daylight_darknight: (Earth Sunrise)
[personal profile] daylight_darknight
Somehow I am amazingly still writing this. Normally I would have given up a long time ago. Currently playing catch-up with posting on LJ and DW as I suffer through a never ending cold.

Title: The Adventures of Time Dad
Characters: Rip, Mick, Ray, Sara, Martin, Jax, Leonard
Rating/Warnings: PG
Genre: Humor, Crack, Fluff, Family, Friendship
Word Count: 34,000 so far
Spoilers: Takes place between seasons 1 and 2 with random visits from Leonard because I keep forgetting he's dead.
Summary: Some days Rip wants to strangle them. Some days he wants to hug them. Some days he wants to do both.

Parts 1 - 4

Parts 5 - 8

Parts 9 - 12

Parts 13 - 14

15. The Pyjama Party

It was night on the Waverider, or at least, the nearest equivalent to night that could be found on a ship that could jump from morning straight to evening and then to noon and then back to morning again just for good measure. The ship was currently drifting through the temporal zone, its systems in standby mode, its internal lights dimmed, and all of its crew tucked up peacefully in bed.

Or at least, they were supposed to be.

Rip was tucked up in bed. He was curled up on his side, covers tightly wrapped around him as he lay there quietly not sleeping.

Breathing out a heavy sigh, he turned over and spent several minutes on his other side also not sleeping. He then turned onto his back and spent some more quality time not sleeping as he stared up at the darkened ceiling. He grabbed his pillow and switched positions so his head was where his feet had been and vice versa only to end up spending even more time not sleeping.

Finally, he let out a cry of frustration and threw his pillow across the room. That was it. He gave up. It was obvious there was not going to be any sleep for him that night. Tossing off his covers, he sat up and called out, “Lights, Gideon.”

Light flooded the small room forcing Rip to squint against the sudden brightness. He groaned and rubbed his sore eyes. It wasn’t as if he wasn’t tired. He was weary to the bone but there were simply too many thoughts and images running through his mind to let him sleep.

The last mission hadn’t been an easy one. They’d accomplished what they’d needed to do well enough, fixed what needed to be fixed, but visiting a warzone was never easy, especially after what had happened to his family.

Visions of battlefields came unbidden to Rip’s mind, the ones they’d just visited becoming mixed up with the one where he’d found Miranda and Jonas’ bodies. He squeezed his eyes shut and dug his fingernails into the palms of his hands holding his breath as a wave of old, familiar grief washed over him; then he slowly let the breath out. Opening his eyes once more, he gave his head a violent shake as if that could shake the images from his mind.

God, he hated warzones.

To top off an already unpleasant mission, they’d also almost lost Ray. The former tech billionaire would be fine. He was in the medbay recovering from his injuries but it had been a close one. It was always hard when Rip was reminded of just how vulnerable, how mortal his team were, just like his family had been.

Rip got up deciding he would go to his study to read or work or something, anything to keep the memories of the previous day out of his mind. Not to mope. He wasn’t going there to mope. Despite what Sara might think, he did not mope. Of course, if he fell asleep there again, he was in for another telling off by his overly fussy crew but that was a risk he was willing to take.

Letting out a yawn and running a hand through his disheveled hair, Rip headed out of his room and into the corridors of the ship.

And then immediately came to an abrupt halt when he almost collided with Ray.

“Ray!” he exclaimed, blinking at the man in surprise. “Dr. Palmer, what are you doing out of the medbay? Are you alright?”

“Oh, yeah. I’m good,” Ray replied; then with a shrug added, “Or at least, a lot better than I was before.”

“You should be resting. What are you...” Rip had been about to ask what Ray was doing there but something else drew his attention. “What are you wearing?”

Ray grinned. “You like it?” He held out his arms and did a little turn to show off his new outfit. “Sara had them made for me.”

“They’re... um...” Rip stammered.

Ray was still pale and his face drawn but his eyes were bright and he seemed to be steady on his feet. What Rip didn’t understand was why he was out of the medbay and wandering around the ship in the middle of the night when he should be busy recuperating, and why he was wearing the most ridiculous set of pyjamas Rip had ever seen, footsie pyjamas, footsie pyjamas with...

“Are those supposed to be spaceships?” Rip asked pointing at the little vehicles adorning Ray’s nightwear.

“Starships,” Ray corrected. “The USS Enterprise. The original,” he added as if that were a very important fact.

“I see,” said Rip, uncertainly, still not really understanding. He also didn’t understand why Ray was carrying so many blankets, light-weight blankets, all with various colourful patterns on them. “Is it particularly cold in the medbay?” he asked gesturing at them.

Ray’s eyes widened slightly. “Um, yes,” he said, unconvincingly “Well, sort of. A bit. I just thought a few more blankets would help me sleep better.” He finished off his rambling explanation with a somewhat strained smile.

Ray had never been a very good liar. Normally, if the crew were up to something behind his back, and they often were, Rip would want to know exactly what was going on, but it was late and he was tired and really in no mood to pursue the matter further. Besides, if anyone deserved a little leeway right then, it was Ray.

“Are you sure you’re alright?” Rip asked again, unable silence the nagging worry in the back of his mind. It was hard to forget the state Ray had been in when they’d brought him in, pale and lifeless, covered in mud and blood.

“Almost as good as new,” Ray reassured him. “Promise.”

“Well, head straight back to medbay,” Rip said, clapping him on the shoulder, “and make sure you get plenty of rest,”

“Will do, Captain,” Ray replied with a nod, grinning once more.

