When Kara blinked awake the next morning, Daisy was still there — nestled into Kara back-to-belly, curled up like a sleeping kitten. Kara breathed in Daisy’s scent underneath her own shampoo. The morning light brought out the shades of burned copper in her hair. Very carefully, Kara lifted herself on her elbows and looked down at Daisy. Unlike last night, the bow of her mouth was soft now. Daisy was such a force of nature when she was awake, even injured and tired. It made Kara forget that she was barely in her twenties.
Sure, Kara knew she herself looked young too, but technically she was in her forties. She was also hungry now that she’d woken up and moved. Kryptonian metabolism waited for no cute girl in her arms. Very carefully, she managed to extricate herself from Daisy, tucking her back in, and tiptoed into her kitchen. She could totally -- yes, right.
Daisy didn’t wake up until Kara was almost done; then, however, she jackknifed up from the sofa. “Jeeesus -- oh.” She turned to look at Kara, sniffed at the air. “Are you making breakfast? For me?” She smiled, and it was so genuinely surprised that Kara swallowed before answering.
“Of course. Superheroines need solid food. I made the pancakes extra milky and egg-y. Calcium and protein galore!”
“Mmh.” Daisy rolled off the sofa and ambled over to the kitchen and Kara on bare feet. She was holding her bandaged arms somewhat gingerly away from the sway of her hips, but her face showed only a shadow of last night’s pain when she eyed the foot-high stack of Kara’s pancakes on their plate next to the stove. “I’m impressed. You’re also a supercook?”
Kara coughed. “Well.” She adjusted her glasses and used the motion to surreptitiously peer at the trash can. Its cover was lifted by, Kara knew, stacks and stacks of pancakes pale as snow or charred as coal. Not that Kara was about to share that her only kitchen skill was a brute-force approach to heating of turkey, pizza, and potstickers. “I try.”
And that trial seemed to have gone well. Sitting down at the table, Daisy licked her lips, looked up at Kara juggling plates, pancakes, a tub, and — “Blackberries?” Daisy’s smile brightened. “I haven’t eaten fresh berries in…a long time. These look so juicy.”
She couldn’t possibly tell Daisy, but Kara had looked at the berries on the shelf and thought just that: how Daisy was covered all in black, but underneath the tartness she was sweet, too. Before Kara could start blurting out such ridiculousness she needed to do something else with her mouth. Kara shoved half a pancake topped with berries into her mouth after drowning it in maple syrup with super-speed.
Daisy grinned again. “Still the healthy appetite I like in a girl.” But when she herself tried to pick up the fork, she winced, balled her hand into a fist experimentally and released it much more slowly. “Sorry, still not quite ready for the adult’s table.”
“Oh,” Kara breathed, “I should’ve…I can help you. If you like? I mean, I don’t want to baby you…”
A snort from Daisy. “What, because I’m a strong independent woman who don’t need no hand?” But there was a warmth to her voice that made Kara bold — bold enough to ignore the heat in her own cheeks and scoot over, cutting the pancakes for Daisy and feeding her, bite for bite. With berries and cream on top. It was absolutely necessary for that exercise to watch exactly where the fork was going, so Kara didn’t even need to feel embarrassed for staring at Daisy’s lips. She did it switch up occasionally and looked into her eyes, too…and long enough for twin spots of color to make a showing on Daisy’s face too. Even so they made it through almost the whole stack until Daisy leaned back and groaned (and okay, that didn’t help at all in calming Kara down). “I can’t believe you whipped fresh cream too. You’re lucky that you’re American; in England they’d kidnap you for that quirky baking show with the cool lady in glasses that my friend Fitz keeps watching.”
Kara did lie by omission a lot, but this assumption made her squirm sufficiently. “I bought the freshly whipped cream.”
That got her a raised eyebrow. “When?”
“Oh, you know,” Kara said airily, “I’m not Barry Allen, but I kinda re-define the term grocery run around here.”
Daisy laughed, startled and amused. “I don’t know what that means, but I’m getting that you used your powers just to speed to the store and back for breakfast stuff?”
It wasn’t like Kara’s fridge was the well-stocked sort (except when it came to leftover pizza). “Sure! I mean, I’m solar-powered. No depletion when I zoom around outside, quite the opposite.”
