She doesn't fit in this world. She never has. The shores of Themyscira have never seemed so distant as when Diana's boots touch the concrete of a city, carrying her through the crowds of men and women hurrying from this to that. She's never felt comfortable here.
"You need to make a life, Diana," Clark tells her, earnestly, over coffee. They're in a diner just inside Metropolis city limits. Clark's plate is piled high with breakfast as is hers and she's never eaten any of it before, but it's quite good. "This will never feel like home if you never leave the Watchtower."
This world isn't home and she doesn't think it ever will be, but she can't argue something she hasn't tried.
Ollie suggests the West Coast with its warmer temperatures 'more like home', but Diana shakes her head. She's already chosen a city and the very last thing she wants is a reminder of the island and the warm waters surrounding it.
"Why Bludhaven?" Bruce asks when she announces her choice. He looks skeptical and she understands. The city is in dire condition, worse than its larger cousin, and as far from her home or the Watchtower as she might get. That is precisely why.
No one else feels at home there either, but Diana doesn't say that. She just smiles. "Close to friends, but far enough for comfort's sake." His, not hers. Even after all these years with the League, Batman is as territorial as ever about his city. She can hardly fault him. Were Themyscira just another city like Gotham or Metropolis, one in which she could live freely, she might be just the same.
It is not, however, and therefore she is not, and Nightwing has no complaints about her choice of cities.
In fact, he grins and says, "The more the merrier" in such a way that she nearly asks what he means.
However, having spent his formative years under Batman's tutelage, she isn't sure she wants to know his answer.
She's sure she'll find out anyway.
She does. Taking her time to get settled means waiting on proper papers and identification. Thus she joins the ranks of Bludhaven's gainfully unemployed. It gives her time to learn the city and its people, gain a feel for the rhythm of the place, and start to see it the way they do.
That starts with clothing from Goodwill and afternoons spent in a diner with want ads and a pen. She's had a classical education befitting any of the gods, but that does not help her now.
"Rumor has it Wayne Enterprises is branching into the city," a voice says, late one afternoon. She looks up into a strangely familiar woman with a coffee pot in one hand and a notepad in the other. She's got a pencil sticking out of her hair and a nametag that reads 'Kara' and that's when Diana makes the connection.
Supergirl refills her coffee with a grin. "I think you might stand a good chance of getting hired."
"I needed to do some thinking," Kara says, later, over coffee from a different diner with the remains of a take out dinner spread across the table between them. Diana's apartment is one room and sparsely decorated, but Kara doesn't seem to mind. She tucks her legs beneath her, takes the last piece of chicken, and steals one of Diana's french fries. "Metropolis is Clark's city and Gotham—" she laughs, licking salt from her thumb. "It seems like every place I might go has a big brother type already in residence. I love my cousin, but I needed some space."
Diana nods in understanding. That is a feeling she knows well. The Watchtower has become a home of sorts, but its walls close in easily. "And Nightwing offered?"
"Sort of," Kara says. "We've been friends for years. He gets it." She waves a hand vaguely. "Similar situations."
Growing up beneath the watchful eye of Superman and Batman; Diana tries to picture it and shakes her head. It might, she wagers, be like growing up on Themyscira, but with the entire world watching instead of just her Amazon sisters. She looks at Kara. "I promise I did not know you were here when I chose this city."
Kara grins. "I know. I wouldn't be here if I thought that." She wipes her hands on a napkin and starts cleaning up. "And I certainly wouldn't be thinking about asking you out tomorrow night."
Diana's eyebrows rise. "You—" she clears her throat. "I'm sorry, I'm told such things are impolite to ask."
"Maybe for some," Kara shrugs. "It was different on Krypton anyway. Sex was kind of an afterthought. Something most people hadn't thought about in years. Being bisexual here is completely different than it would've been there." She throws out the remains of their dinner and looks back at Diana. "I'm not shy about it, but let's face it, I don't date much anyway."