With a shake of his head, Rip left Ray to continue on with whatever it was he was doing and resumed his journey towards his study once more. Sometimes Rip wondered if he would ever truly understand this team of his. The sound of rushing footsteps could soon be heard revealing that Ray wasn't the only one still up. A couple seconds later, the source of the footsteps emerged.

It was Jax. He was racing down the corridor towards Rip, his arms full of pillows.

“Mr. Jackson!” Rip cried.

Startled, Jax skidded to a halt, and the pillows went flying, one hitting Rip right in the face.

Jax stood amid the fallen pillows and cringed. “Sorry.”

Rubbing his sore nose, Rip sighed wearily. “Mr. Jackson, is there a reason you felt the need to go careening through the ship at this time of the night?”

“Uh...” Jax scratched the side of his neck. “It was Sara,” he declared, suddenly. “Yeah, she said Ray really needed these pillows and I should get them to him right away.” Bending down, he hastily began picking them up.

Rip frowned. “What? All of them?”

“She said he was having trouble sleeping,” Jax elaborated.

Rip was about to ask how all the pillows were supposed to help when he suddenly noticed what Jax was wearing. “Is there some new ship’s uniform I haven’t been made aware of?”

“Huh?” said Jax as he stood up, the pillows once more gathered in his arms. “Oh, the PJs? Sara had Gideon make some Star Trek ones for Ray so I asked her to make me some Star Wars ones too.” He pointed to one of the little spaceships adorning his footsie pyjamas and said, “Isn't the Millennium Falcon like the coolest ship ever? Except for the Waverider, of course,” he quickly hastened to add.

“Jax...” Rip began, not wanting to know what was going on but beginning to suspect he should find out. “What...?”

“Sorry, Rip,” Jax interrupted him, “but I really need to get these pillows to Ray.” And he rushed off down the corridor before Rip could say anymore.

Rip sighed. It was for the best, he told himself. Whatever was going on, it was probably best he didn’t know. Taking a deep breath, he continued on down the corridor trying to push aside any thoughts of pyjamas and pillows. He'd only taken a few more steps though when he encountered a third member of the team. The sight made him groan.

“Not you too,” he said.

“What?” said Martin, eyes wide with exaggerated innocence. Unlike Ray and Jax, he wasn’t wearing footsie pyjamas. He was, however, wearing a set of flannel pyjamas covered in cartoon stars and planets.

“I suppose those are for Ray as well,” said Rip, folding his arms across his chest and nodding at the blankets the professor was carrying.

“Oh, of course,” Martin stammered. “I just wanted to make sure Dr. Palmer was comfortable after you know...” He gestured vaguely in the air. “And I thought a few blankets might, uh, might...”

Martin was an even worse liar than Ray. He was probably the worst liar on the whole team. Fortunately, he was also the easiest to make crack, so Rip continued to stare at him watching as he grew increasingly uncomfortable.

Finally, Martin blurted out, “It was all Sara’s idea,” and quickly hurried off down the corridor.

Rip watched him go, eyes narrowed in thought. Sara again. Always Sara. What was she up to? he wondered, but then he shook his head and continued on. He didn’t need to know. He didn’t want to know, he told himself and kept repeating it as if it were his new mantra.

When he encountered the next member of the team, Mick, Rip didn’t stop. He didn’t even blink when he saw the pyjamas pants Mick was wearing, white and covered with little red and orange flames, or bother to question why Mick was carrying an excessive amount of both pillows and blankets as well as an extremely large teddy bear.

Rip simply nodded and said in causal acknowledgement, “Mr. Rory.”

“Hunter,” Mick replied nodding back in the same fashion as he walked by.

He didn’t need to know. He didn’t want to know, Rip repeated to himself. He didn’t need to know. He didn’t want to know...

God, he needed a drink.

Fortunately, Rip was headed in the right direction. He always kept an ample supply of alcohol in his study, a supply he was in need of more and more these days when dealing with this team. However, when he finally got there, he found he wasn’t the only one who’d thought getting a drink was a good idea.

Leonard Snart stood in the corner of Rip’s study contentedly pouring himself a glass of whiskey from Rip’s personal stash, his bright blue pyjama pants with their little white snowflakes making him stand out against the sepia tones of the rest of the room.

Instead of commenting on Snart’s new wardrobe or uttering his normal protests about the team raiding his liquor as if it were their own, Rip just walked over to Leonard and held out his hand.

Without missing a beat, Snart handed Rip the glass he’d been pouring, and then began pouring another for himself.

Rip quickly downed his drink. He drank it so quickly his throat burned but it was a welcomed burn.

“Tell me the truth,” he said, once he’d finished half the glass. “Do I really want to know what Sara is up to?”

Taking a sip from his own glass, Leonard smirked. “Probably not,” he said, “but I think you’re about to find out.”

“There you are,” came a voice from behind Rip.

Rip spun around.

Sara was there striding towards him, wearing unicorn adorned pyjamas, and carrying something in her arms. “Gideon said you were awake but by the time I got to your room you were gone.” She shoved the bundle she was carrying at him. “Here,” she said. “Put these on.”

Rip cautiously unfolded the bundle. It was a set of pyjamas, a set of flannel pyjamas covered in little cartoon cowboy hats and little cartoon revolvers.

“You can’t seriously think I’ll...” Rip began but quickly stopped when he saw the look Sara was giving him.

