It was a rare rain storm in National City and as Kara flew the skies, she felt the exhaustion deep in her bones. The rain was beating down all around her, unrelenting since she’d first headed outside to help the emergency services with the various incidents happening all over the city.
There had been a massive accident on the highway and she’d seen other smaller accidents on adjacent roads. Debris and fallen trees were blocking access for ambulances and for the past few hours Kara had done her best to help but the job was far from over. She’s ignored Alex’s last few offers of taking a break and letting J’onn take over for her but in all honesty she didn’t think she could go on for much longer.
Under normal circumstances, Kara would not even consider stopping and she would keep going until the emergency services had the situation more controlled. The most recent bad guy of the week had, however, taken its toll on her and she was still recovering from the brutal fight – involving stolen kryptonite – she’d had with him.
“Alex,” Kara said. “Can you get J’onn to take over?”
Alex’s answer came immediately. “Of course.”
“I’m heading home.”
She hated this more than anything, feeling powerless to help further, but her powers were draining, fast, she knew it wouldn’t help anyone if she got herself hurt in the process. Kara sped up, trying to get there as fast as possible, Kbut it didnt have the effect she wanted and her powers flickered, letting her free fall a few feet before she regained control.
“Supergirl, are you okay?” Kara heard over the coms.
It was way past midnight, the rain showing no sign of stopping: there was no sun to recharge but the last thing Kara wanted right now was to spend the night on one of the uncomfortable sundbeds at the DEO. Someone really ought to design better beds.
“Yeah, yeah I’m fine,” she said before quickly switching to her private line with Alex. “I don’t think my powers will last until I get home. Or at least I don’t want to risk it”
“Kara where are you ? Tell me and I’ll come pick you up.”
“No way Alex, it’s still pouring. You should stay put until it’s safe.” Looking around for a solution, Kara cracked a small smile when she spotted the bright Catco letters glowing into the night. “I’m stopping at Catco. I have a change of clothes in my office. I’ll be fine there. Stay safe okay?”
The silence stretched for a few seconds and Kara could tell Alex wasn’t a fan of the idea
“Fine, get some rest okay. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, I love you Alex.”
“Love you too, Kara.”
Kara turned off her coms and approached Catco. She could land on the roof and force the door open, she doubted anyone would be here. She was almost there when the lights from a particular window caught her eyes.
She shouldn’t. There were a million reasons while she shouldn’t land on the balcony of Cat’s office instead of making her way quietly and unseen into the building.
Her growing feelings for the woman was one.
The fact that Cat had been avoiding her for the last couple of months was another.
Her identity still being a secret was the final one.
Late night and exhaustion were a recipe for disaster, Kara knew that. And yet, she couldn’t help being drawn to Cat’s office, a thousand questions running through her head.
Why was Cat here instead of being home ? Was she okay ? Before she knew it, Kara was landing a little harder than intending on concrete, exhaustion messing up her calculations.
It was only a few seconds before the door opened, Cat appearing in the doorway.
“Supergirl,” Cat said. Kara tried not to squirm under Cat’s scrutinizing gaze. She was soaked to the bone, hair matted to her face, hands stained with blood and dirt. “Wait a second.”
Whatever it was that Kara had expected Cat to say, it hadn’t been that and she watched a little stunned as Cat went back inside, closing the door behind her. She came back a minute later, dry towels in hand. She motioned for Kara to approach and Kara followed the unspoken order dumbly.
As she stepped inside, Kara let a small sigh of relief at the warmth radiating from the space.
“Stop right here,” Cat ordered. Kara stopped immediately, realizing Cat meant to stay on the towels she’d laid on the floor. “I’d rather you not drip all over the carpet.”
Kara’s mouth curved into an amused smile but said nothing. Cat studied her as Kara wiped her face and hands. Once done, Cat silently handed her another dry towel, taking the dirty one. Kara drier her hair enough that the constant droplets of water would stop before wrapping the towel around her shoulders.
“It’s not mine,” she said when she noticed Cat staring at the traces of blood left on the white cloth. Cat looked up, a strange look on her face, replaced quickly by her perfect mask of composure.
“Better,” Cat said. “You still look awful, but better.”
Kara snorted. “Thanks ?”
They stood there silently, Kara desperately wanting to reach out. These days, it wasn’t often she had the chance to spend time alone with Cat, her new job and her responsibilities taking up a lot of her time. Added to the fact that sometimes she had a feeling Cat was purposely avoiding her, Kara really missed their shared proximity. She hadn’t yet dared ask not willing to hear what Cat had to say if Cat was only going to scoff at her, telling herthat the idea that they were friends was ridiculous. Despite the moments shared before and the few since her promotion where Cat let her guard down.
A shiver ran through Kara’s body, Kara letting a displeased noise at the unfamiliar sensation.
