Actions

Work Header

Sleepless Nights

Work Text:

                Lightning claimed the sky. Thunder rattled the walls. Cat Grant was having a sleepless night in Paris. She wanted to blame it on the storm, however sleepless nights were nothing new to the Queen of all media. There were all-nighters in college to maintain an active social life and a perfect GPA. Then those years spent clawing her way through the boy’s club of journalism, fighting her way into any story she could in the hopes it would be her big break. Sleepless nights as a new mother. Sleepless nights as a media mogul. She had thought when she stepped back to dive into new waters she could finally sleep.

                Truth was she would lay in bed for eight hours, but sleep eluded her. Some nights her thoughts were too full and some nights they were too empty. Inspiration would flash through her mind and fade when she realized there was nothing to the idea. She dove, and now she feared she was drowning.

                Carter was with his father for the week. She had wanted to deny his father’s request, spending time with Carter was the one thing to go right with the sabbatical. But the time was going to be spent at science museums and some VIP treatment or other. She couldn’t say no. So now she sat and watched the rain pound against the balcony door. Even before the storm rolled in that night there had been something unsettling in the air. The world was as calm as could be expected, and yet her heart felt a tug. She shook her head, trying to stay ahead of the thoughts that always followed contemplations of the heart. It did not work.

                Blonde hair and blue eyes started to flash before her eyes. Warm smiles. Touches and glances that were more than professional but stopped short of being something. Sunshine and steel wrapped in a red cape and horrendous cardigans. She dove into dozens of cities in lands foreign and domestic and thousands of miles in the air and still her thoughts drift to her.

                She lifted the glass of scotch to her lips only to nearly drop it when the lightning struck again, illuminating an all too familiar figure. She held her breath and waited for the specter to leave, for surely it could not be real. It didn’t go away. It didn’t come closer either. A full minute passed (she counted) and still nothing changed. She downed her scotch and stood, forcing herself to move without time to think.

                She opened the balcony door and tried to see into the dark. Flashes of lightning don’t last long, but in those seconds she could see the distress in the woman before her.

                “Supergirl.” It did not come out very loud, and the rain and thunder should have drowned it out, but Supergirl jolted then took slow steps forward until they were a foot apart. Rain was coming into the penthouse suite but Cat could not bring herself to care. “Supergirl?”

                “I…I…” the girl was trembling and Cat knew that, powers aside, had nothing to do with the cold rain.

                “Come in so I can close the door. Were you raised in some kind of alien barn?” That was a very wrong thing to say. The shaking intensified and the Kryptonian’s breathing was clearly labored. Without much thought, she reached forward and grabbed the hero’s bicep and pulled her in. “What happened?” her tone came out softer than she ever used unless it was Carter.

                The taller blonde clenched her jaw and took a breath through her nose. Cat patiently waited. “Today is my birthday.”

                Cat nearly slipped and said she knew that.

                “My Earth birthday. It was too complicated when I first landed to do the math to figure out what day actually corresponded to my day of birth on Krypton. So, my adopted family decided it would be easiest to use the day I landed. Like it was a special day to always be remembered.” The voice coming from the hero was a disturbing monotone. “I didn’t say anything when they decided because I didn’t understand the Earth tradition of birthdays. I didn’t understand that every year I would be forced to celebrate the death of my home. I was thirteen when I landed. Unlike my cousin, I remember Krypton. But as hard as I try to fight it, my memories are fading. I can’t remember the exact shade of our red son. I can’t remember the path I took with my parents to go to the science center or the park. I think in English and have to force myself to speak my native tongue.”

                Cat felt an ache in her chest and used every ounce of stubborn resolve she possessed to keep her own tears at bay and listen to the broken girl.

                “I saw my planet explode. My pod left after Kal’s. He was an infant and I was charged with raising him on an alien planet. I didn’t, I still don’t, understand how my parents could send me away alone, but I had a mission and I clung to it. Then I saw through my pod window my home explode. A piece of debris crashed into me and I spent the next twenty-four years in a place known as the Phantom Zone. I was in stasis there. I don’t have memories of it, only a sense of loss for those years. When I came free and landed Kal was already Superman. I was robbed of my purpose. I had to learn a new language, new customs, how to control my powers all the while staying hidden and being estranged from my only living relative. That I knew of. Those first few years seemed like they immediately followed the death of my home world. Those years were hard. Until those memories started to fade as well. The pain subsiding into a dull ache. Until today.”

                Cat gave it a moment but the Kryptonian did not continue. They were yet to move further into the suite as well. When the silence began to stretch the journalist knew she needed to prod the story along, “What happened today?”

                “The full story is a long one, and even I don’t have all of the details. The basics are that a friend of mine from a neighboring planet to Krypton has some unpleasant aliens looking for him. They were way back then as well. They had a satellite in our solar system the day our planets died and today was the day they decided to share the videos with us. Standing in that room I became a scared thirteen-year-old again.”

