CHAPTER 2 - Because You're A Sky Full of Stars
It had been a week since Ava and Sara talked on the roof. Both of them had found themselves extremely busy, without even as much as a break to breathe.
The best they would do was exchanging looks in the corridors and a casual text message here and there. There wasn't much to them, except asking each other how the day had been and saying how they couldn't wait for their next day off.
On Wednesday, both their lunch breaks coincided, thankfully. Sara made her way to Ava's table as soon as she saw her sitting all by herself.
"Good afternoon Dr. Sharpe, do you mind if I join you?" she asked, head tilted to the side as a smirk appeared on her lips.
Ava beamed at Sara, motioning for her to sit down, "Not at all. Please, be my guest."
Sara thanked her and did as she was told, placing her food on the table. "I can't believe I finally caught you here."
The tall blonde chuckled, "Right? It's almost like the universe is plotting against us," she blushed as she realized what she said. She cleared her throat, trying to hide her embarrassment. "So, how's the day treating you?"
Sara sighed heavily, shaking her head at the question. "I don't even know how to answer that. Apparently everyone chose to have a ruptured appendix today," she explained, head falling to the table as a groan left her.
"Aw, I'm sorry it has been rough on you," Ava cooed, hand reaching out to gently scratch Sara's head.
"Mhm… That feels good," Sara sighed softly, "Maybe you could do my back next."
The taller blonde froze at the request, "Uh… I mean, maybe... Maybe not in the middle of the cafeteria," she laughed nervously, removing her hand from Sara's hair.
Sara raised her head and propped it on her crossed arms, looking up at the taller blonde, "Ava, relax, I was kidding," she reassured, her left hand reaching out stroking Ava's free hand. "We'll leave that for our first date, this Friday night."
Her sudden request caught Ava off guard, but the woman quickly shook it off. "Oh yeah? And what makes you so sure I will say yes to the invitation?"
Sara leaned in closer to her, bright blue eyes piercing into grey-ish ones, "Well… After our encounter on the roof, I'm pretty confident about your reply."
Ava smirked at her, eyes dropping to Sara's lips for a fraction of a second before looking up again. "I get out at 6pm that day, but I'll need to go home and change first. I will be waiting for you to pick me up after," she told her, smiling and standing up, getting ready to leave. "Have a good day. Hopefully free of more appendectomies."
Before she could go any further, Sara grabbed her hand, "Wait, how will I know your address?"
The taller blonde leaned down, mouth leveled with Sara's ear, "I'll text it to you later."
Friday night had arrived, and Ava was at home getting ready. She was in front of her bedroom mirror, pulling her hair up in a ponytail to finish her look. Once she was done, she looked up and down at her reflection. Sara had told her to dress in warm clothes and to wear hiking shoes, which she complemented with a green turtleneck sweater and black jeans.
She tried to settle down her nerves, too focused on whether Sara would like her outfit or not.
The doorbell ringing broke her out of her thoughts, and she made her way downstairs quickly. She took a quick look at the small mirror hanging next to the door to check her hair once more, before opening the door.
Her jaw almost dropped at seeing how good Sara looked in skinny jeans and a leather jacket. But what really got to her was the adorable beanie she was wearing.
"Wow…" both women said at the same time, making them laugh.
Sara cleared her throat, motioning to Ava, "You look… Amazing."
Ava blushed at the compliment, playing with her fingers. "Thank you. So do you!"
The smaller blonde beamed at that, "Thank you," she said. They stood there for a few seconds in silence, simply admiring one another.
Ava eventually cleared her throat, "So… Should we go? Or maybe you want to come in?"
Sara blushed a little, "Oh no, we should go. We don't want to miss the show."
"The show?" Ava asked as she checked if she had her keys and wallet, her curiosity piquing. She grabbed a jacket from her coat hanger and put it on, laughing as Sara grabbed her hand and pulled her out of her apartment.
"Yep. Come on, you're gonna love it," she said as Ava locked the door.
Once downstairs they got in Sara's car and quickly hit the road.
As Sara drove them to their destination, Ava turned to her. "You know, you still haven't told me where we are going."
Sara glanced at her quickly before focusing on the road again. "Yes, that's the point of a surprise," she teased, smirking at Ava's curiosity.
The taller blonde lazily rolled her eyes at that, "Yes, Sara, I know what the definition of a surprise is."
"Damnit! I guess the Dictionary I was gonna give you for Christmas is out of the picture now."
Ava laughed, loud and carefree, making Sara's heart beat faster. She loved being the culprit of such a lovely sound.
