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Mercy

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“I’ve had a really good night,” Lena said quietly and tucked some stray piece of hair behind her ear and Kara blushed and ducked her head, a smile on her own face. Around them other people, other couples were filing out of the cinema and discussing the movie as they walked through the building and out into the street.

“Me too,” she replied and fiddled with her glasses and then made a mental note to clean them of the popcorn butter she’d just put on them.

“Even with your two boxes of jumbo popcorn?” Lena asked teasingly and Kara flushed a little more. National City was lit as the evening turned into night and Lena’s driver pulled into the loading zone outside the cinema.

“I’m full,” Kara playfully patted her belly and Lena giggled and Kara’s smile widened at the sound.

Lena bit her lip and Kara’s eyes were drawn to the ruby red of her lipstick. “Would you like to join me for lunch on Wednesday?” She asked, and seemed almost nervous about it.

“Sure!” Kara may have responded a little too eagerly, and people turned to look at her and she turned as red as her alter-ego’s suit, but ignored that in favour of how Lena’s smile stretched across her face and she didn’t seem like she could keep her lips together.

“Okay, awesome. I’ll text you?”

“Yup! Okay!”

Lena’s smile went still and she leant forward and kissed Kara’s cheek, blushing furiously, the contrast lovely to her pale skin, and ducked into her car. “Bye,” she waved, still red as though unable to believe her nerve and left Kara a stuttering blushing mess on the side-walk.

“B-bye!” She lifted her hand up to wave awkwardly as the car drove away and didn’t see the amused looks she was getting as she lowered her fingers to her cheek where Lena had pressed a quick kiss. It was fine, friends kissed friends like that all the time, it was like a thing in Europe, or at least that’s what modern media told her. There was no need to panic, and her heart could stop that flipping routine it was doing inside her chest now.

Her skin was burning where Lena had kissed her goodbye, the imprint of her lips almost scarred into her skin and her body was humming, fire jolting through her veins. She felt like, almost weightless.

Suddenly needing to speak with Alex she ducked into an alley way and was soaring through the air a few moments later as her alter-ego. The air was cool high above the city but she couldn’t feel its chill, one of the perks of being an Alien was that her body was adverse to extreme temperatures and regulated itself accordingly. Alex loved to be her cuddle buddy in winter, she said she radiated heat like a heater. She dove behind a closed store and after making sure no one had seen her, was soon crossing the road and making her way up to Alex’s apartment.

She smelt pizza and beer as she got closer and her stomach growled, never mind she’d had two jumbo combos while at the cinema with Lena, and had shared the CEO’s pack of sour worms.

“Alex!” She cried as she bounded into the apartment, catching her sister sitting on the couch while Game of Thrones was on in the background. “You’ll never guess what-” she halted abruptly as she saw a second person curled into the other end of the couch.

“Oh….sorry,” she drew up short and looked at her blushing sister. “I didn’t realise you had company.”

“Kara, this is Detective Sawyer, of the NCPD. Maggie this is my sister Kara,” Alex rattled off after a few seconds of gaining her composure, a warning look in her eye. Kara understood, she’d met Maggie, but not as Kara, she had as Supergirl though.

“What happened?” She asked curiously and paused the tv, shooting an apologetic glance at Maggie. The detective shrugged and smiled over at Kara.

“Yes, do tell. I want to know what’s got you acting like a puppy.”

Kara blushed but quickly took a seat on the other couch as Alex tucked her legs under her and looked at her sister. “She’s always a puppy,” she mock whispered to Maggie.

“Hey! Am not!” Kara pouted and folded her arms but couldn’t hold the expression when Alex giggled.

“Truce?” She said and held out the box of pizza, there were two pieces left and Kara beamed and dove for one.

“Twuce,” she mumbled through a slice.

“So what happened?”

“Okay, Kara said and licked her lips as she finished her mouthful. “So Lena and I went to see the new Marvel movie-“

“Wait, Lena Luthor?”

“Yup, keep up, Alex.”

The agent shot her a dirty look.

“And I had like two combos and she shared her sour worms with me, which they are her favourite so I have to get her some, and then when it was over she did something really weird.” Kara paused and took another mouthful of the pizza, both for her stomach and for the suspense.

Alex had tensed and her voice was sharp. “What’d she do?”

