Author's Note: I've had this story idea for almost two years, so I'm glad CC Week 2018 gave me the excuse to finally start it! As usual, this supposed-to-be-a-one-shot got away from me, so I've broken it into parts. I really hope you enjoy this silly future-kid-fic fun as much as I do!
In a quiet neighborhood in Central City, a quiet party with quite the unexpected guest was about to turn deadly silent.
"I'm your daughter Nora, from the future, and I think I made a big, big mistake."
Until a phone buzzed.
The girl, Nora from the future, pulled her phone from her pocket, frowning at whatever she saw on the screen.
"And I need to tell you about that mistake, but there's something else first."
Barry, still smiling vacantly and nodding dumbly, glanced at Iris, then around at the others, as if hoping he'd misheard.
"Did you know the Legends are in town?" Nora asked, when no one else spoke. She sighed into the silence, glancing again at her phone. "Something's going down at Jitters."
Something certainly was going down at Jitters.
"Something" had started harmlessly enough, just a few days off from the Waverider, a stop in Central City and then a visit to Star City. "Something" started with a trip to Jitters for a few of the Legends, Mick and Ray complaining to Sara about the menu.
"Why isn't there an A.T.O.M. drink?" Ray was saying. "An Atomic Mocha would be awesome! They could put sprinkles on top of the whipped cream."
"You're not even from Central City," Mick grumbled. "The real shame is that there's no Heatwave drink. Heat and coffee, it markets itself."
Sara sighed. "And what did you two do to deserve drinks named after you in Central City?"
"Well, Sara, for one, I helped the Flash save this city from a terrifying bee meta."
Mick scoffed. "What, a giant bee? That's not scary."
"No! Little bees. Like, thousands of horrible robot bees. That's not the point. The Legends have helped take down aliens!"
"And Nazis," Mick nodded, fairly.
"Right! You'd think those feats would've lasted longer in the public memory."
"There should be drinks in our honor all across the country," Mick agreed. "But boozy drinks, forget the coffee drinks."
"Guys. It's your turn to order."
Unfortunately, they never got to order. Because that was when something, or more accurately, someones, burst into Jitters, blasters blazing and sending the coffee shop into complete pandemonium.
("Doesn't this place get attacked like once a week?" Ray had asked when they'd walked in. "You'd think it wouldn't be so popular."
"It's popular because it gets attacked at least once a week," Mick had grumbled. "People are hoping for the excuse to call out of work.")
Everyone would be calling out of work for this.
And yet, no one seemed to be getting hurt. The blasters, shooting lasers like out of a movie, gunned down espresso machines and bar stools, shattered television screens and countertops, but conveniently missed the patrons.
She'd lost Mick and Ray almost immediately, dropping and rolling to avoid an early blast. But when she stood, another shot came, and another, and no matter where she pivoted, or crawled, or which overturned tables she used as shields, the shots stayed trained on her, almost like she was the only target.
A flare of light blurred her vision, a heavy crash knocked her off balance, and that might've been the end for Sara Lance. It almost was. Except that strong hands grabbed her from behind, pulling her into the crowd, down, and pushing her into a corner.
"Would you watch it with that knife?"
The hands belonged to one of the handsomest men she'd ever seen, which was saying something, considering the number of men Sara had met throughout history. He didn't seem concerned about the knife she had angled at his chest, but his features twisted with worry as he looked over his shoulder at the chaos behind him.
"I know you don't know me," he said, turning back to Sara. "But I need you to trust me."
Sara didn't trust anyone easily, let alone a stranger holding her pinned to a corner. But considering he wasn't shooting a blaster at her, he seemed trustworthy enough not to stab immediately.
"Who are you?" she demanded.
"I'm from the future," he said, and his face softened. "Your future."
Suddenly he seemed very young, looking up at her like that, bright blue eyes pleading. She studied his face, taking in his short, dark blonde hair sticking up haphazardly at the ends, and the blonde scruff darkening his jawline. His features were familiar in such an unfamiliar way that a lump rose to her throat, and she couldn't understand why.
"Those men are from your future too," he added, glancing back at the sound of a crash. "They're here to kill you. But I think you already figured that out."
Sara struggled to look around him, realizing as she did that he was using his body as a shield. He was protecting her with his own life.
"Because if they kill you now, I'll never be born."
She froze, eyes widening with sudden urgency. Was he –
A low boom sounded, and the entire building shook as he braced them against the wall.
"I need you to trust me," he repeated, releasing her with one hand to pull a necklace out from under his shirt. "I don't have time to explain." Instead, he held out the chain for her to see.
At the end of the chain was a ring.
