Kara squints. “Like, the creepy-crawly little bugs we freeze in the thousands to feed to the animals.”
“The very same.”
“And you want me to… name them?”
Cat sighs so heavily that had she been standing, she probably would have fallen over. “You’re not naming them, Keira. Do try to keep up. Patrons can pay $5 to name a cockroach after their ex. You will then feed these named cockroaches to the animals. For $25 people can also name a frozen rat.”
Kara gapes. “So I’m feeding animals named after people to other animals?”
“If you think that displaying the comprehension skills of an elementary schooler is going to impress me, you’re sorely mistaken,” Cat says dryly, her tone bored as she shuffles the stacks of papers on her desk. “Thank you for reminding me that I didn’t hire you for your intellect.”
Kara ignores the dig. She’s had plenty of practice over the past five years. “But doesn’t that seem a little…. mean?”
“You’re worried about the feelings of a frozen dead cockroach?”
Kara huffs, digging her hands deep into the pockets of her green NC Zoo fleece. “Not the bugs. The people the bugs are named after. The people watching themselves in bug form be fed to a lizard, or whatever.”
Cat hums, tapping her pen thoughtfully against her chin. “I suppose we’d also better appeal to the bleeding-heart animal lovers out there if we want to maximise sales. We’ll introduce a vegetarian option as well: $5 to name a cabbage after your ex to be fed to our herbivores. I’ll let Olsen know.”
“Keira.” Cat’s voice clicks into its most chilling no-bullshit tone and Kara winces, fighting the urge to cower at her boss’ feet. “This programme will almost singlehandedly fund the renovation of our giant panda enclosure. Do you not want the pandas to have water to swim in and bamboo to nibble on, Ms Danvers? Do you want them to go extinct?”
Kara blanches. Everybody knows the pandas are her favourites. “No, of course not, I just—”
“Good,” Cat snaps. “National City Zoo’s Cry Me a Cockroach event will be going ahead from tomorrow, and I will expect your full support every step of the way.”
Kara sighs. “Sure thing, boss.”
“Oh, and Keira,” Cat calls as Kara’s halfway out of her office. “You’re going to be the public face of this event. All the naming and feeding will be broadcast across our social media livestreams. Winslow in tech support will help you get everything set up.”
“Me?” Kara gapes. “Why?”
Cat quirks an appraising eyebrow, making no secret of the fact that she’s giving Kara a discerning once-over. “You fit the image that will draw in viewers,” she drawls, eyeing the planes of Kara’s shoulders, the lines of her thighs beneath her standard-issue cargo pants. “Can’t say that I see it myself, but I suppose you do have a certain… appeal.”
Kara feels her cheeks turn an immediate shade of scarlet, shuffling her feet awkwardly. “I, um. Thanks?”
“That wasn’t a compliment,” Cat says smoothly, eyes never leaving her laptop screen. “Go away now. And do a good job on this, Keira. We really need the extra income.”
“Oh, and one more thing,” Cat calls. “Anything you can do to jazz up these streams, don't hold back. This is basically a PR stunt— it won’t hurt to give the people a show.”
“So, we’ve got all the purchase summaries right here on this tablet,” Winn says, fiddling with the inordinate number of screens and cameras currently pointing right at Kara. “So we’ll get a shot of the rat or roach, then you read out the name of the person who made the purchase, and the name they’ve given to their animal. Maybe the background story, if they’ve submitted one. Then feed the poor bastard to the— the—”
“The snake?” Kara supplies cheerily, stroking the head of the Jamaican yellow boa constrictor currently draped over her shoulders.
Winn shudders, fighting down his gag reflex. “I will never understand how you can touch that thing.”
“You work at a zoo, Winn,” she chides. “How can you be scared of snakes? Noodle is a creature that needs our love and care, just like all the others.”
“Noodle?” Winn squeaks. “You named a snake that probably weighs more than you do Noodle?”
“Only unofficially,” Kara sighs. “Cat says I have to stop getting so attached to the animals.”
Winn gapes at her. “You know what, we don’t have time to unpack that right now.” He adjusts the lighting outside the enclosure, turning Kara this way and that until he finds the perfect angle. “So the main thing is to keep things fun and engaging. We’re aiming for numbers here. If this doesn’t go viral, Cat will have my nuts on a silver platter.”
“You’re so crass,” Kara scolds. “He’s so crass,” she murmurs to the snake wrapped around her abdomen, stroking its head again. Noodle flicks his tongue out in response, tasting the air. Kara takes it as an agreement.
