Alex is trained to notice things. It’s part of her job as much as it’s part of her life now. What she seems to notice right now is Sam.
Sam the CFO, the single mom, the friend. There’s a lot going on for Sam and she’s out here doing it on her own. That says a lot to Alex and there’s no higher level of respect that she can have for the woman. But she can also see where Sam does so much that she misses out on some things.
“Hey, I’m so sorry about that,” Sam says as she settles back into the lawn chair next to Alex’s.
“It’s okay,” Alex responds. “Well, it’s okay for me. Ruby scored a few seconds ago off an assist.”
“That’s great!” Sam smiles proudly before cheering for Ruby.
“Ruby was actually looking for you in the crowd. So I don’t know if it’s actually okay.” There’s a small frown on Sam’s face at Alex’s rambling, which makes her feel incredibly guilty. “I’m sorry. I didn’t really know how to put that.”
“No, I should be the one that’s sorry,” Sam says with guilt in her voice. “I’m always working on something even before I started at L-Corp and I haven’t been giving Ruby as much attention as I want to. Or as much as I should really.”
Alex stares sympathetically. She unconsciously reaches for Sam’s hand. “I’m sure she understands. You have an important job after all and you’re trying to provide for your family. Once you get into the groove of things, you’ll be able to find some balance.”
Sam glances at Alex’s hand over hers, which makes Alex blush. There was definitely no reason for Alex to be touching Sam, she’s always been respectful of personal space. Just as Alex thinks to pull away, Sam turns to hand to hold Alex’s still. “Thanks for coming,” she says gratefully. “I know that Ruby invited you, but it’s really nice for me to know someone else is also here to support Ruby.”
“Of course,” Alex responds like it’s no big deal. “I’m more than happy to be here.”
After their conversation, Alex notices that Sam only picks up one phone call for the rest of the match and diverts several calls to her voicemail. While the laptop on her lap stays open, she spends more time trying to find Ruby on the field.
“If I have to be honest, now that I’m actually watching the game I have no idea how it actually works. All I know is that Ruby is the center forward.”
Alex laughs a how charmingly clueless Sam explains herself. “I can help explain if you'd like?” she offers.
Sam smiles gratefully. “I would love that because the internet’s vast knowledge cannot explain soccer to me.”
Alex spends the rest of the game explaining the rules and positions as they come up. When a foul comes up against Ruby, Sam gets up to passionately dispute it. It only makes Alex laugh.
After the game is over Alex helps Sam pack up their lawn chair and lunch bag.
Ruby comes trotting over, bouncing with excitement to see Alex still there.
“Congratulations on the game,” Alex says, earning a happy hug from Ruby that nearly knocks her over. She’s caught off guard and looks over at Sam, who is equally surprised.
“Thanks for coming!” Ruby peels herself away before turning to hug her mom. “I saw you yelling and I was really surprised at you mom.”
“Why are you surprised?” Sam kisses the top of her daughter's head.
“I didn't think you knew anything about soccer.”
Alex snickers because Sam tries to fight the offended look off her face and fails terribly.
She scoffs at Ruby and playfully pushes her. “I had an expert explain the game to me,” she pointedly looks at Alex.
Alex feels the heat rush to her cheeks. The way Sam regards her is playful as it is welcoming. She’d mainly been Kara’s and Lena’s friend so she has to admit it feels different when Sam sends playful jabs her way.
Ruby smiles brightly at Alex that it warms her as well.
“Come on,” Sam gathers her laptop bag and Ruby’s duffel. “We can go home and celebrate your win.”
Ruby bites her lip before looking over her shoulder to the rest of the girls on the team. “Actually mom, do you think I can have some of the girls over?”
Sam looks both surprised and it quickly dissolves into a soft smile. “Sure thing, Rubes.”
Ruby looks relieved at her mom's response and instantly looks over at Alex. “Could Alex come over too?”
Alex is surprised now. “I don’t mind,” and they both look to Sam, “as long as you don't mind of course.”
Sam looks hesitant and Alex is about to say it's perfectly fine and make up an excuse to leave, but then she looks at Ruby, who stares at her hopefully. “The more the merrier,” she answers with a smile.
When Alex arrives about a half hour later because she said she’d stop to get some wine for the adults, Sam opens the door looking flushed and out of breath.
“Hey!” Sam greets, trying to catch her breath.
Alex glances Sam up and down. She’s still wearing the same clothes as earlier, but her hair is slightly mussed, and there’s a thin sheen of sweat on her forehead.
“Hey?” Alex greets. “Is this a bad time?”
