Chapter 1: After all this time
Kara stood at the base of the light, staring up into the wonders of Kryptonian might. She could have a good life, an easy life if she let the light keep pouring. Another pulse wave blasted out, and she remembered why.
Lena, Cat, Alex, all of them.
Humanity deserved its chance, and Krypton had its own. Jor-El had stabilized the planet’s core, there was no need to turn Earth into a second Krypton, and even if it had been destroyed Kara didn’t know if she wanted to go through with it. It wouldn’t be the same, just like the Clark running around wasn’t exactly the same.
And besides, Lena gave her the option.
That was enough for Kara.
She launched herself upward, ignoring the agony of the increased gravity threatening to pull her down to Earth. It pressed against her sinuses the most, leaving her with the horrid feeling of congestion, like she was drowning in mid-flight. Each pulse increased the pressure in her eyes, her ears, she imagined this was what deep sea diving felt like.
But, Lena gave her the choice, and she was damned if she would disappoint her love.
Her training paid off, she had so little energy she thought she wouldn’t make it, but her body was used to low levels of yellow sunlight. It kept going.
The mind is willing, and the body is ready.
Halfway up Kara put out her fist. She couldn’t see that well, the light was blinding and she knew if she didn’t put her arm out soon she would smash head first into the terraformer. Lena had made her swear to try her hardest to come back, and she would be damned if a simple fist stopped her.
The flight felt like it took forever, but Kara knew it only took about a minute from her calculations. It was the longest minute of her life, however. It gave her too much time to think and regret. She regretted lying to Alex, she regretted scaring Lena, and most of all she regretted worrying Cat.
If she survived, she was going to come completely clean and tell them all everything. Every last thing, from her time in the slums to her shenanigans on other planets. Everything.
Destroying the terraformer was easier than she thought, it was only built to withstand one atmosphere of pressure. The thin Kryptonian metal yielded, crumbling under her fist. It wasn’t enough, the light was still on and pulses were still being emitted.
Kara would have to go higher, into the very heart of the machine.
When it exploded, just as she thought, Kara felt for a brief moment excruciating pain all over. It reminded her of when she first solar flared and broke a few bones only to have everything heal once her body recharged. She thought she was going to die.
But then, in a heartbeat the pain disappears. Everything does, the world slowly turns dark and Kara falls.
Sans eyes, sans heart, sans everything.
Chapter 2: Decisions
The companion scene to chapter 16 of Codex.
(Why in the world would Kara destroy the world?)
The thing was, her entire plan was complete and ready for her. In fact all that was left was to wait and watch, no matter how many worlds she terraformed it was still an art and not a science.
That irritated Jor-El to no end as terraforming was a skill he couldn't reduce into just a formula. Kara loved it though, there was something cathartic about watching the Earth smooth over, like leveling off a cup of sugar.
Earth was almost ready. The spaceship was already in the atmosphere ready to come back down at Kara's command.
What wasn't ready was Lena.
Lena woke up faster than she thought, when she heard the soft gasp she knew her plans wouldn't go through. Somehow though, that was okay. If anything was going to take away her ability to choose she would let it be Lena.
In the end, it would be worth it.
She walked toward Lena, hoping her girlfriend wouldn't fear her. Myriad was a terror to the human world, but she would never be a terror to those she loved. Hell, showing Alex the remains of a cow hurt her deeply, but it was better that way.
She didn't know if Clark would survive, and at the very least it would instill vitriol in Alex to defend her home from alien invaders.
Capturing her mother and relatives had been easy, she caught them by surprise by her strength, her years of training had paid off when she finally beat her Aunt Astra in a duel.
The second easiest person to capture was Jax-Ur, and if she could she would profusely apologize to. She caught him in the bathroom.
Lena though, Lena went to bed actually. She just adjusted her memories so it looked like she got captured because Kara thought all the humans would wake up at the same time.
Lena was punctual, as always.
Kara's heart swelled when Lena knew her. She had been dropping hints for a while now, and Lena finally put two and two together.
Kara had brought it up that day, trying to drive the truth home and she had been terrified Lena missed it.
"Kara," Lena whispered, her hand staying near her side. "May I?"
Kara forced herself to not cry, no one had ever asked her before, giving her the entire choice. It was stupid, she told herself, stop crying over something so pointless. But, she couldn't. Lena giving her a choice in the matter damn near brought her to her knees and she didn't understand why.
