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The Promise

Chapter Text

I see you,
And everything around you fades,
And I can't speak. 

But you can never know what it is you do to me.


 

Cat's standing on her balcony with a glass of scotch when it happens. Adam is gone, and Cat can remember clearly the way his eyes had shone with unshed tears as he'd told her that, without the promise of another date with Kara, he'd be leaving town. He'd sworn that he’d come back to visit, but Cat had barely heard him.

Because she has a problem, and that problem is Kara Danvers. Her awkward, bumbling assistant had somehow (Cat has no idea how, is disgusted at herself for letting it happen), crawled under every single one of the sky-high defences that Cat had put up all those years ago when she'd gotten her heart broken by her ex-husband.

She'd barely dated since him, married and dedicated herself to her work, instead, and that had been fine until Kara had come along with her sunny disposition, her bright smiles and those hideous cardigans, the perfect assistant that Cat had always wanted but had known she'd never find (except she had, because Kara had it all and damn her, damn her to hell for doing this to her, to reducing her to this).

Cat had fallen, and she'd fallen hard, but she'd bitten back her feelings by keeping Kara at arms length, repeatedly calling her the wrong name, making increasingly ridiculous requests and never, ever allowing herself to step over the careful line that she'd drawn in the sand between them.

Except Kara had started to push back, to edge that line further and further back until it was at Cat's feet and Kara was stepping over it, and Cat felt like she couldn't breathe. She remembers the first day she'd known, with a deep rooted certainty in her gut that she would never recover from this, that Kara had well and truly wormed her way into Cat's long-cold heart – it was when she'd stood up to Cat for the first time, yelling at her in her office and on that day, Cat had seen a fire in Kara's eyes that had twisted her gut in all the wrong ways.

And ever since then Kara has only grown braver, pushing and pushing – sending letters on behalf of her and God, Cat had been so furious that day but Kara hadn't stood for it, had looked her in the eyes and fought right back and Cat had looked up at her assistant as she sat behind her desk, towering above her and so, so unaware of the power she held over Cat, and known that she was definitely past the point of no return.

But then Adam had swooped in to save her, and Cat had pushed them together because Kara deserved to be happy, deserved to have someone who could make her happy in a way that Cat never could. She hadn't expected it to hurt as much as it did, seeing them together – she had felt a deep wrenching in her gut as she'd seen the awkward almost-kiss earlier that day but it wasn't her place to feel like that, wasn't her right to feel such deep, roiling jealously so she'd bitten her tongue and forced herself to brush it off like she wasn't falling apart on the inside and instead she'd rolled her eyes and walked away.

But now Adam was gone, and Kara was single once again, and Cat doesn’t know how to stand it, because her buffer is gone and she feels like she's spinning out control, Kara severing her tether to her sanity with one well-placed smile and Cat doesn’t think she'll ever be able to pull herself together again.

So she's on her balcony and a quarter of the way through a bottle of her favourite brand of scotch, her free hand dangling over the edge of the railing as she stares down at her city, a concrete jungle spread below her, when she hears the flutter of a cape and turns, surprised.

She hasn't seen Supergirl since the disaster of accusing her and Kara of being one and the same (Cat still has her doubts, a whole list of them, but Kara doesn’t want her to know (which stings, more than a little, but it's not like Cat can't take it), so she bites her tongue and just rolls her eyes whenever Kara mysteriously disappears only for Supergirl to appear on news footage sometime later (it stings knowing that Kara must thing she's a dense idiot not to notice the co-incidences, too)), but when she turns she sees that it's not Supergirl's face staring back at her and she swallows thickly, taking a step backwards even as she realises with a sinking feeling in her gut that there's nowhere else to go, because Bizarro is standing between Cat and her only hope of escape, blocking the door to her office easily.

"Can I help you?" She asks, airily, trying to play off her fear, but she knows her heartrate spikes when the twisted creature in-front of her (Christ, what had happened to her?) just smiles a terrible smile and takes a deliberate step towards her.

Cat supposes that she could cry out, or scream, but the offices are empty at this hour aside from a small handful of people, and the chances of them hearing her are small, at best. So instead she sets her glass down delicately and turns to face the other woman with a determined look on her face.

"Well?" She prompts, tapping her foot impatiently as she rests her hands on her hips. "Are you just going to stand there or are you - " She's cut off as Bizarro comes rushing towards her, arms wrapping around Cat's waist as she lifts them both into the air, and Cat can only let out a startled oomph before slamming her eyes closed, because she absolutely and completely abhors heights.

