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Metropolis Pride

Chapter Text

Lena had always attended Metropolis Pride and when she became CEO of LuthorCorp, she had immediately signed on as a sponsor and walked with her LBGTQ+ employees behind a banner urging inclusivity in science and life.

After Lois and Clark's wedding, the Superfriends had decided to stick around for the festivities. Lena had laughed when Kara had first described the block party titled Divas, Dogs & Drag, during which, before each drag king or queen performed their number, they introduced a dog from the Metropolis Humane Society.

"You already have a dog, Kara," she said.

Kara pouted. "We don't have to adopt one. We just say hello to them all and pet them and take puppy selfies!"

Vasquez patted Lena on the shoulder. "You're not gonna win this one, Luthor."

And Lena had also seen the look of mild relief on Alex's face, and she thought that it would be easier for everybody if they had things to do and talk about that weren't about their relationships. According to Sara Lance, things had gotten... complicated... in the other timestreams during the wedding, even if no one actually remembered it. Lena was pretty sure that Maggie had seen the relief too.

Maggie linked arms with Lucy, saying, "Dogs in drag it is!"

The entrance to the party was marked with a huge arch made up of a few hundred balloons in rainbow colors. They got in line to pay the cover charge and get their hands stamped, with Kara already squealing about the puppies. They laughed at the queer t-shirts, like the one with the unicorn wearing an astronaut suit.

They watched the first drag king introduce a young, active Jack Russell terrier who was good with children before starting the opening notes of "Let It Go." Immediately Alex and Kara were singing along. Lena watched the sisters indulgently. Although Lena's singing voice wasn't as strong as theirs, she could carry a tune. For Lena though, the point of having her own voice had never been about entertaining herself and others. It had been about speaking up, the way Lex had always defended her against Lillian's deprecations and snide disappointments, the way she had learned to speak up for her bullied classmates in school, the way she had proudly (if nervously) introduced her girlfriend to her parents and Lex when they came to her university's parents' weekend.

Speaking up against bullies like Max Lord and Morgan Edge had become second nature to her. And although she still had mixed feelings about Clark Kent/Superman, she knew that, in his former persona, he was rigorous in his journalist integrity, and in his latter persona, after the pink kryptonite incident, he had spoken fearlessly in support of the LGBTQ+ community. In fact since the Pulse Nightclub massacre, he always made sure to be a visible presence protecting Metropolis Pride, in a rainbow-striped cape.

This year, of course, being on his long-awaited honeymoon, he had asked Kara to fill in for him. True to form, Kara had hemmed and hawed about the cape. "I just don't know, Lena. Should I wear the bi colors, the pink, purple and blue, or the full rainbow? 'Cause it's not just about who I am. It's about who I protect, and that's everybody."

In the end, they had agreed on the new rainbow flag, with the brown and black stripes to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Lena looked at her watch. Winn was probably finishing the cape as they stood there.

Lena watched Alex and Kara singing along with the drag king in the ice blue bodysuit and mascara beard.

Let it go, let it go!
Can't hold it back anymore!

Lena felt like Kara was better at truly letting it go than Alex was. There had been a heaviness to Alex since her breakup with Vasquez in the fall. Lena turned to look at Vasquez standing behind Maggie and Lucy who were giggling together.

Vasquez, of course, was frowning. Kara had described to Lena what Alex had called the Forty-Nine Frowns of Susan Vasquez, but this one didn't seem angry or sad or frustrated or determined, just a little lost.

Privately, Lena thought a one-time sexual infidelity was not the worst thing a person could do, but then again, her family had attempted alien genocide more than once. So maybe she wasn't one to judge.

Chapter Text

Alex stood there with eyes wide as the first of the drag queens walked on stage with a Rottweiler puppy. She didn't hear a word. This person was easily six feet tall before the four-inch heels, and between the bustier and the gold eyeshadow and the, all the hair and the, the dress that accentuated the curves...

Maggie smirked at her. "You all right, Danvers?"

"I just, I mean weddings sure, because Eliza always said we should look like we tried, but I never, I mean, soooo much more feminine than I will ever be..."

"It's a lot of work," said Maggie knowledgably.

"She's not-- Or he?"

"In this context, she."

"She's not actually going to dance in those..."

"Just you wait!"

Lucy leered. "See something you like, Danvers?"

Kara giggled. "I think her brain is shorting out!"

