The darkness is comforting.
For every tired turn of phrase, for all the promise and the longing of Rao’s light and the carefully constructed, sunny Danvers — Kara often found solace, a sanctuary, in the dark. Whatever scars the Phantom Zone had left her with, they are echoes of an emotional state. The utter isolation, the nothingness that came after.
After the blinding light of Krypton’s destruction.
The Earth’s yellow sun was just another thing that sent Kara’s system into complete overload when she first arrived. Beyond that, it was the cause of it. It gave her and Kal their powers and felt like utter torture to her in those first few weeks. Everything was so loud and so fragile and so bright.
The dark soothed her. the dark was Alex crawling into bed with her pressing her hand against Kara’s chest. As hard as her fragile, teenage, human body could muster. Even though the feel of the cotton sheets on her skin could sometimes be enough to overstimulate her, the pressure of Alex’s weight grounded her. It gave Kara something else to focus on. Something that was warm and soft and safe.
Even in Midvale of all places, Kara preferred the dark. The west coast sun, the beach on the Danver’s doorstep, watching Alex’s surfing at dawn every day of senior year. Nothing compared to how clear the sky was at night, no light pollution from the skyscrapers in the city (not that Kara truly appreciated that until she went to NCU). The clear sky meant stars and Kara took quickly to clearing as much as she could about the constellations and astronomy. It made her feel so much more connected to the universe, to all the places she had travelled as a child. Places that were now light-years away.
The darkness is Alex and sister nights. It’s the stars calling her home.
The darkness is Cat.
It’s late nights and overtime and seeing first hand the tenacity that got Cat’s name on the side of the building they’re currently sitting in. In her office. On the top floor. Where Kara cherishes the moments where she glimpses a version of Cat the public does not have access to. Hushed tones wishing Carter good night, handshaking after a cutting conversation with Katherine and Christian Louboutin’s being kicked off at the completion of the latest issue of CatCo Magazine.
Moments that only increase after Kara saves Alex, the plane and of course, The Tribune. It’s Cat shielding her from Leslie’s wrath and being wholly seen (exposed) and wholly accepted (absolved) on that goddamn balcony.
It's a spark of hope. A hug. A goodbye.
It's hearing her name, her actual name, for the first time. Spoken so softly Kara thinks she might not have heard it if it wasn't for her super-hearing.
There is an unspoken agreement that Kara dictates in the light of day but in the dark — in the dark, there is a raw honesty ready to burst from the seams.
And it does.
After the yurt, after the Daxamite invasion.
Cat settles into Washington D.C. and Kara settles into flying there as often as possible, and maybe more often than she did when she was still Cat's assistant, landing on the balcony of Cat’s Georgetown apartment like it’s second nature to her.
They’ve been in a holding pattern of advice and comfortable silence and nightcaps (that have no effect on Kara obviously, but Cat in is teaching her. Apparently just because she can’t get drunk doesn’t mean she can’t put her super taste buds to the test and learn a thing or two).
It's been a solid six months of more frequent than weekly visits when Kara touches down just after two in the morning and Cat is in her personal space in an instant. Shoving her shoulder as hard as she can and scolding her, “You’re late.”
Kara would be tempted to tease her and say that they don’t exactly have a set time for these meetings and that they are usually closer to midnight than not but she knows the fight she had today was broadcast nationally and it was bad, the broadcast lost sight of her after a crushing blow that saw her smash through huge concrete pillars at a construction site downtown and she had flown to D.C. as fast as she could when Alex finally gave her the all-clear to leave the DEO.
And she can tell Cat has been crying.
“I’m sorry, I got here as fast as I could. I’m okay.” Cat scoffs, or at least attempts to. It comes out like more of a choked sob and Kara’s chest hurts just looking at her.
It’s been hours and whatever Cat has made her mind up to say to her, there’s no stopping it and evidently, no predicting it because — “When Air Force 1 went down you caught me.”
