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Supercorp magical-realism humour ficlet because I just need a sec to write my ADHD fixation:

 

 

“I don’t feel good about this,” Kara whispers, arms crossed and shoulders taut, pensively staring at the live operational footage streaming on all displays. “She can’t control it yet, she could shift back and blow her cover—”

“What other choice do we have, Kara?” Alex says solemnly, her eyes heavy and empathetic. “I hear you, and I know this is scary, but in the absence of better options we have to make the only choice we can make. We’ve got her, and she’s got this.” She squeezes her sister’s shoulder.

If Lena’s familiar was a proud lion, or a thick-built wolf that prowled the shadows of National City, then Kara would feel better about all of this. It felt wrong to admit that, unkind somewhat. Lena wasn’t an apex predator or beast with jagged teeth, but she was an optimist and a great believer in good possibilities, perhaps that was far more dangerous than a lion anyway.

Kara hoped such was the case.

“She’s breached the security perimeter undetected,” Brainey confirms, fingers flying on his keyboard with a sense of urgency.

The hacked security footage plays from all angles on screen, and suddenly a little jetblack puffball tip-taps quickly and undetected down the hallway. Only the size of a cantaloupe—perhaps only weighing little more than single pound—Lena scurries around the corner towards a perfectly shadowy spot to wait and bide her time in the obscurity of darkness.

Kara feels she can breathe now she has sights on her girlfriend, just about at least.

“Is now a bad time to admit she’s kind of adorable?”

“Yep, literally the worst possible time Alex.”

“It’s just… her little tiny fidgety ears.”

“Alex!” Blue eyes become narrowed, Kara’s entire body tightening with exasperation. “Not the time,” she levels seriously.

“Okay, alright,” Alex murmurs quietly. “Not the time.”

***

In the space of six months their roles reversed, and Kara was equal parts infuriated and guilty about the state of things.

Infuriated on the nights she awoke, frightened, to an empty side of the bed and a text from her girlfriend that something had came up, duty calls, or something about problems that required little helping hands when Lena felt she needed to be non-descript.

Guilty too, often times, because Kara felt made to realise the extent of what she had put Lena through back in the good old days when she was the only one who did that kind of scurrying around. Now, they both shared the burden of loving someone who felt called towards danger and heroism.

Kara felt guilty for being the one who brought it into their relationship first.

At approximately three in the morning, the sound of tiny chitters at the front door stir Kara from the kitchen island she had been hanging over with a mug of coffee. If Lena could control her powers, or rather the ability to shift back after she took her familiar-form, Kara would have less complaints.

It was one thing worrying her girlfriend had gotten into trouble with no way to let anyone know, it was an entirely separate matter having to carry a chinchilla around the next morning because Lena was taking her sweet time reverting back into her human form.

“Well good morning to you too.” Kara swings the front door open, displeased and trying not to be.

The chinchilla sits there on its back legs, chittering, tiny claws clasped in front of its puffy fur chest somewhat guiltily.

“Mhm. Come on, inside. In you come. That’s it, inside.” Kara sticks her head out into the hall and looks either way just to make sure her girlfriend hadn’t been tailed, and that’s when she glances down and notices it.

“You’re cleaning your own poop up in the morning,” Kara bristles and closes the door.

***

“Do you ever have sex—”

“No,” Kara interrupts her drunk sister. “I know where you’re going with that line of questioning, no we do not.”

On the coffee table, a feisty chinchilla with a fidgeting tail sits and twitches her whiskers as though half-confirming that they had tried, once, before realising it was just too weird.

A busy day of vigilantism for Lena meant their weekly dinner-date with Alex required a few adjustments. Namely, a dish of water and a teacup with half a fist of dried raisins instead of the lasagne that Kara had tried her best to make right this time.

It came out burned just like it always did though.

Lena was probably better off with the raisins.

“Your fur is dirty,” Kara murmurs under her breath and sweeps a hand over her girlfriend’s little spine.

