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alone nevermore

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        Today was one of the worst days of Kara’s life. She failed National City, both as Supergirl and as a reporter. She couldn’t do anything right, every decision she had made since coming back from the Phantom Zone was just… wrong. Everything was all wrong. Kara didn’t know anything anymore, her head was spinning with confusion and she felt sick to her stomach with grief.

        She didn’t know what she wanted but by all means, Kara Danvers didn’t exist anymore. She was only useful as a civilian identity and now Kara didn’t need that anymore. But now, flying across National City for any sign of Nxly, she didn’t know what she even wanted. She couldn’t help but regret what she was leaving behind, but Catco hadn’t been the same since Andrea took over. 

        Kara’s interests didn’t align with what Andrea believed the media should be. Maybe what she wanted wasn’t the same as what National City needed .

        The long day left her emotionally drained, Kara felt hollow inside and out. The last thing she wanted to do was patrol as Supergirl, she needed time to process her rash decision. What she needed most though, was reassurement. Someone to tell her that she did the right thing. 

        Kara landed in the Tower, hoping to see her sister. Alex had talked some sense into her before, when she lost sight of who she was. But it was late, and it seemed both Alex and J’onn had gone home. 

        She didn’t want to be alone tonight. Kara felt more alone than ever, staring around at the empty hub. It hadn’t occurred to her until now how much things had changed, Alex had a family now. Brainy and Nia were closer than ever. And Kara? Well, Kara had just given up her dream job to be Supergirl full time. She didn’t have a life anymore outside of Supergirl.

        Kara sank on the steps leading up to the balcony, unsure of her next step. Going home to her apartment felt… wrong. She had no one waiting for her, maybe she never would. 

        “Shouldn’t you be home?” A confused voice broke through the darkness.

        Kara glanced up, the lurch in her chest confirmed who it was. 

        “Shouldn’t you?” Kara responded, reluctantly dragging herself to her feet.

        Lena had come from the armory, tablet in one hand and part of the dream projector in the other. She rolled back her shoulders in a shrug. “I wanted to make sure the dream monster was secure in the dream space. I’d have slept better if I knew for sure there was no chance of it coming back.” 

        “Good call, now that Nxly has the dream totem, who knows what kind of havoc she could do? Nia is the only one that can reach through dreams,” Kara bowed her head with a heavy sigh. 

        “Not exactly…” Lena said, her lips lifting up in a shy smile. Kara knew this too well, she had made some sort of breakthrough but was too careful to fully admit to it unless it was practiced, proven and flawless. 

        “What were you really up to?” Kara asked, sitting down at the table next to Lena. “I can tell if you’re lying, remember?” She reminded Lena, forcing a grin. 

        “I didn’t want to say anything unless I was sure it worked, but I was studying the dream portal and the one from Lex’s watch to see if I could combine the two. Nia said Nxly was somehow in the Dream Realm, so I was wondering if I could make it more… portable,” Lena explained, sliding the tablet over to Kara.

        “Cool,” was all Kara could muster. She wanted to be more excited for Lena, but Kara couldn’t mask her misery anymore. Not even the way the moonlight gave Lena an angelic glow would give her a bit of joy like it usually would. 

        “What happened?” Lena turned to Kara, forgetting about the impressive work she had been doing to see what was up with Kara.

        “I quit Catco.” 

        It felt weird, admitting it aloud. Maybe a part of Kara had hoped it was one really bad dream that she’d wake up from. But it was real . She walked out on Andrea, Catco, her life’s work. Why wasn’t she more relieved?

        “ What?! Why?” Lena gasped, the news shocking her to the core. “You love being a reporter!”

        “Andrea twisted Catco into something unrecognizable. She doesn’t care about helping people, only about clicks. And the one time she lets me do a story, I completely screw it up because Supergirl needed to swoop in and save the day.”

        “Do you want me to talk to Andrea? I can-” Lena offered calmly. 

        “No,” Kara solemnly shook her head. “With Nxly presenting such a threat, maybe now isn’t the best time. I haven’t even told Alex yet, she’s going to be so disappointed.”

        “Who cares what Alex says! You are an incredible reporter, it meant everything to you! What happened? What did Andrea do?” Lena asked again. 

        “It was all too much,” Kara croaked, suddenly overwhelmed by the surge of emotions. Everything came down at once, all the stress and mistakes and fear… It was too much. Way too much. “I can’t do anything right. I try to report a meaningful story, Andrea fights me on it. Or Nxly is wrecking the city. I try to be Supergirl, but the people seem to question every decision I make. There are good people still out there that can write the same stories I would have.” 

        “But not many can put on a cape?” Lena finished, voice full of regret. 

