Merlin woke with heaving coughs. Rolling to his side he ignored the ache of long since stiff muscles, concentrating on not coughing a lung up. Everything felt grimy and he could tell he was coated in a thick layer of something. He barely had given it a thought before a great deluge of water came pouring down over himself. Spluttering he blinked, looking around.
He stared uncomprehendingly around the...ruins? Shoving a mouldering wood that was covering his lower legs off, he stood up. He ached, it was like he hadn’t moved in years. Stretching, he cracked his back and looked around. What was this place? Why was he here? His eyes stopped on a tomb.
There was nothing about the stone with intricately carved letters across that said tomb, or whom it belonged to, but deep in his mind he knew. Stepping forward he reached out, touching it only for his memories to flash through his mind. Arthur! It was time! Gripping the stone top, he put his back into it and heaved.
Grunting, he stopped and panted. Why had he agreed to use limestone for this? Sure it would keep the magic contained but…wait. Magic. He slapped his own forehead and stepped back. A wave of his hand and the great stone slab moved with a grating sound before crashing to the side.
His nose wrinkled at the smell coming from the tomb. Peeking inside, he grimaced. They were going to kill him. Besides looking just as they had after fighting the horrible battle, it seemed that the bleeding hadn’t stopped immediately upon the enchantment, leaving them lying what looked like an inch or two of blood. Reaching down, he held his breath as he placed his fingers against Arthur’s neck. He nearly sobbed at the feeling of a pulse beneath them.
Pulling his hand back he grinned down at them. Kara was unconscious still, but he could see that it was transitioning from a magical sleep to a true one as her forehead crinkled. Turning, he dug his trunk out from under some rubble and pulled out the clean clothes he’d packed for both of them. Smiling in victory he hauled them, as well as a bar of soap, out. Turning to the ruins, he frowned. Well that wouldn’t do; he hadn’t selected this room for it to be in this shape when he woke up.
Waving his arms and murmuring words of power he slowly returned the room to it’s former glory. Pleased, he put his hands on his hips and walked to what should have been a lovely scrying pool, but it had dried out with age. Merlin bit his lip...if they’d slept too long he wasn’t responsible. Cracking his knuckles he conjured a lot of hot water filling the pool with steaming clear water.
Hearing movement he jogged back to the open tomb. His face lit up, and a weight that had settled over him that day on the battlefield lifted. Words didn’t come, he was just too happy as he stared at the confused, blinking eyes of Kara looking up at him and then over at Arthur’s snoring form. Finally she opened her mouth a few times before croaking. “Why is Arthur spooning me?” Frowning she glanced around. “Where’s Morgana?”
Merlin laughed while leaning down and clasping her hand. “Let’s get you out of there and cleaned up.”
Kara shifted and clearly felt the liquid around her. Her nose scrunched up in disgust. “Please.” She accepted his hand up and let him haul her up to her feet and then out of the tomb.
“Once Arthur is awake I’ll explain everything.” Merlin couldn’t help it, disgusting post war and wounds dripping blood regardless, he hauled her into a tight hug. “You have no idea how good it is to see you.”
She patted his back before pulling back and glancing back into the tomb. “Should we get him out of there?”
Merlin cocked his head. That probably would be for the best. “Think you can help haul the prat out?”
“Sure, I’m just...stiff. How long were we in there?” She asked while cautiously while moving over to help pull the king out.
As he grabbed the other side of Arthur and lifted, Merlin bit his lip. “I’m not really sure. A long time? I’ve kinda been asleep as well. Figured it would help make time go faster.”
“That’s…” She seemed to remember he wouldn’t be explaining until Arthur was awake. Her eyes landed on the scrying pool. “Is that a bath?” Kara’s voice was eager and breathy with desire.
“Yup!” He proudly puffed up. “Why don’t you clean up while see what can be done about food?”
She smiled over at him. “Sounds good.”
He rubbed the back of his head before ducking out of the room and wandering to the edge of the isle. Closing his eyes, he focused on food and summoned. Arms loaded with fruit and chicken in a strange sort of clear box, he trotted back to the ritual room. Politely averting his eyes from the scrying pool he checked Arthur while setting his loot down. Fortunately the king was still snoring, though he’d shifted some.
Smiling Merlin glared at the odd clear box and vanished it with magic leaving only the chicken. Proud of himself he pulled out metal plates from his trunk and set up the meal. With that done, he glared at the dirty inside of the tomb. If they hadn’t have been in a hurry they could have at least made it not disgusting. Shaking his head, his eyes glowed and the filth inside of it vanished.
“I feel properly alive after that.” Kara’s voice came from where she was brushing her hair out with her fingers. Her face was serious as she looked at him now. “Where are Morgana and Gwen? I can hear your heart rate speeding up.”
Merlin bit his lip. “They’re… Once the royal prat is up we’re going to go off and find them.”
Kara’s face instantly went on alert, her shoulders squaring up. “Are they in danger?”
“No!” He yelped, jumping forward and resting a hand on her shoulder. “Morgana should be fine, she’s just a bit...lost. Not really sure where Gwen is but she should be fine too.”
There was a groan from the floor. “What on earth happened?”
They both turned towards Arthur. Merlin felt his face split in two his smile was so large. His king was back! He bounced on the balls of his feet as he stepped over to him, only to pause at the disgusted look Arthur was giving himself, his nose scrunched at the smell of death and battle.
“Explain.” Arthur ordered from where he was sitting, holding a leg of chicken. He was freshly bathed and changed. Kara, who was sitting next to him, had already eaten half the chicken and at least a dozen apples.
Merlin sighed and sat down from where he’d been pacing. “So you know in all the prophecies you’re called the Once and Future King right?”
Arthur nodded but didn’t speak up. Instead he ravenously began to eat.
“Well, Morgana’s visions all started ending in your death. Like, every possible future always ended with you dying. I mean even when they were fuzzy around the edges as they got after a few years she always knew you were going to die. And not a good death.” He reached up and rubbed at the back of his head. HIs eyes darted to Kara. “She knew you’d just talk about changing destiny, so she came to me about it. We decided that if we couldn’t change destiny than we needed to circumvent it.”
Kara blinked. “But I’d have helped.” She sounded genuinely hurt that she hadn’t been consulted on this.
“It wasn’t like that.” Merlin winced. “We knew you would, but we needed magic to do it. And you did help.” His eyes flickered to the tomb and back. “We went through everything the druids had on life and rebirth came to some conclusions. Arthur was destined to be reborn as a king again in the future, this time without the whole pesky destined death thing. But what about his memories, who he was? We weren’t sure if you’d keep those. And we knew Gwen would die eventually of something. As would Morgana. Leaving Kara and I to just sorta sit around waiting you to be reborn, possibly without memories.”
Kara looked sick. Arthur reached out and slapped his hand on her back awkwardly. “Well that didn’t happen clearly.” He looked pointedly at Merlin. “What did happen?”
“We might have cursed you so that your soul was eternally stuck in your body…” He sped up his explanation at the thunderous look on Arthur’s face. “It’s an old curse meant to trap one’s enemies from being reborn in the next life. But we figured with magic and well, fae stuff, we could keep your body going and just not lose you even if you technically died. The whole horrible bit of trying to bring the dead back isn’t getting bodies to work again, it’s getting the souls back. But if your soul was already there…”
“Then it wouldn’t be resurrection, and wouldn’t cost a life.” Kara murmured in understanding before nodding. “That’s kind of brilliant.”
He preened. “Well then we started working on a way to make his body a bit less killable. Morgana had the idea of linking him to you.” Merlin looked to Kara. “You are theoretically immortal. And with magic, she and I both could keep ourselves alive as long as necessary. The plan was once Arthur was mortally wounded we stick you both into the enchanted box linking you up. We’d of course written in enchantments to try and keep you both out till Morgana’s soul would be brought back. Souls tend to...group up? We figured Gwen would be easy enough to find around the same time. But well we weren’t expecting what happened.”
“Did...did I die?” Kara asked suddenly her hand pressing to her chest. “I remember burning. And Morgana was telling me to find her.”
Merlin shook his head. “Nearly.” Looked at Arthur pointedly. “Arthur did die from a stupid stab wound. It nicked his liver. But Kara, you burnt out your powers and all our enchantments were for if you had powers and just….Morgana pushed all of her magic into a single spell. She created a ball of sunlight in your chest. It was...crude but you survived so it worked.” He grinned at them a bit bashfully. “You're both alive.”
Kara went unnaturally still. “When are we Merlin? How long have we been in this tomb?”
“I don’t know exactly.” He flinched at the horror on her face and held up his hand. “When I put myself into an enchanted sleep it was just after Mordred had been crowned king. Morgana caught the plague without her magic to protect her the year after the battle.” Merlin cringed at the look of utter devastation on Kara’s face and pushed on. “Gwen lived a long time and ruled well. I...I stayed by her side till the end. But then, I made sure Camelot was in good hands and came here. I’m not sure how well it all worked. But we should be in the future, as close to the time you fell through that portal.”
Arthur grabbed Kara and hauled her into a tight hug. He glared at Merlin over the top of her head and mouthed ‘idiot’. He looked close to tears himself as he held her in his arms.
“2006.” Kara closed her eyes. “I’m thirteen, freshly landed on earth in 2006. What are we supposed to do for eleven years without altering the timeline and preventing me from going back in time?”
Arthur cleared his throat. “I don’t care what time it is, everyone needs soldiers.” He crossed his arms and shifted uncomfortably in his...sneakers.
“Uh...” Merlin looked back and forth between them. “Not to contradict you, but before that... shouldn’t we find like...papers saying who we are?”
Arthur narrowed his eyes. “I’m not changing my name.”
“Well you and Kara can be siblings.” Merlin gave them a critical look over. “I mean you both have the whole blond hair and blue eyed thing going on. Probably pass as twins actually. But...I don’t look related to you guys.”
Arthur let out a sigh and slung his arm over Merlin’s shoulders. “You’re my husband, idiot.”
Kara grumbled under her breath. “I need to go smash my rock.”
“Your emergency plan is to find a rock?” Merlin looked at her in surprise.
“Well we can’t have anyone messing up the timeline looking for me. Also, we’ll need money for illegal paperwork. I might have hidden some of the stuff I dug up under my rock.” She crossed her arms and bit her lip. “Like...enough gemstones we should be good.”
Arthur ran a hand through his hair. “Right, Kara finds and destroys the rock, we should probably find where to get these papers.”
“Um…” Kara looked back and forth between them with a wince. “You don’t exactly speak the language in case you haven’t noticed.”
Merlin nodded, he had noticed that around the time he’d just summoned clothing out of the shop for them. “I have a spell that could help with that….I mean we’ll feel like hell but we’ll learn far faster.”
“I hate you so much right now.” Arthur grumbled.
Ten years later
Kara stood staring at her apartment’s door. There was light shining in her hallway. It was bright and she could feel nothing but panic. A warm hand settled on her shoulder. “Whenever you’re ready.”
She didn’t look back, just breathing deeply she reached out and turned the handle to her old apartment. It was surreal for the familiar turn, after all why would a superhero need to lock their doors? The door swung open and she stared at the home that had been her’s a lifetime ago.
The bags of groceries were still on the floor, two sunflowers in a jar on the vase. Everything was open, bright and filled with color. Walking into the room the familiar smell filled her nose bringing back memories she’d long since pressed to the back of her mind. Oh Rao she could smell Alex. Her steps were purposeful as she walked into the space. Trailing a finger along the counter her lips turned up into a bitter smile. No dust, this world had felt no absence. It was like her life had never happened.
Moving further inside, she looked at the photographs around the living room, the throw blanket on the couch, the open rack of clothing she hadn’t worn in decades, yet there it was. She ignored the quiet bickering from the boys as they put her groceries away. Reaching out she picked up the coat she’d laid on the back of a chair on her way out all those years ago. “It doesn’t… It doesn’t feel real.”
Merlin made a noise of understanding as he stepped to her side. Arthur just flopped on the couch. “Rao this thing is comfortable.” He looked around the room curiously. “I have to say, this is not what I expected the great Ser Zorel’s home to look like.”
“I hasn’t changed at all.” Kara said slowly. She ran her hand over the hangers of clothing. It was so different from the fine fabrics and thick cloth from her time as a knight, and so much softer than the tactical uniform she’d become accustomed to since arriving in the future, or was it the present?
Arthur made a sound. “I can’t believe you left the food out. I mean, at least put the food away before jumping dimensions.”
She looked at him, amused, the ache in her chest easing a bit at his familiar face. “Who fell asleep in their dinner last week?”
He grumbled while Merlin snickered. Shaking her head she looked to a picture of Alex. “Now what?”
“Uh…” Merlin gave her a helpless look. “Maybe go see your sister? We can get set up here while you do that.”
She forced down the panic at the mention of her sister. “Set up here?”
“You didn’t think we were letting you live here by yourself did you?” Merlin scoffed. “I bought the apartment next door. It only took a little magic to convince the lady that she really wanted to sell. We’re knocking out the wall between them and making a super apartment.” He clapped his hands eagerly. “Ten years of army barracks and I’m ready for a bed.”
Arthur let out a grunt from the couch. “You can keep the bed, I never want to leave this couch. Kara where did you get this?”
Merlin put his hands on his hips, glaring at Arthur. “You’re the muscle in this relationship and you have a day of furniture moving ahead of you. I already conscripted some of the new recruits to help out.”
Kara opened her mouth and then closed it. “Thank you.” She knew they were trying to help her ease into this reality. “I...I need to see Alex. Then Lena.”
“Not to like..disagree with you but why not Morgana… Lena first? Arthur asked from the couch.
She could feel her hands shaking. “I...I don’t know if I can...she’s not…”
Merlin hauled her into a tight hug. “It’s still her soul, even if the memories aren’t there. And you have the bracelet. It’s going to be ok.” He rubbed her back gently. “Now, do you want us there with you for the sister visit or not?”
Sucking in a shaky breath, she shook her head. “No, I need...I need to do this by myself.”
“Well you can’t go like that.” He grinned at her.
Kara looked down at herself and blanched. “So DEO tactical clothing isn’t good, is it?”
Arthur snorted, standing up off the couch. He stepped over to the clothing rack. “Probably not. But like look, lots of clothing!” He shrugged. “And Merlin we need to run into work before I help you move furniture.” He gave a pointed look at his partner. “If we’re not needed here.”
She ignored them and began thumbing through her old clothing. Kara had gotten used to them doing this, after all she did it too. If there was a small thing to do that made life easier for the others it was simply the thing to be done. She carefully lifted a high collared pink blouse. A few minutes later and she was stepping out of the bathroom; her hair down, in a blouse and slacks with a cute belt and casual shoes. “So, is this better?” She picked nervously at her sleeves.
Merlin gave her a thumbs up, then cocked his head to the side. “Didn’t you wear your hair up when dressed like this?”
She rolled her eyes before brushing her hair to the side displaying the jagged and rather gruesome scar down the side of her face. “The point is to ease people into this. Not...like terrifying them with injuries that healed hundreds of years ago.”
Arthur slapped Merlin upside the head. “You look great! Go get em.”
“Ok.” She nodded and started walking for the door. “I can totally do this. Just go see my sister. Tell her about everything. Just...oh Rao. Then M..Lena. Oh Rao. But lunch is Lena’s and my thing. So wait for lunch...that’s the right thing to do.”
“Hey.” Merlin wrapped his arm around her shoulders. “We’ll be here for you. El Mayarah.”
Kara nervously checked the box of curlers in her her hand and breathed out. She raised her hand to knock, but paused. This was Alex, and they didn’t knock for each other. Her hand shook as she reached out and opened the door. She felt her heart swelling at the sight of the familiar apartment as she closed the door softly behind her. It didn’t take a second to pick up the familiar heartbeat she hadn’t heard in so long. She nearly threw herself to the couch only to freeze.
Alex was there, neck at an awkward angle, drool on one side of her face sound asleep. But sound asleep next to her was Maggie. Taking a look around the room she spotted the pizza box and empty beer bottles on the coffee table in front of them. Kara felt a soft smile come to her face. Her sister didn’t need her here, not at this moment. She’d waited long enough. She could give Alex this, even if the idea of leaving after seeing Alex again felt like ripping a piece of herself away.
With care, she set the box of curlers on the counter and sticky note with a heart quickly drawn on it. Stepping to Alex’s bed, she grabbed the comforter and carried it over to where the two women were still asleep. Her eyes eyes softened, realizing they were holding hands, with Maggie drooling on Alex’s shoulder. It took a minute but she managed to get the comforter over them as best as possible without waking them. Stepping back, she let herself soak in Alex’s face. Her eyes burned with tears building up in them.
With a whoosh she was gone, around the corner to an alley. Pressing her hand to her chest she gasped for the breaths she needed. She needed… she needed to breathe. Finally she could breathe again. Rubbing at her cheeks she wiped away the tears. Right. Grabbing her cell phone she dialed Merlin, he’d...she needed to hear his voice. As soon as the ringing stopped she sputtered. “Ican’tdothis.”
“Yes you can.” Merlin’s voice was calming. “If I could wake you and Arthur up from your magical sleep... coma... what have you, you can go hug your sister.”
She ran a hand through her hair. “Well you woke us up ten years early, so not a good example of making the right decision. I mean, I’m not the same person she saw last night. That girl isn’t...I grew up Merlin. Maybe it’s kinder for things to just stay the same. I mean our life is okay right? We’re really good at the whole RED stuff. Why not just keep that up?”
“It’s not good for you.” Merlin said gently. “You or Arthur. I mean I know joining the army was just...it’s what he knew, it’s what you knew. And you’re right, we’re good at it. And we’ve done good since signing with RED. But Kara, you need your family. You’ve wanted to get back to them for so long.”
Kara closed her eyes and let his words soak in. He was right, joining the army had been a bad idea. Guns were so different from swords, just as modern war was from the war they’d been used to. But what else were they supposed to do? “Thanks. I just...I got there and she was asleep and Maggie was there with her.”
“Ah.” Merlin made a sound of understanding. “You can wait if that’s what you need to do. None of us can judge. But will you be happy if you don’t make contact?”
“No.” She pushed off the wall, opening her eyes. “No I won’t. But I think seeing Alex first was a mistake. There’s... someone I need to go to first.”
There was a short pause before he replied. “Go get her.”
Kara realized showing up at Lena’s office at nine am on a Saturday might be a terrible idea. Unfortunately, she came to that conclusion while hovering outside Lena’s window, watching the woman’s back.
Lena was pressing her pen into the paper a bit too hard as she filled out the forms her lawyers had sent up. She could feel the ache of a hangover thudding in her head. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Swiveling around in her chair she looked around expecting to see, well, Supergirl. But that wasn’t who she saw.
Floating just past her balcony was a woman. She was wearing clothing that she recognized as Kara’s instantly. Lena pushed aside the fact she recognized her friend’s clothing in panic at why this woman was wearing them. Looking at the woman’s face she realized she could easily be Kara’s older sister. The woman had the same hair, same blue eyes, the same general shape of face. But the similarities ended there. There was a great eye catchingly jagged scar from her hair to her neck. It was dark stood out against her skin. The way she held herself, though floating, was stiffer. Her back was straighter, and her eyes... her eyes looked at her as if she knew her to the bone.
Standing from her chair she opened the door to her balcony. It struck her that, more than Kara, this woman looked like Supergirl. Which...those two really did look alike didn’t they. Kara and Supergirl if you took away the glasses… Lena bit her lip. She had a feeling something was about to change irrevocably, again. Not even a full day after betraying her mother and already... But then, knowledge was like that. Staring up at the woman, she knew she ought to be afraid but she couldn’t bring herself to be. “Who are you?”
Floating downward, the woman touched down on the balcony. “I...I’m Kara Pendragon, and I have a story to tell you Lena Luthor.”
Arthur Pendragon looked around curiously as he stepped through the doors to the DEO city office. It was a short distance from the apartment. He could be done and back to the apartment before noon. Maybe Merlin wouldn’t yell at him.
He hadn’t been to this facility before but he’d heard of it. Walking briskly to the security he flashed his ID card and headed for the elevator up. His hand went up to his collar and he turned on the neural blocker. Checking his folder was in order, he stepped out as the door dinged.
Looking around the command room he gave an appraising eye. He spotted J’onn J’onzz and approached. “Director J’onzz.”
“Assistant Director Pendragon.” J’onzz faced him with a wary but curious look. “How does headquarters live up to RED standards?”
Arthur gave a performative look. “Technologically competent.”
“I assure you my people are the very best.” J’onzz drew himself up slightly.
Arthur paused, he could feel the attention of the room on them. “I don’t mean to imply they aren’t some of the best trained agents in the world. I meant your procedures. One of my officers brought to my attention you are holding a White Martian, one M’gann M’orzz prisoner without charges?” He frowned at the man who Kara had told him was like a father to her. “I know the DEO is still adjusting to treating our new neighbors as sentient beings with rights. But so long as I’m participating in the personal swap between RED and the DEO I will not tolerate for a flagrant violation of the rules and ethics of this institution.”
“White Martian’s are genocidal monsters. You wouldn’t understand the destruction a single one of them could bring.” J’onzz said roughly.
“Has the individual in question committed a crime?” Arthur placed his hands on his hips.
J’onzz stared at him for a long moment, seemingly reading his face. “No. Not that we are aware of.”
Arthur nodded. “Then it is my recommendation she is to be released with full compensation for lost time and our full apologies. If the required situation is not followed I’ll take this as high up the chain of command as I see fit.”
“You would allow a dangerous individual out onto the streets on a technicality?” J’onzz said slowly, his voice tight.
“When that technicality is justice I would.” Arthur eased his posture. “Of course as a member of a hostile race a period of covert surveillance would not be misplaced.”
J’onzz stared at him for a long minute before nodding. “Very well. Come with me.”
They fell into step besides each other as they walked towards the containment cells. Arthur spoke as they moved down the corridor. “I would like to be clear that I have heard a great many things about the DEO under your leadership. Our organization’s cooperation wouldn’t be possible if you hadn’t been the one to lead. But that said, we do things differently in RED. I won’t abide the mistreatment or persecution of non-humans.”
“You’ve done good work at our desert facility since you and Major Lane traded posts for the personal exchange.” J’onzz allowed. “But you’ve avoided interacting with me.”
“I have.” Arthur had no interest in lying to this man. “It is not my place to explain why. Though I believe you will be briefed soon enough. To be blunt I couldn’t risk you seeing inside my mind.” He pointed to the neural blocker in his collar. “And I wished time to finish my evaluation of your handling of Supergirl. A superhero is clearly outside your expertize, things will have to change with her.”
J’onzz halted, his eyes flared red. “Supergirl is under my jurisdiction, Major Pendragon. We may be working in cooperation with her at the moment but that does not give you the right to put a single finger on her.”
Arthur squared up facing the man. “If she is so precious to you, why does she wear a suit that provides no protection? You developed radiation absorbers calibrated for green kryptonite but never bother so much as recreating the faulty prototype after the first was scrapped. She works as a deputized member of the DEO, yet she has no body camera to protect her and this organization. She has been given no formal training in protocol or earth legal norms. Nor have you forced her to attend mandatory counseling we put our people through after encounters that end in the loss of life.”
J’onzz stared at him for a long minute. “You’re worried for her.”
“Yes.” Arthur reached past the Martian and swiped his card, opening the door into the holding cell. “From what I’ve seen, you care for her and would protect her. But you, like most people, have been blinded by her powers into believing that she is somehow not vulnerable. Just because she and her cousin play at being gods does not make them so. You should understand something of that.”
“You have a point.” J’onzz agreed slowly. “If you have a proposal for better protocol with Supergirl you may submit them to me. But if I get so much as a hint that you mean any harm to her I’ll have this personal program canceled and you sent back to England.”
Arthur nodded in understanding. Perhaps this man wasn’t so bad afterall. “I believe we’ll get along just fine.”
Lena stared at the innocuous journal sitting on her desk. Or it really wasn’t. It was worn, obviously old. Did she really want to read it? Pendragon...the strange Not Kara had asked only that she read it. But she was afraid to. Everything was falling apart and she was scared of the answers she wanted, needed. Standing, she went to her drink cart and poured herself a healthy portion of scotch. It didn’t matter if it was barely noon. Sitting back down, she hit the intercom button. “Jess, cancel my meeting with the lawyers at two. Tell them whatever you want. I’ll handle them later.”
Reaching out, she carefully opened the leather cover and found a familiar script. She’d recognize Kara, her Kara’s handwriting. Not that Kara was hers. Just she was clingy and thought her friend’s handwriting was nice. Nothing wrong with that. Also according to the Pendragon-Not-Kara, this was written by her Kara. Focusing on the writing she began to read.
“Lena, I know we weren’t friends for long but there are several things I owe you. First an apology. I should have told you who I was before everything with Medusa. You see I wasn’t born on earth----”
An hour later Lena reached for her cellphone and typed in a short text. ‘I believe you. Balcony, we should talk.’
James was doing arm curls when there was a knock on his door. Looking over to the glass doors he saw...was that Kara? “Wha...Kara?”
“Hi James.” Kara waved at him nervously stepping into his office. “I’m uh..well... game night?”
“Game night? What happened to your face!?” He set his weight down headed for her. Reaching out his hand hovered near her face.
Kara winced. “Um...it’s complicated. So I’ll explain everything tonight, but I can’t really come into work.”
He frowned, something was off in how she was holding herself. The usual sunshine was muted, not to mention she looked...older. And that scar... He stepped forward in a panic realizing her hair was down, shielding her from the view of the employees on the floor.“You need to go into the DEO. I’ll drive you in, and you need to put your hair up.”
