Ava knows she is not supposed to be here. She knows that by stepping through the portal she opened only seconds ago, she's breaking every rule in every book. Yet, for the first time in her life, the rules don't seem to be all that important anymore. She is a woman on a mission, and no mission, no assignment and no conversation has ever felt more important.
It takes Ava a moment to move towards the building in front of her. Once she's collected her breath, she continues towards the stairs. She finds herself pausing as soon as her hands come into contact with the handle. What the hell was she thinking coming here? Before she has a moment to collect her thoughts, someone opens the door from the other side, making the person attempting to leave the building awkwardly bump into the tall blonde that has been frozen in place.
“Excuse me ma’am.” The woman Ava recognizes as Thea Queen apologizes, as she brushes past Ava to continue on with her day. Thea Queen, the woman who killed Sara back in 2014. Ava knows this Thea Queen is not the same person that shot three arrows into Sara’s chest, but still bumping into the woman that once killed Sara in cold blood makes Ava’s body shiver.
Sara, the love of Ava’s life, the reason why Ava has found herself portaling into Star City, in the year 2018.
The interaction with Thea Queen is just enough to snap Ava out of the internal conflict that had been going on inside her head. She takes a deep breath before stepping into Star City's City Hall. Without pausing, she immediately makes her way over to the young lady sitting behind the reception desk.
“Hi, I am looking to speak with Mayor Lance.” Ava says nervously.
“Of course, what’s your name, darling?” The receptionist asks Ava kindly.
“Ava. Ava Sharpe.”
The receptionist in her turn starts looking through a bundle of papers, before she looks back up at Ava.
“Mayor Lance is in meetings all day, do you have an appointment Ms. Sharpe?” The young lady, Jessica, according to the name tag she is wearing, replies.
“I uh, I do not.” Ava replies defeated. Of course Quentin Lance is in meetings all day, Ava should have thought of that before bothering him at his office. Especially considering that in this timeline Ricardo Diaz is still out there, terrorizing Star City. She wants to turn around and portal back home when her hand comes in contact with the small box she had shoved in her pocket earlier this morning. And all of a sudden Ava is hit with a boost of confidence. She has come this far. She can’t give up now, can she?
“It’s about his daughter.” Ava says before she has a chance to overthink what she is going to say.
“Laurel?” Jessica replies immediately, seemingly shocked and surprised by Ava’s reply.
“No, uh, actually his other daughter.” A pause falls between Ava and the receptionist, before Ava quietly repeats herself. “It’s about Sara.” This time Jessica seems to finally realize who Ava is talking about, because before she even has the chance to blink she is being directed to Mayor Lance’s office down the hall. Jessica knocks before she enters the room.
“Mayor Lance, I have a Ms. Sharpe here for you. She wants to talk to you about Sara.” Ava immediately notices Quentin’s face fall as soon as Jessica speaks Sara’s name. She assumes the mayor has some kind of protocol in place for matters that involve Sara, because the next thing she knows, she is being pushed into Mayor’s Lance office, finally coming eye to eye with the man Sara has told her so many great stories about.
“Jessica, please cancel my meetings for the remainder of this afternoon.” Quentin addresses his secretary, before addressing Ava. “Ms. Sharpe, please, take a seat.”
Ava follows his directions and sits down on the chair that’s opposite from the mayor. Quentin waits for Jessica to leave before he speaks again.
“Is she-.” He stops himself, and brushes his hand over his face, seemingly trying to compose himself in front of Ava. Ava can clearly see the distress on his face, the pain from the thought of losing Sara all over again. Ava wants to stop him right there and then, but Quentin’s voice speaks before she can find her own.
“Is my baby okay?” Ava’s heart breaks at how broken he sounds.
“She is fine sir.” Ava quickly reassures him. “She is fantastic actually. I’m sorry that my arrival here made you doubt her well-being.” She can visibly see Quentin relax before her.
“Very well.” The man in front of her replies. Quentin gives her a once over before he speaks again. “You are not coming from 2018 right now, are you?”
Ava shakes her head. “No sir.”
“When are you from? Right now I mean. What year, if you can even answer that.”
