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It Takes a Village

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“I hate when she does this,” Alex groaned. Because she had come back to the DEO after an unsuccessful CADMUS related raid only to find a voicemail from Kara. A voicemail saying she had gone off to Barry’s earth to help him with some new alien threat. After debriefing from the mission, she and Maggie had gone to Alex’s apartment to crash.

“You say that like it happens all the time,” Maggie chuckles, shedding her coat and shoes at the door before collapsing onto the couch with a relieved groan. She watches across the open apartment as Alex strips and changes into pajamas, wasting no time in getting comfy.

“Far more often than I'd like. And she always just disappears! It's only recently that she's remembered to call or leave a note. But she never lets anyone come help her because she's a reckless idiot ,” Alex calls. Maggie smiles, still a little in awe that not only is the multiverse theory true, but also that Kara has visited other universes. Many times apparently. Alex comes and crashes onto the couch, letting her head fall in Maggie's lap. “And there's no telling how long she'll be gone because time sometimes passes differently. What if she gets hurt out there, Mags? I can't protect her if she's in another universe,” she adds softly. Maggie just cards gentle fingers through her hair.

“Hey, she's Supergirl. She can handle herself. Plus, you said that universe is littered with superheroes, right? They'll have her back. Just trust,” Maggie attempts to reassure.

“I know, I know, I just…” Alex sighs in frustration.

“I know, babe. You'll always worry about your sister. But unless you know how to travel across the universes, you have to wait. So why don't we order some food and watch crappy cop shows and see if I can take your mind off of it for a little while?” And if Maggie's low, sultry tone didn't give it away, her hooded eyes and the way she gave Alex a bruising kiss certainly made sure Alex knew exactly how she planned on distracting her.

 

“Bye Barry, it was really good to see you again. But maybe sometime, you could just come visit just to say hi instead of bringing aliens and killer robots,” Kara smiled, hugging her friend. She was sweaty and exhausted after two long days and absolutely ready to go home.

“Sure thing,” he laughed. He pulled away and clapped Kara on the back while Cisco fiddled to make sure Kara's device was set properly. Suddenly, there are alarms going off in their headquarters and Cisco startled, nearly dropping the device. “It's fine, Kara. Just a bank robbery on fifth and a fire on Macklin street. We can handle it. Go,” Barry tells her. Kara takes the device, twitching her fingers anxiously against it.

“Are you sure? It would be no problem for me to just-”

“Go, Kara. Your own earth needs you. This city has its protectors. Go,” Barry insists before speeding off. Nodding, Kara hits the button. She's stepping into the portal just as Cisco is shouting for her to wait but it's too late. She's stepped into the portal.

 

Three days later, Alex and Maggie are woken in the middle of the night by a loud crashing noise. Their training kicks in and they both roll out of bed, reaching for their weapons. Pausing for a moment, Maggie hurriedly pulls a shirt on while Alex glances around, noticing no obvious signs of an intruder. While she pulls on a shirt, Maggie steps out of the bedroom to inspect the apartment. Silently, she signals to Alex, pointing at the blankets moving in the living room. As one, they approach from either side, weapons drawn to find…

Nothing. Just a pile of blankets.

“What the hell?” Alex murmurs. Suddenly, there's a whimper from under the blankets and both women startle. Maggie quirks an eyebrow because that sounds like a child. Making eye contact with Alex, who raises her weapon again, she counts down with her fingers before yanking the blanket off.

“Is that Kara?

“Oh my god.”

Maggie and Alex both gasp at the same time as they look at the small figure wrapped up in Kara's supergirl uniform. The kid looks a bit like Kara with short, dirty blond ringlet curls that fall just below her ears and deep blue eyes, wet with tears. Maggie reacts first, putting her gun on the table and kneeling down to greet the scared child. Once she's on the ground, she realizes the little girl must be Kara; she has the same scar just above her eyebrow.

“Hi. Kara, right?” Her tone is gentle and soft, not wanting to scare the girl. She nods briefly before letting her thumb slip into her mouth. The corner of Maggie's mouth quirks up in a smirk. “Kara, do you know who I am?” And then Kara's tears are falling and her lip is trembling and Alex finally moves, finally breathes. She puts her gun down, kneeling before her sister.

“If this is really a younger version of Kara, she probably doesn't know English,” Alex whispers softly before switching to Kryptonese. Maggie just watched her girlfriend in awe as she seamlessly switched languages. “ Kara, do you know where you are?”

“No. Want my mama.” It takes Alex a moment to decipher Kara's childish kryptonese.

She's not here, sweetie. She's… your parents had to go on a trip. So they left you with me. Do you remember me?”

Kara pauses, bites her bottom lip. “Alex?”

Alex beams. “That’s right! Good job, baby girl, I'm Alex. Your sister.” She pauses, watches Kara process the information, still clearly confused as the crinkle forms between her eyebrows. She smiles fondly and pokes at it. “Baby crinkle.” Kara's face crumples and Alex blanches. “Shit, what did I do?” The English only confuses Kara more and her lower lip begins to tremble.

I wanna go home. I want mama and daddy,” she whimpers. Alex freezes, unsure what to do. Maggie responds quickly, scooping Kara out of the now loose outfit and using a nearby blanket to swaddle her.

“It's okay, Kara,” Maggie whispers, standing and bouncing Kara on her hip while Alex takes a minute to collect herself. “It's okay, it's okay, it's okay.” But Kara shakes and Kara cries and Maggie just continues bouncing and rocking her, switching to singing in Italian. It may not be Kryptonese and Kara may not understand the words but the melodies are simple and smooth and relaxing. As Kara slowly relaxes, yawning and rubbing at her eyes with her fist, Maggie grabs Alex's arm. She pauses the song for a moment.

“Can you run to a convenience store and get some diapers? We just need something to hold us until we can sort this out.” Alex nods mutely, hurrying back into her bedroom to put proper clothes on. Because maybe she can't calm Kara down and maybe she doesn't know what the hell is going on but she can certainly go and get diapers. She can do that, if nothing else.

 

The cashier at the convenience store down the street gives Alex a few odd looks for getting diapers (after deliberating for nearly five minutes on how big to get them), bananas and ice cream but she doesn’t pay him any mind. He’s probably just more used to Alex buying cheap liquor here than he is to her buying baby necessities. When she hurries back into her apartment, she finds Maggie on the couch with Kara curled into her lap, still sucking her thumb though her eyes are closed. Maggie’s eyes open briefly, smiling at Alex before shutting them again for a moment, still humming softly.

“Hey, babe. What else did you get?” Maggie asks, taking a deep breath before standing, still holding Kara against her chest.

“Ice cream and bananas. Babies eat bananas, right? And Kara loves ice cream, so... I don’t know.” Alex shrugs, putting the food on the counter and taking out one of the diapers before holding out her arms to take Kara. Maggie chooses not to comment on Alex’s food choices for the new toddler. Once she’s settled on to Alex’s chest, still snoring soundly, Maggie goes to lay out a towel on Alex’s bed, gesturing for Alex to change her here. Kara twitches and whines while Alex fixes the diaper and pulls an old shirt from high school over her head as a night dress. She stands there for a minute, biting her lip and unsure of what to do next.

“Danvers, maybe you can put her in the middle of the bed,” Maggie suggests. Alex nods decisively, shimmying her little sister up and nestling her into the pillows, draping one blanket over her before she lets Maggie pull her back out into the kitchen area.

“What the fuck is happening, Maggie? Like, what is my life? I’ve had a pretty weird life ever since an alien started sharing my room when I was in the eighth grade but this really takes the cake. Because what the fuck is happening? And why is my sister- who is nearly twenty-seven, but is also kind of- like, over fifty? Except now she’s like… two? And she doesn’t remember anything and she doesn’t speak English and this is just- it’s a lot. And I’m not a mother! Oh god- do I have to call my mother? Because I swear, I will never hear the end of this from her. Oh my God-”

“Al. Al. Alex. Alex, c’mon, babe, breathe,” Maggie tries to interrupt. Finally, she takes Alex’s hands to still her pacing and pulls her chin to force Alex to look at her. “Alexandra Danvers, take. a. breath ,” Maggie says sternly. Alex pauses, takes a deep breath, letting her eyes flutter closed. Good God she’s so tired. “Now, we are going to make some tea or something or drink some water. We’re going to go make ourselves comfortable on the couch where we can still see Kara and we will rest . We can take her to the DEO in the morning, but for now we need to relax. Do you understand me?”

“Mhmm,” Alex sighs. Part of her wants to get Kara in there right now but she’s sound asleep and already traumatized so maybe it’s not a bad idea to let her sleep a little bit before dragging her to be poked and prodded. Plus, J’onn and all of the best agents and medics aren’t working tonight and she’d definitely prefer to have them working on her than strangers. Alex opens her eyes again to lean forward and give Maggie a chaste kiss. “Thank you.” Thank you for staying. For saying ‘we’. For not running because my life is insane.

“Not going anywhere, babe. Plus, this is probably one of the coolest, weirdest things to ever happen to me. I’m not missing a second of it,” Maggie grins, pulling Alex down onto the couch, deciding to forgo tea and just hold each other under the blankets.

“Or are you just worried I’ll kill my little sister-turned-toddler?” Alex teases.

“You did seem a bit unfamiliar with kids,” Maggie says carefully. Alex rolls her eyes, grinning.

“I was an only child! When Kara came to live with us, she was already my age. She wasn’t a baby! And I never babysat kids as a teenager, either. I was a tutor to make money, or I did chores. My parents wanted me around to take care of Kara,” Alex explains, sighing as she relaxes into Maggie’s side. Once they’re comfortable, Alex puts reruns of Parks and Rec on the TV.

“Well, my family is huge and I was the stand-by babysitter. Plus, I babysat for most of my town until I came out. Then about half of them fired me,” Maggie shrugs. “I can help out.” Alex just smiles, nuzzling into her girlfriend’s side- God is she tired. “Why don’t you close your eyes for a few minutes and I can keep an ear out for Kara and we can switch later.” Alex nods decisively and lets her eyes close again, steadying her breathing and letting herself relax.

 

Maggie has switched from Parks and Rec to Game of Thrones episodes- she was still way behind and needed to catch up so she could watch with Alex and Kara when the new season came out- and had made it through three episodes before she heard Kara stirring. Checking to make sure Alex is still sound asleep, Maggie carefully stands and heads into the bedroom to find Kara sniffling, tossing and turning under the blankets. The moment Maggie crawls onto the bed to go comfort Kara, the little girl jolts, eyes opening and crying out in quiet panic.

“Hey, whoa, Kara, you’re okay,” Maggie whispers gently, reaching out to squeeze her shoulder, unsure of how Kara would do with touch- she remembered Alex telling stories about how Kara was touch sensitive when she first arrived on Earth. To her surprise, Kara throws herself into Maggie’s arms, shaking slightly. “You’re okay, munchkin. I’ve got you.”

“Alex?” Kara whines into her shoulder.

“No, baby. I’m Maggie. Maggie.”

“M-ma-ma-he? Alex. Ale-ex. Alex .” Maggie worries her bottom lip.

“Alex is sleeping right now, baby girl. Alex sleeping. You’re okay,” Maggie whispers, rocking her back and forth.

“Want Alex,” she whimpers. “Alex.” She switches into Kryptonian and Maggie just bites her lower lip, hugging Kara tighter.

“We can go see her. Go see Alex? She’s sleeping but we can go say hi and then you and I will go back to bed, okay? Yeah, Kara,” Maggie suggests. She knows Kara doesn’t really understand but the little girl is nodding and picking her head up off of Maggie’s shoulder to smile, sniffling lightly. She hiccups now, her breath hitching as she tries to calm herself down. Maggie grins, bouncing Kara on her hip as she walks into the living room.

“Alex!” Kara smiles, waving.

“Alex is sleeping , Kara. Sleeping . Shhh, say hi to Alex before we go back to bed, okay?” Maggie whispers.

“Hi Alex,” Kara says softly in her squeaky little voice.

“Say goodnight, Alex,” Maggie prompts.

“G’nigh, Alex,” Kara giggles.

“Okay, let’s go. Time to go back to sleep, baby girl. Sleep now, Kara,” Maggie whispers. It takes nearly fifteen minutes for Kara to settle down and fall asleep, curled up on Maggie’s chest with her thumb in her mouth and snoring softly. Maggie just shifts her so she’s laying on the side next to her so Maggie can fall asleep without worrying about squashing Kara. Immediately, the little girl wraps her arms around Maggie’s neck, snuggling into her. The sound of Kara’s breath puffing in her ear lulls Maggie to sleep.

Chapter Text

Maggie had never been an early riser. She preferred to stay in bed, clinging to the warmth and the blankets, curled in a ball under a blanket. Alex would go out for her morning runs (more out of routine than any great desire to be up with the sun, she’d explained). But on this particular morning, all rules were thrown out the window. Because Maggie woke up before Alex to find a tiny Kryptonian toddler sitting next to her, leaning with her elbows on Maggie’s belly, staring at her.

“Holy shi- Kara!” Maggie just barely remembers to censor herself as Kara tilts her head to the side, still just staring at Maggie. Breathing heavily for a moment, Maggie smiles up at Kara before sitting up quickly, grabbing onto Kara to pull her onto her lap and allow her to fall back gently. As she does, Maggie leans forward to blow raspberries on her cheeks, making the little girl giggle. “Good morning, sunshine. How long have you been awake?” She whispers. Kara just smiles toothily, clearly unable to answer. “Let’s go see if Alex is up.” Immediately, Kara lights up, nodding. “Wanna go see Alex?” Maggie smiles because of course, even like this, Kara and Alex are thick as thieves.

Maggie stands, holding Kara at her hip. Now that she’s gotten a chance to really look at Kara in the light of day (even though it’s barely six in the morning and Maggie doesn’t really call this ‘morning’) she realizes Alex probably estimated a little too high last night. By Maggie’s estimates, she’d say Kara is probably about one right now, maybe one and a half. She’s small and light in Maggie’s arms but she’s lost some of the features of an infant. Maggie figures that Winn and the DEO can get a better estimate, but Maggie is putting her money on baby Kara being one.

“Hi, baby girl!” Alex greets cheerfully from her position on the couch in the living room, laptop settled on top of her blankets. Kara stretches, reaching for her and Maggie smiles, transferring Kara easily. Alex switches into Kryptonese. “Are you hungry?” Kara nods, pointing at her belly and grinning. Alex laughs tickling her. “Well, let’s get some food in you and then we can go, right Mags? You okay with that?” She turns to find Maggie already in the kitchen, cutting up the bananas into pieces.

“Yep. Have you showered? I’m good for now, so if you wanna shower, I can feed her while you do it,” Maggie offers, moving to grab something out of the fridge. Alex pouts slightly as she watches Maggie take the last of her pineapple and put it in a little bowl for Kara.

“Babe, I was gonna eat that so that you could-”

“Alex,” Maggie interrupts with a grin. “I know what you were eating it for but there’s only so many things a baby can eat, so I’m commandeering some stuff. I can grab you a new pineapple later. You got any peanut butter?”

“Top shelf of my cupboard,” Alex sighs, immediately heading over. Maggie grabs Kara while Alex stretches to reach the shelf above Maggie’s reach, doling out a spoonful on the plate with the banana. “I’m gonna go take a really quick shower. Be right back, Kara,” Alex coos, squeezing her baby sister’s (that’s still pretty weird to even think) cheek. Kara whines and wiggles, reaching for Alex as she hurries across the living room and into the bathroom. Kara turns back to Maggie, her lower lip wobbling.

“You’re okay, Kara,” Maggie whispers, kissing her temple and bouncing her slightly, shifting her slightly so that Maggie is holding her against her chest. Kara rests her head in the column of Maggie’s neck.

“Alex,” Kara whimpers.

“Oh, soon, baby girl. Let’s have breakfast. You hungry?” When Kara lifts her head, Maggie can see the tears welling in her eyes. Maggie hugs her tighter and quickly sits down at the counter, turning slightly so that she can balance Kara and feed her with one hand. Kara makes a face when Maggie lifts the first piece of banana towards her. “C’mon, Kara. Try it. Banana. Yummy,” Maggie says emphatically, miming eating. Kara wrinkles her nose. “Yummy banana, Kara. C’mon, kid. Eat!” Maggie tries again and god had she never thought she’d have to convince Kara Danvers to eat. “Look, I’ll try a bite, you try a bite,” she offers even though Kara doesn’t seem to understand. So Maggie takes a healthy sized bite, smiling broadly as she chewed.

“Yum!” she said, mouth full of banana. Kara looked at her curiously so she offered a new piece of banana, ecstatic when Kara opened her mouth and let her put the banana in Kara’s mouth. She chews carefully and Maggie beams, nodding. “Good girl! Yummy, right Kara? Bananas are yummy,” she repeats. Kara starts to babble in what is likely Kryptonese but Maggie just nods, smiling.

 

Alex returns, freshly showered and towel-drying her hair, to find Maggie flying Kara around like an airplane, making the motor noises with her mouth. She stands there for a moment, watching Maggie play with her sister until she turns, catching Alex’s eye. She blushes and lowers Kara slowly, hushing Kara when she fusses.

“So, uh, she ate the banana and the peanut butter but she wasn’t a fan of the pineapple. You’ll be pleased to know that I ate it,” Maggie explains, winking. Alex blushes, catching her innuendo.

“Uh, cool. Do you- um, do you need to go get ready? We need to go in, sooner rather than later. I wanna go in before it gets super busy,” Alex stammers. Maggie nods, smiling.

“Well, yeah, Danvers. Can’t really roll up wearing boxers and a holey old t-shirt,” Maggie smirks, handing off a babbling Kara to Alex, kissing both Danvers girls before leaving to get dressed. Once she’s all set in a pair of dark jeans and a white button up shirt, she pulled on one of Alex’s leather jackets and her boots and hurries out to find Alex and Kara chatting in Kryptonese on the couch.

“Babe, we ready to go?” Maggie interrupts gently.

“Yeah, yeah. I wanna send a text to J’onn to let him know we need to see him as soon as he gets in. Can you take her? The DEO is only, like, a block away so we can just walk,” Alex asks, offering Kara. Maggie takes her and bundles her in blankets before they leave; it’s far too cold to take Kara out in just an old t-shirt and neither of them had any baby clothes on hand.

“Yeah, sure. If she’s gonna be like this for a while, we should go get her some clothes, though. Definitely can’t just carry her around like this,” Maggie replies. Alex pauses for a moment, doesn’t respond as she types on her phone. Her tongue pokes out of the corner of her mouth and her eyes dart up every few moments to make sure she’s not going to run into anything. She only responds once she’s hit send and they’re standing in the elevator.

“Yeah, and I’m certain we could get the DEO to foot some of the bill until we figure this out. Right Kara? Yeah. Oh yeah, you’re so ticklish, aren’t you?” Alex teases, tickling her little sister through the piles of blankets around her. Alex switches into Kryptonian but jumps back and forth, as if she’s translating. Kara babbles back.

“This is Maggie. Can you say Maggie ?” She pauses, switching back into English. “Can you say Maggie? Maggie?”

“Ma-ma-ma!” she repeats.

“Sounds like she’s saying ‘Mama’,” Maggie snickers.

“Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma!” Kara continues to babble.

“Ma- ggie, Kara. Say Ma- ggie ,” Alex sighs.

“Ma! Ma-he! Ma-ma-ma-ma,” Kara continues like a broken record. Someone walking their dog smiles at the trio.

“Looks like someone loves their mamas,” the stranger coos. Maggie beamed and Alex just smiled tightly. “It’s a chilly morning. Good thing you two put her in an extra blanket.”

“Ha, yeah, thanks,” Maggie smiles as they keep walking. Alex continues to try and get Kara to say ‘Maggie’ successfully as they make their way into the DEO lobby. They bypass the security guard’s questioning looks as Alex claims it’s a covert op and waves her badge. She’s got enough clout that the guard sits back down and they make their way into the heart of the DEO when Alex turns down a hallway, leading them towards Hank’s office. To any passing agents who gave them odd looks, Alex just glared and squared her shoulders and everyone started avoiding her gaze. Kara, meanwhile, stopped babbling and Maggie kissed her temple, noting that Kara was hiding in the crook of Maggie’s shoulder, her thumb tucked securely between her lips.

“You’re okay, Kara. Hey, Al, how do I say ‘you’re okay’ or something like that in Kryptonese?” Maggie whispers. Alex pauses for a moment, letting them into the empty office before responding.

“Rip nahn voi. That's kinda like saying you're safe. Hang on I just have to call him. He's probably in the command center,” Alex murmurs. Maggie rolls the words around on her tongue before repeating them. It's not as musical or as smooth as Alex's but she hopes it's intelligible.

Rip nahn voi, Kara. Rip nahn voi,” she murmurs. Kara whines, snuggling deeper into her. Maggie turns on one heel when she heard the door opening.

“Alright, agent Danvers, detective Sawyer, what was so-” J'onn stops when he sees Kara bundled in the blankets. “Is that- Supergirl?” He asks softly, reaching out. He looks to Alex and she nods solemnly. He stares at her for a moment and Maggie remembers that he can read minds.

“We need to figure out what caused this and how to fix it,” Alex says.

“Let’s get her down to the med bay. See what we can figure out,” J’onn nods. Maggie sways Kara in her arms as she walks to try and keep her calm.

 

“Okay, okay, come on, she’s crying, guys!” Alex protested. After nearly an hour of strength tests, blood draws (with little success), thorough examinations, x-rays, MRIs and a thousand other tests, Kara had finally had enough. Her earlier whining and whimpering had now turned into full-on sobs as she reaches for both Alex and Maggie.

“Agent Danvers, we should get a DNA sample to run, first,” the lead doctor, a woman named Emilia Dukowsky, said firmly.

“Cheek swabs only, and you let me and Alex do it,” Maggie counters, moving to Kara’s side to rub her back. They had kept the girl in a glass sort of containment chamber- the closest thing they had to a crib- on top of a hospital bed. It left Kara alone and cold, sitting in it like a prisoner, waiting to be pulled out. Maggie reached over the edge to help soothe her.

“Alright,” Dukowsky agrees. Immediately, Maggie pulls Kara out of the container and hugs her, bouncing her knees while Alex gets gloves on to get the tissue sample.

Rip nahn voi, Kara,” Maggie repeats over and over again, presses the words into Kara’s hair with a kiss as the little girl rests her head against Maggie’s chest. Kara shakes and cries in Maggie’s arms, all of the fear and pain from the past hour forcing its way out. But with Maggie’s arms around her, soft Kryptonese words of assurances in her ear and Maggie’s heartbeat thumping in time with hers, Kara calms her sobs to sniffles and double-breaths, thumb making its way into her mouth again. Once she’s calm, Maggie shifts her slightly so that Alex can see her face.

“Hi Kara,” she says in Kryptonese. Kara sniffles and looks at her with big, wet eyes. Alex continues, stroking her hair gently. “Such a good girl, Kara. We’re almost done, I promise. One more, just one more thing. Say ‘ahhh’ Kara.” Alex makes sure to make a silly face, sticking out her tongue as she says ‘ahhh’. Kara giggles, but doesn’t quite get it.

“Kara,” Maggie smiles gently. Kara turns to glance at her. “Like this. ‘Ahhh’. You do it, Kara! ‘Ahhh’.” Giggling, Kara sticks her tongue out and waggles her head to mimic Maggie. “Good girl, Kara! Keep going. ‘Ahhh’.” Maggie keeps her mouth open until Alex gets a few cheek swabs. Kara wrinkled her nose at the feeling but let Alex keep going. Once she’s finished, Alex beams and hugs Kara, peppering her face with kisses.

“Good girl, Kara. Good girl, you were so good.” She switches back into English. “Such a good girl, Kara. My brave little girl. Let’s get you nice and warm, hmmm? C’mon.” Maggie squeezes Kara's foot as they follow J'onn out to the control room. Agents stared as baby Kara finally started to calm her cries but Maggie and Alex payed them no mind. When they reached Winn’s desk, he jumped up to greet them, having already been debriefed over the comm link.

“This is so cool! It’s like a movie or something. Does she remember any of us? Oh! Does she have her powers?” Winn rambles excitedly and Alex puts a hand on his shoulder to make him pause.

“Chill out, Winn. She startles easier now that she's little. J'onn wanted us to come to you to see if we could figure out what did this.” Alex strokes Kara's hair as the little girl yawns and snuggles into her shoulder.

“Oh my god, that's adorable,” Winn gasps softly. Alex fixes him with a stern look and he goes back to his computer. “Right. What did this? So I can scan her for the temporal and universal energy and stuff. Like how we found Mxyzptlk by his energy signal. If I can pinpoint the type of energy that did this, we might be able to reverse it.”

“Okay, no more tests, no. We can do that later, right? She’s just been through hell with the med bay tests and she needs a break,” Alex insists.

“No, no, Alex, it’s not an invasive test!” Winn says quickly, but Alex just shakes her head and continues to murmur with Kara in Kryptonese. Maggie sighs softly, smiling at her girlfriend before moving closer to Winn.

“What is the test, Winn?” she asks, smiling apologetically at the honorary younger Danvers brother.

“She does this whenever she comes back from there, Alex makes me do it,” he grumbles. “All she has to do is stand there and this little thing right here can scan the both of them. You don’t even have to put Kara down. It can distinguish between the both of them.” Maggie smiles and claps his shoulder, holding up one finger to get him to wait. He nods.

“Hey, Al, babe? C’mere. Just come here,” Maggie says softly, pulling Alex around the desk to stand in front of Winn’s computer. “Good, just stand here, and let Winn point his little doohickey and scan all of us and then…” She paused to look at Winn who confirmed that the scan was complete. “See? All done, babe. Now we just have to trust Winn and let him analyze the scans and let him do his thing, okay? And then maybe we can… We can figure out what to do next.” Winn continued tapping at his keyboard, eyebrows furrowed in concentration.

“What? That’s it?” Alex asks, confused. “What just happened?”

“Alex, you make him do this test every time she comes back from the other universe, he said,” Maggie laughed. Alex just pouted slightly. “Oh, don’t pout, come here. I know you just want to take care of Kara.” Maggie hugged her close. She remembered the first time her aunt let her take care of her baby. Maggie had been terrified, focusing only on her cousin Teresa and forgetting about doing anything but keeping her safe and happy.

“It’s all my parents ever wanted me to do: take care of her,” Alex whispers. Winn claps once, excited and spins around in his chair, whooping and breaking up Maggie and Alex’s moment.

“Agent Schott?” J’onn asks, appearing at his side quickly.

“Ah, yes, sorry boss, but I am even better than I thought I was. Because I just distinguished the smallest amount of space on the scan- identifying Kara’s signature while partially masked by Alex’s and Maggie’s and I was able to figure out exactly what made her signature differently.”

“Perfect! So you can change her back?” Alex asks, coming over to peer at his computer screen. Maggie and J’onn watch as Winn grabs at the back of his neck, leaning away and trying to put some space between him and Alex and they know this won’t be good news.

“Oh, uh, see, here’s the thing… Um, no. I can’t.”

Chapter Text

“What the hell do you mean ‘no’?” Alex shouts angrily. Kara whimpers and wriggles in her arms. Maggie immediately scoops the girl up and presses one hand over her ear, the other ear pressed against her chest, in an effort to block out some of the noise. Once Alex’s hands are free, she takes a step closer to Winn’s chair, glaring at him.

“I mean, I can’t! I don’t know how to fix this!” he yelps nervously, trying to back further away but hitting the other side of his desk.

“Agent Schott, what is ‘this’? What are your findings?” J’onn asks.

“So, whenever Supergirl goes to the other universes, I scan her when she comes back to make sure everything is okay. And so I have a baseline scan for what that should look like. See this level of radiation here? That’s what I’ve tagged as the Earth-1 radiation levels. Then there’s the spike of temporal energy that remains from her actual jumping through the portals, but that fades quickly and it’s been more than a few hours since she came through so there’s none of that here. But then there are these unknown radiations. This one kind of resembles the radiation levels associated with the phantom zones and worm holes. And there’s also a little bit of temporal energy that’s similar to the other universe energy but not quite the same so maybe it’s a different universe? So basically, I can recognize and make some guesstimates about what these are but since I don’t have any conclusions, I can’t recommend a course of action to reverse this with any degree of certainty,” Winn explains quickly. J’onn nods and turns back to Alex.

“So we need to get a team assembled to start decoding and identifying these signatures and figuring out what they mean so that we can reverse this. Until then, Danvers, I want you and Detective Sawyer to take care of our young Supergirl.” Maggie nods and shifts Kara’s weight in her arms.

“Well babe looks like you and me get to be temporary parents,” Maggie stage whispers with a wink. Alex just blushes.

“Hey, uh, how old is she?” Winn asks curiously, more relaxed now that Alex has gone back to leaning against the desk and watching the interactions with a curious expression.

“Good question. In terms of her physical development, she seems to be on track with what the Kents recorded of Superman’s growth at age one and a half. Her super-hearing and x-ray vision haven't developed, nor has her heat vision. She also has the muscle control and coordination of someone nearly two. Physically, she’s small for a two-year-old, probably closer to the height of a one-year-old but she’s lighter than she seems due to her Kryptonian physiology. So basically, if hard pressed for an age, we can tell people she’s almost two.” Alex rattles off all of these statistics and Maggie just smiles, content to listen to her nerdy girlfriend. Suddenly, she wrinkles her nose, smelling something terrible.

“Hey, babe, did you bring an extra diaper and stuff?” she asks softly, not really wanting to broadcast the fact that Supergirl needed a diaper change. Alex blushed bright red, her eyes comically wide before shaking her head.

“I kinda forgot. I could run back to the apartment, or-”

“If I may, Agent Danvers,” a nearby agent interrupts gently. “I keep some things in my bag that’s in my locker. My twins are potty training now but my wife and I still carry the essentials around. And I have a spare set of clothes since it seems she needs one. It might be big on her, but it’s better than nothing.”

“Thanks, O’Hara, you’re a lifesaver,” Alex says.

“Hey, Jack, I didn’t know you had twins,” Maggie says conversationally as she and Alex follow him to the locker room.

“Oh yeah. Boy and a girl. They’re about three and a half now,” he smiles. They continue to chat about raising two kids at once until they get to the locker room. He hands them two diapers, a bag of wipes and a small, travel sized container of baby powder along with an outfit. Alex and Maggie offer more thanks as he just smiles, waves them off and heads back to his desk to work.

“So, Danvers, you ever changed a diaper before?” Maggie asks, and she knew from the way that her girlfriend’s eyes widened that the answer was most definitely no. Maggie just shook her head with a grin and went to go find a suitable space to teach Alex.

 

“And now, you just have to sprinkle a bit of baby powder and tape it all up, right Kara?” Maggie coos, reaching up to tickle the little girl’s belly. “No more stinky aliens! No more little stinky aliens,” she giggles, making Kara laugh. Alex smiles and reaches for the clothes Jack had given them to put her in, laughing when she saw they were pajamas with the House of El crest all over them.

“Well, seems that O’Hara chose this outfit well,” Alex smirked.

“Hey, kid’s got an aesthetic to maintain,” Maggie fired back as they both work to get the squirming little Kryptonian into the oversized outfit.

 

“Sir, this is your own personal money. We can't take it,” Alex insisted. “Can't we get a government reimbursement or something?” J'onn shakes his head, offering the credit card again.

“We don't technically exist, still so it's difficult to get that kind of thing approved. Please, take this card. I've been on this planet for well over three hundred years and I have amassed various fortunes in various forms. Please, take this card so that you can take good care of Supergirl. We don't know how long she's going to be like this so we need to be prepared to care for her,” he explains. And Alex wants to ask him more about these fortunes but there's time for that some other time because Kara is whining and her stomach is growling and Maggie is warning her that these are some of the signs of an impending tantrum so she'd really like to get some food in her little sister and get her to sleep before that happens.

“Okay, if you're sure. Thank you, J'onn,” she says softly and he squeezes her shoulder before she takes off to where a rookie agent has brought a car around and Maggie is getting situated with Kara in the twelve point harnesses in the back seat. With a quick kiss to Kara's forehead and a kiss to Maggie's cheek, she gets in the front seat and heads off towards the National City Target store.

 

I know, baby, I know. It's loud and bright and you just want to sleep, I know. We’ll be done soon,” Alex whispered in Kryptonese. Kara was fussing and crying, whimpering about sleep. As soon as they had gotten to the store, Maggie grabbed some boxes of toddler snacks and a pack of kid’s protein shakes before satiating the little girl’s Kryptonian appetite (keeping the empty containers so they could pay once they were at the register). Now, Maggie was grabbing enough diapers, wipes and baby powder to last a decade and they were moving towards the baby furniture to grab the essentials- a car seat, a pack and play crib, a high chair, and a stroller- while Alex rocked a sleepy, cranky Kara.

“First-time parents?” A nice looking saleswoman asks.

“Emergency foster placement. We just need to get some of the essentials but we're a little confused about what to get,” Maggie lies smoothly. She figures it makes enough sense and even though Maggie knew how to take care of children, she wasn't sure about how to pick the right furniture and stuff. Alex just smiles tightly at the saleswoman before continuing to pace in small circles while soothing Kara. Maggie can see her starting to fall asleep despite her fussing.

“Well, I can help some! Why don't you and I come look in this aisle while your wife-” Maggie can hear the verbal question mark and she shakes her head gently “-girlfriend?” Maggie nods, smiling and thanking the woman for checking. “Okay, so your girlfriend can keep doing what she's doing and you and I can go look at what you need.” Maggie checks in with Alex with a raised eyebrow and only moves to join the girl when Alex nods at her in confirmation. Kara has stopped fussing now and her thumb has crept into her mouth as her eyes start to droop.

 

Two hours and well over two thousand dollars worth of toddler furniture, clothes, food and basic necessities later and Maggie and Alex are on their way back to their apartment. Kara is awake now and Alex is sitting in the back with her this time, trying to teach her some of the basic phrases in English. It had taken some finagling to get the car seat strapped in properly and then get all of the bags in the back so that Alex could still have room to sit comfortably. Maggie just smiled into the rearview mirror, listening to Alex and Kara repeating each other.

Threv i nahn Kara. My name is Kara,” Alex repeats. Maggie smiles, changing lanes to take the exit that will lead them towards Alex’s apartment.

“Kara! Kara, my!” Kara squeals.

“My name. My name is Kara,” Alex repeats.

“My! My n-nay! My nay Kara!” Kara is kicking her feet and giggling and squealing as Alex tickles her and peppers her face with kisses.

“Good job! Good job, Kara! Yay!” Alex congratulates her. Laughing, she focuses back on the road and turns onto the street to get home. They continue on this way and by the time Maggie is parking (the gay gods or the parking gods or some type of gods are smiling down on Maggie apparently because the spot directly in front of Alex’s apartment is open) Kara knows about as much English as any human baby her age- which is to say, only enough to repeat what others are saying to her like a little parrot.

“Kara, Kar, babe, hold my hand,” Alex insists, repeating it in Kryptonese once Kara is unbuckled and hopping around on the ground. Maggie was trying to figure out how she could make as few trips as possible as Alex balanced some bags on one arm and Kara happily held two bags, displaying a strength that was quite obviously superhuman.

“Al, who’s gonna get the door,” Maggie grunts, struggling to carry the pack and play under one arm and the high chair under another. Alex is similarly struggling with the stroller’s box under one arm and her hand clutching bags of clothes. Alex was about to start swearing, toss the stuff down and open the door when suddenly the front door swung open and out stepped Lena Luthor.

“Oh! Agent Danvers, Detective Sawyer, what is all of this?” Lena asks curiously. Alex knows the moment when Lena spies Kara; her eyes widen, her mouth opens just a bit before snapping closed and she straightens her spine. “Who is this?” she asks, softer. And in that instant, Alex forgets everything. She can’t come up with a feasible lie, can’t remember what they’d told the people at Target. And before Maggie can open her mouth, Kara is replying and Alex almost regrets teaching her little sister so much English on that car ride.

“Kara! My nay’s Kara!” she squeals. Huffing with effort, Maggie drops the two boxes onto the ground, settling in for a discussion of what the hell is going on.

“Is- is this?” Lena gasps softly, immediately dropping to her knees to be on Kara’s level. “Hi, Kara.” Kara giggles and goes in for a hug. Lena is stiff for a moment before returning Kara’s embrace. When Kara pulls back with a smile, Lena stands and turns to Alex. With a crazed smile, she whispers, “what the hell is going on?”

“Oh, little Luthor, that is an inside question. We can answer as soon as we get all this shiii-schtuff. This stuff upstairs. So grab a bag and help us out,” Maggie says. Lena nods and gestures to her driver waiting down the block.

After a few trips up and down, Lena dismisses her driver, closes the apartment door and fixes Alex with a look, raising one eyebrow.

“Okay, what the hell is going on?” she asks. Alex sighs, trying to figure out how to explain this.

“We’d better sit,” Maggie says with a tight smile, pulling Kara onto her lap. Alex takes a deep breath before beginning to speak.

Chapter Text

“So, you’re telling me that Kara went through a portal into another universe and came back as a toddler? And you don’t really know how to fix her?” Lena said with a raised eyebrow. Maggie nodded.

“Yep, basically. So now we get to raise the little Kryptonian terror,” she teases, tickling Kara. Almost as soon as they had sat down to explain this all to Lena, Kara had snuggled into Maggie and began to suck on Maggie's thumb. Only a little bit disgusted by the slobber and the pain from Kara's baby teeth, Maggie had rifled through all of the bags until she found a pacifier, content to let Alex explain while she had stuck the Supergirl pacifier into Supergirl’s mouth. Alex, meanwhile, was watching to see how Lena was reacting. Clearly, the girl has a high tolerance for the strange (or she was very good at hiding her reactions) because Alex couldn't detect any panic or bewilderment, mostly just a curious confusion and a hint of disbelief.

“How did this happen? Was it some sort of alien tech? Does she still have her powers? How old is she right now? Did it change her whole molecular structure or just shrink it? Do you have plans to fix her?” Lena rattles off these questions quickly and Alex just narrows her eyes for a moment.

“What do you mean powers?” She asks, suspicious. Lena rolls her eyes before smirking.

“Your sister’s disguise is a pair of glasses and a ponytail. Anyone who spends more than ten minutes with both her and Supergirl must know. And besides, Kara slips up so often she might as well have told me herself,” Lena explains.

“Those damn glasses, I told her they're not a good disguise,” Alex whispers more to herself than anything else before raising her voice to speak to Lena. “So then why were you here? Before you found out about… this ?” She gestures to the mountains of stuff and where Kara is now looking at a picture book with Maggie.

“I must ask, Agent Danvers, do you interrogate all of Kara’s friends or just the ones with the last name ‘Luthor’?” Lena remarks drily.

“All of them, don't worry,” Maggie replies, grinning cheekily when Alex glares. “Love you babe, but you do.”

“Whatever,” she huffs. “The question remains: what were you doing at my apartment?”

“Kara was supposed to meet me for drinks and when she didn't show, I checked to see if there was a Supergirl-related emergency. I figured she must have forgotten so I texted her but it's been a few days and she normally responds quickly so I got worried. She wasn't answering her phone and I went to her apartment to find the door wide open and her things strewn about. I tried calling and texting again and when all else failed I tried to call you. Kara gave me your number for emergencies. When you didn't answer, I came here,” Lena explained. Maggie nodded and smiled at her. Kara just whined and wiggled on Maggie's lap.

“Are you bored, munchkin?” Maggie whispers. Kara wriggled away from her to get on the ground before shakily toddling over to Lena. “Oh no, just bored of me,” she laughs. Kara pats Lena’s knee and the young CEO just stares at her, wide-eyed and blinking for a minute.

“Um, what- what is happening? Does she need something?” Lena asks nervously, gaze flicking between Kara and Alex. Maggie just smiles, getting up to go search through the bags and find one of the toys they'd gotten for Kara.

“She just needs a little entertainment. She's a smart cookie and she needs to keep her mind working, right little one?” Alex says with a smile. She reaches over to tickle Kara's chin and the toddler holds out her arms to be picked up. Of course, Alex immediately swoops in to pick her up. She may not be great at this whole babysitting a toddler thing but she definitely knows how to hug her baby sister.

“Does she- does she remember us? Does she understand what's going on or is she just… a baby?” Lena asks, curious beyond belief. She tilts her head and stares at Kara, now playing with the plastic trains that Maggie had managed to rip from the package.

“Sort of? We can't really gauge how much she knows. She recognizes me and after some prompting, she got Winn and Maggie and J'onn but other than that she shows no signs of having her adult memories,” Alex explained. Maggie crashes back down onto the couch next to her with a smile.

“Hey Kara,” she says, “what's my name?” Kara's head pops up and she bounces on Alex's lap.

“Ma-he!” The name is mangled as Kara tried to speak around the pacifier but Maggie smiles and laughs, congratulating her anyway.

“Good girl! And who's this?” She points to Alex.

“Awex.” Kara leans forward to kiss Alex's cheek.

“Such a smart little girl!” Lena is smiling fondly now, leaning forward with her chin in her hand. “What's her name?” Maggie whispers, pointing to Lena. She was ready to give Kara the answer at the first sign of her not knowing but Kara replied just as quickly.

“Ena!” She punctuates this statement by crawling off of Alex's lap and toddling back to Lena, patting her knee and giggling. “‘Ena! Ena! Up!” She holds her arms up to the young CEO who's trying to hide her shock- she hadn't expected Kara to remember her name so readily. She sits there for a moment, unsure of how to react when Kara starts to squirm and try crawling up onto her lap. With a small smile, Lena lifts her up, only struggling a little bit, and seats her on her knee. Kara shifts and turns until she's facing Lena and buries her head in Lena's chest, her tiny arms immediately thrown around her neck. Lena only hesitates a moment before hugging her back, wrapping her arms all the way around the little girl. She holds her for a while until Kara pulls back and holds up her trains.

“Oh, uh, thank you, Kara,” Lena says stiffly, taking the proffered train. Lena can feel her cheeks turning pink as she imagines Alex and Maggie are laughing at her.

“Ena!” Kara smiles, holding out her train. Lena tentatively takes the train in her hand and runs it down Kara's arm as if it was the track, making train noises. Kara squeals and giggles before blabbering on in a language that Lena assumes must be Kryptonian. Immediately, Alex jumps in and responds in the same language. Lena relinquished her hold on Kara when the little girl squirmed and held her arms out for Alex to pick her up.

“Don't feel bad. Nothing comes between the Danvers sisters, no matter what. Happens to me all the time,” Maggie stage whispers. Lena blushes and smiles bashfully- had she really been so obvious in her disappointment? The two sisters in question are still conversing until they're interrupted by the obvious growling of Kara's stomach

“And that's my cue. Alright Danvers, little Danvers, little Luthor, I'm gonna go make some lunch for our resident alien garbage disposal. You gonna stay, Lena?” Maggie asks as she stands and moves toward the kitchen. She had made sure to stock up on real ingredients and things to make protein-rich and healthy meals for Kara (and hopefully get Alex to eat better too). Lena seems taken aback.

“I don't want to be a burden,” she says politely after a moment, rising as if to leave.

“It's not a burden,” Alex says.

At the same time, Kara shouts, “Ena! Ena no go!”

“Well, the princess has spoken,” Maggie smirks, reaching out to tickle Kara's chin playfully. “And she wants you to stay. So what do you say?”

“Then I guess I'm staying,” Lena smiles.

“Excellent! You can stay in here and play with Kara while I start to set up her bed and stuff,” Alex says. She quickly shifts Kara into Lena's arm before dragging the boxes towards her room to start setting things up. Lena's eyes widen and she holds Kara a bit awkwardly on her hip, trying to mimic Alex's grip while also trying to make a plan for how to do this. Smiling nervously, she looks at Kara.

“Uh, hi?” She winced. “What, um, what do you want to do?”

“Dow!” Kara squawks. Lena cocks her head to the side. Surely the toddler isn’t trying to start a conversation about the stock market. What could she be talking about? Lena tries to figure out if there’s someone in Kara’s life named “Dow” when Kara repeats the word, kicking and pointing to the floor.

“Oh, duh,” she whispers, putting the little girl down - really, how had she missed that one? Toddling off, Kara goes to dig in one of the bags until she manages to find the toy she wanted: a set of foam, multi-colored blocks. “You want to build something?” Kara nods, pushing the package toward Lena. The CEO beams; she might have little to no experience with toddlers but she is an engineer . She can do blocks.

 

“I hate blocks,” Lena grumbled, plopping her chin in her hands. It’s not that she couldn’t build. She could! Lena had built entire city models before, constructing the entirety of Metropolis and even National City out of Legos. But those were Legos, and that was on her own (okay, so building with Legos was how she relaxed while keeping her mind sharp after stressful meetings- sue her). But now, she was playing with foam blocks that wouldn’t stay balanced even when Kara wasn’t knocking over her towers or grabbing one of Lena’s blocks to add to her own tower.

“Ena! Hep!” Kara insists, pushing the blocks back towards Lena.

“You’re just going to knock it down,” Lena faux-pouts. “Why do you always knock my towers down, Kara?”

“Ena! Bid! Bid!” Kara hands Lena the blocks, clearly not understanding Lena as she switches to Kryptonian and blabbers at her.

“Are you doing to knock it down?” Lena pouts. Kara just smiles at her.

“Ena,” Kara says softly, coming over to kiss her cheek, the pacifier bumping against her. Lena smiles and pulls the giggling girl into a hug.

“That’s okay, don’t be sad! Now I know to make a special Kara-tower for you to knock down! How’s that sound?” Lena smiles, bouncing excitedly. Kara responds to her excitement

“Yeah!” Kara squeals, giggling and bouncing on her knees.

“Kara, say please and thank you,” Alex calls. “Say please and thank you, Kara,” she translates into Kryptonian. Lena startles having forgotten that Alex and Maggie were still in the apartment. She turned towards the kitchen to find them both comfortably sitting at the kitchen counter, drinking water. They look like they’ve been there for some time based on the way they’re smirking at Lena. Her cheeks turn pink.

Peas and Fank’oo! ” Lena assumes that she’s said her pleases and thank you’s based on Maggie’s response.

“Good girl,” Maggie praises. Kara squeals, pointing at the blocks, waiting for Lena to build the tower. She bites her bottom lip, suddenly embarrassed to be so silly and carefree in front of these people. Sure, it was Kara’s sister and her sister’s girlfriend, and Lena had met them once or twice but they still weren’t quite friends.

“Ena, bid! Peas!” Kara repeats in English this time.

“Yeah, we were just taking a break, Lena. Lunch is just simmering on the stove. One more tower, Kar, then it’s time to eat,” Alex tells her, smiling at Lena. She makes a point to stand and turn around, going back into the fridge. Maggie follows, eyes twinkling as they work to give Lena some semblance of privacy, some modicum to help her work through her awkwardness.

“Okay, if this is our last tower, then let’s make it a big one, okay? We’re gonna use every block to make this one, okay? So don’t knock it down until we’re ready, got it?” Lena whispers. Kara nods, holding her tummy and swaying back and forth while she waits for Lena to finish building. It takes her only five minutes, and it’s not pretty. It’s basically just the blocks piled up together in a pretty precarious fashion. Lena tried to make a few towers for her to knock over. While she was building, Kara had kept bringing her more blocks, giggling and squealing and clapping her hands together with every block Lena added.

“Alright, Kara, this is… done! Time to knock it down! Go, go, go!” Lena laughs, watching as Kara immediately starts punching and kicking at the blocks, laughing as each one fell. As they fell, they were hitting Lena in the face but she just laughed and held her hands up to block it until finally, the tower had fallen. Kara just stared at the blocks, still giggling.

“Alright little bug, time to clean those up so we can have lunch,” Maggie says. Kara just walks towards Maggie, arms up and asking to be held. “Nuh uh, cutie pie. You gotta clean up and then I’ll pick you up,” Maggie says firmly. Alex translates from behind the counter and Kara starts to whine.

Alex cuts her off, whispering in Kryptonian, “Hey, I bet if you ask nicely, Lena will help.” They both turn to look at Lena, who had been checking her emails on her phone.

“Mhmm,” Lena nods, smiling just a little too big to seem natural. Kara huffs and frowns but goes over to help Lena start shoving the blocks back into the container.

“Good girl,” Maggie smiles, watching as they clean up. Once Kara has put the last block in the box, Maggie swoops her up and she giggles, taking her to the kitchen sink to wash her hands. Lena smiles and uses the hand sanitizer from her purse before taking a seat at Alex’s table.

“You know, we probably should have asked before. Do you have any allergies or dietary restrictions or whatever?” Alex asks as she moves the food onto the table. “We made American Chop Suey, so it’s got meat and pasta in it and you can put cheese on it. But we also have some steamed veggies, if you’re vegetarian, and Maggie has some vegan cheese because she’s lactose intolerant,” Alex continues, rambling a bit nervously. She’s never really hung out with Lena without Kara there and she’s never really been good at making friends- not without making fun of them or being sarcastic, that is. And Alex doesn’t think she’s at the point where she can make fun of Lena just yet.

“It’s fine, Agent Danvers-”

“Alex,” she interrupts. “You can call me Alex.”

“It’s fine, Alex ,” Lena repeats, smiling softly. “I have no dietary restrictions. American chop suey used to be… one of my favorites. The cooks at home could only make it when my parents weren’t around.” She smiles as the smell wafts over to her. It smells exactly like the cooks used to make it, warm and rich. As Maggie settles Kara into the plastic high chair and gets a bib around her neck before giving her the food. Lena remembers the nanny tying a napkin around her neck like a bib well up until she was nearly nine years old ( “It’s a messy food, dear, nothing wrong with it. We don’t want your mother to hear about any stains, right?” she would say). They’re sitting and eating, and Lena can’t help but feel like this is what a childhood should be like (even if Kara isn’t really a child). Lena can’t help but feel like this is what family should be like.

 

No, no sleep, Alex. I not tired. No, no, no,” Kara whines in Kryptonian. Soon after eating- Kara still ate more than a toddler should, probably more than any of the adults ate, too- Kara’s head started to nod and she was rubbing her eyes. But when Alex had picked her up and tried to take her to bed, Kara started whining.

“Yes, Kara. Yes, sleep. You are very tired,” Alex sighs and tells her as the young Kryptonian struggles against Alex’s attempts to change her out of her clothes and into sleep clothes.

“It’s such a beautiful language,” Lena sighs, sitting back and listening from her spot in the living room. Maggie nods, keeping one eye on the guest room where they’d set up Kara’s bed and things to see if Alex needed her help. “I should really get going, though. I never meant to stay this long. I just needed to make sure Kara was alright.”

“Got a busy life as a CEO, right?” Maggie smiles teasingly but Lena is too used to being defensive.

“It’s a multimillion-dollar, international company. In addition to all of that, I also work in the lab with my technicians. So yes, it is a fairly busy life,” she says stiffly. Maggie throws her hands up in a surrender position.

“Whoa, didn’t mean to imply anything, Lena. I was just teasing. Even before I met you, I admired how hard you worked. It’s a compliment, not an insult or a jab,” Maggie explains gently.

“Oh, sorry,” Lena says softly, cheeks turning pink as she starts to gather her things together.

“Don’t apologize, it’s fine,” Maggie says. Lena nods tersely, tying her coat up. Alex returns a minute later as she had finally gotten Kara into pajamas and she had fallen asleep almost immediately after being laid down.

“You heading out?” Alex asks. Lena nods. “Alright. Do you, uh, need a ride, or something?”

“No, I’ve arranged for my driver to come get me. Thank you for your hospitality,” she says a little stiffly.

“Thank you for playing blocks with my sister,” Alex replies, a teasing smile on her face. Lena just blushes. “You should give me your number so that if I need it- or, like, Kara needs you or something- I can talk to you.”

“Babe, you asking for another woman’s number while I’m right here?” Maggie teases, hip-checking her. Alex rolls her eyes as Lena puts her number in Alex’s phone. Smiling and waving a little awkwardly, Lena takes her leave to go meet her driver downstairs. Alex waits until the door closes behind her before going to collapse on the couch, exhausted already and it’s barely even the afternoon.

“Hey babe, does this mean Lena is part of the Superfriends now?” Maggie asks with a grin, collapsing onto Alex’s lap. Alex just groaned and laughed; if Kara had anything to say about it, Lena was definitely in the Superfriends.

Chapter Text

“Where’s Lena?” Kara asks once she’s woken from her nap, looking from Alex to Maggie and back again. Alex was changing her into a dry diaper but Kara was squirming, trying to find Lena somewhere in the apartment.

“Gone, little one. She had to go back to work.” Alex is too busy with getting Kara’s legs back into a brand new pair of corduroy overalls to notice how Kara’s eyes fill with tears and her lower lip trembles. Until Alex goes to pull a cotton t-shirt over her head. “ Oh, my little one, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” she asks, quickly fixing the shirt.

“Lena l-left me?” Kara whimpers. Alex quickly snaps the overalls into place and picks Kara up. Maggie comes up next to Alex, rubbing Kara’s back gently. She doesn’t know exactly why Kara is crying but she’s mentioned Lena twice so Maggie could hazard a guess.

“Oh, sweetheart, she’s coming back,” Alex says immediately. She knows they hadn’t made any plans with Lena again but clearly she misses her. “We can make plans for another playdate with her if you want, okay?” Kara just continues to whine, whimpering Lena’s name over and over again.

“Alex, is everything alright?” Maggie whispers.

“I-I think she misses Lena?” Alex says, unsure. “I told her… we could play again another day? Like, invite her over.”

“Oh, poor baby, that must be so sad. To wake up and your friend left without saying goodbye. I bet you don’t like that much, do you?” Maggie coos, squeezing Kara’s shoulder lightly. She turns to whisper to Alex- not that it matters much whether she whispers or not since Kara can’t understand English. “It looks a little like separation anxiety, Ally. Did she ever have that when you were teenagers? It’s most often seen in kids but… Sometimes trauma can bring it back.”

“Separation anxiety… Yeah, she sort of had that when she first got here. She was terrified whenever I went to school, whenever my parents left for work. My mom had to… she took some time off. Worked from home so she could be with K- my sister more. For a while, my little sister would make a huge deal out of every goodbye. If I left for school, there were long hugs and she’d say she wanted me to know she loved me, she cared about me, she would miss me so much. Eventually, my mom got the help of a psychiatrist who works with Superman. It helped,” Alex explained.

“Okay, so now we know. She’s got some abandonment issues, okay? So when someone has to leave, they say goodbye to her before they go. That might help. I’ll do some research into how we can help. Maybe… we could FaceTime with Lena so Kara can see her quickly? Just say goodbye?” Maggie suggests. The little girl perks up hearing her and Lena’s names. Maggie notices Kara’s thumb has crept into her mouth and she quickly replaces it with the pacifier that had been left in the makeshift crib.

“Kara, my sweet girl? Would you feel better if you could see Lena on the video screen? Say goodbye to her?” Alex asks, kissing Kara’s hairline, smoothing down the dirty blonde curls. Kara nods eagerly.

“Hey, Mags, can you-”

“I’ve already texted her. Aaaand- yep, she responded. She just got out of a meeting so she has a few minutes before the next one. I’m dialing,” Maggie interrupts, smiling at her girlfriend. Alex loved how Maggie could almost read her mind. Lena picked up on the second ring.

“Hello, Maggie,” Lena said, smirking slightly. Miss me already?” Maggie chuckled, loving how Lena seems to have gained some confidence after being so flustered while playing blocks with Kara. Maggie figures it has something to do with Lena being in her office, in her territory, or maybe her meeting had gone particularly well. Either way, Maggie just laughed and shook her head.

“Well, not just me. It appears our dear friend Baby Danvers doesn’t like when people just disappear on her. We thought it might be helpful if she could see you to say goodbye until next time. That alright by you?” Maggie explains, glancing at where Kara is eagerly wiggling in Alex’s arms, hearing Lena’s voice.

“Oh, no,” Lena says softly, frowning. “Had I known, I wouldn’t have waited until she was asleep before slipping out. Of course. Put her on right now.” Maggie nods, moving so that Lena can see Kara and vice versa. She ends up facing Kara, holding the phone out but it allows her to see the way Kara’s entire face lights up as she waves at Lena.

“Lena! You left me and I missed you but now you’re back and-” Alex laughs, cutting off her little sister’s rambling.

“Kara, little one, slow. Speak in English so Lena can understand.” Kara nods and Alex takes the pacifier out, helping clarify her speech.

“H-hello, Lena,” Kara tries again. Lena smiles and nods encouragingly. “I-I-I miss y-you.”

“I missed you too, sweet girl. I’m sorry I left while you were asleep and frightened you. Next time I’ll be sure to say goodbye, alright?” Lena apologizes. She glances up, beyond the camera and Alex wonders if her assistant is calling to her for her next meeting.

“You left me,” she pouts. “Wanna play again.”

“Later, sweetheart. I have to work right now. I just called so you could say goodbye and I promise we can play another time, okay?”

“Mmmkay,” Kara pouts.

“Alright, Kara, it looks like Lena has to go. Can you say ‘bye-bye’?” Alex prompts, taking Kara’s hand to make her wave.

“Bye-bye Lena,” Kara sighs, wiggling her fingers at the screen.

“Bye-bye, Kara, dear. I’ll talk to you again soon, alright?” Kara whined a bit but waved and said goodbye as Lena disconnected the call.

“Feel better, baby girl?” Maggie asks, putting her phone in her pocket and kissing Kara’s forehead. “Danvers, you wanna head to the park? Take the kid for a nice walk. Maybe play on the playground? While we’re there we can… work out some stuff.”

“W-work out stuff? What stuff? What’s wrong?” Alex asks nervously, putting Kara down to let her toddle around, trailing a blanket from Alex’s bed as she goes to play with some of her toys.

“Nothing’s wrong, Al. We just need to figure out what we tell people about your sister. How we’re going to schedule taking care of her. What we’re going to do if it takes them a long time to reverse this. Feeding her, clothing her, just taking care of her. We need a plan, babe. It’s nothing bad, we just need to hammer out some of the details,” Maggie assures her, grasping at Alex’s hands.

“Oh, uh, yeah. Okay. We can do that. A plan is good. I’ll pack some diapers and some spare clothes and stuff in a bag if you go sit with Kara,” Alex says, nodding decisively. Maggie just smirks, kisses Alex and goes to join Kara in the living room.

 

“Kara, remember the rules for being at the playground?” Alex says softly, leaning down to where Kara is squirming in the stroller they’d bought. Kara is struggling to unclasp the complicated buckles, but immediately turns and looks at Alex when her older sister repeats her name firmly.

“English only. Play gentle so I don’t hurt the other kids. Ummm…” Kara trails off hesitantly, fiddling with the buttons on her overalls.

“Stay where we can see you,” Alex supplies. “Got it?” she asks, switching back into English.

“Yeah!” Kara giggles, kicking her feet. “Out, Alex, out! Wanna play!”

“Oh, you wanna play, huh? You wanna get out,” Alex teases, tickling Kara. Her baby sister squeals and wiggles, trying to get away from Alex’s wriggling fingers but finding nowhere to escape.

“No, no, no!” Kara giggles.

“No? You don’t want to go out and play? You want to stay here with us?” Alex asks.

“Alex, give the poor kid a break,” Maggie smiles. “Let her go play on the playground.” Alex smirks at her before finally stopping her assault on Kara’s ticklish belly, unbuckling her and putting her down on the ground. She holds onto Kara’s shoulder, pointing out towards the playground for a moment, delineating where Kara can go.

“You stay on all of the yellow equipment, understand? Do you know which one is yellow?” Alex repeats the word for the color in Kryptonese. Kara nods and points to the smaller playground set, one built specifically for smaller bodies. It’s two short slides, big wide stairs, a few swings, a tunnel to crawl through and a playhouse among other things; Alex and Maggie figure it would be safe enough for her to play on and they can walk around to monitor her as she plays. “Alright, good girl. Go play, but don’t go too far,” she repeats. Kara giggles, immediately toddling off to climb the steps. Alex watches for a moment as she slides down the slide, laughing and looking to see Alex and Maggie watching, waving before she continues playing.

“So, you ready to talk?” Maggie says softly, eyes still locked on Kara. When Alex murmurs her consent, Maggie moves to park the stroller next to the fence with about a dozen others, taking their phones as they move to go see Kara wandering around and playing.

“Um… So… What do we… wanna do? About all of this?” Alex murmurs, walking around with her arms crossed over her chest.

“We need a schedule. I’m sure J’onn will give you time off to take care of Kara, emergencies notwithstanding but I know you need to be able to go to work or you go a little stir crazy.” Alex blushes, but nods. “So I was thinking… Could we trade off taking care of her? I have a really good maternity leave agreement and plenty of vacation time saved up.”

“They extended your maternity leave to cover-”

“Adoption, foster children or suddenly taking on a child for an extended period for any reason,” Maggie finishes, nodding. “I figure we can get some fake paperwork that says she’s an emergency foster placement, or a family member of yours or something. Then I can take some time off these next few days to get her settled and you can go into work to help Winn figure out what’s up with this. Then you and I can switch on and off so one of us is with her at all times.” Maggie hesitates. “I mean if you’re okay with that. If you’re not totally comfortable with that, I understand and I’m sure J’onn would give you time off and stuff, I just wanted to present you with options, I guess and-” Alex interrupts Maggie’s nervous rambling by kissing her. They keep it PG since it is a public place, after all, before pulling away and smiling at each other.

“I would love it if you would help me take care of my sister, babe. And I absolutely trust you and I am completely comfortable. Besides, she loves you. It’ll be fine.” Maggie blushes under Alex’s kind words, hugging herself around the middle and swaying slightly. “The only thing I’m worried about is what happens if we’re both called into work.”

“Then we’ll figure it out, you and me, babe,” Maggie smiles. Alex nods, beaming at her. “Okay, now that we’ve got that settled, we can just relax a bit. What are you feeling for dinner tonight?” Alex feels her heart swell at the domesticity of it all, wrapping her arm around Maggie’s waist before they continue ambling around the playground, keeping an eye on Kara and occasionally joining in her playing.

 

“She's so cute! Is she yours?” Someone asks as Alex laughs and puts Kara at the top of the slide to let her slide down, giggling all the way, shouting “again, again!” Maggie turns to smile at the woman next to them. She was blonde and perky and entirely too close. Maggie took a step back before replying.

“Yeah, for a while,” she smiles politely in response. Seeing the woman's confused expression, she elaborates on their predetermined lie. “She's my girlfriend’s cousin. We're taking care of her for a little while since her cousin is going through some tough times health-wise.” The woman nods sympathetically.

“Well, she's beautiful. How old?” Maggie watches, smiling as Kara toddles off to climb or play. Alex comes over to chat, too and they all slowly started to walk around the playground to keep an eye on Kara.

“Turns two next week,” Alex lies seamlessly.

“Oh! They're so cute at that age, even with the occasional temper tantrum,” the woman laughs, winking. “You'll want to cherish these moments, let me tell you. My oldest is sixteen now and man, do I miss the days of playground slides and tantrums over cookies,” she laughs and Maggie and Alex smile politely.

“Your oldest- so how many do you have?” Alex asks curiously.

“Oh, that's my fifth and youngest over there. Hi, Eric! Play nice, okay? Take turns on the swing,” she calls to a little brown haired boy. He nods and waves back. Maggie and Alex smile politely.

“Babe, we should get ready to head back. It's almost dinner time,” Maggie says, tugging on Alex's arm. The woman follows them as they go to pack their stuff into the stroller.

“Oh, that’s so sweet. It’s fun at first, isn’t it? I remember with my first it felt like we were playing house for a while before it really set in,” the woman continues. Maggie nods politely while Alex searches around for Kara.

“Kara?” she calls, not immediately seeing her on the toddler playground equipment anywhere. “Kara, sweetheart, it’s time to go. Where are you?” Maggie stands, abandoning the stroller to follow Alex around, trying to find Kara among the other toddlers and caretakers playing. “Kara?” she calls, panic starting to seep into her tone. Had one of Supergirl’s enemies found out that she was vulnerable and snatched her? Had some normal human creep targeted her and kidnapped her? As they start to move faster, other parents and adults start to check that their children are accounted for.

“Kara, where are you? Come out, baby girl,” Alex tries in Kryptonian.

“Kara?” Maggie calls, splitting off from Alex to try and cover more space. She realizes the woman has followed them and is shouting for her son Eric, smiling and going to hug him. Where would Kara be? Maggie thought nervously. Alex has run to the playground for the older kids and Maggie moves to explore the farther corners of the playground area. Turning the corner around a tree, she finds Kara sitting in the sandbox, digging a hole.

“Kara!” Maggie yelps; Kara flinches. “Alex, I found her,” she yells back. Immediately, Alex is sprinting over and scooping Kara up, speaking in frantic Kryptonese.

“You scared me, sweet girl. Why didn’t you answer when we called? Why didn’t you stay where we could see you?” she asks, pressing kisses to Kara’s forehead to let her know there is no anger there.

“I was digging a hole,” Kara says as if that should explain everything.

“Okay, okay, Al, let’s go back home, okay? She’s safe and we can talk to her about this at home,” Maggie whispers, noting the way people are watching Alex and Kara interact, listening to the language they’re speaking. Maggie knows it’s at least partially due to the fact that she and Alex were obviously panicked, running around searching for their kid- that thought sends a small thrill through Maggie, their kid- and they were now watching the resolution to the drama. But still, Alex and Maggie didn’t need Kara getting too much attention like this.

“Right, right,” Alex mutters. She kisses Kara’s head again and puts the pacifier in her mouth, taking it out of her pocket, before she buckles her into the stroller. “Okay, let’s get home all in one piece, right?” she smiles, trying to smirk but it wobbles, still affected by the panic of momentarily losing Kara.

“Yeah, let’s go home.” Maggie nods decisively, leaning down to press a kiss to the top of Kara’s head and taking one of Alex’s hands as they push the stroller.

Chapter Text

Alex waited until they were back home before continuing her conversation with Kara.

“Baby, why didn’t you stay where we could see you?” she asked while Maggie went to go start on dinner. Kara just wrinkled her nose, tilting her head as if she didn’t understand. Alex figured maybe she was having a hard time understanding the English, so she translates into Kryptonese. “Why didn’t you stay where we could see you?”

“Diggin’ a hole!” Kara replied in English.

“Kara, baby, there was a sandbox right next to me and Maggie. Why did you go so far away?” Alex persists. Kara bites her lip, shrugging.

“I ‘unno,” she mumbled.

“Kara, I need you to listen when we tell you to do something,” Alex scolds gently. “You really scared us! You should have come when you heard us yelling for you.” Kara’s baby crinkle shows up again so Alex translates into Kryptonese again.

I’m sorry ,” Kara whimpered in Kryptonese, her lower lip wobbling. Alex immediately scoops her up, hugging her again.

“You’re okay, Kara. You’re okay. I just want to make sure you understand that we need you to listen to us, yeah?” Alex whispers, kissing her hair.

“Yeah!” Kara crows back.

“Okay, so what should we do while we wait for Maggie to finish making food?” Alex asks, bouncing Kara on her hip. Kara just giggles, so Alex leads her into the guest room- Kara’s makeshift nursery. The walls were a light grayish blue to fit in with the rest of Alex’s apartment. Though there was a full-sized bed in the room, it had been shoved into the corner to make room for everything else. Maggie and Alex had put up toddler rails on the bed for Kara. In one corner, Alex had piled all of the boxes of toys and things, waiting to open them as needed. She’d put away all of the clothes in the bureau drawers and stored the diapers and things like that in the bottom of the closet. Shortly after Lena had left, a large, comfortable rocking chair had been delivered, courtesy of the young CEO. Alex and Maggie had yet to use it, but they were grateful nonetheless.

“P’ay! New toys!” Kara squeals, squirming to get out of Alex’s grip. As soon as her sister puts her down, Kara toddles over to the pile of toys and grabs the fake food play set.