“She did enter a burning orphanage through a broken rain gutter and guide four toddlers to safety out the back—”

“I know, Alex. I know she did that,” Kara interrupts, a little more angry about it all than she intended to be. “I’m just saying her fur is sooty, she’s just a little mucky, that’s all,” Kara whispers softly, pouting almost.

***

In her office, Lena is the picture of tough-talking femininity, immaculate, in-charge, busy on a conference call about city ordinance paperwork that was taking too long for her liking. Kara just sits there and cannot help herself, the grin instantaneous, the heart-eyes precise and targeted.

“Well you certainly told her,” Kara says once the receiver is pressed and the call ends. “It did things for me, you know.”

“Did it now?” Lena pretends to be shocked, but she’s well aware of the effect she has on her girlfriend. “Pray tell, Supergirl?”

“You’re just… incredibly hot.” Kara gets up off the sofa and walks over to the desk, perching herself on the edge and craning down to kiss her girlfriend’s temple, then her cheek. “You’re the queen of my universe.”

“You’re the hero of mine.” Lena catches her hand and brings it to her cheek. “I love you, want to go fight crime together tonight?”

“It was scary at first but I kind of love it now.” Kara bites her bottom lip. “Do you have any idea how fun it is at work reporting on a mysterious crime-fighting hero who isn’t… well, you know.” She doesn’t want to take the spotlight.

“Maybe I’ll just have to give Kara Danvers an exclusive interview sometime.” Lena wiggles her eyebrows in amusement.

“You can’t talk when you’re five inches tall,” Kara croons slightly with amusement wobbling in her voice. “And you also still poop on accident—”

“Kara!” Lena’s emerald eyes fly wide open, embarrassed but unable to stifle the frustrated laughter. “That’s not—that is not funny!”

“Yeah,” Kara nods, enjoying the absurdity. “Yeah it fucking is.”

***

Kara feels unable to admit it, but she privately loves the size-difference.

Just because it’s adorable, just because her girlfriend is a badass, crime-fighting, unbelievably soft puff-ball of fur that can be held in two hands when the work is done. Kara likes it, most of all, because Lena cannot say no when she slips a tiny pair of aviator goggles over her little head before they take off in flight across the city.

Lena thinks it silly and says as much once she’s human again.

Kara just doesn’t want her little eyes to get dry, that’s all.

When she lands on the street corner with the frustrated, goggled-up chinchilla cradled in her palms, something unusual happens, something that Kara has never had to deal with before.

The crowd forms instantaneously around her in wonderment, applauding, excited because Supergirl is suddenly here after saving the day again. Kara does what she always does and greets the people, smiling, posing for photos and ready to answer questions.

“It’s the Super-Chinchilla!” A little girl points wildly at Lena’s fidgeting whiskers. “Can I hold her? Please?”

“Oh, she—” Kara laughs awkwardly. “She doesn’t like that.”

“Please Supergirl? I’ll be really gentle I promise,” the girl persists.

Against her palm, Kara feels a little nose nudge and press against the web of her thumb, as though Lena were reassuring the tense hero that it was alright and the girl could hold her. They would laugh about it later, Kara thought, and so she handed her girlfriend over very cautiously.

And then just like that…

Kara was no longer the center of attention.

The crowd immediately formed around the little girl carefully handling the vigilante, goggle-wearing chinchilla in her hands; unaware that it was a sentient woman ninety-percent of the time, unaware that the vigilante chinchilla nobody could seem to stop talking about was Lena Luthor.

Kara felt as though she suddenly didn’t exist, as though Supergirl didn’t exist. All of the phone cameras were pointed in Lena’s direction, all of the amazement and curiosity directed at the little creature who had managed to chew through the zip-ties and free those hostages down at the bank. For the first time in Supergirl’s life, nobody wanted a picture or an autograph.

“Okay that’s enough,” Kara laughs, tight and uncomfortable, taking her girlfriend back. “A world to save, salt licks to enjoy, it’s a packed busy day for the puffball.” She doesn’t hang around.

They wouldn’t laugh about this later, Kara already knew it.

***

Kara tries not to seem too bothered in the editorial meeting.

