A/N: This is a collaboration between myself and Chocolate X My Mouth. I love his stories, and I highly recommend reading his stuff. Anyway, here's the story.
Sara knew the exact moment when she wanted to become a tap dancer. Her mother and sister had gone shopping over the long weekend, and she and her father were home alone. The television was playing while her father made dinner, and she colored in her coloring book. An old musical was playing.
There was a little girl, not much younger than Sara was at the time. She had curly hair and a neat, pink dress. Sara had only been half-watching while she colored, but then the little girl began to tap dance. Her feet tapped in perfect musicality and the movement captivated Sara. Her eyes were glued to screen in complete child-like fascination.
After that moment, Sara became obsessed. She checked out every movie and DVD about tap dancing that she could from the library. She easily learned the basics, and mirrored the instructors on the television. It was clear to see that she had a talent for dance.
Sara always felt free when she danced. She could clear her mind from her problem's and focus on something completely different. The only problem with Sara's talent was that it was a secret.
Laurel had always been the one in the spotlight. Every year, Laurel auditioned for the play and earned a notable role. Sara had always secretly envied her, but she wasn't the artsy child. That was, until the Peter Pan play.
Flyers for the play had been posted all around Sara's middle school for weeks now. Peter Pan was one of her favorite Disney movies – not that she'd ever admit that – and a part of her wanted to audition for the play. Soon, she couldn't stop thinking about it, and one day after school while Laurel was taking a test she had missed, Sara decided to go to the audition. What did she have to lose anyway?
It wasn't what she had expected. It wasn't nearly as intimidating, but she was still extremely nervous. She read a few lines from the actual play and acted them out as best as she could in front of the drama director and another teacher she had only seen a few times before. She was sure she had butchered it. When they posted the call-backs, her name wasn't listed. Sara hadn't realized how excited she had been until she felt the heavy weight of disappointment fill her.
Nearly a week later, Sara was eating her snack before class started when one of the play kids came rushing to her.
"Sara!" the boy exclaimed excitedly.
Sara was immediately suspicious. "What?"
"You're Peter Pan!"
"In the play! You got the part! You're Peter Pan!"
No one ever told Sara how intense drama practice was. It went on for hours, and they rehearsed the same things again and again and again. It was exhausting. She stayed up late and always cursed the kids who never got their lines right no matter how many times they went over them. But, oddly enough, Sara loved it.
After months of rehearsal, the date for the play finally arrived. And Sara had never been more nervous in her entire life. The closer it got to her part, the more nauseous she felt.
But what she hadn't realized was that her older self, girlfriend, Time Bureau Agent Gary, and future teammates were in the audience.
Now, for sure, they weren't there for any random reason, right?
No. It wasn't random.
It was the result of a lost bet. Which was actually one Sara regretted terribly...
She was the only one on the Waverider (which Ava and Gary so happened to be on at the time) who said Mick couldn't eat a triple-deck sandwich in under a minute.
It hadn't gone in her favor; terribly the opposite, actually.
He had finished the thing in forty seconds!
And what was her punishment? Well, as she had stated, if he had finished it in under a minute, she would take everyone currently on the Waverider to see her as Peter Pan in her school's musical.
Well as you can tell, since they were there, she had sucked up to it.
"Dude, who made this popcorn? It's so good!" Nate said, stuffing another handful in his mouth.
"The snack bar," Gary said happily. "It is good!"
"You better hope I finish this and ain't hungry anymore," Mick muttered.
Gary looked frightened, but Ray told him not to worry.
Sara, meanwhile, was looking shriveled up in her seat between Amaya and Ava.
"I should never have put this on the line," she sighed.
"You're probably right," she heard Zari say as the totem-bearer took a sip of water.
Ava patted her shoulder. "You know I'll think no less of you for it."
"I know," Sara said, "I just... I shouldn't have bet such an embarrassing memory on this."
"I didn't see that coming either!" Amaya said. "Mick can eat fast...but that...that's alien."
