Ava’s apartment was interesting. It matched the woman perfectly. It was modern, simply designed and functional. Sara had left her in bed while she’d gone to explore. She didn’t make a habit of snooping but she was really into Ava, and someone’s apartment could really tell a lot about a person. There were a few picture frames on the mantelpiece, which Sara curiously mused over.
There was a picture of Ava at some sort of graduation ceremony; another of Ava with an older woman that Sara assumed was her mother. Next was Ava’s DVD shelf. A few documentaries, some old Westerns, and a Knights of the Round Table movie that Sara smirked at as she looked it over, the blonde actress playing Guinevere looking as far from the real thing as possible. There was a more heavily laden bookshelf that looked more promising. A lot of classics that looked very old, and worth a lot of money, some books that made Sara’s brain hurt just reading the title that had to be for work and then there was a yearbook. Sara ran her finger up the spine, feeling very tempted. What treasures could this boom possibly yield to her, the opportunity to tease Ava almost too good.
Sara turned, grinning at the sight of Ava in just her work shirt. “Hey you.”
Ava leaned against the doorframe. “What are you up to?”
Sara walked up to her, kissing her. “I didn’t want to wake you. That okay?”
Ava smiled. “Sure. There’s not much in my apartment to entertain you though.”
Sara smirked. “Oh, I don’t know…there’s a yearbook over there that I kinda want to see…”
Ava frowned. “Oh…you don’t want to see that.”
Sara scoffed. “Ah come on, Ava, it’s just a yearbook. What, you don’t like your picture?”
Ava walked towards her fridge. “You want some breakfast?”
Sara followed her, coming up behind her and wrapping her arms around her. This intimacy, it was new between them yet felt so natural. She liked being close to Ava, feeling Ava’s body against her own. She hadn’t been able to be with someone like this for so long, so for Ava to come into her life just when she needed her, Sara was starting to feel very blessed.
She could tell something was bothering Ava, something to do with the yearbook. She was starting to wish she’d never brought it up but now that she saw how it affected Ava, she had to find out what it was.
“Tell me about the yearbook.” She pressed a soft kiss behind her ear.
Ava sighed. “Alright. But I need coffee first.”
After making some coffee for them both, they went back to Ava’s couch where Ava walked to the bookshelf and took the yearbook from its place.
“I haven’t looked at this thing in years. I’m surprised I still have it.”
Sara waited patiently for her to continue. She sensed that this story was gonna be a long one, and that it wasn’t gonna have a happy ending.
“I didn’t even by it, my mom did. I didn’t want it but she said that I’d want it later. I came out when I was 16, so high school wasn’t exactly fun for me. My town wasn’t as bad as some down south but I was still treated like some kind of outcast, like I didn’t belong.”
“High school’s the worst.”
Ava nodded enthusiastically. “Yes it is. Anyway, when it came to yearbook time, there was a nasty tradition the popular kids started way back. They’d add pages into the book; pay whichever geeky kid was in charge to make sure it printed. The school never stopped it, always made some excuse about freedom of speech and creativity. Anyways, I got most likely to be an uptight bitch, had least amount of friends and most likely to end up alone.”
Sara moved closer to Ava, her arm snaking around her waist and pulling her into a hug. “That’s so cruel.”
Ava shook her head. “Trust me, it gets worse.”
Sara looked down at Ava, her eyes wide. “How can it get worse?”
Ava slowly opened the book, quickly flipping past the nasty pages she’d mentioned already and coming to her picture in the yearbook. Young Ava was beautiful, as if Sara expected anything less, with her hair curly and swept to the side, her smile a little tight but her eyes shining as Sara imagined she was finally glad to be free from high school hell. Underneath, Ava had chosen a quote by Aristotle reading ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit’. However the photo was obscured by several scrawls, most of which contained profanity. Sara ran her hand over the page.
“Dyke bitch…lesbo…no homo…what the fuck?!”
Ava closed the book quickly. “It was a long time ago. I’ve moved past it.”
Sara’s face was thunderous. Taking Ava’s head in her hands, she kissed her fiercely. “None of its true, Aves. You’re one of the most amazing, strong, smart and beautiful women I have ever known!”
Ava smiled into the kiss. “It’s for moments like this that I rose above it all.”
