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The thing about repressing your emotions is that once you crack open the gates, the feelings come flooding in full force, which is exactly what happens to Maggie. At first it’s just a distant swooshing that she can hear all the way to Alex’s apartment, and then they’re kissing— finally, finally kissing–, and it’s thundering in Maggie’s ears.

“You’re not gonna go crazy on me, are you?”, she asks, and tries to contain the swelling of her heart.

But Alex has her hands clasped under her chin, and her face is so soft and open, and Maggie is a goner, just like that.

 

*

 

There are a lot of things to be learned about Alex Danvers. Maggie collects them like sea shells.

The same woman who will walk into a bar and threaten an unknown alien with a chair can have a two hour freak-out over her mom not answering a text – and does. Frequently.

It is mind-boggling, but not quite as astonishing as the fact that Alex works for a secret organization of the government, and yet, bested only by her sister, she is the second to worst liar that Maggie has ever met. And Maggie is a goddamn police detective, for crying out loud.

This becomes apparent when Maggie is struck by realization so hard she can physically feel it, and she barely manages to drag Alex away from her shop talk with Supergirl before smacking her. “Oh my god!” she hisses.

What?!” Alex whisper-shouts back, rubbing her shoulder.

“Supergirl! Fuck! Supergirl—“

It’s very difficult to get it out, somehow, so Maggie has to smack her again. “Fucking Kara! Supergirl is your Kara! Your sister! You are fucking Supergirl’s fucking sister.

Her mind is racing, her heart is racing, everything is racing. In hindsight, she doesn’t know how Supergirl even has a cover, given that all that stands between her and Kara is a pair of glasses.

Alex is frozen in spot for a solid five seconds before letting out an incredibly fake scoffing sound. “What?” she repeats, with a voice like she’s been elbowed in the kidneys, “That is ridiculous. Kara is a reporter and clearly human.”

It is such a bad cover up that Maggie can’t help but stare at her in disbelief, momentarily distracted from the fact that she is dating Supergirl’s sister.

As it turns out, this is a Danvers thing.

“Kara who?”, Kara has the gall of asking hysterically, with her eyes wide open and her glasses clasped behind her back. Maggie rolls her eyes in unison with J’onn.

It’s ridiculous, and incredibly lovely somehow, but Maggie’s ears are still ringing with hard-headed and insensitive and borderline sociopathic. She keeps her hand on the door handle.

And still: “You like me,” Alex will whisper sometimes, like she is still trying to wrap her brilliant head around the idea that Maggie cares for her.

And she does; a feeling like a hundred and twenty miles per hour – exhilarating, addictive, and dangerous. Obsessed with work, the echoes say. Insensitive.

Maggie takes a deep breath and collects all of it, makes a shelf for her sea shells and keeps her feet still.

 

*

 

“How did you even find out?”

Maggie looks up from the paperwork the DEO is making her fill out. Opposite her, Alex is sitting in her fancy office chair with her arms and legs crossed, slightly exasperated at having been busted.

“She made a face. I recognized it.” She makes a point of avoiding eye contact as she says it, but she can hear the frown in Alex voice when she answers.

“You met her as Kara twice. How did you recognize her face when not even the people who work with her on a daily basis find out?”

When Alex frowns, her eyebrows are pulled together, and she purses her lips a little so that her cheeks seem hollow. Her eyes dart from left to right and back like she’s reading the situation before her. Maggie sighs.

“I didn’t say I recognized her face. I recognized that face.“ She points at Alex with the butt of her pencil, and the frown deepens.

“But we’re not—“

Maggie returns to her forms. “Facial expressions aren’t genetic, Danvers. She’s copying you because she idolizes you.”

 Alex says nothing at that, but Maggie can feel her gaze on her and pretends like she doesn’t.

 

*

 

Alex trembles and sighs when she comes, with color hot and high in her cheeks.

Knowing this makes watching her be Special Agent Danvers of the DEO – clad in black, utility belt, big guns, snarling orders – a lot better. (So, so much better. And it was pretty good already.)

