Chapter 1: Catwoman
Maggie’s been coming to this spin studio for about a month before she sees her for the first time.
She’s always kind of looked down on spin classes. She’s always thought of them like jazzercise, or aerobics, or anything else Jane Fonda might endorse. Something for tall skinny wealthy white women in high-cut neon leotards to do while their husbands are out being productive in the world.
She’s never really been one for group exercise.
But running alone gets boring after a while, and she’s noticed her body starting to change a little now that she’s thirty – some things are slower and stiffer and harder than they used to be. She has to keep up, she can’t let herself go; that could be the difference between catching a perp and letting him go free to hurt someone else, the difference between dodging a bullet and taking it in the chest.
So she starts looking for other things she can do that won’t create so much impact on her knees. And this spin studio had a first-class-free deal, and she surprises herself by really liking it. It’s dark in the room, and you can sign up to have your stats up on the big board in the front of the room, and Maggie’s always thrived on competition. She burns a ton of calories and gets her heart rate up, and it doesn’t hurt her knees, and she hadn’t quite realized how on edge she always is when she works out at the station – completely surrounded by men – until she’s in spin surrounded by women and her shoulders feel at least twenty pounds lighter.
She learns quickly that some of the teachers play mostly top 40 songs, and other play hip hop, and others mostly house music, a couple mostly grunge, others mostly throwbacks. She finds her favorite teachers, figures out a schedule, and finds herself spinning before work at least three times a week.
She doesn’t really talk to other people while she’s there – she’s not, as they say, there to make friends – but everyone tends to do friendly nods and say hi, especially in the locker room, and she does the same.
So she’s gotten know most of the teachers and many of the other morning clients by sight. So she’s sure this is the first time she’s seen this new woman.
She’d definitely have remembered someone like that.
The new woman is tall, with short dark hair just longer than her chin that she doesn’t put up in a ponytail or pin back at all. She’s wearing black workout leggings, like many of the other women, and a long-sleeved black workout shirt with a small zipper at the top, like what runners wear when it’s cold out. Most of the other clients are wearing tank tops, like Maggie, or just sports bras. The long-sleeved look is certainly distinctive. Maggie expects that she’ll strip down after a couple of songs on the bike.
The woman doesn’t look around, or smile, or nod to anyone. She just strides into the room at the very last second without looking to either side, adjusts the bike next to Maggie with military precision, and gracefully hops on without wasting a single movement.
Maggie, in her head, immediately calls her Catwoman. Nimble, deft, silent, a little disdainful, dressed in all black? Catwoman for sure.
The instructor starts the class, and Maggie tries to forget about her, about the beautiful woman riding so close to her. She focuses on the board.
This board works a little differently from the boards at other studios Maggie’s tried (she went through every free class and buy-one-get-one at the other studios nearby before starting to pay full price here). She’s not entirely sure of the math behind it, but each rider who opts in has a score that’s calculated by doing something with both their speed and their resistance – how steep of an incline they’re riding on at every moment. Each rider gets to pick their name that’s displayed on the board. Some people change their name each class, while others are always the same. It’s anonymous; you can’t tell which rider is which name, but some people are pretty obvious. Lots of people do cutesy names, and in every class there’s always a Beyoncé, but that’s not really Maggie’s style.
Her name today, like every day, is simply sawyer.
Maggie’s never broken a score of 500. Her best was 462 last week. Sometimes the instructor will break 500 – the highest score Maggie’s ever seen is a 612 from an instructor who does Iron Man races for fun.
500 is always Maggie’s goal. She steadies her breathing, and imagines that number, that bright 500 next to her name on the board.
A couple of songs into the class, Maggie notices that a rider named ddsaaxd – a name she doesn’t remember seeing before – is already riding at a 600 pace. Maggie lets that motivate her, but doesn’t worry too much about it. She’s seen people start strong, but no one really keeps it up the whole class. She likes to save a bit of her final push for the last couple of songs, so she just settles into herself and focuses.
But she’s distracted because Catwoman next to her has her legs flying at an impossibly fast speed. Maggie comforts herself with the knowledge that she can’t possibly have her resistance as high as she should, if she’s going that quickly.
But ddsaaxd isn’t slowing down, either. In fact, as Maggie’s looking up at the board, ddsaaxd breaks 700.
Maggie has a sneaking suspicion that Catwoman is ddsaaxd. She hasn’t stripped off her long-sleeved zip-up, and Maggie’s in a light tank top and is nearly faint from heat exhaustion.
Maggie wonders, faintly, if she’s an alien.
By the end of class, Maggie’s set a new personal record of 481. She’s fourth in the class. Obviously ddsaaxd is in first place with a 704, followed by Lily, the instructor, at 542 and then rainbowbrite, a chippy blonde sorority girl who comes every single day and is a total beast at 525.
When the lights come back up, Maggie turns to the side, ready to ask Catwoman if she’s ddsaaxd, and, if she is, to congratulate her.
But in the time Maggie had spent mopping her face with her towel, Catwoman had already hopped off her bike and stridden out of the studio.
Maggie assumes that she’ll see her in the locker room, but when she gets in, there’s already someone in one of the showers, and Maggie assumes that must be her. She gets in another shower, confident that she’ll catch Catwoman on the other side. Maggie’s known for her fast showers.
But by the time she pulls the curtain back and surrenders her shower to the next sweaty woman in line, Catwoman is nowhere in sight.
Catwoman becomes a regular. She shows up to a lot of morning classes, but never with a predictable schedule. Maggie never knows when she’ll see her – if it’ll be three or four times in a given week or not at all. Maggie remembers her psychology classes in college and the way mice respond best to punishment and treats given at random intervals, rather than predictable ones.
She’s never felt more like a mouse.
Catwoman is always dressed exactly the same, in her black leggings and her black long-sleeved zip-up. She never strips off the zip-up. Maggie wonders if they’re the actual same clothes, or if she just buys in bulk.
She never puts her hair back or pulls it out of her eyes.
She never says hi or nods or looks around. She never shows up early. She never lingers on the bike after the lights come up. She’s never still in the locker room when Maggie gets out of the shower.
Maggie doesn’t learn her name.
But ddsaaxd is never on the board when Catwoman isn’t there, and Catwoman is never there when ddsaaxd isn’t on the board, so Maggie feels confident in her assertion that they’re one and the same.
And ddsaaxd never hits lower than a 650, and usually hovers around 712. She’s always in first place, beating every instructor she comes up against by at least a hundred points.
She doesn’t always sit next to Maggie, but Maggie’s always completely aware of where she is in the room. Maggie’s scores are always highest when she’s there – when she can see Catwoman’s legs flying in the dark, when she can see ddsaaxd breaking 700 on the board.
Maggie, definitely, has a crush on her.
It’s a harmless crush – Maggie doesn’t even know her name, for christ’s sake – the kind of crush no one will ever know about and will never be acted on. But she’s just so beautiful and impossibly strong, and she’s clearly stand-offish, and absolutely disinterested in Maggie and anyone else, and she’s a total mystery, and that’s basically Maggie’s kryptonite. Maggie couldn’t have built a more intriguing crush if she’d tried.
Maggie is, just a little bit, a total goner for her.
It’s about two months before they speak.
It happens in a much more embarrassing way that Maggie might have hoped.
It’s a Wednesday morning, and Maggie’s already on her bike, warming up her legs. It’s not a bike she usually uses, but she came a little later today than she normally does and her favorite bikes were taken.
She sees Catwoman stride in and start to adjust a bike about ten feet away. She’ll be right in Maggie’s line of sight during class, and Maggie grins to herself, getting set to break her own personal record. Catwoman brings out the best in her.
She stands up on the pedals, lifting her butt completely off the seat, starting to warm up her entire body, cranking up the resistance so that she has to put all of her body weight on each pedal to make it move.
She drops all her weight on her right foot, and then panic floods her because the bike is starting to tip over to the right.
The bike is starting to tip over, and Maggie’s feet are clipped in – completely attached – to the pedals, and there’s no way she can get off of it in time, or even put a foot down to brace herself against the weight of the bike.
The bike is starting to tip over, and it weighs hundreds of pounds and it will crush her like a bug.
The bike is starting to tip over, and Maggie knows that her skull will impact the bike next to her as she goes over – that she won’t even make it to floor before she’s smashed to pieces.
She can’t do anything, can’t even make a sound, as she starts to go over. She may not survive this.
But, suddenly, she stops. Before she even reaches forty-five degrees, her downward plunge is halted.
Maggie looks over to her right and sees Catwoman standing, legs set and sturdy, just next to her. As the panic starts to fade, Maggie feels Catwoman’s body up against hers, Maggie’s right shoulder and arm pressing hard into Catwoman’s breastbone. Catwoman’s arms are on either side of her torso – her right hand gripping the bike’s handlebars and her left behind the seat.
Catwoman slowly, carefully, pushes the bike back over to the left, careful to not let it tip too far the other way.
When it’s completely settled back on the floor, Catwoman doesn’t take her hands off the bike. “You okay?” She asks, looking carefully at Maggie.
It’s the first time Maggie’s ever heard her voice. And she isn’t sure if it’s the adrenaline or the near-death experience or what, but it might be the best sound she’s ever heard.
She manages to nod a couple times before she clears her throat. “I—yeah. Yeah. I’m okay.” But her hands are shaking as she pries them off the handlebars, and Catwoman doesn’t let go of the bike.
“Can you dismount for me?” Her voice is so much more gentle than Maggie would have ever expected.
Maggie nods again, not sure she could manage to dismount for anyone else. The scare couldn’t have lasted more than two seconds, but her body feels like jello. She carefully twists her feet, first one, then the other, to release them from the pedals.
Catwoman releases her right hand from the handlebars, and holds it open to Maggie. “Hop off this way,” she says softly. “I’ll hold it steady.” And she definitely doesn’t say I’ll hold you steady, but her hand grips Maggie’s tightly anyway as Maggie maneuvers off the bike.
When Maggie’s standing on her own feet, off the bike, Catwoman takes a step back, releasing her hold on Maggie’s hand. She looks her up and down carefully. “Are you hurt?”
Maggie shakes out her arms experimentally. Her brain is still firing all kinds of chemicals into her body, but she’s not physically damaged. “No,” she manages. “I’m not.”
She finally looks up into Catwoman’s eyes, and, oh. She was gorgeous when she was hard and disinterested, but now that she’s got that tender look in her eyes?
Maggie’s a double goner. A triple goner. A grand-slam, clear-the-bases, end-the-game type of goner.
“Thank you,” she says, even though it feels completely inadequate. “Really.”
Catwoman steps away then, shaking her head dismissively. Instead of responding, she ducks down and seems to be inspecting the bike. She clearly doesn’t like what she sees, shaking her head and muttering to herself. She starts striding out of the room, and the “Wait here” she tosses over her shoulder feels almost like an afterthought.
Like Maggie could even move right now, with this all-out-war in her nervous system between adrenaline and attraction. All she knows is that her knees are definitely weak.
Catwoman comes back in, followed by the timid girl from the front desk and the instructor for the class, who’d been out at the front desk this whole time. Catwoman walks them over to the bike, points to the ground and says, in a firm, commanding voice, “This model of bike has to be bolted to the floor. This one is completely unbolted. It could have killed her.”
Both women make a big fuss over Maggie, then. They offer her free classes, which Maggie declines the first time they offer, but accepts when they insist. Her salary is nothing to scoff at, but she’s not rich by any means, and these classes are expensive. They swear to fix that bike, and they fuss over her until she firmly asks them to just start the class.
Catwoman, who had faded a bit into the background, steps forward again. “I adjusted this bike for you,” she says, pointing to the bike next to hers. Maggie walks over to it, brow furrowed. Somehow, Catwoman had adjusted the seat and the handlebars and all the other little things to exactly how Maggie likes them.
Maggie looks up at her, gaping. “How did you…”
Catwoman just shrugs, and the light is a little dim, but Maggie could swear she blushes a little. “Just a guess,” she says, but it’s so clearly a lie.
Maggie wonders, for one fleeting second, if maybe Catwoman’s been noticing her back.
Catwoman takes hold of one side of the handlebars on this new bike and, with a sharp sudden movement, yanks it toward herself, as hard as she can. It doesn’t budge. Maggie knows immediately that she’s testing it, to make sure it won’t tip over too. She knows Catwoman is just doing it for her benefit – she doesn’t know the woman at all, but she’s somehow completely confident that she’d tested it like that before she’d adjusted it to Maggie’s precise specifications – but she appreciates it.
Maggie gets on it, and tentatively starts pedaling.
“You okay?” Catwoman asks again, one foot clicked into a pedal, the other leg ready to swing over her own seat.
Maggie forces herself to nod. “Yeah, I’m okay.”
Maggie doesn’t get a personal record that day, which isn’t a surprise.
ddsaaxd doesn’t either, which is a bit more of a surprise. ddsaaxd actually ends with the lowest score Maggie’s ever seen from them, a 617. Maggie notices Catwoman looking over at her more than a few times, and she wonders if maybe she’s worried about her. If maybe Catwoman’s so concerned with her that she isn’t focusing on her own workout.
It makes Maggie feel incredibly special. Almost worth nearly getting her skull split open on a spin bike.
When class ends and the lights come back up, Maggie doesn’t wipe her face with her towel. Instead she turns right to Catwoman.
“Hey,” she says, a little breathless, but loud enough to be heard over the cool-down music.
Catwoman looks over at her.
“Thank you,” Maggie says again. “Really. You saved my life.”
And Catwoman makes the cutest little pssh sound and almost rolls her eyes in a clear dismissal that she did anything major, and Maggie is just smitten.
“Happy to,” Catwoman finally says, and it’s a weird thing to say to that, but Maggie doesn’t press.
“Um,” Maggie says, a little awkwardly. She unclips from her bike and swings down, landing on the floor between their two bikes. Catwoman is already off of hers, of course, standing on the other side of her bike.
Catwoman looks over at her, eyes a little narrowed. “It’s Sawyer, right?”
Maggie manages to keep her jaw from dropping, but only just. Sure, she’d figured out that Catwoman was ddsaaxd, but Maggie’s way less noticeable – both in person and on the board – than Catwoman and ddsaaxd are.
She has been noticing Maggie.
Maggie manages to nod a little. “Yeah.” She holds out a hand that she knows is covered in sweat, but she’s pretty sure that that wiping it off first would have been more awkward. “Maggie Sawyer.”
Catwoman nods too, reaching out and giving Maggie’s hard a surprisingly soft shake. “Alex Danvers.”
Maggie has a sneaking suspicion that Alex Danvers was waiting for her, because for the first time ever she’s still there when Maggie gets out of the shower.
She’s wearing almost the same clothes as before, but Maggie can tell they’re cut a little differently. The leggings, while still black, are a little more like pants – a little less form fitting and with maybe a couple of pockets – and they tuck into black boots. She’s got the same type of long-sleeved zip-up on, still black, but it’s clearly a fresh one. Her hair is still down, nearly dripping wet.
Maggie wonders what the hell her job is.
She immediately heads to the door of the locker room, but she looks over her shoulder, and she’s careful to make eye contact as she says, “See you next time, Sawyer.”
And Maggie barely manages to choke out a “See you, Danvers,” before she’s gone.
Chapter 2: Instruxtor
They’re definitely not friends, but they’re something.
Maggie’s the only person Danvers ever says hi to, and Danvers does say hi to her now, each time she walks in. She doesn’t always take the bike next to Maggie, but she does about half the time.
She’s rarely still in the locker room when Maggie comes out of the shower, but Maggie sees her in there twice more. Both times Danvers is careful to say goodbye to her before she leaves.
Maggie never gets used to it.
She’s pretty sure her crush is at maximum, but on a sunny Friday, Maggie realizes how incredibly wrong she was.
Because she gets out of the shower after class, and not only is Danvers still there, but she’s dressed completely differently. She’s standing in front of the sinks, applying makeup with quick, deft, precise movements. Instead of her black catsuit, she’s wearing expensive-looking grey slacks that just accentuate everything she’s got going on – legs for days and an ass to die for – and white blouse tucked into them that doesn’t show any cleavage but lets you know exactly how much you’d like it to, and a black blazer that just completes the power look. She has little gold earrings in all of her holes, and a thin simple gold necklace draped high across her collarbones. She’s wearing three-inch black pumps, and on anyone else they might look classic, but on her they just look hot as hell.
She looks like a complete power bitch, and Maggie nearly foams at the mouth.
Maggie hasn’t let anyone top her in years, but if Danvers, dressed like that, asked her to get on her knees, she’d probably hurt herself with the speed of her submission.
Maggie wishes she could say something, but she doesn’t know how to communicate that Danvers looks great without her gay showing. Straight girls can get away with much more, but Maggie’s so distracted by her crush and her completely filthy thoughts, that she doesn’t so much as grunt in Danvers’ direction.
Danvers, who has been applying her makeup with the same military discipline that she does everything, seems to finish. She runs her hands through her hair a couple of times, packs up her things, and turns to walk out.
Maggie finally manages to make her mouth work. “See you around, Danvers,” she says.
Danvers stops walking. She looks over at Maggie, and then down at herself. She seems to hesitate for a second before she says, in a tone Maggie’s never heard from her, “Uh, do I…uh, look okay?”
And Maggie’s wearing just a towel, and her sopping wet hair is scraggling down her back, and Danvers is possibly the most attractive thing she’s ever seen.
She manages, somehow, not to just drool at the opportunity to run her eyes down Danvers’ body again.
“You look great,” she finally says. “Very fortune 500 CEO.”
And Danvers grins at her – really, honestly grins, and Maggie’s never seen her do more than give a hint of a smile, and it should honestly be illegal.
“Excellent,” she says, and her grin has turned a little wicked and Maggie wonders if it’s possible to die from being turned on. Danvers mutters the next words to herself, but Maggie hears them anyway. “Lord won’t know what hit him.”
Maggie doesn’t know if she means the Lord God, or Maxwell Lord, or what, but she’s pretty sure even Jesus Christ himself wouldn’t know what hit him if Danvers walked up to him looking like that.
“Good luck, Danvers.” She says as Danvers turns to head out. “Kick his ass.”
And Danvers flashes her another grin, pure and happy this time, and Maggie’s heart does a little jig in her chest.
It’s about two weeks later that Maggie’s sitting on her bike, riding aimlessly, wishing she’d worn her watch cause she could have sworn class was supposed to have started already.
Danvers is there, a couple bikes away, and it’s not like Maggie’s watching her, but she just happens to notice that she’s there, and she just happens to notice when the girl from the front desk walks into the studio and heads right over to Danvers. They talk for a couple of minutes, and even though the studio is quiet this morning – no loud warm up music is playing – Maggie can’t hear what they say.
Danvers doesn’t seem particularly happy about it, but Maggie just happens to notice that she nods and climbs off her bike and follows the girl outside.
Maggie barely has time to wonder what’s going on before Danvers strides back into the room, her phone in hand.
She walks up to the instructor platform, turns on the sound system and plugs her phone into it, and settles the microphone on her face like she’s done it a million times.
Maggie can’t quite believe it, but it seems like Danvers is going to teach this class? Which doesn’t make any sense, but, yes, she’s adjusting the instructor’s bike with her usual deft movements and the music is clearly playing from her phone.
This should be…intense.
A new name pops up on the board. ddsaaxd has vanished, and instruxtor has taken its place. Maggie assumes the x is for AleX, and her crush throbs a little bit. That’s so cute.
She thinks about ddsaaxd and wonders if the last three letters are for AleX Danvers. She wonders what the ddsa could be.
But she doesn’t have much time to wonder, because Danvers has started speaking into the microphone. Her voice sounds different, a little more commanding and deeper.
“Lily couldn’t make it this morning,” she’s saying, and she’s already speaking at the perfect volume to be heard over the music, and that’s a skill only the best instructors have. “So, I’m sorry to say you’re stuck with me. I used to teach here years ago, so I’m a little rusty. But we figured a rusty class would be better than no class.” Usually the instructors cue the class to whoop back at them, asking pump up questions like “are you ready for this, Wednesday morning?!?” or “how you doing, Friday!?” but Danvers doesn’t even pause for a response.
“Lights coming off,” she grunts, and they’re plunged into the usual darkness.
The class is, unsurprisingly, the hardest class Maggie’s ever taken. And it’s not just Maggie that’s motivated by her – most people’s numbers on the board are higher than usual. Danvers doesn’t let up. She doesn’t say much, not nearly as much as the other instructors. She mostly communicates in grunts and short commands that she positively snaps at them. While others say things like “you’re stronger than your bike” and “now it’s time to dance,” and “you’ve got this, ladies!” Danvers only says things like “harder,” “stand up,” “I said push,” and “sit and go.”
And Maggie had loved her voice the first time she’d heard it, and had wanted Danvers to top her the time she’d seen her in that power suit, but this is pretty much all of her most masochistic fantasies come true. A beautiful woman – a total power bitch – who might or might not be a secret softy, demonstrating her strength and literally (and publically) daring Maggie to match her?
Maggie wonders faintly if she might come right here on the bike.
They’re nearing the end of class when Danvers changes. She sits straight up on her bike, letting go of her handlebars entirely, and she turns the music down from its deafening volume.
“My classes always have a mission,” she says.
And suddenly she’s weaving them into the most captivating story Maggie’s ever heard.
“Close your eyes. You’re Supergirl. You’re Supergirl. You could crush concrete just by squeezing it. You can carry a rocket on your back. You’re the strongest person on the planet. Feel it. Feel yourself strong. Crank up your resistance, and feel how it doesn’t slow you down. Feel yourself strong.”
And Maggie does.
They all drop the resistance back down, and Danvers tells them to pick up their speed. “You’re flying through the city. Keep up the pace, you’re searching for people who need help. Faster. You’re Supergirl, you’re faster than a speeding bullet. Fly faster.”
Maggie’s legs fly faster than ever.
“Airplane!” Danvers calls, “Airplane coming right at you. It doesn’t see you. Crank your resistance to change directions. Crank it up and push, push, push, push, to evade. Push harder, you’re not going to make it! The wake of the plane is disturbing the air. Push, harder, or you’ll get knocked around. I said push. You’re not going to make it. You’re going to crash into it. They won’t survive the impact. I said push harder.”
Maggie pushes harder than she ever has.
They do evade the plane, and go back to scanning the skies for trouble. Maggie’s heart rate slows, just a little bit.
“You get the call that you never want to get. You get the call that there’s a bomb in a building downtown. There are hundreds of people in the building.”
Maggie’s feet have already started racing, even before Danvers demands that they sprint as fast as they can to get there. “Faster,” she grunts, “you’re too slow, you’re not going to make it in time. You don’t get to be tired. You have to go faster. You’re Supergirl, go faster.”
