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Alex wasn’t that stupid, or naïve. The man had disowned his fourteen-year-old daughter for being a lesbian – she hadn’t expected him to be completely comfortable at a lesbian bridal shower. What she was, however, was surprised that he had even agreed to come in the first place. It was a long way to travel to spout hate, so she had given him the benefit of the doubt and assumed that he did want to try to put his prejudices to one side.

If he had tried, then he hadn’t tried hard enough. He had stormed out at the first sign of affection.

Bastard.

And because it had happened so quickly, she hadn’t known what to do, or to say. Few people in the room knew who the man was, let alone the full story because it was never a story her fiancée was that forthcoming with and, who could blame her? To have to live with that pain was more than enough without the need to constantly dredge it up. Their party guests looked at Alex for answers, whilst she looked at her mom for answers too. Throw Alex Danvers in the middle of a battlefield with more enemies than ammunition and she’d instantly come up with the best strategy to make those bullets count. Throw her in the middle of heart-breaking drama and she’d fire blanks. She was still useless at this sort of stuff.

Maggie liked her space and her boundaries, and Alex respected that. However, this wasn’t typical family drama – this was a deep-rooted trauma that had plagued her for over half her life. Alex had to take that risk, and run after her.

She took a minute too long to reach that decision and, by the time, she gotten down to the lobby and burst out onto the sidewalk, Maggie was gone, as was Oscar. Alex instinctively went to reach for her phone and cursed as she remembered she’d left it in the apartment. She took the stairs two at a time.

Everyone’s eyes were on her as she returned but she didn’t acknowledge them, only grabbed her phone from the dining table with shaky hands and called Maggie. ‘Pick up, pick up,’ she whispered to herself but it rung out, went to voicemail. ‘Baby, call me when you get this. Please? I need to know you’re okay.’ She ended the call and sent a text too. I love you. Please call me x.

‘Sweetie,’ Eliza said with a gentle hand on Alex’s back.

Alex fought back tears. She didn’t have the right, or the time, to cry – she had caused this, this was her fault and she had to fix it, had to make sure her girl was okay. ‘I should never have told her to invite him, what was I thinking?’

‘You could never have predicted this.’

‘No, mom,’ she snapped and she hated herself for it and let out a sigh. ‘I just…I just shouldn’t have.’ This wasn’t another Emily situation. This was the so-called father who had thought loving another person was shameful. That man should never have been anywhere near this bridal shower. ‘I’m guessing she headed home, so I’m gonna go there. Can you tidy things up here and ask people to leave?’

Eliza nodded. ‘Of course.’

Alex forced a smile. ‘Thanks, mom.’

‘Hey, Alex.’ Winn caught her as she turned to leave. He handed her the card and the gift that Maggie had been about to open. ‘Give her this. And tell her that we love her.’

Alex nodded. ‘I will.’

/ / /

The tightness in her chest subsided a little at the sight of the boots by the couch. The apartment appeared otherwise empty until she saw the closed bathroom door. She went over and knocked on it, gently. ‘Hey, it’s me…Just me.’

Her words were met with silence but she knew Maggie was on the other side, listening.

Alex took a deep breath and fought the urge to try the handle. ‘I’m going to be honest, Maggie…I don’t know what to say right now because I was lucky with my coming out. From day one, I had the most amazing person in my corner, a person who made me feel safe and accepted. That person protected me and did everything they could so that I wasn’t scared and that I didn’t push my feelings aside…Then, I became even luckier because that person? She didn’t just become my best friend and my safe haven. She fell in love with me…She said yes and made me the happiest person alive.’

Again, silence.

And, again, Alex paused to steady herself before continuing. ‘She’s an amazing person and anybody who thinks otherwise is missing out…That person is also you by the way. I’d be lucky to find another girl who’d want to marry my nerdy ass.’

A faint laugh.

A smile broke on Alex’s lips. She went to grab the card from the bridal shower that Maggie hadn’t had the chance to read as things had quickly turned sour. She slid it under the door. ‘I wrote more in here. It took me a while because it’s hard, really hard, to find the words to do you justice.’ It took her a whole day in actuality, mulling it over at the DEO and taking momentary pauses from whatever she was doing to jot down some ideas. It was only a paragraph but she had wanted to get it right. It had also informed her that she should probably start planning her vows now so that they’d be ready for the big day, which was only a few months away.

A minute passed before the lock clicked and Maggie walked out and straight into Alex’s arms. ‘I’m so lucky to have you too,’ she mumbled into Alex’s chest. ‘I couldn’t have done today without you.’

Alex’s heart sank. This was her fault and this – all of this hurt and pain and rejection - could’ve been avoided. ‘I’m sorry that you had to. I shouldn’t have pushed, I--.’

