There’s a part of Kara, a part that isn’t small, that wonders if she’ll ever trust Maggie enough to share her secrets. She trusts Maggie with Alex, that much isn’t hard. Alex lights up around Maggie. Alex deserves all the nicest things in the whole world and Kara would do anything to give them to her, even if it means hiding the sorrow and pain that have plagued her ever since she landed on Earth and realized that Krypton was gone and Kal-El was more human than anything else. Alex didn’t need to worry about her kid sister when she was in the honeymoon phase of her relationship.
They saved Alex together, acknowledged that they both loved her, but a small part of Kara wonders whether or not Maggie would have understood just what Kara would be losing if Maggie knew about her true history. No one apart from Alex, Vazquez, Eliza, and J’Onn really understood what it meant for her to be older than Kal-El. Miss Grant knew that she was, but she didn’t understand what it all meant. Few people did, even when she tried to tell them. James and Winn were prime examples of this. James, because he spent so much time with Kal-El that he used him as his Kryptonian baseline. Winn because he didn’t really bother to look deeper after she turned him down. He was her best friend, like a little brother, but there wasn’t the same kind of depth to their relationship that she had with Alex.
Kara slumped over the bar, wishing that M’Gann were back from Mars already. She swirled a glass of amber liquid, staring blankly past Mon-El who had started working here again. She had thought, when Alex was pushing her towards Mon-El, that she would be less lonely if she had someone to fill all the hours that Alex used to during any given day. It hadn’t worked.
She glared at Mon-El when he offered to take off work and ‘make her feel better,’ as if anything he could do would be remotely close to what she needed. She’d broken up with him, anyways. Why would he think she wanted him anywhere around? She downed the liquid in her glass and ordered another. At least the alcohol would make her forget, even if it was only for a little while.
She closed her eyes for only a moment, or so she thought. She woke to someone frantically shaking her shoulder. Alex? It looked more like three Alexes, but Kara knew there was only ever one Alex, the best of all Alexes in the whole world, so there couldn’t be three. Kara closed one eye, to help get rid of the fake Alexes. Maggie stood behind them, frowning. Kara sighed, closing both her eyes. Her head hurt too much for this.
“Okay, star girl, let’s go.” Alex wrapped her arms around Kara’s torso, so that Kara’s arms were draped over Alex’s shoulders. “A little help?”
Between her and Maggie, with one of Kara’s arms slung over each of their shoulders, they managed to half-carry half-drag Kara’s limp form to Alex’s SUV. She sprawled across the back seat, whining as Alex reached in to buckle all three of the seat belts. Her plan, before someone - probably Mon-El - had spilled the beans, was to get drunk and not remember how alone she was.
The ride back to… someone’s apartment was smooth. They must not have hit any red lights on the way there. Kara thought it might be her apartment, but she hadn’t been paying attention to the sounds around her because she didn’t want to hear what Alex and Maggie were talking about. They could be at CatCo or L-Corp or Alex’s apartment for all she knew. They could even be at Maggie’s, though Kara hoped that wasn’t the case. They were going to want her to talk, and she wouldn’t talk if they were at Maggie’s. It wasn’t one of her comfortable places.
Maybe if she shut her eyes hard enough, this would all turn out to be a very strange dream.
This was definitely her bed. Kara could feel the sun streaming through the curtains she’d bought because apparently curtains are a thing that people need in their homes. They were the cheapest and thinnest ones she could find and she never bothered to close them. They were closed to only allow a slit of the sun through, so someone else had been in here messing with her stuff. It wouldn’t have been Alex, because Alex wasn’t sleeping next to her. She only got to close the curtains when they shared a bed.
If only alcohol had a longer effect on her. She rose easily, with no trace of her drunkenness present in her system. She changed into her favorite lazy-day outfit, a pair of heather-grey sweatpants and a Stanford sweatshirt she’d stolen from Alex years ago. She could hear people puttering around her kitchen, though they were speaking softly enough that she would have to concentrate to hear what they were saying.
