Kara woke the next day to the blaring sound of her phone alarm. She was enjoying dreams of dancing and being in Lena's arms, but woke to an empty bed. She reached for her phone and found a message from Lena that was sent long after Kara had gone to sleep.
L: Thinking of you. Wish you were here.
It was before dawn, still dark outside and Kara knew that Lena, along with most of the other party-goers who weren't getting on a plane that morning, were fast asleep. Still, she typed a quick note, wishing she could talk to Lena before her trip.
K: Me too. I dreamed of you last night.
Kara then went immediately back to sleep until, after hitting the snooze four times, she finally forced herself out of bed. She made a mad dash to collect her bags and grab some breakfast. She found Alex, already looking very awake and sitting at the kitchen counter with her coffee.
"Damnit, I overslept! Did you send for a Lyft yet?" Kara asked.
"Won't be necessary." Alex murmured.
Kara looked at quizzically and Alex waved towards the window. Kara went and looked down to the street to see Lena's car below.
"Your girlfriend is whipped." Alex deadpanned.
Kara just smiled and started digging through the pantry to grab a box of pop-tarts for the road.
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!" Kara winked at her sister. "We better run, Sis."
The women grabbed their bags and joined Vaz in the car. Vaz got them to the airport at a break-neck pace.
After the surprise of the car waiting for her that morning, Kara was not as surprised to find that L-Corp had loaned the company jet for the team to fly to Florida. But the rest of the team was surprised and very excited. Even in their sleepy state it was clear they were thrilled for the extra luxury. Before take-off, Coach Lance called roll to make sure they had everyone, then gave them a pep talk followed by her usual send-ff.
"Alright women! Buckle your seatbelts and grab your mimosas - we're headed to the Sunshine State to kick some world-wide butt!"
After that she looked directly at Kara and smirked, acknowledging that she was likely the reason they were flying on a private jet. Kara was in too good a mood to feel embarassed, instead giving Sara a conspiratorial wink.
Kara settled in a seat next to Alex, who whispered, "Thanks for the upgrade, Sis!"
Kara just laughed and started texting Lena while waiting for take off.
K: You're spoiling me again.
Apparently Lena had a chance to wake up because she responded right away.
L: You deserve it. And I like spoiling you.
K: I can't wait to say thank you in person. Someday...
L: I very much look forward to that.
K: And thanks for a memorable time at the party last night.
L: My pleasure, truly. Although I'm afraid it may have been too memorable for Jess. Scaring, even.
K: Oh god, I'm so sorry! I really couldn't help myself.
L: Don't worry about it darling. It's nothing a generous raise won't take care of.
K: Did you talk to her?
L: No, she was long gone.
K: Well, I owe her one. Were you happy with the party?
L: I enjoyed the part when I wasn't at the party most ;)
But yes, we raised even more money than I expected.
K: That's amazing! Great news for the team.
L: You and the team work very hard at representing our country. Raising money shouldn't even be necessary, but since it is, I'm happy to help. You all deserve the best.
K: Tell me, do you always get what you want?
L: Since I'm in bed alone right now, I'd say no.
Kara groaned inwardly at the thought of Lena in bed. Just then a voice came over the loud speaker instructing them to turn off all electronics.
K: Have to run. Thanks for everything!
L: Well, I haven't given you everything. Yet.
Kara grinned and sent a heart before turning off her phone.
After the team landed they went immediately to their hotel to settle in and get ready for their practice that afternoon. As the team doctor, Alex was given her own room. Kara was excited that they paired her with Lucy, because she was always fun and she wouldn't need to worry about rooming with someone she didn't know well.
That afternoon they arrived at the stadium that was home to the Orlando Pride where they would be practicing for two weeks before the trip to Australia and New Zealand for the tournament. When they got off the bus there was a group of photographers waiting for them, angling for pictures of the team. It was a shock to Kara that they would be there already, when they were still just practicing. They weren't being too aggressive, but she did hear them calling her name often, even shouting questions about her relationship status. Clearly this was a bigger deal to the media than she expected. She remembered what Lena had said and realized she'd been right about the attention to her especially. It occurred to Kara that Lex might even have someone there masquerading as paparazzi - there would be no way for her to tell.
Would he really go that far? She wondered.
Most of the players ignored the cameras, though a few women stopped to chat and smile for photos. When they eventually came on the field it was starting to hit home to Kara, too, that this was real, that they were representing the country in the World Cup. She thought she saw the same look in the other players' eyes, it was a look that said that the reality was sinking in. And that they were there to play and do whatever they could to be ready. She could feel the energy as they waited for their coach to appear. Coach never failed to get them going, which was one of the things Kara loved about her.
