Cat Grant doesn’t like being touched. She’d done the customary handshake greeting for everyone until she’d gotten her second divorce. She let the gossip papers say what they wanted: she’d found her soulmate, her germaphobia had finally won out, her soulmate was dead, etc.
Really the germaphobia one was closest, she hadn’t found her soulmate and she wouldn’t, ever. Obviously, she was one of the unlucky (or lucky, depending) ones whose soulmate was a recluse, died, or just gave up and settled down with someone else.
Of course Kara’s been working for her for nearly two years when they first hold hands.
The day’s almost over and she’s tired and Kara slips into her office with dinner and orange juice because she’s apparently not learned the wonders of an aged scotch. But she smiles and sets up dinner on the balcony while Cat collapses into her lounger. At least Kara’s five times as intelligent as anyone else here. She sure knows a lot for coming from some nowhere college.
Maybe she’d have to hire her next assistant from there.
Kara handed her a scotch, slid her salad with a cheeseburger, no buns, over, and flashed a smile.
No, there’d be no one else like Kara to hire. One day she’d leave for bigger and better things too. She’ll be amazing the day she actually wears a suit.
“So how is Winefred? He’s not playing that mining game at work anymore, is he?” For some reason the name ‘Winifred’ always makes Kara laugh. Her burger is divine, so at least something is going well today.
Kara laughs right on cue, covering her mouth and squinting her eyes.
Cat’s got it bad. She certainly doesn’t proclaim her feelings to others, but she doesn’t stoop so low as to lie to herself. Yes, yes, Kara is half her age and still has that twinkle in her eyes and also wears the most awful cardigans she’d ever seen… but she’s just so infallibly kind and intelligent. And fucking competent, which is so damn attractive. Plus Kara seems to have at least a hero-crush on her, which just isn’t helping Cat ignore her. What can she say? It’s nice to be liked.
So they sit on the balcony and talk and Cat gets another scotch, the sun slowly sets, and the evening is pleasant. They’ve been doing this more recently, just talking until there’s nothing else to talk about. It just feels right to be around Kara, which would be highly alarming if Cat thought about it more. The tabloids would eat her alive if they ever found out.
A boom sounds in the distance and Kara whips her head around, her smile vanishing.
“What was that?” Cat stands and walks to the balcony railing. “I thought canons were old news.”
Kara joins her and they peer out at the horizon. Another boom sounds to their left and Kara gasps, pointing, “Fireworks!”
Cat can barely see the lights flicker, they’re so far away. It’s impressive the sound carries so far. She leans against the railing as another boom sounds and watches the tiny pricks of light in the distance. Kara leans further, a huge grin spread over her face as she watches.
Damn those young eyes.
“Enjoy light displays much?”
Kara just grins at her. “I used to hate them actually. They’re so loud and make so much smoke. But from a distance, they’re gorgeous. Jeremiah used to love them too. He’d take Alex and I up onto the roof and we’d all hold hands and watch together.”
“That sounds lovely.”
“Yeah, it was.”
The booms sound in the distance and Kara leans on her elbows with a sigh. She’s still smiling so Cat doesn’t interrupt her thoughts. She mirrors Kara, leaning on her elbows, and watches the next fireworks burst. Kara still has crumbs on her shirt. Her hair’s just starting to slip from her ponytail. Her eye reflects the light of the building across from them.
Kara’s hand bumps into hers and Cat breathes out a laugh. Her finger curls over Cat’s and Cat opens up her hand. Kara turns her head, smiling, and slots their hands together.
Kara blinks, her smile slipping, then frowns in confusion. Cat feels like her own face is doing the same, but there’s a noise in her head, like a typhoon, and she can’t really concentrate. There’s this look of hope curling through Kara’s eyes and she scootches a little closer until their arms are pressed together.
They don’t say anything, but Kara squeezes her hand and Cat squeezes back. What is there to say?
It’s nearly three months later when they hold hands again. They haven’t talked about this. It’s… uh, unsettling? There’s basically a thousand reasons why them being soulmates is a terrible idea. It’s incredibly unusual for soulmates to be so distant in age. 10 years, no problem, 15, a tad odd, but almost 25? That was a cruel trick of the universe.