“Oh, and if part of the summary is shaded red, it’s because the purchaser asked for the information to remain confidential,” Winn continues, adjusting camera angles and making sure the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter livestreams are up and running. “So don’t read that bit.”
“Red means no,” Kara salutes. “Gotcha.”
“Alright, ready?” Winn asks, and Kara sucks in a deep breath. At least Noodle doesn’t care that her palms are sweating. “We’re live.”
“Hey, hi. I’m Kara Danvers, head zookeeper here at National City Zoo,” Kara starts, eyes flicking rapidly between the three cameras trained on her. Where is she supposed to look? If she looks at one feed for too long, will the others feel neglected? Will viewers tune out? Does she have to keep glancing between the three of them like she’s watching a three-way tennis match? What if—
Behind the camera, Winn clears his throat. “Chill,” he mouths silently from the far side of the intimidating assortment of screens, and Kara forces herself to heed his advice.
“Welcome to Cry Me a Cockroach,” she continues, voice steadying as she manages to get her rapid breathing under control. “Thank you so much to everyone who’s purchased a rat or a cockroach so far— all your donations will go toward the renovation of our giant panda enclosure! For anyone who hasn’t gotten around to their vermin vengeance yet, the event will be running through the end of the month.”
She reaches up to adjust Noodle so he’s slung more comfortably over her shoulders and then grabs the first container of frozen rats. “Alright, well. This guy’s hungry, so we’d better get started before he decides to eat me!” She winks at the camera, laughing when Noodle’s forked tongue darts out to flicker against her cheek.
“I’m just joking. Jamaican yellow boas like Noodle only eat small prey like birds, bats, or today, rats!” she grins, running a hand over the snake’s sleek body. “But maybe he’ll make an exception just this once for our tech guy, Winn.”
She steps closer to the camera and extends an arm, Noodle poking his head towards Winn in interest. Winn shrieks at the snake’s approach, tripping over wires and plugs as he scrambles backwards, landing flat on his ass on the ground.
Kara grins, drawing the snake closer to her body again and extending her hand. “High five,” she grins at the snake, and Noodle flicks his tongue against her palm. “Operation Scare-The-Cameraman, Day One: complete.”
She reaches one gloved hand into the bucket to pull out a frozen rat as she scans the tablet in front of her. “Okay, so. This rat, named Dave, was purchased by Kerry in Thousand Oaks, who also included this message.”
She skims the purchase summary before holding the rat out to Noodle, who unlatches his jaw to swallow it whole. Kara stares into the camera, one eyebrow quirking. “That’s what you get for cheating, Dave.”
They move through most of the reptile house, Winn filming as Kara names and then proceeds to feed a bucketful of cockroaches to the zoo’s scaly inhabitants.
The longer it goes on, the more at ease Kara starts to feel, laughing and cracking jokes for the camera as she reads people’s messages to their ex with growing glee.
“Shouldn’t have forgotten to pick the kids up from school, Dan,” she sing-songs, dropping a frozen rat into the enclosure of Slinky the African rock python.
“Rachel from Gotham City, you told Dylan that is wasn’t him, it was you. Well, he wants you to know that this cockroach is definitely you,” she says with a rueful smile as the creature in question is plucked from her glove by a panther chameleon.
“Lucia hopes your new woman is ready for a lifetime of your snoring, Mason from Laguna Beach,” she says as she dumps a handful of cockroaches into the bearded dragon’s enclosure to be swallowed with great enthusiasm.
They make it to one of Kara’s favourite inhabitants, Godzilla the tiny leopard gecko. She lets the little fellow climb up onto one hand as she scans the tablet. “Alright, last one for today, folks,” she grins, grabbing one more bug for Godzilla’s dinner. “This is from Lena in Metropolis, who has named her cockroach Andrea. So Andrea, this is for—”
Kara cuts herself off as her brain registers the red shading over the message section. “Never mind, the message for this one is private,” she murmurs absentmindedly, eyes still stuck on the purchase summary. Her gaze catches on words like lies and betrayal and deception and ten years and she can feel her brow scrunching as her eyes narrow.
She looks back up at the camera, one fist clenching as she ignores Winn’s questioning look to clear her throat. “Alright, Lena’s message is confidential but let me just say: Andrea, if you’re watching, you’re lucky that all you’re getting is a cockroach with your name on it after the stunt you pulled. Lena, whoever you are, you’re a better person than I would be in your shoes.”