“I currently came in from the year 2020, Mayor Lance.”
“So, I assume you are like her then? A time traveler?”
Ava doesn’t respond verbally but nods, giving Quintin a moment to process all this.
“But she is fine?” Quentin asks her again, needing the reassurance that his daughter truly is okay. Ava’s heart breaks for the man who already had to go through the pain of losing one of his daughters twice.
“I assure you Mayor Lance, your daughter is in excellent health. In fact, she is happy.” A smile returns to Ava’s face. “Genuinely happy, happier than I have ever seen her, which is why I am here.”
“You love her.” Quentin states. It’s not a question, but an observation he has made.
“More than anything or anyone in this world sir. Your daughter is the bravest, kindest, most fantastic and brilliant human being I have ever met. She is everything that is good in this world, even if she has trouble finding that goodness within herself sometimes. She loves so strongly and fierce, even after all the loss, pain and suffering she has had to endure in her life, she still loves the people around her so very deeply. You raised an amazing woman, Mayor Lance. She has grown so much during her time with the Legends, you would be so proud of her.”
“So it’s me then.” Quentin states. “Something has happened to me.” Again it’s not a question, Ava really should have given the man more credit for the incredible police officer he once was, because he really seems to pick up on where she is wants to go with this conversation rather quickly.
“Yes sir, indeed.” Ava whispers, her smile falling from her face. “I can’t give you any details, or tell you more. In fact I am breaking every protocol in every book by just being here. But I had to. For Sara. I want to do this right.”
“I understand.” Quentin nods. “I can tell you’re very important to my daughter, and I’d like to get to know you better. Do you happen to have plans for lunch Ms. Sharpe?”
“No Mayor Lance, I do not. And please call me Ava.”
“Then you call me Quentin.” Quentin replies with a smile. “Let me grab my coat, I know a great place for lunch. Perhaps you could catch me up on what my daughter has been up to in the future.”
“I’d love that, Mayor Lance.” Quentin shoots Ava a look at the use of his formal title. “Quentin.” Ava corrects herself.
“That’s better.” Quentin smiles, and for a moment, Ava sees Sara’s smile reflected on his face. And her heart breaks, knowing what is going to happen to Sara’s father in less than two weeks.
Quentin has taken Ava to a nice upscale restaurant. They have gotten a private table, which makes it easier for Ava to have the conversation they are about to have. She may have convinced herself that telling Quentin Lance about the future and time travel is okay for the time being, but there is absolutely no right way in her mind in which she could tolerate the public finding out about time travel. She knows that she is breaking a few too many rules for her liking by telling Quentin, but seeing that the incredible man sitting in front of her will sadly not be around much longer, Ava sees no harm in telling him about his daughter’s future.
They first chat about Ava and her life before she met Sara. Ava hadn't planned on telling him about the fact she's a clone from the future. It turns out making small talk about a childhood she never had felt a lot like deceiving her lovers father. Something she certainly didn't intend on doing. Plus she felt like Quentin was the kind of man that could tell whenever someone was lying, call it cop instinct. So Ava tells him everything, making him swear he won’t tell a soul. She answers every question he has, and to her surprise, Quentin takes it a lot better than she expected.
Ava tells him about how her and Sara couldn’t stand each other when they first met. How Sara found her infuriating and how she couldn’t stand to be in the same room as Ava, but how even during those first few months, she always had respect for her. Quentin laughs at that, saying that sounds like his girl. She tells him about how horrible their first date went, and how much Sara loves and respects her even when they disagree about certain things from time to time. She tells him about Mallus, and how the time demon brought them closer together. About how Sara gave her her first real childhood memory, by kissing her at a Summer Camp back in 1995. About them moving in together a year and a half ago, when most of the magical creatures had been captured. She talks about the Legends, and how much of a wonderful Captain and role model Sara is to them. She tells him how they have all become a family, and she swears she sees a few tears escaping Quentin’s eyes, but decides out of respect not to comment on them.
