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Seeing Red

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Do not own CW or DC characters

 

Chapter 1 Old Friends and First Loves.

Kara slipped out of bed, put on her robe and left the man sleeping. She quietly unscrewed the red lightbulb and slipped into the front area of her loft. It still seemed strange, the quiet on most nights, not hearing Alex’s heartbeat in their room. At times she still woke up in a panic at the absence of the sound she had become attuned to after eleven years of sharing a room, first in Midvale and then here.

Alex was living her life. It had taken Kara months to convince her to move in with Cameron Chase. She listened to every argument against work place relationships, taking their on again off again relationship to the next level, etc. What it came down to was after all this time, since first finding her and Clark from that rocky hole in the ground, Alex was still not convinced Kara could take care of herself.

Her concern was legitimate. Despite being the greatest hero and champion of the world to millions and the Anti Christ and devil to some, depending on who was asked, Kara’s demons had not gone away.  She had not had any suicidal thoughts in a couple years and only one real attempt two years before. Unfortunately, that attempt was nearly successful leading her adopted parents to place her under protection in the med bay at the DEO for weeks on suicide watch while her therapist Jessica spoke to her for hours everyday. Eliza and Jeremiah finally gave in and tried anti depressants they had designed for her. They had made her immune to Kryptonite when she was 18 and hoped they could finally relieve her crippling depression. Nothing worked, but the misplaced guilt over the tragedy that drove her to the suicide attempt did lessen.At least Kara convinced them that it had. She was eventually released on the condition she moved in with her adopted parents and Clark for three months and refrained from flying off and saving anyone or fighting any villains.

Kara knew she was screwed up and probably always had been. Her problems, her demons had not gone away when she killed Astra and Non, just taken different forms. The blonde opened a cabinet and pulled out the Thanagarian Whiskey she kept in the very back, when she wasn’t hiding it from inspections by her loved ones. Pouring a very large glass, Kara walked to the large window of her loft and gazed at the National City downtown area, the skyscrapers, the monuments, the hotels. Being 2 AM, the city was quiet.

Kara protected this city.

She also protected Metropolis, nearly the entire United States, many European countries, wherever she was needed. She no longer became involved in every crime that she heard in the city. If police arrived she stayed away unless it appeared to need her intervention and only then when she was invited. Of course the police always involved her, knowing what Cat Grant would do to them in print if they refused her offer of assistance and the worst happened because she wasn’t allowed to help.  Only metahumans, aliens, natural disasters or lives being threatened in fires or car accidents brought her for certain.

Unfortunately the Fort Rozz escapees she had not captured or killed, occasionally showed up on the East or West Coast, finally working up courage over the years to take a shot at the champion of Earth. Some she captured and handed over to the DEO. Most of them, she took to the desert and beat to death. The Kryptonian never used her heat vision in her battles in the middle of nowhere. Every fool who challenged her was an opportunity to release the rage she still kept in her heart. Kara knew many styles of fighting as Astra and Non had learned and did not need heat vision to kill.

Taking a long drink from her tall glass, she relaxed a bit as the liquid warmed her inside. It helped on nights she could not sleep or nights when she did not want to sleep, like tonight. Kara did not enjoy sleeping with him in her bed. She either had to deal with the red sunlight tint or turn it off and risk breaking her long time partner if she had a nightmare and woke up swinging.

Partner.

That was what he was, all he had ever been. He showed up and she used him then sent him away. Living on the other side of the country, she had hoped he would lose interest, become tired of her constant reminding that what they had would never come to anything. Of course he never did. Eventually Kara would have to tell him to stay away and find some other guy to stave off the loneliness but she couldn’t seem to quit him yet. She liked him, always had. He was her first and only so far, after all. He and Bruce had fought by her and Alex’s side in the battle of the Myriad base, had been her partner in many investigations and battles against humans she could not let loose on. Though her and Bruce worked together much more and much better, than she did with him, unlike Alex and Bruce he never preached restraint. He never preached anything. 

Taking another drink she laughed quietly when Streaky jumped on her, clawing her cotton robe and scaling up to her shoulder where she loved to stay. Something about Kara’s hair had always been an addiction to the alley cat that had found her and refused to go away.

“Can’t sleep either? I know you don’t like him but he is a good guy. Don’t worry, he will be gone in the morning and it will be the two of us again, I promise. Then you can reclaim your sleep spot.”

The two continued to stare out the window, Kara continuing to drink and Streaky purring until the cat hissed and jumped off her shoulder. With a red sun light, Kara would not have heard him but without it, no one could sneak up on her, no matter how quiet. A heart beat could only be quieted one way, one the blonde was very familiar with.

An arm slipped around her from behind and a chest pressed to her back.

“Do you think that cat is ever going to like me?” Dick Grayson, AKA Nightwing, asked the blonde.

“Maybe she is trying to tell you something.” Kara told him. “Why did you come tonight, Grayson?”

“Last name? I haven’t spent enough time here to make you angry. I think you know why I came tonight. I missed you.”

“You missed me? How in the hell can you miss me? I treat you horribly. What does it take to get you to move on? I would imagine you can have your pick of women. There has to be one or two attractive females in Bludhaven, even if it is worse than the Narrows.”

“I don’t want other women.”

“And I don’t want you. I don’t want anybody.” Kara told him, not for the first time or even the hundredth. 

“And yet you still let me in. Have you ever considered that I am the only guy who can actually understand you? Maybe if you weren’t so scared to admit feelings you…”

“You don’t understand me. If you did, I would worry for your sanity.”

“I spent my teen years with Bruce Wayne. My sanity left me long ago.” he countered.

“No, it didn’t. You have held on to your heart, to your mind. Despite what has happened to you, Dick Grayson, you are a good person. You aren’t like me or Bruce and that is a good thing. Don’t loose it. If I let you into my life, really let you in, it would destroy you. There isn’t happiness to be found here. Not with me.”

“Maybe not, but you are here. Thats good enough for me.”

Kara shook her head and took another drink, this time draining the glass.

“I’m done. If you come back, I’m not letting you back in. Stay in Bludhaven.”

“You say that every time and yet here we are.”

“I’m serious this time, Dick" Kara practically yelled. "I can’t keep doing this too you. I don’t love you. This isn’t me playing hard to get or being afraid to express my emotions. It is the way it is. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to or want to love a man. Please don’t make me hurt you anymore.”

Dick’s argument was cut off by Darth Vader’s theme music playing in the background. He knew that ringtone was reserved for only one man.

“Its 2 AM, you don’t have to answer him every time he calls, you know? He can take care of himself. He likes to remind everyone of that.”

Kara ignored him and answered.

“Whats wrong, Bruce?” 

Kara knew he never called her this late unless something was wrong. A bomb that the so called Joker had planted, that he needed her vision and hearing to find, a homicidal monster pumped up on steroids named Bane who constantly escaped. Perhaps she would get to kill him this time without her friend preaching about justice. Kara knew justice. She didn’t need the Batman giving her lessons on his version which involved branding and causing brain damage due to slamming bad guys heads into cement blocks.

“I figured out what that sharp energy spike in Central City was. I think my theory about alternate universes is true.”

“I’ll call you back in the air.” Kara told him immediately. 

One week ago a sharp spike in power, one not seen since a black hole opened up over Central City a year before, had occurred. Fearing another black hole and not counting on the red speedster to stop it this time, she had Clark, Jeremiah and Eliza sent to the Fortress, ready to leave this planet as soon as she and Alex determined the extent of the damage and could join them. Over the years, Kara had built a rather large ship, expanding her and Clark's orignal pod and had the flgiht plans to several habitable planets that her family could easily thrive on.

Fortunately the power spike picked up by Kelex disappeared without a particle accelerator explosion or black hole opening over S.T.A.R. Labs. Kara had been halfway to Central City with Alex and her jet behind her when Bruce told her the event seemed to have stopped. The blonde was hell bent on raiding S.T.A.R. Labs and finally putting an end to the seemingly endless Armageddon causing experiments they must have constantly conducted.

Bruce talked her out of it, asking for time to investigate before Kara scared the entire world by taking apart a large structure in the middle of a large city.

Now she had an answer, part of an answer at least.

Rushing into the bedroom, she came out in an alternate costume, one of many she never wore during the day, due to the hell Cat Grant raised about her public image and her adopted father raised about people trying to look up the short blue skirt. He wasn’t a fan of the blue midriff  exposing top either. Her argument that a woman needed options did not sway his mind.

Taking off out the window without a word, she left Dick Grayson standing there in boxers being hissed at by an incredibly annoying cat.

“Just you and me, Streaky. No matter what I do or where I go, Bruce will always have a way of ruining my nights. You know she loves me, right? She will come around. Six years we have been doing this. She tells me to stay away and lets me in when I show up. I’m thinking of moving to National City. Best we become friends, huh? I’m talking to the damn cat. Get it together, Grayson.”

 He heard the door being opened and turned quickly, not being able to guess who would enter Kara’s home so late but imagining it couldn't be good. Moving quickly to the kitchen, he grabbed a butcher knife from the drawer and stood in the dark kitchen corner.

The light flicked on.

“Put whatever homemade weapon or knife you have on you down, Grayson. I saw your bike in the garage. I can’t believe you rode cross country.”

Dick straightened up, no longer in attack stance as Alex Danvers, DEO agent during the day and the vigilante known as Manhunter to some, and as Supergirl’s partner to others, walked in. The two had fought side by side many times while Kara and Bruce were out playing, both in Gotham and National City. They even busted up a few weapons deals in Metropolis every now and then until the gun runners got the message.

“Alex? Kind of late for a visit.” he mentioned, eyeing the bag in her hand.

“Yeah, this isn’t a visit. I’m moving back in.”

Grayson shook his head.

“Kara doesn’t need you to watch out for her.”

 “Oh yeah? I can smell that foul alien alcohol from the hallway and the glass is empty. Besides, I’m not moving back in at 3 AM because I woke up and decided she was going to try and kill herself again, or maybe accidentally drink herself to death. My significant other doesn’t think I am significant any longer. Cameron has decided to become the Deputy Director of the DEO’s Metropolis office. Apparently she wants to go alone. Feels we need space. She is leaving in the morning and I sure as hell wasn’t going to sleep there tonight and say goodbye.”

Dick was not surprised. Cameron Chase and Alex Danvers had been an item since Alex was 19 and Chase was 24. The relationship had good times in the beginning from what he understood but Alex preferred to spend her nights riding the town, looking for trouble, conducting research into threats Kelex had found, or taking on metahumans and aliens with Kara.

Chase saw the DEO as a career for her to climb to the top of and Alex saw the DEO and being a vigilante at night as her passion and what she was meant for in life. It would never have worked out in the long term. They both wanted different things and the different things were far apart. The lives they led, all of them, he wondered, not for the first time, if it was worth the sacrifice. Alex and him had zero personal lives and Kara and Bruce had too many demons to count for either to consider being in a relationship. Kara was convinced she was incapable of loving someone romantically and the only action Bruce had gotten in years was from a cat burglar in very tight vinyl.

“Kara just went to meet my competition for her time. Besides you I mean. Bruce called, probably with someone to fight so she is in the air to wherever he is. Its no wonder TMZ is always spreading the rumor that the Gotham City Bat and Supergirl are having an affair. I’ll take the couch, you can have the bed.”

Alex laughed at that idea. “Absolutely not. Judging by the fact that you are here and half naked, it is obvious what has gone on in that bed tonight. I’ll drop my bag in there and take the couch. I’m not in the mood for sleep anyway. You know she already subleased the place? Said she knew I would move back in with Kara. She was right I guess. I wouldn’t stay in that apartment another second. We moved in together because she thought it would pull us closer, solve some of our problems. That was a great idea obviously."

Grayson walked into the bedroom and came back out a minute later, dressed in jeans and a white tee shirt. Walking to the fridge he pulled the bottle of human safe Jack Daniels that Kara kept for nights she wore her bracelet and wanted to sober up quickly if someone were coming over. He poured his sometimes crime fighting partner a glass as well as his.

Alex sipped hers, not really in the mood to have a drink. She had too much on her mind and Kara drank enough for both of them.

“I’m done with her this time. If she asks me to go to Metropolis in a few months, I am still done. I told her that tonight. Apparently I am obsessive about everything but her.”

“Maybe you should give up the late night crime fighting.” Dick suggested. “It isn’t like the cops are incompetent in this city.”

“Dick, I found a couple orphans in a cave once and have taken care of them ever since. I made that decision and I have never regretted it. I still don’t and she still needs help. No matter what she has accomplished in a lot of ways she is still that scared girl in the cave with a baby, in over her head. You are right, the cops can take care of some things but the metas and aliens? Kara does great, unless she is drunk.”

“The public has never seen her drunk.” he argued.

“Yeah, they have, they just don’t realize it. If you ever see her take a punch and fall back, she is drunk. Nothing on this Earth is as strong or as fast as she is. Nobody has as much rage as she does. No one and nothing can beat her in a fight, especially when she is angry. I get it, I have been with her through everything and if you don’t think she needs protection from herself you then you are an idiot.”

“Kara has been living on her own for four months…”

‘And has been drinking every night. She used to cut herself, break her bones, burn herself with her heat vision. She tried to commit suicide when she was 14 and then when she was 22 using a straight razor and one of those damn red lights. If Mom hadn’t found her when she did, Kara would have died on the bathroom floor. She used to harm herself to forget for a little while, but then the guilt would come. Now she is using alcohol and you instead of pain. You need to stop sleeping with her, Dick. She is using you and if she hurts you it will be just another thing she will feel guilty about. You don’t deserve it either."

“I’m a big boy. I can handle hurt. Trust me, Alex, she tells me all the time to leave her alone. She won’t need to feel any guilt, because I am stupid enough to keep coming back. What am I supposed to do? I love her.”

Alex passed her still full glass to Grayson who had drained his.

“I don’t know, Dick. I really don’t. Bruce can keep her from going over the edge tonight. I am going to lay on the couch and try to sleep, for a few hours anyway. Kara can help move my stuff tomorrow night.”

Dick smiled, recognizing the look in her eyes. 

“I brought my suit. We could go for a ride, maybe by the docks? I am sure there is something that needs our attention. Alfred is up and I am betting Brother Eye is fired up. Want to have a little fun?”

Alex thought about it, then unzipped her bag, pulling out the copper and silver armored suit, expandable compressed light baton that could break concrete and her two favorite guns.

“Hell yes, Nightwing. I really need to hit something or someone tonight. Preferably an evil blonde named Cameron who is bent on world domination.”

While the Manhunter and Nightwing prepared to have their version of fun in National City, Kara was flying towards Central City passing Mach 2 and climbing.

“Talk to me Bruce. What have you found out?”

“There was some sort of large machine, a vertical circle and it appears the Flash and this Zoom character were racing. Then there were two Flashes…”

“Two? How in the hell were their two? You told me to stay out of Central City business and let this Flash guy handle it. Now there are two of them? Could it be a time remnant? Tell me this guy can’t time travel, Bruce."

“It is possible he recruited a Flash from an alternate dimension or if time travel is a technique he has learned, it very well could have been a time remnant. The second Flash continued to run and burned up from the speed but did destroy the machine. The other Flash, the one I believe is the actual Flash, took Zoom on in combat and won.The readings Brother Eye were picking up were unheard of. I do believe that tachyons were being used and the machine was a possible merger of universes. It appears to have belonged to this Zoom. From what I could see after the Flash defeated him, Zoom was torn…”

“The Flash defeated Zoom? Because the last time I saw Zoom on television he was carrying the Flash through the streets. I go to the other side of the world to help with recovery efforts from the Tsunami and a hoard of metas attacked Central City. I should have dealt with this when I got back. Why the hell did you insist I stay out of Central City business, again? I could have taken this Zoom guy’s head off in seconds. A dose of freeze breath at absolute zero and a strike to shatter his skull and it would have been over.”

“The Flash has been getting better and Central City is still safe. He dealt with the metas. Now I am wondering if they were from sort of alternate universe. If you had gotten involved he never would have felt confident. You can’t police the world, Kara, no matter how hard you try. He is doing well and the city is safe.”

“You think Central City is safe? I had my family minutes away from being rocketed to another solar system to avoid a black hole over S.T.A.R. labs. First Harrison Wells and the particle accelerator explosion, then the anomaly over S.T.A.R. and now some machine that almost merged theoretical alternate universes. I want answers. I’m not staying out of it any longer.”

“We are there to investigate and talk. Stay calm.”

“I am as calm as the situation calls for.” Kara told him.

“There is something else you should know. I hesitate to tell you this but it is important that you do not lose control if you see him. Brother Eye has picked up something else. I have had it searching Central City going back as far as six months to try and pinpoint this Zoom character’s identity. Kara…Harrison Wells is not dead. He has been working out of S.T.A.R.”

Kara’s anger intensified. Since she was 18, she had stayed out of Barry Allen’s life for his own protection. After hearing Lex Luthor threaten his life to manipulate Kara, she realized any sort of relationship they could have had, never could have happened. She had cut off contact and purposely avoided visiting Central City.

But she did read the news.

First, Barry had been struck by lighting caused by a dark matter cloud from the particle accelerator explosion then two years later, Harrison Wells, the same Harrison Wells who had supposedly been sucked into a black hole admitted on video to killing Barry’s mother. Kara wanted to kill him.

But he was alredy dead.

And now he wasn’t.

“He is a dead man legally. I plan to make it a reality. By the time you arrive, I will already have taken care of it. I may even fly him to the moon. I haven’t made a trip there in a while.Turn around and go back to Gotham.”

“I’m actually five minutes from S.T.A.R. I started before I called you. You cannot kill, Kara. The world watches everything you do. This is a very public place in a large city.”

“Then why the hell did you call me at all?!” Kara shouted.

“I believe I have a way of stopping the Flash if I need to, in the event he is working with or protecting Wells. If it doesn’t work, I may need you…”

“To treat him like Zoom treated him?" Kara guessed. "You don’t want me to kill Wells? Fine, I will put him in a coma. That hit man working for Falcone that you took out last week, is in a coma. Remember that? You slammed his head through a concrete wall. Why do you give me crap about killing bad guys while you have no problem putting them in permanent comas?”

“I may have gone too far.” the Batman admitted. “He was armed as were his friends. I did not have time to play nice.”

“Whatever Bruce. Once again, your methods are fine, mine aren’t. You can use a brand but if I burn someone with heat vision its wrong.”

“Because you are who you are, Kara!" Bruce told her, again, over and over through the years. "You are who the world looks to for the best. The world does not expect that of me. If I brand someone, I am a criminal, nothing new. My job is to scare criminals to the point that they do not want to be on the streets any longer. You are the symbol this world needs when people feel threatened. Like it or not, you have to be seen in public behaving differently than I do. How many damn times do I have to tell you this?”

“About 422 by my count in the last six years and I still think it is hypocritical. We can argue later while I am improving your toys. I’m three minutes away. Go in and I will stay above. If I see Wells, I am coming inside in a dramatic fashion, superhero landing, one knee, hair flip and the slow motion rise. I may even let the eyes glow so he knows how screwed he is.”

Batman took a deep breath, thinking he shuld probably have taken his chances with the Flash on his own. "The public is not surprised by my tactics. Yours will always be scrutinized. Some of those cults that worship you may find another savior if you are seen blowing up labs with your heat vision. Also keep in mind that we do not know what other experiments are inside and if you hit one with heat vision it could cause a chain reaction..."

“Bruce?’ Supergirl interupted. “Shut up and do what you do and I will do what I do. One way or another, I am not staying out of Central City business any longer. I am sick of the end of the world scenarios.”

“I stayed out of Star City and your hooded friend dropping more bodies than the men he was after at your request and you stayed out of Central City. That was the deal. The Flash is young, new, but he has saved the city and by extension the world and shows a lot of potential. He could be a valuable ally for us, Kara. He stopped the anomaly, he stopped whatever machine this was. Give S.T.A.R. a chance to explain. If Harrison Wells is alive I will take him in.”

“As far as a teammate we do fine on our own." Kara told him one again, a discussion they had multiple times over the years.  "If there is something J’onn, Alex and Dick aren’t enough to handle I can send a message to Lobo. All you ever talk about is this damn team you want to form. You are starting to give me an inferiority complex. I see the building…and I see you. You go in, but if I hear anything I don’t like, I will light that place up.”

“Understood.” the Batman agreed, figuring this was as much as he would get from her. He knew she didn’t stay out of Central City due to his request. A boy, from what he understood, the first boy she ever went on a date with, probably the only, her first kiss…and the guy she gave up after hearing Lex Luthor threaten to kill him to manipulate her into thinking the DEO did it. The closer she was, the more tempted she was to contact him, even after six years. 

“And I can’t believe you just mentioned calling that psycho for help if we need it. I am certain I would rather let the world end than ask that genocidal monster who is obsessed with you for help.”

“Thats too bad. He really likes you.” the blonde told him but at least she sounded humored now instead of enraged.

Bruce did not respond to that comment. He couldn’t stand Kara’s intergalactic bounty hunter friend and she knew it. 

“Okay, I am hovering over the roof on the West Side and going in. Have you been drink…”

“Don’t go there, Bruce.” Kara told him quickly.

“Fine, I will take that as a yes. I’m going to enter through the roof. No one should be there at this time of night. I will check the place out, examine the experiments and…”

“And if you find Harrison Wells sleeping in there or I see him from above it’s going to be a race to see which of us can get to him first.”

“Stay above cloud cover at daylight and please let me handle it. The Flash is a good guy. We may need him one day.  I will call your name if I can’t get answers, but you know I always do.”

“I’ll be here. I need to circle the area and X ray this accelerator pipeline anyway, figure out where I can cave it in to ensure it never works again, accidentally or otherwise."

As the clock turned to 8 AM, Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow walked into S.T.A.R. labs to begin the work day. It had been slow, Cisco working on improvements to weapons Central City PD used against Metas and Caitlin working on minor projects putsourced from Mercury Labs. The lab felt deserted since Harry and Jessie had returned to Earth 2, Wally had returned to school and Barry was still grieving the death of his father. The man had been devastated and defeating Zoom had not helped. Iris had been comforting him as much as possible, but Henry Allen being murdered in front of Barry was something they all knew would scar him for life just as his mother’s murder did.

As they walked into the main control area of the lab, the lights cut off.

“Forget to pay the light bill, Caitlin?” Cisco asked nervously. S.T.A.R. had back up power that was instantaneous so no power was ever lost to the meta cells.

“No. fairly certain I paid it. I hope the city hasn’t puled our permits again.” she muttered, feeling nervous as well. S.T.A.R. under Caitlin and Cisco had improved its reputation, especially in regards to helping the police. Therefore if the power was out, they could be under attack by a meta.

As it turned out, the threat was worse than a meta.

“Cisco Ramon, Caitlin Snow. We need to talk.” a deep voice growled from the corner.  The two turned around and could barely make out the figure, but the eyes and mask were enough to know who this was. He had been seen often, even assisted the Gotham City PD though they denied this, and the world at large considered him a hero…of a sort. He fought crime and was tight with Supergirl. HIs relationship with the greatest Superhero in the world was enough to sway public opinion in his favor. The public looked over his brutal methods for the most part.

This did not change the other things Caitlin and Cisco had heard. Supposedly he wasn’t human. He was bulletproof, could fly, had an arsenal of heavy weaponry, jets, tanks, machines that could be both. It was said he once cleared out a warehouse of fifteen armed men and walked out without a scratch, leaving them all broken and unconscious with bat symbols branded onto their foreheads. Some said he was an alien like Supergirl or using alien weapons she gave him. Whatever he was, it was agreed by everyone that he was not someone you wanted to find in a dark room waiting on you.

Now he was here. Whatever they had done to garner his attention could not have been good.

“You are … him.” Cisco squeaked out.

“I am aware of that. We have some issues to discuss. It would be best to talk to me. I have a friend floating high above listening to everything and if I don’t get answers to her questions, then she will ask them herself.”

“Supergirl?” Caitlin asked, hoping it was true.

Barry was always hesitant to talk about her. Caitlin had suggested several times that he contact her for help against Zoom but Barry seemed worried. As if he thought Supergirl could be harmed by Zoom. It made no sense to her. But if the girl was here, perhaps they didn’t need to deal with the fear this man was generating inside them.

“Yeah, Supergirl.” Cisco guessed. “Supergirl help, please? Take your very scary and possibly psychotic friend out of our home.” the man finished loudly, wondering not for the first time how far she could actually hear.

“Sit down. You may not believe this, but I am the good cop in this scenario. First question. Where is Harrison Wells? I either take him restrained to the police station or my friend takes him to the morgue in a body bag. I am the best chance he has of surviving. That man hurt an old friend of hers once and I promise you she wants to destroy him. She lacks my restraint.”

“Harry? Harry went back to…I mean…Dr. Wells is dead, or was dead, but the Harry we know, see the first Dr. Wells wasn’t Dr. Wells. The real Dr. Wells died and another Wells took over but we didn’t know, then …this is going to be hard to buy but the Harry who was just here was a Harry from another…Earth. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. If you give me a chance to explain…”

“I know about alternate universes or at least had a theory that they were possible and your event last week proved it to me. I am concerned that over the past few years, S.T.A.R. has a habit of being involved in possible world ending events. “

“I just sent a text to the Flash.” Caitlin whispered.

“What I want to know is what happened, why did it happen, how did Zoom and the other metas get here and how do I make sure it never happens again?” Bruce asked calmly. “It has to stop. I can’t stop her. One more accident and she will finish what whichever Harrison Wells started and tear this place to the ground. She isn’t as subtle as I am.”

“We are talking about Supergirl, right? Wears a skirt, bright blonde hair, beautiful, perfect white teeth, always smiling, talking to children in the streets. That Supergirl?” Caitlin hoped.

Batman stared at her for a moment, deciding it was best to not answer that. If he could find answers Caitlin Snow, would never find out how wrong she was about who Supergirl really was.

“I suppose I will wait to speak to the Flash. Before he arrives shortly, I must insist if you know where Harrison Wells is, tell me now. She won’t care for explanations about alternate Earths. I am his best chance of surviving.”

“The man you think is the Harrison Wells of this Earth is no longer here. He went back to where he came from. I will explain everything if you will just turn the lights back on.” Cisco pleaded.

Batman said nothing, standing in place and making no move to turn the lights on. The man had two syringes, one attached to the top of each of his hands. The FLash would stand in front of him, hesistate. It was a weakness with him. He gave his opponenets time to guess his move because he wasn't even sure what his move was. The Flash would not phase a hand into Batman's chest. He would come close and be injected with two very heavy, fast acting sedatives he had developed. ENough to drop him without killing him. With the lights on, the needles coudl be seen.

Barry had just arrived at work when he got the text from Caitlin. It was simple. Help, under attack from Batman.

He was not sure what that meant exactly, not imagining the Gotham City vigilante having any reason to be in Central City. He left a word with Joe to follow and took off as soon as he was out of sight.

Arriving at S.T.A.R. moments later, he first noted the lights were off and the usually well lit hallways were eerily dark. If he had any doubts that the Batman or someone dressed like Batman was actually here, they were gone. Moving into the dark control room, he stood in front of Cisco and Caitlin, vibrating slightly. 

It was true. The man was here. Barry had no idea how to approach this. Some said the man was a hero. Others called him a psychopath. He was obviously tight with Supergirl so Barry always assumed he had to be good but right now he looked more demonic than human. For the first time, the Flash wondered if Batman was an alien like Supergirl.

“Why are you here?” his vibrating voice asked, form a blur and ready for anything. This man was notorious for weapons and traps. If he was in S.T.A.R. when Caitlin and Cisco arrived who knew how long he had been here the night before and what he could have done to the place.

“I am here for Harrison Wells. I am also here to determine how I can assist you in preventing end of the world scenarios before a friend of mine loses her very tenuous grip on her temper and takes matters into her own hands.”

“Wells? Wells is…”

“Not dead. At least as of last week. I pulled up footage of your fight with Zoom. I know he was there. Your friend was about to explain the intricacies of the multiverse but perhaps I can hear it from you?”

“Maybe you could have made an appointment instead of breaking in.” Barry told him. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t throw you out right now.”

The Flash secretly hoped he gave him a good reason because this man’s appearance was setting off every warning bell in Barry’s head. 

“Am I a good enough reason?” Supergirl asked, walking inside. 

Bruce was relieved to see she hadn’t crashed in from the roof. Perhaps she would remain calm. 

“Touch him and I tear you limb from limb. You have been protecting a man who hurt a friend of mine twice. One who was nearly killed by the particle accelerator explosion. He is going to get answers or I will and you won’t like my methods, Flash.”

Perhaps not, Bruce thought.

Barry stopped vibrating, standing perfectly still, laying eyes on her in person for the first time in six years, the night he was her first dance and her first kiss. The one night that made him forget about his belief that Iris would have always been his true love. Even after Eddie died the two had talked about being together but he never could get her out of his head. Kara Danvers, the girl who taught him to love speed. He had even given serious consideration to transferring to NCU to be near her, to give them a legitimate chance. A chance that she ended abruptly two weeks before she became known to the world as Supergirl. He knew she did it to protect him probably, but he never got her out of his mind.

The stop in vibrations gave Kara her first look at the man. She took in his lean frame, not surprised that the Zoom monster had made him seem small on television in comparison. His suit seemed to be an interesting type of fabric, almost turnout gear but slimmed down.  

Then her eyes met his and she lost her breath. Reaching unconsciously into her top and pulling out the necklace that had been given to her at Christmas by a boy she knew she could have loved, before her life changed forever. Her thumb rubbed the golden lightning bolt at the end of the chain. She knew those eyes. They were the eyes of the first man she ever kissed.

“Barry?” Kara whispered.

The Flash pulled back his mask.

“Hey Kara. Its been a while, I guess.”

No one said a word, Batman’s mind racing, remembering that Barry Allen was the name Kara had told him once. The guy she forced herself to stay out of Central City for. The one who had been hit by lightning and his mother murdered by Harrison Wells.

He was the Flash.

Caitlin sat back taking all this in. Barry had known? Kara? He knew her name? All this time, Barry had known who Supergirl really was, something the media and Governments of the world could not discover and he never said a word. 

Cisco fought to keep his mouth shut, finding it difficult not to comment on how hot she was in person, how her bare abs were amazing and her legs…only the thought of being burnt to nothing by heat vision kept his mouth closed. He hadn’t processed the fact that his best friend was having a conversation with Supergirl, that they knew each other and he missed the longing and desperation in the blonde’s eyes as she stared at Barry.

“You still wear the necklace.” Barry noticed.

“Every time I put on a skirt and cape.” the girl admitted. “Actually, I only take it off for bed. I don’t want it to snag in my hair and break.” she told him, still in disbelief that he was in front of her.

“You think we could talk somewhere? Alone?”

“Yeah…I think that would be best.”

“Follow me.” A streak of red followed by a streak of blue left the room, leaving the two scientists alone with the masked vigilante.

“So seriously, can you turn the lights back on?” Cisco asked.

Deciding this turn of events could lead to a prolonged stay, Bruce thought this would be best. Whatever was going on, Harrison Wells was not here.

“Kelex, turn the lights back on.”

The lights remained off.

“Kelex?”

“Unless Kara, Alex, Both Dr. Danvers, J’onn Jonzz and Jason Connolly are incapacitated you are not in control of the Fortress. Only Alex has been given override order permission in the event Kara is still ambulatory but has suffered an extreme mental or emotional breakdown.”’

“I get it!” the man growled, wondering how many years it would be before he moved up the chain of command in regards to her toys. She stole his Lamborghini last month and he hadn’t said a word. Now her robot servant wouldn’t even turn the power back on.

“I have it, sir.” Alfred told him, having listened to the feed as always.

The lights were back on and in the brightly lit room, he tended to stand out.

“They may be a while.  Please take me on tour in the light of this place and tell me everything that has gone on since Harrison Wells began building this accelerator.”

“Yeah, I can definitely do that. Uh…did you know they were friends? Because we didn’t know.” Cisco asked.

“I have never looked into the identity of the Flash. I have kept her from getting involved and she stayed out of Central City for her own reasons. Reasons I won’t discuss. A tour, please?”

“Right this way.” Cailtin offered, walking out quickly, leaving Cisco scrambling behind her.

Despite the unease he still felt, lessened from the fear a moment ago before Barry had arrived, Cisco could not help himself.

“Could I ask you some questions about your suit?”

“No.”

Inside the speedster room, the alien and metahuman took each other in. Neither was quite sure where to start, so Kara decided she would make the first move.

“So its you. All those times I saw you hurt, the times I agreed to stay out of Central City, to let you handle things, and it was you. I pushed you away so you could be safe and now…this happened.”

Barry shrugged his shoulders.

“I know I could have called you but…I needed to do this on my own. You have been saving the world, helping save thousands all over the place. You had more important…”

“Nothing would have been more important, Barry. Nothing.  Are you okay? I know that Zoom broke your…”

Kara could not finish the sentence.

“I healed. It wasn’t your fight, it was mine.”

“What happened?” she asked, sure she wasn't going to like any of this.

Barry took a deep breath and told her, neither of them moving, standing in one place, only a few feet apart. The more Kara, heard the farther apart from him she felt.

“Your father…Barry, I don’t know…I should have been here. I never should…I didn’t want to know more about you. It hurt when I looked in on you so I stopped. I thought you were happy, living life, being safe. I…damn it! This wasn’t supposed to happen!" Kara shouted. She had given him up so he could be safe, live life the way it was supposed to be lived.

"Why didn’t you just call me? You knew how to find me. You knew who I was. I would have been here, done anything. Didn't you know? I could have killed…I could have killed Zoom in seconds. I had a plan in place in the event the Flash could not handle it. It would have been so easy. I should have protected you! I left you, wanted you to be safe and this…Damn it!”

“Kara, it wasn’t your fault. I know I could have called you. I didn’t want anymore people I cared about being hurt. Bringing you in, I get it, okay? I have seen the aliens and metahumans you have taken on but this guy…he was a demon. He could have killed you. He could have phased a hand…”

“One dose of freeze breath at absolute zero and I shatter his skull. Thats it! I never should have let him talk me out of becoming involved …I wasn’t strong enough. I agreed because it was difficult, being in Central City and not finding you. I didn’t want to spy on you. I knew you had recovered from the lightning strike and I let it go. Then Wells admitted to killing your mother, I saw the news, realized he must have been a meta. I had no idea about time travel of course. Batman and I talked about the possibilities but didn’t think it was feasible. I should have found you after the black hole opened up but I was focused on…damn it! All this hurt you suffered…I should have been there. You weren’t safe at all, were you?”

“I was doing what I had to do, what I needed to do. I could have found you. I guess I am one of the few people outside your family that know who you really are, right?”

Kara nodded her head. 

“I wear glasses still but they are able to cast an illusion over my hair to darken it and change the color of my eyes. It has worked pretty well. I guess I never got to tell you the glasses I had, I wore to protect me from facial recognition. The ones I wear still do. But yeah, I live in the same place. Still have the same cat. Still ride the same bike.”

“I miss that bike. One of my biggest regrets is we didn’t have more time. Your face was kind of studied in detail after you made your appearance in that baseball stadium. Anyone who knew you well had to know. I guess Lena knows?”

“No. The reason, one of the reasons I broke off contact with you, Lex always knew who I was. He planted information I believed…it doesn’t matter. I overheard him telling my friends you met, that he planned to have you killed and frame them for it so I would no longer trust them. He wanted me to himself, reliant on him. Lena did know who I was after that day in the stadium. I have a friend who can erase memories, plant false ones. I knew I didn’t need to deal with Lex. I had too many other enemies to fight, so my friend erased all knowledge and memories of me from Lex and Lena. I haven’t seen or spoken to her since.”

“She was your only friend.” Barry remembered. 

“It was for the best. If she knew, she would tell Lex whether he remembered me or not. I couldn’t erase his memories and leave hers alone.”

“But you didn’t have your friend do the same to me.” Barry pointed out.

Kara shook her head and looked at the floor. “It was selfish but I knew you wouldn’t out me and I couldn’t stand the thought of you not remembering me. I couldn’t handle that. I knew you would move on but I wanted to live in your memory, even if it was a small part.”

“I am glad. I would have hated to lose the memory of that weekend, of our talks, of your voice. You were never a small part. Not a day has passed I haven’t thought of you, Kara. I thought maybe if I told you who I was we could…I don’t know. Then everything happened and the alternate dimensions and time travel…I didn’t want you caught up in the mess.”

Neither said anything, Kara kicking herself inside for not being there and Barry wishing he would have asked for her help. He had no problem asking Oliver for help but he never could bring himself to ask her.

Supergirl cleared her throat. “So…I guess I…I mean we should go…oh no.”

Kara moved quickly outthe door and Barry followed her. They moved into the pipeline and found Joe West on his knees, Alex and Dick suited up and behind him and Batman in front. Alex had the man’s gun aimed at him.

“What is going on?! What are you two doing here?” Kara asked, slightly panicked.

“ We flew here when Kelex told me where you were heading and who you were after. I wanted to make sure you didn’t tear down S.T.A.R. Labs. This man decided to point a gun at Batman,”

“He broke into this lab!” West complained.

“You were party to an illegal metahuman prison for over a year, Detective West. I won’t tell on you, if you don’t tell on me.” Batman suggested.

“Al…Manhun..just put down the gun! Let the man up.” Kara nearly shouted.

“Okay.” Alex agreed, feeling a bit of humor at the situation. Detective West had no idea how lucky he was that she had arrived. Batman did not react well to guns being aimed at him. Usually someone found themselves put through a wall or bones broken. She was also pleasantly surprised Kara was not beating the Flash.

“You are Nightwing and Manhunter.” Cisco whispered, thinking this was either one of the coolest or scariest mornings of his life.

Joe stood up and Alex handed him his gun.

“What do you know about a supposed illegal…” Joe started before Kara interrupted.

“He is Batman, he knows. When he walked around last night he found the cells. I imagine he has video of this place and all the activities for the past year, right Batman?”

“She knows me well. I think it would be best if we just chalk this all up to an unfortunate misunderstanding."

“Yeah, fine.” Joe told him, feeling a bit of fear that this man had knowledge of the one big criminal act that their team had been a part of before Iron Heights was able to hold metahumans. “I think you should all leave …you are Supergirl. I haven’t seen you in that outfit before.”

“If Dad sees her in it…” Alex stopped talking, for the first time noting the Flash did not have his mask on.

“Barry Allen?” the girl whispered.

“Hey Alex. Nice suit.”

Alex looked at Kara, searching her face to see what her reaction had been or was right now. This could be good or bad. With Kara it could be either and random.

“Yeah, I will explain everything later. We should go. I guess Kelex has your jet…”

“She has her own jet?!” Cisco asked.

“Yeah, its parked next to Batman’s at a hangar S.T.A.R. owns. Kelex, bring it over, land it in the parking lot.” Alex ordered.

“You have someone who can control it?!”

“Cisco, now isn’t the time.” Barry told him. “You have to go now?” he asked Kara.

“I…I should. Yeah, I have to get to…work! Yes, I have a job and am an hour late already. I am sure I will get an angry phone call any minute. Yeah, I should get out of here. Nightwing, I suppose you can catch a ride with Batman?”

Dick hadn’t taken his eyes off Barry Allen. He had been told about him one night, when he and Alex had been talking. He knew who the man was. He was the guy Alex swore Kara could have loved if she didn’t have to give him up to be Supergirl. Now he was the Flash. 

And Kara was shaken. Kara was never shaken. This guy’s presence was affecting her, had her thrown. She wouldn't take her eyes off Barry Allen.

Dick thought of the necklace, the lightning bolt, she only took off …when he was over.

“Actually I need to go back to your place. We kind of rushed off this morning to help you. My clothes are still there.”

Kara turned and stared, open mouthed at Dick Grayson. Bruce and Alex dropped their heads. Both had an idea who would be the next target of Kara’s wrath and this would most likely turn into a very bad day for Nightwing.

Chapter Text

Do not own CW or DC characters.

Chapter 2 Go get her Slugger

Dick Grayson had faced down many foes in his young life. He had taken down a serial killer know as Abattoir, a woman who called herself Chesire and nearly left him in ribbons, and a meta human made entirely of clay. Fighting by Bruce’s side, he battled monsters like Bane, assassins like Shiva and a green female metahuman who could control all plant life and did so with murderous intentions. He was no stranger to life or death battles.

The man had never taken the beating that was being administered to him by Kara Danvers at that moment. He and Alex had landed in an enlarged hollowed out cavern in the desert near the DEO base, where she kept her hover jet, the one Kara built that was nearly identical to Batman’s. Changing his clothes, Alex and Dick made their way back to the city. Alex told him she would be going to the DEO’s downtown office to avoid the blood splatter and suggested to DIck that he count his remaining clothes and overnight bag at Kara’s apartment as lost goods and go back to Bludhaven as quickly as possible.

Dick did not take her advice.

When he arrived, the door was unlocked. Kara stood in the middle of the open room, having changed into jeans and a t shirt. He was grateful to see that she had put on a red sun bracelet she kept hidden from everyone. Perhaps she would be calm.

The poor man did not know she had put on the bracelet so she would not have to hold back.

Kara and Alex had both trained in various forms of martial arts since they were young, Kara 13 and Alex 14. They knew as many styles as he did and Bruce had taught them both a few more.

The blonde was using everyone she knew on him now.

The second kick to his groin made him nearly vomit. He tried to get up from his knees until her fist hit his mouth, sending him to the floor again.

Dick lay very still, thinking if he played dead, she might stop. After a few seconds he took a deep breath, followed by her foot into his ribs.

“Kara stop!” he gasped.

The man hopped to his feet, determined to defend himself some way. He lost track of where he thought she was. He turned just as Kara’s coffee table slammed into his face, causing him to black out.

Dick was not sure how long he had been out. It couldn’t have been long, maybe less than a minute. He woke up with her straddling him, and he hoped the beating had been a dream and they were actually about to begin more pleasurable activities. Instead her legs squeezed his ribs and she began hitting him again, straight jabs into his nose and eyes. Standing up once again, she delivered her third kick to his groin and walked away.

Nightwing rolled over, feeling nauseous. He was dizzy and he knew blood was pouring out of his nose and mouth forming a puddle under his face and his eyes were swelling. 

He heard a knock, what he thought was a knock. He couldn’t be sure. For all he knew he had retreated into himself and the sound was Kara hitting him over the head with a rock.

Kara stopped circling him when there actually was a knock on the door. Walking over, she swung the door open.

“What?!”

Her elderly neighbor, Mrs Hendon from across the hall was standing in front of her, shocked.

“Oh, I am so sorry, Mrs, Hendon.” Kara told her quickly, planting a smile on her face. “I thought you might be a door to door salesman. How can I help you?” 

The woman tried to look around Kara, so the girl walked out into the hall, keeping the door half closed.

“Are you okay, Dear? I heard shouting and screams and something breaking. I thought you may be getting attacked.”

“Oh no. That is so sweet of you to check on me, but I am fine. I was watching a movie a bit too loudly. The washer was running. I suppose I didn't realize how loud it was. I am sorry if I disturbed you. I really should get back to it. It is a very good show.”

“There…there is blood on your fist.” the woman noted.

“Oh, its not mine. I mean of course its mine. Who else would it belong to? I slammed it in the bathroom door. Silly Kara. I really should get back to the movie. Its pretty violent but I will keep the volume down, I promise.”

“Okay…if you are sure… I like your hair. Did you get it colored?”

“Yes! Yes, I did. Good movie, don’t want to miss any of it.” Kara told her again.

“Has anyone every told you that you sort of resemble Supergirl without your glasses on?”

“Nope, never heard that before. Have a great day. I will keep the volume down.”

Kara stepped back in and closed the door. She saw Grayson had made it up. Running across the room, she jumped and swung hard, her fist catching the man’s nose and sending him back to the floor, defintely swallowing blood now.

The blonde walked into her bedroom and came out with his bag.

“Here are your clothes, Dick.”

She walked to the sink and placed the bag in it. Ripping off her bracelet she unleashed her heat vision onto the garments, the entire bag catching fire. As the smoke rose, Kara blew gently to disperse the smoke. Once the garments were ash, she blew on the bag and doused the flames.

As she did this, Dick had found his feet again, though he wished he hadn’t. The man was dizzy, nasueaus,could barely hear, see or breathe.

Kara stalked towards him.

“Please Kara, no more.” he begged as loudly as he was able to speak, which was just above a whisper.

Despite the beating that had just been delivered, what hurt him worse were the tears in her eyes.

“You made me out to be your whore. I have always told you what we are Grayson! Always! I never pretended to be anything else. What the hell gave you the right to say that?”

“You are not my…Kara, I am sorry. I didn’t think.”

“You knew exactly what you were saying. You wanted everyone in that room to know we were screwing. Feel better now? Do you feel like a man? You asshole! I should have told you to go away a long time ago! What is your problem!? You think I am yours? I am some prize you can claim?”

“No! I just…”

“I just. All I ever here from you is I just. I was just in the neighborhood, Kara. A neighborhood on the other side of the country! I just wanted to talk, I just wanted to go to a movie, I just wanted to go out to dinner. I don’t do dinner, Dick! I am not your girlfriend. Yeah, maybe I am your whore but that was private, you asshole!”

“You are not my…I made a mistake. I will fix it, I swear.”

“Fix it? We were there on a mission. I never invited you to come. You had no reason to be there. Then in a room full of people, including a cop on his knees, you let everyone know you were at my place. You had to pick up your clothes, huh? The ashes are in the sink. Take a zip lock bag and get out of here. If you ever come back, I will kill you.”

"I am sor…agghhh!”

Kara, bracelet now off as Dick realized, had him by his throat, feet off the ground. She let go and sent him back to the floor hard,landing on his back.

“I can’t believe you said that in front of people we were there to question.”

“You mean you can’t believe I said that in front of Barry Allen.”

Kara did not turn around. She wouldn’t let him see her cry. She hated to cry, but it was something she did often. Jessica told her it was healthy but all Kara saw it as was one of her many weaknesses.

“Don’t say his name. He has nothing to do with this. What you said…”

“I’m sorry! I …I had never seen you like that!”

“Like what?” she asked. “Embarrassed? Humiliated?"

“No. Look, I have loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you six years ago, but I have never seen you look at anyone the way you looked at him today. I screwed up, Kara. What I did was wrong. I am so sorry and if I could take it back, I would. Beat me more, but please believe me. I will make this right.”

“If you want to make it right then leave. Never come back. I never want to see you again.”

Dick stood still, speechless. He would rather she had continued beating him. Beatings he could take. Kara had told him many times to leave and never come back but never with the hurt and conviction in her voice he heard now.

“I’m sorry. I will…I am sorry, Kara.”

“Don’t you ever say you love me again. Ever. That is not what this is about. It never has been. You know it. I don't love you. I never have. We used to be friends. You are nothing to me now.Leave now or I will throw you out the window."

Dick turned around and walked slowly to the door. Streaky was waiting by the exit and he could swear that damn cat was smiling.

Kara was left alone finally and went to the sink, pulling out the burnt remains and placing them in the trash. She poured water over her hands to clean his blood off. Then she reached into the fridge. Before she could pour a glass her phone rang.

“What?”

“Good morning to you as well." Cat Grant greeted her. "No wait, it is afternoon. Since I haven't seen any one being saved on television, I am assuming you might find it in your heart to spend a few hours with me. I have been dealing with many minor issues that an assistant could take care of. Then I remembered, oh my, I do have an assistant. Are you planning on assisting today?” Cat Grant asked.

“Yeah, sorry. I was in Central City this morning.”

Kara heard nothing for a few moments before her boss cautiously asked her…”You didn’t destroy S.T.A.R. Labs, did you? You weren’t seen doing it, were you?”

“S.T.A.R. Labs is still in one piece. What would you like for lunch?”

“Caesar Salad, a sprinkle of dressing, cucumbers, freshly cut on the side. Sparkling…”

“Two cheeseburgers all the way, two seasoned fries and two Cokes. Got it.” Kara confirmed.

She hung up the phone before the woman could protest and moved to the bedroom, donning her work clothes and glasses, hair magically a darker shade of brown, with red highlights. She decided on green eyes today but the red from her tears was still obvious. Pouring a drink and downing it quickly, she was ready to face the world as Kara Danvers, assistant to Cat Grant when she wasn't busy with other things.

The girl made her way to her favorite food truck on foot, wearing a dress today and leaving her bike behind. Lunch bags in hand, she stopped outside Catco and placed a smile on her face.

As usual, she smiled and greeted the security guards, and receptionists. Taking Cat’s private elevator just to annoy the woman, she exited and greeted all the staff she saw. Kara did not stop at her desk, but instead walked straight into Cat’s office.

“Good afternoon Kara. I am not cutting into your busy schedule, am I? Any other cities you would like to invade before the end of the day?”

“Nope, I am good.” she told her, closing the door and dropping the bag on her desk.

Cat shook her head in dsigust at the grease soaking the bottom of the bag.

“When Congress called a session, debating whether they should force you to reveal your identity and be compelled to act on behalf of the States, who planted the false rumor that Russia was prepared to grant you full citizenship with no oversight?”

“You did.” Kara admitted, pulling out her cheeseburger and taking a small bite.

“And who talked the UN Secretary General into granting you world citizenship and diplomatic immunity, free to come and go into any country you wish without a passport?”

“You did.”

“Who went on the record, saying that you were definitely not having an affair with Bat Freak?”

“He is a good friend and you…”

“Who?”

“You did.” Kara did owe her for that. Jeremiah was not happy about those rumors.

“Then why can’t you do something as simple as bringing me what I asked for lunch?” the woman asked, genuinely curious to Kara's amusement.

“I care about you and these are better for your health." she explained, speaking through her own full mouth. "Meat is an important part of a diet and one of the four food groups. You do not consume enough meat. You are welcome.”

"Nothing from whatever food truck you got these from is healthy. I am about to have a heart attack just from being near it.”

All you ever do is complain."  Kara told her in Kryptonese. "You drink more than I do. You think that is good for your health?”

“Stop speaking Klingon this second! I cannot stand when you speak space talk. We aren’t in space are we?”

“Not yet.” Kara answered with a look that indicated it could be arranged.

Cat rolled her eyes, not intimidated by the brat she had long become accustomed to.

“Fine, Miss Grant. I will eat both of them and have a salad delivered.”

“Do not touch my cheeseburger! My point is, I have done a lot for you and I can’t see why it is so difficult for you to do the simplest tasks.”

“You have done a lot for me. Oh wait, who do you publish the majority of your stories about? Right, that would be me. When you put Leslie Willis on a chopper and turned her into a metahuman, who saved you from being fried? Who defeated her?”

“Your sister.”

“Thats right…whoa! My sister?”

“She is the one who slid the little ghostbuster box under Leslie, while you stood there getting shocked.”

“I was distracting her and drawing fire!”

“Really? Because it seemed like you were just standing there, doing an impersonation of …I am not sure where I was going with that. I will think on what you resembled later. Leslie Willis was your fault regardless. "Cat reminded her. "It was a lightning bolt through your body that turned her into the murdery, over the top villain she became.”

“I was saving her because you put her on a chopper in a thunderstorm!”

“Because she was tearing you apart on the radio!”

“What should I have done?”

“Let the lightning bolt hit her." Cat suggested.

The two women looked at each other for a moment then both laughed, thinking the idea had merits in hindsight.

“Since you are the worst assistant in the world a new one will be starting tomorrow.”

Kara looked sharply at the woman, trying to determine if she was serious. Apparently Cat was.

“Fine. I bet Perry White needs an assistant. Lois and Jimmy would probably love to move back to the Planet.The only reason they work here is because they figured out I lived here.”

“By all means, take the dynamic duo. I can’t believe I let you talk me into hiring her.”

“She won a Pulitzer for this company.” Kara reminded her boss.

“Writing about you.”

“Exactly which is why you aren’t firing me. Plus I know all your account numbers, every bill you have at Barney’s, all the numbers for Carter’s teachers, all the theatre managers in the States, it was my robot that kept you from being outed by that email scandal…”

“Stop already! I am not firing you." Cat assured her. "I am not sure why I'm not. Probably because my mother gave me self esteem issues and deep in my subconscious I feel you are all I deserve. Due to your other activities that take up your time, I need someone to be here. Think of her as your assistant. You teach her not to be incompetent, in other words, teach her to do the opposite of everything you do, teach her the ins and outs and what to do when you aren’t here, including bringing me the correct lunch. If she could bring me hot lattes that would be more than a CEO could ever dream of. Why are my lattes always cold? You have heat vision.”

“I also have freeze breath and you have a habit of drunk dialing me at weird times when I am trying to sleep." Kara reminded her. " I apologize. I will make sure the powers I use to help mankind and protect this planet are at your disposal in regard to the heat of your coffee. Did you miss any meetings this morning that need to be rescheduled? I sent you an email last night with your appointments for the day.”

“Yes, that was so considerate of you." Cat admitted, shaking her head. " Why have you been crying?”

Kara looked away quickly, and took a bite of her burger.

“I haven’t…”

“You always make your eyes a darker green when you have been crying.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Have your parents perfected alien Prozac yet?”

“No. I don’t need it anyway.” Kara snapped.

“Of course not. You are the picture of emotional health. Are you at least seeing your therapist three times a week?”

Kara barely held in a growl. “Cat, please stop. I had a bad night and morning and I just don’t want to talk about it. Who is this assistant who is desperate enough to take this job?”

"Shifon, or Shabby, or Sharif. I don’t pay attention to names. She is going to be your lap dog. Guide her, try and make her somewhat competent. Her job is your job and one would not think it should be that difficult.”

"You have no idea how easy it is.” Kara told her sarcastically.

“Kara!” Lois Lane practically shouted, bursting into the office. She closed the glass door behind her quickly. “There are reports from Central City that you were seen flying away from S.T.A.R. Labs this morning and you were wearing all blue. Is it true? Whats going on? Did you meet the Flash? Wait, you didn’t kill the Flash, did you? Nobody saw you, right?”

“Good afternoon to you too, Lois.” the blonde greeted her.

“All blue? What did I tell you about that suit? It makes you look like a pinup on one of those World War 2 bombers!” Cat nearly yelled. 

“It was laundry day. That was the only one that was clean and I was in a hurry.” Kara lied.

“Wear jeans if you have to. Young girls…”

“I know!" Kara stopped her, having heard it hundred if not thousands of times from Cat. "Young girls look up to me. Believe me, I regret wearing it now. I was pretty much called out as a whore in front of…it doesn’t matter. Yes, I was there, no I did not kill the Flash.”

“Did you meet him? Do you know who he is?” the woman continued pressing.

“I don’t reveal others identities, Lois. Yeah, I know. I wouldn't tell you his identity anymore than I would tell you Batman's You know this by now.”

Kara had told Lois her identity when the woman began working for Cat after she figured out that Cat and her spoke a lot more than her and Lois did. When Kara began working here it became too uch of a pain to lie. Lois was one of the few people who had been close enough to Supergirl often enough to see through the hair and glasses. Getting her and Jimmy to agree to keep her indentity a secret was easy. She threatened them and told them in vivid detail what she would do if they betrayed her. It worked.

“There is a rumor that a black flying object was leaving Central City and that jet thing your sister flies…”

“You were with Batman again? Kara, you have got to find better friends.” Cat admonished her, not for the first time.

“Better friends? When I was fighting my evil uncle I had to go through a White Martian first. My uncle had an edge over me and it was Batman that distracted him long enough for me to take control of the fight. He is the one who deactivated that bomb at Gotham City Hall while I handled the one at the airport. The last meta I fought…”

“Yes, your team of vigliantes is dear to you. I suppose it could be worse.” Cat conceded. “At least you weren’t seen with that hooded serial killer in Starling City.”

Kara took another bite of her burger.

“Wow. You know who the Hood is.” Lois caught on, well aware of Kara’s penchant for eating when avoiding a subject.

“We have met. I wouldn’t call us friends. He knew someone was alive that he had told me was dead and I wanted this man very…arrested.”

Cat rolled her eyes. “Arrested. Of course you did, Kara. Are you going to be useful for the rest of the day?”

The Blonde shrugged her shoulders. “Probably not. Jimmy isn’t taking pictures of anything. Can’t he answer the phones?”

“Since you have been crying and are deflecting and most of my calendar is clear, by all means go.”

“I can’t yet. We need to talk about the account.”

Cat nodded her head. It was that time of the week. Catco held the trademark on Kara's symbol and the name Supergirl. Even before she worled at Catco, the two women would meet once a week and decide what to do with the money.

“Lois, be gone.” Cat ordered.

“Not yet. I got an idea for a story. I have a source who can get me an interview with the leader of the rebel movement in Pakistan and…”

“Is there a good chance you will die covering this story?” Cat interrupted.

“Uh…yeah.”

“By all means then, take my private jet. Off with you now. If you are taken hostage, I am not paying any ransom."

“Love you too, boss lady.” Lois told her with a wink and left, leaving the CEO and assistant alone.

“How much this month?” Kara asked, getting to the point. Cat had trademarked and copyrighted her name and symbol less than 24 hours after Kara caught her first and thankfully only plane so far. After drinks one night, Cat offered to give Kara the proceeds of merchandise using her name and symbol. Kara refused, insisting it all be sent to charities like Make a Wish and her own charity her and Cat had started, assisting families of kids with Cancer and children's hospitals. Kara felt it had caused enough pain on one planet and maybe it could be used for something good here. Every month the two would go over the dollar amount and Kara would decide what children’s hospital the money would be granted to.

“We have done quite well. Perhaps an all blue costume would give collectors something else to buy but please cover your entire top and make the skirt the same length as the red one. So what institution will be getting a windfall?”

“None this month.”

Cat was surprised. “Have you finally decided to take a bit of what you have earned?”

“I will never take a dime off that symbol. It wouldn’t be right. I have a list of 26 children that are in stage 4. They have all been told there is nothing else that can be done for them. There is a new treatment in Switzerland that has had some success. Their insurance carriers won’t pay for them to go so we are. We set the families up near the hospital, pay for their living expenses and treatment costs and give the rest to the hospital as incentive to take these kids as patients.”

“I will contact the hospital as soon as you get me the names.”

“They are being emailed to you now.”

Grant shook her headm trying not to laugh. “I wish you were as quarter as efficient as your robot servant.”

“Then what would you have to complain about?" Kara asked, a fair question. "We both know you love complaining. Talk to the hospital administrator and I will contact the families this evening. I can have flights and lodging booked by tomorrow evening. The sooner they can start the better. Time is running out."

“I understand. May I ask why you are so adamant to never accept money off the symbol of your house?”

“It isn’t my house anymore. It has caused enough damage and is dead. I wore it as a target, but it became more. If it is out there, it has to be used for something good. My little brother deserves that. He will wear it one day and I want it to be something he can be proud of. If he ever finds out the truth, the whole truth, he wouldn’t…its just…anyway, contact the hospital and I will make the arrangements. I have already talked to the families. They are desperate, willing to try anything. It won’t save them all but if even one…”

“It will be done, Kara. Whatever has made you upset this morning, if you don’t want to talk to me, talk to your family, talk to your therapist. Just talk to somebody instead of drinking. No matter how much you drink you won’t drown the problem. I’ve learned that the hard way in life.”

“Yeah, I know. I am going to have lunch with my sister and parents now. I will be here barring any end of the world events in the morning to start training my lap dog. Can I yell at her like you yell at everybody?”

“Oh, if you must. Have fun. Remember every time you run one off it means you have to train another. Why do you think I have kept you so long? Also there is a party tomorrow night, a fundraising Gala for the National City Museum. I need you there.”

“Why?” she asked immediately.

“To assist me if I need you. It's been a year, Kara. What part of assistant do you not get?”

“I guess I will be there.” the girl agreed. "I'm not getting you drinks. Seriously, its ridiculous that you would need an assistant at a party. If you insist, I guess I don't have anything else going on."

“Thank you for granting me such an honor. It would not kill you to get out in public in something other than a cape. Go, have a second lunch, gain no weight while I eat half of this grease sandwich and go to Pilates for two hours tonight.”

At the DEO, Jeremiah had just unsuccessfully attempted to make a very tired Alex feel better. He expected her to be furious at Cameron, at J’onn for offering Cameron the job, at the world at large. Instead she just seemed resigned and that hurt him worse. At least he felt better knowing she would be moving back in with Kara. The two always were better together than apart. She may not open up to him, but she would tell Kara everything. 

For now he had concluded a tour with the newest tech support guru. Vivian had finally been let off by the government and promptly resigned, planning to make it on her own. Connolly and Webb had recruited this kid. He was only 24, Kara’s age and apparently the son of a man who killed people with bombs disguised as toys, but Director Henshaw had read his mind and he was supposedly sane. The more he got to know Winn Schott Jr, the more he liked him. He had a wide eyed wonder about everything he saw. Showing him to his main console where he would give intel to teams in the field, the boy nearly jumped when the speaker announced a Code Blue.

“What is that? Has an alien escaped? Radiation?” he asked nervously.

“Relax Winn. Code Blue is an alert to the agents not to panic, Supergirl is about to come flying onto the balcony.”

“Super...Supergirl? She really works for the DEO? I heard that, but didn’t believe it. Do you know her? Am I going to meet her?”

“Relax. She doesn’t work for the DEO, but she works with us at times. You could say I know her. Its one of those secrets that are well known here but not talked about. She is actually…”

HIs explanation stopped when Supergirl landed on the balcony and began walking down the steps towards Winn’s console.

“She is coming this way. What do I say? What do I do?”

“You could say hi and introduce yourself.” Jeremiah suggested.

“Hey, do you think its true about her and Batman?" the man asked very quietly. "That they are…you know? Has she ever said anything? They are seen a lot together and I heard they were pretty close. Do you think they are…”

“Hi Dad.” Kara greeted the man, hugging him and kissing his cheek. “Who is this?”

“Nobody who will be around for long." Jeremiah assured her, putting a hand on Winn's shoulder and squeezing. Lets find your mother and sister and eat. I am starving.”

“Okay. Hi Nobody who will be around for long. For the record. I’m not doing Batman.” Kara told Winn with a sweet smile and walked off on her father’s arm.

Winn sat speechless and embarrassed, not realizing he had been talking to her...father? She heard him? Of course she did, she is Supergirl. The man pa,med his face, not believing that was his introduction to his idol.

“Good first impression, Agent Schott.” Director Henshaw told him, patting the kid on the back. “He has another daughter who is an agent here, if you would like to ask about her sex life. I would suggest you familiarize yourself with the tools of your job. Have a nice day. Oh and don’t drink or eat anything offered by the Danvers. They are our top biochemists. You would not believe some of the nasty alien viruses those two can create."

The family of four, minus Clark who was at school, sat in Eliza’s lab. The woman had gotten Chinese take out and as always passed a large bag of pot stickers to Kara. It was a way for Eliza  to make her happy and gauge her mood. If Kara ate one or two, she was okay. If she ate them all she was very happy. If she ate none, she would be getting frequent surprise visits from her mother and father. 

Today she ate none.

“Not hungry Kara?” Eliza asked, trying to sound casual.

“I already ate at the office before I came here. Hey Alex, why do you have a bag at the loft?”

Alex stopped chewing, then swallowed quickly, followed by a large drink.

“Do I?”

Kara caught her evasion immediately of course, mostly because unlike Kara, Alex was a horrible liar.

“You and Cameron had a fight, didn’t you?” 

“Not exactly. We had a parting of ways. She was offered the job of Deputy Director of the DEO office in Metropolis and decided to take it. I was as surprised as everyone else.”

“Henshaw offered her the position?” Kara asked, obviously not happy.

The three realized they would have to calm her down quickly before the DEO became a battlefield for Supergirl versus the Martian Manhunter. Of course J'onn couldn’t reveal his true form and identity so Kara would most likely pretend he was the real Hank Henshaw and treat him as such.

“She deserved it. It wouldn’t have been right for him not to offer her the job.” Alex argued.

“So you are thinking of moving to Metropolis?” her sister asked cautiously.

“No, she thinks we need space. Like a country of space between us.”

Kara shook her head and stood up, wrapping her arms around a still sitting Alex. “Alex, talk to her. You don’t have to stay for me. I know you love her…”

“I don’t. I did once and she loved me but…Kara, it hasn’t been working for a while. I thought when we moved in together, maybe it would solve some things but it didn’t.”

Kara shook her head. “So stop going out crime fighting at night.”

“Thats not it. I suppose I could blame that but it wasn’t the problem. It was just time. We both needed to move on. She didn’t understand me and I didn’t understand her.”

“She was too old for you.” her father told her, not entirely unhappy at this turn of events. Chase and his daughter had begun doing…things when Alex was 19 and hanging around the DEO. He wasn’t pleased to learn about it a year later, but there was not much to be done by that point.

“Jeremiah,” Eliza warned him, “what did or did not happen or who was what to who, doesn’t matter now. I think it is a great idea for Alex to move back in with Kara until she can figure out what she wants or perhaps stay single for a while. You are young and you have a demanding job among your other activities. Maybe it is for the best. Jeremiah, rent a moving truck after work and you and Kara can move Alex’s things.”

“Yes Ma’am.” both agreed. 

“Unless you want to come home with us, Alex? Maybe you both should for a little while. Get away from the city and crime and enjoy the beach life. Clark is almost out for the summer and I know he wants to spend more time with both of you.”

“Stop listening Clark.” Kara told him, hearing him ask if they would come to the beach this weekend. “You are supposed to be paying attention at school. I know Shakespeare is stupid but you still have to learn it…I don’t know why, you just do. I had to and so will you.”

“Have you two ever considered texting each other?” Alex asked.

“I would love to. Tell him to stop listening to everyone when he is bored, Mom and Dad.”

Eliza smiled at her. “Who taught him to drown out millions of sounds, find individual voices and listen to make sure we are all safe?”

“I told him I listen, not for him to listen. Also, I do not listen all the time. Alex and I will be fine and we can spend the weekend at your house. I was hoping we could get away for a week this summer to go home.”

Home in Kara’s mind, was always Midvale. The Danvers still owned the house and Kara flew over a few times a month to make sure it was being well taken care of and to hang out alone for a while. The house had some horrible events happen in it, mostly the real Henshaw attacking them and nearly being killed by Kara before Connolly’s team killed all the DEO agents present. It was also the place where she had her first of two suicide attempts, the place she had harmed herself too many times to count. But the good outweighed the bad easily. It was her home, the place she learned English, discovered food, and movies, spent holidays, the place her mother and father held her at night when she couldn’t sleep, the place her and Alex snuck out of or played pranks or just held each other at night to make each other feel better. Midvale was where Clark played his first soccer game, where Kara learned to fly and her and Alex spent so much time on the beach it should have been named after them.

“So Kara took a trip with her friend in black to Central City this morning.” Alex mentioned. “And guess who she saw?”

“Alex don’t…” Kara begged.

“Let me guess, the Flash? Kara, please tell me you didn’t beat the poor guy. I know he has been around a lot of disasters but he has been trying…” Eliza started.

“Its Barry Allen.” Alex spit out quickly. Kara dropped her head and the pot sticker she had considered eating.

“Barry Allen? Barry Allen is the Flash? That Barry Allen? The Barry Allen?” her father asked to be sure. He had never met him in person but Alex said Kara lit up around him in a way she had never seen before. That was enough for him to like the boy. He also knew Kara cut off contact before she decided to come out as Supergirl so he wouldn’t be a target. She never admitted it how bad it hurt her but he knew it was a bigger deal than she let on. She never stopped wearing that necklace he gave her.

“Yeah, its a long story.” Kara told them. “One I am sure Alex would love to tell you. Give me your card, Daddio. I’ll rent the truck and start moving her things. Our place will be Alex ready when you get home. I am sorry, but it will be good to have you home. I will have your favorite pizza and maybe we can watch the Notebook and cry it out, okay?”

“I was thinking Poltergeist and the original Shining.”

“Okay, this once. But you are sleeping with me and if I have nightmares and knock you off the bed, that is on you. I also need to pick up a new coffee table.” Kara remembered.

“What happened to the one we had?”

“Uh…it had a tragic accident. You know me, sometimes I forget my own strength. See you at home.”  The girl decided not to mention that she had thrown the coffee table at Grayson with her bracelet on. Her father would be ecstatic and her mother would insist on more therapy sessions to work on her temper.

Kara left, leaving an uneaten plate no one talked about but all knew what it signified.

“I might take off early. I got no sleep last night. Left Cameron, went to Kara’s, found out she was gone and flew to Central City. I need sleep.”

“Are you really okay?” her mother asked. “Its okay if you are not. Why don’t you talk to Jessica before you leave or at least talk to me?”

“Maybe later. Right now I don’t want to think about it. I just want to sleep. I’ll give Kara a couple hours to get my bed home and then I am going to crash for about 14 hours. I promise this weekend we will come out to the beach.”

“Good." Jeremiah agreed. I will have the grill fired up and nothing short of a major, historical natural disaster is going to bother us. We also need to pick a tome for us to talk about Kara and her...she is beginning to have tremors. I know we have all noticed it. What she is doing has to stop."

"Not now." Alex warned, assuming Kara was listening like she always did. They could write on paper later. Yes, she ahd notied that Kara's hands shook at times and shortly after she had a drink the shaking stopped. The drinking had gotten out of control, been out of control for a long time most likely and something would have to be done, soon.

 

Central City

Barry stood by the window in his lab, having given up on work. He had seen her, he had dreamed about seeing her in the past, but it had actually happened. He thought seeing her on television all the time was enough, but it wasn’t. She was more beautiful in person. There was absolutely no way he could think about work today. 

“Hey!” Iris practically shouted, walking in quickly. “Is it true? Dad won’t talk about it but Caitlin told me he got taken out by Batman and Supergirl was there? You met her? You knew her? You know her?”

Barry shook his head, not in the mood for the third degree by his best friend.

“Good afternoon. How are you? I’m fine and you?”

“Cut it out Barry. Is it true?” Iris asked again slapping him on the shoulder.

“You didn’t see the video before you raced over here?”

“No, it was erased. Cisco is freaked out. Apparently some code broke his system and erased everything. He thinks it was an alien code, at least in his opinion. Caitlin may have told me some of the details.”

“Then you know that Joe did not get taken out by Batman. He was taken out by Nightwing and Manhunter.”

“You met them?! Nightwing? Oh my God, I saw a picture of him once. It wasn’t great light but that costume, you could tell he had a gorgeous body. He is on par with Oliver Queen. That dark hair…did he have his mask off? Did he have dark eyes? They were probably smokey or smoldering maybe? Give me the scoop.”

Barry clenched his jaw but tried to remain unaffected.

“Yes, Nightwing was very muscular, Batman was very scary and Manhunter was very thin but had a lot of weapons that looked like they could do serious damage. Supergirl was…”

“In a hot blue suit according to Caitlin. Okay, forget about the vigilantes, unless you want to give me more details about Nightwing. How do you know Supergirl? Caitlin said she recognized you with your mask on, just by seeing your eyes. You must know her well.”

“I did.” he told her. “We haven’t seen each other in six years.”

Iris caught the sadness in his voice. She had heard it before.

“Six years? The rumors I heard place her in National City…Caitlin said something about a necklace…oh Barry. Why didn’t I think of this? You called her Kara. It was her, wasn’t it? The girl you met in National City and called and texted all the time.”

“Is there anything Caitlin didn’t tell you?” he asked, annoyed that he had been a topic of conversation by everyone but not surprised.

“Thats all. Just her name and the necklace. Did you know when you two were talking?”

“No. She ended it a couple weeks before she caught that plane.” he admitted.

“Thats why you were so weird about that.” Iris guessed. “But you saw her. You are a superhero too. Maybe…”

‘Maybe what?" Barry interupted, crossing his arms and turning away from her. "She was there to find out why S.T.A.R. was in the middle of so many screw ups. I told her. I told her everything. She saw what Zoom did to me, she knows I let my father die…”

“You did not let him die.”

“That isn’t the point, Iris.”

“You beat Zoom.” the girl reminded him.

“Yeah, and if I had asked for her help, maybe my father would still be alive, maybe Caitlin wouldn’t have been hurt, maybe the multiverse wouldn’t have nearly ended. She had a plan to take him out. It would have been easy for her. I didn’t want to…I told myself I didn’t want him to get his hands on her but I don’t think that is true. I think I wanted to prove that I could handle it and I didn’t.”

“You won, Barry.”

“It doesn’t feel like that. Do you remember that guy who was made of rock and had one eye in Metropolis?”

“Yeah, he had that laser that came out…what about it? He was an alien.”

“I couldn’t have done anything but run around. What did she do? She flew in, he hit her with that beam and didn’t even slow her down. One punch. She never even landed, just swooped in hit him, knocked him out and flew off like she was late for a date or something. I let my pride…”

“That is not true. You…Barry, we won. You won.”

“Yeah.” he agreed. “I must have impressed her enough that she felt the need to invade S.T.A.R. Labs with Batman and ask what the hell was going on? She stopped when she realized who I was but…it was embarrassing. Admitting to her that I let what happened…she was worried for me. She felt sorry for me, regretted not being there so she could clean up the problem and I wouldn’t get hurt. I’m the Flash, but she was worried about me. She has no problem working with humans but she worried about me. I don’t blame her. Her and Batman have taken down the strongest metas and aliens on the planet. I struggled…she saw me being dragged all over Central City by Zoom on TV.”

