All week her fiancée had been acting weird.
At first, she assumed it had something to do with work. It made sense, she figured, because ever since Maggie had come home from her shift on Monday, she’d seemed a little off, a little distant. It wasn’t easy being a cop. Even if you could decompartmentalize, you still brought some of the shit you’d seen on the job home with you. So, initially, Alex didn’t push. She merely asked Maggie if she was okay which she claimed she was, and left it at that.
When the weirdness had only intensified by Wednesday, Alex started to worry. And she knew that she couldn’t let this fester any longer, so planned on asking again when she got home that day.
Nerves got to her when she arrived back at the apartment, and caught Maggie re-reading the little bonsai tree card she had given her at their bridal shower – the card in which she had expressed her undying love and gratitude for her future wife, the girl who had changed her life. Maggie wasn’t just re-reading that card. She was crying at it too, but tried to play it off. ‘Hey, you’re back early--.’
Alex cut right to it. ‘What’s going on?’
‘Noth--.’ Then Maggie broke down in Alex’s arms and no longer tried to hide it. Instead, she was completely transparent, revealing that on Monday she’d been offered the job of a lifetime, to work for the President to help set up a specialised, country-wide science division. It was an incredible offer, and it was hers for the taking – it was already cleared with her Captain, there were no prerequisites and, because of her work with the DEO, she was already vetted. There was just one catch.
Maggie had to move to DC for six months.
Their wedding was in two months.
And she had until tomorrow to decide and, should she accept, a private jet would be waiting to fly her to DC on Friday morning.
‘You should take it.’
Her fiancée was taken aback with how certain Alex’s advice was. ‘Babe--.’
‘If you didn’t want it, then you wouldn’t have spent the past few days agonizing over it. If you want to accept it, then you should accept it.’
‘But our wedding--.’
‘Can wait.’ Hell, Alex even surprised herself with how certain she was regarding this matter. She’d been ridiculously excited at the mere thought of calling Maggie her wife. She’d been counting down the days, often finding herself lost in her thoughts thinking about the day. All she wanted in life was to marry this extraordinary girl, to be able to tell her just how much she loved her in front of all their loved ones. But this job offer? It was too good to turn down. ‘This is an incredible opportunity. One that you fully deserve. And I refuse to stand in your way. If you want to take it, take it. We can reschedule everything. What’s six months when we have the rest of our lives?’
‘Excruciating, when all I want is to marry you,’ Maggie’s voice caught. ‘To be with you. I won’t see you for six whole months.’
And that would be excruciating. Alex had become so accustomed to this sort of life, a sort of life she’d had never known before Maggie – falling asleep and waking up in safe, loving arms because, regardless of their height difference, her fiancée was always the big spoon; snuggles; and knowing she was so incredibly loved, not through words but, rather, though stolen kisses, touches and absolutely incredible sex. That was a lot to give up. Those six months would be tough but standing in the way of her fiancée and the chance of a lifetime? She couldn’t do that. ‘Phone, FaceTime, Skype. I’ll always be just one call away. And I can come visit you, if our schedules line up.’ The latter was a long shot, as Maggie had mentioned how she’d most likely be required to go undercover at various points. But long shot or not, it was a shot and if she could, Alex would be on the first flight to DC.
Maggie took it all in, her eyes teary. ‘It won’t be the same, babe. I like our life together.’
‘And it’ll be waiting for you when you come home,’ Alex assured. ‘I’m not going anywhere. I love you,’ she leaned forward, to dry Maggie’s cheeks with her thumb. ‘So much. I love you more than anything in the world. Six months will be hard, but it won’t change anything. In fact, it’ll only deepen what I feel about you. Hell, I won’t be able to contain myself when you come home. Like you better wear clothes you don’t like, because I’ll literally be tearing them off you.’
Maggie let out a little laugh at that. ‘Are you sure?’
‘Oh, it’ll be like Hulk Hogan level of clothes tearing.’
Another laugh. ‘No, not that. The job. Are you really okay with me accepting it?’
Alex nodded. ‘Yes. Absolutely. If you want to take it, you have my full support.’
That support was all Maggie needed to call the White House, and accept the position.
/ / /
It seemed like just yesterday that Maggie had moved in – time flew when you were ridiculously in love. In actuality, it had been six months – what was it with that particular amount of time?