Sara knew it immediately. She'd know it anywhere, because the same one was currently tucked in a drawer in her room on the Waverider. She'd been wearing it ever since Mick gave it to her, off and on, until Ava. Then she'd told herself she was putting the past behind her, that she would only look ahead, to the future, and she kept looking ahead even after Ava was gone.
Now the future was here, staring her down, wearing Leonard's old ring on a chain around his neck.
Sara swallowed, then spoke. "Let's go."
He nodded once, springing into action as he wrenched her away from the wall and pushed her in front of him, covering her as they sprinted for the emergency exit. The element of surprise must have helped, because they made it unharmed, bursting through the door to find twin motorcycles waiting for them outside.
The motorcycles already had one passenger each, two women, both wearing sleek black helmets that hid their faces and hair entirely. One of them, Sara realized, was dressed in an outfit almost identical to her own, except for –
"Give her your jacket," the man from her future ordered, trading it for a helmet and tossing it to her double. "These are friends," he said, putting his own helmet on and gesturing to the other rider. "She's going to get you to safety while we cause a distraction."
"Mick and Ray –" Sara protested, but he stopped her, grabbing her helmet back and fitting it on her head.
"They'll be fine," he insisted, easing her onto one motorcycle and then climbing onto the other, her double grabbing him around his waist. With a jolt, she realized what they were planning, that his motorcycle would be targeted instead of hers, that she'd be safe while they were in danger.
"I'll see you soon!" he called, because both vehicles had already roared to life, were already speeding away in opposite directions by the time Sara could process any of it, before she could do anything but grab onto the waist of her driver.
By the time Barry and Nora arrived at Jitters – alone, since they'd insisted the others stay and enjoy the party – the action had passed and the coffee shop was empty. Well, except for Mick and Ray, who were staring at a new hole in the wall with their mouths hanging open.
"Did you see that?" Ray glanced at Barry, pointing weakly.
"Was it a meta?" Barry asked, stepping over the wreckage.
"No," Ray said, "it was a gang of mean looking guys with storm trooper guns."
"And a bunch of kids," Mick added. "They took Sara."
"Don't worry, those 'kids' are my friends," Nora said. "And most of them are in their twenties."
Mick grunted. "Like I said, kids."
Barry gulped, brow furrowing. "More kids from the future?"
Nora set her shoulders, her expression resolute. "Yep. We're meeting at S.T.A.R. Labs."
Sara's rescuer refused to look at her. She refused to speak or answer any of the questions Sara threw at her during their break-neck, twisting ride through the city. If that hadn't thrown their pursuers off their path, nothing would.
"Who are you?" Sara repeated for the dozenth time, trailing after the mystery woman as she stormed through the halls of S.T.A.R. Labs, leading them directly to the Cortex.
"I think we're safe now," Sara snapped, frustrated and confused. "Can't you tell me anything?"
"We're not safe," the woman huffed in return, going straight for the computers without even bothering to remove her helmet. "Those men could find you in the past. You really think they won't know to look here?" She punched a few buttons, then began typing furiously. "The standard security protocols they keep in this time period are laughable," she grumbled.
"Who was that guy?" Sara persisted. Clearly this woman could multitask. "The one who got me out of Jitters?"
The woman kept her eyes on the computer, typing in annoying silence for another few moments before stopping suddenly, seemingly finished.
She sighed then, turning finally to Sara.
"He's your son," she said matter-of-factly, tugging off her helmet, "and I'm your daughter."
Sara sucked in a breath as the woman's face – her daughter's face – was finally revealed. Long, black hair fell across her shoulders in a straight sheet, and bright blue eyes flashed at her. She was breathtakingly beautiful, but as Sara searched her face for any resemblance to herself, she couldn't see it. The man from Jitters – the boy, really, he couldn't have been more than 25 – had looked more like her. He had her coloring, her golden skin and light hair. He was the summer to his sister's winter.
But they had the same blue eyes.
Sara tried to find her voice. "You…"
"Shouldn't be here, I know," she sighed, as if expecting a reprimand. "But we didn't have a choice," she explained, something pleading in her voice. "They were going to kill you to erase us from existence. We couldn't let you die, especially not for us."
"Why are they trying to erase you and…him?" Sara couldn't bring herself to say, "your brother", not when it all felt so totally unreal.
"And me," called an indignant voice from the hall. Sara turned to see her other two rescuers jogging to the Cortex, the brother in question beside Sara's would-be double. "Because we're a pain in their asses," she said, smirking.
