okay J, now that the writers queerbaited the fuck outta us, it's time for you to work your magic and give us a longer version of the "belated valentine's day prom". PLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAASSSSSSSSEEEEEE
She calls it a pet peeve. But it’s not.
It’s a trauma.
She calls it a pet peeve. But it’s not.
It’s a need.
It’s a need because she was fourteen and high school was amazing because Eliza held her hand and Eliza snuck her dad’s cigarettes down from the house and they crawled into the bathroom of the basement and giggled, their lips so close – Eliza’s lips looking so soft – as they blew the smoke out of the small vent so Eliza’s parents wouldn’t catch them.
But it wasn’t the smoke that Eliza’s parents caught.
It was the card.
The card, the card, the card.
The fucking valentine’s day card.
The betrayal that ended everything.
Because her father called her downstairs with the phone still in his hand and her father smacked her across the face with the back of that hand and her father gave her ten minutes to pack her things and to get out of his house and to never come back because she is filthy and she is ungrateful and she is selfish and she is wrong, and her mother cried but her mother didn’t stop him, and her face stung and her heart stung worse and her hands trembled but her face stayed dry because she would never give anyone the satisfaction of seeing her break for being who she is.
She calls it a pet peeve. Needing to be heard.
Because Eliza didn’t hear her. Her father didn’t hear her. None of her exes had ever heard her.
She calls it a pet peeve because no one has ever loved her enough to let her call it trauma.
Until Alex Danvers, that is.
Because she leaves Alex a card: she leaves Alex a card, and Alex will not give it to her parents. She gives Alex a card, and Alex will do nothing but love her back.
Or she hopes.
She’s probably stupid for hoping. But she hopes anyway.
James and J’onn help her with the set-up, and Winn whips together the dress at the last minute before running off on his own valentine’s excursion. James kisses her cheek before he leaves, as 8 o’clock approaches, and J’onn puts a hand on her shoulder.
“Alex cares for you, Maggie. Just as you are. Let her hold you up when you need it. You deserve that. You do. I promise.”
She gulps and she nods and J’onn squeezes her shoulder.
“He’s right, Maggie,” James tells her before giving the room one last glance. “It looks beautiful. And so do you.”
Maggie grimaces a smile at them, and they understand that she’s too nervous to speak, that she’s too terrified to move. They smile at her before they leave, and she hangs onto the hope that these people, these beautiful people, will still love her after tonight.
She doesn’t know how long she waits for Alex, because she can’t think. She can’t do anything but try to swallow her panic, surrounded by red helium balloons and candlelight and all the things that reminded her of the bruise her father left on her face and the welts he left on her heart.
She can’t do anything but try to focus on Alex, Alex, Alex. On hoping that Alex will be different.
This is a relationship, Alex had insisted. And it’s that statement, Alex fighting for her, for them, that is keeping Maggie holding on.
“Wow, you’re breathtaking,” she says when Alex walks in, because god, god, god, she is.
“Maggie, what is all this?”
Alex’s voice trembles slightly as she asks, and somehow, that warms the protective steel around Maggie’s heart. She smiles slightly, her voice softer now.
“It’s your belated Valentine’s Day prom.” She reaches for the corsage and sends James a silent thank you for running to the florist and picking up exactly what Maggie had described.
“May I?” she asks, and her body tingles with relief as her fingertips touch Alex’s wrist.
Alex exhales hard, exhales shakily, and steps around Maggie, and the back of the dress – god, thank you, Winn Schott – takes Maggie’s breath away. Again.
“I’m sorry. So sorry. I was too busy nursing my own wounds, and I forgot to look at the gorgeous woman in front of me and consider her feelings. You deserved all of this, as a girl. The pomp and the fuss. And you deserve an amazing romance with a woman who is absolutely crazy about you.”
She tilts her head and she stares up at Alex, because Alex is perfection, and Alex’s hands are warm in hers, and Alex makes the color red on Valentine’s Day a little less terrible, a little less traumatic.
But Alex is shaking her head and Alex is reaching her fingers up to run them through Maggie’s hair, to stroke her cheeks, to fuss with her blazer’s collar.
