“You know you love me.”
Alex rolls her eyes in response, before poking her sister with a sock-covered toe underneath the blanket they’re sharing. “Doesn’t mean I’ll let you have the last bit of cookie dough without a fight,” she says pointedly, reaching over from her side of the couch, spoon raised.
“You’ll have to bring your A-game then,” Kara replies, tugging the bowl closer to her chest, just out of Alex’s reach.
“Right back atcha,” Alex laughs, before they start grappling over the bowl. Neither of them tries with even half what they’re capable of – probably for the best considering their combined strength – but that’s the fun of it really. Alex loves the people in their lives now, knowing they’ll always be there for her and Kara, but she can’t help holding a special fondness for the times they get to be like this. Not Special Agent Danvers and Supergirl, but Alex and her little sister Kara.
Although she’s not always sure why when she watches Kara pull back from Alex’s last attack and retaliate by sticking her face fully into the bowl.
“What?” Alex exclaims, kicking Kara back to her side of the couch. “You’re such a brat!”
Kara giggles when she surfaces, a melted glob of chocolate sticking to her face. “I still win.”
Alex shoves her shoulder, swinging back round to face the television and dropping her spoon in defeat. “I’m choosing the next film,” she huffs.
“But you chose the last one,” Kara whines, wiping the food from her chin and licking her finger clean.
“Well, maybe next time you’ll remember how to share.”
From the corner of her eye, Alex thinks she sees Kara stick her tongue out, but Kara doesn’t say anything before putting the now empty bowl down and shifting to lean her head against her sister’s shoulder, waiting for Alex to make her pick.
“I think it’s cool you have a sister now,” Jane told her, through a mouthful of food. “I mean, my brother is so annoying,” she added with a roll of her eyes, “but my sister is pretty great.”
“Your sister is, like, eight,” Alex remembered. She absently pushed her lunch around on the tray with the plastic fork they still had to use. Why did their school do that, as if teenagers hadn’t been eating with proper cutlery at home for ages already?
“Nine,” Jane corrected, oblivious. “And I mean, yeah, she’s still into some little kid stuff, but she’s fun to play games with. And she lets me, like, practice braiding and painting nails on her, or makeup when my mom’s out.”
Alex was already good at doing her own nail polish and she wasn’t interested in trying out different hairstyles and makeup in general, but definitely not with some girl she didn’t know – and a strange girl at that.
She never used that word to describe Kara out loud, partly because she knew her parents would scold her, but mostly because she didn’t want other people to notice it too. Kara probably didn’t mean to act strange. Everything here must seem strange to someone from another planet. But Alex didn’t get how one minute, Kara would be super excited about something – something stupid like chocolate cereal or a crow on the window ledge – and the next, turn all quiet and not want to talk to anyone.
Alex would understand if Kara just didn’t like it here. She couldn’t imagine what she’d be like if she suddenly had to fly across space because her planet was about to explode, or whatever. It was good that Kara wasn’t lost on her own or anything, that someone was looking after her.
Alex just wished it hadn’t had to be her family.
Her parents told her to be nice to Kara, and she has been trying – really. She didn’t even know what was bothering her so much. What was she supposed to say? “It’s annoying that the girl who lost her whole planet and family technically decades ago, but only recently in her mind, has to live with us”?
Alex knew which of them would come off worse in that conversation.
So, Alex smiled and nodded when she was asked if she didn’t mind giving some of her toys to Kara, and pretended she wasn’t hurt her Mom didn’t realize that was her fake smile. Turned away when her Dad kissed Kara’s forehead after a bedtime story, the way he used to do for Alex. Bit her lip on a snarky retort when she was told she was a big sister now and would have to look after Kara.
Alex had never thought about being a big sister, never wanted it – well, maybe once. The day Jane came to school and announced she had become a big sister, Alex went home and asked if she could be one, too. They had been eating dinner and her Mom’s spoon had clattered loudly against the table, while her Dad’s speech about work stopped to a halt. Later – much, much later, when they thought Jeremiah was dead and Kara took up more space in Alex’s heart than she had even thought possible – Alex wondered if she had upset her parents with her innocent question. If it had been something her parents had wanted before Kara but hadn’t been able to make possible; a painful truth they hadn’t wanted to share with their daughter. But on that night, all Eliza and Jeremiah had finally said was Alex was all the family they needed. Alex had stayed up in bed for an hour thinking about it before deciding that her Mom and Dad were all the family she needed too. She had turned out the light and gone to sleep with a smile on her face, the quiet soothing her to sleep.
