Kara’s comment was soft, spoken under her breath as she looked around.
Alex fully agreed with her assessment, but kept her expression straight. She, at least, had known about the plans for the new base, even if it was her first time seeing it. They hadn’t gone further than the command center, hadn’t explored the rest of the building, and it was already vastly different than the desert base.
There were windows, for example. Large ones that made up the entire wall and let the sun fill the room with light.
Light that shot through Alex’s eyes and pierced into her brain. She squinted behind the pink tinted glasses designed to help her migraines.
“Welcome to city base command,” J’onn said.
“It’s…wow,” Kara repeated, stepping up to a circular table that stood in the center of the room. “Not that I’m complaining, but why do we have a second base?”
“For faster response time to events in the city,” J’onn replied.
Kara raised an eyebrow.
“They’re your backup,” Lucy said. She stepped up next to Alex.
A grin erupted on Kara’s face.
“No,” Alex said.
“You’re my backup,” Kara laughed.
“We are not,” Alex said. “It’s a tactically sound decision that was in the works before Supergirl.”
It had really not been anything more than a concept thrown around every year or so. It hadn’t gotten any footing until Supergirl’s appearance had caused an increase in operations within National City itself. Neither were facts Kara needed to know.
“I’m sure Winn could make you a new uniform,” Kara continued. “Something perfect for my sidekick.”
“I’m not your sidekick.”
“You basically are.”
“I can kick your ass.”
“Enough,” J’onn cut in.
Alex bit her lip, ducked her head slightly to keep her amusement down. She glanced over at Lucy.
Who was barely keeping her own amusement hidden.
“While assisting Supergirl will be one of the tasks assigned to teams at city base, it is far from the only one,” J’onn told Kara.
Alex looked up to see Kara tilting her head in confusion.
“This location will be used to contain lower security prisoners as well as any in temporary custody. It has a full trauma center dedicated to agents injured on missions,” J’onn said.
“About a third of the research division is moving here,” Alex added.
“And,” Lucy jumped in. “With the new NCPD liaison starting soon, it works as a better meeting place than the desert. Along with any future political visits, like the president tomorrow.”
Kara nodded. “Wow,” she said. She smirked at Alex. “I just can’t believe you’re going to officially be my backup.”
Alex narrowed her eyes. She turned to glare at Lucy.
“See what you did.”
Lucy grinned at her. “Just told the truth.”
J’onn groaned. “Alright. Let’s go check the rest of the base.”
He gestured towards the stairs that led up to the next level.
Lucy slid up next to Alex as they walked.
“Sidekick outfits should be skimpier than the hero’s, right?” she asked.
Alex furrowed her brow. “What?”
“The sidekick suit? The one Winn could design for you? I’m feeling a mini-skirt, crop top.”
Alex rolled her eyes. “You’re not funny.”
Lucy glanced up to where Kara and J’onn were climbing up the last step.
“But I got Kara to laugh.”
Alex took a deep breath.
It had been a rough two weeks since Myriad. Especially for Kara.
The high of saving the world had quickly faded upon learning the impact Myriad had truly had on not just National City, but the entire country, upon hearing how many had died. Alex was sure she could count on one hand the amount of times she had heard Kara laugh since the number had been totaled.
“Yeah,” she murmured. “You did.” She shook her head lightly. “You ready to take over desert base?” she asked.
Lucy’s eyebrow twitched, noting the change in topic, but she didn’t comment on it. “You say that as if I wasn’t in charge the while you two were gone.”
Alex looked around the new level.
Research. For the more sensitive research, directly related to current missions. There were labs spread throughout the skyscraper, under false companies, for the rest.
Alex peeked into each lab they passed, rolling her head every now and then to fight off the tightness in her neck.
“How was it?” she asked. “While we were gone?”
“Not bad. There was definitely some resentment from the ranks, a lot because of who my father is, but I learned to ignore those comments years ago.”
“Being a general’s daughter not always as cracked up as it seems?”
Lucy let out a short laugh. “Not really.”
They passed the last few labs in silence before reaching a stairwell. Alex held the door open for Lucy.
“How’re the logistics for the memorial service going?” Alex asked.
“As you are not an agent not involved in the operation, I’m not sure I can divulge specifics,” Lucy said.
Alex rolled her eyes.
“Just because I’m not on the field team doesn’t mean I can’t know anything.”
“Maybe, but too much information at once might overload that bruised brain of yours.”
“I’m glad you can joke about my brain damage.”
“We all have brain damage, Danvers, but you’re the one who flew directly towards the source.”
Alex shrugged, not able to argue.
If Kara’s pod hadn’t had any sort of shields on it, she would have died before she had gotten as close as she had. As it was, she was left with worse symptoms than the agents who had stayed in the base.
Like the near constant migraines.
Doctors had been hesitant to call the remnant damage from Myriad concussions, but the symptoms were similar enough all agents had been put on concussion protocol. Those with the worst symptoms had been benched.
She would do it again to save Kara if she had to.
“Speaking of your head, how’s it feeling?” Lucy asked.
Alex shrugged again. “It’s been worse.”
The exited the stairwell. That floor and the one above were agent quarters, if Alex remembered the building plan correctly.
“It’s fine, Lane, really,” Alex said. “I took some meds before we came over, and the glasses really help.”
Sure, there was some pain. A decent amount of pain, really, but it was better than it had been a few days ago. No nausea at the moment, that was definitely a plus. No vertigo, either. All in all, not too bad.
A headache, but not a migraine.
Kara looked back at them. Alex waved her off.
She didn’t want Kara any more worried about her than she already was.
“You’ll let us know if it gets worse before we’re done?” Lucy asked.
Alex watched her for a moment, searching for anything beyond concern, but found nothing. She nodded.
The elevator dinged.
Kara took a deep breath and forced a smile before the doors slid open. At the sight of James leaning against the wall, the smile came a little easier.
He grinned at her, pushing off of the wall to step to her side as she turned towards her office.
“How was the, uh, tour?” he asked, lowering his voice slightly on the last word.
“It was amazing. The new base is so cool. Everything is so clean, and organized, and there’s so much sun.”
James chuckled. “Tired of the cave?”
Kara huffed. “There’s this bat that keeps trying to bite me.”
“Yes! Alex thinks it’s hilarious.”
She pushed her office door open, making her way to the desk to put her purse down. She turned back to James, who was leaning on the door frame and looking around the space.
“Is Cat ever actually planning on letting you use this as an office?”
“She says she is. Everything has just been a bit crazy, you know.”
He inclined his head, crossed his arms.
“She just decided that it would be better for things to settle before finding a new assistant,” Kara continued. “And I have no problem staying for now.”
James raised an eyebrow.
“Seriously, it’s fine. And, until then, I have this great office to keep my stuff in during shifts.”
James chuckled. He pushed off of the frame and stepped into the office. “I should probably head to my own office, that I get to actually use, but do you have any plans? Friday?”
Kara’s eyes went wide for a moment, then she smiled. “Uh, no. I do not.”
“Well, I was wondering, if you wanted to get dinner with me?”
“Like, as a date?”
James’ smile made Kara’s next breath a little lighter.
Everything had been hectic since Myriad. Between Kara helping as Supergirl, and James going out with his camera, they had barely been able to see each other for more than a short meal.
“Yeah, like a date.”
“I’d like that.”
His smile stretched into a grin.
“Now that you two have your love life figured out, perhaps I can reclaim my assistant?”
Heat rose up Kara’s cheeks as Cat walked in.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Grant.”
“It’s fine, Kara, let’s just get to work, shall we?”
James nodded, taking a step backwards, towards the door. “I’ll take that as my cue to leave. I’ll find you later to figure out details?”
Kara nodded, then he was gone.
“As happy as I am that you two have finally figured it out, this is a work environment.”
“Of course,” Kara said, serious despite the mirth in Cat’s tone. “We will keep it strictly professional.”
Cat narrowed her eyes, but the corners of her mouth twitched upwards.
“Now, come along.”
Kara pulled her tablet from her purse and fell into step behind Cat.
“The spread for the president's arrival is waiting on your desk,” Kara said, scrolling through her emails. “Patrick Warburton sent you an email for a penguin rescue fundraiser.”
Cat sighed. “The flightless birds will have to fend for themselves for a while. Is everything prepared for the service?”
“Yes, you just need…”
Kara cut off as she nearly walked into Cat's back.
Cat spun to face her. “Do I have anything in my teeth?” She asked, before baring her teeth.
Kara furrowed her brow, even as she checked. “Um, no.”
Cat didn't answer, instead she turned back around, preened, and strutted into the bullpen.
Kara watched her for a moment, then grinned at the sight of the man leaning on her old desk.
He stood, sent her a grin, then turned his focus to Cat.
“Clark Kent, it's been a while,” Cat said.
Clark nodded. “Too long.”
“Well, just say the word, and you have a position at CatCo.”
Clark chuckled. “I'm afraid I have too many commitments in Metropolis.”
“Ahh, and how is Lois? You two still a thing?”
“Lois is great. We're great.”
Cat hummed. “So she's not still hung up on Superman?”
“I’d say she has room in her life for both of us.”
“Oh? That's modern,” Cat said, voice light and amused.
Kara stifled a laugh as Clark realized what he had said.
“So, what exactly brings you here?” Cat asked, ignoring his protests.
He sobered “Mr. White sent me to cover the memorial today.”
“I figured, I was in town, thought I'd stop by and say hi.”
He glanced over at Kara, winking too fast for a human to see.
“Then, perhaps you can join us when we head over?” Cat asked.
“That would be great,” Clark said.
Alex couldn’t help but feel like the visit to the city base hadn’t been the best idea on her part. The throbbing that had sat on the base of her skull throughout the visit had been ignorable. Walking with J’onn and Lucy through the desert base a few hours later, the pain wasn’t necessarily growing, but other symptoms were starting.
It had been a few days since her last migraine, not even two full days since she had gotten over the exhaustion of the postdrome phase that followed the actual migraine. She did not want to be going through it again, especially not so soon.
Light flashed in the edges of her vision.
Alex sucked in a breath. She tried to force herself to refocus on the conversation between Lucy and J’onn, but her attention was pulled through the window and into the med bay as they passed it.
Well, one distraction was as good as another.
The man from the pod was still lying in a bed and showing no negative outcomes to being unconscious for the past two weeks. Lucky him.
Alex quickly moved past the window, finally tuning back into the conversation she was supposed to be a part of.
“Has Superman given you any information on the detective he is recommending for the NCPD liaison?”
J’onn grunted at Lucy’s question. “No, he has not.”
Alex couldn’t help the smile that tugged at her lips. There was no way Clark wasn’t enjoying withholding the information.
“He is aware that we can’t approve of anybody until we know who they are, right?” Lucy asked.
“All he will say is that he has worked with her in the past, and will give us her information once he asks if she wants the position.”
“He hasn’t asked her yet?”
“I believe he has been waiting for things to calm down a little.”
It would still take a while for things to really calm down, Myriad had reached over half of the country before Kara had lifted Fort Rozz out of the atmosphere. If the detective worked in one of the impacted cities, it would be a while before she could transfer. Even if she wasn’t, it’s not like Clark would have had much free time based on how busy Kara had been.
Alex blinked. A squiggly line appeared in her vision, shifting every time she moved her eyes. Another appeared, and another. She rubbed her temple.
J’onn glanced back at her, but she waved him off. She didn’t need him worrying about her any more than he already was.
“What are you thinking for when she does arrive?” Lucy asked.
She stepped up to the door to the director’s office, opened it and let them in.
J’onn crossed his arms. He looked at Alex.
“Agent Danvers will be assigned to work with her.”
Alex stared at him. “What?”
“You sure that’s a good idea?” Lucy asked. “Don’t want to scare her off.”
Alex tried to glare at Lucy, but it made her vision flash white.
Concern crossed Lucy’s face. Alex turned to J’onn.
“Why am I getting stuck with her?”
“Because you are off of field duty for the unforeseen future and this will keep you from spending full nights in your lab.”
Alex rolled her eyes, ignored how aware she was of the movement in her skull.
“Additionally,” J’onn continued. “Being Deputy Director and the agent closest to Supergirl, you are the best option. It is a tactically sound decision.”
Alex narrowed her eyes at him using her words against her.
As she looked at him, her peripheral vision went black, Lucy vanishing from her sight.
J’onn watched her for a moment, then shook his head.
“Go sit down,” he said.
“I’m fine,” Alex said.
“That wasn’t a request,” he said.
She stumbled, her leg almost giving out beneath her.
J’onn’s hands on her shoulders steadied her. He told Lucy to go get Dr. Hamilton, and it was only when the touch was gone that Alex realized Lucy’s hand had been on her back.
The lights turned off before the door opened and closed.
J’onn guided Alex to the couch against the wall.
She sat without protest, the vertigo that signaled the end of the aura and the onset of the actual headache starting. She took the glasses off, then leaned forward, elbows on her knees, head in her hands. She focused on her breathing.
“You’re supposed to tell us when this starts,” J’onn said, sitting next to her.
Alex shrugged with one shoulder. “Is not that bad,” she said.
J’onn made a noise, but didn’t respond. He was going to bring it up again later, when her brain wasn’t getting ready to try and break free from her skull.
She felt her body start to rock back and forth. J’onn moved closer, pressing against her side and holding her steady.
“Maybe tis tha’ bad,” she mumbled, leaning into him.
She wanted to lay down, to try to fall asleep, but they had learned the hard way that lying down at that point only made the vertigo worse. It was also the quickest way to get her to throw up.
She pressed her fingers against her temples, trying to will the pain away. Instead, it grew, pounding at her brain.
By the time Lucy returned with Dr. Hamilton, all Alex could do was sit and try to not throw up.
The sun heated the back of Kara’s bowed head, warmed her neck as her ponytail fell to the side. She breathed deep, flexed the fingers around the seat of her folding chair, eyes closed as she listened.
The muttering of the press area she was in, shuffling papers, clicking pens, shutters and flashes.
The shifting of the crowd. Tears and questions and shifting feet on grass
The rabble of the protesters beyond, angry chants and poster board bending in the wind.
The squawk of NCPD walkie talkies and murmur of DEO and Secret Service comms.
She looked up at Clark’s soft question. His concern was clear behind his glasses.
She nodded. “I’m fine.”
He tilted his head slightly.
“Really, it’s just…” She shrugged, looking towards the stage, fingers picking at the metal spiral of her notepad. “This shouldn’t be happening.”
Clark dipped his head. “No, it shouldn’t.”
“I should have saved them.”
It’s quiet, too low for anyone around them to hear.
The words settle deep in her gut. She hadn’t said that to anyone, spoken her doubts.
“You couldn’t have,” Clark said. “You did the best you could.”