‘No,’ Maggie pulled away. Tears were running down her cheeks but her voice was firm. ‘Today put a lot of things in perspective. Made me realize some things. And I thank you for it.’

Alex reached out to wipe those tears away. ‘I still feel bad.’

‘Don’t,’ she said, swallowing hard. ‘It hurt, it’ll always hurt but it was also cathartic and I can move on now.’

Alex smiled and pulled Maggie back into her arms. ‘I’m proud of you.’

Maggie let her head linger on Alex’s shoulder for a few minutes. Then, ‘So, about that present…’

‘Oh, but I thought you said I was the greatest gift?’

‘You are. And you know that I love unwrapping you,’ Maggie grinned, tugging playfully at the hem of Alex’s top. ‘But you did go to the hassle of buying me something--.’

‘Two things, actually.’

Babe.

‘I know, I shouldn’t have but what’s the point of having money if I can’t spend it on things I love?’ She took her fiancée’s hand and led her over to the couch, picked the perfectly wrapped gift (that she’d made her sister wrap because she, a grown-ass woman who could, with ease, shoot a moving target from however many yards, struggled with wrapping paper and sticky tape) and set it down in Maggie’s lap. ‘It’s kinda stupid. The other one is better, I promise you.’

With a curious look, Maggie tore into the paper. Her intrigue intensified at the brown cardboard box that offered no insights into what was inside. Carefully, she opened it. ‘Alex,’ she beamed as she held the little teddy bear in her hands. ‘This isn’t stupid. This is so sweet.’

It wasn’t any teddy bear. It was custom-made for her wife-to-be, with the little guy decked out in NCPD uniform. ‘I was at the mall with Kara and I saw Build a Bear and I couldn’t help myself. However, they were kinda limited so I had Winn make the little windbreaker,’ she reached forward to point at the intricately detailed badge that hung around its neck. ‘And the badge. Look, it even has your badge number on it. That was Winn’s idea, not mine. I didn’t know he was that good at stitching.’

‘I--.’

‘Oh, and there’s something else under the tissue paper.’

Maggie dug back into the box, removing the sheet of purple paper and pulling out the framed 6x4. The dimples were out on full display, her eyes barely able to be seen as she was smiling that big.

‘He can’t be a cop without his official photo, can he?’ Alex grinned at the photograph of the teddy bear sat on the bonnet of a NCPD cruiser. ‘James took it. We got some weird looks, but it was worth it.’

‘You guys did all this for me?’

‘Of course we did. We love you.’

Maggie took Alex’s face with both hands and kissed her over and over, before resting her forehead against Alex’s. ‘Did…uh, did the party end?’

‘I didn’t think it was right for it to continue given the circumstances.’ That was putting it lightly.

And Maggie showed her appreciation with another kiss. Then a grin. ‘Let’s throw a party here. Right now. Just us, your mom, Winn and James.’

‘You sure?’

Maggie was certain. ‘Absolutely.’

/ / /

They were all back together within thirty minutes and back playing stupid party games. This time, however, they didn’t feel scared to be themselves like they had earlier with Oscar’s impending presence and made no attempts to hide the gay. For Alex’s turn at trivia, she sat on Maggie’s lap, playing with her fiancée’s long locks and nailing every question that came her way. ‘X-Files, duh.’

James flicked through the pile of questions to find one that was a little more challenging. ‘Ooh, this is a good one. Besides a cop, what did Maggie want to be growing up?’

Alex didn’t even hesitate. ‘Professional wrestler.’

‘Correct.’

Winn’s jaw fell open. ‘Really?’

Maggie nodded. ‘Yep. I even took classes when I turned eighteen. I lasted three weeks – it might not be real wrestling, but it still hurt like hell.’

‘Okay, okay…next question. What’s Maggie’s favorite col--.’

‘Pink.’ Alex punctuated her answer with a kiss.

James tossed the cards onto the coffee table. ‘Seriously, there’s no point to this game. They’re sickingly in love.’

‘Yeah,’ Winn laughed. ‘You guys are officially that couple.’

‘And to that,’ Eliza reached for her glass. ‘Let’s toast.’

‘Actually, Eliza,’ Maggie said, grabbing her half empty bottle of bear. ‘May I?’

Eliza beamed. ‘Of course, sweetheart.’

Maggie smiled her thanks. ‘Over the years, I’ve had to choose my family. I was a Rodas, then a Sawyer when my aunt so kindly took me in and now, in a few months, I’m going to become a Danvers,’ she paused to glance lovingly at Alex. ‘Blood doesn’t make a family. Love does. And you guys, Kara and J’onn included…you’re all my family now. I love you all. Marrying this girl here is wonderful in itself, but your acceptance makes it all even more extraordinary.’ She raised her drink. ‘To family.’