She didn't trust her voice, instead, she nodded and let Lena unmask her, using the button Lena had once suggested for a different project what felt like years ago.
"Kara." She said, with nothing but wonder. "Why?"
"Because." Her voice wobbled, she felt the tears burning in her eyes and throat.
Her entire life, her conception to death was dedicated to something other than herself. She had no choice and no one else gave her another, so she carved one out for herself. Making her own plan and decisions for the past two years gave her an open breath of air when she had been suffocating under the weight of the life forced on her. A life she never wanted but couldn't completely escape from.
They sat together in the bed Kara had made for Lena. Kryptonians only needed an hour of sleep a day under the light of the yellow sun, five hours under the light of Rao. It was more for Lena than Kara, but Lena asked her if she would like to join her, and Kara said yes.
Out the window they watched the blinding white light of the terraformer transform the world. It would erase hundreds of years of damage humans had done to their planet, at the cost of all life on Earth. From there Kara was supposed to raise Kryptonians with no knowledge of Krypton. Her homeworld would only be a mythic legend seen through their ancestral eyes.
They would have to blindly follow the ideals and traditions that made no sense in their new world.
She didn't know if she wanted that. Krypton wanted that. Jor-El made sure it could happen. Her father, no matter how much he loved her, made sure she would be able to follow her orders no matter what. All that was left was her, with the free will to choose or not. Yet, without it. Kara could "choose" not to finish, but the Teaching Codex in her brain would make life so unbearable for herself that she would never be able to escape it until she did.
"Lena." Kara said carefully. "Do you ever wish you weren't a Luthor?"
She wanted Lena to understand without forcing her into the decision. That was how they taught on Krypton, just enough to comprehend, but never enough for the full picture unless you dug through the details and worked out the rest for yourself.
And, painfully enough, the Teaching Codex in her brain hardwired the organic matter to do the same.
Lena paused and looked at her, Kara's supercharged heart burned as it thundered in her chest. At this point, she would rather fight the entire might of Krypton than wait a single more moment for Lena's response. However, she forced herself to wait, whatever Lena said now was far more important than her growing rush.
"Yes." Lena sighed, admitting one of her precious secrets.
"Sometimes," Kara said slowly, trying to infuse as much meaning into her words as possible. It could have been taken a million ways, but there was only one she wanted Lena to understand. "I wish I wasn't Kara."
Lena seemed to get it. Hopefully.
They were in the final few moments, either of Earth as it is or of ... Myriad.
Lena turned to her and smiled. She opened her arms and waited, Kara took her cue and slipped into her lovers embrace. She tried to draw as much comfort out of it as possible because no matter what happened it would be difficult and draining.
"I love you Kara Zor-El." She whispered, pulling Kara in tight. " Which is why I won't pick. Then you can pick. Decide. Destroy the Earth or save it. I will always love you, either way, Kara Zor-El.”
Her powerful supercharged heart skipped a beat.
Chapter 3: Permanent Impermanence
One of the things that her life left her unprepared for was permanence. It was a strange feeling to realize that people could stay in the same area for years without end, and any reason to leave wasn’t good enough.
Even her time on Krypton was limited, they counted down eighteen Kryptonian years before they never expected to see her again.
She survived destroying her life’s work, in both meanings of the phrase, and found herself reversing time just a touch to help humanity back onto its feet. Kara would never tell Lena, but they were literally within seconds of humanities untimely extinction on it birth planet. If Lena had woken up a few minutes later there would have been nothing left to “save”.
After it was all said and done, the terraformer destroyed, time reversed, and the Birth Codex locked up in her now secret Artic lair, Kara had the Space Ark return to Earth.
“I need a few days.” Kara had said to Lena once she dropped her girlfriend off at L-Corp. “But, if you ever need me ask.”
Lena gave her a gentle smile and nod.
“Take your time.” She said.
It was an accident really, but Kara found herself on the same deserted island she dropped Cat off in what felt like lifetimes ago. She walked on the sand and found herself a place to meditate.
The mellow waves, crashing whenever they wanted and leaving no harm, soothed her worried soul. She didn’t know what she wanted to do except stay away. How could she face Alex, Maggie, her Mother? Lena had been easy, but she never did anything to harm her love, everyone else she had hurt in some form or another.
The rational, upright part of her moral being told her to face the consequences of her actions. She had done wrong, and she should be held accountable for it. However the other part of her heart said, “Can you bear it?”.
