“I am not marrying anyone, Alex, especially not a Daxamite.” Kara says the word as if it were a curse—and as far as she is concerned, it is one. Krypton and Daxam have never gotten along well, despite the marriages between the realms, and she has no plan of ever being bonded with anyone from there regardless of Tyra El’s historic example.
“No, you’re not,” Alex agrees. She has had time to calm down—at least regarding Kara’s most recent reckless decision. However, a different kind of anger is now radiating off her—a lot less like annoyance, more concentrated and potent, a lot more dangerous.
It is the same kind of anger Kara has seen in her sister a lot of times before, in all those instances when Alex defended her against bullies and anyone else she even so much as suspected of meaning to cause Kara harm.
It soothes Kara, how Alex is still protective of her—a constant through all these years—and she is thankful for her steadfast support. No matter how many times Kara stumbles, she is secure with the knowledge that her sister will always be there to help her up.
(Kara once told her that she need not worry too much about her since “I’m a grown-up now, Alex. I’ll be okay.”
Alex sighed. “Yeah, well, it might be news for you, Kara,” she said, a wry smile on her lips, “but you don’t get a say on whether or not I worry about you and how much I if do.”)
That fact is especially appreciated in times as aggravating as this.
“But we do have to come up with something,” Alex adds, a pensive look on her face. “Lucy already said that there’s some ground for Non’s argument, which means he definitely knows what he’s doing and isn’t going in blind. We have to match what he’s putting forward and find a way to offset it without violating your people’s laws.” She pauses. “And whatever we do, it’s gotta be airtight. He’s already got a guy lined up for you—which is totally creepy, by the way—so we need an equally solid countermeasure.”
“Yes, but that’s easier said than done,” Kara says. “It’s obvious he’s planned this through.”
“But he’s also working on the assumption that you’re not going to know about it until you’re summoned back to Krypton,” Alex points out helpfully. “That should count for something. At least we’ve got the element of surprise as of now.”
That is . . . a good point.
Non would be assuming that Kara hasn’t heard of his plans yet. In fact, Kara is certain her uncle is counting on that—if Kara were to learn of the betrothal plans when she’s called back to Krypton, it would be too late by then to get out of it without diplomatic complications, and Kara would be trapped.
But fortunately for them, no official arrangements have been made yet, and until the actual Kryptonian betrothal ceremony takes place, Kara is a free woman.
“You should also probably inform Lady Diana that you’re going home for the holidays,” Alex suggests.
Kara frowns, and she notices the slight stiffening in Lena’s posture. She has maintained silence throughout Kara’s narration, and Kara can’t tell what she’s thinking. “Why?” she asks, actually wanting to ask why Lena’s being sullen, but Alex interprets that differently.
“For one, preemptive measure,” Alex answers. “It will look like you’re being devoted to your realm—which I know you are,” she hastily amends when Kara makes to protest, “and you can avoid the fanfare of being summoned like a child. For another, it’ll be easier to deal with Non when you’re in your home territory. You gotta put your foot down, and nothing says that better than your very presence.”
Kara sighs glumly, knowing Alex is right. She pulls out her phone from her pocket. “Fine, but I’m making Kal do it.”
“I expected nothing less,” Alex says, patting her on the back.
“Ugh.” Kara drops her head on her hand. Her brain feels like it has been frozen then dried then minced into little pieces. It’s worse than the time Snapper barked at her for fifteen minutes straight because she used run-on sentences on her articles again. “I just don’t understand why Non’s doing this. Was the damage he caused not enough?”
“He’s a dick,” Alex says simply, and Kara chuckles dryly, not even reprimanding her for her language because, after everything, she can’t refute that.
“If I may,” Lena finally speaks up, and Kara and Alex both turn to look at her, “why does the heiress even have to be married for the throne? Doesn’t that defeat the whole point of matriarchy—to do things without relying on a man?”
Aside from the thoughtful frown she has on, she looks as unruffled as she ever is—at least to people who don’t know her.