Vasquez gave her a shocked frown. "Wait, is this your first drag show?"

Alex nodded, eyes still wide. Then the diva began to dance to the music.

I thank God every day
That I woke up feeling this way
And I can't help loving myself
And I don't need nobody else

The high kicks, the low squats, the split.

In four-inch heels.

Alex Danvers was capable of some pretty incredible things. Jumping buildings. Fighting invincible aliens. This was completely different.

This, she was sure she could never do.

Gradually, the part of her brain that was still working noticed that her sister and their friends had stopped laughing at her and were watching the performance more seriously. She noticed Lena, Maggie and Vasquez conferring. Finally, Vasquez took out her wallet and handed Alex a dollar bill. Gravely she said, "Alex, it's important that you tip your drag queens at least as well as you tip your bartender. Go on. We're right behind you."

Alex looked around at the people on the edge of the stage waving dollar bills as the diva took them without stopping the dance or the lip-sync. Right in front of Alex was a two-year-old girl on the shoulders of her butch mother, waving a dollar bill that her parents had given her. The queen took the bill and caressed the girl's cheek and then turned and took Alex's bill with a saucy wink.

Maggie shook the butch's hand and praised her for raising her daughter right. The woman just laughed.

Alex turned to Vasquez. Slowly she said, "My bartender isn't entertaining me. She's doing me a service."

Vasquez nodded.

"So if this is like that..."

Vasquez waited.

"These guys are spending all this time and work to prepare this for us, to show us how impossible the standards of femininity are?"

"That's one reading," said Vasquez. "It's also a thumb in the eye of patriarchy, which insists that femininity and masculinity are separate, opposite, at war."

Alex nodded slowly. Finally, she said, "It's confusing, but in a good way... Do you think that we do that too, as agents? And Maggie as a cop, and Lucy as a soldier? And Supergirl?"

"Quite likely."

"I think I like that. I mean, I thought we were just doing our job. Saving the world..."

Vasquez returned her small, tentative smile. "Oh, honey," she said. "We absolutely are."

Chapter Text

Maggie watched the interaction between Alex and Vasquez, thinking that it could have been herself doing the explaining, if only she'd had the guts. She wondered, if she had, whether Alex would have cheated on her with the White Canary. Probably. Or she would have been the one to cheat, so convinced she would lose what she most wanted that she made it happen. She had done it before.

Well, that had been a choice, the same way that leaving the bar with Lucy that night, after the pool game with Alex, had been a choice. They'd all made choices. The strange thing, Maggie thought, was how long her relationship with Lucy had lasted: more than a year and a half, with no sign of Lucy wanting to give up on her yet.

Maybe it was the lawyer in Lucy, who always questioned if they were using words the same way when they argued. Or her adherence to the military rules of engagement that made her always clarify boundaries. Whatever it was, beyond all of Maggie's expectations, it was working.

And here was the other thing that Maggie couldn't understand. Both Lena and Vasquez had taken on the baby gay Danvers sisters, and it was, more or less, working out. Lena had had to get over Kara deceiving her about her alter ego. Alex had cheated. But somehow they appeared to be working it out. And even if Alex and Vasquez did not eventually get back together, Maggie would bet that they would at least regain their professional relationship, even their friendship.

Maggie had never managed that.

Well, maybe with Kate Kane. But they still did better if they lived in two different--and very distant--cities.

Maggie wondered if the key factor might have nothing to do with their being baby gays as such. Maybe it was about being a Danvers sister. On the one hand, Kara, as an alien, was very used to learning a new culture, history, and language and the political problems associated with identity. Perhaps for her, getting comfortable with being queer was just an extension of that.

But Alex had always been the teacher in that relationship, helping Kara fit in. Now she was the one who had to learn. And sure, Alex had always been an apt pupil, or so Kara said. But relationships and sex weren't the same as bioengineering and life-or-death combat. So what was the difference?

Maggie turned and noted Vasquez watching her and she felt a blush creep up her cheeks. Vasquez touched her arm and they took a few steps away. "Say what you're going to say," said Vasquez wearily.

Maggie hesitated, then asked, "How can you be friends again? I've never managed that, even when the breakup wasn't my fault."

Vasquez paused, and it was obvious to Maggie, who was an excellent hostage negotiator, that the pause was very deliberate and probably very difficult. Finally Vasquez asked, "What did you do to try to avoid that outcome?"

