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It Almost Seems Glorious

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It was an accident. This was never supposed to happen.

Maggie is 12 when she hears her mother tell her that her impulsiveness will be the death of her. It wasn’t the first time she’d instinctively jumped without preparing for the fall, but what she’s looking at right now might just take the cake as far as her lack of foresight goes.

The angry red backlighting of the alarm clock on the nightstand next to the unmade bed tells her it’s 3:43 a.m., and that she should be asleep. Only problem is, it’s not her alarm clock, and the edge of the bed she’s perched on, fully clothed, is not her own. And the chin-length reddish brown hair splayed across a pillow on the other side of the bed belongs to one Alexandra Danvers. Alex. Easily the smartest girl in their class, a good girl. Studies hard. Follows rules. Fucks like a goddess.

The last part was a shock to Maggie. She never expected to get this deep, to have no idea how to get herself out, and to not want to. She shouldn’t be hesitant to leave this girl in the middle of the night, to sneak out of the bedroom window in the suburbs back into the tiny studio apartment she keeps in the “ghetto” until she finishes high school and can get the fuck out of here. But it’s who she is, and it’s what this is, and she has an image to uphold. Without a backwards glance, Maggie resolutely climbs out Alex’s window, resisting the urge to kiss her one last time, if only to cement the unreality of the moment.

 

 

Maggie is what most adults would call a ‘problem child.’ After being put into the system four years ago when her mother suddenly passed, she bounced around foster homes until she turned 18 and could legally be on her own. With a rap sheet filled with unorthodox petty crimes, skinny jeans with more holes than material, and a beat-up motorcycle jacket, she fulfills every stereotype of a bad girl (the tattoos peeking out of the collars and sleeves of her shirts don’t seem to hurt her image either).

Alex had always been the golden child. Shortly after her 14th birthday, however, the Danvers family took in a foster child, and suddenly Alex was entirely responsible for an 11-year-old she barely knew. Alex threw herself into her studies, never stopping for anyone or anything, on the fast track to being the school’s first female valedictorian in the last 10 years. She knew of Maggie, everyone did, but she never got any closer than that. After all, everyone said that Maggie was trouble, and she had an 11-year-old to watch out for. Plus, she wasn’t gay.

 

 

Somehow, they made it to senior year without ever having to interact. Alex took all AP classes, and Maggie barely showed up to school enough to pass the state’s basic educational requirements. But physical education, unfortunately for Maggie, is a necessary course for graduation, and she promised her mother that she would at least get a high school degree, so she usually shows up for it.

The first day of gym class senior year is when she first really notices Alex.

To be fair, she’s never not noticed Alex before, but Alex is usually surrounded by a group of equally ambitious, academically-oriented people while Maggie tends to fly solo. Something about being Latina and gay with a juvie record a mile long is enough to send people running in the opposite direction. Shocking, she knows, in a town like this. So really, it’s the first time she notices Alex like that. Her little self-righteous rant to her friends while heading back into the locker room about Maggie chain-smoking on the bleachers instead of running the mile with the rest of the class is pretty fucking adorable actually, and the dangerous smirk it elicits is clearly not the message Alex intended for her to receive. Still, it sticks, as does the blush that rises to Alex’s cheeks when she realizes that Maggie overheard the whole thing, hastily excusing herself to her next class. It’s enough to make Maggie start to wonder.

Next class, Maggie starts off by hooking her aviators on the dip of her white V-neck, further exposing the black script scrawled along the line of her collarbone. She leans against the fence, ditching the cigarettes for the chance to observe. It doesn’t take long for Alex to approach her.

“Can you stop? All my friends are harassing me about you staring,” Alex says in a huff.

Surprisingly, Maggie finds herself backing down to the wonder that is Alex Danvers.

“So I like looking at pretty things. Sue me,” she quips, enjoying the dull flush Alex tries so so hard to will away. But she stops, and Alex goes back to her life, steadily ignoring one Margarita Sawyer. Maggie almost regrets it.

 

 

Maggie keeps barely scraping by and Alex is the wonder girl and they have nothing in common. At least, that what they both think when they’re finally forced to interact on a regular basis as assigned workout partners in gym. It’s the brainchild of some clueless idiot who clearly doesn’t understand that Maggie does not exercise voluntarily- that is, when she’s not in immediate danger of being arrested for something or other- or that even that sort of strenuous activity is only reserved for emergencies. For example, last Wednesday she nearly got caught in the act by some overzealous rookie cop after spray-painting a landscape on the back of an abandoned building. She was forced to make a break for it, ditching the cop by gracefully scaling a fire escape in a nearby alley and covering three-quarters of a mile on rooftops before descending back to street level. Affectionate vandalism is what she calls it. Destruction of private property is what the cop calls it. She vastly prefers her definition.

But Alex Danvers is clearly not aware of this crucial fact, or chooses to blatantly ignore it. Maggie isn’t sure which is worse, mostly because Danvers insists on doing everything at maximum effort. It’s so beyond unnecessary that Maggie takes to purposely doing everything she can to slow the overachiever down (It’s not cute when she gets all frustrated and pouty. Not at all. At least, that’s what she tells herself). And if it takes blatant flirting and innuendo to distract Alex from her task, well, a girl’s gotta do something to amuse herself.

Normally, Maggie would be fine with pretending to be completely winded after running a single lap around the school track, feigning an asthma attack to get out of whatever running remained. But she’s a senior now, and a fairly confident one at that. Plus, the years of protecting herself against the world have left her body and mind hardened to whatever abuse a high school gym class could send her way. So as Danvers confidently races around the track, Maggie decides to up her game a little from her usual bullshit. Suddenly, she’s only 25 meters behind the other girl, fully enjoying the view.

Danvers catches her staring as she rounds the curve, and falters just slightly, but enough for Maggie to know that her plan had its intended effect. Still, she easily catches up to the other girl, noticing how they’re pretty evenly matched in their pace, despite Maggie’s obvious height disadvantage. She gets an eye roll and a dramatic huff out of Danvers when she stretches out for the win in the final 50 meters, not breathing nearly as hard as she should be from nearly sprinting a full mile. The gym teacher is flabbergasted, to say the least; he had no idea that Maggie could even exercise in the first place, much less keep pace with and outkick a star athlete like Alex Danvers.

 

 

There’s almost a mutual respect now. As Columbus Day weekend approaches, Danvers has slightly loosened up her drill sergeant approach, at least in regards to gym class. Everything is still a competition with the two of them, but now there’s a little trash talk mixed in. And if Maggie takes every opportunity to flirt with and fluster Danvers, well, that would just be a happy accident.

Chapter Text

By the middle of November, Maggie’s upped her game.

“Danvers, come on!”

Maggie rolls her eyes. It’s not the first time that Danvers has suddenly decided that the two of them aren’t working out to the best of their ability and pushed the pace and reps, but it’s also before 9:00 a.m. and Maggie isn’t caffeinated enough for this. “I get that you’re trying to be a top here, but we all know you’re a pillow princess under that impenetrable façade.”

Danvers stops in her tracks, nearly dropping the bar on herself while stammering out, “Pillow… princess? What? No… no, I… That’s not… Just do the workout Sawyer!!”

