Tick. Tick. Tick.
Thump, Thump. Thump, Thump.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick-
The sound of a passing siren forces green eyes to snap open. The pale pastel walls greet her and she's reminded of the hell she's been subjected to. The slightly balding man sits across from her. His patient smile irks her more than she cares to admit.
And his v-neck sweater is something she knows should have been left in the 90's. She's told him so. Twice . Especially when he pokes too deeply.
A coping mechanism he had called it. She had scoffed as she always did and looked away, focusing on her other senses.
She can smell the slightly rotting lilies by the window, and it makes her nose burn at the putrid scent filling the room. She can smell his cheap cologne that sticks to his skin, and it overwhelms her senses.
She doesn't say anything.
Only lifting her hand to cover her nose with a curled fist as she looks out the window. She can see the dust collecting on the sill and she makes a note to inform him later. It's not rude, she justifies to herself. Just helpful . It was one of the few things she did to be helpful to strangers. After all, she didn’t trust them. Didn’t trust anyone. The fingerprints on the glass dance back at her, they're too small to be the man sitting across from her. His child perhaps. He mentioned he had a child when he was wittering on.
Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick.
Her eyes snap back to the clock and its irritating noise. She hears him pointedly clearing his throat, but she doesn’t look at him.
“Are you going to answer my question, or continue to glower at my clock?” He asks, and green eyes fall on him. He’s such a weasley looking man, she tries to bite back the bitter retort. Instead, she arches a brow and he sighs, removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes.
“We’ve been doing this long enough that I know when something’s bothering you.”
It's a lie that she's come to say repeatedly now. Something said so often it almost feels true.
"You know what fine stands for, right?" He asks with a slightly teasing grin, and her patience wears thinner.
"Please don't quote the Italian Job at me."
He shrugs, sitting back in his chair and readjusting his notepad. "So, you're having nightmares again?"
"I'm not having nightmares!" She wants to kick herself. She said it too quickly, and now he knows she's definitely lying. He arches a silent brow and she sighs heavily. "I just had a bad dream that's all," she tries to amend.
"What was it about?"
She shakes her head, looking away as the snark escapes her before she can really rationalise it, "Your ugly sweater vest."
He sits back patiently but she's already on her feet, pacing across the room. "I didn't have a nightmare."
"No?" He looks far too sickly sweet for her to not be angry.
"Then, why are your sleeves catching fire?"
She curses, looking down at the scorched sleeves she had been pushing under her glasses, and quickly shuts her eyes.
"Sorry, I'm so-" Her breathing hitches, and she can feel the crushing weight constricting in her chest. "Sorry, I-" She can't breathe, she can't get the air in her lungs. Flashes of red fill her vision.
"It's alright. Hey, look at me," the doctor requests, and he's closer than he was.
But flashes of a collapsing ceiling resonate through her. The memory that fills her nightmares begins to take place.
"It's alright, Ellie, open your eyes for me."
She shakes her head because she can't. She can't open her eyes, she can't move from the spot she's rooted to.
"Ellie, you’re safe, it's alright. Breathe with me." His voice isn't soothing, but it's enough to stop the crushing in her chest and gradually, the sight of her mother in a hospital bed fades as she begins to feel what should be a semblance of normalcy. She slowly peels her eyes open, and she’s met with the face of her therapist, his warm but concerned eyes staring back at her.
"There we go," He whispers, helping her sit. "You're safe here, Ellie."
Ellie shakily nods, because she knows she is. "I-I'm sorry, I could have hurt you."
"But you didn't," He's quick to reassure. "I'm more resilient than your aunt gives me credit for."
It cracks a smile as she takes in a shuddering breath. "I see her. In that bed."
He sits back in the chair, his eyes watching her silently as he listens. "In my nightmares, she's there in that godforsaken hospital bed, and I can't do anything."
"You were three, Ellie."
Ellie looks away with a bitter laugh, tears welling in her eyes. His soft gaze watches hers, the reassurance in his voice as he says, "Even Supergirl couldn't do anything at the age of three."
He's met with silence as green eyes go back to staring out the window. He can see the wheels in her mind working. "Why am I broken, doc?"
"You're not broken," He's quick to answer. "You experienced multiple traumas in your young years, it's bound to stay with you."
"The others weren't like me."
"My understanding is that your cousins weren't time traveling children who ended up here in order to avoid a cataclysmic future."
Ellie shifts uncomfortably at the reminder. "I meant getting my powers so young."
