AN: This is my first fic in the Supergirl fandom! :-D I struggled with what to post first. First I thought I'd post a little humorous fic in which Batman of all people gives Lena the shovel talk about Kara, then I thought I'd post a fic in which Loki and Mr. Mxyzptlk join forces to torment Mon-El (still one of my favorite scenarios!), and then I considered posting a chapter from my crossover fic that I'm working on, although I'm still refining that. Then this came to me.
I wrote this in response to another person's post on here. I wrote this in 5 hours this morning, because I was so inspired to write it after reading that post and picturing the scenario! I guess it took a really depressing post to get my lazy butt moving and working on my fics again! :-D Hopefully it'll stick.
This fic only has two chapters, but I might write more drabbles depending on the response to this.
This fic went through various titles including Requiem, Journey's End, and even Homeward Bound (even though it reminded me of the dogs, and might get a laugh out of some of the people here; even though Kara is somewhat like a puppy. ;-D), before settling on "Homecoming", even though it is the name of a Spider-Man movie and an episode in the series. ;-)
I thought it was...appropriate.
Kara stared at the console on the floor of the DEO command center, performing its final calculations on the upcoming breach. They were almost ready.
So it had really come to this.
They were really going to leave this world, and settle on an alternate Earth. They had looked at around 21 of the various Earths, examining each of its strengths and details, but in the end the choice was all too obvious. Earth 1. That was their new home.
Things had gone downhill since the President was exposed as an alien. Anti-alien sentiment had shot up through the roof, inflicting horrible damage on large groups of people. Aliens had begun to be rounded up, some for experimentation, others for mass exterminations, which prompted large numbers of rescue missions to get them back, and return them safely to their families. Cat Grant had been forced to resign as Press Secretary, and only Marsdin’s declaration that she was a shapeshifting alien and that Cat Grant had never seen her alien form, and had no way of knowing that she was one, that no one had, had saved Cat from being indicted. Even then, Catco’s stock had taken a huge hit. James had tried his best as CEO to repair the damage, but the damage was done, and even a sale to L-Corp couldn’t fully salvage the media conglomerate’s reputation. Good news for its major competitors, bad news for National City at large, in Kara’s opinion.
Heroes like Supergirl and Superman were no longer wanted. Although Metropolis had stuck firmly by its champion, considering he had saved them both from outer space threats and human ones threatening to detonate a nuclear device like the Joker, the rest of the country had not been as easily swayed. They would save people from disasters, only to have people spit at them and throw insults at them, saying to get the hell off their planet. An ironic condemnation, considering the first inhabitants weren’t even human to begin with. It was no longer worth it to be a hero. There were even declarations that they should submit themselves to the government and be fitted with restraints to allow them to only go on the missions that they deemed suitable, as if they were mere pets to be leashed by their owners. As if they were slaves.
Which of course, had resulted in an uprising in crime. Humans gangs like Inter-gang were everywhere, and petty crooks and criminals got away with crimes the overwhelmed police could no longer handle. And it wasn’t just National City. Bane had taken control of Gotham and there was no longer a force large enough to stop him, spurred on by the successes of other criminals in the country in the wake of the anti-alien sentiment, not even its own Superheroes.
While he did not discriminate against aliens, against all odds, he also made it clear that his opportunity was very much due to the rise in anti-alien crimes and terrorist actions, which diverted authorities away from more important matters. He also demanded absolute loyalty to him, and full assimilation into Earth’s lifestyle. Earth values. Earth ideas. Earth culture. Not exactly a good idea for an alien immigrant.
And with aliens being increasingly pushed out of legitimate jobs, it was a no-win situation.
