Humming quietly to herself in thought, Cat places her chin in her hand and watches as the striking young woman with the brunette bob hands Kara a brown paper bag with the Noonan’s logo stamped on the front. Her new assistant has been with her for barely two weeks and Cat has seen the brunette woman every day without fail around lunchtime.
She continues to observe as Kara jumps to her feet and throws her arms around the other woman, pulling her in for a hug across the desk, as though she can’t spare the extra couple of seconds it would take to walk around it. She follows up the gesture with a kiss against the woman’s cheek.
Absentmindedly, Cat pulls up Kara’s employee files, hoping to find something of interest there.
So far, she hasn’t had a reason to burst in on Kara’s little chats with what she presumes is the girl’s partner. The strange woman never overstays her welcome and only shows up right after Kara’s lunch break has already started, as though she’s well aware that Cat doesn’t tolerate any sort of slacking during work-hours. The assumption pleases Cat, because it means that her assistant has told her - possible girlfriend? - about Cat’s strict work ethic.
In the two weeks since Kara started working for the company, Cat can’t say that she’s had much reason to yell at the girl, which is a definite improvement on almost all of her previous assistants. Save for a few hardy souls who could keep up with Cat’s rigorous schedule. So far, Kara seems to be one of them - especially because the coffee she brings Cat always seems to be hot, no matter how late Cat is in the mornings or how many spontaneous meetings she’s had to take before she actually gets to CatCo.
Gnawing thoughtfully on the temple stem of her glasses, Cat skims Kara’s personnel file, stopping on the emergency contact. Alex Danvers. A quick google search reveals surprisingly little. But it does show an old picture from what is undoubtedly a school event. Both Kara and the woman - Alex, as Cat now knows - are shown in a long line of students. No pictures from the adult version of her, however. Alex Danvers seems to favor her privacy, just like Kara. When Cat had run a search on her current assistant, she had discovered surprisingly little about her on the internet.
Once again, her assistant proves more interesting than she’s letting on.
Closing the personnel file, Cat leans back in her chair and watches unabashedly as Alex and Kara chat for a couple of minutes while Kara stuffs her face with a grilled cheese sandwich. With a look of mild disgust, Cat wrinkles her nose. How her assistant manages to stay so thin when all she ever seems to eat is greasy food is beyond her.
Getting her mind back on track, Cat thinks about what she’s learned. Mainly that this person is Kara’s emergency contact - and that they share a last name. Much more than a girlfriend, then. Since Kara is barely twenty-four years old, Cat wouldn’t have pegged her assistant to be married already. But then again, if the high school picture is anything to go by, the two of them must have known each other for a long time.
Alex laughs as she reaches up with her right hand to hold it in front of her mouth. The gesture causes the sleeve of her black leather jacket to slide down, revealing a glittering, silver bracelet underneath. Eyes darting to Kara’s own wrist, Cat is unsurprised to see the same accessory glinting there. She had noticed the piece of jewelry during Kara’s interview. It was a wide ring of silver metal - unassuming upon first glance. But when the light hit it just right, it sparkled with an intensity that Cat has rarely seen before.
Maybe those bracelets explained why she hasn’t seen a wedding band on Kara’s finger.
Setting down her glasses, Cat takes a moment to reflect on her own marriage. She’s pretty sure she’d never looked as happy as Kara does, even in a mundane moment like this. Her assistant’s smile appears to be almost brighter than the sun itself, even though Cat immediately scolds herself for such a sappy thought. Despite the fact that Kara has only been with the company for two weeks, somehow she’s managed to worm her way into Cat’s heart already.
Two weeks later, Cat is presented with a chance to make her move.
Once Alex has left the building - with a kiss on the cheek from Kara, those hopeless saps - Cat gets to her feet, rounds her desk and leans against it. A second later, she opens her mouth to call for her assistant, getting her name wrong on purpose. It’s a game she likes to play with her lackeys to keep them on their toes.
“Yes, Ms. Grant?” Kara asks immediately once she’s hurried into Cat’s glass office.
“Tell me how Friday night’s party plans are coming along,” Cat demands, crossing her arms over her chest. She eyes Kara, who doesn’t even have to pull up her data pad. It takes Kara no time at all to list all the things she’s already accomplished, once again proving to Cat that she made the right choice when she hired the girl.
Once Kara stops talking, Cat nods in acknowledgement.
“I trust you’ll be bringing a date to the party,” she says next, hoping her assistant will take the bait. “This will be your first outing as my official assistant, Karen, and I need you to make a good impression. Why don’t you bring that charming girl who keeps bringing you lunch.”
Kara’s cheeks flush immediately and her left hand goes to the bracelet on her right wrist.
Cat doesn’t miss the movement.
“Um, I don’t know if Alex--” Kara starts, before snapping her mouth shut when Cat raises one of her eyebrows in a quiet challenge that she knows she’ll win. “Of course, Ms. Grant. I’ll ask her if she wants to come with me--” The eyebrow raises just a little bit higher. “I mean, she’ll be there.”
“Good, good.” Waving her hand, Cat dismisses her. “And I trust that you won’t be wearing one of your dreadfully ugly cardigans to the party. I don’t want my guests to think they’ve arrived at the wrong venue when their eyes begin to bleed from looking at your argyle patterns for too long.”
“Yes, Ms. Grant. I mean, no, Ms. Grant. No cardigans.” Kara nods quickly, before scampering out of the room. A second later, she’s back behind her desk with her phone in her hand. Almost casually, Cat walks over to her coffee table, where she keeps the M&M’s she rewards herself with when she’s done something good. With one ear, she listens in on Kara’s conversation with her wife.
Kara sounds almost nervous when she says hello, and Cat has to hide her smile behind her hand. Young love sure can be sweet, even if she’d never admit that to herself out loud, especially not where her employees could hear her.
“I know you said you just wanted the evening off, but…” Kara says regretfully, clearly trying to sound pitiful. “Ms. Grant said I have to bring you. Please? Pretty please? I promise it’ll be fun.” A pause, and Cat chances a glance behind herself. Her assistant is forcefully chewing on her bottom lip. The next words are said so quietly that Cat can’t hear them, but the blush on Kara’s cheeks is unmistakable. Surely she’s just promised her wife some sort of sexual favor for coming to the party with her. There’s no doubt in her mind.
Cat could recognize that look any day.
Friday night rolls around quickly, and for once Cat is actually looking forward to one of her many parties. She knows it’s essential to rub elbows with all sorts of people in National City and beyond, but there are quite a few windbags Cat would much rather avoid. Instead of seeing them on a semi-regular basis.
People like Maxwell Lord, who Cat does her best to avoid.
Somewhere around her, Kara is zipping through the crowd and making sure that everything is going well. Cat knows that her assistant’s wife hasn’t arrived yet, because she’s been keeping a close eye on the door. Now that Kara has been with her for over a month, Cat can’t deny the protective feelings she’s developed for her. That sort of thing always happens when an assistant manages to stick with her. It’s likely the mother in her, and it’s not an instinct Cat feels like she wants to curb.
She can look out for Kara without letting her know - she’s been doing just that for her employees since she’d brought her own media empire to life.
An hour later, Alex Danvers finally arrives. She’s not wearing a dress, which is the first thing Cat notices about her. Adhering to Cat’s demands, Kara had worn a nice, dark red number that reaches just below her knees. Although her hair is still made up in a tight bun, and she clearly hasn’t put a lot of effort into her make-up. Cat won’t judge her for it - she knows Kara doesn’t like it when people pay her too much attention.
Alex, however, stands out immediately in her black dress pants and the light blue blouse she’s chosen to wear. She doesn’t look elegant in her get-up, but she does look stunning, especially with the red highlights in her hair glinting in the light of the chandelier above. Kara has truly outdone herself by picking this venue.
