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none of your concern

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It’s still May


Alex keeps a tight hold on Christen’s hand, even when she grabs the thick blanket Christen keeps in the basket by the door, even as she maneuvers them down the familiar path to the beach, and even as she lays the blanket out onto the sand against the light breeze in the air. She keeps Christen’s hand in her’s through all of it, afraid that if she lets go, the fire burning between them will be extinguished and the woman beside her disappearing with it.


It’s that belief that prevents Alex from letting Christen’s hand go.


Because just hours ago she was sure she was fucking it all up again. But now they’re here on the beach and she doesn’t miss a beat, sitting down next to Christen on the blanket and finally unlocking their fingers to use her arm and pull Christen flush against her side.


She feels Christen melt into her, feels both of the other woman’s arms wrap around her waist and hold on tight. It makes her feel like she’s walking on air, safe, secure, and weightless.


Alex thinks back, trying to figure out if she’s ever felt like this before. She can’t really think of a time before Christen became a staple in her life, but unsurprisingly she can come up with a couple times after.


Christen’s birthday this past year. Painting her guest room. The first night Christen stayed over. In the hallway after they lost the cup. That time in Tokyo at the night market even pops into her head.


She’s felt like this before – but only ever with Christen.


Alex really can’t believe how stupid she’s been. Well, that’s not exactly true. She can believe it. Isn’t surprised by the self-destruct mode she went into trying to run away from everything Christen’s made her feel in the last two years.


And Christen had called her out. Tore the mirror off the wall and held it up in front of Alex to see. And see she did.


Alex saw how scared she was. Saw how easily she threw up her walls again when she finally admitted to herself she was in love again. Saw how harsh her words had cut into Christen as she lied to her. How devastating it had been telling her she wasn’t worth it.


And fuck, Christen’s been so patient with her. She had banked on Christen dusting her hands off and saying good riddance. But instead, Christen just gave her time. Let her swing at empty air when all Alex wanted to do for a while was fight.


And hell, the last month had been torture. They didn’t talk – like at all. Alex doesn’t count the words exchanged back and forth at training; courtesy is basically engrained in Christen’s soul. So Alex trained hard, ran even harder until her muscles screamed and sweat bled through her training kit as each day blended into the next.


Because going from seeing each other every single day, texting basically every second they were apart, sleeping next Christen every night to just...nothing, was an emptiness so massive Alex swore it would swallow her whole.


Then last week, when Alex was feeling particularly masochistic, she checked Instagram and only hesitated a second before checking Christen’s story.


Christen had went down to PV to visit her Dad it looked like. She posted a couple of videos of Morena and Khalessi running on the beach and then a picture of her and her Dad. But Alex knows her now, recognizes the sadness around her eyes. Saw the way her smile wasn't tilted up at the corners like when she’s genuinely happy.


The realization tore through Alex cleanly and sharply. All of this, the fear, the sadness, the hurt she’s caused Christen was for what?


Because she was afraid to fall out of love again? Because she was scared of the possibility that she wouldn’t even notice if Christen did too? Scared of not making Christen happy like she once did?


Alex had been so scared of all these fucked up what ifs when she had an opportunity to see things differently.


Because what if she didn’t? What if she didn’t fall out of love? What if, fingers and toes crossed all the way to Florida, Christen didn’t either? Well that is if Christen loves her now, which she thinks she does, and god Alex hopes she does.


What if everything she went through before, the heartbreak, her divorce, the draining feeling of losing something like that, was so it would open her up for this?


A love that’s fulfilling.


Love that doesn’t demand perfect.


Love that doesn’t complete her like they’re going in fifty-fifty, but instead calls for them both being whole.


Alex had stared up at her ceiling for maybe two minutes before it became clear.


She was a fucking idiot.


Her phone started to ring right after the thought and it was confirmation enough.


Alex had answered and Syd’s face materialized on her phone.


“I’m really stupid.” The words came out of Alex’s mouth easily and Sydney had just chuckled.


“What else is new?”


“I’m in love with her.” Alex had said next and Sydney just shrugged before pulling Rue up onto her lap.


“Again, Alex, this isn’t new information.” Syd then placed one had over Rue’s left ear. “But why the hell are you telling me? You’re in some deep shit right now, time to dig yourself out.”