Sam’s eyes widen at her state. Her face is adorable and Alex can’t hold back a smile. “I’m so sorry.” She moves to let Alex into the house. “We don’t usually have company, so I sometimes let the house get a little disarray. But Ruby’s been making friends, better friends, and I just wanted to make sure everything is clean and ready for the girls.”
Alex enters the house, not entirely sure what to expect. To her surprise, the living room looks immaculate. There’s no dust, there’s no stains or dirt, everything is neatly organized. “Wow, this is such a mess,” she jokes sarcastically.
Sam lets out a light laugh in response. “I cleaned the living room first, which was a mistake because I spent way too much time and forgot about the other rooms in this house. I’m really sorry, you have to see this.”
Alex quirks her head. “It’s fine, Sam. I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think it is.”
“That’s really sweet of you Alex, but I have a stack of dishes and a stove to clean. Not to mention, I’m not sure if I bought enough drinks for the girls or snacks. Shoot! Snacks!”
The spiral that Sam starts manifesting very physically. Alex can see the pulse throbbing at Sam’s neck (not that she’s been staring, it’s just noticeable---her pulse not her neck) and the thin lines on her forehead as she starts to stress. She walks quickly as well, not realizing that she’s been leading Alex towards kitchen, one of the places she actually doesn’t want a guest to witness.
Just as she steps in, Sam does realize that Alex has been following her. She turns so quickly on her heels in the doorway that Alex doesn’t have time to stop and bumps right into her.
Suddenly, their faces are extremely close and their bodies would be pressed against each other, if it weren’t for the wine bottle. Not that the wine bottle helped much because the back of Alex’s hands grasping the neck is pressed into Sam’s chest. Alex usually has better reflexes that that.
“I’m sorry! Maybe, you should stay in the living room? Ruby will be done with her shower soon and it’s in a much better state than this,” Sam says quickly, completely unbothered by their lack of personal space.
Alex has the decency to take a step back, so she can breathe as well. She peers around Sam’s slim shoulders and sees the mess that she’s mortified of. She gets it. There are a surprisingly number of glasses and mugs littered across the counter and island for a household of two. She spies the leaning tower of dishes that are spilling onto the counter as well. It’s more than enough she needs to observe.
“Take this,” Alex holds out the wine bottle for Sam.
Sam takes it with confusion. Alex peels off her leather jacket and hands it to Sam. “What’re you--”
Alex takes step around Sam to get through the small doorway. “I’m going to help you, duh,” she rolls up her sleeves. “You might want to be a good host and put that wine on ice for us.”
Sam stares dumbly. “What? No, you’re my guest.”
“Lucky for you, I am one of the good kind of guests,” Alex says over her shoulder as she opens up the dishwasher. It’s completely empty. “Come on, don’t just stand there. You have a bunch of adolescent girls coming over.” She smiles at Sam, raising her eyebrows playfully.
Sam laughs to herself. “You are incredible.”
They work together. And after Sam’s initial hesitation in letting Alex help, she relaxes visibly. Alex can see the tension slide off of her shoulders as Alex rinses the dishes to load into the dishwasher before, while Sam sweeps around her. They fall into a coordinated dance almost because Alex can tell when Sam is near and moves her hips and feet around for Sam to do her thing when she starts cleaning the counters. Sam is very insistent that she cleans the stove though, not that it bothers Alex. Alex finds a way to make herself useful.
“So food?” Alex asks.
“I ordered pizza, fries, and wings. I might have over ordered but they’re growing so it’ll be fine.”
“Plates and utensils?”
“In the top cabinet next to the fridge.”
Alex moves to pull them out and sets them down on the island. She turns to the fridge. “You mentioned drinks?” She opens it up and finds a moderately empty fridge. “No drinks?”
It dawns on Sam. “Oh god, I must’ve left them in the car.”
“Hey, what’s going on?” Ruby asks as she enters the kitchen. Her hair is still slightly damp, but she’s clean and out of her soccer uniform.
Sam immediately looks to her daughter. “I might’ve left the drinks and snacks in the car, do you mind grabbing those?”
Ruby nods. “Sure thing, mom.”
“I’ll help,” Alex offers, following Ruby out the back door.
Ruby grabs the keys and leads Alex outside. “Have you been helping my mom this entire time?”
“I’m surprised she let you,” Ruby says as she pops open the trunk to the car in the driveway. “She kind of hates getting help from anyone that’s---you know, not me.”
“I kind of insisted,” Alex admits, feeling a bit sheepish. “Should I not have?”
“Part of me says no because she has like a method to her madness, but I really appreciate it.” Ruby pushes open the trunk and both of them find the bags.
Alex holds out her hands to help grab things and like her mother, Ruby doesn’t realize that Alex is actually there to help. There’s a surprised look on her face before she smiles and thanks her.
