Supergirl flies into DEO headquarters, a scowl painted across her features. “What could possibly be this important, Alex?” she demands, eyes trained on her sister. “I was having dinner with Cat and Carter.”
“You’ve been doing that a lot lately.” Before she can veer completely off topic Alex shakes her head, “Doesn’t matter. Astra’s been demanding to speak with you.”
“And since when do we take demands from prisoners?” Kara asks even as she follows her sister through the winding tunnels of headquarters.
Alex sighs, “Since the reason she’s demanding to speak with you is because she’s been going on about Kryptonian customs that you must still adhere to because you’ve embraced your powers.”
Kara tilts her head but silently follows after Alex. “Are you coming in?”
“No,” Alex says quietly, “I think this is something that you need to speak with her about privately.”
Stepping into the cell Kara feels the Kryptonite that is laced into the walls diminish her powers slightly, not depleting them but keeping them in check. “Kara,” Astra says as soon as Supergirl steps into the room. “I’m glad that you came.”
“It would seem that I had no choice in the matter.” She crosses her arms over her chest, “What exactly is it that you want, Aunt Astra? I have things that I’d like to return to doing.”
“Kara,” she says quietly, “you were only thirteen when you were sent away from Krypton and your parents died. You had not yet learned many of the traditions of our people. One such tradition is the age of marriage.”
Panic begins to claw at Kara’s chest, though she is unsure as to why, “What do you mean?”
Astra is pacing her cell, “According to Kryptonian Law, any Kryptonian who has embraced and accepted their powers will be required to marry before they reach their twenty-fifth birthday, otherwise they will lose their powers completely and be rendered merely human.”
The slight panic that has been clawing at Kara’s chest has bloomed into full blown panic and she stares at her aunt, “But Kal-El, he hasn’t -”
“But he has, your cousin has the knowledge of his ancestors at his back, much as that vision of your mother that Alex has set up for you, they are sure to have warned him of Kryptonian Law and he is sure to be married, likely to that reporter of his.” Astra stares at her niece, seeing the panic in her eyes, “Your birthday is in four months, little one, you must marry before that day.”
“But I can’t - I don’t,” Kara takes a deep breath, “I prefer women to men,” she finally says quietly, knowing that her voice will carry to her aunt.
Astra shakes her head, “Such things as a partner’s gender was never of import to Kryptonians, Kara, there are ways that children can be produced from the union of two men or two women.”
Moving to one of the benches along the wall, Kara slid down onto it, “So I have to get married or become human?” Astra nods, “And I have to do this before I turn twenty-five in four months?” Astra nods once more, “So no pressure then.”
Standing once more Kara turns to leave but Asta’s voice stops her, “Little one,” and she would love to demand her aunt quit calling her that but many times she still sees the woman she once knew in the woman before her, “I am here should you need to talk. We may not agree on many things, Kara, but I am still the aunt you once shared all of your secrets with.”
Kara nods but says nothing as she leaves the cell, “Are you okay?” Alex asks as soon as Kara steps out of the cell, worry etched across her features.
“I have to get married,” Kara says quietly, barely loud enough for Alex to hear her. “Kryptonian Law dictates that I must marry before I turn twenty-five or lose my powers and become human.”
“I’ve got to go,” Kara says suddenly, “I promised Carter that I’d be back in time to play a game with him and Cat tonight.”
She heads towards the entrance, “Kara,” she stops and slowly turns to her sister, “just,” she sighs, “call me if you need to talk.”
Kara nods, “I will, Alex, right now I just need time to think.” Alex nods and lets Kara go, watching until she’s sure her sister is gone.
Kara lands quietly on the balcony outside of Cat’s bedroom and takes in a deep breath before closing her eyes, “What am I supposed to do now?”
She senses Cat even with her eyes closed and opens them quickly, “Are you okay?”
Shaking her head, Kara falls down into one of the chairs on the balcony, “I am so far from okay that I can’t even see okay right now.”
“Wanna talk about it?”
Kara sighs, she’s still not fully used to this side of her boss, still always scared that the other shoe is going to drop and Cat is going to out her to the world even though she knows that the older woman won’t. “Maybe later,” she says quietly, “after Carter goes to bed. I promised him we’d play a game when I got back.”
Cat nods, “I’ve heard about it ever since you left, yes.” She smiles, then sobers a little, “I’m here for you, you know that, right?”
