to my extended family

Cradled In Love

Pairing: Tom Holland X Reader

Words: 2217

Warnings: “Angst to fluff to smut”. NSFW gifs (you know me by now!!)

Anon asked “I’m on vacation with my so called family which is breaking apart at the moment and um it’s really hard to be here with them and I can’t really enjoy this vacay so is there a possibility if you could write a tom holland one shot to cheer me up maybe with angst and fluff and smut and beautiful words of yours.. I don’t want to be here with these people and I want to cry every second of the day.”

A/N: So this is my first non-Bucky/Sebastian fic. It’s special because the anon who asked is having a super bad day…I know how it gets when family is a bitch to deal with (trust me all my extended family are a bunch of assholes!!!!) Anyway, here you go and I hope I did him justice. SENDING HUGS AND KISSES YOUR WAY LOVELY PERSON.

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anonymous asked:

I'm not try to offend with you, but did your relatives ever misgender to you?

Half of them don’t even know and I can count on one hand the amount of times my parents haven’t called me by my deadname but I’m planning to come out to my extended family as soon as I have the balls to do it (not literally, hopefully Christmas or something).

wow being bi is such a grab bag! i could marry a man and everyone would be so happy for me or i could marry a woman and my entire extended family would disown me haha guess i’ll just have to see where love takes me!

When Dex invites Nursey to spend a chunk of the summer up in Maine, Nursey jumps at the opportunity faster than he’d openly admit (Dex is inwardly more excited at the affirmative than he’d openly admit as well). 

Despite hearing all about them, including an overview of every family member, Nursey is still unprepared for all the uncles that Dex has. Not all with the last name Poindexter (many of them in-laws); not all even officially uncles (rather many of them #-degree cousins whom are easier to call “Uncle”). But mostly ensuring that the family is a major presence in the small island community of less than a thousand folks.

To say nothing of the droves of cousins.   

So, to make things easy on himself, Nursey each ends up categorizing each uncle (and their immediate family) by their vocation:

  • Boatdexter: Lobster boat uncle. 
  • Portdexter: Runs ferry service between Bar Harbor and Winter Harbor, including the island, which halfway on the route. Ferry essentially functions as a commuter, school and delivery service. 
  • Fixdexter: Repair shop. Is actually mainly a boatyard (a lot of the boats worked on are from off-island), but also can work on automobiles (which are barely used within the community). 
  • Shopdexter: Convenience and hardware store, with a backshop and fuel pumps (for both boats and cars), at the marina.
  • Dinedexter: Runs the main restaurant/bar/cafe in town. Also runs the inn that mostly sees business in the summertime. 
  • Waydexter: Maritime pilot who helps ships navigate the narrows. 
  • Bluedexter: Owns and runs a small scale farm mostly focused on blueberries. Not only taking the berries to market, but also opening the field to visitors so they can pick the fruit themselves (as blueberry season is in the summer, there is that sweet summer tourism traffic). Also grows other produce on the side. Farm overall is a joint-operation with…
  • Crandexter: Who mostly focuses on the small football field-sized cranberry bog adjacent to the rest of the farm (which he helps with as well). The bog is not flooded but rather dry-harvested.
  • Repdexter: Retired and now the village ombudsman to the county. 
  • Teachdexter: Him and his wife are teachers at the local school.
  • Tourdexter: Takes tourists around the bay during the summer, and works with Boatdexter the rest of the year. If you’re used to the rest of the family’s reservedness, his outgoing nature can be a bit unnerving. 
  • Copdexter: Sheriff deputy. 
  • Parkdexter: Ranger for the DACF. Also works with the NP rangers at Acadia.
  • Assdexter: The bigoted, misogynistic walking Breitbart mouthpiece. Essentially the quintessential Angry White Male™. 
  • And more…

Notes:

  • Assdexter’s existence is barely tolerated by the rest of the family (who are conservative, many with cringy traditionalist and heteronormative views, but not hateful or far-right; think more Collins, less LePage). That “barely” is simply by virtue of community and bloodlines, and the fact that he’s a useful extra hand. Other than that, “We have your back” does have its limits. and “tolerance” does not prevent a fist to the face. Doesn’t help that he may have called Dex a few choice words for choosing Samwell.
  • Conversations between Copdexter and Nursey get interesting. Seriously, they’re legit engaging discussions and debates that don’t always end in agreement but do involve civility and actual listening. To Nursey’s (and Dex’s) surprise, Copdexter’s the one to ask Nursey (who otherwise would have stayed silent due to being a guest) first for an opinion.
  • Nursey’s favorites of Dex’s uncles are probably either Teachdexter or Parkdexter (especially after the latter toured the boys around on their free time).
  • Overall, Dex is chagrined at Nursey after finding out about the nicknames.
    • Then the uncles find out, and he’s scared that Nursey may no longer be welcome.
    • To his horror and frustration, they (barring Assdexter) actually find it amusing. Yeah, he wanted Nursey to fit in and be welcomed, but this is going too far.
    • Dex’s frustration may manifest along the lines of a sputtered “… liberal… idle rich… city boy…” accompanied by increasing redness as he short-circuits at the absurdity of it all.
    • In response, one of the uncles simply chirps, “Chill, Billy.”
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Sketchy Behavior | Hellen Jo 

Never afraid to speak and/or draw her mind, Los Angeles based artist and illustrator, Hellen Jo and her characters can be described as rough, vulgar, tough, jaded, powerful, bratty and bad-ass - AKA her own brand of femininity. Known for her comic Jin & Jam, and her work as an illustrator and storyboard artist for shows such as Steven Universe and Regular Show, Hellen’s rebellious, and sometimes grotesque artwork and illustrations are redefining Asian American women and women of color in comics. In fact, that’s why Hellen Jo was a must-interviewee for our latest Sketchy Behavior where we talk to her about her love of comics and zines, her antiheroines, and redefining what Asian American women identity is or can be; and what her ultimate dream project realized would be.  

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Mixed Black African Girl (Cameroonian/French)

I’m a mixed black african girl who grew up and lived most of her life in Cameroon, in Central Africa. My dad is half-white (french) and half-black (cameroonian), and my mom is 100% cameroonian. There’s little to no black african characters in popular fiction, which has always bothered me, and it would be so nice to read about someone like me for once.

  • Culture and food

Cameroon is a country created during colonization, with borders defined by europeans. Because of that, Cameroon is actually made of 200 ethnic groups, each of them having their own language and culture. So the culture and daily habits vary a lot depending on which region of Cameroon you are in. In the big cities, though, everyone is mingled no matter where they’re from. However, so many different ethnic groups cohabiting together often causes tension. There are also a lot of stereotypes about every ethnic group.

I grew up in the central and coastal areas of the country, and I’m Bassa. The Bassa are one of the main ethnic groups in Cameroon. If your parents are from two different ethnic groups, it is decided that you officially belong to your father’s ethnic group. My mother is Bakoko but my father is Bassa, so I’m the latter. When I meet another Cameroonian, two of the first questions we usually ask each other are : What are you (meaning, what’s your ethnic group) ? and Where is you village ?

Villages are very important in the Cameroonian culture. Your village is where your father’s ancestors were born. Even if you’re not born there, you usually have grandparents or great-uncles or family friends living there, and if you have enough money to do so you must regularly visit your village. And usually, when people earn enough money, they send money to their village so that people living there can have a better life, build more houses and schools etc.

Cameroonian food is very diverse, and varies depending on the region. The national dish is Ndolé, a dish made with ndolé leaves, stewed nuts, and meat (fish, beef or shrimps). Other common foods are bobolo and miondo (food made out of fermented manioc), soya (spicy grilled meat on skewers), and plantain. My dad is half-french though, so at home we eat almost as much french food as cameroonian food (crème brûlée, shepherd’s pie, beef bourguignon, A LOT of bread and cheese).

  • Language

There are hundreds of different languages, but the official languages are French and English. Cameroon was colonized by France and England so Northern Cameroon mainly speaks english and central/southern Cameroon mainly speaks french. Most people also speak their ethnic group’s language. I don’t know how to speak Bassa, though, because neither do my parents. When me and my siblings were kids, our dad asked our baby-sitter to teach us, but she could only do so much and I only remember a few words.