Now that her helmet was off, Sara could see that she had a sweet, round face, a dusting of freckles over her cheeks and a dimple in her chin. Besides being quite a bit shorter than the other two, she was clearly younger – it was obvious in everything from her youthful face to her carefree swagger. Her black hair was pulled back into braids and a bun, and when she flashed Sara an impish smile, those same bright blue eyes staring back at her, she suddenly saw herself.
"I have three kids in the future?" Sara cried, utterly shocked and overwhelmed.
"If it makes you feel better, Sara, I met my future daughter today too."
Barry Allen ambled into the Cortex, trailed by Ray, Mick, and a woman Sara didn't recognize.
Oh. Barry's daughter.
"It does, sort of?" she said, glancing between Barry and the woman uncertainly.
"This is Nora," Barry introduced. Nora looked supremely uncomfortable as she nodded to her future-hero-kid peers.
"Sara, we're so glad you're okay!" Ray cried, rushing up to her and throwing her into a tight hug. "Your future kids are all really attractive," he added, squeezing a little harder before finally releasing her.
The kids in question all flashed him fond smiles before turning back to each other, snapping back to business.
"You threw them off?" Sara's older daughter (her daughter!) asked. She was the oldest of the three, Sara decided, watching the way the other two looked to her.
"Oh yeah," her brother said. "We staged a real dramatic accident. The others are chasing them out of 2018 for good measure."
"Good. Did you find –"
"No," Sara interrupted, putting a hand to her forehead, suddenly unable to take it all. "I can't have kids. This is impossible!" She knew she sounded hysterical, and she didn't care. "How can I have kids?" She certainly didn't have a man in her life. She hadn't even been romantically interested in a man since…
"No," her son (her son? No!) said, as they all chose to ignore Sara's outburst.
"Where's Dad?" the young, impish one asked abruptly, turning back to Sara. "We have to make sure he's safe, too."
"We couldn't find his readings in 2018," her sister added. "Is he on another mission?"
"Who's their dad, Sara?" Ray asked cheerfully.
"I have no idea!" Sara yelled, growing more agitated by the moment.
"You don't know where Dad is?"
"I don't know who he is," she growled. "I don't have children."
"Come on," the boy said, reproachfully. "Stop joking. Aren't you pregnant?"
Sara snapped. "What?"
"Sara! You're already pregnant!" Ray cheered. "Why didn't you say something? Oh! Is Gary the father?"
Mick smacked him across the back of the head. "You think she'd have three kids with Gary?"
"Ow. Well, who else has she seen recently-oh-my-god-it's-Constantine!" Ray gasped, his words running together. "Wait. Why don't they have British accents?"
"That's not how accents work, Haircut."
"Oh yeah, duh, sorry, I just get really excited about these things."
"I'm not pregnant!" Sara cried.
"Well, you should be soon," the young one muttered, glancing at her older sister. "Her birthday is coming up in about nine months..."
Sara tugged at her hair. "Stop, all of you." She turned back to her would-be children. "Look, I'm sorry, but I don't know who your father is. I think there's been a mistake."
"Okay, here's a clue," the older girl said, rolling her eyes. All three of them clearly still believed she was joking, and it was miserable how not-funny it was. "You fell in love on the Waverider after Rip Hunter recruited you to stop Vandal Savage. Ring any bells?"
Ray gasped. "Oh my god, Mick! Are you the father?"
"I'm right here, Haircut. They're looking for someone else."
Ray's mouth dropped. "Am I the father?"
Mick's eyes rolled all the way back into his head.
"Is…Jax…your father?" Barry asked, his voice trailing up into a squeak at the three identical glares he received.
Nora huffed, sending him a glare of her own. "You're not funny."
Barry sighed. "Why do I get the feeling you tell me that a lot?"
"Seriously, none of you know who our dad is?" the younger girl asked, frustrated.
"You're not joking? Any of you?" her older sister added. At the sight of all their frowns and shaking heads, she stilled, crossing her arms over her chest.
"It's Leonard Snart," she said, defiantly, sticking her chin out like she dared any of them to disagree.
Sara was speechless. Part of her rebelled against the words, rejected them, absolutely refused to believe them. The other part of her knew instantly that they were true, knew it to her core, really, had already known it, had only been waiting to hear it confirmed since the moment she'd seen Leonard's ring.
And now that they'd said it, she suddenly saw him, Leonard, in all of them. She couldn't believe she hadn't seen it before. Those were his eyes they all had, after all. The oldest one, she looked the most like him, that's why she didn't look as much like Sara. She couldn't look at her face without seeing Leonard now, his straight nose, his full lips, his tall, lanky fame. She could so easily picture him beside her, his arms crossed in just the same way.
But it was impossible.
"Snart's…dead," Barry said, unhappily. "I'm sorry, but there's been a mistake."