Kara splutters and the abrupt change of topic, “Uh, yeah?”
“You didn’t know Oliva would be okay. Air Force 1 went down. The President of the United States was plummeting to her death and you saved me.” Cat punctuates what she's saying by pressing her palm to the crest of her suit and her glistening green eye's don't leave Kara's for a second. It sounds like a challenge and a confession all at once.
Kara isn’t sure what Cat expects her to say but in the stillness of the night, with nothing but the street lights illuminating them on Cat’s terrace, Kara is steadfast.
“Cat, there are exactly two people in the entire universe that could make me hesitate before choosing you.” Cat’s breath catches in her throat because when someone who literally came from across the galaxy uses that quantifier it means something. “One of them is your son—” And the other is Alex, but the words never make it out because Cat is everywhere all at once and Kara tried to catalogue everything. There is the silk of Cat’s nightgown under her fingertips and the scent of her shampoo, rose, black pepper and sage, fills her nostrils. Her mouth is pressed firmly against Kara’s, it’s soft and warm and her tongue tastes of scotch. Smokey and slightly spiced and Kara wants to drown in it.
The whole city is asleep and it’s just the two of them finding each other in the dark.
There’s a blackout at the DEO when Kara finally tells Alex.
They're in the training room and the Kryptonite emitters suddenly cut out, leaving them in total darkness. The backup generators should kick in soon and there’s nothing urgent happening, no imminent crisis, so they just sit in the darkness, in comfortable silence. Alex’s breath slowly evening out after their sparring session came to an abrupt halt.
It reminds Kara of all the times Alex would find her in small dark spaces when she was younger, just trying to escape the world in those first few months. It’s familiar and sacred and Alex is so painfully tentative when she says, “Kara…” And asks her the question that’s been on the tip of her tongue for months now, “Where do you go?”
Kara knows her sister knows. She’s attentive and observant and maybe, okay incredibly, overbearing at times. And maybe that’s why they've had this unspoken agreement to just let Kara have this one thing, which was okay at the start, when all she was really doing was flying to Washington and spending an hour or so talking to Cat after a difficult day, but now it’s more notable absences.
It's Kara being late to Alex’s apartment for sister night's or taking just that slightest bit longer to get to the DEO because she’s pulling herself away from the warmth of Cat’s arms, in Cat’s bed, and making a three thousand mile commute on an almost daily basis.
There is a sense of relief when Kara breathes out, “Georgetown.”
“D.C.?” Kara nods and she waits for Alex to put the pieces together. She can see the pieces moving in Alex’s brain. Lucy’s apartment is in Columbia Heights, not Georgetown and so it can only mean, “You’ve been visiting Cat Grant? Kara.” There is a hesitancy in Alex's voice, a soft warning, she knows that the risk of being close to Cat has diminished slightly now that she is the Press Secretary but it’s still a risk nonetheless.
“I know the risks and we're been careful. We haven't been seen together in public and at first it was exactly how it used to be at CatCo. We would just talk but then…” She trails off and Kara thinks she can see Alex's brain go into overdrive.
“You’re sleeping with Cat Grant?" Alex gapes. "Oh my God," She hangs her head between her knee's," Lucy warned me about this.” She laughs, looking up at Kara, which immediately cuts the tension.
“Lucy?” Kara is confused.
“It doesn’t matter. It’s…” She grasps Kara’s hand tightly and while clearly baffled, genuinely asks, “Are you happy?”
Yes, yes, yes. Kara nods, eyes welling with tears. She knows it’s more complicated than this. There will probably be NDAs and extra security measures and that will just be scratching the surface of Supergirl being in a relationship with Cat Grant but right now it’s Kara and it’s Alex in this little pocket of darkness and her sister is happy for her.
And then the generators kick in.
They tell Carter a week before his 15th birthday. Kara comes up with the idea for a whole camping trip and neither of them wants to spring it on him at the last minute. It’s the middle of July and even though Kara now has photographic evidence, it’s hard for her to imagine Cat nine months pregnant in the thick of summer.
