“Is your name Alexandra Danvers?” Major Lane leaned across the table towards Alex, not a hair out of place.
“Alex, yes.” Alex glanced down and when she looked back up things had changed. Suddenly she was seeing colors - the stripes on the major’s uniform, the ribbons on her chest, and… her eyes. They had a color. A color that Alex couldn’t even identify. Lucy Lane was her soulmate. She was... gay? Did the major know? Had Alex ever said Lucy’s name aloud, or was she always calling her “Major”? It threw Alex off. Her brain started to spiral, but the major and colonel didn’t let up. Alex tried to stay focused on the task at hand as they interrogated her, trying to lie her way through all of it.
After 10 minutes of quizzing her life and her character, Alex thought she was free. She was pulling off sensors and bands when the major leaned across the table and accused her of lying. As they cuffed her Alex realized that the colors she thought she’d seen before shifted back to grey in the shadows. It was like her brain wasn’t working. She shook her head. She needed to focus on what was happening in front of her, which was being dragged out of the DEO and shipped to Cadmus - whatever that was. It didn’t sound good.
The next 10 days didn’t give Alex time to consider it again. Lucy and Kara rescued Alex and J’onn and gave them a chance to run, but then they had to turn around and go back to National City to save the world. After Kara flew Fort Rozz to space and Alex rescued her, life went back to normal. Except it wasn’t for Alex. The colors she was seeing were muted, slipping in and out of greys. She felt like it wasn’t normal, just like she felt like it wasn’t normal to be… not straight. She couldn’t even bring herself to say the words in her head.
Alcohol helped. Alcohol was the only thing that helped. But Alex was trying to be careful this time, so she only drank at home. When she blacked out it was in her own apartment. There was no clubbing, no drinking and driving. She had to keep her job, had to protect Kara at all costs. When it finally got to the point where she couldn’t make it through the day without something to numb the pain, she snuck a bottle into her desk, adding a generous helping of whisky to her coffee. She made sure to use mouthwash and carried cinnamon candies with her everywhere to pop in her mouth to help mask the smell.
Alex finally worked up the courage to search the internet to figure out why her vision was so messed up. The only thing she could find was the possibility that she might actually have two soulmates, that she would only see in full color once she’d met both of them. Disgust filled her body. What if they were both… women? Alex snapped. She thought back to the last few lonely years, searching for a memory of someone - anyone - that could prove her body, her brain, her fate wrong. Maxwell Lord popped into her mind. When Myriad had struck they had huddled on the floor of the DEO together, holding hands. He had saved them - helped to save the world. Maybe he wasn’t that bad. Maybe Alex could make the whole thing go away.
After their third date Alex let Max take her back to his place. The champagne left her buzzed and the excellent food left her sated. Maybe it would be good with Max. As he slipped her clothes off by the light spilling in through the windows, she felt hope - hope that he could all make it go away.
But in the morning, under the harsh light of day, she felt… empty. The safe numbness of the alcohol had worn off and Alex was left with nothing. Not even an orgasm to convince her that somehow the universe was wrong about her.
Max started bringing Alex in on some projects he was working on. It was thrilling to be working with someone of his intelligence - bringing projects to fruition that the rest of humanity had yet to imagine. The moments when an idea came together for Alex keyed her into another escape from reality. She tried to convince herself that what she felt towards him was more than just the excitement of a challenging intellect.
Reality crashed back into Alex when Max got his first invitation to game night. Alex and Max had been officially together for a few weeks and Kara and Alex were seeing less and less of each other. Even though Alex was stationed in the city, she spent so much time with Max or at his lab. She didn’t want her sister to sense the lies that Alex was weaving around herself, the darkness consuming her.
They were the last to arrive, Max having to drag Alex away from a project she was working on. Alex was surprised to see some new faces when they walked in. Kara rushed over and enveloped Alex in a hug. As she stopped back she adjusted her glasses and eyed Max.
Alex could feel the awkwardness spreading between them, so she filled the silence, “Who do we have here?”
Kara turned back to the room. A younger woman wandered over, looking nervous. She looked vaguely familiar. “Alex, Max, this is my friend Lena. Lena, this is my sister Alex and her boyfriend Max.”
Max smiled and Alex knew he was already up to something. “Lena Luthor, the pleasure is all mine.”
Alex instantly reacted to the Luthor name, her body tensing. She stepped between them and grabbed her sister’s elbow, steering her towards Kara’s bedroom. “Excuse us, I need to talk to my sister privately…” Max chuckled and Lena let out a soft, “Of course,” before Alex and Kara were out of earshot. When they got to the section of the apartment that Kara used as a bedroom, Alex exploded. “What the hell are you thinking bringing a Luthor here, Kara?! She is dangerous, especially to you-”
“Relax, Alex, it’s not like she knows anything,” said Kara. “We’re just friends.”
“Kara, she is smart. She will figure it out. Your cousin didn’t tell Lex anything either and look where we-”
“Alex, look, I know you think you need to protect me, but you don’t. I’ve got this. I think I can trust Lena. At least trust her enough to come to be friends - it’s not like we’re getting married-”
“Kara, I think this is a mist-”
“Alex, look, this is none of your business. If you want to worry about someone trying to kill me, you should probably start with your boyfriend. Or did you forget he not only threatened me, but Eliza, too?”
Alex pulled back from Kara. Kara had never spoken to her like that before. It stung. Especially since Alex knew that she was right about Lena Luthor and that Kara was just being naïve. Alex walked around Kara. Winn and James were on the couch playing Mario Kart, totally oblivious to Alex. Lucy and another woman were standing behind the couch watching them and as Alex stormed past the woman raised her eyebrow at Alex. Alex tried to ignore her.
