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Mercy

Chapter Text

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National City was showing her finer colours as the afternoon spun into dusk with a symphony of colour. The oranges, purples, reds, and yellows cast ribbons of colour along the modern and sleek white colour-scheme in the CEO’s office of L-Corp, formerly Luthor Corp. Turning from her great (bulletproof) windows Lena Luthor tossed back her hair and leant forward over her desk, pulling her laptop closer and entering her password and offering her thumbprint and retinal scan to allow her access to the device.

While she had many computers this one was connected to both her work files and her personal files, the main difference between the two was that as well as being connected to the work servers and showing her research into certain projects to staff with the right clearance levels, the personal server also contained much of her brothers research and notes, as well as information he didn’t want known. It was a risk, to have such information online, but L-Corp firewalls were designed by the finest IT employees money could buy, and her personal firewalls were reinforced by her own computer skills. Lex had also kept paper-files, notes, and research regarding things he hadn’t wanted anyone to see, those she’d had moved from his head-office, head research lab, and his home before the authorities could get their hands on them. She’d had them stored in a warehouse in Metropolis under a shell corporation and a dozen other precautionary measures to ensure Lex’s research never saw the light of day, there was no telling what that information could do if it were let loose on the world. Paranoid Lex may have been, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t out to get you.

Hesitating over her private files she instead reached for the remote on her desk and clicked a button. The glass on her windows shimmered slightly and she clicked back into her private files, confident that if anyone had been spying on her through her window, it was now reflecting back at them as two-way glass, hiding her from view. She’d encrypted her files and had hidden pieces of data behind various government agencies’ own firewalls in order to cover her tracks and would reassemble her information and then disassemble it when she was finished. One of the folders in her private server was labelled ‘The Ark Argon’ (and ignored her internal giggle) and she aimed her mouse towards it, ignoring other files such as Lex, Lillian, Lionel, Super’s, Research and Development, and such things.

The moment she clicked it an algorithm was sent out to the internet, using multiple IP addresses and various commands in order to call the information back to her. It took a few moments, some of the information was in very, very ‘secure’ places, but soon the entirety of the folder was before her, with police and government agencies reports, folders on personnel, video footage, even notes on weapons and movements. She felt her lip curl at the name John Corbin (Metallo) but shook the thought off and continued.

She had sworn to turn L-Corp into a force for good and she would stand by her word, and Project Cadmus was how she was going to do it. She had been unable to breach their firewalls, even locating pieces of the organisation on the internet was difficult and she was very cautious in her investigating, concealing her identity and search patterns behind other devices and IP addresses all over the globe. She was about to click into one of the folders about their weapons- after having destroyed the ones at her Gala she had added the information she had gotten from police reports to the file-when there was a boom outside her door and then terrified shouts.

Clicking out of the folder she quickly opened another as she reached under her desk and activated the thumbprint scan that held her secret compartment of weapons. It slid out of the desk, about the size of an A3 piece of paper with several guns and mags of ammo. There was a large gun which fit the entire depth, two small hand guns, and then a larger hand-gun with only one mag of ammo, which had a faint purple glow to it. She had a safe room connected to her office, but the entrance was over by the wall and she would not leave her employees to their fate and cower in fear. Besides, she didn’t know if this creature, whatever it was, could find her in her safe room, even as it was surrounded by steal and concealed with lead.

There was shouting and screaming and she could hear the fire-alarm start, ordering the evacuation, and an inhuman roar as the sounds of gunfire rang out. Decision made she took the large hand-gun and the magazine and clicked the compartment back into place. It slid back into the white desk without any grooves indicating it existed. Lined with lead and hidden as part of her desk they were one of her last lines of defence and no-body knew she had them there.

The phone on her desk rang, no doubt one of her staff-members to alert her of an alien attack, probably, but she ignored it and settled on her chair, knuckles turning white over the grip as she flicked the safety off. The gun was matched to her prints and she alone would be able to fire it, the thought made her stiffen and she consciously shifted her finger off the trigger even as she picked up a pen with her left hand. She was right-handed but whoever was coming into her office wouldn’t know that, and they wouldn’t see the gun in her hand before it was too late, she hoped.

There was a growling rumble and her double door’s were blasted across the room, one ended up leaning on her couch like some drunk, and the other slammed into the opposite wall.

Her heart was hammering in her chest and she tightened her grip on the gun even as she clenched her jaw and lifted her chin to face the intruder. She was Lena Luthor. She would not show fear, especially to an in-human who dared attack her company, staff and person.

It was well over seven feet, and had to duck to fit inside her door frame, but took out a lot of it as it forced its way inside. It was scaled like a heavily built crocodile, with a thick neck and shoulders and lethal looking spikes sticking from its head, shoulders and down its back. It’s arms were humanoid enough to call arms, even though they were clawed and looked to bend in a different way than humans did. Its four legs with clawed feet made clicking noises on her wooden floor and she spared at thought to the maintenance team who would have to replace the floor boards, if she got out of this. Fiery red eyes watched her through reptilian slits and blinked vertical pupils.

“Leeeeea Liiithiirrrr,” it rumbled, clearly unfamiliar with the human tongue and its voice reminded her of a rockslide. Fear ran its traitorous fingers down her spine, delighting in the awareness of the fine hairs at the back of her neck as she hid her shiver, barely. She had a feeling the creature knew though, as it lifted its head and showered her its teeth, great big fangs the size of a chef’s knife. Her heart was hammering and she lifted her chin imperiously and leant back slowly in her chair, gripping the gun so tightly she could feel it trying to merge into her skin. Not yet. She would see what it wanted first. She was not her brother to wish genocide on the first aliens she came across.

The alien made a funny growling, coughing sound and before she could react it launched itself at her. There was a shattering of glass and a blur of red and blue burst past her, colliding in mid-air with the alien and then the rest of the fight was a mixture of inhuman roars, shouting, the sound of helicopters, and the late appearance of agents in black with guns. Her office was torn to shreds and beaten into pieces as the two aliens fought each other and she hurried to the corner, minding the gap in her window where Supergirl had flown through. She kept the gun loosely in her hand, secure enough to use it but certain in her training as it took over her fear. She could be afraid when she was dead, or when the creature was.