Kara didn’t notice, but Maggie did and shot the agent a curious look.

“Fe kids me,” Kara gargled out around her mouthful and then swallowed.

“I didn’t quite catch that,” Alex said with narrowed eyes, familiar as she was with Karanese she couldn’t understand what her sister had just said through her half chewed pizza.

“I said she kissed me!” Kara said and flopped back on the couch. “Weird right?”

“She whaaAT?!” Alex’s feet were on the floor and her eyes were sparking.

“Only on the cheek,” Kara said quickly with her brow furrowed adorably. “Must be some elite circle thing? Or, maybe like a culture thing?” Kara shrugged and looked over at Alex. “It was as she said goodbye… should I have kissed her back?”

Alex and Maggie shared a look.

“Was it a date?”

“Huh? No!” Kara yelped in response to Maggie’s question. “Lena wouldn’t want to-No, she’s not interested- no,” she shook her head quickly. “It wasn’t a date.” She shook her head again for emphasis.

“You went to the movies?”

Kara fiddled with her fingers and said that they’d kinda gone out for tea first, at a really, really, fancy restaurant.

“Riiight,” Alex drawls, seemingly over her bout of rage at the thought of Lena kissing her sister, and more interested in seeing just how red Kara’s face could get. “So you went out to an exclusive restaurant and then went to a movie and she kissed you goodnight, and it wasn’t a date?”

Kara faltered and lifted her head from where she was admiring Alex’s cushions. “Ah, I, um, at least I don’t think so?” Her voice rose to a question at the end.

“Friends kiss friends, right? Right?” Kara looked between Maggie and Alex frantically, fear settling into her eyes.

“We’re just teasing you, Kara. Right,” Maggie nudged Alex pointedly. “Friends kiss each other on the cheek all the time, it doesn’t mean anything else.”

“Oh,” Kara’s face fell a little and her brow tightened. “Okay. That’s, um, that’s good.”

“Unless you wanted it to be a date?” Alex asked incredulously, voice lifting to a squeak. It was okay for her to tease Kara, she was her sister, that was what she was for but if it actually meant something to her sister then she just may have to speak with Lena Luthor, girl to girl.

Kara hesitated and pulled a cushion closer, wrapping her arms around it, and she seemed small. “What?! Noo…” she sounded lost and Alex rose to her feet and moved over to sit next to Kara, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. “I’m not gay…”

“I didn’t say you were,” Alex said gently, meeting Maggie’s eyes over Kara’s head. “But it’s okay to like Lena,” her jaw moved and she ducked a kiss to Kara’s hair. “Even if she is a Luthor,” Alex whispered, for Kara’s ears only.

“We’re just friends,” Kara confessed quietly and Alex pulled her tighter.

Her phone going off pulled her attention from the hug and she dug around in her pocket for it and smiled when she saw the name in the notifications.

“Lena?” Alex asked curiously, seeing her smile.

“No,” Kara frowned slightly. “Clark. He said he’d get back to me on the Dr Alan case.”

Maggie perked up and lowered her beer. “What about Dr. Alan?”

“Oh, um, my boss has me looking into it,” Kara said as she opened the text.

“Kara’s a reporter,” Alex explained and Maggie nodded slowly.

“Find anything interesting?” She asked curiously, in an all-to-casual voice which fooled no-one.

Kara’s blue eyes narrowed on the detective across the coffee table. “That depends. Do I have an off the record source if I share what I know?”

“Let’s hear what you have to say, first,” Maggie smiled. She had a nice smile. Alex and Kara shared a look and Alex shrugged.

“Okay,” Kara said and proceeded to list all of the facts and theories that she had and was impressed with how Maggie’s face gave none of her thoughts away as she listened.

A few moments after Kara had finished speaking she nodded. “Okay. Yeah-“ she hesitated and then added quickly”-off the record?” Kara nodded eagerly.

“Yeah, you’re right. A buddy works homicide and she interviewed Jake’s family and neighbours and friends, they all said he was trying to get clean and his supplier hadn’t seen him in weeks.” She took a sip of her beer and then continued. “The product in his system isn’t from his normal supplier, not from any suppliers in National City, or none that we know of. The bail money was deposited into his mothers account and we traced that back to an account in the Cayman’s, and couldn’t go further. He was asked to go to the funeral and apologise.”

