“Thank you, Madam President.”
Cat struts out of the Situation Room, leaving the men and women gathered around the table to scramble to get up.
“Nancy, find me the Chief Counsel,” Cat growls, taking a sharp turn to get to the stairs. “Then have someone order Supergirl and Director Danvers to haul their asses into my office within the hour.”
“Right away, Madam President,” Nancy replies, unfazed by Cat’s tone. “What should I tell Mackenzie?”
“She needs to stall the press,” Cat says through gritted teeth. “Tell her to coordinate with Toby on this.”
The oval office is empty when she gets there, which is a relief.
She lets Dolores close the door behind her and goes to sink in her chair, exhaling some of her tension through a heavy sigh. She’d kill for a glass of Scotch right now, but she knows better than to give in to that temptation.
The knock on the door almost startles her.
“Come in,” Cat shouts, missing the time when her office was made of glass and nothing could really take her by surprise.
“Madam President,” Dolores says, a hint of worry in her voice. “The Chief Counsel is here.”
“Send her in,” Cat nods, risking a longing glance to the decanter of Scotch, resting atop a luxurious wooden table, by the bookshelves.
“Oh god, what now?” Lucy Lane mutters out loud as she steps into the presidential office. “What did she do this time?”
Cat would smirk, if the circumstances weren’t so dire. Most of the time, the fact her entire staff is used to Supergirl making mistakes was endearing, but not tonight.
“She might as well have started World War III,” Cat snaps, standing up and gesturing towards the decanter. “Do you want a drink?”
“Madam President, far be it from me to tell you what to do,” Lucy risks, taking a step forward to stand in front of the desk. “... but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to start drinking before she gets here.”
“I anticipated a lot of downsides to this new job, but not being able to drink whenever I want to wasn’t one of them,” Cat mutters, letting out a frustrated sigh.
“That bad, uh,” Lucy muses.
Cat circles her desk and starts to pace behind one of the couches, trying to reign in the flood of emotions threatening to overwhelm her.
It’s been six months since, after the crisis that destroyed the multiverse, she was sworn in as president of the United States of America. Six months, during which she’s had to deal with all kinds of issues: nuclear weapons, diplomatic affairs, hostage situations, domestic and foreign terrorism, political scandals, even some P.R mistakes... Still, she doesn’t think she’ll ever get used to the crushing weight of responsibilities that come with her new titles.
Which is exactly why she could do without the added stress of having National City’s superhero going rogue and causing an international incident so catastrophic it really could have started a war.
The knock on the door startles them both.
“Madam President, Miss Lane,” Dolores says, respectfully. “They’re here.”
“Give me a minute, would you Dolores?” Cat shakes her head.
“Sure, Madam President,” Dolores replies. “I’ll wait for your call.”
She closes the door as quietly as possible after her.
“What’s wrong?” Lucy asks, worry lining her voice.
Cat doesn’t answer right away.
She’s faced Supergirl before, since she became president, and she’s scolded the superhero more than once over the course of the last six months but this is different. This is something that can’t be called a mistake, not when it could have endangered so many lives and thrown off the delicate balance of the whole world. She needs to be ready to let out the full force of her wrath, without flinching at the first hint of remorse or sadness that will inevitably cross the baby blue eyes she’s so familiar with.
A sudden flood of memories of Kara walking into her office flash before her. Bright smile, blue eyes, bouncing ponytail, and a painfully colorful wardrobe to boot. Cat remembers every outfit, every frown, every awkward chuckle and blinding smile.
She shakes her head, squares her shoulders and clenches her jaw.
“Nothing,” Cat dismisses, taking a deep breath before moving to the table by the couch. She pushes a button on the phone and Dolores' voice echoes in the office. “Send them in, thank you Dolores.”
Alex is the first to step in the office.
“Madam President,” The older Danvers says, respectfully. “Chief Lane.”
There’s a hint of righteous anger sparkling in her nutmeg eyes but she appears to be otherwise calm, neutral. She’s geared up in her full DEO uniform, minus the weapons.
Lucy and Alex only exchange a nod and a small smile.
“Director Danvers,” Cat salutes her in return, having no reason to be angry at the DEO agent. She knows full well Kara’s actions will have dire consequences for the organization, and she suspects it’s the reason for the anger in Alex’ eyes.
Supergirl follows, cape swishing along with the gentle thud of her boots on the wooden floor.
It stops when she steps on the carpet showing off the presidential seal, and Cat forcefully ignores the beat her heart misses the moment she lays her eyes on Kara.
“Madam President,” Kara greets, quietly. “Chief Lane.”
There’s something different about her, Cat notices. She’s standing straight, shoulders squared and with her chin up, but it doesn’t seem as steeled as it usually is. For the first time in years, Kara doesn’t meet Cat’s eyes.
“Supergirl,” Cat states, her tone cutting. “Care to explain yourself?”
Supergirl doesn’t say anything but her jaw moves, a tell-tale sign she’s holding back her words.
“Madam President, if I may …” Alex chimes in, throwing an exasperated glance to her sister. “While Supergirl’s actions tonight might appear both reckless and stupid, there’s something you should know …”
“Director Danvers,” Cat cuts her off, turning her heavy gaze to the older sister. “I asked Supergirl a question, I fully intend to hear the answer.”
“There was a ship,” Kara states, still not looking at Cat. “The missile … it was headed toward a ship full of aliens in exile.”
Cat exchanges a look with Lucy, who seems as clueless as she feels.
“What do you mean a ship?” Cat asks, despite the fact she’s seconds away from lashing out at Supergirl.
“There was a ship, in stealth mode, which sent a distress signal my way when they realised Earth was attacking,” Kara slowly enunciates.
“Director Danvers!” Cat calls, turning to face Alex once more.
“Yes, Madam President,” Alex steps forward, hands joined in front of her. “As soon as Supergirl took to the sky, Agent Schott found out about the ship. Its stealth mode is incredibly advanced and it didn’t show on any of our radars until it was deactivated, which happened shortly after the missile was destroyed.”
Cat stares into Alex’ nutmeg eyes, at a loss for words.
“Are you telling me there was an undetected spaceship in orbit, this close to Earth, and no one noticed?” Cat eventually states, slowly, dangerously slowly.
“Yes Ma’am,” Alex replies, eyes unwavering.
“Then what the hell am I paying you for!” Cat raises her voice, snapping at the older Danvers.
“I apologize, Ma’am” Alex offers. “We failed to notice the alien spaceship until it was too late, a failure for which I assume full responsibility.”
The reasonable answer does little to appease Cat, because she knows Alex is only trying to defuse the situation.
Dolores quietly slips in and hands a file to Lucy, who takes it with a soft thank you before absorbing herself into her reading.
Cat waits until her secretary is gone before speaking again.
“Where is the ship now?”
“It’s currently waiting to land on Earth, we’re vetting it.”
“It was in stealth mode,” Cat states, slowly. “Any particular reason why they would approach planet Earth so quietly we’d miss it entirely?”
“They were running away from space-pirates, Madam President,” Supergirl says, bringing Cat’s focus to her. “They didn’t think they were out of the woods yet, hence the stealth mode. They’ve apologized, profusely, for all the trouble they’ve caused.”
Kara’s voice is strained and mechanical, miles away from the bubbling exuberance Cat is used to. Like her sister, she’s holding her hands in front of her and she’s looking straight ahead, still purposely avoiding Cat’s eyes.
“Chief Lane,” Cat calls, glancing at Lucy. “Would you please explain to Supergirl over here the consequences of her actions?”
“Since the Russian military made a gesture of good faith by keeping us in the loop about the tests, they viewed your intervention as a declaration of war on behalf of the United States of America,” Lucy recites, glancing up from her file to look into Kara's eyes. “They considered it our way of saying the missiles are too dangerous. They thought we wanted to destroy them before anyone could use them. Plain and simple, it caused Russia to point the full power of their nuclear weapons at the United States of America.”
Alex, on the right, goes alarmingly pale.
Supergirl, on the other hand, doesn’t move a muscle.
“I had to promise a great deal of money and all kinds of favors in order to avoid World War III, just because you decided to destroy a missile without communicating with my office first,” Cat states, Supergirl’s attitude beginning to irritate her. “Do you even realise what could have happened?”
“Yes, Madam President,” Supergirl dully replies, still looking ahead.
Cat raises a hand, pinches the bridge of her nose, closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, while counting in her head.
Kara’s attitude is making everything worse and now she’s torn between letting all of her anger out, and asking what’s wrong. She can see, as clear as day, that Kara’s not herself. She’s supposed to admonish the superhero, to bite her head off for all the trouble she’s caused and for the mayhem Cat will have to deal with for weeks on end, and yet, she finds herself getting worried about Kara’s unusual silence, her dulled personality and absent behavior.