“You will put those on,” Sara repeated firmly, pointing a finger at him, an icy fire in her eyes, “and you will join the rest of us in the cargo bay in ten minutes. Understood?”

Rip swallowed. It was like being ordered around back at the academy. He felt the sudden urge to stand to attention and say ‘Yes, Ma’am.’ Instead, he just nodded and said, “Understood.”

Sara gave him one last glare, and then stomped off, the effect somewhat ruined by the fact she was currently wearing big, fluffy, bunny slippers.

Leonard patted him on the back consolingly. “She got the rest of us too. You’re just the last one on her list.”

Rip could only stare at the space where he’d last seen Sara. He downed the rest of his whiskey hoping it would help him make sense of what had just happened. It didn’t. Turning back to Snart, he said, “What the hell is going on?”

Leonard looked thoughtful for a moment; then said, “I think it started with the Star Trek footsie pyjamas. Ray couldn’t sleep so Sara got the fabricator to make these new fancy pyjamas for him and things just escalated from there.”

Rip shook his head, still not understanding Sara’s sudden determination to have them all in these ridiculous pyjamas. “But why...?”

Leonard interrupted before Rip could finish voicing his question. “You forget what happened today?”

For a moment, Rip wondered what on Earth Snart was talking about; then he remembered. “Ray,” he said with a sigh. “His injuries. She blames herself.”

Rip hadn’t been there when Ray had been hurt but Sara had. In fact, she was the only member of the team who had been. She’d dragged the injured Ray from the battlefield herself, and then hidden with him in a clump of bushes for almost an hour as she waited for the rest of the team to get to them.

“Yeah, I wonder where she gets that from,” said Snart, giving Rip a pointed look. “Sara seems to have gotten it into her head that she’s the one responsible for keeping people safe when you’re not around.”

Rip pinched his nose and sighed again. Sara, Sara, Sara. She might actually make a good captain if the opportunity arose, better than him even. He should have realized what had happened would still be weighing on her.

“For some reason, she thinks this pyjama thing will help make everything better,” Leonard continued refilling Rip’s glass unasked, “and it’s not like any of us were sleeping anyway. I notice you weren’t.”

“I guess we all have our own demons keeping us up,” Rip replied quietly and sipped his whiskey. “Well,” he added once he’d got a sufficient amount of more whiskey down him, “if this is what will make Sara and Ray feel better...”

Ten minutes later, Rip was headed for the cargo bay wearing cowboy pyjamas and feeling completely ridiculous. Once he reached the cargo bay though all thoughts of how ridiculous he looked fled from his mind. He stared at the room in wide-eyed astonishment.

“What the hell have you done with my cargo bay?” he demanded.

The cargo bay was all but invisible. It was hidden beneath a giant tent-like structure which encompassed the entire room and seemed to be made almost entirely of blankets of various colours joined together.

“Isn’t it awesome?” said Jax who was busy putting some finishing touches to the structure.

Rip continued to stare. “This is what you’ve been up to?”

“Yup,” Jax said, nodding, a proud grin on his face.

“Where did all the blankets come from?”

Jax hesitated clearing his throat and looking somewhat sheepish. “We might have sort of burnt out the fabricator.”

Rip groaned running a hand across his face. “What is it anyway?” he asked gesturing at the bizarre tent.

Jax looked at him in confusion before apparently recalling that Rip had had a rather different upbringing from the rest of them. “It’s a pillow fort,” he explained.

“Blanket fort!” Martin called out from somewhere inside the structure.

“Pillow fort!” Jax yelled back.

“Blanket fort!” Martin countered once more.

Jax rolled his eyes. “Anyway,” he said, “it’s just a fort made out of blankets and pillows that kids usually make, and well, go inside and see for yourself.” He lifted up the corner of a blanket and held out a hand gesturing Rip inside.

Rip gazed at the fort dubiously. He supposed if Jax had had a hand in the construction, he could at least count on the thing staying upright. Getting down on his hands and knees, he slowly crawled through the opening.

Inside the fort, Rip found himself enclosed in a small tunnel made, unsurprisingly, out of blankets. It had blankets hanging overhead for a ceiling and blankets hanging down on either side as walls. The various crates that were usually the only occupants of the cargo bay seemed to have been used as some sort of support structure. The light was dim but he could see more light up ahead. He could also hear the team’s voices coming from the same direction and was that a movie playing? He followed the sounds and the light, and the tunnel soon opened up into a much larger chamber.

It was a nest. There was no other word for it. A nest made of pillows under a canopy of blankets. It was lit with a string of tiny lights they’d once used on a Christmas tree and a pair of lava lamps Rip had no idea where they’d gotten from. The combination of light sources caused odd shadows to dance along the blanket walls. The ceiling for the most part hung fairly low but one end had been raised high enough for one of the screens on the cargo bay wall to be visible, a screen which was currently playing some sort of space movie.

“It’s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock,” said Jax who’d crawled in behind him and had apparently noticed him staring at the screen. “Ray’s request,” he added.

Ray, however, seemed to be missing his requested movie. He was currently asleep. The team lay scattered among the pillows, most reclining against them staring up at the screen as they helped themselves to large bowls of popcorn or bottles of beer. Ray though was dozing against Mick’s side, drooling on his shoulder, a large teddy bear clutched in his arms. Mick glared at Rip as if daring him to comment. Rip wisely kept his mouth shut.

As Rip watched, Sara crawled up to Ray and pulled a spare blanket over him. Rip made his way through the pillows over to her.