While she pretends to listen to some politician rambling on about her paper, Cat watches as Alex scans the crowd, no doubt looking for Kara. The expression on her face when she finally does spot her is almost embarrassingly saccharine, and it makes Cat want to turn her eyes away. She doesn’t, however, and a moment later she’s rewarded by the shape of her assistant running up to Alex and giving her an exuberant hug. They exchange a couple of quick words, then Kara is dragging Alex after herself and away from prying eyes.
Cat almost shakes her head at their lack of subtlety.
“So you’re it,” Cat says casually as she leans against the bar, a glass of champagne clutched in her hand. Next to her, Alex Danvers is sipping what appears to be juice, as she tries to ignore the looks of several men on stools next to her. They clearly haven’t worked out that Alex is off the market.
“Excuse me?” Alex asks, turning her head to face Cat. Unlike most people, she isn’t immediately cowed by the sight of her, and Cat finds the whole interaction fascinating already.
“You’re the plus one,” Cat says casually, before taking a sip of her champagne.
A confused wrinkle appears between Alex’s eyebrows, and Cat congratulates herself for producing such an expression. Alex doesn’t seem like the type of person who allows herself to feel unsure, if her body language and the way she walks is anything to go by. If Cat had to guess, she’d say that the woman probably holds a lot of authority at her job.
“My assistant brought you,” Cat clarifies without preamble, fixing Alex with a look. “Though I can’t for the life of me figure out how someone who dresses like you do could ever put up with the pastels and the constant need to wear those disgusting, baggy skirts.”
She notices the stiffening to Alex’s shoulders immediately and is secretly pleased at the reaction. Good, at least Kara has someone in her corner who isn’t shy about protecting her. Her assistant needs that in her life, considering how unsure and clumsy Kara seems at work. Even if Cat suspects there’s something else lurking just beneath the surface.
“There’s nothing wrong with the way Kara dresses,” Alex says without malice, clearly trying to stay polite for the sake of Kara’s career. She’s trying not to piss Cat off, and the gesture is very sweet, if unnecessary. Cat would never fire someone as competent as Kara, just because her wife is a little rough around the edges when it comes to social outings.
“I guess we all have our flaws.” Cat has to hide her smirk behind another sip of her champagne. Her eyes follow Alex’s gaze, and they almost roll out of her head when she sees Kara dancing with some business manager. She doesn’t look very comfortable in his arms, and Cat can tell that Alex is on the verge of stepping in.
She watches Alex’s jaw clench for two more seconds before letting out a sigh.
“Go,” she says, turning her back on the dancefloor and waving the bartender over to refill her glass. When Alex doesn’t say anything, Cat gives her a pointed look. “Save the poor girl. She looks like she’s about ready to slap him, and I don’t want my assistant to be the next headline of my paper.”
Pulling out a small compact mirror, Cat pretends like she’s barely interested in what’s going on around her. But she watches silently as Alex makes her way over to Kara and cuts in, leaving the businessman looking rather disgruntled.
It takes Cat almost another year to figure out that Alex and Kara aren’t married after all.
When she finds out, she wonders why the revelation bothers her so much.
The first time Winn sees Kara at CatCo, he knows he’s in love.
It’s the way that Kara smiles at him when he helps her carry her stuff to her desk right next to Cat Grant’s office, so close to his own workspace. And how she fiddles with her glasses when he compliments her on getting the job.
And although he’s under no illusion that someone like Kara could ever like someone like him, he still daydreams about the day he tells her how much he cares about her. And in his weaker moments, he imagines the way she’ll hug him and tell him that she feels the same way, and that she was just waiting for the right moment to let him know.
She’s been working at CatCo for about a week when he notices the glittering silver bracelet on her right wrist. Up until this point, she’s mostly been wearing long-sleeved cardigans and blouses, but National City’s been growing hotter and hotter as they near the summer, and Kara’s wearing a nice, short-sleeved belted dress. The light blue color compliments her eyes, and Winn can barely tear his gaze away from her.
Leaning against her desk, he pretends to give her some transcripts, so Ms. Grant won’t yell at him.
“Hey, that’s a nice bracelet you got there,” he says, trying to strike up a conversation between them. He doesn’t exactly want to get friendzoned, but if he never talks to Kara in the first place, then he can’t get anywhere with her otherwise.
At his words, she looks down fondly at the piece of jewelry and twists it around her wrist.
“Thanks,” she says, her eyes never leaving the gleaming metal.
“Looks pretty special.” He doesn’t want this moment to end, even if Kara’s proximity makes him feel all sorts of warm inside. He imagines them walking through the park hand in hand, Kara’s hair billowing out behind her. He just knows she’d look even more beautiful with her hair down from that perpetual updo she likes to wear.
His comment makes her smile, and he writes that down mentally as a win.
“It is.” She strokes the bracelet again. “It’s a family heirloom.” She hesitates for a second, before continuing her words. “This is actually one half of a set.” Winn’s pretty sure that Kara has been trying to be his friend, and while that’s not strictly what he wants from her, he’s not going to say no to getting closer to her.
“Who has the other half?” he asks kindly, chancing a glance at Ms. Grant’s office. She’s on the phone, but her glare is unmistakable. He doesn’t have much more time to chat with Kara, if he doesn’t want to get chewed out.
He’s only half-listening when she says: “The most important person in my life.”
Three weeks later, he’s running late.
With his hands stuffed in his pockets, Winn tries to escape the rain as he runs through the streets. If only he hadn’t lost that stupid bet last week -- now he has to run to their favorite restaurant to get his buddy’s meal. They’re planning on playing video games all night, and Winn knows they’ll need all the sustenance they can get.
Still, he wishes he’d taken a taxi to the Italian restaurant.
Once he’s inside, he tries to shake off the rain, but he feels like a drowned rat regardless. It doesn’t rain often in National City, but when it does… He shakes his head just one more time for good measure, before walking up to the maitre d’.
“Hey, Frank,” Winn says, giving him a wide grin. Ever since he’s moved to the city, Winn has gotten his pasta from this place, and he’s grown quite fond of the owners. “I’m here to pick up my order.”
Frank winks at him, before quickly making his way into the back to get his food. While he waits, Winn leans against the front desk and looks around. He’s just about to turn back to the kitchen, when he hears an unmistakable laugh.
His head whips around so fast he swears he can hear his neck cracking just a little bit.
Without any effort, his eyes find Kara, who’s leaning over a table and accepting the forkful of food that someone is holding out to her. She looks radiant even in the dim lights of the restaurant and Winn can’t look away. Especially once Kara is done chewing her food and smiles lovingly at whoever’s sitting across from her. On her right wrist, he can see the gleaming, silver bracelet.
It takes him several seconds to move his eyes over to who Kara is having dinner with, and he’s startled when he sees a woman with a short, reddish brown bob of hair. Before looking over, he’d prepared himself for heartbreak, because he figured Kara was on a date with a guy - possibly her boyfriend. But if she was only having dinner with another woman, then… he mentally kicks himself. Just because Kara isn’t having dinner with a guy doesn’t mean she isn’t on a date.
He watches as Kara steals some food off the other woman’s plate, while the other woman pretends not to notice. Only now does Winn realize who she is.
Alex, he thinks, the woman who brings Kara her lunch every day. Kara hasn’t introduced them, but he figured she was a best friend of some sort. Or a relative, even though the two of them look nothing alike.
“Here you go, Winn,” Frank says, startling Winn out of his thoughts.
“Thanks, man,” he says, sliding over the cash. Just as he goes to turn away, he makes a split-second decision. Screw being appropriate. “Hey, Frank, can you tell me who those two women over there are? I know it sounds weird, but I work with one of them and I kind of want to know if I have a chance or not.”