When Maggie whispers this into Alex’s ear in a quiet moment, she shows no reaction except for her grip tightening on her belt. But it’s endearing, really – the way she can’t help but glance at Maggie every time she does something badass after that, a kind of Did you see?

Oh yes. Maggie saw.

 

*

 

Halfway into December, a wave of flu sweeps through National City and strikes down members of the public left and right. Half of Maggie’s precinct is out, and her neighbor’s kid keeps the entire building up all night with their alternating crying and coughing – which means that when Maggie staggers down the steps of the DEO, she is swamped with work and ready to lie down on the nice, cold floor to just take a nap for a little while. That has definitely nothing to do with being ill, because Maggie Sawyer does not get ill. She’s just tired.

Kara greets her with “Oh boy, are you feeling all right?” and Maggie ignores the question graciously. “Hey, guys.”

The Danvers sisters, damn their double act, look her up and down.

“Okay no,” Alex decides, “you’re going home.”

“I’m fine.” Maggie sneezes, five times, and has to brace herself against the wall. “I’m just a little light-headed. We got a case.”

“The case can definitely wait twenty-four hours, Sawyer. Kara, can you tell J’onn that I’m taking the rest of the day off?”

Kara is nodding over Maggie’s insistent protests, and as Alex pulls Maggie away, she tells her: “Believe me, babe, I’m doing you a favor. If you start infecting people in this place, Kara is contractually required to fly you home. For safety reasons.”

Maggie is, like, eighty percent sure that that is bullshit, but it’s hard to come up with a retort when the room is still spinning like that. “You’re the worst,” she finally murmurs back.

“You like me,” Alex says, and she’s aiming for smug but there’s something warm and genuine beneath it.

Later, when Maggie is bundled up on the couch, Alex takes her spare key to go out and comes back with over the counter medication, comfort food, and a selection of teas.

“I’m good,” Maggie insists weakly, and struggles to sit up, but Alex runs her wonderfully cool hand over her face and kisses her forehead. “Well, then we’ll just make you even better.”

Maggie decides not to ask for her key back.

 

*

 

On Christmas Eve, Maggie shrugs on her parka and slips outside onto her parent’s porch. It’s late enough that she’s almost surprised when Alex picks up on the third ring.

“Hey, Sawyer.”

Maggie smiles into her scarf and pulls the furry hood over her head. “Hey, you. Am I interrupting Danvers family bliss?”

Alex laughs, but very quietly, and then there is static crackle, like she’s shifting the phone. “No, they’re all in bed.”

Maggie can’t help herself. “Are you?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know?”

The night around her is weirdly bright with the reflection of the layers and layers of snow that cover up the town. Across the street, a light goes out, leaving only a faint orange glimmer in the window. Fairy lights, Maggie guesses. “Did you have a good night?”

“Kara ate her weight in cookies and we watched Mr. Popper’s Penguins at her insistence. Also…” She trails off, and Maggie waits. “My aunt started asking all these questions.”

“Questions?”

“Yeah, like… why I haven’t brought home a boyfriend yet. When I’m getting married. But it’s okay, my mom shut her down very quickly. And I think Kara was tempted to turn her food to ashes.”

Maggie leans against the pillar by the steps. The bright gray paint that her mom made her put on when she was seventeen is beginning to chip off. “I’m glad they’re so supportive.”

“Yeah, me too. How was your night?”

“Three and a half hours of Christmas mass.”

“Oh wow.”

“Yes. But at least they’re not insisting on an actual midnight mass anymore. And I still kind of like it, in a nostalgic kind of way.”

“I can imagine.” Alex says it so softy, like she knows about all the people Maggie had to pretend didn’t make her teenage life hell tonight. “Merry Christmas, Maggie.”

“Merry Christmas, Alex.” She almost says something else, but it’s Christmas, and they’re on the phone, and Maggie is going to spend the night in her childhood bedroom.

She stays out on the porch for another moment after she and Alex hang up (“And for the record—yes I am in bed, and no, I’m not wearing much besides your shirt.” “I didn’t ask.” “Yeah you did.” “Yeah, I did.”), and when it starts snowing again, she wonders if it’s snowing in Midvale, too.

