I have a headcanon that Kara is Autistic (I am irl) and Alex is real sweet and protective of her. Maybe high school au?
The glasses help.
The glasses help because they dull the overstimulation.
They help, but Rao, they don’t help everything.
Sometimes, they make things worse.
Because her hands are noisy, and her fingers need the solid feel of the rims underneath their tips.
So she adjusts them constantly – adjusts them when someone expects her to look at them, adjusts them when she jumps when someone touches her, adjusts them when she doesn’t know what to say, because she has her own codes, but it doesn’t seem to match the others’ – and when she adjusts them, people laugh.
They act like she can’t hear. They act like she can’t see.
They act like she doesn’t understand.
But she’s heard her planet scream and she’s seen her planet die and she understands more than any of them ever will.
And she hears them, and she sees them.
And she understands that their hatred exists.
She just doesn’t understand why.
Alex punches them, sometimes.
She punches them when they don’t lay off. When they surround Kara at her locker and make a game of seeing who can get her to stim with her glasses more fiercely.
But they don’t call it stimming.
Because they think she’s the one that doesn’t understand, but really, it’s them that don’t understand… anything.
So Alex punches them, when her words aren’t big enough.
Alex’s hands talk, just like Kara’s do.
And sometimes, they shout.
Just like Kara’s do.
And when Alex is hauled into the principal’s office, it’s Maggie who slips up beside her.
It’s Maggie who looks at her without expecting, without demanding, a direct look back. Maggie who speaks softly because she knows everything else is so loud.
“Hey Kid Danvers. Do you feel like a soft hug? Or maybe something to squeeze?”
“Why do you ask me?” she wants to know, and she adjusts her glasses and this time, with Maggie at her side, waiting for her big sister to get out of the principal’s office, it feels good, not weird. Relieving, not stupid.
“Because everyone deserves to control how they interact with the world, kid.”
Kara glances at her and shifts so she’s leaning into Maggie’s arms.
The pressure is soft and the pressure is constant, and the pressure is so, so welcome.
Maggie doesn’t move, and Maggie doesn’t speak, because the touch is more than enough stimulation for Kara.
They wait together, in the abandoned, after-school halls, for Alex to emerge.
Kara flinches when she hears Alex yell inside the office.
“No, I don’t care! They were hurting her, they were taunting her, they deserved it! I don’t care if you call my parents, because you know what my mom tells me to do? Protect my little sister. And you all clearly aren’t interested in doing that, so someone has to! And that’s going to be me, forever.”
She comes out of the office twenty minutes later with a lopsided grin on her face.
“You should have heard Jeremiah going off on the old man. Something about punishing his daughter instead of the boys who were being mean to you. It was great. I never knew Dad could get scary like that. It was awesome.”
Kara smiles and says nothing, and Alex sighs and lets the adrenaline rush out of her body slightly.
“Hey, looks like you’re pretty comfy there with Maggie.”
“Your girlfriend’s nice to me,” Kara offers by way of explanation, and Alex blushes hard while Maggie beams.
“Anything for a Danvers girl,” Maggie grins, and Kara curls in on herself proudly and Alex preens.
“Ice cream?” Alex invites them both, and she’s not sure who squeals louder, her sister or her girlfriend.
She just knows it’s the best feeling in the world.