Iris looked over her friend, heart breaking at the depression in his voice and on his face.

“Barry, she wanted to protect you because after all this time she still cares about you.”

“Oh yeah?” he asked, leaning against his desk.

“Women don’t wear necklaces for years from guys they don’t care about.”

“She has a boyfriend.” he told her, hating to say it.

That caught Iris by surprise. Caitlin hadn’t said anything about a boyfriend.

“She told you that?”

“Not exactly. Not her. Nightwing…”

“Oh my God, she is with Nightwing? Of course she is, he is so hot... and this is so not helping. Lets take it back a step. Did he say she was his girlfriend?”

Barry took a deep breath and looked at the ceiling.

“He told everyone he had to go back to her place because he left his clothes there. It was pretty obvious what he was inferring.”

“You don’t always catch the obvious. At any time did she introduce him as her boyfriend?”

Barry was becoming very annoyed. “No Iris. I just told you it was inferred. By the look on her face it was true and…”

“Whoa.” Iris stopped him. “The look on her face? What look exactly?”

“She seemed…surprised, kind of mad I guess. Embarrassed?”

“Embarrassed? Okay then, he isn’t her boyfriend.”

Barry looked at her to see if she was serious. Apparently she was.

“His clothes were at her place.”

“Yeah, and I suppose you have been celibate these last few years?”

“Yes! I mean, not by choice but yeah, for the most part. Okay yes, I have been. I’m not exactly a ladies man, Iris and we have had a lot going on.”

“I get that, but that doesn’t mean she has been." Iris pointed out. "She probably thought she would never see you again. Think about it. Her and her…sister?”

Barry nodded.

“Her and her sister hang out with Batman and Nightwing. They all are involved in some crazy things. They get to fight bad guys all the time and see a lot of bad stuff, just like you have. Nightwing is in Bludhaven all the time. If he were her boyfriend don’t you think he would live with her? I am sure someone in her position would need an outlet. I bet she has a lot of tension to let out.”

“Kara would not have sex with a guy just to blow off steam. She wouldn’t do that unless she loved someone.”

“Do you think I am the kind of girl who would do that?”

“Of course not.”

“That shows how little you know about me. I don’t sleep around and I don’t love Oliver Queen, but if I had a chance, I would wreck him. I’m not kidding either. Her life, it has to be lonely, Barry. Sure she has a sister but she also has the weight of the world on her shoulders, sometimes literally. You are probably reading too much into this thing. Maybe he spent the night because they are friends. Maybe it is casual sex every now and then." she suggested.

"But Caitlin said she wouldn’t take her eyes off you. You are pretty hot too. Stop selling yourself short. So what if he looks like an underwear model? He can’t break the sound barrier and Zoom would have killed him in seconds. You are a hero and she knows that. She also really liked you before this Flash stuff. Maybe she isn’t into a certain type of guy. Maybe she is just into you. She wears the necklace you gave her under her costume. That means something. It means that every time she is doing something dangerous or protecting others, she feels you are with her. She pushed you away to protect you, right?

Barry shrugged his shoulders and walked back to the window, seeing that is was now raining.

“I should be so mad at you. I thought I was mad when I found out on my own that you were the Flash and didn’t tell me. But this? You have known who she is all this time? I have a Supergirl coffee mug. I have Supergirl underwear…”

“Iris! TMI, okay?” Barry told her quickly.

“Hey, every female on this planet looks to her as a symbol of strength. She is the definition of girl power.  If you like her that much she must be a pretty amazing person.”

“She is, or was. I really know nothing about her now. It has been six years and she was keeping a pretty big secret then.”

“Yeah, a secret she didn’t want anyone to find out but she still spent time with you anyway.”

Barry had thought of that. It would have been in her best interest to not spend any time with him at all, especially after she learned why he was in National City.

“You think she really thinks about me when she is out there?"

“Yeah, I do. You just found her again. At least call her. If she is really with the underwear model, she will tell you. Then you can be friends while stealing her from him.”

“I don’t know her number. I’m sure it has changed. She still lives in the same place, but I am not going to just show up unannounced.”

“You know her last name. You could find her number. Maybe it didn’t change. I know Cisco could find it. At least text her. Tell her it was good to see her again.”

Barry smiled at her. “You just want to meet her, don’t you?”

“Of course not! But if she was around do you think she would take a selfie with me?”

Iris was glad to see a genuine smile on his face now. As long as she could get him to at least smile she knew he would be okay for a while.

“Iris, my Dad just died. He was just murdered and I couldn’t do anything about it. This probably isn’t the best time to try and win a girl, especially the most famous girl in the world.”

“Then you are an idiot.” Iris told him. “Because I know in my heart if Henry were here he would have his hand on the back of your neck and tell you to go get her, Slugger. He would not want you to stop living. All he and your mother ever wanted was for you to be happy. This might be a chance for that Barry. Do what you want, but if you don’t at least text her you are an idiot. I have said my peace. If you don’t text her I will repeat this everyday until you do. Now I am going to soothe over Dad’s wounded ego by taking him to lunch. Want to come?”

“I don’t know…”

“Of course you do. You can’t stand by the window looking at the rain all day and it is obvious you aren’t getting any work done. While we are at lunch you can ask Cisco to find her number. Doesn’t that sound like a great plan?”

Iris reached out her hand and Barry took it, allowing her to pull him away. What she said defintely had him thinking.

What was the worst that could happen?

He could be told by the girl he had been in love with for the past six years that she was in a serious relationship with an underwear model who wore spandex.

That would definitely be the worst that could happen.

National City

Kara sat on the couch with Alex, curled into her side. As many times as Alex made her watch these horrible movies they still freaked her out. The two girls switched ice cream cartons and Kara tried not to flinch as Jack Nicholson splintered a door with an axe.

“I would fry him.” Kara told her sister. “Are you really okay?”

“No, not really. I guess I am, but I’m not. I’m kind of sad and kind of relieved. Maybe I needed a new start. I was getting tired of all the fighting.”

“Maybe you should stop going on the streets at night? Whoever you date is going to want to spend nights with you, Alex, not compete with criminals for your attention.”

“Then who would keep you from getting in trouble?”

Kara sat her ice cream on the new coffee table.

“I’m not saying you…”Oh stop it!” she finished, talking to Jackie in the TV. “I’m not saying you can’t fight with me but I don’t prowl the streets at night looking for street gangs or drug dealers. You could just cut it down to metas and aliens for a while. I would like it if you would.”

“I would like it if you stopped drinking.” Alex told her, causing Kara to cringe.

“Please don’t, Alex. I have been doing everything everybody wants of me. I haven’t hurt myself, I haven’t been reckless, I didn’t destroy S.T.A.R. Labs. I’ve been controlling my temper….”

Kara stopped, annoyed at Alex’s sharp laugh.

“I was listneing to your feed. If you touch him I will tear your limbs off. Oh hey Barry. Sorry, didn’t know it was you.”

“I thought Harrison Wells was alive.”

“And you planned to kill him.” Alex reminded her.

“No…I just wanted to make him really hurt. Permanently.”

“Uh huh. So are you going to call him?”

“Call who?” Kara tried.

“Don’t. I think you should have called him after we blew up Myriad. He doesn’t need to worry about the Lex Luthors of the world now. You have no more excuses. You should call him.”

“He thinks I am screwing Grayson.”

“You are screwing Grayson. I mean you were. I am guessing that was his blood on the floor that I wiped up?”

“We may have had a discussion that turned violent…on my part. He deserved it. I can’t believe I wore that uniform. If Grayson didn’t make me sound like a whore that outfit made me look like one. I'm throwing it away."

"No, it didn’t make you look like a whore. You looked hot. Plus now you know he must really like you. All that skin showing and he never stopped staring at your eyes. I always did like him. You should call him.”

“No, its best if I just leave it alone. Even if he can take care of himself, you know what a wreck I am, Alex. Who would want my drama?”

Alex shrugged her shoulders. “Fine, be the crazy cat lady for the rest of your life. I get that you want to get rid of your powers when you are 30 but does that mean you are going to live the rest of your life alone too? You said you wanted to be normal. You have always said that. Normal is falling in love.”

“Can we please not talk about me? Are you going to call her? At least make sure she made…”

“Hell no. I have had it, Kara. I think the saddest thing is I just don’t care. I’m an adult now. Sort of. I need to find someone who shares my interests.”

“I don’t think there is anyone who shares your love of fast vehicles and alien weapons.” Kara fairly pointed out.

“True but there has to be someone out there who has what I am looking for. Someone who isn’t focused on climbing some ladder, who is more interested in doing what is right.”

“Yep, because a lot of people are like that. Face it Alex, we are going to be spinsters. Maybe we should get a few more cats.”

“Or maybe you should call Barry Allen instead of having a drink once I fall asleep.”

“Yeah, maybe. But not tonight. I had enough embarrassment for a day and you need me to cuddle with you. Its okay if you want to cry.”

“I’m not going to cry.”

“I’m just saying it can be healthy…”

“Kara, stop. I am not going to cry. I will take the cuddling though. Lets go to sleep.”

The two girls retired to the bedroom and Kara took up her customary position when Alex was upset, sitting with her back against the headboard while Alex curled into her side. The girl must have been emotionally and physically exhausted because she fell asleep after ten minutes. Kara continued to run her fingers through Alex’s hair, upset that her sister had to be heartbroken but very happy inside that she had Alex back. Living without her had been…lonely.

Gently placing her on the pillow, the blonde walked quietly to the kitchen, listening to the sound of Alex’s breathing. She opened a bottle and poured a glass, having no doubt that Alex would check the level in the morning, but not caring at the moment. She couldn’t stop thinking about him and those damn eyes that captivated her so many years ago. She walked to the window and enjoyed her drink, telling herself it would only be one, and knowing it would probably turn into two or four.

Her cell phone vibrated on the kitchen counter. Thinking Cat must be drunk texting her, or Lois or even Bruce asking if Dick was still alive, Kara was pleasantly surprised.

Barry had texted her.

/What are you doing?/

Kara shook her head and smiled.

/Thinking about fast cars, fast motorcycles and faster guys. You?/

 

Chapter Text

Do not own DC or CW. 

Chapter 3 Nightwing meets the Flash

 

Barry Allen had woken up with a smile. He smiled as he had his morning coffee at Jitters, he smiled on the walk to work. The man was so happy he even took his time getting to work, walking instead of running and not caring if he was late.

Once he was in his lab though, the smile began to fade. Thinking of the night before and the conversation that had led into the morning, Barry began to over analyze everything, like the scientist he was.

The conversation had been nice. Cordial. Pleasant even. Two friends who hadn’t seen each other in six years, catching up on the basics of life. Where she worked, where he worked, the college experiences both had. She never asked about Zoom or Thawne, not that she would over text. 

Kara had talked about The Force Awakens and called him out once again for being a Trekkie. He brought up Jar Jar Binks and she once again defended the alien only an alien could love.

She was still the same in many ways, the sci fi nerd who loved mix martial arts, motorcycles and art. Kara still went to the same ice cream shop that was the location of their first kind of date.

But that was it. No talk of love lasting over the years. He never brought it up and neither did she. She didn’t mention the necklace or whether the Nightwing character was her boyfriend. Kara never asked if he had a girlfriend. He wanted to know more, but the things he wanted to know could not be discussed over text.

Yet he couldn’t visit her. She hadn’t asked him too. Could he just show up? Would that be too forward, or unwanted? If she wanted him there, she could have asked. The blonde knew he could be there in an hour or less. He may have broken his personal best in regard to speed to get there. Had she not wanted him there because she lived with NIghtwing? No, he said he left his clothes at her place. That indicated he did not live there. If she was in a serious relationship, would she have text messaged him until 2 AM? Kara said she had to go because she heard her sister mumbling in her sleep. He supposed that meant Alex most likely lived with her still, making it doubtful Nightwing did. There was only one bedroom, right?

“Wake up.” Joe told him, surprising the man, not having heard him walk in.

“I am awake.” he told his foster father. Joe shook his head. He and Iris were going to have to push him the entire way.

“You are staring out that window like you are expecting to see a blonde in red and blue flying up to see you. Did you talk to her last night?”

Barry grinned slightly, figuring Joe would want to know. He had not been as pushy as Iris but subtly suggested he give it a shot.

“Yeah, I sent her a text last night.”

The man waited. Not hearing anything else he leaned against Barry’s desk and waited for him to talk.

“C’mon Barry, there is no way you are keeping this to yourself. Did she reply? Did you talk…find out anything about the underwear model?” he asked.

Barry tried to hide the annoyance on his face at the mention of the underwear model. Not only had he fought by Kara’s side many times, he also looked like…that. There was no need to constantly remind him that the guy was built like Oliver Queen. He had once had a thing for Felicity and she was more interested in Oliver. Of course thinking back on it, he wondered if he was into Felicity because she sort of looked like Kara, at least the blonde hair and glasses. She could also be kind of a nerd like Kara was capable of being.

Had he been subconsciously comparing all women he had met over the last six years to Kara? It wasn’t like he hadn’t seen the blonde over the years. He watched every news story about her, knew all the battles she fought in public. He kept every magazine he could find with her picture in it, most likely on the cover.

“Yes, she replied, no she didn’t say anything about the underwear model. I didn’t ask.”

“Why not?” Joe asked quickly.

Barry shrugged his shoulders. Why hadn’t he? Easy, he was afraid of the answer.

“Not my business.” Barry answered shortly.

Joe shook his head. Barry had not been himself since Henry’s death. Of course he hadn’t but the Joe hoped he wouldn’t retreat into himself. He and Iris had done their best, Cisco and Caitlin tried, even Wally was around Barry more than usual. Nothing worked. It had almost gotten to the point that he wanted another meta to show up in Central City and give the Flash something to focus on instead of his father’s death.

Now Joe found himself focusing on an alien, maybe the only girl on the planet who could bring life back to man he considered his son.

“So go see her. Maybe the next time she gets involved in a fight you can go help out.”

Barry laughed at that. What could he possibly do that the greatest superhero in the world couldn’t?

“What could I possibly do Joe? I would just get in her way. Besides she is all over the place. National City, then Metropolis, Gotham, Star City, London, Paris. Anywhere a meta or alien shows up, she is there. She must be a lot faster than I am. I don’t understand how she can be so many places so quickly. She must be traveling…”

“In space.” Joe finished, surprising Barry.

“Space?”

Joe shrugged his shoulders.

“Thats what Cisco thinks. There have been rumors that she can fly in space. He believes that by breaking the atmosphere, she can use the rotation of the Earth and lack of wind resistance to be anywhere quickly.”

Barry shook his head. He had heard those rumors as well but discounted them. She needed to breathe, right? Or did she? Maybe the cults had it right. Maybe she was the Goddess of Earth.

“She has to breathe.” he told him.

“You shouldn’t be able to breathe when you are running.” Joe argued. “The speed you move, the wind moving so fast past you, how are you able to breathe? How does your heart rate stay normal? People like you are special, son. The people may call you all gods on Earth but you are just a guy given a gift and doing what is right. So is she. No matter what or who she is, she is still just a girl who was looking at you with stars in her eyes.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Barry decided. “She doesn’t need help and if she does, she has her sister and Batman…and the underwear model I guess.”

“Batman.” Joe grumbled. “Freak. Makes Oliver Queen seem sane. So that was her sister that took me out, huh?”

“Her sister probably saved your life or at least some bones. I doubt you were the first one who pulled a gun on Batman and he hasn’t been shot yet. Besides, Kara made his suit, at least some of it. Didn’t you notice? The material all four of them wore was the same. Even Batman had an outer layer of it. Kara can fly into burning buildings and not have a scratch on her suit. That material is indestructible. I’ve seen bullets bounce off her on the news but no holes in her outfit. Alien technology. Even the weapons her sister carries are alien. Kara takes care of her team.”

Joe thought about this. He had been a mixture of angry and slightly scared if he was being honest, so he didn’t pay much attention to what the girl who took him down had been wearing or her weapons. He was worried about the man with bat ears whose eyes he couldn’t see, as if they were pits of darkness. Joe couldn’t reconcile that man with the sunny blonde in the short skirt, but it was obvious they were close. Not as close as her and the underwear model, he suspected, but did not say this aloud.

“Maybe you could be part of her team.”Joe suggested.

“She doesn’t need me. She never has. If I wasn’t the Flash I would have gone the rest of my life never seeing her in person, never talking to her. She didn’t come to ask the Flash for help, she showed up to find out why we screw up so much.”

“Maybe it was fate.”

“Fate hasn’t exactly been kind to us, Joe.” Barry pointed out.

“So maybe fate owes us one. Don’t stop talking to her, Barry. I didn’t see much, but I saw the way she looked at you. Just don’t quit. She seems like she would be worth fighting for.”

A knock on the door surprised both men. Usually Iris or Cisco did not knock and Singh stayed away, preferring to scream for Barry from his desk downstairs or call him. The two took in a man with dark hair and a very swollen face, including two black eyes, one slightly swollen and a large gash on the side of his head. He looked as if he had been mugged. Though he was wearing stone washed jeans, combat boots and a dark blue t shirt, both recognized that dark hair and build.

Nightwing was here.

“If you are here to report a mugging, you need to file a complaint with the desk sergeant on the first floor.” Joe told him, surprised at the man’s appearance and not really happy that he was here.

“Yeah, something tells me it wouldn’t do much good. It would probably only make her angrier and that is never a good thing. You think I could have a talk with you?” he asked, looking straight at Barry.

It was Joe who answered.

“Talk away.”

Dick looked at Joe and back at Barry. Barry looked at Joe, indicating he should leave them alone. 

Joe let out a deep breath and walked out, bumping the beaten man on his way out.

“Barry Allen, I’m Dick Grayson.”

Sounds like a porn star name, was Barry’s first thought.

“What can I do for you, Nightwing?”

“Mind if I have a seat? I sent by bike back to Bludhaven by air and took a long plane flight over here. I had a bad day yesterday and could really take a load off.”

“Not here.” Barry told him. “There is a coffee shop nearby. The upstairs area is hardly used this time of day. We can go there.”

Barry said nothing else, just walked out, wondering what the hell Dick Grayson, underwear model and vigilante with alien tech, would have flown all the way to Central City for. Maybe to warn him off? Unless he developed super speed in the last 24 hours, the Flash wasn’t worried. After Zoom not much worried him.

The two walked in silence, Barry focusing on what was in front of him and Dick taking it all in. Nightwing had been everywhere it seemed, except Central and Star City. Those were the two they all stayed out of. Bruce asked Kara to stay out of Central City and she told him to stay out of Star City. 

Kara never said why she wanted Bruce out of Star City. She had no problem helping out, even if she had never actually worked with the Arrow. She had recovered many of the bodies after the so called Undertaking and had been back a year later to take out the majority of those super strong mad men that had invaded the city. He had no idea where the Arrow was in either of those events. Dick knew Kara was on the streets protecting citizens and didn’t have much problem taking out the masked soldiers. No problem really. Due to the media running as far away as possible, he imagined she let loose on a few. Quite a few were taken in by police with kneecaps burned, and tendons crushed. The few times he asked about the Arrow, Kara was dismissive at first but a few months ago had a definite distaste for the man when asked, bordering on hate.

Once they had reached Jitters, Barry continued to walk upstairs. Seeing a few tables were occupied downstairs, he walked onto the thankfully empty balcony and had a seat at a table. Dick sat across from him.

“So what can I do for you?” the Flash started. Of all the things he expected today, mostly working and over analyzing text messages, he had not expected this.

“Uh…this is…I came to apologize.”

“Apologize?” Barry asked doubtfully. He couldn’t imagine the Batman or Alex apologizing.

“Yeah, she wouldn’t really let me apologize to her, but I told her I would make it right… see here is the thing, I love Kara. I have loved her from the first time I laid eyes on her.”

Barry smiled a bit.

“Yeah, I know the feeling.”

“But she doesn’t love me. She never has. I think she used to like me, but I kind of destroyed that yesterday. I told her I would make it right and I need to.”

“Oh yeah? What did you do? I assume she did that to your face?” Barry guessed.

“She didn’t even use her powers. She is a better fighter than I am and that is hard to admit. I may have insinuated yesterday that there was something going on between us.”

Barry said nothing for a moment, the waitress walking over and taking his order. Dick declined any coffee.

“Yeah you did. What you and Kara are or aren’t isn’t my business.” he told him.

“Maybe not, but I…I panicked. I always thought if I loved her enough she would love me. If I gave her space she would want me near. If I was near she would not want me to leave. None of those things ever happened. She doesn’t love me, never has. I panicked because in the six years I have known her, I have seen a lot of emotions cross her face but I have never seen her look at anyone the way she looked at you.”

Barry sat still, not knowing what to say. Dick sat, waiting on him, to say something, anything.

“I…don’t understand. If you love her why are you telling me this?”

“Because I love her. I want her happy. Even if it means that isn’t with me. Kara is…obsessive about her family. They are everything to her. She would do anything to protect them and I do mean anything. I won’t tell you her story. It isn’t mine to tell, but I will tell you that outside of her family and a few friends, she has never connected with anyone, not romantically or otherwise.”

“So what are you?” he asked. “Are you part of that family?”

“I’m nothing to her. Yes, we have been together before, but you know how this life is. People like us, finding someone who can understand can be difficult. Its easier to find someone who kind of understands and forget for a while. Alex told me about you once, a couple years ago at a bad time for all of us. Even Batman was scared and that doesn’t happen often. Alex told me that there was only one guy she ever could have seen Kara loving. It was you. Everything she gave up to become Supergirl, you were the one that hurt her the most.”

Barry said nothing for a while, the waitress bringing his Cappuccino in the silence. He took a few small sips, looking out over the scene below, the people walking on the sidewalk, having so many worries, so many problems. but none of them had the problems he and others like him had. If they had a bad day, people died, the world ended, any number of things could go wrong and none of the results were good. He protected this city. Kara protected the world. The pressure she felt everyday, he could understand the need to escape.

“You came all this way to tell me you and Kara were nothing? Why? Just to make it right to her? Did she ask you too?”

Dick shook his head and looked at the table.

“I have done some hard things in life. I have taken beatings, been nearly killed too many times to count. This is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. Don’t stay away because of my big mouth. Go after her. She hasn’t had the easiest life. She deserves all the happiness she can get. It won’t be easy but she is so worth it.”

To say Barry was shocked was an understatement. The pain on the man’s face, even under the bruises, he could tell this was killing Dick Grayson to say.

“I’ll leave you alone, go back where I belong. I just had to make sure…I didn’t want you to get the idea that we were more than what we were. Not because I was stupid. Take care Barry Allen. Maybe we can work together one day. It would be an honor.”

Dick Grayson stood up and placed a $10 bill on the table and a card with a number on it. “On me, for taking up your time. Just one more thing. My parents, they were murdered when I was 12. I don’t know what you are feeling, but I have an idea. If you ever need to talk, give me a call. I hope maybe one day you can consider me a friend.”

Barry watched Dick Grayson walking away. He never turned back, just kept his head down. The hurt in the man’s voice had been obvious and he had been telling the truth.

She didn’t love him.

Barry went back to work, a lot on his mind. He may have not noticed but Joe caught the smile on his face as he walked through the station. The man went back to his report, thinking whatever had happened, maybe Barry would do the smart thing now.

National City

“Why the hell did I have to come to this thing?” Alex asked. She hated events like this, hated wearing evening dresses, wasn’t a fan of museums or charity events. Kara knew all this and dragged her here anyway.

“Because I hate these things and everyone who hates me is in this room. Namely Lex Luthor and Max Lord.”

“And you need someone to keep you calm.” Alex concluded.

“I need you to keep me calm. Remind me of all the reasons I shouldn’t kill them.”

“Because you are better than they are.” her sister reminded her.

“If you say so.” Kara mumbled. “That dress looks great on you.”

“You aren’t so bad yourself. I like the hair shade. That auburn color always goes great with green eyes.”

As much as Alex claimed to have hated events like this, she did enjoy wearing her strapless black dress. Kara’s tight red halter dress was more conservative but not by much. Jeremiah told her often he missed the days she hated to wear tight jeans or a swimsuit. Kara told him often she had gotten over it. When on Earth and all that.

“Did Cameron let you know if she made it to Metropolis safely?” the blonde asked cautiously.

“Yep.” Alex told Kara what she responded with. It was nothing that could be said in polite conversation.

“At least you are taking the high road.” Kara told her approvingly. Cameron had played with Alex’s emotions for the last time. She had always known what and who Alex was. She was one of the few at the DEO who knew of Alex’s late night activities. Cameron Chase knew exactly what being with her sister meant. The constant fighting had to end sooner or later. Kara liked Cameron in the beginning. She even encouraged Alex to move in with her in an attempt to save or take their relationship to the next level. The blonde was convinced she was holding Alex back. Instead it had been Cameron in her opinion. Yes, Alex may have not been the perfect partner, being gone quite a bit, but Cameron could have been with them. It was not like they didn’t invite her.

Kara had a feeling this time it was over. For good she hoped. There had to be someone out there who could take Alex as she was, crime fighting, alien fighting and all.

“Did you talk to Barry today?”

Kara looked over the crowd, smiling, trying to blend into the background as always. Should she answer? If she did, it would be like giving a pit bull a bone or Streaky an unscratched couch.

“Yes. We messaged each other last night. He called me this afternoon. I was afraid he would think…he never asked about Dick…”

“I hope not, the two of you haven’t had a date in six years.” Alex told her, trying to hide a smile.

Kara did not find it amusing.

“Sorry Blondie. No matter how long we have known him, I am never going to stop joking about his name. It just isn’t possible.”

“Whatever. Anyway he called me this afternoon. He asked to see me tonight.”

That caught Alex’s attention. Barry Allen was bolder than she thought. She was afraid Grayson might have put him off with his big mouth.

“Are you? Going to see him?”

Kara shook her head. “I wanted to, I told him I did but I had to be here. Cat insisted I come to this charity gala. It’s ridiculous. She doesn’t need an assistant at a party.”

“She probably wants you to get out into humanity not wearing a skirt and cape.” Alex guessed. Cat Grant had developed an annoying mother hen complex over Kara. It was nice to have a media mogul propping them up, keeping the Government wolves at bay and a boss who understood Kara’s need to disappear often so the woman’s pushiness was worth putting up with. For some reason Alex could not understand, Kara actually liked her. “How is the new assistant?”

“Rude, cold and constantly looks like people are dirt she has to wade through. I kind of like her. Damn it, Cat just whispered my name…what the hell is he doing here?”

Kara walked slowly towards her boss, circling the room, still avoiding being in the middle of the crowd. She did not mind being surrounded by people as Supergirl but Kara Danvers still did not like crowds. College had been a hellish experience only Jessica knew about. The girl had told her parents she was fine and over the years became a good enough actress that they believed her.

Kara schooled her face and planted a bright smile on it, walking up to Miss Grant and the gentleman she was chatting up.

“Kara, there you are. Have you ever met Bruce Wayne?”

Kara looked at the man, who stood there in a tuxedo and a devious grin on his face.

“No, I haven’t had the pleasure.”

“Bruce, this is my assistant, Kara.”

“A pleasure to meet you, Kiera.”

“Kara.” she corrected, finding it more difficult to keep her smile in place.

“Of course it is.” he told her with a wink. She had a sudden desire to take his bow tie and strangle him.

“Bruce will be sending some papers over tomorrow that need your immediate attention. He is generously donating to Catco’s charity organization. As soon as you receive them, bring them to me immediately. I want Mr. Wayne’s generosity well publicized.”

“Of course, Miss Grant.”

“Now this is the charity Supergirl fronts right?” Wayne asked Cat.

“One and the same.” she assured him. “Her involvement is kept discreet of course. She doesn’t like attention.”

“Ah yes. She is subtle flying around in her red and blue outfit. Kiera, could you get me a drink?”

Kara gritted her teeth, telling herself over and over again that she could not put her fist through his chest. At least in public.

“I believe there are waiters around.”

“He doesn't want to wait to for one. Get the man a drink.” Cat ordered, stars in her eyes, while Kara tried not to vomit.

Walking off quickly, having no choice but to walk through the crowd, within inches of Lex Luthor. She had seen him a few times in person in the past at functions like this and every time her mind took her back to that night in his bedroom, standing in the back while he was being tortured. Even through the pain he was laughing about her, how easy she was to manipulate, how he wanted her, how he would kill Barry Allen and blame it on the DEO, so she would only trust him. It still made her sick to think about. 

Reaching the bar, she found a very amused Alex.

“He is making you get him a drink, isn’t he?”

“Yep.”

“You are going to spit in it, aren’t you?”

“A few times.” Kara admitted.

“Great. I am out of here. Sorry sis, but this is boring. J’onn just sent a text reporting a possible crash site. Me and the boy band are checking it out. No hostiles according to the satellite but if there is another player we need to know.”

“Call me immediately if you see anyone, wear your black bodysuit…”

“Kara, I got this. Have fun.”

Alex left, abandoning her sister among the social elite of National City and beyond. She had Kelex spying on Luthor all the time and knew he was visiting his sister Lena and accepted an invite since he was in the city. The man did enjoy good press. It was such a heart warming story. Lex continuing on at such a young age after the tragic suicide of his father. Of course Kara knew he killed his father but she had nothing to prove it. Her supercomputer and Bruce’s Brother Eye had been watching the Congo for village raids and had all resources pointed there, scanning the dense jungle. It frustrated her but she knew it was a matter of time. One day he would make a mistake and she would take him down.

Avoiding the man, but still having to push her way through the crowd, she arrived back to find Bruce still chatting up Cat Grant.

“Here is your drink, Mr. Wayne. I hope you like it. I made sure it was just perfect. I gave it the attention a man like you deserves.”

Bruce took the glass and looked at it closely. He looked back up at Kara who had a large smile on her face.

“Thank you, uh…Kara.”

Kara did not say a word.

“I appreciate it. I should have just…”

“Please drink up, Mr. Wayne. I made sure the bartender used the best Scotch. If it isn’t to your liking I will be glad to get you something else.”

“Oh, of course.”

Bruce carefully took a sip, eyes never leaving Kara, whose smile never left her face.

“C’mon Mr. Wayne. You can’t tell if its perfect with that small of a sip. Take a drink. Or is it to strong for you?”

“Kara, don’t be ridiculous. If anyone knows good Scotch it is Bruce Wayne.” Cat scolded.

Bruce swallowed hard and then took a drink.

He knew.

“It certainly tastes like top shelf. Only a bit…different.”

“Would you like me to get you another drink?” she offered.

“No! No, I am good.”

“Then I will leave you and Miss Grant and I promise I will give those papers my personal attention.”

Kara walked off, satisfied. She hoped Cat encouraged him to drink the whole thing, wanting to get him drunk. Kara nearly asked the concierge for her bag. She had a flask inside that contained her version of top shelf and surrounded by the number of scum in this place she could really use a few drinks, plus her hands were beginning to shake.

She decided it was worth it. If a meta or alien attacked the city, she could still handle it. She always had. If she saw three aliens, she simply hit the one in the middle. As long as Alex wore her black body suit under her uniform and kept her tactical helmet on, no alien would be able to kill her in the field tonight. She would have time to call for Kara.

Plus Kelex was watching and would alert her of any life forms around her sister.

Moving quickly, she grabbed a glass from a waiter passing by, emptied it in a plant and discreetly poured her own.

It was during her fourth drink that she began to relax. The shaking had stopped but perhaps it had been too much, because she was certain she was seeing things.

A man resembling Barry Allen in a tuxedo just walked into the gallery.

No, it was Barry Allen.

Kara put her glass down quickly, picked it up again and poured it in the potted plant so no humans would accidentally drink it. She then moved quickly through the crowd, which had stopped bothering her after the second drink and approached Barry. She desperately hoped he couldn’t smell the alcohol on her breath.

“Barry?”

“Hey.” he greeted her shyly. “Wow. You look…amazing.”

Despite her slightly relaxed state she still blushed. She hadn’t blushed in a very long time. What was wrong with her?

“Thanks…please tell me you did not spend a $1000 to get into this … yeah, this thing.”

“Nope.” he assured her. “I rented a tux and used amazing speed to avoid the door men. Really easy. I hope you don’t mind. You had said you wanted to get together but you had this thing going on and I thought maybe…if you are working I can leave. I just didn’t know how busy you were.”

Kara shook her head, wondering if something had been added to her whiskey. This couldn’t be real.

“You ran from Central City, rented a tux and snuck in here just to see me?”

Barry rubbed the back of his neck.

“Yeah…I guess I did. Is that okay? If its not…”

“Its perfect. Lets get out of here. Give me one moment.”

Kara moved quickly to Cat Grant who was still chatting Bruce Wayne up with stars in her eyes.

“Miss Grant I need…”

“Kiera! We were just talking about Supergirl. Lets hear your opinion.” Bruce asked. “I don’t think Cat should actually call her Superwoman until she stops dressing like a generic cheerleader doll. What is your opinion? Girl sounds right, doesn’t it?”

Kara was not in the mood for this but Bruce had given her a great idea.

“I don’t think she should be called a woman until she dresses like a flying rodent. Isn’t that all the rage in Gotham? Miss Grant, I have an emergency I need to take care of immediately. See you in the morning.”

Kara moved quickly, leaving the man and woman with open mouths, staring after her. 

“Was that your boss?” Barry asked when the blonde returned.

“Yeah, Cat Grant. The guy with her is Bruce Wayne. Have you ever driven a Lamborghini?”

“No, why?”

Kara opened her fist. “Because I just lifted the keys to Mr. Wayne’s rental and his valet ticket. We have to move fast. Shouldn’t be a problem for us, right?”

Barry’s eyes widened but he followed her out regardless. She was already talking to a valet.

“Yes, I am Cat Grant’s assistant. He will be spending the night with her, if you know what I mean, and taking her limo to her residence. He wants me to take the car back to the rental agency.”

The valet took the keys and the ticket, shrugged his shoulders, and walked off.

“Kara, are you sure this is a good idea? Isn’t this car theft?”

“Big time. I do it all the time to him. If he wants me to keep working on his other cars, he won’t complain.”

“His other…”

Barry’s confusion ended, awe taking its place. A blue Lamborghini Aventador was in front of him.

“Wow.” he whispered.

“I know. Not as fast as we are but feeling the horse power is amazing. This is the third one I have stolen from him. You think he would learn by now.”

“You are really going to steal Bruce Wayne’s car?” he whispered.

“No, we are. I also spit in his drink. You don’t want to know how many times I have done that.”

“Why…how…how do you know Bruce Wayne?”

Kara looked at him and winked. “C’mon Barry, he knows your identity. Its only fair. I think we have a common acquaintance in Oliver Queen as well though the two of us are defeintely not friends. The stick is tricky. Let me get it out of city limits and I can show you how it works. The stereo is amazing too.”

“You mean Bruce Wayne is…wow.”

The man said nothing else, crouching down to enter the passenger seat of the low car. Once he was buckled in, the car took off, tires squealing in the drive.

Barry noticed that Kara drove slowly in some areas and very fast in others. 

“You are using your telescopic and X ray vision to look for cops, aren’t you?” he guessed.

“Of course. How do you think I drive my bike so hard and never get pulled over?”

Barry looked at her, seeing the grin on her face. It was beautiful.

“I guess I didn’t think about it. Back then, X ray vision never occurred to me.”

He must have said the wrong thing because the grin left her face.

“I almost didn’t recognize you. Your eyes and hair…thats a neat trick.” he told her, hoping to get a smile back on her face. He also noticed she was wearing the necklace he gave her.

“Yeah, I have been full of neat tricks to hide who I was since I landed, or crashed here. Kind of goes with the territory. I guess you want to know why I never told you. I wish I could have. I wanted to so many times. I am sorry I lied to you.”

Barry shook that off.

“You didn’t owe me anything, Kara. I understand. You really barely knew me.”

Kara too her glasses off, blue eyes and blonde hair returning. She kept her yes on the road and saw no cops. Hitting the coastal road, she opened the car up, hitting 190, handling the vehicle with ease.

“You were looking for the impossible and I was standing right in front of you. I knew why you were looking. I guess you figured out the girl that was saved from the werewolf, that was me that saved her. The werewolf was actually a Vrang. I beat him to death.” she admitted. There was no point in lying. She had lied enough to him. 

“Okay,” That caught Barry off guard. He had never seen her kill in public. Every story told, talked about Supergirl bringing the bad guys to justice.

“I know what you are thinking. I’m not exactly how the media portrays me. I’m…I’ve got issues.”

“Who doesn’t?” Barry countered, trying to laugh it off.

Kara took a deep breath, deciding not to pursue that. She didn’t want to scare him off. Once again, Barry Allen had caught her by surprise and maybe she wouldn’t have to cut him out of her life, at least parts of it.

“I never stopped looking. I always had this dream, a day dream really. I don’t have nice dreams at night. But I always kind of daydreamed that one day I would find some alien that could turn into a ball of lightning. I would beat him until he confessed and I could free your father. I never did of course, but I never stopped looking. I had Kelex research every species that could possibly do something like that, look like that, but he found nothing.”

“You couldn’t have found Thawne.” Barry told her, touched that she had done that and wondering what or who a Kelex was.

“I know, but I still wanted to help you some way. I couldn’t be near you but I wanted…I just wanted to make your life better. Even after all this time, that weekend was the best of my life. I never felt so…free. For an entire weekend I didn’t think about my Aunt or Rozz…I guess you don’t know about that.”

Barry didn’t know about that. Rozz? She had an aunt? She never mentioned an aunt. Did she mean a Kryptonian aunt?

“You want to drive? We are on an open road. I can pull over and show you how the stick shift works. No cops for miles and miles. Just beach on one side and marsh on the other.”

“Why don’t you pull over next to a nice spot on the beach and maybe if you want, you can fill me in on what has been going on with you. The real story. If you want. If not or its not my place…”

Kara put a hand on his leg to stop him speaking. He still felt a jolt of energy from her touch and his mind flashed back to that night in the restaurant, one hand in hers, one on her waist, dancing to You Look Wonderful Tonight and the touch of her lips. Despite being the girl of steel, her lips had been so soft.

“I can’t tell you everything about me. I will tell you everything that happened but…there are things I am not ready to tell you about, things about what…why…just things.”

Kara thought of everything he didn’t want him to know. Self harm, panic attacks, suicide attempts, depression, bouts of blind rage, casual sex with a vigilante, blacking out from drinking, other substances she used and murder. Kara did not lie to herself. She killed at times that she did not have to. If a Fort Rozz escapee came after her and she was alone, no one watching, she fought with the intent to kill.

“I’m not saying I will never tell you. Just not…now.”

“I’m not pushing, Kara.” Barry assured her, wondering how bad it could be. He knew she must have a lot of stress in her life. He did after two years and she had been saving the world for six.

Kara drove for a few more minutes and Barry relaxed, enjoying the feel of the power in the car. He also noted Kara was driving at 210 miles per hour.

Eventually she somewhat reluctantly pulled over onto a curb. He carefully got out, bumping his head on the low car and moved towards the beach where Kara had already claimed a spot in the sand. He sat next to her and waited, not sure if he should talk first or let her. She made the decision for him.

“So my cousin and I landed when I was 13. He was 1. The media doesn’t know about him. Alex’s parents adopted us and they became my parents. Alex…when I first arrived some helicopters showed up. I heard them coming and I ran. I ran with Clark across the United States. I got shot, attacked by a bear, stole food, slept under trees, stole clothes. It was hell when I first landed. I made it from the West Coast to Midvale, North Carolina. That is when I discovered the ocean was really big.”

Barry thought of laughing at her small joke, but couldn’t. He didn’t know she had a cousin that came with her, especially one so young.

“I found a cave, a small cave near the shore. It was enough to keep us from the weather and hide for a while from humans. That is when Alex found me.”

“Alex found you?”

“Yep. Mom had made her go bird watching. She saw us walk into the cave. Alex…she kept me hid. We didn’t speak the same language but we still communicated. She took care of us, kept us hidden, brought us food and clothes, snuck us in to to her house to use her bathroom. I didn’t want to be around her parents. I was afraid they would call somebody and the men in helicopters would find us. I was already strong but Clark was just a baby. He didn’t have my powers. I had a hard enough time with the hearing and smell and seeing through things, then my heat vision kicked in when I became scared, really scared. I think I stayed in a constant state of fear for years.”

Barry watched her closely. She was talking to him but her eyes were on the stars. Her legs were stretched out and crossed in front of her but he was not fooled. She may have looked relaxed but wasn’t. She was nervous.

“I uh…eventually I met her parents and they took me and Clark in, gave us food, a home, love. The men you met in National City, Dante anyway, they worked for a Martian, if you can believe it.”

“A Martian?” Barry asked. He wasn’t sure why he should be surprised, and yet he was.

“Yeah, this Martian helped aliens who landed on Earth to hide. They found me and helped us out a lot. They gave Mom and Dad legal IDs for us, adoption papers, histories. Dante, the guy you stayed with, is the one who trained me. It started as just learning to control my heat vision but it became more. I made it more.”

“Why?” he asked. A 13 year old girl on the run on a strange planet and she wanted to learn how to fight? Survival of course, but Kara obviously took it farther than survival. Everyone in the world had seen her fight at one time or another. He doubted Oliver could take her even without her powers.

“Because of my aunt, my mother’s twin sister and my uncle. A Kryptonian prison crashed onto Earth. She was looking for me. I figured out that she must have been in the prison. I was scared. I was always scared that we would be found. She would have killed Mom and Dad, Alex, probably Clark. Her husband hated me. My mother was the judge who sentenced all those prisoners. If they ever found us I would have lost another family. I couldn’t let that happen.”

Barry sat still, engrossed in what she was telling him. Kara told him of Fort Rozz, the years of training her and Alex put in, the search for the Myriad base and Kara killing her aunt. She spoke of this flatly, admitting plainly that she fought her aunt and snapped her neck. She told him about meeting Batman and Robin or the man who would become Nightwing. She finished with her fight at Fort Rozz and killing Non while Alex took out a living computer.

Barry tried to digest it all, everything she had gone through. The human race could have been killed off, but wasn’t because an unlikely team of people saved it by raiding an alien ship under Lake Huron of all places.

She had to kill her mother’s twin sister, the aunt she loved.

Kara remained staring at the stars, hoping he wouldn’t ask to leave, run off, or worse in her mind, ask about why Krypton was destroyed. She didn’t have it in her to explain that her family was the reason the planet exploded, that her mother was involved in a cover up just to guarantee her safety, never telling Kara what was going on. She couldn’t admit that her other uncle, one she hated perhaps was much as Non, had used his child, her little brother now, to smuggle the Codex off the planet. One day perhaps, but not tonight.

“So you saved all human race from extinction and no one ever knew.”

“We saved the human race.” Kara corrected. “That was a big time team effort. I would have never succeeded on my own. Since then, Alex and I continue to try and do good. I’ve had specially built weapons and suits made for her. The design of her hover jet was mine and Bruce and I made it in his man cave. It is pretty loaded for war, too. We try and make the world a better place, just like you do. Alex prefers to stay in the background, while I am the public face of our crusade.”

“Yeah, I kind of got that. I’ve seen her fight metas and aliens. They never expect her, focusing on you.”

Barry wished he had someone like that. Maybe Cisco might one day, but he doubted it would be anytime soon.

“Thats the idea. There is something else I want you to know. Grayson…Nightwing, he and I aren’t…together. I guess you know what happens between us now and then but we are not together. I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse, but it is what it is. I ended it with him, not that there was much to end, anything really. I just told him to never come back… I…”

“Hey,” Barry stopped her. “Number one, you don’t owe me an explanation. You don’t owe me anything and I don’t judge. What has happened in your life is your business. Also, he came to Central City today, visited me at work.”

Kara clenched her fists, and drew up her knees, wrapping her arms around them.

“What…what did he say?”

“Basically that you don’t love him and I would be an idiot not to try and be with you. I don’t expect anything. I am just glad that I have gotten a chance to see you again, to have you back in my life, in any kind of way you will let me. Even if it is just nights hanging out, stealing extremely expensive sports cars. Maybe you can tell me how you know Oliver one day?”

“Yeah, maybe.” Kara told him, her mind on Dick Grayson going to Central City. “But it is complicated and he isn’t exactly someone I consider a friend. Honestly I sort of hate him. We had a disagreement on how to deal with someone and he knew he can’t stop me. I was furious... I will tell you one day. Just do me a favor and don’t ask him about me. I know you two are probably good friends. Oliver wouldn’t have worked with you in the past if you weren’t.”

The two sat in silence, watching the stars. Barry briefly wondered if she could see the sun that Krypton orbited around but decided it was best not to ask. She had told him more than he expected tonight and he didn’t want to push his luck. After a few minutes of silence, he decided he really didn’t want to go back to Central City tonight.

“I don’t suppose Dante still lives in the same apartment?”

Kara shook her head.

“He went back to Arizona I think. Connolly and the rest of his guys are still around, still helping out. Alex still mainly works with them on missions. I haven’t seen Dante in a couple years. After… yeah, its been a while. He left shortly after I… I haven’t talked to him in a long time.”

“Oh.” Barry he said, surprised and a bit disappointed. He wondered what could have made the obviously protective man leave Kara’s side. “Do any of the other guys live nearby? Maybe I could crash if they don’t mind. If not I can run back to Central City. Its no big deal.”

Kara could have told him quite a few places to stay, He would probably love to see her parents beach house and the view or even Connolly’s next to theirs. Instead she made the offer without thinking about it, before she could talk herself out of it.

“I still have a couch. Alex moved back in two days ago, so its just the two of us. Its not much, but you are more than welcome to it.”

Barry was surprised, figuring she wouldn’t be comfortable with that. He didn’t hesitate to take the offer.

“That would be great, if you don’t mind. I left the bag with my suit on top of your building. It seemed the safest place. I brought some clothes, in case Dante still lived there. You sure you don’t mind?”

Kara shrugged her shoulders. “Its gonna cost you.”

The man smiled, wondering what it is she could want that he wouldn’t possibly give to spend more time with her.

“Name your price.”

“One chocolate malt for and maybe a banana split with fudge for lunch. I still go by myself to the ice cream shop we had our first…I guess we can call it date?”

“Yeah, I’ve been waiting six years to go back to that ice cream shoppe. Sounds like I have  date with your couch tonight.” he agreed.

“Yeah, but first I need to show you how to drive that car. Its an experience you can’t miss. We can see how fast you really are.”

“Driving a stolen Lamborghini. Does this count as our fourth date?”

“Yeah, I guess it does.” Kara told him. “Maybe I can come to Central City for our fifth.”

“I would love that. Okay, show me how to drive a stolen car. Just give me a heads up if you see any cops.”

“Don’t worry, Barry. I’ll be watching out for you now.”

Barry stood up and offered his hand to help her up, even though she really didn’t need any help. Once again he felt that electricity when he touched her, marveled at the softness of her skin and loved the way the moonlight reflected off her gold necklace.

 

Chapter Text

Do not own CW or DC characters.

Chapter 4 Alex meets Kara’s BFF

 

 

“So tomorrow is the day. Its been two years.” Jessica started.

“I don’t want to talk about that.” Kara told her, as she always did when the subject was brought up. This time Jess gave her a different answer.

“I have always let you take the lead in our sessions, Kara. But this time, we are going to talk about it. We are going to talk about it often and especially on anniversaries.” her long time therapist told her.

Kara had enjoyed the weekend, Barry stayed till Sunday, spending Saturday night on the couch as well. Alex discreetly slipped out often, but neither made a move. Kara wasn’t sure how forward she should be and Barry was no better.  They watched movies, ate a lot and laughed a lot, explored National City and had a great time. She felt wonderful.

But Barry was gone now and Kara was back to reality. Reality included training her substitute assistant, smiling all day while wishing she was anywhere else, hoping something would require her attention that did not involve danger to people, and therapy. Always therapy. No matter how much fun she had this weekend, therapy reminded her that she was not okay, not even close.

“What do you want me to say?”

“Are you going to the cemetery tomorrow?”

Kara thought about it. She still visited the cemetery in Midvale every year on the date…on that date. Last year she had visited the cemetery in a small town near National City on a different date, tomorrow’s date and afterward drank so much she passed out at the bar on a table. One alien attempted to take a shot at the Champion of Earth while she was unconscious. His legs were broken by J’onn Jonzz, who carried Kara home. 

“Yeah, probably.” the blonde admitted.

“I don’t think you should. It's time to stop. Stop going to the cemetery in Midvale and stop going to that cemetery. You have got to stop punishing yourself for things that aren’t your fault. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your family.”

“Don’t bring them into this.” Kara warned her.

“Why not? Do you think they deserve to constantly worry you are going to slit your wrists again? They are tense right now. Eliza hasn’t been sleeping. She is the one who found you. You don’t think that sight will haunt her forever?”

“I know it will. Thanks for the reminder. I get it, I screwed up.”

It had been two years now. Two years since it happened.

Kara and Alex had been relaxing, watching movies. Nothing had occurred that night that required their attention so they vowed nothing short of an invasion would drag them away from the loft.

An hour past midnight, Kara heard it. She always tried to drown out noises when watching television but this one for some reason slipped through. It was a car wreck, nothing unusual. Accidents happened everyday in and around National City.

This one was different. She heard the car strike a pole and she heard a baby cry. She heard a woman cry. She was taken back to that wreck when she was thirteen, when she watched a mother and child die, because she did not know what to do, wasn’t fast enough, or smart enough to save them all without exposing herself. She barely saved Alex from being killed by a piece of metal in the explosion.

Kara normally hated to fly out her window. She did not like taking a chance of people seeing her entering and leaving, preferring to take off from the roof or run down the street into an alley and take off.

This time she did not even waste the time to change. The girl shot through the window, shattering the glass and surprising the hell out of Alex, who had no clue what was going on.

Kara flew fast, not going high, just streaking over the streets until she made her way outside of the city. She had flown six miles in under a minute, including the twists and turns around the city skyscrapers. When she arrived near the scene, a fire truck was coming but at least a mile away. That was when she heard the crackle of electricity. She could see and smell the gasoline.

Supergirl swooped in but it was too late. The power line ignited the gas and the car exploded, literally in her face. She used her freeze breath, dousing the flames immediately but it was too late. She looked inside the car and saw the bodies. The explosion had made death instantaneous. The charred bodies, the woman reaching for her child, took her back to that day on the beach.

Kara stepped back, her shirt nearly torn off by the explosion and on fire. She never moved, never stopped looking at the bodies. She didn’t notice a fireman putting a jacket over her, but did hear the Captain telling her she had done the best she could.

But in her mind it wasn’t the best she could do. Once again, a mother and child had died in an explosion she was too slow to stop. She was given a second chance and failed again.

The blonde stayed until the bodies were taken out by the fire department. Finally a voice broke through, a female firefighter handing her a fire department t shirt and asking her if she would like to sit down. Kara shook her head, took the shirt, handed her the coat back and took off into the sky. 

She arrived home an hour later after flying with no direction. Alex of course, was worried but Kara lied to her, told her there had been an apartment fire and she had gotten everyone out. Avoiding the other questions, the blonde tore her remaining clothes off, placed them in a trash bag then walked straight to the shower. She lay in bed all night, unable to sleep, the faces of both the mothers and babies flashing through her head.

That morning when none of the Danvers saw any reports of a fire, Eliza tried to call Kara. Getting no answer, she checked with Kelex who told her that all of Kara’s suits were at her residence. Eliza used her key to enter the loft when no one answered the door. She had seen Kara’s bike in the garage. If she wasn’t flying or riding her bike she was home.

Calling out and not getting an answer, she did hear Streaky scratching on the bathroom door. When she opened it the woman screamed. Kara was lying unconscious in the red lit room, a straight razor in one hand and both wrists cut with a large pool of blood under her.

Shattering the light bulb, she held onto her daughter’s wrists, putting as much pressure as she could on the wounds, hoping with the red light gone, Kara would heal.

Kara did heal, but she had lost blood, a lot of blood. Calling Jeremiah frantically, he, Connolly and Dante arrived, wrapping Kara in a blanket and carrying her to the car for transportation downtown.

Luckily for Kara, Jeremiah had insisted she provide pints of her own blood in the event she ever needed a blood transfusion in the future.

Though it required brief periods of red sunlight for the IV, It worked and her blood pressure rose. Eventually she woke nearly catatonic and refusing to speak.

Kara was kept in the DEO red sun room under suicide watch for the next thirty days. The public wondered if Supergirl had died. Max Lord shouted to anyone who would listen that she was not reliable and humans could not count on her. Cat Grant launched a manhunt to find her. 

After thirty days, Jessica deemed her stable enough to be taken to Jeremiah and Eliza’s house. Clark was never told what exactly happened but he had heard enough. 

Kara stayed at her parents for three months, wearing a red sun bracelet so she would not fly off, being watched at all times and every sharp object in the house removed.

That was two years ago. She burst back on the public scene during a bank robbery with no explanation for where she had been or what she had been doing. Not even Cat Grant could get it out of her. As far as the public was concerned, they had their hero back, bright blonde hair, perfect gleaming smile and beautiful blue eyes. No one knew that she had spent much of the past few months refusing to get out of bed for weeks, refusing food.

“I am glad you know. But you have got to stop going to these …I have always given you space. If you wanted to visit the graves of people who died through no fault of your own, I told them to give you space. It was your way of dealing with it. But last year you could have been killed, passed out in that bar. You are lucky J’onn was following you. Do not go to that cemetery tomorrow.”

“It’s my business.”

“No, your actions affect everyone who loves you, everyone who has supported you, cared for you. You always tell me how much you owe them, so prove it. Stop putting them through hell. Do not go to that cemetery tomorrow.”

Kara said nothing, keeping her face blank. It was a technique she had perfected when she didn’t want to talk about something with Jessica. It drove the woman crazy. Kara would simply agree and then do whatever the hell she wanted.

“Anything else, boss?”

“Don’t play that game, Kara. Your parents, sister and brother don’t deserve it. You may feel that you do, but they don’t.”

Jessica took a deep breath. At times she had been supportive, understanding, encouraging. Other times she had to be direct with Kara. She had been her therapist for nearly eleven years and knew every one of her tells, her moods, her lies and half truths.

“Okay, how was your weekend? Lets talk about Barry Allen. How do you feel about everything that has happened? I understand you beat the hell out of Dick Grayson. Its about time.”

“What do you have against him?”

“The same thing I have against straight razors and alcohol. They are all things you use to either punish yourself or avoid your problems.”

Kara stood up and walked to the window in the living room, taking in the ocean as the sun set. She always loved the water. It was something she could never enjoy on Krypton. To the left, only a few hundred feet away was her parents house. In front of their house was the spot she killed Astra and detonated Kryptonite bombs over herself and Non’s army. The girl refused to have therapy at the DEO and Clark was home, but Jeremiah made him swear not to listen. Being in Jessica’s made sense since Alex needed time to finish her move back home.

“Being with Barry was good. I remembered why I loved being around him before, even if we were only texting or calling. He is funny, sweet…and hurt. His Dad was murdered by Zoom. I could have stopped that monster. I never should have listened to Batman. If I would have handled it, his father would still be alive.”

“Maybe, or maybe you would be dead. Either way he could have called you, contacted you. He didn’t want you involved. That isn’t your fault. It isn’t his. These are weird times, Kara. When I told you at 18, that you would change everything and the world would never be the same, I never imagined all this.”

“Yeah, me either.” Kara admitted.

“Did you drink this weekend?” Jessica asked, standing up and walking to the window beside her.

“Only a few. Whats the big deal? I am over the legal drinking age. I didn’t get drunk.”

Jessica listened to her carefully. A session with Kara always included half truths.

“Did you drink after he fell asleep?”

The blonde shrugged her shoulders.

“I needed to sleep. I didn’t want him to see me tired. I just had a few to help me rest. No big deal. It helps with the nightmares. I didn’t want him to hear me scream.”

“Okay. Can you remember the last day that you had no alcohol?”

Kara said nothing. No, she could not remember. It didn’t matter because she did not always get drunk. Usually just a few to take the edge off.

“Do you remember the last day you had no alcohol?” the girl countered.

“I remember the last alcohol I had was last Wednesday. I had a glass of wine with dinner. Your turn.”

“I don’t know, okay? I don’t get drunk every night or anything. Sometimes it makes things easier to handle.”

“How long?”

“I don’t know!” Kara practically shouted, turning around and walking back to the couch. 

Jessica took her in, the way she looked to the right side and crossed her arms, eyes darting all around, almost as if she expected to be attacked at any time. She had always done this. If Kara hurt herself, she assumed this posture. It was the way she expressed shame. She became defensive, folded into herself.

“Kara, I know you talked about giving this up when you turned 30. Maybe…maybe you should do it now. The red crystal Kelex formed, Jeremiah is studying where the safest place to implant it is. I think this is a bad idea and so does he…”

“I don’t want to wear a necklace or bracelet for the rest of my life. When I give it up I want these powers gone, for good.”

“I can understand that. Jeremiah has been making progress. I think he already has it figured out to be honest but he is very hesitant to tell you. Perhaps though, it is best to end this now. You are not handling what you see out there well.”

“I’ve been handling it since I was 18…”

“No, you haven’t,”

“I can’t give up now! Not until Clark, not until he can defend himself. I hope he never becomes this, but if the world ever finds out about him they will attempt to kill him before he comes fully into his powers. If other aliens find out about him, I am the only thing standing between him and them. When he is strong enough to at least protect himself, when I know he can fight and cannot be harmed, then I will give it up. You think I don’t want to?”

“I think you have been punishing yourself for surviving since you landed on this Earth. Despite the years of our sessions you have never stopped. When will you figure out that everything isn’t your fault?”

“Maybe never, okay?” Kara told her, turning her back on her, the final move the girl had in her arsenal.

“Look at me.” Jess told her. Kara’s head did pop up but it wasn’t because of any order Jessica gave her. She turned back towards her with a grin.

“We are going to have to cut our session short.” she told her, almost smugly.

“Good, we can spend the evening together tomorrow. I have my whole night cleared. I’m thinking we can have some therapist patient bonding time.”

“I’m busy tomorrow.”

Jess shook her head and grinned herself.

“I know. As soon as you get off work, you will be here. Eliza is coming over and attempting to teach me how to make chicken carbonara. Since it is two year anniversary of the worst day of her life, you get to be our test subject. Do I need to pick you up from work or will you be here?”

Kara glared at the woman, trying to keep her temper. She hated being manipulated and absolutely hated when her family was brought into it.

“Yeah, I guess I will.”

“Excellent. Tomorrow we are also going to talk about you considering going to AA…”

“I have to go.” the girl said quickly and ran out of the house in a blur. Jessica shook her head. She knew it would be hard when she accepted this job ten years ago. She never dreamed it would be this hard, but she couldn’t, wouldn’t give up. For better or worse, the Danvers had become her professional career, including keeping the most powerful woman on Earth safe from her greatest danger, herself.

Kara was relieved to be out of the house. Once she was free, she felt a weight lifted off her. She needed the sessions, recognized that she did, but that didn’t make her hate them any less. 

Now wasn’t the time to worry about it. It was dark outside and once again her little brother was “lost.”

She ran towards her annoyed father who was on the phone. Clark must have had an earpiece in and thankfully hadn’t lost it in the water.

“Good evening, Daddy. What has the spoiled prince done this time?”

Jeremiah looked at her, very annoyed. Yes, Clark may have been spoiled a bit but it wasn’t that bad.

“He is…lost.” the man admitted.

“What happened to only flying with Kara? He talked you into it, didn’t he?”

Jeremiah smiled and shrugged his shoulders. 

“Its night time and no one was around. He promised not to go out far but apparently he went out far enough that he can’t see the lights of the shore.”

Kara rolled her eyes, knowing very well that Clark could see the shore from twenty miles away and Jeremiah knew it as well.

“I’ll bring him back. Don’t worry, your favorite will be here soon.” she teased him.

“I love you all the same. Sorry to cut your session short.”

‘I’m not.”

“Thats the problem. Tomorrow…we are all going to be at Connolly’s, Jess is trying to cook…”

“I was already told I would be there.” she assured him, and took off. Kara did not have to fly far. Only a mile out, Clark stood on air, arms crossed, just above the water line. Of course he had that mischievous grin she loved. 

“Can’t see the shore, huh? He knows you are lying. You are going to get grounded.” she told him, standing in front of him on air. “Even if by some miracle you couldn’t see the very bright lights of the houses, it’s a clear night. Have you forgotten how to navigate by the stars?”

“Of course not. I am very good at navigating. I just figured you would want out of class early and we could play.”

Kara shook her head, not surprised in the least. He did love to fly.

“I was sent to bring you back and face your grounding.”

“I will bet you right now that I will not be grounded. Mom worries about me too much to ground me. She will probably give me some cookies.”

Kara rolled her eyes once again at the spoiled brat. It was true, Eliza began babying him when he was a baby and never stopped.

“Where is your cape?”

“I don’t need a cape. I don’t knock down trees like somebody I heard about.” he told her, smiling and trying to bait her.

“The cape helps you feel the wind currents better, make stops and turns easier.”

“Don’t need it.” he challenged again.

“So you can handle high winds?”

“Yep, no problem.”

Kara blew, not cold and not hard but hard enough, tumbling the boy end over end leading to him falling head first into the water. She floated above him as he popped to the surface.

“That was not funny!”

“See, from where I am at that was very funny. I suppose Obi Wan was right, it depends on your point of view.”

Clark was full on pouting and seconds away from a classic I’ll tell Mom.

“Help me up?” he asked, reaching for her hand. She had mercy and grabbed him. At that point she realized how much stronger he had gotten. Grabbing her arm with his other, he flipped and sent Kara into the water. She popped up immediately, spitting water out of her mouth.

“You brat! I like these jeans and my shoes and now…and… you are so getting it!”

Clark laughed and took off, skimming the surface of the water. No matter how much better he had gotten and faster as well, he was no match for his big sister. She tackled him from above and forced both of them under the water. Reaching the surface, they began a splash fight, that led to waves that could be surfed on. 

Clark stopped her in mid splash, finger to his lips. Kara listened and knew what he had heard.

“Dolphins? Want to?”

“Of course.” Kara answered. It was a game they played often, mostly when they were at the Fortress. There, as he had gotten a bit less sensitive to the bitter cold, the two would skim over the nearly frozen waters and touch the top of Orcas as they rose to the surface. A clean touch counted but not one hard enough to injure the mammal. Dolphins were a bit trickier, coming up more often and a bit faster than Orcas. Kara handled it with ease but missed often on purpose to keep the boy in the game. She even let him win a few times.

After thirty minutes of harassing dolphins, Kara followed the little boy home, so proud of him. When she was with Clark and they were like this, just the two of them, her problems floated away.  Clark was probably the one who broke her out of her catatonic state while she spent three months with her Mom and Dad two years ago. She was sure he knew what had happened but never once asked her about it. Instead he sat by her bed everyday and played board games against himself till Kara eventually began to play on one side. From that point he slowly introduced video games into his version of rehab. He was also the source of a lot of guilt. In a moment of weakness she had broken her promise to Alex to never leave her and tried to leave Clark defenseless against the world, having no one to guide him as his powers emerged.

The blonde shook her head, clearing away those thoughts. She did not like to think of that time or any of the other times she had driven Eliza and Jeremiah crazy with worry. Instead she would take Clark inside, listen to Eliza barely lecture the boy then scold Kara for blowing him into the water, and do his homework very fast so the two could play Legend of Zelda before he had to go to sleep.

Once they arrived on shore, Jeremiah stood with his arms crossed and a stern look as he tried to hide his smile. Eliza simply laughed and had two towels ready for them.

Kara ignored the shaking. It had been all day. She was not an alcoholic or an addict. Those were human conditions. She didn’t play by human rules. She didn’t need to breathe, she didn’t need to eat and she definitely did not shake because she had gone the entire day without alcohol and desperately needed a drink.

“Come inside, Kara. I have some dry clothes for you.” Eliza ordered.

“I’m good. I will dry out on the ride home.”

“Come inside, Kara. I have some dry clothes for you.”

“Guess I am doing inside.” Kara mumbled, Clark laughing.

“Mom, I’m sorry I got lost. I just got turned around. I hope you aren’t mad at me.”

Eliza patted the boy on the back and rubbed his hair.

“Of course not. Jeremiah shouldn’t have let you fly without Kara. You have to be strong and not ask. He apparently can’t make good decisions when it comes to you and flying.”

Clark nodded his head seriously. “I won’t ask him anymore. He didn’t mean for me to get lost. Don’t be too hard on him.”

Jeremiah and Kara had stopped walking, Jeremiah’s eyes wide and Kara looking at him with her arms crossed and a huge smile. The man shook off his irritation and followed the Mom and her baby into the house.

After Kara emerged from the bathroom, dry clothes and hair, Eliza and Jeremiah were waiting for her in the living room.

“Kara, tomorrow I am going to teach Jessica…”

“Yeah Mom. I heard.”

“Then you know I will need you there to test out her cooking.” Eliza told her, no room for argument.

“Yeah, so around 7?” Kara tried.

“I actually spoke to Cat Grant today who assured me you would be getting off at 5:30. Someone will be there to pick you up. Alex will drop you off at work in the morning. I’m thinking you can bring some clothes and spend the night here. After Clark goes to bed we are going to have a family session.”

That would not do. One draw back of alien alcohol, any of it, was the smell. It wasn’t traditional alcohol like humans drank, and the smell was hard to hide. She could slip away during work but she really needed a drink or maybe two to relax. If she wasn’t able to take care of her yearly ritual and could not go to the bar afterward, she wasn’t sure when… of course J’onn would be watching the bar.

“What do we need a family session for?”

Kara remembered the days when family session mean that she had hurt herself or done something equally self destructing and “plans” were put in place to stop her from harming herself.

Jeremiah took a shot, figuring he would be the bad guy and let Eliza off the hook. “Because we still have them once a week. Clark has been wanting to join in and we need to discuss this as well. He is affected by everything…” 

“If Clark comes to the meetings or hears anything that is discussed about me, I am never coming to another one again.” Kara told him quickly.

“I understand that.” Jeremiah assured her. “That is why we are going to talk about it, all of us, and look at this from all sides. But whatever decision we come to together, you will abide by.”

Kara’s good feeling earlier was gone. It was made worse by what Eliza said next.

“We also all need to discuss possibly attending AA meetings, maybe on an open night. I would be glad to go with you…”

“I am not an alcoholic!” Kara told both of them, wishing she had quieted and knowing Clark heard that.

“You are shaking.” Jeremiah pointed out. “How long has it been, baby?”

“I need to go. Have work in the morning. Love you both.”

Kara walked quickly outside to her bike, before Eliza or Jeremiah could stop her or discuss the issue any longer. The idea of sitting inside a room in disguise surrounded by people she didn’t know, was disturbing. She wouldn’t do it. She didn’t have a problem. Despite her desire to be human, she wasn’t. The girl was just under a lot of pressure constantly. Hitting the road, she drove towards her loft, twenty minutes away, taking her time and in no hurry at all.

As it turned out, Kara probably should have been in a hurry.

Alex had just finished putting her clothes back in the closet, feeling a bit of relief that she was back in what she considered her home. Living with Cameron had been an experience and not always a pleasant one. She thought of relaxing in front of the TV while waiting for Kara to return but her plan was derailed when she heard a knock on the door. Kara wouldn’t knock and no one had called or sent a text indicating they were visiting. That meant…any number of things and none of them could be good. Grabbing her Glock, the woman realized it could be an alien, trying to catch Kara off guard, not knowing about her X ray vision. It could be a shifter in human form, a White Martian trying to find J’onn and knowing of her connection to him. She placed the Glock back in the drawer and pulled what Kara lovingly referred to as her blaster and the hilt that expanded into her light staff. 

“Who is it?”

“Its me. Can’t you see through the door or is your vision failing? Perhaps you actually need those glasses now?”

Alex became even more tense. It was a female, that was evident but what did she want Kara for? Kara told her about her X Ray vision?

Alex opened the door quickly and aimed her gun. 

Standing before her was a beautiful woman, bronze skinned, dark eyes and darker hair. She had a beautiful smile and seemed amused at Alex’s weapon being aimed at her.

“I apologize. I thought Kara lived alone. I suppose you must be the sister I have heard so much about?”

The woman was dressed to kill, literally. She wore a black pant suit and blood red satin blouse underneath, but Alex could vaguely see the possible outline of a knife handle on her right side, under her jacket.

“Who are you?” Alex asked, backing up to give her space in the event the woman reached for the knife.

“I am Nyssa Raatko, a friend of your sister’s.”

“Kara doesn’t do friends. I know everyone she knows and I don’t know you.”

“We keep our friendship discreet.”

“She doesn’t do discreet with me.”

Nyssa smirked. “It would appear that is not true in this case. You weren’t here when I visited last. You are Alex, correct? Kara told me you were beautiful but seeing you with my own eyes is a pleasure. Kara does not lie, at least to me. You are breathtaking.”

“You are… not unattractive yourself.” Alex admitted, focusing on watching this woman closely, for any movement and not just her face and body. If she turned out to be an enemy, Alex debated pinning her against a wall. For self defense reasons of course.

“May I ask what sort of gun that is? I assume Kara had it made for you, or did you take it off a fallen foe? Of course, you are the one called Manhunter, correct? Kara does not trust many people. I have seen you in battle and have no doubt your impressive glowing staff is somewhere on you. Why else would you be wearing a jacket inside? Speaking of inside, may I enter? It is becoming awkward, standing in the hallway with a gun aimed at me and I know Kara’s neighbor is a particularly curious type.”

Alex backed up, using her free hand to gesture the woman in.

“Have a seat across from the couch and stay there.”

To Alex’s bewilderment, Streaky jumped onto Nyssa’s lap as soon as she sat and began purring.

“Hello Streaky. Have you missed me? Darling creature, isn’t she?” Nyssa asked.

“She likes to scratch couches. Don’t move.”

Alex walked quickly into the bedroom and grabbed her phone and a com. Stepping back into the room, she snapped a picture of this Nyssa on her phone to send to Kelex and perhaps to look at herself later.

“I hope you got my good side. Perhaps a few more? I don’t mind.” Nyssa told her, enjoying Alex’s paranoia way too much.

“Kelex, who is she?”

“I told you I am Nyssa Raatko.”

“She is telling the truth, Alex." Kelex confirmed. "Her name is Nyssa Raatko, alias Nyssa Al Ghul. She was the daughter of the leader of the League of Assassins, Ra’s Al Ghul.  Her father lost the title in a trial by combat and she is now the head of the League of Assassins. A.R.G.U.S. had a security alert placed on her. She is suspected of 18 assassinations in six different countries. The alert was the lifted three months ago as all information on her in their database was deleted.”

“How was the information deleted?”

“I did it on Kara’s command.”

Alex shook her head, wondering what the hell else Kara had gotten involved in, since she moved out. Apparently alcohol wasn’t the only problem. League of Assassins?

“So this woman killed her father in a duel and took his place?”

“I am right here.” Nyssa told her. “There is no need to ask Kelex. I will be glad to give you any information you want in regards to my identity.”

“How do you know his name is Kelex?” Alex caught immediately.

“You just said, Kelex who is she.” Nyssa reminded her.

Oh yeah, was Alex’s first thought.

“She did not kill her father.” Kelex continued. “Her father was challenged to a duel by Kara. Kara killed her father and became the head of the League of Assassins. She then passed the mantle onto Nyssa under the agreement Nyssa would find Malcolm Merlyn and kill him.”

Alex dropped her gun, trying to decide if she should put it away so she would have both hands to pull her hair and stymie the massive headache coming on, or keep the gun near because she was in the same room as a woman who was head of the League of Assassins!

“Damn it, Kara. Kelex, why didn’t you tell me?”

“You didn’t ask.”

“You didn’t think this was something I should know about?!”

“The protocols you updated while Kara was unable to command the Fortress only instructed me to inform you if I suspected she planned to terminate herself. You said nothing about killing others. Perhaps if you would be more specific in your instructions I may have mentioned this to you. You were not, so I did not.” 

Alex sat on the couch, gun still in her hand but on her lap. She expected Kara to be home in the next hour and had no plans to call her so she could make up an emergency to avoid coming.

“Kara will be here soon. You are going to tell me everything.”

“No, I won’t. So if you have moved back in, does this mean Cameron Chase and you are no longer in a relationship? From what Kara has told me, I don’t believe she was right for you. I hope I am not out of line for saying so.”

Alex shook her head, trying to come to terms with this surreal experience.

“That is none of your…she told you about Cameron?”

“As I said we are good friends. I do not believe either of us have any other friends. You could say we understand each other.”

“She killed your father.”

“I am in her debt for that.” Nyssa admitted, surprising Alex with her sincerity.

Alex stood up and walked behind the couch to provide cover if she needed it. Once there she raised her gun again.

“This gun can burn through a Khund’s head. You will tell me everything my sister has been involved in or I will use it. League of Assassins or not, I doubt you are laser proof.”

“But you might hit Streaky.” Nyssa pointed out playfully, lifting the cat and placing her next to her cheek. Streaky’s meow confirmed this. “Kara will be home soon. If you don’t mind, and don’t plan on shooting me, I would like to fix a drink. She usually keeps something here that won’t kill me like that foul alcohol she drinks.”