She scrubbed at her face, barely recognizing herself in the mirror. She’d already put on the mask she used to face the world, the picture of this pretty blonde girl who didn’t know what it felt like to wake in the middle of the night unable to breathe. It would be the first time she’d wear it while Alex was in her apartment, but if Maggie was also here - and from the sounds she was definitely also here - Kara didn’t want this to be the first time she saw all the jagged and fractured edges that Kara had learned to hide away from the humans practically the moment she landed.
“Stop hiding.” Alex spoke loud enough that Karar didn’t have to concentrate to hear her.
Kara tightened her grip on the porcelain of her sink, careful to not hold so tight that it crumbled to dust in her hands. She let go when she felt it start to crack beneath her palms. She washed off whatever porcelain dust could be on her hands, ran them through her hair, and stepped into the doorway that separated her bedroom from the living room.
“I’m fine, Alex. You don’t need to babysit me.” She almost winced at the harshness in her tone.
Alex moved the skillet she was currently frying some hashbrowns in so that the handle wasn’t in the way of the kitchen’s galley. There was a tightness to her shoulders that Kara hadn’t seen in a long time. Maggie rested her hand on them, rubbing small circles into the cotton of Alex’s shirt.
“Yeah, that’s not going to fly, Kara.” She turned around, stepping around Maggie to stand at the galley’s mouth. “Last night? That wasn’t like you. You don’t go hide out in an alien dive bar for four hours. You definitely don’t drink the entire time you’re there.” She crossed her arms, her jaw set. “Talk to me.”
Kara avoided Alex’s gaze. “It’s not a big deal, ‘Lex. I just wanted to unwind and didn’t think anyone would object to me doing that.” She shifted her weight, consciously refusing to look at either of them. “It’s not like you’re not familiar with the concept.” It was a low blow, but Kara needed to be alone for a while. From the looks of things, from how much Maggie and Alex were never more than an arm length away from each other, she wouldn’t be able to have time with just Alex for a while.
It was understandable - Maggie had almost lost the person who taught her that hope is real and strong. Kara knew the feeling well. She remembered clinging to Alex like that, in the early years once Alex wasn’t busy hating her very existence. Maybe Alex thought Kara didn’t need her like that anymore. If they were ever alone together again, if they ever found time to spend with each other that wasn’t at the DEO, maybe Kara would tell her that there wouldn’t ever come a time that such a thing would be true. Kara would always need Alex. It was the only constant she knew after Krypton’s destruction.
She could feel them both staring at her. Silence stretched between the three of them. Kara didn’t want to say anything more. Maggie and Alex probably didn’t know what to say. Alex probably had a whole lecture planned out, probably going through the most likely responses Kara would give. Kara had never been good at being predictable.
“I’m also familiar with how easy it is to fall into a spiral, Kara.” Alex’s voice was measured, as though she didn’t want Kara to know just how much her words had hurt. “You have people to lean on, star girl. You don’t have to make my same mistakes.”
Kara sighed deeply, holding the air in her lungs for a long moment before exhaling. “Yeah. Okay. I’ll be sure to do that.” She hadn’t remembered to inflect her voice in any way. “Thanks for cooking breakfast, but I think I’d like to be alone now.”
A strange look passed through Alex’s eyes, but she acquiesced. The door to Kara’s loft apartment shut softly behind Alex and Maggie as they left. Kara stalked over to her kitchen, filling her plate with the hash browns Alex had cooked. There wasn’t time to fry up some bacon or sausages, or scramble a half-dozen eggs. Not when she needed to get out there and do the only job she had left.
Floating high above the cloud level, high enough to barely feel the weight of Earth’s atmosphere, Kara found she couldn’t stop herself from listening intently for Alex’s vital signs. She had trained herself to ignore them once, but she couldn’t bring herself to do that now. Not when she’d almost lost Alex again. Not when she needed to know the moment Alex was taken, if it were to happen again.
