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my darling, let the band play on (‘cos it’s clear we stole the show)

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Dusklight Star Kara DanversTalks Sizzle, Supergirl, and Sisters

[…] When asked about Sizzle, the explosively popular pairing between Sara and Isabelle, Danvers lights up.

“I love the name the fans came up with,” she confesses conspiratorially. “Lena pretends she thinks it’s silly, but really she loves it too. She thinks it’s clever.” She laughs. “She’s gonna kill me for saying that.”

The chemistry between the two actresses is clear, and is obviously the basis for the on-screen pairing. The pair are famously friends, despite a troubled history between them, and the easy affection with which Danvers talks about her co-star is heart-warming in the extreme.

“I’m so lucky to work with Lena,” Danvers tells us. “Sizzle is so important to so many people, and working with Lena and Cat, who both take it so seriously and are so careful with it is such a blessing.”

We asked the charming star if she could share any tidbits for the couple, but Danvers plays coy.

“Gosh, Cat would kill me. Good things. Fun things,” she promises.

Dusklight airs on NCB, Tuesdays at 9\8c.

“Remind me why I wanted to be an actor, again?” Kara asked with a groan, rolling onto her back as the crew scurried around her, resetting the scene. Her holster was digging painfully into her hip, a lock of her hair had escaped its bun and kept catching in her lip gloss, and her back ached from being repeatedly thrown against the unusually sturdy set wall.

“Money, fame, the glamorous high life, an adoring fan-base, you get to hang out with me all day…” Lucy listed, coming to stand beside her. The suit she was wearing was artfully dishevelled, a result of the scripted scuffle between her character and a suspect, but she was still in better shape than Kara.

Kara just groaned in response, shoving her prop gun back into its holster then looking up at her co-star pitifully, making grabby hands until Lucy rolled her eyes and pulled her to her feet. They were filming in a warehouse on an unseasonably warm day, and the temperature had passed ‘uncomfortable’ hours ago. Sweat was dampening the back of her shirt, and Kara shielded her eyes against the hot set lights as she looked hopefully over to where Snapper was hunched behind his screens, reviewing the last take. Taking advantage of the delay, the hair-and-makeup assistant hurried over to fix Kara’s hair in case the director called for another take, and Kara sighed but let him fuss, knowing the odds were against an early finish.

Eventually Snapper straightened and shook his head. “Let’s go again, people!” he called, eliciting a quiet groan from the crew and a more audible one from his actors as the camera cranes swung back to their starting positions. “Go from Sara jumping in.”

Kara shook her limbs out as she returned to her mark, watching as Lucy let the day-player playing their suspect back her up against the wall. He was a giant of a man, especially compared to Lucy, but he was almost overly gentle with his scene partners, to the point where he’d earned a reprimand from Snapper for not being forceful enough in the earlier takes. But gentle or not, he was still a built like a line-backer, and Kara wondered who in the casting department she’d annoyed enough to set her up to tackle a human mountain.

Lucy waited until Snapper called action, then began struggling against her captor. Kara waited a beat, giving him time to growl his lines, then ran into frame, grabbing his arm and twisting it in a way that would look good on-screen but felt wildly ineffective in person. She shoved him away from Lucy, who slid down the wall as the cameras followed them, and they tussled briefly in a choreographed fight under the allegedly watchful eye of their new stunt co-ordinator. His name was Lars, and he’d joined the production three episodes into the current season, after the previous co-ordinator got an offer to work on a film series. Kara was quietly dubious of Lars’ credentials, especially after she’d found out that his main recommendation had come from the fact that he was a relation of Mike’s. Her reservations had only grown as she became more familiar with him, having noticed he’d yet to encounter a bottle he didn’t like, but she’d been assured that he was very highly qualified, so she’d let her doubts lie.

When Kara spared him a quick glance between blows, he had his back to them with his phone to his ear, and wasn’t paying either actor the scantest bit of attention. She couldn’t dwell on his inattention for long, though, because they’d reached the point in the fight when Kara had to let her scene partner grab her arm and twist, throwing her against the wall of the set. She thumped against it with a huff that wasn’t faked, and let her legs fold under her, sinking to the floor as her assailant loomed over her. He kicked at her once, careful not to actually make contact, then turned back to Lucy as Kara fumbled with the gun on her hip.

“Hey!” she gasped, wincing internally at how breathless she sounded. Some scary detective she was. “Back off.” She pointed the prop gun at him and he sneered, growling one last threat running from the ‘alley’. The camera lingered on Kara’s face for a moment, then Snapper called the cut.

