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“Okay, okay. I’ll give you her number! Just please don’t hurt me!” Gary cowers in his chair, feeling a tremendous urge to hide under his desk. With trembling hands, he writes the number down on a notepad and hands it to Sara. Praying in his mind, he hopes that Ava will never find out that he gave her number away. “Now go!” He even has the gall to shoo at her. “Hurry, she’ll be here any second!” Gary looks around desperately, almost as if Ava would jump out of a wall and yell ‘boo!’

Sara smiles sweetly and takes the piece of paper, folding it over twice before slipping it into her pocket. “Thanks, Gary. Don’t worry. I won’t hurt you.” She smirks. “I’ll let Ava do that.” As she turns and starts to walk away, she runs into the object of her affection. Although a more accurate phrase is object of her obsession. Not that she’s a crazy stalker or anything. Sara just feels something for Ava, something other than lust she is unwilling to name, for now. And when Sara wants something, she goes for it. This time, she’s just taking a … different approach.

As Ava rounds the corner, she freezes when she sees Sara. “Captain Lance? What are you doing here?” Ava is always formal in her workplace, calling everybody by their proper title. Everyone except Gary. For some reason, it feels odd to call Gary, Agent Green. It’s probably because they have more than just a boss-underling relationship. She’d like to think that they’re friends. She’s also unsure if calling her ‘Sara’ is appropriate. After all, they’re not quite friends, but definitely not enemies anymore. So Ava decides to play it safe, like she usually does.

Sara, on the other hand, has no qualms about anything of the sort. “Hey, Ava. Gary was just helping me out with something.” Turning back to the man in question, Sara shoots him a deadly look that promises to break all his fingers and toes if he lets Ava know just how he ‘helped’ her. Gary swallows nervously, his eyes darting around for a wall he can blend into.

Ava also turns back to look at Gary questioningly, wondering exactly what Sara needs help with. The Time Bureau seems like the last place she’d go for help but maybe that’s in the past now. She doesn’t even particularly mind Sara calling her by her first name. In fact, her name on Sara’s tongue sounds … nice. Everyone always calls her Director Sharpe. It was … nice (yes she was using that word again) being acknowledged as a person, not only with detached deference.

The progression from adversary to tentative friend is startling, but welcome all the same. Although Sara likes provoking Ava, working together with her has proven that they make a good team. Enemies—Sara has them in spades; she doesn’t need to make the Time Bureau an enemy. Having Ava on her side is great but it isn’t nearly enough. Sara smirks to herself. Ava Sharpe won’t know what hit her.

Gary swivels his chair around and smiles but it just looks like a creepy grimace. With thoughts of possible murder and dismemberment from both Sara and Ava if he tells, he is doubly screwed. From now on, he promises to be the best agent ever so Ava won’t suspect a thing. Ava looks a bit suspicious already so Gary stands up and greets her with as much enthusiasm as he can muster. “Hi boss! How are you? You look great today,” he rambles. “N-not that you don’t look great everyday!” Gary quickly adds when Ava raises an eyebrow. “Do you want some coffee? I want some coffee. I’ll go get you some coffee!”

“You seem jittery. Maybe you should lay off the coffee, Gary.” Sara gives him a look of concern, with furrowed eyebrows and pursed lips.

Ava huffs amusedly, easily seeing through Sara’s concerned act. “You feeling okay, Gary?” As his boss and friend, she’s actually a little concerned about how he’s acting right now.

“Of course! I’m gonna... get some water,” Gary titters nervously, shifting from one foot to another. He needs to get out of here! Directing his next words at Ava, he makes his escape. “I’ll be right back, boss!” He scurries away quickly, leaving Ava with a bewildered expression on her face and Sara with an expression of amusement.

After Gary’s hasty departure, Ava turns back to Sara, who quickly realizes that they are now alone. She speaks before Ava can get a word in. “I should get back to the Waverider. See ya around.” She smiles, a brief genuine smile and then strides away as fast as Gary has.

“Bye?” Ava bemusedly gets out before Sara disappears down the hall. What was that all about? Ava shakes her head and slips into her office, intent to get to work. Her life revolves around sleeping, eating, and working. Mostly working. Then again, she wouldn’t know what to do if she isn’t working.