She was high enough that cell service was fuzzy, her phone buzzing randomly as though someone were calling her but the signal kept dropping out. She needed to talk to J’Onn about developing a phone that would still get signal this high off the ground. Both her and Kal-El could use one, and J’Onn too (probably). Alex could actually call them if she got herself onto an alien ship that was about to warp to the other side of the galaxy.
She floated a bit lower, not feeling any kind of urgency. No one was screaming out for help, no grunts of some strange new alien species - which, seriously, how did every single species find its way to Earth? There were other planets in the galaxy they could visit - threatening major infrastructural damage. It was the kind of day she would have loved, back when she still worked at CatCo. A day where she wasn’t stretching herself between two places and hoping that the parts of her she left in each one were enough to last until she could breathe again.
When her phone finally got full signal again, she slid it out of the special pocket she’d insisted Winn include. She frowned at the caller ID. This was her Supergirl phone, paid for by the DEO so it couldn’t be traced back to her Kara Danvers identity. Maggie Sawyer should not have been a programmed contact, let alone have this number at her disposal. Still, it had to be about Alex, so Kara broke the sound barrier to land just next to where Maggie was standing. There hadn’t been any sounds that would indicate Alex was missing again, but Kara couldn’t take that kind of a chance. Not this soon after.
“Where is she? Is she okay?” All business, even with her hair still fluttering around her face. She’d cracked the ground a bit when she landed. Luckily, it was a park so there wasn’t a whole sidewalk or road to replace.
But Maggie wasn’t panicking. Maggie was perfectly calm. Maggie, in fact, looked at Kara with confusion. “Didn’t you listen to the voicemail? Alex and I wanted to know if you’d be coming over for -”
Kara held up a hand to stop Maggie from continuing on with her sentence. “This phone is for emergencies. This phone is only for emergencies. If you need to talk about a non-emergency thing, I’m sure the DEO would be happy to furnish you with my private number, seeing as they freely gave you this one.” Kara swallowed thickly. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have actual emergencies to be on the lookout for.” She launched herself into the stratosphere before Maggie could respond.
Her phone dinged just as she pushed past where cell reception was a given, alerting her to a text message. She could feel the tears streaming down her face. The only reason they were still liquid was her higher-than-human body temperature. She could answer the text message later.
Kara wondered who had put in the requisition order for the DEO to pay her rent, now that she was out of a paying job. J’Onn had probably been convinced with an argument that painted this as compensating Kara for her work. Plus, now she didn’t have to split her time between a human job where people would notice her absence and her superheroing. J’Onn was the happiest she’d ever seen him once he realized that.
She was currently sprawled across her couch, a soft blanket wrapped loosely around her. She hasn’t been sleeping, lately. Those scant few hours where she hadn’t been able to hear the steady beat of Alex’s heart were enough of a lapse in her duties. She dropped into a deep, meditative state, letting Alex’s vital signs serve as a form of white noise. It was restful enough. She only slept because humans found it weird that she didn’t need to. Not sleeping meant no nightmares, meant no days where she couldn’t function like humans were supposed to in society. It was safer this way, for everyone.
Her front door creaked open, slammed shut, and Kara heard the distinct sound of someone locking it and sliding the deadbolt into place. She should have done that in the first place. Grumbling, Kara pushed herself to her feet. Very few of her friends had an actual key to her place, and she knew she’d locked the door before hunkering down.
“Kara Zor-El Danvers.” Alex was the angriest Kara had ever seen her. “This has gone on long enough. We’re going to sit, we’re going to talk, and we’re going to get to the bottom of this. I wanted to let you work through your stuff on your own, because that’s a good life skill to have, but enough is enough.” Alex advanced on Kara, crowding her into the far corner of her couch. “Talk to me, star girl. What’s going on in that brain of yours?”
It took Kara a good five minutes to run out of things to look at in her apartment that weren’t Alex staring at her with almost unprecedented concern. This wasn’t one of the expected outcomes. Alex hadn’t been over here in weeks, not since Earth Birthday and the cupcake that Kara wasn’t ready to admit she cried over. On her darkest days, Kara had wondered if it was even worth it for Alex to come over. After all, Kara was the reason Alex lost her father. Kara was the reason Jeremiah was so valuable to Cadmus. Kara wouldn’t blame Alex if there were multiple layers of resentment.