The DEO was being disbanded. The Congress had ruled that it was no longer necessary, and was in fact a danger to the country’s National Security, having failed to detect an impostor like Olivia Marsdin rising to power in the elections, or worse, collaborated with her. It was being replaced by a special task force created by the military, headed by a man who made General Lane look nice, whose purpose was to arrest and imprison illegal aliens. This, the politicians insisted, was the best solution to the ‘problem’ of aliens taking legitimate human jobs. The Daxamite invasion had given anti-alien parties, who were always on the fringe, the opportunity to come to the mainstream and seize power. They still had a month left before they were no longer allowed to work at this facility, but the clock was ticking. When Kara had found out, it had taken all she had not to fly to Washington and immediately kill the man with her heat vision, because she knew the plans he had for them. Hitler on Earth-X would have been proud.
The situation was looking increasingly grim. People still idolized Supergirl, and Superman, in some parts, but the rest of the country was too easily by the quick, empty promises of “jobs for all” and “Humanity first!” promises fueled by the politicians who were even now plotting to exterminate aliens, even as they greedily prepared to hoard their technology, for Earth’s advancement.
She had tried, oh Rao had Kara tried, and Alex tried, and J’onn tried, and even Maggie tried, which was as awkward a reconnecting experience for Alex as you should believe, but in the end their efforts had come to nothing. Humanity was going down a dark path, and there was nothing they could do to save it. Astra was right. It pained Kara to admit it, but her Aunt had been absolutely right. And even the elder Martian, much as he hated to admit it, was forced to concede that humanity had thoroughly disappointed him with its promises of peace and acceptance, which had quickly turned into lies. The elder Kryptonian had a point. Humanity was not capable of ruling themselves.
Kara was just sorry it took them this long to see it.
And so the decision was made. With the situation looking increasingly hopeless, they would move to another Earth. It was the only way to save their lives, and avoid permanently the grasp of Lillian Luthor, who had grown insanely powerful in the past few months.
Naturally, the solution was shocking to some people, at first. It was insane. Some people were shocked by it, and the protests were loud and clearly defined. How could they be expected to leave their world, for a completely different Earth?!? Not to mention, universe. This was their home. Some wanted to stay and fight for it. But Alex, and Kara, knew the truth. It wasn’t their world, anymore. It hadn’t been their world since the President held up a photo of Supergirl and said that she should either follow their demands completely, or else be killed or get the hell completely off their planet. It hadn’t been Alex’s world since military Generals spit at her and said that gays and lesbians were just as much “others” as aliens, and should be rounded up, too. It wasn’t J’onn’s world anymore since he was threatened by a military insider that he should be killed for taking a human man’s job and using it for “perverse enabling”, even though he was a genocide survivor. The genocide survivor, in fact. No human had ever lost as much as J’onn.
They didn’t want to impose on Barry and the other citizens of Earth 1 at first. It would just be selfish to expect them to take in a bunch of people with no prior warning whatsoever, and expect them to accommodate their needs. So instead, with their help, they began looking at the various Earths in existence, with Cisco’s help. Some of them were…interesting. Some of them were ghastly. But all of them had one flaw: they weren’t quite suited to accommodate the population that it needed to. So they had settled on Earth 1, after a long debate. But they weren’t just going to turn tail and run. Oh, no. They were going to take the alien population of this planet with them. It would be careless, and exceedingly selfish of them, to save themselves with no thought as to the innocent civilians who were being persecuted. And in the end, all but the most ardent employees of the DEO had agreed. This would be a mass migration, and they were going to relocate to another Earth, one where the worst aspects of humanity hadn’t yet taken hold and there was still hope.
The idea to relocate to another country was brought up first, of course. Why did you need to relocate to another Earth, when countries in Europe like France and countries like Canada were still welcoming aliens, and other refugees? But the United States had already threatened military action against countries which harbored alien fugitives, which prompted those other countries to make their own declarations of military force if attacked, and other countries in the world had soon gotten into the fray. Some countries were fueled solely by religion, while other countries fervently protested that they needed to defend the “human way of life”, whatever that was. (Never mind that nobody had agreed on what that was in the 10,000+ years that humanity had been rising to power.) The situation was a “clusterfuck”, as Mick on Earth 1 would put it. This was more than just a bad situation. This was headed to a World War. With nuclear weapons. No, an alternate Earth was the only solution.