“Typical Kara,” Alex snorts, grabbing the Swiss army knife from her keychain to open up the box, handing each piece to Kara with the reminder, “it’s just pretend. Do not eat it, Kara.” Once it’s all laid out on the floor, Kara giggles and begins to rearrange the food as if making a meal. Alex is content to watch, taking a seat on the rocking chair and watching as Kara prepares plates full of fake food. “Oh, remind me to thank Lena,” Alex exhales softly, sinking into the memory foam cushions of the oversized rocking chair, gently rocking herself back and forth.

“Sissy!” Kara yells, causing Alex to immediately open her eyes and sit up straight.

“What’s up, baby?” she asks, a moment later registering the title Kara had given her; when she did, she smiled goofily.

“That!” Kara whined, pointing to the pile of toys. Alex just tilts her head, narrowing her eyes.

“What, baby girl?”

“That!” Kara repeats insistently.

“I need you to be more specific, sweetheart.” Alex stands and starts pointing to random toys. “This? Maybe this?” she tries, holding up the boxes. Kara grows more frustrated, whining and yelling each time Alex gets it wrong. “Then you show me, Munchkin,” Alex suggests, going to pick up Kara and bring her towards the pile. “Show me ,” she repeats in Kryptonese. Whimpering in relief, Kara leans out towards the pile to grab the bag of stuffed animals hiding in the corner.

“These,” Kara explains, pulling out the five different plush toys Maggie and Alex had grabbed. “They hungry.”

“Ohhh,” Alex nodded, putting Kara back down on the ground. She watched, chuckling as Kara set up the animals in a circle, each one with a plate of food set in front of them.

“Sissy, what ‘dis?” Kara asked after a moment, holding up one of the plush toys. She had been staring at it intently for some time.

“That’s a lion, baby. It’s like a really big kitty,” Alex explains.

“Meow?” Kara asks. Alex had gone over some of the animal sounds earlier that day and she was proud of her baby girl for remembering.

“Sort of, baby. More like RAWR,” Alex chuckles, tickling Kara when she roared. Kara laughed and set the lion down.

“What ‘dis?” Kara asks, pointing to each animal in turn. Alex proceeded to name each animal for Kara, making the sounds for a dog, duck, elephant, and bunny in turn as Kara pointed to them. Finally satisfied, Kara went on with her playing, feeding each of her animals. Alex sat back and scrolled through her phone, trying to figure out what days would be best for her to take off so that Maggie could go into work often enough.

She smirks, switching from her schedule to her camera when she sees Kara playing, making her animals walk around and have gibberish conversations with each other. She takes a few pictures, then switches to video as Kara starts to mimic the animal noises as best as she could remember. With her wispy blonde curls falling into her face and her chubby cheeks, Alex doesn’t think her heart can take any more cuteness from this little girl, but she knows it won’t last, so she decides to record as much of it as she can.

By the time Maggie calls them in for dinner, Alex has a new background on her phone and three new videos, and Kara has made sure all of her friends are eating happily before she lets Alex scoop her up and take her into the dining room.

 

“Someone’s getting sleepy,” Maggie cooed, watching as Kara built little houses out of blocks for her animals. She’d been playing for almost an hour and was indeed rubbing her eyes with her fist and yawning sleepily. “Alex, babe, we should probably start to establish a bedtime routine,” Maggie tells her. Alex, who had spent the past hour reading tips on childrearing online, nodded in agreement.

“Right. I’m thinking we do bath time at night. We can wash her hair every other day, maybe, unless it gets dirty during the day? Then after a bath, we can put her in some comfy jammies, read a story, and put her to bed. Anything you’d like to add?” Alex suggests, rattling off the suggestions she’d compiled from the sites she’d researched. Maggie smiles and raises her eyebrows, impressed.

“Nope sounds good. Maybe, if she has trouble falling asleep, we can put on a lullaby playlist or we could sing or something. Do you want me to go get the bath stuff while you help her clean up?” Alex nods and Maggie goes into the temporary nursery.

“Kara, time to clean up,” Alex says gently. Kara whines and grumbles, sticking her thumb in her mouth but begins to pick up the toys with her free hand. “What a good girl,” Alex praises, kissing her hair and helping her pick up. Once the blocks are back in the bucket, Alex tosses the stuffed animals onto the couch and scoops up Kara, bringing her to the bathroom where Maggie has already started the water.

“So, I forgot to grab a bath mat so that it’s not as slippery. But I figure, for now, she can just sit in this laundry basket. Plus, now the toys won’t float away,” Maggie explains, putting the basket in the tub. Alex just nods, stripping Kara of her clothes before checking her diaper. Finding it wet, she throws it out and wipes Kara carefully before holding her on her lap, wrapped in the towel while they wait for the tub to fill.

“What about bubbles?” Alex asks. “Kids love bubbles.”

“Yeah, but spending too long in the soapy water can be really irritating for her little skin, especially her, um, well, her privates,” Maggie stated, keeping her wrist under the water. Alex just blushes and nods. “We can add the soap and bubbles after when she’s done playing.” With that, she turns off the water and deposits the plastic fish and toy boats in the laundry basket. The water flowed through the sides of the basket so that it sank to the bottom and the toys bobbed around, trapped in the basket.

“Alright, Kara, time for a bath,” Alex says softly, putting the little girl into the basket. Kara just stares blankly at the toys for a minute before looking up at Alex and Maggie, sleepy confusion all over her face, thumb still hanging out of her mouth. Maggie chuckles, disappearing for a moment before returning and replacing Kara’s thumb with a pacifier emblazoned with the crest of the House of El.

“Play with them, baby girl,” Maggie explains, making the fish dive underwater before splashing a little bit of water at her. Kara giggles, taking the toys and playing with them. Alex and Maggie watch her for a moment, fond smiles on their faces. “We should get her clean before the water starts to get cold,” Maggie whispers after a while.

“One more minute to play, sweetheart. Then it’s time to get clean,” Alex tells Kara. The little girl pouts and whines behind her pacifier, but continues to play. After a minute, Alex reminds her. “Alright, playtime is over, Kara. Mags, can you wet the washcloth and get started while I put the toys away?” Alex starts to gather up the toys but Kara snatches two of the fishes, hugging them close to her chest.

“No!” she pouts.

“Kara, I need you to listen,” Alex says sternly.

“No! No, no, no,” Kara chants, shaking her head.

“Kara Danvers!” Alex frowns.

“Kara, can you hand me the toys, please? If you listen like a good girl, I can put the toys right here so that you can still see them floating around, okay?” Maggie suggests. Kara frowned, but slowly handed them over. “Good girl,” she praises, putting the fish in the water near the drain, just outside of the laundry basket. They’re out of Kara’s reach but she can still see them.

Finishing the bath went easier after Kara’s initial stubbornness, and within time, Kara was all clean and dressed in pajamas with cats all over them. Alex made her a bottle of warm milk and they moved to the living room, hesitating for a moment. They had only bought a few story books but were trying to figure out how to proceed.

“Do we both read to her?” Alex whispered. Kara was yawning in her arms, fiddling with her pajama top and sucking on the pacifier.

“We can do whatever you want,” Maggie says earnestly. “She’s your little-sister-turned-actual-baby. It’s your decision, understand? I want to do whatever’s comfortable.”

“Well, I know the bed is pretty small. And while it won’t exactly be comfortable, I do want you to do this with me. It’s… I want you to do this. With me. Come cuddle, read the story,” Alex smiles, shifting Kara so she can grab Maggie’s hand and pull her towards the guest room. Maggie grabs a story and follows, a smile on her face. It takes them a few moments to get situated on the bed, sitting up against the headboard with Kara lying between them, rubbing her eyes sleepily.

Goodnight Moon , oh I loved this book,” Alex smiles.

“Read it, please?” Kara whispers in sleepy Kryptonese, muffled by the pacifier.

“Of course, baby girl,” Alex whispers, kissing her head. She wraps an arm around Kara’s back, resting her hand on Maggie’s shoulder. Maggie turns to smile over Kara’s head. “‘In the great green room, there was a telephone, and a red balloon, and a picture of-’ look, Kara, see the red balloon? Yes, right there!” Alex turns the page and looks at Maggie, urging her to continue reading.

“‘The cow jumping over the moon. And there were three little bears, sitting on chairs. And two little kittens, and a pair of mittens-’”

“Meow!” Kara interrupts, pointing to the little kittens on the page.

“Good job, Kara! Yes, the cat says meow. ‘And a little toy house and a young mouse,’” Maggie finished the page, glancing at Alex as they flip the page.

“‘And a comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush. And a quiet old lady who was whispering ‘hush’,’” Alex reads.

“‘Goodnight room, goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon.’” Maggie smiles at Alex, watching as Kara’s eyes flutter closed.

“‘Goodnight light, and the red balloon. Goodnight bears and goodnight chairs. Goodnight kittens and goodnight mittens. Goodnight clocks and goodnight socks.’ Is she asleep?” Alex whispers.

“Close. Let’s just finish this to make sure.”

“Only because this is my favorite book,” Alex grins. Maggie rolls her eyes and shrugs lightly, turning the page and continuing.

“‘Goodnight little house, and goodnight mouse. Goodnight comb and goodnight brush. Goodnight nobody and goodnight mush. And goodnight to the old lady whispering ‘hush’,’” Maggie said, emphasizing the ‘hush’, letting it wash over the room. Kara’s nose twitched slightly and she sighed, settling deeper into the bed. Maggie flips the page, waiting for Alex to finish the book.

“‘Goodnight stars, goodnight air, and goodnight noises everywhere ,’” Alex smiled. She kissed Kara’s head again before nodding her chin at Maggie. Maggie rolled out of the bed and Alex awkwardly climbed over Kara before pulling up the toddler rails. She tucked Kara in and went out to meet Maggie in the living room. She pulled Maggie into a slow, soft kiss, smiling when she pulled away.

“I love you, Maggie Sawyer,” she whispered.

“I love you, Alex Danvers,” she responds, giving her another quick kiss. They sigh, content to just hold each other in the middle of the living room before falling onto the couch to sit down. Maggie makes a face, squirming as she pulls out the stuffed animals. She smiles at the stuffed dog in her hands and hugs it to her chest, crawling over to lay on top of Alex. “Plans for tomorrow?” she asks softly.

“I was going to go in for a few hours after a nice breakfast with you and Kara. Talk to J’onn about spending time at home. Maybe work with Winn a little bit to figure out what we can about this. That alright?”

“Yeah, I just have to go into the precinct for a while to fill out some paperwork to take the time off I need. Now, I could go in the morning while you’re gone, but I’d take Kara with me. And sure, that adds a certain credibility to my story,” Maggie grins playfully. “But I don’t know how you feel about bringing her into the station. Actually, it would probably be helpful if you could get me those fake papers from your boss. I need proof that we’re her guardians right now.”

“I can do that. I’ll get the papers and when I get back later in the afternoon, I’ll take Kara and you go to your office.” Maggie just nods her agreement and moves to nuzzle into the crook of Alex’s neck. “Look at us, all domestic. Planning who’s taking the kid when and taking shifts,” Alex giggles. She’d been dating Maggie for nearly a year now but she was still struck by how good it felt, how different it felt to actually enjoy all of these feelings.

“Do you like that?” Maggie asks, lifting up her head to peer at Alex curiously.

“It feels good. I know- um, I know we’re just… just dating but… You feel like family. And this… it feels like family. Taking care of Kara. Feels like family, right? And that’s- I think that’s good really, and-”

“Alex, you’re rambling,” Maggie interrupts gently. She rises up on her hands to kiss Alex’s nose. “And it is good. I am happy to have this little family- you, me, and Kara- for as long as we have it. Because I know it’s not forever, not like this. You and Winn will get Kara back to normal, but we’ll still be family, understand? Now, why don’t we get into a shower of our own, get into some pajamas, and go read before bed?” Maggie rises, kissing Alex and pulling her off the bed.

“Sounds good,” Alex giggles, kissing Maggie. She holds her by her hips, pulling her closer and licking Maggie’s bottom lip. Maggie moans, opening her mouth and giving Alex the access she desired. They stood there kissing for a few more minutes, tongues exploring each other and hands beginning to roam before Alex pulled away. “Race you to the shower?” she asks, quirking an eyebrow.

“I’ll meet you there in a minute. I want to lock up and stuff. Make sure everything is away,” Maggie explains. Alex nods, grinning cheekily as she turns and walks away, swinging her hips a bit more than usual. Maggie just shakes her head, walking back to the discarded stuffed animal on the ground. She picks up the puppy, smiling at it as she walked into Kara’s room. Careful not to wake her, Maggie places the puppy in the bed next to Kara. She chuckles, watching Kara immediately snuggle the stuffed toy.

“Goodnight baby girl. Sleep tight,” Maggie whispered, brushing back Kara’s hair and kissing her forehead. She watches as Kara smiles before going back to meet Alex in the shower. God, she loves her Danvers girls.

Chapter Text

“So, I’m just going in for a little while. I’ll leave by noon, and I promise I will get some fake paperwork for you to bring to your boss. If you have any problems, just call,” Alex whispered. Maggie nodded sleepily, rubbing her eyes. While she preferred to be asleep at 5:30AM on her days off, she woke up when Alex’s alarm went off and stayed in a semi-awake state so that Alex could ramble nervously to her about what the schedule is for the day- even though they’ve gone over it at least ten times already.

“Yes, babe, I know. Now, go to work. Let me go back to sleep,” Maggie groaned softly, rubbing her eyes. Alex rolled her eyes but leaned over to kiss Maggie goodbye.

“Make sure the monitor is on! Kara usually gets up with the sun, so you might be in for an early start. Love you, bye!” Alex whisper-shouted as she ran out, chuckling at Maggie’s comical groan as she laid back down to try and get some more sleep. Alex quickly gave Kara a kiss on the cheek before ducking out of her apartment to get back to work and try and establish some normalcy in her freakish life.

 

“Agent Danvers, come to my office as soon as you can. We have to discuss your current situation,” J’onn ordered the moment she walked in. Alex nodded briskly and headed off to put her things in her locker. She wondered absently when J’onn left the DEO- if ever. After clocking in, putting her personal items away and holstering her weapon properly, Alex went to J’onn’s office, finding him sitting at his desk, reviewing files.

“Sir, you wanted to see me? I have some things I wanted to talk to you about in terms of this situation we have,” Alex announced.

“Yes. You will need to be home more until we’ve resolved this. Until we know what caused this sudden regression, we need someone to keep a close eye on Supergirl. And the public cannot know a word about this; I will be posing as Supergirl as needed to keep up public morale and avoid suspicion,” J’onn said, pausing a moment to wait for Alex’s nod of understanding. He continued, “Now, in terms of dealing with a superpowered toddler, you’re going to need advice from those who’ve come before you. Have you spoken to the Kents about what to expect in terms of her powers?” Alex shifted guiltily.

“No, sir,” she said, not quite looking him in the eye.

“Why not? I would think that a capable agent such as yourself would have already taken the opportunity to gather more information in an unfamiliar situation,” he said, raising an eyebrow in surprise.

“I… Sir, we don’t even know if she’ll be like Superman, in terms of his development. He came to Earth as a baby and was slowly introduced to the radiation as he grew. But Kara was older, Kara is older. She developed on Krypton, then continued on Earth. She had heat vision and x-ray vision at twelve when she came to stay with us. Superman didn’t get those until he was at least fifteen. The development patterns weren’t completely alike, so I wasn’t certain that it would be prudent to base our care of her on Superman’s development. Having only one data point is an unreliable basis for a course of action,” Alex said, trying to feign calmness. But J’onn could hear her racing heart, could probably read her guilty mind, too.

“That was the agent’s answer. What’s your answer, Alex?” J’onn challenged. “And don’t try lying to me.”

“Okay, so I haven’t really… told my mom yet. And I didn’t want to call the Kents because I knew Martha would call my mom and... I know she’s probably going to want to come for a visit to help and to study Kara, and I just… I wanted to give myself some time without that. I know we’ve been working through some of our issues but… we’re just… we’re oil and water, J’onn. I know she loves me and I love her, but we just don’t always work well together,” Alex said, standing and pacing around the office like a caged lion.

“I understand your relationship with Eliza can be… difficult. But we need her. She has studied alien physiology and development. We need her help to try and get Kara back to herself. So, you need to talk to the Kents to get some background on Superman’s powers at age two, and you need to tell your mother. We need her research.”

“Yes, sir,” Alex nodded.

“Now, I will continue to provide for you financially in terms of Kara’s needs. Would you prefer cash or a card?”

“Sir, we can’t-”

“Agent Danvers, you are on a prolonged mission for the DEO. Your mission is caring for Supergirl in this vulnerable state. As per regulations, the DEO pays for all mission-related fees exceeding $100- or in this case, the DEO director will pay these fees. Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. Now, cash or a credit card?”

“Cash, sir,” Alex said. “Leaves no paper trail.” He nodded.

“Are there any things you wish to bring up in regards to this mission at this time?” They began to discuss what Maggie needed for her precinct in order to get the time off and what their schedules would be in the upcoming days before Alex was finally able to head to the computer lab with Winn so they could continue analyzing Kara’s situation.

 

“Good morning, Kara!” Maggie grinned when the little girl jumped on her bed to wake her up. The little girl tilted her head like a dog, confused. Maggie wished she could repeat the sentiment in Kryptonese like Alex does. “Are you hungry?”

“Hungry,” Kara confirmed, nodding. Maggie snorted; of course that’s one English word that Kara has already learned.

“Let’s go get some food, hmmm? Yummy food,” Maggie hummed. She checked the clock- barely 6:45AM- before stumbling out of bed, Kara balanced on her hip. Since Kara couldn’t understand English, Maggie figured that the morning would be full of charades and pointing to communicate.

 

“More, Kara, really?” Maggie laughed. She had made enough chocolate chip pancake batter to feed four people and only managed to eat two pancakes, giving Kara the other six. She also gave her cut-up pieces of fruit and some nutella, along with a cup of milk and then another of apple juice. But still, the girl wanted more food.

“Hungry!” the toddler repeated, squirming on Maggie’s lap.

“Alright, alright. Let’s try… here we go. Drink this.” Maggie stood and rummaged through the fridge, looking for something high in protein to keep Kara sated for a while, balancing the girl on her hip. When she found the kid’s protein shake, she smiled and poured it into a sippy cup before presenting it to Kara. “Let’s get you dressed, and then we can go… out for a walk? We can go for a walk together, huh kiddo? You don’t really understand what I’m saying, do you?” Kara just looks at her blankly, sipping the protein shake.

“Sissy?” Kara asked when Maggie put her down on the bed. She snuggled the stuffed puppy up to her chin and hopped off the bed, following Maggie across the room.

“Sissy is at work, Kara,” Maggie said gently. When Kara woke up, Maggie had called Alex so that Kara could talk to her and Alex could explain where she was in Kryptonese, as well as reassuring Kara that she would be home soon. “Work, remember?”

“Sissy,” Kara whined softly. She leaned against Maggie’s legs and hugged her stuffed animal tighter. Maggie rubbed her back with one hand and rifled through the drawers for clothes to wear.

“I know, baby. But she’ll be home soon. Sissy will be home soon,” Maggie whispered. Kara’s eyes watered as Maggie laid her on the bed and changed her diaper. She held the stuffed puppy to her face as Maggie pulled on the white longsleeve onesie and fake jean shorts. Then she pulls on a light gray t-shirt emblazoned with the words “future astronaut”- something that had made Maggie smile when she bought it- and kissed Kara’s head. When she gently pulled the stuffie away from Kara’s face, she found the little girl crying softly.

“Sissy,” she whined brokenly.

“I know, baby girl. I know,” Maggie cooed, picking her up. “She’ll be back soon, sweetie. Soon. Rip nahn voi, Kara. Rip nahn voi, rip nahn voi, ” she repeated, remembering the one Kryptonese phrase that Alex had taught her. “You’re okay.” She continued to hold her and reassure her until Kara’s whines turned into sniffles. “Better now?”

“Walk?” Kara said softly, rubbing at her eyes.

“Yeah, munchkin. Walk. Want this?” Kara gave her back the stuffie and Kara hugged it to her chest, talking to it softly in Kryptonese while Maggie pulled on socks and shoes and readied the stroller and a diaper bag. Once she got Kara seated and strapped into the stroller, she gave her the Supergirl binkie, took a picture to send to Alex and they were on their way.

 

“Yes, Miss Kent. I will definitely look at your email. And I will stock up on high-protein foods for Kara. Yes. Yes, I have called my mom. Yep, she’s on her way to National City right now to help us figure this out. No, ma’am, we don’t know what caused it. No, no- of course you can tell your son! I just- I think it would be best if he stayed in Metropolis. We don’t want to panic any of the citizens by making them think something is wrong. Yeah- yeah, okay, we will try and make our way back to Smallville sometime soon. Yep, love you, too. Bye,” Alex said, finally hanging up on Martha Kent. She’d grown up knowing the Kents, and over time they’d become like family to her. She didn’t always like Clark, but she did like his parents.

Alex leaned back into her desk chair, emotionally exhausted. She’d spent an hour on the phone trying to explain things to her mother- as well as making excuses for why she’d hesitated to call. The call ended in Alex inviting her mother to the city to stay, offering to let her stay in Kara’s apartment for the time being. Immediately after, she’d called the Kents. She’d just need a few minutes before she could get up and go back to the lab to help Winn.

“Okay. Okay, let’s get back to work,” Alex sighed, pushing herself off the chair and going off towards the lab to find Winn. She’s interrupted by her cell phone ringing. “Son of a…” Alex trailed off upon seeing the name on the screen. “Lena, is something wrong?”

I want to help you fix Kara. I’ve got a background in aerospace engineering, advanced theoretical physics, and advanced theoretical calculus and linear algebra. I could help to find a way to reverse engineer the thing that did this,” Lena said firmly.

“Uhh- you… You have a business to run, don’t you?” Alex asked, perplexed. Normally, she’d try harder to be a little more tactful, but she’s only got so much in her, and it all went to dealing with her mom and talking to Martha Kent.

A good leader knows how to delegate as necessary. And I’m excellent at multitasking; I can do both. So, I’d like to help. I’d be an asset to your team. And, also, I’m standing right outside the DEO office building.” Alex can hear the smirk in Lena’s voice.

“Geez, Luthor, you really don’t like to give advance notice, do you?” Alex snorted.

At least I called first, this time. I considered just walking in and demanding to see you,” Lena admitted.

“I’ll go work on getting you the proper clearance with J’onn. Stay in the lobby until then. And, uh… I’ll meet you there, soon,” Alex laughed.

See you soon, Agent Danvers ,” Lena said, hanging up before Alex could respond.

 

“And sir, I know she’s a Luthor, but she’s really done a lot to prove that she’s not like her parents or her brother. She’s known about Kara’s secret, and she hasn’t done anything to jeopardize her identity. And she does have the right background to help us analyze the signals Winn is getting. I really think-”

“Agent Danvers, I signed the paper for her security clearance when I heard she was in the lobby. Though I do appreciate your valiant efforts to get her in,” J’onn interrupted after ten minutes of Alex’s non-stop diatribe on why they should let Lena in.

“Wh-what? And you- you let me stand here like an idiot!” Alex protested. J’onn just chuckled.

“I wanted to hear your arguments. Glad to see you care about her, Alex. Now, go get Miss Luthor, bring her to Pam in HR, and get these papers signed. Pam will issue her a security badge. Get to work, Agent Danvers. You only have a few more hours before you’re due home to relieve Detective Sawyer.” He smiled as he turned to walk away.

“Sir, I need that paperwork for Maggie’s boss so that she can get the time off that she needs,” Alex called after him. He raised a hand in acknowledgement.

“Pam’s got it.” Alex just rolled her eyes, making her way to the lobby to get Lena and start actually working out how to fix her sister.

 

“Alright, munchkin! That was fun, huh?” Maggie said as she pulled Kara out of the stroller. They’d ended up walking around town, finding their way to the dog park on seventh avenue. Kara’s face had immediately lit up, so they stopped and sat on a bench, content to watch the dogs play. After a while, they’d made their way inside so that Kara could pet the dogs. The dogs came over and nearly tackled Kara in their eagerness to lick her. Maggie ended up sitting on the bench with Kara on her lap so that she could keep Kara in her sights. After a few minutes, most of the dogs went back to playing except for a few who stayed to be petted. Maggie chatted with some of the dog owners politely until Kara tugged on her sleeve and told her she was hungry again.

“Fun!” Kara parroted, making her stuffed dog dance around in her arms.

“You liked the doggies?” Maggie left her in the living room to grab another protein shake from the fridge, noting they’d probably need to restock the fridge soon.

“Doggies, ruff ruff!” Kara giggled, dropping onto the floor on her bum, making the stuffed dog bark at Maggie when she returned with the sippy cup of protein shake.

“Good job, Kara! Doggy goes ruff ruff! Drink up, baby. Wanna watch TV?” Kara didn’t answer, too preoccupied with the chocolate flavored drink. Maggie just smiled, pulled Kara onto the couch with her and put on some Disney movie on Netflix.

Kara settled back into the couch, still sucking on the drink and Maggie went into the bedroom to grab her laptop before going back to sit with Kara. While the little girl finished her drink, Maggie sat with her and tried to work on some of her reports online. By the time the credits were rolling for the movie, Kara was sound asleep, thumb in her mouth and stuffed dog cradled tight against her chest. Maggie smiled softly, replacing her thumb with a pacifier that had purple stars and rockets on it. She laid a blanket over the small girl, taking a picture before sitting back down to keep working.

 

“A wormhole,” Lena murmured.

“Hmmm?” Winn asked.

“A wormhole,” she said, louder this time. She looked up from her laptop where she had Kara’s scans up. Alex was bent over a lab table, trying to figure out if she could figure something out from Kara’s DNA. “I think that strange energy reading on Kara came from a wormhole. A wormhole in another universe, maybe? You said she was… travelling the multiverse when you found her like this?”

“Yeah,” Alex called, not looking up from the microscope but listening intently as she compared baby Kara’s DNA swab with DNA from adult Kara’s toothbrush.

“Amazing. I can’t believe that’s true,” Lena said giddily.

“I know, right? More importantly, I can’t believe Kara hasn’t taken me with her to the other universe! She’s been, like, at least three times. But, one time, I did meet this guy Barry who’s a superhero on another Earth when he accidentally came to this Earth. He’s got, like super speed, and he-”

“Guys, have your nerd freak out over this after we’ve got Kara back,” Alex said tersely.

Please , Alex, you know you’re mad she hasn’t taken you to another Earth, too,” Winn murmured with a pout.

“Let’s talk about that later, Winn,” Lena said quickly, noticing Alex’s shoulders tense. “Anyway, I think this energy might be from a different universe’s wormhole. Except this time… maybe she took it backwards. Like, if a wormhole is a theoretical fold in the space-time continuum, there must be an order in which you go through it. Maybe she went backwards so that, instead of going forward in time, she went back and her body’s cells went back, too,” Lena explained. Alex stood up, turning around and leaning on the edge of the lab table, arms folded across her chest and eyebrows knitted in concentration.

“An other-dimensional wormhole where time… moves backward… It’s a bit of a leap. Where did you get all that?” Alex asked.

“Not to mention, wormholes are completely theoretical, so we have no way to prove it is one,” Winn added.

“Well, that’s why it’s just an idea,” Lena said, rolling her eyes. “I was trying to think outside of the box… the seemingly impossible ideas.. Anyway, I need to prove it before we can even start working on the reversal. How does she go back and forth through the universes?”

“Don’t Barry and Cisco usually just show up?” Winn asked, turning to look at Alex.

“Yeah, but they gave her this… thing? She never let me touch it because she knew I wanted to try and take it apart to see how it works and she didn’t want me to not be able to put it back together, so…” Alex rolled her eyes, still annoyed at Kara for that. “Anyway, Cisco gave her this thing that can bring her to their universe if she needs to get to them.”

“Is that how she got back? Did she have it with her? If she did, we could see if that kept a record of where in the multiverse she went! And maybe we could even go to the other universe to talk to them and see what happened when she left,” Lena said, straightening up. She grinned broadly and her eyes sparkled at the idea. Alex thought she looked like a kid who’d just been told they could pick out one toy at the store.

“Well, I have to go home in… Oh, wow, crap, I told Maggie I’d leave two minutes ago. When I go home, I’ll see if I can find the little device thing. Call me if you need any help,” Alex said, quickly cleaning up her lab bench and moving her microscope slides back to the fridge.

“Ooohh, when can James and I come visit? We really wanted to meet Baby Kara! I started to make this little… this set of pajamas for her! Well, I designed them. They’re basically Supergirl footie pajamas with a cape. And I know you could probably buy those, but mine will be more accurate, plus they’ll be stain proof and heat-vision and super-strength proof. But, I need to see her again to know how big to make them, so-”

“You told James?” Alex finally interrupted when it became clear he wasn’t stopping soon. “We’re supposed to be keeping this a secret so no one tries to take advantage of her!” She yelled, crossing the lab to smack the back of his head.

“Ow, hey- sorry! We need all the help we can get protecting her, so I thought she could have her own personal Guardian, ha! Okay, ow, don’t hit,” Winn said, wincing when Alex smacks him for the stupid pun. “Plus, James is our friend! I thought he should know. And, he’s helping cover for her at work. He told HR she had a family emergency and is cashing in on all of her vacation time she’s saved up.” Alex grunted, begrudgingly acknowledging that that was helpful.

“Fine, but I want you to stay here and work until your shift is over! And Lena, you leave when he does, understand? Or else I will come back here and make you leave,” Alex threatened. It wasn’t out of malice, or a lack of trust for Lena to be unsupervised. But Alex knew from Kara’s complaints that Lena was a workaholic and had a tendency to get obsessed with new projects; if left unchecked, she likely wouldn’t rest until she’d solved the problem. Lena just glowered at Alex. Alex glowered right back.

“Fine,” Lena finally muttered, breaking the eye contact.

“Good. And you and James can come visit… tomorrow. My mom arrives later tonight,” Alex said with a grimace before turning and hurrying home.

 

“Oh, I know, kiddo. She’s just running a few minutes late,” Maggie whispered, desperately wishing she could explain in Kara’s language. Kara had woken up from her nap half an hour ago demanding to see Alex. When Maggie said she’d be back in ten minutes, Kara had been pacified and started to play with her blocks, asking for frequent updates on time. When twenty minutes had gone by and Alex was still not there, the little girl started to cry and whine for her sister. Maggie figured she was probably hungry, as well as wet but Kara wouldn’t let Maggie near enough to her to help. She just whined and backed away.

“A-lex,” Kara cried before babbling endlessly in Kryptonese.

“Rip nahn voi, Kara,” Maggie said softly. “Rip nahn voi.” She hoped the one phrase was enough to soothe her. And Kara did stop running away, but she still whined and cried. Maggie was just getting close enough to pick her up when Alex opened the front door and came in.

“Sissy!” Kara yelled, toddling over as quickly as she could. Alex started to speak quietly in Kryptonese, picking Kara up and snuggling her to her chest.

“You-” Maggie said lowly, arms crossed against her chest as she walked towards Alex slowly. She pokes her shoulder. “-are late.” Alex pressed her lips together guiltily.

Chapter Text

“I’m so sorry! I just looked up and it was time to go but then Lena and Winn were still talking and I needed to make sure they knew what they were doing before I left and then I forgot my keys so I had to run all the way back to my office and I didn’t mean to be so late,” Alex apologized immediately, hugging Kara tightly and rubbing circles on her back. Maggie chuckled lightly.

“Babe, I’m not actually mad,” she smiled. She carefully pushed Kara’s hair back, kissing her forehead as the little girl’s cries started to quiet. “But next time, give us a call and warn us if you’re going to be late, okay?”

“Got it,” Alex nodded fervently. Shifting her grip on Kara, she leaned forward to hug Maggie with one arm and kiss her in greeting. She pulled away smiling, moving back to hold Kara tight, bouncing her in her arms to try and calm her down. “Shhh, sweet girl. You’re okay. Shhh, shhh, shhh,” she whispered, moving in small circles.

“Sissy,” Kara whined, clutching at the back of Alex’s jacket. Thankfully, her tears had stopped but she was holding tight to Alex, wiping messily at her eyes. Alex hugged her close and Maggie just rubbed her back, both trying to soothe her. They paused when Kara’s stomach audibly growled. “Hungry,” Kara declared.

“Oh! I thought that was a lion in your tummy!” Maggie teased.

“Rawr,” Kara replied, smiling now.

“Good girl,” Alex hummed, patting Kara’s back. “Let’s get you cleaned up and we can go grab some lunch with Maggie, hmm? Oh, by the way, babe, my mom is coming to town to help try and reverse this. She’ll be staying in Kara’s apartment.”

“Yeah? When’s she getting here,” Maggie asked from the bathroom as she finally got a chance to brush her teeth and change into work clothes. Alex took Kara into the bedroom to change her into a clean diaper.

“Her plane arrives tonight,” she called back.

“Alex! That’s so soon! Is she getting a cab from the airport or are you picking her up?” Shirt only half buttoned, Maggie ran into the room to gape at Alex, hurriedly trying to finish buttoning it up.

“Well, her plane lands at 6:45 tonight, and she’s getting a cab. She said airports and a superpowered toddler probably aren’t a great match. She’s just going to come stop by, meet Kara, and get a few DNA samples, make some observations and stuff, then go to Kara’s apartment? I don’t know. Why are you so worked up? My mom loves you,” Alex scoffed as she pulled Kara’s pants back up and smiled at her, putting her down on the ground to toddle after Alex, grabbing her stuffed elephant and dragging it along behind her.

“We’ve only met a few times! And never when we’re co-parenting a child! What if she thinks we’re not capable of taking care of Kara? And I’m worried about you, too. I know that she can push your buttons,” Maggie said, nervously pacing the apartment as she gathered her things for work.

“That’s why she’s not staying here. We can both have some space and then work together as needed. And I know my mom is curious to see Kara like this. She’s so small and soft and… different from when she first got here. It was just… She had a right to be here, too.” Alex shrugged, pulling on Kara’s shoes before picking up the little girl and her keys. “Anyway, if you want lunch before work, we have to get going.”

Maggie sighed, grabbing her badge and gun from their lock box and followed Alex out the door. “I called in an order to the deli on the corner so we could grab it and go,” she said. Alex smiled, kissing her girlfriend’s cheek before locking the door behind them and heading to the elevator.

 

“So, you want me to pick you up at 7 tonight? We can have something for dinner, then when my mom gets here we can have dessert and wine, or something?” Alex asked, swallowing another bite of her sandwich. They had parked outside the precinct and were sitting on a bench across the street eating their lunch, Kara sitting happily on Alex’s lap as she ate her second bag of chips.

“What time is she planning on getting to the apartment?” Without missing a beat, Maggie opens up a protein drink for Kara and puts it into the sippy cup, handing it off to the girl, tickling her chin.

“Probably around eight? So, Kara might be asleep by then, but she said that’s fine.” Alex shrugged.

“That’s fine. Just, uh… maybe buy ice cream or brownies or something instead of baking? We don’t need a visit from the firefighters tonight,” Maggie teased. Alex just huffed, rolling her eyes; that was one time ! “Also, I left a list of some things we’ll need at the store to get through the next few days. Your sister needs a lot of protein or she gets fussy, so I found some good snacks that are packed with the protein she needs. The list is hanging on the fridge.” Maggie stretched, leaning back and resting her head on Alex’s shoulder for a minute. Kara just giggled, turning halfway around to play with Maggie’s hair, poking her cheeks.

“Sounds good.” They sat quietly, the only sounds coming from Kara trying to suck down the last sips of her protein shake. Alex just held Maggie’s hands, rubbing soft, slow circles on the back of her hand with her own thumb. Maggie checked her watch and groaned, head falling back.

“I have to go now,” she said softly. Kara smiled and patted Maggie’s cheek, finally putting the cup down on the bench; Alex hoped that meant she was finally full.

“It’s not even a full shift. Just six hours,” Alex pointed out, scooping Kara up and standing. Maggie stood, gather her bag, the paperwork, her badge and her jacket. She checked to make sure her weapon was still safely holstered on her hip (the safety was on and it was unloaded since she was with Kara- even if the girl was bulletproof, a curious toddler could easily fire the gun and hit someone else ). She checked her watch again; only three minutes until she was due inside.

“I know, it’s just hard to go in and deal with all of that when I spent all morning doing this,” Maggie lamented, gesturing first to the police station and then to Kara, grinning and tickling her belly, blowing a raspberry on her cheek.

“Yeah, she’s pretty cute. But you have something to look forward to when you get out of work! Plus, tomorrow you spend the whole day with her!” Alex added. They had decided that Maggie would take tomorrow during the day while Alex worked, then Maggie had a double at the station starting early the following morning and Alex would stay with Kara. For now, they were just taking it a few days at a time, since they had no idea when Kara would go back to normal.

“That’s true,” Maggie said, heaving one final sigh. “But I really do have to get going. I’ll see you soon, Kara. See you later when you come pick me up!” Maggie cooed. Kara whined, surging forward in Alex’s arms to wrap her arms around Maggie, hugging her tight. Alex transferred her to Maggie’s arms, watching as Kara hugged her and kissed her cheek. Maggie laughed, kissing her forehead when Kara finally paused.

“You come back?” Kara whimpered, looking at Maggie with her biggest puppy dog eyes.

“Of course! In a few hours, you’re going to come back and pick me up right here! I’ll see you soon and you’ll have fun with Sissy until then,” Maggie promised. “But I really do have to go now. Love you.” Maggie hugged her one more time, kissing her cheek before letting Alex take her again. She only had time to give Alex a quick kiss before running across the street and into the precinct. She turned back before going in the door, blowing a kiss for each of her Danvers girls. Watching as Alex seemed to explain the gesture, Kara giggled and tried to blow one back. Maggie ‘caught’ the kiss, smiling and waving before walking in, letting the door swing shut behind her.

 

Kara was quiet by the time they’d gotten to the grocery store, despite her fussing just twenty minutes ago when they stopped by the apartment. Alex figured she just wanted to play, not run in and out to grab the list. She gave Kara a pacifier and her stuffed bunny, tucking a blanket under her arm just in case she got tired. And Kara had indeed gone silent halfway through the ride; Alex was surprised to see her still awake when she went into the backseat to pick Kara up. Her little sister whined and protested and fidgeted when she picked her up until Alex put her down in the baby seat in the grocery cart.

“Really quick, Kara. I promise, so quick. Look, take a sniff. Do you smell the cookies and cakes baking? That’s my favorite thing about the store. Isn’t it nice?” Alex hummed in an overly cheery tone, trying to calm Kara as they headed towards the bakery to grab a dessert for tonight. She quickened her pace, grabbing the things off the list and a few additions (ice cream, frozen pizzas, and chocolate are a necessary addition to their diets, she decided).

But the entire time, Kara seemed uncomfortable. She wrinkled her nose and she was trying to curl up, blocked by the shopping cart seat bars. Kara jumped and whined every time someone within a twenty-foot radius of them spoke a fraction too loudly- which was often. The first time someone came over the loudspeaker system to announce a call for some other department, Kara yelled in fright, dropping her toy and blanket to cover her ears.

“Kara, baby girl, it’s okay,” Alex said, reaching with one arm to grab another container of peanut butter, the other going to rub Kara’s back.

“No!” she shrieked, shrinking away from Alex. Alex froze, immediately turning her whole body to face Kara, dropping the peanut butter haphazardly into the cart. It crashed against the sides and Kara winced again, elbows folding into her sides as she began to cry and shake. Alex pauses a moment to observe Kara with her nose crinkled, her hands over her ears and her eyes closed tightly. Her face was glowing red and her mouth was wide, sobs building. Remembering the first time Eliza had taken Kara to a grocery store when she first arrived, Alex wants to groan; Kara had probably gotten overstimulated.

“Kara, it’s okay. Is it too loud for you?” Alex whispered in Kryptonian. She is rewarded for her efforts with a small nod and a whimper in between sobs. “What else?” It took Kara a few moments to calm her sobs enough to speak. She still shook and she didn’t open her eyes or uncover her ears, but she was responding, and that was all Alex could ask for at this moment. She started to move Kara towards the back corner of the store towards the bathroom, hoping it would be quieter in there. The cart rumbled and shook and made noise as she moved, but Alex needed to get her somewhere she would feel safer.

“It-itchy,” she stammered, patting her pants once before putting that hand back on her ear. Alex nodded, though Kara couldn’t see. She continued, “ not like the loud voices. They sc-ahh!” She shrieked as another announcement about someone’s deli order being ready rang out. Thankfully, they turned the dingy corner towards the bathroom. Leaving the cart in the hall, Alex picked Kara up and hurried into the bathroom as Kara cried again.

“I know, I know, I know. I’m so sorry, baby. I can put you down now. But it’s quieter in here, right? And while it doesn’t smell nice, I bet there aren’t as many smells as there are out there. And while we’re in here, I can take off this itchy pants,” Alex said softly, putting Kara on the floor. Kara sniffled, rubbing at her eyes and tugging on her pants. She looked around at the cracked tiles and dirty mirror, wrinkling her nose a bit. But it is quieter here. Kara sat on the filthy ground, kicking her legs and trying to wiggle out of her pants. Alex quickly works to get her out of her pants, careful not to touch her more than is necessary.

“What else scared you, baby?” Alex whispered, sitting on her haunches next to Kara.

“Too many p-people. And the loud voices! The food was-” Kara just cut off, wrinkling her nose and sticking out her tongue again. Alex thought of the deli, the meat department, the seafood department, the bakery, and the fruits and vegetables all on display. While it was okay for Alex, surely the overlapping scents could make for a disgusting combination.

“Smelled bad, I bet,” Alex nodded, scrunching her nose sympathetically. She pulled the list out of her pocket. “Do you feel any better, Kar?” The little girl just blinked at her, still sniffling but no longer crying. “Do you think we could go back out there? We just need to go pay for the food. Five minutes and we’re done- promise.”

“Want home ,” Kara whined.

“I know, baby, I know. Please, just come back out with me and we can go home. Please?” Alex begged, quickly translating it for Kara just to be sure she understood. “You don’t even have to put your pants back on,” she added. Kara whined but walked over to Alex. Alex let her walk out of the bathroom, still in just her onesie and the shirt. When she picked her up, she was quick and careful to not touch Kara’s skin. “How about some music? Then you won’t hear the loud voices? And if you plug your nose like this-” Alex demonstrated and her next works are nasal, making Kara giggled “- you won’t smell too much. Do you like that idea?” Kara nodded, pinching her nose. Her mouth fell open and she giggled again as Alex fished her headphones out of her pocket, putting them in Kara’s ears. She plugged it into her phone and played some soft, relaxing piano music. Kara closed her eyes as they made their way to the checkout line. Alex smiled tightly, making whispered pleasantries with the cashier, an older woman.

“Poor dear get overwhelmed easily?” the cashier asked, voice softer after taking the hint from Alex’s whispers.

“Uh, yeah, I… Sometimes, yeah. Sorry,” Alex said softly.

“Oh, don’t be sorry, dearie. I see meltdowns much bigger than this three times a day. Any parent, guardian or nanny who takes care of children will know that they all have public meltdowns now and then. Now, that’ll be $135.76.” Alex smiled gratefully, handing over some of the money J’onn had given them.

Kara was quiet and still until later, when Alex got her home and wrapped her in a blue fuzzy blanket, settling her in a darkened room and giving her the space she needed. After a few minutes by herself, she came toddling back out to crawl onto Alex’s lap, yawning around the thumb in her mouth and clutching all of her stuffed animals to her chest. Kara fell asleep on top of Alex within minutes.

 

Maggie spent almost an hour in her boss’ office. Naturally, this makes the rumor mill that is her precinct run wild with stories. Her work friends (she was hesitant to call them actual friends since their interactions started and ended in the station) figured maybe they were negotiating a promotion for Maggie or discussing her taking the sergeant’s exam. Some of the other men had other ideas, some vile suggestions about Maggie trying to sleep her way to the top and others clearly just spiteful wishes for her to get in trouble.

“What’d you do this time, Sawyer?” Lucio Cassano, a lean, older Italian man asked in a joking manner. “Did that pretty little face of yours get you out of trouble?”

“At least I have a pretty face to bargain with, unlike you,” Maggie sassed back. Cassano was one of her best friends on the force; he had been her mentor when she first joined this unit and he had become like an uncle or an older brother (she hated to think of him as a father), so she knew not to take his teasing seriously.

“I doubt it was her face ,” someone else sniggered, clearly raking his eyes over her body in her jeans, leather jacket and boots. She whipped around to glare at the other detectives in the room, eyes landing on Jack Lawson, a detective who had been here a year or two before her and was jealous every time she got a commendation or any recognition. Maggie could recognize his petty jealousy and childish comments from a mile away.

“What was it, for real, Sawyer?” Gary Jackson asked. He was younger than Maggie, still eager to prove himself but he was nice to his colleagues, even her. She’d developed a soft spot for the big, tall goofball after her captain asked her to mentor him when he first joined.

“Family stuff. Gotta take some time off.” She shrugged it off, trying to keep it vague. Some of these guys already thought she shouldn’t be there since she was small, since she was a second-generation-Latina, since she was a woman. If they heard she was taking maternity leave because she suddenly had a toddler, they’d all start thinking she was too soft to go out into the field now that she was a mother (total bullshit, but Maggie hadn’t yet had any success in trying to change their ways). But Gary was persistent.

“Ah, c’mon, Sawyer. No details? Are you and your girl going somewhere?” Thankfully, he comes closer, sitting on the edge of her desk when he asks this question, his voice considerably quieter now. Maggie went to sit at her desk, shooing him off of her stacks of paperwork- her to-do list for today, according to the captain.

“No, we’re not going anywhere. We just have some stuff to take care of that’ll need me home a little more regularly. I’m still gonna be around, still available. Just… not as much. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got a mountain of paperwork to do,” she said pointedly. She was so focused on Gary that she didn’t even notice Cassano snagging her phone off her desk.

“This ‘stuff’ you’ve gotta take care of… Would it have anything to do with this new screensaver of yours?” he whispered, angling the phone towards Maggie.

“Let me see!” Gary said eagerly, craning his neck.

“Cassano! You old snoop!” she whispered, no real bite in her tone. She took the phone away, cradling it to her chest.

“Is that any way to talk to your superior, Sawyer?” Lawson sneered.

“Lawson, I’m sure there’s something else that you should be policing more than the way Maggie and I talk to each other,” Cassano dismissed. Lawson shuffled back to his desk, tail between his legs. Cassano turned back to Maggie, smiling softly and eyes twinkling. “So, this girl Alex has a kid?”

“A kid ?” Gary gasped quietly. “Sorry,” he added after receiving some sharp glares. “I’ll shut up now.”

“Come walk with me. I could use a coffee,” Maggie said pointedly, leading them to the break room where the coffee machine was. Glad to find it empty, she sighed and leaned against the counter, showing Gary the picture. “She’s not Alex’s kid. Just a cousin. But she’s an orphan now and they needed Alex to take her for a little while until they can find a permanent solution, so I took some maternity time off to help out. Not every day, just some odd days so that Alex can work, too.”

“Aw, she’s so cute,” Gary said. Lucio smiled at the picture again.

“Such curly hair. Reminds me of my Giovanni when he was little. His curls went away as he got older though. Now it’s just wavy. D’you think hers will stay?”

Maggie shrugged. “Probably not.”

“What’s her name?” Maggie smiled over at Gary.

“Kara.”

“Isn’t that her little sister’s name?” Cassano asked, narrowing his eyes.

“It is, but Alex’s sister Kara is adopted. Plus, Alex’s family wasn’t close to this branch of the family tree so it’s just a coincidence,” Maggie lied smoothly. “It’s a shame the adult Kara is abroad right now. It would be cute to see them together.”

“Well, she’s a beautiful little girl,” Cassano smiled, clapping Maggie on the shoulder proudly. He pulled her into a hug. “You’ll take great care of her. You need any help, you let me know?” He released her, still with his hands on her shoulders. “You know what, I’ve got some old clothes from when Maria and Amelia were young. I can give them to you so you won’t have to buy as much!”

“No, no, I couldn’t,” Maggie tried.

“No, I won’t hear of it. Babies are expensive.”

“We’ve got the financial things taken care of,” Maggie said.

“On a cop’s salary and a fed’s? How?” Gary asked, rummaging through the cabinets for his snacks.

“We’ve got a stipend from Kara’s family estate,” Maggie said. Damn, I should write down these lies so Alex and I can keep them straight, Maggie thought to herself. She knew that J’onn and Alex had a complete dossier with baby Kara’s fake backstory but it didn’t include the little details like this.

“Well, either way, you’re getting the stuff. Can’t hurt to have more options. Kids get so messy, they go through so many outfits. It’ll at least save you from doing laundry every other day,” Cassano argued, taking a step back from Maggie. Knowing he was just as stubborn as her, she relented.

“Fine, but don’t bring it into the office. I wanna keep it quiet. You know how Lawson and some of the others can get.” They both nodded at her. Gary mimed zipping his lips shut.

“Lips are sealed, Sawyer.”

“Of course, kid. You could come pick it up at my house, or I could bring it by your apartment. Whatever works. Just give me a day or two to find things in my house.”

“Yeah, absolutely! Thanks, guys,” she said as they went back to the squad room.

“It’s what friends are for, right?” Gary said as she sat at his desk across from Maggie’s.

“Yeah, I guess so,” Maggie said softly, trying to hide her smile as she started on her mountain of paperwork. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if some people at work knew.

Chapter Text

After her episode at the store and subsequent nap, Kara turned into a clingy little monkey, always needing to be near Alex. When Alex went to make her a snack, Kara had whined and clung to her shoulders, crawling onto her back. When Alex walked around the apartment to clean and make everything look acceptable for when her mom comes, Kara followed her, trailing her blanket and stuffed animal behind her. When Alex put her pre-made frozen lasagna into the oven, Kara was one step behind her, sucking on her pacifier and rubbing her eyes sleepily. When Alex took it out to put it in a warming pan and pulled on her shoes, Kara whimpered and tried to curl into her lap.

“You’re coming, baby. We’re gonna go get Maggie, remember? But I think… We’re gonna go swing by work first! Just to check on Lena,” Alex decided, looking at the clock. She had enough time before she needed to pick Maggie up.

“Ena!” Kara squealed before she dissolved into a babbling mess of infantile Kryptonese muffled behind the pacifier.

“Yes, Kara. Lena! We’re gonna go make sure she left work at a reasonable time because she’ll work herself to death. Yes! Yes, she will. Now, let’s get those shoes,” Alex cooed, scooping Kara up to get her ready to go. As they walked the block to the DEO, Kara chattered on endlessly about Lena and Maggie and her toys.

“Danvers. I thought you were off for the rest of the day,” the desk guard asked curiously, smiling at Kara.

“Yeah, I am. Just had to come back and check on a few things. Has Agent Schott left yet?”

“Yes, ma’am. Half an hour ago.” She nodded.

“How about Lena Luthor? Did she leave yet?

“Not that I know of, ma’am. And I’ve been here two hours.” Alex huffed and rolled her eyes.

“Thanks, Taveras. I gotta go down to the labs then. Stupid, stubborn kid,” Alex said. “Alright. I’ll be back out in a few minutes. Thanks again. Have a good night!”

“You too, ma’am,” he called back as Alex jogged lightly towards the labs. Kara giggled as she bounced on Alex’s hip, holding onto Alex’s hair with one hand and her blanket with the other.

Upon arriving at the lab they’d been in earlier, Alex finds a completely different Lena. She’s exchanged her contacts and carefully constructed hairdo for big, black-rimmed glasses and a messy bun of hair piled on top of her head. Her business suit and heels had been traded for DEO-issue workout gear, a pair of old, worn sneakers likely borrowed from someone, and one of Alex’s stained lab coats. Her goggles were perched on her head, gloves pulled up to her forearm, and a whiteboard marker stuck behind her ear. She was currently leaning over a textbook and mumbling to herself. The whiteboard behind her was covered in scribbles and equations.

“Ena!” Kara yelled, startling the girl in question as she turned around, eyes wide and looking guiltily at Alex for a moment before her gaze hardens and she looks defensive, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Luthor, you were supposed to leave when Winn did,” Alex reminded her coolly. Lena quirked an eyebrow back, but the move was significantly less intimidating (not that Alex was ever intimidated by her) since she was in her lab gear and not her usual CEO attire.

“I was onto something,” Lena said defensively. “Or rather… I thought I was,” she added weakly when Alex looked skeptically at the board of equations. Lena took a deep breath and squared her jaw, deliberately trying to seem harsher. “Are you kicking me out because you’re worried I’ll steal your secret data and try to kill all aliens?”

“Oh, shut up,” Alex scoffed. “I told you that you need to leave because you’re a workaholic who won’t sleep until she figures everything out. I understand that Lena, I do. But Maggie’s got me on this self-care kick and I’m realizing that’s a bad habit you and I share. Our brains work better on sleep and food and rest. Come back when you’re fresh. It’s certainly not because you’re a Luthor .” Alex softened considerably as she spoke, stepping closer to Lena as Kara reached out for her.

“I just… I want to help. I miss her,” Lena admitted softly, smiling and taking Kara when the little girl all but leaped into her arms. She held Kara close to her chest, swaying slightly with her.

“I do, too. But you’ll be more helpful in getting her back if you take breaks and rest. Why don’t you come have dinner with me and Maggie?”

“Isn’t your mother coming over tonight?” Lena raised an eyebrow.

“E’iza!” Kara squealed, remembering what Alex had told her earlier.

“That’s right, baby girl. My mommy’s name is Eliza, and she’s coming to visit tonight.” Alex smiled proudly. God, it was astounding how quickly Kara absorbed information. She wondered if that was a Kryptonian thing or a Kara thing. She’d have to give Martha’s email a more thorough reading later tonight.

“Right, so I don’t want to interrupt your mother’s visit or her meeting Kara. I’m sure I’ll be able to come over for dinner some other time,” Lena declined, shifting Kara onto her hip. Kara picked her head up off of Lena’s shoulder, one hand idly playing with Lena’s long, dark colored hair.

“Ena, come p’ay,” Kara whined.

“She can’t right now, baby girl,” Alex said softly.

“Tomorrow?” she asked in Kryptonese.

“Maybe. We’ll see. You have to be patient.”

“You should teach me Kryptonese,” Lena said with a curious expression on her face. At Alex’s look, she added, “what? It’s not like you can Rosetta Stone it.”

“Yeah, sure! Maggie wants to learn, too. Give me a little time to gather some stuff together and we can work on it,” Alex said with a smile.

“Fantastic! We can make our own Rosetta Stone,” Lena laughed. Kara stared at her dumbfounded, eyes just as wide as she looked at Lena.

“‘Ena,” Kara whispered reverently, poking her cheek. Lena smiled at her warmly, completely forgetting her embarrassment that Alex is right next to her and watching their interactions.

“Yes, little one?” Kara took out her pacifier.

Rip nahn zrhueiao, Lena.” Lena turns to Alex for an explanation.

“She’s telling you she thinks you’re very pretty,” Alex chuckled. “Clever girl, Kara, you little flirt. So nice to your friends.”

“How do I thank her?” Lena asked, eyes wide and cheeks pink as she looked at the little girl who was now stroking her cheek and beaming up at her. “And- um… Tell her she’s pretty, too?” Lena added, her blush spreading.

“Nahkluv, rip chao.” Lena nodded, mouthing the words silently.

“One more time?” Lena requested.

“Nahkluv, rip chao.”

“Nahkluv, rip chao, Kara ,” Lena said carefully, trying to copy the intonation as well as she could. Kara nodded encouragingly, curly hair bouncing as she nuzzled closer to Lena.

“Great. Now, we’ve got to go pick up Maggie. Walk out with us,” Alex said firmly. Lena fell into step behind her with Kara still on her hip, humming softly as they walked. When they got out to the sidewalk, Lena shifted Kara into Alex’s open arms. Kara pouted slightly, still gazing longingly at Lena.

“Oh, don’t give me those sad eyes, Kara, I’ll see you soon! I really must get going. Jess brought a mountain of paperwork to my apartment to make up for missing work today, so I really do need to go.”

“Okay then. But you’ll have to come over and play with Kara sometime soon. And, uh… Call me Alex. Agent Danvers is too formal. Say goodbye to Lena, Kara,” Alex said softly.

“Bye-bye, ‘Ena,” Kara whispered, waving and blowing kisses.

“Oh my, such a sweet little girl. Goodbye, Kara,” Lena cooed, kissing Kara’s cheeks and waving as she walked away.

“Alright, little one. Let’s go get Maggie, hmm? Then we can have dinner,” Alex said as she carried Kara to the parking garage to put her in the car seat.

“Hungry!” Kara exclaimed, patting her belly as Alex they walked.

“Yeah, I bet you are, munchkin. I bet you are,” Alex laughed, Kara, joining in and giggling, too.

 

“Sawyer, Jackson, I need you to go take a witness statement,” the captain barked from the doorway to his office.

“Uh, sir, I thought I was on desk duty for my shift today,” Maggie called back, still rising and grabbing her things anyway. Gary leaned on her desk, waiting to hear where they’re going.

“Lawson is talking to the victim, Cassano is out with Edison, Stocker, and Honeycutt trying to find the perps. But the victim reported that some of their neighbors were out and about and witnessed the assault. Go see if they can give us any new details or anything that can help us get a warrant for the perps’ DNA,” Captain Thomas explained. Maggie nodded, glancing at her watch. “If you hurry, you should just make it back in time for your girl to pick you up, Sawyer,” he added with a wink.

“Yes, sir. If you send Jackson the address, we’ll be on our way.”

“Already sent,” he waved.

“Alright, Jackson, let’s hurry up. Alex’s mom is coming over tonight,” Maggie barked at him and the younger detective scurried after her, handing her the keys to their cruiser as they went. Maggie was in such a rush that she didn’t even notice she left her phone in her desk drawer.

 

“Where Maggie?” Kara whined. They had been sitting on the same park bench across from the station for nearly fifteen minutes now. And sure, they had been five minutes early, but it was past time for Maggie to get out of work now and she wasn’t answering any of Alex’s calls or texts.

“I don’t know, baby girl. She’s still working, I think. How about we watch a video on my tablet?” Alex suggested, scrolling through YouTube to find some sort of kid’s show to entertain Kara for the time being. She was glad the tablet had been in her bag (she had combined a diaper bag with her work go-bag so it had a mixture of Kara’s things and Alex’s work stuff). Once Kara was distracted by the pretty colors and silly songs on screen, Alex tried texting Maggie again.

She decided to wait another ten minutes, but still got no response from Maggie. But at this point, they really did have to get home so they could eat dinner and Kara needed to go to bed soon. Biting her lip nervously, Alex considered just going into the station. She’d done it before, right? She’d dropped off lunch or picked Maggie up. Alex had even been introduced to some of Maggie’s work friends. But now they have Kara, and even though she isn’t actually their child, Alex isn’t certain how Maggie would like Alex bringing her into the office.

But she’d gone in to put in for maternity leave, right? So her office knew. And Maggie wasn’t answering. Maybe her phone was dead, or maybe she was in the evidence locker or something and lost track of time. Either way, Alex needs to find her so they can at least get home before her mother arrives. Deciding she needed to go in, Alex nodded once to herself before standing, settling Kara on her hip and packing away her things.

“Don’t whine, sweetie. We’re going to go get Maggie,” Alex hushed her when Kara protested Alex taking the tablet. At this, Kara brightened, kicking her feet happily and humming a song, playing with Alex’s hair as they crossed the street and went up the stone steps into the police station.

“Can I help you, Miss?” an officer asked once she got to the bullpen.

“I’m looking for Detective Sawyer,” Alex said coolly.

“Hey! You’re Alex, right? Maggie’s girl!” someone called, coming over to her. Alex recognized the man as Maggie’s mentor, Cassano, she thought his name was. He was an older Italian man who smiled at Alex, then at Kara. “Lucio Cassano,” he reminded her.

“Of course! Uh, yeah, I was just looking for Maggie. She was supposed to be done like, half an hour ago and I was waiting outside, and she’s not really answering her phone, so-”

“Maggie!” Kara interrupted, craning her neck as she looked around. “Where?”

“Kara,” Alex admonished quietly. She turned back to Cassano. “Sorry, this is my cousin Kara. Kara, can you say hi?”

“Hi,” she said with a big smile. Lucio waved and tickled her chin. “Maggie, where?” Kara demanded again. “Wan’ Maggie! Hungry,” Kara whined.

“Kara, babe, relax,” Alex whispered, kissing her temple while digging into her bag for a pacifier. Popping the Supergirl pacifier in, Kara settled down, resting her head on Alex’s shoulder. “Sorry, she’s probably getting a little cranky. But, um, yeah. We were wondering where Maggie is. Do you know?”

“She went out with her partner Detective Jackson to get a witness statement. But while they were there, it became clear the witnesses knew more than they were letting on. Turned out one of them was involved in an assault, so she had to bring the guy in. She’s in interrogation right now. Phone’s been in her drawer, buzzing away. I would have answered it, but her desk drawer was locked,” he explained in a soft voice.

“Could you… I don’t want to pull her out of her interrogation, especially if she’s getting somewhere, but we do need to go soon.” Alex sat in the chair next to Maggie’s desk, settling Kara so that she was lying down on Alex’s chest, stroking her hair reassuringly.

“I’ll see what I can do. You sit tight, kid,” Lucio said. He squeezed Kara’s shoulder gently, getting a smile from the little girl before he went off down a hallway towards where Alex figured the interrogation rooms were.

“Hey, you’re Sawyer’s girlfriend, right?” A younger kid said. When Alex nodded, he stuck out his hand and added, “Gary Jackson. I’m Maggie’s partner. Well, her work partner, obviously. I just… Sorry, that was a dumb clarification to make. I just… Maggie said you’re a fed and you sound like a total badass from what she says about you so I just… I’m gonna- I’m shutting up now. But, um, I wanted to say hi. And that I think you and Maggie are gonna do a great job with this kid for as long as you’re taking care of her.” Alex was reminded of Kara with the way he rambled nervously and talked with his hands. When he mentioned Kara, they both looked down to where she was rubbing her eye and sucking on the pacifier.

“Thank you, Gary,” she said sincerely. She’s spared from any more conversation by Maggie jogging out to meet her, kissing her cheek apologetically. “Now who’s late,” Alex teased. Maggie rolled her eyes but then smiled apologetically, quickly gathering her things.

“I know, I know, I’m sorry. I was just so focused on getting this guy that I lost track of time and I didn’t bring my phone to interrogation, and I was just a mess- oh, hi sweet girl,” Maggie grunted when Kara practically jumped into her arms. Alex smiled, taking Maggie’s bag.

“It’s fine. Like you said, in our line of work, this stuff happens. Let’s go home, though, so we can have something to eat before my mom comes,” Alex whispered, kissing Maggie properly on the mouth now, though it was cut short knowing that they were in Maggie’s place of work and Kara was quite literally sandwiched between them. They’re on their way out the door when another detective stops Maggie.

“Whoa, Sawyer, I didn’t know you had a kid. Did you adopt or was it some kind of turkey baster thing?” After only a few seconds, Alex knew this was Detective Lawson, a frequent character in Maggie’s stories about her terrible days at work.

“Lawson, do you have no tact?” Maggie huffed indignantly. “No, we didn’t do a ‘turkey baster thing’ and that’s none of your business if we did. For your information, we’re taking care of Alex’s cousin for a while due to a family emergency,” she snapped crossly.

“Cute kid,” he shrugged. “I’m assuming you’re taking desk duty? Or are you just going to be home? I assume the fed girlfriend is going to be going to work. She looks like she wears the pants in this relationship.”

“First of all, the fed girlfriend is right here and has a name,” Alex scowled.

“Look, Lawson, I really don’t have time for this. We have company coming over and we’re already late. I’ll see you,” Maggie said tersely, not waiting for him to respond before she walked out, Alex trailing behind her one step and Kara just humming sleepily, still with her head on Maggie’s shoulder.

 

“I hope that was okay,” Alex said once they were in the car and on their way back to their apartment. Alex was driving and glanced back and forth between Maggie and the road every few seconds, nervously biting her lip. At Maggie’s curious look, Alex added, “bringing Kara into the station, I mean. We didn’t really talk about it before, and I didn’t know if you’d told anyone but we were waiting and we were running late and… I just-”

“Babe, take a breather. I know why you did it. I shouldn’t have been running late. And you knew I had told my boss, so that was fine. Honestly, I wasn’t planning on telling Lawson because he’s a misogynistic ass and is probably going to try to convince me not to work so that I can take care of her, but he would have found out eventually. And Cassano and Jackson already knew. Actually, like, that reminds me. Cassano is bringing some old clothes from when his kids were younger. I told him we got a stipend from Kara’s family’s inheritance since we were taking care of her but he insisted,” Maggie said.

“Oh. Okay,” Alex nodded. She fell silent for a few minutes. “I made a lasagna for dinner tonight.”

“You made it?” Maggie teased.

“Alright, shut up, it was, like, a Stouffer’s lasagna,” Alex admitted, ears turning pink. Glancing in the back seat, they saw Kara’s eyes drooping as she stared out the window, clutching her stuffed animal. “What if my mom tries to take her? Like… she could think that we’re not capable of taking care of a super-baby and she could take Kara and keep her at Kara’s apartment and what if I’m really not capable of taking care of her? What if this goes on for a long time? Or forever? I love little Kara and how sweet she is, but I also love my sister. My sister who’s only a year younger than me. And I miss that sister. I just- like, I’m so scared. And I don’t know-”

“Al, Al, babe. Your mom isn’t going to take her away. She’s coming to support us and make sure that we can reverse this soon and help us. So we will find a way to get your sister back, and it is perfectly understandable that you’re scared. But I think you should try and relax because Kara is starting to look anxious. Kids pick up on our moods and we’re scaring her a bit,” Maggie says, keeping her voice soft and calming. She glanced back to see Kara sitting up straighter in her car seat, eyes wide and lip trembling as she looked towards Alex, now clutching the toy to her chest. The pacifier had dropped to her lap, forgotten as she toyed with her bottom lip nervously.

“Okay. Okay. It’ll be alright. We’ll be okay, Kara. We’re going to have some yummy dinner, right? You still hungry, bug?” Alex asked, forcing her own voice to be calm as she took some deep breaths, pulling into the parking garage. Maggie leaned back to pop the pacifier back in Kara’s mouth, tickling her neck and smiling when Kara giggled.

“Hung-y,” Kara confirmed, the word mangled around her pacifier. “Dinny now!”

“You got it, little one,” Maggie declared as Alex pulled into her spot. “Dinner time for hungry little babies!” Maggie continued chattering, keeping both Danvers girls focused on her happy, bright tone as they walked over to the elevator and into the apartment to have dinner together.

 

“And they all lived happily ever after. The end,” Alex said softly, kissing Kara’s forehead. She had just finished reading Little Red Riding Hood and Kara’s eyes had finally closed, nose whistling softly with each exhale. Maggie was in the kitchen cleaning the dishes and nearest to the door when the bell rang. She cleaned off her soapy hands and opened the door just as Alex entered the living room to see who it was.

“Eliza,” Maggie said. “Come in!” Eliza swept into the room, giving Maggie a quick but tight hug before turning to Alex.

“Mom, hey. Glad you’re here.” And it hits Alex then, she is glad her mother’s here. Because for all her faults, for all of their fights and their strained relationships, her mother was always there to clean up her messes as a kid and it feels good to know that she’ll still be there to help even now. And maybe it’s childish and maybe she’s just had a rough couple of days but suddenly her eyes are tearing up and her chest is heaving with the effort of containing her sobs because she just got Kara to sleep and her mother’s arms are tight around her and Maggie is rubbing her back and she just wants Kara to be there, too, holding her too tight and petting her hair. But she leans into her mother anyway.

“Oh, my sweet girl. Oh Alex, I know. We’re gonna be okay. We’ll get her back, we’ll figure this out. I promise,” Eliza whispered reassuringly, repeating the phrases into Alex’s hair as she hugged her. She repeated them so many times that she hoped Alex could actually believe her. She repeated them so many times that Eliza hoped it was enough to convince herself.

All the while, Kara slept soundly in the next room.