When she finally looked at Alex, Kara felt sick. Alex had that same pained look she’d had when they first learned Jeremiah was still alive. It was a mixture of hope and a refusal to let herself dream. Kara’s hands shook as she kept them from reaching out to offer Alex an anchor point.
“I know it’s been a long time since we’ve done this -” Alex’s voice was thick with emotion, every word heavily coated to the point of almost being unintelligible “- but I thought you knew you could always come to me. Please.” Tears were starting to fall down the planes of Alex’s face, a silent testament to just how much she felt in this moment. “Kara.”
Today was a day that Kara hated the fact she was a sympathetic crier. And that she hadn’t learned how to cry silently. “You-you’ve been so happy, ‘Lex. So, so, so happy. I never ever want to take that from you, and… and…” She swallowed, pushing down the new sense of guilt that churned in her psyche. “You shouldn’t always have to take care of me.”
Alex knelt in front of Kara, wrapping her arms around Kara’s shoulders and squeezing as hard as she could. “Oh, no, Kara. No, no, no. You always come to me. Always always.” One of her hands moved to tangle in Kara’s hair. “I can’t be happy when you’re not happy, too, kid. You and me against the world, remember?”
Kara nodded despondently, instinctively seeking out the crook between Alex’s neck and shoulder. “I know I still don’t know how relationships are really supposed to work, here on Earth, but all the shows and movies say that you should be focused all on Maggie. She’s your, your, shesur , your zrhymin .” Kara closed her eyes, squeezing them shut to stop the tears. “Earth culture says I’m not supposed to impose on that.”
They sat together in silence for a long moment, Alex running one hand through Kara’s hair and rubbing the other in small, soothing circles on Kara’s back. She hummed an old kryptonian hymn Kara had taught her once she had peaked out of the dark hole the Phantom Zone had left in her mind. Gently, Kara wound her arms around Alex’s torso and fisted her hands in the soft cotton of Alex’s shirt. She was very careful to not rip through the fabric. She inhaled a shuddery breath, her body shaking. This. This is what she had missed in these past months, ever since they’d found Mon-El’s pod. This was what she had needed to quiet all the dark, angry whispers that constantly lived in her mind.
“You’ve been holding this in for a long while, hey,” Alex said, shifting them so they could better snuggle together. “I’m sorry.”
Kara ripped herself out of Alex’s grasp at those words. “No, Alex, no. You… You’ve spent so long hiding yourself because of me.”
Alex covered Kara’s mouth with her hand. “There’s a difference between coming to terms with myself and ignoring all the parts of my life that aren’t Maggie, Kara. It’s all about balance, and finding time for everyone. I haven’t really been finding a lot of time for you, though, have I?” She lifted her hand, letting it fall to tangle in one of Kara’s. “It’s okay to feel sad that I haven’t been around while also being happy that I’ve found someone like Maggie, Kara. You don’t have to pick one.”
“I just…” Kara huffed, unsure of how to say this. English was still so inelegant when she really needed to convey something. “I like Maggie when she’s with you, but she seems to know a lot of things that I haven’t told her?” Phrasing it as a question seemed like a safe way to go. “Like, the way she talks to me makes me think that she thinks she knows all my secrets and there’s nothing more to me. Like I’m only Supergirl or Kara Danvers and it’s never more complicated than that?” Kara had almost forgotten how easy it was to just talk to Alex. “Also she has my Supergirl phone number and thinks it’s okay to use that for non-emergency stuff when that’s all for the Kara Danvers phone number because I have two numbers for a reason and -”
Alex laughed, the sound stopping Kara in the middle of her tirade. “I’ve missed you like this. Mon-El really did a number on you, and I so seriously regret pushing you towards him.”
Kara nuzzled her head into Alex’s shoulder, curling herself into Alex’s side. “It’s fine, you had no way of knowing he’d be worse than a frat boy.”