The younger woman nods, “I do,” she says, moving forward and squeezing Cat’s shoulder as she passes, “I’m just gonna change back into my street clothes.”
“Okay,” Cat says and follows Kara into her own bedroom, watching Kara disappear into the ensuite and wondering when the younger woman became so comfortable in her home. She walks out to the living room and smiles at her son, “Kara’s back,” she says quietly.
Carter smiles up at her, “Mom, are you and Kara dating?”
Considering the question carefully, and also the fact that Kara could enter the room at any moment Cat answers quietly, “We are not at present dating, no, Carter.”
“But you want to be?”
Cat has made it a point never to lie to her son, “I would not be adverse to the notion,” she tells him, “now shall we leave the rest of this line of questioning for later?” Carter nods and Cat smiles at him, “You like her don’t you, even without the whole Supergirl thing?”
He nods rapidly, “I do,” his grin widens, “I like that she makes you smile.”
At that Cat grins herself but before she can respond Kara enters the room, “Hey, Carter, you ready to lose at,” she glances at the board game on the table, “Clue, really?”
Carter shrugs, “Mom likes it. I think it’s cause it reminds her of digging for a story.”
“He’s not wrong,” Cat says as the three of them settle around the kitchen table.
Three games of Clue later, Carter has won once and Cat has claimed victory the other two games. Kara however is studying the two people before her, they have slowly become who she thinks about when she thinks of home. She spends more time with the two of them than she does anyone else, and she would swear that it has everything to do with Carter and nothing to do with his mother but she’d be lying. Can she really give them up just to keep her powers? Would she?
When she’s watching Cat tuck Carter into bed after the game has been put away and the boy is dressed in flannel pajamas, cocooned safely in the extra cape Kara keeps at Cat’s, she realizes the answer to that question is quite plain, she would give up anything, everything for Cat and Carter Grant. Kara and Cat return to the living room then, each settling onto the couch with a glass of wine, “Are you going to tell me what had you rushing out of here?”
“Alex called, my aunt wanted to talk to me, she wanted to impart the news of Kryptonian Laws before time had run out for me.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Before my planet was destroyed I hadn’t yet learned many of the laws of Krypton but one of those laws was that a Kryptonian must marry by their twenty-fifth birthday or else they would lose their powers and become human.” She sighs, “My birthday is in four months.”
Cat can feel any hope she’s had of having something with Kara crumbling around her, “Who will you marry then?”
Kara shakes her head, “No one, I’ll contact Clarke, have him extend his protective circle to National City as well as Metropolis and Supergirl will fade into the memories of the people of this city.”
“How can you -”
“Because I will not allow laws that I don’t believe in to force me, to force someone else into a marriage that they may not want. Besides I’m not dating anyone at the moment, the person I want to date could never want to date me and I can join the DEO, still help protect the people of this city. I just won’t be able to fly to accomplish this feat.” Kara falls into quiet contemplation, she’s never really thought about joining the DEO if she were human but it would make the most sense.
“Kara,” Cat says quietly, “you can’t give up your powers, they’re a part of who you are.”
A small smile forms on Kara’s lips, “They are but I won’t force on someone what law and tradition, from a planet long gone are trying to force upon me.”
“What if there was someone who would be willing to marry you?” She doesn’t look at Kara, “Someone who would marry you to help you keep your powers but expect nothing in return. You would married on paper only and you would be free to do as you wanted.”
“I couldn’t ask anyone to do that,” Kara says quietly, “besides if you’re talking about Winn, and I’m sure he would marry me without question. Then I’m afraid he would not fit the bill for someone that I would marry.” Cat’s eyebrow slowly raises, and she holds off on her refute of Kara assuming she’s speaking of Winn, “I’m gay,” Kara says quietly, “I like girls.”
A slow, easy smile forms on Cat’s lips, “I’m well aware of what gay means, Kara, as I identify that way as well.”
“Oh,” Kara says, her heart beating faster and faster in her chest, “well you understand why I couldn’t -”
“I wasn’t talking about Winn, Kara, he wouldn’t let you do as you wanted anyway. If you were to marry him to keep your powers he’d want you to be with him and only him.” She takes a deep breath, “What if you married me? I know I’m probably not your first choice but if you married me at least you could keep your powers, I’d have no problems with you dating who you wanted as long as you kept it discreet and all I’d ask is that you move in here, be kind to Carter and occasionally appear at a function or two with me.”