Chapter Text

By the time Alex had cried herself out, Maggie had made tea and brought some out for them all while Eliza just stroked her hair and whispered soft reassurances.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what- it just- I guess it just kind of hit me… I know she’s right here but… I miss her.” Alex sniffled pitifully, trying to calm herself enough to sit up and talk to her mom about this like an adult.

“Kara has been your best friend for more than half of your life. She is important to you. I put so much pressure on you to take care of her- and I’m sorry about that, Alex, I am. But you feel so obligated to protect her and now something has happened and you feel like you can’t help her and you miss her. I think it makes perfect sense that you’re upset. You never have to apologize to me for having feelings, or for showing them. It doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t make you a failure,” Eliza said firmly, taking Alex’s chin between her thumb and forefinger to make sure Alex was looking at her and understanding.

“O-okay,” Alex sighed, letting her shoulders droop. She relaxed back into the couch, still sitting close enough to her mom to feel her warmth and take comfort in it. Maggie just watched from the armchair opposite them, feeling a little bit like an outsider intruding on this moment.

“So… Why don’t you start by telling me how this all started,” Eliza encouraged. Alex nodded and began to tell the whole story from the moment they found her to their current experiments and modes of research. Maggie injected commentary as necessary and Eliza just listened, nodding and occasionally asking clarifying questions. When the story is finished, they just sat there for a moment.

“Can I see her?” Eliza asked, voice soft.

“Sure. She’s sleeping in the guest room; we’ve set it up as her room for now,” Maggie said. They stood and moved into the room silently. Leaving the door cracked open allowed the light from the living room to illuminate the darkened bedroom. Alex and Maggie stood by the door while Eliza went over to the bed and looked over the safety rail. Her face immediately softened and she cooed softly, carefully stroking Kara’s hair as she slept. Alex stiffened when Kara began to wiggle and scrunched up her nose. But Eliza just made soft shushing noises and pushes the stuffed lion into Kara’s arms. She took the toy and brought it up to her nose, snuggling into it and sighing as she settled back into sleep. Eliza stood silently for a few more minutes, watching Kara with a peaceful smile on her face before following Alex and Maggie back to the kitchen.

“She’s so cute,” Eliza said with a grin. “Like a little angel.”

“Yeah, she’s sweet. And she’s got this squeaky little voice…” Maggie sighed happily, sitting at the counter. Eliza took the seat behind her and Alex went into the kitchen to get the dessert she bought.

“Well, I look forward to meeting her when she’s awake. But for now, why don’t you tell me more about the avenues you’re exploring. Maybe I can help, fresh eyes and all that, right?” Eliza suggested.

“Sure. I got some cookies if you want, and some ice cream. I figured airplane food isn’t all that great and maybe you were up for a late night snack?” Alex offered.

“Oh, just a bit. You and Kara aren’t the only Danvers women with a sweet tooth,” she chuckled. After they had all gotten their snacks, Alex brought her work tablet over to the counter and they sat looking at their work, working together to try and bring their Kara back.

 

Maggie was practically falling asleep at the table when they heard Kara crying.

“I’ve got it. You guys keep going,” Maggie said sleepily. Alex and Eliza nodded as she stood to get Kara. Maggie had stopped trying to help the Danvers half an hour after they started. Because Maggie was smart, she has a degree in biology and criminal justice from the prestigious Gotham University. She was smart, but the Danvers women were on another level. They were so in sync that they rarely had to their sentences, each just finishing the others’ thought mentally and then responding. Maggie couldn’t understand what they were talking about, so she rested her head on her hands and just sat with them until she got up to go get Kara.

Kara was sitting up on the bed sobbing, face red and curls slick with sweat sticking to her forehead. Maggie ran over and scooped the little girl up from where she was tangled in her blankets. Her diaper had leaked onto her pajamas and Maggie saw a damp patch on the sheets. Cradling Kara to her chest, Maggie started bouncing and rocking back and forth, making soft sounds in time with her bouncing. Kara continued to cry, burying her head into Maggie’s shoulder. Maggie startled when she felt Kara’s mouth latch onto her skin, sucking softly. It wasn’t exactly like a baby trying to nurse, nor was it like when Alex gave Maggie hickeys (it certainly wasn’t sensual like that) but it reminded Maggie of those feelings. But the feeling seemed to calm Kara down and within a few minutes, her sobs had turned into sniffles and whimpers, Kara’s breath hitching as she tried to calm herself.

“Oh, poor baby girl,” Maggie sighed, swaying in place now and rubbing Kara’s back. “Did you have a bad dream? My sweet little girl. Let’s get you into some dry jammies, hmmm?” She moved to grab a fresh diaper and some wipes, laying a towel down on the bed before trying to pry Kara off of her. She whined and held on for a moment before letting go of Maggie’s shirt and releasing her skin, pouting and whimpering slightly.

“There we go, good girl. We’ll get you all comfy and warm and dry, I promise,” Maggie continued as she stripped Kara of the wet pajamas and soaked diaper. She continued mumbling reassurances as she wiped Kara down and dried her off, careful of the angry, red rash on her diaper region. She wished she had some rash cream, but they hadn’t thought they would need any for Kara; she’d have to remember to pick some up tomorrow. Once she was in a new diaper and a soft, blue onesie, Maggie picked Kara up again and offered Kara a pacifier. Kara declined it and attached herself to Maggie’s shoulder again, pushing down the collar of Maggie’s shirt to get to it. Shrugging it off, Maggie went out to the kitchen.

“Hey, babe, could you maybe change the sheets on Kara’s bed? And wash the dirty ones?” Maggie whispered, rubbing Kara’s back gently.

“Yeah, sure. What happened? Everything alright?” Alex asked.

“Was she sick or did the diaper just leak?” Eliza asked, standing and reaching out as if to touch Kara and comfort her but paused and withdrew her hand, not wanting to startle the girl.

“Yeah, it just leaked. She’s got a pretty angry diaper rash, which surprised me. I figured the baby of steel wouldn’t get a rash like that. But we’ll get her better, right baby girl? All better,” Maggie said softly, bouncing Kara slightly. Alex kissed Kara’s cheek and squeezed Maggie’s shoulder before going into the guest room to clean up Kara’s bed.

“I wonder if her cousin ever got those. If he didn’t, then we might need to consider the idea that Kara isn’t at full strength with her powers,” Eliza mused.

“We can figure that out… in the morning, though, right?” Maggie said, stifling a yawn and rubbing slow, soothing circles on Kara’s back, lightly scratching her with her nails to help soothe her.

“Of course,” Eliza said, nodding. Maggie hummed in reply and they fell silent. After a minute, Eliza spoke again. “A warm bottle of milk always helped Alex fall asleep when she was little. Do you want me to make one?” Eliza asked softly. Shifting to peek at Kara’s face and finding her still awake, Maggie nodded.

“Yeah, please.” Maggie continued to spin in slow circles to hopefully lull Kara to sleep. By the time Eliza was handing Maggie the bottle, Alex had returned and the circles were making Maggie dizzy. “Thanks,” Maggie smiled softly, suppressing a yawn. “Alex, babe, once I get her back to sleep I think I’m gonna go to bed, too.”

“Oh, goodness, it is getting late. I have to go get settled and get to bed so I can be of use to you guys tomorrow,” Eliza said, glancing at her watch. “We’ll just clear up and then I will see you tomorrow.” Eliza gave Maggie a half-hug and kissed her cheek goodbye, patting a sleepy Kara’s back.

“We’ll introduce you properly tomorrow when she’s more awake,” Maggie promised. Eliza nodded.

“See you in a minute, babe,” Alex whispered, kissing her forehead as Maggie passed by towards the bedroom. She settled into the rocking chair with Kara lying on her lap, whining at being forced to let go of Maggie’s skin. Maggie quickly placed the bottle in her mouth and Kara rubbed one eye with her fist before she took the bottle.

“Too sleepy,” she mumbled sleepily. Maggie thought she recognized one word, but couldn’t quite recall what it meant.

“Kara, sweetie, say it again. I don’t speak Kryptonian.”

“Sleepy. No want.”

“It’ll help you sleep, baby. And it tastes good, I promise. Much better than my shoulder. Just try it, please?” Maggie begged, stifling her own yawns. After another moment of hesitation, Kara took the bottle into her mouth and began to drink. Maggie smiled when she sighed softly, relaxing in Maggie’s arms, eyes closing. Maggie used her foot to rock the chair slowly, letting her head fall back and her eyes closed. When Alex came into the room, she found Kara asleep with the bottle still hanging from her mouth and Maggie asleep with her mouth hanging open and the chair still rocking slightly.

She tried to pick Kara up to put her back to bed but she clung to Maggie tightly, whining and fussing. Alex didn’t want to risk waking her again, so she just rearranged Kara on Maggie’s lap and picked them both up; she wasn’t as strong as Supergirl, but her training at the DEO left her strong enough to carry her sleeping girlfriend and baby sister (barely, but it was a short walk to her bed). Once they were placed on Alex and Maggie’s bed, Maggie turned on her side and Kara snuggled into her, latching her mouth onto Maggie’s exposed collarbone. Smirking, Alex took a picture for future blackmail before changing into pajamas and joining them on the bed, falling asleep quickly with Kara sandwiched between them.

 

Maggie woke the next morning with Kara laying on top of her, awake and singing softly in Kryptonese. There was a note on the bedside table which Maggie figured was from Alex. She stretched and smiled sleepily up at Kara, running a hand through her messy curls.

“Morning, sweet girl. What are you singing?” Maggie rasped.

“Sing! Song!” Kara squealed happily, clapping her hands and snuggling further into Maggie’s chest.

“You’re singing a song?” Maggie chuckled. Kara just continued humming the tune. Maggie held Kara as she sat up, scooting her so she was comfortable. As Kara hummed and played with Maggie’s hair, Maggie picked up the note from the bedside table.

Hey, babe, you were asleep when I left so I didn’t want to wake you. Gave Kara a protein shake when I left, but she might still be hungry. See you later tonight. Love you, Alex.

“Alright, nugget, are you hungry?” Maggie asked, standing and putting Kara on her hip.

“Hungry! Hungry! Vehl !”

“Vehl? Veal? What’s that, babe?”

Vehl! Hungry!” Kara repeated.

“Vehl?” Maggie tried.

“Vehl!”

Vehl, does that mean hungry?” Kara nodded. “Alright, cool. Well, my poor vehl Kara, let’s go get some food, huh?” Maggie grinned, bouncing Kara as they went into the kitchen. Patting her diaper, Maggie added, “but first, a change.” Kara giggled and kicked her feet and Maggie just smiled.

“Owww,” Kara whined as Maggie changed her, the rash clearly still bothering her.

“Oh, I know, Nena , I know,” Maggie soothed. “We’ll get you some cream to make it all better, I promise. And look! Now, you’re all done!” Maggie smiled, snapping Kara’s onesie back on and picking her up. “Let’s go get some food, right bug?”

“Yes! Food!” Kara affirmed. Maggie just chuckled before going into the kitchen.

 

“Lena, up early, I see?” Alex said drily when she walked in, offering a coffee.

“As are you, Danvers,” Lena said with a challenging smirk, dressed comfortably in what appeared to be leggings and a faded MIT sweatshirt, hair pulled back in a neat ponytail and glasses once again on her nose. But she accepted the coffee with a smile. She faltered when Eliza came in behind Alex, deep in conversation with Winn.

“Oh, Lena, this is my mom: Eliza Danvers. Mom, this is Lena Luthor,” Alex said.

“I’ve heard wonderful things about you, dear. From all of my children,” Eliza said warmly.

“Oh- that’s- um… I thought it was just Kara and Alex?” Lena stammered, cheeks pink as she shook Eliza’s hand.

“Eliza kind of adopted all of the Super Friends: Winn, Lucy Lane, James Olsen, and now Maggie. You better watch out, Luthor, or you’ll be next,” Alex explained with a teasing smile.

“That’s nice,” Lena smiled warmly. They all stood there smiling at each other awkwardly for a moment before Winn broke the silence.

“So… Maybe we could, like, explain our different theories to Eliza? And then we can see where we are,” he suggested.

“I’ll go first,” Alex volunteered, pulling her mother over to her lab bench to show her the slides she’d been working on yesterday. They all sat and listened, noting how the cellular structure seemed to have changed from what Alex knew of Kara’s normal cellular structure, but they struggled to find a way to change the cells back. After discussing the possibilities for nearly an hour, Eliza turned to Lena.

“I’d like to hear your theory now, dear. Alex mentioned something about wormholes last night?” For a moment under Eliza’s scrutiny, Lena faltered. She knew that Eliza wasn’t actually related to Kara, but their eyes were so similar, so warm and inviting. And Eliza tilted her head and smiled invitingly at Lena the same way that Alex did sometimes. It felt nice, it felt safe, it felt… terrifying. For a moment, Lena didn’t say anything. But then her Luthor upbringing kicked in and she began to speak.

“In this universe, wormholes are theoretically possible, yet we haven’t found any. I wondered if maybe Kara accidentally traveled through one in another universe, and the wormhole might have rearranged her molecules. Or perhaps it was something like the Phantom Zone she was stuck in, except in this dimension, time actually moved backward. I was working on these equations to figure out how the wormhole could have theoretically changed her physical and mental form but I haven’t finished them yet. Most of this is completely theoretical and I have no way of even proving it yet, but it’s a theory I’m working on right now.” She gestured to the whiteboard behind her with the equations still on it, some half-finished and most looking like complete gibberish. Eliza just stood there with one arm across her chest and the other hand pointing to the board, following the equations with her pointer finger. Her eyes were narrowed and her lips were moving as if reading the board aloud to herself.

“Fascinating,” she murmured after a while. “I’d like to hear about what Winn is working on, but I think I’d like to work with Lena, if possible. This is definitely an interesting theory and I’d love to help you work on it if that’s alright,” she said warmly, smiling at a blushing, fidgeting Lena.

“Of course. I’d love the help,” Lena said softly, blushing and looking down until Eliza turned her attention to Winn. God, it was like Rhea all over again. Well, minus the ‘evil alien tricking her into starting a Daxamite invasion’ part. Okay, so maybe it was just like, the maternal affection that was similar. But still, Lena had no healthy frame of reference for this besides fuzzy memories from when she was a toddler, so she just blushed and looked down and tried to quell the desire to lean into Eliza Danvers and make her proud, to earn her love and affection. Lena already knew she would fail, but damn it if she wouldn’t try.

Chapter Text

“Ma! Ma!” Kara called from her spot on the floor in the living room. Maggie came over instantly, recognizing Kara’s calls for her. With the sound muffled around a purple pacifier, it almost sounded like she was calling for her mom. For a minute, Maggie allowed herself to daydream about someday in the future when she would be home with her own child, hers and Alex’s. And that kid would be calling for their ‘Mama’, Maggie. The idea warmed her heart, but Maggie knew that now wasn’t the best time to bring up that particular thought.

“Yes, Kara?” Maggie said, squatting down next to the toddler.

“Vehl.” Kara patted her tummy for emphasis. Maggie just chuckled. It was almost eleven, but she couldn’t deny Kara’s overactive metabolism or make her wait until lunchtime.

“Oh, poor little thing. Let me make you a bottle, hmm?” Maggie tickled her chin before standing, going to the kitchen to fetch one of the protein shake bottles. The pitter-patter of little feet behind her makes her stop and turn, finding Kara, barefoot and still in her pajamas, following her. She trailed a blanket behind her, toy cars in her other hand. She looked up at Maggie as if wondering why she stopped. When Maggie took a few steps forward, so did Kara.

“You’re just a little duckling, aren’t you? A hungry duckling. Hmmm… do you know what ducks eat, Kara?” Maggie giggled, bending over to ruffle Kara’s hair. “I think baby ducks need a yummy bottle, don’t you?” She pulled a bottle out of the fridge, already filled with the shake and ready to be eaten. She picked Kara up and placed her on her hip, tickling her and making the little girl giggle, pacifier falling out and trains dropping to the ground as they made their way into the living room. “Here, little ducky. Drink your bottle. I’m going to go clean up the kitchen, yeah? Because Sissy forgot to do the dishes last night, yes she did! I’ll be back duck. You stay here and play,” Maggie grinned. On her way out, she picked up the dropped toys and pacifier, rinsing off the latter before leaving them on the coffee table next to where Kara was sitting, drinking her bottle greedily and playing with her stuffed lion. Maggie just smiled, kissed the crown of her head and went to the kitchen to clean up, keeping one ear out to listen for Kara.

 

Maggie ended up making sandwiches and bagged up some snacks before getting Kara changed for the park. She dressed her in a pair of red overalls and a white shirt with a kitten wearing a crown on it. Kara just played with the buttons on the overalls while Maggie brushed her hair and put half of it up in a ponytail, leaving the rest in her natural curls. She put sneakers on Kara before getting herself dressed in gray joggers and a white t-shirt with a baseball hat and sneakers.

“Time for a walk, kid,” Maggie grinned, strapping Kara into the stroller. She made sure she had packed two extra protein shakes for Kara, snacks, and food for them both, and a big water bottle for herself. She put a soccer ball, a bucket, a shovel, a picnic blanket, and jackets in the bottom of the stroller before getting ready to leave.

“P’ay?” Kara asked, letting the pacifier drop from her mouth.

“Yeah, baby girl. We’re gonna go play at the park, like when you were digging a hole, remember?”

“‘Ena p’ay?” Kara asked as they got out into the hallway and Maggie turned to lock the door behind them.

“Not this time, Kara. Maybe another time.”

“Want her! P’ay wif ‘Ena!” Kara grumbled. When they got into the thankfully empty elevator, Maggie came around to squat down to her eye-level.

“I know, babe, but she’s working right now. Like Alex and Eliza. Maybe they can go to the park with you tomorrow while I’m at work, hmm?”

“Want A’ex, ‘Ena,” Kara whined now. Maggie just squeezed her shoulder.

“Me too, peanut. But you and me, we can have fun, right? We can play with the ball, we can go on the slide, we can even dig holes in the sand! That sounds like fun, doesn’t it?” Maggie said brightly, kissing Kara’s knuckles before standing and walking out the lobby. Kara just hummed in agreement. Maggie kept up the conversation with Kara, asking questions and making plans to play silly games once they got to the park as she walked at a brisk pace, trying to find the specific park she had found on the map before they left.

As they walked, Maggie sent a text to Alex: taking Kara to a playground for lunch. Think you and your Mom could slip away for a while to visit? And Lena? Kara is asking about you guys. Maggie slipped her phone back into her pocket and kept on walking.

“Here we are, sweets. A new playground for you to try!” Maggie said brightly when they finally reached it. This was a smaller park than the one they had gone to last time. It was set off from the main streets, behind a new housing complex. It was only about half an acre, but it had a nice big wooden fence around the edge and there was only one entrance which made it easier to keep kids from running (or getting kidnapped). The play structure was larger than the one at the other park since it wasn’t separated by age or ability. There were swings along one side and sandboxes across from it. A sidewalk went around the perimeter with benches and a few flower patches. Kids were yelling happily and chasing each other around and Maggie smiled looking around. This place seemed much better, much safer for them. Maggie hurried along to grab the last free picnic table and claim it, parking the stroller before taking Kara out.

“We can play for a little bit, bug, hmm?” Maggie mused. But she held Kara on her hip for a moment as she spread the blanket over the picnic bench and set the little lunchbox cooler on top. She took this moment to check her phone, finding three separate messages, all received moments apart.

We can come by for half an hour. Can Winn come too? He’ll complain if I try to leave him out.

Where are you guys anyway? The same park as last time?

Okay, Lena’s complaining a bit about us interrupting her ‘groove’ whatever that means but she’s coming. We’re stopping for food on the way. Need anything?

Seriously, babe, what direction should we head in?

“Your sissy is so silly, isn’t she? So impatient,” Maggie muttered, sending Alex her location with the press of a button, sending an emoji heart with it.

“Sissy! Ie, ie!

“Yeh? Je?” Maggie repeated confusedly.

“Sissy! Sissy, ie.” Maggie put Kara down and took her hand, leading her to the playground. Kara insisted on the slide first.

“Ie ,” Maggie said carefully. Kara nodded.

“Sissy!”

Ie , does that mean sister? Like Alex?” Kara nodded eagerly, giggling when Maggie picked her up and placed her on top of the slide, letting her go down before grabbing her and doing it again. Maggie mulled over the new information carefully, trying to commit the word to memory. “Well, your ie is coming. And so is Eliza and Lena and Winn.”

“‘Ena!” Kara squealed excitedly, clapping her hands and laughing. Maggie bit her bottom lip, trying to contain her own laughter. She squatted down next to Kara, opening the camera on her phone to take a video.

“Hey, sweets, who’s coming to see you?” Maggie prompted softly.

“‘Sissy! Sissy! And ‘Ena! My ‘Ena come to p’ay wif me!” Kara giggled, jumping up and down in a little happy dance and spinning around. Maggie stopped the recording and sent it to Alex, smirking slightly. And then she put the phone away, dedicating herself to playing with this little girl until their friends and family arrived, chasing her around and playing tag on the playground, dodging around the other kids and Maggie only half-heartedly acting sheepish when she catches the eye of other parents and nannies watching her run around after Kara.

 

“James is gonna be so jealous when he realizes I got to play with Kara first,” Winn snickered as they walked out of the diner with their takeout lunches in a bag.

“I invited him, too,” Alex said over her shoulder, leading the group. Winn, who was standing in the back behind Lena and Eliza who were still talking about the possibility of wormholes, just pouted.

“Why do you have to ruin this for me?”

“Because it’s fun,” Alex said with a smirk. Winn rolled his eyes and jogged ahead to catch up with Alex so that he wouldn’t be left behind.

“And I was thinking… We’ve been trying to use our technology to find wormholes. What if we just… use someone else’s?” Eliza suggested.

“I’m not following. If someone on this planet had found a way to locate and identify real wormholes, we would know about it and we would be able to use their data,” Lena said with a wrinkled nose, taking a sip of her kale smoothie.

“What about another planet? Or rather, another universe?” Eliza suggested.

“You… You want to go to another universe? And find wormholes? To- you really think my wild theory holds enough plausibility to do that?” Lena asked, stunned.

“I do,” Eliza said earnestly. “I trust your judgment, this theory has merits. Plus… I just really want to go to another universe. Can you imagine the possibilities?”

“I want to come, too! Did you know even with all the times Kara, and J’onn, and even Mon-El have gone, I still haven’t? Neither has Alex. It’s ridiculous!” Winn said.

“Really? That’s so un-” Alex cut Lena off abruptly.

“Enough work talk. Yes, it’s annoying that I’ve never been allowed to go. And yes, I want to go if you guys go to the other universe. But right now, we’re about to go to a playground with civilians, lots of civilians and children. So we need to cool it with the multiverse talk and just try to be normal people for thirty minutes,” Alex said firmly but softly. The playground was just down the block and she wanted them to not draw attention to themselves while they were out, she just wanted to be a normal family on a normal picnic with a normal little kid. She waited for everyone to nod or mumble their agreement before she turned around and continued. “God... and you guys say I’m a workaholic,” she muttered. Alex ignored their scoffs of protest or low chuckles and just continued walking into the park.

 

The moment Kara saw them, she giggled and grinned, jumping up and down on the little bridge that wobbled beneath them. Maggie waved, scooping Kara up and crossed the bridge, sliding down the nearest slide before setting Kara on the ground, letting her toddle eagerly to the approaching group. Maggie wondered who Kara would approach first, following with a curious smile.

“Ie, ie! ” Kara squealed as Alex swooped in to scoop her up before Kara could decide who to hug first. Alex kissed her cheek noisily and hugged her tight, whispering to her in Kryptonese softly. Kara nodded eagerly before wiggling to be put down.

“Hey, babe,” Maggie said, greeting her girlfriend with a hug and a kiss. “How’s work?”

“‘Ena, p’ay!” Kara whispered urgently, pointing to the playground.

“Of course I’ll play, Kara,” Lena replied easily. As soon as she said it, she tensed. She wanted to play with Kara; really, how could she say no to that face? But she was a public figure, one who polarized the public. What would happen if someone recognized her and pictures of Lena Luthor crawling through a playground structure with a toddler started to circulate the web? Would people harass Kara and Alex and Maggie? Could someone find out Kara’s secret?

“Kara, we cannot play until everyone has eaten lunch,” Eliza said firmly, almost instinctually. Immediately she looked at Alex and Maggie apologetically. “Sorry, I just-”

“It’s okay, that’s what we should do, anyway. Aren’t you hungry, Kara?” Alex said, holding her arms out and Kara kissed Lena’s cheek before wiggling her way into Alex’s arms, balanced on her hip.

“Hungry!” she confirmed. As they were walking to the picnic table, Alex grabbed her mother’s elbow, pulling her closer to Kara.

“Kara, sweetheart, this is my mom Eliza. Eliza, this is Kara. Can you say hi, Kara?” Alex said softly. Eliza smiled sweetly at the little girl.

“Hi,” Kara said shyly, giving a little wave. Eliza mimicked the gesture.

“Hello, Kara. I’m Alex’s mom, her Ieiu .” Kara furrowed her brow and wrinkled her nose. When they sat, Alex settled Kara on her lap with Lena to her right and Maggie to her left, Eliza and Winn across from them.

“Baby crinkle,” Winn pointed out, pulling his food out of the container.

“What’s wrong, pequeña ?” Maggie asked, pouting her lower lip in sympathy. Kara turned to look at Alex.

Eliza nahn ni ieiu, chao rip nahn mi ie. Eliza nahn mi ieiu?” Kara asked curiously. Alex and Eliza were the only two who truly understood the question and both stiffened for a moment. How do you explain to a toddler that her parents are dead?

“Not exactly, baby girl. We’re not blood, but we’re family, does that make sense?” Alex tried. Kara wrinkled her nose and shook her head. “Well… she’s like… She is your mom in a way. But… she didn’t give birth to you.” Kara cocked her head to the side.

“Kara, sweetheart, you had a different mommy and daddy from Alex, but they couldn’t take care of you. So we took care of you. It’s called adoption.”

“Adop… adop-tin,” Kara repeated slowly.

“I was adopted, too,” Lena added. Kara nodded, letting things absorb for a moment before wiggling back around to sit properly in her seat on Alex’s lap.

“Hungry,” she declared again. Clearly, the news of her adoption didn’t matter to the little girl. Alex couldn’t help but be a little relieved; that sounded like a hard conversation to have especially considering the circumstances.

“Say please,” Alex admonished. “And say hello to your friend Winn, remember him from my work?”

“Hi!” Kara said brightly, waving across the table to Winn. Looking back to Alex, she added, “please? Hungry.”

“Good girl,” Maggie praised, putting the sandwich in front of Kara. Alex ripped it into small pieces and helped Kara eat while everyone else chatted and ate. After a few minutes, James showed up with a Noonan’s sandwich and a gift bag for Kara.

“Kara, this is my friend James. Can you say hi?”

“Hi!” Kara said brightly, getting bolder as she greeted more people throughout the day.

“Hi, Kara. I brought you a present. Maybe you can open it after lunch,” he said, offering her the small blue bag.

“What do you say, kid?” Alex prompted softly.

“T’ank ‘oo!” Kara giggled, taking the gift eagerly. James took a seat next to Winn and the group settled in, all of them eating and chatting and laughing. Kara seemed content to watch without contributing since her own mouth was full of food most of the time due to her appetite. By the time everyone else was finished, Kara was ready to play. She wiggled on Alex’s lap and squirmed until she was sitting with Lena, grabbing both of her hands.

“P’ay!” Kara declared with a grin.

“I think that can be arranged for a few minutes. But I have to go back to work in a little bit!” Lena agreed, beaming at her. Eliza quickly looked at her watch; according to Alex’s plans, they should have left five minutes ago but she wasn’t going to be the one to point that out.

“Down, p’ease.” Lena placed Kara on the ground and barely had two seconds to swing her legs out from under the table to stand up before Kara took off toddling towards the playground. Lena jogged after her, laughing at her eagerness. At the table, Winn just looked at them.

“I, for one, am not going to let Lena have all the fun just because she’s clearly Kara’s favorite. I see some monkey bars calling my name.” With that, Winn jumped up and ran over to the playground, passing Lena and Kara who were climbing the stairs to get to the lower level of the play structure.

“I’m going, too. I haven’t played on a playground in ages,” James said, jogging over to Lena and Kara, stopping to snap a few pictures of Kara and Lena playing before joining in.

“Well, my knees aren’t what they used to be, so I’ll be staying on the ground. But I would like to go over there,” Eliza added, standing slowly as she spoke.

“Someone has to keep an eye on them,” Alex added with a playful roll of her eyes. Maggie just chuckled, linking her arm with Alex’s as they all went over to the playground.

 

They had all been playing for over half an hour when Winn jogged over to Maggie, eyes bright, slightly sweaty and cheeks pink from running around.

“Hey, um, Maggie, did you bring another diaper? Because Kara’s is looking kind of saggy and full and she kind of stinks.”

“Hey, she thinks you stink,” Alex replied childishly. Winn stuck his tongue out at her, Alex returning the gesture immediately.

“Put those tongues away right now,” Eliza said sternly.

“Sorry, Mom.”

“Sorry, Eliza.” Maggie just chuckled at the pair before her.

“Yeah, I have a diaper. Let me just go grab the bag.” Maggie grabbed the makeshift diaper bag and came back, looking around for Kara. She found her giggling at Lena trying to climb the monkey bars. Lena dropped and James picked her up, letting Kara pretend to do the monkey bars while holding her aloft.

“Hey, you with the saggy bum!” Maggie called, jogging over to the group. Kara giggled. “Yeah, you! C’mere. Let’s get you all cleaned up, stinky, hmm?” James handed Maggie to Kara.

“Yeah, I should probably get going. It was nice playing with you, Kara. I can send you and Alex the pictures I took later, Maggie,” James said, waving and kissing Kara’s head before going to say goodbye to everyone else.

“Oh, goodness, we’ve been gone so long! We really should go back too, shouldn’t we?” Lena said, starting to walk away as Maggie started to walk toward the bathroom.

“No! ‘Ena come, too!” Kara whined. “P’ease, ‘Ena?” Kara almost looked like she was batting her eyes at Lena, reaching out and squirming for Lena. Maggie sent Lena a look as if to say eh, just humor the kid.

“Um, alright. I suppose I could use a trip to the ladies’ room anyway,” Lena said hesitantly. She glanced back to find everyone else starting to pack up their things. Kara babbled happily at Lena as they made their way into the small bathroom. As Maggie set Kara down on the changing table and started to undress her, Lena cleared her throat, cheeks pink. “Um, should I- should I avert my eyes or something?” she asked. When Maggie looked at her she found Lena staring firmly at the floor in front of her.

“You could,” Maggie said, amused. “But you don’t have to. She’s just a baby right now; babies really don’t care about being naked all that much.” She turned back to the task at hand and continued unsnapping Kara’s onesie at the crotch, pulling it up enough to blow a raspberry on her belly, making Kara giggle.

“I know but… It’s different,” Lena whispered. She looked around to make sure they were alone. “Because I know she’s not really a baby, she’s my best friend. And eventually, when we get her back to normal, I’d have to- it’s just awkward,” Lena said. Eyes not moving from where she was undoing Kara’s diaper- wincing at the renewed redness of her rash since she had clearly been playing in the dirty diaper for too long- Maggie spoke.

“Not exactly the way you pictured seeing Kara’s genitals for the first time?” She had to suppress the laugh as she heard Lena inhale sharply.

“I do not- I wasn’t- I didn’t imagine seeing Kara’s genitals,” Lena hissed, scandalized. Maggie looks over her shoulder, pleased to find Lena looking back at her and no longer staring at the floor.

“Please, baby Luthor. You’ve got the hots for baby Danvers, it’s obvious- er, well, I’d hope you don’t have the hots for this particular version of baby Danvers, but… you get the point. Just don’t try to lie to me about it. And maybe come over here. Kara is reaching for you.” Lena immediately came over, reaching to hold Kara’s hand and run her fingers through her hair and Maggie had to resist the urge to mutter about how whipped she was. “See? Just hold her hand and if it makes you more comfortable, then don’t look while I clean her up and get a new diaper on. It’s just- I know, Nena, the wipes are cold, I’m sorry- it’s just taking me an extra minute because she’s got a rash and I need to make sure she’s totally clean and then put on the cream.” Lena just nods, moving aside a bit so that Maggie can move her arms enough to continue wiping Kara. Lena just focuses on keeping Kara smiling, tickling her tummy and mumbling soothing words.

“There, all better! See? All better!” Maggie said brightly as she snapped on Kara’s onesie, pulled her pants, shoes and socks back on and tossed out the dirty diaper and wipes. While she washed her hands, Lena picked Kara up and swayed in her place, humming little songs and smiling at a giggling Kara. Walking back out to the group, they found Eliza, Alex, and Winn all ready to go back to work.

“Alright, bye bye, Kara. I’ll see you soon, okay? I’ll come by and play some time this weekend, I promise. Bye,” Lena said softly, hugging Kara tightly and kissing her cheek before passing her off to Eliza.

“Thank you for letting us have lunch and play with you. Maybe I can come play again sometime. You be good for Maggie, got it?” Eliza said, hugging her and passing her on to Winn. He held her awkwardly as if he didn’t have much experience with babies, holding her around her torso and not supporting her underneath. He hugged her quickly.

“See you again soon, cutie,” he said before quickly passing her to Alex. Kara wrapped her arms and legs around Alex, clinging to her.

“No go, ie . No go, sissy,” she muttered into Alex’s shoulder. Alex rubbed circles into her back and bounced slightly.

“I’ll come back, kiddo. I’ll be back around dinner time. You won’t even have time to miss me,” Alex assured her.

“Miss you,” Kara repeated firmly, hugging Alex tighter.

“Kara, Kara, go easy, not so tight,” Alex choked out. Kara released her grip but still clung to Alex. “Okay, bug, I promise I will come back to you. You can draw me a picture or something while you wait,” Alex offered. Kara just whined, still clinging to Alex.

“We can bake Alex cupcakes,” Maggie offered. Kara perked up a little bit.

“Food?” she said softly. Maggie smiled at her and nodded.

“The best kind of food! It tastes sweet, like your chocolate drinks. And we can make them nice and pretty for Alex, if you want,” she continued. Slowly, Kara pulled back to look at Maggie, no longer clinging as tight to Alex. She nodded eagerly at Maggie as she spoke. “We can make them whatever color you want, but we have to let Alex go back to work. So why don’t you give her another big hug and a kiss, and then come snuggle with me for a few minutes.”

“Okay,” Kara said softly, turning back to hug Alex again. Alex swayed in spot, humming and hugging her tightly for a full minute before pulling back slightly and kissing both of Kara’s cheeks, then her nose, then her forehead. She succeeded in her plan to make Kara smile when her baby sister giggled adorably. Kara sloppily kissed Alex’s cheek.

“Alright, sweetie, I’ll see you later, got it?” Alex promised. Kara nodded and let Maggie take her, balancing her on her hip. Alex waved one more time as the group started to walk away.

“Bye bye,” Kara called after them. Maggie just stood there hugging Kara for a moment.

“Ready to go home and make some cupcakes for Alex?” Maggie asked. Stifling a yawn, Kara nodded. Maggie smiled at her and sighed softly, putting her in the stroller again and making sure they had everything before heading out. She would definitely be returning to this park, though.

Chapter Text

Maggie never did end up making cupcakes with Kara. The toddler fell asleep on the walk from the park to the apartment and stayed asleep when Maggie moved her from the stroller to the bed. While she was asleep, Maggie started cleaning the apartment. She started in the living room, cleaning up as much as she could before moving to start making something for dinner. Kara wakes with a whine while Maggie was chopping vegetables.

“Oh, princesa , I know, I know. I’m here. Yeah, waking up is never nice, is it?” Maggie murmured as she scooped Kara up, swaying gently as the girl fussed and squirmed until she was comfortably lying on Maggie’s chest. “C’mon, princesa , let’s get you all cleaned up and then you can play while I cook,” Maggie hummed. Kara whined and kicked when Maggie put her down to change her, face growing red and tears filling her eyes until Maggie picked her up again.

“No go,” Kara whined, clinging to Maggie. She pawed at the neckline of Maggie’s shirt until it was pushed out of the way and Kara once again attached her mouth to Maggie’s collarbone.

“Sweetie, I’m not going anywhere,” Maggie sighed, squeezing Kara tight as she walked. Kara just gripped tighter at the back of her shirt and wrapped her legs around Maggie’s torso, clinging as tightly as she could. Maggie walked back towards the kitchen, wondering how she could get anything done with a clingy little Kryptonian. She hoped Kara would relax once she was more awake.

 

“I’ve been looking at the results from some tests, and I’ve been looking at her DNA samples and stuff, and it seems to have changed. And I’ve been looking at her blood draws and they’re not reacting to kryptonite the way they usually do,” Alex said, frowning. She pulled away from her lab bench to find Eliza and Lena both looking at her with twin looks of concern. They had been bent over their own lab bench since returning from lunch with Lena occasionally running over to the whiteboard to write things down or work out an equation. Winn had taken off to go help J’onn with something but had left his simulations running the tests to try and figure out what caused this.

“What do you mean? About the kryptonite?” Lena asked, pulling her goggles back on her face as she came closer, pulling on a fresh pair of gloves as she bent over to look at the microscope slides. Alex moved aside to let her see.

“Well, normally, when we introduce kryptonite to any of her cells, it has an adverse reaction. When we see it in the field, her veins glow green and pulsate. On a cellular level, her blood congeals like the way blood reacts to snake venom. It congeals and it turns green even if the kryptonite hasn’t actually been injected into her system. But with the blood, that we drew a few days ago when we brought her in… it doesn’t do anything. I mean… It’s like putting kryptonite next to my blood. Or yours,” Alex explained. Lena frowned, moving away to let Eliza look at the slides.

“How did you draw the blood?” Eliza asked.

“Doctor Dukowsky drew it from her arm using the kryptonite-laced needles.”

“Did she try using regular needles first?”

“No, emergency protocol says when we need to draw Supergirl’s blood after something goes wrong in the field, we use kryptonite needles. I didn’t even… I just thought that her getting so fussy and crying and getting sweaty after the blood draw was her negatively reacting to the kryptonite, like usual. God, how did I miss this?” Alex sighed, running a nervous hand through her hair. She glanced nervously at her mother, waiting for her to call Alex out on her mistakes.

“No, sweetie, I would’ve… It’s an understandable mistake. I would’ve done the same, probably. We should bring her back in, though. Expose her to kryptonite in small quantities, try a regular blood draw with a standard needle. We need to review all of the tests we’ve done, and I want to see those cheek swabs you have. In the meantime, Alex, I’d like to see the device that you mentioned that allows Kara to jump between worlds. Where is that?” Eliza asked, moving away and taking off her lab gear, going to wash her hands as she spoke over her shoulder.

“Okay, um, I’ll call Maggie. We’d need to look in the apartment. It probably came back from Barry’s universe with her. Or maybe it’s in her apartment? If Cisco brought her and sent her back, she wouldn’t have even needed her thing,” Alex said.

“While you do all that, I think I need to go into my own office. I’ve got a stack of paperwork and plenty of meetings and conference calls I’ve pushed back. Let me know when you find the doohickey that lets her travel across the multiverse. Or if you want a second set of eyes to look at her test results.” Lena put all of her things in a bag before following Alex and Eliza as they hastily left the building.

“Oh, shit, it’s dinner time. How did that happen?” Alex said softly, looking at her watch as they went through the lobby. Eliza gave her a disapproving look and Alex tried not to blush. “Um, I mean… Shoot. Um, Lena, you shouldn’t work too late. And make sure you eat something,” Alex added, turning to the younger girl.

“I’ll be fine. I’m sure you’ve pulled just as many all-nighters as I have. And Jess always has dinner delivered when we work late. I’ll come visit Kara sometime this weekend, okay? Thank you, Dr. Danvers, for working with me today. It’s really been an honor to work with someone of your prestige,” Lena said sincerely, holding out a hand to shake Eliza’s hand. Eliza shook her head slightly, smiling as she instead opened her arms for a hug, pausing a moment to let Lena nod before she pulled her into a tight hug. Lena stood still for a moment before squeezing back, nuzzling her head into the crook of Eliza’s neck.

“Call me Eliza, sweetheart. And the pleasure was all mine. When I find the portal creator, I’ll call you and we can discuss the schematics. Goodbye, dear.” When Lena pulled away, she nodded quickly before turning and walking away. Alex could’ve sworn she saw tears in Lena’s eyes as she quickly left the building, not saying a word to anyone on her way out.

 

“Oh, I know, sweetie. It’s not the comfiest, I know, but it’s all I have right now,” Maggie whispered. When it became clear that Kara would not be letting go of Maggie anytime soon, Maggie tried to figure out how she could both hold Kara and get stuff done around the house. She knew that some mothers used a wrap to hold the baby close to their body but Maggie didn’t have a proper wrap. After looking up some ideas on Pinterest, she figured out how to use an old king-sized sheet to safely tie it for now.

Kara was lying on Maggie’s back with her head resting between Maggie’s shoulder blades. Her arms hung limply by her sides and her legs were wrapped loosely around Maggie’s waist. Maggie had used an old sheet from Alex’s California king sized bed, using it to wrap Kara snugly to her back, tying it across her chest. It was a little awkward and Maggie was constantly checking the knot to make sure it wasn’t coming undone, but it kept Kara close and allowed Maggie to use her hands.

Maggie hummed along to the radio as she worked, going back to the kitchen. She decided on making a beef stew since it could stay warm on the stove for as long as it needed to until Alex came back from work. Once the stew was simmering, Maggie finished cleaning up the kitchen. She unloaded the dishwasher, put in a fresh load of dishes, wiped down the counters and organized the fridge. Once the kitchen was clean, Maggie checked to find Kara still sitting happily against her back.

“You don’t wanna watch a movie, nena ? I’ll be right here in the living room with you. You could color a picture for Alex or Lena if you want. Or you could snuggle with your stuffies,” Maggie said softly, turning to look at Kara over her shoulder. Kara just whined and wriggled in the wrap, pulling her arms tight to her chest.

“No,” Kara whined.

“You sure, sweetie?” Maggie felt Kara nod against her. “Okay, bub. Such a snuggly little bear today, aren’t you?” Kara just hummed in response and Maggie went about straightening up the living room. Kara’s toys and clothes had somehow gotten strewn all over the place. The cushions and blankets were on the floor, the couch was crooked and the rug needed a good vacuuming. She began to dance as she cleaned, getting more animated as she heard Kara giggling at the movements. Maggie was so engrossed in her cleaning and dancing that she didn’t notice the knot in the sheet slipping until the whole sheet was already falling off of her. She caught it before it completely dropped to the ground but Kara had lost her balance and tumbled onto the floor, landing squarely on her bottom. She sat stunned for a minute and Maggie whirled around, letting the sheet drop now. When she knelt down to look at Kara, the little girl burst into tears, choking on the force of her sobs, face turning bright red.

“Oh, my poor baby, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry, pobrecita , I’m so sorry. You’re okay. Rip nahn voi, Kara. Rip nahn voi ,” Maggie hushed soothingly, scooping Kara up and cradling her to her chest, rocking back and forth on the floor. She knew logically that the girl couldn’t be physically hurt since she was a Kryptonian (the floor was more likely to be damaged) but the tumble had likely scared her.

“Babe? Is everything okay?” Alex called out and Maggie sighed. Why couldn’t she have come home once Maggie had calmed Kara down? Before Maggie could respond she heard the front door close and Alex and Eliza rushed into the living room. Alex quickly knelt down next to Maggie and Kara, who was still sobbing and clinging to Maggie’s shirt.

“She’s okay. She just took a little… a little tumble, but, uh- oh, I know, Kara, rip nahn voi - but, she’s fine. Not hurt, you know. I think it just startled her, right nena ?” Maggie said. Kara seemed to realize that Alex was here now and held her arms out towards Alex, wanting to be held by her. Maggie just handed her over and ran a hand through her hair, eyes stinging with tears; she’d always been a sympathetic crier, especially where kids are concerned.

“Oh, you fell, baby girl? You’re okay, huh? Did you trip? Or did you roll off the couch, hmm?” Alex began to whisper to Kara softly, rocking back and forth slowly. Eliza came over and put a hand on Maggie’s shoulder.

“It’s alright, dear, kids fall down. What happened?” Eliza asked gently. Seeing that Kara was beginning to calm down in Alex’s arms- still crying, but not sobbing so intensely anymore- Maggie moved to sit next to Eliza on the couch. She rested her elbows on her knees and put her face in her hands.

“I didn’t mean to- I was just… She just wanted to be held and I had so much stuff to get done around the apartment and I know I didn’t have the right stuff, but it seemed like a secure knot and the sheet was huge and she seemed comfortable… But then we were dancing and having fun and I just… I didn’t mean to drop her,” Maggie said in a soft voice, horrified with herself. What kind of mother would she be?

“Maggie, you need to breathe, sweetheart. You’re not making sense right now. Kara will be fine. Can you explain to me what happened? Slower this time?” Eliza said, tugging on Maggie insistently until she was sitting up straight. Maggie glanced at Eliza then quickly glanced away.

“She woke up from her nap and she was really fussy. She didn’t want me to put her down and the apartment was a mess and I needed to clean and make dinner and everything. So… I found an old sheet and I tried to tie it like one of those baby wrap carrier things? And I tied it as tight as I could and while I was cleaning the kitchen I kept checking to make sure it wasn’t coming loose. But then I came into the living room and I started dancing around to the music because it made her laugh but… I must have shaken the knot loose and she fell onto the floor and I know she’s- she’s an indestructible alien and she can’t get hurt, really, and she probably just got startled but, still… I really didn’t mean to,” Maggie explained, keeping her eyes trained on her hands in her lap.

“We’re going to take care of her, I promise. Here, Alex, sweetie, do you think I could see her for a second? I want to check something regarding our earlier theory,” Eliza said, squeezing Maggie’s shoulder and looking to her eldest daughter who was still cradling and rocking her youngest. Eliza heard Alex whispering in gentle Kryptonese, urging her to go with Eliza for a few minutes while Alex talked to Maggie. To Eliza’s surprise, Kara agreed, allowing Eliza to take her.

“Come here, sweet girl, we’re going to go see if you need a new diaper, okay?” Eliza whispered, holding Kara carefully under her legs and armpit. She took her into the guest room to take off her diaper and found the beginnings of a bruise forming, confirming their theory; Kara didn’t have her powers right now, meaning something had changed over the past few days. When she got Kara cleaned up and into a soft onesie that would be loose enough on her lower half, she took her back out into the living room to find Alex explaining their findings to Maggie, who looked distraught.

“How bad is it?” Maggie asked, her voice hoarse. She crossed her arms over her stomach and took a step back when Eliza got closer. Kara just squirmed until Alex took her back and nuzzled into her sissy’s shoulder.

“She does have the start of a bruise on her bottom and on her thighs. But she’ll be fine! It might just be a little uncomfortable for her to sit for a few days. It’s not the end of the world, Maggie,” Eliza assured her. Maggie just shook her head, furiously swiping at the pesky tears that streaked down her cheeks.

“I- I’m so sorry. I understand if you guys- like if you want to try and find a different sitter or something,” Maggie whispered.

“Mags, come on,” Alex said. “Don’t… don’t panic like this. She’s fine. Kids get bruises all the time! They fall down and they get hurt but kids bounce back, right Mom? Didn’t I used to get hurt a lot when I was little?” Eliza chuckled fondly.

“Oh, of course. You were a clumsy, curious little thing. You actually bruised your tailbone once. You were five, so you might not really remember it, but it was the first big snowstorm of the season. Your father took you out to the sledding hill in the park and there were some older kids there who had built a ramp at the bottom of the hill. Jeremiah said you had accidentally gone down it and gone flying, landing on your bottom so hard it left some bruises like this one- I, however, still believe that you went down that ramp on purpose so you could fit in with the big kids. You were always getting into trouble trying to act older than you were,” Eliza said, smiling and shaking her head.

“I kind of remember that. It was so annoying when I went back to school on Monday because the bruises made it hard to sit down at my desk,” Alex said, scrunching up her nose as she tried to remember. Still, Maggie was standing a good distance away from Alex and Kara, arms wrapped around herself and sniffling softly.

“To get to my point, Maggie… All parents or caregivers make mistakes that end up in their kids getting hurt. Maybe they weren’t watching close enough or they left something out that a kid fell over. You can’t protect kids from all pain, but you can help them when they’re feeling it,” Eliza continued, slowly approaching Maggie and putting a hand on the small of her back. The gentle pressure and the soft voice eroded the last of Maggie’s hesitations and she let Eliza hug her as she let the tears silently fall. After a few minutes, Maggie moved to hug Alex, squishing Kara between them.

“I’m so sorry I let you get hurt, pobrecita . Do you still love me?” Kara leaned back into Maggie’s hug and hummed.

“Love Ma,” Kara affirmed softly. Maggie just smiled, closing her eyes and kissing Kara’s head. The tender moment was interrupted by the growling of Kara’s stomach. “So, if she’s human, how does she have such a big appetite?” Maggie teased softly, tickling Kara’s belly as they moved to the kitchen.

“Willpower?” Eliza suggested with a smile.

“Maybe she just really likes the food,” Maggie said, giving a weak smile and pulling Kara into her lap, trying to help the squirming girl find a position that was comfortable. Kara ended up on her knees on top of Maggie’s thighs, facing the table and half leaning on it.

“Well, whatever the reason, we’re going to figure it out. Tomorrow, she’s going to come into the DEO for a few tests so we can figure out what powers or abilities she still has and what caused them to go away. For now, let’s just eat. Mags, while you were cleaning, you didn’t happen to see the device Kara uses to go to Barry’s Earth?” Alex asked, serving the stew into three bowls. She gave Maggie a bowl that was filled to the brim and gave her two spoons so that she could feed Kara, too.

“No, but I haven’t finished cleaning. I can go look after if you want?” Maggie offered, spooning Kara some stew before eating her own spoonful, not bothering to switch spoons.

“Nah, it’s fine. We can look once she goes to bed. Let’s just… have a nice dinner. Right, Kar?” Alex smiled. Kara smiled and giggled, mouth full of warm broth and for a moment, Maggie was able to forget about her fears and guilt and enjoy this time with her family.

Chapter Text

“Sissy, hurts!” Kara whined. After dinner, Maggie had run out to the pharmacy and grabbed some bruise cream for Kara while Eliza played and snuggled with Kara and Alex finished cleaning her living room, finding the transdimensional portal creator under the couch, Once Maggie got back with the cream, Alex had taken Kara to change her diaper and put some cream on her poor, bruised bottom.

“Oh, I know, baby girl. This is gonna help, I promise. It’ll help, my ieiu told me it would,” Alex soothed quietly, rubbing her bottom as gently as she can while rubbing the lotion. Kara whined and tried to kick, but one of Alex’s hands was holding her legs up to better change her.

“Want my ieiu ,” Kara wailed. “ Ieiu, ieiu!” she kept whimpering and whining, mumbling it over and over again until Alex had finished with the baby powder and taping on a fresh diaper. She quickly scooped up her sister and cradled her in her chest, bouncing and rocking her gently.

“I know, Kara. I know, little one. I can’t… Your ieiu …”

“Alex, sweetie, you need a hand?” Eliza asked, poking her head into the temporary nursery.

Ieiu, ieiu! ” Kara cried, reaching her arms out towards Eliza. Checking with Alex first, Eliza quickly took hold of her youngest daughter, wrapping one hand under her bottom and the other on the back of her head, holding her close to her chest. Kara squirmed until her ear rested on top of Eliza’s heart. She sniffled, sucking her thumb and letting her eyes close.

“Oh, my sweet little girl,” Eliza whispered. She started to hum an old lullaby, one Alex remembered hearing when she was a teenager.

“Is that a Kryptonian lullaby?” Alex asked. Eliza nodded, continuing to hum as she rocked Kara gently. “I’m gonna go text Lena about this thing.” Alex started to walk out.

“Alex, hun? Maybe wait on that until morning. Lena has to keep her company running and we monopolize her enough during the day. If she finds out about this now, she’ll never sleep,” Eliza said softly. Alex turned around, seeing Kara had already fallen asleep, thumb in her mouth.

“Yeah, maybe, but Lena has this thing about lying and people keeping things from her. Y’know, because of the way she grew up?” Alex pointed out.

“Well… definitely don’t let her start working on it until she’s slept, eaten something, and finished her work for L-Corp. Not necessarily in that order.” Alex smiled, nodding. When she went into the living room, she found Maggie sitting on the couch with a glass of wine, staring blankly at the TV. Alex grabbed her phone from the kitchen counter and slowly approached Maggie.

“Babe? You alright?” Alex asked slowly. Maggie startled slightly before regaining her composure, turning to smile and nod. But Alex knew the smile was forced; her dimples weren’t showing. Alex slid into the seat next to Maggie, careful to leave some space for Maggie to decide if she wanted to cuddle with Alex.

“I’m fine! Just a little tired, that’s all. Long day,” she said in that false-cheery tone.

“I’m sure it was. Are you sure you’re fine? You look a little… upset,” Alex pushed, propping her elbow on the back of the couch and turning her entire body to face Maggie. She carefully took the glass of wine from a protesting Maggie and put it on the end table.

“I’m fine ,” Maggie repeated, but her voice cracked just a little and her lip wobbled.

“Oh, Mags, sweetie,” Alex said softly. That was all it took for Maggie to fall into Alex’s arms, crying softly. “It’s okay. Kara’s okay! She’ll be fine. You couldn’t have known she was human.”

“I s-swore I would never leave b-b-bruises on my ki-kids. A-and I know- Alex, I know- I know she’s n-not my kid. I j-just… She w-was in m-my c-care and I-I-I hurt her ,” Maggie cried.

“Maggie, accidents happen. You didn’t mean to hurt her! You were trying to keep her close and she just fell! I… Maggie, Kara is okay, and she loves you. And I love you. You are good with her. You have good instincts, Mags, just like your detective instincts! You have good, motherly instincts. Kara can tell, and so can I. You just… you made a mistake, Mags! Mistakes happen to even the best parents. And did Kara get hurt? A little. But she’ll be okay. She’ll heal, and we’ll get her back to normal. It’s okay, Maggie. You’re okay,” Alex said nervously, hugging Maggie tight and rubbing her back.

“I just… I f-feel so awful . And I c-can’t stop crying ,” Maggie said, wiping her eyes and pulling away from her a little. She sniffled, giving Alex a weak smile.

“Well, you’ve had a long day. Do you want to watch some TV for a while or something? I have to text Lena about this portal device, and I might need some help keeping her from coming over here to study it right now,” Alex said, elbowing Maggie lightly in the ribs to try and make her laugh. She just smirked a little, but it was progress.

“You can’t handle Lena Luthor?” Maggie teased, wiping away the last of her tears.

“Hey, she’s stubborn! And has no sense of self-care or self-preservation. And she refuses to take care of herself if there’s something else more pressing. And-”

“And she reminds me a lot of you, sweetie,” Eliza added, coming in from the bedroom. “Kara’s sleeping,” she added. “Once you finish telling Lena, I’d like to make a game plan for tomorrow, if that’s alright?” Alex blushed, but nodded, furiously typing away a text to Lena informing her that they’d found the portal creator but they were putting it on hold until everyone got some rest and took care of themselves. Lena protested, of course, but when Alex told her that Eliza insisted she take care of herself, Lena backed down, promising to wait until the morning to come start obsessing over it.

“So, game plan. Maggie has work tomorrow, so it’s my day with Kara,” Alex said, putting her phone down. “I can bring her in for the tests at the DEO then bring her back here when we’re done. Mom, you, Lena, and Winn can handle analyzing the results, right?”

“Of course! Now, I think we also need to take inventory of what we want to test specifically and how to do that without potentially hurting her. We really need to find out what drained her powers like that. Obviously, we’re going to need to start with a proper blood draw without using a kryptonite needle,” Eliza said, jotting notes down on a pad of legal paper.

 

Kara screamed when they drew the blood.

“No, no, no hurts ,” she shrieked between unintelligible groans and whines. As soon as the necessary tubes were filled, Eliza took out the needle and cleaned and bandaged the little wound. Eliza spoke to her in soft, hushed Kryptonese to try and soothe her.

“I know, love, I know. It hurt, but it’s over now. All done. No more pokes like that, okay? No more, I promise. You’re okay, Kara, you’re alright now. You were so brave, such a brave little girl.”

Ieiu ,” Kara sniffled sadly, letting Eliza hug her tight, resting her head on Eliza’s shoulder.

“I know, love. But that part is all over now! Now we just get to play with some stuff for me. Can you do that? Can you play for me?” They had already tested her natural reflexes with the little hammer, and they’d tested her vision and hearing to find it was average for a human toddler. The needle had gone through her skin with ease, so clearly she wasn’t invulnerable. Now they just had to test her strength and speed, though they expected to find similar results. Eliza shifted Kara in her arms and took her to the training room where Alex was setting up their trials with weighted balls.

“Hi, baby girl. Oh, my poor little thing, did that hurt?” Kara nodded and sniffled pitifully, holding her arms out to Alex, who immediately held her and swayed slightly, hugging her tight. “Well, I bet you were so good, weren’t you? Now we’re going to do some fun stuff, huh? We’re going to play catch. Do you wanna play catch?”

“Catch,” Kara echoed, squirming so she could smile at Alex.

“Yeah, catch. So I’m going to throw you a ball and you catch it! Ready?” Alex put Kara on the ground and took a few steps back. Alex took the first in a set of therapeutic weighted balls, the smallest weighing only half a pound. She tossed it to Kara, watching the way she caught it and reacted to the weight. They tossed it back and forth clumsily, Kara dropping it often, before Alex switched it out for a one pound ball. By the time they got to the five-pound ball, Kara was struggling to toss it back easily. By the time they got to the ten-pound ball, Kara was struggling just to lift it at all.

“Alright, munchkin, do you wanna play some more catch with the little ball again or can we do something else?” Alex asked gently, taking the heavy ball away from a relieved Kara.

“Somethin’ else,” she replied confidently.

“Sweetheart, are you thirsty?” Eliza asked, putting down her tablet- where she had been recording her notes on these tests- and offered Kara a sippy cup of water. Kara just made grabby hands. After a stern look from Eliza, she whispered out a sheepish, “please.” She sucked down most of the water while Alex put away all of the weighted balls and set up some cones so they could test her speed. Once Kara had finished drinking, sloppily wiping away the dribbles of water left on her chin with her sleeve, she toddled back over to Alex.

“Blocks?” Kara asked hopefully, rocking back and forth on her heels. Alex squatted down to be on her level.

“Maybe in a little bit, how’s that sound? Right now, I was thinking you could show me how fast you can run. Do you think you’re faster than me?” Kara nodded eagerly. “You are? No, I don’t think so. I think I’m faster,” Alex teased.

“No, I fast!” Kara insisted.

“Well, then we’re going to have to have a race, huh? Whoever wins is the fastest Danvers girl ever ,” Alex said decisively. “When I say go, we’re going to run all the way over there to where those red cones are in a line. Think you can do that?” Alex explained, pointing to where she had set up the cones. Alex stood up, glancing over at her mother to make sure she was ready to observe and time the races. “Alright, Kara, ready? Set? Go!” Kara began to run as fast as her little legs could go, but it quickly became clear that she wasn’t using any superspeed. Alex jogged a few feet behind her, exaggeratedly huffing and puffing to make it seem like she was tired. When Kara crossed the line first, she cheered, turning around and holding her arms out to Alex, panting slightly but she still grinned ear to ear.

“I fast!” she giggled triumphantly. Alex nodded.

“That’s right, little bug, you are. You’re so fast, I couldn’t even catch you! What do you say about a little bit of a longer race?” Alex then ran her through a few more races; they ran across the training room and back, then in a square around the entire room with Kara getting slower and slower each time. Finally, Alex gave up when Kara tripped, falling flat on her face before getting right back up, tiredly rubbing her cheeks before holding out her arms to Alex.

“No more race,” Kara murmured sleepily. Her stomach grumbled loudly.

“I think you worked up quite the appetite, didn’t you, little one?” Alex asked, going to join her mom as she packed up their things to go on a lunch break. Alex decided she would put the cones away later, leaving them behind as she took Kara to the break room to get the lunches she’d packed for them (okay, so Maggie had made the lunches, but still, Alex was the one who actually put them into the lunchbox and that had to count for something, right?). Once Kara had finished her apple slices, her peanut butter, and honey sandwich, and her juice, she was rubbing her eyes tiredly and practically falling asleep on Alex’s lap. Alex just rubbed her back and rocked back and forth gently, humming lullabies until she felt the little girl’s breath even out.

“Let’s take her to your office, dear. You can let her sleep on the couch while we start analyzing our results and it’ll be nice and quiet so no one disturbs her,” Eliza suggested softly. Alex nodded, following her mom down the halls and into her seldom used office, laying Kara gently on the old, worn-out brown couch before covering her with Alex’s leather jacket, pressing a kiss to her hair before going back to her desk; they had work to do.

 

“Sorry, sorry, I know it took me forever to get here today. I had a big investor’s meeting and they love to just drone on and on. What’s going on? Where are we in- oh, shit, sorry,” Lena said as she burst into the office confidently, eyes widening when she saw Kara shuffling restlessly on the couch. She lowered her voice considerably. “Sorry, um… What was I saying?” Kara began to whine and groan, rubbing her eyes with her fist before sitting up. Her hair had gotten loose from its ponytail and was a tangled mess. Her cheek had the imprint of the couch fabric on it and she squinted, pouting at the room in general. “Oh, no, I’m sorry,” Lena winced.

“Lena, dear, it’s fine, don’t worry. She had been down for over an hour already, so she was bound to wake up soon. Right, Kara?” Eliza said, smiling tenderly at first Lena and then at Kara.

“‘Ena?” Kara mumbled softly, rubbing her eye again before looking up and holding out her arms. “‘Ena,” she repeated, firmer this time. Lena hesitated for a moment, cheeks turning pink as she looked at Alex who was chuckling and rolling her eyes.

“Pick her up,” Alex said firmly, smiling as she gave Lena a gentle push toward the couch. Lena stuttered a moment before closing the distance between her and Kara, scooping the little girl up before taking her place on the couch. Kara immediately snuggled her face into Lena’s chest, draping her arms loosely around Lena’s waist and letting her eyes close again. “She’s such a little brat,” Alex muttered, but she was smiling fondly as she said it. Everyone stared at Kara for a moment before they all seemed to shake themselves out of it, clearing their throats.

“You had a business meeting on a Sunday?” Alex asked, sounding both curious and disapproving at the same time. Lena shrugged.

“In Hong Kong, it’s Monday afternoon already.”

“Were any of your investors in Hong Kong?” Alex asked, raising a skeptical eyebrow. Lena worried her bottom lip, blush deepening at being caught in a slight falsehood.

“Alex, don’t antagonize her,” Eliza admonished gently. “Lena is a very busy, very powerful woman who runs an enormous corporation. Who are we to judge her business decisions?” Lena fought the urge to squirm under the praise and clear affection in the words. She just focused her gaze on where she combed her fingers gently through Kara’s hair.

“Thank you, but, um… It’s fine. None of the investors were in Hong Kong. I just… I kept putting it off because other things came up and… they got tired of it being rescheduled so I told Jess that if they wanted it scheduled so badly, they could come in on a Sunday. All they wanted to do was complain about the direction the company’s taking anyway,” Lena said nonchalantly. She wished she had had a chance to change from her pencil skirt into her lab clothes, but she was a Luthor and she could handle the momentary discomfort of the zipper pushing into her back and the difficulty of sitting and breathing in the tight outfit. “So, the results? What are your preliminary findings of the tests you ran this morning?”

“I don’t know what happened, but Kara seems to be human right now,” Alex said, looking at the notes she’d been scribbling. “All of her tests seem to track with what we’d expect of a human toddler of maybe 20-30 months. So she’s somewhere between one and a half and two and a half, probably. Her speech is a little advanced for that age, but not so much that it seems weird. Probably just because her Kryptonian nature makes her a little more advanced in the mental stages of development.”

“I don’t quite understand that, though. If she’s a Kryptonian, how does she just… change into a human? Does she change on a biological level? On a cellular level? Does her DNA change?” Lena queried as Kara played with her ponytail quietly.

“Actually, Kryptonians are quite similar to humans on a basic cellular level. Their structure mimics ours- or maybe ours mimic theirs? I’m not sure who came first, so we can’t tell who mimics whom, not that that really matters right now. Anyway, um, our cells are similar to their except that theirs are adapted to life on a planet with a red sun. Over generations and generations, that shifted the way the cell absorbs light energy. When introduced to a solar system with a yellow sun, it absorbs the light energy from that sun completely differently. The different intensity of radiation that a yellow sun gives off gives them powers because their bodies are adapted to absorbing a lesser level of radiation. Give them more radiation to absorb and their cells have all this excess energy that can go into other abilities,” Alex explained.

Eliza added, “and when they use up too much of their powers, we call it a solar flare. Basically, it drains all of their energy. It’s like blowing a fuse. They overload their systems and they need to recharge and build up enough excess energy to access their powers again. Sometimes a jolt of adrenaline can speed up that recharging process, but usually, it just takes time, sun exposure, and food.” Lena nodded silently, absorbing the information.

“So, she’s basically just solar flared? Something caused her to use up all of the energy in her cells when it turned her into this? Maybe if we can figure out what used that much energy, we can figure out how to reverse it,” Lena mused. She stood, shifting Kara to her hip, and began to pace.

“Obviously whatever force or phenomenon turned her into a toddler was an incredibly powerful one. Maybe it drew on her own innate power supply to complete the transformation and that’s why it sapped the energy a little slower. If we can recharge her power supply, maybe we could reverse this? Or maybe we’d need to connect directly with whatever caused this in order to tap into that kind of energy to reverse it. Either way, we definitely need to retrace her travels through the multiverse,” she narrated as she walked back and forth, face pensive. Kara just rested her head on Lena’s shoulder, still playing with her hair quietly.

“Well, it’s a good thing we found the portal creator, isn’t it?” Alex smirked, pulling it out of a drawer and carefully setting it on her desk. Lena immediately hurried over, heels clicking quickly so she could take a closer look.

“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go!” Lena said, grinning slyly and raising an eyebrow. Her cheeks were tinged pink with excitement now and there was a mischievous sparkle in her eye at the possibility of traveling to another universe. Alex grinned right back, equally as excited.

“Stop right there! No one is going anywhere,” a voice boomed from behind Lena. Both girls froze.

Chapter Text

Lena’s already pale face blanched slightly as she turned to look at J’onn J’onzz who stood with his hands behind his back, face set firmly in a disapproving grimace.

“J’onn,” Alex complained. Kara fussed slightly in Lena’s arms, squirming until Lena started rocking back and forth gently. Kara shifted until her head was right above Lena’s heart and Lena was cradling her slightly under her legs.

“No one is going to go traveling across universes right now,” he said firmly, walking into the room and standing next to Eliza behind the desk. “I am not sending my best agent and two untrained civilians off to another universe on a wild goose chase.”

“But J’onn, we need to find out what’s happening to Kara!” Alex protested.

“We can send a message. Request they send some of their experts to come help us or at least help us figure out where Kara went between leaving their universe and returning to ours,” J’onn said firmly.

“That… makes sense,” Lena said slowly, trying to sound confident enough while also pacifying J’onn.

“Traitor,” Alex mutters darkly, glaring at Lena, who glares back after looking startled and hurt for a moment. Alex sticks her tongue out to make sure Lena understands this is playful teasing and she sees the tension leave Lena’s shoulders before the younger girl sticks her own tongue out, too.

“Children, put those tongues away, please,” Eliza says, rolling her eyes. To J’onn, she added, “I swear, with her and Kara sometimes it’s like having two ten-year-olds in the house.”

“Hey,” Alex whined. After a moment’s thought, she added, “well, if I’m ten, at least that makes Lena, like, five.”

“It does not!” Lena protested, blushing furiously when Eliza and J’onn both turned to look at her, eyebrows raised, an amused smile on Eliza’s face.

