Disclaimer: Not mine.
AN: This is the only thing I've written in what might be half a year. And I know that the fact it's another short fic instead of one of my multiple unfinished ones is annoying, but I still hope you'll enjoy this.
* to heal a goodbye *
Sara shouldn't be doing this. She knows that. Time, for all it's stubborn will to happen as it's meant to, is surprisingly flexible and the thing that threatens to unravel it is always the detail they never predict, but... Sara needs to do this. Needs to fix her one big regret.
So when she finds out on what date they have landed on this time, she already knows what she'll do.
She doesn't even stay to help the team deal with the potential paradoxical mess in the background of Malcolm Merlyn's first widespread atrocity. It's not really the kind that they need her for anyway, this is all for the the brains and not the brawl of their little group of misfit superheroes (and two villains in rehab).
No, what she does is hop on the first available flight that crosses the Pacific, after leaving a message with Gideon that asks them to give her thirty hours before they go after her. Rip will throw a bit of a tantrum and probably go on one of his tangents about responsible use of time travel, but she trusts the team to let her have her hours.
It takes twenty five of them until she reaches her destination. Until she's hiding on the balcony outside the window of the bedroom that holds some of Sara's most precious memories, and some of her most painful ones. One such memory is playing out in front of her right now.
Nyssa is asleep in their bed, naked under the sheets, a content smile on her face. The Sara from three years ago is awake and silently dressing. Not once does her younger face turn back in Nyssa's direction, and Sara knows it's because looking would break her, she remembers the way her heart had been beating out of her chest, the way she'd known that if she looked at Nyssa, even once, that her certainty would abandon her and she'd never leave.
But looking from the outside it just feels like cowardice, it feels like this Sara, that simultaneously is and is not her, just doesn't care. It sparks anger in her belly and only the knowledge that this needs to happen, that it has to, stops her from jumping through the open window into the room to beat some sense into herself. That and the selfish part of her that brought her here.
So she remains outside only observing as the other Sara finally fully clothed with a backpack across her shoulder stands frozen in the middle of the room and finally looks at her sleeping lover. The room is only illuminated by the light of the full moon shining through the big windows and caressing Nyssa's back almost as intimately as that other Sara had not even an hour before.
And Sara remembers the feelings that had been warring in her in that moment. Loving Nyssa, hating herself, fearing for her family, feeling the phantom blood splattered on her face and drenching her hands, dying with each breath under the oppressive rule of Ra's al Ghul, and the guilt, always the guilt. She remembers that moment, where everything in her mind was screaming to leave, to run, to never look back. Everything... except the thought of never seeing Nyssa again, never being kissed by her, never catching even the shadow of her. Knowing that if she ever does it would be as Nyssa's arrow pierced her chest and killed her.
She remembers and she looks on as Sara Lance breaks her own heart by turning around and fleeing the room, the house, the League. And her home. The home that for the last four years had been made up of her and Nyssa and the love they held for each other.
And the Sara that has already lived through this does not try to stop her. That's not why she's here after all, her regret isn't that she left, it's that she never said goodbye. Nyssa deserved at least a goodbye.
So as soon as she's sure the other Sara is gone and won't notice anything, she climbs through the window into the room as silently as her younger self left it.
Her own heart is breaking too. Because she knows Nyssa trusts her... them... her, utterly. She never stirs as Sara undresses, like she hasn't since she fell asleep in her arms three years ago (tonight). She's the Heir to the Demon trained to wake at the barest hint of danger. A foreign presence in their room would have woken her even if it didn't make a sound. But Sara fled and Sara sneaked in and Nyssa never stirred.
Nyssa trusts her. The women who has been taught to trust no one, to be ready for betrayal from every man and woman under her command is unprepared for betrayal from Sara.
And Sara knows this was betrayal. When you leave in the middle of the night, without a word and flee the country without even a note to someone whose heart you hold in your hands? It is betrayal. It probably hurts more than if Nyssa had woken with Sara's knife at her throat.
She swallows down her tears and slides under the sheets covering Nyssa's form. It's like coming home after years alone in the Arctic, She hasn't touched Nyssa since before her resurrection. Hasn't touched her since being put on Merlyn's trail by Ra's al Ghul. And even then all their moments together after she had returned to The League of her own free will had been fragile as glass. Nyssa had made love to her every time a little desperately, a little like she though it might be the last time, every time like Sara would turn into smoke and vanish if she didn't hold on tightly enough, if she held on too tightly. Sara saw how she was breaking Nyssa's heart more even as she was trying to mend it, mend them.
She hadn't seen Nyssa asleep since this night. Every time Sara woke it was to Nyssa's eyes already on her face.
Nyssa didn't trust her to not leave, not anymore. And Sara hadn't known how to fix that.
And then she left again. Not in the middle of the night. Not because she ran. But she left and she died and she hadn't come back and Sara still does not know how Nyssa reacted. She's too afraid to know, it's why she never asked. Not Laurel. Not Oliver. Not anyone. She hadn't asked about Nyssa at all. And she knows that her sister blames her for it, she's seen the look in Laurel's eyes, like she was waiting for her to ask, like she wanted her to ask. She's seen the subtle trace of anger in Laurel's eyes every time Sara had changed the conversation whenever it was leading in Nyssa's direction.
But maybe she's found a way to heal at least one wound in Nyssa's soul. She can't do anything about leaving. Can't warn Nyssa of her death, or her resurrection. She knows that there are events that need to happen as they did. She is still going to break Nyssa's heart in the morning.
But Nyssa won't wake up alone in their bed with cold sheets where Sara was meant to be.
She'll have the conversation she should have had the first time around. And she knows Nyssa well enough to know that Nyssa will be left angry and hurting this way too. That she will still go after Sara on her father's orders when they will be given. She will still confront her on that rooftop and be unable to kill her. Will still scream denials as she cradles her self-poisoned body before releasing her from her oaths.
But maybe this way during those short months they had together after Sara came back, Nyssa won't fear every next heartbeat. Maybe this way Nyssa will let herself sleep as deeply as she's sleeping right now, trusting her to at least say goodbye.
Maybe this way when Sara and her team have finally killed Vandal Savage, Sara can come home, and find Nyssa and kiss her and plead her for forgiveness. Maybe then they can have something that doesn't feel fragile and broken and lost.
So Sara slides across the sheets until they're touching, entwines the fingers of their right hands and leans forward until she can kiss Nyssa's brow and run the fingers of her other hand through Nyssa's thick dark hair, like she's soothing away hurts that haven't been inflicted yet. Her heart clenches as Nyssa smiles sleepily and pulls Sara even closer, still unconscious but with her eyelids fluttering like she's dreaming. Sara hopes it's a good dream. She hopes it will last for a while longer so that Sara can keep watch over her until sunrise. She's not going to sleep herself, she's planning to treasure every second.
AN2: Thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
P.S. Did you notice that in the newest Legends of Tomorrow trailer there's a one second long flash of Nyssa? Because I sure did. It's the reason I was forced to start actually watching that show despite my sheer lack of trust in the writers that are in any way associated with Arrow by now.