“That’s cool.” Daisy did sound happy for her, if wistful. She probably couldn’t help that quick glance down at her bandaged arms. Kara pressed her lips together. Her own regeneration under this planet’s sun was an unexpected gift, but…
“Kara.” Brown eyes, steady and trusting. Kara felt her own heart beat faster.
“I have an idea. I just need to call my sister. Well, my sister’s de-facto partner, definitely-friend, wannabe-girlfriend, because she’s much more familiar with — um, anyway, do you have a bit more time?”
A shadow flitted over Daisy’s face, but then it cleared, and she nodded slowly. “Not forever, but — yeah.”
No one had forever. Kara nodded. “I’ll be quick.”
And she was, because interestingly enough calling Alex got her Maggie on the line, too. And Maggie didn’t disappoint…well, she didn’t disappoint Kara. Who turned to Daisy absently tugging at a fraying thread from her right bandage and eyeing the bathroom speculatively.
“So…are you willing to take a chance on a vague plan that could maybe go wrong but hopefully won’t?”
Daisy gave her the lopsided smirk that always killed Kara. “‘course I’m willing. Give me a moment to dress.” More quietly, “You could always lend me a superhand.”
Kara felt herself blush, but those horses were out of the barn, she supposed. She studied the floor for only a millisecond. “I’m very good at hand-lending.”
And because Kara had excellent self-control, she managed to get Daisy back into her own clothing with minimal touching if not without wrinkling her nose and getting caught at it. “Hey, I know these clothes aren’t exactly smelling of flowers. But they’re mine.”
Kara lifted her shoulders. “It’s not that.” It was totally that. Among other things: “They’re really…somber.”
“They’re a good disguise for L.A.” Daisy’s voice was flat. “The people I hang with aren’t into argyle.”
There was a lot Kara could say, but she didn’t. “Okay. Let’s go; I know some quiet back alleys we can take.”
“Now you’re talking my language,” and okay, that was at least the hint of a smile on Daisy’s face.
Outside in this clear National City day, Kara made sure to avoid crowds and the omnipresent cameras; only a few of them were D.E.O. ones, and even they weren’t Kara’s favorite right now. S.H.I.E.L.D. marching into CatCo had not exactly endeared Daisy’s agency to her own, although their goals were common enough, Kara supposed. She really never got the hang of doubled competencies, but the US had a few of those. Not like both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice needed to run antitrust enforcement.
When they were almost at the alien speakeasy, Kara decided that there were things she could say, after all. “You’ll blend in well in this, um,” she waves at Daisy’s black leather, “getup, where we’re going.”
“Is that right?” Daisy said, a little teasing. “So Supergirl knows some seedy places after all.”
Why did everybody assume she was the ultimate girl scout all the time? Kara said what she hadn’t before, “She does. She’s also seen less black on funeral-goers.”
Daisy’s face went tight, and Kara half-regretted her comment. At least until Daisy set her jaw and squared her shoulders, opened her mouth, and…closed it again. She shoved her hands into her pockets, if slowly so, and led herself be led to the door to the alien bar.
Only after Kara had knocked strongly enough to dent it and have it wrenched open even without the password, Daisy spoke up, right next to her ear. “His name was Lincoln. He died, and it was my fault.”
“Um,” Kara said, intelligently. “Hold on.” Literally. She gently took Daisy by the narrow shoulders and maneuvered her into the bar, into a quiet corner. “I’m sorry.” Humans were enormously big on offering trite stories when faced with grief. Kara didn’t think that was always required. “I’m really sorry.”
Daisy chewed on her bottom lip, then looked up at Kara again. “Yeah. Me too.” They both breathed for a few seconds. In sync, Kara noticed, wondering at her own body. “What’s your plan, Kara?”
Her name, not some cutesy nickname. This was serious enough, judging from Daisy’s careful glances through the bar, flitting across horns and extra eyes, hidden wings under baggy sweaters. Her voice dropped low. “We’re meeting someone in this bar.”
“Your kind or my kind?"
“Mine. Another alien.” She allowed herself an eye-roll at Daisy’s overly controlled face. "It's not a bad word. You've heard the President! We're reclaiming it!"
"Okay, fine." Daisy could look pretty stubborn too. "What are we doing with the ALIEN?"
“Good question that girl is asking." Next to her the tall, scraggly-haired patron Kara had seen here a few times and that Maggie had told her was named Tfferak said. At Kara's warning Supergirl stare he lifted his arms defensively. "Hey, I'm just politely inquiring. The first short-haired, leather-clad, angry friend of yours alienhandled me right here by the bar.”
