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It's about ten o'clock at night when it happens.

Maggie is at her sink with her stupidly adorable little rubber dish gloves on because she always washes dishes by hand, the way her mother did. She's complaining about a case and there are a few splashes of water on her work shirt and her hair is up in a messy bun and Alex feels an almost tangible click in her chest and she goes "Oh" out loud.

"You say something, babe?" Maggie says, spraying off the pan Alex used to help make dinner, her dad's mushroom risotto because she finds it comforting and she knows Maggie's had a hard week at work.

"Nothing," Alex says from the couch where she's flipping through some lowkey paperwork, innocuous stuff she's allowed to take from the office.

Maggie loads the last of the dishes into the drying rack, strips off her gloves, and joins Alex on the couch, her head going right into Alex's lap and displacing the file folder there with a bit of wriggling. Alex puts work aside and starts combing her fingers through Maggie's hair, until she snags her finger on the bun and works it loose.

Maggie hums, closing her eyes, turning so her face is snuggled against Alex's stomach. "You want to watch a movie?" she asks with her eyes closed.

"Are you gonna fall asleep?"

"Nope."

It's a bold-faced lie but Alex just smiles and picks up the remote. "Action or comedy?"

"You pick," says Maggie, wriggling again until she's turned over and facing the TV. One hand comes up to rest on Alex's thigh, tapping expectantly.

Alex scrolls through Netflix until she settles on something she knows Maggie has seen before. Maggie starts to complain but Alex jiggles her thigh a bit and she settles down with minimal grumbling.

Maggie is asleep twenty minutes in, exactly as Alex predicted, but she sits still and strokes Maggie's hair for the other eighty minutes, and when it's time to get into bed, she very gently squeezes Maggie's shoulder until she's just awake enough to shuffle into the bedroom.

"Totally didn't mean to fall asleep," Maggie says, yawning her way into pulling a sleep shirt over her head.

"Mmm," says Alex, pulling back the covers. Maggie slides in first, legs bare because she likes the way the sheets feel on her skin and also she likes to use a lot of covers, even in the summer, which means she'll blast the AC to sleep.

"Good thing I've already seen it," Maggie says as Alex arranges herself into something that won't give her a crick in her neck overnight. As is her wont, as soon as Alex is settled, Maggie drapes herself loosely over Alex's body. Alex knows there's a better than even chance her arm will be hell to wake up in the morning from having Maggie sleep on it, but it's worth it to be able to feel Maggie close, like she's missed Alex all day and has to make up for it at night.

Maggie is out quickly again, having never fully woken up from her nap during the movie. Alex lies awake a bit longer, trying to adjust to the only coherent thought that has been able to form for hours: I'm in love with Maggie.

*

Kara squeals at an alarming volume when Alex shares this newest development over lunch. Maggie had to stop by the precinct to check on something and will be along later, but Alex couldn't wait until she had Kara in a more private setting.

The table next to them glances sideways, then subtly tries to shift their chairs away.

Kara claps both hands over her mouth. "I'm so sorry," she says through her fingers, before uncovering her mouth again. "I just, I - are you gonna tell her?" she asks. She begins tearing apart a piece of bread and stuffing it in her mouth, eyes laser-focused on Alex.

"Yes. I don't know. I think so. Eventually. When the time is right," Alex says. She fiddles with both her hands.

Kara's eyes are huge, practically glistening as she stares at Alex.

"Please stop looking at me like that."

Kara does her best to reign it in. "I'm sorry, it's just." She makes another, slightly quieter squeal. "My sister is in love!" Alex could swear her feet are even kicking a little under the table.

"Just, let's keep this between us for now," Alex says.

"Of course," says Kara, as though offended Alex thinks she would spill the beans.

Alex tilts her head, half warning, half plea.

"I can keep a secret!" Kara says defensively.

"I just want to be sure," Alex says.

Kara gentles. "Sure of what?"