Kara shook her head.
“You two seem awfully close.” Cat’s drawl floated towards them.
Clark leaned back from Kara as they both looked towards the approaching woman.
She narrowed her eyes as she looked at them.
“We’re cousins,” Clark said before Kara could speak. “Distant, but we met a few times at reunions.”
Cat raised an eyebrow. She threw Kara a look before focusing on Clark.
“I believe you are in my seat.”
Clark nodded, a bashful look crossing his features as he shifted to the next seat. “Right. Sorry, Ms. Grant.”
Cat hummed as she sat. She leaned towards Kara.
“We will be talking about this later,” she said before leaning back and turning her attention to Clark.
Kara phased their conversation out. She looked around, inspecting the crowd as she twirled the cap of her pen around the nib.
She noted where every DEO agent stood, within the crowd and along the perimeter. She took count of the protestors and the officers around them. She watched, glasses slid down her nose, as the armored car drove up behind the stage, next to the area roped off as the location for the future memorial.
Lucy, in her service dress and tightest bun, greeted the president with a sharp salute, before leading her up the back of the stage.
The crowd hushed as the mayor stepped up to the podium to begin the ceremony.
Kara only half focused on the mayor’s speech, on the governor’s. Her pen moved across the paper with ease, taking down what notes she needed.
Until the number.
241,863 people dead.
Many of them young children.
Just in National City.
Myriad had reached half the country.
Soft applause rolled through the crowd as President Marsdin stepped up to the podium.
Kara stared at her notepad, at the number, and let the president’s speech brush past her.
She should have saved them.
Alex had just refilled a glass of water when someone knocked on her door. She narrowed her eyes at the line of light penetrating the darkness of her apartment from under the door, but made no movement to answer.
Whoever it was, they could wait.
As much as she would deny it to anyone else, Alex was in too much pain to put up with a random person at her door.
Despite her protests about needing to go to the ceremony, J'onn had gotten Vasquez to drive Alex to her apartment. She had curled up in bed, not really awake, but unable to truly fall asleep.
The knocks sounded again.
They were faint, but still sent spikes through the base of her skull.
She clenched the edge of the counter as she fought the urge to go lay back down. Even if she didn’t answer, if it ended up being someone breaking in, she didn’t want to be completely caught off guard.
“Alex? It’s Lucy.”
Alex closed her eyes. Lucy she could ignore.
She didn’t necessarily want to - she had come to respect Lucy, especially as they worked together figuring out how the DEO was going to move forward after everything - but she would ignore everyone except Kara.
Mostly because Kara would ignore being ignored and fly through the window.
“I can just pick the lock,” Lucy said.
Well, Lucy apparently had the same level of boundaries as Kara.
Alex groaned. She took a step, took a moment to keep her balance, then slowly made her way to the door. She opened it far enough for Lucy to slip through and thankfully managed to avoid the flickering light not far down the hall.
“What’s up?” she asked once the door was closed. She blinked rapidly, trying to get her vision to focus on Lucy.
Lucy lifted a hand, showing the cloth bag she was carrying. Whatever was inside made a crinkling noise.
“I bring food.”
Alex's stomach turned at the thought of eating.
“For later,” Lucy quickly added. “Kara got stuck at CatCo, so she asked me to check in with you.”
“I’m fine,” Alex said.
Lucy looked around the apartment, at the blackout curtains, at the single lit lamp with a sheet thrown over it, at the array of medicine cluttering the kitchen counter. She looked back with an eyebrow raised, and glanced down at Alex’s pajamas.
Because she was wearing pajamas. At five in the afternoon.
Alex started to insist that she was fine, it was just a headache, then heat spiked through her head. She squeezed her eyes shut. Her stomach churned. She felt herself waver, felt herself start to fall.
Gentle hands held her steady, guided her to the couch, settled on her knees after she sat.
“’M fine,” she forced through gritted teeth.
“Bull,” Lucy whispered. “What do you need?”
Alex opened her eyes.
Lucy was kneeling in front of her, just close enough that her features were clear.
Alex took a few deep breaths. She fought the urge to continue to insist she was fine.
“Sleep,” she said. “I tried but couldn't, so I just took some pills.”
“Do you want to move to the bed?”
Alex nodded, a barely there movement that felt like her head had been jerked around. “In a moment, though.”
“Okay.” Lucy rubbed her knees lightly. “I think Kara expects me to stay until she can get here, but I can put the food away and go if you want.”
Alex shook her head without even thinking about it. “Stay, please.”
Lucy nodded. “Okay. I’ll be here, for whatever you need.”
Alex closed her eyes, dipped her head forward a bit so the back of her neck stretched a little. She tensed and relaxed each muscle in her legs, moving from her toes upwards.
“Okay,” she said. “I think I’m good to move to the bed.”
Lucy nodded. She helped Alex stand and guided her to the bed.
Alex got her covers situated - the blanket folded over her legs, for the weight, the sheet pulled up to her neck - then curled up on her side and listened as Lucy started back towards the kitchen.
For a moment, she was struck with the urge to ask Lucy to join her in the bed, the way she would Kara, but she pushed it aside as the sleeping pill started to pull her under.
Maggie opened her door and met a wall of humidity. She closed her eyes, then opened them to glare at the open window.
She had closed it before leaving for work that morning. She had even stuck a wooden bar in it to keep it shut.
Maggie groaned. She pulled her blazer off as she crossed her apartment, tossing it onto the boxes piled on the couch. Sweat started to gather at her hairline. She glanced in the bathroom quickly before walking to the window. She crouched for a moment, grabbing the bar, and stuck it in place after closing the window.
She reached to the AC unit in the other window, flipping it on.
She glanced at the fan next to the bed in the corner, debating with herself, before giving in and flipping it on as she passed it on her way to the kitchen. She opened her fridge and groaned. She opened her pantry and groaned.
She leaned against the counter and groaned.
When she had left that morning, she had planned on stopping at the grocery store on her way home. When she had left the precinct, she had tunnel visioned on getting to bed and had forgotten.
She grabbed the sole box of crackers from the pantry and she slumped onto the edge of the bed, right in the path of the fan.
She would unpack them, but part of her still planned to move to an actually decent apartment soon.
She leaned forward to open her laptop, but her phone buzzed in her pocket. She fished it out to see an array of emojis across the screen, one she hadn’t seen in years.
She answered the phone.
“It’s been a while.”
A deep voice chuckled on the other side. “You’re the one who left Metropolis.”
“I had my reasons.”
“Well, you know that one time I saved your life, and you said you owed me, and I said don’t worry about it?”
Maggie groaned. “You’re cashing in?”
He laughed again. “I need a favor.”
The air was thin and chilled. The moon was bright and the stars twinkled.
Kara just floated, letting the wind blow her back and forth. She kept her eyes closed and her breaths even. She focused.
Sound floated up to her, through the layer of cloud between her and National City.
Car engines and horns. TV shows and dinner conversations. Heartbeats.
Less than there had been.
Kara shook her head and opened her eyes. The noise faded away as she stopped focusing.
She took a deep breath.
She needed to not think about that.
She started to float down. The moisture of the clouds clung to her supersuit, dampened her hair.
Once under the clouds, she flipped around, diving head first towards the city.
She touched down on Cat’s balcony as lightly as she could, going to lean against the wall and stare out at the city.
“Well, you’ve been keeping to yourself lately.”
Kara tilted her head slightly to let Cat know she had been heard.
“I was surprised when you didn’t show at the memorial,” Cat continued, stepping up next to Kara.
“It didn’t feel right.”
“It didn’t feel right?”
Kara leaned heavily on her arms, back rounding. She picked at the hem of her sleeve.
Cat hummed. “You doubt your place as the hero.”
Kara bowed her head, letting her hair fall between them. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and looked back up.
“I need to go,” she said.
Kara took off before Cat could say anything else.
She reached Alex’s apartment in under a minute, slipping through the unlocked window, past the curtains.
The apartment was darker than the city, near pitch black once the curtain fell back into place. Her supervision was the only reason she was able to see anything.
Like Lucy, sprawled out on the couch; or Alex, curled up on her bed and whimpering in her sleep.
Kara moved as quietly as she could, but Lucy woke when Kara draped a blanket over her.
“Shh,” Kara said before Lucy could speak. “Go back to sleep. Thank you for staying with her.”
Lucy mumbled out a soft no problem before turning over, pulling the blanket tight around her.
Kara smiled at her for a moment before heading towards the bedroom. She changed in silence, pulling on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt before climbing into Alex’s bed.
She kept plenty of space between them, weary of jostling her and making her migraine worse. Barely a minute had passed, however, before Alex had rolled into her.
Kara stayed as still as possible, too scared to move.
Thank you all so much for the feedback on the teaser, I really hope this all stands up to expectations. This is actually chapter one, but I'm not changing the chapter title to that because seeing Chapter 2: Chapter One would bother the living crap out of me.
Don't expect most updates to be this quick, I just want to get the actual first chapter up.
I had a tumblr post setting a goal that if it got enough noted, I'd post the next chapter, so here it is. The next chapter is def not going to happen for at least a week because I am working for the next seven days.
Kara smiled as she chewed.
“The entire bullpen was silent, and Jimmy turns, and his entire face is covered in apple pie.”
Kara swallowed, then looked from Clark to James.
His head was ducked, but she could see his cheeks pull out as he smiled.
“What did you do?” Kara asked.
James looked up at her and shrugged. “The only thing I could think of. I went to my desk, sat down, and finished my project.”
“With a face full of apple pie,” Clark added. He chuckled, then took another bite of sticky bun. “These are amazing.”
“I know, right?” Kara replied. She pulled part of her third one off and stuck it in her mouth.
James grinned at her, then turned to Clark. “How long are you going to be in town?”
Clark swallowed some coffee, shook his head lightly. “Not entirely sure, but was thinking at least a week or two. I figure I help out a bit with some clean up that still needs to be done, maybe-” he glanced towards Kara “-a team up or two?”
Kara nodded. “Of course. That’d be great.”
Clark grinned. “Great. I…”
He cut off the moment the sirens sounded.
“I’m guessing you two just remembered an important meeting?” James said.
He laughed, waving them off. “I’ll cover the tab.”
Kara took a step away from the table, then looked back.
“If Ms. Grant asks where I am, tell her…”
She struggled to think of an excuse. James chuckled.
“I’ll come up with something. Go.”
Kara smiled at him, then chased after Clark. She found him waiting in a nearby alley.
“Ready?” he asked.
They both started down the alley, pulling their shirts open in tandem.
Lucy wrapped her fingers around the back of Winn’s chair, forcing him to face the monitor.
He let out a squawk of protest.
“That’s rude, Lucy.”
She leaned on the desk, weight heavy on her arms, getting closer than he seemed comfortable.
“Listen, Schott, and listen close. This isn’t CatCo. You are no longer IT in a media company. If you want to go back, you are free to do so. However, if you want to stay, you need to remember that the DEO is a paramilitary organization and the only reason you have not gone through full training is the crisis mode following Myriad.”
His eyes grew wide as she spoke, his face went pale.
“But, despite the lack of training, you will be required to act with some decorum. Including using titles where applicable and not ignoring your work to stare at the president. Do you understand?”
He nodded. “Yes, ma’am…Director Lane…ma’am. I understand.”
She jerked her head to his monitor, jumping him into motion, and pushed off his desk. She turned to see J’onn watching her as President Marsdin looked down over National City from the balcony.
Lucy rolled her eyes, and made her way across the command center.
“We need to have that boy trained,” she murmured when she reached J’onn.
“Do you think he would survive that?” he responded.
Lucy scoffed. “Not even the first day, but it needs to happen.”
She snapped to attention as President Marsdin turned and started back towards them.
“Good afternoon, ma’am,” she said.
“Major Lane.” President Marsdin smiled. “Will you be joining Director J’onzz and myself on the tour?”
“Unfortunately I will not be able to, ma’am,” Lucy said.
President Marsdin nodded with a small smile. “How are the operations in the desert base?”
“Good, ma’am. The transition with the new facility has gone smoothly and the agents remaining in that facility understand their duties.”
President Marsdin’s response was cut off by a burst of wind and the balcony doors opening. Supergirl and Superman landed just inside the door.
Lucy held back a laugh at the way Kara’s eyes went wide.
“President Marsdin,” Kara breathed.
“Supergirl. Superman.” President Marsdin stepped towards them. “It is a great pleasure to meet you, and, if I may, take this opportunity to thank you for your work to keep this country and her people safe.”
Superman nodded with a small smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “We’re simply doing what is right, ma’am.”
“Which is more than many can say. Would you two care to join us on a tour of the new facility?”
Lucy eyed Kara for a moment. She was more subdued than Lucy would have expected, expression blank, shoulders curled inwards as if trying to hide. Next to her, Superman’s grimace was almost hidden.
“Unfortunately, I believe they have prior commitments to attend to,” J’onn answered for them.
“We do, ma’am,” Kara added.
“That is unfortunate,” President Marsdin said. “Perhaps in the future we can arrange something.”
“Madam president,” J’onn cut in. “If we wish to finish on time, we should begin the tour.”
“Yes, of course,” President Marsdin said. “Until next time.”
She nodded to the heroes, then followed J’onn.
Lucy stepped to Kara’s side.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “I always thought you would be more excited about meeting President Marsdin.”
Kara glanced at her, shrugged. “I’m just tired.” She turned to Superman. “You coming?”
He nodded, then pulled a file from…somewhere.
“This is for you, Lucy, or for Alex, I guess. My recommendation for the NCPD liaison.”
Lucy took the file, raising an eyebrow at the use of her first name.
He stepped backwards towards the window.
“And, give Lois a call? She misses you more than she lets on.”
He spun and was gone, right on Kara’s heels.
Lucy stared after them for a moment before shaking her head. She glanced in the file.
“Schott!” she called, moving towards the stairwell past his desk.
“Yes, Director Lane, ma’am?”
“Find any and all information you can on GCPD Detective Margarita Sawyer. Forward it to Director J’onzz, Agent Danvers, and myself.”
“Uh, right away.”
She left him behind, typing away, and headed to the next level, where Alex’s office was nestled in the corner past all of the labs. She flipped through the file, taking in what information she could while walking.
Detective Sawyer. 28. Originally from Nebraska. Graduated from Metropolis University. Worked for the Metropolis Police Department before moving to Gotham’s Major Crimes Unit as a detective.
“Hope you like earthquakes and forest fires, Sawyer, but at least you’re escaping the humidity.”
She closed the file as she stopped, then knocked on the door, more out of habit because the office should be…
Lucy narrowed her eyes. She opened the door enough to quickly slid through, and closed it. She glared at Alex through the dim light.
“You aren’t supposed to be here.” She crossed the room.