But it’s enough to throw her off for the rest of the period. Maggie has a hard time keeping her smirk to herself. She had no idea Danvers was this much fun. There are some things being an underachiever doesn’t teach you.

 

 

Now that they’re on vaguely speaking terms, Maggie spends the entirety of the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas showing Danvers exactly why she has a reputation for trouble. She knows precisely how to use her famed dimples and cheeky winks for evil, and Alex is her target. She’s also far smoother than any gay 18-year-old in a conservative small town has a right to be. The combination is usually devastating, and Alex doesn’t seem to be the exception.

Before either of them realize, they start actively seeking the other out throughout the school day, even if they convince themselves it’s just to get the last word in whatever they were arguing about during phys ed. It becomes commonplace to see the two of them walking down the hallway side-by-side, loudly debating whatever issue comes to mind that particular day until Alex realizes she’s about to be late to class. Sometimes it even results in Maggie attending her own classes because Alex practically shoves her into the classroom, and everyone involved is duly shocked, no one more than Maggie herself.

 

 

One day in early February, Maggie shows up to school with a dark purple bruise marring her cheekbone. Her lip is puffy and has a deep cut that probably should have been stitched, her right hand is heavily wrapped, and her beloved leather jacket is sporting several new gouges across the left shoulder. The hardened, blank stare she slips into scares off any questions regarding her well-being as she stalks into the building twenty minutes late.

 

It takes Alex 10 whole minutes to hear about it and use her (almost confirmed) valedictory status to yank Maggie out of her first period American History class and demand an explanation for looking like the literal walking embodiment of hell.

“Sawyer, what the fuck happened to you?!” Alex all but yells the second they’re out of earshot of the classroom.

It’s difficult with her injuries, but Maggie still manages a crooked grin, warning, “Careful, Danvers… you getting soft on me?”

 

She’s not even sure why she showed up to school like this at all. Scratch that. She knows damn well why. But she’s not in the mood to analyze exactly why Alex Danvers’ concern matters so much to her. But this is also the first time she’s heard Alex drop an f-bomb, and she could swear there was genuine concern in the taller girl’s voice.

Danvers turns faintly pink at the implication, but still makes a move to grab Maggie’s arm as she tries to slide past her. “No. You do not get to show up to school looking like this and not explain what the hell’s going on, Maggie.”

“What’s it to you, Danvers?” Maggie half turns at the contact and keeps her face carefully blank as she coolly meets Danvers’ eyes. “You’re gonna ruin your perfect image if you keep coming after me like that. Valedictorians and delinquents aren’t supposed to be friends. People are gonna start talking.”

Alex’s face crumples and it’s all Maggie can do to stand there unaffected (God, Alex). Suddenly she can’t meet Maggie’s eyes as she whispers, “My whole life… was about being perfect. Perfect grades, perfect college, being the perfect sister… taking care of Kara.

“But, I… I never… you’re just so… I can’t… not anymore.”

Suddenly Alex surges forward and kisses Maggie delicately, being careful not to put too much pressure on her split lip. Maggie’s too utterly shocked by this development to do anything but flutter her eyelids shut, not even having time to respond to the kiss properly before Alex’s eyes fly open as she breaks the contact.

“I have to go,” Alex half mumbles, in a panic to run away from their shared kiss. The bell rings to signal the end of first period and, knowing she has phys ed next, Maggie slowly walks away from the students spilling out into the hallway, out the door to her motorcycle in the student parking lot, memorizing the feel of Alex on her lips.

 

 

She goes where she always goes when she doesn’t know what to do. A 20-minute bike ride leads her to the frozen-over cemetery containing her mother’s gravestone. It’s a horrid day, with winds pushing the temperature to well below freezing, and all Maggie has on is her typical V-neck t shirt and her ever-present leather jacket. She barely feels the cold, propping herself up on the side of the marker and pouring her heart out to her mother while there’s no one around to hear it. She tells her about the brilliant, awkward, gorgeous idiot who’s stolen her heart without any warning or permission given.

Not that anyone would believe it, but she misses her mother more than anything and wishes she could hear her complaints about the tattoos and the jacket just one more time, so she can pretend she’s not all alone in the world.

Well, no one would but Alex.

 

 

When the final bell of the day rings, Maggie’s in the school parking lot, leaning against her bike, waiting for Alex.

Alex’s younger sister sees her first, and Maggie can see the confusion color her features as she nudges Alex as if to say, what’s she doing here?

Alex glances up sharply, then ducks her head back down just as abruptly and tries to pretend she has no idea Maggie’s there. Kara stops short and physically redirects Alex in Maggie’s direction, and Maggie would be impressed this scrawny freshman managed to move Alex Danvers On a Mission but she’s more concerned with the way Alex won’t meet her eyes as she approaches.

For once, she’s willing to own up to her feelings, to address them head-on instead of running for cover like she’s always done. But Alex is still staring at the pavement.

 

It isn’t until they’re standing face-to-face that Alex finally looks up, and Maggie has to actively restrain an audible gasp at how defeated she appears.

“I’m… sorry I kissed you. It didn’t mean anything and… we should both just forget about it,” Alex says miserably. “You were right. Valedictorians and delinquents shouldn’t be friends.”

Maggie would believe her if not for the way her eyes desperately flit to Maggie’s mouth and the lack of force behind the words. Still, they hurt more than she’d like to admit. Maggie stares at Alex, hard, until their eyes meet, and lets the blank shutters behind her gaze fall away for a moment. Alex viscerally flinches, and opens her mouth to say something else as Maggie turns away and shoves the key into the ignition of her bike.

 

Maggie doesn’t go to school for a week, chain-smoking on the fire escape of her apartment building until dark and then going out. She kisses a different girl every night but never goes home with any of them. She can’t get past the shadow of Alex Danvers.

She only goes back to school because she’s in danger of failing phys ed, something that would definitively prevent her from graduating on time.

She promised her mother.

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Maggie walks into the gymnasium with hickeys dotting the side of her neck and the bit of collarbone peeking out of her v neck, a lit cigarette dangling between her lips. Alex pretends they’ve never spoken before and it’s like the beginning of the year all over again. They go the entire period without any acknowledgment of the other.

Thankfully the class passes in an emotionless haze and she can leave without damaging her prospects for a degree even further. Maggie’s about to stroll out the nearest external door when Alex intercepts her and none-too-gently shoves her into the furthest, darkest corner of the locker room, kissing her hard. It takes Maggie a moment to wrap her brain around what’s going on, but she’s always been a quick study. Their tongues battle for dominance until Maggie manages to switch their positions and wedges a thigh between Alex’s, using what leverage she has to pin her against the wall. Alex lets out a sharp gasp at the contact and can’t help but grind down onto Maggie’s thigh. She retaliates by adding to the collection of hickeys on Maggie’s neck, this one a harsh purple bruise near the curve of her jaw. Maggie audibly moans her approval, driving Alex to place another just below it.

The bell above their heads abruptly sounds, snapping them both out of their daze, and Alex nearly sprints away with one last guilty look. Maggie’s left leaning heavily against the wall of the locker room desperately trying to both calm her body down and understand what the hell just happened.