Kara blinked, she’d thought it was a set-up but didn’t quite realise the depth of it. Jake had been released and then sent to his death, and with flowers, the poor kid.

“The shooter was Jamie McCartney and he just went quietly and hasn’t said a word on it, who paid him or why.” Maggie snorted. “All he did was clam up and ask for a lawyer. Cassie-my friend-thinks his only option is to plead guilty, he spat-literally-on a deal he was offered.” She shrugged. “He’s either afraid of who hired him, or got something worth life imprisonment.”

“He has a daughter,” Kara said and scrolled back into Clark’s text message. “She’s sick and he couldn’t afford the medical treatment, not indefinitely anyway.”

“So that’s why he isn’t talking. Whoever hired him is seeing to his daughter’s medical needs for the rest of her life,” Maggie was quick to connect the dots. “All he had to do was set up the scene, kill the doctor, and then take out the scape-goat. Clever.”

“Someone with deep pockets wanted Dr Alan dead. Why?” Alex asked, having stayed quiet for most of the discussion.

Kara shrugged. “Me n Mitch are looking into that. He wants me to meet him tomorrow for breakfast to talk about it.”

“Right, well,” Alex withdrew her arm and nudged Kara’s shoulder. “Don’t you want to get a good night’s sleep?” She said pointedly, innocently.

“Nah,” Kara said smiling, missing the cue entirely. “I slept-in this morning. I feel wide awake.” Alex’s face fell and Maggie brought her hand to her lips to smother her giggle.

“Don’t you have that.. thing that you had to do?” Alex tried again, and rolled her eyes towards the door, trying to speak with her eyebrows.

“Oh!” Kara finally got it, a light went on above her head. “Oh, um, yup, thanks for reminding me.” She was quick to get to her feet and stumbled over the corner of the couch, sending it screeching a little across the floor.

“Opps. Sorry for interrupting! See you later Alex. Nice to meet you Maggie!” And then she was gone, out the door and into the hall, the door slamming shut behind her. She heard Maggie break out into giggles with her super hearing and flushed a little.

“Your sister is cute,” Maggie said, smile in her voice. “Oh don’t pout. I think you’re cuter.”

Face flushing further Kara bolted down the stairwell, she didn’t need to hear that private moment between friends?

Her comm device beeped in her ear as she was crossing the road and she tapped it on as she waited for a car to pass. “Supergirl, come in.”

“Hey, Winn,” Kara smiled and ducked around behind a shop before soaring into the sky in costume. “What’s up? Enjoying your Sunday night?”

“Nooo, not really.” Winn sounded strained and she was instantly alert, straining to hear anything more down her communication line.

“What’s wrong?”

“Er, it’s best if I show you.”

Feeling uneasy Supergirl promised to be right there and lifted above the buildings before she broke the sound barrier with a crack, racing towards the DEO.

She landed easily on their little run-way up top of the building and marched through the doors and into the centre of the DEO.

Winn was looking intensely at his computer while Hank stood by him, gazing up at a map on the large screens.

“Supergirl!” Hank greeted and gave her a little nod.

“What did ya need me to see?” She asked curiously as she strode down the steps and over to the mission control station.

Winn and Hank shared a look. “This,” Winn said and brought up the image of a-it looked like a saw mill. There were stacks of wood and large buildings and uncut trees.

“Our satellites missed it, but,” Winn emphasised. “I may or may not have hacked into NASA and taken a look at theirs.” The image changed to show a few vehicles at the mill, at night, which was odd. “So you know how I made that algorithm to track traces of Kryptonite?”

Kara tensed and Winn ducked his head into his shoulder apologetically. “Wellll, a trace came up this morning around one forty over in Metropolis.”

“Kal?” Kara asked quickly, concerned about her cousin.

“He was fighting a school fire at the time, Supergirl,” Hank reassured her and directed her to look another screen. “Apparently it was planned to have him out of action while the Kryptonite was moved.” On one of the screens there was a police crime-scene where a black body-sack was being loaded into an ambulance and the night was lit with blue and red lights and the headline bannered along the bottom.

“It showed up in National City again three minutes ago,” Winn said in relation to the Kryptonite. “I hacked all the feeds I could think of, but whoever moved it to National City must have used some sort of signal jammer, the entire picture of the vehicle or whoever wanted it has been pixelated. It’s some impressive tech.”