 

*

 

Apart from Alex, of all the weirdos in the club of people who are in the know about Supergirl, Maggie gets on best with J’onn.  

“I don’t know about your day,” he says as they are both standing with their arms crossed in front of the DEO building, watching Alex yell at Mon-El and two purple-skinned friends he must have met at the alien bar, “but so far, I spent it trying to break up a drunken, super-powered snow fight. Do you want to see the DEO shooting range?”

Maggie’s day began with Alex being called out of her bed at four in the morning to find out who shot a news helicopter out of the sky with a snowball, and then attempting to convince the NCPD that this unfortunate incident was serious DEO business.

“God yes,” she says before the last word is out of his mouth.

 

*

 

When you’re in a line of job that frequently involves holding big guns, things can happen. Maggie knows this. She had Alex stitch her up twice so far, after all. As long as you make it out alive, it’s not a big deal. Part of the job.

And yet – seeing Alex on one of those DEO stretchers, pale and tight-lipped and with a gash across her torso, it definitely feels like a big deal. When Maggie enters the room, Alex is making a case for stitching up her own wound, which involves a lot of growling and glowering. The poor doctor, torn between Alex’ convincing display of determination and Supergirl’s strong insistence to go ahead, doesn’t know what to do.

Danvers,” Maggie hears herself say. All three of them look up, and Kara sighs in relief. “Maggie, there you are. Would you tell Alex—“

“Nothing happened, it’s just a scratch—“

“—she got shot—“

“—nowhere near any important organs—“

“—and lost quite a lot of blood—“

Maggie crosses her arms and looks Alex directly in the eye, who sensibly shuts her mouth and sinks back against the stretcher. Doctor Kohli resumes his work, and when Maggie steps in closer, Kara puts a hand on her arm – it’s not until later that Maggie realizes that she could probably hear her heartbeat, hard and fast and anxious.

 

*

 

Sleepy chuckling.

“What’s so funny?”

“You like me.”

“Yes, Danvers. I like you. Go back to sleep. You’ll feel better in the morning.”

 

*

 

Melanie Sawyer is a professional landlady, and at the end of February, a pipe bursts in one of the apartments that she rents out in National City, which means that she is coming down to assess the damage and hire people for repairs, and while she’s at it, visit her daughter.

One of the qualities Maggie admires most in her mother is how no-nonsense she is, but sometimes it’s really fucking inconvenient. When she tells Alex about it, she is already planning out her excuses.

"Look, I know this is early, and really it's fine, I get it, but I thought I’d ask anyway. My mom is—well, she’s determined. I told her I’m seeing… you, when I was back home for Christmas and it doesn't have to be a whole thing, it can just be quick, a handshake or whatever, she’ll understand that you don’t have a lot of time for lunch—"

Alex steps into Maggie’s personal space and starts wrapping a strand of her hair around her finger.

"Maggie, remember me? I grew up trying to out-perfect an alien. I’m addicted to approval. I have a black belt in Pleasing Parents. We’re having lunch with your mother."

 

*

 

Another shell in Maggie’s collection is that Alex loves knowing things.

She reads Scientific American as light before-bed literature while Maggie scrolls through Kara’s latest article on her phone, and every once in a while interrupts by saying things like, “Listen to this: scientists have succeeded in editing the genome of the Arabidopsis thaliana, in a highly efficient and inheritable manner! So cool.”

Maggie works for the science police, so it’s not like she doesn’t get it, but Alex is like an interested sponge who likes to be prepared for everything. She compares sports bras online for hours before making an investment, for crying out loud.

And when Maggie finds herself in the DEO basement, one hand clasped tightly over her mouth and her legs wrapped around Alex’s shoulders, she could swear that Alex researched this, too.

(She whites out gasping and gripping at nothing and swallowing the words on the tip of her tongue.)

 

*

 

MSawyer 8.42pm Sorry babe, looks like ill be running late. Get started on that birthday fun without me & ill join u later

As she types it, Maggie knows that later might mean not at all. But Evans just slammed the folder of records that she has been waiting for all week down on her desk, and Maggie– well, she’s a detective. And someone is dead.  

