Title: To Those That Left Us
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 21 December 2016
Fandom: Supergirl / Light, Water, Muses
Pairing: None. Maggie-centric piece. And an AU-verse appearance from Dace Bogart of LWM.
Word Count: 1444
Summary: Maggie finally returns to the tomb that was once her favorite hangout to say farewell to the ghosts.
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Disclaimer: "Supergirl," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with " Supergirl," Warner Bros. Television, Berlanti Productions, CBS, the CW, or any representatives of the actors.
Note: So, this is currently a stand-alone piece that may or may not worked into something longer, we'll see! I just wanted to give Maggie some hope after what happened to her hangout in the mid-season finale.
The bartender is an old friend of mine and this is the first time I have ever AUed her. For those of you that know Dace, in this version there is no Sentinel stuff and none of LWM ever happened. She stayed a cop in San Francisco until shortly before this story takes place. Other of the characters that belonged to the Four Suits will make appearances as well.
Beta: None, unfortunately. But I did reread the piece and fix some errors.
It took some time before Maggie felt she could face the bar again.
That warm, sleazy place where she had felt at home, now reduced to a quiet tomb.
As her bike pulled up to the uncharacteristically clean alley, she noted there were new and very bright lights installed above the backdoor and the signs of recent activity all over the damp ground. Boots and heavy vehicles and objects with small, round feet had rested in the grime and possibly a few boxes had been dragged through it as well. Over the lingering smell of alley came a savory stink that abruptly reminded the cop that she had not been eating well lately.
The unmarked door beneath the new lights banged open suddenly, making Maggie jump. It was a testament to how rattled she was. A tall, well-built woman stepped out to yank up the top of the nearby dumpster and toss in a plastic sack with easy strength. Unusually, the woman paused before going back into the bar, body still and alert like a guard dog… or someone that had been in a guardian position.
Steeling herself, Maggie followed the woman through the door, startled at the claustrophobic space she found herself in. The short walkway had been narrowed by two heavy security-mesh gates that held back a riot of cardboard boxes all the way to the ceiling. Even with only recognizing a few of the brand names, Maggie knew the entire collection was liquor and the hard shit by the size of the boxes. Her nose led her to a dim hallway and closer to the scent of delicious food and drink. She could just pick out a few familiar landmarks to the altered space and had no idea what to expect in the bar itself.
The bar had been a safe haven for The Other, the aliens and metahumans and those that had a terrible time fitting in. Her job had led Maggie to the place and she'd fallen in love with it, the stark, industrial look of it, the eclectic clientele, the sense of belonging.
Now it just looked like another crime scene cleaned up, being pieced back together by those left behind.
Maggie's breath was harsh as her eyes and throat and stomach burned.
It took a moment for the presence of another person to break through Maggie's misery and she took a few steadying breaths before turning her entire body towards the bartender. With cap discarded, she looked like the new Thor with a slightly narrower build. And she sure as hell was tall enough for the role! Well maybe Thor's punky alter ego in an alternate universe with that shortish shock of fluffy summer-sun hair, a scarred eyebrow with a barbell punched through it, and a dense right sleeve of what were quite clearly very intricate tattoos. The white-shirted woman seemed completely unfazed by Maggie's presence, her crossed arms and relaxed posture the very picture of nonchalance. Except… there was something edgy about her. Something Maggie couldn't quite put her finger on, and that bugged her.
The word was said quietly and calmly in a smooth, second soprano range voice pitched perfectly to carry over the low thrum of equipment running. Abruptly, Maggie realized that there was a new bar mostly constructed right here by the back door and she was actually on the wrong side of it. The original bar was half dismantled, power tools scattered in the debris around it. Once the changes really began to settle in, the woman from the alley tilted her pale head towards the lone barstool at the new bar.