It took another three takes before the finicky director finally released them, and Kara wanted nothing more than to retreat to her apartment and sink into a hot bath. She didn’t have to be back on set until the day after tomorrow, and she was already mentally calculating exactly how long she could soak before she’d be late for dinner with Alex when her phone chimed from where it sat on her folding chair. Kara groaned again as she leaned over to retrieve it, but she quickly forgot how sore she was when she read the message.

It was from Eve, Cat Grant’s assistant, and simply read, ‘Lena in Cat’s office 911.’

Kara groaned softly, her plans for an easy afternoon melting away. Lucy saw her shoulders drop and tilted her head.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, gathering her things.

“Lena’s going to get herself fired,” Kara groaned, typing out a quick reply to Eve.

Lucy huffed out a laugh. “She must’ve just read the latest script,” she said, and Kara glanced up from her phone.

“Why, what’s in the latest script?” she asked, somewhat alarmed, but Lucy shook her head.

“It’s probably better if Cat explains it. Then you can tell me, ‘coz I can’t wait to hear the reason behind it.”

Kara wanted to press her further, but her phone chimed again from her hand. It was another text from Eve made purely of exclamation marks, and Kara groaned again. “Can you tell Alex I might be late?”

Lucy nodded, and Kara smiled her thanks as she grabbed her bag and trotted off set, heading for the writers’ office.

Cat’s office was on the second floor of the studio, and was off-limits to just about everyone. Kara had been in there exactly once with the rest of her co-stars for a lecture about intra-cast unity after some particularly damaging pictures had been leaked to the press. Said pictures had led to the very public break-up of the two leads of the show, Mike Matthews and Lena Luthor, and the resulting media frenzy had taken weeks to calm down. Only a handful of people were aware that their relationship had been a lie from the start, a publicity stunt orchestrated by Mike’s mother in an effort to tack a Luthor’s influence onto her name. Lena had gone along with it largely due to self-loathing, as far as Kara could work out, and probably would have continued with the charade indefinitely had Cat not decided to hook her and Kara’s characters up on the show, forcing the pair of them to deal with the growing feelings between them.

The months that followed had been an exercise in patience for Kara, with Lena publicly dating Mike and actually dating her, but Rhea – and therefore Mike, who was largely uninvested in the charade but unwilling to go against his mother – had actively resisted Lena’s attempts to extract herself from the PR relationship, and Lena couldn’t force it without risking the reputations of everyone involved. It was Mike who’d finally given her an out, albeit accidentally, when he was photographed screwing one of the guest stars in a prop room. The pictures had been leaked to the press on the eve of a red carpet event, and Lena had taken full advantage of her co-star’s indiscretion, using the presence of the cameras to publicly and irrevocably break up with him in a way that not even Rhea could circumvent.

The storm of media attention had taken over a month to abate, and neither Kara nor Lena was in any hurry to ignite another one by announcing their relationship. Thankfully, Kara had discovered that an on-screen relationship was an excellent cover for a real one, because the press had attributed the affection that Kara was terrible at hiding to their characters spilling into real life, and she was happy not to correct them. She was fairly sure there was a small group of their fans that had cottoned onto them, but there was no open speculation, and she and Lena were both content to leave things as they were.

Leaving things as they were would be much harder if Lena got herself fired, though. Kara could hear raised voices echoing down the hallway as she approached Cat’s office, and she shared an alarmed look with Eve as she drew level with her desk.

“Can I…?” Kara asked, motioning towards the office, and Eve nodded vigorously. The assistant usually played gatekeeper to Cat’s domain, but Kara wasn’t surprised Lena had got past her. Ever since it had come out that it had been Eve who took and leaked the photos, she’d been unable to even look at Lena, much less deny her anything. She didn’t seem to realise that Lena didn’t hold it against her, and in fact had been the one to argue most vehemently for the assistant to keep her job.

Kara hurried down the short corridor and knocked on the door, but received no response. She pushed it open slowly in time to hear her girlfriend declare, “I am not doing this.”

“You will, if—” Cat cut herself off as Kara edged into the room. “You called backup?” she asked shortly, flicking her narrowed eyes between Kara and Lena, who stilled from her restless pacing as Kara nudged the door shut behind her.

“She didn’t, Eve messaged me,” Kara said quickly, moving to stand next to Lena. “What’s going on?”

Cat rolled her eyes, but before she could answer, Lena turned to Kara. “Have you read this?” she demanded, brandishing a sheaf of paper, and Kara shook her head as she recognised the cover of the latest Dusklight script. They’d only received it that morning, and Kara hadn’t had time to read beyond the title, Ergo Proptor Hoc.