Supergirl growled something through gritted teeth, something Lena was unable to hear over the fire-alarm, the shouting and the approaching sirens, but the alien clearly did, for it picked up her ten thousand dollar couch and threw it across the room at the caped superhero. Supergirl caught it like it were a box of tissues or something, a confident smirk on her face and then she hurled it back at the alien.

There was a strange purple fire running beneath the scales of the alien, Lena was able to see it from where she was hiding behind her desk chair in the corner, pressed against her drawers with the chair like some sort of leather shield. Helpful, she knew, but she was only human. The purple was in between the scales, almost like it was keeping them together, and she didn’t have the voice to warn Supergirl as the fire suddenly flared and then vanished, before building at a greater pace than before, almost burring under the scaled hide.

The alien turned around with and gave the equivalent of a backhand to Supergirl. The blonde went flying, the purple fire falling from the scaled aliens claws and sending her flying into the opposite wall where she slumped. The television fell on her with a section of the wall and she didn’t respond. Lena felt a sliver of unease and shifted slightly from behind her chair. She hadn’t had the chance to escape yet, the two battling aliens tearing apart her office had cut her escape route off on multiple occasions, so she had remained out of the fight in the corner. There was a helicopter hovering outside her window, it was a black one with guns on the front and one on the side where a figure in black stood ready to fire. Military use. This must be the government agency that worked with Supergirl.

Limping slightly, because of the fight with the humanoid protector, the alien shoved through the debris and over to National City’s Guardian Angel. It gave a grunt as it lifted the wall from her and let it fall to the side with a thud which sent dust and smaller bits of debris across the barely recognisable wooden floor like a small wave. Seeing her moment Lena rose and began to inch her way across the floor, scrambling over parts of her ceiling, one of her chairs, her safe, some books, and trying to avoid the shattered pieces of her window, and vases from the shelf.

Supergirl was limp, unresponsive as the alien hovered over her, the purple fire was lingering under her own skin, running the length of her veins. Though they were different species, the Girl of Steel was similar enough in body structure for Lena to be able to see her veins, identical to those of a human, as the fire ran through it, highlighting them as it passed before going on to the next. The alien lifted a massive hand and its claws formed into a long triangular spear above the fallen superhero and Lena could see the blood oozing from the long gashes down her front that the claws had made. She took a few more steps to the door, it was a less than three meters away now, broken and bowed, but she’d be able to get through. Lena felt the gun knock against the upturned leg of one of her guest chairs and lifted it as she moved over the last obstacle, a fallen beam from the ceiling and cast a glance back at the two aliens. Supergirl would move at any moment. Right….now!

The only movement from the hero was the rise and fall of her chest and the lifting of the great clawed spear and Lena sighed, resigned.

‘I hope we can work together more in the future.’ And, ‘me too,’ rose to her memory and she steeled herself, lifting the gun and bracing it with her other hand.

“Hey, you!” She snarled as she walked closer, to what could be her death, voice lowering dangerously. Humans she could handle, humans with alien weaponry she could handle, massive alien looking aliens on the other-hand…. But, she was a Luthor. She would not cower before an alien. Not now, not ever.

The creature paused over Supergirl and turned its snake-like eyes on her and she allowed a curl to cross her lips. “Didn’t you hear?” She enquired mockingly. “Luthor’s hate aliens. You picked the wrong office to crash.” And then she opened fire.

Chapter Text

 

Alex sighed in relief as she turned away from the Doctor and looked through the glass at her sister. Kara was still in her super-suit, its fabric torn and cut from the alien’s claws and her wounds lay open and weeping to the artificial light in the DEO Restoration Chamber. There were two beds, Alex had insisted, one was your typical hospital bed, with a few extra perks, and the other was a lot more comfortable. It was for when Kara was wounded or exhausted enough to require the medical bay, but not enough that she required kryptonite needles and drugs to aid her healing, that was what the medical bed was for. There were two tables, one for each bed, and a large shelving system for sheets, blankets, and other medical gear that didn’t require special storage. That storage was against the wall.

She opened the door and walked inside, instantly feeling her uniform grown heavy and hot against her skin with the heat from the lamps. Though she was wounded Kara’s face was tilted towards the light, a small smile to her lips and she looked to be at peace.

As Alex approached she peered through an eye at her in greeting before closing it. “Hey,” she rasped, throat obviously dry and Alex walked over to one of the tables and poured her a glass of water, valiantly stopping her hand from shaking. Her other held her department IPad.

“Hey. Here,” she said as she handed the water over to her baby sister and Kara’s eye blinked open, before she forced the other open and she half rose to take a sip. She winced a little as she did and glanced down before frowning.

“My suit,” she said mournfully and then took the water that Alex offered. There were several large tears in the front of the suit, right across the ‘S’ crest and then smaller one’s on either side where the edges of the alien’s claws had struck her. The Agent winced as she saw the damage to the suit and then looked Kara in the eyes again.

“What happened? All I remember is him hitting me.” Abruptly she sat up, facing paling, maybe in pain. “Is Lena okay? Is she safe? Why was he targeting her? Do we have-”

Alex chuckled and held up her hand, amused despite the situation at her sister’s energetic personality showing itself.

“Miss Luthor’s fine,” she said calmly and sat on the bed Kara shuffled over a bit for her and then relaxed against the pillows. Her wounds slowly healing, even Alex with her human eyes could see the difference. She settled her IPad over her knees.

“It is 02:27:52,” Alex reported after glancing to her watch. “The alien is in DEO custody but was badly wounded and may not see the sunrise. Miss Luthor walked away without a scratch, though I can’t say the same for her office…. At least now she can get a little bit of colour in there,” she added to see Kara smile. Kara smiled, she had complained about how boring and white Lena’s office was.

“Three of her security guards were killed and fourteen staff are receiving medical treatment in National City Hospital,” her brow tightened and Kara’s smile fell from her face.

“We don’t know why he attacked her, we can’t understand him, and if Lena Luthor knows, she hasn’t told us…but we think it has something to do with her brother.”

Kara’s head snapped up, blue eyes widening.

“Not like that,” Alex said hurriedly to reassure the blonde and Kara slowly rested back on the pillow. “Because of her bother’s anti-alien sentiments, some fractions think she is the same and are looking to-“

“-To take her out before she takes them out?” Kara offered with a sigh.

Alex nodded and worried her lips before adding, “She had a gun, one that wounded her attacker a lot. She wouldn’t let us take it, but it is concerning. The lab is looking into the bullets right now.”

