That damn pigeon was cooing again. Kate could turn off an alarm clock, but she couldn’t turn off a pigeon. Well, she could, but not even one-hour-of-sleep, behead monster morning Kate would stoop so low.
The warm sun beat against her skin. Her eye twitched as it struggled to stay closed beneath the harsh light. She pulled the comforter over her entire face, breathing in the thinner air. What was the point of having black curtains if Maggie was just going to open them every morning?
Her entire body ached from last night’s brawl. Kate groaned as she turned away from the sun.
If she got out of bed to close the curtains, she’d wake herself up all the way and wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep. If she didn’t close the curtains, she wouldn’t be able to sleep.
The pigeon cooed again.
Fuck it. With a huff, Kate stumbled into the kitchen, where a half-dressed Maggie was rifling through the refrigerator. Maggie’s hair was still oily from bed, a stray lock curling up in the back against the wishes of the rest of her head. Kate was pretty sure her own hair wasn’t in much better shape.
“Morning,” Kate mumbled as she kissed her wife. “You left the curtains open.” She didn’t mean it to sound so accusatory. She really didn’t. But Batwoman saved an entire school from Scarecrow’s fear toxin last night. Were a few hours of sleep so much to ask for?
“That old lamp is broken again. I couldn’t see and I have to be at work at 7.” The look in Maggie’s eye was apologetic with just a twinge of That old lamp I’ve been wanting to replace for months because it breaks every other week. The bags under her eyes made Maggie look more frustrated than she had probably intended.
“It’s my dad’s lamp.” The first time Maggie brought up replacing the lamp, Kate had smiled and replied It has character. And Maggie had smiled back and kissed her, the taste of cherry Chapstick on her lips.
“I know.” Maggie didn’t argue further and the tone in her voice was warm if resigned, but Kate could see the stiffness of her posture as she went back to rifling through the fridge. The lamp didn’t really matter, except it did.
“I need coffee,” Kate announced as she turned to the other side of the kitchen, where a fresh brewed pot awaited her. She sighed as the warm liquid spread through her body.
“Did you get any milk when you went grocery shopping yesterday?”
“I went grocery shopping yesterday?” Kate suddenly recalled the conversation in which she half-asleep promised to go shopping as Maggie left for work. She also recalled rewatching Orange is the New Black for most of the daylight hours while she waited for Oracle to get back to her about that case.
“You were supposed to.” The annoyed tone was finally showing. Maggie sighed, and Kate could see she was reminding herself just why Kate was so unreliable about anything that didn’t involve masks.
“Did the day get saved at least?” A warm smile lit up Maggie’s face as she thought of Kate dashing through the city to stop a bomb, grocery list still in hand.
“Yes.” Kate could have left it there. Leaving it there would be so easy. Maggie would hug her and kiss her and tell her how proud she was, even if Kate occasionally (always) forgot the milk. But.
“But not until after I forgot the groceries.” Kate placed her mug on the counter, unwilling to hide from her wife, even with just a mug for protection.
She saw the slight shake of her lover’s head, the ghost of a frown almost reaching her lips. “I know you’re busy with your other job, Kate, but I’m busy too. I can’t do everything here and figure out who killed Michael Latherty.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” She meant it. She really meant it.
Maggie sighed, shutting the fridge door just a smidge too hard. “And I can’t do it without my damn coffee.”
Kate offered her the mug she was holding. A wedding present from Stephanie that read “Number 1 Wife,” ‘cause I know you will be.
“No thanks, you know I don’t drink black.” Maggie shook her head. “It’s fine. I’ll just pick up some Starbucks on the way.” She frowned as she said that, not particularly liking Starbucks, but not willing to go out of her way for her favorite coffee shop when there was work to do.
“No.” Kate glided up behind her and hugged her wife. “I’ll go buy some milk. Be back before you’re out of the shower.”
“You don’t have to-”
“Yes. I do.” Kate ran into the bathroom to brush her teeth and at least run a comb through her hair before throwing on a bra and jacket. Milk didn’t make a marriage. Neither did lamps or curtains, but they did. Milk was the small smile on Maggie’s face when she drank her coffee. Milk was the disappointed sigh when she realized it wasn’t there. Kate couldn’t change the number of time she’s had to postpone date night for a case. She couldn’t change the times she’d told her no because she was too tired or too sore. And she couldn’t change the number of times Maggie has had to lie for her. But she could buy her wife milk for her morning coffee.
She could buy her wife milk for her morning coffee. The corners of her lips turned up at the thought. Kate continued to smile as she kissed Maggie goodbye on her way out.
“What are you so happy about?” Maggie asked, pushing a stray hair out of her face.
“It’ just...I’m buying my wife milk at 5:30 in the morning.”
Maggie just stared at her blankly, blinking to wake herself up without the requisite caffeine.
“I’m buying my wife milk at 5:30 in the morning.” Even half-asleep, Kate could hear the wonder in her own voice, could see the exact moment Maggie’s clear blue eyes lit up with realization. “I never thought I’d be able to say that sentence.”
Eight hours of sleep could go to hell. She’d take Maggie’s warm embrace any day.