Abductions never fazed her all that much these days.
There was always, of course, a general unease about waking up handcuffed to a chair in an unfamiliar location but, other than that, Alex Danvers was used to it. It was just inconvenient more than anything else...she had plans with her girlfriend tonight, plans that had now been ruined. Fortunately, Kelly worked within the agency so at least would understand but still...this was so damn inconvenient.
At least this particular kidnapper had the decency to not keep her waiting, emerging the second she tugged at her restraints. ‘Agent Danvers, welcome.’ The man, who was of average height and build, had something of a musical quality about his voice and was particularly smiley. She didn’t recognise him. ‘Florian Thomas. It’s a pleasure to meet you.’
The name wasn’t familiar either and the pleasure was most certainly not mutual. ‘Release me now or this won’t end well for you,’ she growled.
Florian smiled. ‘Not right now.’
His overly-friendly demeanour infuriated Alex just as much as it creeped her out. ‘You’ve taken a federal agent hostage, you asshole--.’
‘And I’ll be releasing said federal agent - you - without causing you any harm. The handcuffs are padded, even they will not hurt you.’
Alex tested her restraints again and, sure enough, metal did not cut into her skin. That was a first. Score one for thoughtful kidnappers. ‘What do you want?’
Florian disappeared behind her for a few moments before returning with a chair that he positioned in front of her. He sat down. ‘I want to show you something.’
The more he spoke and smiled, the higher that creep factor was ticking up. Still, she didn’t let her unease show. ‘And what exactly is that?’ She asked with narrowed eyes.
‘Something that you are currently lacking.’
He laughed. ‘You’re funny.’
‘And you’re annoying,’ she countered, refraining from adding various other adjectives that she could, very easily, use to describe him. ‘Listen, buddy. Whatever it is that you want from me? You’re not getting. I don’t negotiate with terrorists.’
‘I’m not a terrorist.’
‘Fine. I don’t negotiate with people who abduct me.’ Only now did it dawn on her to think about when she was abducted. Her memory was a little foggy, no doubt from whatever had been used to knock her out. The last thing she remembered was locking her front door...seriously, what was it with getting taken in her own apartment complex? ‘You’re wasting your time trying to get me to talk.’
‘Ah, see. That’s the thing,’ he grinned. ‘I don’t want you to talk. No, in fact, the more that you talk, the longer that you are going to be here. Like I said before, Agent Danvers, I have no intentions of hurting you. Rather, I want to help you, and help you to better your life.’
Alex frowned. ‘You sound like you’re trying to sell me Herbalife.’
That prompted another laugh. ‘Seriously, have you ever considered a career in comedy?’
‘Can we just cut to it, already?’
‘Of course, of course, my apologies.’ He took a second to compose himself before doing as requested and cutting straight to it. ‘You aren’t happy in life.’
‘You aren’t. You’ve been pretending to be and it’s all very convincing. You’ve fooled your family and your friends, and you’ve even managed to fool yourself. It’s pretty amazing, actually. But I’ll tell you who you haven’t fooled...your girlfriend.’
He had already crossed numerous lines but bringing Kelly into it was a line too far. ‘I’d watch what you’re saying.’
‘You don’t know who I am, do you?’
‘And I don’t care either.’
Florian nodded. ‘Thought so, so I guess I should elaborate...I can see the future.’
‘And also any, and all, the alternate universes that I wish to see.’
‘So you’ve also been smoking those Herbalife products, I see.’
This time he didn’t find it funny. ‘You don’t believe me?’
‘Not really, no.’
He had an obvious penchant for the theatrics, as he scratched at his chin. ‘Hm, lemme see. Before I took you, you were on your way to see Kelly. You were going to take your bike and travel your usual route but with one exception - you were going to make a quick stop for gas.’
‘That’s not predicting the future. That’s called stalking and checking the fuel gauge on my bike, you idiot.’
‘You were also going to buy a Hershey's bar at the gas station, weren’t you?’
Alex’s stomach dropped...still, there was a rational explanation for that...there had to be. ‘I like chocolate...so?’
‘You’ve seen so many weird and crazy things in your career, in your life, and you still don’t believe me?’ He held up an index finger. ‘Correction. You don’t want to believe me...because you know I’m telling the truth.’