He hums as he thinks before lifting a hand in a one armed shrug,
"Ellie, you experienced a lot of traumas. The way I see it, is that it could be linked to other genetics that stay underlying until one day being activated. You experienced a lot. You were kidnapped twice in the space of three days, then not only had your mother been shot once before you got to the present , but then you saw her being shot again, all while watching your other mother struggling in a battle. If I'm honest, I'd say you've survived it all pretty well."
"My mom used to say life should be about more than just surviving."
"Your mother’s a wise woman."
There's a small light turning on, and the doctor smiles sadly across from her. "I'm afraid my next client is here."
Ellie nods, standing and collecting her backpack. "Thanks doc."
Ellie trudges from the building before wincing as she steps onto the busy street, the summer sun making her flinch after the darker office. Shuffling, she tightens her grip on the straps of the backpack before stepping into the waiting car.
"Are you alright, Miss Ellie?"
"Fine Joe," Ellie mutters as she relaxes into the back of the car. "Can we go to Taco Bell on the way to school? I'm starving."
After a small pit stop at a drive through, Joe stops the car in front of the red bricked school. "I'll make my own way home, Joe," Ellie tells him while hoping out. He doesn't get the chance to protest before she shuts the door. She doesn't need his parental concern, she has enough of it from her entire extended family.
Speaking of extended family, Violet spots her like she spots the best seat at movie night. "So did you blast the therapist into next week?"
"You know, that wasn't funny the first time you made that joke, right?"
"Oh come on, El. That was a good one!"
"No. No and it's still bad," Ellie sighs as she steps into the loud building. "And it was fine, thanks for asking."
"Did you work out all of your childhood trauma?"
"You realise my therapy is exactly the same as yours," Ellie points out as they make their way to the lockers.
"No, no it's not," Violet huffs, throwing herself back onto the metal with a dramatic look. "My therapy is with my mother. Yours is at least impartial."
Ellie snorts, "Oh yes because aunt Kelly's best friend in college is impartial ."
"More impartial than your mother." Violet grumbles irritably.
"Morning," A chipper voice greets from beside them. Ellie doesn't look up as Calvin opens the locker to her right.
"Morning, sports star," Violet greets, happily turning as she bats her eyelashes at the tall black haired boy.
Ellie rolls her eyes at the display. Violet is her best friend, cousin and the worst influence she has in her life. She's tall like her aunt and, while not directly related, their goofy mannerisms has clearly been inherited. Ellie blocks out the sound the best she can until a tap on her shoulder makes her turn.
"I need lunch money."
Ellie scowls down at the slight squeak and she arches a brow.
"Good for you," Ellie mutters before turning. Liam huffs gripping her arm weakly. "El, you have the money, that's the rule. So can I get it, or what?"
"You know I only have it cause you keep getting it taken off you by Rory McCann."
"Can you just!" He's about a second from stomping his foot so she fishes the twenty from her pocket before handing it to him.
"Here, will you just leave me alone?"
He grins up at her, and she narrows her eyes as he trots off. She misses when he was cute. When he was born and quiet as little kids were. He was different from her. He didn't have therapy, or trauma as the doc put it, and he also didn't have to wear the same annoying black rimmed glasses she did.
"So, I have a great idea for something after school," Violet grins at her as Calvin moves off, giving her a small wave that she doesn't acknowledge.
"I'm not robbing a bank," Ellie states immediately. That was last weeks 'great' plan. They had gone to the movies instead.
"What? No, that's easy," Violet shrugs, leading them from the lockers. "Besides, if I got caught doing that I really would get murdered by my mom. No, look, there's an old warehouse by the waterfront, it's used by the police to hold all the cars from the different crimes and stuff."
"So?" Ellie prompts.
Violet looks about ready to explode with excitement. "We could get in and steal that big drug dealer car! You know the one on trial. Well, he was driving the new Lamborghini, the one with the six cylinders-"
"Alright, alright stop," Ellie begs, she hates when Violet goes on about cars. She has enough problems with mechanical engineering in her own home.
"So, can we go?"
"Only if we're careful."
Careful, as it turned out, was not in Violet’s vocabulary as she stands excitedly on the steps of the school day. Ellie almost turns around to hide from her cousin.
"You guys got big plans?"
There Ellie turns quickly, too quickly, and she's sure the concrete beneath her is smoking from the rubber of her sneakers. Calvin stands behind her, his warm smile looking down at her. "I, uh, she has some hair-brained scheme to try and get into the NCPD holding pen on the waterfront."
Ellie wants to kick herself as he looks shocked for a minute before laughing. "Wow, you guys really are trouble makers!"