It lasts for no more than thirty-seconds.

“Shouldn’t Supergirl really be the lead?” Kara interrupts Cat Grant mid-sentence.

It’s never a wise idea to interrupt Cat, particularly in a department meeting, but Kara simply cannot stop herself. On the projector screen, the prospective front page of tomorrow’s newspaper sits ordered and headlined. Snapper had already put it together, Cat had already approved it, all that remained was to assign different articles for last-minute tidying.

“And why would Supergirl be the lead on this story?” Cat blinks, unamused.

“Well the headline says, Super-Chinchilla Saves Hostages Once Again.” Kara points at the picture of the jetblack chinchilla cradled in front of her uniform emblem, and yet her head had been cut out of the shot completely. “Shouldn’t it say, Supergirl Saves Hostages Once Again?”

“Who wants to read that headline?” Cat shirks her brow. “Supergirl has been saving hostages for three years now. Isn’t it time to let somebody else shine? Or, you know, some other… marsupial?”

“Chinchillas are part of the rodent family, actually,” Kara clears her throat.

“There we go!” Cat gestures her hands forward. “Since you are the resident chinchilla expert you can have the honour of putting together the four page spread we’re running next week. Who is Super-Chinchilla? What lessons can she teach us? A fluff piece, really, no pun intended. I want first draft on my desk by Friday, and we will be running with the approved headline on tomorrow’s front-page,” Cat says severely.

“Sure, yeah, of course.” Kara nods, a little bit hurt and unable to hide it. “Supergirl is yesterday’s news, you’re right, of course you’re right.”

***

Lena is nowhere to be found when Kara gets home from work.

For once, Kara is grateful that her girlfriend is out there somewhere making the world a little bit of a better place. She needs a second to herself, she thinks. Just a moment to breathe and process, then she can compartmentalise, then she can be excited that her girlfriend is getting the recognition.

For now, she dials her sister and stirs the mug of freshly poured coffee. Her outside layers come off piece by piece, the scarf strewn here, her jacket thrown over there, unwinding with frustrated movements that need to be calmed the only way she knows how — by complaining to her sister.

“Hey bitch,” Alex answers quickly.

“You are not going to believe the day I am having.”

“I’ve got ten minutes before Maggie gets back. Spill, all tea no shade.”

“Okay Alex you started watching Rupaul’s Drag Race, we get it.” Kara pinches the bridge of her nose. “I had an editorial meeting with Cat and Snapper today, you are not going to believe the headline they are running with tomorrow.”

“Something I should be worried about?” Alex’s interest piques.

“They’re crediting yesterday’s foiled bank robbery to Super-Chinchilla.” Kara scoffs. “It’s like they forgot that she’s… you know… a five-inch tall chinchilla!” Her voice becomes truncated with frustration. “I wouldn’t care, Alex, but it’s not like she can actually do any of that stuff without me. It’s fun fighting a little crime with Lena, but I am not the Robin to her Batman, you know? It’s not like she’s actually a superhero.” Kara laughs, bitterly.

“Woah, Kara.”

“I know right?”

“No, no you do not know.” Alex laughs in disbelief. “You, buddy, are being a giant fucking asshole right now.”

“Excuse me?”

“Sorry that we don’t all have the power of invincibility, or that we can’t crash through walls and shoot lasers out of our eyes, but Lena is absolutely a superhero. She absolutely deserves that headline. Why in God’s name is this eating you up so bad?”

Kara didn’t hear the cat flap rattle against the fitting, that’s her first thought. They had installed it some months ago to mitigate the late night wake up calls, and the noise was as distinct as it was adorable, like a little clattering noise that greeted her half-asleep ears to let her know Lena was back from saving the day.

Kara didn’t hear the cat-flap, and so when she caught sight of the heartbroken chinchilla perched on the back of the sofa cushion, she knew undoubtedly that her girlfriend had heard everything.

“Alex…” Kara blinked. “I’m. I’m going to have to call you back.” She clicked her phone and put it on the counter top.

She steps forward, and that alone makes Lena jump down from the sofa cushion and dart across the living room.