Alex had swung her legs off the bed, Blue standing up too from where he’d been sitting and staring at the door.


“You know you only covered one of her ears.” Alex pointed out walking to her door.


“It takes away half the sting from my words. It’s science.” Syd counters and then gives Alex a proud smile. “Go get her Lex.”


Alex had ended the call a woman on a mission; ready to bare it all and hope Christen still wanted the truth. And still wanted her. But then she stopped herself, keys in hand and ready to speed down to Cody Press’s house like a madwoman. It would probably be best if they were alone, in a place more comfortable for the both of them when they had this conversation. So Alex put her keys back down and stayed home.


Then she let the week pass, a fire slowly building inside of her, tension coiling tightly the more time went by and she didn’t say anything.


Then the pre-season championship game was upon them and Alex tried, she really did, to let some of that tension out but it only continued to pile on. And then Christen walked out after giving her that look and Alex couldn’t help but follow.


Her first initial idea wasn’t to kiss her. It was to actually tell her the truth. But then Christen was right there and Alex had felt like she was finally coming home.


It wasn’t the right thing to do at all. It was fucked up really. Then Tobin walked over before Alex could get what she wanted to say out and Alex’s fire turned quickly green.


Christen dimmed Alex’s anger a little and then instilled a nervous feeling close to fear in her when she said to meet her at her house. And the more seconds that ticked by as Alex waited in her car really did a number on her, put her thoughts all backwards. She really didn’t want to mess this up anymore. Then Christen had opened her front door and Alex knew she deserved everything she had to give.


And for the first time in a long time Alex felt at peace baring herself to another person. Voicing her fears and insecurities despite the possibility of it not working out the way she hoped it would.


Alex didn’t want casual anymore. Never wanted it again. She wanted Christen, in every way she would let her have her. And damn did it feel good to know Christen still wanted her too. It felt even better to know that even after all the bullshit she’d caused, Christen still trusted her.


And now they’re here.


There’s a chill across the sand, the sun has been down only an hour or so, but the lights from the boardwalk bathe the beach in low light. A couple of other groups still sprinkle the sand around them, but they are all far enough away that the sounds of the waves drown them out.


Christen’s hand rubs slowly at Alex’s back. It comforts her to know that Christen’s okay with letting her get lost in her head still.


Alex turns her head, brushing a kiss across Christen’s hairline.


Christen looks up and the smile comes achingly slowly but it crinkles the edges of her green eyes, and fuck, Alex is so in love with her.


“I like you.” Alex says instead before their lips finally touch again. It’s not even a real kiss, not really, it’s just a small connection but it still lights the fire again down Alex’s spine.


Christen doesn’t pull away far, let’s her breath hit Alex’s lips, “Just like?”


Alex blinks hard, realizing she hasn’t even said the one thing she’s been thinking over and over for the last however many months. Their mouths are still so close but Alex can’t be bothered to move an inch.


“I love you.” She breathes out with relief. “I’m in love with you, you have to know that.”


“I do.” Christen says softly, the shared air between them consuming Alex. “But it’s good to finally hear you say it.”


Then Christen tips her head forward, nose brushing against Alex’s, “I love you too.”


Joy so bright fills her and before she knows it her eyes are closing tightly and words are tumbling out.


“I’m terrified because I know it’s not always enough and I know there’s a lot of shit that comes with being with me, but I’ll take every day making sure you know how important you are to me.”


The hand at her back moves up quickly and into Alex’s hair. Christen’s forehead comes to rest against Alex’s and it’s a confirmation that Christen understands.


“Al.” Christen’s lips dance against hers causing Alex to open her eyes and all she sees is green.


Then Christen sighs and finally kisses her fully. Alex feels the way Christen’s hand winds into her hair at the back of her neck, feels the way her other hand grips strongly at her waist. Alex’s heart rate triples and she feels herself get lost.


She leans forward into Christen, making sure to keep their lips connected as she lays her back onto the blanket.


She missed this. Missed the way Christen opens for her, missed the way her lips feel softly moving against hers. Missed the way she tastes and it causes Alex to dive in like she’s starving.