Diana grins. "Superman does cast quite a shadow."
"Batman once, too," Kara sighs. "Of course, that one was Dick so--" she shrugs. "There's a reason most of us have secret identities."
"Yes, but I don't think it's supposed to be about sex."
"Bah," Kara waves a hand, "This is Earth, Diana. Everything is about sex."
Diana lets her have that one. If only for the adorably smug way she smiles.
Kara has many smiles and, being a regular at the diner, Diana decides to see all of them.
They're each as beautiful as the last, but she decides on a favorite very quickly. The one that springs to Kara's face each night at the end of her shift when she steps out into the Bludhaven night to find Diana waiting with her bike.
It's delighted and a little surprised, every time, and Diana doesn't believe she'll ever tire of it.
That first night with the bike, Kara laughs when Diana hands her a helmet. "Neither one of us needs this, you know," she says, but puts it on anyway.
Diana fastens the chin strap, finding Kara's proximity quite dangerous to her concentration, "I know, but we should try to set a good example in and out of uniform."
Kara slides on the bike behind her. She's silent, but Diana can feel the telltale shiver of her laughter. "Clark's been a bad influence on you. I can see I'm going to have to work on that."
It's no surprise, then, that Kara is the one to kiss her. They do end up on patrol from time to time. Dick can use the help and they're right there at any rate. Reports of Supergirl and Wonder Woman working in tandem begin to filter out of the city and they both field curious questions from certain interested parties.
Another of which brings a laughing Kara into Diana's apartment. "I think Bruce just gave me the shovel talk."
"I'm sorry," Diana says, pulling the towel away from her head. "The what?"
"Old custom in the new world," Kara says, flopping down on the couch. "Party A is on the verge of a romance with Party B. Party B's friends threaten Party A with violent harm should they hurt Party B. Generally of the 'I have a shovel and thirty acres of land, they'll never find your body' variety. In Bruce's case, I'm pretty sure he's got more than thirty acres, but he also has means of disposal that don't require a shovel." She taps her fingers against the couch and smiles. "He probably also has some Kryptonite squirreled away somewhere. He's the type."
Diana drops the towel on a chair and leans over the couch. "I will never let him harm you."
Kara's smile softens and she reaches up, curling fingers into Diana's shirt. "I know." One quick tug and Diana tips off-balance, sprawling across the couch with Kara beneath her. "That's what I told him." Mischief touches her eyes as she adds, "Although I wasn't quite so polite about it."
Her lips are warm and taste of the cinnamon she puts on her hot chocolate. Diana presses closer and runs a hand along the length of Kara's side, mapping out curves she's admired for some time. "Good," she says, into the kiss and then deepens it.
She'll make her intentions known to Superman in the morning. It is, apparently, tradition.
"I hate when you call it that," Kara says, quiet as Diana's fingers follow the perfect curve of her shoulder. The skin is deceptively delicate beneath her hand and Diana leans forward to feather kisses in the wake of her touch. "It isn't."
"It isn't what?" Diana asks, pushing Kara onto her back. The afternoon sun is slowly beginning to set, filling Kara's bedroom with a soft light that seems to make her skin and hair glow golden.
"Man's world," Kara's hand curls into Diana's hair, catching up a fistful of it, and draws Diana up for a kiss. "I know what you mean," she adds, when their lips part, "but it isn't. We live here too. Good or bad, this is our world too."
Diana doesn't argue. There's so much of this place that would argue otherwise, but she thinks she understand what Kara means and, if she's wrong, there will be plenty of time to learn otherwise.
Kara nods. She's sitting at the kitchen table, hair twisted into a bun with a pencil (a number 2, though Diana doesn't understand the need for a numbering system), filling out a loan application. "I can't work at the diner forever," she says, speaking of her employer over whose business her apartment sits. "And not all of us can be billionaire playboys."
Diana laughs. "I'm sure Bruce and Oliver wouldn't mind the company."