“How’s he doing?” Rip asked when he reached her.

“Gideon says his injuries have healed up alright,” said Sara as she tucked the blanket in around Ray, “but he’s still pretty worn out.”

“Ray’s tougher than he looks,” Mick declared with a tone which left no room for argument. “He’ll be fine.” He snorted. “As fine as he ever is. Though I can’t say for how much longer if he doesn’t stop drooling on me.” Despite the threat, Rip couldn’t help noticing how still Mick kept and how quietly he spoke as if not daring to disturb Dr. Palmer’s slumber.

“Well, thankfully he’s getting plenty of rest now,” said Rip softly, glad to see that Ray’s face was neither so drawn nor so pale as it had been when he’d last seen him.

“Yeah, he was having trouble sleeping earlier,” said Sara. “I guess everything that happened was still haunting him.”

“Not just him,” said Rip, gazing at her pointedly. “How are you doing?”

“I’m fine,” she replied quickly, too quickly. There was a tension in the lines of her face and a redness to her eyes which Rip had failed to notice earlier.

“Right,” said Rip, nodding. “Which is why you felt the need to make everyone wear these ridiculous pyjamas and organize the building of a pillow fort.”

“Blanket fort,” Martin corrected automatically from the other side of the nest letting them know the others were, of course, listening in.

Rip and Sara rolled their eyes in unison.

Still snuggled against Mick, Ray shifted slightly and mumbled something in his sleep.

Sara carefully readjusted the blanket covering him. “It’s just...” she began hesitantly, and then sighed. “Ray needed to forget everything that had happened and so did I, and can you imagine anything more different than what we saw out there today.” She gestured at there surroundings.

Rip gazed about at the nest of pillows with its colourful blanket walls and shifting lights, the team dressed in their ridiculous, cutesy, cartoon pyjamas, and thought of the dark, muddy battlefields they’d seen covered in dead and wounded soldiers. “No, I don’t believe I can,” he replied.

Sara gave him a wry smile and said, “Though I admit I may have gone a bit overboard.”

“Well, I wouldn’t say that,” said Rip with his own crooked smile before growing serious once more. “I’d say what you did was just right.” His eyes returned to the dozing Ray. “I forgot to tell you earlier but I wanted to thank you for looking after him, for taking care of Ray when he was injured. It’s good to know someone has the team’s back when I’m not around.”

This time Sara smiled a much truer smile and Rip was glad to see some of the lines of tension leave her face.

“If you two are done being all touchy-feely,” said Mick thoroughly ruining the moment, “think you could shut up and let us watch the damn movie.”

“Yeah,” Snart put in. “Unlike Ray, some of haven’t seen this thing a hundred and one times.”

Rip and Sara shared mutual looks of exasperation before parting, searching for places to rest among the piles of pillows. Rip found a spot beside Martin and settled in staring up at the screen as he tried to figure out what the hell the movie was about. He still thought this whole thing was ridiculous, the pillow fort, the pyjamas, but if this was what the crew needed... And if he was going to spend the night not sleeping anyway he might as well spend it there with the team. Strangely, the visions of battlefields no longer seemed to be bothering him.

Rip let out a large yawn and settled deeper into the pillows.

Five minutes later, Sara came over and quietly tucked a blanket around Rip’s sleeping form.

16. Just A Little Accident Prone: Sara

During his education to become a Time Master as well as learning temporal physics, world history, and how best not to completely screw up the timeline, Rip also received extensive medical training. All Time Masters did. The Time Council thought it might be useful. After all, they were sending their captains out on their own into the far reaches of time on dangerous missions, and it had proven useful on numerous occasions. Rip, however, found the training even more useful when he suddenly became the leader of a motley group of superheroes who had the tendency to be somewhat accident prone.

The fact they're accident prone shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows what sort of trouble the Legends tend to get themselves into both on missions and in their normal lives, if their lives could ever be called normal. You can’t, after all, get into bar brawls up and down the timestream without taking a hit or two and you can’t keep jumping headlong into dangerous situations without your luck running out every once and awhile. The team as a whole didn’t mind occasionally getting a little beat up but sometimes it was more than minors scrapes they received. There were concussions and broken fingers, bruised kidneys and shattered ear drums, sprained ankles and torn ligaments, fractured collar bones and internal bleeding as well as a wide assortment of puncture wounds. In short, almost any injury you could possibly imagine someone on the team had had it.

Thankfully, the medical facilities on the Waverider were extremely advanced, at least they were by early twenty-first century standards. With Gideon’s guidance, the equipment in the medbay could instantly sterilize and cauterize wounds, knit together broken bones, heal brain damage, and even regenerate lost limbs. The things it could do were nothing less than miraculous, but though much was automated, even this advanced equipment had its limits. Someone needed to actually operate things, set them up and flip the switches, and there were some things it simply couldn’t do on its own, things that still required the aid of a simple pair of human hands.

Mick and Sara had a fair amount of experience with what was essentially battlefield first aid and back alley doctoring while Martin and Ray had a good working knowledge of anatomy and physiology but only Rip had the training and experience with the advanced equipment. He slowly began teaching the others all the many intricacies of the system but until they became experts, Rip often found himself playing doctor to his wayward crew.

Of course, all of the ship’s fancy medical equipment was completely useless when people didn’t bother to actually go to the medbay...

“What is that?” Rip asked pointing at Sara, or more precisely, at Sara’s arm.