Cat had done a lot of brooding over the past few months. God, what would her book club say when they learned she didn’t just have a petty crush, but a full blown soulmate? Honestly, this was just Cat’s luck.
At least she didn’t need to tell HR. That would have been a whole nightmare. But so long as Cat didn’t favor Kara or do anything uncouth at work, no one else had to know. But hadn’t she been favoring Kara? She hadn’t fired her yet, but also Kara was the only competent person that Cat interacted with every day.
She really needed to schedule another appointment with her therapist.
“Are we ever going to talk about this?”
Cat spun around and Kara waved.
“We don’t actually have to do anything with this, if you don’t want, of course. It’d just be nice to, like, lay our cards down or something.”
Of course, she was Kara’s soulmate too. Which didn’t make any sense. None of this did. But she at least owed Kara the time of day, right? She couldn’t just deprive this woman of her soulmate experience.
Cat sighed and motioned to the chair across from her. “Of course, it’s just… odd.”
Kara fidgeted and plucked at her shirt. “Because I work for you?”
Cat snorted, “Well, that is a bit of a pain, but you’ll move on to bigger and better positions at some point anyway. With the recommendation letter I’ll write you, you could apply to anywhere.”
“Oh,” Kara smiled and clenched her fists. “Thank you… are you saying I should be applying elsewhere?”
Cat turned her head and saw the strain in Kara’s eyes. She sighed and shook her head, “No, that’s not what I meant. Though, really, you should be looking for more interesting work, you shouldn’t be an assistant forever. You’re too smart for that.” She raised her eyebrows at Kara and smirked at the flush spreading across her cheeks.
“No, what I meant is that… our age difference gives me pause.” Cat rolled her eyes, “Yes, it’s likely petty, but don’t you think it’s odd? There are very few soulmates who have such a difference in age. Then there’s what the media will say, and don’t even mention my mother.”
“Oh… then, it’s not me?” Kara blinked and her head whipped up, embarrassment clear on her face. “I meant, no, just-”
“Are you asking me if I’m upset that my soulmate happens to be one of the brightest, kindest, and most competent humans I’ve ever met?” Cat narrowed her eyes. Now, she didn’t enjoy having heart-to-hearts with anyone, but there was no way she’d let Kara think she was anything less than extraordinary. “Because, no, that doesn’t particularly upset me.”
Kara’s face could be used as a torch. “Ah.”
Cat slumped back, “But I do wonder why the universe made me wait so long.”
“Probably because…” Kara mumbled something and Cat frowned.
“Hmm? What was that?”
“It’s just…” Kara popped up, her hands already flying out in front of her. “I got here late! I bet it’s that. We’re basically the same age without that delay.” She paced over to the end of the balcony. “I mean, I’ve been wanting to tell you this too, which is what I meant by laying our cards down, I kind of feel like I have a lot of cards, you know? But Alex said I shouldn’t tell you and she kind of has a point, but even before we were soulmates, or before we knew we were soulmates, I knew you’d never hurt me. You’re really kind and so good and really beautiful, which is besides the point, but true!” She paced back over to the other side of the balcony, gesturing at Cat and blushing again. “But I was late and that would explain everything and also I should probably tell you before we actually start a relationship, assuming you actually want to, which I kind of do, just so you know. It’s just, I don’t want this to change anything, and I kind of think it will. Not that you would react badly, just, well it’s kind of a lot and people haven’t always reacted wel-”
“Kara, please, you’re talking yourself into a wall here and I can’t follow when you talk that fast.” Cat stood and held up her hand. “You said you were late?”
Kara swallowed and took a step forward. “Yes, I was… stuck. For 24 years.”
Cat frowned. “What? Stuck where? For 24 years? What does that mean?”
Kara shook her head, “It means all of this was probably my fault.”
“What?” Cat took Kara’s hand, the warmth she’d felt nearly three months ago layering over her frustration. “Kara, what are you talking about?”
“I was late, Cat.” Kara met her eyes, “We’re the same age. The universe didn’t mess up.”
That didn’t even answer-
“Kitty, where are you? Your little assistant is missing.”
Cat snapped her eyes shut. “Fuck.” If only she could actually block out her mother. “The universe really does hate me.”
Kara slipped her hand away and bolted from her office.
“Oh, there she is, Kitty, are you harassing your employees?”