“We’re going,” growled Alex to Max, grabbing his hand.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa Alex, we just got here. Lena and I were just-”
“I don’t care. I am leaving. You can come with me or not.”
Apparently Max’s decision was to not, and Alex left alone.
The next morning Alex swigged her spiked coffee as she walked into central command, checking the reports from the night before.
After Winn filled her in he said, “We missed you last night.”
“Yeah, sorry, something came up…”
“It was crazy to see someone besides you win at trivia. Max and Lena seemed like sure-things, but Maggie somehow beat both of them.”
“Yeah, Lucy’s girlfriend. I guess you didn’t get to meet her before you left.”
“Oh, yeah… I guess not.” Alex took another gulp of her coffee, lost in thought.
“Was there anything else?” Winn said, interrupting Alex’s not-so-generous thoughts.
“Oh! No, thanks Winn.”
When Alex got back to her office she took another drink of her coffee. It wasn’t enough. She never got used to the color haunting her vision. It was sickening. Instead of all the stories she’d heard about how beautiful everything was, it just seemed like everything was a warm, sickly grey, brighter colors occasionally sneaking in to throw Alex off balance. She knew there were whole colors she wasn’t seeing, but she couldn’t imagine what they were. Everyone’s skin made her nauseous. She just wished she could go back. Back to a life without soulmates, a life without Lucy Lane. Alex finished her coffee and got to work.
Kara started avoiding Alex. Or maybe Alex was avoiding Kara. Either way, it was easier. Easier to not see her sister and pretend she approved of Kara’s friendship with Lena. Easier for Alex to pretend she hadn’t found her soulmate… or one of her soulmates. Easier than talking about Max. Just… easier.
Time slipped away from Alex. There really wasn’t anything worth keeping track of anymore. She went to work, she protected her sister but didn’t speak to her, she worked with Max, she let him touch her and love her and fuck her and she pretended it was all okay. Until she found out that Jeremiah Danvers was still alive.
The pounding in her head woke her up one morning. Alex guessed it was 9am. The pounding wasn’t normally this loud, though. She sat up slowly, trying to figure out what was going on. The nausea she’d been feeling for the last week slipped into her throat. Alex swallowed.
“Danvers!” came a yell through the door, and Alex realized it wasn’t just her head pounding. Pulling on the first shirt and pants she could find, she opened the door. A DEO crew was on the other side. Vasquez, Demos, two techies, and Lucy Lane in full uniform.
Alex swallowed again, the nausea overwhelming. “What do you want?”
Lucy held out a paper for Alex. “We have a warrant to search your apartment.”
Alex snorted. “The DEO doesn’t do warrants.”
“It does for situations like this,” said Lucy.
Alex grabbed the paper from her hands, reading it carefully. “What are you looking for?”
“Why?” said Alex, confused.
“Are you going to let us in?”
“Of course,” said Alex, stepping back. “Sorry about the mess.”
Lucy walked into Alex’s apartment, the other four agents following her. Lucy led Alex to the couch and sat down across from her.
“What’s going on?” Alex asked.
“There was an explosion at Lord Technologies last night in one of the labs. I’m sorry, Alex, but Max was killed in the explosion.”
Lucy looked at Alex expectantly. Alex felt nothing, just the continued pounding of her head, the nausea sitting high in her throat… until she met Lucy’s eyes. The color flickered between grey and something else, reminding Alex of what she’d be avoiding, how she’d needed Max. She gasped. “So why are you here? It doesn’t take five people to deliver this kind of news.”
“The technology Max was experimenting with was… not human. It was Kryptonian.”
Alex rocked back, surprised. “What? What are you talking about?”
“Max Lord had gotten his hands on some of the tech that went missing after Myriad. We don’t know how.”
“Are you saying I gave it to him?” asked Alex, indignant.
“No, but you have to admit that it would be stupid for the DEO to not look into this.”
Alex hung her head. “Yeah, you’re right. But I didn’t do it. I’ll cooperate with whatever the DEO needs.”
“Are you okay Danvers?”
Alex thought about it. The worst part of this so far was being so close to Lucy, smelling Lucy’s shampoo, wishing she could run her fingers across- the thought stopped Alex in her tracks. Shame filled her, nausea following closely behind. Suddenly it became too much and Alex rushed for the bathroom, just making it in time. She heaved into the toilet. After a moment cool hands brushed her hair back from her face.
“You need to cut back on the alcohol, Danvers,” came Lucy’s soft voice.
“It’s not the alcohol,” said Alex between heaves.
“Really, coulda fooled me.”
“It’s not… I never get sic-” Alex cut herself off. She never got sick like this… not from alcohol. It stuck in her system and made her fuzzy and hazy instead. But this was the third day this week she’d ended up running for a bathroom…
“Oh my god,” muttered Alex, propping her head in her hand.
“Danvers… are you okay?”
“No,” groaned Alex.
“Is this… are you preg-?”
“Are you sure? When was your last-”
“God damn you, Lucy Lane! Just leave me the hell alone!” Alex heard a thud and she turned back in time to see Lucy sprawled in the doorway to Alex’s bathroom, her eyes wide. As soon as she met Lucy’s eyes, Alex realized what she’d just said. The urge to vomit rose up and Alex turned back just in time. By the time she turned back, Lucy was gone.
Alex huddled in her bathroom. She was tired, so tired. Luckily the DEO crew had started in there, so she didn’t have to move, she could just sit there and hate herself. An hour later Vasquez walked in, kneeling next to Alex.
“Hey Danvers. I’m sorry,” they said. Alex didn’t say anything. “Do you want a hug?” Alex fell into Vasquez’s arms. Alex finally felt all the things she’d buried under alcohol and denial and Max Lord. The shame, the grief, the feeling of being absolutely lost and out of control.