Chapter Text

Bridal shower bingo was dumb.

Charades were fun. Alex wasn’t the greatest actress but it sure was fun to watch her desperately, and terribly, act out Jaws and, literally, every prompt she got. It got to the stage where Maggie couldn’t help herself, willingly sacrificing a couple of points because it was that damn funny to watch her flap about, exasperated.

But the best part of the night, and of their second party, was sharing stories that they’d never shared with present company. Eliza enlightened everyone with Alex’s awkward high school days, whilst Alex added commentary to those tales. Winn divulged about his embarrassing first encounter with Cat Grant, James spoke about Superman and Maggie spoke about her aunt because, whilst being outed and disowned at fourteen had been absolutely horrific, her aunt’s kindness and love had been nothing but amazing.

‘She’s definitely coming for the wedding,’ Maggie smiled. ‘She’s a nurse and works her ass off at the best of times, so wasn’t able to come today. But you’ll all meet her soon.’ A week or so ago, her aunt had excitedly called to say that she’d booked her flights and hotel. They talked often but hadn’t seen each other in years because they both lived busy lives and her aunt, bless her, could barely operate a laptop, let alone use Skype. To see her and to introduce her to her new family was going to be amazing. ‘I promise.’

Alex squeezed Maggie’s hand. ‘I can’t wait to meet her.’

‘She’s excited to meet you too.’

‘Well,’ Alex grinned. ‘That’s only natural. I’m amazing, after all. You probably can’t stop gushing about me.’

With that set-up, Eliza couldn’t help herself. ‘Alexandra, you gushed so much about Maggie, you more or less outed yourself to me.’

Alex’s cheeks reddened and she chugged her beer.

‘Well I am amazing. I guess it was only natural, right babe? Maggie teased.

/ / /

Winn was the first to call it a night, a little after eight, his tipsiness descending into tiredness, followed not long after by James. Eliza was the last one standing, staying till ten before she decided to leave, enveloping her daughter in a tight hug in the doorway of the apartment before she reached for Maggie’s hand. ‘Maggie, could I have a moment alone with you?’

‘Sure.’

Alex looked lost. ‘What about?’

One look from her mother shot her down. ‘Is your name Maggie?’

‘Um…no?’

‘Then go inside, Alex,’ Eliza laughed with a final hug and goodbye before she led Maggie down the corridor for a little more privacy. ‘I’m so glad we had that little soiree, just the five of us.’

‘I am too.’

They came to a stop by the stairs. ‘You, Maggie, are the best thing that’s ever happened to my daughter.’

Maggie could feel the colour run to her cheeks but didn’t say anything and let Eliza continue.

‘As I said earlier, when she first met you, all she would do is keep yammering on about you. It was Maggie this and Maggie that. It was hard not to suspect anything.’

At the time, Maggie had initially (and correctly) thought the attraction was mutual. Then Alex’s confusion led to denial, and led to Maggie (wrongly) believing that it was her mind playing cruel tricks on her. Outside of bars, and without liquid courage, she had struggled to meet girls. Work had hardly offered a convenient schedule for dating and she’d been burned too many times by the dating scene. She wasn’t really looking for it. If it happened, it happened. And it did happen at that crime scene. ‘I kinda suspected she liked me too.’ Especially when they went to that alien fight club, and the hand that Maggie took to hold, had been clammy.  

‘Honey, from day one, she was enamoured with you,’ Eliza chuckled. ‘And then when you two finally got together, I saw it in her eyes. Something that I’ve never seen before – happiness. Now don’t get me wrong, Alex was never depressed but there’s a difference between happy and happy. Do you follow?’

‘I think so?’

‘You do. You’re a smart girl.’

Maggie’s blushes intensified.

‘And I really can’t express how happy I am that you’re joining the family,’ Eliza declared. ‘So many people would be thrilled to have you as a daughter – I know that I am.’

‘That…that really means a lot. Thank you, Eliza.’

‘Thank you. For taking care of Alex and for making her happy,’ her future mother in law smiled. ‘If you would have me, I’d love to take you dress shopping.’

‘I, uh…I would love that.’ Would really love that.

‘Great! I’ll call you later to arrange a time but, until then, it was lovely seeing you, Maggie.’

‘Likewise,’ Maggie replied, said one last goodbye before walking back to the apartment, her heart full and fit to burst. She’d been gone for mere minutes but, in that time, her fiancée had already thrown on her pyjama bottoms and fluffy slippers, and was clearing up some of the mess. ‘You need help?’

Alex shook her head. ‘It’s covered.’

‘You sure?’

Alex was, and batted Maggie’s hand away as she tried to grab the empties from the coffee table. ‘It. Is. Covered.’