The nights weren’t so quiet anymore.
Alex never heard the nightmares, just the soft, soothing tones of her parent’s voices on alternate nights, gently talking Kara through it. Then those faded, but she realized quickly that it wasn’t because Kara had recovered from the fears that plagued her dreams. Just that Kara stayed up later, talking quietly to herself until sleep overtook her so deeply there wasn’t space for the nightmares to appear.
But she couldn’t tell any of that to Jane, with the “awesome” little sister. Not to any of her friends. When they asked her about her new sister she tried to keep her responses down to a shrug. School was the same anyway, even if her parents’ interest in Alex’s recaps of her day was falling now they had Kara to keep them busy. That would probably get even worse once Kara started at school, Alex realized, as she’d have to eventually. She tried to enjoy school in the meantime, the one aspect of her life that had remained hers since her parents adopted an alien.
In the evening, Alex went straight up to her room after dinner, hoping to play with the science kit she’d gotten for Christmas, but she realized with a frown that some of the items she had wanted were with Kara now. But was Kara using them?
She thought it over in the bathroom while brushing her teeth, the only place left at home where she could lock the door and not be bothered by anyone else. Her parents would probably be mad if Alex took them back, but if Kara didn’t like them then why couldn’t she have them. They had been hers in the first place. And it was really hard to tell what Kara would want to play with anyway. After Alex finished patting her face dry, she headed straight to Kara’s room. She was surprised when she turned the corridor to find her Dad coming out of there. Alex thought he’d still been working downstairs.
He smiled widely when he noticed her. “You going to check on, Kara? That’s my good girl.”
Alex flushed. She had only intended to peek in and check Kara hadn’t broken any of her stuff, and maybe broach the question of having them back tomorrow, but she couldn’t say that to her Dad. Especially not when he looked so pleased with her. “I was just going to say goodnight,” she lied, with a shrug, not quite quick enough to duck from under his palm before he ruffled her hair. Alex rolled her eyes at his playing as if she was still a little kid, but she couldn’t be mad at him. At least she hadn’t brushed her hair yet.
The door to Kara’s room was still a little bit open, wide enough to just check on her belongings, but since Jeremiah might now be listening Alex knocked loudly.
“You may enter.”
Alex held back a snort before pushing the door open fully. Kara was sat cross-legged on the floor, just in front of her bed. To Alex’s chagrin, she saw her microscope and its accompaniments laid out in front of the girl. Her hackles went up and she couldn’t help but blurt out, “Most people just say ‘come in’.”
As soon as she spoke, she cringed, but to her surprise Kara didn’t seem upset. Instead, she looked thoughtful. “Okay. I’ll remember that.”
Although Kara’s knowledge of English words was quite thorough, Kryptonians weren’t exactly up to date on common phrases. Alex suddenly felt bad for being so blunt. There were a lot of things about Kara that she found odd, but not being fluent in English wasn’t her fault. Unsure how best to apologise, Alex offered, “You want me to show you how to use that?”
Kara nodded, face brightening. “I think I did it right, but you can check.”
Alex gently pushed the door to half-close behind her before stepping further into the room. She sat down on the floor opposite Kara, mirroring the other girl’s pose and carefully eyeing the items laid out on the floor.
“You put things on here, and then look through this?” Kara asked, pointing at it as she spoke. Her basic points were correct, but Alex didn’t like the settings Kara was using or the careless way she was handling it.
“It’s not exactly – here I’ll show you,” Alex said, taking the object out of her hands and setting it down flat on the floor. “You have to be careful with it. These ones zoom in and out,” she explained. “So you can see more or less clearly. You don’t want to leave it on full zoom or you might miss some details.” As she explained further, Alex looked up to see if Kara was paying attention. She was pleased to find the girl was nodding along, seeming to absorb all the information. She twisted the microscope around so it was facing Kara again, and picked up one of the prepared slides. Alex had already stopped using the slides that came with the kit, in favour of preparing her own, but that would require a much longer lesson.
Alex showed Kara the best way to set up the slide and then gently turned the toggles for her while Kara looked down the lens. “Here, you try,” she said, deciding to give Kara a turn at controlling the zoom.