“Okay,” said Kara nodding, deep in thought. “Do we know who moved it or why?”

“Kal was investigating the crime scene, apparently there was a gun fight and a car chase along the high-way, and they stole a helicopter. Security feeds at the scenic choppers were cut, but apparently they had a van waiting there to take the Kryptonite to the mill.” Hank explained how the kryptonite had been moved to another vehicle, and how there had been bodies left at the scene. Someone met them there and stole the stolen kryptonite and killed the thieves to cover their tracks, it was an impressive set up.

“We think it may have been a Cadmus supply cache,” said Hank reluctantly and Kara turned worried blue eyes on him. “They are the only ones we know to have Kryptonite.”

“Apart from the Luthor’s,” Winn pointed out.

“Maybe,” Hank said slowly. “We should go and visit Lena Luthor.”

 

~*~

Lena carefully drove the forklift around her warehouse and gently lowered the silver crate of lead encased kryptonite onto the floor before reversing and returning the forklift to its station over in the corner. Her warehouse in industrial National City had been brought cheap, having used to belong to the military for storage and a base of operations. It was like many of the buildings around it on the outside, long and slender for aeroplanes and military vehicles, but on the inside she’d had, or rather her shell company, had had some work done. The entire building was reinforced with steel and lead on the roof and supports, and the few glass windows on the side were mirrored and bullet proof. The civilian contractors thought they were building something for the government, and the NDA’s she’d had them sign ensured their silence for life.

On the outside she had a whole lot of supplies; there were metals of different strengths, consistencies, lengths, and widths, as well as various wires and coils and the like. She had a small forge and various safety equipment for it against the back wall with a chimney going into the roof, and she had a small private area with a bed, table and chair, television and another room for her shower and toilet. In the middle of the old building was her lab, different to her one at L-Corp, but not by much. Here was where she did a lot of her personal experiments and designs, ones where she didn’t trust her own staff and company, or ones where she just wanted peace and quiet.

There was a wall of computers and monitors, and various medical gear that wouldn’t be out of place in a bio-lab. She had solders and grinders, measuring equipment, beakers, and metal benders as well as cutting tools and large bench space, wood cutting benches, and area’s to work. Only a scientist would be able to name most of the items in her lab, and the world’s best engineers would be able to name the rest. The entire space was all lit by large lights.

Feeling a headache coming on, and wondering if she ought to have gone with a water instead of a coke at her movie with Kara, she rubbed her temples and made her way to the small U-Haul truck parked just outside of the entry box. She was very careful with her secret lab, the only way in, apart from through the sides and roof (but they were reinforced with metre thick steel and concrete beams going into the earth) was through the only door around the side opposite the road.

It looked like an ordinary rolling door, just like the outside, only maybe a little bit shinier and of higher quality than one would expect for an abandoned building. The locals had never seen anyone enter or leave after the building team had come and gone, and they had all heard about the rich bachelor from Metropolis who wanted a private get-away pad. They knew he drove a motorcycle though, a sleek and powerful black one.

Of course upon opening the rolling door- the door required a keypad to open, which was a little conspicuous- the driver would then enter a tunnel and the door behind them, two of them (the simple roller door and a large and thick door like you would expect from a bank vault, would roll shut behind them. They would be in a box, reinforced steel and with various safety measures in place ensuring that if someone got in, they couldn’t get any further without having the correct eyes, fingerprints, voice, password, and key. It was even locked in with an air-lock which could be controlled from outside of the rectangle cage- the civilian contractors hadn’t been quite so keen on that part of the job. They didn’t like the idea of someone being able to flood the box with CO2 (or something worse).

There was an x-ray machine and a heat signature detector, a giant scale, and a bio-scanner as well, designed to stop any unwelcome intruders or devices. Signal in and out of the building was impossible, though she did have a spiral tower to connect her to the internet, hidden behind layers and layers and layers of encryptions and software designed to ensure that if anyone were to try and find her location, or hack her computers, they would think she lived in Russia somewhere, or maybe in the middle of the ocean, or maybe at the top of a mountain.