"I'm just going to make sure she doesn't get shot," Ellie panics. She really needs to stop talking.
"Hey, I meant to ask, did you get new glasses?" Calvin asks, stepping slightly closer, and Ellie's eyes widen.
"Uh, yeah, my uh, my mom got them for me," Ellie says, her voice shaking slightly as she fidgets with them. Her mom made them but saying that is lame. So lame. Rao, she's pathetic.
"She has good taste," He grins. "I mean your old ones were cool too but-"
"Yeah, I know, I don't think tortoiseshell is my look," Ellie blushes as she says it. Yup she is pathetic she’s thinking, as they share a laugh.
"Eliza, are you coming or what?" Violet hollers from the curbside and Ellie wishes she could throw her into space. Her family would understand.
"I best," Ellie points to her cousin as she moves away and Calvin grins.
"I'll see you tomorrow if you don't get shot," He waves as she waves pathetically back.
"Are you done flirting?" Violet asks as Ellie climbs into the car after her.
The waterfront is dark when they get there, only large blinking spotlights cast down over specific sections. But Ellie sighed at the wire fence in front of them. She glares at Violet when she sees it.
"And how do you plan to get over that, genius?" Elie hisses. She had tried for most of their day to talk her out of it, she even thought she had succeeded when they drove into Taco Bell. It had been a ruse, something to pass the time in Violet’s mind.
Violet sends her a withering look.
"Hey Guys," Ellie spins at the voice that comes from beside as they crouch next to her.
"Hey Nate," Violet greets.
"Are you crazy?!" Ellie growls. "Brainy will kill us!"
"It's fine, they don't know I'm here. They think I'm at piano practice," Nathan grins at her, in a failed attempt to reassure her.
"Vi, I really don't think-"
"Will you stop worrying?! It'll be fine," Violet dismisses. "Just hop us over the fence."
Ellie stares wide eyed, her jaw dropping. Just hop over the fence , as if it was like skipping a step on a set of stairs.
"You know, I can't just hop-"
"Ugh, fine I'll do it myself," Violet says, rolling her eyes and producing an oddly familiar laser.
"Please don't tell me that's Bruce Waynes’," Ellie asks.
"He wasn't using it," Violet shrugs before kicking the fence through. "Come on."
Ellie begrudgingly follows, she was going to get in so much trouble. She knew it. She just had to get them out of here without getting caught.
Violet leads them to the clamped yellow sports car, and part of her wants to roll her eyes. Her mother had one in the basement of her old apartment. Ellie was sure they could drive that one if she bats her eyes hard enough.
"How are we going to get into it, genius?" Ellie asks before being shushed by Violet.
"Ellie just be the look out, ok?" Violet orders and Ellie turns, slowly removing her glasses as she does, and squinting as she takes in the x-ray vision.
She hates it. Of all the powers, she hates anything to do with her sight the most. She can block out noise, control her strength, but her eyesight, she hated.
Ellie can hear them grunting behind her, and she's almost, almost impressed when the boot comes off, even more when Violet gets the door unlocked. But it wasn't impressive, it was stupid and she can feel the I told you so , about to roll off her tongue when the car alarm goes off and the floodlights are illuminated over them as they slowly raise their palms.
The firm clink of the cell door has her glaring at Violet so hard that she's sure her heat vision might just come through.
"How did you not know they would find us?" Ellie asks. She's furious, livid and her Moms are going to kill her.
"I didn't think-"
"No, you didn't!" Ellie snaps irritably.
"You could have said no," Violet states back and there's a sinking feeling in Ellie's gut that she's right. She knows her cousin is right.
"Eliza Danvers, Violet Danvers" Ellie sinks at the tone, she didn't think it could get worse...
"Hey, Maggie." Ellie tries to grin up at the familiar face, but the arched brow and pursed lips have her wanting the ground to swallow her.
"I'll go phone, Alex."
Alex Danvers was not the force Ellie was worried about and as the three of them are climbing into the back of the car, her aunt places a hand there, stopping her and shutting the others within.
"Ok, I'm not going to read you the riot act, but what is going on?" Ellie shuffles looking down at her worn out converse, her hands balled tightly in her black jeans pockets. "Violet, I get it, her parents were car thieves, that makes some semblance of sense. Nathan is a sixteen year old boy. But you El?"
Ellie never thought the sidewalk looked so interesting. "I know it’s been hard since everything but-"
"I'm fine, aunt Alex," Ellie cuts off quickly. "I don't want to talk about it."