It was hard to argue with that. ‘Okay then. I’m gonna go jump in the shower, if that’s cool?’

‘Yes ma’am.’

The apartment was spotless when she emerged twenty minutes later. Alex was tucked up in bed, glasses on as she read something on her Kindle. Maggie grinned as she saw the pyjama top her fiancée was wearing as she climbed into bed beside her.

‘Good shower?’

‘Weird,’ Maggie muttered.

Alex looked up, a little confused. ‘How was it weird?’

‘Babe?’ Maggie called out. ‘Babe, where are you? And do you hear that?’

The confusion turned into a grimace, and Alex's voice into a whine. ‘Seriously?’

‘Alex? This is getting kinda freaky now.’

‘Stop. It wasn’t funny the first time, let alone the hundredth.’

‘Yeah,’ Maggie nodded. ‘That’s a good idea. Stop. Whoever you are, stop it. You’re freaking me out.’

With a sigh, Alex relented, whipped off her camo pyjama top and threw it at Maggie who feigned surprise.

‘Oh. Hey babe. Where did you come from?’

‘Why do you do that?’

‘Why do you wear camouflage pyjamas? You’re going to sleep, not to war. Plus, you always get so adorably annoyed that you take your top off, so I win.’ Always was a bit of a stretch. More like occasionally, but she knew that Alex had conceded so easily tonight to make her smile after everything that had happened.  

Alex shook her head as she tried her hardest not to break into a smile. ‘I hate you.’

‘You love me.’

‘Yeah, I guess I do.’ She set her Kindle aside and reached for the little wrapped box that was nestled under the duvet. ‘This is the gift I didn’t give you at the shower. Showers. Oh.’

‘What?’

‘Kara was bummed about missing the original one, so promised to throw another for us, her and J’onn when she got back from Mars.’

Multiple bridal showers and interplanetary travel…only in their lives were those perfectly normal topics of conversation. ‘Seriously? Three bridal showers?’ She’d been reluctant to even have one, before Mama Danvers had stepped in.

Alex shrugged. ‘It’s no biggie. As long as there’s only one wedding, I’ll survive.’

‘I’d love to marry you three times.’

‘I would too but the dress Kara’s making me wear crushes my ribs, so I highly doubt I’d survive three ceremonies.’

‘You don’t have to wear that dress.’

‘It’s a gorgeous dress though.’

And Maggie couldn’t wait to see her in it, being escorted down the aisle by J’onn, on her way to become her wife. Her heart fluttered at the thought. ‘I bet the person wearing it is even more gorgeous.’

‘You’ve got me out of my top, now you already trying to get me out of a dress I’m not even wearing. Impressive,’ Alex laughed before she furiously tapped the box. ‘Anyways, gift. Open it. Wait.’

‘You just said--.’

‘Yeah but before you do, I want to add that this is more of a joint gift. For when we get our first house, that sort of thing.’

‘You have me intrigued,’ Maggie mused as she carefully opened the box, removing a sheet of tissue paper. Her heart didn’t merely flutter – it soared at the cheap and tacky but, ultimately, precious snow globe that was emblazoned with the branding of the city’s airport. ‘Oh, babe.’ Her emotions had started to choke her. Today had been some day, and this hunk of plastic wasn’t helping. ‘I love it.’

Alex beamed. ‘I thought we could put it on a mantelpiece, if our house has one, or whatever. A nice little reminder of where our story started.’

Maggie shook it, letting the snow fall down over the city’s skyline. She did it a few more times, mesmerized. ‘Until we get that house, I’m keeping it by my bed for now,’ she remarked, setting it down on the bedside table before turning back to Alex. Her fiancée naturally radiated warmth, something that made snuggles all the better. ‘I couldn’t have done today without you.’

‘It’s like you said,’ Alex slipped a hand under Maggie’s t-shirt, softly running a finger down her side before stopping at her hip. ‘We make a pretty good team.’

‘The best…except at charades. I love you and all, but next time, I’m picking a different partner.’

Alex scoffed. ‘Like you were any better.’

‘Better than you.’

‘Let’s agree to disagree, shall we?’ And Alex ended that strand of discussion with a tender kiss on Maggie’s forehead. ‘I know I told you this earlier but, I don’t think I can stress it enough. I’m proud of you. So immensely proud of you. Proud about today, proud about the amazing woman that you’ve become.’

Nothing would ever mean more than Alex’s words and Alex’s unwavering love and faith. Nothing, and nobody, would ever more mean than Alex. At fourteen years old, Maggie had never thought that this sort of love was possible. At thirty, she still doubted that it was out there, that it existed. At thirty-two, she finally found it and never planned on letting it go, ever. Ride or die. ‘Till death do they part. Alex Danvers was her greatest love, her safe place and her forever.