"OK, players, welcome to your new home! You are going to eat, sleep, and breathe soccer here for the next two weeks. And no more Saturdays off, we're moving to a 7-day training week. I want you here at 7 am for weight training before practice at 8:00. And don't worry about getting up early because you will be going to bed early! There is a curfew of 8:00 pm - so no going out, and no drinking or partying in the rooms! We're going to make the most of the time we have left together. Oh, and thanks to the big fund-raiser on Friday night, we hired a caterer to prepare healthy meals here at the stadium, so no wasting time to run down some crap junk food."
"Sorry, Kara!" Kara heard Imra yell from the back of the group and the team broke out laughing. Kara laughed along with them. It was great to feel the team coming together.
"OK, enough talking, I want to see some action! Let's get out there - I want 5 laps around the field! Gotta shake off that jetlag and get some real work done today."
The team groaned but quickly moved to follow orders. They ran hard and practiced hard. Since they had all gotten up before dawn to catch the plane, it was a very long day. At the end of it their coach came to talk to them in the locker room before sending them to the hotel.
"You all looked great out there today! You've got your game face on right out of the gate - that's what I like to see."
She took a deep breath before going on. "OK team, I want to let you all know that I've decided that Danvers will be team captain for the tournament."
Many on the team cheered and a few called out "Yay!" and "Go, Supergirl!"
Kara smiled, but before she could say anything, she heard another voice call out from the back.
"What the hell, Coach?" Kara looked back to see Kate standing and looking at Sara defiantly. "Doesn't anybody care that she's sleeping with our biggest sponsor?"
The room got completely quiet and everyone looked at Kara. Kara jumped to her feet and headed towards Kate. Lucy hopped in front of her, giving her a hug and saying.
Kara was grateful that Lucy had reminded her that it would not be good to have the new captain laying into a player, even if she was being an ass. She glared at Kate. Kate glared back.
"I've made my decision. Kane, see me afterwards." Sara said, her voice sounded cool as a cucumber but her eyes looked furious.
"And just a reminder to all of you. There's going to be a lot of attention on all of us. We're representing our country in a world arena. You saw it's already starting today with the paparazzi tourning up for the first day of practice here. If we do well it will only get more intense. And there will be a lot of interest in our personal lives."
Sara paused and looked around at each of them. "I want to be very clear with all of you. Whatever is going on in your lives...with your family, significant others...anything. It's no one's business but your own. And it would be to your own best interest to avoid any discussion of personal topics."
Again she paused and looked around the room. "It's your decision about what you say about your own interests. But you are never...and I mean never...to say anything about a teammates' personal life. As we've just had here. And if you don't take me seriously, well. There will be consequences. And you will regret it."
At that Kate slipped out of the room. Kara looked up at her coach, eyes wide with amazement and admiration. Sara looked at her with a hidden smile before suddenly changing her tone.
"OK, team! Great work out there today. Hit the showers and get some rest."
Everyone seemed grateful for the escape and quickly disappeared from the room. Only Kara remained, looking at her coach intently.
"Thanks for standing by me, Coach."
"Sure thing, Supergirl. I believe in you." Sara said, then winked. "And now I'm going to tear someone a new asshole."
Kara left the locker room without showering, not wanting to be there for Kate's meeting with Coach Lance. She didn't want to wait on then team bus, so she sent for a Lyft. Once inside she called Lena, hoping to hear her voice. She held her breath as the rings went on unanswered.
"Hello?" When Kara was sure it would switch to voicemail she heard Lena's voice.
"Hi." Kara said.
"Yeah. Just wanted to hear your voice. Thanks for picking up."
"I always pick up for you if I possibly can. You know that."
"Yes. I know that."
"How was your day?"
"Exhausting! And wonderful...and also, not great." Kara said. "What can I say, it feels like I lived a week today."
"What happened?" Lena asked, sounding amazed.
"It's a long story." Kara admitted. "The good part of it is that Coach announced that she's selected me to be captain..."
"That's wonderful, Kara! I always knew I liked her. She's a smart woman."
"Yeah. Well, it's just...a lot. Getting up at 4:00 to make the plane, flying all that way and then practicing for hours. I just wish...that you were going to be waiting for me at the hotel."
"Is that right?" Lena chuckled. "Well. I have to admit that does sound rather good. You coming in all overheated from training...of course I'd need to remove your sweaty clothes immediately...get you into the shower for clean up...which I would need to see to myself...need to make sure you're nice and clean...'
"Lena, please...I'm in a Lyft right now."
"Sorry, darling. Guess I got carried away."
"I don't mind." Kara chuckled then got more serious. "Hey, listen, I wanted to apologize for last night. I mean the part about feeling jealous. Well and also...um, for attacking you in your office..." She whispered that last part.