Alex grits her teeth because Ellie knows she'll tell everything, it's happened before with the nightmares and now she is in therapy.
The drive back to the house is silent. The suburban home is quiet in the street and even when Alex pulls into the driveway, Ellie braces herself, even if there's no familiar car there. Of course not, why would there be? They would be at home with their less problematic child. Ellie follows Violet into the house and her Aunt Kelly is there, an unfamiliar stern look on her face.
"Upstairs." Is all she says to Violet who glances at Ellie before climbing the stairs. Ellie moves to follow but is promptly stopped by her aunt’s hand. "Not you. You, go into the kitchen."
"Nate, your mom'll be here in five," Alex informs him and Nathan pales considerably.
"Great," His voice’s five octaves higher than normal.
Ellie walks to the kitchen, helping herself to the apple in the basket. She isn't hungry but it'll keep the anger from spilling out her mouth. Stop her from letting the words run away with her. A glass of water is placed in front of her and she looks up to be met with warm brown eyes.
"Jed said you had a bad day today?" Kelly asks, with an understanding look and Ellie sighs looking away.
"What happened to doctor patient confidentiality," Ellie mutters bitterly, picking at the skin of the apple.
"It disappears when you almost laser your therapist," Alex's voice makes Ellie’s lips purse and look harder at the apple in her hand.
"Alex," The light admonishment makes her aunt shrug as they stand expectantly in front of her. "We just want to understand," Kelly begins.
"This is the third time this month that you two have ended up in a cell, I can't keep pulling favours, Ellie," Alex finishes.
Ellie nods, the control she places on not crushing the apple in her hand takes more power than she imagined.
The banging of the door makes her jump as Nia storms in. "Nathan Querl Nal!"
Ellie flinches and she can hear Nathan cower into the couch.
"Mom I can-"
"Explain? Oh, there's going to be more than just explaining!"
Ellie tries not to hide as Nia storms through, her once black hair is streaked with a slight grey at the roots.
"Thank you for getting them Alex," She says a little too sweetly and Ellie hides in her shoulders as she feels the disappointed look on her aunts’ faces. "I'm going to take Nathan home. I'll see you on Sunday for Eliza's birthday."
She knows her aunt’s are nodding, and that Nia’s leading Nathan out without so much as a goodbye. The apple is slowly wilting in her hand, her strength barely controlled.
"Did you call Jeju?" Ellie asks after several moments of silence.
"Yeah," Alex mutters softly. "El, this isn't ok. I know that you’re a kid, and you want to act out but this was dangerous. I know you love Violet as a sister, but-"
"Yeah I know," Ellie mutters. She knows Violet isn't like her. Isn't the Violet she had dreams of. Ellie sets the apple aside, she has to before she makes a mess. A bigger mess than the one she was already in. Ellie doesn't get to think much beyond the rising feelings of disappointment when she hears a car pull up outside. There's a faint screech of tires that reach Ellie's ears, and she can see Alex taking a deep breath as she braces herself. The door doesn't get thrown off the hinges but she's sure the hand’s door handle is mangled. The heavy footfalls stop, and Ellie grits her teeth.
"Thanks, Alex," Ellie doesn't look up as her aunts move from the room, and she knows there's a silent look passed between the two sisters. There's a weighted sigh before Ellie feels her mother sitting next to her at the breakfast bar.
"Please don't," Ellie begs and it silences whatever disapproving tone Kara was about to say. "I don't need to hear how irresponsible it was. Aunt Alex, Kelly and Nia already hate me for it."
"No one hates you, El." Kara whispers and Ellie looks up slightly as she sets her glasses on the counter. It makes her look up to find her mother rubbing her eyes, clearly exhausted from having to put up with her antics. "It was just really irresponsible."
"I couldn't let them go alone!" Ellie bursts, staring up at her mother and there's that irritable understanding in her eyes.
"What would you have done?" Ellie asks quietly after a moment. "What would Supergirl have done?"
Kara lets out a short laugh and Ellie looks up to Kara running a hand through her hair. "Supergirl would have flown them home and told them to not be stupid. Kara? Well, I don't know what I would have done. But, you’re not me. You're Eliza Luthor. The smartest kid in the family. That's why they're reacting like that."
"They expected me to be smarter?" Ellie whispers and Kara nods.
"We do. And besides, you’re the oldest. That makes it your responsibility to keep them safe."
"I know," Kara's arm is wrapping around her shoulders and Ellie's tears, that she had been trying to keep at bay since getting caught, begin to flow. "I know you don't want to be a hero, El. And that's ok. But they’re your family. That makes them your responsibility if me, or Aunt Alex, or Nia can't be there. That's what it means."