“No.” She held up her hand, her shoulder’s squaring. “I need to go see Alex. I’m not hurt, and there’s not really a point to glasses with this.” She pointed wryly at the scar. “I just need you and Winn to be at my apartment at eight tonight.”
James finally rested his hand on her bicep looking over in concern. “That’s not alright. You need help, someone hurt you.”
“They’re not a threat anymore.” Kara’s eyes flashed with something dark. “Just game night.” She shifted, stepping back and pulling her arm out of his grip. “Just...tell Winn.” And then she was gone in a rush of wind.
James gave a panicked look to the central area, and stared at the startled faces of the staff. Clearing his throat, he stepped out to make sure no one said anything about any realizations they may have just had. As soon as that was done, he was calling J’onn. Something was really wrong. Kara had been fine just the night before.
Alex stared at the innocent box of curlers with a post it note on top and felt her face heating up. A noise died in her throat.
“What’s wrong Danvers?” Maggie stepped over, her hands still holding empty beer bottles she’d been carrying to the recycling.
Alex kept staring at the box. “It wasn’t you who put the blanket over us was it?”
Maggie frowned, cocking her head to the side a half smile on her face. “Of course not, that was you.”
“It wasn’t me.” Alex pointed at the box. “These are my sister’s favorite doughnuts.
“So…” Maggie set the bottles on the counter. “Is this a bad thing she found us on the couch this morning?”
Alex bit her lip. “No. Or… well it’s just…” Her shoulders slumped. “I wanted to tell her, you know?”
Reaching over, Maggie opened the curler box and grabbed one. She leaned in and kissed Alex’s cheek. “Well you know she approves.” Grinning, she stepped back to take a bite.
“Yeah.” She smiled softly at the reminder that her sister supported her. Breathing in, she nodded. “I just wasn’t expecting that.” Tilting her head she grabbed a curler from the box. “I’m honestly surprised she didn’t wake us up squealing.”
Shrugging, Maggie stepped over to the coffee maker. “Uh...babe how does this thing work?”
“Babe huh?” Alex smiled as she walked over.
Alex had a lovely morning of coffee, curlers, and soft kisses. With a permanent giddy smile on her face, she headed for Kara’s with a bag of muffins and her favorite pumpkin spice latte in thanks. Also to gush, but mostly as a thank you. It felt like she was walking on air as she sauntered up to the door and opened it without much thought. “Kara! I’ve got muffins and coffee. Sister’s afternoon?”
“Uh..hello?” A distinctly male voice said from inside the apartment.
Freezing Alex narrowed her eyes looking around the apartment for discrepancies. There were two duffels in plain sight she knew weren’t Kara’s. They screamed tactical as well. Examining the speaker her frown deeped. The man was relatively attractive, her sister could have gotten lucky. But there was something about him that had her internal warning system blaring. Setting her bag of treats and tray of coffee down she shut the door behind her while letting her hand drop to her gun. “Who are you and what are you doing in my sister’s apartment?”
“Uh..so um..well it’s a long story. Like really long but um..maybe we should just wait for Kara to get back?” He floundered keeping his hands slightly raised in surrender.
Alex heard water turn off in the bathroom and a distinctly male voice hollering. “MERLIN! I’m not wearing that you idiot!”
She un-holstered her gun in a second. One strange man might be a one night stand, and even if out of character for Kara, it wasn’t unbelievable. Two strange men, one in Kara’s shower meant nothing good. “You have one minute to explain who you are.”
“Ah.” A blonde, well muscled man came out of the bathroom, pink towel wrapped round his waist. “You must be Agent Danvers.”
Her gun moved to the new threat instantly, her alarm bells went to eleven instantly. She didn’t say a thing. She needed a plan, and with two of them her chances of shooting both before one could charge had just gone down.
“My name is Arthur Pendragon, Assistant Director of RED. I’m the officer assigned for our cooperative personal swap with the DEO. I’ve been running the desert base for the last month. Lower your gun agent.” He squared his shoulders eyeing her with a clearly assessing gaze.
Cautiously she lowered her gun a few inches so that it was no longer on him. “Why should I believe you? What would someone like you be doing in my sister’s apartment.”
“New neighbor, just moved in. Or am still moving in.” He huffed his posture relaxing now that the gun wasn’t pointed at him. “And I’m high enough to have clearance on Kara’s activities.”
Alex nodded lowering her gun the rest of the way. Her sister would open up her home to a fellow DEO, or in this case RED agent if they were moving in. And Kara had mentioned her neighbor leaving the week before. “Who’s he?” She glanced to the dark haired man whose hands were still twitching nervously.
Arthur spoke up before the other man’s mouth could do more than open. “My husband and second in command, Merlin Pendragon.”
She couldn’t help it, she snorted as she stuck her gun back in her holster. Alex wasn’t completely out of the gossip loop. Rumors of the hot gay couple from Britain and the hunky one’s twin sister had been floating around for a while. Easing, she cocked her hip to the side and grabbed her own coffee from the tray. “Anybody told you your parents had a sense of humor naming you Arthur with a last name like that? Or that you had one marrying someone named Merlin?”
Arthur grumbled. “Frequently.” Turning to his husband, he glared. “I’m not wearing a suit. I swear, I let you pack our clothing one time.”
“I always pack our clothing you great prat.” Merlin snarked back, relaxing as he hoisted up one of the tactical duffles. “But you’re not going to meet Gwen in uniform.”
Stepping further into Kara’s apartment Alex smirked at the banter. She cleared her throat. “The question stands, where is my sister?”
Merlin’s eyes darted to Arthur. “Arthur had to head to the DEO city base to speak with your director. She hasn’t called since she stopped by your apartment this morning.”
Alex considered that, and there was too much familiarity. Her senses prickled once again. Hiding her unease she took a long drink from her coffee. “Is there something I need to be aware of?”
“Nothing pressing.” Arthur glanced over her shoulder and smiled while grabbing Merlin’s shoulder. “But that can wait. We’ll be next door.”
Turning, she saw Kara standing in the doorway. “Alex.” She breathed.
Alex felt her automatic smile at her sister’s voice. She barely had a chance to get a glimpse of Kara before her arms were full of her sister. Wrapping her arms around Kara, she wheezed slightly at the strength of the hug. “Hey.”
She rubbed circles on her sister’s back. “I’m here, you just saw me last night.” Alex laughed softly. She felt concern as she realized Kara was sobbing into her shoulder. Squeezing tighter she pressed her cheek into the top of Kara’s head. “What’s with the tears? Do I need to kill someone?”
“No.” Kara choked between growing sobs.
Alex felt her eyes widen, she hadn’t seen Kara like this in years. Something was fundamentally wrong. Something had hurt her sister. Her spine stiffened, every muscle in her body poised to attack, her eyes scanning the apartment. She noted the boys had left and her eyes narrowed. As soon as she had Kara soothed down to a nap, or better yet gotten her J’onn, she was going to hunt them down and kill them. J’onn would help her hide the bodies. “Kara?”
“I’m sorry.” Kara gripped her shirt hard enough that Alex could hear the seams straining.
Alarmed, Alex dropped a hand to her gun. “What’s happened?!”
“I did something really stupid. I was so stupid.” Kara pulled back, though her arms remained around her.
Alex stared at her in horror. Her hand shook as she reached up and she touched the scar marring her sister’s face. “Who did this?” She hissed out.
Kara shook her head, a small smile on her lips. “I’m fine. It was a long time ago.”
“Long time ago! You were fine last night. Was it Luthor? I knew we shouldn't trust her!”
“What? No, it wasn’t Lena.” Kara’s eyes widened in surprise. She reached out taking her hands. “Hey, I’m fine. It’s a long story but I’m fine. You don’t need to defend me from anyone.” Kara bit her lip shaking her head. “Oh rats, this is going all wrong.”
Alex gripped onto Kara’s hands hard enough that her knuckles turned white. “Start at the beginning.”
“You remember Barry? The Blur? I know you didn’t meet him but he’s from another dimension.” Kara shifted from foot to foot nervously.
“What did he do?” Alex crossed her arms in repressed fury. She needed to punch something and it was her only way to avoid doing that. Looking at Kara more closely now though her eyes were drawn away from the scar and to smaller details. She looked..older. Not significantly, but enough to notice.
Kara seemed oblivious to being examined. “So, well, his earth was being invaded by the Dominators, and he needed my help. Which that was fine, just a few days and the other heroes over there were….” Kara tilted her head. “Well, mostly really nice. We saved the world, there was a ‘yay’ we saved the world party. But then um...so I guess portals between worlds are kinda unreliable? Like...the portal to get me home sorta didn’t work right? Barry said it should get me back home right when I left but apparently he miscalculated by...a long time.”
“What are you saying.” Alex felt something heavy in her gut. Her sister had gone to face a war without her? Crossed dimensions and time without so much as a heads up text?
“The portal got me back to the right earth, this one and everything but um...just during the time of King Arthur? I’ve kinda been gone for over a thousand years...I mean I was asleep, magical coma from almost dying for most of it. And Merlin and Morgana made sure I didn’t have to spend hundreds of years by myself which, I would have liked a heads up before but, well, war and limited timeframe to act so…”
Alex reached out grabbing Kara’s shoulder. She felt like she was going to be sick, was this panic attack? She hadn’t had one before but she’d seen her sister go through enough to recognize the signs. Shoving her panic down, she closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths before speaking. “Please tell me that you’re not serious.”
“I can’t do that.” Kara sounded oh so sad, her voice heavy as she spoke, “You know magic is real, and you know Kal and I don’t really age like humans do. Turns out it’s not just a slowing of the aging process.”
“Kara...” Even Alex could feel the pain in her voice. This just...she couldn’t understand this. It was too much, but she needed to know how much she’d failed. A sudden spark lit up her mind. “Please tell me that that wasn’t King Arthur in your apartment.”
There was a nervous laugh from Kara. “Well, technically that was King Arthur and Merlin in my apartment. Magic stasis is kinda…” She made a wiggling motion with her hand. “Not exactly meant for long stretches of time so we sorta woke up a few years ago. We couldn’t mess up the timeline so we’ve been in Britain and well he really is an amazing soldier and leader so he rose through the ranks pretty fast and then we found out about RED and well…”
“We…” She asked, her eyes shutting tightly as she started breathing through her mouth.
“Well he and I kinda look similar? And well he is my brother in-law so we figured twins can stick together without attracting much notice. Merlin’s his husband so it was all good you know?”
Alex was going to be sick. “In-law?” She croaked.
She could feel Kara tensing under her hand. “I married Morgana Pendragon. My name’s legally Kara Pendragon and has been since the dark ages.”
Alex nodded shakily, deciding right then and there she needed to do...something. “Right, well you’re here. We can...fix this.”
“Fix this? Alex there’s nothing to fix. I’m just, Rao I’m so happy to see you again. I’ve missed you so much!” Kara’s voice was thick with emotion again.
Sucking in a breath Alex focused on her sister’s face again, she couldn’t help how her eyes were drawn to the scar. “We can...we can find a way to open the portal, maybe get Barry to come and help. He fucking owes you. Get you back to this time without whatever hurt you. Make it better.”
“Alex, no.” Kara’s voice was firm, but somehow distant. “I...I won’t, I’m here now. You don’t need to save me. I’m already safe.”
Shaking her head side to side, she focused on the present. She could still help her sister. “We just have to pick you up from the past. Everything will be ok.”
“No Alex. Everything is already okay.”
Alex wasn’t aware of the wheezing sound that escaped her lips. She heard it distantly as her knees hit the ground. Oh. This was a panic attack. She thought idly as she started taking in great gasping breaths of air. She tried to control her breathing and focus but she couldn’t, her body had started to shake, cold sweat breaking out down her back and arms. It was almost a relief when the world faded to black.
Kara hesitated as she floated just out of sight of the L-corp balcony. She could see Lena inside her office, sitting on her white couch, a glass of scotch in her hand. Floating down to the balcony she gently rapped on the glass. Things weren’t...they weren’t going well.
Lena looked up at her with those oh so familiar eyes. She raised a hand gesturing for her to enter before knocking back her scotch.
Her feet barely touched the floor as she entered. Edging towards the couch, she winced slightly at the sight of Lena downing her drink. Kara remembered enough to know Lena drinking before a conversation wasn’t a good sign. Hell she’d been married to Morgana and knew quite intimately it was a sign of emotional turbulence and unease. It seemed some coping habits transcended lives. “Hi.”
“I’m not going to bite. Sit.” Lena set her glass on the table and turned to look at her. “I read the journal, twice actually.”
Kara ducked her head. “I...you said you believed me?”
Lena let out a long sigh. “Yes, I believe you. But I don’t know what is supposed to happen. I’m not your wife.” She winced slightly as she looked at her.
Reaching out Kara halted her motion and pulled her hand back. “I know that. It’s...I know.”
“Look,” Lena brushed some of her hair behind one ear. “I just found out that my friend, my only friend is gone.” She held up a hand halting Kara’s reply. “I know you’re still Kara, the person you are hasn’t changed. But the person I was starting to get to know isn’t really who’s in front of me right now.”
Kara’s shoulders slumped. “You’re right. I’m not...really the same person am I?”
“I’m sure you’re still you.” Lena continued, her voice soft. “But it’s an adjustment. I’m not really sure what we are to each other.” She laughed without mirth. “My one friend would time travel.”
Kara looked at Lena and then felt some of her anxiety quiet. She wasn’t being thrown out, so this wasn’t as bad as it could have been. “I’m still me. And I’d like to still be your friend.”
Lena looked at her in disbelief. “You’re saying you don’t want your wife and I’m the closest to her you’ll get?” She scoffed incredulously. “I don’t hold it against you, but it’s the truth.”
Shaking her head Kara reached into her pocket and pulled out a velvet bag. “I’ve known you would be..well you since the day I woke up in the present. I…” She swallowed thickly. “I know you’re not Morgana. Things can never be like they were before, I know that.”
“Then why are you here?” Lena asked softly.
“Because I didn’t bind myself to her body, I bonded myself to.. well, her soul. Your soul.” Kara ran a hand through her hair. “Rao, you don’t see yourself clearly. You’re someone I wanted to be friends with before I fell through portals and time. And if in this life you just want a friend then that’s what I’ll be.” Holding out the pouch she set it down on the couch between them.
Lena reached out touching it cautiously. “What’s this?”
“Morgana’s wedding band.” Kara bit her lip holding back tears. Rao she was not going to cry again. “She wanted you to have it. It belongs to you, really.”
“What’s it do?” Lena asked slowly while pulling her hand back.
Kara’s hands twisted in her lap. “If the enchantment she put on it works, it would give you access to your...her memories. You’d still be you but just…” She looked at Lena steadily. “Whether you wish for those memories or not is your choice. They belong to you no matter what you want with them. I’d never take that choice away from you. I know what having choices made for you does to a person. The inscription around the inside is what holds the enchantment. If you were to close the circle of it while wearing it, the enchantment would begin to work. Unless you do that, it’s just a piece of metal.”
“Why...I’m not her Kara.” Lena reached out catching her twisting hands. “I can’t be someone I’m not.”
Sucking in a breath Kara forced her rolling emotions down. She’d known this wasn’t going to go perfectly. “We get lunch together some days, yes?” She waited for the questioning nod from Lena. “Then if you want may we continue to do that? Even if you never put the band on I would still like to know you, regardless of everything else. Would you be ok with that?”
“Friends?” Lena’s face softened slightly. Releasing Kara’s hands, she picked up the velvet pouch and held it carefully. “I can do that. But Kara, I can’t promise I’ll be someone you wish to be friends with.”
Kara shook her head. “I already knew you were someone I wanted to be friends with when I first met you. It’s just been a while.”
“Alright.” Lena nodded in decision. “I’m not sure if you remember, but we’d agreed on sushi for lunch tomorrow. Would that work?”
“That’d be perfect.” Kara smiled for what felt like the first time all day.
Chapter 2: Drinks With Cat
I'm alive! Sorry for the wait, my beta has been super busy and I got into writing other projects I'm working on and this kinda fell by the wayside. Don't worry, it's still my darling baby and I'm super psyched about it as always! You can pry it from my cold dead hands.
Anyways thank you for all the amazing comments! And happy birthday to supahcorp! Also a big shout out to my friend and fellow nerd Dictatorblaze who's doing a drawing of Supergirl's new suit!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Cat poured herself a glass of bourbon; one that even she had raised a brow at the price tag for. She’d had a long day and felt like rewarding herself. Washington DC was complex and mired in sexism and scandal. She both loved and hated it in equal measure. It was going to be a challenge to establish a political journal here, but it was something she knew she could accomplish. One that didn’t pull punches, held the men and women in power accountable, examined the boring minutia and presented the truth to the people. It would be her greatest challenge after motherhood.
“Well, I suppose I should have expected you.” Cat opened the door out onto her balcony and stepped out. She knew of only one person with blond hair and a penchant for sitting on the railing of whatever balcony she came across. “I see you’re not in that primary colored monstrosity you call a suit. Though I have to say black tactical fatigues?”
Kara turned, a smile tugging at her lips. “It’s good to see you too Cat.”
She was taken aback at the first look at Kara’s face. Cat could see the years and life written on the woman’s face even without the ugly scar. “I’m going to need more than just a single glass of bourbon aren’t I?”
“Rao I’ve missed you.” Kara swung her legs round so that she was facing her properly.
Cat took a long drink looking at Kara, it was unfair that she looked as young as ever despite the obvious years. “Tell me, how long has it been for you? Because it’s only been a month for me. Which I’ll admit losing the most proficient assistant I’ve ever had has been a trial. I have to get my own lattes now.”
Kara cocked her head to the side her smile widening, her eyes crinkling at the corners. “Depends on how you count time. Somewhere between fifty and a over a thousand years. I was asleep for most of it, but it’s been a lifetime for me.”
“Is there whiskey strong enough you out there? Because you clearly need it.” Cat raised her glass to Kara and took a long drink enjoying the burn. “Now, are you going to tell me how you managed time travel or am I going to have to guess?”
“Nothing gets by you does it?” Kara shook her head. “It was silly to try and keep my identity secret from you wasn’t it?”
Cat waved a hand. “Well I’ll admit my initial reaction could have been better.”
“Probably.” Kara shrugged lightly.
Cat stepped to the railing and looked out over the new city she was in. Slowly she sipped her drink and enjoyed the easy silence between them. “So, I believe you have a story for me.”
“It’s a long one.” Kara laughed. “Rao, I don’t even know what matters and what doesn’t in it anymore.” She fell quiet for a short moment. “I suppose it began because I was asked to help with an alien invasion in another dimension. Everything was fine, the good guys won, the earth was saved. We even had a party afterwards. Then I said goodbye and stepped through a portal that should have returned me to my apartment. Ended up crashing in the middle of nowhere in the dark ages.”
Cat’s lip curled in distaste. “The food had to have been terrible.”
“It was!” Kara exclaimed with vigor. “Well at first it was. My first meal was a bird I fried with my heat vision! Which let me tell you was a horrible idea. But once I’d established myself it wasn’t so bad. Meat pie is surprisingly delicious, and carab isn’t chocolate but it’s still lovely. And potage! I miss potage.” She sighed dreamily. “I founded a country you know, Themyscira...I’m kinda nervous about meeting Wonder Woman for new reasons now.”
“How did you manage that?” Cat asked amused. Leave it to her former assistant to go from cooking her own food with her eyes to founding a nation.
Kara bit her lip and looked rather bashful. “Would you believe me if I said I found a party of prostitutes being attacked by bandits and well I just couldn’t leave them! And no one was living on the island except for some goats.”
“Only you Kara.” Cat held out her empty tumbler. “Top me off would you.”
Kara grinned mischievously before blurring out of sight only to return with a full tumbler of the amber liquid.
“A full glass, really?” She looked at the drink dubiously. “Really are you planning on topping the shock of founding a nation?”
Kara looked decidedly guilty as she glanced down. “I kinda took a place in Camelot, under King Uther Pendragon as the personal guard to the Lady Morgana?”
“Of course you did.” Cat raised a hand to halt any further information and took a healthy drink from her tumbler. “Right, how did that happen?”
“I wanted to get home, here.” Kara leaned against the rail looking out. “I didn’t know if I was in the wrong time, the wrong world, the wrong dimension. So I needed to find someone powerful enough to help me. There were magic users though. So I spent twenty years traveling most of Europe looking for a powerful enough sorcerer to help me get back home. But none of them could help me. I knew Camelot was rich in magic, but I was wary of possibly changing history by going there. But I was just...I could feel myself becoming something...something that wasn’t me. So I went.”
Cat saw the shadows in Kara’s eyes. “I take it you found someone to help you there, considering you’re standing here on my balcony.”
“Yes.” A smile pulled at Kara’s lips. “Magic was banned there, punishable by death despite being the most magical land I’d been too. My next plan was to head for Africa actually. But then in Camelot it was so different from the stories. Uther was king, Arthur was the prince, a bit arrogant but a good man. His manservant was this gangly peasant named Merlin.” Kara looked at her in deep amusement. “Yes he turned out to be ‘the’ Merlin. You’d have had a stroke at what he considered appropriate clothing.”
Cat stared at her tumbler...she wasn’t drunk enough for this yet. “Next you’re going to tell me Guinevere was a hideous old crone.”
“Morgana’s maidservant actually, and black.” Kara looked far too amused by her surprise. “I wasn’t sure what the truth was about everyone and decided to wait and see. Morgana had magic and I helped her hide it. I got to know everyone and ended up helping to poison Uther and watched as Arthur legitimized Morgana as his sister and they were crowned king and queen of Camelot.”
Cat wanted to grab her phone and turn it onto recording but knew that this wasn’t for the press, this was a story between friends.
“Gwen and Arthur were married two years later, though privately Merlin was bound to them as well.” Kara gave her an amused look. “And while it wasn’t practiced among the nobility marriage between people of the same gender was legalized within months of their reign starting.”
She stared at Kara incredulously. “You’re telling me that Arthur, the most famous european king to have ever existed. Mind you his existence isn’t even confirmed. Was in a polyamorous relationship with a black woman and a male servant? In dark ages England, where he legalized same-sex marriage and shared his throne with his illegitimate sister. Did I get that right?”
“Yup.” Kara reached out touching a metal band around her wrist. “And I married Morgana.”
Cat took a drink. “So happily ever after in a medieval world that was apparently more progressive than the present?”
“It wasn’t really.” Kara shrugged. “I mean there are things about today that are far more progressive, and we weren’t exactly the status quo for most of the world. But I was happy, and then war came.” Her eyes hardened. “The details are...they’re hard. But suffice it to say I blew out my powers and was wounded, badly.”
“Your face?” Cat looked at the jagged scar that looking at could easily have been from an armored fist catching on the skin. She winced at that thought.
Kara nodded. “Arthur was killed, so many people died. I was dying. Merlin and Morgana put Arthur and I in a tomb on the Isle of the Blessed and enchanted it. I’m not quite clear on everything, I was in and out of unconsciousness at the time and magic isn’t something my species is capable of. But they bound us together and we healed. Then...well we woke up ten years ago.”
“I’m guessing you’ve been flying under the radar then?” Cat reached out laying her hand on Kara’s forearm. She wasn’t ignorant of the vulnerability Kara was showing her.
“Arthur and I just...we didn’t know how to fit in. It’s been so long since I’d been anything but a knight. And he’d never known how to be anything but. So we joined the british army. Merlin joined us. Two tours in the middle east, then we found out about the Royal Exterestrial Department. Signed up there. Arthur’s the assistant director for it now, he moved up the ranks ridiculously fast. The timeline finally caught up two days ago.” Kara looked at her with wide, misting eyes. “I don’t know what to do Cat.”
Cat set her tumbler down on the railing and wrapped her arms around her lost friend and just held her as sobs started to wrack her frame. She started making soft noises of comfort she’d used when Carter was a babe. Hot tears began to soke her shoulder. Cat ached as she rubbed gently at the shaking shoulders of this girl who could fly among the stars.
She looked to the side and kept her arms wrapped around the girl. Sometimes life wasn’t fair, but she was struck by the injustice heaped on a single heart. Pulling out her phone she dialed her new assistant. As it rang she felt the weight of her friend. Hearing the click of her unfortunate assistant she started speaking. “June,” the girl’s name was Jane. “I need you to find the strongest alien alcohol in the area. Bring it to my room, chop chop.” Promptly she hung up before the girl could try to protest.
By the time Kara’s sobs had stopped Cat had managed to maneuver them both to the bed. Standing she left Kara curled up holding a pillow. Going into the bathroom she grabbed a white towel and ran it under cold water before wringing it out. Approaching Kara again she gently tilted her red eyes and tear stained face. “I can’t say everything is going to work out, life doesn’t just work itself out.”
Cat began to clean off Kara’s face. Internally she rolled her eyes, over a thousand years old and still so very much herself. “Anyone who tells you that things will work themselves out is a liar and an idiot. Now, once my useless secretary gets here we are going to get gloriously drunk. Then in the morning we’ll come up with a plan for how to make the most of everything.”
“Thank you Cat.” Kara croaked.
“Please, this is what friends are for isn’t it?” Cat slipped her heels off and sat down besides the curled up form of the alien. “Now, I believe you mentioned being married. I need details Kara.”
Chuckling wetly Kara pulled herself up so that she was leaning against the headboard, the pillow still clutched to her stomach. “Morgana is amazing.”
“Is?” Cat prayed to everything that somehow the mythically famous evil witch was still alive...what had become her life? Though if Kara had fallen for the woman then she couldn’t be that evil. Or well, had given up evil in the face of a sunny blond smile.