‘Actually, wait.’ Florian stood and closed the distance between them. ‘I can show you what would’ve happened if I hadn’t, let’s just say, borrowed you.’
Alex flinched as he pressed two fingers on both of her temples, but the real discomfort came as she was suddenly transported to Kelly’s apartment, and saw both herself - well, a version of herself - and her girlfriend standing by the dining table. She was unable to move or even say anything...all she could do was watch and feel the tension that hung heavy in the air.
‘This isn’t working,’ Kelly said with a sigh.
The version of Alex tried to plead, desperation all over her face. ‘No, no, no, it is.’
Kelly was having none of it. ‘It’s not. Believe me, I’ve been trying to convince myself that it was, but it just isn’t. This is a rebound for you, Alex. You’re not over your ex.’
‘You talk about her constantly, you still have photos of her on your phone--.’
‘You looked through my phone? What, you don’t trust me? I trust you.’ That version of herself was angry. Livid, actually. ‘At least Maggie trusted me.’
‘And there it is.’
That riled her up even more. ‘You know what? You’re right, this isn’t working...because trust should be reciprocated.’ She turned to leave, only to be stopped in her tracks by the words that came out of Kelly’s mouth.
‘Try not to date the first woman you meet that wants kids - it doesn’t work out.’
And that was where it ended as Alex returned to the present, not quite sure what to say or where to even begin.
Florian looked apologetic. ‘That’s what would have happened had I not taken you and what’s, more or less, going to happen when you next see her.’
‘You...you’re crazy.’ Though, she knew that he wasn’t. What she had just seen, that...that didn’t seem all that absurd. In fact, it seemed likely because a part of her always knew that there was something not quite right about the relationship. Kelly was good company and the sex was great, but it wasn’t...it just wasn’t the same. It didn’t even come close to what she’d had before. Still...being exposed like that? That made Alex angry, and she couldn’t help but take her anger out on Florian. ‘Why are you doing this?’
‘Because Kelly’s right,’ he said firmly. ‘You gravitated towards her - settled for her - because she wants kids and works within the agency, ergo making her the first compatible woman that you found. And then you tried to convince yourself that you were happy when, really, you weren’t. You haven’t been happy in a long, long time, Alex.’
Really, really fucking exposed. ‘Let me go. Now, or you’ll be seeing your own murder.’
‘No.’ He shook his head. ‘I won’t be, and I haven’t for one good reason. I...I just want to show you one more thing.’
Again, she was transported at his touch and, this time, she found herself in an unfamiliar location. It was a living room and there was a little girl, no older than five years old sprawled out on the floor, colouring neatly with crayons. She had dark hair, brown eyes and deep, deep dimples that were on full display as she took great pride in her work.
‘Sweetie can you come here?’ Alex would always recognise that voice. Always.
The child scrambled to her feet and run through to the kitchen, over to the woman who was unmistakably her mother.
And her mother - Maggie - offered her a freshly iced cupcake. ‘I made these for mommy, and I need you to taste them and make sure they’re super yummy. Can you do that for me?’
The girl’s enthusiasm was unbridled. ‘Yep!’
‘Atta girl,’ Maggie grinned, handing her the treat before planting a kiss on the top of her head. She giggled as the girl got a little too excited and dove into the cake. ‘Messy just like mommy, aren’t you? Here,’ she licked her thumb and proceeded to wipe the icing from the child’s nose. ‘Is it good?’
‘Wanna help me decorate the rest of them?’ She reached for a little tub on the dining table and shook it. ‘I’ve got sprinkles!’
It ended there, and Alex was brought back to reality, her cheeks damp with tears that had fallen. She didn’t need Florian to explain what she had just seen, but he did so anyway.
‘That little girl was your daughter. Her name’s Ellie - named after your mother and your sister - and you would’ve had her seven years into your marriage, though she’d been planned for a long time.’
It was a loaded couple of sentences as it was, but one phrase stuck out in particular. ‘Would’ve?’ Alex whispered. ‘So that...that doesn’t happen?’
Florian looked away. ‘I can’t tell you that.’