Ellie looks into her lap as Kara holds her, reassuring her. She wipes her eyes with her sleeve before looking up, "Can we go home?"
The drive home is mostly silent. Not that it's far. Far enough that they have to drive but close enough that they could get to Alex's house easily and vice versa. Ellie watches as they pull into the drive, her stomach filling with dread as she stares up at the lights flickering within.
"You know you have to go in," Kara says with a light chuckle, and Ellie turns quickly with wide hopeful eyes.
"Can't you just say that you shouted and grounded me at Aunt Alex's?"
Kara arches a brow, a smirk tugging at her lips, and Ellie lets out a defeated sigh.
"Nice try," Kara calls as she leads them into the house.
Ellie hates it, she hates it especially as she tries to sneak up the stairs only to hear; "Not a chance!" being called from the kitchen.
Gritting her teeth, she glances at Kara who shrugs moving into the living room where Liam sits playing on the Xbox. Sheepishly, Ellie moves to step into the kitchen. It still makes her wince, the uncomfortable memory of her mother in a hospital bed, attached to tubing, but now she‘s standing up with her lips pursed as she cuts spring onions, a look of murder crossing her face. And Ellie knows she's in for it. Truly done for in fact, the way her eyes narrow and the vein her forehead pops.
"Don't, hey, Mom, me."
Ellie swallows when the knife is pointed in her direction. "Do you have any idea how stupid that was? What would have happened if someone had shot at you? What if you had stolen the car?"
"Vi can drive, Mom," The snark is out her lips before she realises it, and Ellie’s lucky the knife isn't thrown at her.
"A month." Lena growls, practically spitting blood at her.
"Do you want to make it two?" Lena dares, and Ellie's own nostrils flare.
But she remains silent. She knows it's best to let her calm down. That they would talk about it when they had taken a few deep breaths. Lena pushes dark hair from her face and Ellie sees it, the faint scar that runs over the top of her shoulder. The memories of a collapsing building flashes through her mind.
"I'll- I'll be in my room," Ellie mutters, backing away. She climbs the stairs two at a time and shuts herself away.
She doesn't want the memory of it. She hates, it in fact. Hates herself for what she did. She climbs onto the roof as she thinks. Sitting, watching the stars blink back at her. She wonders how far she’s come. She had come from a loving family. A family that had perished for her. One she never knew, and they would never know her, all because a maniac in an alternate universe wanted her. Wanted her to be his guard dog.
It makes the bile rise in her throat as she thinks about the photos on her mother’s desk in L-Corp, a photo of her in an MIT hoodie running barefoot through an old apartment or reaching for sharks in an aquarium. That had been before the accident. Before her uncle had heard about her and had tried to take advantage of the powers she resented. She can still remember the clouds of dust, it feels like remembering a dream but she can't, not really. Her mothers had told her what had happened when she had been old enough. That was six months ago now. Six months of tortured nightmares and three roof replacements. Six months of waking up screaming.
Ellie flinches as the window behind her slides up.
"Can I join you?"
Ellie nods and she watches her mother step onto the roof. Balancing carefully and sitting next to her.
"I'm sorry I was an idiot," Ellie mutters after a period of silence, her knees tucked under her chin and Lena looks down at her. She sighs before shifting closer and wrapping her arm around narrow shoulders.
"You're not an idiot," Lena whispers as Ellie shifts, tucking her head beneath her mother’s chin, and she squeezes her eyes shut as tears slide down her cheeks. "We all do stupid things, El, but this, this was one to make me prematurely grey."
"We all know you dye it," Ellie sniffles into the silk blouse. Lena scoffs in the back of her throat.
Ellie lets it drop, letting her mother have this. Lena runs a hand up her back, and Ellie lets it soothe her like it always it has, for as long as she can remember. "Other than trying to steal a car, how was your day today? How was therapy?"
Ellie sighs, pulling away at the mention of her morning. "I-I-" Ellie stutters before gritting her teeth and turning the scorched sleeves of her sweater over.
"El," Her mother breathes, taking her hand. "Was everything ok?
"We, um, we were talking about my nightmares. About the accident."
Her mother stiffens slightly before tightening her hold. "You know, it was an accident don't you?"
Ellie nods, even if she doesn't believe it. "You almost died," Ellie whispers and she hates that her mother shrugs.
"I've nearly died a lot of times, El. But you're Jeju, she always saves me. Always saves us."