Kara bit her lip and ducked her head, her hair curtaining around her face. “She died from plague a year after I died, or essentially died in battle. And I...I knew who she was in this life. I like who she is now, but it’s not...it’s not the same and I know that that’s unfair of me.”
“In this life? Rebirth and all the new age mumbo jumbo is a thing?” Cat blinked in surprise.
Kara nodded. “She enchanted her wedding band so her future self could have the memories of her past life. But well she doesn’t want them and I can’t blame her. Is it wrong to love someone and miss someone they aren’t any longer at the same time?”
“No, though I have to say I’ve never written a book on reincarnated spouses.” Cat handed Kara a kleenex, the girl looked perilously close to tears again. “Do I know the current form of this wife of yours?”
Kara nodded looking a bit bashful. “Lena Luthor.”
Cat sucked in a breath before laughing. “Only you Kara Danvers, only you.”
“Kara Pendragon now actually.” Kara grinned weakly.
Cat waved her hand. “So any plans for wooing Lena then?”
“I don’t know how to show I love her for her. Not as a ghost of Morgana which...she’s...she has the same heart, the same mind, the same soul. How could I not love her?” Kara looked at her clearly confused.
They were interrupted by a knock on the door. Cat held up a finger and stepped to the door and opened it while putting a hand on her hip. “Ah, July so nice of you to finally get here.”
Her assistant held out a blue bottle that glowed eerily. “It’s poisonous to humans Ms. Grant.”
“Obviously.” Cat ignored the surprised look on her assistant's face as she shut the door and turned back to Kara. “Are you just going to sit there or are you going to get me another glass of bourbon and yourself a glass for whatever this is?”
“Right away Ms. Grant.” Kara blurred before there she was back on the bed, pillow still in her arms but now the bottle of bourbon and two glass tumblers on the side table.
Cat rolled her eyes as she swept to the bed and sat down against the headboard besides Kara. “Please, there is snot on my shoulder from you crying. We’re so far past Ms. Grant it’s a bit alarming.”
Kara smiled softly at her while holding out the glass of bourbon.
Accepting the glass Cat handed over the bottle of...what was probably the equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction. She waited till Kara had poured herself a generous glass of the yellow glowing liquid. Raising her glass she spoke. “To the insanity that is now life.”
Kara clinked their glasses together before downing her entire glass. Her eyes squeezed shut as she winced at the burn. Cat just chuckled taking a moderate sip. “Pour yourself another, you’ll need it.” She waited till Kara was sipping her second glass before continuing. “With your Lena problem you need time.”
“I thought you said waiting for time to work things out was stupid?” Kara looked at her practically pouting.
Cat flicked her between the eyes. Huh, the alcohol was getting to her already. She probably shouldn’t have had so much already. “I didn’t say do nothing, just that it will take time. You need to see her as a proper person separate from Morgana. Yes, yes I know same soul and all that. But learn how to relate and interact with Lena. And she needs to get to know you. Honestly, just be her friend Supergirl.”
Kara nodded. “We got lunch, and she knows everything. It was..nice. Different but nice. I think I’ll bring her lunch at the office tomorrow, she always forgets to eat.”
“Good start.” Cat took a long pull from her glass. “I suppose this means you won’t be working for me any longer.”
“Well, not as a reporter.” Kara looked guilty as her shoulders pulled upwards and her eyes skittered away. Which was compounded by her finishing off her second drink and filling her glass again.
Cat stared at her. “Explain.”
“Um...so you know your publishing company you bought just to get at your mother?” Kara’s voice was high pitched and tight. “Well um...you know my name is Pendragon now….”
Cat pinched the bridge of her nose. “You’re my secretive children's book author then? What’s the series ‘A Girl and Her Dragon’?”
“Yeah.” Kara blushed brightly and looked down at her lap.
“The main character’s name is Morgan...please do not tell me that you were friends with a white dragon named Aithusa in Camelot.” Cat groaned, of course her best selling author who wrote children's stories and alien legends for print was Kara.
Kara grinned. “Aithusa was quite a lot larger in real life actually. And she didn’t hatch till Morgana was an adult. But yes.”
Cat finished off her glass. “Right, pour me another and then you can start telling me what you’ve been up to since you woke up apart from writing children’s books.”
Gwen Schmied closed her folder on the case. Rubbing at her eyes she shook her head before standing up. The case wasn’t a hard one, refusing to give back pay to an employee. It was just exhausting sometimes how petty and awful large corporations could be on occasion. Heading out of her cubicle she waved. “Matt, wait up!”
“Schmied.” The older lawyer and her boss paused. “You taking a coffee break too?”
She nodded. “I needed to get away from Lord Industries cases for a while.”
“Think this one will settle out of court as well then?” He asked as she fell into step with him and they began to head for the coffee shop around the corner.
She huffed in annoyance. “Yes, I wish someone would hold that man accountable for how he treats his workers who don’t have their doctorates. And he gets away with it by not letting any of the cases make it to court and tieing everyone up in red tape and legal threats. It’s disgusting.”
“We hold people like him accountable. One case at a time.” He patted her shoulder consolingly. “Now, did I tell you my little girl was in a dance recital this weekend?”
Gwen smiled and easily and listened to the man talk excitedly about his daughter. She made the appropriate sounds, even cooing at the picture of the five year old in a pink tutu that Matt produced from his wallet. She laughed as he opened the door to the little coffee shop for her. Looking towards the counter she noticed two men by the window, both of whom had looked up at her the moment she’d laughed. She looked back to the cashier ignoring them.
As they waited for their coffee Matt elbowed her gently. “You’ve got those boys’s attention by the window.”
She glanced back to the two men really briefly. “I suppose.”
“The blond fellow is quite handsome, maybe you should go talk to them? You don’t get out of the office often enough dear.” He encouraged her helpfully.
Gwen sighed. “I don’t have time to date.”
“Well, you’ll have to tell them that. They’re coming this way.”
Accepting she was going to have to deal with some idiot men, regardless of attractiveness, she turned ready to ward them off. “May I help you?”
The dark haired one grinned widely and laughed while the blond one glared at his companion briefly before looking back to her. “My husband and I were wondering if we could talk to you about a...sensitive matter Ms. Schmied.”
She instantly relaxed, prospective clients, gay married to each other clients who weren’t going to start showing up at her office trying to get her phone number. “Of course, we can speak here or at the office. Whichever is more comfortable Mr….?”
“Pendragon.” He held out his hand. “Arthur Pendragon and this is my husband Merlin.”
A startled laugh escaped her mouth. “Well aren’t you two a match made in naming heaven.”
“We try our best.” The dark haired one, Merlin said with a stupid grin on his face.
Matt spoke from her side. “Well as lovely as this all is I have to get back to the office. I’ll see you there later?” He gave her a pointed looked.
She gave him a slight nod, pleased he was looking out for her. “Of course. I’ll call you if this is going to take long.” Picking up her coffee she stepped towards the small table by the window and accepted the seat Arthur pulled out for her. “Thank you.”
“Of course.” He was as clearly happy as his husband, which was odd. Who looked for a corporate lawyer who prosecuted wage docking mostly and was happy about it?
“So, what’s the case you need me to look at?” She asked while taking a sip of her coffee.
Arthur reached into his pocket and pulled out a USB drive and set it on the table. “I know this is all very unusual. But in exchange for information on this drive I’d appreciate if you’d hear out Merlin and I. Of course we wouldn’t stop you from leaving. And there is a case we would appreciate your opinion on. But that’s not the reason we wished to speak with you.”
“Oh don’t be a pillock.” Merlin snarked easily before looking at her with an eyeroll. “What the princess here is trying to say is we wanted to talk to you about a personal matter. We have information your firm would find advantageous with dealing with Maxwell Lord. It’s everything the governments of the United States and of The United Kingdom have on him, including a great deal on his classified illegal human experimentation. It’s yours regardless of whether you want to listen to us or not.”
Gwen set her coffee down and stared at the drive and back at the two men. “I’m listening.”
“Well see…” Arthur fumbled only for Merlin to groan and take over. “Aliens are real, the thing is aliens aren’t the only...they’re not the only bed time story that’s real.” He held his hand out, though carefully didn’t intrude in her personal space. Holding her gaze he spoke a word in a language she’d never heard, his eyes burned gold and suddenly there was a flame flickering in the palm of his hand.
Gwen sucked in a breath, her eyes widening. This wasn’t real. Looking between the two nervous looking men she realized they were serious. Reaching out slowly she felt the heat from the very real flame. “You’re saying magic is real?”
“Yes.” Merlin smiled happily before closing his fist and pulling it back. “And so are previous lives. Souls…” He tilted his head and seemed thoughtful. “They keep going and well we have something of yours from a previous life.”
Arthur made a sound of confirmation and reached into his pockets before pulling out a rather thick silver wedding band and placing it on the table. “It’s enchanted.” He looked at her steadily. “If you were to put it on, your memories from well the life you wore it during would be...available to you.”
She blinked at them slowly. “You two want me to put that ring one.” Gwen looked at it pointedly. “So I can get memories from a former life where we knew each other I assume?” They were insane...she was going to politely excuse herself and then call the police.
“Look, I know it’s hard to believe.” Merlin, oh crap he probably thought he really was some magical wizard. “But if we’re wrong and you put that on nothing happens. If we’re right you gain your memories.”
Gwen stared at him in disbelief.
Arthur elbowed him while digging in his pockets again. Pulling out his wallet dropped two cards on the table. “Here, our id’s. You can take a photo of it and us if you want, for identification purposes if you think we’re crazies who are going to start stalking you or something.”
Pulling out her phone she carefully photographed both cards. Raising it she stared at them dubiously as they both grinned happily as she took a photo of their faces. It would seem they weren’t dangerous crazies, just crazy. She almost felt bad for how disappointed they were going to be when she didn’t gain any magical memories.
“Alright.” Setting her phone down she reached touching the ring. It was warm to the touch as she held it. Something inside of her settled oddly as she automatically slipped it down her ring finger. Gwen looked up at them about to tell them that it was just a ring. And then her head was filled with a flood of information and feelings. Gripping the edge of the table she clamped her eyes shut as a wave of vertigo washed over her.
Breathing deeply she glared up at them. “You idiots.” And then she lunged over the table hugging them tightly. “You nearly gave me a heart attack.”
She felt so much joy as Arthur grumbled into her neck. “It’s hard to not be creepy when asking a stranger to put a ring on.” He let out a sound close to a wheeze. “I’ve missed you so much.”
“So, we get to make a time portal?” Winn asked excitedly.
“We get to make a time portal.” Alex felt something untwist. She was going to save her sister before whatever had hurt her had a chance. Then she was going to drag Barry Allen through a portal and strangle him.
Winn brightened. “Right, though we should keep the new suit, it’s some of my best work.”
“It’s a bit dark for our Kara, but I agree that the body armor is a good idea, and the radiation shielding.” Alex stepped back to her bench and pulled up the carefully formed wires she’d been working on. “I think we’ve got these kryptonite blockers as small as they can go with our technology.”
Winn rolled over in his chair and accepted the wires with small disks at the end of each one and looked at it curiously. “We’ll have to put them throughout the suit...maybe in between the kevlar layers.”
“It’s very practical.” Alex said peeking at his tablet where he’d been drawing out options. “Does she need the tactical belt?”
“Pendragon’s notes mentioned the upside of her having zipties, a body camera, a radio and gps system not tied to a cell phone, high density power bars for emergency calories, emergency medical supplies for rescued civilians, and the reinforced baton for avoiding hand to hand combat in cases where the hostile had a weapon capable of harming her.” Winn looked up at Alex with a wince. “They’re all good ideas, I mean some of this has been proposed before but we never wanted her to come off as..well law enforcement.”
Alex’s jaw ticked as she glared at the suit mock up. “I don’t like this. Most of this she’ll refuse to use once we get her back.”
Winn shrugged. “Probably, but the reinforced suit that’ll keep kryptonite from affecting her will be awesome. We can make a spare in her usual bright colors and not…” He frowned at the toned down blue and red selected for the suit. “Not this.”
“Did you get Pendragon’s files for me?” Alex asked changing the topic.
He picked up a usb and tossed it to her. “It’s all there, and also...her’s. I mean I know she’s not our Kara but I thought you might want it.”
Alex swallowed thickly pocketing the small drive. “Keep up the work. After you get off I’ll meet you in lab 5 to start work on the portal.”
“We’ll get her back.” Winn’s face set firmly.
Alex gave a sharp nod. “In the meantime get Mon-el to tell you everything he knows about portals. He may be a space frat boy, but he might know something that could help.”
Hayashi was not expecting a phone call from Cat Grant at eleven am. In fact he hadn’t even known the woman had his phone number. Hands slightly shaking he answered. “Ms.Grant?”
“Harper.” She drawled, though there was a certain roughness to her voice. “You’re at the Hilton in DC yes?”
He gaped at the wall of his hotel room. Somehow he was going to tell Snapper to shove it and never ever take an assignment in DC ever again. “Yes…?”
“Good, come up to the penthouse suit. Bring your cell phone or recorder or whatever you have. You’re interviewing Supergirl. And bring some aspirin with you.” She hung up the phone before he could say anything.
Hayashi stared at the phone in his hand. He’d only been a reporter for a few years, this article on corruption was supposed to be his big break. But Supergirl? Cat Grant was the only one to have ever gotten an interview with the woman except for the occasional comment some of the junior reporters managed to get by chasing crime scenes. He lept to his feet and started desperately straightening his clothing and grabbing his things.
Clambering out the door he sprinted for the elevator. Jamming his finger into the button he tapped his foot anxiously waiting for the doors to open. He felt jittery as hell when the door dinged open. Hayashi practically lept into the elevator hitting the top floor button and then mashing the close doors one. It grated his nerves as the boring jingle of elevator music floated around.
Hopping from foot to foot he glared at the slowly ticking numbers as the elevator rose. He was going to get to interview Supergirl! Hell he was apparently staying in the same hotel as Ms. Grant, wasn’t that something. Biting his lip he nervously straightened his hair as the doors finally opened to the top floor. Jogging to the door he froze with his hand in the air. The door was cracked open. Cautiously he pushed it open. The sight before him broke his brain.
“Oh good you’re here. Hand over the aspirin.” Cat Grant croaked from where she was...sprawled across the foot of the bed.
He edged closer holding out the travel packet he’d stuffed into his pocket on his way up. She snatched them from his hand, ripped the package open and dry swallowed them.
“Um...are you alright?” He asked slowly while glancing around the room in concern. Someone had used...lipstick to write up lists of what looked like a media plan over the walls. His jaw opened as he spotted a figure slumped on the balcony staring up at the sun in a black tactical outfit and familiar blond hair.
Taking a step back he heard a clink. Looking down he saw an empty blue bottle of what was probably illegal alcohol. Had Cat Grant gotten drunk with Supergirl? Staring in disbelief he saw a very unflattering drawing of Snapper Carr done in mascara by the vanity. And was that a picture of Supergirl throwing some blonde woman in a gown into space? Oh that was a caricature of Lane with her hair on fire. Clearing his throat he focused back on Cat. “Did you need something?”
“Yes, or I wouldn’t have called you here.” The woman groaned before lifting up her bloodshot eyes and glaring at him. “Now keep your voice down.”
“Yes Ms. Grant.” He carefully stepped over the bottle and moved to the balcony. Sticking his head out he looked at what was a hungover looking Supergirl in civilian clothing. “Do you need aspirin too?”
She looked up at him. He sucked in a breath at the difference. “I’m fine, thanks Hayashi.”
“You know my name?!” He startled taking a step forward.
She smiled up at him widely as she floated up to her feet. “Of course I do.” Supergirl glanced at Cat who was still laying there like she was pretending she didn’t exist. “Come on, we should order some room service before she starts yelling.”
Hayashi blinked as he followed Supergirl into a hotel room containing a hungover Cat Grant. It was the craziest thing he’d have ever imagined. Crazier even, he was almost convinced it was a dream. Supergirl seemed to ignore his awe as she grabbed the phone and called down to the front desk and started ordering a truly ungodly amount of food.
Cat glared up at Supergirl from her position. “I’m not paying to feed the bottomless pit you call a stomach.”
“Yes you are.” Supergirl said over her shoulder. “Think of it as an apology for trying to fire me.”
“Fire you?!” Hayashi yelped looking back forth between the two women.
Cat turned on him. “Oh shut up Harold.”
“Be nice you’re asking him do us a favor.” Supergirl chided from where she was hanging up the phone.
“I liked you better when you were afraid of me.” Cat said while sitting up properly for the first time. “Get me a glass of water before you smile at me.”
There was a whoosh and then Cat was holding a glass of water with a smugly smiling Supergirl at her elbow. Hayashi finally lost it. “What’s happening? Why am I here? What happened to the wall! And is that a bra on the lamp shade?”
Both women stared at him before Cat sighed and stood up walking over to the said lamp and grabbing the bra. “I’m taking a shower. Explain Supergirl would you. And if you eat my hangover hashbrowns you are dead to me.”
Hayashi gaped as his CEO walked into the bathroom and shut the door with a definitive bang. He turned to Supergirl and stared at her helplessly. She sighed and beckoned him over to the bed where she promptly jumped up and sat down cross legged on it. He carefully perched on the edge.
“Well, I suppose it’s best to start you with why Cat called you.” Supergirl pushed some of her hair behind one ear, letting her scare show properly. “Time Travel and alternate realities are all real. I’ve been gone fighting in a war for a while. Of course I’m giving the exclusive to Catco. Cat has commitments here which means she can’t write the story.”
“So you got drunk? I didn’t even know you could get drunk.” He muttered.
She laughed in a ringing sound of delight. “Gosh no, at least not on human stuff. Alien alcohol is a thing though and well, even for someone with my constitution it’ll work. But no, we were catching up. It’s been a few years for me and I consider Ms.Grant a dear friend.”
He pulled out his phone. “So um...do you want to do the interview now?”
“Sure, I’m already going to get yelled at for just disappearing like this.” She shrugged. “I’m fairly sure Cat’s going to have you sign some NDAs so you never say a word about this morning though.”
“Probably.” He didn’t find himself too put out about that. No one would believe him if he said Cat Grant and Supergirl got smashed in a hotel room and wrote over the walls in makeup. He wasn’t completely sure he believed his own eyes. Clearing his throat he turned on the recording app. “So where did you get that scar Supergirl?”
She reached up touching her cheek. “Blew out my powers fighting a powerful enemy. There were more enemies left though and I was punched in the face by a man wearing a metal glove. She gave him a self deprecating laugh. “It’s a bit distinctive.”
Nodding he jotted down his impression while continuing. “So why were you fighting?”
“Well, The Blur who helped me last year was from another reality. On his reality they were being invaded by a species of alien called the Dominators. By working together as Alien and Human alike we were able to repel the attackers.--”
Merlin climbed out of bed and picked up the ringing cellphone. “Kara! Why didn’t you call us last night?”
-”Cat and I got drunk. It was nice.”- Her voice came through.
He pinched the bridge of his nose. “Anything else to mention?”
-”I gave an interview to Catco about what happened.” Before he could interject in outrage she hurried on. “Don’t worry, I only told them about what happened on earth 1 but implied I was there longer. The official story is I fought in a war against invading aliens on an alternate earth and am back, now a veteran defender of earth. Cat said something about accompanying articles on the multiverse theory and a profile on the Blur and metahumans.”-
Merlin cocked his head to the side while digging through the takeout menu drawer. “So you got started handling the media then.” He gave a hum as he looked at the pizza menu. “Probably smart. Will you back in time for dinner? I’m about to order some pizza.”
-”Nevermind about all that. How did it go with Gwen!”- Kara exclaimed eagerly.
A stupid smile pulled across his face. “Well, we almost got maced and reported to the police but she put the ring on and she’s our Gwen. But younger. Anyways she and Arthur are still in our room. I got tired of the reunion pretty fast. I mean, sex is fine and all occasionally but not really my cup of tea.”
Kara laughed into the receiver. -“Have her call me when they drag themselves out of bed. And Merlin I think I’m going to stay here another night. Cat says there’s a barbecue place she finds tolerable. After she goes to sleep I need to stop by and see J’onn...I’ve been avoiding him and it’ll probably take most of the night. Make sure there’s donuts tomorrow I’ll get there fairly early.”-
“And she’s treating you like yourself?” He leaned against the counter, his face hardening. There had been a lot of yelling at game night.
-“Yeah.”- He heard a sigh on her end. -“It’s not the same as it was.”-
Lena looked up as Jess entered her office looking surprisingly nervous. It was just past lunch and she didn’t have any meetings. “Jess? Has something happened.”
“There’s a lawyer asking to speak with you. A Ms. Schmied.” Jess winced slightly as the name left her lips.
Lena straightened in surprise. What on earth was a worker’s rights lawyer doing asking to speak to her personally, instead of contacting her own lawyers. “Send her in then.”
“Should I send a call down to legal?” Jess asked.
“Yes, I want an audit of everyone fired or injured in the workplace for the last four months. See if they can have it on my desk by tomorrow. Overtime pay of course.” She set her pen down and closed the folder of paperwork she’d been filling out. Standing she moved to pour herself a glass of water while Jess stepped out of the room. Walking back to her desk she sat down again.
She didn’t have to wait long for the door to open once more and a pretty and professional woman to step inside. There was a sort of regal grace to her she hadn’t expected. Though perhaps not surprising. “Ms. Schmied?”
The woman smiled widely at her, it rather disconcerting. “Lena Luthor hmm..?”
Lena raised a brow while leaning back in her chair. “I’m sorry, do I know you personally? I wasn’t aware we’d met.”
“You didn’t put it on then?” Ms. Schmied’s smile turned knowing. Stepping forward she boldly took the seat across from her desk. “Weren’t you curious who you used to be?”
“You…” Lena took in the woman again. “Guinevere.”
Guinevere smiled happily and nodded. “Gwen actually. How’d you know?”
“Your name is Gwen Schmied. According to the journal, the historical Guinevere was the daughter of a blacksmith. Schmied is german for smith. Then well, you meet the description she gave of you.” Lena considered the woman before her. “Why are you here?”
“Applying for a job, and heading off the boys.” Gwen opened her purse and pulled out a folder and handed it over. “My resume.”
Lena accepted it warily. “You normally sue people like me.”
“But not L-corp since you took over.” Gwen gave her a knowing look. “You may not have accepted your memories yet but I did.” She rolled her eyes, “though mostly because I just wanted the crazy boys to leave me alone. Turns out it they weren’t crazy and I should have listened to their explanation more seriously.” She continued more seriously herself. “But I know you, and I know if I want to make a difference being by your side is the place to be. Also we were friends, best friends once upon a time. I’d like to get to know this you. And I’m a better option than either of the boys dropping by, they’re as subtle as bricks.”
“The boys?” Lena asked, her heart ached. She wasn’t the person these people loved.
Gwen nodded gently. “Yes, Arthur and Merlin. You know they’re here right?” She waited for her to give a nod before continuing. “Well you are Arthur’s sister. He’d burn the world down to protect you and Merlin’s Merlin. You two were always in the library together, noses in books. I’m fairly sure Kara asking them to give you space is the only reason they haven’t broken in already.”
Lena stood her hands splayed on the top of her desk. She was done. “I’m not Morgana. I’m not...I just found out that apparently I was Morgana Pendragon in a former life, who while her I married my time travel displaced best friend who, by the way, is also an alien superhero who took a wrong turn when getting back from fighting an alien invasion in another dimension. But I’m not that person!” Lena panted at her exclamation, but her frustration was boiling over still. “None of that matters because I’m Lena Luthor, even if I were to remember these things I’m still me, not her. So excuse me for not wanting to attempt to fake being someone I’m not.”
Gwen stood carefully. “No one thinks you’re Morgana.” She reached out pointing at her chest. Her finger poked her softly over her heart. “But that, that’s the same. And to us that’s all that matters. Just like I am and I’m not Guinevere Pendragon. Until you believe me however how are the job prospects here?”
Lena stared at her. She was lost, and she knew it, but there was something there. “I’ll have the head of legal call you.”
J’onn looked up from his desk. “Kara, come to see me last then?”
“I missed you.” She stepped closer to him. “I...I wasn’t sure what to say.”
He stood up opening his arms. A grunt escaped his lips as he felt his daughter of heart thudding into his chest. Wrapping his arms around her he smiled softly into her hair. “I’m glad you came back to us.”
“I’m sorry for not coming sooner.” She held him with the strength she kept hidden.
J’onn ran a hand over her hair. “Well I heard about your trials from Alex, Winn, James, and an Arthur Pendragon.”
She pulled back smiling softly. “I’m tired of explaining it all. Are you mad?”
“No.” He cupped her face between his hands and brought their foreheads together. “I’m proud of you for surviving”
She shuddered under his hands for a long second. “I had a saying while I was gone you know. What Would J’onn J’onzz Do. It was really helpful.”
He smiled releasing her and stepping back slightly. “Then I am glad I was with you in that small way while you were gone.”
“You’re as much my father as any man.” She reached out clasping his arm. “I didn’t tell you before, not really. I should have though, I don’t care if you’re not my blood. You’re as much family as anyone.”
He felt his face warm. “As you and Alex are my daughters.” Crossing his arms he felt his eyes narrow. “Now, about that Arthur Pendragon. He treats you right?”
“He’s my brother in-law.” She frowned. “I thought they would have told you that.”
J’onn sucked his tongue slightly. “He came in here lecturing me about not protecting you. The tech he wants put in your new suit, it wouldn’t be hard for someone to turn it against you if they had access to your suit. Do you trust him?”