Ava is in bed, reading an article about how effective employee management garners beneficial results and improves employee performance. When her phone buzzes once on the nightstand, she puts down her tablet. If it was work, surely they would’ve called her. Reaching out blindly for the phone with her right hand, she grabs it and checks the screen. She has a text—more specifically a picture—but it is from an unknown number. She debates ignoring it, but eventually, curiosity gets the better of Ava and she opens the message, hoping that she won’t regret it.

Ava gulps in surprise. This is not what she is expecting. Maybe a picture of a baby or a pet sent by mistake but not this. She can quickly tell that the picture is of a woman even though there is no face, only the upper chest shown. It is clearly meant to seduce, to tease the recipient and leave them fantasizing about what’s under. Ava thinks that the woman has definitely succeeded. The woman’s shapely breasts are covered by pale blue lace. Similar to the eyes of Sara Lance, Ava thinks. Where did that come from? She continues her perusal, feeling like a lecher drooling over a picture. The woman is only wearing a bra for gods sakes. A sexy bra, Ava reminds herself. The lacy fabric molds to her chest, cupping each breast snugly. Licking her lips, Ava thinks that they might fit perfectly in her hands. Sucking in a breath, she can just make out the shape of her nipples through the thin fabric. They are lightly colored, perhaps a shade of pink or maybe brown. What Ava finds most admirable is that her skin is not entirely unblemished. There, slightly above the left breast is a single scar that looks like an old wound. She is clearly comfortable and unashamed with her body to send something like this. But why should she need to feel shame? Everyone has scars whether they are above or below the surface and in this woman’s case, it doesn’t detract from the sensuality of the picture at all.

There is a caption underneath the picture: Do you like it?

Yes. Hell yes, Ava likes it. She imagines Sara wearing this bra… with matching panties, mouthing the words to her. It makes Ava warm. The phone falls from her hands onto the covers with a soft thud. She shifts uncomfortably and throws the covers off her legs. A second later, she whips of her tank top, leaving her in a black sport bra. Ava has no idea why she is getting so worked up over a picture. Or why she is fantasizing about Sara Lance. Okay, so maybe she has just a teeny crush on Sara. Taking a deep breath, Ava hopes to calm herself. It does little to help.

Ava decides to ignore the message, hoping that the woman will take the hint. A tiny selfish part of her hopes that the woman won’t be deterred and will send her another scantily clad picture.

A few minutes later, Ava feels guilty and disgusted with herself for acting this way. This woman clearly did not mean to send it to her. Ava wants to spare her as much embarrassment as possible so she keeps the message short and simple. Ava also wants to make it clear that she is not here to judge. Her mind made up, she types “I think you have the wrong number.” and sends it. It goes through.

Putting down her phone and picking up her tablet, Ava tries to concentrate on the article again. Ten minutes later, she has reread the same sentence over and over again. Still, her mind refuses to process the words in front of her. Her eyes continue to unconsciously drift to her phone, which has not buzzed at all. An hour later, there is still no reply. Although Ava hasn’t expected one, she is… disappointed. She turns off her tablet and flicks the lamp off, deciding to to put this foolish feeling behind her and go to sleep, even though it is only ten o’clock.

Just as sleep begins to drag her under, her phone buzzes. The sound is loud and grating as it vibrates against the wooden table. Ava is immediately alert, her whole body shooting up in response. The covers fall down, revealing her torso still clad in only a bra. Her heart beating in trepidation—not excitement, she tells herself—Ava briefly fumbles in the dark until she grasps the cool, rectangular shape in her hands. As she unlocks it, the phone lights up and illuminates her face in a white glow. Ava’s happy mood suddenly darkens. She visibly deflates. The text is not from her. It’s only Gary.

Good night, boss.

Sighing, Ava automatically types back a similar reply and sets her phone down again. Why is Gary texting her anyway? Come to think of it, he’s been acting weird all day, Ava thinks. She shakes it off. Gary’s just being Gary.

That night, Ava dreams of a mysterious woman wearing blue lace that matches her eyes. Her face is blurry but her eyes are a familiar, haunting blue.

On the other side of the world and timeline, Sara smiles to herself in her quarters. She had predicted Ava’s response would be something like that. Ava is just too honorable. That makes Sara fall harder and causes her to feel all the more determined. She doesn’t really have a plan, but when did she ever? Tomorrow would be a new day. She unclasps the bra and throws it on the bed beside her. The covers feels wonderful against her bare skin as she drifts off to sleep.