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Growing Together

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Kara Danvers and Supergirl fly into Cat’s life on the wind. Afterward, no matter what, she is never quite without them. Not in a yurt, not in Paris, Ankara, or Vienna, not in Washington D.C., and not hurtling through the air to certain death. In memory or in fact, they are always with her, like twin voices of kindness and uncertainty, of hope and pride, speaking in a constant loop that reminds Cat of the girl she was and the woman she is always aspiring to be.  She feels they are the same person well before she can admit it.  She knows now whether or not she can prove it. Kara Danvers and Supergirl: brave, strong, unbeatable, indestructible, and the most human non-human Cat has ever known (and she knows more than a few). Her hero.

And the worst liar Cat has ever seen.

Thank god she decided to be a superhero instead of a con artist.

*

When Carter graduates from high school, Supergirl attends the ceremony. Or she will, if she can just get there on time. National City’s current slate of criminals seem to have timed their crimes for maximum inconvenience, kicking off a series violent, destructive robberies during graduation week for the city’s high school students. Supergirl has been stretched thin putting in appearances with beaming graduates and speeding off to stop yet another goon squad from making away with the combined wealth of several underprivileged neighborhoods.  These criminals aren’t only targeting large, insured banks, but cash advance service center and credit unions frequented by the city’s low-income workers to the tune of three million dollars. They know exactly who they’re hurting and they don’t care. Kara, Winn, and James have been logging more hours than ever in an attempt to catch them at it. Between her day job, the DEO, and Supergirl duties Kara hasn’t even been able to get in touch with Carter personally to assure him she’d be here. Of course she’d be here.

Since Cat returned to town to resume her Catco CEO duties, Kara’s become a staple in the Grant household once again, and a stable figure in Carter Grant’s life. She won’t disappoint him on the most important day of his life so far.

Kara touches down in the parking loud outside the auditorium where the graduation is being held with only minutes to spare. Normally she’d try to find a private spot to make the switch, but the graduates in their maroon caps and gowns are preoccupied with arranging their tassels and chords, and their families are taking pictures and crying and clamoring for everyone to hurry before we lose our seats! None of them notice the woman in blue, red, and yellow ducking behind a bulletproof SUV to change into her tweed skirt and cardigan and glasses. Nobody notices, save for the woman who notices everything.  Because it’s my job, Kiera.

Kara’s mid-costume change when Cat Grant steps out of her hired car to greet her.

“Well, isn’t this cozy?”

“Miss Grant!”

“That is my name.”

Kara continues to gape at her. They haven’t come this close to Kara exposing her secret identity since J’onn helped her convince her then-boss that she was wrong about Kara Danvers and Supergirl being one and the same. Somehow she doesn’t think a shapeshifting alien was going to be enough to change Cat’s mind this time.

Cat yanks off her Dolce & Gabbana shades.  “Well, finish up. We’re going to be late, and we can’t be late for Carter’s big day! He’s valedictorian. He’s been practicing his speech for a month; I won’t miss it.”

“Of course.” Kara still doesn’t move as long as Cat remains standing in front of her. She’s only just hiding the emblem on her chest with her blouse in the vain hope that Cat will once again ignore what’s right in front of her.

Cat growls in frustration.  “Hurry up! Pick one. Be Supergirl or be Kiera, but whoever you’re going to be, be here for Carter. He’d want you here. I want you here. Don’t disappoint me.” She slams the door of her car shut behind her and marches around Kara to head into the building where Carter is already waiting with the school administrators.

Kara changes quicker than she ever has in her life and hurries inside to join Cat. If she applies a touch of super speed to get there before the ceremony begins, nobody can prove it.

 She spots Cat in a prime seat directly to the front of the podium where Carter will give his speech. He’ll be able to see his mother the whole time. Cat waves her over without taking her eyes off Carter’s downturned head. He’s poring over his speech feverishly, his voice is soft and filled with conviction. Kara almost can’t believe how he’s grown. He’s tall and willowy, still his father’s doppelganger with Cat’s zeal for truth and justice.  Kara loves him more than she thought she’d love anybody but her cousin.  If she never has a child, she thinks Carter might be enough. She joins Cat to find she’s saved her a chair. She hasn’t saved one for Carter’s father.  Kara listens for the man but if he’s in attendance she can’t pick up on his voice. She gives up seeking him out as the school administrators and top students march out on the stage in full regalia and take their places.

She doesn’t notice the headmistress or the head teacher. She scarcely hears the guidance counselor and the salutatorian. She fixes her eyes on Carter and resonates all the love she has for him to make him as strong as she knows he is. She can feel Cat doing the same beside her. When he’s summoned to the podium, they both reach out at the same time to clasp hands.

Carter’s voice shakes when he speaks. He’s anxious, afraid to look foolish, though he’s anything but foolish to the two women in the audience who love him. He’s brave and human and breakable and undaunted and brilliant, and that’s how he sounds. He talks about the price of freedom and the reward of truth.

He closes with this simple quote: “Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it.”

He bites his lips, unable to think of anything else to say, and bows slightly. His class claps and so do the guests and so the administrators, and so do the media partners who attended just to see the son of Cat Grant crash and burn (they didn’t get their wish). Kara and Cat cheer the loudest of all. At least they’re all Kara can hear over the roar of her own heart, and the softer, racing sound of Cat’s.

So elated is she to see Carter smiling with relief and triumph as he returns to his seat on stage that it takes Kara a moment to realize she’s floating almost half an inch above her seat. And it’s only the weight of Cat Grant leaning on her shoulder while she tries not to cry that’s tethering her to the earth.

The same as always.