Maggie stared. It felt like Vasquez was asking her what she had done to prevent Earth's gravity from affecting her. "Wait, what?"

Vasquez shrugged as if she were trying to displace the weight of the world. Finally, she said: "I think it's because it's still so new for Alex. When I screw up a relationship, it's usually because I'm trying to avoid something bad that happened in a previous relationship..."

Maggie snorted. "Right. That."

"She doesn't have that."

Maggie's face fell. "So you mean it's working because she's fresh off the boat?"

Vasquez sighed. "Don't get me wrong. That also makes more work for me, because I can't assume anything. So sometimes it's hard, but up until-- But mostly it's been worth it. But what about you, Sawyer? You've got a good thing going. Why is that working, with Lucy?"

"As God is my witness, I have no idea." Maggie shook her head. Up on stage, the drag queen ended her song and dance with a full split. Both Maggie and Vasquez winced.

Vasquez said, "Well, it's just a thought, but..."


"Just, could it be that, because you feel bad about not having given Alex a chance, you're giving Lucy more of a chance? Working harder to make things work?"

Maggie opened her mouth and closed it again.

Vasquez patted her on the shoulder. "Like I said. Just something to consider."

And Maggie turned to look at Lucy more thoughtfully.

Chapter Text

When Kara saw the Labradoodle that the next drag king walked on stage with, her face split into an even wider grin. Then she looked up to take in the drag king dressed like Han Solo, and her smile faltered. She always associated Han and his friends with the destruction of Alderan, and watching that scene, so familiar to her from the destruction of Krypton, always gave her nightmares for weeks.

She thought about it for a moment, like that thing humans talked about running your tongue over the place where you just lost a tooth. Walking around Argo had been a lot of things: strange, traumatic, healing, discomfiting... she didn't have enough words to describe it even to herself. She knew that at some point she would probably have to paint it. Sometimes only color could communicate emotions effectively.

"Han Solo" danced around the stage, singing:

Since you been gone
I've been dancing on my own

It had been strange having Alura back in her life: walking around, talking to her, hugging her. For thirteen years, her mother had been dead, presumably killed in the tumultuous raging fires that tore Argo, and the rest of Krypton, apart that day, suffering along with her husband, their family friends, neighbors, political friends and enemies. That at least had been the scenario that had haunted Kara for all those years, but especially back at the beginning. To know that at least a few hundred thousand of her people had been spared made the sharp ache hurt a tiny bit less. Knowing that her father had died of overwork rather than being burned to death. Having seen in her peripheral vision her mother dying suddenly, painlessly. Knowing that the people of her city still breathed, walked, argued...

It all made it just a little bit easier to be one of the last Kryptonians.

There's boys up in my zone
But they can't turn me on

She was no longer only one of two, or lately, three or four Kryptonians left. She was not the last of her race.

'Cause baby, you're the only one I'm coming for
I can't take no more, no more, no more

She knew that Alex and Lena and the rest of their friends had been watching her these last few weeks, worrying about her. Eliza called her several times a week to check in. Even Krypto snuggled close to her at night, rather than simply curling up at her feet.

Here on my own
I wanna fu-oo-oo, but I'm broken hearted
Cr-cr-cry since the day we parted
T-t-touch but I got nobody
So I do it solo

But for some reason, all Kara felt these days was relief. She could let go the horror stories she had told herself about her family. And yes, there were millions of Krpytonians who had undoubtedly lived and died those stories. But not her parents. Not her closest friends. Not the scientists that her father had always complained about.

And even if Kara and Kal-El died tomorrow, Rao would not be forgotten.

Because that had been one of the weirdest things about the whole Reign fiasco. When Kara had met Thomas Coville, heard the old prayers translated into English, the person she had hurt the most for was Rao: his people gone, the prayers unsaid, the light warming no one.

And maybe that was a little crazy, but as Eliza had taught her years ago, you can't judge your feelings.

And she would always miss Alura and her father, but they lived in her heart, and in the hearts of the other Kryptonians on Argo who had known them. Kara looked up at the huge rainbow arch of balloons and felt freer than she had felt in years. She put her arms around Lena and kissed her. She was Kara Zor-El Danvers. And maybe someday she would marry Lena Luthor. Life was pretty damn good.

