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Subject: Kara Danvers

Week: 5

 

“Miss Grant,” Kara sighed in exasperation as she took in the array of toys Cat had set out to play with for the afternoon. “I agreed to letting you try one of your overthought experiments a week. One, as in singular, not,” she did a quick count, “thirteen? Really Miss Grant? Thirteen?

 

“Problem, Kiera?” The answering tone was smug and there was an extra sway in Cat’s hips as she made her way over to the equipment table. “Afraid you won’t be able to keep up?”

 

“Miss Grant, I-” her voice gave way to a nervous swallow as Cat’s fingers trailed along the edge of the table, pausing by one of the larger implements in consideration.

 

“This one looks fun. What do you think, should we start here?” Cat turned her head as she spoke, eyeing the younger woman appraisingly. It was a look that made Kara feel distinctly like she was the prey, rather than the overpowered superhero who had eagerly agreed to this arrangement just weeks before. “No, perhaps not,” Cat decided after a moment. “I’m not sure you’re ready for this one yet and I wouldn’t want to spoil all the fun by wearing you out too quickly.”

 

Her hand continued on and Kara’s gaze tracked every movement, her heart beating faster each time one of those deceptively delicate fingers stroked along the length of a toy with particular purpose. Cat’s hands might look fragile, but Kara knew from first-hand experience just how… capable they could be, given the right motivation. And when it came to Kara, Cat was certainly motivated.

 

“This one I think,” Cat said finally, and Kara let out the breath she hadn’t realized she had been holding. The one Cat had picked was on the smaller size, perhaps even a bit cute if you were to squint at it in the right way, and it wasn’t nearly as intimidating as some of the other options.

 

“Yes, this one will do nicely as a starter. The blue even matches your eyes, almost as if it was made for us, no?” Cat’s teeth flashed at her own joke. They both knew she would never let anyone else build the toys for her.

 

Kara resisted the urge to roll her eyes. As far as opening banter went the line was far from impressive, but she had come to realize that while it was possible for Cat to offer sharp, cutting remarks when she was standing in the light as the Queen of All Media, once she stepped into her other persona she became much more… whimsical; embracing a side of herself that she would never dare to show to the outside world without a mask. It was almost a privilege, being allowed to see her like this, and Kara also couldn’t help but feel somewhat pleased that Cat had been paying attention to the color of her eyes. Not that that was what she should be focusing on right now, especially considering that Cat had specified that the toy at her fingertips was just the ‘starter.’

 

“But the board meeting-” Kara tried another tactic, only to be cut off by a dismissive wave of Cat’s hand.

 

“I had that moved while you were putting out the fire over on 5th. We have hours, Kiera.” The words were accompanied by a self-assured grin that let Kara know exactly how much Cat was looking forward to filling every last one of those hours, and she felt herself wavering in the face of that energy. In a world where not many people paid attention to her when she wasn’t wearing the cape, it was nice to have someone so invested in her presence, even if it was true that none of this would have come about without her alter-ego’s relationship to Cat in the first place. But in here while she might still be super, Cat was careful to always called her ‘Kiera.’

 

So maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to just… no. She straightened her shoulders and told herself to stand firm. They were only five weeks in and if she started letting Cat get away with breaking the rules this easily, there was no telling what she would try to get away with next time.

 

As if sensing that Kara was going to make another argument, Cat huffed and dropped her playful tone, lifting up a web of string for Kara to see. “I tied them all together last night while I was getting this set up. It’s not as elegant as I would like, but now all of my toys are technically one item, just like we agreed. You didn’t really think I wouldn’t look for loopholes in our little arrangement, did you Kiera? I am a supervillain. Honestly, you should be glad that I’m only bending the rules, not outright breaking them.”

 

“I-, that’s actually a valid point,” Kara had to admit. She could press the issue and probably talk Cat down if she really wanted to, but watching the other woman’s mind at work was one of the most interesting parts of her job, of both her jobs, and it wasn’t like she had anything to be worried about anyway. She had spent yesterday soaking in the sun and it would take a lot more than this to wear her out.

 

“Good, I’m so glad you’ve come around to my point of view,” there was a pleased purr in Cat’s voice now, and despite herself Kara started to lean forward into its embrace. She masked the movement, not wanting to give the woman any additional information to work with, and turned the motion into a step which carried her over to a small cabinet on the far wall.