“I’ve been filming all day, I haven’t had a chance,” she explained, confused by the apparent non-sequitur. “Why?”

“She’s breaking us up,” Lena said shortly, and Kara’s stomach dropped even as Cat rolled her eyes again.

“You’re being dramatic, I’m not breaking you up,” Cat insisted, but Lena cut her off, leafing briefly through the script and beginning to quote from the cold open.

“Apartment interior, morning. We open on a shot of Jax and Isabelle sharing breakfast, settled in obvious domestic bliss. Obvious domestic bliss. What the hell, Cat?” She made to throw the script on Cat’s desk, but Kara caught her arm and took it from her, flipping it open to read for herself. “It took you three seasons to include any sort of representation, you can’t undo it after a season and a half, and certainly not to pair me up with Mike.”

“I’m not,” Cat said, clearly dangerously close to the limits of her patience. Anyone else would’ve been thrown out her office long before now, Kara knew, but the showrunner had an unspoken soft spot for Lena. It was largely through her backing that Lena had survived the fallout from her brother’s downfall, and Kara knew her girlfriend got far more leeway with Cat than just about anyone else. “It’s a For Want of a Nail episode, which you’d know if you’d finished reading it before coming in here to castigate me,” Cat explained as Kara scanned the pages. “A throwaway, fantasy, ‘What If’ episode that has no real impact on the overall plot. Specifically, what if Sara hadn’t become Jax’s partner.”

“And the answer was that I fall madly in love with him?” Lena spat incredulously.

Kara took note of the fact that Lena kept referring to her character in the first person, and she was beginning to realise why she was taking the script more personally than she probably should be. Lena put a lot of herself into Isabelle, and while that was a large part of why her character was so popular, it also meant that this episode would feel alarmingly like going back to the PR relationship she’d only managed to extract herself from with some delicate manoeuvring and a huge amount of luck.

Cat sighed and took off the glasses she liked to pretend she didn’t wear. “Look, this wasn’t my idea. There’s a new executive at the network, and he wants to ‘float the suggestion’ and see how it goes with the general audience.” Lena muttered something about what he could do with his suggestion, and Kara snorted as Cat smiled wanly. “Normally I’d agree with you, but he’s holding the City in Chains pickup over my head.”

City in Chains was a new show that Cat’s production company, CatCo, was working on. Part spin-off, part alternate-universe for Dusklight, it would be the third show to air under the CatCo banner. The idea that NCB wouldn’t pick up the pilot was almost laughable, given how mutually profitable the relationship between the network and Cat had been, but thinking about it, Kara realised that they had yet to make the official announcement.

“Please. You’re Cat Grant, they don’t say no to you,” Lena scoffed, but Cat pinned her with a level glare.

“Contrary to popular belief, I am not all powerful. Even I have limits, and I was pushing them getting this relationship on-screen at all. Keeping it there means picking my battles, and doing this now means I can take the wind out of this idiot’s sails before he gets the attention of someone with real power.”

“Lena, really, it’s not that bad,” Kara assured her, having scanned a good two-thirds of the script and found nothing overt beyond one kiss in the cold open scene and some very cheesy dialogue. “And look, Isabelle’s still not straight. She has a moment here with…Lucy? Really?” Kara looked over at Cat with a raised eyebrow, and the showrunner sighed again.

“I didn’t write it. I created a broad outline and gave it to the most junior writer I could find and told her to indulge herself. That… cringe-inducing abomination you’re holding is the result.” She flapped a dismissive hand towards the script Kara was still holding, distaste written all over her face. “Trust me, I want to shoot it less than you do, but this way the episode will flop and the idiot from the network will crawl back into whatever heteronormative hell he came from.”

Kara could see the logic of Cat’s plan, as much as she disliked it, but Lena still looked dubious. “Cat…” she started, but the showrunner cut her off.

“Luthor, this is one of those times you’re just going to have to trust me,” she said, sliding her glasses back on and returning her attention to her laptop in a clear dismissal. “Now go away. I have to try and salvage the rest of the season arc now I’ve lost an episode to this nonsense.”

Kara could tell from the expression on her face that Lena wanted to keep arguing, but when Kara slipped her hand into the crook of her arm she sighed and relaxed into the touch. She allowed Kara to tug her gently towards the door, but before they got there she turned back to make one last point.

“The fans will riot. This relationship is important to a lot of people,” Lena offered as a final objection, and Cat looked pointedly at where Kara’s hand was curled around her arm.                                                                                                                                     

“Maybe you should give them something else to talk about, then.”