                Cat’s hand (which she only now realized was still on the blonde) ran up and down the strong arm. “And what made you come here?”

                “Everyone else is only ever able to see me as one identity or the other. Never just me. Not like you could. You always seemed to see past Supergirl and Sunny Danvers to see Kara Zor-El. And I guess I just needed to be me for a while. Is that ironic, considering you called me Keira for so long?” there was a watery smile and some emotion finally creeped back in.

                “Oh Kara,” it felt good to use the girl’s name while she was in the suit. It was also a relief for the charade to be over. “I couldn’t let you think I liked you.”

                “You are Cat Grant after all,” the smile grew a margin.

                Cat ran her hand up until she was able to tuck a wet strand of hair behind a warm ear, “I have seen you, Kara Zor-El. Even before you started flying around. It is only fair since you always saw me.”

                Kara leaned into the hand now cupping her cheek, “I’m sorry I just showed up like this.”

                Cat started running her thumb along Kara’s cheekbone, “How did you know where I was?”

                The hero blushed, “There might be some software on your phone that only I have access to that allows me to track you across the globe…” Cat raised a brow causing Kara to blush harder. “I swear I haven’t been stalking you, because that would be weird and creepy and definitely a violation of your privacy but I needed to know that if you or Carter needed me I could find you. And now that I am saying all of this out loud I am mortified, especially since I used it for personal selfish reasons. I am so -”

                “Do not finish that thought. We can talk about the invasion of my privacy and how this software found its way onto my phone later. I’m touched that you trust me like this. I want you to always feel like you can talk to me.” Cat cringed internally at her words. They were too personal, left her too exposed.

                “It’s not just talking to you. And I’ve always trusted you. Just being near you…I feel safe enough to be me. I feel better.”

                Cat removed her hand and put another step between them. This is where honest words got her. There was still one line they had not crossed, that she was not sure she was prepared to cross. “Kara…I’m old enough to be your mother.”

                “I know I just told you I was born forty-nine years ago.”

                Cat waved at the comment, “Only those that know you are Supergirl will know that.”

                Kara sighed and moved past Cat further into the suite, “This isn’t why I came here.”

                “You just wanted to be seen,” Cat finished. She could be what Kara needed her to be tonight. “Go down the hall there and into the first room on your right. Dry off.”

                “I can’t catch a cold. Or really feel cold.”

                “Well you are dripping all over the place. Go, dry off, put on a robe or maybe I can find something that will fit. Then I expect to hear some stories of Krypton.”

                Kara smiled and closed the distance between them again. This time she reached out and cupped Cat’s cheek. Cat’s eyes betrayed her and fluttered closed for a moment. When Kara breathed out her response Cat knew she was in trouble, “I’d like that.”

 

 

                The sun was rising, the storm had abated some time ago, and Kara’s voice filled the room. Cat was curled up in the chair, head resting on her hand as the Kryptonian moved from one story to the next. Kara was lying on the couch in slightly too small pants and a tight T-shirt (Cat refused to find it distracting) eyes focused on a distant world. But she was smiling genuinely at the memories and, while Cat knew there would always be a tinge of sadness when talking about her home world, warmth and excitement overpowered the sadness.

                A yawn snuck through Cat’s lips and she covered her mouth with wide eyes, cursing herself for breaking the spell. Kara looked at her concerned, “I’m so sorry for keeping you up all night.”

                “Kara, you know me well enough to know that if I wanted to stop and go to bed I would have.”

                “Still, I should let you get some sleep. I’m sure you have a busy day ahead.”

                Cat let out a sigh, “Not even close.”

                Kara sat up and cocked her head and furrowed her brow, “What have you been up to?”

                Cat sighed again and averted her eyes, “My diving hasn’t exactly got me anywhere.”

                “Why?” If it were anyone else Cat would have bristled at the word. But this was Kara. The question wasn’t asked in derision. It wasn’t a demand. It was an honest question because Kara genuinely cared.

                “Is it terrible to say I have too many doors open? I know I could do anything I want. I stepped away in part to find that next great adventure. I assumed it wouldn’t be long before I found a project I wanted to completely immerse myself in. But nada.”

                Kara was silent for a long moment. Cat could see an internal battle happening behind cerulean eyes. When the younger woman finally spoke they settled on determined. “I know I should focus on what you said but all I can think about is what was left out. What’s the other part of why you left?”

                “What?” Cat was truly caught off guard.

                “You said you stepped away in part to find the next great adventure. What was the other part?”

                Cat pursed her lips, “Clarity of distance. Why are you so interested?” She was always more comfortable on the offensive.

                Kara was not phased, “I want to know about you. I want to understand you. I want to know if you feel the same way I do.”

                Cat’s breath hitched, “How do you feel?”

                “Like I’m home when I’m around you. It took a couple of years after I landed to stop constantly wondering what it would have been like to arrive when I was supposed to. Then I accepted that Kal was an amazing person and Alex really did become my sister. I accepted that things worked out for the best. Then it was 10:15 and I started to wonder again.”