“Chronologically, you are five years younger than her, dear,” Eliza pointed out. Alex smirked triumphantly.

“But mentally, I’m at least five years older ,” Lena muttered.

“Oh, please, you are the baby of this family,” Alex said decisively. Lena raised an eyebrow and shifted her grip on Kara, looking pointedly down. “Okay, so maybe not right at this moment , but you are usually the baby of the Superfriends family.”

“Alex, sweetie, we’ve done our tests. Why don’t you take Kara home for a while,” Eliza suggested, chuckling at her girls. “Lena and I can handle getting out a message to the other universe.”

“What?! No! I want to send messages to other universes, too, Mom!” Alex protested.

“Alexandra,” Eliza said sternly. “The DEO is no place for a child to play. Take her to a park or a museum or something. Or even just to your apartment. But not here.”

“Eliza, perhaps we could use her here, too,” J’onn said. “She knows these people better than any of us thanks to Kara and it would help to have a familiar face.”

“Well, yes, but who’s going to take care of Kara? She’s a child, not an agent right now. And not to mention how dangerous this place is for a baby,” Eliza continued.

“I could… Could I take her to a break room or something? We could play there for a bit while you figure out how to send a message and then when you’re ready to send it, I can come back. It might be helpful to have her there to show them, too,” Alex said hesitantly. J’onn inhaled deeply before nodding.

“No,” Kara whined when Alex went to scoop her out of Lena’s arms. Kara clung to Lena’s satin blouse, wrinkling it likely beyond repair. “No, ‘Ena.”

“It’s alright, Kara. You’ll see me again soon, I promise,” Lena said softly, gently trying to pry Kara’s fingers off of her shirt and transferring her into Alex’s arms. Kara clearly didn’t have her super strength anymore since Lena was easily able to break her grip. Lena kissed the little girl’s cheek while Eliza gathered Alex’s things and put the bag on Alex’s shoulder. Kara waved goodbye and blew kisses at them all after Alex whispered something in her ear. Lena tried to hide her giggle behind her hand, not noticing the fond look Eliza sent her way and the way J’onn sighed and shook his head with a small smile.

“Now, back to work!” Eliza said, clapping her hands. Lena’s cheeks were still pink and she couldn’t quite hide her smile as she followed Eliza and J’onn into the hub of the DEO to send messages to another universe.

 

“It’s okay, Kara. We don’t need to contact another universe to have a good time, do we? No, we don’t. We can have fun just you and me… We can… we can… God, what do people even do with little kids?” Alex said, more to herself than to Kara. Kara just fussed in her arms until Alex put her down and let her walk the rest of the way down the hallway, dodging around the agents hurrying along on their way.

“Hungy, sissy,” Kara hummed, turning to smile up at Alex.

“Baby girl, you just ate,” Alex reminded her, smiling. She tugged Kara into the break room, one of the comfiest rooms in the entire DEO. While the rest of the building was cold and steel and electronics, big screens and futuristic designs, tight security and prison cells, this large room was made homey and warm. But this room was where the agents went to take a nap, to have their lunch, to watch TV or relieve some stress. Some of the agents had taken it upon themselves to bring in soft carpeting for this room, put up decorations, comfy sheets, and pillows on the bunk beds, and even bringing in a big comfy couch and a plasma TV. A throw blanket was tossed over the back of the couch and it looked like someone had taken a nap on it while watching TV, pillows still leaning up against the arm of the couch.

“Snack!” Kara exclaimed, pointing to the big, white fridge. She turned to look at Alex. “Snack?”

“Just a little one, love bug,” Alex conceded. She dropped the diaper bag onto the wooden coffee table and rifled through it, grabbing a little plastic baggy of Cheerios. Glancing over to the other side of the room, Alex was glad to see no one else was in here currently; shifts had just changed, so it’s likely everyone had gone home to rest. Kara squealed excitedly, sloppily stuffing handfuls of Cheerios into her mouth, ignoring the many that fell to the ground. Alex sighed and picked her up, grabbing the bag of Cheerios from her. She whined and kicked, trying to reach for it again.

“Alex,” she whined, frustratedly.

“No, Kara, we don’t kick. I just didn’t want you to make a mess, munchkin. Sit with me so we can eat, okay?” She plopped herself down on the couch and pulled Kara onto her lap, whispering apologies when Kara winced at her sore bottom, handing her a few pieces of cereal at a time, prompting Kara to chew and eat slower before she handed her more. “Good girl,” she praised after they had finished. Immediately Kara put her thumb in her mouth and twirled her hair in her free hand. Alex chuckled, grabbing a spaceship pacifier from the diaper bag and switching it out for Kara’s hand.

“P’ay now?” she mumbled around the pacifier.

“Let’s see what I’ve got in my bag, alright munchkin?” Alex rifled through the bag, filled with mostly clothes and diapers and snacks. Thankfully, she found her stuffed dog and a few blocky puzzles stuffed in there. “Whoa, look at this, baby girl,” Alex grinned. She moved down to the floor, kneeling on the floor while Kara stood next to her and began to explore the toys.

 

“So, basically, it looks like we just press this button here to record a video message, then we calibrate this to tell it which universe to send it to, but it looks like Cisco saved the coordinates of his universe as the pre-set. Kind of like a radio, or a… like speed dial!” Winn explained after thoroughly examining the device. “Easy peasy. It seems to need Cisco to actually open a portal between worlds, though, so we’d need to contact him before doing anything anyway.”

“So we just… point and shoot essentially?” Eliza asked, looking at the device with a hand on his shoulder.

“Basically, yeah. Or, I mean… I can do all the tech stuff to get it recorded and sent so all you really need to do is… stand there and record the message. So… if you wanna go and get Alex, then… we are ready for her closeup,” he joked, peering closely at the machine. “Wow, this is amazing stuff. I really need to have a chat with their tech support people, I want one of these,” Winn mumbled to himself.

“You stay here and get ready to record while I go grab Alex and Kara, okay?” Eliza said, rubbing his back before walking away. As soon as she and J’onn had turned around, Lena joined Winn at the desk and they could hear their excited murmurings as they theorized about the schematics and mechanics involved.

 

“What the hell?” someone muttered as they walked into the break room. Alex poked her head out from the bottom bunk where she and Kara had draped blankets over the edge of the top bunk to create a fort.

“Hey, language, Prentiss. I’ve got a kid in here,” Alex admonished. Kara had quickly tired of the puzzles so Alex did a few quick google searches to find suggestions for what to do with toddlers her age. One site suggested imaginative play activities, while another suggested building a fort. Alex had decided to combine the two ideas; they build a castle together while Alex encouraged Kara to make up games where they were knights or princesses. Kara didn’t quite understand the concept, but she was happy to hide in the fort with her and play with the stuffed puppy, making him dance around and talking in silly voices.

“Whoa, I didn’t know you were a mom, Agent Danvers,” the young agent said, his eyes wide.

“She’s not my kid. I’m babysitting my sister.” Alex stepped out of the fort, pulling a protesting Kara with her and balancing her on her hip.

“Like… your… like Supergirl? ” the young agent whispered.

“Yeah, Prentiss. I’ve only got one sister.” Alex rolled her eyes at the kid. Kara, meanwhile, was kicking and whining and squirming until Alex put her on the ground before she went back to the puzzles on the table, trying to shove the pieces back into all the wrong places.

“Wow, I thought I must have misheard that or something… Or it was a rumor… But Supergirl really is… just a baby right now,” he said slowly, peering at her. “Does she have her powers?”

“Need to know, agent,” J’onn said, suddenly entering the room. The young agent stood up straight, turning on his heel to look J’onn in the eye.

“Yes sir,” he said, bowing his head a bit before running out of the break room, apparently forgetting why he’d entered in the first place. Eliza came in behind J’onn, quickly going over to kneel next to Kara, gently helping her find the right places for the puzzle pieces.

“You ready for us?” Alex asked.

“Ready for your closeup, dear?” Eliza teased. She stood, bending over slightly to hold Kara’s hand as the girl had squirmed away when she tried to lift her.

“Let’s go make contact with another universe,” Alex grinned, following them back down the hall and toward where Winn was waiting.

 

“Attention, STAR Labs, attention. This is Agent Alex Danvers from the DEO on Earth-38. Supergirl was compromised on her way back from your universe a few days ago and something has happened. Supergirl is currently a toddler. We’re trying to figure out what could have done this, but we need your help. Respond back as soon as possible if you can help us. This is Agent Danvers signing off,” Alex said for the video. J’onn had told her what to say and she held a squirmy, fussy Kara on her hip and had gestured at her as she explained.

“Perfect, you’re a star, Danvers,” Winn said in a deep, raspy voice with an exaggerated New York accent that sounded like he was trying to mimic some old school Hollywood director. “A star!” he repeated taking out a fake cigar from his mouth and pretending to blow a puff of smoke at her.

“You’re such a nerd,” Alex sighed, rolling her eyes.

“Kara loves my nerdiness, don’t you Kara? Right? You think I’m funny,” he cooed, tickling his best friend. She squealed and giggled in Alex’s arms until she was red in the face. At that point, Winn finally stopped tickling her to let the little girl catch her breath.

“You’re torturing the poor girl,” Eliza said with a smile. She held out her arms and Kara happily reached for her, holding Eliza in a koala bear hug. “Poor little Kara. Oh, my goodness, this diaper is soaked! You poor thing, let’s get this off of you before you get a rash, hmm?” Eliza said softer. “Alex, dear, is the diaper bag still in the breakroom?” Alex nodded and Eliza started to walk back there with Kara in her arms. As she walked, she heard the excited whoops of her adopted children as a message came back through Cisco’s device.

“Oh, such silly kids I have, right sweetheart? They’re all so silly. Just like you, my sweet little silly girl,” Eliza cooed. Kara giggled and kicked her feet when Eliza blew a raspberry on her cheek. She hummed to the girl as she continued to walk towards the break room. “Oh my goodness, you girls left such a mess!” Eliza gasped. The blankets had fallen from their fort and were instead on the ground. The clothes and diapers were no longer in the bag but rather on the floor around it. Cheerios were crushed into the carpet and there were crumbs on the couch. “Such messy girls I have. I will have to talk to Alex about cleaning up after herself once we’re done here,” Eliza continued as she laid a changing towel on the bottom bunk of the bed and started the process of changing Kara.

“Ieiu, co’d,” Kara complained, twining her fingers in the ring of her pacifier.

“Oh, I know, sweetheart, the wipes are cold. But you’re okay. We’re going to get you allllll clean and then we’ll clean up this mess and then we’ll go see what your sister is up to, right?” While she spoke, Eliza cleaned Kara up, reapplied the bruise cream to her bottom and taped her into a fresh diaper. She had only gotten the onesie clipped on before Kara began to protest the addition of pants. “No pants, love?”

“Nu-uh.”

“Okay, but it’s a little chilly,” Eliza hummed, setting Kara down. She handed her the puzzles and kissed the top of her head before setting about cleaning up the room, narrating as she did so. Kara played, slamming the puzzle pieces down on the table and giggling at the noise it made, while Eliza vacuumed up the cereal bits, refolded the blankets, and packed up the diaper bag again. By the time she got back to the rest of her family with Kara on her hip- still dressed only in her long sleeve onesie, though Eliza had coaxed her into wearing socks- over twenty minutes had passed.

“Mom, we talked to them! Look, Cisco and Caitlyn sent us a message that they want to help. They want us to come over to their labs, but J’onn wants them to come here. He’s just working it out with them right now,” Alex explained excitedly, acting very much like an excited child. She gestured over to J’onn who was recording a message. He had finished and Winn was in the process of sending it when Eliza approached.

“J’onn, I understand they’re saying we should come to STAR Labs?” she said softly, reveling in the way Kara was content to just sit on her hip and play with Eliza’s hair quietly.

“Yes, but I asked that they come here, instead,” he confirmed, standing with his hands behind his back. He smiled down at Kara, tickling her cheek with one finger as she giggled, reaching up to wrap her whole fist around his index finger.

“She’s sweet, isn’t she? Yes, but why don’t we just head over to STAR labs? If they have the kind of technology that can create portals between dimensions, they must have the technology that can reverse this, right? Why not use every resource we have?” Eliza pushed.

“I cannot send two civilians along with a defenseless child and my best agent, also the deputy director. It’s not safe, and I can’t come along to protect you. I’d feel better if I knew it was happening here,” he explained gruffly, pulling away from Kara after another message came in.

“Yes, but they probably don’t want to send their own civilians and best people over here. There are quite a few superheroes over in their universe, J’onn, we would be safe. If you like, you can send more than one agent with us to protect us. Or you could only send some of us and keep the rest here. I’m just pointing out that there are compromises,” Eliza said softly, following behind him. J’onn paused thoughtfully before opening up the message. Cisco, Barry, and Caitlyn were all crowded together.

“Look, Mr. J’onzz, uh, sir, we get your points, we hear you. But really, our lab has the better tech. And it’s super safe- ha! Super, get it? ‘Cause I’m a superhero?” Cisco whacked Barry on the video, rolling his eyes. Iris, meanwhile, was hiding her giggles behind her hand.

“Anyway, it’s really safe here and we really think your best bet for getting this problem solved is by coming here. You can send a protective detail if you want. If you’re really insistent, I guess Cisco could come back and forth? I don’t know, Director, we’d really appreciate it if you could compromise with us on this,” Barry continued.

“Honestly, if you bring the test results, we could probably do, like, a good portion of this without Kara needing to be there. I can analyze what you’ve got while Cisco traces her path back to try and figure out what could have done this,”  Caitlyn said.

“Look, take a few minutes to think about it. Make a plan, then let us know what you want to do and I’ll open up a portal. Just… hit us back soon, alright? Over and out,” Cisco said before the video message cut out. J’onn sighed and everyone stayed silent, watching and waiting for him to speak.

“I think… we can go in shifts to work with the Earth-1 folks. First I want to send Alex and Winn. Alex can work out the biological components while Winn works on retracing Kara’s travels. Something had to have happened on her way back from there to here. You will return in precisely twenty-four hours and we will send Eliza and Lena. I will be here on Supergirl duty while communicating with you. I want frequent updates, understand?”

“Uh, sir? I’m not sure that’s going to work. It’s my day to take care of Kara; Maggie is at work. I can’t just leave,” Alex pointed out.

“Send me,” Lena offered. “Send me with Winn and then tomorrow send Alex and Eliza. It’ll be Maggie’s day with her anyway, right?”

“I mean… I-I could do that. And then this way, like, there’s an agent on each trip. Not that I’m a-a-a real agent, per say, but-”

Agent Schott, you may not be a field agent, but you are an agent of the DEO,” J’onn interrupted. Winn smiled and looked down, suddenly bashful.

“Aw, Papa Bear,” he said softly, smirking. Seeing J’onn’s raised eyebrow, he added, “uh, I mean- thank you, Director, Sir. I’ll just- why don’t I just- I’m gonna go, um, go get my go bag… I’ll- I’ll be ready soon. Bye.” He hurried off as Alex cackled and Eliza and Lena smiled.

“Bye-bye!” Kara called after him, waving enthusiastically. Halfway across the room, Winn paused, turning to grin and wave at her before continuing to run towards his locker.

Chapter Text

It only took Lena two hours to get everything settled with L-Corp so that she could leave for 24 hours (“strictly off the grid, Jess, there will be no way to contact me unless it is a dire emergency”) and got a bag of her things to take with her. Meanwhile, Alex took Kara out for a walk and they played at the park for a while before coming back to send off Lena and Winn before Eliza went home with them to cook dinner. Eliza had put all of the data and information on a tablet for the others to take with them and J’onn was out in the city as Supergirl, putting out a fire by the wharf. He flew in just as Winn sent out a message asking Cisco to open a breach for them.

“Agent Schott, Miss Luthor, remember to keep us updated on your progress,” he said, shifting back into his human form. Lena and Winn nodded, both looking eager as the swirling breach of bluish light appeared in front of them. Kara shrieked once in surprise, clinging to Lena’s pant leg. She whined when Alex reached down to pick her up.

“Alright, I guess that’s our cue. We’ll catch you on the flip side,” Winn joked. Alex just scoffed and rolled her eyes. “Uh, we’ll send an update in four hours, sir,” he added, looking back at J’onn. “See ya, Kara. Bye!”

“Bye-bye,” Kara smiled, waving enthusiastically.

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends,” Winn shouted before he stepped through the portal.

“Goodbye, Kara. I’ll see you soon,” Lena cooed, shaking her hand and kissing her forehead. Kara whined and grabbed Lena’s hand with both of hers.

“No, no, ‘Ena! ‘Tay! No go!” Kara whined.

“She’s gotta go, sweet girl,” Alex whispered. Kara whined in protest. “Kara, give her a big hug and a kiss, then say bye-bye, okay?” Alex said firmly. Lena wrapped Kara in her arms, holding her tight. She gave her one final squeeze before kissing each cheek, then her forehead, then her nose. Grinning, she booped Kara’s nose.

“Goodbye, little love. Bye, Kara,” she said softly.

“Bye-bye ‘Ena,” Kara said softly, waving as Lena stepped calmly through the portal. Immediately, it closed behind her and Kara whined, burying her head in Alex’s shoulder.

“Come on, munchkin, let’s go home and have dinner,” Alex whispered. She nodded and said goodbye to J’onn and the night-duty agents, Eliza following behind.

 

Meanwhile, on Earth-1, Winn and Lena had just finished getting introduced to the team. Caitlyn and Cisco took them to the lab immediately, Iris and Barry trailing behind. The former wanted to know everything about how Kara was acting and what her state of mind was whereas the latter just wanted to see the cute pictures and videos of baby Kara.

“So, you have the DNA, the stats you have on her before this happened, the test results and stuff… And we have the capability to retrace her travels back to your Earth. Together, I’m certain we can figure this out,” Caitlyn said firmly. Lena nodded as she followed.

“You said your field is bioengineering. Maybe we could look at it from that standpoint?” Lena offered.

“And Winn, you could help me retrace her footsteps, I guess,” Cisco offered. “I’ll take the communicator and see if I can trace the vibes from it.”

“Ladies and gents, we have a plan! Let’s do this,” Winn yelped excitedly, clapping his hands.

 

“Kara, why won’t you eat, sweetheart?” Eliza cooed, holding up the fork to her mouth. She had only eaten a few bites of Eliza’s lasagne before refusing to open her mouth, shaking her head stubbornly.

“Does your belly hurt?” Alex asked nervously, pushing Kara’s hair back on Kara’s other side. “Oh, she’s a little warm. Does she have a fever, mom?” Eliza leaned in and pressed a lingering kiss to Kara’s forehead.

“You are warm, little one,” Eliza said softly.

“Belly hurt,” Kara whined, holding up her arms to be picked up. Alex quickly scooped her up, bouncing her on her hip and rubbing her back.

“Oh, my poor baby,” Alex said softly, bouncing her as she walked.

“Alex, I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Eliza said, reaching out as if to touch Alex’s shoulder. Before she could, Kara threw up all over Alex’s chest. Immediately she began to cry, face turning redder and snot dripping out of her nose. “I was worried that would happen. Oh, you poor thing.” She patted Kara’s back once before taking her from Alex who had yet to react. “Alexandra, love, why don’t you go take a shower in your bathroom? I’ll try and calm her down.” Kara was still crying, mouth and cheeks still smeared with vomit and tears and snot. Alex snapped into action, shaking her head and grabbing Eliza’s arm to stop her from walking away.

“No, no, it’s just on the shirt. Go run a bath for her. I can just change shirts and wipe myself off with a cloth. A bath might help her calm down and cool down if she’s got a fever,” Alex said decisively. She walked into her room, carefully stripping off the puke-covered shirt. By the time she had wiped off her chest with a wet washcloth and changed into a new sports bra and t-shirt, Eliza had run a bath and was working on getting Kara undressed.

“Oh, you must feel so yucky- Alex, sweetheart, pass me those wipes- yep, there, thanks- oh, you poor little thing. Your belly is feeling yucky, isn’t it?” Eliza cooed, laying Kara down and peeling off her soiled diaper, carefully wiping her down.

“Do you think she’s got a stomach bug?” Alex asked, feeling the lukewarm temperature of the water. Eliza nodded, putting Kara in the water.

“Oh, oh, I know, sweetie. Just let us clean you up, then we can get you out, okay?” Eliza said softly, quickly getting a washcloth. “The cool water is going to help you not be so warm, okay?” She started to wash Kara’s back while Alex distracted the little girl. “She has the symptoms of a stomach bug. She probably picked it up when we went to the park one day after she lost her powers. No immune system, probably,” Eliza finally answered softly. Alex nodded.

“Poor little thing,” Alex said sympathetically. She remembered getting a nasty stomach virus in college and wouldn’t wish that on her worst enemy. Kara started to shiver in the water, fussing and crying again so Eliza washed her faster, cleaning her chest while Alex washed her hair gently. Within five minutes, they had finished and were wrapping her in a towel, hugging her close. As they got her into a fresh diaper and a clean onesie, Alex tried to gear up for a night with a sick toddler. The next day, she would realize she was in no way prepared for it.

 

“Agent Schott, Miss Luthor, what’s your status?” J’onn asked later that night, exactly six hours after he sent them through the portal. Immediately, a message came back, four faces all squished together to be in the frame.

“Hey, Papa Bear! We’re doing alright over here. Cisco was tracing Kara’s path, and we found something interesting. I guess when she was about to leave, she fiddled with the device that would open the portal-” Winn began, cut off by Cisco.

“Yeah, an alarm had sounded because there was a report of some criminal activity requiring our assistance. It startled her and she fiddled with the thing. She pressed the button to activate it and create the portal before I could stop it,” Cisco explained. “She went through a wormhole before it dropped her back on your Earth, though it dropped her in her sister’s apartment instead of her own. Anyway, Lena and I are going to work on it and figure out how exactly this happened while Winn is running some simulations with Caitlyn.”

“We’ll send you another update soon,” Lena said quickly. They all bid their goodbyes as the message ended and J’onn was left narrowing his eyes at the wall, deep in thought.

“Sir?” Agent Vasquez said cautiously after a moment. He grunted in acknowledgment. “Do you want to send a message back, sir?”

“Yes.” He waited as Vasquez set up the video link, nodding at J’onn to begin. “Keep up the good work, team. Something you should add to your data. The young Miss Danvers has taken ill. It appears that without her powers, her immune system is rather weak and she has caught a stomach bug. Her symptoms include a fever of 101.5, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue. Keep us updated.” He turned to Vasquez and she cut off the video before tapping a few keys and sending it off.

“That poor kid. Gotta be tough to be sick when you’re so little; you can’t really understand why you feel so bad,” Vasquez commented.

“Yes, but luckily, Miss Danvers has two competent, accomplished doctors caring for her this evening. I’m sure she’s fine. Alert me when the next update comes through,” he said, quickly shifting into Supergirl’s form as he took off flying to patrol the skies.

 

“Oh my God, what’s happening here?” Maggie said when she came home from work at half past midnight. She arrived home, exhausted and sweaty and ready for a quick shower and then bed. Instead, she found Alex holding Kara, still wide awake and crying, on the couch. Kara was naked except for her diaper and her mouth was smeared with vomit, sweat sticking her curls to her head. Alex looked distraught and just as sweaty and exhausted, on the verge of tears. Eliza had just come out of the bathroom, hair wet and wearing a pair of Alex’s sweatpants, carrying a wet washcloth.

“It appears Kara has a stomach bug. It’s been quite a rough night,” Eliza explained. She went over to wipe down Kara’s body and hair before wiping her face clean. The little girl struggled and whined, rubbing her eyes tiredly.

“Oh, my poor little nena ,” Maggie cooed, quickly crossing the living room to rub Kara’s back soothingly. She kissed her cheek to find Kara’s skin was quite hot. “Here, why don’t you give her to me. You’ve had a long night, clearly, and you’ve got a long couple of days in the field and then- apparently- in another universe . Go, try and get some rest. Kara and I will hang out for a little bit, okay?” Maggie said, taking Kara in her arms. Alex weakly tried to protest, but Maggie had none of it, ushering her and Eliza into the bedrooms, swaying gently with Kara. Eliza got herself settled on a cot in the second bedroom- Kara’s current nursery- while Alex promptly fell asleep in their bed.

“Icky, Maggie,” Kara whined, nestling her head on Maggie’s shoulder. Her body was still damp and clammy, and Maggie settled her on one hip, rocking back and forth as she grabbed a bottle from the dishwasher and filled it with some water and Pedialyte powder to replace the electrolytes. “No, yuck,” Kara protested tiredly, pushing the bottle away.

“Pobrecita , yes, you need to drink some. It’ll help you, I promise. You need to drink lots of water, honey,” Maggie said gently. She sat down on the couch, cradling Kara in her arms. She was relieved to see a bucket next to the couch so she was prepared if Kara suddenly got sick. “Look, I’ll even drink a little. If I take a sip, will you?” Maggie offered. She wished she had thought to change out of her work clothes before taking Kara, but she couldn’t do it now. She leaned back on the couch, letting Kara get comfortable. She felt the little girl nod against her chest.

“Okay, love bug. Look, see? I’ll take a drink,” she said softly, taking a small sip from the bottle. It was admittedly a strange sensation, but it tasted alright and when she offered the bottle to Kara again, the little girl took it easily, taking a few sips of the drink before Maggie pulled the bottle away. “Small sips, baby girl. Your tummy doesn’t want big sips,” Maggie said gently. Kara mewled softly rubbing her eyes sleepily. She put her thumb in her mouth and turned into Maggie’s chest, squirming and kicking.

“Icky,” she grumbled before putting her thumb in her mouth.

“I know, Chiquita . I know. Just… just close your eyes and rest. Your body needs to rest to get better. Close those pretty blue eyes, that’s it. Sleep, little one. I’ll be right here if you feel yucky again. You just let me know, okay?” Kara nodded and her breathing began to slow and relax. Maggie hummed an old lullaby from her childhood before she began to sing it, her voice a little husky and not quite in tune, but Kara seemed to like it just fine. “A la nanita nana nanita ella. Mi niña Tiene Sueno bendito sea, bendito sea.” She repeated the tune a few times before Kara finally fell asleep, a tiny little furnace against her chest. Slowly, Maggie, too, fell asleep on the couch before being woken by Kara whining and kicking.

“Belly icky!” Kara groaned and Maggie just managed to wake up enough to get the bucket in front of Kara before she threw up the few sips of Pedialyte- clearly there was nothing else left in her system.

“That’s it, baby, get all the yucky germs out. There we go, good girl, good girl,” Maggie cooed, rubbing Kara’s back. According to the clock on the wall, it had barely been an hour since they’d fallen asleep. Once she had finished, Kara began to whimper, spitting into the bucket. “Okay, okay, let’s get you something to rinse your mouth out. I know, honey, I know,” she whispered, bringing Kara into the bathroom. Once she had shown Kara how to rinse her mouth and spit into the sink, Kara was happy to clean her mouth out. Maggie wiped her down with a cool washcloth and put her in a fresh diaper before going back out to the couch. Coaxing the bottle into Kara’s mouth again, she let her take a few more sips before taking it to prevent her from drinking too much. Within twenty minutes, Kara had to spit it up into the bucket again.

She and Maggie continued this dance for a few more hours, falling in and out of sleep, drinking water and Pedialyte before throwing it up again. By the time the sun had come up, Maggie and Kara were asleep on the couch, both equally exhausted. Alex woke first, smiling when she found them snuggled together on the couch. She covered them with a blanket before going to take a shower and get ready for work. When Eliza woke, she smiled fondly at her girls, cleaning up the living room and kitchen where Maggie and Kara had left a little mess. By the time Alex got out of the shower, Eliza had tidied up and was ready to head back to Kara’s apartment to get ready for the day. Maggie and Kara stayed sound asleep through it all. Before she had to leave to get to work, Alex knelt by the couch, putting a hand on Maggie’s shoulder, gently shaking her awake.

“Hu-what?” Maggie gasped, her grip on Kara tightening as she jerked awake, sitting up slightly. Kara just whined and burrowed into Maggie.

“Hey, Mags, shhh, it’s just me,” Alex said gently, squeezing Maggie’s shoulder, watching as her girlfriend slowly realized where she was and what was going on. Her grip on Kara slackened slightly as she propped herself up on her elbows.

“Wha’sup?” she grumbled groggily. “Time is it?”

“I’m heading to work. Just wanted to say goodbye. And thank you for letting me sleep last night. How bad was she? How many times did she throw up?” Alex asked, playing with a strand of Maggie’s hair.

“A few times. But it’s been… almost three hours since the last time? And she kept some Pedialyte down, too. I’m gonna try bananas this morning, I think,” Maggie said, her voice hoarse and husky, thick with sleep.

“Sounds good. Not sure if we have any, but try and get her to keep down some simple carbs and sugars like that. Clear liquids, lots of nutrients, you know the drill,” Alex said, gently smiling as Kara rolled over, blinking sleepily at her. She sucked sleepily on her pacifier, cheeks red and hair frizzy and untamed. “Hi, munchkin. You still feeling icky?” Kara nodded.

Ie go?” she said, the words muffled around her pacifier. Alex nodded, trying in vain to smooth down her baby sister’s hair.

“Yeah, peanut. I’m going to work, but you’re going to spend the day with Maggie. She’ll help you feel better, okay?” Alex whispered. Kara nodded, but it was clear that she was pouting behind her pacifier. “Good girl. Bye-bye, Kara. See you later, love you,” Alex said, kissing her forehead, glad to realize the fever had gone down a bit.

“Lobe you,” Kara whimpered.

“Love you, Mags,” Alex smiled, kissing her goodbye. Maggie smiled into the kiss, pulling away with a wrinkled nose.

“I probably have morning breath,” she said.

“You do,” Alex teased. “But I love every part of you- morning breath included. Now, I’ve really gotta get going. See you later. Love you,” she said, grabbing her things and running out the front door. Maggie settled back down, shifting Kara on her chest again.

“Let’s go back to sleep for a bit, love bug,” Maggie said softly, stroking Kara’s hair. Kara just hummed and let her eyes close, content to fall back asleep so long as she was snuggled on Maggie’s chest.

Chapter Text

“Sir, how are they doing over on Earth-1?” Alex asked as she walked into the command center. J’onn narrowed his eyes at her.

“They’re making progress in tracing where Kara went before returning here. Miss Luthor and Agent Schott are due for another update in two hours. A better question is why are you here?” he asked.

“Um, because I’m supposed to work today? Maggie’s got the next two days off so I can work for two days, then I stay home for two days. Sir, I cleared this with you days ago.”

“Agent Danvers, your sister is ill. I assumed you’d be staying home to keep an eye on her.”

“Well, sir, Maggie’s home with her. And Eliza is going to stay and help out until later this evening, closer to when Lena and Winn return and we leave. I’m sure they can handle it, and Eliza will be monitoring and tracking her to make sure her Kryptonian biology doesn’t affect her recuperation. Is it… are you sending me home, sir?” Alex said cautiously.

“I suppose not. Keep me updated on Kara’s condition,” J’onn said with a brisk nod. Alex confirmed that she would before heading off to her lab to run some more tests.

 

“You’re… brilliant, I can’t believe this,” Caitlyn laughed. Lena blushed slightly but beamed. They had taken a break a few hours ago for food and to take a shower and rest. During that time, Caitlyn had been picking Lena’s brain about L-Corp’s current projects, having heard Kara gush about how smart her best friend is. They had just finished discussing her most recent project: a vaccine formula and genetic code reader that would allow hospitals to read a patient’s genetic code and tailor vaccines and treatments to each patient.

“Well, it’s still in the beginning stages,” Lena said modestly. “And the R&D department engineers are doing a lot of the legwork.”

“Yeah, but you’re an engineer, aren’t you?” Winn said, elbowing her gently. “Kara says you spend hours down in the labs with them whenever you can. And she said that your own notes were the bulk of the advancements your team made on this project.”

“That’s amazing,” Iris said, putting fresh cups of coffee in front of the tired visitors. Barry came speeding up behind her holding paper bags filled with pastries, dropping them on the table.

“Yeah, Kara says you’re too modest for your own good,” he agreed. Lena just blushed and took a long sip of her coffee.

“And the way I hear it, baby Kara is just as obsessed with you as grown-up Kara is,” Iris continued, smirking at the young CEO.

“Oh, that’s true. She goes around talking about her Lena all the time. It’s kind of adorable,” Winn smirked with a goofy grin.

“We should get back to work,” Lena said.

“Yeah, while we’re at it, we should try and find a cure for the stomach flu to help Kara out,” Cisco laughed.

“What? What do you mean?” Lena asked, grabbing his wrist.

“Oh, I forgot, you and Caitlin had left to do your nerd thing. J’onn answered back. I guess no powers means Kara has no immune system and she picked up a stomach bug. She’s been puking all night- not a pretty sight at chez Danvers.”

“She’s sick? Is she going to be alright?” Lena asked, biting her bottom lip.

“She’ll be fine, Luthor,” Caitlin assured her. “Some Pepto Bismol and time will have her feeling better. She’ll probably be feeling all better before you guys even head back later today. Now, let’s get back to work and check out those simulations. We won’t do any good to her if you’re panicking and worried about her.” Lena nodded but chewed on the inside of her cheek, worrying about how Kara must be feeling, sick and scared and confused back on Earth-1.

 

Ieiu , icky,” Kara whined as soon as the eldest Danvers returned from the store. Maggie had been taking care of Kara all morning, cleaning her up when she threw up and slowly feeding her Pedialyte. Eliza had been to various drug stores to find the things she insisted were required to take care of Kara.

“Oh, my poor little star, I’ll make you feel better ,” Eliza replied in Kryptonese. Kara held her arms out and Maggie tried not to feel too insulted, handing over the toddler and trading to take Eliza’s shopping bags. “I’m going to need some help, Maggie. In one of the bags, there’s syringes and a few bottles of electrolyte replacements labelled ringer's lactate. Can you grab it? And then, grab one of Kara’s stuffed animals or a favorite toy or something to comfort her,” Eliza instructed, voice calm and collected but firm. Maggie immediately obeyed, placing the requested items on the kitchen counter as Eliza settled on a stool, cradling Kara and kissing her head.

“Here you go sweetheart,” Maggie said, giving Kara her stuffed lion and the soft blue blanket she preferred above all others.

“Actually, Maggie, could you take her? I need to put in an IV so that we can keep her hydrated. When’s the last time she threw up?” Eliza asked, transferring Kara to Maggie’s arms. Maggie wrapped the blanket around her and swayed gently back and forth when Kara started to fuss.

“Uh, about half an hour ago.”

“Last bowel movement?” Maggie grimaced as she felt Kara’s diaper.

“Not long ago. Should I change her diaper now?” Eliza hummed thoughtfully as she washed her hands thoroughly in the kitchen sink.

“Yes, quickly. Then you won’t have to put her down after the IV.” Maggie nodded, making quick work of Kara’s dirty diaper, humming and singing lullabies when Kara whimpered. Within a few minutes, she had Kara dressed again in a plain blue onesie and wrapped in the blanket. She was sucking on a yellow binky with stars on it and clutching her stuffed lion to her chest, blinking sleepily and rubbing her eyes. Eliza was standing next to the kitchen counter with her hair up in a ponytail, gloves on her hands and Maggie saw the syringe package was open, as was the bottle of the electrolyte solution. One hand was behind her back, so Maggie figured she was hiding the needle to avoid scaring Kara unnecessarily.

“Sit down, Maggie, and free her left hand for me, please,” Eliza said softly. Maggie nodding, positioning Kara so that her left hand was draped over Maggie’s shoulder and her head was nestled in the crook of Maggie’s neck, sniffling softly.

“Kara, baby girl, can I take your hand?” Eliza asked softly. Kara nodded and in her peripheral vision, Maggie saw Eliza kiss the back of Kara’s hand. “This wipe is a little cold, but that’s all, my sweet girl. Can I clean your hand?” Maggie felt Kara nod. “So good, Kara. Now, look at this pretty purple ribbon. Isn’t it nice? Look, I’m going to tie it right here on your arm- no, sweetie, I know it’s tight, don’t cry, love, I’m almost done, I know. Oh, you’re so brave, so strong. Such a good girl,” Eliza continued and Kara’s cries picked up in intensity. Maggie hummed in her ear, rubbing circles on her back. “This is just going to pinch for a second, little one. Just a second. Ready? 1, 2, 3… and done! See, no more pinches, no more,” Eliza cooed as Kara cried in earnest. Maggie rubbed Kara’s back as Eliza cleaned the area surrounding the IV, put on a little bit of cream and a bandage along with medical tape to secure it. “You did so well, sweet girl. Such a brave, strong girl. I know, I know, I’m almost done. Just let me put the medicine in, love.” Eliza continued her gentle reassurances as she attached the syringe and put in a few milliliters of the ringer's lactate.

“Oh, I know, Pequena , I know,” Maggie cooed.

“All done, lovebug, all done,” Eliza said, kissing the top of Kara’s head. Maggie stood and rocked Kara back and forth gently, pressing gentle kisses to her forehead as she did. “5mL every ten minutes ought to keep her hydrated and make sure she gets the necessary nutrients until this passes,” Eliza explained to Maggie. “And I’ve got a Pepto Bismol tablet that she can take to help with the upset stomach.”

“No, no, no,” Kara whined, kicking her legs and fussing in Maggie’s arms. “O-ow, no ouch, no more.”

“No more, baby girl. No more,” Maggie confirmed. She nodded at Eliza who stripped off her gloves and went to put away her supplies. “Let’s go lay down, hmm? I think you’re a little sleepy, aren’t you? We can sleep a little bit, hmm? Do you want a bottle?”

“Baba,” Kara confirmed, rubbing her eyes.

“Eliza, could you-”

“Make a bottle for her? Absolutely. Just water in it? Or juice?”

“You’re the doc, Doc. Whatever you think is best,” Maggie said, throwing a smile Eliza’s way before moving towards Kara’s room. “I’m gonna go sit in the rocking chair.” She settled in the chair and Kara laid against her chest whining and crying.

“No owie, no,” Kara whimpered through broken hiccups. As Eliza returned with a bottle of nice, cool, watered-down apple juice, Kara’s eyes fell closed, but she still continued mumbling. Maggie gently turned Kara and coaxed the bottle into her mouth, murmuring reassurances and praise as Kara slowly drained the bottle even as her eyes fell shut and her breathing slowed. In her sleep, she still sucked on the bottle until it was empty. This woke Kara slightly as they took the bottle and she whined her dissatisfaction.

“Wan’ ‘Ena,” Kara mumbled sleepily as she snuggled further into Maggie, accepting the binky when it was offered.

“Soon, lovebug, soon,” Maggie whispered, lulling the girl back to sleep. As she continued rocking and Eliza switched the lights off, Maggie felt her own eyes growing tired.

“Sleep, sweetheart, I’ll be in the living room,” Eliza whispered from the doorway as Maggie drifted off, hugging Kara tight in her grasp as she rocked them both to sleep.

 

“We got it! We cracked the code!” Winn shouted triumphantly, fist-pumping as he spun around in his chair. “And with an hour to spare before we go back to our Earth, I might add. Wow, I am good!

“Relax, Schott, all we did was figure out where she went. And, might I add, I did that more than you, dude,” Cisco said with a raised eyebrow.

“Well, yeah, obviously, but with knowledge of where she went, I can figure out what caused this and then how to fix it!” Winn continued excitedly.

“Alright, enough nerds. What’s the big news? Where did she go?” Caitlin interrupted.

“Through a wormhole to another dimension! Lena was right; she did go through a wormhole, but that’s not what caused this! It’s where she went that caused it,” Winn explained.

“Alright, so the wormhole took her… where, exactly?” Lena asked.

“To a fourth dimension. It’s kind of like the Phantom Zone, y’know? Where Kara got stuck for, like, twenty-five years but time was frozen so she didn’t age? It’s like that, but different. We need to do some more analysis to really figure out how it’s different and what happened there to make Kara young,” Winn explained as he focused again on the computer screen, presumably running diagnostics.

“I mean, I could vibe there to gather intel, but I don’t think that’s the greatest idea unless you guys are prepared to take care of a baby me,” Cisco smirked.

“Let’s not send any of our people to another dimension until we know exactly what’s there, please,” Iris said sternly. Barry appeared with a gust of wind.

“Hey, guys, caught those bank robbers, it was no big deal. Did it in record time, it’s cool. What did I miss?” he said with a roguish grin.

“Kara went to another dimension that messed with time somehow. Winn thinks if he can figure out more about this other dimension, he can reverse engineer a solution and age-up Kara,” Iris explained, leaning in to kiss her husband.

“So, not much then?” Barry smirked.

“Not much at all,” Iris confirmed with a smile.

“How long has he got to figure this all out?” Barry continued, leaning backward on the desk, propping himself up on his elbows.

“Less than an hour until Alex and her mom comes to relieve us,” Lena informs him, settling down next to Winn to help him analyze and run his tests. At his curious look, she murmured a soft two heads are better than one, right? He nodded and they continued to work. Caitlin continued working on the simulations that she and Lena had been running to try and find different ways to reverse engineer the de-aging process. As Team Flash and their two honorary members continued to work, they knew that their friends at the DEO were preparing to come to them.

 

“Now, Kara, Ieiu and I will be back tomorrow, okay? I promise, we’ll be back, love,” Alex cooed. Maggie had dressed the little girl- perkier now that it had been a few hours since she’d thrown up and the injected ringer's lactate seemed to be helping her bounce back- and brought her to the DEO to say goodbye to Alex and Eliza before they left for Earth-1. As soon as Alex explained that she would be leaving for the day, Kara had clung to her and began crying.

“No, no, Ie , no go!” Kara sobbed.

“Oh, love bug, you’ll be okay. You’ve got Maggie! And J’onn and Winn and maybe Lena will come hang out with you? You’ll be alright, I promise,” Alex soothed, swaying back and forth with her sister in her arms.

“‘Ena?” Kara whimpered.

“Yeah, baby girl. Lena will come play with you, okay? She’ll make you feel better. She’ll play with you, and she’ll snuggle with you, and she’ll hang out with you when you’re feeling sad.”

“‘Tay, Ie , no go,” Kara whined, clutching Alex’s jacket in her tiny little fists. Alex swallowed back a sob.

“You’ll be alright, Kara. You will, okay?” Eliza said, kissing her forehead. To Alex, she turned and whispered, “long, emotional goodbyes are rarely good for kids experiencing separation anxiety, dear. We should go. Soon. Cisco is ready to open the portal.” Alex nodded, eyes closed. She pressed another kiss to Kara’s temple.

“Okay. Okay, make the portal, J’onn. Tell Cisco to open it, please,” Alex said, her voice hoarse. He nodded and Vasquez started sending a message. “Alright, time to go now, Kara. Time to go. I know, sweet girl. I know, I love you. I’ll be back soon. Soon, I promise. I know, Kara, I know. Go to Maggie, love, go to Maggie. Here, big hugs. One more- a hug and a kiss and- alright, buh-bye. I love you, Kara!” Alex said, working quickly to extract herself from Kara’s grasp and pass her back to Maggie. She leaned in to kiss Maggie properly. “Bye, Mags. Love you. I’ll call you when I can, okay?”

“Love you, too, Danvers. Forever,” Maggie said softly. Alex pulled away and followed her mother through the portal, leaving Maggie and Kara behind.

 

“Hey, Agent Danvers! Where’s the baby?” Barry asked as soon as they stepped through the portal. Alex worked to school her features and hide the lingering sadness from leaving a sobbing Kara behind.

“Allen, if you think I’m bringing my baby sister across the multiverse when she has no powers at all, then you must be crazier than I thought,” Alex replied in a deadpan voice. He laughed, running up to hug her. She couldn’t resist his goofy charm- so, so much like Kara- as she hugged him back. Caitlin and Iris came to give her quick hugs before Alex introduced her mother to all of the team.

“Well, why don’t you show us what you’ve been working on. Lena, Winn, J’onn is expecting you back now,” Eliza said firmly.

“Yes, Mama Danvers,” Winn beamed, saluting.

“Yes, Dr. Danvers,” Lena mumbled with a blush, unable to quell the feeling of a chastised child being sent to bed without supper.

“Oh, and Lena?” Alex called. Lena paused, turning as Alex leaned in to whisper to her. “Kara was pretty upset when I left and I told her you’d hang out with her and play with her a bit. Do you think you could- at least until she calms down a bit? Or until she falls asleep? I just don’t want her to be too much for Maggie, y’know?” Alex whispered. Lena nodded.

“Of course. She’ll be fine, don’t worry about it. You just focus on saving the day, Agent Danvers,” Lena replied.

“Whatever you say, Luthor,” Alex said with a smirk and a roll of her eyes. With that, Lena followed Winn through the portal and back to her Earth.

Chapter Text

As soon as she stepped through the portal, Lena was ushered with Winn into a small meeting room where they were given an official debriefing on everything that happened. Half an hour into the meeting, Maggie walked in with a sleepy, whimpering Kara, an apologetic smile on her face as she murmured a soft, “she was asking for you, Lena.”

“You’re just about finished, Ms. Luthor. You can go if you want. Just keep in touch,” J’onn said. “We’ll call if we need you. Go home, sleep. This will all be here tomorrow.” Lena nodded gratefully, thanking him as she followed Maggie and Kara out to the hallway.

“Hi, sweet girl,” Lena cooed, stroking Kara’s cheek with one finger. Kara’s eyes were red-rimmed and her face was warm and blotchy, wet with tears. She hiccuped and whined, reaching for Lena. Lena looked up at Maggie who handed over the toddler. “Oh, what’s got you so sad?”

“‘Ena, w-wan’ Al-Alex,” she whimpered, a fresh wave of tears beginning to fall.

“Could you just- her diaper bag is in the break room and I need to go grab that. Do you mind holding her while I do that?” Maggie asked. Lena nodded, but as soon as she was out of sight, Lena felt awkward. Here she was: a member of the notorious Luthor family holding a vulnerable, crying toddler who is also the cousin of her brother’s greatest enemy and the city’s caped crusader. Trying to keep her cheeks from turning red, she bounced Kara awkwardly on her hip and avoided making eye contact with the agents that walked around the DEO, staring at her curiously.

“Shhh, shhh, Kara, you’re okay. You’re alright, I promise. Please don’t cry, please? You’re alright,” Lena said, rubbing circles on Kara’s back. The toddler just fisted her hands in Lena’s blouse and whimpered.

“Wan’ Sissy,” she cried, burying her nose in Lena’s shoulder, leaving wet tear tracks down Lena’s blouse.

“I know you do, I know. But she’s coming back, I promise. She’s doing everything she can to take care of you, okay? You, me, and Maggie are going to go to your house, and we’ll have a nice evening, I promise. You just- you don’t have to cry, Kara. I mean, if you want to, it’s okay. I get it, I get sad too, sometimes, and I need to cry, too,” Lena rambled nervously, pacing back and forth. In her pacings, she saw the balcony Kara usually used as her own personal entrance and exit and it gave her an idea. “Hey, Kara, have you seen the balcony? Did anyone show you what the city looks like?”

“S-Sissy did,” Kara sniffled and Lena winced, wondering if she made it worse.

“Well- do you want to go look at the city for a minute while we wait for Maggie?” Kara hummed her agreement and Lena quickly crossed the room and ascended the stairs, standing on the balcony and looking out over the city. She shifted Kara awkwardly onto one hip, rifling through her purse to grab her phone and text Maggie where they went while Kara shifted and looked out over the balcony. “Wow, look at all of those lights, Kara.”

“Lights p’etty!” Kara agreed before otherwise occupying her mouth. A quick glance down confirmed for Lena that Kara was mouthing on the shoulder of her blouse. She sucked on the fabric and Lena wondered if she had a pacifier somewhere.

“The lights are pretty, aren’t they? Do you know what those lights are?” Kara makes a noncommittal sound. Lena continues, “each light is a window. It’s a person or a family living their lives. They love and they laugh and they get sad like you. Isn’t it amazing to think about how many people are out there?”

“Hey, Luthor, thanks for holding her- hey, Kara, what’s with the sucking on her shirt, hmm? Sorry, Lena, I think she kinda drooled all over it,” Maggie said as she jogged up the stairs, a large tote strapped to her shoulder. “Kar, babe, c’mere,” Maggie said, reaching to take Kara from Lena. Kara just whined and wrapped her limbs tighter around Lena’s torso, sucking fervently on her shirt- Lena could feel it on her skin, now.

“It’s okay, I can hold her,” Lena said softly. Maggie nodded, shifting the bag on her shoulder as they made their way to the exit.

“Did you drive?” Maggie asked as they headed towards the street.

“No.”

“Perfect. We’re only down a block, so we just walk. You sure you’re good holding her?”

Lena nodded. “I’m stronger than I look.”

“Yeah, I bet you are,” Maggie chuckled. They walked in a companionable silence before heading up into the apartment building. Sitting in front of the door were two large cardboard boxes, a piece of paper folded neatly on top with Maggie’s name scrawled across.

“What’s this?” Lena asked nervously; when unmarked packages showed up on her doorstep, it usually required a call to the bomb squad and a federal investigation. Maggie seemed to be almost expecting it.

“Ha! He finally got around to it,” Maggie smiled, opening the note. “My buddy at work said he’d bring us some old clothes and stuff from when his kids were little. He caught a pretty big case, so he’s been working overtime and hasn’t had time to get it down here before today. Here, you take Kara inside while I get these boxes. And you might want to change your shirt? That one’s a little… drooly,” Maggie teased, gesturing to her shoulder. Glancing down, she saw how wrinkled and wet her silk blouse had gotten; it would likely need to be thrown away at this point. “You can borrow some comfy clothes if you want. Kara keeps some spare pajamas and stuff here and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind you borrowing them, right Kara?” Maggie coos, tickling the little girl’s chin. Kara giggled and squealed. Lena smiled at the sound, entering the apartment once Maggie pushed the door open. She settled Kara in the living room before going to the guest-room-turned-nursery and finding the ‘Kara drawer’ as Maggie called it. She changed into leggings and a sweatshirt and returned to the living room to find Kara coloring at the coffee table, cartoons playing on the TV while Maggie sat on the couch going through the boxes. Lena hesitated a moment before settling in on the couch, preparing for a fun evening of babysitting her best friend.

“What is all that?” Lena asked curiously, watching Maggie pull something out of the box. Maggie laughed looking at it.

“I, uh, I told Cassano about how I made a temporary carrier for Kara out of a sheet, but I’m no engineer, obviously. The thing fell apart and Kara fell. She’s better now, but I was really upset about it because she just wanted to be held and I fuc- I messed up,” Maggie said, eyes widening as she self-censored. The corner of Lena’s mouth twitched up in a smirk. “Anyway, I told him about it and I guess he took it upon himself to find his for me. The old nerd even included an itemized list,” Maggie laughed, pulling out the paper folded neatly inside the box.

“Looks like you’ve got a nice coworker,” Lena remarked, looking into the boxes. She saw clothes folded neatly, but the list in Maggie’s hand was long so clearly there was more hidden beneath.

“He was my mentor when I first got there. He taught me a lot.” Maggie sighed, smiling and shaking her head. She turned to look at Lena. “You hungry? I can order us something if you want?” Lena hesitated, not wanting to be a bother. Sensing the hesitation, Maggie continued, “I was going to order from this little Italian place? They make this amazing chicken marsala and I think you’d like their Caprese salad. Alex pretends to hate it because I usually order it with a vegan substitute for the mozzarella, but she loves it- even with the vegan cheese.”

“If you’re already ordering, I suppose I could get something to eat,” Lena acquiesced. Her cheeks darkened when her stomach let out a loud growl.

“You suppose , do you?” Maggie teased. Lena just shrugged, grabbing the takeout menu from Maggie’s outstretched hand. Maggie calls in the order, a chicken marsala plate for herself, spaghetti with butter and oil for Kara, and a slice of lasagna for a blushing Lena (“my guilty pleasure,” she’d explained through the blush). Through all of this, Kara had scribbled on three different coloring pages, offering each to the women on the couch for praise and admiration before moving on. Once they’d settled back down to start going through the boxes, Kara climbed onto Lena’s lap, her back laying against Lena’s chest. Kara passively watched as they unpacked several outfits, a nightlight, bath toys, some board books, a wooden puzzle, a giraffe raincoat with matching rain boots and a matching umbrella, and a few stained but otherwise clean bibs. By the time the food arrived, Maggie was in Kara’s room putting the new things away.

“Money’s on the counter, Luthor, can you answer the door?” Maggie called.

“Yeah, sure.” Lena stood, shifting Kara to her hip and grabbed her credit card from her purse- what’s the point of being a billionaire if you can’t treat your friends to dinner? She ignored the delivery boy’s widened eyes, filing that reaction away for later to be on the lookout for rumors of Lena Luthor with a baby in any of the gossip rags. She tipped generously (200% was her standard) and bid him goodnight. Lena brought the food into the kitchen, switching it from the containers onto clean plates.

“You paid,” Maggie said when she came back out to the kitchen, seeing the cash still on the counter.

“I did,” Lena confirmed, though it wasn’t a question.

“Whatever floats your boat, kid,” Maggie snorted. She went to move Kara to the booster seat so she could feed her but was met with protest.

“No! My ‘Ena! ‘Tay!” Kara lisped, clinging to Lena.

“Possessive little thing.” Maggie rolled her eyes while Lena tried to control her breathing; she was just a toddler, it wasn’t a reflection of what Kara actually felt about Lena as an adult (though she wished that Kara was hers in all forms of the word, at any age). “Hey, Luthor, you listening?” Maggie said, waving her hand in front of Lena’s face. She blinked out of her daze.

“Um, sorry, I zoned out, I suppose,” Lena apologized.

“Yeah, I wonder why?” Maggie teased. “I’m sure it had nothing to do with Kara calling you hers ?”

“Maggie,” Lena whispered harshly, ears going red. She had to work to keep the plaintive, childish whine out of her tone. Maggie just waved her hand dismissively.

“You good to feed her if she sits on your lap? She’s starting to get over her stomach bug, so she’s eating plain foods, hence the plain pasta.”

“I can do it,” Lena said confidently. Maggie nodded, tying a bib on Kara’s neck before doling out both Lena’s lasagna and some of Kara’s pasta onto two plates. Lena rested her chin on Kara’s hand; how hard could this be?

 

Evidently, feeding a toddler who was getting over a stomach virus and was sitting on one’s lap while also trying to feed oneself was pretty fucking hard. Kara was wiggly and didn’t take the food so easily, whining a bit as if afraid it would make her sick. This only got more complicated as Lena tried to feed herself because lasagna is a messy enough food on a normal day. By the time they were done, Kara had sauce and butter and oil in her hair, on her face, and all over her clothes.

“Sorry, Maggie. I didn’t realize how messy lasagna could be,” Lena apologized as Maggie cooed about how Kara needed a bath.

“She would’ve gotten a bath anyway, don’t worry about it. After dinner she takes a bath, then it’s usually straight to bed. You mind staying until bedtime?” Lena nodded, ready to sit on the couch and go through some emails while she waited. Barely five minutes had passed before she heard her name being called from the bathroom. She entered hesitantly.

“Sorry, Lena, she was pretty insistent. Do you mind sitting in here with us? I can make this quick,” Maggie apologized. Lena just shrugged, putting the toilet seat down and sitting on it.

“It’s fine. Is she always so clingy?” Lena asked curiously.

“Only with you.” Lena chewed the inside of her cheek, focusing intently on her phone, not absorbing anything in the emails she was meant to be reading. “But, it is a little more intense because she was sick. Kids are usually pretty clingy when they don’t feel well,” Maggie added.

“‘Ena! P’ay fishy!” Kara said, splashing the water lightly. Lena looked up to find Kara’s damp curls clinging to her head as she pouted up from the half-filled tub, covered in bubbles and holding out a blue and yellow plastic fish.

“Is this some sort of character?” Lena asked as she dropped to her knees next to the tub right next to Maggie. She took the fish in her hands and looked it over.

“Okay, clearly after this is all over we need to invite you over to more movie nights so we can educate you on the wonders of animated kid’s movies. But yes, that is a character. Just play the game,” Maggie said with a chuckle. Lena shrugged, following Kara’s directions to make the fish jump in and out of the water, chasing after Kara’s little clownfish. While Lena played with Kara, Maggie stepped back to “grab another cloth” while actually stopping to record this on her phone- one could never have too much blackmail material, after all.

 

“Maggie, your phone is ringing,” Lena announced.

“Let it ring, I’ll see who it is in a minute.” Maggie waved her hand dismissively while wrestling a squirming Kara into her pajamas. Lena was looking over the books they’d picked out for her bedtime stories; all were unfamiliar to her, though she suspected they were classics based on Maggie’s reactions. She couldn’t quite understand how a dog could be so large and so red, nor how a monkey came to be living with a man who only seemed to ever wear yellow, but who was she to judge?

“They’re calling again.” Lena looked to the living room where Maggie’s phone was still sitting.

“Can you go see who it is, please?” Kara whined as Lena left the room, trying to follow her.

“Uh, the first was from a Jack Lawson, the second was from Charlie Bowden and… oh, now you’re getting a call from your captain. Looks like something important,” Lena explained as she handed the phone to Maggie, who had now furrowed her brow. Kara sat up in bed, blinking sleepily and holding her stuffed lion to her chest. Maggie had combed the little girl’s hair and braided it back. She was dressed in a pair of purple pajamas decorated with owls and stars and was sucking on her Supergirl pacifier. Lena smiled softly as she went to sit next to her, kneeling by the bedside and feeling only a bit awkward.

“‘Ena, up,” Kara whispered, patting the empty spot on the bed next to her. Hesitating for only a moment, Lena crawled into the bed, tucking Kara carefully under the covers. She picked up the book about the monkey and the man obsessed with yellow and ten-gallon hats, wondering if she should start reading while listening to Maggie whisper urgently in the other room. “You read now?”

“Um, sure. So, this book is called Curious George Gets a Medal . Interesting, look at this cover image. The monkey- George, right? This is George?- he’s wearing an astronaut suit and parachuting down from someplace. How fascinating. I wonder what happens in this book,” Lena noted, inspecting the cover. Kara rubbed her eyes sleepily as Lena opened the book to the first page.

This is George - ah, I see, the monkey is George. Look, he’s reading a book! I wonder what book he’s reading, maybe this one? How very meta of this illustrator. Oh, where was I? Right. This is George. He lived with his friend, the man with the yellow hat - I suppose we’ll learn his name later? He was a good little monkey- and always very curious. George was alone this morning looking at a picture book when the doorbell- ” Lena was interrupted by a worried Maggie.

“Lena, can you come here for a minute?”

“No, ‘Ena, you read,” Kara whined as Lena stood.

“I’ll be right back, love,” Lena assured her. Kara whimpered softly as Lena moved to follow Maggie into the doorway. “What’s going on? Why did those people call?”

“It’s work. There was this ragtag, local group of anti-alien citizens. We were keeping an eye on them, but as far as we knew, they were as harmless as a book club. They would meet once every two weeks and complain about how aliens and immigrants were stealing jobs and ruining the city. Apparently, our intel failed to notice how serious they were getting. They threw Molotov cocktails into the precinct and local alien hot spots- the alien bar, a store that tailors and hand-sews clothes to fit aliens with non-humanoid body shapes, and a clinic that treated aliens. Four confirmed dead so far, but we suspect there’s more of these attacks coming. There are dozens injured and it’s all hands on deck. They need me out there trying to catch these guys, and I can’t- I know I shouldn’t ask seeing as you just got back from another universe, but do you think you could watch Kara? Just for a little while until things calm down?” Maggie rambled, pacing back and forth.

“Oh, God, of course. If there's anything anyone needs- I’m sure my finances could help people out. Just let me know, alright? You go, we’ll be fine, I promise. Just- you be safe, okay?” Lena said, shooing Maggie away.

“Um, okay, I’m gonna go tell Kara that I need to go to work first. I don’t want her to fall asleep and just wake up to me gone, that’ll freak her out.” Lena nodded guiltily, remembering when she’d done that just a week ago, getting a frantic video call from a sobbing Kara. Lena went to go switch out her contacts for her glasses since it was clear she wouldn’t be doing anything else or going anywhere tonight.

“No!” she heard Kara cry as she quickly made her way back to the bedroom.

“Oh, I know, I know, nena , I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, love, but I have to go. People are hurt and they really, really need me. But I’ll be back as soon as I can, and Lena’s going to stay with you, isn’t that nice?”

“Maggie no go!” Kara whimpered as Lena entered the room, finding her crying in Maggie’s lap.

“Oh, Kara,” Lena cooed softly, crawling on the bed and rubbing Kara’s back. “She’ll come back, Maggie just needs to help people who need her. She always comes back, right?” Kara whimpered but nodded. “See? You’ll read the stories, go to sleep and then tomorrow, she’ll come back! It’ll be fine, okay, love?” Maggie gave Kara another good squeeze, kissing her cheek before transferring her over to Lena’s lap. Kara immediately buried her face in Lena’s chest, whining and whimpering sadly. Lena rocked back and forth, rubbing Kara’s back and making soothing shushing noises. When Maggie came in to say goodbye before leaving, Kara was barely able to keep her eyes open, exhausted from the long day and all the crying. She kissed Maggie goodbye, whimpering as she shut the door before resting her head against Lena’s chest. Lena lightly scratched Kara’s back for a few moments in silence.

“You wanna finish the story?” Lena asked after a while. She felt Kara nod against her, so she picked up the yellow paperback. “Let’s see, where were we? Ah, George was looking at a picture book and the doorbell rang. Let’s find out who rang the bell!” Lena read the book enthusiastically, often pausing in her reading to describe and comment on the pictures. Kara was snoring before the book was even finished.

Chapter Text

Once she was certain Kara was sound asleep, Lena shifted her so that she was on the bed rather than on top of Lena and tucked her in, kissing her cheek. She went into the living room and set up on the couch with her laptop and her phone charging next to her. At first, she planned on getting some work done; she checked her emails and responded to the most pressing. After a while, though, Lena got curious and looked at some of the breaking news updates about the situation downtown. The news updates gave a much more dismal report than Maggie had given, so Lena knew it would take Maggie a long time to get back. Immediately, she called Jess.

Yes, Miss Luthor?” Jess responded immediately. Lena felt guilty for how hard Jess worked; she would have to give her another bonus or something.

“Hi, Jess. Sorry, it’s so late, but have you seen what’s happening in the news?”

“Yes, ma’am. It’s a despicable act of terrorism, and so many are injured.”

“You’re right, and I’d like to help. I want to look into setting up a fund to help those affected by this tragedy to help with medical bills, funeral costs, or rebuilding their businesses. I want to release a statement about it by noon tomorrow with all of the details about how to access the funds,” Lena explained, already drafting emails to her charitable efforts department chair, her PR team, and her financial office, CCing Jess on all of them.

“Of course. I’ll get started on that as soon as-”

“No, Jess, you don’t have to do it this moment. Just… by noon tomorrow. I’ve sent out emails to the appropriate departments, I just need you to keep it on track tomorrow. I won’t be able to come in, I’m… babysitting for a friend,” Lena explained nervously.

“Babysitting?” Jess asked, clearly perplexed.

“Yes, um, Kara’s sister and her girlfriend needed me to- because she and Kara are out of town, and her girlfriend is NCPD so she got called in and so she asked me to watch her.” Lena knew she didn’t really need to give Jess such a detailed explanation, but she was nervous and had clearly picked up on Kara’s habit of nervous rambling- she really needed to get that under control, it wasn’t a good trait for a CEO to have.

“Well, okay then,” Jess said, her words carefully measured.

“Jess, is there something else you’d like to say? You know I want my employees to feel free to speak their minds, especially if they have a concern or a criticism,” Lena reminded her. She heard Jess sigh.

“It’s just- have you ever taken care of a child before?” Jess asked after a pause.

“Not by myself, but… I have watched this child while her guardians were otherwise occupied,” Lena defended.

“I’m sure you have! It can just be a little overwhelming the first time, especially if it’s not clear exactly how long you’ll be watching them. How old is the kid?”

“Two.”

“Wow, that’s… young.”

“I know, I know, I just… There wasn’t really another option. Am I in over my head?” Lena asked worriedly, standing and going to look in on Kara, checking on her. She was still sound asleep, snuggling with her lion and pacifier clicking softly as she sucked on it.

“Miss Luthor, I didn’t mean to worry you, I was just surprised! You’re a brilliant woman, and I am certain you can figure this out. If they truly didn’t think you were capable of this, they would have found another option, believe me. If you need any help, Google is your friend and so am I. I used to babysit all through high school and college, so I can give you some tips if you get stuck.”

“Thank you, Jess,” Lena sighed, walking away from Kara’s room. “You’re amazing, as always. Now, I didn’t mean to interrupt your evening. Please let me know when the emergency relief funds for the victims of the act of terrorism today are set up.”

“I will. Have a nice evening, Miss Luthor.”

“Thank you, Jess, and to you as well.” After she hung up, Lena collapsed back into the couch, insecurity and worry now consuming her. Opening her laptop again, she started googling babysitting tips, reading endless articles on how to care for a toddler Kara’s age before she finally passed out from exhaustion, sitting up with her computer thankfully on the couch next to her and glasses still perched on her nose.

 

Lena woke to a stiff neck and a crying Kara.

It took her a few moments to recognize where she was and register the crying, but as soon as she remembered who was crying, Lena was up off the couch and into the bedroom in a moment. Kara was sitting up in the bed, but trapped by the toddler rail Lena had thankfully remembered to put up last night. Kara kicked and whined, reaching for Lena as soon as she saw her in the doorway.

“Oh, Kara, good morning! What’s got you so upset, hmmm?” Lena asked, voice gruff from sleep. She pulled Kara out of the bed and onto her hip, feeling the sag of the diaper. “Oh, you need a new diaper, don’t you?” Kara whined. “Well, I can do that! Yes, I can. Let me just… look it up… Siri, how do you change a diaper?” Lena asked, grabbing what appeared to be a diaper bag and kneeling on the floor, spreading out the supplies she needed.

“Okay, Kara, so we just… we spread out the changing mat… that would be… this? Okay, perfect. Now, Kara, you lay down here and…” Lena hummed as she pulled off Kara’s pajama pants and unsnapped her onesie before looking to the guide on her phone. “Great! Now I open up a fresh diaper like so… and I put it underneath you so… just scooch your bum up a little, okay, hang on, let me- there we go! Now it’s lined up properly, so… I take the dirty one off… and I don’t have a diaper pail, so it’s gonna sit here for a minute,” Lena continued to narrate the process while Kara started fussing and squirming.

“‘Ena,” Kara whimpered. “‘Ena, up!” Kara tried to sit up and Lena put a hand on her chest.

“Not yet, Kara. Almost done, I promise! I just need to wipe you clean… And this isn’t awkward at all, no it is not,” Lena said in a bubbly voice even as her cheeks blushed a deep pink. “Now, I pull the front of the diaper up to your belly… And pull the tabs… then they’re secured here… and here… like so! And I redo the snaps and pull your pajama pants back on and we are good! Now all I have to do is clean up!” Lena stood and started to throw out the trash in the bathroom and wash her hands when she noticed Kara following her.

“‘Ena, food! Hung’y,” Kara whined, pouting up at Lena as she scrubbed her hands with soap and water.

“Right! Breakfast!” Lena exclaimed. “One of my interns usually delivers breakfast to my desk, but I am certain I can handle making something for us.” Lena dried her hands, rolled up the changing mat in the bedroom, scooped Kara up and moved into the living room. She plopped her down on the floor in front of the coffee table. “Here, play with your toys while I go make dinner. Look, you’ve got your trains and your blocks and a puzzle! I’ll be right back,” Lena said, kissing the crown of Kara’s head.

“No, ‘Ena, he’p! I he’p!” Kara whined, twisting around to watch as Lena walked away.

