“Are you going to come here, or are you going to make me come get you myself?”
Leonard’s voice was playful teasing almost, but underneath was an air of dark intent that made her pulse race. Sara stands, arms crossed, watching her childhood sweetheart as he stands in the open doorway of the local town haunt. Growing up in a small town had been the worst experience of Sara’s life, but nothing had made it more bearable than Leonard Snart. They’d practically owned the town, their peers looking on at them as the king and queen of Central. It was intoxicating and there were times where Sara felt like she was in some teen drama, flying high on the innocents of teenage rebellion. But time had pulled them apart. Sara left for college while Leonard stuck around and well, despite the good memories with him, she did everything in her power not to come back.
She was back now though. Fifteen years later, maybe more, fresh off a divorce and dragged all the way home to deal with a case that was tearing her hometown apart.
Like all small midwestern towns, Central had its fair share of urban legends and old wives tales. For decades kids told the tales of escaped lunatics and ax murders around campfires to scare each other, but when Sara was twenty and nearing the end of college, a string of unsolved homicides rocked the town and everyone in it. They never caught the perp, but even twelve years later he still had a hold on the town. Even more so, since the killings had begun again.
That’s what Sara was doing here now. The first time around, the press had taken the story national, putting Central on the map, and now that the killings were starting again, the press was bearing down on Central once again. Her bosses at the FBI saw fit to send her in to assist the local sheriff, her father, in the investigation and so far, they hadn’t made the kind of headway she had hoped.
It chilled Sara to see how much of the town hasn't changed while she was gone. Time seemed to have stood still there. It was eerie and she filed it away to dissect later.
At some point on her first day back in town, she’d managed to draw a lot of attention and again like all small towns, the gossip mill was running as smooth as ever. Before she knew it the whole town was aware of her return and among them, Leonard Snart, still as handsome as ever and apparently a teacher. She was glad to see he had finally made it out of the town long enough to go to college. Someone as smart as him deserved the best opportunities.
It was almost like nothing had changed when they ran into each other for the first time. They fell right back into their witty banter, and it soothed the ache that had settled into her bones after her bitter divorce. Somewhere along the way, Leonard had started helping her with the investigation. Her father said he was looking for an excuse to be around her again, but Leonard had always had a keen eye and a sharp mind and his deductive skills would have made him a great detective or agent.
So, she let him tag along when it was safe to do so, which is why they were here, on the grounds of the old Star Labs, abandoned after World War II. She can still remember the warm summer nights, when Leonard would drive them out here and they would lay out on the hood of his car, watching the stars and getting up to all sorts of teenage mischief. Seeing him standing here now, it’s more than nostalgic, she can almost feel a longing to return to those simple days. She’d even put up with this town to be here with him again.
“You know I’m armed right?” she asks, shaking her head as he shrugs.
“Yeah, ya gonna show me how you handle your weapon?” he questions around a smirk as she approached.
“Oh yeah, haven’t heard that one before.” she replies, slipping passed him and through the door way. “Stay close.” she tells him, lighting her flashlight and shining it back and forth up and down the hallway.
“Sounds good to me.” he mutters, brushing up against her back. She rolls her eyes.
“Down boy.” she teases. He chuckles, taking a step back. The tension seemed to coil tighter and tighter between them with each day she was back, and if what they got up to last night was any indication, the longing feelings to rekindle what they had lost were completely mutual.
“What exactly are we looking for?” Leonard asks as they start off down the hall.
“Signs of anyone having been here since the last report of squatters. Dad says he runs regular patrols through here to deter them from setting up inside, something about it not being structurally sound, but my contact in Washington claims that the plans for this place are outrageous. Walls where they shouldn’t be, halls that stop shorter than makes sense. Whatever they were doing in here during the war, they didn’t want anyone to find it easily, which means anyone could be living or operating out of this building and be hiding in plain sight.”
“Well that’s ominous.” he says.
“Shit like this usually is.”
They continue on down the hall, stopping at each room they come to and giving it a careful once over. Eventually Leonard breaks the silence.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Sure.” she replies, not taking her eyes off a pile of rubble as she squats down to sift through it.
“I know this probably isn’t the best time, but we didn’t exactly get a chance to talk about it this morning…”
“You want to know what last night meant.”
“I mean… you know… yes.”
Sara smiles to herself. While most people only ever saw the tough exterior of one Leonard Snart, Sara was one of the lucky few who were blessed to see this side of him. The soft, gentle, kind side that was so different from the way everyone else saw him, one would think he was a totally different person.
Sara sighed, abandoning the rubble for a lost cause and stands, turning to face him. “It meant a lot, Len. To me at least.”
He seems relieved by her answer. “Me too.” he tells her. They stand there for a moment, just staring at each other until Leonard steps up to her, pulling her against him and kissing her within an inch of her life. She should be focusing on doing her job, but it was always so hard to think when he did things with his wickedly talented tongue. She wraps her arms around his neck and pulls him closer, reveling in the feel of his body pressed against hers. She’s seriously contemplating taking this back to the car when a noise startles them apart.
“What the hell was that?” he asks, still holding her. She pulls out of his grasp, pulling her side arm and leveling it at the ground, the flashlight pointing up ahead.
“No idea, just stay close.” she tells him, leading the way out of the room and down the hall. They take their steps slowly and carefully, picking their way through debris and garbage. There’s a room at the very end of the hall and they head for it, peering in when they finally make it.
“Fuck.” Leonard breaths, as the flashlight shines against the dirty plaster walls. Written all along the walls in dark red, the writing medium still wet, were the words “HAHAHA” over and over again in successions of three.
“That’s blood.” Sara says, getting up close to it.
“How can you tell?” Leonard asks.
“Well, between my job and the fact that I’m a woman, I’ve seen quite a lot of blood in my life.”
“I’m sorry I asked.” he mutters to himself as he watches Sara pull out her cellphone and snap a few pictures off the walls.
“Come on, we need to get back to town. Get a full team out here.” she tells him, leading the way out.
“Yeah, sure.” he says absently, still a little freaked out.
“You okay?” she asks him as they make it outside. He looks a little green around the edges.
“Yeah, just… you barely reacted in there.” he explains.
She shrugs. “I wish I could say that was the worst or the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.”
He huffs a humourless laugh, climbing into the passenger's seat.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” she asks again.
“Yep, just trying to pinpoint the exact moment I entered on of Mick’s books.”