Lena stiffened and narrowed her eyes, but Kara kept the gentle pressure on her arm, tugging her towards the door before she said something in anger that she’d later regret. While Cat didn’t officially know about their off-screen relationship, very little happened on the set that the showrunner was unaware of, and Kara had a sneaking suspicion that she’d been onto them since before even Kara had been aware of what was growing between them.

“I don’t believe her,” Lena hissed as the door swung shut behind them. “She can’t do this, it’s insane!”

“She’s right, though,” Kara said, sliding her hand down Lena’s arm so she could tangle their fingers together. “If the network has their heart set on this, this is the best way to nip it in the bud.”

“It’s ridiculous,” Lena insisted, but fell silent when she realised that Eve wasn’t alone at her desk.

Mike Matthews, the other co-lead of the show, straightened from where he’d been leaning over Eve’s desk as they left Cat’s office. The assistant had a soft blush staining her cheeks, and she looked flustered as Kara and Lena drew closer. Kara pointedly avoided looking at either of them; thanks to the pictures Eve had leaked to the press, she already knew far more than she was comfortable with about Mike’s dalliances and she had no desire to find out what he’d said to paint such a pretty shade of red across her face. Their relationship was the kind of on-again-off-again mess that could charitably be called complicated, and popular opinion on set – especially since Mike had been caught sleeping with Veronica Sinclair, his guest starring on-screen nemesis – was that Eve could do better and crazy for staying with him. Lena disagreed, suggesting that Eve probably had more power in their dynamic that she was letting on, and given that Lena was probably the only person who had more than a passing familiarity with all three people involved, Kara was inclined to trust her judgement.

Eve busied herself with her laptop as Mike stepped away from her desk, holding his hands up defensively when Lena glared at him.

“I had nothing to do with the script,” he said, looking between them. “I came to tell Cat to scrap it, but Eve said you two beat me here. What’d she say?”

“Orders from on high,” Lena told him, contempt dripping from her tone. She’d dropped Kara’s hand when Mike turned to face them, and Kara was actively resisting the desire to press herself against her side and wrap an arm around her waist. “The network wants it, it’s out of her hands.”

“Well that’s just stupid. I’ll talk to her, she’ll listen to me,” Mike said, and Kara stepped out of his way, gesturing back down the hall towards the office.

“You’re welcome to try,” she told him, knowing that if Lena hadn’t managed to change her mind, Mike had no chance.

Lena shook her head and headed in the opposite direction, and Kara shot Eve a smile full of gratitude and sympathy before she hurried after her.

She caught up with her just as the elevator doors were sliding open, and Kara tangled their hands together once Lena hit the button for the ground floor. They swayed together as the elevator lurched into motion, but Lena didn’t pull away once they’d steady themselves, instead letting her weight rest against Kara’s side. Kara freed her hand so she could wrap her arm around Lena’s waist, and Lena let out a long sigh before letting her head drop onto Kara’s shoulder.

“I’m sorry,” she murmured as Kara pressed her lips against her hair.

“It’s okay. It’s gonna be okay,” Kara told her, and Lena sighed again. “Come over when you’re done in Wardrobe,” she offered, suddenly wanting nothing more than to spend the evening with her girlfriend and her sister.

Lena raised her head and looked at her, confused. “Aren’t you going out with Alex?” she asked, but Kara shook her head.

“I’m gonna see if she wants to order in. I really just wanna drink wine and watch The Good Place.”

Kara felt more than heard Lena’s hum of pleasure at the thought. “I don’t know how late I’ll be. You know how Pam gets,” she warned, but Kara shrugged. “Okay. Don’t drink all the wine before I get there.”

“No promises,” Kara answered with a smile, then leaned in to steal a quick kiss before the doors slid open.

They separated outside the building, Lena heading for Wardrobe while Kara trotted towards the carpark, fishing her phone out of her bag as she went. She sent a quick message Alex inviting her to her apartment instead of the restaurant they’d planned on, no longer in the mood to brave the fans and paparazzi that would inevitably ambush them if they went out for dinner.    

Kara could hear Alex ranting well before her sister got to her door. Her words were muffled, but the fact that Kara could hear here at all meant that she was far more worked up than she usually let herself become. Kara looked over as the key scraped in the lock and the door swung open, revealing Alex talking furiously into her phone.

“No. I’ve gotta go. I’ve gotta go. I’ve—ugh.” She pulled the phone away from her ear and stabbed the screen, muting the muffled male voice on the other end.

“I ordered Indian. Are you okay?” Kara asked, somewhat alarmed as Alex flopped down next to her and pulled the throw pillow from her grip so she could press it over her face.