“You’re such a sweet little girl, aren’t you? You wanna help?” Lena cooed, squatting down to stroke Kara’s cheek with one thumb. Kara nodded, putting her thumb in her mouth and twirling her hair around her finger. “Well, let’s go then. You can help me cut up some fruit and… maybe some eggs? Oh- and toast! At boarding school, we sometimes had cinnamon French toast. It was delicious! I bet I can find a recipe. I will just set you down here so we can start!” Kara whined again when Lena tried to sit her at the table. “Feeling clingy today, little one?” Lena hummed. Kara just whimpered and pressed her face into Lena’s shoulder, still sucking her thumb and twirling her hair.

What could I- Oh, Maggie had a thing, a holder… Maybe I could use that? Lena thought to herself, walking back into the living room.

“‘Ena, no! Food!” Kara complained.

“Kara!” Lena laughed. “Let me get the carrier on and we can go make breakfast, alright? Now, let’s see how we do this. It kinda… it looks like a backpack? So, I just… oh, look, the directions are included!” Lena hummed happily, glancing through the directions pamphlet and sitting down on the couch. Kara wiggled unhappily, so Lena petted her hair, scratching her scalp lightly while she looked at the directions.

“Alright!” Lena exclaimed. “Here we go, so Kara I’m gonna leave you here for just a second while I get this read- no, don’t whine, you’ll be happy in just a second. There!” Lena beamed down at Kara, gesturing to the baby carrier laid out in front of her. Lena directed Kara through the process of where to stand and put her legs through, buckling her in before pulling on the straps of the carrier like a backpack, buckling one strap across her sternum and another around her belly, tightening them to ensure safety and comfort before standing slowly, leaning so Kara was still over the couch in case she did something wrong and Kara fell. The carrier held, distributing Kara’s weight nicely over Lena’s shoulders, back, and core and she cried out triumphantly.

“Whoo! Are you comfy Kara?” Lena asked, turning her head to ask Kara. Kara’s swung her legs that dangled, her feet gently kicking Lena’s hips, her arms dangling by her sides, her head nestled against Lena’s shoulders.

“Hung’y!” Kara declared, patting Lena’s shoulders. Lena chuckled, grabbing two of Kara’s trains and handing them back over her shoulders.

“Play with those while I cook, got it?” Kara hummed happily, rolling the trains over Lena’s shoulders, neck and back while Lena focused. She could do this. How hard could cooking breakfast be? It’s basically chemistry. She can do this.

 

The toast was a bit burnt and a little too sweet for Lena’s taste, the eggs were runny, and the only fruit in the house were bananas, which Kara promptly made a mess of. There was a mashed banana in between Kara’s fingers and all over her face- there was even some behind one of her ears and the eggs were more on her shirt than they were in her stomach. Kara had only had a bite of the cinnamon toast before pushing it away, so Lena tried not to take offense at that as she ate the rest of the breakfast. Once they were done, Lena took Kara’s chin in her hands before wiping her face with a damp cloth, not wanting to bathe her just for this.

“Well… now what?” Lena murmured, more to herself than to Kara.

“P’ay now!” Kara decided, patting the table impatiently. Lena laughed, scooping her up.

“I suppose we could have some play time in our jammies for a bit while I figure out what else to do.” Lena sat down on the floor with her, watching as Kara puttered around, picking up blocks and stacking them, knocking them down, and giggling at the process. Lena chuckled, watching her while also looking up toddler activities on her phone. After deciding on a few activities and creating an itinerary in her head, Lena put her phone down and turned to watch as Kara now used the trains to knock down the towers, smiling fondly at her little friend.

 

Once Kara had gotten bored with watching the towers fall, Lena tried to get her to work on the puzzle. Each of the pieces was a different colored shape, so Lena happily practiced the colors and shapes with her, though she knew Kara wasn’t actually a toddler. It was still probably a good idea to keep Kara’s mind engaged for the meantime. Kara was quick to pick up on the shapes and colors (likely because she wasn’t actually a two-year-old) and soon grew bored with the task, smashing the pieces against the coffee table just to hear the noise it made.

“Let’s go out, Kara!” Lena announced. “I think we should go on a little adventure, hmm? We can get you some new books to read, maybe make it to storytime? Does that sound like fun?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah!” Kara giggled, jumping up and down, dropping the puzzle pieces.

“Then let’s go get dressed,” Lena smiled, leading Kara into the guest room. After changing her into a fresh diaper (a process that did not get less awkward the more she did it) and then into a pair of denim overalls with a black and red checkered lumberjack shirt and a pair of little converse (a treasure Lena had found in the boxes last night). Lena buckled Kara into the stroller, grabbing the keys Maggie had left to her car, which had a car seat in the back seat for Kara, and headed towards the apartment building’s parking garage.

“Ready to go to the library, Kara?” Lena asked as she strapped Kara into the car seat. Before she started driving, she connected her phone to the Bluetooth, queuing up directions to the library and putting on a kid-friendly playlist she’d found on her music app. Kara spent the ride quietly humming, eyes drifting closed before stubbornly opening them again. Once they’d arrived, Lena held Kara on her hip. She was dressed as covertly as she could manage from the things she’d borrowed from Maggie and Alex’s closet, wearing a simple gray long-sleeve band t-shirt, faded blue jeans, black combat boots and a green and blue plaid scarf wrapped around her neck. Her hair was a little flat, not having bothered to straighten it (or really even comb it), and she wore her big, thick-rimmed glasses rather than her contacts. She slung a big black purse over her shoulder, having tossed diapers, wipes, a pacifier, a little bag of Cheerios, and a little sippy cup of water into it and walking into the children’s library.

“Excuse me, could you tell me where the children’s story hour is?” Lena whispered to the frail-looking old woman behind the front desk. The woman smiled at her and Kara, and Lena was pleased to note that the woman didn’t seem to recognize her as the CEO of L-Corp.

“Of course, dear. Down the stairs and to the right. There’s a reading rug with pillows and cozy seats and a rocking chair for our daily reader to read. You’ll see people gathering. It starts in just a few minutes. Is this your first time?” the woman asked kindly.

“Oh, yes, I’m just… babysitting,” Lena explained, hitching Kara up higher on her hip as she sank into Lena’s shoulder.

“Well, this is a good place to take a kid for a while. Today, they’re reading an Elephant and Piggy book, and a lovely book by Jon Klassen called This Is Not My Hat . The young kids really seem to like these titles,” she explained.

“Well, thank you! This sounds great,” Lena said, smiling.

“Of course. Enjoy!” Lena waved, turning to head down the stairs. It was easy enough to find the reading rug as there were several small children gathered on it, rambunctiously running around and playing while the adults watched and kept control of them. Some of the parents were on the floor sitting on pillows while others were perched on the rigid wooden chairs pulled from the library computers.

“‘Ena,” Kara whimpered, tucking her head into the crook of Lena’s shoulder.

“You’re alright, little one,” Lena whispered, taking a seat on the ground where she could lean up against a support pillar, seating Kara on her lap. “Do you want to go play with the other kids while we wait for them to read the stories?” Lena gestured to the kids who seemed to be playing tag.

“Nuh-uh,” Kara said, leaning back into Lena’s chest. Before Lena could say anything else, the story reader came, got the kids’ attention and started the first story. Throughout the thrilling tale of a cartoon elephant named Gerald and his cartoon pig friend named Piggy, Kara was squirming on Lena’s lap, whimpering the entire time.

“Kara, sweetheart, what’s wrong? Do you want to go take a walk?” Lena whispered. Kara shook her head.

“‘Ena, icky,” Kara whined.

“Kara, what feels- oh, no, oh God,” Lena cried out as Kara leaned forward and threw up onto the rug. Immediately the other children yelled and scattered as parents tried to corral them. Lena sprang to her feet, holding Kara at arm’s length worriedly, unsure of what to do.

“Here, cutie pie, throw up in this,” a librarian offered, quickly running and grabbing a garbage can, holding it up just as Kara heaved again.

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to- I didn’t realize she was- I’m so sorry. I can pay to have the carpet sanitized,” Lena offered worriedly, shifting her grip on Kara to something more suited to her limited arm strength.

“Quite alright, dear. It’s flu season, and this is a nasty virus going around. Nobody’s fault. You just take care of this sweet little girl,” the woman insisted. Lena nodded, worrying her bottom lip as Kara continued to heave into the trash can. The woman followed Lena back out into the stairwell, holding the trash can as Kara coughed and spit into it, now crying in earnest.

“I should have seen this coming,” Lena fretted. “She didn’t finish breakfast, and she’s usually a good eater. I am truly sorry, please, let me just give you something to offset the cost of cleaning the carpet,” Lena insisted, making to reach for her wallet.

“No use worrying about the past, dear,” the woman said, patting Lena’s hand. “And the state pays for a cleaning company since this is a public library. We have disinfectant, we’ll be fine. Now, you take this plastic bag and get this little girl home, into some clean clothes, and into bed. I’m sure a little rest and some plain food will do her some good. Have a nice day, dear,” she said, handing Lena a fresh, small trash bag. Kara’s heaving seemed to be done, for now, so Lena thanked the woman profusely, took the bag and left. Once they were outside, she stopped to put Kara on a bench, wiping her face clean with a baby wipe and giving her the water to rinse out her mouth.

“I’m so sorry, Kara. I should have made something simpler for breakfast, I didn’t mean to make you sick,” Lena said tearfully. Kara spit out the water onto the sidewalk as Lena instructed.

“Go home, ‘Ena,” Kara whimpered. Lena nodded, standing up and bringing her to the car.

“We will, my love, we will,” Lena promised. “I’ll get you nice and clean and we’ll take a little nap, hmm?” Lena kissed Kara’s clammy forehead once she had buckled her into the car seat. Kara cried and whined the whole way home, one hand on her belly and the other hand’s fingers in her mouth.

Oh, God, I am an awful babysitter, Lena thought to herself as she listened to Kara’s cries.

Chapter Text

“Alex, sweetie, how are you doing on reverse-engineering a cure?” Eliza asked, squeezing her daughter’s shoulder. Alex was hunched over the computers with Caitlin, looking over the complex codes and simulations running on the computer.

“This isn’t quite my area of expertise,” Alex grumbled. “I would be better suited if it were some kind of synthetic kryptonite solution that I could cure with a vaccine. Analyzing the time-space continuum in an alternate fourth-dimension and reverse engineering it? Not my thing. Maybe Lena and Winn will have more luck with it.”

“Hey now, you’re doing just fine,” Caitlin admonished.

“Please, you’re doing most of the work,” Alex reminded her. Caitlin shrugged.

“So? You’re still helping.”

“Whatever, Lena and Winn will be here tomorrow- unless you guys want to come over to our universe so you can actually meet my new baby sister,” Alex offered, smirking.

“Are you guys talking about baby Kara? Oh, I have been trying to convince these guys to go visit her for days!” Barry grinned as he crossed the lab, clapping Alex and Caitlin on the shoulder. Alex shrugged off his hand. He just laughed.

“Why don’t we just show you some more pictures for now before we decide about crossing universes,” Eliza compromised.

“Ooh, yes, yes, yes!” Barry yelled, clapping. “Hang on, let me go find Iris; she’ll definitely want to see these.” He sprinted off at top speed, returning with Iris before anyone could blink.

“Warning, Barry!” Iris scolded.

“But hon, the Danvers are showing us more baby pictures of Kara,” he explained.

“Oh my God, show me, show me, show me!” Iris squealed, hip checking Barry aside as she went up to look at the pictures on Eliza’s phone.

 

Meanwhile, back on Earth-38 Lena was taking care of Kara and stressing herself out. Kara had stopped crying once Lena picked her up, but she was sweaty and her eyes were drooping. She looked about as miserable as Lena felt.

“I know, Kara, I know,” Lena said softly as her best friend whimpered. Lena held her close to her chest and quickly got into the elevator.

“‘Ena,” Kara whined, pulling herself closer and closer to Lena’s chest, twining her hands into Lena’s shirt. She sniffled and mewled pathetically.

“Aww, poor little thing,” a woman said, joining them in the elevator. Lena smiled awkwardly. “Now, you don’t live in this building, hon. I’ve seen this little darlin’ around with Maggie and Alex-” Kara whimpered and hugged herself closer to Lena “- but those sweet girls are both in law enforcement, aren’t they? So they’re probably busy with all of this domestic terrorism nonsense. But you…hey, aren’t you that Luthor girl? Yeah! I’ve seen you on the TV; you took over your family’s business didn’t you?” the woman continued. Lena’s eyes widened nervously as the chatty woman continued talking. “Yeah, yeah, Lena, right? What are you doing here?” The elevator paused on what must have been the woman’s floor, but she made no move to get out. Lena took a deep breath, gathering her thoughts the same way she would before a press conference.

“I am Lena Luthor, yes. I know Agent Danvers and Detective Sawyer through a mutual friend, and when they asked me for help, I said yes. I’m sorry, I really need to get her back, but I do ask that you keep this out of the tabloids. I don’t want to burden anyone with the paparazzi harassing them, especially not her,” Lena explained as the elevator stopped on their floor. Lena stood straddling the line between the elevator and the hallway.

“Oh, of course, sweetheart. You’re doing such a nice thing, helping those girls out. Now, you go get that little one home. She looks like she could use a nice warm bath and a nap,” the woman advised. Lena nodded gratefully, smiling again as she made her way down the hallway and into the apartment.

“‘Ena, icky,” Kara complained while Lena stripped them of their jackets and shoes. Lena felt Kara’s forehead with the back of her hand, remembering a nanny who used to do that when she was sick, to find her clammy and sweaty. Lena clucked her tongue sadly.

“Poor little thing. We’ll take a warm bath, hmmm? We’ll clean you up and take a nice nap before having something to eat. Let me just… let me do a quick google search to figure out how to do that,” Lena narrated as she went into the guest room. She continued chattering softly to Kara, reassuring her as she got fussy and squirmy, and began to prepare for a bath. She grabbed a fluffy towel, a clean washcloth, some soap, a few of Kara’s bath toys, a fresh diaper, and some wipes, taking several trips to the bathroom with Kara hitched on her hip. She borrowed a pair of sweatpants from Alex along with a t-shirt, pulling her hair into a loose bun to keep it out of her face for the moment. Running the warm water into the tub, Lena laid Kara down on the changing mat on the floor. Cooing and fussing over Kara when she realized that she had the start of a rash, she left her sitting on the bathroom floor while she checked the temperature of the water.

“Okay, little one, let’s get you clean, okay?” Lena hummed, blushing bright red as she lifted her into the tub. She kneeled on the floor as Kara settled herself in the water.

“Co’d,” Kara whined.

“Oh, my poor little thing, I know it’s not as warm as you’re probably used to, but your body is way too hot right now. We’re just cooling you off. Now, let me wash you up. I promise I’ll be quick.” Kara whimpered, biting her lower lip and hanging her head. She sat there, quietly pouting as Lena quickly and efficiently cleaned her up with an almost clinical detachment; if she treated this like some experiment or something, she could handle bathing her best friend.

“‘Ena,” Kara said softly, holding her arms up to be picked up. Lena had just finished rinsing her off and she pouted sadly. Her lower lip wobbled and Lena’s heart softened; she drained the water and grabbed the towel.

“Here we go, little one, let’s go,” Lena said gently, picking Kara up and wrapping her in the towel. She cocooned her like a little burrito as Kara whined and squirmed tighter into Lena’s grasp. “What a good little girl you’re being,” she cooed, squeezing her tight before putting her down on the bed. Kara whined, but the towel kept her from moving too much as Lena grabbed an outfit for Kara. She worked efficiently, putting a new diaper on her before snapping a light gray long-sleeve onesie with little purple owls all over it.

“No!” Kara protested when Lena tried to pull on a pair of purple sweatpants on her.

“Come on, Kara, little girls need-” Lena paused, remembering her first summer with the Luthors. She was four and a half and it was an unbearably hot and humid summer stuck in the Luthor mansion. Her first nanny, a woman named Peyton who Lionel had hired, would take Lena out into the backyard to run through a sprinkler, but Lena was a stubborn kid who never wanted to put her clothes back on when she dried off. Sometimes, when Lillian was away on business, Peyton would let her run around without pants on, comfy and happy. But one afternoon, Lillian arrived home unexpectedly. She found Lena running around the parlor in just a t-shirt and underwear and immediately pulled her over her knee, leaving her bottom and thighs black and blue and blistered for days. Peyton was fired on the spot and Lena never saw her again. The entire time while Lillian was punishing Lena, she had repeated, “little girls need to wear pants, they need to be proper little ladies.”

“No pants, ‘Ena,” Kara repeated, lightly kicking Lena’s hand limply holding the pants. Lena shook herself, smiling down at Kara.

“Little girls need to be comfortable, don’t they? So, no pants, but we do need you to wear socks to keep your toes warm, got it?” Lena compromised, putting the pants down. Kara nodded, putting her index and middle fingers in her mouth while her other hand twirled a ringlet of hair. Lena nodded back, moving the put the pants back and grab a pair of fluffy little socks with blue and white stripes on it. Once Lena pulled the socks on her feet, Lena picked her up and held her on her hip. Kara leaned her head on Lena’s shoulder as Lena freed her hair from the ponytail.

“Alright, little one, let’s get you something to drink and then we can take a little nap, hmm?” Kara nodded sleepily as Lena prepared a Pedialyte bottle and a bottle of apple juice. They settled together on the couch under a blanket, Kara snuggling against Lena’s chest as she drank the Pedialyte, but she was fussy, refusing to fall asleep. She was still quite warm, so Lena googled how to soothe a toddler with a fever; one of the blogs she read noted that skin to skin contact helped fussy, feverish babies. Kara was whining and rubbing her eyes, clearly exhausted but fighting sleep. Lena decided to try it, gently easing off her shirt so that she was left in just her sports bra and pulling off Kara’s onesie, laying Kara so that her ear was pressed against Lena’s heart. Quickly, Kara settled and her eyes closed. Lena put on some movie about talking animals and a bunny that wanted to be a cop, tuning it out as she checked pulled out her work tablet, sketching out some design ideas until Kara’s gentle snoring and the soft, colorful images on the screen lulled her to sleep.

 

“Get outta here, Sawyer,” her captain croaked from the hospital bed. She had been caught in the crossfire during the showdown to capture the last of the terrorists. He had been pinned down in a grocery store owned by a couple who had been kidnapped and freed from Slaver’s Moon when they surrounded him. The rest of the group had been captured or killed as the entire NCPD chased them around the city, one step behind as the terror group staged twelve more coordinated attacks throughout the day. Her captain had been shot as the last terrorist pretended to surrender, spraying bullets into the crowd before being taken out by a sniper. The death toll of the day had been minimal, considering the number of attacks, but only because CatCo helped inform the public to stay alert and the DEO helped protect all known aliens. Maggie’s captain had taken a shot in the shoulder and two to the thigh, but they were just flesh wounds. She was waiting for an OR to open up, but still was ordering her detectives around.

“Can’t do that, cap,” Maggie smiled. “It’s the police officer’s code that when one of your own is hurt, you camp out in the waiting room until they’re okay.”

“Not-” she coughed. “Not when you’ve got a kid at home. Then, you wait by the phone and hold your kid close. Now, get going,” she ordered, gesturing to the door.

“She’s not my kid. We’re just watching her for a little while-”

“I know that she’s your girlfriend’s kid sister. I don’t know exactly how she got turned into a kid, but I figured it was some kind of alien thing.”

“How did you-”

“Oh please, two Karas with big blue eyes and blonde curls in the same family that no one’s ever mentioned? A long lost cousin that was sent to live with someone she’d never met without so much as a call from social services to your boss? Your story didn’t quite add up,” she explained gruffly, chuckling at Maggie’s obvious shock. “Don’t look so surprised. I was a detective, too. I know how to detect.”

“Okay, I guess we shouldn’t have lied to you but we need to keep-”

“Keep it a secret because something bad could happen? Yeah, I figured that was why you lied to me. Don’t do it again.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Maggie nodded.

“Now, go take a week off. It’s not a request,” she said, giving Maggie a stern look.

“But our squad is already three people down with you, Chase, and Patton injured. We don’t have the manpower to send me home for a week.”

“We’ve got enough beat cops and some other precincts that weren’t hit as hard can loan us a few detectives. But you don’t need to worry about any of that because I’m the captain and I can handle our staffing issues. You just focus on keeping that little girl safe, got it?” Maggie nodded at the clear dismissal, wishing her captain well. On her way out, she made her young partner Gary Jackson promise to keep her updated on the situation.

As she mounted her motorcycle, she sent a text to Lena. On my way home.

 

When Maggie arrived at her apartment, it was to find both Lena and Kara half naked, sound asleep on the couch, snuggled up together with the Netflix selection screen playing quietly in the background. Kara’s hair was damp and she had a stuffed animal under her arm as she was laid on Lena’s chest, head tucked under Lena’s chin. Lena’s hair was tousled from sleep as she laid with her head pillowed on the arm of the couch. When she came closer, Maggie noticed Kara was mouthing on Lena’s collarbone. She smirked, taking out her phone to take a few pictures- she looks so much younger when she’s asleep , Maggie thought to herself. She laid a blanket over the two of them to give Lena some semblance of modesty when she woke up, smoothing back Lena’s hair gently and kissing Kara’s forehead.

Smiling, Maggie shook her head and moved into her bedroom, kicking off her boots and changing out of her clothes. What she really wanted was a hot shower, a nice pair of pajamas, and a good glass of whiskey, but Maggie didn’t think Lena should wake up to the sounds of a potential intruder in the shower. So, Maggie threw on a sweater and some leggings, making herself a cup of tea before moving to the living room, settling herself on the recliner with her book, content to wait until Lena and Kara woke from their nap.

 

Lena woke slowly, feeling warm and safe. Eyes closed, she allowed her senses to slowly come into focus; her toes were warm, curled up and tucked under the couch cushions, a soft blanket rested comfortably on top of her. The sturdy weight of Kara’s sleepy body was on her torso and she reached up to idly play with Kara’s baby-soft curls. Lena was a tad confused by the wet feeling on her chest, so she let her eyes flutter open, mewling softly as her eyes adjusted to the light.

“Morning, sunshine,” a voice said, startling Lena. She jumped, covering herself with the blanket and sitting up slightly to see it was only Maggie sitting in the recliner, smirking at her. Lena settled back down, cheeks blushing bright red.

“Jesus, give a girl a little warning before you give me a heart attack,” Lena gasped softly. She inhaled deeply before stretching slightly and yawning. Content that the blanket was keeping her covered, she adjusted Kara on her chest, looking down to see Kara mouthing at her collarbone, leaving a drool-covered red mark.

“She likes leaving hickeys like that,” Maggie teased, raising one eyebrow. Lena’s cheeks colored.

“How long have you been sitting there?” Lena croaked, unwilling to move and disrupt Kara’s peaceful slumber. She just ran a finger up and down Kara’s spine, ignoring Maggie’s smirk.

“Forty-five minutes or so? How long have you been asleep?” Lena craned her neck to look at her watch.

“A little over two hours,” she winced. “I’ll have to get ready to go back to Earth-1 soon.” Maggie shook her head.

“J’onn called. He’s postponing any more trips over there for a day or two what with these terrorist attacks. The DEO is too busy to be sending agents to another universe. I think he’s trying to bring the research and everything over here instead,” Maggie explained. “Winn texted me, so he probably texted you, too,” she added. Lena hummed, wiggling her phone out of her pocket. She scrolled through her texts, finding one from Winn explaining everything Maggie had just sent as well as updating her on the progress they’ve made on Earth-1. “So, what did you guys do today? It wasn’t too tough, was it?”

“Well,” Lena said, stretching out the word. Maggie raised her eyebrow curiously as Lena continued, “I made breakfast, then we played for a while but she was getting fussy. I decided to take her out to the children’s library so we could listen to story time, but I guess her stomach was still upset because she threw up in the library. I brought her right home, gave her a bath and a Pedialyte bottle and she finished half of a bottle of juice before we fell asleep,” Lena explained.

“Oh, pobrecita Kara,” Maggie cooed, standing up to come feel Kara’s forehead. “She’s not warm, so she’s probably turned the corner with this virus. How was she before she threw up?”

“I’m so sorry, Maggie, it’s my fault, I think. I was ambitious with breakfast and I think it was too much for her. It upset her stomach and she didn’t finish all of it, but I just wasn’t thinking about her stomach,” Lena said earnestly. Kara began to fuss, unlatching from Lena’s skin and rubbing her eyes. “Oh great, and now I’ve woken her up!”

“Luthor, chill,” Maggie chuckled. “I was going to wake her up soon anyway; more than two hours is a long time for an afternoon nap. And also, it’s not your fault she got sick. These stomach bugs can be tricky because you think they’re over it and ready for normal food, but then it makes them sick again. Geez, if beating yourself up was an Olympic sport, you’d take the gold with no contest.” Lena huffed, trying to feign annoyance despite her blush at the clear fondness in Maggie’s tone. Kara mewled and whined, squirming on Lena’s chest before opening her eyes and smiling sleepily at Lena.

“Hi, sweet girl,” Lena whispered softly, stroking Kara’s cheek with one finger. “Did you have a nice nap?” Kara nodded sleepily. “And guess what!” Kara sat up a little, excited now. Lena glanced over at Maggie, nodding for her to come over. Kara shrieked in surprise when Maggie picked her up from behind, tickling her and putting her on her hip.

“Maggie!” Kara squealed excitedly as soon as she realized who was holding her. Lena sat up, surreptitiously wiping the drool from her chest and pulling her t-shirt back on.

“Ay, mi pequeña , I missed you!” Maggie cooed, rocking her back and forth and murmuring softly to her. Lena stood, feeling a little awkward, like an intruder in this sweet family moment, and decided to give them some privacy and get out of these borrowed sweatpants. As she made her way to the bathroom, Maggie called out, “don’t take too long, Luthor. I was going to take us out to dinner before we go back to the DEO.” Lena smiled, nodding.

“Yeah, sure, okay,” she said softly. Maggie smiled at her warmly until she disappeared into the bathroom.

Chapter Text

Once Lena was dressed in a pair of jeans and a sweater, she came back out to find Kara happily sucking down a bottle of apple juice while Maggie struggled to snap a onesie on her.

“Kara, come on! We’ve got to get going so we can have dinner!” Maggie said, exasperated as Kara’s squirming made it difficult for her to get the clothes on her. She sighed in relief as she got the last snap, grabbing a pair of green leggings.

“No pants!” Kara insisted, renewing her kicks and protests when Maggie went to grab her foot. She would have kicked Maggie in the face had it not been for her cop-reflexes.

“Kara Danvers!” Maggie said sternly. Kara whimpered, the bottle dropping from her mouth as her legs went still. Lena stood in the doorway awkwardly, not quite knowing what to do. “Oh god, I’m sorry, Kara, I shouldn’t have yelled,” Maggie said quickly, stroking Kara’s hair apologetically. She begins to whisper too soft for Lena to hear and Lena just stares at the pictures on the walls until Kara lets Maggie hug her tight, wrapping her chubby little arms around Maggie’s neck and letting Maggie pull on her leggings, a denim overall dress, and some sneakers.

“Ready to go, Luthor?” Maggie asks without turning to look at her and Lena’s cheeks burned knowing she’d been caught intruding on their little moment.

“Uh- yea- yep,” Lena stammered, scolding herself internally. CEOs of Fortune 500 companies do not stammer and blush like a teenager. She pulled on her shoes and coat, grabbed her phone and purse and followed a smirking Maggie out the door and into the car, smiling and making faces at Kara the whole way.

 

Fifteen minutes later found them in some small diner, Lena and Maggie sitting opposite each other at a booth and Kara sitting in a wooden high chair and playing with two small stuffed animals Maggie had brought her. A rocket ship pacifier bobbed in her mouth as she sucked on it, occasionally pausing to mumble something in her games, completely absorbed in her own world. Lena and Maggie perused the menu for a few minutes before both coming to a decision, putting the menus down and awkwardly staring at each other.

“So… how was work?” Lena asked hesitantly, never one to linger in an awkward silence. The corner of Maggie’s mouth quirked upward.

“Work was alright. Or, as alright as it can be when I get called in for something like that.” Maggie shrugged and Lena immediately felt like an idiot. How was work? She got called in to deal with xenophobic terrorists, how do you think it was, Lena?

“Right, sorry,” Lena mumbled, resisting the urge to fiddle with her fingers- Luthors don’t fidget, girl. If I have to call you a Luthor, you better act like one. Lillian’s voice rings in her ears.

“Hey, kid, it’s cool. You’re just trying to make conversation. I just… it’s hard to discuss stuff like this sometimes. I mean, the sickos targeted a school that was teaching alien students in inclusion classrooms,” Maggie explained. Her voice caught as she gave a brief glimpse of the horrors she had seen. Lena’s jaw dropped. Thankfully, the school had been evacuated as soon as the NCPD got involved so the kids were safe, but it had been terrifying nonetheless.

“Oh god,” she gasped.

“I know,” Maggie nodded. She glanced out into the diner for a moment, composing herself as the tears threatened to fall; she was so tired of this kind of hatred. “Tell me more about your day,” Maggie requested. Lena nodded, eager to change the subject. She began telling Maggie all about their morning, only pausing when the waitress came to take their orders. Lena hardly took a breath, desperate to fill the silence and distract Maggie from the nightmares she was still seeing behind her eyes.

 

“Oh my God,” Alex sighed, legs failing her as she fell into a chair. J’onn’s latest message- from a few hours ago, but they hadn’t heard it until just now- had informed the Earth-1 group about a series of terrorist attacks that had occurred in National City while they were gone. Dozens were seriously injured, many were dead. Eliza covered her mouth with her hand, Cisco’s jaw was set, Barry’s eyes watered, and Iris’ cheeks were wet with tears as they listened to his descriptions of what had happened. “We have to go back.”

“We’re coming with you. This city can handle itself for a day,” Iris said immediately, sniffling.

“I’ll help you compile all of our research,” Eliza offered, her voice cracking.

“Maggie,” Alex said suddenly. “Maggie’s a cop. It’s all hands on deck. She’s out there somewhere, caught in the crossfire! I have to go back.”

“Yes, of course, sweetie, but make sure you look before you leap,” Eliza reminds her, hugging her tight. “Don’t throw yourself headfirst into danger without first assessing the situation. We’ll be over there as soon as we can. Be safe. Hug Maggie for me, okay?” Alex nodded, hugging her mother desperately. As soon as she pulled away, Cisco opened a portal.

“See you soon, Mom,” Alex said, nodding sharply and squaring her shoulders before checking her gun was still in its holster and running through the portal.

She landed with a heavy thud in the middle of the DEO command center, shocked by what she saw. No one was rushing around, there were no alarms, no news updates being shouted across the intercom system. People were just standing around, looking confused by her sudden appearance.

“Alex, hey! What are you doing here? I thought you guys weren’t supposed to come back for a few hours- hey, hey, hey,” Winn said frantically as Alex pushed him back up against the nearest wall, threatening him with her index finger.

“We got a message that there were terrorists, Winn. Terrorists . Attacking National City. Imagine my surprise when we rush here only to find… everything seems normal?” Alex said, her voice deep and slow, narrowing her eyes.

“Oh, oh God. Nobody updated you. Yeah, uh, the NCPD and the FBI- the ac-actual FBI, not, like, us pretending to be FBI because we technically don’t exist- y’know, I’m gonna get back to my point,” Winn said, voice jumping an octave when Alex took half a step closer. “They neutralized the threats hours ago! Now it’s just clean-up. We turned off the news because people were depressed and sent non-essential staff and agents who had been in the field home to rest and recuperate,” Winn explained quickly. Alex relaxed- but only a bit.

“And Maggie?”

“Safe and sound! Last I heard- which was thirty minutes ago, max- she and Kara and Lena were getting dinner on their way here to meet up with you. Alex nodded, stepping back even further. Winn audibly exhaled, shoulders sagging with relief. Alex turned on her phone- switching universes was hell on her phone plan- and saw dozens of texts from Maggie, including the latest one being a picture of her, Kara, and Lena in their favorite diner. Alex smiled softly at her girlfriend; she knew the texts wouldn’t go through until Alex was back, but she kept her phone updated anyway.

“I’m going to go find them. You update the Earth-1 team before they storm in here with the Legends to help us,” Alex ordered Winn before sauntering out to grab her bike from her spot in the DEO parking garage and heading off to find her girlfriend and her kid sister.

 

Part of Alex wanted to surprise Maggie just to see her reaction, but another part of her knew that when Maggie was exhausted and keyed up from a tough case, she didn’t always react well to surprises. Alex had been on the receiving end of a few too many self-defense maneuvers at this point. She texted Maggie before swinging her leg over her bike, putting on her helmet, and roaring out of the parking lot.

Driving through the city was strange, to say the least. Parts of the city seemed to be up and running as normal, then she’d turn down a side street and find buildings riddled with bullet holes, storefront windows were blown out, and bloodstains on the sidewalk. Police were everywhere trying to protect people from the worst of the damage and traffic was terrible as she got close to the Luthor Children’s Hospital. Alex’s heart lurched at the thought of that particular hospital being too busy after this ordeal.

Destiny’s Diner was in one of the normal-seeming sections of the city. Alex parked her bike in the alley behind the diner, checking her phone to see an excited flurry of texts from Maggie- the emphatic use of emojis was yet another sign of the toll that this episode had taken on Maggie. Alex smiled at her phone, responding quickly as she walked in. Immediately Maggie’s head popped up and she grinned at Alex.

“Danvers! Hey! Missed you,” Maggie said, standing up to pull Alex into a sloppy hug, stumbling into Alex. Alex immediately put her arms around Maggie’s waist to steady her, kissing Maggie tenderly before pulling back, smiling at her.

“I missed you, too.”

“A’ex! A’ex!” Kara yelled, banging her fists on the high chair until Alex scooped her up, peppering her face with kisses.

“Kara, I missed you! Yes, I missed you!” Alex said in a baby voice. Lena’s dry chuckle brought Alex back to the moment. “Oh, Luthor, hey. How are you doing?”

“I’m doing well, thank you. The better question is: what are you doing here?” Lena asked curiously.

“Hey there!” the waitress said, popping over. “Are y’all going to be sitting together?”

“Yeah, if that’s alright?” Maggie said, already scooting over in the booth to let Alex sit next to her, Kara balanced on her lap and burying her nose in Alex’s shoulder. The waitress took Alex’s food and drink order before leaving them to continue their conversation.

“Anyway, babe, what are you doing here? You weren’t supposed to be back for another hour and a half,” Maggie said, playing with Alex’s fingers under the table. Alex chuckled awkwardly, rubbing the back of her neck.

“Uh, yeah, so it’s kinda funny, actually? J’onn sent us a message a few hours ago telling us about the attacks, but we didn’t hear it come in. Then we watched it and no one had followed up to tell us that all the ter- all the bad guys had been caught, so I was worried about you guys. So, I rushed here only to find that… the battle was over, and you guys are safe.” Alex shrugged meekly.

“Aw, Danvers, you rushed in to rescue me?” Maggie teased.

“Always,” Alex smiled, wrinkling her nose as she leaned in to kiss Maggie. Kara squirmed on her lap until they separated before indicating for Alex to put her down on the ground. Immediately, Kara toddled over to Lena’s side, patting her lap.

“Up!” Kara demanded. Lena chuckled, lifting Kara up and placing her on her lap.

“I know, it’s gross, isn’t it?” Lena stage-whispered, smirking at the couple.

“Whatever, Luthor,” Maggie laughed as Lena and Kara both made faces at them, Kara happily mimicking Lena. “Oh, Al, you’ve gotta hear about Lena Luthor, babysitting extraordinaire!”

“Awww, like the babysitter’s club!” Alex laughed as Lena blushed.

“It wasn’t that interesting,” Lena refuted as Kara squirmed around, standing backwards on the seat bench to smile at other people. Lena kept one arm around her waist to steady the little girl as she bounced and giggled.

“I mean, I, personally, would have loved to see you arguing with Siri while trying to figure out how to change a diaper,” Maggie said, beaming. Alex laughed and Lena’s cheeks burned as she looked down, shrugging.

Luckily, Lena was spared from any further teasing by a call from Jess.

“I’m just, I’m gonna answer this. I shouldn’t take long. Here we go, Kara, let’s sit you right there,” Lena murmured awkwardly, putting Kara into the high chair again and kissing the crown of her hair before going to find some privacy to take the call.

“She’s such a little dork,” Maggie laughed. “Oh my gosh, there’s a picture I have to show you! I got home earlier and I found Lena and Kara asleep on the couch, both shirtless. I guess Lena read online about skin to skin contact and Kara was being fussy. It’s so cute, wait until you see it,” Maggie said. Alex smiled, tickling Kara’s cheek.

“Yeah? Did you and Lena sleep shirtless? I bet you liked that, didn’t you?” Alex cooed.

“You should see the hickey she left behind,” Maggie smirked. “I’ll show you as soon as she gets back.” Maggie sighed deeply, leaning her head on Alex’s shoulder. “I missed you.”

“I missed you, too,” Alex whispered, resting her head on top of Maggie’s. “And I was- god, Mags, I was so worried about you. I just… It’s like my brain stopped working and I just- I- I- I practically ran here. I know… I know this must have been a rough day for you and maybe after Kara goes to bed and everything, and we have a glass of wine or two… you can talk about it? Or… not talk about it? Whatever you wanna do,” Alex offered.

“Yeah, uh… we’ll see… maybe? I don’t know, I’m so tired, Alex,” Maggie sighed.

“I don’t wanna push,” Alex said quickly.

“No, no, I know, babe, and I appreciate you trying to help. I just… I really need to sleep before- oh, thank you so much,” Maggie said as the waitress put down their plates. They straightened up and Alex took responsibility for cutting up Kara’s hot dog into small pieces and mixing it with her mac and cheese. Maggie, meanwhile, spooned some of her roasted veggie side dish onto a small plate and pushed it towards Alex, indicating she should feed it to Kara along with the other food. They settled into an easy rhythm of Alex alternating between feeding herself and spooning Kara small bites of mac and cheese.

“Yuck!” Kara protested, pushing the fork away when Alex offered a bite of the roasted peppers.

“Oh, Kara, but peppers are so good!” Alex told her earnestly. Maggie nodded.

“Unh-unh,” Kara said, shaking her head. She pouted when Alex tried to push the pepper piece against her lips.

“Kara, here comes the plane!” Alex tried, making exaggeratedly goofy faces and plane noises as she flew the fork around before bringing it back to Kara’s mouth. “Open up! The plane is coming!”

“No!” Kara said quickly before pressing her lips together.

“Well, no dessert for you, I guess,” Maggie shrugged. Kara whined but still refused to open her mouth. “No, I’m sorry. Little girls who don’t eat their veggies don’t get dessert.” Kara flailed and kicked her feet.

“Kara Danvers! We do not throw tantrums when we don’t get our way,” Alex scolded with a gentle hand on her leg to stop the kicking. “Don’t you wanna grow big and strong?” Kara nodded. “Then you have to eat the veggies. Look, Maggie and I eat them, see?” Both women took a bite, grinning and nodding and making satisfied sounds. “Wanna try?”

“No! Want cheesy!” Kara insisted, pointing to the mac and cheese.

“Not until you eat some veggies, Kara,” Alex huffed and quickly grew frustrated.

“No! No, no, no! Yuck!” Kara complained. Alex looked to Maggie for help.

“Please, Kara? If you eat ten whole bites, I’ll get you a dessert,” Maggie offered. Kara continued her chanting of ‘no, no, yuck!’ “How about… eight bites? Seven? Okay, five, but that’s as low as I’ll go,” Maggie continued to negotiate. Kara just crossed her arms over her chest and pouted, shaking her head silently. Maggie and Alex stared at each other, unsure of how to proceed when Lena returned, beaming and no longer blushing.

“Excellent, the food’s here! Oh, that looks delicious. What is it? Roasted… potatoes, peppers and… is that squash? Could I try a bite? It looks fantastic,” Lena gushed as she slid back into her seat, gesturing with her fork at the plate of vegetables in front of Kara. Maggie nodded and Lena speared a potato and a pepper, humming happily and closing her eyes as she ate it. “Oh, amazing. I wonder what they seasoned it with, I’d love to have this at my next dinner party.”

“Uh, I’m not sure,” Maggie told her, distractedly looking up tips to get a toddler to eat vegetables when Kara tugged on Alex’s sleeve.

Ie ?” she said in a small voice. When Alex raised one eyebrow in a question, Kara opened her mouth. Before she changed her mind, Alex popped the fork in and both she and Maggie watched in amazement as Kara chewed and swallowed the vegetables with no complaints.

“Damn, Luthor, baby Danvers is whipped for you!” Maggie laughed. Lena just stammered confusedly and blushed while Alex smirked and continued to feed Kara more bites of the roasted veggies.

Chapter Text

After they finished their dinner (with Maggie and Alex jokingly complaining about how Kara would only eat the veggies when Lena offered them), Maggie insisted on paying and driving them all over to the DEO to meet Eliza when she returned. To Alex’s surprise, she found all of the Team Flash crew sitting in the command center, laughing and joking around and making themselves at home. Eliza was nowhere to be seen. Winn was laughing as he showed off his console center and zoomed in on some trash dump.

“No, seriously! The great Star City of Earth-1 is a dump here,” Alex heard Winn laughing while Barry scoffed indignantly.

“Yeah, well, on our Earth, National City is just a sewage treatment plant!” he countered. Lena couldn’t hide her amused snort and immediately all of them turned.

“Hey, Lena! Alex! And- oh my God, baby Kara!” Barry shouted excitedly. He sped over to them, the sudden burst of wind ruffling their hair and making Kara giggle. “Hey there! Oh, wow, she’s so cute! Chubby little cheeks and those big blue eyes. You’re cute, yeah,” Barry cooed. Kara giggled and squirmed away from his tickling fingers as Iris and Caitlyn joined them.

“Gee, Bar, didn’t know you liked kids this much,” Iris teased, wrapping an arm around his waist as she leaned in to say hi to baby Kara. Under all of the attention, Kara burrowed closer to Lena, sucking her thumb nervously. Alex quickly reached over and popped her Supergirl binky into her mouth.

“I think we might be scaring her a little bit,” Caitlyn warned her friends, stepping back a little bit so that Kara didn’t feel so cornered.

“She’s just feeling a little shy, aren’t you, Kara? She’ll warm up,” Alex assured them. “Why don’t you guys tell us what you’re all doing here? Didn’t someone tell you that the immediate danger had passed?”

“Yeah, but we had already packed anything up so we just came over. Plus, we wanted to help with the clean-up, y’know? We can help clean up some of the wreckage and just… help get your city back to normal. And see baby Kara,” Barry explained, winking at Kara when she peeked out from Lena’s arms.

“Well, that’s certainly nice. I’m sure the city could use some help with cleaning up some of the wreckage,” Alex said kindly while Maggie nodded along in agreement. “But, hey, where’s my mom?”

Ieiu? ” Kara asked, the word garbled and distorted by the pacifier.

Yes, Kara, Mama,” Lena responded in Kryptonese. Everyone stared at her for a moment. Lena just rose one eyebrow.

“She talked in her sleep,” Lena said by way of explanation.

“And here I was, thinking you had finally gotten around to looking at the Kryptonese language lessons I had put together,” Alex teased, elbowing Lena gently.

“Well, I still had to translate the words she said in her sleep,” Lena admitted. They all laughed at the exchange while Kara whined and wiggled.

“Ieiu!” she repeated firmly. “Want Ieiu ,” she added.

“Oh, right, uh, sorry, Kara,” Winn apologized, stooping over to try and look her in the eye. “Your Ieiu is in the lab. Alex can take you there, right?”

“Yeah, we’ll go say hi to her, then Maggie and I are going to head home to get some rest,” Alex said, more to Maggie than to Kara. “Anyone who wants to help with damage control in the city, stay here and Winn will hook you up with the disaster relief coordinators. Anyone who wants to help work on a cure can come with me to the labs,” Alex directed as she began to walk to the lab. Lena, Maggie, and Caitlyn all fell into step behind her. As they walked, Kara peeked out from behind Lena’s hair to wave at Caitlyn. She waved back and smiled.

“Hey there, kiddo. I’m Caitlyn,” she said, voice gentle.

“Cait’n” Kara said, trying the word out in her mouth. Caitlyn laughed.

“Good try, kid!” she praised. Before the conversation could develop any further, they found themselves in the lab where Eliza was transferring all of their equipment and notes from the boxes onto the counters and rewriting the schematics and formulae for the dimensional analysis warper on a whiteboard she had dragged in.

Ieiu !” Kara squealed, reaching out for her. Lena laughed and put her on the ground, letting Kara toddle and run over to Eliza. Eliza grinned, squatting down and holding out her arms, quickly pulling her into a tight embrace as Kara got close enough. She bounced on her knees for a moment before standing with Kara in her arms, swaying back and forth.

“Oh, sweet girl, I missed you!” Eliza cooed. Kara hummed happily, hugging Eliza.

“Hey, mom, so Maggie and I were going to head home once everyone is all settled in. Are you going to come?” Alex asked as Maggie leaned into her, blinking sleepily and swaying on her feet. Alex knew her girlfriend and knew that she probably hadn’t gotten a chance to rest since she’d been called in for the emergency. She wrapped her arm around Maggie’s waist and Lena tried to hide her smile at the easy intimacy.

“I probably should. I’m too old to be pulling all-nighters anymore,” Eliza laughed in a self-deprecating way.

“Well, I can stay,” Lena offered.

“Are you calling me old, Lena?” Eliza teased. Immediately, Lena’s eyes widened and her cheeks turned red.

“Goodness, no! I just- I meant- you’ve been in another universe and I- I didn’t mean- uh-”

“Luthor, chill, your baby gay anxiety is stressing me out,” Maggie groaned, throwing an arm around Lena’s shoulders. Lena startled at the unexpected touch, but quickly melted into it; it reminded her in some small way of how Lex used to hug her when they were younger.

“I was just kidding, dear,” Eliza said softly. Lena nodded, embarrassed at her occasional lack of social grace.

“You will all be going home, including Ms. Luthor,” J’onn decreed, startling the group. “Agent Schott has just informed me that he is running a series of simulations to test the potential cures you managed to create. They will take twelve hours to run and analyze, so there’s nothing any of you can do here. Go home, rest up, and come back tomorrow. As for our guests, we are making arrangements for you in our barracks.” Caitlyn nodded appreciatively.

“Looks like we’re all headed home,” Eliza said, smiling as she put her arm around Lena’s shoulder on the other side of a still-exhausted Maggie. Lena sank into the motherly embrace and they took the lead, walking briskly towards the exit while Maggie and Alex followed at a slightly slower pace.

 

“Almost bedtime for sleepy little aliens,” Alex hummed as she walked into the living room, Kara hitched on her hip. Maggie had immediately gone to put on pajamas and Eliza and Lena were sitting at the kitchen counter discussing the cure.

“I gave her a bath after we got back from the library,” Lena called out to her. Alex nodded. “And you should check, but it looks like she had the start of a little diaper rash?” Lena added, just barely managing to keep the blush out of her cheeks, though she was unable to look Alex in the eye as she said it. Alex immediately took Kara into the bedroom to get her ready for bed and Eliza just looked at Lena, tilting her head just a little bit.

“You love my daughter.” It was a statement, not a question and Lena’s eyes widened. Memories of Lillian’s anger, disgust, and disappointment flashed through her mind and she inhaled sharply without intending to.

“I- of course- she’s my best friend,” Lena managed to say.

“I’m sure,” Eliza nodded. “But it’s more than that. You’ve left your multi-million dollar corporation on autopilot for days just to help her. You’re the youngest female CEO and one of the top women in STEM and you just… put it on pause. For her.” Lena didn’t quite know how to respond to that.

“She’s my best friend,” Lena repeated softly. Eliza smiled, patting her hand comfortingly.

“And you are hers,” Eliza said knowingly with just enough of a twinkle in her eye that Lena knew what she was insinuating. “Keep being good to her,” she said softly. Lena nodded wordlessly and Eliza’s hand moved to squeeze her shoulder comfortingly, slowly pulling her into a hug. Lena’s eyes fell closed and she held Eliza embarrassingly tight, shocked by the tears that sprang to her eyes. One of Eliza’s hands rubbed slow, steady circles on her back while the other cradled the back of her head. Lena wasn’t sure how long it was before she pulled back, but Eliza held her wordlessly until Lena had been ready to pull away, and for that she was grateful.

 

“Goodnight, Kara, sleep tight. I’ll see you soon, okay? Tomorrow,” Lena said softly, smoothing back Kara’s curls. Alex had dressed her in pink shorts and a t-shirt decorated with hearts and kittens and she was sleepily laying her head on Alex’s shoulder. Maggie was practically asleep on the couch already, and Eliza was waiting to say her own goodbyes.

“Bye ‘Ena,” Kara yawned. Lena smiled, kissing Kara’s forehead as Eliza’s words came back to her: “keep being good to her.” Kara smiled sleepily at her and Lena waved one more time as she left the apartment, promising everyone she’d see them the next day.

“Goodnight, sweet girl. I’ll see you in the morning,” Eliza whispered, kissing Kara’s forehead. After hugging Alex and giving Maggie a kiss on the forehead and a squeeze on the shoulder, Eliza was the next to leave.

“And then there were three,” Maggie said with a yawn, stretching and yawning as she sat up. Alex smiled at them.

“Am I going to be putting both of you to bed in a few minutes?” Alex teased as Maggie stood, rubbing her eyes still.

“Nah, can’t sleep yet,” Maggie said, shrugging in an offhand way that let Alex knew that she needed to talk, but didn’t want to directly ask for it. Alex nodded knowingly and reached out, pulling Maggie to her for a kiss, warm and gentle and reassuring each other they were both safe and together.

“Do you wanna come put her to bed with me or go wait on the couch?” Alex asked.

“I’ll come,” Maggie said with another yawn. They moved into what had quickly become Kara’s room and laid the small, sleepy toddler down in the bed. She whined at the movement but quickly latched onto the stuffed lion that Alex offered and took the pacifier Maggie had put next to her on the bed.

“A’ex,” Kara whined when they began to move away, eyes suddenly opening. She looked so tired but was doing her best to stay awake.

“Okay, munchkin, you’re alright,” Alex reassured her, sitting on the edge of the bed. Maggie joined her, holding Kara’s hand and rubbing circles on the back with her thumb. Her eyes fluttered closed again. Turning to Maggie, Alex whispered, “I just realized this might be the last time we get to do this.” Her voice cracked and her eyes welled.

“Oh, Ally,” Maggie whispered, stroking her cheek.

“I know- like, I know it’s good that Kara will get to be back to normal, but I’m gonna miss this, y’know?” Alex sniffled before rubbing her eyes. “I’m fine, I’m fine.” But her lower lip still wobbled.

“Well,” Maggie said hesitantly. “If this is her last night as a toddler, shouldn’t we make it a good one?” Alex nodded, biting her lower lip. “Keep the good memories, cherish them. Let’s just put her to bed and we’ll take everything else as it comes.” Alex exhaled deeply, leaning forward to kiss Kara’s forehead. Kara mewled happily as Alex smoothed her hair back, looking up at her with drooping, heavy eyelids.

“Close your eyes, sweet girl,” Alex whispered. Kara shook her head stubbornly. “Want me to sing you a song?” Kara nodded and Maggie rested her chin on Alex’s shoulder, still rubbing circles on Kara’s hand. Alex cleared her throat.

Oh, when the red, red robin comes bob-bob-bobbing along, along,” she sang, her voice low and clear. “ There’ll be no more sobbin’ when he starts throbbin’ that old, sweet song. Singing wake up, wake up you sleepy head. Get up, get up, get out of bed. Cheer up, cheer up, the sun is red. Live, laugh, love and be happy.”

“This sounds like a morning song,” Maggie whispered. Alex shot her a cross look, sticking her tongue out before continuing, slow and soft and soothing.

What if I were blue? Now I’m walking through fields of flowers. The rain may glisten but still, I listen for hours and hours. Oh, I’m just a kid again, doing what I did again, singing a song. When the red, red robin comes bob-bob-bobbing along.” When she finished the song, Alex leaned down and kissed Kara’s forehead; the sleeping girl did not more than snuggle into the pillow. Maggie kissed her hand before following Alex out into the living room.

“Where did you learn that song? It was beautiful,” Maggie asked, resting her hands on Alex’s waist and smiling up at her.

“My mom used to sing it to me when I was little and I wasn’t feeling well. Even when, uh, when our relationship wasn’t great, I still remembered this song and the good memories,” Alex whispered, blushing.

“Well, that was a perfect way to end the day,” Maggie yawned.

“You sure you wanna talk tonight? We can just go to bed if you’re tired- maybe talk in the morning?” Alex offered. Maggie shook her head.

“Can’t sleep yet. I would just be up again in an hour and a half. So, um, so I’m good with hanging out on the couch for a while.”

“Whatever you need,” Alex said, kissing the top of her head and letting Maggie lead her over to the couch. Alex settled up against the arm of the couch, Maggie laid half on top of her, exhaling slowly as Alex pulled a blanket around the both of them. “Whenever you wanna talk, I’m here to listen. Forever.” She waited a few minutes before looking down to find Maggie already sound asleep. Alex just smiled and put on the TV on low volume.

Chapter Text

Alex woke Maggie an hour later when it became clear that her sleep was no longer peaceful. She was making these choked little noises and she was beginning to sweat through her clothes as her arms and legs started to twitch. Alex pushed the sweaty pieces of hair clinging to Maggie’s forehead, startling her awake. She let out a strangled yelp as she sat up, fighting against the blanket that was tangled around her.

“Mags, Maggie, babe, it’s just me. You were sleeping. You were dreaming. You’re safe now,” Alex whispered, hands hovering over Maggie’s shoulders but not quite touching her while she was still waking up.

“No, no,” Maggie murmured, shaking her head.

“Mags, it’s me. It’s Alex. You’re awake now. Deep breaths, my love,” Alex repeated. Maggie’s frantic breathing seemed to slow as she took Alex’s advice. Finally, Maggie sagged back into Alex’s waiting arms.

“I’m awake,” Maggie murmured softly, rolling over to nuzzle into Alex’s shoulder, clinging tightly to her. “You’re here.”

“I’m here,” Alex confirmed. “And I’m here to listen if you need to talk.” Maggie nodded as she let out a pitiful little whimper. She knew that talking helped her clear her mind just a bit, but all she really wanted to do right now was hit her heavy bag until her knuckles bled and her muscles were shaking with exhaustion. She wanted to be so bone-tired that she knocked out for hours of blissful, dreamless sleep. She hated feeling this helpless and scared.

“Where’s your heavy bag?” Maggie croaked, shoving to her feet. Alex nodded in understanding, pointing wordlessly to the closet she had shoved her boxing stuff into while Kara was still hanging around as a toddler. Alex helped Maggie drag out the heavy bag stand, moving it as far as they could from where Kara lay sleeping. Alex made sure to wrap Maggie’s hands, kissing her knuckles tenderly.

“Want me to hold it?” Alex offered. Maggie nodded, getting into her stance as Alex steadied the bag from behind, bracing herself against it. As soon as she was set, Maggie started. Her hits were controlled, precise, and explosive. Right jab, left jab, right hook, left hook, high knee, right jab, left hook, right uppercut. Again, again, again.

“Tell me about it,” Alex said. “Your day. Tell me something, then do a combo.” Alex knew her girlfriend, and she knew that the physical exhaustion would only last so long and she needed to let her mind process the trauma if she had any hope of moving past this.

“It was planned ,” Maggie growled. She hit the bag with a right jab. “It was smart .” A left jab. “It was coordinated .” High knee. “It wasn’t a couple of idiot xenophobes. It was a terrorist group .” A rapid series of jabs. “They targeted spots-” left hook “-where aliens and people of color-” right jab “-felt safe .” Left uppercut. “They targeted the bar-” right hook “-medical clinics, a bookstore, even-” left jab “-a fucking school.” Right Uppercut. As sweat and tears streamed down Maggie’s face and her knuckles exploded in pain, her hits became sloppier and faster.

“The kids weren’t there because we evacuated, but a fucking elementary school . Because those pieces of shit didn’t like that some of the students were from other planets.” Maggie punctuated each word with a jab or hook, messy and uncontrolled. Her knuckles hurt and she knew that they were bleeding through the wraps. “I-” another left hook “-hate-” another right hook “-them!” Maggie finished with a roundhouse kick, falling to the ground and sobbing as her exhausted muscles gave out. Within seconds, Alex had scooped her up and brought her into the bathroom.

“I’ve got you. I’ve got you, I promise,” Alex whispered, kissing Maggie’s temple. She sat Maggie on the closed toilet lid, kneeling in front of her as she pulled away the bloody wraps. Maggie flinched as blood and broken skin was pulled away. “You should take a shower, wash the sweat off, too,” Alex suggested, tugging lightly at Maggie’s sweat-soaked t-shirt.

“I’m too tired to stand,” Maggie moaned.

“I’ll hold you up. You can’t sleep all sweaty and gross like this. Let me take care of you,” Alex asked. Maggie nodded, watching as Alex gently undressed Maggie before stripping herself. She let the shower warm up, steam filling the small room, and she knelt down again, gently wiping Maggie’s knuckles with a clean washcloth, the white fabric quickly staining pink and red. Maggie winced, but she let Alex tend to her wounds and pull her into the shower. Maggie leaned against Alex as her girlfriend gently washed her skin, massaging her tender muscles and leaving trails of kisses all over her body. Once Alex had washed Maggie’s entire body and shampooed and conditioned her hair, she helped Maggie out of the shower, wrapping her in a towel and bandaging her knuckles before carrying her into their bedroom.

“I love you,” Maggie slurred sleepily.

“I love you, too. We can talk more in the morning if you want. Go to sleep,” Alex whispered, laying her on the sheets. Maggie was asleep before Alex even finished putting on her pajamas. Once she was dressed, Alex shifted her snoring girlfriend under the covers and tucked her in, slipping her arms around Maggie’s waist and holding her until she, too, fell asleep.

 

Maggie was still snoring when Alex woke up the next morning. They had reversed their positions overnight, Alex now wrapped tightly in Maggie’s embrace as if she were terrified to let go. But, Alex carefully pried herself free from Maggie’s grasp to go to the bathroom. She was getting back into bed when she heard Kara crying out for her.

Ie, ie!” she whimpered, sitting up on her knees and bouncing impatiently when she saw Alex enter the room. She had her stuffed toy clenched tight in one fist as she held up both arms, asking to be picked up.

“Good morning, sweet girl,” Alex whispered, kissing Kara’s cheek. As she went through the motions of changing Kara and getting her ready for the day, Alex wondered if this would be the last time she did this. While of course, she missed Kara’s adult self, she would miss this little baby version of her as well.

“Maggie,” Kara slurred behind her thumb in her mouth.

“Maggie’s sleeping, Kara, so we’ve gotta be quiet, okay?” Kara kicked her legs in frustration.

“‘Ena?”

“Lena’s at her house, remember?” Alex said, putting Kara on her hip. Kara just whined. “I know, I know. Maybe we’ll see Lena later.” Kara huffed and rested her head on Alex’s shoulder. “You hungry?” Kara nodded mutely.

“Maggie?” Kara repeated once Alex put her down in the playpen to play quietly with her cars.

“Shhh, Maggie’s sleeping, remember Kara?” Alex whispered as she stirred the pancake mix.

“Maggie! Maggie!” Kara repeated, louder now.

“Kara, we have to let Maggie sleep!” Alex repeated, glancing over her shoulder. She saw Kara standing, clinging to the edge of the playpen and pointing towards the living room. When Alex turned, she saw a still-groggy Maggie coming out of their bedroom.

“Maggie,” Kara said triumphantly, holding out her arms to be picked up. Maggie smiled wearily before picking up the little girl, kissing the side of her head. Kara trilled happily, again putting her thumb in her mouth.

“No, pequeña, you’ll hurt your pretty teeth,” Maggie scolded gently, picking up a green and yellow giraffe pacifier and popping it into her mouth instead. She walked over to kiss Alex good morning, smiling into the kiss. “Morning, babe. Thank you for, um, for last night,” she said, suddenly sheepish and awkwardly avoiding Alex’s gaze. This was always the routine the morning after Maggie had a bad day like that: Maggie would get shy and embarrassed about her meltdown and avoid Alex’s eyes until Alex could make her feel safe and loved enough to relax.

“Morning, love,” Alex beamed, using one finger to lift Maggie’s chin until her eyes met Alex’s, still hesitant and fearful. “And I will always be there for bad nights like last night. Just like you’d do for me, right?” Maggie nodded. Alex’s smile softened as she leaned in to kiss Maggie again.

“Don’t burn the pancakes, babe,” Maggie whispered with a smirk, pulling away after a moment. Alex rolled her eyes playfully as Maggie backed up towards the living room with Kara.

“They’re not even in the pan yet.”

“Then get ‘em in there!” Maggie teased as she and Kara settled on the floor to work on one of Kara’s board puzzles while Alex settled into the routine of making breakfast.

 

“In your opinion, Agent Schott, is this a safe solution?” J’onn asked later that day. Alex and Maggie had brought Kara to the DEO to discuss the cure with Eliza, Winn, and Caitlyn. Iris and Barry had immediately whisked Kara away to play with them while the “grownups were talking,” as Barry had put it.

“It’s our best bet. The simulations had a 95.62% success rate. I’ve adjusted the amount of time we subject her to the rays and the frequency, but this is the safest, most reliable method,” Winn explained.

“And the other 4%?” Alex asked, arms crossed over her chest and eyebrow quirked in a challenge.

“Well, I mean, nobody’s perfect,” Winn laughed. He was the only one. “Alright, not the time for a joke, I see. Anyway, uh in the unsuccessful simulations, the test subject wasn’t aged up completely, or she was aged down even lower, or there was no effect at all.”

“We can do better,” Alex said immediately. “My sister won’t be a guinea pig for something we aren’t sure is gonna work.”

“Honey,” Eliza said cautiously. “You know, as a scientist, that these are the best odds.”

“I’m not gambling with Kara! If we can’t guarantee success, I won’t do it!” Alex snapped.

“Babe,” Maggie chided, putting a hand on Alex’s shoulder.

“Find a better solution,” Alex snapped, shaking Maggie’s shoulder off and storming off to find Kara.

 

“‘Ena where?” Kara repeated. “‘Ena!” Alex had gone to the employee break room to find Barry and Iris with Kara before they left to go talk to J’onn about what they could do to help out. Kara, meanwhile, had decided she needed Lena now and would stop at nothing to get her here.

“Lena’s at work, sweet girl. Or she’s at home, I’m not exactly sure,” Alex said softly, tucking Kara under her chin. And swaying with the little girl in her lap.

“‘Ena,” Kara whimpered sadly.

“I know, Kara,” Alex sighed. She kissed Kara’s head. “I won’t let anything happen to you.

“‘Ena!” Kara yelped and Alex looked up to find Lena leaning against the doorway, smiling at them.

“Hey there, little one,” Lena said softly as Kara squirmed out of Alex’s lap to charge towards Lena, hugging her around the knees. Lena bent down to pick her up, holding Kara on her hip.

“Well, aren’t you just a natural,” Alex smiled. Lena nodded softly, absently twirling a strand of Kara’s hair. Her lips were pursed and she was searching Alex’s face, though, for what, Alex wasn’t sure.

“It’s a good solution, Alex.” Lena looked apologetic as she said it as if she were preparing for Alex to be angry with her.

“It’s not good enough!” Alex insisted, standing and stalking back and forth in the small room, running a hand through her hair. “What if something goes wrong? What if she gets stuck like this?”

“Alex, you’re a scientist. You know as well as I do that there is no way to get a 100% success rate in the real world. But 96% is pretty damn close.” Lena bounced Kara on her hip for a moment before sitting at the table and setting Kara on her lap. Kara quickly rested her head against Lena’s chest, content to just sit there and suck her pacifier for the moment.

“She’s my sister . I have to protect her.”

“Babe, there’s always going to be some risk. Your sister is Supergirl, she knows that,” Maggie said as she entered the room. Alex exhaled sharply through her nose. When she stopped pacing, Lena noticed her hands were shaking.

“I can’t let her get hurt. I can’t .” She sounded desperate now, pleading with them to understand.

“I know, I know babe, I know,” Maggie whispered, taking Alex’s face in her hands. Lena felt like she was intruding on a very private moment.

“What if I make it worse? Like, she de-ages to the point where she doesn’t even exist?”

“There’s a less than one percent chance of that result,” Lena chimed in. Alex inhaled and exhaled slowly, eyes closed and head hanging as she seemed to process all of this.

“Tell me it’s the safest option.”

“It is the safest, most reliable, best option we have to solve this. I’ve already started working on the dimension field adapter and Cisco is helping me make sure it’s calibrated correctly and that it’ll directly counter the effects of the wormhole she went through. We’re doing everything we can to make sure it’s safe,” Lena explained earnestly. Alex nodded, taking Kara into her arms and sending Lena back to the lab to continue working. Meanwhile, Alex went to find J’onn in hopes that he could help her out with a little surprise for Kara once she was back to normal.

 

It was many hours later, just after dinner had ended when Lena announced she had completed and tested the device that would fix Kara. Alex was hugging her and Eliza was taking pictures so Alex could at least look back on those once this was all over. Lena was making final adjustments and Winn and Cisco were double-checking everything.

“It’s okay to be nervous,” Eliza said softly, squeezing Alex’s shoulder.

“What if something goes wrong? I can’t lose her,” Alex whispered, voice cracking with mounting panic.

“Then we will all work together to fix it. Sweetheart, you’re not alone in this. I know I’ve put a lot of pressure on you over the years, but… it’s not just you, okay? I’m trying to protect her, too. Let me be responsible for this decision. If something goes wrong, it isn’t your fault,” Eliza offered, sliding her arm around Alex’s shoulders and squeezing reassuringly. Kara hummed and reached out to hold Eliza’s two fingers with her hand, smiling behind her pacifier. Alex nodded, letting out a shaky breath.

“We’re ready to start,” Lena said softly, rubbing Kara’s back. Kara mewled happily.

“Okay, come on, Kara. Let’s get you ready!” Alex said with a forced cheeriness as she stripped Kara and dressed her in an oversized patient gown in preparation for her growth spurt. Eliza prepared a mild sedative in a bottle and mixed it with some juice to make sure Kara wouldn’t freak out during the process. Alex fed her the bottle and Maggie wrapped an arm around her waist, running her hand through Kara’s hair as the little girl’s eyes fluttered closed and she fell asleep. Everyone respectfully ignored the tears that slipped down Alex’s cheeks as she kissed Kara’s forehead and put her on the hospital bed. They all moved to the next room where they would safely observe the reversal process.

Alex leaned into Maggie on one side while Eliza squeezed her shoulder on the other. Winn, James, Barry, Iris, and Caitlin stood back, Winn chewing his fingernails and James grinding his teeth nervously while Barry, Iris, and Caitlin held their breath. J’onn stood next to Lena, hands clasped behind his back and jaw set as he nodded at her. Lena appeared all business, but Alex saw her hands shaking as she turned on the sun lamps to help recharge Kara’s cells and then turned on the dimensional disrupter. A concentrated purplish-blue beam hit Kara for five long seconds then it turned off. Everyone watched with bated breath as Kara seemed to shimmer and glow, a burst of light blinding them before dimming. As soon as it was safe, Alex ran into the room with Lena hot on her heels.

“Oh my God,” Alex gasped, looking at Kara’s still-sleeping form. Baby Kara was gone, sure, but she wasn’t back to normal- not at all.

Chapter Text

“Best guess? She’s about six right now,” Eliza told them all after a quick examination of the still-sleeping Kara. She was taller now, about twice as long as baby Kara had been. Her hair was longer and the tight curls had relaxed into loose waves. It was darker, too, more dirty blonde than honey blonde. Her cheeks had lost some of the baby roundness and her feet had grown larger as well.

“So, what happened?” Alex asked, stroking Kara’s cheek with one finger.

“According to the sensors here, her cells didn’t have enough energy to complete the change,” Caitlin explained as she looked through the readings on th tablet. “Her body is so depleted of energy that it couldn’t handle a large jump. I think we need to give her some time to recharge and build up stored solar energy in her cells.”

“How long?” Maggie asked, squeezing Alex’s shoulder.

