A/N: Thanks for all the love on the last chapter! You guys are amazing. Once again, please ignore any and all mistakes, I'm going to be doing a complete redraft of this fic after I finally finish writing it!
Ava had been a nervous wreck from the moment she heard that the Waverider had landed in the testing garage. After her little revelation at the hands of her mother and her heart to heart with her dad, she had a new outlook on her situation with Sara, an outlook that she was hoping to share with the blonde. But as she made her way towards the main deck, the agent was disappointed to find Amaya and Ray waiting for her instead of the blonde captain she had been hoping for.
"No Captain Lance?" She questioned, trying to play it cool as she scanned the empty deck, her eyes resting on Sara's empty office for a few fleeting moments, before turning back to face the smiling brunettes.
"Afraid not, Agent Sharpe." Ray's smile intensified. "Sara had a few errands to run...out of town...and-"
"She sends her apologies. Obviously." Amaya jumped in, knowing that if she didn't save Ray he'd turn into a mumbling mess of endless ridiculous lies that Ava would never fall for. She didn't know what Sara and Rip were up to, only that the look she'd seen in Sara's eyes had been something she hadn't seen in a long time and that terrified her. "I've got this," Amaya shot a friendly nod at her crewmate, who took great relief in being excused.
"Should I be worried? Mr. Palmer seems...odd. Well more odd than usual." Ava questioned as they set off on their inspection route, starting in Sara's office. Poking gingerly through the scattered notes on Sara's desk, the blonde turned to face the unusually quiet woman. "She is alright, isn't she?"
"Caring again, are we?" The dark-haired woman smirked back, watching carefully as a small smile peaked onto Ava's lips momentarily. "I knew it."
"There's nothing to know." Ava quickly defended herself, before clarifying, "Not yet, anyway." Ducking her head away from Amaya's prying eyes, she turned her focus to the control panel and silently began running her tests on Gideon.
"She would have stayed if she knew you'd be coming, ya know," Amaya spoke as Ava ran diagnostics, her eyes focused on her tablet as she fought back a smile.
The dark-skinned woman chuckled deeply, as she slumped into Sara's chair. "She's crazy about you Ava, you must know that by now." She watched as a small glimmer of hope crept onto the agent's face, but as quickly as the air of possibility appeared, it vanished, and in its place was a look of unadulterated dismay. "I really don't understand relationships these days. Back in my day, if you felt the way Sara feels about you, you'd tell them. Regardless of fear or past mistakes. You'd pour your heart out and pick up the pieces if it all went pear-shaped." She continued to press.
"If only." Ava could only shrug in response, as she ran the next round of tests on the navigation system.
"Who's to say it can't be that way?" Amaya stood, drawing Ava's attention away from the tablet. "What's stopping you?" She asked, her eyes daring the agent to speak the truth, to finally open up.
But she failed and if anything, her challenge only caused the blonde to close up all over again, as she mumbled, "I think I'll move onto the lab next."
"Right...this way Agent Sharpe." Defeated and afraid that her outburst might have set Ava and Sara's relationship back a few steps, Amaya decided it'd be best if she kept things professional for Ava's remaining time on the ship.
By the time Sara made it back to the Waverider her whole body ached. Lead after lead had sent the pair on a wild goose chase, that had ended in Victorian-era London and talk of a Dr. Frankenstein wannabe, who mysteriously disappeared whenever they arrived, but conveniently left behind a swarm of henchmen for Sara to deal with. All in all, Sara was starting to rethink her decision to bail on whatever stiff had been sent from the Bureau, and her faith in whatever leadership skills Rip had ever processed.
"The readings don't lie, Sara! Darhk has to be the one behind this,"
"Stop. Please just...just stop." The blonde snapped, the weight of - what felt like the longest day of her life - finally proving too much for the former assassin. Storming into her office, she beelined for the drinks cabinet and poured herself a much-needed shot of the first thing her hand landed on - vodka in this case - and knocked it back in one. Sighing she turned to face the hovering Englishman, who had been unsure of whether his presence was welcomed in his former office. "I'm sorry. It's just been one of those days,"
"Yes and no." Sara shot a playful smirk his way, silently welcoming him into her office. "Your batshit crazy team, mostly." She admitted as she poured two drinks and handed the smaller one to the amused man.