Kara sighed and relaxed further against the pillows, resigned. “When can I leave?”

“When Hank says you can,” Alex said shifting on the bed and moving her side-arm a little to fit more comfortably against Kara. “But,” she said as Kara huffed. “Winn has a new suit for you, he’s very excited.” She nudged Kara gently and the alien gave a begrudging smile.

“So…how was I knocked out?”

Alex took a deep breath. “Miss Luthor was kind enough to send us the footage of the attack, and we have our own cam’s.” She flicked open her IPad cover and entered her password and then opened up the footage of the attack.

“Miss Luthor obviously edited the footage as all we were able to get from her was the moment of the attack, and after, nothing before then. Winn couldn’t even hack into her system to retrieve it, though IT’s working on it.” She pressed play and angled the device so that they both could see the screen. It reminded her of when either of them were down and they would watch their favourite episodes of Friends with ice-cream and a laptop between them.

Kara watched silently as the alien launched himself across the room at Lena, saw herself fly in through the window and tackle him to the ground in mid-air. She saw the fight and watched Lena take cover in the corner, dragging her chair with her, and then looking down at it in annoyance but still hiding behind it. Alex winced as she re-watched the footage, feeling her heart clench with every blow her sister took, and watched Lena make her way gracefully, for one in heels that high, through the wreckage to the door.

Kara recoiled slightly when she saw herself get thrown to the wall and watched it collapse on her, but she leant forward as Alex rewound the footage to show her how the alien charged his attack. Energy was behind his scales and it seemed as though he got stronger the longer it went, and then it vanished, only to roar up his arm and into his claw. That was what had wounded Kara, the energy had sent her flying, powering his attack and tearing her suit. He stood over her, claws somehow morphing into one large claw-like spear, which glowed with purple fire. Lena was beneath the camera now, they could just see her hesitating in the doorway, beneath a broken doorframe.

Alex had been making her way up the stairwell (the elevator system had been shut down when the fire-alarm went off) at the head of a group of Agent’s while her sister was being beaten and hadn’t arrived in time to save Kara, but Lena Luthor had.

“Hey, you!” She growled and stalked forward, regal and graceful like some sort of predator of the night as she brought her gun up. “Didn’t you know? Luthor’s hate aliens. You picked the wrong office to crash,” she sounded defiant, fearless in the face of death, but there was a bitterness to her words, an underlying self-loathing as she spoke her last name. She moved fluidly over the debris as the alien turned to face her fully as the purple bullets penetrated his scales and he stumbled towards her, claws piercing foot-long holes in the fallen parts of the roof as he got closer. Purple fluid, almost black, dripped from his wounds and left sizzling drops on the ground as he got closer.

She was steady-fast, with the eye of a winning marksman and emptied her magazine into his upper body and head until he stumbled to fall at her feet. She kept her gun trained on him for a moment before she slowly lowered it. She was edging forward when Alex burst into the room behind her, gun drawn and eyes sharp.

The remainder of the video passed with Lena being escorted from the room and the Agent’s seeing to Kara and the alien. The other videos showed the same scene, only the angles were different. The helicopter cam was able to show Lena as she strode forward towards the two aliens, gun recoiling in her hands, muscles tensing with the strain, brows tight with concentration and eyes gleaming with defiance. It also showed, much to Alex’s fury and Kara’s disappointment how after the alien had fallen, she had lifted the gun on the unmoving superhero. Then her features had smoothened and she had lowered it, taking a step forward and moving the gun to her side as Alex roared into the room.

Alex didn’t tell Kara that James and Winn were screaming for her to be brought in and punished for even considering turning her weapon on Kara, and that Alex herself was considering leading the party, but that Hank had talked them out of it. Lena had willingly protected Kara he had argued, and had decided not to shoot her, though when confronted by Alex –who had seen a Luthor standing over Superman’s cousin with an alien wounding gun in her hand, and may have gotten aggressive defensive-she had fired her final shot into the wall next to Kara, a strange fire burning in her eyes.

She had been co-operative, easily following the directions of the DEO agents and had joined her staff on the ground where the medic’s were seeing to them. Firefighters, police officers, and ambulance officers were milling around the corner of the L-Corp building taking directions from the ‘FBI’ agents on the scene. The DEO helicopters had taken Kara and the unconscious alien straight back to headquarters and Alex had remained on scene to clear things up. She had also escorted Lena to her penthouse, urging the woman to increase her security and to be careful, and not take unnecessary risks. She didn’t think the headstrong Luthor would listen to her, but she did thank her for her assistance, enquired about Supergirl’s health-which made Alex bristle at the perceived threat-, and then dismissed the agents and walked with back rigid and proud into her apartment.

Kara sighed and looked away from the footage and there was a knock at the door. Winn poked his head around the corner, and seeing Kara awake and sitting up with Alex he beamed and pushed the door open with his back. He was carrying a large box in his hands and was grinning like a child in a candy or toy store.

“Hey Kara! I’ve got presents!” He almost squealed with joy as he got closer and the two Danvers sisters shared a look before Alex slid off the bed to make room for Winn and his present.

“Ouch, those look bad,” the tech expert said as he set the box down and his brow was tight as he looked over the wounds. They were much better than when Alex had first seen them, they looked like they had been healed over several weeks rather than a few hours, and by the time dawn came around would look almost as good as new.

“My suit,” Winn said sorrowfully and reached out as though to touch it and then he jerked back to himself. “Never mind! I made you a better one! Here!” He almost threw the box at Kara and was fortunate her reflexes were on point, even as it strained her torso in grabbing it.

Winn winced and Alex rolled her eyes. “Sorry,” he lifted his shoulders apologetically. “I got, ah, excited.”

Kara was like a kid on Christmas as she opened the box to reveal her new suit as Winn started to explain all the upgrades he had done to it, easy release catches on the cape so no one could drag her around with it, stronger fabric to reduce wear and tear, it was mostly water and fireproof now and he had fit in an anti-Kryptonite plate in beneath the ‘S’ of her crest, as long as any kryptonite hit her suit it would be drawn to and contained in under her crest. Kara didn’t appear to be paying too much attention to Winn as she was beaming at her new suit like a child and Alex shook her head as her pager clicked.

Both Winn and Kara looked at her as she turned away from the summons and smiled at them. “I’ll be in next to take you home. Do you want me to call in sick for you tomorrow-er, today?”

