Each plea was more heartbreaking than the last.
‘Stay with me, Kara...Please....Stay with me.’
After what seemed like an eternity, though in actuality was only about thirty seconds, a medteam rushed in with a gurney that Alex laid her sister down on. ‘Triage one is ready for her, ma’am.’
Maggie went to follow the gurney but was stopped by a hand on her shoulder.
‘No,’ J’onn said gently.
‘Alex needs me.’
‘What she needs is for you to get better, to rest. You hurting yourself further is only going to make things worse; she’s already worried as it is.’
His grasp was weak, strong enough to keep her steady but loose enough for her to flee should she choose to. However, she chose to heed his words instead, nodding. ‘You’re right. Is...is Kara…’ Again she couldn’t quite bring herself to ask that question, fearful of the answer. ‘What’s going on?’
‘Kryptonite has been released into the atmosphere.’
In other words, things were bad. Really fucking bad. And it wasn’t the concussion that Maggie had likely sustained that was making the room start to spin.
The ever patient and ever caring J’onn walked her back to her room. He helped her back into bed and pulled the thin blanket over her. ‘Try not to worry about Kara, she’s in good hands. Focus on getting yourself better; Alex would never forgive herself if something was to happen to you.’
‘I know that.’
There was more to the story. ‘That day you were shot, you don’t remember arriving in the DEO, do you?’
‘Besides a very faint recollection of flying there?’ Maggie shook her head. ‘I don’t remember anything.’
‘Well I do,’ J’onn continued. ‘I’ll never forget that day.’
*** *** ***
Two years ago…
Kara’s voice crackled through the comms. ‘Maggie’s been hit.’
J’onn’s attention turned to Alex.
The alarm in Alex’s voice was evident, as was the panic on her face. ‘What? Is...is she okay?’
‘ She’s unresponsive. I’m bringing her into the DEO now .’
Alex’s knuckles whitened as she gripped the intel table with both hands. ‘ETA?’
‘ About two minutes. Be ready .’
Alex took a deep breath.
J’onn reached out, placing his hand on her back. As much as he never wished to pry into anyone’s thoughts, he’d still sometimes overhear things in passing or when he was trying to read a suspect’s mind for information. And he had overheard Alex’s recently; they’d been so loud in recent weeks, it had been near impossible to tune them out. ‘She’s in good hands.’
‘Well she’ll be in your hands in about a minute or so, so I’d say she’s definitely going to be okay.’
‘Would that be ethical? Treating her?’
He played dumb, not wanting her to know that he knew. ‘Would what be ethical? I have no problems with you treating your friend. In fact, if she’s okay with it then I highly encourage it.’
That seemed to satisfy her, easing some of her worries too as she managed a smile. ‘Okay. I’ll do that.’ She turned back to the comms. ‘Supergirl, what sort of injury are we looking at?’
‘She was hit with a laser. Just below her collarbone. It’s a bleeder but there’s no internal damage.’
More worries eased. ‘Okay. I’ll see you in a minute.’
J’onn patted her shoulder. ‘See? She’s going to be okay.’
*** *** ***
Just as he promised, J’onn stayed at her bedside.
The lights felt blindingly bright as she opened heavy eyelids. ‘How long have I been asleep?’
‘A couple of hours,’ he said softly. ‘Are you feeling any better?’
‘Still sore,’ she replied but she definitely felt better. Calmer, in his presence. ‘How’s Kara?’
‘Kara’s okay. Still not completely out of danger but getting there. Lena had a suit to protect her, and she and Brainy are currently working to purify the air. And they’re making good progress.’
She smiled at the good news. ‘And Alex?’
‘Has been coming in every fifteen minutes to check on you. In fact, you literally just missed her.’ He reached out to place his hand on top of hers. ‘I know you will be but, when she next drops in, please be gentle with her. The Vice President has been pretty tough and it’s getting to her.’
Maggie nodded. ‘Of course.’
J’onn continued. ‘It’s hard running this place. You can have everything perfectly under control then one thing that you can’t prevent happens and the shit rains directly down on you. That happens often and it never gets any easier’ He squeezed Maggie’s hand. ‘And that’s why I’m glad she has you because I know you’ll keep her steady, keep her calm and, most importantly, keep her happy even when it feels like the world’s against her. I don’t need to read her mind to know that you are the best thing that’s ever happened to her.’
Alex had said that phrase herself, countless times, yet it never got old hearing it. It always brought with it a wave of emotion that hit Maggie hard every time. ‘She’s mine too.’ Her happy place...her safe place...her everything . ‘This wedding can’t come soon enough.’
‘Speaking of weddings, I recently bought a special pair of cufflinks for the occasion.’
He grinned. ‘Let’s just say they’re more colorful than my entire wardrobe combined.’
Pride cufflinks. She’d put all her money on the Martian Manhunter wearing little rainbows on each of his wrists on the big day. ‘I look forward to seeing them. I…I still can’t believe that this is happening, that I’m marrying her.’ That proposal on the DEO balcony, overlooking the city at night, still felt like a dream...
*** *** ***
One year, six months ago…
The first thing she did when she woke that morning was glance at her finger, to check that it hadn’t all been the most wonderful dream.
The piece of black thread tied around her finger, a placeholder for now, assured her that it was not, and a smile spread on her lips as she began to process the fact that she was going to marry the woman that had brought so much joy to her life, the woman that was currently nuzzling at her bare back.