She had told Kara she was good with computers, and she was, she could hack the FBI, CIA, and Interpol with one hand. She’d even hacked the “government” agency that worked with Supergirl, which actually hadn’t been that difficult. In their arrogance, perhaps that their tech or employees were superior, or that no one knew of them, they had left a lot of gaps for any curious hacker to pry into, and once she was in the system she was in the system. A lot of the files had been encrypted, and she had soon seen that any outside probing into what they said would trigger an immediate alert and she realised she had to be let into the system somehow. She could track their agents and piggyback their feeds easily enough, but the data she wanted, needed, was buried very, very deeply, likely with alien tech and she needed a door to get into it.

The alien attack on her had been wonderfully timed and she had quickly put the event to good use. She channelled her IP address through another, then another, and then another, using a tried a true method of hackers to disguise her location, and had then attached a series of commands to the footage she was going to send to the ‘FBI’. Then she had edited the part with the alien speaking to her and had sent it on its merry way, knowing that as soon as the ‘FBI’ opened the file she would be let into their system and a download of the keywords she was after would begin. The information would be uploaded to a section of the Dark Net she had ‘borrowed’ for the occasion and would trigger a notification on her phone when she would immediately call in sick and return to her laboratory to retrieve and then erase the information. After all, information like that could wind up in the wrong hands.

It had gone splendidly, if she didn’t say so herself, and she had spent the weeks before going to visit Lex going over every word of the DEO files. Unfortunately the civilian identity of Supergirl was hidden away, but she didn’t need to know who Superman was, she was a Luthor, of course she knew he was Clark Kent, which made his article about her rather enlightening. It had been amusing to drop hints about Superman just to watch the celebrated reporter fire back at her. Part of her enjoyed the verbal exchange, even if he didn’t know that she knew, but the other part was a little wounded that he treated her like the rest of her family, solely based on her last name. She was very thankful that Supergirl had given her a chance to prove herself, rather than following her cousins bigotry, not that she blamed him, Lex had tried to kill him, and did manage to kill dozens of others.

Once Lena had cleared her intense security in her lab she had full access to the entire hanger and could go wherever she pleased, with the bars lifting at the other end and remaining open until she started the arming process, when they would lower and the other doors would open. She had been very proud of this particular design, and though she could never share it with anyone, had been smug when simulations in the event of a security breach all failed. No one, unless they were more than human, could get into her laboratory without her.

She clambered up into the U-Haul after pulling on her gloves and turned it around, having already unloaded the crate of Kryptonite and locked the rear-doors again. When Mercy had said she’d get her Kryptonite for a price, she hadn’t thought on just how much she would be getting. From what her computer was telling her, the crate weighed in at 187.4kg, which, even with the lead and metal surroundings taken off, was still a lot of Kryptonite.

She wasn’t quite sure of what she was going to do with it, and needed to go over the information she had acquired from the DEO to sort out what they knew and what she could learn, but she would do that during the week. For now she wanted to get home and get to sleep, she had an early morning with an online conference with some investors.

She reversed the truck, almost getting the gear-stick stuck and she spared a thought for her beautiful motorbike in the back, before entering the cage and halting the truck. She flicked a few buttons and keyed in her exit code, setting the countdown for the building to arm itself and returned to the truck. The door leading to the laboratory rolled shut with a clang and there was a whooshing sound as it became air tight. She’d have five minutes to exit the building before she lost consciousness, or unarmed it. She drove forward to the next set of key code and only had to key in her password for the large door to roll up, and it dragged the roller door up with it, only it was faster so that the roller door hid the giant steel door. The windows on both sides were tinted, and mirrored, nothing could see in, so she was reassured as she jerked the truck into gear and drove out into the street.

The drive to the suburban street was quiet bar some enthusiastic news presenter on the radio going on about how some military grade explosives had gone off in a school in Metropolis and how Superman had saved the day.

She guided the truck to a halt and exited it, almost flinching when a man appeared out of the shadows, chewing on a burger. He had steel eyes and short black hair was greying and he looked like he belonged in a business meeting as his white shirt and black jacket made him look professional. He even had a pair of shades exposing the hair on his chest as they were held by his collar. In the faint light she could see a scar on his cheek.

“Word’s gone out,” he said as he stepped into the street light as she moved around to the back and lowered the ramp to the ground. Around them the streets were mostly silent with their residents settling in for the night. He took another large bite of his burger as she strode up the ramp.