She thinks about taking her, right here on the sand with the sound of waves crashing. They’ve had sex enough times in her car on random streets to know Christen’s kind of really into public sex. Plus, Alex can’t forget that time at Firefly when Christen stood and closed the privacy curtain. Alex had a bruise on her hand for a week, faint indentations of her own teeth showcasing just how hard she was biting down to keep quiet. But the beach is different, it may be dark but they’re still fully exposed.


And when Alex runs her hand under Christen’s zip up, the woman in her arms shiver.


“Should we – “ Alex starts pulling back because once they start, there’s no stopping.


Christen breathes the next word into Alex’s mouth, “Yes.”


It’s frantic after that. Alex feels both charged and lightheaded as she gathers the blanket up. She can’t even remember why she wanted to take Christen to the beach. She had a thought in her head, a plan or something, but it escapes her the more she stares down at Christen’s lips – red, slighty swollen and wet because of her.


Alex reaches out when they finally turn to walk back up the beach, wrapping an arm around Christen before kissing the top of her head. They stay like that the whole walk back, half for the warmth and the other part because being this close again for Alex feels like she’s not meant to be anywhere else.


Each step she takes snaps through her and Christen’s hand not wrapped around her back is flat against Alex’s bare stomach. Warm and wandering and it causes Alex to pull Christen into the shadows in between streetlights to taste her. They laugh into the quiet of the night like they’re seventeen instead of in their thirties before they finally make it back to Christen’s house.


When the front door closes Alex drops the blanket and backs Christen into the door. She stops, inches away from Christen’s lips and takes a second to stare. Christen’s eyes are closed, her lashes fluttering in anticipation.


Alex waits. Tries to even out her breathing because after months of wanting this, she wants to appreciate this woman. Take her in before she’s completely gone.


When green eyes flutter open still, Alex waits.


Alex feels the words in her whole body now. Feels them in the way Christen’s hands travel up over her shoulders and to the back of her neck. Feels them in the way nails drag and dig deep.


“I – “ Alex starts but is cut off by fingers that press just right into the nape of her hair.


“I know.” Christen whispers before tilting her head up and kissing her. Pulls her close and Alex wraps her arms more fully around Christen’s waist, wants them as close as they can be.


Christen pushes back from the door and they stumble together, lips still attached as they blindly make their way towards the stairs. Hands grip and pull and hold steady once Christen hits the first step. They finally break away and Christen laughs before pulling back fully and grabbing onto the railing for support.


“Race you to the top.” Christen says before turning and taking off up the stairs and Alex feels her heart start to run away with her.


She follows quickly, taking two stairs at a time and wrapping an arm around Christen’s waist once she catches up. The surprised noise Christen lets out causes laughter to tumble from her own mouth and then Christen’s turning in her arms, claiming Alex’s lips again.


They step together; making it through the door to Christen’s room and Alex nudges Christen back to the bed. She tries to break away to pull her sweatshirt off but Christen doesn’t let go, pulling Alex with her so her hands land flat on the mattress on either side of Christen’s shoulders.


Alex is already breathless when she leans down to deepen the kiss. Drifts one hand up along Christen’s waist and up past her ribs to pull the zipper down on her warm-up jacket.


She sits up and Christen untangles her arms and Alex doesn’t miss a beat, dragging both hands up under Christen’s shirt along heated skin to pull her shirt off next. Alex throws the shirt next to the bed then pulls off her own hoodie.


She feels her cheeks ache from smiling as Christen pulls her back on top of her. They kiss again, this time with more intent and Alex’s shirt is discarded somewhere and so is Christen’s bra as they move up towards the head of the bed.


Christen’s hands slide easily down Alex’s waist, up her back to pinch open her bra then down to her ass, pulling Alex down against her as she licks up into her mouth. It causes her head to spin, and her hands work quickly to pull Christen’s pants off.


Time speeds up for a moment, the rest of their clothes coming off and the temperature in the room seems to increase a hundred degrees because suddenly Alex is panting. Gasps as Christen bites at her bottom lip, sucking it into her mouth before pulling Alex down closer and closer like she can’t control this either.