The thing is, if the bell hadn’t rung right then, Maggie doesn’t know that they would’ve stopped. She realizes she didn’t want to in the slightest.

 

 

It becomes a recurring theme.

In the bathroom. In an empty hallway. Under the bleachers. Against Maggie’s motorcycle in the dead of night.

As soon as they’re left alone, Alex kisses her senseless and leaves her a stuttering gay mess. And Maggie doesn’t have it in her to push her away because goddamn when did making out with Alex Danvers become something she could do? But it hurts more and more every time Alex darts away ashamedly at any sign of the outside world and all Maggie’s left with is the imprint of Alex’s mouth on hers.

 

The sexual tension is unreal in phys ed, and even the dumbass gym teacher might slowly be catching on to the fact that all the fresh bruises dotting Maggie’s neck are a little too fresh to have been from the night before. There are meetups at diners near Maggie’s apartment, and kisses pressed along collarbones in the alley under Maggie’s fire escape.

Maggie’s worn out boots are collecting dust, but so are Alex’s textbooks.

 

Alex texts her.

I need you.  2:18 a.m.

Maggie climbs up the tree adjacent to Alex’s bedroom and noiselessly drops in through the open window, her boots making a soft thud on the rug. Her leather jacket gets tossed haphazardly over the desk chair as she muffles Alex’s moans with her own mouth and wishes she had a backbone when it came to the other girl.

 

The angry red backlighting of the alarm clock on the nightstand next to the unmade bed tells her it’s 3:43 a.m., and that she should be asleep. Only problem is, it’s not her alarm clock, and the edge of the bed she’s perched on, fully clothed, is not her own. And the chin-length reddish brown hair splayed across a pillow on the other side of the bed belongs to one Alexandra Danvers. Alex. Easily the smartest girl in their class, a good girl. Studies hard. Follows rules. Fucks like a goddess.

The last part was a shock to Maggie. She never expected to get this deep, to have no idea how to get herself out, and to not want to. She shouldn’t be hesitant to leave this girl in the middle of the night, to sneak out of the bedroom window in the suburbs back into the tiny studio apartment she keeps in the “ghetto” until she finishes high school and can get the fuck out of here. But it’s who she is, and it’s what this is, and she has an image to uphold. Without a backwards glance, Maggie resolutely climbs out Alex’s window, resisting the urge to kiss her one last time, if only to cement the unreality of the moment.

 

 

Maggie feels herself becoming more reckless as she falls deeper and deeper for Alex. The definitely-fucking-but-not-in-a-relationship status she shares with Alex gets to her, and she lets it. She starts going out 5 nights a week and gets into bar fights, only narrowly avoiding being arrested on several occasions. Alex doesn’t love her back.

She still kisses the other girl like she means it.

 

Maggie gets up the metaphorical cojones to stop Alex in her tracks one night in the park near Alex’s house.

“Stop, Alex… what the fuck is this?”

She can’t help voicing the one question whose answer could tear her heart to shreds.

It’s enough for Alex to avoid eye contact as she steps backwards and quietly mutters, “I…I’ll see you around, Sawyer,” as she slips past Maggie into the darkening night.

 

 

Enough is fucking enough. Maggie’s sure her mother is sick and tired of hearing about her girl problems from wherever she is, so she opts to do something about it.

 

Little Danvers and her similarly preppy friends are probably shocked to see Maggie in school at all, let alone sauntering towards their lunch table. It’s almost comical to see how their jaws visibly drop. Maggie raises an eyebrow but doesn’t comment.

“Little Danvers. Can I borrow you for a minute?”

It’s more a politely worded demand than an actual inquiry, and Kara seems to get the hint. Maggie turns and leads them towards a seldom-used classroom that is, for the moment, mercifully empty.

 

She lets Kara enter first and closes the door behind herself, leaning against the whiteboard at the front of the room, and waits. Predictably, Kara quickly becomes uncomfortable under her practiced gaze and starts rambling almost incoherently.

“Is this about Alex? Of course, it’s about Alex. Sorry. I don’t know why I asked that. I already knew the answer.”

“Kara.” Maggie stops the flow of sentences with a single interjection.

“Right. Sorry. So… what’s up?” she politely asks, then actually facepalms. “Oh right. I forgot that I totally know you guys have been hooking up. I forget who I’m allowed to know things around. Alex likes to try to pretend to be secretive, but she really isn’t. We share a bedroom wall. Ugh. I know way too much.”

“Kara.” Maggie tries again.

“I’m worried about her though, and I’m assuming you are too based on the fact that you actually showed up to school and wanted to talk to me in the first place. And wow, I’m totally going off-track again.”

“No… it’s okay. And yeah, I am. Worried about her, I mean. We barely speak, but umm… I… like her a lot and I was wondering if you knew anything more specific as to what’s been going on with her?” Maggie asks. It’s the most visibly concerned she’s been about another human in years, and she hopes that Little Danvers can at least respect the fact that she cares enough for Alex to do this.

“I can’t honestly say I was expecting… this, and I think you should really be talking to Alex about it-”

“I tried that. Every time I say something that isn’t directly related to the more… physical… aspect of whatever it is we’re doing, she just leaves or finds… other ways to redirect what’s happening,” Maggie interjects. She’s being as delicate as she can out of consideration for her audience, but the fact of the matter remains.

“And I still think you should keep trying that. But, um, I think she’s struggling with the whole ‘having actual feelings for a girl’ thing because, well… our parents wouldn’t take it well. And in the spirit of honesty, you have a bit of a… reputation, and they… probably wouldn’t like that part either.” Maggie can’t help the shadow that crosses her features when Kara says that, but the younger girl continues undeterred, “Just… know that she’s trying. And if it means anything, she really likes you too.”

It wasn’t exactly the clarification Maggie wanted, but she’s damn well going to fight for Alex if that’s what it takes. She’s the most remarkable, maddening, challenging, frustrating, person Maggie’s ever met, and that alone is worth the effort on her part (and worth Little Danvers basically calling her out on being in love with Alex).

Chapter Text

March bleeds into April, which fades to May, and suddenly there are only days left in their senior year. Maggie is going to graduate, fulfilling her promise to her mother, and the fact alone is enough to make her a little emotional about the end. Alex is, of course, the valedictorian, off to Stanford to study biochemical engineering.

 

Alex still won’t talk to her, and has taken to avoiding her entirely. By the beginning of April, Maggie stopped sleeping with her when it became clear that Alex wasn’t going to change. The cigarettes that slowly tapered off the longer Alex kissed her start making a reappearance.

Little Danvers keeps shooting Maggie sympathetic looks from across the hallway. Maggie wants to say she doesn’t need it, but it’s nice that someone this side of the grave cares.

 

She misses Alex, more than she cares to admit.

Alex, who, even tired and on edge, is still the prettiest girl in school. Alex, the only one who can make Maggie Sawyer, noted badass, turn into an awkward 14-year-old with a crush. Alex, who kissed her like the world was about to end at any moment. Alex, who would do anything for her family, including denying her own chance at happiness.

Maggie knows she could make Alex happy.

 

 

It’s the last day of phys ed.

