It was a weird place for a meet-cute: freefalling through clouds, chasing some weirdo with a jetpack who thought he could do a snatch-and-grab on the nav system of SHIELD's new stealth drone. Kudos to that guy, thought Daisy, as she cut through the clouds, her body an arrow. Gravity was going to bring her right to him. Unlike the bad guy and his dinky jetpack, Daisy wasn't afraid to fall.
"Don't panic! I've got you!" The voice came out of nowhere. Daisy had good spatial orientation and she knew where everything was in this scenario: the plane above her, the jetpack guy below. This voice came horizontally through the cloudbank. Daisy rolled mid-air, and saw a blur of blue and red streaking towards her. It resolved into a woman, arms outstretched.
"Wait!" she gasped, before their bodies collided, and the woman scooped her up in warm strong arms like a romantic hero. Then they were both moving at approximately light speed, out of the clouds and down to the ground. The woman came to a stop inches before they hit the ground, in a breathtaking deceleration that almost launched Daisy's breakfast burrito into its own freefall.
"Jeesus – holy – what the hell?" Daisy rolled out of the woman's arms and onto the ground, then came up with her weapon drawn.
The woman put her hands on her hips, hanging casually in the air as if gravity didn't matter, as if Daisy didn't have a gun on her. "Don't worry, you're safe now." Then she looked a little closer. "Why are you pointing a gun at me?"
"What the actual hell did you do?" said Daisy. She didn't lower the gun.
The woman made a face. "Rescued you?" she said, dubiously, as if she didn't quite believe herself. She waved her hands downwards. "Because of the plummeting and the imminent death?"
Daisy's radio buzzed in her ear: Mack's voice asking her to check in. There was the barest hint of hysteria in his voice, which meant that he at least half expected her to be a pancake on the ground.
"This is Quake, I'm fine but I'm grounded. I think I tagged the bozo with a tracker though, so Mockingbird should have a signal on him."
"Copy that, Quake. You need an assist?"
Daisy eyeballed the woman, and holstered her gun. "That's a negative. I'll find my own way home, Mack. Thanks." She pointed over her shoulder to the pack strapped on her back. "Hey, Cape, do you recognise this?"
The woman shook her head. She had cute little red boots on, and her hair was really messed up. Daisy was finding it hard to stay angry at someone in red knee-high boots and flyaway hair from actually flying. Still, the point had to be made.
"This is my chute. I didn't need a rescue – I was working. Chasing a suspect, who is now a fugitive with eleven million dollars worth of microcircuitry. Honestly, did you not see the jetpack guy?"
"I was kind of focused on you falling out of the sky," said the woman. "Oh, gosh, I'm sorry. Are you with the DEO? I really don't want to be in more trouble with them."
Daisy ran a list of acronyms through her mind – why so many acronyms, military people? – and came up with the right agency. "Oh, the alien guys? No, that's not me, don't worry. You're in the clear with them, as far as I know."
The woman exhaled with relief, and Daisy laughed. "You're new at this, aren't you? I recognise that 'I fucked up on the first day' expression. You want the secret to getting through that stage?"
"Okay?" said the woman. "I guess I'm open to any advice."
"It's never as bad as it looks. That's the secret," said Daisy. "If you don't start flapping your hands and pretending you made some big error, it usually turns out it's not as bad as you first thought."
The woman winced. "First mission, I caused an oil slick and nearly incinerated the harbour."
That was familiar. Daisy looked again, taking in the costume and the insignia, put it together with the location. "National City - oh, you're that new one, um, what do they call you? Supergirl?"
Supergirl nodded, then smiled, bashful. "I didn't choose it," she said. "Quake is a really cool codename, though."
Daisy felt for her. "Supergirl is good! It's inspiring – maybe they'll make you an action figure. More female action figures – always a win." She looked around herself; they'd landed in an open field, surrounded by farmland. It was going to be quite the hike to the airfield. "Any chance of a ride out of here?" she said.
Supergirl grinned and held out her arms. "Sure!"
When Daisy walked onto the airfield, May was waiting on the runway. "Don't hit the showers just yet; you're not finished," she said. "Take Fitz to CatCo, we need some footage erased."
"An agent's work is never done," said Daisy, but she cheerfully drove all the way into the city with Fitz.
"You should have seen the jetpack go boom," Fitz said. "Bobbi basically punched him out of the sky, it was amazing." He was tinkering with something while they drove.
"So, what's the problem at CatCo?" asked Daisy. National City was a nice place, she'd decided. The drivers were basically polite, viewed from the perspective of someone who'd learned to drive in LA, and the superheroes were super cute. Supergirl was adorable, especially when she blushed.
"A Catco source livetweeted the jetpack coming out of the sky," said Fitz. "Which is fine, SHIELD can write that off as space junk, but we're pretty sure they got Bobbi's face on camera. Hasn't shown up on any broadcasts yet, so Coulson thinks they're holding it for the evening edition or something."
At CatCo, they were met at the door by a security team, but Daisy bulled through them, towing Fitz behind her. "How far in do we have to get? I'm assuming CatCo has one hell of a firewall," she said, in the elevator.
"As far in as possible," he said, and powered up his device. "Yeah, the firewall is a thing of beauty, but inside the building, the network is a bit more vulnerable."
The elevator doors pinged, and Daisy surged through another wall of security, now flanked by a regiment of lawyers. Fitz followed close in her wake, with his device in his pocket. Daisy didn't stop moving until she came face to face with a tiny angry woman. She pulled up to a halt, stopped by the smoking fury on the woman's face, like she was using pure rage as a forcefield.
"Get out of my building!" said the tiny but terrifying person. "Or, come in and give me an interview, but those images are mine and you can't make me give them up. Cat Grant never gives it away, not for free. And definitely not for shady government types."