Alex Danvers 8.50pm just call when you’re done so I can let you know where we are x

With a metallic taste in her mouth, Maggie goes to work. Borderline sociopathic, the voice says.

 

*

 

Around ten, there is a missed called from Kara Danvers and no new messages from Alex. Maggie’s hands are covered in neon green highlighter, and her neck feels like it’s made of stone.

There are 134 pages left to look through in the folder. Obsessed with work.

 

*

 

Maggie has just sat back down with a fresh coffee when her phone starts buzzing again. The precinct lies dark and empty around her, her desk the only one with the light still burning. She considered switching on the ceiling lights, but this feels more appropriate somehow, for someone who is blowing off her girlfriend on her birthday.

Alex Danvers calling…

Maggie picks up the phone and takes a deep breath. “Hey, Danvers.”

She can barely hear Alex; there is a lot of static noise. “Magg—ie. . . you. Are you—. . .—stilll working?”

Hard-headed. She closes her eyes. “Yeah, I’m sorry, I hope I’ll finish up soon—“

Alex hangs up on her.

For a long moment, Maggie stands there feeling sick. Then she sits back down.

 

*

 

The numbers and letters are blurring a little, and Maggie keeps reading things without retaining the information, skipping lines or reading them five times. It’s past one in the morning. She wonders if Alex is telling her friends and Kara about this, or if she’s just bottling it up and drawing her own conclusions. Maggie forces herself not to consider that maybe she’s mad enough to—

“You better not be burning the midnight oil for something trivial.”

Maggie almost spills her stale coffee going for her gun. Alex is leaning in the doorframe, still in her party clothes: high heels, tight jeans, and dark purple shirt that somehow manages to both fall in ripples and show off how goddamn ripped Alex is. The leather jacket above it is new; Alex loves leather jackets and owns no less than six of them, including the newest addition.

Maggie’s heart lurches with a feeling like missing her, even though she’s standing right there.

“I know that somewhere in this folder,” she pats the stack of paper she’s been pouring over for hours, “is something that connects Darrio Lloyd Andrews to my victim. If I find this proof before six in the morning, Judge Albridge will sign my warrant for Andrews’ phone and laptop before twelve. Andrews booked a ticket to Europe for tomorrow afternoon. No return.”

Maggie doesn’t know how to say the next thing. Maybe her ex was right. Maybe she just doesn’t treat people right, maybe she can’t be a good detective and a good girlfriend at the same time. It’s not like anyone else decided to stay up until morning to catch the killer of an alien of unclear origin.

Maggie is sure that what she’s doing is the right thing, but Alex is still standing in front of her, with her dark hair mussed up and her face unreadable, and I’m sorry about your birthday, but this is my job feels so wrong. Maggie takes a breath and says instead:

“Look, this is my job. But I am so sorry about your birthday.”

The cheap IKEA clock on the wall is ticking away loudly, filling the thick, tired silence between them before it mixes with the noise of Alex’s heels on the linoleum floor. 

With a deep sigh, she pulls up a chair and sits down next to Maggie.

“I learned speedreading for my masters. We’re gonna be out of here by three, and you’re gonna make this up to me.”

Maggie kisses her hard, and Alex tastes like anise schnapps. Her hair smells of fake smoke.

They share the terrible precinct coffee and the stack of papers, and by the time they leave, Alex’s hands are stained with highlighter, too.

 

*

 

Maggie’s favorite class in college was Sociology 102 – in part because she was interested in the subject, and in part because that was the first course she shared with one Leila Brown.

While Maggie had never made a secret out of being gay, Leila was loud about it. She was in the association of queer students, corrected the language of professors, painted her nails in rainbow colors and decided that Maggie was going to be her friend – and Maggie was powerless to stop her. She was the most unlikely law student on campus.

These days, Leila is the youngest female Chief of Police in Rockton, CA, and she and Maggie go months without talking to each other – but when they do meet, everything is the same as it always was between them.

Over Hawaiian lager (Leila’s favorite), they get each other caught up on their lives. When Leila asks about her love life, Maggie shrugs. “It’s going well, I think. Alex and I just click.”