Maggie does. Everyone around her does.
“You made it. Crank your resistance to maximum. You have to punch through the steel wall to get to the bomb. Go. Punch it. Punch it. Break it down. Get to the bomb. You can’t evacuate all the people, you have to get to the bomb. Harder. Harder. Punch it down.”
Maggie’s never set the bike to this high a resistance level before.
“Good, good, you got in. You got in. Keep that resistance where it is. You have to yank it out of the wall. Harder. Harder. Harder, hurry up! You’re out of time, harder! You don’t get to be tired, this is your mission. This is why you’re on this planet. Get that god damned bomb out of that wall. Do it. Do it now.”
Maggie gives more than she ever has.
“Okay, good, you got it. The timer says 30 seconds. You have 30 seconds to get it out of the city. What do you do?”
Maggie, along with everyone else, without being told, drops her resistance and starts to sprint again. She has to fly the bomb out of the city.
“Fly faster,” Danvers grunts. “Faster. You’re not going to make it. Faster.”
Maggie sprints, hard.
“Change your angle. Crank your resistance and head up, up into space. Don’t you dare slow down. You slow down and the city dies. Push. Fly faster. Faster.”
Maggie can’t go faster. She’s flagging, slowing down despite herself.
She’s failing Danvers.
And then Danvers’ voice changes, and she grits out, from between clenched teeth, “You’re all riding like a bunch of little boys. But you’re grown ass women. Act like it. Show me how fucking strong you are. Show me.”
And Danvers’ voice is low and heavy and gritty and Maggie finds herself pushing past her limits, finds herself digging deeper and getting faster.
“You have to make it. You have to. You don’t have a choice. You’re too strong to fail. Show me.”
Maggie shows her. She hasn’t looked up at the board at all, she hasn’t taken her eyes off Danvers.
“Time is up! Crank your resistance and throw it. Throw it! Throw the bomb up into space. Throw it as hard as you can. Throw it!”
The song ends, and the only sound in the studio is the ragged breathing of twenty-five women who just pushed themselves past every limit they’d had.
“Good,” Danvers says, and it’s sort of weird that they’re all in this studio because Maggie could have sworn she and Danvers were just flying up in the air above National City.
“You did it,” Danvers says, “you made it. You did it. Slow it down, come on back to the city. You did it.”
She takes them through one last song to cool them down before class ends. Maggie looks up at the board, and her eyes nearly bug out of her head. She didn’t just break 500. She got a 571 – almost a full hundred points above her personal record.
It takes her so long to peel herself off the bike after the lights come back up that she knows there’s no chance of catching Danvers in the locker room.
So she’s extra surprised when she finally makes out of the shower, on legs that still feel like rubber, to see Danvers there, absently checking her hair.
“Sawyer,” Danvers says, turning to leave the locker room, and Maggie can’t confirm it but it honestly seems like Danvers was waiting there just to say goodbye to her. “Nice work today.”
And Maggie’s never been one for being topped and has never been very influenced by praise, but she’s pretty sure she would do anything Danvers asked of her if she used that low gritty tone and followed it up with a compliment.
As Danvers walks out of the locker room, Maggie actually out-loud chuckles to herself. She can’t believe she’d thought she was a goner for Danvers before this morning. That had just been the tip of the fucking iceberg.
Danvers, somehow, becomes the regular Thursday morning instructor.
Maggie starts coming to class on Thursdays like it’s her religion.
Danvers still comes to take class other mornings, and she acts exactly the same.
But on Thursdays, now she’s always up at the instructor bike when Maggie walks in. She doesn’t acknowledge anyone else who comes in, but she never fails to say “Hey, Sawyer,” in a totally casual and disinterested tone when Maggie walks in.
It makes her feel unbelievably special.
It quickly becomes clear to Maggie that Danvers doesn’t care much about the music. Some teachers are definitely in it more for the music than the exercise, but it’s absolutely an afterthought for Danvers. She plays mostly things just over on the punk or grunge side of the spectrum of spin music, but she plays a couple top 40 songs from the last fifteen or so years, and almost every class has one Barenaked Ladies song in it.
Every single class, the second to last song is a mission. Every single class they’re Supergirl, and Danvers leads them through holding up buildings that are collapsing, through fighting robots and other powerful aliens, through putting out fires and catching airplanes and rocket ships and carrying them on their backs.
It’s never the same story twice, but in every story, Danvers says the same thing right at the climax. “You’re all riding like a bunch of little boys,” she says every single time. “But you’re grown ass women. Act like it. Show me how fucking strong you are. Show me.” And every single time it works. Every single time she says it, Maggie shows her.
It’s one memorable Thursday that they’re about five songs into the class when the unmistakable opening chords of “Bye Bye Bye” start pumping through the speakers.
“What the fuck,” Danvers mutters, probably forgetting that the microphone picks everything up.
Most people in the room titter a little bit.
Danvers fiddles with her phone for a couple of seconds before tossing it back down. She clearly has lost the battle.
“My sister,” she says into the mic, and it sounds like she can’t tell if she’s mad or amused, “has some strong feelings about spinning music. Apparently she hacked my playlist for today. It’ll take too long to change, so we’re gonna go with it.”
After a bit of a pause, she says, a little chagrined, “Sorry.”
It’s hilarious. Danvers is so not the N’Sync type.
But what actually makes Maggie laugh is that Danvers clearly knows the song so well. She knows all the cues, counting down precisely for when they sit or stand, push or sprint.
She’s either lying about the sister, which doesn’t seem like it, or the sister had a lot of power over the radio as a kid. Danvers clearly knows this song deep in her bones.
Maggie loves her for it.
That day, when Danvers is leaving the locker room, Maggie can’t help herself. “Bye bye bye, Danvers,” she says with a cheeky grin.
Danvers rolls her eyes, but grins a little back. “You’re tearin’ up my heart, Sawyer,” she says as she walks out the door.
And Maggie just stands there, still in her towel, and her brain is completely buffering because she can’t tell if Danvers was just making an N’Sync joke or if she was actually flirting with an N’Sync joke.
But, either way, this crush is definitely out of control.
Chapter 3: Superfriends
The next Thursday, there are two men in the studio. They’re both standing sort of aimlessly, clearly new.
Danvers walks over to them as Maggie is setting up her own bike.
It becomes clear immediately that she knows them.
“James,” she says, looking at the tall black one with the enormous muscles popping out of his black tank top, “take this bike.” She points him to the one right next to Maggie, and she adjusts it for him quickly and efficiently.
Then she turns to the other one, the skinny white one in the Cat Co blood drive t-shirt. “Winn, come over here so I can set you up.” She puts him on the bike on the other side of James. She quickly shows both of them how to change the settings on the bike and how to enter their names for the board.
“Winn,” she says, “I want you to aim for a 350. Understand? Push yourself to get to a 350. No higher. That’ll be one of the lower scores in here, cause these women do this all the time. Leave any bullshit machismo outside, understand? I want you at 350. Try for any higher and you’ll hurt yourself.”
He nods, quickly. “350, got it,” he says.
He looks nervous. Maggie takes pity on him. Poor scared little dude.
Danvers turns to James, and what she says nearly knocks Maggie on her ass.
“James, this is Sawyer. She’s your pacer. I don’t want you to finish more than 30 points below her, you understand?” James looks over at her and smiles before turning back to Danvers.
“Both of you,” Danvers continues, “Sawyer’s got great form. If you ever got lost, just do what she’s doing. Clear?”
“Aye aye,” Winn pips.
Danvers just rolls her eyes at him.
She turns back to her own bike but stops, resting a hand on Maggie’s handlebars.
The only time they’ve ever touched was when Maggie’s bike had nearly fallen over, so this feels nearly as intimate as Danvers’ skin on her own. “You good?” Danvers asks her, her voice a little softer and more private than Maggie can handle.
Maggie manages to nod. “I’m good,” she chokes out. “You?”
And Danvers gives her this soft little smile and Maggie can’t for the life of her understand it.
“Always,” she says, already heading back to her bike.
Maggie’s busy watching her walk away, but Winn pulls her attention back. “So, Sawyer,” he’s saying. “How hard is this going to be, really?”
And Maggie just smirks. They have no idea what they’re in for.
The mission this class is a collapsing building. They have to hold it up on their shoulders, pushing as hard as they can to keep it upright. Every once in a while they have to dart out to save a person, sprinting back to the base to catch it just before it crumbles.
Maggie wonders if she’ll change what she says because there are these two men in the room.
But she doesn’t. “You’re riding like a bunch of little boys,” she says, and it’s such an insult. Maggie tries to prove her wrong. “But you’re grown ass women,” she says, and Maggie notices James and Winn both twitch a little bit in the dark but they keep going. “Act like it!” Danvers demands, and Maggie does. She’s a grown ass woman and she’s stronger than anything. “Show me how fucking strong you are,” she demands. “Show me.” Maggie does. She blasts up above 550.
They save the building.
Danvers cools them down and ends the class. She flips the lights back on, and Maggie looks over at James and Winn. She’d heard them discussing it before the class had started so she knows they’d put themselves on the board as SuperWinn and SuperJim. SuperWinn ended the class at 351, and SuperJim ended 35 points below Maggie.
“Nice job, Sawyer,” James says with a big smile. He doesn’t seem emasculated by her, which is a pleasant change from all the men she works with. “Tried to catch you, but you really put it on at the end there.”
Maggie just shrugs a little. “Couldn’t let that building collapse,” she says, hoping her voice is casual. Couldn’t disappoint my imaginary girlfriend.
Winn shakes his head a little bit. “Dude, that was so hard. Alex is like a monster.”
“Watch yourself, Schott.”
Maggie turns around to see Danvers leaning on the bikes in the row in front of them, her forearms propped up on handlebars on either side of her body.
“I mean, Alex is impressive and deserves my greatest respect,” Winn says hastily, but Maggie gets the feeling this kind of teasing is part of their relationship.
Danvers just blinks at him a couple of times, and it nearly makes Maggie’s knees weak.
“Nice score, Schott. Good job.”
He grins at her like she hangs the moon, and Maggie hopes her own mooning isn’t that obvious.
“James,” Danvers says, “Couldn’t quite catch Sawyer here, huh?”
James grins again, shaking his head. “Nah, she got me. Next time, though.”
But Danvers scoffs at him, actually scoffs. “She went easy on you.”
And Maggie’d been going as hard as she could, but that doesn’t matter at all because Danvers believes in her. Danvers thinks she’s strong. Danvers would bet on her over this enormous muscle-bound dude.
Maggie nearly swoons.
But then Danvers winks at her, and Maggie’s glad she’s still holding onto her handlebars because otherwise she might have landed ass-first on the ground.
The next week Winn and James are back, and they have two women with them. One is tall and blonde and chipper looking, with glasses and an old-looking neon blue tank top that says “Midvale Surfing Contest 2005.” The other is much shorter, about Maggie’s height, with dark hair pulled back in a severe bun. Her skin is tanner and she’s wearing a US Army tank top and something about her – maybe the well-defined muscles or the bun or just her posture – makes Maggie pretty sure she hadn’t bought that shirt in a gift shop.
James sees her as she comes in, and greets her with a friendly wave and smile. “Hey, Sawyer! Good to see you again.”
Maggie blinks a little at him, but manages to smile back. “Oh, yeah, you too.”
Danvers comes over then, as mind-bogglingly gorgeous as ever, and it seems like she’s surveying the group of them.
“Sawyer,” she says, and Maggie’s head snaps over to her. “Mind if I recruit you to help out with these delinquents again?”
And Maggie’s opening her mouth to say something, but Winn squeaks “delinquents?!” and James laughs and the smaller woman mutters something about “thin ice, Danvers,” and the blonde snorts, so Maggie has to repeat herself. “No problem.”
“Thanks. You mind taking that bike?”
And, because apparently Danvers really notices her, she points to a bike that Maggie really likes. Maggie heads over to it, and notices that it’s set up exactly how she likes it. She looks over at Danvers, a smile and a question all over her face.
Danvers blushes a little, mostly just up at the tips of her ears, because she set up this bike for Maggie in advance. And sure, she’s asking Maggie for a favor, but still.
She really, actually, notices Maggie and thinks about her before she gets there, and cares enough to do something nice for her.
Maggie starts to genuinely wonder, in that moment, if Danvers means to be flirting with her and is just terrible at it.
Danvers puts the smaller woman, who she calls Lucy, right next to Maggie. “Sawyer’s your pacer,” she says to her. “Try to keep up. She’s good. Don’t embarrass yourself.”
And it’s harsh but Lucy is just smirking back at her and making a sex joke, and Maggie wonders how Danvers – closed off, nearly silent Danvers – has friendships like these.
She puts Winn next to Lucy, telling him to go for 360. James is on his other side, and Danvers just tells him, “You know what to do, CatCo.”
She puts the blonde on the last bike in the row, on the other side of James, basically wedging her into a corner with the wall on one side and the bulk of James’ body on the other. Maggie won’t be able to see her at all.
“And you,” Danvers says to her, and her voice is different than it is with anyone else. It’s gentler, and even though she’s pointing an accusing finger at her, it’s still much more tender than before. “Don’t break my bike.”
Maggie wonders if they’re in a relationship.
Danvers walks away, over to her own bike. Lucy turns immediately to Maggie.
Lucy nods back. “Major Lucy Lane, US Army,” she says, her tone crisp and clearly meant to intimidate.
Maggie almost grins. She’s not easily intimidated, and she’s ready as hell for this game. “Detective Maggie Sawyer, NCPD,” she says back, matching Lucy’s tone.
Lucy’s eyebrows pop up. “NCPD?” Maggie nods. Lucy’s entire presentation shifts. She grins at her and holds out a fist for Maggie to bump. “Respect!”
Maggie can’t help but laugh as she obliges.
“You met Jimmy and Winny, right?” Maggie laughs again and nods. “And the blonde monster over there is Kara, Alex’s sister.”
“Hi!” Kara chirps from the corner, standing up on her pedals and craning around James to be able to see them. “Nice to finally meet you!”
Finally? Does…does Danvers talk about her?
But also, sister. They’re not sleeping together.
Oh, and sister. “Oh,” Maggie says, “the sister! The N’Sync fan, I assume?”
And Kara laughs, just beaming, and she’s not at all Maggie’s type but she spares a thought for Danvers, who probably grew up in the shadows of this brilliant grin. “You were there for that? Oh my god, how was it? She was so mad but I bet it was, like, the best class ever, right?”
And Maggie can’t help but grin back. “Oh, definitely.”
“Don’t make me separate you two,” says an amused voice from her other side. Maggie snaps her head around to see Danvers walking back towards them. She looks right at Maggie, putting one hand up on Maggie’s handlebars again. “Don’t believe anything any of them says,” she deadpans.
And Maggie nods at her, but Lucy cackles. “Scared, Danvers?”
Danvers looks over at her, and arches a single, perfect, evil eyebrow. Maggie’s brain melts. “Oh, Major. I’m pretty sure we’ve already proven that nothing you’ve got scares me.”
And Maggie doesn’t know if that’s a sex reference or what, but Lucy blushes a little bit and mumbles something Maggie can’t hear, and it’s clear that Danvers has the higher ground.
But Kara breaks the tension by chirping that everyone needs to put their names in for the board. Maggie can immediately tell that MAJORlyLuce is Lucy, and thinks it’s adorable when danversjr pops up. SuperJim and SuperWinn follow them up quickly, and Lucy barks out a laugh.
“Seriously?” She asks them, her voice thick with mocking disbelief. “You – both – named yourselves after Supergirl?” And Maggie’s knows they’re in National City, but she’s a little surprised – not to mention pleased – to hear Lucy credit Supergirl, not Superman.
Both boys blush, but it’s Kara who snorts out loud. “Nerds,” she says.
“That’s so embarrassing for you,” Lucy tells them.
But before they can defend themselves Danvers turns off the lights and starts class.
Maggie works hard, as she always does. Lucy is no joke; MAJORlyLuce and Maggie are nearly neck and neck through the first half hour of class. SuperJim is holding just about 30 points below them. SuperWinn is on pace for another 350 class, and danversjr is holding a very impressive 400 pace.
Maggie has just surged five points ahead of Lucy before Danvers starts the mission.
They’re Supergirl. They’re patrolling the city. They put out one fire, cranking up their resistance to use their freeze breath before a chemical factory catches fire. They stop an armed robbery at the docks, sprinting to the scene and pumping on the resistance to stand big and tall enough for the bullets to bounce off of them.
But Maggie knows that’s all just the warm up.
“You get the call. You only have sixty seconds to get there. Only sixty seconds to get there. It’s all the way across town. You’ve never flown that fast before. Never. But you have to do it now. Pick up your pace, and sprint. Sixty seconds.”
Maggie does. Beside her, Lucy does. Everyone’s numbers start to tick up on the board.
“You’re going against the wind. It’s the start of a storm. It’s pushing you, hard. Turn up your resistance, don’t you dare drop your speed. If you slack off, you won’t make it. You have to get there. You have to. Go harder. Harder.”
And usually she tells them where they’re going and why, but this time she’s leaving it a mystery.
They’re sprinting for the full sixty seconds, which feels like hours. They keep turning the resistance up and up and up because of the storm.
And right when Maggie’s legs start to fail, right when her chest is nearly collapsing – just like always – Danvers says it. “You’re all riding like a bunch of little boys,” she says, and her voice is just as low and ragged as always, and Maggie lets it fill her lungs and her muscles.
So she’s already picking up her pace before Danvers says it. “But you’re grown ass women. Act like it. Show me how fucking strong you are. Show me.”
And Maggie digs deep and she rockets past MAJORlyLuce as she sprints faster.
“Five more seconds! You’re not there! Go! Push. I said, go.”
The song ends, and Danvers backs them off their pace. “Good,” she says. “You did it. You did good. You made it. You made it in time.” Then, even though it’s dark, Maggie’s pretty sure she sees a cocky grin on Danvers’ face. “You made it to the donut shop just before they closed so they’ll give you all the day-old donuts for free. You did it, Supergirl. You did it. You got the donuts.”
Maggie’s suddenly surrounded by the sound of twenty-five people who want to laugh but can barely catch their breath. She’s not totally sure, but she thinks she hears several snorts coming from Danvers’ friends.
Danvers takes them through the final song, then flips the lights back on and ends the class.
Maggie beat Lucy by 12 points. James finished 25 below Lucy. Winn hit a 355, and Kara a 403.
“Damn,” Lucy says, turning to Maggie. “You’ve got some legs on you, Sawyer.”
Maggie can’t help but grin. “You too.”
But Lucy just dismisses her with a wave of her hand. “Whatever,” she says, and Maggie can tell that she’s someone who hates losing but isn’t bitter about this particular loss. “At least I beat my ex.”
Maggie looks over the rest. “Please tell me you mean James.” Then she lets herself hope. “And/or Kara,” she adds, desperately hoping that someone as badass and gorgeous as Lucy wasn’t dating Winn. And, of course, she hadn’t beaten Danvers.
Lucy laughs out loud at that one. “Just James.” She leans over then, making sure to talk quietly enough that James – who was helping Winn un-attach his shoes from his bike – couldn’t hear. “Not that I wouldn’t normally have been intrigued by Kara, but the whole James-dumping-me-for-her thing kinda put a damper on those types of feelings.”
“No kidding. But then she dumped his sorry ass, so, here we are.”
“At spin class,” Maggie deadpans.
Lucy grins at her. “At spin class. Getting our asses handed to us by Alexandra Danvers.”
“Stop talking about your ass, Lane.”
That’s Danvers, somehow back in front of them, and Maggie doesn’t know how she does it, but even after that class, and the 734 she put up on the board, she still looks completely gorgeous. Sweaty, yeah, but gorgeous.
But Lucy just cocks her head and raises an eyebrow at her. “Whose ass would you like to be talking about, Danvers?”
And that’s clearly a question loaded with a lot of conversations and a lot of other baggage, and Maggie really doesn’t want to hear about anyone whose ass Danvers is pining over.
“Fuck you, Luce,” is all Maggie hears as she climbs off her bike and heads to the locker room.
Lucy, Kara, and Danvers are in in the locker room when Maggie gets out of the shower.
She’s never put on her clothes with Danvers there because Danvers never stays that long. Normally she’s just a drop-the-towel-and-do-it type of person, because who the fuck really cares what anyone else looks like in a locker room? But it feels weird to do it with Danvers there.
And she has a sneaking suspicion Lucy would look.
So she takes her clothes to one of the little cubicles for shy people and gets dressed in there.
She sort of can’t believe that Danvers is still there when she emerges.
They’re all dressed. Kara is wearing a cute little white dress with black stripes on it and red flats, her hair pulled back in a wet ponytail. She looks like a modcloth model. Lucy’s wearing a low-cut cream-colored shirt and black dress pants and gold jewelry and her hair is perfectly curled and she looks like a cross between a lingerie model and a CEO. It should be trashy, but somehow it isn’t.
Danvers is, as always, in her all-black quasi-uniform.
And even though Kara is beautiful and is wearing a cute dress that shows off her arm muscles and her legs, and Lucy is beautiful and is a lingerie CEO and is showing off everything, and Danvers emotionally unavailable and is showing literally only her hands and face – Danvers still completely takes Maggie’s breath away. She’s the only person Maggie can look at. The only person Maggie wants to look at.
Maggie has it so fucking bad for her.
The three of them are clearly making plans for drinks after work. “Noonan’s at 6?” Kara is asking.
“Oh my god, why are you two so obsessed with that place?”
Kara rolls her eyes in bliss. “The sticky buns, Lucy. The sticky buns.”
“For happy hour?” Lucy deadpans.
But Kara shoots right back. “How is it supposed to be a happy hour without sticky buns, Lucy?”
Danvers grins. “Yeah, Lucy. Use your brain for once.”
“You’re both impossible, and, for the record,” she points at Danvers, “I wish you were still in secret prison.”
And that’s a weird thing to say, but Maggie figures all friends have their weird jokes.
Lucy seems to notice her at just that moment. “Oh, Sawyer. Hey. You should come out with us tonight.”
Maggie and Danvers both sputter.
“Oh, no,” Maggie says quickly. “I wouldn’t want to intrude.”
“Don’t be stupid,” Lucy says, and Maggie’s quickly getting the sense of how she talks. “I could use someone to talk tactics with. And besides, Alex would love it.” She turns to Danvers, and her grin is wicked, and Maggie wonders faintly if Danvers has mentioned her to Lucy too. “Wouldn’t you, Alex?”
And it’s the first time Maggie’s ever seen Danvers look at all out of her element. “I, uh,” she mumbles, “I’m sure she has plans, Luce.”
“No plan she has could be better than hanging out with three gorgeous women and two wannabe vigilantes and a box full of day-old donuts.”
