaned, Ava helped her out of the shower and held a towel open so Sara could step into. Their eyes met, making Ava extremely aware that she was essentially hugging a very naked Sara with only a soft towel between them.

"Do you… " Ava cleared her throat, putting some distance between them. "Do you have some loose clothes you can wear?"

Sara nodded. "My room, second drawer to the left. There should be some long shirts and PJ shorts. You can grab something for yourself too, if you want."

Ava rushed out of the bathroom, needing to put some more distance between herself and the steamy room. She found the clothes for Sara easily enough and after looking down at her light blue jeans that were now covered in wet spots decided to find something for herself. She put on an old faded black shirt that was probably a little longer on Sara but fit her well enough and some leggings that she found at the bottom of the drawer.

Back at the bathroom, Sara was just standing there, still wrapped in the towel, same way as Ava had left her, and she quickly started to help Sara into her clothes. Sara insisted on walking back to the couch by herself and Ava let her, understanding that she needed some sense of control back. Ava busied herself with making sure the bathroom wasn't a mess before joining Sara back at the living room.

"I need to change those bandages," Ava said, almost apologetic.

"Go ahead," Sara said, lying down with a tired sigh.

Ava went through the process of taking the old bandage offt and putting the new one on without problems; that was routine work she could do with her eyes closed. As soon as she finished tying the new bandage in, though, her traitorous brain pointed out just how close to Sara she was. How soft and warm her skin was after the shower, how the air filled with the fair smell of coconut from the soap. Ava looked up to find blue eyes watching her intensely. Sara licked her lips, drawing Ava's attention. Those soft pink lips that Ava had felt against hers only for a few seconds and definitely not longed to feel again. Ava's phone chimed, startling her, and she quickly stood up, shaking herself out of her thoughts.

After sending a quick text to her roommate, Gary, to let him know she was okay, Ava sat back down on her chair, trying to not look like she had just been thinking about making out with Sara.

"My father is a cop," Sara said after a while. "He's a fucking good one too. I've watched him almost kill himself trying to do the right thing and be a good cop, protect people like they're supposed to do and being stopped by some stupid rules or dirty cops who just don't care."

"My sister is a defense attorney and she also tries her hardest to help people and make sure the guilty ones are brought to justice. She faces the same damn problems my father does and it kills me to see them struggling with cases that could be won if they didn't have to deal with that." Sara paused and looked at Ava. "You asked why I do it, this is why. Yes, it's dangerous, but someone has to do it. I have almost died a couple times but I've also stopped people from getting killed and that's all that matters."

Ava was silent for a long time, sorting through all that Sara had said and her own feelings. She was one of those people, who knows what could've happened had the White Canary not dropped by the other night?

"Does your family know?" Ava asked.

"No, I don't want them to worry."

Ava smiled a little. "Do they buy your clumsy act?"

"I don't know, sometimes. I give them more elaborate stories most of the time."

"I think you should tell them. I know I have no right to tell you what to do, but I'm sure they worry about you regardless and not knowing how you got your injuries and feeling like something is off is worse than knowing."

Sara licked her lips, "Speaking from experience?"

"Yes," Ava said in a whisper.

Sara pushed herself into a sitting position, only grimacing a little from the pain. "I wasn't reading you wrong, before. You did want to kiss me."

"Yes," Ava said again.

Sara grinned, "Well, you're gonna have to come here then 'cause I don't think I can make it that far without popping a stitch."

Ava closed the distance between them, cupping Sara's cheek with hands and kissing the grin off her face. Sara's lips were just as soft as she remembered and Ava sighed happily at being able to taste her again. Sara pulled back with a hiss and Ava immediately dropped her hands from her face.

"I'm sorry, did I hurt you?"

"I'm fine," Sara smiled, putting Ava's hair behind her ear, "great, even."

Ava smiled and pulled her into another longer and deeper kiss.

"Promise me," she said after they broke apart for air, "promise me you'll be more careful in the future. I'm not gonna ask you to stop being the White Canary, but I need to know you're not taking unnecessary risks. I really care about you, Sara, and I don't want to lose you."

Sara rested her forehead against Ava's and pulled one of Ava's hands to her lips, kissing it softly.

"I promise. I care about you, too. I have for a long time, I really didn't have to drop by the hospital for all those small cuts after all."

Ava chuckled. "Definitely not."

"I really will be more careful from now on, for you." Sara kissed her firmly. "On the plus side, my chances of staying alive are already a lot better now that I have my own personal doctor."

Ava rolled her eyes but smiled. She wasn't wrong. Ava would make damn sure she stayed alive to help as many people as she could. It was dangerous and not approved by the government but Sara just wanted to help people the same way Ava did. She just took a more violent approach.

"That being said, I hope I don't see you in the hospital for a while," Ava said playing with Sara's fingers. "Maybe we could keep our meetings outside of the hospital?"

"Hmmm, how about both?" Sara grinned.

Ava sighed with fake exasperation. "Fine, I guess I can live with that."

"Good, cause I would like to see a lot more of you."

Sara's smirk made her intentions pretty clear and Ava felt her face heat up.

"Okay, but it might take a while. We can't risk you popping those stitches."

"Nope! No doctor talk right now." Sara pulled Ava into a kiss, successfully shutting her protests up.

Ava couldn't come up with any complaints about being shut up like that, not when Sara kissed her like that. She was still worried; she probably would always be when it came to Sara but she was okay with that, it was worth it.