                Cat knew she should just let the words wash over her, let the raw emotion of it all wrap around her heart, but she clung to her walls for reasons beyond explanation, “I don’t know that you would have liked younger Cat Grant.”

                “Not possible.”

                “And who knows if we would have even crossed paths then.”

                “We would have.”

                Cat stood up and began to pace, “You talk about us as if we are soulmates. That just is not something that exists.”

                Kara sat up straighter and fixed her with a pointed look, “I’m from another planet and this system’s yellow sun gives me super powers. Before my cousin showed up would you have believed that possible?”

                Cat huffed a little and put her hands on her hips, “Stick a pin in the yellow sun tidbit. When did you become so stubborn?”

                Kara raised a brow (or tried to), “Have you met my mentor?”

                Cat chuckled despite herself. It took another deep breath but she forced the conversation to continue, “So are you saying you believe we are soul mates?”

                “I’m saying I’d really like to kiss you.”

                Cat swallowed hard at the thought. She knew that the ball was squarely in her court. Whatever she did next would potentially affect both of their lives in profound ways. Who is she to deny both of them what they so clearly want, “We are supposed to be diving.”

                The words were barely out of her mouth when soft hands were cupping her face. Warm breath ghosted over her lips and she wondered if she ever would be able to breathe properly again. Another heartbeat, a chance to stop this. She pushed forwards the last inch and melted at the first touch. All the confidence Supergirl had been exerting faltered, the kiss was tentative and light and carrying the promise of so much more.

                “I’m not going to break.”

                “Well actually -”

                “If you are going to kiss me, kiss me.”

                Kara took the words to heart and this time when their lips met Cat felt it all the way down to her toes. A heat started to curl low in her belly and Cat found herself clinging to Kara’s solid frame. Their lips met again and again until the media mogul had to pull away to suck in air greedily.

                “I’m not going to ask you to come back to National City. But if you could at least keep your balcony doors unlocked I’d like to be able to keep doing this.” Kara’s voice was low and she too was breathing hard. She was pretty sure the superhero did not lose her breath easily so Cat’s ego was sufficiently stroked.

                “I don’t have anything keeping me here, and no story or trail taking me to another city. Just this one time, following the girl may not be the foolish thing to do.”

                “You mean?” And there was the Kara she knew. Sunshine, rainbows and optimism personified.

                “It is for the best if I stay removed from CatCo for the time being, but I’m starting to accept you are my next great adventure.”

                Their lips crashed together again. Cat felt strong arms snake around her and lift her easily. She could really get used to this. She wrapped her legs around Kara’s waist and pulled herself up so she was kissing down, needing to dominate the kiss. Being able to overpower a god was proving to be quite the aphrodisiac and she was trying to figure out how to direct Kara to the bedroom without separating their lips.

                WHO ARE YOU blasted into the room.

                “You have got to be kidding me,” she grumbled, tearing herself away from warm lips. The song continued and Kara stood frozen, clearly looking for instructions.

                “Hardly anyone has your phone number.”

                “And that ringtone means I don’t know the caller. I have to answer it in case it’s about Carter.” Immediately they were across the room and Kara was handing over the phone. Cat answered, still held up by her hero, “Cat Grant.”

                “Put her on the phone!”

                Cat pulled the device away from her ear and gave it a hard look. She felt Kara tense and moved her eyes to the blonde’s sheepish face. Slowly Cat brought the phone back to her ear, “I suggest learning some degree of etiquette if you want to avoid being hung up on.”

                “I don’t have time for etiquette. If she is with you I need speak with her now, and if she is not there I need to know.”

                Cat opened her mouth to put in one last scathing comment before hanging up when the phone was suddenly no longer in her hand.

                “Alex how the hell did you get this number?”

                Cat had to strain to hear but could just catch, “I have pretty high clearance, you really think I can’t get this phone number?”

                “Whatever. I am clearly not dead so you can stop worrying.”

                “You broke the sound barrier to get to Paris. Turned off your comm and made me threaten Winn to expose the backdoor to his own security software at CatCo to get this number. A whatever I am fine is not going to cut it.”

                “How did you know I am in Paris? And that I went to Cat?”

                “Because I am your sister and I know you. I have been keeping tabs on her knowing you are as well and that she has her share of enemies. And stop that! This is not about me. You need to come home now!”

                “You are my sister and I love you, but I am where I need to be. I will turn my phone back on, and if something big happens I can break the sound barrier to get back. Goodbye Alex.”

                Cat felt herself smirk, “You broke the sound barrier to see me?”

                The hero flushed, “Maybe.”

                “I expect a breakdown and details of your powers after.”

                “After?”

                Cat scrapped her finger nails against Kara’s scalp and she could have sworn the Kryptonian purred at the action, “After you take me to the bedroom.”