Maggie blinks a couple times. These people have the weirdest inside jokes.
But Danvers seems genuinely uncomfortable, and Maggie’s about to firmly say no, when Kara juts in. “If you’re free, we’d love to have you,” she says, and they’re inside a locker room but the sun is beaming directly out of her face. “The boys couldn’t shut up about you this past week, so I know they’d love it too.”
She doesn’t mention anything about Danvers, but Maggie guesses that she’s sending her sister some serious vibes, because Danvers caves quickly. “Yeah,” she says, like she hasn’t just spent the last two minutes sputtering. “If you’re free, you should definitely come. Noonan’s, on 5th. At 6.”
“Okay,” Maggie says, “I’m not sure what my work day looks like, but if I’m free, I’ll try to swing by.”
“Great!” Kara chirps, her cheerfulness quite disconcerting this early in the morning.
“See ya tonight, Detective.” Lucy’s smirking and Maggie wonders just how worried she should be about this.
“See you, Sawyer,” Danvers says, just like before, and Maggie doesn’t mean to join them for drinks, but Danvers is giving her a little smile, and Maggie has been a goner for her for months and she knows staying away is impossible.
“See you around, Danvers.”
Chapter 4: Noonan's
*shoves chapter at you with eyes closed, mumbles something about this accidentally being the most sexual thing i've ever written*
Maggie really doesn’t mean to go meet them at Noonan’s. She doesn’t.
But her work day is slow and boring and frustrating, and she has to sit through a two-hour long meeting that could have been an email, and Danvers makes her whole body thrum in ways no one has in a really long time.
And she could really use a drink, and Noonan’s is actually pretty close to the station.
So, around 6:30, she slowly starts packing up her bag. And, even though no one else will ever know, she flushes with embarrassment as she stops downstairs in the basement locker room to freshen up. She’s being ridiculous. Danvers pretty much only ever sees her first thing in the morning when she still has sleep in the corners of her eyes, or dripping with sweat as she mops herself with a towel, or every once in a while fresh out of the shower when her skin is all blotchy and her hair is dripping and scraggly.
So no matter what, in her jeans and white button-down and leather jacket, awake and with dry hair, she should be looking better than Danvers has ever seen her.
But she reapplies her eyeliner and fluffs up her hair anyway, adding an extra layer of chapstick and rolling her shoulders to make sure her jacket is sitting well on her shoulders and re-tucking in her shirt, careful that it isn’t bunching under her jeans.
This crush is making her so embarrassing.
She walks into Noonan’s around 6:45, not sure if they’ll even still be there. She’s looking around, trying to gird herself against the horrible disappointment she feels sliding up her throat at the thought that Danvers isn’t there, when she catches sight of James’ tall bald head, over in the back corner.
She hoists her bag further up her shoulder, and she walks over, trying to fake her usual swagger, which is suspiciously missing.
Kara is the first to notice her approach. “Sawyer!” she calls, already beaming. “You came!”
And Maggie doesn’t quite know what to say to that. Because, yes, obviously, she’s here, and also a sex joke is bubbling up in her throat, but also she met Kara for all of five minutes and Kara’s excited that she’s here in ways that people never really are for her. It’s unsettling, in a pleasant sort of way.
But Kara’s already turning away from her. “Alex,” she’s calling, “Sawyer’s here.”
And it’s not terribly well-lit in the bar, but Maggie can clearly see that the tips of Danvers’ ears are a little pink as she walks over. “Hey, Sawyer,” she manages, and she looks so much more human here at the bar.
She’s wearing jeans and a sweater and Maggie’s never seen her in anything but black spandex or that one power bitch outfit, and she looks like a perfect domestic vision, much more real and touchable and human than she ever has.
And, okay, Maggie faintly realizes that she needs to stop thinking her crush is at maximum, because it turns out there is absolutely no maximum where Alex Danvers is concerned.
“Hey,” Maggie manages to say.
Danvers is close to her now, and Maggie isn’t sure if she’s imagining it, but she thinks maybe she can smell her perfume, or her skin, or whatever, and she’s nearly dizzy with the idea.
“Sorry I’m a little late, you were probably just leaving.”
But Danvers shakes her head. “No, you’re fine. I was just about to get another round.” She inclines her head to the bar, and Maggie happily follows.
She would maybe happily follow this woman anywhere.
“What are you drinking?” Danvers asks, leaning her forearms up on the bar.
“Uh,” Maggie looks up at the bottles on display. “I’ll probably go for the knob creek rye.”
Danvers nods. “Rocks or straight up?”
And Maggie hadn’t been sure that it was a test, but Danvers breaks out into a grin. “Atta girl,” she says, and oh, okay, it was a test, and oh, okay, she passed it, and oh, okay, she would lay down her life for this woman in a heartbeat.
Good to know.
The bartender comes over in that moment, saving Maggie from dropping to her knees and begging Danvers to let her touch, just for a second.
“Two knob creek ryes, straight up,” Danvers says. “Actually, make them both doubles.” She hands over her card before Maggie can even blink.
“No, Danvers, wait—“
But Danvers reaches over and grasps Maggie’s arm, freezing it before she can dig in her bag for her wallet.
And, okay, so that’s what it’s like to have Danvers touch her. Yes, the sleeves of Maggie’s leather jacket and long sleeved shirt are forming quite the barrier between them, but, still.
It feels like fire is licking at her skin.
“Don’t even,” Danvers says. “I owe you, after making you look after those goons this morning.”
And Maggie’s brain is definitely only firing with about seven percent of its normal circuitry, but she manages to huff out a little breath. “Pretty sure I didn’t do much.”
But Danvers shakes her head, and her hand is still on Maggie’s arm, and Maggie wonders if Danvers is an Infernian because she could swear that Danvers’ hand is burning through her jacket. “You managed to wrangle Lucy. I’ve never seen that happen before. You’ve got to give me your secrets.”
And, oh god, Maggie has a lot of secrets she’d like to share with Danvers, like all the dreams she has about them both naked and how exactly grown ass women can prove their strength to each other, but she manages to shove that down.
“I think the trick is to treat her like one of those predators that can smell fear,” she says.
And Danvers is laughing, and, yes, okay, Maggie gets it. She’s beautiful.
“Who’s a predator?”
Danvers turns her head to her other side, slipping her hand off Maggie’s arm like she’s embarrassed that it was there in the first place.
Interesting. Maggie logs that away in her growing file of does-she-mean-to-be-flirting-or-not.
“Lucy,” Danvers tells Kara, who is in the middle of ordering another club soda.
Kara nods, knowingly. “Oh, right. I should have guessed.” She leans over then, putting some of her body weight on the bar to lean around Danvers and look directly at Maggie.
“So, Sawyer – or, do you go by Sawyer or Maggie?”
“Oh, um, either?” No one outside of the station calls her Sawyer, but Danvers does, and fuck if she’s going to correct that. “Whatever, works.”
Kara nods quickly. “So, Maggie Sawyer, what do you do? Like, when you’re not at spin?”
Maggie immediately stomps on the disappointment that flutters up in her chest that Lucy hadn’t mentioned her job. That they hadn’t talked at all about her. That would be stupid of them, anyway.
“Oh, uh, I’m a detective. NCPD.”
Both Kara and Danvers react to that. Danvers’ eyes just widen, a tiny bit, but Kara exclaims and beams. “Oh!” she says, “That’s so cool! What department are you in?”
“I’m in the science division,” Maggie says, trying to find the line between casual and proud. God, she’s so embarrassing, but she wants Danvers to be impressed. She’s basically eighteen years old again, just a baby freshman trying to impress the cool gay seniors. “We handle crimes relating to aliens and other things that go bump in the night.”
But it’s Kara who responds, not Danvers. “Wow,” she gushes, gesticulating with her club soda, but miraculously not spilling any of it. “That’s so cool. Could I, like, interview you?”
Maggie blinks a couple times, looking over at Danvers in confusion.
“She’s a reporter,” Danvers offers, rolling her eyes, like her sister forgets to include the important information on a pretty regular basis.
“Oh! Right!” Kara pushes up her glasses. “Yes, I’m a reporter! With CatCo Magazine! And with the whole alien amnesty act, and everything, I’d love to do an interview with you about the challenges of policing in the alien community! I mean, if you’d be interested.”
And, burning, fiery, all-consuming crush on her sister aside, Maggie would actually be super interested in that. The science division has a pretty low profile, but not by choice, and there are a lot of complexities to policing a population that’s both so powerful and so subaltern. “Uh, yeah, definitely. That sounds good.” She fishes a card out of her bag and hands it to Kara. “Give me a call, we can set something up.”
And Kara squeals, actually out loud squeals, and pulls Maggie into a very surprising (and very tight) one-armed hug before bouncing off, saying something about “have to tell James!”
Danvers watches her go with a little smile on her face.
“She’s cute,” Maggie offers.
And Danvers snaps her head over, and if Maggie didn’t know better she would think Danvers was disappointed, and she can’t tell if she should add that to file or not.
“For a puppy,” Maggie adds, and she doesn’t miss that Danvers brightens immediately.
“Yeah, she has her moments.”
Maggie adds it to the file.
“So,” Maggie says, fiddling with the glass of rye that was just, finally, placed in front of her. “What do you do? When you’re not kicking the shit out of a room full of women and insulting the manhood of your friends?”
And she’s heard Danvers laugh before, but she’s never heard her snicker, not in this evil way, and it absolutely turns her insides into mush.
“Uh, I’m a scientist,” she says, but she seems a little awkward about it. “A bioengineer, if you want to get specific.”
And, oh yes, Maggie definitely wants to get specific with her.
“Damn,” she says with a nod. And the idea that this woman – this gorgeous, strong, powerful, surprisingly considerate woman – is also really smart just completely breaks her mental filter. “So you’ve got all this going on, and a brain? Respect.”
And Danvers just blushes and blushes, dipping her head a little, and it’s only then that Maggie realizes that she just accidentally called Danvers hot.
And she’d be humiliated except it kind of seems like Danvers liked it.
Danvers doesn’t say anything either way. She just takes her own glass in her hand and holds it up. “To brains,” she says.
Maggie clinks without hesitation. “To brains.”
They join the rest of the group, and Maggie learns that James is actually James Olson, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, which, sure. That’s chill.
And Winn does IT, and Lucy is JAG, and Winn and Kara and James all used to work together at CatCo.
She learns that things are clearly still a little tentative in the triangle between Lucy, James, and Kara, but that they’re all trying to make it seem fine.
Kara is clearly the glue of the group, the sunshine center, while Danvers is her shadow. Danvers’ role is clearly to make the sarcastic comments, while Lucy is the raunchy and biting one, and Winn is the nerd who tries too hard to make everyone laugh. James is the calm, the even keel.
But even he can’t keep the calm when Lucy starts to mock him for finishing lower than her in class this morning.
And Maggie isn’t sure how, but somehow James and Lucy amp each other up enough that the entire group is being challenged to a push-up contest.
And she’s finished her double rye and she’s pleasantly buzzed, so she has absolutely no defenses when Danvers rolls her eyes and strips off her sweater, leaving her in just a dark gray tank top.
All of the air leaves the entire bar. Maggie’s brain is at DEFCON-1. This is, honestly, an emergency situation. Because she’s never seen Danvers in anything but long pants and long sleeves – never seen more skin than wrists, hands, neck, and face.
But now there are forearms and biceps and shoulders and, oh god, collarbones, and a vast expanse of chest, the start of – holy shit – breasts, and when she turns around to put her sweater on a chair, shoulder blades and deltoids and a long neck, and just so much creamy perfect skin, and fuck.
She is god damned done for.
And, if she’d had her full wits about her, she might have declined to join the contest – because she’d have a better view from the sidelines and because with the amount of blood rushing around her body she’s not sure she won’t fall and break her nose – but Kara is taking the bag off her shoulder and holding her hands out for Maggie’s jacket, and Maggie finds herself rolling up her sleeves and bracing her hands on the sticky floor before she really knows what’s happening.
Kara is the only one not participating, waving off Maggie’s question with an awkward little giggle. A couple of random bar patrons have joined, and Maggie spares them one tendril of pity, because they clearly have no idea how much Danvers is going to destroy them.
Lucy calls out the rules – form and timing and disqualification – with military precision, and Maggie faintly wonders how many of their gatherings end in this type of contest.
And then they’re off.
Winn is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the first to drop out. He joins Kara in helping to count.
Then the rest of the random people drop, in ones and twos, until it’s just Maggie, Lucy, James, and Danvers left.
They go for a long, long time. Lucy starts calling out changes – first diamonds, then one-handed, then the horrible ones that Maggie hates where you have to clap in the middle. And Maggie is flagging, seriously, completely flagging, but she doesn’t want to drop before Lucy does.
She’s always known she’s never had a prayer of catching Danvers, and James’ huge arm muscles don’t make her very optimistic, but she just wants to beat Lucy.
And right when she’s about to drop – when her lungs and shoulders and arms and abs are burning and shaking, she looks up and she sees Danvers looking right at her, her own muscles rippling in just the most devastatingly sexy way.
And Danvers doesn’t say it, doesn’t call Maggie a grown-ass woman or demand her to show me, but she nods at Maggie, firmly and intentionally, and Maggie knows.
Danvers is telling her she can do it. Danvers is telling her that she’s a grown-ass woman. Danvers is daring her to prove her right. To show her.
And Maggie does.
She digs deep, and she grits her teeth, and she shows her.
And Lucy drops. Kara whoops. Winn calls out “Get it, Sawyer,” and Maggie lets that settle into her body.
She makes herself do five more before she drops.
She rests on her knees, puffing out air, and Lucy, kneeling beside her, claps her on the shoulder. “You’re a fucker,” she says brightly, and Maggie laughs.
“Right back at you, Lane.”
Danvers and James are still going, and Lucy starts calling out more tiring combinations, ones with trickier form, that call for more balance and finesse.
And, not too long after Maggie drops, James starts to loose his tempo, slowing down considerably. Lucy gives him a warning, and he picks it back up, but only for a minute before he flags again.
He hasn’t done more than twenty-five more than Maggie when he drops, and she’s pretty proud of that.
Danvers does two more, just cause she can, and then is about to drop herself, but Lucy stops her. “Danvers, hold.”
“Fuck you, Luce,” Danvers grits out, holding herself up at the top, her form still perfect.
“Time to show off, Danvers,” Lucy says, her tone somehow both proud and teasing. “You think you got it in you?”
And that’s clearly a taunt, and Danvers knows it. Maggie can tell, even from this angle, even when she’s completely distracted by Danvers’ delicious-looking skin and bulging muscles, that Danvers is scoffing and rolling her eyes.
“Just call it out,” she grunts.
“Sawyer,” Lucy says, and Maggie turns to her, surprised. “Let’s make this a little more challenging. Go sit on Danvers.”
Maggie sputters, not sure when this turned into a porno or a dirty dream.
“Uhhh,” she says articulately.
“You and I are the lightest, and I’m counting,” Lucy reasons, like it’s totally fine. But then she cocks her head. “Or,” she says, and she’s fucking grinning like an evil predator, and Maggie wonders, maybe for the first time, just how unsubtle her crush is. If, just maybe, Lucy knows exactly what she’s been thinking about for the past few months. “Actually, you’re right. We don’t want to throw off her balance. You should lay down on her back.”
And the wink she gives Maggie is pretty conclusive.
Okay, so Maggie is a gay disaster and Lucy knows and now Maggie has to lie down on top of Danvers while Danvers does pushups and okay, yes, this is definitely a porno in a dream and Maggie is going to wake up very disappointed.
“Uhhhh,” she says again. She honestly might die.
“Chop chop, Sawyer. Don’t leave your girl waiting.”
And Maggie hates how much her body responds to Danvers being called “her girl.”
“Lucy,” Danvers grits out, and it’s full of warning, and she could just be telling Lucy to hurry up because she’s still holding her plank position, but Maggie isn’t totally sure about that.
“Go on, Sawyer,” is all Lucy says.
Maggie, still kneeling down on the floor, looks over at Danvers.
And Danvers rolls her eyes again but inclines her head a little bit, like she’s telling Maggie to climb on. “It’s better just to humor her when she gets like this,” she says softly, “but not if it makes you uncomfortable.”
“Oh, uh, no, it doesn’t—“ Maggie stops herself before she says something she’ll regret. Like it’s just something out of my wildest fantasy or I’d be more comfortable if we were more naked or I’m just nervous I’m going to pass out from touching your skin or this isn’t how I’d hoped to ride you for the first time.
“No,” she says, “it’s fine.”
She stands up and moves over to Danvers who helpfully lowers herself so that Maggie can climb on easier.
And Maggie, holding her breath, swings one leg over Danvers’, and then, as slowly as she dares, lowers herself until she’s in her own pushup position, hovering over Danvers’ back, her feet on either side of Danvers’ own, her hands hitting the floor just below Danvers’.
“Ready?” Maggie manages to ask.
And Danvers doesn’t say anything. Instead she just pushes herself up in one slow fluid motion, all smooth coiled muscle, and oh god. Her entire body is under Maggie’s. Her back is pressing into Maggie’s chest and stomach, and her ass is…yup, it’s there, it’s in an excellent place, yes. And her legs are between Maggie’s and Maggie’s hands are still planted on the floor so now she’s basically framing Danvers’ torso, holding her in.
And Maggie can smell that scent that she had thought was maybe perfume, but now she realizes with startling clarity is just how Danvers smells. It’s coming from her neck and her back and it’s enveloping Maggie, and she had been hyperbolizing before but now she really might be dying.
She hasn’t breathed in what feels like minutes.
It’s Lucy, of course, who finally breaks the spell. “Sawyer, what the fuck are you doing? Just the lay the fuck down on her so we can get this show on the road.”
Maggie flushes and she’s grateful Danvers can’t see her. “Sorry,” she mumbles. “You good?” she asks Danvers.
And Danvers nods, just a little. “Good,” she grunts, and Maggie remembers she’s been holding herself in this plank this entire time.
So Maggie, with a deep exhale (has she even inhaled?) moves her legs, one at a time, on top of Danvers’. She feels Danvers shift a little bit under her, accommodating the different balance of weight and then she peels her hands off the floor, trusting her entire weight to Danvers.
Danvers experimentally flexes her elbows and then nods. “You balanced okay?” she asks.
And Maggie hates how breathy her “yeah” is, especially because Danvers is one holding the plank, but Danvers just nods again.
“Count,” she grunts to Lucy, and she dips.
She does probably twenty with Maggie just there on her back, just balanced on top of her like it’s totally normal, just a fun thing between lady friends, to do pushups on each others’ backs.
And then Lucy starts calling out the harder ones again, and Danvers stills for a moment.
Maggie’s arms are hovering out to the sides, theoretically to help her balance, but mostly just because she can’t handle having her hands on Danvers.
But then Danvers says, “You might want to hold on,” and Maggie realizes it’s about to get a little bouncy.
She has no fucking idea where to hold on. If this weren’t…this…she’d probably loop her arms around underneath Danvers and hold onto her waist. But that’s definitely out of the question. She settles for placing her hands on Danvers’ back, somewhere between her shoulder blades and her deltoids.
But, as Danvers dips again, shifting into a diamond, she realizes what a mistake that was. Her hands are on Danvers’ bare skin. Her bare hands are on Danvers’ bare skin. She’s touching her skin, and not her hand or her wrist but her back and her shoulders and oh, god.
It’s intimate as hell, and Maggie can still smell her, and she can feel Danvers’ entire body moving under her, and she can feel muscles rippling under her fingers, and she’s known she was a lesbian since she was fourteen and she’s had sex with a lot of women but she’s never really understood what it meant to be gay until this moment.
Lucy runs Danvers through the wringer – clapping and one-handed and all kinds of things Maggie barely pays attention to. And the bar patrons are all pulling out their wallets and paying Kara – clearly there was betting and clearly none of them put their money on Danvers being this strong, and Maggie just wants to roll her over and kiss her senseless.
Finally, after what feels like forever, Danvers starts to falter. She slows, and Lucy calls her on it, and she manages ten more – out of what feels like pure spite – before she grunts out “I’m calling it,” and drops her knees to the ground.
The bar erupts in cheers.
Maggie, somehow, manages to dismount her – noticing, of course, that Danvers is now on her hands and knees and that Maggie has to straddle her to plant her own feet on the ground – and she hopes her own knees aren’t wobbling as she stands.
Kara dashes over before Maggie can move, pulling Danvers to her feet with a show of strength that makes Maggie wonder why she wasn’t in the competition.
Kara pulls her into an immediate hug, shoving bills into her back pocket and laughing. Danvers, still attached to her sister, gets a one-armed hug from Lucy too, and then one from James, and even one from Winn.
Maggie wonders if they’re going to hug. She wonders if that’s more or less intimate than what they just did.
Danvers takes a little bow for the crowd, still laughing, her arm still around Kara’s waist. Then she turns and sees Maggie.
She detaches from Kara and takes a few steps, stopping right in front of her.
“Nice job,” Maggie manages to say. “Very impressive.” She sounds stupid, like a robot. She can feel Lucy’s eyes boring into her.
“Sorry for making you do that,” Danvers says, and she’s still flushed and a little sweaty from the exertion and the applause, but she’s also looking a little bashful. “But, uh, thank you.”
Maggie melts a little, and she just can’t help but reach out. Danvers looks uncertain, maybe a little worried, and she doesn’t know why or what it means, but she can’t control her response.
She reaches out and she steps forward and she pulls Danvers into a loose hug – barely a hug, mostly just standing close to each other with her arms in Danvers’ personal space – for a long second. “Happy to help,” she murmurs, her mouth deliciously close to Danvers’ ear. She pulls back a little, letting her hands linger long enough to give a quick squeeze to Danvers’ biceps. “Sorry about putting my sticky hands all over you, though.”
And Danvers blushes – actually, completely blushes – and Maggie doesn’t know if it’s because of the hug or the squeeze or, just maybe, because of the idea of Maggie’s hands all over her, but Maggie puts it in her file.
“No, you’re fine,” Danvers says, and her voice is soft and little tender, like when Maggie had nearly been killed by her bike, and it just unlocks something in Maggie’s heart.
Every second, every single second of every time that Maggie’s seen her or been around her, Danvers has been in control. Danvers has had the power, has been stronger and faster and smarter. And just now, in this minute, for whatever reason, Danvers is nervous around her.
Maggie has the power and she doesn’t know why and she doesn’t expect it to last, but it fills her up with a rush.
“You know,” she jokes, trying to ease things again, “I’m not known for being good with partners, but I think we made a pretty good team.”
And Danvers almost laughs – the corners of her mouth twitch and she lets out a funny little breath – and it swells in Maggie’s chest.