There had never been any question about whose apartment they were going to call home. Maggie’s place had been nice but it was rented, whereas Alex’s was owned. It made sense and even Maggie herself had admitted that she preferred Alex’s apartment, even if she often joked about the lack of bedroom privacy. The quips had started the first time she had come over, and looked perplexed by the set-up.
‘Steps to your bed? Really?’
‘Yeah. What’s wrong with that?’
‘Nothing, it’s just new to me. It’s like the altar of lesbianism or something.’
So many memories had been made in that apartment, even before Maggie officially moved in. It was going to be tough when they eventually moved out, when they bought the little home they were both dreaming about – Maggie had already set up Pinterest boards full of décor ideas and Alex had her heart set on an office.
It was hard enough watching her fiancée pack for a temporary move, the apartment already feeling empty despite the fact Maggie was packing lightly.
‘You want me to leave these?’ Maggie gestured at a stack of cookbooks.
Alex laughed. ‘You really think I’m brave enough to cook on my own?’
‘Fair point,’ Maggie agreed, putting almost all of them into a cardboard box. ‘I’ll leave you this one. I’m sure you can make cupcakes without burning the place down.’
‘Babe, there better be a home to come back to. That’s--.’ Her voice cracked. ‘That’s what’s keeping me going.’
‘Hey,’ Alex said softly and with a kind smile. ‘You want this job and you’re going to love it. It’ll be okay.’
‘I know, I know, I just…’ Maggie sighed, her eyes flicking over to the bottle of tequila that Winn had bought as a bridal shower gift. It still had the little ribbon on it. She grabbed it, opened it and took a swig, before offering it to Alex.
Alex arched a brow but accepted it with both hands anyway, and took a drink. Maggie started to play music on her phone and offered her hand.
‘Dance with me?’
Alex was confused but she wasn’t going to say no, not when her fiancée was looking at her like that.
/ / /
They danced for a hot minute (exceptionally hot, for her fiancée knew how to move her body) before their desire had gotten the best of them, and Maggie had led them over to their bed.
They had sex.
And Alex was still very much coming down from the high as Maggie cradled her in her arms, kissing her gently over and over and over again. ‘I’m going to miss this. So much. It’s gonna be torture.’
‘It’ll be torture for me too.’
That admission was a mistake, for it prompted doubt to rear its ugly head again. ‘Then why? Why am I going to do this?’
‘Because,’ Alex twisted around in Maggie’s hold, to see herself in her fiancee’s gorgeous brown eyes, to wrap an arm around her. ‘Because you were born to do good. You do it with the NCPD every day. And you’re going to do it on a much bigger scale with this job.’
Maggie smiled and she ran her fingers through Alex’s locks. ‘I wish I could take you with me.’
‘I wish you could too,’ Alex grinned. ‘But hey. Think of the reunion sex.’
‘I won’t be able to stop thinking about the sex in general.’
‘Yeah, well, multiply that by however many days you’ll be gone for and you’ll start to get a picture of how incredible it will be. I might put you in the hospital.’
‘Oh please,’ Maggie pressed a kiss to Alex’s forehead. ‘You’re a tender lover.’
‘I won’t be when I’m depraved of you for six months.’ Admittedly, six months was a daunting prospect. Thankfully, it was the 21st century and they had technology on their side. ‘We can talk every day.’
‘Will you send me a picture when you wake up in the morning?’
‘Of course,’ Alex nodded.
‘And every night, right before you go to bed?’
Alex nodded again. ‘Honey, I’ll send you so many pictures you’ll be sick of my face.’
‘Impossible,’ Maggie declared with a quick kiss, that descended into a flurry of light, tickly pecks. ‘We’re going to be alright, aren’t we?’ Maggie asked, resting her forehead against Alex’s.
‘We’re going to amazing.’
/ / /
This was it.
There was a car waiting outside of the apartment complex to take Maggie to the airport. Two men in suits had come up to help her with her luggage and smiled kindly as they let Maggie say one last goodbye.
It was a long goodbye. Hard, too.
Maggie kissed Alex like her life depended on it, with only the need to breathe forcing them apart. ‘I’m gonna miss you so much,’ she whispered, tears making quick descents down her cheeks. ‘I don’t want to do this.’