Alex rolled her eyes, then her neck a few times before leaning back in the chair. “I’m fine.”
“You could barely stand yesterday.”
Alex shrugged with one shoulder, winced. “That was yesterday.”
“Hamilton said you should rest until it passes fully.”
“That barely gives me two days between migraines.”
“Maybe if you let yourself rest, it would be longer.”
Alex sighed. Her shoulders fell slightly. She rubbed her temple. “I can’t just sit around my apartment and do nothing.”
“That’s resting, Alex, that’s the entire reason you’ve been told to stay home.”
Alex waved her hand absently. “It’s not like I’m trying to do field work, or even lab work. I’m just reading through files.”
“And what do they say?”
Alex blinked at her. She glanced at the files, then looked back up.
“You haven’t absorbed any of it, have you?”
Alex slumped further into her seat. “My head hurts too much.”
Lucy walked around the desk. She put Sawyer’s file to the side for later, and pulled the file open on the center of the desk towards her.
Lucy took a deep breath.
“Okay, you’re going to take a nap, and I’m going to start going through these.”
“Nope, mind is made up, that’s what’s happening.”
Alex rolled her eyes as Lucy urged her to her feet.
“I wasn’t looking for anything specific,” she said, following Lucy’s lead to the couch against the wall.
“I’ll see if anything pops out at me, take notes, annotated and everything.”
Alex snorted, then whined against the pain.
“And we will be talking about this later,” Lucy said.
Alex didn’t respond. She curled up on the couch and fell asleep almost instantly.
Lucy sighed. She watched Alex for a moment before making her way back to the desk.
Kara scrolled to the next application, only to delete it after seeing the form filled out incorrectly. The next was more promising - filled out correctly, at least - and she clicked the box in the corner, marking it for a closer look later.
She glanced up from her computer, towards Winn’s old desk.
It sat empty, and even though she knew he was alive and well at the DEO, it made the bullpen feel somber.
Kara took a deep breath, forcing herself to look back at the applications for Cat’s new assistant.
Two more went into the trash. One was saved for later.
“My office, now.”
Kara jumped at Cat’s voice, uncertain how she had gotten so close without Kara noticing. After a moment, she stood, then followed Cat.
“So,” Cat drawled, circling around her desk. “Clark Kent is your cousin.”
Kara took a few quick steps, mind racing to figure out how to handle the situation, even as she thanked Rao she had convinced Cat she wasn’t Supergirl.
“And you never thought to tell me?” Cat continued. “Or anyone?”
Kara froze. “I…didn’t want to get a job because of him.”
Cat narrowed her eyes. “There is a difference between nepotism and networking, Kara.”
“I know. I just…” Kara glanced out the window, at her city beyond Cat’s balcony. “I had to prove I could do it myself.”
Cat hummed, then sat. “Noble. Idiotic, but noble.” She looked at some of the papers on her desk. “Have you started the search for the new assistant?”
“Yes. I’m almost through the applications.”
“Put it on hold.”
Kara blinked. “Do you need me to stay longer?”
Cat shook her head, still looking down. “No. Your transfer is being processed. Starting next week you will be working in your new role. It’s technically an internship, but you will be keeping your current salary.”
“Do you not want an assistant?”
Cat sighed. She took her glasses off, spinning them around her hand.
“I won’t need one.”
Kara’s chest squeezed.
Cat put her glasses down. She leaned back, looking at Kara.
“I won’t be here.”
White noise roared in Kara’s ears. Her world narrowed to the eye contact with Cat.
“Ms. Grant…” She trailed off, not sure how to put words to the creeping under her skin, not sure how to voice the knot in her gut. “Are you…”
Concern crossed Cat’s face for a second. “Leaving,” she finished for Kara.
The world crashed back into place around Kara.
“I’m taking a leave of absence from CatCo,” Cat continued. “Carter and I will be traveling for a few months, and I will be passing the reigns of CatCo to another during that time.”
Kara breathed deep. She nodded.
“I will be in touch, Kara. I’m not going to vanish and completely abandon my empire, am I?”
Kara let out a small laugh. “I bet Carter’s excited.”
“He has a list of places he wants to visits, museums, historic locations.” Cat chuckled. “He is trying to convince me to go to every Disney park.”
Kara forced a smile.
“Now, I believe it’s getting close to lunch. You know my regular.”
“Of course, Ms. Grant.”
Kara spun on her heels, quickly leaving the office.
The world spun around her, colors smudging, faces blurring as her mind raced.
She escaped into the elevator, barely remembering to control her strength as she hit the ground floor button.
The door started to close.
The world around her started to close as well.
The walls were so close.
The walls were getting closer.
The door opened.
Kara blinked as James stepped inside.
“Are you okay?” he asked, taking a step towards her, a step to the side.
Kara nodded. “I’m good. I’m fine. Perfectly alright.”
He tilted his head.
The door closed.
“Kara? What is it?”
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
His lips pursed, then he nodded.
“Alright, but if you do want to talk, you can always come to me, alright?”
Kara stared at him for a moment, at the soft look in his eyes. She nodded.
He smiled, but the concern in his eyes stayed.
“So,” Kara drawled, ducking her head for a moment. “Do I get any details for Friday?”
His smile grew. “I’ll text you more later, but for now, we’ll be outside, so dress for the weather.”
The elevator stopped.
Kara stepped out, turning back when James made no move to get off.
She could just make out the blush on his cheeks.
“No, I’m not on break. Just wanted to make sure you were okay.”
The door closed between them. Kara stared at it for a moment, warmth fluttering in her chest.
Alex’s mouth was dry. Her eyelids stuck together as she tried to force them apart. She rubbed at her eyes, picking the sleep from the corners, then staring up at the ceiling.
She was in her office, on the couch.
She blinked, raised her arm to check her watch.
Almost six in the evening.
The last thing she could remember was deciding to go to work. Everything since was a blur of pain.
“How’re you feeling?”
She lifted her head, squinting against the low light of the room.
Lucy was pushing out of the desk chair. She was in a black tank top, but pulled her DEO shirt back on as she made her way to the couch.
Alex pushed herself up, grateful when Lucy helped steady her as the world threatened to start spinning around her.
“Head hurts,” Alex mumbled. “But not as much.”
“That’s good.” Lucy sat next to her, just far enough away to let Alex decide if she wanted the support. “Dr. Hamilton is on her way down.”
Alex groaned. “I’m fine.”
“No, Alex. We all know how not fine you are, and if you aren’t going to take care of yourself, I’m damn well going to do it for you.”
Alex sighed, slouching back.
“I may have found some stuff in the files that will interest you, though.”
Alex blinked at her.
Lucy raised an eyebrow. “You don’t remember which files.”
“I’m practically hung over, Lane. I barely remember my own name.”
“This is why I called Hamilton.”
“You’re going to make me late for sister night.”
“I’m sure Kara will survive.”
Lucy stood after soft knocking at the door and went to let Hamilton in. Alex closed her eyes against the light from the hallway.
“I’m pretty sure I told you to go home yesterday, Agent Danvers,” Hamilton said.
“I did go home yesterday,” Alex replied.
Hamilton hummed. The couch shifted as, Alex assumed, Hamilton sat next to her.
Her arm was turned over, the sleeve pushed up slightly, and fingers pressed to her wrist.
“It’s just a headache,” Alex protested.
“Her memory from before I made her take a nap is fuzzy,” Lucy spoke up.
“Traitor,” Alex said.
“Takes one to know one.”
Alex squinted up at Lucy, then turned to Hamilton.
Large, pale eyes watched her carefully.
Alex’s stomach fluttered.
Nausea, it was just nausea.
From the migraine.
“What do you remember from this morning?”
“Woke up. Ate breakfast. Decided to come in, look at some stuff.” She blinked a few times, trying to see past the memory of the pain. “The rest blurs.”
“The pain. I know what I was doing, I just only remember the pain.”
Hamilton hummed. “It’s not abnormal for that to happen with migraines. How is the pain right now?”
Alex shrugged. “Not too bad.”
“Can you stand?”
Alex huffed and pushed herself up. Her knees buckled. She started to stumble, only to be stopped by Lucy’s steady hands.
Hamilton made a noise and stood as well.
“Get her home,” she told Lucy, then turned to Alex. “Rest. Take the pain meds. Sleep. Do not come back until the day after tomorrow, and come to my office as soon as you do.”
“I will get Director J’onzz involved if I have to.”
Alex sighed. “Fine.”
Hamilton nodded. “Good. I’m looking into some things that will help, and potentially be paths to get you back to duty if the migraines are chronic.”
Hamilton turned and left. Alex winced against the lights.
“You ready?” Lucy asked, handing Alex the tinted glasses.
Alex put them on and nodded.
“Sister night at your’s or Kara’s?”
They had been spending more time at her apartment; the windows at Kara’s proving too much for her at times.
Lucy nodded. She led Alex out, staying just close enough to help steady her if needed, but far enough to not crowd her.
It took longer than Alex liked for them to get to Lucy’s car. Her feet barely seemed to want to move. The light pierced into her eyes, even with the tinted glasses. She practically collapsed into the passenger’s seat once there.
The blue light coming off of the screen was bad for his eyes at the late hour. Max knew that, but he didn’t particularly care, at least, not in the moment as he inspected the information on the screen.
The Kryptonian power source General Lane had given him.
He wouldn’t be able to power it back up.
Well, he could, hypothetically, but he didn’t have access to the amount of power required.
“You’ve had a busy year, Maxwell.”
He looked over the monitor at the woman sitting in the chair in the corner of the office.
“And you’re as sneaky as ever, Lillian. I didn’t hear you come in.”
She smiled, rising to her feet. “You should be more careful, never know who might be creeping around.”
“Noted.” Max smirked, leaned back in his chair. “So, to what do I owe the pleasure?”
Lillian stalked around his desk, fingers dragging across the surface. “I’ve been following some of recent projects, the...less public ones.”
“Have a favorite?”
“One or two.”
Max chuckled. “What do you want?”
A pinch at his neck.
A hand over his mouth.
A smile in blue light.
Kara let out a deep breath, neck arched back as she stared at the ceiling.
A pillow hit the side of her face.
She glared at Alex.
“What’s wrong?” Alex asked.
“You just threw a pillow at me.”
“I did. What’s wrong?”
“The fact that you just threw a pillow at me!”
Alex chuckled. She grabbed a slice of pizza from her separate pie.
Kara's fingers itched to throw the pillow back, but she resisted. Alex claimed the food and pain meds had gotten her headache down to almost nothing, but a blow to the head could easily undo that.
“You’ve been distracted the entire night,” Alex said. “So what’s up?”
Kara took another deep breath.
Ms. Grant leaving.
“It’s just been a long month,” she finally said.
Alex sobered and nodded.
Kara’s gut clenched.
Alex had been ready to fall asleep, clinging to Lucy when they had arrived, but she had insisted that she would be fine, that she could still do Sister Night.
She had apparently insisted on going to work, too.
Because, that was what Alex did.
But, if she had something else to do.
Alex’s brow furrowed.
Kara stood, ignoring Alex’s questions, and grabbed her laptop. She sat down, opened it, navigated to the page she needed. Alex leaned across the couch, trying to get a glimpse, but Kara turned so she was facing Alex, the laptop between them.
The dating website loaded quickly. She logged out of the account she hadn’t touched in months, and went to create a new account.
Alex tried to tilt the screen back far enough to see.
Kara floated up, taking the laptop with her.
“That’s cheating!” Alex protested.
Kara typed in Alex’s information, then paused at the user name. She narrowed her eyes, looking down at her sister. Her older sister, who was climbing onto the couch to try and reach her.
“What do you think about A.Danvers89?”
Alex stopped, one eyebrow raised. “What?”
“As like, a username?”
Kara tilted her head, looking at the typed word. “No. Not feeling it.” She deleted it, typing in another try. “What about DrDrSuperAgent?”
“What are you doing?”
Kara deleted it.
She bit her lip, thinking back to profiles she had looked at, thinking about what Alex would actually keep.
“What about SuperScientist?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“I like it.”
“Great. What is it?”
Kara hit submit, and floated back to the couch. Alex sat next to her, taking the laptop.
“A dating website?”
Alex sighed. “Why did you just sign me up for a dating website?”
“You need to get out more and not just to work.”
Alex let out a short breath. “I don’t have time to date right now, Kara.”
“Just browse a bit?” She took the laptop back. “See, you take this quiz, and it matches you with guys whose answers are compatible with yours.”
Alex just glared at her.
“You promised,” Kara said.
Alex’s face softened. “Fine, give me that.”
She took the laptop and read off the first question.
“What is more important to you? Money. Family. Adventure. Fulfillment.” Alex looked up at Kara, eyebrows raised. “You’re serious?”
Alex sighed and settled into the questions.
The actual chapter
Sorry bout the mix up last night.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Kara kept her eyes on her notepad. She stared at the small whirl she had absently drawn.
“Now,” Cat said. “I know this is a big change, potentially scary for some, but I am sure you will all adapt and leave my company still standing for my return.”
Silence blanketed Cat’s office. Nobody daring to even move.
Kara extended the whirl, circling it around itself a few more times.
“Are you waiting for something? I’m not going to be beamed up right this second. Off. Work.”
There was a rush of movement as the rest of the staff at the meeting fled. Kara added one last whirl, the tip of her pen sliding off of the pad.
“The world won’t be the same without Cat Grant at the helm of her empire.”
Kara looked up to Clark stepping into Cat’s office.
“I’ll be back soon enough,” Cat said. She leaned back on her desk, grinning. “Well, Clark, to what do I owe this pleasure?”
Clark smiled. “I actually wanted to see if I could steal Kara for the day to help with an interview.”
Kara stared at Clark.
“An interview?” Cat asked.
“Just a small piece,” Clark explained. “About the research the Luthor Family Children Hospital is doing on the impact of the Myriad event on surviving children. I have an interview with Lena Luthor.”
“And you need Kara, why?”
“Sentiment.” Clark chuckled. “I guess I just like the thought of taking her out as she starts to learn to be a reporter.”
“Ah,” Cat said. “Family thing.” She let out a long sigh. “Well, I suppose I could relinquish her for the day.” She turned, walking around her desk. “Keep your phone on, Kara.”
“Of course, Ms. Grant.”
Cat waved them away, turning her focus to something on her desk.
Kara watched her for a moment before following Clark out of the office.
“Lena Luthor?” she asked as they walked through the bullpen. “Lex’s sister?”
“Have you been following the LexCorp news?” he asked.
Kara pressed the button for the elevator. “You mean L-Corp?”
“I know the name changed, but not much more.”
The elevator opened.
“What research are they doing?” she asked. “Is it bad?”