“Yeah,” Danvers says, and Maggie’s trying to play it cool but she’s so beautiful and she’s still looking all bashful and Maggie has just ridden her back in front of at least twenty people.
“I guess we did,” Danvers says.
Kara orders a round of sticky buns for the group, and Maggie has to hand it to her. They’re delicious.
James eats a whole one, and Danvers, Lucy, Maggie, and Winn all combine to finish off two. Kara eats two by herself.
Maggie notices, and she wonders, and she files that away in an entirely different section of her brain.
Kara leans over the bar to whisper to the bartender, and, a few moments later, N’Sync comes on over the speakers. And Danvers groans and smacks her on the arm, but she’s grinning, and Kara does a dorky little dance and belts it out.
And Maggie can’t help herself. She sidles over to Danvers and whispers right in her ear, making sure to pitch her voice low and gravely. “Don’t even pretend you don’t know every word to this song, Danvers. You taught it perfectly without any notice.”
And what Danvers says is, “Shut up, Sawyer,” but she bumps Maggie’s hip with her hip and she keeps her body leaned into Maggie’s, their sides pressed close together, and Maggie really wonders, for the first time, if, just maybe, Danvers is feeling a tiny fraction of the same thing she is.
Chapter 5: Show Me
The chapter count has been upped by one because I am a literal monster and so this got longer than I'd expected it to. Just one more after this one.
And, in terms of this one...uhhhh yeah, yeah, I KNOW. Just trying to earn my new nickname, "wtf why would you do this to us."
It’s been three weeks since Noonan’s – since the pushup contest, since Maggie learned what Danvers smells like and what her skin feels like under Maggie’s hands and what her body feels like under Maggie’s – but today is the first day Maggie’s back at spin.
It’s been exactly twenty-one days since she’s seen Danvers.
She walks in, and it’s Thursday, so Danvers is already up on the instructor platform, fiddling with her bike.
She walks in, and Danvers is just as impossibly beautiful as she remembers.
She walks in, and Danvers looks over and catches sight of her and completely freezes.
“Hey, Danvers,” Maggie says, trying to keep her tone light and casual as she walks over to the platform. Like she hasn’t been counting the days since she’d last seen her. Like she hasn’t, honest to god, actually missed her.
“Sawyer,” Danvers says, and there’s something weird in her voice. Something tight. “Wasn’t sure I’d see you in here again.” She pauses for a second and drops her eyes and fiddles with the towel draped over her handlebars. “Thought maybe Lucy’d scared you off.”
But she’s looking small and vulnerable and nervous and Maggie realizes with a jolt that she’s been worried. That she’d thought that Maggie hadn’t been coming to class because of what had happened at Noonan’s.
And she said Lucy, but she clearly meant herself. Danvers was worried that she had scared Maggie off and that, apparently, was enough to turn her from the badass Maggie knows into this upset, insecure, fidgeting, nervous little person.
“No,” Maggie says quickly, and it comes out more strongly and intensely than she means it to. “No,” she says again, a little quieter. “I wasn’t…uh, Lucy didn’t scare me off.”
She scratches her neck a little anxiously.
“I, uh, I got hurt on the job the day after I saw you, so…”
She doesn’t want to go into the details, both because she’s a pretty private person and because she may or may not have been distracted by the memory of Danvers’ muscles when she should have been paying attention to the situation in front of her right before it had happened.
But Danvers is off the platform in a second, coming to stand right in front of her, her hands already reaching out for Maggie, stopping just short of her body with a couple of twitches that make it seem like she’s fighting against herself.
Like, if all other things were equal, Danvers would want to be touching her.
“What happened? Where are you injured? Are you okay?”
And her eyes are full of concern and worry and fear and Maggie hasn’t felt so cared about in years and she wonders if maybe this is more than just a crush with a side of blazing attraction.
“I’m fine,” she says quickly because she can’t even start to handle the fear in Danvers’ eyes. “I cracked a rib and got a couple stitches, but I’m fine. Really.”
But Danvers is frowning and knitting her eyebrows together and it makes the cutest little crinkle in her forehead. “Nope,” she says, her hands coming to rest firmly on her hips, and Maggie tilts her head in confusion. “No spin class for you. Not with a cracked rib.”
Maggie can’t help the way her jaw drops.
“Hold up—“ she starts to say, but Danvers cuts her off.
“I’m not letting you hurt yourself in my class,” she says firmly. “Absolutely not.” And she’s standing with her feet set apart and her hands firmly on her hips and she looks a little like Supergirl and Maggie wants to make out with her, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to give in.
“I was cleared by medical for moderate exercise.” Maggie crosses her arms over her chest, standing firm. She’s not a child; she can take care of herself.
Danvers raises an eyebrow. “What the fuck kind of quack doctor did you go to?”
And Maggie can’t help but snort at that. “Seriously, Danvers, I’m fine. I’ll go easy, I promise.”
Danvers narrows her eyes and gives her a probing look. After a long moment she lets out a long puff of air, and Maggie savors her triumph. “Fine,” Danvers says, but she holds up a finger. “But here are my conditions. You use this bike,” she points to the one in the front row directly in her line of sight, “where I can see you at all times. You don’t get above a 275. If I see your number get above that, even to a 276, I’ll turn the lights on and stop the class and kick you out and it will be very embarrassing for you. Understand?”
Maggie nods. She doesn’t doubt for a second that Danvers would do it.
“And after class I check you out myself.”
Maggie wonders if her eyes actually bug out, like in a cartoon. “Excuse me?” Danvers can’t have meant that the way it sounds.
But, then again, apparently she did. “After class,” she says again, “I’m going to look at your stitches and check your rib. And if there’s anything I don’t like, I’m taking you to the hospital myself. Deal or no deal?”
And Maggie doesn’t know what makes Danvers think that a bioengineer is qualified to check her stitches, and she has no idea how she’ll survive Danvers being that close to her bare torso, but she nods.
She probably should have waited until next week to come back to class. But Danvers only teaches on Thursdays and Maggie missed her and she didn’t want her to think that what happened at Noonan’s had changed things between them.
Because at Noonan’s it had seemed like maybe everyone in Danvers’ life had known that Maggie has a crush on her and it had seemed like, just maybe, Danvers has a crush back.
Like, just maybe, they’d all come to class and invited her to the bar to give Danvers a chance to talk to her. To give themselves a chance to check her out.
Like Danvers talks about her.
And Maggie hadn’t wanted to scare her away from any of those things.
But, this might be a little soon to be back on the bike.
She’s stubborn as hell, so she tries to stay as close to 275 as she can, but it’s hard when she can’t take deep breaths and she’s barely moved in weeks. And she may have slightly exaggerated about her medical clearance. She’s pretty sure spin class with Instruxtor Danvers doesn’t count as “light, gentle movement.”
So she tries not to show it but she’s struggling.
She can feel Danvers’ eyes on her the whole class. Danvers’ own numbers are shockingly low, and Maggie wonders if she’s as preoccupied with Maggie as Maggie usually is with her. Even the mission is objectively easier today, and Maggie wonders if Danvers did it that way just so she wouldn’t be tempted to work too hard.
She still says it, says grown ass women and show me, but she looks right at Maggie and even in the darkness Maggie can see that she’s narrowing her eyes and shaking her head, and normally that would make Maggie feel stifled and infantilized but today it just makes her feel incredibly cared for.
Once class ends and the lights come on, Danvers beckons to Maggie. “Come on,” she says. “Let’s take a look at you.”
Which is how Maggie finds herself sitting down on a bench in the locker room, clutching her balled-up shirt for dear life, wearing just a sports bra, with Danvers kneeling down on the ground, ghosting her fingers over Maggie’s side.
Her entire side is still mottled with purple and green and yellow, and you can still clearly see the site of the cracked rib. The row of stitches – fourteen of them, not quite the “couple” she’d mentioned to Danvers – stand out on red and puckered skin.
“Jesus,” Danvers had breathed out, just once, right when Maggie had taken off her shirt and turned to show Danvers the injury.
She hasn’t said anything since.
She’s looking closely, carefully, and then she’s putting her fingers on Maggie’s skin. She’s pressing and gently prodding and doing everything Maggie’s doctors had done.
But her bare fingers are on the sensitive skin of Maggie’s ribs and Maggie isn’t wearing a shirt and Danvers is kneeling down at her side and she hasn’t been able to take a deep breath in three weeks but today is the day she might pass out.
“This all looks okay,” she finally says, and she removes her fingers slowly from Maggie’s skin with what honestly feels like…reluctance?
“But I don’t want you coming to anyone else’s classes this week, not if I’m not there. You need to let this heal a little longer before you do anything like this without supervision, okay?”
And Maggie wants to make a joke about asking for her number, about asking for supervision in the shower or in her bed or changing her clothes, but she just swallows hard and nods instead.
“Okay, Doctor Danvers,” she says, trying to lighten the mood, because Danvers still just seems so worried.
And it works a little – it makes Danvers smile, but not in the way she’d expected. “Please,” Danvers says, the corner of her mouth quirking up. “Doctor Danvers is my mother.”
Then her smile turns a little wicked as she rises to her feet. She holds out a hand to help Maggie up, and even though Maggie is just sitting on the bench, she takes it.
Danvers pulls her up and Maggie’s still just in her bra and Danvers lets her hand linger as she smirks and winks.
“You can call me Doctor Doctor Danvers.”
And Maggie wonders faintly why it is that swooning went out of style.
It’s about three weeks later, and Maggie’s mostly recovered. She still technically shouldn’t be out in the field, but there’s an attack downtown and it’s an all-hands-on-deck situation. So she pulls on her vest – trying to hide her wince as she straps it tight – and grabs a helmet because she refuses to be a lesbian stereotype, and she holsters her gun and pulls her hair back out of her face, and she hops in the car and gets downtown as quickly as she can.
It looks like a war zone.
The street is full of craters. She can barely breathe from all the dust and debris in the air. Several different things are or were on fire, sending embers and ash indiscriminately down into the crowd.
People are screaming and there aren’t too many bodies down and motionless but there are enough.
Maggie can make out the blood splattered on the ground.
Supergirl is there, and so is a big bald green alien Maggie’s seen once before, but they’re getting their asses handed to them by this skinny little flying thing. It’s vaguely humanoid but it seems blurry, like Maggie’s eyes can’t focus on it properly enough to make out distinctive features, or even numbers of limbs.
She has no idea what it is, or what powers it has, but she knows how to do her job anyway.
She barks out orders to her squad, setting some up to evacuate the mobile civilians and sending others to work with fire and rescue to clear out the injured. She grits her teeth but gives the order to leave the dead where they are. This is a triage situation.
She and her two most trusted field operatives go to join the fight.
She watches for a moment, crouched behind an overturned sedan, trying to understand what powers she’s dealing with here and trying to find a weakness.
But it’s so blurry it’s nearly impossible to tell.
Then it does something serious and Supergirl and the green alien both go down and neither pops back up.
Maggie swallows hand and stands up from her crouch. It’s her time.
She fires her gun and she’s pretty sure she should have hit the alien – pretty sure that her bullets traveled to where the alien’s body is – but it has just no effect.
She grabs a chunk of street and throws it, just wanting to see what happens with a larger projectile.
It seems to phase through the blurry body, and, okay, that’s bad. Maggie doesn’t have a weapon on her that can deal with an alien that can do that. She’d need an electromagnetic weapon, or a phase disrupter, or something else from Star Trek and she may work for the science division but they’re a little less sci-fi than all that.
Her glock isn’t going to cut it.
But the alien is turning and getting ready to throw more cars and trucks at the fleeing civilians, and Maggie knows she has to stall for time and pray that Supergirl wakes up. She motions for the detectives at her back to go try to rouse the good aliens, and she starts to shout and wave her arms.
She fires the rest of her clip at the alien, even though she knows it won’t do much of anything.
But her bullets – maybe just the sound, maybe the projectiles themselves – turn the alien away from the people, and it drops the car it was holding down harmlessly on the empty ground below it.
Maggie breathes a sigh of relief, but before she can take another breath in the alien has traveled the many yards between them and has grabbed her and has pulled her up in the air with it.
And it has one…thing – not a hand, not an arm, not a tentacle, but something – around her throat and she starts to go fuzzy at the edges almost immediately.
It moves some more of its…things…and it rips the vest off her body and the helmet off her head.
It carries her further up, until she’s at least twenty or thirty feet in the air.
And then, just as Maggie registers that black tactical vans have shown up and soldiers in black uniforms are pouring out of them and that one of those soldiers looks a little familiar, and that the familiar soldier is holding a gun that’s glowing an unearthly blue, the alien lets go of her.
And as she plummets to the cracked earth, she thinks she might hear someone yell her name.
She opens her eyes, and she can’t for the life of her figure out what’s going on.
She can barely take a breath and she can taste blood in her mouth and her eyes are gummy with dust and debris and her body is both completely numb and screaming in agony.
And Danvers is floating above her.
Maggie blinks a few times and realizes that she’s down on the ground and Danvers is hovering over her.
She tries to swallow and she realizes that she isn’t quite down on the ground. Danvers is holding her, clutching her. Her torso is resting on Danvers’ knees and Danvers is using one hand to put pressure somewhere on what is probably her body and her other hand is up, cupping Maggie’s face.
She’s snapping at someone else, but Maggie manages to croak out her name.
Her head snaps down. “Maggie,” she breathes. “Maggie,” she says again. “Hey, hang on, okay? You’re gonna be okay.”
But Maggie’s eyes aren’t focusing so well and she can’t understand what’s happening and she worries that she’s already dying because why else would Danvers be here? She’s a little troubled that even in her deathly hallucination Danvers is wearing that ridiculous black outfit.
“W’as happ’nin?” Her voice is slow and slurred and a part of her is terrified by it.
Danvers starts to look terrified too, but she’s clearly trying to hide it. “Hey, don’t worry, okay? Just hold on. You’re going to be fine, okay? I’ve got you.”
But none of this is making any sense and Maggie isn’t even sure she still has a body, but she’s also in the most excruciating pain of her life, and if she’s already left her body behind she doesn’t know where that would be coming from.
“Whhhy yur h’re?”
And Maggie’s eyes are blurry but it looks like maybe Danvers is blinking back tears and her hand on Maggie’s face grips her tighter.
“I need you to stay with me, okay? Hang on, stay with me.”
She breaks eye contact and looks desperately around the street. It seems like she’s talking to someone else but Maggie can’t see anyone else. “Where the fuck is my med evac?” Danvers snaps to an invisible person. “I have an officer down, where the fuck is my air support?”
But then she looks back into Maggie’s eyes and she gathers Maggie’s body even more tightly into her own.
“I need you to stay with me, Maggie, you understand?”
And Maggie can feel herself fading. She’s flagging, her body is failing and her chest is collapsing, she’s shaking and she’s dropping and she’s not holding on.
“You g’nna say it?” she slurs out, her eyes blinking more and more sluggishly now. “You g’nna tell me t’ show you?”
And she can barely get the words out, but Danvers understands.
And tears are falling from her eyes now and her voice is thick, but she says it.
“Yeah, Sawyer, I need you to show me. Come on,” and she’s nearly sobbing but she manages to say it all. “Come on, show me how strong you are.”
And Maggie shakes her head a little. She’s never failed Danvers before but she can’t be strong now.
But Danvers tugs at her hair and pulls her body in tighter.
“Yes, Sawyer, you have to.” And it comes out in a growl and she’s so fierce and she’s still crying. “You’re not going to pass out on me like a—like a little boy. You’re—“ she huffs out a breath or maybe a sob, but she keeps going. “You’re a fucking grown ass woman, Maggie Sawyer.” She rubs her thumb along Maggie’s cheek and it feels wet and Maggie doesn’t know if it’s from her own tears or her own blood.
“You’re a grown ass woman, you hear me, and I need you to show me. Show me how strong you are, Maggie.” She shakes Maggie’s body, just a little bit.
Her voice is demanding and Maggie has never failed her before, so she digs deep and she tries and tries and tries.
The next time Maggie opens her eyes, she’s in significantly less pain. Her mouth is dry and her eyes are gummy but she’s off the street. She sees lights up in the ceiling above her, and she realizes she must be in a hospital.
She grunts, and a face floats into view.
Maggie blinks a bunch of times.
This makes no sense.
Because the face above her looks like…
“MajorlyLuce?” she mumbles, more confused than she’s ever been.
“Hey, slugger,” Lucy says. “Good to see you awake!”
Lucy reaches over and calmly presses the button for the nurse, and Maggie just keeps blinking.
“Wha’s happ’ning?” she manages to ask even though it feels like several cotton balls have crawled into her mouth and died in there.
“You were hurt in the alien attack,” Lucy reminds her. “You had surgery and you’ve been out for a couple of days, but you’re going to be totally fine.”
“S’rry,” Maggie interrupts her, so confused that she doesn’t even mind the slur in her words. “Why’r you here?”
And Lucy opens her mouth to respond but what she says makes just no fucking sense. “Danvers didn’t want you to wake up alone.”
“The fuck?” Maggie mutters, and she means it just for herself – because what the fuck is going on and wasn’t Danvers a part of my intensely gay death hallucination and why are you here and why would she care about me and does she know how I feel about her – but Lucy hears her and barks out a laugh.
“What do you remember?” Lucy rolls a chair over and perches next to Maggie’s bed. She doesn’t reach out to touch Maggie but she leans in close. She offers Maggie a cup of water and it helps clear the decaying-cotton-feeling from the corners of her mouth.
Maggie blinks a couple times. She has no idea what was real and what wasn’t but the fog in her mind is thinning, at least.
“It—blurry alien. Supergirl and green dude…down. Shot it, gun, but blurry. On my eyes.” She knows she’s not making much sense but Lucy is nodding like she’s following perfectly. “Shot it, then grabbed me. Up, high. Took off my vest.”
“Yeah, okay, wait, why did you take off your vest?”
But Maggie shakes her head as gently as she can. “It took off. And helmet. Not me.”
Lucy’s eyes harden. “It wanted you to be hurt,” she mutters, and Maggie isn’t sure she was supposed to hear that, but she nods a little. Seems right. But then Lucy adds, “Danvers is going to rip its head off,” and that also doesn’t make any sense.
What the fuck does Danvers has to do with any of this? Hot, strong, beautiful, scary, scientist, spin teacher Danvers?
It’s so confusing that Maggie just ignores it.
“Threw me,” she continues. “Saw…Danvers? With gun. Blue?”
Lucy nods again and Maggie can’t tell if she’s being humored or if she’d really seen that.
The longer they talk the clearer her brain is getting.
“Then, down. On the ground. Danvers was there.” She blinks a few times. “Why? She’s a spien—a spientis—a, no, a scientist.”
“She’s also a field agent with the FBI,” Lucy tells her softly. “So am I.”
And that makes a weird amount of sense and nothing else has made sense so Maggie just nods.
“Splains all the muscles,” she mumbles, and Lucy laughs again.
“Yeah, she’s a beast.”
Suddenly Maggie’s overcome with concern. “She’s okay?”
And for some reason Maggie can’t quite figure out, that makes Lucy beam. “Yeah, Sawyer, she’s okay. She’s gonna shit her pants when she sees that you’re awake, but yeah. She’s okay.”
Maggie furrows her eyebrows. That, like everything else, makes no sense. “What? Why?” And then she circles back to her same question. “S’rry, why are you here?”
But Lucy just rolls her eyes. “Oh, come on, Sawyer. You had to have known that Danvers is fucking head over heels for you.”
But that doesn’t make any more sense than anything else, so Maggie lets it just sit on the top of her brain and she figures she’ll deal with it later.
And then the nurse and a doctor come in and they kick Lucy out to run test after test and Maggie falls back asleep before they leave.
Chapter 6: ddsaaxd + sawyer
You all are TOO MUCH and strong-armed me into writing you an Alex POV for this fic, which will be posted here as chapter 7 as soon as I manage to wrangle it together. It's gonna be long af, just fyi.
But, otherwise, this chapter completes the journey of this fic. I have been truly overwhelmed and awed and so thrilled by your responses to this silly thing that took root in my brain months and months and months ago and wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. I hope that today, like every day, you find joy and value and happiness in being exactly who and how you are. Say it with me: fuck the canon, fuck the producers, queer everything, write happy lesbians forever and ever, amen.
Love you, awesome nerds, thirsty gays, and thirsty gay enthusiasts. Lemme know whatcha think.
Maggie’s released from the hospital after a week. It’s a confusing week. She thinks Danvers is there at her bedside, sometimes, but never when she’s sober or awake enough to be completely sure that it’s not just another super gay hallucination.
The drugs she’s on are really something.
Lucy doesn’t come back – not that she remembers, at least – but she thinks Kara might be there once or twice.
It’s incredibly confusing.
She remembers what Lucy said right when she woke up – she remembers Lucy saying FBI and head over heels and didn’t want you to wake up alone but it still doesn’t make any fucking sense. And these drugs have her loopy as fuck, and she can barely remember her own name.
She’s finally discharged – still a little high, but nothing like she’s been – and the least annoying person in the division gives her a ride home and helps her get settled. She spends a few days mostly sleeping and grazing on the takeout he brings for her – just sort of floating through life.
But on her fourth day home she starts weaning herself off the good drugs, and by the end of the week she’s on just over-the-counter painkillers (the rest of the good ones flushed down the toilet) and the fog in her brain is completely gone. So she can finally start going through her memories to try to figure out what the fuck has been going on.
She ends up grabbing paper and a pen and making an old-school case board.
She starts the way she’s been taught. By listing the facts she knows.
Fact: Alex Danvers is my spin teacher
Fact: Alex Danvers is ddsaaxd and Instruxtor
Fact: Alex Danvers is the fucking hottest person I’ve ever seen
Fact: Alex Danvers told me that she’s a bioengineer
Fact: Alex Danvers wears the same ridiculous black outfit to spin every time
Fact: Alex Danvers smells so fucking good
Fact: Alex Danvers drinks her whiskey straight up
Fact: Alex Danvers can do one bajillion pushups
But Maggie is good cop, so she adds a little asterisk and writes *slight exaggeration on the bottom of that one.
Fact: Alex Danvers has a sister named Kara and friends named James, Winn, and Lucy
Fact: Lucy was there when I woke up after my surgery
Fact: The first time Kara met me she said ‘nice to finally meet you,’ and that ‘finally’ means she’d been waiting to meet me, which means she had heard about me before that day
Fact: Alex Danvers was worried about my cracked rib and stiches last month
Fact: I was hurt in an alien attack
Fact: I have an enormous brain-eating crush on Alex Danvers
Then she moves onto suppositions: things that she thinks are true, but she can’t prove.