Frank gives him a look full of pity after glancing over to Kara.
“Sorry, buddy, those are the Danvers. They come here every couple of weeks. I’m surprised you haven’t seen them around before.” He pats Winn on the shoulder. “Lovely couple, those two. Always tip way more than necessary.”
With a sigh, Winn takes one last look at Kara and her… her wife… and notices a glittering on Alex’s right wrist. The sleeve of her blouse has ridden up somewhat and he takes note of the silver bracelet, which is identical to the one on Kara’s arm.
The most important person in her life, he thinks. Figures. Of course someone as beautiful and smart as Kara is already taken. At least the woman she’s with seems to make her happy, if their usual lunchtime chatter is anything to go by.
“Thanks, Frank. Better luck next time, I guess,” he says, shrugging one of his shoulders. He doesn’t think his crush will ever truly go away, but now that he knows Kara is married, at least he knows he doesn’t stand a chance. Not against someone as hot as Alex. No way.
When Winn finds out Kara and Alex are foster sisters, he almost falls out of his chair.
Then he opens up google to find an exorcist, because the inappropriate thoughts he’s had about them suddenly feel even more skeevy than they already did.
James didn’t think that Clark’s cousin would be so cute when he packed up his life and moved to National City. He feels like he should have known, considering how nice and attractive Clark is, that his cousin wouldn’t be much different. And yet, he’s surprised when she stutters her way into his office and fiddles with her glasses.
If he wasn’t still so hung up on Lucy, he’d probably think about asking her out. Even though he’s a bit worried about what Clark is going to think of that idea. He hasn’t given him any indication that he feels very protective of Kara in the dating-sense, but still. Dating his best friend’s cousin might be a bit weird for all of them.
She really is sweet though, and he enjoys the way she smiles at him with those big blue eyes. It makes him feel wanted, and makes him walk a little taller with how she acts around him. All shy smiles and fiddling fingers twirling her hair.
And he can’t say that he hasn’t imagined what it would be like to kiss her, to lean down and press his own lips against that smiling mouth.
It’s a nice thought, and it makes him feel better about himself.
Lucy breaking up with him didn’t come out of nowhere, but it hurt him nonetheless. And even though he feels a little bad about it, having Kara follow him around like a puppy is an incredible boost to his ego. Especially since he doesn’t just have Kara, he also has Supergirl.
That’s why he feels so out of his element when he walks into Noonan’s and sees Kara wiping another woman’s cheek with her napkin.
“Honestly, Alex, how do you keep doing this?” He hears Kara ask with an exasperated tone in her voice. While her right hand keeps Alex’s chin firmly in place, her left wipes at her cheek and lips. “I’m supposed to be the clumsy one in this relationship.”
His ears burn red-hot with embarrassment at those words as he realizes that all of Kara’s supposed flirting with him has been merely inside of his head. He’s made up a narrative where Kara wanted to be with him, rather than wanting to be friends.
He almost turns right back around before getting his tea.
But then Kara spots him, and gives him a smile. A friendly smile, as he now realizes. Something that doesn’t even have a hint of romantic interest. Briefly, he wonders if he’s made an ass of himself these last two weeks he’s known Kara.
Kara waves at him enthusiastically while the woman she’s with - Alex - looks at him with an unimpressed expression. She’s wearing a black leather jacket and a pair of jeans. The plaid shirt only cements James’s assumption about her relationship with Kara. The black boots she’s wearing perfectly round out her butch appearance.
She looks like an unapologetic lesbian, and he’s just a bit afraid, because what if Kara has been ragging on him and his weird behavior towards her? Was he pushy in any way? Did he flirt too much? Did he make Kara uncomfortable?
“Hey, Kara,” he says once he’s close enough, trying not to look guilty. “Nice to see you.”
“Nice to see you, too,” Kara says with a bright smile, though his eyes flit away from it to look at the way Kara’s and Alex’s hands lay on the table. They’re intertwined, and James doesn’t miss the gleam of metal on Kara’s right wrist. Nor does he miss the exact same gleam on Alex’s.
Kryptonian bonding bracelets.
Years ago, when Clark had revealed his secret identity to James, he’d told him all kinds of facts about old Kryptonian traditions that he’d learned at the Fortress. One of them was the ancient tradition of exchanging bonding bracelets made from Kandorian steel to signify the unbreakable bond between two people.
James only recognizes the significance now, because he knows Clark is working up the courage to present Lois with his very own pair of bracelets. He just isn’t sure why Clark never took the time to mention that his cousin is married.
“What are you doing here?” Kara asks him kindly, her hand never leaving Alex’s. “Oh, this is Alex, by the way. Alex, this is James. Remember, I told you about him?” Her eyes stray to Alex’s face, and James immediately notices the way Kara’s eyes soften.
For a moment, he wishes she would look at him like that. The way Lucy used to.
“Hey,” Alex says, giving him another critical look. Clearly, she’s wary of him, and he can’t blame her for it. After all, just a couple of hours ago, he was imagining himself with Kara.
He gives her a nod and a smile, before making excuses about having to go. He can’t remember the last time he’s felt this awkward.
When James finds out Alex and Kara aren’t married after all, he’s both relieved and confused.
After all, those bonding bracelets aren’t a figment of his imagination.
The kidnapped human at her feet is unconscious.
Tilting her head from side to side, Astra uses her foot to roll the human onto her back so she can have a look at her face. After all, this is one of the people who have been hunting down her friends and soldiers. And if Astra can take some of her anger out on her, well, she isn’t about to deny herself the opportunity.
Linking her hands behind her back, Astra studies the human’s face.
Thin and angular with a mop of reddish-brown hair on her head. Blood on her bottom lip. Her body clothed in the tactical gear of the shadowy government organization she works for. The woman has already been divested of her many weapons, and she lies helpless in her sleep.
Pursing her lips, Astra kicks the human’s side, but she doesn’t flinch.
Then, something catches her eye, and Astra crouches down next to the woman. A moment later, her right wrist is held loosely in between Astra’s hands, before being dropped. Once she is back upright, Astra looks down at the silver bracelet in her fingers. The material is unmistakably Kryptonian - Kandorian steel if Astra isn’t mistaken.
“How interesting,” she murmurs to herself, sparing the woman another small glance before turning away and reading the inscription on the inside of the bracelet. It, too, is in Kryptonese. “Forevermore, you are joined with the House of El. In love and peace may you and I be one.” She furrows her brows when she realizes the names underneath the inscription.
Before she can say them out loud, she hears a low groaning behind her.
“You are awake at last,” Astra says, turning back around and holding the bracelet in her left hand. This is a more than interesting development. This is a vital piece of information. “You have been a thorn in my side for quite some time.”
The brunette woman - Alexandra Dan-El , if the bracelet is to be believed - pushes herself up into a sitting position, her glare fierce as she fixes Astra with a look full of wariness. Now that Astra knows who she is, her plans have changed. She no longer feels the need to kill; no, Alexandra is far more useful to her alive.
It takes her hostage barely a second to realize that her bracelet is no longer on her wrist.
“Looking for this?” Astra asks almost nonchalantly, letting the bracelet dangle from her right pointer finger. “Imagine my surprise upon the realization just who it is I have in front of me.” Crouching down once more, Astra switches the piece of jewelry to her other hand so she can draw her right index finger down Alexandra’s cheek.
She’s more than pleased when the human recoils in what Astra hopes is fear and disgust.
“Who knew Supergirl would debase Krypton like this.” Astra takes care to keep her voice low and threatening as she pushes her own face closer to the other woman’s. “To accept a human into the noble House of El.”
Alexandra seems to be on the verge of spitting on her, so Astra pulls back and pushes herself upright once more. Humans could be volatile - savage, even. Holding the bonding bracelet loosely in her hands, she rounds the human thoughtfully.