“I’d like to wait forty-eight hours, making sure she gets as much sun as possible and using the sun lamps if necessary. Then, we can check the levels and reassess our plan from there,” Eliza said. Alex nodded.

“And in terms of her memory?”

“We won’t know until she wakes up,” Lena said, staring at the little girl splayed out on the bed in front of her. She looked so small in the oversized hospital gown.

“Well, I guess we’ll need to go shopping for her. Nothing she has fits anymore,” Maggie said with a weak smile. “Babe, you wanna stay here or come to Target with me?” Alex shook her head, focusing entirely on watching Kara’s little chest rise and fall.

“I’ll come,” Iris offered.

“And me,” Lena declared, tearing her gaze away from Kara.

“Perfect. Anyone else?” Maggie asked. Everyone shook their heads. “Then let’s roll out, ladies.”

 

“Why isn’t she awake yet?” Alex asked. Maggie and the other girls had left half an hour ago and Barry had gone to rest before going back out to help patrol the city for petty crimes while J’onn—masquerading as Supergirl— helped with some of the rebuildings and cleaning up the aftermath of the attacks. Caitlin was in the lab analyzing the results to try and pinpoint exactly how much sun Kara would need to absorb to be ready for the next attempt at returning her to normal. This left Eliza and Alex in the medbay sitting on either side of Kara’s bed holding her hands.

“Growing takes so much energy, dear. When you were a baby, I could tell you were about to grow because you would sleep for hours at a time. She just did over five years’ worth of growing in under a minute. She just needs to rest,” Eliza said soothingly.

“What if her mental capacity is diminished as a side effect of all this?” Alex asked. “I mean, she wasn’t completely reverted to who she was as a toddler. She knew us and she didn’t miss her birth parents- she barely even reacted when J’onn took those pictures. What if she stays regressed?” Alex’s legs itched to pace, but she was terrified to let go of Kara’s hand.

“Alex, honey, why don’t you go train or something? Take a break. Kara will still be here when you get back,” Eliza suggested. “You could run or do some boxing or practice sparring with someone. Do something to get this restless energy out because it’s not doing you any good right now.”

“I can’t leave her. What if she wakes up?” Panic clawed at Alex’s throat—she had to protect Kara.

“Sweetheart, I will take care of her. If she wakes up while you’re gone, I will call you right away, okay?” Eliza’s voice was understanding, but firm as she stood and put her hands on Alex’s elbows, pulling her up. She was well aware that Alex could have gone dead-weight or used any of her fighting skills to slip out of her mother’s grip, but she didn’t. She stood, still holding Kara’s hand. Alex kissed Kara’s forehead and squeezed her hand before stalking out of the medbay and headed toward the training room. “I’ve got you, Kara. I’ve got you,” Eliza whispered, settling back in next to the little girl. Eliza is grateful that Alex was too distraught herself to notice the ways Eliza’s hands shook, terrified for her youngest daughter.

 

“No, absolutely not,” Maggie declared. “She does not need a dress that fancy.” Iris pouted teasingly as she held out the frilly white dress. It had a big, poofy lacy skirt with a pink trim. The sleeves were three-quarters length and lacy and it had a pink bow tied around the waist.

“But it’s so cute!” Iris protested.

“We’re taking care of her for two or three days. She needs pajamas, play clothes, and underwear. And shoes and socks. And a jacket,” Maggie said decisively as she continued to push the cart through the racks of clothes. Lena trailed behind, running her hands over the different options.

“I played in dresses like that when I was her age,” Lena commented. “I wasn’t allowed to wear sweatpants or leggings.”

“That couldn’t have been comfortable,” Iris said, eyes wide. Lena shrugged.

“It wasn’t, but I was a stubborn kid. As long as I kept them clean, Lillian never knew.” They stood silently for a moment as Iris and Maggie tried to figure out what to say to that. “This is cute,” Lena finally said, holding out a pair of floral leggings. Maggie picked through the rack to find a good size and grabbed a light pink shirt with a daisy on it to match.

“Good, see? This is exactly what we’re looking for: cute clothes that are comfortable to play in. We only need a few more outfits, then we can grab some of the other essentials,” Maggie encouraged, grabbing a pair of jeggings in Kara’s size. Once they decided on exactly what they needed, it was easy. The girls picked out a pair of black leggings, a pair of black ripped jeans, and a pair of galaxy-print leggings along with a warm fleece, a red flannel shirt, a denim jacket, some t-shirts, some pajamas and a black cotton dress (“see, Lena, this is a play dress,” Maggie told her, feeling the soft, stretchy fabric) that had little moons and stars all over it. Maggie made quick work of grabbing two packs of underwear and some socks for the de-aged alien as they moved to look for shoes.

“Keep it simple. Sneakers or a pair of those cute jelly sandals should be fine. It’s just a couple of days,” Maggie reminded them. Of course, Iris disregarded this and immediately picked up a pair of sparkly silver flats.

“But these would be precious!” Maggie just pointed to the shelf, waiting until Iris sighed and put them back. Maggie turned to find the sneakers only to find Lena holding out a pair of black Mary Janes for consideration. “Lena! Sneakers or jelly sandals! Mary Janes aren’t play shoes,” Maggie scolded gently, feeling very much like she was babysitting two children already. Lena’s face fell for a fraction of a second and her shoulders drooped almost imperceptibly at the scolding and Maggie softened. “They’re nice shoes, Luthor, just not what we need right now,” she clarified. Lena nodded, squaring her shoulders as she went back to the shelved before coming back with a pair of pink converse sneakers.

“These are cute and comfortable,” Lena declared.

“Then let’s go find the right size,” Maggie grinned, following Lena back into the stacks, pretending not to notice as Iris slipped an extra pair of shoes, some clear jelly sandals, into the cart as well.

 

Alex was dripping with sweat and her muscles ached.

You used your baby sister as a guinea pig, the voice in her head accused. Alex grunted as she heaved the bar up another notch on the salmon ladder. She had already done the salmon ladder once after practicing her combat moves with some of the rookies. Her body was screaming for her to stop, to rest, but the voice in her head continued to berate her. You failed her. It’s your fault. You should have known better.

Alex was screaming with every launch as she forced her muscles to comply, reaching the top and punishing herself further by moving down the ladder, too, rather than just letting go and jumping down. Moving down the salmon ladder added an extra challenge, forcing her to control her fall. By the time her feet hit the ground, Alex was shaking with the effort of standing upright.

“Agent Danvers,” J’onn’s voice boomed across the training room. Alex spun slowly, swaying slightly in her spot. “You’re done here. Go shower and rest. That’s an order.” Alex nodded once, even that simple movement hurting her aching muscles. She slowly made her way into the locker room, letting the hot water scald her skin and release the tension from her shoulders. By the time Alex was dressed in a fresh pair of DEO sweatpants and a DEO t-shirt, she was practically asleep on her feet and shuffling through the halls.

“Alex, are you alright?” Caitlin asked as Alex came around the corner. Alex knew she must look like hell, exhausted and slow-moving. Still, she nodded.

“‘M fine,” Alex grunted.

“Really?” Caitlin asked, raising a skeptical eyebrow. She poked Alex’s bicep lightly and Alex winced heavily, falling back a step. “Come on, let’s get you to the medbay. You can lay down and keep an eye on Kara at the same time.” Caitlin looped an arm around Alex’s waist to support her as they made their way back to the medbay.

 

“This is too many toys! We agreed on three,” Maggie reminded them.

“No, you agreed,” Iris reminded her as she poked through the aisle. She had already tossed in a realistic, robotic dog and a farmhouse along with accessories. Iris was now looking at play kitchen accessories while Lena was pulling out various Lego sets.

“These are as much for me as they are for her,” Lena justified. “Legos teach kids basic engineering skills. I keep Legos on stock at work for my employees to use when they get stuck on something. It helps them clear their minds,” Lena continued as she put three large sets of Legos into the now-full cart. Maggie just rolled her eyes good-naturedly before her eye was drawn to a Supergirl costume, complete with red tutu.

“Well, I guess it can’t hurt. This is pretty cute,” she murmured, grabbing the last one left in Kara’s current size and tossing it into the cart.

 

Kara’s eyes fluttered open and she whined, squirming around on the bed.

“Kara, you’re alright. You’re okay,” Eliza soothed, standing up. As Kara’s eyes opened fully, she cried out, eyes immediately welling with tears.

“Ieiu?” she said, her voice gruff from disuse.

“Yes, love. You’re alright. I’m here. You’re alright,” Eliza whispered, squeezing Kara’s hand and stroking her hand. Kara struggled to sit up as Eliza worked to push her back down. “No, sweet girl, stay down so you can rest.”

“Where’s Lexi?” Kara whined. “Want her! Want you, Ieiu,” Kara insisted, pushing back against Eliza’s hand.

“I’m here, Kara, I’m here,” Eliza assured her.

“No!” Kara let out a strangled cry and Eliza relented, scooping the girl up into her arms. Kara’s limbs were longer now and she weighed a bit more than she had as a toddler, but the motions were still the same: Kara wrapped her little legs around Eliza’s waist and her arms around her neck as one of Eliza’s hands went under Kara’s bottom to support her and the other stroked the back of Kara’s head as she bounced in place.

“I’ve got you. You’re okay, sweetheart.” Eliza continued to whisper reassurances as she soothed Kara’s tears. Kara clutched desperately at the back of Eliza’s shirt and Eliza could feel her shirt dampen with tears.

“Kara! You’re awake,” Alex exclaimed gratefully as she appeared in the doorway, practically being carried in by Caitlin. Her hair was damp and she was dressed in an oversized DEO sweatsuit. She looked bone-tired, nearly incapable of keeping her eyes open, but she moved quickly towards Kara.

“Lexi!” Kara coughed. Her voice had the squeakiness of a child, but it was rough from tears and still too high for what Eliza had grown used to from Kara. She handed Kara off to Alex and helped Alex sit back on the bed, still holding Kara tight.

“I’ve got you, baby. I’m so glad you’re okay,” Alex whispered the words into Kara’s hair, squeezing her tight.

“Alex, you need to lay down,” Caitlin said gently. Alex’s body was visibly trembling with the effort of staying upright.

“And eat something. And replenish your electrolytes,” Eliza added, pulling Alex’s legs onto the bed and turning her body. Alex just let her mother do it, letting her limbs go pliant as long as she was still holding Kara. “I can put an IV in so you can just rest,” she offered. Alex nodded, silently turning her arm out so that Eliza could put the needle in while Alex was still holding Kara. Once Alex was hooked up to some IV fluids, she laid back and let herself relax, quickly succumbing to her exhaustion.

“Come on, Kara, let’s let Alex sleep,” Eliza whispered, pulling the girl up.

“No,” Kara whined. “Don’t wanna leave Lexi!” Kara protested, clinging to Alex’s shirt.

“Hey, hey, you’re not going anywhere,” Caitlin told Kara. “You’re not going anywhere. You’re going to this bed right here, see? Right next to her. You’ll still see her and everything. We just need to give you a little check-up and let you lay back with these nice sunlamps, okay? You’ll still be able to see your sister the whole time,” Caitlin explained in a very matter-of-fact way. “Can we do that?” Kara regarded the woman suspiciously before nodding. “Okay, good. Come on.”

“Kara, sweetheart, do you wanna try and go potty before we start?” Eliza asked gently, noticing the way the girl was wiggling and squirming on the bed. By six years old, Alex had full control of her bladder and didn’t need to be reminded to go, but Kara had just jumped from being a toddler to being six and that surely had an effect on her emotional and mental state. Kara’s cheeks flushed at the question, but she nodded quickly. Eliza started to put her down to let her go before remembering that Kara was dressed only in an oversized hospital gown which didn’t close in the back and had nothing to cover her feet. Hitching her on her hip, Eliza hurried to the nearest bathroom. Once Kara had taken care of business, Eliza helped her wash her hands and carried her back into the medbay, putting her on the empty bed.

“Alright kiddo, let’s get you checked out,” Caitlin said softly, careful not to wake Alex who was now snoring lightly in the adjacent bed.

Chapter Text

“Lena!” Kara squealed as soon as her friend walked into the medbay. Lena was struggling under the weight of several large shopping bags, but still, she beamed when Kara said her name.

“What are we—chopped liver?” Iris muttered to Maggie. They walked in with Lena, but neither of them was greeted by the small superhero.

“When Lena’s around, Kara only has eyes for her,” Maggie snorted. They watched as Lena put the bags down on the ground before heading over to the bed to hug Kara.

“Hey, babe,” Alex grumbled sleepily, rubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands. “You’re back.” She sat up, reaching for Maggie. Maggie gratefully came over to kiss her.

“I am,” Maggie hummed as she pulled away, holding up the IV drip attached to Alex’s arm. “Why do you look like shit?”

“Hey, hey, hey,” Winn scolded as he entered the medbay. “There’s innocent ears here.” He looked pointedly at Kara who was enraptured with Lena, hugging her and playing with Lena’s hair while jabbering a mile a minute at her.

“Shut up, Winn,” Maggie said, rolling her eyes. “Alex, babe, are you alright?” Maggie asked again, softer this time.

“I’m fine,” Alex assured her, “just tired. I worked a little too hard in the training center… trying to burn off some restless energy.” Maggie nodded in understanding and kissed Alex’s forehead.

“Come on, dear. Let’s get you in some clothes. It’s almost dinner time,” Eliza said gently, squeezing Kara’s shoulder. Iris quickly dug through the bags, pulling out some clothes for Kara.

“I’m a big girl,” Kara nodded, taking the clothes from Eliza. “Lena, will you come with me?” Kara added softly.

“I thought you were a big girl,” Eliza asked curiously.

“Big girls get lonely, too,” Kara replied, ears turning red as she realized everyone in the room was staring at her. Lena nodded, taking Kara’s hand and smiling as she led the small girl towards the bathroom, pausing to pick her up after realizing her state of undress.

“She’s so whipped,” Maggie mumbled to Alex. Alex just snickered and nodded in agreement.

 

An hour later and Kara was discharged into Alex and Maggie’s care, pending they kept her either in natural sunlight or under solar lamps for the next 48 hours.

“I want Lena and Ieiu to come, too,” Kara whined petulantly as they were leaving, tugging against Alex’s grip as she reached for the women who were still in the lab.

“Kara, it’s time for dinner. We have to go home,” Alex reminded her.

“I want them to come!” Kara repeated, stomping angrily and dragging her feet. “No! Go back!” She shouted insistently. Everyone in the control room was staring while the two women tried to make their way out to the street.

“Kara Zor-El Danvers, stop this right now,” Alex said sternly, coming to an abrupt halt. Kara froze, eyes wide. Her lower lip trembled as Alex got down on one knee to look her in the eye. “You cannot whine and yell just because you want something. Big girls don’t throw tantrums like this.”

“I just want them to come and eat with us,” Kara sniffled, scuffing her shoes on the ground. Maggie bit her lip, feeling bad for the little girl. “Lena’s my best friend and I love Ieiu,” Alex sighed, dropping her head; how the hell could she say no to her now?

“Okay,” Alex sighed. “Okay, we can go ask them to come and eat with us, but if they say no, I don’t want any tears or tantrums, understand?” Kara nodded, wiping her eyes quickly. Alex kissed her forehead and stood. Kara took Alex’s and Maggie’s hands as they walked back into the lab. Lena and Eliza turned when they heard them enter.

“Hi,” Kara said shyly, waving at them.

“Kara wanted to ask you something,” Maggie said pointedly, directing a reassuring smile at Kara.

“Youmaybewannaeatwithme?” Kara mumbled shyly, hiding her face in Alex’s thigh.

“I’m sorry, sweetie, I didn’t quite hear that. I’m getting old, you know,” Eliza chuckled good-naturedly.

“It’s alright, Kara,” Alex whispered, pushing her out in front of her leg with a hand between her shoulder blades.

“Do you maybe wanna come and eat dinner with us?” Kara asked, staring at her shoes as she scuffed them lightly on the floor. Alex didn’t understand why she was being so shy since it was just Lena and Eliza.

“Sure thing, sweet girl,” Eliza said warmly. Kara smiled at her.

“Lena?” Kara asked. Lena looked down at the tablet she was using, chewing her lower lip in thought before she looked back at Alex and Kara.

“I think I can make time for you,” Lena winked. Kara giggled, squirming and wiggling happily. “I just have to set the system to send the results of these tests to my tablet, okay? And I’ll call my assistant to get her to scan some documents for me, then I’ll meet you there. Does that work for you guys?” Lena directed her last question to Alex and Maggie.

“That’s fine. Any requests for takeout?” Maggie asked.

“Anything but fish,” Lena said, wrinkling her nose.

“Pad Thai?” Alex asked. Lena nodded. Now that was settled, Kara was happy to be led out of the DEO and back to the apartment.

“What are we doing now?” Kara asked curiously, skipping and dancing across the lobby.

“You can go watch TV or something while Maggie and I set the table for dinner.”

“I wanna help!” Kara pouted up at Alex. “Please, can I help?”

“Sure thing, munchkin,” Maggie said with a smile. The elevator arrived and Kara immediately bounded in, turning to look at the buttons. Maggie pointed out which one to push and Kara squealed happily as the button lit up, the doors closed, and the elevator began to move. While Maggie helped Kara set the table, Alex called for takeout, smiling as she listened to her girlfriend playing with her baby sister. She couldn’t help but feel at peace at that moment.

 

“Alex, I can cut it myself,” Kara whined as Alex cut her chicken into baby-sized bites.

“Sorry, baby girl,” Alex said, setting down the knife and giving Kara the fork. “Better safe than sorry.”

“I am not a baby!” Kara pouted, cheeks turning pink. Alex couldn’t help but notice how Kara’s eyes kept darting back to where Lena was sitting.

“Right, right, you’re a big girl. Sorry, I forgot.” Alex grinned and Maggie just chuckled.

“Someone’s got a crush,” Maggie sang softly. Eliza smiled fondly, reaching over to ruffle Kara’s hair. Lena just blushed and wrinkled her nose at Maggie, embarrassed and confused, terrified that they were all poking fun at her apparently obvious crush on her best friend (her adult best friend, not the six-year-old version of her). She decided not to comment on it, quietly eating her noodles and dumplings. The moment passed and the adults chatted quietly as they ate.

“Lena, will you come and play with me?” Kara asked after she finished her food.

“I would love that,” Lena beamed, despite the food left on her plate.

“Lena, dear, you still have food on your plate. Aren’t you hungry?” Eliza asked, a concerned crinkle forming between her brows. Lena blushed.

“I’m alright,” she said softly, feeling like a chastised child as Maggie and Alex watched, snickering to each other.

“Okay, dear. Leave your plate, I’ll clear it later,” Eliza smiled. Lena nodded obediently and stood, following Kara into the living room where Maggie had put the bags of toys they’d bought that afternoon. Eliza chuckled lightly before she began to gather up the dirty plates.

“Mom, let me do that. You’re a guest!” Alex protested quickly, taking the plates from her mother. Maggie started to put away the leftovers. Eliza relented, pouring herself a glass of wine before sitting down in the living room, content to look through her work on her tablet while Lena and Kara played with Legos on the floor.

 

“Look! Lena, look! I built a plane!” Kara shouted proudly. Alex had set up a portable sun lamp to make sure Kara was absorbing enough solar energy while she played. It emitted concentrated beams focused on Kara and they gave her some tablets designed to boost her conversion of solar energy to potential energy.

“That’s amazing!” Lena praised. The creation truly was a work of art, far more advanced than something the average six-year-old could produce. “Did you follow the directions?” Kara nodded. “Well, you did amazing. I wish I were small enough to fit inside!” Kara giggled and Lena beamed at the sound. Kara put the plane down next to Lena before starting her next project. Lena had amassed a small collection of Lego creations; every time Kara had finished building something, she would present it to Lena and leave it as an offering. So far, Kara had created a dinosaur, a firetruck, a plane, and a monkey. While Kara was engrossed in starting a new project, Lena turned to check her tablet, reading over proposals from her Research and Development teams.

“Lena, you’re playing with me ,” Kara whined. Lena looked up to find Kara frowning at her.

“I’m sorry, Kara. What should I do?” Lena asked sincerely, immediately putting her tablet aside. Kara beckoned Lena over and the girl immediately scooted over, letting Kara basically crawl into her lap so that Lena would help her build a soccer stadium for her Lego soccer team. While they were distracted, Alex slyly took pictures and watched her baby sister fondly. Maggie leaned her head on Alex’s shoulder while Eliza wrapped an arm around Maggie’s shoulders, fingers just barely tickling Alex’s back in an effort to stay connected to both of her daughters.

“And we only get two days of her like this,” Maggie sighed. Alex hummed contemplatively.

“Take lots of pictures,” Eliza advised. “It goes by so fast.” Maggie and Alex nodded their agreement.

 

“No! I want Lena to read me a story!” Kara insisted, stomping her foot. The intended intimidation was made null and void by the footed Supergirl pajamas Kara was wearing—Alex had already gotten plenty of pictures to laud over Kara once she was back to normal.

“Is that how we ask?” Maggie reminded her. Kara pouted.

“Can Lena please stay and read me a story?” Kara asked in a saccharinely sweet voice, batting her eyelashes slightly.

“Ask her, not me,” Alex shrugged. Kara ran into the living room, her two braids bouncing against her back. She slid a little as she tried to stop in front of where Eliza and Lena were sitting on the couch.

“Lena, can you stay and read me a bedtime story? Please, please, please?” Kara begged, practically crawling into Lena’s lap as she asked.

“How can I say no when you ask so nicely?” Lena laughed as she stood up, letting Kara take her hand and pull her into the bedroom. It had been transformed slightly since she’d aged up, the product of Maggie and Eliza while Lena pored over paperwork on her tablet and Alex drew a bath for Kara. Gone were the toddler rails turning the guest bed into a crib. The rocking chair still sat in the corner, but the more childish toys were packed away in the closet. The floor was littered with dress-up clothes, cars, dolls, and Lego sets. Some of the picture books sat on the bedside table along with the portable sun lamp.

“I’ll be back to tuck you in once she finishes, okay, munchkin?” Alex whispered once Kara had climbed onto the bed, leaning over to kiss her forehead. Kara nodded eagerly as she settled herself under the covers. Maggie blew a kiss from the doorway before following Alex out.

“Lena, come and lay with me,” Kara giggled, patting the empty space beside her. As Lena got settled, Kara looked through the stack of books, quickly declaring her disgust for all of them. “These books are for babies!”

“Well, what if I read you a few chapters from one of my favorite books?” Lena offered. Kara yawned slightly as Lena went to get her tablet, but she kept her eyes open so as not to miss a thing. “It’s called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory . How does that sound?” Kara nodded eagerly. As Lena purchased the book on her e-reader app, she stifled a yawn of her own; the bed was quite comfortable and lying prone like this, snuggled up next to Kara, Lena was beginning to feel drowsy. “Are you ready?” Lena asked. Kara nodded and snuggled closer to Lena’s side to see the screen. Lena dimmed the brightness and tucked the blanket a little tighter around Kara as Kara adjusted her grip on her stuffed lion.

“Ready,” Kara confirmed. She rubbed her eyes with her fist sleepily. Lena smiled and kissed the top of her head gently. She wrapped one arm around Kara’s torso to pull her closer as she began to read.

“Chapter 1: Here Comes Charlie. These two very old people are the father and mother of Mr. Bucket. Their names are Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine,” Lena read, her voice soft and reassuring. Lena didn’t notice that Kara fell asleep three pages in. Lena didn’t stop reading until halfway through the second chapter when she also fell asleep.

 

“Oh my God,” Alex giggled quietly. She had peeked into the room sometime later to see if Kara was ready to be tucked in, only to find Kara and Lena both sound asleep in the bed, curled into each other. Lena’s tablet was still open to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “They’re asleep!” Alex was sure to take a few pictures as Maggie and Eliza bustled in, cooing and aww-ing at the adorable sight. After a moment, Eliza shooed the two women out of the room, carefully closing the door behind them after turning out the lights.

“Let them sleep,” Eliza whispered gently. “We could all use a good night’s rest after the day we’ve had.” Alex and Maggie agreed wholeheartedly. Once Eliza had returned to Kara’s apartment where she was staying, and Alex and Maggie were dressed and ready for bed, they looked at the pictures of Lena and Kara again, smiling fondly at both girls.

“Grade-school Kara is even worse at hiding her crush on Lena than adult Kara. And baby Kara. Combined,” Maggie snorted.

“I think it’s sweet, kinda,” Alex smiled. “Like, no matter how old they are, or whatever, Kara still loves Lena with all her heart. It’s cute.” When she put it like that, Maggie couldn’t help but agree.

Chapter Text

Lena woke up to find Kara crying and thrashing around under the covers. As Lena put a hand on Kara’s shoulder to try and rouse her from the nightmares, Alex came hobbling in, still seemingly sore from her intense workout but determined to reach Kara. Kara startled at Lena’s touch and sat bolt upright, wiping the tears from her eyes while trying to make sense of what was happening and where she was.

“Alex,” she wailed after a moment, pitching herself forward. Lena slid off the bed to make way for Alex, but Kara shrieked her displeasure, one hand reaching out to tangle her fingers in Lena’s shirt, forcing her to stay. “No, Lena stay too,” Kara begged, her voice impossibly small and scared.

“Oh, honey, of course,” Lena said softly, sitting back down. Alex came to sit next to her and Kara crawled between them, resting her head on Alex’s lap and her body on Lena’s lap. Alex scratched Kara’s scalp soothingly and ran gentle fingers through her hair while Lena rubbed large, lazy circles on Kara’s back. Kara continued to cry for a few minutes, sniffling and rubbing her eyes with her fists as she tried to calm herself down.

“What had you so upset, peanut?” Alex asked after a while, stifling her own yawn.

“A bad dream,” Kara mumbled, nuzzling her face into Alex’s stomach. Lena cooed soothingly, but Alex said nothing as she waited for Kara to elaborate. “I was running and running because someone was chasing me but no one was there to save me! I wanted Ieiu and my Ie and Maggie and Lena but you didn’t come and then I fell and hit my face and it started bleeding and it hurt a lot.”

“That does sound upsetting,” Alex said softly. “I’m sorry you had such a bad dream, but you know you’re safe here, right? No one is chasing you and even if someone were chasing you, we would all be here right away to take care of you.” Kara hummed softly and Alex saw her eyes chasing. “Hey, sweetheart, let’s go potty before you go back to bed,” Alex suggested in a way that left no room for argument. Kara tried anyway.

“No,” Kara groaned. “Too comfy.”

“I bet you are, but you don’t want to wake up with wet sheets, do you?” Alex challenged, raising one eyebrow. Kara whined and wriggled on their laps before rolling herself off and stomping off to the bathroom.

“What time is it?” Lena asked, her voice gravelly from sleep.

“A little after one.”

“Oh God, I’m so sorry. I never meant to fall asleep, I’ll head back home,” Lena apologized, standing and trying to straighten her rumpled outfit, but there was no salvaging it.

Alex scoffed. “Don’t be stupid, Luthor. It’s way too late for you to be driving home, especially when you’re so obviously tired. No, you can stay on the couch,” Alex insisted.

“I’m fine!” Lena assured her.

“No, stay!” Kara whimpered, sprinting back to the bed to tackle Lena with a hug, pushing both adults back to laying on the bed.

“Kara Zor-El Danvers, that is not how we ask!” Alex scolded as she sat up. Kara sniffled and rubbed her eyes, yawning.

“Sorry, sissy. Lena, can you please stay with me to protect me from the monsters and bad guys?” With her red cheeks and teary eyes, thumb playing with her bottom lip, Kara looked like that two-year-old girl who wrapped Lena around her little finger and Lena found herself agreeing to stay. “Good, ‘cause I’m sleepy,” Kara hummed happily, squirming around until she could lay back on the bed. She patted the spots on either side of her, inviting both women to snuggle with her.

“I’m only staying until you fall asleep,” Alex warned, “then I’m going back into bed with Maggie, okay?” Kara nodded eagerly as Lena laid between Kara and the wall and Alex laid on the outside of the bed, half of her body dangling dangerously over the edge. Alex went back to combing her fingers through Kara’s hair while Lena held Kara’s hands, tracing patterns on the back of Kara’s hands with her free hand. Within minutes, Kara had fallen back asleep and the adults weren’t too far behind.

 

Alex woke a few hours later to the sound of a phone camera clicking.

“Mags,” Alex groaned, rubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands before opening them. Maggie, dressed in only Alex’s oversized t-shirt, stood at the foot of the bed, grinning stupidly as she put the phone down.

“Morning sleepyhead. I was wondering why the bed was so cold,” Maggie teased. Alex gestured for her to be quiet before glancing over at Lena and Kara still sound asleep. Lena’s face was pinched slightly, brow furrowed. She was laying on her side with her arms draped around Kara. Kara, meanwhile, was curled up against Lena’s chest with two fingers in her mouth and the other hand clutching at Lena’s necklace. Maggie jerked her chin to the doorway and Alex nodded, following her out into the living room.

“Sorry. Kara woke me up in the middle of the night and needed me to stay until she fell asleep but then I fell asleep and I just… I’m sorry, babe,” Alex explained, her words rushing together as her pacing got faster. Maggie reached out to stop her.

“Al, Alex, love, relax. I was only teasing. It’s fine,” Maggie assured her. “What’s got you all riled up? We never really talked about you working yourself so hard that you ended up with an IV in you.” Maggie crossed her arms over her chest and pursed her lips as Alex squirmed under her gaze.

“We really don’t need to—”

“We have to talk about these things,” Maggie interrupted sternly. They’d established it early on in their relationship that both of them had issues communicating which had ultimately led to the demise of their previous relationship. Desiring to do better, they promised that there would be no big secrets and they would talk about things that were upsetting them.

“I just… felt guilty,” Alex sighed after a few minutes. She paused as if waiting for Maggie to say something, but Maggie just tilted her head and gave Alex that look, that look that said I’m here for you and I’m listening and I’ll wait as long as you need. “I felt bad… because I can’t seem to fix Kara. And I let them run this… experimental procedure on her! While she was basically a baby! And now she’s just a kid and I can’t… I can’t fix this,” Alex finally said, her voice cracking.

“Oh, honey,” Maggie sighed, pulling Alex into her chest for a hug. “Oh, Alex, babe, you haven’t failed her. You’re not solely responsible for fixing this. She’s okay. She’s here and she’s safe and we have a plan to fix her—a real, tangible plan. In a week, she’ll be back to normal. You’re doing everything you can to help her and take care of her,” Maggie said softly, stroking Alex’s hair to reassure her.

“I can’t—I didn’t—I just—” Alex cried. Tears that she had been holding in for far too long finally came pouring out, soaking Maggie’s shirt. Alex wrapped her fingers around the collar of the t-shirt as Maggie wordlessly held her, rocking back and forth slightly to soothe her. As Alex’s silent sobs ebbed, Maggie noticed Lena hovering awkwardly in the doorway to Kara’s room, unsure of whether or not to come out. Maggie nodded slightly and Lena entered the room, clearing her throat to alert Alex of her presence. Sitting up, Alex sniffed and wiped at her eyes, but there was no use hiding the fact that she’d been crying. Lena tactfully ignored it.

“I apologize for falling asleep here last night,” Lena said, cheeks turning a light pink. In wrinkled, sleep-rumpled clothes with her hair still tousled from sleep, neither Alex nor Maggie could even pretend to be upset with her.

“It’s alright, kid,” Maggie assured her. “It’s been a rough few days—we all need to crash sometimes. Alex and I are just glad it was here rather than behind the wheel or something.” Maggie stepped up to squeeze Lena’s shoulder reassuringly before heading into the kitchen. “Coffee, little Luthor?”

“That’s quite alright, Maggie. I should be going soon anyway. Nothing worse than a guest who overstays her welcome,” Lena joked as she went to find her shoes.

“You should say goodbye to Kara when she wakes up,” Alex suggested. “I don’t know if her separation anxiety is going to be as bad at six as it was at two, but I don’t really wanna risk it.”

“She’s awake in there. Or at least, she woke up when I tried to get out of bed,” Lena told them, slipping back into her shoes. “I said goodbye to her and that I’d see her later. I promised I’d bring her some more challenging Lego sets.”

“Oh.” Alex paused for a moment. “She must have fallen back asleep.”

“Probably. She was still pretty groggy when I left.” Lena pulled on her jacket before checking her phone. “My driver is downstairs. I’ll be at L-Corp today, but let me know if you need anything of me. I’ll see you later, Alex. Goodbye, Maggie! Thanks for having me over,” Lena called into the kitchen as she left.

“Sometimes I forget how stupid-rich she is, then she says some shit like ‘my driver’s waiting downstairs’ and it hits me all over again,” Maggie sighed as she settled back onto the couch with Alex, handing her girlfriend a warm mug of coffee. Alex agreed wholeheartedly, clinking her mug with Maggie’s before sipping the drink and letting its warmth spread through her and wake her up for the day.

 

Kara woke to the smell of bacon and eggs. Jumping out of bed, she made it halfway to the kitchen before realizing that her pajama pants were wet, as were the sheets she’d slept on. Standing in the middle of the living room with a wet spot on her Supergirl jammies and the vague memories of a scary nightmare being brought to the forefront of her mind, Kara’s lower lip started to tremble and her thumb migrated towards her mouth.

“Kara, cariño , what’s wrong?” Maggie asked, brow furrowed as she approached the little girl. Kara just wailed before putting her thumb in her mouth. Her entire body began to tremble. Thankfully, Maggie was a detective and she noticed the patch on her pajamas. “ Pobrecita , did you have a bad dream?” Muffled whimpers escaped Kara’s mouth as she nodded. “Oh, nena , it’s okay. I’ll take care of you. Yo te cuidaré, ” Maggie cooed as she approached Kara with open arms, waiting for the girl to give Maggie permission to hold her or take her hand.

“Maggie,” Kara whined, dropping her thumb from her mouth in favor of picking at the fabric of her pajamas. She began to speak a rapid string of Kryptonese and Maggie bit her lip, at a loss for whatever Kara just said as Alex was in the bathroom currently, unable to act as her translator.

“Can you say it again, Kara? In English maybe? Or Spanish? Or even Italian or something?” Maggie begged quietly; she knew that adult Kara knew all those languages and more, but she had no clue if this version of Kara did. Kara squirmed in discomfort before launching herself into Maggie’s open arms. With no regard for the shirt she was wearing (it was borrowed from Alex, anyway) Maggie lifted Kara so that she could koala Maggie, and Kara immediately latched onto Maggie, craving the comfortable swaying motion as Maggie took care of her.

“Kara,” Maggie sang, stretching the word out as the girl in her arms blinked long and slow, waking like a cat after a nap in the sun. When Kara finally looked up, they were in the guest bathroom and Maggie was smiling at her.

“Maggie,” Kara said softly, rubbing her eyes. “I didn’t mean to.”

“Oh, nena , I know you didn’t. I know. So, you had a scary dream?” Maggie sat Kara down on the closed toilet lid and started unzipping her Supergirl pajamas. Kara’s lower lip trembled as she looked away from Maggie, staring at the tub while nodding. “Do you wanna talk about it?” Maggie asked gently.

“I don’t remember it,” Kara muttered, swinging her legs.

“Okay. Why don’t we get you in the bath, okay?” Maggie suggested, leaving Kara with the top half of her Supergirl outfit dangling around her waist as Maggie moved to turn on the faucet. Itchy in just the wet pants, Kara kicked the rest of her clothes off and wrapped her arms around her belly, swaying back and forth and tucking her chin to her chest. “Kara, why don’t I give you a minute so you can use the bathroom if you need it, okay?” Maggie suggested. Kara nodded, so Maggie flipped up the toilet lid and walked out, closing the door gently.

“Everything alright, babe?” Alex asked, leaning against the doorjamb. She had heard Maggie comforting Kara, but waited until Kara settled before entering the room, putting breakfast in the oven to keep it warm.

“Eh, Kara had a nightmare and wet the bed. I’m getting her in the tub to wash up. Could you change the sheets on her bed?” Maggie asked as she pulled Alex in for a kiss.

“Sure thing. You’re good with her?”

“Positive,” Maggie confirmed. Alex kissed her again before moving to change the sheets as Maggie knocked on the bathroom door. The toilet flushed and Kara’s voice called out, beckoning Maggie back into the bathroom. “Alright, sweetheart, wash your hands and then let’s get into the tub,” Maggie said. A sullen, subdued Kara slid into the bathtub, half-heartedly playing with some of the bath toys they’d gotten for baby Kara, while Maggie washed her hair. Maggie let Kara wash with a washcloth before rinsing her off and getting her out of the tub and wrapped up in a towel. Kara kept a tight hold on Maggie’s hand as they walked back to the bedroom together. Once Kara was dressed in leggings and a t-shirt, Maggie walked her into the kitchen.

“No,” Kara protested when Maggie tried to put her in a chair at the table. “No, don’t leave me!” Kara whimpered, clinging to Maggie’s arm.

“Hey, hey, hey, Kara, what’s wrong?” Alex asked, rushing over.

“Stay,” Kara whined. “Don’t leave me alone.” Her eyes were wet with tears and her lower lip trembled as she clung to Maggie.

“No one’s leaving you, little one,” Maggie promised. “I was just going to go get some breakfast for us. Aren’t you hungry?” Kara shook her head fervently.

“Kara, honey, what’s going on?” Alex pleaded, desperate to know how to help Kara.

“You’re gonna leave me,” Kara whispered, closing her eyes. “Don’t leave me, please.”

“We’re right here, Kara,” Maggie assured her, leading Kara over to the couch. As soon as Maggie was sat down, Kara scrambled up onto the couch and onto Maggie’s lap, laying with her head against Maggie’s shoulder while her fingers tangled protectively in Maggie’s shirt as if preventing her from leaving. Alex came over to sit next to them only to have Kara pull Alex closer until they were a tangled mess of limbs, both women holding Kara and Kara clinging to them, terrified anytime they shifted, always afraid that they were going to leave her. As they held her, hoping for Kara to calm down, Alex wondered what the hell had Kara so frightened and how they were going to help her.

Chapter Text

It took a while for Kara to calm down enough for Maggie and Alex to coax her into eating. Kara insisted on sitting on Alex’s lap while she ate while Maggie sat next to them with her left hand always within arm’s reach of Kara’s hand. Frequently throughout the short meal, Kara would reach over and squeeze Maggie’s fingers as if checking she was still there. Alex was worried about this sudden separation anxiety and was at a loss in terms of helping Kara through it. Alex just held Kara in her arms, holding Kara’s hand when they moved to the couch and letting her little sister crawl onto her lap again while Alex put on a movie. Once Kara was fully invested in the movie, Alex took out her phone and sent a quick text; she needed reinforcements, stat.

 

“Hi, Kara,” Eliza said softly, waving to the little girl. Kara bounded off the couch and hugged Eliza around the legs.

“Ieiu,” she cried happily, looking up at Eliza with a grin. “You’re here!”

“I am,” Eliza laughed, bending down so she could give Kara a proper hug, lifting her younger daughter up so that they could sit on the couch with Kara curled up against Eliza’s side. Eliza just ran her fingers through Kara’s hair gently, feeling the child relax into her.

“I heard you had a bad dream, little one,” Eliza said after some time. Maggie and Alex had retreated to the kitchen counter, still in sight but far enough away that Kara wouldn’t feel ambushed by all three adults. Kara nodded mutely, biting her bottom lip. “Do you remember anything that happened in the dream?” Eliza asked when it was clear Kara wasn’t going to offer any more unprompted details.

“Scary,” Kara said after a minute. Eliza rubbed circles on Kara’s back, hoping to soothe the tense little girl. She waited for Kara to offer more details. “I was bein’ chased and I was all by myself and then I think I tripped and the monster was gonna get me and it was so loud and scary and then I woke up.” Kara said this all in one breath, letting out a little whimper.

“That does sound scary,” Eliza said softly and squeezing Kara’s shoulders reassuringly. “But you’re here now, and you’re safe.”

“I know,” Kara sighed, closing her eyes.

“Why don’t you try to go back to sleep for a bit?” Eliza suggested. Kara shook her head.

“Kara, you wanna go to the park?” Maggie asked, coming back into the living room. Kara shrugged but looked up at Maggie, intrigued. “We could play on the playground, go on the swings, play in the sandbox,” Maggie continued. Kara sat up and looked at Maggie.

“You and Alex will come to play, too?” Kara asked.

“Um, of course,” Alex said, sitting next to Kara. “I wanna go on the monkey bars. Don’t you?” Kara giggled and Alex beamed. “What are you looking forward to, Mags?”

“I’m a big fan of the swings, myself,” Maggie said.

“I like slides!” Kara laughed, sitting up and smiling at Maggie and Alex, now. “What about you, Ieiu?” Eliza chuckled.

“I like… to sit in the sun with a good book.” Kara wrinkled her nose. “I know—not as exciting,” Eliza laughed. “Why don’t you go get ready for the park, hmm? Maybe Maggie can help you while I talk to your sister?”

“Come here, little one. Let’s brush your hair and get some shoes on and make sure those teeth are all clean,” Maggie said softly, taking Kara’s hand and leading her towards the guest room to start getting ready. Alex turned to her mother and sighed.

“I just feel so bad,” Alex said softly. “She’s so scared and I don’t know how to fix it.”

“Alex, sweetheart, it’s not your fault. Sometimes, kids just have bad dreams and they get scared. My only concern is that this might not be a dream, but rather a memory,” Eliza explained. “We don’t know how this change affected her memories. She knows us, but she doesn’t seem to remember Krypton at all, or at least she hasn’t mentioned it so far. I was talking to Dr. Harrison at the DEO and we were thinking the memories might be there, just locked away. They might come to the forefront when something triggers it, like us talking to her and introducing ourselves to her triggered her memories of us.”

“Then, what was she remembering?” Alex asked.

“We won’t know for sure until we get her back to normal—or, well, I suppose J’onn could try to read her mind, but that doesn’t consistently work when she solar flares, so there’s no guarantee. Either way, we need to make sure she’s absorbing as much sun as possible.”

Alex nodded in agreement. “We’ve been using the sun lamps to make sure she gets it when we’re inside, even keeping them on while she sleeps.”

“That’s good. You should bring her outside as often as possible.” Eliza paused. “I need to go back to Midvale for a couple of days to deal with a few things at work. A student made a mistake and set back an experiment I’ve been working on. I need to go see what’s salvageable. But, you can still reach me by phone, by email, by FaceTime. If you have any issues and want to run them by me or if you just need to vent about the trials and tribulations of taking care of a child, you can always call me.” Eliza squeezed Alex’s thigh reassuringly and Alex nodded.

“When are you gonna tell Kara?” she asked quietly as Kara and Maggie bounded out of the guest room, Kara holding her sneakers in the air with the laces streaming behind. They were laughing and Maggie seemed to be playfully chasing her, hairbrush in hand.

“After the park. I’m going straight back from there. I already called J’onn and updated him.” Alex sighed, already imagining the tantrum Kara would throw when she found out Eliza was leaving.

 

“Ieiu! Look at me! Look at me!” Kara called out as she dangled from the monkey bars. Alex and Maggie had just finished showing her how to do them, holding her up so she could get used to the motions. She had insisted on doing it herself now to show Eliza, so they stood beneath her to catch her if she needed. Eliza walked over from the park bench where she had been watching her children play.

“I’m watching,” Eliza assured Kara, watching as she swung from bar to bar, tongue between her teeth as she concentrated on gripping the next bar. “You’re doing amazing, sweetie!” Eliza cheered as Kara neared the end of the monkey bars. Alex helped her get her footing on the playground platform, giggling and bouncing on her toes before taking Alex’s hand and jumping down. Kara ran over to Eliza, beaming with pride.

“I did it! Did you see?”

“You did amazing, Kara! You were so strong,” Eliza praised.

“Awesome, kid,” Maggie echoed. Alex ruffled Kara’s hair and smirked, but it was clear that she was also proud.

“Race you down the slide and to the swings!” Kara declared, tearing off towards the slide, waiting as the boy in front of her went down the slide before launching herself down, Alex and Maggie hot on her heels. Eliza shook her head and chuckled, heading back to her park bench. She would have to leave for Midvale soon, but that was no reason to stop their fun.

 

“Lexi, I’m hungry,” Kara whined, dragging her feet on the swings to slow herself down. Alex rolled her eyes at the nickname but hopped off of the swing next to Kara.

“Well, kiddo, I’m sure we can go get something to eat somewhere. Maybe there’s an outdoor cafe around here,” Alex said, helping to stop Kara’s swing so she could jump off and into Alex’s arms. Kara immediately grabbed onto Alex’s hand, pulling her to the bench where Maggie had joined Eliza as they read quietly, turning and chatting occasionally.

“Ieiu, Maggie, can we have lunch now? Alex said we can go to an outdoor cafe!” Kara shouted excitedly as they approached, Kara swinging Alex’s and her hands.

“That sounds like fun, Kara, but I can’t stay,” Eliza said gently. Kara pouted. “I have to go back to my home, back to Midvale. I have some things for work that I need to fix, but I’ll come back as soon as I can.”

“Why can’t you stay?” Kara murmured, rubbing at her eyes to stop the sudden tears. Eliza tugged Kara closer to hug her while Alex and Maggie made themselves busy packing up to leave.

“My work is very important, little one. But, I will be able to call you and we can FaceTime so you can see me. You can text me, and I’ll be talking to Alex and Lena and Maggie and everyone, so I’ll know what’s going on. Sweetheart, Alex and Maggie will take very good care of you,” Eliza said gently, stroking Kara’s hair.

“I’ll miss you.” Kara’s voice was small.

“I’ll miss you, too, little one.” Eliza kissed the crown of Kara’s head. “Alright, one more big hug and then I need to get going, okay?” Kara whimpered and hugged Eliza tightly. Eliza rubbed her back and kissed her hair for a while before finally pulling back. “I’ll be back before you know it,” Eliza promised, rising to her feet.

“Love you, Ieiu,” Kara called as Eliza walked towards her parked car. She leaned against Maggie’s leg, playing with her bottom lip. Maggie squeezed her shoulder as Kara waved at Eliza until she had pulled away from the curb. As Kara’s stomach growled, Maggie and Alex laughed.

“I guess we should go find you some food, huh?” Maggie teased. Kara nodded tearily, still sniffling. Alex and Maggie each took one of Kara’s hands as they picked up their things, swinging her arms as they walked to find a restaurant with outdoor seating to allow Kara to absorb more solar energy.

 

“Alex, I want ice cream!” Kara huffed, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring at Alex.

“You didn’t finish your vegetables,” Alex reminded her. “Remember? We said you could only get dessert if you finish your veggies.” Kara’s grilled cheese had come with fries, but Alex had asked the waiter to give her only half a portion of fries, switching out the other half for some baby carrots and pieces of celery, but Kara had immediately turned her nose up at the vegetables, despite Alex and Maggie’s promise that she had to eat them if she wanted a treat.

“I don’t want these,” Kara whined petulantly, pushing her plate away. After devouring her sandwich and fries, the vegetables were the only things left untouched on the plate.

“I didn’t ask if you wanted them, Kara,” Alex said sternly. “If you want to grow big and strong, then you have to eat your fruits and vegetables.” They didn’t have any conclusive indication that nutrition had any effect on Kara aging back up, but that didn’t mean Alex was going to let her baby sister eat junk food all the time. Kara just groaned and kicked her legs, loudly clattering against the metal patio chair.

“Kara, you know who eats all of their vegetables without complaining?” Maggie said slyly. Kara shook her head, arms still crossed and still scowling at the offending vegetables on her plate. “Lena,” Maggie answered. Kara raised her eyebrows and silently stared at Maggie.

“That’s true,” Alex nodded. “Lena loves vegetables. Should we call her and tell her you don’t want to eat yours?” Kara’s eyes widened. “Or are you going to eat them?” Alex added.

“Don’t wanna eat them,” Kara whimpered, but she kept glancing back at them as if debating it.

“Well then, I guess I have to call Lena,” Maggie sighed, pulling out her phone. She hadn’t gotten past the lock screen before Kara was backtracking.

“No! Please, don’t tell Lena,” she begged. “I’ll eat my veggies, promise! Don’t tell Lena!” Kara cried, grabbing a baby carrot and showing it to Maggie and Alex before chomping down on it. “See?” she added, half-chewed carrot practically falling out of her mouth as she spoke.

“Okay, okay, we won’t call her, but don’t talk with your mouth full,” Alex chuckled, shaking her head. As Kara quietly scarfed down her food, grimacing often, Alex took a short Snapchat video to send to their friends. “What are you eating, Kara?” Alex asked. Kara looked over at her, swallowing dejectedly. Her shoulders slumped forward and the mopey look on her face would be heartbreaking if it wasn’t caused by her hatred of anything healthy.

“Carrots and celery,” Kara sighed sadly, picking up another carrot.

“Why?” Maggie prompted, stifling her own giggles.

“‘Cause Alex said she would call Lena if I didn’t.” Kara crunches on a plain celery stick, wincing the whole time. Alex and Maggie are quietly giggling when Alex ends the video, captioning it #whipped before sending it to all of the Superfriends, including Lena. Alex made sure to save the video, too; it never hurt to have too many embarrassing pictures and videos for leverage later. “Can I be done now?” Kara begged once she finished half of the carrots and celery.

“If you want dessert, you finish all the veggies,” Maggie reminded her. Kara groaned theatrically before continuing to eat her food. “Kid, you see this little cup of stuff here? This is ranch dressing. It makes the veggies taste a little better. Dip one of those carrots in here—just a little bit, good. Doesn’t that taste a little better?” Kara nodded eagerly.

“So much!” Maggie just chuckled and shook her head fondly. She leaned her head against Alex’s shoulder and wondered about what she would do once this was all sorted and Kara was back to normal.

How could she ever look at National City’s hero and not imagine the six-year-old who didn’t want to eat her carrots or the toddler who cried out for Maggie to pick her up and liked to run around in just a diaper? How could she go back to how things were before? Maggie had never pictured herself as the motherly type; she could be gentle when she needed to be, sure, but she had way too many unresolved issues to worry about bringing another little person with their own sets of issues and needs into the world. Sure, sometimes Maggie would smile when she saw Alex waving at a baby in a restaurant and imagine what it would be like to see Alex smiling and cooing at their own baby. But even so, Maggie wasn’t sure she was ready for the responsibility of motherhood. Now that she’d had a taste of it with Kara, though… Maggie was starting to reconsider her position.

But Maggie couldn’t bring herself to voice any of this right now, so she just sighed softly and perused the dessert menu—this place was known for their plethora of vegan options, and Maggie was in the mood for something sweet.




Chapter Text

“Babe, I need to go back to work. There’s a Hellgrammite wreaking havoc on the streets and he’s taken humans hostage. They need me to try and talk him down,” Maggie said apologetically. They had been heading back to their apartment where Kara was going to rest and recharge on the balcony when Maggie had taken a call from her boss. The woman apologized, of course, but it was well known that Maggie Sawyer was the best hostage negotiator for aliens. She had built up a reputation of empathy and understanding that gave her rapport with most of the extra-terrestrial community.

“J’onn needs me, too,” Alex winced, holding up her phone with the orders from J’onn to suit up. Kara looked from Alex to Maggie curiously.

“Who’s going to take me home?” Kara asked.

“Winn is working and James is in Metropolis for a work event. J’onn is on Supergirl duty, and Eliza is probably halfway to Midvale by now,” Alex whispered frantically. She was itching to head off and help people, but couldn’t just leave Kara. Alex was sure that Maggie felt the same struggle.

“We’ll have to call Lena,” Maggie said softly.

“But I ate all my veggies!” Kara protested.

“Not because you’re in trouble, love bug. We need Lena to watch you so we can go to work and help people,” Maggie explained patiently while Alex stepped away to call Lena. Maggie looked at Alex before starting to walk towards the apartment, Alex following just a few yards behind. “We’re going to go home super quick and put some things in a bag for you to bring to Lena’s so she can watch you. Come on, Kara, we gotta move.” Maggie urged her to move faster and they began jogging down the street until they made it to the apartment building. Maggie tapped her foot impatiently as they waited for the elevator.

“Lena is on her way to get her,” Alex said as she ran up to slide into the elevator with them. “Do you wanna get going or do you need anything from upstairs?”

“My gun belt is upstairs.” Alex nodded and pressed the button to send the elevator up to their floor. The air was thick with tension as both Alex and Maggie forced themselves to wait. Neither woman was comfortable with waiting around when they knew they could be out there helping people in danger. Kara just bit her thumbnail quietly, unsure of how to act. As soon as the elevator stopped, they ran down the hall to their front door as Kara stumbled behind them, still unclear about what exactly was going on. Once the door was unlocked, Maggie went to her safe to retrieve her service revolver and gun belt, careful to holster the weapon and ensure the safety was on before grabbing her badge, bulletproof vest, and NCPD tactical jacket.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can, okay Kara?” Maggie said gently, kneeling down in front of Kara. She brushed her curls out of her face and kissed her cheek. “Love you.”

“Love you, Maggie!” Kara parroted, throwing her arms around Maggie before the woman could stand. After a minute, Kara released Maggie and let her stand so she could go say goodbye to Alex, who was getting changed into the new work suit Winn had designed for her.

“I love you, Alex. I’ll be back when I can,” Maggie whispered against Alex’s lips.

“Be safe,” Alex whispered. Maggie promised and bid both her girls goodbye as she grabbed her helmet and keys, taking the stairs down to the parking garage to find her motorcycle. Alex, now dressed and ready for a fight, headed into Kara’s room to get her some things she might need for an afternoon with Lena.

“Why is Lena coming to get me?” Kara asked, swinging her legs as she sat on the bed and watched Alex grab some toys, books, and a change of clothes. After a moment of hesitation, Alex grabbed a pair of pajamas, too and shoved it all in a duffle bag. “Bring this, too!” Kara added, running up to grab the Supergirl tutu and dress-up outfit. Alex smirked, but nodded and packed it.

“Lena is coming to get you because Maggie and I have to work,” Alex said. “Lena is going to hang out with you and take care of you. I’m not sure if she’s going to stay here with you or take you to her house, so I’m packing a bag,” she continued.

“But I’ve gone to work with you before,” Kara pointed out.

“This is different, Kara,” Alex sighed as she checked her watch. She tried to quell her impatience, willing herself not to get angry at a six-year-old just for asking questions; it wasn’t Kara’s fault that Alex was impatient and frustrated. “I’m not just going to the office. I have to go to help people who are in danger. It’s too dangerous for me to bring you.”

“Why?” Kara continued.

“Kara.” Alex exhaled sharply. “I can’t take you with me, so Lena is coming to get you. Isn’t that nice?” Kara’s lower lip jutted out at Alex’s harsh tone and Alex softens at the realization that she was far too hard on the young alien.

“Yes,” Kara said in a small voice, staring at her hands fiddling in her lap, now.

“Kara, I’m sorry I snapped at you. I’m just… I don’t like waiting when I could be helping people,” Alex explained, resting her hand on Kara’s knee. As she apologized, Kara looked up at Alex for a moment before brightening and pitching herself forward to hug Alex.

“It’s okay, Lexi!” A knock at the door interrupts them before Alex can comment on the nickname. A harried Alex goes to unlock the door as Kara follows hot on her heels, eager to see Lena again (as if it had been days since she’d last seen her rather than hours).

“Lena!” Kara cried excitedly. Lena stepped into the apartment in a tight black pencil skirt and a blue blouse, heels clicking loudly on the floor and her tan jacket—which cost at least as much as two months rent for this apartment—hung over her arm.

“Hi, Kara! Let me just talk to Alex really quickly, okay?” Lena said, squeezing Kara’s shoulder before turning to face Alex. Kara pouted and stomped off to go grab the bag Alex packed. “I can take care of her as long as you need. I do have a few things I need to do at the office, but Jess has already agreed to clear all non-essential items on my to-do list, so we can go back to my place after. Just text or call when you’re all finished,” Lena said quickly, trying not to keep the agent any longer than necessary.

“Thank you, Lena,” Alex said, her words carrying a certain intensity. As Kara came trudging back into the room, Alex knelt down and opened her arms. Kara immediately came running over to hug her, forgetting that she was mad at them in the first place. “Love you, Kara. I’ll be home as soon as I can, okay? Be good for Lena,” Alex whispered. Kara nodded earnestly and Alex just smiled, kissing Kara’s cheek as she pulled away. “Bye-bye, see you in a while,” she added as she quickly left, grabbing her alien stun blaster and motorcycle helmet as she ran out.

“Looks like it’s just you and me, then, Kara,” Lena said, grinning down at Kara. Kara looked up with her wide, dazzlingly blue eyes and Lena couldn’t help but smile. She grabbed the small duffle bag and reached out to take Kara’s hand, testing to make sure the door would lock when they left as she led Kara down to where her driver was waiting to bring them back to L-Corp.

 

“Alright, Kara, you have to hold my hand and walk quickly,” Lena whispered, shifting her sunglasses so they covered more of her face. Apparently, some of the people currently being held hostage uptown were L-Corp employees—or at least, employees of an L-Corp subsidiary—so the press felt it was vitally important that they stake out Lena’s office to get her statement and ask if she had any plans for retaliation like Lex would have. While Lena had been able to get by on her way out, she was certain it would be more difficult now that the crowd of protestors and reporters has doubled and she had a small child in tow.

“Can we race?” Kara asked eagerly as the driver pulled up to the curb and parked.

“I’m sorry, love, the crowd is too big for that. Maybe once we get into my office we can find somewhere to race,” Lena apologized. Kara’s shoulder slumped a bit before she brightened and beamed at Lena.

“Okay! Can I have a snack when we get inside?” Lena laughed and assured Kara she would get a snack. As her security guards tried to make a path for her and open the door, Lena gathered Kara’s things and took Kara’s hand, prepared to walk quickly through the crowd and avoid their questions.

Kara stepped out of the car first so that Lena could walk with her hands on Kara’s shoulders and keep her in her sights. As soon as the reporters saw the little girl, there was a new frenzy to their questions. People pressed in on all sides and Lena ushered Kara forward as quickly as possible, following close behind her chief of security, Jax Deidrick. The tall woman ordered the crowd to make room, but they barely stepped back even as she pushed through them.

“Miss Luthor! Miss Luthor! Who is this child? Is she yours?” one reporter questioned. Phone cameras flashed brightly and Lena was grateful that she had managed to get a baseball cap on Kara to shield her face somewhat.

“Miss Luthor, is she Lex’s? Does she share the family trait for cruelty and xenophobia?” Lena winced but kept moving without responding.

“Hey, Luthor! Is this kid gonna be the next Luthor to try and destroy the world or are you saving that title for yourself?” a protester spat, pushing up closer to get in her face. Lena steeled herself and continued walking; the door was only a few yards away now and as soon as they were on L-Corp property, it would be fine.

“Luthors should burn!” someone yelled from the back.

“Fuck you, Luthor! Go join your brother in jail or your dad in hell!”

“Hey!” Kara protested, stopping in her tracks. She turned to face the crowd. “Stop being mean to my Lena!”

“Little one, we need to keep moving. We’re almost inside,” Lena urged, forcing Kara to take a few steps further, but the crowd stalled their movements.

“Hey, kid, what’s your name? How do you know Miss Luthor?” one of the reporters asked.

“Lena’s my friend and you guys are being mean! She’s nice to me and she plays with me and I don’t like how mean you’re being,” she pouted. “Leave her alone!”

“Miss Luthor,” her security guard said sternly.

“Let’s go, little one,” Lena said more firmly, desperately hoping to keep Kara’s name out of the press.

“But Lena, they have to say sorry,” Kara said insistently, tugging on Lena’s sleeve.

“Someone rescue the kid from that psycho bitch-dyke,” someone shouted from the middle of the group. Fear ran cold through Lena’s chest as the crowd seemed to press tighter.

“That’s too far,” one of the reporters commented. “We just wanted a statement about the hostages.”

“Miss Luthor, inside now ,” Jax commanded. Lena nodded, scooping Kara up—with only minor difficulties, she is pleased to announce—and carried her on her hip the remaining few feet onto L-Corp property.

“Stop being mean to Lena! Say sorry!” Kara shouted over Lena’s shoulder in an attempt to be menacing.

“One step closer and I will call the cops! This is private property,” Jax boomed. The threat seemed to work, keeping to crowds outside the doors, though they continued to try and shout questions inside.

“Thank you, Jax,” Lena said sincerely. “Hopefully they’ll have cleared out by the time we need to leave.”

“Of course, Miss Luthor. I’ll start working on alternative exit strategies for you and your young guest, should they not have cleared out,” she said. Lowering her voice, she looked at Kara. “You were very brave, young lady. That was a very big, very loud, and kinda mean crowd.”

“They were very mean,” Kara corrected, scowling back out towards the door, childishly sticking her tongue out. “They were shouting very mean, angry things about Lena, and they need to say sorry.”

“They do owe Miss Luthor an apology, but I’m not sure they have enough manners to give one,” Jax said, wrinkling her nose. Kara huffed at that.

“Kara, say goodbye and thank you to Jax. We have to go up to my office now,” Lena said, putting Kara down and holding her hand instead. Kara waved to the security guard, stating her thanks as she skipped after Lena towards the elevator, excited that Lena would let her push the button so they could ride all the way to the top ! Plus, when the elevator started moving, Lena fished through Kara’s bag to find a chocolate shake that Alex stuffed in there for her.

“I love you, Lena,” Kara said in an achingly earnest tone, eyes wide as she hugged Lena around the waist, resting her chin on Lena’s hip. Her big, blue eyes blinked sweetly up at Lena as she smiled at her. Lena tried not to tear up as she smiled back at Kara, wiping the dribbles of chocolate protein shake from around her mouth. “I’m sorry they were so mean to you.”

“I love you too, little one. Thank you for standing up for me,” Lena said, her vision getting slightly blurred as the tears threatened to overwhelm her.

“I’ll always stand up for you, Lena,” Kara promised, hugging her tighter. “Always.”

Chapter Text

Kara was splayed out on the rug coloring a picture for Lena to hang up when Jess ran in.

“Miss Luthor, the PR department needs to meet with you. Would you prefer they come in here or you go to them?” Jess asked, not looking up from her tablet as she tapped away.

“Hi!” Kara giggled, standing up and running over to stand in front of Jess, startling the poor woman.

“Oh! Hello there! How are you, little one? Miss Luthor, is this the girl you said you were babysitting the other day? I thought she was only two!” Jess exclaimed, beaming down at Kara. “How old are you, dear?”

“Six! Like this!” Kara held up her hand with all five fingers up. Jess smiled fondly and grabbed her other hand to put up one more finger. “Oh. Like this!” Kara said, furrowing her brow for a moment as she stared at her six fingers.

“It’s rather… complicated, Miss Huang,” Lena said hesitantly. “What were you saying about PR?”

“PR needs to talk to you about a statement. Rumors have started flying about you and this one,” Jess said, gesturing to Kara. “What’s your name, sweetheart?”

“Kara!” she proclaimed. Lena tried desperately to remember the lie Alex and Maggie had told her they were using.

“Um… she’s…”

“I’m not asking, don’t worry,” Jess said, smirking slightly. Lena mouthed ‘thank you’ and Jess just nodded. “Anyway, there are quite a few rumors flying about you and this young Kara here. Some speculate that you’re adopting a child while others wonder if this is an illicit experimental child of Lex’s that you’ve found and decided to raise to take over the world. You might want to make an official statement. They’d also like to discuss the current hostage situation and any statements you want to make.”

“Alright, well I’d prefer to have them come here, I think. Kara, love, would you be able to go sit with Miss Jess at her desk and color me a pretty picture?” Lena asked, pulling Kara close to her hip and dropping a kiss to the crown of Kara’s head. Kara pouted but nodded. “Good girl. Be good for Jess, alright?” Kara slid off of Lena’s lap, following behind Lena as she gave Jess the things she’d need to keep Kara busy for a while and got Kara settled in a chair pulled to the side of Jess’ desk.

“Okay, little one, I’ll be right in there, alright?” Lena whispered, squatting down next to Kara in her chair. Jess admired her strength for squatting so low and appearing so stable in such high heels.

“I know,” Kara said, trying not to let her lower lip wobble. She was a big girl and didn’t want her Lena to see her cry like a baby. Lena just smiled at her, kissed her cheek and stood as her PR team arrived before ushering them into her office.

“What picture would you like to color, Kara?” Jess asked, rifling through the pages Lena had printed out for her young guest. Kara just stared forlornly at the door where Lena had disappeared, eyes welling with tears and lower lip wobbling. “Kara, it’s okay. She’s just behind the door,” Jess reminded her. Kara whirled around to make eye contact with Jess before the tears started to fall. “Oh, Kara,” Jess said softly, immediately standing and going around the desk to hug Kara. “You’re okay.” She repeated the mantra for a few minutes, hugging the small girl tightly and rubbing her back until she felt Kara’s body relax and pull away, sniffling.

“Miss Jess? Can I have a snack?” Kara asked. Jess held back a laugh, smiling.

“Of course you can.”

 

Lena emerged an hour later after finalizing the press releases regarding both Kara and the hostage situation, which had yet to deescalate, according to Lena’s news app.

“Lena! Look, I colored you this picture of a science lady for you! Miss Jess helped me print it out. She’s you, see? She’s got black hair and green eyes and I didn’t color her skin because I didn’t have a color that was pale like you. And then, look! I drew this picture! That’s you, and me, and Sissy, and Maggie, and Ieiu, and James, and Winn, and J’onn! We’re all playing at the park, see? Do you like it? Will you hang it up somewhere in your office?” Kara rambled, bouncing on her toes as she showed off her pictures. After coloring the two pictures, Kara decided her arm was tired from coloring, so Jess gave Kara a candy bar from her secret snack drawer (for those long nights when Lena refused to leave until she figured out the problem with this or that prototype and Jess refused to leave her boss alone all night) and let her watch Youtube clips of kids’ shows. Clearly, the sugar had been a mistake because Kara was bouncing off the walls, now.

“It’s beautiful, Kara!” Lena gushed, reaching out to grab the picture, hoping to steady it and take a closer look, as it was rather difficult to make out the details while Kara was jumping up and down while holding the pictures. Paper barely in her grasp, Kara did a twirl and Lena hissed as the paper sliced against her thumb, causing a small paper cut.

“Son of a gun ,” Lena muttered, careful to censor herself at the last moment. She sucked on the cut for a moment before pulling it back to inspect the damage.

“Did I do that?” Kara asked softly, lower lip jutting out as she looked at the thin line of blood on Lena’s thumb. “I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry. Are you mad?” With the sting already fading, Lena couldn’t imagine staying mad at the little girl.

“Of course not, little one. We just need to be more careful next time, right?” Lena said gently.

“I know, I was bad and I’m really sorry,” Kara added, chin quivering. “Am I in trouble?”

“You weren’t bad, you were just excited. It’s alright, love, I promise. Jess, where’s the nearest first aid kit? I’ll need a band-aid,” Lena added.

“Oh! Sissy packed band-aids in my bag! Ieiu picked them out for me,” Kara said proudly, sniffling away any traces of tears. “Come on, Lena! I can help you!” Kara carefully took Lena’s uninjured hand and pulled her back into Lena’s office and over to Kara’s bag. Kara fished around in the pockets for a few minutes before pulling out a small cardboard package of superhero band-aids featuring Supergirl, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. Jess silently brought Lena an alcohol swab and Lena held it to the wound, wincing at the sting as Kara carefully worked to unwrap the band-aid.

“Ready, Lena?” Kara asked. Lena, stifling a giggle, nodded and offered up her thumb. Kara furrowed her brows as she concentrated, tongue poking out between her lips. Lena glanced over at Jess, smirking when she saw Jess quickly dropping her phone as if she had just taken a picture. “There! All better,” Kara giggled, kissing Lena’s thumb. Lena chuckled, cheeks turning a light pink.

“Thank you, love. Now, do you want to come down to the labs with me?” Lena asked. Kara nodded eagerly, jumping to her feet in excitement.