 

When she had started this job the cabinet had been woefully lacking. No other assistant had ever been allowed down here—the lab located deep into the lowest recesses of CatCo and accessible only by a concealed elevator—and the woman herself, while brilliant in other areas, seemed completely incompetent when it came to basic safety protocols. Kara supposed that was part of what made her such an excellent supervillain, the only nemesis that had repeatedly battled Kara to her knees even though she was only human. She doubted if half, if not more, of the inventions that allowed Cat such supremacy would have come about if she didn’t think that a 40% chance of something blowing up in her face was an acceptable risk.

 

Opening the cabinet Kara looked longingly at the welding mask, wondering if she could convince Cat to wear it, but a quick glance over at her boss soon put that idea right out of her head. Cat was clearly way too excited about today’s experiment, preening and, was she talking to her toys now? Yes, yes she was. Cat was currently explaining to the item she had picked that it shouldn’t be ashamed of its size because she had spent extra time ramping up the power and she knew just how to use it. Reluctantly, Kara tuned back to the cabinet and grabbed the safety goggles instead, knowing that there was no way Cat would agree to wear the mask. It would distance her too much from the action.

 

Cat cut off her ‘conversation’ as Kara approached, glaring at the glasses in Kara’s hand as if they were personally offensive to her.

 

“You promised, Miss Grant,” she reminded the older woman, trying her best to sound authoritative. Kara had threatened to quit and put an end to this all last week if Cat didn’t at least try to take more precautions. She had agreed in the end, but it had been a near thing.

 

Cat continued to attempt to stare her down, but Kara, perhaps taking her life into her hands with this action more than she had with any other, took a final step and placed the glasses on Cat’s face herself. At the touch Cat’s breath seemed to stutter, just for a moment, and it took everything Kara had not to replay that sound in her head, or let her mind drift to how very soft Cat’s cheek had felt in that brief moment of contact.

 

“Fine,” the voice was clipped, but if Kara was surprised that Cat didn’t offer further resistance she didn’t have time to dwell on what that might mean as Cat pointed towards the center of the room. Cat waited until Kara had dutifully followed the command before hefting the jacked-up bone-saw and revving the motor ominously.

 

“Shall we begin?” One eyebrow raised, a slightly manic gleam in her eyes, and lab coat billowing in a non-existent wind (one of these days Kara was going to have to figure out how it did that), Cat was everything the more experienced heroes had warned her about in a villain. But she was also…

 

She was also captivating and Kara needed to know more. Besides, no matter how the afternoon played out Kara had only herself to blame for getting into this situation in the first place.

 

Kara had never had any chance of hiding her identity from Cat Grant, even before she had become Cat’s assistant. Cat was far too brilliant to let a little thing like glasses and a different hairstyle keep her from tracking Kara down. Not that Cat had been able to hide from her either. Kara hadn’t been willing to use her enhanced vision to peek through the mask—doing so would have felt like breaking a trust—but Cat’s unique scent had given her away during that first interview.

 

They had formed a sort of comradery after that, after recognizing each other, neither particularly interested in releasing the information to the public. Cat seemed to enjoy having a real challenge for once, and as far as Kara was concerned the city could do far worse in terms of its preeminent supervillain. Cat might get the better of her sometimes, it was true, but she never hurt innocent bystanders and her crimes were more spectacular in nature than actually evil. Taking Cat out would create a power vacuum that could entice another, possibly much darker villain to the city.

 

So when Kara had gotten fired from her last job for disappearing one to many times, she had applied for a position as Cat’s assistant and they had come to this agreement. Once a week Kara would let Cat attempt to kill her and in exchange she was allowed to run off as often as she needed to during the day. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement that was also proving to be much more interesting than her last job at Noonan’s had been. Even if it did mean that Kara was going to have to spend her afternoon letting Cat pound away at her with power tools—moving only to snag shards of flying metal out of the air before they could hurt the other woman when the instruments inevitably broke against her skin.

 

The lab would be a mess to clean up and both of them would be covered in grease smears and oil stains by the time today’s session was done, but Kara couldn’t object. Not when Cat was so clearly in her element like this, a dark smear across her cheek and an elated laugh dancing across her tongue.

 

Experiment Notes from Cat Grant: Superior Intellect

Subject is highly resistant to a wide range of motorized toys. Future experiments in this area should seek more creative ways to apply the power directly to the body. This will bypass any inherent weaknesses in the blades and provide a better understanding of Subject’s tolerance to vibration patterns and speeds. On another matter, Subject appears to be overly interested in a certain lab coat. Additional, randomized pockets will be added before the next session in order to study Subject’s reaction further.  