Sara, who was standing in a corner of the bridge with Mick and Ray, the three having recently returned from a mission together, followed Rip’s pointed finger and lifted up her arm gazing at where a good portion of the skin was blistered and red. “I’d say that’s a burn,” she said, sarcastically.

Unable to help himself, Rip’s eyes flicked in the direction of Mr. Rory.

“Don’t look at me,” the large man said. “I make an effort not to go around roasting my teammates these days.”

“For which we are all eternally grateful,” said Rip, clasping his hands together and bowing his head.

“It was the time pirate,” Ray explained. “The one you sent us after. He had this flaming sword, seriously, an actual flaming sword. It was awesome.” His grinned a rather overly enthusiastic grin given the circumstances.

Sara in turn gave a wry smile. “Turns out fighting against a flaming sword isn’t quite the same as fighting against a regular one,” she said, acting as if the whole event, the injury, the aforementioned time pirate, and the flaming sword, was no big deal.

“Be that as it may,” said Rip, trying his best to be patient and failing miserably. “I’m not so much concerned with how you got the injury as why on Earth you’re not down in the medbay getting it treated and why I wasn’t informed!”

Sara tilted her head to the side and gave him a look. “It’s just a little burn,” she said. “It’s not going to kill me.”

“That is not just a little burn,” Rip declared pointing at Sara’s arm once more. “That is a severe and potentially dangerous second degree burn and it needs to be taken care of. We are going to the medbay.”

Sara rolled her eyes like a petulant teenager. “Rip...”

“Now if you wouldn’t mind,” said Rip, gesturing to the bridge’s exit. He briefly considered taking her by the arm but decided he didn’t want to have to treat his own injuries as well as hers.

Giving him one more disgruntled look, Sara led the way out of the room and down the ship’s corridors towards the medbay.

Once there, Rip, with some gentle persuasion and minor threats, got Sara to sit in one of the medbays’s uncomfortable reclining chairs and placed a medical cuff around her wrist.

“Now this should make things a lot less painful,” said Rip as he commanded Gideon to administer an analgesic.

“I can take a little pain,” said Sara with a snort.

“I have no doubt about that,” Rip replied, softly, recalling the many trials and tribulations Sara had been through in her life. “But you shouldn’t have to. Gideon?” he added directing his voice upward to the A.I.

“Second degree burn to the lower left arm,” Gideon declared as blue light flickered across Sara from above. “Beginning sterilization and cellular regeneration.”

“I’m not exactly worried about scars either,” Sara added.

“But you should be worried about infection,” said Rip, folding his arms across his chest as he glared down at her. “A second degree burn is like a giant gaping wound in your arm letting all the bacteria in. Do you want your arm to get infected? Would you like to have it chopped off and rebuilt? It’s not a pleasant process. Ask Mr. Snart if you have any doubt. And what about septicemia? What if the infection entered your bloodstream and you went into septic shock? Not even Gideon may be able to save you then.”

As Gideon slowly healed Sara’s arm, Rip continued to lecture her on the dangers of infection and the symptoms of septicemia and all its many complications in graphic detail while Sara rested her head back and looked bored.

When Gideon was finished and Sara was left with what looked like nothing more than a mild sunburn, Rip handed her a bottle of ointment and said, “Now put this on the burn once a day for the next week. That should help it heal up the rest of the way and prevent the skin from drying out.”

“Do I also get a lollipop for being a good girl?” Sara asked, raising her eyebrows cheekily.

“Unfortunately, I don’t have any,” Rip replied. “And even if I did, I don’t think you would qualify.”

Sara stuck her tongue out at him, and hopping off the chair, headed out of the room.

“And next time go straight to medbay when you get injured,” Rip called after her.

“Yes, Dad,” came the reply from down the corridor.

Rip shook his head in exasperation.

Several days later, a container filled with lollipops mysteriously appeared in the medbay. Rip didn’t bother to question it. Next time he finished treating Sara’s injuries, three broken ribs and a sprained elbow, he simply handed one over and rolled his eyes when she grinned impishly at him.

17. Just A Little Accident Prone: Mick

Battle wounds were a natural consequence of the lives the Legends lead and the difficulties they faced chasing down time aberrations. Rip did try to solve things through non-violent means when he could but that was rarely an option with the missions they found themselves on or with this team in general. Sooner or later, a fight always seemed to break out. The team could, of course, more than hold their own but it didn’t take much for something to go wrong and someone to get hurt, and then once again Rip found himself tending to the wounded.

There were more than just fights though that made their missions dangerous. There were all sorts of perilous situations the team just seemed to love diving into: unstable dilapidated buildings; capsizing ferry boats; ragging wind storms; flaming forest fires; precarious cliff faces; radiation filled nuclear power plants. And the things they did: climbing up the sides of tall towers, Sara; driving antiquated vehicles at ridiculous speeds, Mick; diving into ragging rivers to rescue people, Jax; experimenting with explosive substances, Martin; trying to make friends with rabid dogs, Ray; hanging from a thin cable in a makeshift harness several dozen feet in the air in order to steal a misplaced crystal data core, Leonard. It was no wonder they frequently ended up injured.