And with a gleeful smile and far too much gusto, probably, she extends the dead bug to the gecko perched on her palm. “Enjoy this one, Godzilla,” she coos at the tiny lizard. “Really savour it.”
He does, swallowing the bug in one smooth gulp, and Kara runs an affectionate finger over his head. “Hope you felt that, Andrea,” she mutters, too low for the cameras to pick it up. Probably. Hopefully.
She perches Godzilla back on his favourite rock and turns back to the cameras with a smile. Rounds out the livestream and repeats the details for people to purchase their own cockroaches ahead of the next day’s broadcast, high fives Winn once the cameras stop rolling, and chalks the whole thing up to a good – if weird – day’s work.
The livestream is a hit, and Cry Me a Cockroach sales rocket overnight.
Cat even graces her with a grudging well done as she heads to the aviary for the day’s filming and feeding. She and Winn repeat the same setup at the day before, moving around the enclosures to feed bugs and rodents to the assortment of birds housed within, Kara smiling and laughing and joking the whole way.
But as they come to the end of the broadcast something’s still niggling at the back of Kara’s mind and Winn’s about to shut off the cameras when Kara reaches out a hand to stop him.
“Um, before we go,” she starts, ignoring Winn’s what the hell look even as her cheeks flush crimson, “there’s just one more cockroach to be crunched. If you were watching yesterday, you might remember that Lena from Metropolis bought a cockroach named Andrea. Lena didn’t want everyone to know the terrible thing Andrea did to her but personally, I think it was bad enough that we could maybe do one more bug-feed. On the house,” she winks at the camera, reaching into the bucket at her feet.
She scoops up a container of frozen bugs, tilting them towards the camera. “Lena, I hope you’re watching, because every single one of these guys is named Andrea,” she grins, tossing the scoop into the enclosure of Tim McCaw, the zoo’s giant hyacinth parrot, where it is immediately devoured.
Winn ends the stream just as Kara’s phone rings in her back pocket; the Jaws ringtone that indicates her boss is calling. She answers with a wince, bracing for Cat’s inevitable reprimand for going off-book and dishing out her own vermin vengeance, but it doesn’t come.
Cat just informs her that cockroach sales have spiked again, and to keep up the adequate work. She also tells Kara not to be shy about lifting some of their heaviest snakes in front of the camera.
Kara doesn’t ask for the reasoning behind that specific instruction. Based on the way Winn had snickered into his hands for a solid three minutes upon overhearing it, she doesn’t really want to know.
It becomes something of a routine.
Every day, she and Winn move through the different enclosures, feeding cockroaches and rats and the occasional cabbage to the zoo’s inhabitants. Kara reads out the names and the stories – some of them funny, some of them sad, and some just plain weird – and tosses the meals to the waiting animals to be enthusiastically enjoyed.
And right at the end of each stream, Kara plucks out one extra cockroach, names it Andrea, and drops it into the waiting jaws of whichever animal seems hungriest that day.
Maybe she’s a little too invested in this Lena person. Winn certainly tells her so at least eighteen times a day. Alex and Kelly have picked up on it too; they both watch Kara’s livestream from work and take turns sending her a barrage of texts the moment it ends, ranging from gentle teasing (Kelly) to downright harassment (Alex).
Kara doesn’t mind. Something about Lena’s message, the way she’d described how she’d been betrayed by the person she’d trusted the most, had struck a chord deep in Kara. Lena had sounded so hurt, so alone, and yet the only revenge she wanted to take on the woman who broke her heart was to name a $5 cockroach after her.
She doesn’t know if Lena watches the livestreams. But it makes her feel warm and fuzzy inside to think that maybe, Lena has seen it, that she knows that there’s someone out there on her side. Even if that someone is just some random zookeeper on a Facebook live.
The streams, much to Cat’s delight and Winn’s relief, have gone viral. The day after Kara lifts the zoo’s seventy pound green anaconda above her head live on camera to demonstrate its enormous size, a clip of their broadcast is shown on national news. Sales skyrocket, with so many people trying to participate in the event that their website crashes. They’ve already raised enough money to cover the renovations of the panda’s enclosure so Cat spreads out the extra profits, investing in higher quality feed for the animals and a series of webcams that livestream footage of their most popular residents 24/7.
The zoo’s profile is rising, and more big donors and investors are expressing interest in the research and conservation work they’re doing. Cat harnesses their surge in popularity, launching new protection projects for snow leopards, rhinos, and pangolins.
Everything is going according to plan – better than planned – and Kara couldn’t be happier. Protecting the planet’s incredible wildlife was all she’d ever wanted to do, and if naming some cockroaches can help her achieve that dream, it’s a sacrifice she’s willing to make.