And she couldn’t yet.
Here on this island she sat alone, frozen from the outside world that would judge her. Here she had no past or future, all there existed was now and it was intoxicating. Now had no judgment, now had no consequences. It only existed and that was all Kara knew.
It was an eternity wrapped up in a day.
She would say Cat Grant was the biggest reason she came back to National City, however it was the guilt building in her heart that drove her over the edge. It was the fourth day of her retreat when she finally gathered the courage to come back and face Cat.
In one moment she found herself looking at Sol in her refuge, and the next she was hundreds of miles away trying to get an audience with Cat.
It was day time, Cat was in the middle of some paperwork so Kara took a seat and waited.
“Kiera Danvers is my new assistant and she has been MIA for the past few days.” Cat said after a few minutes, not looking up. “I wonder why I haven’t fired her.”
Kara wasn’t sure if Cat was telling the truth, but she didn’t dare doubt the woman who had been on her side even after knowing the truth. They would have to talk later, but Cat evidently would not let that happen now.
Using her superspeed she quickly went to the storage locker she kept her stuff in. Dead people couldn’t rent apartments, and she hadn’t been Kara Danvers long enough to have the time to rent a new one. However, there were places who looked the other way when you ran out of papers.
True to her word, Kara Danvers had been hired around the time she left Lena to do some self-discovery, only she didn’t find anything and she was still avoiding the people who mattered. Who she hurt.
She returned to her apartment, the one she rented when she first got her job at CatCo. The landlord understood when she returned with a new identity and cash no check. He simply nodded and handed her the key.
“Sunny Rich!” Maggie called out, her arms full with a box. “What are you doing here?”
Kara blinked. She didn’t expect Maggie her, she expected her to move out already. Be with Alex, Alex had a nice apartment in the center of the city that was close to their workplaces. If Maggie lived there she would probably pay about the same in rent and have a better quality of life.
Why in the world would she choose to stay?
“It’s Danvers now,” Kara answered. It was actually Keira Danvers now, Cat somehow managed to get her name legally changed, probably for the best.
She opened the door to an empty apartment. Not like she should have expected anything less. Everything had changed, her name, her job, even the island in the middle of the ocean had changed. Every day the tide rose or fell, depending on the will of the Earth’s moon.
Nothing stayed the same.
To her credit, Maggie simply raised her eyebrow. “Alright Little Sunny Danvers, what’s up?”
“I’m moving in.” She said.
Maggie said nothing as Kara bought the same furniture, once more. She said nothing as Kara put everything in its place, frozen in her memory and stuck in the past she could never get back. She said nothing as Kara ordered the same thing she would always eat every day for her first week on Earth before Maggie finally convinced her human food was edible.
And for that, Kara was forever grateful.
The most frustrating thing was for all money’s worth, it couldn’t recreate perfectly. Kara grit her teeth and forced herself not to scream, everything was perfectly in its place however every time she looked at her living room/bedroom nothing looked right. Everything was wrong, the couch should have a hole in it from the time she had a nightmare. The legs of the coffee table should be a paler shade of brown with cut marks everywhere because it used to belong to the cat lady down the hall before she passed away.
Even her damn fridge got upgraded, no longer making that squeaking sound every time it turned on.
She wanted to destroy everything. Fuck, how would she have survived creating Krypton 2.0?
Maggie dropped it on her face.
It had become a habit of Maggie’s, to drop things on Kara’s face when she decided to take a “nap” or “sleep”. Kara slept, but if she was truly going to sleep she would hide away in the closet, keeping her completely vulnerable state away from any predators. They had that problem before, and Kara never forgot that.
Kara grunted and cracked open an eye.
“Oh Rao! You save it?”
When she crashed into Earth, she was sent Kal’s blanket. They ran out of room in his pod, so they sent it with her. It was the only thing that had stayed the same from home, even after a hundred washes with human soap that overpowered the original smell of home, it still felt like home.
At the very least, as she faced the rapidly changing foreign world she barely knew, she still had this. She still had Maggie, Cat and her tiny piece of home.
Chapter 4: Solar Flaring
The first time was an accident.
It was moments after her escape from the damaged pod, as the powerful yellow light of Sol filled her cells, that she found out about it. Her newfound strength and power was intoxicating, it felt like she had all the power in the universe. The power to break. The power to create. The power to escape her destiny.