The rest of the ride was spent in a comfortable silence, with both of them enjoying the songs on the radio.
Ava sat straight in her seat as she noticed Sara had gone off the road into a dirt trail. "Have we arrived?"
"Almost there," Sara said smiling. Ava looked at her, pursing her lips, "I'm starting to think you're secretly a serial killer and I'm your next victim."
The smaller blonde bursted out laughing, "You watch too many horror movies, Aves."
Ava lifted her index finger, "Actually, I prefer true crime documentaries."
Sara shook her head, still smiling at what the blonde had said. A couple of minutes after she finally pulled over. She unbuckled her seatbelt, turning on her side to look at her date.
"Okay, you can rest now. We're finally here."
Ava unbuckled her seatbelt as well, mimicking Sara's position. "And what exactly is here?"
Sara raised her eyebrows, voice dropping to a teasing tone, "Well, let's go and find out, shall we?"
She opened the door, making her way to the back of her truck. Ava did the same, following her. As she rounded the vehicle, she was surprised with what she found.
A wonderful view of the city's landscape, right below their noses. The first hints of sunset could be seen painting the horizon with broad strokes of orange, red and shades of dark pink. The bustling movement of the city could be seen better than heard, with the noises of the several bird species orchestrating around the two women. Ava tried to soak it all in, to imprint it in her mind as a sweet memory to visit afterwards.
"It never ceases to amaze me," Sara said from behind her. As Ava turned around and saw the smile on the doctor's face, she couldn't help but smile back.
"It is breathtaking, without a doubt."
Sara nodded and turned around, busying herself with something for a couple of minutes.
"Hey, Aves, could you hold this for me, please?" she eventually asked, breaking Ava's attention out of the scene in front of her.
"Yeah, of course!" Ava walked closer to her, extending her arms to grab a duffel bag the other woman handed to her. "Wow, this is heavy. What do you have here? Rocks?"
"Yes, rocks. So I can throw someone in the river, like the serial killer that I am," Sara joked as she made her way to the small space in front of them. "You can place the bag on the floor now, carefully. Thank you."
"No problem," Ava smiled at her, looking around and appreciating her surroundings once more. "This place is beautiful, Sara. You really went all out."
Sara smiled fondly at her, opening her other bag. "You haven't seen anything yet," she told her as she started taking some pieces out to assemble something.
"No way!" Ava said, pleasantly surprised, " You've gotta be kidding me."
Sara turns her head back to look at her, "You'll see that I'm pretty serious when it comes to a date."
A few minutes later she was done assembling the telescope she had brought with her. She motioned for Ava to come closer, taking a peek through the lense before stepping away to let Ava try it.
"Okay, basically all you have to do is close one eye and use the other to see the sky. I already aimed for one of the main stars tonight."
Ava smiled brightly at Sara before bending down to look at it. She took a few minutes to check it, enjoying how well she could see the starry sky. When she was done, she was smiling even more, eyes shining beautifully.
"Sara, this is amazing! I don't… I can't even find the right words to describe it."
Sara stepped closer to her, left hand resting on Ava's waist as her right hand cupped the tall blonde's cheek. "Then don't say anything."
And with that she leaned in, slowly pressing their lips together. Sara had experienced a lot of kisses with other people throughout her life, but in all honesty, this was most likely the best one yet. A tingle ran through her body from head to toe, making her sigh against Ava's mouth.
The tall blonde wasted no time, pulling Sara's body against hers by the waist. At hearing Sara sighing, something woke up inside of her, and she couldn't resist teasing the smaller blonde's mouth open with her tongue.
Both women moaned at the touch, exploring each other's mouths. After a couple of minutes they parted, foreheads resting together.
A bubbly laughter left Ava's mouth, making Sara chuckle. "That good, uh?" she teased, making Ava kiss her again.
"Don't get cocky," Ava chastised half-heartedly. Sara shook her head, bumping Ava's nose playfully. "I wasn't. I was mostly talking about you. You're a great kisser."
Ava felt herself blush and in an attempt to hide it, she hid her face on the crook of Sara's neck. "Thank you… You're pretty great yourself," she whispered shyly.
Sara smiled fondly, bringing her hands up to rub comforting circles on the tall blonde's back. They stood like that for a while, simply running their hands through each other's bodies before Sara spoke again, "We should probably eat now."
Ava quickly stepped back from Sara's embrace, slightly embarrassed, "Oh yes, of course."
Motioning for Ava to follow her to the truck, she lowered the tailgate and climbed on top of it. "C'mon, up you go," she said, extending her hand to Ava.