“I poured it all out. The foul alcohol and the rest.” Alex told her. It was one of the first things she had done when Kara was gone.

“That was foolish. She will just buy more and you will have made her angrier. I have seen Kara angry. It is a night poor Oliver Queen will never forget and one I enjoyed immensely. It was the first time I met her and I knew we would be…what would Kara say? BFFs? Perhaps you have tea? Coffee? Anything would be fine.”

Alex put her gun down and walked into the bedroom. Leaving it in the safe but keeping her baton, she went straight to the kitchen and began brewing coffee, trying to wrap her head around Kara not mentioning that she killed the leader of the League of Assassins and Oliver Queen was involved. She knew Kara and Oliver had a falling out but not over what. Kara had kept up with his murders early on with a bit of humor. Lately she could not stand him, even mentioned to Alex once that she wouldn't cry over his grave if he died. Thankfully, before the coffee had finished brewing, Kara walked in.

“You won’t believe this! Jessica, Mom and Dad, they all think I should go to AA! Its ridiculous. Also I have to be under house arrest tomorrow night because they are afraid I will…Nyssa! Nyssa? Oh boy, This is so not good. Nyssa, you should have called. You really, really should have called.”

“I was in the city. I have never called before. I did not see you flying about so guessed you might be home. Your beautiful sister has been keeping me very entertained.” a very amused Nyssa told her. She had seen many emotions on Kara’s face, her dry, black humor, her light hearted playfulness, her rage and her coldness. Worried and slightly embarrassed were new ones.

“She took my picture and sent it to our friend Kelex.” Nyssa added.

“Kelex? Alex, there is…this is…it sounds worse than it…I would have told you but you didn’t need to get involved. It was…its a funny story actually. Okay, its not funny at all but there is a reason. I didn’t lose my cool or anything…okay Oliver might say differently but honestly he has no room to talk. I should have killed him for protecting Malcolm Merlyn after he told me he was dead but…I didn’t. See? I didn’t lose my cool. Nyssa…you can tell her. Nyssa is a friend of mine…”

“And the leader of the League of Assassins. Yes, I heard. Malcolm Merlyn? He was already dead, Kara.” Alex reminded her. 

“No he wasn’t. I found proof and Oliver Queen confirmed it. Merlyn brainwashed Thea Queen into killing Sara Lance. Merlyn did this because the League was searching for him. The only chance he had was for Oliver to take the blame for Sara Lance’s murder and fight Ra’s. Ra’s knew he didn’t do it but didn’t care. Oliver had to face Ra’s to answer for Sara’s killing.”

Alex shook her head, desperately wishing she hadn’t poured all the alcohol out.

“Why…that makes no sense. How…what the hell did you do while I was living with Cameron?! Damn it Kara! You tell me you can take care of yourself and you get involved with the League of Assassins! Malcolm Merlyn was dead! Its probably like that Harrison Wells thing! Maybe he was from some alternate universe!”

“No, he wasn’t, Alex. Oliver thought he killed him while the Undertaking occurred. He was wrong. When he found out he was alive and Thea’s father he stopped Nyssa from killing him. He had her locked in a cage in that damn hideout of his. They shot her with a tranquilizer! I found out when Kelex caught Merlyn on facial recognition at a hotel in Brazil. I crashed into Oliver’s hideout so confront him, freed Nyssa, and then killed her father since he was only concerned with Queen. Oliver couldn’t have beaten him so I did. Sara Lance was Nyssa’s lover. She wanted revenge for her and I wanted revenge for the 503 people who died in the Undertaking! I pulled most of them out and couldn’t recognize them, no one could! They were crushed, children, Alex! To do what she needed to do, her father had to go. Plus the man had wiped out cities for the past hundred and fifty years. She was good with it, I promise.”

Alex and Kara stared at each other, saying nothing for a full minute before Nyssa cleared her throat to break up the awkward tension.

“I should probably be going. You two can work this out. Kara, if you would like to have lunch tomorrow, I have a few meetings in the morning but nothing in the afternoon.”

“I’ll text you.”

“Of course. This has been an unforgettable evening. Alex, I do hope we meet again. I would love to get to know you better. If you would like to have dinner…”

“Nyssa.” Kara stopped her, shaking her head. “So not the time.”

“Of course. Good night.”

“No! Wait! You are my friend! Yes, you can come with me tomorrow night. We are having a small dinner party.”

“No, she can’t. We have plans for after the dinner. Family business, remember?”

“She is my friend and does not get to National City often. Plans can wait.”

“She is the leader of the League of Assassins! You want to bring her to Mom and Dad’s?!”

“She wouldn’t hurt them. Nyssa isn’t some serial killer. I told you, she is my friend!”

“Kara, call me tomorrow and let me know. If you wish me to be there I will. Alex, it has been lovely seeing you. I hope we can become good friends as well? Perhaps…”

“Nyssa.” Kara reminded her. “Again, this is so not the time for you to be flirting. I will text you in the morning.”

Nyssa gave one last smile and helped herself out, leaving the two sisters standing closely and staring at each other.

“I would really appreciate it if this could be one of those sister secrets we could keep to ourselves.” Kara tried.

“Ha! You think I would tell Mom and Dad you were the head of the League of Assassins for five minutes? That you killed Ra’s Al Ghul? I didn’t know what a Ra’s Al Ghul was ten minutes ago. I can’t believe you didn’t tell me this! We could have handled Merlyn together!”

“You don’t need to get involved in League business, Alex.” Kara told her, walking to the fridge.

“And you do? Since when are you besties with anybody? You pick the worst best friends. First Lena Luthor whose brother wanted to turn you into his personal weapon and trophy wife and now the leader of the League of Assassins! Unbelievable. If I ever move in with another woman you are moving in with us.”

Kara ignored that and moved quickly to the kitchen. Finding no ale in the fridge she looked in her cabinets for …

“You poured out my beverages?”

“The alcohol you bury yourself under every night? Yeah, I did. Why? Are you cold, or is shaking something that you are trying out to blend in better?” 

“Don’t Alex. It has been a stressful day…”

“Yeah and tomorrow is going to be worse. Its the two year anniversary of you cutting your wrists! You are going to be at Jessica’s and judging by your shaking, you need to stop drinking. I knew you were drinking, Kara, but how much? Enough that you can’t go a few hours without it affecting you?”

Kara sad nothing, walking to the door.

“Where are you going?”

“Out.” Kara told her and closed the door behind her. Alex let her go, knowing she couldn’t stop her. She was going to the bar. Either that or to whatever hotel this extremely hot leader of the League of Assassins was staying at.

No, she was definitely going to the bar. Alex picked up her phone. He answered on the first ring.

“You busy?”

“Never for this. She has gone to the bar?” J’onn guessed.

“Yep.”

“I will watch her. Relax Alex. I won’t let anything happen to her.”

“Thank you, J’onn.”

“Never thank me. I do think it is time we talked about having that intervention…”

“Yeah, I know. She has started shaking. Give it some time though. Barry Allen being with her this weekend, she was in a really good spot.”

“Did she drink after he fell asleep?”

Alex said nothing. There was no point. J’onn knew the answer before he asked the question.

“Rest, relax. I will have her home tonight.” the Martian assured her.

“I can’t do either, but thanks. Text me when you see her.”

Alex hung up the phone and walked to the bedroom, taking off her denim jacket and placing the staff inside it back into the safe.

She then picked up a photo on the dresser. It was a picture of her and Kara at the beach. Kara did not have her glasses on. It was taken on their 15th and 16th birthdays. The smile the blonde had was brilliant. She was in there. She would find her way back. She had too.

Central City

“No! There is absolutely no way you spent the weekend with Supergirl and are not going tell us about it.” Cisco argued. Barry had been on the speed track all afternoon and said nothing, avoiding questions from Cisco and Caitlin. Now Iris was here as well. All three were shouting questions as he ran in circles.

The man finally stopped, skidding to a stop in front of them.

“We had a great time. I crashed a high priced society event to find her, we stole a Lamborghini, drove it to the beach and talked for a while. Then we went back to her place and watched movies, ate ice cream and had dinner at a few places she liked. We hung out on the boardwalk, rode her bike down the coast, then Saturday night we watched The Force Awakens and I got her to watch the JJ Abrams Star Trek movies. I slept on the couch both nights. Thats it.”

“What did she think of the JJ Abrams movies…”

“Cisco! That doesn't matter. Did the two of you team up? Fight any aliens or metas?” Iris asked.

“Did you ask her about her respiratory rates when flying?” Cailtin added on. “Can she really fly in space? How does her body operate without oxygen? How much does she have to eat a day? Does she eat or is there some special Krypton diet she is on? Does she even eat organic creatures or is she strictly vegan? Perhaps she eats radiation? Do I need to check you for trace amounts? Could I? I would love to know her diet…”

“Enough!” Barry shouted. “I did not ask her any questions about those…where do you two even come up with this?”

“Do you think you can get me an interview?” Iris pleaded. “It isn’t fair that she only speaks to Lois Lane. Some journalists even think Lois Lane knows who she is when she isn’t flying around. How does she disguise herself?”

Barry took a deep breath.

“Look, I had a nice time. I had a great time. It was really good just…being near her. You don’t understand. Before you knew her as Supergirl I knew her as Kara. Thats who she is and always will be to me. No more questions. She mentioned that she may come to Central City soon to see me. Do not ask her these questions. They would make her uncomfortable and she does not need that. She would probably never come near any of you again.”

Barry pulled himself away from his annoying friends and ran home. It had been quiet all weekend and the Flash hadn’t been missed. He knew it was a matter of time before the next threat showed itself but for now he was happy. He had forgotten how much he enjoyed being in her presence, how relaxing it was, like they had known each other for years.

He also knew that something was very wrong. The man tried not to think about it, tried to ignore it, but had noticed her hand trembling at times. She would disappear for a moment and be back, but he recognized the smell, even if it had been from her bathroom. It smelt like alcohol but much stronger. He also noted she had rinsed her mouth out several times. Kara had mentioned to him jokingly that there were bars unknown to the public that catered to aliens. Barry couldn’t help but wonder how often she frequented those bars. Hearing what little he did, not knowing the whole story of course, had given him a bit of insight to the girl he had always been crazy about. 

Barry walked in, said hello to Joe who was watching a ball game and moved to his room. Staring out the window he thought of all she had told him on the beach the first night.

The stories about her arrival, learning to fight, the prison, her mother, her aunt and uncle. Having to kill her own aunt to save her family. Dick Grayson told him Kara was obsessive about her family. He could imagine the fear she felt when she realized Astra had found her parents and brother. 

Barry’s thoughts drifted to his father and of course Zoom. At the end, he had the demon defeated. He had every chance to kill him and hesitated. If the Time Wraiths had not appeared, what would he have done? They had already known they could not contain the man. Could he have done it? Could he have killed?

Kara could have. She wouldn’t hesitate. She had killed her last living blood relative besides Clark, because she threatened her adopted family. Kara told him she would have frozen Zoom and shattered his skull. That wasn’t just talk. He knew she wasn’t lying.

There was a part of Kara he had never seen. If Barry stayed involved in her life, he had no doubt one day he would see it.

She had beaten the hell out of Dick Grayson and the man said she did it without her powers. How did she get rid of her powers? Why would she want to? Barry had lost his speed twice and hated the feeling. Why would she want to be rid of her powers?

Because she hated them, he realized. Kara Danvers wanted to be human, It was all she wanted probably. Since she arrived on this planet, she had these powers and honed them, not to help others but for war. She helped others, he had watched everything she did over the years. She had saved thousands. If an earthquake, wildfire, flood, tsunami or tornado occurred she was there to save everyone she could. She had helped trapped firemen, handled hostage situations with police forces all over the country. But that was not why she had learned to master her powers. She did it to prepare for war.

Had the war really ended for her? Had it ended for him? Would Zoom haunt him forever, the look on his father’s face, telling him it was okay and knowing he was going to die? Kneeling over his mother, saying goodbye and watching her die? Barry couldn’t kill Thawne and as a result, Eddie and Ronnie had died. If he had killed him before Thawne ever tempted him with saving his mother…if Barry hand’t fallen for it…

He shook himself out of those thoughts when his phone buzzed. It was Kara.

/What R U doing?/

Barry smiled, glad that she had been thinking about him.

/Staring out my window, thinking of a flying blonde car thief. You?/

/Thinking about a Trekkie who nearly blew the transmission of a Lamborghini because he couldn’t handle a stick shift. Thats why I won’t let you drive my bike./

Barry laughed, thinking of her in pajamas, crashed on the couch watching television. He had no way of knowing she was drinking at an alien bar in National City, nearly alone, because when Kara Zor El walked in, the majority of aliens ran away.

/So when is the fifth date? I need to plan to avoid my friends/

/they aren’t still upset about me and my flying rodent buddy breaking into their hangout, are they?/

/No, instead they are fan girling and have a list of about a hundred questions to ask you. You could sneak over to my place. Joe can be discreet and he wants to meet you./

Barry stared at his phone for the next five minutes, waiting for a reply and worrying he had said something wrong. He had never met her parents. Did she not want to meet Joe? Perhaps he could tell her she didn’t have to, he could pay for a hotel, or…

While his thoughts ran wild, he finally received a reply.

/Next Saturday/

The Flash let out a sigh of relief. 

/Great. We should probably avoid stealing any cars./

/You can be such a do gooder. Why not? The only one who can stop us is the Flash and I think we both know I am faster than he is/

/Sounds like a challenge./

/I’m going to sleep. Talk to you tomorrow?/ 

/Count on it./

Barry thought of turning in himself. A knock on the front door sent him downstairs. Joe had answered and did not look happy. Stepping back from the door and beckoning the guest in, Barry was shocked to see Oliver Queen.

“Oliver? What are you doing here?”

The man appeared more tense than usual and the Flash mentally prepared himself to take on a meta or some sort of villain the Arrow had tracked to Central City.

“Can we talk outside, Barry?”

Barry nodded and stepped out onto the porch, Oliver closing the door behind them.

“What is going on? You need help, I’m game.”

“I don’t need help, Barry. Felicity told me that she talked to Caitlin. You spent the weekend with Supergirl?”

“Yeah, she said she knew you. She also told me not to ask you about her. You two had a falling out or something? It isn’t my business. Now what is so important you came all the way to Central City?”

Oliver looked down, trying to figure out how to approach this. He had hours, traveling from Star City to figure this out and still hadn’t come up with a good solution.

“Barry, you of course know how I was when I came back from the island. You told me once I could be better, be more. You have saved me a few times and I consider you a friend. I realize this is going to be hypocritical but I…we all, Felicity, Roy, Diggle, we feel like we should warn you.”

“Warn me about what?”

“Forget what you have read in the papers or seen on the news. Do you have any idea how psychotic she really is?”

 

Chapter Text

Do not own DC or CW characters

 

 

Chapter 5 Kara and Oliver’s Complicated Past

 

The night of the Undertaking

 

Supergirl watched Oliver Queen kneeling over a man who had been pierced by a steel rod in a partially collapsed building. Kara had known who the Hood was before this took place. She expected Bruce had as well. It wasn’t hard to figure out. Oliver Queen returned from the island after five years, covered in scars that were not self inflicted, tattoos including a Bratva one indicating he was a Captain. Within days of his return a hooded vigilante began harassing the elite of the city, assaulting, murdering, torturing, all in a bid to make them change their ways or turn them into corpses. Bruce wanted to take him in. Kara refused to let him.

As far as she was concerned, he was not going after innocents. He was going after scum and in her mind it simply wasn’t her business. She did the same. Every alien she found that wanted to hurt her or had hurt others was simply something to be destroyed. He may have gone after a different class of criminal but his methods and hers weren’t that different.

Oliver had his hood back, and even through the black face paint, she could tell he was crying. She listened from the back in the shadows, not wanting to intrude. She could tell with her X ray vision that the man would not live. He was bleeding internally, ironically the rod being the only thing keeping him alive this long.

She heard the man named Tommy ask if Oliver had killed his father. Oliver told him he hadn’t and Tommy died.

Kara walked up slowly behind him. Oliver heard her and turned, ready to fight until he saw the blue and red.

“What are you doing here?” the shaken man asked.

“I began flying as soon as your mother told the world that she has been part of a scheme with Malcolm Merlyn to level the city. I am sorry about your friend.”

Oliver said nothing, looking back at the man he considered his brother.

“He is Tommy Merlyn, right?”

Oliver still said nothing.

“Where is his father?” Kara asked, quietly.

Oliver took a breath, trying to keep from breaking down. All the work, the List, the crusade, everything they had done had been for nothing. Malcolm had gotten what he wanted.

“I killed him.” the vigilante told her. 

Kara wondered if he was telling the truth. She could usually discern if someone was telling a lie, having quite a bit of experience lying herself. Oliver Queen was a master at it, she was sure. He had gotten away with being the Hood despite the evidence stacked against him for nearly a year.

“You just told your friend that you hadn’t. Tell me where he is and I will take him in. If you don’t and I find him on my own, I will kill him.”

“I killed him! I lied to Tommy okay?! What do you want me to say? While my city was falling apart I fought him, almost lost and killed him. I stuck an arrow into his heart, through my shoulder. He is dead!”

Kara looked at him closely, seeing through his shirt and did note there was a hole in his shoulder that went through and through.

“I am sorry for your loss. You should go. Police will be all over what is left of the Glades soon. I will make sure he is taken care of.”

The Arrow looked at her closely. Even in the dark, he could tell she was heartbroken over what had occurred. He could see she wished she had gotten here sooner. But it wasn’t her responsibility. Saving this city had been his and he had failed. Taking one last look at Tommy, he stood up and left.

Oliver never saw the next 24 hours. He had gone home, checked on Thea, broke the news to Laurel, who had already known and was practically catatonic and checked on Diggle and Felicity. He never saw Kara Danvers flying over the Glades, spotting bodies in the rubble from above and working with rescue workers to save the trapped and recover the dead. He never saw her face, emotionless on the outside and dying on the inside. 

Kara had worked disasters before but the idea that this was caused by a man and one she could not make pay was making it hard for her to focus. She had also never seen so many dead, crushed and unrecognizable. Kara saw a girl, and while she could not make out her face due to the trauma, saw that she had dark hair, nearly identical to Alex’s when she was a young teenager.

The severity of the Earthquake also shocked her. Earthquakes caused deaths but this had to be a 9.0, unheard of in recent times. People had tried evacuating, many had gotten free but many had not. 

It was a day neither Kara or Oliver would ever forget and she had never wanted to kill someone as badly as she wanted to kill Malcolm Merlyn, not since Non.

The Siege

It was over. Oliver had Slade defeated. His ruse had worked, Felicity did what he knew she could do.

The man was tied, wrapped around a pole and all Oliver had to do was strike. One arrow, into his eye, maybe his heart and it would be over for good.

This man had killed his mother. He had kidnapped Thea, set lose an army of Mirakuru soldiers on the streets of Starling City, murdering whoever they came across. 

But his promise to himself, in memory of Tommy, kept him from delivering the fatal blow. 

On the streets below, ARGUS agents and Starling City Police Department, Nyssa and the League members she had brought with her, Sara Lance, and Roy Harper continued to battle the unnaturally strong soldiers who were attacking citizens at random. People were caught, caught in the crossfire and caught in the path of these maniacs that had sprung from nowhere.

The violence down below had to end. Everyone not a Mirakuru soldier relaxed,when one masked individual was struck in the chest with twin beams of energy and fell to the ground. No one, police included, had to guess who was there but everyone looked up regardless.

A flash of red and blue swooped down and landed in the street. She began to move as soon as her feet hit the ground, only appearing as a blur, arms swinging, taking down the madmen in one shot, ripping tendons with her fingers, cracking skulls and burning kneecaps. 

Supergirl heard a man yell and a woman scream for Ray. Kara looked over and saw a man she guessed was Ray on the ground. His leg had obviously been broken and the woman was being held by one of the masked soldiers by the throat. Kara heard him scream for Anna.

The soldier squeezed, or tried to at least, hoping to snap her neck. Instead all five of his fingers were bent back and broken in less than a second by Supergirl who was moving at breakneck speed. The woman collapsed on the ground and Kara swung at the soldier, most likely cracking his forehead and definitely putting him to sleep for a very long time.

Supergirl helped the woman up who then rushed to her fiance. Kara had seen the man before on magazine covers. Ray Palmer, founder and CEO of Palmer Tech. She had flown past his satellites occasionally when soaring outside the atmosphere.

“Ray!” Anna had shouted, falling beside him.

Supergirl checked the surrounding area. No more soldiers seemed to be about. She had covered four other sections of the city already.

Seeing the area was clear, besides the dead bodies of civilians killed in this nightmare and the maimed bodies of masked killers she had left behind, she checked on Palmer with her X ray vision.

“You have a clean break of your fibula. This area is secure. Wait for an Emergency worker and do not move. I have to check the city and make sure none got away.”

“You saved my Anna.” Ray told her, pain forgotten for a moment. He had gone from sheer terror to relief in a matter of seconds. He was close to seeing the love of his life have her neck snapped while he lay helpless.

“You will both be okay. Police are nearly here. I have to go.”

Both Mr. Palmer and his fiancee Anna watched her fly off, quickly out of sight. Kara did not go far. Once over the center of the city she listened, drowning out sounds until he heard the one voice she wanted.

Kara crashed through the top of the building, landing on one knee next to Oliver Queen. She noted a woman she believed was Laurel Lance and Felicity Smoak who Kelex had told her was running operations for Queen, were present.

“Who is this?” she asked.

“Slade Wilson. I’m taking him in. There is a prison run by ARGUS…” Oliver started.

“So they can study him?” the blonde asked, to be sure, disbelieving . “Why did you do this?” she asked Wilson. 

The man smiled.

“Ask the hero of Starling City. Tell her kid. Tell the champion of the world why we are here. You should have killed me when you had the chance. I suppose the symbol for all that is good in your pathetic world is going to bring me in wearing cuffs. I might even get a trial.”

“Doubtful.” Kara told him, her eyes lighting up.

“Stop! Do not kill him!” Queen shouted, stepping in front of her.

“He did this for revenge? On you?”  Kara turned to Wilson. “Many are dead in the streets all so you can pay him back for some wrong? Why didn’t you just kill him?”

“Death is too good for him.”

“So you killed people he had no connection to. He can give you to ARGUS. If you ever want to commit suicide just escape. I will make sure it hurts a lot when I kill you. You won’t be able to hide from me. I know everything every Government in this world knows. You step out of your cell I am stepping on you hard. You know who I am. You know I can’t be touched. If you think I won’t kill you, then you are a fool. Look me in the eyes, Wilson. Tell me I am lying.”

Slade Wilson did look in her eyes and what he found surprised him. She may have been cute, beautiful, even breathtaking, but she was a killer, the same as him and Oliver. The only difference, Kara was not on some crusade to prove she could be a hero and not kill.

“Damn kid. If you were half the man she is, maybe your city wouldn’t have burned tonight.”

Kara threw an elbow into his chin, knocking him out easily. She then turned to Queen.

“He came after you. You want him to live, fine. But if he kills another person I am blaming you as well. The next time you know something is going to happen like this, find me. Come to National City, stand anywhere and call my name. I could have ended this before any lives were lost. If you want to protect the people of this city, know when you are out of your league.”

Oliver dropped his head.

“Yeah, I know.”

Satisfied by his tone, Kara took off out of the building. She had seen more destruction and death and needed a drink.

Those were the experiences Oliver Queen had with Kara Danvers, leading up to the situation he had found himself in a year and a half before the present day. Kara had arrived once every couple months to check on Starling City to his annoyance. She never threatened him, seeming more interested in local criminal activity. He also noted that she was informed on everything in what was now called Star City, renamed by the man who took over his family’s company, Ray Palmer.

Ray Palmer had also placed a large statue in front of Palmer Tech, formerly Queen Consolidated, of the Girl of Steel, hailing her the Savior of Star City, the woman who stopped the army intent on destroying the city. The Arrow as he was now known, was not as revered by the citizens. Star City Police called on him more than once to stop the vigilantism he was known for and allow them to do their jobs, assuring the citizens that if the worst happened, Supergirl would come.

Oliver often wondered if she had access to all the knowledge Felicity had, if somehow she was watching everything Felicity did and stealing information from her. He soon found out that wasn’t true. Supergirl did not need Felicity as she made abundantly clear the last time he saw her.

Oliver had been close to sending his team to the club up top, so he could find the location of Nanda Parbat from Nyssa who had been captured and was being held behind bars in an attempt to prevent her from killing Malcolm Merlyn.

He never got a chance to send his team away. The intruder alert tried to sound but it was too late. They all heard the crash in the elevator shaft and then the door to the elevator was kicked open, flying into the lair. 

Roy, Diggle, Laurel, Felicity were seeing at the same thing Oliver was seeing and having trouble believing it. This was not the red and blue clad super heroine who was the symbol of all that was right in the world. This was not the girl who would randomly fly into cities and land next to children, signing autographs and taking photos then flying off to stop a robbery, a terrorist plot, save people from certain death.

No, this was a blonde, clad in a black bodysuit, with eyes glowing and a look on her face that made it obvious she was not there for a friendly chat.

Before they could understand what was happening, Kara was across the room, her hand on Oliver Queen’s throat, lifting him off the ground.

“You told me you killed Malcolm Merlyn. He is alive. I saw him on video in Brazil and I have video of him in Star City as well. He is alive! You lied to me to protect that monster?!”

“I thought I killed him.” Oliver gasped.

“How long have you known he was alive?”

“Its complicated.” he choked out. 

Kara threw him into a console and looked around the room, noting the woman behind bars.

“That is funny. A wanted vigilante keeping a makeshift prison. KIdnapping to go along with the rest of your crimes. I should have let Batman take you in long ago. He knows who you are. I never told him. He is brilliant and unlike you, he is able to stop threats to Gotham before mass murder occurs.”

Kara heard DIggle pull a gun behind her. She turned around, smiling for the first time, eyes still glowing.

“Aren’t you cute, big guy? John Diggle, former special forces and now sidekick to this failure. What exactly do you think you are going to do with that gun?”

John never got a chance to answer, his gun heating up quickly. The man dropped it before it turned into a puddle of molten steel and plastic on the ground. Everyone jumped when the ammo blew up.

The blonde turned her attention back to Oliver Queen.

“How long have you known?”

“Three months. He…he set my sister up, his daughter…”

“Thea Queen is his daughter? Why haven’t you taken him into the police?”

Oliver shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts and wondering how he could calm the blonde alien long enough to explain what was going on.  Taking a look at Nyssa, he saw that she was plainly amused, smiling widely with her arms crossed.

“Perhaps I can explain?” the woman behind bars asked. 

Kara looked towards her and sharp burst of heat vision, snapped the lock on the small cage. Nyssa walked out and offered her hand.

“Nyssa Al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul and heir to the Demon.”

 Kara took her hand, her eyes finally turning blue and the glow gone.

“At this moment I am Kara Zor El, last daughter of Krypton, and the avenger of 503 people who died in a man made earthquake. I want Malcolm Merlyn’s blood.”

“This is not your concern!” Oliver shouted, standing once again.

“Your mother got off!" Kra shouted, Oliver having her attention once again. "A jury that was obviously rigged saved her from the death penalty she deserved! I let it go. You said Malcolm Merlyn was dead, so I let it go. Now he is alive and you know? Who will answer for the deaths of 503 people in the Undertaking? Where is your sense of justice now? Why haven’t you turned him in?” Men, women, children, all dead, crushed, murdered by a man you are protecting! You think that is justice? What about your friend Tommy? Who is going to answer for his death? Because the perpetrator was his father the rest of the loved ones of the dead get no justice? Is this what you believe? Again, why haven't you turned him in?!"

“He can’t.” Nyssa told her, already extremely impressed. Of course the whole world, even in places as isolated as Nanda Parbat, knew who she was. The assassin had not recognized her at first, garbed in all black and a righteous fury on her face. “Malcolm Merlyn knows his identity. If he takes Merlyn to justice his identity is at risk of being discovered. While the police practically worship you, they are not as fond of the so called Arrow nor Oliver Queen, former billionaire, played for a fool.”

Kara moved quickly into the Arrow’s personal space, faces inches from each other. “Is this true?”

“It is more complicated.” he told her.

It was at that moment that Kara heard an extremely, loud and sharp cry. It hurt her for an instant but she drowned it in less than a second. A hand on Oliver’s chest sent him flying back into Diggle and she looked at Laurel Lance, wearing some sort of sonic device around her neck.

“Since I have been on this planet, I have had to learn to drown out sounds, focus on those I want to hear and dismiss those that do not matter. Dinah Laurel Lance, correct? Assistant District Attorney and accomplice to a vigilante and the running of an illegal prison. Not very law abiding, are you Black Canary? Weren’t you leading the manhunt for the Arrow last year? Everyone seems to fall under your spell, don’t they Oliver?”

Oliver saw Roy try to move towards his bow but shook him off quickly. He knew nothing in this lair, or world most likely, could stop her. The Arrow had to calm her down, to listen to reason.

“I can explain everything…”

“You are a liar.” Kara told him. “Do you know the difference in us? When I go after a target, I don’t miss. I don’t give them a chance to right their own wrongs and kill the dozen bodyguards surrounding them instead. There is absolutely no excuse for protecting him. My mother’s twin sister, the aunt I loved as a child, tried to exterminate the human race. I snapped her neck! Do you really think there is anything you could tell me that would justify this?!"

“He has also declared war with the League of Assassins, telling us that Malcolm Merlyn is under his protection in Star City and no one shall touch him.” Nyssa told her, adding fuel to the girl’s fiery eyes.

Kara looked again at Oliver. He was worried, as close to panicking as she had ever seen him but what she did not see was any denial in his face. Nyssa Al Ghul was telling the truth.

“So you plan to what? Bring another war to Star City? How many more people will die because of your decisions, Oliver Queen?”

“I will not start a war with the League of Assassins.” Oliver assured her. “I will face Ra’s myself. If I can beat him, then there…”

“Then what? You give up the vigilante life and become the head of the League? Call off the manhunt for Merlyn? Of course not. You don’t want to run the League. So who takes over? I am guessing you don’t plan on giving the title to Nyssa here since she wants Merlyn dead. That leaves…you have to be kidding me.”

Nyssa smiled wider, walking closer to Oliver Queen. She enjoyed the look of panic his stoic face tried to hide. “You are correct, Kara. He plans to beat my father and name Malcolm Merlyn as head of the League of Assassins.”

“And if you die, Oliver?” Kara asked, watching him closely, studying his body language, his eyes. The man looked down and began walking around the lair. Looking at the display cases full of costumes, he shook his head then turned back to Kara.

“I die as Sara Lance’s killer, the League has no more feud with my sister or Star City.”

Kara threw her head back and laughed. She couldn’t believe the stupidity of this man. Taking a look at Nyssa, it was obvious this woman had a special hate for Oliver and Merlyn.

“Nyssa, I believe I have heard everything Oliver has to say. Please tell me what has happened.”

Kara listened to the woman closely. She heard her talk about Sara Lance, Oliver stopping Nyssa from killing Merlyn and then discovering that Merlyn had brainwashed his own daughter to kill Nyssa’s love. The more she heard, the more disgusted she became.

“Why? Why would you defend someone so dishonorable?” the blonde asked Queen.

“He is my sister’s father. He was Tommy’s father. He is…”

“A mass murderer. Nyssa if Oliver is killed, will your father hunt Merlyn?”

Nyssa looked away, not quite sure how to answer. Kara noticed and was surprised. She expected that the woman would swear vengeance. Her hesitancy was unexpected.

“Nyssa?” Kara asked again. The woman met her eyes and Kara saw all she needed. Nyssa did not believe her father would care about capturing Malcolm Merlyn. Nyssa had led this crusade herself. Her father may have supported her but the drive belonged to her.

“I do not know.” she finally admitted. “The League wants him to answer for his blunder in the Undertaking but…my father has destroyed cities before in what he considered a cleansing. He did not care for Sara. I do not know what he will do. I will not stop looking but the League…”

“Will support you.” Kara assured her. “Can you defeat your father? Do you wish to?”

“I do wish to. I do not love him, but I cannot defeat him.” the woman admitted with much difficulty. “He has over one hundred years of battle. He cannot be defeated by me, or by Oliver Queen.”

Kara closed her eyes and thought. She had options, but which was the best? She had no doubt Merlyn would stay in uninhabited areas only, popping up on facial recognition occasionally. She did not want to waste the time and resources to track him down yet had no choice. She could not get rid of the image of that crushed girl with Alex’s hair, the image that haunted her often. That girl and the hundreds of others would be calling for justice in her nightmares.

She knew what she had to do. The answer was simple.

“If I take responsibility for killing Sara Lance your father would be forced to fight me, correct? If I do this and take his mantle, I will pass it on to you, under the conditions that we will always be friends, my enemies are yours and yours mine. My family is your family to protect as well as it is mine. You must also spare no effort to find and slaughter Malcolm Merlyn. We will pool our resources and get justice for those killed by him, including Sara Lance. Do we have an oath?”

Nyssa smiled, truly smiled for the first time since she learned Sara was dead. She took Kara’s hand and swore the same.

Oliver watched the two women discussing the death of a man he had sworn to himself that he would protect and desperately tried to think of anyway he could stop her.

“I have already confessed to killing Sara Lance.” he tried.

“But you can’t fight him. You have a torn ACL.” Kara pointed out. Before Oliver could ask what she was talking about, he hit the ground as soon as Kara’s foot kicked the side of his knee in a downward motion.

“I felt for you once, Oliver. I understood what it was to have family you are ashamed of. I didn’t care that you were killing scumbags. My friend in black wanted to take you down but I wouldn’t let him. You have failed this city one too many times though. Defending the man responsible for the Undertaking is despicable. You are done. If I see or hear about a hood in the city again, Batman or I will come for you. He will probably add another brand to your collection of scars. I’m just going to kill you. No matter how many scars you have, I have more. Team Arrow is out of business. Kelex, blow their system.”

The members of Team Arrow hit the ground Oliver was already lying on as the monitors, hard drives and servers all exploded. A surge of power shattered the lights, leaving only red emergency lights on. Kara walked over to the cases holding the costumes and lit them up, leaving the garments burning, adding light to the lair. She snapped the arrows present and took the sonic device off a very frightened Laurel Lance’s throat, crushing it in her hand.

Kneeling next to Oliver she whispered in his ear.

“Never try and stand in my way. If he means that much to you I will have his head mailed to you. I'm not lying to you. I hear about a hood in this city and I will slaughter the person wearing it. Black vinyl should probably be avoided as well. Being a vigilante can get someone disbarred. Something to remind Lance of."

Team Arrow stayed on the ground as Kara and Nyssa walked to the elevator that had been destroyed. Wrapping an arm around Nyssa’s waist she launched them both into the sky.

Central City

Oliver finished his story, hoping his friend would understand. Caitlin had gushed to Felicity about Barry and Kara’s past and the way they looked at each other. Barry didn’t understand the hate, misery and violence Oliver had seen in the blonde’s eyes that night. She was a force of pure destruction bent on the death of Malcolm Merlyn. She put a fist through Ra's Al Ghul's chest, bent the League of Assassins to her will and Malcolm Merlyn was killed, torn apart and spread over a mountain top. Oliver received an unsigned note a month later, telling him the spot Merlyn’s remains were spread over if he and Thea wanted to pay respects.

“Do you understand, Barry?” Oliver asked.

Barry shook his head and sat down on the porch, elbows on his knees.

“No Oliver, I don’t understand.”

“I realize how she appears to the world…”

“No.” Barry stopped him. “I don’t understand how you could have protected that man, how you could have justified it. When you were killing people, when you first appeared, it never bothered me. I knew I could never be like you but I looked up to you because you did what was necessary. When I found out who you were…I defended you to Joe. I respected you. How could you let that man go, much less defend him?”

Oliver was surprised and disappointed. Was Barry already under her spell?

“Barry, the circumstances involved with Merlyn were not cut and dry. What I am trying to stress to you is how dangerous she is. She can’t be stopped and her temper, that power, in someone as angry as she is…”

“You are such a hypocrite.” Barry said quietly, then looked Oliver in the eyes. “You decided not to kill and the world follows your lead? You punished those who failed your city and you protected the one who killed the most? Why Oliver? Make me understand, because I can’t.”

“Barry! She broke into our lair, broke my leg, could have crushed Laurel’s throat. She burned down the place. She released a woman bent on revenge and placed her as head of the League of Assassins. They swore oaths basically tying her to the League and the League to her! They talked about murdering a man…”

“A monster.” Barry corrected. “Oliver, when I beat Zoom I hesitated. I should have killed him but I didn’t. Luckily for everyone some creatures…it doesn’t matter. The point is, if I had let him live, he would have continued killing. He murdered my father, kidnapped Joe, kidnapped Caitlin, toyed with people’s lives. I almost made a mistake. A mistake I thought you never would have made, but now I wonder.”

“She can’t be stopped.”

“Maybe she shouldn’t be.” Barry countered. “I think you should go back to Star City.”

Oliver sighed and rubbed his forehead. Barry had been the one who encouraged him to change, him and Felicity had convinced him to do things differently. Now Barry was about to get in bed with a woman who Oliver unfortunately understood. He saw Supergirl’s eyes. He had never seen so much hate, rage, pain, in anyone’s eyes. The most powerful person in the world, the one who could not be defeated by any country was insane and hiding behind more than one facade.

“Barry…just be careful. If you make her angry, she will hurt you.”

Barry Allen stood up and shook his head.  He looked at Oliver carefully, wondering if he realized what a hypocrite he was being.

“Give me one reason why Malcolm Merlyn should have remained free.”

Oliver opened his mouth, then closed it, turning his back on his friend.

“I…I didn’t want Thea to lose one more…I don’t know.”  Oliver turned around once more. “That isn’t why I came to talk to you. I just want to know if you truly understand what you are getting into? She isn’t human, Barry. She may look like a beautiful blonde, but she isn’t. She can’t be stopped. I looked her in the eyes and what I saw there is the same thing I have seen in my own eyes. The difference is I can be stopped. She has unlimited power. She told something or someone called a Kelex to blow our system and it happened. She is an alien, one who decides who lives and who dies and knows that no one on Earth can stop her. If you get involved with her, just be careful. Always remember, she is not human.”

Barry nodded his head.

“A lot of people have said the same thing about you, Oliver. Are you sure you are mad that she killed Merlyn or does it have more to do with her not listening to you? You have a lot of pride, man. I bet the idea of a girl throwing you around had to hurt, didn’t it?”

“That isn’t what this is about!”

“Is it because she did what you should have done?” Barry tried.

“No, it is…you are the one who told me I could be more, that I didn’t have to kill.” Queen reminded him.

Barry shrugged his shoulders and walked to the front door. 

“Maybe I was wrong. Be careful on the way back to Star City.”

 

That said, Barry opened the door and walked inside. He didn’t say anything to Joe, who was obviously surprised he wasn’t going out with Queen or had invited the vigilante inside. Barry simply walked up the stairs, into his room and lay down. Thinking about what Oliver said to him about Kara, he became angrier. Angrier at Oliver for his hypocrisy and angrier at himself for his own failure. He hesitated killing Zoom. Why? Why hadn’t he called Kara? Had his pride cost his father’s life? He had often wondered if Kara could have really stopped someone as fast as Zoom so easily. She was invincible but she had a heart, organs, she had blood running through her veins. The monster was faster than Barry. He could have phased a hand into her body and shredded her. The man had not wanted Kara anywhere near Central City.

Now he knew better. Kara would have killed Zoom. She would not have hesitated. There would have been no questioning of whether she was doing the right thing. 

What did she really think of him and how he handled the situation? Did Kara think he was weak? Did she feel sorry for him? Kara had told him she would be looking out for him from now on. Did that mean she thought he needed protection?

Barry thought of all she had told him, what she had lost. He had lost his mother and it scarred him his entire life it seemed. She had lost everything but her cousin. She lost the ground under her feet and the only woman who had been left alive, who she had loved from her childhood, Kara had killed to protect those who became her family. The girl never hesitated.

No, she wasn’t human. She was strong and he knew there was a storm behind her beautiful eyes and smile, but he knew she wasn’t human. A human would not have gone to the lengths she did to get justice for hundreds of dead she didn’t know. A human would not have worried about a guy she hadn’t seen in six years.

When Kara entered S.T.A.R. before she realized he was the Flash, she threatened to tear him limb from limb. Batman had said Harrison Wells hurt a friend of hers once and she wanted him dead. She was ready to kill the Flash to get to Harrison Wells because she believed Wells had hurt him.

Closing his eyes, he drifted off to sleep eventually, his thoughts all over the place, his father’s face, Zoom laying underneath Barry’s vibrating hand, challenging him to finish it, and Kara, the look of anger on her face and then pity when she realized it was him behind the mask.

National City

Kara woke up with a massive headache, tucked in her bed. The drawback of alien alcohol was there was no alien Tylenol to deal with the consequences. She had almost made herself immune to hangovers but last night had been particularly trying. Megan had brought her different drinks as requested, trying new cocktails that did not smell. None of them tasted very good but that was not the point. She didn’t drink for pleasure. Anti anxiety medications did not work on her but alcohol did. She remembered Megan at one point suggesting she stop and then the woman disappeared. Kara thought she may have gone home. After that she felt arms around her, lifting her up and some part of her mind warned her that she may be being attacked but the larger part of her mind did not care.

Waking up in her own bed, in her pajamas, told her what had happened. J’onn had brought her home and Alex had put her to bed. It wasn’t the first time but never failed to embarrass her. She would almost rather have been left where she was than be treated as someone who needed to be taken care of.

“You feeling okay?” Alex’s quiet voice asked her. She rolled over and saw her sister sitting on the side of her bed.

“My head hurts. Guess I had a wild night, huh?”

“No, a wild night would involve fun.” Alex reminded her. “Drinking alone in a bar, sitting at a table until you pass out and a Martian brings you home is not fun. At least after J’onn’s last involvement, no aliens took a shot at you. They are all looking over their shoulders for him now. Bring Lobo to Earth and the three of you can put every alien bar in the world out of business.”

Kara laughed lightly despite her headache. “Sounds like more drinks for me.” The grin left her face when she noted that Alex was not smiling.

“Lets go to Midvale.” Alex told her suddenly.

Kara was surprised. Usually Alex hated to miss a day of work.

“I think I still have a job I have to go to. Don’t you?”

“No, I mean lets go to Midvale, for good. I will quit the DEO, you quit flying around in a cape. I can work for the bio genetics lab at UNC Raleigh, you could open up that restoration shop you always wanted to, maybe sell paintings at those open street markets sometimes. We will live in our home and enjoy life. Walk away from all this.”

Kara sat up in bed, trying to understand why Alex would be joking this early when she must have known Kara had a massive headache.

“Be serious. I have to get ready for work. I also need a couple gallons of water. That usually helps.”

Alex put a hand on her shoulder.

“I am being serious. I will quit the DEO, put up the armor and weapons if you stop this Supergirl stuff. We can move on, Kara. We saved the word six years ago and have been fighting crime ever since but its never going to stop. Let others handle it. Let the Flash, Batman, anyone else handle it. I think we have earned the peace.”

Kara shook her head wondering if she was still drunk. She touched her sisters cheek to ensure herself this wasn’t a delusion.

“Alex, you love the DEO.” Kara told her. “And you love fighting aliens, metas, crime lords…”

"I love you more.” Alex told her, putting a finger to Kara’s lips. “This isn’t good for you. You never wanted this, remember? We saved the world and did other stuff. I am the one who wanted to keep going, to work for the DEO, to… I don’t want it anymore. Lets go home, Kara. Mom and Dad will leave with us. All of us, we will do anything if you would just stop. We can have that life you dreamed about. Or maybe we can got to another country? What about Greece? England? Maybe France? You have always talked about traveling, exploring these places you have flown over. Maybe its time. You and me, maybe its time we actually had some fun in life? What do you say?”

Alex watched her sister closely, praying to whoever would listen that Kara would go along with it. It was true, she did love what she did, but it was not worth the price.

Kara shook her head and stood up.

“I need water and coffee. More water than coffee.” she mumbled.

“It can be ours, Kara. Say the word and we are gone. No one may be able to hurt you, but this life is killing you and you know it. Deep down, you know this Kara. The drinking, the nightmares, the depression, please say we can go home and its all over.”

Kara laughed and walked to the bathroom, Alex following.

After Kara brushed her teeth she turned to speak to Alex, who was still standing in the doorway.

“You think the nightmares will go away? I can’t quit yet. How am I supposed to sit in Midvale watching people trapped in floods, earthquakes, ship wrecks, everything! How am I supposed to sit in my perfect world knowing I could help and not? The money off this symbol and that damn name pays for a lot of research, treatment, dreams of children who have no hope left or are fighting just to stay alive. People in trouble look to me for help, for hope. How can I walk away until Clark is ready?”

“You won’t make it until he is ready. You won’t let Mom and Dad check you out, to see what all this alcohol you are drinking is doing to you…”

“I do not drink that much! Last night…”

“Yeah.” Alex cut her off. “Last night you were upset they suggested you may be an alcoholic and then proved you weren’t by getting plastered. You want that red sun crystal implanted, you want to be human, have you considered that you are doing so much damage to your organs that when you do lose your powers you will die? Or maybe your addiction will carry over? You are right, the nightmare won’t just go away with your powers but you might. What about Clark? Who is going to guide him when he is ready?”

Kara nearly said you will, but stopped. The last thing she needed to appear was suicidal on this day.

“It helps, okay? I don’t drink often, I just need it to calm down. I sleep better. I had no nightmares last night. Once this is over, I won’t be as tense. I will stop, put it away, never again if it bothers you that much.”

“You need to stop now.” Alex insisted.

“Then you stop. Quit the DEO, quit this Manhunter crap, and back me up from a distance, out of harms way.” Kara countered.

Alex shook her head and walked away. She couldn’t do it. If Kara was on her own she would be killed. She simply drank too much and she had become too confident, thinking nothing could harm her. She would not stop drinking and be in as much danger as before.

“Alex?” Kara called, walking after her.

“No Kara. I have always been by your side and I always will. If you want me safer then stop drinking so you don’t get both of us killed out there. Get dressed. I am driving you to work and Dad will be there at 5:30 to pick you up. No damn excuses. No emergencies, nothing. Do not play games today, Kara. Swear to me.”

Kara felt her temper rising but held it down. It wouldn’t be a problem. She could get what she needed from Megan at lunch and would be fine that night. There would be no family meeting though. Nyssa would be there.

“Fine. No games, I will be there.”

Alex nodded her head and smiled. “Glad to hear it. I also got this Nyssa’s number from Kelex. She was told she wouldn’t be needed and had urgent business to attend to regardless. Something about Darkness is coming and she needed to investigate. I don’t want to know and you do not need to be involved. If you must, then you will tell me everything.”

“Why would she tell you that?” Kara asked quietly, knowing exactly what Nyssa had been talking about. The two had been keeping tabs on Damian Darhk for months, trying to determine his location and plans. Nyssa suspected he was using dark magic and Kara was not excited about the possibility of confronting that. She certainly didn’t want Alex around it.

“Because Kelex disguised my voice as yours and I told her to keep me updated, or you since she thought she was talking to you. We are having a meeting tonight and we are talking about this, everything. All of us.”

The blonde grabbed a gallon of water from the fridge without comment,turned around and moved to the room to get ready for the day. If she thought her family was going to force her into a conversation she did not want to have, they should have known her better. Kara did not like being backed into a corner, especially to deal with a problem that wasn’t a problem.

An hour later, after her sister dressed in black for the day, dropped Kara off, she found herself on the top floor of Catco, preparing for another day of…nothing. The blonde got no enjoyment from the work but it was the easiest job to get away from if she was needed and allowed her to watch news reports from around the world all day.

And then there was her new assistant or Cat’s new assistant, someone’s assistant. Siobhan Smythe. So far she had perfected letting the world know they were beneath her and licking Jimmy Olsen’s boots. Speaking of Jimmy…

“Good morning, Kara,”

Kara let out a deep breath and turned her Internet Explorer off. There would be concentrating on TMZ’s website when Jimmy wanted to talk.

“Jimmy! How are you today?” she asked with a bright smile.

“Doing good. You okay? Have a tough fight last night? You don’t look so good.” he whispered quietly.

Kara kept the smile on her face, not letting her irritation show. For a man in a committed relationship with General Lane’s youngest princess, he flirted with Kara constantly. She never reciprocated but it did not stop him. Apparently his belief that he was one of the few single males who knew her real identity gave him the idea that he had some social bond with her.

“I’m fine. How is Lucy? Still using that law degree to be her father’s secretary? I saw her last month. She looked very sharp in her special hat.”

James looked away, slightly embarrassed. Kara knew Sam Lane hated Jimmy and Kara never failed to bring up his name. 

“Yeah, she has been traveling a lot with him. Where did you see them? Were you helping them out?”

Kara began laughing, shoulders shaking, nearly snorting, Adjusting her slightly ascus glasses, she smiled even wider if possible.

“I was watching them on satellite. I would sooner sit in the sky with a bowl of popcorn and watch that man be slaughtered before I ever helped him. Have a good day, Jimmy. I will be sending Siobhan to your office later with layouts. Take care.”

Kara turned and left the tall man staring at her. No matter how cheerful she could pretend to be, he knew she could be ruthless in regards to those she considered an enemy and she definitely considered Samuel Lane an enemy. It was something that bonded her and Lois. Kara spied Siobhan, looking a bit frustrated with filing. The blonde wasn’t sure why the girl had even taken this job. She had a feeling the newest assistant may have thought this would be more glamorous or a stepping stone for greater things. In the grand scheme of things she was finding out she was not going far here. All the brown nosing she had attempted towards Cat had only soured the CEO to her. Kara offered suggestions on how to handle Cat but the girl seemed convinced that she didn’t need Kara’s help, even calling her a few choice names that she thought Kara couldn’t hear. The blonde could care less. She had been called worse since she arrived on Earth. Orphan, arsonist, whore, psycho were only a few she heard in school. It was nothing that remotely effected her any longer.

She had bigger concerns. Nothing short of a nuclear attack would save her from this meeting tonight. The entire thing was ridiculous. Letting Clark in on family meetings? What he knew was bad enough. They wanted her to be honest and thought of bringing him in? Like she would ever admit to anything in front of him. It was bad enough that she couldn’t be certain he wasn’t listening anyway.

Another was today, the date. Two years ago she had seen a mother and child burn and seven hours later  tried to take her own life. Kara thought of it often, even if she denied it. The girl could not get the memory, the feeling, the fear and yet the relief that it would all be over soon, that she could possibly cease to exist or perhaps the good she had done, outweighed the bad and maybe there was some sort of Heaven she could enter. It had been selfish. Kara had not given thought to how those she loved would be affected or how Eliza or Alex would have found her later that day. She hadn’t given any thought to Clark’s reaction when he found out.

Shaking her head, she walked over to her new co worker and offered to help, only to be told she was not needed. Kara smiled at her and walked off, leaving the building since Cat was in a meeting for the next two hours. She made her trip on foot, three miles to her favorite and only bar. Megan was not at work but the bartender on duty knew Kara. Luckily she was in disguise so while she got a few looks, wondering who the dark haired female in glasses was, there was not the mass exodus that usually occurred when Supergirl walked into the bar. Taking her small purchase and placing it in her purse, she wandered around the downtown area, having time to herself since Cat still would be away for another thirty minutes.

Kara thought of calling Nyssa and telling her that it was Alex who she had been speaking to and to get back. 

But she couldn’t. If Damien Darhk had surfaced it was important for her to keep track of his movements and determine if he really did possess some ancient magic that had not been seen before. As much as Kara hated to do it, she may have to bring her friend in black into this. Bruce had trained under Nyssa’s sister Talia, who headed the League of Shadows. He knew more about dark magic than Kara. While he wasn’t crazy about her association with the League of Assassins, the man was not a hypocrite and did not say a word against her actions. Secretly, she believed Bruce was happy Merlyn was dead, not that he would ever admit it.

So how to stop this dinner from becoming some sort of unneeded intervention she had no doubt was coming?

Her phone chimed and she smiled immediately. It was Barry asking her how her day was going.

Kara never thought something as simple as a text could bring a smile to her face.

Then inspiration struck her. She hit the call button.

“Hey! I wasn’t sure if I could call you. I didn’t know if you…”

Kara interrupted him.

“You know how I said I would meet Joe on Saturday?”

“Uh…yeah. Is it too soon? We can do something else! I can run to National…”

“Barry, hold up. I would love to meet him. I was wondering if you could do me a favor tonight. I mean if you don’t have any metas to stop of course. My family is having a sort of dinner party, just friends of course. Its going to be at their neighbors house and I could really use a date. I was thinking you could finally meet them and then afterward we could go somewhere, do something, anything really, as long as it is away from them.”

Kara heard nothing for a moment and wondered if she had lost him.

“You want me to meet…your parents?”

“Yeah, Alex told them about you. They really liked you back…then, and I am sure they would love to actually see you in person. Is it too much? If it is I understand…”

“Where and what time?”

Kara smiled, relieved.

“6 PM and I will text you the address.”

“I’ll be there.” he assured her. A quick goodbye from both, the call ended and Kara had accomplished two things. She would get to see Barry again, sooner than expected and have plans afterward that would prevent any family meetings about issues she did not wish to discuss.

Walking back to work happily, she stopped and bought a soda, pouring a bit of her new purchase into it, just to get her through the day.

Egypt

Guy Gardner hovered over the ground and took in the sight of the Sphinx, still impressed as he was the first time he saw it. It had been years since he had been on Earth, years since he was sent undercover to spy on and then takeover a different sort of Corp. Not really a Corp even. Just a group of people with huge chips on their shoulders. Joining the ranks came easily for him.

As the sun set, he landed slowly, dimming the red aura around him so he would not stand out in the desert.

Not that it would have mattered. Of course he had been tracked since he entered the galaxy and the green glow from above told him he would have an unwanted visitor tonight before he could even make himself at home.

“Jordan.” Guy greeted his former comrade.

“Gardner. What are you doing here?” Hal Jordan asked carefully, knowing his presence could mean nothing good.

“This is my home planet. Some reason I don’t know about that I can’t be here?” the man countered, trying to stay calm even though the ring on his right hand wanted to unleash on the Green Lantern who questioned him.

“I know you aren’t here to help. I think we have all the help we need.” Jordan told him, stepping carefully behind the man who had once been a comrade and now was…something else.

“Yeah,” Guy agreed. “I heard Earth has become such a dumping ground for galactic scum that this planet has four Lanterns now. Not that any of you do any good. You have a badass Kryptonian protecting this planet. Why the hell is the Corp even here?”

It was true. The Green Lantern Corp protected the Universe from those who wished to harm or invade planets. Earth had four such Lanterns. Their job had not been to become involved in the day to day activities of a planet. It was to protect planets from beings such as Gardner’s former boss and the group he now called his family.

“We are here, doing what we always do. I am going to ask you again, why are you here?”

“I guess I am going to ask my earlier question. Is there some reason I cant be? Last I checked, a Red can go wherever the hell they want.”

“The last I checked,” Jordan countered, “you were sent to break apart the Reds.”

“You can’t just turn a Red! It doesn’t work like that!” Gardner yelled, facing his green counterpart, red energy leaking from his ring. “This isn’t a Green ring! You can’t just take it off! Even if you could, it would kill the host. This ring replaces our hearts and blood, Jordan! Once it is on, it doesn’t come off, ever. It is who you are. Keep asking me why I am here and you are going to find out who I am! Bring Stewart and Rainer here. Who is the new girl? Cruz or something, right? I got my team not far off. We can rearrange the Egyptian landscape or you can go to hell and let me do what I am here to do.”

Hal Jordan had seen Guy like this before. He was confident in his ability to defeat him…perhaps. Gardener had always been a wild card, ruled by rage rather than will power. It made him unhappy in the Corp. When someone was needed to infiltrate Atrocitus’s Red Lantern Corp and  topple him from power, Guy had quickly volunteered and took to the red ring as if he was born to it. Whatever reason he was here couldn’t be good but he doubted the trouble would come from Guy. No matter what he thought of Gardner the man was not evil. He wasn’t Sinestro or Atrocitus. If he was here, he was probably here to help and that was what had Jordan so worried.

“Lets take it back a step, Guy. I apologize. Please tell me what has brought you here. It obviously isn’t anything good. If you were homesick we are a long way from Baltimore.”

Guy took a deep breath. He really want nothing to do with the Greens any longer but he could use extra eyes and may need a hand while here. It probably wouldn’t do to start a war with them within minutes of landing.

“Fine. I beat Atrocitus, we did, but he got away. I wasn’t able to kill him.”

“And you think he is here on Earth?” Jordan asked, tensing.

“Worse. Before he ran he sent off Red Power Rings throughout the Universe. Too many to track. We knew the general direction and left those alone that went into regions without any species that could be considered a threat inline with Atrocitus, but one came to Earth. That was the one we have been tracking. The number of metahumans and aliens on this planet, if that ring falls into the wrong hands…I don’t think I have to tell you what a new Red could do.”

Jordan nodded his head. It had been so peaceful lately. Since Supergirl arrived on the scene six years, ago aliens were too frightened to make a move. The four Green Lanterns of Earth rotated shifts, flying the outer rims and ensuring peace on other planets. If a Red Ring was here there was a potential monster waiting to be made.

“You tracked the ring here?”

Gardner shook his head. “I thought I had. Its these damn pyramids. Martians…they are psychic towers…”

“I know what they are and what they were for. Are you saying a ring flew to this planet and could be anywhere?”

Gardner nodded his head and began pacing. The ring of a Red Lantern, one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. The more powerful the host, the more powerful the ring. The greater the rage, the greater the power.

“You know how it works, Jordan." he continued. "These rings are sentient in a way. It will stay hidden, waiting for the right time. It was drawn here for a reason. Somewhere on this planet is a very strong being with great rage. All it is waiting for is that being to become angry enough to accept it. If its a Khund, a Valerian, hell even a really strong meta, we are all in trouble. The ring is here for a reason. It will make itself known at a time when its chosen host has lost all control, all grip on its emotions. When that happens…you know the destruction a new Red would bring. If you want to help, help me find this damn ring. I think I can destroy it in the Blood Ocean on Ysmault or at least contain it.”

“Okay,” Jordan agreed. “Coordinate your Reds with us so we don’t have any gang wars starting up. The more powerful the host the more dangerous it will be for everyone if that Red Ring finds a home. If the worst happens…we may need to make our presence known to Supergirl. She is probably the only one not a Lantern who is strong enough to take a Lantern out.”

Gardner agreed.

“Species all over the Universe have heard of her. Its a good thing she is such a happy little thing, flying around in a skirt. Someone with her power taking that ring, I don’t want to think about that. The power of a Kryptonian filled with rage, having one of the most powerful and deadly weapons…”

“Gardner! Didn’t you just say you didn’t want to think about that?” Jordan reminded him, not liking the thought of anyone with her power being attached to the ring. “I have watched her for years. She is a good person. There is no way she could have enough hate in her heart to draw that ring. She isn’t like…”

“Me? Yeah, I get it Golden Boy. No offense taken. Lets find a bar and talk about how to find this ring.”

Chapter Text

Do not own DC or CW characters.

 

 

Chapter 6 Date Night

 

Jeremiah was alert as he walked his daughter into Jessica’s home. Kara was happy. 

Kara was too happy.

He had seen Kara pretend to be happy.

He had seen her happy for others.

He had seen her happy at times, when she was painting, or those rare moments where she would watch a sun rise or set and feel complete peace. Perhaps when she was flying with Clark or just playing, or watching a comedy or romance or her all time favorite, a romantic comedy, with Alex. 

He knew when Kara was happy because she had made a great save, or stopped some monster.

She was happy when the two had discovered some new object in the night sky. She still took nature walks with Eliza on weekends and stared at wildlife that she had somehow never learned to take for granted. He knew all her shades of happiness and every other emotion.

He also recognized when she saw happy because she was up to no good and knew she couldn’t be stopped. That was the happiness he was seeing on her face right now. He knew she must have suspected tonight had more to do than her house arrest on one of the worst days of all their lives. She had not been happy about coming over or spending the night the evening before.

So what had changed?

“Wow…J’onn, hello. And Jack…hey there, Ty. Didn’t realize you guys would be here as well.” Kara told them, taken aback for a second, then realizing her suspicions were correct. They were planning on having some sort of intervention tonight. They really were. Unbelievable.

Jeremiah noted her happiness just dipped.

“Good to see you, kid.” Jack Webb told her, wrapping her in a hug. Kara tensed a bit. This could be bad. She wondered if there was any chance J’onn could read Barry’s mind.

Of course he could. That was fine. J’onn would never admit it and that meant he had to keep whatever he learned to himself or risk exposing that he had been reading minds. She loved the Martian, but he was a bit too nosy for his own good or hers.

Of course he had saved her from death a few times. Sadly, Kara admitted, she was a bit resentful last year, not wanting to seem weak. She was fairly certain if any alien had taken a shot at her, she would have woken and dealt with it.

Maybe.

If not she figured she would have gotten what she deserved for blacking out in public. That was a weakness and if there was one thing Kara hated to show other aliens, it was weakness. She had beaten a trail of enemies on this Earth, a trail that told what would happen to any others who wanted to walk down it. As a result, Kara was hardly ever targeted. Only the insane and possibly suicidal came after her. Now they thought she had a weakness.

“Kara, come to the kitchen.” Eliza ordered, grabbing her hand. “Lets see what you think of the sauce. I think it is perfect.”

“I can’t.” Kara told her, holding her ground and earning a sharp glare from Eliza.

“Sweetie, I told you that you are staying with us tonight.” the woman whispered in her ear, a not so gentle reminder. “This isn’t up for discussion.”

“I know, but since it was a dinner party I invited a date. I hope you don’t mind. I was talking to Barry this morning and I kind of wanted to see him. I asked him over. He was really excited to meet you and Dad.”

Eliza looked over Kara’s shoulder at Jeremiah who was rubbing his forehead. The man just figured out why his daughter was so happy. He had no doubt she would like to see Barry, but she also knew that the man would run all the way from Central City and couldn’t very well be turned away.

“We were having a meeting tonight. I told you that.” Jeremiah told her from behind, knowing it would do no good. Kara turned towards him and shrugged her shoulders with a grin.

“It’s a family meeting. It’s not like we are planning a raid and it’s time sensitive. We can do it any night. We do live near one another. I even get rides to and from work now, despite the fact that I can fly in space. Whats the big deal? There are too many people here to have a meeting with Jessica anyway. You know Jack and Ty will be here all night drinking with Connolly. Where is Clark?”

“On the beach with Dan. Can’t you hear them?” Eliza asked shortly, and walked towards the kitchen.

Jeremiah watched her go and looked down at his daughter who was no longer smugly grinning.

“That was not right, Kara.” he told her, not elaborating. “And don’t say if he is a problem the two of you can go somewhere. She has been worried sick all day, we all have.”

“And I am here!” Kara whispered.

“She wanted us all to talk after dinner.” Jeremiah told her, knowing that she knew.

“No, you all want to have some sort of intervention. Since when do we bring others into our family business, my business? Instead you plan some sneak attack on me? You wanted to do this with Clark within listening distance? J’onn too? Really?”

“Maybe J’onn just showed up hoping for a thank you for carrying you home from the bar unconscious last night.” Jeremiah reminded her.

“I was placed under house arrest and…and…I got carried away, but it hardly ever happens. I…”

“Have been drinking all day.” Jeremiah finished. “Do you know how I know? Your hands aren’t shaking. You have been drinking that water bottle you are keeping in your purse, right? Could I have a drink, Kara? I am kind of thirsty. Water would be great. It’s not like it would kill me or anything. It’s just water, right?”

Kara stepped back, turning her head to the right, not meeting his eyes. Jeremiah knew he nailed it. He knew all of his daughters deflections and guilty expressions.

“Kara…”

“Mom is probably going to need my help. When Barry shows up let me know, please?”

Kara walked off quickly, leaving a frustrated Jeremiah. 

Kara realized she should have stayed out of the kitchen because she almost literally walked into the fire. 

Eliza was waiting for her, Jessica as well. Both were leaned against the counter, arms crossed and not happy in the least.

Kara waited for them, either of them, to say anything. Neither did. Apparently it was up to her to make the first move.

"So this is more of a party than I expected. I didn’t realize everyone would be here.” she tried, trying to sound annoyed in the face of Eliza glare.

Eliza walked up to her and placed a hand on her cheek.

“I have loved you. I will always love you. You are my daughter and you have been since the moment I laid eyes on you. I have seen you happy, I have held when you were scared or upset. I have been with you every step of the way and I always will be. I will do anything to protect my family from any danger. I will protect you from any danger, even if that danger is yourself. You know why I wanted us all to meet tonight.”

Kara turned away and crossed her arms. Of course she knew. Why else would everyone be here? They all wanted to talk to her, tell her how worried they were and attempt to guilt trip her into some form of treatment, a triple A as she joked to Alex once. Alien Alcoholics Anonymous. 

Alex did not find it funny then. Kara was not finding it funny now.

“I would imagine you wanted us all to sit in a circle and each one of you are going to say how worried they are about me. I don’t need it and I don’t want it. I am not an alcoholic. I am getting very tired of everyone calling me one. Two years ago I did something horrible. I scared you…”

“You did worse than scare me, Kara!” Eliza told her. “I thought you were dead. I have nightmares about that moment still! My angel, my beautiful Kara, who loves her siblings and birds, and music and art, gone. I thought you were dead, you looked dead! You were lying on the floor in a large puddle of your blood! You have been drinking since you were 18, right after Myriad. You kept it a secret for a while until you couldn’t anymore.  You think it it'so big deal? Let's go to the bathroom and you can step on a scale. Since you turned 22, you have weighed 126 lbs. Every year, every month, every day, you have weighed 126 pounds, whether you ate a cow or had nothing for weeks. There is no way you weigh 126 pounds now. You might be 115. You shouldn’t be able to lose weight but you have been. These substances you are consuming are destroying you and I will not stand by and let you keep doing it to yourself. I tried to give you space, tried to be understanding, letting you work this out on your own. Now I am telling you that you are getting help.”

Kara turned back to Eliza, feeling a sting at the tears in her eyes. She hated to make Eliza cry and had done it too often. Kara looked at the woman who was her mother in every way. She stayed up with her when Kara couldn’t sleep and Alex needed sleep, she fussed over her, still snuck over and cleaned their loft, still made Kara’s favorite meals and left them in the fridge, never once stopped loving her, despite the hell the girl put her through. 

But she didn’t understand this. Eliza did not know the victims that haunted her sleep. The faces of those she couldn’t save. She had failed too many times and the first failure was near a beach in Midvale. No matter how many times her and Jessica worked on placing blame where it belonged, she still went back to when she was 13, watching that woman and baby die in almost slow motion.

“I do not have a drinking problem. I just need to relax and it helps me sometimes. Yes, I do shake sometimes but that is a normal reaction when I have had too much. It stops soon after I wake up. If it means that much to you I will cut back. I don’t ever hear you complain about Alex drinking.”

Eliza shook her head and rubbed Kara’s cheek.

“Alex does not have tremors because she hasn't had a beer in a couple hours. You do.”she told her gently. “If it is a normal reaction then why won’t you let me test you, determine if it is effecting you physically?”

“Because I don’t like to be studied.” Kara told her firmly.

“You have never had a problem with me checking you out before. Never. Are you afraid of what we might find? No matter what, we can fix this…”

“I am not broken!” Kara snapped. “Maybe I am, but it’s my own fault. I swear I won’t try to kill myself again. I swear, okay? But please stop this. I am so tired of being treated like I am a charity case.”

Kara looked towards the living room and smiled.

“Barry is here.” she told her mother. “I better get to him before our friends scare him away. Come meet him, please?”

The girl walked out quickly, leaving the mother and therapist staring at each other, neither knowing what to say. Eliza prayed Kara would agree to get help herself, so other steps wouldn’t have to be taken. She had planned a show of love and support from their family and closest friends tonight. Kara had anticipated it and countered by bringing another into this, someone she knew the family would not bring up tough subjects around.

“I should move. We should move. Every time she is here, she is less than thirty yards away from the spot she killed Astra.” Eliza told Jess.

Jessica shook her head, knowing that wouldn’t make a difference.

“It doesn’t matter. She wants Clark to have stability, we all do. It doesn’t matter where you live. Every demon she has lives in her head and her heart. She carries them with her everywhere. That spot does not remind her of killing Astra as much as it reminds her of the day she almost lost you all, the same as that day Hank Henshaw found you all in Midvale. We are going to have to do it, Eliza.”

“We can’t.”

“If you want to save her life we may not have any other choice. We can talk about it more later. I have no doubt that even with Barry Allen taking her attention she is listening to everything. She knows we want her to get help of course and will come up with every excuse to avoid it until we give her no other option.”

Eliza took a deep breath, wiped her eyes and prepared to meet Barry Allen. She didn’t want to think about what they had discussed.  The woman knew her daughter and she knew Kara would hate her, hate them all.

She also knew she could not put it off for long. Kara was losing weight, she was shaking when she wasn’t drinking, her anger was always just below the surface and often spilt over. The guilt of everyone she had failed to save, the hate she had for Astra for making her kill her, the hate for her father and Jor El, even her grandfather for destroying Krypton and the hate for her mother due to her role in covering up the impending destruction was always inside her. No matter what Kara swore, if they did not get her serious help, more extreme than daily therapy sessions, another suicide attempt was not far off. One thing Kara had always done was learn from her mistakes. If she tried to kill herself again, she would not be stopped this time. She would hide in the Fortress or fly to the moon and put a damn red sun bracelet on. Eliza knew of these possibilities because they haunted her sleep.

Barry had arrived, glad to see a shed on the side of the house. The house every one was gathering at was the neighbor’s house. He hoped it was the right house. Kara’s bike wasn’t present but she could have gotten a ride or flown. Rushing inside the shed with the bag he carried from Central City in his arms, he quickly changed, uniform in the bag and jeans, sneakers, white t shirt covered by a blue button up shirt, long sleeves rolled up. It was the 16th thing he tried on and decided it would have to do. Walking out of the shed, he was confronted by a giant and a little dark haired boy.

“Smooth,” Dan Hawk told him. “Didn’t notice the lightning trail or red streak jump into the shed at all. You are one sneaky guy.”

Barry looked up at the very tall, very muscular man.

“That was sarcasm if you weren’t sure. Its hard to tell sometimes with Dan. I’m Clark. You are that guy from Central City right? Streak or…what do they call you? I can’t remember.” the little boy lied.

“I’m Barry Allen. You must be Kara’s little brother?”

“I must.” the kid agreed. “This is Dan Hawk. He’s my friend.”

Barry looked at the duo, one not quite five foot tall and the other closer to seven foot. They made quite a …pair.

“Yeah, Kara told me to…I am guessing this is your parents home? Is she inside or at the neighbors?” Barry tried, hoping to find her before he was introduced to anyone else.

“Did you bring flowers?” the boy asked. “I don’t see flowers. Do you see flowers, Dan?”

“I don’t see flowers, kid.” the man confirmed.

Barry started to sweat a bit, wondering if he should have…of course he should have. But for who? The neighbor who was preparing dinner, Kara’s mother, her? Damn it!

The Flash looked at the house where everyone was gathered and then towards the shed he had just left his red suit. Should he suit up and run back into National City? How would he run back with the petals staying on the stems?

“Too late now, string bean. Get inside. Hey, you aren’t planning on spending the night at Kara’s, are you?” the large man asked.

Barry definitely began to sweat, the button down shirt he had on feeling very tight around his neck despite the fact that it was not buttoned around his neck. He could tell the man wanted an answer.

“Uh…you see…I…Alex…and couch…and she, Alex I mean…she is there…so its not like…I don’t have to… I just…”

“Kid relax. I don’t care if you do or not…”

“I do.” Clark added.

“but if you are, just make sure you don’t drink anything Jere gives you. The man can make some amazing, scary things. He caught Batman Jr in Kara’s apartment once and gave him a cup of coffee that took him out of action for a month.”

Barry couldn’t have heard that right. He poisoned Nightwing?

“Why would he not want Nightwing fighting crime?”

“Not the action I am talking about.” Hawk told him, patted him on the shoulder, and walked to the party. 

Clark looked up at Barry and shrugged. “I have no idea what action he is talking about but he wasn’t kidding. I doubt Dad would poison you though. I mean probably not. Sure, he is kinda overprotective and does work in a lab and makes all sorts of viruses and cures but I don’t think…its a fifty fifty chance. You probably shouldn’t drink anything he offers you. Hey, Alex!” Clark finished, seeing her pull up and rushing to her, leaving Barry alone.

Barry walked slowly towards the house everyone was gathered at. The patio was being set up by who he assumed was Jeremiah Danvers and another man who was possibly Jason Connolly or Jack Webb. He had only seen Connolly once and was more focused on Dante at the time. A very grim middle aged black man was on the patio and Barry had a feeling that the man was actually green and from Mars.