"That she..." Alex looks down at the table. "Loves me back."

Kara slides her hand forward to cover Alex's, light but full of her love and support. "Alex. Of course she does."

Alex can't quite muster an answer.

Kara taps her on the back of hand. "Who else lets you have the last donut? I don't even do that."

Alex laughs, and by the time Maggie joins them, they've moved on to how Snapper gave Kara half a vague compliment on her last article. She slides into the seat opposite from Kara, one arm easy along the back of Alex's chair, and a kiss dropped onto the corner of Alex's upturned mouth.

"Everything go okay at the precinct?" Alex asks.

"Right as rain," Maggie says. "Did Little Danvers get her first app yet or can we order entrees?"

"I had the eggrolls and they were amazing. We can order," Kara says. She gives Alex a significant look that she probably considers subtle, which Alex ignores in favor of leaning a little into her girlfriend's side.

*

For being three little words, they keep blaring over and over in Alex's head like a song lyric she can't dig out. In the morning, at work, during breaks, with Maggie and without, they keep playing on a loop.

It's not like she didn't have deep, serious feelings before she realized she was in love. She and Maggie have been a little intense from the start and it's actually been kind of a relief to settle into something that's just as meaningful, but not so fraught and heart-achey.

Still, it's only been a few months. They've barely discussed maybe taking a vacation together, much less anything more permanent. The most they've done is spend full weekends at each other's place, and that only started about a month ago.

But it's hard to argue with this feeling, the way it makes the world seem better, her own body more vital and alive. She just wants to be with Maggie all the time, soak in everything about her, study all the details that make up who she is.

She takes a long lunch on Monday, dropping by the precinct. Maggie isn't at her desk, but the other detectives already know her, and tell her that Maggie is just in a meeting and will return soon. So she sits down by Maggie's desk in a chair that already feels familiar under her butt and picks at her salad as she scrolls through her phone.

Maggie does come along about ten minutes later. Her face lights up at the sight of Alex sitting by her desk, and she bends down to peck Alex on the cheek before flopping into her own battered chair.

"What's this for?" Maggie asks, pulling over her burger and own side salad, a compromise on the fries as Alex tries to get her to eat better.

"Just had some free time," Alex says. She keeps a smile to herself as Maggie digs in with her usual gusto.

When they're both done eating and Alex is starting to feel that pull back to her work, she nudges Maggie's arm where it rests on her desk. "Hey," she says, nearly swallowing the word in her attempt to say it normally. "I have some leave accrued that J'onn says isn't going to roll over to next year. And I was thinking of going somewhere....uh...."

Maggie does that thing where she tilts her head and crinkles up her eyes because she knows Alex is a bit nervous and finds it endearing. Alex tries to be mad that Maggie thinks it's endearing when she stutters or fumbles for words, but honestly it's the most soothing thing and it gets her to settle down right away most of the time.

"Somewhere together?" Maggie suggests.

"Yeah, you know. If you have any vacation days or whatever. There's a three-day weekend next month and I thought then you would just have to take one or two-"

Maggie stops her with a hand on her forearm. "Yes. Let's take a vacation. I'll come over tonight and help you plan it."

"Okay," Alex says, the last of her nerves still bleeding off.

"Thanks for lunch."

"Any time."

Maggie narrows her eyes playfully. "You gonna sit there and watch me work?"

"Depends on the kind of work," Alex plays right back, earning herself a look of mock indignation. She stands up and before she can leave, Maggie tugs her sleeve and brings her down for another quick peck. Nothing out of the ordinary, acceptable even in a professional setting since they're in a relationship. Alex's heart still wants to skip a beat, but every time she visits Maggie and kisses her out in the open and nobody cares (except Detective Evans the next desk over, who she once overheard good-naturedly heckling Detective Sawyer for her hot girlfriend, and damn if Alex didn't enjoy that one more than she should have), the fear constricting her chest eases a little more. By now it's hardly a murmur, something she can manage without having an emotional meltdown.