Rip just wished they would be a little more careful. They always seemed to be taking, what he felt to be, an unnecessary amount of risks and getting themselves into all sorts of trouble, which was doing extremely detrimental things to his blood pressure and stress levels. As captain, he was responsible for the team’s wellbeing. He had to keep them safe. Perhaps that was why even after he started to teach the others how to use the equipment in the medbay, he still insisted on seeing to most of the injuries himself. He’d been focusing on training Martin especially, as he was the most qualified in terms of medical knowledge. The idea had been to have the professor take some of the responsibility and handle things in an emergency but Rip couldn’t shake the feeling that he should be the one tending to things.

And with this team there was always plenty of opportunity for that...

“What I don’t understand is why you felt diving through the window was the best option,” Rip said pointedly as he gazed at Mick’s bare back, eyes running across it, tracing the scars both old and new.

“It was the quickest way down,” Mick replied with a shrug.

“Stay still,” Rip admonished, placing a hand on Mick’s shoulder to reinforce the statement. “Getting these out is hard enough as it is.”

Mick grumbled something uncomplimentary under his breath.

Rip ignored it.

One of the chairs in the medbay had been tilted back all the way leaving it more of a bed than a chair and Mick lay sprawled across it, lying on his front with his head resting on his folded arms. This gave Rip both a good view of and easy access to Mick’s back which was what he needed. He continued to scan the scarred flesh and it wasn’t long before he found what he was looking for. Using a pair of tweezers, he took a hold of the shard of glass and slowly pulled it out leaving behind a long red streak. A similar red stain covered the piece of glass. It clinked against several others as Rip dropped it into a nearby container.

“You know we need to get all of these out before Gideon can do her work,” he said as he searched for more glass. “So the sooner we finish the better.”

Spotting another shard, Rip got a hold of it with the tweezers. This one was dug in pretty deep and he had to use a bit more force to remove it. When it finally came out, Mick flinched slightly and he twisted his head around to glare at Rip.

“Watch it,” he growled.

“If you would just let me give you a painkiller...” said Rip, tiredly, restarting an old argument.

“I told you I don’t need any of that stuff messing with my head,” said Mick, settling back down with a huff.

Rip sighed. “Fine, fine,” he said and got back to the task at hand. “You know you could have just taken the stairs to get down. There wasn’t any rush.”

“There was a fight,” said Mick, matter-of-factedly. “I had to get to you guys.”

“Yes, but we would have survived the few seconds it would have taken you to find a more suitable route.”

“Couldn’t know that for sure. Besides, the fight might have been over by then. I didn’t want to miss out.”

Rip stared at the back of Mick’s head in disbelief. “So in order to not miss out on a fight, you decided to dive through a second storey window?”

Mick nodded. “Exactly.”

“After which,” Rip elaborated, “you landed on your back right among all the broken glass.”

Mick’s shoulders hunched up. “I misjudged the landing,” he grumbled.

Rip rolled his eyes. Scanning Mick’s back, he spotted another bit of glass. He was just about to grab ahold of it with the tweezers when Mick shifted once more. “Would you stay still,” he snapped.

“Why are you so tetchy?” Mick snapped back. “It’s not like you’re the one with a back full of glass.”

Rip took a deep breath trying to get his temper back under control. “Maybe,” he said in a slightly more even tone, “I dislike it when the members of my team take stupid risks.”

Mick twisted his head around once more and scowled at Rip. “Are you calling me stupid again?”

“No, I meant...” Rip gave a frustrated sigh. “Never mind.”

“Hey, if I hadn’t taken that stupid jump,” said Mick, lifting himself up on his elbow so he could glare at Rip properly, “I might not have been there in time to help you guys.”

“And what if when taking that stupid jump, you had broken your neck,” Rip exclaimed throwing a hand into the air, “or one of the pieces of glass had severed an artery and you had bled to death before we got you back to the Waverider. If that had happened, I’d have... I’d have...” Rip swallowed and closed his eyes for a moment recalling how he had felt when the fight had been over and he’d first seen the state of Mick’s back, his shirt shredded and bloody, how he had felt when he had realized what Mick had done. “I’d have been very annoyed,” Rip concluded, quietly.

Mick frowned at him, the furrows in his forehead deepening, and then they suddenly smoothed out as realization dawned on his face. “Oh,” he said, dumbfounded.

Not quite meeting Mick’s eyes, Rip gestured to the recumbent chair. “Lie down,” he said. “There’s still more glass that needs to come out.”

With a bewildered look on his face, Mick lay back down, and Rip got back to work. Using the tweezers once more, he pulled out another shard. This was a big one and a trickle of blood trailed down Mick’s back when it came out. Rip quickly grabbed a cloth and pressed it against the wound waiting for the bleeding to slow.

After a few moments of silence, Mick cleared his throat. “Maybe next time... Maybe next time, I could try to be a bit more careful,” he said, hesitantly. “You know just so you don’t end up... annoyed.”

“I would appreciate that,” Rip replied gratefully, dabbing at the blood on Mick’s back.

“I guess I’m not really used to people getting...” Mick continued, every word forced out as if through an immense struggle, “getting annoyed when I do risky crap. Well,” he added, “no one except Snart.”

“You might find yourself surprised by just how many people around here would get... annoyed if something were to happen to you,” said Rip, softly.

Mick let out what sounded like a disbelieving huff of air but he didn’t comment any further and remained in thoughtful silence as Rip pulled out the last pieces of glass.

Of course, Mick being Mick, he never did stop taking ridiculous risks once he had healed up and rejoined the team on their missions. He did, however, stop complaining quite so much when Rip yelled at him about them.

