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Surprises

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The chime of the clock over the door pulled Alex from her stupor. Thanks to the rain she was given the day off, and if she was lucky she’d have the weekend in its entirety. Thankfully her mother had just left, having dropped by merely to let her know she was in town for some science convention and offer that they all go out for dinner tomorrow night before she returned home. The only other commotion provided to her this morning was some gibberish text from Kara asking where she was and if she could come over. Speaking of, Alex looked back down to her phone then, noting the time when Kara had texted her wondering idly where she was.

It wasn't until the sopping squeak of wet boot tread and squish of soaked leather sounded that the woman looked up again. There stood Kara, like a drowned rat, hair and clothes dripping, and soaked to the bone. She pushed the window she’d used closed and stepped over to the nearest bar stool and filled it out. The water being wrung from her jeans dripping onto the hard floor noisily.

“What the hell?” Alex, ran to the bathroom for a half second before rushing over to her sister, towel in hand. “Kara?”

“You got my text.” She smiled gratefully, looking to the towel then to the floor and sighed. “I just made a mess.”

“Did you forget your umbrella or something?” Alex helped her sister out of her coat, letting it drip all the way to the laundry room she tossed it into. “How distracted are you?”

“Nope.” Kara offered matter of factually, peeling off her sweater and trading it for the towel in Alex's hand. “And that’s debateable.”

“Kay...” The older woman tried again, leaning over the counter to grab a plastic sack to stuff the other woman's clothes in for transport to the laundry room where the dryer was. She was handed a belt, then socks as Kara's boots thudded to the floor.

“Kara? Are you going to elaborate for me or?” She helped pry off the soaked tank top before Kara flung her legs about in a frustrated manner in the hopes of getting her jeans off.

“I'm an idiot.” Kara supplied as if that were the answer to the ages before falling over with a small shout as her pants tangled her up.

Alex tucked the bag under her arm. “Okay. I'll let you explain that in a bit but first why don't you get changed.” She reached down, grabbing the ankles of Kara’s soaked jeans, pulling hard before stumbling back when they gave way. “I've got some clothes in the other room you can borrow til these get dry.”

Kara sighed and let her sister tug her up. “Okay.” She said sullenly as they made their separate ways. Kara to the back where she found an over sized shirt and a pair of jeans that seemed to have gotten in a fight with a razor blade; and Alex to the laundry room tossing Kara’s clothes into the dryer before setting the timer.

Kara trudged back into the counter, only to have another towel thrown into her face. With a resigned exhale she merely grabbed the towel and rubbed it over her features vigorously before running it back into her hair. “Thanks.” She offered after a moment, sloppily making her way back to the bar stool she was on prior, its seat now covered with another towel.

“I lied.” Kara stated finally once she reclaimed her place at the half bar of Alex’s kitchen.

Kara drew a deep breath, her mind going in a thousand different directions at once. She rubbed her forefinger and thumb into the span of her forehead to push the headache forming there away. “Today seemed like such a good day starting out too.” She said to herself before letting out another sigh.

“Alright and that justifies you flying plainclothes in the rain how?”

“I lied to Cat, sort of.”

Alex took a deep breath in through her nose, before grabbing the nearest coffee pot and filling two cups full. “What prompted that dance with danger?”

“Depends on which part you consider the lie.”

Alex made a face, drawing her coffee cup to her lips. “So you lied to her about multiple things?”

Kara shook her head. “No. I lied to Eliza about where I was going and I lied to Cat I guess about my intentions this morning.”

“This morning? Okay Kara you're going to have to start some where so the rest of us that weren't in your pocket can follow along.”

Kara sighed after a swallow of the hot liquid. “You were in my ear…”

Alex made a face and shot her sister a look as she waited patiently. “Not really enough to go on there Kara. I have to call you to be privy to your conversations you know.”

Kara made a face around the mouth of her cup before setting it back down on the counter top. “I told Eliza I was late for a date this morning.” Remembering the conversation now, she pinned Alex down. “Considering she told me that you and her had been exploring the depths of my love life or lack therein recently and felt the need to set me up in a blind date.” She offered a small sarcastic smile and resumed her enjoyment of her coffee.

The irritation in Alex's sails faded, her jaw shifting slightly. “She was curious.” With Kara's look in response Alex sighed. “She's your mom, she cares, whether you like it or not she wants to see you happy and I merely pointed out that you were very much alike. It took me forever to get her even think about leaving the house much less dating long after Dad-”

“Really Alex. No. I don't want to hear about, nope, thank you. And I'll thank you to stay out of my romantic affairs unless I ask or something. Please.”

Alex let out a sigh, leaning on one hand on the counter. “So we're not going to talk about a particularly tiny cat who, I’m going to assume was your date in question?”

Kara looked up at Alex over the rim of her cup, her resounding no echoing within the confines of the porcelain. “Unless you want to talk about how you seem to be -my- mother’s little black knight lately.”