“You violated an international treaty, provoked the Russian military, destroyed a perfectly good missile, and made us look like total assholes in the eyes of the whole world tonight, Supergirl,” Lucy adds, exchanging a knowing look with Cat. “You don’t officially work for the government anymore, and there’s not much we can do to punish you, but just so you know, according to the alien amnesty act, the sanction would be banishment.”
“Exile?” Supergirl repeats, a frown creasing above her eyes.
“From Earth, yes, with no coming back. Ever.”
Cat doesn’t miss Alex’ nervous swallowing, but Kara doesn’t react.
“Obviously, we’re not going to apply the sanction here, but really there better not be a next time,” Lucy continues. “You should have altered the course of the missile, it would have caused less trouble. Mostly, you should have warned us. We would have dealt with Russia instead of having to clean up after you.”
Cat notices Lucy’s terms are somehow softened.
The language she has in mind is much more colorful, way more violent, and doesn’t leave any ambiguity as to how furious she is. Lucy, however, is not the leader of the free world, and she also seems to know more about Kara’s attitude; if the looks she keeps throwing at Supergirl are anything to go by.
“I understand,” Kara says, dully.
“Do you?” Cat snaps, moving to invade Kara’s personal space this time. The fact she’s a few inches shorter doesn’t stop her from towering over the superhero. “Do you understand what you’ve done?”
“I do, Madam President,” Kara replies, as if on auto-pilot.
Cat wants to grab her by the shoulders and shake her out of her mood.
She wants to yell, to let out all the fear, the anxiety, the adrenaline, the resentment, and the residual anger she feels; to make Kara react in some way. Instead, she shrugs and turns around to go sit at her desk.
“In half an hour, I’m giving a special press conference to explain to the world what just occurred. I need you both to be there. Someone will prepare a speech for you to publicly apologise, and explain your mistake,” Cat states, not looking at the sisters anymore. She grabs a pen and starts signing papers before continuing. “There will be no mention of the spaceship, not a word about the aliens and how we failed to notice them. Do I make myself clear?”
“Understood, Madam President,” Alex says with a short nod.
“Crystal,” Kara adds, without a trace of sarcasm in her voice.
“That will be all,” Cat dismisses them with a flick of her wrist.
“Better than yours, I assume,” Carter chuckles, thanking his security agent and closing the door behind him. “I heard you made Kara apologize on TV for almost starting World War III …”
“News travels so fast these days,” Cat comments, standing up to drop a kiss on her son’s forehead. “Will you have dinner with me tonight?”
“Sure mom,” Carter nods. “How is Kara, by the way? She looked … off, during the speech you made her recite.”
Cat doesn’t reply right away.
Carter has known about Kara’s other identity since before she became president.
It came as a total surprise, the first time he used Kara’s name to talk about Supergirl. Cat had been Kara’s boss for a long while before becoming president, she’d seen the clues, connected the dots, confronted her theories even. Carter just knew.
“I don’t know,” Cat eventually replies, knowing better than to lie to her all too perceptive teenage son. “I couldn’t exactly ask her how she’s doing, not in the middle of the scolding I had to put her through.”
“You’re not scolding her now,” Carter points out, smartly.
“Very observant,” Cat sasses back.
“What I mean is, you could call her,” Carter rolls his eyes, dropping his backpack by the armchair he then sits on. “You guys used to talk, right? Why would this time be any different?”
“I’m still very mad at her, Carter,” Cat offers, putting her report on the coffee table in front of the couch. “I don’t know if I want to talk to her tonight.”
“That might be so, but you’re worried about her,” Carter nods, looking into his mother’s eyes. “Maybe she had a good reason to do what she did, and you should give her a chance to explain herself, without trying to bite her head off.”
The official press conference left the alien spaceship out of the story. Since only the DEO, Supergirl, Lucy Lane and the president of the United States of America knew about it, they all decided to keep it to themselves for the time being, until they know more about the aliens inside.
Which means Carter doesn’t know about it, but because he has faith in Supergirl he’s instinctively giving her the benefit of the doubt. It warms Cat’s heart, despite how angry she still is at the superhero.
“She probably does, but I’m not sure she’ll share them with me,” Cat shakes her head, softly.
“Well, you won’t know until you give her a chance to talk,” Carter insists, looking right into his mother’s eyes. It still shocks her some days, how much the blue of his eyes are a match to Kara’s. “Seriously mom, you should call her.”
“Yes, well. We’ll see about that,” Cat says to end the discussion. She retrieves her report and opens it before adding “Dinner is at 8, don’t be late.”
Carter doesn’t insist. After a minute, he finally stands up, grabs his backpack and heads toward the hallway leading to his door. It closes softly behind him, leaving Cat alone to think about the exchange.
Cat looks up from her book and glares at her personal assistant from above her glasses.
“What is it, Donna?”
“Supergirl’s here,” Donna says, quietly.
Cat arches a brow at that.
She’d called the superhero after dinner but to no avail. At first, Cat thought maybe there was some kind of emergency Supergirl needed to take care of. However, as the evening flew by without Supergirl calling back, she convinced herself it was Kara’s way of putting some distance between them after the uncomfortable day they had.
“Give me a minute,” Cat sighs, closing her book and taking her glasses off. “I’ll come get her.”
“Thank you, Madam President,” Donna nods and silently exits back out.
Cat leaves the comfort of her armchair, tightens her robe over her flannel pyjamas, and runs a hand in her hair, still a little damp at the back from the shower she took half an hour earlier. The clock on her phone tells her it’s close to 1am.
She muffles a yawn behind the back of her hand and lets out a tired sigh before walking toward the double doors of the residence.
Supergirl and her assistant seem engrossed in a quiet but lively discussion and neither of them notice she’s opened one of the doors. She waits, figuring that with her enhanced senses, Supergirl will notice her presence at some point, but nothing comes. She has to clear her throat to draw attention to herself, making Donna startle.
“By all means, don’t stop on my account,” Cat sarcastically says. It annoys her how Kara seems to easily talk to anyone but her these days. When Donna shakes her head no, she focuses back on the superhero. “Come on in, Supergirl. Thank you Donna, you can go home now. Have a good night.”
“Good night Madam President,” Donna replies, looking a little sheepish.
“I wasn’t expecting you,” Cat states once she’s closed the door behind them.
“You called me,” Kara replies, glancing around the living room, but still not meeting Cat’s eyes.
She looks out of place, all bright red and blue in the middle of the discrete classicism of the residence. Cat did her best to modernize everything but even she couldn’t get rid of some of the more symbolic pieces of furniture. She hides another yawn and gestures toward the couches, silently inviting Kara to sit down.
“Hours ago, yes. I figured you’d call me back in the morning,” Cat answers, tucking her legs underneath herself.
“It … is morning?” Kara tries, but she doesn’t smile and her eyes are focused on the picture frames gathered on the chimney’s mantle. She seems particularly interested in one of Carter’s recent shots. “I can come back during the day, if you prefer.”
“It’s fine,” Cat sighs, not in the mood to fight to get the hero’s full attention. “Since you’re here …”
Kara doesn’t answer, eyes on the picture in front of her. Carter’s smiling widely in the photograph, the presidential cap on his head not managing to hide his sparkling blue eyes.
“What happened today, Kara?” Cat softly asks after a few minutes of silence.
She’s itching to go pour herself a drink but it’s too late, or too early depending on the point of view. Instead, she waits for Supergirl to start talking.
It takes a moment before Kara tears her eyes away from Carter’s picture and when she does, she still doesn’t look at Cat. She starts pacing behind the couch facing Cat’s, rubbing her palms and grinding her teeth. The way her jaw works, in the dim light of the room, is a little fascinating and Cat finds herself staring.
“I made a mistake,” Kara eventually states, through her gritted teeth.
“That’s the understatement of the decade,” Cat muses, sarcastically. It’s past 1am now, she’s tired and Kara’s avoidance is starting to really grate on her nerves, chasing the worry away. “I’m not even sure you understand what your mistake, as you call it, was.”
“I didn’t warn you,” Kara retorts right away, proving Cat wrong.
Cat knows Kara can be quite oblivious most of the time but she’s not stupid, far from it. She’s quick, smart, and brilliant; her mind works in ways that are far more advanced than the ones of all the geniuses on Earth.
Cat knows this, because once upon a time, she was friends with the superhero.
Back when she was the CEO of CatCo, queen of all media, and most influential person in National City, Supergirl would often stop by her balcony and they would chat around a glass of alcohol. Cat talked about her day, about her sons, about her past. Kara, in turn, shared stories about her world, her family, the hard times she’s had while getting used to living on Earth; careful to never reveal who she was in the daylight, but still willingly inviting Cat into her world.