Kara’s eyes went wide and she shuffled on the sunbed, moving her legs to the side as she made to get up. “Work! Oh my gosh, my job! Snapper will kill me! I am so fired,” she murmured almost to herself as she sat up and edged forward on the bed. The movement had made her wounds start to weep, and blood was snaking its way down her body.

“No!” Alex said firmly in her no-nonsense Eliza patented (sister) voice. Kara stilled and Winn gulped and looked awkwardly around the room, trying not to make eye contact. “You will stay here until Hank, and the Doctor’s, say you can leave.”

“But…my job,” Kara’s blue eyes were wide and innocent, a pout creeping onto her lips and Alex stilled herself. Her sister was not begging for another cookie, she was wanting to go out into the dangerous city wounded and those eyes would not work on her damn it.

“Your job will be waiting,” Alex replied confidently as Kara’s lower lip began to tremble and she felt her resolve weaken. “I text Snapper and told him you were on the ground after the attack at L-Corp, he expects you in person with the base of the story at ten. You are not leaving this facility until you are cleared, Kara. It’s not safe.” Her tone changed slightly, lowering and softening as she tried to reason with her sister. Kara huffed and shifted back on the bed, hiding her wince.

Her pager beeped again and she smiled ruefully at both puppies as they gushed over the new suit and turned and left. Casting a farewell over her shoulder. Her boots thumped powerfully as she made her way from the med-bay, past the barracks, food hall, and some storage rooms and into the heart of operations. Agents were moving around or tapping away at computers and Hank stood next to Vasquez who was bringing up footage onto one of the larger screens.

“What is it?” She enquired as she climbed the few steps up to the main control area.

“Have a look,” Vasquez said wryly as she clicked a few buttons. Hank was looking stern like always, but there was a flicker of something in his gaze as he stared past the footage and to the opposite wall. “Or rather, a listen. I hacked into L-Corp’s security and used that server to gain access to Miss Luthor’s private security feed-it was hard but I did manage to get in. The camera’s outside her office are streamed 24/7 to the L-Corp servers, but the camera inside her office is on her own network. And it’s only because she gave us some of her footage that I was able to hack into it. Now,” Vasquez clicked a few more times and the image of Lena Luthor’s office came up on the large monitor, with yesterday’s date and several minutes before the attack on the timer along the bottom of the screen. “This is what she didn’t give us.”

The Agent pressed play and they watched as Lena turned from her view and pressed several buttons, turning her windows to glass and opening a file on her computer. They were able to see and hear the attack from below and could see her studying something in her lap before pulling out a gun and clicking a magazine into place before putting it on her lap.

“She’s right handed,” Alex murmured as she stared at the screen and watched the CEO pick up a pen in her left and hover it over some documents.

“She has the gun in her right,” J’onn offered, brows tight and eyes watchful as the alien entered the room.

It hissed out its best impression of the CEO’s name and then launched itself at her. The microphone picked up other sound though, just before the attack if the way the noise monitor jumped on the side, like a musicians auto-tuner.

“What was here?” Alex asked, leaning forward and resting her body on Vasquez’s chair. The agent nodded and clicked a few times. With the noise enhanced they were able to hear it hiss out in what must have been its own tongue. Hank’s jaw was moving silently and he sighed, which was what caught Alex’s attention immediately.

“What? What did he say?”

“We ran the words past Aura,” he said in his slow, confident, and calm way. “The database was able to translate for us,” he handed over a sheet of paper, part of the DEO official report and she looked down at the transcript and felt her blood run cold and then hot. Alura’s translation was in normal font, and the DEO’s interpretation was in brackets and italics.

Alien: Leeeeea Liiithiirrrr,” (Lena Luthor)

Alien: Isark eivene greshna Kaadmass. (You pay for Cadmus)

“Let me go and talk to her,” she demanded, turning on Hank and feeling the paper crumple in her hands.

Hank shook his head and his eyes were dark and cold. “No. We don’t even know what Miss Luthor had to do with the alien attack.”

Alex opened her mouth to protest, feeling a pang of betrayal, this woman was part of Cadmus, she was part of the organisation trying to hurt Kara and countless others.

“We don’t know for sure,” Hank corrected and his voice changed to command. “You are not to take this further. We need to talk to the alien first, if it wakes up, and find out how it knew about Lena, and why it attacked her.”

Vasquez was frowning at the monitor. “What the fuck?” She whispered and then she was launching forward as an alarm began to sound, beeping frantically from the systems computers. “Fuck! We’re being hacked!” She and a half dozen other agents moved frantic fingers over keyboards and all of the monitors in the headquarters changed to show the files they had on Cadmus. Footage, reports, suspected personnel, and more importantly the latest report on the attack at L-Corp all flashed and showed up on the screen.

“They’re stealing out files!” Shouted another agent from another computer, where their screen was flaring ‘Access Denied’ in bold red. A bar appeared across the screens, the tell-tail sign of a download. ‘Project Cadmus,’ was one of the written commands that appeared in a box to the left and the download bar began to solidify as the files were stolen.

“Fuck!” Shouted another agent, as ‘Alien Weapon’ became the next search in the bar and those files began to number above the download box.

“Get them out of there!” Hank bellowed, and when he raised his voice it was with command and the agents listening flinched, even as they were trying their hardest to halt the hack.

Vasquez’s fingers were moving at a speed to make even Supergirl jealous and the screen in front of her was roaring with various code and commands and then it flashed green. ‘Access Granted: Emergency Override Commencing.’ The Agent took a deep, relaxing breath and began to type again and up on the large monitor the folder on the Luthor’s shifted to the one on Alura and of the House of El. The download bar across the screen’s inched to a halt, right before the folder on Alura’s Matrix, the folder that contained what she was, and more importantly, who’s mother she was. Alex breathed a sigh of relief, the following folders were Kara Zor-El, Kal El, Alura Zor-El, Astra In-Ze, and it didn’t look like the hacker got those.

There was a sudden sound and then the lights went out, emergency power sources flicking on and then the black screen changed to show the re-booting of the system, a countdown that would take less than three minutes.

“What happened?” Kara gasped as she appeared in the middle of the room, clutching her side and staring around her at the gobsmacked agents.

“We were hacked, Supergirl,” Vasquez said and leant back in her chair in shock. The agent’s around her were expressing their own disbelief.