 

Lena was elbow-deep in a prototype for a solar-powered water purifier strong enough to purify seawater to make it drinkable. The R&D team was hoping to finish this quickly so they could send it to underdeveloped villages and cities that were running out of drinkable water as well as provide it to the people of Flint and other US cities with lead and other toxins in their water. However, they had run into issues with the efficiency of the purifier when working with larger quantities and were hoping Lena, with her various degrees in engineering, could help them.

The team had immediately taken to Kara, nodding in understanding when Lena explained she was watching her for a friend. When Kara saw Lena putting on her lab coat and magnifying goggles, Kara insisted on matching. So, the team leader Kelly got Kara a spare lab coat and some magnifying goggles, putting her in some welding gloves as well, coaxing Lena into posing for a few pictures with the little girl. Now, though, Kara had shed the gloves and was sitting at a nearby empty lab bench, playing games on Lena’s tablet while Lena worked.

Clearly, Lena had lost track of time while she worked until Tom tapped her shoulder. “Miss Luthor, maybe we should stop for a quick potty break?” he whispered, nodding his head to where Kara was sitting. It was then that Lena noticed Kara squirming on her chair, crossing and uncrossing her legs, fidgeting with her face pinched in discomfort.

“Thank you, Tom. Kara, sweetheart? Why don’t we go to the bathroom, hmm?” Lena suggested softly, taking off her glasses and picking Kara up to put her on the floor. “Let’s go to this bathroom over here.” Taking Kara’s hand, she led her to the nearest bathroom.

“No,” Kara whined, pulling backward.

“No? Why not, little one?” Lena asked as Kelly exited the bathroom.

“Too loud! Don’t like it,” Kara whispered, tears in her eyes.

“Kara, love, it’s just the sound of the toilet flushing. It’s fine. Please, sweetheart, you look like you really need to go,” Lena insisted, but Kara continued to pull backward, covering her ear with her free hand. Lena sighed. “Okay, okay, we’ll go up to my office bathroom, okay? My bathroom  is quiet, right?” Lena had installed a silent flusher in her office bathroom. “Kelly, guys, I’ll be back in a few minutes.” They hurried into the elevator where Lena used her master key to force the elevator to go straight to the top floor.

“Kara, dear, why didn’t you tell me you had to go a while ago?” Lena asked as Kara continued to squirm and dance in place.

“It was too loud, I didn’t wanna go there,” Kara sniffled.

“I would have taken you—you know what, never mind. It’s fine. Because we’re gonna go to the bathroom in my office, and then we’ll have a snack, then I’ll go talk to Kelly in the lab for a few more minutes and then we can go home, okay?” Lena said, rubbing Kara’s back soothingly. Thankfully, the elevator finally arrived and Kara hopped out quickly. Lena followed a moment later after taking out her key only to hear a loud thud and the sound of Kara crying.

“Oh, what the hell? Fucking hell, oh God, you’re getting pee on my shoes. Do you know how fucking expensive these shoes are? This is why fucking children don’t belong in the workplace. Miss Wang, whose child is this? Why is this goddamn child here?” an old man cursed loudly. Lena ran out to find Arnold Raines, the oldest member of the L-Corp board, standing in the middle of the hall. He had been around since Lionel ran the company, and Lena couldn’t seem to shake him. He was constantly critical of Lena’s decisions and plans, never able to see her as anything other than the four-year-old Lionel used to bring to meetings who was always sitting on her daddy’s lap, clutching a teddy bear.

“Arnold, what are you doing here?” Lena asked. “Oh, Kara, sweetheart,” Lena sighed, squatting down to wipe the tears from Kara’s cheeks as she cried.

“Ah, Miss Luthor, I was looking for you. I heard some ridiculous story about you bringing a child into the office. I see now that was true. Do you even understand how ridiculous this makes you look? It makes you look weak and incompetent, not to mention this mess she’s created—”

“Arnold, all due respect, I need to take care of her. You can make an appointment to discuss any concerns you have with Miss Huang . Jess, can you call maintenance, please?” Lena interrupted, standing and leading Kara by the hand into her office.

“Miss Luthor! This is entirely unprofessional. I’ll be sending you the bill for these shoes—”

“Seriously Arnold, you have a net worth of $112 million and you can’t afford a pair of shoes? We can continue this conversation at a later date. Goodbye,” Lena said firmly, closing her office door on his protests. “Oh, Kara, you’re okay. It was an accident. He just scared you, didn’t he?” Lena cooed. Kara just sniffled and nodded, picking at her wet pants. “We can just get you dressed in some dry clothes and go home, okay?” Lena looked through the bag Alex had packed to find plenty of clothes, including the Supergirl dress-up costume with a red tutu. Gently soothing her, Lena helped Kara clean off and put the new outfit on, opting to put her in the regular outfit rather than the pajamas or costume.

“C-can we have pizza for d-dinner?” Kara sniffled once she was redressed. Lena checked her watch, seeing it was half past six and knew Kara was likely hungry.

“How about pizza and potstickers?” Lena offered, putting the wet clothes into a plastic bag and washing her hands. Kara gave a watery grin, nodding. “Okay, munchkin, let’s get ready to go home.”

 

“And you’re sure this will work?” Lena asked as she slipped on the windbreaker. It, along with the jacket and hat Kara was wearing, was lined with special LED lights. When the lights detected the flash of a camera, the LED lights flashed a bright light, thus flaring and ruining the shot. Thankfully since it was overcast and getting dark, Lena knew the journalists would need to rely on their flash. In addition to this, Jax had found an emergency exit that let out into an alley one street over. Lena’s driver would be waiting there for them with the car.

“Positive. Most of the reporters and protesters have left and the ones who haven’t are still at the front door. I’ll walk you out,” she offered. Lena nodded gratefully, following Jax down a deserted hallway and out into a dingy alley, keeping her head down and squeezing Kara’s hand as they slid into the back seat of Lena’s town car.

“Where to, Miss Luthor?” her driver asked as Lena carefully buckled a sleepy, sniffly Kara into her seat and waved gratefully to Jax as she went back into the building.

“Take me home, Henry, please,”  Lena told him. As Kara closed her eyes and sucked her thumb, Lena worried about how young and childish she was acting. Kara snuggled into Lena’s side and Lena kissed the top of her head, wrapping one arm around Kara. “You’re alright now, Kara,” Lena whispered, letting her eyes fall closed and her cheek rest on Kara’s head.

Chapter Text

When they arrived at Lena’s apartment, Kara spent the first ten minutes oohing and ahhing about the space, walking around the living room in circles, though she never left Lena’s sight. In fact, as soon as Lena tried to go to her room to change into some more comfortable clothes, Kara ran over to follow her, clinging tightly to Lena’s hand while she looked around in awe at the newly revealed surroundings. Lena just smiled and squeezed Kara’s hand, guiding her to sit on her reading chair by the balcony; Lena figured it would let her absorb some of the last natural rays of sunshine before Lena turned on some solar lamps.

“Now that we’re both in comfier clothes, let’s go find something fun to do, hmm?” Lena hummed, holding out her hand. Kara wriggled out of the comfy chair and took Lena’s hand, sticking close by her side.

“Lena, we match! See, we both got black comfy pants on!” Kara giggled, pointing first to her leggings and then Lena’s. Kara paired hers with a colorful t-shirt while Lena wore a National City University sweater she’d borrowed from Kara ages ago.

“We do,” Lena agreed, beaming. “Now, your sister packed some things for you to do. Let’s go check it out.” Kara bounced a little in her seat on the couch as Lena pulled the duffel bag onto the chestnut coffee table in front of her to pilfer through the things in there.

“That! I wanna play with race cars!” Kara shouted, pointing to the previously unopened package of matchbox cars Alex had packed. Clearing the coffee table, Lena opened the pack and spread them over the table, watching as Kara knelt down and began to push them around, making soft engine noises. Lena smiled fondly, putting some animated children’s movie on Netflix for background noise and pulled her work sketchpad out, hoping that the pen on paper might somehow help her to work through the bugs in the water purifier.

 

“Lena, I’m hungry,” Kara whined. It had been an hour since Lena ordered the food, but it had yet to be delivered. Kara had long since grown bored with playing cars by herself and cajoled Lena into playing them with her. They had turned Lena’s living room, once orderly and neat to the point where it resembled an IKEA catalog, into a makeshift race car track where every surface was covered in cardboard tubes, books, blocks, and other debris to be used either as obstacles or a track for the cars.

“I know, love. The food should be here very soon. Why don’t we have some juice? Maybe that’ll help sate you for a bit,” Lena offered, pulling herself to her feet. As Kara pushed the cars around the track, running it up and down the slopes they’d created using cardboard tubes and books, Lena poured her a cup of her pineapple and strawberry juice, popping a straw in the glass before offering it to Kara. Thankfully, not much later Lena got a call-up from the doorman in the lobby; the food had been delivered and the building security officer would bring it up to them. “Wash up, love. Dinner is on its way up,” Lena called. After a moment with no response from Kara, she stepped into the living room.

“Kara?” she called again. Kara, hunched over the tracks trying to balance a paper towel tube between two books to create some sort of bridge. The tube was closed, though a small rectangle had been cut out as a sort of window. As it was, the tube was still quite circular and refused to stay completely still, consistently rolling back and forth as Kara struggled to balance it just right. “Kara, it’s time for dinner. We can play after.”

“Just a minute,” Kara grunted, intensely focused on balancing the bridge. Lena was about to protest when the door was buzzed indicating the arrival of the food. Lena just shrugged and walked away to fetch the food and tip the building security officer.

“Seriously, Kara, it’s time to wash your hands for dinner. Toys can wait,” Lena said firmly, standing in the entryway to the living room.

“Just a minute !” Kara huffed as her bridge fell once more.

“Kara!” Lena said, surprised and a tad hurt at Kara’s apparent annoyance. Kara’s head snapped up and she widened her eyes nervously. “It’s time to go wash your hands for dinner. If I have to say it again, we’ll have to put all the cars away,” she threatened.

“No!” Kara whined as she jumped to her feet. Huffing, she followed Lena to the kitchen sink and let Lena help her onto a step-stool to wash her hands. “Sorry I yelled,” Kara offered as she sat on the chair with a few old textbooks piled on it as a bit of a booster seat.

“I know you wanted to keep playing, Kara. I get it. Sometimes I get wrapped up in things, too, and I don’t want to take a break. But that doesn’t make it okay to snap at people,” Lena said, trying to mimic the tone she’d heard Maggie and Alex used when chastising Kara. She only meant to explain why this behavior wasn’t appropriate before serving dinner, but Kara’s eyes welled and her lower lip wobbled at even this mild warning.

“I’m sorry, Lena,” Kara said, voice soft. She stared down forlornly at her plate.

“Kara, love, it’s nothing terrible. I forgive you. Please don’t cry,” Lena fretted. God, she was a shit babysitter; one evening alone with Kara and she’d made the six-year-old cry.

“You’re not m-mad at me?” Kara hiccuped as a few tears slipped down her cheeks.

“Promise,” Lena said firmly, reaching out to take Kara’s hand and rub the back of her hand with her thumb. “Now, let’s dry those tears so we can enjoy dinner, hmmm? I got your favorite!”

“Thanks, Lena,” Kara grinned, tears forgotten as she convinced Lena to give her three pieces of pizza along with five potstickers. Lena just smiled; even so small, she couldn’t resist Kara’s puppy eyes, particularly not when Kara was weaponizing them like this to get food.

 

After dinner, Lena had let Kara play for a few more minutes, helping her balance the bridge properly, before sending her into the tub for a quick bath.

“You don’t have to wash your hair, love, just wash with soap and a washcloth, okay?” Lena told her as she filled the tub with warm water and set everything out for the young girl. Lena wasn’t sure if Kara was old enough to really be on her own in the bath like this, so she compromised by leaving the door cracked open and dragged one of her living room chairs so that it was closer and Lena could easily see the bathroom door. Lena was too nervous about leaving Kara alone to bathe, so she didn’t get much work done, despite the bath going off without a hitch. Once she was dry and dressed in the Wonder Woman pajama set that Alex had packed, Lena led Kara into one of the guest rooms so she could go to sleep.

“No, Lena, I wanna watch cartoons,” Kara whined.

“Kara, you should probably go to bed,” Lena said, though her voice wavered; she certainly had no idea what an appropriate bedtime was for a child Kara’s current age.

“One episode. Please?” Kara begged, clasping her hands together desperately.

“One episode,” Lena said firmly, noting that it was barely eight. Kara squealed excitedly, leading Lena back into the living room and pushing her back down onto the couch. Once Lena was situated in the corner of the L-shaped couch, Kara climbed on, leaning on Lena and pulling a blanket until it was settled over both of them. Lena just smiled as she put on an episode of The Magic School Bus , stroking Kara’s hair and letting herself relax a bit, warmed by the glow of Kara’s solar lamp.

As the next episode began to play, Lena paused it and started to rise, ready to put Kara to bed and go back to her own room to get some more work done. However, Lena stilled when she realized Kara was sound asleep on Lena’s lap, nose whistling with each exhale. Lena just smiled at the little girl for a minute, trying to commit this moment to memory. After a while, though, Lena knew she ought to move Kara to a bed for a better night’s sleep.

“Go back to sleep, love. Time to sleep,” Lena whispered when she picked Kara up and the girl started to stir.

“Wanna s’eep with you,” Kara slurred sleepily, letting her head loll on Lena’s shoulder, swaying gently as Lena walked towards the guest room.

“I’ll lay with you until you fall asleep,” Lena assured her. Once Kara was settled under the covers, Lena laid next to her, brushing the pads of her thumbs over Kara’s face, watching as she fell back asleep. Even so, Lena couldn’t force herself to leave just yet. “Sweet dreams,” she whispered, kissing Kara’s forehead a few minutes later when she was finally able to wrench herself away.

 

Three hours later found Lena still awake, sitting upright in her bed wearing her pajamas and her glasses, hair was thrown up in a messy bun. A half-drunk glass of scotch sat on her bedside table, just a little something to help her get through the metric fuck-ton of paperwork she needed to do. As she plowed through another expense report for a medical research project, there was a little sniffle and a tap on her door.

“Kara? What are you doing awake?” Lena asked as Kara appeared in her doorway, hair rumpled from sleep and clutching a stuffed dog to her chest.

“I miss Alex and Maggie and Ieiu and you,” Kara whined, rubbing her eye with her fist. She shifted awkwardly in the doorway.

“You don’t have to miss me, Kara, I’m right here!” Lena assured her. “Come lay with me,” Lena added once she realized Kara was waiting for the invitation. Before Lena even finished the request, Kara had bolted across the room and climbed into Lena’s California king-sized bed, crawling on her hands and knee until her body was pressed against Lena’s side. Lena’s arm instinctually went around Kara’s shoulders, squeezing her in reassurance before rubbing small circles on her back. “Did something wake you up?” Lena asked gently. Kara just shrugged. “I want to help you feel better, sweetheart, but I can’t if you don’t tell me what’s wrong.”

“I had a scary dream,” Kara whimpered after a moment. The arm that wasn’t clutching the stuffed puppy was immediately slung over Lena’s midsection as Kara turned her body, half-draped over Lena at this point.

“Do you remember what it was about?” Lena paused. “It’s okay if you don’t. I don’t always remember my dreams; sometimes all I can remember is that it scared me.” When Lena was younger, she used to have night terrors and woke up screaming almost every night, though she could never really remember her dreams. Lillian was furious and had the staff move Lena’s room as far away as possible to minimize what they could hear, but all that did was make her feel more isolated and afraid. Then, Lionel asked the staff to put prescription sleeping pills in a glass of water or milk before bed in hopes of stopping her from waking up; all that did was keep Lena trapped in the dreams longer.

“I don’t wanna remember it.” Kara exhaled with a shuddering breath. Lena made sure her work was saved before carefully moving everything aside and pulling Kara fully onto her lap so that she was laying on top of Lena. She stayed silent and ran her fingers through Kara’s hair, hoping Kara would speak once she felt comfortable. “The ground was shaking and stuff was falling and I wanted to get to you guys, but you were too far away and then I was moving even farther and stuff was falling on you guys and you were all hurt and I was so scared and lonely and—and—and—” Kara’s breathing got heavier and tears started to fall.

“Shhh,” Lena soothed, hugging Kara tighter. “It was just a dream. Eliza, Maggie, and Alex are all safe, even if we can’t see them right now. I’m right here with you. You’re not alone.” Lena repeated the comforting words until Kara was able to calm her crying. “Why don’t we send them a text, hmmm? It might be too late for Eliza to see it, and Alex and Maggie are busy with work, but they might be able to see it.”

“Can we send them a picture?” Kara asked, picking her head up. Her eyes were puffy and red and there were clear tear tracks on her cheeks.

“Sure,” Lena agreed. “Should I be in it or no?” Kara nodded her head once before letting it fall once again on Lena’s chest. Lena shifted until she could comfortably hold her arm out to take a selfie, pouting exaggeratedly in one photo before smiling brightly in the next. “What do you want to tell them?” Lena rested the phone between Kara’s shoulderblades so Lena could still hold her while she typed. As Kara dictated the message, Lena typed and sent it along to Alex, Maggie, and Eliza. “Remember, they might not reply right away, but at least they’ll know you were thinking about them when they do see it, okay?”

“Can I sleep here?” The question was punctuated with a dinosaur yawn. Lena just chuckled.

“Of course. Can I just go brush my teeth?” Kara nodded, sliding off of Lena. As soon as Lena was ready for bed and her work was put away, for the time being, she slid under the covers and turned off the light. Within seconds, Kara had snaked over and wiggled between Lena’s arm so that Lena was basically spooning her, Kara’s head against Lena’s chest as they both laid on their sides, facing each other.

“You promise to stay?” Kara whispered, struggling to keep her eyes open as she yawned.

“Of course I do.” Lena kissed Kara’s forehead and pulled her closer, resting her chin on top of Kara’s head and letting her own eyes fall shut.

 

Lena woke early the next morning, Kara snuggled up against her side, to several texts from Alex, Maggie, and Eliza.

Oh no, Kara! I’m so sorry you had a bad dream. I assure you, I am doing just fine here in Midvale. I’ll call you in the morning. Sleep well! Eliza added a slew of emojis after her text.

Maggie sent back her own photo of an exaggerated pout with a finger pointing as if tracing a tear down her cheek, captioning it oh, pequeña! I’m just fine. I’ll see you in the morning, okay? Tell Lena to give you extra hugs from me, okay? Love you!

Alex, meanwhile, sent a few texts.

Awww, Kara, ur ok. It was just a bad dream. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Go back to sleep, and you’ll see me when u wake up. Then, Alex sent a snoring and a bed emoji.

Sorry if she wokr you up Lena.

*woke , she corrected in a separate message.

I’ll text u when I’m done here

Around three in the morning, Alex called once before following up with a text: All done. I guess ur asleep so just text me when u wake up and I’ll come to get Kara whenever

Thanks again Lena

Lena quickly shot off replies to Maggie and Eliza, thanking them for texting back and letting them know that she would show Kara the texts once she woke up. After carefully wiggling herself out of Kara’s grip and moving into the living room, Lena dialed Alex’s phone.

“Danvers,” she answered, groggy but terse and clipped. Lena wondered if she even looked at the caller ID before answering.

“Sorry to wake you, agent. Just returning your texts,” Lena said, chuckling good-naturedly.

“Oh, hey Luthor. Why are you up so early?” Lena heard a groggy Maggie mumbling in the background. “It’s just Lena, babe. Go back to sleep.”

“‘Just Lena’? You wound me, Alex,” Lena teased.

“It’s too early for your shit, Lena,” Alex groaned. “How was Kara after her nightmare? I hope she didn’t keep you up all night.”

“No,” Lena assured her. “She fell asleep after sending those texts. She’s still asleep, actually. Would you like me to wake her up so you can say hi?”

“Nah, nah, it’s good. Have you been making sure she’s getting sun or solar lamp time? Caitlyn and everyone from Earth-1 had to go home to deal with an emergency, but Caitlyn wanted me to make sure her solar absorption levels were above a certain level before we tried to age her up again.”

“Yes, I kept the solar lamp on while we slept, so she’s been getting quite a bit.” As they discussed Kara’s nightmare, her solar absorption levels, and arranged a time for Alex to come to pick Kara up, Lena peeked in to find Kara still snuggling under the covers, hugging Lena’s blankets. Once they hung up, Lena climbed back into the bed, sitting up and moving so Kara shift and lay her head on Lena’s lap. As Kara slept soundly, Lena opened her tablet to check her work email, one hand absentmindedly stroking Kara’s hair as she worked, content to sit in the light of the solar lamp with the comforting weight of Kara in her lap.

Chapter Text

Kara woke slowly. As the sun rose higher, Lena used the controls on her tablet to open the shades on her window, hoping to combine the effects of natural sunlight and the solar lamp to help give Kara the extra boost she needed. Turning her face towards the sunlight streaming through the windows, Kara smiled and stretched her limbs. Eyes still shut, Kara made little mewling noises as she reached up and wiggled her fingers and toes. Lena, putting aside her laptop, smiled down at Kara.

“Good morning, Kara,” Lena whispered as Kara’s eyes slowly opened. She gave Lena a languid, sleepy smile and nuzzled her cheek into Lena’s leg.

“Mornin’,” she mumbled, voice gravelly from sleep. “Lexi here?”

“She’s not here, sweetie, but she did answer the texts we sent last night. She’s coming to pick you up in a little while to bring you to breakfast.” Kara sat up, rubbing her eyes with her fists.

“Breakfast?” Kara said, beaming excitedly.

“I had a feeling that would get your attention,” Lena chuckled. “Come on. I washed your clothes from yesterday so you have something clean to wear.” Lena stood, holding out a hand to Kara. After Kara had fallen asleep last night, Lena sent the clothes down to the laundry service in the lobby and they had been delivered not too long ago, freshly cleaned and folded. While Kara got dressed in leggings and a sweater, Lena put on jeans and a blouse, pulling her hair back into a tight ponytail and putting in her contacts.

“Lena, can I watch cartoons?” Kara shouted from the living room. Lena shook her head affectionately, taking her briefcase into the living room to sign some documents while Kara watched TV.

“Still a little short of where Caitlyn suggested she be,” Alex noted as she looked over Kara’s latest scans. “She’s not absorbing sunlight as fast as she normally does when she’s flared.” The girl in question, meanwhile, laid calmly on the examination table watching the cartoons Winn had set up for her.

“That could just be because she’s smaller, right?” Maggie suggested. “Like, less surface area for the sun to absorb through?”

“That’s one conclusion. Another less preferable theory is that the aftereffects of the wormhole are affecting her ability to absorb solar energy,” Alex sighed, running a hand through her hair.

“We won’t know until we age her back up to normal,” Lena said firmly. “What we can do now is get her solar absorption levels up so that we can try and age her up. You have the solar lamps here, I assume?”

“The glorified tanning beds, yes,” Maggie nodded.

“The very technologically advanced solar lamps which can replicate the solar energy of the sun without giving everyone in a one-mile radius cancer or ripping a hole in the ozone layer? The ones that we worked on for months to perfect? Those solar lamps?” Alex said, raising an eyebrow. Maggie just smirked and pulled Alex closer by her belt loops.

“Aw, babe, you know I love it when you talk science to me,” she whispered, kissing Alex’s face as she just rolled her eyes and tried to maintain her stony, annoyed face. After a few moments though, Alex broke out into a grin and her hands dropped to Maggie’s waist, kissing her back.

“Should we go somewhere else?” Lena remarked, glancing back at Kara.

“Yes, to the glorified tanning beds. You could use a tan,” Maggie teased as she pulled back. Alex sighed and rolled her eyes, lightly pushing Maggie away.

“Come on, Kara. You’re gonna go lay under the sun lamps for a while,” Alex said, tapping her sister’s foot.

“Do I have to? I want you to play with me,” Kara pouted as she sat up. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too, little one,” Alex said softly, smoothing Kara’s hair. “But it’s important for you to get some sun and this is the best way.”

“Can you stay with me, then? Please?” Kara begged.

“Sure,” Alex said with a smile. While Lena and Winn got Kara set up under the sun lamps, Maggie helped Alex into a special lead-lined suit and lathered her exposed body parts in sunscreen. As soon as she was fully protected from the sun lamps, Alex grabbed a tablet from Winn that had been loaded up with a copy of some easy kids chapter books to read with Kara while they sat under the lamps.

“Read, Ie , read!” Kara urged Alex, nuzzling up into Alex’s chest.

“Be patient, little monkey,” Alex teased, tickling under Kara’s chin. Once Kara had settled back down, Alex opened the tablet to a PDF copy of Matilda . “This book is called Matilda . Ready? Chapter One. It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”

“That’s silly, Ieie ,” Kara giggled.

“Very silly,” Alex agreed. As they continued reading together, Maggie and Lena watched through the glass, beaming proudly at their girls as Maggie snuck a few pictures with her phone and saved them to a special album.

“Lexi, I’m bored . Can we play now?” Kara whined. They had gotten through four or five chapters before Kara started to squirm and fidget. They had only been under the lamp for barely an hour, so Alex had tried to keep her focused for as long as she could.

“Don’t you want to find out what happens next? Matilda’s going back to school after the weekend. I bet some fun things will happen,” Alex offered, trying to tempt her.

“I wanna play tag,” Kara said, stubbornly pouting.

“You need to stay under the lights, love bug,” Alex sighed.

“Alex, maybe we could modify the lights in the training room so that they can also act as sun lamps for her? It would give her a chance to run around and burn off some extra energy,” Lena offered through the intercom.

“You should probably come out soon, too, babe,” Maggie added. “You need to reapply so you don’t burn.”

“Lena, how fast can you get the lights in the training room converted to the yellow sun lamps?” Alex asked, stroking Kara’s hair.

“Twenty five minutes? Fifteen if Winn helps me.” Alex nodded and turned to Kara.

“Think we can sit here for fifteen more minutes and play games on my phone until Lena gets the lights set up?” Kara shrugged before nodding.

“The second you get out, you’re putting on so much sunscreen,” Maggie said sternly into the intercom.

“Yes, ma’am,” Alex smirked, giving Maggie a little two-finger salute before opening up the game she’d downloaded for Kara on her phone (nevermind that she’d downloaded the game when Kara, at her normal age, had gotten bored at the DEO after crushing her own phone when she lost at this particular game).

“You’re it, Lena!” Kara giggled, tagging Lena’s thigh. Once she had finished setting up the lights, Lena had led Alex and Kara into the newly refurbished training room before trying to leave. Kara had begged and pleaded for more of her friends to join her game. Lena caved easily, putting on another lead-lined suit and slathering her face with sunscreen before putting on a hat and sunglasses.

“Pasty ass vampire,” Maggie had chuckled as she got into her own lead-lined suit (the last one they had on hand).

“I can’t help being Irish,” Lena had retorted. Maggie just chuckled, taking the sunscreen from Lena’s outstretched hand. Almost as soon as the game had started, Kara had declared Lena was now ‘it’.

“Or slow, it seems,” Alex teased. Lena lunged forward, hoping to graze the agent’s shoulder for even just a moment, but of course, Alex had much sharper reflexes than Lena did.

“Try and catch me, Lena!” Kara giggled, skipping just out of Lena’s arm’s reach.

“I’m gonna get you!” Lena announced before playfully running towards Kara. Shrieking, Kara turned on her heel and made to run. Within the blink of an eye, Kara was all the way across the room and seemed to have run headlong into the wall, falling onto her bottom in a daze.

“Kara!” Alex shouted frantically as she crossed the room quickly.

“Did she just—” Maggie started.

“Super speed across the room? Yeah, I’m pretty sure she did,” Lena interrupted, sounding awestruck. Before either woman could move, Alex was kneeling next to Kara and speaking softly to her. Part of Lena itched to go over and make sure for herself that Kara was okay, but she knew she should let the sisters have their moment together.

“Does that mean she has enough solar power in her cells to age up?” Lena mulled over the question for a moment.

“I’d imagine so, yes.”

“Better get her back to the lab, then,” Maggie sighed. “It’s a pity you spent fifteen minutes on these lights only for us to be done in here after five.” Lena hummed in acknowledgment, simply watching as Alex cradled Kara in her arms before walking back to the other women. Lena met them halfway across the room, reaching out to touch Kara and physically reassure herself that everything was fine.

“How are you, dear? Does anything hurt?” Lena fussed. Kara shook her head, frowning with furrowed brow.

“No, it doesn’t hurt. But I ran so super fast and then I couldn’t stop and then my head hit the wall and I fell,” Kara explained.

“But nothing hurts?” Lena asked. Again, Kara shook her head.

“I feel fine!”

Regardless, Alex and Lena carried Kara right over to the med bay, determined to give her a full check-up to make sure everything was okay. Of course, Kara had no bumps of bruises, no scrapes, no signs of concussion. The wall Kara ran into, though, could not say the same; there was a small dent in the wall at Kara’s current forehead-height. The women waited with bated breath for the final results of Kara’s cellular energy readings to come through.

“Looks like we’ll be saying goodbye to kiddie Kara. What do you think’s next? Teen Kara? Or maybe just straight back to adult Kara?” Alex mused, trying not to let anyone see her misty eyes.

“Babe, you want a take a few minutes with her? Maybe take some pictures, give her a few hugs or something?” Maggie whispered. Lena was very carefully not-listening as she kept Kara busy on the tablet, looking at graphs and playing with the camera to take silly selfies.

“No, no,” Alex said, trying to sniffle inconspicuously and failing spectacularly. “That’d be silly. I can just… I shouldn’t prevent her from getting aged up just so I can… hug her, or whatever. That’s selfish.”

“It’s okay if you want to, though,” Maggie said, squeezing Alex’s hands. “We’ve been taking care of this little six-year-old girl for the past week or so. We love her and we’ve gotten attached to her like this, right? So, it’s perfectly understandable that we’re a little upset she’ll be gone.” Alex stared at their intertwined hands, shaking her head slightly. “Well, someone needs to call your mom and update her. I could do that while you hangout with Kara,” Maggie offered.

Alex paused for a moment before saying, “Mom probably would want to see her one more time before she grows up.”

“She absolutely would, so it makes sense to FaceTime her, right? Just for a few more minutes,” Maggie nodded.

“Okay,” Alex murmured, nodding. Leaning forward, she gave Maggie a quick kiss. “Thank you,” she smiled before jumping up and scooping Kara off the examination table, cradling her to her chest.

“You’re hugging me so tight, Lexi,” Kara groaned.

“I’m sorry, baby,” Alex sighed, letting Kara pull back just a bit, sitting on her hip as Alex smiled at her. “I love you, Kara.” Alex pressed her forehead to Kara’s.

“Love you, Lexi.” After a moment of Alex just hugging Kara and swaying, Alex spoke again.

“We’re gonna call Ieiu really quick, okay? She misses you.” Maggie, having just gotten a text response from Eliza, nodded before starting a FaceTime call.

“Kara, Alex! Hello, my wonderful girls. I missed you!” Eliza cooed as soon as the image came onto the screen. Alex set Kara down on the table, taking the phone from Maggie and hopping up next to Kara.

“Hi, Mom! We were just calling to say hi because we missed you so much, right Kara?” Alex said with a wobbly smile. Immediately, Kara began to chatter on about her day so far: waking up at Lena’s and Alex taking her to breakfast and then laying for a really long time and reading which was fun but got boring and playing tag with her friends and running really fast and hitting her head on the wall and Lexi hugging too tight and talking to Ieiu!

“It certainly sounds like a busy morning,” Eliza chuckled.

“Mhmm,” Kara hummed, twisting in her spot to wave over Lena, who had been double-checking preparations to age Kara up. “Ieiu, Lena and Maggie are here, too! Look! You gotta say hi to them!”

“My other two wonderful girls! Where are they?” Eliza laughed. Alex flipped the camera so it was pointing at Maggie, who straightened up and waved.

“Hi, Eliza. How’s work going?” Maggie asked politely.

“Oh, it’s alright. I should be ready to head back down to you guys by tomorrow. Where’s Lena?”

“Hello, Dr. Danvers,” Lena said nodding as she sidled over to Maggie, back ramrod straight as she gave the camera a polite, if a little stiff, smile.

“Please, Lena, call me Eliza!” Eliza chided.

“Always trying to impress the future mother-in-law, aren’t you, Luthor?” Maggie whispered slyly. Lena narrowed her eyes at her and stuck her tongue out. “Put that thing away,” Maggie laughed, shoving Lena’s shoulder.

“Behave please, ladies,” Eliza chided.

“Yes, Eliza,” they chorused.

“I have to get back to work, girls but thank you for calling! I love you, girls.”

“Love you, Ieiu!” Kara shouted, waving as Alex turned the camera around to face them again. “See you soon!”

“I love you too, Kara. Bye!” As they all shouted their goodbyes into the phone, Eliza hung up. Once Eliza had hung up, Lena went back to making sure the dimensional disrupter was calibrated properly while Alex called J’onn over to pose with a few more photos with Kara. By the time Lena was ready to turn on the dimensional disrupter, Alex had gotten Kara dressed in an oversized patient gown, prepared for some sort of growth spurt.

“Stay still, baby, okay? We’ll be just over here,” Alex assured her, stroking her hair.

“What’s going on?” Kara asked, fidgeting with her fingers nervously. “Don’t wanna lay here, Lexi! I want you to stay,” she whined.

“I know, sweetheart, and I want to stay, too, but I can’t. Just close your eyes, be a brave girl for me, and count to ten. When you get to ten, I’ll be back over here with you. Got it?”

“Promise?” Kara sniffled, still clinging to Alex’s hand.

“Pinky swear,” Alex said solemnly.

“Okay,” Kara murmured unhappily. Alex kissed her forehead one more time before stepping back and nodding to Lena as Kara began to slowly count.

“One… two…” A beam of concentrated, purplish-blue light hit Kara’s body.

“Three… four… five… six… seven…” The light turned off and Kara’s entire body started to shimmer and glow.

“Eight… nine…” A burst of light blinded them all before the room went dark again.

“Ten.” Alex and Lena burst into the room and over to the table where Kara was sitting up, rubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands.

“Alex?” she groaned. She was much taller and lankier, her face having lost some of the youthful roundness. Her hair was now dirty-blonde and straight and her voice was deeper, more mature. “What’s going on? Where am I?”

“Oh my God,” Alex laughed. It was like stepping in a time machine and Alex had travelled back to the year Kara came to live with them. “She’s a goddamned teenager.”

Chapter Text

Alex laughed even as she pulled Kara into a tight hug. Kara squirmed in the hug for a moment before settling into it and hugging Alex back.

“You didn’t answer my question, Alex,” Kara said sternly as she pulled away. “What’s going on?”

“What do you remember?” Alex asked hesitantly. Was this a side effect of the whole process of de-aging and then re-aging? Or should they be concerned? Kara blinked slowly, peering around the room. She rubbed her temple as if she had a headache.

“I… I was helping Cisco and Barry… and then I stepped through the portal but it was… wrong, somehow? I can’t explain it. Things get kind of fuzzy after that… Like, I remember a park and cartoons and stuff but I can’t remember everything clearly. What happened ? Why am I… small? And why can’t I use my powers? And why is it so cold? Is it always cold in here? And when can we get something to eat? I’m hungry.” As Kara’s ramblings turned into a series of complaints, Alex held one hand out to get Kara to stop talking for a minute.

“The portal got… changed, somehow. Instead of taking you straight home, it took you through a wormhole or something, and then home. The wormhole altered your physical and mental state, de-aging your cells and your whole body. When you first arrived, you were only about two. We got in contact with Cisco and Felicity and everyone and they came over to help us get started on bringing you back, but what we’ve got only brings you back in increments. You spent a little while as a toddler, then you spent a little over a week as a six-year old. Now, you’re about thirteen,” Alex explained. Lena hovered in the background, unsure of what she should do; leaving would give the sisters some privacy, but it also might call attention to herself. Lena stayed frozen in the corner.

“Okay, but why can’t I use my powers?” Kara asked, raising her eyebrows as if trying to challenge Alex or catch her in a lie. Lena fiddled on her tablet, marking this more defiant attitude in her notes. It could be similar to how she adopted some traits of a child at each age that she becomes, Lena thought.

“The process of aging you up again saps most of your solar energy. It takes some time for you to build it up again so that we can age you up again,” Lena jumped in, stepping out of the corner. So much for letting them have their moment, Luthor , she admonished herself.

“Lena! You’re here!” Kara said, her face splitting into a grin.

“Of course I’m here,” Lena said, unable to suppress her own smile. Kara moved as if to swing her legs off of the bed before pausing and pressing the heels of her hands into her thighs, tugging at the thing gown as her face blushed bright crimson.

“Alex,” Kara whispered. Lena once again made herself look busy on her tablet, but she could still hear Kara’s whispers. “Alex, can I get some real clothes, please?” Alex’s reply was much quieter so Lena couldn’t hear exactly what she said, but Kara was nodding gratefully, so Lena assumed she was offering Kara something to wear.

“Alright, Lena and I will step out for a few minutes. Kara, you sit tight here and we’ll turn on the sun lamps and the TV. I’ll be back in a bit with something better for you to wear, okay?” Alex said, clapping her hands together once. Kara nodded eagerly. Lena quickly showed her how to use the communication system before following Alex out. Alex ran in quickly with a warm blanket for Kara before shutting the door and turning on the solar lamps.

“Maggie, can you get my extra workout clothes from my locker? J’onn is going to fly me to a department store to get Kara some underwear really quick,” Alex said. Without waiting for an answer, Alex ran off to find J’onn. Maggie shrugged and headed towards the DEO locker room while Lena just stayed, watching as Kara put on one of the cartoons she’d been enjoying just that morning.

 

“This is so stupid,” Kara huffed, sounding every bit the petulant teenager she currently appeared to be. Once they had gotten Kara dressed in Alex’s DEO issued training clothes, Alex had insisted on formally testing Kara’s powers as well as her solar reabsorption levels. “I can’t lift this stupid bar because I don’t have my stupid powers.” Kara had been able to deadlift a regular bar, but hadn’t been able to move it at all when Alex added the fifty-pound weights. On the treadmill, Kara was running a ten-minute mile before getting winded. Her attempts to fly looked like she was just trying to jump as high as she could, and her attempts to access her heat or x-ray vision gave her a headache from straining her eyes.

“Stupid is a naughty word, Kara,” Maggie teased.

You’re a naughty word,” Kara muttered, her cheeks bright pink. She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ears and glanced at Lena out of the corner of her eye. Lena was still inputting the results of the tests into her tablet so she didn’t notice, but both Maggie and Alex did. They grinned at each other, but refrained from commenting.

“Kara, you know we should do things by the book,” Alex said, disregarding Kara’s lame comeback. When she had first arrived on earth, Kara’s English was shaky, so she had taken to parroting Alex whenever Alex teased her, much akin to little kids who wield “I’m rubber and you’re glue so whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!” as a deadly weapon. Alex used to simply roll her eyes and call Kara a loser (Kara would always fire back with an indignant “ you’re a loser!”) before eventually teaching Kara how to respond to teasing.

“Whatever. When can I get something to eat? I’m starving . And I want to get some of my own clothes and take a shower and stuff.”

“We can do that in a little bit, Kara. Lena and I have some stuff to finish here. We need to track the results of your tests if we want to be able to analyze them,” Alex reminded her, putting the weights back on their rack.

“I can go myself! I’ll just walk back to my apartment,” Kara offered eagerly. “And if you give me some cash, I can get potstickers on the way home!”

“Kara, you’re currently, like, twelve. You don’t have your powers. It isn’t safe. Not to mention, you’ll need to go to the mall to get some clothes that actually fit. Nothing in your apartment will fit you. You’re too skinny,” Alex pointed out.

“Are you saying that normally I’m fat?” Kara scoffed indignantly. Alex rolled her eyes.

“All she’s saying,” Maggie interjected in an attempt to keep the peace, “is that twelve-year-old you doesn’t have the same body shape that regular you does. You’re three inches shorter, and you’re probably two sizes smaller than normal. Not a bad thing, just a fact.”

“I know ,” Kara said, rolling her eyes. “I was just kidding.”

“Either way, the point stands. Kara, you’re not going anywhere by yourself,” Alex said firmly.

“You can’t stop me,” Kara challenged, setting her jaw. Alex just laughed.

“Please, even Lena could stop you right now,” Alex chuckled.

“Hey!” Lena protested. “Why do you have to say it like that?” No one bothered to answer her. “Rude,” Lena murmured before clearing her throat to try and get the sisters to stop glaring at each other. “Anyway, Alex, I actually finished logging the test results while you two were busy bickering.”

“Oh, perfect. We can go get something to eat and head to the mall before we head home, okay, Kara?” Maggie said brightly, slinging one arm around Alex’s shoulders and the other around Kara’s.

“Good, I’m starving.

“So you’ve said,” Alex deadpanned before playfully punching Kara’s arm. “I gotta say, I missed being taller than you.” Alex reached out to pull Kara towards her, ruffling Kara’s hair teasingly and resting her elbow on Kara’s shoulder. Kara just shoved Alex away, pouting as she combed her fingers through her hair.

“Shut up, it’s only for a few more days.” Alex responded by sticking her tongue out at Kara, who responded in kind.

“Well, I hate to break up such lovely sibling banter, but I’m actually going to get back to L-Corp. I’ve got some meetings I’ve been putting off, and I should really get them over with,” Lena said, not noticing the way Kara’s shoulders dropped slightly at the announcement. “I’ll catch up with you later, yeah?”

“Definitely,” Maggie confirmed, giving Lena a quick hug. Alex gave her a brief half-hug, smiling awkwardly. Kara, unsurprisingly, pulled Lena into a long hug. Lena was also grateful for her current height advantage on Kara since it allowed her to tuck Kara’s head into her chest the way Kara usually did for her when she was upset. Kara didn’t let go until Lena did, beaming at her. With a final wave, Lena headed off for the exit.

“So,” Alex said after a moment, breaking the silence. “Where should we get lunch?”

 

Maggie cornered Alex in Target while Kara was busy trying on jeans.

“So, when are we going to address Kara’s massive crush on Lena?” Maggie whispered urgently. “She is terrible at hiding her emotions at this age. How did she keep any secrets in Midvale?”

“Oh, she was terrible at hiding her feelings back then, too. Her crush on Kenny in high school was painfully obvious. She can keep a secret, so long as that secret isn’t how she feels about someone,” Alex explained. “Once she got to college, she was better at hiding her crushes.”

“Okay, but still. Lena hasn’t noticed yet, but she will. We should probably talk to Kara about it, though, shouldn’t we?” When Alex started to smirk, Maggie added, “and not to tease her!”

“Killjoy,” Alex muttered, pouting.

“Be nice, Alex. Think about how mortified you would be if the roles were reversed,” Maggie said sternly.

“Motherhood has changed you,” Alex said grimly. Maggie dropped her jaw and made to whack Alex in the stomach, but Alex dodged the half-hearted attack, laughing.

“You take that back!” Maggie demanded, chasing after Alex. They ducked and dodged around each other while waiting outside of the changing rooms, ignoring the odd stares from other customers. They only stopped when Alex conceded, letting Maggie corner her against a rack of denim jackets and grab her wrists lightly, pulling her in for a kiss.

“Gross,” Kara said, interrupting them. Maggie and Alex parted to find Kara scrunching her nose and frowning at them. “I picked out two pairs of jeans. I’m going back for shirts. How many should I get?”

“Five.”

“Seven.” Alex and Maggie spoke at the same time before turning to each other and laughing.

“Useless. I’m splitting the difference and getting six,” Kara said, rolling her eyes and walking away. She didn’t bother checking to see if they would follow.

 

“So, Kara,” Alex drawled that evening as she quickly tried to put a few slices of pizza on her plate before Kara inhaled the rest of it.

“So, Alex,” Kara mimicked when Alex didn’t say anything more. Maggie, who was pouring wine for Alex and herself in the kitchen, just shook her head and rolled her eyes.

“‘So, when are we going to discuss your massive crush on Lena’ is what she meant to say,” Maggie called out as the Danvers sisters were settling back into the couch with their pizza. She came back from the kitchen a moment later to see Kara frozen, a slice of pizza halfway to her mouth. Her cheeks burned crimson and her eyes were wide. When Maggie arched one eyebrow as if daring Kara to contradict her, Kara dropped the pizza back on the plate and gaped like a fish.

“I—what? Pfft, I don’t have a crush on Lena. I don’t—that is just—and how do I know, frankly, that you don’t have a crush on her? Maybe you’re just trying to throw us all off, huh?” Kara stammered, looking anywhere but at Maggie as she sat down and stared at Kara, one eyebrow still cocked.

“Not exactly convincing, kid,” Alex stage whispered. Kara turned to shoot her an indignant look.

“Whatever,” Kara muttered sullenly before taking a bite of her pizza.

“You’re not exactly subtle, is all I’m trying to say,” Maggie says, putting her hands up in mock-surrender, but still she continued: “everytime you see Lena, you get the little hearts in your eyes like Pepe Le Pew, or some other cartoon character. Like, birds and shit are about to come braid your hair as you sing about Lena. Either Lena is terrible at reading emotions, or she’s pretending she doesn’t notice to avoid talking about it like the repressed, emo lesbian she is.”

“I don’t wanna talk about this,” Kara pouted, mouth full of pizza.

“Chew before you speak, Kara,” Alex chided instantly. “Don’t be gross.”

You’re gross,” Kara grumbled, but she swallowed her pizza before speaking again. “I don’t want to talk about this. I don’t have a crush on Lena.”

“Fine,” Alex said, cutting Maggie off before she could continue. “We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want. We just wanted you to know in case adult-you is harboring any feelings,” Alex pointed out before taking a sip of her wine.

“Alex,” Kara whined.

“Okay, okay, fine. We will put on the TV and eat our pizza in silence, okay?” Alex acquiesced as she reached for the remote.

“Ooh, can we watch Wizard of Oz ?” Kara squealed as the Netflix menu popped up. Alex was already typing it into the search bar.

 

Alex woke to a familiar scream that caused the blood to run ice cold in her veins. Suddenly, she was fifteen years old again, sharing a room with this weird alien girl who woke up screaming most nights because she could see her planet and everyone she’d ever loved exploding in the her escape pod’s reflection. Kara had been dealing with her night terrors for nearly a year before finally seeming to manage them. Then, when Jeremiah ‘died’, they started back up again. Suddenly sweating and on high alert, Alex leapt out of bed, landing lightly on the hardwood floor.

“Wha’s happenin’?” Maggie slurred sleepily as she sat up, rubbing her eyes.

“Kara’s having a nightmare, babe. Go back to bed,” Alex assured her. Maggie just mumbled her assent sleepily before laying back down and closing her eyes. Alex wasn’t entirely certain she had fully woken up. Silently, Alex slipped out of her room and into the guest room where Kara was thrashing wildly in the bed, tangled in her sheets. Alex knew she was probably drenched in sweat, heart pounding madly, but it would panic Kara even more if Alex tried to hold her right now.

“Kara,” Alex said firmly, but not unkindly. “Kara, wake up. You’re safe now. You’re safe, Kara. Wake up.” Slowly, ever so slowly, the words penetrated Kara’s fear-clouded mind and she stopped thrashing, chest rising and falling in earnest as she tried to catch her breath. “You’re safe, Kara. You’re here on Earth, in my apartment in National City. You aren’t in the Phantom Zone, or in the pod. You’re here.”

“Alex,” Kara cried out, her voice breaking as her hand reached blindly for her sister. “Alex,” she repeated, desperate, but unable to move.

“Shhh, I’m here. I’m here with you. Do you want me to hold you?” Alex asked, sitting on the edge of a bed. Her fingers itched to brush the damp, sweaty hair sticking to Kara’s forehead, but she needed to see where Kara was in terms of being touched.

“I just—I need—catch my breath,” she said, exhaling sharply. Kara still laid on the bed, eyes screwed shut even as one hand reached out blindly for Alex. “Hold my—I need you—hold my hand, please?” Alex answered by grabbing Kara’s hand and squeezing it tightly. After a few minutes of Kara counting her breaths and getting her breathing back to something resembling normal, she croaked out a request for Alex to hold her, opening bloodshot, watery eyes to gaze up at her. Alex didn’t complain about the sweaty sheets or how clammy Kara was as she crawled under the covers and lay next to Kara, holding her tightly and using her whole body to put pressure on Kara and activate her parasympathetic nervous system. Within minutes, Kara’s entire body had relaxed.

“Do you want to come back to bed in my room with me and Maggie? Or I could stay here, if you want,” Alex offered, not wanting Kara to fall asleep just yet.

“No, you can go. I’ll be fine here,” Kara said, her voice small.

“Kara, you and I both know that’s not how this works. You’re going to wake up in an hour with more nightmares if you’re alone,” Alex reminded her lightly.

“I’m not a kid anymore, Alex. I’m an adult and I can handle these stupid dreams on my own,” Kara said, but Alex could feel her shoulders tensing as Alex still held her. She increased the pressure of her hug slightly.

“Why won’t you let us help you?” Alex sighed. “You know Maggie won’t be annoyed or whatever if she wakes up and finds you in the bed with us. We’ve both changed your dirty diapers these past few weeks, so when I say a little nightmare soothing and some cuddling is no big deal, please believe me.” Alex smirked.

“Alex,” Kara said, her voice rising two octaves. Alex laughed, knowing that if she shifted to check, she would see Kara’s whole face turning scarlet. “I’ll come with you if you shut up!” Alex laughed and agreed. After Kara went into the bathroom to rinse herself off with a washcloth and put on some new pajamas—well, a different pair of Maggie’s basketball shorts and a t-shirt—Alex wrapped an arm around Kara’s shoulder, squeezing gently before leading her into the bedroom, coaxing Kara into the middle and tucking her in under the covers. Almost immediately, Maggie turned over and shifted closer to Kara, not quite holding her, but close enough for Kara to feel that she was there even if the lights were off. Alex laid holding Kara, practically draped over her. When they woke in the morning, it was to find Alex and Maggie both curled into Kara, each with an arm slung over her torso and a face pressed into her shoulder. She hadn’t had any more nightmares that evening.

Chapter Text

“I’m not actually thirteen years old. And even if I was, you could still leave me alone while you guys go to work!” Kara complained. When they woke up, Alex had explained that Kara would be accompanying her to the DEO while she worked on some paperwork and other bureaucratic annoyances that she’d gotten behind on. Despite Kara’s insistence that she could stay home by herself, Alex was hesitant to leave her alone in this vulnerable state.

“Would you like some cheese with that whine?” Maggie asked, raising an eyebrow as she pulled her belt through the loops of her black jeans, tucking the ends of her white button-down shirt into the front of her pants. Kara’s cheeks burned bright red as she glared at Maggie.

“Plus, you should lay under the sun lamps for a little while,” Alex told her, trying and failing to hide her smirk.

“This sucks ,” Kara groaned, stomping off. As she flopped face-down onto the couch, she felt tears prick in her eyes. Why was she crying , now?

“Enough with the theatrics, kiddo. This tantrum isn’t getting you anywhere,” Alex said sternly. Shame burned through Kara as Alex spoke to her like she was a child. “Get up, brush your teeth, go to the bathroom, and put your coat on. We have to go.” Kara stood abruptly, stomping her feet all the way to the bathroom, angrily swiping at the tears that fell down her cheeks.

“God, how did my parents deal with the both of us?” Alex groaned, leaning back against the kitchen counter and closing her eyes.

“Teenagers are the worst,” Maggie agreed with a smile. “But remember, she’s probably even more mixed up. She went from being 27 to two years old to six years old, and now she’s thirteen? Who even knows what’s going on with her emotions and her mentality. Try and go easy on her, today,” Maggie reminded her, kissing Alex’s cheek. She looped two fingers in Alex’s belt loops, pulling her flush against her own body. “Now, I have to get going. I’m working a double to make up for all the time I’ve taken off recently, so I won’t be home until midday tomorrow.” Maggie leaned forward to kiss her, melting into the feel of Alex’s hands coming up to pull her closer, one on the back of her neck and the other on her hip.

“Text me so I know you’re alive at some point,” Alex whispers breathlessly against Maggie’s lips.

“Will do,” Maggie husks. She presses one more kiss to Alex’s lips before pulling away and pulling on her leather jacket. “See you later, kid! Be good for your sister!” she shouts into the apartment, winking at Alex as she grabs her keys and motorcycle helmet, the door slamming behind her.

“Your shoes are untied,” Alex tells Kara when she walks back into the living room. Kara’s cheeks and blotchy and her eyes are red-rimmed. Kara lets out a little sniffle, not seeming to have heard Alex as she struggles to untangle her sleeve from her coat in order to put it on. “C’mere, Kara,” she says gently, leading Kara to sit down on the couch. She wordlessly tied Kara’s shoes before taking the coat from Kara’s lap and pulling the sleeve through, holding it out to help Kara into it and zipping it for her. “Are you feeling alright, honey?” Alex asked, her voice soft as she combed her fingers through Kara’s hair. Kara just shrugged. “You seem a little out of sorts today, is all.”

“Just tired,” Kara mumbled, shrugging again.

“Maybe you can take a little nap at the DEO,” Alex said tenderly. She stood, holding her hand out for Kara and pulling her to her feet. Kara looked exhausted and so very small in that moment. Alex just wanted to pull her close and keep her safe. Alex settled for putting an arm around her shoulders as they walked to the DEO. She knew she’d need to keep a closer eye on Kara today, though. Clearly, this whole ordeal was taking more of an emotional toll than they’d initially thought.

 

When they got to the DEO, Kara immediately popped in her headphones, curling up in a chair next to Alex’s station in the hub. As Alex worked on her paperwork, occasionally answering questions from other agents, Kara listened to music, wiping her eyes every so often, still crying slightly. She couldn’t remember ever being so overwhelmed by her emotions; Kara couldn’t put it into words even if she tried, but she was exhausted and upset and everything seemed to upset her more. Alex was concerned, but decided to give Kara a little while to pull herself together.

After an hour, Alex had come to a natural stopping point in her paperwork. She stretched her arms above her head, hearing a satisfying pop in her shoulder blade. Turning to address Kara, she found the girl still curled up in the high-backed rolling chair, knees pressed to her chest and head lolling back on her shoulder. Her eyes were closed and her thumb was pressed against her bottom lip, her other hand around her knees. Sighing, Alex tucked a loose strand of hair behind Kara’s ear, kissed her cheek and went over to Winn.

“Hey Alex,” he said, spinning around in his chair. He crossed one leg over his knee, folding his hands onto his opposite knee and raising an eyebrow as he shot her an easy grin. “What can I do ya for?”

“Winn, can you keep an eye on Kara? She’s asleep over there, but I need to go do a few things and I don’t want to wake her up.” Alex jerked her thumb over her shoulder to gesture to the back of the chair where Kara was asleep.

“Teenagers, am I right? My foster parents couldn’t drag me out of bed before noon on weekends. ‘Course, I was also clinically depressed and had PTSD from my dad, but… Eh, whatever. Yeah, I’ll keep an eye on her for you, girl!” Winn said cheerily. Alex put a hand on his shoulder, giving it a grateful squeeze.

“Thanks, Schott. Text me if she wakes up. She’s been in a weird mood. I think this whole rapid aging is really fucking around with her emotional and mental state.” He nods, promising to text her if Kara wakes up. Thanking him again, Alex heads off to her lab in hopes of finding a way to help Kara manage her fragile emotions.

 

“So, she’s crying a lot, she’s moody, and she’s exhausted?” Cisco repeated. Alex had gone to the lab and found the communicator he had rigged up for them, using it to FaceTime with the team at STAR labs.

“Sounds like a teenager to me,” Barry called in the background. Alex heard a muffled thump and Barry yelping. “Sorry, Alex,” he added. Alex rolled her eyes and chuckled.

“Iris?” she asked. Cisco nodded. “Nice. Anyway, she’s not acting like a normal teenager, and she’s not even acting like she did when she first arrived as a teenager. It’s more like… It’s more like how she acted when she was a toddler, or a six year old. It’s different, kind of.”

“It’s probably really confusing for her,” Felicity reasoned, forcing Cisco out of the frame as she and Caitlin came to stand in front of the transmitter. “You said she only has fuzzy memories of what’s been happening to her the past few weeks. Maybe her mind is just trying to piece it all together and it’s overwhelming.”

“Couple that with nightmares about her planet exploding and her wildly fluctuating hormones and you’ve got a recipe for an emotionally overwhelmed kid,” Caitlin concurred. “Isn’t your boss, like, a mind reader? Maybe he can talk to her and try and help her sort out some of those things she can’t quite explain in words.”

“I can try,” Alex sighed. “He usually can’t read her mind since she’s Kryptonian, but maybe since she’s in a solar flare right now, she’s human enough for him to get through.” She ran a hand through her hair. “Thanks, guys. I’ll try that. How’s everything over on your Earth? Did you sort out that metahuman crisis or whatever?” They assured her everything had worked out and Barry scooted Felicity and Caitlin out of the way so he could explain what had happened, gesticulating wildly. Alex laughed along with him and bid them all goodbye, still shaking her head and chuckling as she walked off to find J’onn.

Luckily, J’onn was also on his way to find Alex and he steadied her after they collided in the doorway. “Alex, I was just on my way to find you,” he said with a bemused smile.

“Likewise, sir,” she said, raising one eyebrow. “But you knew that, didn’t you?” He winced apologetically.

“Sorry, sometimes it’s hard to tune out when people are thinking about me.”

“It’s alright, J’onn,” she assured him, leading him back into her lab to sit on two stools at her work bench. “It makes my life a little bit easier since I don’t have to track you down. So, would you be willing to try and look into Kara’s mind? Just so we can try and help her sort through her thoughts and emotions? I hate seeing her so upset.”

“I will gladly talk to Kara about it and how she feels about it. If she isn’t comfortable, or if I can’t read her mind, we can see about setting her up with one of the DEO mental health workers. Pam in HR can help us set up an appointment so they can help Kara get herself settled.” Alex nodded.

“Sounds like a plan.” They stood to go find Winn and Kara to see if she was awake yet, but were interrupted by both of their phones buzzing with an alert about a Fomorian who had been provoked into an attack by a group of anti-alien citizens.

“Sir, I’ll take a team to go try and de-escalate this. Can you still go talk to Kara?” Alex said as they both began jogging towards the DEO hub.

“Are you sure you don’t want me there on Supergirl duty?” he asked. Alex shook her head.

“NCPD is already on their way. Maggie should be able to talk to Fomorian down. Our team is just going to help contain them as necessary.”

“Send updates of your progress, Agent Danvers,” he said as Alex peeled off to go meet her Alpha team in the dispatch bay. She shouted a confirmation over her shoulder as she ran. J’onn continued on his way, quickly walking to the hub where he could both oversee Alex’s mission on the monitors and check on Kara.

 

Kara woke with a startle to a flurry of activity: an alarm beeping, people shouting, heavy footfalls as people ran. Kara was jolted back and all she could remember was the chaos as Krypton was dying. People were shrieking, earthquakes raged and the buildings were falling around her with deafening groans and crashes. Kara-then and Kara-now put their hands against their ears to block out the noise as tears burned in their eyes. Kara tucked her chin into her chest and bit her lip to stop it from wobbling.

“Kara, you are safe. It’s okay,” a strong, deep voice whispered in Kryptonese. Kara opened her eyes, blinking as tears slipped down her cheeks, to find J’onn kneeling in front of the office chair where she had fallen asleep.

“Alarm—someone is in danger. Have to help,” Kara replied frantically, jumping to her feet. The alarm cut off and Kara spun to look at the screen where she could see footage of police officers forming a barricade. Something was roaring and then there was Maggie at the front of it all, holding out her hands to try and soothe the alien that had been backed into a corner. “Maggie,” Kara whimpered and suddenly her chest constricted, making it difficult to breathe.

Maggie will be okay. Alex is meeting her and she’s going to keep her safe. For now, you need to focus on your breathing. You are safe here, Kara,” J’onn repeated. The lilting sounds of Kryptonese falling easily off his tongue in his deep voice grounded Kara in the moment. She focused on steady inhaling and exhaling as he counted for her. She repeated the numbers in her head quietly. In, two, three, four. Hold, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Out, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

“Again,” J’onn said. Kara screwed her eyes shut and sat up straight. They repeated the breathing exercise for a few minutes until Kara felt her breathing steady. Opening her eyes, J’onn gently wipes the tears from her cheeks with one thumb, smiling gently at her. “Better now?” he asked. Kara nodded with a quiet sniffle. Switching back to English, J’onn asked, “why don’t we head to my office? It should be a little quieter there.”

“Sure. Whatever,” she said with a shrug, but J’onn felt the relief rolling off of her in waves as they left the busy center of the DEO and made their way to his office. The Director’s office had glass walls, but with the touch of a button, dark metal shutters covered them, creating a soundproof, bulletproof barrier. Soft lights came on, lighting up the sparsely decorated space. There was a large pile of file folders in J’onn’s inbox and an equally high stack in his outbox. Kara immediately made her way to the black faux-leather couch, slipping out of her shoes and tucking her feet beneath her legs, letting her eyes close as she sighed in contentment.

“So, Kara,” J’onn says quietly after a few moments of silence. Kara opened her eyes. “Alex and Maggie are a little worried about you. Your sister tells me you’ve been rather… upset… this morning,” he said, choosing his words carefully.

“I’m fine ,” Kara snapped immediately.

“Okay,” he said. “But, I want you to know it’s also okay if you aren’t. These must have been a very difficult couple of weeks for you. I imagine they’re also rather confusing.” Kara nodded, picking at imaginary fuzz on her pants to avoid eye contact. “If you’d like, I could try to help you sort through some of those memories. I can try to look into your mind so we can find some clarity for you.”

“Did they ask you to read my mind?” Kara snapped immediately, eyebrows knitting together.

“She asked me to help you,” J’onn said neutrally. “And talk to you. If you’re not comfortable with me trying to read your mind, just say the word and we’ll drop it. If that’s the case, I would also like you to consider seeing one of the DEO therapists. A trained professional might also be helpful in getting you to detangle these memories and emotions.” Kara chewed her lower lip and J’onn waited for her to say something.

“Can we… I would be okay with you reading my mind, but only if you stick to things related to the past few weeks,” Kara said haltingly. “And, like, I don’t want to do this right now.”

“Okay,” he agreed. “Would you be alright with me staying in here with you? Or would you prefer I leave?”

“I don’t need a babysitter,” Kara groaned immediately. J’onn just smiled.

“I never said I was babysitting you. But I’ll leave you here, if you like. If you plan on leaving the office, tell Agent Schott, your sister, or myself, please. There’s a switch on my desk that will turn these lamps to solar lamps.” Kara nodded and J’onn squeezed her shoulder reassuringly as he walked past, on his way to the door.

“J’onn?” she called out just before he closed the door.

“Yes?” he asked, poking his head back into the room.

“Thank you,” she said quietly, but she knew he heard it.

“Of course, Kara,” he replied, giving her one more smile before closing the door behind him.

Chapter Text

As soon as Alex returned to DEO headquarters, she ran to find Winn and, hopefully, Kara. J’onn intersected her, sending her to his office where Kara was curled up on his couch, feet tucked between the cushions as she laid on her side, fiddling around on her phone. Kara looked up when the door opened and she nodded her head in greeting before going right back to her phone.

“Hey, you have a nice nap?” Alex asked. “Sorry I had to disappear while you were sleeping.”

“Whatever. Duty calls. I get it,” Kara shrugged. Alex paused in untying her boots, appraising Kara.

“Are you sure you’re alright?”

“I’m fine ,” Kara snapped. Immediately, she sat up and put the phone on her lap, shrinking apologetically. “Sorry.” She winced. “I didn’t mean to shout.”

“It’s okay,” Alex said immediately. And it was. “I can’t even imagine what this must feel like for you. As soon as I finish the paperwork here, I should be ready to go home with you. We can go and find something fun to do, okay?” Kara nodded, smiling gratefully at Alex. Alex paused. “Kara, I wanted to tell you. I asked J’onn to talk to you, but I imagine he already did, right? If he brought you to his office?”

“Yeah.” Alex stifled the urge to curse.

“I had hoped to warn you before he did,” she said. “I’m sorry. I just—we’re worried about you. This has all been so overwhelming for us, so we can’t even pretend to understand what you must be feeling and you seemed so upset from the moment you woke up today. I just thought he might be able to help you untangle those complicated feelings and memories and everything with his powers.”

“Alex, really, it’s fine,” Kara said, reaching out to put a hand on Alex’s knee, squeezing it reassuringly. “I know you were just… I don’t know. I get it. I mean—fuck, Alex, why can’t I stop crying?” Kara swiped angrily at her eyes as they filled with tears.

“Kara,” Alex sighed, moving to sit on the couch and wrap an arm around Kara’s shoulders, pulling her into her side. Kara wiggled as if trying to pull away before sinking into Alex, resting her head on Alex’s shoulder, sniffling. “You’re a leaky faucet, kid,” Alex teased.

“I know,” Kara said with a watery laugh.

“It’s okay. We think you might just be all mixed up from your brain and body changing so rapidly. Everything gets all fucked up and you’re just more emotional than normal. It’s probably temporary.” She ran her fingers through Kara’s hair carefully.

“And if it’s not?” Kara pouted up at Alex.

“Then we cross that bridge when we come to it. We’ll get you a therapist or something to help you handle your emotions. Lord knows we could all use some therapy around here.” The Danvers sisters both chuckled. “For now, why don’t we just go get something for lunch? We can grab some takeout and go visit Lena if you want.”

“Cool!” Kara jumped to her feet, wiping her cheeks one more time. “Do I look like I’ve been crying?” Alex just rolled her eyes, standing without a word and walking towards the locker room. “Alex?” Kara called. She huffed and pulled out her phone to check her reflection in her camera. “Yikes,” she murmured. She would definitely have to clean herself up a little before lunch.

 

“I wouldn’t peg Lena for the kind of girl who eats from a food truck,” Alex mused as Kara directed her to the taco truck where she wanted to get lunch.

“Are you kidding? Lena loves tacos!” Kara said brightly, thinking of the times she had surprised Lena with lunch from this place and how it had quickly become one of their favorite spots to go for lunch when Lena needed to get out of the office and clear her head. Alex just bit her lip to contain her laughter. Kara frowned when she saw Alex stifling giggles. “What? What did I say?”

“Nothing,” Alex sighed, smiling as she put the car in park. “What should we get her?”

“Lena likes the mahi-mahi tacos and the chips and guac. But, no sour cream on the taco,” Kara recited as she jumped out of her seat and slammed the car door. Alex sighed as she got out, staring up at the sky for a moment.

“Fish tacos,” she murmured quietly before turning back to Kara, who hadn’t stopped talking.

“—usually get a lot, but I guess I’ll get a beef burrito and a chicken taco. Oh! And the nachos! Alex, you have to get yourself some nachos. They’re so good,” Kara gushed. She fiddled with her phone—freshly charged after spending the last couple of weeks sitting in Alex’s nightstand completely drained of battery. Now that Kara was old enough to use her phone again, Alex had returned it to her.

“Kara, that’s a lot of food for just one human,” Alex reminded her softly, cautious of the other people waiting in the line.

“But I’m a growing teenager,” Kara pouted.

“You’ll give yourself a stomach ache,” Alex said, but even she knew that she would give in to Kara. Kara deepened her pout and Alex sighed. “Fine. But eat it slowly so you don’t throw up, please?”

“I never throw up, Alex.” Kara actually scoffed as if this actually insulted her.

“Really? I seem to remember taking care of a puking little girl not too long ago. You had a stomach bug, so you were a mess. You were so dehydrated from puking and pooping that Mom had to put in an IV.”

“Alex!” Kara squawked, cheeks bright red. “Gross!” Alex barked out a laugh.

“You think talking about it is gross? Imagine having to clean up after you!” Alex teased. “Apparently Lena was very concerned about you.”

“Oh my God, Lena took care of me?” Kara whispered, jaw dropped.

For just a moment, Alex considered lying. Just to see how Kara reacted, of course. But, Alex decided to be nice. “Not while you were really sick. She was on Earth-1 working with Cisco and Caitlyn. I mean, she did take care of you for a bit while I was gone and Maggie was called in for an emergency. Apparently, you threw up during story time at the library.”