Ever since Cat became president, their relationship took a more professional and distant turn. Supergirl never stops by Washington, not unless she’s either needed or summoned.
They don’t talk anymore.
Cat would never admit it out loud, but she misses seeing Kara on a regular basis, either as Kara Danvers or as Supergirl. She misses a lot of things, from the sunny smiles to the little gestures Kara developed over the years that made her feel good, warm and even … loved.
She shakes her head and focuses back on the pacing superhero in front of her.
“Why didn’t you?” Cat asks, watching as Kara’s jaw tightens once more. “I know that you know better. We’ve been over this more than once already, since I became president. You know how to reach me, or the situation room if or when you need to, so why didn’t you?”
Something starts to crack, in Supergirl’s attitude.
She slowly stops pacing and Cat can hear the shaky breath she takes, she can see the nervous hand-rubbing, and she can almost sense the superhero’s distress. It radiates in waves, quiet and soft like a very faint summer breeze, but charged with too many emotions at once.
“Kara?” Cat calls, softly, careful not to startle the hero. “What happened?”
For the first time today, Kara looks up and locks eyes with Cat.
The blue of her eyes is diluted with loss, a unique and gut-wrenching kind of heartbreak.
Cat has seen an echo of it once or twice during their nightly talks but this is raw, fresh. It is not blurred by the years or the usual quiet resignation coming from the knowledge her world is gone and that there’s nothing she can do about it. It is hauntingly deep, and dark like the abysses at the bottom of the ocean.
For the first time ever, there is no hope in Supergirl’s eyes.
It takes all of Cat’s willpower not to sob.
She contains herself by softly exhaling through her nose, knowing Kara will be able to hear her anyway but needing to focus on something else. She doesn’t break eye contact though. Instinctively, she holds Kara’s all too heavy gaze.
“I thought …” Kara starts, her voice but a whisper. “I thought there were … Kryptonians, on the ship.”
Cat absentmindedly thinks she should have had that drink she’s been wanting all day. This is a conversation she feels entirely too sober to have, especially given how much it affects Kara.
Sure, they’ve talked about Krypton, more than once. Kara even explained why she thought her planet was still up there somewhere in space, a hope that had been made stronger by the Daxamite invasion in National City. Cat lost touch with Supergirl after those events but she knows that somehow, Kara found her mother and a small number of Kryptonian people.
Then, Crisis happened.
“The ship is … from Krypton,” Kara whispers, her voice hollow and broken. “I don’t know how, but a squad of Andromedans got a hold of it and escaped their world with it. They jumped across space until they entered Earth’s orbit, with the stealth mode on because space pirates had picked up their trail. It’s a Kryptonian ship and I thought maybe …”
Kara stops talking but Cat hears the broken hope all the same.
“Why didn’t you tell me this morning, when I all but yelled at you in the oval office?” Cat asks, trying to fight off the guilt that creeps into her heart.
It’s not rational and she knows she did the right thing by scolding Supergirl, but still. She wonders if she shouldn’t have tried to make Kara explain earlier, though she’s almost certain the hero wouldn’t have shared anything in the moment.
“I was … dealing with it,” Kara sighs, the heaviness of her heartbreak audible in the sound. “I couldn’t talk about it, then, not even to Alex. She was pretty pissed at me when I blew up the missile.”
“To be fair, it really could have started World War III,” Cat states, trying not to sound too harsh but not wanting to diminish the gravity of what Supergirl did. “I understand why you did it, I do, but …”
“I understand, Miss Grant,” Kara says, a small smile tugging at the corners of her lips.
The return of her old title takes Cat by surprise, but not as much as Kara’s smile; an unexpected sparkle of hope in the seriousness of the moment.
“It’s been a while since anyone’s called me that,” Cat chuckles, lightly. “I miss it sometimes, but I must admit; Madam President does have a nice ring.”
“It does,” Kara confirms. Her eyes are still swimming with loss and sadness but it’s slowly, very slowly, fading away, Cat notices. “It’s been a while since I stopped by in the middle of the night too.”
“Well, Supergirl,” Cat smiles. “Would you like a drink?”
It feels familiar and comforting, to use that old tagline.
It brings memories of balcony moments they shared, either in companionable silence or lost in insightful conversations, and while she’s been trying to avoid drinking all day, she allows herself to give in, for old time sakes.
“You know it still does nothing to me, right?” Kara arches a slightly amused brow. The scar in between her eyes catches the light and glows, dimly. “To keep you company, then. Don’t move, I’ll get it.”
Cat, who was just about to stand up to go pour the drinks, falls back against the cushions of her couch. She watches as Kara effortlessly finds the decanter and fills two heavy glasses with the amber-looking beverage.
“This is a good one,” Kara muses when she brings back the glasses to the couches.
Hers has two ice cubes in it, and it clunks gently against the crystal when she places it atop a coaster displaying the presidential seal. She hands the other one to Cat, who takes it with a smile and a quiet thank you.
“It is,” Cat confirms, taking a sip of the 60 year-old, aged whiskey while Kara sits on the couch facing her. “And you’re a criminal for putting rocks in it.”
“Well, let’s add this to the list of crimes I’ve committed today, shall we?” Kara deadpans, raising her glass in a mock-toast before taking a generous sip of it.
“Sassy,” Cat comments, smirking against the rim of her own glass. She notices the shoulder shrug Kara does to adjust her cape, as well as the hand Kara raises to pull at her collar. “Would you like to change, Kara? I know you like your suit, but it really doesn’t look that comfortable …”
Kara looks hesitant for a moment, but she eventually nods.
“Will the clothes all have the presidential seal too?”
Cat throws her an unimpressed look but the sparkle of humor in Kara’s blue eyes warms her heart and softens her gaze.
“What, you don’t like to be branded by the president?” Cat teases, standing up and moving toward a closet to find a pair of sweatpants, a t-shirt and a sweater for Kara. “Here, this should fit. The bathroom is the second door on your right in the corridor.”
Minutes later, Kara comes back carrying her neatly folded suit in her arms.
The grey sweatpants are a little snug, it highlights the muscles of her legs and the curves of her hips but the white sweater is just large enough to be comfortable, with the presidential seal embroidered in royal blue on the front.
“I like this sweater,” Kara says as she sits back down on the couch and retrieves her glass. “It’s soft.”
“Of course it is, there is no way I would wear anything made of some polyester blend,” Cat shrugs, taking another sip of her drink to avoid focusing on the stretched fabric over Kara’s legs.
“Of course, Miss Grant,” Kara smirks around the rim of her glass.
They sit in companionable silence for a moment, both enjoying their drink, and the quiet of the night. From time to time, they exchange looks that are not uncomfortable, but still edged with wonder, as if an unsaid question is hanging between them.
“Why did we stop talking?” Cat eventually asks, making the whiskey swirl at the bottom of her glass. It’s almost empty but she likes the golden dots on the floor caused by the light crossing through the beverage. “We used to do that.”
“Well, you became the president of the United States of America, Miss Grant,” Kara slowly answers, eyes following the dancing lights on the floor. “I would imagine running the country keeps you a lot busier than running a company …”
“It does,” Cat nods, tilting the glass to another angle. “It does, though I still find myself surrounded by walking personifications of white, male privilege. And most of the meetings I go to are not unlike the CatCo board meetings. However, that’s not the reason we stopped talking.”
“It’s not?” Kara wonders, still not looking into Cat’s eyes.
“No,” Cat confirms. “I’ve always been good at managing my time, and you know it. You just never drop by anymore.”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Miss Grant, but this is probably one of the most secure buildings in the world. I can’t exactly drop by anytime I want,” Kara chuckles, lightly. “The last time I tried, your security started firing at me, and you and Carter practically got whisked away to the bunker.”
“That’s because you went for the window,” Cat shakes her head, the memory of that day still fresh in her mind. She knows Kara is bulletproof, but the feeling of seeing her own people firing shots at the hero still haunts her today. “What about the door, like you did tonight?”
“I didn’t …” Kara pauses and looks up from the floor to meet Cat’s eyes. “I didn’t know I could.”
Cat frowns, not sure what Kara means by that.
“I mean, I didn’t know I could still drop by to talk,” Kara explains, softly. “Not since you became one of the most powerful people in the whole world, anyway.”
“It amazes me that you still don’t include yourself in that group,” Cat laughs, moving her glass to bring it to her lips. She finishes it, bottoms up, before focusing back on Kara. “If anything, me being president only evens the field.”
“What do you mean?” Kara asks with a frown, standing up to retrieve Cat’s glass.
“Well, you’re the most powerful being on the planet, and I’m the president of the United States of America,” Cat states, slowly. She watches as Kara carefully pours whiskey in her glass. “We’re not exactly on the same level, but this is as close as I can get.”