For the first time in months, Alex seeks Maggie out.

 

They act like nothing ever changed for the forty minutes they have. Before she can leave, Alex grabs Maggie’s hand, and noncommittally links their pinky and ring fingers.

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” Alex half-whispers, carefully studying the little tics in Maggie’s expression that she’s sure give away exactly how she feels. “I wish I was braver.”

She presses a feather-light kiss to the line of Maggie’s cheekbone and walks away as the bell sounds.

 

 

That moment is the last time they see each other until graduation, and the last time they speak before Alex goes off to college and Maggie joins the police academy. After Alex’s valedictory speech (about changing her viewpoint and looking past the surface), Maggie stands and claps with the rest of their class, but already feels the pangs of regret and loss for what could’ve been.

 

She doesn’t really expect to see Alex again. She just hopes that, one day, she’ll find someone who makes her feel half as much as Alex did.

 

 

10 YEARS LATER

 

Ordinarily, Maggie would ignore anything that brought her back to her adolescence. She’s the youngest woman in NCPD history to make detective, has one of the highest closure rates in her division, and is studying for the sergeant’s exam. She’s one of the NCPD’s brightest rising stars, and she doesn’t feel the need to go back to her high school and pretend she cares about what all those idiots she graduated with are doing 10 years later. They all remember her as a juvenile delinquent anyway, and she doesn’t want their unsolicited opinions on her life.

Except Kara is the one who sent her the email announcing the reunion. She’s stayed in touch with Kara over the years, and looks after her with the slightly irritated yet protective air of an older sister. Little Danvers isn’t so little anymore, and is the personal assistant to the editor of a women’s magazine in National City. She’s one of the good ones, and Maggie’s grateful to have her in her life.

Until, of course, Kara basically demands she attend.

 

Given her relationship with Kara, it’s surprising how little she knows about Alex. She supposes Kara tries not to mention her in conversation, but it’s still worth noting.

All she knows is that Alex graduated Stanford near enough the top of her class that she works with the federal government in weapons development and probably has the national security clearance to personally launch the entire nuclear arsenal of the United States.

 

Maggie’s dated sparingly, but always keeps a level of distance between herself and the women she’s with, claiming it’s part of the job. It’s not altogether unsurprising when none of them appreciate coming in second to literal dead bodies. Even less surprising when they deem her ‘emotionally unavailable’, though one goes as far as calling her a sociopath. She downs an entire bottle of whiskey that night.

She doesn’t know about Alex. Maggie hopes she’s happy.

 

 

In a moment of truly stupendous irony, there’s a homicide case that pops up the week leading up to the reunion involving a certain high-tech prototype. The victim in question was effectively half-disintegrated by a government weapon developed by none other than Dr. Alexandra Danvers, according to the case file that lands on Maggie’s desk with a thud early Monday morning. Reading the specs, Maggie can’t help but be impressed.

It’s been ten years. She’s not quite sure how to feel.

Still, she’s a professional near the top of her field, as is Alex Dr. Danvers, and she feels confident that the impenetrable façade of bravado she’s been forced to adopt over the years in a male-dominated environment will carry her through.

 

 

She’s never been more fucking wrong in her entire life.

She’s also going to kill Kara the next time she sees her for posting all that food shit to her Instagram account but nothing warning her of the impending gay doom that is Alex in a well-tailored suit.

 

 

To the surprise of no one, Maggie’s wardrobe hasn’t changed all that much since high school, especially once she made detective and ditched the blues. The ripped jeans may be mostly gone, but the familiar leather jacket with the slashes in the left shoulder and the worn-out combat boots are ever-present. She still prefers dark colors and shirts that show off her impressive and still-growing collection of tattoos. Her captain tried to make her dress more ‘professionally’ when she first made detective, but gave up on it as soon as he realized the extent of her talent in closing cases and getting confessions. He lets her wear whatever the hell she wants now, much to the chagrin of some of the older male detectives still wearing suits.

 

Back to Alex. No, focus on the case. Right. The dead guy. Who was killed with a weapon that should only exist in a theoretical sense, not missing from a highly secure government laboratory.

(Jesus Christ. Why does she always get stuck with this shit?)

 

Thankfully, this moment of sheer and utter gay panic took place in Maggie’s cruiser as she caught a glimpse of Alex in her rearview mirror, and Alex doesn’t know she’s here yet. For once, she has the upper hand in their interactions. Or, at least, she thinks she does (she really doesn’t, not when Alex is dressed like that). Thank God, those assholes she works with didn’t see the complete meltdown she just had over a pretty girl.

 

Truthfully, though, Maggie knows Alex has always been far more than just a pretty face.

 

 

CSU is just finishing up at the scene when Maggie walks up behind Alex, who is apparently deep in thought if her vaguely tense posture is any indication (Maggie hates that even now, she can read Alex like a book).

“Dr. Danvers. I’m Detective Sawyer, NCPD. I’m told you’re familiar with the murder weapon?” Maggie says briskly, trying to hide the way her breath catches in her throat as Alex turns around to face her for the first time in ten years.

They share an agonizing second of eye contact before Alex realizes just who “Detective Sawyer” is. Maggie can see the exact moment it hits her, down to the slight widening of her eyes and a faint flush dusting her (fucking incredible) cheekbones. She can’t help the way her lips twist into a half smirk, and revels in the fact that it draws Alex’s gaze down to her mouth. Some things don’t change, apparently.

 

Alex falters for a moment, but quickly manages to recover her composure. “I…uh… Yes, I am very familiar with the weapon in question, considering I helped design the prototype. However, a large part of the project is classified due to national security concerns, so I most likely will not be able to answer many of your questions.”

Maggie wants to roll her eyes at the retreat into formality and fed posturing, countering, “Surely the government understands that this is a murder case and that your precious prototype is currently missing. If I were you, I’d want this whole mess cleared away as quickly as possible. Considering that it is, you know, a matter of national security and all.”

Shit. She didn’t mean to come off as snarky as she did. She is supposed to have matured in the last 10 years.

 

The corner of Alex’s mouth twitches up. Oh.

Chapter Text

Maggie has barely closed the door of her squad car before her fingers automatically reach for her phone to give Kara a piece of her mind. Thankfully, she made it through their interaction without horribly embarrassing herself, but Maggie knows she stared at the quirk of Alex’s mouth a beat too long before recovering her confidence.

The phone is halfway up to her ear before she realizes this is one of those instances where she would probably benefit from a moment to evaluate her feelings before leaping headfirst into a discussion with Kara she’s not even sure she wants to have. Maggie settles for a quick text instead: Dr. Danvers, huh? before making her way back to the precinct (how's that for maturity?).

 

What a fucking way to start the week.

 

 

She’s been staring at the murder board for hours, with a raging headache and a crick in her neck to prove it. It all hinges on whatever weapon the government had been developing, and who knew about it. Maggie’s certain of that. Unfortunately, that also requires finding and talking to Alex, which is not exactly an appealing notion at 11:00 pm on a Monday night. Her captain left three hours ago, gently reprimanding her for staying so late. But seeing Alex earlier sparked a restless energy, and Maggie knows she’s too wired to even pretend to get some sleep. Rather than face the emptiness of her apartment and the mindlessness of just-barely-morning television, she packs up her work bag and heads for the basement of the precinct.