‘You do,’ Alex insisted with a forced smile. She was feeling it too, her dams threatening to break at any second but she was holding strong, so as to not make this any harder than it excruciatingly already was. ‘You want this job, and you’re going to be amazing at it.’
‘I don’t want to leave you.’
A punch to Alex’s heart. ‘You’re not. I’m only ever a phone call away, you know that.’
‘I know, I…’ Maggie shook her head. ‘I’m sorry, I’m a wreck, I know.’
Maggie wiped at her eyes before looking down at her left hand, at her engagement ring which she slowly removed and forced into palm of Alex’s hand. ‘Here.’
‘I’ll be going undercover, so I can’t wear it. And I really, really don’t want to lose it.’ She closed Alex’s fingers around it, before placing a lingering kiss on them. ‘Keep it safe for me, okay?’
Alex nodded. ‘I will.’
One more kiss and, with that, Maggie reached for her bag, slung it over her shoulder and headed to the door. She opened it and turned around. ‘See you around, Danvers.’
‘Yes. You will.’
Maggie smiled back before exiting, closing the door slowly behind her but pausing to add one last sentiment. ‘I can’t wait to marry you.’
And just like that she was gone and Alex gave into her emotions, covering her mouth so that her sobs weren’t audible on the other side of the door. This changed absolutely nothing about their relationship – they were still engaged and still very much in love and were still going to have that big gay wedding. They were just going to have to wait that little bit longer...
Wrote one more chapter as a little thank you for the lovely feedback on the first. Was meant to be a short one but, well, kinda took on a life of it's own so here it is! :)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The apartment they were putting her up in was nice enough but it wasn’t, and would never be, home.
Home was wherever Alex was and, right now, that was thousands of miles away, in a peculiar little apartment that had steps leading up to the bedroom. This new apartment was merely accommodation for the next six months, accommodation that she had barely any time to explore before there was a knock at the door and a car waiting to take her to meet with the President.
On route to the White House – White House, she was on her way to the freaking White House – she messaged Alex.
M: Arrived. Been to my apartment, now on the way to meet POTUS. Crazy day already x
Alex replied within thirty seconds.
A: Proud of you. Ask Olivia if she remembers me xo
Maggie snorted, prompting one of the painfully silent secret service men to shoot her a look. The colour rushed to her cheeks, as she bore her attention to her phone.
M: I wasn’t aware you two were on first name terms.
A: Should be. I’ve saved her ass numerous times.
M: They may tap this phone ya know.
A: And? It’s not like I’m lying. Liv owes me. Big time.
M: Maybe but I’m still not asking her.
Love you x
A: Love you more x
It turned out to be a day full of meetings. First the White House (!) and then onto the Pentagon (!!!). To say it was surreal was an understatement. It was also boring. She had to leave her phone at designated security checkpoints, meaning she couldn’t distract herself between meetings – instead, she had to stare blankly at walls and smile awkwardly at passers-by. Time dragged. She was finally headed home a little after eight, and returned to Alex’s text from a few hours ago.
A: Glad it’s going well x
Maggie fired off another text.
M: Hey. I’m going to be back at my apartment in thirty minutes. Skype?
Alex's reply was, again, quick.
A: Yes! – with a heart-eyes emoji that made Maggie’s heart flutter, and the rest of the journey feel excruciatingly long.
/ / /
Back at the apartment, she quickly changed – she swapped her shirt for one of Alex’s shirts that she had borrowed and peeled off her jeans – before grabbing her phone, jumping into bed and firing up Skype. Her call to Alex connected almost immediately and she was met with a big smile.
‘Hey pretty lady.’
Maggie smiled right back. ‘Hey.’
‘How’s your day been?’
‘Crazy.’ And that was one hell of an understatement.
‘Does the President remember me?’ Alex grinned.
‘She does indeed.’ Maggie hadn't brought it up but inevitably, the events of the Daxamite invasion had found their way into the conversation – it would have been weird if they hadn't, for it was the reason why she’d been offered this job in the first place. Without Alex, this job would never have happened. The girl had changed her life in so many ways. ‘You want an apartment tour?’
‘Ooh like on Cribs?’
‘Cribs? The TV show?’