“I must say… whoever forged this was a master of their craft.” Waiting for a minute, Astra waits for the human to make a comment, but she seems unwilling to give anything away. She only twitches when Astra visibly tightens her grip on the metal. “You appear as though you do not care, but… we both know your partner will be here soon.”
For a second, she contemplates breaking the Kandorian steel, or melting it down with her heat vision, just to see if that will garner a reaction from the stoic soldier at her feet. But then she thinks of Kara, her little one, who had chosen this human to be her life companion, and she can’t bring herself to destroy the symbol of their love.
Disgusted by her own weakness, Astra tosses the bonding bracelet back at Alexandra, before continuing her silent prowling.
Kara will be here soon enough, and then Astra won’t have to question herself anymore. Question herself about why she’s suddenly glad that the hellgrammite hasn’t damaged Kara’s life companion any worse.
From a nearby rooftop, Astra watches as Kara helps her partner to the most comfortable seat in her living space - something which humans refer to as a couch. She almost feels the need to shake her head when her niece presses a sweet kiss against the other woman’s temple. Her little one had always been too loving for her own good.
Astra doesn’t miss the fact that Alex, as Kara had called her, is once again wearing her bonding bracelet. Shortly after Astra had tossed it back to her, Kara had shown up to rescue her life partner, and Astra had lost sight of the woman in the scuffle. Later on, she’d heard from one of her soldiers that the hellgrammite was dead, but she had not seen Alex again.
She’s not quite sure why she is here now, on this rooftop, looking at her niece and her life with the human who should never have joined the House of El. Granted, Alex is braver than most life forms Astra has encountered on this planet, but she can’t shake the feeling that her Kara deserves better than this fragile creature.
As she continues to watch, Kara super speeds through the room for a moment, before returning to Alex with a plastic container of what Astra suspects is a dairy product known as ice cream. Crossing her arms over her chest, Astra stares intently at the look of love clearly reflected on Alexandra Dan-El’s face as Kara hands her a small, metallic utensil with a flat, round top. A spoon, if Astra is not mistaken.
She almost feels like she should look away when Kara places several more gentle kisses on Alex’s cheek, before wrapping her arms around the human’s neck and hugging her close. The bonding bracelet on her wrist shimmers in the light from the ceiling lamp and Astra tries not to let her heart swell with love for her only remaining family.
Clearly, Kara is happy with this… this inferior life form…
Astra knows something about marrying outside of her own station.
She just wishes the happiness of her soldiers didn’t conflict so clearly with her niece’s.
She’s not furious when she sets foot in Kara’s home - not anymore.
Instead, she’s frustrated.
In all her years as General, her husband has never disobeyed her. Not once. And yet here he is, deciding against her express wishes that he would release a Black Mercy to hurt her niece. As soon as this problem is sorted out, Astra is going to show him just what happens to people who defy her. Husband or not.
But first, she has business to attend to.
“Alexandra,” she says without preamble, knowing full-well that the human already knows she’s here. She pretends not to notice the redness to the human’s eyes, or the slight tremor in her hands. There had been a time when Astra herself would have reacted the same way if Non had been hurt. Years ago.
Alex’s jaw is clenched, and she crosses her arms over her chest in a defiant posture.
“Astra,” she replies, digging her nails into her biceps, a look of hatred plain as day taking root on her features. “What do you want? Kara isn’t here.” As always, the bracelet is there, reminding Astra of the fact that this human is the most important person in her niece’s life.
“I know,” Astra replies, "I’m afraid Non decided to take matters into his own hands.”
Alex is mere inches away from her in what feels like less than a second.
“Explain,” she demands, her hands now clenched at her sides, but Astra doesn’t back down. Instead, she tells Alex about what her husband has done and how stupid he’s been, and she doesn’t try to make it sound any less disgusting than she feels it is. In some ways, the genuine anger on the other woman’s face is a relief - her little one deserves someone who loves her as fiercely as the brave one clearly does.
“You need to pull her out of the dream. She needs to realize the fantasy is not real.” After a split-second decision, Astra places her hand on Alex’s shoulder. “I am sure no one else would be better suited than her chosen companion.”
The look she receives in return is laced with confusion, but Astra doesn’t question it.
Instead, she takes a step back and looks at the pictures that line the apartment.
She shakes her head.
“If it had to be a human…” she says quietly, before flying off into the afternoon sunlight.
Astra never realizes Alex and Kara aren’t bonded.
Her hands shake with the force of the gunshot. Even after years of practice, Lena hasn’t had cause to shoot someone point blank. But now, she’s staring at the twitching body of the man who tried to shoot her.
“Hey, thanks for saving my life.” The words pull Lena away from the sight of the blood, and she looks up to see the same brunette woman who saved her from being shot in the first place. There are flecks of blood on her cheek, but she doesn’t even seem to notice. Supergirl is standing right next to her, both hands placed almost gingerly on the woman’s bicep. Clearly, they know each other.
“I could say the same for you,” Lena replies, lowering the gun and trying to stop her hands from shaking. She hopes it’s not visible, just in case there are any paparazzi around. She doesn’t want to seem weak in front of the press, not after the relaunch of LCorp.
Lesbian Corporation, as one of her friends had joked.
The brunette woman smiles at her, before there are yet more explosions.
“Go,” she tells Supergirl, “I’m fine.”
A silent conversation takes place right in front of Lena’s eyes, and she wonders how important this woman is to Supergirl, and if her enemies know about this weakness. Immediately, she thinks of Lex and how he would have exploited such a vulnerability without hesitation.
After a final once-over, Supergirl nods and flies away, the brunette hot on her heels. Not even a second later, Lena feels a hand on her shoulder, and she knows instinctively that it’s Clyve, one of her bodyguards.
Silently, she watches the brunette woman’s back disappear in the crowd, wondering who this mysterious person was who defended her without any prompting. She didn’t look like a member of the police, and the way she fought…
Shaking her head, Lena follows her bodyguards to her armored car.
Leaning back in her plush chair, Lena closes her eyes and lets out a frustrated little sigh. She’s been fielding calls all day about LCorp’s latest invention. She still doesn’t feel conflicted about the alien detector, but there have been a number of people giving her some powerful pushback and Lena wonders if she should reconsider the product.
Rubbing her temple, she tries to block out the headache that’s been threatening to break free all day.
When her assistant’s voice rings through the intercom on her desk, Lena almost sighs.
She’s been looking forward to a little bit of time without any meetings.
“Ms. Luthor, Kara Danvers is here to see you without an appointment. Do you want me to send her away?” her assistant asks calmly, clearly on the verge of sending Kara away regardless of what her boss tells her. Sarah has been with her for years at this point, and Lena values her as an employee and a friend, but this is Kara. And Lena isn’t in the business of sending gorgeous women away that she might like to date someday.
“Send her in,” she says, straightening up in her chair and folding her hands on her desk before deciding that it makes her look too buttoned-up. Act natural, damnit, she thinks to herself. Be smooth - you can do this.
Pushing herself to her feet just as Kara walks in, Lena rounds her desk to greet Kara with a friendly hug. Her hands possibly squeeze those delectable biceps a bit more than necessary, but no one can really fault her for that, surely. Not when Kara Danvers seems to be made of muscle. Beautiful, gorgeous, kind muscle.
“Kara, so nice to see you.” Lena gestures over to the couch in the corner, keeping one of her hands on Kara’s arm.
“I thought I’d bring you some lunch,” Kara says sweetly, holding up a brown paper bag with the Noonan’s logo stamped on the front. “I know you work too hard.”
Against Lena’s better judgement (Kara is a reporter, after all), the two of them have struck up a friendship, even if Lena has been trying to push them into a more romantic direction. Although Kara seems to be a little bit dense when it comes to Lena’s raging lesbianism.