Kara stares at her boss for a few long moments then shakes her head, “I wouldn’t force you into this with me, Cat.” She looks away, “I care about you and Carter too much. If we were to marry I would want it to be because we wanted to and not just so that I could continue to fly and hear across the city. You and Carter mean more to me than that.”
Cat tilts her head to the side, “You aren’t asking for this, Kara, I’m offering.”
Standing and moving towards the big floor to ceiling windows in the living room Kara crosses her arms, “This isn’t like a marriage here, Cat, we can’t get married now and a year, two years from now you’ve found someone that you love, we wouldn’t be able to get divorced. Kryptonian marriages are forever, there is no such thing as divorce. If we marry we’d have to stay married otherwise I would lose my powers anyway.” She’s been so focused on her tirad that she doesn’t notice that Cat is behind her until the older woman slides a hand up her back and over her shoulder, turning her to face her, “I will not take the chance for you to find love away from you, Cat, I won’t do it.”
Smiling Cat places a hand against Kara’s cheek, “Oh you silly, silly woman, haven’t you realized what’s been going on the past few months?” Kara raises an eyebrow, “I’ve been falling in love with you. Since long before I ever knew you were Supergirl, I’ve been falling in love with you. Carter pointed out to me tonight that we’ve been basically dating for months now, Kara. So I’m not offering anything that I haven’t thought about giving you before.”
“What if five years from now you realize that this isn’t what you want, Cat? What then? You’ll be tied into a marriage that you can’t escape. The laws of my people may tie my hands but I will not allow them to take away your freedom.”
“And what if five years from now you and I are happily married and you regret not taking this road out because you didn’t want to take away something from me that I am freely giving.” Cat smiles, “I am a difficult person to get along with, Kara, very few people can actually manage it and fewer still find their way into my heart. You have managed to do both. There is a reason that Carter’s father and I divorced and there is a reason that I have not married again since him. Kara, you’ve seen me at my worst and at my best and yet you’re still here.” She traces Kara’s cheek with the backs of her fingers, “You are always here.”
Slowly Kara nods, “Okay,” she looks down at the hand she has subconsciously tangled with Cat’s, “but I want us to wait,” she says.
“Kara, we -”
“Hear me out,” Kara says calmly. “We have four months before my birthday. For the next three of those months I want us to go on dates, to spend time with Carter, get to know each other better because at the end of that three months I want us to talk about this again. I won’t,” she shakes her head, “I won’t let you commit yourself to this without at least giving you an out first,” she says quietly.
“Okay,” Cat nods, “okay, we can do that. We can test these waters first, but I won’t change my mind,” she promises and then stands on her tiptoes to press a kiss to Kara’s lips.
Cat is standing by the bar at the gala for the new hospital wing when Maxwell Lord swoops in beside her, “Have you seen the gorgeous creature that just swept into the room?”
A feral grin paints its way across Cat’s lips, “Why do you always insist on these conversations with me, Maxwell?”
“Because you are the only one of this lot who will agree with me and not mean it in the most perverted way possible.”
A chuckle slips past Cat’s lips, she may despise the man and be far, far away from trusting him, especially after the things she’s heard from Alex and Kara but he is one of the few people that does know she prefers women to men. “Where is this woman you’ve spotted, Maxwell?”
“Over by the door,” he tells her quietly, “she seems to be looking for someone, I do hope it’s me.”
Cat turns so that she has a clear view of the door to the ballroom and smiles, “I’m afraid it’s not, Maxwell, that would be my fiancee,” she nods, “so if you’ll excuse me, I believe I have a beautiful lady to dance with.”
She distinctly hears a mutter of, “Lucky bitch,” behind her as she makes her way towards the door of the ballroom.
Approaching from the side of the room Kara isn’t facing she smiles, “I’m sorry to bother you, my lady, but I was wondering if you’d like to dance?”
Kara whirls around, a broad grin painted across her lips, “Mmm,” she hums, “I don’t know if my fiancee would approve of that.”
Cat grins and wraps her hand around the one that Kara slips into her own, “Well I suppose we just won’t tell her.”
“She’s a reporter,” Kara says while moving into Cat’s arms, “she knows all.” Cat leans up and steals a quick kiss from Kara, uncaring of the room full of people around them. “I’m sorry I’m late, Alex had an emergency when I dropped Carter off.”
