She couldn't breathe. Why couldn't she breathe? It is so dark here, so dark and cold and of course, lonely. She tries to move, but to go where? In this infinite darkness, there isn't a right or a left, an up or a down. Is she dead? It wouldn't be the first time but it didn't quite feel like the last ones. She tries to clear her throat to call for someone, but suddenly there is water everywhere, pouring from somewhere out of reach. She is soaked in no time, but water is still coming, filling space around her. It is freezing and her body seems to absorb all of it into her bones. It becomes so heavy she feels herself sunk under. Something clicks inside and she could move again, trashing her limps in a vain attempt to reach the distant surface. Then light comes, burning through the water and her eyes, blinding and terrifying. Flashes of memories are played above. The Gambit, Ivo, Lian Yu, Nyssa, Oliver, Laurel, her dad,… is there only death to be remembered ? She stops fighting and breathes deeply, letting water filled her lungs. Maybe if she surrenders it could end quicker. Maybe for once, just this time, she could finally taste the peace brought by the end. She lets her eyelids close and waits. She waits for so long, but there is no time here and when she finally opens one eye, she is no longer drowning. In her hands nothing but blood; same on her dark clothes, same on her shoes. The floor is covered by corpses, all savagely butchered, blood still pouring from their many injuries. Her hands close into fists at her sides and she open her mouth to scream, because she is the one who slaughtered everyone, she knows it and she hates herself so much for it. Yet, no sound has time to leave her throat as water invades the space once again.
Wait, it is not water.
It is too heavy, too thick.
It is raining blood.
She jerked from the hand on her shoulder, getting tangled in the sheets. No air passed through her lungs and she started to panic.
_ Sara it's okay, you're alright! Slow down please, it's just me.
Something cold reached the base of her throat and she clung to it with everything she had. She could faintly hear a voice speaking soothingly but the words were out of her reach. The hand on her skin, the heat coming from it, the steady pressure of it grounded her and she slowly came back to herself. A deep sigh passed through her lips and she glances at her right, meeting Ava's worried eyes. She had beautiful eyes, did she ever told her?
_ Hey babe, are you back with me?
She swallowed but words were still too hard, too foreigner for her to utter. She nodded once for Ava then once again for herself. She was alright, it was just a dream.
_ Good, Ava whispered. Do you want to lie down?
No, she didn't want to. What if you drowned again? A scarred whine escaped her lips and if she wasn't so lost in her mind she would have been embarrassed.
_ It's okay, we can sit.
Ava eyes never left her face, and she could feel her look on her skin like the softest caress.
_ Could you… Could you hold me? Please?
Sara's voice was shaking and a bit too high, a bit too weak, but it was music to Ava's ears.
_ Of course baby, always.
Shifting quickly, she took place behind the body of the small blonde, cradling her between her longer legs and welcoming her against her chest. Her back was slightly damp from sweat but she didn't care. She had been scared waking up beside the still body of her girlfriend. She felt the tension radiating from her body and she saw her eyes furiously moving under her eyelids. And yet she didn't move. Her chest barely rose up with her few breaths and her face was distorted by pain. She tried calling her name, softly first and then more forcefully. Sara had forbidden her from touching her when she was in nightmare since the first time she did and received a strong punch in her throat before being pinned to the bed. Usually, her voice helped her coming back from the hell she was reliving, but n ot this time. However usually she wasn't so still. It was this stillness, the total absence of fight that scared her the most. As if she had she had gave up on freeing herself from her demons, as if she had gave up on herself. So she hold her close, her arms circling her waist and her head resting on her shoulders.
_ Is it okay? she asked.
The word was so weak she would have missed it if it were not for her closeness. She let silence settle don, like a warm blanket over them. Sara slowly ceased trembling and warmth came back to her. Ava did that, surrounded by her scent and her body, she felt like nothing bad could reach her.
_I thought I was dying, Sara finally said. And I was scared but I thought maybe…
She closed her mouth, not sure she should go on. Was she selfish ad ungrateful for having thought leaving would bring her peace? She had responsibilities, she had her team, she had Ava… she shouldn't want to leave all of that behind.
_ I'm sorry, I'm so sorry Ava.
Sara wasn't crying, but tears still gathered in her eyes, waiting to fall. The arms around her tightened and she felt soft lips on her neck.
_ But there is no peace waiting for me on the other side.
She sounded so defeated Ava's heart broke again for all the pain the woman in her arms had to support. Leaving a last kiss on her pulse point, she asked :
_ Could you turn around please? I need to see you.
Slowly as if she tried to gauge Ava's reaction, the captain of the Legends turn, straddling her girlfriend tights to be comfortable. However she couldn't meet her eyes, choosing to stare at her lips instead. They were so welcoming and delicate, did she ever told her that?
_ Sara, I know I'll never fully understand what you're going through, and I realize how selfish of me it is to ask you that, but Sara, babe please, do not ever give up on yourself.
The tears in the former assassin ran free on her cheeks. Ava brought her hands to wipe at them but the flow was too important so she slide her hands on her neck, her shoulders, her arms until she could link their fingers together.
_ You've got so much to offer to the world. Your bravery, your kindness, your intelligence… and your sass.
Sara let out a small laugh and clung a little harder on her girlfriend's hands. Finally she found the strength to meet her eyes and she was left breathless by the love that shone through them.
_ Babe, the selfish part is I cannot think of my life without you in it, without you messing things up with your team of idiots, without you challenging me and making me laugh. I won't ask you to stay and fight for me, but I'll beg you to let me fight with you, for together we can try to find and create this peace you need and deserve. I beg you to let us a chance because I sincerely believe that the peace you're looking for can be found in life and love, not in death.
They wee both crying now, but it was soft and accepting. Sara cupped her girlfriend's cheek in her hand, letting her thumb caressing her skin in slow circle.
_ I don't deserve you, she said with awe in her voice.
_ But that's what you don't understand, Sara. You deserve goodness in your life, you deserve love, babe. And it's most gladly that I offer you mine.
Sara had no words to response and she felt so much love for her that she didn't know how to express it if not by kissing her. So she did, letting her eyes fell shut with no fear for the darkness. They lips met and danced together like they did so many times. One of them moaned, one of them groaned, and tongues came to the mix. Hands became curious and impatient, moving clothes to the side, seeking pure contact, skin to skin without obstacles.
_ May I make love to you?
The request made against her lips, barely louder than the flutter of a butterfly's wings made Ava melt, and heat gathered between her legs while her hips moved on their own.
_ Please, please do.