"Tonight, Danvers," Maggie calls after her.

*

Alex just barely beats Maggie back to her apartment. Work ran longer than expected, and she just about has time to toe off her boots and run through the shower before Maggie is knocking on her door. She opens it still in her bathrobe, hair dangling wetly around her face.

Maggie's eyes widen slightly at her state, but she sails in confident as ever, bussing Alex on the cheek as she passes. She has a routine too when she comes over: shoes kicked off at the door, jacket draped over the back of the couch, badge and gun unclipped and placed next to Alex's. And then, when she's dressed down from Detective Sawyer to just Maggie, she slides her arms around Alex's waist, toying with the robe's terrycloth tie.

"You smell really good," Maggie says, and pushes up for a kiss, which Alex is only too happy to provide.

She feels two hands tug with the knot at the front of her robe and Maggie pushing her back towards the bedroom and decides talking can wait. The robe drops to the floor, joined by Maggie's shirt, and then the rest of her clothes as Alex hurries through her boots and jeans and underwear.

"It is not fair," she says between kisses, "For you to come in wearing so many clothes and I just have on a robe."

"I'll start wearing a robe all the time. The guys at work will love it," Maggie says, toppling backwards onto the bed and pulling Alex with her, their naked bodies colliding heatedly.

"Absolutely not," Alex says emphatically, adding a little nip at the base of Maggie's neck for emphasis. The arch of Maggie's body against hers drives all thoughts of taking her time out of Alex's head.

Sex with Maggie is a lot of different things for Alex. It's the first time she's really gotten physical pleasure from the act, and it's definitely the first time she's had an emotional connection with the person in her bed. She's had considerate lovers before, but Maggie seems like she could spend hours on Alex's body, on her pleasure alone. And she likes lingering with Maggie afterwards. She likes holding Maggie close, fingers drawing patterns down her arms, sometimes tickling her a bit low along her stomach just to make her squirm and laugh. Maggie holds her too, and it doesn't feel like something she needs to endure or escape or convince herself is how it's supposed to be. Maggie also likes to hold her and tease her about being little spoon and Alex will smirk and call Maggie a backpack while pulling Maggie's arms tighter around her body.

"So where do you wanna go on this vacation," Maggie says, leaving lazy little kisses along the slope of Alex's shoulder.

Alex makes a humming sound, mostly wanting to hit a fifteen-minute power nap to recover. "Anywhere. As long as it's with you."

"You're such a softie." But she can feel Maggie smiling against her skin.

Alex breathes for a moment, giving in to the lassitude dragging her towards sleep. When she feels like she has some energy back, she nudges backward, letting Maggie know to scoot back a little so she can roll over. They lie face to face, hands idly twining together between them.

"Let's narrow it down," Alex says. "Hot or cold?"

"You're also such a scientist," Maggie says. She pulls Alex's hands close so she can kiss along the knuckles. "So on the one hand, there's snowboarding and sitting by fires groping each other under the blankets and drinking hot toddies."

"Hot toddies," Alex repeats incredulously.

Maggie tugs her hands again. "Shhh. And then there's the beach, bikinis, fruity drinks, rubbing suntan lotion on each other..."

"It seems like you're basing a lot of your choices on where we can have the most sex," Alex says.

"You're very perceptive, Agent Danvers." Maggie looks at her, the smile slowly fading from her face. "I don't care either. I just like the idea of being alone with you for a few days."

Alex can feel it again, almost overwhelming her with the urge to blurt out the words. But she can't. It's too soon. She's nearly ruined this before by rushing things. "I vote warm. Somewhere with ocean," she says.

"Trying to get me all wet," Maggie says, and Alex rolls her eyes at the same time she pushes closer so she's half on top of Maggie.

"Yes or no to the beach," Alex says, mouth hovering just over Maggie's.