Ava chuckled, accepting the hand offered before climbing aboard. She beamed at seeing the setup; a blanket placed on the surface of the truck, along with two throw pillows and a cooler on one of the corners.
She sat down as Sara busied herself with the cooler. After a minute she took out two wine bottles.
"Okay, I wasn't sure if you were more of a red or white wine kind of gal, so I brought both," she held the bottles on each hand, angling them so Ava could take a better look. "Actually, now that I think of it, do you even like wine?"
Ava smiled at Sara's slightly worried voice. "Yes, I do love some wine. White, to be more precise," she snatched the bottle from the small blonde's hand. Inspecting it closely, she smirked. "This is a good one. Great choice."
Sara grinned at the praise, "Thank you. I'll have to tell my sister she was right."
Ava laughed, and again Sara's heart sang.
"So you have a sister? Younger?"
"Older. Her name's Laurel, she's a lawyer."
"Ah… I see intelligence runs in the family."
Sara shrugged her shoulders, her lips pressed in a thin line. "I guess."
Her response made Ava frown, unclear of what she meant. "You guess? What do you mean?"
The small blonde sighed, head sagging against the back wall of the truck. "I just don't think I'm that special. I was always the troublemaker growing up, while Laurel was the perfect picture of a prodigy child. It's not like I was a dumb kid, I was just careless and troubled. So I got used to people not having any expectations towards me."
Listening to Sara speak so nonchalantly about how she and other people viewed herself created a dull ache in Ava's chest. As if it was simply a wrong notion that Sara had never bothered to fight against.
Something inside Ava urged her to comfort Sara, to make her feel better. To show what she still wasn't able to say in words.
She leaned in, hands cupping Sara's face, thumbs stroking her cheeks. "I'm going to kiss you now. Not because I find it uncomfortable having you open up to me, but because I need to show you how amazing you are. How amazing I think and know you are."
Sara chuckled softly, "Just kiss me already, you goober."
And Ava did. Again, and again, and again. Until both of them couldn't breathe. Until she was sure Sara knew exactly what she meant.
Foreheads resting against one another, breaths mingling together, matching smiles on their faces. For the first time in her life, Sara felt seen and understood.
"Thank you," she said, giving Ava one last kiss. Ava smiled against her lips before leaning back.
"So, I see we're all set up regarding the beverages. But what about the food? Because I am starving."
"Ahah! Worry not, m'lady! I've come packing with wonderful treats!"
That particular choice of words brought mischief to Ava's eyes, "Packing, you say?" she asked with raised eyebrows and a smirk that made her look delicious.
Sara blushed profusely as soon as she realized the double-entendre. "I- That's… Shut up."
"Wow! Sara Lance rendered speechless. Who would've thought such a feat was possible?"
"Hey! Careful, or no food for you tonight!" Sara joked, pointing her index finger at her.
Ava had a pout in place in a matter of seconds, huge puppy dog-eyes staring right into Sara's soul. "Aw, come on! Would you really leave me starving on our first date?"
Sara grinned wolfishly. "No lady is ever left starving on a date with me. I can guarantee you that."
Ava rolled her eyes half-heartedly at the dirty joke, "And there she is, ladies and gentlemen. The true Sara Lance is back!"
Sara leaned over and placed a kiss on her cheek. "Yeah, yeah. C'mon, let's eat." She moved her attention to another bag she brought with her, taking out three tupperware containers. She places them on the blanket between Ava and her, clasping her hands together.
"Okay! I bought us some pizza. I know this isn't a proper first date meal, but it was either that or sandwiches."
"Now, obviously, I didn't know what you liked, so I ordered veggie, pepperoni and pineapple. And before you say anything, yes, pineapple goes great on pizza."
Ava started laughing at that, cutting Sara's speech.
"Don't laugh at me! It is super tasty," the small blonde practically whined.
"No, no. I'm not laughing because of that," Ava shook her head and Sara looked at her confused.
"What's the reason then?"
Ava went quiet, looking at her with such fondness that Sara's heart couldn't help but flutter.
"You're adorable when you start rambling," Ava told her softly, reaching out to caress her cheek. "And fiy, pizza is an excellent first date meal. Especially with pineapple on it."
Sara smiled brightly at her, not even bothering hiding her happiness. "I can't believe that someone finally agrees with me."
"I do," Ava assured, pressing a light kiss on Sara's nose. "With that said, please let's eat now."
Sara nodded and started opening the lids of the containers. Both women settled into a comfortable silence, enjoying their meal and surroundings.
