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Love Behind the Anger

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Kara had known for a while before Cat told her, about the anger behind the anger. Maybe not for herself, and she had definitely needed the advice when Cat had given it to her, but she'd known for a very long time that when Cat was yelling at her, she wasn't really yelling at her . No matter how personal she got, no matter how volatile she got, Kara knew that most of the time, Cat's anger was with something else. And that made it manageable, because she's sure that if she believed that Cat meant all the nasty things she said to her, they would really hurt. 

She was used to the pitying looks she got from other employees, that had quickly morphed into shock and even sometimes awe as Kara continued to endure the worst that Cat could throw at her without flinching. Winn and James even asked her about it from time to time, after it'd become clear that Kara was Cat's verbal punching bag on her bad days. None of it bothered Kara. She just considered it to be part of her job. 

It didn't hurt that Cat was so especially beautiful when she was angry. 

No, none of it bothered Kara until she opened her email one day and saw that she had one flagged from HR. She stared at it, too worried for her job to open it for several moments. It's only her massive workload for the day that pushes her to open it quickly. As she reads, her jaw starts to drop. The email details how several reports have been filed on her behalf over the last two years, all for forms of workplace harassment. Since she'd never come to them with any concerns, and every report had been filed anonymously, they didn't reach out. But since the number has been growing severely in recent weeks, they were reaching out to make sure that she didn't feel the need to file a harassment claim. 

Kara feels a rush of gratitude, first. Her coworkers cared about her. They may all be too scared of Cat to file the reports with their names, but it was still worth something. Even if they were all a bit misguided. 

Then, the dread. She quickly composes a response, assuring the HR team that she is perfectly fine and that it's not necessary to follow up on the claims, throwing in a couple of lighthearted quips about Cat’s temper and how everyone knows she can be a bit much sometimes, before she sits back and stares at her computer some more, still shocked. 

"Keira!" Kara grabs her tablet and shoots up. Cat is berating her before she even gets through the doorway. "Finally. Can you even come when called? I seem to recall us having a huge amount of work to do today, but here I am watching you blankly stare at your computer. You can't even manage to-" Her voice gets louder and louder, and Kara interrupts.

"Ms. Grant, can you yell at me on your balcony?" First, Cat squints at being cut off, eyes narrowing with one raised eyebrow that means she's ready to yell a lot louder than however loud she was yelling before, before she registers Kara's words. 

"Excuse me?" Before she continues, Kara pulls up the email on her tablet and places it in front of her boss. Cat's eyes sweep over it dismissively for a moment before they widen just a little bit, only enough for Kara to notice. She reads it twice before she looks back up. "What is this, Keira? Are you going to try to extort me? Hm? You want a promotion, a raise?" She taunts, and Kara would be offended if she couldn't read between the lines to see Cat's fear. Maybe even regret. And most of all, confusion, which always makes her snappy.

"No Ms. Grant, I want you to yell at me on your balcony." She says seriously. Cat's jaw clenches for a long moment as she scrutinizes her, before she makes a shooing motion with her hand as she looks back down at her work. 

"Get to work, Kara, neither of us have the time." Kara's jaw falls open at the use of her real name, and she sweeps up her tablet and disappears to her desk faster than she's ever dared. 

Winn looks at her when she sits down, her eyes wide and mouth still open in shock. 

"Kara, are you okay? She didn't fire you again, did she?" Kara shakes her head. 

"She said my name ." She says after a long moment of silence, trying to collect her confused thoughts, that all led back to the same place. Why? Winn's eyes widen to match hers. 

" Work, Kara !" Cat hollers from her office. Kara's eyes widen further and Winn looks like he's going to die of a mixture of confusion and shock. Kara's hands snap to her keyboard and if she uses maybe slightly more than average human speed to do her work after that, that's nobody's business. 

Cat doesn't call her Keira again. She doesn't comment on Kara's clothing, or her hair, or the way she does her job. In fact, Cat doesn't really talk much to her at all after that, outside of what needs to be said for Kara to do her job. She hardly even looks at her.

