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Confessions

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"I consider myself to be a broad-minded individual, but this is a lot to take in," Leonard said.

"And... why are you telling me this?" Sara asked. For that matter, why was he even talking to her? He should be hovering around that arsonist, not pestering her.

"You seem to be the only other person on this boat who isn't either a super-genius or a reincarnated freak-show," Leonard replied.

"Actually, I was dead for a year," Sara said. She was almost curious what he'd make of that revelation.

Almost.

"Hey, I'm just trying to make conversation," Leonard insisted.

"Yeah, I could tell by the way you're staring at my ass." And carefully not staring at it whenever he caught her looking in his direction.

Sara walked away before he could try to talk his way out of that one, but it didn't take long before she heard his footsteps coming down the hallway she'd just exited. Oh, god, is he still following me? The Flash was right; the man just didn't know how to give up.

But she wasn't going to run. Walk away, yes. But not run. There was simply no need. If Leonard couldn't take a hint... well, he would find out soon enough why he shouldn't mess around with a League assassin.

She turned another corner, pressed a hand against what looked vaguely like a biometric door panel.... "Woah." She stepped inside the room and looked around, her annoyance with Leonard temporarily forgotten.

She looked out the window and grinned. "Okay, this is cool."

"Picking out curtains already?" Leonard asked from behind her.

Shit. "Seriously, do I need to spell it out for you, Snart? Why are you following me?" Sara turned around to glare at the thief.

But he wasn't even looking at her. He seemed to find some random spot on the floor very fascinating. "I need to talk to you. In private."

"Where's your partner?" Sara asked.

Leonard's shoulders slumped. "I don't want him to hear this," he mumbled. He lifted his gaze from whatever spot was occupying his attention, but he didn't quite meet her eyes. "Please?"

Sara frowned. Please? He was actually asking her? She wasn't surprised he could be polite; according to her sources, the man could be any level of charming if he thought it would get him what he wanted. What surprised her was that he'd bother deferring to her so easily. What could he possibly want from her that he thought that would help? Even if he really did just want to talk....

She folded her arms—though her hands never strayed far from a weapon, just in case this was some trick to make her drop her guard—and sat down on the bed. "Fine. You want to talk, so talk. But make it quick."

Leonard nodded and stepped into the room just far enough to let the door close behind him. He eyed her warily before taking a deep breath. "I was just thinking... We are going to be working together, whether we like it or not. So maybe it would be a good idea to get any... misunderstandings out of the way? Anything that might interfere with the job."

"How about this, then?" Sara replied. "You leave me alone, and I'll leave you alone. As smart as you are, it should be hard to misunderstand that."

"True. That's... that's very true." He took another deep breath. "But... I won't touch you, Sara. Not if you don't want me to," he said. "I just... I needed you to know that." He was smiling at her. Not his usual smirk, nor an attempt to charm her. No, this reminded her of the kind of smile her parents or Laurel had often used when something had scared her as a kid... usually when they were scared and didn't want her to know.

Sara snorted, faintly amused at his attempt to placate her. "Right. You're a thief, a liar, and a killer, and I'm supposed to believe you won't hurt me just because you say you won't?"

The smile faded. "I won't," he insisted. His voice wavered. "I would never... I know what it's like. How it feels. I don't want to make anyone feel like that."

Okay, so maybe antagonizing the man wasn't going to work. Sara really didn't want to deal with him right now, but if he was trying to make a genuine effort to be, well... less of an ass—at least until he gets what he wants from me, she reminded herself. She sighed. "I know your father abused you," she said. She tried to keep her tone gentle; no matter what kind of man he was now, nobody deserved that kind of childhood. "And I'm not trying to belittle that. But do you honestly believe that that is anything like how I feel?"

"I wasn't talking about my father," Leonard said, so quietly Sara almost missed it. "I was talking about one of his... friends from Iron Heights."

He clenched his shaking hands into fists. Then he winced, unclenched them again, and examined the bloody marks he'd left on his palms, before he shoved his hands into his pockets.

Sara waited for him to decide whether to keep talking or to leave.

"I was... I was nine when the man caught me alone the first time," Leonard said. Keep talking it was. "When he showed me what he'd been in prison for." The smile returned, but it was bitter this time. "I don't suppose you'd care to guess what that was?"

"Guess?" Sara's last shred of patience snapped. "You honestly want me to guess?" She pushed herself off the bed, and smirked when Leonard tried to back away... right into the wall. "I am not interested in hearing your life story, Snart! But maybe you'd care to guess what a pissed-off assassin will do if you don't leave me alone? Here's a hint: Rip had better find someone to replace you."

Sara didn't normally like scaring people with the League. She didn't hate it, exactly; that fear was just a weapon, one of many tools they used to maintain power over others. And as with any tool, it wasn't something to enjoy or despise for its own sake.

