Lena wasn’t surprised that the knock on her door came at exactly 7pm. She couldn’t catch the small gasp before it escaped when she saw Alex. Dressed in a relaxed fit midnight blue pantsuit and gossamer thin black silk shirt, with boots shined to a gleam she was, frankly, stunning. The only thought Lena could muster was how it had taken their somewhat awkward conversation the night before for her to realise something so obvious.
If Alex felt nervous tonight, she was hiding it well. She smiled as she handed her the bouquet of roses she was holding.
“These are beautiful, thank you.”
“White roses symbolize new beginnings, apparently.”
“And everlasting love.”
The look on Alex’s face at that was priceless, and Lena tried very hard not to laugh, but failed miserably, as the older woman looked the epitome of a rabbit in the headlights, and it was adorable.
Alex relaxed and chuckled too when she realised she was being teased.
“I’ll just put them in some water, if you want to come in.”
Lena walked towards the kitchen and Alex slid her hands in her pockets as she stepped inside, looking around her.
The apartment had a similar layout to her own studio, all open plan, but on a much grander scale. It was similarly sparsely decorated, though, she noted. The paperback on the coffee table was a rare incongruity, well worn with a battered bookmark hanging out of it halfway through.
“I know you asked me, and I hope you don’t mind, but I booked a table at a place I know. It’s a short walk from here and it’s a nice night.”
Lena smiled at her over the vase of flowers as she walked past and placed them on the coffee table.
“Plus I didn’t bring my bike. Bike oil isn’t a great look on a nice suit.”
“And it is a very nice suit.”
Lena enjoyed the light blush that blossomed over Alex’s cheeks.
“Well, you don’t look too bad yourself.”
She smirked, her eyes glittering with mischief and something else, that made Lena blush deeply and smile in reply.
The ridiculous amount of time she had spent picking out her dress suddenly felt worth it, the deep green accentuating her eyes.
“Shall we?” Alex gestured toward the open door.
The restaurant was a tiny hole in the wall place, almost entirely hidden by the surrounding urban modernism of the majority of the city. It was all bare brick walls and candles in wine bottles. Where it should have been cliché, it was warm and friendly, alive with people, conversation and laughter.
A young boy, barely in his teens, with an attempt at a moustache that was more enthusiasm than hair, showed them to a table near the back. Close to the kitchen, where occasional wafts of steam carrying glorious smells burst from the doors every time one of the wait staff appeared, loaded with plates of food.
Lena hadn’t been in such a place since a week in Italy when Lex had been trying to set up a new Luthorcorp office.
“It’s been owned by the same family since the thirties and the pasta is hand made fresh every day.” Alex confided as she leaned over the table once they were seated, and their teen waiter had left them with menus.
Alex’s eyes sparkled as she spoke.
Lena laughed “God, both of you Danvers sisters are as bad as each other for your love of food.”
Alex looked slightly sour. “I am more about the quality, Kara is definitely more concerned with quantity.”
“I’ll have whatever the daily special is and we’ll have a bottle of house red, please.” Alex spoke to their waiter as he reappeared, before nodding at Lena.
“If that’s ok with you?”
“Oh, um…” Lena hadn’t even looked at the menu.
“Trust me.” Alex winked.
“Ok.” Lena beamed at Alex, feeling her stomach lurch slightly at the request, given their very recent conversation that had taken a leap of faith on both sides. And yet, it had brought them here.
“I’ll have the special too, then.” She handed the waiter back their menus, turning her smile on him.
He merely nodded and leaned over to light the candle on their table.
“You know some very interesting places, Director Danvers.”
They were briefly interrupted by the waiter as he brought the wine and efficiently filled both of their glasses before leaving the bottle and melting away again.
“Do you run?”
“What, for fun?”
“Yes, for fun.” Alex huffed a laugh.
“A little. I’m more a spin class kind of girl.”
“Come running with me tomorrow, I’ll show you some parts of the city you’ve never seen.”
“What about brunch?”
“We’ll be back for brunch.”
“Talking of which, did you tell your sister about us?”
“Yes.” Alex winced at the memory. “It turns out she can squeal with sonic force.”
Lena looked concerned.
“She shattered two of the monitors in the DEO.”
There was a bark of explosive laughter before Lena frowned at her.
“Why were you at work on a Saturday? Should I be worried?”
“No, it was a minor thing in the end, NCPD handled it.”