Vasquez eventually hoisted Alex up and out of the bathroom when it looked like she was done being sick. They carried Alex to the couch and placed her carefully at one end. Alex slid down until she was almost horizontal, pulling a blanket over her body. Vasquez crouched down next to her.
“You should get to work, Vas. I know you’ve got better things to do than babysit your coworker.”
“Alex, hey, I need you to listen to me. I do not have anything better to do. If you want me here, then I’m here. If you want me to go, then I’ll go. But you can call me anytime. We’re friends Danvers.”
Alex closed her eyes. “No, it’s okay. You should head back to work.”
“Okay. Director Lane asked me to give you this.” Vasquez dropped a box on top of the blankets. When Alex opened her eyes she found herself face-to-face with a pregnancy test. “Do you want me to stay?”
Alex reached out to grab the box. “No, it’s okay. Thanks, Vas.”
The next morning Vasquez was at Alex’s door, early. When Alex opened the door Vasquez held up a plastic bag. Alex didn’t say anything, turning aside to let them in.
Vasquez dumped the bag on the island and turned back to face Alex. “So..?”
“So what?” replied Alex, not understanding.
“Did you take one of those pregnancy tests Director Lane left?”
“What did Lucy tell you yesterday?”
“Just that she had to recuse herself from searching your apartment and working on the case, and that I should give you the tests. Anything you want to tell me, Danvers?”
“No, not really.”
“Are you gonna take a test?”
“Not taking one won’t make anything go away. But if it’s negative you get coffee..?”
Alex shot Vasquez a look. Damn them for knowing her weakness. “Fine.”
When Alex came out of the bathroom a few minutes later she found Vasquez trying to physically block Supergirl from coming into the apartment.
“Why are you here?” said Alex sharply.
“I’m here to check on my sister,” said Kara.
Alex thought of the pregnancy test sitting on her bathroom counter, waiting for the remaining two minutes to be up before Alex could check the result. She really didn’t want Kara here to find out with her. She didn’t really want Kara to know anything at all.
“Can you go? Please,” said Alex, her voice cracking on the last word.
“She asked you to go,” said Vasquez. Alex couldn’t even look Kara in the eyes as Vasquez closed the door. “How much longer?” they said as they turned to face Alex.
Alex glanced at her watch. "Twenty-five seconds.”
“Do you think Kara’s listening?”
Alex sighed. “Probably.” She walked slowly back to the bathroom, scooping up the pregnancy test without looking at it. She walked back to the kitchen and handed it to Vasquez.
Vasquez glanced down. “What do you want this to be?”
“Does it matter?”
“No, I guess not. But what does matter is that you know who you are no matter what this says.”
“I have no fucking clue who I am,” said Alex, laughing. “I’ve spent my life hiding. From my mom, from myself, from my sister, from my soulma-” Alex cut herself off, realizing what she’d let slip. Vasquez’s eyes widened, but they didn’t say anything.
Vasquez held the pregnancy test in front of their face before flipping it over so Alex could see. Alex appreciated that Vas wasn’t saying it aloud, especially since Kara was probably still eavesdropping. The test said “Pregnant.”
Alex sat down hard on one of the stools. “Was Max your soulmate?” whispered Vasquez. Alex shook her head. “Who is it?”
“It’s complicated,” Alex said.
“It’s okay Alex. You have a community. You have me and Kara and Winn and J’onn and Lucy-” Alex tried to not flinch at the name, “-and James. No matter what happens, no matter what you decide, we’ll be here for you.”
After Vasquez left Alex went through the bag they’d left on the island. Inside was pregnancy tea, prenatal vitamins, seasick bands, ginger lozenges. She felt like she didn’t deserve a friend like Vasquez.
Vasquez was at Alex’s apartment every morning that week. Alex thought it would be harder to give up coffee, but when Vasquez showed up with decaf the day after Alex took the pregnancy test, she ran for the bathroom, throwing up what little breakfast she’d been able to eat. What she did miss was the alcohol. The way it burned, the way it punished her. The way it numbed. Instead Alex was left with nausea and her own self, which was one of the last people she wanted to be with.
She returned to work the following Monday, mostly to get somewhere where she could be busy. There were stacks of paperwork in her office and several experiments to get back to in the lab. Avoiding people would be easy - she could lock herself in either room and people would likely forget she was there, especially if Alpha squad didn’t get called out for any alien catastrophes.
What she hadn’t counted on was how persistent Kara could be. Which seemed like a huge oversight to make, once she’d realized it. Kara was poking her head into Alex’s office or lab any chance she got. Alex couldn’t get rid of her. It didn’t matter that she tried hiding in the conference rooms or down near the cell block or in the armory - Kara would just listen for Alex’s heartbeat and appear. She resorted to desperate measures, requisitioning a kryptonite blade, keeping it on her person at all times. She wasn’t going to attack Kara with it, but Kara couldn’t even walk near Alex without getting nauseous and weak. The silence was golden.
Alex didn’t get to pat herself on the back for very long before J’onn showed up. They exchanged brief pleasantries before J’onn got to the point.
“Is there a reason you requisitioned a kryptonite blade, Agent Danvers?”
“Yeah, I couldn’t get my sister to leave me alone and I need to get some work done.”
“Are you going to stab her?” J’onn asked, his expression torn between amusement and concern.
“No, just make her too nauseous to be near me.”
“Don’t you think that could be of some concern if she needs to go out on a call and is too weak to fly?”
“Not if she stays far away from me,” said Alex. “The range isn’t that far - it’s not like it’ll mess with her if she stays in central command.”