“I kinda did, but I thought he’d be one of the good frat boys.” Alex rolled her neck. “Should have known there are no good frat boys.” She rested her head atop Kara’s, tension evaporating. “I’ll talk to Maggie, but I also think you two should sit down and talk. You’re both really important to me, and maybe I should have set this up a long ago.”
Kara yawned, tuning her senses to the steady beat of Alex’s heart. “‘Kay. Not here or the bar or Maggie’s place. Your place is kinda like neutral ground for us.” She let more of her not inconsiderable weight rest on Alex. “Stay?”
She almost didn’t hear the shaky inhale of breath, the choked way Alex cleared her throat. “Of course, star girl. Rest now.”
Kara was on the cloud thing. Cloud nine? She wasn’t quite sure what it meant, or why the first eight clouds were no good, but that. The kind of best place that humans eagerly chased after. She was curled up at one end of Alex’s couch, three bowls of popcorn arranged on the coffee table. She could hear the two of them, Alex and Maggie, talking softly in the rarely-used kitchen Alex still insisted she knew how to use. Kara scrolled through Netflix, looking for something no one was currently in the middle of watching or had recently watched. Tonight was about new things, not old ones, or so Alex had said when she picked Kara up.
“I’ll just run to the store and get some. You and Kara can get to know each other.” Alex kissed Maggie’s cheek, ruffled Kara’s hair, and dashed out the door.
Kara wiped her suddenly sweaty palms on the underside of her sweatpants, nervous in a way she thought she’d left behind once she acclimated to human society. She knew Alex had told Maggie a few things, the kind of things that were Earth-secrets but enough to hint at the whole ‘Krypton-Phantom Zone weirdness’ as Alex called it. She knew it from the curious glint in Maggie’s eyes as she settled at the other end of the couch. Kara hadn’t prepared herself for having to do this quite so soon. She wanted to bask in Alex for a while, help her find the balance between all her personal relationships, before diving into this. Alex, it seemed, had other plans.
She didn’t even know how to start.
“So,” Maggie said, clearing her throat. “Ajex wants us to talk? Not quite sure what there is to talk about, Little Danvers. We both love Alex, we both want her to be happy, we both need her.”
Kara drummed her fingers on the arm of the couch, a nervous tick she’d picked up after Eliza and Jeremiah had taught her how to do it to help with controlling her strength. “It’s the needing her Alex wants us to talk about, I think?” Questions were safe. Questions meant she didn’t have to actually commit to anything. “Or we could not do that.”
Maggie shifted towards the center of the couch. “I get the feeling you want to somehow talk about it and also not say anything about it, ever.” She reached over to rest her hand on Kara’s bicep. “I won’t tell anyone, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
Kara shook her head. “I’ve never actually told anyone. Not since I first landed.” She didn’t know if the words actually existed in English, to tell it as a single story. They barely existed in kandorian. “I’m older than Kal-El, if Alex hasn’t told you. Superman,” she clarified at the confused look on Maggie’s face. “I was twelve when I left. My ieiu and ukr sent me to watch over him, to teach him our legacy and keep him safe. Didn’t quite work out.” Kara wiped tears away from her eyes and snot away from her nose. “It wouldn’t have been a problem if Krypton weren’t in its final death throes, exploding. We wouldn’t have been sent away, then.”
Maggie’s hand on Kara’s arm slid down to cover Kara’s hand, squeezing just enough for Kara to feel it. “How…”
“Space and time don’t always work like you want them to. I got trapped in an area of all-space, no-time. The Phantom Zone.” Maggie nodded at this, scooting closer to Kara. “I arrived twenty-four earth years too late.”
Kara curled in on herself. That was as much as she could say in one sitting, not when she’d never told anyone before. She let Maggie hold her, though, because it was like getting a hug from Alex. They had the same gentle understanding to them, once they actually knew what was going on.