Then she was there, off the patio and walking towards him. Her glasses were off and her blonde hair and blue eyes seemed to reflect the setting sun over the ocean behind him. Despite the nerve wracking conversation he had just had, the sight of her brought a smile to his face.

“Hey there. You look great.” she told him, a bright smile gracing her face.

“So do you.” he told her. 

The man was not lying. She was dressed casually, stone washed comfortable jeans and a light blue sweater. He saw she still wore the necklace, spying the gold chain around her slender neck. When she was dressed like this, not in the costume the world knew, but as Kara Danvers, it seemed impossible that she could lift a tire much less lift a plane.

Kara reached out for his hand and pulled him towards the patio. Of course every eye was on him. He noticed two women had just walked out, the blonde most likely Kara’s mother and of course Alex slapped the back of his head as she walked by him.

“Mom, Dad, come meet Barry!” Kara shouted. If all attention had not been on the man it was now.

No, Barry decided. All of the attention had already been on him. The dark haired older man and blonde woman walked up to him, smiles on their faces, he was very glad to see.

 Jeremiah reached out and took Barry’s hand. “Barry Allen, Jeremiah Danvers. A pleasure to finally meet you after all these years.” 

“And I am Eliza, Kara’s mother. I have heard great things about you. I’ve been wanting to meet you for years. I am so glad you could make it.”

Barry caught something in Eliza’s eyes but he wasn’t sure what it was. Yes, she was glad to see him, she seemed sincere but something was…off?

“I am very glad to meet both of you. For a long time I never thought I would.” 

He decided to leave the part about having to be struck by lightning to have the opportunity, out. The joke didn’t seem appropriate. The mood was strange and he couldn’t quite understand it. Things seemed easy going, the woman and men sitting on the patio were smiling. No one was sending threatening glances his way. So what was off?

“Come on over to the table. I think the food should be ready soon.” Jeremiah offered. Kara took his hand softly and pulled her with him to the table. After introducing him to those he didn’t know already, they sat and relaxed. Barry poured a glass of tea from the pitcher in the middle of the table for him and one for Kara. He did notice Kara look for her bag and realize it wasn’t next to her.

“You left it on the couch inside Kara. I’m sure it will be fine there.” Alex told her pointedly, confusing Barry even more. “Unless it is that time of the…”

“No!” Kara practically shouted, stopping Alex from speaking further. “I thought Dad banned that topic of conversation at the table years ago, Alex.”

The brunette shrugged her shoulders. “Yeah, but this isn’t his table, its Jess’s. Hey Barry, want to hear a funny story about when Kara first moved in with us…owww!”

Kara and Alex’s faces were both red, Kara from embarrassment and Alex from the pain of Kara kicking her shin under the table.

“I would love to hear stories, I mean it would be great to hear since I know…you know…it can probably wait for another time though.” he finished awkwardly, since the two sisters were still staring at each other.

“Sorry.” Kara whispered. “After dinner we can take a walk or go somewhere and I will tell you all the stories you want to hear that don’t involve embarrassing topics.”

“Tell him about the first time we had to go into a porto potty and you figured out that humans used toilet paper! I love that story!” Clark suggested, brightening Kara’s face even more, the shade nearly matching her Supergirl cape.

Kara cleared her throat, thinking maybe an intervention wasn’t so bad and reminding herself to never invite Barry around her siblings again. She caught Eliza grinning at the end of the table.

“Mom, a little help here?” the blonde tried.

Eliza actually snorted. Kara guessed she would not be getting help from her, probably for a while.

A silence descended on the table, the guests not knowing exactly what to say, Barry not sure what the underlying tension was and also trying to eat a normal amount of food and Kara wondering what excuse she could make for walking inside to grab her purse.

Clark was completely oblivious to any awkwardness.

“So Barry, right? I read on the internet that some paper in Central City said you were the fastest man alive. Is that because you are over 18?”

Barry shook his head, wondering where the hell that came from. The little boy looked sincerely curious so he decided to play along.

“Uh, no, I never said that. Okay, I may have said it before but its almost like bad luck. It seems every time I say it, someone else comes along who is faster. I guess now, at this moment, unless someone is around who I don’t know about…then yeah, I probably am the fastest man alive.”

“Thats cause nobody knows about me. Wanna race? I am pretty sure I can take you.” the boy challenged.

“Uh…”

“Do you have any other powers? Like heat vision, super strength, X ray vision, freeze breath? I know you can’t fly. What about it? What do you got?”

“Clark!” Kara hissed.

“I’m just curious.”

Barry did not know quite what to do. Kara had her head in her hands, Alex held her hand in front of her mouth to hide a smile and Jeremiah and Eliza seemed to be in the same state Barry was in. The rest of the guests seemed curious so he figured he should play along.

“I… I can actually run fast enough to go through solid objects.” he offered.

Clark seemed unimpressed. “Why don’t you just crush them with your fist? Oh right, thats us. Go on, what else you got?”

“Clark, stop it now!” Kara scolded while Alex held her eyes shut tight to hold the tears from the laughter that desperately wanted to break out.

“No, its alright Kara. Uh, lets see, I can run over water.” Barry tried.

“We fly, go on.” the boy encouraged.

Barry gritted his teeth and smiled.

“I once ran back in time on accident and I can make breaches into alternate universes.”

“Dad, didn’t you say when we watched the Terminator that a person would have to be a reckless, irresponsible idiot to travel back in time for real because the damage they can do to the world we live in could be…what was the word you used? Catastrophic? Yeah, thats what you said. I hope you didn’t screw anything up, Barry. You didn’t, did you? Alternate universes sounds cool. So you just visit, like on vacation or do you bring friends over…no wait! You don’t bring more bad guys over, do you?”

“Mom!” Kara begged.

Eliza decided to have mercy on Kara. Mercy on Barry actually but his discomfort was nothing compared to Kara’s mortification and the woman was enjoying it after what Kara had done tonight.

“Clark, that is enough. Stop asking these questions. It isn’t your business and Barry has done a lot of good with his powers. He has saved this world.”

“From the black hole? Cause when it happened Kara and Alex said it was probably the Flash’s fault in the first place…”

“Clark!” four voices rang out at once, causing everyone else at the table to jump, even Hawk.

“Sorry. I’ll shut up now. Kara is faster than you, by the way. You ever want to put your money where Central City Picture News mouth is…”

“Barry, why don’t we go for a ride? We still have an hour of daylight and the road by the coast is beautiful.” Kara offered, hoping he would agree so she could get him out of here. She should have just sat through the damn intervention. It would have been less painful.

Jeremiah was having none of that. Kara would have Barry talked into going to the bar with her and pass it off as showing Barry the Alien side of town in Raliegh no doubt. Alex would be going wherever Kara went tonight. It wasn’t that he didn’t think Barry would be any thing less than a gentleman. At first glance, Jeremiah could tell he was a good guy, a good person and was relieved. He had only heard good things about Allen from Alex but considering Kara’s history with Grayson, he had been afraid Allen might have been another underwear model only in red spandex instead of black.

Sadly, he didn’t trust Kara. He loved her, would die for her, but he did not trust her when it came to making good decisions for herself. The man knew she needed help and the last thing Barry Allen needed to see was Kara drunk. She had been drinking probably all day but the girl knew when to drink just enough to soothe her over until she could be alone. Once alone though, all bets were off.

“I have a better idea.” he told them, dashing Kara’s hope. “Why don’t the five of us head over to our house and get to know each other in a less crowded environment? Clark, you can stay and clean up.” the father ordered.

“But I wanna know if he has ever been clocked and compare my times and…”

“And you asked all the questions you are going to get to ask, little man.” Eliza told him. “Help everyone clean up. Do you mind, Jess?”

“Of course not. These guys are going to be telling war stories for the next several hours. Clark can help me out quite a bit. Since you are so fast you shouldn’t have a problem taking care of it all in seconds, right?”

“Sure! Give me something to do and Barry can try and get it done faster than me. He is supposed to be the fastest man alive and all.”

“I swear to Rao, I will drop your little butt on the moon and you can find your own way home!”  Kara told him, causing Alex to finally loose it, breaking down in laughter. Leave it to Clark to turn a boring meet the parents night into one of complete awkwardness for Kara.

Clark stopped talking then. He had come a long ways in his Kryptonese he insisted he learn so he could understand what Kara and Alex were saying. He wasn’t quite sure what Kara had just said but it was not something nice. The boy had figured he had pushed her past her limit tonight.

“It was nice to meet you, Barry. I like your costume.” he offered. Barry at that point was afraid to say anything. “Is it impenetrable and impervious to temperature like ours…”

“Clark! Go help clean up.” Jeremiah told him in the tone used to convey that he was not playing around anymore. Clark smiled and winked at Barry and in a blur he was gone.

The walk over was thankfully quiet, Kara whispering an apology for her little brother…or cousin, he supposed. No, she considered the Danvers her parents so she would consider him her brother. Barry assured her it was no problem. He did find it weird that everyone seemed to grimace when Kara zipped inside and came out with her bag. It seemed like a nice bag to Barry but he doubted the reaction had anything to do with the bag itself. Something was going on and the man had no idea what.

Kara did seem to relax when she took a drink her of her water. Barry thought it may be some alien drink, considering how relieved she seemed. The looks of her family told him they probably weren’t happy she had taken a drink of alien water. What was the story with that? Caitlin’s question popped into his mind. What is her diet? She ate dinner but not much, Did she need food? Did she really not need air?

The Flash was starting to realize there was a lot about Kara that he did not know. She had told him of her time on Earth but he knew she was holding back. The blonde had told him there were things she wouldn’t talk about. Kara had mentioned some horrible things, fights, seeing her family almost die multiple times, fighting and killing Astra, the raid on the Myriad base.

So what was she holding back? Was it his place to ask? Kara had not asked him about his father, only to say she was sorry for his loss and it seemed as if she felt guilty about it. She obviously had not asked him any really personal questions. Was it his place to ask her personal questions? Would it ever be?

Barry decided he was getting ahead of himself. He needed to relax, stop trying to overanalyze everything and just enjoy being around her. He noticed there was no strong smell of alcohol that had been at her apartment the last time he stayed with her. Perhaps it was a one off, or she was celebrating something, maybe happy he was there?

Taking in the house, he was surprised. It wasn’t a typical beach home, not that he had been in many, but no nautical themes, or light interiors. It came off as warm, lived in, like his home as a child and Joe’s home he spent his later years in. Pictures adorned the walls of the home and he couldn’t help but walk around the living room, taking them all in. What he saw was amazing. Not only were photos present but artwork as well, paintings that were not reprints and must have cost a fortune.

Kara noticed him studying the painting of the house in Midvale, she had painted a year ago. The blonde wondered if she had not made a massive mistake inviting him and should have called Nyssa instead. She had watched Clark…be Clark, and she had no doubt the man noticed the tense atmosphere and hoped he did not believe it had anything to do with him. No, the atmosphere was on her, but she had not been the one to plan a poorly concealed attempt at some sort of intervention.

The blonde walked up beside him.

“Its the home I grew up in, the one in Midvale. I’m going back someday, to live in it. Mom and Dad still own it. Thats kind of been one of my goals since I left for college. Take care of business and if I survived come back to Midvale.”

“You painted this?” Barry asked. “I knew you were an artist but this is beyond amazing.”

Kara blushed and shrugged it off. 

“Every painting in this house was done by Kara.” Jeremiah told him, standing behind the two.” I also have a massive collection of her sketches and other paintings. I like to rotate them very month, give them all a chance to shine.”

Kara shook her head and stepped away. Yes, she was proud of some of her art. She also wondered if her parents still had that sketch book she drew in to record her worst nightmares when she was growing up. It was not something she ever wanted to see again and hoped they had burned it, but never had the courage to ask them. Avoidance was a technique Kara had mastered long ago.

She watched Barry continue to look at the photos. The ones that were hung were the ones she loved most. Moments when Kara felt as completely happy as she was capable of. The vacations they had taken, always spots she was able to not wear her glasses comfortably, the holiday memories, the prom photos that her and Alex had attended together, the birthday parties and soccer team photos, all photos Kara genuinely smiled in.

Then he arrived at the wall that contained childhood photos. There were many of Alex holding science fair trophies, Clark holding soccer trophies and the graduation photo of Alex, along with another in front of the house with both of Kara and Alex. Kara had refused to take her glasses off for even a school photo that could be added to a yearbook with no online connection, so the parents took photos of them standing in front of the Midvale home in their cap and gowns.

“You have a great family.” Barry told her. 

“The best.” Kara agreed, eyes misting up, looking at these memories through new eyes now. Every photo was a moment that was seared into her mind, as strong as the horrible memories she had of tragedy, danger, fear, lives lost.

“I love the one of you without your front teeth. How did…did you bring these from Krypton?”

Kara snorted. “Nope, only a few diapers, a few cans of baby food and bottles and a set of crystals. That was the survival gear they felt I needed to take care of a baby on a strange planet, even after spending fifteen years building a space craft in secret.”

She had hoped he didn’t notice the bitterness in her tone, but from his surprised expression and lack of a reply, she supposed he did.

The four sat down, Alex, Kara and Barry on the sofa, and Jeremiah and Eliza next to each other in a love seat. The parents took over the conversation, and Kara was happy to see the awkwardness had lessened since they left Jessica’s. Perhaps they had accepted that whatever they had planned tonight would not be happening. The parents asked about Barry’s job, his friends and Eliza and Jeremiah of course had many questions about the meta humans and dark energy that S.T.A.R. Labs had studied. The questions were not invasive and did not bring up time travel, Thawne, Zoom or any battles he had fought and lost. Instead they were of a more scientific nature, technical but on a level Barry could keep up with. He was a scientist, and though his specialty was forensics, he did have enough knowledge of physics and biology to keep up. He also suspected the Danvers were keeping their questions on a level he was knowledgeable of and appreciated it deeply.

After a relaxed hour, where Kara did not say much, she suggested that they go out. To her annoyance, Alex thought this was a great idea. After promising that they would meet Alex at the apartment before other plans were made, the Flash took off towards their apartment while Alex took her bike and Kara suited up quickly and flew off before her parents could have a word. She had left her purse behind but it didn’t matter. The bottle she needed was in her hand and though it was nearly empty, the blonde had more stashed in a compartment in the ceiling of the bathroom closet, somewhere Alex would not think to look. Nothing annoyed her more than Alex pouring out drinks. They did cost money and Kara did not make much. Cat Grant wasn’t known for competitive wages.

Kara caught Barry’s attention at the front of her building and told him from above to follow her. Once they arrived on the roof, she pulled out a bag she kept stashed near a large AC unit. Perhaps Kara did not realize, or think about it but no matter how fast she changed, he saw everything in slow motion. Of course her back was to him, but she was not moving quickly, at all. When she turned, dressed in jeans and a white tee shirt, her suit and cape in hand, she realized that Barry was standing, still suited up and staring with his mouth open. She should have been embarrassed but had drank enough during the day, fortified with the rest of her bottle on the flight over that she laughed instead. If she was honest with herself, she did it on purpose.

“Sorry, forgot to warn you to turn around. I usually change up here. I don’t like flying into my window or out of it, unless it is absolutely necessary.”

“Uh…no problem. I’m sure superheroes change in front of each other all the time. I just haven’t been around other superheroes…that often. I mean I have, but…uh…”

Kara laughed again, glad to see that even in the dark he was blushing but didn’t appear offended.

“I’ll warn you next time, I promise.”

“No!” Barry told her quickly. “Its completely cool. Have…I guess you and Alex but has…”

“Batman sleeps in his suit.” Kara told him, kidding, sort of. “I’ll turn around. The red outfit you have on seems like it might catch the attention of my neighbors.”

Kara did as she promised and turned back around three seconds later. As she suspected , Barry had not wasted time, dressed as before, duffle bag in hand. The blonde walked up to him and gently took his hand, still feeling that tingle every time she touched him. Kara suspected it must have to do with his molecules being in a constant state of vibration even when not using his powers.

That had to be it.

“I’m really sorry about tonight. About Clark. He has a big mouth, likes to talk, to brag and…”

“Whoa,” Barry stopped her. “I liked him. He was cute. He didn’t offend me. The thing about time travel…”

“Barry…”

“He was right. Or your father was, I guess. You have no idea how close I came after my Dad was murdered to going back in time and saving my mother, preventing me from ever becoming the Flash. Don’t get me wrong, I always loved being the Flash but there was a moment I felt really broken. I wanted to change everything, rewrite history, make sure I was never struck by lightning. I almost did it.”

Kara was surprised by that admission. She had never thought about Barry having the desire to go back and change his own past but shouldn’t have bee surprised.

“Why didn’t you?” she asked before she could stop herself.

The man shrugged his shoulders and looked at the stars, shining brightly on a clear night.

“When Thawne first offered the chance, I talked to everyone about it. Everyone said I should go back, change things. Everybody but my Dad. He told me not to. I was going to do it anyway until I saw myself back in time, in the living room with my mother. I told myself to not get involved. I mean the other me…you know what I mean. Anyway I hesitated, I didn’t save her. But after my Dad’s funeral and then when Zoom was…I almost did it. I stayed calm though, really thought about it. If it would be for the best, I never would have held myself off the first time. So many bad things happened but a lot of good things did too. The lives of everyone around me would have been changed, some for the better, but some for the worse. There was simply no way to be sure that I could do it without hurting my friends, or worse, the whole world. So I didn’t.”

Kara grabbed his hand and turned him towards her.

“I think you made the right decision. I don’t know if I could have done that. Sometimes I think, that if I could go back, fifteen years before I left Krypton and killed mine and Clark’s parents an entire planet would still be alive.”

Barry was shocked, but stayed quiet. What did her and Clark’s parents have to do with the death of her planet?

Kara realized what she had said too late and hoped he didn’t ask any questions for now.

“But then Clark wouldn’t be alive. So I wonder, would I trade him, the light of my life, for millions of Kryptonians? I don’t think I could. I know I couldn’t. If I could stop them, I wouldn’t, just so he could be born. It isn’t right, it would be the wrong decision in regard to the greater good but I would make it every time.”

Barry took her other hand, and the blonde looked up at him. He saw her eyes were a glorious blue and shining, wet. The sadness was evident and Kara looked away quickly to hide her expression. She had said more than she meant to. It was a characteristic that Barry always had. Whenever he was around, even when she was 18, Kara told him things she would never tell anyone else.

“You wouldn’t have been born either.” Barry pointed out. Kara did not respond, instead wiping her eyes and walking toward the rooftop entrance, Barry following behind, deciding he would get no response.

Once inside Kara told Barry to make himself at home and headed straight to the bathroom. Opening the closet and levitating up, she popped the false ceiling and grabbed her recently purchased bottle of alcohol, a tasteless, odorless liquid meant to be mixed with other beverages. Kara drank it straight and then placed it back. Once she checked herself out in the mirror and saw she had it together a bright idea occurred.

Walking back into the living room, she found Barry flipping through channels.

“Want to go somewhere?”

The man seemed surprised. He had heard Kara tell Alex they would be here when she arrived.

“Didn’t you promise Alex…”

“That we wouldn’t go out. We aren’t. You are going to have to trust me. Come with me.” the blonde beckoned, walking back to her bedroom. Barry followed but stopped at the door.

Kara noticed him looking at both beds, Streaky laying on hers and glaring at Barry, as if daring him to move the cat off. She wondered what was going on in his mind then realized he was probably realizing what had gone on in here for years with Grayson. Maybe this was a bad idea.

“Barry? If you don’t want to be in here, I understand. It’s fine.” she lied.

Barry shook his head. He hadn’t known exactly what to think. Despite being here before he had never seen Kara’s bedroom. It was a shock to see such a personal space. No paintings were on the walls, but drawings instead, pencil sketches of her family and some of random images. An electric guitar was in the corner of the room next to an amp and she had a journal of some sort on her pillow. He saw a different pair of sneakers by her bed and a sheet of paper on the desk, he swore was a costume design.

“Sorry, no, its fine. I was just…I don’t know. For years you have been this larger than life…I knew you before Supergirl but I guess after all these years I realized I didn’t know much about you at all. You kind of did become a bit larger than life to me, in a way. To see your room, I guess it just hit home that…”

“I’m human?” Kara guessed. “I’m not. I want to be, I would give anything to be. But I’m not Supergirl either. Supergirl is a myth, created by Cat Grant, that I participate in. Supergirl is strong, kind, loving, compassionate. She is everything you could hope for her to be. Thats not me, not the real me.”

Barry didn’t see it. Yeah, he had heard what Oliver had told him and for Oliver’s health, he would never mention that conversation to Kara. But everything he had seen her do had shown that she was kind, she was compassionate and seeing her around her family showed him she was loving.

“I haven’t seen anything to prove those descriptions wrong.” he told her.

Kara took a deep breath and walked over to her closet. She opened the door and brushed aside her clothes that she still color coordinated in her closet and even her drawers to Alex’s eternal amusement.

“Maybe I can be those things. Its just Cat builds me up to be this infallible person, someone who always makes the right decision, who is always bright, optimistic, would never harm a single person. I am supposed to be above such petty things as anger, and bitterness, depression. She makes me seem like a god, a savior. I’m not. I’m just a screwed up girl, who has a lot more power than someone like me should ever be given. I do the best I can sometimes, and sometimes it isn’t good enough. Do you want to know the real me? You would be disappointed. I’m not a hero, Barry.”

He walked across the room slowly, wondering why she would say such things. She had saved thousands of lives. The Daily Planet ran a story once, attempting to estimate the number of lives that had been saved by her direct intervention. The numbers were vast and the Planet admitted that they were most likely low in count. 

What Barry would give to know her, to really know her, scars and all. Especially the scars, because he had a feeling those scars were what made her who she was, and he thought she was pretty great. He always had.

“Maybe I am not either. Maybe we are both trying to do the best we can with what we have been given.” he offered. Kara shrugged her shoulders.

“I don’t know. Step inside my closet with me. Its big enough for two.”

Barry was confused but followed her into the small space anyway. Kara slipped a small piece of clear plastic out of her pocket and placed it into her ear.

“Kelex, open the portal and turn off the disintegrator. I have a guest coming with me. Do not attack.”

Barry swallowed hard. He remembered Oliver saying something about a Kelex. He had not heard anything about portals or disintegration. He would have remembered.

He tried not to squeak when the back of the closet lit up, a bright blue light. Kara grabbed his hand and literally pulled him into the wall. He opened his eyes and was surrounded by…ice? Crystals? But the place wasn’t freezing. Where the hell was he?

“Where the hell am I?” he asked quietly, taking as much as he could in but realizing the place was huge.

“You are in Antarctica.” Kara told him, smiling sweetly.

“Antarctica? Like, physically in Antarctica?”

“Physically, metaphysically, in every way possible. This is my home away from home. Alex and I made it…sort of. Its a large crystal structure, impervious to outside attack and carved into a mountain. The portal is a recent addition. A friend of mine named Lobo dropped off some plans for a portal transmitter he found on Rann. They are great at transportation technology. It basically opens up a small …not a worm hole, exactly. It does bend space but it does not have the power of a worm hole. You know how unstable those can be. Its not very different from the small Phantom Zone projector we made once that Alex trapped a Coluan with. Sort of like the naturally occurring portal one I found in the Bermuda Triangle.”

“Hold on. Wait…Lobo, portals, Rann, Phantom Zone, Coluans and the Bermuda Triangle? You are going to have to take…oh, and we have a flying short robot.” he finished, seeing Kelex float up. Barry probably shouldn’t be surprised by anything considering he was infatuated with a super powered alien and yet she still managed to do it.

“This is Kelex.” Kara told him.

“And you are Barry Allen. I have had Justin look in on you over the…”

“Kelex! Cut the conversational mode out for a while, okay?”

“My apologies, Kara.”

“Why does he sound like Loki?” the man asked.

“They all did on Krypton. Anyway, Mom and Dad have a portal in their home. If anyone comes in without one of us, basically mine and Clark’s DNA or Alex and our parents DNA, a shield will activate just outside the portal and vaporize anyone who walks into it. I needed a way to get my family to the Fortress quickly if the worst case scenario ever happened and I had to get them off this planet fast.”

“Wow.” Barry said, not knowing what else to say. He could see a large machine, circular and filled with monitors, images from all over the world filling it. He swore he saw a large space ship at the far end to his right and supposed that was her families escape pod. He also noted a group of mannequins in glass cases, each having a different variant on Kara’s costume. Barry admitted he would love to see her in some of them…all of them.

“Yeah. We call it the Fortress of Solitude. There is no one around for hundreds of miles, completely secure and completely hidden. Only a select few even know it exists. Welcome to the select few, Barry Allen.”

Barry walked around, looking at everything. He had a million questions to ask, not knowing where to start. Everything he saw was in some way from or connected to alien civilizations. The Earth knew of aliens of course but the ones who meant no harm must have stayed hidden. The ones who meant harm were taken out by Supergirl quickly, never heard from again. Other than that, the vast majority of Earth really knew nothing about other planets, species, politics or technology.

“Its also the one place I can feel completely comfortable without my powers.” Kara admitted, walking beside him. 

Barry stopped walking. He remembered Dick Grayson telling him that Kara beat him without her powers. The man hesitated at first, wondering if she would want him to know but deciding she wouldn’t bring it up if she didn’t.

“How exactly does that work? You can just turn them off?”

Kara shook her head.

“I wish it was that easy. I have to rely on special lights…let me show you. Kelex, change to red solar light inside.” the girl ordered.

Kelex flew in front of her and to Kara’s surprise, scanned her body.

“I am sorry, Kara. I am unable to carry out that command.”

Kara’s face turned red, her anger quickly taking over as it often did when she was questioned or denied by the one thing on Earth, that should not be able to deny her anything.

“Why is that, Kelex? This had better be good.”

“After you attempted to terminate your own life two years ago as of this date, Alex took command of the Fortress and placed constraints on my system that cannot be countermanded. I am to inform her if I suspect you of attempting to take your own life again and deny any measures which may assist you in this task. I have scanned your body and based on the amount of extraterrestrial alcohol in your system, if you were to lose your powers at this moment, your life would end in approximately eight seconds.”

Kara’s face was no longer red, going pale quickly. Barry tried to understand what the robot had just told him. Kara tried to kill herself? Alcohol that would…

His thoughts were cut off quickly when she grabbed his hand and pulled him back to where they had came from.

“Open the damn portal, Kelex. Now!”

 

Chapter Text

Do not own CW or DC characters.

 

Chapter 7 Caves

 

Barry had just been pulled into a portal of light once again and tried to orient himself to being inside Kara’s closet back in National City.

He wasn’t there long. Kara hit the closet door sending it flying into the room. She continued moving until she reached the living room and began pacing, then walking all around the apartment.

He caught a few glimpse of her face and saw…

Fear. 

She wouldn’t meet his eyes.

“Kara?”

The girl said nothing, moving towards the fridge, slamming the fridge door and back into the bathroom, She came out with a water bottle, but Barry had a good idea that clear liquid was not water.

“Kara!”

The blonde had her back to him, at the window now. She drained over half the bottle. Barry walked up behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder. She finally turned.

“If you want to leave, I understand. I can leave and you can sleep here. I will stay gone tonight. You shouldn’t have to run back. Its late.” she finally told him, the first words she had spoken and slightly slurred.

Barry shook his head and tried to gently pull her to the couch. The girl didn’t budge.

“I don’t want you to go anywhere. I don’t want to go. You think you can talk to me? Was that…I guess robots can’t really lie. One thing we always were able to do was be honest with each other.” he tried, hoping to erase that look of fear that still graced her face. It worked but not in the intended fashion. Instead Kara laughed.

“You think I have been honest with you? I never told you I was an alien. I knew exactly what you were looking for and I kept it from you. I lied about why I couldn’t talk to you anymore.”

“To keep me safe.”

“From me!” Kara shouted. “I wanted you safe from me. Yeah, Lex threatened you but I could have found you after Myriad, after his memories were gone. You knew who I was, there was no need to stay away. But…but…I couldn’t. I don’t even know what I am doing now. You can never love me. I won’t allow it. I almost…I almost used you tonight. Thats why I wanted the red lights on. I wanted to be with you, a guy I liked, I actually cared about, I wanted you. I wanted to see what it would be like, could be like to actually be with someone I truly wanted to be with.”

Barry was surprised. He hadn’t expected that. The man thought her only motive was to show him her history.

“You would have what you wanted.” she continued. “I would have what I wanted and maybe you could see that I wasn’t that different from other girls. Maybe you would have me out of your system. I used you tonight. Want to know the real reason I needed you here to night?”

“Yes?” he answered cautiously.

“My family, and apparently everyone else I know from the DEO, were planning on having an intervention tonight! They think I am a drunk! Batman beats people to the point of brain death and he worries about me losing my temper! Thats how bad I am. I am toxic.”

“I don’t believe that. Lets sit on the couch.” Barry tried again. Instead she pulled her hand out of his and walked back to the window.

“You want to know the real me, Barry? Do you really? Fine. When Hank Henshaw found us, after the guys saved us, I burnt his arm off and crushed his leg, ground it to dust just to see him hurt. I was 13 and I loved the look of absolute fear on his face. I started burning myself, using my own heat vision on my arms. They would blister, blacken and stink and I did it because…I still don’t now why! I broke my own fingers! Think about that! How sick does someone have to be to break their own fingers?” she finished, turning around.

Barry was shocked by her eyes. They were red, blood shot, a tear leaking from one but they mostly appeared manic.

“I cut myself with my fingernails, deep. When I was 14 on mine and Alex’s birthday, I blew out candles on my cake and turned the cake to ice. Know how I dealt with it?”

Barry said nothing, watching the girl closely. He wasn’t sure if she was even talking to him anymore.

“I ran to the bathroom, leaned against the door so know one could get in, and pierced my skin under my elbow, with my fingernails. I tried to find an artery and ripped my arm open in the attempt. I tried to kill myself. I killed my aunt and you want to know the sad part? If she were here I would do it again. I hate my parents on Krypton, I hate my entire House. When an alien challenges me, I take them to the desert and beat them to death. Sometimes I see Non and sometimes I see Clark’s father. The DEO can contain the aliens, has holding cells, strike teams, everything you could want but all I leave them with is clean up. I do it because I love it.”

Barry tried to walk closer to her but she moved to the other side of the room, circling the table and keeping it between them. He wasn’t sure what to make of it, or how to handle this situation. Thoughts of Oliver’s warning popped in his head but he dismissed them. Despite her appearance, he wasn’t scared of her. Worried, frightened for her, but not scared of her. Even now, he knew she wouldn’t hurt him.

It was her hurting herself he worried about and desperately wished Alex would hurry up and get home.

“Did you know I killed Ra’s Al Ghul? I put a fist through his chest. I was the head of the League of Assassins for about five minutes. I still work with them. We are hunting a man named Damian Darhk and when I find him, I will probably kill him too. I’m sure Oliver Queen has talked to you by now, hasn’t he? That hypocritical ass is the same as I am but he can’t beat me so he fears me. I’m the bad guy, no matter how many bodies he dropped. I let him do what he did, until he crossed a line. That self righteous bastard protected a monster.”

Barry tensed, wondering if Kara had heard what Oliver said. Was she there or could she hear? Was there anywhere in the world she couldn’t hear whether it was her own super hearing or whatever tech she had at that Fortress?

If she had, Barry seriously worried for Oliver’s life right now. 

“My family thinks I am an alcoholic. Maybe I am, but what else…who wouldn’t be? My family from Krypton, my house, my grandfather, father and Clark’s father were responsible for the destruction of our planet and my mother helped cover it up. I can never let Clark know this! Never! You saw him. He is everything I am not. He is the symbol the world needs to look to for hope. He believes in the goodness of this world, of people. If he found out the whole truth it would destroy him.”

“You do a lot of good, Kara. People…”

“People? People fear me. Every government agency in the world is looking for a way to kill me. Kelex wasn’t lying. Two years ago, I screwed in a red sunlight bulb in the bathroom, took a straight razor and slit my wrists. I lay down on the floor and waited to die. I didn’t think about my sister finding me dead. I didn’t think about my parents or Clark. All I wanted to do was die because I was too weak to live with the guilt and pain. I’m not strong. I’m a monster. Stay away from me, Barry. I am no good. I haven’t been since I left Krypton. All I do is hurt the ones who love me the most.”

Kara drained the second half of her bottle and threw the empty container towards the couch. She walked back to the window and slid it open.

“Stay here, or don’t. I won’t be back tonight. Tell Alex I won’t kill myself. She might believe you, but I have lied to her before, about a lot of things. Just please stay away from me, Barry. You are the only guy I have ever met who makes me feel…the way I feel when I am around you. Stay away from me. I couldn’t handle the guilt of what I would do to you. I told Grayson all the time and I am telling you the same thing now. There is no happiness to be found with me. Please save yourself. You have had enough hurt in your life. It was selfish of me to let things even get this far.”

Kara took off without another word, flying so fast he had a hard time seeing her leave. He rushed over to the window but she was gone.

The man took a look around the apartment and picked up the bottle on the floor by the kitchen. Barry wasn’t sure how long he sat, a few minutes or an hour. It couldn’t have been that long because he heard keys in the door and Alex walked in quickly with a smile.

A smile that slowly went away when she didn’t see Kara.

“Is she in the bedroom changing? She wants to go to a club? Please tell me she is changing and wants to go to a club.”

Barry shook his head.

“We went into her closet, arrived in a secret ice castle in Antarctica and a flying robot who sounded like Loki told her he couldn’t turn the red lights on because the alcohol in her system would kill her without her powers.” the man explained. 

Alex nearly collapsed but caught herself on the table.

“The robot told her you had set up some conditions after she tried to kill herself?” he added, questioningly.

Alex said nothing for a moment, but did place her elbows and the table and put her head in her hands.

“Where is she?”

Barry shrugged his shoulders, kind of numb at the moment, not knowing what to do.

“She said to tell you she wouldn’t kill herself and would be back tomorrow.”

“Okay…did she wear her suit? Any of them?”

Barry shook his head. “She did drink a bottle of a clear liquid I am pretty sure wasn’t water.” he offered.

Alex reached into her pocket and pulled out her com.

“Kelex, I need Scarlett on the roof quickly. Stealth mode when you land her. Does Kara have her phone?”

“No.” the robot answered.

“You are an asshole, Kelex. You know that?”

“I did as I was programmed and followed your protocols.” Kelex reasonably explained, making her want to shoot him at the moment. She knew it wasn’t his fault. He saved Kara’s life. Now Alex had to get to Kara before she did anything else stupid.

“Did she take any bottles with her?”

Barry shook his head and stood up, not quite sure what to do but unable to sit.

“Okay…okay. I know where she is going. I will be only a little behind her.” Alex reasoned, speaking to herself. Barry caught that, however.

“How are you going to catch her? She could be in space. She could be anywhere and she can fly faster than any jet.” he reasoned.

“She flies around Mach 2 normally, but when she is drunk she is slower, slightly under Mach 1. My jet goes faster and she will also get lost a few times. She can navigate by the stars but when she is seeing double…it doesn’t matter. I won’t be back tonight. Take one of the beds, take the couch…Barry…”

Alex hesitated, not sure if she should say what she knew she had to. Honestly at this point, she had no idea…yes, she did.

“Barry, I have to do something. I can’t let her go on like this, Mom and Dad can’t. She…I know you two kind of just found each other again…and she really likes you, she does. I’ve never seen her act the way she acts around you with any guy. Its like she is lovesick teenager. But …you need to stay away for a while.”

Barry was surprised. He thought Alex might ask him for help, to try and talk to Kara, but stay away? They had just found each other again. He had to stay away for six years! He thought he would never speak to her, have to watch from a distance and never get to hear her voice.

The more he thought about it, the more upset he became.

“Are you seriously telling me to stay away from your sister because she has problems? Because it seems to me that she needs all the people who care about her around her. She will think I am abandoning her. She told me to stay away from her. If I do…”

Alex raised her hand to stop him.

“I like you, Barry. Honestly, I have always thought you were the only one she could ever truly love. She lights up around you in a way I have never seen her light up around any guy. But right now, she has so many things she needs to work on or she will never be happy. When she is ready, yeah, go for it. I will let you know everything that is going on, but you are going to have to trust me. She hates herself and she is becoming even more out of control and for Kara, that is impressive. What about you, Barry? You lost your father not long ago, went through a lot of traumatic stuff. Have you worked it all out? Because you need to and taking care of her is not going to allow you to do that. You are going to have to trust me, and let me do what needs to be done.”

Barry looked at the floor, not sure what to say. Yeah, maybe he hadn’t dealt with his father’s death, maybe even his mother’s, but Kara was the one bright spot he had. 

Had he been planning on focusing on her instead of working his own issues out?

“How long?” he finally asked.

“I don’t know. I do know that you will wait for her. I can see it when you look at her. Until she is okay she won’t be able to have what she could have with you. We have been working for eleven years and trust me, if not for therapy she would have lost her mind a long time ago. But it’s not working anymore. I need to save my sister.”

Kelex cut in to inform Alex that her personal hover jet was two minutes out.

“Okay. Keep me informed?” he asked.

“I will. Don’t give up, Barry. She is under there and I am going to bring her back. I have brought her back from the edge before but this time, this time is going to be tougher. I have to go. She won’t be able to contact anyone for a month at least, maybe three, maybe longer.”

That caught Barry by surprise. He had thought Alex was simply going to talk her into coming home.

“What are you planning to do?”

Alex looked at the floor and then met Barry’s eyes.

“Something we should have done a long time ago. She is getting help, whether she wants it or not. She may hate me forever but I won't let her die. Something else before I go. If you ever want to talk to someone, someone who can know everything about you, that you wouldn’t have to keep secrets like being the Flash from, Jess is good. She has kept Kara and me sane for years. I hope you will think about it.”

Barry shook his head.

“You think I need therapy, huh?”

“Do you think I need it? I go three times a week. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. We all need help sometimes, right? The stuff we see and have to do, the decisions and the pressure, it gets to us. Don’t be afraid to address it. She is good. Lock the door before you leave in the morning. I’ll text you in a couple days. I’m putting an end to this tonight.”

Alex left the apartment, running towards the roof. Once she reached it, she could see it in the distance, though it was hard to make out. In stealth mode it was nearly silent, no running lights, no loud engines. The machine was powered by a small Phantom Drive and could hit incredible speeds and turn on a dime. The bottom opened up over her and a pack fell to the roof. Alex slipped on the suit, not very different from her normal suit but slightly bulkier and better able to handle the G forces she would experience when she hit supersonic.

Alex flew herself, the feel of controlling the aircraft soothing as it often was. Kelex was capable, but in the field, she was the one who made the moves required for combat in the air. Two hours after take off, she slowed and brought the jet just above the tree lines then floating above a set of woods she knew very well. She could see her home from the top, the lights off but night vision picking it up easily. A rope descended as she moved to the back of the craft and Alex grabbed a pulse rifle and slid to the ground. 

She only walked a short distance, wishing she had placed her helmet on but knowing it would do no good. It was the top of her head she always seemed to hit in that damn entrance.

As Alex suspected, the large boulder they had used to protect the entrance in High School, was in place.

“Kara, open up your rock. I know you are in there.”

Where else would she be? Like the first time Alex found her, whenever Kara was lost she wound up in this damn hole in the ground.

Hearing no movement, Alex briefly thought of having her helmet dropped from above so she could use infrared, but then shook the thought off. Kara was in there. 

“Last chance.” Alex warned.

Counting to ten and hearing nothing, Alex grabbed the pulse rifle from her back and fired, turning the formerly large boulder to dust.

Slipping the rifle on her back she made her way inside, determined not to hit her head.

“Ouch! Damn this rock!”

Alex failed at her first task. It would be the last failure she had tonight.

The cave was complete darkness, but she knew the open cavern well. It wasn’t large by any means. The hole in the top had been covered long ago and the boulder at the front kept too much rain from getting in, so it wasn’t flooded as it used to be this time of year.

Alex heard Kara’s breathing and knew she was pressed against the wall in the back right corner. Her knees would be drawn up and her arms wrapped around them, trying to hold herself together.

“You broke my rock.” Kara told her, obviously drained and a bit drunk still, judging by her voice.

“I told you it was your last chance.”

Kara snorted in the dark. Alex sat next to her, their legs touching, and wrapped her in her arms.

“Talk to me.” the older sister ordered. “You haven’t hurt yourself, have you?”

She could feel Kara’s head shake.

“I think…I hurt Barry.”

Alex squeezed tighter and kissed her head. “Barry is a big boy and he wasn’t hurt. He is worried about you. We all are. Have you had anything to drink since you left our place?”

“No.” Kara told her.

Alex believed her. She would know when it was safe. When Kara started to shake, she was sobering up. Alex just had to keep her talking, keep her from leaving until then. “I can’t believe I told him what I told him tonight. I told him everything. He knows everything. He is probably never going to talk to me again.”

“I wouldn’t worry about that.” the brunette assured her. “If he knew where you were he would have come after you.”

Kara sniffed and wiped her eyes.

“You didn’t tell him?”

“Sister secrets, right? This is our place. I love and hate this place. It was where I found my little brother and sister and its also the place you run to, to forget about everything. We used to fight, Kara. We fought whatever or whoever thought it could beat us. When you had panic attacks because of storms, you walked out in the rain and stood there, every storm until you finally beat it. That is a night I will never forget. The four of us standing in that storm. I thought we would be struck by lightning. You were so scared but so brave. I knew that night, when you said it wouldn’t beat you, I knew it wouldn’t. Me and you don’t lose, right?”

Kara laughed softly.

“Eliza asked me if we could beat the storm inside next time.” she remembered. “She was soaked. We all were but she had been to the salon the day before. Her hair…I would have found it funny if I wasn’t so scared. I still don’t like storms. I have stood inside a tornado and not flinched but I still hate them. I hate explosions. I hate seeing dead bodies. I hate seeing dead children. I hate so many things.”

“And you are still scared of a lot of things. So am I, but we can’t let that stop us from living life. There is more to life than what we do. We used to know that. You need help remembering it. You need help, Kara. Jess is not what you need anymore. You need to be somewhere safe, somewhere you can get help with the problems you still have.”

Kara shook her head.

“I can’t Alex. I’ll start seeing Jess more than I have been, no excuses, but you know I can’t stop. What about the kids? A lot of kids expect to see me every week. Some of them don’t have much time. Should I just abandon them?”

“J’onn can play you for a few months.”

“Months?! Alex, be serious.”

Alex began running her fingers through Kara’s hair. Eliza figured out long ago that it soothed her. It may not have been a cure all but it worked in the short term.

“I am serious. You and me. No crime fighting, no saving anyone, just the two of us, getting help.” her sister told her.

“Getting me help you mean.”

“There is no me. Its we. We have always been there for each other, at each other’s side, ever since I found you in this hole in the ground. There is always going to be a we. If one of us is messed up, both of us are. Kara…why did you even take Barry to the Fortress?”

Kara said nothing for a long while, thinking of different reasons, anything that sounded good. In the end she decided it was best to be honest. It usually was with Alex and her sister already knew the answer anyway. The blonde stood up and began waking in circles. The cave was dark but her eyesight was getting better. That meant she was sobering up. The shaking would start soon and in her hurry to leave she had not taken a bottle of anything.

“I was going to screw him. I figured the guy got me out of an intervention, so he deserved something out of it. I thought maybe if I gave him what he wanted he could go back to Central City and it would be easier to keep this thing, whatever it is, on a physical level. Physical I can handle.”

Alex shook her head, standing up as well. She had suspected that and Kara confirmed it. Her younger sister had used Grayson for years, used him physically for comfort but always kept her distance emotionally. Barry had a tendency to break down Kara’s walls, so she planned to have sex with him, see him on her terms. Control was everything to Kara, as far as others went. It was self control she had a problem with.

“I think he is wanting more than that.” Alex told her.

“He can’t have it. He just lost his father. The last thing he needs is me screwing up his life.”

“I agree.” Alex told her, surprising the blonde. “You can’t be what he wants, what you want, right now, but you could be, one day. Maybe if you would love yourself as much as you love others…Kara, you are shaking.  Its only been a few hours.”

“I know how long it has been, Alex. I need to go anyway. There is a bar in Raleigh I found out about. Just a night cap. I should be going back regardless. Maybe I can show up for work on time. Cat may have a heart attack if she saw me there before she was.”

Alex shook her head. “It’s Friday…Saturday now, remember? Why don’t you fly beside me or even ride with me? We can get some sleep this morning till noon and maybe play on the beach with Clark?”

Kara shook her head. “I have work to do, Alex. Someone is in trouble. Someone is always in trouble. I have to check in with Nyssa and find out if Darhk has been found. I have hospitals to visit. I’ve never been to the Children’s Hospital in Nashville. I have cults to bust up, people worshipping that stupid symbol. I thought it would be a great way to draw Astra and Non out. Instead Cat turned it into this great symbol of all that is right in the world. At least the money it brings in can help children and save lives. It can do some good." she mumbled. "I have to go.”

“No!” Alex nearly shouted, grabbing her hand and trying to pull her back. She had never been able to and tonight was no different. “Please stay, for a little while. I love being back here. We can pretend we are eating sticky buns again and you can sing to me.”

Kara laughed, despite the shaking that was spreading throughout her whole body.

“I haven’t sung in a long time or played the guitar for that matter. I just haven’t had it in me. Most days I want to hide under the covers, forget about the world. Remember my perfect world that brain sucking plant showed me? I still have those memories. They are strong, like I lived them. The memories never went away. I’ll see Jess more, open up more than I have been but that is the best I can do. I really have to go. Be careful on the flight back. Watch out for commercial flight paths.”

Kara walked out, Alex following.

“You won’t agree to get help? To dry out and stay away from alcohol, control your anger and depression…”

“Alex!” Kara shouted. “I don’t have time for that. The world needs me. I really have to go.”

Alex followed the blonde outside the cave. “Take my com. Your shirt is almost shredded from the wind shear. I have another com in the jet. Just grab a shirt and jacket from the house. Some of our stuff should be in the closet still. The key is the same place it has always been.”

After a quick hug and assurance that Alex would be in National City after she checked on the Midvale home, the brunette watched her sister fly off then took a deep breath.

Her pulse was racing and sweat was beginning to form on her brow.

“I hope you forgive me for this, Kara.”

Taking out her phone, she sent the text.

Kara had taken off quickly, changed into a new shirt and jeans she had found and was building speed. She was a minute and a half from the bar by her estimation. Before she could land a voice was in her ear.

“Supergirl.” Batman greeted her. “I need you in my cave immediately. We have an alien threat trying to kill a friend of mine.”

“Oh, okay Bruce. I am on the East Coast. I need to make a stop and I will be there.”

“No.” the man’s deep voice called. “I need you now. Fly here immediately. I am not sure how long we have until the alien plans to attack.”

Kara cursed inside. She needed a drink to make the shaking stop but Bruce never called her with this much urgency.

Deciding she would just deal with the shaking, Kara bypassed the bar and flew straight for Gotham City. The blonde made up her mind that she would beat this. She didn’t have a problem and she would show everyone. Maybe then they would leave her alone about it.

National City

Eliza received a text from Alex at 6 AM. It had begun.

The woman felt sick to her stomach. What her and Jeremiah were about to do would be the hardest thing they had ever done in their lives. She knew it would be bad, she knew Kara would possibly never forgive them.

It was a risk that was necessary. They no longer had a choice.

“Clark is up.” her husband told her, quietly entering the kitchen. Eliza worried for a split second, wondering if he had tried to follow Kara. A quick check out the kitchen window relaxed her. The boy was on the beach, sitting with his knees drawn up and arms wrapped around them, a position he had picked up from Kara. When her daughter was upset she retreated into herself, curling up into a ball almost. Now Clark was doing the same.

“He is on the beach.”

Jeremiah nodded, expecting as much and moved back to the bedroom with Eliza to dress for the day. Ten minutes later they walked out to the beach and sat next to their son. He didn’t greet them, instead staring out over the water. Perhaps he was looking at a sail boat far off but they both doubted it. Jeremiah made the opening move.

“Want to talk about it?” he asked, skipping the preambles. He knew everything about his son and knew when he was upset. This morning something was bothering him greatly. Clark never got out of bed before nine on a Saturday morning, yet here it was, 6 AM and both parents knew he had not slept the night before.

Clark shrugged his shoulders.

“It is better to let it out.” Eliza assured him. “Keeping things inside will make you…”

“Like Kara?” the boy finished for her, knowing she would never say it and knowing what she meant. “I listened to her after she left. I know I’m not supposed to but you were all worried about her and I wanted to make sure she was okay.”

Both parents minds were racing. They had scolded him many times about listening to Kara and Alex when the girls were not present. Not only was it an invasion of privacy, it was also an opportunity for Clark to hear things he did not need to hear.

“Okay. I won’t bother telling you that you shouldn’t have.” Jeremiah told him. “You already know that. Something last night bothered you though. You haven’t slept, have you?”

“Is it true? Did mine and Kara’s parents destroy Krypton? Thats why that lady was so mad at us when she broke into our house, mad at me. She said my father on Krypton was a…is it true?”

Eliza and Jeremiah tried to school their faces but it didn’t work. Clark caught the glances they gave each other and knew.

“It is true. Thats why, isn’t it? Thats why Kara is always sad. She knows. Its why she hurts herself and drinks so much. Its why she tried to kill herself, isn’t it? Please don’t lie to me. I want to know the truth. Kara said last night it would destroy me, that I could never know. I want to know though. If it is true, I want to know.”

Jeremiah placed an arm around his boy. True to form, Clark leaned into him as he always did.

“You are our son. That man does not matter. What happened there, it just doesn’t matter and has nothing to do with you.”

“How did they do it? Kara’s father and mine? My mother was to blame too, wasn’t she? How did they do it? Did they do it on purpose? Is that why Kara’s aunt wanted to hurt me so bad?”

Eliza shook her head quickly. “That woman wanted to hurt us all because she was evil, sick, twisted.”

“But Kara loved her.” the boy told them. “And Kara killed her, to protect me.”

“To protect all of us.” Jeremiah told him quickly. “No, your parents and Kara’s father did not do it on purpose. They did cover it up, not tell anyone. Instead they did one thing right, they got you and Kara off that planet. The two of you are here, you belong to us and the past doesn’t matter.”

“It matters to Kara. She drinks too much. She shakes. Is she hurting herself again? Is she going to try and kill herself again? I am afraid not to listen to her. I am afraid I am going to lose her. I can’t lose her.”

“You won’t.” Eliza told him quickly, standing up. “We are doing…something. She is going to be away for a little while and get better. You are going to stay with Jess and Mr. Connolly and…”

“I want to be where she is.” Clark told her, standing up himself.  Jeremiah took a deep breath and stood as well. He had hoped Clark would remain calm while he was sitting, but that wouldn’t be the case. Today even the sight of the ocean the boy loved so much would not help.

“You have school.” Clark’s Dad reminded him.

“It doesn’t matter.”

“It matters to Kara.” Eliza told him. “She has kept this a secret since you both landed here. She didn't want you to know because she didn’t want you living with the burden.”

“I am not a child!” the boy yelled. Both parents were surprised. Clark never yelled.

The two stood in front of their little boy, only eleven but he had grown since last night and not for the better. Eliza decided to take the lead.

“All Kara has ever wanted was for you to be happy. She has done everything to protect you, everything to make sure you are happy. She is the one who took care of you when you were born, when you arrived. When you were hearing loud sounds and smelling thing you never smelled before, seeing through things, she took care of you. Kara taught you to fly, she showed up in costume at your birthday parties, she has worked hard to make the symbol she wears something you can be proud of.”

Clark turned away from the two, staring back at the ocean.

“How many people has she killed?” he asked quietly, a tear rolling down his cheek. 

Jeremiah took a deep breath, his heart racing.

“As many as it has taken to make you safe, to make the world safe. She doesn’t like it, but she does what is necessary. Alex does as well. Everything they do comes down to one thing, keeping their family safe. Now I need to ask you for something. I need you to be strong for Kara. She needs our help now because she is facing an enemy that she cannot beat on her own.”

“Alex always helps her.” Clark pointed out.

“And she always will. Those two have been stuck on each other since they met. They formed a bond before Kara even knew how to speak English. Maybe one day, Kara can tell you what happened on Krypton, but I know you love her. Because you love her, you cannot ask her now. She has too much going on and can’t deal with that pain. I will tell you everything once she is better, but you can't ask her.”

“You know?” the boy asked, surprised. He had thought only Alex and Kara really knew everything.

“Yes, I do. I will tell you, once I know that Kara is okay. You have to promise me to never ask her. Can you do that?”

Clark thought about it but not for long. As unfortunate as it was, he knew he would get the truth from his Dad while Kara would only tell him things she thought he needed to know, meaning nothing. He nodded his head.

“Okay.” Eliza said, letting out a breath she had been holding. “Come inside and pack a few things. You will be able to get your clothes every morning from here but you shouldn’t have to open the house every time you want something like your toothbrush. Connolly will help you bring your video games and anything else you want, later. Me and your father have to go. Kara needs us. I will let you know what is going on, keep you updated. I hope soon you can see her. Until then I need you to be a good boy for them. No flying, or eaves dropping, no trouble. Got it?”

“Yes Mom. I promsie. I won’t say anything about this to Kara, but when you get back, I want to know everything.”

Jeremiah patted him on the back. “I promise, and I have never broken a promise to you.”

Clark nodded his head then looked up sharply, peering at the house.

“Lobo is here.” the boy told him. “Want me to beat him up? My heat vision is feeling good today. Kara said it is harder to control but more powerful when I am mad. I’m a little mad right now.” 

Jeremiah told the two to stay outside and moved towards the house, walking into the living room from the deck. Like Clark said, the man was standing there, all seven foot of him. He wore a large brown jacket with a hood and black leather pants, black boots and a belt with a silver skull on it.

“Sorry, I helped myself in. Since this planet knows about aliens now, I can’t move around as easily as I used to. In the past, people were afraid to look at me too closely. Now they want to put me on Facebook and Instagram.”

“If you are here, I am guessing you found what I need?”

The large Czarnian pulled a plastic bag from his coat pocket.

“Got it from Avalon. You know you can find a portal to that planet in Britain? A lot of the old stories are based on…”

“Lobo, I would love to hear your stories…not really. Kara needs this. What exactly have you found out about it?”

“Its the equivalent of St. John’s Wort without the side effects. Its subtle, consistent. It should work if she has her powers and won’t kill her if she doesn’t. At least the plant won’t. I can’t speak for what you are making with it. If she has her powers, I would suggest upping the dose. If she loses her powers for any reason she is going to be very sedated on a higher dose.”

Jeremiah silently agreed, staring at the plants in the bag. If it worked Lobo could get more. He had to worry about a great many things, like he had when he made Kara immune to Kryptonite. Suicidal thoughts and actions were the most prevalent in his mind as was the risk in some antidepressants in the first two months of treatment. This herb would help but the rest of the components were the truly dangerous ones. This meant Kara would need inpatient treatment for three months at least. He had no idea what other side effects were possible but would have time to study them. If this worked it could be the medication Kara had needed since she was 13.

“How much do I owe you? Name your price.” Jeremiah told him.

Lobo shook his head.

“Your daughters are my friends. Just get her better. I don’t want her to live like…me. I’ll be sticking around the planet for a while so let your Martian friend know.”

“Any reason you are sticking around?” the man asked warily. Lobo had fought by Kara and Alex’s side but the father never forgot who he was dealing with, a monster who killed all life on his home planet.

“With Kara out of action, some things might get hairy on Earth. The Green Lanterns have…”

“I’m sorry,” Jeremiah interrupted, “what is a a Green Lantern?”

“Cosmic police. They call themselves a Corp, at least thats what the human Lanterns call themselves. They are supposed to protect sectors of the universe from galactic threats. They stay out for the most part unless they have to become involved. Since your blonde daughter popped up, they leave Earth alone, even if there are four of them here. But recently some Reds have been on Earth. That can’t be good.”

“What is a Red?” the man asked cautiously.

“Nothing you want to know or meet. Angry, powerful, easy to piss off and crazy when you do piss them off. Not something you need to worry about. I will keep an eye on them. Get your daughter better.”

Lobo left Jeremiah standing in the living room, holding a bag of extraterrestrial plants that he hoped to use to develop an anti depressant for his youngest daughter. As always it seemed, if he succeeded it could help her and if he failed, made the slightest mistake, it could be catastrophic.

“We can do it. Me, you, Alex, we can do it, Jeremiah.” Eliza told him. He had been so lost in thought he hadn’t heard her. Both their phones alerted them to texts.

It was Alex.

/She is being taken to the facility right now. See you both there/

A tear slipped from Eliza’s eye.

“She is going to feel betrayed. She is going to hate us.” the woman whispered.

“She hasn’t left us a choice. She has lost weight, is shaking, taking damage in fights she shouldn’t, starting fights she doesn’t need to. I swore to her I would protect her. If hating me is the price of doing that, I will accept it.”

Gotham City- Bat cave

Kara flew to the front of the Mansion. The door was unlocked but to her surprise, Alfred wasn’t waiting for her. He usually greeted her at the door when he knew she was coming. If he was in the Bat Cave things must be serious. She checked below, looking through bedrock and inside the cave. Alfred was there, as was a suited up Bruce Wayne. Bruce was watching Brother Eye, images from around the world lighting up, alerting him to danger, terror plots, known criminals surfacing, any number of things.

Taking the elevator down, Kara walked confidently out and headed straight to the large computer. Bruce did not turn around at first, his head down. Pulling off his cowl, the dark man turned towards her. She noted Alfred had walked away without a word and seriously began to wonder what was up. Both were acting out of character. Alfred hadn’t even greeted her.

“Bruce? I came here, as you requested. Emergency, remember? Alien attacking your friend?”

“Your hands are shaking.” he told her quietly, irritating the blonde.

“I can handle myself. What species are we dealing with?” she asked, trying to control her hands, clenching her fists in a hope to stop the tremors.

“Kryptonian.” Batman answered. Alfred flicked a switch, bathing the large lair in red light. Kara felt the loss of power instantly and began to panic but kept her face calm.

“You told me once that you wanted me to stop you, if you ever went out of control. You said I would do what needed to be done, what your family could never do. I am doing that now. Supergirl is trying to kill my friend, Kara Danvers. I won’t let that happen. Kara Danvers is important to me. You are going to a facility that you will not leave until Kara Danvers is back. I’m not giving you a choice.”

Kara was too surprised to even move, reeling from the loss of power and Bruce’s words. She never heard Alfred walk up behind her and barely noticed the pinch in her neck when he injected her with a sedative. 

The last thing she saw before she passed out was Bruce Wayne catching her before she hit the floor.

 

Chapter Text

Do not own DC or CW characters

Chapter 8 Withdrawal

Kara woke up, feeling many things, none of them good.

Her head was foggy and she couldn’t seem to think clearly.

Her eye sight was blurred.

Her stomach felt like it was being twisted inside painfully.

Her heart was racing and she was sweating, clammy and cold.

Her head felt like it had split.

Her skin felt like it was being poked by thousands of needles, all over her body, even her scalp.

Lying still for a moment, the bad feelings did not go away but her eyesight did clear. She was on her back, staring at the ceiling of a room, a room lit by fluorescent light builds with a …red tint.

Bruce Wayne.

Bruce Wayne had set her up, lured her in a trap and drugged her. She remembered he had given her some reason but could not remember what it was. What had it been? Did it matter? A guy she considered one of her best friends, one of her few friends, a guy she would and had gone to war with, who she had sat up at nights with, talking about the darkness inside them, he had turned on her, betrayed her. 

Why hadn’t he killed her? He was keeping her here under red sunlight. She was weak, drugged, and sick. Was the man going to keep her in a cage? She had no doubt she was in a cage. He wouldn’t have put her under red sunlight if she could be able to walk out of wherever she was.

Deciding that lying there was not going to get her anywhere, Kara sat up slowly, propping herself on both elbows. To her horror, she saw Alex sitting beside her. Alex was in a chair next to the bed she was on.

“Alex?! He got you too? How did he get you? Do you know where he is? Where are we? Just relax. We have been in worse situations. I made most of his tech and I know how he fights. If he thinks I am less dangerous without my powers…I’m going to kill that man. I…look, I don’t feel so good right now. He drugged me with something…if we can find a way to turn off those red lights I should feel better. Can you reach them? If you stood on my shoulders, could you bust them?”

Kara tried to stand and nearly fell. Alex moved out of the chair quickly and caught her. Standing up, but still holding onto Alex for support, she took a look around. The room was strange. It appeared to be a hotel room of some sort but everything was padded. There wasn’t a head board to the twin bed, the legs were wrapped in some sort of white padding.

“Be careful. Let me help you. You have been asleep for ten hours.” Alex told her. “How do you feel?”

Kara took stock of her situation. She noted that someone had changed her into a t shirt and pajama bottoms of all things. Alex was wearing the same clothes she had seen her in…was it last night? Why had Wayne changed Kara and not Alex? Did Alex change her? Where did she get the clothes from? This set had been…over at her parents house. 

“Alex, what is going on?” the girl asked. Alex was calm, too calm. Not that her sister ever panicked in tough situations but Alex seemed to know a lot more than Kara at this moment and the blonde did not like it.

“We had you brought here. Bruce brought you here because I…we, Mom, Dad and me, asked him to. Would you listen to me? Let me explain?”

Explain? Kara must have been hallucinating, because Alex would never have her drugged and brought her anywhere.

“What is going on, Alex?”

Alex took a deep breath. Kara’s face was shifting constantly, going from confusion, fear, anger and now a mixture of all three.

“Kara, the shaking, the drinking, you were killing yourself. You wouldn’t let us help you so we had to take matters into our own hands. We brought you somewhere you could get help, get the alcohol out of your system and think clearly.”

Kara pushed Alex away from her, backing up to the bed then walking around it.

“Who are you? Are you a White Martian? Lex cloned my sister? J’onn? Is it you, J’onn?”

Alex walked around the bed with her hands up.

“Its me, Kara. Its Alex.”

Kara pushed the woman away again.

“My Alex, my sister would never do something like this! Who are you?! Where am I?! I want to know now! Stop lying to me or I will kill you!”

“Take me to Church. It was the last song you played, two months ago. I came over and you were playing on your guitar. You love that song. You …”

“Stop!” Kara screamed. “You are a White Martian! You read her mind or something! Where is she? I swear I will burn you. You better kill me because if you don't, when I get out I will fly to Mars and wipe that planet clean of you scum! I will burn you all! What did you do with her?!”

“I’m not a damn White Martian, Kara! Why would Bruce be working with White Martians? Ask me anything. I will prove to you…”

“You could have learned anything about me. My Alex would never trap me in a cage. Never!”

Alex flinched again, and she supposed the guilt must have shown because Kara stopped moving back, understanding dawning on her face.

“Alex? Why…why would you do this? You of all people? You are the only…no…there must be some reason. There has to be some reason. Does Bruce have our family? Did he tell you to take me?”

“Kara, please calm down. You are getting worked up and right now you really don’t need to be. You haven’t had alcohol in fifteen hours. I gave you a sedative but they will only work so long. I’m lucky its even working a little on you. Despite not having your powers, your blood type is different and you are going to be going through…”

"You have been keeping me sedated?! No! No, I refuse to believe that. You are…you are…not you. Anybody but you. It couldn’t happen, isn’t happening. I…if you are Alex then get me out of here.”

“Kara…”

“Right now, damn it!” the blonde screamed.

“Okay, just try and calm down. Mom and Dad are outside and want to talk to you. Will you listen to us? Just please listen.”

Kara caught that quickly. Mom and Dad? Their parents would never leave Clark alone. Deciding she really had no other option if she wanted to escape, perhaps if she played along, she could find an opening, anything to get away from these impostors and find her real family.

“Fine. I am calm. Please take me to our parents, Alex.” the blonde agreed, catching Alex off guard for a second with her change in tone. Kara would appease her and look for a chance to escape the first chance she got. Having no other option, Alex decided to take her outside.

The two walked out into a hallway and to Kara’s frustration even the damn hallway was doused in red sunlight and she still felt like hell. She had not felt like this in…a while. Opening a white door, the two walked into a larger room with a circular red couch in the middle. Seated on it were her mother and father, or aliens impersonating them, a woman with amber eyes and long, flowing red hair, who Kara did not recognize. This must be the leader of the group, whoever they were. There was also a man seated whose back was to her but she recognized the hair. Bruce Wayne was here. The girl could not decide if someone had impersonated him and Alfred to take her out or if he was working with new aliens now. In the past Bruce and J’onn would be the two people outside of her family, she would absolutely trust. She had her therapist and her friends who had always looked out for her as well but they weren’t here.

The door opened and to Kara’s shock, J’onn walked in, in his true Martian form. She met his eyes and something about them…

Kara had always been able to read J’onn’s moods. If this was an impostor he was doing a great job, because J’onn did not look stoic or angry. Today, right now, he looked sad.

That was J’onn. He would never work with White Martians. That meant this had to really be her family. She walked into the one opening and stood in the middle of the circle. Bruce Wayne met her eyes, and as usual she could read nothing in them. A shapeshifter would at least pretend to have some emotion. Only Bruce Wayne had that poker face.

“Kara, why don’t you have a seat next to me?” Alex asked, touching her arm. Kara flinched and moved away quickly.

“Don’t touch me.” the girl hissed. She then walked to the one section as far away as everyone. Taking in her family and who she thought were her friends, she realized it was all real. Bruce had drugged her, they had been in on it. They had captured her and brought her to a very nice red sunlit prison.

Alex sat as close as she could, which wasn’t very. Taking a look at her parents, hoping one of them would explain what was going on, she was very relieved when the Doctor they were relying on took the lead.

“Hello, Kara. My name is Dr. Shay Veritas. Feel free to call me Shay.”

“What can I do for you Dr. Veritas?” Kara asked coldly.

The woman met the blonde’s eyes and did not appear effected by Kara’s cold tone.

“It is what your family and friends are doing for you that we are here to talk about. They are concerned…”

“They should be.” Kara interrupted.

“They are concerned you are a danger to yourself. I understand you have been drinking everyday, quite a lot. I have learned that if you had lost your powers last night you would have died. I also know that you have a history of depression, anxiety, PTSD…”

“I’m impressed, Doctor.” Kara interrupted once again. “You have done your homework. Trust me, when I get out of here I will find everything about you. You have all my attention now. There might be a dagger in the wall of your residence when you return home one day. You are going to let me out of this place or I will find a way out on my own and you will wish you had never heard my name, much less researched me. When I feel yellow rays, I am coming for you, whoever you are.”

“Kara!” Eliza snapped.

Veritas held up her hand. “Its fine, Eliza. Kara is upset. She is confused and not feeling well, are you? You need help before you purposely or inadvertently kill yourself.”

Kara stood up and looked around the room.

“So this is an intervention? All you had to do was ask! You thought you would drug me?! Take me against my will and place me in a prison?!”

“We have asked several times and you avoid talking about it every time.” Alex told her.

“Shut up.” Kara hissed. “Don’t talk to me. I trusted you the most. I have trusted you with my life and this is what you do?! You want an intervention? Fine! Lets have an intervention and then I am getting the hell out of here! All of you can stay the hell away from me! Clark and I can live in the Fortress where Kryptonians belong! Thats what I am, right? Thats what he is! Is he next? Is he here now?!”

“Would you sit, please?” Veritas asked.

Kara clutched her stomach and suddenly felt as if she would vomit. She was also shaking and the tremors were becoming worse. Deciding she couldn’t take Bruce Wayne in this condition, the blonde would bide her time.

“Say what you all want to say.” she ordered as she sat.

Jeremiah cleared his throat.

“I made a promise to you when I met you. I told you I would always protect you. Kara, you need help. You are becoming out of control. The drinking, not sleeping, the anger problems, the suicide attempt two years ago and another I am sure is not far off. It has to stop. We didn’t want to do this, but you wouldn’t come here on your own.”

“It was my decision!” Kara shouted. “At least all Zor El ever did was ignore me, not trap me! You…you let this happen? You planned it? You think this is protecting me? You are supposed to be my father, not my jailer! Some promise! You betrayed me and captured me and are saying you did it for me? You are supposd to be my father?! Am I that much of a disappointment that you want to lock me away?"

Jeremiah took a deep breath. He remembered what Veritas told him. Kara would lash out, say hurtful things and if they argued, she will have succeeded in changing the subject.

“It was your decision until you became incapable of making good decisions. We have looked the other way, pretended not to notice when you were drunk, watched you get beaten on television because you were drunk. I said I would protect you and I am. If you hate me for it I understand but I will always love you. You have always wanted to be human. When humans are in the condition you are in they are hospitaized until they are no longer a danger to themselves. That is what is happening here. I won't apologize for it."

Kara listened, shocked at his words. He thought he was doing her a favor?

“You should have let Henshaw have me, if you were just going to lock me up whenever you wanted.” she told him. “Congratulations Daddy. You have your science experiment where you want her. I hope Clark never tries to lead his own life. I had hoped he would never know what a cage felt like but I doubt that is the case. Just make sure he has an X Box in his cell. Can you put him next to mine so we can talk?"

To Jeremiah it felt as if she had slapped him in the face. He knew she was terrified of cages, terrified of Clark being in one and jsut threw it in his face.

“I don’t want this, Kara. I want you to participate and get better so you can live. The sooner you get better, the sooner you can leave. I don’t want to watch you die.” he continued. “I love you. I will always love you and nothing you say is going to change that. No matter how you feel about this or me, I won't apologize."

“Thank you, Jeremiah.” Shay told him. “Bruce, would you like to say something?”

Kara turned and stared at the man. Of course he looked back at her. The two had staring contests often when goofing around after making some gadget or another. This time Kara would not be making goofy faces, trying to make him smile.

“Yeah, Batman. Have something to say?” the girl asked, standing up and crossing her arms.

Bruce stood up as well and stepped near her. When he was in arms reach, Kara struck, hitting him in the jaw. The man took the shot but did not show any effect from the strike.

“There was a time, even without your powers, you would have floored me with that shot. You look like hell. You’ve lost weight. You aren’t supposed to lose weight, Kara. Your eyes are always bloodshot. You look like someone who is dying." Bruce told her.

"We have, to your father’s great disapproval, always understood each other. You have been one of the few bright spots in my life. You are my friend and my friend is dying. I can’t stand by and lose more family. I couldn’t do anything about my parents, but I can do something about this. I would say the world needs you, but they don’t matter anymore. The world existed before you landed. Your family needs you. You can stay here, look for opportunities to escape or you can get better, be the person I know is in there. Be that person, that eighteen year old girl who despite all her power came to me and asked me for help. I have asked you for help. There is no shame in asking for help. You taught me that. It takes courage, something I know you have. If nothing else would you do it for your cousin, if not for yourself? You may hate me for the rest of my life, the rest of yours, and I can take that, if it means you get what you need here. I made the decision to do what I did…”

“With their approval.” Kara told him, pointing to her parents and Alex.

“And I would do it again. We always have said we have to make the tough calls. I made one.”

“You made the wrong call.”

“No, I didn’t.” he told her and went back to his seat. “When you see someone jump off a building, trying to commit suicide, you catch them. You caught people twice last year. I see you jumping off a building and I won’t let you fall.”

“Go to hell, Bruce Wayne. I suppose since you are all so friendly now they will let you keep having access to the Fortress. Thats good. I would hate to see you without your toys. If it weren’t for your weapons you are just a rich guy with anger issues that are as big as mine! Kelex needs visual confirmation that I am unable to command the Fortress before the next in line takes over. Just saying I am not ambulatory doesn’t matter. I will never give it to any of you. I will never let you in that place, any of you! You can all go to hell. You may have me in  cage but you won't have my tech."

Eliza stood and walked to her daughter. Kara threw up her hands and backed away quickly, then doubled over as her stomach cramped.

“Don’t touch me.” she whispered.

Eliza ignored her and took her face with both hands, making the girl look at her.

“I am your mother. I realize you are angry, I expected you to be. I wish it hadn’t come to this but…”

“But nothing!" Kara told her, pushing her hands from her. "I can drink what I want! I am 24 years old. Bruce, we had a deal. We handled humans your way and we handled aliens my way. I haven’t killed any humans.”

“Except Ra’s Al…” Bruce started.

“That thing was not human! Neither was Malcolm Merlyn. They were monsters who got what they deserved!”

Eliza and Jeremiah looked at each other astonished. Neither had heard that Kara had killed whatever a Ra’s was and both thought Malcolm Merlyn had been killed by the Arrow. Taking a quick glance at Alex, they could tell she knew what was going on and would be asking her about it later.

“Thats not all.” Alex interrupted. “You don’t think you are a danger to yourself? Lets talk about the ziplock bag under the toilet cistern cover. A box cutter? You keep a box cutter in a waterproof bag under the toilet cistern? What about the powder you keep in the bathroom closet, the loose ceiling panel you removed to use as a hiding place for your alcohol? I figured it was some alien drug but then thought, no, it looked familiar. I took it the DEO and guess what I found? It wasn’t anything alien. It was just good, old fashioned heroin.”

Kara paled more, whatever color she had in her skin gone.