"Whatever gets you to kiss me," Maggie says, her hands pressing at the small of Alex's back.

Alex is already mentally listing how many swimsuits to pack.

*

The DEO is a high-risk agency and Alex is high up in the command chain so the benefits are pretty good.

"You have three months of paid leave," Maggie says, eyes nearly bugging out when she learns about it the next morning.

"Well they used to roll over up to five years which is why it's like that. Now it's three weeks a year and they only accumulate for two years before you lose them," Alex says. She tries to keep scrolling through an article on her tablet while sitting up in bed, propped up against the pillows.

"I get two weeks a year. Don't ask me if it accumulates," Maggie grumbles. She rolls around a bit, punching the lumps in the pillow underneath her head, then huffs. "Three months!"

"I'm never going to use it all," Alex says.

Maggie stares up at the ceiling. "But you could! You could literally just not go to work for three months."

"You really think I could stay away from work for three months?" Alex shoots Maggie an amused glance.

"You'd be crawling up the walls after a week, but that's not the point." Maggie adjusts herself again, leaning on her elbow and propping her head up in her hand. "You could. I mean you could just do all the shit you've always meant to do but never had time for."

Alex frowns. "I don't know if there's really anything I'm putting off because of work."

"That's because work is your life," Maggie says, but without judgment. Like it's a fact, one which she accepts, especially considering how important work is to her too. "But you could get a hobby. Wait, did you have hobbies before you joined the DEO? Besides being a pool shark."

Alex thinks of her primary occupation outside of school before J'onn found her. "I used to party a lot, actually," she says, almost surprised with herself at how calmly it comes out. She's not proud of it, but it happened, and now she's done with that part of her life.

"Party girl Alex Danvers?" Maggie says, pushing herself up a little. "Tell me more."

Alex finally clicks off her tablet and sets it on the night stand. Her hands go into her lap, on top of the covers. "There's not a lot to tell. I wasn't in the best place. I went out a lot. It got kind of hairy at the end but...then J'onn came into my life. I cleaned up, got my act together. Finished my Ph.D."

Maggie is silent for a bit. "So technically you're Doctor Danvers."

Alex knows Maggie has heard everything she just said and is purposely choosing not to focus on it at the moment. She lifts her arm so Maggie can tuck herself against her side. "Yes, technically I am a doctor."

"So can we-"

"No doctor roleplay."

Maggie pouts, but snuggles deeper into her anyway.

*

She expects J'onn to growl and ask for explanations and negotiate down her time away. What he says is: "You should take more time off."

Alex sits back in her chair on the other side of his desk. "What?"

"You have three months. When the new policy kicks in you'll lose most of it. You should take more time now." He pushes her vacation request form back across the desk top.

Alex stares at it. "What?"

"You heard me." He begins jotting something down from a different pile of paperwork.

Alex looks from her request, back to J'onn. "But..."

"It's up to you, Agent Danvers. But you deserve a break. And..." He pauses in his writing. "You deserve to be happy."

Alex really doesn't have much else to say to that. "Let me check with Maggie."

"Do that," says J'onn, but even though his voice is a bit gruff, Alex can tell he's pleased.

*

Alex hems and haws a bit but after one conversation each with Kara and Maggie, fills out "two (2) weeks" on her form. Maggie can only muster up two days off from work and Alex knows they're both kind of relieved about it. It's too soon to be taking week-long vacations together. A long weekend will be perfect.

The rest of it is for Alex herself. There have been a lot of crises and emergencies one after the other recently - more than usual for the DEO - and she can always cut off her vacation early if she has to. She's contemplating stopping by Midvale to see her mom for a few days.

Destination is also something Alex has thought about and Maggie has no complaints when Alex shows her a little west-coast resort town about seventy miles south of the border.

"Can't wait, but now I have to go do the extra paperwork I promised Omar in order to take time off," Maggie says, kissing Alex on the cheek and going back to the files spread out on her kitchen island.