After they were done, Ava leaned back, resting against the back of the truck as she looked ahead to the horizon that was now pitch dark, with the exception of the street lights and highways. "Thank you for bringing me here tonight," she said as she looked at Sara.
The small blonde smiled at her, "Thank you for coming. I had a feeling you would like it. You seemed to have really enjoyed our time on the roof, so I figured you would love to see the stars more closely."
Ava looked away and down at Sara's hand, so close to her own. She got hold of it, caressing it between hers after entwining their fingers together. A perfect fit, she thought, as a smile made its way to her face. "You're right, I did enjoy it. A lot."
Sara couldn't help but look down as well, her heart skipping a beat at the softness of the gesture. She squeezed Ava's hand gently, trying to offer comfort back.
A sudden beeping breaks them out of their spell. Sara presses the screen of her smartwatch to stop the noise. "We should check the sky now. It's the perfect time."
"Sounds good," Ava nodded and followed Sara out of the truck. She waited for Sara to position the telescope as she wanted, taking the chance to look at the stars she could see through naked-eye.
"Okay… Here it is," the small blonde stepped back and motioned for Ava to come closer and look through the lense. "What do you think?"
"Wow… It's- I don't even have the words for it," she said with a big smile on her face before leaning back to look at Sara. "What is it?"
"That's the Omega Centauri, it's a globular cluster of stars. One of my favorites too."
"I can see why," Ava said smiling. "Can I look some more?"
"Of course! Take all the time you need."
Sara's chest warmed at the child-like curiosity and big smile on Ava's face. She looks adorable.
When Ava leaned back from the telescope's lense, Sara got closer to her. "Are you ready for another one?"
"Cool," the small blonde said, looking through the lense. After a few minutes of adjustments, she took a step back. "Okay, you can take a look now."
Ava stepped forward, once again mesmerized by what her eyes landed on. "Wow…"
Sara laughed at her immediate reaction. "That one is called the Jewel Box. It's an open cluster of stars."
"The Jewel Box? Why did they name it like that?" Ava asked, brows furrowed in curiosity.
"That's because in the center of it there's a row of three bright stars that look like jewels. The fun thing about it is that apparently each person sees it differently."
"It has to do with the colour of each one of them. You might see them as white, red and green, while I might see them differently."
Ava's face changed from surprise to a grin in a matter of seconds. "That is amazing! Let me take a closer look again."
Sara nodded, motioning for her to go ahead. After a couple of minutes inspecting the sky, Ava spoke again.
"Okay… I think I see yellow, red and green," she stepped back again. "Which colours do you see?"
"Let me check…" Sara changed places with her. "Yellow, red and… purple."
As she stepped back once more and turned to Ava, the woman was looking at her with a fond look in her eyes. "Close enough."
"Yeah," Sara nodded, before returning her attention to the telescope.
After another hour of looking at the distant stars, both women were now lying down side by side on the back of Sara's truck, simply staring at one another.
Sara reached out, tucking a lock of blonde hair behind Ava's ear. "What are you thinking right now?"
Ava blushed at the question, averting her piercing gaze. "Am I that obvious?"
The small blonde shrugged, stroking Ava's cheek with a smile on her face. "Maybe I'm just starting to get to know you well."
Ava returned her gaze, heart skipping a beat at Sara's words. "It feels like it." She rested her hand on top of Sara's, stroking her in return.
"I was just wondering how do you know so much about stars."
Sara's caress faltered for a couple of seconds. "My grandma." Her voice wavered as she said it and she felt the need to swallow down, willing it to be back to normal again.
Ava sensed that that particular subject might be rough on Sara, so her first instinct was to make her feel better. "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to," she told Sara, grabbing the hand resting against her face and bringing it to her lips, kissing it gently. "I understand."
Sara felt the need to swallow down again, this time for how Ava's pure kindness made her throat hurt and her eyes start to water. She breathed in, trying to pull herself together until she trusted that she could speak. "I want to tell you."
Ava nodded, giving Sara's hand one last kiss. "I'm all ears."
"I learned about stars from my grandma. She used to take me camping and we would stay up late into the night, just gazing up into the sky. Other times she would bring her telescope with her, and would point out all the constellations and planets, telling me about every single one of them."
Ava smiled softly at her before turning her head, "Is it that telescope over there?"
Sara shook her head at that, "No, that one is mine. I bought it after graduating from med school, as a reward to myself. Hers is back at my place, she left it for me when she…"
It was only when Ava reached out to wipe a tear away from Sara's face, that she realized she was crying. She sniffled, suddenly embarrassed. "I'm sorry-"
"It's okay," Ava whispered, leaning in to press a gentle kiss against her lips. The gentleness of it took Sara by surprise, before she quickly melted against the feeling of Ava's mouth on hers.