Supposition: Alex Danvers was at the alien attack and held me in her arms and told me if I passed out I was a weak little boy and demanded that I show her how strong I was
Supposition: Alex Danvers sent Lucy to the hospital so I wouldn’t wake up alone
Supposition: Alex Danvers didn’t want me to wake up alone
Supposition: Alex Danvers cares about me
Supposition: Alex Danvers visited me in the hospital and once held my hand
Supposition: Alex Danvers is with the FBI
And after suppositions, all that’s left are wild guesses.
Wild Guess: Alex Danvers talks about me to her friends
Wild Guess: Kara and Lucy came to spin to meet me
Wild Guess: Kara and Lucy invited me to Noonan’s because they wanted me and Alex Danvers to talk outside of the studio
Wild Guess: Kara and Lucy were trying to set me up with Alex Danvers
Wild Guess: Alex Danvers has a crush on me
Wild Guess: Alex Danvers likes N’Sync
She goes back and adds a few more facts and suppositions and guesses.
Fact: Alex Danvers never says hi to anyone at spin but always says hi to me
Fact: Alex Danvers learned my name
Fact: Alex Danvers knows how I like my bike set up
Supposition: Alex Danvers noticed me before we even talked
Wild Guess: Alex Danvers thinks about me
Wild Guess: Alex Danvers likes girls
Wild Guess: Alex Danvers has a crush on me
She squints at the list. If this were a case, she’d feel confident taking this list to a judge for an arrest warrant. Even though the suppositions and wild guesses outweigh the facts, it’s pretty convincing.
Danvers might like her. Danvers might have a crush on her. Danvers might have talked about her to her sister and her friends so much that they came to class just to check her out. Danvers might have cradled her head and begged her to show me on the street because she might have been upset if Maggie had died.
Danvers might have spent time in the hospital with her, even though she was so high and asleep that she barely remembers it.
Danvers might like her.
And, jesus god, does she like Danvers.
And it’s clearly more than a crush, now, for Maggie. Yes, she still wants to rip Danvers’ ridiculous black uniform off and spend weeks just digging her fingers into every inch of her skin. Yes, she still wants Danvers to say it in bed, to say show me and grown ass woman and demand that Maggie show her just how strong and good she can be. Yes, she still wants to see if she and Danvers can make each other just as sweaty in bed as they can in the spin room. Yes, she still wants to know if Danvers sounds in bed like she does up on the instructor platform – if during sex she’d grunt harder and I said push in that low gritty tone like Maggie imagines that she does. Yes, Maggie still wants to see her in that power bitch outfit again and, yes, Maggie still wants to get a very up-close-and-personal look at what other types of power bitch moves she might have.
And yes, she still wants to put Danvers on the back of her motorcycle and show her just how grown ass women can ride bikes outside, letting Danvers’ thighs squeeze tight around her own. Yes, she still wants to watch her flex all of her muscles, over and over, in various states of glistening undress.
And yes, she still wants to ride her in a different way, or, at the very least, act out a very different end to that pushup contest.
And yes, she still wants to show Danvers just how fucking super she can be.
And yes, she still wants to make every bare naked lady joke she possibly can until Danvers learns how to shut her up.
But she also – fuck – wants to hold her hand and remember what it felt like to have Danvers cradle her body (although a slightly less high-stakes situation would be nice), and she wants to drink more whiskey with her and see her in more soft sweaters and nuzzle her nose into Danvers’ neck and smell her again and learn what type of books she likes to read and what she likes to eat for dinner and what her favorite Star Wars movie is.
It’s more than a crush.
Maggie writes down two more things.
Fact: I am head over heels for Alex Danvers
Wild Guess: Alex Danvers is head over heels for me
And Maggie didn’t become the best detective in her division by leaving mysteries unsolved – by being comfortable with suppositions and wild guesses. So after a couple of days, when she’s physically strong enough, she lays out her plan.
Operation: Ddsaaxd is a go.
Maggie still isn’t back at work – although she can move around pretty fine – so it’s a bit of a sacrifice to get up this early in the morning. But, for Danvers, it’s worth it.
Maggie wakes up early on the Thursday she picks, and she heads to the spin studio. She’s wearing dark jeans and her most comfortable boots and a white hanes tshirt because honestly she can’t handle much more than that. She managed to shower and put on eyeliner and a bra and make her hair somewhat reasonable, but the last time Danvers saw her she was in a hospital bed – or possibly bleeding out on the street, she’s still not completely sure what she hallucinated and what she didn’t – so she’s bound to be looking better today.
She goes the spin studio, and the class ends at 7:30am, and Maggie’s there by 7:20. She says hi to the bland girl at the front desk, mentions something about waiting for someone to get out of class, and then pulls out her phone and settles into her unshakeable air of do-not-talk-to-me.
She’s not here to make friends.
This is business. Or war. Or a love mission? Whatever, it’s serious.
The clock ticks to 7:30, and the door to the spin studio opens. Maggie watches as the sweaty women pour out, chatting tiredly with each other about the class, and Maggie charges inside (in relatively slow motion) as the last one trickles out.
She looks around and, yes, just as she’d planned. Danvers is the only person in the room.
Maggie firmly shuts the door behind herself.
“Danvers,” she says, her voice steady and loud enough to carry over the cool-down music still piping through the speakers.
Danvers’ head snaps up.
Maggie finds the lock on the handle and clicks it into place. And there’s still music but the sound of the lock is the loudest thing she’s ever heard.
“Maggie,” Danvers breathes out.
Danvers reaches out and stops the music with skittering fingers.
“I have a question for you, Danvers,” Maggie says, taking care to make sure that her voice is steady.
And Danvers has always had the power and has always been in control of every interaction, but not today. Today Maggie is leading the mission, and Danvers is just along for the ride.
“I have some facts to present to you, Danvers, and then I have some questions for you.” And she’s slipped into her cop voice and she’s taking steps forward and Danvers is taking just one small step backwards and Maggie feels big and powerful and strong and completely overwhelmed by how much she wants to have her hands on the woman in front of her.
She takes her time, closing in on Danvers in slow motion as she lays out the facts.
“You’ve been watching me for me months,” she says, and it isn’t a question.
“You knew how I set up my bike back before we’d ever talked,” she says. “You knew what my name was up on the board back before my bike tipped over.”
“You knew what I usually scored on the board, because you knew just how close James should be able to get to me.”
“Your sister said it was nice to finally meet me.” Maggie points a finger at her, still several paces away. “Which makes me think you talk about me at home, Danvers.”
Danvers sucks in a loud breath.
“And Lucy treated me like a slab of fresh meat from the moment she met me, and I bet you talked about me to her, too.”
“In my defense,” Danvers says weakly, “Lucy treats everyone like that.”
“She asked me out for you,” Maggie counters, trying to sound completely unphased. Of course she’s phased. What if she’s wrong? She’s fucking head over heels for Danvers, for this person who, somehow, after teaching an entire class and putting up (apparently) a 745, is still the most gorgeous person she’s ever seen. She’s not totally sure of what Danvers feels – there were a lot of wild guesses and suppositions on that list – but she powers through with all the confidence and bravado she can fake.
She’s nothing if not good at bluffing in the interrogation room, after all, and she puts those skills to good use. Even though she’s never quite had this urge to strip naked as a part of an interrogation before.
“She made me lay on top of you, and you’d already won the competition, so the only possible reason for that was to get us closer together. Because you’d talked about me and she knew you wanted me.”
It’s the most boldly she’s said it, and she’s just two steps away from Danvers now, and Danvers’ cheeks were already pink from the class but now her ears are flaming red and she’s taken one more step back now so she’s flush against the wall.
And, god, Maggie just wants to pin her up against it.
“And I was pretty out of it but I’m pretty sure you held me in your arms and cried when I was dying.”
But that might have been too far, because Danvers pushes herself off the wall then, taking her own aggressive step forward. “What would you have had me do, Sawyer? Just step over your bleeding body on my way to brunch?”
And that gives Maggie pause but she pretends like it doesn’t.
“Lucy told me that you made her wait in the hospital with me because you didn’t want me to wake up alone.”
“Lucy told me that you’re FBI, the both of you.”
And Maggie only has one card left, so she plays it and she desperately hopes it isn’t a bluff.
“Lucy told me that you’re head over heels for me.”
It’s like the world stops for one long, long moment. Everything is frozen. Maggie doesn’t breathe, and she’s pretty sure Danvers doesn’t either.
She’s never hoped for something so hard in her life.
But then Danvers lets out a puff of air and sort of collapses back against the wall, and she looks…defeated?
“I can explain,” she murmurs, and Maggie realizes with a jolt that she’s done this all wrong. That Danvers thinks Maggie’s upset that she’s head over heels for her.
When, of course, the only thing upsetting Maggie is that she and Danvers haven’t seen each other naked yet, haven’t tasted each other’s skin and learned each other’s ticklish spots yet.
But Maggie’s pretty sure she knows how to fix this.
She takes one more step, putting herself firmly within Danvers’ space.
“And I’ve been fucking head over heels for you since the first minute I saw you, striding into this studio like you fucking owned it, in that ridiculous black outfit,” she growls, her voice low and demanding and gritty, just like Danvers’ always is.
She pauses for a second and watches as Danvers’ eyes widen and her breath stutters and she freezes, staring directly into Maggie’s eyes.
She’s still wearing that ridiculous black outfit.
“So I guess I really only have one question for you.”
She gathers herself and fakes all of the confidence and swagger she’s ever seen Danvers have.
“If that’s all true – if you want me – then why the fuck haven’t you shown me yet, Danvers?”
Danvers makes a sound that’s somewhere between a gasp and a squeak.
“Show me, Danvers,” Maggie grits out. “You’re not a scared little boy. You’re a fucking grown ass woman. Act like it. Show me how you want me.”
And she doesn’t move her feet but it feels like she’s taken another step forward.
“Show me,” she tries to demand again, but it’s swallowed up in Danvers’ mouth.
Because Danvers has moved off the wall and into her space. And Danvers has closed the gap between them and Danvers has grabbed Maggie’s face in her hands and Danvers has brought their lips together.
And it’s hard and firm but there’s a softness in it that Maggie hadn’t expected. And Danvers’ grip on her face is hard but her fingers are gentle on Maggie’s cheeks.
And her body is soft against Maggie’s but her hands and feet and hips are firm as she twirls them around and presses Maggie up against the wall. And her movements are strong and steady but she – so tenderly – cups a hand behind Maggie’s head so it doesn’t slam into the wall and she’s gentle with Maggie’s battered torso while she bites down on Maggie’s lip.
And her tongue is in Maggie’s mouth, and she smells impossibly good and she’s pressing Maggie firmly into the wall but her lips and tongue are somehow tentative, and Maggie just wants to swallow her whole. Maggie grasps at her body – at her back, her shoulder blades, her neck – and she forgets about breathing as she tries to take as much of Danvers into her mouth as she can.
It’s Danvers who pulls away first, resting her forehead against Maggie’s and taking great heaving breaths.
Maggie’s seen her put 730s up on the board week after week, but she’s never seen her breathing this hard before.
“Fuck, Sawyer,” she gasps.
And Maggie really, honestly, doesn’t mean to, but she just can’t stop herself from leaning forward and biting down – hard – on Danvers’ neck.
It should be illegal for someone that attractive to say the word fuck.
“For the record,” Danvers pants, somehow still sort of able to talk, “Lucy didn’t ask you out for me.”
“That really what you want to talk about right now, Danvers?” Maggie murmurs, one her hands ghosting up Danvers’ side – not quite touching her breast but calling both of their attention to the fact that she could be.
“No,” Danvers breathes immediately. “No.”
She leans her entire body into Maggie, and she’s standing so that one of her legs is between Maggie’s, and it’s pushing into her in a truly excellent way.
“Green tank top,” she grunts out, and Maggie has to put in a super-human effort just to understand that Danvers is speaking English. “Bruce Banner’s Hulking Mistake,” Danvers rasps, and Maggie is more confused than ever, because that’s the name of her old rec softball team.
“The first time I saw you,” Danvers mutters, and she’s saying it right into Maggie’s ear now. “That’s the shirt you were wearing.”
And Maggie’s whole body shudders and she nearly whites out.
Danvers has wanted her this whole time too.
And Danvers says it, and she’s positively purring now. “I’ve wanted you since that first second, Detective Sawyer.”
“Fuck,” Maggie says, and it’s more of a groan than she’d like it to be. “Fuck, I’ve wanted you for so long, Special Agent Danvers.”
But then she tips her head back, gently smacking it against the wall behind her.
“Ohhhhh my god,” she says, and if this were anyone else the spell would be broken, but instead it’s just a little loosened. “ddsaaxd? Doctor Doctor Special Agent Alex Danvers?”
And she expects Danvers to be embarrassed but instead she just gives her a cheeky grin and salutes with one hand.
“At your service, sawyer.”
And Maggie just rolls her eyes as dramatically as she can. “Nerd,” she says, with as much feeling as she has.
But anything else she might have said vanishes under the pressure of Danvers’ lips and the press of her hips and the push of her thigh and the flick of her tongue.
The last coherent thought Maggie has, as her body is pushed even harder against the wall, is one of overwhelming gratitude that she started spinning.
Chapter 7: Doctor Spin Part 1: Tactical Awareness
Part 1 of 3 of the much-requested Alex POV: Doctor Spin
Part 1: Tactical Awareness
Alex hasn’t spun in years. She’d started doing it back in grad school, back when she was still a civilian. It was a great source of exercise and it was always a good hangover cure for her – one hour on the bike the morning after a hard night out and she’d be good as new. She’d started teaching because she was poor as a grad student, and getting paid, instead of paying through the teeth, for her cardio? Genius.
Of course, once she was recruited for the DEO, she’d stopped spinning. She’d been a little busy, what with being locked in a training room for twelve hours a day. She’d replaced spinning and running with sparring and fighting and shooting and defensive driving.
It was awesome.
But it’s been years, and it’s hard to get good cardio in at the DEO. She’s so strong now that she has to run for hours to exhaust herself, and it’s just no fun do cardio around aliens who have superspeed and can’t get tired.
And after Myriad she had a lot of demons to exorcise, and the best way she’s ever found to do that is with a serious sweat session.
So she finds herself back at her old spin studio.
It only takes two visits before she’s back in her groove. They’ve updated to a new system there in the intervening years – one with a better board and stats, rather than just the low-tech bottom of the line system they’d had before, but she adjusts quickly.
She consistently scores over a hundred points more than the second place person. She wonders what her scores would have been on this more advanced system back in the day, before J’onn and the DEO and sparring with a fucking superhero every day.
Her first time back she puts her name on the board as danvers, but after that she smirks to herself as she puts in all of her official titles. When she’d been here before she’d put her name in as danvers – and, once she’d gotten her first doctorate, as dr.danvers. She’d always told herself that when she’d finished her MD/PhD she’d update her name from dr.danvers to dr.dr.danvers.
But, of course, she hadn’t finished those degrees before she’d been whisked off to the DEO – she’d only finished from the cave-like dungeon labs of the secret organization.
So she never actually got to fulfill this particular dream.
So, today, she feels fucking triumphant as she puts in her name. ddsaaxd. Not just Doctor Doctor, but special agent, too. Doctor Doctor Special Agent Alex Danvers. She worked fucking hard for those titles, and fuck if she’s not going to remind herself of them whenever she can.
It’s her third time back that she notices her. Most of the clients are young white women – most are probably worrying about their upcoming 25th birthdays – mostly blonde, mostly perky. She dismisses them all without a thought – simply civilians to monitor with the part of her brain that is constantly scanning every room she’s in, no one to notice in particular.
But she’s different.
She’s got this arm definition that just pops from across the room, and this thick dark hair she’s pulling up into a ponytail as Alex walks in, and she’s older than the rest but in a way that just makes her more beautiful.
She pulls tight on her ponytail and her biceps pop out and Alex is mesmerized.
She’s wearing a dark green tank top that says “Bruce Banner’s Hulking Mistake” in big white letters across the front. Alex vaguely gets the reference, but finds herself so distracted by the person and the arms and the hair and – oh god, is that a dimple? – that she doesn’t linger on the shirt.
But she remembers.
Because of the realities of the job – aliens tend to pop up at inconvenient times – Alex never sets a formal schedule for when she goes to the studio. She knows most people have routines, but she just can’t swing that.
She notices that the hulk girl is usually there Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for the 6:30am class. But once, after a case that wraps after midnight, Alex comes in for the 10am class and sees her there – big circles under her eyes and a tired slump in her posture like maybe she’d been working late too. She’s wearing a plain black ribbed tank top, the kind Alex keeps in the bottom of her locker for emergency changes.
It’s during that class that Alex realizes that the hulk girl is sawyer. Cause there really isn’t any overlap in the people from the 6:30am to the 10am class – one is all people rushing off to work typical hours and the other are people who work nights or people who work part-time or people who stay home with young kids. But the hulk girl is there today, and sawyer is up on the board.
Alex wonders if it’s a first or last name, or if it’s even her name at all.
Kara asks her, that afternoon, as they’re picking at the remnants of their Chinese food in the DEO, how class was.
“Pretty good,” Alex says through a mouthful of broccoli. “I figured out someone else’s name on the board. That hulk girl.”
Kara sends her a little look that Alex can’t quite decipher. “Well? What is it?”
“Sawyer,” Alex says, wondering why she notices that it’s her first time saying it out. “I’m pretty sure she’s sawyer.”
Like, Alex had known that from the biceps and the deltoids and the traps and the triceps and all the other muscles that her unending supply of tank tops show off every class. They’re clear before class, but when the lights come back up at the end, and she’s glistening with sweat?
So yeah, Alex knows she’s strong, but she puts up good numbers on the board, too. And lots of people with big muscles don’t. It’s a different type of strength – both a completely different physical strength and a certain mental toughness, a certain ability to focus and to push – that Alex admires in her.
Alex has it too and lot of people don’t.
“Sawyer got a 480 today,” Alex muses, taking a bite of pizza. “I think it’s her personal record.”
Kara’s voice is carefully measured. “Did she tell you that?”
Alex shakes her head quickly. “No, no. I just noticed, that’s all.” She was hard to miss, in that lime green tank top with the big black 08 on the back.
“Have you ever talked to her?”
“To Sawyer?” Kara nods. “No, of course not.”
Kara raises an eyebrow. “What, ‘of course not’? You see her all the time. You notice when she does well. It’s weird to not talk to her.”
“I don’t talk to anyone,” Alex grumbles, pulling a pillow onto her lap and grabbing the remote.
She doesn’t really understand why the idea of talking to Sawyer makes her feel so anxious.
It’s a Wednesday morning, and Alex is distracted because Sawyer isn’t there. Sawyer is always there on Wednesdays. She wonders if maybe she’s out of town, or if she had a work thing today or last night, or if maybe – and this thought is particularly sour – her boyfriend kept her up late or something.
She’s about to swing onto her bike, swallowing down the disappointment that creeps up on her from nowhere, when Sawyer comes in, wearing a gray tank top from a Thanksgiving 10k from 2013. She looks a little harried, and Alex checks the clock and sees that she’s about six minutes later than she usually is.
Which, of course, Alex knows because of her keen tactical awareness.
Sawyer takes a bike she’s never used before – at least not while Alex has been there – and starts to warm up.
Alex fiddles with her own bike, even though it’s already adjusted, because once she gets on she won’t be able to see Sawyer anymore. And she likes watching her warm up. She likes watching as she clicks into focus – as she lets the world fall away and just turns her whole self inwards towards the bike.
But something seems off, today.
And it takes Alex a second to realize it’s not Sawyer – she’s already deep in the zone.
It’s the bike.
The bike is…tilting?
Alex is springing across the studio before she even fully realizes, so – thank god – she’s only a foot or so away when the bike completely tips.
She jumps over, putting her body between the bike and the ground – or actually, between Sawyer and the bike just to her right that she was about to smash her skull into. Alex manages to grab Sawyer’s handlebars with one hand and the back of her bike with the other, letting Sawyer’s body crash into her torso.
The pedal strikes, hard, into her shin, and both of her kneecaps are nearly cracked by slamming impact of the body of the bike.
But she locks the pain away, blinking back her tears as she, slowly and carefully, pushes the bike back up, until it stands firmly on the ground again.
It’s only then that she looks up at Sawyer and sees her face – pale, white, shaking. “You okay?” she asks, and she regrets it immediately. What an idiotic thing to say. Of course she’s not okay.
Sawyer nods a couple of times and she says “I—yeah. Yeah. I’m okay,” but her hands are shaking and white and pale and Alex isn’t surprised at how she’s playing at being tough.
It’s what she would do, too.
She makes her voice soft and gentle but not pitying or condescending, slipping into the tone she uses when she’s taking care of Kara after a bad fight. “Can you dismount for me?” She offers a hand, because she doesn’t trust Sawyer’s knees to hold her up right now. “Hop off this way,” she directs, because Sawyer seems a little lost. “I’ll hold it steady,” she reassures.
Sawyer slowly dismounts, and Alex looks her up and down carefully, diagnosing what she sees with the medical part of her brain, and the field agent part of her brain, and another part that has always felt like the big sister part – the tender, almost smooshy part. She hears herself ask if Sawyer is hurt, but she knows the answer before Sawyer says no. Not hurt, just freaked.
“Thank you,” Sawyer says, and something is flicking in her eyes. Something a little deeper than just gratitude.
But adrenaline will do that to you.
Alex goes to get the studio reps to come and deal with the bike and with the fact that they just nearly killed one of their best clients. She walks back over to her bike, then, a little unsure of what to do. Will Sawyer still want to take class? Is she a get back on the horse type of girl, or a go get a beer and never think about horses again type of girl?
Just in case, she adjusts the bike next to her, making sure it will fit Sawyer perfectly, just on the off chance she needs it. She’s grateful, in that moment, for her tactical brain that notices everything, because she only has to glance over to the treasonous bike once to double check that she’d remembered all of Sawyer’s measurements correctly.
The thought that she has no fucking idea how anyone else in the room sets up their bike skitters across her mind, but it doesn’t linger.
It rears back up, though, when Sawyer is clearly surprised that Alex had done it. “How did you…” she gapes, after Alex has pointed her to the bike.
And Alex has is flooded with a sudden icy fear that she’s a complete and total creep. She’s so used to noticing everything about Sawyer – and about everyone she’s around – that she’s forgotten that civilians don’t do that to each other. That civilians don’t log what tank top another person wears every day, or count how often another person puts their hair up while they’re on the bike, or remember how another person scores each day, or notice how another person’s arm muscles ripple during class.
She hopes she hasn’t just outed herself as a DEO agent.
She tries to play it off, shrugging and saying she’d just guessed.
But Sawyer is looking at her – really looking at her, for maybe the first time – and Alex knows she doesn’t believe her.