Kara feels it like a loss. Winn and James congratulate her on Cat using her proper name, but it feels empty and she feels hollow without Cat's scathing words in her ear. Without Cat's voice in her ear at all. Her whole grounding system seems thrown off, and going to Catco everyday leaves her an emotional mess that has her making rookie mistakes as Supergirl.

At the end of the week, Cat tells her she's being promoted to junior editor. Kara feels the world turning under her, she feels so off balance, and for a moment she thinks she's going to start crying right there.

Instead, she quits. Cat stares at her like she physically struck her, shocked silent, and after a short moment Kara turns on her heel and leaves. She thanks her tears for waiting until the elevator doors are closed before they fall. 

Everyone reacts the same, crying You quit? And then, when she explains why, they all look at her like she's insane. How could anyone who worked for two years as Cat Grant's assistant quit because they were finally offered the promotion of a lifetime? It just didn't make sense. 

"You quit?" Alex asks in disbelief, jaw dropped. “You quit your job at Catco that I couldn’t get you to quit no matter what deal I tried to make with you, even when she suspected your identity? Why? ” Kara’s shoulders slump. 

“She promoted me.” She says, waiting for the confusion to come. But Alex is just quiet.

“Oh.” She says after a few seconds, voice soft and eyes full of understanding and Kara’s tears spill over because she should have known that of course Alex would know. She’d been spending all this time trying to hide what was hurting her, but Alex probably knew the whole time. 

Alex holds her and lets her cry but she doesn’t say much, and Kara knows it’s because she wants to ask questions. She wants to ask how Kara could possibly feel this way for her boss, and doesn’t she realize what a bad idea that is? But Alex is a good sister, so she stays quiet and just lets Kara be heart broken. 

Kara starts working full time with the DEO, and since Winn moved there and Lucy and Alex and Susan all worked there, it doesn’t really feel like she’s lost Kara Danvers along with Catco. 

No, she lost a lot more than Kara Danvers. Losing Cat Grant feels like the dizziness that comes with long term kryptonite exposure, the slight nauseousness and the constant feeling like she’s somehow off balance. 

She loved being Cat’s assistant. She’d made it her ordinary life’s purpose. She’d started her job wanting to make a difference in the world without her powers, but it only took a couple months until it was all about taking care of Cat. She can’t pinpoint when it started being about love, but it had been that way for a long time. 

She loved Cat Grant, and it was humiliating on the best days. She doesn’t understand why, or what exactly endeared her to the woman in the first place other than admiration, but she loved everything about Cat. Every moment spent with her, even when she was showering her with devastating insults and refusing to acknowledge that she had feelings. 

Things are bearable. Kara has lived through the loss of a planet, she can handle a broken heart. She works, she spends time with her friends, she paints, she saves the world. Alex drags her to bars and movies and mini golf and art installments. She even ends up submitting some of her own paintings in a contest at the National City Art Museum due to Alex and Lucy’s insistance. She’s living her life. 

She wins, of course. Well, that’s what Alex and Lucy say, she herself is incredibly shocked when the notice comes through her email. The prize is her own two week gallery showing in the museum, and when she looks to see what that’s supposed to look like she gasps when she realizes she has an entire room of the museum to decorate herself. 

It’s a wonderful distraction, painting, until it isn’t anymore. She’s not sure when she started painting the view from Cat’s balcony, but that’s where it starts. Then there’s the view of her glass box office, her bar, her desk. Eventually, the woman herself creeps into the pictures, but Kara always leaves the silhouette empty, not sure what she’d do if she was faced with the lines of Cat’s face straight out of her memory on a canvas. 

While deciding what to do with her gallery space, she tries to bring a variety of her art in, and finds herself creating a timeline. Her mother, Krypton, the phantom zone, her first impressions of earth. She can’t decide on a theme, so she brings in everything. 

She leaves the phantom zone out. She wants the gallery to be full of the things she loves. She spends her days behind her easels, drowning herself in nostalgia, memories of love as she paints them. She barely sleeps until the days before the showings start, and she’s a little hectic with her scheduling. She doesn’t let any of the curators help hang her art in it’s room, placing every single piece herself. 