“Click?”

“Yeah. We just… go at the same pace. She throws a line, I toss it back. I hold ‘em down and she goes in for the kill. We solve the case and have Denny’s in the squad car. Click. She gets me and I get her.”

Leila just looks at her. “You’re trying to play it cool, aren’t you.”

Maggie laughs. The truth is: Alex is made of muscles and science facts and gentle sunlight, and Maggie never stood a fucking chance.

 

*

 

The collection of sea shells grows too big to fit into the pocket of Maggie’s mind, and they’re well into April when she decides that she’s going to sit down and think about this.

“Hi, M'gann. The usual, please.” Maggie smiles at her and settles down on her chair. The bar isn’t too full, and she’s here to think—like she used to, before she started hanging around by the pool tables, her eyes darting back to the entrance every few minutes.

 M'gann sets the cold bottle on a coaster and slides it over without a word, her face hard and smooth like a mirror. Maggie tilts her head. “Everything okay?”

“You don’t know?” 

Somehow, this strikes an uncanny chord.  “What do I not know?”

M'gann sighs and buries her face in her hands. “J'onn texted me. They're going after Cadmus right now.”

No, Maggie did not know, and she has to hold on to the bar top to stay seated. A wave of searing heat spills over her, jump-starting her heartbeat, and the world seems to go out of shape for a second.

“He wanted to apologize in case he's not coming back, and I....”

When M’gann trails off, Maggie automatically reaches out to comfort her, but her mind is still reeling. She’s NCPD, she should know about any missions involving Cadmus, and Alex…

“I'm sorry to ask this, but did he say if Alex came with him...?”

M'gann rubs at her face. “He said they were going, and it had to go fast. When J'onn says ‘we’ like that he usually means....”

“...him, Alex, and Supergirl. Yeah.”

M’gann is called away to serve another costumer, and Maggie picks at the label of her untouched beer. When the guy tromps off towards the pool table with his drink, Maggie looks at M’gann.

“Can you get someone to cover your shift?”

 

*

 

Tentatively, they sit down in the leather office chairs, and Vasquez lets them stay with an understanding glance. “No news yet”, she tells them, unprompted, “but that doesn't mean anything. I assume the Cadmus hide out is wired against communication from the outside.”

Maggie and M’gann both nod, and say nothing.

On the inside, Maggie is fuming and fantasizing about how she's going to have stern words with Alex about going on a mission like that without so much as a oh hey I’m going to do this dangerous thing now. She thinks that Alex will probably say something like I didn’t want you to worry or This is my job or It’s not a big deal because it’s what Maggie would say, and she knows she’s a hypocrite for wanting to call her out on it. She doesn’t care. But the minutes turn into hours, and her anger turns to fear.

There's still nothing, and Maggie knows that the longer it takes, the higher the probability that something has gone wrong. 

She goes to get something from the vending machine and brings back a coke for M’gann, which she gratefully takes.

She spins around on Alex’s office chair.

She plays a mindless game on her phone.

I know you didn’t mean anything by it, she thinks about telling Alex later. But please just let me know where you’re going next time. Or did she?

Maggie sighs and runs both hands through her hair.

 

*

 

They’ve been waiting for almost three hours when something changes; Vasquez is shouting at someone and people are moving. Maggie and M’gann jump to their feet.

“What’s going on?” M’gann demands when no one comes to talk to them, “What’s happened?”

Vasquez throws them a glance, and Maggie knows immediately that something is wrong. “That was J’onn,” she says, clearly uncomfortable, “they’re coming back.”

M’gann is picking up on it, too. “What else did he say?”

“We couldn’t talk a lot, the reception was very bad, and I’m really too busy to—“

Please,” M’gann says just as Maggie takes a step forward. Vasquez looks from one of them to the other, torn, and then says it like she’s uttering a sentence.

“They have a body. I don’t know who it is.”

She has to get away from M’gann, who is looking at her like that, and so Maggie flees down the next corridor, to the labs. On her way, two agents pass her with an empty stretcher, and she feels so cold.