Alex is happy to putter around her, assembling dinner and putting some aside in a few tupperwares. ("Maggie, your fridge is nothing but take out." "Some of it is healthy take out.") They're okay like this, sharing a space in silence. The first time Maggie had been over when Alex needed to interrupt their evening to handle a work problem, she'd been nervous that Maggie would maybe resent it, but she was fine being on her own for an hour and when Alex finally logged off and closed her laptop, found Maggie waiting for her with a beer and an invitation to cuddle under a blanket.

Alex reads on her tablet for a bit while she eats, Maggie absentmindedly forking things one-handed while her other hand steadily works its way down the pages. She finally abandons her work when her plate is empty, stacking up hers with Alex's without being asked and taking them to the sink.

Alex is just over for dinner and a movie, but halfway through Maggie's hands start wandering and there's nothing for it but to slide down on the couch and pull her close.

Sometimes sex with Maggie is frantic and hot, both of them just needing skin on skin as quickly and as much as possible. Sometimes it's slow, unhurried, more about exploring and developing the connection between them. On Maggie's couch, in the dark with the TV off and only the muted ambient light from the windows, they take their time. They work each other up and come down and work each other up again until they come together, Maggie tilting her forehead against Alex's, almost frowning in concentration, mouth dropping open as they pant their release into the quiet, still apartment.

Maggie collapses against her and she folds her arms around Maggie's waist, enjoying the warm weight of her pressed all along her body.

"Show me some pictures of our vacation spot," Maggie murmurs from where her head is lying on Alex's chest.

"You have to get off me first."

"Mmm. No."

Alex squeezes Maggie with both arms and drags a few strands of hair out of her face. "I can describe it to you though."

"Go for it."

Alex calls up the pictures from the website. "Lots of sand. Lots of water. The place I booked is pretty isolated but there's a bus into town we can take to get dinner. Maybe go dancing. Get some drinks. There's hiking a little inland too, if you're up to it one of the days. We'll be right on the water and the view is just ocean as far as you can see." She pauses, feeling Maggie rising and falling in time with her breathing, and realizes she's asleep. The words are inside of her, wanting to be whispered into Maggie's ear. Instead, she tugs on the blanket folded over the back of the couch until it covers them both and closes her eyes.

*

Alex has it all planned out. They'll spend their days on the beach (with plenty of sunblock; Kara had sent her three articles about skin cancer and brought her a selection of extremely high SPF sunscreens a few days before their flight out) and their nights in bed. They're past the peak of spring break too, so the place should be fairly deserted. And on the last day, if she still feels what she feels and things have gone well, she'll say it. Maybe while they're holding each other and a gentle breeze is coming in off the water. Maybe while they're sunbathing next to each other. Just while they're together. The words have been ringing in her brain for so long that some days she's on the verge of just blurting them out, and a few times she's taken a deep breath, only to let go of it and keep her mouth shut. Maggie seems to notice, but doesn't press her on it. Alex thinks maybe she wants Maggie to press her.

It's a short flight down, with a half hour shuttle ride from the airport. They hold hands the entire way, staring through the window at the passing countryside.

The hotel is a scattering of bungalows, each with a shallow fenced porch and stairs up the back to the flat rooftop. They dump their bags inside the door and explore for a minute, the small living room and open kitchen leading back to a bedroom and attached bathroom. The windows have all been left open by housekeeping, letting in a sea breeze that is familiar but also different from what Alex is used to in National City. Wetter, warmer, maybe with a hint more vegetation.

"Nap?" Maggie asks, the glint in her eye suggesting exactly the opposite.

"After we change I'll race you," Alex says.

It's not a very long race. They're right at the edge of the sand, shaded by a few palm trees, and they pick their way gingerly over the hot sand and into the shade of a big thatched beach umbrella with their towels. A few minutes of vigorous sunblock application later, they're sitting side by side, leaning back on their hands, watching the waves roll in.