 

Maggie tosses the bag in the bottom of her usual locker, quickly changing into some old gym shorts and a cutoff tank top. Methodically, she gathers her hair into a tight ponytail and winds tape securely around her knuckles, the way she learned as a teen through many instances of trial and error. The gym area is dark, the way she prefers it, with a full range of weights occupying most of the space and a heavy bag hanging off to the side. She ignores the rest of the equipment, starting off with some light combinations on the bag to elevate her heart rate.

Soon, she can feel the beads of sweat roll down her back as she shifts to beating the shit out of the bag, mixing in punches, jabs, and kicks. Every sharp impact brings back memories of fights from years past. Every dull thud serves as a reminder of how much she’s had to endure. She’s so lost in her thoughts that she doesn’t feel the past literally walk through the swinging doors and take up a position along the side of the gym.

 

 

“You know,” Alex starts, pushing off the wall she was leaning against, “by this time of night most people are desperate to get home, not still at work. I didn’t peg you as married to the job.”

Maggie’s head whips around at the sound of Alex’s voice, ceasing her assault on the heavy bag.

Alex. Dressed in all black with her knuckles carefully bound in stark white athletic tape, unlike the dirty, worn strips that decorate Maggie’s hands. Looking completely, utterly unsurprised that this is what Maggie’s doing at 11:30 on a Monday night.

 

“You talk to Kara?” Maggie grunts out as she turns back to the bag, landing a particularly solid hit.

“She might’ve suggested that if I wanted to find you, the basement would be a good place to start.”

Accepting her workout has come to a (temporary) halt, Maggie steps away from the bag and gives Alex her full attention.

 

“And what would Dr. Alexandra Danvers, government weapons developer extraordinaire, want with me?”  Maggie asks, a tired edge lacing the words. “Last time I checked, you weren’t exactly in the mood to share when it comes to the case. Something about how it’s classified?”

Alex starts, “I… I’m sorry. About earlier, I mean. It’s just… I wasn’t really, um, expecting to see you.”

“Weren’t expecting to see me or weren’t expecting me to be a cop?”

 

She’s careful to keep anything accusatory out of her voice, but she can’t stop the note of bitterness that hangs in the air between them like the sharp scent of cigarettes that seemed to constantly follow her as a teenager. This is why Maggie would never have even considered going to the reunion without Kara’s (slightly odd) insistence. She thought she’d buried the past a long time ago, and she had no intention of reliving it.

Alex shifts a little. “If I’m honest… both? I mean, I know you’ve been sort of looking out for Kara. Which, um, I can’t thank you enough for. Honestly. She tries not to talk about you, I think, but sometimes she slips up in conversation. But, um, especially with the reunion this week… it’s bringing up a lot of things. So, I panicked a little. And I realized that I was being massively unhelpful, because the nature of what I’ve been working on is what got my lab broken into in the first place… which I know you’ve already established…”

At this, Maggie relents a little, teasing, “So we’re pretending Kara didn’t guilt-trip you into coming to apologize for being a big bad fed?”

Alex doesn’t confirm or deny anything, but Maggie can see the answer in the shy duck of her head that doesn’t quite hide the flush creeping up her neck. It’s sweet and ridiculously endearing, and the added confirmation Maggie’s feelings haven’t changed in the slightest is absolutely not what she needs right now. She just needs to solve this stupid case, go to the reunion, and then move on with her life. Unfortunately, her mouth doesn’t seem to be on the same page as her brain.

“Tell me, Danvers… those feds teach you how to spar?”

 

Maggie doesn’t get back to her shitty apartment until almost two in the morning, sore and sweaty but grinning so wide her cheeks hurt. Turns out Alex does know how to spar, and she’s damn good. Fuck.

She can’t help the way her mind goes back to the last time she’d seen Alex flushed and triumphantly grinning. Maggie definitely doesn’t need an extra-long shower to calm herself down.

 

 

All of a sudden, they’re Alex and Maggie again. She’d be lying if she said she hadn’t missed it.

Tuesday morning Alex walks into the conference room that Maggie commandeered for the case bearing two coffee cups and several extremely thick case files and Maggie can’t tell which one she’s more excited for. Through the glass, the rest of the precinct gapes at their casual physical contact and the way Maggie’s smile never seems to fade as the two women trade halfhearted barbs and bounce ideas off each other.

Maggie knows that Alex realizes she has no idea what half of the doctorate-level science she’s trying to explain means, but it’s worth the confusion to watch the way Alex’s eyes light up talking about her passion and the way her hands never stop moving, as if she’s trying to physically lay it all out for Maggie and she can’t contain herself to mere words.

 

By Wednesday at noon, half the precinct staff and rookie officers have a betting pool regarding when they’re going to, in the words of one particularly brazen individual, “fuck it out.” The unresolved sexual tension and lingering glances between the two are so obvious, Maggie’s captain is in on the bet by the time the precinct shuts down Thursday night.

 

 

Kara and Alex have a sisters’ movie night on Friday to catch up and take a break from the craziness of the week before Alex has to go to the reunion tomorrow. Kara plays innocent, but the number of times Alex has brought up Maggie of her own free will has her “sunshine Danvers” smile threatening to spill over. She likes the softness Maggie still brings to her sister. The world forced Alex to be hard a long time ago, and it’s been entirely too long since she was happy.

Kara already knew Maggie still cared deeply for Alex, if not loved her. Now, it’s becoming abundantly clear that her sister feels the same way. She thanks Rao for this stupid case, because she was just about to forcibly set them up with the other at the reunion.

Sometimes the universe thinks people need a shove in the right direction too.

Chapter Text

Alex and Maggie show up at the reunion together. They’ve been working literally side-by-side all week, chasing leads all over National City to try and find the fucking brilliant weapon Alex designed. It never occurs to either of them to go separately.

It also never occurs to either of them that it presents the two of them as a couple, especially considering the rumors about them in high school. It doesn’t hurt that they still have this insane chemistry that allows them to naturally play off the other without there ever being a dull moment. Nearly every interaction they have starts off with, “Oh, are you two together?” or “Awww, have you been together since senior year? That’s so cute!!”

 

Maggie is about to emphatically go off on people for assuming Alex’s sexuality and presuming that the two of them are together when she spots Alex’s asshole ex-boyfriend out of the corner of her eye. Max Lord was undoubtedly brilliant. That was what brought him and Alex together in the first place. Unfortunately, he was also a prick only interested in helping himself. He never got over Alex dumping his sorry ass at the end of their junior year, and spent the entirety of senior year creepily pursuing her despite her strenuous objections. Maggie can’t count the number of times she glared him away from Alex in the hallways as they bickered between classes.

She subtly grabs Alex’s elbow and redirects her attention to the opposite side of the room, quietly muttering, “Max Lord just showed up.”

Maggie feels the eye roll more than sees it (God, she loves this woman).

Wait. What the fuck?