 

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Subject: Kara Danvers

Week: 10

 

“You want me to what?” Kara stared at Cat incredulously, knowing that the image of Cat purchased seductively on the edge of the large bath-tub she had managed to finagle into the lab would be forever burned into her mind.

 

“Get in, Kiera, the water’s perfect, I promise.” Cat dipped two fingers into the tub to illustrate her point, lifting them out and letting the droplets fall away all too slowly. A few landed on her legs and Kara forcefully kept her gaze level, not daring to look down to see the patterns she knew the water would be leaving along Cat’s skin. 

 

“And what will you be adding to the water, Miss Grant?” She didn’t wait for an answer, already moving to comply. It didn’t really matter what Cat was planning on adding, after all, even if this was an acid bath Kara would still be giving in.

 

Cat didn’t respond right away, watching attentively as Kara kicked off her shoes and sank into the tub, waiting until Kara had finished fussing before bringing forth an opaque vial from one of the many, many pockets of her coat. Kara really needed to take closer look at those pockets sometime. It seemed as if every time Cat reached for something it was pulled from different location than the last time. It was just illogical enough that Kara was tempted to think that Cat was doing it on purpose just to mess with her, but she was sure Cat wasn’t. That would be ridiculous… right?

 

“This is just a little something I cooked up in between firings this week, Kiera, it should prove very illuminating.” Cat uncorked the bottle as she spoke, tilting it so that Kara could see the glowing green liquid inside. For the first time since these experiments had started Kara actually felt true unease, briefly wondering if Cat had managed to synthetize kryptonite. The tell-tale weakness never came, however, and her apprehension faded to a more manageable level, although not before a hint of it flashed across her face.

 

“Worried, Kiera?” It was meant to sound taunting, but Kara heard a hitch in Cat’s throat and there was a searching look in the woman’s eyes that was almost… concerned? No, that couldn’t be right. Still, Kara hated even the possibility that she might have caused Cat to worry without reason. 

 

“Not at all, Miss Grant. I’ve been working additional hours to make up for my absences this week and I was actually just thinking how much I would appreciate a nice, relaxing bath to destress.” She tried to make herself sound reassuring.

 

There was a brief pause, almost imperceptible, and then Cat’s face hardened and she tilted the vial, spilling the liquid into the tub. The bath began to glow green and even though Kara was sure by now that the substance wasn’t kryptonite, it was still unsettling. She felt a rising desire make an excuse about a rescue so that she could run away, but that would ruin all Cat’s hard work, so instead she simply clenched her fists and stayed put, waiting to see what would happen.

 

It only took a few seconds before she felt it, a tingling sensation reaching deep into her skin, relaxing her hands as it intensified. She didn’t know what it was supposed to be doing to her, what it would do to a human who came into contact with it, but to Kara it felt like a deep tissue massage—or at least, what she had always assumed a deep tissue massage would feel like if she had ever had one.

 

Her eyes fluttered closed and she tilted her head back, rolling her shoulders as a low moan slipped past her lips. She knew how vulnerable this was making her look, her neck exposed and her chest arching out, but it was just so…

 

The sound of a body hitting the floor broke her tranquility and she opened her eyes to take in the sight of Cat sprawled on the ground, face flushed and eyes almost completely consumed by black. Kara opened her mouth only to snap it closed again a moment later as her brain caught up to the situation. This was definitely one of those times when speaking would be a mistake.  

 

“Keep your appreciation to yourself from now on, Kiera,” Cat’s eyes bore into her, starring daggers until Kara relented and looked away first to save Cat further embarrassment. “I need quiet to work on my notes.” That last part offered as hasty justification while Cat made her way to a dark corner, as far away as it was possible to get and still remain in the enclosed room.

 

Kara waited until Cat was seated before letting her eyelids droop again, leaving them open just enough so that she could safely admire the brilliant shade of Cat’s ears when she let out another, this time purposeful, sigh.

 

“Kiera!”

 

The sharp warning did nothing to deter her smile. This experiment was easily her favorite thus far and she didn’t even care that it would take her hours to clean this stuff off her skin and clothes later. She had grown used to that by now. It had only taken a few weeks for her to learn that Cat was incapable of performing any experiment that didn’t leave some sort of mess behind. It was not something she would have guessed from the little she had known about the woman before coming to work at CatCo, but now it was just part of her comfortable reality, a little tidbit that was almost as endearing as it was unexpected.  

