Lucy had no idea what to expect coming home the evening before April Fool's Day. Frankly, she still wasn't completely certain that the others hadn't talked the twins into punking her. Still, the earlier text messages had finally set her to taking a few minutes in her office to call Ro.
"Yeah, it don't understand it either," the more stoic of the twins said, all concern and curiosity. "She never talks about her family, and even this lab rat knows that's a sensitive subject, but the text says, 'hey, can you bunk in with Bug tonight? Having family dramas. No, nothing dangerous.' We'll do as she asks, but can you check in on her?"
So Lucy quickly arranged for her staff to take control of the desert DEO base a day early and headed back to National City. The subject of 'family dramas' was making her twitch like an allergic reaction, but dammit, she liked Maggie! Realistically, she loved her, but regardless, the least she could do was be there for her. Even if she wanted to run screaming into the night to never be seen again.
No matter that it getting towards eight at night, the Friday congestion of National City had not let up and it was not helping her twitchiness any. A growling stomach just added to the annoyances and Lucy held off for precisely six minutes before calling for delivery in hopes of timing it to meet the food at the curb.
Finally, she made it to Hope Street and made her turn to dawdle past the ratty old hotel and storefronts and stubborn urban trees that made up the neighborhood adjacent to the Hudson building. As she came to the elegant brick and concrete structure that was home, she noted the top two floors and the roof were brightly lit where the night crews were clearly at work. Lena really wanted to move in as soon as possible and had the capital to pay the exorbitant fees of keeping the building active twenty-four seven.
However, the ground floor windows were conspicuously at the near-dark power saver settings.
The sense of worried dread was real as Lucy pulled around to the well-lit alley and pressed the button that had one of the big rolling doors humming out of the way so that she could slip into her narrow spot in the corner. Her internal clock was running down, so she grabbed her bags and hightailed it for the door that led to the main hallway, past the elevators and the door that led to the huge room that had held the Christmas party all those months ago. Through the glass front doors, Lucy was faced with an empty sidewalk, but waited there patiently. After no more than a minute, her food arrived and was paid for, leaving her to take a deep breath and head in to see how her girlfriend was doing.
Behind the sturdy, locked door, the room was dimly lit and echoingly empty. Her heels thudded dully against the three steps up to the sprawling deck that took up much of the space, extending the living area far beyond the fancy trailer and the side room the crews had put up for the pack of four.
The trailer too was dark, the television flickering in the window.
"Mags?" Lucy called softly as she entered the trailer, setting half her things down on the small kitchen island. Up the couple steps to the living room in the raised nose of the trailer, she found Maggie in the theater seating style loveseat, facing the TV. Somehow the glass in her hand and the glint of the bottle occupying the other seat didn't surprise her at all. The inky black bulk of Peggy the Labrador Retriever only surprised her in that it was so late in the day. The dog was sprawled out along Maggie's legs, her head on that flat belly. Maggie's barely healed leg was tangled amid big paws for safekeeping, the other leg dangling to the floor.
After a moment, and without looking up, Maggie's dull voice escaped, hoarse from her day and hard drink.
"There's a couple teenage kids sleeping in our bed. Weird, right? My niece I'd mostly forgotten I even had and a pal from school. She's a Metahuman. Can read emotions and affect them too. Oh, and she didn't say it, but I see how she looks at her pal and yeah, I'll bet both kidneys she's queer as a rainbow daisy. Ironic, right? Turns out my fucking sister lost her fucking mind somewhere along the line and junior is a real mess. Why the fuck is history repeating itself?"
Only on the last sentence did the underlying emotion burst forth, a savage attack of words that made Lucy blink. After a moment of absorbing the unexpected onslaught of personal information, she tossed the last of the things to the nearest couch and simply went to her lover. Setting aside the whiskey bottle, she settled to the other half of the theater-seating. With the dexterity of a cat, she arched over the armrest to wrap herself around Maggie's head and shoulders. If she could have purred in comfort, she would have.
The strangled noise Maggie made under different circumstance would have been hilarious, but Lucy understood it, that crumbling self-control in the face of high emotion. She was no fan of it either and merely hugged Maggie close in a undemanding quiet. For a long time, Maggie just clung to her like a life raft in stormy seas and breathed as hard as if she'd run miles, Peggy's tail thumping quietly against the footrest.
Waking with a start, Trini was utterly confused where she was and what the hell was going on. Something hot and heavy had her half pinned to a comfortable and completely unfamiliar bed and everything smelled wrong, though not unpleasantly so.