Even with superspeed, it takes her her entire week of allotted time to get the show set up. Mostly because every time she thought she had it all finished, she suddenly felt the need to rearrange the entire thing again. Both Alex and Lucy were totally fed up, because they had literally no helpful advice to give her and it’s not like she would take it anyway. 

It’s just that the show has to be perfect. This is the first thing that she’s really doing as Kara Danvers since she quit Catco, and she feels a bone deep need for the approval of a bunch of random strangers. The curators and her friends had all assured her that everything was phenomenal, but it was impossible to believe until she could really see people’s natural reactions. 

She puts on a tight but modest black dress that Alex picked out the night of the opening, and Lucy and Alex take her to a hole in the ground buffet restaurant where she can eat all she wants as celebration before they go. It feels great, laughing with them in their fancy clothes in the dingy place, eating as much food as she can before they have to go. She tries not to think about what might make it better. Who might make it better. 

No, she doesn’t have time to think about Cat. She needs to stop thinking about her at all, it’s getting ridiculous. It’s been three months since she quit Catco, three months since she’s even seen Cat. As much as Kara wants to delude herself, she knows she isn’t going to see her again, at least not as Kara Danvers. This all needed to stop. She needed to be happy. 

The opening makes her happy, though. People stare at her art and don’t look away, they look awed and entranced and Kara feels her heart swelling with pride even though she doesn’t have the praise of the one person who would really make it count. 

A tiny part of her holds out hope that she might see Cat that night. That maybe the woman knew about the showing, that she’d want to come see her ex assistant on her big night. 

She tries really hard not to be disappointed when she never shows, but she fails. 

Still, she basks in the approval of the public’s eyes for days. She attends her own gallery every single night, chatting up guests and getting offers from several people for the paintings, or for custom ones.

At the end of the first week, while she’s stepping aside to grab a drink at a bar right outside the gallery room, she hears her name being called by a voice she thought she might never hear again.

“Kara!” She turns, unable to stop herself from smiling even as a trickle of dread slowly starts down her spine. 

“Carter!” She opens her arms and there’s no hesitation, he’s hugging her. She draws her arms around him tight, so happy to see him that she even lifts him into the air a little bit, which makes him laugh and squeal a little. She feels so happy, knowing he still feels close enough to hug her like this. 

“I’ve missed you!” He says as she puts him down. 

“I’ve missed you too, Carter. So much.” She glances around behind him and towards where he came from, but there’s no Cat Grant there. 

“Mom already went in.” Carter says when he sees her looking. 

“Oh, of course. What are you guys doing here?” Carter pauses, mouth opening and closing for a second like he’s deciding whether to tell her the truth. 

“We come to these every year.” He says eventually, and she gets the distinct feeling that he’s not being totally straight with her. His face relaxes into a smile again. “I was so excited when we saw that you won this year! Mom almost had a heart attack.” She doesn’t get to ask him more so that she can decipher that remark, because the bartender hands her her drink and Carter’s already pulling her back inside.

He stops short in front of the painting hung right in front of the entrance, blocking the rest of the room from view. It’s of the view from her room on Krypton. Carter doesn’t move, or say anything, for several long moments while he takes in every inch of the painting. She watches him stare, a soft warmth filling her at the sight of him so entranced by her work. 

“I can see why you won.” He says after a moment, and she grins. 

“Thank you, Carter.” Kara delights in showing Carter from painting to painting, hearing his feedback and giving any little tidbits about the art to him that she can. He smiles as she tells him about Midvale and the ocean, as she describes moving to a new place and making friends with people she didn’t understand.

He seems to understand that there are questions he can’t ask, that she won’t answer. She keeps her details of home and her family vague, and figures he probably can sense that there’s a tragedy there. It’s pretty clear in the paint, even through the loving haze she’s created in each artwork. 