J’onn sat in silence for a moment. “I’m… concerned. It does not serve us to be at odds with one another.” Alex shrugged at him, unsure of the appropriate response. “Alex, is there something we need to discuss?”
Alex sighed. J’onn had been there for her for years in a way that no one else ever had, at least not since her dad. She stuttered on the thought that her dad might still be alive, stuck on a Cadmus base somewhere. It was hard being alone in her head, but she was so… ashamed. Everything about her felt wrong.
“You know that there is nothing you could tell me that would make me think less of you, Alex,” J’onn said.
Alex choked back tears. “Are you reading in my mind?” she asked suspiciously.
“No. You know I wouldn’t do that without your permission. But anyone who knows and loves you would see your distress. The fact that you’re avoiding Kara says a lot, Alex.”
“I’m pregnant,” said Alex.
“I take it this is unwelcome news.”
“That’s the thing - I don’t even know,” said Alex, wiping tears away with the back of her hand. “Did I see myself having kids with Max? No.”
“Alex, there is no shame in being unsure.”
“It’s not that - I just… Max wasn’t my soulmate.”
“And you feel like this is a betrayal of the bond of soulmates.”
“No- yes- I don’t know. I just don’t want to…”
“I’ve always wanted kids.”
“What if my soulma- what if nobody wants me now - wants to be the step-mother of Max Lord’s child?”
“Alex, soulmates don’t work like that,” said J’onn wistfully. “M’yri’ah and I… there was nothing that could have come between us. Our bond was unbreakable. The beauty of soulmates is that you see one another for who you really are. Not that you can’t see their flaws, but more as though you realize that nothing that they perceive as ‘wrong’ about themselves is a flaw to be ashamed of. Don’t make a decision about bearing a child based on someone else’s opinion of you. This is between you and yourself. But know that there is nothing you could do that would ever make me think less of you. I love you Alex. No matter what, I will be by your side.”
J’onn stood and pulled Alex into a hug. “I’m still concerned about you wearing kryptonite around the base. But I’ll let it go for now. Just don’t stab your sister.”
Alex chuckled wetly.
Alex went through withdrawal and morning sickness, fighting every day to just get to work. Vasquez kept showing up, but Alex didn’t want to take advantage of them. She lived in her head most of the time, debating on whether to go through with the pregnancy, debating on whether she wanted - no, deserved - to have kids, debating whether she could be a good parent. Through it all the sickening off-colors of a half-soul bond haunted her and the swirling hatred about her sexuality swamped her ability to think clearly.
After a few days Vasquez pointed out that if Alex intended on going through with the pregnancy she really should request a position with less field work from J’onn and schedule a doctor’s appointment. She was grateful for Vasquez helping her out, but she still wasn’t even sure what she was going to do. Alex felt like a time bomb ticking.
Alex decided that Vasquez was right. Even if she changed her mind, it wouldn’t hurt to ask J’onn for some help. It turned out that J’onn already had something in mind, tired of Alex wandering around the base with a kryptonite sword strapped to her back to keep her sister at bay. He suggested that Alex and Vasquez switch bases temporarily. Their jobs were essentially the same as Vasquez had been promoted after the National City base had opened. The desert base saw less action than the city base did though, which meant that Alex would be safer. Vasquez would be perfectly capable of doing any field work with Alpha squad, and they would both get a chance to work in slightly different situations. It sounded good to Alex. If she needed less field work and being in the desert got her away from her sister, it was a win-win. She would just have to do her best to avoid Lucy. Maybe she could try to switch to the night shift or something.
After going back and forth, Alex scheduled a doctor’s appointment. They were able to get her in quickly, scheduling her for Monday morning. It would make her late getting out to the desert base on her first day back, but it wasn’t like she wouldn’t make up the time elsewhere. She didn’t tell anyone.
On Monday morning the nausea was so overwhelming Alex couldn’t eat anything. She wasn’t even sure if it was the morning sickness or the anxiety. When she got to the doctor’s office she tried to focus on anything other than the parenting magazines strewn around the waiting room, pictures of happy families staring back at her from every corner.
When the nurse called Alex back they went through her paperwork and family history. She knew all the information was important, but it felt like the whole process was dragging out, and she still wasn’t even sure that she wanted to go through with the pregnancy. The doctor finally came in and guessed that Alex was probably around 8 to 9 weeks along, and recommended they do an ultrasound to confirm. Alex laid back on the crunchy paper lining the exam table, pulling her shirt up. The gel the doctor spread across her stomach was freezing and she tried not to flinch away. Alex closed her eyes, trying to think about anything other than what was happening.
After a few minutes the doctor let out a quiet “hmm.” Alex opened her eyes and turned her head. The doctor’s face gave little away. Finally she turned to Alex and said, “Are you here alone?” Alex nodded. The doctor reached for Alex’s hand. “I can see the embryo here, but I’m sorry, Alex, there’s no heartbeat. It looks like it stopped growing.”
Alex turned back to face the ceiling, blinking back tears. Relief, sadness, and guilt flooded her system.
“Have you had any spotting or bleeding?” Alex shook her head. “Okay, well, we have a few options. We can wait for a few weeks and see if your body miscarries on its own, or I can give you medication to get it started as soon as possible.”
“Let’s just get it over with,” said Alex.
The doctor wiped the ultrasound gel off Alex’s stomach, pulling her shirt down and helping her to sit up.
“Why did this happen?” asked Alex quietly.
“Sometimes it just happens. We estimate that at least 20% of all pregnancies end miscarriage.”
“Was it the drinking?”
“I don’t know, Alex.”
Alex swallowed her tears, trying to hold herself together, not break down in front of this stranger. It felt like she’d killed the baby.