“Not that I can tell, but Luthor is directly involved.”
“And you don’t trust her?”
“She’s a Luthor. Can you ever trust a Luthor?”
Lucy glanced up from the file.
“What did you just call him?”
Agent Price looked at her with wide eyes. “Mon, ma’am.”
She glanced at the man on the bed. He didn’t look much like a Mon.
“It’s short for pod man, man in the pod. It’s easier than saying John Doe every time.”
Lucy hummed as she looked back at the file. “Have there been any changes?”
Lucy nodded. She handed the file back.
“Any further idea of where he came from?”
“No. We still haven’t been approved to test Kryptonite on him, so we can’t verify that he is Kryptonian.”
“Director J’onzz wants to wait another week. If he doesn’t wake by then, we will try with a small sample,” Lucy said.
Price nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”
Lucy glanced at the man, at Mon, again, then turned and left the med bay. She made her way through the base until she reached command, stopping next to Vasquez’s station. She looked up at the screen, showing a news story about the protests at the memorial.
“And how is our guest?” Vasquez asked.
“Is it safe to assume you came up with ‘Mon’?”
Lucy didn’t need to look at Vasquez to know they were trying to not smirk.
“Just shortening pod man, really?”
“Eh, that’s the excuse I gave them. It was a Monday when he came in.”
Lucy snorted. “How’s the Fort Rozz tracking going?”
“Good. We lost it for a short time last night, but we picked up the signal again within a few minutes.”
“Any results on the projected path?”
“It doesn’t seem like it will be impacting anything anytime soon, but the numbers are still running.”
Lucy nodded. The news story moved on to Supergirl’s absence at the memorial.
“Do we have word on the protesters from the memorial?” she asked. “Is there any sort of central organization?”
“We haven’t heard of anything…”
Vasquez was cut off by a crash behind them.
They both spun, pulling their guns out to see an agent thrown into command, sliding across the floor on his back.
Mon strode into command a moment later. His chest heaved, wires still attached to nodes swaying with each breath. His eyes flicked around, panic crossing his face as he took in the agents.
Lucy stepped forward, holding her gun so it was pointed up away from him.
“My name is Director Lane,” she said. “We found your pod when it crashed and brought you here to heal. What’s your name?”
He looked up at the screen behind her. He stared for a few moments, then focused on Lucy.
“I don’t know.”
Kara squinted her eyes, tilted her head, and tried to make heads or tails of the painting on the wall.
Blue splatters and purples orbs and orange lines.
“Ms. Luthor can see you now.”
Kara turned from the painting, to the secretary sitting outside Luthor’s office. Clark stood, smiling as he thanked the secretary. Kara followed him into the office, one step behind.
Lena Luthor stepped towards them, hand out. Clark took it, smile still strong.
She turned to Kara, who took her hand as well.
“Ms. Luthor,” Clark said. “This is Kara Danvers, an intern from CatCo Magazine.”
“Welcome,” Lena said. She smiled. “I’m always happy to talk about the work we’re doing at the hospital.”
She turned, moving to her desk, and gesturing to the chairs on the other side of the desk.
Kara looked around the office as she sat. It was clean, white with sharp lines. She resisted the urge to bask in the sunlight streaming through the window wall behind the modern desk. Her phone buzzed in her pocket, she waited for further messages, for the specific vibration to let her know it was an emergency, but nothing came.
Clark asked if it was alright to record the interview, then set the device on the desk after getting permission.
“You only recently took over the company after the former CEO, and your brother, Lex Luthor, was arrested. You renamed the company L-Corp, started a public campaign to reimagine the company outside of Lex’s reputation, then, after the Myriad event, stopped, turned your focus elsewhere.”
Lena nodded. “Lex’s shadow still hangs over the company, and will for a while. What he did will not be easily forgotten. However, there is a time for dwelling on the past, and there is a time for action. We know how the Myriad Event affected us in the moment. We felt the effects, then were faced with the staggering impact. What we don’t know is how it could continue to affect us. L-Corp has the means to make the effort to find out, so we will.”
“In the past, L-Corp was only associated with the hospital by name and funding. Now, you, CEO of L-Corps are getting directly involved in research. Why the change?”
“Time? The Myriad Event? That I’m not my brother? Adaptability is important. When the world changes, you change with it. By increasing the involvement between the company and the hospital more resources are available to all of our researchers. More importantly, the resources now available to the hospital, through L-Corp, give us the chance to be preventative. We have no idea the effects Myriad could have on the development of children, especially given how the severity of the initial event changed based on age, but we intend to be proactive, instead of reactive.”
Kara followed the interview, taking notes as it went.
The research was still barely getting off the ground. Once it was more established, Lena would be stepping back, leaving the doctors and scientists in charge. She was hoping to work with others researchers, but at the moment, most seemed focused on the impact Myriad had on adults.
The company had very little chance of profiting from the research, particularly with Lena’s insistence that any procedures or aid devices to come from it be as available as possible.
“An odd stance for a CEO to be taking,” Clark said after that reveal.
Lena leaned forward, hands folded on her desk. “Too many companies are run with the sole goal of making as much money as possible. That is not L-Corp, to the horror of my board I assure you. We have plenty of other endeavors that are profitable. This I see as a duty. We have the resources and ability to do this without monetary gain.”
Kara narrowed her eyes slightly. Lena’s face was set, as if waiting for push back.
“You seem like a much different business leader than your brother,” Clark said.
“Good.” Lena leaned back. “Lex’s actions were abhorrent. I can only hope that, with time, people will come to think of L-Corp in a better light, but even if that doesn’t come to pass, the good I hope to accomplish is what really matters.”
Kara believed her.
Despite the warnings of her being a Luthor, of how they couldn’t trust her, Kara believed her.
Clark smiled and nodded. “Well, Ms. Luthor, it was a pleasure speaking with you today.”
Lena nodded. She stood, prompting Clark and Kara to do the same. “Of course, Mr. Kent. If you need anything more, you know where I am.”
Kara trailed behind Clark as they left the office. She took one last glance back.
Lena was already back to work, flipping through some papers on her desk. She glanced up and smiled right before the door closed.
“What do you think?” Clark asked once they were in the elevator.
“I think she’s genuine,” Kara answered, pulling her phone out, checking the message from Lucy. “The mystery man woke up. Want to come meet him?”
Clark looked uncomfortable for a moment before he shook his head. “I should go get started on the article, but tell me how it goes?”
Maggie tossed the baseball from hand to hand, eying the boxes spread across the apartment. Despite never fully unpacking, after living in the apartment for three months stuff had accumulated. She froze at knocking on her door.
She wasn’t expecting anyone.
Tossing the baseball into the nearest open box, she put a hand on her pistol as she checked the peephole.
“I didn’t know you knew where I live,” she said as she opened the door.
Renee snorted as she stepped inside, handing the pizza box over. She looked around. “Heard a rumor you were leaving.”
Maggie kicked the door closed, put the pizza on top of a closed box sitting on the couch.
“Who’d you hear that from?” she asked, flipping the pizza box open.
Renee shrugged. “Here and there.You’re not leaving cause of…” She picked up a magazine, turning it so Maggie could read the headline.
Maggie rolled her eyes, snatching the paper. She glanced at the picture before tossing it aside.
“If I was going to leave town because of Kate -- or anything else this past year -- I would have done it months ago.” She pulled a piece of pizza out. “I just got a better offer and have no reason to stay.”
“Nobody would blame you if you were just trying to get out of Gotham, you know? It’s been a shitty year.” Renee grabbed her own slice. “What’s the offer?”
“National City. They’re revamping their Science Division, like an alien focused MCU.”
“California. Nice. Just watch out for the city wide attacks that seem more and more common out there.”
Maggie scoffed. “Cause Gotham is so much better?”
“At least Gotham is used to this shit. You’re going to be dealing with so many dumbasses who don’t understand you can’t do anything about their car window a rampaging monster broke.”
Maggie groaned. “I was trying to not think about that.”
Renee laughed. “C’mon, I’ll help you finish packing.”
The man from the pod, Mon, was taller than Kara had imagined. He paced back and forth across the med bay, occasionally running a hand through his hair.
“He remembers nothing,” Lucy said, standing next to her, arms crossed. “His name. Where’s he from. How he got in that pod. That he’s even from another planet.”
“Do we know if he’s Kryptonian yet?”
Lucy shook her head.
“Can I talk to him?” Kara asked.
Lucy gestured to the door.
Kara took a deep breath, then walked inside.
The man froze, turning to her. He eyed her, glancing down to the crest on her chest for a moment.
“ Erosh bem .” The Kryptonian greeting slipped easily from her lips.
The man blinked, then carefully responded. “ Erosh bem. ”
Kara fought to keep from smiling. “They say you do not remember anything,” she said, continuing in Kryptonian.
“ They are correct ,” he replied.
“Is there anything?” she asked. “Anything at all?”
He shook his head. “ The first thing I remember is waking, here. ”
His accent was one Kara had never heard before, his vowels harsher, his inflection odd, but it was nice, speaking to another truly fluent speaker of Kryptonian.
“What will I be called?”
Kara blinked at the question. “Some of the agents have taken to calling you Mon, but something else can be decided.”
He tilted his head. “Mon. Mon.” He nodded. “I like it.”
She returned his smile.
“And what is your name?”
Two sharp knocks sounded from the blacked out window.
“I will be back soon,” she said.
“Wait,” Mon said. “They keep saying I'm not from this planet. Where am I from? What is this planet.”
“This planet is Earth. We are from a planet named Krypton.”
Two more knocks.
Kara stepped back, pointed her thumb at the door. “I need to go.”
He nodded. “ Erosh bem, Kara. ”
“ Erosh bem, Mon. ”
She left the room.
“Sounded like a nice talk,” Lucy said. “If only I had understood it.”
Kara shrugged. “Sorry. But,” she drew out the word, excitement bleeding through despite herself. “He’s fluent in Kryptonian.”
“Check in the Kryptonian column.”
“Check? Lucy, almost nobody off of Krypton spoke Kryptonian. As a rule, we didn't travel off planet, so our language didn't spread. He has to be Kryptonian.”
Lucy watched her for a moment, then inclined her head. “I will push the tests off and inform J'onn in the morning. If he agrees, we can forgo them completely.”
“He's Kryptonian, I'm sure of it,” Kara insisted.
Lucy nodded. She glanced at her watch. “I’m going to check on Alex, want to come with?”
Kara glanced at Mon. “I, uh, think I’m gunna stay a little longer, talk to him some more.”
“Alright. Don’t stay too late.”
“Don’t let Alex drag you into watching her documentaries.”
Lucy laughed as she walked off.
Alex looked significantly better than she had when Lucy had dropped her off the night before.
Her face wasn’t quite as pale, she was steady on her feet, and she was able to keep her eyes open for more than five seconds. Her smile when she realized it was Lucy at the door was soft and pain-free and…
Lucy pushed down the warmth it filled her with.
The last thing she needed was her attraction to Alex to turn into an actual crush.
Well, if she was honest, that ship had sailed weeks ago, when she had watched Alex swing a leg over a bike and drive off into the night.
Didn’t mean she couldn’t try to keep it controlled, however.
“Lane,” Alex said. “Can’t say I was expecting you.”
Lucy smirked, lifted the file in her hands.
Alex’s face lit up.“You brought me work?” She stepped aside, letting Lucy enter the apartment.
“Sort of,” Lucy said. “It’s everything Winn could find on Superman’s liaison recommendation. We need the approval ready tomorrow because she arrives Friday.”
Alex’s eyebrows raised. She took the file, flipping through it as she meandered to the kitchen. Lucy followed her.
“Want some food? Coffee?”
“Do you have tea?”
“Uh, no. I do not.”
Lucy rolled her eyes. “What type of coffee do you have?”
Alex gestured to a coffee machine on the counter as she opened the fridge, closed file in one hand.
Lucy walked to the machine, pulling the bag of beans towards her - classic roast of some brand Lucy had never heard of but looked hipster. Lucy got the machine started, then turned back to Alex, who was topping off a glass of vaguely yellow liquid from a pitcher.
“Gatorade?” Lucy asked, stepping next to Alex at the island.
Alex’s nose wrinkled. “More like yellow flavored water with how diluted it is.”
“Why are you drinking it then?”
Alex rolled her eyes, leaned against the counter. “Helps keep me hydrated and I can't stand plain water during the headaches.” She opened the file. “Margarita Sawyer. Let’s see what we’ve got.”
“I’m surprised you haven’t read it already,” Lucy said. “Winn sent it to you too.”
Alex scoffed. “I’m blocked from my work email for the day.”
Lucy fought her laugh, but couldn’t stop her grin.
“Well, I’m glad you think it’s funny,” Alex said. “I’ve had to actually rest.”
“Which is what you’re supposed to be doing.”
“Says the person who brought me work.”
“I brought a single, time sensitive file, barely constitutes as work.” Lucy stepped back to the coffee machine as she spoke. She measured out the beans, putting enough in the filter for a single mug.
“Superman said he worked with her?” Alex asked.
“Yeah, back when she was in Metropolis.” Lucy watched as the coffee started to drip into the pot.
A few papers flipped behind her. “And some interactions with Batman while in Gotham? She certainly gets around.”
“Think she met Wonder Woman while she was in Gotham last year?”
Alex chuckled. “Probably. She knew Batwoman?” Alex turned another page. “Wait, Chase blackmailed Batwoman?”
“Then Sawyer worked with Batwoman against the DEO,” Lucy said.
“Chase probably deserved it, but do we know how that'll change Sawyer's view on us? Does she even know that we’re technically different organizations?”
“It probably wouldn’t be the worst to have the NCPD liaison a bit skeptical.”
Alex scoffed, but didn’t argue as she kept reading through the file.
“Do anything exciting on your day off?” Lucy asked, in part to keep Alex from commenting on every new piece of information.
Alex shrugged. “Does catching up on my shows count as exciting?”
“Being on the run not conducive to staying up to date?”
“Not at all. Motels get crap service.”
Beeping pulled Lucy’s attention back to the coffee. She poured her mug, then stepped towards Alex again, holding the coffee up to smell. She hadn’t tasted it yet, but so far it seemed like Alex knew how to pick good coffee.
“Did you at least get complimentary breakfast?”
“Shame.” Lucy leaned her hip against the island, cradling the mug in both hands. “I have a weakness for those waffles you can get at those places.”
Alex glanced over at her, eyes narrowed in amusement, then flipped the page to find the back of the file.
“No personal stuff?”
“Apparently that’s ‘going too far and we should take Superman’s recommendation as enough of a character witness’.”
Alex scoffed. “Please, he’s far from a perfect judge. He trusted Lex Luthor for how many years?”