But Alex can’t help herself. She checks in again, after Sawyer’s in the saddle. “You okay?” she asks.
And Sawyer is clearly still a little freaked but she nods and says yes anyway.
She’s tough, and she’s strong, and Alex can’t help but notice.
After the ride, Sawyer thanks her again. “You saved my life,” Sawyer says, and Alex scoffs.
Although, her shin and knees are fucking throbbing.
“Happy to,” she says, and she means it. Cleaning up splattered brains is a lot of work; she’s glad Sawyer’s brains are still safe and sound inside of her head.
But then Sawyer is slipping off her bike and looking over like she wants to say something else. Alex assumes she’s going to ask again about the bike adjustment, and she doesn’t have a non-I’m-a-secret-black-ops-federal-agent-trained-to-notice-literally-everything-in-my-environment answer, so she tries to reroute quickly.
But what comes out of her mouth is, “It’s Sawyer, right?” and she realizes with a rush of shame that she’s just dug herself even deeper into her hole.
But Sawyer just holds out a hand to her, a little smile on her lips. “Maggie Sawyer,” she says.
And Alex reaches out and shakes it, and her hand is sweaty but it feels kind of electric when it touches Sawyer’s. “Alex Danvers.”
Alex never lingers in the locker room but she wants to make sure Sawyer is okay. Sometimes, after all the brain chemicals wear off, the crash can be hard and intense.
But Sawyer looks fine as she comes out of the shower – towel wrapped around her body, miles of skin on display, her hair long and dripping. Barefoot.
Alex notices it all in a flash, and then keeps noticing it.
She jerks her head away, wondering why she’s so tactically invested in how Sawyer looks right now. “See you next time, Sawyer,” she miraculously manages to say without making anything worse.
“See you, Danvers,” Sawyer says, and Alex can’t help the way her breath hiccups in her chest at the sound of her own name.
“What the fuck happened to you?”
Alex looks up from where she’s sitting in her lab, frozen bags of saline propped up on her shin and both knees.
She can’t help but smile. She hasn’t seen Lucy in ages.
“I got in a small disagreement with a spin bike this morning,” Alex says.
“I’ll say,” Lucy agrees. “I assume the bike started it, Agent Danvers? Can’t have you going rogue on innocent bikes, now.”
Alex rolls her eyes, holding up a hand in innocence. “It was self-defense, I promise. It tried to kill the woman riding it.”
Lucy raises one eyebrow. “So, you swooped in to save the day?”
Alex shrugs a little. It sounds weird, to say it like that. “I guess.”
Lucy plops down next to her. “How very chivalrous of you.”
Alex rolls her eyes again.
“Always out to save those damsels in distress, aren’t you?”
Alex can tell Lucy’s teasing, but she can’t help but respond. “She’s not a damsel in distress.”
But she knows, the second it leaves her mouth, that it was completely the wrong thing to say. Lucy seizes on it like a dog with a slab of meat. “Oh, really? Tell me more about this not damsel in distress? Or was it a dude in distress?”
Alex scoffs, only keeping herself from rolling her eyes with her iron will. “I just mean, she’s not a damsel. She’s tough. She’s strong, and she got right back on another bike and finished the whole class. I mean, she didn’t get the score she usually does, but she still went pretty hard.”
Lucy’s eyebrows hit her hairline. “She, uh, she a friend of yours, Danvers?”
“What? Pfft, no. I’d never even talked to her before today.”
And all Lucy says is, “huh,” but she means a million other things. But Lucy is always impossible to decipher and Alex doesn’t even really know how they became friends, and she has a lot of work to do and her legs are throbbing, so she changes the subject to the upcoming internal review, and Lucy doesn’t bring it up again.
Alex doesn’t quite realize how much she keeps noticing Sawyer until after her first class teaching. Because she’s telling Kara all about it that night at game night – both of them having been eliminated from Monopoly already – and she mentions that Sawyer broke a 570 today while she was teaching. She was wearing a dark red tank top with a white line drawing of the state of California on it, and by the time class had ended even her flyaway hairs had been slicked down to her head with sweat.
And Kara who says, “Wow, that’s her first time even over 500, isn’t it?” and Alex nods happily. She’s proud of Sawyer, and a little proud of herself for bringing it out of her.
But Lucy is there, at game night, at she gives Alex this long, hard, intense look across the table, and Alex can’t read it at all.
But Alex has never backed down from Lucy and she isn’t about to start now. “You’re staring at me, Luce. What’s your deal?”
And Lucy just lets out a long, frustrated breath.
“It’s nothing, Danvers, forget about it.”
And it isn’t until later that night, back in her own bed, that realizes what it might have been about.
It might have been because Alex sort of talks about Sawyer. A lot.
About a month after Alex starts teaching, her phone rings right when she’s leaving the studio. It’s her mom, and she needs to talk through something happening in her lab, and it’s typically the best type of interaction they have together, so Alex leans up against the outside wall of the studio and spends about fifteen minutes listening and offering suggestions.
And it’s just as they’re wrapping up the call, and Alex is about to say bye, that Sawyer walks out. She’s wearing dark jeans, belted up at her actual waist. She has a light blue button-down shirt tucked in, under a black blazer with the sleeves rolled up. She’s wearing black boots and has a bag slung over one shoulder and Alex realizes, as she walks out, that she’s never really seen Sawyer walk before. She’s seen her sit, and spin, and weave her way around the bikes in the spin room, and pick her way across the wet locker room floor.
But she’s never seen her really walk.
Sawyer’s pure swagger nearly knocks her on her ass. Combined with the thick hair that swishes a little against her blazer, and the way her small frame takes up so much space – Alex finds herself nearly undone by it.
She figures it’s jealousy. She tries hard to have swagger, to be intimidating, and Sawyer clearly isn’t trying to impress anyone on this empty street. She just has it.
It’s definitely jealousy.
Alex brings her up only because she’s bored the next day. They’ve been waiting in the command center for what feels like hours for a scouting team to finish their mission, and it’s low risk and they’re being exacting and that’s wonderful tactically but it’s extremely boring for Alex.
And for Lucy, her co-lead on the mission.
They’re chatting about all the random things they can think of to keep themselves entertained, so Alex mentions Sawyer’s outfit and asks Lucy what she thinks her job might be. She mentions the swagger, because it’s a strong data point they should make sure to include in their extrapolation.
But Lucy seems to come to some sort of decision, knitting her eyebrows and heaving out a breath. She grabs Alex by the arm, mumbles, “fuck this,” and tosses instructions over her shoulder for Winn to let them know if there’s anything to report. She positively hauls Alex into her office and shuts the door behind them.
“What the fuck,” Alex demands. She’s not used to being manhandled around this agency.
“We’re talking about this,” Lucy says, and Alex is thrown for a loop.
“About what?” And she can’t help it if sounds a little exasperated.
“About your enormous fucking crush on Sawyer.”
The whole world slams to a halt for a second.
“My WHAT?” Her voice, unfortunately, comes out in more of a squeak than she’d like.
“Come on, Alex. You talk about her all the time. I can’t remember a day that I’ve spent more than fifteen minutes with you and haven’t heard about her. You watch her all the time, which, by the way, creepy much?”
But Lucy interrupts her, clearly not interested in what Alex has to say on the matter. “Your fucking sister knows what Sawyer regularly scores in class, Alex. That’s not normal.”
And Alex just opens and closes her mouth a couple of times.
“I—I don’t notice her because I have crush on her. I’m—we’re trained to be aware of our environments.”
But Lucy barks out a laugh at that. “That’s the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever heard.”
But Alex isn’t backing down. “You weren’t trained by the DEO, Lucy. You don’t have the level of tactical awareness that we do.”
“Oh!” Lucy shoots her eyebrows up again but this time she’s smirking. “Tactical awareness! Is that what the kids are calling it these days?”
Alex just codfishes again.
“It was definitely my high level of tactical awareness that landed me that hot bartender last week.”
“You crawled across the bar and shoved your tits in his face,” Alex reminds her, because Lucy is fucking insane.
But Lucy just leans into it. “If you get to call your hopeless gay seduction techniques tactical awareness, than so do I.”
“Lucy, I—I’m straight. You know that.”
But Lucy shakes her head. “Danvers, I love you, lord knows why. I do, I love you. And hon, you’re a lot of things, but straight is definitely not one of them.”
Lucy claps her on the shoulder as she walks toward the door. “Come find me when you wanna talk about it,” she says. “I’m here for you, girl.”
And she leaves Alex standing in her office, gaping.
She’s not gay.
Because today she’s wearing another one of her endless stream of tank tops and it has a rainbow on it? And it says National City Pride 2016?
Two weeks later Alex sees her out and about, in the middle of the day, getting a cup of coffee to go.
Alex is about to go over to her, to say hi, but then a blonde woman comes up to her and Sawyer smiles at her, and then the blonde woman leans in and kisses her.
On the lips.
Sawyer pulls back from the kiss, a stupid little smile on her face, and her dimples are flashing, and she’s wearing black pants and a red shirt and her hair is down again, and Alex feels like her spine is on fire.
She, tentatively, mentions it to Lucy a few days later.
Lucy, thankfully, doesn’t say anything about being Alex being gay again. She just reaches out and squeezes her bicep quickly.
“That sucks,” she says softly, and Alex nods.
It does suck.
And it has nothing to do with tactical awareness.
Chapter 8: Doctor Spin Part 2: Push Up
*shoves chapter at you, hides forever*
Kara hacks her playlist, slipping four different 90’s boy band songs into her normal rotation. Sawyer snickers, visible even in the dark in her white tank top from the National City Animal Shelter Barks and Brews, 2015.
Alex reams Kara out at Noonan’s that night, but Kara just won’t stop giggling.
“Did Sawyer like it?” Kara asks, her voice a little sly.
“I don’t—how would I know?” Alex huffs, hating how defensive she sounds.
She’s not gay, she doesn’t have a crush.
“She didn’t mention anything about it to you?” And Kara’s face actually looks disappointed, so Alex can’t make herself lie about it.
“Well, when I left she said ‘bye bye bye.’”
And Kara actually squeaks and claps her hands together. Alex shoots her a confused look, but it isn’t until Kara looks over her shoulder to Lucy – her expression clearly begging for help – that Alex realizes.
Kara thinks she has a crush, too.
They’ve talked about it, the two of them, and they both think she’s into Sawyer. That she’s gay. That she talks about Sawyer because she has feelings for her and wants to date her and wants to kiss her on the lips like that blonde woman did and wants to touch her thick dark hair and wants to see her wear something other than her endless array of tank tops.
Which is, of course, ridiculous.
Two nights later they’re all at Kara’s. James is poking fun at Winn for being too slow of a runner to really help him with his Guardian duties. Winn fires back, insulting James’ speed too, asking James if his gigantic muscles slow him down or if he’s just forgotten leg day.
Alex finds herself inviting them to her spin class before she really thinks it through.
Winn looks terrified and James looks excited, and she’s pleased – she loves every opportunity to kick Winn’s ass and scare the shit out of him – until Lucy opens her mouth.
“You’ll get to meet the mysterious Sawyer!” she says. “Take a million pictures.”
“Lucy,” Alex warns, her tone as hard as she can make it. She doesn’t need Lucy telling even more people about her ridiculous idea.
And she’s sure that Kara believes it too, that she has a gay crush on Sawyer, but instead of goading them, Kara intervenes. “Luce, seriously,” she says, and she says it in that universal tone that means cut it out, and she doesn’t look chipper or perky at all, and that seems to get through to Lucy.
Lucy doesn’t say anything else about it.
On that Wednesday night, the night before James and Winn are coming to class, there’s a knock on Alex’s front door. She’s just gotten home from a long day in the lab, and she’s just changed into sweatpants and popped out her contacts and poured herself a generous dollop of whiskey.
She grabs her gun and checks the peephole, and honestly considers not opening the door when she sees that it’s Lucy.
She really doesn’t need this today.
But Lucy just keeps knocking, and she’s getting louder and louder, and Alex’s neighbors already don’t really like her because Kara is loud as hell, so Alex rolls her eyes and opens the door.
“Don’t shoot,” Lucy deadpans, eyes flicking to the gun in Alex’s hand.
“What do you want, Luce?” Alex asks, dropping the gun back down on the table, hoping Lucy gleans from her tone that she’s exhausted.
But Lucy either doesn’t get the hint or, more likely, doesn’t care. She strides in like she owns the place, like it’s her apartment, and Alex wracks her brain, trying to remember if Lucy has ever been here before.
“We need to talk, Alex.”
“Is this about work?”
“No, it’s about Sawyer.”
And Alex has fucking had it up to here with Lucy’s obsession with Sawyer. Suddenly Lucy isn’t her ridiculous friend anymore. Suddenly she’s back in uniform and she’s is back across the table from her, strapping electrodes to her body and reading the lie detector and deciding – herself, in defiance of the machinery – that Alex deserves to be sent to Cadmus. To watch her father-figure be dissected. To be murdered.
Lucy has never understood her, and she never will.
Alex’s voice comes out sharper and harder than it ever has about this. “When you are going to get it through your thick fucking skull that I don’t—“
But Lucy interrupts her, and Alex sees red until Lucy’s words actually sink into her brain.
Alex gapes, her rage still up, her vision still clouded, her adrenaline still firing but she’s also frozen and still.
“You’re…what?” she manages to croak after a minute.
“I’m bi. I like men and women. And, also, like, whoever. Hot people. I like hot people.”
“Why…um…” Alex rubs a hand over her forehead, barely avoiding knocking into her glasses, overcome with tiredness and a bone-deep weariness that she can’t quite figure out. “How did I not know about this?”
Lucy shrugs a little. “I tend to keep it pretty quiet, what the whole military thing, and the my dad being a bigoted asshole thing. And plus, you guys all met me because of James and I haven’t been with a girl seriously enough since him to bring her around.”
Alex nods, slowly. That all makes sense. But then…
“So why tell me tonight?” But then she realizes how she’s been sounding. “I mean! Not that you shouldn’t have told me. I’m glad that you did. Cause, I mean, I’m sure you know, but it doesn’t…this doesn’t change anything, for me, for you.” She shakes her head. “That didn’t make any sense.”
But Lucy laughs, and it’s a good-natured friendly laugh, and Alex thinks maybe she hasn’t totally ruined this.
“Assuming what you meant was that you love me anyway and I’m still your coolest friend, then, yeah, we’re all good, Alex.” And Alex just nods because, no she wouldn’t have used those exact words, but, close enough. “But I’m not here just to come out to you. Like, honestly, it’s nice to tell you, but I’ve been out for a long time. I’m not, like, getting something off my chest.”
Alex knits her eyebrows. Then why the fuck?
“But I think you need to.”
And then it clicks. This is about Sawyer.
“Lucy,” she warns.
But Lucy isn’t backing down. And she’s usually all bluster but Alex can tell that tonight she’s dedicated to the follow-through.
“Alex, it’s okay. I told you so that you can see that I understand. That panic you’re feeling – that you feel whenever I bring it up? Whenever I mention that you have feelings for her – god, Alex, I remember that panic. It’s scary as hell. But I’m here for you, and I promise, it only gets easier after you recognize it for what it is.”
Alex doesn’t say anything, but she remembers the phrase Lucy likes to throw around when they’re watching movies or watching Winn interact with Superman.
Gay panic, she always says.
“You think she’s beautiful,” Lucy says, and for once her voice is soft and gentle. “You notice her, every day. What she wears, how she scores, when she’s early or late. You care about how she’s doing. You felt weird when you saw her kiss someone else. You think about her all the time, when she isn’t around. When you’re in the room with her, you can always feel right where she is.”
Alex barely breathes because how the fuck does Lucy know all of that.
“And I’m your best friend who isn’t your sister, and you know I’m hot but you don’t think about how beautiful I am. And you see me every day but you don’t remember what I wear or how my hair is or remember exactly how I did in the shooting range last week. You didn’t feel anything when I hooked up with that bartender.”
“I was embarrassed for you,” Alex interjects. “Climbing over the bar like a Girls Gone Wild outtake. You’re a Major in the Army.”
But Lucy doesn’t take the bait. “That’s different, Alex, and you know it.”
And she’s right. It is different.
“You don’t spend your time at work and at home and while you’re riding your ridiculous bike thinking about me. You don’t aimlessly talk about me with other people who don’t know me. You don’t think about me like that. Not the way you think about Sawyer.”
Alex closes her eyes and lets Lucy be the one to say it.
“Because you don’t have feelings for me, Alex. But you have feelings for her.”
Alex lets out a puff of air.
“And that’s okay. That’s…excellent, actually. It’s okay to like girls. It’s okay to like her. And you never have to tell her, or tell Kara, or tell anyone if you don’t want to. But it’s not okay to keep hiding from yourself. You deserve to see this part of yourself.”
And, fuck it all, but she’s right. Fucking Lucy Lane, with her perfect hair and her annoyingly perfect skin and her fucking terrible attitude and her awful decisions.
She’s fucking right.
It takes hours and two pitchers of margaritas – because Lucy Lane is many things but an idiot is not one of them, so she came prepared – but Alex finally manages to say it.
“I like her,” she manages to say. “I think she’s so beautiful.”
And Lucy tackles her for a hug and Alex is drunk and floaty but it feels like there was a door inside of her, a whole wing of her, that’s always been closed off. Not just locked but wallpapered over – like everyone and everything forgot it was there.
And tonight, Lucy, and the tequila – and Sawyer – stripped off the paper and found the cracks and put the key in her hand.
And she may not have opened the door yet – may not have even unlocked it yet – but she can see it. She knows it’s there.
And she knows that one day soon she’ll walk through it.
The next day James and Winn come to her class, and she sees them standing aimlessly in the spin studio, right next to Sawyer.
Sawyer, who makes her heart nearly pop out of her chest.
Sawyer, who she likes.
The kind of likes that comes with feelings and daydreams and other pre-teen girly shit.
It’s kind of appalling, in a lot of ways, but then Sawyer turns to look at her and the instant their eyes meet Sawyer is smiling and her dimples are showing and she’s pulling her hair up into her ponytail – will she ever do that at home? – and, fuck, Lucy was right.
It’s better, like this.
Alex likes her.
Sawyer smokes James, and Alex wants to cheer from her own bike.
She looks so strong and powerful in her cobalt blue tank top with the light blue writing, something about a book drive from 2007.
She manages to keep it inside, but after class she touches Sawyer’s handlebars for the second time today, and she tells James that Sawyer went easy on him, even though she knows that Sawyer was close to her personal record. And Sawyer gives her this disbelieving little smile – like she knows she was near her record too – and Alex can’t help but sit, for just a second, in her gaze.
Alex likes her.
But then, how could she not?
Sawyer is strong, and tough, and beautiful, and kind.
And Alex likes her. Like that.
She turns to go, because she’s been staring like an idiot, and she tries to squeeze the handlebars in parting – like how she always squeezes Kara’s knee or arm when she’s leaving – but she forgot the handlebars aren’t actually a part of Sawyer’s body.
So she just sends her a little wink and goes back to her own bike and tries not to be overcome by it all.
Alex likes her.
Winn and James don’t shut up about her all week. They talk about Sawyer at game night and at the DEO and over the comms when they’re doing Guardian shit. They talk about how strong she is, how nice she was to them. How she made Alex smile even when Alex was hell-bent on being terrifying.
Lucy doesn’t say anything more in front of them. But she buys Alex a drink out at the bar, after everyone else has gone home, and mercilessly mocks Alex for how much “her little puppies love her girlfriend.”
And Kara doesn’t say anything about it, ever, but she’s taken to taking hold of Alex’s hand whenever the subject comes up and just giving her a firm little squeeze.
When Kara and Lucy announce they’re coming to class, Alex doesn’t even have it in her to be surprised.
Kara insists that she wants to see Alex at work, that she’s Alex’s number one fan and it would be racist of Alex to keep her out of class – to keep her from seeing Alex perform on the platform – just because she’s Kryptonian.
Alex rolls her eyes, because Kara is ridiculous, but is secretly pleased that her sleepy sister wants to wake up at six am just to see her teach a spin class that she can’t even really take.
And she knows that Kara wants to meet Sawyer, too, but it’s sweet, and Alex loves her.
And, just maybe, Kara can keep a bit of a leash on Lucy. Although Alex isn’t holding her breath.
They all come to class, all four of them. Alex introduces them to Sawyer as briefly as she can, both because she’s terrified of what Lucy will say to her, and because she has a lot of bikes to set up before class starts. She makes sure to give Kara a bike over in the corner, putting James’ enormous body next to her so no one will be able to see her in case she forgets herself and gets a little superpowered.
But then, if she separates Lucy and James, which she knows she should, that leaves Lucy next to…oh fuck.
Next to Sawyer. Sawyer, whose biceps are flexing as she pulls her hair back into a ponytail, like always, while her legs are spinning aimlessly on her bike. Sawyer, who is wearing a light orange tank top from when National City’s WNBA team won the championship four years ago.
She swallows hard and tries to act like it’s fine. Like she put Lucy there so she could use Sawyer as a pacer. But Lucy’s already looking Sawyer up and down with a nearly maniacal glint in her eye, and Alex has stared down White Martians and alien invaders and assault rifles but she turns on her heel and she positively flees back up to the platform.
During class, Alex can’t help herself. The mission is always something serious, something true, something ripped from the headlines. But she so rarely gets to make fun of Supergirl – of Kara – like this, and Kara hacked her playlist, and Kara deserves it. And she just loves her sister so much.
So she weaves an elaborate mission that ends in a mission for day old donuts, and if only five people in that room know it’s a true story, that’s fine.
Those donuts were delicious, that night.
After she says it, she looks over and sees Kara leaning back on her bike, so absolutely no one can see her, and activating her heat vision just enough for her eyes to glow red.
Alex chokes back a laugh, grinning.
But she stops grinning in the locker room when she realizes that Lucy is inviting Sawyer out to drinks with them. Lucy is inviting Sawyer out to drinks with them. Out! To drinks! Where the alcohol and bad decisions are. With not only Alex but her sister, who has never heard of the word subtle, and sister’s her embarrassing friends, and Lucy, who is honestly a human monster.
It’s a fucking horrible idea.
It terrifies Alex, deep in her bones. Because liking Sawyer, here in the studio with its dim lighting and the smell of sweat that never quite fades, is so different. Here they can just be Danvers and Sawyer. Here Alex is always in her plain workout clothes and Sawyer is in her tank top of the day and they never wear makeup and they never chat and Alex never finds out if that blonde girl is her girlfriend or her wife or just some girl she liked to kiss for a while.
But, out? At a bar? With clothes and conversations and drinks to fiddle with and not drop? Words to form with her mouth?