"They've always been a handful. There's something else playing on your mind," Rip pushed, gesturing for them to sit.
Sara sat quietly for a few moments, just simply staring down at her glass. He was right, there had been so much plaguing her thoughts lately. From Ava, to fear of not being good enough to lead her team. She knew that if anyone was going to understand, it'd be Rip. Shakily, she let out a loud sigh before admitting, "I-I don't know if I can do this...lead this team, live in space." She dared to meet his gaze and flinched at the disappointment in his eyes. Living in her sister's shadow growing up hadn't been easy and while her parents had never displayed any disappointment in anything Sara had done, the fear of letting her family down had always been nagging at the back of her mind. "I'm just having a bad day, ignore me." She mumbled into her glass as she drained the liquid.
"You're the best Captain this ship has ever seen, but even the best need a break sometimes." Rip leaned forward, gently placing his hand on top of Sara's. He had been in the same situation a little over a year ago, he knew how hard this job could be, especially for someone who hadn't chosen it outright. "Sara, I don't know if you're interested, but, there'll always be a job waiting for you at the Bureau. If you so desire a little change of pace." Sara chuckled as she stood, moving back to pour another - smaller - drink.
"Thanks, but...no thanks. I just need a few more of these and a good night's sleep."
"And Darhk? I can continue on alone…"
"I'll get back to you," Rip nodded before finishing his drink. He could see the toll the job was starting to have on the blonde and wished that she wasn't so stubborn, even if that was one of the reasons he'd sought her out in the first place.
It was nearly six when Ava had finished up her paperwork for the day. The report on the Legend's inspection had been surprisingly limited, with next to no issues to report back to the Directors. Sitting back in her chair, she huffed out an exasperated sigh. She had been hoping to see Sara, on picking up where they had left off the week previous. They still had so much to talk about, Ava had so much she wanted to say. Her talks with her parents had cleared up a few clouds of doubt, but she still wasn't sure she was ready to 'go there' again. Emotionally. Physically, Ava found herself craving the blonde's touch, as her own hands wandered under the covers at night.
She'd called the Waverider a few times, hoping to catch Sara. But each time, she was met with Gideon and the same request for a message to pass on. Ava declined each time. Not sure what she'd leave, what she'd want someone else to say on her behalf. "Gideon, is Captain Lance available yet?" She held her breath, as she tried for the last time that evening.
"She has just retired for the evening. Would you like for me to take a message?" Ava groaned in response.
"No. It's fine." She quickly exited the communication, laying her head down on the stack of paperwork for comfort as she let out a muffled moan. 'Back in my day, if you felt the way Sara feels about you, you'd tell them. Regardless of fear or past mistakes. You'd pour your heart out and pick up the pieces if it all went pear-shaped.' Amaya's words played on a loop in Ava's mind, she had truly wished that it was that easy, that she could just say everything that she was feeling, without fear of rejection or loss. "Maybe not everything…" She mumbled. Amaya's words acted as an unofficial pep talk for the blonde, as she grabbed her jacket and headed swiftly out of the office. Hoping that she wasn't going to regret her decision.
The Waverider was oddly quiet when Ava stepped aboard, thankful to find the ship still parked in the testing bay. Sara's office sat in darkness, as she passed, noting a half drank glass resting on the arm of Sara's chair. Padding quietly, she made her way to Sara's quarters, freezing as she reached the door. She hadn't thought this far ahead, she'd been hoping to find the blonde in her office or on the main deck - on common ground - not her bedroom, her private space. Raising her fist, she screamed internally, 'Just knock already!' but her hand wouldn't listen, and instead dropped to her side defeatedly. She knew that this had been a mistake, that if Sara had wanted to see her she would have reached out. Ava was ready to turn and run towards the hanger when the door behind her creaked open and both women let out a startled yelp.
"Ava! What are you…" "Jesus, Sara! You scared life out of me!" They shouted in unison, Sara silently thankful that her first instinct hadn't been to attack the blonde.