‘No,’ Alex swallowed hard, trying to force down the lump in her throat that was threatening to choke her. ‘You can. You brought me here, you can at least tell me if that’s my future, if I’m ever--.’ That lump wasn’t going anywhere. ‘--if we’re ever--.’
‘I can’t,’ he said firmly. ‘You can’t know what happens, you’ve just got to let whatever happens happen.’
‘Yet you told me about Kelly?’
‘That was always going to happen. There’s not a universe in which you two are soulmates, not a single one.’
Again, he dodged the question. ‘Don’t force things, Alex. Just don’t.’ He reached towards her temples yet again.
However, she didn’t want to see anything else if it was going to be that ambiguous. ‘No, I--.’
She woke with a start, finding herself on the couch in her apartment with Florian nowhere to be seen.
She checked her watch. It was six thirty; she’d gotten back from work just under an hour ago. It...it had to have been a dream, right? It’d been a long day at work, an unplanned nap on the couch was possible, and a much more rational explanation than being abducted by some psychic.
It wasn’t a dream though.
Despite making the conscious decision to not buy that bar of chocolate at the gas station, it took Kelly all of five minutes to say those ominous words - we need to talk. The conversation that followed wasn’t as heated as the one in the vision, as Alex lacked the desire to argue, but the key points were all the same - this isn’t working...you aren’t over Maggie...it’s over. Yet Alex didn’t feel heartbroken that the three-month relationship had come to an abrupt end, no...in fact, she actually felt relieved - relieved that she didn’t have to spend her evenings watching crappy reality shows...relieved that she would no longer be dragged along to concerts she wasn’t that interested in...just relieved in so many ways.
Just like that vision, Florian was right - she hadn’t been happy.
Which meant that he had to be right about Maggie one day wanting kids too and, as crazy as it sounded, she put her faith in the man that had abducted her, and decided to let whatever happens happen...and besides, by lying to Maggie’s face repeatedly, she’d also kinda lost the right to turn up out of the blue and ask for another chance.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, and nothing happened besides Kara’s very gentle attempts to get her back into the dating world. As time proceeded to creep on, Alex started to wonder if maybe she had to make that move, if that was what she was supposed to do.
One night, and with liquid courage in her system, she decided to call Maggie’s number.
The voice on the other end of the phone was not the one she wanted to hear. ‘The number that you have called has been disconnected and is no longer in service.’
Maybe it wasn’t meant to be, after all.
Of course, she could always go to the precinct or, hell, show up at Maggie’s door but she didn’t, and would never have the courage to do something like that. So, instead, she succumbed to her sister’s peer pressure, going on blind dates and trying internet dating, all to no avail.
And then came that chilly March morning.
Their eyes met over at a crowded crime scene.
This felt like a full circle moment and, dare she even think it, it also felt like fate. So, with that in mind, Alex willed herself to walk over to her, despite her stomach being in knots and her legs feeling as if they could give way at any given second. She had no idea what to say, or how to act.
Fortunately, Maggie took the lead, opting to keep things professional. ‘Agent Danvers.’
Alex couldn’t help but correct. ‘It’s...it’s actually Director now.’
‘That’s...congratulations.’ A smile twitched at the corner of Maggie’s lips before she realized what that might mean. ‘Is J’onn--.’
Alex was quick to reassure. ‘He’s okay, he just got a little jaded and wanted to step aside.’
Maggie nodded, a silence falling between them as they both frantically thought of conversation starters whilst ignoring the metaphorical elephant in the metaphorical room. ‘Well, I’m glad he’s doing good. How...how are you?’
She decided to be honest. ‘Currently feeling incredibly awkward.’
That prompted a little laugh and lightened the mood a little. ‘Yeah, me too...but we’re professionals, we can do this, right?’
Alex nodded. ‘Right.’
Talking about work made conversation easier and gave Alex the confidence to do what, just ten minutes ago, would have been the unthinkable. ‘Can we talk?’
‘Sure, of course,’ Maggie nodded then waited for whatever it was that Alex wanted to say.
Yet this wasn’t the right place. ‘I mean, later? After work?’
Hesitation flashed across Maggie’s features. ‘I--.’