Kim. Who apparently became a human octopus when in a bed. A bed with some sort of fancy foam mattress, in a dim room full of stranger's scents that were somehow… comforting.
Pain and confusion and comfort and love washed over her, the aunt she had only just met and another mind, bonded closely to the one she knew. That bond allowed no alarm to invade Trini's exhausted mind. People who loved were unlikely to mean any harm.
For long moments she wallowed in that calm, loving presence of the two women in her immediate vicinity, and the press of Kim's body so close. It was a succor she desperately needed to even begin to soothe her hurts.
Kim was reluctant to give up her sleeping hold, but Trini managed to wiggle away and stand to quietly crack open the bedroom door. Even reassured by the feelings in her immediate space, she wanted as much information as possible before committing to this new phase of her life. Voices floated across the fancy RV, Maggie's and a woman she hadn't met yet.
"Were they impressed with you, oh big city cop?"
In response to the blatant tease, Maggie scoffed playfully. "They were impressed that I know Supergirl, who dropped in when Teen Two turned into a death-cloud and tore her way through the roof of their truck."
"You'll have to come back to that, because you have me curious now."
"I promise. So, duh, my department specializes in aliens and Metahumans. Of course I know Supergirl. I'm sure she'll give me crap about the whole incident later."
"What, leaving you with the killer teens? You know she can't resist yanking your chain just a little when she gets a chance."
They laughed together, easy and warm. It was soothing to Trini and she wallowed in the feeling, let it soothe down some of her own rough edges. The stranger spoke once more.
"Right? The sunshine puppy has teeth too."
The mood changed again, sober and edged with clear concern.
"Is she okay though?"
"I suppose so, all things considered," Maggie said somewhat offhandedly and Trini felt her mood shift to a dark rage. No, not rage, but a wolf-like protectiveness that made her blink and a warmth to spread through her just like when her oddball group of friends had taken her in as everything fell apart. "Her face is a mess and only some of it is from a fall of some sort. But the marks on her cheek and jaw? A hand made those."
Sniffling, Trini hung onto the door and clung to the sense of safety to keep her weird talent between her ears. The memory of her mother striking her was agony, a proof that she was capable of behaving that way to her own daughter. Knowing that hurt far worse than the bruises.
Maggie blew out a long, hard sigh before she spoke again. "I went from 'yay! I'm getting my life back after the broken leg' to 'what the actual fuck', in the space of a knock on the door, so to speak."
That made Trini flinch, but before she could do more than glance her own moroseness in the face, Maggie spoke again, her voice calm and laced with warmth.
"Still, she's worth it. Even with a briefly as we interacted, yeah, she's worth it."
Trini hadn't even realized she'd moved forward, creeping down the short hallway towards the kitchen, drawn to the safe harbor of this aunt she never knew. The stranger's voice startled her, despite her having spoken already and the presence of her feelings pressing lightly against Trini's mind.
"Seriously, what is it with you and Danvers?"
The tease fell flat as the woman in the kitchen caught sight of Trini and went from 'relaxed at home' to 'death before you can blink'. It was a startling transformation and Trini froze, her alarm flash-firing all over the neighborhood and the beauty's eyes went wide.
And she was a hell of a beauty, with good looks not unlike Kim's, a blend of something Middle Eastern-ish and Anglo that made a pleasant whole. Then some sort of recognition clicked and the naked blade of her menace vanished like a blade sheathed and she smiled a small, uncertain smile.
"You must be Trini," she greeted quietly and whipped her head towards the living room to bark, "and don't you dare get up, Mags. You keep your sore, sorry ass in that chair."
The flicker of movement silhouetted against the television subsided with a sarcastically grumbled, "yes ma'am."
Trini was astonished to feel a bubble of humor tickle her throat at the show, curling her mouth just a little as the sassy stranger smacked her hands together and stepped over, the right extended. "Lucy Lane, your aunt's better half."
Maggie snorted rudely but didn't argue.
Trini found she couldn't speak, her voice rusted solid in her skull, and she felt frozen in place. Lucy instantly adapted with an ease Trini would ponder later, turning the aborted handshake into a gesture at the kitchen island and the clutter of goodies there.
"You hungry? I ordered some Italian from a place I love, but I'm adding sandwiches to it. I have turkey, roast beef, provolone and cheddar."
It all sounded good and Trini could almost feel the puppy eyes she was suddenly making as her mouth filled with saliva. Lucy's grin was sly and softly understanding.
"Everything it is."