‘Oh, that. Never watched it.’ And had no plans to, either. Talking of cribs, Alex’s backdrop looked unfamiliar. That particular exposed brown brick was certainly not in their apartment, nor was it within the DEO. It looked a little like Kara’s? Maybe it was just the lighting that was throwing her off?
‘You’ve never lived.’
‘And I guess I never will. Listen, do you want an apartment tour or not?’
There wasn’t much to show, just a couple of rooms of varying emptiness and that was it. All her stuff was still in boxes and in bags and she had no motivation to start to unpack either. She tried her best to remain upbeat: it was a nice apartment in a nice part of town but again - it just wasn't home.
‘And that’s that,’ Maggie forced a smile as she turned the camera back on her. ‘Your US tax dollars hard at work.’
‘I’m glad I pay my taxes,’ Alex said before she narrowed her eyes. ‘Are you…is that my shirt?’
Maggie laughed. ‘Busted.’
‘Wow. Thief…should I go check and see what else you’ve stolen?’
‘Three button-ups, two hoodies and one soccer jersey. A beanie...oh and a pair of your sweatpants. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it.’ Honesty was the best policy. Besides, it wasn’t as if she could come round this evening and take them back – but if she did, hey, Maggie wouldn’t complain.
God, she sounded utterly pathetic.
And it wasn’t as if she’d become completely dependent on her fiancée – far from it, they had very much remained two individuals, just two individuals who were very much in love. It was just that she didn’t like to be apart. She would struggle to sleep tonight, that was for damn sure.
‘You’re lucky you’re cute,’ Alex muttered.
‘Yeah I know I--.’ The screen went black. Disconnected. ‘No. No, no, no,’ she mumbled, immediately tapping the screen to call back. It rung and rung and rung but there was no answer. She exited the app, went to call instead only to be stopped by three sharp, strong raps at the door. They sounded near identical to earlier. Her heart sank at the prospect of duty calling. This was supposed to be her time with her fiancée but, instead, she was grabbing a pair of shorts from her open suitcase to look at least half-presentable. ‘I’m coming, hold on,’ she shouted, fumbling towards the door as they, whoever they were, impatiently knocked again.
It wasn’t work.
It was Alex, who was grinning from ear to ear, a rucksack on her back and a holdall at her feet. ‘Hello, clothes thief.’
Maggie threw herself into open arms. ‘I…you’re here?’
‘You’re hugging me, aren’t you?’ Alex laughed as she tightened her hold.
‘I left this morning.’
‘As did I. On an eleven am commercial flight. We can’t all fly on Presidential aircraft.’ Gently, she pried Maggie away and looked at her, with all the love in the world in her eyes. ‘I came for the weekend. Thought I’d help you get settled, unpack, make more love to you while I can, that sorta thing. I,’ her tone grew a little sombre. ‘I won’t be able to do this all that often but if I can? Just like I said I would, I’ll come.’
And that, that right there, was one of the many reasons why Maggie had fallen so hard for her. ‘You are the best.’
‘I have my moments,’ Alex said, with a little wink. ‘Say…you tried out that bed yet?’
/ / /
If this was what it was like after twelve hours apart, she was actually excited to be apart from her love. So intense…so good…so loving. Alex always made her feel so loved.
And she was always such a gentlewoman, slipping out of bed completely naked to go and get refreshments after what would be the first round of many that weekend. ‘Where do you keep the glasses?’ Alex called from the kitchen.
Maggie propped herself up on her arm, ready to admire the view when her fiancée returned. ‘I didn’t bring any. There’s none in the cupboards?’
It was nice of the government to skimp on the crockery.
‘Do you have any cups? Or mugs?’
‘Uh…in one of the boxes?’
A cupboard door slammed shut then, for a few seconds, silence until Alex returned with a can of soda. ‘Sorry honey. I’m not rifling through boxes, and risking papercuts on my business to find you a mug. Will this do? The commercials always talk about how refreshing it is, although I’m not entirely sure they were thinking about a post-coital context when considering their marketing strategy.’
Smiling, Maggie accepted the can of cola. ‘Yeah, it’ll do. Thank you.’
Alex nodded in return before slipping under the covers, and pulling Maggie close. ‘Tomorrow, we’re going grocery shopping. Fill those cupboards and that fridge.’
‘You didn’t fly all the way out here to go grocery shopping.’