The aliens were surprisingly easy to convince. Most of them were from other planets, and they had been to many planets, and traveled around the galaxy looking for a new home. To them, another Earth was just a different planet. What was the difference? The same principals of the universe still applied. Gravity was still gravity. Food was to be eaten. Ships needed fuel to fly. And everyone needed a home to live in. So J’onn had secretly used his DEO resources to have all the aliens in the world brought to him, Alex had used her resources, Kara had pleaded with everyone as Supergirl, and Maggie had used every last shred of resources she had to let aliens in this country, and in other countries around the world, know that there was a place where they could come to for refuge. It wasn’t much. There were a few hundred aliens, maybe a thousand, who had come here to Earth as refugees, fleeing from wars and famines and crises. There was no alien invasion, as Lillian Luthor espoused angrily on TV, no plot to completely conquer the Earth and enslave humanity. There was only a group of people looking for a new home.
Kara was pleased by the outcome. She would have never thought in her wildest dreams that they could get it done so fast. She wished they didn’t have to do it. She wished badly they could have negotiated some kind of peace, or land where aliens could live peacefully. Moving to another Earth was a large step, especially for a group of people almost numbering a thousand, and it sounded insane. But they had no choice. Even the wisdom of her mother, through the A.I. that contained her memory, couldn’t help her with this one. She’d had enough.
She wasn’t the only one. Diana had retreated back to Themyscira and her Amazon sisters, being sickened by Man’s bigotry and prejudice. She could no longer stomach the evil they tried to pass off as righteousness. Their Gods had erected a stronger barrier around Themyscira this time, to keep humans away from the island until they were ready. It turned out their Gods, or at least some of them, weren’t as dead as they thought. Kara thought that should alarm her somehow, that the ancient Gods were once again above humanity, and probably plotting its destruction, but somehow she couldn’t bring herself to care.
Batman wanted to build a watchtower over the planet, where he and Superman could oversee the Earth from there and respond to any crisis, whether it was caused by the government or civilians, and he invited them all to stay up in there in the mean time. But Kara knew that wasn’t a solution, just a temporary respite. They wouldn’t be leaving the world’s problems behind, they would just be lingering above them past the atmosphere. And Kara was under no illusions that a fusion cannon mounted on the watchtower, under the guise of “security’, wouldn't cause a huge issue with the countries below. Kara could all too easily imagine a nuclear missile blowing out of the sky, along with all the people on it. The social issues with what Bruce was proposing were so numerous that not even all of Bruce Wayne’s millions of dollars in the world would be able to fix it, and resolve the situation to everyone’s satisfaction.
Not to mention, that wouldn’t eliminate the people who wanted to kill them outright. And so Kara was forced to pass on Bruce’s proposal, along with Clark.
There were also rumors of an underwater civilization, lurking beneath the Atlantic, getting ready to wage war on the surface world. Kara hoped those dark rumors wouldn’t prove to be founded too, but there seemed to be more than a little credibility to them. But Kara didn’t know anything about that. Clark hadn’t told her anything more than that. Nor could she particularly bring herself to care at that moment.
The Green Lanterns had barricaded Earth. Apparently Earth was now considered a danger to the universe, with its rampant hatred and aggressive actions towards aliens, and the Guardians had demanded that no one was to be allowed to go there or come from there, no exceptions. Unless they were already an experienced space traveler, and were willing to accept the risks, including punishment for any situations that arose decided by the Guardians themselves. That was the only loophole. It was almost funny, Lillian Luthor had been worried about a race of aliens invading Earth. Instead, she was now going to find that the oldest beings in the universe had decreed that Earth was off-limits, and its astronauts wouldn’t be allowed to progress beyond Pluto, even if they managed to create the necessary technology to achieve prolonged space travel. Lillian Luthor had achieved the unthinkable – she had permanently confined humanity to the Earth, for eternity. A conversation with Hal Jordan, Earth’s assigned Green Lantern, whom she hadn’t even known about until today, confirmed that the situation was quite grim, and the Guardians were incredibly disappointed in Earth’s progress. So much so, that another Green Lantern from Earth, after his and Rayner’s deaths, might not be chosen for generations, if ever. It was ghastly.