Chapter Text

Lucy looked around the block party, feeling the shocked joy she always did, even after all this time. Back when she had started in the army, during the bad old days of Don't Ask Don't Tell, she hadn't at first realized that she was anything but straight. She knew that she was far more badass than her male peers, but hell, all the women had to be or they would have washed out PDQ. In high school, she had always dated guys, and she had not expected West Point to be any different. And from the perspective of the outside world, it hadn't.

For the first two years, it had never occurred to her that she might ever be standing in a place like this, where a 6'4" black male wearing rainbow eyeshadow, a sparkly pink body suit, a luxurious blonde wig, and platform heels would be dancing to "I Will Survive." Then, her third year, something had shifted.

Her new combat instructor was a woman, 5'9" and solid muscle, her long black hair pinned back in a tight bun at the nape of her neck. The moment Lucy had laid eyes on her in her fatigue pants and greet t-shirt, something had... shifted. And when Sarge had called out the 6'5" Jerk King of their class and thrown him over her shoulder--no lie--ten fucking times in a row without even breaking a sweat, Lucy had felt... oddly damp. And she quickly learned to school her eyes and face, but it had never occurred to her to think of closets. This was just a teacher crush, just like...

...the ones she'd had in grade school. And junior high. And high school.

But still, it had taken her until Kabul to recognize that she wasn't necessarily the woman she'd thought she was. And by the time she'd finally learned to think in terms of closets, she had James Olsen, the brave, ripped photojournalist with the brilliant megawatt smile. And by the time DADT went the way of the dodo, she just assumed that she had gone through a phase, something maybe caused by the testosterone-poisoned sea she'd been living in for so long.

Just thinking I could never live without you by my side,
But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong
And I moved on, and I learned how to get along…

So James. But Superman. That.

And you can see me: somebody new,
Not that chained-up little person still in love with you…

Working at the Nevada site of the DEO hadn’t exactly been great for her love life. Even long after DADT, the instinct to avoid relationships with coworkers was deeply ingrained. Flying in to National City last year, it had not occurred to her that she would do anything but help out J’onn, catch up with Alex and Kara, have some drinks, plays some pool…

She had not expected Maggie “I’m a detective: I detect” Sawyer, an old-school lesbian who could do things with her fingers and tongue that made Lucy come apart at the seams. And when Lucy rolled over in the damp sheets, caught between laughter and tears, Maggie would just shake her head in disbelief, underestimating, as she often did, her nonprofessional abilities.

A long-distance relationship had a lot of difficult aspects, as the whole Metropolis-National City thing had proven. But it also had good sides.

• They had distance when they needed it, to work things out when they argued.
• The time apart made the time together warmer and more needed, and the sex sizzlier (Maggie’s word).
• When they were apart, they could give full focus to their jobs, which they both took very seriously. When they were together, they could give full focus to each other.

And Lucy Lane really enjoyed focusing on her hot cop girlfriend.

Lois and Clark’s wedding had been much less stressful in most ways that Lucy had long anticipated, mainly because Maggie was very good at dealing with difficult family members. Maggie had been dapper and charming, and even Sam Lane was not immune to Detective Dimples. Their friends had helped as well. Alex and Kara had crossed their arms and frowned a lot. J’onn “Director Henshaw” J’onnz had laid an arm over Maggie’s shoulder several times, as if daring the General to disapprove of her. Sam had gritted his teeth a lot, but even Lois had uncharacteristically supported Lucy’s choice of a plus-one. And Eliza Danvers had been an absolute hero, clinging to Sam’s arm and telling him amusing stories about Clark as a bumbling teenage football star. And General Lane was a sucker for sports stars.

And it was just a passing thought, barely even that, but Lucy had a flicker, almost like a quick succession of Pinterest pictures: she and Maggie in their nearly matching tuxes or wedding dresses, Eliza Danvers facing down General Lane and walking Lucy down the aisle toward a blushing Maggie…

And as “I Will Survive” ended to cheers, Lucy thought to herself that she wasn’t having a “passing thought.” She was having a fucking aneurism.

But, to be fair, it was a really, really nice aneurism.

Chapter Text

Winn sat in their hotel room, carefully guiding the material through the DEO acquired (he didn’t ask how) polymer-resilient sewing machine, piecing together the last of the rainbow stripes that Clark had given him into a cape for Supergirl. James lay on his bed on the other side of the room, reading the Daily Planet’s coverage of the planned Pride events.