Alex seemed struck, her body straightening even as the apologetic look began to filter across Kara's features. “I owed her, and you after what I did. She’s just like you except for what she lacks in selflessness, she makes up in stubbornness. Besides you can’t seem to be bothered to stay for more than ten minutes at the DEO when Astra’s there. What do you expect me to do when I’m there all day and no one else wants to talk to her?”

“Alex.” Kara tried as the taller brunette slipped away and out of view. “Alex!” The woman in question didn't stop, even when Kara stood to follow only to come up short when Alex’s apartment door opened revealing Eliza.

“Hey Alex, I just wanted to drop off some things before the convention hall open-oh. Kara!” Eliza stopped short, closing the door behind herself. “I thought you were on a date.” She looked her foster-daughter up and down. “Why’re you all wet and wearing Alex’s clothes?”

“Cause she fucked it up mom!” Came Alex’s retort from across the apartment immediately causing Kara’s deep breath to deflate.

“Alexandra!”

“Hey Kara, why don’t you tell mom about your date, maybe she can offer some better advice.” Alex’s tone was contrite, apparently bringing up Astra in that context with her sister had struck one hell of a nerve.

Kara had little time to think about it now though instead reverting to a more juvenile response. “Shut up Alex.”

“Kara Zor-El.” Eliza reprimanded, setting down her things before heading towards Kara.

“Or do you think you’ll be working with me full time now y’know since you fucked up that date thing with Cat.” Kara looked struck and started towards her sister’s voice, eyes blazing, literally, until Eliza grabbed a very firm hold of her arm and shook her head.

“Alexandra Hetherington Danvers get out here right now!”

“Why you named me after an asteroid-” Alex came charging out of her room, locked and loaded in her usual tactical dress sans weapons.

“Maybe somewhere I knew you’d eventually crash into things smaller than you and try to obliterate them. And I named the asteroid after you, get it right.” Eliza offered back looking Alex over. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“Work, I did have the day off and as much as I’d love to stay and chat about the mishaps of my sister’s dating life, I’m not in the mood anymore.”

“Alex I’m sorry.” Kara tried, huffing out a sigh as Eliza coaxed her back onto the nearby stool still looking pointedly at her other daughter.

“No one is going anywhere.”

“Mom drop it, you’ve got your thing and I should catch up on paperwork-”

“You’re staying Alex.” Eliza looked between the pair. Kara was busy looking at her feet while Alex stood with her arms crossed over her chest defensively.

Alex knew she was being petulant but Kara had truly struck a nerve. Astra was her mother, they had come across that revelation thanks to Clark and one of his fortress crystals. While they had yet to inform the woman herself, Kara knew and still refused to engage with her “Aunt” despite her return from the dead and defection to the DEO’s fold. There were plenty of times where Alex would give anything to bring her father back and here Kara was, presented with an equal scenario and refused to embrace it for what it was.

“Alexandra!” Her mother’s voice broke through her reverie, causing her to flinch as she looked back at the pair. Kara almost looked sick, her mind was clearly all over the place no doubt ranging from what had happened with Cat and everything in-between leading to her and Astra. She cut her eyes to her mother and knew her heels were unmistakably planted; none of them were getting out of here until Eliza fixed it. Giving a dark sigh of resignation she scuffed her boot and shuffled over to the couch, setting on the arm.

“Okay” She allowed, twisting her mouth up in thought. “I shouldn’t get so touchy either.” She sort of apologized, feeling the scrutiny of her mother’s gaze. “I just, I’m trying to understand I guess.”

“Understand what” Kara asked quietly, looking up at Alex cautiously.

“I’m trying to understand how you seem to have no self confidence.”

“Alex” her mother warned but Alex held up a hand so that she might continue. “When you’re freaking Supergirl Kara.” Alex got more comfortable and Eliza sat on the stool beside Kara, hand coming to rest against her back.

“You could have anyone with a look or a smile.”

Kara shifted uncomfortably and let out another sigh.

“Part of that is my fault.” Eliza prompted. “Maybe stifling your abilities and who you really were-“

“No. No.” Kara amended, hands curling into fists as she crossed them over her chest. “I mean I know.” she nodded to Alex “party why, because I am Supergirl, I can’t be normal.”

“Honey that’s not.”

“No it is. Remember when I broke your hand? Two weeks after I was brought to you, or when I nearly crushed Alex the first time I hugged her.” She looked to her mother. “That barista, I dented her car door on our second date when she tried to kiss me.” Kara looked back to Alex. “So there’s part of your why. A big part. You think I can have anyone but I can’t. You can, you could have anyone you wanted if you just tried.”

“That’s not true.”

“It is Alex, its just a matter of time management.”

Alex shifted on the couch, the reality of her sister’s words settling on her shoulders like a lead weight. There was plenty of other reasons too but in comparison not enough to counter Kara’s predicament.

“What I want to know,” Eliza piped up after a moment between the pair. “Is why you just didn’t tell me about who your date was with Kara.”

The younger woman groaned, face dropping into her hands as Alex chuckled.