 

Unfortunately, Lord chooses that exact moment to come swaggering over to the pair. Per usual, he flat out ignores the fact that Maggie is standing right next to Alex as he tries to get Alex to go on a date with him, albeit in the most smarmy way possible. Maggie hates how much attention she pays to Alex’s mannerisms that she can spot the exact moment Lord stops being an inconvenience and starts making her uncomfortable, but she’s grateful for it.

But in the .5 seconds Maggie took to decide what to do, Alex already developed a plan of her own (as usual).

 

“Oh, babe, you remember Max Lord, right? Max, this is my girlfriend, Detective Maggie Sawyer, NCPD Homicide.”

Shit. Maggie’s so fucked. The most gorgeous, intelligent woman Maggie’s ever met is pretending they’re dating to get rid of a frankly pathetic excuse for a human being.

“Detective? That’s interesting. Last time I checked you were more interested in being on the other side of the law,” Max sneers, turning ever so slightly at the sound of someone calling his name.

Alex sees the dangerous flash in Maggie’s eyes and not-so-subtly grabs Maggie’s flexed hand before she can punch through Lord, hastily excusing the two of them and thanking whatever deity sent the former cheerleading captain who now occupies Lord’s attention.

 

They make it halfway across the space before Alex realizes she’s still holding Maggie’s hand and neither of them has made a move to let go.

 

 

Alex ends up half dragging Maggie to a sheltered nook around the corner from the ladies’ room, rambling apologies before Maggie can even get a word in, and dropping Maggie’s hand like it burned her.

 

“I’m-so-sorry-I-definitely-should’ve-asked-before-I-pretended-that-we’re-dating-but-Max-is-such-an-asshole-and-I-just-wanted-to-get-rid-of-him-I’m-sorry-if-I-made-you-uncomfortable-”

Alex cuts herself off at the fond yet exasperated look on Maggie’s face.

 

“Guess you’re my date for the night,” Maggie says quietly, not bothering to restrain the dimpled grin or the hearteyes she knows she’s aiming at Alex. She just extends her hand for Alex’s, and gently interlaces their fingers, noticing how they fit perfectly together. “Ready?”

 

Maggie drives Alex back to Kara’s later that night after successfully avoiding any further interaction with Max Lord, but raising more than a few eyebrows with their joined hands.

Alex pauses after she unbuckles her seatbelt outside the building.

“You know,” she says, “that was better than I thought it would be. And… thank you. For helping me with Max. I know I didn’t give you much of a choice, but… yeah. Thanks, Maggie.”

After the briefest of hesitations, during which Maggie swears Alex’s eyes flitted to her mouth, Alex presses her lips to Maggie’s cheek, a little too close to the corner of her lips to be anything other than purposeful, lingering just past what would be considered friendly.

 

Before Maggie can properly react, Alex is carefully shutting the car door and nodding hello to the doorman.

 

 

It only takes another three days for the two of them to finish up the case. Alex managed to remotely install a tracking software that triangulated the location of the weapon, and Maggie coordinated a combined federal/NCPD SWAT team to recover it. Unfortunately, their victory comes at the cost of two of Alex’s longest-running lab techs, who were paid off to allow the weapon to be stolen. It’s bittersweet, but justice is served, and the family has answers.

 

For the first time, the precinct is actually disappointed to close a case.

Detective Sawyer has never smiled as much as she has with the brilliant scientist around, and, quite honestly, there was a serious amount of money involved in the bet. A solid resolution would’ve been nice.

 

 

Maggie’s packing up the case files and clearing the murder board in the conference room when she senses movement by the door behind her. She turns, only to find it’s Alex.

Alex, the brilliant engineer and scientist who could singlehandedly destroy half the world in an instant with the knowledge and information she possesses.

Alex, looking horribly awkward and shy, with no idea what to do with her hands as she anxiously twists them in front of her.

Alex, the woman she’s been in love with for 10 years.

 

It’s enough for Maggie to stop what she’s doing and set down the papers she had been casually scanning as she removed them from the board. Alex takes a few steps further into the room, seemingly waiting for Maggie to say something, and the uncertainty in her eyes nearly kills Maggie.

Maggie says, I love you.

Maggie says, Be with me.

Maggie says, Don’t leave.

 

 

Maggie says, “You know, we make a pretty good team.”

 

Alex half smiles at that, taking another few steps closer, until the height difference is accentuated, and Maggie has to look slightly upward to meet her eyes. She half imagines Alex’s eyes dip to her mouth before re-establishing eye contact and nervously chewing on her bottom lip.

She doesn’t know how long they stand like that, only that she feels the need to close the distance between them. Maggie half exhales, pushing out a short breath, before slightly leaning forward, allowing Alex time to pull away if that’s what she wants.

 

Someone knocks on the door frame and they jump apart, the spell broken.

Chapter Text

It’s been three weeks since Alex left and Maggie’s back to being her previously surly self. The older male detectives she works with are oblivious as usual, but it’s obvious to everyone else. The disappointment is palpable, and the daily slog of cases entering the precinct never ceases. Maggie still works too late and solves nearly all of her cases, but the spark that was there working with Alex is gone.

 

 

They come across another stupidly complex case at ass o’clock in the morning and Maggie desperately needs more caffeine. On her way back to her desk from the crime scene, she stops at a small coffee shop she remembers being near Kara’s apartment and orders a large Americano, black, with four shots of espresso. The barista gives her one hell of a look and asks her to confirm that she really does want four shots, which Maggie does with a deadened glare, before starting to make the drink. Maggie closes her eyes, mentally counting down the seconds until the caffeine reaches her bloodstream.

“So it’s one of those mornings, huh,” comes a familiar voice over her left shoulder. Alex.

 

“Yeah, I guess it is. We caught a hell of a case this morning,” Maggie says, blearily wiping at her eyes in a desperate attempt to seem more awake than she really is. Unfortunately, that means she’s not really paying attention until the moment she knows she’s been staring a heartbeat too long. Everything Alex is wearing is tight and clings, and goddamn black is such an underrated color.

Somehow, Maggie’s level of sheer apathy when it comes to laundry finally worked out in her favor. The only clean pair of jeans she had were the tight black ripped ones she usually saves for the bars, and she managed to dig out a clean white v-neck that shows off both the black bra she’s wearing underneath it (fucking. laundry.) and the shadows of various tattoos on her torso and shoulders. Even though she was forced into action at Satan’s ass crack of dawn and probably has massive bags under her eyes, it’s not a bad combination in which to run into a ridiculously attractive woman.

(If Maggie hadn’t been distracted, she would’ve seen the way Alex’s eyes abruptly jump up from admiring her ass to raking over her torso and tracing the black lines decorating her skin before meeting Maggie’s gaze.)

 

It’s only a moment before the barista calls out Maggie’s order and she really has to go, but she can’t help the wink she tosses Alex’s way as she passes by with a, “I’ll see you around, Danvers.”

 

 

The coffee shop is only the first of several brief and unfulfilling encounters over the next week.

Each time is slightly more awkward and unexpected than the last, to the point where Maggie starts properly doing her laundry just in case she runs into Alex. Unfailingly, each run-in consists of a brief staring match when they think the other isn’t looking and minute and a half of banter before one of them has to rush off.

