“You have to let her go.”
Kara glanced to the side as the arms of time seemed to slow down. Alex wasn’t there, but her voice was all around her — reminding her, comforting her, mocking her, scolding her.
“I can’t,” she whispered as she bowed her head, eyes tracing the devices held in her shaking fingers. “I have to keep going. I’m almost there.”
The metal tips of the devices met with a bright spark, but Kara barely batted an eyelash. Ultraviolet light never did affect her, and that was one advantage to her current work. She can’t stop. Not when she could help it.
“I almost got her back.”
TWO WEEKS AGO
Kara was always prepared for the worse.
As a reporter, she was prepared to ask the appropriate questions during an exclusive interview. She’s prepared to dissect the words provided to her when they’re vague and clarify them for the benefit of the readers. She’s prepared to be honest — to be faithful to the purpose of journalism.
As Supergirl, she was always prepared to receive a strong punch or two now and then. Ever since Reign, or maybe even before, she just didn’t want to acknowledge it, she’d learned to accept that she wasn’t exactly the strongest alien out there — or invulnerable. She was prepared to lose all her power for a day or two – or even a week – and spend so much time under the sun lamp.
No one – nothing – prepared her for this.
This sense of loss that’s been haunting her for days.
It’s different from when she had to say goodbye to her parents. It’s different from the constant reminder that she’d never be able to see Krypton again. It’s different from when her Aunt Astra died in her arms. It’s different when Mon-el left Earth the first time, thinking that he’d never come back again. It’s different from the debacle that was Jeremiah.
It was just… different.
People around her congratulated her for a job well done; for ridding the world of another potential villain, but they didn’t know anything, did they?
They didn’t know how good that potential villain was – how she only strived to be good, to do good for people, because she wasn’t like her family.
They didn’t know how she opened up to Kara because Kara was the only person who never judged her for her name — something that Kara would always carry in her heart as the heaviest guilt in her life because… she had judged Lena for her name, hadn’t she?
All because Lena just wanted to help her friend.
Kara’s hands clenched on her lap as the priest gave his final blessings to the lonely coffin in front of the church. Soon, the coffin was closed and James, J’onn, Brainy, and Henry, Lena’s driver, were carrying it out of the church and putting it into the car.
She could have helped carry that coffin. She wanted to help, but even with all the strength flowing through her veins, she couldn’t seem to find enough of it to stand and follow the people currently trailing after that coffin.
She could only watch quietly as the black, rectangular box gradually became smaller to her sight, until she felt a pair of hands on her arms, waking her from her trance.
“Let’s go, Kara,” Alex said quietly, and Kara sighed as she stood on shaky feet and let Alex drag her outside.
There would never be another game night with Lena as her partner.
There would never be another lunch date with Lena.
There would never be another casual visit at Lena’s balcony while she’s wearing her suit and cape.
No more wine, no more Big Belly Burger, no more discussions of quantum entanglement, no more desperate calls for Lena’s help…
SIX DAYS AGO
“Well, don’t you look miserable?”
Kara lifted her gaze from her glass of Aldebaran Rum and settled it on an unfamiliar face. It was a man who looked around her age, but pale skin soon turned into a shade of yellow, the blue in his irises spreading towards the whites, and Kara wasn’t sure if it was because of the rum or his eyes looked like… water. Like the ocean on a calm down.
Her drink forgotten, Kara placed her palms flat on the counter and sat straight, interest piqued.
“What are you?” Kara asked, awe dripping from her voice.
“Migoan,” he replied, startling Kara it sounded like three voices were speaking at once. “From a planet we once called X731. It exploded last year— or, well, for Earth, it was last year. For me…” he paused, lips pursing slightly. “It was only two days ago.”
“… What?” Kara frowned. “How’s that possible?”
“My kind perceived time differently. It’s different,” he paused, smiling wistfully as he wiped a cloth across the counter. “There were no hours or minutes or seconds. Back there, we determined a new day when we earn a new stripe. Since I came to this planet, I’ve only gained two, new stripes across my arm—” he twisted his arm to show them to Kara, and the latter gaped at them. “So, for me, I’ve only been here for two days.”
“That’s amazing…” Kara trailed off. “I’m sorry, I just… I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that planet before, and I’ve read and learned about a lot.”
“Yeah, I know,” he chuckled. “I know who you are.”
“And yet, I don’t know who you are,” Kara snorted. “Except that you’re Mi…goan. Migoan, and you were from Planet X731. I’m… sorry about your planet, by the way.”
He shrugged and resumed wiping across the counter. “The people who took me in call me Elias. I didn’t have a name back on my planet.”
“Why is that?”
“We didn’t have names,” Elias shrugged. “We called other people through the mind. I think the closest thing the Earth has to describe it is the sixth sense. We just know. We feel it in the back of our head when someone is trying to get our attention.”
Kara took the time to let his words sink in. Here was a man she was sure she only met just now, opening up to her about his lost kind and planet. Kara wasn’t sure how she’d earned the privilege to hear about all of it.
“Why are you telling me this?” She couldn’t help but ask, eyes narrowing.
“Well,” he cleared his throat, the yellow tint of his skin dissolving back to the pale shade it was once with dots of red now scattered across his cheeks. “You were thinking so loudly. I didn’t want to intrude, but… your mind intruded mine. Just broadcasted all those thoughts in mine.”
“Oh, golly. I—” It was Kara’s turn to blush. “I’m so sorry. If I had known, I—” She groaned as she planted her forehead on her hand. “I’m so dumb.”
“You’re not,” he chuckled, still embarrassed from earlier, and then looked at her somberly. “I know what it’s like to lose your world. I know the pain, the longing. It haunts me every day.”