  • Beauty Standards

Like most countries, there is a lot of colorism in Cameroon based on European beauty standards. When you’re a woman, the lighter you are, the prettier and more desirable you are considered. Dark skinned women are often mocked and considered not as pretty. A lot of people, mainly women but also men, use dangerous products to lighten their skin. Internalized racism and white beauty standards are very insidious, and a lot of people want to look like white people, including me when I was younger. As a kid I remember wishing i was a pretty blonde-haired blue-eyed white girl like the heroines of the books i was reading. Growing up I stopped wishing that, but I relaxed and straightened my hair a lot, wanting to have long straight hair without realizing that it was still an attempt to look like the ideal version of a white girl. I’m sure that if I had more black female characters to relate to when I was growing up, I wouldn’t have spend so many years hating myself without even realizing I was doing it.

Also, Cameroonians usually consider thick, curvy women to be the ideal beauty standard. But being thin is still an ideal broadcast by the media (especially that american and european media are heavily broadcast and consumed in Cameroon) so most women still diet a lot and go to the gym to lose weight.

  • Clothing

Women wear a lot of skirts and dresses, be it casual or for work. Most cameroonian schools have uniforms and mandatory hairstyles (either cornrows or short shaved hair).

Elderly people often wear more traditional clothes and outfits. The most prominent traditional item of clothing is the Kaba. The Kaba is a long dress made of wax fabric and other materials and is owned by pretty much every woman. The dress looks different depending on the situation : the Kaba you wear when you stay at home is usually very long and very loose, the Kaba you wear during official/formal events is more tight-fitting and stylized, etc.

  • Dating and Relationships

I’ve never dated anyone, but when I was in high school none of my friends ever told their parents they were seeing someone. Having your parents know about and meet the person you’re dating after only a few weeks or months is something that just doesn’t happen (unless someone gets pregnant). It’s when things get serious that you introduce them to your family. Also, a lot of parents would prefer their children to marry someone from the same ethnic group.

Homosexuality is still illegal there, and you can go to jail for being gay.

  • Home/Family life

My parents are still happily married, and I have 3 siblings. My parents are both close to their siblings, and I’m close to mine. Me and my siblings grew up with our cousins, we were always at each other’s houses. I pretty much consider most of my cousins as extra siblings. We have a very big extended family and every day I discover new distant cousins, aunts, great-uncles etc. My dad being half-french, when I was growing up we sometimes went to France during summer to visit his relatives living there.

In Cameroon, most people who have enough money to do so send their children to study abroad once they’ve graduated high school. I’m currently living in France for my studies, and most of my high school friends are also going to college in France, England, Canada, Brussels, South Africa etc.

  • Identity issues

Despite being only ¼ white, I’m very light-skinned. My siblings being much darker skinned, when I was a kid I thought I was adopted (i’m not, it’s just genetics). Cameroon being a black country, when someone is visibly mixed and light-skinned as i am, most people just label them “white”. A lot of people would refer to me as “the white” and it always really hurt me. My family wouldn’t understand why i was so angry and hurt, they’d say “they don’t mean anything by it, it’s just that you’re light” but the fact is it made me feel like i don’t belong. I’m cameroonian, i’ve lived in Cameroon almost my entire life, i’m black, and still some people see me as “other”, they see me as white. And so for a long time, I didn’t dare to call myself black, I’d say “I’m biracial” or “I’m mixed” instead because I somehow felt like a fraud. But I’m black and not white-passing at all, and I still experience racism abroad (but I’m aware I have a lot more privilege than dark skinned people).

  • Daily struggles

So I’m currently living in France. On one hand, sometimes white people are racist toward me, or just totally obnoxious and ignorant, trying to touch my natural hair and thinking that people in Cameroon don’t have computers or whatever. On the other hand, when I randomly meet other cameroonians and we start talking, they always assume that because i’m mixed i’ve lived my entire life in France and i don’t know anything about Cameroon. And there’s nothing wrong with being a child of immigrants and not knowing the country your parents or grandparents came from, but i know that if i wasn’t visibly mixed they wouldn’t question the fact that i know Cameroon and lived there my entire life.