She doesn’t see Cat, probably because she’s deliberately avoiding looking anywhere but at her paintings or at Carter. Still, she feels her presence when she appears behind her, just like she always has. She tenses, back going stiff and rigid as she stands up straighter, the hair on her arms standing up. She knows Cat can see it, that Cat knows Kara knows she’s there, but she doesn’t turn around, instead fixing her eyes intensely on the painting of the balcony view in front of her. 

Of course Cat would find her here. She only just stepped up to it with Carter when she felt Cat behind her. Kara’s surprised she didn’t wait until the painting of Cat’s office. 

“This is of the view from my mom’s balcony, isn’t it?” Carter asks, apparently oblivious to his mother standing behind them. Kara nods. “You said this exhibit is all about things you love. If you loved it so much there, why did you quit?” Kara can feel Cat tense with her, both of them going still. She takes a long breath, deciding what to say. 

“I didn’t want to. I loved working at Catco.” Carter looks away from the painting and up at her, now, scrutinizing her face slowly. 

“Is it because she promoted you?” He asks, and she sucks in a sharp breath before she nods, just the teeniest bit. He doesn’t say anything in response to that, just goes back to looking at the painting until he’s satisfied that he’s observed every inch. Finally, finally, there’s a cough behind them, Cat clearing her throat. 

She spins. She wishes she didn’t, she’d had all that time to prepare for how to greet Cat, but she does, spins right on her heel with wide eyes that meet Cat’s in an instant. And, oh, she looks so beautiful. Absolutely dressed and styled to kill, makeup done more perfectly than when she attends the MET ball. 

Is that for her? Did Cat Grant dress up, all because she knew her old assistant had tiny little art gallery in the museum? 

“Ms. Grant!” She exclaims, somehow still shocked that she’s here even though she’s been leading her son around her gallery for the last half an hour. Cat looks her up and down, her gaze cool and collected. Kara feels like melting.

“Kara. I have to say, I was surprised when I saw your name as the winner of this year’s contest. I didn’t know you were an artist.” Before she can respond, Carter is gushing on her behalf. 

“Isn’t she great, mom? She could definitely have her work in a museum for real. She’s been showing me everything.” Cat smiles, soft and sweet at her son. 

“I will say I’m quite impressed. Your work is beautiful, Kara.” Kara feels like she might faint right there. Cat’s open approval, her praise, sends a rush of cool relief down her spine, and she finds herself smiling uninhibited. 

“Thank you so much, Ms. Grant. You have no idea what that means to me.” Cat smirks a little, and Kara does melt then, the walls she’d done her best to build to protect her heart from Cat Grant crumbling at the sight. 

“Well, I am me, so it had better mean a lot.” She says, and Kara can’t help smiling at the snark in her tone. It had been so long since she’d heard it. 

“Of course, Ms. Grant.” 

“Please, Kara, you don’t work for me anymore, remember? I’m a guest in your gallery. You can call me Cat.” Kara gapes like a fish. The last weeks that she’d spend with Cat had made it clear that she’d been doing anything to put distance between them, and giving her permission to use her name is not creating distance, it’s actively diminishing it. “I’ve already finished my first walkthrough. Allow me to join you two on your tour?” Kara’s nodding before she’s finished talking. Who cares if there are a bunch of paintings of Krypton that Cat’s sure to analyze way too hard, or a bunch that feature outlines of the woman herself she must have recognized? Cat wants to see her art, more than once. She thinks it’s beautiful. She’s here

Sure enough, the next painting is one of the first she finished, her simple, red Kryptonian sky. Kara waits for Carter absorb it before she says anything, glancing over at Cat, who also looks enraptured. She smiles then, feeling warm. 

She searches for what to say about the painting. Maybe, if Carter weren’t here, she’d cross a few lines that might betray her identity, but she can’t do that to him. She’s come up with plenty of lies to other people about the paintings, but she doesn’t want to lie to Carter or Cat. 

“When I was younger, I wanted earth to have a red sky.” Is all she can think of. Cat’s eyes snap to her, but Carter stays staring at the painting. 

“Why?” Cat asks. 