She does draw the line, though, at being dubbed Cockroach Kara by internet lurkers.
Winn is extremely unhelpful, collapsing into hysterical laughter the first time he shows her her new moniker and producing no useful suggestions as to how to make it stop. The problem resolves itself, however, after Winn videos Kara hefting two enormous fallen logs in the elephant rehabilitation enclosure onto her shoulders a few days later to move them to a safer location.
The next day, #DaddyDanvers is trending nationwide. Alex laughs herself clean off the couch when she sees it, and Kara blushes so long and so hard she’s not sure she’ll ever recover.
The month is drawing to a close, and Kara has to admit she’s going to miss their daily livestreams. Her audience has grown exponentially since the first broadcast and many people are now genuinely invested in the wellbeing of the animals, asking for updates on specific zoo residents and sponsoring conservation efforts for the most endangered creatures.
Kara decides to end the event on a crowd pleaser, and she and Winn make their way to the koala enclosure for the final stream. Sitting cross legged on the grass with a sleepy koala in her lap, Kara tugs the bucket of eucalyptus leaves closer to her side as the stream gets going.
“I know it’s very satisfying to name a cockroach after your ex,” she grins at the camera, “but as this is our last broadcast I thought we’d end on a more upbeat note. For all of you who’ve purchased a bug today, I’ll be feeding one eucalyptus leaf to our resident koalas here at National City Zoo. We’ve got three babies in here who are growing and hungry, so let’s turn the upset and bitterness caused by everyone who’s done you dirty into something good instead. Help something new grow out of the pain of the past.”
She feeds leaf after leaf to the cuddly little creatures, beaming as the entire family gradually make their way over to investigate her. Names each leaf and reads out each story, laughing as the baby koalas climb up her arms to cling to her back and shoulders, playing with her ponytail.
“And, in keeping with tradition,” she smiles, a koala on each shoulder and three in her lap, “I’m naming this final leaf Andrea.” She holds it out to the youngest of the bunch who grabs it eagerly, clasping the leaf between its tiny paws as it chews. Kara grins, glancing directly into the camera. “This one’s for you, Lena from Metropolis.”
She wraps up the stream with a heartfelt thank you to everyone who’d contributed money to the cause, beginning the gentle process of extricating herself from her clinging koalas as Winn packs up the camera equipment for the last time. He heads off, muttering something about giving Cat a debrief as Kara bends to collect her bucket and check the water levels, one baby koala still cradled in the crook of her arm.
She’s so absorbed in her examination of the control panel, checking light and humidity settings in the enclosure, that a throat gently clearing behind her makes her jump.
She spins to see a woman standing nervously by the door of enclosure, twisting her clasped fingers together in front of her. She’s elegantly dressed, with long dark curls and perfect porcelain skin, full lips and sparkling green eyes. She is, in short, the most beautiful woman Kara has ever seen in her entire life, and she promptly forgets how to breathe.
“Can I, um, help you?” she manages at last, cheeks flushed and voice cracking.
The woman presses her lips together, and Kara curses her own abject lack of subtlety as she tries (and fails) to pull her gaze away from the woman’s mouth. “I hope so,” the stranger says, and her voice is soft and lilting and lovely and Kara instantly becomes addicted to hearing it again. “You must be Kara Danvers. I’m— I’m Lena. From Metropolis.”
Kara’s mouth falls open, and she very nearly drops the poor unsuspecting koala in her arms out of pure shock. Blinks back into a semblance of self-awareness and places the cuddly creature carefully on a nearby branch so she can make her way over to the enclosure’s door, smoothing a hand self-consciously over her koala-mussed hair.
“Um, hi,” she breathes once she’s joined Lena on the other side of the glass. “Gosh. Hi. So you’re— you’re Lena. Like, Lena-and-Andrea Lena.”
The woman – Lena – smiles ruefully. “Well. Without the Andrea part, now. As I’m sure you will have read in my purchase summary.”
Kara barely represses the urge to smack herself resoundingly on the forehead. “God, right. Yes. Sorry, I’m so sorry,” she stutters. “That was so dumb. I just— I can’t believe it’s you.” She reaches a hand up to tug awkwardly on her ear, emphatically unable to stop more and more words falling out of her big stupid mouth. “I can’t believe Andrea did that to you. I mean—” she whistles under her breath, giving Lena an appreciative once over. “Look at you.”