“Oh,” she asked, not really caring for the help’s commentary as she moved inside and started to strip the tow ropes from her baby. Her 2015 black Ducati Diavel was one of her guilty pleasures and she did enjoy the rush the power beneath her it gave her when she took it for a spin. Her motorbike jacket was draped over the bike and she walked over to put it on as soon as she’d unstrapped her bike.

“Mh,” said her companion. “One mill to drop you, permanently.” Lena went still and paused in her zipping of her jacket before continuing slowly. She grabbed her helmet from the floor and turned to face her companion.

“Is that so,” she said as she guided the bike down the ramp. If he wanted her dead she’d be dead, she knew that.

“Yup,” he popped the ‘p’ and took another bite of his burger as she flicked the stand on her bike.

“Then why aren’t I dead?” She asked and dug her hands under the ramp, feeling her muscles protest at the weight and she had to force a lot of her body mass into getting it to clang against its braces at the top. She clicked the security locks into place as she waited for her companion to answer.

“Five mill into an offshore account and I never saw you, or your box of Kryptonite,” he offered eventually. Ah, there it was.

She turned to face him and crossed her arms, lifting a brow. So he had taken a look. She had thought he was just hired-help after he had approached her at the funeral and told her Lex wanted to speak with her, but when it was him, and not Mercy, delivering the Kryptonite a week later she realised he was more important than she had originally considered.

“Two,” she challenged and he smirked. He was handsome like this, in a bad-boy kind of way.

“Three and a half,” he countered, voice final and she nodded in agreement.

“Done. What’s the account?” She asked and dug in her jacket for her cell phone. She had turned it off, removed the battery and the SIM card and had to wait a few minutes for it to turn on after she put it back together.

Smiling her companion rattled off an account and she opened her internet banking. Being a Luthor had it’s perks; as well as multiple bloated bank accounts under her name, she also had many, many others under shell corporations, or under different identities. She may have been adopted, but she was Luthor, and money was synonymous with the name. She frowned when she opened her first account and shrugged, choosing another one to transfer the money.

“Three and a half mill done,” she offered and showed him the transfer until it was complete. He dug out his own phone and checked it.

“Pleasure doing business with you, Miss Luthor,” he said with a smile.

“I hope trust you will take care of that,” she said and tilted her head towards the truck.

He lifted his first two fingers as a salute and grinned at her. “Hope to do business with you again sometime.”

“I don’t,” she murmured and pulled her helmet onto her head as he chuckled, able to hear her heart-beat immediately. It was warm and soft inside, high quality, and she smoothly lifted her leg to straddle the bike, taking its weight and straightening it off the stand.

She kicked the stand up and turned the bike on, feeling its rumble turn into a low purr as it started.

Checking for traffic she pulled away from the truck and glided into the night, the engine growling as she kept to the traffic laws until she hit the highway (it wouldn’t do for the residents to make note of the motor-biker roaring down their street, they might be curious about the truck, and about her). Then she may have gone a little faster than law dictated she drive, but she wanted to get home.

She was pulling into the apartment garage when she felt her pocket vibrate with a call, and after clearing security she parked her bike in the private park she had reserved for it. She had three; one for her bike, one for her white Camaro, and one for her blue Audi convertible.

She removed her helmet and wandered into the apartment lobby and dug her phone from her pocket. The notification was from her mother and she sighed and slipped it back into her pocket. Her mother only rang her when she wanted something, and Lena couldn’t be bothered wanting some to want her who only had eyes for someone else.

Her phone beeped again and as she stepped into the private elevator she dug it out again and smiled at seeing the notification from SnapChat, and with Kara’s name. She gave a little giggle when she saw the filter the blonde was using. It was very fitting; a puppy was imposed over her face and licked the screen.

She hesitated over the reply button but decided not to, wondering if she oughtn’t pull back a little from her actions around the reporter. She hadn’t meant to kiss Kara, but the blonde had looked so beautiful smiling under the light of the cinema and she had to, she didn’t go so far as to kiss her on the mouth, that would be uncalled for and she wouldn’t do so without Kara’s permission, so had instead let her lips linger just a little too long on her cheek to be friendly. The way Kara had blushed and stuttered and nervously grabbed at her glasses warmed her heart, and gave her much to think on. She was falling for Kara Danvers, and it was glorious.