“I thought it would make me feel better.” And that’s the truth. For a long time after she landed, she’d wished for a red sun to make her feel normal again, to make her feel at home.  Cat fixes her with a look that she’s never seen before, and she can’t decipher it at all. It’s almost… soft? Even hesitant. But that’s impossible. 

“Do you still?” She asks, voice quiet, and Kara can see the real question underneath. She shakes her head. 

“No. I love the blue sky, and the yellow sun.” Cat smiles then, more real than she’s ever seen directed at her, so unrestrained. 

“Good to hear.” She says, and then follows Carter as he moves onto the next painting, casting a knowing smirk over her shoulder and Kara remembers the painting is of Cat’s office and oh . She hadn’t thought ahead this far, she hadn’t even planned what to say to Carter about this. She’s silent, cheeks pink, staring at the silhouette standing beside Cat’s desk, hand on a cocked hip and an arm pointed at a screen behind it. 

“No anecdotes about this one, Kara?” Cat asks after a minute. Kara’s flush spreads to her chest as her eyes find her shoes. 

“No, Ms. Grant.” A hand finds her chin and she gasps in surprise as her face is lifted and her eyes are forced to Cat’s. 

“I told you to call me Cat, Kara. You’ve never disappointed me before, don’t start now.” Kara feels the meaning behind the stinging praise wash over her and tears prick in her eyes. The hand drops from her chin. Carter, wisely, is still looking at the painting, avoiding looking at the scene being created beside him. 

“Cat.” She says then, and is met with the woman’s warm smile once more. She feels the air she doesn’t even need leaving her lungs, she’s so confused as to why Cat is treating her like this, but she needs it to never stop. 

When they turn, Carter is gone, already looking at the next painting. Kara is relieved that she doesn’t have to spend anymore time with Cat in front of the work so personal to them both, quickly moving to keep up with him. 

“Who is this?” Carter asks her a few paintings later. Kara smiles, fond, staring at the face on the canvas. 

“My mother.” The painting was of Alura in all her professional glory, elegant robes falling from her shoulders, a compassionate look on her face. The one that Kara remembers every time she thinks of her mom.

“She’s beautiful, Kara.” Cat speaks up softly, reaching out to rest a hand on Kara’s shoulder. Kara feels her chest seize, and she’s sure that Cat could touch her a million more times and she’d still have the same reaction. 

“Thank you.” She says quietly, almost a whisper. Cat’s eyes are watery, she notices. 

They’re both impeccably polite, complimenting each piece and asking questions that aren’t too invasive. Cat looks at her strangely every time she sees herself in a painting, and Kara pointedly avoids her gaze each time.

When they’ve seen every painting and Carter had gone back to stare at his favorites for as long as he pleased, Cat gathers him with a hand on his shoulder and turns to her, an uncertain look on her face that Kara wants to make go away. 

“Would you like to accompany us home? Have a nightcap?” Kara’s eyes widen and Cat seems to rethink, speaking more quickly and more nervously than Kara has ever seen. “Of course, that is if you’re done here, and only if you want to, I’d fully understand if after everything-” Kara reaches out and puts a hand on Cat’s elbow, squeezing just slightly before her hand drops. 

“I’d love that, Cat.” She says, wondering when the hell she got so brave. But it’s worth it, because Cat is smiling despite herself. 

“Well then.” She says, regaining her composure. “Come along.” She says as she leads Kara and Carter out of the museum.

Carter gushes some more over Kara’s painting skills in the car, which leads to a lot of blushing and modest muttering. That makes Cat look at her fondly, and Kara’s heart stops when she sees the look directed her way. What in the hell is going on? Runs through her head over and over again, she feels like she’s drowning in quicksand that even Supergirl can’t escape. 

She hasn’t been this happy in months. 

She steps cautiously behind Cat and Carter into their penthouse apartment, slipping out of her shoes because that’s what they’re doing. It makes Cat send her a small smile, one that makes it impossible to keep from smiling herself. She feels giddy, and she’s having a hard time hiding it. 

“Mom, can I have sleepytime tea before bed?” He asks as they make their way down the hall. 