"Kara. You don't need to apologize for feelings. Your feelings are valid and I'm glad you shared them with me. You've been through a lot. You've worked so hard and you're so strong. It takes time to build trust, and it's Ok if you feel jealous or insecure sometimes. I just hope you'll tell me when it happens. So I can help make it better."
"You did make it better...Very much so." Kara said quietly.
"And as for what happened in my office, well, no need to apologize for that either." Lena chuckled. "Although it might be a bit distracting on Monday when I'm back in at my desk. It'll be hard not to think about you on desk...the way you took what you wanted...was so fucking hot..."
"Hey! Still in the lyft..." Kara crossed her legs. "I'll try to call you if I can get a minute alone."
Unfortunately, once she showered and made her way into the room she did not find it empty. Instead, she was facing her best friend/roommate who was in the middle of one of the beds. Lucy immediately initiated the third degree.
"So, Ms. Danvers. Is seems you've been holding out on me..."
"What? How can you not share this with your BFF? I'm wounded." Lucy sounded like she was only half teasing.
"Seriously Lucy. It's important that this doesn't get out right now. We agreed not to tell people yet."
"My lips are sealed, obviously. Now tell me all the details!"
Kara couldn't help but feel relieved to be able to share with her friend, even though it made her nervous and angry that after being so careful, Kate had exposed them to a lot of people that Kara didn't know that well. She could only hope that she could trust her teammates not to speak to the press. She knew Kate wouldn't dare due to Sara's threats.
"So, tell me. Is Lena as hot in the sheets as she is on the street?"
"Come on, Kara! I really must know. Spill!"
"All I can say is - yes! But I'm not talking details."
Lucy continued to tease and push for details.
"Just give it up Lucy!" Kara laughed.
"OK, fine." Lucy pouted, then got more serious. "Do you ever worry about...her reputation?"
"No. Well, maybe a little. But honestly, Lucy, she's really been there for me, through everything. All the work I've been doing to get through the BS with Mikel. ..I know I haven't talked to you about it, but she's been a good friend. I know she was a player in that past but, I know she cares about me. Honestly, Lucy, I trust her."
"That's awesome, Kara! Sounds like she appreciates how amazing you are. And I can see you're happy."
"Thanks, Lucy." Kara said. "Now. Can we please get some sleep?"
"OK, Captain." Lucy winked and rolled over.
Kara snuck into the bathroom to call Lena. She wanted to warn her about what Kate had said to the team.
As expected, Lena was livid about the news. Kara tried to assure her that Sara had handled it and that Lena didn't need to do anything.
"Kara, I'm glad to hear Sara handled it so well, but I'll still be speaking to Kate."
Kara could tell by her voice that it was pointless to argue. She could feel her eyes closing.
"OK, alpha. I know you're going to do what you feel you have to."
"You sound tired, Kara. You should sleep."
"Yeah, sorry. I really should." Kara yawned.
"Sleep well, baby."
"I...love you, Lena." Kara said awkwardly.
"I love you." Lena said warmly. "And miss you."
The team and Kara fell into a pattern after that. Wake, eat, train, eat, train, train, train, eat, sleep, repeat. The team got closer and were starting to really come together on the field.
Later in the week Kate found Kara and apologized for what she'd said. She admitted she still felt jealous and promised not to say anything about her relationship with Lena again, to the team or anyone else.
Kara knew this was probably the result of something Lena had done, but she was gracious to Kate. She needed them to move past this so she could truly be a captain for everyone. She made that promise to Kate, that she would do everything she could to bring every member of the team together and play their best.
"I know you're the right one for the job." Kate admitted reluctantly.
"Thanks. It means a lot to have your support. I promise I'll give it everything I've got."
"I've no doubt, Cap'n." Kate touched two fingers to her forehead in a casual salute, before smirking and turning away. Kara watched her go, trying to feel reassured.
By the end of that first week in Florida, the team was well into their routine of training, eating, sleeping, and little else. Their bodies were sore and exhausted, but Kara could feel they were getting stronger. She kept in touch with Lena kept through texts and calls squeezed in between meetings and trainings. They tried to talk at least once a day, but sometimes their schedules didn't coincide and it was impossible for Kara to have any privacy. As much as she missed her, Kara could see it was for the best in helping her stay focused on the team. Still, sometimes at night after a very long day she longed to just be in Lena's arms.
That Friday was one of those long days. It seemed like the coach was driving them extra hard. Late in the day Kara caught a glimpse of Alex standing at the edge of the field. Alex was always regularly coming and going to observe the team, to keep an eye on any players who had any issues or injuries. It was nothing unusual, but somehow it felt different. She could feel Alex' eyes on her it particular. When Sara appeared Alex made a beeline for her and they huddled for a while. Kara could tell something was up.