‘It’s important,’ Alex said firmly. ‘And I know the situation is weird so you absolutely can say no but I just...there’s some things I really need to say.’
Maggie still looked understandably reluctant but after giving it a moment of consideration, she nodded. ‘Okay.’
They met at the bar and had drinks, though they both knew it was also too public a space to discuss what Alex wanted to discuss, which was why they ended up heading back to Alex’s. Alex felt safe there to completely open up, to let tears fall as she revealed just how unhappy she’d been the past year and a half and how she now valued happiness above anything else. Whilst she did omit the whole I was abducted by an apparent psychic part, she was otherwise completely honest and echoed words she had said years ago. ‘I just wanna be happy...and I was happy with you.’
‘And what about kids?’
‘They’d be nice, sure, but I don’t need them to be happy.’ All Alex needed to be happy was the woman who sitting right in front of her. ‘That’s what this past year and a half has taught me. A dream can be a dream and that’s okay...but I want something real, and what we had was real. And wonderful...so, so wonderful.’
Maggie looked down, her attention drawn to the cuticle she was picking at - she always did that when she was nervous. ‘What…what would you say if I told you that I was open to the idea?’
A small nod.
‘I’d say that’s great but it’s you that I want.’ Alex reached for Maggie’s hand, stopping her fidgeting before blood was drawn and waited patiently for Maggie to meet her gaze. ‘You want kids?’
‘You aren’t the only one that’s done a lot of thinking this past year,’ she said with a small smile. ‘I think I do, yeah. But only with someone like you.’
Tears stung at Alex’s eyes, as that felt like confirmation. But she needed Maggie to say it out loud, it had to be Maggie that said it. ‘So…?’
‘So,’ Maggie gave a little laugh, her eyes starting to shimmer too. ‘So how do we go about this? Do we date? Or do we pick up where we left off?’
That was also something that Alex had given a lot of thought to. ‘I kinda want date first...going on dates with you was fun.’ Going on dates with anyone else, however? That had been painfully awkward, and some of the most uncomfortable evenings of Alex’s life.
They went on a few dates before they moved back in together and, after four months, as the sun set on a warm summer’s day in Midvale, Alex did it properly this time, getting down on one knee as a trembling hand reached for the ring that she’d been carrying around the whole week-long trip. ‘You are the greatest thing to have ever happened to me and I would love nothing more than to be able to call you my wife. So, Maggie Sawyer...will you marry me?’
Words escaped a tearful Maggie, who managed a nod before she accepted the ring and flung her arms around Alex.
Alex could stay in this embrace forever. ‘I love you so, so much,’ she whispered. ‘And I mean it...you’re the greatest thing and I am so, so lucky.’ Lucky to have crossed paths with Maggie in the first place...lucky that Maggie’s feelings had been mutual...lucky that some guy had abducted her and made her believe that she deserved happiness - though, the latter hadn’t been luck.
As Alex looked up and saw a familiar figure looking on, with that familiar smile on his face, Alex realized that it hadn’t been luck that had brought Maggie into her life...it had been fate.
Some years later…
She’d left for work some thirty-six hours ago.
What had been an otherwise benign day had quickly turned into a day from hell, resulting in Friday turning into Saturday as Alex worked through the night to ensure that the city didn’t fall to a band of aggressive Hellgrammites. It was evening when she finally got home, chauffeured by a DEO agent because she didn’t want to risk falling asleep at the wheel.
Her pup greeted with oodles of slobbery kisses and a very, very waggy tail. ‘I missed you too, baby.’ Coming home these days was always so special, and the thought of doing so would always be enough to push her through the longest of shifts.
She pulled off her boots and left them neatly on the shoe rack before hanging up her jacket on her way to the living room, and it was there that her heart melted as she took in the sight of her wife and daughter asleep on the couch, all cuddled up under a blanket. Not wishing to wake them, for Maggie and Ellie looked just so damn peaceful, Alex leaned over and placed the gentlest of kisses on each of their foreheads. She reached for the remote and turned the Disney movie off before tiptoeing away, to grab a drink from the kitchen.
Cupcakes with sprinkles were waiting for her on the kitchen counter.