She clings on to the other woman desperately because there's no way in hell she's going to let her drop her, as they fly at an incredible speed over the city, the wind whipping through Cat's hair. She has no idea why she's being taken, but she's praying that this creature wants something from her and isn't just planning on taking her somewhere quiet to... dispose of her.

Cat has a lot of things planned for the week, and dying isn't one of them.

She's relieved when she's dropped unceremoniously to the floor in an abandoned warehouse, and she thinks that the restraints that Bizarro fastens over her wrists are a little much, because she's... a superhero (or supervillain, Cat supposes), whereas Cat is barely five foot and can't throw a punch to save her life. 

"Why are you doing this?" She asks once Bizarro has stalked away from her, shifting awkwardly as she adjusts to her arms being held over her head (it's not the first time she's been in this position, but usually it's a lot more enjoyable), curling her legs underneath her to support her weight.

"Supergirl hurt me," comes the soft reply. "So I'm going to hurt her." Cat chokes on a laugh, because she's definitely got the wrong person, here – Cat is nothing to Supergirl, even if she is Kara, nothing beyond her boss. The hobbit or James would be a much better choice to take her place.

"Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you," Cat replies breezily, like she's not strung up waiting for something sure-to-be-awful to happen to her. "But you've got the wrong girl. Supergirl doesn’t care about me. She barely knows who I am."

"You're her boss." Cat's breath catches, because of all the ways she expected to have her suspicious confirmed, it was never like this. "But you're also much more than that."

"You're mistaken."

"No." Bizarro shakes her head violently, rounding on Cat with angry eyes. "There's a part of her in me. I know what she feels."

"And what does she feel?" Cat knows she shouldn’t ask, that it's wrong and disrespectful to Kara, that she'd hate her for asking but she can't bring herself to care about any of that when the tantalising possibility of knowing Kara's intentions are so, so tangibly close – she can worry about the consequences later.

"She loves you." Cat feels winded, the breath knocked out of her in one fell swoop, her heart pounding so loudly in her ears that it's a miracle she can hear anything at all. "So she'll come for you. And when she does I'll make her watch you die."

There's a manic glee in her eyes that makes Cat want to recoil, and she's suddenly desperate to get out of these restraints, to not let this creature use her to lure Kara into something dangerous. She has nothing to fight with, though, no way to free herself, and her struggles are futile.

"She's being a little slow," Bizarro murmurs then, watching as Cat wrenches her arms desperately, a dangerous edge to her voice as she stalks towards Cat, eyes flashing. "Maybe we should give her some motivation to get here a little quicker."

Cat tries to rear backwards as she sees her eyes begin to shine red, but there's no way of escaping, no chance of getting out of the way, and she tries desperately to bite her tongue as searing heat engulfs her, because if she doesn’t make a sound then Kara won't know she's been taken and won't rush in to save her, heedless of the danger.

Cat can deal with dying, here on this dirty warehouse floor, as long as she knows that Kara is safe.

But it's too much, the pain excruciating, and a scream rips itself from her throat before she can stop it, the agony making her feel like she's being ripped limb from limb.

She screams and screams, and then everything goes black.

x-x-x

Cat wakes up the sound of shattering glass, and Supergirl hurtling towards her at breakneck speed. She lands in-between Cat and Bizarro with bent knees, back to Cat as she faces her opponent and Cat wants to shout at her to leave, to get the hell out of here but her voice is raw from screaming and she doesn’t know if she can utter a word.

Supergirl (Kara, Cat reminds herself – it's Kara, her wonderful, perfect Kara, she'd been right all along) turns to glance at Cat over her shoulder, a worried expression on her face as her eyes skip over her body, checking for damage, and it's in that moment that Bizarro acts, throwing herself forward and colliding with Kara before Cat has the chance to warn her.

Watching them fight is terrifying and exhilarating all at once. Kara is magnificent, hovering in the air before lunging forwards, dangerous and deadly and every inch of the hero Cat's always known she could be.

Her heart is in her mouth the whole time, breath catching whenever Bizarro gets a hit in and forces Kara back, and she cries out when she sends Kara hurtling towards the ground, sending her spiralling into a stack of barrels.