But seeing the way Leonard felt around for the door panel and fled the room, all without ever once taking his eyes off of her... She might not like having that kind of power over anyone, but she could understand why some people would.

People like his father, for instance. She grimaced, and wondered whether he'd believe her if she tried to apologize.

"That conversation could have gone better," a voice said.

"Yeah, I should have thrown him out sooner." Preferably before I threatened him. Sara blinked. "Uh... hello? Who said that, and how did you sneak up on me?"

A light shined down from the ceiling in the middle of the room, resolving itself into a face. "I am Gideon, the Waverider's artificial consciousness."

Sara paced the room, examining the face from every angle. "So that makes you.... what, the ship's computer?"

"If you like," Gideon replied. "Navigator, database, and medic, to name a few of my primary functions. I'd been monitoring your brainwaves and Mr. Snart's to determine if there was risk to letting him alone with you."

"So you could've warned me he was going to pull something like that." Sara groaned. "I can't believe he thought it would be that easy to trick me into trusting him!"

"I'm afraid I don't understand this aspect of human behavior," Gideon said. "Mr. Snart was speaking truthfully; was there something specifically untrustworthy about what he'd said?"

"The fact that he's a liar comes to mind," Sara replied. "He... come again? Truthfully?"

"Everything Mr. Snart just told you was true," Gideon explained. "Including his reasons for telling you. He finds you very attractive, Miss Lance, but he would never pursue that attraction unless he was absolutely certain of your consent."

"Attractive?" Sara managed to say before she burst out laughing. "Is... is that what he thought I was worried about? That he'd try to... to molest me? Okay, maybe I gave him that idea when I accused him of staring at my ass, but why didn't he just say that?"

"I believe he has little experience in reassuring people when his intentions are pure," Gideon replied. "And the topic seems to be very painful for him."

"Painful," Sara repeated "Right. It would be painful to say, don't worry about me trying to rape you, I know exactly how... you..." Her eyes widened. "Feel," she finished in a whisper. She thought back, quickly reviewed everything Leonard had said, exactly how he'd said it.

She suddenly felt very, very sick. No, he couldn't have meant....

"Gideon, was it?" she said. Her voice shook.

"Yes, Miss Lance."

"Do you... You said you were monitoring our brainwaves. Do you know what Snart was trying to tell me?"

"Not as such, no," Gideon replied. "My ability to monitor your brainwaves allows me to read your emotional state; reading specific thoughts requires a different process, usually reserved for medical concerns." A pause. "However, with the research Captain Hunter has done into the crew's timelines, I could make what you would call an educated guess."

The pause this time went on for much longer.

"And?" Sara finally said to break the silence.

"I'm afraid you'll need Captain Hunter's authorization to access the relevant data," Gideon replied.

"Okay, fine," Sara grumbled. "This is me, getting Captain Hunter's authorization."

—CONFESSIONS—

The rest of the recruits were still exploring the Waverider when Sara found Rip on the bridge. Well, the rest minus Jefferson; the poor kid was still out from whatever drug Martin had given him, and was strapped in securely.

"Gideon's already informed me of how your conversation with Mr. Snart went," Rip said without even turning around. "I'm afraid the crew's timelines are strictly on a need-to-know basis."

"And you're saying I don't need to know," Sara guessed. "Even though Snart obviously thought I did."

"I'm saying that unless Mr. Snart discloses that information to you directly, it is none of your bloody business." He shook his head. "I'm sorry, Miss Lance. If we ever find ourselves facing his personal demons, I will certainly tell the team everything, if only to improve our chances of survival. But until then, it simply isn't my place to tell you. Nor even my place to know it, come to think of it. That will have to be his decision, and his alone."

"Oh, damn," Sara groaned. "I really will have to apologize to him, won't I?"

"I suppose that depends on how smoothly you'd like the mission to go," Rip said. "I rather suspect Mr. Snart's effectiveness will be somewhat limited, so long as he thinks the League will be out for his head for even talking to you." He glanced up and smiled to take some of the sting away from the rebuke. "If it's any consolation, Miss Lance, I fully expected Mr. Snart or Mr. Rory to be the first to owe the crew any apologies. Not that I expected them to give any, of course...."

"Oh, yes. Very consoling." Sara rolled her eyes. "The sooner I get this over with, the sooner we can pretend we're on the same team, right? Or do I need to give him time...?"

"I think you'll find Mr. Snart rather adept at quick recoveries," Rip said. "Though I must caution you, he will see through it if you're only 'pretending' to apologize. And you'll want to keep an eye out for Mr. Rory; I don't believe 'forgiveness' is in that one's vocabulary."