Lena’s cheeks flush the prettiest shade of pink, teeth digging into the plush of her bottom lip. “Oh. Um. Thank you?”
“Oh Jesus, I didn’t— I’m sorry,” Kara stammers. “Okay. Let me start this again. Hi.” She extends a hand, sucking in a sharp breath at the feeling of soft skin beneath her own when Lena shakes it. “I’m Kara. It’s so great to meet you.”
Lena smiles, and Kara’s never really thought much about the word radiant before but that’s what the woman before her is. Lena blossoms when she smiles, and she’s so beautiful it takes Kara’s breath away.
She squeezes Kara’s hand once before letting go. “It’s great to meet you, too.”
The zoo’s opening hours come to an end but, Kara realises, her time with Lena doesn’t have to. Perks of being the head zookeeper and all.
She tentatively invites the dark-haired woman to stick around, takes her on a tour of the different animals and points out all her favourites. Lena is, like, crazy smart, in addition to being crazy beautiful, and she produces odd little facts about some of the zoo’s rarer inhabitants that even Kara hadn’t known.
Kara learns that Lena had just moved to the area from Metropolis after the Andrea incident, which she has to repeatedly remind herself not to bring up. She learns that Lena has a PhD, and that she’s the youngest head of R&D ever at her brother’s company. She learns that Lena had watched every single one of her livestreams, right from the first day, and had finally been convinced by her best friend to come and meet Kara in person.
She learns that Lena is gorgeous, and devastatingly funny in an understated kind of way, and smart and kind and generous and self-effacing. She learns that everything she learns about Lena only makes her want to know more.
They end up at the giant panda enclosure and Kara sneaks a look around before unlocking the door, ushering Lena inside. She leads the dark-haired woman to a dry patch of grass near where the babies are sleeping with their mothers and gestures for her to sit, realising belatedly that Lena’s suit probably costs more than Kara makes in a year and that she probably doesn’t want to muddy it up in a mess of twigs and leaves.
But Lena doesn’t even hesitate, taking a seat facing Kara and pulling her legs in close to her body. Her eyes keep darting to the pile of pandas behind them and Kara grins. “If we just sit here, they’ll come and investigate us,” she smiles, and Lena looks so excited that Kara’s breath catches in her chest.
They chat about Kara’s job, the zoo’s conservation work, Lena’s move out west and her latest projects at Luthor Corp. Sure enough, within minutes the most brave and inquisitive of the baby pandas has perked up from its nap, ambling over to give them a curious sniff.
Kara’s heart clenches so hard in her chest at the way Lena’s entire face lights up when one of the bears flops into her lap that she legitimately fears she may have gone into cardiac arrest. But if this is how she dies, so be it; watching the untempered joy in her expression as Lena holds a tiny panda in her arms, staying quiet and still as the baby paws and prods inquisitively at her face and hair, would not be a bad final image.
“I wanted to say thank you,” Lena murmurs after a while. “For what you did on the livestream every day. For your discretion, but also— your support.”
She takes a deep breath, gaze focused on the cuddly ball of fluff in her arms. “When Andrea and I ended, it tore me apart, and no one in my daily life knew what had happened. You can imagine why I wanted to keep the details private,” she smiles grimly, and Kara nods. “I felt so isolated. But seeing your videos, seeing you every day— it made me feel that little bit less alone.”
Lena blushes, ducking her head. “I’m sorry, I know that probably sounds ridiculous. I don’t— I didn’t even know you.” An errant curl falls forward into her face, and the baby panda in her arms immediately begins chewing on it.
Kara scoots forward on her knees, pulling the lock of dark hair gently from the baby’s grip and tucking it carefully behind Lena’s ear. “It’s not ridiculous,” she whispers as Lena raises her head again, suddenly aware that their faces are now only inches apart.
“I’m, I’m really glad I could do that for you. I’m really, really glad I got to meet you, Lena. And for the record,” she pauses to swallow hard, drowning in the intensity of Lena’s eyes. “Andrea is the biggest idiot on the planet to have ever let you go.”
Lena’s breath catches in her throat, and Kara doesn’t miss the way green eyes flicker down to her mouth for a moment, Lena’s tongue darting out to wet her own lips. It makes Kara feel bold, and before she can think too hard or second-guess herself she’s leaning forward, sliding a hand up to thread through soft dark hair and pressing her lips to Lena’s.
It’s light, brief, just the gentlest press of mouths, but it shoots a white hot bolt of fire from the crown of Kara’s head to the very tips of her toes. Her whole body is tingling as she pulls back, heart pounding.
