Kara was trying her best to knead the dough Eliot put in front of her at a normal for regular ole human’s pace and with a controlled force that didn’t threaten to crack the butcher board countertops. Her hands felt more sure with each ball of dough he slid in front of her, the tension between her shoulder blades easing with each fold and push.
After another confrontation as Supergirl with Director Danvers antagonistic dismissal of Kara from the scene of a crime because Alex still didn’t know the truth, Kara had felt so hopelessly sad and not like punching would help anything. She thought if she let herself start crying, she’d never stop, but baking always helped.
However, by baking at home Alex would have gone into Concerned Big Sister Mode, suspicious, and ask questions about what was wrong and Kara didn’t want to add to the lies. Hopping a universe over felt like the best compromise. This was not a retreat. This was a strategic regrouping with bread. Besides, Eliot hadn’t asked any questions or said anything at all other than a quiet “that’s good, here,” while switching out the dough in front of her. His quiet company a relief without the weight of concern or judgement.
“Okay, is the first round proofed yet?” She asked as she rounded out the last ball of dough in her hand and placed it in the tray with the rest she’d worked up along side Eliot.
“Yeah, we’ve got to braid it next unless you got somewhere to be?” Eliot asked, pulling a tray out of the proofer, lifting an eyebrow. Somewhere to be sounded a little like “making eyes at Kate instead of sighing sadly in my kitchen,” but that was neither here nor there and not what she was upset about at all. She’d only been half-heartedly entertaining the thought of visiting Kate in Gotham, but maybe.
“Oh you’re making challah!” Kara smiled, realizing. The first few Saturday mornings on Earth with her hands coated in flour, Eliza helping her learn control of her powers by kneading loaves were some of her fondest memories. Eliza hadn’t kept things strictly Kosher and didn’t often go to synagogue, but she made a point of making bread often, whether Kara helped or not. “You might have to show me the sequence again. I haven’t done an eight strand in years.”
“Sure. You good on dividing this dough?” He asked punching the first loaf down and reaching it over.
“Absolutely,” She smiled, giving the dough a couple quick kneads then divided it in half and divided the halves.
“Good,” Eliot said with a nod, sectioning his own and rolling them out into individual strands. He pressed one side of all the ends together and pressed that down onto the counter, leaving space to make the braid.
“Eliza showed me how to do this when I first got to Earth,” Kara said, eyes on her rolling out her own strands of dough and matching Eliot’s moves as he braided. “I was so afraid of how strong I was, but baking helped. It still helps. The amount of cookies I’ve made since this whole mess with the DEO and Alex’s memory change started would put a bakery to shame.”
“So everyone you meet or rescue gets a dozen cookies?” Eliot asked wryly.
“Kinda. I mean. Well, James has forbidden me from bringing any more to CATCO for a month and Lena is probably next at L-Corp, but National City’s fire stations all think my snickerdoodles are the best,” Kara said trying for a smile but it came out more of a grimace. Shoulders slumping, she focused on mirroring Eliot’s moves with her own strands of dough.
“I woulda thought that Lena would have put a baked goods ban first,” Eliot admitted, finishing the loaf by pinching the both ends off and set the braided loaf back on a pan to be proofed once more.
“Well, I’ve been making her custom macaroons because those are her favorite, so.” Kara shrugged, smiling a little at Lena’s quiet happy surprise with each box of cookies.
“Sneaky,” Eliot said, bumping her shoulder companionably while handing her another ball of dough, voice wry added, “You sure you don’t want to go run a job with us?”
Kara snorted, already braiding her next loaf, hands sure now. “No, I don’t think that’s my kind of thing at all.”
“Yeah, well, I can think of something that might be your thing,” Eliot said.
“Subtle, Spencer. Real subtle,” Kara tried to give her best frown over her glasses and Eliot just laughed.
“Hey, I know a simple solution when I see it,” he said, finishing off another loaf and transferring it to the baking sheet and quickly starting on another. “These will be done in time for you to swing by with a couple fresh loaves for lunch. You can both sit and not talk about all the things y’all ain’t talking about and you’ll still have leftover bread for french toast tomorrow. It’s a win-win, Danvers.”
“Okay, when you put it like that, it’s not the worst plan,” Kara said, finishing up another loaf.
A couple hours later, she touched down on the roof of Kate’s building, Gotham somehow dreary even with the bright afternoon sun. She fidgeted, feeling nervous which was ridiculous. Maybe she should just hop on home. Maybe this was all a terrible idea and she’s projecting.
“Are you going to stand up there all day or are you coming down?” Kate asked at a normal volume, knowing Kara would hear her as she shuffled papers around on her desk and the soft thunk of a glass paperweight being set firmly on wood now that she let herself listen with the underlying steady beat of Kate’s heart.
Smiling she used her speed to whoosh down the roof access stairs and into Kate’s office causing a couple stray papers to be blown off Kate’s desk. “Hi!” Kara gave a little wave and gestured with her bag. “I brought bread.”
“Of course you did,” Kate said, her smile soft and fond, hazel eyes shining green like glass in the afternoon light. Kara’s breath nearly caught in her throat when their gaze met. Her cheeks felt hot and she told herself to stop being flustered.
Kate’s smile turned knowing, but she didn’t say anything but to gesture at the chair on the other side of her desk. “Have a seat. Did you bring extra butter?”
“Of course I did and honey and jam,” Kara said, setting out the spread.
“Ah yes,” Katie grinned grabbing the jar of preserves. “Homemade strawberry and rhubarb. Eliot Spencer must have a soft spot for you.”
Kara huffs a laugh. “I think he just wanted me out of his kitchen so his team could plan a con.”
“It would be hard to work on doing crime with a representative of truth and justice hanging nearby, especially if you broke out that skirt,” Kate said, eyes warm and something wicked tucked into the corner of her mouth as she primly spread butter and preserves on her slice of bread.
Kara felt her cheeks grow hot. Kate just grinned and bumped her foot against Kara’s. Kara took a breath and bumped Kate’s foot back. Kate’s smile in returned even reached the little crinkles in the corners of her eyes.