“Okay.” Kara grinned, but turned the knob with so much enthusiasm that it suddenly came off in her hand.
Both girls gasped before Alex demanded, “What did you do?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to,” Kara said quickly, dropping the item on the floor and pulling her arm back protectively into her chest. “Did I break it?”
Alex frowned silently as she focused on the problem, but it only took her a few tries before she slotted the piece back into place with relative ease. “No, it’s fixed.”
Kara breathed out a deep sigh of relief. “Thank Rao.”
Alex’s eyes flickered up at Kara’s words. She wanted to ask what that meant as she watched a genuinely relieved Kara close her eyes and lean back against the bed. Instead she told her, “Just be careful with it. Use it gently.”
Kara nodded, sitting up straight again. “I will. You want to try another one?”
Alex bit her lip, considering. “No, I better go to bed.”
“Okay. Thanks for helping me.”
“You’re welcome,” she responded automatically, although she didn’t think she’d been much help. Kara looked back at her for a moment, smiling, before Alex scrambled to her feet and left.
“What are you doing here?” Kara asks, stepping back to let Alex into her apartment.
“Kara, don’t tell me you forgot.” Leaning against the table and folding her arms, Alex waits, watching the gears start to move in Kara’s head.
Kara moves to stand opposite her sister, pushing her glasses up her nose. “What did I forget?”
The women stare each other off for a moment, before a single raised eyebrow from Alex sparks a memory in Kara’s head.
“Donuts!” she exclaims.
“You were the one who wanted to try the place,” Alex reminds her, a sigh not far behind as she drops her bag on the table.
“I know! I completely forgot that was tonight!”
“You’re bailing on me?” Alex asks, only about half as affronted as she acts. If Kara has made other plans she can always see if Maggie’s free to meet up at the bar.
Kara pouts, the face she makes when she’s trying to apologize but also wants Alex to feel sorry for her. “I really didn’t mean to. It’s just Lois is away on assignment for a while and Clark is having a hard time right now. James and I both think he needs a little company. I mean, Clark says he’s fine, but you know him, he’s not fine, he just won’t say it.”
Alex thinks she does very well in resisting the urge to point out that that’s something he has in common with his cousin. Instead she asks, “So you were gonna fly you and James over to Metropolis so the three of you could, what, play board games and gossip?”
Kara shrugs. “Kinda.”
“And that’s not going to be awkward for you and James, if it’s just the three of you?” Alex thinks both Kara and James seem fine with reverting back to friendship, but Clark is close with James too, and she doesn’t think they have ever spent much time together as a trio. She’s only trying to prevent Kara’s good-natured drive to cheer up those she loves from putting her in an awkward position; Alex isn’t angling for an invite.
Unfortunately, Kara takes it exactly the wrong way.
It only takes Kara a few moments of hesitation before answering, with something that sounds like, “It’ll be fine.” Then she brightens, bouncing on her toes to add, “I know, you should come with us.”
Alex blinks. “Me?”
“Yeah, it’ll be fun,” she insists, although it doesn’t sound like it. Alex enjoys spending time with James and Kara, but given the current circumstances, and the addition of Clark Kent, her plans for a relaxed evening with her sister are suddenly sounding a lot less chill. When Alex doesn’t respond, Kara adds, “Clark needs us right now.”
A quick retort springs to the tip of Alex’s tongue about Clark’s inability to turn up when it’s the other way around but she stops herself in time. She’s been trying to be nicer about him, and little quips like that will only upset Kara. Alex is historically terrible at saying no to Kara, but she has to sigh a little when she finally relents, “Alright, fine, but you should just tell him to fly over here, instead of us going to Metropolis.”
“But it’s supposed to be a surprise,” Kara points out.
“Okay, but you know Winn will complain if all three of us go over there without him, right? So, do you want to fly us over to Metropolis in shifts or…” Alex trails off because Kara is already nodding.
Picking up her phone, Kara agrees, “You’re right. I’ll tell the guys.”
As Kara taps out the messages on her phone, Alex hangs her jacket on a chair and starts rooting around in the fridge.
While she’s deciding on which drink to settle for until someone, hopefully a Kryptonian someone, offers to go for a drinks (and donuts) run, Kara exclaims, “Oooh! Winn says he’s got the 5-6 player extension for Catan, that’s perfect.”