“God, sorry,” she gasps, eyes widening as the reality of the boundary she’s just blown past comes slamming in. “Oh, fu— I’m so sorry, Lena, I don’t know what I was—”
“Kara,” Lena whispers, gently depositing her baby panda on the grass to push up on her knees as well. “Do it again.”
Well. She doesn’t need to be told that twice.
She surges forward again but Lena’s already there to meet her, mouths slanting together like they’d been doing it for years. Kara’s tongue darts out to trace the seam of Lena’s bottom lip and the dark-haired woman’s mouth falls open with a tiny gasp that hits Kara low in her hips. The first touch of Lena’s tongue against hers is bright, jagged and electric, and Kara tightens one hand in Lena’s hair as the other slides round her waist to anchor their bodies together, Lena’s own fingers fisting in the collar of Kara’s green fleece.
Maybe it’s minutes, maybe it’s hours later that they finally break apart, gasping for air. Kara doesn’t particularly care. She takes in Lena’s heaving chest, her kiss-swollen lips and rose-tinted cheeks, and wonders how the hell a bucketful of dead cockroaches could ever have led her to something as beautiful as this.
“Oh,” Lena gasps, voice light and breathy. “Oh, wow. Maybe I should visit zoos more often.”
“As long as it’s this one, I’m on board with that,” Kara chuckles, tracing her thumb feather-light over Lena’s lower lip and trying (and failing) to restrain a shiver at the way Lena’s nails scratch lightly at the nape of her neck.
“So, um,” Lena murmurs, biting her lip, and it’s taking every scrap of Kara’s willpower not to interrupt whatever she’s about to say and claim her mouth once again. “I feel like an all-access encounter with baby pandas is quite a tough first date to follow but, um. Would you like to maybe do this again sometime?”
Kara grins. She grins and grins and grins. She doesn’t think she could stop grinning if she tried. “I’d love to.”
The answering smile that breaks over Lena’s lovely face makes Kara’s heart do a backflip, and she’s just about to lean back in when the ominous sound of the Jaws theme tune starts up from the pocket of her fleece.
She pulls out her phone, stomach dropping when she sees the thirty new messages from Alex and Kelly and Winn, the hundreds of Facebook and Twitter notifications flooding her homescreen. With a pit of existential dread opening up in her chest, she answers the call.
“Cat,” she says, voice bright and just a little too high. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“I have to assume, since you were the one who lobbied for their installation, that you are aware of the three cameras livestreaming the giant panda enclosure at all times,” Cat drawls, voice bored and callous with the barest undertone of amusement. “Which leads me, naturally, to assume that your little after-hours rendezvous with billionaire tech mogul and philanthropist Lena Luthor was intended to be broadcast live to millions of viewers?”
Kara slaps a hand across her forehead, cheeks redder than a fire truck as she shoots an agonised glance in Lena’s direction. Lena shakes her head questioningly at her and Kara tugs the phone away from her ear to put the call on speaker.
“So, um. The whole world just saw that, huh?” she asks through a grimace. Lena’s eyes widen and she presses a delicate hand to her mouth to hold back a shocked giggle.
“They certainly did,” comes Cat’s disembodied voice. “And it’s doing wonders for our popularity. I already have three new investors interested in supporting our panda rehabilitation programme. You know, Keira, when I asked you to give the people a show, this is not exactly what I had in mind. But I must say—”
Her boss pauses for an interminably long moment and Kara holds her breath, wondering if she’s about to lose her job or get promoted.
“—I don’t hate it,” Cat finishes. “While you have her, perhaps you could ask Ms Luthor how she would feel about becoming an official patron of National City Zoo.”
“I would feel very good about it, Ms Grant,” Lena answers smoothly, serene and composed despite her kiss-tousled hair and smudged lipstick.
“Excellent,” Cat says resoundingly. “In that case, I’ll let you, ahem. Get back to it. My office at 9am for a staff meeting, Keira.”
“Of course,” Kara manages before hanging up, tossing her phone into the grass as she presses her palms to her flaming cheeks. “So, um. Our first kiss was just livestreamed to half the country.”
Lena presses her lips together to hold back a smirk. “It was.” She arches one eyebrow, a playful smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. “Well, there’s no going back now. We can’t break the Internet’s heart. I suppose I’ll just have to stick around.”
Kara gives up any last semblance of self-restraint at that, pushing forward to wrap her arms around Lena’s waist and pull her back in for another bruising kiss. “Well, Lena from Metropolis. I sure hope you do.”