“You’re too sweet,” Lena coos, taking the bag as soon as she’s sat down next to Kara - a little bit too close to be considered friendly, maybe. Still, Kara only smiles without seeming the least bit concerned.
Maybe Lena needs to up the flirting a little.
But really, who wouldn’t immediately fall in love with someone as beautiful and nice as Kara Danvers? Lena never really had a chance, she’s sure of it. Even when they disagree, Kara is never unkind or cruel. Rather, she listens to Lena’s points and tries to understand where she’s coming from.
This is clearly a terrible idea, but Lena feels confident in her stupidity.
After all, she's a powerful CEO and pretty easy on the eyes, if her many adoring fans are to be believed. She can ask one of her friends out to a corporate event -- there’s absolutely nothing wrong or weird about that. Lena doesn't currently have a plus one, and Kara would no doubt look stunning on her arm.
Pulling self-consciously on her ponytail, Lena steps up to the front door of Kara’s apartment and takes a deep, steadying breath. It has taken quite a bit of work from her private investigators to uncover the address, which is just one more reason why she can't chicken out on this.
With another deep breath, Lena knocks on the door, wondering for the umpteenth time if she should have brought a bouquet of flowers.
She's just dismissed the thought again when the door opens in front of her to reveal Kara’s beautifully radiant face. She’s smiling already and there’s a happy flush on her cheeks, making Lena wish she’d been present for whatever had made Kara so happy. After all, Lena sort of hopes she can make the woman happy soon.
“Good morning, Kara,” she says sweetly, taking great care to put as much sultry emphasis on the name as she can. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything…” She’d meant it as a joke, but when she takes a step into Kara’s apartment, she falters for a moment. “Oh, it’s you.”
The brunette woman who saved her after the speech Lena had given sits on one of the barstools, but she looks remarkably different from the last time Lena had laid eyes on her. For one, her face isn't furrowed in concentration, something which unmistakably softens her features. Second, she looks like she belongs here, in this space. In the jeans that Lena is pretty sure she's seen on Kara before (Lena spends an embarrassingly long time looking at Kara’s legs) and a warm, red sweater.
“What is happening?” Kara asks, clearly confused as she closes the door behind Lena.
The brunette woman gets to her feet.
“She saved me from getting shot a couple of weeks ago,” Lena explains, feeling strangely out of sorts. What is this woman doing here? In Kara’s apartment? She tries not to sound suspicious and bitter. “My hero.”
“Oh!” Kara replies, realization breaking over her face like a torrent. In an instant, her smile is back, and she walks over to the brunette to wrap her hands around her biceps and pull her closer to Lena. “This is Alex! Remember, I told you about her?”
Oh yes, of course.
The bane of Lena’s existence.
The woman Kara sometimes talks about when they are spending time together. Whenever the conversation turns to her and Kara starts to gush, Lena usually changes the subject as quickly as she can. She doesn’t generally relish the feeling of being jealous. From the way her friend tends to talk about the woman, Lena has assumed that Kara is crushing on her -- which is the main reason why Lena’s so sure that Kara isn't straight.
But this… well.
Lena must admit she hasn't anticipated this.
“I’m with the FBI,” Alex says, stretching out her right hand so she and Lena can shake. The silvery glint of metal does not go unnoticed by Lena, who manages to stop her face from twisting into an expression of disappointment. She’s seen the exact same bracelet on Kara’s wrist. Still, they may just be best friends. “It’s all in a day’s work, Ms. Luther,” Alex concludes, and Lena watches as Kara rolls her eyes at the formal way Alex has addressed her.
“Lena, please. You saved me from that maniac, I think that gives you certain privileges.” Lena wishes she could somehow determine for sure if this Alex person is involved with Kara. She doesn't want to make an ass of herself and ask Kara out only to find that she’s already committed to someone else. Lena isn't into home-wrecking. She’s not her father. “Just in case I want to send you a fruit basket to express my gratitude, could you tell me your last name as well?”
No matter what they are to each other, Alex is clearly important to Kara, and Lena is genuinely grateful for the save.
Alex gives Kara a strange look at that.
“Danvers,” she says with a smile. “You really don't have to send me anything.” She hastily adds a few more words when Kara elbows her. “Not that I’m trying to sound ungrateful. If you want to thank me, you can just send it here.”
Danvers, Lena thinks, fuck.
Kara and Alex Danvers.
Kara isn't just seeing someone; Kara is fucking married. And Lena has been planning the best way to ask her out.
Suddenly, she’s relieved that she decided to come here this morning, because she’s managed to dodge one huge embarrassing bullet in the process.
While Lena is having a silent moment of astounding relief, Alex sits back down on the barstool, clearly trying to give her wife and Lena some privacy.
“So, what’s up?” Kara asks kindly, tearing her eyes away from Alex to grin at Lena. Under different circumstances, Lena knows she would have melted under that sweet look, but not anymore. Not now that she knows Kara is married to someone as awesome, beautiful, and badass as Alex Danvers.
“Oh, yes, I am throwing a party for Supergirl to thank her for what she’s done for the city,” Lena explains, hoping she doesn't sound as guilty as she now feels. It finally makes sense why Kara is so immune to her charms. “I was wondering if you’d like to come by. Alex is invited as well, of course.”
Lena raises her voice just enough to be audible all the way in the open kitchen, and Alex looks up from the newspaper with mild interest. She seems on the verge of declining when Kara smiles.
“Alex and I would love to come,” she says, causing Alex’s mouth to snap shut in silent consternation. If Lena had been with some of her other friends, she might have been tempted to mimic a whipping motion. “Do you have the details hammered out yet?” Behind them, Alex goes back to reading her paper, while Lena has to try not to smile.
She knows she’ll be fine; she just needs a few days to adjust her behavior with Kara. The woman is still a good friend and Lena is happy that she’s got a wife who seems to make her happy, from what little she’s seen.
Again, she thinks to herself, who wouldn’t fall for Kara Danvers?
The guest list reads Kara Danvers, VIP, plus her wife Alex Danvers.
Lena has absolutely no idea why her friend looks so flustered when she enters the VIP area.
She finds out shortly after, but by that time, she has already set her sights on someone else.
Besides, she’s pretty sure she knows the look of gay denial on Kara’s face. She’s seen it on her own more than she’d like to admit.
6. Livewire & Silver Banshee
Leslie places her hands behind her head and leans against the closest steel beam, staring down at the unconscious woman that they tied up a couple of minutes ago. There’s a dry stream of blood on the woman’s face, running from her temple down to her neck, but Leslie isn’t worried. She checked to make sure that the wound isn’t too deep -- she doesn’t actually want to kill this person. She just wants to play with Supergirl a little bit.
“How long do you think it’ll take her until she finds us?” Siobhan asks, looking at herself in a small compact mirror to make sure her banshee makeup still looks as perfect as it did before they attacked Supergirl. “I don’t want to deal with this all day.”
Leslie shrugs and snags the mirror from Siobhan’s hands.
Her girlfriend looks just fine.
“Probably one or two hours max. I overheard this one here telling Supergirl that she’s been chipped a couple of weeks ago. Apparently she’s no stranger to being kidnapped.” Leslie’s been following Supergirl around for quite a while, and she’s picked up on plenty of interesting stuff. Like the fact that the unconscious woman at their feet is a bit closer to National City’s hero than either one of them wants the public to know.
“I can’t wait to see her face when she gets here.” Siobhan smirks mischievously. “Maybe we should make it look like we roughed up her darling a bit. I still have my makeup kit here.” She leans herself against Leslie’s chest.