"A few weeks ago we were at the precinct," Maggie says, staring into the distance. Alex is caught watching her, the way her hair blows and settles in the periodic wind, the way the muscles in her arms stand out as she leans on them, the slight sheen on her smooth stomach from the sunblock. The way her simple white bikini leaves very little to the imagination.

"I know you're ogling me," Maggie says, continuing to stare at the horizon.

"You're nice to look at," Alex says. She lets herself lie back on her towel, hands folded behind her head, enjoying the stretch in her stomach and the release of tension in her back. She stretches her legs out and crosses them at the ankle.

"Look who's talking," Maggie says. She lies down too and her hand gropes across the sand until it finds Alex's, clutching it loosely. They fall asleep for a while, lulled by the rhythmic crash of waves and the susurration of wind through the loose palm fronds thatching the roof.

The shadows have grown longer when Alex opens her eyes again, but the sun isn't low enough to be in their eyes while under cover. She left her phone and her watch back at the bungalow and as disconcerting as it is to not be keeping track of time, it's also nice to just be drifting aimlessly through the day with Maggie.

Maggie is already awake, now on her stomach with her head resting on her folded arms as she watches Alex. "Ready for a swim?"

Alex looks down the length of the beach, to a small shack she knows is there from her research. "Actually," she says. "I was thinking of something else."

*

Maggie loves the water. Alex supposes it comes from growing up in a landlocked state. So she's all for it when Alex guides her over to the surf shack and rents two longboards and a pair of rash guards. She casts a longing eye over a shortboard, her body already feeling the phantom motions of catching a wave and throwing a trick, but today is about spending time with Maggie.

Maggie is raring to jump into the ocean but Alex makes her practice paddling and standing up on the board while they're still on the beach.

"Come on Danvers, I feel ridiculous," Maggie says, lying down on the board, arms working doggedly.

"There's no one else here but me," Alex says.

"I bet the surf shop guys are spying on us."

"They are not."

"I'd spy on us, we're hot."

"Keep paddling."

Maggie grunts and digs a bit of sand loose so it sprays at Alex, who is also lying and paddling on her board to set an example.

Eventually Alex deems Maggie ready and they take their boards out in the water, paddling, then turning around when Alex judges they're in the right spot to catch a good swell.

"You go first so I can see how it's done," Maggie says, legs dangling in the water on either side of her board. Her smile is at its most cheeky. "Also I'm gonna look at your ass."

Alex kicks some water at her, but positions herself anyway and waits for a wave. Then she's paddling and feeling herself pushed from beneath and her mind is already making all the little calculations and adjustments she needs to drop in and then she's flying, riding the wave until it peters out and she kicks her board out from underneath her and flops back into the water out of sheer exuberance.

Maggie is still smiling when Alex returns, but with something genuine and softly delighted. "You rocked out there," she says, maneuvering as close as possible to Alex, so their calves bump underwater.

Alex sighs, looking at the water, feeling the rolling rhythm of the ocean rocking her up and down on her board. "Yeah. I missed this."

"No reason you can't have it back."

Alex looks down, rubs at the wax on her board. "We'll see. With work..."

Maggie doesn't say anything to that. They've never lied to each other about how much they work, how much what they do means to them. She won't pretend she can talk Alex out of working all the time and Alex will do the same for her.

"Your turn," Alex says, getting a hand on the tail end of Maggie's board and giving her a good push.

"You can't laugh at me if I fall," Maggie says, holding up a warning finger.

"I absolutely can and I probably will," Alex says, earning her a big splash as Maggie wings her entire arm into the water. But she starts paddling and Alex yells at her to paddle, and looks to have taken most of Alex's lesson to heart, and just about manages to get to her feet at the right time before the water knocks her loose and she goes tumbling into the surf.

Alex laughs, but as much out of happiness as anything else. When Maggie surfaces and pulls herself back onto her board she spots Alex watching her and gleefully gives her the finger.