“Completely.” She drew her shoulders back. “As much as I trust you.”
Grumbling slightly he eased his posture. “Well, I’ll just have to get used to working with him then.”
“Is Alex?” She trailed off looking guilty.
J’onn rested a hand on her shoulder and squeezed. “Give her time. You’ve had a lifetime to accept what’s happened, she hasn’t. She will always be your sister.”
“Thank you.” Shaking herself she smiled sadly. “I spoke with Cat, we’ve organized a plan. Afterall, I can’t be Kara Danvers and Supergirl anymore. The world needs Supergirl….and I don’t think Kara Danvers exists anymore.”
He sighed, he knew the weight she carried. But he loved her, unconditionally. It didn’t matter who or what she’d become, he would always love her, be proud of her. “Well then, I look forward to working with you once more Kara Pendragon.”
So as recommended by a few of you guys I finally womaned up and watched the new King Arthur Legend of the Sword movie. Oh my god guys! I loved it so much! Like hugs all round for making me watch it! Sure objectively it was a super flawed film and it needed to linger on emotional moments to give a real sense of emotional build up and pay off. But you know what, I don't even care. I'm so pleased with the damn thing. Best Arthur move in ages! Like dude! The music! And I loved how they did magic!
And the editing was fun and smart which was just so cool to see! I'm still riding high off that movie and am just so darned pleased about the whole thing. Like go watch it! It's a mediocre film but damn it it's fun. Like just so badass, and it's fast paced and I was so down with it. Also I'm still shook that like the prostitutes were sympathetic characters, and all but one of them survived and were made court ladies by Arthur. That never happens! I was just waiting for them all to be killed like always but then they lived! Holy shit guys that was so nice to see!
The music though! God I loved the music so much. And it helps they just did their own thing with the story. The story in the film isn't the familier blue-print of the tale. Which is refreshing to see, there was a story there that the director wanted to tell and it worked better for it. It was a good mix of the familier and nostalgic with the new and the exciting. As a stand alone film like three out of five stars. As an arthurian nerd five out of five.
Chapter 3: Surrender or Die
I'm back! And this whole lovely thing is drafted up and ready to go. I suppose I'll start posting a chapter a week for you guys.
“Lena!” Kara smiled as she slid into the seat opposite Lena, at the small bakery. “Sorry I’m late. The DEO wanted to do a trial run with the new suit.”
Lena shook her head. “I’m still not used to that, you talking about who you are so casually.”
Kara shrugged. “Well, it’s not like I can have a secret identity anymore.”
“You could try a mask.” Lena pointed out while pushing a cinnamon roll towards her.
Accepting the plate she cut into it with glee; and well...how to explain that she’d been pretending to be someone else for so long, she wasn’t even completely sure who she was without an act of some kind? “I don’t want to hide, I’ve had enough of it for a lifetime.”
Lena gave an understanding hum while sipping from her coffee. “Will you be putting on the cape again today? Or is the suit a no go?”
“It’s ready, final check is later today. Some wires came loose during tests this morning.” She tapped the slightly bulky purse meaningfully before taking a bite of her roll. Kara closed her eyes and sighed in pleasure. “I missed the food.”
“You’ve been back ten years.” Lena said incredulously, though a small smile was pulling at her lips.
Kara grinned unrepentantly. “Well we signed up with the army straight off and they don’t have proper food.” She shuddered and wrinkled her nose at the thought of that foul excuse of food. “It was awful!”
“Well we can’t have that.” Lena teased gently. “Is this your way of asking for mercy and no places that serve kale for a while?”
She couldn’t help it, her nose wrinkled up further. “Please.” Looking at Lena, sitting there before her, she felt warm. “So I read in Scientific America you’re working on a new particle laser.”
“You read Scientific American?” Lena asked curiously.
“Well...um…” Kara blushed. “You got published in it when you were nineteen for your article on quantum entanglement. I..that is we all agreed that stalking or well, creepily watching any of the people we cared about might mess with time, and was generally really creepy. But I figured reading your article wasn’t intrusive.” She bit her lip looking down.
Lena’s heart beat sped up ever so slightly. “You read my articles? All of them?”
She nodded, barely looking up at Lena through her lashes. “Is that alright?”
“That’s...that’s alright. I just, I didn’t think anyone read them because of me.” Lena looked slightly uncomfortable.
Kara’s brow crinkled. “Surely Lex did.”
Shaking her head Lena’s fingers ran along the sides of her coffee cup. “He was always much too busy.”
“Well his loss then the big lug. I kept all of them.” Kara raised her chin proudly. “I thought they were brilliant.”
Lena honest to Rao blushed. “Surely you did the same for your sister? She’s a well published biologist from what I understand.”
“Of course.” Kara took another bite of her roll. “I kept up with the lives of everyone I cared about. I’ve got a scrapbook. Everyone who’s family is in it.”
“You’re still you aren’t you?” Lena tilted her head a soft expression on her face.
Kara lowered her fork. “Yes? But also...I’m different I think.”
“But still you.” Lena tapped her finger on the table. “I think I understand what Gwen meant about the same heart. You’re different but the things that matter, they’re the same aren’t they.”
“I hope so.” Kara had to hold herself back from reaching out and touching Lena. She knew they weren’t there yet. Lena always seemed slightly awkward around her. They were relearning each other after all, it was going to take time. At least that’s what Cat had beat her over the head with. She swallowed thickly. “So you hired Gwen?”
Lena sighed. “She’s a brilliant lawyer, morally sound. I don’t have to worry about bribery or anti-alien sentiments. A week ago I would have paid a fortune for her to come work for me. Despite everything she’ll be a good employee. I only hope she stays after she realizes I’m not the friend she remembers.”
“Gwen will surprise you.” Kara tipped her head. “And she’s as stubborn as you are.”
“Well, I suppose I’ll have two friends then if she’s as stubborn as all that.” Lena finished off her coffee. “This has been lovely but I need to get to L-corp.”
Kara stood up. “Would you let me walk you there?”
“That would be nice.” Lena stood up as well. “Now, I want to know everything you remember about the suit of that hero The Atom you said you worked with.”
“My sister quit her job!” Alex threw her hands up in the air.
Maggie raised a brow, while accepting that their morning bubble was being burst. She shoved a morning coffee at her girlfriend. “Did your sister just tell you this?” She glanced meaningfully to where Alex was glaring at her cell phone.
Alex looked up at her. “James texted me. Her resignation just ended up on his desk!”
“Ok.” Maggie took the coffee away from Alex and dropped it in the trash.
Maggie stared at her girlfriend. “No, you don’t need any caffeine right now. You look like you’re about to explode. Which, not even you can pull off crazy explosion babe. Let’s go get you some tea before we head to the crime the scene.”
“Livewire escaped, we don’t have time to get tea.” Alex grumbled, continuing her power walk for the prison.
She groaned looking to the sky for help as she followed Alex. “Right, cause that’s what’s going on with you, Livewire. Not that you have your sister’s friends spying on her for you. Or the fact that whenever I’ve mentioned her since we started dating, you’ve gone broody and shut me down. What’s going on Danvers?”
“Not now.” Alex growled while stalking into the building.
Maggie bit back her retort and thrust her own coffee at a rookie cop. She wasn’t in the mood suddenly. “Fine, let’s get this done then.”
She focused on the crime scene as she started looking round. Crouching she took a look at the overturned basin of water used to keep Livewire’s powers from being used. Pulling out a pen she poked where the blanket was touching the water. “Take a look at this.”
Alex stiffly approached and peered over her shoulder. “So she didn’t use her powers to get out of her binding.”
Maggie nodded. “Blanket would have signs of electricity if the water had had been channeling it.”
“Hmmm…” Alex rested her hands on her hips as her eyes examined the room sharply.
Straightening up Maggie glanced to the entrance of the cell. “I’m surprised your sister isn’t terroizing my men into letting her onto the scene.”
“She won’t be coming.” Alex snapped. “Let’s finish cataloguing everything and find out what happened.”
Kara shifted pulling at the collar of her new suit. She barely remembered the feel of her old one. But she did remember that it had been barely more than a thin layer of fabric. The fabric now was thicker, many layered with pieces sewn throughout between layers to give her an advantage. The weight was less than the armor she’d become used to. It was also tight against her.
“What do you think?” Winn forced a smile on his face, though it looked a bit conflicted.
She looked at him, her hands falling to her sides. “It’s great Winn. Some of your finest work.” It wasn’t a lie, she was particularly touched by the shoulder and chest guards designed in the Kryptonian way.
Winn seemed to notice where her attention was. “Alex helped, but we wired the metal in the shoulders and chest with the newly improved kryptonite absorber. You have small inlaid pieces throughout the suit to help transfer the radiation but the metal there is where the tech is.”
“That’s amazing.” Kara ran her thumb along the looser pants. “Thanks for the pockets.”
“Well, when people up the chain of command make a request.” He shrugged. “It takes a bit from the superhero aesthetic. I have an alternate set of tighter pants without the military tactical inspirations.”
Kara looked at her old friend and held her wince in. She knew he wasn’t adjusting to her very well. Which she could understand, after all she didn’t deal with change well either. “The fabric is thicker?”
“Yeah.” Winn relaxed while pulling up the files on the fabric, some genuine excitement showing. “It’s three layers of fabric. The top layer is a synthetic kevlar blend. It wouldn’t help a human much, but you can handle the force of the bullets as long as they don’t pierce the suit and contain kryptonite. So that should help with that. Then the inner layer is an elastic rubber to help with preventing electricity from shorting out the kryptonite blockers. The final layer is for comfort and just a lining. Though it is designed to breathe, as well as be durable.”
Kara smiled while shifting her arms ensuring the movement was still free even with the added armor. “This is amazing Winn.”
“Yeah well, it is me.” He had a small proud smile as he leaned back in his chair.
“Thank you, it means a lot.” Kara reached out and touched his shoulder gently. She tried not to flinch at how he tensed under her hand.
He swiveled round in his chair pulling up the police scanner. “So for your first save we have an accident on 25th, not too serious but they could probably use you. Then an apartment fire and a cat stuck in a tree. Bit of a slow day apparently.”
“I’ll get them all. Shouldn’t be difficult.” Kara slipped the earpiece in and flicked it on.
Alex was tired of the new assistant director, she missed Lucy. This man should just go back to the desert and rot. Or even better back to England. She crossed her arms. “How are we doing on locating Livewire, Winn?”
His eyes darted about before he pulled her away from the command center. “I found her, but I don’t know if we should send this new Kara after her...maybe we call in Guardian?”
“Do it.” She didn’t trust this version of Kara to act how her Kara would. “And Winn, this conversation never happened.”
He nodded, a grin tugging at his mouth. “You got it.”
Kara flew freely through the sky for the first time in years. It was...deliriously glorious. She’d missed this, her safe place, where everything felt better. Flipping over she came to a halt in front of the apartment fire. Scanning the building she took in the scene.
It was a four story building, three people still inside and one hamster. Crashing through a window she grabbed a man and slung him over her shoulder in a fireman’s carry while snagging the hamster cage. It took seconds to land outside next to the fire trucks. Setting the cage down she dropped the squirming and alarmed man down on the sidewalk. She glanced up to the firemen who were gaping at her. “Two more civilians in the building.”
Waiting for a response would have been wasting time. Kicking off she took to the air once more before crashing through another window on the fourth floor. Scooping up the kid hiding in a corner she cradled him as she zipped two units over where a woman was trapped because of her wheelchair. Setting the kid in the woman’s lap she picked up the whole chair. Using her heat vision she cut a hole in the wall large enough for them.
Flying out as gently as possible, she lowered herself back to the sidewalk. She smiled at the kid who was looking at her with wide eyes. “I’ll be right back.” Kara zoomed back up. It took some liberal use of her freeze breathe, but putting out the flame didn’t take more than a minute and a half.
Kara lighted down by the kid brandishing a well loved action figure. “There you go.”
“Who are you?” He asked, wide eyed and awed as he accepted his toy eagerly.
She winced slightly, though she hid it as best she could. “Why Supergirl of course, just a new suit.” Kara smiled brightly, even if it didn’t quite reach her eyes. “You stay safe now ok?”
He nodded quickly.
Kara gave him a last grin before taking off into the sky. She hurtled for the car accident on the highway. It wasn’t a bad wreck, but helping to move the cars to the shoulder would be useful. She easily dropped down from the sky directly in front of the accident. A quick scan showed no broken bones or distressed humans, a rare occurance, the bad traffic must have helped for once.
She easily lifted the grey sedan and pulled it over to the shoulder. Walking back to the green hatchback she pushed it over as well. It took a great deal of self control not to react to the flashes out of her peripheral vision. People were snapping pictures, heads were poking out of windows.
Instead of staying at the scene she took off for the safety of the skies. As she was climbing towards the clouds her attention was caught by the sounds of a fight. Veering sharply towards the source she narrowed her eyes. Her com crackled to life, Arthur’s voice strong and annoyed as he spoke.
-“Livewire’s location has been found. Do you need the address?”-
Kara braced herself. “I’m already there.” And then she crashed into the damaged police car, distracting the fighters with her entrance. She took in the two pale individuals, lightning zipping along their figurers, and a barely standing Guardian opposite them. Raising her voice she spoke with command. “You can surrender or you can die. Choose now.”
The woman, who shared an eerie similarity to Leslie smirked. “Big words for a cape.” She lifted her hands, they glowed as she charged power to an attack.
Kara may not be as fast as Barry, or even as fast as lightning. But she was close. Close enough that she was in front of the meta-human before she could release her lightning. Snapping her fist into the woman’s throat, in a sharp punch, she used just enough strength to feel the spine snap from the force of it.
Turning she focused on the tall man in a security guard uniform as he stumbled back, shock clearly visible on his face. “I would advise you to surrender.” She noticed out of the corner of her eyes the police officers cowering behind a van.
He gaped at her. “You...you killed her?”
“Surrender, you cannot win this. There’s no need for these humans to be hurt.” Kara felt right for the first time in years as she stood protecting people against forces they couldn’t stand against.
The man blinked rapidly before dropping to his knees and raising his hands. “I surrender.”
She whooshed to his side, slipping a tranquilizer out of her belt she jabbed it into his neck. His eyes fluttered before collapsing down on the ground into a heap.
Frowning down at his body she pieced the information together. Reaching up she tapped her comm into life. -”Both assailants are down. Neither of them were Leslie Lewis. One female, caucasian, around 5’6”. The other is taller 6’4”, colored and wearing the uniform of the prison that Leslie was being held at. He’s unconscious and ready to be picked up. Their powers were identical to those of Leslie's. The scene is clear though, we’ll need two busses, but no civilian fatalities or structural damage to the building. The Guardian is conscious though injured on the premises.”
-”A team will be at your location in four minutes. Grab Guardian and the prisoner. Return to the City base immediately.”- Arthur ordered.
She hooked the still trembling man in the metal suit and slung the unconscious meta over her shoulder. Flying as fast as a human could stand she carried the two of them towards the city base. The vigilante attempted to fight her hold, but his muscles were weak from electricity and he was clearly human. As she flew into the command center she dropped Guardian on the floor while snagging his shield. Without the shield he was easily handled by anyone in the room.
Moving to the waiting agents she turned over the unconscious prisoner. “What happened?”
Arthur’s face was tight, his jaw rigidly tight as he stood in the center of the room. “Information was withheld and the agent responsible will be written up. Good job.” He turned to the pale, overly stiff agents. “Take this vigilante to an interrogation cell now. I want to know how he got classified information from our secret organization, and from where..” Softening he turned back to her. “Supergirl, there’s an industrial fire just north of us in Central. They need your help. I’ll ensure you’re kept in the loop on our investigation into what now appears to be the abduction of Livewire.”
“I’m seconds away.” She gave him a sharp nod and then was gone. Whatever was going on could be handled without her. Though Arthur was going to tell her after work. For now she had lives to save.
Arthur was livid. He waited till the sensor attached to Kara was out of her hearing range unless she was actively listening. “Get the Guardian into an interrogation room now, and if he needs it medical attention.”
Striding for the already full interrogation room he flung the door open. Working the city base while J’onn got caught up on the desert base had been a shit idea. “Agent Danvers, what the hell were you thinking!” He slammed his hands down on the table, glaring at her poker face. “You sent an untrained civilian in a suit of high tech armor into a hostile situation alone. You then specifically did not notify anyone of what was going on. Give me one reason why I shouldn’t take your badge and gun right now.” He was practically snarling as he glared at her.
“Why haven’t you then?” She raised a brow, though her mouth was tight.
His fingers dug into the metal of the table ever so slightly. “Because of your notable record and the fact that like it or not we are family. So you better start talking, and now.”
Alex scoffed crossing her arms. “My sister is lost.” There was a pull at the sides of her mouth, a tiny almost undetectable flinch. “We don’t know what this Supergirl is capable of. To send her into a high stress situation was unwise. I made a judgement call.”
“Don’t know what she’s capable of?” He hissed out through his teeth. “She’s a decorated war hero and agent. I have no doubt that you’re off balance all things concerned. But your personal feelings should not have influenced this situation to this degree.”
She tipped her chin up. “She just murdered a human being. I made the right call.”
“The right call, you almost got a civilian killed, those police officers killed, and let dangerous criminals escape. They attempted to use deadly force on an agent, that’s a clean kill.” He grit his teeth, this wasn’t helpful. “I’m suspending you for a week, you’re going to see a therapist before you can return to work. And I would recommend you talk to your sister.” Straightening he stepped to the door. “And Agent Danvers, don’t think J’onn is going to get you out of this.”
Arthur left the room, great goddess this was a disaster. They were lucky no one had died from it. Striding to the next interrogation cell and stepped in. He should have gotten a report on the Guardian before entering the room. “James Olson, I hope you’re comfortable because you’re going to be here for a while.”
Lena looked up from her paperwork. “Gwen, I wasn’t aware we had a meeting this afternoon?”
“We don’t, but you need to eat.” Gwen brandished a bag. “Don’t worry, it’s salad.” She grinned as she walked over and set the bag down on her desk.
She swallowed down her confusion. “And how do you know my order?” Sure enough the top container was her usual.
“Well I wish I could say it's from memories from a past life; but sadly it’s far more mundane, your secretary worries about you and was happy to nark on your tastes in lunch.” Gwen shrugged. She dropped down onto the chair across from her. “She’s sweet by the way.”
Lena opened up her box. “So what requires bribing me with my favorite lunch?”
“Friendship.” The woman smiled, her eyes warm as she looked at her. “I did say I was hoping to get to know you.”
She raised a brow. “I assumed you’d have realized I’m not the Morgana to your Guinevere by now.”
“I’m no more Guinevere than you are Morgana.” Gwen’s brow crinkled as she took a bite from her lunch. “I have her memories of course, and it’s like...a ghost of her feelings. But I’m still the Gwen who grew up in a house next to the car garage. My father was a car mechanic, my brother is off ‘finding himself’ in China. I dated a boy in highschool with braces who always had something stuck in them.” She chuckled as her nose wrinkled.
Lena twisted her plastic fork between her fingers. “Why did you put it on?”
“Well I didn't think it was real.” Gwen huffed in amusement. “I just thought it was the easiest way to get rid of the two crazies in front of me. Then surprise actual memories.” She gave jazz hands while rolling her eyes. “I’m glad I did. But I wonder if I would have put it on if I’d believed it was all real?” Shrugging she took a bite of her lunch.
She bit at her lower lip. “It’s...if you’re not Guinevere why befriend me? If you’re not her and you know I’m not Morgan, why bother with friendship?”
“Because I have the memories of what our friendship could be. And to say I don’t have a predisposition towards you because of that would be a lie.” Gwen smiled with all the signs of being genuine. “I think we, as we are now, could have that friendship again.”
Lena fixed the woman with a long look. This was a person whom she had respected before this, someone who from what she knew was honorable, moral, and kind. “I hope you’re not disappointed then.” She cleared her throat needing the topic to change. “So how have you found your position here at L-corp?”
“It’s amazing.” Gwen shot her a knowing but pleased look. “I mean my chair has lumbar support, my old chair the wheels got stuck all the time.”
She felt a light well of pride. “Good. I've always know company interests depend on amassing wealth, and that means the workers responsible don't always see an equal share of their work. But I refuse to profit off my employee's misery.”
“Which is a reason I wanted to work for you as soon as I realized you were for real.” Gwen speared a large piece of chicken with her fork.
Lena leaned backwards slightly. “You wanted to work for me before?”
“I think our current economic system is immoral.” Gwen considered her words. “I dislike the way the exploitation of the common person is not only practiced, but expected when it’s not necessary. Did you know that in Camelot, the gap of wealth between the royal family and the common people wasn’t nearly as vast as it is with executives now?”
Lena nodded. “I did know that, well in the general historic sense. But it’s a problem for politicians and regulation, accountability, unions. There are limitations in what I am capable of in my position. Especially as a Luthor, who would trust any political cause I supported.” Lena rapped her fingers along the desk. “Which is not to say I’m not capable of making a difference, but it is not the focus of what I am trying to accomplish.”
“True.” Gwen brushed a fly away piece of hair back. “I’m sorry if that came across as an attack, it’s a subject I’m passionate about.”
Lena had to bite back a snort as she raised a brow. “Really, a workers’ rights lawyer invested in economic inequality and the exploitation of the working poor? I never would have guessed.”
“Cheeky.” Gwen tossed a crumpled up, clean napkin at her a bright grin.
She couldn’t help it as she laughed, batting the paper missile away.
Maggie stared at the police report from the attack. She read it again. What the actual hell? Looking over to the man who’d just dropped the report on her desk, she had to ask. “Is this accurate?”
“Yeah, she saved them.” His chin tipped up, a certain thread of defiance.
She glanced back at the report. “But she killed one?”
“Stevens is in the hospital with third degree burns. One of the guards at the prison is dead. Who knows which of them did it.” He straightened his uniform.
Maggie nodded as she stood up. “I’m not attacking her, it’s just not what I was expecting.” She moved through the bullpen for the bathroom. Ducking into a stall she pulled up Alex’s number. Biting her lip she waited, tapping her foot as it rang. Of course it went to voicemail, of course. “Alex, what is going on? I have a report on my desk that makes no sense based off what I know about Supergirl. Call me back.”
Winn winced at the look on Alex’s face. “So uh...it didn’t go well?”
“I’m suspended.” Her whole demeanor was tight and angry. “We have to rescue my sister before this imposter ruins her life.”
He scratched at the top of his head. “I mean technically this is her, just a different version of her?”
“That woman isn’t my sister. My sister is trapped in some hellscape in the past. We’re going to find and save her.” Alex’s eyes were steely. “I don’t care what it costs, she deserves whatever we have to do to get her back.”
Winn sighed but nodded. “Well Mon-el was useless on knowledge of how to create portals, but I did find something interesting in the data from Kara’s pod. I think there’s a form of the technology in the pod only designed for making ripples in space time so that the ship can...skip over bits of time and space. It should be enough to get us started.”
“Good, any progress on identifying the vibrational frequency of Barry?” She crossed her arms as she looked over his computer screens taking in the equations for space travel he’d been working on.
He rubbed at his face. “I’m only one person, there’s only so much I can do without more help and resources.”
“Congratulations, my schedule just opened up.” Alex flicked her eyes across the screens again. “Where do I start?”
He winced. “Uh...aren’t you a xenobiologist? I mean not that that isn’t impressive and everything but it’s a completely different field than well the theoretical physics and engineering required for this sort of work….”
Kara spread her hands as she sat in the story time circle, at the reservation school just north of National City. It was a lovely place, she’d brought over the new computers she’d purchased for the school and been invited to join the second graders for story time. “And then Nightwing and Flamebird perished, their passion having consumed them. But through Rao’s gladsome compassion they were reborn.”
The kids ooed and awed appropriately. One kid with chubby cheeks and a shirt with the El crest on it leaned forward. “Will they ever be together?”
“Someday, when their passions have mellowed perhaps. But till then they will continue to be reborn after every cycle of their lives.” She smiled, it was amazing to share her people’s religion like this.
The teacher, Ms Chapa, stood clapping her hands. “Now why don’t we all thank Supergirl for sharing her legends with us class.”
“Thank you Supergirl!” The kid’s choroused.
Kara beamed at them. “Thank you for sharing your legends with me.”
“Alright, recess.” Ms Chapa made a shooing motion. “The bell rang five minutes ago, you don’t want to miss the whole thing.”
There was a sudden stampede of children making for the door. Kara grinned as she floated up to her feet. She held out her hand to teacher. “Really, thank you for inviting me into your class.”
“It was my pleasure.” The woman’s cheeks heated slightly. “It’s not everyday a Superhero comes to a place like this.”
Kara tilted her head slightly. Zipping to the side of the room she grabbed a pencil and a scrap of paper and wrote down her Supergirl phone number. With a whoosh she was back in front of the startled teacher. Holding out the paper she smiled. “Call me, your tribe is well within the area I consider my home and area of operation. If there is a way I can help, you need only call.”
“This…” The woman clutched at the piece of paper tightly.
She straightened as she heard the click of her comm. Holding up her hand she tapped her ear. “Yes?”
Merlin’s voice came through. -”We’ve found what we believe to be where Leslie is being kept. I’m sending you the coordinates now. A team is being mustered to be on standby for you in case you need backup.”-
“Should I be concerned that it’s you on the comms?” She smiled at the teacher. “Duty calls.” With a final wave, she went whooshing off as she listened to Merlin.
He chuckled. -”Let’s just say Arthur is on a warpath plugging a leak in the DEO. He’ll be neck deep in paperwork for hours. And Supergirl, be careful.”-
“Always.” Kara replied as she came to a stop above the old factory warehouse. “Why is it always abandoned warehouses?”