In return Quentin tells her all about Sara’s childhood. About the Peter Pan play that Sara had briefly mentioned on their first date. About how Sara was always the rebel child, but how she stood up for Laurel, even if it meant getting in trouble at home or with the law. About their family vacation to Florida, when Sara broke her arm while climbing a tree, and claimed to be fine for 3 days before Quentin and Dinah realized just how serious it was and took her to a hospital. He tells her about how Laurel and Sara would love to play dress up when they were younger. About Sara’s canary that drove the entire family insane, especially Laurel who was a little too serious about her studies, even as a child. Quentin’s face lights up whenever he speaks about his daughters. And Ava can tell he loves them more than anything or anyone in this world. It makes Ava wish that if she had had a real father, he would have been the kind of father that Quentin Lance had been to Laurel and Sara.
They briefly talk about the time Sara was missing after the Queen’s Gambit sank, but Ava can tell Quentin does not like to talk about that particular time. So they move to a lighter, happier topic.
Before either one of them have realized it hours have passed. Ava is enjoying Quentin’s stories about a younger Sara so much, that she thinks they actually made her fall in love with the woman even more, if that is even possible.
They have just finished talking about how a 6 year old Sara and 8 year old Laurel once tried to surprise Dinah with a self-made breakfast for Mother’s Day, and how Quentin had never seen them prouder of their accomplishment than when they entered their parents’ room with the tray of food in their tiny little hands, even if it took him 2 days to clean up the kitchen after them and he had to scrape the spilled orange juice from the wall near the stairs, when Quentin speaks again.
“So Ava, tell me, what brought you to my office today?”
Ava’s heartbeat starts to pick up, her palms become sweaty and her mouth gets extremely dry. Ava curses herself for finishing her glass of water earlier in their conversation.
“It’s okay darling, just ask.” Quentin encourages her with a soft smile.
Ava smiles, thankful for his encouragement. She takes a deep breath, as her hand comes into contact with the tiny box in her left pocket, giving her all the encouragement she needs to open her mouth and speak.
When Ava portals into her and Sara’s apartment an hour later, she can’t help but let the tears she has been holding in all afternoon fall down her face. Today was a lot more emotional than she expected it to be. She always knew Quentin Lance was an amazing man from all of Sara’s stories, but she never had been lucky enough to meet him herself. Now that she finally had had that chance, she was mourning for the man and father she would never truly get the pleasure to know.
Out of reflex her hand goes back into her pocket, finding the strength it so desperately needs right now. Her hands find the paper, carefully written out only a few minutes earlier. Ava chokes on air, a new wave of sobs escaping her mouth. Her tear-stained eyes find the clock. She’s expecting Sara home any minute now. Ava walks into their bedroom, she needs a moment to collect herself before Sara gets home.
Ava wakes up half an hour later, by soft lips pressing against her temple.
“Hey baby, how was your day?” Sara softly whispers, allowing Ava time to wake up.
As soon as Ava’s eyes find Sara’s soft blue, the taller blonde wraps her arms around her girlfriend, needing to be closer to her immediately after the day she has just had.
“Baby.” Sara speaks softly, but concerned, into Ava’s hairline. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s nothing.” Ava tries to reassure her, but Sara catches the tear that trails down Ava’s cheek.
“This doesn’t seem like nothing to me.” Sara’s voice is filled with so much love and concern, it makes Ava love her even more.
“It was just a long day babe, that’s all.”
“Come here.” Sara says as she sits down next to Ava on the bed, her arms immediately wrapping the woman in a warm, loving embrace. Ava gladly accepts the invitation and shuffles impossibly closer into Sara’s arms. They sit like that for a while, neither one of them speaking, until Sara breaks the silence.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“No, it’s okay.” Ava’s voice is soft. “I feel better already.”
“Are you sure?” Sara asks, concern still filling her voice.
Ava can only nod in response, scared that if she will try to use her voice, the tears will start to fall once more.
“How about I start on dinner, and you draw yourself a nice warm bath?” Sara suggests.
Ava nods, before reconsidering. “You could join me?”
Sara lifts her eyebrows, and gives Ava a smirk. “Ava Sharpe.”