“Of course. Kara, do you want some? Or maybe some wine?” Kara, unable to get over the simplicity of it all, choking on all of the love she doesn’t feel like she can let out, just looks at them for a second, the wide smile still on her face. Her eyes feel hot like she’s going to cry, but she forces it all back. 

“Tea would be great.” She says, hoping it might help to ease some of her anxiety. Cat starts to fill up a kettle while Carter pulls two Supergirl mugs out of a cupboard, one red and one blue. He hands her the blue one with a completely innocent smile, totally unaware that he’s handing Supergirl a Supergirl mug. Cat knows though, and she’s grinning in her smug way that Kara missed so much. 

“Thank you.” She says to Carter, and he smiles before turning around to look in a different cupboard for the tea bags. Kara moves around the island and takes a seat on a stool, staring at the mother and son as they move about the kitchen. When the water is on the stove, Cat leans against a counter, crossing her arms. 

“You’ll take your tea to bed, Carter. I’ve already let you stay up far past your bedtime.” Carter doesn’t look like he even wants to argue, nodding tiredly as he thanks her. He plops a tea bag in both of their mugs and Cat goes to pour herself a glass of wine. 

Cat has a ridiculously nice stove, and it heats her water to boiling in half the time that Kara’s does. She pushes her mug across the island when Cat is done filling Carter’s, unintentionally giving Cat a bit of a view as she leans. She watches Cat’s eyes dart down, and then up, her cheeks gaining a light blush that Kara has never ever seen before, and then she sits back. Stunned.

No . No way . Never, not in a million years, could it be possible that Cat Grant was attracted to her. 

Except, well. 

It sort of fit, didn’t it? It made a lot of sense, as the answer she’s been searching for. She’d just never considered it. It had the potential to explain every moment she’d been turning over in her head for the last few months. Cat Grant, falling for her superhero assistant, might just make her lash out a little bit. 

“Goodnight, Kara.” She’s pulled out of her thoughts by Carter’s arms awkwardly wrapped around her middle in the stool as he hugs her side. She turns and stands, pulling him into her arms and lifting him from the floor again, since it’d made him giggle so much the first time. When she puts him down he’s beaming at her, and she beams back. 

“Goodnight, Carter. I’m so glad I got to see you tonight. Thank you so much for coming.” 

“It was amazing, Kara. You’re amazing. I can see you again soon, right?” Kara glances over at Cat, who is looking at them with unrestrained affection in her eyes. 

“Of course, Carter. I only got to fill a room tonight, I have way more paintings you have to see.” He smiles and bounces on his feet, picking up his mug. 

“Awesome! Goodnight mom, I love you!” He says, excited as he leaves the room. 

“You made his night, showing him around like that.” Cat says when they hear his bedroom door close. Kara turns toward her, and they’re alone with all of their baggage for the first time. 

Kara’s only just had her big revelation, and now they’re alone together? There’s no way this ends well. 

“It was my pleasure. I missed him.” She sucks in a breath, trying to decide whether to take it home or leave it there, but impulse leads her. “I missed you.” Her eyes widen after she says it, and she has to stop herself from letting her hand fly up to cover her mouth. Instead she steels herself, looking into Cat’s eyes with a new kind of resolve. 

She’d survived all of this without Cat. If Cat doesn’t want her, she’ll keep surviving after that to. What does she have to lose? 

Cat looks back into her eyes and Kara can see that she’s building her own resolve, to ask the question that Kara knows has been burning in her mind since Kara left her in her office three months ago.

“I saw you tell Carter that you quit Catco because I promoted you.” She says, and there’s a pause before she speaks again. “Why didn’t you tell me that you didn’t want to be an editor? I would have offered you a different position.” Kara takes a drink of her scalding tea, not even bothering to try to make it look like it’s too hot. 

“It wasn’t just the promotion, Cat. And I didn’t want another position. I wanted to be your assistant.”

“Why didn’t you tell me that, then?” 