“You’re evil,” Leslie purrs, lowering her arms and wrapping them around Siobhan’s waist. “I love it.” She takes a moment to hold her girlfriend close, before letting her go. A moment later, she’s sitting cross-legged in front of the unconscious woman.
Agent Alex Danvers, Leslie thinks with another smirk.
For some reason, she’s not at all surprised that Kara Danvers’ sister is so intimately involved with Supergirl. After all, the girl usually seems to be quite caught up in the superhero business for some reason - which probably has something to do with Cat and her incessant meddling.
A few weeks ago, Leslie had been scoping out some of the DEO stiffs at some alien crisis situation, and she’d listened in on their conversation. It had been more than interesting to hear those agents talking about Agent Danvers.
She couldn’t pass up an opportunity like that.
“Right, I think we should mess up her clothes a bit, too,” Siobhan says as she crouches down next to Leslie, setting down her elaborate makeup kit next to them. “We want to make it look realistic.”
“Do you have any fake blood?” Leslie lifts up Alex’s chin to expect her face from all sides. The agent sure is attractive -- definitely attractive enough to be married to Supergirl, who always looks like she stepped out of a damn magazine. “I really want to give our girly a fright when she gets here.”
Siobhan pulls out a full bottle of stage blood.
“I used to be heavily involved in local theater productions. You know that.” She hands over the bottle before pulling out a few different makeup pencils and various red colors. “You can add the blood after I’m done remodeling her face with this.”
Leslie grins widely.
It’s been awhile since she’s had this much fun.
Siobhan is half done with painting Agent Danvers’ face when she finally wakes up with a startled little noise. It takes her less than a second to realize that she’s tied up, and Leslie watches with amusement as Alex turns her head from side to side, before focusing her attention on Leslie and Siobhan.
She seems instantly pissed, which only makes Leslie feel giddier.
“When I get out of these restraints, you’re going to be in a world of pain,” Alex seethes, trying to pull her head out of Siobhan’s reach. “And Supergirl is going to finish off what’s left of you.” She struggles against the steel beam she’s tied to, but Leslie isn’t worried. She snuck those babies out of a DEO van when the stiffs weren’t looking.
Alex isn’t getting out of those.
“Relax, we just want to play with you a little bit,” Leslie says almost jovially, grabbing Alex’s head by the temples to keep her steady so Siobhan can continue making her look ashen and pale and like she’s lost a lot of blood. She’s careful not to press on the wound she caused by clobbering Alex down with a baseball bat. After Supergirl had been incapacitated by Siobhan’s glorious scream of rage.
For a few seconds, Alex is quiet, then it seems as though she can’t keep herself from asking the question. “What are you doing?”
Siobhan chuckles and applies a bit more makeup.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” she says with a teasing tone, which only sparks Leslie’s desire to mock this woman even more. After all, she’s at their mercy, and Leslie enjoys it quite a lot when she’s got someone under her thumb. Especially someone who usually holds a lot of power.
Pushing herself into a crouch, Leslie lets go of Alex’s head for a moment so she can lean in closer to her.
“We know who you are,” she says, plastering a deranged smile onto her lips that she hopes will make her look even scarier and more unhinged. “And we know exactly what we need to do to get under Supergirl’s skin.”
There’s a moment where Leslie can’t tell whether the agent looks pale because of the makeup, or because she’s actually worried about what she’s just been told. She chooses to believe the latter, because she enjoys the thought of Supergirl’s wife being scared.
“It was only a matter of time until one of us bad guys would find out what you are to each other,” Leslie continues, placing her hands on Alex’s shoulders and leaning even closer to her. Now there’s a definite look of disgust plastered all over the agent’s features, and it only serves to make Leslie even happier.
“You’re bluffing,” Alex grinds out, swallowing hard when her neck starts being painted by Siobhan’s skilled fingers.
“Really?” Leslie asks, almost too innocently. “Then how did we know to kidnap you specifically, Agent Danvers?” Leslie watches the other woman’s face for any sign that she’s hitting a nerve, but the her training seems too solid for such a cheap shot.
“Supergirl would save any agent that has been kidnapped in the line of duty,” Alex says, glaring at both of them, even though she’s no longer struggling against the makeup being applied. Maybe she’s realized that they could be doing much worse to her.
“I’m sure that’s true,” Leslie agrees, leaning back a bit and running a hand through her hair. “But I bet she’ll be doubly pissed that we took her wife this time.” After her delivery of that final line, Leslie waits for a reaction, but all she gets is stunned silence -- which, granted, is a reaction all on its own. “It sure is sweet that Supergirl picked one of her little human protectors to marry, don’t you think so, Silver Banshee?”
“Very sweet,” she says, giving Leslie a satisfied look. She’s enjoying the show just as much, especially when the agent glares at them both with an angry fire in her eyes that only confirms what Leslie has uncovered.
“I knew you were deranged, but I had no idea just how much. I am not Supergirl’s wife - and if you think this fantasy is going to get you a more visceral reaction from her, then I’m sorry to disappoint you.” There’s too much fury in her gaze at this point, and Leslie wonders where the cool agent from just a moment before has gone.
“There’s no need to lie, Agent Danvers. I overheard some of your colleagues discussing the two of you.” Leslie sits back down and cocks her head to the side. With the state of her makeup, Alex looks a lot like an ill-tempered corpse. The image is pretty funny.
“They were obviously joking!” Alex rages, starting her struggling back up again, no doubt desperate to get out of her shackles and to wrap her hands around Leslie’s neck. “You can’t honestly be this stupid!”
“Insults won’t get you back to your little wifey any faster,” Siobhan says, finishing up with Alex’s neck. “If I were you, I’d count myself lucky that we haven’t looked up any city records to expose Supergirl’s real identity.”
To be fair, Leslie has about zero interest in figuring out who Supergirl is when she’s not wearing the cape and the skirt. She just likes fighting her from time to time, and she knows that Siobhan feels the same way. With powers like these, what are the two of them supposed to do? Become vigilantes themselves? Ridiculous.
Leslie’s pretty sure that Agent Danvers’ face is flushed red with anger under all of that makeup.
When Siobhan takes a step back, Leslie grabs the bottle of stage blood.
“Time to set the scene properly now, I think,” she says with a dirty laugh, before starting to squirt the liquid onto a furious Alex, who barely manages to close her eyes before she’s hit in the face with a stream of red.
Supergirl just about rips the roof off the warehouse when she gets there, and both Leslie and Siobhan are hidden away in a corner when she flies inside. Even though they know Supergirl can probably sense them, they wait for her to find Agent Danvers. Tied up with a gag stuffed in her mouth so she can’t call out to Supergirl that she’s fine.
The look on National City’s hero is one for the ages.
As is the way she slams into the ground in horror at the sight of her wife covered in blood and bruises - ostensibly.
When Supergirl is on her knees, cradling the agent’s face in her hands, Leslie sniggers.
Mission accomplished pretty thoroughly.
“Okay, let’s never do that again,” Leslie says through her panting as she hides herself away behind a brick wall, while Siobhan nurses a cut on her left arm. “Who knew Supes could even get that angry? Maybe we were a bit too trigger happy with the fake blood.”
“No more messing with the Mrs.,” Siobhan agrees, trying to shake the visual of Supergirl charging at them with all her rage out of her mind. Maybe one day she won’t think of those laser eyes cutting through steel and stone anymore as Supergirl tries to incapacitate them.
And punish them, probably, for hurting her wife.
“Do you think she’s realized by now that we didn’t actually do anything to Agent Danvers?” Leslie wonders out loud, pulling a bit of charred hair away from her head. She’s pretty sure Supergirl tapped into an unforeseen well of power there, because her laser eyes have never been fast enough to touch Leslie before. She’s made of electricity, after all.