“Lena I’m sorry—” Kara follows the scurrier. “Please, I didn’t mean for you to hear any of that.”

When the chinchilla peers back over its shoulder, teary-eyed, whiskers flexing back and forth in utter embarrassment, Kara didn’t know her heart could be broken so completely with no words uttered at all.

“I didn’t mean what I said,” Kara whispers at her girlfriend.

Lena just darts out of the kitchen. A moment later, the distinct little knock of the cat flap against the frame makes Kara clench her eyes tight.

***

“Can we talk?”

“Nope.”

“Can I talk and you just listen?” Kara persists, taking another step forward to her executive desk.

Lena hesitates.

“Nope,” she repeats herself, voice wobbling.

“Okay.” Kara feels her own windpipe become tense and tight. “Then I’m just going to talk and it’s okay if you don’t listen, because I understand that I hurt you, and I made you feel unimportant, and I did a really shitty job of being your girlfriend.”

“To say the least.” Lena aggressively taps the keyboard, turning back to an email she could not focus on to save her own life.

“So, I’ve had a couple of days to work on it, and I think I have my final draft for my spread on Super-Chinchilla. Can I bend your ear?”

“It’s a dumb name,” Lena mumbles in shame, blinking away tears. “You should just can the story, Kara. It’s a stupid name, horrifically embarrassing actually, I don’t know why I thought it was—”

“Empowering?” Kara interrupts. “It is. It’s funny, and it’s remarkable, all at once, and it reminds us that it’s okay to choose heroism instead of helplessness. Super-Chinchilla is special.”

It makes Lena stop typing for a moment. She doesn’t look up, she doesn’t speak, but she stops distracting herself and Kara takes it as a symptom that she has her girlfriend’s ear, for a moment at least before the official break-up — Kara imagines.

“...And so what’s the biggest lesson that Super-Chinchilla has to teach us?” Kara reads aloud from her draft. “She reminds us that the world does not need gods to rescue us from our own undoing. That we do not need to be lions in order to be proud, that we do not need to be wolves in order to be fearsome. There is a mightiness in being small and soft. There is strength in fragility. A chinchilla can be powerful and choose to change the world. We can, too.”

Kara takes a pause and glances up from her iPad. Lena’s jaw works back and forth, still furious, still hurt, but she still doesn’t tell to leave.

Kara continues, “We can be brave despite all our different circumstances, we can stand tall and look to the sky above and know that—no matter whether we are big or small—we’re all just-about the same distance from the stars. We’re all within touching distance if we just reach a little further than we did yesterday, be a little bit bolder than we ever dared we could be. Super-Chinchilla reminds us, just as the saying goes, that the best things come in the smallest packages.”

When Kara finishes, Lena wipes her tears and they’re not angry or hurt this time.

Lena clears her throat. “So you didn’t mean what you said to Alex?”

“No baby,” Kara shakes her head vehemently. “I was just jealous. I was just dealing with my bruised ego in the worst way possible.”

“I’m still mad.”

“I don’t expect you not to be.”

“I thought you were ashamed of me.”

“I’m ashamed of me, Lena,” Kara reiterates. “It’s… it’s okay if you can’t forgive me, if I’ve hurt you too deeply then I understand and I’ll leave you be. But, could we go fight crime together? I am proud to be the Robin to your Batman. It’s not been the same without you these last few days, National City is worse off.”

“You think?”

“I know so.”

“Well,” Lena sighs and thinks about it. “I’ll need you to take me home afterwards. It’s a long distance to get across…”

“Does this mean you’re coming home?” Kara feels her heart swell with hope.

Just like that, Lena seems to vanish into a poof of thin air. Kara feels her brow truncate and furrow at the disappearing act, but then she hears the chitters. Kara cranes her neck around and peers at the executive chair.

A little chinchilla stares back at her unflinchingly, whiskers fidgeting, ready to go and fight crime together, as though the answer is utterly obvious.

“I love you,” Kara pushes a smile and offers out her hand for the little puffball. “Let’s go fight crime.”

 

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