Alex returned about ten minutes later, carrying three gallons of cookie dough ice cream. They were quickly tossed in the freezer, Alex nearly vaulting over the couch to wrap Kara in the safety of her arms.
“She tell you?” Alex’s fingers were pressed into Kara’s scalp, running through her hair hard enough for Kara to feel it.
“Just that she’s older, was supposed to raise the Superdork.” Maggie wrapped her arms around both of them, her head resting on Alex’s shoulder. “So she’s really around fifty, if we go by actual years she’s been alive?”
“That’s the least sad part of it, isn’t it. Much easier to focus on her temporal age instead of what it all means. Did the same thing when she first came to us, because I didn’t want to think about it.” Alex kissed Kara’s brow, the same place that signified family and eternal affection within Kryptonian society. “Wait for her to tell you the rest?”
Maggie nodded the moment Alex started to ask the question. “Like you even need to ask, Danvers. I know what it’s like to want to keep your past away from your present.” Her hands joined Alex’s in Kara’s hair. “Kinda makes you want to fight the whole world to make her smile, though. She hides it well.”
Alex sighed, guiding them all to her bedroom and the king-sized bed she’d bought for the purpose of what they had taken to calling ‘extreme cuddling’ in the wake of Jeremiah’s ‘death.’ “She had to.”
Winn finally fessed up to being the one who gave Maggie Kara’s Supergirl number. With both Alex and Maggie glaring at him, standing so as to block line of sight with Kara, he had no choice but to cave. When Alex had found out that Maggie had the Supergirl number but hadn’t gotten it from Kara, the idiom ‘going postal’ was a kind way to put it. J’Onn stood next to Kara, sporting his best ‘I’m not mad, just disappointed’ face. Vasquez stood on the other side, idly tapping away on her tablet. Kara peeked over, her eyes widening almost comically when she saw the HR report, to be sent to Pam, that would temporarily suspend Winn from the DEO for ‘promoting unauthorized civilian vigilantism and sharing confidential information with non-vetted individuals.’ J’Onn’s signature already dominated the signature line, and Alex had somehow found Lucy to co-sign it.
“Who else have you given Kara’s Supergirl number to, Agent Schott?” Alex advanced on him like a wolf, her lips pulled back in a snarl. “How many other DEO protocols have you broken because you haven’t bothered to read the handbook or actually read the NDA you signed in order to work here?”
“I never even asked for a way to keep in contact with Supergirl. Shout loud enough and she’ll hear it.” Maggie moved to block Winn’s only possible avenue of escape. “I said I wanted to talk to Kara at some point, and asked you to pass along the message.”
Winn whimpered, crawling under his desk. Kara was barely paying attention, more intrigued by the flirty things Vasquez was typing in her e-mail to Pam, the Director of Human Resources. She knew Alex and Maggie weren’t going to seriously hurt Winn, just make him panic for a bit and hopefully teach him to be more careful with sensitive information.
“Is that even physically possible,” Kara asked, whispering to Vasquez.
Vasquez grinned, pressing send within the mail client. “Anything’s possible if you try hard and believe in yourself. And I do believe.”
Kara frowned. “It wouldn’t be too scary? To fall like that?”
Vasquez shook her head. “Humans go skydiving all the time, and I know Director of Human Resources Smith is a bit of an adrenaline junkie when she’s not chasing down the illustrious Agent Danvers for taking things out of the armory without submitting the proper requisition forms.” She tucked the tablet beneath her arm. “It’s the closest human beings will ever get to flying under our own power. Oy, Danvers, leave him alive. I’ve been getting vacation days since we hired him, and I don’t want to give them up.”
Alex growled. “He’ll be fine. He just needs to learn that we clear everything about Supergirl through me. Because we clear absolutely everything about Supergirl through me, Probationary Agent Winslow Schott, no exceptions.”
“So sorry, so so sorry.” Winn rocked back and forth, repeating that like a mantra.