He wasn’t the only one. Clark had told her about something else, something that had sent the hairs on the back of her neck standing up in fright. Darkseid was coming. Somewhere deep in space, there lurked an alien who was literally a god. A ruthless tyrant, in search of the Anti-Life Equation, which would supposedly let him rule over all of existence. And now his sights were set on Earth. Earth was just one of the many planets on his path to searching for the fabled magical element. Clark had tried to warn them about it, but they had dismissed him as a “no-nothing, good for nothing” alien who just wanted to conquer the Earth at the Pentagon, and he was forced to just let it go. And there was nothing they could do about it. That one was painful. It went against all of Kara’s instincts as a trained superhero to ignore this potential threat to her adopted home planet, every ounce of care she had towards millions of innocent civilians, and the Apocalypse she knew was looming. She wanted so badly to fight against this absolute monster, this aberration against all that was good and pure, and defend her people and her homeland. The Anti-Life Equation had so far proven to be just a mere fable, but he would still cause horrific amounts of damage in his pursuit of it. Madmen always took down millions of innocents, even when their goals were ridiculous. But the humans had refused their help. And there was absolutely nothing they could do. Kal-El held her, probably for the first time in several months. He just held her. Because she had cried. Kara had cried when she realized that. They were going to be slaughtered, if they didn’t slaughter themselves first, and there was nothing they could do to prevent it.
Clark wasn’t coming with them, though. Kara had invited him, and Rao she would have loved to have him, to finally reconnect with him on a large scale after all these years, but he had a different mission in mind. Clark was going to leave to search for any remaining Kryptonian settlements and colonies, out in the universe. Clark refused to believe that there was nothing left of Krypton. Krypton had once been a source of magnificent exploration and civilization. There had to be some of that left, somewhere. And with mankind deciding it no longer needed him, now was the perfect opportunity. Although Lois had been disappointed, she had leveled him with such a glare when he suggested she stay behind that even the Man of Steel felt his resolve break apart into pieces and he shivered all over his body. She was going with him. No way was she going to stay behind on a world with here General father, and a society of idiotic alien haters.
Lois Lane was already experienced with space travel, through her bizarre adventures with Superman sometimes, so the feisty brunette reporter was better prepared than most. Kara had no doubt the reporter was looking forward to whatever new scoops and fascinating amounts of info she could get out in the universe, and the challenge of it all, to bring back to Earth and earn herself a couple Pulitzers in case they ever did reform. Despite what Lucy had told her, Kara knew Lois always did like roughing it, from what Clark had told her. A habit born from her abandonment issues with her father.
Kara wished she could go with him, but she had too much to lose. She had her friends, her family, and a world where she was welcome, and loved. And she was unwilling to give that up, not even for the chance at a new hope for Krypton. Kara was too much of a realist. She couldn’t pin her hopes on the wisp of a chance that somewhere, out there, Kryptonians still lived. And the archive in Alura’s memory was incomplete. Clark was on his own on this one.
At least he had Hal Jordan, who had vowed to look after him. They were best friends, and had been so for some time. Kara felt comfortable in leaving her cousin’s fate, and that of his wife, to him. The Guardians were fond of Superman, despite his extreme power (usually a turn-off for them), and would do their best to ensure that he didn’t get into any trouble which he couldn’t handle. Not on his own, at any rate.