A shadow crossed Alex’s face, but not fast enough that Lena didn’t notice it.
“Can I ask what happened with you and Maggie?”
“I wanted kids; she didn’t.” Alex shrugged.
The simple gesture failed to conceal the world of hurt behind the words.
“Oh... I’m sorry.”
Alex sighed and shrugged again. “Shit happens.”
She fixed Lena with an entirely too neutral look.
“What about you? Do you want kids?”
“I...well, I thought about kids in the abstract, but...well I kind of ruled it out.”
“Why?” Alex sounded genuinely curious.
“Look at my genes Alex, my brother’s a sociopath. And my family gives new meaning to dysfunctional. That’s a lot of baggage to risk passing on.”
“But you are not your family. You get to make different choices.”
“Nurture as opposed to nature?”
“Alex Danvers, who knew you were such an optimist.”
Alex saluted her with her glass and grinned as she drank.
Lena leaned over the table, whispering conspiratorially. “You know those ancestry things? Where you do a DNA swab and they tell you all about your genetic make-up?”
“Yeah for tracing your family tree and stuff...Wait, you didn’t?” Alex’s eyes went wide, her reply almost a hiss.
“Not ….exactly…” Lena squirmed
“What do you mean ‘not exactly’?”
“Well I could hardly put my DNA on a public database.”
“Oh my God, you hacked the database?” Alex rocked back in her chair and laughed.
“Well, it only took a small hack. And writing an algorithm. Or two.” Lena looked slightly guilty, but not much.
“You have some weird hobbies.”
Lena’s eyebrows shot up. “Pot, kettle. Anyway I wanted to know about my mother’s family.”
“What did you find?”
“Huge Irish family, loads of them. Cousins for weeks!” Her tone had taken on a slight Irish lilt as she spoke.
“I looked them up on Facebook, they all live in rural Ireland, big extended family, all kids and sheepdogs on acres of farmland.”
Alex’s eyes took on a faraway look “Sounds idyllic.”
Lena sighed and then she laughed. “We’d both be bored silly, you know we would.”
Alex chuckled, “Yeah, true.” She sipped her wine.
“So, did it make you rethink your position?”
Lena fidgeted with the stem of her glass. “Yes, I think it did. I quite like the idea of a big family.”
They smiled at each other, both lost in their own thoughts.
“We were going to get a dog and call it Gertrude.”
“Well, that’s that name taken then. Have to be Virginia, so we can shorten it to Gin.”
Alex snorted with laughter, slapping a hand over her mouth as she almost spat wine everywhere.
She swallowed quickly and coughed.
“You have a mischievous streak.”
Lena slowly raised one eyebrow and smiled at her as she sipped her wine.
Alex was still laughing when the waiter arrived with their food, and placed a steaming bowl of pasta in front of each of them.
“Grazie.” Alex smiled shyly at Lena as they both spoke in unison.
“Oh, you weren’t kidding, this is amazing .” Lena gushed, fingers over her lips as she spoke, her mouth still full.
Alex grinned back, her own cheeks stuffed like a hamster as she tried to swallow and speak at the same time.
“I know right?” She finally replied when she had swallowed.
“And the wine is from grapes grown on the family vineyard in Italy and imported.”
“It is surprisingly good for a house red.”
“Wait until you try the chocolate cake.”
Lena felt the flush rise from her chest to the roots of her hair at the look on Alex’s face.
“Ladies, is a time to close.” The old man’s words were thick with an Italian accent, the apron tied around his waist covered in flour and splashed with tomato sauce.
Lena looked up in surprise. The place had emptied unnoticed around them while they had shared a thick slice of chocolate cake, which had indeed been spectacular, and a very lazy second bottle of wine.
“Giuseppe, wonderful as ever. Grazie mille.” Alex stood and shook his hand, as he took hers in both of his.
“Prego, prego Alexandra. I see you and your beautiful lady again?”
Alex smiled at Lena as she spoke. “Definitely. I have converted someone else to your wonderful pasta.”
“I make it fresh every day. I teach my boys, but they are so young, they need more practice.” He grinned at them both.
Alex chuckled at what was clearly a regular shared joke.
Lena didn’t even see money change hands, but Alex was scooping her jacket off the back of her chair and holding a hand out to Lena to help her up.
Giuseppe gently escorted them out and bid them a warm goodnight before closing the door behind them.
Alex draped her jacket round Lena’s shoulder and Lena found her hand in Alex’s, their fingers linked as if they had done it a thousand times.