"I didn't think I could hurt anyone the way I hurt you."
"It was an accident," Lena whispers, nudging her shoulder. "You understand why we waited to tell you."
Ellie nods, the excuse was always that a bad man had hurt her and they still stuck to that story, even six months after telling her they still forgot and used it in passing. but the scar her mother had over her shoulder, the scar in her thigh, Ellie knew it was from that day. The day Lex Luthor tried to kidnap her, kill her mother, both of them.
"What happened to them all?" Ellie asks quietly, making her mother turn to look down at her.
"No, not just Grandpa J'onn, but everyone else?" Ellie asks as she tries to think, to remember. But Lena runs a hand over blonde hair before nodding.
"When Lex shot me, you were so upset, your eyes- they." Her mother grits her teeth dipping her head. "You couldn't turn it off. You were so young. It cut through the walls of the basement, the ceilings. Kara, Jeju, had to break through the exterior walls. It damaged the whole integrity of the building. Kara only managed to get us out, El."
Her mothers silent for a long moment before explaining. "Lillian died of a heart attack, it turned out. J'onn you know was to do with the psychic link between him and the machine. It created internal brain haemarging that M'gann couldn't fix."
"What about the others? That Mon-El guy? Lex?" Ellie finds herself asking. Lena's jaw muscles pop before she answers.
"Mon-El held the building so Kara could get us out but it was too late for him."
"The people?" Ellie asks but Lena smiles sadly.
"It was a weekend, there was no one there save for a handful of security guards they all made it out."
"And Lex?" Ellie finds herself asking and Lena looks away. She can see it’s hard, it's never someone Ellie had heard them talk about.
"He died. He died from blunt force trauma to the side of his head," Lena explains slowly.
"When Kara flew into the basement the concrete landed on his head. He didn't survive."
"So, I didn't… ?"
"You didn't kill him, Ellie. You've never killed or hurt anyone," Lena reinforces and Ellie looks down at their joined hands.
"I hurt you, mom," Ellie whispers, the scar reminding her but then Lena laughs making Ellie look up.
"Do you remember when we went to the park, that fourth of July when you were seven?" Lena asks, looking far too amused and Ellie nods because she remembers it very well.
"And do you remember when I lifted you to reach the monkey bars?"
Ellie laughs because she remembers the exact moment she's talking about, "You smacked my head off the bars."
Lena nods slowly, "I smacked your head off the bars. But it was an accident, El, they were all accidents." Lena pauses, looking down at her own hands. It was a reminder of all the damages and pain she had caused while trying to do the right thing. "Ellie, you were scared and you didn't know what was going on."
Ellie nods before shifting closer into Lena's arms. She sits in the way they often did, curled into one another, Lena's hand running through blonde hair.
"Is that why you didn't go to Argo? To have Liam?" Ellie asks after a period of silence. Lena's hand freezes and she knows she's given the answer.
"It's ok, I just- I just want to know."
"We... we couldn't be sure after everything that someone wouldn't try and take both of you. You've always been stronger, we knew you wouldn't just go with the first person that would offer you candy on the street. Liam... We didn't know anything," Lena explains softly. "We couldn't trust that someone wouldn't come after you both."
Ellie nods, slowly as she takes in the words. It's enough to quell her questions. Her curiosity can last another day. They sit watching the stars until Lena shifts and Ellie looks up at her mother.
Her mother who had been there for everything. Every school play, science fair, every soccer game, (they had only lasted one game due to her foot going through the ball). Her mother was one of the most brilliant minds on the planet but she still made time for them. "Thanks, mom," Ellie whispers as she feels the kiss pressed to her temple.
"You know I'm always here, El. Just, please, no more Grand Theft Auto?"
The sun beats down that Saturday. It warms her skin as she stands on the top deck, the noise of the party filling her ears. It had been a bad week. A bad week for their small family. She doesn't jump when warm arms slip around her waist and she smiles, her eyes shut as she takes in the love that surrounds her. The family that is milling around beneath her.
"I wondered where you had disappeared too," the soft tone of her wife fills her and she suppresses the shive that goes through her as her lips brush the shell of her ear. "What are you doing up here?"
"Thinking?" She can hear the quirk in her voice. "I don't think that big brain of yours can think any more, the world might not be able to keep up."
"Don't be an ass."