"I am not an alien!" Mick said. "Wait..."
He then started poking and prodding his chest. "No."
"I feel for the captain," Ray whispered to Zari. She nodded, and gulped down her water.
"You're sweet Ray," she smiled. "I'm proud of you."
"Thanks Z!" Ray smiled. She smiled back at him, before focusing her attention back on the closed stage curtain.
"Oh the lights are dimming!" Gary said, smiling widely. "I always loved Peter Pan! This should be great!"
Nate looked at him. "Do you remember why we're here?"
Gary's smile diminished. "Oh...it should still be good!"
Young Sara, meanwhile, was still backstage.
Then, before she was even close to being mentally ready, she heard her cue. It was time.
The lights were even brighter than she remembered, and the weight of the audience's eyes on her was suffocating. Only then did Sara realize the silence. It was her turn to speak. She opened her mouth. Nothing. Her heart began beating even faster and panic welled inside her. She forgot her lines! After all this time! And planning!
The silence was becoming awkward now. So Sara did the only thing that came to mind. She tap danced.
It was a small little jig she had been perfecting ever since she became obsessed with tap dancing. She knew it by heart. She knew it better than her lines apparently. She finished the jig. Deafening silence filled the room. Embarrassment took hold of her, and tears began to flow down her face. She felt herself blush, and she ran off the stage in a blind panic.
"Oh God..." Ava whispered. She could already see Sara (the older one) was on the verge of tears. The other Legends, and Gary, meanwhile, all just looked at each other with agape mouths and shocked expressions.
"We are terrible friends," Nate muttered.
"Sara? You okay?" asked Amaya.
She was sniffling. So "no" was the answer. Ava had already started to help her out.
"Should we go?" asked Ray.
"Nah," Mick said. "I wanna see how this goes."
"It's over... I think," Gary said.
"Are we sure?" asked Zari. "I want to see how she is at acting. You know they won't stop there."
"We should just see," Ray said. "If not...well we gotta make her feel better somehow."
"She's coming back! Shh!" Amaya said.
Younger Sara came back out, looking about as timid as before. But now, the Legends and Gary were giving her mini thumbs up and smiles of approval.
She smiled at them, and then raced over to do what she had to do.
The play itself wasn't too long, so the rest of the Legends, and Gary, stayed and watched. They were always the first ones to clap. The first ones to cheer and whistle. Every time young Sara was on stage, they made sure she knew she was doing a good job.
Even Mick joined in...
Well, he was actually the one to start the entire thing. The rest were at the same time, but Mick initiated the thing.
And soon enough, the play was over. Young Sara was at the very center of the actors, and the Legends, and Gary, made sure she knew she had done great.
And when it was time for the children and teens in said play to leave, they all looked at one another and nodded.
They went backstage, and found young Sara getting out of her costume.
"Kid!" Mick said. Young Sara looked up nervously as they arrived.
Suddenly, Ray and Zari knelt down on one knee.
"You did so great out there today," Ray said. "We're local screenwriters, and we gotta say, you did amazing in our eyes."
"Really? You think so?" Young Sara asked, eyes now filled with wonder.
"Yes we do," Zari smiled. "And I think the little dance you did says one thing to me - you're gonna grow up to become a great tap dancer."
Sara smiled now, that was all she wanted to hear. "Thank you people!"
"No trouble," Gary said.
Suddenly, past Quentin, Dinah, and Laurel came over. "May I ask who you folks are?"
"Local screenwriters," Amaya said. "We wanted to congratulate your daughter for an outstanding performance."
"I'm Steven Moffat," Nate said. "This is my partner, Mark Gatiss."
"Hi," Ray said. "And goodbye!"
And then they all proceeded to leave, find Sara and Ava, and make it out of that era.
What a night...
Sara walked to her room on the Waverider with Ava, completely and utterly embarrassed as she flopped down on her bed.
Just...why in the world had she let her girlfriend and teammates watch her performance like that?
Being Peter Pan was harder than it looked.
