How many girls do you think Alex accidentally flirted with before she realized she was gay? Like she was SO flirting with Maggie before she realized but like how often do you think that happened and she just thought she was being nice or whatever? Fucking oblivious gay nerd.
She’s six and the girl’s brothers had left her all alone in the sand as they dashed into the ocean, yelping and shoving and splashing each other as they barrel deeper into the water.
The girl looks lonely and the girl looks listless, and Alex knows the feeling.
“You don’t like the ocean?” she asks without preamble, because six year old social code permits so much more direct communication than older codes will.
The girl turns to her and sighs. Her face is pretty, even when it’s sad, and Alex bites the inside of her cheek. “I’ll just slow my brothers down,” she says, and Alex holds out an open hand.
“You won’t slow me down.”
They take each wave together, the girl never letting go of Alex’s hand, and Alex never wanting her to.
Eliza, watching from their balcony overlooking the beach, is proud that her shy little Alexandra is finally making a friend.
She’s ten and the pretty girl from homeroom has the best science fair poster in the whole lunchroom.
Except for Alex’s, of course, but Alex doesn’t mention that when she tells her that it looks great, and how did she get such clear images of a monthly progression of sunspots from a homemade pinhole camera?
Alex thinks the girl blushes, but it must be because she’s shy, or maybe she doesn’t like talking in such a crowded, bustling space. Or it’s Alex’s imagination.
Either way, she decides that the best course of action is to keep complimenting the girl, because she deserves it, and if Alex’s life as a professional ten year old nerd is any indication, the girl can use all the compliments she can get.
She’s fourteen, and her newest surf instructor is eighteen, and Alex has never been nervous before classes before, but she almost throws up each time, now, because what if she messes up, and what if her instructor decides that Alex has only been accelerated to an advanced class by luck, and she demotes her back down to surfing with the other fourteen year olds, and –
“Nice job, Danvers!” she calls, and Alex nearly spills off her board at the way her heart leaps, at the way she says her name.
When her boyfriend picks her up after class – her instructor’s boyfriend, not Alex’s, because who would ever want to date her, anyway? – Alex stands a little bit straighter, gets her instructor to laugh a little bit louder.
“Make sure he takes you somewhere nice: you only deserve the best places, you know?” she tells her, and she thinks she’s smooth, thinks she’s putting the college boy in his place, even though she’s not quite sure why she wants to.
She’s sixteen and Vicky Donahue is always on her mind. And that’s okay – they’re best friends, and best friends are supposed to always be on each other’s minds, right? – and Vicky is nice to Kara and Vicky smells so damn good and Alex wants to be just like her and she usually loves school but god the days before the nights she gets to sleep over at Vicky’s are horribly, horribly long.
Because Vicky’s mother keeps offering to set up an air mattress in Vicky’s room, and Alex keeps telling her, “It’s alright, Mrs. Donahue, you don’t have to go out of your way, I don’t mind the tight space, honest.” Because it is a tight space, sharing Vicky’s bed, but it means that Vicky’s body is close to hers, and best friends snuggle all the time, right?
And friends play dress up, too, even in high school, right, and when Vicky goes through her parents’ closets and tosses her top off without thinking to try on something new, Alex gulps extra hard and she blushes like she’s Kara and she stammers but she obeys when Vicky tells her to come zip her up, and she nearly kisses the back of her neck because friends are affectionate with each other, right, and she’s sincere when she tells her that she’s beautiful, that she’s the prettiest girl in the whole school, the whole town, and Vicky gives her something of a strange look, and she turns her back to Alex before she changes again.
She’s nineteen and she doesn’t have much use for English class, but that girl who sits across from her makes great drawings in her notebook and Alex has to tell her, right, because who doesn’t want to be complimented?
“Hey – I really like your uh… art.”
The girl giggles. “They’re just doodles.”
“No, but they’re really good! You’re really good.”
The girl shrugs, her eyes lingering on Alex’s face a beat too long. But not long enough.
She starts doodling for Alex, nudging her and edging her notebook toward her, sometimes ripping out the sketches and gifting them to a spluttering Alex. She keeps every one of them and she takes them out during long days in the lab, and she chews on the inside of her cheek, and she fantasizes about what the girl’s boyfriend probably likes to do to her in bed, because some of the doodles are a bit sexual, so it’s only natural for the mind to wander, right?
She’s twenty-three and she’s partying way too hard, because college was too easy and grad school is easy but what’s not easy is Eliza’s voice in the back of her head, is the constant guilt of having gone off to Stanford without Kara, is the constant confusion and loneliness because she can get everything else right, but not dating, not men, and Eliza is starting to ask uncomfortable questions.
She goes home with men with clumsy hands and overeager tongues, but she dances with women with scintillating touches and vodka on their breath. She smiles and sometimes, she winks, and sometimes, she puts her hands on hips that aren’t hers, and sometimes, her blood rushes through her veins so fast she can barely breathe because her body will go home with a guy, but her mind will stay here on the dance floor.
She’s twenty-seven and it’s been too long, and that’s okay, because the DEO keeps her busy, the DEO keeps her focused. The DEO saved her life.
But she’s twenty-seven and Lucy Lane walks in and Kara isn’t wrong about how nice she smells and how smart she is and how date-able she is, but she’s the enemy because of who her father is and she’s the enemy because of who her ex-boyfriend-sort-of-still-boyfriend is and she’s the enemy because she almost sends Alex and J’onn off to Cadmus, but suddenly she’s not the enemy because she rescues them and fights for them and she throws everything on the line for them and Alex thinks of that thing she felt during her interrogation, correcting Lucy from calling her Alexandra, Lucy’s piercing eyes when she called out that Alex was lying, Lucy’s uncomfortable shifting when what’s his face was going on yet another xenophobic rant, and Alex can’t think about any of this now because now, she’s on the run, and sure, she’ll always have Lucy to thank for that, but later, later, later.
She’s twenty-eight and it’s her crime scene, dammit, not some arrogant detective’s with gorgeous eyes and gorgeous hair and a confident smirk and god, god, god, how is she that smart, how is anyone that sharp?
She’s twenty-eight and it’s innocent, it’s pool, they’re friends, and of course she’s not jealous when she says she’s got a hot date, because sure, whatever woman has a hot date with Maggie Sawyer is probably the luckiest woman in the world, but Alex is just excited to finally meet someone that can go toe-to-toe with her, that can challenge her, that can change her. And if her stomach flips a little bit when she saunters off in those jeans and that tank top to that date, it’s just because she’d hoped maybe they could go for a drink, because it’s been so long since Alex has had a friend outside of work.
She’s twenty-eight and she’s up all night, because she’s twenty-eight and she’s falling in love. In gay love. Lesbian love.
God, god, god, how has she not seen it before?
She’s falling in love with a woman, and memories are exploding out of her like water bursting out of a dam, and she’s terrified and she’s confused and she’s never felt more… herself.
And Maggie Sawyer is the reason why.