  • Misconceptions

Because of how the media depict African countries, a lot of people think that everyone in Africa is extremely poor and starving, that we don’t have electricity and internet and that everyone lives in huts. Which is so false. We have rich people and poor people, we have huge modern cities and regular cities and small villages with huts, almost everyone has access to a tv and internet, etc.

  • Things I’d like to see less of

Cameroon and other african countries being depicted as poor unfortunate countries where everyone is starving and illiterate and waiting for the generous white people to save us. What we need is for people to see us as the humans we are, and to allow us to grow in peace.

  • Things I’d like to see more of

Black african characters being written as the complex human beings we are. Shy black african characters. Nerdy and hella smart black african characters. Mixed black african characters who struggle with their identity. LGBTQ black african characters.

  • Tropes/Stereotypes I’m tired of seeing.

The “savage”, “uncivilized” african. African characters who are aggressive, dumb and shout all the time. The poor africans in need of saving by white people.

Read more POC Profiles here or submit your own.

The Instruments As Shit My Extended Family Did Over Thanksgiving
  • flutes: spilled red wine all over the tan carpet
  • clarinets: spent 95% of the time playing pokémon sun
  • saxophones: viciously heckled anyone playing mariokart if they were not in first
  • trumpets: wore a bluetooth headset constantly despite never using it
  • horns: took a generous sip of scotch besides being generously pregnant
  • trombones: brought up politics™
  • baritones: claimed more alcohol made him better at mariokart; was correct
  • tubas: guilt tripped everyone into watching college sportsball
  • percussion: made a disturbingly convincing case for my weird uncle being a former government spy

i don’t know how to put this into words very well, but we need to talk about christianized abuse of women
i am from the south. my extended family lives in the deep rural south, and they are very religious. we need to talk about how christian girls are taught that they need a man to guide them because they are like children who can’t think clearly. we need to talk about how christian men are encouraged and instructed to “discipline” their wives by scolding them as if they are stupid naughty kids. we need to talk about how christian girls are taught that they are valuable only in relation to a man and how she can take care of him and support him.
we need to talk about how southern women are born as property of their father and then are “given away” to their husbands who then fill the role of their father, treating them as things to be controlled and dressed up and trained because women are too sinful and foolish and selfish to be let alone.

So I was just chatting at my cowriter BorealisBlast for our story “Becoming a Bird-Family” and I suddenly had Thoughts about James Rhodes and Tony Stark.

Like, I see a lot of fic where Rhodey is the Voice of Reason and honestly??? I do not believe for ONE SECOND that Rhodey always made great decisions. They met in college. At their youngest, Tony was fourteen and Rhodey was maybe seventeen, probably eighteen. And even if Rhodey was in ROTC (which I do headcanon), he’s still a teenager/young adult. Nobody is making smart choices. And what eighteen-year-old is going to take great care of a fourteen-year-old that’s way too smart and way too young for his surroundings? He probably just tried to keep an eye on Tony because honestly at least if he’s there he can try and help.

“Hey I’m gonna go get smashed wanna come?” Rhodey asked. Tony agreed because he didn’t want to be alone and drank everyone under the table. Rhodey cheered him on. They played beer pong and then were banned from playing beer pong. (No hard feelings though. Lots of engineering students were banned from regular beer pong. Engineering once got together to play beer pong and everyone got alcohol poisoning so they gave it up.)

I bet that Rhodey and Tony stayed at school over a holiday weekend and went on a bender those entire three days inventing a robot that could cook them breakfast when they were hungover. It happened more often that either of them would have expected for a fourteen- and eighteen-year-old and neither of them wanted to be the ones to cook in the morning. When the robot finally shorted pouring orange juice they both mourned its passing.