“Great,” Alex says with a small laugh, “Now we can invite J’Onn too.”
“Oh, do you think he’ll want to come to?”
This time Alex’s laugh is full-bodied and warm. “No, I really don’t.”
Kara’s crinkle makes an appearance, but it softens when she remembers the tenuous repairing of the Martian’s friendship with her cousin (or so Alex assumes). “I guess you’re right,” she admits, going back to tapping her phone.
Alex smiles, closing the fridge and taking a sip of her drink. “So what does Clark think?”
Kara blinks. “Oh, right. Clark.”
Alex is wiping up the mess of her snorted drink when Kara finally messages her cousin.
“It’s your move,” Alex reminded, with a glance to the clock. She had never thought of her herself as an impatient player, but Clark Kent was putting that to the test.
“Just one second, I need to see if I can claw my way back into this thing. You girls are really trouncing me,” he replied, looking at her with the kind of smile Alex knew her friends would fawn over. They would definitely be jealous if they had any idea Alex was spending her Sunday night playing board games with Superman, but the reality of it was much more irritating than they might have expected.
Alex had wanted to play Risk, but Eliza thought it was better for Kara not to play a game with a story about war, all things considered. When Alex had gone back to their game collection she figured the subject of death ruled out Clue too. No Chess or Backgammon because there were three of them, and Monopoly might be a bit much for Kara – not to mention go on a while. Alex did not think she could sit with Clark Kent for that long. So, they’d settled on Scrabble; not offensive and it would help Kara practice her words.
Clark had been playing so badly up to now that Alex didn’t think it mattered what word he played next. And it was so obvious. As if a grown man – a reporter, at that – would be so many points behind playing a word game with two teenagers. Alex supposed he thought he was being nice, trying to make Kara feel better by sucking together, but Alex didn’t think that was the right thing to teach Kara – and her parents kept going on and on about how much they all had to teach her. Alex was playing her best so Kara could learn when to use the bonus tiles and how to make good connections. Kara seemed to be picking it up too, even if her words were usually simple.
It was no surprise to anyone when Alex won. She managed not to roll her eyes at Clark’s totally over the top praise of her easy win, though she did spare a small smile for Kara’s congratulations. She was glad when her Mom asked her to help tidy up in the kitchen, a veiled way to let Clark and Kara catch up by themselves.
She could only hear snippets of what the cousins said as she wiped down the counters, but she didn’t think it was anything serious, with that huge smile Clark always wore still on his face. They went outside soon after and Alex didn’t think anything of it until she noticed them through the window. A lump suddenly formed in her throat as she watched Kara wrap her arms around Clark’s waist, holding on tight, even tighter than that first night she’d clung to Eliza when she hadn’t slept at all.
“Why doesn’t Kara just stay with her cousin?”
“Alex,” Eliza chided, with a subtle glance to the window. “That’s not very nice.”
“I’m not trying to be mean,” Alex replied, wiping the plate her mother handed her. And it was true. She hadn’t meant it in a rude way. She’d started to grow used to Kara being around all the time, even if she still wasn’t totally happy about it. Alex was just curious. “I just mean, she and Clark are cousins. They’re family. They should be together.”
“It’s not as simple as that, Alex.”
“Well, for starters Clark was a baby when Kara last saw him. They don’t really know each other in the way that most cousins do.”
“So? That doesn’t mean she can’t live with him now. Why doesn’t he want her?” she demanded, a little surprised when her voice came out angry.
“Alex, I’m sure Clark would take Kara if he could. But it’s too dangerous for her to live with Clark, honey.”
“Because he’s Superman.” It’s not a question, but.
“But isn’t that why it would be better? He could show her how to control her powers better than anyone.”
Eliza fixed Alex with a stern look, resting her hands on the sink. “And he could also put her in harm’s way better than anyone – not on purpose,” she added, at the creasing of her daughter’s brow. “But being Superman means Clark has enemies, and Kara is too young to protect herself from them.”
“But she won’t learn how to if she’s not allowed to use her powers.”
“Kara’s not going to be like Clark, so she won’t need to.”
Alex wasn’t sure she bought her mother’s explanation, but Eliza clearly thought that was the end of the conversation as she left her daughter to go back to her work soon after. Alex supposed she should either join Kara and Clark or go up to her room, but she felt like she would be in the way if she joined them.