“Not like that. I just- I want to be close to you.” Ava admits softly.
Sara kisses the top of Ava’s head. “Okay, I’ll get the water running and grab some candles and a bottle of wine from downstairs. I’ll be right back.” And just like that Sara is out of their bedroom, and Ava is left alone again with her thoughts.
She picks up the note, she carefully placed in the drawer of her nightstand before lying down, and looks at the cursive words written on them. She can hear the water running from the bathroom, and hears Sara make her way down the stairs. She gives the note one more glance, before slipping it under her pillow.
Never in her life did she ever expect to love someone as much as she loves Sara Lance.
After their bath Ava’s night improves immensely. They move to the couch to watch a movie wrapped in each other’s arms. Later that evening, Sara and Ava cook dinner together, which goes surprisingly smooth. Dinner is nothing special, but it’s lovely. Sara talks about her day with the team, and Ava can’t help but laugh when she hears about their mission. Sometimes she really cannot believe how silly their lives can get. After dinner they end up having a little soap fight during the dishes, when Sara blows soap bubbles in Ava’s face for absolutely no other reason than to see her love smile again. They chase each other around the apartment for a while, and end up both on the floor, laughing until their stomachs hurt. It’s the perfect domestic night, and Ava wouldn’t change a thing. In fact she wishes for more simple nights like this. Where it is just her and Sara, living their lives without having to think about magical fugitives, anachronisms or time demons. It is absolutely perfect, and all Ava wants is a life time filled with nights like this.
Halfway through the second movie, both Ava and Sara’s eyes are falling closed.
“I’m gonna go get ready for bed. You coming?” Sara says as she reluctantly untangles herself from Ava. Ava groans as soon as the warmth that had made her extra comfortable leaves with Sara’s body.
“Get back here.” Ava whines, stretching out her arms as she tries to drag Sara back down on the couch with her, but Sara is just a little too far out of reach for Ava to succeed.
“Come on babe, let’s go get ready for the night, and continue this cuddle session in the comfort of our bed.” Sara takes Ava’s outstretched arm and drags her off the couch and towards the stairs.
Once they are upstairs, their hands untangle, and the two of them get dressed and ready for the night.
Sara has already made her way into the bedroom, while Ava is still brushing her teeth in the bathroom.
Sara knows Ava enjoys her night ritual, and that it takes a little longer than her own, so she decides to already get into their big comfy bed. She gets comfortable under the covers, and her hand slips under Ava’s pillow, like it always does, before Ava gets into bed with her. It is an old habit, one Sara cannot seem to break. However, this time her hand finds a piece of paper underneath the pillow. Sara’s mind immediately flashes back to the note she had found under her pillow a little over two years ago, when she had just broken up with Ava. Her heart stops. She throws the covers from her body, and sits up. For a moment she doubts if she should unfold the note or leave it like this, it might be private. But before Sara can place the note back where she found it, curiosity takes the better of her.
Sara doesn’t hear the water being shut off, or Ava’s footsteps in the hall. No, all she can focus on is the note in her hands. Tears immediately gather in her eyes, as soon as the beautiful, cursive words register in her mind:
“This spot is reserved for the future Mrs. Lance.”
Sara’s heart skips a beat. She is frozen in place. She doesn’t see Ava linger in the doorway, or notice the tears that have started to form in her girlfriend’s eyes, all she can focus on is the cursive handwritten note in front of her, she’d recognize that handwriting out of a thousand, it’s her father's. Once she realizes exactly what the note says, Sara is done trying to hide her tears. She can feel the bed dip next to her, and Ava’s soft lips on her temple, whispering soft words in her ear, letting her register for a moment what all of this means.
“Are you- Is this-“ Sara tries to form a coherent sentence, but seems at a loss of words. Ava moves closer to her girlfriend, and takes her hand in her own, giving Sara’s hand a soft squeeze before speaking.
“I love you, Sara Lance. I love you more than I have ever loved anyone else in this world. I feel most alive when I’m with you. You make me feel as real as I feel about you. And I want to spend the rest of my life by your side, loving you. And I don’t know what the future holds for us, what life will decide to throw at us next, but what I do know is that I want to figure it out with you by my side.” Ava, never dropping Sara’s hand or losing eye contact gets down on one knee in front of Sara, and pulls out the tiny box that had been giving her strength all day. “Sara Lance, will you please marry me?”