And then Lucy calls Alex gorgeous – calling herself gorgeous in the process, of course – and completely outs James and Winn as Guardian and Kara as Supergirl, and Alex wants to throttle her.
But then Kara is leaning in too, and Kara is cheerfully and utterly shutting down Alex’s attempts to deflect.
And Alex doesn’t want it to seem like she doesn’t want Sawyer there, even though she’s pretty sure she’d die if Sawyer showed up.
And Sawyer says she might come out, and it’s only the third time Alex has ever seen her in her actual clothes. And her jeans and her white button-down look so fucking good on her, and she’s still wringing her hair out in a towel and Alex just wants to touch it, to run her fingers through it over and over and over.
Alex can’t help but give her a little smile as her heart bangs and crashes around in her chest.
She isn’t coming. It’s 6:40, and she invited Sawyer for 6:00, and she’s not there. She’s not coming. Alex is going to call it, to head home, because she’s disappointed and she hates that. These feelings – the ones that were so shiny and fluttery back in the studio – feel overwhelming and childish and horrible here in the real world.
Sawyer isn’t coming, and Alex is a little bit devastated, and she hates it.
Alex goes over to Lucy to start saying goodbye – already looking forward to the bottle of whiskey and SVU reruns waiting for her in her quiet apartment where there are no surprises and no crushes and no disappointments – when she hears Kara’s voice cut across the bar. “Alex! Sawyer’s here.”
Alex flushes, her disappointment instantly evaporating into a trembling bout of nerves and desperation.
“Hey, Sawyer,” she manages as she walks over.
And Sawyer’s eyes blatantly run up and down her body and Alex nearly freezes. What is happening? If a man had looked at her like that, she’d know immediately what he was thinking and what he wanted and how the night was going to go.
But it being Sawyer is throwing her for a loop.
Does Sawyer…think she looks good? Was that just a clinical evaluation of another woman – one who she’s never seen in civilian clothes – or was there something else there? Alex hadn’t considered, not even for a second, not even for a single flicker of time, that Sawyer could like her back.
But Sawyer says, “Hey,” like her throat is a little tight and if a man had said it like that Alex would have known exactly how he wanted her.
This doesn’t make any sense.
Alex walks her to the bar and they get a drink. Alex pays, in a fit of chivalry she knows she’ll never hear the end of from Lucy.
When Sawyer goes for her wallet Alex stops her, reaching out and touching her arm. Well, her sleeve.
It’s fucking electric.
But Kara comes over and as they’re talking Alex realizes with a jolt she’s been lingering – her hand has been there for minutes – and she pulls it away as quickly as she can. God, she needs to get it together, she can’t just go around touching women without their permission, no matter how strong and beautiful and kind they are. No matter how they’re looking at her.
Kara asks Sawyer about her job, and Alex nearly falls on her ass when Sawyer says she works for the NCPD science division. Alex declines to mention that her only contact with NCPD science division was when one of them had shot her in the chest last year, instead choosing to spend two seconds inventing a rich and fulfilling fantasy of meeting Sawyer at work – across a string of crime scene tape – and verbally sparring before deciding to take their tension to a nearby bedroom.
By the time she snaps back in, it’s Kara who’s networking with her, and Alex quickly realizes she has to use her scientist cover, not her FBI cover. Sawyer would have the ability to actually check her FBI credentials, and Alex is pretty sure they’re airtight but she doesn’t want to take that risk.
She’s just finished calculating the odds that she and Sawyer will run into each other on the job when Kara turns away, and Sawyer says something that well and truly snaps Alex out of her current fantasy – two guns on the nightstand, two glasses of scotch on the counter, two pairs of combat boots strewn in front of her fire. “She’s cute,” Sawyer says, staring at Kara’s back.
And oh, right. Of course. Sawyer’s gay and Kara’s a woman and Kara’s cute and pretty and fun and can actually talk to other human beings without making them cry.
Of course Sawyer likes Kara.
Alex had just misread the looks, earlier, that’s all. Sawyer likes Kara.
But before she can get her throat under control – before she manages to stutter out something about I can give you her number or pity she’s straight but you never know – Sawyer says something else. “For a puppy,” she says, and she’s giving Alex that look again. That look that’s softer and more caring than any look she’s gotten from a man in a long time.
She thinks Kara is a puppy.
“Yeah,” Alex manages to say, trying desperately not to hope. “She has her moments.”
Sawyer, honest to god, calls her hot. Sawyer calls her hot. Alex tells Sawyer that she’s a scientist and Sawyer’s response is to say: “So you’ve got all this going on, and a brain? Respect.” And when she says all this she runs her eyes up and down Alex’s body and if Alex weren’t so turned on she’d probably be feeling a little objectified.
But Sawyer likes that she’s smart and Sawyer called her hot and Sawyer came out the bar and hasn’t talked to Lucy once and called Kara a puppy and that might mean she came here to talk to Alex.
Alex tries to stomp down on her hope but it’s ballooning up in her chest, hot and painfully swelling.
What if Sawyer likes her?
“To brains,” she says, and Sawyer clinks her rye against Alex’s, and she says it back, and her voice is soft and a little tender and, god.
Alex likes her.
It’s not that all of their gatherings end up in pushup contests – or sit-up contests or pull-up contests or shooting contests or handstand contests – it’s just that enough of them do that Alex doesn’t think much of it.
But suddenly she’s down on the ground and she’s sort of facing Sawyer and Sawyer’s wearing a long sleeved shirt but she’s rolled the sleeves up to her elbows so Alex can see the muscles in her forearms flexing as she dips and pushes.
And god, Alex knew she was strong, but spin-strong is very different from pushup-strong. But Sawyer is fucking crushing it. She goes for a long time, until it’s just the two of them and Lucy and James left. Alex can see her shooting little looks over to Lucy – and Lucy shooting them back – and Alex wants Sawyer to beat her.
Not just to show up Lucy, although that’s always a perk, but because Sawyer is a fucking beast and she’s so beautiful and she makes Alex laugh. So when Sawyer looks like she’s fading, like she’s about to drop, Alex looks her dead in the eye.
Alex holds her eyes and she nods, as confidently as she can. Sawyer is stronger than this. She’s stronger than these pushups, stronger than her brain thinks she is, stronger than Lucy. Alex has seen her blow past her personal records in class. Alex has seen her surprise everyone in that room but Alex, because Alex always has full faith in her.
Sawyer is smart, and she’s strong, and she’s tough, and she’s beautiful, and she can do more pushups than Lucy fucking Lane.
So Alex nods at her, and she holds her eyes, and Sawyer nods back.
Sawyer nods back, and her next dip down is smoother and more confident than the last, and Alex grins.
And Lucy drops.
Sawyer fucking did it.
Sawyer does five more before she drops too, and Alex has the absurd urge to drop too, just to hug her and tell her how strong she is, how impressive. How attractive. Maybe see what her mouth tastes like.
But James is still puffing next to her, and Alex is far too much of a feminist to let him win unchallenged. So she digs deep and focuses on her perfect form and stacking her bones just so and hopes that Sawyer likes the view.
James drops – she knew those muscles were just for show – but Lucy tells her to hold, and Alex is too well trained to disobey.
Lucy tells her it’s time to show off, and Alex rolls her eyes because didn’t she just do that? But Lucy is incorrigible and maybe Sawyer likes the view, so Alex grunts, “Just call it out,” and resigns herself to at least thirty more.
But then Lucy is turning to Sawyer and saying, “Go sit on Danvers.”
Alex’s heart nearly explodes.
She’s going to murder Lucy Lane.
But Lucy isn’t done. “Actually, you’re right,” she’s saying. “We don’t want to throw off her balance. You should lay down on her back.”
Alex’s entire body might actually combust. Lucy wants Sawyer to lie down on top of her. Lucy wants Sawyer – the object of Alex’s totally gay, absolutely world-bending crush – to lie down on top of her. In public.
For some friendly exercise.
She can’t even spare a thought for Lucy anymore, because she is entirely on fire.
“Lucy,” she warns, but it has no effect.
But Alex manages to look over at Sawyer who is frozen, still kneeling, just an arms length away. She looks both terrified and excited and also a little blank and Alex can’t read her at all. And this is a terrible idea, but Alex has known Lucy long enough to know that the only way any of them are making out of this bar is if Sawyer does it, or if Alex goes nuclear on Lucy. And it’s not that she’s unwilling to go nuclear on Lucy – lord knows she’s done it before – but she doesn’t want to make Sawyer think she’s repulsed or upset by the idea. By the – extremely gay, extremely unbelievable – idea of Sawyer on her back.
“It’s better just to humor her when she gets like this,” she says softly, “but not if it makes you uncomfortable.”
“Oh!” Sawyer says, and her eyes are a little wide. “Uh, no, it doesn’t—“ she swallows, hard, her throat bobbing in a ridiculously attractive way. “It’s fine.”
And so Alex lowers herself and Sawyer climbs onto her back and fucking lays down on top of her. And Alex is grateful, in that moment, for how many pushups she’s already done. For how strong Sawyer and Lucy and James are. Because she’s tired – really, actually tired – and so it takes a lot of her concentration to just keep herself moving up and down.
She taps into Agent Danvers mode, into the part of her brain that ignores broken ribs and opened arteries and how easily bullets can tear through her fragile human skin to keep fighting, to keep moving, to keep pressing on. She focuses on her muscles, on pushing herself past her limits, on not accidently jostling Sawyer off her back and onto the floor.
She’s working hard enough that she – almost – manages to forget that there’s a woman lying on top of her, a woman who she has a devastating crush on, a woman who is honestly unfairly beautiful.
She manages to focus so hard on her arms and her core and her back that she – almost – forgets about how much she’d like to drop to the sticky floor, roll over, and feel the warm weight of Sawyer’s body against her own in a quite different way.
She forces herself to dip and push, her form perfect, her muscles coiling and stretching. She – almost – fails to notice that her skin feels too hot, too tight, too small.
She pushes her palms hard into the floor, spreading her fingers and lightly flexing her knees. She – almost – fails to process exactly how Sawyer’s hands feel on her back, how Sawyer’s body feels on top of hers, how Sawyer’s hair feels sliding against her neck, how Sawyer’s breath sounds in her ear.
She regulates her breathing, focusing on contracting and expanding her lungs. She – almost – fails to download and save all of these extremely pleasant, extremely destabilizing, extremely gay sensations to be savored and replayed over and over again later.
She – almost – doesn’t register exactly how Sawyer’s chest feels, pressed against her back. She wonders, faintly, as Sawyer’s body melds to her own, how exactly she hadn’t realized before this month that she likes women. Because, not to be a perv, but she would die happy just getting to stare at Sawyer’s chest through her sweaty tank top of the day. The knowledge that she’s currently feeling said chest – that Sawyer’s breasts are currently pressed up against her shoulder blades – makes her wonder if she might already be dead.
Alex has never been that into sex, and the reasons for that are becoming clearer every second the hottest woman she’s ever seen is riding her back, panting in her ear. She’s never been someone who fantasizes about people, who thinks about specific people late at night in her own bed, who sees someone out and about and wonders what they might look like naked. But she can’t stop, now. She can’t stop wondering not just what Sawyer looks like naked but what her naked body would feel like, sliding against Alex’s own. She can’t stop thinking about how Sawyer would sound, what Sawyer would do, how Sawyer would move – long and languid and strong. How Alex could get her as sweaty in the bedroom as she does in the spin room.
Alex is focused on her muscles and her breath and her form, but she cannot stop picturing Sawyer on top of her in bed, naked and glistening, straddling her hips and sitting up to pull her hair into a ponytail, her biceps flexing and her long neck gleaming.
Alex dips and pushes, Sawyer’s breath hot in her ear, and when Sawyer’s lip accidentally grazes her cheek, she loses her cool and almost topples over.
And that’s her last straw. Her arms are shaking and trembling from the exertion, and if Sawyer touches her for another five seconds she’s going to rip her own clothes off, she’s sure of it. She could honestly probably give a few more pure pushups, but the combination of the physical and emotional exertion has her right up against her limit. She manages to grunt out, “I’m calling it” as she drops to her knees, and Sawyer clambers off her as quickly as she can.
Kara pulls her up and shoves bills in her pocket, and Alex laughs as she absently hugs her friends, but she’s really just trying to remember how to breathe.
She wonders how she can go on living, now that she knows exactly what it feels like to move underneath Sawyer’s body. Now that she knows how it feels to have Sawyer’s hands on the bare skin of her shoulders. How it sounds when Sawyer pants, low and heavy, in her ear. How it feels when Sawyer shifts a little, settling herself more comfortably on Alex’s ass. How it feels when Sawyer hums in appreciation and Alex feels it vibrate through her whole body.
How it feels when – oh god – Sawyer reaches out and pulls her into a loose hug. How it feels when – fuck – her chest brushes Sawyer’s, and Sawyer’s hands are on her waist, and Sawyer’s thigh knocks into her knee. How it feels when Sawyer whispers “happy to help” in her ear, her voice low and gravely.
She honestly might die.
Chapter 9: Doctor Spin Part 3: Grown Ass Woman
This behemoth of a chapter brings this ridiculous story to an end. I can't tell you how thrilled and humbled and just bowled over I've been by your responses to it. Really. You all are the most wonderful, supportive, encouraging (and enabling!), gay screeching choir in the history of the world, and I love you so much for it.
Enjoy this one, you grown ass women.
“Sawyer likes you back, you know.”
Alex snaps her head over to her sister, who just said that so casually through a mouthful of pizza, like it isn’t the biggest deal in the world.
Kara swallows her bite. “Sawyer. She likes you back.”
Alex pulls her crust apart, staring down at the plate in her lap. She doesn’t even bother denying that she likes Sawyer, that there’s an initial crush for Sawyer to be reciprocating. Because Kara’s always been able to read her well, and Kara was there earlier tonight while Sawyer was lying on top of Alex, and Alex is tired of denying how much she wants.
“Did she say something to you?”
Kara, mouth somehow full again, shakes her head. “No, but I could tell.” She swallows again. “It was pretty obvious.”
But Alex can’t quite believe that. “Lucy made her do it.”
But Kara is shaking her head again, and she hasn’t taken another bite of pizza so Alex knows she’s serious. “No, Alex. I’m not just saying it because of the pushup contest. Although that was…well, let’s just say, as your little sister, I’m kind of scarred for life.” Alex can’t help but snort at that. It had felt a lot like sex to her, too. Actually, it had been better than any sex she’s ever had, but that’s a whole set of things she’s actively decided not to deal with right now. “But, no, I could tell all night. Even earlier, this morning at the studio, I could tell. She likes you back.”
Alex lets out a loud breath.
“You should ask her out.”
Alex doesn’t even look up from her plate. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
“I’m not! What’s ridiculous? You like her, she likes you.”
“No way, Kara.”
“What the heck, why not?” Alex looks at her now, incredulous, but Kara doesn’t give her the chance to say anything. “Seriously, Alex. You’re beautiful, and you’re smart, and you’re strong, and she likes you already. I swear, she does. And you like her so much. You should ask her out. I’m sure she’ll say yes. In fact, I guarantee it.”
Alex sighs and shakes her head a little bit, but she’s honestly kind of considering it.
She likes her so much.
She likes her in the way that means she wants to spend more time with her, wants to know what her job is like and where she goes grocery shopping and what her favorite flavor of ice cream is and what type of gun grip she prefers and what weapons she’s certified on and if she’d like going for rides on the back of Alex’s bike. She wants to play her spin playlists in bed and get Sawyer to make out with her to the beat so Alex can double check the cadence of new songs.
And she wants to know what Sawyer looks like under her tank tops and what her hair would feel like, slipping through Alex’s fingers. And she wants to know what little sounds she’d make if Alex kissed her all different kinds of ways – slow and silly and sleepy and surprising and soft.
She wants to know what it’s like to sleep with a woman, to be with a woman, and she wants Sawyer to be the one to show her.
Alex likes her so much.
And tonight Sawyer had looked at her, more than three times, in that way. And she’d called her hot, and she’d climbed on her back and panted in her ear, and she’d lingered at the bar, and once she’d licked sticky bun icing off her finger and had looked right at Alex as she’d done it, and when they’d hugged goodbye she’d given Alex’s hip a squeeze that was miles away from just friendly.
Alex likes her so much, and Sawyer just might, possibly, like her back.
“If she says no,” Kara says, “you’ll pick the movie for Sister Night for the next two months.”
Alex can’t help that her eyebrows fly up. That’s pretty much the highest stakes Kara can imagine.
“Yeah,” Kara says, reading her look correctly. “I’m that sure.”
“Okay,” Alex says softly. “Next time I see her, I’ll ask her out.”
And Kara squeals and catapults herself onto Alex and squeezes her as tightly as she dares.
And Alex can’t stop grinning.
She likes her so much.
Sawyer usually comes to class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but Alex goes to class the next day, a Friday, just on the off-chance that Sawyer will be there.
She’s probably sore from beating Lucy in class and then at the bar. No worries.
Alex goes on Saturday and Sunday too, just in case, but Sawyer isn’t there. She’s probably busy. She seems like the kind of person who likes her routine, so Alex is disappointed but not concerned.
But she isn’t there on Monday either, and Alex can’t help the pit of dread that forms, hot and heavy, in her gut. Sawyer is always there on Mondays.
She isn’t there on Tuesday either. The pit grows.
Or Wednesday. It metastasizes.
And when she doesn’t come on Thursday, Alex knows something has gone horribly wrong. Sawyer has never missed a class that Alex has taught, ever. Once she came in looking so exhausted that Alex had been pretty sure she’d never gone to bed, but she’d still been there for the class.
But she isn’t here.
And there’s only one possible reason for that. The dread swells and completely swamps her, overtaking her entire body. Sawyer is avoiding Alex. Not only does she not, in fact, like Alex back, but what happened at the bar obviously crossed so many lines – friendly lines, sexual lines, basic human interaction lines – that she’s gone.
She’s not coming back.
She doesn’t like Alex. She might, even, hate Alex.
And Alex still just fucking likes her so much.
In the shower, after class, Alex lets herself cry for two full minutes.
Alex shows up at Lucy’s apartment that night, spitting mad. Lucy opens the door and Alex lays into her, not even bothering to say hello first.
She doesn’t remember everything she says. Something about “drove her away” and “your fucking insanity” and “never listen to me” and “gone forever” and “all your fault” and “fuck you, Luce.”
She doesn’t know if she starts crying because she’s wrapped in Lucy’s arms or if Lucy comes and holds her because she’s crying, but she spends the next half hour losing her cool into Lucy’s chest.
“I’m so sorry, Alex,” Lucy murmurs, rocking her back and forth. “I’m so sorry.”
“I just,” Alex gasps, her hands over her face. “Fuck, I just fucking liked her so much.”
“I know, hon,” Lucy says softly. “I know you did.”
Alex considers stopping spinning. Because every time she goes, now, she finds herself looking for Sawyer. And Sawyer isn’t coming back. Alex drove her away. And yeah, it was Lucy’s idea, but Alex is the one who told her to climb on. Alex is the one who was so clearly thinking about Sawyer naked while they were out to friendly drinks. Alex is the one who had so clearly perved on her.
Alex drove her away.
So she considers stopping. But a part of her just can’t let go. Just can’t walk away from the connection to Sawyer she still has.
So she keeps going back, but her heart isn’t it. She recycles a mission the next time she teaches and she barely beats out the instructors when she takes class.
She’s wondering what mission she can re-use today as she adjusts her bike. The class is small this morning, and she can’t even be bothered to be disappointed. She hears someone else come in, and her eyes dart up out of habit. She knows it isn’t Sawyer – it hasn’t been Sawyer a single time for three weeks – but she can’t stop herself from looking.
And she freezes, her hands hovering uselessly over her bike.
Because it’s Sawyer.
It’s fucking Sawyer.
And she’s not walking over to set up a bike but she’s walking up to Alex. Alex swallows, not sure if Sawyer is going to lay into her or just subtly warn her off.
“Hey, Danvers,” she says, and there’s something behind her voice that Alex can’t place.
But she’s looking up and down Alex’s body and there’s something that looks a little bit like hunger in her eyes, and Alex cannot for the life of her figure out what’s happening.
“Sawyer,” she says, because she has to say something. “Wasn’t sure I’d see you in here again.”
Alex watches as Sawyer’s eyes widen, as her head tilts a little bit in confusion, and Alex is an expert in reading body language, and she’s spent a lot of time staring at Sawyer, so she’s pretty sure that Sawyer is surprised to hear that. Which means, just maybe, things weren’t quite what she’s thought they were.
So she takes a risk. “Though maybe Lucy’d scared you off.” She can’t help but twist her fingers into the towel draped over her handlebars. This is it – this is Sawyer’s chance to say yeah actually I wanted to talk to you about that or to make a joke-that-isn’t-really-a-joke about how inappropriate it was.
But instead her eyes fly open with concern, and she says “No” with such force and feeling that it nearly knocks Alex on her ass. “No,” she says again, like she’s trying to control her volume. “I wasn’t…uh, Lucy didn’t scare me off.” And she says Lucy like she means Alex, like she means to say you didn’t scare me off.
And then she scratches her neck, and she says, “I, uh, I got hurt on the job the day after I saw you, so…” and Alex’s heart – which, she would swear under oath hasn’t beaten even once since Sawyer stepped into the studio – roars in her chest.
God. Fuck. She was hurt. She was hurt, and Alex was moping around the spin studio, whining about her own life, when Sawyer was hurt. Bleeding, battered. Concussed, maybe.
Before Alex even realizes it she’s thrown herself into Sawyer’s space, managing with a wrench to stop herself just a split second before she would have pulled Sawyer tight into her own body. She barely hears what she says to Sawyer, and what Sawyer replies, over the roaring in her ears. She’s here. She doesn’t hate Alex. She might even still like Alex back. But she’s hurt.
Alex is going to murder whoever hurt her.
Sawyer insists on taking the class, even though she has a cracked rib. Alex tries to talk her out of it – even though she barely takes a day off for a cracked rib these days – but Sawyer is just as stubborn as she is.
She takes the class.
She rides a bike right in front of Alex’s. Her navy blue NCPD tank top fades into the darkness of the room, but Alex keeps her eyes on Sawyer’s face and her arms and her legs the whole class.
Sawyer does a terrible job. Alex can tell from her own bike that Sawyer can barely breathe. She wonders why Sawyer’s here.
She just wants to touch her, to hold her, to run her fingers over Sawyer’s body and make her whole again.
To kiss her until she passes out. To protect Sawyer’s soft, strong, beautiful body with her own. To see what her hair looks like in the morning, tangled and thick on Alex’s pillows. To step into the shower with her, to press her own hands onto the bare skin of Sawyer’s shoulders.