-”Cliche?”- Merlin suggested over the comm.
She looked through the walls and took in the situation. Listening she examined the man who seemed to be their criminal. His heart...it was just a bit too fast to be human. In fact..it was as fast as Leslie’s. “I have located Livewire. She’s incapacitated and it seems our aggressor is draining her to power others. Am I correct in assuming we don’t have a second cell designed for a meta with these abilities?”
-”Correct, though with tranquilizers we would be able to outfit one. Capture is an option.”- Merlin replied, the earlier glibness gone from his tone.
Kara took in how Leslie was tied down. “I’m going in.” She crashed through the roof, it was useful as a method of distraction. As she hit the floor she turned her heat vision on the machine cutting the power supply to it. Focusing on the hostile she squared her shoulders. “Surrender, if you attack me I will respond with deadly force.”
“Skirt? The fuck?!” Leslie wheezed from where she was trying to splutter out the concrete dust that was hanging in the air.
The man---he had to be a mad scientist---cackled. “Like how you killed my little science experiment you fought earlier? You’re arrogant if you think you can match me!” He lunged, lightning curling round his arm before striking out towards her.
Kara trusted her new suit and rushed forward. There was a slight prickle and then her hand was around his throat. She didn’t pause, she just snapping his neck. Dropping him she walked over to the gaping Leslie. “Let’s get you out of that, Leslie.”
“It’s Livewire.” She looked at the corpse on the ground and then back at her. “What happened to you?”
Reaching out she considered it as she snapped Livewire’s bindings off. “War, time, take your pick. Now are you going to surrender or are we going to go through the usual song and dance?”
“Quick thought sweetcheeks, you killed him ‘cause he attacked you right?” Livewire asked as she cautiously rubbed at her now free wrists.
Kara’s brow crinkled. “Yes?”
“So what if I just, say, don’t surrender or attack you and just run. Still get me killed?” She dropped down onto her feet, eying the room and the exits.
She paused and considered the woman before her. “If you hurt or kill anyone I would come for you, you do know that?”
“Got it, see ya bitch.” Leslie saluted lazily as she turned to pure energy.
Kara snorted as she watched Livewire disappear in a flash of lightning. Tapping her ear she spoke up. “The hostile is dead, I’ve disengaged the power to the equipment. Livewire is in the wind, we’ll be able to track her yes?”
-”Yes, we’ve already gotten a tracking system worked out for it. Do you require her current location?”- Merlin asked, his voice clearly confused.
She shook her head as she hit the beacon to signal the DEO team to head in. “No, I don’t believe she’s a threat, for now at least.”
-”Well done Supergirl. Don’t forget to grab something to eat before you return. You’ve burning a lot of calories today.”- Merlin’s tone was chiding as he poked at her forgetting to eat.
Kara huffed as she floated up. “Oh don’t nag, I’ve been busy. But when have I ever let myself go hungry?”
James felt his hand cramping as he finished filling out yet another form. “Are you going to return my suit now?”
“No.” Arthur didn’t even look up from where he was furiously scrolling on a data pad. “It was stolen DEO property. As such, it belongs to the DEO and if you try and press on the issue I’ll stop being nice and bring you up on charges of theft.”
He glared at the man across the table from him. “I’m just trying to help! To be a hero! It’s what I’m meant to be, it’s my purpose! You can’t take that away from me because I don’t answer to you.”
Finally, for the first time in hours, Arthur looked up at him. His eyes bore into him with a weight that was unexpected and knowing. “You are a human.”
“So I can’t be a hero?” James scoffed as he crossed his arms. “That’s rich, what about Batman? He’s human.”
Arthur didn’t rise to the bait, he just stared at him, the time stretching out before them before finally speaking. “Today you fought two meta humans, and if Supergirl hadn’t of shown up you would have died.” His tone was blunt, unassailable. The truth of it practically rattled his bones. “Your only backup is a genius who belongs in the field like a sheep belongs in a pack of wolves. Training? You don’t have abilities to make up for a lack of training and skill like the Supers have, you don’t have the extensive training and information network that Batman has. You know how to box. Without your suit you are nothing but a man out of his depth. If I threw you in the ring with any of my field agents you wouldn’t last a minute.”
Leaning back Arthur continued to look at him like he was four inches tall. “So yes, against purely human threats, in a controlled environment you might manage not to fuck up. But if you continue to do this you will get killed, likely get Agent Schott killed, probably multiple civilians killed as well. The DEO and RED handle threats by working as a single organism. A well drilled and trained team of humans can take down a threat that a single human couldn’t hope to overcome. We have the Super’s there for if even with all the advantages we can give ourselves still don’t allow us to match up with outside forces.”
“Grow up.” His voice had never raised, but it practically reverberated through the room. “If this is what you want, to fight threats that humanity is incapable of handling, then request an application. But if all you want is the recognition and accolades of a hero then I’ll leave you to die next time.” Standing up he looked down at him. Turning he left, closing the door behind him with a final thud.
James glared down at his lap where his hands were clenching and unclenching. He was a hero, it was who he was meant to be. Clark always got back up after being knocked down, he’d done it before the shield, he’d find a way to keep doing what he was meant to. As if he’d join an organization that could end up in the hands of a man like General Lane.
Lena looked up as she heard the familiar snap of a cape. “Kara.” She took in the new suit, it looked right on this new version of her friend. A certain utility, nobility and seriousness to it. Raising a brow she spotted the stack of pizzas. “Is this going to be a thing? You Pendragons just showing up with food?”
“I got you your gross vegetable pizza, it even has kale on it, which is sacrilege by the way.” Kara dropped the stack on the small table out on the balcony. “Going to come join me?”
She smiled despite herself as she stood up, straightening her skirt before walking out onto the balcony. “Well, I can’t leave that small pizza uneaten now can I?”
“It’d be a crime.” Kara nodded solemnly, a grin pulling at her lips as she carefully set the small pizza box in front of the open seat by the small glass table. She then set a napkin and plastic fork down. Grinning she whooshed out of sight for a second only to reappear with a filled glass of wine. “How’s your day been?”
Lena sat down, accepting the glass of wine. “Gwen came to my office with lunch today.”
“Did she?” Kara opened up her box, her eyes lighting up as they zeroed in on the meat covered monstrosity. “They didn’t have pizza in Camelot, it was awful. I missed it so much.”
She hummed as she pulled out a slice of her own pizza. “Shouldn’t you be sharing pizza with Arthur and Merlin?”
“Naw, Arthur was in a mood at work today. He’ll want to spend time with Merlin.” Kara replied easily before practically inhaling her first piece of pizza. She cocked her head to the side, biting at her lip as she pushed some hair behind one ear. “So….the boys were wondering if you’d come over for movie night on Friday?”
Lena paused, she could feel her heart speeding up. “Movie night?” Her voice was ever so breathy.
“Yeah, it’s nothing too formal.” She shot her a sympathetic look, though the wide puppy eyes were in full force. “We’re getting through every Arthurian movie ever made. We're going to make popcorn, food, wine, make fun of them for being so wrong.” Kara smiled, a twinkle in her eyes. “We found the musical Camelot.”
She bit her lip, flicking her eyes away from Kara. “I’m...I’m not sure that’s a good idea. I’m not...I’m not a member of your family.”
“Gwen will be there for the first time this week. Please, we’d like you to be there.” Kara leaned forward, laying her warm hand over her’s.
Lena felt herself breaking at the pout she was having focused on her. “On one condition.”
“Name it.” Her face lit up with genuine joy.
It was...her heart skipped a beat at the realization that Kara was actually deeply pleased at the idea of her presence. Swallowing thickly she forced her face not to close off completely. “There’s a gala on sunday, I need a date. And you’re still the only person who’ll touch a Luthor with a ten foot pole.”
Kara squeezed where her hand was laying over her’s. “Of course, I’d be happy to.”
“Thank you.” She pulled away lifting her wine glass and sipping from it slowly.
The way Kara looked at her, it was like she understood, completely. “I’ll have to find a new dress for the occasion.”
Lena chewed at her piece of pizza. “Well I was planning on wearing a new black dress . Perhaps blue, it is your color.” Her lips curled up as Kara blushed.
Chapter 4: Martians
Before you read this make sure you've read chapter three, yes there is a chapter where once there was a hiatus announcement. Go be free and enjoy like forty pages of fic in one go.
Also the angst is real...oops. But who finished drafting this whole thing? Cause I did. Shout out to atonguetiedwriter for talking through everything with me.
Alex paced back and forth as she tried to find the words to describe what had happened to her sister. But she had to find them, if she didn’t Maggie would walk. Her fingers twisted as she ran them through her hair. “This Supergirl isn’t my sister. Or well…” She blew out a breath in frustration.
“What do you mean she isn’t your sister? I mean if you’re going to start lying I’m just going to leave, because I deserve better than that Danvers.” Maggie turned to leave, a huff of irritation.
She reached out touching Maggie’s arm. “Wait! I’m telling the truth. My sister...Kara she went through a portal to help a friend in another universe. But the trip back...it didn’t.” Alex’s breath shudded audibly. “But the Kara that came back, it isn’t my Kara.”
“What, this is like an alternate reality’s Kara?” Maggie rocked back on her heels. “That makes sense actually. The police reports from her actions have been different the last two days. And the new suit, the scar. I thought according to Catco she’s just been fighting an invasion for a few months?”
Alex’s hands clenched. “No, she came back from that invasion and ended up in our dark ages. My sister is lost in history and I have to get her back.”
“Wait...this Kara is your Kara, just after a shit long time in the past?” Maggie frowned in thought as she seemed to be piecing things together.
Alex’s head jerked to the side. “That’s not my sister. My sister is kind, and happy. She’s idealistic and the strongest person I know. When I get her back we’re having a conversation about going into portals, but this version of her is...hard and cynical.”
“Get your sister back, are you trying to build a time machine?” Maggie’s eyebrows were in danger of disappearing into her hairline.
Alex’s hands fluttered uselessly by her sides. “Of course, more of a portal actually.”
“Alright.” Maggie pushed her hair back. “You can’t keep things like this from me. I get some of your work is classified and you can’t tell me, but things like this? You need to talk to me Danvers. I can’t help if you don’t tell me.”
Alex looked down at her feet, shame welling up. “Thank you, I’m…”
“Not used to this?” Maggie stepped forward and touched her forearm. “Don’t do it again.”
She shuddered physically leaning into her. “I just want my sister back and safe.”
“We’ll figure it out, you’re a smart cookie Danvers.” Maggie hugged her, pulling her into her. “You’ll find your sister.”
A sob broke free from her throat. “I need to get to my sister before something can hurt her.”
“You will, you always have.” Maggie held her as she fell apart.
Kara still felt odd when she was wearing civies, but well it was kinda nice...sometimes she wasn’t sure. Slipping into the alien bar she made her way to the counter, she perked up slightly as she spotted Mon-el. “Hey!”
“Kara, gotta say that scar is badass.” He gave her a cocky looking grin as he tossed his towel over his shoulder. “What can I get you?”
She leaned against the counter. “Blue yok please, and I was hoping to get a bottle of aldebaran rum to take home with me.”
“Got it.” He pulled out the curled blue bottle pouring a glass of frothy blue liquid. “So you remember me?”
Kara cocked her head to the side slightly. “Of course, you were a part of my life before I left.”
“Well, how about I get you another one of those drinks on the house then?” Mon-el grinned.
She paused...it had been a while since someone had flirted with her. “I’m married Mon-el.”
“Widowed, and what’s the earth saying?” He leaned under the counter and pulled up a bottle of the rum and set it on the counter. “Best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” Wiggling his eyebrows he flashed a bright smile that was all teeth.
Kara straightened, pushing off the counter. Reaching into her pocket she pulled out a wallet and set her card down. “That’s not how it works and you know it.”
“Give me a call when you realize that’s exactly how it is.” He took her card and made his way to the cash register.
She grabbed the glass of blue yok and downed it in one go. Slamming it down as hard as she could without it breaking...it cracked along one side. Zooming over she picked up her card as soon as he’d run it. Giving him a short glare she strode over, grabbed the bottle of rum and brushed her way to the back of the bar and out into the alley.
Kara watched J’onn go flying in front of her having been back handed by a hideous white martian. It was unfortunate for the alien that she was not having a good day. Kicking off the ground she lunged forward and punched it in the chest as hard as she physically could with only a short distance to speed up.
The martian went flying through the wall of the opposite wall, a great wail of pain coming from its mouth. Darting to J’onn’s side she helped him upright. “Are you alright?”
“Go, stop him!” He groaned as he pushed himself upright. “I’m fine!”
Kara shot a glance at M’gann before taking off through the hole in the wall after the apparently male white martian. She examined the room. Reaching up she hit her comm. “Merlin, I need a team at my location now. We’ve got a problem.”
Arthur considered the issue he’d been pulled out of bed for. “Call in Agent Danvers.”
“You suspended her.” J’onn frowned as he looked at him.
He sighed. “She’s your daughter, she should be here if we’re going to discuss the threat to M’gann by her former bondmate and the others of her species.”
“Thank you.” J’onn cleared his throat. He glanced over to Agent Vasquez. “Call in Agent Danvers.”
“Yes sir.” Vasquez replied stepping out just slightly as she pulled up a phone.
Arthur drummed his fingers on the consol. “Agent Schott, how’s it going trying to find the trail of the martian?”
“Nothing yet, but I’m still working on it.” The man’s fingers were practically blurring as he hunched over the screen.
He looked over at Merlin. “Go, I’ve got this and with an evil shape shifting alien running around I’d feel better if you were with Gwen tonight.”
“Use a glamor, check on Lena.” Kara broke in. “Please.”
Merlin nodded, smiling faintly. “I’ve got it. I protect the non super terrifying members of the family. Also Arthur, for the love of the goddess, would you please get your sword out of your locker? If you have to fight an alien nearly on par with Kara, you need your sword.”
“Yes dear.” Arthur snarked, he bit back a grin as he watched Merlin leaving the room. He began to read through the information they had on white martians. It was clearly written by J’onn. Arthur frowned, it was likely a bit prejudiced, but then again that didn’t make it untrue. “M’gann, would you be willing to start filling in more information on your species for our database?”
“Of course.” She stepped over accepting the data pad. “I should be taking care of this myself, it’s my problem.”
J’onn cut in. “No, we’re going to help you.”
“I agree.” Arthur nodded. “You signed up for amnesty which makes your protection under our purview. And even if you weren’t, illegal and hostile aliens are our responsibility.He shot a warm look at J’onn. “Isn’t that right J’onn?”
He crossed his arms. “Of course,” J’onn looked at M’gann. “I’m not leaving you to face those monsters alone.”
“I can’t repay this.” M’gann looked between them. “But thank you.”
Arthur grinned and left the two martians to continue to talk. He gave a nod of acknowledgement to Vasquez as she returned to the room. Looking around the nearly empty building he frowned as he muttered to himself. “We’re going to need to switch the shifts around so the night shift isn’t a ghost town like this.”
This whole thing was a headache. He was just glad that J’onn seemed to be on the same page, it was impressive how quickly J’onn had come around on the topic of M’gann after giving her a chance. J’onn had been voluntarily taking shifts on M’gann’s surveillance, which was not exactly by the book but if the man needed it he could understand. Afterall, if he found the form Lancelot was in he would be hard pressed not to be paranoid.
Making his way into the lockers he opened his up and stared at Excalibur where it hung at the back of his locker. It was as perfect as it had been the day he’d pulled it from the stone. The sheath was old leather that was barely holding together but he couldn’t bare to part with it. It’d been a christmas gift from Gwen.
Breathing deeply he squared his shoulders before reaching in and lifting it off the hook. Arthur couldn’t bring himself to buckle it around his waist where it had once belonged. He carefully buckled it over his shoulder and onto his back. The familiar weight was...it was something.
Turning he strode back into the command room. He spotted Alex. “Agent Danvers, you’re temporarily reinstated as we handle this threat. Don’t take this as a revoking of your suspension.”
“Don’t worry.” Alex walked over to J’onn.
Kara hopped off the consol she’d been sitting on. “Alex! You uh...you canceled sister’s night. Are you alright?”
“You care now?” Alex barely spared Kara a glance as she scoffed crossing her arms.
Arthur’s brows drew together as he watched, his lips pursing. If he didn’t know it wasn’t his place to interfere he’d step in, but this was between them.
Kara paused. “What are you talking about? Of course I care, you’re my sister.”
“Sister?” Alex turned to glare at her. “Didn’t see you acting like a sister when I got suspended by your precious ‘brother’.”
Kara’s posture closed off. “What do you mean? I called. I offered to bring ice-cream and movies over for some whallowing time.”
“Right.” Alex huffed turning away. “Because I was under the impression siblings protect each other.”
“You broke protocol, there’s nothing I could have done.” Kara seemed to shrink into herself even as she straightened her spine, her chin ducking inwards ever so slightly.
Alex let out a scathing sound of disbelief. “I’m sure you were just broken up about it.”
“Don’t lay this on her.” Arthur barked as he stepped forward. Business or no business no one got to talk to his sister like that. “You broke the rules.”
Alex glared at him, her face sharp as she continued to rip into Kara. “Are you going to let him talk to me like that? Or is he your brother now. There’s loyalty for you.”
“You know nothing of loyalty if you question hers.” Arthur’s chest puffed up.
She dropped her hands onto her hips. “Apparently I do,” her eyes turned coldly to Kara. “You just come here, pretending to be my sister when you’re nothing but a fraud. It’s a good thing you’re using a different name because you’re not a Danvers.”
“Marriage doesn’t end familial ties.” He hissed, crossing his arms over his chest.
Alex stepped closer to him, her eyes still fixed on Kara. “Just going to let this ‘brother’ take a dig at me?” She scoffed. “Yeah, you’re not my sister, and your certainly not an El.”
“Alex…” Kara spoke up softly.
“You don’t get to call me that! Friends call me by my name, not you.” She snapped. “I don’t know you, but I do know you’re toeing the line of becoming a simple murderer. I may not know you, but what I do know disgusts me.”
Kara recoiled like she’d been slapped, a slight sound of distress slipped through her lips.
Arthur stepped so that he was practically nose to nose with Alex. “Don’t you dare take your issues out on Kara. Do you think I don’t know you’ve killed in the line of duty? Just because you failed your sister doesn’t mean you get to make her feel guilty for surviving despite your ignorance.”
“I didn’t fail my sister!” Alex snarled as she dropped her hand to her gun.
His hand reached up for the hilt of his sword. “She lost her whole world for a third time and you managed to take it away from her again. What do you call that? Are you even aware that today is her earth birthday?!”
“My sister is lost and I can’t get to her!” She stepped back her hand dropping towards her gun.
He grabbed excalibur’s hilt only to feel a hand firmly push him back with the palm of a hand. Kara practically materialized between the two of them. One hand keeping Alex’s gun in the holster, one keeping him pushed back. “Both of you stop it.”
Her eyes were watery, agony painted across her features that were barely keeping from falling apart. “We have a hostile alien to apprehend, this...this can come after.”
“Sorry.” Arthur’s eyes didn’t leave Alex as he released the hilt of his sword. He took a step back, finally looking at his sister’s face. Swallowing he snapped his head round to where M’gann was just entering the room. “What?”
M’gann’s eyes widened. “I thought since you’re helping me I wanted to help in way I can.”
He opened his mouth to ask what she was talking about when his eyes sharpened. M’gann was already helping. He had lived with a lover and a sister who could change shape if they had a particularly good prank in mind. His hand was back on his hilt as he lunged towards her drawing his sword.
Arthur felt his sword arching through the air, saw the expression of surprise on the intruder’s face. And then it was slicing through an arm raised in defence. Excalibur cut through the touch skin of the alien like it would through any creature made of flesh.
It’s face morphed into it’s true, hideous form.
Taking advantage of the creature’s surprise he drove excalibur through its heart.
“What the fuck!?” Winn yelped.
Alex, despite being physically held back by Kara was wide eyed and horrified. “What! M’gann!”
“That wasn’t M’gann, she’s in the other room updating our database on her species. She’s already helping.” Arthur flicked his blade, the thick blood splattering off. In a smooth motion he resheathed it. “Agent Vasquez, go get Co-director J’onn and M’gann and bring them here. She’ll be able to recognize whether this is her former bondmate or if we’re dealing with more than one hostile.”
“Sir.” Vasquez skirted out of the room around the edges.
Arthur glared around the room. “Supergirl, go do a flyover of the city with our base as the center of your grid.”
“My comms are on.” She gave a quick look at Alex before taking off.
He realized Winn was still crouched behind his chair looking at the dead martian with wide eyes. Arthur sighed—techies—honestly. “Agent Schott, get back to work till we know for sure that this was the only hostile.”
Clasping his hands behind his back, he examined the room. Arthur watched the screens. He wasn’t bringing down his guard till he was sure that it was safe to do so.
Gwen let out a long groan as Merlin kneaded her shoulders. “You have no idea how much I needed this.”
“You were touching your neck.” His voice was smug. “I may be out of practice but I remember your quirks.”
She let her head loll forward. “I’m going to be in love with you two on my own and not from memories surprisingly soon at this rate.”
“We have all the time in the world.” He hummed, a satisfied smile to his voice.
Reaching up she laid her hand over his, on her shoulder. “You’re a good man, Merlin. I’m glad you two found me.”
“It’s funny. I’ve been with you while Arthur was gone, and I’ve been with him while you were gone. But it’s always been wrong. You two need each other, I need you two.” His hands were warm and clever as he let his hands still. “We’re whole again.”
Gwen looked up over her shoulder at his face. “You’re always there, always dependable. Do you ever ask for something just for yourself?”
“Well….I could use some civilian clothing. Mind helping me shop for some?” He grinned at her, his cheeks a slight pink.
She smiled. “I’d like that.” Standing she turned around and pulled him into a slightly awkward hug due to the chair. But it was exactly what she needed. “So, what are we picking up for Kara’s earth birthday since it’s been turned into a late night thing?”
“Well, Arthur got the decorations, so lots of balloons and streamers for us to put up. I was thinking we could make some meat pies?” He grinned. “I already got the ingredients.”
Gwen laid pulled back, leaving her arms wrapped around his shoulders. “I was under the impression that we were supposed to stay at L-corp to keep an eye on Lena since she’s a workaholic?”
“I put in an anonymous warning to her security team and charmed her office. If anyone who’s not human enters that office I’ll know, and Kara can get there in under two seconds.” He winked as he pulled her towards the door. “Come on, us commoners have to show our idiots we can still do practical things.”
She laughed as she followed him. “Alright, let’s go.”
Alex was fuming as she swept through the halls with Winn to ensure that the martian hadn’t done anything to the base. “Where does he get off? He’s a brute just like her!”
“I mean he was right, and M’gann is safe now because he acted.” Winn cringed as she looked at him. “Sorry! But it’s kinda true?” He squeaked
She ground her teeth as she shot daggers at him with her eyes. “He attacked when he couldn’t have been sure! And he goes and says I’m acting emotional?”
“Alex…” Winn flinched slightly. “You were kinda...hard on Kara in there.” He held up his hands. “I mean yeah she’s not our Kara, but she’s still Kara. And yeah she’s different, but you went too far in there.”
Alex’s hands clenched. “I didn’t go far enough.”
“No.” He caught her arm, his spine straightening slightly, though his form was still nervous. “You went too far. She’s still Kara. Sure she killed those meta’s, but our Kara killed how many prisoners when she tossed Fort Ross into space? Or Non? And you’ve killed before. It’s not murder and you know that.”
“It’s exactly that.” Winn tipped his chin up slightly. “And telling her she wasn’t a Danvers? I didn’t think there was anything that could make you stop being sisters. But this? She was crying when she left Alex. You were mean.” He turned and walked down the hall, a bit awkwardly like he didn’t know how to storm off.
She opened and closed her mouth a few times. Swallowing she silently followed him. It hurt, he wasn’t right, he couldn’t be. Catching up with him she grabbed his shoulder and turned him, backing him against the wall. “What, you think this Kara is Kara then?”
Winn bit at his lip, eyes flickering away. “She is our Kara, just...older. Of course I want to help prevent her from feeling the pain she clearly has. But she’s still her, Kara Danvers, Supergirl.”
“She can’t be my Kara, she can’t be Winn.” Alex felt her shoulders shaking. She settled as she heard her comm crackle in her ear. Reaching up she tapped it. “Danvers.”
-“Is Winn with you right now?”- Vasquez's voice came through.
Alex looked at Winn, his face twisted up into a cruel smirk. He reached out, impossibly strong, practically ignoring her attempt to shove his arm away as he grabbed and crushed her comm.
He straightened up. “Oops, they found the sad little computer boy then. Which, thank war. It’s so hard dealing with all your stupid emotions.” Cracking his neck he lunged slamming her against the opposite wall with a large white hand.
Alex scrabbled at his hand trying to take in air as he crushed her gun in front of her. Her kicks seemed to have no effect at all.
The martian screwed up Winn’s face into something viscerally awful. Leaning in he smiled, showing his teeth. “Poor little Alex, so fixed on her wittle fweelings that she’s ripping her sister to shreds. I mean I knew your species was pathetic, but this? Bravo on cruelty not even I could have imagined. It’s too bad I’m going to kill you before I can finish watching you burn everything down around you.”
He raised his other hand, ready to plunge it into her when suddenly he was ripped away from her in a blur of red and blue.
Gasping she dropped to her knees. Looking up through her hair she watched as Kara held the martian down on the ground, beating his face in, over and over again.