A sob escapes Sara’s mouth before she wholeheartedly starts nodding. “Yes. Oh my God yes.” Sara crashes their lips together, both of them smiling into the kiss. When they break apart a good minute later, Ava finally slips the ringer on Sara’s finger. Their eyes find each other’s’ again, and they can’t help but crash their lips together once more.
“I love you so much Ava Sharpe.”
“That will be Mrs. Ava Lance to you soon, my love.” Ava smiles.
“You really want to be a Lance?” Sara asks full disbelief.
“I mean if that’s okay with you?” Ava suddenly gets nervous, what if she did not think this through?
“Absolutely. More than okay. It’s perfect. I would love for you to be Mrs. Ava Lance, so everyone knows you are mine.”
“I mean, Sharpe was never my own name. It has always been a name that was chosen for me by Rip. A name eleven other Ava’s have used before me. This way, I’ll finally get to be someone none of them will ever get to be. This time I choose my family, my name, and my life. I choose you.”
“God, I love you.” Sara replies before softly kissing Ava’s lips.
“We both had to deal with the fact that we lost our families these past few years. Mine perhaps was never real, but yours was, and I’d love nothing more than to be part of your family forever Sara.”
Sara’s eyes wander back to the note, that she carefully placed upon her nightstand earlier. “How?” Sara manages to get out in between her sobs, her eyes never leaving the note. “How did you get him to write this?”
“I may or may not have used my time courier to go to 2018.” Ava mumbles softly.
“You what?” Sara says full disbelief. “Ava Sharpe, did you break the rules for me?” Sara says with a smirk on her face.
“Perhaps. But it was for a very important mission!” Ava tries to defend herself.
“You met my dad?”
“Look, I had to ask for his blessing, didn’t I? Plus, you deserve to know that your father wants you to be happy, Sara. He loves you so very much.”
“I know.” Sara’s voice is soft and vulnerable when she speaks. “I miss him so much.”
“I know baby, I know.” Ava pulls Sara closer. “He was a good man. I’m really glad I got to know him a little better this afternoon.”
Sara kisses the sad smile from Ava’s face. “Thank you. This means everything to me.” Sara says, holding up the note.
“I hoped it would. You mean everything to me. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to see you happy, babe.”
“Ha! Does this mean you’ll finally try my Snickerdoodles next time I make them?”
“Okay, almost everything.” Ava replies with a smirk, remembering the awful taste in her mouth from the first time Sara attempted to make them.
Sara playfully shoves Ava, causing her to fall over on the bed. “Okay, thanks jerk.”
When Ava makes no attempt to get back up, Sara lies down next to her. They stay like that for a while, Sara admiring the new ring on her finger, and Ava placing soft kisses on her fiancée’s fingers.
“Do you think he is proud of me?” Sara asks after a while.
“I know he is.”
“Yeah babe, we both are.”
“I bet he is proud of you too. You know.” Sara speaks once they have settled in for the night. “My dad, I mean.”
“I hope so.” Ava replies softly, after finding out that her parents were actors, Ava never thought that she’d ever seek parental approval again. But after meeting Quentin Lance, she cannot help but hope that the man is happy she is going to be the one to marry his daughter. Even though he assured her this afternoon that he is absolutely thrilled for them, that Sara couldn’t have been luckier.
“I wish he and Laurel could come to our wedding.” Wedding. It just dawned on Ava that she is getting married to Sara Lance, the love of her life. Ava knows she has been planning on proposing for a while, but it hadn’t dawned on her that this means that Sara is actually finally going to be her wife, until Sara had said it out loud right now.
“Me too. We will figure it out, okay?” Ava promises, sealing her promise with a kiss to Sara’s engagement ring.
“I love you future Mrs. Lance.”
“I love you too, my future wife.” Ava says, before placing a long soft and passionate kiss on her fiancée’s lips.