 

Experiment Notes from Cat Grant: Superior Intellect

It has come to my attention that some experiments with Subject Danvers may warrant further review in private. To facilitate this, an audio recording device will now be used during all sessions. I have also begun construction on a time machine for this purpose. It is imperative that this procedural change with the audio surveillance be put into effect before the activities of the Week 10 experiment.

 

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Subject: Kara Danvers

Week: 15

 

The fire came out of nowhere, although Kara supposed that she really should have anticipated something, given Cat’s behavior. Typically, when the elevator deposited them on the lowest level, Kara would walk down the short hallway first, opening the door for Cat and waiting patiently while the woman donned her lab coat and began her ritual supervillain witticisms. But not this time. This time Cat had rushed on ahead. It wasn’t a run mind you, Cat Grant did not run for anything—well, maybe political office someday but even then she was much more likely to just steal the election rather than bow to the will of the masses—and by the time Kara had followed her though the door Cat was already dressed and holding a clipboard expectantly. Just in time for a barrage of fire to cascade down from the ceiling and engulf Kara in her entirety.

 

“We talked about this, Miss Grant!” Kara had to raise her voice to be heard above the roar of the flames, her hands finding purchase on her hips in an attempt to show her indignation. Not that it was working, capturing a heroic pose was hard to do when all of your clothes had just been incinerated.

 

This was by no means the first time her clothes had been ruined, if fact they often fell victim to Cat’s experiments, but Kara was normally left with at least a few scraps. If it wasn’t for the other factors she wouldn’t even mind it so much. There was something almost mysteriously romantic about the slashes and tears—they made her feel like she had just emerged victorious from a hard fought battle to save her lady-love.

 

Being completely naked though? That was just rude.

 

And it also looked as if it was something that Cat hadn’t completely thought through, if the way she was hunched over her clipboard scribbling furiously was any indication. Cat had wanted to ruin her clothes, that was clear. There was no other explanation for the sudden flames other than to avoid giving Kara the option to undress first, but somewhere between ‘ruining Kara’s clothes’ and ‘that will leave Kara naked,’ Cat had clearly gotten sidetracked.

 

Not that Kara was particularly surprised about that. It was one thing to be a genius, but with all that information rattling around in her head sometimes a conclusion that would seem perfectly obvious to almost everyone else simply got… misplaced. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, well, Kara very much enjoyed seeing those moments of recognition on Cat’s face as the consequences of her actions set in.

 

Cat risked a peek over the top of the clipboard, neck straining with the effort of not looking down. “You said I couldn’t ruin any more of your clothes because you couldn’t afford all the replacements, and so…” Cat gestured to the side and now Kara saw a clothes rack filled with items her size, all of much better quality that anything she could buy on her own.

 

She looked back at Cat just as the woman lost her battle, eyes widening as they dipped lower, not that Kara minded. Kryptonians didn’t have the same views on modesty as most humans and she couldn’t help herself, shifting to better show off her abs and savoring the way Cat bit down on her lower lip in response.

 

She allowed herself a moment to show off, but only a moment. It was hard sometimes with Cat to remember to stay on point but she had to do it. No one else would even have a hope of being able to keep a mad scientist like her in line. “No, Miss Grant. I said you couldn’t ruin any more of my clothes because people in the office think that you like to tear them off me on a regular basis.”

 

Cat ducked her head behind the clipboard again, appearing to lose interest. “Did you? I wasn’t really listening. I’m sure this will come as a great surprise to you, Kiera, but I have better things to do with my day then pay attention to the incessant ramblings of some millennial.”

 

Kara let out a disbelieving huff. “Yeah, like plan how to get said millennial to stand in a ball of flames,” but she kept that thought to herself.

 

“Well don’t you think this,” Kara waved at the rack, pulling her arm back quickly when Cat tisked at her for moving it out of the fire, “is going to convince people of that for sure? Everyone is going to know I couldn’t afford these things on my own. Come to think of it, they’ll probably upgrade our relationship from, well… they’re going to think we’re officially dating now.”

 

“Oh? I hadn’t thought of that.” A clear lie, which was… interesting—Cat not caring if people though they were a couple, encouraging it, even—it was something to ponder at a later moment. “But I suppose it’s an acceptable diversion, and you really did need a wardrobe upgrade, Kiera. Some of those things you wear are so thin it’s a wonder you haven’t caught your death of cold.”