But still, she found comfort in one person, amidst chuckles and whispers from her teammates: Ava.
Currently, the two were sitting down on Sara's bed, just sitting in silence as Sara buried her head into her hands and Ava rubbed her back.
"Hey," Ava said, putting a hand on her shoulder, "you were absolutely amazing, I loved it. The little dance you did was cute!"
Sara sighed. "It was terrible. I was a total klutz."
"Hey hey hey," Ava coaxed, rubbing her back. "Disregard what your teammates said. You were amazing."
"Maybe..." Sara whispered.
"Hey," Ava said, a small smirk creeping onto her face, "I never got my answer..."
"What answer?" Sara asked.
"If you could dance or not," Ava said. "C'mon girl. Give me the answer..."
"I can dance...and pretty damn well too. Why else would I tap dance if I didn't train in it?" she said simply.
"Oh, is that so?" Ava smiled.
"Pfft, nah," Sara giggled. "Tap dancing is my worst talent."
Ava burst into a fit of giggles at this. "What I wouldn't give to watch that play again..."
"I have the footage from an old stage camera of Captain Lance's performance, Ms. Sharpe," Gideon piped up. "Would you like me to send it to you?"
"Yes please!" Ava exclaimed. "This woman could dance for hours and I'd never get bored!"
It was starting to click in her brain...
Sara knew what she wanted...oh she knew.
"Hey...what if I tap danced for you?" Sara said, mentally growing confident because of the blush on Ava's cheeks that was slowly arising. "Give you some of that razzle dazzle shit I hear about all the time..."
"I-uh, well, sure! Y-You could uh..tap-tap dance for m-me," Ava said, stuttering. "Its um-up, up to you."
"Council has spoken. Hang on," Sara winked, "I got the perfect outfit. Get comfy."
Sara then sprinted out of the room, leaving a flustered Ava to wonder what surprises awaited her when Sara returned.
Well, it wasn't really a surprise: Sara was dancing for her.
"O-Oh my god, she's dancing for me," Ava said, looking at a desk lamp for no reason, before cuddling a pillow. "Oh-oh my god..."
But they didn't know this:
They were being watched.
Their teammates were watching them...well, Mick had fallen asleep with a beer in his hand one second into the showing.
"I actually never thought Sara could tap dance, let alone dance at all," Amaya said, not taking her eyes off of the screen.
"Well, it doesn't surprise me," Ray said. "What can the captain not do?"
"How much are you willing to bet she can't tap, and just wants to impress Ava?" Zari asked.
"Eh," Nate muttered. "I still think this will be gold either way."
"Trust me, Dr. Heywood," Gideon's physical manifestation said, "I am recording this at quite a few angles."
"Sweet," chuckled Amaya, taking a handful of Nate's popcorn. "Do they know?"
"The captain and Agent Sharpe?" asked Gideon. "No. Would you like me to-"
"Nope!" Zari said.
"Very well then," Gideon said. "Now, if my record is correct-"
"Holy cow," Ray muttered. "She looks like one of those 80's fitness instructors. Pink leotard, headband, ponytail-ed hair."
"If those fitness instructors wore black Mary Jane tap shoes that is," Amaya said.
"Wow. I-I just can't say anything," Nate muttered.
"I wasn't sure about this at first," Zari said. "But...damn."
Meanwhile, Ava was at a loss for words. "Oh-Oh my g-god, you're so pretty."
"Thank ya kindly," Sara said, winking at her.
Back in the viewing room, however, Gideon had just thrown an electronic keyboard into Zari's lap.
"What the hell Gideon?" said Zari.
"Captain Lance probably would enjoy some music," Gideon said, hooking up the microphone that the keyboard came with. "Plus, don't lie; I've seen you practicing."
All eyes in the room diverted to Zari. "So cat's outta the bag: I can play. And I also do violin-ONLY OCCASIONALLY THOUGH!"
Suddenly, Sara spoke up.
"Gideon, my love would like some music," Sara said as sweetly as possible. "And, uh, dim the lights if you would. Maybe a spotlight would suit?"