“I…I can explain that. A drug dealer left it on the streets after he got arrested. I …I didn’t want any kids to get a hold of it… and…”

“And you thought you would find out how being a heroin addict felt?” Jeremiah asked. “Let me guess, it didn’t matter because all you needed was yellow sunlight and you would be back to normal. What about the damage to your body while you are using it without your powers? What if isn’t just flushed out by sunlight? You have lost weight. Sunlight can only repair so much after years of abuse. Are you saying you have never tried it?”

“No I haven’t, not that it is any of your business. None of this is your business! You got your son, you do'nt have to deal with me anymore! Just let me walk out of here and Clark is all yours. He always has been! I was never enough for him! I was just his crazy sister, its all I ever was! Leave me alone and I will be glad to be crazy on my own! I won't stay in this cage!"

Kara turned away from all of them, walking to a wall where a painting of a lighthouse hung. The blonde thought she could have done it better back when she used to paint. It was beautiful though, the different shades of gold…

“Kara?” her father asked again. “You really haven’t tried it?

“I don’t want to talk about it. You drugged me and brought me to this place against my will. I don’t owe you a thing. Not anymore.” she told him, not meeting his eyes or even turning around to look at him. 

“I checked the blade for DNA and blood. Yours was on it.” Alex told her. “You have been cutting yourself again, staying in a constant state of intoxication and you still don’t sleep.”

“Shut up.” Kara told her sister. “Maybe if you paid as much attention to your own life as you do to mine you wouldn't be in and out of a horrible relationship. I hated her. She was the bes tyou could do? You never even tried because you wanted to play vigliante and super agent! Your life is better than mine? You get to judge me now? I'm done listening to you. You have said enough."

Alex shook her head and walked up to Kara, forcing her to turn around and look at her.

“I haven’t said enough. Thats the damn problem. I don’t say anything. I let you get away with whatever you want, I don’t confront you about it, I don’t tell Jessica my suspicions. I’ve been enabling you and I have to stop it. You have to stop the abuse. I am not going to watch you slowly kill yourself.”

“So don’t watch. I told you before I could speak English that I was bad news, that I wasn’t safe to be around. What I do with my life is my business, not yours. We aren't little girls anymore. Now let me out of here!”

Alex shook her head and crossed her arms.

“No. You are going to get clean, get the alcohol out of your system and then when you are thinking more clearly…”

“What?! I am going to forgive you for betraying me? For helping capture me?”

Alex closed her eyes to fight back the tears. 

“Maybe you never will, but you aren’t leaving this place until you are dry. Families have the right to place a loved one in confinement and treatment for the person’s own protection. I haven’t said anything. We tried to talk to you last night but you wouldn’t stay around. We didn’t want to have to do this. I know you are angry, I knew you would be angry but you didn’t leave me a choice. You need help, Kara. You promised me you wouldn’t leave me when you were 14 and you tried to break that promise when you were 22.”

Kara laughed almost manically.

“Yeah, you are doing me a great favor. Stripped of my powers and I feel horrible. Whatever sedatives you have been giving me have made me sick. I need a drink soon. I am hurting. I need something. You did this too me. Wanted to make sure I didn't leave you? We are sisters. We trained together. You know what I am capable of. This place won't hold me, Alex. Then, I am leaving you. You will never see me again."

Alex shook her head and walked back to her seat, Eliza following. Kara continued walking around the room, not looking at anyone.

“I’m going to be sick.” she finally said and grabbed a nearby trash can, practically falling into it and vomiting what was left in her stomach from Jessica’s the night before.

Kara stood up shakily, brushing Alex off who had grabbed her shoulders to steady her.

“Don't touch me! They will come for me. You think you have me? They will come for me. Nyssa is coming and she is going to get me out of here. She already knows where I am. When I do get out of here you will never see me again. Except you Bruce and whoever the hell you are I promise you will both see me again and I will cut your throat!” she said, looking at Veritas.

“I promise you, the League of Assassins is not coming to this place, Kara.” Wayne told her.

Jeremiah and Eliza looked at each other once again, very concerned about this development. As if this wasn't the worst night of their lives it had gotten weirder. When the hell had Kara acquired an army of assassins?

“Talia trained you. You couldn’t stop her anymore than you can stop Nyssa. My army is coming for me, Bruce Wayne, and if I were you I would run back to your League of Shadows and hide under Talia’s robes!”

“I’ll take it under consideration.” Bruce told her. Apparently his sarcasm was not lost on Kara who scowled at him.

"We are bound to one another. Nyssa will not let you keep me. She is already here, looking for a way in. I don’t even know where we are but I know she is.”

“Then I guess I will have to talk to her reasonably.” Bruce told her.

Kara bent back over the trashcan and vomited, then heaved, her stomach empty but still cramping. Alex touched her arm gently and when Kara tried to jerk away she would not let her.

“Lets get you back to bed. The next two or three days are going to be bad. You have become dependent on alcohol and the withdrawals are going to be rough. I will be with you the entire time.”

“Stay the hell away from me. I won’t tell you again. I don't want to see your face again.” Kara told her coldly and staggered out of the room, back towards the bedroom she had left before. Once she reached the room, the blonde collapsed on the bed, curling up into a ball. Her skin was beginning to feel strange. She didn’t feel needle pricks any longer, but the feeling of something brushing her skin wouldn’t go away.

“Kara…”

“Get out of my cell, Alex, now! You betrayed me! I’m hurting and trapped because of all of you! I’ll stay here until she comes and when she does, take your parents and run. She isn’t allowed to hurt any of you. She is sworn to protect you, but I don’t want you to get caught in the crossfire when they come for Bruce. Clark needs you all. I never want to see or speak to any of you again. I am done with you!"

“I am not…”

"Go away, Henshaw! Go back to your precious DEO!” Kara screamed then buried her head in a pillow.

Alex couldn’t stop the tears and walked out quickly, leaving Kara trembling, curled up on the bed. She was sweating profusely and had to be close to dehydration. An IV would have to be set up soon, and the three had to decide what drugs they could give her to help with the DTs.

Right now all she wanted to do was cry privately. Instead she was stopped by Veritas and her parents. Veritas touched the wall and a window appeared.

“We can watch her, but she can’t see us. She won’t even know a window is there. As soon as she loses conscious thought, she will have to be strapped down to prevent her from harming herself. IVs will have to be set up and we can’t risk them being pulled out. She will also likely have seizures. Once her situation worsens to the point she can’t resist it will be necessary to do so. I have staff who can handle it.”

“Nobody touches her but us.” Eliza told the woman. “She will not be strapped down or constrained at any time. One of us will hold her if she has a seizure.”

Veritas shook her head. “I’m afraid seeing you may be detrimental right now. You would both do the best for her in our labs. She is going to need medications, the ones you have designed to assist her during withdrawals and the anti depressants and anxiety medicines you are developing. Time is of the essence.”

“You seriously expect us to leave her?” the mother asked, surprised. 

Shay nodded. “Until she asks for one of you, or all of you, it will give her more distress at the moment. Soon she will ask for you.”

“It doesn’t matter. One of us will always be with her. There will be no straps. This is enough of a nightmare for her.” the mother said once more, leaving no room for argument.

“She hates us.” Alex said quietly.

“No, she doesn’t.” Veritas assured her. “You are her family. I told you she would lash out, say whatever hurt the most. Right now she wants alcohol and thinks of she angers you enough you will let her go, just to get rid of you. She is alsofeeling very betrayed, which is natural. She will understand in time that what you are doing is necessary to save her life.

Alex snorted. “You don’t know Kara. She can hold a grudge. Was I too late? Is she really gone? I...I need some air.”

The brunette took one last look at her sister and ran towards the elevator at the far end of the hall. She used her hand print to access the elevator and took it five stories to the top, where it opened into a cabin. The cabin was nice, decent sized and set in the middle of a large forest in Kentucky. It was a front, built by Bruce Wayne for this purpose. Shay Veritas had been recruited by the DEO but Bruce Wayne made her a better offer. She was not a therapist per se but a brilliant doctor, with many specialty fields including psychiatry and the drugs associated with them. The woman was discreet and well paid, as were her staff. They were also all vetted by J’onn. She did not know J’onn was the Director of the DEO, only having seen the man in his alien form. 

Stepping into the fresh air, she immediately felt guilty, knowing Kara was not getting any fresh air, instead trapped in her own personal hell.

Alone, she let the tears flow freely for ten minutes. She hadn’t heard him as usual and was surprised by his hand on her shoulder.

“We did what we had to do, Alex.” Bruce assured her. “We knew she would say those things. She didn’t mean them. You know she loves you.”

“She has never ran away from my touch, never.” Alex told him, her voice breaking.

“This is different. Give her a few days, be there for her like you always have been whether she likes it or not…”

Bruce’s advice was cut off when he heard the familiar pull of a bowstring and caught an arrow before it struck his eye. 

The man showed no reaction. He suspected who had fired it and she knew he would catch it. It was just Nyssa’s way of saying hello.

The head of the League of Assassins, the feared Nyssa Al Ghul, stepped from behind a tree, shrouded in her black robes, a hood covering the top of her head and a scarf covering all but her eyes.

“Nyssa.” Bruce greeted her. “A simple greeting and handshake would have sufficed.” he told her, snapping the arrow in his hand.

“But it would not have conveyed my true feelings.  You will bring Al Malak to me or we will take her and burn Gotham to the ground. Talia and I have an agreement to stay out of each other’s way. She does not consider you one of her own, therefore she will not interfere. You know what we are capable of, Bruce Wayne. Bring her to me or consider yourself and Gotham at war with the League of Assassins.”

Bruce grinned, as always enjoying Nyssa’s presence. She was as far different from her father as one could believe, not that she would admit it.

“Al Malak? So you call her the angel. Is she the angel of death, vengeance or is it because she can fly?”

“She is my general and a part of us. Her enemies are mine and mine are hers. I had thought you might have taken both sisters and their parents were flying to you, under duress. I see by Alex’s face that she is a party to this.”

Alex shook her head, trying to focus on the woman’s words. From the moment Bruce caught the arrow her eyes were scanning the trees, trees that seemed to be coming alive with figures dressed as Nyssa was.

“How did you know we were here?” Alex asked, trying to count exactly how many assassins had them surrounded and wishing like hell she hadn’t left her weapons down below.

“Your parents guard followed them. I checked with Clark’s guard who reported he was with the neighbors. I tried to contact Kara and she was did not answer. I instructed your parents guards to inform me of their location. It appears I was right. You have betrayed your sister? You should have killed her. It would hurt her less. Bring her to me, now. I will not leave without her."

“My sister…” Alex stopped, what the woman just said, striking her. “Wait, my parents and brother are watched by you?”

Nyssa nodded her head.

“They are protected by our League. Her family is my family. Those are our oaths. Your parents and brother are in constant danger because of who she is, who they are and what they know. Kara did not want to rely on Government employees to protect them. She wanted our own protecting them. A League member is assigned to each of your parents and brother at all times. They are to be protected at all costs. Bring Kara to me. I won’t ask again. Do you have enough sharp metal bats in your vest pocket to kill us all, Bruce?”

Bruce shook his head. Wearing suit pants and a vest over a white shirt, he only had three on him, plus a small grenade in his left pocket. a knife strapped around his left calve and a small grappling gun attached to his right ankle.

“No, I don’t Nyssa. I only have three and Alex is unarmed. You are asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is if your assassins body armor can stop the ten thousand rounds my drones are about to fire into the forest in your general direction.”

Nyssa tensed, seeing the four bat shaped drones rising from the roof of the cabin. They were large, and the majority of their size was due to the massive guns on each bat shaped wing.

“Kara has many enemies. I would not leave this place defenseless. Even if you and your League would survive, you have no way of getting into this facility. I would hope we know each other enough for you to realize this is true. Perhaps you and Alex can speak and she can explain the situation. While you and Kara are close, Alex is her sister. No one is closer to Kara and we both know that. Whats it going to be? Ten thousand rounds against forty or so arrows or we all talk about this before unnecessary blood is spilled? You know I do not approve of killing but she will not be moved from this location, no matter the cost.”

Nyssa and Alex stared at each other for a moment. Alex did not see the playfulness the woman exhibited the last time she saw her and Nyssa was sizing up Alex as one of two enemies she would have to face.

Looking at the drones in the sky and the likelihood Alex could be hurt, which would go against one of her oaths, Nyssa decided talking may be best for the moment.

“Shall we go somewhere more private?” Nyssa asked. Alex shook her head and walked closer to the woman.

“I have no doubt you are very good. To be the head of assassins you must be quite the warrior. I would not underestimate you. I would suggest you do the same in regards to me. My sister needs help. She has not had alcohol for twelve hours and is already experiencing vomiting and tremors. If you care about her, you will understand why we are doing what we are doing.”

“If she needs a place to recover, we can take her to Nanda Parbat.”

“She needs a hospital! This isn’t something you can fix with herbs and meditation! What don’t you see about this? If you are really her friend how can you not be concerned about her?”

Nyssa stepped closer to Alex, their face inches from each other. “I am her friend. I have many followers but she is my only friend. You of all people should know that Kara is absolutely terrified of cages and you are keeping her in an underground cage!”

Alex said nothing for a moment. She wondered where she should strike if this woman made a sudden move. She no doubt had at least four blades under her robe. The bow on her back could be pulled but the arrows in short striking distance were more of a concern.

“Back the hell up. I don’t appreciate anyone in my personal space. We both care for her but I have been with her since she landed. I have been through everything with her. I am not asking you for permission. She is my sister and I don't know you, and you really don't know her. Leave, take your ninjas with you and things don’t have to get bloody. Bruce may be averse to killing but I am not, not when it comes to her. I will see you dead before you atempt to get to her."

Nyssa stared at her for a moment then took a few steps back.

“I want to see her.”

“No.”

“Afraid of what I might see?” the woman asked.

“You should be afraid of me. Are you too stupid or too arrogant? Do you even know the difference? You have four blades on you. Make a move and two will be in my hands. You may have some strange attachment to my sister but this is family business and you are not family.”

Nyssa, to Alex’s surprise, pulled the scarf that was covering her mouth away. The girl could swear the assassin’s eyes were wet but it was difficult to tell in the dark. Nyssa looked back at the tree line and with a wave of her hand, the leaves began to move. Alex tensed until she realized they were moving away.

“We will leave you. I want to see her after she is…better. How long do you believe you will imprison her here?”

Alex clenched her fist and bit her lip. “She is not imprisoned.”

“So she can leave whenever she wishes?”

The sister said nothing for a moment. Finally she decided to ask her own questions.

“Do you have any idea how deep her problems are? Do you really know how much she drinks, the times she hurts herself, her past suicide attempts? Do you know about the days she refuses to get out of bed or the fights she starts when she is drunk against really dangerous aliens just because she wants to feel pain and have an outlet for her anger? How much do you really know?”

Nyssa wiped an eye and turned away.

“I know that she talked me into changing. She taught me that freedom was important.Those who wished to leave left, something my father never would have allowed. She talked Maseo into returning to his wife. She and I destroyed the Lazarus Pit together. I know Kara understands what it is to be ashamed of your own blood and to live with those legacies. She has brought heart to our League. She also has the same sense of justice I do. You may believe us to be hit men for hire but that is not what the League is about. We seek to make the world better, just as you do. My father lost his way, but because of her I will not. May I please see her when she is better?”

Alex was surprised by the sincerity in her voice. For the first time tonight she did not sound angry or vengeful. She sounded worried and it was obvious Kara meant a lot to her. Alex wondered how in the hell she could have missed Kara forming a bond with this woman but she had been living with Cameron and their interactions had been at the DEO or on the streets of National City. She supposed Kara had been up to quite a bit in her five months away.

“I will let you know when she is ready, provided you do not try and take her or talk her out of treatment when I think she is ready. Kelex no doubt knows how to contact you."

Nyssa turned back towards the woman and nodded her head slightly.

“We have Streaky. She will be with us until Kara can take care of her or asks for her. Streaky does not like new places but she is familiar with Nanda Parbat. She will be cared for.”

Nyssa walked off, seeming to melt into the trees, leaving a relieved and slightly surprised Alex behind.

“She is a good person.” Bruce told her, walking up from behind. “She means well. Her father was an evil…but…Nyssa is different.”

“She has our cat." Alex whispered in disbelief. "How long have you known that Kara killed the head of the League of Assassins?”

Bruce shook his head slightly.

“Since it happened. She didn’t want you to know. Kara needs you. Lets go back inside.”

Once they had descended five floors underground, the two walked out to find J’onn comforting an emotionally wrecked Eliza. The mother looked at her daughter when she walked in.

“Kara refuses to let us in but her shaking is worse. I am afraid she will have seizures. You know people can have seizures during withdrawals. Its the highest risk of death. Maybe we should let her have something, just a bit and we can slowly bring her off of it.”

Alex shook her head. “Stay strong.” she told her. “We have to stay strong and we won’t let her die. The drugs Veritas has developed will work. Have you and Dad gone over them, studied them?”

“For months.” she confirmed. “But what if we are wrong? Your Dad is the one who has done the most good for her, making her immune to Kryptonite, but he never would have given it to her if he didn’t have a choice. You know how terrified he is of making something that could kill her. Veritas can’t give us a guarantee!”

“Calm down, please. Losing our cool isn’t going to help. Lets check on her…”

“She won’t let me in the room! She yells at me to get out! She is hurting, shaking, vomiting and she won’t let me hold her! I always hold her! She tried to bite me! I knew this was a bad idea! I knew it! We thought we were saving her life and she is going to die hating us!”

Alex pulled her mother from J’onn’s large arms and held her tightly while the woman broke down, becoming unintelligible. The girl gently guided her mother out of the room towards the room at the opposite end of the hall where her father and Dr. Veritas were.

“The anticonvulsant would make her worse. I am not happy with the way her blood sample is responding.” Jeremiah complained. 

“It will work.” Veritas assured him.

“Are you certain? 100%?”

“Nothing is certain. We are dealing with alien blood. Her blood is different than humans, even depowered and we have no way of knowing what the long term reactions will be. I do know the damage to her liver is real and if the alcohol use doesn’t stop its over. She can recover but on her current path she will die, slowly, yellow sunlight or not.”

“You are supposed to be an expert.” Eliza told the woman. "We made the drugs, you refined them, made them safe."

“I am an expert in psychiatry and the treatment of various diseases and illnesses. The only one more qualified to develop drugs and treatment methods for her are the three of you. The anti depressants and anti anxiety medications have to be developed and unfortunately there are no other Kryptonians to test the drugs on.” Veritas told the four in the room. 

It was true, she was hired by Bruce Wayne to facilite the treatment Kara would need and was gifted at developing new drugs but all were experimental until tested through trials, trials that could not be done in this case.

“Maybe you are too close to the situation.” Bruce suggested to the elder Danvers. “Perhaps now is the time to be family and not scientists. You will be afraid of whatever you give her. Maybe you shouldn’t be involved in the process any longer.”

Jeremiah looked up and scowled at the man.

“If I need advice on swinging around on rooftops using grappling guns, I will ask you. Let me decide what needs to be done as far as Kara is concerned.”

A nurse walked in, at least one Alex assumed was a nurse. She wore scrubs but everyone did here except Veritas.

“Doctor, her tremors have gotten worse, and judging by her skin color, her body temperature is rising. I need to check her blood pressure but she is attacking anyone who gets close to her. I would highly recommend we place her in a treatment bed and strap her down.”

Veritas let out a breath. She knew the family here would never let Kara be strapped down but the girl could break bones rolling out of the twin bed, or worse, begin to claw at her own skin.

“We need a Benzodiazepine to help her. In eight to ten hours the symptoms will worsen. She will begin having hallucinations , seizures, unusual heart rates, confusion, greater anxiety. We have been over the symptoms. Once they start they will worsen for the next three days. We need those drugs.” Veritas stressed. “And it is becoming apparent that you two are too emotionally involved to be impartial. She also needs to be controlled or she will hurt herself either purposely or inadvertently.”

Eliza shook her head. “It is too late to bring in someone else and she will not be strapped down. We need to treat her.”

“You need to be parents! You said you would do what it takes to help her! Now I need help and neither of you can give it to me. The last thing I need is someone looking over my shoulder overanalyzing everything.”

“I’ll hold her down.” Alex decided. “She won’t be strapped or she will die from fear. One of her worst nightmares growing up was being helpless and strapped down while being studied. I will hold her and the nurses can do what is needed.”

“She doesn’t want you in there.” Jeremiah reminded her, finally letting the fatigue in his voice. “She hates us all.”

“I don’t give a damn. She will have to deal with me.” Alex decided. “As far as needing help, Shay is right. You two can’t think clearly when it comes to Kara. There is someone else who can help you. Someone who I would guess is very good at dealing with people who aren’t exactly human. She is good and she won’t say anything. Bruce?”

The man pulled out his phone.

“Alfred, send the jet immediately.”

“It will be taken care of.”

“Just ask nicely.” Alex told him, not sure if he would or not.

“Of course. Go to her. All of you. I will be back in six hours.”

Bruce left the room and moved to his quarters on the fourth level. Opening the closet he saw his suit on a mannequin and suited up, wishing he had brought her in sooner. Caitlin Snow. The one bioengineer who had experience treating and developing drugs for meta humans. Convincing her would be easy. Bruce would simply employ his favorite method.

He would pay her whatever she wanted.

By the time the three Danvers had made their way to Kara’s room to watch her through the window, Kara screamed. It was the name she screamed that surprised her. She was calling for Alex.

The older sister ran inside, finding Kara curled up on her side. Her eyes looked wild and her arms were rubbing all over her body.

“Kara, talk to me. Whats going on? Tell me?”

“Something is crawling on me. I can feel them. They are there and then they go away. Please let me out of here. Please Alex. I’ll quit, I’ll do whatever you want, just please let me out of here. I’ll quit being Supergirl, I’ll quit drinking, I’ll do whatever you want, just please let me go.”

Alex lay behind Kara and wrapped her arms around her.

“Kara, the minute you step outside you would fly straight to a bar. We both know its true. I can’t let you keep killing yourself.”

“I’m dying anyway! Give me something to kill myself then. Anything! Just not this. I don’t want this. Its not fair. It’s not fair. Why can’t anything be fair? Give me a knife. I don't want to do this. Kill me! I'll do it myself!”

Alex held her tightly as Kara began to squirm. The girl did not fight her so it was progress in Alex’s mind, even if she knew it wouldn’t last.

Kara was in her own living hell and knew if they didn’t let her go soon it would be only the beginning. She knew before she came back to her room what would happen. She had read about alcohol withdrawals before and now the nightmares she had read about were her reality, whether she liked it or not.

 You won’t let me go, will you?”

“No.” Alex told her. “I will never let you go. Clark needs all of us. I know you hate us now and you may forever but Clark can’t lose you, none of us can."

"I will never forgive you." Kara tried.

"I know."

“I hate your hair. I’ve always hated it.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“You suck at physics and engineering. You can’t even put up a tent.”

“I know.” 

“Your feet stink. I’ve smelt Vrangs that smell better than your feet.”

“Yeah, I figured that was why you disappeared when I came back from running.” the older sister admitted.

“Your singing voice is horrible. I tell you its good but I’m lying to you. You sound like Streaky when I accidentally stepped on her tail.”

“Got it. Anything else?”

“I just don’t understand why you would, why any of you would do this. Why would you betray me?” she told her quietly, her shaking becoming worse.

“You know why we did this, Kara.We aren't betraying you. You are killing yourself.”

“I’m scared.” the girl whispered. “I’m really scared. I don’t want to do this.”

Alex felt tears leaving her eyes once again and squeezed Kara tighter, wishing if she held her tight enough the shaking would stop.

“I’m scared too. But I am going to be with you the entire time. We all are. Mom and Dad aren’t going anywhere. We are going to have some medicines to help you through this. It will be bad…”

“I would rather die. What do you think I will see?” she asked in a small voice. “People who go through this, I know they hallucinate. What do you think I will see? Is Astra going to be there? Am I going to have to kill her again? Is Jor El going to laugh at me? Is my mother going to cry?"

Alex shook her head. It was one of her greatest concerns as well.

“I don’t know what you will see.. I do know we will face it together. I won’t leave your side. You tell me what you see and I will tell you it isn’t real. Whatever it is we can beat it. We haven’t lost yet. We won’t lose this fight either. Do you want to talk to Mom and Dad?”

Kara shook her head.

“No, I don’t want to die like this. Not like this. I want you to let me go. If I have to die I want it to be in a fight.”

“You are not going to die. I won’t let you.”

Alex held her tighter, wondering what would come next. Continuos tremors, hallucinations, paranoia, more anxiety than usual, seizures? She knew one thing without a doubt. Kara would hallucinate and what she would see would be terrifying. The woman could only hope her parents did not second guess giving her medication. Alex had a feeling Kara would need quite a bit before this was over.

Central City

Caitlin Snow walked into her apartment after a long day of doing nothing. She had no real projects going on and there were thankfully no metas for the team to defeat. Barry hd not made it back from National City anyway, and had only texted that he would be back in a few days. She supposed that meant things were going well with Kara but when she asked he refused to answer. Throwing her bag on the couch, she grabbed the remote. Before she could turn the television on her phone rang. Hoping it was Barry, she was disappointed to see it was an unknown number.

“Whatever it is, I’m not buying it.” she answered.

“Dr. Caitlin Snow, this is Batman. We met recently.”

Caitlin stilled, recognizing that voice and wondering if he was at S.T.A.R. again. If so, it couldn’t be for anything good.

“Ye…yes. How can I…what can I…where are you? Please tell me you aren’t inside my apartment.”

“I’m outside. Outside your window. Could you open it so we can talk? Its a matter of life or death.”

“I’m on the tenth floor.” she said, but walked to the large window regardless. Opening her curtains, she nearly jumped back. Outside her window was some sort of large black machine, hovering silently, only feet away from the glass. Perched on the front was the man in black himself. Caitlin lifted the window and stepped back, allowing the man to smoothly enter the small opening. 

Of all the things she expected, him taking off the dark mask was not it. Still she stood there in shock as the face of the bat gave way to the face of billionaire Bruce Wayne.

“I can see by your face that Barry Allen has not told you my identity.” he remarked.

Caitlin shook her head. “He is very protective of other superheroes identities. We didn’t even know he knew Supergirl until you  two showed…I’m sorry, I’m not used to billionaire vigilante’s jumping off space ships into my apartment window in the dark. Is there something you wanted? Because…yeah just because.This is one of those things I never imagined would happen and I have imagined a lot the past two years.”

To Caitlin’s surprise, the man actually smiled.

“I have a job offer. It will take weeks, maybe a couple months. I know S.T.A.R. barely broke even this year and the patents it has been surviving on will be done soon. If you help me I will give S.T.A.R. funds to stay in business for the next decade. I realize developing tech for a metahuman speedster cannot be cheap. I will give you personally what you want. A million, ten million, it doesn’t matter. This job is important. Like I said, it is a matter of life or death. The decision has to be made now though. We don’t have much time. If you accept you have ten minutes to pack a bag and go to a car downstairs that will take you to a private airport. There you will ride with me to our location. You can let your friends know you are on a business trip, tell them whatever you want but once we reach the location they cannot be contacted unless you leave the state. I can’t have cell phones being traced.”

“Uh huh.” Caitlin said, eyes wide and trying to keep up. “And what sort of job is this that I would need to leave my life behind for weeks or months?”

“I have a doctor developing special medications that are difficult to predict because of the unusual nature of the patient. This doctor needs a partner, someone not family of the patient, a second set of eyes and someone who is brilliant and can keep a secret. Supergirl’s life depends on the medications being effective and her treatment will have to be monitored 24 hours a day. Her family needs to be with her. I need you to be her doctor. One of them.”

Caitlin’s mouth open and then closed, thinking about this. Was Barry there with her? Where was she? Cell phones couldn’t be tracked?

“Is Barry with her?”

“No.” he answered shortly. “Only myself, her family, a Martian and the staff.”

“What sort of drugs are these you need?” not quite comprehending he had just mentioned a Martian.

“I need you to check them and make changes to them depending on how her body reacts. They are drugs dealing with alcohol withdrawal, anxiety and severe manic depression. She is already in the first stage of withdrawals and it will only get worse. What do you say?”

Caitlin wanted to think about this. Supergirl, alcohol withdrawal, depression. It made no sense in her mind but she also remembered the look in the blonde’s face when she entered S.T.A.R. right before she discovered Barry was the Flash. They all had their secrets, she supposed.

But the question was really not needed. A friend of Barry’s needed help.

“I say I have eight minutes to get a bag ready, so I better hurry.”

Chapter Text

Do not own CW or Dc characters


Chapter 9 Holding On

It had been two days since Kara left her place and flew off, Alex behind her. Barry tried to sleep on her couch that night but couldn’t. He finally gave up, suited up and ran. The Flash wasn’t running for Central City nor running towards a robbery or fire, or even a meta. He was running because it was what he did when his world seemed to be falling down around him.

His thoughts were all over the place, seemingly moving as fast as his feet. He thought of his mother, Ronnie, Eddie, his father. He thought of Jay Garrick, his father’s inter dimensional other half. He also thought of Zoom, Thawne, and what he could have done differently, should have done differently.

But no matter how fast he thought, his mind kept coming back to Kara. She had looked nothing short of crazed. Barry had never seen her like that. Her eyes were like a trapped animal that feared for its life. He knew the world had never seen her like that. She was always confident, always strong and always kind. She was Supergirl. She protected the innocent of the world from metas and aliens, even everyday criminals. She saved people from burning sky scrapers. Her symbol was known all over the world, even in small villages in the Congo, or South America. There was no place and no one who did not know who Supergirl was and what she stood for, what she meant.

Barry realized he didn’t know her at all. Yes, she had told him when they first met about anxiety problems and he saw her face when she caught that plane but since then, every appearance in public she never appeared worried, or anxious. She even took fights out of city limits to save citizens from the fallout of battle, picking up aliens and flying them faster than the eye could track, taking them to prison of course.

The public never asked and they didn’t want to know. Supergirl must have had a prison somewhere or she turned them over to the Government.

No one wanted to think about it and no one wanted to know that she was taking them somewhere she could beat them to death. That was what the public did. They held up their heroes, they forgave them a lot. A headline would read Batman busts up Drug Cartel in Gotham. It didn’t read that Batman had beaten dozens of criminals to within an inch of their life. It was the way it was, the way editors and reporters like Perry White and Lois Lane reported. It was the way Cat Grant swayed the nation. Jimmy Olsen would never get a picture of a crazed Supergirl unleashing her rage on an alien. The public would not want it. They had to believe that she was safe, because if she was not safe, none of them were.

Along with those thoughts were worry. Where had she gone? Where had Alex taken her? The man had stayed in a hotel Saturday night, checking her apartment often to see if at least Alex was back. He saw the lights out at her parents house and knew they were gone. They were with Kara and Alex.

Wherever the hell they were.

He did at least see one familiar face as the sun rose over the ocean. Sitting on the beach, watching the tide roll in, was Clark. The wind blew his shaggy dark hair as he sat in the sand with his arms wrapped around his knees. Barry zipped into the Danvers storage shed and back out, leaving the red behind and now dressed in blue jeans and a blue shirt with the House of El symbol on it. Iris had given it to him last year for Christmas and it was well worn. Clark knew he was there of course. There was no way he didn’t hear the rush of wind and Barry suspected Clark was one of the few people on Earth who could see him clearly when he moved. 

Still the boy never moved, continuing to stare out over the horizon. Barry carefully walked up and sat beside him.

“Kind of early to be up. 6 AM? You do this everyday?” he asked quietly, not sure of the reception he would get. The boy didn’t look towards him but shrugged his shoulders. When he finally did meet his eyes Barry was struck by how much they were like Kara’s. He hadn’t taken a good look at the kid but despite the different hair color, the two had the bluest eyes.

“She is a good person.” he told Barry. 

The man didn’t bother to ask who he was talking about.

“I figured you would have gone back to Central City by now.” Clark added.

Barry shrugged his shoulders. “I can’t seem to make myself leave. I’ve been running for hours, all day yesterday, all night. I can’t help it. I know she isn't here but I don’t want to leave. Pretty dumb, huh?”

Clark surprisingly didn’t agree with him, which was what Barry half expected considering their last interaction.

“Its not dumb. I don’t even know where they are, but I know it won’t be easy. I know Kara is scared. I don’t know how I know, I just do. I can’t help her. I want to. I heard what she said to you before she left. It wasn’t…okay, most of it was probably true, but she didn’t tell you everything. I have a scrap book I keep under my bed with every article about Kara and Alex. They have saved a lot of people. One time a hiker fell of a cliff and was caught on this ledge. He had broken his leg. Kara went to him and splinted his leg so it wouldn’t hurt more before she flew him up. Last month she flew into Chicago because this bank was being robbed. She just landed in front of the bank and told them to come out or else. They all came out with their hands up. They just gave up. She is a hero.”

“I know she is.” Barry assured him.

“She didn’t tell you everything though, only the bad stuff. She didn’t tell you about the sick kids she visits all the time or how she pays for some of them to get treatment. She never takes money that her boss makes off of her. All of it goes to sick kids.”

Barry was surprised. He was wearing a shirt with her symbol but had never thought of where the money for the rights to the image actually went. Come to think of it he wasn’t sure where the money for his merchandise went to either.

“When we landed she had all these powers and couldn’t control them but she ran with me, even though I wasn’t strong. She never hurt me. She kept me safe. She always flies in from the ocean at my birthday parties. My friends get to take pictures with her. I can’t say she is my sister. I have to say my parents are friends with Cat Grant. I wish I could tell everyone. I would ask Alex to but she is kind of known for shooting laser guns and beating people with a double bladed lightsaber. My friends would want to play with the guns I think.”

“That does sound like a problem.” Barry admitted. In every hostage situation in National City and wherever else Alex could fly to, every cop knew the routine. Stay out of their way. Alex went in the back while the bad guys were distracted by Supergirl. She attacked the bad guys and Supergirl went in to finish them off. As a result robberies involving hostage situations rarely ever occurred anymore. If Kara was fighting an alien it was no surprise to see the alien take a very bright, very hot bolt of energy from behind.

“She is a good person, she just thinks she isn’t. You know she wears that lightning bolt necklace everywhere, every day, even when we swim? Did you know you were going to be the Flash when you gave it to her? It wasn’t some time travel screw up, was it?”

Barry laughed a bit, remembering Clark and Jeremiah’s opinion on time travel.

“No, I didn’t even know Kara was Supergirl or about to be. She loved her motorcycle and took me out on it. I don’t think I had ever been that fast on anything in my life, at least that had wheels. She loved speed. I was walking by a jewelry store and something made me stop and go in. We talked everyday after I left National City. I think I would have moved to National City if she asked, you know? Just to give us a chance? Anyway I walked in and there it was in the case. I just knew I wanted her to have it.”

“Must be fate.” Clark told him, surprising the man. “I’m really scared. I don’t like being scared. I used to think Alex and Kara never got scared of anything. They never lost a fight, but right now I am scared and I know they are. Mom and Dad were really scared. I don’t know what is going to happen.”

Barry found himself uncharacteristically patting the boy on the back but Clark didn’t seem to mind.

“You said it yourself, they haven’t lost a fight.”

“There is always the first time. I wish I were older. I have a suit ready and everything. I’ll take over so she can stop. I know she wants to. She doesn’t want to be Supergirl. If I was better, bigger, I could do everything she does and Alex and Kara wouldn’t have to do it anymore. All Kara wants to do is move back to Midvale. She used to sing, and paint. She doesn’t do either anymore. She hardly eats. All she does is drink.”

“Maybe she will stop.” Barry told him, trying to cheer the kid up.

“Over there.” Clark pointed to his right. “Kara had to kill her mother’s twin sister. The lady attacked us, was going to kill us and Kara busted through the wall so quick I couldn’t even see her. She had to kill that lady to protect us. She wasn’t even scared. She even killed a whole bunch of others from Krypton. She blew up some bombs of this green stuff over all of them. She almost died because she was under the bomb too. I remember seeing her in our basement. She was shaking and…I was scared. You know I used to be scared of her sometimes? I know it hurt her. I wish I hadn’t been. I shouldn’t have been. I never should have been.”

The two sat in silence for a while, Clark looking out over the ocean, wishing Kara would come flying in and Barry wondering where she was and if she was okay. He knew though, Kara wasn’t okay. He strongly suspected she was going through hell right now.

Clark grinned a bit, seeing Dolphins swimming about three miles out by his guess.

“Me and Kara, when we go to the South Pole, we chase Orcas sometimes. Its cool to touch them when they swim to the surface. Sometimes at night we chase Dolphins.”

“That sounds like fun.” Barry admitted, smiling at the thought of the fun those two must have.

“I lied, you know? I knew who you were. I keep up with things. You are pretty awesome, but don’t tell Kara I said that. I liked when you made Captain Cold and Heatwave hit each other with their guns.  And when you tossed that propane tank at the big meta on Flash Day and that cop shot them, it was pretty cool. I read you took out a guy made of steel. You took on a telepathic gorilla. You do good work. Mom and Dad think so too.”

“Thanks…”

“I’m still faster than you.” the boy added.

Barry shook his head and patted the kid on the back again. “Maybe one night we will go to that abandoned airport Kara took me to and we can find out if thats true.”

Clark shrugged his shoulders. “Even if you beat me you aren’t fast enough to keep me from hitting you. I hit hard. You should probably let me win.”

“I’ll take that in consideration. You going to be okay? Maybe your neighbors can talk to your parents and you can come hang out at S.T.A.R. with me for a few days.”

“Ha.” Clark laughed. “If Kara found out I was there she would do whatever it takes to break out of where she is and come get me. She isn’t a fan of S.T.A.R. Labs. Of course that was when she thought that Wells guy hurt you. Still though, Kara doesn’t like me around labs, even the DEO. She is always scared someone is going to find out about me and try to study me. She doesn’t need anything else to worry about. I just want her to be happy. I am happy. I got great parents and cool older sisters who fight bad guys and I live on a beach. I wish she was as happy as I am. One day I will take her place. I’m working hard. I’ll be ready and she can relax. Maybe she can be happy then. I should probably go get something to eat. Do you eat a lot?”

“Yeah.” Barry admitted. “I eat quite a bit. I actually came here to talk to Dr. Ryan.”

“Come in for breakfast then. Don’t call her Dr. Ryan. The older she gets the more sensitive she is about sounding old. Can I ask you a question? I guess that was a question and since I’m going to ask anyway your answer really isn’t important. How hard is it to be a superhero? Do you see a lot of bad stuff?”

Barry thought for a moment, thought about the people he had saved and the people he had lost.

“It isn’t easy, Clark. Yeah, you see a lot of bad stuff but you see a lot of good stuff too. I love being the Flash. I love helping people. Sometimes it doesn’t work out but I guess we got to keep trying, right? Who would we be if we didn’t? You are going to know one day. I have a feeling you are going to be the greatest superhero this world has ever seen.”

Clark laughed a bit and shrugged his shoulders.

“Kara has set the bar kind of high, but I will do the best I can to make her proud. As long as they call me Superman. If Cat Grant tries to pull some kind of Superboy stuff the two of us are going to have a long talk. Come on, lets eat.”

While a surprised Jessica Ryan greeted Barry for breakfast, Kara was in an underground facility going through hell. Alex had managed to hold her down long enough for two IVs to be put in her hands but the shaking had only gotten worse and two were ripped out. Kara didn’t even notice, nor did she notice when two more were replaced. Alex sat behind her, back against the wall with the back of Kara’s head on her chest. The older sister had taken a beating, holding the girl’s arms down from behind, while Kara mumbled and shook. She had her first seizure an hour before and though it was mild and only lasted a minute, everyone knew worse ones were on their way. 

Caitlin Snow stood near the window trying to take it in. The symbol of all that was right in the world, all that was good, was an addict going through severe withdrawals right in front of her while her crime fighting partner who was also her sister held her down.

Five minutes later the first drug was administered, Dr. Snow agreeing with Shay that this was the best dosage to start with.

“She needs fluids, or she will dehydrate. She is probably dehydrated now.” Caitlin pointed out. Veritas dropped her head, already knowing this. 

“To do that we would have to strap her down. Alex can’t hold her much longer. Kara’s tremors are beating the hell out of Alex and she won’t stop holding her.”

“Sedatives? I think I can up a dose of the baclofen to help her muscles relax.” Caitlin offered. “What you have is good but she could handle a higher dose. It would help to calm her somewhat.”

“You think the drug I developed will work? Because if it doesn’t, it could put her in a coma, one she may not wake up from. I never expected the withdrawals to be this hard. I knew it would be difficult but she has started having seizures sooner than I thought. I am now sure she stayed in a constant state of intoxication and I suspect she may have used alien drugs I am not even aware of.”

Caitlin checked the microscope one more time. She couldn’t let Veritas’s worry sway her opinion.

“It will work. I also think the equivalent of valium will work. You have done a great job with these drugs. The valium can help with the seizures and we can adjust the dose depending on severity. You brought me here for my opinion. I think you are right, we have to do something. There are risks but if we do nothing I am certain she is going to die. Why is the family so against strapping her down, at least her wrists? She should be in a hospital bed.”

“If you were an alien who spent your teenage years afraid of being experimented on by the government, would you want to be strapped down? I know she needs it, but  her parents and sister may attack you as well.”

Caitlin shook her head, trying to come to grips with what she had walked into. First was the cloak and dagger exit from her apartment and next, the terrifying flight in the back of a very small, very fast jet, piloted by a billionaire dressed as a bat. She wore a vest of some sort she supposed to protect her from the G forces of the flight but it had been hair raising and stomach turning even so. They had not flown high and with every bank she could see the ground. After they landed on top of some sort of log cabin, she climbed a ladder down and walked to an elevator activated by Bruce Wayne’s hand print. She had no idea how deep they went but knew it was deep. She walked out, was quickly introduced to Shay Veritas and given a microscope and loads of data. Then she was shown Supergirl.

No, then she was shown Kara Danvers, because that was who she was at the moment and she looked like hell. She was weak, obviously sick, shaking and her eyes stayed closed because Caitlin had a feeling when she opened them, she saw things.

Her sister, obviously Manhunter, looked like hell as well. She had the back of Kara’s head on her chest and her hands were on Kara’s arms, trying to prevent her from ripping out the IVs. 

Caitlin walked to the two women, one moaning and one obviously exhausted.

“You want a break? I’ll hold her if you want.” Caitlin offered, surprising Alex. Alex shook her head.

“Mom and Dad asked me the same thing but Mom can’t keep her cool and Dad would be to afraid to bruise her. Besides we always hold each other. I got the flu when I was 16 and she stayed with me the entire time, even held my hair while I vomited. She always kept a wet towel on my head. She was so afraid I was going to die. She held me all the times I had a fight with my ex, all the times I stressed over school work. I held her a lot. The second day I knew her, she woke up from a nightmare and lasers exploded from her eyes. She couldn’t even speak English but I got her to stop. I held her from behind and talked to her. It was hot as hell, Clark was just a baby and they were living in a cave hiding from Government agents. I’ve held her through…everything. We hold each other. Always have, always will, good times and bad. So I will stay here and keep holding her arms down. You can give her saline. She isn’t sweating as much and is hot. She is probably dehydrated. I won’t let her move the bag.”

Caitlin was surprised. The woman sounded exhausted and on closer inspection she had a blue spot on her forehead that was going to be a pretty big bruise. Her voice left no room for doubt though.

“Thanks for coming. I realize this has to be very strange for you.”

Caitlin shrugged her shoulders. “Strange has been the one constant in my life since Barry woke up from a nine month coma. I am going to give her an anti anxiety med and an anti convulsant. The work Shay has done is impressive. I suppose you and your parents had a hand in it as well? I think everyone is a little scared to give her anything. I can understand that, but I promise you I won’t let anything happen to her.”

Alex nodded her head.

“I know you won’t. Thats why I wanted you here.” Alex said, surprising Caitlin. “I know a little about your work but I also know about the times you saved the Flash. At least some of them. Shay is good and the two of you together are the best. My parents are very good but right now they are a mess. Mom and Dad are convinced she will never speak to them again and they are second and third guessing themselves constantly. J’onn is trying to keep them calm but he can only do so much. They are constantly watching but aren’t sure what to do. We knew Kara wouldn’t be happy, would be furious, say things like she said, but…knowing it and hearing it are two different things. None of us know how she will be when she finally gets through this.”

Caitlin looked closely at her, trying to decide if she should ask. Considering she had to know everything, she really didn’t have a choice.

“Alex, she has damage to her liver. Shay thinks it will heal with enough time in the sunlight as long as she stays away from alcohol. Has she…do you know if she has taken anything else, any type of alien drug, or drugs, anything that we may need to know about?”

Alex opened her mouth to deny it, even insulted by the notion but then stopped. Remembering the bag she found in their bathroom, she had no idea that Kara was considering using it without her powers so Alex would lay off about the alcohol. She didn’t know Kara still cut herself until she heard a strange sound after flushing the toilet and found the box cutter. What else did she not know about?

“I don’t know, Caitlin. I would like to tell you she would never do that but I don’t know. I can try to ask her but she has been mumbling to herself for the last hour. She has been speaking Kryptonese and talking to her mother, the one from Krypton. She just keeps asking why? Why did she do it, why was she born, things like that. When she has nightmares she talks in Kryptonese.”

“You speak Kryptonese?” Caitlin asked, impressed.

“The only human on Earth who does. Go ahead and hook some fluids up and if you wouldn’t mind, could you ask someone to get me a sports drink? I’m getting a little dehydrated myself. She is burning up. Ice for her head would be good too.”

“On it. I am being serious.You are going to get tired. I don’t mind giving you a break.”

Alex shook her head. “I’ll sleep when she sleeps. Thanks though.”

Caitlin asked another question that popped into her head.

“How did the two of you communicate when you found her, if she didn’t speak English?”

Despite her exhaustion, Alex smiled.

“Hand signals. You should see the two of us play charades. We have never lost a game. Charades was the first language we had in common.”

After Caitlin left to get the fluids and required dosage, Kara had a small seizure, small compared to the others. Thankfully it only lasted a minute. After the shaking stopped and Kara’s eyes seemed to come back to reality then close again, Alex thought of Caitlin’s question. She had no idea about other drugs but if she had taken something the only place she could have gotten it was from that damn bar Alex considered burning several times. She let go of Kara’s left arm for a second and quickly reached into her pocket. Putting the small com in her ear, she pressed the button on the inside and called Kelex.

“I am sure you are watching through the security feed, correct?”

“Yes.” Kelex confirmed.

“Seen enough? Override Protocol is now active.”

“I agree. You are in command of the Fortress until you end the protocol.” the robot assured her. 

“Put me in touch with Lobo.”

Alex waited for a few moments, then she heard the deep voice of the guy who had somehow became a friend to the two sisters.

“Lobo, I need a favor.”

“Just tell me what you need. I’ll make sure it is done. How is she?”

“Not good. I need you to go that bar in National City and ask some questions. I need to know if she has ever taken…”

“I’ll find out. Give me two hours.” he interrupted her. The Czarnian had the same thoughts himself. 

National City

Every alien in the bar looked up when the door opened. This was not unusual. It was a small community and everyone wanted to know who had joined the gang. This moment was unusual because the door wasn’t just opened, the guard at the door had been thrown through it.

Lobo walked in, bare chested with only leather straps leading to his back, crisscrossed and carrying two very large rifles. It was the chain wrapped in his hand with the large blade at the end that had garnered the most attention. Everyone knew a lot of heads had been lost to that blade.

“You all know who I am. Some cal me Lobo and some call me, Oh shit, its him. Thats the English translation anyway. Before any of you make a move towards any exists I have them all wired, Touch a door and you wind up in pieces. I have some questions and you are all going to tell me what I want to know and then continue on with your lives. First question, who is the dealer at this place?”

Everyone in the bar quickly pointed to a small, green man in the corner, who somehow just turned a deeper shade of green.

“Good job, class. Everybody get out besides the green guy wearing a shady overcoat and the bartender. Martha or something, right?”

“Megan.” the woman responded.

“Sure it is. Dealer and bar keep stay, the rest go out the door behind me so you don’t get turned into goo.”

The exit was swift, and in less than ten seconds the two remaining aliens were left with Lobo. The bounty hunter noticed the bartender did not appear frightened and he had a good idea why.

He started with the dealer.

“Come here.”

The man slowly shuffled towards him, staying a distance away.

“I said come here. I’m not coming after you. My chain can bring you to me but it will leave a few gashes.”

The green alien moved quickly in front of Lobo.

“You been selling to Supergirl?”

The man quickly shook his head.

“Stop lying. I need to know what she has taken. I need a sample. You are going to give me the truth or die painfully without your tongue.”

The green dealer looked around and reached into his overcoat. He handed a small zip lock bag of orange powder to the bounty hunter.

“Freez, from Starhaven.”

“How often does she buy from you?”

“Buy? She tells me to give it to her or she will kill me. You know how brutal she can be. Who the hell is going to tell her no?”

Lobo rolled his eyes and grabbed the dealer by his throat.

“I’m kind of on a time limit here, and I got no wish to hear your problems. How often?”

“Once a month. Never more. She drinks more than anything, ask Megan! But yeah, sometimes twice but most of the time once a month, always on a Saturday. She doesn’t take much, probably enough for three or four hits a month. But... I heard she gets it all over, heavy user. Small alien community and all. We talk. She likes to hit dealers al over the States and Canada so nobody knows how much she uses but she is a junkie."

“She snorts it?”

The man nodded his head.

“Anything else?”

“No sir, I swear. Not fom me. I think she is a regular user od Freez. Gives an incredible buzz, even to a Kryptonian, I guess."

Lobo was convinced. The man had already urinated his pants. He wouldn’t lie.

“You ever see her again, you don’t give her anything. She might kill you, but I will make it slow. She can be brutal but I am sadistic.”

The man shook his head. “So what? She kills me if I don’t give it to her and you kill me if I do? What kind of choice is that?”

“Price of dealing drugs, man. Maybe you should find another job. I hear your business has a lot of fatalities. Get the hell out of here.”

The man left quickly, only falling down once, leaving Megan and Lobo alone. The big man sighed and turned towards the woman.

“You must be good. I know J’onn has picked Kara up from this place a lot of times. Those are some damn good mental shields you must be throwing up for him not to notice a White Martian tending bar in National City. So what is your real name and why aren’t you with the rest of your kind?”

“I am M’gann M’orzz. How did you know?”

Lobo laughed. “Seriously? I can smell a White a mile away. The Green is a friend of a friend of mine.You here to take him out? If so you are about to have one very long night. Call some of your other friends and we can make this a real party. The Green Martian is under Kara’s protection. That means he is under mine, even if the bastard hates my guts.”

The bartender shifted, showing her Green Martian form she often used.

“I left those people, my people. I just want to be left alone. I want no trouble. I suppose you will tell him?”

Lobo shook his head.

“I know all about keeping secrets. I don’t think you mean him harm. You would have taken your shot already if you did. I wouldn’t be walking around in that Green Martian form though. Guy is still tore up over the loss of his people. He sees you, he is gonna think he isn’t alone and then find out you are one of the Whites, the man will kill you. He is a helluva fighter. Anyway, that ain’t what I am here for. I need a bottle of everything Kara has drunk since you been here. I need it quick and my payment is I won’t burn this place to the ground. Unless you want to fight about it? Like I told the drug dealer, I am on a time limit so the fight is going to be fast and brutal.”

M’gann shifted back to her human form and shook her head.

“It has finally caught up with her, hasn’t it?”

“I need those bottles, now.”

The Martian nodded her head and moved to the bar, pulling down three large bottles.

“The Thanagarian Whiskey is her favorite but lately she has been drinking from the clear bottle. Odorless, but pretty much straight 100% proof developed for the guards on Takron Galtos. She came in recently, maybe a couple weeks ago asking for something with no odor. The third is just an ale. I think she uses it to keep her maintained.”

“You knew she was an alcoholic and still…”

“Look Lobo, you know who she is and what she has done. She killed every fool who has ever challenged her. The girl has killed three White Martians. Every alien in the world knows what she is capable of behind the Supergirl facade. Nobody turns her down. Besides, she would just go somewhere else. Its not like she is stuck in National City. You said you were on a time limit. Since you ran out the business, I’m closing up…damn it. What the hell does he want? Probably you. I’ll be in the back. Get him out of here and I will lock up behind you.”

M’gann turned and walked to the office in the back. Lobo didn’t need to turn around. He could guess who it was.

“Hal Jordan. I didn’t take a human like you to be the type to drink the brew they serve here.”

Jordan took a stool next to the much larger man. Lobo noted with amusement that he was all suited up and green, even had his little eye mask. The man was ready for a fight. A White Martian and a Green Lantern and he was going to miss kicking both their asses because Kara’s sister needed this stuff to treat her.

“Lobo. What the hell are you doing on Earth?”

Lobo looked down at him, noting his ring was glowing. Damn, this man did want a fight. To bad he wouldn’t get his wish tonight unless Jordan tried to stop him.

Lobo shrugged his shoulders and clipped his chain on his belt.

“I got a cute blonde friend who says I can pretty much visit all I want. I may even move to the suburbs. What I am doing is none of your business. You Lanterns have been riding her cape for years. She had to take out Myriad, Fort Rozz prisoners, and every alien threat that comes to this planet. Who the hell do you think you are to ask me anything? The question should be what the hell are you doing on this planet because for all the Lanterns Earth has, it seems like you guys are useless.”

Jordan’s ring stopped glowing, his suit gone, giving way to more casual dress.

“Yeah, you may have a point. Doesn’t matter. You really want to get off this planet. Gardner beat Atrocitus and took over the Reds.”

“I heard. Am I supposed to give a damn?”

Jordan chuckled a bit, glad to see that Lobo hadn’t changed. He was violent as hell but smart and laid back. If he was here it was for a reason. It was true, everyone knew he was tight with Supergirl.

“Atrocitus wasn’t just taken down, He escaped but before he did he sent out thousands of red rings. He is going to try and rebuild an army, start a civil war in the Reds. One of those rings turned up on Earth. You know how it works. Its going to stay hidden until someone with great power unleashes their rage. Then its going to go to them. You know what a new Red can do, what he or she will do. Gardner is trying to help me find it but it is hiding its energy well, just waiting for the right time. I wasn’t too concerned until I heard you were here. Someone with your power and rage getting that ring wouldn’t be good for anyone, you, us or Earth.”

Lobo got a sick feeling in his stomach, not something he was used to. Great rage unleashed? What Jordan didn’t understand was that Lobo had no rage. He fought because fighting was his greatest joy. There was no rage behind his power. In his mind he was a pretty laid back guy, calmer than Jordan realized.

But he did know someone with great rage. A tiny blonde girl who crushed his skull and burned it off his shoulders, screaming with rage the entire time.

“Why the hell would I want a damn ring? If it shows up on my doorstep…I guess someone has to find it first, right? They would have to be…”

“Stop.” Jordan told him, noticing the Czarnian was sounding very different. Hal thought he might have wanted the ring but it wasn’t really Lobo’s style. “It doesn’t work that way. When someone with great rage absolutely needs it, it will offer itself. That person won’t think twice about putting it on and thats it. They become a monster until the Reds…”

“Yeah, yeah.” Lobo told him. “Until they take a dip in the Blood Ocean on Ysmault. Ive heard all the fairy tales. Look, believe it or not I am a pretty laid back guy. I got somewhere to be. Don’t ask, it isn’t your damn business and as much as I would like to spar with one of you power rangers, maybe the cute pink one, I got somewhere to be. Don’t follow me. I’ll know if you do.”

Lobo, bottles and powder in hand walked towards the exit, but stopped before he left. Turning back to Jordan, he offered one piece of advice he sorely hoped the Lantern would take heed of.

“Hal, find that damn ring quick and get it the hell off this planet. A lot of powerful people on Earth.”

Jordan shrugged his shoulders. “Like you said, this planet belongs to Supergirl. If we got her we can handle a Red. I would just prefer it not to come to that. The Blue Lanterns are all dead. Once that ring attaches to someone they are changed. It can never come off short of death.”

“Find the damn ring.” Lobo told him once more and walked out. He didn’t say what he knew in his heart. If that ring was waiting for the most powerful and angry individual on Earth to unleash their rage it would be Supergirl those dumbasses would be fighting.

Placing the items in his chopper’s saddlebag, he rode until he hit the desert highway. Once there the man opened a portal with a Rann transporter and drove thorough it, arriving in Kentucky seconds later.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Do not own DC or CW characters.

 

Chapter 10 Dr Snow takes charge

 

J’onn Jonzz knelt by the blonde’s bed, forty hours into her detox. She had a seizure an hour ago that lasted four minutes. A larger dose of anti convulsants had been delivered but Veritas and Caitlin were becoming concerned. Kara’s shaking had somehow even worsened and her eyes were open but not focusing on anything in the room. She seemed unaware of Alex’s voice, despite being held tight by the older sister who was whispering Kryptonese in her ear.

The Martian grabbed the blonde’s right hand and leaned into her ear, speaking his native tongue. Alex did not understand the Martian language at all. She had always considered it a rough language based more on sharp sounds than smooth flowing words like Kryptonese.

J’onn continued chanting until to Alex’s surprise, Kara began chanting with him, the same words and same cadence. Kara’s eyes were closed and her body still shook but she seemed to relax somewhat.

Alex held tight, watching J’onn hold onto the blonde’s hand, his eyes closed as the two continued chanting. After ten minutes, Kara relaxed and seemed to fall into a restless sleep.

“What did you do?” Alex whispered. “I thought you couldn’t control her mind?”

“I can’t.” he confirmed. “That was a prayer of my people. Every year on the date of my family’s death, I spend the day praying for them. She found out and learned the prayers four years ago. She spends the day with me every year. We say the prayers all day in a meditative state. She knows those prayers and they calm us both. They always have. Apparently they are in her subconscious now. Are you sure you do not need a rest? She is sleeping now. Perhaps you can sleep as well. Your back has to be in pain.”

Alex smiled. “I stopped feeling my back four hours ago. My legs went away two hours before that. I have this.”

Caitlin Snow and Shay Veritas watched from the window, both concerned.  Caitlin was the one to finally speak up.

“This isn’t going to work. She is barely keeping the IV in and we need to monitor her heart rate. If those drugs she was snorting did any damage to her heart like the alcohol damaged her liver, she could slip into cardiac arrest.” Caitlin told her colleague. “We have to get an EKG on her. She has to be in a treatment bed. Her sister cannot hold her down for days.”

Veritas sighed, knowing she was right. Bruce Wayne had entered two hours ago with a package of orange powder that he warned the women not to touch with their bare skin and three bottles of alcohol. Caitlin nearly passed out when she smelt one.

“I understand that but they will not…”

“Screw this.” Cailtin cut off the woman and marched into the room. She pointed at Alex.

“I need to speak to you and your family, alone. Its important. Please let…J’onn? Yes, J’onn, please let J’onn keep her company for a bit.”

“I’m not…”

“Now.” Caitlin ordered, surprising the girl. Barry Allen would not have been surprised. He had heard that tone from Caitlin many times. It was the one that signaled that soft spoken, easy going Caitlin had left and Dr. Snow was in the room.

Alex frowned but did move out from under her sister’s head on her lap and allowed J’onn to cradle her to the pillow. Alex tried to stand and then fell on her face.

“Ow.”

“Are you…”

“Just getting feeling back in my legs, J’onn. Should be any minute. Any time now. Okay, it may take a few minutes.”

Alex rolled on her back and began massaging her legs until some feeling came back. Sitting up, finally she used the mattress to help her stand and walked stiffly out of the room. Caitlin was with her parents in the large living room with the circular couch. Alex sat next to them, Caitlin standing in the middle.

“This has gone on long enough. You all know what has to happen here. Alex, you cannot hold her with an EKG, 12 lead and multiple lines running into her veins. She  could have more damage when she has a seizure by holding her, both of you could be damaged. I realize you don’t want her to feel like she is a prisoner but right now, she isn’t even sure where she is. Stay by her side, keep touching her, whispering to her but she needs to be in a treatment bed and her forearms need to be secure with very soft pads.”

“Absolutely not…” Eliza began.

“I was brought here to treat her. The drug she was snorting, I have no idea what effect it had on alien physiology but it must have done something for her if she kept going back for more. According to Bruce, whoever was giving this stuff to her only did so once a month but she was probably going to different dealers and we don't know if they all gave her the same thing or drugs we don't even know about. THer heart rate is going to become abnormal. It probably already is.” Caitlin pointed out. 

“But I cannot determine that because I can’t get an EKG hooked up to her. If whatever this is, has done damage to her heart, I need to know. I realize she is supposed to be indestructible but the alcohol eventually wore her body down, correct? She lost weight and we have found liver damage. We have no idea what the drugs could have done. From my first findings I think it operates the same as Crystal Meth. She may have been using it to fight off the sluggishness that alcohol caused her to feel in battle. I don't need to tell you the damage Meth can do to a human."

“She will panic.” Alex told her.

“She can die if we don’t treat her correctly.” Caitlin countered. “I realize this is difficult for you all, but you all made this choice because you felt she couldn’t make it for herself. You committed yourselves to this. She has gone through hell and it is too late to back out now. She is hallucinating and probably has no idea where she is right now. We put her in a treatment bed, continue administering sedatives and anti convulsants, and hook her up to a twelve lead so we know if the dosage is effecting her heart in a negative manner. We need a full blood work up, especially knowng she is an addict and not knowing if her others organs are damaged. I need to know her blood pressure, I need to know her body temperature, I need all this. Shay and I both do, but apparently everyone in here is scared to do what needs to be done. If this were anyone other than your daughter would either of you have her in a twin bed, being held from behind, or would you be gathering all the information you could get in a proper medical facility?”

Eliza and Jeremiah looked at each other, knowing what she said was true.

“If she feels…” the father tried.

“Keep touching her. Stay by her side and talk to her.” Caitlin suggested. “If she freaks out because of the straps, we can take them off but until then or until the tremors and seizures stop she needs to be strapped down. She needs to be in a hospital gown, not pajamas. You know this, all of you do. I am going to get nurses to help me move and change her. Are any of you going to attack me? If so do it now, because I have a patient to treat.”

None of the three said anything. Eliza finally cleared her throat.

“Alex and I will help you dress her. It will be easier in the bed she is in. Jeremiah can carry her. He has a lot of experience. She always liked him carrying her when she was a little girl. Even after she got over her panic attacks, during storms she would curl up next to him and he would run his fingers through her hair. She needs that now.”

Jeremiah shook his head. “She doesn’t want me in there.”

“I know.” Eliza agreed. “She doesn't want me either and she can hate us later, but right now she needs us so we are going to be there. Lets do this.”

Alex stood up and followed her mother into Kara’s room. Her eyes were closed still but she was speaking.

“Run Alex. I will get them out, just run, please.” she whispered. Alex knew she was reliving the day Henshaw found them.

Once the two women had changed her into the gown, Jeremiah lifted her while J’onn followed bring the IV pole.

Alex shook her head, trying to think straight.

“Stay with her. I need to call Clark, I promised I would text Barry just to let him know she is okay, not where she is. I also want a look at that drug she has been taking.”

Eliza let out a breath then closed her eyes to stop from crying.

“How did we not know she was using drugs, Alex?”

“Because she stayed constantly drunk. Its not your fault or mine. She could have come to any one of us. Kara has always been like this. She has always lied about hurting herself, she lied about what had happened the night before she tried to kill herself. She has lied to Jess in therapy for years. Kara lies, Mom. She is a liar. I love her so much but I am tired of denying it. I would guess a lot of addicts can be, but this started before the alcohol. I think she does it as a defense mechanism because she doesn’t want to be seen as weak or broken. This isn’t on us. It really isn’t on her. Okay, most of it is on her, but…its on the House of El. They let her down. They did this. Who is at fault doesn’t really matter now though. We just need to get her better, through this detox so she can think straight and then we are going to all talk about these lies and secrets and her getting help. She has to. This has to stop.”

Eliza nodded her head, agreeing with this for the most part but still wondering how she had never thought of drugs.

“And if she hates us and refuses to get help?”

“Then I am bringing Clark here and she is going to tell him to his face that she won’t get help and will keep killing herself with drugs and alcohol. If she can say that to him, I guess she is lost, but she won’t. She just won’t do that. Have some faith, okay? We have gotten through bad times and always come out ahead.”

Eliza smiled, as she often did at Alex’s optimism. The truth was Eliza had no idea what would happen when Kara came through this. She had been worried about her youngest daughter hating her and whether they would find anymore problems the alcohol had caused. Now to find out about drugs had her shaken. Kara’s powers of recovery were very strong. When she at full strength she could be indestructible. The idea that she had drunk so much of such powerful intoxicants to the point she lost weight and shook, blew her mind. The liver damage Dr. Veritas had discovered when they first brought her in was something Eliza never would have believed. She wanted Kara to get help on psychological level but hearing she was damaged on a physical level was …she didn’t have the words to convey her emotions. 

Alex was right though. At this point nothing mattered besides getting her through this alive. The back up plan was to turn the red sunlight off and let her healing powers do the work if she was in danger of immediate death, but Veritas did not believe this would help her physical need for alcohol. Plus there was always the risk that Kara would go on a rampage and fly through and out of the building. If that were the case none of them had any doubt she would go to the nearest bar or now possibly a dealer.

Eliza stood up and followed Alex. She would do what she always had done. Be there for Kara, whether she liked it or not.

Project Cadmus Bunker, underground Metropolis

The table was full, all five seats taken. Present were General Samuel Lane, General Wade Eiling, Amanda Waller, head of A.R.G.U.S. and the second and third richest men in the world, Lex Luthor and Maxwell Lord.

The bunker had been operational and completely off the books, hidden for years, five years to be exact. No cell phones or electronics were allowed in. The reason was obvious. The group figured out long ago that Supergirl had access to every electronic device on the planet, even those the NSA swore were unbreakable. She was an alien and somehow, somewhere she had a ship or headquarters, somewhere that alien code could monitor the world. The girl had rescued a Russian submarine three years ago that had sunk because of a reactor explosion. She pulled the rods out herself and lifted the sub in the air, holding it until two rescue ships could gather a tow line and floats to drag the vessel back to Russia.

The incident had been kept quiet by the Russian Government for obvious reasons but Supergirl had been there twenty minutes after the explosion. It was apparent at that point that the world could keep no secrets from her. This was the primary concern, more important that she walked into a nuclear reactor room and didn’t die from the massive radiation exposure than the enormous strength it took to lift a submarine from 300 feet of water. She had been down for over ten minutes and was not winded, meaning she likely did not need to breathe and verifying the suspicions that she did indeed fly in space.

“So lets start.” Lex suggested. He usually led the meetings. Though Max hated the Government and Lex Luthor and the Government hated both men, everyone in this room recognized that they needed each other to combat what they considered the greatest threat humanity had ever faced.

“Amanda, have you succeeded in getting any information from the DEO?” Luthor asked. Waller rolled her eyes.

“Of course not. We have tried to have three possible agents with impeccable false backgrounds who would be perfect for the DEO and they have not been hired. The agents we have tried to bribe either won’t talk or are unable.”

“Unable?” Eiling asked.

“Yes.” Waller confirmed. “We ask a series of questions, why does Supergirl visit the DEO, why does Henshaw let her have free access, who is she visiting? When they open their mouths to answer they are unable to speak. Some desperately wanted the money being offered but seemed to be literally unable to speak. Almost as if they had some sort of mental block preventing them from speaking about her.”

“Great.” Lane mumbled. “She can control minds. Sounds like you have been chasing the wrong Gorilla, Eiling. Maybe she can make you look like a fool as well.”

Eiling didn’t respond to the baiting. He felt he at least had the guts to go after metahumans and aliens. Lane hid behind the pretty bars on his jacket.

“It could be another alien.” Lord suggested. “She kills most of the ones she fights, but we have seen her working with others. The large one that looks like a demon biker is a big concern. The strong green one who can fly is also a concern.”

“That may explain why Henshaw defends her and convinces the President that she is an asset of the DEO even though she refuses to reveal her identity. She could be controlling his mind.” Waller guessed.

Lane laughed.

“Not likely. Henshaw has been soft on aliens before he she showed up on the scene. The President can’t do anything because she knows Cat Grant will turn public opinion against her and technically Supergirl is not a US citizen, she is a world citizen thanks to the damn UN. If the US declares war on her we are basically declaring war on the rest of the United Nations and the rest of the world loves her. Hell, this country loves her. Only a handful of intelligent people recognize the danger she is, to not only national but world security. Besides, the President lets Henshaw do whatever he wants. She always has, as did her predecessor.”

“So where does that leave us?” Luthor asked. “I still refuse to accept that we are at her mercy. She has to be stopped and it has to be in a manner that cannot be blamed on us. The President won’t support us, so we have to do this on our own.”

“My project is the best…” Max started.

“Don’t be an idiot. You can’t turn a brain dead girl into a copy of her.” Amanda told him, not for the first time.

“I have her DNA. She was cut in a fight in the desert and her blood was on a rock. It is simple genetic manipulation…”

“No human body can hold the power she possesses!” Waller shouted, frustrated with the man. If she didn’t need his money she would have had him assassinated long ago. “You are an idiot! Even if you duplicate her DNA and introduce it to a human body or clone one for that matter, you cannot replicate her cells. She stores power on a cellular level, more powerful than any human could handle. Their body would break down.”

Lane watched the two go at it and glanced at Luthor who seemed amused.

“She is right Maxwell.” Luthor told him, enjoying the fact that Lord’s plan was so ridiculous it didn’t warrant discussion. “Besides you cannot do something like that and not have it traced to you. Can you remember that she controls the technology of this world? I used to think Bruce Wayne was funding Batman but it is obvious she is giving that freak alien tech, just like her thin partner. She not only runs the world herself, she has followers, traitors to the human race and aliens. We have to meet in a hole in the ground, just to avoid her listening in. She uses cell phones as microphones and listening devices. Maybe she uses her own hearing. She is God after all, according to many cults. General Lane, I understand you have something in the works while General Eiling is chasing monkies?”

“Yes, we call it Red Tornado. It is the strongest android ever developed.I feel confident it can challenge her. Not only is it strong, it also is equipped to use extremely strong vortexes to battle her on the ground or air. I think these may disrupt her ability to…”

Lane stopped speaking, annoyed by the laughter Waller was unable to control. Once the woman had stopped she smiled at Lane.

“You do realize six years ago she stood inside of an F 5 tornado and literally changed the air temperature to collapse the storm? She didn’t even chip a nail. You think some robot is going to do any damage to her?”

“It will damage her and if nothing else we can get a reading on her strength. We have yet to know its limits. Her lifting strength is obvious but we don’t know how hard she strikes. This so called robot is being developed as an anti insurgent weapon. Nothing about it should be noticed by her as a threat until we unleash it. Unless someone has a better idea?”

Hearing nothing, the General smiled.

“Good. It will be battle ready in six months, possibly four if I put pressure on its engineer. We have spent over a billion dollars on this android.It will damage her. Despite what the world thinks, she is not a god.”

Luthor shook his head. Brute force would not work. At least the amount of brute force they planned.

“Amanda, ideas?” Lex asked.

“I have an asset in India. He has a contact who meets him in person. The man is in the nuclear command department. It will cost us but it will be simple for him to arrange an accidental launch of a nuclear missile towards the States, giving her plenty of time to respond. The security India has over their nuclear weapons is a joke. He plants a detonator on the missile. She will no doubt take it into space and once she is out of atmosphere we detonate. No one and nothing can survive being at ground zero of a nuclear explosion. It can be done without her electronic spying discovering the plan.”

“Excellent. Someone using their brain.” Lex told the others happily. “There is hope for the Government. She has to be positioned perfectly. We have to be ready to move at a moment's notice. Once she is seen flying over Europe or Africa, perhaps a large scale disaster that could be staged, we can initiate operations. In the mean time, one of my many grants to an oceanography expedition in the Marinas Trench has discovered something. It was brought to my immediate attention due to standing rules that should the researcher find anything alien it is to be brought to my attention in person with no written record. Something has been found. It appears to be a coffin of some sort, a very large coffin with alien writing carved into it. We are bringing it up and it will be transported to my lab. I am not certain if it could be any use but any information we can find on aliens would help. Perhaps it could be something that could actually contain her. I will keep you all informed. General Lane, have fun with your robot, Amanda, please make contact with your asset and begin setting up a scenario off the books of course and lets continue to look for ways to save the world. Oh and Max? Stop experimenting on brain dead girls. If you are caught performing a foolish project involving the deaths of several young girls, no one in this room can save you. Not from the police and not from her. We all know what she does to her enemies when the public is not looking.”

National City

After a subdued breakfast, Barry gave into Clark’s request for a video game opponent. The boy didn’t tire of beating him for two hours, at which time, Connolly offered to take the kid swimming, obviously a distraction for Barry to speak to Jessica. Once the two were gone, Jessica motioned him into the kitchen then to his surprise she walked through a door that led to a basement. At the bottom of the stairs was a very heavy door, that opened with a palm print.

“Sound proof safe room. His hearing is getting better every day and he likes to snoop.He has difficulty listening in here. He hasn’t gotten Kara’s full range of powers yet. He broke a glass last week and cut himself when he picked up the pieces. Of course he healed a minute later. It used to take longer. The older he gets the more powerful he becomes.”