Alex, making friends and influencing people. Kara couldn't quite keep the smile off her face. “No handling intended. We…” she took her hands off her hips. “…actually need your help. I hear you have healing powers.”
Daisy's fingers brushed against hers, and Kara wondered whether she was feeling more fear or more anticipation.
Tfferak crossed his arms. His eyes narrowed. "Will you hit me if I ask you why I should heal you or," his gaze drops meaningfully to the bandages peeking out from under Daisy's leather jacket, "your friend here?"
Kara leaned forward and up. She made sure to smile, because the Supergirl revelation had been known to throw people even more then. But before she could speak, Daisy stepped forward and said, voice cool and clear, "She won't, but I might. Can you heal me or not?"
The alien uncrossed his arms. "That's part of the consultation." Tfferak took the last sip of his shot glass and slammed it down with enough of a crack to make even M’gann glance over at their end of the bar. "What do you have."
"A get-out-of-jail-free card." Daisy showed no hesitation. "I can promise to get you out of the next prison you'll find yourself thrown into at some point."
Huh. Even if S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn't as badass as Daisy just made them sound, it sounded pretty convincing.
“You and what army?” Tfferak said shrewdly.
Well, to Kara.
Daisy stared at Tfferak for a long moment. "I don't need an army. But that I can show you only after you healed me."
Tfferak let out — something vibrating and bone-jarring; it made Kara jump and M’gann wince. Daisy's eyes widened, but that was about the only reaction she showed. He was laughing. "Next you'll tell me you can also get me an Apple TV."
Daisy pouted very artfully. "If that's what you want to seal the deal, sure. Got a cellphone?"
“Eh — pardon?” Tfferak’s ears wiggled.
"A mobile phone. A cellphone. I’ll get you your Apple TV right now, but I don't carry phones." This full-time secret agent thing was clearly rough, Kara thought, but also seemed kind of interesting. She knew enough about Alex's reactions to know it wasn't for Kara. But it clearly was for Daisy.
Tfferak fished around in his jacket pocket and handed Daisy a Motorola Razr.
Daisy's face said seriously?, but her mouth said, “Cool” and then, “Zero, this is me. Yeah. Good. National City — I know. Hey, didn’t you talk about the first new Apple TV you bought having some kind of energy-suck-problem? Great; give me a moment. Tfferak?”
Both Kara and he blinked. He spoke. “Yes?”
“Do you have a problem with 125.7% of the normal power requirements?”
Tfferak shrugged. “Not like I pay for my electricity, so…no.”
“Cool. What’s your address?”
Now those eyes widened far more than Kara would have thought humanly possible, which, well. “I’m not giving you my address.” He turned his head to Kara. “Neither of you.”
Kara couldn’t let it end at that; they were so close. They were so close to — “M’gann!” She put her very best smile on, and obviously they had caused enough of a ruckus that M’gann was by their side with what was just slightly more than human speed. “M’gann, can we deliver this kind gentlealien’s gift from us here to the bar?”
M’gann tilted her head. “I like you, but I’m not sure you realize this is a speakeasy and not an Amazon Locker.”
“I do,” Kara nodded, “and if we had another solution, I wouldn’t bother you.” She looked down, and sad.
After a long glance at Daisy, whose knuckles were white, and Tfferak, whose eyes were glinting, M’gann sighed. “Fine.” She produced a card out of thin air and slid it across the bar to Daisy. “This is the bar’s P.O. Box; it takes packages.”
“It’ll take Zero’s,” Daisy said quietly. She picked up the business card and read the address to the other end of the phone, before saying thanks and ending the call.
“How do I know your friend’s reliable, that he’ll come through?” Tfferak asked, but it was half-hearted, and it was Daisy’s turn to sigh.
“She. And, just call her; her burner phone number is saved in yours now. If you’re one of the Kool-Aid drinkers, she’ll be thrilled to discuss the whole damn product portfolio with you.”
Kara could see that there was a part of the alien that wanted to keep arguing. Only, it was losing. Tfferak shrugged. “I guess I am curious now. Curious why you’d think it wouldn’t work on you. Works on humans; that’s what her,” a thumb at Kara, “friends know about it, after all.” He peered more closely at Daisy. “Are you a metahuman?”