Just when she was about to go upstairs, Alex saw a whoosh of air outside and realized Clark had suddenly flown away. Kara stared up into the sky after him, with her face slowly falling, eyes squinting against the late-setting sun. The sight gave Alex a funny feeling in the pit of her stomach.
She had always been a little angry at Clark for leaving Kara with them, on her and her parents’ behalf. Today she was annoyed for Kara.
Alex didn’t stop to close the door behind her before she raced outside, up to Kara, who still had her head turned up to the clouds. “Where did he go? I thought he was going to wait until my Dad got home?”
Kara blinked the sun out of her eyes when she dropped her head back down to face Alex. “There was an emergency in Metropolis.” The long words sounded funny rolling off Kara’s tongue in that careful way of hers.
“Oh. Well,” she shrugged. “I’m sorry he had to go so quickly.”
Alex met Kara’s gaze. The girl seemed suspicious, but not mad. “Why would you think I wasn’t?”
“You never say much to him. I didn’t think you liked him.”
Alex paused at that. She didn’t think Kara had noticed. “I just…don’t know what to say to him sometimes.”
Kara nodded. “Sometimes I don’t either.”
Alex glanced away, not wanting to dwell on that. “But you always seem to like talking to each other.”
“Clark likes to hear stories about Krypton, especially his parents.”
Alex had always thought Kara liked spending time with Clark for the link to her past, but for the first time she considered it the other way around, and she didn’t like how it made her feel. “Do you want to tell me some stories about Krypton too?” she asked, wondering why she hadn’t asked before. “The things you like best about it?”
“Maybe later?” Kara suggested. “I’m a little tired of talking about Krypton today.”
“Yeah, okay,” Alex nodded guiltily. She was scrambling to think of something else when Kara made a suggestion.
“Could we play another game of Scrabble?” she asked, her face hopeful. “I want to practice and get good at it like you.”
Alex grinned. “Sure.”
The DEO is never quiet, but the last week has been uncommonly hectic, thanks to the number of attacks Cadmus has thrown their way. Alex isn’t sure why she let J’onn convince her it was a good idea to go home early and catch up on her sleep, but she knows for a fact he’d promised to tell her if anything important happened.
And now Kara’s hurt, and they only called her after the fight was over.
“I need to see her!” she yells before J’onn even gets a word in, loud enough for passing agents to scatter. Alex may have only just arrived back at the DEO, but she’s not wasting any time on pleasantries.
“Alex, Supergirl is fine,” J’onn reassures her, reaching for her shoulders, but Alex pushes past him and he lets her. He knows she won’t stop until she sees proof that Kara is safe.
Alex allows herself to breathe for the first time since she got the call when she finally sees Kara through the glass. The latest run in with Cadmus has left her bruised, but she’s there. She’s alright.
Alex rests her head on the glass as she takes in the sight. Kara is lying down on the bed, but awake, talking to her visitors. James, Winn and Mon-El are all crowded around the bed, fussing over her, and it’s meant in a nice way she knows, but it prickles at Alex. These boys all care about Kara in their own ways – sometimes in the same way, Alex thinks – and are just trying to be helpful, but Kara looks uncomfortable under all the attention and Alex can’t stand that. James and Winn are practically part of the family now, but only Alex knows what Kara needs right now.
She marches in and orders the room to be cleared so Supergirl can get some rest. The boys don’t look pleased, but they know better than to argue with Agent Danvers. Alex stays stock still until they’ve cleared out, with some final well wishes to Kara and a squeeze of Alex’s shoulder from James.
“How are you?” Alex asks, taking the final steps to stand by Kara’s bed and taking her hand.
Kara nods, a little stiff, but she knows better than to outright lie.
“Oh, Kara.” Alex can feel that her voice wants to break, but now more than ever she needs it to stay strong. She moves to sit down beside Kara before putting an arm around her, careful not to touch the injured part of her shoulder. Kara wordlessly curls up into her side, tucking her head into Alex’s neck.
“I’m here,” she whispers. “I’ve got you.” She doesn’t need to say it any more for Kara to know it’s true. But sometimes they both like the reminder.