 

Kara rolled her eyes, something she never would have dared to do in the other woman’s sightline a few months ago. “It’s 70 degrees outside and even if it wasn’t, you know cold doesn’t affect me like that.”

 

Not that Cat hadn’t tried. She had once attempted to freeze Kara and then smash her into itty bitty pieces. Needless to say it hadn’t worked, but Kara had gotten a nice nap as the ice was solidifying.

 

“You don’t have to wear them if you don’t want to.” Cat offered a distanced shrug, but her shoulders were tight and there was an almost defensive tone to her voice. “I could care less.”

 

Kara studied her for a moment, frowning in consideration, before shifting her gaze back to the rack of clothes and looking them over with a new appreciation. She knew Cat would deny it, but Kara could tell that the woman must have spent hours picking out just the right items. They were all things that she would have bought for herself, given the right budget. Cat wasn’t a fan of how she dressed, but she had taken great care in respecting Kara’s style anyway, and…

 

There was no getting around it. Cat had planned this whole thing to do something nice for her without having to come right out and say that that was what she was doing. Sure, it was a bit unusual, buying a whole new wardrobe for someone, but supervillains didn’t tend to have the best social skills and given that context it was oddly sweet, in a ‘I’m still trying to kill you,’ sort of way.

 

Cat had gone out of her way for Kara, and Kara was not about to let that go unacknowledged.

 

“The clothes are wonderful, Miss Grant. Thank you.” She tried to put as much warmth and gratitude into her voice as she could as she turned her attention back to Cat, who was now just staring moodily at the wall. The clipboard had disappeared and Kara briefly wondered where it might have gone. She was by now fairly convinced that Cat’s lab coat held gateways to several pocket dimensions, but unless Cat was willing to let her feel her u- let her explore the coat, there was no way to tell for sure.

 

“Really?” Cat glanced over at her, a little shyly before she remembered herself. “I mean, of course they are,” she nodded assuredly, smoothing her hands down over her coat. “After all, I-”

 

A blaring alarm sounded and Cat let out a very undignified shriek as a flood of water drenched them both, putting out the fire in the process. It was gone as quickly as it had come, draining away through grates in the floor and taking any hope Kara had of maintaining an edge over Cat with it.

 

“Kiera,” the voice was dark, threatening, and Kara suppressed a shiver that was not entirely unpleasant. “What did you do to my lab?”

 

“Um, I… oops?” She fidgeted, looking around for an escape, but aside from outright leaving the lab she had limited options. “It was just a tiny safety upgrade. You nearly burned your hand off twice last month trying to make that shrink ray work-” Cat’s eyes narrowed and Kara decided that it was best to drop that line of argument.

 

Cat had spent nearly three weeks trying to perfect the ray for a heist, both of them pretending that Kara hadn’t seen the detailed plans during the two instances where she had burst into the lab right before a mini-explosion. She had developed a sixth-sense about that, always keeping one ear on Cat when the woman was working alone in case she heard that tell-tale hiss that meant danger was imminent. It gave her just enough warning to fly down the elevator shaft and pull Cat away. Cat, for her part, never seemed particularly bothered by what could happen, but while she might trust her coat to protect her, Kara had lost too many people in her life to take that chance. Besides, she liked having Cat in her arms.

 

Cat had finally seemed to think the ray was working, and Kara had even made a point of showing up to that robbery late to give Cat the opportunity to try it out before she stopped her. But she had arrived only to find a self-righteous Cat glowering at a puddle of melted gold and berating the failed ray for its insubordination.

 

So a different argument. That was what she needed right now.

 

“Did you see how long it took to go off?” Kara attempted the redirect. “I made sure that it wouldn’t be triggered by a small or short lived fire!”

 

Cat pursed her lips, the effect mitigated somewhat by her bedraggled appearance, although not enough to keep Kara from taking an involuntary step backwards. That response seemed to please Cat, her expression morphing into a dangerous smirk as she started to stalk closer to a still very naked Kara—a Kara who wasn’t altogether sure if she wanted Cat’s eyes to sink lower again or not, or if it would be possible for her to remain standing if they did.