You what what? Rhodey was probably the one that started Tony’s coffee addiction and he’s not even sorry about it. In fact, I bet Tony was that student who accidentally fried his hard drive with his final paper on it and Rhodey told him, “I know a Turkish exchange student that can caffeine you up enough to redo it in two days but to be honest it might punch a hole in your stomach” and then he watched Tony redo his final exam paper and then, still hopped up, have several conversations with various inanimate objects in Italian, French, and Spanish. “You didn’t tell me he was fourteen years old!” Turkish Exchange student shouted at him, horrified. “I thought he was an adult! That was way too much caffeine! He’s still growing! He should have died!” Both Rhodey and Tony wonder if this incident is why Tony is so short.

Even as adults, when they’re together, the probability that they’re going to do something stupid actually SKYROCKETS, not plummets, because Rhodey has enough rules and regulations with the military. He doesn’t need to worry about that kind of shit while he’s off duty with his best friend. Tony has spent thousands of dollars to bribe people into silence so that some of the stupid shit they do doesn’t make it back to the brass and get Rhodey kicked out of the Air Force. Pepper loves to see Rhodey but she’s also extremely anxious when he comes to visit because last time they got drunk and decided to try and invent a new type of rocket fuel and accidentally blew a hole right out the side of the workshop, through the rest of the house, and the model rocket finally landed in the ocean, and all they had to say for themselves was “that was probably not safe but at least we know that it worked.”

Like I love the serious military man trope but honestly a lot of my extended family is former military and when they’re home they are WILD.

In my experience as Filthy Papist ™, both irl and online, there are 4 main general categories of Catholics and Catholic culture (of course this varies by region):

Category 1)
Disgruntled Ex Catholics: (like me) often educated in The Mother Church and it’s bullshit, which is why they’re now lapsed. Can still argue the finer points of theology due to the education they received as kids and teens, but think it’s crap, and mainly use their childhood/teen education to antagonize Catholic category (3). Like category 2, likes alcohol, although cat. 1 usually goes in harder than cat 2 (but not always, beware lest you get your ass drunk into a coma by some sweet, polite liberal Catholic girl). Still has a weird fondness for Mary though because tbh she did seem pretty badass, outside of the church portrayal of her as the perfect submissive woman, and may do the sign of the cross as a reflex when nervous

Category 2)
Catholics who are still observant and very well educated in the church, but also willing to criticize, listen to other people’s criticisms, and have a non-meanspirited sense of humor about the whole thing, because they recognize that spirituality, even in Catholicism, is more than just mindlessly taking marching orders from another person. Generally are naive at worst, but usually sweet hearted, well educated, and don’t try to impose on anyone who isn’t interested. If you want to talk about it, they’re enthusiastic about it, but they’ll wait until you ask, and try to not not pressure you

Category 3: Conservative Catholics. Absolute insufferable fucking demons who are the most boring people around, due to the fact that they have the entire popemobile jammed up their eternally clenched ass. Category 1 and 2 usually hate them, although cat.2 is usually less belligerent and more low key about their hatred. Category 3 lovrs to whine about decadence and heretics, which is why categories 1 and 2 think they’re annoying, bigoted, no fun having fucks. Category 3 also includes right wing gits who convert to Catholicism because they think it’s more Authentic Evropean without all the Degeneracy and heresy. Loves to accuse other Catholics if being ~cafeteria Catholics~

Not listed as a category because fuck you nerds: sedevacantists, Mel Gibson and his dad, literally anybody who whines about Vatican II. Literally every other Catholic hates these annoying fucks, even the Virgin Mary thinks they’re lame as shit

in which i project me and my egyptian family and extended family onto fareeha amari

 -your concept of personal space is approximately twice to three times as gracious as hers; would you really mind having fareeha amari closer to you

-absolutely refuses to accept help if she feels even slight confidence in what she’s doing; this doesn’t change unless she trusts someone very deeply, and even then she still doesn’t feel like relying on other people for help 

-is so bitter about snow that she angrily rants about it even when it isn’t there, even in fucking summer she just has to get her feelings about snow out she fucking hates that frozen white bullshit

-she doesnt believe when you offer something nice; she’s usually like “wait really???”