18. Just A Little Accident Prone: Jax and Martin

Of course, not all injuries occurred in battle or on missions. The team proved to be just as accident prone off the battlefield as on. There was the time when Martin was helping Jax with some repairs and managed to get his fingers caught in a closing airlock door. There was the time Mick tossed a particularly large book to Ray and Ray not seeing it ended up with a concussion. There was the time Jax wanted to find out just how sharp Sara’s knives were and the time Leonard stepped on one of Sara’s shuriken, both occasions ending with more than a little blood being spilt. In Rip’s opinion, a lot of injuries could be prevented if Sara would just stop leaving her weapons lying around everywhere.

And there was the time Mick accidentally set the kitchen on fire causing multiple burns and cases of smoke inhalation among the crew. Actually, there were numerous times Mick accidentally set the kitchen on fire but on that occasion things got even more out of control than usual. At least, Rip always assumed the fires were accidental with Mick you could never be sure. Rip had, on more than one occasion, considered banning Mick from cooking but Mick was actually a very good cook, possibly the best out of all the Legends. He just couldn’t seem to manage to cook anything without setting something on fire.

In the end, it didn’t matter how the injuries occurred. No matter what happened, Rip still ended up treating them, not that he always found out what happened. Sara still refused to tell him how she had broken her little toe and Mick had only glared at him when Rip had asked how he ended up with the knitting needle in his leg. Rip might never have even found out about either one, but for safety’s sake, he had asked Gideon to inform him or Professor Stein anytime someone tried to access the medbay’s systems.

Martin was slowly becoming quite competent with the equipment in the medbay but he still needed help on occasion...

Upon entering the medbay, Rip found both halves of Firestorm waiting for him, neither one of them looking particularly happy. Martin was pacing restlessly back and forth across the small room while Jax sat in one of the chairs cradling his left arm, a pained grimace on his face.

“What happened?” Rip asked, glancing from one to the other.

“There you are,” Martin exclaimed in relief stopping in mid-pace to make his way over to Rip. “Jax has had an accident. He needs immediate medical attention and I’m afraid it’s a bit beyond my expertise.”

Concerned, Rip immediately swung his head towards Jax. “Mr. Jackson, are you...?”

“I’m fine,” said Jax in the tired voice of someone who had been asked how he was doing one too many times. “It’s really not that bad.”

“I wouldn’t describe a dislocated shoulder as not that bad,” Martin said, sharply. He ran a hand through his white hair and sighed. “This would have never happened if you hadn’t insisted on doing such a ridiculous, idiotic thing. You need to be more careful.”

“I was helping Ray,” Jax protested. “It was like an experiment. As a scientist, surely you can appreciate that.”

“Really?” said Martin, raising his eyebrows in disbelief. “And precisely what hypothesis were you attempting to test with this experiment?”

“Uh...” Jax cleared his throat and winced sheepishly. “How flying as Firestorm compares to flying as the Atom?”

“Clearly it’s rather different or you would never have ended up in such a state,” Martin exclaimed.

Rip held up his hands in an attempt to stop the bickering. “Gentlemen, if we could get back to the matter at hand,” he said. “Now...” He stopped, a rather worrying thought suddenly occurring to him. “Wait.” He turned to Jax. “Please tell me you didn’t actually try to use the Atom suit.”

“Nah, man,” Jax replied.

Rip’s shoulders slumped in relief.

“Just the boots.”

Rip groaned. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he said, “Dare I ask why?”

“Ray had made some modifications and needed to test them out,” Jax explained. “He couldn’t do the calibrations and wear them at the same time, so I volunteered to help.”

“Whereupon,” Martin continued for him, “things, of course, went completely and utterly pear shaped and Jax went flying shoulder first into a tree. I intend to have a few words with Dr. Palmer when he gets back.”

“Where is he?” asked Rip, surprised the man wasn’t around considering what had happened to Jax.

“Still outside trying to retrieve one of his boots,” said Martin. “Apparently it ended up in the middle of a nearby lake.”

“Marvelous,” Rip exclaimed, sarcastically. Just what they needed, part of Ray’s high-tech suit lost in 17th century New Zealand.

Martin took a deep breath and managed to rein in his temper. “Well, what’s done is done,” he said with a wave of his hand. “Right now I’m a little more concerned with Jefferson. Please tell me you know how to reset a dislocated shoulder. Gideon says she can’t do it herself.”

Rip nodded. “I’ve done it a few times.” Admittedly of those few times, twice had been on himself. Once, it had been for Hex who had, much to the man’s embarrassment, been knocked off his horse. Luckily, Jax wasn’t the type of person to thank Rip the way Hex had by throwing a punch in his direction. Whiskey was definitely not the best painkiller.

Rip made his way over to the medical display screen which sat on the wall between the room's two chairs. “Nothing appears to be broken,” he said as he gazed at the scan Gideon had done of Jax, “so it shouldn’t be much of problem to get it back in place.” He pushed a few buttons on the screen, and then turned to Jax. “I’ve had Gideon give you a muscle relaxant which should make things go a bit smoother. A painkiller too as I imagine that shoulder hurts quite a bit,” he added with a wry smile.

“Thanks, man,” said Jax, gratefully.

“Maybe you should give him a bit more,” said Martin, who had come over and was now hovering at Rip’s elbow. “He is in rather a lot of pain.”

“He’ll feel a lot better once the shoulder joint is back in place,” Rip reassured Martin before turning back to Jax. “Now what I’m going to do is take your arm and slowly pull it around and up until things slide into place. It’ll hurt a lot but I promise you it will be much better when it’s done.”