Lucy sighed. “And, yet.” She lifted the mug to her lips, only to lower it at the heat still rising. “Get to know her, Danvers, invite her to game night or something.”
Alex rolled her eyes as she closed the file. “Want to watch Star Trek? It’s on Netflix and I’m making my way through it.”
Lucy followed Alex around the island, to the couch, only to stop as they passed the table, where Alex’s laptop sat open.
“Is that a dating profile?”
Alex spun with a curse, and slammed the laptop shut. “No.”
Lucy laughed. “You have a dating profile?”
Alex groaned. “Kara made it for me yesterday. She thinks I need a distraction from work.”
Lucy raised and eyebrow. “You’re still looking through it.”
“I got bored.”
Lucy pushed Alex’s hand off the laptop and opened it.
To a locked screen.
“Nice try,” Alex said.
“C’mon, I’ll help you weed out the creeps.”
“Wouldn’t you rather watch Star Trek?”
“It’s a laptop, Danvers, portable and all that. We can do both.”
Alex groaned, then sighed. “Fine.”
She picked up the laptop and made her way to the couch.
Lucy followed slowly, finally taking a sip of coffee.
She might not have a chance with Alex, but she could damn well make sure she ended up with someone good enough for her.
She had good taste in coffee, after all.
I know a lot of people are probably worried about Mon-El, but I'll be pulling more from the comics than the show, so we'll see how it all works out.
Massive thank you to moose for helping with the interview in the chapter.
And another massive thank you for everyone who reviews, it means so much.
“So,” she drawled. “This is the DEO headquarters.”
J’onn stepped forward. “Welcome, Detective Sawyer.”
Maggie took his offered hand. “Thank you.”
as a quick note, there was a mistake when posting the last chapter where I accidentally posted this one in it's place. If you read the last chapter within the first few hours of me posting it, it might not have been the right one.
That being said, this one has been edited p significantly since then, so if you did read it, there is new stuff going on here.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Dr. Hamilton must have her lights on a dimmer, Alex realized as she sat in the office. It was definitely darker inside than out in the med bay. Hamilton had still glared at her when she had tried to take her glasses off, but the darkness was definitely appreciated.
“I’ve gathered some ways we can try to accommodate your migraines and the potential of you returning to field work,” Hamilton said.
Alex nodded. “Great.”
“This is not a release for duty,” Hamilton continued. “All of these need to be tested, and I want see how the migraines continue to improve with time.”
Alex nodded again. She didn’t like it, but she had expected it.
“First, upgraded gear,” Hamilton started. “You will be required to wear your helmet on all missions that require TAC gear. You will also be issued a pair of goggles tinted like the glasses, and will wear them.”
Hamilton passed a small book to Alex.
“Second, migraine journal. Fill it out with your symptoms. I want to see it every week. Hopefully, we’ll find a pattern.”
Alex flipped through the book for a moment before setting it in her lap.
“Third, you need to make sure you’re using the medicine you were prescribed. Finally, I want you to look into possibly getting a service dog.”
Alex blinked. “A service dog?”
“A migraine service dog.”
Hamilton nodded. She passed over a small packet. “They are trained to detect slight changes in their master when the prodrome starts.”
Alex raised an eyebrow, opening the packet and glancing down the first page.
“I think one would be good for you,” Hamilton said. “The dog would give us a heads up before your migraine hit, letting us know if any changes to missions or experiments need to be made.”
Alex nodded absently. She glanced at her watch.
“I’ll think about it,” she said, standing. “I have a meeting with the directors I need to get to, but thank you, for looking into this.”
Hamilton nodded, eyes narrowed. “Really think about it, Agent Danvers. If the migraines don’t get better, something like a service dog may be the only way for you to return to the field in any capacity.”
Alex gave a terse nod before turning and leaving the office. She tucked the service dog packet into the front cover of the journal. She wasn’t going to think about it, but she had to let Hamilton think she was.
She stepped into the elevator, leaning against the back wall. Her body was still exhausted, still recovering from the lingering effects of the migraine. She breathed deep.
The elevator opened at the command level. She pushed herself upright and strode out of the elevator.
J’onn and Lucy were standing at the center desk. Lucy looked up and smiled at her as she made her way towards them.
Alex smiled back. “Any sign of the liaison yet?” she asked as she stepped to the desk.
“She’s checking in to get her guest credentials,” J’onn answered. “What did Dr. Hamilton say?”
Alex shrugged. “She gave me a few options.”
“Have you thought of not going back into the field?” Lucy asked.
“Not one of the options,” Alex replied.
“You’re more than just a field agent,” J’onn said. “You’re just as valuable in the lab or command.”
“Or, we find a way for me to stay in the field.”
“Which would require you listening to Dr. Hamilton.”
Alex plucked at the corner of the journal’s cover. She’ll fill out the journal, she’ll wear the gear, she’ll take the meds if she had to, but she didn’t need a dog following her everywhere she went.
Lucy leaned close to her.
“You get any replies?” she asked in a low voice.
Alex rolled her eyes. “Yes.”
“There’s one guy who asked about something tomorrow but I haven’t replied yet.”
The elevator opened again, pulling their attention. An agent stepped out, followed by a woman Alex had only seen in pictures.
Alex looked her up and down. Black slacks, wide belt, button up and blazer with the arms folded up. She pushed some hair behind her ear as she looked around command.
“So,” she drawled. “This is the DEO headquarters.”
J’onn stepped forward. “Welcome, Detective Sawyer.”
Maggie took his offered hand. “Thank you.”
“I’m Director J’onzz.” He turned towards the desk. “This is Director Lane and Agent Danvers.”
Maggie nodded at both of them. Alex tilted her head in return.
“Agent Danvers will be working directly with you as the liaison agent,” J’onn continued.
Alex’s cheek twitched with the urge to grimace. Maggie turned to her, stepped up and held her hand out.
“Agent Danvers, it’s nice to meet you.”
“You too, Detective,” Alex replied, shaking her hand.
“Why don’t we take this to Agent Danvers’ office?” Lucy suggested.
J’onn nodded. He handed a thick folder to Lucy.
“I’ll stay out here, watch command,” he said.
Lucy nodded. She tucked the folder under her arm and made her way towards the elevator.
Maggie glanced towards Alex before following.
Alex took a deep breath and made her way after as well.
Maggie carefully tracked the path to Danvers’ office as she listened to the occasional comment from the agents.
The base was as high tech as she had expected, with a much more official feel that her previous interactions with the organization. Definitely a more secret agency feel, too, with the agents in uniforms instead of business wear.
Still as ominous.
Maggie eyed the gun on Lane’s thigh holster, the way Danvers’ hands curled in the same location, as if she was used to wearing one as well. She glanced through the windows into the labs, wondering what the scientists were studying, wondering if it was for good or bad. A shudder ran through her at the memory of the last time she had encountered a DEO creation.
She still had nightmares from the fear toxin and the accidental dose had happened almost a year ago.
Danvers’ office was just past the labs.
A scientist, then.
The lights in her office were low, which Danvers didn’t seem to be expecting, from the way she paused after turning them on. She recovered quickly, going to sit on a couch against the wall, tossing the book she was carrying on the other cushion.
Lane gestured for Maggie to take one of the seats in front of the desk before circling around it to take the one behind. She turned on the desk lamp, and opened the folder.
The paperwork was long and tedious and full of NDAs Lane insisted Maggie actually read through.
She looked around when she could.
Thick textbooks filled the bookshelves against the walls. A trio of degrees were framed in the corner, out of sight from the door. A picture on the desk was turned just enough for Maggie to make out Danvers and a blond woman. Danvers herself was slumped, legs spread wide, and spinning her glasses by one of the arms.
One moment, about half way through the stack, Maggie caught a look at Danvers, head bowed, jawline sharp, hair cascading down over the hand pressed to her temple.
Maggie quickly looked away, only to catch sight of Lane, lip between her teeth, eyes quick as she read through the next page.
Maggie rolled her eyes. It was just her luck she would end up working with a pair of hot women. She mentally shook her head. She was still getting over Kate breaking up with her, she didn’t need to start falling for any co-workers of undetermined sexuality.
By the time the paperwork was finished, Maggie’s hand was cramping and the print on the paper was starting to blur.
Lane signed one last page, then looked up and sighed.
Maggie jumped. Lane hadn’t shouted exactly, but the force and projection behind her voice was unexpected. Maggie’s head jerked towards Danvers, who was slowly opening her eyes.
“What?” Danvers asked.
“Are you good, or do you need to go back to your nap?” Lane asked.
“I wasn’t napping.”
“Sure you weren’t. I need you to sign this, confirming that you were present while Detective Sawyer filled out her paperwork.”
Danvers put her glasses back on as she rounded the desk. She angled the lamp further down as she leaned over to read the paper.
Maggie sat, watching as Danvers leaned into Lane to grab a pen, as Lane whispered something that made Danvers roll her eyes.
“I’m fine,” Danvers said, standing up.
Lane hummed her disbelief, but didn’t push. She closed the folder, tidying the edges of the papers within, then stood.
“Thank you, Detective Sawyer. Your DEO credentials will be ready for you the next time you’re here,” she said.
“Thank you,” Maggie said.
Lane nodded curtly, then stalked out of the office. Maggie twisted around to watch her go.
“She’s a lawyer, isn’t she?” she asked, turning back to Danvers, who had sat.
Danvers snorted. “Not just a lawyer, an Army lawyer.”
“That’s just great.”
Danvers laughed. “I’ll tell her you feel that way.”
She grimaced, rubbing her temple.
“You alright?” Maggie asked.
Danvers waved her off. “Small headache.”
Maggie nodded. She didn’t believe her, but let it go.
Danvers rifled through a stack of files on the corner of her desk until pulling one out near the bottom.
“I know you just got into town, but have you had a chance to met with your superiors at the NCPD?” she asked, not looking up from the papers she was flipping through.
“Briefly,” Maggie answered. “Long enough to understand what they are expecting from this partnership.”
“Clearer lines regarding jurisdiction, improvements to channels of communication, and the sharing of technology.”
Danvers finally looked up. She held a paper out towards Maggie. “These are some of the proposals the DEO has, if we can go over them now.”
Maggie nodded, resigning herself to a few more hours of desk work.
Kara watched Lord’s interview on a local news network about the resumed work on his bullet train. She scoffed at his insistence that what National City needed was something to pull their focus to the future.
And his train was apparently the right focus.
She pulled her attention away as the interview ended and a commercial break started. The bullpen was quiet, most people gone for the day.
She glanced at Cat’s office.
Cat was going through some files, hand on her forehead. She closed the files after a moment, then stood and walked to the balcony, drink in hand.
Kara waited a few minutes, then stood as well. She made her way through the bullpen, to the elevator, taking it all the way to the roof. A few moments later, she floated down to the balcony.
“Will you miss it?” she asked.
Cat made a noise, a cross between a scoff and a groan. “Who told you I was leaving?”
She turned to Kara, smile soft.
Kara shrugged, pulling her fists to her hips. “Little bird.”
Cat leaned back against the half wall. She just stared for a moment before sighing. “Yes. Yes, I will. I will miss CatCo every day.”
“What will you do?”
Cat tilted her head slightly. “I’m not sure.” She laughed, looked down at her glass as she swirled the contents. “It’s exciting, to tell the truth, not knowing.”
“You must have some plans.”
“Oh, sure. A ticket to New York tomorrow and one to London on Tuesday and a week pass to Disneyland Paris in three weeks, but when I wake on Monday I won’t have anything I need to do.”
“You look excited.”
“I am.” Cat turned, leaning on the wall, weight on her forearms, staring out on the city. “It’s freeing.”
Kara leaned next to her. “I’m jealous.”
Cat hummed, then shifted, turning slightly towards Kara.
“I want you to promise me something, Supergirl.”
“Do not lose yourself.”
Kara ducked her head, hair falling forward.
“And let yourself heal. Don’t think I haven’t noticed you…”
Kara’s phone beeped. James, for the date.
“I should take this.”
Cat narrowed her eyes, then nodded. “Of course.”
Kara took a deep breath. She glanced out at the city for a moment.
“I’ll miss you, Cat,” she said, after looking back.
“Oh, don’t worry, I will stay in touch, Supergirl.”
Lucy stepped up to the counter as the person ahead of her moved on. Gina smiled at her from behind the register.
“Hey, Lucy. How’re you doing?”
“I’m good. How’re you?”
Gina nodded. “I’m good. What do you want today?”
“Can I get the chickpea masala with rice and naan?”
“Sweet tea?” Gina asked.
“I’ll cover both of us,” Alex cut in, stepping closer to Lucy.
“The slider trio?” Gina asked Alex.
“Alex, you don’t have to,” Lucy said.
“You’ve been buying me food during my migraines the past weeks, let me pay you back a bit.”
Lucy shrugged. “If you want.”
“I do.” Alex turned back to Gina. “To go, please?”
Lucy turned away from the register, looked around Noonan’s. She and Alex had waited at the DEO long enough to miss the dinner rush line, but there were still a number of people waiting for their orders. She made her way to the front wall, leaning against the half-wall under the window.
Alex joined her a few minutes later.
“Since you made the decision that we aren’t staying here to eat, does that mean I’m invited back to your place?” Lucy asked.
“As if you ever need an invite,” Alex said, not even looking up from her phone.
“How’s your head?”
Alex grimaced. “That, uh, may be why I asked for it to go.”
Lucy leaned into her for a moment. “We could have ordered delivery and not have to deal with the crowds.”
“I’ll be okay, but thanks.”
Lucy hummed, not believing Alex for a second, but willing to let it slide. “So, what’re your thoughts on Sawyer so far?”
“I think she’s going to be a pain in the ass to deal with,” Alex said.
Lucy snorted. “So there’ll be two of you. Great.”
“Alex. How’re you doing?”
Lucy blinked as Clark Kent emerged from the crowd.
“Hey, Clark,” Alex replied, staring at Lucy for a few more moments with narrowed eyes before turning to grin at Clark. “I’m alright, just want to get home for the night.”
He turned to Lucy, grinned. “It’s been a while, Lucy.”
“It has. I didn’t know you were in National City.”
He rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah. I covered the memorial then decided to stay and spend some time with Kara.”
“She’s my cousin.”
Lucy’s stomach dropped. The chatter of the room around her rose to a roar. “You’re Kara’s cousin?”
That couldn’t be true. It couldn’t.
Because that would mean…
“Lucy’s knows Kara’s secret,” Alex said, looking down at her phone again.
Clarks face fell. “Oh,” he said. His posture shifted. His eyes hardened as he stared at her. “Kara trusts you.”
“Then I trust you.”
Lucy nodded again, ignoring the gnawing at her gut.