“I want to know who and I want to know how,” Hank’s commanding voice echoed in the startled silence. “I want to know what they got, and what they plan on doing with it. Increase security. Now!” Agents jumped to attention and obedience and Winn skidded to a halt in the headquarters as there was a flurry of movement.

“The DEO was hacked,” Winn asked in disbelief as he made his way up to his own chair and desk.

“What do you want me to do?” Kara asked, straightening even as her fierce look turned twisted to hide her pain.

“My orders for you, Supergirl, still stand,” Hank said commandingly. “You are to remain in the med-bay until you are cleared. Please,” he added seeing Kara bristle at the instruction.

“But-“

“Super-Kara,” Alex interrupted, seeing her baby sister about to protest. “Let us do our jobs, so you can go back to yours.”

Kara’s blue yes turned to steel. “Fine, but I’m leaving at dawn.”

“Agreed,” Hank nodded, perhaps seeing this was his best outcome with the stubborn girl. “Thank you,” he turned back to Vasquez as the re-boot began and she started to attempt a trace of the hack.

“I wonder who has the brain and computer power to hack into the DEO,” Kara wondered as Alex escorted her back to the med-bay. IT expert she was not, she belonged on the ground gathering samples of in the field with her sister. She’d leave the tech experts to their jobs. She didn’t have the words to tell Kara that one of the notes in Lex Luthor’s files was his exemplary computer skills. It seemed like a Luthor was behind this strike as well, perhaps in revenge for the attack on his sister.

Chapter Text

“You want me to what?” Kara’s voice lifted in shock at the end of her question and then she swallowed quickly at the look Snapper shot her. She had been on the receiving end of that particular look far too much in such a short time for her to want to have it any longer so she worried her lip and added false cheer to her voice. “Yup, no problem,” she even did an awkward fist pump and smiled at him, though she might have fallen short of the happy in the smile, it was more pained, when she caught her reflection on the computer monitor as se backed out.

Eye glaring beneath furrowed brows followed her awkward exit and she could feel his stare of disdain pushing her out the door.

“Argh!” She huffed when she was certain she was out of ear shot and stomped, lightly, to her little box of an office and collected her things. She was still tired after her fight and healing last night and her body was a little sore, something she wasn’t entirely used too, and having Snapper tell her that her article on the attack at L-Corp needed more substance was the icing on the cake, or maybe the pie, which would probably end up in her face before the day was out. It was one of those days. She’d left the DEO at dawn, agreeing to let Alex drive her back into town as her powers were still low and the sun wasn’t yet up, and had immediately started to investigate the attack on Lena Luthor, as plain old boring Kara Danvers.

Many other reporters had gotten their earlier and already had the statements of the officials involved and had a lot of their articles written before she showed up. Snapper wasn’t pleased but she had given him a few leads she was going to chase down, he had thrown them back in her face, requesting an interview with Lena Luthor, seeing as they were ‘such good friends’, on how she now felt about aliens, considering one attacked her and killed some of her employees. Snapper was obviously aiming for the anti-alien sentiment that ran rampant in the Luthor family.

Lena was working from home today, her assistant told Kara when she had rung L-Corp and enquired after the CEO and it was only her name, Kara Danvers, which made Jess give her Lena’s private residence number. She had flicked Lena a message once the sun was up, hoping she was okay after the attack and had left it at that, only when she had received no reply and had rung and found the number was unreachable she had started to worry. She had nervously rung the CEO to see if she could come and see her, and to make sure she was okay and Lena had explained that her phone had been destroyed in the attack, but would love to see her.

Less than half an hour later she was striding into a fancy apartment block building with a greasy take-out bag in one hand, her purse slung over her shoulder, and with a carton of drinks in the other. She pressed the button to let her speak to security and told them who she was and who she was here to see as she balanced the food. The door clicked open and she was let into a modern foyer with a desk and a security guard watching a series of monitors. He had her sign in, checking her name, ID, and taking a copy of her drivers licence before letting her enter the elevator. She’d even had to go through a metal detector and her purse and food had gone through an x-ray machine.

Lena’s penthouse was on the top floor and the elevator played a modern hit on the way up. The door opened to a small foyer with a larger mirror and some pot plants. There were two doors in front of her and a hallway leading off around the corner and she followed that, lowering her eyes and peering through her lashes to see what was around her, just in case. The two apartments at the elevator were sleek and modern and empty and she turned her gaze on the apartment she was about to enter. It was twice the size of the other two, obviously the apartment had been merged into one, and there was a woman tapping away at a lap top on a couch in what appeared to be the living room.

Lifting her head she shuffled her things around and knocked on the door. A few moments later she heard footsteps approaching and shifted nervously on her feet.

“Kara,” Lena Luthor smiled at her after opening the door and Kara shuffled nervously and lifted one of her shoulders.

Shadows framed Lena’s bright green eyes and her skin was paler than normal but she still looked gorgeous, even in black sweat pants and a grey plaid long-sleeve shirt. Her smile widened and Kara felt something in her chest perk up.

“Please, come in,” she stepped aside and Kara walked past her and into the luxury apartment. She caught a whiff of her perfume as she passed her and sighed happily at the sweet and subtle scent.

“I’m glad you’re okay,” Kara said as she hesitated in the hall and then edged further into the apartment.

Once she was away from the door the apartment spread out. It was sleek and full of lavish and modern looking furniture and decor. The kitchen had a nice marble table top and shiny handles and black accents to the equipment. A large two-door refrigerator was next to a cupboard and a stove and beyond the bar stools was a large living room. There were lush looking carpets and expensive looking couches and a small coffee table which had papers spread out on it. An open laptop was sitting on the papers facing the couch and a half empty glass of water was next to it.

There was a big television playing some music channel on low volume and Kara was envious for the nights she and Alex would watch movies on her own small television, this one looked like it belonged in a theatre. Over by the window there was two chairs and a coffee table. Door’s led to other areas of the penthouse.

“Well,” Lena said as she came up behind her and made her jump, she was closer than she thought. “I’m glad Supergirl saved the day.”

Clearing her throat nervously Kara placed the takeout and drinks on the table at Lena’s direction. “Y-eah, I guess she did.” She fiddled nervously with her glasses as Lena looked at her and raised a brow.

“Do you know how she is?” Lena enquired as she peered into the takeout bag and brought out a few burgers and fries and her brow rose further. “Are we going to be able to eat all of this?”