She's only down for a second, bouncing back to her feet with renewed fury in her face before flying forward once more and Cat has to look away because she can't watch, can’t bear to see Kara in danger, can’t stand to see another one of Bizarro's hits landing against Kara's flesh.

"I knew you'd come for her," Bizarro hisses, and Cat glances up from where she's been resolutely staring at the floor to see that she has her hands wrapped around Kara's neck, squeezing tightly and she renews her efforts to escape even though she knows there's no hope but she can't... she can't just sit here and watch the life drain out of Kara, knows she wouldn't be able to survive the experience.

"Take the shot, Alex," she hears Kara say in a breathless croak, and Cat looks around but can see no sign of a rescuer as Bizarro's hands flex and Kara's eyes start to flutter – she releases her, then, Kara dropping to the floor like she's made of stone, and Bizarro is in-front of Cat before she can blink, a hand wrapped around her neck, now.

She gazes up into black eyes and knows she's about to die, as those fingers tighten and begin to choke off her air, but she feels strangely at ease with it, because maybe, if she can hold on for as long as possible, maybe it'll give Kara enough time to get away.

"Alex!" She hears Kara scream, a wretched, terrible, desperate sound that makes Cat shudder before she feels Bizarro jolt, her mouth opening in a scream before she begins to fall backwards, her fingers releasing their hold on Cat's neck but the damage is done, her vision already blurring, and then she's floating, floating away, and in her dreams Supergirl's arms are wrapping around her and taking her home.

x-x-x

The next time she blinks awake, she's lying in a makeshift hospital bed.

The lights above her are bright, and she blinks blearily for a few moments as she tries to get her bearings, the unfamiliar beeping of hospital machinery immediately setting her on edge, as does the unfamiliar person in a lab coat staring down at her with curious eyes.

She rears up immediately and has to fight a wave of nausea as the movement sends a flood of pain through her, and she settles back against the pillows with a groan, raising one hand to her head and grimacing when she discovers that the source of the pounding headache she'd woken up with is a small bump on her temple.

"You hit your head when you passed out." She turns to see a woman she doesn’t recognise, dressed all in black with her arms folded across her chest as she observes Cat warily, as though she might bite.

"Where am I?" Her voice is a low croak, and she winces at the sound of it, and at the ache it sends through her – she dreads to think what state of bruising her neck is in. "And where is Ka-Supergirl." She catches herself just in time, but the other woman's shrewd eyes widen almost imperceptibly at the slip.

"She's recovering, too." She pushes herself off the wall and comes to stand by the side of Cat's bed as the doctor fiddles with the drip in Cat's arm. "Are you nearly done?" She asks him, and he nods before scuttling away, leaving them alone.

"I want to see her."

"I don't think either of you are in any condition for that right now." Cat opens her mouth to argue, but the other woman rolls her eyes and cuts her off. "Look, Miss Grant, let's get a few things straight." There's an authoritative tone to her voice that intrigues Cat, her back straightening a little as she raises an eyebrow, meeting her gaze head on. "I don't want you here." Cat blinks, surprised, but doesn’t interrupt. "I think it was a huge mistake bringing the Queen of All Media into the headquarters of a top-secret government agency." She widens her eyes slightly and glances around her once again, but she's in a nondescript room, even if it is a little bare. "But you needed medical assistance and I wasn't willing to face the wrath of my sister if I let you die."

She catches Cat's eye meaningfully and Cat nods, knowing that she's being trusted with important information. "Please don't make me regret bringing you here, and please, please don't... don't do anything to hurt my sister, because not even she will be able to stop me from kicking your ass, got it?"

"Got it," Cat replies quietly, because she has no intention of outing Kara to the world and even less desire to expose a government agency that could probably wipe her from the face of the earth if they wanted.

"I'll leave you to get some rest. And I'll send her in when she's feeling up to it."

"Thank you, Agent..." She trails off, an invitation for her name, and the woman sighs before shaking her head.

"Alex."

"Danvers, I assume?"

She doesn't reply, only shoulders her way out of the room, leaving Cat alone with her swirling thoughts.

x-x-x

Cat asks for a phone and calls Carter while she waits, thankful that he's with his father for the week because she finds out later that she'd been unconscious for almost a day and feels sick about the thought of her son being alone – and even worse when she thinks about how ready she'd been to die, because what would Carter have done then?