His skull was caving in. She was speaking in Kryptonian, a stream of curses coming from her mouth before she finally switched back to english. “Don’t you fucking touch my sister.” Her lips pulled back into a snarl, eyes glowing with power as her blood stained fists kept slamming into his body, the reinforced floor denting beneath them from the force of it.
Alex stumbled to her feet. She nearly tripped as she made her way to her. Reaching out she caught her arm as it raised yet again. “Kara.” She croaked.
Kara’s chest was heaving as she seemed to come out of a haze, looking up at her. There was so much pain as she looked at her. “Oh…” And then she was gone.
“I…” Alex tripped backwards before sliding down the wall. She barely looked up as J’onn and M’gann came running down the hall to aid her. “J’onn.”
“Alex!” He came skidding down besides her. “Are you alright?!”
She looked up at him. “Winn, is he alive?”
“He’s alive, we found him.” J’onn let out a sound of relief while laying a hand on her shoulder.
Alex swallowed thickly. “What have I done?”
Lena accepted she needed a friend who wasn’t apparently a time traveler of somesort. She reached out and dialed a familiar number.
-”Lena? It’s three am, what’s going on?”- A grumbly voice asked.
She rolled her eyes. “Are you saying you weren’t awake and stressing over Ruby being at a sleepover? I know you Sam.”
-”That’s not fair. But seriously, what’s got you calling at odd hours?”- Sam’s voice cleared up remarkably.
Lena ran a hand through her hair. “My only friend in national city is Supergirl.”
There was a long pause. -”Get on my level and break out some wine.”-
“Oh, I’m already three glasses in.” Lena huffed as she raised her glass to the empty office before taking another drink. She closed her eyes. “Everything that’s been happening is so classified. Distract me please.”
Sam let out an amused sound. -“Well she’s at sleepover with Lara and Sam right now. Which I wouldn’t be worried but she was acting sneaky.”-
“Sneaky?” Lena relaxed back into her office chair, this was what she’d needed.
-”Sneaky, and lo and behold I’m missing a bottle of rum from my cabinet. But I haven’t called Lara’s parents because this is a safe environment for them to try alcohol, right? Ruby and I are having a talk when she gets home though.”- Sam’s voice was slightly irritated sounding as it deepened. -”Were we like this when we were that age?”-
Lena chuckled. “Sam I was at boarding school and you were a teen mother by the time you were a few years older than Ruby is now. She’s doing fine, sneaking something to drink, maybe playing some spin the bottle nonsense and giggling about boys is normal. At least I’ve been led to believe it’s normal.”
-”Don’t remind me.”- She groaned. -”She’s such a good kid.”-
Lena took a long sip of her wine relaxing.
Kara leaned against Arthur as she nibbled at her birthday dinner, or more midnight meal. She was curled up wearing her warmest and most comfortable sweats. They were technically Merlin’s old sweats from when they were in the army, but they were comfortable and Merlin usually stole Arthur’s anyways. “Thank you.”
“Of course, is the meat pie up to Camelot standards for you?” Arthur asked as he threw an arm around her shoulders pulling her tighter against him. His comforting warmth helped ease something dark and twisted she was ignoring inside.
She cocked her head to the side and considered. “It’s missing the wood smoke taste, but it’s lovely. Maybe we should go hunting sometime, catch a deer or something that is more how it’d go.”
“I’m always down for a hunt. We haven’t done that in ages. Do we have any crossbows?” Arthur looked over to Merlin hopefully.
Merlin grumbled as he dropped down on the pillows on the floor, his plate piled with his slice of meat pie. “I’m sure we can buy one, but Kara! Tell me you haven’t fallen to the hunting side!”
“I miss our hunting trips.” Kara took another small bite of her pie. “We were happy, weren’t we?”
Gwen smiled softly as she leaned into Merlin. “We were, the happiest. And we will be again.”
Kara wanted to agree, to accept that she was right. “Am I that different now?”
“You’re my sister. You’re fine just how you are.” Arthur’s voice was indignant as he tightened his arm around her.
She shook her head. “But I’m different.”
“You are.” Gwen spoke up cutting off both boys who seemed to be on the brink of saying something. She smiled, eyes crinkled in kindness. “You grew up. I remember watching on the tv when you first came out as Supergirl. There was a certain...youth and brightness to you. It’s odd knowing that and having my memories from when you first came to Camelot.”
She set her plate aside, she didn’t feel like eating. Pulling her knees up Kara buried her nose into the soft fabric. “I should have realized I couldn’t just slip back into a life I’d lost.”
“Hey no.” Gwen leaned forward touching her foot. “You grew up, lived a life. That’s nothing to be ashamed of.” She reached up poking her forehead. “No matter what anyone says you have nothing to be ashamed of, only proud of.”
Kara closed her eyes, she could feel her family around her. “Thanks. So what are we watching?”
“Well that’s an interesting question.” Merlin perked up, his voice plain mischievous. “I’ve got a new episode of Game of Thrones ready to go.”
Arthur sat up straight. “No! We are not watching that historically inaccurate series.”
“I loved it before I remembered what it was really like.” Gwen sighed morously. “Such a disappointment. I mean honestly, the amount of rape was about the same if not less than it is now. We did execute the rapists after all so it rather cut down on their numbers. Though I suppose spousal abuse was more of an issue.”
Kara nodded. “I know, I used to like the show and then when I got to the dark ages it was all so wrong. And women had so much more responsibility.”
“I mean who did they think ran the finances of a country? Or organized the feasts? Or took care of everything when there was war?” Arthur added on, clearly indignant. “And as if men are all that easily swayed by sex.”
Gwen cleared her throat. “I do remember how you looked at Mithian when she first arrived.”
“She was a beautiful woman, but it’s not like I was going to do anything about it.” He protested waving his free hand. “Honestly and we weren’t drunk all the time. We just had to add the alcohol to our water to keep from getting sick. At feasts of course more was consumed but just guzzling it like that?”
Merlin made an annoyed sound. “And the knights and everyone could be horrible to the civilians in other lands. But they didn’t just murder their own people without being executed for it.”
“There is a shocking lack of justice in that series.” Arthur agreed firmly, his head nodding.
Gwen snickered. “I find it amusing all those proper ladies drink wine all the time. Really it's like no one remembers that beer was the proper ladies drink. Though it does fit Cersei's character to drink the more masculine drink considering her character arch.”
“Wait...you’re going to make us watch this aren’t you?” Arthur asked carefully as he looked at Gwen. Groaning he let his head fall backwards.
Kara giggled as Merlin switched on the tv. “I’ve got a bottle of rum for Arthur and I in the kitchen.”
“Oooo!” Merlin waved his hand, eyes glowing gold. The bottle floated through the air over to them. “Excellent. Usual drinking rules?”
Arthur grumbled as he grabbed his and Kara’s cups passing them over to Merlin. “Of course.”
“Usual rules?” Gwen asked as she popped the caps off new beers for her and Merlin.
Kara perked up. “Every time there’s an inaccuracy we drink.”
“So we’re getting sloshed?” She nodded thoughtfully. “I guess I’m calling in sick tomorrow.”
Merlin patted her on the back. “I’m a warlock thank you very much, hangovers are for those without magic.”
“Wait...did I suffer through hangovers after feasts for an entire lifetime when I didn’t have to?” Gwen glared playfully, slapping his shoulder lightly.
He pouted. “I only figured out how to do it to other people a few years back.”
“That’s how you were always so chipper after feasts.” Her eyes narrowed, her lips pulled up slightly at the corners. “You prat.”
Kara watched quietly as the triad teased and bantered together as the opening music came on. Resting her head on Arthur’s shoulder, a small contented smile on her lips. They were interrupted by a knock on the door. Her head shot up as she looked at the door. “Alex?”
Ignoring how the boys both tensed she climbed off the couch and made her way over to the door. Opening it she bit at her lips as she looked at her feet. “Hi...um I wasn’t expecting you?”
“Yeah…” Alex’s toe dug at the floor. “Can we talk?”
Kara swallowed as she shot a glance over her shoulder at her family. They all looked on high alert. Looking back at Alex she nodded. “Yeah.” She stepped out of the apartment closing the door behind her. Wrapping an arm around her stomach she pressed her other hand against her chest. “What do you want to talk about?” She looked up finally at Alex’s face.
“I’m a bitch.” She burst out, fingers twisting nervously. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” Her voice caught in the back of her throat.
Kara blinked. “Alex?”
Alex shook her head viciously. “I just, I’m so sorry for not being there to help you. For failing to keep you safe, that you’ve had to go through everything and then I just...I couldn’t accept that you had gone through all of that because I’d failed to protect you so I was trying to pretend it just hadn’t happened. And--”
“Wait!” Kara held up a hand, she frowned as she took in her sister’s expression. It had been years but she could still read her. “You didn’t fail me. I made the decision to go through that portal. I decided not to call you or anyone else to tell you what I was going to be doing. I made those decisions, not you.”
Blinking rapidly, seeming to fight back tears Alex let out a low sob. “I should have been there, and now you’ve got a scar and you’re so different and I could have protected you!”
“No, Alex I made my decision and the consequences were mine and my own.” She waved her hand towards her apartment. “And I wouldn’t change my choice. I lost a home but I gained a new one. I fell in love, I got married, I lived a life. I’ve gained a third family.”
Alex sniffed, her hands twitching, her chin dipping down. “Yeah, your uh...new brother seems better.”
“Oh Alex, he’s not replacing you. And I know you think he’s an ass.” Kara softened as she stepped closer. “I…” She paused, wincing slightly. “I always have thought of you as my sister, even if you can’t think of me in the same way….”
Alex’s mouth opened slight and then she closed the distance wrapping her arms around Kara, hauling her into a tight hug. “You’re my sister, even if I’ve been the biggest bitch since you got home.”
Kara sucked in a breath and then buried her face in Alex’s shoulder, wrapping her own arms around her sister. Hot tears burned as they bubbled over. Sobbing she shook as she held onto her sister.
“I’m so sorry.” Alex choked out as she rubbed at her back, her own shoulders shaking with quite sobs. “I’m so sorry.”
Alex sipped at a beer as she looked over the group of people in her sister’s apartment. She squeezed Kara’s hand. Kara had refused to let go of her since the hallway. Hugging her sister closer she eyed Arthur who kept flicking his eyes at her every few minutes. Gwen slapped him everytime she noticed him doing it.
She nosed at the top of Kara’s head. “It’s alright, I’ll still be here when you wake up.” She’d been feeling Kara fighting against falling asleep.
Yawning Kara, snuggled against her chest. “Hmmm….promise?”
“I promise.” She ached as she held Kara. “We can get brunch tomorrow, you can tell me all about your adventures ok?”
Kara hummed nodding against her. “Sounds good.” She murmured against her. “I’d like that.”
“Good.” Alex kissed Kara’s hairline.
She caught Arthur’s eye and forced herself to swallow her pride and gave him a sharp nod. God she was going to have to get used to the ass. It was worth it to not lose her sister though, she couldn’t bare that. Alex mouthed a short statement to him. ‘I love her, I won’t do it again.’
His eyes narrowed slightly before he mouthed his reply back. ‘Good.’
Chapter 5: Lillian
I love you guys so much! If I didn't get to your comment last chapter its because I've been working a lot of nights. I promise I read them all though. You guys are seriously the best.
Kara straightened the skirt on her dress as she walked into the charity gala for refugees. She lit up as she spotted Lena, and wow--that dress had a neckline she couldn’t believe. Her face went bright red as she watched Lena approaching her, her throat and mouth going dry.
“Kara, you’re here!” Lena smiled brightly as she came to a stop in front of her.
Kara squeaked. “Rao, you’re beautiful.”
“Thank you, blue really does bring the color out of your eyes.” Lena smiled, biting at her lip a pleased expression pulling at her lips. She tilted her head ever so slightly. “Why’d you cover your scar with makeup? Actually, how did you cover it so well?”
She reached up touching the damaged area. “Merlin, he glamored it for me for tonight. I wasn’t sure if you wanted to be on the arm of Supergirl for the night not, so I went with Kara Danvers. Well as close to her as I can be.”
“That’s sweet of you, thank you.” Lena hooked their arms together. “I’m sorry that you’re having to postpone movie night.”
Kara laughed lightly. “J’onn and Arthur needed to work out their schedules now that Arthur isn’t only working at the desert base. It’s just a lot of paperwork really.”
“Ah, the bane of all professions.” Lena replied, her tone amused. She examined the room. “Now, we just have to make a circle of the room and then we can politely escape.”
She curiously looked at Lena. “No other goal for the evening?”
“I’m afraid not, with Lillian’s trial starting tomorrow it’s best to keep this appearance short.” Lena’s face tightened. “Our host is Elizabeth Prentice, she’s a US ambassador without a post and from an old money family. She and Lillian used to have lunch whenever they were in the same city, I’m unsure of her position on aliens. So be cautious.”
Kara nodded as she processed what she’d said. “Is she cold like Lillian?” She asked as they moved towards the bar.
“I don’t think anyone is as cold as Lillian.” Lena’s tone tightened. “But Elizebeth isn’t a warm person by any stretch.”
She gave Lena’s arm the slightest squeeze. “So how much have you already contributed to the charity?”
“Two million. I’d have given more but my personal funds are being watched by law enforcement at the moment and large transactions could bring additional legal attention to the cause. Which it certainly doesn’t need.” Lena gave her a familiar conspiratorial smirk.
Kara huffed. “You’re a good person.”
A smug voice cut in. “Ladies, what a surprise to see you here tonight Ms Luthor?”
“Edge, I didn’t know charitable events like this interested you?” Her voice was thick with disdain causing Kara’s hair to stand on end.
The smug man lifted his glass, of what smelled like whiskey and took a long drink. “Come now, I’m an upstanding member of the community. I hear your mother’s trail begins tomorrow?”
“Yes, I’m sure it’ll be an event.” Lena replied, the sarcasm apparent.
Edge turned his attention to her, raking his eyes up and down. “And who are you darling?”
“Kara Zorel.” She kept the Pendragon to herself, after all she did write children’s books under the name. Given her new stance on her lack of a secret identity the Danvers name wasn’t safe to use, for Eliza’s sake. “What is it you do Mr Edge?”
The smile left his eyes. “CEO of Edge Global, we specialize in real estate, construction and development.” He forced a laugh. “Think I could interest you in a drink?”
“I’m afraid I’m already getting a drink with Lena. I must say I’ve never heard of your company, is it just starting out?” She gave her fakest smile.
Lena’s eyes were sharp and amused. “Edge here is in the top hundred richest men in the country, so he’s of some note. Of course, most of it is tied up in real estate and that number varies.”
“You’re the second richest person in the world correct?” She looked to Lena as if she didn’t already know that.
Lena flicked her ponytail over her shoulder. “Yes after our stock dipped. Wayne’s net worth currently outdoes the Luthor fortune.”
“Yes so much inherited wealth, Lex really was a brilliant businessman despite his madness.” Edge replied acidly. “But then it is a man’s world.”
“Funny, I’ve grown the company more in the last four months than Lex did in his first two years as CEO.” Lena replied sharply.
Kara pulled Lena gently to the side. “Well, as illuminating as this has been I believe Ms Luthor promised me a flute of champagne. If you’d excuse us, Mr Edge.”
Alex sat a row behind Lena Luthor. She would not have ever imagined, that a day would come, when she would be using her time while suspended to work protection for Lena Luthor. Who was apparently her sister’s reincarnated wife. It was...not what she’d been expecting. She eyed Lena in the row in front of her, Gwen sitting besides her in quiet support.
Listening to Metallo verbally melting down on the stand was setting off her internal alarms. Something was coming, her hand twitched for her waist, only her gun wasn’t there. Damn suspension. Hitting her comm she whispered into it. “Supergirl, be ready. Something feels off.”
Metallo’s voice echoed through the chamber. “She didn’t have to order me to do anything. I believe aliens should be wiped from the earth starting with Supergirl and that cousin.”
Alex really hated him. So much.
“What if anything did Lillian Luthor tell you about the Medusa project?” The prosecutor asked, pressing their cause despite the clear instability of the man.
His voice was filled with the certainty of a zealot. “Earth is in crisis, aliens threaten our safety and way of life; bringing violence and disease. You need to save the human race.”
“That’s enough thank you.” She closed her folder looking away from the man. Clearly the prosecutor had realized the obvious, there was no getting actual answers from the man.
His hand slapped the wooden top of the wooden witness box. “It is not enough! Lillian Luthor is not a criminal, she wanted to save you till Supergirl silenced her. This trial is a conspiracy to condemn the one person who wants to save your lives, YOUR CHILDREN’S LIVES!” Metalo’s face twisted in barely contained fury and conviction.
“Order.” The judge banged her gavel. “Settle down. We must have order in the courtroom.” She glared at the prosecutor. “Get control of your witness.”
The prosecutor stepped out from behind her table. “Mr. Corbin has become antagonistic and clearly is not willing to answer the questions as directed. Permission to treat the witness as hostile your honor?”
Alex felt a tingle of alarm. She reached forward touching Lena’s shoulder as Corbin stood up declaring to the court. “Allow me to treat you as hostile.”
He slammed his hands down breaking his cuffs while shooting a beam of concentrated kryptonite radiation at the lawyer. His second blast killing his two guards that came running to subdue him.
Alex dove over the bench dragging Lena and Gwen to the ground while hitting the distress signal.
A police officer drew his gun yelling out “STOP!”
Metallo’s beam would have killed him, only it was diverted to the ground sharply as Supergirl crashed down on top of him, her laser vision burning through his skull as she blocked his beam with her bare hand.
Supergirl panted as she looked around the courtroom. She caught the police officer’s eyes. “Secure the prisoner Lillian till reinforcements arrive.” She turned her attention to Alex who was peeking up over the bench. “Agent Danvers you have a doctorate, see to any injured civilians and I’ll transport them to the hospital.”
Lillian Luthor spoke up, her voice the most unnerved Alex had ever heard her. “Super’s don’t kill.”
“I protect the people of this planet.” Supergirl corrected, her gaze steady as she met Lillian’s gaze.
Alex stood up. She gave a quick once over to Lena and Gwen who looked startled but fine. Jogging over she made her way to a paralegal that was crying while cradling her arm, blazer sleeve smoking.
Arthur’s arms were crossed as he watched the video of Lena picking up the kryptonite. “This smells rotten. Lena Luthor is too intelligent to leave a trail this obvious, and that’s if I believed for a second she was inclined to this crime.”
“Lillian is her mother.” The agent who’d brought it to his attention remarked.
Arthur’s eyes narrowed. “Considering Lillian Luthor was only caught and we were given the proof of her involvement with Cadmus by Lena Luthor. Not to mention the woman is likely a sociopath. I don’t find their legal relation a compelling reason for her to risk everything.”
“Sorry, Sir.” The man practically melted in front of him.
He didn’t remove his focus from the man. “We follow facts. Don’t forget that.”
The agent nodded quickly before scampering away.
Arthur returned his attention to the video looping on the screens. “Agent Winn I want every single method of analyzing this video done. I want to know if it’s fake, no matter how elaborate or professional.”
“Yes Sir.” Winn replied as his fingers flew across the keys.
He turned towards J’onn who was just entering the room. “Director J’onzz, what do you think of transferring Lillian Luthor into DEO custody?”
“That would be wise.” J’onn said as he took in the agents scurrying around gathering data and working the case. “Thoughts on assigning an agent to shadow Lena Luthor while this investigation is ongoing?”
Arthur nodded, it was a smart idea. “Which agent would you recommend using?”
“Vasquez, but we should be prepared for the police to take action based off this evidence.” J’onn cautioned.
Which...that was a good point. “I need to head to the desert base to oversee an operation. If you would keep me in the loop?”
“Of course.” J’onn gave him an easy nod.
Arthur settled back on his heels slightly. “Good, assign Vasquez to shadow her. If the police arrest her, start the paperwork to transfer her into our custody. This stinks of a trap and I don’t like not seeing the goal of it.”
“Agreed.” J’onn’s face was drawn into a deep frown.
Lena sipped from the hot cup of tea Gwen had put down in front of her. “Thank you, really, for everything.”
“Of course.” Gwen patted her hand before sitting down. “Kara would be here but the DEO is taking down every Cadmus cell they’d been monitoring right now.”
She raised a brow. “And you know this how?”
“Because I’m sleeping with the co-director and his second in command. Not to mention Kara called me and gave me an earful about how if I didn’t keep an eye on you while they’re stamping down Cadmus in case they have something planned, she was going to melt my face.” Gwen chuckled as she sipped at her own tea. “Not that I wasn’t already planning on staying with you till this blows over.”
Lena looked down at the steam rising from her cup. “It’s not going to blow over. I’m a Luthor.”
“You’ve been watching the news.” Gwen chided.
She glanced away. “If this keeps up the board will call a vote and I’ll lose L-corp.”
“That’s not going to happen. And you hold a majority of the shares, even if they got you out of the CEO chair for a few months it won’t take you long to get it back.” Gwen reassured her. “You are a brilliant business woman, and a brilliant scientist.”
Lena felt a painful lump in her throat. “Why do you believe in me?”
“Because I was cautiously impressed by you before I knew what type of person you were outside of the office.” Gwen sipped at her tea. “And I don’t know how anyone who’s spent more than a few minutes with you could think you were anything like Lillian.”
She sighed taking a long drink from her tea. “Maybe I should step down as CEO till this trial is over? I could promote Sam to CFO, she could handle things.”
“That could be seen as admitting guilt.” Gwen cautioned. “You personally are not under legal suspicion, at least you haven’t been leading up to the trial. Likely you are being are cleared by the police as a suspect after Metalo. L-corp is not under suspicion during this trial. The old Luther-corp yes, but thanks to your name change that’s fine. Unless L-corp is called into question it’s best to act the same as you have been.” She gave her a tight smile. “At least that’s my legal advice.”
Lena felt jittery. “I don’t know what my mother’s aim was for this attack. Was it to escape and we stopped it? But she would have known Supergirl could stop Metalo.”
“They’ll figure it out.” Gwen comforted.
The door to the office opened, a distressed looking Jess chasing several police officers into her office. Lena stood, her heart pounding. “Can I help you detective?” She focused on the plain clothed police woman.
“Ms Luthor, we’ve received some video evidence.” The detective brandished an iPad turning it around so she could see the screen.
Lena frowned as she realized it was her in the video, and then she watched as the video showed her taking Kryptonite out of a locker. “That isn’t me, I don’t know how you got this but it isn’t me.”
“Has this been verified?” Gwen cut in, laying a hand on Lena’s arm signalling for her to be quiet.
The detective stiffened. “And you are?”
“Gwen Schiend, lawyer with L-corp.” Gwen held out her hand. “Now has the video been verified?”
“It’s being verified as we speak.” She turned her attention back to Lena. “According to our jail logs, you were at the jail Mr Corbin was detained in last night?”
Lena felt panic. “Yes, I went to visit my mother. I didn’t see Corbin, why would I want to?”
“Ms Luthor.” Gwen cut her off. “As your lawyer it’s my recommendation that you don’t say anything till your attorney arrives.”
She straightened, this wasn’t the time to lose her composure. “I think we’re done here detective.”
“Ms Luthor you’re under arrest for transportation of a restricted material and aiding and abetting a felon and as an accomplice to murder.” The detective pulled out her cuffs and snapping them around her wrists. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”
Gwen spoke up, keeping a steady gaze. “I’ll call in Ms Lance, she’ll meet you at the police station within the hour. I’ll alert Supergirl and the FBI as well. Don’t say anything, and stay safe.” She stepped in front of the detective who was hustling her out. “And detective?”
“Sawyer.” The woman met her gaze.
Gwen gave a sharp nod. “If anyone even thinks about roughing her up, or in any way not following the letter of the law, your precinct will be so bogged down in lawsuits your grandchildren will still be in court. Make sure your captain knows that.” Her entire demeanor was terrifying. There was no doubt in Lena’s mind, or in any of the cops’ by the looks on their faces, that Gwen meant it.
Detective Sawyer had the tiniest quirk to the corner of her lips. “Ms Luthor is in my custody and will be treated like any other individual I’ve arrested.”
“Good.” Gwen shot Lena a last look.
Lena was reeling as she was led out of her office and down the elevator. The police officers were all silent. She was grateful for it, she wasn’t used to people standing to her defence. But Gwen hadn’t hesitated. There was the question though—was it her or Morgana she had helped, and did it matter?
Arthur watched through the one way glass at the woman sitting, chained to a chair in the middle of the cell. “Tell me Agent Jones, does she look like a woman who is in control of what is going on?”
“She at least knows what is happening.” The Agent replied, his voice low.
Arthur crossed his arms as he started at Lillian Luthor. “The question is, is everything going according to her plan or has it broken down?”
“How are you going to get that out of her?” Agent Jones asked curiously, glancing up at him.
Arthur dropped his arms. “By taking away her control.” He strode to the door and walked into the room. As he made his way over to the chair across from Lillian, he looked around the cell. It was bare, the lighting artificial.
“Rather bland don’t you think?” Lillian remarked.
He sat down in the chair opposite her and scrutinized her expression. “Tell me, do you know who I am Lillian?”
“Some insignificant man who holds some meaningless rank within the DEO. Which, when was a human under DEO jurisdiction?” She replied, voice cold and disdainful.
Arthur considered that, there was no tell she was lying, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t. “You may call me Arturius.”
“But that’s not your name.” Lillian sighed. “So trite, as if I’d care about you.
He kept his face straight. “You made a mistake at the courthouse. You see, Cadmus is a terrorist organization and you just proved you still had contact to Cadmus while in custody. Which makes you an active threat even inside custody. Do you know what we do to active threats Lillian?”