But Kara knows Lena, so she knows that beneath that calm veneer, something is bothering her. Kara just doesn’t know what it is exactly. There’s a tightness in her voice that worries Kara, and the guardedness from earlier is back in full force but like, it’s . . . colder, this time, more distressed, and Kara doesn’t like it—it makes Lena’s eyes look sad, which is bad in Kara’s book, okay, because for Kara, making Lena sad is practically a criminal offense.
Lena deserves all the happiness in the universe and Kara would gladly give it all to her, with no hesitation at all, and Kara’s only wish is the chance to be the one to make Lena happy and the one to make her smile that adorable little half-smile that sets Kara’s heart aflame every time it appears and the one to make her cheeks blush so prettily like that which oh no Kara has been staring crap she’s being creepy Lena asked a question that Kara still hasn’t answered and she’s still looking at Lena’s beautiful face and Lena’s licking her lips now and Kara’s eyes are drawn to the movement—and Lena’s lips are so pink and looks so soft and Kara idly wonders how they feel like against hers and oh Rao no this is bad bad bad—
Kara all but jumps out of her skin when Alex pointedly clears her throat—which, yes, right, Alex is here, she almost forgot.
(That’s a lie: she totally forgot her sister’s presence because she’s distracted by Lena’s lips which, to be fair, is totally not Kara’s fault. Lena’s lips could probably be used as a super-weapon because they can make anyone do anything, okay—she only has to say the word and Kara certainly will do what she asks, that’s for sure, and stop now, Kara).
She squeaks out an apology, and Alex’s gaze is knowing, which is also bad—because there’s nothing to know, Alex, she tries to convey the message through her eyes though she probably just looks like a deer caught in headlights, at best, and at worst, well, probably like a . . . dying Kara Danvers.
(She’s pretty sure if life really had theme music in the background, hers would be the one that plays when the kart goes over the rainbow road in Mario Kart. Or if she were a tad more melodramatic, the one that played when Prince Noctis died in Final Fantasy . . . or when anyone died in Final Fantasy, really.
But dead fictional characters to get foolishly invested in despite the fact that they’re both fictional and dead aren’t the point here.
It’s pretty discouraging, is the point.)
Alex smirks at her, raising an eyebrow, and Kara opens her mouth—either to answer Lena’s question or to try and threaten Alex with anything, she hasn’t decided yet—but Alex beats her to it.
“Not exactly, no,” Alex tells Lena with a smile that Kara knows can’t be anything but bad news. But Lena doesn’t know that and she just looks intrigued, and so Alex explains, shrugging, “The heiress must be married, yeah, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a man.”
Lena tilts her head (and she looks so cute, and it’s not helping Kara’s mental predicament in the least). A glimmer of something passes in her eyes, something Kara can’t name but likes. “I see,” she says, and that something is also in her voice, though there’s also a calculating lilt to it, like when she’s negotiating with Kara on Monopoly. “Won’t that be counterproductive, though? The House of El needs its bloodline to carry on, which can’t happen in same-sex marriages.”
At that Alex meets Kara’s gaze, and Kara just shrugs, and Alex sighs, running a hand through her hair before adopting a defeated and hopelessly resigned expression. “That’s . . . really not a problem,” she answers, carefully, as if she can’t quite believe she’s doing this. She sighs again, and then asks, “What do you know of Krypton, Miss Luthor?”
“Call me Lena, Agent Danvers,” Lena says lightly, though Kara sees she’s a bit confused at the turn of conversation. “And all I know of Krypton is what Kara herself told me—it’s a small country rich in gold and other natural resources, and its science is way more sophisticated than the rest of the world’s.”
“That’s right.” Alex nods. “But what Kara failed to mention, I presume, is just how much more sophisticated the science is. Speaking as a biochemical engineer who has worked with top-level tech, I have to say, it’s pretty damn advanced.” Alex’s eyes have that shine in them that Lena’s also often get when talking about science-y stuff, and oh, Kara notes that it’s there now.
