Misery loves company but maybe your misery loves, more than it loves company.
You shake your head every time Maggie brings up her being outed, the ghosts of her father's fist on her lips, hides your wince of the phantom pain of your mother’s palm across your face, willing the memory into a gentle caress instead of another failed attempt at being a daughter.
You sympathize, offering everything from kind words to a cuddle filled with warm blankets and hot chocolate with that special almond milk but never, ever, the comfort of a shared experience because it wasn’t abuse. It wasn’t. No, you needed to learn how to be a good daughter, and after Kara arrived, a good sister. And after that, it became a deserving punishment because it was your fault you never get to see your father again, and Kara lost yet again another family member so soon, your fault your mother’s so angry. Your fault for this hurricane in your head. She hasn’t laid a hand on you in years and you credit your being a bad ass soldier but you know the moment you're in the same room you turn back into that 13 year old girl desperate for someone to understand. But you can't blame her, you've been seething with anger since you’ve learned what anger was (or was it when you learned what you’re mother's anger was?) and god forbid Kara got any hate thrown her way. No, if your mother made anything clear it was to protect Kara. And nothing taught you that lesson better than black eyes, secret bruises, but nothing more than the carefully crafted words out of the mouth of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. How “Kara was in danger yet again” and “Haven’t I taught you enough Alexandra?” But it wasn’t abuse, no.
Maggie got kicked out of her house!
You got a roof over your head and maybe you got sent to your room without dinner but your self loathing had kicked it then anyway and not eating was just another way to spite whatever god you stopped praying to for making you live. But you wouldn’t leave, couldn't leave. Not when Kara was your number one priority. So you grit your teeth and signed up for boxing at the local gym to explain away the bruises, thanking god for Kara's love for humanity to not expose her super strength on an untimely hit. But. It’s almost thanksgiving and you’ve never had anyone like Maggie love you before and there’s no way you’ll be able to hide this from her and you just got a handle on your drinking and, your favourite thanksgiving outfit was a drunken stupor and you just can’t handle Maggie's concerned faces, you can’t. Because you know you don’t deserve it and you know you’ve been hiding the truth from her and she’s absolutely going to leave you when she finds out. And after all the cuddles she has to give you after one lousy phone call with your mother, you know you won’t leave this one unscathed.
You always explain away the increased heart rate to Kara as the effects of the alcohol- just another thing you’ve picked up from mother dearest besides your quick temper and a desire to fix everything with your fists.
But this was all before Maggie. Soft, sweet, bad ass, dimpled, “I'm a detective, Danvers, I detect” Maggie who makes your heart melt every time she smiles and makes you wanna be a better person and strip down to your soul with every removal of clothing but you can’t be responsible for Kara losing yet another family member, you can’t. The sting of Astra still lingers in her eyes and you vowed to never be the person who puts it there again and you know without a doubt that you would rather die than break that vow. So your mouth stays closed and you resign yourself to being the best fucking actress this thanksgiving has ever seen, praying to every god you’ve never believed in for an alien attack to take you out of commission. But god’s never been on your side. You wonder if it’s because you only seem to remember her in desperate situations or under Maggie’s tongue but you know this time you’re on your own.
The countdown begins with Kara's bubbly excitement and Maggie’s soft nervousness to celebrate holidays with a family again. Kara reminds you over the phone not to forget the wine
(they trust you too much with alcohol, but since the first taste you had at fourteen, your father’s love and your mother’s attempt to love you swirling away at the bottom of a whiskey bottle you nicked from your mother’s bedroom after a bender gave you your first taste of control- well that heady cocktail was not something you were quick to forget)
and you listen to her rant about Miss Grant (you have a serious bone to pick with that woman but Kara insists she loves her job so you leave it alone for now. Deep down you know there’s a crush underneath those pastel shirts and you know it’s just another thing for your mother to blame your for)
“Yeah, I may have super strength but her words, Alex, the pen is mightier than the sword!”
You let out a snort thinking that they both pack a punch but you don’t want to start that train of thoughts too early today so you let her go with a promise not to be late tomorrow. Maggie squirrels up behind you with an arm around your waist as if she could tell the storm brewing. You take in her smell as if committing it to memory. You know this may be the last night you have with her. So you lead her to bed and try not to make every kiss feel like a goodbye. All you do is ruin things after all.