“Everything okay?” Cat questions, wondering if by emergency it was Supergirl related or sister related.
“Now, yes, Mom blew a gasket when she found out Alex totaled her car . . . again.”
Cat chuckles, “What does she expect? Alex has a very difficult job.”
Kara shakes her head, “I have no idea.” The two of them have been easily spinning around the dance floor, lost to the rest of the room around them, eyes only for one another as they talk. “How was your afternoon?”
A chuckle falls past Cat’s lips, “Carter won second place at the science fair for that thing Alex helped him with. He was disappointed that the two of you couldn’t make it but understood. I’m surprised he didn’t tell you when you picked him up from his after school.”
“We were lost in a discussion of that new movie I told him I’d take him to see next weekend. Oh I’m sure Aunt Alex is going to love hearing that.” Kara leans down then and presses her lips to Cat’s, “How long do we have to stay at this thing again?” she questions quietly.
“At least an hour,” Cat says, resting her head against Kara’s shoulder, “CatCo donated over half the money to build the new children’s wing.” She grins, “Why? In a hurry to get home?”
Kara leans down so that her lips are pressed against Cat’s ear, “Because Carter is staying with Aunt Alex tonight and I have a surprise for my super sexy fiancee when we get home.”
Cat groans so quietly that only Kara can hear her, “You are an evil, evil woman.”
“That is not what you said last night,” Kara responds, “if I remember correctly the word god was used quite often.”
“Oh you are horrible,” Cat says while lifting her head from Kara’s shoulder. She grins then, “But I believe I’m coming down with an awful headache and must retire early from the gala.”
A wicked grin takes over Kara’s features, “Well as your fiancee I must accompany you home and put you straight to bed.”
Outside, after slipping away they stand quietly on the sidewalk, “I should call the car,” Cat says quietly.
Kara holds out her hand, “Come with me,” she leads them around the corner and slips easily out of her dress, revealing her super suit underneath, “hold onto this for me,” she says, slipping the dress over Cat’s arm. She then lifts Cat into her arms bridal style and flies them up and away towards home. Cat rests her head on Kara’s shoulder and feels the press of a kiss against her temple. “Want to stop by and check in on Carter?”
“He’s with Alex,” Cat says quietly, “I’m not worried.”
A smile spreads across Kara’s face, Alex and Cat getting along had been one of her biggest worries in the beginning, she had never expected the two of them to become best friends. A few minutes later when they land on Cat’s balcony and Kara lets Cat down, she pulls her instantly back into her body, “It’s been three months,” she whispers against Cat’s curls.
“I know,” Cat says, her face pressed into the hollow of Kara’s neck. “My answer is still the same,” she continues then pulls back so that she can look up into Kara’s eyes. “For the past three months I’ve fallen more in love with you than I expected to, Kara, you’re great with Carter. Hell your whole family is great with Carter, hence why I have no hesitance leaving him with your sister for a whole night without even a need to call and check on him. I don’t even do that when he’s with his father. You know me, you know when I need to be held and when I need space, you know whether it’s an m&m night or a bourbon night. You know that leftover chinese or cold pizza is one of my favorite Saturday morning breakfasts though I’d never admit that to anyone.” Cat cups Kara’s cheek, “I love you, Kara, god help me but I do.”
Kara smiles down at Cat then lifts her into her arms and spins them around, “I love you too, Cat,” she says quietly when she lowers Cat back to her feet. “Because as much as you try to hide it you know all of those things about me too. You know I think of Carter as my own, that I would protect him as my own. You know that there are times when I come back from being Supergirl I need to talk about it and other times when I just need you to hold me and not let go. You know that when I get mad I have a harder time controlling my powers but I always try to direct the lesser control to my sense of hearing or touch so that I won’t hurt anyone. You know that my favorite way to spend a Saturday is doing anything with my family, with you and Carter and sometimes Alex.” Kara leans down and kisses Cat, slowly tenderly, “I love you too, Cat, with all of my heart.” She nuzzles her nose into Cat’s blonde curls, “How did the possibility of a forced marriage lead up here?” Kara asks as the two of them sway across the balcony.
“Because we were always headed her, Kara,” Cat says, looking up at the woman holding her. “This is where we were always supposed to be.”