“Dude,” said Winn. “You know you could be out there having fun. You don’t need to hang out with me while I do this.”

“Nah, I’m still not 100% watching Lucy and Maggie all over each other.”

Winn sighed. When Jillian Holtzman had heard that the wedding was back on, and that all the DEO women (Eliza didn’t count) were going to wear tuxedos to mess with Clark’s little Kansas head, she had come to Winn and quite seriously told him to ask James.

“What? No!” Winn had said. “James is straight as the proverbial arrow! Straighter, actually. Arrows are notoriously hard to—”

“Winn. That’s not the point. I’ve looked at what the Daily Planet has written about Superman being an ally. But here’s the thing. Anybody can claim to be an ally. They can sign petitions and give money to the Human Rights Campaign, and vote for politicians who aren’t total douchebags. The real test is when their friends and family and exes come out. What do they do then? And I’m pretty sure that James is all of the above.”

“An ally?”

Holtzy rolled her eyes. “Just ask him,” she said. “He might comfortably say no. He might lose his shit. But you need to ask him. You know, so you can test Clark. And if I he does say no, then I am your gender less-than-entirely-binary girl person!”

In the present—after asking a blushing James who couldn’t have forgotten their kiss during the whole pink kryptonite fiasco, and after he said yes, chuckling about messing with Clark’s head, but mostly after the quick dances at the reception and then the whole Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” (and Clark had adjusted his glasses when he saw Scholsen dancing together)—Winn finished the cape, shook it out, and asked, “What do you think?”

James grinned. “Fabulous! Now we can join the girls at the drag show.”

Winn paused as he folded the cape. “I thought you didn’t want to go…”

James shrugged. “Not alone, no. But with you? Sure. I even made sure to get some extra singles to tip the drag queens.”

And Winn was used to not showing his feelings, even and perhaps especially when they could best be approximated by doing handsprings. So he just said, “Yeah. Cool. That’s cool. Let’s, uh, let’s go.”

Chapter Text

By the time the boys finally got to the party, a drag king dressed in a white suit and black shirt and John Travolta pompadour was walking across the stage with a beagle-terrier mix. Lena and Kara were grinning and holding hands. Lucy and Maggie were smiling quietly and holding hands. Alex wished she could hold hands with Vasquez, but she knew they weren’t there yet. Then she saw Winn and James walk in together, and she thought that things could definitely be worse. Poor Winn was being so deliberately nonchalant in a way that screamed even to her baby gay mind, “My boyfriend’s not out yet!” James had that easy smile on his face, but also a bit of a crinkle. Alex saw Lucy and Maggie exchange glances.

Alex remembered what Maggie had said the previous fall: “I didn’t think you were into girls.” And Alex had freaked a little bit, stumbling over, “I’m not!” and Maggie had replied, “You’d be surprised how many gay women have told me that.” It looked like James was still trying very hard to be an ally. Meanwhile Winn was trying very hard to control his heart eyes. And it didn’t help either of them as they watched the drag king sing and dance.

I got chills, they're multiplyin'
And I'm losin' control
'Cause the power you're supplyin'
It's electrifyin'!

And Winn couldn’t help himself, he just had to sing along.

You better shape up, 'cause I need a man
And my heart is set on you
You better shape up, you better understand
To my heart I must be true
Nothing left, nothing left for me to do
You’re the one that I want!

And James grabbed Winn’s hands and they started jitterbugging together.

If you're filled
With affection
You're too shy to convey,
Better take my direction,
Feel your way.

Lucy’s grey eyes got very big watching the two of them goofing around and singing along to the song. Maggie was laughing her ass off. Alex just hoped James wasn’t going to break Winn’s heart.

I better shape up, 'cause you need a man
I need a man who can keep me satisfied
I better shape up if I'm gonna prove
You better prove that my faith is justified
Are you sure?
'Cause (yes) I'm sure down deep inside

Kara and Lena weren’t laughing. Kara had the Crinkle. Alex knew she was worried for Winn too. When the song ended, Lucy whispered something to Maggie, who quickly got serious and nodded. She said something to Vasquez, who frowned, and they got on either side of Winn and promised to get the gang some beers. Immediately, they were swallowed up by the crowd. That left Lucy, Alex, Kara and Lena to surround James and hustle him over to a small open space near the row of Porta-Potties.