“Is this where you threaten to throw me in some dark hole that I’ll eventually be dragged out of for my trial?” She raised a brow. “I’m unimpressed.”
Arthur let out a snort. “Your arrogance is impressive. Thanks to your little court shenanigans you’re done. Your trial is now closed to the public. The location of your trial is now classified. It will be occuring in a blacksite. Your lawyer is marked as a suspect and a new lawyer will be provided to you with appropriate clearance.”
“That’s not legal.” She snapped.
He let his first expression show, a grin curl his lips. “The Patriot Act and related legislation since the war on terror began makes it perfectly legal I’m afraid. That, and since Cadmus is in DEO jurisdiction there’s additional classified provision that were packaged with the Patriot Act. As a terrorist under our jurisdiction, if we are lead to believe you are a high risk to national security despite these measures you will be shot.”
“That’s impossible.” Lillian hissed.
“Completely legal.” Arthur replied flipping his clipboard till he had the relevant laws listed and turned it around to show her. “See, thanks to the Patriot Act and its related classified acts involving the DEO, terrorists that fall under our jurisdiction lose their human rights if their threat level rises high enough. I believe you supported a couple of these bills, they were designed for handling exterrestrial threats but, well, we all know there are unexpected consequences to taking rights away from a group of people.”
He leaned back in his chair. “I’ve been instructed that in light of the death of three police officers and two civilians the prosecution is now asking for the death penalty.”
“So you’re here to gloat?” She folded her hands over her knees.
Arthur ignored her. “I find it ironic that you will be treated as a hostile alien because of the legislation you supported. But then you deserve it. Lex is lucky it’s never been proved he was a member of Cadmus.”
“He will make you regret this.” Her eyes narrowed, an unwavering certainty to her voice.
He stood up, looking down at her he snorted. “Your son sets one toe out of live over this and he’ll be risking a lot. I wonder how much he loves you?” Arthur watched for a long minute. “How long do you think it will take for Lena to be proved innocent?”
There was the slightest twitch to her face. “Lena’s been arrested?”
Arthur left. He ignored her as he left the room. As the door closed behind him he threw his fist through the cement wall of the hall. The cement turned to dust, his arm going in to his elbow. Panting he grit his teeth. “Fuck.”
“Sir?” Agent Jones squeaked.
Arthur yaked his arm out of the wall. “Things are not going according to her plan.”
“Are you...alright sir?” The Agent asked cautiously.
He forced himself to fall into his military stance. “She’s eerily like my father. That doesn’t matter, come on I want our operation double checked before we launch.”
Merlin double checked his helmet. He disliked all the modern protective gear, though he did appreciate that Arthur had to wear it. But for today he knew it was necessary. Glancing down at his gun he flicked the safety off. He raised his hand, holding three fingers up. Carefully he lowered a finger, then another and then fisted his hand.
The team broke through the doors of the Cadmus base. He kept in formation, his gun leveled up as they moved through the door, then down the hall. As they hit forks in the hallway teams split off. A man in front of them reached for a gun. Merlin shot him without blinking.
Moving forward they took a bend in the hall, the flickering lights gave the whole thing an ominous feeling. A figure came rushing out of a room up ahead and then towards them. He didn’t see hands up and fired. Then it was his small team’s turn to peel off into a room.
Breaching the room he took it in for risks. No explosives or traps that he could see, but there were large vats up along the wall full of green goo, various pieces of aliens floating in them. It was sick. But he had a job to do.
Merlin pulled his helmet off as he looked around the parking lot they’d set up as a base for dismantling the base. “Director J’onzz.” He tapped his comm. “Cadmus base 32 is clear. We have twenty live victims in transport, twelve dead Cadmus members, six arrested.”
-“Do you require another team?”- J’onn asked.
He took a second look around the parking lot. “No, it ran like clockwork. I can offer up my delta team to reinforce another location.”
-“Our strikes have been successful so far. The Army may require assistance however. Keep them on standby.”- The martian ordered.
Merlin nodded. “Yes sir.”
Kara flew back from the tenth Cadmus base raid, that had required her presence to handle a cyborg. She was tired, sore and ready for some good news. Landing she almost stumbled as she made her way to the command center. “J’onn, do you need me to go out again?”
“No, that was the last of them Supergirl.” He dropped his hand on her shoulder. “You’ve done well. 36 Cadmus bases of operations have been taken down. We’ve made a difference.”
She let out a great breath of air, her shoulder’s easing. “Everyone is ok?”
“A few injuries, one agent was shot but is currently in surgery but her prognocis was good going in.” J’onn looked over the command room with pride. “It’s been a good op.”
Kara hugged him tightly. “Thank you.”
“Just doing my job.” He seemed slightly apprehensive as she pulled back. “Kara, the police made an arrest and the commissioner is blocking us on transferring the prisoner to our custody.”
Kara spine straightened. “Lena?” Her voice was hard.
“We’re doing all that we can do to get her charges dropped or her released into our custody.” He cautioned keeping himself between her and the balcony for flying in and out. “Winn came through an hour ago with finding how the video was tampered with. Without that video there’s no case against her. We have proof that she’s being framed, but the commissioner doesn’t want to lose face. We’ll have her out before lunch.”
Kara’s hands curled into fists by her sides. “After every American gets to hear all over the morning news that Lena Luthor is evil.” Her eyes narrowed. “They’ll release her within the hour.”
She took off ignoring J’onn as she flew around him. He hadn’t tried to stop her so she was going to take that as permission. The local news network NCB, or National City Broadcast, would be airing live right now. She had a message for the people; who thought they could drag Lena through the mud without evidence.
Not breaking the sound barrier took discipline. Her mouth tightened as she came to a halt above their studio and began to listen in. It would seem that slime from the other night, Edge, as giving an interview about how he wasn’t surprised Lena had turned out as evil as her brother. That was not acceptable. Dropping straight down she landed in the cordoned off area directly to the side of the table they had for the hosts and Edge.
There were several startled sounds as everyone turned to focus on her. Weatherby the morning co-host, turned his full attention to her. “Supergirl!” He scrambled off of his stool and walked towards her holding out his hand. “It’s an honor for you to join us.”
“Good morning.” She took his hand and shook it. “Would you allow me to speak to your viewers on a serious issue shortly?”
He practically preened. “Of course, anything for our hero.” He waved her forward, the director looked like he was going to start pumping his fist in joy.
His co-host Susie practically appeared besides him. “Would you like to take a seat?”
“Would you like to ask questions?” Kara knew it was something she’d be taken up on. There was a line in the sand that needed to be drawn.
Susie waved her to a stool that an intern in a headset was jogging over carrying. “I think I speak for all our viewers when I say that we would be excited to have you join us.”
Kara smiled before accepting the stool. She sat down, the hosts joining her. Out of the corner of her eye she saw several interns pulling Edge back out of the cameras.
Wetherby eagerly sat forward on the edge of his stool. “So what is so important you wish for the public to know that you’d come to us?”
“Lena Luthor is innocent of the charges being made against her.” Kara kept her posture formal, letting the certainty and authority of Supergirl to be seen easily through her. “She is one of the most morally sound and trust worthy humans I have met in my time on Earth. Between her extensive charity work and assistance to the police, at great personal risk, in the arrest of Lillian Luthor I consider her nothing but a hero in her own right.”
There was absolute silence as she proclaimed that. Kara didn’t relax her posture. “The video footage used to arrest her was faked, the FBI has concluded this definitely. But because her last name is Luthor she has yet to be released.”
“You know this for sure?” Susie prodded, her eyes wide, surprise clear on her face.
Kara softened slightly, but remained serious. “Yes, I spoke with a high ranking FBI agent just minutes ago.”
“Surely there’s other evidence besides the video?” Weatherby prodded.
Kara looked at him dubiously. “A video with no timestamp anonymously turned over to the police, and the fact she visited the jail to see Lillian after multiple requests from Lillian’s lawyers. Without the video, the only evidence is her going to the jail.”
“You called Ms Luthor a hero.” Susie cut over her co-host before he could continue his line of questioning.
Kara rewarded her with a smile. “She is responsible for the saving of every exterrestrial life in National City. The work she does with charity saves more lives everyday than I can save in months.”
“How would you characterize your relationship with Lena Luthor?” Susie asked her, the curiosity practically wafting up from her.
Kara relaxed, letting some of her authority to melt away, her smile brightening. “When she first arrived in National City there was the Venture attack and the following assassination attempts at the renaming ceremony.” Her hands waved slightly. “We spoke and she asked only one thing from me, to give her a chance. To judge her by her actions and not by her name. So that’s what I have done.”
“Would you call yourself and Ms Luthor friends?” She prodded gently.
She beamed. “Yes, she’s a lovely person to be friends with.”
“Surely there has to be some tension in a friendship between a Luthor and a Super?” Weatherby piped in.
“I don’t think tension is the right word. She knows my address, what I look like in regular clothing. I mean it’s not like I can have brunch in the suit.” She gave a conspiratorial wink.
Weatherby gaped. “Are you saying Lena Luthor knows your civilian identity?!”
“I am.” Kara nodded sharply, turning more serious. “If Lena Luthor wanted to kill me, or use those humans I consider family against me she would be able to do so. It is in part why these charges are so ridiculous.”
Susie tilted her head slightly, a playful smirk on her lips. “Anything romantic between you and Ms Luthor?”
Kara should have expected it, she flushed. “We’re friends, I’m afraid I don’t have anything to help you with your views there.”
“Your face says yes.” Suisie leaned forward.
Kara knew she was going to have to give the woman something to get her off the topic. “I’m afraid I’m just unused to the question.” She ran a hand through her hair. “We all know how Ms Grant got my relation with Superman out of me.” She still felt rather bad about that actually.
“Yes, your infamous interview with Cat Grant. How did she convince you to sit down with her?” Susie asked and amused rise of her eyebrow.
She felt her blush returning slightly. “I wish I could say it was because she threatened the job of one my cousin’s associates. But the truth is I admire her, I was always going to accept her invitation for an interview.”
“That must have hurt for a woman you admired to tear your character to shreds in her article on you?” Weatherby prodded.
Kara gave him a blank look before focusing on Suisie. “I will admit I was upset when I first read the article, but that’s the thing about Cat, she was right. In the beginning I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. It’s fortunate that what mistakes I did make didn’t result in loss of life. I wasn’t truly effective until I learned to work with others and to take criticism.”
“Is this something you’ve only come to the conclusion of after fighting in the war against the Dominators in another dimension, or something you learned while still here?” Susie asked.
“Before.” Kara smiled. “Cat shows that she cares about people by pushing them to be the best they possibly can be.” She was going to continue when she heard a siren a few blocks over. “I’m afraid there’s an apartment fire on fifth. Thank you for your time and attention.” Turning directly to the camera she let her face turn serious. “Everyone deserves a chance to show who they are. Lena Luthor is one of the best of humanity. If she isn’t released by the end of the day I’ll take this case of unlawful imprisonment to the president personally.”
With that she shot off up to the sky, the wind whipping by her before banking left and heading for the fire.
Lena nervously tapped her foot as she prepared to knock. She was not ready for this. Biting at her lip she raised her hand. Squaring her shoulders she rapped on the door.
It swung open a blonde man taking up the doorway. His eyes widened as he looked at her, his eyes tracked up from her feet back up to her face. “Lena.”
“You must be Arthur.” She pulled on her game mask. Lena held out her hand. “It’s nice to meet you. I haven’t put on the band yet.” She added, his sheer joy at seeing her was disconcerting.
Arthur took her hand shaking it warmly, his palm calloused. Laughing, he grinned. “I know, it’s just good to meet you.” He released her hand and pulled her into a warm hug.
Lena’s spine straightened as she turned to steel at the unexpected affection. She blinked rapidly trying to understand, Kara was the only one who hugged her like this. People didn’t hug Luthors, but he was hugging her. There was genuine affection in it. Slowly she relaxed ever so slightly, he wasn’t a threat.
“Oh, let her go Arthur! I want to meet her too!” An amused male voice called from deeper in the apartment.
Arthur huffed as he released her, turning as he waved her in. “Don’t be a prat, Merlin.”
She raised a brow as she took in the apartment. “Is Kara not here?” Lena glanced at Arthur, looking away from the boyish looking man with floppy dark hair.
Arthur nodded. “There was a robbery she went to go handle. Since I haven’t gotten a call it’s likely all human, she’ll be back soon.”
“Not if the paparazzi have gotten a hold of her.” Gwen replied as she dropped a truly alarming amount of pizza on the small table in front of the couch.
Lena starred. “Are we expecting an army? I mean I know Kara will eat three of those herself, but nine?”
“This one,” Merlin slapped Arthur’s shoulder. “Has ended up with her appetite since we magically bound them to get them through the last two thousand years or so.” He stepped past Arthur and hugged her tightly.
She managed not to nearly crawl out of her own skin in shock this time. Graciously accepting the gesture she patted his arm lightly when she started to feel uncomfortable. “So you’re Merlin, then?”
“Yup!” He grinned hopping back and waving her further into the apartment. “I’m glad to meet you properly, and I’d love to talk theoretical chemistry with you once Gwen and Arthur get busy making out.”
Lena raised both eyebrows. “You know about theoretical chemistry?”
“Of course, it’s really a bit like advanced potion making and magic was always what we had in common back in Camelot. So when we got here I figured getting a bit of an education wouldn’t be misplaced.” He shrugged easily. “Still can’t believe all the school papers got through without being spotted as forgeries.”
She relaxed at the good natured air of the two boys. Shooting a look at Gwen she grinned as they shared amused looks. “So we’re watching an Arthurian movie tonight?”
“Yes, well, we figured with Gwen here we won’t have to replace the tv like last time.” Merlin shrugged while pulling a wine bottle out of the rack and procuring an opener from seemingly thin air.
Gwen’s head snapped round. “What happened?!”
“Have you seen the movie Excalibur?” Merlin winked at a now pouting Arthur with a bit of a thunderous expression. “The first casualty was the armchair after the scene where Uther, while in full armor, rapes Ygraine. It was a...disturbing scene all round. So Arthur pulverized the chair but Kara stopped him before he could get to the tv.”
Arthur let out a low growl. “It was a bunch of awful lies. My father was monster, and he forced her marry him. But that’s how marriages could be for royalty back then. He didn’t ride into her home and rape her while wearing full mail in front of her child.”
“We know, dollophead.” Merlin mixed a drink with a nearly glowing liquid in it and passed it off to Arthur with a knowing look. “But well then it got worse. Kara destroyed several pieces of furniture and at least four punching bags over scenes with Morgana being evil and everything in them. The tv was exploded when the um...Lancelot and Guinevere sex scene happened.”
Lena looked around the irritated to down right murderous expressions. “Lancelot wasn’t your lover?”
“No.” Gwen’s voice was rather short. She loosened brushing her hair back as she walked over to her and pulling her to the couch. “He courted me before Arthur and I fell in love, but it was never anything more than young romance when we were barely out of our teens. But he’s the one who killed Arthur. It’s...a bit touchy.”
Her eyes widened in surprise. “So should I be expecting the tv to be destroyed tonight?”
“No, this one is a romantic musical. It should be safe from death by Kryptonian or whatever you are now Arthur.” Merlin replied sagely.
Lena gave a sharp nod of acknowledgement as she took her coat off. She started slightly as it floated away from her. Snapping her head round she looked at Merlin, whose eyes were gold. “You…”
“Are the most powerful warlock to have ever been born or ever will be born?” He winked as her coat hooked itself on the coat rack. “Now, still a fan of a the full bodied red wines?”
She felt a bit faint as she nodded slowly. “Yes, I am.”
“Good, and see, I told you not evil Cersei.” Merlin said smugly while looking over at Arthur.
Arthur scoffed. “Please, she’s clearly Arya. I mean really, twenty dollars says Lena has a weapon on her person.”
“That’s not even fair.” Merlin rolled his eyes as he poured a glass of wine. “Only a complete Clotpole would take that bet.”
Lena cleared her throat. “Why is whether I have a taser and a handgun in my purse relevant?”
“They’re arguing over who in Game of Thrones you are.” Gwen explained as she dropped onto the couch and opened up the pizza box. “I still say Kara’s guess is the best idea.”
She relaxed into the far arm of the couch. “Oh, what was Kara’s suggestion?”
Arthur’s smile went mischievous. “The white dragon.”
“The dragon?” Lena smirked as she caught the glass of wine that was floating over to her. “Well, that’s interesting.”
There was a whoosh as Kara came flying into the apartment. “What’s interesting?”
Lena looked up at her. “That you seem to think I’m a dragon, how should I take that do you think?”
“Definitely worth some groveling.” Gwen piped up with a grin.
Kara paused looking a bit like a deer in the headlights. Then she vanished in a blur of color before reappearing in comfy clothing a mixed drink in one hand. “It’s a compliment. I mean in every life you’ve been more than any of those characters. You’d have never been without any fashion sense like Arya, but at the same time you’ve always had more weapons than just your tongue and cunning.”
“And the whole ‘she’s more beautiful than any of these actresses’.” Merlin piped up, a shit eating grin on his face.
Lena blushed as Kara dropped down besides her on the couch. She wasn’t sure what to say, so she took a long drink from her wine. “Is this everyone?”
“For tonight, Alex is filling out paperwork to get her gun back, despite still being suspended.” Kara said gently, she glanced over to Merlin. “Didn’t you say there was something you wanted to show us tonight?”
Merlin let out a sound of surprise. “Oh right! One second!” He jogged out of the kitchen and through the new doorway into the apartment next door.
Lena turned to Kara. “Has your apartment always been connected to that one?”
“No, we put in the door right after I was able to return here. We’re actually talking about just turning it into an archway, but Arthur was excited about putting in hinges. He thinks they're amazing. Not like we didn’t have hinges back in the old days.” Kara shrugged.
Merlin came skidding back into the living room, three roundish...rocks? In his arms. “I’ve got them! I can feel tonight is the night to hatch these.”
“Hatch?” Lena felt her eyebrows disappearing up her hairline. “Are those painted ostrich eggs?”
Arthur snorted. “No, they're your, or rather Morgana’s dragon’s eggs. Merlin’s a dragonlord, didn’t think they wanted to be hatched back when we were in Camelot.”
“Yes, well, first step is we have to name them.” Merlin laid out the eggs carefully on some cushions on the floor before dropping down cross legged behind them “So what shall we call the blue one?”
Kara cleared her throat. “What about Astra?”
Merlin’s face was kind. “That’s a good name.” He looked over at the red egg. “What about for this fellow here?”
“Caval.” Arthur said while crossing his arms, a bit of color high on his cheeks as he refused to look anyone in the eye.
Lena was unsure of why, but everyone seemed amused by this. She leaned against Kara, simply soaking in the atmosphere of this family she was being allowed to intrude upon for the moment.
“What about Gertrude for the black one?” Gwen asked.
Merlin stared at Gwen. “What sort of name is Gertrude? It’s going to be a dragon. I mean, at least Caval was the name of this pillock’s war dog.”
“As your girlfriend you really shouldn’t make fun of my naming abilities. And I think Alex is right that it’s a cute name.” Gwen looked amused as she sipped from her own glass of wine.
Merlin pouted. “Wife….but fair. I guess Gertrude it is.”
“Honey you were married to Guinevere, we’re still dating. Which, incidentally, I need one of you two to come do the whole boyfriend act so my neighbor will stop flirting with me.” She rolled her eyes in exasperation.
Lena let out an unlady like snort. “You’d better take Merlin, Arthur looks like he’ll make the poor man wet himself.”
“Excellent point.” Gwen shot her a quick grin. “Now, are we hatching these eggs or what?”
Chapter 6: There be Dragons
I'm sorry guys! I've been really busy, also adjusting to a night schedule which I love, but sleeping all day is odd to me still. Anyways, love my job, let's hope I stop making really stupid computer errors and don't get myself fired. Cause that would suck...a lot.
Anyways the next chapter! I swear to god I'll answer your comments from the last chapter before I pass out tonight/early this morning.
Lena felt safe, it was her first thought as she came to wakefulness. She was warm and secure. Slowly she realized she was laying on top of someone, an arm over the small of her back holding her securely in place. Cracking an eye open she came face to face with a tiny dragon that was nesting in Kara’s hair. Lena blinked. It blinked. She slowly reached out with a single finger and poked it’s little blue nose.
It...Astra, made a slightly disgruntled grumble before shifting slightly in it’s nest of golden hair and then went back to sleep.
She processed the fact that this was her life now. Looking down she realized she’d been using Kara as a human mattress on the couch. They must have fallen asleep last night. Looking around the room in the early morning light she saw Arthur and Gwen asleep in the armchair. His mouth was open as he let out a quiet snore every few breaths.
Lena bit back a grin as she slid out of Kara’s hold. She hit the ground with a bit of a thud. Cringing she looked up to check that Kara was still asleep. Letting out a sigh at the sight of closed eyes, she stood up. She grabbed the throw blanket on the back of the couch and opened it up, spreading it over the still sleeping Kara.
Astra seemed unhappy by this change of events because she uncurled from her nest of hair, and jumped. She barely made it to Lena before she would have fallen. But she didn’t fall. Instead her little talons hooked into her sweatshirt and she climbed up her sleeve and onto her shoulders.
Lena held her breath as Astra curled around her neck before letting out a chirp and going back to sleep. She held in a giggle as she made her way into the kitchen. Sliding onto the stool by the counter she waved at Merlin who was holding a mug of coffee.
He whispered, a lopsided smile on his face. “Morning. Coffee?”
“Please.” She pulled her hair up into a sloppy ponytail. “So the popcorn is all cleaned up?”
He scotted the cup across the kitchen island. “I believe Caval and Astra ate most of it. Gertrude was growling and protecting a few kernels when I woke up.” Merlin poured a mug of coffee. “Black?”
“Please.” Lena leaned against the counter. Humming she took a long drink from her cup. “So Arthur was rather incensed about the singing.”
“He always has had a bit of a temper.” Merlin chuckled. “It is amusing to watch him throw popcorn at the screen.”
Lena reached up absently scratching at Astra’s chin. “What is going to happen with the dragons?”
“They’re intelligent and empathetic creatures with a predisposition for magical abilities.” He ran a finger along the rim of his mug of coffee. “While they’re young they will naturally seek out a human or person who they feel a connection to. They’ll stay with that person till they reach maturity.”
She leaned her head against her hand. “You’re just going to release three baby dragons...in National City?”
“No.” He let out a breathy laugh. “We’ll supervise them closely till they find their person. Make sure their person understands. Though hopefully at least one of them will bond with someone in the family.”
Lena enjoyed the soft trill Astra let out as she scratched along her ear ridge. “They’re sweet.”
Merlin smiled as he reached out to scratch the tiny dragon. Astra snapped at his finger, showing her tiny needle sharp teeth, a low growl in her throat.
“Well, she’s sweet with me.” She felt a thrill as she scratched at Astra, she cooed as the dragon closed her eyes, her growl turning into a trill.
His shoulders slumped, “Really? Last time it was Aithusa and now Astra? I’m the dragonlord!” Merlin threw his hands up. “At least one dragon should bond with me!”
“Aithusa?” Lena raised a brow as she watched his pouting tantrum.
He leaned against the counter, curling his hands around his mug. “She was Morgana’s dragon, she died in the same battle Arthur and Kara died in. The stress from flying Kara to the island in time reopened her wounds. I woke her egg, and then she went and bonded with you.” Merlin scratched at the top of his head. “It’s so unfair.”
“Maybe in your next life?” She replied dryly raising a brow.
Merlin narrowed his eyes. “Rude.”
There was a jangle as the door knob rattled. Lena watched amused as a clearly on the tail end of an all nighter Alex came dragging into the apartment. She sipped her coffee watching as Alex looked around the room with dark circles under her eyes. “Wha?”
Gertrude flapped up flying towards Alex. Alex stared blankly at the black dragon coming for her. She didn’t move as the dragon landed on her head and crooned. Her eyes narrowed. Striding forward, dragon on her head, she grabbed the blanket off of Kara and then smacked her with a throw pillow. “Kara! Why is there a dragon on my head!”
J’onn munched on some chocos as he ran through the list of apprehended Cadmus agents. If he wasn’t so tired he’d be positively buzzing off the successful raids. He set his choco’s down, pushed them behind a monitor. “Vasquez, call RED headquarters for Co-Director Lane.”
“Sir.” Vasquez made several clicks.
The large screen up front lit up, Lucy Lane’s face popping up on it. “J’onn, what’s this I hear about a Cadmus take down?”
“That RED agent who you exchanged with apparently has spent the last few months organizing a massive series of raids.” He couldn’t keep the amusement off his face. “How’s RED treating you?”
Lucy waved over someone off screen. “Interesting, they certainly do things differently here. But you didn’t call to ask this. What do you need Director J’onzz?”
“Prisoner transfer. We have six English foreign nationals that will need to be transferred to your custody.” He gave a look to Vasquez who quickly sent the documentation onwards.
She accepted a clipboard from a passing agent on her end. “Of course. I’ll have an agent contact you to handle scheduling. Thanks for the heads up though.”
“You’re missed here Director Lane.” J’onn replied with a quiet conviction.
Jess sorted through the morning news stories bookmarking the ones Ms Luthor would need to see. She sighed, every single headline was some combination of Supergirl’s impassioned interview or Lena being cleared of all charges. It was...a truly concerning amount of coverage, almost all positive for once. She looked over to the security guard that the board had insisted be by Lena’s office with the media storm. “Mark, do you think Ms Luthor will require some of the more salacious articles?”