"Try again," Alex calls.

Maggie needs three more tries before she successfully stands up on her board and the sun is halfway below the horizon by the time they return their rentals and rinse off under the freshwater shower behind their bungalow and Alex thinks, now, now is the moment. Just the two of them after a perfect day.

Alex reaches out to touch Maggie's waist, fully intending to pull Maggie into her arms, but a chill wind catches them both just before Supergirl lands, looking apologetic.

"Christ," Maggie says, jumping a little at the sudden appearance.

"I'm so sorry," says Kara. "I really wouldn't interrupt unless it was an emergency and you weren't answering your phone."

"J'onn was the one who told me take more vacation," Alex says, although she's already heading inside to dry off and find some clothes. Supergirl comes after her, and Maggie brings up the rear, her face inscrutable.

"We've been trying to solve this all day without you but J'onn says it's all hands on deck," says Kara. She looks around curiously at the inside of the house.

"And you had time to fly down here and pick up Alex?" asks Maggie, her voice a little tight, but not entirely angry.

Kara's forehead crinkles in innocent confusion. "It's about a two-minute flight for me."

"Can you give us a minute?" Alex asks.

Kara looks between Alex and Maggie. "Oh," she says. "Of course, I'll wait outside." She's gone, cape swirling. Alex can see her through the window, floating near some palm trees to get at a coconut.

Alex pulls off her damp bikini, digging in her suitcase for a sports bra and fresh underwear. She used to be shy about her body around Maggie, but now it's all business and she doesn't have time to worry about nudity. "I'm so sorry Maggie. You should stay, enjoy your time here," she says. "And maybe I'll be able to clear this up quickly and be back tonight or tomorrow morning."

"No way Danvers," says Maggie, just as quick to disrobe and pick out fresh clothes. "You go, I go."

And so they both change, Alex into jeans and the one long-sleeved shirt she'd brought just in case, Maggie into the same but with a t-shirt.

Alex steps closer as Maggie is stuffing the last of her belongings into her duffel and zipping it up. "I really am sorry."

Maggie reaches up and kisses her once, firm but kind. "This is our life. It's what makes you who you are and I would never want to change that about you." She glances out the window, where they can now both see Supergirl anxiously splitting open a coconut and draining it.

"Oh no. She's stress eating," Alex says. "We'd better go." They walk out, Alex mentally making a note to call and cancel the rest of their reservation. Supergirl floats back down to the ground, surreptitiously tossing coconut halves behind her back.

"I'll try to stay low and slow, but you're gonna get cold," Kara says apologetically.

"Just don't drop me into the Pacific Ocean and we'll be cool," Maggie says, looping her duffel over her shoulder.

It takes substantially longer to fly back up the coast with Kara accelerating at a rate that won't crush them with g-force and it's a bit awkward with three people; they have to work it out so Kara carries one of them under each arm, essentially, but at least her grip is as reassuringly solid as ever. Alex glances over at Maggie while they're cruising mid-flight and she's got her eyes closed as the wind whips at their faces, but with a huge, excited smile. Alex realizes this is her first flight with Supergirl, and she remembers what it was like when Kara came to them as a child and she took Alex flying for the first time. Even though the timing was awful, she loves that she was able to share such a special, rare moment with Maggie.

They land at DEO headquarters about twenty minutes later, disheveled and shivering and Alex takes a moment to rub her hands up and down Maggie's arms, trying to warm her up.

"That might be better than the first time I ever rode a motorcycle," Maggie says when her teeth stop chattering.

Halfway across the room, Kara suddenly beams, then winces, realizing she's given away that she's eavesdropping. She turns around, hands behind her back, rocking back and forth on her toes and heels. She might even be whistling. Alex will have to call her out on it later.

"Sorry again about ruining our vacation," says Alex, heading for the locker room where she can change into her spare gear.