"Thank you," Sara whispered as they parted. The tall blonde smiled at her and she couldn't help but smile back. A couple of beats and she turned to rest on her back, looking up into the sky.
"She left it for me after she passed away. That was the saddest day of my life. She was my favorite person, the one who knew me best."
Ava felt such sorrow for Sara, as if she herself had experienced the pain the woman talked about. She moved closer until her head rested on Sara's shoulder and she had one arm wrapped around her waist, bringing the small blonde's body closer to hers.
Sara smiled, pressing a kiss against the crown of Ava's head as she put her left arm around her shoulders.
"Tell me more about her?"
Sara's smile got bigger, fond of the memories going through her mind. "She was fierce and independent. Didn't let anyone tell her what to do, much less any man. She was a free spirit, loved being surrounded by nature and all kinds of animals. She had three dogs and two cats; I used to love going to her house and playing with them. My love for animals definitely came from her. She loved to go out to dance and have fun, to challenge herself. She used to tell me 'Life's too short for regrets, little bug. We've got to try and live to the fullest!'"
Ava laughed, deciding that she loved Sara's grandmother already. "She sounds like a firecracker of a lady."
"She sure was." Sara chuckled, happy that Ava understood. "My mom and her never got along. I'll never understand how my mom grew up to be so uptight. She and my grandma were nothing alike."
"Maybe she took after her father?"
"Mhm… Maybe. I'm just glad I got to grow up with her as my grandma. If it wasn't for her, I would have been a much more troubled kid. She didn't like when I got myself in trouble at school or whenever I fought with Laurel or my parents, but she never once acted unkindly towards me or treated me as if I was a bad seed. She would simply pick me up and either bring me to her house for a few days or to a camping trip. Whenever things got too bad with my behavior, the environment at home would become unbearable."
"I can tell she loved you very much."
Sara squeezed Ava against her gently, running her hand through her soft blonde hair. "I don't doubt it. I just hope she's proud of the person I've become."
Ava frowned, propping herself up on one arm so she could look down at Sara, her right hand moving to cup her cheek.
"I have absolutely no doubt that she is. And from everything you've told me, it's clear she always saw good in you. I'm sure she always knew you were going to make her proud."
"I hope so," Sara whispered, nodding slowly. Ava smiled down at her, leaning in to graze their noses together.
"I know so…" she whispered before bringing her lips to Sara's.
Sara pulled over once she reached Ava's driveway. She sagged against her seat, turning on her side to look over at the other woman. "Well, here we are."
Ava unbuckled her seatbelt, mimicking Sara's position. "Yep. Here we are."
"I had a great time tonight," Sara said, deciding to be the first to break the sudden awkward silence.
Ava beamed at her, "Me too. It was amazing, really. I hope we can do it again, sometime..." she trailed off, casting her eyes to the hands now fidgeting in her lap.
Sara reached over and grabbed Ava's chin, gently tilting her head up to look into her beautiful eyes. "I definitely want to do this again."
Ava's smile was back, this time bigger than ever. Sara couldn't resist kissing her perfect full lips.
"Let me walk you upstairs?" she asked after they parted to breathe. Ava nodded, glad to have at least a few more minutes alone with Sara.
They got to Ava's door too quickly. So quickly that the blonde couldn't resist but pose the question, "Would you like to come in?"
Sara smiled at the invitation, but sighed right away, "I'd love to, but I don't think it's a good idea."
Ava frowned, unable to disguise her disappointment, "Oh… I see."
The other woman stepped closer until she had Ava pressed against the door. Sara cupped her face, taking Ava's breath away as she pressed their mouths in a passionate kiss filled with tongue and love bites.
"It's not a good idea because I desperately want to take you to bed and have my way with you right now."
Ava couldn't come up with a reply, still recovering from the dizzying kiss. "I-"
Sara shushed her efforts by tracing her now swollen lips with her thumb. "But I can't let that happen because I really like you, Ava. And I want to do this right. I don't want this to be just another meaningless one night stand."
Ava's heart started to beat faster at that. "Okay," she rasped out, her arousal traitorously showing off.
Sara smiled, giving her one last kiss before letting go. "Have a good night, Aves. I'll see you at the hospital."
Ava nodded before taking her keychain out of her pocket. She opened her door, holding it ajar as she took one last look at Sara. "You too. Text me when you get home?"