The third time they hold hands, Kara’s also holding a bullet.
Her hair’s down. Which is an odd thing to notice, probably, but it’s not like this is the first time gunmen have broken into her building to threaten her life and it likely won’t be the last. It is the first time a gunman has actually fired at her though.
She’s going to need a lexapro. And a drink. But Kara’s hair is down and it slowly settles on her shoulders as the wind blows past Cat. She’s just moved impossibly fast. Truly impossible. Cat should have a hole in her stomach, not Kara’s hand curling around her side.
Her glasses are gone too. The eyes that stare down the gunmen are… not what she’s used to. They are hard and calculating, like a storm before a lightning strike.
“You will not hurt her.”
Her voice is deeper too. Is this really Kara? If she can move that fast maybe she’s been replaced. Fingers wrap around her shaking hand and, yeah, that’s Kara. The same warmth floods through her as the last two times. Cat releases a shuddering breath and presses against her back.
Then the gunmen fire again. She hears the bang, the rattling of the bullet as it explodes outward, and it’s like time has slowed down. Kara, Kara is standing in front of her. She’s waited all this time just for her soulmate to get shot defending her. She shouts far, far too late.
The gun fire continues, but Kara doesn’t fall. There are more shouts, but they’re not hers. She doesn’t have any more air to give. She really does love this woman, she can’t…
“What the fuck?”
“I told you, you will not hurt her.”
“What are you?”
Then Kara’s gone and there’s wind dragging her forward and Cat still can’t breathe. She tips forward and Kara’s back, slipping her hands under Cat’s legs and lifting her into her arms. It’s dark in the ensuite, the skylight above them only filled with the twinkling of city lights.
“Yeah Cat, it’s me.”
“Sorry, I meant to tell you earlier.” Kara pulls her close and there are bullet holes in her shirt. “We’ve just been really busy and it never felt like the right time.”
Cat reaches out, but Kara’s skin is smooth, warm, unblemished, where it should be ripped open and bloody. “Superwoman?”
Kara shrugs, “Kal got Superman, so I kinda thought I would model after him. Though our family crest isn’t an ‘S’ so maybe I should have gone with something else?”
“Kal? An ‘S’?” Each hole in Kara’s cardigan had the same unblemished skin. Cat can’t look away though, like red will pour from each hole if she looks up. “Superman?”
“Yes, Superman is my cousin. We left our world at the same time. I just got… lost. So I was late.” Kara grimaces.
“Oh.” Cat breathes in and splays her hand across Kara’s stomach. It still isn’t overflowing with red so she tears her gaze away. “That’s what you meant? You were stuck in… a spaceship for 24 years?”
Kara nods. “Yes, and uh, I’ll tell you about it, if you want, but uhm, those men know who I am now and I would really… Kal says it’s very important to have a secret identity. So, I should probably call him and ask him what to do.”
“Ah yes,” Cat moves to stand and stops. “You… are you going to take up superheroing?”
Kara blinks, pausing in helping Cat stand. “I think so? I haven’t used my powers in a long time, so I think I need to learn more before I do. I may have broken one of those men’s arms, which was unintentional. And… I can’t do this full time. That’s too much pressure, noise, there’s so much screaming in the world. Kal tried, and it nearly drove him mad. So, I… I want to stay at CatCo, but I want to help people too. I just don’t know how.”
Cat breathes in and nods. They move to stand and Kara reaches for her phone. It has a bullet lodged in the screen. “Well, I guess you need a suit.”
Superwoman makes her debut when a plane plummets from the sky. Her suit is dark blue and her cape is bright red. The crest on her chest sends the media into a frenzy. CatCo gets the first exclusive and seems to always know where Superwoman will be next.
Agent Alex Danvers makes her debut with the DEO and this new Superwoman. She has short cropped hair and the media also goes wild over her. She has a tendency to confiscate the media’s cameras, unless they’re from CatCo media.
Kara Danvers makes her debut as Cat Grant’s soulmate a little while after Superwoman appears. The tabloids eat them alive. But Cat gets more than one interview about how long she’s waited and how well her life has turned out. No one can deny that they’re in love, not when they walk hand-in-hand.
It seems that even when times are darkest, there’s always room for a little hope.