The doctor gave Alex directions on how to use the prescription and left the room. The nurse came back with the paperwork, not even asking before sweeping Alex into a hug. It reminded her of the hugs her mom used to give her before Kara, before her dad. Alex choked back a sob and thanked the nurse before she left.
Alex called out sick, unable to bear the thought of driving to the desert and having to face Lucy. She filled the prescription and started the process right away, wanting to get it all over with. The rest of the day stretched out in front of her. Kicking herself for letting J’onn switch her with Vasquez, Alex wished for the adrenaline rush of going out on a call with Alpha squad - an alien to fight, a world to save. Vasquez had already dumped out every ounce of alcohol in the apartment, which was probably for the best as the side effects of mixing alcohol with the prescription sounded like they could be bad, but Alex wished for just one drink.
She wandered the city, waiting. She walked to the beach and watched the surfers. She walked past CatCo and wondered what Kara was doing. She walked past LordTech, the sign being replaced with the LCorp logo. She walked until she found herself on the bridge overlooking the water. What would her life have been like if she hadn’t been on that flight to Geneva? What would have happened if she hadn’t told Kara she was going to Geneva? Would Kara still have saved the plane, after a decade of Alex and Eliza preventing her from saving lives? How many lives had Alex prevented her sister from saving? Would it have been easier to just die in the plane crash? Die a straight woman with no soulmate - no soulmates - no dead boyfriend, no dead fetus- baby?
Leaning against the railing, Alex watched the water flow underneath her. Traffic was picking up on the bridge and the sun was slowly dipping down. It had been a long time since Alex had seen a sunset. Suddenly a rush of air blew past her and the unmistakable thump of a pair of boots landed behind her. Alex let her head hang.
“Supergirl,” Alex finally said.
“I got a report of a jumper on the bridge.”
“When you revealed yourself to the world that plane should’ve crashed into this bridge.”
“Do you regret that I saved it?”
“I regret not letting you save all the other people you could’ve over the years if I’d just let you be yourself.”
“You were just trying to protect me.”
“And look what good it did me.”
Kara stepped forward to lean against the railing next to Alex. “Alex, it’s not your job to protect me. I know Eliza told you that. But I am an adult now. I have the powers of your sun,” Kara said, gesturing towards the sunset. “Who is going to protect you, Alex?”
“Maybe I don’t deserve protection.”
“You’re wrong Alex.”
“Kara… I’m not a good person.”
“You’re wrong. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a good person or not. You deserve love and protection and care. You’re enough as you are.”
“No- Kara- no-”
Kara turned to Alex and grabbed her shoulders, forcing Alex to face her. Alex couldn’t meet her eyes. Kara’s grip tightened until Alex was sure it would leave bruises. “That is my sister you are talking about. She is kind and strong and beautiful and loyal and she made me the person I am today. I would be lost without her. She is the best person I know and there is nothing that could ever make me think otherwise.”
“So I’m- I’m not normal Kara,” said Alex, crumpling into herself. “I’m a freak.”
“Alex! There is nothing wrong with that-”
“I think I have two soulmates.”
“That’s so awesome!”
“Stop, Kara! Just stop. Stop acting like this is okay when it’s not!” Alex brushed past her sister to walk away.
Suddenly Kara was in front of her, arms crossed. Alex swung a fist at her and Kara’s hand came up to stop her, Alex’s fist sitting in her sister’s palm.
“Why won’t you just let me…” said Alex, breaking down.
“Let you what? Kill yourself?”
“No, I’m not going to kill myself,” said Alex. She was almost surprised to realize she was telling the truth.
Kara let out a sigh of relief. She hesitated, and Alex shot her a questioning look.
“Are you lying to me to get me to leave?”
“I can’t lie worth shit Kara.”
“You know, I used to believe that. And then I found out you’d been working at a black-ops agency for years.”
“Shut up,” said Alex, meeting Kara’s eyes for the first time. Kara smiled and the corners of her eyes crinkled.
Alex took a deep breath. “I promise, Kara. I don’t know what I’m doing or how I’m going to make it through tomorrow or the next day, but…”
“I don’t know. I really just don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know where I’d be without Vasquez these last few weeks. I’m sorry I wouldn’t talk to you. There’s just so much…”
“It’s okay. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
“I just need time, Kara.”
“I can give you that.”
The next day Alex rode her bike out to the desert base. The miscarriage had started overnight and Alex was miserable. The nausea was still there, but different, coming in waves with the cramps. She made her way to her old office. It felt exactly the same as it did the year before. The darkness of the base bore down on her, but the quiet found only in the desert was a blessing.
The morning was spent reviewing the operations of the desert base. Still nauseous at lunch, Alex decided to skip eating and do a walk-through of the whole base, reacquainting herself with everything. When she got to the gym it was empty. Her legs still burned from yesterday, but the idea of getting in a workout sounded good - something to quiet the loudness of her brain. She headed to the locker room and changed, coming back out to start a warm up. She ignored the voice in the back of her head questioning whether it was a good idea to do this in the middle of a miscarriage - she just needed something. When she was warmed up, Alex wrapped her hands and headed for the heavy bag. She started slowly, moving between punches and kicks. The blood pumping in her ears drowned out everything. It was glorious.
As Alex moved into a pattern of kicks and punches the room tilted slightly. She paused and shook her head. The room righted itself and Alex resumed her routine. She spun in to kick the bag and suddenly her head was light, her ears roaring. Nausea rolled through her body and before Alex knew what was happening everything went black.
“Alex. Alex!” Alex blinked slowly. The lights haloed someone kneeling above her. Alex tried to shield her eyes. Her head pounded and the cramps felt like they were turning her inside out. Lucy’s face came into focus.
Alex rolled away from her, trying to get to her feet. Before she could even get all the way to her side, Lucy grabbed her shoulder, forcing onto her back.