She doesn’t tell him about her near brush with death, listens to him chirp happily about his week so far, his voice soothing the ache of her bones every time she shifts on the bed. Nothing's broken but she has a concussion and a couple of burns that aren't going to be easy to explain away along with the bruising around her throat, but all in all, Cat supposes that she's been very lucky indeed.

It's a few hours later when she gets the visitor she's been waiting for, Kara knocking lightly on her door before pressing it open and striding inside, looking a little scraped and dirty but otherwise unscathed – it's only seeing her in the flesh, seeing for herself that she's unharmed, that Cat starts to breathe easier.

"Miss Grant, I want to apologise," she starts as she steps hesitantly towards Cat's bed, fidgeting with her hands as Cat's eyes land on her – she watches her reach up to play with her glasses and smirks when Kara remembers herself just as her fingers brush her cheek, arm falling limply back to her side. "What happened to you - "

"Wasn't your fault," Cat interrupts. "Kara - ” She flinches violently at the sound of her name, and Cat sighs quietly when she sees the fear in her eyes.

"Miss Grant, I thought we discussed this, you're mistaken - "

"No, I am not." Her voice is quiet but certain, and her eyes are unwavering as they stare into stormy blue. "I... understand why you lied to me. I don't agree with it, but I understand it, but don't you dare try to lie to me again. Cat Grant is nothing to Supergirl other than a mere acquaintance, but to Kara Danvers I'm..."

"Everything." She says it quietly, so quietly that, if not for her brief conversation with Bizarro, Cat would have thought she'd misheard her. “It is my fault that you’re in here, Miss Grant. She wanted to hurt me, and she used you in attempt to do that. I put you in danger, and I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

“What do you mean it won’t happen again?” She asks sharply, not liking the tone of the girl’s voice one bit.

“I… There’s someone here, in this building, who knows who I am, and I don’t think it’ll be long before he leaks it to the press, and then everyone I know will be in danger. You’ll be in danger. So I’m – Kara – going underground. I won’t exist anymore.” Cat feels her head start to spin, her heart beating loud in her chest because no, this isn’t supposed to happen – she isn’t supposed to lose Kara when she’s only just beginning to know her. “I haven’t been careful enough, and you could have died because of it. Because of me.” Her voice breaks, along with Cat’s heart at the sound of it, and she longs to reach out to reassure Kara but she’s standing out of Cat’s reach and she doesn’t trust her legs to hold her weight if she gets out of this bed.

“Kara, I don’t blame you for this.”

“How can you not?” Kara’s eyes swirl with guilt, and Cat swears she sees tears shimmering there, too. “If you’d never met me then - ”

“Then my life would be incredibly boring, and I would’ve cycled through a great many more assistants.”

“Still. You don’t have to worry anymore.”

“I’m not. You came to save me.” She remembers the look on Kara’s face as she’d crashed through that window – fear and terror and anger, her beautiful avenging angel. “Kara, I - ”

“I have to go,” Kara mumbles, and Cat is thankful that she’s glancing towards the door, clearly listening to a conversation on the other side, so she doesn’t see her face fall. “I… I only came to let you know why I wouldn’t be at work on Monday. I really am sorry.”

“Kara - ” She calls out before Kara leaves, desperate to snatch just a few more moments with her (they haven’t discussed what Bizarro had told her, Cat hadn’t had a chance to tell her how much she cares about her – she can feel the time they have together slipping through her fingers like water, and is powerless to do a thing to stop it), but she doesn’t even look back as she leaves the room, though Cat swears she hears a single, quiet sob before the door shuts behind her.

x-x-x

Cat is having a terrible week.

CatCo had very nearly crumbled during her unexpected two days off (she’d had to practically wrestle Alex Danvers out of the way in order to leave the DEO, the other woman insisting she should wait another day but Cat couldn’t stand lying in that bed in that place after Kara had left her, mind spinning and haunted by blue, blue eyes), and she’d been working tirelessly to meet their many deadlines since she’d returned to work that Monday.

To make matters worse, her new assistant is so incompetent that she’s already threatened to fire him six times (and counting), but really, how difficult was it to get her coffee order right when it was the same every goddamn day?

It doesn’t help that she’s not in the best of moods in the first place, thanks to the one and only Kara Danvers. Cat sits at her desk and she’s surrounded by her – she can still see her, at the desk that Cat had purposefully left empty for her, or within Cat’s office, sitting on one of her couches, or on the balcony where so many of their significant conversations had taken place.