“Hum yeah, the rain…it’s a lot.” Kara cursed her inability to form sentences and it must have been the wrong thing to say, she thought, as Cat put a hand on her hip. She was in trouble.
“Why are you here, Supergirl ?” Cat asked
Kara hesitated for a second. The truth could very well lead to Cat discovering the truth. Not that Kara was scared about this, after Myriad she was almost certain Cat knew and was only pretending for Kara’s sake – which Kara appreciated- but after so long Kara didn’t know how to take that fateful step.
Well, standing in front of Cat now, cold and tired, maybe it was just that easy.
“I wasn’t going to make it home,” she finally admitted. “I – uh – almost fell on my way here.” Kara surprised by admitting this to Cat, something she hadn’t even told Alex, not wanting to worry her.
Cat’s eyes widened slightly. “Are you alright ?”
Kara shrugged. “I could use some rest,” she said. “My powers are still there but barely.”
Cat had always had a way of getting Kara to tell her things. Alex would argue it was dangerous but Kara never stopped thinking Cat was safe. She felt safe.
“I see,” Cat said. “So you’d thought you’d break into my building, catch some rest?”
Kara chuckled, the mood in the room shifting.
“Well no, I saw the lights. Figured you’d let me in.”
Cat hummed knowingly. “If I’m to let you in, you might want to take your boots off first.”
She felt silly taking off her boots off in Cat’s office but complied anyway. She pulled one off and then the second one, and groaned when she realized what socks she was wearing. Of all day to wear these, she had chosen today.
All hope of Cat not seeing her Supergirl socks flied out of the window when she heard Cat stifling a laugh. “Really?”
“They were a gift,” Kara mumbled, cursing Winn internally for being a nerd.
Cat raised an eyebrow, clearly amused. “If you’re cold you should probably change out of your suit but I’m afraid I don’t have any clothes that will fit you.”
Curiosity killed the cat, they said. Curiosity is exactly what had lead Kara there, so close to being able to access the warm and dry clothes she kept in her office, yet it would mean revealing her biggest secret to the woman in front of her. It was time.
Kara took a deep breath and letting a small smile play on her lips. “I suppose it’s a good thing I keep a change of clothes in the office you gave me,” she said, reaching into the secret pocket in her suits and pulling out a pair of glasses which she promptly slid on her nose.
Cat’s lips parted slightly before her mouth curved into a smile.
“”Well then, Kara, I suppose it is.”
There was no phone call to interrupt them this time, they were completely alone in the empty building, late at night and the intensity with which Cat was gazing at her was almost unbearable.
“I’m going to go change,” Kara said awkwardly, needing a minute – or two – to compose herself. Cat cleared her throat, as if snapped back to reality by Kara’s voice, and nodded.
* * *
When Kara stepped back into Cat’s office, Cat was sitting on one of the sofa, shoes off laying forgotten on the carpet, legs tucked under herself.
Not the first time either, but in that moment, Cat looked so relaxed and casual, Kara was almost afraid to step in and disturb her.
“Are you just going to stand there ?” Cat said startling Kara; “I don’t think you’ve been so skittish about entering my office since your sixth month as my assistant.”
“Sorry,” Kara said.
“That however, is an habit you have yet to break.”
“Sorry?” Kara answered sheepishly and Cat let a amused smile crossed her face.
Kara went to sit on the sofa next to Cat, as she would have done when she was still her assistant and they would work together side by side. The only difference being that they didn’t have work as an excuse this time.It was the first time in months that they were this close and Kara was all too aware of how close they were sitting to each other and how intimate it felt.
“Are you feeling better?” Cat asked, genuinely concerned.
“Warmer, yes.” Kara answered. “But hum Supergirl might have to take it easy for the next few days.”
“I think National City can manage that,” Cat said. After a beat, she asked, “Why now, Kara?” Kara knew what Cat meant even though the question was vague. “I’m not trying to be accusing and obviously I already knew. I’m genuinely curious.”
“I’m not sure,” Kara answered honestly.
“Was it because I was standing with you and warm set of clothes ? I wouldn’t be offended if that were the case.” Kara gave her pointed look so Cat corrected, “Fine, I would be a little offended.”
“It wasn’t,” Kara reassured. “I’m sorry for waiting so long. I wanted to do it sooner but after everything,I didn’t know how to tell you anymore. Not because I felt like I couldn’t tell you but because it felt like I had waited too long. If that makes sense.”
Cat looked thoughtful. “It does. And you shouldn’t apologize. If anything, I owe you an apology. I should have never pushed you that first time. It was your secret to tell.”
“You only wanted me to save more lives.”
“Be that as it may, saving everyone isn’t a burden that one should have to bear.”
“Thank you, Cat,” Kara said, reaching out for Cat’s hand that was resting between them. “For letting it go then, and letting me tell you even when you already knew.”
Cat squeezed Kara’s hand lightly. “Of course.”