“Hey, guys,” said James. “How are they going to find us if we’re over here?”

Lucy said, “They’ll find us when they need to. But first we have to talk to you.”

“About what?”

With the Crinkle, hands on hips and her Supergirl deep voice, Kara said, “Not breaking your best friend’s heart.”

“What are you talking about? We were just goofing around.”

“The wedding was one thing,” Alex said very seriously. “We were all messing with Clark.”

“And Lois,” added Lucy. “And my dad.”

“But this, James,” said Lena, “this is Pride. This is when we are honest about who we are, regardless of the consequences. And if you’re straight, yes, you can be here as an ally, that’s not a problem.”

“But don’t lead Winn on,” said Kara.

James’s jaw dropped. “I’m not leading him on. He doesn’t think I’m—” He stopped and looked at their faces. Both Danvers had their hands on their hips in pre-combat mode. Lena was giving him the Eyebrow. Lucy looked… sad?

“We just danced together…”

Kara said, “All I’m saying is that if you hurt him, there will be a shovel in your future.”

“Two,” growled Alex.

“Three,” said Lena.

“Four,” sighed Lucy. “I’m sorry, James, but you can be a bit obtuse.”

Alex nodded and patted James on the arm. “And now that we have prioritized our friend, we can get on with other important things, like beer.”

Chapter Text

They went back to the front corner of the stage where they had been standing to find Maggie and Vasquez each juggling four beers and Winn wrapping a feathered boa in pink, purple and blue around his neck. Everybody took their beer and they stood watching the drag queen walk across stage with a yellow lab puppy with enormous feet.

Kara squealed and took a picture with her phone. “Look! He’s even got a rainbow bowtie on his collar!”

James watched her take a selfie with the Pride puppy, but got distracted by the drag queen starting her number.

Gloria! I think they've got your number (Gloria)
I think they've got the alias (Gloria) that you've been living under...

James stood at the edge of the crowd with his hands in his pockets. He thought about aliases. When he moved to National City, he took the opportunity to introduce himself to everyone as James, trying to make a clean break from his life in Metropolis. He had told himself that he wanted to see if he could make a name for himself without Superman, and he had. He'd abandoned his photography, tried to run a media empire, given vigilante justice a spin, and briefly became a rookie DEO agent. But until the wedding, he had not realized that it wasn't really Superman he was trying to replace. It was Clark Kent.

How many times had Lois or Lucy expressed mild jealousy over how much time Clark and Jimmy had spent together, or called Jimmy Clark's work wife? He had laughed it off. For years. And then one day, it had just stopped being funny. And that was, more than anything else, what had made him leave Metropolis. And when he finally met Kara, and discovered a Super he actually could date, he had been elated. And then Lucy had come back into his life, making everything more complicated. He still loved her, but not enough. She was still jealous of the Super. And then just as he had been about to tell her that Supergirl was Kara, she broke up with him...

Vasquez came over and handed him a fresh beer. "You okay?" she asked.

"Yeah, just thinking. The Lanes and the Supers have always made my life so complicated."

"How has Lois made your life complicated?"

"Her habit of getting kidnapped by supervillains?"

"Isn't that blaming the victim?"

He sighed. "Probably. I just think my life was simpler when Clark and I could chase down regular stories together."

"Without his girlfriend to interrupt?"

James shrugged.

"I'd say you made her life complicated too."

James took a swig of his beer. "Thanks for this."

"You looked like you could use it. I take it the gang gave you a shovel talk?"

"Four different shovels were mentioned."

Vasquez smiled. "People tend to love Little Plaid Shirt Schott."

The turned to where Winn was making the gang crack up by dancing with his bi boa.

"Yeah, they do," James said with a gusty sigh.

"So I guess the real question is, do you?"

"Yeah, but not that way." He could hear the shakiness in his own voice.

Quietly, Vasquez asked very matter-of-factly. "What scares you most? The relationship or the sex?"

"The sex. I just couldn't.... Not with another guy."

"Would you do it with Clark?"

And he opened his mouth and closed it again, his brain blank as a concrete slab.

Chapter Text

Vasquez saw the blank look on James's face and sighed. The answer was obvious. James Olsen had been in love with Clark Kent for years. But Winn Schott Jr. was not Superman, so American masculinity was going to get in the way of yet another budding romance. Such a shame, really. Poor Winn.