Alex and Ruby spend their time unloading the snacks and drinks talking about the game and Supergirl, while Sam works around them, making sure that everything that’s listed on her mind has been checked off. Just as she does that, Alex can’t help but smile because she sees Sam slowly relax; she gets to take a long breath just as the food arrives.
“Mom, you ordered for an army!”
“You are growing, you need all the food you can get.”
“But we’re not boys.”
“Does that mean you can’t eat?”
Ruby opens her mouth only to shut it and Sam stands there is a shit eating grin at her daughter. Alex laughs at their interaction.
Not long after the food arrives, several of Ruby’s teammates start to show up. They end up with a lot more snacks and food than they intended because some of them also contribute chips and dips leaving Sam overwhelmed.
“You and Ruby have a great relationship,” Alex says when they have a minute to hide in the kitchen. Well, Ruby ushers them out out once the girls start playing some board games and switch. Sam isn’t offended, giving her daughter some space but leaving her with a look to let her know immediately if something is wrong. Alex can’t help but notice the way Ruby nods seriously to her mom with a furtive glance over her shoulder.
Sam smiles but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes. “We try.” She pulls out wine glasses from the cabinet before going to the fridge for the wine.
Alex takes a seat at the kitchen island and stares. “You’re a great mom, Sam.”
Sam raises her eyebrows and lets out a sarcastic, “Suuure.”
Sam opens her mouth to say something but instead she turns around to the drawer to pull out a wine opener.
“What?” Alex asks curiously. “Ruby loves you to pieces.”
Sam turns around with a small sigh. She clasps the wine opener between her hands, fiddling with it as she speaks. “If I’m being honest, sometimes I feel like she’s the one taking care of me.”
“That’s not a bad thing,” Alex tries.
Sam tilts her head, raising her eyebrows. “She’s a kid. She should just be a kid. She’s growing up too quickly. I feel like that’s my fault. I try to make sure she has everything she needs to be a kid but then some mornings I turn around to see her give me a piece of toast because I forgot to eat breakfast.”
Alex looks at Sam sympathetically. “It’s not a bad thing to take care of each other,” she reminds carefully. “It’s what family does.”
“Alex…” Sam doesn’t look like she believes her.
Alex stands up and meets her. “Have you forgotten that when Kara and I were teenagers, I lost my dad?”
“I’m sorry,” she lets out with guilt.
Alex smiles with reassurance. “It was hard for all of us. My mom had to take care of the two of us all on her own and she wasn’t the best mother all the time. Most of the time, Kara and I took care of each other and sometimes we took care of her too. There were plenty of cold meals my mom would have to eat if she got home late from the lab.”
Sam smiles down at the wine opener in her hands, clearly thinking of a similar memory. Alex ducks to meet Sam’s eyes. Sam’s eyes meet hers and Alex can’t help but be mesmerized by the shimmering hazel color.
“The point is,” Alex says lightly, plucking the wine opener from Sam’s hand, fingers brushing very briefly that she feels a spark of electricity between them. She ignores it and turns to grab the bottle of wine. “Family is about taking care of each other. And it never hurts to have a helping hand every once in awhile.” She turns the corkscrew with ease and pops it out that it surprises Sam.
Sam bites her lips thoughtfully at Alex. “I might not always be receptive to your helpfulness, just to let you know. You caught me off guard today.” She reaches for the bottle of wine and her fingers close around Alex’s unconsciously.
Alex feels her throat dry because they’re close again. And once again, they're in physical contact. “I don’t mind it at all,” she lets out softer than she intends to. She manages a small smile to lighten the mood.
Sam peels the bottle of wine out of Alex’s hand and glances at her while she pours their glasses. “I hope you know that I am very thankful for everything you’ve done for me to today.” She hands Alex a glass and picks up her own. She holds it in her hand as does Alex, because their eyes meet once more and they stand still. And just stare.
Alex hasn’t realizes how much of Sam she’s noticed throughout the day, but looks beautiful when she smiles without a care in the world, even though it’s short lived.
Both of them turn their attention to Ruby standing in the doorway with a curious look on her face.
Sam clears her throat. “What’s up, kiddo?”
“We were going to start playing Mario Kart and wanted to know if either of you wanted to play?”
Sam smiles. “You know I’m terrible at that game.” There’s a small pout at Ruby’s lips at the mild rejection.
“Yeah and you shouldn’t be drinking and driving,” Alex jokes stepping backwards to go to Ruby. “Come on, I totally crush it at that game.” She throws an arm around Ruby’s shoulder comfortably and guides her back to the living room, throwing a glance over her shoulder. She tilts her head, encouraging Sam to follow at least.