‘Cold?’ Alex asked, between kisses.
It wasn’t the temperature that had caused Maggie’s skin to ripple out in goosebumps; rather, it had been that word. Fiancee . Maggie twisted round and pressed her nose against Alex’s. ‘No. Happy .’
*** *** ***
A NCPD precinct was attacked, followed shortly by a funfair attended by families.
Understandably, it was a while before Alex next dropped by.
It was late evening, in fact, when she finally came bearing gifts. ‘I won this playing hoopla ,’ Alex waved a stuffed unicorn before taking her seat bedside. ‘Okay, that’s a lie but Otis and Mercy Graves are no longer threats, so I did technically win tonight.’
‘You took them down?’
Alex’s happy facade faded. ‘No, their lackey turned on them before I could arrest them. And Jensen’s still out there, somewhere, so I didn’t really do anything.’
Maggie clutched the unicorn to her chest. ‘You made me smile.’
And for the briefest of seconds, Alex smiled too. ‘Yeah but that won’t get the Vice President off my ass.’
‘He’s mad at you?’
‘He’s blaming me. For recruiting Jensen, for letting Otis and Mercy escape, for everything . Everything that’s went wrong? Is my fault.’ She sighed, looking down at the ground.
‘But did you beat me up? Did you release Kryptonite into the air? No, you didn’t, so none of this is your fault.’ With great discomfort, Maggie sat up a little. ‘Babe, look at me. Please?’ She waited until she had Alex’s attention. ‘You are doing a great job.’
‘The Vice President doesn’t think so.’
‘Well, the Vice-President can fuck off. He’s holding you accountable for the actions of others? Fuck him; fuck Jensen; and fuck Otis and Mercy Graves. As if you’d ever do anything that would even risk putting Kara or myself in danger. It’s not your fault that this world is full of shitty people.’
‘I know that, I do, it’s just... a lot to deal with.’
Maggie nodded. ‘And you can handle it. J’onn would never have given you this promotion if he didn’t think that you were ready. Just take a deep breath, alright? I’m okay, Kara’s going to be okay, and you’ll deal with Jensen eventually. Okay?’
As instructed, Alex closed her eyes and took that breath.
‘A little, yeah.’ She shook her head. ‘Anyway, forget me. How are you doing? Are you feeling better?’
‘Still sore. A little less dizzy but, yeah...sore.’
‘Bruised ribs and a concussion. You really hit the jackpot on that front,’ Alex sighed. ‘Fucking Jensen. I can’t wait until I get my hands on that piece of shit.’
‘Yeah me too.’
Anger turned into concern. ‘Unless you’re fit and well? That’s not happening. I may have been preoccupied with my sister but I heard what happened earlier, how you ignored doctor’s orders to go walkabout--.’
‘In my defence, there was an alarm--.’
‘That’s no defence,’ Alex countered. ‘With every alarm, there are protocols. Strict protocols. You were perfectly safe in the medbay, and if you weren’t then plans are in place to ensure that you would’ve been. By getting out of bed, you were putting yourself at risk, and I know,’ Alex nodded, ‘I know I sound like an asshole lecturing you but, Maggie...I know you. You need to be more careful, and you need to start listening to your body. ‘Cause I wanna be your wife; I wanna have a family with you; and I want to spend forever with you, but that? That gets a little complicated if something was to happen to you.’ Alex swallowed hard, on the verge of tears.
Maggie reached for her fiancee’s hand. ‘I want all those things too, more than anything in the world, so for you? For you, I promise that I’ll take things easier....and I’ll also absolutely let you fuss over me.’
That made Alex laugh. ‘As if you had a say in that.’
Nobody fussed quite like Alex Danvers did. ‘That’s true.’
‘You think you’re up to going home?’
Maggie nodded. ‘Cuddles in bed may have to wait a little while though. Bruised ribs fucking suck.’
‘Jensen betrays me, releases enemies of the state and takes away my cuddletime? This son of a bitch has really got it coming.’
*** *** ***
It was 3 a.m., and Maggie found her fiancee sat out on the balcony.
‘You should be in bed.’
Alex looked up. ‘Could say the same about you.’
‘Do you mind if I join you?’
The reply came in the shape of a smile.
Maggie groaned as she got down on her knees before transitioning onto her butt. ‘It’s okay, I’m fine,’ she waved off her love’s concerns. ‘What are you doing out here?’
‘A little thinking.’ Alex picked up the moleskin beside her. ‘A little writing.’
Alex nodded. ‘Well, they’re supposed to be. You know me, I’ve never been the best with words but I try, and I’m trying, I’m always trying.’
‘And you’re getting better at it.’ Talking things out as opposed to bottling them up was an issue that they’d been working through together. ‘Just don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Any words are better than no words; just say how you feel, it doesn’t need to be poetic or any of that crap.’
‘ Say how you feel… ’
Alex turned to her. ‘I feel like I can’t do this damn job.’
And there it was. ‘Can I say how I feel?’
‘Go for it.’
‘I feel like you can do that damn job.’ She rested her hand on her fiancee’s knee. ‘Going from agent to director is a big jump, I get that...but if you never jump, how will you know if you can fly?’
‘See? That’s poetic.’
‘And it’s also from a country song,’ Maggie laughed. ‘But my point still stands. Sometimes you need to take that leap. Two years ago, you took took a leap and look at us now.’ She entwined her fingers with Alex’s. ‘We’re unbreakable.’