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A Year and a Day

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The party is in full swing when Lena hears a knock on the door. She's the closest, and after a quick look around, she realizes she's the only one who heard it. She steps to the door when there's another knock, swinging it open easily. “Oh my God. Samantha Arias, as I live and breathe!" She nearly spills her drink when she lurches forward to drag the other woman into a hug. "What are you doing here? It's been way too long."

"Hey, Lena." She hugs her tighter than necessary for a long moment, afraid to look around the room.

She pulls away finally, chancing a look around. She sees Alex immediately, gaze drawn to her magnetically.

Alex flushes pink, looking down at the drink in her hand shyly. Sam tears her gaze away, unsure. It's been a year since she's seen Alex in person, a year since she and Ruby left National City after everything with Reign.

“You want something to drink?” Lena asks, breaking her out of her thoughts. “There’s beer in the kitchen.”

“Is there anything stronger?” Sam asks, stomach flipping when she sees Alex moving closer.

“Of course,” Lena scoffs. “There’s scotch on the counter.”

She heads toward the kitchen, but Alex beats her to the bottle of scotch, pouring a couple fingers of amber liquid into a glass.

"Hey " Alex says, giving her a nervous smile as she hands over the drink.

“Hey. Thanks,” Sam takes the glass, breath catching in her chest when their fingers brush. “It’s good to see you," she says quietly.

Alex sets her drink down, stepping forward in and pulling Sam into a hug. "It's good to see you, too." She can't help the way she clutches at Sam's shirt, comforted when she feels Sam holding her just as tight. Alex closes her eyes, taking a deep breath. " I missed you, " she murmurs, face buried in Sam's hair.

Sam rubs her hand up and down Alex back, reaching to set her drink down. She pulls back slightly, pressing a quick kiss to the corner of Alex's lips. "I missed you too," she murmurs, pulling back with a small smile.

Alex stares, shocked, lips tingling. “Sam, I —”

"It's ok, Alex. I just wanted you to know how I feel. I — I am sorry it took me so long to tell you, though.” Sam steps around Alex, heading straight for the door.

“Sam? You're leaving already?"

Lena tries to catch her arm, but Sam shrugs away from her, shaking her head. "I can't, Lena."

She's already out the door by the time Alex recovers, setting her glass down hard on the counter.

Lena steps out of the way, watching as Alex bolts out the door. “Oh, thank God,” she mutters, relieved. She’d read the anxiety on Sam’s face as soon as she’d opened the door, flashing back to college and a very similar situation with a very different outcome.

Alex hits the lobby downstairs to see Sam getting in her car. “Sam!” She bolts through the door in a few long strides, skidding to a stop next to Sam’s car. She stops to take a long breath before opening the door, mindful of the car behind her. “Hi,” she sighs, cheeks suddenly too warm.

Sam’s hands twist in the hem of her shirt. “Hi,” she whispers, ineffectively trying to blink away the tears welling in her eyes. “What, um —”

Alex cups her cheek, rubbing away a tear. “You didn’t let me kiss you back.”

Sam laughs wetly, wrapping her hand around Alex’s wrist. “I didn’t think you’d want to.”

“How could I not?” Alex wipes more tears from her face, tucking a strand of hair behind Sam’s ear. “I like the haircut, by the way.” She kisses Sam gently, cupping her face and stroking her hair before hugging her so tight she nearly pulls Sam out of the car. “Do you want to come back inside?”

“I, um, I can’t,” Sam sighs, leaning her forehead against Alex’s. “I need to get home to Ruby.”

“Ok. Have dinner with me on Friday?” Alex presses a light kiss to Sam’s cheek, breathing in the scent of her shampoo before leaning her head on her shoulder.

“I’d love to.” Sam threads her fingers through Alex’s hair, holding her tight. “I really should get home, though.”

“Ok. Tell Ruby I said hi?” Alex pulls away reluctantly, shoving her hands in her pockets.

“Of course.” Sam settles herself in the driver’s seat, reaching for the door handle, chin on her arm. “Goodnight, Alex,” she says with a slow smirk.

Alex flushes pink, suddenly flustered. “Goodnight, Sam,” she says with a grin, the butterflies in her stomach making her feel weightless.

Sam pulls the door closed and waits for Alex to step up on the curb before she backs out of the space. She waves one last time before driving away into the night.