 

*

 

She trusts herself enough to go back to the main room just in time to see a group of people come down the stairs, accompanied by a noise that Maggie can’t quite place at first. Between everyone dressed in black, her gaze first falls on the red-and-blue costume, stained and askew. But it’s not Supergirl in there, it’s Kara, and the noise is her barely repressed crying. For a second, the bottom of Maggie’s world drops away, but then her eyes take in everything else and there is Alex – alive and upright and walking without help, and it’s like the air suddenly rushes back into the room.

“Alex!”, she calls, and falls into a jog. Alive, alive, alive, goes her breathing. She has her arms flung around Alex faster than she can think better of it, but Alex is stiff and unmoving.

Maggie pulls back. “What happened?”

Kara runs her arm over her eyes. “Jeremiah sacrificed himself for us. He’s gone.”

Oh. Oh fuck.

 

*

 

She gives Kara a hug, and she clutches her so tightly that Maggie just holds on for a good minute. “She won’t speak,” she hears her whisper by her ear, breath caught in a sob, “I couldn’t protect him and she won’t speak to me anymore.”

And it’s true: Alex allows Maggie to guide her outside into the cold spring night air, climbs into her car, and lets her drive her home without a word. She follows Maggie up the stairs and makes no move to go for her own keys, so Maggie lets them into the apartment with her own.

“Hey,” she says softly when the door is closed, and Alex returns her gaze for the first time. “Let’s get you into some other clothes.”

Together, they take off the dark polo shirt, and the belt, and the boots, and the pants – Maggie winces when she feels how stiff the fabric is in some places, and tries not to think about what this means. They’ve seen each other naked a hundred times now, but this feels different, and so she sends Alex for a shower with her eyes averted.

She picks out thick, woolen socks, and a pair of pajamas; decidedly not the ones Alex wore on Thanksgiving.

Alex puts them on and says nothing, she takes the whiskey from her hands and says nothing, she lets Maggie put on the TV for some mindless background noise, and says nothing.

The entire time, Maggie wonders if there is something she ought to do, something she ought to say. But what do you say to someone who comes home from what they must have hoped was a rescue mission, their clothes stiff with their long-lost father’s blood? I’m here for you? It’ll be okay? What bullshit. Maggie doesn’t even know if Alex wants her to be here for this.

Insensitive, the voice in her head hisses, and Maggie wants to kick herself for being so preoccupied with her own issues in a moment like this, but asks anyway. “Do you want me to go?”

She looks at Alex and Alex looks back and says nothing. She stays.

 

*

 

When Alex finally breaks, the sun is coming up, and Maggie has long since turned off the TV. She just suddenly starts sobbing, out of nowhere, after hours of silence.

“Oh, Alex,” Maggie sighs, and can’t help but feel relieved. “Oh, baby girl, I’m so sorry. Come here.” She pulls Alex closer, and turns her around, until she’s all but curled up in her lap.

“I got you,” she whispers into her hair as Alex cries and cries. “I got you. I got you. I got you.”

 

*

 

Eliza Danvers gives Maggie a hug and a smile and says “Thank you, Maggie” like they haven’t just met once before, but Maggie still feels deeply out of place at Jeremiah’s funeral.

“Thanks for coming with me,” Alex whispers to her right before they get out of the car at the graveyard, “I know you hate funerals.”

For a second, Maggie is confused, but then she remembers that she told Alex this over pizza one night, when they were talking about their jobs. Alex said that the extreme situations the work with the DEO put her in made it easy to slip into a kind of good-and-evil thinking, which she hates, and Maggie told her that for every single victim, she makes herself attend their farewell rite, even though she hates funerals.

She squeezes Alex’s hand.

 

*

 

April passes as hard times do, and May rolls around with the first heat wave of the year. Maggie gets out her tank tops and her sunglasses, and frees her bike from the garage where it spends the winter.

Her days are spent working, and at night, she steals Alex’s blanket. She’s invited to Game Night. And Netflix night. And Potsticker & Pizza Night, which really should just be called Pizza Night, because nobody ever gets any damn potstickers except for Kara.