‘I came here to spend time with you, to help get you settled. And if that includes grocery shopping, and crockery shopping, that's what I'm gonna do.’ She stole the can from Maggie’s hand and took a sip. ‘Now, tell me all about your first day. How was it?’
‘Good weird or bad weird?’
‘Just…weird. I thought I was just travelling today. Nope. They briefed me on the plane.’
‘They waste no time.’
‘No, they don’t.’ Maggie said, shaking her head. ‘Next week, I’ll be getting to know my team. Then week after that, it’s all systems go. There’s already plans for me to go undercover by the end of this month. Possibly deep cover. It sounds…intense.’ She omitted dangerous because that would have been stating the obvious.
‘It sounds like you were born to do this.’ Alex’s unwavering faith in her was something that she’d always appreciate.
‘It’s not doubt that’s the problem. I...I might not be able to call you every day.’
‘I totally get that. Even just a text will suffice. Or something, anything - as long as I know you’re okay.’
Maggie smiled. ‘They’re fitting me with a tracking device next week. You want the tracking number?’
/ / /
It was a little after midnight and they were unpacking boxes.
The few books she had brought with her occupied a very small portion of the bookcase by the television, so she filled up the remaining space with picture frames. Most of them were of her and Alex, candids taken by James who had emailed them on. He had also taken a few posed ones too, to commemorate their engagement. Posed photographs always ran a risk of false emotions but that had been far from the case. Maggie had never seen herself look so happy as she did in those engagement snaps, taken on the sandy shores of Midvale, the sunlight perfectly hitting their diamond bands as they sat on the beach, Maggie lounging back into her fiancée’s arms.
Her favourite photo that she’d brought to DC, however, was one she’d taken herself on her phone, one night. It was of Alex, who did not appreciate the candidness of it in the slightest. ‘I hate that picture, you know.’
‘It’s cute,’ Maggie reasoned.
‘Don’t be dramatic. You’re sleeping.’ In an awkward position having fallen asleep in bed whilst reading, her glasses hanging precariously on her nose and her mouth slightly open.
‘Sleep involves a loss of consciousness.’
‘Yeah, yeah, whatever. It’s adorable.’ And it would sit, adorably, on Maggie’s bedside table, to try to help compensate for the many thousand miles that would separate them come Monday. It was a risky move – that picture, and all the other pictures, might make the separation harder with that reminder of what she was missing. It would be trial and error to see what worked, what made her feel better and what wrenched her heart even more.
The next couple weeks were indeed trying, but they were also great – her colleagues were nice, her work was already fulfilling and, most importantly, Alex managed to switch their wedding date and they’d be getting married shortly after Maggie arrived back in National City.
The next couple of weeks also put life in perspective.
Sixteen days into her stay in DC, she had arrived at a big, and definite decision. One that would change their relationship. Butterflies were flying frenzied in her stomach as she waited for the right moment to bring it up, to switch their so far light-hearted evening Skype session to a more serious topic. The right moment came once Alex had finished telling her about last night’s games night. ‘Hey, listen. I’ve been thinking about something. About us.’
Alex caught onto the switch of pace. ‘Okay?’
‘About our future.’ She was making this sound more ominous than it was, so she decided to cut right to it. ‘About children.’ It was that conversation again. The one they’d had a few months back, where they’d both feared that they’d reach an impasse and they’d have to give this, this wonderful thing they had, up. That had been a scary evening. ‘You know how I said that I couldn’t guarantee that I would want kids?’
Alex gave a small, nervous nod.
Maggie swallowed hard, felt her bottom lip tremble as she spoke. ‘I…uh…I definitely want kids.’
Her fiancée’s eyes were wide, as was the smile on her face. ‘You do?’
‘Definitely.’ Lying in bed alone each night had given her time to think, to picture what married life would look like. She had pictured her future often, seen their little house and their big dog. One night she’d also seen Alex cradling a baby, their baby, in her arms. Another night, she’d seen Alex sat at the dining table helping some kid, their kid, with homework. And it seemed perfect. Just…so…perfect. ‘You’re gonna be a great mom and once the time is right, in a few years, I’d like a kid or two.’ She was crying now and she couldn’t care less. She was happy and so, so excited for the future that awaited her, awaited them ‘I just…I wanna have a family with you.’
Six months would indeed be nothing, when she had the rest of her life to look forward to.