Cat’s fingers brush against Kara’s when she retrieves the glass the hero is handing her. The touch is soft and quick, but it still makes her heart race in her chest.
“You know I never cared about rank,” Kara muses, looking a little upset.
“Oh, I know,” Cat chuckles. “I know, Kara, and it’s not my point. My point is, you can drop by whenever you want, no one will even bat an eye. If I can, I will gladly spend time with you, but bear in mind that, just like you, I can be called away at any given moment.”
“Speaking of …” Kara tilts her head to the side and smirks. “Nancy’s coming.”
In a blur, Kara leaves the room and comes back wearing her super suit.
“I also have to go, Miss Grant. Thank you for … “ Kara pauses, the sadness coming back to her eyes. She shakes her head and forces a smile on. “ Thank you for tonight.”
“Will you come back soon?” Cat asks, looking into Kara’s eyes.
“I will,” Kara smiles, genuinely so this time. “Good luck with whatever crisis is about to come knocking on your door.”
“Must be important, at almost 3am on a Sunday…” Cat mutters, hiding a yawn behind the back of her hand. “Don’t leave through the windows, my security detail will have an aneurysm if you do.”
“I was actually thinking about using the door, this time,” Kara chuckles, already walking toward the entrance.
She opens both doors wide the moment Nancy reaches for the knob. The look of utter surprise that crosses the Chief of Staff’ face makes Kara chuckle again.
“Good morning Nancy, don’t worry I’m on my way out. She’s all yours,” Kara explains with a smile.
“Bye Supergirl,” Cat waves her off and Kara leaves with a laugh that echoes in the air well after her departure.
Cat looks straight into the camera until someone signals that she’s not live anymore.
“Great speech, Madam President,” Nancy says, coming closer to the desk as Cat hands over various media devices to a member of her press staff. “Alex Danvers, Kelly Olsen and Supergirl are here.”
“Alright,” Cat nods. “Tell Donna to let them in.”
Nancy steps away and starts bossing people around to make the press staff leave the oval office as quickly as possible.
The door on the left of the chimney opens and Donna risks a glance inside to meet Cat’s eyes. Cat nods and her assistant widens the door to let Alex, Kelly, and Supergirl in.
“Madam President,” Alex and Kelly greet at the same time, respectfully.
“Director Danvers, Doctor Olsen,” Cat returns the greeting, standing to circle her desk and gesturing toward the couches. “Supergirl.”
“Madam President,” Kara replies, her eyes traveling around the office as if looking for someone.
“Lucy is on the Hill,” Cat supplies from her seat, drawing Kara’s eyes to her. “Some rather delicate issues she needs to deal with on my behalf.”
“I hope everything’s alright,” Alex offers, without sounding like she’s expecting any answer.
She and Kelly sit down on the couch facing hers but Kara’s still standing near the desk.
“It’ll be fine,” Cat dismisses with a flicker of her hand. “Now, I asked you all here because I need a favor.”
“Madam President?” Kelly dares, voice confused. It’s her first time in the oval office and she’s got that typical starstruck look in her eyes, despite how hard she’s trying to hide it. “What can we do for you?”
“I need you all to be my guests of honor at the International Alien Amnesty anniversary dinner, tomorrow night.”
She had expected quite a few different reactions, but the complete silence she’s faced with is not one of them. Her eyes travel from Alex to Kara, who looks utterly dumbfounded and too shocked to speak.
“May I ask, Madam President; why would you need us for such a political event?” Alex eventually asks, her voice calm and neutral.
“For the sake of appearance, as well as politics,” Cat retorts, without beating around the bush. “It’s the anniversary of the Alien Amnesty Treaty, one of my predecessor’s greatest achievements, and apparently, my staff didn’t think to invite any aliens or a few of the DEO C-level members.”
“I still fail to understand how this would concern us,” Alex replies, carefully.
“Last time I checked, you were the Director of the DEO, which makes you the highest C-Level member of the organization,” Cat snaps, not in the mood to try to seduce the Danvers sisters. “Ms Olsen, you’re a highly regarded, high-clearance military psychologist, and your work with Obsidian Tech didn’t go unnoticed. I was asked by a good number of people to invite you.”
Cat then turns to look at Kara, who now has an amused smirk on her lips.
“Let me guess,” Supergirl starts. “I’m the only available alien you have?”
“Don’t be silly, Olivia’s still around and unlike yourself, she knows how to behave in society,” Cat shakes her head, aware that both Alex and Kelly look thrown by the apparent familiarity in the way she talks to Kara. “No, I’d like you to be there to smooth things over with the Russian government, a whole cohort of people who really don’t like us too much at the moment.”
Kara loses her smirk right away, eyes growing distant as her jaw starts to work.
“I’m not doing this to punish you, Supergirl,” Cat explains, calmly. “I really do need your help for this. Protecting the treaty is indispensable if we want to keep offering asylum to aliens, and I’d hate for Russia to break it because of a petty detail like a blown up missile.”
“Fine,” Kara reluctantly agrees, through a heavy sigh.
“Wonderful,” Cat sasses. “Now, let’s talk about dress code. You can’t come in your super suit.”
“What? No,” Kara instantly protests, backtracking on her decision to agree. “I won’t show up as Kara Danvers to a White House dinner!”
“I’m not asking you to,” Cat rolls her eyes. “Be here tomorrow at 9am sharp.”
“Madam President,” Kara tries but Cat waves a hand and cuts her off.
“Mrs Olsen, Director Danvers, I trust you won’t have any wardrobe issues?”
“Uh, no Ma’am,” Kelly eventually manages to answer, still shocked. “We’ve got it covered.”
“Perfect,” Cat nods approvingly. She stands up and walks to her desk to pick up two envelopes. “Here are your invitations. You’re welcome to stay in town until the event, Dolores will handle the accommodation if needed.”
Alex stands up and nods, Kelly doing the same next to her. They both thank Cat and then exit the oval office, leaving the president alone with Supergirl.
“Why can’t I wear my super suit? It’s practical and convenient,” Kara grumbles, arms crossed over her chest and an honest-to-God pout on her lips.
“Don’t sulk,” Cat agitates a threatening finger at Kara. “It’s simply not formal enough for an official White House dinner. You’ll be meeting presidents, kings, and queens; and I’m half-afraid they’ll be offended you’re wearing a prettier cape than them. Come to the residence tomorrow morning, we’ll see what we can do about it.”
“I suppose there’s no point in trying to protest?” Kara sighs.
“None indeed,” Cat smirks. “Now shoo, I have a few ambassadors to officially appoint.”
“Fine. Thank you, Madam President,” Kara relents.
She gives Cat a short nod and then turns on her heels to exit the oval office.
“Yes, thank you,” Cat replies, fixing her right earring while reading the end of a report.
“Miss Grant,” Kara greets once the door closes behind her.
Cat reads the last line of the document, closes the clasp of her earring and finally looks up.
Kara stands tall and proud in a button-free man’s tunique that is as blue as her usual super suit is. The stand collar against her neck is of a crimson red, just like the line on the right side of her pants, and the relief of the familiar emblem is lined with gold on her chest. It’s smaller than the bold and big crest plastered on her super suit but it adds a nice touch to the ensemble.
“This is not the outfit we chose this morning,” Cat says, arching a brow at the strangely elegant but atypical suit.
“No, I had it made at the fortress of solitude after the fitting,” Kara explains with a smile. “It’s a traditional Kryptonian outfit, it will do for an official White House event.”
“Any particular reason you chose what looks like the man’s version of it?”
“It’s more comfortable,” Kara shrugs. “You look beautiful, Miss Grant.”
Cat glances down at the bold velvet off-shoulder black dress she’s wearing, pleased with the compliment. She starts walking in the living room, revealing the daring slit on the side of her right leg, and smirks when it draws Kara’s eyes to it.
“Thank you,” Cat says, grabbing the bracelet off its open case on the table, next to the report. “I had to fight my entire staff to have the right to wear this outfit tonight.”
“Worth it,” Kara smiles, coming closer and gently reaching out to help Cat with the piece of jewelry. “Here, let me.”
Her fingers are soft and warm when they brush against the inside of Cat's wrist. She deftly gathers the ends of the bracelet to attach them and adjusts the result with a gentle tug. It lasts less than a minute but it’s enough to make her skin burn and tingle.
Cat suddenly realizes her heart must echo like a whole parade in Kara’s ears, but the superhero doesn’t say anything.
“All set?” Kara asks, letting her arms fall back along her sides.
“One moment,” Cat shakes her head and calls for Carter.
“Hi Kara!” Carter brightly greets the moment he steps into the living room. “You look very nice, I like this suit!”
“Thank you! From your outfit, I guess you won’t be joining us tonight!” Kara laughs.