“I’m hungry,” Kara smiled and then blinked and picked at a loose thread on her messenger bag strap. “Um, I’m sure Supergirl is okay. The DE- the Government agency she works with will keep her safe.”

Lena made a non-committal noise but delicately pulled a burger across the bench top over to her as she sat gracefully on a stool.

“Have a seat,” she inclined her head and Kara quickly took a stool, stumbling over the carpet edge in her haste.

Lena hid her smile around a delicate bite of burger but Kara could see the corners of her lips twitching and felt herself flush.

“Have you been working on an article from last night?” Lena enquired after a few chews and Kara paused from half way through her burger, looking up at Lena through her lashes and Lena bit her lip in a smile.

“You’ve ah, got a little something,” she gently tapped the side of her own face with a dark green nailed index finger.

Kara gulped, licked her lips, and dove for a napkin. Lena’s laugh was gentle, tinkering when it escaped from her lips, but it wasn’t done in malice, not like many of the girls in school had done when she had first come to earth. Their laughs had been mocking, hateful, hurtful.

“Thanks,” Kara muttered looking down at the table but finding herself drawn back to Lena’s laugh, caught in her orbit. Her eyes were shining and there was a half smile gracing her face as she took a sip from her cup and Kara focused a lot of her attention on her lips before shaking herself from the weird trance she had fallen into.

“Yeah,” she finally answered Lena’s question. “I’ve got some firefighter and police reports and eyewitness accounts…” she trailed off awkwardly and shifted her glasses on her nose. “My boss wants an interview,” she said quickly, apologetically.

“Well,” Lena said picking a fry. “There’s no one else in National City I trust with my words.” She lifted the fry in toast. “Ask away.” There was something odd to her tone, a slight vulnerability and a flash of sadness moved across her features faster than the normal eye could detect, but Kara saw it and felt an insistent need to make her smile again.

Kara had felt her face heat at the praise and turned her attention back to her second burger. “After lunch, if that’s okay?” She ducked her head awkwardly. “I’m here as a friend.” Lena’s responding smile could have birthed a thousand stars and something in her chest expanded at the sight, and for being the cause.

They finished lunch, with Kara eating far more than Lena, and with her having already downed three combo’s on the way over, and then walked over to the couches. Lena tapped her keyboard when she sat and the device’s screen lit up for a moment before she clicked another button and it went into ‘locked mode’.

“Ask away, Kara,” she leant back on the couch and curled her feet underneath her, resting her arm along the back of the couch.

Kara felt slightly awkward but obeyed and sat at the other end of the couch, pulling her note-pad and recorder from her messenger bag. “Is it okay if I record this?” She asked and Lena inclined her head in agreement, shifting further into the cushions.

“Okay, so… um, L-Corp, er you were attacked yesterday by an unknown alien,” Kara began awkwardly and rolled her pen between her fingers.

Lena appeared to be waiting and there was an awkward silence for a moment and Kara rushed on. She asked Lena about the attack, the rebuild, L-Corp, the wounded employees, the dead, and then she made the atmosphere slightly tense by adding, “And what of your rumoured anti-alien weaponry?” She had seen the footage from the DEO and knew that Lena had bullets capable of hurting aliens, maybe even of hurting her, the Lab was still working on that, and knew she had to ask Lena what her intentions were for the technology.

She swallowed after asking it, feeling the room grow colder even as she knew it were impossible. Lena stilled and her green eyes hardened beneath furrowed brows. “My brother is the most notorious Alien hater on the planet,” she said eventually, voice like steel. “While I do not share his views many people, many species, may believe I do. It is practical to be able to defend myself and my company.” She hesitated before adding, slightly hurt if Kara were to be the judge, “Even your bleeding heart must know that some aliens are dangerous and wish nothing but ill will on human kind. If I and my company are to be targeted, then we are within our Amendment rights to defend ourselves. I certainly did not seek this alien out.”

“Wha-what about Supergirl?” Kara moistened her lips and asked nervously looking quickly around them room.

Lena’s eyes narrowed but she nodded. “I cannot trust that the Girl of Steel will always be there to protect me, and I would not have her doing so when she could be saving and protecting the city.”

“Do, ah, does L-Corp have plans to sell these rumoured weapons?”

The interview had certainly taken a less than friendly turn and Lena shifted on the couch to sit upright on it, her feet on the floor. “If that were the case the manufacture and distribution of such weapons would need to be heavily monitored. Allowing just anyone to have access to weapons capable of harming alien’s would be dangerous. What if they turned them on the Man and Girl of Steel?” she said stiffly, accent slipping through. There was a beeping somewhere from inside the house and she rose fluidly. “Excuse me, I have to check this.”

Lena strode off into the rest of the house, Kara fighting a war within herself to not use her supervision to watch her, but eventually she gave in, lowering her glasses slightly. She paused seeing that Lena had vanished and shot to her feet, scanning the rooms to try and find her.

She quickly moved through the house, tracking her, weirdly, by smell, and when she later told Alex how she would have to explain how she was not a Bloodhound! And people left traces of themselves in the air, and the freshest scent was the path that had been taken most recently.

She came across an open doorway at the end of a dead-end hall and froze. It was like the wall had moved to create the room, and she could see a computer and filing cabinets and a couch and a lot of screens. Inside the room Lena was leaning over the computer with the televisions on the wall showing the footage of many alien attacks on loop, and Supergirl saving the day, and she was typing away, eyes narrowed in concentration. The room was lined with lead, which was why Kara hadn’t been able to see it earlier, and she swallowed when Lena glanced up to see her standing awkwardly in the door way. Lena’s heart jumped and she quickly picked up a remote and turned the screens off, going deadly still.

Kara felt her unease flare into life and stuttered, playing with her hands.

“Um, s-sorry, but I was looking for the ba-bathroom?” Play it cool, she was telling herself. Having a secret lair in your house didn’t mean anything. Having footage of aliens and Supergirl didn’t mean anything. She felt her palms begin to sweat.

Green eyes caught and held her gaze like kryptonite and only when Lena blinked was Kara freed.

“Of course,” Lena said smoothly, tapping a key and then gliding across the floor over to her, guiding her around and locking the door behind her with a touch of a button on her way out.

“It’s down here to the left and the first door on the right,” her hand was firm on Kara’s back, heart jumping, and were she human the force would be extreme. She could feel Lena’s hand tremble as she directed her away from the secret room.