Because , you’d already taken away that job. You were pulling back, you weren’t letting me do as much, you wouldn’t talk to me or even look at me. Even if you’d let me stay as your assistant, you wouldn’t let me take care of you again, and that’s all I wanted.” Cat stares at her, her mouth open. Her jaw isn’t dropped, per say, but it’s as close as she’s ever come to it. 

“That’s preposterous.” She says, voice full of denial, and Kara lets out a strained laugh. She starts to speak again, but Cat is shaking her head. “Didn’t you read that email? Weren’t you there, all those times I screamed at you?” She slams her open palm down on the island between them. “God, everyone has always known I’m not exactly kind, but they still all agreed I’d taken it over the line with you! They filed reports. Against me . For you . You wanted me to go back to that?”

Yes!” Kara hisses out, and stands to walk around the island. “You needed someone to take it all out on, and I wanted to be what you needed!” Cat is quiet now, with Kara standing right in front of her. She looks off to the side, chewing on her cheek in an uncharacteristic display.

“You are what I need, Kara, but I don’t need you to be my punching bag. I just need you .” She says softly, and Kara reaches out, putting her hand over Cat’s. 

“You have me, Cat. You always have.” But Cat only looks more distressed, pulling her hand away, waving them wildly as frustration builds in her eyes. 

“No, Kara, you don’t understand.” She says, eyes welling up. Kara reaches out, stunned by the display of emotions, and wraps gentle fingers around one of Cat’s tiny, wiry wrists, pulling her closer. 

“I do understand.” She says softly, moving her other arm to Cat’s waist, wrapping around her lower back. “I understand so much more tonight than I ever have before.” Cat looks so vulnerable, eyes wide and open, staring at her like she never wants to look away. It’s such a sharp contrast to how Kara’s ever seen her before, and it emboldens her even further. “I love you.” She says softly, insistently, before she can stop herself. She’s too far gone to stop now, so she lowers her head towards Cat’s, pausing to let Cat take the reigns, staring into her shocked eyes. This is as bold as she’ll be, and she’s pretty proud of herself for it, as long as it doesn’t end in flames. But for the first time where Cat is involved, she’s confident. 

Cat makes it all worth it after a moment, pressing forward in Kara’s hold and brushing their lips together gently. Inches from her lips, she speaks again.

“I don’t understand why. I never will.” She says, barely a whisper. Kara pulls her into a much firmer kiss, still short and chaste, but real and it leaves Cat gasping.

“I’ll make you understand. I will.” She says, and kisses her again. Cat pulls away, a hand splayed on her chest. She starts to lean back, but Cat fists her hand in her dress to stop her from moving. 

“I love you too.” She says, and Kara’s heart swells and explodes. She can’t help the huge smile at the words, and Cat rolls her eyes, but Kara can tell that she’s overjoyed in the moment. “And I know you won’t want to hear it, but I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all I’ve said, I’m sorry for pushing you away, and I’m sorry for taking so long to come find you again.” Kara moves her hand from Cat’s wrist to join her other wrapped around the tiny woman, pulling her into a close hug. 

She pretends not to feel the wetness seeping through her dress, or the tiny sniffles Cat pressed into her shoulder. She just holds her close, and when they separate, Cat wipes at her eyes quickly. 

“I forgive you, Cat.” It seems like Cat really is putting her whole heart on the table, and Kara is too happy to dwell on the shock of it all, how easy it was to get here. Well, easy being a relative term. “Just don’t let me go again, okay?” That sets a fire in Cat’s eyes that overtakes her uncertainty, leaving a fierce drive in it’s place. 

Never .” She says, pulling Kara’s lips towards her’s again. “I will never let you go, Kara Danvers.”

“Zor-El.” Kara says when Cat pulls back for breath, leaning against her shoulder. “My name is Kara Zor-El.” Cat huffs out a laugh, pressing a short kiss to Kara’s collarbone. 

“Well if there’s any time for a confession, I suppose it's now.” And Kara laughs back. "You have a beautiful name, Kara Zor-El," Cat says, nailing the inflection as perfectly as Kara just had. It makes her dizzy. "Just like the rest of you." Cat leans up to kiss her again, and Kara thinks they might be done talking for a little while.