He’s standing barefoot in a pair of navy blue and white flannel pyjama pants, his white t-shirt showing a blend of Wonder Woman and Supergirl’s emblems in black.
She gives him two thumbs up. “Cool t-shirt.”
“I know right?” Carter chuckles. “I really like it and no, I’m not on the guest list tonight. You called, mom?”
“Yes, sweetheart,” Cat replies, a soft smile on her lips. “We’re about to leave, I just wanted to let you know. I’ll be in the west wing and if you need anything, send an agent.”
“Sure thing mom,” Carter nods. “Can I order a pizza tonight?”
“I suppose you can,” Cat sighs, knowing it’s pointless to fight for something healthier since Carter will just send an agent to get him a pizza anyway. “Don’t stay up too late.”
“Yes mom. Have a good night, and you too Kara. Behave!” Carter teases, throwing an amused look at the superhero.
“I’m always on my best behavior!” Kara protests, with a slight pout.
“Tell that to the Russians,” Carter deadpans, laughing at the disgruntled groan Kara lets out in response.
Carter disappears back in his room after one last hand wave and Kara then offers her arm to Cat, who doesn’t hesitate to take it.
“Shall we?” Kara asks, a determined look in her eyes.
“You look like you’re gearing up for war,” Cat laughs, gently squeezing Kara’s forearm. “Relax, it’s only a state dinner.”
“Same thing, in my opinion,” Kara mumbles, taking a step forward and opening the door for Cat.
They talk animatedly as they walk and Cat barely notices that her security detail is giving her more space than usual. She can guess why, since her hand is loosely closed around a forearm that seems made of steel and she’s bathing in Kara’s aura of quiet but raw power. It makes her heart stutter in her chest when she suddenly realises she’s never felt so safe and sound, not since she became president anyway.
“Are you alright?” Kara asks, slowing down her steps to glance at Cat.
“Yes,” Cat replies, wondering if Kara can hear how much truth the word carries. “Let’s not make our guests wait, though.”
“What, no grand entrance? No borrowed line from The Princess Diaries sequel?” Kara teases with a smirk, guiding Cat along a turn to lead her toward the dinner room.
“Well, I would say that my title pretty much guarantees me a grand entrance nowadays,” Cat counters, fighting off the smile that threatens to bloom on her lips. “After all, everyone rises when I enter the room, some people even bow.”
“They do?” Kara arches a brow, stopping before the double doors leading to the room and turning to face Cat.
“You’ll see,” Cat nods, reaching out to fix the side of Kara’s collar. Once again the faint touch sets the tip of her fingers on fire, making her heart race. “There you go. Ready?”
“Remind me again, why is it important that we make our entrance together?” Kara tilts her head, a hint of nerves in her baby blue eyes.
“Appearances, Darling,” Cat explains with a smile. “The two most powerful people in America, maybe in the world, walking into the room together for such an occasion is a statement that needs to be made.”
Kara looks about to say something but decides against it at the last moment.
“Alright,” Kara nods, turning to face the doors this time.
Cat squeezes her arm once more and nods to the agents on either side of the entrance, for them to open the double doors.
“ … Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the President of the United States of America, and Supergirl!”
“I can tell,” Kara chuckles, watching as Kelly swats away Alex’ hands. “Don’t worry though, you look very handsome, Director Danvers.”
The formal title serves as a reminder for both her sister and Kelly to be careful about how they address her. There had been a near slip when Alex almost called out Kara’s name to have her try the potstickers, and since then Kara has been trying her best to keep things as formal as possible.
“Stop fidgeting,” Kelly mutters under her breath as Alex raises her hand again. She catches it and intertwines their fingers to help her girlfriend keep still. “Supergirl has a point, you look dashing in that suit.”
Alex blushes a little, a shy smile gracing her lips as she turns to drop a kiss on her girlfriend’s cheek.
“So do you, you’re beautiful,” Alex replies, her smile widening.
Kelly’s deep green dress hugs her curves and highlights her skin in a very flattering way, and Alex’s dark grey suit compliments it perfectly.
“So, how is it going?” Alex finally focuses back on her sister, eyes warm and attentive.
“Not too bad,” Kara replies, swapping her empty flute of Champagne for a new one when a waiter walks by. “I kept company to the Russian’s first lady for a while before getting stuck with a British ambassador that insisted on telling me all about the supposed merits of Brexit.”
“So, terrible then,” Kelly laughs, an amused sparkle lighting her eyes.
“Yeah, pretty much,” Kara lets out a dejected sigh. “I really do hate political events.”
“That’s what you get for almost setting the world on fire, Supergirl” Cat chimes in from behind Kara, a sarcastic smirk on her lips. “Don’t blow up foreign missiles and you should be good.”
“Unfair,” Kara mutters underneath her breath, still loud enough to be heard by the people around her.
“Supergirl, the Russian president would like a word,” Cat eventually says, quietly. She’s looking into Kara’s eyes, searching for any sign she should call it off but Kara simply nods and smiles.
“Let’s hope I scored some brownie points when I entertained his wife,” Kara sighs, her words making Alex almost choke on her drink while Kelly starts to laugh. “Alex! You know what I meant!”
“Do I?” Alex arches a mock-innocent brow. “I don’t want to know what you did to please the Russian first lady, Supergirl, I have faith in your … abilities. “
“You make it sound so dirty,” Kara shakes her head, a slight blush colouring her cheeks as she tries to glare down at her sister. “It’s nothing like that.”
“Sure,” Alex nods, sagely, while Kelly tries not to laugh any more. “By all means, then.”
Kara glares some more before offering her arm to Cat and leading her away from her sister.
Cat does her best not to look too upset by the innocent exchange she’s just witnessed but when the Russian first lady throws a blinding smile their way, she imperceptibly tightens her hold on Kara’s arm.
A Chinese delegation of ministers stop them on the way, and Kara effortlessly switches to Mandarin to speak with them; exchanging some respectful pleasantries before excusing themselves to continue their progression toward the Russian president.
“I should hire you to work at the White House,” Cat muses, watching the king of Norway walk away with a big smile on his lips after having spoken a few words with Kara. “You might be the most diplomatic asset I’ve seen in my entire career.”
“I had an excellent teacher,” Kara replies with a smirk but the look in her eyes is soft when she meets Cat’s eyes. Warmth floods over Cat and she lets herself smile a little more widely, a little more freely. “All the people in this room might be extremely important and have the power of a nation at their fingers but they got nothing on you.”
“I’m going to choose to take that as a compliment,” Cat laughs, knowing full well that it was meant like one. “You did good tonight, Supergirl. Now remember to be your dazzling, charming self, and maybe we can call it a night.”
The Russian President is an imposing man, and every time she has to deal with him Cat can’t help but to think he doesn’t belong to their era. He turns around as they approach, tall and broad in his immaculate military uniform, his blond beard making the piercing grey of his eyes stand out and shine. He has the commanding aura of an imperial tsar.
“Madam President,” he greets with respect, his thick russian accent making the words sound like a song. “Supergirl.”
The last greeting is as cold as the blizzards in his country and his eyes burn with anger when he turns them to look at the superhero.
Kara, at Cat’s side, pauses for just a second before bowing before the Russian president.
She then starts speaking in Russian and from her intonation, Cat guesses she’s apologizing. The man in front of her looks utterly surprised for a whole minute before recomposing himself, and falling into conversation with the superhero. At first, his voice is cold and sharp but as the conversation goes on, Cat can see that he’s not angry anymore.
If anything, he looks pleased and, for the first time since Cat became president, he smiles. A genuine, actual smile that reveals ranks of white teeth that could make a dentist cry of jealousy.
“She’s a keeper, Madam President,” the man eventually switches back to English to include her in the conversation. “Still, I trust you won’t blow up any of our military equipment anymore.”
“I won’t,” Kara vows.
“Drop by the palace one day, we’ll share a vodka over a game of chess,” the man says with another of his all too rare smiles. “Madam President, Supergirl, good night.”
He turns back to his delegation without adding anything, and Kara is quick to guide Cat away.
“That went surprisingly well,” Cat states, a little shocked by the sudden turn of events. She’d expected a temper tantrum from the Russian president, but in the end she doesn’t know what to make of the fact she didn’t even need to speak. “How did you charm him so fast?”
“You told me to!” Kara protests, asking a waiter for a glass of Scotch for the president and grabbing another flute of Champagne for herself. “You all but ordered me to be my dazzling and charming self, so we could call it a night.”
“I did, but I didn’t expect it to actually work! Not so well anyway,” Cat arches a brow and accepts the glass Kara hands her.
“Oh ye of little faith?” Kara says around the rim of her flute, eyes sparkling with amusement.