“Nope, not until the doctor checks your head.”
“Did I hit it?” asked Alex.
“I don’t know. You tell me.”
Alex pushed thoughtfully on her skull. The pain seemed to be from the blood loss and passing out, not from hitting it.
“You can’t clear yourself on this, Danvers.”
“Why not? I’m a doctor,” said Alex, trying to roll away again. “It’s just a miscarriage.”
Alex heard a strangled sound behind her as she sat up. When she turned back Lucy was pale and shocked.
“What?” snapped Alex.
“You- you lost…”
“I figured that would make you happy. Who would want Maxwell Lord’s sloppy leftovers and his child-”
Lucy grabbed for Alex as she continued to stand. “No- no- Alex… that was- you are- that was our-”
Alex shook herself loose and stepped backwards. Lucy curled forward, tears streaking her face. Alex turned and walked out, emotions overwhelming her.
The pain and exhaustion had peaked just after lunch and by the time Alex got home from the desert the cramps had subsided to something slightly more manageable and the lightheadedness was gone. Hearing her sister’s voice in her head, she’d even gone to medical after the incident in the gym and had them check her for a concussion. Luckily she hadn’t hit her head and was cleared. The doctor did suggest she take it easy for a few days, just like the obstetrician. Alex had rolled her eyes.
Her apartment felt sad. She pretended that she was just missing the alcohol, but that wasn’t really it. She threw away the prenatal vitamins and pregnancy tea, but kept the ginger lozenges, hoping they would help get her through the next few days.
Alex finally put her finger on what was missing after standing at her kitchen counter for a few minutes. It was Kara. There was no ice cream in the freezer. No takeout in the fridge. No cardigans with missing buttons thrown over the back of the couch. There were no donuts, no coffee, no fresh flowers. When Alex had shut her sister out she’d shut out her own sunshine.
Since she already had the trash can open Alex decided to throw away more things. The photo of her and Max at the fundraiser dinner. The glass rose he thought she’d like. Max’s stack of shitty books he’d left by the bed. Each item made a satisfying thunk as it hit the bottom of the trashcan, the books going so far as to crush the glass rose. Making one final sweep Alex eyes spotted one of Max’s monogrammed tumblers. She tossed it into the trash, revelling at the crunch. While she was at it she pulled open her cabinet and pulled out all the alcohol-specific glasses. The shot glasses didn’t shatter, but made a satisfying thud. The stupid brandy snifters thunked and shattered.
Alex had one hideous champagne flute left when a knock came at the door. She set the glass back on the counter and debated what to do. What were the chances that the person on the other side of the door had already heard a crash or two? What if it was her downstairs neighbor? Vasquez would’ve just let themselves in while Alex stood debating and Kara would’ve already been through the window, so she knew it was neither of them.
“Alexandra Danvers, I know you’re in there!” Alex’s head fell back and she rolled her eyes. Of course it was Lucy. She didn’t really have a chance to consider her options before another knock came. “Alex, you better open this door…”
Or what? Alex thought.
It turned out that the “or what” was that Lucy would pick the lock to Alex’s apartment in less than one minute. When she opened the door Alex was still standing by the counter, champagne flute now raised - whether to toast with it or throw it seemed to still be unclear.
She wasn’t alone, either. Standing behind Lucy was the woman - Maria? Maggie? Melanie? Mia? M-something? - Alex had briefly seen at game night a few months before.
“Can I help you?” said Alex dumbly. Lucy held up several bags of groceries. Alex continued to stare at her, unsure what Lucy wanted.
“Can we come in?”
“Uh, sure, just watch out for glass.”
Lucy stepped through the door and made a bee-line for the kitchen. The other woman followed slowly, pausing to close and re-lock the door. As Lucy got to the opposite edge of the island from Alex her footsteps crunched. She glanced down and grimaced. Alex came to her senses and lowered the champagne glass again.
“Where can I put these that there isn’t any glass?” said Lucy holding up grocery bags.
“Uh- I guess right there on the counter,” said Alex. She was totally confused. Why was Lucy at her apartment? And why had she brought another person with her? Alex watched the other woman, who met her gaze with a soft smile but remained silent.
Lucy set her bags on the island and then grabbed the bags from the other woman, doing the same. “I’ll clean this up, I guess, if that’s okay,” said the other woman quietly, checking with Alex. Alex nodded. As Lucy began to unpack groceries onto the counter the other woman moved past Alex to get to the sink to dampen paper towels. Crouching down, she started picking up glass shards. Alex stayed frozen.
Once the other woman was finished she moved to close the trash bag and pull it out. Noticing the champagne flute still in Alex’s hand, she paused. “Do you want to add that?” Alex glanced down and then at the trash bag. It wouldn’t be as satisfying as the others, but it needed to go. She dropped it in. As the other woman stepped out into the hall to take out the trash, Lucy started putting groceries in the fridge.
“Why are you here?” Alex finally whispered.
Lucy paused and closed the fridge door.
“Because she loves you,” said a voice from the doorway.
Alex turned to face the woman Lucy had brought with her, still confused by her presence. “Oh, yeah? And who are you to say that?”
The woman closed the door again and moved across the room to stand in front of Alex. Alex backed into her counter. She leaned in towards Alex and said, “I’m your soulmate, Alexandra Danvers.”
Alex hissed as all the colors she’d been missing before filled in. The woman’s skin went from a sickening hue of almost-grey to the beautiful color of… Alex didn’t even know - she didn’t know any of the colors, still. Her knees buckled. The woman slipped her arm around Alex’s waist to support her and Alex felt the woman’s touch like a shock.
“That’s not possible,” said Alex.