 

As Cat advanced, backing Kara up further until she hit the wall, a hand disappeared into the sleeve of the coat and drew out a pen. It looked harmless enough, but as Cat lifted it up, running the tip thoughtfully over her lip before taking it in her mouth and biting down with intent, Kara realized that ‘harmless’ was a relative term. She knew she should look away, that she was exposing too much of herself by staying put, but she was helplessly caught by the sight before her; mesmerized by the revelation of overly pointed canines and the knowledge that nothing Cat drew from her coat was ever exactly what it seemed.  

 

This proved no exception. Cat twisted the pen with a quick flick of her wrist and from one instant to the next she went from soaking wet to completely dry, impeccable and perfect while Kara was still floundering. She reached out with her free hand, resting it against the wall next to Kara’s head as she slid the pen from her mouth, letting her teeth snap closed before tracing the hard edge of the tool deliberately down the side of Kara’s neck.

 

“Miss Grant,” Kara knew it sounded like a whine, but as long as she didn’t say anything more it could simply be a plea for Cat to use the device on her as well.

 

The moment held as Cat leaned in further, “Kiera…” and stone turned to dust under Kara’s hands as Cat’s breath fell thickly against her ear, “the mop is in the closet. Chop chop.”

 

Experiment Notes from Cat Grant: Superior Intellect

*Incoherent scribbling and water damage. The only legible writing on the paper reads:*

Time machine not yet operational. Divert additional resources to ensure that both audio AND video surveillance are made available for all past experiments.

 

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Subject: Kara Danvers

Week: 20

 

“Come on, Miss Grant, it’s three in the morning, you have to go home and sleep sometime!” She didn’t really think it would work. She had been making a similar argument for the past several hours already to no avail, but she still had to try.

 

As expected, Cat ignored her, and Kara threw up her hands in frustration before stomping her way over to the sofa. It was a new addition, just five weeks old and conveniently placed to hide two somewhat conspicuous holes in the wall that rested at the height of Kara’s hands. She was surprised that Cat had let her keep it, the bright, mismatched floral pattern so clearly more to her taste than Cat’s, but aside from a raised eyebrow and a refusal to sit on the thing herself, Cat hadn’t had any other reaction to Kara’s little embellishment.

 

Kara made herself take several calming breaths, closing her eyes and counting to ten in kryptonian before opening them again to reassess the other woman.

 

Cat was intent on her latest concoction, a single beaker of red liquid suspended over a low flame. Every few minutes she would reach for one of the smaller bottles scattered around the work area and it would look as if she was about to add something, only for her to pull back as she changed her mind. Whatever she was making was most likely done but she was second guessing herself. It was not something Kara had seen Cat do before, at least, not this obsessively, and that caused a tight knot of worry to settle in her chest and around her heart.

 

There were other reasons to be worried. It had been three weeks since Cat had donned her mask and even longer since her last major theft. Kara was seriously starting to wonder if the Cat was depressed, but short of dragging her out and throwing her through a window of a museum or a bank and making her steal something, she wasn’t sure what she could do.

 

An hour passed as Kara continued to watch, but when Cat made another indecisive move and Kara was once again confronted with that look of self-doubt on Cat’s face, she had had enough. Maybe she couldn’t do much, but at least she could make sure that Cat got a few hours of sleep tonight, if nothing else.

 

Cat didn’t seem to notice when Kara stood up, although she certainly became aware of it when Kara’s hand snatched the beaker up off the flames. Kara didn’t wait to give Cat time to protest, and without any consideration other than bringing this to an end she dumped the contents of the beaker fully over her head.

 

“There, Miss Grant. You’ve had your attempt to kill me for the week, now will you please let me take you home?” She ignored the hiss as the acidic liquid burned its way through her clothes, all of her attention focused on the other woman.

 

“Kiera, that was-” Cat was staring at the beaker rather than her face.

 

“No, Miss Grant,” She heard Cat’s heart rate spike when Kara dared to cut her off, but Cat still didn’t look up. “I don’t care if it was ready or not. You’ve done nothing but alternate between working in the office and down here for the last 32 hours straight, and now you are going to go home and get some rest!”

 

“I-”

 

“Now, Cat!” Crossing her arms over her chest, Kara mentally preparing herself for the scathing response she knew, or hoped rather, was coming her way. But instead Cat deflated, shaking her head and letting out a tired exhale.

 

“I guess you’re right. I could use a break. Even I can’t terrorize the city on just five minutes of sleep, after all,” it was a weak joke, even for her, and Kara hated it for that. Where was the glare? Was Cat honestly just going to let her get away with using her first name?