"Coming right up, Ms. Lance," smiled Gideon, snapping her fingers to leave only one ceiling light on, and pointing at Zari to cue the music.
"Damn you Gideon," muttered Zari.
"Shall I cue you off?" Gideon asked, completely ignoring Zari.
"Please, by all means," Sara said, pleasuring at the fact that Ava was left with her jaw on the floor.
"A-1, 2, A-1, 2, 3, go!"
So, just as Sara was beginning to destroy the floor with her shoes, the air-totem bearer started jamming out and destroying the piano keys with her mad skills.
To be honest, although Ava's eyes were glued to Sara, the other's eyes shot back and forth between the tap dancing Waverider captain and the air-totem bearer rocking out on her keyboard. She was playing an old rag from at least 100 years ago, and Sara's routine was more intermediate, but they all were...
Enthralled, to say the least.
And Ava looked to be near tears because: a. Sara Lance was tap dancing right in front of her, b. she was so good at it, and c. she had gone without blinking for a near minute.
Over the communicator, the Legends could also hear Sara giggling over her tap dancing. It was just like how Ray put it, since all of the Legends were smiling: Happy captain, happy ship.
Seriously, everyone was happy right now. Ava was clapping along to Sara's dancing, Sara was giggling and tapping her heart out, and Zari was bopping around to her music, as were the Legends, who all had smiles across their faces. Even the sleeping Mick was smiling... Mick didn't normally smile in his sleep.
Was this an anachronism? The Legends may never know.
"You go girl!" Ava praised, continuing to clap in time with Sara's dancing. Sara winked at her during one of the breaks, not letting Ava's charm stop her from her one true goal: charming her.
Either way, Zari's fingers were starting to get tired and ache, so she decided to go up a key to send a signal of-sorts to Sara that the song was about to end.
Luckily for her, Sara caught the note, doing several pirouettes on her tip-toe as Zari finished the song.
Literally everyone except Sara and Zari were clapping, and those two were bowing as gracefully as possible.
Ava was jumping with happiness, Ray was marveled by both of the ladies' skills, Zari and Sara ached really badly, Nate and Amaya were just clapping, and Gideon was smirking. Mick was still asleep.
"SARA!" Ava yelled, hugging her sweaty love. "H-HOW?!"
"Practice," Sara panted. "Practice makes perfect...yeah, I may or may not have tapped around a few times since I stepped on this ship."
"Seriously, that was amazing!" Ava exclaimed. "I-I need you to teach me, please."
Sara smiled. "Costume designer, tomorrow. We'll go to a secluded park, or someplace where no one can find us or get in our way. And wear blue, it suits you."
"Yes, Captain," Ava said, saluting Sara. Sara giggled as she hugged Ava, and she knelt down to start getting off her costume, when Ava grabbed her arm softly.
"L-Leave it on," Ava said. "I like it."
"Hmm. Sure thing," Sara said, winking.
"Yes," Ava said in her mind.
Sara giggled as well, apparently getting the memo that Ava was attracted to her dancing, just as much as Captain Jiwe Rum.
"Now, come here," Sara said, hugging Ava once more. "I'm tired. Tap dancing is a lot harder than it seems."
"I look forward to mastering it," Ava said, sweeping Sara up bridal-style. "Lets take a nap."
"Sounds like a plan to me," she smiled.
Meanwhile, when Gideon had uploaded all of the best footage cuts to her "blackmail" folder in her digital library, the Legends began to disperse... all except Ray and Zari.
"Hey, Z," said Ray. "You did good. Really good. Amazing, actually. I loved it."
Zari gave a small smile his way. "Thanks Ray. Really, thank you."
"I do hope this isn't the last we see of you shredding that thing," he smiled.
"Oh, it's the last time they see it," said Zari, smirking. "You, however, are another story."
"And I look forward to reading it," Ray smiled.
So, it really was true...
Happy captain, happy ship.
- fin -