“See you around, Danvers."
Maggie turns for the door. Alex wants to stop her, to grab her by the arm and spin her around--their first kiss all over again--to explain that it's a mistake, it was all a mistake, they can figure this out. But her legs won't move and the words are drowning in her throat, and Maggie's already gone, the door closing behind her, and Alex is alone. Those last words ringing in her ears.
"See you around, Danvers."
Alex wakes up in tears. Variations on the same dream, every night since That day. Weeks ago. Every morning, just like this, she fights the overwhelming urge to roll over, to reach for the warm body she longs to find still sleeping beside her.
She knows it was the right decision. It has to be. For the ache echoing so painfully within her ribs to be worth something, it has to be.
She forces herself out of bed.
Alex is in the middle of labeling a piece of evidence when Vasquez calls out to her. She turns to see the shorter woman waving her over to the body they're investigating, and her heart catches in her throat; several yards behind Vasquez, Maggie steps out of an NCPD car.
Vasquez calls to her again, and Alex watches for Maggie's reaction at the sound of her name. She's surprised (disappointed?) to find none at all: no flinching, no flustered panic, no hurriedly seeking distraction. She simply says something to one of her fellow officers and approaches Vasquez.
Alex, suddenly numb, follows suit.
She doesn't hear a word Vasquez says. She and Maggie converse--something about the case, something Alex should be taking note of--but all she can see is Maggie. For the first time in weeks, they're face to face, and Alex can't tear her eyes away.
God, she’s beautiful, with her hair pulled back and sunglasses resting atop her head. One of her thousands of striped button-ups (Alex has stolen this one before, she realizes) tucked into khakis. She turns to gesture to something – Alex really should be paying attention to something other than the slant of Maggie’s jaw – and Alex catches a whiff of her smell. Not shampoo or deodorant: just Maggie.
Suddenly it’s hard to breathe.
Maggie doesn't even look at her. She speaks directly to Vasquez, who waves over another agent and relays him an order. Vasquez then turns to Alex for confirmation.
"Agent Danvers? Anything to add?"
"Uh, no, no that should--I think that's--we're good, that's great," Alex fumbles. Vasquez shoots her a questioning glance but (thankfully) says nothing. She shares a nod with Maggie and they head their separate ways.
Alex is torn. Does she go after Maggie? Initiate something? She can’t, she’s the one who broke it off, clearly Maggie doesn’t want to talk—
But the realization that if she doesn’t set a standard now, she might never speak to Maggie again even professionally is too much.
"I'll be right there," Alex tells Vasquez hurriedly, and jogs after Maggie.
"Maggie! Hey, Maggie!"
Maggie turns and stuffs her hands in her jacket pockets.
"Agent Danvers," Maggie says politely.
It's like all the air has been wrenched from Alex's lungs. Agent Danvers. The formality of it violently twists a knot in her stomach.
"How, uh, how are you?" Alex asks, anxiously folding her arms across her chest.
"Working a case, business as usual," Maggie answers. Her tone isn't cold, but it's...distant. Unfamiliar. Detached. "I gotta go drop these samples off at the lab, but you know my office number. Give me a call if there's anything my team can help with."
"Yeah! Yeah, totally. Thanks, you uh--you too!" Alex says awkwardly as Maggie turns her back. She watches Maggie get in the squad car and drive away.
The knot in her stomach doesn't dissipate for days.
They run into each other on a few cases, and it’s always the same. Maggie is polite and professional and it kills Alex. The lack of acknowledgement, the wall she’s put up. She’s desperate for a glimpse into what Maggie’s thinking, what she’s feeling, what’s happening in her life. Is she resentful? Bitter? Has she moved on?
But Maggie gives her nothing. Alex might as well be any other DEO operative calling for information on a case.
She stops going to the bar, too. Alex still goes once a week at first—usually with Kara and Winn and their friends—but soon she’s there five nights a week, hoping for an appearance. She doesn’t know what she’ll do if she does see Maggie; trip through a drunken apology? Beg Maggie to admit she remembers what they were? It doesn’t matter—she just needs to see her, to hold onto some shred of when their lives overlapped, even if it’s just shared patronage of a shitty dive bar.
But Maggie never shows.
Two months after the breakup, Alex breaks down in Kara’s apartment.
They’ve spent the past five days working a kidnapping case: the ten year-old son of two DEO agents.
“I made such a huge mistake,” Alex cries into Kara’s arms. Kara strokes her hair soothingly. “I don’t know what I was thinking, I can’t have kids. How did I think I could put them at risk like that?”
“Alex, it’s okay—” Kara begins.
“I lost her, Kara. I pushed her away for something I know I can never have, she’s gone. She’s gone and it’s all my fault.” The sleeve of Kara's cardigan (Kardigan, Maggie used to call them) is soaked in tears.
“This is about Maggie,” Kara says. Her voice is soft, sympathetic. A strangled sob escapes Alex’s throat.
“I love her so much, and I was so stupid. I can’t believe I was so stupid.”
“Have you reached out to her?” Kara suggests gently. Alex vigorously shakes her head.
“I can’t, she hates me. She has to hate me.”
“Hey, look at me.” Kara takes Alex’s tear-stained face in her hands. Her eyes search Alex's, forcing Alex to focus on her. Grounding her. “Do you love her?”
“Yes,” Alex whispers tearfully.
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life with her?”
“Yes. Yes, more than anything.”
Kara offers a soft, reassuring smile. “Then you have to go get her, okay? You can fix this. Win her back.”
Alex sniffles. “What if I can’t?”
“That’s not an option, okay? If she’s the one, you fight for her.”
Alex nods. “She is. She’s the one, Kara. She’s the one.”
Kara wraps her arms around her sister again as Alex's body is racked with sobs.
“Hey, Maggie, it’s um. It’s me. Alex. Which, I’m sure you know, because of caller ID. Sorry, I don’t know if that was too informal, the first-name basis—it’s Agent Danvers. And you’re—hi, Detective Sawyer, it’s me. Shit. I’m sorry, I just—I really need to—I’d really like to talk to you, um, about…stuff. Non-work stuff. But, uh, I know you’re really busy and also, very well just might not want anything to do with me, which I—I get it, I understand. But, um, if you—I’d really like to talk, if you can, and it’s okay if you can’t, but I thought I’d reach out. Sorry.”
“Fuck.” Alex hangs up and tosses her phone onto the couch. She pinches the bridge of her nose. “Sure, who doesn’t want a rambling, year-long voicemail from their ex?” she mutters to herself.
She spends the entire day on edge. Every buzz of her phone sends her scrambling, heart pounding, hoping against hope to see Sawyer, Maggie lighting up her phone.
The following day is the same: nothing. And the day after that.
By the time the week is over, Alex has all but given up hope. That’s the night she leaves work to find Maggie waiting outside the building.
“Maggie!” she blurts out, surprised, before she can catch herself.
“Danvers,” Maggie nods. “Got your voicemail.”
“And?” Alex voice wavers. Is Maggie here to chew her out? Tell her to lose her number, never contact her again, never so much as look at her or speak her name or—
“You wanted to talk,” Maggie says carefully. Alex still can’t read her tone, but it doesn’t seem like anger. Maggie shrugs. “Now’s your chance.”