“Alright,” said Jax, visibly bracing himself.

Rip took ahold of Jax’s arm keeping it bent at the elbow.

“You are sure you know what you’re doing?” asked Martin, still hovering.

“I assure you I do,” Rip replied as he worked. Still holding Jax’s bent arm firmly and maintaining constant tension on it, he turned it around so it was pointing away from Jax.

“And you will be careful?” said Martin, interrupting once more. “It’s just I’ve read that if you do it incorrectly you can cause severe nerve damage and even internal bleeding.”

Rip sighed. “Martin, perhaps it would be best if you stood over there,” he said, nodding towards the other side of the room.

Martin let out an indignant huff but moved out of the way.

Rip and Jax shared amused looks.

“Alright,” said Rip. “Just breath through the pain. If you want me to stop at any time, just tell me.”

Jax nodded.

Slowly, Rip moved Jax’s arm upward. When it was level with Jax’s shoulder, Rip felt the joint slide into place. It did so with an audible clunk. This was accompanied by a loud hiss of pain from Jax. Neither the clunk nor the hiss was unexpected. What surprised Rip was the sudden thud from behind him. Turning his head, he saw that Martin was now lying prone on the floor.

“Did he just...” he said, frowning.

“Maybe you should have given him the painkiller,” said Jax.

Rip wasn’t sure if it was a backlash from the pair’s psychic connection or if it had simply been the sound of Jax’s shoulder popping back into place but Martin had clearly just passed out.

And now Rip had two patients.

He looked from one to the other. “Uh, Gideon?” he said.

“The shoulder joint is in its proper place,” the A.I. replied. “I can begin repairing the torn muscles and ligaments.”

“Get started on that then,” said Rip. He turned back to Jax. “You’re alright?”

“Fine,” said Jax. “Just check on Grey.”

Rip went over and crouched down beside the professor’s fallen form. “Professor?” He tapped the man’s face lightly. “Martin?”

Martin didn’t respond and Rip’s forehead creased with worry. He checked his pulse. It seemed steady, his breathing too.

“Captain,” said Gideon, “preliminary scans indicate Professor Stein hit his head when he fell and is now suffering from a concussion.”

Rip groaned. “You have got to be kidding me.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Any other injuries?”

“None that I can detect,” said the A.I.

“Is he going to be alright?” asked Jax, peering anxiously from his seat.

“Yes. I just have to...” Rip glanced from the unconscious Martin to the empty medical chair and grimaced. “I don’t suppose Mr. Rory is currently on board.”

“I think he’s out helping Ray find his missing boot,” Jax supplied. “I’d give you a hand but...” he gestured to his injured shoulder which was currently engulfed in Gideon’s blue healing light.

Realizing he was on his own, Rip sighed. With his luck, he would end up throwing out his back and then all three of them would be injured.

Bending down, Rip grabbed Martin under the armpits and dragged him over to the other chair. Once there, with some effort, Martin was unfortunately not a small man, Rip pulled him up to his feet, and then guided him in a gentle fall backwards onto the chair. Martin landed with a light thump. Rip let out another sigh, this one of relief, and placed the medical cuff around Martin’s wrist.

“Gideon,” Rip said, somewhat out of breath.

“Reducing swelling and beginning cellular regeneration,” said Gideon as blue light descended on Martin.

“But he is going to be okay, right?” Jax asked again.

Rip glanced over at the results of Gideon’s current scan of Martin displayed on the nearby screen. “He’ll be fine,” he reassured Jax.

“You sure?”

Rip gave a wry smile. Apparently fretting over your partner’s welfare came as part of being Firestorm. “I’m sure,” he said. “In fact, he should be waking up any moment now.”

Right on cue, Martin groaned and began to stir raising a hand to his head. “What...?” he mumbled.

“Congratulations, Professor,” said Rip. “You have the honour of being my second patient today.”

“What?” Martin said again, his eyes widening as he woke up the rest of the way. He gazed around in confusion. “How...?”

“You passed out,” said Jax, looking relieved now that Martin was awake.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Martin, rubbing his injured head.

“I’m afraid it’s true,” said Rip as he gazed at Gideon’s medical display, pleased to note that both men appeared to be on the mend. “You passed out and hit your head. You have a bit of a concussion but Gideon’s taking care of it.”

Martin groaned. “Of all the...”

Jax grinned in amusement. “Now who needs to be more careful.”

Martin glared at him. “This wasn’t my fault. Clearly it was some unexpected side effect from our psychic connection.”

“Or you just can’t take the sight of a guy getting his shoulder put back in place,” Jax teased. “I never realized you were so squeamish.”

“I am not,” Martin sputtered. “I’ll have you know...”

Rip held up his hands once more. “Gentlemen, I really don’t think this is the time or the place for...”

“Maybe you should stay out of medbay from now on,” said Jax. “Just in case you pass out again.”

“Well, maybe I should be the one doing the flying,” countered Martin. “So we don’t end up hitting anymore trees.”

“You mean so we can hit buildings instead?”

“I think I would be very good at flying.”

“Not if it’s anything like the way you drive.”

“What’s wrong with how I drive?”

Rip hung his head and let out a tired groan. “Gideon, keep an eye on them, will you,” he said.

“Yes, Captain,” the A.I. replied.

Rubbing his forehead in anticipation of an oncoming headache, Rip quickly left room.

Behind him, the sound of squabbling voices continued.

Parts 19 - 21
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