“She didn’t tell her either.” Alex teased.

“Alex-“ Kara warned.

“What? What do you mean she didn’t- Kara you didn’t tell her?”

“No. Yes. No.” She let out another exasperated sigh. “I just wanted to surprise her.” Kara mumbled only to make an odd noise nearly tumbling from the stool onto the floor as a pillow collided with her face.

In a burst of super speed Kara was on top of Alex on the couch, smothering her with the pillow in question. “It’s not funny you dork!”

Alex was on her back in an instant, legs bent over the arm and trapped under her sister with the cushion smooshing her face. She couldn’t help but laugh, grabbing for her sister’s arms as she brought her legs up and wrapped them around Kara trying to flip her backward.

“Girls, girls!” Eliza reached for Kara, prying her back at the shoulders with a laugh causing her foster daughter to relax instinctively while carelessly giving Alex enough leverage to bend her sister backward. With another shout of surprise Kara thudded onto the floor as Alex flung her over the arm of the couch.

“Shit Kara.” She laughed openly, pawing at the arm of the furniture awkwardly to pry herself up, looking over the edge. “Are you alright?”

Kara couldn’t help the laughter that settled into her frame, shaking her silly as she laughed aloud sprawled out on the ground feet coming to rest on the side of the couch as Eliza just looked heavenward at the pair of them. “I’m fine.”

Alex had the sensibility to at least look shocked as the same pillow bapped her in the face with a resounding ‘whoomp’ and an ‘oof’ from the woman as she went backwards out of view sending Kara into another fit of giggles.

“Alright you two.” Eliza warned halfheartedly behind a smile, coming to sit between them on the nearby coffee table, leaving Kara to the floor as she didn’t move and Alex, who practically mirrored Kara’s position on the couch.

Alex folded her arms over the pillow now settled across her abdomen, content with looking at the ceiling as she let her mind wander a bit, taking note that even Kara hadn’t spoken or moved yet finally let out a small huff.

“Kara,” her tone had shifted, warm and considerate with an edge of caution. As if what she were about to say might not be so well received in present company. “professional positions aside, if you,” she hesitated, the corner of her mouth turning up slightly at the thought of her sister’s crush and how she had seen the signs weeks before now. “if you have feelings for tiny cat.” Kara’s noise of disapproval at the nickname made Alex glance to her mother who shot her a glare.

“If you have feelings for Cat Grant.” She punctuated the name so her mother could be equally aware of the person they were referring. Eliza seemed unphased but her pointed expression made Alex nod to confirm the mouthed word ‘boss’ her mother directed at her and she had to stifle the bubble of laughter when her mother mouthed the word ‘wow’ with an equally impressed expression. “Why… uhm, why the secrecy? I mean I can understand wanting to be low key about it but why with her in her personal space. It wasn’t like you were going to the office.”

Eliza mouthed something else and Alex had to look away after replying with a silent “I know” in order to keep her amusement at her mother’s expressions in check for Kara’s benefit.

Kara was rubbing at her face again, as if she could scrub the earlier events of the morning from her countenance and start fresh. The three of the remained like that for a long series of moments until Eliza leaned forward, arms wrapping around her torso for support, baring down on Kara. “Baby?”

“I was trying to be romantic.” Kara nearly whined, hands still over her face.

Eliza folded her lips inward, biting on them as she looked back at Alex who was busy shaking her head. “By not telling her you were treating it like a date?”

“No by making her breakfast and just showing up.” Kara sighed darkly, hands falling away to her sides as she fanned them out on the floor staring at the ceiling with red eyes. “It doesn’t matter anyway. I messed it up like Alex said, and I lied. Cat does not tolerate liars.” She mimicked and closed her eyes nearly slapping a hand over them with a grimace to how stupid she had behaved earlier. “And now I’m stuck playing middleman with her and Supergirl cause I told her about the thing I wanted to do for Clark based on our traditions-“

“Oh Kara you didn’t” Alex interrupted and Eliza swatted playfully at her daughter’s leg.

“Stop, stop. Alright, let’s get something real to eat, I’m sure you girls know just who to call and Kara I want you to start from the beginning.” Kara turned her head to regard her foster mother. “Don’t look at me in that tone of voice Kara, if you really do, if you have genuine feelings for this woman, regardless of who or what she is in your life, and I do mean -genuine- feelings for her not just surface level superficial-

“Yes.”

Eliza came up short and Alex’s expression immediately turned to a more serious one as she propped herself up on her elbows unable to see Kara but her mother’s expression was enough. The Danvers' matriarch nodded then and continued.

“Then we need to fix it.”

“We?” The siblings spoke in unison and Eliza looked between them like they had grown two heads.

“Yes -we-. This is important. Our connections to other people are important, especially,” she stumbled slightly, immediately envisioning her late husband before clearing her throat. “Especially when said people are a light in our life that we gravitate towards no matter what obstacles arise in our path.” She looked between the two women expectantly and when neither of them moved she straightened. “Well, c’mon then, move it you two!”