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this is for Red Daughter

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Laughter and joviality fills the room as cards are thrown onto the table—game night is commencing. The stress and impossibility of the week fades into the background as the inevitable warmth of being with family embraces Kara.

She sits beside her sister—her sister who fully remembers her now, who loves her all the same—and laughs at her complaints to Brainy. She smiles as she sees Nia whisper into Brainy’s ear, an affectionate hand placed on his arm.

She laughs at something J’onn is saying when she hears the door open, paired with the familiar cadence of steps that are usually associated with the click clack of heels, but not tonight.

Tonight, Lena steps into the room, in a cozy light sweater, denim jeans, and flats, with the same grace and poise that is perhaps second nature to her.

Tonight, Lena steps into the room, and Kara glows.

It starts within her chest: overwhelming awe and affection bubbles and evolves and spreads throughout her extremities, igniting nerve endings, making her heart race and riot; her lungs expand, demanding more air, more, give me more, give me life. Her head tilts back, and her blue eyes disappear beneath the bright glow of purple neon that seems to leak from her pores. And she screams.

She screams and screams, but not one of pain nor of despair. She screams and growls, like an animal urging to be freed. She yells at no one to let me go! Let me out! Please!

She screams until she doesn’t.

The sound waves remain and bounce around the room, wraps around the six people surrounding Kara’s slumped body, who has fallen unconscious by the force of… whatever that was. But an unconscious Kara is perhaps second to their worries at the moment.

For another figure, panting and weighed down by the thick black cape on her shoulders, is struggling to her feet with a bewildered expression.

Her relatively fresh eyes roam the unfamiliar room, with an underlying look of agitation and confusion. Her eyes fall on a man she doesn’t know, a woman she doesn’t know, another woman she doesn’t know, another man she doesn’t know, and…

And Alex. The not-her-Alex. The better Alex.

It confuses her all the more.

Why is she here? Wasn’t she shot down by Kryptonite?

She remembers the sensation keenly: like her skin was being seared off her bones, like nails were running through her blood—ice and fire fighting to consume her.

Why is she here? How is she here? Wh—

Her eyes land on the sixth person in the room.

Oh.

The corners of her lips curl up, for the first time in a long time.

There is a lightness in her chest she only ever felt when looking at pictures of her, reading about her, thinking about her.

Now she’s here. That explains it, she supposes.

She smiles. “Lena,” Red Daughter softly exclaims. Of course.