Kara looked around as James knelt down to get a picture of the park visitor’s center shadowed in the sun.
“Can you at least give me a hint?” she asked.
She eyed the other couples walking on the paths, the game of pick up football, the small amount of kids playing in the nearby jungle gym.
James chuckled. “It’s a surprise. But, we’re almost there, don’t worry.”
He stood, letting the camera hang from his neck before slipping his hand into hers.
“This way,” he said, leading around a building and taking a fork in the path. “There.”
“A butterfly garden?”
James grinned at her. Kara smiled back.
“It’s too early for the monarch migration,” James said as they walked to the flowered gate entrance. “But, it should still be pretty cool.”
“It’s great,” she said.
They wondered around the garden, following twists in the path at random.
Kara let herself relax, taking in the sounds and colors and scents of the garden, taking in James’ company and conversation. James stopped after a while, lifting his camera off of his neck.
Kara stood back, watching him work, watching the way he stilled, not wanting to disrupt anything before taking the shot. He turned to her, his grin growing.
Kara furrowed her brow.
He stepped forward, raising his camera.
Movement in the edge of her vision pulled her attention down.
A butterfly had landed on her shirt.
She barely registered the click of James’ camera, more focused on the butterfly crawling on her. Black wings with small areas of red and white, it stood stark against her white jacket. It took off, wings fluttering, then landed on her nose.
James’ camera clicked again.
Maggie looked up and down the alley before crossing to the door. She knocked out the rhythm her contact in Gotham had taught her, then gave the code word when prompted through a slot in the door.
The bar inside was grungy, seedy, and humming with the chatter of clients.
Maggie took in the pool table, the jukebox, the variety of pictures framed on the wall. She made her way to the bar, choosing a seat near the corner that gave her a view of the entire place. She inspected the drinks displayed on the wall behind the bar, zeroing on the weakest human alcohol available.
A bottle of which appeared in front of her a moment later.
She looked up into dark brown eyes.
“You have my entire clientele on edge,” the woman said.
Maggie glanced around, catching glimpses of people looking at her, then looking away when they noticed her looking.
“Just here for a drink,” she said.
The bartender hummed. “Not many humans come through here.”
Maggie curled her fingers around the bottle neck. “I don’t mean any trouble.”
The bartender looked her up and down. “You’re a cop.”
Maggie raised an eyebrow. “You’re a psychic.”
The bartender tilted her head. “What brings a human cop here?”
“New in town, assigned to the new division working with the alien community. Figured I’d get to actually know the community.”
That pulled a smile from the bartender. She held a hand out. “Megan.”
“Just be careful, Maggie,” Megan said, grabbing her cloth and starting to step away. “A lot of us have reason to be cautious around humans.”
Maggie nodded. “I understand.”
Megan made her way down the bar, to another patron.
Maggie took a sip of her beer, glancing around every few moments. Other than the occasional set of gills, horns, or third eye, it was like any dive bar Maggie had been in. She just observed, not wanting to make too many waves her first visit.
People left. New people came. Megan replaced Maggie’s beer every time she ran out, adding a glass of water with the third.
After a few hours, a small group filed in, keeping one of them hidden in the center of the group. Once they reached a table, Maggie could see the blood on the hidden one’s face.
She watched as Megan rushed over, handing over an ice pack and setting bottles on the table. When various members of the group tried to pay, Megan waved them off.
“I hope you’re prepared, Maggie,” Megan said when she brought the next beer.
“A group of humans noticed he was an alien.”
Maggie’s gut sank.
“If you want to do what I think you want to do,” Megan continued. “That is what you’re up against.”
Maggie took a deep breath. Her fingers flexed around the bottle. She looked at Megan.
“I will do my best.”
James’ hand was cool in hers as they swung gently with each step. The streets smelled like the short rain shower that had ended right before they had left the restaurant and the crowds were slowly returning from where they had gone to escape the rain.
They turned a corner, Kara’s building appearing a few blocks down.
“I had a really good time tonight,” Kara said.
“Me too. I’ll send you the pictures after I go through them,” James replied.
“That’d be great.”
James rubbed the back of his neck. “There’s, uh, something I need to tell you. I’ve wanted to, but I couldn’t yet.”
Kara’s next breath was harder to pull in as her chest constricted.
“It’s nothing bed,” James continued. “It’s actually kind of good.”
“What is it?”
“The person filling in for Cat while she’s gone? It’s me.”
Kara blinked. She breathed easily as her mind raced.
James nodded. “She asked me last week, something about knowing she can trust me to not take over completely and make the company my own.” He shrugged. “Still trying to figure out if she meant it as a compliment.”
“I’m sure she did.” Kara grinned. “You’ll do great.”
“Does this mean you’re going to be in her office on Monday? Because, I have to say, I am not sure I’m ready for that.”
James chuckled. “I’m not sure I am either, but, yeah, I will be.”
“This is…this is big, James.”
She looked up at her building as they walked up to the entrance, stopping just to the side..
“What is it going to mean for us?” she asked.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, doesn’t this make you my boss? That’s not exactly allowed.”
James shook his head. “Cat dealt with it. You are technically interned directly to her, not through the actual structure.”
“She thought of everything, didn’t she?”
“Wouldn’t be Cat Grant if she didn’t.”
Kara chuckled. She glanced at the door. “I should probably…”
“I’ll see you Monday?”
“Yeah.” He shifted for a moment. “Can I…” He ducked his head, a sheepish look crossing his face.
Kara nodded. “You can.”
The kiss was soft, gentle. James pulled back after just a moment.
“Have a good night, Kara.”
He turned, making his way back down the street. Kara stared after him for a moment before a grin spread across her face.
And so, meetings have happened, dates have happened
Will Alex succumb to the idea of having a service dog? What is up with Lord? And can you tell which story lines I care about more?
Any theories? Ideas?
Comments are loved and help keep me invested, so please don't hesitate.
“Hey, Alex?” she asked as the credits rolled. She kept her voice low, not wanting to disrupt the peace around them too much.
“How long have you known about Clark?”
ayyy, new chapter, hope y'all like
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
A deep breath.
Closed eyes and a deep breath.
And just feel the movement of the air.
And the power of the sun, weakened as it reflected off of the setting moon.
Kara tilted her head to the side as the rustling of fabric and whistling of speed approached.
Clark hovered behind her for a few minutes before speaking.
“This is my favorite time of the day,” he said. “So many people assume I like noon the most because sunlight is the most powerful, but it’s now, right before the sun rises. This moment of potential.”
Kara took a deep breath, felt the world around her.
The breeze shifting her position.
The warmth of the sun on her back.
“If I keep my eyes closed,” she said, “and just feel the sun rising, I can almost imagine it’s Rao.”
Clark's sharp inhale was slight but enough for her to catch. “Was Rao rising different from the sun?”
Rao was larger in the sky because Krypton had been much closer than Earth to the sun. It's light was dimmer, less vibrant.
But the colors.
She had never been able to describe what it was like seeing Rao rise and cast life across the planet.
When she had first arrived, she had longed for Kal-El to ask about their home, had wanted to share everything with him, to teach him about Krypton and their people and culture.
He had never asked.
“What do you say to one last day of team up before I head back to Metropolis tonight?”
Kara opened her eyes, stared out at the ocean as the sun behind her painted it in oranges and pinks.
“Yeah. I'd like that.”
Lucy grimaced as she woke up. She kicked the blanket off, the cool air welcome on her overheated skin, but did nothing for the contact with Alex beneath her.
Or the crick in her neck.
They really shouldn’t have fallen asleep on Alex’s couch while watching Stargate.
Alex groaned. “How are you so hot?”
“Good genes,” Lucy mumbled, pushing herself upright, ignoring the fact that she was straddling Alex’s hips, that Alex was lying beneath her, hair messed up, eyes still hooded with sleep.
“That’s not what I meant,” Alex said. “You got your sweat all over me.”
“Sorry,” Lucy mumbled. She slid off of Alex’s lap, pulled at her soaked shirt as she settled on another cushion. “It’s been a while since I had night sweats.”
Been a while since she slept close enough to another person to steal their heat like that.
“It’s fine,” Alex said, pushing herself up, stretching her neck. “You’ve never shared a bed with Kara.”
“How’s your head?” Lucy asked.
Alex shrugged, winced. “It hurts, but it’s just a headache right now, not a migraine.”
“I think we need a rule that you aren’t allowed to sleep on couches anymore.” She reached up and started to rub Alex’s neck. “I don’t think it’s good to be this tight,” she said.
“Probably not,” Alex murmured. She stood up. “You want clean clothes?”
Lucy trailed after Alex up to the closet, took the shorts and shirt offered.
“You have any plans today?” Alex asked as she reached into the dresser again.
“I do have to go in for a short shift,” Lucy answered. She turned so her back was to Alex and started to change. “But it's just for paperwork. With luck I'll only be there for a few hours.”
“Are you driving all the way out to the desert base just for paperwork?”
Lucy laughed. “God no. Vasquez is in charge on base. I will be using your office in the city.”
“Nobody will know I'm there, or even guess, makes it less likely I'll get pulled into any emergencies.”
Alex laughed. “Good luck with that.”
She walked past Lucy in clean clothes. She was holding the migraine diary open in one hand, writing in it as she walked.
“You have any plans before the hot date?” Lucy asked as they made walked to the kitchen.
Alex groaned, tossed the diary onto the counter. “I can’t believe I let you talk me into that.”
“He seems like a nice guy.”
Alex glanced over her shoulder, eyes narrowed. “Asking for a date that early? He just wants sex.”
“That’s not necessarily a bad way to jump into the dating scene. As long as he’s good, anyway.”
Alex scoffed. She pulled a carton of orange juice from her fridge. “I’m not going to sleep with a man I just met.”
Lucy sat at the island, took the glass of juice Alex passed her. “You know, if you really don’t want to do this you don’t have to. I know I can be pushy at times but I don’t mean to force you into this.”
Alex chuckled. “It’s fine. I figure, the sooner I do this a few times, the sooner you and Kara leave me alone about it.”
Lucy sipped her juice, watched as Alex moved around the kitchen, digging through her fridge and cabinets.
“Breakfast?” Alex asked, glancing back at her.
Lucy reached over to grab an apple from a bowl of fruit, shook it lightly in Alex’s direction before taking a bite.
Alex rolled her eyes. “Health nut.” She went back to searching through her food, pulled a box from the cabinet. “I’m making pancakes and bacon. If you change your mind, let me know.”
“Will do.” Lucy took another bite of her apple. “Why are you so sure it won’t work?” She asked after swallowing.
“What won’t work?”
Alex paused, glanced at Lucy for a moment before shrugging and turning back to the counter and her pancake supplies. “It never has, so why should it start now?”
“You mean, while essentially self-destructing under your mother’s pressure and the memory of your not actually dead father, dating didn’t work?”
Tension spread across Alex’s shoulders, she set the box and measuring cup of mix back onto the counter.
“Look,” Lucy continued, “maybe dating isn’t for you, but maybe you’ve never been in the right place for it, never had the right conditions.”
The tension stayed in Alex, shoulders pulling inwards to hunch over the counter.
Lucy slid off of the stool, made her way around the island and leaning a hip against the counter next to Alex.
“Kara just wants you happy. I want you happy. But if you do decide that it really isn’t for you, I will personally make sure Kara backs off.”
Alex looked at her, that look that made Lucy feel like Alex was reading her down to her DNA.
Then Alex smiled.
J'onn watched through the double sided mirror as Mon kept writing in short spurts. He was about halfway through the stack of papers an agent had brought him a few hours back.
For him to write out what he does remember, Dr. Stevens had said.
J'onn took a deep breath, stared at Mon as he reached out mentally, just enough to feel the minds around him.
Agent Vasquez walking through the door.
Callahan and Brewer down the hall.
And a block where Mon was, not unsimilar to what Kara and Clark felt like.
“The files, sir,” Vasquez said, stepping to his side.
J'onn nodded as he took them. “What do you think of our guest, Agent Vasquez?” he asked, opening the first file.
“We have nothing to say he is not Kryptonian,” they answered. “And, as it stands, only one way to really determine if he is.”
“Would you authorize the use of Kryptonite?”
Vasquez was silent for a few moments before responding. “I think there is enough evidence from other sources that such measures are not necessary. Between the tests of his abilities and Supergirl's assessment, it is safe to say he is Kryptonian.”
J'onn nodded. “Thank you, Agent Vasquez.” He closed the file. “I'm going to speak with him. I want you to watch him, look for any signs of manipulation.”
J’onn stepped around them to the door to the interrogation room.
“Any interesting memories?” he asked.
Mon looked up at him, then back down at his papers. “I still remember the rules to garatta.”
“Garatta?” He sat across the table from Mon, glanced at the papers long enough to see the unfamiliar script on them.
“It’s a game,” Mon said. “Played with…” He looked up, tilted his head. “I don’t know the word in this language, but they are large creatures with wings. I remember how to play, but I don’t remember ever playing.” He sighed, started to go through his papers. “That’s what it’s all like. I can ramble off about the Rokyn Society’s Gravitistics or how to care for a baby lumir, but I don’t know how i know any of it.”
“May I?” J’onn asked, gesturing to the papers.
“Go ahead,” Mon said, pushing them towards him.
J’onn flipped through them. Kryptonian, he could tell that much.
“How much do you remember?” he asked, glancing up for a moment.
Mon shrugged as he leaned back in his seat. “Waking up here? There’s nothing before that.”
“Would you be willing to talk more in depth with our doctors about the memory loss?”
“Of course.” He fiddled with his hands in his lap. “Can I ask a question?”
“Are there many of my kind...Kryp...Kryptons? on this planet.”
“Kryptonians. There are only two. Kara, who you met, and her cousin.”
Mon nodded. “From the House of El? That’s what her-” he gestured to his chest “-stood for, right?”
J’onn nodded. “Kryptonians have certain abilities on this planet. Kara and her cousin use them to protect people of this planet.”
He held the papers back towards Mon, who took them back.
“Will I be able to see Kara again?” Mon asked. “If she’s from Krypton, maybe she will be able to help with my memories.”
“I’m sure she’ll want to see you again,” J’onn said. “I will have you moved to nicer accommodations and have the doctor sent.”
J’onn stood, left the room.
“What do you think now?” he asked Vasquez once the door closed behind him.
“I’m not sure, sir. He seems genuine, but almost too much at times. It feels like he isn’t lying, but perhaps not telling the whole truth.”
J’onn nodded. “Have him moved to one of the bunk rooms. Keep cameras on the halls and patrols in the area. I want Dr. Stevens to talk to him, see what he thinks of the amnesia.”
Lucy tapped her thumb against the space bar as she stared at the computer screen, reviewing another document. She was over halfway done with her inbox. Just a bit longer and she could go home, catch up on some shows.