“Oh my God,” Kara groaned, covering her face in her hands. “That is so embarrassing.” As they stepped to the front of the line, Alex ordered their meals and paid. They took a seat while they waited for their number to be called.

“It really wasn’t that bad. Lena’s been really understanding and helpful. She’s actually been surprisingly chill about it all,” Alex said after a moment. “She’s got a high tolerance for weird.” Kara laughed.

“Yeah, I guess her life is kind of crazy.” Alex hummed her agreement and the sisters fell silent until their number was called. “Can we walk to her office?” It was a few blocks, but the sun was shining and Kara just wanted to soak up the warmth on her skin. The sun lamps in J’onn’s office had been fine, but the lamps didn’t feel quite as satisfying as the actual sun.

“Sure thing, little star,” Alex said easily. Kara stumbled slightly. She hadn’t heard that nickname since Astra… But no… that wasn’t right. A memory tickled at the edges of her subconscious, a voice as warm and soothing as honey calling her ‘little star’ in Kryptonese. “You good, Kara?” Alex asked.

“Yeah,” Kara exhaled, skipping a few steps ahead of Alex. “Let’s go! I’m starving.”

 

Lena sat with her chair facing the windows, though she had long ago pressed the button to darken them, bathing the room in cool, dim shadows. She knew that she had a migraine coming on, but she had far too much to do to stop now, so Lena hoped that keeping the room dim and quiet would hold the migraine at bay until she could get herself home at the end of the day. Unfortunately, the light emitting from her computer screen had made her eyes ache and she sat with one hand covering her eyes and the other massaging her temple.

“Ah, Jess, perfect,” she said as she heard the door open. “You have Excedrin in your desk, don’t you? This headache is killing me.” Lena groaned. Why did these migraines come at the most inconvenient times?

“I sent Jess on her lunch break,” Alex’s cool voice said softly. Lena spun around, startled, but the sudden burst of light spilling through the doorway made her wince. “Kara and I came to bring you lunch, but it appears we’ll be bringing you home, too?”

“It’s just a headache,” Lena said dismissively.

“Mhmm.” Alex’s expression said more than her humming ever could. “How much water have you had today?”

“Four cups? I don’t know, I drank two whole water bottles.” Lena smiled reassuringly as Kara nervously hovered on the other side of her desk holding a paper bag that smelled like tacos.

“And how much did you sleep last night?”

“A solid five hours.” Technically it was more like four... or maybe three and a half... but she could round up, right?

“And what did you eat for breakfast? What snacks have you eaten this morning?” Lena opened her mouth to respond before pausing, brows furrowed, and closing it. “You did eat breakfast, right?”

“I’m always nauseous when I wake up,” Lena said defensively. “And I was in meetings all morning. I only just got back to my office an hour ago with this terrible headache.”

“Okay, so here’s what’s gonna happen,” Alex said decisively. “You’re going to call Jess. Or email or text or whatever. And then you’ll ask her to shift any meetings you have this afternoon. We’re taking you home to eat lunch and take a nap and rest. If you wake up with a headache, take an ibuprofen and close your eyes again. Sound good?”

“Alex, I can’t just take off whenever. I’ve already rescheduled my meeting with my new CFO twice. I can’t do it again,” Lena argued. “I’ll eat lunch and rest on the couch until my meeting.”

“When’s the meeting?”

“Two hours.”

Alex exhaled sharply. “Fine. But you better close your eyes and rest the whole time. Five hours is not enough sleep with a job as stressful as yours.”

“Deal,” Lena agreed, abruptly walking over to her office couch and sinking into it next to Kara, kicking her heels off and tucking her feet underneath herself. “What’s for lunch?”

“Tacos from that truck a few blocks down! I know it’s your favorite. We walked here from there since it’s so nice out. I mean, I guess you couldn’t see that since the sun probably hurts your eyes right now. It was beautiful, though! When you’re feeling better, you should go stand on your balcony to feel the sun. It’s so great, isn’t it?” Kara rambled. In the low light, Alex watched Kara rambling, completely ignoring her lunch until her stomach let out a monstrous growl.

“Eat, Kara.” Alex nudged Kara’s shin with her foot. Kara gave an embarrassed shrug before digging into her nachos. The three ate in comfortable silence and by the time Lena had finished her tacos, she was struggling to keep her eyes open, barely stifling her yawns.

“Lay down,” Alex urged her gently when Kara stood to go to the bathroom. Sleepy and sated and compliant, Lena laid down and smiled sleepily when Alex laid her leather jacket over Lena as a coat. Lena was asleep before Kara returned.

Chapter Text

Alex and Kara had stayed with Lena until Jess came in fifteen minutes before the meeting to remind her about it, partly because Kara insisted on not leaving without saying goodbye and partly so Alex could make sure Lena actually slept. Jess had been surprised to find Alex with her shoes off, draped over a chair as she read one of the many paperback crime novels Lena kept stashed in the office. Kara was sitting with her eyes closed on the balcony, the door cracked open enough that Alex could see her, but not open enough for the light to bother Lena, who had slept soundly for an hour and a half.

“Come on, kid,” Alex said to Kara, marking her page in the book as Jess went over to shake Lena’s shoulder gently. “Lena’s got work to do.” Lena grumbled sleepily as she sat up, rubbing her eye with the heel of her hand. Kara came bounding back in, beaming and rejuvenated from her time in the sun. Lena, on the other hand, looked like a cranky toddler. She scowled slightly, barely opening her eyes. Her hair was rumpled and there were lines on her face from the couch pillow.

“Bye, Lena!” Kara said, going over for a hug. Lena’s sleepy scowl quickly morphed into a smile as she hugged Kara, whispering her own goodbye before forcing herself to stand up and wake up. She only had fifteen minutes to fix her hair, her makeup, and prep herself for this meeting. She quietly thanked Alex before they left but Alex just waved it off, wishing her luck in the meeting and tucking the book under her arm.

“Now what?” Kara asked once they were in the elevator. Alex shrugged, checking her phone. While they were sitting with Lena, Maggie had texted to remind Alex about what they were out of at home. “We could go to the grocery store, since you seem so keen on eating us out of house and home.”

“Awesome!” Kara ignored Alex’s teasing. “I’m starving.”

“Why does that not surprise me?” Alex rolled her eyes, digging through her bag and handing Kara a protein bar. Kara just munched happily, though that would only hold her over for so long, Alex knew.

 

“Can we have pizza for dinner, Alex? Ooh! And potstickers?” Kara asked after they finished putting away the groceries. As it appeared, a side-effect of Kara’s constant exposure to sunlight and sunlamps included these bursts of hyperactive energy.

“Kara, we just bought a bunch of groceries. We’re not ordering pizza and potstickers,” Alex said firmly, turning her body to peer into the fridge, searching for the milk that was right in front of her face; Alex really didn’t want Kara’s pout to sway her.

“Please?” Kara whined and Alex knew she was pouting right now.

“I’m going to make lemon chicken piccata.”

“When you burn it, then can we order pizza and potstickers?” Alex scoffed and slammed the fridge.

“I’m not going to burn it.” Alex got herself some water instead. “Why don’t you go draw or read a book or something? I need a little nap.” Kara sighed heavily as if this sincerely inconvenienced her, but nodded and went into the guest room which had once again been updated. The clothes she’d grown out of had been donated, as had most of the toys. For some reason unbeknownst to Kara, Alex and Maggie had decided to keep the stuffed toys they’d gotten her along with the rocking chair that Lena had gifted them. Kara had brought her laptop, some of her art supplies, and a few books from her apartment, along with her favorite blanket. (Kara still didn’t understand why she couldn’t just stay at her own apartment since she wasn’t actually thirteen.) Sighing dramatically, Kara flopped down on the bed and began to fiddle around on her phone before laying her head down to take a quick nap herself.

 

Much to Kara’s disappointment, Alex did not burn the lemon chicken piccata, but rather cooked it perfectly.

“Can we at least have pizza tomorrow?” Kara asked through a mouthful of chicken.

“Try that again without the food in your mouth,” Alex admonished, leveling Kara with a stern look. Kara squirmed, cheeks pink. Why did Alex’s chastisement make her so disappointed with herself? Swallowing, Kara tried again.

“Can we please have pizza tomorrow?”

“Much better,” Alex said with a small, proud smile. Kara preened under the praise. “We’ll see about tomorrow. I have to work again and Maggie will have just gotten out of a double, so she’ll need to sleep.” Kara groaned.

“I don’t want to go sit around the DEO again. Can’t I stay here?” Kara asked as she shovelled pasta into her mouth.

“Kara, I really don’t think that’s a great idea. What if any of your powers start kicking in? What if one of Supergirl’s enemies comes looking to make trouble? Like Lillian Luthor? What if there’s an emergency?” Alex gestured with her fork as she listed possible catastrophes.

“I’m an adult!” Kara shouted.

“Not right now you’re not. You’re a preteen right now and you’ve got no powers. It’s not safe. If you were a normal twelve or thirteen year old? Sure, stay home. But you’re not, Kara.” Alex’s voice was scarily calm.

“But Maggie will be coming back, so it’s not like I’ll be alone all day,” Kara retorted, stabbing at the air with her fork, the piece of chicken almost flying off of it.

“Maggie will have been at work for almost thirty hours at that point. She needs to come home and go straight to bed, not worry about keeping an ear out for you.” Alex was frustratingly calm. Kara, on the other hand, couldn’t seem to control her temper. She knew she was overreacting, but she was too upset and frustrated to be able to communicate that and stop freaking out about something so miniscule in the long run.

“So, what? I just have to go sit around the DEO because you say so? That isn’t fair !” Kara hated how her voice cracked.

“Kara, I’m not continuing this conversation if you’re just going to yell. Why don’t you go calm down in your room before we talk about this?” Alex was clenching her fists underneath the table and counting her breaths to try and keep from yelling back at Kara. She knew that Kara couldn’t really help her childish outbursts, but it was difficult not to yell back. Jeremiah had always been good at defusing Alex’s outbursts. After he died, Eliza tried but it only made Alex angrier.

“I don’t wanna go to my room. I’m not a child! You can’t put me in a timeout!” Alex just picked up her plate and moved into the kitchen. She pushed her remaining pasta into a plastic container. She wasn’t hungry anymore.

“Fine. You can stay in here if you want. Let me know when you’re ready to discuss things like the adult you claim to be.” Kara let out a frustrated shriek before stomping off to her room and slamming the door. “We don’t slam doors in this house, Kara!” Alex shouted before she could stop herself. She could hear her mother shouting some version of those very same words so many times from her youth. We don’t slam doors, Alexandra. Slamming doors is disrespectful. Slam that door again and I’ll remove it from its hinges. (Everyone in the house realized Eliza would have never followed through on that threat, but it still pissed off a seventeen-year-old Alex.) Frustrated and wondering if she was being too hard on Kara, Alex pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed.

 

It was just over an hour before Kara returned to the living room. She had changed into a pair of Supergirl fleece pajama pants and a well-worn long-sleeve Stanford t-shirt that Alex recognized as one she bought freshman year and promptly lost (though apparently it had just migrated to Kara’s closet). Kara pulled the sleeves over her hands, twisting her hands in front of her. Her gaze was trained on the ground as she sat on the couch across from Alex, who was reading the book she’d borrowed from Lena. Alex didn’t look up until Kara spoke.

“I’m sorry, Alex,” she said softly. Alex immediately put the book down and turned to look at Kara, who still wasn’t looking at her. “I shouldn’t have yelled or slammed the door.”

“Thank you for apologizing,” Alex said softly. She came over to sit next to Kara, careful not to touch her until Kara gave her permission with a brief nod. “I know this is all very overwhelming for you.”

“I was just so mad . And I couldn’t—I mean, I knew I was angry and annoyed and frustrated but I don’t—I couldn’t figure out how to say that. Or anything, really, that wasn’t bratty. I know you’re just trying to protect me, or whatever.” Kara pulled a pillow into her lap and glanced at Alex. Alex smiled and scooted closer to Kara, watching as Kara tried to suppress a smile. Kara shifted and leaned into Alex’s side. Alex just put an arm around Kara’s shoulder.

“I am always trying to protect you,” Alex reminded her. “I understand that the DEO is boring for you when you don’t have your powers and you can’t really do much. However, I still don’t want you here alone.” Kara sighed.

“I guess I’ll bring a book or something,” Kara muttered.

“Or,” Alex said, drawing the word out. “I texted Lena to see what she’s doing tomorrow. She has to go into work, but her day will be more exciting for you. She was planning on going down into R&D all day to work with some of her project leaders who are hitting roadblocks. She offered to let you tag along, if you want.” Before Alex even finished explaining, Kara was hugging Alex, beaming and squealing.

“Yes, yes, yes! That sounds so much cooler! No offense,” she added. Alex just smiled and rolled her eyes.

“Whatever. I know hanging out with me isn’t as cool as hanging out with your crush—sorry, I mean your best friend ,” Alex teased. Kara immediately shoved her.

“Alex! I don’t have a crush,” Kara whined, but her cheeks were pink and she couldn’t quite make eye contact as she said it.

“Whatever you say, kid,” Alex chuckled. Huffing, Kara relaxes back into Alex’s side.

“Can we watch a movie?” Kara asked after a minute.

“As long as it’s PG-13 or under. Hey!” Alex spluttered as Kara whacked her in the face with the pillow.

“You’re so annoying,” Kara grumbled. Alex just laughed as she pulled up the Netflix selection menu, shaking her head and grinning.

 

“Okay, there are some rules for today,” Alex said, zipping up Kara’s coat for her. Kara swatted Alex’s hands away, cheeks blazing.

“I can zip my own coat, Alex,” she snapped.

“Clearly you can’t because we’re about to go outside and it’s still unzipped,” Alex replied as they stepped out of the elevator and into the lobby to meet Lena.

“It’s not even that cold,” Kara muttered, rolling her eyes.

“Well, excuse me for making sure you don’t get a cold,” Alex said sarcastically. “Now, the rules.” Taking Kara by the arm, Alex led them to a corner of the lobby by the door where they were less likely to be overheard.

“I’m not five years old!” Alex fought the urge to quip that it was just a few days ago that she had been six years old.

“Stay with Lena, or stay where Lena tells you. Don’t wander, don’t snoop, don’t get lost. While you’re in the labs with her, use all of the personal protective equipment offered. You aren’t invulnerable. And , don’t show off too much of your knowledge in front of others. You can’t stand out, especially while you’re vulnerable. Be polite. Thank Lena for agreeing to watch you. I put some money in your coat pocket for any food or drinks she buys you. Text me every few hours so I know you’re alive, please?” Alex paused and murmured to herself, “alright, anything else?” To Kara, she continued, “okay, no we’re all good. Is Lena here yet?”

“She’s been here for five minutes,” Kara pointed out, gesturing to the front door where Lena was waiting, twisting her keys in her hand and waiting anxiously. She waved and beamed when she realized they were looking at her.

“Good morning! I didn’t want to interrupt since it looked important,” Lena explained as Kara ran over and pulled her into a hug. Alex rolled her eyes at Kara as she walked over, pulling Lena into a brief hug when Kara finally let go.

“Just giving Kara a few rules to follow, right kiddo?” Alex said, ruffling Kara’s hair. Kara squawked in indignation as she tried to smooth her hair. “Thanks again for offering to hang out with her today. I think she would have combusted if I made her come to work with me again. Call me if she gives any trouble, okay?”

“I’m sure she won’t give me any trouble,” Lena smiled teasingly, “and it’s no problem.”

“I’m right here,” Kara pointed out, the tips of her ears bright red. “You don’t have to talk about me like I’m not.”

“Aww, poor little Kara,” Alex teased, loudly smacking a kiss on her cheek. “Better? Be good! Don’t let Lena work too long without breaks!” Waving, Alex headed off towards the DEO.

“Well,” Lena said, turning to Kara with a smile. “Should we get breakfast on our way in?” Despite the fact that Kara had just had scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, she nodded eagerly, following Lena into the towncar that was idling in front of the building.

 

Chapter Text

“So, I’m sure you’re curious about our plans for the day,” Lena said once they had ordered their breakfast (chocolate-chip pancakes with whipped cream and a side of hash browns for Kara and a fruit bowl with a kale smoothie for Lena). She rested her elbows on the table, intertwining her fingers and resting her chin on her hands, quirking an eyebrow at Kara.

“Uh,” Kara stammered, immediately dropping her eyes to her lap. That eyebrow. Quickly, Kara shook her head to clear the images of Lena quirking that eyebrow at her in bed. “I mean, yeah. I could—I’m sure you’ll keep it interesting. More interesting than sitting at the D—at Alex’s office,” Kara corrected herself quickly, aware of the possibility of anyone listening. “Anything’s better than watching her do paperwork in between… tasks.”

“Yes, I’d imagine that’s boring. Oh, thank you.” Lena turned to smile at the waitress as she delivered Kara’s orange juice and Lena’s coffee (immediately Kara wished she had ordered something more grown-up than juice). Kara loved the way Lena’s entire face lifted when she smiled. As if it were some Pavlovian response, Kara smiled in response to Lena’s. 

“I love the way they make their coffee here. Something about it…” Lena trailed off with an appreciative hum as she took her first sip.

“Made with love, probably?” Kara suggested. Lena nodded with a small laugh.

“I’d like to think so, yes. But where were we? Ah, yes—our plans for today. You picked a good day to come into work with me. I asked Jess to make sure I didn’t have any meetings today so I could go down to the labs. I try to do this at least twice a month. R&D is where my heart truly lies, not in board meetings,” Lena confided, gesticulating with her hands. Kara found herself watching Lena’s hands, her long, pale fingers pointing and gesturing as she spoke. There was an uncomfortable feeling behind her eyes. She blinked hard. “Are you okay, Kara?” Lena asked.

“Peachy!” Kara chirped. “Just… Tired, maybe? Headache? I don’t know, I don’t get them often.”

“Mmm, I’d imagine you wouldn’t,” Lena mused. “I get them quite often. If you like, we can get this to go and bring it to the office. We can sit upstairs and eat it with the shades drawn and a noise canceller. I find that usually helps me when I get migraines.”

“No, no, I’m fine. It was just a twinge. Keep telling me about what we’re doing today. What projects are we helping with? I mean, you’ll do more of the helping, but I can try! I know a lot about science!”

“Really? I didn’t know that.”

“No, I am! I wasn’t really allowed to show off too much growing up because… y’know,” Kara whispered with a shrug. Lena nodded. “But I’ve always been good at it.”

“So when I asked you about polyatomic anions—”

“I really didn’t know what you were talking about at first,” Kara confided. “I didn’t know the right translation, but I googled them after and then recognized them. I know a lot, but since I never really got to study higher level sciences, I don’t have all of the words translated for myself.”

“Interesting,” Lena hummed. Kara blushed and squirmed under her scrutinization and that twinge of pain behind her eyes returned. It was quelled by the waitress bringing over their food. All discussion of polyatomic anions and Kara’s background in science was paused as they both began to eat.

 

“Miss Luthor, welcome! Oh, and who is this?” a portly middle-aged woman exclaimed as she watched Lena walk into the first floor lab, Kara on her heels.

“Sonia, this is Kara. She’s the daughter of a friend,” Lena lied. “I hope it’s alright that she’s here with us today. I offered to babysit.” Kara visibly bristles at the word, scrunching her nose in protest.

“Of course, Miss Luthor,” Sonia said with a smile. “Hello, Kara. I’m Dr. Sonia Kelburn, head of the health technologies department.” Her hand was calloused and rough in Kara’s, but her smile was warm.

“Cool. I’m Kara.”

“Do you like science, Kara? Or engineering?” Dr. Kelburn asked, crossing her arms over her chest as she appraised Kara.

“I do! I mean, I haven’t really had experience on the level that you guys are working at, obviously. But it’s cool. I’m excited to see some of what you’re doing today!” Kara bounced on her toes as if suddenly realizing how thrilling it was to finally be able to revisit the things she’s learned while studying for the Science Guild.

“Well, I’m glad you’re excited about it. Miss Luthor, the team is ready to meet with you and give you a status report before we begin,” Dr. Kelburn said, clapping Kara’s shoulder before looking back to Lena. While Kara had been distracted, Lena had undergone a transformation. Her hair, which had been loose around her shoulders, had been pulled back into a high ponytail. Her gaze, which had been friendly and warm, had hardened as her eyes narrowed and Kara could see the cogs turning in her head. She had pulled on a white lab coat over her black slacks and silk maroon top, buttoning it up. 

“Excellent, let’s go. Ready, Kara?” Lena turned and immediately, her gaze softened and she gave Kara a small smile as she held out a spare lab coat for her. Kara nodded, quickly pulling the jacket on as she followed Lena and Dr. Kelburn, rolling up the sleeves where they were too long. As Kara looked down the button the jacket, she noticed that it was Lena’s lab coat, embroidered with her name and the L-Corp logo. Blushing, Kara fought the urge to bring it to her nose and see if it smelled like Lena.

 

“So, the problem is the laser overheats. We’ve tried changing the angle, changing the temperature, and the frequency, but we’re currently stuck,” one of the younger researchers finished explaining. Dr. Kelburn had led them deeper into the lab to find several ultrasound lasers set up on different tables, each pointed at its own organic tumor matter in glass beakers. There was broken glass shattered on a few tables and there was a faint scent of smoke in the air. Each table had at least two white boards behind it filled with scrawled formulas, diagrams, and many question marks.

“Okay,” Lena mumbled, nodding. She focused her gaze down on one of the lasers. “What if we gave it time to cool down in between? Turn it on, monitor the heat, then give it a rest.” There was a flurry of motion as the researchers broke down into smaller groups, each deciding to use a different amount of time between blasts with the ultrasound. Lena turned back to Kara. “Do you have any questions? Or suggestions?” 

“The lasers. How are they reducing the tumor?” Kara immediately asked. This concept was familiar, but it had been a long time since she’d thought about the Science Guild and she had forgotten some of the translations.

“So, the lasers are high-intensity, focused ultrasound waves. It uses non-ionized ultrasonic waves to focus heat energy and use it to destroy the tumor,” Lena explained. Kara’s eyes lit up.

“Yes! I know what you mean! So, the problem is the laser is producing too much heat and would kill the person if this were actually used to treat tumors.”

“That’s exactly right,” Lena beamed. “So, we’re trying to figure out how to balance the heat output needed to reduce the tumor and the maximum heat the human body can withstand.”

“But if you wait between applications of the laser, won’t it cool down too much? And by the time it heats up enough to start reducing the tumor again, it’ll overheat again.”

“Potentially, yes,” Lena admitted. “But we have to try so we can rule it out before moving on.” Kara nodded.

“But what if there were two lasers?” she asked hesitantly. “You could alternate them so that while one is on, the other is off. Then, when the heat output for laser A gets too high, it can turn off and laser B turns on and it just keeps going like that. Then, there’s constant heat on the tumor, but the laster’s heat output doesn’t ever reach that critical point.”

“Yes, but that runs the risk of doubling the heat output affecting the surrounding tissue. I’ll have one of the teams run the numbers and we’ll try that next,” Lena promised. Kara beamed, bouncing on her toes as Lena went to bring her idea to Dr. Kelburn. Her excitement and pride quickly shifted when Lena bent over the lab table to speak to Dr. Kelburn, pointing at the lasers as she spoke. Her lab coat rode up and Kara got a glimpse of the way Lena’s slacks hugged her hips, outlining every curve. Kara felt her cheeks heat up as she imagined running her hands—much more grown-up hands, mind you—over Lena’s hips, fingers digging into the soft flesh.

Kara’s eyes burned again and she squirmed in place, suddenly uncomfortably overheated and damp with sweat and other fluids between her legs. Stop that, creep! Don’t objectify Lena. Stabs of guilt hit her and Kara forced herself to try and focus on the science in front of her, running the equations in her mind to distract herself. Calculate the heat output of two lasers. Don’t think about Lena. Of course, trying not to think about something only made one think about it more, and now Kara was sweating, unable to look anywhere near Lena lest Lena suddenly gain the ability to read her mind (or just take one look at her and know ).

“Kara, are you alright?” Lena asked, turning from the lab table and taking a few steps closer to her. 

“Uh, I have to go to the bathroom,” she blurted out, darting back to where she knew the bathrooms were, slamming the door behind her, quickly stepping into the nearest cubicle and locking the door. She closed her eyes and fell to her knees next to the toilet. She didn’t know why this was happening. This was worse than when she had actually been a teenager. In Midvale, she had never been this horny and awkward. Granted, the only person she’d had feelings for had been murdered in cold blood, but still. Why was it this hard ? Ugh, no pun intended , she thought ruefully.

“Kara, love, are you alright?” Lena called from just outside the door, knocking gently. Kara heard the door hinges creak as Lena entered. “Kara?”

“In here,” she said miserably. 

“Are you feeling alright?” she asked. Kara pictured her leaning against the counter, arms crossed and face pinched in concern. 

“Better now,” Kara said, and she was. Something about sitting on the cold tile floor of a bathroom managed to snap her out of her horny frenzy. Or maybe it was the moment of distance from Lena. Either way, she was starting to feel less overheated and overwhelmed. “I just started getting really hot and overwhelmed, I think.” Kara ran a hand through her hair nervously. 

“Do you need anything? Do you want to go up to my office and lie down for a bit? Or I could have someone bring you water,” Lena offered. Kara shook her head, though Lena couldn’t see her.

“No, I’ll be out in a minute. I just need a second, I think.”

“Okay. I’ll be out in the lab if you need me, okay?” 

“Thanks,” Kara said softly. She heard Lena hum before the door opened and closed once again. Kara took another minute to breathe and collect her thoughts before sitting on the toilet to clean herself up. She splashed some cold water on her face and neck after washing her hands and, after patting herself dry, went back out to the lab. Kara blushed when she saw everyone turned to look at her before most pointedly looked away. Dr. Kelburn smiled sympathetically at her, and Lena gave her a soft smile.

“Feeling better?” Dr. Kelburn asked quietly.

“Yeah, thanks,” Kara said, giving a tight smile.

“Oh, I’ve certainly gotten my fair share of migraines,” she continued. “Sometimes there’s nothing to do but sit somewhere quiet for a bit while the medicine takes effect. Yours works quite fast!”

“Yes, she uses a nasal spray, right Kara?” Kara nodded at Lena, not entirely knowing what medicine Lena was referring to, but trusting her lie anyway.

“Oh, delightful. Right into the bloodstream, hmmm?” Dr. Kelburn laughed. Kara flinched slightly at the sudden loud sound. “Oh, sorry.”

“Oh, it’s alright. Lena, I actually think I might go up to your office to lie down for an hour or so, if that’s okay?” Kara asked. Her eyes still burned the longer she looked at Lena and it was making her head ache. Lena’s brows knit together in concern and she took a step towards Kara with her hand out before pausing as if waiting for something.

“Do you need me to take you up there?” she asked, voice soft as she came closer. Kara shook her head, leaning in to give Lena permission. Lena rested her hand on Kara’s shoulder and squeezed it.

“No, I can get back up there,” she assured Lena.

“Okay. You’ve got your visitor ID badge? I’ll text security and let them know you’re going straight up to my office. Text me when you’re ready to come back down, okay?” Kara nodded and waved at the rest of the research team before leaving, rubbing her eyes and her temple in hopes of relieving some of the ache.

 

Up in the quiet of Lena’s office, Kara felt the burning behind her eyes go away. She texted Alex about it to keep her updated on anything to do with her health during this whole… episode, then put her phone down and closed her eyes. Part of Kara wondered if this had anything to do with her powers, but wouldn’t she know if they had come back already? Besides, it had only been a couple of days. Surely that hadn’t been enough time for her body to absorb enough solar energy to start manifesting her powers. Besides, her heat vision didn’t hurt her eyes like this.

Still, Kara felt restless up in that office. Alex never texted her back, so Kara figured she must have gotten busy in the field or just caught up in the lab. With Alex, either option was equally likely. Kara tried to clear her mind and just relax, thinking that was the cause of her headache symptoms (she still didn’t know what to call these weird pains she was getting). Kara dimmed the lights, laid on the couch, closed her eyes, even tried playing some ASMR white noise to block out any sounds that might be bothering her.

Nothing seemed to work. Kara spent most of her time wondering what Lena was doing and whether or not her suggestions to the team were helping. All Kara really wanted was for Lena to be proud of her. It felt silly and childish when she put it like that, like a four year old who wanted her mom to praise her for coloring inside the lines. Kara knew how it sounded, but she also knew it was an accurate assessment. Huffing, she sat up on the couch and put her head in her hands, elbows on her knees. Letting out a groan, Kara knew she would have to do something to actually address these feelings once she was back to normal.

Kara actually believed she’d been doing pretty well at keeping a lid on her feelings for Lena. In fact, she kept them so well buried that Kara hadn’t recognized the feelings herself for over a year of being Lena’s ‘best friend’. But now? Now that her baby self had spent over a week clinging to Lena’s pant leg, throwing up on her, having dirty diapers changed by her, all while calling her ‘my ‘Ena’? Now that her six year old self had cried at the thought of disappointing Lena, peed her pants at Lena’s office, and continued to cling to Lena while proclaiming some weird ownership of her? Now that she couldn’t hide those feelings any longer? Kara didn’t know how she was supposed to face Lena once this was all over.

One problem at a time, Zor-El, she thought, steeling herself. After nearly forty minutes of sitting in Lena’s office, she thinks she feels better. Or, at least, as better as Kara will feel while everything about her just feels so off . She can’t wait to get back into her own body.

Shooting off a quick text to Lena letting her know Kara was back on her way down, Kara headed out, stopping to grab a bottle of water from Lena’s office mini-fridge. She pulled her hair back into a high ponytail to try and feel more like herself, more normal and in control of her emotions. It was really irritating to feel like she was constantly on the verge of screaming or crying. Kara couldn’t quite put the feelings into words, but it just felt like so much sometimes and she didn’t know how to make it better, not while she was like this. Even her first time around as a teenager hadn’t been this frustrating.

After an impossibly long ride in the elevator, Kara made her way back to the correct lab. In her absence, they had all crowded around one lab bench, watching as three lasers seemed to alternate beams, focusing on the small mass in the beaker. Before their very eyes, it was shrinking. 

It took Kara only a second to spot Lena in the crowd, bent low over the lab table, resting her full weight on her elbows. There were small wisps of hair that had escaped her high ponytail, curling out wildly around the goggles she and all of her employees were wearing. Her heels had been traded for sensible converse sneakers. Her lab coat had been rucked up over her waist and her sleeves were shoved down to her elbows. Kara had a side view of Lena, at the perfect angle to see the way the slacks tightened over her ass as well as the excitement on her face as the latest trial continued. Her entire face lit up, green eyes wide and alight in triumph and teeth biting her lower lip so hard Kara swore she would be bleeding. Standing stock still in the doorway, Kara’s gaze couldn’t seem to decide where to land: on the swell of Lena’s ass and her hips in those sinfully tight pants, or on the euphoric expression on her face. For just a fraction of a second, Kara imagined the kind of face Lena would make when Kara’s hands were gripping her ass, squeezing; she wondered if it would be anywhere near as captivating as she looked in this moment.

In an instant, Kara felt her eyes burn painfully at the same time as a painful burning settled in the pit of her stomach and between her legs she ached . Kara didn’t even realize what had happened until just after her heat vision stuttered, shattering the glass beaker they’d all been focusing on. Kara blinked forcefully, trying to stop it, but another blast hit the table, then another hit one of the lasers. At the sound of startled shrieks, Kara finally managed to screw her eyes shut, whimpering.

“Fuck!” Lena sighed. Kara peeked open one eye. “Everyone alright? Oh! Kara! Are you okay?” Kara looked out at everyone from behind her hands, spreading her fingers to peek out. She nodded quickly before shutting her eyes again, undecided on whether she should be afraid or mortified. Somewhere, she heard Lena dismissing her employees for a paid break, taking time to cool down and regroup before coming back to this later to continue trials.

Dimly, Kara wanted to laugh. She was the one who needed to cool down. An ice cold shower, probably. She doesn’t know why it took her so long to realize what that burning behind her eyes was: heat vision, triggered by the burning arousal deep in her belly. Shame burned through her as Kara realized she had objectified Lena so thoroughly that she’d almost started a fire. How could she ever look Lena in the eye?

“Kara?” Lena whispered, suddenly much closer. Kara flinched, having been so zoned out that she didn’t register Lena’s footsteps growing closer, nor the scent of her shampoo (something flowery, lavender maybe?) mingled with her perfume (something flowery and airy) had invaded her nostrils. “That was you, wasn’t it?” Kara’s pained whine was enough of an answer. “Can you put your hands down?” Lena asked gently. “I want to see your eyes.” Kara gave a jerky shake of her head, panicked at the thought of accidentally hurting Lena with her faulty heat vision. “Please?” Fuck. Kara couldn’t say no to her.

Slowly lowering her hands, Kara opened her eyes, a little surprised to find tears coming from them rather than lasers. “I didn’t mean to,” she whispered pitifully, twisting her fingers anxiously, holding them close to her belly as she shifted from foot to foot, trying to alleviate the sudden heat between her legs.

“It’s okay, Kara,” Lena assured her. “We’ll figure out what happened. I’ll take care of you.” She rests one hand on Kara’s cheek and Kara leans into the comforting touch, letting her eyes flutter closed again, though not out of fear this time. And, despite Kara’s fear, her uncertainty about what was happening to her and what was going on in her own body, she believed Lena. 

Lena would always take care of her; if she was certain of anything in the world, it was that.

Chapter Text

When they still couldn’t reach Alex, Kara called Winn with hopes that he could connect them with Alex or J’onn. Though Kara was loathe to explain exactly what had triggered her heat vision, she knew Alex would need to know exactly what had happened. Unfortunately, Alex and J’onn were both in the field dealing with a multi-car pileup on the highway and a Draaga holding hostages in the bank. Kara insisted she would be fine for another few hours and Winn agreed he would tell Alex what had happened once they had everything handled (though he was terrified Alex might kill him for not telling her immediately).

“We’ll be fine, Winn. I just… wanted to see if she was there,” Kara said. “I can handle it. Don’t worry about it. Bye, Winn!” Kara shouted quickly. She certainly didn’t need him asking any questions about the sudden return of her heat vision.

“Oh, thanks, Winn!” Lena called, but Kara had already hung up. “Well, you were certainly eager to get off the phone with him,” Lena teased with a laugh.

“Just… didn’t want him to ask about my heat vision,” she admitted, shrugging. Her cheeks were pink, but she forced herself to think about climate change and melting ice caps and anything to distract her from Lena’s smile and the way it makes her want to kiss her.

“Well, surely your sister will ask. She’ll probably want to know what caused it, test your solar radiation absorption levels, and see if you can train it so it won’t sneak up on you like that again. Do you know what triggered it? Is that why you had that headache earlier? Was it even a headache?”

“Um, kind of… I mean… I guess,” Kara said, squirming. She stared at the scuff on her sneakers instead of trying to look at Lena. “Can we just… let it go for now?” Kara pleaded, chancing a glance up at Lena. Lena smiled sympathetically.

“Of course, Kara. Do you want to go to another lab? There are some mechanical engineering projects in the work that I think you might enjoy helping with,” Lena offered. “There’s a wireless battery charger we’re struggling with. We want to make it like a portable charger than can recharge your smartphone, smartwatch, music devices, tablets, and other electronics without plugging in anything. Ideally, it would work on any brand as well. Right now, it’s still being designed so that would be some more theoretical work. It’s still in the very early stages.”

“I don’t know how helpful I could be with the wifi stuff. It’s not really my area of expertise, but I can try!” Already, Kara’s gears were turning. She wondered if it were a coding issue for the device or getting the third party interface with the different brands. Either way, Kara wanted to help Lena problem solve. Or, rather, help Lena’s team problem solve.

Oh fuck, who was she kidding? She really only cared about Lena. (Some not-insignificant part of Kara realized how much lighter she felt now that she was able to acknowledge these feelings for Lena.)

“Well, do you have any experience with programming? We also have a new set of mixed reality glasses. They prototype is working great, but we want to add some new content. However, they’re having problems getting the new content to work with the existing programs,” Lena explained, crossing her office to get a bottle of water from her minifridge. She offered one to Kara who nodded and caught the bottle Lena tossed her way.

“What’s mixed reality?” 

“Oh, it’s so cool! It’s the next wave in virtual reality, amazing for video gaming but it has so many other potential uses! Mixed reality glasses overlay virtual reality with what you’re actually seeing in real life. So, say you’re in this office. Virtual reality glasses could make a reproduction of this office and use it as the backdrop for content, but it can’t react in real time. I could be standing in front of you, but you wouldn’t know if you were wearing virtual reality glasses. These are different! So, basically it adds another layer to what you’re seeing, mixing the virtual content with what’s in front of you. It’s a totally immersive experience with voice control and a widescreen display. And the best part is they look almost like regular sunglasses! No bulky headsets,” Lena gushed, her hand gestures getting more grandiose as she continued. There was a faraway gleam in her eyes and Kara was reminded of her first interview with Lena; she had been similarly exuberant about her alien detection device, eager to share her technology in hopes of bettering the world.

“Sounds cool,” Kara nodded, taking a sip of her water in an attempt to cool herself down as she suddenly started to feel heat creeping up the back of her neck and into her cheeks. There was just something so beautiful in Lena’s zeal. Kara cleared her throat. “I mean, like, amazing! I have a little experience with programming, but I’m sure your people are much better. I could go to either lab. Which one do you want to go to first?” Kara asked. She picked at one of her nails rather than focusing on Lena’s eyes, alight with passion for her work.

“The headset, I think. At least with that project, there’s something tangible for you to see. Not that I think the portable power pack isn’t wonderful! It would be so convenient and so useful! It’s just still in the design stages so they’re working with designs. I could have you test the mixed reality headset, if you wanted.” Lena drained the rest of her water bottle and Kara had to clear her throat and look down to distract herself from watching Lena’s throat bob, her jawline sharp enough to cut steel as she tilted her head back.

“Well, that sounds awesome! Why don’t we do that? What kind of code are they using to program it? I’ve worked with Java, C++, Python, and a few others.” Kara stood as Lena rose, sauntering over to the recycling bin. A few feet away, Lena tried to toss the bottle into the can but it bounced off the rim and onto the floor.

“Damnit. Oh, I think they’re using CUDA,” Lena called as she bent over to pick up the bottle and put it properly in the receptacle. Kara was about to tell Lena that Winn had been teaching her CUDA before this whole de-aging debacle went down when Lena bending down caught her off guard. She let out a mortifying squeak and squeezed her own water bottle, spilling water all over herself. “Oh! Kara, what happened?” Lena spun around at the sudden noise, brow furrowed in sympathy as she saw Kara frantically trying to pat herself dry, though all she was really doing was pushing the damp shirt against her skin and making herself cold.

“Hand spasm, maybe?” Kara lied, grimacing. 

“Like a super strength spasm?” Lena hurried across the office to her bathroom, grabbing a hand towel for Kara to dry herself off.

“No, I don’t think so,” Kara said honestly, though her cheeks still flushed. Tugging at the wet fabric, she continued, “ugh, I wish I had an extra shirt.”

“I’ve got something you can wear. I keep spare work outfits here in case I spill something on myself or get wrinkled before an important meeting. I also have a drawer of more comfortable clothes for late nights working in the labs or crashing through stacks of paperwork. Surely there must be something you can wear,” Lena said. She waved for Kara to come over to the closet next to the bathroom. 

In the closet were pant suits, skirts, and blouses all crisply pressed and freshly laundered. Kara looked at all of the silk and chiffon and, knowing each individual piece was likely worth twice her monthly rent (or more), she shook her head. Nodding, Lena just opened a drawer on the bottom of the closet, so well hidden in the wall that Kara hadn’t even noticed it at first. In this drawer were things that Kara hadn’t even seen Lena wear for the first year of their friendship. There were two pairs of leggings, one black and one gray, a pair of sweatpants with frayed cuffs at the bottom, an NCU sweatshirt, an MIT t-shirt, and an L-Corp long-sleeve t-shirt. Lena rarely wore casual clothes and the first time Kara had seen her wearing sweatpants had been the time she succumbed to bronchitis and Kara surprised her with chicken soup and a stack of novels from her “want to read” list on Goodreads (Kara may have had to fly to a few different bookstores around the globe to find some of the more obscure books, but the look of joy on Lena’s exhausted, sleep-rumpled, makeup-free face had absolutely been worth it). 

“Wow, I’m shocked you let people see you in these comfy clothes,” Kara teased as she pulled out the MIT shirt.

“Only Jess and my security team watching the camera feeds actually see it,” she confided and Kara laughed. “We can hang up your shirt to dry in the closet.”

“Do you have any snacks before we go down there? I’m getting hungry,” Kara asked once she got out of the bathroom. Hanging her damp shirt, she turned to find Lena shuffling through her fridge.

“I have… some expired yogurt. Water bottles. Let me ask Jess. She sometimes keeps snacks for late nights or for that three in the afternoon slump. Hey, Jess?”

“Yes, Miss Luthor?” she called back before poking her head in the door. “What can I do for you?”

“We’re getting a little peckish, but it’s not quite time for lunch. I thought I had some snacks in here, but it appears I do not,” Lena said with a chagrined half-shrug. “You wouldn’t happen to have any snacks or know where the best vending machines are, do you?”

“Oh, of course I do, Miss Luthor!” Jess said immediately. “Let me grab you a few things and then I can work on restocking your fridge and cupboard with some more snacks.” After a moment, Jess returned with granola bars, fig cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter crackers, and chocolates. “Just so you have a decent selection,” she explained. “Take whatever you want.” They each grabbed a few things, thanking Jess profusely before she returned to her desk. Once Kara had devoured two granola bars, a bag of chocolate chip cookies, some peanut butter crackers, and some of the chocolates Lena grabbed, they headed off to test the mixed reality glasses prototype, Lena rambling about the benefits of this device outside of the entertainment industry the entire walk.

 

“Agent Schott, what’s the status report?” J’onn asked as he flew back into the DEO and shifted back into his human form. Alex came striding across the DEO to stand beside him as they both stared at him, waiting for him to speak. Naturally, Winn clammed up.

“Uh, well, the um… The accident is over. I mean, you knew that. You were there! Zero casualties reported from the crash. Seventeen civilians are being treated for injuries from the crash, but only two have critical wounds. All in all, good job, Papa Bear! Whoo! Up top!” Winn cried with a smile, holding up his hand. Both of his supervisors just stared at him with raised eyebrows. “Right. Anyway, uhh, the hostage situation was rectified thanks to a hostage negotiator. The alien holding the hostages is being detained by NCPD with the assistance of the DEO until they can get arraigned. No injuries, just a few shaken up civilians.”

“Anything else?” J’onn asked.

“We’ve had a few aliens call for help with some belligerent neighbors and ask about filing complaints. Oh, and uh, Kara called,” Winn said quickly, hoping to soften the blow.

“What happened?” Alex said sharply, narrowing her eyes. “Why didn’t you alert me?”

“She told me not to,” he said defensively. “Said it wasn’t a big deal. She wanted to see if you were there and when I said you weren’t, she said she could handle it and she’d be fine for a few hours.”

“How long ago was this?” 

Winn fumbled around checking his call logs before answering. “Uhh, three and a half hours ago?” He yelped as Alex whacked him upside the head. “Hey!”

“Stand down, Danvers,” J’onn grumbled.

Alex glared at Winn. “Next time, Schott, lead with that.” She whacked him upside the head again as she stalked by him, ignoring his yelped protests. As Alex walked, she called Lena, panic spiking when her phone went straight to voicemail. Maybe her phone is dead, Alex tried to reassure herself as she called Kara.

“Alex! Hey!” Kara said quickly, her voice high pitched and tight. Alex immediately narrowed her eyes.

“Why do you sound nervous? What’s wrong?”

Nothing! Nothing’s wrong.” Kara cleared her throat. “ Seriously. Just, um, I’m in the lab with Lena and everyone so, hang on. Let me go outside so they can keep working.”

“Fine.”

So, uh, thanks for calling back. I just… Something happened that I figured you needed to know about .” Alex could practically hear Kara fidgeting with her glasses as she probably paced around the halls in some sub-basement of L-Corp. “ Uh, Lena and I have been working with some of her R&D teams on stuff, and when I was helping, or, uh, more like observing, I guess since I’m not sure, like, how much help I actually was, you know? Anyway, like, we were doing this thing with lasers to get rid of certain types of tumors and uh… I kind of activated my heat vision?

“You what ?” Alex snapped. “God, why do you and Winn like to bury the lead? Ugh, I’m coming to pick you up. I need you to come to the DEO for testing. If you’re getting heat vision, you must be absorbing sunlight faster than we predicted. Do you know what triggered it, exactly? Was it something specific?” Her words became clipped as she jogged back through the DEO toward the parking garage.

Uh, I mean, kind of? Like, I don’t… Is it really important exactly what triggered it? ” Kara asked.

“What? Of course it is. If we want to understand it, we have to have all of the information. Look, I’m getting into the car. We’ll talk about it when I get there. Tell Lena I’m coming to get you, okay? See you soon.” Alex hung up before Kara could say anything else. Before turning the key, Alex took a deep breath. She was bone tired and all she wanted to do was crawl into bed with Maggie, who was also exhausted and had been home for a few hours, and fall asleep. But, it was starting to look like she wouldn’t be able to do that for a few more hours. She started the car and pulled out of her parking spot, off to pick up Kara from L-Corp.

 

“What did Alex say?” Lena said as soon as Kara came back. When they got down to the lab, the programmers had fixed some of the bugs. The ones that they couldn’t figure out, Lena was able to solve within a few minutes (“I’d be a little annoyed if she wasn’t so brilliant. She’s like a class above the rest,” the project leader had said with a laugh as Lena blushed. He added, “and it helps that she pays well.”). They had spent the last hour testing the new programs and simulations in the mixed reality glasses. When Kara stepped out, Lena put the glasses on the workbench before following. She paused at the doorway, wanting to give Kara some privacy as she talked to her sister, so she stood just inside the room and went through emails on her phone until Kara returned.

“Um, she’s coming to pick me up. She wants to take me back to the DEO to run full tests. Like, maybe my heat vision means my powers are coming back? Which, like, means I’ll be able to do the thing to grow again. So I can go back to normal!” Kara said all this without pausing to take a breath so she inhaled deeply as Lena smiled at her.

“Well, I certainly hope she’s right. While your younger selves have been adorable, I would like my best friend back soon,” Lena laughed, nudging Kara with her elbow. “Let’s go back to my office for your coat and make sure you have all of our things, then we’ll meet Alex in the lobby. “

Kara nodded, but she hadn’t paid attention to what Lena said. For all Kara knew, Lena could have suggested they rocket to the moon for a quick vacation before meeting up with Alex. Kara had zoned out, unable to focus on anything other than Lena calling her adorable . Okay, so she might have technically been talking about the two and six-year old versions of herself, but still. Lena thinks Kara is adorable and can’t wait to have her back to normal because they’re best friends (there is, of course, a not-so-small part of Kara that was disappointed at the label of best friends, but she couldn’t expect Lena to be revealing any sort of feelings while she looked like a twelve year old). 

In her distracted state, Kara had to check multiple times to make sure she wasn’t floating down the hallway, blushing and shyly glancing at Lena the entire way back up to Lena’s office and back down to the lobby, right up to the moment she followed Alex out the door and Lena disappeared from her sight.

 

Chapter Text

“Go through it again. What was happening right before your heat vision?” Alex asked. Getting straight answers out of Kara was proving to be more difficult than it had been for them to cut Kara’s hair her first summer with them (it involved heat vision, lasers, mirrors and a lot of scrap steel).

Kara groaned. “How many times do we have to do this?”

“Until we understand what caused your heat vision to kick in.” Kara squirmed in her spot, not particularly keen to explain this to Kara. They were sitting in Alex’s lab with Alex on the stool taking notes and Kara sitting sideways on the exam table, legs gently kicking the side of it. “Kara?” She raised an expectant eyebrow. 

Kara sighed. “Uhhh, we were working on the lasers. Like, I think we were just watching them ablate the, like, fake tumor thing? And I guess I got distracted and my eyes were really hot and… itchy? And my neck was hot… then my heat vision just… came out and it shattered the beaker I was staring at. Then I went to the bathroom to cool down and—” Alex interrupted her.

“Yeah, but what distracted you? What were you thinking about? Could that have had anything to do with it?”

“No!” Kara squawked.

Distractedly, Alex continued. “I mean, we ruled out the lasers you were working with as a cause. It wasn’t something new you ate. Your solar absorption levels aren’t any higher than we expected, so this wasn’t just a side effect of being powered up again. You’re still not ready to be aged up again so…” Alex trailed off.

“I… I don’t remember what I was thinking about,” Kara said, but her cheeks were bright red and she couldn’t look Alex in the eye.

“Oh, really?” Alex challenged. “Look me in the eye and tell me that.” Of course, Kara couldn’t look Alex in the eye. Just thinking about the whole thing made Kara remember what had triggered her heat vision and then it was like it was all she could think about: Lena in her pant suits glaring a boardroom into submission, Lena in her pencil skirts and blouses bending over her desk to grab a dropped pen, Lena in her leggings and long socks at game nights, Lena in Kara’s NCU sweatshirt, Lena smiling devilishly at her with lips red as blood, Lena with no makeup and morning breath, Lena, Lena, Lena. She was all Kara could think about and as the images of Lena shifted from memory to fantasy, Kara felt her eyes begin to itch again, and then to burn. She focused her gaze away from Alex and toward the reinforced-steel beams jutting out from the wall. There was a hissing sound and when her heat vision died and her vision cleared, she saw some of the steel melting away and leaving tracks down the beam.

“Fuck, Kara, give a girl some warning! Jesus fucking Christ,” Alex snapped peevishly, hand on her chest. 

“Sorry,” Kara said, ducking her head. “I didn’t mean to.”

“Well, what were you thinking about just now? What triggered it?” Alex asked after a moment, almost instantly composed and professional again.

“I don’t—I don’t wanna talk about it,” Kara said, cheeks bright red. She rubbed the hem of her shirt between two fingers and focused on a spot just in front of Alex’s boots. Alex just waited. “You’re gonna make fun of me,” she finally whined.

“Kara, this is about your health and safety. As your doctor right now, anything you tell me, I promise not to make fun of you for, okay?” Alex said, impatient but trying not to show it.

“Promise?” Kara said hesitantly.

Alex gave a tiny huff before offering her pinky. “Pinky swear.” Beaming, Kara took her pinky and they both kissed their own fists as they shook on it (ever since Alex explained them, Kara had taken pinky swears as seriously as an Unbreakable Oath). Alex raised an expectant eyebrow once they broke their linked pinkies and Kara reddened.

“Well, I was… I was thinking about… Oh, god,” Kara muttered, covering her eyes. “Lena,” she finally yelped.

“Lena? You mean… like, sexually?” Alex suddenly looked like a kid who had been given fifty dollars to blow in the ice cream store, but then wilted as if remembering she was lactose intolerant. She had just promised away her ability to tease Kara about her stupid teenage body’s inability to hide her crush on Lena. Kara nodded, suddenly taking great interest in the tile pattern on the floor. “Okay. Okay, so you were having… erotic thoughts about Lena in the lab? And just now?” Kara nodded wordlessly and she heard Alex mutter, “Jesus fucking … In my lab ?”

“You promised not to make fun!” Kara pouted.

“I’m not making fun of you,” Alex said quickly. “I didn’t mean to. I just…” Alex took a deep breath, closing her eyes for a moment. “It took me by surprise for a second. I mean, I know Maggie and I tease you about it, but this is a whole new level. It didn’t work like this when you first got here, did it?”

“I don’t… kind of? I mean, Kal explained how he handled some of his powers coming in when he took me to his apartment before taking me to your house. It was hard because his Kryptonian was so stilted and formal, but he tried. He said something like a pretty substitute teacher was showing a sex ed video and he got overwhelmed. I assumed it was the video, so when we watched it in class, I focused my x-ray vision so I could see into the next classroom rather than the video. That’s why I didn’t get my heat vision until I was a senior. I saw this R rated movie with Rebecca and the lead guy was so hot and… oh. I guess it kind of was the same.”

“Similar. It seems the heat vision is triggered by the hormonal changes that occur during the time that humans go through puberty, particularly the flood of hormones that occur when one is aroused.” Alex sounded clinical and detached, but Kara could see how desperately she wanted to make fun of Kara (or even better, change the subject from discussing her little sister. who currently looked thirteen, and her sex drive).

“So, it’s just… normal? Nothing’s wrong with me?” Kara’s voice was small and her cheeks were still flushed, staring at her knees.

“Besides the fact that you’re currently thirteen when you should be twenty seven? No, this seems like just another one of your powers coming in. Sucks, but that’s life,” Alex shrugged. “You’ll have to spend some time in the training rooms working to gain control over it again.” 

Kara groaned loudly. When would this nightmare ever end?

 

Thankfully, Alex agreed to leave Kara alone in the training room to practice her heat vision. Alex had explained that Kara would need to start by purposely triggering it so she could identify the power and the feeling of it, find its source, and take control. Initially, Alex wanted to stay and observe. Heat vision was, after all, incredibly dangerous, especially when Kara didn’t have control of it. However, when Kara had stumbled through an awkward explanation of why it might be hard for her to trigger her heat vision with her sister around, Alex had quickly retreated to her lab, shouting over her shoulder that she would turn off the monitor so no one would be actively watching the security feed in this room, before slamming the door shut.

It was an incredibly awkward exercise that left Kara feeling guilty for objectifying Lena. Each thought was tinged with a film of guilt and fear of what this meant for their relationship, but after an hour of practice, Kara could easily turn her heat vision on and off. She even practiced with mirrors and gave herself a haircut, giving herself bangs across her forehead—she reasoned that if it looked terrible and she hated it, it would probably regrow when she aged back up. By the time Kara was knocking on the door frame of Alex’s lab before entering, she was bone-tired and starving. She wanted a bottle of water, a giant bag of Big Belly Burger, and a nap—in that order. Thankfully, Alex just ushered her out of the lab and into the parking lot to head home.

“Is Maggie back?” Kara asked as she leaned back against the car seat, letting her eyes closed.

“She’s been back all day, but she napped until about an hour ago. She’s making dinner now, apparently. Lasagne,” Alex said.

“Oh, thank Rao. I’m starving ,” Kara groaned.

“Work up an appetite in the training room?” Alex chirped.

“You promised not to tease!” Kara shouted, fists clenched. She had to dig her nails into her palms to stop the irrational flood of anger and sadness, the tears already filling her eyes. 

Not realizing, Alex just laughed as she pulled out of the parking space. “Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Last one, okay?” she laughed.

“Whatever,” Kara mumbled darkly, still glaring out the window, trying not to let the tears spill over. She hated this stupid overwhelming hormone change that turned her tear ducts into a leaky faucet. Alex, finally sensing the tension, just sighed quietly and continued driving. She put the radio on and that was the only sound on their drive home.

 

“So, anything interesting happen today?” Maggie asked over dinner that evening. Kara’s cheeks flushed and her gaze darted over to Alex. Alex, for her part, just shrugged.

“Kara got her heat vision, but that was kind of expected. Honestly, we might need to keep Kara as a teenager until all of her powers come back. That’s probably the best way to make sure we can age her back up totally, otherwise it’s not guaranteed that she’ll age up. She might just become, like, early twenties again,” Alex explained, gesturing with a forkful of lasagne.

“How long will that be?” Both Maggie and Kara asked, though Kara’s tone was considerably whinier than Maggie’s.

“A week, maybe? You’ve got the strength, speed, invulnerability, heat vision. We’re just waiting on flight, x-ray vision, and freeze breath. When we were teenagers, you got those pretty quickly after you got the heat vision, didn’t you? Besides the x-ray vision, though, since that came in early.”

“Within, like, a month, yeah,” Kara sighed. “But I don’t wanna wait a whole month ! I just wanna be back to normal.”

“God, four powers at once? That must have sucked for you. Like when I was in ninth grade and my niece got all four of her first molars at once. Poor kid was just crying all the time, miserable, in pain. It was a terrible adjustment,” Maggie reminisced, chuckling to herself. 

“You’re comparing my completely justified hormonal imbalance and distress from going from twenty-seven to being two to being six to being thirteen in the span of a month and a half… to a toddler who’s teething? That’s… degrading.” Kara frowned at Maggie. 

“Hey, teething sucks, kid. Parents used to have to give kids opium and shit to make it feel better,” Maggie pointed out.

“Well, whatever,” Kara sighed peevishly, crossing her arms. “I guess I’ll just be stuck like this forever.”

“Probably,” Alex grinned. Kara scowled. “Oh, Kara, you know we’re teasing. With the time spent underneath the sun lamps, it’ll probably be less than a month. A week, maybe two at most . You’ll be fine,” she assured her.

“If you say so,” she muttered. 

“Well, we do, so there,” Maggie laughed. “Now, I hear you worked up an appetite today. Do you want some ice cream for dessert?”

“Alex!” Kara whined. “You promised!”

“Technically, I never promised anything about Maggie teasing,” Alex pointed out, hands up in surrender. Maggie laughed, reaching over to pinch Kara’s cheeks and ruffle her hair. 

“Aww, don’t worry little one, I won’t tease you about your crush too much.” Maggie grinned as she sat back and Kara ran her fingers through her hair, trying to fix it. Her cheeks were bright red as she glared at Maggie and Alex.

“I hate you both.”

“Except you love us,” Alex added with a cheeky grin.

“I don’t,” Kara muttered, but she was fighting back a smile.

Chapter Text

If Kara thought telling Alex about what caused her heat vision to flare up was bad, it was nothing compared to telling Eliza.

Growing up, Kara didn’t have any of Earth’s weird hang-ups about sex. She didn’t understand why Alex had blushed and cringed so hard when she brought home a permission slip to attend sex ed. Sex was natural, Kara thought. It was akin to a religious experience on Krypton. Why should humans be so ashamed of something that brought couples closer to Rao on Krypton?  Of course, after years of living with Alex, who still covered her ears whenever Kara made any sexual jokes or innuendo and scowled when any of their friends tried to tease Alex about her sex life, Kara had adopted some of the American shame surrounding sex. Especially when it involved her female best friend.

“And you’re certain you’ve got control over it now?” Eliza asked. Alex had wanted to be part of the discussion, requesting Kara put it on speakerphone in the living room, but Kara had dug her heels in. It was bad enough that she had to repeat the story yet again, she would not have her sister listening in to tease her once more. As a compromise, Kara had promised to fill Alex in on anything Eliza said so she wouldn’t be out of the loop.

“Absolutely certain,” Kara said, wrapping her free arm around her stomach.

“Make sure you’re certain,” Eliza cautioned. “Especially if you’re going to see Lena again. You wouldn’t want to lose control again.” Kara squeezed herself tighter; she hadn’t even thought of that possibility. Maybe she just shouldn’t see Lena again until she was back to normal…

No.

Even the thought made Kara’s stomach lurch uncomfortably. Oh shit . Alarmed by her visceral reaction to the thought of not seeing Lena for a week or two, Kara reassured Eliza that she would be careful and keep her updated. Once she was alone with her own thoughts, Kara put her head in her hands and sighed.

This wasn’t just lust; she was completely in love with her best friend.

 

Lena paced nervously around her lab. It had been hours since she’d last heard from Kara, their last contact having been a brief text exchange hours ago with Kara confirming Alex had helped her get control over her heat vision and Lena expressing her relief. Normally, Kara would be sending Lena updates at least once an hour. Kara often sent Lena random texts throughout the day of cute animals she’s seen or pictures of things that reminded her of Lena (ranging from Big Belly Burger to a black cat she saw on the street to a piece of kale she picked off her burger). Of course, normally , Kara wasn’t thirteen years old.

“Get it together, Luthor. You don’t need to text her. She’s fine,” Lena assured herself out loud. “She’s fine,” she repeated, softer now.

“Love life got you down, ma’am?” Sonia teased as she approached Lena from behind. Lena jumped, swearing in several different languages. “Oooh, impressive! I counted three different languages there?”

“Four,” Lena admitted. “You startled me.”

“I can tell. But, what are you doing here? You should be home by now. Or out partying. Or on a date. Whatever it is you young people do these days.” Sonia waved a dismissive hand towards Lena.

“You know it’s more likely for pigs to grow wings and fly than it is for me to go out partying on a work night, Sonia,” Lena sighed. “What are you doing back here?”

“Checking on our lasers, of course! We haven’t completely ruled out the possibility of system failure on one of them. That would, of course, explain the rapidity with which the specimen overheated.” 

“Of course,” Lena concurred. 

“But,” Sonia continued, holding up one finger as Lena moved closer to the lasers. Lena froze, a million thoughts running through her mind. Does she know? Has she figured out that it wasn’t one of the lasers? What if she tells the world? “But,” Sonia repeated, gentler now. “We still haven’t identified which laser malfunctioned. Figuring that out is critical if we ever want to move from cadaver organs to live specimens.” Lena’s stomach knotted tightly. 

“Do you really think we’re at the live specimen stage? I mean, we’ve only barely figured out how to keep the specimen from overheating and exploding.” Lena’s mouth was suddenly dry as she considered the enormous impact this could have on the state of modern medicine. What if she fucked it up?

“I’m not saying we’re there tomorrow, but soon enough. Next couple of months, so long as we can get approval for the next phase. We need more successful trials with these Franken-bits and bobs before that, though.” Sonia cast an appraising eye over Lena. “You never answered my question. What’s got you down, dear?” Despite the fact that Lena was very much her boss, Sonia had a habit of treating Lena like her daughter. Part of it was the fact that Sonia actually had a daughter Lena’s age, but part of it was just the close relationship they’d developed over years of working in labs together, huddled over technologies for hours on end trying to fix each problem. Lena knew any therapist worth their salt would pin down Lena’s mommy-issues and her never-ending search for a female role model to look up to, but she allowed herself the small comfort of Sonia’s care.

“Just worried about my friend’s daughter,” Lena sighed.She paused for a moment while trying to figure out the exact right amount of truth to tell. “I took her home earlier, but I haven’t heard from her mother in a while. I’m worried it was something I did with her today that triggered her episode.”

“Perhaps the girl is just resting, and her mom is taking care of her. Chronic migraines are a bitch, Miss Luthor, if you’ll pardon my language. Sometimes you can manage your triggers, but sometimes they just sneak up on you. I’m sure she’s fine, but staying here and feeling sorry for yourself won’t do anything to help her.” Sonia placed a bracing hand on Lena’s shoulder, squeezing it gently. Lena tried to suppress the sudden warmth that spread through her, wary of letting yet another mother figure into her life to doublecross her or otherwise disappoint her.

“I am not feeling sorry for myself,” Lena sniffed haughtily, though she had been doing exactly that. “I’m just… here to grab a few things I left.” Sonia hummed softly, though thankfully she didn’t bring up Lena’s obvious lie.

“Yes, well, we’re both here. May as well work together, unless you have other plans?” Lena rolled her eyes and reached up to smooth the flyaway hairs.

“Do I ever have other plans?” Lena asked, raising one eyebrow. Sonia just laughed and shook her head. Without another word, they got to work.

 

Kara woke the next morning full of restless energy and a knot in her stomach. To try and combat it, Kara put on a pair of Maggie’s sneakers and went with Alex for her morning run before she had to go to work. Kara wasn’t quite used to this kind of exertion without her powers, so by mile six, she was starting to lag behind. Without a word, Alex cut down an alley that led them back to their street, cutting the run short by a whole mile. Kara wanted to thank Alex, but first she had to catch her breath.

But even after a shower, breakfast, and trying to binge-watch Netflix, something still felt off . Noticing this, Maggie—who had another two days off—spoke up.

“Something bothering you, little Danvers?” she asked nonchalantly, not quite looking up from her phone until she finished the question. Kara’s eyes snapped to hers, wide as dinner plates.

“Bothering me? What? No, absolutely not. Why would you—I mean—no.” Kara dropped her eyes to her lap, ears turning pink.

“Alright, well… If you ever want to talk about whatever is absolutely not bothering you… I’m here.” Maggie shrugged. When Kara didn’t respond, Maggie dropped her gaze back to her phone, though she observed Kara from the corner of her eye. She watched the way Kara pulled on her fingers and tapped them against her thumb in a soothing pattern. Every once in a while, Kara would take a deep breath and open her mouth, glancing up at Maggie before snapping her mouth shut and looking down again. Maggie was patient.

It took two and a half episodes of Grey’s Anatomy —a show they could only watch when Alex wasn’t there to complain about its inaccuracy and increasingly convoluted plotlines—for Kara to say something.

“Maggie?” she croaked cautiously.

“Yeah, Kara?” Maggie glanced up, immediately straightening her spine when she saw the tears in Kara’s eyes. “Oh honey, what’s wrong?”

“I-I-I’m in love wi-with Lena,” she said, breath hitching. She drew her knees up to her chest and buried her head in her arms. In a moment, Maggie was up and moving next to her on the couch. 

“Oh, sweetheart, can I hug you?” Maggie whispered. As soon as she heard Kara’s shaky “yeah,” Maggie wrapped her arms around the gangly teenager, pulling Kara and shifting her until she was crying into Maggie’s shoulder, arms wrapped tight around Maggie’s middle. She was half-draped over Maggie’s lap, crying silently now. Maggie just petted her hair, making soothing noises and reassuring her that she was safe.

Finally, after a while, Kara whispered, “What do I do now? What if this ruins us?”

“You don’t have to do anything right this minute. You don’t have to do anything ever if you don’t want to,” Maggie said softly. Kara said up a little bit, though she still leaned heavily into Maggie’s side. Maggie gently took Kara’s hand and gave her a gentle squeeze. “This is all under your control, kid. But, if you want to talk it out with me, I’m a really good listener.”

“I just…” Kara trailed off and scrunched up her nose as she searched for the words. “I wasn’t… expecting it, I guess?”

“Like, she’s your best friend, right? Of course you love her.” Maggie inhaled deeply. “That’s how it was with me and Eliza Wilkie.”

“She was… your first real crush, right?” Maggie sighed.

“Yeah. At least, the first one I really admitted was a crush. And I think for a long time, I didn’t see it because we were best friends. She had been my oldest and best best friend, so I guess I figured it was just… a normal progression of our relationship, right?”

“Yeah. And it just… we got so close so fast and I… I mean, Alex was my first best friend but Lena was… it was like a whole new kind of best friend. I hadn’t had any other close friends that were girls.” Kara sighed. “I mean… I’ve had other friends that were girls, but we were never close like me and Lena.”

“Like you just… clicked,” Maggie observed.

“Exactly.” Kara nodded and went silent. After a moment, Maggie squeezed her hand again as if to remind Kara she was still there to listen. “What if she doesn’t feel the same? What if… what if I say something and it makes everything awkward between us? We aren’t even sure Lena likes girls!” Maggie barked out a laugh and Kara furrowed her brows.

“Sorry, honey, but I just… Lena is as queer as a three dollar bill,” Maggie said with a small laugh. Kara hesitated. “I’m a detective little Danvers… and I have really good gay-dar. Trust me: Lena likes women.”

“But that still doesn’t mean she likes me ,” Kara pointed out. She shifted, tucking her feet under the couch cushion. Maggie sighed.

“Well, honey… No one can ever guarantee these things. People rarely know for sure. You just gotta… take a risk,” Maggie said gently. She shrugged. “You don’t have to make any decisions right now. Like I said, you don’t have to do anything… ever if you don’t want to.”

“I don’t know, I just… What if I do want to do something?” Kara’s voice was small and she focused her gaze on her hands in her lap.

“Then you have to just take a leap of faith, I guess. But, I would recommend waiting until you’re back to being… well… legal.” Maggie stifled a giggle.

“Ew, Maggie! Don’t be gross. I’m not actually a teenager.” Maggie snorted through her hands.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to laugh, it’s just—” Maggie cut herself off laughing. Kara just rolled her eyes and leaned farther away from Maggie onto the opposite end of the couch, pulling out her phone.