"Hey, at least we got to skip the lines for the flight back. You think Supergirl would be willing to say she owes us one and fly us to our next vacation?" Maggie asks, following along.

Just ahead of her Alex tucks her chin down, trying to stop smiling at the implication of a next time. "I think I can arrange something."

*

After Alex helps the DEO untangle their crisis (and has a thoroughly fantastic time intimidating Maxwell Lord), she still has ten days of vacation remaining and J'onn insists she take them.

"Relax, go for a run," he says.

"Don't binge watch without me!" says Kara.

"I'm gonna take a couple more days off of work," says Maggie.

Alex blinks in the middle of texting Kara that she has to binge something if she's going to be away from work so long. "Really?" She puts her phone down on the kitchen island, message sent.

Maggie shrugs from her spot in Alex's favorite armchair, her feet kicked out onto the table to support her laptop while she looks over work documents. "We didn't really get the vacation we wanted, so we can make up for it now. Do the staycation thing," she says.

"Staycation," Alex repeats.

"Are staycations a thing still? Is it just called shutting yourself in with Netflix now?"

"You're sure you can take the time off?" Alex asks.

Maggie doesn't stop working, eyes flicking over whatever's on her screen. "I'll pull a few more night shifts, suck up to my lieutenant. It'll be fine."

"I'm totally fine if you need to go back," Alex says. Her phone is now throwing up frantic notifications from Kara that if Alex finishes Sense8 without her she will never share food ever again. Alex pushes it away a little so she can sit on the end of the couch, cattycorner to Maggie.

Maggie throws up an eyebrow. "You want me to go back to work?"

"If you want to," Alex says. "But I'm happy to have you to myself for a while longer too."

The eyebrow morphs into a smile and Maggie shuts her laptop and puts it aside on the coffee table. She leans over the arm of the chair, elbow propped up and her chin in her hand. "What about me are you happy to have?"

"Well you always eat my cooking," Alex says, pretending to think, one finger tapping her mouth. "You let me pick what we watch on Netflix seventy percent of the time."

"Hey, like eighty percent of the time. I'm super generous."

Alex scoffs. "Barely seventy, when it should be close to one hundred based on your taste in movies."

"I have great taste in movies," Maggie says. She rises out of the chair and swings herself into Alex's lap, legs stretched out on the couch and arms around Alex's neck. "Anything else you wanna say about keeping me around?"

The rest of Alex's teasing fades away as Maggie smiles at her, the little daring smile that she uses to needle and tease and sometimes to push Alex when she needs some pushing. "No."

"Good." Maggie touches their noses together, chin tilting up for a quick kiss. "I love you."

Oh. Alex almost jumps entirely out of her body while her brain tries to catch up with Maggie. A moment later she smiles too and wraps her arms around Maggie's waist. It's so easy; it feels like the easiest thing in the world, sitting in her apartment with her girlfriend, planning to spend a few days together. "I love you too."

"I know you had big plans to make some kind of statement with our vacation, but I wasn't gonna wait until the next one," Maggie says, her shoulders slumping a little, almost like she's relieved in spite of the confidence in her words.

"I...didn't. Not plans. Big plans. I didn't have them," Alex splutters.

"Babe." Maggie lets her fingertips scratch lightly at Alex's shoulder. "I can tell when something's on your mind, and anyway I saw you giving me that look."

Alex narrows her eyes. "What look."

And for all that she's brash and sarcastic and quick to brush off any feeling more complicated than hunger, Maggie always knows how to make Alex feel like her heart has melted into a puddle. "The look that makes me feel like I'm really special. Like I matter to you."

Alex doesn't have a comeback for that, just a soft kiss and a dopey smile. "Good. I'm glad I got it across."

Maggie wriggles pleasantly against Alex, getting more comfortable. "You did get soft on me, Danvers."

"I think I'm okay with that," Alex says, finding she means it and is okay with it.

"Me too," says Maggie, and lets Alex hold her for a while longer.