“There’s a lot of speculation about her relationship with Supergirl.” He shrugged. “Best to just rip the bandaid off and all that. But then I’m just muscle.”
She gave him a quick smile. “It’s helpful.” Jess did have to appreciate he was rather handsome. “Don’t put yourself down too much, Ms Luthor is demanding but she’s kind.”
“Thank you.” He gave her a slightly pleased look.
She pulled up a few more articles. At the headline declaring ‘Super and a Luthor Illicit Love Affair!?’ she rolled her eyes. Honestly, Lena was far too useless around pretty girls for that to be true. Although...she looked back to Mark. “Do you believe security could put in a sensor on the balcony so that I could be alerted when Supergirl has flown in and not send appointments in?”
“I’m sure we could arrange something.” Mark pulled out his phone. “I’ll send your request to my superior.”
“Good.” Jess straightened as she heard the elevator arriving. Straightening, she grabbed the black coffee off the warming pan. Holding out the data pad with the articles pulled up, the stock prices and the usual paperwork Lena wanted every morning, including her schedule. “Good morning, congratulations on your release Ms Lu...thor?”
Her eyes widened as she spotted the strangest lizard she’d ever seen wrapped around Lena’s neck.
Mark cleared his throat. “Do you require assistance Ms Luthor?”
“It’s fine.” Lena accepted her coffee and the pad. Sipping at her coffee she continued into her office while reading through the pad. “Jess.” It was clearly a summon.
Jess exchanged a confused look with Mark before hurrying after her boss. She pulled up her own pad and brandished her stylus. “What do you require Ms Luthor?”
“I need you to pick some supplies up from a pet store.” Lena absentmindedly scratched at the head of the...lizard of some sort. “I’ll need a mouse a day for the foreseeable future, preferably live. I’ll also need some toys, maybe some chew toys or the ones that squeak? I’ll leave it to your discretion. Then I’ll need a harness, collar and leash that match Astra’s scales. A box with some fabrics and small pillows for her to nest in, a heat lamp and heat pad of course. Then a litter box and litter, nothing with a scent. That is all for today.”
“Astra is...what species of lizard exactly?” Jess eyed the lizard cautiously, but best to know the species to get the best supplies. At least it wasn’t a white fluffy cat or a snake. As far as villainous pets went a lizard wasn’t that bad actually.
Lena let out a long, truly exhausted sigh as she shot a short glare at the lizard. “She’s a dragon.” She looked at Jess and seemed to deflate slightly. “It seems that movie and celebrate your freedom nights at Supergirl’s can involve a mythical alien animal imprinting on you.”
“Dragon...they’re Kryptonian?” Jess couldn’t help the fact she squeaked.
“Apparently.” Lena flipped through the information on her pad. “How many requests have we received for an interview?”
Jess moved on, she could process her life involving helping her boss’s pet dragon later. “All of them. Every news, gossip and media company have sent in invites. You’ll find on page twelve of your morning dossier a list of those that your publicity department recommend you consider saying yes to, as well as a list of those that you should absolutely refuse.”
“Accept the invite from Catco, yes to the invite from Ellen, select six sources you believe to be worthwhile and send them to me by eleven.” Lena’s lips pursed as she ran through the rest of the information. “Send down to the publicity office that they’ll likely need to think of something to say about Astra. I am expecting a visit from a security specialist at twelve, reschedule everything from then till three. The head of security will need to attend that meeting as well. Thank you Jess.”
She turned and left the office. As the door closed behind her she looked over to Mark the security guard. “She has a pet dragon…”
“Dragon?” He gaped at her.
Jess nodded. “Dragon...at least it’s not black or red.”
“Why?” Mark’s voice was cautious as he frowned slightly in thought.
She let her shoulders roll back. “Do you have any idea the nightmare a cartoon villain pet will do to her image?” Jess looked down at her notes. “What type of toys do you think a dragon would like?”
Alex read through the plan for Supergirl publicity Merlin had dropped on her. “Why do you want her to throw the opening pitch at a baseball game?”
“We need to build up public goodwill. It’ll make it harder for the public to have backlash over silly things if she’s more widely known. We can’t afford fear of the unknown.” He flipped to page five of the upcoming campaign. “She needs to be internationally known and approved. Keeping her focused entirely on National City carries risks.”
She rubbed at her chin as she ran a finger down the itemized list. “You think this will cut down on recruitment for organizations like Cadmus?”
“Yes.” He clasped his hands together. “We have to make her a hero, not a god. The problem is that as it stands to most people she’s a benevolent god. So she needs to be humanized and turned to a hero. A hero can stumble, a god must be untouchable.”
Alex dropped her hand. “You’re worried about her being attacked in the media. Catco wouldn’t let that happen, they’ve tied their brand to her image.”
“They can’t always protect her.” Merlin’s fingers seemed to want to twitch anxiously. “A day may come where public opinion is the only thing that can help her. So we’re going to ensure she has that.”
She nodded slowly. “Alright, Kara will love being able to help around the world like this.” Alex smiled slightly. “I’ll speak to Lena about the aid work and seeing if she’s interested in taking advantage of the opportunity. Thank you for...including me in this. Why are you being understanding about what an ass I made of myself?”
“We all make mistakes.” Merlin ran a hand through his hair, an amused huff causing his shoulder to rise. “Myself most of all. But the thing is you recognized it and apologized. Besides that you’re her sister. She never forgot about you, never gave up on getting back to you. If I tried to make her choose between us and you it would destroy something in her. El Mayarah right?”
Alex stood up. “Thank you.” She rolled her eyes as she spotted Gertrude gnawing at her gun holster. “Gertrude, bad dragon!” Walking over she grabbed the dragon by the loose scaled skin between her shoulder blades. “Bad, no chewing the gun.” Snapping her holster onto her belt she dropped Gertrude into her open purse.
Gertrude let out a growl of annoyance at the rough treatment.
She looked down at the dragon. “You don’t get to do that, you have to go in the purse till you can fly without going straight into the wall. I’m immune to pouting. If you’re good we can get chinese and you can try potstickers.”
Gertrude let out an excited trill as she settled in the purse, eyes bright and curious.
Alex waved to Merlin who was biting his lip as he tried not to laugh at her. Scoffing she left the apartment. Pulling up her cellphone she dialed up her speed dial.
“So I know we talked about getting a dog, but what are your thoughts on slightly more exotic pets?” She made her way down to the uber that was waiting for her. Dropping in she leaned forward. “Police station.” Leaning back she listened to the long silence Maggie was giving her. “Still there?”
Maggie let out slow breath. -“Danvers, what did you do? Please tell me you didn’t buy a pet already?”-
“I did not buy a pet, but an alien animal apparently doesn’t care about that.” Alex shot a glare at Gertrude who was chewing on the strap of the purse. “Gertrude no chewing.”
-”Who’s Gertrude?”- Maggie just sounded tired.
She bit at her lip. “Technically a highly intelligent alien reptile that’s gone and imprinted on me.”
-”This is a done deal isn’t it?”- She asked.
“I’m pretty sure.” Alex tapped her phone as the car came to a stop. “I’m here.” She gave the driver a nod as she climbed out of the car. Grabbing the purse she made sure that more than Gertrude’s head was poking out of the opening.
She strode through with all the authority that she usually carried. It was nice that even while suspended she could still just walk through and they were used to her enough not to question it. Alex headed for Maggie’s desk, she set the purse down on her desk. “Surprise.”
“What is that?” Maggie looked at Gertrude, her nose scrunched slightly as she reached out.
Gertrude nipped at the air before her hand. She growled, curling up.
“Gertrude, bad dragon. No biting people.” Alex ran a hand through her hair as she looked to Maggie, she tilted her head down slightly. “So dragons are real.”
“...did you just say dragon Danvers?” Maggie stared at Gertrude.
Alex shuffled slightly. “So krypton had dragons, this is one of three that hatched last night. Her name’s Gertrude and she’s gone and picked me.”
“She’s eating my pencil.” Maggie deadpanned, she reached out yanking the pencil out of Gertrude’s mouth. She held the dragon’s eyes as it glared at her. They just kept staring at each other before Getrude made a grumbling croak noise and ducked into the purse. “Fine, we’re going pet supply shopping then?”
Alex sighed out. “Please, I’ve never had a pet. Well unless you account for the stray cat Kara fed.”
“It’s my lunch break, let’s go get Gertrude some chewy bones.” Maggie stood up grabbing her jacket off the back of the chair and pulled it on. She chuckled. “A pet that picked you would have teeth and be a brat that will breath fire when it grows up.”
Alex kissed her cheek. “Thank you.”
“Are all the dragons black or just yours?” Maggie stuffed her hands into her back pockets.
She glared at Gertrude who was being good for once now. “Just her.”
Maggie barked out a laugh. “We’re getting her one of those awful spiked, leather collars.”
Kara zapped the detonator on a landmine, welding it in place so that it wouldn’t blow while she pulled it up. Sticking her hand down into the ground she grabbed the device and pulled it up. Once it was up and out of the ground she quickly took it apart into separate components. Zipping over to the cart she dropped it off with the others. “That’s the last in this field.”
“It’s all clear?” The man by the cart asked, his voice full of disbelief. “It’s safe?”
“Yup, I can get the next field over now. Your whole town should be good now.” She beamed as she leaned against the cart.
He clasped his hands over hers and nodded, seemingly unable to speak from emotion.
Kara hummed as she chewed her pancit dish of noodles and vegetables. She watched the school kids trying out the new monkey bars that she’d melted the mines into after clearing out the explosives. “It’s beautiful here.”
“What you’ve done here today Supergirl can never be repaid.” The woman who’d been making the celebratory dinner for the school children said.
She smiled. “Just show what kindness you can when you are able.” Taking a large slurping bite of her soup she grinned. “And well this is worth more than half a day’s work.”
“You brought the chickens we’ve used in the pancit.” The woman reached out with a ladle and bonked her nose.
Kara giggled wiping at her nose. “Which is more than enough, I’m not a good cook.” She winked. “Burn almost everything when I try to bake.”
“Eh, your mother never teach you?” The woman cocked her head, she tusked under her breath. “Surely you could learn off the internet?”
She flushed slightly. “When I was on my home planet I wasn’t expected to cook. By the time I was on Earth, well, I blew up the kitchen appliances and was banned from the kitchen for a while.” Her blush deepened.
Snorting the woman rapped her over the head with the ladle. “Well, at least you have flaws. You should learn though.”
“I can make ice-cream.” Kara grumbled.
“Your khmer is very good, how did you come to learn it?” The woman tilted her head slightly.
Kara smiled at the praise. “I’ve always liked languages. I know fifty eight now.” She puffed up slightly.
“Fifty eight?” The woman blinked in surprise. “Well, you’d better come and practice you khmer when you can.”
She took a large bite from her bowl. “Well, I’ve got to get as many landmines collected as possible. One town at a time right?”
Kara alighted on Lena’s balcony, it had been a long day, three towns with every landmine within their borders dug up and taken to pieces. It felt good to have done something as necessary as removing remnants of an old war that never should have been. She nearly punched when she felt something flying for her head. Fortunately she caught the blue glint of scales. “Astra!”
The dragon squawked in greeting before landing on her shoulder. Astra trilled as her talons hooked on the metal of her pauldron shoulder guards.
“Well hello to you too.” Kara cooed to the dragon. She scratched under Astra’s chin. “Who’s a pretty dragon, who’s a pretty dragon.”
Lena laughed. “She’ll never leave you alone now you know?”
“She’s too cute for me to ignore her.” Kara replied running her fingers down along the soft spines down Astra’s back.
Lena turned in her chair, crossing one leg. “So, what did the great and powerful Supergirl do today that lead to leaving me alone with the fall out of that interview you gave yesterday?” She smiled. “Which I’m very grateful for, I’m not sure if you meant to or not but my stock prices have doubled. I don’t think my board would let me be removed from my post over their dead bodies now.”
“The headlines are a bit...imaginative aren’t they?” She ducked her head.
Lena laughed. “You could say that. Superluthor is trending on twitter right now. No one even cares about my arrest except for how it adds to our ‘story’. Whether that is as friends or as potential girlfriends no one can seem to decide.”
“Sorry about that, but I didn’t want to risk you spending more time under arrest.” She bit her lip. “I couldn’t protect you fully if you were in custody and the longer you were the more likely an assassin would pay off another prisoner.”
Lena stood up, walking over. “You didn’t have to do that, and I’m grateful.”
“You’re alright? No one hurt you at all?” Kara walked over, her hand touching Lena’s cheek ever so lightly.
She leaned into the touch before pulling back. “I was fine, Gwen threatened them enough to protect me while I was there. Besides, I was in the interrogation room till I got to movie night.”
“Are you coming to game night on Wednesday?” Kara perked up, having everyone except for Alex in one room had been...it had been so close to her whole family together. Alex was going to be at game night, her family was going to be whole.
Lena hesitated for a second before smiling. “Well, I do need more dragon caretaking lessons from Merlin. I’ll be there.”
“Good.” Kara pulled her into a warm hug. “It’ll be great!”
Lena hugged her back before pulling back. “But really, what were you doing?”
“Disarming landmines in Cambodia. I think I’ll spend a day over there every couple of weeks to help get rid of those things.” She fell serious. “It’s horrible that the people have to risk their lives just to farm, or play, explore. I can help, so I’m going to do so.”
Lena reached out taking Astra from her shoulder and holding the now cooing dragon as it curled into Lena’s chest. “So, I was wondering about that actually. Alex mentioned you being willing to move relief supplies if I provided them?”
“That’s not…” She ran a hand through her hair. “Yes, I’d fly them anywhere you wanted. But you’re not obligated to help with this. I just...after all these years I need to help, to see that I can change things.”
Lena’s face softened, her face turning understanding. “I think it’s great you’re branching out from just National City.”
“I...while we were in the army and then in RED I couldn’t do anything.” Her hands fisted as she glared at the floor. “I had to watch as things I could prevent took hundreds of lives. And when I was in the past I spent so much time traveling the world. It’s so large, and I don’t think I could have stayed just in one city.”
Sitting down, Lena adjusted Astra’s polished silver collar. “You are a symbol of hope for a reason.” Her voice was slightly awed.
Kara sat down on the edge of the desk. “So, what aid work did Alex convince you to get me to do for L-corp?”
“Getting food and essentials up to some of the hard to reach regions. Areas like the tribal lands to the northern edges of Alaska and Canada, some of the tiny islands in the pacific, mountainous regions. The types of places where just getting the aid there costs more than five times what that actual supplies do.” Lena smiled. “The sort of aid my board would roll over and die before supporting because of the lack of visibility and the exorbitant cost.”
She smiled. “I can do that. Tomorrow I’m to fly along the coast of Senegal and Ghana, help out with petty crime, house fires, maybe some lost pets.” Kara shrugged. “Whatever needs to be done. Probably stop by a few ports on the east coast of the US, check what containers don’t have lead in them to make sure there aren’t any people being trafficked through. But when I get back, dinner?”
“We can eat at mine?” Lena smiled down at Astra. “This one needs to build herself a nest at my apartment anyways. She’s not quite done with her nest here at the office. But if she has a nest at both places I thought she might enjoy flying back and forth.”
“I can take her flying sometime when she trusts her wings more.” Kara enjoyed how the dragon preened, clearly understanding they were talking about her.
Lena’s face was soft, more open that she’d seen it in a while. “That would be nice.”
“Good, I’ll see you tomorrow night then.” Kara felt a weight lift from her shoulders. “What do you know about transmatter portals? I have some notes on what I remember of them from Krypton and I saw them the other night and thought of you.”
Mon-el chewed a piece of toast with jam as he made his way back from a lovely night. Pulling out his cellphone he dialed up Kara, there was something about the stuck up kryptonian that fascinated him. She was beautiful, strong, full of conviction, the idea of seeing her below him, flushed with pleasure was intoxicating just to imagine.
He closed his eyes just thinking of it. Mon-el was brought out of his lovely thoughts when he heard the sounds of a fight down the alley he was passing. Turning he looked at what looked like five men kicking the hell out of a sixth man that was now curled on the ground. He considered his options. Staring up at the sky his shoulders slumped, fine. He jogged down the alleyway he called out. “HEY!”
One of the men doing the kicking turned and sneered at him. “Get out of here if you know what’s good for ya.”
Mon-el grabbed the man with one hand and tossed him into the others sending them sprawling to the ground. Resting his hands on his hips he glared at them. “Why don’t you lot just run if you don’t want to get hurt.”
A tall scraggly one, scrambled to his feet before running at him, fist raised. He slammed his fist into Mon-el’s face as hard as his human frame could bare.
Mon-el felt rather like a small child had tried to punch him. He sighed, not going to be a fun fight then.
The thug’s hand shattered, he cried out in pain and shock. He cradled his hand, looking up at Mon-el. “M-M-Monster!” He turned and took off as fast as he could. The others quickly followed his example and running for it.
Running a hand through his hair Mon-el rolled his eyes before approaching the downed man who’d been being kicked. He paused as he got a good look at his face. “James?”
James cracked an eye open and looked up at him. “Mon...I could use a hand up.”
“Right, come on. You need to go to a...what do you humans call it, a..hos-pitol? Yes a hospital, where your attractive individuals enjoy mating between saving human lives.” He beamed as he correctly knew what to do on this odd planet for once.
James croaked, his voice hoarse. “No hospitals, just get me to the van.” He hissed out between clenched teeth. “It’s parked a street over.”
He frowned, that didn’t sound right. But James was Guardian, he remembered DEO agents talking about it. Heroes had to go to the DEO when they were hurt. “I understand.” Mon-el cheerfully picked up the man in the hold he’d seen Kara use. It was rather awkward with how large James was. “This would be nice if you were a female.”
“Mon-el, what are you?” James’s mouth clenched down as he let out a low moan of pain.
Mon-el cocked his head. “Taking you to assistance.” He bent his knees and jumped. Flying upwards, they rose above building to their right. Mon-el grinned as he braced himself landing on the roof. Having powers like this was very, as the humans called it, cool.
He ignored the groans from James everytime they landed, and just jumped from roof to roof. As they got the DEO he lept and they came arching down onto Supergirl’s balcony entrance to the building. Mon-el jogged towards the serious agents at the command center. “James, I mean Guardian requires medical assistance.”
“Fuck.” James hissed as he realized where they were.
Mon-el frowned, but cheerfully shrugged it off as he passed James off to two agents who seemed to understand procedure for these sorts of things. He watched as James was carried off by the human agents. Turning he skipped over to where the serious looking blond agent with the red dragon hatchling on his shoulder, was. “Pendragon right?”
“And you’re the infamous Mon-el.” Pendragon turned giving him a quick once over, the dragon on his shoulder doing the same. “About what I expected, but thank you for bringing Mr Olsen to us.”
He smiled widely. “Oh good you’ve heard of me. You are the elder male of Kara’s house, yes?”
“Highest ranking, technically Merlin is a year older than me and is part of the family.” Pendragon replied slowly his brow furrowing.
Mon-el held out his hand, humans were odd, but this was the head of the Pendragon house that Kara now considered herself a part of. Thus niceties should be observed. “I wished to ask permission to court Kara. I am of suitable rank and I don’t mind that she was bonded before.” He smiled.
Pendragon’s face froze for a second before he spoke slowly. “You smell of sex.” He sniffed pointedly, the dragon’s little face scrunched up.
“Yes, I had sexual relations last night, and this morning.” Mon-el puffed up slightly. “I will be able to satisfy Kara without her having to worry about a frail human lover.”
There was a long moment as Pendragon just stared at him. “I see, follow me.” He turned and began walking away only to pause and look to one of the agents. “Vasquez, please record the sparring room and then send the recording to Agent Danvers.”
“Sir.” The female agent replied.
Pendragon continued down the hall. Mon-el trotted after him, clearly he was going to be tested for his worthiness. Good, he had powers and no human could prove his equal, it would be easy enough. He could barely keep his smile down as he entered the room.
Bouncing on his toes Mon-el grinned as he watched Pendragon dropping his weapons to the side. He then set the dragon hatchling onto the pile of weapons. It curled up on top of them, looking over the room in apparent excitement. Mon-el shrugged off his jacket and tossed it to the side. “Are you sure you wish to disarm yourself?”
“Oh I’m not doing it because I want to, I’m doing it because I’ve got an annoying voice saying I probably should.” Pendragon replied as he turned and moved to the center of the room. “You can have the first punch.”
Mon-el shrugged, no sense wasting an advantage like that even if the human didn’t have a chance. He lazily punched the man, didn’t want to accidentally kill the head of house Pendragon afterall.
Pendragon side stepped and grabbed his arm, his hands like iron. And then Mon-el was flying through the air before slamming into the ground.
He wheezed and then cried out as his arm was wrenched viciously, his face pressed into the floor mat, hard. Then the weight on top of him was gone. And a commanding voice came. “Get up.”
Mon-el crawled up to his feet, eying the man warily. “How?”
Pendragon scoffed and moved forward his hands held up in a clear fighting stance.
Raising his own hands he tried to block a blow heading for his head. He wasn’t expecting the blow to his gut, it nearly bent him in half. His arms loosened as the breath was driven from his lungs.
Mon-el went reeling back as a fist slammed into his face, his nose cracking, his mouth filling with blood. As his head snapped back from the force of it he realized he was in trouble. Then a hand grabbed his shoulder and he was hauled forward into a knee to the groin.
His mind went blank, nothing but pain existed, it was a separate plane of existence, it was agony. All encompassing agony. He didn’t even feel it when he hit the ground in a heap.
Wheezing, blood sprayed from his lips, his entire body was pain. Retching he felt bile in his throat. Looking up he watched Pendragon, not a hair out of place on his head wiping the blood off his hands. The man looked down at him. “You’re pathetic. I wouldn’t allow your suit if it was the only way to save the planet. If you ever try to touch her I will cut your hands off.” Pendragon walked away without a second glance, the sound of his boots eching in the room.
Mon-el let out a low sound of pain. That had not gone to plan.
Maggie spotted the awful studded and spiked collars for tiny dogs that were hardly dangerous enough to warrant the things. But today they were exactly what she wanted. Grinning, slightly manically, she started grabbing several of them and dropping them into the cart. “Come to mama.”
“Maggie...are you alright?” Alex asked as she approached, Gertrude perched on her shoulder looking around the store with bright slitted eyes.
She looked at her girlfriend. “Danvers we have a pet dragon and that awful pet shop yesterday had almost nothing. This place is huge. We’re going to get our scaly daughter everything her bitchy little heart wants.”
“Our scaly daughter? She stole your detective’s badge.” Alex shot an annoyed look at the dragon.
Maggie reached out patted Gertrude, the dragon trilling as it leaned into her touch. “She was using it as a little teddy bear. Our scaly daughter has excellent taste.” She gave Alex the look. “Not to mention who was it who let her turn their leather jacket into shredded bedding materials?”
“I’m a high ranking government official, I can afford to get a new jacket.” Alex grumbled, a bit of color rising along her cheeks.
She dropped several different collars into the cart. “Now, let's go get this one some chew toys, and we should get her one of those cat tree things. She may grow out of it but it’d be a nice nest for her while she’s still tiny.”
Maggie looked at the dragon. “You’re going to be bigger than me someday, I get to call you tiny while it’s true.” She held her eyes till Gertrude huffed and ducked her head.
Alex pouted. “How do you get her to listen to you?”
“I’m a boss.” She grinned before her whole face lit up. “Alex they have tiny little coats, Gertrude is a reptile we should get her some coats for cold days.”
“She ate the heating pad.” Alex deadpanned before suddenly perking up as she spotted something. “Is that a .22 chew toy?”
Maggie looked over. “It is.”
“I’m gonna go get one.” She picked up Gertrude and dropped her into the kiddy seat of the cart. “I’ll be right back.”
Humming Maggie rolled them over to the aisle of doggy clothing. She found a little leather doggy jacket and picked up one in each size available. Turning she held one up for Gertrude to get a good luck at. “What do you think?”
Gertrude trilled and nodded while reaching her little dragon arms out to grab hold.
She bobbed Gertrude on the nose. “Not till we get home.”
Gertrude pouted slightly before her eyes caught something and her whole frame froze. Her eyes were riveted as she let out a squawk and pointed forward with her little snout.
Maggie followed her gaze and her smile widened as she saw the princess tiara designed for animals. Reaching out she grabbed two of them and dropped them in the cart. She shared a look with Gertrude. “You will be the most fabulous dragon in the world.”
Gertrude preened, her wings rustling as she puffed up her chest.
They both turned as Alex approached, her arms full chewy toys. Alex blushed. “Our scaly daughter deserves the best.”
“Well let's go pick out a mouse for her as a special treat for not running off in the store.” Maggie wheeled the cart towards the rodent section, Alex falling into step with her after dumping her armload in the cart. “I was talking to the salesgirl over there and they have refrigerated bones that still have meat on them.”
Gertrude snapped her head round, staring up at Alex with big eyes, her tail wagging in excitement.
Maggie scratched her between the shoulders. “I think she likes that idea, we might be able to save your shoe collection yet Danvers.”
“We can only hope.” Alex huffed as they came to the rows of cages with small furry animals in them. She reached in and picked up Gertrude. “Alright girl, which mouse do you want?”
Gertrude was drooling as her head swayed from side to side taking in every last mouse. Finally she stopped scoping them out as she spotted a large rat with marbled fur.
Later as Maggie saw the unbridled affection in Alex’s eyes as she watched Gertrude chew on that rat, wearing her tiara, studded collar and little leather coat with wing holes cut in it, she wrapped an arm around Alex’s shoulders. “Babe, I think she’s the perfect pet for you.”