A shudder runs through Alex at the thought as their breasts slide together and she nestles herself more fully in between Christen’s legs. The warmth there, shared between them, causes Alex to moan and she pulls away from Christen to take a breath. Christen takes the moment to place soft kisses along Alex’s cheek, moving slowly until she gets to her ear. Deep breathes tickle and the wetness between Alex’s legs pools as Christen sucks slowly at the lobe.


“I love you.” Christen says so lightly, her lips outlining the words along Alex’s ear.


Alex nods, overwhelmed with the sensations of it all, and turns her head to connect them again. The kiss is gentle at first but turns darker and deeper once Alex lifts her hips to make space for her hand.


Her lips feel like fire, tongue tasting and tasting but she’s soft with her touch. She focuses on Christen’s clit, drawing patterns just how she knows Christen likes, slow and deep until Christen pulls away with moan and grips at Alex’s back.


She dives in then, mouths at the spot right below Christen’s jaw and sucks before her tongue circles in tandem with her fingers at Christen’s opening. Nails dig into Alex’s back and she enters Christen easily with two fingers, curls them to hit the soft spot inside of her because she can’t drag this out. She needs Christen to come, needs to feel her everywhere, needs Christen to know that this is all she’ll ever want again.


“I need you.” Alex hears the words spoken in her voice, feels Christen’s moan vibrate at her throat. She pushes in deep again, works her thumb in quick sure circles, and then feels the tell-tale flutter around her fingers. Alex pulls back, watches Christen’s teeth bite into her bottom lip at the strain.


“Come for me.” She says and it makes Christen’s eyes open, their gazes lock. “Come for me, baby,” Alex repeats and Christen’s mouth drops in a silent scream and her body goes rigid, the arms around Alex tighten as the fingers nestled deep inside pulsate as Christen comes.


Christen groans, hips grinding up into Alex’s fingers as she comes down but Alex doesn’t give her a second to recover. She redoubles her efforts, pushes into Christen with three fingers. The moans Christen lets out now are high-pitched and they race down Alex’s spine and she feels her own orgasm just ahead. But she wants them closer still, closer, closer.


She pulls her fingers out, adjusting her hips quickly and grabbing Christen’s legs to wrap them around her hips. Christen’s wetness slides against her own and they both let out matching moans and then Alex is leaning down and they’re kissing again. It feels like desperation now, and Alex rocks down into her to chase the orgasm that’s firing up through her.


Christen’s hands feel like embers, leaving a long line of fire in their wake as they move across her body. The journey is painfully slowly down her back, down to her hips then they become more dangerous and cup her ass, pulling her even more tightly against her. It’s possessive and Alex’s hips stutter, circling to try and grind closer, closer, closer.


She knows Christen is close to breaking again, feels it in the way they’re tightly pressed together, feels the way Christen’s hip push up and her ankles push Alex’s thighs down. It’s so hot, and she needs it.


“Look at me, Chris.” Alex breathes out and Christen’s eyes snap open. Her hips don’t stop, if anything she speeds up, feeling the orgasm right between her legs where the heat is the greatest.


“I love you too.”


Christen’s grip on her back tightens as she stiffens in her arms and moans into Alex’s mouth. She’s gone then too, tumbling right after her and Alex thinks she can taste the clouds.



Alex blinks. Registers the sound of a lawnmower and the light coming in through the blinds.


Her body aches, all over, and it takes a moment but she’s able to push up slightly and lift her head.


It’s early, 7:21 the clock reads, and she wants to just stay in this bed. Christen’s there, breathing still even and rolled over so her bare back is to Alex. Her hair is fanned wildly across the pillow and from this position Alex considers getting up for a moment to get Christen her morning tea.


But she doesn’t want to leave. Doesn’t want to burst the all consuming feeling now that it’s taken over her.


So when she does move, it’s to place soft kisses on Christen’s bare shoulder until the other woman begins to stir.


“Mmm, good morning,” Christen murmurs, voice still having the sleepy quality Alex has grown to adore.


“Morning,” She whispers back, moving her head slightly on the pillow to place a soft kiss on Christen’s lips.


“How are you?” Alex asks when she pulls back, watching Christen slowly blink awake.


“Really good.” 


Alex traces a finger along Christen's exposed collarbone, “Yeah?”