-while you studied makeup fareeha studied the gun. as a consequence it takes her a really long time to get her eyeliner just right

-will try her hardest to sing songs even if she doesnt know them

-can detect even the slightest fucking change in the house temperature like yeah fareeha i upped the thermostat by one damn degree it’s gonna be ok

-talks during movies all the time, constantly misses key plot details and notices that one character has the same shoes as she did in high school

- e x p e r t  c h e f  f a r e e h a

-uses all of the fucking hot water in the morning and at night, she’s the first one to take a shower and she knows damn well how long she’s in there

-constantly does impressions of americans, especially southerners; has almost undeniably yelled “howdy partner!” when entering a room on several different occasions

-constantly makes jokes about The White Man

-has never heard of any classic American musicians besides David Bowie why does she know so much David Bowie please help

“Prompt: Maggie says no.” from the hard-hitting (and I effing love it) @foreverblueraven and @goodslothnoodle “Please fix the proposal   That one kind of sucked” and @laurarasmith “ Also sanvers rationally talking about getting married cause like ok. They can be engaged. Sure. But can we plz get the logistics conversation” and @ahhveee “I’m really conflicted about the proposal…but like post-proposal Maggie saying yes but also her getting assurance from Alex that this isn’t only a reaction to everything that happened and it’s really something Alex wants” and @sanvers-cuddles “In anyway you see it but like could there be more of a build up to the proposal”

Other proposal fic here: https://queercapwriting.tumblr.com/post/160971754574/we-need-a-continuation-of-that-proposal-more


There was a time when she would stiffen and grab her gun and body slam anyone who came up behind her and touched her like that.

But Maggie has asked – “May I?”, she’ll always say, always softly, never expectantly – so many times that Alex has just told her, please, please, please, I love when you hold me like this, you don’t have to ask.

So there was a time when she could have literally killed someone for doing just what Maggie does.

But now? Now, Alex sinks back into her touch, her warmth, her comfort, her love, her support, immediately. She revels in the feeling of Maggie’s chin on her shoulder, Maggie’s body solid and strong behind hers.

“She’ll be okay,” Maggie tells her, and Alex tries to believe her.

“I hope so,” her voice trembles slightly, because a week ago, Kara almost lost her.

Yesterday, Kara almost lost Lena. Today, Kara lost a piece of her past. Today, Kara watched her city exploding around her, and Alex knows – because Alex feels it too – that Kara is blaming herself.

She feels Maggie staring at her, and she thinks about her promise to Kara.

To never let Maggie go.

The tears in Kara’s eyes, the lilt in her voice.

How far she’d come with Maggie, how much she tried.

How much Alex’s almost dying – almost, almost, almost, she reminds herself – had brought her sister and her girlfriend together.

But she doesn’t want Maggie to just be her girlfriend.

Not anymore.

“Hey,” Maggie is saying, pulling back slightly and taking Alex’s hands into hers. “I know the Danvers girls, you don’t break easy – “

Her voice is soft and it’s smooth and it’s the most soothing thing Alex has ever heard, and Alex has always been impulsive, but Kara had basically given her blessing, and she needs her, god, she needs her, because what if she lands in the hospital during the next war – and there will always be a next war – and Alex can’t get to her without being her wife, her wife, god, Maggie Sawyer’s wife.

It’s never appealed to her before. She’s never understood it.

But this woman, this woman with the calloused heart and soft hands, with the tender soul and sharp wit? This woman, comforting Alex about the Danvers girls, her Danvers girls –

“Marry me.”

Her eyes search Maggie’s face and she watches as the slight smile, the affirmation, on Maggie’s face melts into terror. Melts into incomprehension. Melts into disbelief.

Because she’s always been worthless, and she’s always been disposable.

And when she hasn’t been, she hasn’t trusted it. She’s blown it up in her own face. Like she deserves.

But Alex Danvers? Alex Danvers, with the wide eyes and the desperate voice?

Alex Danvers who has almost died more times than Maggie can count in the last few weeks alone, Alex Danvers who has held on for her and is holding on to her hands and is saying… What the hell is she saying?

“Excuse me?”

And Alex nods before she speaks, like she understands Maggie’s disbelief, like she understands Maggie’s shock. Like she’s feeling it too, but god, god, god, Alex took her by the forearm and pulled her into their first kiss in the bar, and she’s doing it again, now, because we should marry the girls we want to marry, and she wants to…

“Seriously? Marry me. Please?”