“I’m gonna shoot Jim Harper,” Alex growled, muffled by the pillow, and Kara relaxed. Jim Harper was Lucy’s publicist, and Alex had been threatening to shoot him since the week after she and Lucy went public with their relationship.

“You can’t shoot him,” Kara told her with fond exasperation, tugging Alex’s arms away from her face. “Lucy would hate having to visit you in jail.”

“Arrest him? He’s definitely done something illegal, I could—”

“Alex.”

Alex buried her head in the pillow again and growled in frustration until Kara tugged it from her grip and tossed it to the other end of the couch.

“What’s he done?” Kara asked her, and Alex pulled a face.

“He wants me to start dressing ‘more appropriately’ at work in case the paps take interest in me again,” Alex grumbled, looking annoyed. “I’m a detective, not a fashion model. If I wanna wear jeans, I’m gonna wear fucking jeans. It’s bad enough that I can’t go undercover anymore…”

Kara was actually privately relieved that Alex’s relationship with Lucy meant that she was too well known to risk undercover work, but she kept that thought to herself. Alex was unusually wound up, considering she and Harper had been having the same argument about her effect on Lucy’s ‘image’, as Harper called it, since they came out, and Kara didn’t want to antagonise her further by pointing out that she was happy Alex wasn’t disappearing for weeks at a time.

“You’ve been arguing with him about that for months now. There’s something else,” Kara insisted, and Alex slumped down.

“I had to recuse myself from another case today,” she said quietly after a long pause, fidgeting with her fingers in her lap. “I was working on this embezzlement case, but it turned out the main suspect’s brother wrote that dog movie Lucy was in last summer. Jonn said it was a ‘potential conflict of interest’, and benched me. It the fourth case this month, I can’t…”

Alex let out a long, frustrated sigh, and Kara curled herself around her side. “Have you told Lucy?”

“No,” Alex admitted quietly, sighing again when she saw Kara’s face. “How will that help? It’ll just stress her out. I can’t ask her to stop working, but as long as she is working I’m connected to half the people I’m investigating. This city is too damn small.” She rubbed a hand down her face before dropping her hand back to her lap, fiddling with the hem of her shirt. “Maggie thinks she can get me a spot in Vice.”

“You hated working Vice,” Kara objected, straightening so she could look at her sister properly.

“What else can I do, Kara?” Alex demanded. “I can’t stay in White Collar while I’m with Lucy; I’m not breaking up with Lucy to save my job. My only options are quit or switch departments.”

“This is stupid. You arrested Lex Luthor when your sister,” Kara pointed at herself, “was his highest-grossing actor. I was way more connected to him than Lucy is to that guy’s brother.”

“I know, and that got me a lot of leeway, but…” Alex rubbed a hand across her eyes. “A couple of months ago I arrested a talent agent for a very creative money laundering scheme he was involved in. It turned out that he rep’d an actress that beat Lucy for a part in the new Star Wars or something. His hack of a lawyer said I had a vendetta against her client and nearly got the case thrown out. Jonn’s been extra careful since then, which means I spend more time babysitting the forensic accountants than actually doing my job.”

Kara felt a flash of guilt in her stomach. She remembered Alex telling her that story when it happened, and mentioning more frequently that she had been taken off cases, but she hadn’t put the pattern together until now. She’d been too distracted by her job and Lena.

“I’m sorry,” Kara started, but Alex shook her head and pulled her into a hug.

“It’s not your fault. Don’t worry about it, I’ll work it out.”

Kara sank into the hug, but before she could reply she was interrupted by the sound of the buzzer. “Food! Food will make you feel better,” she insisted, jumping up off the couch, and Alex shook her head with a fond smile as she rose to retrieve the wine.

They were halfway through their second bottle when Kara remembered. “Oh, Lena’s coming when she’s finished on set. We have to save her some wine.” At Alex’s curious head tilt, Kara elaborated, “The new script is stupid.”

“Aliens?”

“Not that stupid. Timey-wimey stuff. She has to kiss Mike. And maybe Lucy.”

What?

“I said it was stupid.”

“Show me,” Alex demanded, and Kara was buzzed enough to acquiesce. She giggled as Alex pulled faces at the cheesy dialogue and nodded her agreement at her outrage about the pairing. But Kara’s goal was to cheer Alex up, so when Lena arrived some time later, she opened the door to find the pair of them drunkenly acting out one of the more ridiculous scenes. Alex squawked in surprise and fell off the couch as she entered the apartment, and the sound of Lena’s surprised laughter washed warmly over Kara’s heart.