She turned to the pod, the defiled remains of her home that entombed her, and hatred filled her heart. Years of hatred built up in her chest, burning her heart and eyes until soon she found herself screaming curses on her home. She never wanted this. She never wanted to leave, she never wanted half her damn brain cut out for a “Plan B”.
When the lazers blasted from her eyes, she almost didn’t notice it, until the overpowering stench of burning dirt and grass assaulted her nostrils. However her rage was so great she didn’t care, her eyes burning the worthless reminder of her home.
Kryptonian metal was made to absorb a lot of heat. But her anger burned hotter.
If she could, she would have stayed there until the entire pod was destroyed, but there were limits to her untrained cells. Once she lost her powers, her anger drained out. Most things drained out.
It felt good. It felt empty.
She slipped into a long nap.
The second time was on purpose.
Well, about as on purpose as a panicked Kryptonian could. She hadn’t left the grove yet, under her drained state Kara took the time to explore the world. Her parents had warned her, the Earth’s yellow sun would give her powers beyond belief. And they had constructed yellow sun rooms on Krypton to train her for the experiences, but she knew it could never compare.
Yet, she never expected the Earth to be like this. At the time she didn’t think about the solar flare, simply thinking the entire thing was either a dream or a fluke.
(Desperately hoping it was a dream or a fluke.)
It almost felt like Krypton, or at least the mythical Krypton her parents spoke of and her teachers taught. The Krypton with organic plant life, and animals that populated the entire surface. She didn’t like it.
Krypton was rocky, slightly dusty. The dirt on its surface, if it ever did have any, was long gone by the time Kara’s DNA sequence was being built. There was no walking on plants, plants were grown underground and were precious food. In fact, animals besides their loyal mounts, weren’t bred. They took far too much precious food to grow, and the loss in the conversion lead the High Council to ban many kinds of meat on Krypton.
However Earth was teeming with life, and some of it felt disgusting. The insects of the ground were a perfect example. There were millions of ants in a tiny area and the feeling their tiny legs gave Kara the compulsion to kill all of them on sight.
She was walking out to the stream to catch a few fish, she had gone “fishing” before as the humans called it on another planet.
As she got into position to cast her net, her foot slipped and her heart raced in her chest. She fell, but she felt nothing. Well, just pain.
Laying in the water she felt all of the tiny dissolved particles hitting her skin. Around her she could feel the grains of the deformed rocks. Her head started spinning, soon she could hear everything, from the shrieking of Cat Grant miles away to the minute sounds of the eagle’s muscles as his wings flapped.
Suddenly the sun was too bright, the grass was too green. Everything was overwhelming, as if a massive solid wave of sound, sight, and touch were crashing down on her head.
Running was worse, as she moved air pushed against her skin. It felt like sandpaper trying to scrape her raw.
The only thing she could think about, the only thing propelling her forward was the idea of release.
‘Pod, pod, pod’ She thought.
When her eyes started burning she thought it couldn’t have come soon enough.
She pushed with all of her might, all of her strength, all of her desperation. The pod glowed yellow then white and she keep pushing harder. When her powers gave out it felt like she slipped, like she was pushing hard against a wall and they both gave way, only this was a good slip. A happy slip.
The third time was partially an accident, partially wish-fulfillment.
It was a few weeks into her first job ever, on Krypton her days were filled with training and lessons, and Kara was feeling the pressure. Cat Grant was an impossible boss, expecting her in hours so early that it cut into what little time she had put aside to sleep. She would go back to CatCo at four in the morning right after leaving at eleven at night.
Rao knew Cat didn’t pay her nearly enough to feed and house herself. She had gotten desperate, taking little jobs to bring home enough money to tide her over. Sometimes she had enough to eat for the day, other times she acquainted herself with meditation. At the very least Rao gave her the brains, literally, giving her enough knowledge and wisdom to survive.
After the fifth time of meeting Cat at five in the morning with a hot latte and a lettuce wrap at the ready, Kara was almost ready to give up. Treasure hunting was technically stealing according to the many laws of Krypton forced into her brain, but she already had broken hundreds of those. What was a few more?
She handed Cat her offering, and waited for the next useless task.
“Kiera. Go take a paid week off.” Cat said, turning around and leaving her behind.
Kara stood there, blinking as the familiar rage burned through her veins. Excuse her, Cat Grant, how dare the pathetic human…
She knew what she would do.
Having the entire week off was horrible. Sleeping wasn’t pleasant, everytime she closed her eyes scenes of her pod adventures and crash landing left her sweating and gasping for breath. Instead she found herself walking, walking back to her hidden special place.