Barry nodded his head and took a seat in the spacious room. A monitor on the wall showed security cameras covering the outside of the house completely, cameras he hadn’t even noticed. It looked liked there were cameras covering the outside of the Danvers house as well.

“This is a very safe room. We built them in both houses in the event that Kryptonians had ever found us or the Danvers. I can’t, I won’t tell you where she is. I know you care about her but honestly even if you went to her, she wouldn’t want you to see her like she probably is.” Ryan told the man, taking a seat across from him.

“I didn’t come to find out where Kara is. You look tired.” he noted.

Jess smiled but there was no humor in it.

“I wasn’t a therapist. I worked in the Behavioral Science Department of the FBI. I was good, too. But I had to turn myself into a therapist. The problem is, it is difficult after so many years to stay detached, clinical with the same patient. I failed. I guess you could say I am not taking it well.”

Taking a closer look at her, Barry noticed how red her eyes were and wondered if she had slept in days.

“Alex said you were a great therapist.”

“Alex is kind. I understand Kara told you some things about herself Friday night. Do you think I am a great therapist? I was always out of my league but…once you have been with someone so long, the person kind of becomes a part of you. You stop looking at them objectively. You see them as family and it is hard to provide therapy for someone you see as family. I was as much of an enabler as her family was. Like I said, I failed. You didn’t come here to make me feel better and I am sure you know you won’t get her location from me. Why are you here, Barry?”

Barry took a deep breath, wondering the same thing. He wasn’t sure what he needed exactly. Maybe some way to process his parents death? Maybe someone he could talk to that didn’t know him, someone he could say things he would never say to his friends and loved ones.

“I need therapy and Alex said you were good. You already know I am the Flash and I have had a lot of stuff happen lately. I…I’ve never done this thing before. I can run up here …”

“Wait.” Jessica stopped him. “After everything you have heard this weekend, haven’t you figured out that I am a horrible therapist?”

Barry shrugged his shoulders. “Alex said she would have lost her mind without you. She doesn’t seem like the kind of person who says that lightly. I can’t really go to anyone else. If you don’t want to I understand.”

Jessica shook her head. “I’ve never worked with anyone besides the Danvers.”

“And I’ve never been to therapy. But if you can’t I understand. I probably wouldn’t be good at it. Thanks for breakfast. Tell Clark I said bye and had fun. So, how do I get out of here? Do I need to use a code or should I just phase through?”

Jessica took a look at the man. He wasn’t much older than Kara, probably the same age as Alex. He seemed kind of shy the other night, polite, easy going. He also looked at Kara like Jess always hoped someone would. The surprise was Kara looked at him the same way.

“Wait Barry. I’m…I’ll be honest, my confidence is kind of shot right now and I don’t know if I will be good at this. I’m not sure if I have ever been good. But I suppose we can try. I don’t have the answers you are looking for but I can listen, maybe we can figure this out together. You really want to do this with me? I could find someone who can keep quiet that you can talk to.”

Barry shook his head.

“I want you. Alex said you were good. Thats good enough for me.”

“Why do you want to do this? For Kara? Because you can’t do it for her. It won’t work.”

“No.” he told her. “My mother was murdered when I was ten by a man…its complicated. My father was killed weeks ago by another speedster, right in front of me. I…I don’t want this to haunt me forever. Yeah. I want to be alright for Kara but I know I need this. I don’t want to…”

“Become her?” Jessica guessed. “Because I let it happen. I couldn’t stop it.”

“I’m willing to try if you are.”

Jessica was looking at him but her mind was racing in several different directions. She wasn’t lying, she did feel like a failure. Connolly had stayed with her, listening to her cry all night when Alex had sent a message that a sedated Kara had arrived at the facility. She knew she would have to visit her, once other therapists were brought in, people who specialized in other areas, mainly substance abuse and anger management, along with grief therapy, PTSD and a host of other issues Jess had tried to deal with over the years. Hopefully the anti depressants and other medication that had been developed and were being developed would work, something she wished she had when she first met the girl. There were so many things she wished she had done differently. Honestly if she had been human, Kara would have probably been hospitalized several times growing up, most notably when she attempted to rip her arm open. Of course if she were human she would not have as many problems as she did.

Ryan had made progress with her several times only to see Kara backslide into old habits as soon as she saw something that bothered her, a dead person, homes destroyed, mass casualties and the worst, car wrecks. Kara never did get that first mother and baby out of her head. 

It was only after Kara told Dante to never speak to her again after her second suicide attempt that Jess begin to realize how much Kara had been drinking. She never tried to contact Dante again. The two had what Jess thought was an inseparable bond but in Kara’s mind, it was shattered that night. Dante did as she wished, left the DEO, left National City and had never come back.

Kara never truly opened up to Jessica again and never gave her version of that night. The girl learned how to work around her, tell her what she wanted to hear but never really opened up and Jess was too relieved she hadn’t attempted suicide again to even notice until it was almost too late.

Could she do this again? She did well with Eliza, Jeremiah and Alex but Kara was a mountain she never could climb. She never had the tools or skill level for that job. She held on at times, made some headway but always slipped back down.

Would she screw up with Barry if she tried?

“Let’s try. If you are really open to this we will see if it works. If not I can find someone else for you, okay? How about we start every Friday night? I can fly to Central City from where Kara will be. Right now I am the last person she needs to see but she might be ready for me to try again soon. I hope so. But for now, Friday nights? I can stop by Central City and then fly to National City.”

Barry was surprised.

“Thats a lot of flights.”

‘Not when you work for a black ops government agency that has its own helicopters. Seven O’Clock?”

“Yep. Thanks.”

“Don’t thank me yet. Like I said, I kind of suck, but I will try. Besides the DEO is paying the bill, so its not like you will need any money back. Can I ask you a question? Its personal, but I suppose we should get used to that.”

"Yeah, of course.”

“Did you love your parents?”

Barry almost got upset but she seemed genuinely curious. He supposed not everyone did love their parents, considering what Kara had told him about her family destroying a planet.

“Yeah, I loved them very much.”

Jess let out a breath and nodded her head. “Thats good. I will see you next Friday.”

Barry smiled and ran out, phasing through the wall, into the shed with his suit and then ran out over the water, circling Clark and waving bye while the boy treaded water, wide eyed. Halfway to Central City his phone chimed. He saw he had a text message from Kelex that Kara was okay. 

Deciding that was all he would get right now and wondering if it was true, his phone actually rang. Seeing it was Cisco he decided he had better answer, considering how he had left Central City for three days now.

“Whats up? I will be in Central City in twenty minutes, maybe fifteen.”

“Yeah, that would be great. We got some things going on here that are freaking me out.”

“A meta?” he asked, prepared to make it ten minutes.

“Nah, worse. I got this mysterious message from Caitlin saying she had been hired for a top secret project and would be gone for a few months. A few months! When the hell does Caitlin ever make a quick decision to be gone for a few months? So I have been trying to track her and have had no luck. She left her phone in her apartment!”

“Oh…okay, that is weird.”

“Yeah and it gets weirder. Since she isn’t here the city called wanting the electric bill paid and I had to deal with it. I was going to come up with some excuse to keep the lights on and when I checked the account to see what we could pay, I found $20 million. Apparently we have received an open ended grant from Wayne Enterprises that we didn’t even apply for. I called some guy in the finance department at Wayne Enterprises corporate headquarters and got transferred to their CEO Lucius Fox. Bruce Wayne is financing us now and doesn’t want anything. No patents, no research, just open ended funding, whatever we need! What the hell is going on Barry? This…this is weird. We have seen a lot of weird, bad weird and even though this is good weird I am still afraid of any weird.”

Barry thought about it but not for long. Caitlin gone, Bruce Wayne…Batman…the one guy who could figure out how to take Kara and place her somewhere she couldn’t get out, was now funding S.T.A.R. no strings attached. He had a feeling if they looked into Caitlin’s bank account she would be very rich in her own right. 

“Its fine, Cisco. I will explain some things I think are happening but you cannot say anything to anyone. Don’t mention the money, not to Joe, Iris, Wally, anyone. Tell them Caitlin went to an overseas conference. I’ll be there soon. Don’t worry about Caitlin. I have a pretty good idea what she is working on and she isn’t in any danger. We are going to have to get used to life without her for a while.”

Life without both of them, Barry thought but didn’t say. He had just found Kara again and lost her.

Maybe he could find her again after all was said and done.

The Block Research Facility, Kentucky

“Get them off!” Kara screamed, shocking Eliza and Alex who were on either side of her hospital bed. Kara’s eyes were closed and though her shaking had lessened after the last medication her mumblings had not stopped. This was the first time she had screamed anything coherent and one of the few times her eyes were wide open.

“Kara, talk to me. What do you think is on you?” Eliza asked, running her hand through the blonde’s stringy, wet hair.

“S.s.s.. snakes! I can feel them all over me. Get them off of me! Why are you doing this? Get these snakes off of me, now!”

“There are no snakes,” Alex assured her. “I wouldn’t let that happen.”

The older sister always knew Kara was afraid of snakes even though she never admitted to it. Ten hours ago she had sworn thousands of spiders were biting her and wanted her powers back. Now the blonde was struggling in her bonds, trying to get snakes off of her that weren’t there.

“Get me off this bed! I want off now! You can’t…who are you?”

The mother and older sister looked at each other, concerned. Kara’s eyes were wide open and she stopped squirming. She was staring wide eyed at the wall, seeing something that did not frighten her. Instead she seemed surprised? Curious? Whatever it was, had stopped her belief that snakes were slithering over her body.

Kara however, was not curious but very cautious. She had seen several people since she began hallucinating. She had seen Astra, her mother, her father and Non of course. That bastard would always haunt her it seemed. He laughed at her, told her how weak she was, how she had destroyed herself because she was too weak to handle life on her own. She had seen Clark crying, asking her why, a young Alex, telling her it would be okay then a bullet hole in her head, Hank Henshaw appearing behind her.

This was different. She had never seen this man, or thing. She didn’t recognize the species and was certain she would remember. He was tall, almost as tall as Lobo and as muscular. His skin was grey and his eyes as red as blood. He had what seemed to her to be hundreds of razor sharp teeth. He was also covered in red and black armor with some strange symbol on his chest. The most interesting feature of him was the red glowing ring on his right middle finger. It seemed to be bleeding some type of energy.

The creature stepped closer to her bed.

“They cannot see me.” he told her in a very deep baritone voice that somehow was frightening and soothing at the same time. “They think you are hallucinating but you are not. I am not on Earth but something is, something that is allowing me to contact you.”

“What?” she asked.

“You are not ready for it, but you will be.”

The large alien showed her the ring on his right hand, motioning it towards her.

 

“When you need it most, it will be there. Make no mistake, you will need it. They will tell you to kill your rage, to make peace with it, let it go. What they do not understand is that your rage is the thing that will one day save them all. You are the one who the prophet of Oa has foreseen. The two of us have a great destiny. You belong to us. You know it and when the time is right, you will know what to do. Until then Kara Zor El do what needs to be done, make yourself strong, protect the ones you love. The seed is already there. You know it. Tell me. Tell me what is in your heart.”

Kara did know. She had no idea what the creature was talking about or even who he was. She didn’t understand his words and had never seen the ring before. But somehow she was whispering what was in her heart regardless. She knew the words but had no idea how or why.

“With blood and rage of crimson red, ripped from a corpse so freshly dead, together with our hellish hate, we will burn you all, that is your fate.”

The creature smiled and was gone, his parting words telling her it would be soon. What would be soon? Where had those words come from?

The words and even the man were quickly forgotten as the feel of cold snakes sliding over her body once more began and she screamed.

Alex and Eliza were looking at each other very confused. They had been close enough to hear Kara and the words out of her mouth were disturbing. Neither had noticed that Caitlin Snow was also behind Eliza and heard as well.

“Probably time we started her on the antipsychotic drug.” Dr. Snow suggested. Alex tried to calm Kara down but caught that.

“You cannot give her so many new drugs at once.”

“She is talking about blood from a freshly dead corpse.” Caitlin pointed out. “Like I said, time for the antipsychotics to begin. Trust me. Her heart rate is normal if obviously exhilarated. I can’t give her another sedative for a minimum of two hours. She is going to have to ride this out.”

“Okay.” Eliza agreed. “We will get her through this.”

Jeremiah had walked in and began running his fingers through her hair while Eliza and Alex continued to whisper in her ear that there were no snakes on her body.

Eventually the snakes gave way to screams of pain as Kara felt bites all over her body.

“How much longer can this go on, Jeremiah?” Eliza asked.

The man shook his head. “She is in stage three and the anti convulsants seem to be working. The sedatives are helping her get some sleep. If the seizures stop, the imaginary pain can’t be far behind. For the next week she will be incoherent at times, hallucinations may stay but won’t be as intense or often. We are about to start the downhill slide…anytime between tonight or three days would be my guess.She is tough. We just have to hang on. The drug use is adding another dimension and Shay is working to determine if the effects of whatever that orange crap is will cause unexpected reactions in the other medications, but so far it looks fine.”

“They are going to use the one they designed that resembles Clozapine with an anti depressant added in.” he continued. “If it works, it will help her calm down and maybe her dose can be upped when she has her powers. Lobo was helpful, getting those flowers from Avalon. I can’t believe I said, that but its true. If we can determine the side effects without her powers we can figure out the best treatment combination and then test it on her with her powers.”

“Assuming she takes them.” Alex reminded them. “We can only get her so far. She is going to have to make the effort and really commit. If she doesn’t…I don’t know what we can do anymore.”

“She will.” Jeremiah assured her. “If I have to bring Clark here, I will. Caitlin won’t tell Barry where she is at, will she?”

“No.” Alex told him quickly. “Caitlin understands and I know Barry would want to be here but Kara was already embarrassed by how she left things. If we let him see her in this state she may hide in the Fortress for the rest of her life. Lets just get her through this. Then, maybe talking to him, if she would agree, maybe she can see some good things in her life instead of always being consumed by the bad things she sees.”

Eliza nodded her head. “Surprisingly, he does tend to cut through her defenses, doesn’t he? Remember how surprised we were when you told us she was on a date? She never talked to anyone without you or your father and I present, much less a guy. But there he was, they meet and are sharing ice cream twenty minutes later. It would be good for her to see him.”

“Just not right now.” Alex told them. “Kara wouldn’t want him or Clark to see her like this. If nothing else when it is through, if she refuses to talk to us, she will talk to those two.”

“You should have let me die.” Kara mumbled.

“Don’t say that Kara.” Alex told her softly, stroking her cheek.

“You had no right to bring me to life if you knew the planet would die. You had no right. It wasn’t fair. You wanted a daughter, knowing what this would be like? Don’t! Don’t explain yourself! Don’t! Murderer!”

Kara began straining against her bonds once more, trying to break free but too weak to be much of a threat. Her eyes were glazed and when Alex touched her forehead, the blond tried to bite her hand.

Caitlin came in quickly and administered an anti convulsant. The girl continued to shake for another minute then relaxed.

The three looked at Dr. Snow and saw she was sweating. Caitlin did not want them to know that while she felt her work was correct, every time she administered a medication, she feared she would be wrong. She may have to work through this doubts in order to act, but that didn’t mean the fear wasn’t there. 

“I guess I better get back to work on fine-tuning the anti…yeah. We are almost through the worst. I will be back in another hour for her next sedative. Hopefully she is exhausted enough from today that she may sleep for more than a few hours. Like Alex said, too many drugs at once aren’t good so we are having to space them out. I am hoping I have adjusted the sedative just enough that it may suppress dreams. Has she had a history of nightmares before this?”

Alex barked out a humorless laugh.

“She has never had a history of not having nightmares.”

Caitlin shook her head. “She is going to need a lot of help, isn’t she?”

“She has needed it for a while. She has a therapist but this calls for…”

“I know, Alex.” Caitlin told her. “This is going to call for a few specialists. How long do you plan on keeping her here?”

The three looked at each other, not knowing that answer. Alex finally told her what she knew to be true.

“Until she is clean and can make a rational decision on whether she will be willing to get help. If she does, she will stay here long enough to determine the side effect of the drugs with and without her powers, make sure the anti depressants don’t make her suicidal, that sort of thing. If she doesn’t agree, then…I guess we have to let her go. I can talk her into it. I have to.”

“I have no doubt,” Caitlin agreed. “but if you can’t talk her into it, then I will tell her she has to. Barry Allen listens to me. I won’t give her a choice either. After I give her the sedative you all need to rest. You are no good to her when she is awake if you aren’t sleeping. I will sit with her.”

Jeremiah shook his head. “You need rest so you can keep staring into a microscope.”

“I’ll be fine. I have nightmares too and sleep isn’t exactly a friend of mine. Rest.”

An hour and a half later, Kara was asleep and the three were ushered out by Caitlin with assurance that she would call them if Kara woke up. Jeremiah and Eliza practically passed out the second they lay on a mattress. Alex was not having as much luck.

Tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable, she gave up after thirty minutes and walked the different floors of the complex. 

Bruce had this place built and completed within a year and made recruiting Veritas his first priority. His reasoning was simple. They had enemies all over the world and since everyone knew Kara couldn’t be hurt on a physical level, if their enemies ever did strike it would most likely be on a biological level. Veritas’s job would be to use information from Brother Eye on biological warfare plans anywhere in the world, assess their threat and combat them, specifically anything that could harm Kara. He had planned to introduce Kara to the woman in a more professional manner but this had occurred.

Alex found the owner of this place sitting in level ten, the lowest level of course, in his personal office. Surprisingly he wasn’t watching video feed from all over the world. Instead he was staring at a monitor, showing a very old photo.

“How is she?” he asked, sounding very tired. “Looked like she had a rough time an hour ago.”

The woman nodded her head, not surprised that Bruce would be watching.

“I’ve been looking in on her but thought if she saw me it might agitate her more.” he explained. “She may never speak to me again, but we made the right call, Alex. Don’t second guess yourself. She was on her way to another huge meltdown and I was afraid it would be one she couldn’t have survived. There is a situation going on. Nothing for you to concern yourself with. Nyssa called through Kelex to inform me that Damian Darhk has been seen in Star City and wants him looking forthe man. She thinks there is the possibility that he has acquired some sort of dark magic, absorbing life forms with a touch, telekinesis, things like that. She is dropping Streaky off at the mansion and then the League will make their presence known to Darhk. They are going after him.”

“Really? Because that doesn’t sound safe. I get that she has an army but she has no idea how strong he is.”

Bruce shrugged his shoulders. “She knows that. The woman doesn’t back down from a fight and Talia won’t pick it up unless Nyssa goes down. She is also concerned because she believes Kara may be susceptible to magic. She wants this done before Kara gets better and can leave.”

“You need to go, don’t you?” Alex guessed.

Bruce shook his head.

“Every year on the anniversary of my parents murders, I go to the spot they were killed and leave flowers in that damn alley. Kara goes with me every year. She hasn’t left my side and I won’t leave hers when she needs me the most, even if she decides to hate me. From what I can tell, Oliver Queen is tracking this man down with his team. I don’t know if they will be enough, so I sent back up for Nyssa and Oliver.”

“Barry Allen?” Alex hoped.

Bruce snorted. 

“I would like that but no. He has Central City to worry about. I made a deal with Lobo. He gets to use my yacht for a week and he finds Damian Darhk and tries to take him in. If he decides he can’t take Darhk, he will keep tabs on him and I will handle it. Darhk is wanted by nearly every police agency in the world. I also sent Dick. Between the mass murderer, Nightwing, the League of Assassins and Oliver Queen and his friends I would hope they are enough.”

“And if they aren’t?”

“Then when Kara is better and the withdrawals have passed I will handle it myself. I have dealt with magic before. Darhk isn’t the only one with a talisman.”

“I probably don’t want to know that story.” the woman admitted. “So whats with the picture? You know Diana Prince? Is that one of those old timey photos from an amusement park or what?"

Bruce looked away from the monitor and met Alex’s eyes.

“Did Kelex send you this photo? Its from around the early nineteen hundreds. Lex Luthor came across it in his metahuman research. This photo was taken in Belgium in 1918. Facial recognition has been found all over Paris. She looks exactly the same. I haven’t seen any displays of power besides being much better than me at aging. How do you know her?

Alex couldn’t answer for a second, taken back by what she had just heard. Diana Prince was immortal?

“She…she was a guest lecturer from the Louvre one semester, teaching a class on ancient statues or something. Kara took it has part of her art degree. I had no idea what is was about but she seemed to take a big interest in Kara, always asking her for coffee, going to different museums, things like that. I tagged along because both asked me to and honestly she was the hottest woman I had ever seen. She is my top three still today with Angelina and Scarlett. She never acted strange, other than the friendly relationship she had with Kara, even outside of class.”

Bruce could see where this was going. “Looks like we aren’t the only ones good at figuring out secret identities. She saw through Kara’s disguise and placed herself in a position to get to know her. The question is why?”

Alex shrugged her shoulders, seeming nonchalant, but she had the same question in her mind.

“The Louve you said?” he confirmed. “Looks like I will be taking a trip after Kara is better if Darhk is dealt with by then. I want to know what she is after. No contact with you or Kara since college?”

Alex shook her head.

“Nope, but it wasn’t a coincidence. I don’t believe in those. Maybe she was just curious. Just because she is apparently immortal doesn’t mean she has any powers or is a threat to us.”

“Thats true, but she could be a threat for us. Kara always has hated the idea of an organized team but without her for the foreseeable future, one may be needed now more than ever. Go get some sleep, Alex. You look almost as bad as Kara.”

“Yeah.” Alex agreed. Her mind definitely needed to calm down. “Sounds like a good idea.”

Alex moved back up to Kara’s level and walked into her room. Sure enough, Dr. Snow was by her bed. Alex took a recliner in the corner and kicked her feet up. She may sleep but she always slept better when Kara was nearby. Tonight would be no different.

 

Chapter Text

Do not now CW or DC characters.

 

Chapter 11 The first steps

Central City

It had been two days since Barry Allen had returned to Central City. Two days of going to work, trying to keep his mind off of everything and failing to do so. Thankfully it had been two quiet days that the Flash was not needed.

Until today.

And he was not on his game.

What should have been a simple madman causing havoc in a shopping mall had turned out to be a walking crocodile, destroying the building, scattering people and mauling anyone he could grab.

Moving around him quickly, the Flash threw a bolt of lightning into the man…metahuman…mutated walking crocodile, wearing ragged human clothes. He was not overly large, in the way King Shark was, perhaps 6’10 but of massive bulk and muscled, all covered with crocodile skin, basically armor as far as being impenetrable.

The lighting blast did not move him. Barry tried to hit him several times, his punches, despite the speed, having no effect. Now the Flash was reduced to dodging swings from the monster. 

“Cisco, any ideas on what I am facing here?”

“A walking crocodile. Maybe King Shark has a cousin.” his friend suggested.

“Not helping.”

“Hold on, yeah, got him. Waylon Jones, called Killer Croc. Wanted for bank robbery and murder in Gotham. He has been held in Arkham and escaped several times. He escaped last week and has apparently decided to grace us with his presence. According to their files, he has regressed to the point that he barely has any intelligent thought and exists only to feed. Probably why there have been a rash of mutilated animal corpses across the country. I had money on aliens, but I guess that is too 1990.”

“Great. I can’t move him, he doesn’t seem to feel my punches or lighting bolts for that matter. Any idea how to take him down?”

“Try phasing a hand into his heart …”

“Any ideas that don’t involve killing him?” Barry interrupted.

Cisco pulled up the files of Gotham PD and saw the last three times he was arrested.

“Okay he has been arrested three times. Batman has captured him twice. The Gotham PD isn’t exactly sure how he did it the first time. They just found him in a shark cage in front of the police station. The second time, Batman caught him in an incredibly strong steel net and left him surrounded by drying concrete.”

“Ouch.” Barry mumbled, deciding to move civilians out of the path of this monster until Cisco had an idea. “What about the third time?”

“Oh yeah. He was caught by Supergirl.”

Hearing nothing else, a frustrated Flash followed up.

“What the hell did she do, Cisco?!”

“She hit him.”

“And then?”

“Thats it. He escaped Arkham, walked into Downtown Gotham, she landed and hit him. Once. In the head. Knocked out three very sharp teeth according to the police report. Then she flew off. Hitting him isn’t working for you, huh?”

Barry rolled his eyes and stopped, taking in the guy from a distance.

“Yeah, something tells me I don’t hit as hard as she does. We are going to have to go Batman’s route. Any chance of making some sort of net that can hold him? I could lure him into a trap?”

“Yeah, I’ll get Joe to the wharf and find some steel mesh.”

“Great.” Barry mumbled. Mr. Waylon Jones had Barry in his crosshair and was walking slowly towards him. Getting out of his way was no problem. Stopping him, was another matter.

“Hey, big guy? Think we can talk? Can you…talk? I see what Cisco is talking about, you are missing a few teeth. The rest look really sharp though. Why don’t you come with me? I’ll go slow and we can just have a jog around town until my best bud can weld a steel fishing net together.”

Barry’s suggestion was not needed, because a chain flew into the shattered building from the outside, wrapping itself around the Killer Croc’s thick neck and flipping him to the ground. The Flash noticed it had a blade on the end that had buried itself into the metahuman’s crocodile skin.

The Flash stood still, watching a man with grey skin and red eyes, larger than the killer he had been fighting, walk in. The monster picked Killer Croc up over his head and body slammed him into the floor, causing a crater in the marble.

Three strikes from the monster’s right fist and Barry guessed Killer Croc would not be standing up out of the hole.

The Flash stood waiting, wondering what was coming next. The monster unwrapped his chain from Jones neck and pulled the blade out of his thick skin. Now that he was no longer fighting, or beating, the man croc, Barry took him in more clearly. He was grey all over, dark, long black hair and very red eyes. He had the physique of a body builder, easy to see since he was only wearing  black pants, boots and a black tactical vest.

“Cisco, are you seeing this? I think we have another problem.”

“Yeah.” Cisco replied. “My recommendation is to run until we can figure out who the hell this is, because I don’t have a clue. He is big, ugly, strong and has a sick ass chain. Most of the cameras I can get good angles on are destroyed. I can’t get a clean shot of his face and your chest camera keeps cutting in and out.”

“Would you tell your little slacker friend to shut the hell up?” Lobo asked. “His voice is getting on my nerves.Your little com in your helmet, mask, whatever that is, it needs to be quieter. The average human can’t hear it, but you don’t fight the average human, do you Barry? I mean Flash.”

Barry stood his ground as the man walked up, only five feet away, and towered over him.

“Who are you?” he asked cautiously, ready to move in the event that very sharp blade on the end of the chain moved.

“Name’s Lobo. I’m here with a message for you.”

Barry remembered Kara saying something about a Lobo when she was talking about her transporter to the Fortress.

“Okay…whats the message?”

“Stay the hell away from Kara Danvers or I will break you in half.” Lobo told him, and Barry swore his red eyes got a bit redder.

“Uh…look, I don’t know who you are but…”

The Flash stopped talking when the monster began laughing. When he had settled down, the large alien shrugged his shoulders.

“Sorry man. I always wanted to do that, you know, give the stay away from my daughter thing, not that I think of her as a daughter. Hell no, if she would give me a chance I would wreck her. The epic sex the two of us would have…probably should keep that to myself. Batman, Big Green and her Dad already hate me. I think her Mom is a little sweet on me though, but you know how it is. Older women like bad boys. Her and Alex are my buds and I heard sweet Kara has a thing for you. I was on my way to Star City and thought I would stop by, say hi, see if you wanted to get a beer, that sort of thing. Your net plan probably would have worked but I didn’t want to wait around so I handled it. Hope you don’t mind? I was just getting bored.”

“No…no its cool. Uh, oh wow, cops are here, outside. I should probably help them take him in…”

Barry stopped talking once again, watching Lobo walk towards Killer Croc, lift him in the air and throw him out of the destroyed building into the street where cops surrounded him.

“I just made a citizen's arrest! Take him in boys! Use some big handcuffs.” Lobo yelled out then walked back to Barry.

“So they got this. Want to get a beer? You know what? Probably best you stay away from beer. You shouldn’t have it around. How about some coffee? You know a place around here that makes a mean Cafe Mocha? I prefer chocolate syrup over powder but I will take what I can get. They wouldn't mind giving two shots of Espresso instead of just that one cheap shot? Some people say two detracts from the chocolate but I don’t believe that. Just gotta man up, you know? Put a little hair on your chest. There is a bench by that pretty little pond just past downtown. Go get me a Mocha, syrup, no powder with two shots Espresso and I will meet you there. Get yourself a drink too. Don't take long. Shouldn’t be a problem for you, right?”

Barry stood still, watching the giant alien move with ease. He didn’t even notice Joe standing by him until the man spoke.

“What the hell was that?” Joe asked.

“I…I…I think he is a friend…of Kara’s. At least he said he was. I heard her mention a Lobo the last time we spoke but…yeah. Okay.”

Joe shook his head, as the alien turned a corner, completely oblivious to the crowd who backed away from his path but never stopped staring.

“Wow. What did he…what did he want?”

“Cafe Mocha.” Barry muttered. “Can I borrow ten? Considering what he just did to Crocodile man, I would really like to keep him happy.”

Joe handed him a ten dollar bill and shook his head again when Barry zipped off. The man greatly missed the days before metahumans and aliens. Not that Supergirl and some other metahumans hadn’t done a lot of good for the world. It just seemed the world had gotten stranger and a lot more dangerous.

Then he considered what he knew of Kara and Batman and wondered just what sort of crowd the girl next door hero ran with. He hoped Barry didn’t get hurt. There was obviously more to that girl than the world at large knew.

Barry hurried, but had to stand in line, to make sure he got the giant’s order right. Unfortunately they were out of syrup so Lobo would have to settle for powder.

Once the drinks were in hand, he moved, finding the bounty hunter exactly where he said he would be.

Barry stood in front of the bench but the man never looked at him, staring at the pond instead.

“They uh…they didn’t have syrup.”

Lobo shrugged his shoulders and took the offered cup. 

“No big deal man.  Couple of your months ago I killed this bounty on a desert planet. My ship was having trouble with the converter and I got pretty thirsty. Wound up drinking the dead guy’s blood. It wasn’t bad, but it has nothing on coffee from this planet, you know? Have a seat, man. Lets get to know each other. I don’t get to meet many celebrities.”

Not knowing what else to do, Barry sat on the end of the bench, practically touching Lobo since the alien took up so much of the bench.

Neither said anything for a moment so Barry decided it would be up to him to break the silence.

“I think we are drawing some stares.” he commented, trying his best to sound casual.

“Of course we are. You are sitting on a bench drinking coffee in a red suit. People are going to look at you, Flash. Price of fame and all that. This Mocha is pretty damn good for powdered. What about you? Don’t tell me you got one of those fruity iced coffees?”

“No!” Barry quickly denied. “Just regular coffee, black.”

“A man’s man.” Lobo told him, approving. “So Kara has a thing for you, huh? Alex told me about you a while back. I heard you were a superhero now. I’m gonna be honest, I sorta thought you would be bigger but that speed thing is pretty sweet. You ever want a job, quick payday and be back to Earth in no time, let me know. How you been holding up? Kinda met my girl and then she disappeared on you,huh?”

“Uh…yeah. I guess I’m…fine.” the Flash told him, taking a sip of coffee and noticing the crowd at the edge of the park was growing. He had an idea what the photo on the front of the Central City Picture News would be in the morning.

“Kara ever tell you how we met? I got hired by her aunt after she caught that plane on television. Was supposed to bring her in alive. So I find her easy enough. I’m thinking big deal, Kryptonian right? Tough, but a little red sunlight and they are as easy to kill as kittens. You ever killed a kitten?”

“No…”

“Good, don’t. They make a horrible sound but they do taste great.”

Barry spit out his coffee, causing Lobo to laugh.

“Man, I’m screwing with you. I would never eat a cat. One from Earth anyway. So back to my thrilling adventure. I find her in this dark warehouse and light the place up in red. I’m thinking this kid is going to be scared as hell. She is standing there in blue jeans and this cute pink hoodie, not much of a threat. Then I saw her eyes. She didn’t back down. She got mad. Wasn’t no fear there at all. I took the blade off my favorite chain, replace it with a bat. Figure I might break a few of her ribs but she would heal when her aunt put her in some yellow sunlight. Only thing is, my bat gets shot out of the air by a 6250 plasma handgun from Anawa. Then my red grenade gets taken out. I throw another and it was like little Alex was shooting skeet. Woman even shot my ear drum out. Then Kara attacked me. I gave her everything I had, but it wasn’t near enough. She crushed my head with her fists and then burnt the remains off my neck.”

Barry’s eyes widened, not looking at the man but focusing on a duck and the sun setting in the distance. Finally he had to ask.

“How are you still alive?”

“I regenerate. Even my head. I know what you are thinking, how the hell can I still look this good, right? Its in the hair, man. I got some great conditioner on my ship. It would probably cause you to go bald, but works great for me. Anyway, the thing you got to understand is she wasn’t only mad, she was enjoying the fight. Hell, I would have followed her anywhere after that. Gotta respect a woman who can hand your ass to you, am I right?”

Barry honestly had no idea what to say at this point. He simply nodded his head, hoping it would be enough.

“Look man, I got a reason for being here and we are going to keep this to ourselves. Turn off your little ear thing, okay? This is going to be one of those sister secrets like Alex and Kara keep when they are being naughty and don’t want Mommy and Daddy to find out.”

Barry reached towards his ear and cut off his life line to Cisco, not that Cisco could do much.

“Thanks. So I know you are not a stupid man. You aren't a ninth level intellect like me, but for a human you are pretty smart. You know Kara has some anger issues, you know she got a lot of problems. But she is a nice girl for the most part when she isn't unleashing hell on her enemies.I think you could be good for her and she could be good for you. She is getting some help right now but you will see her soon. Now this is important so listen up. You listening, Flash?”

Barry nodded his head quickly.

“I been doing some snooping. I know your little slacker buddy can make breaches to other universes and I bet to places in this universe too. If Kara is around you and you guys are in a fight against a big bad, make sure he is with you, if you can. The second you see anything small and red flying towards her, catch it before it reaches her. Man, I cannot stress how important this is. Catch it, run it far away if you can because the damn thing is going to want her. Get your little slacker friend to open a breach anywhere in this universe, another universe, I don’t give a damn where. Just throw the thing in. I know you won’t always be with her and the three of you probably won’t be together, but Barry, I am not kidding. She does not need that damn red thing around her. Don’t worry about it getting on you. I know you have had some bad stuff happen to you but to get this thing, you gotta have a deep black hole inside you. It wouldn’t want you. Just do whatever you can. All I can ask.”

Barry sat a little straighter wanting to know a hell of a lot more. Red thing? What sort of red thing could be a threat to Kara? Something made of red sunlight?

“Could you tell me what it is?”

Lobo looked at the darkening sky, wondering how to explain the Guardians, the little pompous freaks and their green boy scouts. Of course things weren’t just one color anymore. Deciding it would be a bit too much to go into the history of the universe, he gave the boy an abridged version.

“People like Kara, they can get better, they can learn to manage anger, to hold it down, to channel it, but someone like her, she got a hole in her. In that hole is a lot of rage. She is a good person, too good to give someone like me the time of day, but that hole, its always going to be there. This red thing is a ring but also a weapon. A weapon she does not need, because once it is on her, it has her forever and that hole is going to become a bottomless pit and take her over. Look out for her, keep her happy, calm her like I heard you do. If she gets that ring, she is lost.” Lobo stressed. 

Taking a look behind him, the Czarnian decided to leave. “I gotta go. People are wondering why I am sitting with a freak in a red suit. No offense, I like the thing but I gotta keep up appearances. Take this phone. You ever need me, you call me. I will get it no matter where I am in the universe. I’ll be hanging around Earth for a while trying to find this red ring and watching her back. Take care, Flash.”

Barry took the phone, noting his hand was shaking a bit. He had strangely become used to Lobo’s appearance very quickly, possibly because he was more focused on what the man was telling him and this threat to Kara. A hole, a black hole? Did he mean that literally? No, he had to be talking about her problems, her…anger and other things.

“Can I ask you a question? Where is she? Nobody will tell me.”

Lobo chuckled a bit and shook his head. “Everybody got a mother hen complex when it comes to her. I’m not really big on bullshit, so I will tell you. You know she got some issues. Her family put her in a rehab facility to dry out. They didn’t ask for her permission but if they hadn’t she would have been dead in a year, maybe two. She drinks…a lot. She does some other stuff too. She has been going through some pretty bad withdrawals for the past four or five days. The place is in Kentucky, underground facility with a medical staff, her family and Batman. I guess you know your buddy Dr. Snow is there. Is she single? Nevermind, not the time. Anyway, give it a few days. She is going to look and feel like hell right now but I bet she will want to see you soon. I even bet she will call you before you know it. When she does, give me a holler and I will send you coordinates. She is going to need you, man. I’m counting on you too. Be careful out there, Flash. A lot of weirdos walking around. Guys like us aren’t safe anywhere.”

The Block

Kara opened her eyes, feeling very tired, almost like her muscles were filled with concrete. She could barely raise her arm. She was happy to see it was not strapped down, so that was something. She wasn’t sure of everything that had happened but she knew she wasn’t shaking, and she no longer felt bites all over her body. The girl remembered the nightmares, some of the people who were dead that she could have sworn were there. The blonde had no idea how many days she had been in the room, but her entire body ached. The red tint above told her why. She was weak, powerless.

Kara noted she also had an IV in her right hand. She supposed they were still drugging her.

“Good morning, Blondie.”

The girl turned her head to the left and saw her older sister. Alex looked like Kara felt, as if she hadn’t slept in days. She also had a huge bruise on her cheek. Behind Alex, against the wall, her mother and father were in chairs.

“How long am I going to be kept locked up?” she asked, her voice scratchy and a bit slurred but still clear enough.

Alex took a deep breath.

“When you were brought in, your body was scanned. You had damage to your liver, the beginnings of cirrhosis. Basically scar tissue had already formed. We checked you without red sunlight. You were doing that to yourself even with your powers. The weight loss was from your cells being unable to fully metabolize the yellow sun rays to their full potential. That is more likely due to the drugs you were using. We decided it would be best to treat those conditions while you were depowered so the dosage of medications would be easier to handle. I think if you can stop the drinking and drug use your body can eventually repair itself. At the rate you were going, if you did have a red crystal implanted in you at some point your body would give out on you in probably six months to a year. Shay would like to continue the drug regiment for another few days and then…we have ben giving you anti anxiety medication and anti psychotics. Eventually we want to start you on anti depressants and find the right combo for you, to help with the depression, the anxiety, nightmares…”

“How long am I going to be locked up?” Kara asked again.

Alex dropped her head.

“You aren’t. We wanted you to get dry. We didn’t even know about the drug use. I’m not talking about that heroin either. I am talking about alien drugs. Orange powder you snorted? I won’t ask you if there were others because I wouldn’t believe you if you said no. Right now, you have some meds going through you that are making you feel sluggish. They are at a low dosage, only a fraction of a percent that you would need with your powers. If you go up top, I have no doubt the medication would wear off quickly. If that is what you want, I will take out the IV and walk you out of here.”

“I do.” Kara told her immediately.

“Just do Clark one favor. If you don’t get help, don’t want to try, then stay away from him. Call him on the phone but don’t let him see you. It isn’t fair to him. He shouldn’t have to see you kill yourself. It isn’t right. You are killing yourself. Instead of using a straight razor you are doing it slowly but it is suicide all the same. Making him watch, is wrong."

Kara stared at her sister, feeling a wide range of emotions. Shock, anger, guilt, sadness, shame. She shook her head, not wanting to reflect on those at the moment.

“You all had no right to do this. You cannot justify this! You are going to tell me I can’t see Clark if I don’t do what you say? What the hell gives you the right?!”

Jeremiah stood up and walked close to her bed.

“We don’t have the right and Alex asked you if you would stay away, She didn’t tell you that you had no choice. We can’t stop you, we wouldn’t. We just ask that if you are determined to kill yourself to not hurt him by making him watch. We will always be there for you, but he shouldn’t see you like this. You know that, Kara. It hurts us so much and you know how sensitive he is. You want him to see you killing yourself?"

Kara stared to the right, not wanting to look at any of them. Now that she was no longer shaking, she remembered everything leading up to being brought here. When the tremors had gotten bad and she was scared the most she called for Alex, like she always had.

Finally after not speaking for over a minute she asked what was next if she stayed.

Eliza took her hand, and Kara did not pull away but she also didn’t look at the woman.

“We have specialized counselors, men and women who can keep secrets and if they can’t, J’onn can make them forget or put a mental block in place preventing them from speaking about you to outsiders just like he has done to the DEO agents. You start talking to them, really talking, not lying or saying whatever they want to hear. We start working on medications while you have your powers so we can determine the right combinations and dosages for when you are under either sunlight, red or yellow. There are going to be side effects. Some of them are avoidable and treatable and some aren’t. We have to decide which are which. You are going to have to work with a substance abuse counselor, stay clean. It is not going to be an overnight process. It could take a couple months before you can function on the meds.”

Kara looked over at her in disbelief.

“Do you know how many kids expect to see me every week? Some of them are in bad shape. They are dying! If I just disappear…they will think I abandoned them! I can’t do that! You know the last time I was placed on house arrest, by the end of the first month crime had risen across the nation by 22%. I can’t just disappear for a couple months!”

“What are those kids going to think when you disappear forever because you died?” Alex asked. “You were taking those drugs and drinking because they affected you. If you were getting the highs then you were also getting the damage they bring. J’onn is resigning from the DEO and handing it over to Webb. He will sneak around as an agent occasionally to make sure the mental blocks are still in place and screen outsiders but he is going to retire. That is going to give him a lot of time to fly around and be you. As long as you are seen, criminals will stay down. Other people, people like the Flash, can fight evil for a while. It isn’t always on you, Kara.”

Kara laughed bitterly. “J’onn may be able to look like me, but he isn’t me. He doesn’t seem like he would be good with kids. He doesn’t…it wouldn’t work.”

“Yes it will.” Alex insisted. “He can read their minds, know everything about your interactions with them. It will work and he can slowly back off. I know you love to do it but no one can see dying children every day of the week with everything else you see in the world, Kara. It is too much. Even you have your limits. You need a break, some time to focus on yourself, instead of saving every life on the planet, and feeling guilty about the ones you can’t save.”

“I have to try.” Kara insisted.

“No you don’t!” Alex yelled,surprising them all. “What happened to Krypton had nothing to do with you. You are Kara Danvers, not Kara Zor El! You think you are paying some penance for the lives that were lost but you aren’t. The only one who blames you for what happened there is you! I am sick of it! Everyone who dies on Earth is not on you! Death happens, Kara! You have always said you wanted to grow old and die because it was a natural part of life. I got news for you. It is tragic but sometimes, children are taken away by disease, accidents, murder. Teenagers, middle aged, old men and women, they die. It happens everyday and as much as you say you don’t like the cults that worship you, at some point you decided that every death was on you. You are not a god. You are going to find that out very soon if you don’t stop killing yourself.”

Kara tried to pull herself up to a sitting position but had a difficult time. Jeremiah helped her and as angry as she felt at the moment, she was in no position to turn him down.

“I feel horrible. Do any of you? Do any of you feel horrible?”

None of the three said anything at first, not knowing how to answer.

“No.” Alex finally told her. “You want me to say I feel guilty about bringing you here. The only thing I feel guilty about is not doing it sooner, especially after finding out about the cutting, the drug use, the sheer toxicity of the alcohol you were drinking. It wasn’t easy. I realize when you walk out of here, you may never speak to me, to any of us again. You might grab Clark and fly off and we would never find you. We can’t stop you. But I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t try to save you. Its what we have always done for each other. I wish it had happened differently but I don’t feel horrible. I mean physically I feel horrible. But that isn’t what you are talking about, is it?”

Kara closed her eyes, listening to everything around her. She felt EKG leads on her chest but there were no wires attached. Even without super hearing she could tell where she was by the sounds around her. There were no windows in the room but she should have heard something, birds, traffic, wind outside.

“I’m underground.” she decided.

“Yep.” Alex confirmed.

“I want to go up top. I want to feel the sunlight. I don’t want these drugs in me. I need to think.”

The three looked at each other and Alex shrugged. Eliza brought in a wheel chair and Jeremiah helped her after Alex had unhooked the IV from the pole. The older sister asked her parents to remain here while she pushed Kara towards the elevator. Kara said nothing, wondering if it was a trick or if Alex actually planned to let her in the sunlight.

The elevator opened into a wooden cabin. It wasn’t large, obviously a shell to hide what was underneath. There were windows though. Alex pushed Kara towards one and she felt the rays of the sun on her breaking through the many trees surrounding them.

“Where are we?”

“Kentucky, about fifty miles from the nearest city.”

Feeling stronger by the second, Kara stood up from the wheelchair, her legs no longer weak. She looked at her sister closely.

“This is it? You are just letting me go?”

Alex shook her head. “I want you to live. Keeping you down there may keep you alive, but you wouldn’t be living. We wanted you to be sober, so maybe you could make a good choice. You can go back to your old life. I will move out and you can kill yourself in peace, drink as much as you want. You will die, but if that is what you want, I can’t stop you. I got you this far. The rest is up to you.”

Kara opened the door and walked out, enjoying the feeling of fresh air on her face and the overhead sun, shining directly on her. She had a desire to take to the sky, to feel free. The last four, five days had been a living hell and they were still very fresh in her mind.

“I don’t know any other way to live.” she admitted quietly to Alex, knowing the girl was behind her.

“Maybe we could find a new way together. It is possible, Kara. I know you can be happy. I have seen you happy before. It just never lasts. This time we can make it last. Just our family, figuring out how to help you be happy. No Supergirl, no bad guys, no DEO, no news, or internet, just us focusing on us. We can do this. I want to do this.”

“What if we can’t? What if I can’t? I have lied for so long I’m not even sure what the truth is anymore, Alex.”

Alex placed her hand on Kara’s shoulder, gripping it tightly.

“So we figure out the truth. We have never ran from a fight. No matter what, we have always found a way. We can have a life, start fresh. You can be happy, we both can. Maybe we might even meet some people who deserve us. I know a man who would do anything in the world to make you smile. One day, maybe if you let yourself, you can love and accept that someone could love you.”

Kara shook her head.

“After what he learned, he will probably never speak to me again. Him and Queen are probably comparing notes right now on how psychotic I actually am.”

“You are not psychotic. You can be intense, especially when it comes to others, but you are not psychotic. A psycho wouldn’t care about being a psycho. Besides he was very worried about you. He asked that I text him when you were okay. I never told him where I was taking you but I know he figured out what it must have involved. He didn’t care. He is worried about you. One weekend, a few months of texting, a six year separation and meeting him again, and he is devoted to you. You know he hung out with Clark a couple days ago on the beach? Played video games with him, too. Jessica told me. Does that sound like a guy running away? You could have something real, Kara. ts going to take work but you can have love in your life, not just a guy you screw every now and then to forget about the pain.”

Kara walked around a bit, looking at the dirt, the grass, the tall trees surrounding the cabin. She looked at the blue sky, and once again, yearned to be in it, even if she was wearing a hospital gown tied in the back.

The girl thought about everything, every option she had. They wouldn’t really keep her from Clark, but they would ask her to stay away when she was drunk or high and when wasn’t she? She knew it could be so easy. Kara could be gone, steal some clothes from someone, take off to a bar, raid the place of liquor, take a dealers supply and never be seen again. She could even quit being Supergirl. There were thousands of small deserted islands she knew of in the Pacific Ocean. While small they could serve her needs. She could drink and forget and not have to worry about anything. She wouldn’t worry about finding love, developing actual relationships, having to face herself, what she had become, who she was. She wouldn’t have to work to be the person she wanted to be, her family wanted her to be.

Turning back to her sister she smiled a bit and put her hand over her eyes.

“You want to hide, huh?” Alex told her, remembering their first communications. “What about eating?” she followed, rubbing her stomach and motioning to her mouth, chewing. 

Kara laughed, remembering those days. The fear, the absolute fear she felt every moment, wondering where she would find food for Clark next. At least until she met Alex. She would never forget a hot, sweaty and exhausted Alex walking back into the cave with all those bags of groceries and camping supplies. How the skinny kid got them from the store that far into the woods she would never understand. That was her sister. She did things by sheer force of will.

Kara looked above and smiled, pointing to a bird.

“Pretty huh?” she asked, playfully. 

“Yeah, its pretty.” Alex told her. “Remember not to eat the bananas with the peel on. There are no magazines in the bathrooms here.”

Kara took a deep breath.

“You really think he isn’t afraid of me? I was drunk, I made a fool of myself. I told him things I never should have.”

Alex took her phone out of her back pocket.

 

“Call him. Don’t be afraid. Decided what you want to do. I’ll be inside the cabin. If you want to do this, come inside and we can go back downstairs. If you don’t, I will still love you. I will always love you. Even if you make me watch you kill yourself, I am always going to love you. Mom and Dad will too. Clark will always love you. No matter what you decide, please think it through. We can do this. We sent a Coluan to the Phantom Zone, killed a White Martian, a horde of Khund and Vrang mercenaries and took out a pretty bad Kryptonian then blew up a giant space ship. This is going to be harder, but we can do it. Just think about it. I hope to see you inside.”

Alex walked inside and Kara decided to sit on the soft grass, not caring that she was wearing a gown. There was no one else above ground. Now that she was up here, she could hear everyone moving below her. The girl almost X rayed the place to see how deep it ran but decided not to. It really didn’t matter. It was just another cave. The question she had to figure out is if she wanted to follow Alex out of a cave again, or take to the sky and hide among the clouds.

Taking a deep breath, she opened up Alex’s contacts and found Barry Allen’s number. Kara gently pushed the call button and half hoped he didn’t pick up. 

So of course he did.

“Alex? Is she okay?”

He sounded worried, Even a bit scared. How much would she put him through if he was already worried and didn’t know anything about her really.

“Hey Barry.”

“Kara! Are you okay? Alex or your robot sent me a text saying you were safe but…”

“I was drugged and taken to an underground laboratory where I went through I don’t know how many days of withdrawals. I’m not even sure how long I was out. The last few days have been kind of hazy. Listen, I want to apologize…”

“Don’t. Just don’t, Kara. I just want you to be okay. Are you?”

Kara thought of her answer carefully. It would be so easy to tell him she would be fine, that everything was okay. She could even tell him she had a bit too much to drink and most of what she said that night wasn’t true.

It would be so easy to lie. Kara had been doing it for a long time. Jeremiah used to tell her that he could always tell when she was lying or holding back but as Kara got older she was certain he couldn’t. She had become too good of a liar. She could make anyone believe anything. She even figured out how to lead her therapist where she wanted to go, giving a little here, a little there to make her seem like she was opening up but never really telling the dark secrets she kept.

Sure her family knew that she drank. They didn’t know that it made her feel sluggish in fights but if she snorted a line before she fought the high woke her up, kept her sharp. The blonde used different dealers across the US, so no alien would know exactly how much she used.

“No, I’m not.” Kara told him, deciding on the truth. “I haven’t been for a very long time. I want to be, but I don’t know if I can. I’m sitting here and don’t know what to do. Everything in me says if I do what needs to be done, it is going to be so hard. I want to fly away and forget about everything but no matter where I am, space, the South Pole, the desert, I carry it with me everywhere. I told you I wasn’t a good person but I wish I was. I want to be. I just don’t know what to do.”

Kara heard nothing on the other end and wondered if she had finally ran him off.

“What do you think is the right thing? I may not know a lot about you and I want to know everything one day, if you ever want to tell me. But I do know from watching you that you try and do the right thing. If someone you loved were in your position, what would you want them to do?  If it was Alex, what would you want her to do?”

Kara hadn’t thought of that. If Alex had her problems, what would Kara do? Was there anything she wouldn’t do?

“I…guess I would want her to do whatever it took to feel better.”

“I guess that is your answer.”

Kara laughed softly. He did have a straight forward way of looking at the world.

“If I do this, I am going to be away from everything for a while. You might see me flying around on TV, but it wouldn’t be me. I don’t think I will be able to meet your foster father next…I don’t even know what day it is.”

“Yeah, I figured. No matter what, or who you meet or what we do, no matter what you decide, I’m going to be here. I told you six years ago and I am telling you again that you aren’t holding me back from anything. I can wait. If you need a friend, I can be a friend. I’ll even broaden your mind. Ever seen Firefly?”

Kara thought about it and wondered what the hell he was talking about.

“I have no idea what a Firefly is besides the insect.”

“Best Sci Fi show ever. I can’t believe you have never heard of it. What kind of self respecting nerd are you?”

“I have a feeling I am going to be drugged out of my mind for a while but maybe after everything is settled, you could bring it to wherever I am and we can watch it. How many seasons are there?”

“Only one and a follow up movie.”

“Only one?”

“Fox executives are idiots. Look, just get better. Do what you need to do to be happy. Pretend it is Alex in your situation and do what you would want her to do. I’ll be here. I’ll be your friend and if you ever need anything else, we can give that a try maybe. Who knows what the future can hold? I’ve never managed to run there yet and I don’t really want to. Who knows what kind of grief Clark would give me then.”

“Okay. Thanks. Just for being you and not being freaked out by me. I know I must have scared you at my apartment. I acted like a maniac which I guess I kind of was at the moment.”

“Yeah, a little nuts but thats part of your charm. I was scared for you. I don’t want to be again. Whatever you decide, if you want my opinion, ironically I would say don’t run. I’ve never seen Kara Danvers run from a fight.”

“Thanks.” she told him, standing up. “I’ll call you in a couple days if that is okay. Like I said, I have a feeling I may not be lucid but I will try okay?”

“I know. If you need me, I’ll be there in a…”

“Don’t Barry.” Kara told him, cutting that off with a laugh. “We are big enough nerds already.”

Kara ended the call and stared at the phone in her hand for a moment, then back at the sky. Closing her eyes, she enjoyed the feel of rays on her face. She used to hate the feel of sun rays because they reminded her of what a freak she was. She enjoyed the feeling red rays gave her, the feeling of normalcy. But the older she got and the more guarded she became, Kara hated feeling vulnerable. It was easier to be a machine, only making herself weak at certain times in private. 

Taking a deep breath, she walked back into the cabin. 

Alex looked hopeful, wringing her own hands but glad to see her sister hadn’t flown off.

“So what happens now?” Kara asked.

“You are really going to do this? No lies, no half truths?”

“Yes.”

“You swear?” Alex asked, large tears streaming down her face.

“Yeah, I swear. I’m scared. I’m really, really scared and for me thats an amazing feat considering I should be used to fear by now, but I will do this.”

“Okay.” Alex told her, letting out a deep breath she had been holding forever it seemed. “We are going to start with some medications, anti depressants, sedatives at night to help you sleep. The goal is to make you feel better, sleep better, cut down on the anxiety you feel. You are also still going to have strong cravings…”

“I would kill for a shot of whiskey right now…or a line.” Kara admitted. “I know about cravings. My gut is still turning.”

Alex nodded her head. “You got through the worst of it but you are still going to feel off a bit at times, may even hallucinate a few times over the next week or so. You just have to tell us and we can talk you through it, okay?”

“Yeah.”

“The meds won’t be right, at least not right away. They are safe, but the dosages will have to be adjusted. None of us want you to be in a fog all the time. We were going to have two dosages, one for when you are powered and another for days you don’t have your powers but Caitlin Snow thinks she has figured out a way for the drugs to work in sync with your cells so they can actually increase or decrease in strength in regard to the solar radiation in your body. That way you won’t have to change doses if you want to lose the powers for a while. Shay has been working with her on it but Caitlin really is a genius.”

“Caitlin Snow?” Kara asked. “What the hell is she doing here? She saw me…oh no…”

“Kara, relax. She has been a huge help. She won’t tell anyone anything, not even Barry, I swear. She has been sitting with me at nights next to your bed. She is really cool. Just don’t panic, okay? She will never say a word about what she saw. She is a doctor, your doctor.”

Kara shook off her momentary embarrassment. Considering everything Barry had seen and heard already from herself she doubted anything Caitlin told him would make a difference.

“What else is going to happen?” Kara asked, getting back to the previous conversation.

“You are going to meet with a couple different therapists who deal in different areas. Substance abuse, PTSD, Anxiety disorders, stuff like that. You are going to have to be very honest. You can’t lie.”

Kara nodded her head, expecting as much.

“Okay then. I guess we should start. I’m scared, Alex.”

Alex took her hand.

“So am I, but when has that stopped us before?”

“I know.” Kara agreed. “When we get below, I need to talk to Clark. I want to see him…after I have had a shower. Just in case these meds make me a little crazy for a while, I want to see him first. I need to see him.”

Alex nodded her head.

“He will be here in the morning, promise. Want Barry to bring him? Tomorrow is Saturday.”

Kara was surprised. She had been here a week?

“I don’t know if he would be up to that. I’m not sure if I want him to see me in a hole in the ground.”

“You need friends, besides the head of the League of Assassins, I mean. He seems like he could be a good friend.” Alex hinted. She hadn’t listened to the conversation but she had watched Kara and saw her laugh twice in five minutes, more laughter than Alex had seen in a long time.

“Okay. I need to check in with…”

“No. This doesn’t work unless we cut all the other crap out. No missions, no hero stuff. Its just about us, about you. She is a hot…I mean a grown female assassin and can take care of herself. We aren’t superheroes and vigilantes. We are just the Danvers. Thats all we are going to be for a while, okay?”

“Yeah, got it. By the way, who has Streaky?”

Alex thought about it.

“I really have no idea, anymore. She is either in a den of assassins or hanging out in the Batcave.”

“Either way, you should probably bring her to me. She doesn’t sleep well unless she is in my hair. I want my brother and cat.”

“Anything else?”

“No.” Kara told her. Alex placed her hand on the pad next to the elevator and it opened, taking them both down.

When it opened up Eliza and Jeremiah were standing there. Kara wanted to scream, wanted to shout about being kidnapped. She could never yell at Alex or stay mad at her for that matter, but she often had better success with her parents. Instead of yelling, she began crying and fell into their arms.

 

 

Chapter Text

Do not own CW or DC chows.

Chapter 12 Reunions

“Stop running!”

 

Barry slowed down, not wanting a sudden start to jar the not so small little boy on his back. Even at eleven years old, the man knew Clark would grow to be large. Large may be an understatement considering his Kryptonian genes.

Once he had come to a halt, Clark jumped off his back and vomited his breakfast on the ground. Barry tried not to watch, the sight making him nauseous, as it often did when John Diggle vomited after being moved by the Flash.

“You okay?” he asked, the child. 

Eliza and Jeremiah had agreed to let Clark run with Barry cross country, provided he stayed on Barry’s back the entire time. Clark was not happy about this but if it meant a chance to see Kara and not have to deal with the hassle of an airport then it was worth it.

The little boy was now reconsidering his decision.

“No, I am not okay! Do you think people who puke are generally okay? Kara ran with me all the time. She runs smooth, like she is gliding. You run like your feet are made of stone. I’ll take it from here. Try to keep up.”

Barry hid a smile, not wanting to patronize the boy.

“Do you know the way to Kentucky?” he asked.

Clark nodded his head and pointed up.

“Kara taught me to navigate by the stars.” 

Barry looked where Clark was pointing.

“I hate to break this to you, but its morning. No stars are out.”

“None that you can see.” the little boy countered. “As long as we stay away from the main roads we will be good. Try and keep up with me and you won’t have to worry about your phones GPS. I found the coordinates on Google Earth before we left. I know exactly where we are going.”

Barry shook his head. “No deal. Your Mom and Dad said you could only come with me if you rode on my back. It isn’t easy for me either, you know? You aren’t exactly a lightweight.”

Clark grinned.

“Afraid you can’t take me, Flash? Don’t want to lose that fastest man alive title? There is a large Oak tree two miles away. If you can beat me there I will let you take me the rest of the way, even if it is going to take an hour at the speed you are running.”

“No.” Barry told him. Clark shrugged his shoulders.

“Thats cool. If I was in your position I wouldn’t want to be beat by an eleven and a half year old. I think I will just walk. Why don’t we go to the nearest city and catch a plane? I mean fly in one. Only me and Kara can actually catch planes.”

The Flash grinned, used to Clark’s good natured ribbing by now, even if the little boy did think he was faster.

“Fine. If you make it to this Oak tree before I do, you can run the rest of the way. If I get there first, you get on my incredibly sore back and be quiet. No complaining for the rest of the thirty minute trip.”

“Wow, you do have a pair. Impressive, Flash. I can’t wait to tell Kara I left you in the dust, or…clay, rock? No, its more like…is all of Texas like this?”

“Pretty sure its just North Texas. This is my first trip though. So an Oak tree, huh? Shouldn’t be hard to find considering the lack of trees but we have to stay away from roads. You can’t be seen. For God’s sake, be careful. If you run into something and get hurt I will be running from your parents for the rest of my life.”

“Nah, Alex would get to you first. You may be fast but she is tricky. Ready? Of course you are.”

Clark took off, running across the mostly barren landscape towards a small group of trees Barry could barely see. The Flash took off after him, passing him in seconds, but impressed with his speed. The boy could move. Barry knew Kara was fast enough in the air to create vortexes to put out fire. Clark wasn’t far behind it appeared but he was still vulnerable at times. 

The look on the little man’s face was hilarious when he saw Barry running next to him. The Flash gave the kid a wink and took off.

Only to be tripped a few feet from the tree in question. Barry fell flat on his face, while a laughing Clark flew over him, very close to the ground, and touched the tree.

“Loser!”

The man looked at the ground and saw a fence post had tripped him up. Where the hell had a fence post came from? Gazing back over their path, he could tell a barbed wired fence was wrecked.

“Did you seriously just pull a fence post from the ground and throw it at my legs?”

The little boy shrugged his shoulders. “The bet was I would get here first. I did, I won.”

“You cheated!”

“I won. Next time be more clear in the rules. Its not like I broke your legs or anything. I’ve gotten pretty good with my aim. So I guess we will be running side by side the rest of the way.”

Clark began laughing, then turned to take off running. He made it two steps before he hit the tree trunk in front of him and fell on his butt.

Now it was Barry who couldn’t stop laughing. Clark didn’t find it funny.

“You will never tell anyone about this.” he ordered, standing up.

“You seriously think I would not tell someone about this? You just walked into a large tree using super speed. No way I keep this to myself.”

Clark could feel his cheeks burning from embarrassment. If Alex found out he would never live it down. Then it occurred to him how he could handle this situation. Years of manipulating his mother and father had taught him many skills.

“You won’t say anything because if you do, Mom and Dad will find out you didn’t run with me the entire way. I am sure when I explain to them that your back was hurting and you asked me to run along side of you, they will understand.”

Barry took a long look at the boy. He knew those eyes. Those were the eyes of a kid who was not bluffing. Perhaps living with Kara so many years had taught him to be very good at deception and manipulation.

He immediately felt horrible thinking of that. Kara was not a liar.

Okay, so she probably lied sometimes but it was always for the greater good. She was honest to a fault.

Which made no sense, considering her family had to force her into rehab. She had done considerable damage to herself. The Flash knew this because Caitlin was not called on a whim. If she was needed and left in the middle of the night, it was serious. He doubted Bruce Wayne gave away the kind of money he did on a whim, no matter how much the man was worth. Barry had no doubt they knew about Kara’s drinking but was it worse than he guessed? She was indestructible. How could something like alcohol affect her that much?

No, her family may have known but he had an idea they didn’t know everything. It only made sense. Remembering her eyes the last time he saw her, it was obvious she was manic. The suicide attempts and the drinking, who knew what else she had done.

He still couldn’t get her off his mind. No matter what she did or who she was, Barry would never get over her, no matter how much she tried to push him away. She had taken him to her secret base in Antarctica that night to have sex with him. She wanted to put him in the same position as Nightwing and he knew he would have given her what she wanted. Would he be her new escape? Was that her only interest in him?

He didn’t want to think about it. Once he arrived, he would watch Clark go down and stay up top. If Kara wanted to see him, he would jump at the chance. If not he would give her more time. She may decided she wants nothing to do with him after she is better and though the thought hurt, it was better than either of the other alternative, her continuing to kill herself and using him as a tool to help maintain a facade of normalcy while she did it.

“You are thinking about her, huh?” Clark asked but it really wasn’t a question.

“Yeah.” Barry admitted, standing up.

“I have been thinking about her since she has been gone. I’m pretty scared. I don’t know what she will be like. I know she is probably mad at Mom and Dad for doing what they did. She is probably mad at Alex too. I don’t know how she will feel about me. I don’t care about school. I’m not leaving her. She has never left me and I won’t leave her.”

"I know you won’t.” the man agreed. “She wants to see you, or she wouldn’t have asked you to come. Me, I am not so sure about, but I guess I will find out in thirty minutes.”

“If your back can hold out.” the little boy reminded him. “I’ll run on your back since you are slightly faster than me right now. Just do me one favor. Don’t tell here what she wants to hear. Thats all Nightwing did. Thats why Dad really didn’t like him. He never told her to stop, or anything. He would drink with her. When she complained about people thinking she had problems he agreed with her. Maybe I should have asked her before to get help. When I was younger she would get really mad at me if I brought anything up about her. I always thought she was crazy when I was younger. I wish I hadn’t done it. I don’t know the whole story. I am going to find out, but something changed her.”

“Whats that?” the man asked, intrigued by the observations of Kara’s behavior.

The little guy shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t know. I’ve seen videos in the Fortress of me as a baby. Kara was always taking care of me but she did’t mind. She smiled. She was happy. I think she found out some things, some bad things and keeps it hidden from me. Whatever she knows, I have a feeling I am not going to like it. I think it is why she is the way she is.”

Clark shook his head, stopping the train of thought. Nothing else mattered except getting to Kara right now. Telling Barry it was time to go, the two took off, the Flash and his passenger. In another thirty minutes to an hour he would be with Kara. Nothing would get in his way.

“Fine.” the Flash gave in. “But you are riding with me. Or I can call your parents and tell them I run to rough for your liking and…”

“I get it. Lets go.”

 The Block

Kara was in the training area on the fourth level, doused in red sunlight so she could let loose on the training dummy the girl was pummeling. She knew her drug regimen started this afternoon and was not sure how she would feel for the foreseeable future. She had tried to sleep but couldn’t, tossing and turning all night. Alex sat up with her, and sat with her this morning, trying to watch TV but the blonde was too restless, unable to stop pacing in the room.

Kara claimed to be bored but that was not the problem and her family knew it. The girl may have gotten over withdrawals but the psychological need was still there. For the first time in a very long time she was without any alcohol or drugs in her body and had no idea what to do. Though the tremors had stopped, she still fidgeted and felt the need to move constantly, talking herself into and out of this mess the entire time in her head. Alex was the one who suggested the training room. It had been built to study the effects of the medications on Kara’s reflexes. Instead it was working as stress relief, or at least lessening the stress.

She had worked up a sweat, throwing blocks and punches at the padded wooden dummy, going through a series of strikes and counter strikes Dante had taught her what seemed ages ago.

While doing these Kara tried not to think about Dante and what she had said and done to him. It was probably one of the things Kara felt the most ashamed of, or at least in the top ten. It should have been a warning that she and her life had gotten completely out of control. Instead she blamed him and drove him away, forbidding him from ever seeing her again. Dante had conceded to her wishes and had not seen or spoken to her in nearly two years.

Snapping out of those thoughts, she moved towards the heavy bag and began a series of kicks until the door opened. Though without her powers, Kara could guess who it was. Her parents were working with her doctors and Alex was catching up on sleep. J’onn had flown to National City after speaking to her for twenty minutes, so he could close things there, hand over the DEO and begin making appearances as her once in a while. That left the one man she had not spoken to yet. She had seen him with her X Ray vision on the lowest level, spying on the world, speaking with the CEO of his company a few times, never long. Bruce didn’t give a damn about Wayne Industries. Lucius Fox handled the business and Bruce Wayne focused on his mission in life. 

Kara did not turn to look at him, but did stop hitting the bag.

“You were supposed to kill me.” she told him. “I told you if I ever got out of control…”

“To stop you.” he finished.

“We both know what I meant. There is only one way to stop me. That was your job.”

“I’m not a straight razor, Kara. Sorry, but you of all people should know that stopping doesn’t mean killing, not to me.”

Kara turned around finally and looked at him. She was surprised. Looking down on him from above she hadn’t seen his face. Now she wondered when the last time he had any sleep was. The man looked like hell.

“You make exceptions for aliens, remember?”

“You’re not an alien. You are my friend. I don’t have many, and I was not going to watch one kill herself.”

Kara walked closer to the man and pushed his chest, barely tipping him back.

“I hate cages! You of all people should know why! I would rather be dead than in a cage!”

Bruce silently agreed but did not apologize. 

“This place was built to help us. I never told you because I was hoping to catch you when you weren’t drunk. I missed my five minute window somewhere I suppose. I commissioned it and hired Veritas because I thought if the Government did actually find a way to harm you, it would have to be biological. I needed to know how to fight that, if they made you sick. It would also give us an advantage if Brainiac ever showed up, as we discussed. If Waller or someone else developed a virus that could harm or kill you, I was not going to wait around for the DEO to figure out how to treat you. Assembling a team of the best biological warfare experts in the world at a moment’s notice in the event a skull shaped ship appeared orbiting the Earth didn’t seem prudent. I like to be prepared. This was never meant to be a prison. From what I understand you had the choice of leaving yesterday. You didn’t. That means this isn’t a prison. You are here now of your own free will.”

Kara said nothing, instead turning and walking towards the wall where a towel hung. She was only dressed in a sports bra and yoga pants and threw her t shirt on as well. Hair in a ponytail, drenched in sweat, she knew she looked as bad as she felt but did not give a damn at this moment.

“You were supposed to kill me.” she whispered again.

“Then maybe you should have asked Oliver Queen to stop you. I would have stopped him if he tried though. Your family needs Kara Danvers.”

“And the world needs Supergirl.” Kara countered.

She was irritated when Bruce shook his head, and walked towards the heavy bag. Taking off his dress shirt, he began swinging himself. Kara, as always, was impressed with the power his human body could put into strikes. One would almost think he was metahuman if they did not know how obsessively he worked out.

“The world has not had Supergirl in a week. Guess what? It is still turning and shows no signs of deviating from its normal path around the sun. The world survived before us, before you. It will survive long after we are gone. We try to do the best we can but thats it. You are no god and I am certainly not an angel. We are just two people with amazing abilities to blame ourselves for things that aren’t our fault and punish ourselves for them constantly. Thats fine. We can tell each other the world needs us but we do what we do to battle our own demons. You know it, I know it and your family knows it.”

A sudden spin kick from Bruce sent the bag flying off its chain, crashing to the floor with a thud.

“Great.” Kara muttered. “I’m kind of limited on what I have down here so if you could not break the equipment that would be nice. Why are you even here?”

“Because my partner is.” he answered. “I understand you are beginning to take medications today and there will be possible side effects until they can find the right fit so to speak. While you are taking these meds you are going to be monitored and tested, poked at, prodded and will be bored, making life hell on the people who are paid to help you and your family. On the first level, just under the cabin, is a large empty space. It was supposed to be an armory. I had an employee searching the US and European junk yards for a birthday gift for you last month. I know you like to put together things that are broken. They don’t get much more broken than the one he found in Wales. A 1949 Vincent Black Lightning that has seen better days. I thought if anyone could make something of it, you could. You have always been good at bringing broken things back to life. Restoring it will give you something to do while you try to bring yourself back to life.”

Kara shook her head, making sure she heard that correctly under these red lights.

“You found a 49 Vincent Black Lightning that isn’t already owned by a collector? Thats impossible.”

“So is a person flying but you seem to have that down. The bike and tools you will need will be delivered this afternoon.”

Bruce walked to a cooler in the corner and poured a cup of water. “Dick asked about you. I wasn’t sure what you wanted him to know so I told him you were fine. I guess considering what happened in the last encounter the two of you had, calling him is out of the question? I know what he is and isn’t to you Kara, but he has been your friend and does care about you.”

Kara rolled her eyes and poured her own cup of water.

“I never should have started having sex with him.” Kara admitted. “I should have just picked you to have casual sex with. You aren’t as clingy.”

Bruce spit the water in his mouth onto the floor, causing Kara to actually laugh for the first time since she arrived here.

“You could have asked me. I would never turn down a no strings attached liaison with a 19 year old blonde.” a new voice told her. Kara spit out the water she had drunk on the floor, seeing it was Alfred who walked in. 

Wiping her mouth, ignoring Bruce’s laughter now, she fixed the older man with a hard look.

“Stay where you are. I want to frisk you for syringes. It would be the most action you have had in decades I imagine.”

Alfred shook his head sadly. “Dear, you have no idea how off your estimate is. It has been much, much longer, but I recently found a singles website that shows promise. I hope you aren’t too upset about me drugging you. He made me do it.”

“You use that excuse all the time. I don’t know how I feel about either of you, to be honest. I have small bombs planted in the Batcave and on all your hardware I have worked on so I guess the two of you will find out at some point. I had to have some way to stop both of you if you went out of control.”

Bruce stiffened but then relaxed. Kara was joking. 

She had to be joking.

He would run diagnostics on everything just to be sure.