"Sure they would," Kara finishes her paperwork and gets up. The coffee maker is an old, persnickety thing, but she gets it burbling happily without so much as a protest. "Less pretty girls for them to chase after."
It's difficult to imagine reconcile the dour Dark Knight with the cheerful and flirtatious Bruce. "I don't think Bruce would complain."
"True," Kara says, getting mugs from the cupboard. "You know he'd probably be happier if he actually got laid now and then."
Diana meets her with the sugar and cream, stealing a kiss as she does. "Probably not," she says, laughing into Kara's mouth when she's pulled down into another embrace. She nearly drops the sugar as Kara backs her against the refrigerator, fumbling it to safety at the last second.
"And why not?" Kara asks, her lips red and plump when Diana lifts her head again. "Being happy makes him miserable?"
Diana shakes her head. "Think about it," she says. "It'll come to you."
Her phone rings the next day. When she answers, she's smiling. "Where are you?"
"In line waiting to register," Kara says, decidedly grumpy. "Are they really—no, wait, don't answer that, I don't want to know. I think I'm already traumatized enough."
Diana laughs. "They are not, I don't believe, but they would both like to be."
"I hate you. So much."
Kara hangs up on her. Diana's chuckling when Dick walks out of the precinct to meet her. "She knows."
Dick claps a hand over his eyes with a groan. "She's going to kill me. You know that, right?"
"I don't see why," Diana says, "It isn't as though you had anything to do with it."
"I didn't warn her," Dick says, deadly serious. "Trust me, about this? Bruce and Clark—like that? Hearing about it is almost as bad as walking in on them in bed. You need warning. Lots and lots of warning Also more than a little bleach to clean out the old brain-pan. In fact, just this much has me wishing I had some."
Diana doesn't understand, but that's not new. She just shakes her head as she always does and turns to get into the car. Kara's application to school has galvanized her and, after all this time in contemplation, she has an idea.
"Social work?" Kara says, tapping her pencil against one of her textbooks. She looks thoughtful and Diana finds herself anxious as she awaits the thoughts behind that expression. She needn't have worried, though, as Kara's face brightens with a smile. "I like it. They certainly need all the help they can get and," her smile widens, "you have some serious connections. Just imagine all the help you can do with people like Bruce and Oliver in your corner."
Diana smiles and leans over to kiss her. "I was thinking more Supergirl, but I suppose they can help too." But Kara is right. The people in this city need more than just what Nightwing, Supergirl and Wonder Woman can give them. They need police detectives, nurses, and social workers even more than they need heroes and Diana doesn't know if this is home, but it's maybe the beginnings of one. Kara in her arms feels more like home than anything else has in a long time and that doesn't answer all her questions, but it comes close.
"Their bank accounts at least," Kara agrees against her lips, "I'm just a starving college student these days."
"We both are," Diana says, pulling Kara up and out of her chair. "I believe that means a diet of something called Ramen noodles?"
"Nah," Kara says, "We can fly. Dinners with the family in Kansas and lots of them. They feed us, we bring them laundry; I have it on good authority that it's a time-honored American tradition."
Smiling, Diana draws Kara away from her homework. "Speaking of traditions," she says, "I believe there's another one we are forgetting."
"Are we?" Kara asks, letting Diana guide her back through the small apartment to the even smaller bedroom waiting just inside. "Just one?"
"Just the one that matters." Diana pulls Kara's shirt over her head, baring breasts that are as familiar now as her own. She runs fingertips over the soft curve of one breast and leans in to kiss Kara again. "The others we'll just have to worry about later."
Kara's fingers curl into Diana's shirt, tugging at it until she raises her arms. "Okay, so this tradition, I'm going to assume it has something to do with getting naked and horizontal?"
"Mm," Diana laughs. "College students do seem inordinately obsessed with sex."
Pulling her down onto the bed, Kara grins. "Let me show you why."