Maggie’s heart sinks and she starts panicking, she starts hyperventilating, but then Alex is talking, and Maggie wants to cry for an entirely different reason.
“Maggie, I… you deserve this. The pomp and the fuss. An amazing romance with a woman who is absolutely crazy about you. And I’m absolutely crazy about you. And that… that means… Maggie, that means you don’t have to make it all about me, all the time. I love that you… I love that you thought about me, I love that you did all this, but Maggie, you…”
She stops and she stares down at Maggie’s wet eyes for a long moment, and there’s nothing but unguarded love in her eyes, and no one has ever existed but the two of them.
“You have nothing to apologize for. You didn’t do anything wrong. Maggie, I… I heard you. I heard everything you said. And because I heard you, I… I don’t want you to just shove all that back down to make everything about me. Again. You did it while I was coming out, and I get it, and you’re so sweet, Maggie, but I don’t… I don’t want you putting yourself second for me, not anymore. I don’t want you burying your pain, your… trauma, Maggie, you were a child, that was traumatic, I… I want you, Maggie.”
She brings her fingers to a lips and kisses them, one by one, slowly, deliberately, all while keeping her eyes locked in Maggie’s, before she continues.
“All of you. And this is beautiful, this is amazing, but Maggie, I want you to feel able to just… to vent, and to scream, and to lose your cool, to cry. With me. Because I want you, Maggie, I care about you, not… not just what you can do for me. You letting me in, you letting me care for you, letting me comfort you? That’s the greatest gift you could ever give me, Maggie. You… you letting me love you.”
Alex stumbles to a halt and Maggie’s breath hitches as they both realize what Alex said, as they both lose themselves in each other’s eyes, in each other’s hands, in each other’s hearts.
“Danvers, you – Alex, I – “
Alex shakes her head with closed eyes. “You don’t have to say anything. I just… I want you to know that you’re cared for. That you’re safe. That you’re allowed to put yourself first, that I want you to put yourself first. That you have absolutely nothing to apologize for. That you’re perfect. That I l…”
She stares down at Maggie’s wide eyes and she licks her lips and she is Alex Danvers, dammit, so she dives.
“That I love you. Maggie Sawyer. All of you. And I just want you to let me love you, let me care for you, let me be here for you. Let me love you.”
Maggie takes one breath, and then another, and then one word escapes her lips.
The only word that matters in the entire multiverse.
And her hands are on the small of Alex’s bare back and Alex’s hands are tangling in her hair, cupping her face, her thumbs swiping across her cheeks, and Alex’s lips are soft and Alex’s lips are healing and Alex’s lips are heaven, and she’s never cried while she kissed anyone, she’s never cried in front of anyone without running out the door before the first tear could fall, but she’s crying now, and Alex is catching her tears with her thumbs and kissing them away with her lips, but Maggie doesn’t want Alex’s lips on her cheeks, her eyes – she does, she does, but later, later, because there will be a later, because Alex went to the dance with her, Alex didn’t give her note to her parents, Alex came to the dance with her and Alex is kissing her and Alex is holding her and Alex, Alex, Alex – Maggie just wants, right now, Alex’s lips on her own, and she shifts, and Alex knows, because Alex knows her, and Maggie’s lips are parting and Alex is slipping her tongue in her mouth gently, gently, lovingly, and Maggie sighs into their kiss and Alex echoes it and their breathe, their heartbeats, their bodies, are indistinguishable as their bodies sway to music and to swaying lights and to the rhythm of their perfect kiss.
“I love you back, Alex Danvers,” Maggie’s whispering into her lips, and the tears dripping salt onto her lips are suddenly not only her own, and she pulls back, because Alex Danvers crying is heartbreaking, and Alex Danvers crying is beautiful.
Their chests are both heaving slightly and their lips are swollen and their bodies are flush against each other and their bodies are intertwined and their eyes refuse to leave each others.
“May I have this dance?” Alex asks her breathlessly, and Maggie smiles helplessly, because she knows her life will never be the same.
Because she knows that Alex means it when she says she loves her, and god, god, god does it feel good to be loved – and to love – like this.