“Master Wayne, I would like a few minutes of Kara’s time to speak to her privately, if she would agree.”

Bruce nodded his head, patted Kara roughly on the back, ruffled the hair on her head annoying her, and walked out. The blonde was surprised. Alfred never asked to speak to her alone. She wasn’t sure he ever had. Yes, the two talked often but it seemed Bruce or Alex, or even Dick was always present.

“Whats up?” she asked carefully.

“You and Bruce know quite a bit about each other.” Alfred started. “Honestly, I think you are the one Bruce feels a kinship with the most. Dick has had similar events happen in his life and the two of them share an obvious bond but the two of you understand each other on a different level. The two of us have some similarities as well, one you may not know about.”

“Oh really? Do tell.” she told him, suspecting one of his dry jokes that she loved. 

“I loved a woman once, deeply. She was murdered. I…for a long while afterward, I found solace in a bottle. I hid it well, I learned to cope because another was depending on me. I had to be the adult, the mother, the father, the protector. Eventually I was alone for a few years and I no longer had to keep up appearances. I lost myself completely in the bottle. A friend of mine you know, Jim Gordon, was the one who pulled me out of the grave I had dug for myself. He insisted I move in with him, his wife and daughter for six months. During that time he took me to AA meetings after work and if he couldn’t get away his wife would go with me until eventually I started going on my own. I relapsed several times but they never gave up on me. Bruce knows none of this, and I would prefer if he never did.”

Kara stood very still, listening to the man. He seemed to be talking less to her than himself, reliving a difficult time in his life.

“Every time I would relapse, I thought I would have driven him away but I never did. He and his wife never gave up on me. Eventually I moved back into the large mansion, Bruce came back and he never knew what had happened. I have been sober for fifteen years now and every day is a battle, not helped by the lifestyles we lead. Everyday I want nothing more than to pour a glass of Scotch or a nice Merlot and then another and another. Just as we all have our battles to fight to save the world, we have our own important battles to fight within ourselves. As long as I live, I will be there by your side in this battle. Nothing you will do nor have ever done will ever be as hard as what you are about to do. I believe in you. Jim did not give up on me, no matter what I did. I won’t give up on you, no matter what happens. Don’t give up on yourself.”

Alfred uncharacteristically pulled the shocked girl into a hug which she eventually returned. The man gave her a sad smile and moved towards the door.

“Alfred?” Kara stopped him. “The woman you loved, she was murdered in an alley, wasn’t she?”

The man gave a sad grin and nodded his head. “I won’t bother to ask you to keep that to yourself. I know you will. I will be here the entire time you are. If you need anything just ask. I understand Clark will be here soon. I think Barry Allen has run across country with him.”

“Thats good, I really want to talk…did you say Barry Allen? Barry is here?! No! He can’t see me…no!”

Alfred smirked at her. “You should probably take a shower. It can never hurt to have too many friends, Kara. You need as large a support system as you can find. If you don’t want to see him he will understand but you did tell him everything and he is still here. I think he could be a friend to you. Don’t turn people away who only want to help. There aren’t enough of those kind in this world. No battle can be won alone. Not Myriad and not this one.”

Kara left the red lights and ran toward the shower in her room. Without the red lights she was able to hurry but also able to hear everything. She heard him upstairs, telling Barry to wait. She heard her mother in the elevator hugging Clark. She heard the door close and the elevator drop.

Barry hadn’t come inside. Why would he run Clark all the way here and not want to see her?

He wasn’t sure if she would want him to see her. He probably had no idea what emotional and mental state she was in.

She shook those thoughts off when the elevator stopped. If the shower hadn’t woken Alex, the sound of Clark running full speed into his now thankfully clad sister would have woken her. 

Alex slid out of bed and over to the doorway, standing next to her mother and father while they watched the two alien members of the family on the floor holding each other. Clark had his head buried in Kara’s shoulder while she held him tightly. The stronger he had gotten the tighter he could be held.

Kara was shocked, not by the sudden hug but by the tears she could feel wetting her shoulder. Clark was a tough kid, determined that he would be Superman one day. As he often told her, Superman did not cry.

But at this moment he was crying very hard.

“You aren’t going to die, are you?” he asked, trying to gain control of his sobs. “Please tell me you aren’t going to die. You can’t die. I don’t want you to leave me. Please Kara.”

“Shhh.” she whispered in his ear. “Its okay. I’m not going to die, I promise. I won’t leave you Clark.”

“You won’t try to kill yourself anymore? You promise?”

Kara took a deep breath, tears leaving her eyes as well.

“I promise, I won’t.”

“You will stop drinking? I don’t like when you drink. Its making you sick, isn’t it? Thats why you lost weight and your eyes are red all the time. You don’t eat. You promise you will stop? I don’t want you to die.”

Kara tried to swallow but her mouth was dry. Instead she took a fresh breath and heeled onto him tighter.

“I’m going to stop, Clark. It won’t be easy but I will stop. I am so sorry. You know I love you, more than anything, right? You are my baby. You will always be.” she whispered. Clark nodded his head but kept his eyes shut and his arms tight.

“I’ve been scared.” he told her. “I don’t like being scared. Were you hurting? Was it bad when you got here? Do you hate everyone?”

Kara shook her head. “I don’t hate anyone. It was bad, but I got through it. We got through it. I think Alex is a little sore. I hit her head a few times while she was holding me but we are okay.”

Clark nodded his head and backed away a bit, keeping his arms on her but looking her over.

“You are too thin. You need to eat more.” he told her, sniffing a bit, trying to be the responsible man of the house now. “You know I will always love you, no matter what, right? You can never tell me anything that will make me love you less. You don’t have to keep secrets from me. I can help. I can take it.”

Jeremiah and Eliza dropped their heads, knowing what he was referring to, and wishing he hadn’t brought it up. Alex noted their reaction and began worrying. They had not told her of their conversation on the beach with Clark and Alex had not explained Kara’s involvement with the League of Assassins. There had been more important things to worry about.

“What do you mean, Clark?” Kara asked carefully.

“I just mean if you want to drink you can tell me and we can play or go fly or something instead. You don’t have to hide it from me. I don’t want you to drink anymore but I know you will want to. I did a lot of searching on Google…don’t get mad…”

“I’m not mad. I understand. I won’t keep it from you, okay? I’ll tell you.”

Jeremiah and Eliza nearly dropped to the floor in relief, causing Alex to give them a look that indicated they would be having a conversation the next time Kara slept under red lights.

Clark stood up and Kara allowed him to assist her do the same. Both their faces were red but at least both were smiling.

“I don’t want to leave you. I’m staying here.”

Kara shook her head, placed a hand on his shoulder and grinned.

“You have school, big guy. You aren’t going to miss any school because of me. Understand?”

“But I won’t! It’s only three more weeks and I told my teachers I had a grandmother who was dying and they all said they could email me my assignments and I could finish that way. I told them Mom and Dad were good with it and since Mom and Dad were with you, they had to take my word for it. Can you believe they bought it?”

Kara smiled, not surprised at all that Clark would pull something like this. She also had no doubt that a dose of those big blue eyes and Eliza would let him do as she wished. As cold and as sterile this place could be, the idea of having her whole family in one place was comforting. But what could happen weighed on her mind.

“Clark, I would love to have you here but I am going to be taking some medications starting this afternoon. They won’t hurt me but I am not sure what other effects they could have on me. Some of them may scare you. I might be sleepy all the time or sick or say weird things. I’m kind of scared and I don’t want you…”

“If you have your powers I can hold your hand and you can squeeze as tight as you want.” he reasoned, knowing it wasn’t true. Kara had a lot stronger grip than he did but it was a bargaining chip in his favor.

“Clark, it could be nothing or it could be scary. The doctors are going to try a bunch of different medications on me and I really don’t know what is going to happen.”

“I really don’t care. If I was here, would you leave me to go back to school? You left school to take me to the Fortress when my hearing and vision changed. You taught me to fly. You never left me. Please, Kara, don’t make me go back.”

The blonde took a deep breath and looked at her parents by the door. Eliza was smiling, despite the tears in her eyes. She gave a slight nod as did Jeremiah.

“Then I guess you are staying. Just promise me, no matter what I say, if I say something mean you won’t be mad and you won’t listen to me. If I tell you to leave or our parents or Alex tell you to leave, you need to walk outside and not listen. You promise?”

“Yeah, I promise. If you say something mean I’m going to say something mean back before I leave though. Deal?”

Kara nodded, figuring that was as much as an agreement as she would get. “Yeah, you got a deal.”

“Thanks. I love you. I’ll pick a room close to yours. I need to figure out how to get my X Box and my clothes and stuff up here. Your boyfriend couldn’t handle anymore weight. I think he needs to start exercising if he is going to keep doing this superhero stuff. If he says I hit him with a fence post he is lying. Okay he isn’t lying but he never said in the rules that I couldn’t. He ran all the way, here so you should probably go say hi to him. He wasn’t sure if you would want him to see you. He is still wearing that red costume too, probably trying to look cool for you.”

Kara patted the boy on his cheek and mussed up his shaggy hair.

“He is not my boyfriend, he is just my friend, okay?”

“Does he know that? Because he did just carry me on his back across the United States.” Clark fairly pointed out.

Kara didn’t answer him, instead going to the bathroom and checking herself in the mirror.

She looked like hell. Her skin was pale, her eyes were red even before she had been crying and it was obvious she hardly slept the past week or the past two nights since the worst of the withdrawals faded.

“He is not going to care how you look.” Alex told her, walking into the small bathroom. “He has a pretty good idea what you have been through. I doubt he expects you to look your best. He came anyway.”

Kara let her shoulders drop, knowing Alex was right. There was absolutely no way she would be presentable to anyone, which is one argument she had against seeing Barry now. But he had come anyway. Looking up, she smiled, seeing him pacing around in the cabin, mask back but still in that red suit. He looked as nervous as she felt. The blonde was not sure she was ready for Barry Allen to see the real her.

Then she realized he had already seen the real here, the last time she saw him. He had seen the monster behind the mask.

And he came anyway.

Kara put her hair in a ponytail, changed quickly out of her pajama pants into blue jeans and headed towards the elevator, surprised that no one followed her. The ride up seemed to take forever. She had not been up since coming back with Alex after deciding to stay. It would be nice to see the sun again.

When the door opened, she saw Barry pacing nervously, very quickly then stop cold, looking straight at her. He looked surprised as if he hadn’t expected her, then realized the elevator was very quiet and he wouldn’t hear everything going on below.

She stepped out slowly, not exactly sure what to say. The last time she had seen the man, Kara had told him everything. The alcohol in her system combined with Kelex’s statement turned her mouth into a waterfall that she could not stop from running. He now knew almost every dirty secret she had. Maybe not every single one but enough to know she was a wreck.

But he was here.

“Hi.” the blonde started with, not sure what else to say.

“Hi.”

Barry was surprised by what he saw. The man had not known what to expect but seeing Kara look so…vunerable…surprised him. He had not really taken the time to notice how thin she was, how pale she was. When he had first met her 6 years ago, her skin wasn’t exactly tanned but neither was it pale, just had a healthy glow. There was no glow now. Her deep blue eyes were bloodshot. Barry was happy to see her hands weren’t shaking but she was clenching her fists, quite hard considering the strain the tendons in her forearms was obvious. 

Still her smile remained the same.

“So…thanks for bringing Clark. You didn’t have to. I’m glad you did but…uh…anyway, thanks.”

Barry shook his head. “It was no problem. I was hoping to just see you with my own eyes, to make sure you were okay. You look better. How are you feeling?”

“Like hell.” Kara answered him, surprising Barry with honesty. “Why? Why did you want to see me? Why do you care? I appreciate it, but is there one thing I have done since you have known me, that should make you care about me? I don’t understand.”

Barry stepped closer to her, not close enough to be in her space, but at least enough that her eyes couldn’t avoid him.

“You were the first one who believed me. Yeah, you didn’t tell me the whole truth and I understand that you couldn’t, but you could have simply told me I was crazy and walked away. You didn’t. You told me you believed me. No one else ever had before. You gave me hope, confidence that I wasn’t crazy. Do you have any idea how important that was for me to hear? Since my mother died, all I had in my life were people telling me I was confused, seeing things, lying to protect my father. I had almost given up before I met you. I had almost convinced myself that the whole search for the truth thing was pointless. You are the one who kept me believing. Besides, I kind of like you, even if you are a Star Wars nerd.”

Kara would usually laugh when he brought up one of the fundamental differences they had always had. Today, she didn’t have it in her.

“I’m sorry, Barry. I realize that maybe our meeting up again and seeing each other again, it hasn’t worked out the way you thought it would. My life, me, I’m a mess. I didn’t want you caught up in it before, I stayed away to protect you from me but when I saw you again, I couldn’t help myself. I…I’m going to be going through some stuff the next month or so. I don’t know what is going to happen. They are going to give me some experimental medicines. This isn’t the first time it has happened but I think these are going to actually effect me. How they will effect me is what has me so worried. I knew how I was living my life was not good on so many levels but it was mine. I knew what to expect, I knew how to cope, I knew how to live at least. Now I know nothing.”

Barry nodded his head, not saying anything, not moving when Kara walked to the window and closed her eyes as the sunbeams hit her face.

“It is taking everything in me not to fly out of here. I really need…something. Okay, I need a drink. If I didn’t have my powers and asked you to take me away from here, would you?”

Barry thought about it, surprised by the question. He had a feeling this was a test but had no idea what the right answer was. 

Then he remembered Clark asking him not to be like Nightwing.

“A week ago, yeah, no doubt. But you aren’t being kept against your will now. If you decided to stay you know you have some things to take care of. If you gave up on that you would have to walk away yourself. I wouldn’t do it for you. I wouldn’t stop you but I won’t help you hurt yourself.”

Kara turned back from the window and met his eyes. He seemed genuine and she was not sure how she felt about that.

“Thats different.” she admitted. Kara could always make Dick Grayson do whatever she wanted. Since she was 18 the boy was a pawn in her hand, not that she ever admitted to herself that she treated him like one. It was true none the less. Kara had Dick Grayson wrapped around her finger and could make him do anything.

Perhaps Barry Allen was different.

The girl was not sure how she felt about that. Everything was changing. Control was everything to her as far as others went. Now everything was out of control.

“Yeah, I guess.” Barry agreed. “We are kind of use to helping people by doing something. Doing nothing is harder but sometimes I guess it has to happen. Want to take a walk? I’ve never been to Kentucky before, especially the forests. Not much of an outdoorsman, believe it or not.”

Kara agreed and the two walked side by side. She had not really taken the time to see the area herself. She thought the temptation to run would be too great so she had stayed underground since she returned with Alex. Now that she was able, the girl really took in the scenery. 

Kara heard a song she had only heard on the internet before and reached back placing a hand on Barry’s lightning bolt covered chest.

“Shh! Listen.” she whispered. “She is close.”

Barry did listen hard, wondering what enemy could be coming that had Kara keeping him quiet and in stealth mode.

Hearing nothing, he finally got her attention and shrugged his shoulders.

Kara grinned and whispered once again. “I’ve never seen or heard one in person. Hear that bird singing? Its a Kentucky Warbler. They nest on the ground and stay low in the forest. Okay, I got her. She is in a tree about a hundred or so yards from us. There is no way we can sneak up on her. I would have to fly and don’t really need the temptation. I wish you could see her. She is beautiful. Yellow underbelly, black sideburns and yellow striping around the eyes. Kind of like glasses.”

Barry was impressed and surprised. Kara had what seemed like a natural smile on her face.

“You are a bird watcher?”

Kara nodded her head. “When I first landed they were the first species I saw. I thought they may rule the Earth considering their numbers. We had no birds on Krypton. By the time I was born they had all become extinct due to the planet dying. I had never seen any living creature as beautiful as them. I tried to communicate with them and of course you know how that worked out. I was always fascinated with them though. It was the only good thing about learning to fly, seeing them up close in the air. Ironically Alex hated bird watching but Eliza insisted she give it a try. Thats when she saw me and Clark going into the cave to hide and found us. I don’t consider myself a bird watcher. I just like to appreciate beauty wherever I can find it and birds are nearly everywhere. Wildlife is the true beauty of this world. If humans lived on a planet without it, perhaps they would appreciate what they have more.”

Barry was surprised. Kara had told him things about herself before, six years ago. He knew she was a fan of wildlife but not of cages. Knowing what he knew now, it made sense.

“Was there any wildlife at all on Krypton?”

Kara shook her head. “No, the planet was too inhospitable. I overheard rumors of monsters in some of the more barren areas but none were ever confirmed. We should go back. Do you want to talk to Caitlin before you have to go back?”

Barry thought about it.

“If she has the time but probably not. I would rather she be doing whatever she is doing. I guess you are going to start soon on these medications?”

“In a couple hours. I’m going to be given mood stabilizers first. Some of these drugs can make a person suicidal so I will be under red lights with Alex. Depending on  how my body reacts Caitlin and the other doctor will make adjustments. The hard part is going to be finding a drug that can react with my cells, keeping the same effects whether I have my powers or not. That way I won’t have to take different dosages depending on if I want my powers or not. If it doesn’t work and I can’t just use a bracelet or lightbulb to negate the solar energy in me…then I guess I have a big decision to make.”

The caught the man’s attention. “You aren’t going to give up, are you? Because it could take some time…”

“I’ll avoid red sunlight until my body heals from the hell I have put it through. Then I might give up…I always planned to give up being Supergirl when I was 30, when Clark was old enough to have mastered his powers and at least defend himself against anything. Kelex developed a crystal that can be implanted in my body and negate my cells ability to metabolize solar energy. My powers would be gone for good as long as it was inside me. Thats what I have always wanted. So if I can’t switch them on and off, if its a choice between being Supergirl full time or being …me, I think I want to be me. To be like I used to be. I’m going to wait though. I will give them a chance, but if all else fails and I have to make a decision, I think I know what that decision is going to be.”

The two walked in silence, taking in the sun and the large areas of shade from the massive tress. After too short a time they had made it back into the cabin.

“Look, I realize this isn’t a great time to ask you on a date, but I was serious when I said I wanted to be here for you. You need a friend who doesn’t dress like a bat 90% of the time, right? Text me, call me, no matter what time of the day or night. If you are bored and want someone to watch movies with because I know you and Alex have very different tastes, I will be here.”

“I will.” Kara promised. “Just give me a few days. I’m not sure what is going to happen but if I start to drool or seeing things that aren’t there…again maybe we could check out this Firefly you talked about. Clark is staying and I am sure will need a video game partner. Thanks Barry, for everything.”

Kara leaned up and kissed the man’s cheek then with a smile, moved towards the elevator. Barry never moved until the door closed and she was gone.

Walking outside, he reluctantly pulled his mask on and prepared to leave.

Should he tell her about Lobo’s concern over some red ring? Should he have told her he met with Jessica the night before and began his own therapy sessions?

No, it wasn’t important. Right now she was safe, underground in a fortress. There would be no fights or red rings flying from the sky to help her and take her over. He would tell her later if she decided to take up the cape again but right now, Kara needed to focus on herself and nothing else. He really didn’t have enough information and she didn’t need any additional worries.

Taking a deep breath, the man took off for Central City, already counting the days until she called him.

Chapter Text

Do not own DC or CW characters

 

Chapter 13 From the beginning.

Kara paced back and forth in the small room, using every bit of the will power that still remained in her not to fly out of what was quickly becoming an underground hell. She felt restless, trapped, bored and needed to do…something.

The physical withdrawals were over. Now she was dealing with the psychological effects. In the past when the girl wanted to relax she could drink, fly, both preferably. Now she had nothing and no idea what to do with her time. She couldn’t work out in the gym any longer because she had to spend at least four hours a day in a sun bed for a week in hopes that her liver would begin to heal. That meant no red sunlight and no hitting things hard that wouldn’t break. Her heart rate was monitored at night as well and since she had not been sleeping, that meant lying in bed, still all night so the leads wouldn’t be jostled.

“Stop pacing and come play video games with me.” Clark ordered. “Mom said its time for a sedative and an anti worry drug. You need to sleep and I need back up. You can help me until you pass out.”

“I don’t want to pass out.” Kara grumbled.

“Yeah but something tells me a sedative, by its very definition, could lead to sleeping. Call of Duty is up and I need a partner. Alex is fighting a wooden dummy so that leaves you.” he argued.

Kara shook her head, her irritation still present, but Clark in the past couple years had gotten over his fear of irritating her.

“Number one, you aren’t supposed to play Call of Duty, especially online here and number two I am not anxious, I am bored.”

“So we play video games.” the boy reasoned. “Kelex can get us a secure connection, and Mom and Dad are in the lab. We put in some Disney movie, play the downloaded version of Call of Duty and when Mom and Dad come to check on you, we switch to the Disney movie. We have done this before, Kara. Why are you scared now?”

“I am not scared.” Kara countered, refusing to be baited. “You are spoiled and have become too used to getting what you want.”

“Lets not start on who gets what who wants. Batman built a hospital for you.”

Kara shook her head and continued pacing. “I didn’t want this.”

“No, I know what you wanted and you told me you wouldn’t anymore. Plus I don’t hear you complaining about that piece of junk motorcycle that showed up.”

“That is not a piece of junk! Do you know how much that bike is worth even in the shape it is in now? Its worth six figures now and more when I restore it. The fact that it was found is a miracle. As a piece of art, it is priceless.”

Clark moaned, as he often did when Kara began speaking of the history of machines that were much, much slower than they could move. 

“Great, its priceless. Batman had people looking all over Europe to give you a birthday gift and you call me spoiled. Take your medicine and play with me. I’m doing you a favor. You know Alex is better at the game than you are, but since you are bored I am giving up a sure win for you.”

Kara did as instructed, a bit annoyed, She was as good as Alex. Clark was the weak link when the three played together. Granted her and Alex had trained with special forces soldiers from their early teens while thankfully Clark had not needed to learn the same.

Before Kara began, Shay Veritas and Caitlin Snow were in the room, giving her two pills, one, an anti anxiety medication and the other a sedative that should allow her to sleep without nightmares, in theory. It had been decided to find a medication combo while she was powered and then test the designer drugs Caitlin had developed for her when the right combo could be found. Once a set had been approved, the ability to depower as her cells did and then power up would be tested. This was the most worrisome because if Kara lost her powers and the drugs did not react on a cellular level with her solar metabolization, then the large dose of drugs could cause her to crash. In that case yellow sunlight would have to be administered very quickly along with intubation if she stopped breathing followed by Narcan through the breathing tube.

For now, every pill Kara took was a leap of faith. Fortunately and unfortunately if there was anything Kara was not afraid of, it was taking drugs. 

Tomorrow she would have her first meeting with a new counselor and have an actual mental health evaluation to determine what other shrinks she would need. To say Kara was not excited about the idea of more therapy would have been an understatement. During the early years with Jessica, Kara had figured her out, figured out what to say and not say to give the woman enough to not push. Only once her drinking had been impossible to keep hidden did the woman start pushing again and as was the norm in their relationship, when Jessica pushed, Kara pushed back, became defensive and retreated into herself. She said anything she had to say so her family would not look at her too closely. After Myriad she was supposed to have been alright. She went to college, graduated, did what they wanted. She felt as long as she could be the perfect daughter maybe they wouldn’t have noticed that she was still broken. Lies were her friend and she lived by them.

Now the girl was in a position where she had to be honest. She promised Alex and Kara would be lying again if she said she wasn’t afraid of what this eval would say about her. Yes, Kara knew she was, in her mind, screwed up, even broken. Living in denial worked though and hearing someone she didn’t know, someone neutral, telling her the same thing frightened her.

“So what exactly are these pills?” Kara asked.

“The blue one is a sedative that should help you sleep, and hopefully lessen your dreams, or…nightmares, I guess.” Caitlin explained. “The other is an anti anxiety medication, like Xanax. It should help with some of the restlessness you are feeling. Benzodiazepines are fast acting but could cause drowsiness and possibly nausea so if you could eat something before you fall asleep…”

“I don’t sleep. I never sleep. I don’t even need to eat. Why would I want to eat if it could feel nause…”

“Would you just do what she says?” Clark asked sharply.

Kara took a deep breath and smiled. “I will do my best to eat something. Perhaps a sandwich.”

“Excellent!” Caitlin agreed, and walked off quickly. Kara gave Clark a very pointed look.

“What? She wasn’t going to leave until you agreed, and you said you would do what you are supposed to. Thats what you always sound like when you are bossy with me. Now its your turn. Take your medicine, eat your sandwich and lets play.”

Kara shook her head. “I think I miss the times you were afraid of me.” she mumbled.

“Not me. Ready? Take your pills already.”

Kara swallowed the two pills and quickly moved to the refrigerator in Clark’s room and grabbed a bottle of water, perhaps hoping she could pretend it was her latest favorite drink that was very strong and had no odor. This happened to be water but it did help wash the pills down.

“They are going to start an anti depressant tonight. It will take three weeks probably to build up in your system. Those side effects could be worse…”

“How do you know all this?” Kara asked, stopping his rambling.

“Are you serious?” the boy asked. “I listen to everything. I didn’t come here just so you could lose at video games and watch you snap at everybody. I have been doing some research on this stuff. If they really work, you could sleep better and not have nightmares. You might even get out of bed happy in the mornings or even get out of bed everyday instead of hiding under the covers. We are from space and have a flying robot in an ice castle so anything is possible.”

The blonde shook her head, realizing that her brother knew way too much about mental health medication. More than any 11 year old should know, because of her.

“Shut up and lets play.” she ordered. 

It was 20 minutes later, after the two were on a 32 kill streak and Kara had downed a sandwich while watching Clark’s virtual back when she dropped into a deep sleep suddenly. Clark nearly freaked, thinking she had died until she started snoring. The boy called Alex who ran inside and picked Kara’s torso up while Clark grabbed her legs and they deposited her into bed.

“Causes drowsiness, huh? She was awake one second and passed out the next. This is bad.”

“It will be okay, Clark. They are going to …”

“No, she needs sleep. I am surrounded by the red team and need a partner. Take her controller, quick.”

Alex shook her head but did as instructed, helping the boy regain his hold on Nuke City. They played uninterrupted for an hour until he heard his mother coming. Moving at super speed, he closed the game and popped in a Blu Ray. Eliza knowingly took in her innocent son and daughter.

“Good movie?”

“The best.” Clark agreed.

“I didn’t realize you liked Cinderella that much, Clark.”

Neither sibling looked at her.

Eliza took a deep breath, giving up. She knew Clark loved online gaming and her two daughters would not discourage him.

“She fell asleep quickly. Lets hope it lasts.” Eliza noted. “Maybe if she can get four hours now and all night later then…I guess we will see. Good luck killing your online enemies you two. Your father and I will be monitoring Kara. Bruce has had Streaky delivered. I will bring her down soon after she has eaten.”

“Sounds good Mom.” Alex agreed.

“And then perhaps we can have a talk about a League of something or another? I can’t remember but I am sure you do, right Alex?” Eliza asked pointedly, looking at Clark.

“Tonight, after bed time might be a good time. I would just like to say beforehand that I wasn’t present, I didn’t know and its not my fault.”

Clark laughed. “Thats usually my line. It was called the League of Assassins, Mom. I was listening to Kara that night, remember? Assassins, like Assassins Creed, only real. She was the head of them for like five minutes. I know all, I hear all, I see all.”

“Good, you can see my face and hear me when I ground you and know that I will mean it if you eavesdrop one more time on anyone, understand Mr. Know It All?”

“Yes Ma’am. Sorry.” the boy quickly agreed.

Kara did wake four hours later and promptly ran to the bathroom, vomiting the sandwich she had consumed before she fell asleep. She also broke a sink in frustration, hitting it and causing the porcelain to shatter. Thankfully Jeremiah was able to shut off the water quickly. Eliza handed Kara a mop. Instead of using it, Kara lit her eyes up just a bit for the water in the bathroom to evaporate. Neither parent was amused.

Caitlin and Shay shook their heads, deciding it would be back to the lab for adjustments. No one forced the blonde to eat again that night but did give her a sedative, leaving the benzo off the list for now. They knew it wouldn’t be easy and this was only the beginning. Though neither would admit it, they had both secretly hoped they would get it right the first time and wondered what side effects Kara would have to live with and if she could ever be as effective as she once was at battling threats to the world.

It didn’t matter. They were treating Kara, not Supergirl and the goal was effective treatment with as few side effects as possible. 

Back to the drawing board.

National City

“Kara! My office now!” Cat Grant screamed.

J’onn in the familiar form of a dark red haired, green eyed girl wearing glasses walked in quickly.

“Yes Miss Grant?”

Cat took a look at the perfect likeness of Kara. It still creeped her out.

“Close the door.” she ordered.

Once the door was closed Cat motioned for the girl / Martian to sit on the couch across from her.

“You said you would be seen around the office and then take a sabbatical, Fake Kara. You did not want her sudden disappearance to be noted by any coworkers. I said fine, walk around, do as little as possible and surf the internet. That is what Kara does, so you shouldn’t be noticed.”

“I think I have done an outstanding job at being incompetent and uncaring.” J’onn defended himself.

“You have done a poor job at all aspects of her life. You have been friendly with James Olsen. Kara is always passively aggressive and sarcastic with him, often throwing General Lane and Lois Jr in his face. He seems to think Kara is warming to him now. You are also not using my private elevator.”

“Its…your elevator. You let Kara use your elevator?”

“Of course not. She does it anyway. I threatened to fire her once for it and she flew to Metropolis. Remember the series of interviews she gave Chloe Sullivan of the Daily Planet? That hack reporter won multiple awards for those interviews. Since that day I have never said a word. Everyone knows that Kara uses that elevator and I pretend not to notice. My schedule has been in disarray because Sheri or whatever her name is cannot keep track of my appointments.”

“Kara organized your schedule?” J’onn asked. From everything he had gleamed from others minds, Kara did not do much in the way of actually being a personal assistant. 

“Of course not but her personal robot was excellent. She does not make eye contact with the other employees. Most of them think she believes herself above them but the truth is outside of Lois, Jimmy and I, she doesn’t like to look anyone directly in the eye. You have been acting like a High School student running for Student Body President and pandering for votes. Where is my Kara? I want her back. I need her robot and for some odd reason I miss her complete disregard for my wishes. I haven’t had a cheeseburger since she has disappeared.”

J’onn rubbed his forehead, knocking the glasses off the bridge if his nose because he could never remember they were there. He had shown up a week ago, hoping to cover for various aspects of Kara’s life so she would not be completely missed. His first morning he had made the mistake of bringing Cat her favorite latte and it was hot. Miss Grant immediately demanded to know where Kara was and what whatever he was had done to her.

Once the Martian explained that she was on a secret mission and that he was actually the flying green man that assisted her in battles at times, the woman demanded to know more. In exchange for the list of sick kids Kara visited, he had to provide some information on a fake mission but not enough for the woman to dig further. The Martian had shown up three times at work this week, never for more than a couple hours after he figured out that Kara was not exactly an excellent employee with high aspirations in the media world.

“I will try to be more disrespectful for the remainder of the week, Miss Grant. I will let it slip to Lane that I am taking vacation time starting next week and you and Siobhan, if you were wondering her actual name…”

“I wasn’t.”

“…can continue on with your life.”

Cat glared at Fake Kara. This respectful, but vague version of her was not acceptable. She wanted the disrespectful, brutally honest version of Kara. She also knew this Martian was hiding something. Kara did not take secret missions. She hated the idea of working with any Government agency and only assisted the Men in Black at times. 

“You have been failing as Supergirl as well. You were at a robbery yesterday, a jewelry store, correct?”

“Yes… and I caught the suspects.”

“Yes, but there was a fire ten miles away, an apartment building. Kara always stops to ask the Captain in charge if they need assistance. You ignored it.”

J’onn clenched his jaw, already preparing for the berating on another aspect of Kara’s life. Not for the first time, J’onn wondered if Kara’s desire to be around this woman was just another form of self harm she practised.

“I did not know that. I do not have an advanced supercomputer in my ear keeping me abreast of every emergency situation.”

“You should have heard it. Is your green hearing not on par with hers?”

“No, it is not.” the man grumbled, the fake smile leaving his face quickly.

“I want to know where she is.” Cat ordered.

“Need to know information. You don’t need to know.” he responded…again. He had read enough of Cat Grant’s mind and knew quite a bit about the woman. What surprised him the most, is she actually cared for Kara, not just as Supergirl who made headlines for her reporters, specifically Lois Lane. He also knew that Cat suspected Kara had serious drinking problems and had been losing weight, as well as how red her eyes had been from lack of sleep.

“I need to know. Tell me.”

J’onn took a deep breath and wondered what he should say. If he failed, if the Government figured out that he wasn’t Supergirl, the most logical place for them to investigate what was going on with her was Cat Grant. Kara may as well have worn a Catco logo on her cape and the Catco building should have had a big S on its side. If someone important needed to get a hold of Supergirl, they simply went through Lois Lane or Cat Grant. Catco ran Kara’s charity, she had a division fielding calls from hospitals and Make a Wish Foundations across the world with requests for Supergirl. Catco was Supergirl Central and Cat Grant and Lois Lane would be first in line if anyone suspected something was wrong.

“I won’t tell you her location. If anyone figures out that I am not Supergirl, you and Lois are the first targets for information.”

“And neither of us would tell anyone.”

“Even if a guy in a black suit had a gun to Carter’s head?”

J’onn’s question shocked Cat momentarily. The woman just realized how much of a target her son could be. The men after information would not care who she was.

Saying nothing, not knowing what to say, J’onn finally answered the question to an extent.

“She is in a rehab faciltiy. She will be for some months. I will be making appearances over major cities and helping as I can but Supergirl will not be seen as much. Just enough so the bad guys of the world don’t think she is gone and they can do as they please.”

Cat sat in silence for a moment and then stood, walking towards her desk and finally having a seat. Closing her eyes, she laid her head back and tried to clear her mind. What a mess. The last time Supergirl had been gone for an extended period of time, crime had risen across the nation. Kara started working for her shortly after she came back onto the scene but Cat never could get her whereabouts from her.

And the woman doubted she needed to. It was obvious to her that somehow the invincible girl had tried to commit suicide. The woman had seen all the signs and ignored them, not admitting it to herself at the time. Every time a child she had been visiting in a cancer ward died, Kara always found herself on Cat’s balcony and it seemed a bit of her soul died as well. Cat wished many times that she had ever told Kara about the first child who wanted to see her on her death bed. It was too much for any 18 year old to take, much less one who already had the weight of the world on her shoulders.

“Did she try to kill herself again?” Cat asked quietly.

J’onn was surprised. “She told you about that?”

“She didn’t have to.” Grant answered. “So did she?”

“No. As I said she was taken to a secret rehab facility. She could be gone for some time.”

Cat shook her head and smiled. “I know that girl. How did you force the most powerful person in the Universe into a facility? Because Kara would never agree to go to one, believe me. It was enough of a struggle to get her to go to therapy. So what is next? I am assuming you can’t help at fires because the world will expect her to use her very cold breath. Since I have never seen you use space vision, that is out as well. How much trouble will you have dealing with aliens?”

“No trouble. Actually it might not be that easy, since my skill set is different than Kara’s as you have noted. But I will take them out of city limits somewhere private and deal with them.”

The woman considered this and nodded her head. “Give me prior knowledge of your whereabouts and Olsen can take photos at times of you flying. We print enough that the world thinks she is still around. Lets talk about the children. I will start easing off the requests for her time. There cannot be anymore visits as a child is dying. That is too much. I have received three concerned calls in the last few days. When you are visiting with children in hospitals or on the street, please watch more video of Kara and try to act as she does. Kara does not stand with her fists on her hips in some weird pose. Also the smile has to seem natural. Yours is so big it is scaring children. One social worker asked me if she had been hit with some drug by that psychotic clown in Gotham.”

“Noted.” the Martian agreed. Connolly had made comments about him looking a bit psychotic when he smiled. The superhero pose was a bit much but he had thought Kara would always look stronger and more confident if she tried it. Perhaps in hindsight it was a mistake. The Martian had perfected the Superhero landing and hair flip, however. It was not as easy as Kara made it look and he considered that a huge win.

“I am going to let it slip that your vacation, sabbatical, whatever we call it, begins tomorrow. Tell her she will have a job or at least a place to relax and for some reason be paid for it when she is ready. If possible, I would like to see her. I realize this most likely is a difficult time but as soon as she is somewhat…”

Cat stopped speaking and J’onn was shocked to see a tear on her cheek. The woman quickly wiped it off and sat straight.

“Keep me informed. Good day Fake Kara. Please do not bother me anymore. Her incompetence can be charming. Yours is annoying. Ease up on the smile. I will email Kelex her appearance schedule and start trimming it back until she is no longer having appointments. She can decide what she wants to do after she is better. Now be gone.”

J’onn walked out quickly, feeling much better now that he was done with the Kara Danvers facade. Cat Grant knowing was actually a blessing but having to push off Jimmy Olsen’s advances had been getting old. The Martian had considered lobotomizing him more than once.

Central City

The best friends sat side by side on Cisco’s couch, having nothing to do. It had been two days since Barry had seen Kara and had no doubt she was in the middle of multiple medication tests and therapy. After work he and Cisco had come to the his apartment, since S.T.A.R. labs was basically as silent as a graveyard. With Caitlin gone, and Harry and Jessie back on their Earth, there was no reason to hang out there.

Instead they watched TV while devouring pizzas. Perhaps Cisco eating a slice and Barry devouring the rest would be a more apt description.

“So…how was it?” Cisco started.

“How was what? The pizza?”

“No…how was therapy? You had your first session with that shrink Super sister recommended, right? What was it like? Is she hot? A cougar? What did she ask you? Give me details.”

Barry shook his head, already irritated and ready to leave.

“The whole point of therapy is that it is confidential. It was just a get to know each other session. Nothing more.”

Cisco shook his head, knowing Barry wasn’t telling him everything but he probably shouldn’t push. It wasn’t his business.

“So what did she ask to get to know you?” he asked anyway.

Barry shook his head and did not respond. There was really nothing to say even if he had wanted to. He and Jessica had talked for two hours but it was nothing more than a get to know you session. Of course getting to know Barry Allen’s life since he was ten could take a while even with an abridged version so the one hour session turned into two.

“Normal stuff. My life, my parents, Thawne, my job, Zoom, Joe and Iris. Just general stuff.”

“Oh, okay.” Cisco told him letting it go. He wanted to know everything but understood that whatever was going on with Barry was private. Barry hadn’t given details but Cisco had a feeling his last meeting with Kara had not gone well. He had been gone the entire weekend and Cisco wondered several times if he was making up for lost time with the hottest alien on Earth but by the look on Barry’s face when he returned, it was obvious not everything was okay. Barry also showed no surprise or concern about Caitlin being gone, only saying she was working and was safe…and probably rich now.

Something was up with Supergirl. After the visit from Batman the day Barry and Supergirl reconnected, Cisco had time to really think. At the time he was having a hard time keeping multiple emotions in check.

He was scared that Batman was waiting for him in the dark. After his fear passed he fought himself to not ask a million questions about the man’s suit. He struggled not to mention how hot Supergirl looked in that all blue, abs baring costume. He feared for Joe when the man aimed a gun at Batman who did not seem concerned in the least. He didn’t know what to feel when Joe’s arm was bent back and his gun taken by a thin girl who looked a lot like the National City vigilante that worked with Supergirl. Then of course she brought Nightwing who pretty much claimed Kara in front of them all. Cisco was a bit surprised he didn’t try to brand the blonde with some Bat symbol…or wing. Whatever that symbol was. The Nightwing name made no sense and not for the first time he wondered what idiot came up with it.

After some time had passed, he was able to analyze the events, mainly the events around Supergirl.

When Batman had told them he needed to take Harrison Wells in because he was the best chance the man had of staying alive, Cisco had not given it much thought. Afterwards, it was obvious Batman was insinuating that Supergirl would have killed Wells if she had the chance.

But Supergirl didn’t kill bad guys. 

Next Barry arrived and asked Batman why he shouldn’t throw him out.

Enter Supergirl, threatening to rip Barry apart if she touched her black clad friend. At least until she knew who the Flash really was. A change came over her then, but before she realized it was Barry, that blonde hero had a murderous look in her eye. She wanted a fight and if she couldn’t have gotten Harrison Wells, she would have taken down the Flash and had been looking forward to it.

Now some superstrong, demon resembling alien arrives and helps Barry out with Killer Croc. Apparently this guy is a friend of Supergirl.

Cisco was quickly figuring out that what the public knew about her was not the whole story and may be a completely false story. Yes, she had done a lot of good, no one doubted that. But there was something about her that the world was not getting and he had a feeling Barry found out about it the weekend he went to meet her parents.

The two sat through three Indiana Jones films before Cisco dragged himself to bed, telling Barry to lock up on his way out or if he decided to pass out on the couch. Finally alone, Barry thought of his options. He could run. He could go home and go to sleep. He could go home and not sleep as the case had been lately.

His dilemma on what to do after midnight was solved when his phone rang. The number was unknown but he knew who it was. 

Kelex.

“Kara?” he answered, hoping it wouldn’t be just an update from Tom HIddleston’s voice.

“Do I look like Kara?” Clark asked.

Barry put his head in his hands but kept the phone to his ear.

“I can’t exactly see what you look like…”

“Oh right because you don’t have our super telescopic vision. Do you know we don’t even need microscopes if we try hard enough? Thats some great eyesight we have. But hey, you still have the running thing down so thats…something.”

“Clark, its after midnight here, after 1 AM where you are. What are you doing up and why are you calling me?”

“Because Kara is actually sleeping, meaning Alex, Mom and Dad are sleeping. I can’t sleep because I am bored and I was going to sleep in Kara’s room with her but she has super snoring down too. Alex is next to her. I don’t know how she can stand it but apparently after all these years, she has gotten used to those sounds Kara makes. The doctors and staff are working, Batman is brooding in the basement and I have absolutely no one to play X Box with. I knew you would be up, so Kelex hooked me up with a secure signal. Kelex says there is an X Box where you are at. He is about to turn on your TV and X Box. Grab a controller.”

“He can’t…”

Barry stopped speaking when the TV switched on and Cisco’s X Box lit up.

“How did you…did he do that?” the man asked quietly.

“Magic. Oh and technology a few thousand light years ahead of this planet. Kelex keeps this world safe from digital attacks by off worlders. You seriously think he can’t break into your little grunge friend’s low tech? How are you feeling about Destiny 2?”

“Fine.” Barry grumbled. He actually didn’t have anything better to do and talking to Clark could be fun…and made him feel closer to Kara. “So uh…how have you been doing/“

“How is she doing you mean but thanks for the effort. She is doing okay. The sleeping pills are helping her. Just got to get her some serious nasal strips and we should be good. She did shatter a sink because she was mad about puking up a sandwich so the temper issues are still being resolved and everything else is in the early stages. I’ll keep you updated as long as you keep these late night contests to yourself.”

“Deal.” the man agreed. Clark’s avatar appeared on his screen…

“Stinky? Your player name is Stinky?” he asked, trying not to laugh.

“Alex is in control of the Fortress, meaning she controls Kelex and Justin and all the other toys we have. When she is in control she sets the Avatar names. When Kara is in control she usually has Alex’s as Daxamite Harlot. Not sure what that is all about. Something about Alex letting Kara drink ocean water when she first arrived and short skirts. I don’t know, they giggle a lot and I lose interest. Get on my six and watch my back. I am going in.”

The two played for ten minutes before Clark spoke again.

“Nice shooting back there. Hey, I don’t want you to worry, but Batman, I guess you know who he is, right?”

“Yeah…”

“Yeah, so he didn’t just have this hospital, secret base, bunker thing built for Kara, he also had guys searching European junk yards for this really rare and expensive bike. Kara actually broke her bad mood and smiled. May have been a few tears invovled. Apparently this piece of junk is worth six figures in the pathetic shape its in. Once she fixes it up the thing will probably make her a millionaire if she ever sells it. I just wanted to give you a heads up, let you know what you are up against.”

“Hey thats great. I know she loves rebuilding…what I am up against? What do you mean?”

Barry swore if he could see the kid he would have an evil grin on his face right now, despite how calm and serious he sounded.

“Nothing! She really likes you. I didn’t think Nightwing would be a threat. Nobody really liked him but Kara…okay Alex and him are pretty tight. But hey, you had no worries there. I always kind of had you as the front runner, because Batman is old enough to be her Dad.”

“Yeah…yeah, he is.”

“Then I thought, wait a second, don’t old billionaires marry young blondes? Yep, pretty sure its common practice. So I looked up some details on him. He isn’t as old as I thought. I think the grumpiness makes him seem old but he isn’t much older than Dante and I always kind of heard there was or wasn’t something going on with her about him. I’m not one to gossip though…hey would you watch your back? I can’t take this level if you are constantly regenerating! Anyway, yeah, he isn’t as old as I thought he was and him and Kara have been in some pretty tense situations together. They fought crazy clowns and crazy aliens together. Him and Nightwing have always kind of hung out with Kara and Alex. We had their birthday party one year on his yacht. So just wanted to give you a heads up. I am pretty sure you having superpowers would be more impressive to her than some rich, good-looking guy who is a superhero even though he doesn’t have any superpowers and has gone to war by her side.”

Barry shook his head, enjoying Clark’s constant attempts to get a reaction from him and annoyed at the same time. Batman? As if. Just because the tabloids were always starting rumors did not make it true.

“Kara does not need to worry about anything but herself. You need to stop worrying about her dating life. Or mine for that matter.”

“Just trying to be helpful. Do it your way. Just when you do it your way, try not to open any anomalies or travel back in time, okay? Do you know he hasn’t left this building since she was brought in? He steps outside with Alex or my parents at times but spends most of his time doing Bat stuff and talking to Kara. I’m sure he just sees her as a daughter or something.”

“Exactly…”

“But he doesn’t seem to be the parenting type. It doesn’t matter. You are right, all she needs to focus on is me and herself. Its not like even if he was interested he would use this opportunity to bond with her more than he already has. I doubt he would ever try anything like that, even if she is the only person who can really understand him. Thats what he tells her all the time, anyway. He probably buys priceless bikes and has parties on yachts for all his friends…but I don’t think he really has any friends. Probably nothing.”

Barry sat in silence, focusing on the game. After five minutes he shot Clark in the back of virtual head.

“What the heck was that?”

“That was me shooting your Avatar in the head, Stinky. I am out. I have work in a few hours.”

The Block, Kentucky

In the morning, Kara had a visitor she had been waiting on since she arrived here.

“Hey. I was wondering when you would come.” Kara greeted her long time therapist.

Jess shrugged her shoulders. “I wasn’t sure you would want to see me.”

Kara motioned her to a seat in her room and took one across from her. Alex was still asleep on the bed and judging by her heartbeat she was not faking.

“I wasn’t sure if you would want to see me.” the blonde admitted. “Guess you were told about the other stuff?”

Jessica shook her head. “What other stuff? I have been talking to your mother but she didn’t say anything about other problems? How much damage have you done to your…”

“Stop.” Kara told her. “It isn’t about that. I can heal…I hope. I was talking about the other stuff. The box cutter, the drug use. I guess you didn’t know.”

Ryan dropped her head, disappointed in herself and wondering what else Kara had slipped past her over the years. She had been so focused on Kara’s anger and alcohol use, she had never thought of other drugs or the girl resuming cutting herself.

“I’m sorry.” the woman whispered, surprising Kara.

“Why are you sorry? I’m the one who did it. I lied to you, I lied to everyone. I figured you found out and were keeping your distance…”

“I failed you.” Jessica told her.

Kara shook her head and moved up in her seat, placing a hand on Jessica’s shoulder, she met the woman’s eyes.

“Everything I have done is on me. I lied to you and everyone else. That isn’t your fault. It’s just…who I am, I guess.”

Jessica took a deep breath to control her emotions. “I was the one who was supposed to know when you were lying. It was my responsibility. What…what drugs were you using? Human?”

“Alien.” Kara answered, hating to see the flash of pain that crossed the woman’s face.

“I…Kara…”

“Jess, its my fault. I could have told you a lot the last few years but I chose not to. You got me through my teen years. You let me tell you things I never would have told anyone, even Alex.”

Jessica smiled, knowing that was not true. 

“Alex knows more about you than anyone ever will.”

“True but she hasn’t known most of the stuff I have done the past year either. I didn’t want anyone to know how bad it had gotten. I wanted to be strong and I wasn’t. So… are we going to…”

Jessica shook her head.

“I can’t be impartial with you, Kara. You need more than I can give. You are going to have to settle for me being your friend. I’ll be with you, anytime you want to talk but for therapy to work you are going to have to be honest. We have fallen into patterns where we both maybe have some denial. There is a woman here, I don’t know her, but Bruce wouldn’t have hired her if she wasn’t good. You have to open up to her, Kara. She will know when you are lying. She won’t let things slide like I apparently did. Not if you want this to work. We finally have a chance to get you the medication you have needed since you were 13. You are going to have a few different therapists and you have to be honest. You have a chance here, Kara. A real chance, so don’t screw it up. People who love you are staying by your side in a hole in the ground. Don’t take that for granted.”

Kara nodded her head, expecting as much. The girl knew when she heard about different therapists seeing her that Jess had most likely taken her as far as Kara let her.

And she was not sure how she felt about that. For the past decade, nearly her entire time on Earth, Jessica had been a constant in her life. She saw the woman at least two times a week, often three and during really bad patches, every day.

Jessica was the one who convinced her she could beat her fear of thunder, beat panic attacks at times. Kara showed the woman every picture she had ever drawn of her nightmares. 

At times Kara liked her, loved her, and at others she tolerated her. There were many times after especially difficult sessions Kara swore she hated the woman and told her as much.

But talking to her was a constant in Kara’s life. Yes, she had started lying shortly before her second suicide attempt but Jess was comfortable. Kara knew how to act, what to say, what to do with the woman.

Which was probably why Jessica Ryan would not be her therapist anymore.

“I won’t. So you are going to just be my friend? Does that mean since you aren’t getting paid, if I scream that I hate you, you are going to have to stick around for free?”

Jessica shook her head. “No, I am finally going to get to scream  back at you. It should be fun.” she told the girl with a smile. “You are going to try an anti depressant again this morning. I understand the meds are effecting you, at least in a negative manner. This is good. All medicines have side effects. If you are getting side effects that means they have a chance of working. They just have to figure out how to minimize the side effects. This afternoon you are meeting with Dr. Leslie Thompkins. She has worked as a MD, and a therapist. I understand she runs a clinic in Gotham. I would like to give her some information on you so she can be a little prepared this afternoon. If you aren’t okay with that, I understand and won’t. I told you no one would ever see my notes.”

“Thanks Jess,” Kara told her. “But she is going to find out everything anyway. I don’t want to rehash my life, so if you could give her the Cliff Notes version that would be great. I am due a cheeseburger and a sedative, meaning I will eat, fall asleep quickly and then wake up and puke. One of many attractive qualities that may attract a husband one day.”

Kara sounded as if she was joking but Jess knew better.

“You can have that one day, Kara. You can have the life you always wanted. You just have to decide how badly you want it. If they cannot figure out how to design the drug dosage to increase and decrease with the solar power in your cells, have you given any thought to what you will do?”

Kara shrugged her shoulders and turned her head to the right, her habit when she was deflecting. Since Jessica didn’t say anything she decided her new friend should have an answer.

“Yeah, I have. I won’t live the next six years without red sunlight. Its probably selfish, but if they can only work under red sunlight I am having the crystal implanted. I overheard Dad mentioning that if I asked for it he would implant it under my femur or collarbone. Its really small, so I should never notice it. He told Mom he considered putting it just next to my spine near my tailbone but was worried it would be too exposed, especially since I have no plans to give up my motorcycle.”

Jessica dropped her head and shoulders in relief. Maybe being here was the wake up call Kara needed if the girl was actually considering giving up Supergirl if it meant she would live.

“Thats good, Kara. Thats really, really good.”

“Not for the people I won’t be saving.” Kara reminded her. “But I can’t focus on Clark being safe if I am dead and…I don’t know how much more I could have taken. I still don’t know. I am going to try and have faith in the doctors though. Shay is being nice even if I did threaten to send the League of Assassins after her the first time I met her. Caitlin is the doctor who treats Barry when he gets hurt and is brilliant from what Alex says. The meds will work. My only problem right now is boredom. I need to be doing something. All I do is sit here in the one place that reminds me I can never drink again. I still want a drink. Even after the hell I went through to dry out I still want a drink.”

Jess nodded her head in understanding. “Kara, you probably always will. Just like you started cutting yourself again, alcohol was something you used, not just to forget, but to punish yourself for things that are not your fault. One day you are going to have to realize that you are not a god.”

“Yeah,” the girl admitted. “That has become crystal clear to me.”

The two women hugged and Jessica walked away to find Kara’s new chief therapist. After a few minutes of staring at the walls, Alex woke up.

Kara noted she had a bruise her cheek.

“Who hit you!?”

Alex laughed good naturally and rubbed the blue spot.

“You did last night, idiot. You asked me to sleep with you. You were tossing and turning, I wasn’t quick enough and got launched out of bed when your hand became acquainted with my back. I wasn’t able to stop in midair like some people so, my cheek became acquainted with the floor.”

Alex’s smile went away when she saw the look on Kara’s face.

“Hey Blondie, calm down. You didn’t mean it. It is just one of those things that happens. I can usually duck and cover but I guess we have been both been sleeping better. You weren’t moaning. No bad dreams?”

The blonde shook her head, making a note to not ask Alex to sleep with her again unless it was under red lights. She had already beat the hell out of her sister during withdrawals and didn’t know how much more Alex could take.

“Not that I can remember.” Kara told her. “I guess I am just restless and its coming out in my sleep.”

“Well, you won’t be bored today. I am going to grab your first anti depressant so seeing if you turn blue with pink spots or fly in circles should be fun. Then its a nap with the one drug that seems to be working fine and your first session with your new best friend. A nurse is bringing breakfast. Eat with the antidepressant. It could cause nausea but maybe not. Anything is possible.”

Kara took the pill Alex brought back and swallowed, aided with a bottle of water from the fridge. True to word, her breakfast was served shortly after. Despite not really being hungry, the food was too good to put down. Bruce Wayne did not do anything halfway, meaning his hospital food would be the best hospital food in the country. 

“Speaking of my new best friend, have you heard from my actual best friend?”

Alex tensed, not wanting to get into this.

“I sent her a text last night letting her know you were staying here of your own free will and she can come anytime, provided…”

“Provided?” Kara nudged, not happy about any provisions.

“Provided she not talk about any superhero, or crime or League of Assassins stuff. You agreed while you were here you would not focus on that stuff. Barry hasn’t told you about metas, Bruce is watching the world and all is still fine and we haven’t talked about any dangers in the world. This is time for just you.”

Kara felt her cheeks grow warm, not from embarrassment.

“You are seriously censoring what I can and cannot know?”

Alex nodded her head slightly. “You promised up top that you would only focus on you. I told you it wouldn’t work if you worried about everything else and you agreed. If something happened that you didn’t trust others to handle, it would take you two seconds to bust through six layers and fly off towards trouble. She agreed regardless. She doesn’t want you to worry about everything. She has some work for a couple days and then wants to see you, if its okay with you. Oh by the way, I had to tell Mom and Dad about the League of Assassins thing. You mentioned using them to kill Veritas and Bruce when you first got here. They were curious.”

“Great.” the blonde mumbled, no longer hungry.

“Hey, they aren’t upset. I mean…they didn’t throw a party or anything but…”

“Its exactly the kind of thing they would have expected from me.” Kara finished.

“Kara…”

“Its fine, Alex. I know I am not exactly…I know that they know what I do. Its…its fine.”

Neither women said anything else, Kara turning on a Blu Ray, seeing that Cinderella was in the X Box for some reason. After an hour of watching Mama Mia, which didn’t lift her spirits as it used to, her mother and father walked in with hugs, and a sedative. They also had a tweaked version of the Benzo that had made her sick before. Before taking the pills, she asked for a  com link which Alex happily gave her. This meant Alex was still in control, some sort of protocol was in place to not give Kara control until she was deemed mentally stable and no doubt Kelex was forbidden from telling her news of the outside world.

It didn’t matter.

“Kelex, connect me to Barry Allen.”

“And a good morning to you as well, Kara. One nerdy speedster coming right up.”

Kara shook her head, wishing she had never instructed the robot to learn the nuances of sarcasm.

After a few minutes of patient waiting, she heard Barry’s voice.

“Kara?”

“Hi. I’m about to have a busy day of being drugged and wanted to just…say hi, I guess. Are you busy? Is this a bad time?’

“Of course not. Nothing going on here thats important.” the man answered. He did not tell her he was at the scene of a triple homicide, being stared at by Joe and Captain Singh who were not amused as Barry walked past the crime scene tape and stepped outside to talk.

“Thats good. I was just wondering how you were doing. I’m about to take a medicine that could make me, vomit, space out or fly upside down. Of course it could work but I’m not even sure what work would be in this case.”

Barry didn’t laugh, catching the sadness in her forced light tone.

“Maybe its just being happy. Isn’t that enough?”

Kara thought about it. What would be happy? She had seen the place where she was most happy and in that place, that life, there was nothing to do with being an alien, being Supergirl, killing enemies, taking part in life or death battles, or harming herself by cutting, burning or substance abuse.

In other words that perfect world was unattainable. It always had been. So what would the new happy be? To live everyday, not wondering half the time if she would ever find some enemy that had a chance of killing her or the vague thoughts of whether her family would be better off without her. She did not focus on these thoughts every moment of every day but they were always there in the background.

She would be playing with Clark, having fun but there was always something in the back of her mind, that little voice that said she didn’t deserve it, that they would all be better off without her.

Having that voice shut up would be a good start.

“Yeah, that would be nice, if I knew what happy was.”

Barry said nothing for a moment, thinking about this. What would be happy for her? He thought he may have an idea.

“That look on your face when you are on your bike or driving a stolen car, that seems like something you can strive for. Maybe its the little things that add up to something big.”

Kara was surprised. “Look who turned into a wise man. Been going to therapy yourself?” she joked.

“Yeah, I have. I mean, I started, with Jessica. If it bothers you I won’t go to her. I wasn’t sure how you would feel about it so I didn’t want to bring it up when I saw you because you had so much going on.”

The girl shook her head, partly pleased but another part wondered if even having limited contact with her caused people to seek therapy. 

But it had nothing to do with her. Barry had lost a lot, and recently his father. You wouldn’t know it by the way he acted, at least around her, but it had to be screwing him up. She couldn’t imagine what she would do if something happened to any of her family.

“Barry that isn’t my decision but I think it is a good one. Jess got me through a lot of stuff. She thinks she let me down but she didn’t. I kind of let everyone down. But yeah, I think its great. She is the one person you wouldn’t have to keep big secrets from.”

In the background, Kara heard a man yell at Barry to get back to the dead bodies. He didn’t sound amused.

“Sounds like I did catch you in the middle of something important.”

“Nothing is more important. They aren’t going anywhere. I should probably get back to the murder investigation. Give me call tonight, maybe?” 

Kara agreed and reluctantly ended the transmission, took her pills and lay down. She opened her eyes a short time later to discover she had actually been asleep for five hours. Eliza was next to her, running her fingers through the blonde hair and Streaky was on the other side of Kara, claws clinging to Kara’s silken hair the cat loved so much.

“Time to meet Dr. Thompkins.” her mother whispered. “You need a moment to get ready? Do you want to get up? She can come in here.”

The girl shook her head and stood up on shaky legs, something she was not used to while powered unless she was drunk.

“It will take a bit for your body to get used to the medication. I think this is more of a result of the sedative and benzo together. We will get it right, sweetie. Don’t give up.”

Kara smiled at the woman. “I won’t. Promise. Give me ten minutes and I will be ready.”

Once inside the bathroom, she was pleasantly surprised she did not need to vomit and her legs became more steady. Walking out, still not bothering to dress in anything other than pajamas, she followed Eliza to an office. Kara checked it and saw it was sound proof and no recording devices were inside.

“I made Clark swear he wouldn’t listen. No one else will know anything going on in there. I promise, Kara. It is safe. Just be…honest.”

Kara nodded her head, promising she would and wondering to herself if she really could. Honesty had not been a friend of hers in a long time.

She kept her head down until she closed the door. Looking up, she saw a woman in her fifties, perhaps early sixties, dressed casually in old blue jeans and a red flannel shirt. 

“Kara Danvers, I am Leslie. I went over your history, while you were sleeping. Did you know that you snore? Sounded like a damn buzz saw was cutting through the base. Impressive work. So take a seat in this semi comfortable chair in front of me. I thought about a couch but didn’t want to be completely cliche. So you are Supergirl, huh?”

Kara shrugged her shoulders. “I guess, I was, am…yeah, thats me.”

“I thought you always did a number on your enemies. They got off easy considering what you have done to yourself. So stop me if I have anything wrong.”

“Okay…”

“PTSD, severe anxiety, manic depression, extreme anger management issues, homicidal and suicidal impulses, two suicide attempts, self harm, drug and alcohol abuse and…wow, yeah there are more but I am forgetting…oh yes, a fear of intimacy.”

“I do not have a fear of intimacy!” Kara told her quickly.

“You do use sex to make yourself forget or cope and have no emotional attachment to your partners because that would be too much for you to handle. You do not like close bonds outside of your family and a few friends. Lets face it, Kara, outside of your parents and siblings the only friends you have are a guy who dresses like a bat for most of his life, a Czarnian bounty hunter and the head of the League of Assassins. You also have been having sexual relations with Dick Grayson for six years and have told him at every opportunity that you don’t love him or want him around.”

“I don’t love him.”

“I believe you. You used him and he let himself be used. It doesn’t change the fact that you have a fear of intimacy, not just in your sexual relations, but in most relations. Am I wrong?”

The blonde looked to her right…

“Stop that. Your file says you look to the right if you want to avoid uncomfortable questions and look to the left if you are planning on denying or lying about something. I have no patience for lies, so I will make a deal with you. When we talk, I will look you in the eyes and you will look me in the eyes. That way if you lie to me you can at least be brave about it. Sounds good? Great, glad you agreed. So, everything else, you can admit you have a problems with?”

“Sure.” Kara told her, looking her in the eyes. 

“Good. The fact that you are voluntarily staying in Bruce’s hole in the ground is proof of your commitment, but this has to work because you want it to. You can’t do it for them, not your family, not your friends and certainly not for the world. Are you committed for you?”

“Yes.”

“Great, then lets start at the beginning. The next few days I want to hear everything about your life, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. I will return the favor by not telling you anything about mine. It would only make you more depressed.”

Kara took a deep breath.

“Okay. My cousin and I landed when I was thirteen on this…”

“Stop. I said the beginning. You and everyone assumes everything that led to now, started when you landed. Maybe you are right but I am not taking that for granted. Tell me everything from the beginning. I want to know your earliest memory and we can go from there.”

Kara opened her mouth and then closed it.

“Thats…when I was a child, I thought my world was perfect. There is not point in rehashing it.”

Leslie nodded. 

“I can understand why you think that. But since I am the one with the PhD and MD why don’t you humor me? Tell me everything, from the beginning.

Chapter Text

Do not own DC or CW characters.

Chapter 14 Choosing a path

"So let me get this straight." Leslie said, stopping Kara's recounting of her Kryptonian childhood. "Your best memory from your childhood involved you having a life threatening illness and an uncle who whispered horrible things into your ear while you were hallucinating. I got that about right?"

"Yes…but my Mother and Aunt…"

"Yeah, got that part. You had their attention. So let’s go back to earlier. When did you begin to understand your father was emotionally distant from you?"

Kara sat up straighter, starting to get a bit annoyed.

No, she passed a bit annoyed an hour ago.

"He wasn't…I mean he was busy…I guess. He took a sculpture I made…"

"From hundreds you had made. Stop defending him. You know and I know he was emotionally distant. When did you figure this out? When did you begin to suspect?"

Kara took a deep breath and thought about things she had tried not to think about in a very long time. She had easily focused on things that had happened since she landed. The good and the bad, enough that she never really thought about her early years.

"What does Zor El have to do with anything?" she asked, deflecting the question. Jessica would usually call her for answering a question with a question as a form of deflection but the blonde was still trying to figure out how to handle this woman.

"Zor El, huh? I get that you call Eliza, Mom and Jeremiah, Dad, because they have been the most nurturing parental influences you have ever had, but you won't even call him father. You still call Alura mother when you talk about her, don't you? I suppose not, since I doubt you talk about her. But the whole question with a question thing? I've known Bruce Wayne since he was a little boy. I didn't let him get away with any crap and you certainly don't have a chance. Answer the question."

Kara blinked and opened her mouth then closed it, not sure what to do with that. Finally she tried a new technique.

"You're rude. Could I have another therapist?"

"I'm rude? Is that what you think? No, you can't have another therapist. No one would take on this challenge. Bruce Wayne may be a therapist’s dream but you are their nightmare. I never got the opportunity to help him but you are stuck with me and I won't go away. I'm not hear to coddle you, Kara. We both want answers, to find out what is wrong with you and…"

"Yes." Kara interrupted. "You want to fix me."

Leslie shook her head and leaned back in her seat, stretching out her legs with a groan and placing her hands behind her head.

"We should probably get some things straight." the woman told her. "You seem to think you can be fixed, that something is broken. Maybe we can weld it back together? That’s not what we are doing here. These medicines they are designing are going to be a great help. They can help you sleep, stop the crippling depression that prevents you from getting out of bed in the morning, help regulate the severe mood swings. Maybe keep the depression from driving you to kill yourself in really bad moments. What they cannot do is solve the root of your problems. You have a million triggers and no drug is going to make those go away. They will probably never go away. The key is learning to live with them, accepting you aren't perfect and everything bad that happens isn't on you."

"Then why am I taking them if they can't do the most important thing I need?" Kara interrupted.

Leslie stared at her for a moment, making the blonde begin to squirm. She had a look that seemed to cut right through her. Dr. Thompkins did not like being interrupted.

"You done cutting in?"

"Yes." Kara mumbled.

"We are going to start at the beginning. We are going to go over every single aspect of your life. You really want to know why it is important? Fine. Zor El was the start of a lot of these problems in my opinion. At least he played a major part of it. I also suspect growing up there may have left you emotionally stunted. The feeling of being a failure started long before you arrived here and I think your parents were a big part of that."

Kara snorted and shook her head.

"So what? I wasn't hugged enough as a child?"

"Were you?" Thompkins asked. Kara looked away from her quickly, not wanting to think about that. Not hearing anything, she met the woman's eyes and realized she actually wanted an answer.

"We were not as demonstrative with gestures of affection as humans are."

"So, no then, you weren't hugged enough as a child. Your father…"

"Rao, would you get off him? You make it seem like I have some sort of Daddy issues. I don't!"

It was the therapist's turn to snort.

"You were asleep for four hours while I had your case history. I read fast. You killed your first alien less than a week into your college career. Your Dad became upset that you let the alien hit you. Your answer to this was to go straight to the bathroom and attempt to burn your arm off. I believe you told Dr. Ryan at the time that you thought if he was worried about you then he wouldn't be mad at you, right?"

Hearing no response and taking that for confirmation, Leslie began flipping through the file in her lap.

"Oh yeah, this is one of my favorites. Your father was angry with you for breaking into the DEO. You asked why you couldn't impress him, shouting that you would study science like Alex if that is what it took. You then flew to Metropolis, found a bar, got drunk and killed a Kryptonian prison escapee, correct?"

"That is absolutely not true." Kara told her quickly.

Leslie raised an eyebrow, waiting for further elaboration.

Kara cleared her throat and looked at the ceiling.

"I…uh…I actually killed the Kryptonian and then I got drunk."

Leslie stared at her for a moment and didn't say a word until Kara finally looked her in the eyes again.

"Wow, you set me straight. Thanks, that clears up everything. The times you have hurt yourself the worst are after arguments with Jeremiah. Jeremiah was the one who finally called you out on your drinking right? He found a bottle in your cabinet and asked you about it. He wasn't happy. You didn't react well to him not being happy, refusing to get out of bed for days until he came over and asked you to. I'm going to take a wild guess and say you began cutting yourself again not long afterward, or am I completely off base?"

Kara said nothing, eyes still locked on the woman and wondering how the hell she could know this. Kara never told Jessica, she never told Alex that she had started cutting herself again. The idea of anyone knowing she was cutting herself was terrifying to her. The last thing she needed was to be 22 and still followed into the bathroom and checked on at night to make sure she didn't have blood on her. She kept the blade hidden and hardly ever did it but she made sure she was completely alone when she did. Was this woman a mind reader? Could she, unlike J'onn, actually read Kara's mind?

"Yeah, that’s what I thought. You may be the toughest bull I have ever rode, but you aren't the first. Zor El never showed you affection and you crave it from Jeremiah. Always have, always will. He is protective over you more than the other two, so he eats it up and subconsciously encourages it. Daddy issues? Yeah, you got them in spades. So tell me why. Why didn't Zor El have much to do with your upbringing?"

"Because I was stupid, okay?" Kara shouted, irritated to an extreme now.

For once the therapist looked surprised. Stupid? That was not the impression she had gotten from everything Jessica had said. Supposedly this girl was smart at physics and math, probably smarter than the best Earth had to offer.

"You were stupid? Help me understand because everything I have read tells me you are a genius."

Kara shook her head, annoyed at that assessment. There was a reason she did not like science, why she never tried to excel at biology, more than she had to. She absolutely hated astronomy for the sake of science. The girl loved star gazing with her Dad but that was more about the beauty of the universe and not the density of a star.

"I wasn't a genius, not by Kryptonian standards. The only reason I am so smart on Earth is because my brain moves at a higher speed. I learn the same as other humans but at a faster rate. Something that would have taken me months to learn on Krypton, I can learn in days here, sometimes in an hour or less. I was designed to be a scientist or a judge. I should have drifted to one or the other as I grew older but I really never had a choice. Science wasn't…I wasn't good at it."

"Define good." Thompkins encouraged.

Kara took a deep breath and began talking about something she had never spoke of to anyone. One of her worst memories of her childhood.

"I was supposed to be the next great scientist in our house. Yes our house needed lawyers but I was not the only child in our house to be designed as a lawyer and scientist. Some were bred strictly to be a lawyer. I was supposed to excel at both but my primary purpose was to step into the two brother's role as they aged and died. It didn't work though. Something was wrong with me."

Leslie shook her head, pleasantly surprised at her opening up but deciding she would be meeting with Alex and learning more about Kryptonian culture.

"Why did you think something was wrong with you?"

"We began formal courses when we were three Earth years. As soon as we could speak we learnt basics, basic math, Kryptonian history, proper spelling and pronunciation. It was more of an immersion process. When we were approximately five, we were brought one by one to the educational council and tested on every aspect of our purpose, to make sure we were developing as expected. I answered all the questions about law correctly. The science was more difficult. There were only fifty questions but I answered two incorrectly. At that point, as was standard, I was placed in specialty classes, basically isolation with Kelex, until I knew every aspect of the questions I got incorrect and became an expert. It didn't matter though. I hated those sessions. I despised them. I hardly saw my mother and never saw my father. It was just Kelex and I for over a month. I was not to be disturbed because that may have interfered with my learning."

"No wonder you hate science. So I guess you had to be retested?"

Kara's cheeks turned red and Leslie knew she had hit on something.

"I got a different question wrong. Afterward I had a choice to go back to solitude or chose law. I focused on law. Law was easy to memorize. Science had so many intricacies. I didn't like it. I was supposed to but like I said, something was wrong with me. Maybe my DNA was not developed correctly. Maybe it was just me. Maybe I didn't try hard enough, more focused on art and trying to impress…I don't know. The council convened and it was decided that I could focus all my time on law as I requested. Zor El never said anything, even smiled, but I knew he was disappointed. I could tell he thought I took the easy way out. I didn't see him often after that. I studied with Kelex and my mother would visit often and always kiss me at night. When I was pulled out of second form law and told I would be Clark's…nanny I guess you could call it, I thought I had failed again, something had happened, one of my assignments was not correct. I didn't know why but I knew I screwed up at something."

Kara was lost at the moment, reliving memories she had avoided for a long time, the memory of never feeling good enough.

"Father was always busy. I thought after I landed that he was perhaps trying to save the planet. Then I learned the planet was doomed anyway. I accessed some files from the Fortress, project files he had worked on with other houses, military houses. I didn't understand at first but it became obvious. They were developing super soldiers, monsters really, to assist General Zod. I think the real reason was they were to be our army, the guards who protected the new Kryptonian race that would come from Clark, against humans. They were deemed too dangerous and unstable to exist and were destroyed though. I hope they was the kind of legacy my house left."

Kara finished talking in barely a whisper. Leslie watched her closely and wondered if the girl realized what she was saying. For the first time, it appeared Kara was lost in the past and judging by the sad look on her face it was not a pleasant past. The blonde finally shook her head.

"Mom and Dad love…I mean loved my art. Dad kept it all, even the ones I hated, he still has them. But I haven't painted or drawn in a long time. I just haven't felt like it. The first Christmas gift I got here was an easel, canvas and paints. I felt so happy. I used to love to paint. I could make the world whatever I wanted, capture the beauty and ignore the ugliness. I can't…I can't ignore the ugliness anymore."