Kara still hadn’t started school yet, but she had grown to like hearing Alex’s tales of her day, even if it was full of boring assignments and pop quizzes. After thanking Jane’s mom for the lift home, Alex ran inside, bounded up the stairs and dropped her stuff in her room.
“Alex?” Kara’s voice came through the open doors, but muffled under the sound of Eliza in the shower.
“Hey!” Alex called back. It was less than a few minutes before she swung into Kara’s room, new book in hand, ready to show her. “How are you? How was the park?” she asked, remembering that her mom had mentioned the impending trip when they’d dropped her off at school.
Kara looked down from her perch by the open window, causing her long hair to fall in front of her face. “I fell off the swing.”
Alex dropped the book on the bed as she rushed over to sit by Kara. “Are you okay?” she asked, automatically brushing her hair out of her face, before the smooth, unscarred skin reminded her of an important fact. “I didn’t think that would hurt you.”
“It didn’t,” Kara said plainly.
“Oh. So, what’s the problem?”
“When I got back up another kid saw me and he asked if I was okay. And then I realized I shouldn’t be, so I pretended my leg hurt and sat back down again until he left. Your mom said I didn’t need to keep pretending until we got back to the car, but I got worried someone would see so I did.” Kara hugged her knees to her chest. “But I didn’t like it.”
“I bet nobody noticed,” Alex said. When Kara looked unmoved, Alex raised her hand to try to offer some comfort, but she wasn’t sure what to do. They had started to become more comfortable with one another, or she thought they had anyway, but they weren’t all that touchy yet. They’d definitely never hugged and Alex didn’t want to make Kara feel more awkward when the girl was already upset. She settled on patting Kara’s forearm, hoping the action didn’t seem as weird to Kara as it felt for Alex. “Don’t worry about it.”
“I just don’t know how to get used to it,” Kara admitted softly.
“Everything. Earth. Clark makes it look so easy.”
“But Clark is from Earth,” Alex said bluntly. When Kara whipped her head up, eyes fierce and pointed straight at her, Alex tried to explain, “I mean, I know he’s not from here, but he was only a baby when he came here. He’s only ever learnt how to…how to live on Earth. You have to learn everything twice. Of course, it’ll take longer.” Alex wasn’t sure if she’d ever thought about it like that until she said it to Kara, but once she’d spoken the words she realized how much sense they made. Kara had so much more to learn than Clark ever had, and had to do it knowing just what she’d left behind.
Kara looked thoughtful. “I guess you’re right.”
Alex nodded. “And there’s some cool things about being on Earth right? I mean, when you lived on Krypton you couldn’t fly.”
“Not that I’m allowed to fly anyway,” Kara pointed out.
That was true. Honestly, Alex thought it was better that Kara didn’t use her powers, but she said, “It’s kind of cool you have powers though, even if you can’t use them.” When Kara didn’t look convinced, she continued, “And there’s the birds.”
Kara scoffed. “The birds?”
“Krypton didn’t have birds. You like birds,” Alex stated, remembering how Kara had acted the first time she saw them.
She didn’t seem that impressed now though. “They’re okay,” Kara shrugged.
Alex tapped her foot against the floor. The more she thought about it, the more she realized she didn’t really know what Kara liked about Earth. “Do you want to go to the mall tomorrow? After I finish school?”
“I thought you were going to the library with your friends.”
“Nah,” Alex said quickly, making a mental note to tell them in the morning. “Anyway there’s loads of cool stuff at the mall, more than just where my Mom took us too last time. I bet you we can find something you like there.”
Kara thought about it quietly for a minute, before agreeing, “Okay.”
Alex had been telling her what she liked doing at the mall when her Mom called out that she was going to start on dinner soon, and she’d need their help.
“I better get changed. But I can tell you about some of my favourite things about Earth later.” Once the words left her mouth Alex realized how odd it sounded to talk about doing things on a Planet, as if she could ever compare it with another, but it simply made her smile.
Kara nodded, returning the smile. Alex had just reached the door when she called out, “Hey, Alex?”
“Yeah?” she asked, turning.
Kara’s smile grew, but her head stayed tucked behind her knees, as if she was about to reveal a secret. “On Krypton I didn’t have a sister.”
“Yeah. Well, now you do.”
Not that she’d been a particularly good one, Alex thought, as she walked softly back to her room. But she would be, Alex promised herself. One day.