“He’s learned his lesson,” J’Onn said, stepping forwards. “Now, I’m sure there’s some alien-related crime that the two of you can go investigate while Agent Schott goes to his newly-mandated training with Director of Human Resources Smith.” J’Onn’s eyes glowed a faint red. “Agent Vasquez, please let Director Lane know that her return will be most welcome. Supergirl, come with me.”
Kara fidgeted with her cape, matching J’Onn’s stride easily. His office was one of her favorite places, after the mess hall and Alex’s lab. He’d soundproofed the walls, so she didn’t have to worry about accidentally hearing anything. Kara plopped down in the titanium-reinforced chair, flicking her cape so that it flared out behind her. This was a much better office than the one back at the desert base.
“I love you like my own, Kara. I know I can never replace your parents, or Eliza and Jeremiah, but you are as dear to me as my own lost family.” J’Onn sat down next to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. “I am here if you ever want to talk about it. Mine is not so lonely an existence, but I do understand what it is like to be the last of your kind.” He kissed Kara’s temple, the kind of fatherly affection that Kara couldn’t even remember Jeremiah giving her. “Mister Schott will be put through his paces.”
Kara closed her eyes, basking in the feeling of warmth that flared in her chest. “Thanks, J’Onn. You’re the best dad an orphaned alien could ask for.” She wiggled around so she could kiss his cheek and then used her superspeed to find Alex. J’Onn didn’t like it when they watched him react to their affection.
Alex’s covert missions were the worst. Kara busied herself with cleaning Alex’s apartment, even if it would be a day at the very least before Alex resurfaced. Maggie was supposed to come over in a bit, after work. Kara had made her promise to call her on the Superphone - Winn had helped design a new, more indestructible one as an apology for sharing her number without permission - if she needed any help at all. Alex only had so many surfaces to clean, even if Kara went at a speed even humans would consider ridiculously slow. Kara needed something to occupy her thoughts and her hands, to keep her busy instead of obsessing over the fact that she couldn’t hear Alex’s heartbeat anymore.
“I don’t think this place has ever been this clean.” Kara jumped at the sudden appearance of Maggie’s voice. “Alex never bothers to vacuum under her couch.”
Kara grinned, weak as it was. “She thinks that if you can’t see it, it doesn’t count as dirty. She stopped using that excuse when Kal dropped me off.” Effortlessly, she lifted the couch back into place.
Maggie sprawled herself over the couch now that it was back where it should be, a beer from San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery in her hand. She offered one to Kara, who refused. She wasn’t a big beer person even when they were made with enough alien ingredients to be the kind of potent she needed to feel it. She nestled herself at the other end of the couch, picking at the sleeve of her sweater.
“I hate it when I can’t hear her.” Kara was slowly getting better about opening up to Maggie. “It’s the one thing I’ve always counted on, you know? Being able to hear Alex’s heartbeat. When she first went away to college, I couldn’t go to sleep until I was sure she was fine.” Kara allowed herself to be pulled into a loose hug. “She’s the first person who made me feel like I could belong to a family again.”
“Before I met Alex,” Maggie said, tugging on Kara’s arm until they were nearly fully intertwined, “I was in a string of bad relationships the likes of which I sincerely hope you never fall into. I haven’t spoken to my family in years, not even the aunt who took me in after dear old mom and dad kicked me out. Being with Alex is the first time in a long time I’ve felt like I don’t need to apologize for being myself.”
Kara nodded, snuggling into Maggie’s side. “Alex is the best. I vote we stay here until she gets back.”
“I vote we stay here until a couple days after she gets back,” Maggie countered, draining her beer and setting the bottle down. “She doesn’t deserve privacy after this.”
“Don’t you want, you know-”
Maggie shushed Kara, dragging a blanket over the both of them. “Alex and I are forever, kid. I can wait for a couple of days while you two worry over each other.”
The door opened at that moment, an exhausted Alex stalking through the room to flop over both of them. “I refuse to leave this house for a week at the very least. Lucy can get her own minions to help her out in secret missions. I refuse.” She wiggled until she was trapped between the two of them, one arm wrapped tightly around each of them. “Love you. Both. More than anything else in the whole world.”