Christen reaches her hand up, grabbing at Alex's finger then intertwining their hands and resting the pair on her chest. The action feels heavy, but in a way that makes Alex feel understood.


“Yeah.” Christen says and they stay in bed a lot longer that morning. 


A couple hours later Tobin texts her when Alex is back home and taking Blue out for a walk. She meets up with her at this speakeasy in Santa Monica. It’s quiet and out of the way and kind of the perfect place to have the conversation Alex is about to have with Tobin.


Alex had called Christen after getting the text, not to ask permission (not that Christen suggested so), but to let her know. Christen had just asked if she was going to be okay and Alex assured her she would be. This was Tobin after all.


When Alex arrives she spots Tobin sitting in one of the booths, a beer already in front of her. When Tobin looks up Alex gives a nod toward the bar and orders a beer as well before joining her.


“Hey.” Alex greets, sliding into the bench.


“Hey, thanks for meeting me.”


Alex has no idea how this conversation is going to go. They’ve never really been the best communicators when it comes to addressing issues between them. Alex can count on one hand the times they’ve argued and usually they just avoid each other until they both cool off. But that won’t work anymore, not with this.


Tobin looks as relaxed as ever. A good sign to start.


“Look, I just want to start by saying I’m sorry about yesterday.”


Alex sits up a little straighter, “It’s okay, I’m sorry too.”


“I mean I knew she was seeing someone I just was a little slow to pick up that it was you. And when I finally realized it I did feel a little betrayed, you know? Like this is Chris – she’s – “ Tobin’s words fade and Alex understands.


There’s always a line, an invisible one that you unknowingly place around people. It’s selfish and controlling, but it’s there.


“I know and I get it. I am sorry for not having a conversation with you before. But Christen and I – it was complicated for a while. Mostly because of me – practically all because of me. But the conversation, if it would have happened, wouldn’t have been a question of if it okay with you.”


Tobin nods, “Yeah, I get that now. I felt like shit thinking that. Who she dates or loves – whatever, it’s not my place. I realized it never was.”


Alex leans back, taking in Tobin’s words and recognizing the change that’s been happening over time in the other woman. Tobin takes another sip of her beer before sighing.


“I guess there was still a stupid part of me that wanted to be her greatest love, you know?” Tobin says and then laughs quietly to herself. “But I’ve accepted the fact that one, it’s selfish, and two, it’s obviously just not the truth.”


She looks up from where she’s rubbing the condensation off her glass, eyes sincere, “It’s been you this whole time and I’m glad you finally figured it out.”


Alex lets out a surprised laugh, “Yeah, me too.”


They finish their drinks, catching up in a way that Alex hasn’t been able to with Tobin in a long time and Alex breathes a little easier.




The next day, they’re sitting on the couch, watching Iron Chef, when a thought pops into Alex’s head.


“Are we – you’re my girlfriend right?”


Christen’s gaze finds hers and her eyebrows lift up while she lets out a laugh, “Are you asking me or confirming?”


Shit, Alex didn’t mean for it to come out like that.


“Both? Kinda,” Alex rubs at her temples suddenly feeling dumb. “I don’t know, I’ve never asked someone to be my girlfriend before. I’m shooting in the dark here.”


Christen looks unbothered by Alex's obvious distress, “Honestly, I think we kind of skipped that step somewhere between, I don’t know, Valentine’s Day last year and yesterday, don’t you think?”


Alex thinks about it for a second, knowing Christen is right.


“So you are?”


Christen laughs again and Alex can’t help the smile that pulls across her face at the sound. Damn, she’s definitely going soft.


“You can still ask me.”


Alex feels nervous all of the sudden, hands fisting together to the point that she needs to reach out and hold onto one of Christen's to calm her sudden anxiousness.


She takes in a quick breath. 


“Will you be my girlfriend?”


“Only if you admit I’m the best forward on the team,” Alex opens her mouth to protest but then Christen holds up a finger. “And you admit I beat you in the pacer test two weeks ago.”


Alex narrows her eyes but her heart feels so full that it’s really all just a pride thing now. But it’s Christen and Alex is over trying to ignore the fact that this woman has every single part of her. Plus, both statements are very true.


