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To: Diana Ze ( (

Cc: Alexandra Danvers (

From: Kal El (

Subject: Winter Visit of Her Royal Highness


Dear Regent Ze:

A pleasant day. I would like to give you and the ministry notice regarding the impending visit of Her Royal Highness. She had expressed her wish to spend the holidays with her people, as is her right and duty.

She would be leaving from National City University on the first day of winter break. I have enclosed details of her schedule. Kindly look them over and make the necessary preparations for the journey. 



Lord Kal El, Duke of Kandor

P.S. I hope the council will be wise enough to know their place, this time.




Stars, Alex, I can’t believe you just did that!” Kara groans. Her cheek is squished on a pillow, and there’s hair caught on the side of her mouth, but she’s too miserable to care. She just wants to, like, have a peaceful night—is that really too much to ask?—but the arrival of her cousin and the subsequent revelation of her uncle’s plans have obviously derailed that oh-so-simple dream and so Kara is stuck in this situation that she’d rather really not deal with.

Alex just shrugs, indifferent to Kara’s misery. “Yeah, well, there’s really no point in delaying the thing, is there? We don’t have the time to beat around the bush. Besides, they’re totally supportive! I don’t see the problem.”

“‘Don’t see the—’” Kara splutters as she glares at her sister from her roost on the couch. “A warning would have been nice, for one!”

“You gotta learn to roll with the punches, kid. Besides, there’s something more important we gotta take care of, don’t you think?”


“You’re basically engaged now, Kara.”

“Yes, I get that, thanks.” Kara finally sits up straight—ha! And isn’t that a trick?—though she’s still hugging a pillow close. “And it’s your fault, if I recall. Which I totally do, since it just happened.”

“Your sass is appreciated. Now put it back where it came from.” Alex rolls her eyes. “Anyway, as I was saying, there are more important stuff to talk about.”

“Yes, of course, stuff more important than the fact that I am to make a public appearance as a betrothed woman in my realm—though, ha, it’s going to be a lie!”

“And you won’t be convincing anyone of it if you don’t stop with that mindset,” Alex says, “which brings me to my point: you have to hash out the details, Kara.”  She looks pointedly at Lena, who has been watching them argue with an amused smirk, which is totally inappropriate for the situation and which Kara does not see as attractive at all, no. “And you too, Lena.”

Lena hums, and the smirk is still in place, and yep, all right, it really is insanely attractive, who was Kara trying to fool? Not even blind people would have believed that Lena Luthor is not ridiculously pretty.  “Your sister is right, Your Highness,” she says, eyes fixed on Kara, and whoa, this is no fair at all.

Kara has been prepared for a great many things in her life. She’s been prepared to undergo the rigorous screening process to be accepted in the campus newspaper. She’s been prepared for Snapper Carr’s biting remarks and harsh criticisms and general jerk-guy-ness. She’s been prepared to defend her stance on narratives in media and changing one’s subjective narrative to the objective reality.

She’s been prepared to take the throne—has been preparing for it since she was old enough to understand her duty and the demands of her blood.

What she is decidedly not prepared for, however, is hearing Lena address her in that way and in that voice, and okay, Kara is legitimately dying right now, goodbye, tell her people she loved them.

And so, given that Kara of the proud House of El is wholly unprepared to hear a pretty girl saying the formal style of address, she lets out this pathetic, strangled sort of whimper, and she’d really like to fling herself to Mars right now, please.

But Alex is again shooting her that knowing look, and Kara has to remind herself to breathe normally because that is one unpleasant conversation she’d want to avoid for as long as possible.

(She’d just reached her quota for unpleasant conversations for the day, thank you very much. She deserves a break.)

So Kara powers through the sub-Saharan dryness in her throat, tries to make some sense of the chaos that is her mind. “What are we supposed to do now?” she asks.

“As she said”—Lena gestures to Alex—“we have to come up with the details. If we want your people to actually buy that we’re together, then some nice realistic storytelling is in order.”

“Right, right, a good story,” Kara agrees, because yes, that makes sense, doesn’t it? Appearing on Krypton as betrotheds would not normally cause much of a stir, but Kara is royalty, and she’s under too much scrutiny. If she and Lena were to somehow mess up and their little lie surfaced, then . . .


Kara’s going to be in so much more trouble than if she didn’t agree with this arrangement in the first place.




ex-kal-ibur: i didn’t know the roommate’s your girlfriend

ex-kal-ibur: i apologise for pissing her off

once-and-future queen: it’s not me you should apologise to

ex-kal-ibur: noted

ex-kal-ibur: i will forward a formal apology once her status as your betrothed is made official

once-and-future queen: or you know

once-and-future queen: you could say “i’m sorry” like a normal person

ex-kal-ibur: of course that’s an option too but

ex-kal-ibur: where’s the fun in that?

once-and-future queen: suit yourself

once-and-future queen: but girlfriend or no, kal el

once-and-future queen: lena must always be respected

once-and-future queen: it will do you well to remember that

ex-kal-ibur: i understand, your highness

once-and-future queen: good




“What the fuck.”

They are currently huddled around Kara’s laptop, in the process of showing Lena Kara’s family, the Kryptonian council, and people of note that Lena would have to meet when the time comes. The screen is currently displaying a younger Kara and Kal El, perched on a settee in the royal ballroom, surrounded by some of their grandfather’s trusted advisors.

