Alex took a deep breath. She leaned closer to the mirror, hands gripping the edge of the sink. She stared at her reflection. Her breaths puffed against the glass.
She could do this.
She could do this.
She leaned back, twisting both knobs to let the water flow. She tested the temperature twice before it was right. She pulled her glasses off, tucking the arm into her coat pocket, then leaned forward, cupping her hands under the water.
She splashed her face a few times, then leaned close to the mirror again.
She could do this.
Someone knocked on the door.
“Alex, It’s me.”
Alex took a deep breath, then reached back to unlock the door and turn the knob. The door opened. Lena’s reflection stepped into view, leaning on the doorframe.
“Are you sure about this?” Lena asked.
Alex nodded, reaching for a paper towel and drying her face.
“It’s time,” she said.
Lena nodded. “Alright. Max is already in there, schmoozing.”
Alex laughed. She put her glasses back on. “That is what Max does best.”
Lena grinned. “Are you ready?”
Alex took another deep breath, and smiled. “Yeah.”
Lena held a hand out. Alex took it, and let Lena hook their arms together as they walked through the empty office space.
“Wanna bet Max has been trying to convince Cat he’s dating both of us?” Lena asked.
Alex scoffed. “No way. We both know that’s exactly what he’s been doing.”
Lena huffed, just loud enough for Alex to hear.
“You’re going to have to try harder than that if you want it back,” Alex said.
“I swear, I was so close to solving it last time,” Lena said.
Alex hummed. She slid her free hand into her pocket and wrapped her fingers around the alien puzzle they had been passing back and forth for years, swapping each time they made a bet about Max.
“You lost it, Luthor, fair and square.”
Lena pressed their shoulders together for a moment. She squeezed Alex’s hand as they approached Cat Grant’s office.
Who Vasquez was flirting with.
Mostly because Vasquez couldn’t help but flirt with any pretty girl they saw, but Alex also knew that they liked teasing Kara. Nothing would come from it, Vasquez wasn’t Kara’s type, and, well, Vasquez was happily married to their wife, but it was still amusing to watch Kara flounder under the attention.
Alex turned her attention to Cat Grant, who was standing in her office, hip cocked to one side.
“I was about to send out a search party,” Cat continued. “Make sure you hadn’t run off.”
Alex laughed. “I wouldn’t dream of it, Ms. Grant.”
Cat eyed her, hummed, the gestured with her hand. “Well, come on, then.”
Alex grinned at Vasquez and Kara as she an Lena passed Kara’s desk. Kara gave her a thumbs up. Vasquez smirked and winked. Lena squeezed her hand as they stepped into Cat’s office.
“Alex, Lena,” Max said as he stood.
“Hey, Max,” Alex said.
“Maxwell,” Lena said with a nod.
Alex looked around the office quickly. The array of TVs on the wall, the door to the balcony.
Winn was fiddling with some video cameras set up at various angles as James leaned casually against the wall, camera hanging from his neck.
“This certainly is exciting,” Cat said, pulling Alex’s attention back. “The final, official reveal of the elusive J&E Technologies CEO.”
Alex felt her neck begin to heat up.
“I thought the reveal was last week,” she said.
Cat scoffed. “Last week was when the world got a glimpse into your office.” She stepped towards Alex. “This week, we get to see past the lab coat.”
Alex raised an eyebrow.
“Now, sit,” Cat said.
Alex and Lena stepped towards the couch. Max sat in the center of the couch, only to shift over when they both glared down at him. Alex took the center seat instead as they both settle on either side of her. Lena took Alex’s hand and rested them on her thigh. Max leaned against Alex for a moment. She smiled at him.
“Whitt!” Cat said, spinning to face Winn.
“I’ve almost got it,” he said, not looking up from the camera.
Lena leaned into Alex. “How do my boobs look?”
Alex glanced at her face, then looked down. She inspected for a moment before looking back up.
Lena laughed. “Wonderful.”
Alex grinned at her.
“Well, I think they-” Max started.
They both glared at him. “No,” they said together.
Max rolled his eyes, but was smiling as he leaned back in the couch.
Alex looked forward to see Cat watching them, her eyes narrowed.
“And we’re recording,” Winn said.
Cat glanced at him. She turned back to the trio on the couch, and smiled.
“Well, I would like to thank you three for joining me tonight,” she said as she sat on the opposite couch, one foot tucked behind the other, reaching forward for the question cards on the table between them.
“It’s our pleasure,” Max said.
“I suppose we should jump right to the reason we’re here.”
Cat narrowed in on Alex, grinned widely.
“For years, people have wondered who the CEO for tech giant, J&E Technology, was. We knew Vasquez, the COO, the face of the company, and the believed confidant to the CEO. We knew you, Alex Danvers, the lead scientist of the company. Then, last week, it was announced that you are one of this year’s recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Congratulation, of course.”
Alex smiled. She ducked her head and felt the back of her neck heat up again.
“And in the biography provided, it called you not only CEO of the company, but the founder. Is that true?”
Alex took a deep breath. She nodded. “Yes, it is.”
“Why the secrecy? The anonymity?”
“At first it wasn’t entirely intentional. I cared more about the science, so that was what I talked about with people.”