“You’re going to regret saying that,” Sam adds, grabbing the bottle of wine and following them.
At the end of the night when all of the girls are gone, it’s Sam and Ruby once more. Alex stays behind offering help to clean up. Sam is bamboozled when Ruby grabs onto Alex’s arm and starts directing her the minute she offers. There’s a gentle narrowing of her eyes, but she knows Ruby wants her mom to relax. Alex doesn’t mind it at all because she wants the same thing.
Sam cleans up the kitchen while Alex and Ruby clean the living room. She boils water and makes tea for Alex. Ruby oddly enough asks to go to her room to clean up because unlike her mother, she hadn’t decided on cleaning her private space. Alex and Sam stay in the kitchen, drinking tea and chatting about work. A brief moment where Alex can see that Sam, despite a mild derision of how much she has to work, she actually enjoys it. She finds it just as fulfilling when something goes the way its intended as much as she loves Ruby.
“Thanks for today,” Alex finds herself saying as she steps out onto the porch.
Sam shakes her head. “Thank you,” she emphasizes as she steps out, closing the door behind her. “Having you here today was really nice. You are really good with kids.”
Alex tries not to preen but she’s happy to hear that. “I’m glad you say that. I hope one day I’ll be a good mom like you.”
“Well if you ever want a kid, you can always have mine,” Sam jokes glancing back at her house.
Alex’s eyes widen because she knows it’s a joke but....
Sam quickly catches on.Her gently tan cheeks turn pink and it’s barely noticeable under the porch light, but Alex notices with how closely they’re standing. “I meant--Ruby. If you ever want to take my kid away, you could. Well, not like indefinitely, but if you ever wanted to hang out.” She stumbles over her words so quickly that Alex doesn’t feel awkward anymore. She laughs to catch Sam of spiraling once more. There’s a beautiful laugh from Sam as she tries to regain her composure. She facepalms herself before looking at Alex. “I usually wait for the third date to mention kids, so clearly I’m out of practice.”
Alex lets out an incredulous laugh. “Are you saying that this was a date?”
Sam blushes. Honest to god, blushes at the mention. Alex thought she was a nervous mess more than half of the time, but Sam seems to outdo her tonight unexpectedly. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have--I mean, we spent the day together, doing all this domestic stuff, and now we’re standing on my porch like the end of a romcom.”
Alex takes a breath. She’s noticed a lot of things about Sam today. Probably more than she should be privy to, but none of which she minds. And she tries to be calm, instead of a nervous wreck for Sam’s sake. “If this was a romcom, I’d kiss you goodnight and hop on my motorcycle while you watch me ride off,” she jokes in return.
Sam bites her lip and stops breathing. Alex can tell by the way her chest stops moving. Her eyes trail down, subtly, to Alex’s lips. Her eyes dart back up to meet Alex’s. Just as she leans in, the porch light flickers and they look up before they see the curtain move.
“Ruby,” Sam breathes out in disbelief.
Alex rubs the back of her neck nervously. “I should get going,” she offers, trying to make the situation easier for Sam.
Sam swallows with a nod. “Ride back safely.”
Alex nods in agreement before turning to step off the porch. “If you ever need me to spend time with Ruby while you’re busy with work, I’d be more than happy to,” she offers over her shoulder. "You're missing out on the best years of adulthood."
Just as Alex reaches the bottom of the steps, she feels a tug at her hand and turns to find Sam standing before her. Before she can even react, Sam’s hand comes up to cup her cheek and the space between them disappears when their lips press together. Of all the things she noticed about Sam today, Alex commits to memory how soft and pliant Sam’s lips are as they kiss. Sam knows how to kiss. Out of practice? Alex doesn’t think twice of that as she kisses Sam back. Their lips easily slide against each others in concert. Alex hand comes up to cup Sam’s warm cheek.
It starts so quickly, Alex expects it to end the same, but Sam pulls back slowly, drawing Alex towards her. It doesn’t register in her mind that they’ve stopped kissing until she has to breathe in.
“Maybe when I’m not busy, you can spend time with me too,” Sam suggests, biting the corner of her lip as she smiles shyly. She glances up and down Alex before letting her go.
Alex stands in awe as her heart races inside of her. “I’d be more than happy to.” The smile on her face grows infinitely larger.
Sam walks back to her door and Alex walks over to her motorcycle, thumb brushing her lips. She mounts her bike and looks over to see Sam lingering at the door. Then she realizes what Sam’s waiting for. She smiles at Sam before pulling on her helmet.
Alex turns on her motorcycle and kicks off the stand. She gives one last look to Sam waving goodbye to her before riding off into the night.
Just like a romcom.