“Hopefully.” Siobhan sits on the ground and wipes at her makeup. “I’m not in the mood to get chased any farther tonight.” She shivers. “I’m pretty sure it was your idea to kidnap the wife, so it’s your turn to pay for our medical bills.”
Leslie rolls her eyes.
The next time Leslie and Siobhan encounter Alex, they find someone else from the DEO to pick on.
And they never get close enough to her again to figure out that Alex and Supergirl aren’t married after all.
7. Old High School Friends
Kelly is loading her plate up with shrimp wrapped in bacon while her husband gets her a drink, when she spots Kara and Alex Danvers walking through the front doors of their school’s old gym. She doesn’t drop her plate, but she’s happy that she hasn’t had too much to drink yet. Because Kara and Alex look good.
It’s been years since Kelly has seen them, but she doesn’t remember them as… well… quite this striking, really. Kara had always been a bit of a nerd, and the last time Kelly saw Alex, the woman had been in her punk phase - pink hair and all.
But now, Alex’s hair is brunette once more, and cut in a flattering bob that frames her face just right. And while Kara had been tall in high school, she’d never dressed this nicely or had her makeup done this well.
Kelly stares a bit longer at Alex’s flatteringly cut, dark green blouse, before her eyes drop down and she notices that Kara’s and Alex’s hands are clasped tightly together. She almost shakes her head. Some things never change.
“Look at that,” Rachel says from behind her, almost making Kelly jump right where she stands. “I didn’t think they’d really show up. I really thought Alex and Kara would cancel last minute.” She picks up a grape. “They look really good.”
Kelly thinks that’s a bit of an understatement.
She’s pretty sure she’s gained about ten or fifteen pounds since high school, but Alex and Kara look like they’re professional athletes. Kara’s biceps look ridiculously defined, even under the gym’s terrible lighting, and Alex walks like a damn firefighter. All self-confidence and like she’s ready for anything at a moment’s notice.
“I feel like I should’ve worked out more before coming,” Rachel says, taking the words right out of Kelly’s mouth.
“Agreed,” Kelly says, shaking her head.
“What are we looking at?” Kelly almost jumps again as the voice of her husband joins her.
“The Danvers sisters,” she explains, trying to point at the two women as discreetly as possible while Kara and Alex pick up their name tags at the desk that’s been set up right next to the entrance. “We were all friends, remember?”
Keith nods, before taking a gulp of his beer. “They look nice.”
“They are,” Rachel chimes in, waving over her own husband. “We like them.” She’s clearly waiting for Kara and Alex to spot them. “I wonder if they’re both single, or if they just decided it would be easier without any annoying husbands or boyfriends.”
Keith rolls his eyes, but Kelly smirks at Rachel.
“Can’t imagine that someone who looks like Alex is single.” Kelly watches as Alex pins the name tag on Kara’s dress and smiles at her, before letting her sister do the same to her. “They still look as infatuated with each other as ever, though.” At her husband’s raised eyebrow, Kelly swats at him. “Not like that, you perv, ew.”
“Don’t blame me, blame the porn industry,” Keith defends himself, before they’re joined by Rachel’s husband.
“We should just say hello,” Kelly asserts, deciding not to engage with her husband’s comment. There were always rumors floating around about Kara and Alex during high school, but Kelly and Rachel knew better. “It’s rude to stare.”
She takes a moment to fix her long, brunette hair, before walking forward slowly. She knows she shouldn’t feel this self-conscious around old friends, but Alex and Kara hadn’t looked this attractive and successful the last time they’d spoken.
Kara spots her first.
“Kelly! Rachel! Hey!” she says excitedly, opening her arms wide for hugs, while Alex stays back a bit. Kelly isn’t offended - Alex had never been the touchy-feely type in high school. Except when it came to Kara. “It’s so good to see you guys again!”
Kara feels just as warm and solid as she used to, and Kelly feels thrown back in time almost immediately. She has a hard time keeping a hold on her paper plate.
“It’s been too long,” she says, before stepping back so Rachel can have a hug. Kelly looks uncertainly at Alex, who has made zero effort to open her arms. “Hey, Alex. It’s really good to see you, too.”
Alex smiles, even though she seems just as nervous as Kelly now.
“Yeah, it is,” she says, reaching out with her hand to pat Kelly on the shoulder awkwardly. “Sorry we’re a bit late. Kara had an emergency at work.” Alex’s eyes seem to positively glow with pride when she looks at her sister, and not for the first time Kelly wishes she had a sibling like Alex.
Once Keith and Rachel’s husband Richard have introduced themselves, the six of them walk over to one of the bar tables scattered all around the gym. Kelly barely notices the way Alex’s hand lands on Kara’s lower back, as if to guide her. She almost shakes her head. Looks like she was wrong before. Alex and Kara aren’t just as close -- they seem even closer than before.
Once they’re all huddled around the bar table, Kelly places down her paper plate and smiles openly at her old friends. Rachel is the only one she’s kept in touch with over the years, and she can’t wait for the gossip that is sure to come up over the course of the evening.
“So, what have you guys been up to these last few years? Where do you work now? Any husbands? Kids?” She snags one of the shrimp and bites down on it as she waits for Alex and Kara to respond. She almost furrows her brows as she sees Alex’s arm snake around Kara’s waist to pull her closer almost imperceptibly.
“No husbands or kids,” Kara clarifies, sneaking one of Rachel’s french fries off her plate. The whole thing makes Kelly smile. Same old Kara. “I work as a reporter for CatCo Worldwide Media, and Alex is working with the FBI.” Her smile is almost blinding as she snuggles further into Alex’s embrace. “Alex got her PhD in bio-engineering a couple of years ago.”
Rachel whistles, clearly impressed, while Alex’s cheeks burn red-hot with embarrassment at her sister’s obvious pride.
“Dr. Danvers, huh?” Rachel teases her, before elbowing Alex in the side. “You probably have to beat the men off with a stick.” She wiggles her eyebrows, but Alex doesn’t smile. Instead, she awkwardly glances at Kara, who gives Rachel an almost fake smile, something which Kelly has rarely seen on her old friend.
“Actually,” Kara says, clearly taking pity on her sister, “Alex is a lesbian. So there are no men to be beaten off.” She laughs uncomfortably, no doubt unsure about their reactions, seeing as Kelly and Rachel are both married to guys.
But before Kelly can say something, Rachel opens her mouth.
“No way!” She slaps her hand on the bar table, making Kara and Alex flinch. “You’re gay and yet you still went to prom with Brad Johnson, even though you knew I had a crush on him!” She looks so outraged that Kelly can’t stop a laugh from bubbling out of her chest.
Now Rachel’s expression looks even more offended.
“I’m… sorry?” Alex says, her words sounding more like a question. “I was in denial and totally overcompensating?”
While Rachel puffs out her cheeks in what now seems more like mock-annoyance, Keith leans down to Kelly and whispers to her behind his hand. “If your friend is a lesbian, that totally opens up the possibility that she’s banging her sister after all.”
He sniggers, even though Kelly swats at him once more. Her husband will forever be a big man boy.
“Gross,” she says again, before making eye contact with Kara, who’s suddenly gone a little pale. There’s no way she’s heard what Keith has just said to her, but Kelly still feels a little guilty for it nonetheless.
“I think it all worked out in the end, don’t you?” Alex finally says to Rachel, gesturing vaguely in Richard’s direction. “Imagine if you’d gone to prom with Brad. Maybe you wouldn’t be married to your husband now. I did you a favor.”
Kara turns her eyes back to Alex, and Kelly relaxes.
“I’ll let it slide,” Rachel acquiesces with a regal smile, before elbowing Alex once more. “So you’re a lesbian, Danvers? You know, I really love Ellen and Orange is the New Black. Honestly, it makes me wish I’d experimented more in college.”