“In any case, I owe you a thank you,” Cat adds, glancing back at the Russian president. “I expected him to cause a scene or at the very least, to make it extremely hard for us to smooth things over. Turns out all I had to do was to bring you along.”
“You don’t owe me anything,” Kara shakes her head. “If anything, I owed him an apology and to be your guest was the very least I could do to try to make up for the mayhem I’ve caused.”
Cat doesn’t try to deny it, they both know it’s nothing but the truth.
“Oh no,” Kara suddenly lets out, looking a little nervous.
“What’s wrong?” Cat asks, instantly worried. “Do you need to slip out?”
“What? No, J’onn and Superman have me covered tonight,” Kara shakes her head, looking above Cat’s shoulder. “The Russian first lady is heading over, I think she’s going to ask me for a dance.”
Cat grits her teeth and tries to reign in her sudden annoyance.
She noticed, throughout the evening, how the Russian first lady kept finding excuses to put her hands on the superhero, while laughing and smiling widely at whatever it was Kara said. She didn’t think of it until Alex teased her sister about it, only then realizing she wasn’t the only one to notice how familiar and insistent the first lady was toward the superhero.
Now, Cat is used to people having a crush on Supergirl, after all she’s still harboring her own, but she finds it very disrespectful when it’s so blatantly displayed, especially during a formal event in her house. Granted, the White House isn’t exactly her house but she is the only one to inhabit it, so she allows herself to toy with the semantic.
“Madam President? Are you alright?” Kara asks, reaching a hand to rest her fingers on Cat’s forearm. Again, the touch is light and soft, but Cat’s skin comes alive all the same. “You look … upset.”
“I’m not,” Cat denies, a little sharply. “I just find it a little rude how the Russian first lady keeps monopolizing your attention.”
“Right,” Kara smirks. “You should be the only one allowed to do that.”
“Damn right,” Cat ignores the sudden spike in her heartbeat and goes along with Kara’s obvious sarcasm. “You are my guest of honor tonight, not to mention that I am the president of this country and I should be the one to monopolize you.”
“Sure, Madam President,” Kara chuckles, before glancing above Cat’s shoulder. “Well, if you want to actually monopolize me, I’d say you should do it before she gets here. She looks … determined.”
Cat places her glass on the tray of a passing waiter, and does the same for Kara’s drink before taking her hand. She’s pleased when Kara follows along without missing a beat, knowing full well she wouldn’t have been able to make Supergirl budge otherwise. She drags Kara all the way to the middle of the arranged dance floor and lets out an approving hum when she notices her security detail doesn’t make any waves, simply following with their eyes.
“Dance with me, Supergirl,” Cat instructs, looking up to meet Kara’s baby blue eyes.
“I serve at the pleasure of the president,” Kara mock-recites before wrapping an arm around Cat’s waist. She softly takes Cat’s free hand in hers and starts moving to the modern rhythm of a Chopin rendition.
“Smartass,” Cat comments, resting one hand on Kara’s shoulder and tightening her grip on Kara’s with the other. “Though it is true.”
“That I serve at your pleasure?” Kara repeats, looking down into Cat’s eyes.
Hers sparkle and gleam under the dimmed light of this area of the room, a hint of humor in it. The way she keeps saying the word ‘pleasure’ makes something twist inside her belly and Cat wonders again how Kara can hear the music above the sound of her frantic heartbeat. She’s going to have to address it at some point, but for the moment she is simply content to let Kara hold her as they sway along the dance floor.
The crowd around them fades away, as she gets lost in the music and the warmth radiating off Kara’s body. The hero smells like the rain after a storm, like mists and wild flowers, it’s intoxicating.
“You made the Russian first lady very unhappy,” Kara whispers after a little while. Cat had rested her temple against the side of Kara’s chin and it takes her a moment to place what the hero is talking about.
“Shame,” she comments in a whisper, not wanting to move.
It’s one of the first moments of real respite she’s gotten since she became president and she doesn’t want to break it too soon. She’s incredibly comfortable, swaying in Kara’s arms and not caring about anything else. No crisis to handle, no political move in play, no decision to be made, nothing.
At this very moment, she’s not the president of the United States of America.
The music changes into something even slower and Kara pulls her closer, making Cat hold back a happy sigh; that would give too much away. Her frantic heart is already telling enough, she doesn’t want to betray herself any more. It lasts for a while and Cat savours every second of it.
Until Kara reluctantly pulls away, a wave of sadness briefly crossing her face.
“You’re needed elsewhere, Madam President,” Kara explains, softly. Her eyes glance away at Nancy, who’s standing by the edge of the dance floor and seemingly waiting for the president to notice her. Cat lets out a frustrated sigh but Kara is already letting go of her. “Go, I’ll be here when you come back.”
Cat doesn’t want to go away just yet, especially not when she notices the Russian first lady waiting behind Nancy.
Kelly suddenly materializes next to Kara and Cat, taking them both by surprise.
“Supergirl, would you dance with me?” Kelly asks with a kind smile floating on her lips.
“Sure, Doctor Olsen,” Kara eventually replies, sounding a little confused but going along with it anyway.
Cat nods approvingly and then purposely walks toward Nancy, already asking to know what’s wrong.
If the smile she throws to the Russian first lady as she walks by is a little triumphant, well it can’t be held against her.
The dinner is long over, and while she usually jumps on any chance she can get to escape official events like these, tonight she’s disappointed she didn’t get a chance to come back before the end. She idly wonders if the Russian first lady managed to get a dance with Supergirl. The thought alone makes her grit her teeth.
“Hello again, Miss Grant.”
“What the fuck!” Cat jumps out of her skin, instantly turning toward the unexpected voice.
Kara lets out an amused chuckle. She’s bathed in the soft light of the only lamp still on, located next to the couch she’s casually sitting on. She’s still wearing her formal outfit and the golden symbol on her chest glows softly in the relative darkness. The rain beating down against the semicircular windows at her back makes for a soothing background sound.
“I didn’t mean to startle you, I apologize,” Kara eventually adds, quietly.
“What are you doing here?” Cat asks, discarding her heels by the entrance, and trying to catch her breath, her heart still racing from the fright Kara gave her.
Kara doesn’t answer right away. Cat has the time to remove her earrings and to sit down on the opposite couch before she finally does.
“I told you I’d be here when you come back,” Kara eventually explains, her voice soft and quiet. “At first, I waited in the dinner room but when the cleaning team came, they basically threw me out. Then I started wandering around the lobby, until Donna came to tell me to go wait for you in the residence. She said I was making security nervous.”
“You do,” Cat smirks. “They know you’re pretty much invincible, it bothers them that should you go rogue and turn against me, they won’t be able to protect me.”
“I figured,” Kara nods, a dark shade crossing her eyes. Cat doesn’t say anything but she knows Kara is thinking back on her red Kryptonite days. “Anyway, I just wanted to say good night.”
Kara stands and her clothes softly crease and rustle, the sound covering the rain for a moment.
“Would you stay, for a little longer?” Cat asks, the words escaping her lips before she could think them over. “Keep me company for a drink?”
“Sure,” Kara smiles, moving away to the liquor cabinet. “Scotch?”
“Yes,” Cat nods, relieved to see Kara isn’t leaving just yet. “By the way … Did the Russian first lady get her dance with you?”
“She didn’t,” Kara retorts, shaking her head. “It’s a funny story. After Kelly, who conveniently took over for you, Alex asked for a dance as well, then Donna, MacKenzie, Toby …”
Kara comes back to the couches and hands over a glass to Cat, who takes it with a quiet thank you while the hero returns to her seat.
“Eventually though, as I had already circled through a few of your people, I found myself free. Before I could make a quick escape to Alex’s table, the Russian first lady practically started running toward me and I thought this was it. Except, at the very last moment, her husband stepped in front of me and asked me to dance.”
“He did?” Cat asks, arching a shocked bow. “Isn’t he full of surprises tonight! First I learn he can actually smile, and then he invites you to dance? Did you use magic on him or something?”
Kara laughs, making the ice cubes in her glass clunk against the crystal.
“I didn’t,” Kara eventually manages to answer, in between two fits of laughter. “He’s very interesting, you know. We did three dances together and I think I might take him up on his offer to drop by for a vodka and a game of chess.”
“Will you, now? Even if it means enduring the first lady’s company?” Cat teases, taking a sip of her drink and letting out a content sigh when the taste invades her mouth.
“Uh …” Kara pauses, seemingly just realizing what her visit in Russia would really entail. “I didn’t think about that.”
“The woman chased after you all night long and you didn’t even take her presence into account when talking about visiting her husband …” Cat comments, secretly enjoying Kara’s obliviousness.
“How did it go, tonight?” Kara eventually asks after a minute, making the beverage gently swirl in her glass.
“As well as expected,” Cat evasively answers, not wanting to go into details. “Did you have a good time?”