“Yeah, for three years,” Lena cut in. “You didn’t tell us for three years.”
Alex laughed. “You never asked.”
“Actually, we did ask,” Max said. “Multiple times. We were constantly asking if you knew who the CEO was.”
Alex shrugged. “By that point I was having too much fun with it to just give it up. Plus, as the company grew, I liked people not knowing. I was getting enough attention from just being the scientist. So, I asked Vasquez to be the face and spokesperson.”
“What was Vasquez's position before that?” Cat asked.
Alex glanced at Vasquez. They were leaning in the door frame with Kara. Alex grinned at them before turning back to Cat.
“Vasquez was actually my first employee, barely even an employee, honestly, more a co-founder. They built the entire IT department up from them just sitting in the corner of my lab with with a laptop. When the company got big enough, I asked if they would be my COO and the face of the company.”
Cat hummed. She wrote something on her notecard, then moved to the next.
“So, mystery of the ages. J&E? What does it stand for? I would list some theories but there are simply too many to even begin to sort through.”
Lena squeezed Alex’s hand. Max shifted closer, pressing against her side enough to let her know he was there.
Alex took a deep breath.
“Well, first, none of the theories were right,” she said. “Um, J&E stands for Jeremiah and Eliza.” She squeezed Lena’s hand, glanced over at Kara for a moment. “They were my parents. Scientists, like me. They died while I was an undergrad. Something went wrong in their lab.”
She dropped her gaze to her lap for a moment before looking up to see a soft look on Cat’s face.
“Before they died,” she continued. “I was planning on becoming a doctor, a surgeon. After, I changed focus. The lab, the company, everything, is in their memory. Our earliest developments and studies were focused on lab safety and equipment, and we are still dedicated to uphold the highest standards of safety in our labs.”
“I’m sorry,” Cat said. “Death of a parent at a young age it never easy, never mind losing both.”
Alex shrugged, not wanting to let Cat know how much she wanted to move on. “It’s hard, but I’ve learned to live with it.”
Cat nodded. “Well, if it’s alright, perhaps we can change the subject?” she asked.
Maybe Cat Grant was better at reading people than Alex had expected.
Alex nodded. “I would be grateful.”
Cat nodded again. She flipped to the next notecard.
“So long as I have all three of you here, I have to ask, the rumors about the three of you? They are…?”
“Completely true,” Max said.
“Max!” Alex and Lena both yelled.
Cat raised an eyebrow.
Max smirked. “All of them, just like I told you.”
Alex shoved him with a hand on the side of his face, keeping her eyes on Cat. “None of them are true,” she said.
“So, there is no romance or affair between any of you?” Cat asked. Her eyes glinted.
“No,” Alex said. “We’re all just friends.”
“Close friends, mind,” Lena added. “Practically siblings.”
“Seriously,” Max said. “They’re like my sisters.”
“So, two months ago, the pictures of you with Dr. Danvers at the Lord Tech Gala?” Cat asked. “Showed up together? Left together? Multiple pictures of you two dancing, standing close, arms around each other?”
Max laughed as Alex groaned.
“I lost a bet with Lena and had to be his date for the night,” Alex said.
“There’s really nothing?”
Alex looked at Lena, who looked back for a moment before nodding.
“Ms. Grant,” Alex said as she looked back. “There is no way anything would happen between Max and either Lena or myself, because, Lena and I-” she gestured between Lena and herself- “we’re both gay.”
Cat’s eyes lit up. She set the notecards in her lap and leaned forward.
Alex nodded. “Yup, so very gay.”
“Then have you two…?”
“No,” Lena said as Alex said “Absolutely not.”
“Because she was practically a fetus when we met,” Alex said.
“I was eighteen!”
Alex didn’t have to be looking at Lena to know she was rolling her eyes.
“How did all of you meet?” Cat asked.
“An internship,” Alex said.
“At Luthor Corps, before...everything,” Lena added.
“We were always the last people to leave the lab each day,” Max said.
“It kind of just grew from that,” Alex finished.
“So, if there is nothing between any of you, are there any actual romantic interests?” Cat asked.
The three all looked at each other.
The basic answer was yes.
Only, it was more complicated than that.
Very few people knew that Max wore a wedding ring on a chain around his neck. Daisy was a nice girl who had had caught Max’s eye a few years ago, but hadn’t wanted any part of his spotlight. He kept his playboy persona up, but only ever went to events with Alex or Lena, and went home to his wife every night.
Lena kept saying there wasn’t anyone she was interested in. Alex was about to throw her and Kara into a locked closet.
And, Alex. Well…
Images of brown eyes and green eyes and dimples and smirks flashed across her mind.
It was the definition of complicated.
“We decided before the interview that we will not talk about that sort of information, out of respect for anyone else involved,” Lena said.
Cat narrowed her eyes, but nodded. “Very well, then.”
Alex relaxed back into the couch as she shifted the topic away, to a recent development in a J&E study. She glanced over at Kara and Vasquez a few questions later, as the focus moved to Lena.
They both grinned at her. Kara threw her another thumbs up.
Alex let out a deep breath.
It had been the right choice. It had definitely been the right choice.