Maggie learns that Alex moved to National City two weeks ago at the behest of her boss to work on priority research and development using the newly constructed government facility nearby. She can’t say she’s disappointed.

The precinct members involved in the bet have high hopes that the woman is back. They’ve seen Maggie wear the same half-wrinkled black shirt three days running without a care in the world. This clean laundry streak is something else entirely.

 

 

Friday night Maggie is out at her usual bar, working her way through a couple fingers of whiskey while handily disposing of any challengers dumb enough to think they can knock off the reigning pool champion. It’s been a fucking week, and she’s seen Alex too many times for it to be accidental, but there’s no way anyone could have set up those encounters. For half of them, she wasn’t even supposed to be in that particular place at that time. Therefore, she figures her bar is safe.

And it is. Until Kara comes in dragging Alex, some dweeby-looking nerd she recognizes from Kara’s frequent Instagram posts, and a tall black man she would swear is James Olsen.

 

Kara sees her first.

“Maggie! I thought you might be here!!! These are my work friends Winn and James,” Kara gestures at each in turn, “and of course you know Alex.”

The short one looks like he’s about to open his mouth and question why “of course” she would know Alex, but Olsen blatantly redirects him with the task of ordering drinks for the group. Maggie decides she doesn’t immediately hate James Olsen.

That leaves Kara with Alex and Maggie, and it’s so laughably awkward that Maggie can’t help her smirk as she realizes exactly what Little Danvers’s plan is here. Kara had the bright idea to bring Alex to Maggie’s favorite bar, knowing that Maggie would inevitably end up there, and drag along the two nitwits to make it appear less obvious that she’s trying to force the two of them together.

 

Alex catches on after the Look™ Maggie levels at Kara causes her to fidget self-consciously next to Alex. Kara briefly attempts to maintain her innocence before realizing the apparent futility of her efforts. Instead, she leaves them alone with a flimsy excuse about Winn and James needing help carrying over drinks. In theory, it would be plausible, except for the fact that the three of them are crowded around a vintage Pac-Man machine, yelling encouragement and insults at each other while tying to cheat the high score.

Maggie doesn’t bother telling them that the only way the high score was reached in the first place was that she and Alex used to sneak into this bar on weeknights an hour or two before closing, and play pool and Pac-Man until they were kicked out. Between the two of them, they’d managed to make it to nearly double the number of levels as the previous high score. That was from the early days when they were falling in love and didn’t quite know it yet, before life took its toll on them.

Smiling softly at the memory, she turns to Alex.

“Since it doesn’t look like they’re coming back any time soon… can I buy you a drink?” Maggie asks.

 

 

Somehow, they end up at the pool table, drinks in hand, and by the time they’ve finished their series for the night, almost half the bar is watching the two of them with varying degrees of subtlety. Maggie narrowly wins the series three games to two, and they’ve steadily fallen back into their old patterns of flirting and general touchiness.

Kara watches with a proud smile from the Pac-Man machine, still hellbent on beating the high score (Maggie won’t be the one to tell her).

Maggie leaves first, citing an early morning at the precinct, and it’s her turn to land a kiss dangerously close to the corner of Alex’s lips.  Alex watches her go until she’s past the back door and out of sight, retrieving her bike from the narrow alley.

 

Kara wants to smack them both. In the most loving way possible, of course.

 

 

Winn and James have to frantically pause the game as Kara finally explodes.

“THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!” She lets out in a huff. “They’ve both been in love with the other for 10 years and I will personally make sure this stupid ship sails if it is the last thing I ever do.”

The boys know better than to get involved when Kara gets invested in a project like this, and subtly hit resume on their game.

 

Alex comes back over with a fresh beer in hand, pointedly ignoring all of Kara’s attempts to nudge her into asking Maggie out despite the color flooding her cheeks.

Or just kissing her. Kara’s not picky.

Chapter Text

Maggie gets a text from Kara at 8:45 the next morning, with the instructions to wear a slightly nicer-than-normal outfit and show up at a new gastropub downtown at 7:30 that night.

Kara texts Alex the same, ignoring all questions from both parties. She hopes they both show up. And if they complain later about her meddling, well, they each had plenty of opportunities and it was starting to give her a headache.

 

 

Alex isn’t a government agent with access to pretty much all of the United States’ secure databases for nothing. It only takes a handful of keystrokes to get Maggie’s number. The difficult part is psyching herself up to use it.

She hits dial before she can talk herself out of it and can’t decide whether or not she wants Maggie to pick up the phone.

 

Maggie hears her phone buzzing angrily under the several layers of paperwork she’s been saddled with and eagerly digs it out, answering before even looking at the number. Literally anything would be better than paperwork. She prays it’s a body.

“Sawyer,” Maggie says.

“Hey… it’s Alex.”

Maggie can’t hide the way her heartbeat picks up when she realizes who’s on the other end of the phone.

“I was just wondering… did you get a really cryptic text from Kara this morning followed by immediate radio silence?” Alex asks hesitantly.

“Yeah…” Maggie draws out, not really sure where the discussion is headed, but mostly sure she wants to smack Kara upside the head for yet another obvious attempt to get the two of them alone together. “Why? You got big plans tonight?”

“I hope,” Alex half mumbles into the phone. “Actually, um, I was calling because… um…” She pauses and sighs.

“Hey Alex?” Maggie gently cuts in, trying not to reveal too much about her phone conversation to the rest of the bullpen, “Can I take you out tonight? On a date?”

Silence hangs between them, both in shock that one of them actually addressed their feelings.

“I would… really like that,” Alex says, failing to keep the smile out of her voice.

“I’ll pick you up at 7,” Maggie promises.

 

Everyone is shocked when Detective Sawyer’s paperwork is completed and neatly stacked, ready to be filed, with minimal complaints. She even leaves the precinct at 6:00 pm, something that hasn’t happened in months. The people in on the bet eagerly smack each other with glee. Even the captain has a small smile on his face when he sees the completed paperwork on Maggie’s empty desk 20 minutes later. After all, he does have $30 invested in this.

 

 

To put it simply, the date goes incredibly well.

 

It’s nothing fancy. Maggie brings Alex to a quiet corner Italian restaurant that she found years ago and faithfully frequents, though this is the first time she’s brought a date, much to the delight of the owners. They take great pleasure in making Maggie blush, but they make sure the date goes smoothly, something Maggie can’t thank them enough for.

She’s going to marry this woman someday.

 

 

Kara bursts into Alex’s apartment Sunday morning just after 10, brandishing her phone and ranting indistinguishably about “didn’t even show up,” “why haven’t you been answering,” “you are so stubborn,” “why won’t you admit that you love her,” before she fully takes in what’s happening.

 

Maggie’s wearing one of Alex’s old, worn-out Stanford t shirts and cooking pancakes with a smudge of flour on the tip of her nose and a grin etched on her face. Alex is in sleep shorts and a tank top, flour streaked across her cheek. They both have mugs of coffee nearby and Maggie is half humming some Barenaked Ladies song as she flips a pancake.

 

It’s nauseatingly domestic, but it’s also insanely perfect. Even if Kara did come bursting in threatening to put out an APB on Alex.