The bathroom and toilet and shower was sleek and modern, silver fittings and marble and only when she heard Lena’s steps walk away and the music channel increase in volume, did she tap her coms.

“Alex,” she hissed quietly, after checking to see if there were any cameras or microphones in the room.

“Supergirl,” her sister responded quickly and she could hear the creak of a chair and the tapping of a pen, “what is it?”

“I’m in Lena Luthor’s apartment and she has a secret room lined with lead.”

The pen taping stopped abruptly and she heard the chair squeak as Alex no doubt straightened. “Are you okay? Does she know? What happened? Do you need back up?”

“No! I uh, I don’t think so…I don’t think she intended for me to see it.” Kara walked over to the toilet and flushed it, just in case Lena could hear her from the living room.

“Do you think you are in danger?” J’onn’s voice came over the com and she had a feeling Alex had informed him of where she was and what was happening.

Kara thought for a moment. “No, at least I don’t think so.”

She moved over to the sink and turned the tap on, even running her hands under the water as J’onn and Alex agreed that she would just continue on as normal and they would discuss what she saw when she came to the DEO later.

She smoothed down her skirt as she exited the bathroom and walked back into the living room. Lena had tidied up their lunch rubbish and was talking into her cell-phone as she stood watching the city out the window. She ran her fingers through her hair in frustration and nodded, turning away from the window to see Kara standing awkwardly in the middle of the lounge, fiddling with her thumbs.

She placed her phone on her chest as she spoke to Kara. “I’m afraid something’s come up,” she said smoothly, base accent slipping through. “If you have any further questions you can contact my PR team,” she said turning back to her window and conversation, effectively dismissing Kara.

The alien felt small, worthless like she had felt when she had first come to earth and the people in school had called her names for not understanding, for screwing up socially, for her weird accent and mannerisms.

“Ah, o-okay,” she said and quickly gathered her belongings. “Thank you for your time.”

Lena waved a hand in farewell or dismissal and kept her attention on her conversation as with shoulders slumped Kara headed for the door, feeling like the burgeoning friendship she had with the brunette crumble with just a few words.

“I am glad you’re okay,” she said quietly, loud enough for Lena to hear, but the woman gave no indication of it. “If you need a friend to talk to, I am here for you.” And then she left.

 

Chapter Text

 

…..and on the rumours of L-Corp possessing alien killing weaponry, or indeed, even alien technology, Miss Luthor was clear. “…I do not share [Lex’s] views…the manufacture and distribution of [Alien killing] weapons would need to be heavily monitored.” She expressed concern for such weapons having the potential to be used against the Man and Girl of Steel, as other alien technology has found its way into human hands and was used to harm many people. See Catco article ‘L-Corp CEO helps to capture…

Lena turned from the article with a sigh and rubbed her eyes. Though she had been rather short with her, Kara had remained true and written a fair article on her and the attack on L-Corp and she felt a sliver of guilt. Years of yes-men and back-stabbing and hatred turned on her for her last name had made her wary of reporters, and indeed, people in general, and when Kara had started to ask her about the anti-alien guns she had instantly thought of the times she’d had her words twisted into some cruel story and had gotten defensive. It was not Kara’s fault she, Lena, was damaged and broken by years of cutting words and cruel glances. Lena Luthor, CEO of L-Corp, was untouchable, with walls as high as the sky and as impenetrable as the skin of the Girl of Steel, only it wasn’t Lena Luthor Kara was interviewing, it was just Lena, and that was where the issue had come from.

On reflection she knew that Kara would be required to ask hard questions of her, she was a reporter and no doubt her boss wanted some scathing comment, but feeling those blue eyes on her asking her, or accusing her, of having anti-alien guns (which she did) hurt her more than she thought it would. Surely Kara had seen her, Lena, and knew that she was different to her brother, to the rest of her family, and didn’t harbour any ill will to the aliens. Though they did disagree on how to handle her own Alien-detection device, she had hoped with the last article Kara had written, she had started to see other points of view and understood Lena’s actions were a pre-meditated defensive strike. After all, she didn’t go after the alien, she’d been attacked in her office. And she had saved Supergirl, though the government, news, and the alien herself had been silent on that front, not that she expected any better. A Luthor saving a Super? The public would have aneurisms, and it certainly didn’t hold to the picture the media had constructed for her family.

Decision made she opened her web browser and went searching for a flower boutique that sold plumeria’s, the last ones she had to have flown in so she wasn’t confident any National City store would have any in. She was right and placed an order with a company that specialised in delivering flowers from around the globe and made sure her message was ‘I’m sorry-L’. She had also requested that they be delivered to the Catco building the moment they arrived and had asked for the deliverer to stop by the shop Kara loved for their potstickers and buy as many as she could get for fifty bucks. She remembered how the dark blonde had mentioned the flowers reminded her of her mother-she remembered everything Kara said, not that she would be thinking on the reason for that- and resolved to send them to her, along with her favourite food, as an apology. She owed her that much.

Two days later, and three after the attack, she was striding the stands to a podium to give another speech. There were a larger group of reporters here than there were to the renaming of L-Corp and she felt an internal sneer rise at the thought of them, vultures that they were and then scanned the crowd, looking for one in particular.

She saw her near the back, glasses firmly in place and a shy smile on her lips. She offered a slight wave and Lena took a deep breath as she began her speech, feeling warmer now that Kara was here. She must have gotten her flowers, note, and most importantly, food.

Lena let a natural smile cross her face and then lilted her chin and worked her way through her speech. She was discussing the medical bills for her employees and covering the funeral costs when there was a figure in blue and red standing right in front of her, with hand holding a perfect bullet. A few moments later the crack of a gunshot rang out and the reporters and gathered people began to scream and shout and there was a flurry of camera shots as Supergirl crushed the bullet in her fist, rage flaring in her eyes and a sneer curling her lips.

Lena had ducked and shied away from the hero the moment she heard the shot before forcing her composure on and straightening. The Super would protect her, at least while the cameras were watching, she had proven that much.

“Supergirl,” she breathed, certain she could feel her heart trying to tear its way from the bone confines of its chest prison and launch itself up her throat. She could hear it thudding in her ears, a stampeding sound and she was pretty sure the gathered reporters could hear it, not to mention the alien in front of her.