She hadn’t been able to move her pod, not because she couldn’t but because she couldn’t think of a better place to put it. Where would she put it? In the middle of the ocean? In the middle of the Arctic?
At least in the grove time stopped for a moment. Of course it always had to resume, the pod evidence of her time growing shorter. Yet, for a few blissful days time was frozen, and she could ignore the growing pains in her chest.
The pod was still there, everything inside undamaged. The construction crystals, the knowledge crystals. Even the remains of water flasks that she had no use for now. The most important thing was in her desk, Kryptonian fabrics made a different sound than course human fabrics so she kept an ear out for it.
She sat on her rock, to her left was a cooler she “borrowed” from a particularly cruel woman full of food. She had enough for the next few days, and if she fished there would be enough for the week until she had to go back. It was Spring, and it wasn’t like human allergies could affect her.
The idea slipped into her mind as she stared at the marred metal. The last time she did it felt amazing…
But what if she got caught?
But, who cares?
Kara looked around, licking her lips in anticipation as she cast out her hearing. There was no one for miles on land, and planes never flew overhead. She could easily do it.
The burn built up in her eyes and she let go of all the rage. This time, mixed in with her irritation at Earth, her homesickness and anger at Krypton, she let go of Cat’s insults and dehumanizing behavior. Not because she forgave her, but because Kara had no other choice.
Once the slip happened, like two faults slipping by each other, Kara let go and smiled.
She was so drained she felt nothing.
It was good.
The fourth time she almost got caught.
It was a good year, but a horrible week. She was caught in one of Cat’s mood swings, put out of work until Cat’s mood got better. It wasn’t a firing she got when she stepped into Cat’s office that Monday.
Cat didn’t even have the decency to talk to her. On Krypton even mortal foes gave each other the right to know why.
Instead all Cat did was point out of her office. Later, when she checked her email at the public library, she found out she wasn’t to come to work for the next week. Budget cuts.
Then her side jobs dried up for the month, children were going out to summer vacation and the pawn shop she used to sell things too was raided by the NCPD. At least Maggie gave her a heads up before it happened, but still it burned.
She looked at her bank account and groaned, at this rate she would have enough for two days. Rage started building once more in her gut as she slowly sipped on her warm water. It was a “hack” she learned online. Apparently her physiology was close enough to human for some human body “hack” tips to work.
Her jaw clenched. Here she was, Kara Zor-El, eldest scion of the House of El. Reduced to drinking water because she didn’t have enough to last the rest of the week. Her pride was wounded, even the poorest of their house on Krypton still had more than Cat Grant. She growled, the small breech in her carefully constructed wall caused a torrent of rage to break free.
She whined. She shrieked. She roared.
She should have kil…
Before she could finish the thought her eyes were burning again and she looked around. The pod had been relocated, and the construction crystals were used to finally build her lab. She pressed all of the sheet metal into a perfect spherical ball, leaving it in her closet just incase.
Now was a great time.
She walked over methodically, a certain rhythm in her walk. One, two, three, two, three, one.
With practiced aim she blasted with all her might, all her fury at the sphere. The entire room grew hot, hotter than her broken heater would heat, it was the cheapest way she got through winter.
Soon the slip happened and she gasped, smiling in relief. Her relief turned to fear as someone started banging on the door. Her chest tightened, it was exactly like the time she stole Non’s brand new medal and he came knocking at her door.
“Kara do you have my medal?”
“Of course not Dear Uncle, why would I want such a thing?”
It was for her painting of Non.
Some on Earth would dare call it a caricature, which was insulting because his gut is that big in real life. Rao be her witness.
She tried to cast her x-ray vision, it was a reflex that she acquired after almost getting her… Kal’s blanket stolen.
‘Rao!’ She thought, rolling her eyes. Solar flare. No powers. Human.
“Dummy Rich! Is your heater broken again?” Maggie yelled while banging on the door. “Are you dying of carbon monoxide poisoning? Damn it, I bought so many potstickers too!”
The sixth, seventh, eight, and ninth time were all during CatCo. She had it down to a science by her seventh time, by calculating how much solar energy she absorbed and outputted she could guesstimate how long it would take for her to recharge.
It was the easiest way of containment, hiding her powers. Yes she already mastered any sense of self and human limits a long time ago, but everytime she flared Kara could almost pretend she was back on Krypton. Back to where she never had to control her strength or worry about floating in mid-air.