Richard shakes his head, but Keith whistles in agreement, before Kelly swats him for a third time. Incorrigible man child.
Kelly doesn’t notice the way Alex’s shoulders stiffen.
They’re three hours into the high school reunion, and Kelly has been watching Alex and Kara’s behavior with great interest. It makes sense why Alex would be telling any of the guys they went to high school with to get lost when they ask her to dance, but Kara? All Kara does is look at Alex like she’s hung the moon and the stars in the sky, and whenever one of their old classmates comes to chat to her, she usually doesn’t talk to them for more than five minutes.
Of course, it’s possible that Kara is just as gay as her sister, but that seems a bit farfetched. After all, what are the odds of two siblings being gay? Even if one of them’s adopted.
Now, though, Alex and Kara are nowhere to be seen, and Kelly shrugs mentally to herself. Even while they’d been in school, the two of them had sneaked off together all the time to do god knows what.
“Maybe we should call Jeff,” Keith says as they sway together on the dance floor. “You know he loves turning lesbians.” He says it so casually that it almost makes Kelly angry, and she shakes her head at her husband.
“We’ve talked about this, Keith. Jeff is an asshole, and there’s no such thing as turning a lesbian.” She sighs and places her head on Keith’s shoulder. One of these days, she’s going to grow tired of trying to correct her husband.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. But he’s done it, I swear,” Keith tries again, looking like he’s on the verge of getting out his phone. “Honestly, it’s such a waste that your friend doesn’t want to be with a guy. I think we should at least give Jeff the opportunity.”
“Don’t you dare,” Kelly says, pulling away a little so she can give Keith a mighty glare.
“Okay, okay, fine.” He pulls her closer again and begins to rock her from side to side. “I’m sure Jeff is busy.” He looks around himself. “Where are your friends, anyway? Think they’re off getting dirty somewhere?”
Kelly shakes her head once more.
She still finds her way easily through the hallways of the gym, and once she’s done relieving herself and has washed her hands, Kelly looks at herself in the mirror. She still remembers standing right here when she was sixteen. The thought makes her feel nostalgic, and she shakes it off. This place hasn’t changed a bit.
When she steps out of the door, she just about catches sight of Kara’s dress vanishing behind a row of lockers, and Kelly wonders what those two are up to.
She shouldn’t spy, but she takes a step forward nonetheless.
She’s never been privy to one of Alex and Kara’s private moments.
“You want to go home?” Kelly hears Alex ask quietly, and she places a hand behind her ear so she can listen more closely to what is being said. Alex sounds even gentler than she usually does, and Kelly feels just a bit weirded out by that. Not because she’s with her sister, but because she sounds… remarkably human. “I’ve had my fill of this place, to be honest.”
“Yeah,” Kara agrees, and there’s a rustling that sounds suspiciously like they’re hugging. “I’m exhausted. How do you feel about getting pizza and ice cream on the way?”
Alex chuckles lovingly, and Kelly feels for the first time like she’s intruding, even though neither Alex nor Kara know that she’s there.
“Sounds like a plan.” Alex’s voice is barely above a whisper at this point, and Kelly strains forward a little to catch what’s going on. What she hears next almost makes her topple right over, because there are… kissing noises. Soft sighs of pleasure and the gentle sliding of lips accompanied by the noise of a back hitting a locker.
Kelly has tiptoed out of the room before she can be spotted.
She’s not sure if she should tell Rachel.
She can’t tell Keith.
Gnawing on another shrimp wrapped in bacon, Kelly thinks about what to do.
So Alex and Kara are dating after all.
And they’re foster sisters.
She’s not sure how she feels about it all, but she doesn’t have long to question herself, because Alex and Kara are coming out of a door at the side of the gym, looking a little bit flushed but definitely happier than before.
Because they made out against a row of lockers.
Alex and Kara made out.
Kelly shakes her head, before plastering a smile on her face.
“Leaving?” she asks when Alex and Kara reach her and Keith, their hands clasped together again. They’re both wearing their jackets. “The night is still young, you guys. There is so much more dancing to be done.” She’s trying to seem normal, but she feels like she’s failing miserably at it.
Kara looks contrite, even though Kelly knows it’s just an act.
“Alex and I have plans tomorrow morning, so we can’t stay.” Kara lets go of Alex to give Kelly a hug. “Where are Rachel and her husband? I wanted to tell them goodbye as well.” Alex gives Keith a dubious look, no doubt because he’s wiggling his eyebrows at her.
Kelly wishes the ground would swallow her up.
“Oh, they’re off to the store to buy some more booze. The school grossly understocked the beer.” She digs her nails into Keith’s inner thigh, hoping he’ll stop his inappropriate behavior and act more like the guy Kelly met and married, less like the lecherous fratboy he turns into when he’s had a few.
Sadly, he doesn’t seem to get the memo.
“Yeah, I guess you guys missed that while you were, you know… busy… doing things. Behind closed doors…” He wiggles his eyebrows even harder and one of Alex’s eyes twitches dangerously. Even though she’s a scientist, she looks like she could drop someone several times her size, and Kelly really doesn’t want anything to ruin her night. Not anymore than she already feels it has been.
“I’ll tell Rachel you guys said goodbye when she gets back,” Kelly interjects quickly, kicking Keith under the table. “Thanks for coming, you guys. It was great to see you again. We should do lunch sometime.” It’s a thing she says mostly to get rid of Alex and Kara before her husband can embarrass her further, and it’s a sign Alex takes immediately.
“Alright, thanks, sounds good,” she says, before pulling Kara after herself and out of the gym.
Kelly tries to forget she ever heard her friends make out.
Months later, she gives in and googles Alex and Kara.
There’s a wedding annotation.
She wonders why that knowledge doesn’t bother her more.
8. Epilogue - Alex & Kara
Kara purrs happily when she feels lips pressing gently up and down her naked back. There’s a hand on her waist, and the fingers are softly stroking along her side. The other person is warm and tender and Kara almost doesn’t want to pull herself out of this half-awake, half-asleep state of bliss.
“Wake up, sweetheart,” Alex murmurs against Kara’s skin, skimming her lips along each and every vertebra. “I made breakfast in bed.” The words sound like music to Kara’s ears and she groans with pleasure as she turns slowly onto her back.
Alex is dressed in an old t-shirt and a pair of Kara’s panties.
“Morning,” Kara whispers, her voice still rough with sleep. “Breakfast in bed, you say?”
A sweet kiss is pressed to her lips.
“Happy five-year anniversary, Mrs. Danvers.” Alex takes Kara’s right hand in her own so that their bonding bracelets clink together to emit the wondrous sound that Kandorian steel produces when it touches another piece of metal forged from the same vein. “I love you.”
Kara pulls Alex down and on top of her, sliding her hands under her wife’s t-shirt to feel her skin. To reassure herself that this human who has loved her for so many years is really hers. Even five years later, Kara doesn’t believe her luck sometimes.
“I love you, too, Alex.” Squeezing her eyes shut, Kara takes in this moment, committing it to memory like so many others the two of them have shared over the years. “Now get out of those clothes and give me my food.”
Snorting in amusement, Alex sits up and pulls her t-shirt over her head before throwing it away.
“Now I remember why I married you. It’s because you’re so romantic,” she teases Kara, before removing her panties and getting under the covers. Half a minute later, she’s placed their biggest tray on the bed, and Kara is already digging into the freshly baked bread that only Alex knows how to bake aside from Astra. It’s a secret Kryptonian recipe that Kara hasn’t been able to finagle out of either of them.
Mostly, she’s just glad her wife and her aunt get along these days.
As Kara leans back in Alex’s embrace, with delicious food in her mouth and her wife’s fingers stroking her sides, she smiles.
And she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about her or Alex.