 

“You haven’t terrorized the city at all recently, Miss Grant.” Maybe calling her out on that would…? No, that flat, drained look remained on Cat’s face. It made her want to reach out a hand to the other woman, but the acid was all over her skin and she didn’t dare. “Is everything… I mean… Are you…”

 

The level of concern in her voice did what her insubordination had not, and for the first time in so many hours Cat actually met her gaze. But it was different from the way Cat normally looked at her—deeper, somehow. It was as if Cat was searching for something, although Kara wasn’t sure what that could be, just that it was something… more.

 

Kara held herself still, hardly daring to breathe, wanting to let Cat see everything if that was what she needed. She wasn’t sure if it worked, but regardless the moment gave Cat a chance to collect herself and for that Kara was grateful.

 

After a few more seconds Cat nodded to herself, standing a little taller and giving a small tug to straighten out her coat—the material falling into place around her and highlighting every curve and line in a way that had grown increasingly distracting over the past five months. So much so that even now, even when Cat was exhausted and questioning, to Kara she could never be anything less than exquisite.

 

With the adjustments something seemed to shift inside of Cat. Her eyes lost that lackluster glaze and she became more real somehow, more solid. Kara didn’t know if Cat had found the answers she was seeking or not, but for right now she was just glad that Cat was no longer quite so… apathetic. That she was there again, and that she was looking at Kara.

 

But something was still off.

 

“What’s wrong?” Kara asked, a much safer inquiry now that it would have been a minute ago, although not completely without weight.

 

“Nothing, it doesn’t matter, Kiera,” Cat turned and started to gather up her things.

 

“Miss Grant…” There was a warning there now. Maybe the bigger problems would have to wait for another day, but a nothing problem was something that that could be fixed. That Kara could fix.

 

Sighing, Cat waved a hand at the beaker. “It’s just, you were supposed to drink that, not douse yourself with it.”

 

“Oh,” Kara blinked, that couldn’t be all. “Does it make much of a difference?”

 

“I… the reason it took so long to prepare was because I was trying to perfect the flavor. You complained so much about how bad the last three poisons tasted that I just wanted…”

 

“Oh,” the same thing again, hardly articulate.

 

“It wasn’t for you, obviously. It was for me. All that griping was annoying to listen to,” Cat was quick to point out, but Kara was already smiling and nothing Cat could say could take that away.

 

Raising her hand, Kara dipped her head, lowering her eyes and running her tongue along the length of her index finger. She went slowing, making sure to collect every last drop.

 

“Cherry,” she said as she finished, catching a slight flush on Cat’s face out of the corner of her eye. “Delicious, Cat.” It was a risk, using the first name again, but she did it anyway.

 

“Like I said, it was for me, not you,” but there was a breathy quality to her voice and a lightness to her step as she turned to leave. “Oh, and make sure you clean all the poison off the floor before Monday, Kara,” and then she was gone, and it was a full thirty seconds later before Kara realized that she was floating.

 

Experiment Notes from Cat Grant: Superior Intellect

Subject Kara is… she said my name. That is all.

 

///////////////////

 

Subject: Kara Danvers

Week: 25

 

“Kiera, with me. Now!” Kara gulped as she took in the intensity of Cat’s gaze, not daring to linger as her boss turned on her heel and marched towards the hidden elevator. This was terrible timing, she had just returned from a fight against an alien that was physically stronger than her—although thankfully not faster or smarter—and her body was still healing from the damage his fists had left behind.

 

But Cat had called for her and so she would go.

 

“Miss Grant, I’m sorry I was gone so long, I-” the elevator doors snapped closed and Cat rounded on her, pressing her back against the wall and tearing open her shirt before Kara could register what was happening.

 

“Miss Grant, wh-”

 

“He hurt you, I saw it on the screens! He hit you and you…” Cat trailed off, eyes wide and breath coming fast as she took in the bruises littering Kara’s stomach and chest. Her hand shook as she reached out to trace one of the abrasions, pulling back instantly when Kara let out a hiss of pain at the unexpected contact.

 

“Kiera, he-”

 

“I told you it could happen,” Kara attempted to ease some of the tension in the air. “You don’t think I’d be deceitful enough to make the deal with you if it wasn’t actually possible to hurt me, do you? That wouldn’t be very fair.”