Daisy’s smile was back, but it had an edge to it. “Heal me and find out.” She held out her arms.
Kara’s superhearing could hear the alien mutter something under his breath, but she wasn’t familiar with the language. Almost gently, Tfferak reached out and took Daisy’s hands in his. He closed his eyes. Daisy’s face was still, but Kara could see the stiff line of her spine. M’gann, too, was still there, having polished the stein for three minutes now. Kara squinted. Was that…a light emanating from the bandages? No, that was just the light from the glass in M’gann’s hands reflecting off the white gauze.
A sudden gasp came from Daisy’s throat, and she blinked rapidly. “Whoa.”
Tfferak let out a long sound that thankfully wasn’t pitched quite as high as his laughter. “About to say the same. Now, show me.”
Kara reached out and grabbed Daisy’s hand. “Are you okay?”
Daisy let out a shaky breath, and there it was again: that glimpse of someone else used to propelling herself forward yet aware of the danger of that approach. “I’m better than okay. The pain — it’s almost gone, Kara!” She looked at Kara, and her face lit up the room.
Kara slipped her glasses to the side, glanced at Daisy’s arms, and whipped around to Tfferak. “Hey, she’s still a little hurt!”
“I know.” Tfferak lifted his shoulders. “Waiting for her to show me what she’s got before I heal her fully.”
Almost without knowing to, Kara had stood up and tensed, but Daisy’s hand on her arm (an easy, relaxed hand) stopped her. “I did promise to show him. But we need to go somewhere safe.”
She couldn’t take them both into the D.E.O., Kara thought, and even if she could have — she wouldn’t have wanted to bring the alien. But the D.E.O. did have literal safe-houses; Alex had shared a strategic number of them (not all, Kara knew). “I got this. Follow me.”
Flashing another thankful smile at M’gann and leaving a crumbled ten-dollar bill, she leads Daisy and Tfferak out of the speakeasy. The nearest safe-house was barely two blocks away, and surrounded by a park of shrubbery. No seismic instabilities anywhere. “Here you go,” Kara waved, as much at Daisy as at Tfferak.
Not one to waste time, Daisy fell into a half-crouch, but kept her eyes on Tfferak. “Hold on,” she said, and Kara grinned when she but not so much the alien realized that had been an actual command. Daisy’s powers made the shingles rattle on the roof and the glass clink; the ground shook and trembled.
So did Tfferak. “Okay! I got it.” Kara let her own feet touch the earth underneath her again, eyeing Tfferak to make sure he wasn’t running. But thankfully, he wasn’t. Almost hastily, he reached out to Daisy again and linked their hands. Another few heartbeats, and he pulled back. He wasn’t panting, not exactly, but he was breathing a little fast. “There you go. Bones and tendons, joint and arteries and capillaries. All restored. And, I get to contact you?”
“Yeah.” Daisy nodded. “I’ll have a burner phone delivered to the bar; press the pre-programmed number, and I’ll make my way over to where its GPS signal is, so use it wisely.” Daisy frowned at Tfferak’s retreating form; Kara was glad to see him go, great as his help had been. That didn't make her ungrateful, just worried about Daisy, who under her breath said, “Should really have invested in prepaid device industries as a teen.”
“Did you have money as a teen?” Kara had bought hook, line, and sinker, into the gritty childhood appearance, but you never knew.
“Well. Other people had money when I was a teen. And I may have had some access to their accounts.” At Kara’s face, she cringed a little. “Hey, I never did anything terrible. Moral code here, Kara!”
That she believed. “Don’t worry. All I’m worried about is you.”
Daisy’s eyes softened. “Yeah. That second session did the trick. See?” She wiggled her eyebrows at Kara, so Kara dared to smile and took her glasses off.
Yep, yep; ulna, radius, every single bone. “You look perfect.”
Daisy laughed. “Let’s not get overly excited.” Her grin was wide and bright. In the sunlight, up close, Kara could see that she too had freckles on the bridge of her nose, darker than Kara’s own and much more adorable.
“Or, you know…let’s?” Kara offered and didn’t look away.
“You’re forever my favorite alien, Kara,” Daisy murmured, but her name was cut short because she’d leaned in to kiss Kara. And Kara made sure to remove the last traces of blackberry taste from Daisy’s snarky-sweet mouth.