Lena is biting her lip in that way she often does when analysing a situation and Kara should really douse herself with holy water from the temple of Rao because now is clearly not the time to think about wanting to be the one to bite that, Kara, this is a serious matter. “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”
Alex smiles. “What are you thinking?”
Lena squints at her, noting the challenge, and because she’s Lena, she meets it head on. “That Kryptonians have a found a way to create life from same-sex genetic donors.”
Alex nods in confirmation, but Lena crosses her arms. “If that were true, why haven’t they announced it yet? They would be helping a lot of people with that kind of tech.”
She sounds confused, but also helpless—Lena believes in using science as a force for good, and Kara has lost count of the times Lena has made an impassioned speech about developing technology that will make people’s lives easier, safer, better. She can’t wrap her mind around the idea that something this huge would be kept from the public—not when there are a lot out there who would benefit from it and would have gladly sold their souls for the mere chance of having something that that technology can so easily provide.
Kara’s heart aches; not for the first time in her life, she feels a twinge of guilt for the way her people do things.
“Tradition,” she says, feebly, and Lena looks at her, a plaintive sort of uncertainty on her face. “Many Kryptonian inventions have been kept within our realm because of tradition. We’re a self-sufficient people, for the most part, and we only ever really concern ourselves with international relations when severe repercussions on our own lives are imminent. It’s . . .” she hesitates, but ploughs on, “it’s an undeniably selfish way to live, I know, which is why I’ve been thinking of ways to subvert that when I’m on the throne.” She clears her throat. “Tio El—one of my ancestors—he was a naturalist, and he too believed that our scientific advancements must be announced to the world. I want to finish what he started.”
Lena’s gaze has the intensity of a storm and the warmth of the sun, and Kara can almost feel her insides bubbling with the force of the words brewing on her tongue, words she wants to say but can’t because she doesn’t want to destroy what they have. So instead of continuing to meet Lena’s gaze, Kara glances at Alex, and the fierce pride in her sister’s eyes is more bearable for her, if only a little.
“So,” Kara says, after what felt like a lifetime, “I really have to get out of this snag because I won’t be able to subvert anything of value if I can’t even escape an arranged marriage.”
Lena is still looking at her, and Kara doesn’t know how Lena always manages to make her feel warm (home) without even saying a word, but Kara really shouldn’t get distracted by her eyes again lest she does something terrible—like kiss her, which is tempting, and which Kara absolutely shouldn’t do because they’re FRIENDS.
What even is her life now?
“Uh, I . . . I think I got something,” Alex offers. She grimaces and amends, “Sort of.”
She’s sitting on the floor, arms on the coffee table, while Kara and Lena are on the sofa and the couch, respectively. The three of them (mostly Kara) have eaten all the doughnuts and the pizzas they had delivered when it became clear that it’s going to be a long brainstorming session.
“What?” Kara asks.
“Well,” Alex begins, hesitates, “you might not like it.”
“Will it avoid Non’s latest desperate bid to control the throne through marrying me off?”
“I, uhm. Hopefully?”
“It’s yes or no, Alex.”
“Okay, yeah.” She nods, as if convincing herself. “Yes, it will.”
“Then I will like it,” Kara declares, “whatever it is.”
“So what is it?”
“Oh. Yeah. Uhm.” Alex opens her mouth, fails to speak. She purses her lips, thinking how best to phrase her idea, and apparently decides that simply stating it is the way to go. “You gotta find yourself a fiancée.”
Kara registers Lena gasping sharply, but she doesn’t have time to ask what that’s about. Her head is pounding and she sits up so quickly she almost throws up everything she ingested for the last four hours—which is a lot—and though it’s a bit of a struggle, she manages to pin Alex with an incredulous look. “What now?”
“Think about it,” Alex insists. “If you’re already with a fiancée, no one, not even the Supreme Council, can force you into another arrangement. It will be going against the virtues Krypton stands for—the virtues they are tasked of protecting.”