She wasn't too terribly surprised, though. That whole Guardian idiocy was nothing if not an example of masculinity gone off the leash. Well, she'd seen a lot of that as a Marine. And J'onn tried very hard to keep rookies from spreading it around at the DEO. He weeded it out as fast as he could, as did Lucy Lane. But testosterone would out. She sighed.

She drifted away from James. He would have to figure out his own shit. She wondered if he had any gay male friends, but she doubted it. At the DEO, it seemed that he was pretty much surrounded by straight men and lesbians or bi women. She thought about the gay superhero, Ray, and his partner, but they lived on Earth X, and there was no damn way she was going back there even to help a friend. But who did that leave him? About the only person who might reasonably talk to him about this shit was Lucy Lane. And that... would be... complicated? awkward for sure.

Alex ambled over to her, still smiling at Winn’s antics. “Hey, you look serious.”

“Just contemplating human weakness,” Vasquez sighed.

“Oh, I know all about that.” Alex looked sad. Pretty much most of the time she looked at Vasquez she looked sad.

Vasquez took her hand and looked at where Alex still wore the plastic ring with the rainbow on it. “You know less about that than you think. One of the things I thought was amazing about you last year, was how fast you came to terms with all of this. What was it, a few weeks between Maggie suggesting you were gay to when you accepted it for yourself? Some people take months or years.” She glanced over at James. “Some people never manage it at all.”

On stage another tall drag queen was dancing flamboyantly while Alex watched, still a bit in awe.

We were victims of the night
The chemical, physical, kryptonite
Helpless to the bass and the fading light

“Maybe,” mused Vasquez, half to herself. “Maybe that’s why we make these parties so over the top, because so many of us climbed so far to get here…”

Alex tangled her fingers with Vasquez’s, shyly asking, “Is this okay?”

Oh we were bound to get together
Bound to get together

Vasquez looked into those beautiful big root-beer brown eyes and was lost.

She took my arm
I don't know how it happened
We took the floor and she said

And then they were dancing and singing along with the crowd.

Oh don't you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me
I said you're holding back
She said shut up and dance with me!

Vasquez had dreamed of this, the year before, of dancing with Alex at a Pride party, everywhere glitter and rainbows and glorious gay boys and girls, dancing with Alex in her arms and laughing.

This woman is my destiny
She said oh oh oh
Shut up and dance with me!

And first the Daxamites had terrorized and torn up National City and so many people had died and no one had had the heart to have parties or parades. And then Sarah Lance.

But today Alex Danvers was beaming at Vasquez, wearing the plastic rainbow ring she had given her and pulling her in tight as they danced.

Alex had made a mistake. Well, Vasquez had made bigger mistakes, nearly getting the whole SHIELD team killed, nearly getting herself killed. And the whole time, underneath all of the scrambling she had done to fix her mistakes, all Vasquez had wanted to do was come home to Alex Danvers, to have this amazing, sweet badass woman in her arms.

As second chances went, thought Vasquez, holding Alex tight in her arms, this wasn’t half bad

Chapter Text

Lena had watched the Danvers sisters gawk at the drag queens and kings and squeal at the puppies, a far cry from the cape and thigh-holster versions of themselves. It made her smile. She had watched Winn and James dancing together, grinning like fools, and she had something like an ice cube in the pit of her stomach, pretty sure that James was still straight even if he was an ally. So she had joined the others in warning him not to hurt Winn, because he was like a little brother to her. They both had a murderous parent, after all.

And now James was standing with them, his hands in his pockets. She was a little surprised that he wasn’t taking pictures of the Superfriends, as he so often did at parties. But maybe having four people give you a shovel talk could be a little off-putting. She remembered When Vasquez had sat her down at Dollywood and spoken calmly about what she would do to her if she ever broke Kara’s heart…

Lena looked back at Kara, who was taking more selfies with rainbow-covered puppies, and she smiled again. It had been a long year, with a lot of drama, but they had gotten through it together. It even looked like Alex and Vasquez were finally back together again. Alex was all shiny-eyed as Vasquez was hugging her from behind.

As she watched all the fabulous queer strangers dancing around and her friends smiling and laughing, she thought that these people were no longer just her friends. They were her family. Because in the end, wasn’t that what Pride was all about? Stronger together. El Mayarah.