Lucy appeared next to them. “You see the difference, don’t you? Who are you to tell the universe this is impossible?”
Alex shook her head. “No- I-” Her thoughts raced between the familiar self-loathing at having two soulmates - two soulmates who were women - and the disbelief that someone - no, two someones - might love her.
“You didn’t know you were into women, did you?” said the woman whom Alex still didn’t have a name for.
“What?” Alex’s voice cracked.
“When Lucy said your name - whenever that might have been - you didn’t know you were gay - or queer - did you?”
“No.” The single word fell quietly between the three of them.
Eventually Lucy leaned in towards Alex. Her hands twitched like she wanted to touch Alex, but she didn’t. Alex didn’t know if she’d have been able to handle it if Lucy touched her - it was bad enough feeling the electricity of this other woman’s touch.
The cramps amped up again and Alex groaned, her head falling forward to rest on someone’s shoulder.
“I just need a minute,” said Alex. “It comes in waves…”
The still-unnamed woman pulled Alex away from the counter so Lucy could also slip an arm around Alex’s waist, and they guided her to the couch before lowering her down carefully. Alex hunched over. Lucy brushed the hair back from Alex’s face.
“When was the last time you ate?” asked Lucy. Alex thought back through the last two days. She honestly couldn’t remember the last time she’d eaten. “That long, huh?”
“I can make something,” said the still-unnamed woman, moving to get up.
Alex grabbed her wrist. “Wait… I don’t even know your name.”
“Just call me Maggie, sweetheart,” said Maggie as she walked to the kitchen.
“‘Just call me Maggie’?” said Lucy. “What is this, some sort of cop drama? Or are we living in ‘You’ve Got Mail’?”
“You know I’ve never seen that-”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah - white heteronormative blah, blah, blah,” said Lucy.
Alex stifled a laugh. “Are you two always like this?”
“Like what?” asked Maggie, eyes suspiciously wide. “Where are your pots Danvers?”
Alex gestured to the cabinet by the stove and turned back to Lucy, who was watching her.
“Tell me you weren’t that jumper on the bridge yesterday,” whispered Lucy.
“I wasn’t going to jump,” said Alex.
“My whole life - well, since Kara came into it, so, since I was 14 - my job was to be normal. I was supposed to protect Kara, get good grades, help Kara with school, get into a good college, keep my head down, make sure nobody found out about Kara. And all that normal meant I was supposed to look like everyone else, be like everyone else, feel like everyone else…”
“And normal didn’t include having your soulmate be a woman or two.”
“Yeah,” Alex said, starting to cry. “I just… I felt so wrong. I knew that same-sex relationships existed, I theoretically knew my soulmate could be a woman. But when I found out it was you I just couldn’t even face myself. And when I realized that there should be another person… I just needed to make it go away.”
“Hence Maxwell Lord.”
Alex shuddered. “I’m sorry.”
“No- Alex, no- we all just have to survive sometimes. And if you believed that you were wrong or dirty or different - even though that’s not true - you had to do what you needed to. Life is hard.” Lucy wrapped her arms around Alex and pulled her in for a hug. Alex tensed at first, but finally let herself relax into it. “We may need to find you some better coping mechanisms, though,” she murmured.
Alex laughed bitterly. “Well, Max is dead, I gave up drinking because I was pregnant, Vasquez took all my alcohol, I’m losing a baby, and there’s no glasses left in the apartment. I’d say my coping mechanisms are all shot.”
“I’m sorry about the baby.”
“I tried to tell you this earlier, Alex: that baby was a part of you, and therefore they were a part of us. Me, you, and Maggie. We love you. We loved you both.”
Alex cried until she fell asleep in Lucy’s arms. When she woke up it was dark and the smell of food filled the apartment.
“Hey sleeping beauty,” said Lucy. Alex grimaced. She felt disgusting. Dried tears and snot streaked her face, and her body was bloated and cramping. She sat up slowly and looked around. Her table was set for three.
Maggie glanced back from the stove. “Dinner will be ready in about 10 minutes.”
Alex rubbed her face. “Do you mind if I take a quick shower?” Lucy and Maggie shook their heads.
When Alex came out of the bathroom Lucy and Maggie were leaning against the counter. “Sorry,” said Alex quickly.
“No worries,” said Maggie with a smile. “I just finished.” Alex sat down quickly as Maggie started dishing out food. “I made vegetarian pad thai. I wasn’t sure what you eat… and I made it not spicy-”
“I’m sure it’s wonderful,” said Alex honestly. It looked amazing. “I guess… uh, for future reference I should say I’ll eat almost anything.”
“Oh, really?” asked Lucy. Alex turned to look at her and could tell she had to be careful with what she said next.
“Uh, maybe? Now I’m not so sure…”
Maggie laughed. “Good call, Danvers. I wouldn’t trust her either. She’ll probably make you eat something crazy.”
“I was actually thinking of making her try your vegan ice cream, Mags,” said Lucy.
Maggie looked offended. “It’s not that bad! You can barely tell the difference-”
Lucy leaned towards Alex and whispered, “That’s a lie, Danvers.”
Maggie balled up her napkin and threw it at Lucy. Lucy dodged it easily and smirked at Maggie. “You missed, sweetheart.”
Alex chuckled. Lucy and Maggie turned to look at her, wearing almost-identical expressions of mischief, which made Alex laugh even harder. “Oh my god you guys are adorable.”
Lucy’s smile softened. “I think you mean we’re adorable, Danvers. Because it’s all of us now. Together.”
Alex looked back and forth between Maggie and Lucy. She wasn’t even sure where to start. “So, tell us about yourself, Danvers,” said Lucy, taking pity on Alex.