They both decide to hold off on telling him that Kara is Supergirl because this is about him and an opportunity to get this new dynamic off to a promising start. They don’t want to bombard him with the seriousness of the circumstances and have him dragged down to the DEO for anything remotely close to the very thorough security briefing that Cat had been subjected to.
When Kara realised that Carter’s birthday falls during visibility for the Comet NEOWISE, it was all Cat could do to stop Kara from bursting at the seams with excitement. The combination of raw enthusiasm and impeccable planning made it impossible for Cat to deny that it was Kara's exceptional work as an assistant that first piqued her interest.
Cat takes a week's vacation to come back to National City to celebrate Carter’s birthday and it’s the first time they have been in National City since they started this relationship. Kara is giddy when Cat messages her to meet on the CatCo balcony on her first night back only to kiss her swiftly as soon as she touches down.
“It seemed fitting that this was the first place we kissed in National City.” Kara laughs, overwhelmed with joy and flies Cat to her penthouse under the cover of darkness.
Carter won't arrive from his father's until morning and even though Kara is beside herself with excitement for the trip she has planned (and to see him for the first time in over a year), she is perfectly content to spend the next few hours with her face buried between Cat's thighs.
And she does.
The following day, it's golden hour and they're in Midvale. They had driven up with Carter during the day and arrived at a hidden cliffside where the forest meets the sea, fully decked out with more camping (or more accurately glamping gear) than Cat has ever laid eyes on. There’s a small telescope set up and they don’t have long before the sun fully sets.
Kara excitedly explains everything she can about the comet, trailing off on different tangents, telling them all about the time Alex and her had camped out and seen solar eclipses, blood moons and meteor showers in their youth. After they catch a glimpse of the comet, just below the big dipper, Carter continues to browse the night sky, naming all the constellations he can recall and asking Kara every question that comes to his mind.
In a quiet moment with Cat. Kara tells her in hushed tones that what makes it so special to her is that despite how differently she experiences the world the Comet NEOWISE will only be visible for two more nights and then not again for almost 7,000 years. It’s a singular experience they can only share now, at this moment. Human or not. Not even Kara will be alive the next time it's visible.
When it seems like Carter’s run out of questions to ask, he calls her over and says, “Hey, Kara, I know we won’t be able to see it but what direction is Krypton in?” It’s implicit confirmation that he knows who she is but what’s more is the overwhelming sense of gratitude that he cares enough to ask. She visibly chokes up and there's no denying what it means.
Cat rubs firm circles on her back, “We’ll talk about this later, young man.” She gives him a pointed look to underline the severity of the information he knows (but can’t help feeling smug that he figured it out all on his own). She nudges Kara forward, encouraging her to answer his initial question and spends the next two hours watching the two people she loves for most in the world sharing something they love with each other.
Later, Carter has retired to his tent to read some of the books Kara had gifted him earlier and Kara finds herself lying down staring up at the stars with Cat laying in her arms.
“Supergirl really can do it all, ‘Cat Grant: Camping.’ Imagine that headline.” Kara chuckles, her hand coming up to stroke Cat’s hair.
“I forgot what the stars look like without all the lights from the city.” There is a sense of wonder in Cat’s voice.
“That’s why I wanted to bring you here. This is one of my favourite places. When I first got here, I would come out here as often as I could. As late as I could. It was so still, and so dark and for a moment everything was quiet. It’s so much easier to block the noise when I'm somewhere like this. I just focus on your heartbeat,” Kara hears it stutter as her hand moves to brush Cat’s waist, “It’s like we’re the only people in the whole world.”
“Thank you for sharing this with us.” Cat shifts so that she is hovering over Kara and kisses her softly.
The darkness is Cat and camping with Carter. It’s the stars shining as they start to build a home together.
The darkness is comforting.