She finished the file she was on, forwarded it to HR, and leaned back in the seat. She pulled a drawer open and grabbed her phone. Four messages waited for her.
Three from Alex complaining about her date that night.
One from Lois.
Lucy stared at the name. There was only one thing that would prompt Lois to contact her.
She opened the text, her stomach knotting as she read it.
You cannot tell the General what you learned.
The knot tightened, threatened to snap under the pressure. She glanced at the picture of Alex and Kara sitting on the desk, smiles wide as the sisters hugged.
She was an idiot.
She navigated through the DEO system, pulled up the file on Superman. There was no mention of his secret identity, but that didn't surprise her, Kara's file didn't have that information either.
Full screening a picture attached to the file, she then googled Clark on her phone, comparing the pictures.
She was a fucking idiot.
And apparently one nobody trusted.
She deleted the text from Lois, once again leaving no trace of communication with her sister.
She closed the file, shut down the computer. She could finish her paperwork another day. It was time to go home, have a few drinks, and commiserate in her solitude.
Kara smiled as she handed the kitten to the waiting girl, then laughed as she was suddenly being hugged. The girl ran off a moment later, kitten held tight in her arms.
Kara lifted up to the sky, soon joined by Clark.
“So,” he said, “that’s two recovery construction projects aided, three muggings stopped, and five pets saved from trees. A good day.”
“A good day,” Kara repeated.
“Remember to have days like this. Just focusing on the small ways to help can balance out the world ending battles.”
“How do you do it? How do you keep going after something like Myriad?”
“It’s hard. We shouldn’t forget the lost, but don’t forget the good, either. You saved the world, Kara, that’s no small feat.”
“I know. I do. I just…” she shook her head. “Krypton did this.”
“If things had gone better on Krypton, none of this would have reached Earth.”
No Fort Rozz.
She glanced in the direction of Alex's apartment.
Jeremiah would never have ended up with Cadmus. Alex would be living her real life.
“Maybe,” Clark said, “but it happened and we're here and we can help fight against these things.”
Kara nodded. “Right.”
His phone buzzed in it's pocket in his boot. He pulled it out, grinned.
His right cheek still dimpled like it had when he was a baby.
“Lois is asking when I'll get home.”
“You should head out, then,” she said. “Don't want her to worry.”
“Yeah. I need to make a few stops before I can really head out.”
She nodded. “Of course.”
She let herself fall into his hug, felt his full strength, returned with her own.
“Stay in contact?” he asked as he started to float away. “You're doing great, Kara, but I know how hard it can be. If you need any help or advice, just let me know.”
He headed back down below the cloud cover.
Maggie froze as knocking sounded from her window. She stared at the window for a moment before rolling her eyes. Even with an idea of who it was, she unlatched her gun still holstered on her hip and kept a hand on it as she pulled the blinds up.
Superman smiled at her through the window.
“You know,” she said as she opened the window. “A lot of people would find this creepy.”
He laughed. “May I come inside.”
“Yeah, I guess.” She stepped back, letting him climb in. “There’s pop in the fridge, if you want any.”
“Thanks, but I learned not to drink anything carbonated before a cross-country flight long ago.”
Maggie chuckled. “So, what’s up?”
“Just wanted to see how you’re settling in. And…” He drew the word out as he pulled something from behind his back. “I brought a house warming gift.”
The potted plant looked like an orchid, but wasn’t one Maggie recognized.
“It’s an Oregus,” he said as he set it on the kitchen counter. “Not native to Earth.”
“A job, an alien plant, I might start to think you actually like me.”
He laughed. “Maybe think of the plant as a thank you for taking the job. I needed somebody I trust here and you were my first thought.” He faltered, brushing a finger up a petal. “And maybe as an apology.”
“An apology? For what? Making me deal with the DEO?”
“For what happened, while you were in Gotham.”
For the second time in just a few minutes, Maggie froze. She shook it off after a moment.
“Gotham isn’t your turf and I had a few rodents looking out for me.”
“Bats are mammals.”
“So are rats.”
Superman laughed. “I’ll tell Batman that’s how you feel.”
“Please do. You heading back to Metropolis tonight?”
“Fly safe, yeah?”
“Always do.” He stepped back towards the window. “Good luck out here, and follow your gut. I know you don’t trust the DEO but that might be exactly what they need from you.”
“Oh, they’ll love that.”
“You’re as stubborn as they are, Maggie. That’s one of the reasons you were my first choice for this.”
Maggie ducked her head, hair falling forward to block her face and the blush she couldn't stop.
“Good luck, Maggie. You’ll do great.”
And he was gone, out through the window.
Maggie sighed. She leaned on the counter by the Oregus, looked it over. Large flower, long leaves.
She grabbed her phone as it buzzed on the counter. A text from Superman.
Forgot to say, it needs sun more than water, but does best with damp soil. If you want it to grow bigger keep putting it in larger pots, but keeping it smaller won't hurt it.
Maggie chuckled. She picked up the flower and moved it to the window sill.
Lucy sighed, then opened the door, cutting off Alex’s next knock. Alex pushed through before the door was even fully open. Lucy closed the door, turning in place to stare at Alex.
In a dark blue dress that hugged her ass just right.
Lucy pulled her eyes up and focused on Alex’s ranting.
“This is the last time I let you choose a date for me. He was horrible, kept trying to explain basic physics, vaguely advanced chemistry, and he couldn’t keep his hands to himself. I spent half the date fighting the urge to snap a finger.”
Alex tossed her clutch on the coffee table as she collapsed onto Lucy’s couch. She looked up at Lucy with a huff.
Lucy’s grin grew as she made her way across the living room. She passed the couch and walked into the kitchen
“Date didn’t go well?” she yelled to the other room.
“ Well would have been a vast improvement.”
Lucy made her way back to the living room, her beer in one hand, glass of water in the other. “I don’t have to go after him for harassment for the touching, do I?”
“I may have twisted his wrist after the last time.”
“Nice.” She passed the water to Alex. “So, he was a no.”
Alex ignored her, stared at the water. “What’s this?”
“Yeah. Is there a reason you get a beer and I don’t?”
“I don’t have chronic migraines. I’m pretty sure alcohol is bad for those.”
Alex glared at her, then rolled her eyes. She took a small sip of water. “Why am I doing this?”
“No, not the water. This.” She gestured at the dress. “What is the point of this? It’s not going to go anywhere.”
“You’ve only gone on one date.”
“And it sucked. I spent the entire time wanting to be anywhere else. Even talking to the bartender before he showed up was better, and she spent most of that time serving other people.”
Lucy chuckled as she settled into the couch next to Alex.
“Can I just swear off of men?”
Lucy snorted. “I know how that feels. Tell you what, Danvers, you decide you’re serious about that, come find me. I know plenty of women who would die for the chance to treat you right.”
Alex choked on the sip of water she had just taken. Lucy clapped her on the back, then rubbed up and down.
Alex nodded, spluttered out a response. “Yeah, yeah, just fine.”
“Sorry,” Lucy said. “You staying the night?”
Alex settled back in the couch. Her dress rode up as her legs spread. Lucy pulled her hand from Alex’s back, wrapping it around her bottle to keep from reaching for bare thigh.
Alex sighed. “Probably should. Had a few drinks at the bar-” she avidly avoided Lucy’s glare at that- “might as well stay here.”
“You didn’t drive from the bar, did you?”
“Oh, definitely not. I walked.”
Lucy glanced at the heels still on Alex’s feet, then took another drink.
“I’ll take the couch tonight,” she said. “Not making you curl up on this after throwing up last time.”
Alex rolled her eyes. “I fell asleep with the migraine last time.”
“Not worth the risk, I’m a sympathetic vomiter.”
“I have never seen you throw up any time someone has thrown up in front of you.”
“You’ve seen that once and I threw up in the kitchen sink while you were busy.”
“You did not.”
“No, but I almost did.”
“Whatever. You got clothes for me to wear?”
“I’ve got this silk negligee. It might be a bit short on you, but…”
Alex shoved her. Lucy laughed.
“I’ve got stuff, don’t worry.”
“You’re an asshole, Lucy Lane.”
“So I've been told.”
Lucy sighed, pushed herself off of the couch. She put her bottle on the table before walking further into her apartment.
“Shorts or pants?” she called back.
“Do you even have pants that would be long enough for me?” Alex asked, voice closer than expected.
Lucy glanced over her shoulder to see Alex trailing behind her.
“I’ve got some longer sweatpants. Believe it or not, extra-small is not the most common size the Army carries.”
“Funny enough, I do believe that.”
Lucy chuckled as she entered her bedroom. She dug into her dresser, pulled out an old pair of sweats and a tank top. She turned to pass them to Alex, but stopped, narrowed her eyes.
She tossed the clothes on the bed, snatched the beer bottle from Alex’s hand.
“I brought it in here for you?” Alex tried to lie, smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
“Uh-huh.” Lucy lifted the bottle and finished the beer before passing the bottle back to Alex. “Here, now you can have it.”
“Any time. Get changed and I’ll go get Netflix set up on my TV.”
Alex groaned. “If we set up on the couch I’ll end up sleeping on the couch.”
“You just want to turn in now?”
Alex rolled her eyes. “Bring your laptop in here. You don’t have to sleep on the couch, y’know.”
“We slept on my couch last night. I’m pretty sure we’ll be okay in your bed.”
“Well, if you insist.”
Lucy left Alex to get changed, grabbed her laptop and some glasses of water, and made her way back to her room.
“Stargate again?” she asked as she walked back into the room.
Alex quickly agreed. They settled on the bed, laptop set up at the end, shoulders brushing against each other every few moments. The darkness settled around them, a blanket of comfort and warmth.
But, Lucy quickly lost her focus on the show, mind wandering back to Clark.
“Hey, Alex?” she asked as the credits rolled. She kept her voice low, not wanting to disrupt the peace around them too much.
“How long have you known about Clark?”
Alex tensed for a moment, then shrugged. “Since I was a kid, I think. My parents worked with him at some point to help him understand his powers, so there were a few years where he was around quite a bit. He wasn’t as tight lipped about it back then.”
Lucy stared at the laptop screen, refusing to look towards Alex even with the movement caught in the corner of her eye.
“You know,” Alex slowly said, “only, like, ten people, in the whole world, know about him. And it isn’t necessarily about trust.”
Lucy’s jaw twitched, a movement Alex definitely noticed based on her reaching for Lucy’s hand.
“Do you remember what happened after Supergirl revealed she’s Superman’s cousin?” Alex asked.
“Reactron went after her,” Lucy said.
“And I’m sure you know how often Lois gets targeted because of her connection to Superman.”
Lucy closed her eyes. The deleted text sat heavy in the back of her mind. She usually tried not to think about that.
“Superman, all of them really, all of those heroes - they keep their circles small for a reason. It’s not that they don’t trust. It’s to keep people safe from the danger knowing can put them in.”
Lucy took a deep breath. She leaned into Alex’s side, relaxed even further when Alex draped an arm around her shoulders.
“Thank you,” she murmured. “It’s definitely a little about trust, but thank you.”
“Well, if I ever decide to become a superhero, you will be the first I’ll tell.”
Lucy scoffed. “Kara will be the first you’ll tell.”
“Yeah, okay. That’s true. But you will be right after Kara. Promise.”
Lucy settled deeper into Alex’s warmth. “Ditto, Danvers.”
A deep breath.
Each cooler than the last as the sun set behind Kara.
She could still make out Clark, flying towards the horizon, crossing the country to return to Metropolis.
She closed her eyes, let her senses reach out.
Winn and other agents working at the base.
Sawyer humming to herself in her apartment.
James flipping through papers in his new office.
Alex and Lucy laughing over whatever show they were watching.
Kara turned, soaked in the last rays of the sun before it fully slipped beyond the horizon.
Will Alex ever figure out she's gay af? Will she and Lucy ever spend a night not at each other's place? What is up with Mon? What happened to Maggie in Gotham? Time will, eventually, tell
Massive thanks for the comments, they are truly what keeps me both writing and posting. The more comments I get, the more likely I am to keep going
Alex groaned. “I don’t have time for this. Just, trust me, okay? I know how far to push myself.”
She stepped towards the door, then glanced back.
“And don’t question me like that in front of my team. I don’t need them questioning my capabilities while on missions.”
Long time, no update
I got this written, then decided to change something, and just never got around to writing the changes, then I did it this weekend while I was supposed to be working on another fic. That's the way it is, isn't it?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Kara adjusted her ear bud. She lifted her phone, tapping the icon to make the video full screen.
James smiled warmly at the camera, at the reporter interviewing him, Alan Smith.
“What changes can we expect to see from CatCo, with you in charge?” Smith asked.
“I have a few plans,” James answered. “But nothing major. CatCo will mostly remain the same.”
“You’ve gained control of one of the biggest media companies, and you don’t plan to make changes?”
Kara shifted slightly, leaning more on the other wall making up the corner she was pushed into. Agents moved passed her with ease, not paying her attention as they had long grown used to Supergirl in more casual circumstances.
“I have a few, but I wouldn’t have been working for CatCo in the first place if I didn’t agree with it’s policies and mission.”
“Yes, CatCo’s policies. There has actually been some talk of those lately.”
James’ head tilted, his brow furrowed slightly, but he continued to smile.
“There are some concerns over CatCo’s acceptance of aliens within its ranks.”
Kara focused her hearing more, letting the DEO around her fade away a little more. She still had time before she was needed for the oncoming mission.
“CatCo has no formal policy regarding aliens,” James said.
“But an informal one?” Smith pushed. “Beyond the company’s branding of Supergirl, we recently learned that CatCo’s non-discriminatory police was updated in the past year, to include ‘place of birth.’ As CatCo already included race and ethnicity, that seems a bit redundant if not referring to those born not on Earth.”
“CatCo refuses to turn anyone away simply because of who they are.”
“So you’ll hire aliens?”
“We’ll hire anyone who proves they have the skill and mindset needed.”
“Are you asking if CatCo will discriminate against people based on where they are born?”
“Of course not. I’m just…”
“CatCo accepts all people, aliens included.”
Another voice streamed over Smith’s next words.
“Don’t forget, policy is all agents must remain in full gear through the entire mission.”
Kara looked up, squinted as she peered through the walls - not lined with lead like the desert base.
Alex was in a briefing room down a few floors, arms crossed, standing in front of a group of geared up agents.
Kara pushed off of the wall, pulling the ear buds out and wrapping the wire around her phone as she stalked through the halls, to the elevator shaft built into the side of the building, empty to give her easy access to each floor.
She floated down to the level right above the parking deck beneath the building. It felt more like the desert base than the upper floors. Low lighting, one side of the hallway plain walls, the other glass.