“I guess there’s not much to say. Alex Danvers, 27. One younger sister, Kara, who I think you’ve both met. My parents were both doctors - scientists - my dad’s dead. My mom still lives in Midvale in the house I grew up in. Md/Phd. Assistant Director of…”
“-a black-ops anti-alien agency,” said Maggie.
Alex looked at her, startled. “I wouldn’t say we’re anti-alien,” said Alex.
“Of course you wouldn’t, you work there.”
Alex turned to face Lucy. Lucy shrugged. They both knew it was more complicated than that, but Alex also wasn’t sure that she really wanted to talk about Kara - or any other alien - at that moment. “I guess I’ll just have to prove you wrong,” said Alex, turning back to Maggie with a smile. “Anything else you want to know?”
Maggie shook her head. “Only the two of you would take a request like that to be some sort of military report. Do you have any hobbies? Or… I don’t know, a social life?”
Alex snorted. “No. I don’t have a social life. I live for the job. I surf,” she shrugged. Maggie and Lucy both looked excited when she said ‘surf’. “I like reading medical journals for fun…”
“Good lord, Danvers,” said Lucy. “I mean, I knew you were bad, but I didn’t know you were this bad.”
“What? Why don’t you tell us about yourself, then?” said Alex. “From everything I’ve seen of you it’s pretty much ‘live for the job,’ ‘Army-Army-Army,’ and being a pain in my ass.”
Lucy’s jaw dropped and she sputtered. “That’s not true at all!” Alex raised an eyebrow. Lucy turned to Maggie who was trying to hide a smile behind her hand.
“Fine. Lucy Lane. Twenty-nine. Army brat. I have an older sister. My mom died when I was young. West Point and Harvard Law. JD/MBA. I followed an ex-”
“-that she shares with my sister,” interrupted Alex. “Just saying-”
“-thank you for that, Alex,” said Lucy, exasperation lacing her tone. “Anyway, came for the ex, stayed for the-”
“-court martials?” interrupted Alex again.
“Goddammit Alex, are you ever going to forgive me for that?”
“I don’t know…” said Alex. “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that.”
“Wait, what?” asked Maggie.
“When it was discovered that my boss was an alien, the US Government brought in a joint task force to interrogate all of us, find out who knew, and send the ‘traitors’ away. Lucy was in charge of that, along with some colonel. She said my full name when she administered the lie detector test. Apparently she could tell I was lying even though the test didn’t say so. She locked up me and my boss and were going to send us off to be experimented on by Project Cadmus.”
Maggie’s jaw dropped. “Like… the Cadmus?”
“Hey, hey - in my defense, I didn’t know who or what Project Cadmus was. My feelings about aliens have also since changed significantly. I, uh, also didn’t know Alex was one of my soulmates yet.”
“Yeah, but how did you know I was lying?” Alex had wanted to know the answer to that for months.
“You’re not going to believe this - or maybe you are - but I just had a feeling.”
“You’re kidding me?!”
Alex let everything Lucy said sink in. Maggie finally broke the silence. “So - that was crazy and all - but do you have any hobbies Lucy?”
“Come on! We’ve spent enough time together at this point. You have to know that about me.” Maggie glanced at Alex. Alex shrugged. Maggie turned back to Lucy and said, “I think the consensus is that, no, we don’t know that about you. Or, at least, we haven’t seen you do anything hobby-ish.”
“I like games! We go to game night sometimes…”
“Yeah, we all do,” said Alex, “but are you really playing board games in between game nights?”
Lucy appeared dumbstruck.
“Okay, I guess I’m going to go while Lucy tries to think of something,” said Maggie. “My name is Margarita Sawyer. But please, dios mío, just call me Maggie. Born in Nebraska, left as soon as I could. Raised by my aunt after… well, after my parents kicked me out. My dad is Mexican, my mom is white. Sawyer is my aunt’s last name. I’m 29. Joined the police force after college. Started in Gotham before transferring here. I work for the NCPD Science Division. I enjoy cooking and riding my motorcycle. Sometimes I volunteer at the youth center. I… guess that’s it. But at least I have hobbies!”
“Hey! I have a motorcycle, too,” said Alex. “That goes in the hobby column, right? I’ve got a Ducati.”
“I actually have one, too,” said Lucy. “A Ducati Monster 1200.”
The conversation stalled a bit, and Maggie started clearing the table. Alex protested, but Maggie told her to go rest on the couch. After everything had been cleaned up Maggie plopped next to Alex on the couch. Lucy sat in the chair and watched them.
“How did you meet?” Alex asked. Maggie scowled and Lucy started laughing.
“She stole my crime scene! Took over jurisdiction - it’s always the same bullshit with you feds…”
“To be fair, the NCPD wasn’t really able to help with what we needed,” said Lucy evenly.
“You just didn’t want us to have any fun - didn’t want me to know more about the big-bad-DEO,” said Maggie.
Alex couldn’t really tell how angry Maggie still was about what had happened, but she could imagine “Major Lane” showing up and stealing a crime scene, so she felt for Maggie, at least.
“How are you feeling?” asked Maggie, turning the attention back to Alex. Alex ducked her head. The distraction over dinner had been a great reprieve.
“I’m okay. This is nice,” she turned her attention back to Maggie. “Can I- do you want me to say your-”
“Alex, I don’t mind living without color for ever however long you need. Even if that’s for-”
Maggie brought her hand to Alex’s lips, silencing her. “I just want you to be okay, Alex. And I’m okay with whatever that looks like. I know we are soulmates. You can call me whatever you want, whenever you want.”
Alex’s eyes filled with tears. Maggie moved her hand from Alex’s lips to brush away tears, then around Alex’s shoulders to pull Alex onto her shoulder.
“We’ve got you, Alex.”