It wasn’t fair to Bruce. With both Clark and Kara gone, Bruce would be the last bastion on justice left in the world, the last source of light against the darkness. It would be up to him, using WayneTech’s resources and his fighting abilities as Batman – to reform the world, and guide it once again onto the right path. Even Commissioner Gordon had said it to him, that Batman was rapidly becoming the last source of good in a world that was rapidly descending into insanity. A tough assignment for anyone, especially a man who had very few allies left. He would have to make his own, in this new, harsh world, and find new ways to hold back the darkness and fight against those who would do the world wrong, aliens and humans alike. But there was no choice. Clark and Kara, as well as the others, were not going to sacrifice what chance they left at happiness, on the off chance that Bruce was right and humanity could be reformed. They had responsibilities too, to their families, and their supporters. The situation was a rotten one, and one nobody had asked for.
And in the end, even the mighty Batman was forced to agree.
“You have to do what’s best for your family, Clark. I never had that chance, it was taken from me when I was a young boy. You have a chance to live a normal life, or at least be heroes on a world that appreciates you. You and Kara, you owe it to yourselves to take it.” That was what he had said to her cousin.
And that was that.
He had never spoken to her in person. All the communicating was done through her cousin. Kara had the feeling Bruce didn’t like to get attached. If he had spoken with them, Alex, J’onn, and the others, it may have caused him to doubt his commitment to the cause. Which would be bad. Because then there would be no one left to reform the Earth, possibly.
Kara wiped at her eyes, trying to get her emotions under control. It wasn’t all bad news, and there were some positive aspects to their initial departure from this particular world, as difficult as that was to believe. Winn had called it their oncoming, “Exodus from Crapsack World!”, to some of their displeasure, because of the seriousness of their situation.
Lena was going with them! Lena had tried to use her status of CEO of L-Corp to help people savaged by her brother’s legacy, but more and more often the times found anti-alien advocates using L-Corp’s resources for their own cause, sometimes against her will. Lillian Luthor had once held primary shares in L-Corp, and with her views getting so popular Lillian had been able to reclaim large stakes in the company. Lena had tried to hold them back, but the enemies were too numerous, too powerful even with the DEO’s help. And so Lena had had enough. She was not going to be a party to the genocidal and criminal actions her brother had popularized, and which her mother insisted on redoing. She wasn’t Tony Stark, bending over backwards to satisfy the government as Iron Man. This was real life, and things had consequences. But that didn’t mean she was just going to leave her company to the wolves, and skip out on the planet. No, she was better than that. She was going to leave her company to someone who would use it to do right in people’s lives.
Which meant a sale to Bruce Wayne. It would have to be approved by the board, but someone like Bruce knew just what to say to get even people like that on his side. After he had them under his thumb, then he could start with the firings and replacing personnel. Even Lillian, with her large number of shares, wouldn’t be able to say no to it. Lena was counting on that. She knew full well Bruce Wayne was the Batman, and knew that he, out of all people, stood the best chance at making L-Corp something to be proud of. Kara had protested at first, that Lena couldn’t just leave her world behind; Kara would never ask Lena to leave her world behind just to accompany her, if she really didn’t want to go, but the CEO was casual about it. She was tired of being judged by people’s standards for being a Luthor, and being expected to participate in whatever evil venture was popular at the time. To Lena, it was no sacrifice; she would be with her friend, and her friends, who had finally accepted her after all this time, and she would be leaving a world behind that really did nothing except hate or pity her. Kara couldn’t believe how blasé Lena was about the whole thing. She was asking Lena to move to another Earth! To any other person, that would have been huge! But not to her. Lena saw it as an opportunity; a chance to make something of herself away from the judging stares and the Luthor reputation. Lena had never wanted to run a company in the first place; her heart was solely in the research part of being a scientist and engineer. She was simply getting back to her roots, and was looking forward to working with some on the people Kara had mentioned. Kara wished she could see it that positively.
Kara missed the touch at her arm that indicated Alex was nearby. Her sister stood at her side, giving her a smile that was gentle, but concerned.
Alex regarded her carefully. “Are you okay?” she asked, her voice full of warmth.
Kara nodded to herself, crossing her arms over her chest. “I’m just…sad,” she admitted, as if that word could ever encompass all the emotions. It was the closest thing, though. “I wish we didn’t have to leave,” she sighed.