She’d thought that it would be difficult, seeing Kara every day when she was dating her son, but this? This… not knowing where she is, what she’s doing, if she’s okay or even if Cat will ever see her again? It’s torture.

So she takes out all her anger and pain and frustration on those around her, until her employees only dare enter her office if it’s an emergency, and when they do she has the perverse joy of watching them fidget uneasily in-front of her, constantly on edge and waiting for her to snap.

It’s the way they flinch when she yells at them that gives her the most pleasure, or the way they skitter away as fast as their jellied legs can take them.

One poor bastard actually collides with the glass wall of her office, mistaking it for the door that she’d purposefully left open so the rest of the bullpen could hear her tirade about… well, she can’t even remember what it was, exactly (she’s had a lot of rants over the past few days), but she’s sure it was important.

It’d taken her assistant an hour to wipe the imprint of the employee’s nose off the glass, and three hours for the man himself to be seen in the ER for his concussion.

She doesn’t finish at CatCo until late on the Friday night, the rest of her workers having disappeared earlier in the day. Carter is with his father for the weekend on some fishing trip, and even though Cat had argued with his father about it over the phone because he was supposed to be with her for the full week, she was actually kind of glad, because it meant that she could drink herself into a stupor without worrying that her son would see the aftereffects in the morning.

She finishes the bottle of scotch she’d started on that night when everything had changed – it felt so long ago but really, it’s barely been a week and Cat can’t believe it. But she’s survived it, she’s survived a week without Kara and maybe she could survive a life without her, too.

Except if she’d really made it through unscathed she wouldn’t be out here drinking expensive scotch alone on her balcony on a Friday night, and she’d stopped caring about putting on a brave face and pretending that everything was okay the second the last person had left the office for the day.

She’s barely able to sleep, adding to her ill temper – whenever she closes her eyes her mind flashes back to that night, to heat and fire and the smell of burning flesh (Cat has no idea what they’d treated her with at the DEO but her burns are almost all gone, leaving her with barely a scratch), and unbearable, all-consuming agony, and she wakes in a cold sweat, hair plastered to her forehead and her heart racing, and even the sleeping pills her therapist had given her hadn’t been able to do a thing to help her.

She’s been to see him almost every day – she thinks he must be sick of the sight of her by now – spends a significant amount of time screaming at him because he’s supposed to help her, he’s supposed to help her forget about those sunny smiles and flowing blonde hair and bright eyes but every time she closes her eyes she sees Kara’s face and she just wants to forget because god, that would easier.

Most of all she feels pathetic, because she’s Cat fucking Grant and she shouldn’t be reduced to such a mess just because of a girl.

But she’ll allow herself this one night, this one night to drink herself into oblivion away from prying eyes, one night to fall apart and tomorrow she can being the laborious task of trying to put herself back together again.

Her eyes begin to grow heavy as she curls up in her chair, the sound of the city, blaring all around her, strangely soothing even though it should be jarring. She tips her head back to finish her fourth glass of scotch and then when she’s done she lets her arm fall limply down at her side. She shivers despite the warmth in her gut, the scotch still burning at the back of her throat, the night air a little chillier than she’d been expecting.

She must fall asleep, because the next thing she knows there’s a girl in red and blue and gold standing in-front of her, but when Cat reaches out to touch her she morphs into something else, something darker and dangerous, and her eyes glow red and Cat is screaming, screaming, screaming –

“Miss Grant!” Cat flinches awake at the sound of her name, eyes blinking open to see Supergirl leaning over and she flinches away, cowering back in the chair because whenever she blinks she sees fire. Kara frowns, face falling as she releases the hold she’d had on Cat’s shoulder and takes a step back, fidgeting with her hands. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“It’s okay.” She knows she can’t lie and say that she was no such thing – her reaction had been far too visceral for that. Her heart is still racing and chest feels tight like she can barely breathe, and she wonders distantly if she’s starting to have a panic attack.

“Are… are you alright?” Kara’s eyes scan across her face and Cat scoffs.

“What a stupid question, Kiera, of course I’m not alright,” she snaps, and she feels her stomach twist uncomfortably when Kara flinches at her tone.

“Is there… is there anything I can do to help?”

“I thought you were supposed to be staying away from me,” Cat replies haughtily, shaken by Kara’s sudden re-appearance and by her seeing Cat so vulnerable, desperate to keep her at arm’s length if she can.