Money was slightly easier to come by now. Cat gave her a bonus, which was enough to cover a few months of rent.
(Her rent was breadcrumbs compared to the rest of the city, so it wasn’t saying much.)
Her tutoring side-gig was picking up again, everyone was very impressed how she managed to turn C students into A+ superstars. After all, when you get down to their level everyone wants to talk and listen to you.
So sometimes, when Cat was away, Kara would slip away and become normal again.
The last time was the worst.
She planted the seed into the Agent’s heads and quickly set to work. By her estimates she only had two days until they would come, and there was a lot of paperwork for her to fill out. James Olsen, the photographer, took his sweet time to do anything useful while Snapper kept changing his demands every hour.
By the end of the second day Kara didn’t even have the photo outline for Cat yet.
It had taken two years for Kara to finally warm up to Cat. She realized Cat used tough love to get her points across, like her Aunt Astra when they trained.
(Aunt Astra always said “I hit you out of love Little One.” It always sounded strange and annoying.)
She heard them long before they made their way to CatCo. She had no time left, quickly she flew. Personally Kara never understood the DEO’s hesitation in letting her fly. If she could fly at nearly the speed of light, no human would be able to see her. At most they would see a blur pass by, what really mattered were the sound shockwaves that followed.
Closing the door was the hardest part because she had to close it quietly without alerting her neighbors. Especially Maggie “I detect” Sawyer. It took her seventeen tries, but she did it.
This time though, being human was uncomfortable, like an old favorite shirt that had gotten too small. In her memory it was far better than this reality, where Kara felt limited, suffocated by her almost useless feeling flesh. Moving took too much effort, she felt deaf and blind to the once loud and decorated world.
‘It’s fine.’ She thought. ‘Those jerkfaces have to pay.’
The eleventh time wasn’t her fault.
Who knew smashing fist first into a massive pulsating energy beam wasn't a good idea? Kara Zor-El thats who. Gosh darn love, gosh darn being a hero, gosh darn saving the human race. When she hit the terraformer her face felt like it was going to explode, the energy slammed into her face and sent her flying backward like Non when he found out about his portrait. Kara woke up on her back in the middle of nowhere. Well, technically in the middle of a field, but that was still nowhere important. Oops, wait no Famers feed people. That’s pretty important. Food. Food’s important. yeah….
Her head hurt. Like hurt, enough to use the “f-words.”
She looked up at the sky, unable to see the microscopic particles of dust in the wind.
Solar Fraking frack.
“Hey kid are you okay?” An old farmer dude asked, his frown covering his face.
Cat would have told him to stop frowning. It made him look ancient.
“Yeah sure.” She said. What did he think? Why in the freaking world would she be laying in a crater in the middle of nowhere? Would she be okay? Should she be okay? Do any sane people do this? “I’m good. Just let me lay here for a few… years.”
The farmer frowned and a woman farmer stepped into view.
“Oh, Jonathan she isn’t okay!” She snapped. “Help her! Get the stretcher, sweetheart you’re going to be just fine. My name is Martha, what’s yours?”
Chapter 5: Language, Language
In the past Kara had been a barista, Lucy a Lieutenant. Now, Kara was a Goddess and Lucy was Major Lane.
So for anyone who read it the first time I posted, I forgot a scene near the end that I didn't realize was gone until after I posted. It's a short scene, so you can skip to the bottom notes if you don't want to read again.
Sorry about that, I got too carried away by this barista AU lol
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Her first job was as a Barista. Maggie had some connections, these were the days before she became a cop, and she managed to get Kara into a cafe where she knew Kara wouldn’t be hurt. Anti-Alien sentiment was a thing long before Mon-El, and would continue to be a thing long after Supergirl, but during those days it was okay to be public about it.
After all, Mon-El had just killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands more.
Anyway, Noonan’s was in a different part of National City. Kara was so used to the failed projects that the cleanliness of the new developing area scared her. She suddenly became aware that her human clothes were almost rags, and her skin was greasy, and she was far too poor to be looking at anything.
The biggest thing that struck her were how new and shiney the cars were. Maggie had the newest car on the block, and it was a few years old. Most of the cars were either rundown rust buckets robbed of their rest or “suped” up “race” cars that , in Kara’s opinion, looked hideous.
Still, the first time she saw an unmodded truck she almost ran into someone.