Later that evening…
Ava was asleep; they’d had a busy day. They’d gone to the zoo and had a wonderful date, and then come home to a dinner cooked by Ava, with Sara absolutely banned from the kitchen after the last disaster. Then they’d watched a movie and gone to bed. The yearbook had been all but forgotten.
Except Sara couldn’t stop thinking about it.
No wonder Ava kept socialising to a minimum. These cruel kids had hurt her so badly that she’d locked away a memory of her high school years, a chapter of her life, because these people had tainted it. It wasn’t good enough. Slipping out of bed, she quickly got dressed and grabbed Ava’s time courier and typed a date, location and time.
Soon she was outside a high school, shivering in the cold wind. Students were milling everywhere and she soon spotted who she was looking for. Staying in the shadows, she followed him and his friends until they were alone, hanging outside near a bike rail to smoke. Approaching, the three boys wolf whistled while the two girls ignored her.
“Hey, gorgeous! Come over here!”
Sara rolled her eyes. “Are you Brock James?”
The guy nodded. “Yeah, that’s me.”
Sara acknowledged the rest of the group. “So that would make you Gray, Seth, Maria and Hannah?”
The group stared at her wide eyed. Brock stood up. “You been stalkin’ us, lady?”
Sara shrugged. “Just observing. You’re interesting people.”
One of the girls, Maria, ashed her cigarette, and blew smoke in Sara’s face. “What do you want, huh?”
Blinking, Sara sighed. “I want you to learn some manners, you entitled little bitch.”
With lightning speed, she whipped the cigarette out of her mouth. She moved to slap her which Sara easily dodged, catching the girl’s hand and forcing her to backhand herself.
The other girl, Hannah, took off running while the three boys surrounded her, one of them cracking his knuckles.
“You picked the wrong crowd to mess with, bitch.”
Gray surged towards her, so Sara stepped out of the way letting him trip over his own momentum. Brock was next, aiming a punch for her face which she blocked before landing a kick to his knee and then one to his chest. Gray was on his feet again, and was approaching her left side while Seth was coming on her right. They were large, and clumsy, and Sara managed to dodge their attempts to punch or grab her, breaking Gray’s nose and putting Seth into a kimura until he cried for her to let him go.
Brock was still slumped against the wall when she came to him, sloppily trying to punch her when she came near. She caught his hand, bending his fingers back and making him stand up. He yelled in pain as she bent them more, twisting a little for effect.
“You crazy bitch!”
Sara effortlessly broke his fingers, punching him in the stomach, sending him down once more. “Oh, Brock. I’ve dealt with guys like you my whole life. You think you’re hot shit because you have some talent in some sport, then it goes to your head and Bam! You’re a popular kid, everyone wants to be your friend, every girl wants to date you and you’re on top of the world. But there’s one thing that being popular does to people: it makes you think you can be a dick. Well, here’s the thing. You can’t.”
Grabbing him by his letterman jacket, she forced him to stand up and retrieved her dagger from its holster on her thigh. Pressing to his neck, she breathed a satisfied sigh as little beads of blood began to form, dancing menacingly on the edge of the knife. He began to breathe rapidly, his eyes wide with fear.
“Please! Please don’t kill me! I’ll do anything you want, just don’t kill me!”
Sara pressed hard for a moment, looking him dead in the eye, before she removed the knife. “You’re gonna start leaving the kids you’ve been terrorising alone. Or I’ll be back, and this time I’ll be breaking more than your fingers. You feel me?”
He nodded quickly, sweat pouring off him. “I swear, I swear!”
Sara grinned. “Who’s the bitch now?”
Heading into the school, she saw a booth and walked up to it. The kid running it smiled at her weakly with his braces glinting off the school’s yellow light.
“Can I help you, ma’am?”
Sara picked up a yearbook. “I’ll take one.”
“A-Are you a family member?”
Sara thought quickly. “Yes. My niece goes here.”
She paid for her yearbook and walked a good distance from the school before she opened a time window and stepped back into Ava’s apartment. She neatly ripped out the pages that had been added by Brock and his crew, and found a marker pen to write on Ava’s page.
‘Most likely to be a badass Time Agent, with a badass, super-hot girlfriend. I love you.’
She drew a small heart and signed it. Leaving it on Ava’s bedside table, she undressed and got back into bed, snuggling into her badass Time Agent, and slowly drifted off to sleep with a smirk on her face, dreams of her kicking that fuckboy’s ass pleasantly taking her away.