“Surprisingly, I did!” Kara smiles, eyes sparkling under the dim light of the living room.
“Thank you for the vote of confidence,” Cat shakes her head.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t think I would have fun at an official White House dinner!” Kara shrugs, her smile widening on her lips. It’s warm and amused, relaxed. “You know I never liked official events, they’re usually boring and the only thing that makes up for it is the food.”
“Ah yes, the food,” Cat sarcastically empathizes, fighting off her own amused smile. “How was it tonight then?”
“Delicious,” Kara praises. “I especially commend the potstickers, I didn’t even know they could be served as official food!”
Cat doesn’t reveal she specifically asked for the last minute addition on the menu; a request that almost made her chef cry. Kara doesn’t need to know that.
“I’m glad at least one person in the crowd was able to appreciate them,” Cat simply says.
“Alex liked them too! She almost called me by my actual name to ask me to try it,” Kara chuckles. “I had to be extra formal during the rest of the event to remind her to call me Supergirl.”
“You Danvers sisters, I swear …” Cat laughs, having no trouble imagining the scene.
“We should definitely come with a warning sign, yes,” Kara adds, eyes sparkling with humor.
Cat nods along and takes another few sips of her drink, her eyes getting lost in the rain blurring the window behind Kara.
She feels a little restless tonight, despite the exhaustion settling heavy in her bones. She’s always had a strange and inconsistent sleeping schedule, which only got worse when she became a mother and then a CEO but lately, she finds herself not getting any sleep at all. It’s been a week now, and the fact she is able to function is a miracle in itself, one she attributes entirely to coffee, and the terrifying consequences of even the smallest mistake in her job.
“You look … distant,” Kara eventually says, softly.
Cat stands up and goes to pour herself another drink, despite her glass being still half-full. She doesn’t come back to the couches, instead standing in front of the, dripping with rain, semicircular window. The sound is stronger now, soothing despite its irregularity.
She hears Kara’s clothes shift and rustle again, footsteps coming closer until a warm presence settles next to her. It’s strangely comforting, Cat thinks, and oddly familiar.
“I haven’t been sleeping well, lately,” Cat admits, her voice low and tired. “I am used to functioning on very little sleep in the system, but it’s been a week and I can’t seem to catch a break.”
Kara inches closer until their arms almost touch. She’s absentmindedly looking ahead at the rain but Cat knows she’s listening.
“There’s a good number of reasons, I suppose,” Cat continues, slowly. “The crushing weight of responsibilities, for instance. The fact that every single move I make is watched by the whole world, not to speak of the words I have to employ or avoid, the sheer number of decisions I need to make in a day and the blood my enemies are trying to draw to get me to step down at the end of my term.”
“Those are valid reasons,” Kara eventually chimes in, her voice barely audible above the rain. “Though it’s been six months since you got elected and you’ve been having trouble sleeping for a week. My guess is that whatever keeps you awake at night is probably not related to your job, or at least not to the aspects you just mentioned.”
“Aren’t you smart,” Cat muses, trying to lighten the mood. The lack of sarcasm and sharpness in her tone give away that she’s failing. “You’re right.”
“So, what keeps you awake at night?”
Cat doesn’t answer.
Before tonight, she didn’t know the answer to that question. Now, she does.
Yet, she doesn’t know how to say that while loneliness might have once been her best friend, now in the late hours of the night and after having dealt with all kinds of matters of state, it simply becomes unbearable. She doesn’t know how to express how much she craves a human touch that is not a handshake or a steering gesture, like a hug, casual hand-holding or simply being able to lean against somebody, just for the sake of it. She doesn’t know how to phrase that she misses sharing her day with someone other than her son, someone who would listen to her and guide her without fighting her battles, someone who would debate with her and challenge her while supporting her.
She has no idea how to simply say that she’s desperate for intimacy.
Tonight, she’s had a taste of what it could be, and that’s when the full impact of the realization hit her.
“Tell me,” Kara gently insists, turning her head to look at Cat. Their arms are brushing against one another, the fabric of Kara’s suit soft on Cat’s bare skin. “Maybe I can help.”
Cat wants to laugh, drily, but the sound gets stuck in her throat.
Kara’s eyes are sparkling in the faded light of the room, the falling rain reflecting in the dimmed blue irises. It makes her look like she’s crying from inside, and it’s mesmerizing to watch.
“I don’t think you can,” Cat says, lying through her teeth.
“You’re lying,” Kara points out, casually. “I can hear your heartbeat, you know.”
“I know,” Cat replies, turning her eyes back to the rain to avoid looking into Kara’s fascinating gaze. “It’s infuriating.”
“It raced a lot, tonight,” Kara insists, calmly.
“Stress,” Cat dismisses, lying again. “After all, I have one of the most stressful jobs in the world.”
“That’s not it,” Kara shakes her head, fully turning to face Cat. She almost whimpers at the loss of warmth against her arm. “See, it only seems to speed up whenever I touch you.”
Cat’s first instinct, when she opens her mouth, is to lie again. She doesn’t though, because Kara takes one of her hands in hers and her heartbeat spikes up, betraying her before she can say anything.
“Our fingers brush when I hand a glass to you, sometimes, and your heart does a little somersault in your chest,” Kara whispers, her thumbs gently moving over the back of Cat’s free hand. “It’s rather subtle, mind you, but I am so finely tuned to your heartbeat that I can always catch it.”
Cat doesn’t say anything, she’s not even sure she could if she wanted to. All she can focus on is the delicate touch of Kara’s fingers on her hand and the warmth that radiates all around it. She still hears the words, loud and clear despite the rain gaining intensity.
“It quite literally missed a few beats when I fixed your bracelet for you, and then later on it stuttered as we walked down the hallway,” Kara continues. “It was a fanfare when we danced together, I swear I could barely hear the music.”
If Kara was anyone else, Cat would have her thrown out of the building for exposing her so much. She’s always prided herself in being hard to read, hard to get, and even harder to reach but she should have known Kara would get to her, someday.
Kara slowly brings Cat’s hand up to her mouth and Cat doesn’t even realize she’s suddenly holding her breath, her whole body tensing with anticipation. Kara’s lips are warm and full of reverence when she kisses the back of Cat’s hand. She lingers for just a moment too long and Cat’s heart bursts in her chest, so loud and so frantic that even she can almost hear it.
“It didn’t bother me, though,” Kara whispers, her lips still inches away from Cat’s hand. “For your heartbeat is music itself. It’s the sound I love the most on this planet, maybe in the whole universe.”
Cat blindingly reaches to her left to place her drink atop the nearest surface available, freeing her other hand from Kara’s as she does. She closes both her palms around Kara’s face and then, they’re kissing.
It tastes like Scotch and belonging.
The kiss says ‘what took you so long’ and ‘Honey I’m home’ at the same time.
It chases away the deep feeling of loneliness in Cat’s heart, but only to replace it with a fire of want and lust that has been years in the making.
All her pent-up frustration, all the longing glances, and thirsty fantasies. The heartbreak of having to witness Kara dating her son, and the sacrifice of giving her up for a promotion. All of her time spent missing Kara suddenly becomes fuel, and she doesn’t want to waste another minute.
Kara seems to instinctively know because she reaches around to Cat’s back and starts to unzip the dress. She’s not slow, but she’s not fast enough either, and Cat is half tempted to break the kiss to admonish her. Only, Kara is letting one finger glide along her spine as she lowers the zip and it short-circuits her brain for a moment. So much that she stops kissing Kara entirely, making the hero pull away with a look of worry in her baby blue eyes.
The rain outside has gotten worse but even the strong noise doesn’t manage to cover their heavy and laboured breathing.
“Do you want me to stop?” Kara asks, searching through Cat’s eyes.
“Don’t you even dare,” Cat all but growls, her hands still around Kara’s face.
The relief in Kara’s eyes is a little blinding but it’s the hint of amusement that makes Cat kiss her again, harder this time.
Kara’s hand goes all the way to the small of her back and Cat shudders in the kiss when it stops. She reluctantly lets go of Kara to take a step back, allowing for the hero to undress her. At Kara’s eager tug, the black velvet dress softly slides along her body and pools around her bare feet, leaving her clad in only her black lace panties.
Kara’s eyes instantly darken with lust, want and a burning fire.
It’s a look Cat finds extremely attractive, addictive even, and it sends a bolt of raw arousal down her lower belly. She doesn’t move, letting Kara drink her in despite the impatience pulsing through every vein in her body, and making the throbbing between her legs almost painful.
Kara steps forward and her hands land on Cat’s waist, their weight grounding and tight.