After class, Alex can’t help herself. She guides Sawyer to the locker room and asks to look at her rib and her stitches. She was having so much trouble on the bike, she does really need to be checked out. Alex is worried she’s going to puncture a lung.
But she miscalculated in a big way. Because Sawyer sits down on the bench, straddling it, and if that weren’t enough, she reaches down and pulls her tank top off.
Alex’s brain actually, literally, short-circuits. All of her neurons blare at once, millions of connections suddenly on fire. Because Sawyer is topless – because Sawyer is topless for her. Because Sawyer just looked over at her, blushed, and then pulled her shirt off. And she’s wearing a black sports bra and holy fucking shit, there’s just so much warm, golden, beautifully tan skin. Her chest is right fucking there, god. Alex might pass out.
And, fuck, she has a stomach and a back and sides and her leggings are riding low on her hips, and she’s glistening with sweat and Alex has never liked sweat but she just wants to lick it off of her.
Jesus, she thinks to herself.
She drops to her knees, trying to feel a little less like she’s praying to some goddess she hadn’t known she’s been looking for her entire life.
She touches Sawyer’s injuries lightly, pressing gently on the mottled and angry site of her cracked rib. She’s pleased with what she sees – nothing dangerous – but she’s even more impressed with Sawyer’s strength. With how she battled that bike today, with how she’s recovering from something that Alex knows from experience is terribly painful.
Alex can barely breathe, still down on her knees, so close to Sawyer’s skin. And every single breath she manages just smells like Sawyer, and Alex has never, not once, had an orgasm because of someone else but honestly right now she might.
And then Sawyer calls her “Doctor Danvers,” and, fuck. Every single time Sawyer calls her Danvers, something flutters in her gut, and right now Sawyer is just wearing a bra and Alex was just touching her ribs and three weeks ago Sawyer was lying on top her body and panting in her ear and her lip had grazed Alex’s cheek, and Alex wants her so badly.
“Please,” she says, and she’s never been good at flirting, but it feels like the words are coming from a place in her body she’s never known about. “Doctor Danvers is my mother.” She grins, because Sawyer is still shirtless and Sawyer is looking at her like maybe the feeling is the tiniest bit mutual. She stands and holds out a hand to help Sawyer up, and their palms connect and Alex has never seen the definition of Sawyer’s arm muscles from so close up before.
“You can call me Doctor Doctor Danvers,” she murmurs, dragging her fingers across Sawyer’s palm.
“So when are you going to ask her out?”
Alex tucks her hair back behind her ears, circling the mat, never taking her eyes off her sister. Kara’s hair is glinting green in the light of the sparring room, and Alex grins with a feral type of pleasure as she rushes her distracted sister, pinning her to the mat in record time.
Kara eventually throws her off, but Alex defeats her twice more in quick succession before Kara calls for a break.
“Seriously,” she puffs between sips of water. “When are you going to do it?”
But Kara levels a look at her. “You’ve been saying that for weeks, Alex.”
Alex shrugs a little. “I was waiting for her to get better. Seems rude to ask her out when she could barely breathe, you know?”
But Kara is Crinkling. “God, Alex, what were you planning to do on the date? Spar? I mean, like, dinner and movie don’t take that much out of a person, normally.”
And Alex tries to keep her face under control, because Kara doesn’t need to know all of the completely filthy she’s been imagining doing with Sawyer these past couple of weeks.
But something must leak through, because Kara’s wrinkling her nose in disgust. “Gross, Alex,” she whines, and Alex laughs.
“Soon,” she promises. “I swear. This week, I will.”
But Alex picks at the lid of her water bottle, worry ballooning up in her. “Do you…do you still think she’ll say yes?”
And it’s the fifth time she’s asked it this week, so Kara just rolls her eyes. “And you say I’m annoying when I have a crush.”
An alien attacks the city. What else is new. But this one is an Xxexon, a creature who is functionally non-corporeal. A shape shifter, or shape blur-er? It’s pretty unclear to Alex, although she’s itching to get its DNA under her microscope so she can get to the bottom of how it completely exists in their physical world but also completely doesn’t at the same time. It’s different than how J’onn can phase through walls, she knows that much.
And it’s incredibly dangerous, she knows that much.
It launches an attack downtown, and Kara and J’onn fly off to engage it while Alex readies a tactical team. They mobilize quickly, as always, but not quickly enough. Because by the time they arrive there are several dead civilians, and Kara and J’onn are both down.
The Xxexon is floating about twenty-seven feet in the air, and it has a human captive in its arms. Alex sees an NCPD Kevlar vest and helmet fall from the sky, and she realizes it has a cop. She raises her alien gun, the blue light pulsing, trying to get a clear shot.
Then the wind changes and the cop’s hair billows out from behind the Xxexon. Dark and thick and soft.
And Alex falters, forgetting, for a full second, that she’s in a war zone, that Kara is just slowly starting to stir behind her.
Because the person twenty-seven feet in the air, the person the Xxexon has just thrown down towards the earth, is Sawyer.
“Maggie!” she hears herself scream, as Sawyer’s body crumples into the earth.
She paces in the hallway of the hospital. She’s alone. Kara and Lucy and J’onn are all still downtown, helping civilians and holding up buildings and bringing the Xxexon into containment.
Sawyer’s in surgery. She has been for hours.
Alex tries not to blink. She doesn’t stop moving. But, even so, the scenes from this morning don’t stop flashing in front of her eyes.
The way Sawyer had plummeted to the earth.
The desperation of her blind scramble, sending shot after shot up to the Xxexon as she had leapt and tripped over the shattered street to get to Sawyer’s mangled body.
The sting in her palms the first time she fell.
The blood, slowly pooling under Sawyer’s torso.
Alex hits the end of the hospital hallway and makes a sharp turn, heading back the way she came. She’s been walking this path for hours, but the grotesque movie in her head won’t stop playing.
She can’t stop remembering how she’d gathered Sawyer in her arms.
How she’d forced herself to look away from the mangled mess of Sawyer’s abdomen.
How Sawyer’s blood had slowly dyed her white Henley a terrible bright red.
How Alex had cried.
How she’d pressed her palm to Sawyer’s face, sticky and slick with Sawyer’s blood, and begged her to stay alive.
Alex’s phone buzzes in her pocket, and she pulls it out. Another update from Lucy. The Xxexon is in containment at the DEO desert base. Lucy is on her way to the hospital. Kara is safe.
Alex doesn’t respond.
All she can think about is how Sawyer’s eyes had opened, groggy and gummy and unable to focus.
How Sawyer hadn’t understood what was happening or where she was.
How Sawyer had tried to grab onto Alex’s wrist but how her hand had kept slipping off.
Alex’s breath hitches as the memory rips through her for the thousandth time.
How Sawyer had asked for her to say it. How Alex had choked out the words, grown ass woman and show me.
How she had seen Sawyer dig deep and try.
How Sawyer’s hair had felt between her fingers as she’d pulled, hard, trying to shock her into staying awake.
How Sawyer had lost the battle, slipping away in her arms.
Alex gives in, letting herself stop moving. She leans against the wall and feels herself sliding down, hitting the ground and curling around herself.
All she can hear, over the screaming in her ears, is how ragged and gone Sawyer had sounded, whispering just one word as she’d faded away.
Alex, she’d whispered, her eyes already closed.
Alex’s clothes and hands are still caked with her blood.
She’s unconscious for days. Alex can’t stay at the hospital the whole time. She has to do her job. She has to interrogate the Xxexon, she has to deal with the fall-out from the attack, she has to take care of Kara and J’onn who are both slowly recovering from their injuries. She has to run the DEO.
But her thoughts are constantly in the hospital room at NC General.
Kara blew out her powers at the end, so she’s relatively useless at the DEO. She and Lucy take it turns to spend daylight hours with Sawyer because no one else seems to be showing up for her. Alex spends every night there, curling up in a chair, and quietly asking – begging, sometimes – for her to wake up.
Alex swears to her, the second night, that she’ll get her head out of her ass and ask her out, as soon as she wakes up.
Alex holds her hand, sometimes, and tells her that she really fucking needs to wake up.
“Stop sleeping like a little boy,” she says once, and the room is dark and sterile and Sawyer isn’t wearing a tank top but a hospital gown. “Wake up like a grown ass woman,” she demands softly. “I know you’re stronger than this. Show me, Maggie. Show me how strong you are.”
But she doesn’t wake up.
Alex gets the call from Lucy that Sawyer is awake. Confused and disoriented, but awake.
Alex is at the hospital within twenty minutes.
But Sawyer is asleep again.
Alex only catches a couple quick moments of lucidity over the next few days. Sawyer is on pretty serious drugs and she’s under most of the time. She floats up the surface a couple of times, but Alex isn’t confident that she’s actually going to remember any of it. She asks Alex why she’s there each time – she never remembers about her own injuries, and she never remembers that Alex was there last time she woke up too. Once, in the middle of the night, they have a quite long and very strange conversation about unicorns, centaurs, and the land-rights politics of the Forbidden Forest, but Alex is sure none of it is going to stick.
Alex holds her hand, just once, when she mumbles that she’s scared.
Alex holds her hand, and brushes her hair off her forehead, and gently strokes her cheek. “You’re safe, Maggie,” she tells her softly. “You don’t have to be scared anymore. I’m here.”
And Sawyer mumbles something about ridiculous outfits and put all those muscles to good use before she dips back under.
Sawyer is discharged on a Tuesday morning. Alex doesn’t find out until Tuesday afternoon. It’s the work of seconds for Alex to get Winn to find out her address and phone number, but she doesn’t do much with the information.
She knows that Sawyer will be on the strong drugs for another week, if not two. And, as amusing as that conversation about hunting rights in the Hogwarts forest was, she wants to make sure Sawyer is sober and lucid when she sees her. Alex knows, down into her bones, that she’s not going to be able to keep herself from confessing her feelings when she sees her again.
And she doesn’t want to do that when Sawyer won’t remember or won’t be able to say anything back.
So Alex waits.
She sends over takeout a couple of times, but she doesn’t go over herself.
Patience has never been her strong suit, but she manages. She takes it out on the rookie agents and on the workout room and on her spin bike and, once she’s back to full power, on Kara in the sparring room.
But she manages.
It’s Thursday morning, so Alex is at the studio, teaching. She’d been planning to wait to see Sawyer until next week, but she’s not sure that she can. Being here, in this dark smelly room is reminding her of how much she wants to be with Sawyer – to hold her, to check her stitches, to kiss her when the pain rises up, to make her tea, to play with her hair as she drifts off to sleep.
So she’s probably going to do it this weekend.
But today is Thursday, and it’s the morning, so she’s at spin, and Sawyer isn’t here.
Alex teaches a lighthearted mission, because the memory of holding Sawyer’s organs in her hand is a little too fresh for anything else.
Class ends, and the women pour out of the room, a sweaty, congealing mass of lycra. Alex turns down the music, humming softly to herself as she starts cleaning off the sound system.
She’s about to clear the board when she hears the door close. She assumes it’s the front desk girl, so she doesn’t look up.
That’s Sawyer’s voice. That’s Sawyer’s voice. Here. Right now.
Alex’s head snaps up.
God. Sawyer is here, standing just inside the doorway. She looks pale, and thin, but she’s standing and she’s here, and that’s more than Alex could imagine.
She’s wearing dark jeans and what looks suspiciously like a white undershirt and Alex can vaguely see her black bra through it, and jesus fucking christ, Alex nearly drools at the sight of her. She’s a fucking lesbian vision, and she’s alive, and she’s here, and she’s reaching behind her and clicking the lock into place, and fuck.
“Maggie,” Alex breathes out.
She turns off the music without looking, refusing to take her eyes off the way Sawyer’s chest is rising and falling, the way Sawyer’s eyes are locked on hers, the way Sawyer is taking slow, steady steps towards her.
“I have a question for you, Danvers,” she’s saying, and her voice is a little rough, like she hasn’t been using it much lately, and Alex is already trembling.
Alex drops her towel onto the handlebars of her bike and she holds on for dear life.
“I have some facts to present to you, Danvers, and then I have some questions for you.” But she doesn’t sound like herself, not like the Sawyer Alex knows. She sounds hard, in some way. Rote, or distant, maybe.
She’s taking steps forward, but they aren’t making Alex feel the slow, inexorable, heavy drag of sexual attraction any more. Now they feel aggressive, defensive.
With every step closer, it’s like Sawyer is further and further away from her.
Alex lets go of her bike and shrinks back, nearly hitting the wall behind her.
And then Sawyer accuses her of something Alex has forgotten to be worried about for weeks.
“You’ve been watching me for me months,” Sawyer says. “You knew how I set up my bike back before we’d ever talked. You knew what my name was up on the board back before my bike tipped over.”
And Alex freezes. She can’t believe it, how badly she’s misjudged this. Because this the conversation she’d been scared of, way back when Sawyer’s bike had nearly killed her. And back then Alex had thought she’d been watching because of tactical awareness, but she hadn’t. She’d been watching because Sawyer was the most beautiful and magnetic human being she had ever seen in her life.
Because she’d wanted her.
And, fuck. Sawyer knew, back then, and she didn’t say anything until now, and Alex has never felt like a worse person. Like a bigger creep.
Alex swallows, hard, remembering that just a few weeks ago she and Lucy together made Sawyer ride her back in front of everyone.
Sawyer keeps going, unrelenting, unaware that Alex doesn’t need any more evidence to thoroughly convict herself. “You knew what I usually scored on the board, because you knew just how close James should be able to get to me.”
“Your sister said it was nice to finally meet me.” Sawyer points a finger at her, still several paces away. “Which makes me think you talk about me at home, Danvers.”
Fuck. Alex sucks in a loud breath. She’s ruined this. Beyond friendship, beyond repair. She feels like her heart has freezer burn.
“And Lucy treated me like a slab of fresh meat from the moment she met me, and I bet you talked about me to her, too.”
“In my defense,” Alex says weakly, because she has to, because it’s true, “Lucy treats everyone like that.”
But then Sawyer says something that makes Alex shrink back even further, makes her hope to sink into the floor and never come out. “She asked me out for you,” Sawyer counters, her voice firm and accusatory and hard. “She made me lay on top of you, and you’d already won the competition, so the only possible reason for that was to get us closer together.” She points her finger again. “Because you’d talked about me and she knew you wanted me.”
Alex flushes a deep, horrible red. She hits the wall behind her, shame darkening her vision. Her breath is coming in small, stupid gasps, and she just hopes she won’t cry in front of Sawyer.
“And I was pretty out of it but I’m pretty sure you held me in your arms and cried when I was dying.”
But Alex is way too fragile for that. For that to be thrown in her face. Because she keeps waking up from nightmares where Sawyer’s blood is still on her hands, staining her nails and sinking to her skin. Nightmares where Sawyer and Kara and J’onn all fade in and out of each other, all hurt, all dying, and Alex can’t save any of them.
Because the reality of what happened on that street, of how she’d begged and cried, of how she’d smeared Sawyer’s blood into her hair, of how she’d held Sawyer’s stomach cavity closed with her bare hand, is too fresh.
She can’t help herself. She pushes herself off the wall, taking her own aggressive step forward. “What would you have had me do, Sawyer? Just step over your bleeding body on my way to brunch?”
But Sawyer barely blinks. She just keeps going with her onslaught, completely unwavering. Like Alex isn’t desperate to check her stitches, to see her torso in one whole smooth piece, to make sure that she’s really alive, even though she knows now that Sawyer hates her. “Lucy told me that you made her wait in the hospital with me because you didn’t want me to wake up alone.”
Alex freezes again, all the fight draining out of her. She manages to faintly curse Lucy in her head, even though she knows this is a problem entirely of her own making. She hadn’t realized how creepy it must have been, to wake up, that high, with someone you’ve met twice looming over you.
“Lucy told me that you’re FBI, the both of you.”
Alex blinks. That’s…one way to explain it all, she guesses.
But then Sawyer lets out a puff of air, and she’s so close, and Alex has liked her for so long, has wanted her for so long, has gone through revelation after revelation because of her, and Sawyer fucking hates her for it, and Alex can feel her frozen heart starting to splinter in her chest.
“Lucy told me that you’re head over heels for me.”
Alex’s heart shatters, crystalized fragments scattering to the corners of her body. She lets out a puff of air, collapsing against the wall. She wants to scream and cry and go back into the closet and never come out.
“I can explain,” she whispers hoarsely, even though she can’t. Not really. Because Lucy already said it all, didn’t she? Alex is head over heels for Sawyer, and Sawyer has given her chance after chance to be cool about it, but Alex has been creeping on her from the start.
Alex wants to die.
But then Sawyer is taking one more step forward, and Alex isn’t sure if she’s going to slap her or what. But then Sawyer opens her mouth, and it takes Alex what feels like hours to process what she says.
“And I’ve been fucking head over heels for you since the first minute I saw you,” Sawyer growls, “striding into this studio like you fucking owned it, in that ridiculous black outfit.” And Alex has never heard her voice sound like that before, so low and fierce and gritty and demanding. Like she wants.
Like she wants Alex.
Alex just leans against the wall, her heart still frozen, her eyes wide and her lungs refusing to take in any air.
She can’t process any of it, really. She looks down at herself, noticing absently for what feels like the first time that she always wears her black DEO workout clothes to spin.
But Sawyer…Sawyer said…?
Sawyer said… and her voice was so rough and possessive and thick…she said that she’s head over heels too.
And that means…Sawyer…wants her back?
Alex’s brain is going impossibly slowly, stuttering at each new input, but Sawyer’s is running at full speed. She opens her mouth and manages to talk again. “So I guess I really only have one question for you.”
She pauses, for just a beat, and Alex just exists, not breathing or blinking or believing.
“If that’s all true – if you want me – then why the fuck haven’t you shown me yet, Danvers?”
Alex lets out a sound that’s a lot more like a squeak than she might like.
Sawyer wants her. Sawyer wants Alex to want her back. Sawyer wants Alex to show her.
“Show me, Danvers,” Sawyer grits out, and she’s just inches away now, and Alex can’t stop staring at her face. She’s pale and drawn and a little waxen but she’s determined and fierce and strong and tough and so impossibly beautiful. “You’re not a scared little boy. You’re a fucking grown ass woman. Act like it. Show me how you want me.”
And Alex isn’t usually one for taking orders, but this is one she wouldn’t refuse in a million years.
She pushes herself off the wall, and has her mouth on Sawyer’s before she can finish saying “show me” again.
At the touch of Sawyer’s lips, Alex’s body finally unfreezes. Sawyer’s mouth, warm and soft, and her hands on Alex’s back and hips, and the taste of her under Alex’s lips all gather up the shattered pieces of Alex’s heart, setting them back in place with an audible thump.
Alex cups Sawyer’s face, trying to keep her fingers gentle even while her whole body is screaming at her to push herself entirely into Sawyer, to meld them into just one body as quickly and vigorously as possible.
Yielding to her lizard brain, Alex spins them around, pressing Sawyer against the wall, just barely remembering to cradle her head from the impact, and making sure to keep Sawyer’s battered torso safe. She means to be gentle, to be slow, but she wants – she wants more than she has ever wanted anything in her life.
She bites down – hard – on Sawyer’s lip.
Sawyer’s hands grasp at her, and Alex remembers what they felt like on the bare skin of her back, and the memory sparks something in her. She moves forward even more, licking at Sawyer, finally tasting the inside of her mouth, finally hearing her make a moaning sound that immediately has Alex’s knees buckling. And then Sawyer’s tongue is on her, too, and Sawyer’s lips are grasping at her, and it’s hotter and wetter and more demanding than Alex could have imagined, and she thinks she might actually die, right here, in this dim spin studio.
Alex pulls away, just for a second, because her lungs are burning and her head is spinning and she wants to watch what it looks like when she touches Sawyer’s neck with her bare fingers.
“Fuck, Sawyer,” she gasps.
She nearly whites out when Sawyer responds by biting down, hard, on her neck.
Alex has never been one for pain in the bedroom – or for anything in the bedroom, actually – but she’s immediately sure that she’d let Sawyer leave painful marks on every millimeter of her body if she wanted to.
“For the record,” Alex pants, because there are a thousand things she needs to clear up, but this one feels most pressing, “Lucy didn’t ask you out for me.”
“That really what you want to talk about right now, Danvers?” Sawyer murmurs, and she does this thing where she actively doesn’t touch Alex’s right breast but makes Alex think of nothing else but her touching Alex’s right breast, and Alex nearly passes out.
“No,” she’s pretty sure she mumbles as she leans in, pressing herself even closer.
She can smell Sawyer’s skin, and she reaches up and threads her fingers through Sawyer’s hair, and it’s thick and soft, and Alex shudders into her neck as she twines it around her fingers.
But she realizes, as she breathes for a second, as she takes it all in, exactly what Sawyer had said, just a moment ago. I’ve been fucking head over heels for you since the first minute I saw you. And Alex has wanted Sawyer since before she’d even known that was an option, and Sawyer is brave and tough and strong and she deserves to know that.
“Green tank top,” she grunts out, because she remembers it all too. “Bruce Banner’s Hulking Mistake.” Her voice is lower and raspier than she’d like to admit, but she can’t make herself care. “The first time I saw you,” she mutters into Sawyer’s ear. “That’s the shirt you were wearing.”
And she can feel Sawyer shudder underneath her, and she feels something powerful and savage and predatory sweep over her. This time the confession, the one she’s been holding in for weeks, comes out in a purr. “I’ve wanted you since that first second, Detective Sawyer.”
“Fuck,” Sawyer groans. “Fuck, I’ve wanted you for so long, Special Agent Danvers.”
But then she tips her head back, gently smacking it against the wall behind her.
“Ohhhhh my god,” she says, something that sounds like laughter in her voice, and Alex tilts her head a little in confusion. “ddsaaxd? Doctor Doctor Special Agent Alex Danvers?”
And Alex can’t help but grin and give a dorky little salute that she immediately regrets.
“At your service, sawyer.”
Sawyer just rolls her eyes as dramatically as she can. “Nerd,” she says, but she somehow makes it clear she can’t wait to make out again.
So Alex leans in again, kissing her with all she has. Because she’s wanted this girl – this girl with the biceps and the tank tops, this girl who always pulls her hair back into a ponytail once she’s on her bike, this girl who came out for drinks and squeezed her arm and tried to fight off a Xxexon with a piece of concrete, this girl who has never failed to dig deep and hold on just because Alex is asking her to – since the first second she saw her.
So she pushes her body in, as close as she can without hurting Sawyer, and she flicks her tongue, and she’s never been so grateful to be in the company of a grown ass woman.
“Maggie,” she murmurs later as she pulls back, taking hold of Sawyer’s hands and tugging her out of the studio. “Show me.”