 

 

They go on a couple more dates before Alex finally asks Maggie to be her girlfriend.  Laughing, Maggie asks her what took her so long, and pulls her in for a deep kiss that leaves them both gasping for air.

 

Maggie’s usually in a much better mood as of late, and everyone at the precinct appreciates it. They’ve all been on the receiving end of the infamous Sawyer snark for some reason or another, so the generally pleasant disposition is a nice change.

Sometimes, Alex and Maggie have lunch dates. They take turns grabbing takeout and bringing it to the other’s desk, uncaring of the people around them.  When they’re at the precinct, the entire bullpen just stops and stares as Maggie melts into a gay puddle around her girlfriend and her gentle teasing.

They get caught making out in one of the empty conference rooms, and instead of getting lectured about personal conduct, Maggie gets lectured for causing her captain to lose the long-standing bet. She doesn’t know what to do with that information, but Alex finds it hilarious that the vast majority of the precinct was involved in a betting pool on their relationship mostly predicated on the fact that Maggie was no longer a grouch once she showed up. Somehow, Maggie doesn’t find it quite as funny.

 

Honestly, Maggie never thought she could be this happy. Ten years ago, she completed high school at the behest of her mother, despite a juvie record a mile long and the valedictorian who broke her heart. Now, she’s a NCPD homicide detective, happily dating said valedictorian, who is literally one of the most powerful women in the country.

Chapter Text

One day, they get a call.

She’s at her desk finishing up some paperwork, ready to get back to her apartment and make dinner for when Alex comes over. She’s going to ask Alex to move in with her, and everything has to be perfect.

 

It’s not homicide’s call. At least, not yet. It got passed through the grapevine of rookies before it even hit the local news playing on the corner TV.

There was an explosion on the outskirts of National City.

 

Maggie knows that address.

Her heart literally stops as her brain puts the pieces together. She can hear the blood rushing in her ears as she freezes on the spot. Her captain gently grabs her upper arm, trying to reach her through the haze of AlexAlexAlexAlexAlex.

Maggie wrenches herself free of his concerned grasp, sprinting to her desk and grabbing her car keys and her leather jacket before running as fast as her legs can carry her to the lot out back and her cruiser. She turns on the sirens full force, ignoring the way her phone keeps lighting up with notifications from where she threw it onto the passenger seat. What should be a twenty-minute drive takes her seven minutes. It’s seven minutes too long.

She’s out the door as soon as she kills the engine outside the building, and the way she stalks up to the lead detective on the scene creates an obscene amount of fear in his eyes. He doesn’t even question the fact that she’s homicide and has, in theory, no reason for being there, never mind the fact that he isn’t obligated to tell her anything due to the relative equality of their rank within the NCPD.

Thankfully, even in his fearful state, he’s able to quickly point her towards the group of employees gathered off to the side and assure her that no one was injured, and they were able to evacuate the building just before the blast.

 

Alex is unharmed.

Maggie thanks every god she doesn’t believe in.

Alex is in her arms and everything is okay.

 

 

They don’t want to be separated after that, so Maggie takes the rest of the day off and they spend it in Maggie’s bed in sweatpants, just holding onto each other with a movie playing in the background.

Just before they fall asleep, Maggie asks softly, “Move in with me?”

Alex answers with a kiss and snuggles even further into the crook of Maggie’s neck.

 

If Maggie could define happiness, this would be it.

 

 

There are coffee dates and late-night dinners and early morning seductions that make one or both of them almost late for work and suddenly they’ve been together for three years without either of them really noticing. They’re unstoppable at game night to the point where they’re no longer allowed to be on the same team, and they’re a rock for Kara when she finally comes to terms with her bisexuality and kisses Lena Luthor.

They’ve talked about marriage, obviously, but not in the way Maggie wants. They treat it like the future, when Maggie hopes it can be the present. She knows it’s almost a foregone conclusion, and that Alex will say yes if she asked, but the prospect of proposing is still more than a little daunting.

She wants it to be romantic and Alex deserves something nothing less than perfect.

 

In the end, it might not be either of those things.

They had gone to the shore on a weekend getaway, just the two of them, and Maggie was sure she was going to propose. But she never found the exact right moment, so the little box stayed hidden in the side pocket of her suitcase.

The vacation itself had been perfect. It was just long enough to escape their busy lives, without leaving them feeling overly restless. They stayed in bed too long and ordered breakfast in, tanned on the beach (Maggie tanned, Alex burned), and tried whatever restaurants looked good to them. One night, they got just tipsy enough to skinny dip at 2:30 in the morning, splashing around in the waves without a care in the world.

But the box stayed hidden.

 

 

She finally asks Alex to marry her the morning after they get back.

 

Objectively speaking, there’s nothing special about this particular morning. Maggie wakes up first, grabbing a hoodie and sleepily shuffling into the kitchen, before starting the coffeemaker and working on some pancakes. She waits, knowing that the smell of coffee will force Alex awake and out of bed, and can’t help her smile when she hears the soft footsteps coming towards her from their bedroom. Alex hugs her from behind as Maggie carefully flips the pancake in front of her, pressing a soft kiss to the underside of her jaw before nestling her head into the gap between Maggie’s head and shoulder, breathing in Maggie’s scent.

It’s like every other morning.

Maggie slides the pancake onto a nearby plate and grabs a second mug from the cabinet, pouring a coffee for Alex. She makes sure to turn off the burner.

It’s unplanned and it’s casual, but it’s Alex, and Alex has always been it for Maggie.

 

She turns in Alex’s embrace, unable to stop the words from spilling out.

“Alex… will you marry me?”

 

Alex frowns and buries her head back in the crook of Maggie’s neck and Maggie panics, her pulse rate instantly doubling.

Chapter Text

“It’s not fair,” she half whines. “I was about to ask you to marry me but you had to go and do it first!!”

Thank fuck.

It takes Maggie a minute to restart her heart and redirect her thoughts to the fact that Alex wants to marry her too. She literally hunts murderers for a living, but that’s nothing compared to the sheer terror of a moment ago.

 

“My answer has always been, and will always be, yes,” Maggie says, carefully nudging Alex’s chin until she can properly connect their lips, all thoughts of pancakes and coffee forgotten.

“Well in that case, I think it’s only fair if I say yes, too,” Alex says when they break apart.

 

Maggie laces their fingers together and leads Alex back down the hall to their room, digging through the back of her closet before emerging triumphant with a ring box.

“It’s gorgeous,” Alex breathes, as Maggie carefully opens the box and slides the ring on Alex’s finger. It’s a platinum band with a few small inlaid diamonds that will comfortably fit under Alex’s work gloves, and, as Maggie soon finds out, is extremely similar to the one Alex picked out for her.

 

They both burst out laughing when they realize Kara had basically advised them on matching engagement rings.

Years later, and she’s still meddling.

 

 

They end up eloping.

Maggie doesn’t care much for the whole white wedding thing, and Alex wanted something small on a beach. They both get what they want.

Eliza and Kara are going to be furious with them when they get back, but for the moment, they’re newlyweds on a beach and Maggie can’t bring herself to care about much of anything that isn’t her wife.

Her wife.

 

She thinks back to all the heartache that got them here, and in the end, it almost seems glorious.