“I heard you screaming.” Kara’s eyes turn dark, haunted, and Cat wonders if she’s remembering that day, if she’s remembering the sound of Cat being tortured. “And I had to check on you.”

“Well, thank you for your concern, Kiera,” she watches the way Kara’s eyes harden at the use of the name, “but I don’t need you to… hover.”

“I have nightmares, too.” It’s a quiet admission, Kara’s voice almost carried away by the wind. “I never used to like being alone after I woke up.” Her eyes are still haunted, and Cat hates the fact that she’s right – when she wakes up at home she pads down the hall to Carter’s room and stands in the doorway, watching the rise and fall of his chest as he sleeps for long, long moments – but the thought of letting her walls down even further, of letting Kara crawl even further into her heart and her mind… it terrifies her.

“Yes, well, you and I are not the same.” She shoves herself to her feet but she sways, the alcohol from before still coursing through her veins, and she would have probably fallen back into her chair had Kara not caught her with a gentle arm around her waist.

Cat stares up at her, so close that she feels like she could drown in those eyes, lose herself and never come up for air but god, what a way to go. She can feel the strength of Kara’s arm at her back, in the hand that steadies her at her hip, and she’s drunk on the scent of her perfume and shampoo, never mind the scotch, finds herself breathing the girl in.

She sees Kara’s eyes flicker to her lips and she feels longing course through her, a desperation to reach up and tangle a hand in her hair and bring their mouths together, to pour out all her fears and her worries and her frustrations in a kiss that she’d feel all the way to her toes but she doesn’t dare, because she’s already too far gone but once she knows what it feels like, to have Kara’s lips moving against her own?

God, it’d ruin her.

“Is… How… how has everything been here?”

“Awful.” Cat wonders if Kara’s cut off all contact with James and the Hobbit or if it’s just her, curses herself for caring about the answer. “Your replacement is an idiot.”

“You said the same thing about me when I started,” Kara points out with a soft smile, and this close, it leaves Cat breathless.

“Yes, but when I was talking about you I never meant it.” She’d seen something in Kara that she’d failed to see in every other assistant that had come before her. She’d withstood everything Cat had thrown at her with a smile on her face and it taken her a mere two days to decide that maybe this one would be for keeps.

She wishes she’d never hired her at all.

(Okay, so maybe that’s a lie).

“I really am sor - ”

“Stop apologising, Kiera,” Cat sighs, wearily. “It’s tiresome.” Kara’s eyes are watching her closely – Cat isn’t sure she likes the scrutiny, wonders if Kara can see the bags under her own, wonders if she can guess how many sleepless nights Cat has faced since they’d last seen one another, and wonders if she feels guilty, thinking she’s the cause of them.

“Sor - ” The word dies in her throat at the pointed glare Cat throws her way, and it’s only then that Cat realises that she’s still encased in the comforting warmth of Kara’s arms. “Do you need help getting home?”

Cat glances at her watch, eyes widening slightly when she realises the time – her drivers will be long in bed by now, and the thought of hailing a cab makes her shudder, as does the thought of spending the night here.

The thought of Kara’s arms holding her tightly as she lifted them both into the air also makes her shudder, but for a very different reason indeed.

“I don’t want to inconvenience you, Kiera, I’ll manage.”

“It’s not an inconvenience, Miss Grant,” Kara is quick to reassure her, and there’s an almost eager look in her eyes that Cat thinks should be quashed immediately (even as it does make her stomach flip). “I’d… I’d feel better knowing that you were home safe.”

“Very well, then.” Cat rolls her eyes like this is inconvenient for her, but Kara doesn’t react – she only brings her other arm around Cat’s waist, crossing them at her back to ensure she’s got a firm hold before she bends her knees and pushes them upwards.

Cat lets out a slightly undignified squeak at the feeling, her arms lifting to grip at the back of Kara’s neck. It’s so very different from the last time she was in this position – she’d been filled with terror the last time National City had been flashing by beneath her, certain that she was flying towards her impending doom.

(And maybe this time isn’t so different, after all, because she can feel every inch of Kara pressed up against her in that ridiculously tight suit, can hear her steady breathing close to Cat’s ear, can feel the heat of her skin beneath her fingertips, her hair occasionally brushing against the back of Cat’s arms and making her skin tingle pleasantly).