"Please," Maggie answered just as quietly, embarrassed to have slipped in the back door and startling the bartender. She noted that the barstool was familiar and her asscheeks settled in comfortably to the well-known shape. The bartop was a long piece of beautiful yellow wood with a live edge, lacquered to a high shine like slightly warped old-fashioned glass. Some of that easygoing elegance was carried over in the unfinished dark wood panels softening the modern street punk like the barkeep's crisp white shirt in contrast to the well-done tattoos that turned her right arm to a forest of plants from elbow to knuckles. It was fascinating and Maggie had never seen anything like it.
Stripping off her jacket, Maggie laid it on the bar as the bartender pulled out a few bottles and a half-dozen shotglasses. Two of the bottles crackled as their factory seals were broken, but the third one was quiet. Each bottle filled two glasses and each was a different shade of amber like grades of maple syrup. The bartender picked up the offering from the quiet bottle while Maggie started from the other end. The wariness that the bottles might have been tampered with was noted and accepted with a faint smirk on pale lips.
The quiet toast brought up Maggie's choking losses again, flooded her dark eyes and made it hard to breathe. Raising the little glass to whatever deities might watch over her otherworldly friends who perished here, she knocked back the booze, relishing the smooth burn of the stuff. It was smoky and spicy and probably expensive, but she didn't give a damn.
The second shot went down just as smoothly and began to melt some of the agony that would not thaw. For a moment Maggie hesitated over the shotglass that had come from the previously opened bottle, but threw caution to the wind.
The barkeep's voice had been merely respectful on the first two toasts, but now there was a personal note of pain. At Maggie's curious head tilt, a small smile warmed her face, but never reached the bright summer-sky eyes.
"Not quite my height, built like a bear with eyebrows like a zoo exhibit?" For a moment Maggie was completely baffled what the other woman was talking about, but she fondly continued on with no regard for her audience's confusion. "Had a weird cowboy fetish and always joked that he moved to San Francisco so that he could become an inspector instead of a detective? He must have given you such crap."
Only then did Maggie remember the gruff ex-cop who seemed to forever be at the bar, nursing a beer here and there, always with a ratty book or crossword resting nearby. "Talk the ass end off a donkey?"
Her hoarse stab at humor deepened the smile a bit. "He's the one. Bought this place after he retired to give metahumans and anyone else that needed a place to stay."
"Wait, he owned this place?"
"Yep. And he liked you, Detective Sawyer, described you perfectly, even having not seen the infamous dimples. Oh, don't look so worried, he wasn't a creep, he just recognized one of the good ones. He liked you for being a good cop and a good person, for acceptance when too many see only alienness or a quirk of DNA."
A cascade of memories sped through Maggie's well-trained mind, snippets of stories and anecdotes that the old man would ramble on about regardless of how interesting his audience might be. "You're the punk kid he growled about. CD was it?"
And the woman tilted her head back and laughed, the sound both sacrilegious in the space and so, so welcome. A real smile warmed the stranger's face like a sunrise tinged with clouds of melancholy. Perversely, Maggie noted that the stranger had the same type of misleadingly sweet face as Alex, easy and dangerous to underestimate.
"I don't go by CD anymore, but yes, I'm the punk kid he had to teach to be a proper cop." Setting aside the still full shotglass, the barkeep offered her tattooed hand and Maggie noticed the brutal surgery scars that ran like railroad tracks up her forearm. "Dace Bogart, pleased to meet you."
"Maggie Sawyer, likewise."
For a woman clearly strong and fit, the handshake had a weakness to it that Maggie would bet had something to do with those scars. But there was still plenty of power in the grip, a match to the unsettling energy that clung to the tall blonde. When they separated, each took up their glass and Maggie needed a moment to find the words she needed to say.
"To those that left us," fell out of her mouth, quiet and heartfelt. When she raised her eyes from the glass, Dace's clear blue eyes were luminous with empathy and her own pains.
"To those that left us," she repeated with quiet reverence and they clinked the little glasses together before tossing back the shots.