She can feel the rumble of a chuckle against her chest and it makes her open her eyes. The summer sun is blinding and with blinking green eyes she takes in the roll of the waves to her left, the trees around them. She can smell the barbeque that is cooking below them. Kelly’s cooking while Alex and Brainy argue over the cooking time. Once upon a time, it would have filled her with dread, having to mingle with the Superfriends, but now it was a welcome relief from her work. She can see the warm smile shared between Nia and Eliza. They all looked older, their faces more creased and hair greying with age. Even Kara who's chin was propped on her shoulder, strong arms holding her as she takes in the sight.
The sight of their daughter, trying and failing to explain the breakdown of quantum mechanics to Violet who was rolling her eyes from the bench she was draped over. Liam and Nate passing a football between the two of them, and it brings a tear to her eye. The family she never thought she would get was here.
"Did you ever think we made the wrong decision?" Lena asks, replaying her conversation with Ellie.
"Everything?" Lena asks, making Kara look down at her with a crinkled brow. "Not this, but with Ellie."
It makes Lena look down at her hand resting on Kara's still firm stomach, the silver band dancing back at her as she recalls waking up in the hospital. It still makes her stomach turn. The thought of Kara lying by her bedside, half asleep when Lena woke. Her throat dry and sore, her voice non-existent, and she didn't know how long she had been asleep. Kara had woken with a start, her eyes shining with tears.
"L-Lena? Lena!" Kara's there in her face, blue eyes wide as she searches Lena's face. "You're ok, you're in the hospital."
Lena had tried to talk but only a scraping croak came from the back of her throat, and Kara's cursing before helping her drink the cool water that's on the bedside. It helped, and Kara perched herself on the edge of her bed as Lena took in the sight. Flowers. There were a lot of flowers. That's all Lena can see. Sunflowers, and roses, and then her eyes catch it on the corner of the table, plumerias. Her eyes land on Kara who's sitting, swiping at her tears as she tries to control her emotions. Lena reaches up, wincing slightly as she does and squeezes Kara's arm so tightly that it should be painful but Kara only leant into the touch. It took hours before Lena felt her voice slowly return.
"What happened?" She asked reluctantly and Kara looked away, her jaw clenching slightly.
"I should have been there," Kara muttered but Lena only gripped her hand tighter.
"Ellie?" Lena croaked and Kara took a shuddering breath.
"She was so scared, Lena, she wouldn't stop shaking and crying," Kara whispered, her cheeks streaked with tears. "I- I could barely do anything. I got you out, brought you here. But I couldn't do anything."
Kara lay with her, her tears barely contained. The following day the doctors told her what happened but Lena could tell from Kara's shifting behind them there was more to the story.
"You received a gunshot wound to your upper thigh, it nicked the femoral artery. We retrieved the bullet but it wasn't the most substantial of your wounds. Supergirl explained there was a laser explosion in your lab, the laser caught the subclavian artery in your shoulder. Honestly, you should have died, Ms Luthor. But Supergirl got you here in seconds, if she hadn't, well..."
Lena had felt the weight of the words, but she could remember what had happened to a point. She had been in the lab with Ellie, Lex and Lillian. They had wanted her to give up her daughter. The little girl that had climbed over her walls and taken her heart. As soon as the door to the room had clicked shut green eyes had snapped open and fallen on Kara.
"It was an accident Lena," Kara had whispered and Lena's brow furrowed. Surely not.
"Y-you?" She had asked in disbelief but Kara had shaken her head slowly and Lena had let out a strangled gasp. Tears welling in her eyes.
"She was so scared, I-I couldn't stop it. I had to put my glasses over her eyes and I- I wasn't sure if it would work. I- I had to get you to the hospital," Kara tried to explain but tears befell them both and they held each other closely. When they parted Kara explained the best she could.
"Eliza and Alex think it was the trauma," Kara whispered. "The- the pain of seeing you like that again." Kara paused, looking down at her hands that are clenched in her lap. "Eliza said it can be seen in children with issues of mental health, it's like the gene was turned on or activated in some way."
Lena felt like the breath was knocked from her. Ellie was three. She was a child, practically a baby, and she had been through so much it had activated a gene. A gene that would have been dormant had she not done this. Had she not been put in this horrible situation.
Lena had sat back, letting the information absorb and she hated it. She hated her other self for sending her here without so much as any other thought to what they could do. Hated that they had left her in this situation, with parents vastly unprepared for a three year old. Lena had cried for hours, her eyes so raw she didn't think she could produce another tear. She looked up into Kara's blue eyes and there's something more there.
"They didn't survive," Kara whispered. Lena's brow furrowed but Kara continued, "Lex, Lillian, Mon-El... J'onn."