Alex’s face was stern, resolute. “I won’t let them kill you. I won’t let them kill J’onn. No matter what they say, I would never let those bastards kill you. And that is exactly what would happen if we stay here. When even the goddamn Batman is telling you that you have to leave, and you would die if you stay here…” Alex trailed off, serious but with a wry tone in her voice.
Kara sighed. “…Then we would probably die if we stay here,” she finished for her, somewhat lamely. It was a sinking feeling, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t true.
Alex nodded. “That man has seen the darkest parts of human nature in his city. If he says there’s a good chance of it happening, then I believe him at this point,” she stated. “Either way, I’m not going to take the risk. You mean more to me than anything else in the world, and I’m not going to risk your safety by staying here to fight for a cause that’s rapidly losing the war,” she said.
Kara nodded teary-eyed, touched by her sister’s devotion but not willing to start a crying episode now. “How’s Maggie? I’d hoped she was okay, despite everything. Is Maggie coming with us, to Earth 1?”
Alex shook her head. “No, she’s going to stay here and fight. She says if there’s no one here to stand up for the youths and innocents who need it, it’s going to be worse. I tried to talk her out of it, but she wouldn’t budge. She said this is her home.” Her face told the entire story. She said nothing more after that. Alex had loved Maggie, Kara knew. And she didn’t want Maggie to have to stay on this wretched Rao forsaken excuse for a world, if there was even a chance she would accept their help, despite everything that had happened. But she and Alex were just too different. They had different goals in life, and different places they wanted to end up in. And if she wanted to stay here and help people, then Kara honestly couldn’t agree with her, but she didn’t begrudge her for it either. She wished she still shared some of the optimism that the tiny dimpled detective carried in her, despite her world weary cynicism.
“I wish you could stay here, so you could be together with her. You shouldn’t have to leave your home,” Kara said carefully, testing to see how much of Alex’s devotion to Maggie remained.
“Home is where your family is,” Alex said, without hesitation. There was no trace of the pain she had felt earlier in life at losing Maggie there. She had truly moved on.
Kara sighed quietly to herself in relief. She didn’t want Alex doing something she would regret later on, if there was any doubt. She knew Alex had sounded certain, that she wanted to accompany her sister on this journey, but she had to be absolutely sure. Kara would never forgive herself if she did that; if she robbed Alex of an opportunity she wanted to pursue.
“We’ll be all right, as long as we have each other,” Alex said with determination, stepping close to her beloved sister.
Kara’s face fell. “I failed them, Alex,” she said sadly.
“You did everything you could,” Alex countered. “You did everything I could possibly expect you to do. And I should know, I’m the older, wiser sister,” Alex said, with a not-so-small self-satisfied smirk.
Kara laughed at that; a small one, but a laugh to be sure. “I wouldn’t be sure about the latter,” she teased.
Alex scoffed. “You don’t get a vote, as the younger sister,” she said.
Kara laughed again, blinking away the tears. They hugged each other tightly, clinging to each other as if the world depended on them being together. Kara felt much better now than she had before, because she had realized something critical: Alex was right. She was.
They would be all right, as long as they had each other. Home wasn’t a piece of land with buildings and trees on it. Home was a place, a restful place where you could come back to, where your family and those you loved the most awaited you. This base could be home, and it was once, in a sense. A ship could be home; it certainly had been for many people. Home could even be an island in the middle of nowhere, removed from the modern world, or a crappy apartment where you shared Chinese food with your sister and her girlfriend, and their weird dog; while listening to Justin Timberlake tunes, no less. A memory Kara very much looked forward to making one day, if she did say so very much.
Home was your family, and the people that you loved more than anyone, who cared about you more than anyone and supported you in turn.
It was a feeling; something that you held tightly to your chest and never let go, even during the darkest of times. Nothing could take that away from you. As long as they had each other, there would always be a home for them, anywhere in the cosmos.
They would be all right.