“So, you know the owner?” Lena asked as they started to amble slowly down the street.
“He thinks I need feeding up.”
“You’re clearly a regular?”
“I am a terrible cook, but I like good food.”
“Kara must love the place.”
“I’ve never taken anyone else.” Lena felt herself smile.
The evening was cool, but clear, the odd star just visible past the street lights and skyscrapers as they walked. The silence between them comfortable and easy.
Lena was disappointed at how soon they arrived back at her door, despite their ludicrously slow pace as they dawdled home.
They drifted to a stop outside her building, facing each other, hands still linked.
“Nightcap?” Lena quirked an eyebrow and smiled slowly.
Alex smiled back and allowed herself to be pulled up the steps.
They held hands in the lift, swapping shy smiles, as if they hadn’t just spent the whole evening together.
Lena unlocked the door one handed and pulled Alex gently inside, backing her up against the door to close it behind them.
Her breath was warm on Alex’s lips and she could feel the older woman’s breathing start to speed up, just from the press of their bodies. Watched as Alex’s pupils slowly expanded until her irises were just the merest sliver of brown around black diamonds glittering in the low light of the apartment. Felt her own skin start to tingle in anticipation as she slowly leaned in and brought their lips together. As the kiss deepened she felt goosebumps rise, Alex’s hands chasing them over her skin as she slid her hands up Lena’s arms to the back of her neck and then her mind stopped producing any coherent thoughts at all.
Lena was utterly surprised to feel herself smiling as she awoke the next morning, Alex wrapped around her, the duvet wrapped around them both. Cocooned together in their own nest, a million miles away from the rest of the world.
“G’morning.” The jumble of words were a mumble of lips against the back of her neck that tickled just enough to make her laugh.
“How are you doing?”
“Mmm.” Lips continued a path along her shoulders and this time she gasped.
“I have no idea what time it is, but I don’t think we're going to get that run in before brunch.
“Or even make it to brunch if you keep doing that.” Lena squeaked and laughed, feeling Alex smile against her skin.
“Alexa, what time is it?”
Alex groaned, still wrapped around Lena, head under the duvet.
“We barely have time for a shower. And I’m gonna have to wear last night’s clothes.”
“Shame.” Lena’s tone was sing-song and joyously mocking.
A deep laugh came from under the duvet.
They were late, their friends already waiting for them, taking over a table outside Noonan’s in the late morning sunshine.
They ambled slowly up, hands linked, Alex’s jacket tucked through her arm, silk shirt untucked over her trousers. Lena looking altogether more presentable in jeans and a sweater.
Kara saw them first and Alex immediately glowered at her and pointed. “Nope.”
Kara slapped both of her hands over her mouth as she stood, eyes wide.
Lena laughed as she watched Kara physically try and contain her excitement before removing her hands.
“But my sister and my best friend.” She beamed.
“I am never letting you watch Friends again.” Alex grumbled but she grinned as she spoke.
“I’m going to get us some drinks - black coffee?”
Lena nodded and Alex kissed her before letting her hand go and heading inside. Lena felt the newness of it all, the statement of Alex kissing her in front of their friends and her sister. It was so far from how she had felt at the games night - was that really less than 48 hours ago?
Pulling out a chair she sat down next to Kara, who immediately leaned into her. “How are you?” Kara frowned as she spoke. “Alex told me that Lex told you. I am so sorry Lena. I wish I had handled things better. I just really didn’t want you to get hurt and then you did anyway.”
Lena opened her mouth to speak, but was interrupted by Alex placing a large mug of coffee in front of her with a smile.
“Someone will be out to take our order in a minute.” While this was aimed at the group in general it was drowned out by Brainy’s voice booming out.
“What does this mean this ‘walk of shame’?”
Nia squealed with embarrassment and turned a violent shade of pink while J’onn snorted with laughter.
Kara tried desperately to hide her own laughter, failing dismally, and Lena didn’t even try.
Alex didn’t look at all embarrassed but stared directly at Brainy.
“Sometimes when you are having a really good time, you don’t want it to end and maybe I haven’t been home to change yet but I was a little…” She smirked. “Busy.”
She winked at Lena and sat down next to her, taking her hand in her own again, resting it on the arms of their chairs and linking their fingers together.
Lena turned back to Kara, her tone thoughtful. “You know, maybe we could have all done things differently, but I think it’s worked out ok this way.”