She breathes the last word and Maggie doesn’t know when Alex’s hands went to her shoulders, and she doesn’t know when her heart started flying out of her chest and her ears started buzzing, but she knows her mouth is smiling, her eyes are smiling, because god, god, god, she loves this woman.

She loves this woman, loves her like she’s never loved anything, and she’s never been wanted like this, wanted like…

Wanted like Alex nearly died, and Alex nearly blew up her own sister, and Alex nearly cost planet Earth its existence, and Alex nearly lost everything.

“Yes,” Maggie whispers in tandem with her eyes. 

“Yeah?” Alex breathes, and Maggie nods, but then she shakes her head, because yes, yes, yes, but also no, no, no.

“Yes, one day, Alex. One day, I want to marry you.” She stops smiling and she steps back, and she hates herself – hates herself like she hated herself the night Alex first kissed her – and she shifts Alex’s hands from her shoulders to her own hands.

“One day,” Alex repeats like she was just punched in the gut, and Maggie brings Alex’s limp knuckles to her lips.

“Yeah. Yeah. Yes. But Alex, I don’t… I don’t even know what marriage means to you. What it would change for you. For us. We don’t live together yet, not really, and finances, and our dog – when do you want to get a dog? – I just… I want a lifetime of firsts with you, Alex, and I want marriage to be in there. Once, to be clear. Just once. To you. But not… Alex, you almost died, and then the Daxamites, and then – “

“What, you think I haven’t thought this through?” Her eyes are wide and her eyes are pain, and Maggie steps back closer to her and thanks the goddesses when Alex doesn’t shrink away from her touch.

“I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been thinking about it, Alex. With all that’s been happening… hell, even before that. But we haven’t figured out… what does it mean to you? To get married?”

“Till death do us part and all that. Seems pretty relevant nowadays, huh?” Her eyes are wet and so is her voice, and Maggie gives a dry chuckle.

“But that’s exactly my point, Alex. I don’t want you to… I’m ride or die for you, Danvers, you know I am, but we don’t have to rush, we don’t have to – “

“But what’s the difference? Between you saying you want a lifetime of firsts with me and me saying I want to marry you?”

“Babe, getting married… that lifetime of firsts suddenly includes a lot of joint housing and financial decisions, and a lot of… it’s forever, Alex. And I want forever with you. But it’s miles from where we are: we just started this thing, you and me. And I want to treasure every bit of it. I want to treasure the conversations we have to have about dogs, and kids, or no kids, and careers and apartments and bank accounts and life goals and compatibilities and where we want to be in five years, ten, forty. I want to treasure the conversations we have to have about my parents and your extended family and planning mutual proposals with Adrian. I want to treasure talking about what kind of rings we want and designing wedding dresses or suits with Winn – do you want to get married in a dress? – and I want to treasure figuring out retirement funds and taxes and last name changes and illness and health care and all of it. I want to treasure all of it, Alex. I don’t want to do it while we’re mourning and grieving and recovering.”

“But we’ll always be mourning and grieving and recovering.” Alex’s voice is small, and it breaks Maggie’s heart in as many ways as a heart can possibly be broken. And more.

She pulls her down for a soft kiss, and Alex parts her lips, kissing her back eagerly.

“Yeah. But not like we are today, babe,” Maggie tells her when they press their foreheads together, and Alex nods.

Nods because the taste of water still burns in her lungs and the taste of Daxamite ash still chars her nose.

“So you’re not saying yes, but you’re not saying no.”

“I’m saying, not right now. But ask me again sometime,” Maggie smiles, and lets Alex draw her close into her body somewhat warmly, somewhat possessively.

“You love me?” Alex asks, because the logical part of her brain hears Maggie, understands her. Agrees with her, even. But every single other part of her is trembling with fear.

That she’s said too much, that she’s offered too much, that she’s demanded too much. 

That Maggie will leave because she’s failed. Again.

“I love you through and beyond, Alex Danvers,” Maggie whispers against her lips, and that?

That is good enough for Alex.