Noonan’s was nice, it was simple. The manager and owners knew about her “condition” and made sure that she would be accommodated. The only thing Kara hadn’t mastered was the English Language, so they let her be just a barista.
Susan, the woman who normally was the barista and cashier, was upset, but when she realized she could spend her entire shift talking to people she quickly let it go. It was minimum wage but it help out, and soon Kara wasn’t entirely dependent on food banks to eat.
(It was a small victory, but a massive one when she finally was able to pay for their weekly takeout binge. Maggie said nothing, giving her a dimpled smile as she ate the potsticker Kara provided.)
It went well for the next few months, Kara finally was gathering resources to fund her inevitable mission to eliminate humanity, when disaster struck.
“Lucy!” Kara yelled, her eyes igniting with joy.
The former Captain, Major Lane now, gave her a massive grin. One of those troublemaking grins that got them into a lot of trouble before Lucy sobered up for the Army.
She still drove that mildly repulsive black pickup, it was made at the turn of the millennium when people didn’t know what they wanted cars to look like. The Major laughed and ran over, wrapping Kara in a warm embrace.
“I can’t believe you didn’t die.” Was all she said before the Major slipped back into place.
“Mr and Mrs. Kent.” She said, nodding to acknowledge their presence. “I, on the behalf of the United States Government thank you for keeping Supergirl safe.”
The Kents smiled, Martha clasped Jon’s hand and chuckled.
“It was our pleasure.” She said.
Kara knew Lucy would make sure “funds” would be diverted to the Kents. So when she left them, with a big smile and eternal gratitude, she felt comfortable everything would be taken care off.
‘Rao above preserve me!’ Kara thought, sucking in a calming breath of air.
It didn’t work.
The woman came closer, she wore an Army uniform as if she had come straight from the battlefield. The funny thing was, National City was very progressive but at the same time littered with military bases. It was nearly impossible to drive anywhere without seeing the fingerprints of the Military, Navy especially, everywhere from the bases to the monuments.
It was its own irony.
She had a gold bar on her chest, a brand new officer of the Army. Kara remembered her days as the Kryptonian version of one. It was insulting, but also fun, to be thrown about by her men and then putting them in line. It was a right of passage.
Susan had taken a quick bathroom break, the lunch rush had just finished and she took her chance. To be fair there was no one there, but it was only Kara and Susan now. Carl, the other server, was on his lunch break.
The woman waited at the cashier, her eyes narrow and dangerous. She made the decision for Kara, who had been frozen in fear.
“Hi, welcome to Noonan’s how can I help you today?” The smile was genuine, she had heard Susan say the exact same thing so many times she finally committed the sounds to memory.
The only thing was, she hoped she said it right.
Susan stepped out of the restroom, quickly slipping in to relieve Kara of her duty. Kara hoped her sigh of relief wasn’t audible as she prepared for the woman’s order.
‘Caramel Macchiato. Iced.’ Susan wrote in Standard.
Kara was always touched at the fact Susan learned how to write all the drink names in Standard, writing in alien took quite a bit for humans to get used to.
She made the drink, but then a few more customers stopped by the cashier to ask Susan a million questions about the coffee and pastries. Susan gave her a small smile as Kara tenderly picked up the cup and tried to read the name.
“Lewie?” Kara called out, hoping and begging Rao she said it right.
When she caught the woman’s eye, Kara burned hot. The laughter, confusion, and amusement in her face told her Kara definitely said that wrong. She begged Rao to burn her on the spot, but she knew Rao didn’t work like that so she slipped into the back room to get more milk.
By the time she left, everyone was gone and Susan was waiting for her. Like a cat that caught the bird, Susan gave her a slow smile and grin.
“So. Lewie is still alive.” Kara said, trying not to die of embarrassment.
It had been years but the shame still burned hot and Lucy loved to rub it in.
“Yup, I hate to admit but my Father was right. American made trucks work great.” Lucy sighed. “So, how was trying to kill humanity and everything?”
Kara winced. “I, I was wrong. I should have tried harder too...”
“We all make mistakes.” Lucy answered, the light bouncing off her rank.
Maggie couldn’t stop laughing when Kara told her the story. Kara couldn’t bare to eat much, she only ate half of the take out while Maggie had the time of her life.
“Okay, I’m good Sunny Rich.” Maggie gasped, her cheeks were flush red and she was weeping. “Okay, so this is how you pronounce it. Lucy. L-ew-s-ie.”