“Just to be clear,” Kara says, looking at her sister as if she had grown another head, “you want me to get engaged so I can escape being engaged.”
“When you put it that way, it sounds silly, but yeah, basically.”
“Sounds silly? Alex, it’s beyond silly!” Kara exclaims. “This is literally the most insane plan you’ve ever had, and I saw you help Maggie plan her date with Kate while you’re in love with her your senior year!”
“Hey!” Alex gasps, offended. “I thought we’re never talking about that again!”
“That’s before you thought of this crazy thing!”
“I don’t see you coming up with anything useful!”
“I—Alex, it’s not like it’ll be so easy!” Kara protests, arms waving frantically. “I haven’t even been on a date in ages—how do you think am I going to find a fiancée in a month?”
“I didn’t say it has to be real,” Alex says. “Just find someone to pretend. Then when you do meet someone, break it off, get engaged again, and live happily ever after. Easy as pie.”
Alex says it as if it really were that easy, but Kara looks even more horrified. “You want me to lie to the council and to my people?” she says, scandalised.
“Well, your council is being a bunch of dicks, and your people will be better off with any hypothetical consort than with a Daxam prince.”
“Kara, unless you can find a way to reject your constitution, or rewrite it, while still an heiress, then I don’t really see other options.”
Kara buries her face in her hands, groaning in defeat. “Rao.”
“You can ask Jimmy, or maybe Winn. You can even ask Lucy—I’m pretty sure she’s gonna jump at the chance to be in Krypton as anything other than the lawyer.”
“It’s not that easy,” Kara points out again.
“Jimmy’s busy with his job, Winn’s got his own stuff, and Lucy’s already known in there,” Kara says. “It’s going to be pretty suspicious if we suddenly act in love.”
“Okay, those are good points,” Alex admits. “But I’m sure you can find someone. I can ask Barry to—”
“I can do it.”
Both Kara and Alex look at Lena, then, the former almost falling off her seat in surprise. Alex’s lips are tugged into a smirk that Kara doesn’t notice at all because she’s staring at Lena as if seeing her for the first time.
Lena’s cheeks have that rosy hue again, and she’s staring at the carpeted floor. Her hands are clenched into tight fists, and she’s chewing her lower lip.
Kara wants to gather her into her arms and never let her go.
But that’s out of the question, right at this moment, so she settles for the ever eloquent, “What?”
Lena clears her throat, swallows, and then blows a harsh exhale. She straightens her spine before finally meeting Kara’s eyes, and Kara nearly chokes on how intense that look is. “I can do it,” Lena repeats. At their continued silence, she states, “I don’t have plans for the break, anyway, and I’ve always been interested in learning different cultures. Besides, if Krypton’s technology is anything like you’re saying it is, then I suppose it will be a much more fun way of spending my time than reading through next term’s syllabus.”
“I—Lena, I don’t want to impose,” Kara says, voice breaking a little, because bringing Lena home is too pure an idea for her neurons to process.
And to be her betrothed?
Well. That is something Kara does not have the cognitive function to sort out.
“It’s okay, Kara,” Lena tells her, staring at her with those warm green eyes. “You’re not imposing. I’m offering—insisting, in fact. I want to help.”
“Lena,” Kara says, kind of pathetically, because there’s nothing else she can say when Lena looks so earnest.
“Besides,” Lena adds, grinning now, and the twinkle in her eyes warns Kara that what’s coming next will be dangerous to her overall health, “a whole break of trying—and no doubt succeeding—to make you blush in public? That’s too good an opportunity to pass up.”
Predictably, Kara’s cheeks betray her as she feels them burning with the aforementioned blush, and Alex howls in amusement.
“Whoa, Kara,” Alex gasps out through her laughter, “I really should have met your roommate way before this shitstorm. I like her.”
Kara is too busy burying herself in her pillows to say that she really likes Lena too.
“How are we going to swing this?”
“Easy,” Alex says, whipping out her phone and typing quickly.