Lena let out a sob that wracked her frame, and Kara was there holding her in her arms and they held each other until she was released. Small snippets of information being dropped by Kara. Mon-El and J'onn had been crushed under the building while Kara had gotten her family out. They had sacrificed themselves for her family. For Ellie.
A wild laugh makes Lena look down, snapping her from recollection. Ellie's grinning wildly at Alex who is standing with a water gun, a wicked grin on her face.
"No, I never thought about it," Kara says following her eyes, and even in the summer sun, Kara looks just as beautiful as the day she stumbled into Lena's office. The bubbling perky reporter who had torn down her walls before a secret had torn her heart in two.
But nothing, nothing had prepared her for their journey after their love growing around a small blonde haired child who had appeared unexpectedly in their lives. But even now, as Kara stands warming in the summer sun, her eyes slightly crinkled from time and the faint streak of grey through blonde hair, she is still looking at Lena like she is her sun.
"Not ever? You don't question our decision for her to stay here?" Lena asks, her eyes searching blue ones and she can see Kara think. Blue eyes watching their family before them.
"No," Kara says after a long moment. "I stand by what I said then. I may be Supergirl to the world and I'll always protect my home. But my family... My family will always come first."
Lena watches Kara strengthen the way her jaw sets as if she's preparing for a fight, but she learned a long time ago it was Kara’s way of strengthening herself. Putting her own faith behind her words.
"I couldn't let the only family I had go. I've sacrificed a lot, I- we deserved this. Besides, we couldn't send her into the unknown. Back to a place where we had no idea if they were even alive."
"I know," Lena sighs as her eyes land on Ellie, her nose curled as she sprays the water gun at Violet. "I just wonder sometimes."
"I know you worry about her. I do too, but she'll be fine Lena. She's so strong, and yeah, it's bad for now but- But we've always come out stronger together," Lena looks up as Kara finishes and tucks herself into strong arms.
"I never thought I would have this. Have you," Lena whispers.
"I always wanted something just like this," Kara says into Lena's hair, and Lena's eyes flutter closed. "When I saw Eliza and Jeremiah, how they reminded me of my parents, I knew then that was what I wanted. But we don't need something like this Lena, because we have this ."
Lena stands there, in the arms of the woman who loves her more than life on earth. Kara, strong and loving, her even heartbeat under Lena's ear as they stand on the balcony overlooking their family. Liam who was tossing a football between Nia and Nathan, Lena can hear the shout of protest at a potential foul and it makes a smile crack on her lips. It's broken by a protest from their daughter, rather indignantly. It flashes her back to their first meeting, in the lab telling Lena she was her mother, and Lena opens her eyes to look down and is met with those green eyes staring back. She was Ellie's mother, even if she wasn't from this world, she would always be hers.
Kara's lips graze her forehead and Lena relaxes, she feels at peace because Kara is right, she once would have wanted something just like this. A loving family, a backyard, a party for their mother in laws birthday but instead she has it. She has a loving family, a wife that loves her and two amazing children that she adores. So no, Lena thinks, she has something like this and she wouldn't change the journey they had been on for a second.
"Moms, are you coming back down or what?" Ellie's voice carries from the backyard, and Lena grins down at them.
"We'll just be a minute," Kara calls back and they look down to see a rather dangerous makeshift go-cart. "I believe your daughter is in need of some serious mechanical engineering skills?"
"She clearly gets that from you," Lena teases, pulling away and moving to the door. But Kara tugs her back, a soft kiss passing between them.
"Please," Kara scoffs. "I am an excellent mechanic."
"I'll challenge you to that, Mrs Luthor!" Lena dares with a wicked glint in her eyes and Kara grins at the challenge.
But before they can race away and run down to let their childish antics run loose, Lena's gaze softens as a melancholy feeling fills her because this is what she wanted. What she had always dreamt off; something just like this.
Well... It's been a journey and I honestly cannot express to you all how much I have loved every second of this journey we have had with Ellie Danvers Luthor.
I have to express my biggest thanks to my Beta's and my friends for putting up with me rambling on about time travel, parallel universes and trying to write toddlers.
But you, my dear reader, have my biggest thanks of all, without you all, Ellie wouldn't have come this far. In fact, Ellie may not have left the confines of my mind. So thank you for the love, the support and every comment, kudos, bookmark, subscription and hit you have given this story.
I'll be back in a few weeks with another story, a little less angsty than this one. But keep your eyes peeled for another kidfic on the horizon!
I hope you enjoyed this journey, all that's left to say is, from myself, and Ellie, we say thank you for coming on this emotional ride with us.