"Sorry." Ava blushed, as she took in Sara's appearance. She recognized the silver robe from the night of their first 'date'; it had been hanging behind Sara when the blonde had called in her underwear, and while it looked great on the blonde, she decided that she liked it better hung up on the back of Sara's door. "I wanted to check-in. Ray was acting...well...weirder than usual. So I got worried." The blonde mumbled.
"I didn't know that you'd be here, or I would have…" The smaller woman trailed off, as she finally met Ava's gaze. "It's good to see you,"
"Likewise…You look-" she started but was interrupted by an unamused snort from the smaller woman to her left.
"Like I haven't slept in months? Because that's how I feel right now." The blonde jumped in, as she tightened the robe around her waist. "Come on, the walls have ears out her." She joked as she beckoned for the taller woman to follow her into her room. The Agent ran a shaky hand through her ponytail as she followed Sara's room. While she had explored every inch of the Waverider during her training, something had stopped her from invading the Captain's quarters, but seeing it now, with Sara's knuckles gently knocking against hers as she moved deeper into the room, Ava was glad that she had chosen not to invade her privacy like that. Standing awkwardly, Ava watched as Sara curled up into her makeshift reading nook, and placed her bookmark into the opened book.
"You can sit, ya know." She smirked, patting the space beside her and prompting some sort of magnetic force within Ava that brought her closer without a second thought.
Her fingers drummed nervously against her knees as her eyes traced around the room, trying to take in every detail. The words she yearned to say dancing over her tongue as she failed to string together a simple sentence, "What could be keeping the Great Sara Lance up at night?" She fought back an eye roll as she cringed at her attempt at flirting.
"Take your pick. Boneheaded screwups, terrible love life, plaguing night…" Sara trailed off, her eyes fighting back the tears wishing to explode. "I just need one night where I don't have anything or anyone playing on my mind,"
"Oh, I see." Ava stood but was stopped when Sara's hand wrapped gently around her wrist.
"I didn't mean you, Ava." A playful smile beckoned the blonde back into her seat, with Sara's hand moving to rest on top of Ava's. "I'm glad that you're here...I've missed you." She whispered, her voice sending shivers throughout the blonde's entire body.
"Sara…" She husked, her voice cracking as she slowly turned to meet the blonde's loving gaze.
"You're so beautiful," She mumbled absentmindedly, as she reached out to trace her thumb over the small dimples forming. But as quickly as Ava began to lean into Sara's touch, it was taken away. "Sorry, I know that you're seeing someone...I just...I had to tell you." She pulled away, hugging her knees up to her chest as she slumped back into the seat. A soft blush rested on both sets of cheeks, as the air grew thick around them. Sara wished that she hadn't made a move like that, but she was just so sick and tired of missing Ava. Missing her smile, and her touch. Missing how their hands fit perfectly together and how soft her lips left against hers. But she wasn't available anymore, she'd fucked up, 'like always' and she had to accept that, no matter how much it hurt.
Tenderly, Ava pried one of Sara's hands-free from their intense grip on her knees, and softly interlocked their hands. This was her chance, their chance, and she knew that if she didn't take it then she never would. "I'm no-" The blonde muttered a soft 'fuck me!' as she let their hands drop, and angrily fished her phone from her blazer pocket. "Mom?" She asked worrisomely as Sara sat up and placed a concerned hand over Ava's.
"Honey, it's Annie. She's in labor, we're all heading down to the hospital now," The older Sharpe announced happily, as Poppy's joyful giggles could be heard spilling through from the background.
"I'm on my way!" Ava promised, ending the quick call. But she didn't move, instead allowed her fingers to tangle with Sara's once again. "I have to…" Sara nodded with a hopeful smile as her eyes darted between their joint hands and Ava's gorgeous eyes.
"Let me give you a lift, I could help keep the little monster occupied?" She offered, surprising the both of them.
"You're exhausted, Sara."
"I insist, please." Ava nodded meekly as Sara darted towards her closet, claiming she'd only be a minute. While there was a part of Ava - a huge part - that was glad to have to be able to spend more time with the blonde, away from the pressures of fixing their relationship or dealing with their crazy jobs, the blonde was also terrified of how her family would react to Sara's sudden presence once again.
Things are finally taking a step in the right direction. What should Annie call the baby? See you next time :)