“Lucy” Kara tried, it felt funny in her mouth. “Lucy.”
The next time the woman showed up again Susan was in the restroom. Again.
Luckily Carl was there and he took her order. He didn’t know Standard like Susan, but he knew Kara could listen to English better than she could read it.
“Iced Caramel Macchiato.” He said. “One Iced Caramel Macchiato for Lucy coming up!”
Kara refused to turn around, she could feel the officer’s eyes watching her back as she made the drink. It was slow, but someone had spilled their drink and Carl went out to clean it.
She was alone.
The drink was almost done.
Carl and Susan were MIA.
Kara capped the drink, Lucy was standing at the counter with a massive grin splitting her face.
“Drink?” Kara stuttered out, waiting for the verbal beatdown of her life.
“For?” Lucy asked, the smile growing wider.
“Lukas!” Kara panic blurted.
(Lukas was the name of their property handyman, she learned his name fast. It was easier to knock on his door than to call the landlord and beg for Lukas.)
Her laugh was beautiful if Kara had been paying attention. Instead she tried hard to become one with the floor, the drink almost slipping out of her hands. Once Lucy managed to calm herself down, the officer took the drink and slipped her a tip.
“Lucy.” She said before leaving.
“Kara! Don’t you dare!” Lucy roared.
It was too late, Kara had already slipped out of Lewie. The moment the Army Officer told her she was bringing her back to the DEO Kara knew she had to leave. She couldn’t bare to see them yet, she couldn’t bare to witness their hatred.
A million places flashed through her mind, none suitable until she thought of Cat. The beach. Perfect.
The only reason she came back was simple. Someone had attempted to take Lena’s life and she quickly came out of hiding to save the love of her life. Just in the nick of time she disarmed the woman who would dare hurt Lena. Just as the DEO caught wind of it, Kara had finally calmed herself enough to not hurt the would-be assassin.
Not because she felt obligated to anymore, but a small bit of guilt still lingered from trying to demolish humanity and Lena was watching.
Not that Kara would, but Lena had been vocal about non-lethal methods of defense and violence. But it only happened after the “incident”, which worsened her guilt. The thought of Lena’s disapproval and her guilt had been enough to keep her in check as she sneakily took care of crime in other parts of the world.
Lucy had been on her case, the Officer was constantly hopping around the world to catch up to her. Ever since she escaped Lewie Lucy had been tracking her down, and now she finally caught up with her.
“Kara.” Lena said, looking down. Kara didn’t have to follow her eyes, she knew who was down there. “Please.”
Lena gave her no choice but to go back to the DEO. Kara knew she had been avoiding the people there ever since she came back to CatCo. So when Lewie and Lucy were waiting for her, with Lucy leaning against the truck, Kara knew it was time to face them.
“Do you think Alex is mad at me?” Kara asked.
She knew Maggie wasn’t, but Maggie was different. Her house could burn down and Maggie would still be calm and cool throughout it all.
“You should ask her yourself.”
The tip was huge, twenty dollars. She immediately bought dinner for herself and Maggie, while explaining the entire story behind it.
The first thing she noticed was her mother, who slammed into her and gave her a massive hug. Her aunt Astra followed suit.
“I thought you’d hate me.” She sobbed out in broken Kryptonian. The rush of emotions overwhelming her. “I don’t know, I’m sorry. All the bad thoughts I ever had were there, it was awful.”
She turned to Non, who stood quiet in the corner.
“Uncle,” She choked out. “I’m sorry.”
Non blinked, and nodded sending her the hand sign for forgiveness.
“Kara.” “Little One.” Her Mother and Astra said, together. “We forgive you.”
Seeing Kal-El holding his father’s hand while the Danvers inched closer brought fresh tears into her eyes. She couldn’t believe she had hurt these people.
“Kara. We have to talk.” Alex sighed.
When Lucy waited for her, outside the coffee shop, Kara thought she was going to get jumped. There was no rational reason in her irrational mind why the Army Officer would be waiting for her there. None.
“Hey,” Lucy said, causing Kara to wince. “Are you free?”
“Well, would you like to join me for dinner?”
So, what happened is Kara has been staying away from National City. She escaped Lewie the truck when Lucy mentioned her plans to take her to the DEO. Lucy has been trying to track her down and the reason why our favorite soldier has finally dragged the blonde back to the DEO is because Lena got targeted by an assassin.