Leslie nodded her head in understanding. It was a common symptom of depression to lose interest in hobbies a person loved. The woman cleared her throat to bring Kara out of the past and back to the present.

"Good. If you can be that honest in our following sessions, we are going to make progress. You are lucky, you know? You were given a choice whether you wanted to be here or not. You were given a chance to leave and made the decision to stay yourself. That helps."

Kara laughed a bit but Leslie could tell she found none of it humorous.

"I was drugged and dragged here, kept under red lights for days…"

"And given the choice to leave once you dried out. Trust me, if you were human and one of my patients I would have kept you here. You wouldn't have been given a choice. Humans who are deemed a danger to themselves and others are kept in mental health facilities until they are safe to be released into society. You should have been hospitalized many times in your life. The first time would be after you tried to rip your arm open when you turned 14. Wait, I forgot about you breaking your own fingers. You would have been medicated, perhaps right after you began having panic attacks but definitely after you almost killed Henshaw. You have had too many years without medication. Ryan did the best she could but without the proper drugs she never stood a chance."

Kara nodded her head, expecting as much. She had told Eliza two weeks after her first suicide attempt that she understood why Eliza did not trust her around Clark alone. She knew she would have been in a hospital if she had been human.

"If I had been born human, to Mom and Dad, I wouldn't have the problems I have." Kara countered.

"Maybe, maybe not. You think all depression is a result of bad things happening to people? Sometimes. Sometimes its a combination of things. Its a disease, like alcoholism and addiction. You don't have to be traumatized as a child to be affected. It can be a lot of things, like low self esteem which you are the definition of, sensitivity to criticism, nothing needs to be said there, and traumatic events in the past or a number of other things,. You chose to stay here. You made a good decision and you have been open with me. Keep it up and we may get somewhere."

Leslie stood up and stretched her arms out.

"I will see you in…four days. I believe you are going to meet with a substance abuse specialist who will work with you on …I could give you a fancy term but he is going to help you deal with the strong cravings you are going to have for the rest of your life for alcohol and whatever it was you were snorting. The next day ,unless the drugs are making you loopy, you will meet with someone about dealing with PTSD. These people are part of my team and you will be honest with them or I will know. After that you can have a day off before you meet with me again."

Kara was surprised. She expected to meet with the woman everyday. After her last enforced stay at the DEO and with her parents, following her last almost successful suicide attempt, she saw Jessica everyday.

"So… where are you going to be?"

"You don't need to see me everyday. When you do see me we are going to dig deep. Its going to be tough. I don't want to break you and doing this over and over everyday is going to break you. No matter how upset Bruce is about it, I will be leaving in the dark and flying back to Gotham. I have other patients who need me. If something happens I can be here in two hours. Your other two counselors will be here as well as Shay. Jessica is your friend now. Do not talk to her about what goes on in therapy."

This was a surprise. The girl knew Jess said she wouldn't be involved in her treatment but assumed she could at least talk to her about some of this. Jess was her friend. Despite the rocky relationship the two had over the years, Jess was a constant in Kara's life.

"Why not?" Kara settled for.

Leslie grinned a bit. She may not be a telepath but she had dealt with many patients over the years. She knew the games they played and one thing she could tell from Jessica's information was that Kara was a sweet, loving person who was also a master manipulator and liar. She would say or do anything to be loved. She tried to be whatever it took to be the person she believed her loved ones wanted her to be or at least make them think she was.

"Because I am not her and she is not me. You won't play that game. I don't ever want to hear that Jess didn't do it this way or complaining to her about my methods. I am your therapist now. Jessica Ryan was placed in a bad position. She wasn't a therapist but she became one. Instead of gaining experience by dealing with a multitude of clients across all walks of life she had four patients, four members of the same family. She did a decent job considering, but the circumstances never allowed her to be successful. Its no ones fault. She has lost perspective though. It is impossible to only focus on one family for over ten years and remain clinically neutral. She is your friend. Alex and Clark are your siblings and your parents are your parents. I am your therapist. Now you are due some medication and you need to begin eating again."

Kara shook her head.

"Food makes me want to vomit."

"Then vomit and eat some more. They will work on the drugs. Shay knows what she is doing. This Snow seems bright. Get out of here and do what the doctors tell you to do."

Leslie stood up and left the room, leaving Kara sitting alone, wondering what the hell just happened.

Central City

Barry sat on his couch, sharing a bowl of popcorn with Iris, avoiding every one of her questions while a movie he was paying no attention to played on front of them.

"So the last date with Kara went well then?" Iris tried once more. Barry had told Joe and Iris that he had met with Kara which wasn't a lie. He neglected to say he was meeting her outside her underground rehab facility. What was going on with Kara was no one's business.

"Yeah, it was great. How many times are you going to ask the same question?"

"Until I get details." Iris told him. "I tell you all about my dates."

"Yeah, and I still don't want to hear about them."

"Sorry, grumpy. I will sit here and not say a word." Iris promised.

Her promise was broken less than five minutes later.

"You going to see her this weekend? Have the two of you raced?"

Barry shook his head. "No we haven't raced. I'm not sure if I will see her this weekend. She kind of stays busy protecting the entire world, you know?"

"Yeah but Batman or her sister are with her sometimes. If she can work with Batman, she can work with you, right? You have superpowers. What does he have that you don't?"

Barry thought of his last conversation with Clark. What did he have? Billions of dollars, physical fitness that didn't come from a lightning bolt, weapons, intelligence, fighting skills and a tactical mind that likely surpassed Oliver's. Barry had no doubt that when the man was in S.T.A.R. he had a plan to neutralize him that didn't include Supergirl. He knew Batman didn't want Kara involved because of her anger and the fact that she had probably been drinking that night. So what had been his plan?

Batman also had Kara. Barry knew Clark was screwing with him, as he found the little boy loved to do, but there was a kernel of truth. Bruce Wayne stayed with Kara, bought her what she needed, what she wanted and obviously placed her wellbeing as more important than the safety of Gotham City since he wasn't there. In his last text message conversation with Alex, he asked how they got her to the facility in the first place.

Batman drugged her.

And he was still alive while Kara had her powers.

The two obviously had a bond. While Barry had been watching her from afar for six years, the handsome billionaire had been at her side, not just in Gotham. The three, four sometimes if Nightwing tagged along, had been seen fighting metas and aliens in Africa and Europe as well.

"Nothing I guess. We just haven't had the opportunity. She can handle things herself and so can I. This idea of team ups is great for the newspapers and social media but it isn't a normal thing. We prefer to take…"

"But you and Oliver worked together before." Iris interrupted. "If you are seen with her, the two of you…"

Iris stopped talking thankfully when Barry's phone rang. The man was grateful for the interruption and almost excited when he saw it was an unknown number. It could be Kara.

Or it could be her little brother, bored and wanting to play Destiny or Call of Duty or some other game. Maybe he had some more Batman fan boy stories to tell.

"Clark?" he answered.

"Do I look like Clark?" an unfamiliar voice asked him. "This is Ty Gavin…damn it!"

Barry heard explosions in the background.

"Barry, you still there?"

"Yeah…"

"This is Ty Gavin. I let you borrow my Corvette to take Kara out, remember? Time for me to call in that favor. We are kind of fighting a damn war right now in Missouri. Since Alex is busy taking care of Kara whose life of sin done caught up with her, and our green friend is pretending to be Kara in Metropolis right now, we could use a hand. I'm having coordinates sent to you. Once you are in your suit a guy named Winn is going to cut into your feed and lead you here. Anytime now would be great."

Ty hung up the phone, or com, or whatever it was. Whatever they were involved in, sounded serious.

"I have to go."

Before Iris could say a word, Barry was gone in a streak of red, moving towards the West. True to Ty's word, his feed was cut into by a guy named Winn.

"Yeah, keep on that heading…wow, you are really fast. So do you work with the DEO often? I knew about…but didn't know you were part of the crew." the man asked.

Barry wondered why he didn't say Supergirl. He had no idea and neither did Winn that J'onn placed a mental block on every DEO employee that literally prevented them from speaking about Supergirl or the Danvers as far as their relation to the DEO or each other. outside of the building.

"I'm not part of the crew. How far away am I?"

"Five minutes at present speed. Go around the South. You are going to enter the Ozark Mountain range and have to do some climbing. DEO agents have them surrounded but it is a fight so watch out for space lasers and stuff."

Space lasers? This guy obviously wasn't an expert in technical jargon.

"What are they facing?"

"Better if you see it for yourself. Turn right, 48 degrees and over the mountain in front of you. Once you reach the bottom you will find Agent Gavin. Agent Connolly is in charge but Gavin will tell you what he needs. He is in a snipers perch, higher than the rest of the team but only three hundred feet up the mountain."

Barry did as instructed. Once he reached the top, the man stopped, amazed by what he saw below. The entire valley was lit up with …space lasers, on both sides. Of course considering Alex's weapons, it made sense that the DEO would have confiscated alien weapons. Fire was coming from the some creatures around the vehicle, a space ship he guessed, in the middle of the action. The DEO had whatever creatures those were surrounded but they were tough and covered by their ship and strong boulders providing them cover.

Shaking himself out of the awe he was feeling at seeing an actual space battle, the Flash moved quickly. He almost missed Gavin, covered in black and firing from a height above the others. Only the flash of his rifle alerted Barry to his presence. It appeared he was using normal bullets, probably to protect his cover.

"Hey…uh…how’s it going?"

The man in black pulled off his mask and smiled.

"Barry Allen. Damn good to see you, man. These guys are loaded. We have them pinned down but they are a couple minutes away from getting in their ship and Han Soloing out of here at light speed. Take this bag next to me. Inside are a bunch of tiny bombs with putty on them. We need you to run down there, stick one to each of those things and about ten inside the ship. Once they are in place, let us know and we will blow the damn things remotely. Get clear cause it is going to be a gooey mess."

Barry stood still, trying to understand what he just said.

But it was really simple, wasn't it? Ty Gavin wanted him to plant bombs on the enemy, bombs they intended to detonate.

"I…I thought you guys arrested them or something?"

Ty remained calm, not showing a hint of the annoyance Barry suspected he was feeling.

"Move."

"Move?" the Flash asked. Instead of explaining Ty tackled him, Barry too shocked to stop him. A split second after they hit the ground a bolt of energy flew over the place he had just been. Ty looked down at him, on top of the man.

"How come I never get to do this to any hot women? Stay down and crawl back to my rock with me. I had a new perch but your red suit is noticeable. It won't take those guys long to see you and fire if you are standing in the open not moving."

The two scurried over to the boulder Ty had been on. The man took his gun and fired. Barry watched the bullet in slow motion and saw it enter the head of an alien, killing it. There were at least twenty more on the ground and who knew how many still in the ship.

"What are they?"

"Governments been calling them Dominators since the 40s. They aren't that tough physically, no special powers other than slightly enhanced strength and being obnoxiously tall, but they are good shots, heavily weaponized and their ship's shields are impenetrable from above. Only way to take it out is from the inside. We can't arrest them, because they would die first and take others with them, namely my crew. If we let them retreat, that scout ship is going back to their planet and let their leadership know we are weak, ripe for invasion and that Supergirl didn't become involved. They have to die. If you can't do it I understand. We will figure something else out."

The Flash thought for a moment, wondering if he could do this. Yes, they were aliens but…so was Kara. They were living creatures…

"Kind of need an answer, Barry."

"Give me the bag." he decided.

Taking the weapons, he moved, the tall creatures seeming to stand still, telling the Flash they were no faster than humans. He didn't even have to rush by his standards, making sure the bombs were all attached to the creatures backs and then moved inside the ship. He planted at least twenty, ten around a glowing object he believed was the engine. Out of explosives, Barry ran back to Ty.

The whole act took less than five seconds, most of that time due to Barry thinking about where he would plant the explosives on the ship.

"Okay. Can you set those bombs to stun or something? I only saw two in the ship and…"

Before he could give a scouting report, Ty told Connolly to go over the com and a massive explosion lit up the entire valley.

Barry looked at the remains. All the Dominators were in pieces, the ship nothing but flame and torn metal.

"Good job, Barry." Ty told him, patting him on the back.

Barry wasn't sure what to do, staring at the bottom of the valley and watching the DEO agents come out of cover and carefully approach the wreck.

At the bottom he recognized Connolly, sort of. He seemed light hearted, jovial at the dinner at his house, before Kara had a melt down that night. Now he looked grim and satisfied.

"Appreciate the assist, Flash. You saved a lot of agents today." Connolly told him when Barry reached the bottom.

Barry looked around again, seeing the destruction around him, the parts, no… pieces of bodies.

"Yeah, no problem." he muttered.

Connolly wasn't fooled. The mask may have covered his face but he recognized the eyes.

"Talk to Jessica about it when you see her Friday or call her sooner if you need to. What you did wasn't easy but that’s what is involved in protecting this planet. Sometimes it’s you or them. Like I said, you saved a lot of lives tonight."

Barry nodded and backed up. He had seen enough. He took off, a lightning trail behind him. The Flash had a lot to think about tonight. It wouldn't be a problem because he doubted he would sleep at all.

The four members who remained, the four of the original five that protected Kara and Alex, trained them, turned them into weapons in their early teens, watched him go, making sure the lightning trail was gone before they spoke. Jack Webb gave out orders to the other agents to begin clean up and then shook his head.

"I could have taken this ship out with the antimatter grenade." Hawk reminded Connolly. "We have never had problems with these guys or their ships. We didn't have to do that."

Connolly shook his head. No, they didn't have to do that. He made the call. In the field he was in control. He ordered the DEO agents to herd the Dominators and keep them circled. He ordered Winn to jam any outgoing signals and screw with the ship's systems just enough to keep them from taking off.

He also made the call not to advance. This one was on him. Maybe it was right, maybe it was wrong. No, it was probably wrong but it didn't matter to him.

"You know why I had to do it. He wouldn't have killed Zoom and according to J'onn, if those Time Wraiths hadn't showed up, Kara would have probably had to handle the problem. He is going to have to make a decision at some point and he did tonight. Kara has a lot of enemies and if she gives up this Supergirl stuff, gives up her powers, those enemies aren't going to just let bygones be bygones. If he plans to be a part of her life he needs to protect her, be ready to do anything, even kill. If he can't do that, he needs to stay away from her. He made a choice tonight, and it was the right choice."

"I don't like it." Webb countered. "We may not have meant to, maybe we did, but you know we turned Kara and Alex into killers. At least we played a big part. We really have to do the same to this kid?"

Connolly shook his head. "Price of getting involved in this world, Jack. Kara and Alex understood that at a young age. They always knew they would have to kill to save the world. Kara always knew she would eventually have to kill Non and Astra and probably the rest of the Kryptonians. You know this. It isn't a game. He lost his father, he nearly lost Caitlin Snow and his foster father to Zoom. Despite all that, he hesitated when he had a chance to kill that monster. We haven't protected Kara for years so she can die when she gives it all up and tries to be happy. If he can't do what is necessary, I would rather her wind up with Grayson. At least that kid will do what it takes to protect her. Barry did good tonight. I feel better."

"I still don't like it." Ty mumbled.

"Every one of you had a chance to tell me no." Connolly reminded them. "Right or wrong, I did it. We all bought into it. Its done now. What happens next is up to him. Besides, I'm the one who pushed the detonator. We all know Kara may come out of what is being done different. She could be weaker, slower, more vulnerable or she may not be able to do it at all. If he wants to protect innocents and one day protect her, he needs to learn how. Lets wrap this up. I get to go home and tell Jess what happened then spend a few nights at the DEO or with one of you guys. Assuming she doesn't shoot me of course."

The Block

"So are you ready for this day to be over? Feeling sleepy? Is the sedative working?" Alex asked.

"Which one of the three should I answer first? Yes, I am, yes I am and apparently it is since I said yes to the second question."

Alex started at her for a moment, wet hair, cotton robe, freshly showered and grinning.

"Sometimes I wish I had never taught you sarcasm. Lets go to bed."

Kara shook her head.

"Not you. You can't sleep with me anymore, not while I have my powers. I know there are bruises all over you."

"I'll wrap pillows around myself." Alex argued.

"Please Alex? I would feel better if you slept in your own bed. Once I am cleared for red sunlight you can use me as your personal teddy bear but not until then. Besides Streaky has been missing my hair and needs some sleep as well."

Alex was a bit frustrated because Kara knew when she used that tone of voice Alex would always give. She was also worried because Alex knew if Kara had a nightmare, her older sister wouldn't be able to stick her finger into her ear. That was the only proven method, short of throwing a pitcher of water on her face, to wake her up.

"Fine, But I am staying with you until you fall asleep."

Figuring that was the as much as she was going to get, Kara agreed.

The two lay next to each other on their backs, neither closing their eyes, just staring at the ceiling. It was something they often did in stressful or contemplative times. Nothing would be said, no noise from a TV or stereo. Just the two, being content with each other. It lasted for ten minutes and Alex was quickly figuring out this was not going to help Kara sleep as it usually did.

"Why aren't you relaxed?" Alex in asked. "This is supposed to work."

Kara laughed softly.

"It worked sometimes when we were kids. Now though, I want a drink so bad I can't stand it. Even these medications…my new therapist is scary."

Alex was glad she hadn't been drinking, because the abrupt change in topic would have made her choke.

"Uh…okay…your new therapist makes you want to drink?"

"No, everything makes me want to drink. She is just…scary."

"What did she say that makes you scared?" Alex asked. Kara stayed in a low grade state of fear most of her life even when powered. Lex Luthor frightened her, A.R.G.U.S. frightened her. The blonde was not afraid for herself. She feared what would happen to her family if she were discovered and they went after them. Jeremiah and Eliza working at the DEO did not help. Kelex and their supercomputer Justin kept a close eye on all those Kara considered a threat but the fear was still there.

"She just…I think she can read my mind. I know J'onn can't but I think she can. Plus she is rude. And she wants to talk about Krypton before I showed up here. You know she thinks I have some sort of Daddy issues? Can you believe that?"

Hearing nothing but the increase in Alex's heartbeat, Kara turned her head, noting her sister was still staring at the ceiling.

"Alex? I asked if you can believe that?"

"I don't want to lie to you and if I tell you the truth that will make you angry. You should go to sleep…"

"Alex! Answer me! I know we are all close but its not like I seek his approval over everyone else. All I do is disappointment him. Mom too. I've given her nightmares."

The brunette too a deep breath and propped herself up on her elbows, finally looking at her little sister.

"You have Daddy issues." Alex told her bluntly. "Yeah, we are all close but when Mom or me are disappointed or upset with you, you can handle it. When Dad says anything negative you totally freak out. You always have. Everybody knows it. If you think he is mad at you, then you react badly. The only things you have kept doing that really upset him were drinking and Dick Grayson and you tried to hide both from him."

"That’s not true." Kara whispered.

"It is, Kara. We all know it. You know it. Dad says he wants you to go to college, you go. Dad says you should think about a job in the media, graphic arts or whatever and you ask Cat Grant for a job. Not a job involving art but enough that he thinks it is a stepping stone, enough to keep him happy for a while. He tells you not to wear a certain costume, you don't."

"Cat has more to do with that than anything. She is the one who is always telling me what looks okay for public perception and…"

"And you have worn the same costume for years. You wear the blue one when you are behind the scenes with the DEO or night missions with no media but if there is a chance he can see you, then you are in red and blue."

Kara shrugged her shoulders. "So I don't like for him to think I look like a super ho. What’s the big deal?"

"No big deal, I guess. I'm just saying that Mom and I both know that Dad babies you more than Clark and you are constantly seeking his approval above all others. It wasn't as bad after you started drinking heavily. You stopped trying to impress anyone. But growing up and before that, yeah, you…yeah. The two of you have always been…"

"She said me and you are co dependent and you are afraid to live a life without me."

Alex stopped speaking at that interruption. She watched Kara's face and saw the tick, the crinkle in her forehead the blonde desperately tried to control. But when Kara was sober it was impossible for her to do so.

"You are lying. Maybe you don't like her because she isn't afraid to say what everyone else has always been afraid to say. You hate Zor El, I know you do. I have shared a room and a life with you for eleven years but it doesn't take that level of knowing you, to understand how much you hated your childhood. You never talk about it. Your best memory was having a life threatening illness during which Non whispered violent things in your ear and you hallucinated all of them. That was your best memory because you had your mother and aunt's attention."

Kara lay very still, wondering if Alex had listened in to her session. But of course she hadn't. Alex would never do that. She just knew.

"Your other favorite memory was falling and hitting your head on a table because your mother and father paid attention to you and he finally took one of the sculptures you made for him. Your childhood sucked, Kara. It wasn't made any better when you got here and found out your mother lied about the destruction of your planet, your father and uncle were the reason why it blew up and your uncle told you that you were nothing better than a protector for the Codex. Krypton screwed you up before Hank Henshaw and Astra ever got the chance."

Kara took a deep breath and closed her eyes, hating how well Alex knew her at times. It was true though and she knew it.

"I need to go to the bathroom and then I am going to sleep. Get to your bed. You look like a walking bruise. Stop trying to hold me when I am asleep. I appreciate the gesture but it is going to make me feel worse if I keep hurting you."

Not hearing agreement or disagreement the girl rose and made her way to the small bathroom. She closed the door and looked at the mirror, doing her best to ignore the fact that Alex followed her and was right outside the door, no doubt making sure the door did not heat up.

And then she was there behind her. Kara saw her in the mirror and knew the woman really wasn't behind her. She knew this had to be a delusion, something caused by withdrawals that lingered or a medication she had taken. She was given a new type of medication today. That had to be what this was.

Until she felt Astra's warm hand on her shoulder.

"Murderer." the woman whispered in Kara's ear.

"You didn't give me a choice." the blonde whispered back. She heard Alex ask from somewhere who Kara was talking to but paid no mind. She was focused on Astra. The woman had a deep bruise circling her neck. It was ridiculous because Kara didn't strangle her. She snapped her neck. Yes, both their faces had been swollen from the fight but there shouldn't have been bruises on her throat. She wasn't real.

But she felt so real.

"Its too late. You should have ended this after Non. You should have ended yourself. You aren't stable. Look where you are. These humans who have taken you in, are in a hole in the ground, waiting for you to try to resemble something sane. They brought you out of a cave once and all you do is drag them back into the cave with you again and again."

"Shut up. You are dead. How many times will I have to kill you, for you to stay dead?" she asked, anger taking over despite knowing this woman was not real. She felt real, she smelt real but she was not there.

"How many times? How many times are you going to bring me back? I am always with you. I told you I loved you and you broke my neck. You never hesitated. Something was wrong with you on Krypton and something will always be wrong with you. You are a monster, the same as all of your family. The same as me. How many psychiatrists have they brought in to control you? They need you to save the world so they drug you, attempt to control you because they are afraid of you. They cannot kill you until you no longer have a use. That is the reason this place was built. You are just another tool in Batman's belt."

"That is not true."

Astra smiled and placed her other hand on Kara's shoulder, pulling the girl close to her. The girl could swear she felt her aunt's breath on her ear, she was so close.

"Worthless murderer. Hero? You aren't a hero. You aren't strong enough. Begging for approval from everyone. Do you think they approve of you now? End it, Kara. Stop being a disappointment and join the rest of us, where you belong. Take your medicine, find a red light and end it. Perhaps you can leave? They cannot stop you. Freez…remember the warnings that slime told you? You can snort enough lines to destroy your heart. You just have to be fast. They can't track you. There are so many ways you can end it. All you have to do is have the courage to do what you know is right."

"No… you aren't…"

"I am!" her Aunt shouted and Kara felt her warm hands around her neck, squeezing. She felt her air being cut off. This was real! Somehow she had escaped death and wanted to pull Kara back with her.

"No!" the girl screamed and moved quickly, crashing through the door. She struggled on the floor, trying to get Astra off of her back. Her aunt had an arm around her throat. Astra was going to break her neck!

"Get off me!"

Alex picked herself from the floor, throwing the door off of her to see Kara rolling on the ground, clutching her throat with her own fingers. Before she could say anything multiple nurses were running into the room, her parents pushing through. One orderly tried to grab Kara's arm to pull it away from her throat. Kara twisted and the man was thrown into a wall.

"Stay away from her!" Alex shouted to prevent anyone else from getting hurt and rushed to her side. Kara was shaking, rolling all over the floor. Then the blonde stood up and ran, crashing through the television and the wall into the hallway. She stood and began swinging against an opponent no one could see.

Alex and her parents stood in the hall, tense, watching the blonde and keeping everyone else back. Kara had very real nightmares growing up but usually snapped out of them within a few minutes. They doubted this was a nightmare though.

"I need to sedate her." Caitlin shouted, running through with a pill bottle in hand. "Can someone calm her down enough so I can put a pill in her mouth? I can't pierce her skin and if we turn on red lights she could crash."

"Just clear the area! I can talk her back, I always do, I just need an opening." the older sister ordered.

Alex never got that opening, because a blur flew past her, right into Kara. Clark hit her in the chest, wrapping her arms tightly around her shoulders and placing his head on her chest.

"Kara, stop! Its me! Kal El." the boy shouted in Kryptonese, his accent horrible but it would have to do. He may not be advanced in his lessons but he knew the basics and he instinctively knew what she need to hear.

Kara stopped struggling, her arms still tight, eyes closed and flexing. Clark was straining, barely hanging on and knew if Kara was in her right mind and trying, he would never be able to hold her. He felt as if he was being torn apart now but thankfully his arms were long enough to wrap her completely up.

"I need you to hold me. Hold me Kara, I'm scared. I still need you to protect me." the boy whispered.

Kara stopped fighting. The feel of Astra's hands on her replaced by small hands that she recognized as well has her own. She felt his hair on her cheek and recognized that voice.

"Clark?"

"Yeah, its me. Can you open your mouth? Please, for me? I want you to taste a cookie I made. Please?"

Kara nodded, her eyes opening and taking in the boy, his eyes wet, only inches from her.

"Open your mouth. Alex has the cookie, okay? Its Chocolate chip. Tell me if I did good."

Kara nodded and opened her mouth, unable to keep her eyes open. Alex rushed her and placed the pill in her mouth, followed by water from a bottle which the girl nearly spit up.

Clark and Alex continued to hold her, both whispering in her ear. She finally fell asleep. Jeremiah walked over and picked her up, walking her to his and Eliza's bedroom, considering her own wall was destroyed.

Eliza followed him, leaving Alex and Clark alone with Caitlin Snow.

"She had a strong hallucination. It could be a lingering result from withdrawals but judging by the severity of it, it most likely has to do with the antipsychotic we gave her an hour ago. I'll wake Shay. We are going to have to leave her unmedicated tomorrow so I can take a blood sample under red lights." Dr. Snow explained, hoping her voice didn't betray the fear she was feeling. Caitlin had seen Kara have seizures during detox but had never seen the blur and power of Supergirl fighting even an imaginary opponent up close.

Alex just nodded her head and motioned towards the unconscious orderly who had made the rookie mistake of grabbing Supergirl in the middle of an episode.

Left alone, Alex checked over Clark, noting the boy was covered in sweat but not injured.

"You okay?" she asked the boy.

"I've been better. Kind of sore. I guess that medicine didn't work. You think she was fighting her aunt or her uncle?"

"It doesn't matter I suppose. How did you do that? You have never been strong enough to hold her down."

The little boy took a deep breath and stretched his arms over his head.

"I never had to before. I'll do whatever it takes. I'm not here just to look good. Let’s go check on her."

Alex watched her little brother walk off, obviously tired and worried maybe even scared. She had prepared herself, knew Kara could have reactions like this but had not been prepared for the reality of them. The woman wanted to kick herself for not rushing into the bathroom when she first heard Kara talking to herself but it most likely would have not made a difference.

Having nothing else to do, Alex stood up and followed Clark to Kara, telling herself over and over that they would get through this. They had too. Failure was not an option.

She also made up her mind that no matter what it took the two girls would leave crime fighting behind. If killing Supergirl to save Kara was what it took, Alex would make it happen, no matter what she had to do or say to make it so.

Central City

Barry never had to wake up because he had not managed to sleep at all. The sounds of war and the destruction caused by the bombs he had planted kept running through his head, mixed with the reality that Kara saw such things and participated in them all the time.

How did she handle it?

Not very well considering where she was.

His phone buzzed and he checked it quickly. He hadn't heard from Clark last night or Alex in a couple days.

Instead of them he got a rather strange message from the last person he would expect.

/You want to know how to fight and beat the most dangerous creatures on this planet? You want to learn to do what is necessary to protect the innocent? You want to reach your full potential, make the decisions others can't or won't make? If you do, take the offer. Connolly./

Barry shook his head, wondering what the hell he was talking about. Did they need him to plant more bombs? Did they have more aliens they couldn't handle?

The Flash was not stupid by any means. The more he thought about it last night the more certain he became.

Those guys did not need him last night. It was a test. He had a feeling he passed but was it a test he wanted to pass? He hadn't given it much thought during the battle. He wasn't the one who pushed the detonator.

He was just the guy who planted the explosives.

He killed them all.

His fullest potential? Hadn't he reached it? He had gotten faster and faster to beat Zoom. How much more could he give? How fast could he really be?

How dangerous could he really be?

The Flash tried to text a response back but the message was undeliverable. He supposed Connolly was not one for long conversations over texts.

Once he reached the office he was greeted by Captain Singh, calling him to his office. Barry was a bit surprised to see Joe in the office waiting as well and not looking very happy.

"Have a seat, Allen." the Captain ordered.

Barry did as instructed, trying to figure out the worried look on Joe's face and guess the millions of reasons it could be there.

"They tell me you didn't apply. Is it true?"

To say he would be confused would be an understatement. Singh must have noticed the look and took it as truth.

"So you don't have any idea. Got a call from the FBI this morning. They are conducting training for CSI's into alien threats and techniques to determine the difference between metahumans and our visitors from the stars at crime scenes. Apparently they have been identifying CSIs from around the country and want you to take part in the training. It would mean being in National City for at least ten weeks. Its up to you. I personally think it would be a good opportunity for you. Joe thinks you won't go for it. Your choice, Barry."

"Captain," Joe interrupted, "we need Barry here. He is our top CSI especially in cases involving metas."

"And he could be better." Singh countered. "Just because alien criminal activity is low in Central City doesn't mean it will stay that way. Any information we can learn about possible threats besides metas will be helpful. The Government never offers information on aliens. This is an opportunity that could improve the department and Allen. How the hell can you be against this Joe?"

Barry listened to the two going back and forth. He knew that wasn't the FBI that made an offer and it didn't involve being a CSI.

They wanted to train him. They had trained Alex and Kara and they wanted to train him.

Why now?

It was obvious though. Kara was out of action and it could be permanent. The world needed heroes strong enough to fight the threats it faced, threats that only Kara has really been able to handle. They wanted him to be that guy.

And they also wanted to make sure he would do what was necessary to protect her if anyone came for her, if she was vulnerable.

There really wasn't a choice. The world needed him, not just Central City. One day, maybe if things worked out, Kara might need him too.

"I'll do it." Barry said, interrupting the argument Singh and Joe were having. Singh looked happy, Joe looked upset. Neither's opinion really mattered. It was his decision.

"Go home and pack your bags." Singh told him. "Your flight leaves in three hours. Go show those FBI guys how we do it in Central City."

 

Chapter Text

Do not own CW or DC characters

 

 

Chapter 15 Old Secrets and Decisions

 

24 Months ago

 

Dante had been through hell the past two months. At times, moments seemed too fast to understand what was happening. At others, more recently, days drifted by as if they would never end.

It started with a night shift. 

He and Ty were scheduled to be agents in charge that evening, in the field at least. It seemed J’onn never left and not for the first time, he wondered if the Martian actually could sleep. Trying to get some sleep himself, he managed to drift off about nine thirty AM. 

At 9:45 AM he received an emergency call, the tone reserved for DEO imminent attacks, meaning he had to answer. This tone was only used in worst case scenarios. Connolly told him that Eliza was in Kara’s apartment, screaming, frantic and needing help. He couldn’t understand exactly what she was saying but it was obviously bad. The man was on his way but Dante needed to move now.

He had bypassed the elevator, taking the stairs to the floor above. The door was unlocked but he didn’t realize this and kicked it in regardless.

Connolly had not been lying. Eliza was screaming, wailing even. She sounded as if she were dying.

Rushing to the bathroom, gun in hand, it took all of his years of training not to begin screaming as well. 

Kara lay on the floor on her back in the slightly darkened room, a puddle of blood under her and on the sides of her body, Eliza covered in blood and pressing bright, red drenched towels to Kara’s wrists. Dante forced himself to stay calm, assessing the scene like he would any battlefield, looking for a potential enemy who could have done this.

In his assessment, he noted that the light that was present in the room was from the bedroom. There was shattered glass on the bathroom floor.

That the broken glass had been a red sun bulb became clear immediately. There was no enemy. Kara had done this to herself.

“Keep pressure on her. I’m going to carry her to the window. She needs as much sunlight as possible.”

The man scooped her up, a shaking Eliza following while trying to hold blood soaked towels on Kara’s wrists.

A DEO medical transport arrived, Connolly and two medics assisting, and took her to the DEO quickly, Eliza still not calm in the back, Dante trying to comfort her and clean the blood off her face with his own bloody hands.

When they arrived, Hamilton told the family that her blood pressure was so low it was a miracle she was alive. Kara was given blood transfusions of her own stored blood kept in a hidden safe in Jeremiah’s lab. She was placed in a solar bed, turned to its highest setting, a breathing tube put in place and that was it.

Nothing else could be done. It was up to whatever higher power existed to decide if Kara Danvers would follow her people into Rao’s light or stay with her family.

The fast paced fury of the last hour gave way to time grinding to a halt, nothing to do but wait until Kara decided whether she would live or die.

They all figured out that Kara had lied about the apartment fire the night before the suicide attempt. Having a close up view of a repeat of what she considered the biggest failure of her life pushed her over the edge.

Kara woke up after seven days, the breathing tube having been pulled out two days before when it was decided she would pull through.

The girl didn’t speak for two weeks, practically catatonic. Eventually she spoke to Alex, then Jessica. She had been too ashamed to speak to her parents…or him.

Once she had finally been released from her parents house, determined to be no longer suicidal according to Ryan, he had hoped to speak to her. The man approached her apartment, the door opening, giving him hope that Alex may be leaving and he could speak to Kara alone. Instead he ran into Dick Grayson walking out.

The door closed behind Grayson and the two men stared at each other in the hall.

“So…Dante…how are you doing?”

Dante stood rigid, wishing he had a knife in his hand.

“We can talk, you know? She has a red bracelet on. Or at least she had one. I doubt she can hear us if you have something you need to say.”

The man shook his head and found his center, calming himself before he completely lost it.

“She is not supposed to have any red sunlight devices on her.” he settled for.

Grayson shrugged his shoulders, not seeing the big deal. If she was still suicidal she never would have been released from the house arrest Jeremiah and Eliza placed her in.

“You know Kara. She tends to find a way to get what she wants.”

The former Seal stepped very close to the vigilante. “She hasn’t been home a week and you are already here? Couldn’t wait another day, huh? She tried to kill herself two months ago and I guess you think you are what she needs now. Or is it that she is finally available to give you what you need?”

Dick Grayson moved to step around the man but Dante placed a hand on his chest, stopping him.

“Stay the hell away from her or I will kill you. Your daddy in a bat costume won’t be able to save you.”

Grayson shoved the hand off of him.

“Maybe you should mind your own damn business. You may have been with her since she was 13 but I think I know her better than you now. I know things about her you will never know. Why don’t you think about staying away from her? You have supposedly been her guide since she was a young girl and she still tried to kill herself. Good job.”

Dick Grayson left, leaving Dante shaking in anger, fists clenched and seriously considering shooting the boy in the head from his apartment window as he drove off.

Instead he left from Kara’s door and made the trip to the beach. Instead of seeing Connolly he walked next door into the Danvers residence. Looking back, it may not have been the best or even a good choice but it was either involve Jeremiah or kill Dick Grayson and the man had no idea what Kara’s response would be to that.

So it was, two nights later, coming in from work, he found his door unlocked. Pulling his firearm, he quietly opened the door and slipped inside.

He lowered his gun when he saw Kara with her back to him, staring out the window at the city, a glowing red crystal bracelet on her left wrist and a drink in her right hand.

Dante also noted that she had a very short, nearly see through white negligee  on. The girl turned towards him and he could tell she was drunk by her eyes.

“I was wondering when you would make it home, dear.” Kara told him quietly, smiling a bit.

Every warning bell was going off in his mind. He remembered when Kara was 17, telling him that she loved him, wanting to get married, be bonded, trying to explain that they were the only ones who could understand each other.

“Kara…you aren’t supposed to have any red sunlight crystals,”

The blonde shrugged her shoulders and stepped towards him unsteadily.

“Yeah, here is the thing. You guys told me when I landed that I could be anything I wanted to be, do what I wanted to do. So this is me doing what I want to do. Or did you mean I could do what you wanted me to do?”

“You’re drunk.” he told her, avoiding that question and the argument that would come from it.

The blonde simply shrugged her shoulders, took a drink and sat the glass on the end table.

“Don’t worry, its just good old fashioned human bourbon. I take my bracelet off and I am as steady as a rock. The thing is, I don’t want to be steady right now. You can come closer. I promise the smell of alien alcohol won’t kill you.”

Dante stepped around her and moved to the bathroom, coming out quickly with a large cotton robe, tossing it to her.

“Maybe you haven’t noticed in your inebriated state, but you forgot to put clothes on. Put on the robe, take off that damn bracelet before I take it off and tell me what the hell is going on with you.”

Kara laughed softly and threw the robe on the couch.

“If you are going to take something off, the bracelet shouldn’t be the first thing. You are going to want it on for what I have…”

“Kara! What the hell has gotten into you?”

Dante kept his distance, standing on one side of the room, the couch between them.

The blonde shrugged her shoulders and moved around the couch slowly. He wasn’t going to run from her in his own place and Kara took that as an invitation to enter his personal space.

She placed a finger on his chest, shakily running it down.

“You had a talk with my Daddy. A talk about Dick Grayson? He was very nice about it, because he is afraid I will try and off myself again but the point is, Daddy doesn’t want me around Nightwing anymore. Seems to think he is taking advantage of me. Thats what you told Daddy, right?”

The man looked at the floor before meeting Kara’s eyes. He suspected she would be angry. What he saw wasn’t anger though. It was something else, bordering between desperation, intoxication and lust.

“He is using you.”

“I’m using him." she disagreed. "He is a toy I like. I never got any toys when I was on Krypton and I am having fun with this one. So I can’t get laid unless he meets your approval, is that it? Or are you jealous? All you had to do was say the word. Its all you ever had to do. If you want me, just take me. I'm right here."

Dante stepped around her again, walking across the room, a couch in between them again. Kara was obviously drunker than he had thought and it was not a good time for this conversation. Somehow he needed to figure out how to get a robe on her and back to her apartment. Perhaps taking the bracelet off of her might do the trick. Of course he could be faced with a furious, fully powered Kryptonian instead of a depowered intoxicated girl.

“You are too special to have meaningless sex with some pretty boy, Batman wannabe. Why can’t you try to find someone you love? You are disrespecting yourself by doing what you are doing. You deserve better.”

“Why the hell do you get to decide what I deserve?" she countered. "I told you I loved you and you told me no! You want me to be with someone I love? Fine Dante! Stop playing games and be with me! Don’t run to my Dad just because you are jealous of what you didn’t have the guts to take for yourself!”

“Kara, I don’t love you like that. We have had this conversation before.”

“Then don’t expect me to be with someone I love. You can take me now, or leave me the hell alone. Unless you want to claim me, I will go to the street and grab the first hot guy I see, screw his brains out, and it is none of your business!”

Kara walked to the end table and finished her drink, then moved past Dante to the kitchen, grabbing the half empty bottle of bourbon from the bar and taking a drink straight from it.

“You are the only one I love. I’m not capable of loving anyone else. What is it going to be, Dante? Do you want me or not?”

The man was at a loss. In the past, the last time they had this discussion he had been caught completely off guard. He had always seen her as a little sister, the girl he watched grow into a young woman and a warrior. He had not been prepared for her declaration but they had handled it later on. He thought they had come to an understanding. That was apparently not the case.

“I am not the only one you have ever loved, Kara. Where is the necklace you always have on?” he asked, referring to the golden lightning bolt she always wore around her neck.

The girl took another drink and shook her head.

“I always take it off before I…I can respect him that much at least.”

“You could love him. You could have Barry Allen in your life and you could love him. He has to know you are Supergirl. He has never said a word. You could have him in your life.”

“So he can be killed?! He has beautiful eyes and great hair and the last I checked he wasn’t exactly equipped to take on aliens and hit men who might go after him to get to me. He isn’t Alex and he isn’t you! He is innocent! He doesn’t deserve to be brought into the hell that is this life! Its you or no one. If you can’t do it then, leave me the hell alone and stop bringing my Dad into this every time I want to use Dick Grayson! What is it going to be? I’m here. Do you not think I am beautiful enough? Is it because I’m an alien or not some old girlfriend who told you to get lost? I’m not that kid in a cave anymore, Dante! Right now, yes or no? Are we doing this?”

“No we are not!” the man shouted, unable to keep his cool any longer. “I will always be by your side but I will not be some tool for you to hurt yourself more! That is not what we are and just because you think you need me in that way does not mean you are going to get what you want.”

Kara threw the bottle at him. He ducked just in time, letting it strike the wall and shatter.

Then she ripped off her bracelet and threw it to the floor. From her eyes it was apparent that she was no longer intoxicated.

“Great.” the girl mumbled, grabbing the robe form the couch and putting it on. She moved quickly in front of Dante, inches from him.

“I took that bracelet off so there would be no mistaking this or blaming the alcohol. I want you gone. Gone from this apartment building, gone from my life. I am sick of you. You don’t love me? Fine, then stay the hell away from me. Don’t see my parents to complain about how I live my life, don’t ask Alex behind my back how I am doing, just go. I never want to see your face again.”

The man was shocked at the conviction in her voice. They had arguments before but she had never sounded like this.

“Kara…”

“Leave Dante. Get out of my life. What I do, who I have sex with is not your business. You had your chance, again! Believe me, I get it this time. Stay the hell out of my life and I will stay out of yours.”

“You don’t mean that.”

But from her eyes, it was clear to him. She did mean it.

“Get out of this building, get out of National City and never try to contact me again.”

Kara walked out of his life for all intents and purposes, slamming the door behind her.

The man sat on his couch, head in his hands, wondering why that had happened. It was obvious of course. He told Jeremiah to talk to Kara, get her to stay away from Dick Grayson. The boy was a tool she used and that brat gladly allowed it. He knew she wouldn’t be happy about him interfering but he didn’t think she would have this reaction.

Dante honestly had no idea what to do at this point. He had no doubt the girl was flying to her favorite bar right now and it wouldn’t be regular bourbon she was partaking in. She may not have been deemed suicidal any longer but Dante worried, had worried for a while about the increase in her drinking. Perhaps it was his imagination. He hoped that she was on her way to the Fortress for some…solitude, he supposed.

The man turned out the lights and sat in the dark, trying to sort his thoughts. Had she meant what she said? In the past, he would have said no, but he also never would have guessed she would cut her own wrists.

Could being in her life be beneficial or would this always be between them, hurting her?

By the time the sun had risen, he had come to his decision. He would heed her wishes. Being here would only hurt her more.

By three that afternoon, Dante arranged for his bags to be picked up and walked out of Kara Danvers life.

Present Day, The Block

Kara sat on her bed in her new room, curled into Jeremiah, her head on his shoulder, his arm around her. It was one of her happy places. She really didn’t give a damn if she had daddy issues.

“Why are we watching this series? It always depresses you. You trying to give the antidepressants a test drive?” her father asked, three episodes into the animated Clone Wars series.

“They do depress me, sort of. Knowing how it turns out, Anakin and Padme and…but I love Snips.”

Jeremiah chuckled. “Too bad she died in Rebels.”

Kara clenched her jaw and squinted her eyes playfully towards the man.

“There is no evidence she died in that temple. Vader survived so she could have as well. She is assumed alive until I see an animated body. There will be no further discussion about that.”

The man shook his head but didn’t argue, just happy that she was happy. Last night had been slightly terrifying. He admitted to Eliza that his first thought had been Kara losing her temper and rampaging, or worse, a repeat of withdrawals. As bad as it was to think, the man was relieved it was a hallucination she had no control over. He was also relieved that she remembered the event in the morning and admitted what she saw instead of keeping it to herself. Her vision of Astra encouraging her to kill herself had the doctors reevaluating the antipsychotic even more closely.

Despite that, Kara seemed to be in a good mood this morning. She wouldn’t be medicated today because Veritas and Snow needed samples of her blood, but he hoped by tonight she would be able to have a sedative and anti depressant. The antipsychotics were on hold.

“You hungry?” he asked, hoping she was. She really needed to eat more, especially with all these meds going through her.

“I will eat after my suntanning session. How much longer am I going to have to do that? Believe it or not, lying under a big sunlamp for hours, doing nothing, can be incredibly boring.”

Jeremiah kissed the top of her head. 

“I think they are going to do another scan today. As soon as the damage to your liver is completely gone and you decide to lay still for couple days with an EKG so we can check your heart then you will be done. The last scan of your liver looked good.”

Kara took a deep breath and tried to focus on the television, not wanting to think about what she had done to herself and worse, the effect it had on her loved ones.

“I haven’t seen Bruce in a couple days. He has been spending a lot of time in the basement. You two are playing nice, right?”

Jeremiah scowled lightly but let it go. He knew Bruce Wayne and his two daughters were close and came to peace with it long ago. The important thing was Wayne cared about them, as evidenced by this facility. He also could no longer disapprove of Bruce’s methods without being a hypocrite. He always defended Kara’s choices in dealing with enemies and Alex was known to cause the occasional alien fatality. The man recognized he could not have a problem with Wayne’s tactics and defend Kara beating aliens to death. The recent knowledge that his daughter was a member of the League of Assassins and had killed the former head and was now best friends with the current head, made it difficult to look down on Batman losing his cool and branding people who really upset him.

Compared to Lobo, Batman was a saint.

“Yeah, we have been playing nice. He has…I don’t have a problem with him, Kara. Not anymore, probably not in a while. The man has done a lot for all of us. I’m sure he is just busy keeping an eye on the world. He refuses to leave and since this is his place, we can’t exactly kick him out.”

Kara saw an opening and took it.

“Anything interesting going on in the world?” she asked, trying to sound only casually interested. 

Jeremiah nearly answered then paused, looking at his innocent daughter who was staring at the Clone Wars.

“Nice try. You aren’t supposed to ask about that stuff. If there is a problem other people can take care of it.”

“Does that mean there is a problem?”

Jeremiah ruffled the girl’s hair.

“Kara, don’t. Focus on you. The world can take care of itself.”

Kara realized her attempt was not getting her what she wanted. Instead she tried the honest approach.

“Is Barry okay? I thought maybe…maybe he would be back to see me. He talked about bringing this TV show for me to watch. Please tell me he isn’t fighting some meta he can’t handle.”

The man took a deep breath, understanding her worry. The last thing he needed was her worried.

“Kara, I haven’t heard anything. I assume he is fine and have no doubt if something was going on, Batman would be on his way. He knows Barry is your…friend and you care about him a lot. I am sure Barry knows you are going through different medications and doesn’t want to just show up. I’m not even sure if he has a number to call, now that I think about it. I believe Alex has been using Kelex to keep him updated.”

Kara silently agreed. It had been a rough few days and Barry did have his own life. He couldn’t just run to Kentucky whenever she wanted.

Streaky jumped on the bed and curled into her lap, amusing Jeremiah.

“Do you have any idea how much these hospital employees hate a cat having free run of the place?”

Getting no answer and sensing Kara’s good mood slipping he acted quickly.

“Why don’t I see about getting a secure phone for both of you? That way you can talk whenever you want and not have to worry about going through Kelex. I’m sure Bruce has something that will work, even underground.”

“Really?” the girl asked excitedly.

“Yeah, really. Just promise me…”

“I won’t ask about anything superhero related, I swear…I guess that really doesn’t mean much, does it?”

He wrapped both arms around her.

“Kara, you are here, you are trying, you're going to beat this. I believe in you.”

Kara recognized that wasn’t exactly a vote of confidence.

“But you wouldn’t believe me. Do you think you will ever trust me again?”

Jeremiah thought about if for a moment. Relaxing moments could turn into traps quickly with Kara.

“Let me put it this way. Right now, this early, I am keeping a very close eye on you. If you tell me you aren’t hurting yourself, I am going to check. For a while, I will be watching you closely to make sure you aren’t drinking or…taking drugs. If you are sad I am going to watch you closely and I will be very nervous about there being any sharp objects around. But in regards to everything else, I do trust you. If you tell me you won’t ask Barry about aliens or metahumans, I believe you. Eventually we will all trust you again. Your mother may take the longest, she will hover, she will be watching you closely. She loves you so much and she almost…”

“It was bad, wasn’t it?” Kara interrupted. “When she found me, it was bad. She never told me details but I know it must have been bad.”

“It was her worst nightmare. She was more frightened than when you and Alex entered an alien spaceship and fought alien mercenaries. It was worse than when Astra broke into our house and threatened to kill Clark. I know she can seem a bit more …”

“She would wrap me in cushions and keep me in a cell if she could.” Kara grumbled. She loved Eliza’s protectiveness at times but after her suicide attempt, her mother became nearly obsessed with Kara’s behavior. The blonde knew about the times Eliza sneaked over during the work day after Alex moved out and searched everywhere in the apartment, looking for blades, red sunlight  devices and alcohol. Kara had figured out her patterns and hid her contraband effectively though.

“Can you blame her?”

“I guess not…”

Kara stopped talking, hearing a person above ground, walking towards the cabin. Alex was on ground level now. She was telling somebody that Kara had her powers and could likely hear everything. 

Wanting to know who had come to see her, she looked up through the layers. Hoping it was Barry or Nyssa, she was shocked to see Dante above. He was whispering to Alex, nothing she could make out. She saw her sister hug the man and he began to walk away.

“Dad, would you please grab a com and tell Alex to …ask him if he wants to come down…no, I will go up.”

Jeremiah was surprised. He suspected whoever him was, would be Barry Allen but there was a definite lack of excitement in her voice. Standing up to do as she requested, Kara stood also, going into her closet and changing into a pair of old jeans, slippers and a t shirt. Dante had seen her in worse.

Ten minutes later, the elevator in the cabin opened and Kara stepped out. Alex asked her if she wanted her to stay up top but Kara shook her head. She had to do this on her own and Alex understood. No one knew what happened that night, the night she told Dante to disappear. Alex didn’t even know but she knew it was something bad for Dante to leave Kara.

Kara walked out of the cabin, enjoying for a second the feel of actual sunshine instead of the artificial light she felt all the time. Her brief joy was broken when she saw a face she was sure she would never see again.

Kara had thought often how she would feel if she ever saw him again. Relief, anger, joy, it could be any of those.

Instead she felt shame, a deep shame.

“Hi.” she started, not sure what else to say.

Hey. You look like you've been dragged through hell.”

Dante always was blunt with her.

“I haven’t had my coffee this morning. Kind of had a psychotic episode last night, destroyed a wall, took out a nurse  and needed my baby cousin to hold me down.”

Dante nodded his head. ‘So a typical Friday night?”

Kara couldn’t help but grin, despite the embarrassment she was feeling. 

“So…” she started, not sure where she was going with this.

“Yeah. I know you didn’t want to see me ever again. I thought maybe you were under red light and wouldn’t know I was here. I just wanted to talk to Alex, to make sure you were doing okay. I thought if I came in person…it would make me feel better. Stupid I guess, but I like to think I can pick up your moods.”

Kara walked to the edge of the small clearing and sat on the ground. Dante joined her.

“How did you know where I was?”

“You think I don’t keep tabs on you? Besides, Bruce told me. He didn’t want me hunting him down I suppose, or Grayson. Grayson doesn’t know anything by the way.”

Kara was confused. Dante and Bruce had never been exactly friends or enemies. They hardly knew or spoke to each other. When Kara worked with Batman, the DEO was never involved and vice versa.

“You talked to Bruce?”

“Of course. I do work for him. He pays a lot better than the DEO.”

To say she was surprised would be an understatement. She had always assumed Dante had gone back to Arizona when he left, try to win back his long lost ex girlfriend he had not seen in years. Apparently Bruce had his own secrets he kept from Kara.

“What do you do for Bruce?”

“I handle Metropolis. You have back up in National City and he helps you out in Gotham when you go there. But when you are in Metropolis with Alex on the other side of the country, he wanted you to have immediate back up. So mostly I train, sometimes I follow Lex Luthor’s investigators, keep my ear to the ground around alien bars, running alien spies in and out to make sure no uprising against you is being planned. That sort of thing.”

Kara didn’t say anything for a moment, trying to digest that.

“After everything I said to you, everything I did, you were still watching out for me?”

“Always.” the man said.

Kara did not know how to respond to that so she sat in silence until she could no longer hold back the tears.

The girl began sobbing, her head in her hands, not even noticing Dante putting his arm around her and holding her tight.

“Its okay.” he whispered.

“No, it's not.” she told him, trying to catch her breath. “I am so sorry. I acted like a whore. How can you forgive me? You can’t,”

“I forgave you the moment you left. I have told you before, I will always be there, in the open or in the shadows. I don’t break my promises, Kara. I thought it would hurt you more if I stayed in the open. I kept an eye on National City from Coast City and moved to Metropolis when Bruce found me and made an offer. I’m not going anywhere. I never have.”

Kara wrapped her arms around the man and held him as tightly as was safe. Dante didn’t grunt, though he wanted to. It was worth it. He had missed her. The man remembered the times she had held him like this before. Her bright blue eyes and smile, the first time she was able to heat a pizza with her vision without burning it. It was the worst tasting pizza he had ever eaten but the look of joy on the young girl’s face made it worth it. Seeing her and Alex in their prom dresses escorting each other of course, the first time she had made a sharp turn in the air without ramming and destroying a tree. Kara spent much of her life sad but he would always hold onto the joy and her extremely tight hugs were worth the temporary discomfort.

This was more a hug of desperation, her tears flowing once again and her body shaking with sobs. He hoped and prayed that being here may be the turning point her, a path to possible lasting happiness. 

It took her minutes to calm down and her face was as red as her cape but that was fine. She was smiling.

“I missed you.”

“I missed you too, Kara. So…I see you still have your lightning bolt around your neck. A little bat told me Barry Allen is the Flash. Crazy world we live in. You two have seen each other?”

Kara nodded her head. “A few times before I got…taken to rehab. I told him everything about me. I was drunk…of course, and kind of laid it all out. I…don’t know. He still came to see me, called me, even brought Clark here.”

“Of course he did. The boy loved you from the moment he laid eyes on you. He kept the biggest secret in the world, your identity. He could have made a fortune off that information but the thought never crossed his mind. Fate is giving you a chance to do something you should have done a long time ago. No more excuses about him not being able to take care of himself. You can have it all, Kara. Don’t screw it up, okay?”

Kara smiled, thinking about Barry and wondering if she really could have it all.

“Screwing up is kind of my specialty.”

“I don’t think the thousands of people you have helped would agree. Nobody is perfect. None of us. But being happy, really happy? You can have that. You didn’t think you would ever control your heat vision, you didn’t think you would ever be able to fly in anything other than a straight line. You didn’t think you could stop Myriad. You have always been capable of more than you gave yourself credit before.”

“Yeah, maybe. Dante…I screwed up. I screwed up big time. I … have some physical damage. Its getting better but…I wasn’t just drinking. I was doing…other stuff. This stuff called…it gave me an edge when I was drunk and fighting. I…”

“Just say it, Kara.”

“I was snorting it. I was also cutting myself, I mean, again. I uh…I kept letting Grayson in whenever he showed up. I should have told him to stop coming over but I never did. I mean I did but I would always let him back in. I used him. Every time I did, I felt like trash, but I kept doing it. It was like I couldn’t stop.”

Dante nodded his head, looking up at the sky, his fears confirmed.

“Kara, I realize for someone who can fly this is hard to believe, but sometimes people fall. They may fall slowly or they might fall hard and fast, but it happens. You were lucky that you had a parachute to slow the fall, your family.They kept you from dying when you hit the ground. But even parachutes can only do so much. Eventually a person is going to land and land hard. Its going to hurt and you will wonder how in the hell a few minutes ago, you were so free, nothing but the wind, open space, the thrill of the act, but then reality sets back in. Your feet are on the ground now and you have to decide if you are going to keep fighting or curl up into a ball and hide. You jumped and landed in a war zone. I’ve done it myself more than a few times. The important thing is whether you are going to keep fighting. Are you?”

“I want to. I don’t know if I will be the same after this. I don’t know if I can keep being…her.”

“Thats not the fighting I am talking about. Those are battles you fight and as intense as battles are, they always have to end. The war I am talking about is for your soul. Not for the human race, not for this planet but for you. You are going to have to prioritize what is more important to you. Is losing your soul, yourself, those around you watching you crumble, worth trying to save the world? All our battles have to end at some point, even yours, Kara. They don't have to end in death.”

Kara looked at him closely, realizing how much she had missed him. She drove him away, cut off another lifeline that was trying to keep her from drowning. Dante taught her more than how to fight. He made her think, about wars, about good and evil and about deciding for yourself, how far you were willing to go. 

He was her best friend. She had a friend in the past, Lena Luthor before J’onn wiped her memory at Kara’s request. But Dante was the one person outside her family that knew her better than she knew herself.

“I’m jut not sure I have it in me anymore. I don’t know if I have had it in me for a while.” she finally admitted. “I don’t want to cause my family anymore pain. I really don’t.”

Dante stood up and offered her a hand to help her up, knowing full well she didn’t need one, but doing it anyway.

“Then I guess you have your answer. You bring love to your family. You bring a role model to Clark and something that is even closer than sisterhood with Alex. You don’t need to fly to be a hero or to be free. You can do that all on your own. I am going to go so you can go back downstairs and do what your doctors tell you.”

“Will you be back?” she asked quickly.

“Always.”

Kara stood still, watching him silently walk into the surrounding wild and seeming to disappear in it as always. Wiping her eyes and trying to shake the shame she still felt, she moved back downstairs to spend another day, learning how to fight.

National City, DEO Downtown headquarters

Barry Allen had arrived the day before, checked into the hotel he was told he would be staying and this morning stood in front of the FBI Federal Office Building. It was an impressive building, and those passing by would not think much about it, just another skyscraper in Downtown National City.

Walking inside, it was obvious how different it actually was. There was a metal detector, he suspected of being an X ray as well. There were no men or women walking around the lobby in business clothes, hustling in and out as you would expect to see in a busy, giant Federal building. There were two guards at a desk by the metal detector, both dressed in black combat fatigues and only one elevator behind them.

Not knowing what else to do and beginning to be freaked out by the silence of the lobby and the echo of his footsteps, he approached the guards and placed his loose change and watch on the conveyor belt for X ray. Stepping through the metal detector, he relaxed when the thing didn't go off. He would really hate to dodge bullets on his first day.

“Hi, I’m…”

“Barry Allen. Director Webb and Commander Connolly are waiting for you on the tenth floor, operations level. Go the the elevator and place your palm on the pad next to it. Once inside look at the camera in the ceiling for visual identification. If the visual identification fails the elevator will fill with cyanide gas. Place your palm on the reader inside and then press the button for 10. Once you reach the floor, an agent will escort you to Director Webb’s office.”

Not having much to say or focusing on anything past cyanide gas, he walked slowly to the door and followed directions, making sure to stare at the camera for at least a minute, wondering if he would have to phase out of the space that felt very confined at the moment. 

Once he reached the top, he was greeted by a man he had only seen once with Clark, the night of the dinner party. Dan Hawk.

“Welcome to the DEO, Stick. Follow me and don’t touch anything.”

The Flash followed him into a large office. He walked out as soon as Barry was in. Jack Webb was at his desk, feet kicked up on it with his hands behind his head. Connolly stood in the corner, one hand holding a file. Barry took the seat in front of the desk.

“So you showed up. We knew you were coming but weren’t sure if you would follow through with it.” Webb told him.

“Uh…yeah. I guess I wanted to find out why you guys needed me to take out an alien force you were more than capable of taking care of.”

It was Connolly who spoke up.

“Because I wanted to see if you could do it. I wanted to see if you could kill. We haven’t really had time to get to know each other. This is Jack as you know, recently promoted to Director because he is better at paperwork and dealing with scum like politicians than I am. I’m Connolly as you are aware and I handle the engagements, contacts, training the agents so they don’t get killed, those kind of things. I am also the guy who turned a skinny 14 year old girl named Alex Danvers into a living weapon. In the field what I say, goes. I’ve been fighting wars since I was 18 years old. You didn’t come to find out why we wanted you to kill. You could have asked Jessica. You are here because you know you can be more, better, faster, deadlier. Take a look at these sheets.”

Connolly tossed the file on the desk. Barry opened it up carefully and looked at the first list.

“Who are these people? Enemies?” he asked, seeing a list with 22 names.

“You have heard of the Joker? Those are the names of the people he killed before he was caught by Batman and sentenced to Arkham Asylum. Look at the next sheet.”

Barry took it and saw a list of 24 names.

“Those are the people he killed after he escaped Arkham, before Batman caught him again. There is a sheet of ten names under that, people of all ages, all walks of life who died after his second escape, simply because he wasn’t put down the first time he was caught. A rabid dog is put down once he is found because he will attack people until he dies. People like this are rabid dogs. Batman has a certain philosophy. That is his business. He does what the cops can’t, namely catching these guys and trying to hold them but those tactics aren’t always enough to save lives. Look at the next sheet.”

The man picked up that one, noting the name at the top. Slade Wilson, Deathstroke.

“He killed 32 people in his vendetta against Oliver Queen. Oliver Queen let him live and he was placed in an A.R.G.U.S. facility on the island your friend in green grew up on. The two names at the bottom are the two guards he killed during his escape. He planned to wait for a security team to arrive when the guards did not report in, kill them all and take the plane. Instead, Kara’s tech that watches prisons and threats around the world, picked up his escape. Twenty minutes after he began to plan his trap for the security team, Kara landed and killed him. No hesitation. He had been warned by her in the past that if he tried to escape she would kill him and she always follows through on her promises. Guess what? Since she killed him, he hasn’t killed anymore innocent people. See how that works?”

Barry closed the file, not wanting to look at the other names. He got the idea.

“So I should kill? Is that what you are saying?” he asked.

“I am saying you shouldn’t be afraid of it.” Connolly told him. “I am not suggesting you turn into a mass murderer. I am suggesting that if you truly want to protect this world, to use what you have been given, you need to get these unrealistic ideas out of your head and start facing the real world. What did you plan to do with Zoom? You had him beat and you hesitated. If your Speedforce ghost friends hadn’t shown up to tear him apart, what would you have done? From what we understand, and we know more than you think, that monster came close to destroying billions of lives by merging alternate universes. He killed your father, he almost killed Caitlin Snow, he almost killed you. What were you planning on doing with him, Barry? Arresting him? How well do you think that would have worked? Do you really think he wouldn’t have escaped? Would you want to explain to the wife or husband or mother or father of his next victim that you didn’t think killing him was the right thing to do?”

“I…I have no idea. I…wasn’t sure. I wanted to stop him but afterward…”

“You didn’t have a clue.” Webb finished for him. “If you want to play this game, that is not a mistake you can make. You go into a fight, you have a plan and you execute that plan.Let me tell you a story about young Kara and Alex. They asked to start training when Alex was 14 and Kara was 13. They are both sweet kids and didn’t have a violent bone in their body. At least until Hank Henshaw showed up on the doorstep. Something woke up in Kara, something dark and very dangerous. She never came back from that place, not completely. From that point on, the danger in their life became very real to Alex and Kara. They knew at that young age what it would take to make their world, their family safe. They trained obsessively.”

“Yep.” Connolly finished. “And when Astra showed up, Kara had known, known for years what she would have to do. She never wanted to do it, talked about talking her out of her path, maybe capturing her alive but she knew in her heart what would have to happen. When the time came, she snapped her aunt’s neck and never hesitated. She then detonated a bomb to kill all but one of the remaining Kryptonians. Kara almost died herself. Alex had never been in a battle before but she shot a Kryptonian through the head on that beach. 

Connolly looked closely at the man, hoping he could understand and would stay. If not he would be having a conversation with Barry about how badly he really wanted to protect the ones who came into his life, namely Kara. Seeing he had his complete attention the man carried on.

“We are saying if you want to do this, really protect this world, stop worrying about being the hero. You want to be a hero, do what Kara did. Play the game, kiss the babies, do all the good deeds you can in public, catch the bank robbers, put out the fires. But when it comes to war you need to decide if you are going to be a warrior or someone on the sidelines, watching the real heroes protect the innocent by any means necessary.”

Barry shook his head, understanding his point but also remembering the things he had told Oliver about killing, not killing, being different. 

It also did not escape his attention that Connolly said what Kara did, not what she does.

They don’t think she will make it back, he realized. 

“Bat…Batman…I get what you are saying about the Joker, but Batman doesn’t kill. He goes to extremes but…”

“He doesn’t want to be like the person who killed his parents.” Webb guessed. “Despite this he has killed aliens, not because he doesn’t think they are less than humans. He would never think that after knowing Kara and J’onn. It was just an agreement he and Kara had. She didn’t kill the threats he wanted taken in and he killed aliens she went against. Despite this, don’t think he doesn’t approve of Kara’s methods deep down. Alex has killed aliens and though she has never had a need to kill humans, you can bet if she thought Lex Luthor was a serious threat to Kara, Clark or her parents, she would blow his head off with a big grin on her face. That's something Kara and Alex understand. You protect family first by any means necessary. Batman left a trail of bodies in the Myriad base. Don’t be fooled Barry. This world is bloody, whether you are wearing a mask running through the streets or you are an 18 year old solider carrying a gun in some Middle Eastern desert.”

Barry sat back, no longer nervous about being in the DEO. He had too much on his mind. Despite knowing what he was walking into, hearing the reality in this office in a secure facility was another thing all together.

“You said she did.” Barry told them quietly. “You asked if I wanted to do what Kara did? She isn’t coming back as Supergirl, is she?”

Both men looked uncomfortably at each other, not sure what to say. The silence was enough for Barry.

They weren’t expecting her back. The Martian would not cover for her forever. 

“We don’t know, Barry. Thats the truth. No one knows.” Webb told him. “But personally, I hope she never wears a cape again. I hope Alex quits the DEO and this vigilante stuff. I hope they can find some peace.” Connolly admitted. “But that means the world is going to be looking for new heroes, people to carry on what she started. Bruce Wayne has been making plans for the last few years to form an organized team, identifying metahumans and others with special combat skills. He will ask you to join and I think you should.”

“Why? For years? Why would he want this when he had Kara? What metahuman or alien or human could beat her? She has no weaknesses.” Barry pointed out.

“Because Batman has been hoping since her suicide attempt that she would quit. She is her own weakness and you know it.” Webb told him. “You want to be with her. You kept her secret for years, owing her nothing. You fell for her the first time you looked at her and I suspect she felt the same. She needs peace, happiness and you could be a key to that. But you are going to have to protect her and her family, no matter what it takes. Are you in or out? We don’t want you to join the DEO. We don’t even want you working with us. We want to make you what you could be. We owe it to Kara and Alex. You haven’t even begun to reach your potential, Barry.”

The man tried to think of everything he had heard. He seriously thought about asking for time to think about it.

But he didn’t need time, did he? Not really. How many times had Barry wished he were faster, or stronger. How many times had he been indecisive while fighting metahumans? 

What would he do to protect the ones he loved?

What wouldn’t he do?

What would he do if he had a chance to stop some other kid from losing their parents?

“When do we start?” he asked. Neither men smiled, but he suspected they were happy.

Webb stood up and walked to his file cabinet, pulling a thick file and tossing it in front of Barry.

“What is this?”

“The most dangerous aliens in the universe who could be a threat to this planet. At least the ones Kara, Alex and Kelex know about. Some may be dead but we assume they are alive until proven differently.” the Director told him.

The Flash took a look, seeing names like Brainiac, Zod, Mongul, one that was short and listed as rumor with not much information. That one was titled Darkseid. Bloodlines parasites, Draal and the list went on.

“Study these over the next couple days.” Connolly told him. “Read all of them, take your time and don’t speed read. When you are done with this file you can move on to the next one I will bring to you. Every one of them has as much information as Kara’s Kryptonian databanks has. There are also plans Alex and Kara have come up with, hypothetical battle plans, ideas of what could work to destroy them if they decided to show up here. Learn them, front and back, add your own ideas if you have any. You will be staying at Dante’s old apartment. You will not come back to the DEO. Run to Central City if you are desperately needed but otherwise be here. You will be given an address for a black site only known to the five of us and J’onn. That is where you will train. You are going to get faster, stronger, tougher and we can figure out what else you can do. We start in two days.”

Barry nodded his head, committing himself to this. If this is what it took, he would do it. Webb handed him a cell phone.

“Here is a phone we have been told to provide for you. We can contact you on it and it is completely secure, Kelex approved. We were told about ten minutes before you showed that Kara will also have a phone. Her number is in contacts and you can call her whenever you want.”

“Okay…”

“Do not mention anything about metahumans or alien threats or crime in general.” Webb continued. “I wouldn’t ask you to lie to her but if she doesn’t ask about this training it would be better not to bring it up. If she does ask…thats up to you, I guess.”

Taking a key to the apartment, Barry raced to his new residence, very excited. He finally had a way to contact Kara without having to go through her little brother on X Box or older sister.

She answered on the first ring.

“Hey.”

Barry immediately noticed her voice sounded tired.

“Is this a bad time?”

“For you, never. I just took a sedative and when I wake up I get to spend time with one of my new team of counselors. I think this one is about PTSD. My last one came to the conclusion I had Daddy issues and wasn’t hugged enough as a child. How have you been?”

Barry thought of where he was and what he was doing.

“Been good. Nothing exciting going on. You think…you think I might be able to see you this weekend? If not, its cool…”

“I would like that. You sure you wouldn’t mind being holed up in an underground facility with my little brother?” she asked teasingly.

“Nah, I can handle…” Barry almost called him Stinky but wasn’t sure if Clark wanted her to know about their late night conversations … “the little guy.”

He heard Kara take a deep breath. He hoped it was a yawn. 

“Barry…last night I was given a new antipsychotic. I had a hallucination, one that felt very real. I thought I was being attacked and kind of fought someone who wasn’t there. I destroyed a wall. I had to be sedated. I can’t promise if you see me that you won’t see things…you may not want to see. Things I wouldn’t want you to see. Are you sure?”

“I’ll be there Saturday morning, unless you want to see me sooner? I can be there in an hour or less.”

“No, you have work. I have an appointment with a guy who is going to tell me it isn’t my fault and I have Daddy issues.”

Barry shook his head, wondering what that was about. Kara sounded…a bit drunk, but he knew that wasn’t the case. As he suspected, the meds were having an effect on her.

“Okay, if you get the chance, you think you could call me tonight?” he asked, hoping to hear her when she was a bit more lucid.

“I promise. I don’t take my sedative for the night until nine. I will cal you at 8:30, okay?”

“I look forward to it. Talk to you tonight.” Barry hung up the phone, grinning for the first time in days. She sounded slightly spacey but seemed to be in better spirits than the last time he spoke to her. 

He also understood if she was ever going to have any peace, he would have to step up his game. Contacting Bruce Wayne may be in his immediate future.

The Block

Kara ended the call with a lazy smile and drifted off to sleep. She had taken a mild sedative as opposed to the ones she took at night and fell into a dream free sleep for a few hours. When she woke up the girl was greeted by the sight of a somber Alex petting Streaky with one hand  and running her hands through Kara’s hair with the other.

“Here to get me ready for my next session of talking about the worst moments of my life?” Kara guessed.

Alex shook her head.

“We need to have a family meeting. Caitlin and Shay want to talk to us. There is a problem…they don’t think it is possible…we have checked over the data as well…we don’t think it is possible to develop a drug that can power up or down with the amount of solar radiation in your body. Maybe with years to work on it…but for now a drug won’t be able to lessen or increase its own potency based on whether you are under yellow or red sunlight.”

“You mean…”

“You are going to have to make a decision. We have a few days until your liver is healed completely but at that point, they need a decision so the medication dosages can be adjusted to your body, depending on whether you want to continue to metabolize solar energy.”

Kara shook her head. She knew she may not come out of this as sharp as before and suspected she may have to give up her powers but hearing it…

“Tell Clark. He deserves to be in this meeting. He should have been involved before this. After we talk about this, I’m going to need you with me, Alex. I’m going to need you all.”

“I know, Kara. No matter what you decide we are going to support you.”

“Thats not it. I know you all will. The meds… yeah, I have to think about it. But I don’t want to lie anymore. If he is going to hate me, I would rather get it out of the way now.”

“Clark would never hate you, Kara.”

“He might. I’m telling him, Alex. I’m telling him about Krypton. I’m going to tell him everything. I’m tired of carrying it on my own and I am tired of the secrets. For better or worse, he deserves to know the truth.”