“So how come you’re still in the office?” Kara asked. “Isn’t it your week-end with Carter ?”
“Checking on my schedule, aren’t we?” Cat teased.
“Habits?” Kara offered, the lie obvious she’d long learned Cat’s schedule with Carter by heart, and that hadn’t changed when she was promoted.
“He was staying at a friend this afternoon. With the weather, it’s safer if he stays put,” Cat explained, her face beaming with pride. “He’s really coming out of his shell. Thanks to you.”
“I didn’t do anything, really. Just being Supergirl.”
“I meant you, Kara. Not Supergirl,” Cat insisted. “Yes, Carter admires Supergirl, but it’s you Kara who really helped him. He never said what you two discussed during that disastrous week-end but I know my son, and since then he’s started to change. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence.”
Kara cleared her throat. “Well, he’s a great kid.” She shrugged. “I know what it’s like to feel like the outsider. But once you find the right people…”
“You should come to dinner.” Cat said and Kara’s head snapped up in disbelief. Cat was sporting a similar look on her face, seemingly just as surprised by her offer as Kara was.
After weeks and weeks of close to no contact, Kara had been happy just sharing this moment with Cat and the dinner offer seemed to come out of nowhere.
“Carter would love it. And it would be unfair me to hold that week-end against you,” Cat said. “Especially you chose my son over an airport full of people.”
Kara struggled to find the words to answer Cat and her prolonged silence
“You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.” Kara knew Cat enough to know she was backpedaling. Going to dinner at your boss’ place, when you have a crush on her and even if her son was there seemed liked a terrible idea but Kara hated the idea of disappointing Carter – and Cat.”
“I would love to,” Kara answered out before Cat could take the offer back.
“Yeah, I would love to see Carter,” she said and watched, puzzled, as Cat’s smile dropped a little.
“Great.” Lips pressed together, eyes avoiding looking at Kara, hands crossed – she knew when Cat was shutting herself off, it had been happening often – too often if you asked her – since Myriad.
“Why?” Kara found herself asking, not willing to let Cat shut her out. Not this time. “Why are you inviting me?”
“I told you, Carter…”
Kara cut her off. “Yes, I know. It’s just - I’m wondering if you’re going to pull take the offer back tomorrow, Cat. Ever since you promoted me, it seems like most of the time you’re avoiding me. I know it’s been an adjustment and Eve isn’t up your standards yet, but I miss talking with you Cat.”
Kara held her breath as Cat stood up. She expected Cat to tell her she’d crossed a line and to get out of her office. Instead, Cat went to her bar and started pouring herself another glass, before deciding against it and filling a new glass with M&M’s. Odd, Kara thought, the M&M’s were reserved for extremely stressful days.
“The truth Kara? I’ve grown too comfortable having you around. It’s a habit I’m trying to break.”
Kara felt a pang of hurt at Cat’s admission. Somehow it hurt more than Cat telling her to leave. “Oh. Uh, maybe I should go.”
She stood up as well, ready to leave the office and hide forever in her own windowless one.
“Oh for god’s sake, Kara!” Cat’s outburst stopped her movements. “I don’t want you to leave and that’s exactly the problem.”
Cat’s eyes weren’t meeting hers and her hand was wrapped so tightly around the glass, Kara was afraid it would shatter in Cat’s hand. Almost on auto-pilot, Kara walked towards Cat whose agitation she felt the need to calm. Slowly, she touched Cat’s wrist and when Cat tensed further, Kara took the glass from her, putting it back on the bar. She stepped back, giving Cat space.
“Cat?” Kara prompted.
“I miss you too, Kara,” Cat admitted, her voice barely above a whisper. She looked up, her eyes meeting Kara’s unwavering gaze, and reached a hand out only to stop herself at the last second. “More than I should.”
Kara’s heart was beating loudly in her chest. “Do you really mean that ?” she asked, breathily. “In the way I think you mean it.”
“If you mean that I miss you more than I should because I have feelings for you, Kara, then yes, I mean that,” Cat answered without hesitation, now that the truth was revealed and there was no taking it back. “I suppose you weren’t the only one with secrets.”
Kara smiled. “I have one more,” she said, cupping Cat’s jaw the saw way Cat had almost done a few seconds earlier. “I have feelings for you too.”
She leaned down, Cat meeting her halfway. When they parted a few seconds later, both were smiling and Cat traced Kara’s lips with her thumb. “Dinner next Tuesday. We can talk more afterwards.”
“Sounds good,” Kara said, nodding. “Can I kiss you again until then?”
“Well, it’s still raining heavily outside. I’m not planning on driving and you can’t fly. So we’re stuck here.” Cat said and Kara smiled cheekily.
“Oh, no, whatever could we do to pass the time?”
Cat rolled her eyes. “Shut up and kiss me, Supergirl.”