“You’re the best forward on the team and you did beat me in the pacer test.”


“Wow, really? Of course, I accept but I didn’t think you would give it up that easily.” Christen laughs and Alex gives her a playful scowl. “You must really love me.”


Alex looks down at their intertwined fingers, feeling both heavy and light. When she looks back up Christen’s expression is so soft and open that Alex knows the honesty she’s been giving the last thirty-six or so hours is going to last a long time.


“I do.” She says it softly and Alex hopes that Christen understands.


“I love you too.” Christen murmurs, then turns back to the TV. Alex considers her for a moment, feeling confused because they’ve done everything out of order.


And Christen never answered her question, right? And here Alex is, heart still beating out of her chest because what the hell?


“Wait,” She clears her throat, swallowing the pride she’s long battled with, “so you are my girlfriend?”


Christen turns her head, eyes alight in amusement before the somewhat terrified look on Alex’s face must register.


Green eyes turn sincere and then two soft hands are placed on her cheeks. She stills, fights the initial reflex to run, “Goodness Alex, yes. I’m your girlfriend. And you’re mine.” The words are said to leave no room for confusion and then Christen’s lips are on hers.


It’s just a kiss; they’ve kissed hundreds of times now. But it feels like Alex’s heart might physically beat out of her chest and into Christen’s lap.


Fuck, she’s such a damn sap now because it’s in that moment, when their heads tilt together and the kiss grows, that Alex thinks she’ll probably never have another girlfriend again.




Practice the next day is all drills and formations in preparation for the first official game of the season. They look sharp and Alex feels dialed in, relaxed in a way she hasn’t felt in practice the last couple of months. Passes are connecting, runs are made and crosses are timed perfectly and she thinks even Pirlo is pleased because he ends practice without running them into the ground like he had promised.


They’re all winding down after being dismissed, talking as they run through their stretches and take off their cleats. The LA sun is just starting to crest, and Alex drops down next to Christen. Close enough that when Alex leans forward to start untying her boots their thighs push together and Alex feels Christen’s hand run up her back and squeeze her shoulder.


Alex turns and Christen hasn’t missed a beat, still in full conversation with Estelle, hand now unconsciously resting on Alex’s shoulder.


Christen’s been a consummate professional all practice and Alex really has been trying to be too. But it’s difficult, more so than usual for obvious reasons. But especially since earlier, right before leaving for training Christen had Alex bent over her own kitchen table. It was hot and mind-numbing and right now Alex could really skip her whole stretching routine and leave.


She leans over, making sure she whispers the words directly into Christen’s ear, “I think I’m ready to go.”


Christen turns, humming in question, and Alex hasn’t moved back far enough to avoid their noses brushing together. It’s intimate, despite the setting, and Alex doesn’t really give a fuck about professionalism at the moment.


“I said, I’m ready to go.” Alex repeats then leans up, softly placing a kiss on Christen’s forehead and her girlfriend smiles brightly.


Clapping sounds bring Alex back to reality and she turns to see her teammates looking at the two of them like they just won the shield.


“Dude, finally.” Shannon claps again and everyone starts talking at once.


“I really thought we’d go another season living in the “will they or won’t they” storyline.” Hanna’s voice breaks through and Alex hears sounds of agreement.


“Pay up losers.” Jill says, hands outstretched and fingers flexing like she’s waiting for bills to be dropped into her hands.


“You bet on us?” Alex asks incredulous, because goodness she thought they weren’t that obvious.


Everyone laughs and it’s Abby that confirms, “Obviously Al.”


Alex is about to question her teammates further but hears Christen’s laugh and her face is getting turned towards the other woman.


“Let the kids have their fun.”


Alex rolls her eyes and thinks about kissing her again just because she can, but she hears Jill and Cat making obnoxious sounds next to her. Alex groans, burying her face in Christen’s neck instead.


“I want that money,” She says into the warmth of Christen’s skin. It comes out muffled and Christen pulls back.


“What?” She asks and they’re still so close and with everyone around them rowdy and loud now, cat fully out the bag, Alex has no real worry at the moment.


But she knows she has a slight pout on her face as she utters, “I said we better get a cut of that money.”