It’s over all too soon, Kara lowering them onto the balcony outside of Cat’s bedroom, and although Kara’s arms drop from Cat’s waist as soon as their feet touch solid ground, Cat finds herself unable to unwind her own from around the other woman’s neck.

“Miss Grant - ” Kara begins, expression turning wary as she reacts to something she sees in Cat’s eyes.

“You don’t work for me anymore, Kara,” she points out, her voice a tone lower than she expected, and watches with interest as Kara swallows, hard. “You can call me Cat, if you like.” She doesn’t know what she’s doing – she feels like she’d left the rational part of her brain at CatCo because right now she wants nothing more than to lean up on her toes and kiss Kara’s response from her lips, all her carefully assembled reasons for why that would be a Terrible Idea seeming so far away.

“Cat,” Kara starts again, and Cat struggles not to react to the way her name sounds, coming from her mouth, “I should really get - ”

“Tell me something,” Cat interrupts, watching as Kara’s eyes once again dip down to trace across Cat’s lips as she speaks, and she sees the almost imperceptible darkening of Kara’s irises when Cat’s tongue runs along the same path. “Why is it, that out of everyone in Kara Danvers’ life, Bizarro chose to kidnap me?”

She shouldn’t have asked, if the panicked look that flickers across Kara’s face is anything to go by, but she’s so close, close enough to touch (she still is, her hands curled around the back of her neck, fingertips digging into pliant skin, and she doesn’t understand how someone so soft can be unbreakable), and it’s been driving Cat mad all week – the fact that Kara might want her as much as she wants Kara.

It’s a dangerous thought, one that she should never allow to cross her mind except for in the darkest parts of the night when she was alone, never mind to be voiced aloud, but she’s drunk (both on scotch and on Kara) and Kara’s here and Cat doesn’t know when she’ll next be in-front of her like this.

So she asks even though she knows she’ll regret it in the morning, even though she already knows the answer because Bizarro had told her, she’d revealed Kara’s true desire but Cat wants (needs) to hear it from Kara’s lips herself to make it real.

There had been a hint of it, that day in the hospital room (‘you are everything’ – a phrase she hadn’t been able to stop hearing since), but it wasn’t enough (it’d never be enough), and she needs more, she needs to know that Kara’s as affected by this distance she’d put between them as Cat is, needs to know that Kara cares because Cat doesn’t know what the point of this is if she doesn’t.

“I… I-I don’t know, Miss Grant.” Even though she’s dressed like Supergirl the woman before Cat in that moment is entirely Kara Danvers, and she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“Don’t you?” Kara swallows again, and Cat can feel the beat of her pulse in her neck against the palm of her hand, frantic and wanting. It’s the way that Kara bites her bottom lip that undoes Cat, the flash of white against pink skin, and in the morning she’ll blame it on the alcohol but she’s never felt more sober as she allows herself a taste of something that she’s wanted for so long she can barely even remember when it began.

Kara lets out a quiet noise of surprise when she feels Cat’s lips against hers, freezes for one long moment, just enough for Cat to begin to doubt whether this had been such a brilliant idea after all but then god, Kara is kissing her back like the world will end if she fails to make Cat’s head spin and her knees go weak, and Cat decides that, no matter how much regret crawls into her heart and up the back of her throat tomorrow, it’ll all be so, so worth it.

She tangles a hand in windswept blonde hair as Kara’s find her waist, pressing Cat back against the glass door of her balcony. She hisses at the feeling of the cold glass against her, but is promptly distracted as Kara’s tongue slides into her mouth, stroking against her own and making Cat wonder just how wonderful that tongue would feel elsewhere on her body and she groans, arching against Kara and sighing when a thigh falls between her legs.

But the next moment Kara is gone, the warmth of her body replaced by cool air and Cat blinks her eyes open, confused, to find Kara standing with her back pressed against Cat’s balcony railing, breathing heavily as she shakes her head as if she’s trying to clear it.

“This isn’t… I can’t do this, Cat.” She sounds pained, and Cat’s mouth opens to ask her what happened but Kara is speaking before she gets the chance. “I’m sorry.” She takes one last look at Cat, still splayed against the glass, cheeks flushed and chest heaving, before she sets her jaw and looks away, and Cat knows that, whatever might have just happened between them is more than over now.

Cat blinks, once, and Supergirl is gone.