On the other side of the plain walls were locker rooms. On the other side of the glass, was Alex, talking to her team.
“The primary objective of this mission is intel. We have found the targets hideout, but there is no sign of his presence.”
Kara pushed the door to the briefing room open. “What are you doing?”
Alex turned to her. “Supergirl?”
“You aren’t supposed to be on missions.”
Alex glanced back at her team, then stepped towards Kara, gesturing for her to step out, shoving her across the hall, through the locker room door.
“What are you doing?” Alex hissed as soon as the door closed.
Alex sighed, ran a hand through her hair.
“You aren’t cleared for field work,” Kara continued.
“I’m not going in the field.”
“Then what are you doing?”
“I’m prepping my team, Kara. Then, when they’re setting off, I’ll be heading upstairs to run their coms.”
“Are you sure you’re alright for that?”
“To stand in the safety of DEO command and talk to my team on coms? Yeah, I’m sure.”
“You couldn’t handle paperwork the other day.”
“That was different.”
“I was in the middle of a migraine.”
“You still came in.”
Alex groaned. “I don’t have time for this. Just, trust me, okay? I know how far to push myself.”
She stepped towards the door, then glanced back.
“And don’t question me like that in front of my team. I don’t need them questioning my capabilities while on missions.”
Kara closed her eyes after the door closed. She focused on the steady beating of Alex’s heart, then let it fade to a background rhythm as she left the locker room.
Alex walked into command, glanced over at Kara. Their eyes met for a moment before they passed each other, Alex walking towards the mission center, Kara towards the balcony to prepare to join the team. Alex shook her head, ignoring the gentle throb starting at the base of her skull. She eyed the screens on the wall, tracking her teams vitals, location, the satellite images of the dock and freight ship they were heading for, and the dossier on the alien.
A H’San Natall. Dark purple skin and no visible mouth it his natural form, he spent most of his time on Earth disguised as John Smithson, a blond haired, blue eyed, high school football coach.
They had been tracking him down since she started training years ago, and had finally caught up with him.
She should be out there, leading the team. H’San Natall’s were a dangerous race, powerful, highly intelligent, with a tendency to prey on humans. Even if they didn’t expect him to be there, the risks of the mission were high.
It was the only reason Kara was going with them.
She took the com-link Winn held out to her, slotted it into her ear, waited for the beep that it was connected.
“Trap Leader, this is Base Command,” she said, stepping away from Winn’s desk so she was centered in front of the screens.
“Base Command, Trap Leader receiving,” Hix replied.
She took a deep breath. It felt wrong, hearing someone else as Trap Leader, not being Trap Leader herself, leading from the other end of the coms.
A flash of red on a screen pulled her attention.
“Trap Leader, target sighted at location. Maintain intel objective until further orders.”
“Received, Base Command.”
Alex looked over at J’onn. “Sir?”
J’onn held a finger up as he looked over Demos’ shoulders at his screen.
Alex looked back to the screens, glancing between the GPS showing the agents trackers, and the helmet cams revealing the pre-op rituals she knew so well.
Hix sitting with his head bowed.
Johnson with her helmet in her lap, fingers twisting her hair up.
Brown and Simone passing a notebook back and forth.
“I’m over the docks,” Supergirl said.
“Target has been sighted, can you get his location?” Alex asked.
There was a moment of silence, then…
“Yeah. I’ve got him.”
“Keep eyes on, but don’t engage.”
Alex rolled her eyes at the sarcasm in Kara’s tone. She checked each screen again. Trap team was quickly closing in.
“What’s he doing, Supergirl?” she asked.
“Talking on his phone.”
“Can you hear him?”
Kara scoffed. “He’s saying something about a meeting he’s going to be late to.”
Alex glanced at J’onn, talking quietly on his phone as he watched the screens.
“Base Command, Trap Leader,” Hix said.
“Go Trap Leader,” Alex replied.
“Approaching target location.”
She watched as the van pulled up in the alley not far from the docks. She hit a button, linking Supergirl with Trap team.
“Supergirl, what is the location of the target?” she asked.
“He’s by the end of the dock. I think he’s going through one of the containers.”
“Update us of any movements.”
“Trap team, new orders,” J’onn spoke up, slipping his phone into his pocket. “Objective is now apprehension.”
“Affirmative, Base Command,” Hix replied.
“Containment team from Desert Base has been dispatched. ETA thirty minutes.”
Alex let out a breath. Her shoulders tensed.
The timing would be key. If Trap Team zeroed in right away, they risked him fighting their custody before containment arrived. If they waited too long, he could run, leading them to another area or escaping altogether.
“Close in,” she said. “Then hold position until further orders.”
“Affirmative, Base Command.”
Pain shot up Alex’s neck, rising up from her tense shoulders to settle in the base of her skull.
With luck, the actual migraine would hold off until after he was in custody and the after-action briefing completed.
Condensation clung to Kara as she hovered just within a small cloud.
She watched the H’San Natall as he opened another box, rifling through the contents. She couldn’t make out what he was look through, but he hadn’t seemed to find what he wanted.
“Containment team ETA ten minutes,” Alex said. “Trap Team move in. Supergirl on standby.”
Kara watched as the agents stepped from the shadows, zeroing in on the target in moments.
She watched the fight, ready to drop down at any moment. Gunshots rang clear, cries and grunts floated up to her.
An agent went down.
Kara started to drop, accelerating towards the ground, mind racing with the calculation of her landing. Then the H’San Natall was down, an agent forcing cuffs on him. Kara pulled up, hovering a few meters over the container.
The downed agents got to their feet, a third starting to check on them. The remaining two agents forced the target out of the container, down onto his knees. He growled at them in an alien language, the few words Kara knew making her flinch.
Footsteps pulled her attention.
She looked towards them. She hadn’t heard Containment arrive, no vans pulling up. She looked through a few shipping containers and…lead blocked her.
“We’ve got company,” she said into her com before floating down, landing between the lead garbed figure and the DEO team.
“Supergirl?” Alex asked.
“Who’s there?” Kara yelled out.
There was no response.
“Containment ETA four minutes,” Alex said. “What’s going on, Supergirl?”
“There’s someone else here.”
A soft buzzing.
Kara stepped forward.
She was thrown back, pain coursing through her body, radiating out from her chest.
Alex stepped towards the screens, eyes wide, heart jumping into her throat as Kara was thrown backwards. The bright green blast burned into her vision.
“Supergirl!” she cried.
Mayhem broke out on the screens.
A second blast hit Brown before her team could react, diving and rolling out of the line of target.
Then the feed cut out, the screens going black.
The blood drained from Alex’s face. “Schott, where’s the feed?”
“I…I don’t know, somethings interfering,” he said. His voice was tight, his fingers flew across the keyboard.
“Supergirl?” Alex tried, pressing harder than necessary on her com piece. “Supergirl, do you copy?”
She turned from the black screens to the vitals listed along the bottom of the feed. Her team was all alive but Brown’s vitals were dropping.
“Trap Leader?” she tried. “Hix?”
“Bring that feed back up, Schott,” J’onn growled.
“I’m trying. It’s not a problem on our end. Something is blocking us,” Winn said.
From the vitals to the location of Containment.
“Containment two minutes out,” Alex said into her com. If any of them could hear her, she needed to let them know help was close.
The room roared around her, pain and fear and anger swirling as her focus flicked from the vitals to Containment location.
J’onn’s soft voice barely slipped through the static as he relayed the information to Containment.
“Containment one minute out,” she said into her com.
Brown’s vitals were still dropping.
Alex swallowed against the lump in her throat, fought to hear through the pounding in her ears. The sound of J’onn talking cut through, but not his words.
And the screens lit up. Different angles, coming from Containment’s cams.
Her team was spread across the ground. Containment were moving quickly, a few gathering around Brown helping to stabilize her.
One camera moved past the rest of the agents, towards Supergirl beyond them.
The familiar green pulsed through Supergirl.
She cursed again.
She should have been out there.
The deep pain in Kara’s bones was uncomfortably familiar.
She blinked her eyes open, looking up into the white sun lamps.
So, she was back at the DEO.
She turned her head to the side, unsurprised to see Alex curled up in the chair next to her bed.
“What happened?” she asked.
Alex looked up from her tablet, watching Kara through her tinted glasses.
“We aren’t entirely sure,” Alex said. She set her tablet to the side, moved closer, taking Kara’s hand. “But, you and the team were attacked.”
“We don’t know.”
“They took everyone out?”
“They had a Kryptonite gun of some sort, then hit the team with...something.”
“They weren’t bullets. It was like they were hit with a sonic wave.”
Kara took a deep breath, settled back in the bed.
“What did they want?”
“The H’San Natall.”
“They got him?”
“Completely gone by the time Containment arrived.”
Kara let out a breath. She pushed the lid of the lamp bed up, and sat up. Alex’s hands instantly hovered, ready to hold her stead.
“How do you feel?” Alex asked.
“Like I just got shot with Kryptonite.”
“How’s your team?” Kara pushed.
She flexed and relaxed her muscles, starting with her legs and moving up, grounding herself in her body as the remnant of the Kryptonite lingered.
“All alive,” Alex replied. “Hix and Brown are still out, but the others are all up.”
“Good. How’re you?”
Alex closed her eyes, took a deep breath. “It’s setting back in.”
“You should go home.”
Alex’s eyes flew open. “Absolutely not. At least not until after we figure out more of what happened.”
“I will survive a few more hours as we figure all of this out.”
They both turned. Dr. Hamilton was standing in the doorway.
“Agent Hix has woken.”
Alex nodded, stood.
Kara stood as well.
“Oh, no, you need to stay under the lamps,” Alex said.
Kara narrowed her eyes, crossed her arms. “I am staying with you.”
Alex glared for a moment, then sighed, too tired to fight. “Fine.”
She stalked out of the room.
Kara could just make out the stiffness in her shoulders, her neck. If Alex had admitted to any pain, it had to be bad.
They moved through the hallways, following Hamilton to a medical room.
Agent Hix was sitting in the bed, hooked up to a few machines.
“How’re you feeling, Steve?” Alex asked. She settled in the chair next to Hix’s bed.
Kara stood by the door, watching Alex more than Hix.
“Like shit,” Hix said. “What was he packing?”
“Some sort of concussive blaster, we think,” Alex replied.
Hix shook his head. “The rest of the team.”
Alex’s jaw flexed. “Most are alright, already neck deep in after-action reports.”
Alex turned to Hamilton.
“Still out, but her vitals are strong,” Hamilton said. “Additionally, Johnson has been put back onto concussion protocol, her post-Myriad symptoms returning.”
Hix let out a breath, ran a hand through his hair. “He came out of nowhere,” he said. "I barely got a look at him."
"Is there anything you can tell us?"
He just blinked for a few moments, then his brow furrowed. "He had a shield."
"Like...a knight? Suit of armor type shield?" Alex asked.
"Yeah. That's not the weirdest thing we've seen, but it was strong, deflected everything shot at him."
Alex looked over at Kara. “That guard, from Fort Roz, would his species use shields?”
Kara raised an eyebrow. “Trombusans? I don’t think so, but I can look into it.”
Alex nodded. “Thanks.” She set a hand on Hix’s shoulder. “Feel better.”
He laughed. “You first, Danvers. It’s weird thinking of you looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses.”
“You’re fucking hilarious,” Alex deadpanned. “I hope Pam saddles you with extra paperwork.”
Hix laughed as Alex stalked out of the room.
Lucy tapped the mouse button as she rewound the video. She squinted, leaned closer to the screen, watched the few seconds again.
Right there, only in frame for a few seconds, a flash of blue and gold.
She noted the time for the techs to enhance if they hadn't already found it.
Leaving the video paused, she turned back to the reports Trap Team had already filed.
Supergirl had noticed him, but he hadn't appeared on any of their systems. So, high level tech.
A firearm, but no bullets. Which confused her, the disconnect of a less than lethal weapon and his actions with it.
A shield, which Lucy could admit was throwing her more than she would have thought. More tech, or alien compounds? The agents who saw it claimed it deflected all bullets, so it wasn't any standard human metal.
And all of that on top of a Kryptonite weapon that could take Supergirl out with one hit.
Lucy’s blood was still ice after seeing the video of Supergirl getting blasted across the docks, barely stopping before falling into the water.
Whoever this guy was, they had to find him, fast.
Her phone lit up with a text message alert.
Emergency sister night tonight. Migraine setting in. Pity dinner tomorrow?
Lucy snorted, quickly typed a reply. Sure, any requests for food.
She spent a few minutes continuing to review the videos before Alex’s reply came.
Something soft no crunchy
Then, a few moments later. Chicken noodle soup?
Lucy shook her head, chuckled.
Sure, Danvers. I’ll bring you soup.
You’re the best, Lane
Lucy grinned. She looked up at a knock to see J’onn standing just inside the open door.
“Aren’t you in the wrong base?” she asked, gesturing for him to enter.
“I was hoping we could speak about something, Director.”
He stepped inside, General Lane stepping in behind him. Lucy snapped to her feet.
Alex smiled at her phone as Lucy’s text came through. Even as the pain settled further and further in her head, the thought of Lucy stopping by made her happy.
Kara curled up next to her on the couch, setting her plate on her lap.
“How’re you feeling?” Alex asked.
“Still a little sore,” Kara admitted, picking at her pizza. “But better.” She took a bite, swallowing quickly. “What about you?”
Alex shrugged. “Head hurts, but what else is new.”
Kara narrowed her eyes. “You shouldn’t have been at the DEO today.”
Alex let out a deep sigh. No, she should have been out in the field with her team. “Not now, Kara.”
She forced herself to take a bite of pizza despite the churning in her stomach, fighting back the nausea. Kara watched her for a few moments, then turned to the TV.
“Friends?” she asked, flipping through Netflix.
Kara started it on the episode she had last been on, ‘The One with All the Rugby’.
Alex settled against Kara’s side, barely paying attention to the TV. She just watched the characters move across the screen, occasionally reading the subtitles as the spoken dialog passed through her ears only to be muted by the pain. She fell into a lull as episodes passed until some dialog snuck through.
“You're crazy. Ok, this is Emily, Emily is straight.”
“How do you know? I mean we thought Carol was straight before I married her.”
Alex blinked, the TV sharpening into focus. Her awareness of Kara’s movements jumped into hyperfocus.
She couldn’t really get into the show the rest of the night.
Massive thanks to onefootonego and sandstonesunspear for reading through and letting me bother them with questions
i can't promise the next chapter will be up soon, I've got other pieces I'm working on, and, well, work just exhausts me so much at times
I can say that comments make me more likely to actually work on it, so, there is that
I very much appreciate all comments I get, and thank you all for them