        “What else was I supposed to do? I needed to be in three places at once today and I failed at every turn. I know you guys are trying your best, but some days… Sometimes there are only things I can do.” Kara’s throat tightened as another surge of emotions took over her. This time though, it was brought on by an arm wrapping around her shoulder. 

        “You’re only one person, you’re allowed to make mistakes,” Lena murmured gently. “Are you sure quitting Catco was the right call? Today sucked, but maybe tomorrow you can figure out a way to make it work.”

        “It won’t . Andrea was right, I’ve hardly been doing my job lately as it is. I’m distracted! I can’t risk being distracted, there’s too much at stake! Alex has a kid now, what if I’m too distracted at Catco and something happens to her or Kelly?” Kara could feel herself spiraling, all the ‘what ifs’ surfaced in her mind. 

        “You don’t have to be responsible for every single person, Kara. I know you care about every single person as if you know them personally, but what about you ? You take all of these risks without asking for anything in return. You make all these decisions and take the brunt of the blame. As much as the team is involved, the world looks to you,” Lena caught her breath, resting her chin on Kara’s shoulder. “What do you want? Forget Nxly, forget Catco. Hell, forget Supergirl . What does Kara Zor-El want?” 

        Kara swallowed the lump in her throat which only encouraged tears to trickle down her cheeks. “No one’s ever asked me that.” 

        “There’s more to you than Kara Danvers and Supergirl,” Lena said with such tenderness that it made Kara’s heart skip a beat. “Yes, you’ve got these incredible abilities. But you also have a beautiful passion to help people that get in the way of what’s in here.” She touched a finger to the crest, right where Kara’s heart is.

        Kara hesitated, because there were a thousand things that she did want, a few things that involved Lena. “I don’t know.”

        “It doesn’t have to be what you want now , but for the future. 5 years, 10 years even. In an idealistic world, what do you want?” Lena repeated the question firmly. “Close your eyes and tell me what you see.” 

        She glanced at Lena, skeptical at her suggestion. Lena took Kara’s hands and gave her a nod of encouragement. “Go ahead, what have you got to lose?” 

        Kara closed her eyes and let her mind explore countless possibilities. “I think… I see a couple kids playing with Esme at a huge family cookout. Maybe there are a few Coluan and Naltorian kids running around… Seeing Alex and Kelly with Esme reminded me that I’ve always wanted a big family. I’m still helping people, I’ve helped establish programs that actually do something. There’s a world that doesn’t need Supergirl for hope anymore, a world where I can have my own family and not have to worry about them getting hurt. A world where I can be openly Kara Zor-El, who was once Supergirl and now just a refuge and a reporter happier married to- ” 

        ‘ you ,’ she almost added, but it sat there on the tip of her tongue. 

        “Married? Is there someone you had in mind?” Lena prompted her to keep going. Kara suspected it was to appease personal curiosity.

        “Oh, I’d love to marry when I find the right person… But Earth is my home now. I may be off Kryptonian blood but I like to think I’m human at heart ” Kara trailed off. Mainly because the ‘right person’ was potentially sitting next to her. But their loaded history was so complicated…

        “And it’s okay to feel like you’ve failed because you’re just as human as the rest of us,” Lena chuckled to herself as she added, “God knows I’ve made enough more than mistakes.”

        “I’ve got the whole world looking at me, I’m an idol and a hero to countless people… I just don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know who I am or what I want.” Kara dipped her head, tears rolling uncontrollably down her face. Lena dried one side of her face with a sleeve, stopping suddenly as if she realized how close they would. 

        “What would Kara Zor-El, right now? No consequences, no judgement,” Lena breathed, looking at Kara with an unreadable gleam in her captivating emerald eyes. Her heart whispered to do something for herself for once, but a stone of doubt sat in her stomach.

        “I think… I think I’d listen to my heart for once,” Kara admitted, weirdly nervous like a schoolgirl about to get her first kiss. ‘ Stop thinking and just go for it ,’ her body screamed, telling her to take the leap.

        Kara leaned in, expecting Lena to turn away. She had thought that maybe, just maybe, she had misread the tension between them but… Lena met her halfway. She definitely hadn't imagined the growing tension that had steadily increased over the past months; the kiss wasn’t soft or delicate. It was anything but. 

        It wasn’t much at first, as both women were tentative to give into their desires. But Kara shoved down all her reservations and kissed her back harder, tired of holding back. She couldn’t wait to devour her, heat blooming throughout her entire body when Lena roughly grabbed her by the cape and urged Kara into her.

        “So you want to marry me?” Lena breathed against her lips. Kara could feel her smile. 

        “Depends, do you want kids?” Kara planted a quick kiss on her nose. 

        “Luthor-Kryptonian children? The genetic capabilities are terrifying,” she responded, the excited spark in her eyes was enough confirmation for Kara.