The point is, she hangs out with the Danvers sisters and their merry band of dudes a lot. It’s pretty nice, even though Maggie wants to put a pair of sweaty gym socks in Mon-El’s mouth most of the time, and somehow, between aliens and crime, normalcy settles down over all of them again.

Every once in a while, Maggie has to go on her tip toes to readjust the showerhead to her own height in the morning.

 

*

 

She goes for a ride outside the city, over the dry streets winding around the rolling hills, with hair whipping in the wind. A hundred and twenty miles per hours, and it feels like—

A shadow passes over the street, and then another one, so fast that Maggie almost isn’t sure if she really saw it. She smirks to herself and slows down when she sees a van and five figures in the distance.

“Hi Maggie!”, someone yells from her left, and when she turns, Kara is cutting through the air right next to her. Maggie can’t help but laugh. “Hey, girl of steel. Doing anything particular today?”

Kara honest to God winks at her mid-flight and says “Getting some new superheroes in shape!” right before taking off with such speed that it almost knocks Maggie off her bike. So fucking dramatic.

A moment later, James calls, “Hey, Maggie!” from her right, but it seems like he doesn’t have his new suit under enough control to keep her speed.

Ahead, M’gann has noticed her already, and waves with one arm, shielding her eyes from the sun with the other.

Amidst the showiness of Kara and James (and probably Winn, since he built the suit), Maggie can’t resist the opportunity of showing off a little herself, and so she swerves her bike into a half circle and comes to a halt shortly before her friends. Mon-El is the only one not to take a step backwards, and Maggie lets her engine howl, startling him. Winn is grumbling about safety, and J’onn rolls his eyes, but Alex comes sauntering towards her with a smirk on her face.

“Hey, Sawyer. What’re you doing here?”

Maggie pulls off her helmet and shakes her hair free a little. “Happened to be in the neighborhood.”

Alex pulls her in by the jaw to kiss her.

 

*

 

“Are Kara and James dating?”

A hundred feet away, Winn is holding up a make-shift flag (it looks a lot like Mon-El’s sweaty shirt, which, gross, but Winn doesn’t seem to mind) to start a race between the others.

Alex shrugs. “No idea, to be honest. They came really close about a year ago, and then Kara got cold feet. But they had this huge fight slash talk when Kara found about the Guardian thing, and… I don’t know, maybe something happened. Or is happening. But to be honest,” she makes an insecure little face, “I’m not sure I’m seeing things now that I figured out I am gay, but I also feel like Lena Luthor and Kara might be flirting every chance they get.”

Maggie laughs loudly. “Yeah, I noticed that, too. Not sure they did.”

They watch the others shoot off in a cloud of dust, with Supergirl in the lead.

“Hey, I have to tell you something.”

“Hm?”

Alex lets the moment draw out until Maggie turns her attention toward her.

“I didn’t tell you when we went after Cadmus, and I’m sorry.”

After weeks of Alex mourning her father’s death, this feels insignificant, but it’s still good to hear. Maggie bumps her shoulder into Alex’s.

“I forgive you, Danvers. Just try to give me a heads-up next time.”

“I was just—unsure. I didn’t how to say… anything. And then I figured, if I don’t say it, I have to come back.”

For a moment, Maggie considers asking about it, but Alex is pulling up her shoulders and smiling at her like she’s worried that Maggie might be mad after all, and so she leans forward to kiss her instead. She doesn’t think that she could ever get tired of the way Alex inhales when she doesn’t expect it, or of how soft and warm she feels, or how there’s always the urge to linger and stay close a little longer. Alex smiles, wide and open.

“What is it?”

“You like me,” she sing-songs, like she does.

And the plan was something more romantic, but it’s still true right here in the dust beneath the relentless beating sun.

“Actually, Danvers— I think I love you.” It comes out all in a rush, and it’s over fast enough for Maggie to momentarily wonder if just imagined saying it.

Alex just looks at her. She looks and looks for so long that Maggie begins to panic, the words I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything, it’s fine already forming in her mouth, and then Alex surges forward and melts against her.

And no. Maggie will never get tired of this.

Alex says it back with every breath in between, and it feels like swelling, swimming, soaring. Rising.

It feels free.