Behind the tiny angry woman clustered her entourage, and a member of her entourage was blushing adorably while trying to hide behind her tablet. Daisy gave her a wave, and Cat swung around to see who had caught her attention.
"Kara Danvers!" she said, advancing on the poor girl who looked as if she wanted to fall through the floor. "Did you leak company information to a shady government organisation?"
Kara Danvers backed up until she bumped into the guy behind her. "No, no, Ms Grant, I would never!"
"Chillax, Cat-lady," said Daisy. "Come on, Kara is too smart to do anything that obvious – I really don't think you're the kind of woman to employ idiots. Kara and I, we're kind of buddies, and I didn't think I'd catch up with her while I was in National City. Shady government agents don't have a lot of down time."
"You wanted to hang out?" said Kara, and blushed more. "I would love to! I mean, if you had time. Heck, if I had time."
Cat's gaze moved to Kara again, her eyes calculating. "I see," she said.
"All right, we can go now," said Fitz. "I've got what I need."
"You've got what?" said Cat, urgently. "What have you got?"
"Data extraction, ma'am," said Daisy. "It's all legal. Your lawyers should have the suppression order now." She winked at Kara, and took Fitz by the elbow.
"Hang on," he said, as they were leaving. "Were you hitting on that girl?"
Daisy laughed. "I don't know. Maybe." She took out her phone and called CatCo. "Hi, could I have Kara Danvers, please?" The plane might be held over a night; May was fussy, especially taking it on short hops. Maybe she had time to meet up and hang out.
Later that night, Daisy juggled take-out bags to press the buzzer at Kara's apartment. The door clicked open, and she hurried up the stairs.
Kara threw open the door. "Um," she said. "Hey." She raised her hand as if to wave, then realised where she was and stood out of the way for Daisy to come in. "Thanks for coming around."
Daisy piled the bags on the counter. "It's the least I could do – I didn't mean to drag you into trouble." She leaned against the counter and took a deep breath. "And, listen, I want to apologise – I feel crappy about using you to stall inside the CatCo building. My partner needed time to get his assignment done, and you were right there, and the professional instincts just kicked in. I don't feel too good about it now."
Kara shrugged. "My – I know people who do stuff like you. You have to put the job first sometimes. It wasn't so bad; Ms Grant usually loses her cool at me once a day anyway. But, um, in the interests of full disclosure, Cat told me I have to cultivate you as a source. Not that I have the faintest idea how to do that." She picked at a take-out bag, embarrassed. "I wouldn't even want to do that. It sounds kind of gross."
Daisy stood back and looked at her. She was barely recognisable as Supergirl, blushing and ducking her head, peering through those enormous glasses. "You know, it's actually a hell of a disguise," she said. "The glasses, the awkwardness… I see why you don't have to bother with a mask.
Kara smiled and took the glasses off. "Glasses are fake, but the awkwardness is all me, I'm afraid."
It turned out that Kara had an appetite to match Daisy's, so once they had demolished everything that she had brought, plus some leftover pizza in Kara's fridge, things were a lot less awkward. Dog Cops helped, and Daisy's enthusiastic explanation of the hints that build up to the big reveal about Sergeant Whisker's backstory.
"I can't believe how invested I am in this show now," Kara said, cross-legged on the floor, leaning against the sofa.
Daisy lay with her head across Kara's thighs. "I know, right? If you don't watch it with someone who knows stuff, you miss so much. And who knows when we can do this again."
Kara pulled the soggy pizza box closer to them: one slice left. They both eyed it.
"I have an enhanced metabolism," said Kara. "I need it."
"I have to train with a woman who can kill me with her pinkie finger. This might be the last thing I eat before I die." Daisy reached out to snatch it, but Kara's hand was there much faster. Daisy's knuckles brushed the back of Kara's hand, and then hovered there, uncertain.
"Don't kill me with your pinkie finger," said Kara, nervously. She didn't move her hand either.
Daisy slipped her hand inside Kara's. "Don't worry, I'm nowhere near that level yet." They both watched the tangle of fingers, then Kara drew it closer to her, and tentatively bent to kiss it. Daisy leaned forward, close enough to press her lips to Kara's. She smiled, mid-kiss. "Is this what your boss meant, when she said to cultivate me?"
Kara threw her arms around Daisy's shoulders and wrestled her to the ground. "Do not mention my boss when I'm trying to make out with a cute girl I just met this morning!" She bent over Daisy and kissed her with more enthusiasm, her mouth open and her hands in Daisy's hair.
Daisy pulled her down and close, her hands spread across Kara's shoulder blades, so delicate for someone who could probably fly right through a building. Soon Kara had a hand on Daisy's hip, her fingers warm against the skin, while Daisy kissed the soft skin behind Kara's ear.
The sound of Daisy's phone ripped through the cocoon of quiet they had built. Daisy reached out for it but didn't take her lips from Kara's skin. She craned her neck to read the message. It was from Mack.
Wheels up in thirty, Tremors. Be here, or be prepared to walk home.
"Ugh, I have to go," said Daisy, and sat up. Kara had somehow ended up across her lap. Daisy put her hands on that tiny waist and pulled her close. "How are you so strong and yet so petite?" she said.
Kara stroked the muscles in Daisy's arm. "Metabolism, I guess," she said. "I wouldn't mind having more of these, though. Hey, if you don't mind flying with me, we can have a few extra minutes before you have to leave."
"If I don't mind flying with you?" said Daisy, incredulous. "Do you not remember what I was doing when we met?"
Kara laughed. "I don't know how you do that, even with a chute. The few times my power has skipped out on me, I was terrified to fall."
"Ah," said Daisy, and strapped her bag on tight. "That means that we need to get out there and practice." She held out her arms and Kara, suddenly in her blue and red costume, gathered her up.