"If he were dead, none of us would be here," the younger girl snapped.
"No, really," Ray said, his brow furrowed, "he died in an explosion at a place called the Oculus Wellspring. He died to save us," he gestured to Mick and Sara, "and the world."
"No, he didn't," they protested, all speaking at once.
"You didn't let him!"
They all trailed off, looking at each other in confusion.
"I can't remember."
"Watch your tongue." Under different circumstances, Sara would've laughed at the big sister scolding her little sister, who just stuck her tongue out in response.
"Wait," the older girl added, suddenly turning to her brother. "Your scar, it's gone." She lifted his hair off his forehead, looking closer. "You've had that scar above your eyebrow since you were a baby, and it's gone."
"Time is changing," he said, grimly.
"It's solidifying," she added, "if we can't remember what happened to Dad."
Just then, a shriek echoed across the room.
"Raimy!" the youngest cried, calling for her sister as she watched her own hand, then arm, begin to disappear.
The others watched helplessly as the siblings crashed together, the older ones grabbing their little sister just as her hand and arm snapped back to reality.
"That was horrible," Alexa gasped. "Don't let me be erased!"
"Calm down," Raimy said, even as she clung to her sister. "We're going to figure this out."
Sara felt a strange wave of uncertainty, part of her wanting to comfort the trio, the other part feeling like an intruder in a family she didn't belong to.
"Gideon must've been wrong," their brother said. "She said mom was already pregnant in 2018."
"Gideon's never wrong," Nora argued, coming over to hug Alexa herself. "She must've just been going on the wrong timeline data. Obviously, something changed, even if we can't remember what. No – I can't either," she said, at their questioning looks. "Raimy, do you know when the others should be back?"
"Wait," Ray cut in. "Your name is Raimy?" he asked, his face lighting up with excitement. He turned to Sara, the huge smile on his face growing bigger by the moment. "Did you name her after us?"
"What're you babbling about now?" Mick grumbled.
"Ray and Mick," Ray explained, gesturing to himself and Mick in turn. "Ray-me, Ray plus Mick. Come on, you hear it!"
Raimy herself just sighed, dropping her shoulders. "We weren't going to tell you our names," she groaned. "We wanted to keep some things a surprise for you."
"They still don't know my name," her brother said, helpfully. "Just call me a nickname until we leave."
"Oh, I know," Alexa said, obviously welcoming the distraction from being nearly erased. She flashed him a mischievous grin. "How about 'Junior'?"
"Junior?" Sara sputtered, surprised back into speech at last.
"It's not what you think," he said, holding up a hand and shaking his head. "Dad would never have named me after…himself."
"Then what did we name you?" Sara countered.
"Well," he sputtered, shrugging helplessly. "I guess you could call me –"
"Q!" A light, feminine voice shouted from the hall. "Q, you'd better be in here, or so help me!"
"That," he breathed, his head snapping up in surprise. "Call me Q."
"'Q!'" His sisters mocked, rolling their eyes as they exaggerated a breathy sigh.
His body stuttered into movement, dazed, but by the time the source of the voice burst into the Cortex, he was rushing to meet her.
"Queenie, what are you doing here?" he called.
Sara's first impression of "Queenie" was that she seemed uncannily familiar. She was only a blur of bright blonde hair, glasses, and a floral dress – the word "cute" came to mind – but she definitely reminded Sara of someone.
"What am I doing here?" Queenie countered, throwing her arms around him. "You're the one who sent me a text to say you might be erased from existence. Did you seriously think I wouldn't come?"
He released her then, stepping back. "But how?"
"Your team left the jump ship behind in case of emergency. Seemed like this qualified."
"Thank you," he sighed, drawing her back into another hug.
"Gag me," Alexa groaned.
"Wait," Sara said, her mind suddenly connecting the dots. "Junior – Q – we name him Quentin? After my dad?"
Something tightened in her stomach at the thought, and for the first time, Sara truly felt like she could have a son.
"Oh, please call him 'Quinny'," Alexa said, grinning as Raimy rolled her eyes in exasperation. "It'll make him so mad. 'Only Queenie can call me Quinny,'" she added, her voice low in surprisingly good imitation of her brother.
"Gag me," Raimy agreed.
"Are they dating?" Sara asked, studying the couple as they spoke quietly to one another, and wondering if she should be feeling maternal concern.
"No," Alexa said. "They'd be less unbearable if they were."
Sara hummed, still trying to decide who Queenie reminded her of. "Who is she?"
Just then, a gaggle of colorful twenty-somethings emerged into the Cortex, each more attractive, and cocky, than the last.
"They are the future's heroes."