“But Krypton will always be with me,” Kara replied while placing a hand over her chest. “In here.”
Elias smiled wistfully, his eyes reflecting so much pity in them.
“I wasn’t talking about Krypton.”
Kara wasn’t sure when exactly she decided to have an interest in robots.
Androids, to be exact.
There’s a certain level of apprehension every time she connected one synthetic part to another. There’s fear of not achieving her actual goal — what if it didn’t resemble her? What if it didn’t act like her? What if it didn’t think like? Sound like her? Touch like her?
No, Kara shook her head as she healed the part where the arm and the elbow connected. She couldn’t entertain her doubts now.
She’d come too far.
She couldn’t go back now.
“Is that Big Belly Burger?”
Her gaze snapped to the projection on the wall when she heard that familiar drawl.
“Have I told you that you’re my favorite person?”
She watched herself disappear on the projection, only to reappear after a second too long with a familiar bag of Lena’s favorite fast-food chain. She was wearing her outfit from that day when Mercy attacked L-Corp, the same day she almost revealed herself to Lena.
She watched herself quietly on the projection.
Lena’s eyes were always on her, only breaking every once in a while when she’s taking a drink or getting some fries on the table until Eve entered the office.
And then it was chaos that followed. She watched herself panic with that funny face when Lena tried to calm her down every time she tried to escape. She watched as there was nothing but the floor on the projection --- it must be around the time when she pushed Lena and Eve to protect them from bullets. She watched as she fumbled for her phone and talked to Alex.
She watched everything unfold from Lena’s eyes and never did Lena take her eyes away from Kara for more than a minute when there’s no one attacking them from all directions.
Lena Luthor loved you.
Kara whimpered as tears rapidly gathered along her eyelids, her task forgotten as her hands clutched at her shirt over her chest.
Lena Luthor loved her, and Lena Luthor died thinking that Kara had betrayed her; that Kara hated her to the point of earning her friendship and taking advantage of her trust. She died thinking that her friends — Alex, Brainy, Nia, J’onn, all of them — only used her for their gain.
She died thinking that they didn’t love her, and God, she was so wrong.
So, so wrong.
Because Kara loved her so much. She might have only realized it when Elias met her in her apartment four days ago; she might have been too late, but she loved Lena.
So, so much.
FOUR DAYS AGO
“Are you sure about this?” Elias asked as he took the bottle of wine from Kara. “I don’t think to torture yourself with her memories is the best way to cope.”
Ever since Elias accidentally told Kara about his ability to extract memories from traces of DNA, Kara had been very persistent about getting Lena’s memories back.
At least her memories, she’d said. Because she missed Lena.
And Elias, already proving to be way too kindhearted for his own good, couldn’t do anything but help the mourning heroine.
“It’ll help, Elias,” Kara muttered as she handed another device. “Just put them there.”
Elias glanced down at the black, rectangular device. “Is this a projector?”
Kara nodded. “And a storage device. You did say you can put those memories from one storage to another, right?”
“Yeah, but…” Elias hesitated. “I meant it as in — one living storage to another. I’m not sure if that'll work.”
“Just try, Elias,” Kara begged. “For me. Just try.”
Elias bit his lip as he sighed. “Okay,” he nodded. “I’ll try. Wanna have some of this wine, though? Before we start?”
Kara looked at the bottle of wine in Elias’ hand and shook her head. “No,” she shrugged gingerly. “That’s Lena’s favorite wine.”
Kara sobbed breathlessly through her tears amid the chaos in the background. From her peripheral vision, she could see beams of green and blue intensifying now and then.
It was the fight between Lena and Mercy, at that point, and she couldn’t bring herself to watch.
Lena had risked her life for Kara, thinking that Kara was just another human who couldn’t defend herself from something as harmless as Mercy Graves.
Lena had always done everything to protect Kara, but Kara—
Kara couldn’t even protect her best friend.
Kara couldn’t even protect Lena when she succumbed to her misery.
“ You got that backwards. The Luthor name doesn’t deserve Lena.”
Kara finally lifted her gaze back to the projection on the wall and watched herself put Mercy on a tip grip from behind her.
“Supergirl,” Lena’s voice echoed in Kara’s room. “I’d ask how you bypassed a lockdown, but—”
“But you’re in a crisis and you’re happy to see me?”
Kara scoffed at the hopeful look on her face and longing in her voice. She scoffed at her audacity to expect Lena to just forget everything that happened during the fight against Reign.
She’d been a huge hypocrite.
“I’m so sorry, Lena,” she whispered brokenly while clenching her fingers tighter around her shirt. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’ll bring you back. I promise.”
With that, Kara grabbed the small projector from the table behind her and inserted a cable into its port, cursing quietly when she couldn’t seem to stop her hands from shaking too much. She crawled on her knees towards the back of the android and connected the other side of it into the port found on the nape of the android’s neck.
Almost instantaneously, the spare screen behind her lit up and displayed the installation process.
It wasn’t fast enough.
It was too slow.
Almost halfway into it.
Fuck, it’s way too slow.
Kara groaned as she brought herself to her feet again, eyes never breaking away from the screen.
70% … 87% … 96% …
100%. INSTALLATION SUCCESSFUL.
Suddenly, Kara couldn’t seem to breathe properly.
All the memories have been transferred to the next storage.
The storage that only mattered.
Kara carefully unplugged the projector and set it on the table. Slowly, she pressed the spot under the android’s neck where a pulse was supposed to be if it had been human.
There’s a quiet, whooshing sound, and then forest green eyes met hers. Kara held her breath as she lowered herself back down to her knees in front of the sitting android, swallowing thickly as she waited for the right time.
And then the blankness in those green eyes disappeared and morphed into tenderness — a familiar softness she hadn’t seen in weeks.