The words escape Lena in a sort of tortured whisper, and Kara—whose subconscious has apparently made it her life’s mission to make, and keep, Lena happy (not that Kara’s conscious self would ever complain)—is instantly on high alert. She ignores the warmth that floods through her entire body upon hearing Lena swear, because now is obviously not the time, Kara, honestly. “What? Why? Is something wrong?” she asks instead, eyes worriedly looking Lena over, searching for a source of distress, but Lena just heaves an aggrieved sigh.

“Yes—I mean, no. I just—” Lena huffs, waving helplessly towards the screen, and how does she manage to make it look so elegant, oh, Rao. “What the actual fuck is in your people’s genes?”

Kara blinks at her, confusion clear on her face, but Alex just snorts, looking at Lena with amused understanding. “I know, right? It’s totally unfair. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Kryptonian with acne—not a single one. It’s fucking ridiculous.”

“Guys, please focus.”

“I am focusing,” Lena defends, and crap, she’s frowning in affected annoyance, and it is quite possibly the cutest thing Kara has ever seen in her life, may Rao’s light please claim her now lest she combust. “I’m focusing on how totally unfair it is that Kryptonians have, like, perfect skin, while the rest of us in this planet are constantly struggling to achieve even the bare minimum healthy glow.”

And she looks so offended at the unfairness of it all, and her lips are set in an exaggerated pout that Kara just really wants to kiss away, and oh Rao, she has never wanted anything more than she wants to kiss Lena goddamn Luthor.

(No, you focus now, Kara. Also, language!)

Kara shakes her head to try to redirect her traitorous mind from, well, extremely distracting thoughts, and with effort worthy of praise and song, she tears her gaze away from those (pretty) lips and whoa, okay, her sister is nodding at Lena’s statement?

Alex even has this serious “can you believe it” expression and this is just the worst, wow, Alex, why are you forsaking your sister this way. “And don’t even get me started on how she doesn’t get fat! No matter how much Kara eats, there’s like, totally”—she makes an emphatic gesture through the air—“no flab. Same with Clark! It’s like all the good bits from the big bang assembled to form Krypton and all its inhabitants, leaving the rest of the world with no chance to catch up with their perfection at all.”


“What? It is frustrating, okay? I’m allowed to be frustrated with frustrating things.”

“Agreed,” Lena says, exchanging a commiserating look with Alex—and wow, okay, does this mean they’re friends now? That is a frightening concept. “It’s going to be so hard to keep up and try to look this great.”

And Kara, because apparently she has no filter now, just says, with a dash of awe and a pinch of wonder in her tone, “But you’re already so great and amazing and perfect the way you are.”

A cloying silence descends in the room at the heel of Kara’s softly murmured declaration, with Lena’s eyes widening just a bit in shock and Kara’s body freezing and locking in on itself (with her spirit probably leaving her body in haste and her brain going on an unplanned sabbatical).

Kara’s also maybe gaping now, trying to bring oxygen to the blood which is all rushing to her face, and she can probably light up an entire city with the force of her blush.

And she’s just counting the seconds before it all falls apart, before Lena sees how much Kara means the statement and how much she herself means to Kara, before she runs away, before she leaves because Kara is incapable of controlling her feelings.

But then.

“Oh, wow, sister mine,” Alex says with clear laughter in her voice, reaching up to mess with Kara’s hair, “already getting into character, aren’t you? Be sure to save some lines for the actual performance, yeah?”


Alex is the actual best.




ex-kal-ibur: i take it your visit during the winter break will also be the time you’ll present her to the council and to the people?

once-and-future queen: yes

ex-kal-ibur: well then

ex-kal-ibur: i will tell Regent Ze to make adjustments for the trip

once-and-future queen: please and thank you

once-and-future queen: though perhaps leave out the part about the betrothal

once-and-future queen: i want to personally deliver that information

ex-kal-ibur: as you say

once-and-future queen: also i want you there, kal el

ex-kal-ibur: of course

ex-kal-ibur: it’s not every day the heir to krypton gets betrothed now, is it

(once-and-future queen is typing . . .)

once-and-future queen: i freaking hate you

(ex-kal-ibur is typing . . .)

ex-kal-ibur: i love you too, kara




To: Kal El (

Cc: Alexandra Danvers (

From: Diana Ze ( (

Subject: Re: Winter Visit of Her Royal Highness


Your Excellency,

I will oversee the preparations myself. Will there be any particular conditions she wishes fulfilled?



Diana Ze

Regent to the throne of Krypton

[As for your concerns regarding the council: I am doing what I can to calm their unrest, but there is only so much I can do.

I do hope my cousin’s daughter has a plan in place. If she doesn’t, I truly fear for the realm’s future.]




To: Diana Ze ( (

Cc: Alexandra Danvers (

From: Kal El (

Subject: Re: Re: Winter Visit of Her Royal Highness


She will be traveling with one close friend, so the family jet would perhaps suffice. If you may, prepare the suite adjacent to the princess’s chamber. Her Royal Highness also bids you to arrange for a meeting with the High Council, which I too have been asked to attend.

Agent Danvers will follow two days after Her Royal Highness’s scheduled arrival. A meeting about adjustments for Her Royal Highness’s security could be held with her presence.


[You and me both, Regent.]