Kara’s phone chimes with a new notification, making Kara jump, and then she winces when that is followed by a rapid ding-ding-ding. She looks at her sister in confusion. Alex merely smirks, shrugging, and Kara opens up the app to see what she’s done now.
And when she does, she really wishes she could just fly up to Rao’s sweet embrace and not deal with this.
(She has to schedule a conversation with her sister about her definition of easy, one of these days, because it sure is bound to get her in even more trouble than she already is.)
big danvers made a new thread
Kara’s Betrothal ♥☼ ∞
little lane: YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED?????!!!! TO WHO
big lane: *to whom
little lane: WHATEVER LOIS
little lane: DON’T BE A NERD
little lane: WHO CARES ABOOT GRAMMAR
little lane: BABY DANVERS IS GETTING MARRIED
little lane: IM SHOOKT ™
big lane: Congratulations, Kara!
big lane: When’s the betrothal ceremony?
little lane: WHO’S THE UNFORTUNATE SOUL
little danvers: HEY
little danvers: THAT’S RUDE
little danvers: ASDFGHJKL ALEX WHY
little danvers: ALSO HEY DON’T LEAVE ME TO THE WOLVES HERE
little danvers: THIS IS YOUR CALL
big danvers: oh, sorry, i was talking to your fiancée
big danvers: ALSO don’t ya think they deserve to know
little lane: AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH S H O O K T
big danvers: @lois, not sure when, her royal highness hasn’t made the calls yet
little danvers: A L E X
clark can’t: I just saw you HOURS ago and now you’re GETTING MARRIED?
winnsome lose some: OMG
winnsome lose some: I GET TO BE BRIDESMAID RIGHT
winnsome lose some: or like, whatever the male version is or something
winnsome lose some: !!!!
james godsend: dibs on photographing the ceremony!
winnsome lose some: jimmy, my man, there’s no other photographer here
james godsend: I gotta cover my bases, dude, it’s not often I get to photograph the Palace of Marriage
little lane: WAIT
little lane: IS THIS ABOUT NON’S APPEAL? @clark @kara
clark can’t: perhaps
little danvers: @james, @winn hold your horses
little danvers: @lucy maybe
big lane: so . . . you’re not betrothed?
big danvers: she is
little danvers: i’m not
big lane: . . . ????
winnsome lose some: im confused
james godsend: me too
big danvers: don’t listen to kara, she’s freaking out
big danvers: she’s not betrothed YET by kryptonian standards because ceremony
big danvers: but she will be
little danvers: ☺ that is me
little danvers: screaming with my lips closed
little danvers: goodbye
little danvers: i’ll see you all in rao’s light
big danvers: don’t be dramatic
big danvers: and don’t think i can’t see you sneaking glances at lena
big danvers: you’re not as subtle as you think you are
big danvers: actually you’re not subtle AT ALL
big lane: the future Queen Consort’s name is lena?
big danvers: yup
big lane: as in the roomie?
big danvers: yup
big lane: oh my god well done, kara
clark can’t: how do you know the roommate, lois?
clark can’t: even i only met her earlier
big lane: alex told me
big lane: i can’t trust you with bringing me the juiciest gossip, babe
big lane: for a journalist, you’re kind of a monotonous storyteller
clark can’t: hEY
clark can’t: that’s rude, you’re very lucky i like you
little lane: SAVE YOUR BORING-ASS FOREPLAY FOR LATER
little lane: because 1, EWWW THAT’S MY SISTER, CLARKIE
little lane: and 2, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT KARA’S WEDDING
little danvers: . . . i hate alex very much right now but i also hate lucy i didn’t realise i have so much room in my heart for hate
big danvers: yeah yeah sure, baby sister
big danvers: and kara?
little danvers: what now, sister mine whom i hate
big danvers: down, girl
little lane: LOL
little lane: @alex PM ME THE PLAY BY PLAY
little lane: also tell me when you’re flying to krypton
little lane: imma go with you
little lane: THIS IS GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN
little danvers: i said it before but i will say it again
little danvers: I HATE YOU BOTH