 

It had the wrong effect and Cat shrank away, turning her back even as she couldn’t go far in the small space. “Yes, well, clearly that’s all I’m capable of caring about with you. You should be thankful I don’t have this week's experiment ready, Kiera, otherwise in your weakened state, you’d be...”

 

“I’m sorry,” Kara offered softly, placing a hand on Cat’s arm and bringing the woman back around. “I didn’t mean… here.” She lifted one of Cat’s hands in her own, rubbing her thumb over the soft skin for a moment of comfort, and then leading the hand back to her stomach. “I’m fine, see?” She whispered, careful not to flinch as Cat’s fingers tentatively explored one of the darker bruises.

 

Cat raised her other hand, looking to Kara for permission before placing it across Kara’s skin next to the first, flattening both palms and splaying her fingers to cover as much of the damaged area as she could. Kara waited, letting Cat adjust, letting Cat feel the rise and fall of her chest with each breath. When she felt she had given it long enough she reached out again, wrapping her arms around the other woman and pulling her close.

 

“I’m fine, Cat. Really, I promise.” Cat’s hands moved to encircle her as well, slipping up her back beneath her shirt to clutch at the bare skin of her shoulders.

 

“He hurt you,” Cat’s voice was a low growl against the side of her neck. “No one else is allowed to hurt you, Kara. You’re my nemesis. Mine. You understand me?” Kara smiled as Cat’s nails dug into her, closing her eyes and losing herself in the sheer force that was this woman.

 

“Of course, Cat, I’m sorry.” Kara didn’t know how long they stood like that, but she continued to hold her until the trembling had subsided. Only then did Kara relax her grip, allowing Cat to lean back just enough to look her in the eyes.

 

One of Cat’s hand’s left her shoulder, untangling itself from her shirt to brush a loose strand of hair back behind Kara’s ear. “No one, Kara,” she continued with emphasis, and Kara turned her face into the touch, nuzzling into Cat’s hand. She wondered if Cat realized that with those last words she had even removed herself as a source of potential harm, changing her statement from ‘no one but me’ to ‘no one at all.’

 

Well, there was one way to find out.

 

“Miss Grant, about this week-”

 

“Yes, this week,” Cat dropped her hand and took a step back, her arms wrapping around herself protectively as she seemed to struggle with whatever was on her mind. Kara offered an encouraging smile, heart in her throat as she waited for Cat to decide what she wanted. “I was thinking of testing you for possible food allergies. If…” another hesitation, but then Cat’s shoulders straightened in determination and she pushed on, “if that is something that would be acceptable to-”

 

“Yes,” Kara spoke perhaps a bit too quickly, cutting Cat off before she could finish. But she was glad she had the moment she saw Cat’s arms loosen and her body begin to relax. Not enough though, not yet.

 

“Excellent. I was thinking that my home lab would be a more suitable environment?” Cat was attempting to project an air of confidence with her words, but it still rang as a question to Kara’s ears.

 

Supervillains were solitary by nature, they didn’t trust easily and they opened themselves up even less. For Cat to go this far was already so… Cat had taken a leap, and now it was time for Kara to make sure she landed on her feet.

 

And the way to do that was to remind Cat of who she was, to bait her and let her reclaim her poise.  

 

“Your home lab? You mean your kitchen?” Green eyes narrowed at the insult and Kara met the scathing glare with a smile of her own.  

 

“No, I mean my home lab.” A step forward, the flash of teeth. “Kitchens,” Cat raised a finger to poke her harshly in the chest, somehow landing in the one spot not marred by discoloration, “are for slackers, Kiera.”

 

“Yes, Cat,” her hand reached up to wrap around the finger that was still jabbing into her, the other sweeping around Cat’s waist. “It’s a date.” And then, before Cat could say anything else, Kara closed the distance and kissed her supervillain in the elevator to the lab down under.

 

Preparatory Notes from Cat Grant: Superior Intellect

I will need five main dishes. Kara is capable of consuming large quantities of food and it would be foolish to waste such an opportunity to explore her allergies by limiting my options. I should also include some things that I know she likes, such as pizza and pot stickers, all homemade of course. Not because she likes them, but because they can be used to camouflage some of the more dangerous items on the menu, such as the oysters. She’ll like the oysters too though, right? Just in case she doesn’t I should probably revise my earlier assessment. I will need ten main dishes, or would thirteen be too much? Kara really likes food. A lot. Maybe more than she likes me which is… unacceptable. But dessert with fix that, just her, me, and copious amounts of body chocolate.