After practice she got through the locker room quickly and wasn't surprised to find Alex waiting for her outside the stadium. Alex had rented a car there since she had more free time to explore than the players did. Without her saying a word, Kara followed her and climbed into the passenger seat.
"Just spit it out, Alex." Kara looked at her with wide eyes.
"Alex, is everyone OK? Where's Eliza?"
"No, no, Kara. Everyone is fine. I promise. Just...here..." Alex handed her phone over. Kara could see it was a post from Mikel. It went on for pages and pages. It seemed to start as an apology, but then quickly moved into accusations towards her. A flood of anger, guilt, and helplessness came over her.
She looked at Alex like a deer in the headlights. Alex just wrapped her up as tight as she could and held her.
"Alex, I didn't...I mean, yes, I fought back sometimes. Sometimes I was afraid for my life. But I never...I didn't..."
"Kara, just stop. What he's done here...saying he takes responsibility when it's clearly just an effort to make himself the victim...it's just beyond..." She seemed to be too angry to find words.
"I just can't believe..." Kara wiped away tears and began to read it again.
"Kara, don't." Alex took the phone away. "I set up a call for you with Julia. Let's just get you back to the hotel. It's after 5:00 now. She said her appointments will be over and she's free anytime."
Lena sat at her desk, not believing her eyes as she went through the pages of the statement from Mikel, not believing her eyes. Jess had brought it to her attention after her last meeting of the day.
"What...is wrong with this man? How dare he..." Lena found herself at a rare loss for words.
"Jess, get Daxam on the phone. Now."
Jess turned quickly and left the office. Lena watched her through the glass in a daze. As she made several calls then patched him through to Lena.
"Ms. Luthor. I guess I was expecting to hear from you."
"Mr. Daxam. It seems you didn't take my promise to you very seriously."
"When we last spoke I told you L-Corp would be severing ties with Daxam Industries..."
"You did sever ties!" He broke in angrily. "And Mother has made me pay for that, believe me. It's cost the company and me a lot."
Lena couldn't help but feel a bit vindicated at that. But she wasn't done.
"I also told you that night that if you ever came near her again..."
"I didn't come near her!" He protested.
"You've done something that was clearly intended to hurt her."
"Don't be absurd, Mr. Daxam. This is clearly a feeble attempt to justify your own despicable, shameful actions."
"I was trying to make things right!"
"This victim-shaming, these accusations..." Lena could feel the alpha in her rearing. She took a deep breath and tried to remain calm. The primal beast in her was raging to hang up the phone and track him down.
"I hope people will see through this. If Kara did fight back, well, I think most people will be glad to hear it. But for you to put this out in public...and while she's preparing for the Cup...this is clearly just an effort to redeem your own reputation at any cost."
"It's not, I was only trying to..."
"What? Make things right?" Lena broke in. "Let me ask you, if you were trying to make things right, why not reach out to her directly? Or why not just post an apology and leave it at that?"
"Because I..." His voice dropped off.
"What's wrong, Mr. Daxam. Having trouble getting laid?"
"It's not that, I just..."
"Part of the reason Kara spoke publicly about this was that she felt responsible for warning other woman. I'm glad to hear it's had that effect."
"It's not fair, I..."
"I'm not interested in your personal life, truly. I just wanted to let you know that things are about to get worse for you and your company."
"Please, I wasn't trying to hurt her..."
"Don't bother, I'm not interested in your explanations. I promised you that if you did came near her again that I would take things a step further. That is, I just wanted to make you aware that I will be taking things a step further."
"What do you mean?" He sounded desperate. "She hurt me too!"
"God, I hope so...." Lena muttered to herself then redirected. "What I mean to say is that there is now a new L-Corp policy - that we will not do business with any companies doing business with Daxam Industries."
"Lena, you can't possibly mean..."
"Don't call me Lena. I can mean it, and I do. It will take some time. But I'm assigning staff to find out about these connections and I'll be speaking with the leaders of these companies personally. Then they will be free to decide whether their relationship with Daxam or L-Corp is more important."
"Lena, I mean, Ms. Luthor...that will ruin us..."
"You probably should have considered that before you did something that you knew would hurt Kara, just to soothe your own precious ego."
"Please. I'm asking you not to do this-"
"I'm nothing if not a woman of my word. And I gave you my word."
"Wait, could you just-"
Lena hung up before he could finish his sentence. She decided she'd wasted enough time speaking with him and also was anxious to talk to Kara. She quickly dialed her number but it went to voicemail. Next she buzzed Jess to come back in.
"Lena, are you OK? I don't think I've ever seen you this angry." Jess nearly whispered. "And that's saying a lot."
"I'm OK. But my girlfriend is not. I need you to schedule the jet to fly out as soon as possible. I'm going to Orlando."
Jess stood with her mouth agape and thought to herself...