It’s the little things, the way Kara’s thumbs brush against the side of her skin, the pressure of her palms above her hip bones, the warmth that spreads all around it, and the absolute reverence with which she is being held. She’s craved this kind of touch for so long she feels like sobbing her relief, but when Kara kisses her, she forgets about the hands. It’s a bruising kiss, avid and lascivious at once. She can feel it reverberate across her whole body and it even makes her toes curl.
A flash of lucidity crosses her mind when Kara’s mouth diverts to her jaw, trailing wet kisses alongside it.
“Not here,” Cat pants, one hand tightening in Kara’s golden hair and the other pushing against the hero’s chest. “Bedroom.”
She almost squeals in surprise when Kara instantly and effortlessly lifts her off the floor, not having expected it. Instinctively, she closes her legs around Kara’s waist and winds her arms around the hero’s neck.
The moment Kara starts to walk, Cat’s brain goes blank.
Despite the barrier of Kara’s formal outfit, Cat can feel the raw strength of Kara’s abdomen against her very sensitive, throbbing core, and it makes her whimper. She tries to hide it behind a kiss but the way Kara smiles against her lips tells her she’s busted. It makes her chuckle too, a giddy sound she doesn’t even recognize, but Kara’s lips are on her skin again, at the base of her neck, her tongue dancing along her collarbone and dipping into every crease and hollow around it. As Kara goes further into the residence, her lips travel lower and lower along the line of Cat’s sternum.
“Here,” Cat lets out in a ragged breath, pointing to her bedroom with her chin. “Hurry.”
Kara is nothing if not obedient.
Cat doesn’t even know how Kara manages to open and close the door with her lips still getting dangerously close to her breasts, but she doesn’t ask; focusing all her willpower and energy into not just grinding against Kara.
“Oh god,” Cat lets out when Kara’s mouth finally closes around one of her nipples, her tongue flicking the hardened bud with long and sensual strokes. “Don’t stop.”
She slides a hand into Kara’s golden curls to keep her close, but Kara doesn’t seem to want to move anyway. She’s ravishing her breasts with just her lips, her tongue and an indecent hint of teeth, and the sounds that escape Cat’s throat are breathless and raw.
“You’re wearing too many clothes,” Cat eventually manages to say, growing frustrated with the lack of access to Kara’s skin. “Put me down.”
Again, Kara complies within seconds. She lowers Cat to the floor, at the end of the king-size bed she’s been aiming for since they entered the room, and obligingly raises her arms when Cat impatiently tugs at her top. It takes a minute but in the end, Cat finally gets to admire Kara’s body, almost naked aside from her white cotton Calvin Klein underwear.
They are standing in front of each-other, bathed in the very dim glow of the night light coming through the window. It’s still raining, the sound a little more muffled than in the living room.
It’s not enough, because Cat wants to see everything. Every muscle on Kara’s body, every shade of gold in her hair, and the infinite nuances of blue in her eyes, so she moves around and turns on both nightstand lamps.
The moment she’s back in front of Kara, she’s greeted with a greedy kiss and hands that start to roam around on her body, hands that instinctively seem to be going for all the right spots. The curve of her hips, the side of her breasts, the inside of her wrists and elbows, the top of her collarbone, the small of her back. Kara reaches and touches and presses, alternating between the tip of her fingers, the back of her hands and the full power of her incredibly warm palms, and it is driving Cat insane.
Her body is nothing but a burning furnace, her insides twisted with so much want she’s dripping wet and yet Kara’s hands aggravatingly stay away from where she needs them the most.
“Kara,” Cat growls when the hero’s hands skirt over the apex of her thighs and brush against the lace of her useless last piece of clothing.
“Yes, Miss Grant?” Kara replies, so very innocently, her breath landing against the side of Cat’s breast.
“Didn’t I tell you to dive, a few years ago?” Cat focuses, trying not to moan at how the hot puffs of air on her skin feel. “Now would be a good moment to start.”
Silence greets her words and for a moment, Cat thinks maybe she said something wrong. Maybe she went a little too far, pushed too much. Her heart drops in her chest and she’s halfway through backtracking when Kara’s laugh, loud, boisterous, and incredibly carefree, takes her by surprise.
“Are you referring to yourself as a lake, Miss Grant?” Kara manages, through her laughter.
“Well,” Cat states, slightly relieved but still hot and bothered. “I am not above saying that given how wet I am, the description sounds somewhat accurate.”
“I’d say,” Kara laughs again, eyes twinkling with amusement. “Want me to take care of it?”
“Yes,” Cat breathes, reaching out to close her fingers around one of Kara’s hands and guiding it between her legs.
Kara only moves one finger, a faint promise of what’s to come.
One finger that finds the perfect spot, through the soaked wet lace of her underwear, and the touch is almost enough to unravel her completely. She moans, loudly, knees almost buckling from the tiny hint of relief.
Kara takes a step forward and gently wraps an arm around Cat’s waist, to lower them onto the mattress. Her other hand doesn’t move, simply teasing her through the drenched lace, and Cat is about to protest when suddenly, the full length of Kara’s body settles against her.
Kara’s skin is insanely warm, strangely soft, and smooth. Their limbs click and fit almost instantly, and Cat marvels at how easy, how natural it feels. She’s dreamed about moments like this for a long time but the reality is even better, because she can smell the rain in Kara’s hair, hear the echo of Kara’s laughter, and she can feel everything.
“Let me get rid of these,” Kara mutters, dropping a kiss on Cat’s lips before trailing south along her sternum, to the inner sides of her breasts, down the abdomen, and with her teeth, she pulls down the lace panties. She has to remove her hand, and Cat audibly whimpers at the sudden loss but Kara’s quick and efficient. She throws the lace away and brings her fingers back to Cat’s soaked folds, through the perfectly trimmed dark curls. “You might have a point, about the lake comparison.”
There’s a laugh caught in her throat and it shines in her sparkling blue eyes.
It’s full of fire, lust, want, and the reverence is still there. She’s looking at Cat as if she is the most important person in her world and Cat believes it. From the way Kara touches her to the natural banter they exchange, Cat believes everything she sees in Supergirl’s eyes.
She doesn’t have time to say anything before Kara dives.
Cat smiles, lasciviously, but keeps her eyes closed.
“I know you’re awake, I can hear your heartbeat.”
Hands start to rub along her spine, soft but firm, and Cat lets out an appreciative hum.
She could get used to this kind of wake up call; far better than the actual phone calls she gets to remind her of meetings she doesn’t particularly care about. One of Kara’s hands slowly wanders around her waist and trails up to rest underneath her breast, the tips of her fingers brushing against it.
“Did you sleep well?” Kara whispers against her ear. It’s soft and tender and Cat would melt if she wasn’t already boneless from all the lovemaking. “I wouldn’t want to assume, but judging by the soft snores you let out …”
“I do not snore,” Cat snaps, opening her eyes and turning in Kara’s arms to face her.
“If you say so, Miss Grant,” Kara laughs, eyes crinkling with humor.
She’s beautiful in the faint morning light, golden hair shining around her face and her eyes brighter than a summer sky. The sheet is resting low on her abdomen and she still smells like rain, and sex.
“As I recall, you said my name more than once last night,” Cat muses, inching closer to Kara’s warm and solid body. “Why don’t you use it in the daylight, too?”
She rests her nose against Kara’s shoulder, content to just breathe her in.
She feels incredibly relaxed and happy, naked in Kara’s arms. She knows at some point, the world will come knocking on her door but for now, she just wants to enjoy the moment.
“I would love to stay, Cat,” Kara murmurs in her ear. “Unfortunately, Nancy’s coming up the stairs and I have to go.”
The moment is over all too soon, of course. Cat can’t say she’s surprised, but she’s still disappointed when Kara drops a kiss on her lips and leaves the bed.
“This … isn’t going to be easy,” Cat states, sitting on the mattress and watching as Kara gathers back her underwear and her outfit from last night.
“The good things usually aren’t,” Kara replies once she’s dressed. “That’s what makes them worth it.”
A warm feeling floods over Cat and she can’t help but smile, pleased with Kara’s answer.
“Will you drop by again, tonight?”
“Depends,” Kara says, coming to sit on Cat’s side of the bed. “Are you asking me to drop by for a drink or will I get to spend the night?”
Cat leans forward for a kiss and it’s quiet, soft, intimate. It’s the kind of kiss lovers share before going their separate ways for the day, the kind that says ‘I can’t wait to see you again’ and Cat chases after Kara when she pulls away, asking for another one.
“Both,” Cat murmurs once they finally stop. “After all, it is a matter of national security, since I only seem to sleep when you’re here.”
“Ah well, like I said … I serve at the pleasure of the president.” Kara laughs, eyes bright with humor but her smile softens as her laughter reduces. “I’ll see you tonight, Cat.”
She’s out through the window before Cat can remind her of her sensitive security detail.