Supergirl spun to face her, blue eyes grave and searching. “Miss Luthor, are you alright? I need to get you to safety.” She took a step forward and Lena took a step back instinctively. The Girl of Steel halted immediately and lifted her hands up peacefully, never mind that she had just caught a bullet and crushed it to dust in her hand. “I’m not gonna hurt you,” she said softly, reassuringly.

Lena rolled her eyes and brushed past the hero and down the pedestal to the reporters, who were shoving cameras in her face and bellowing questions at her. Obviously the arrival of the Super meant that they no longer felt the need to voice their fear and could linger like sheep in the far corner of a coral as they tried to “scoop” each other. Reporters tended to have less self-preservation tendencies than other people, it must be a defining character trait of them. Thoughts on reporters she suddenly realised that Kara was out there and she could be in danger as well and she lifted her head and looked around her frantically.

“Miss Luthor!” Supergirl was bouncing after her like a lost puppy, ignoring the cameras and how the people fell away before her.

“Supergirl,” Lena spun quickly, mindful of the cameras as always. “Don’t you have a would-be assassin to catch?” She enquired, brow arched and the hero winced slightly, arm still reaching for her.

“Right, um, just, ahm, stay safe,” she gave a sharp nod and then launched herself into the sky and across the horizon towards a tall building.

Brow furrowing, the hero seemed smaller somehow in that moment, Lena turned away and started scanning the crowds for her friend, or maybe former friend. But hopefully friend. Kara had smiled at her after all.

She was unable to find Kara, and seven minutes after her departure, Supergirl landed next to her. The public gushed and cooed, awed by her still, and Lena barely hid her eye roll.

“Supergirl, did you find-“

“The assailant has been taken into custody,” Supergirl said strongly, camera’s flashing and lenses pointed in her direction. She turned to look at Lena and offered a wry smile, “Are you able to accompany me for a debriefing?”

“You saved my life,” Lena replied and shifted her hand bag on her shoulder. She couldn’t really say no to the Super, not with so many camera’s on her, and she did just save her life. “Of course.”

Supergirl’s smile turned almost shy, and she lowered her eyes a little. “Wellll, you did save mine earlier in the week.” At this the crowd’s sound rose like a wave and they pressed closer against the few police officers that were already on scene, trying to get a good view or vantage point to hear and see.

Questions were shouted at her as Supergirl walked with her across the grass towards three large black SUV’s that pulled up, and Agent’s in black scrambled out, taking up positions near the doors with their hands on weapons. Lena hesitated and felt warmth on her arm where Supergirl held her below her elbow. “It’s fine,” she said and smiled reassuringly, maybe subconsciously flashing her family crest. Lena glanced down at it and then back to the Super’s eyes and nodded.

“I trust you,” she said to Supergirl’s beaming smile and within twenty-four hours every news agency in the world was running the line, with her face and Supergirl’s side by side and the headline: I trust you. Luthor and Supergirl to end feud?

They drove around the city, several blocks, until they drove into an underground garage and Lena and Supergirl got out of the car. She had been apprehensive about the entire thing, wondering if this weren’t the moment she was arrested and prosecuted for her last name, but Supergirl started to blabber on about things she had found fascinating when she first came to earth and the movies she had loved, Disney featured frequently. As time went on Lena relaxed a little, enough that she didn’t tense at every intersection or movement of the alert agents around her.

A sleek black car was waiting underground and a familiar face was peering out of the driver’s seat. Supergirl greeted Alex Danvers with a smile that seemed far too friendly for co-workers and Lena felt her eyes narrow in suspicion. Maybe Kara’s sister had a thing for the superhero? Supergirl opened the door for her before zooming around to the other side and appearing in the other seat even before she managed to get one leg into the car. It was disconcerting. Yes she knew of the Super’s abilities, had entire files dedicated to her and her cousin, but seeing it in action was always startling.

“Miss Luthor,” Alex said with a smile in her rear-view mirror. “Glad to see you’re alright, though the circumstances leave much to be desired.” Lena lifted her brows and nodded, glancing to the superhero to her right who had already done her belt up and had a container of-was that deep-fried chicken?- on her lap. It certainly smelt like it.

Blinking Lena watched as the hero devoured the entire box and sat back with a content sigh, the chicken legs picked clean and a pile of wings left behind.

“We managed to arrest the assailant,” Alex said as she put the car into gear and drove out of the garage. She halted at the exit and shifted her head slightly and Supergirl leant forward. “We’re alright, no one followed us.”

Approval given the Agent pulled out into the street and wound her way into the afternoon traffic. “He’s been taken to a secure location but what he did tell us is concerning.” Lena felt her ire rise, first she was shot at and now she may or may not be taken hostage by a government agency and their pet hero, and now one of their Agent’s was being cagey. She was a Luthor, damn it, she could stomach more than most and would appreciate someone being upfront with her.

“If it concerns me, Agent Danvers, then I need to know. Don’t beat around the bush, just tell me.” Lena sighed and tried to glance out the darkened windows at the streets to see where she was.

Supergirl and Alex shared a look in the mirror and she felt for certain there was smoothing more than friendship between them.

“Okay,” Alex nodded and cast her a glance in the mirror before turning her attention on the road.

“The alien is of a non-violent species but was somehow convinced to take up arms against you, on account of your surname.”

Lena’s eyes fluttered closed and she felt her heart sink as she leant back in the leather seat. “Lex.”

“Yes,” Agent Danvers agreed as she halted at a traffic light. “He informed us that some of the alien community would see you dead for the sins of your House and are willing to see it done.”

“Where he is from the House is responsible for it’s members actions and-“

“And an attack on a member results in an attack on the House and will be responded to in kind,” Lena interrupted Supergirl tiredly, eyes closed and head tilted back. “Only when an agreement between the two Houses where the wronged House agrees to the payment the wrongdoer provides can the feud be ended without bloodshed, without a war until the death.” There was startled silence for a moment and she forced her eyes open, days of little sleep and lots of work were starting to get to her, for she would never have been so candid and with her guard down without it. “I am a Luthor,” she said quietly. “I can’t imagine I would have to remind you, of all people, of that.”

Supergirl was a little tense at the mention of the past they were linked by but nodded, understanding. Alex shifted in the front seat and it was then that Lena noted the machine gun on the front seat. Wonderful.

“How do I clean-up this mess?” She enquired, brain tiredly firing into awareness as she considered the magnitude of the situation Lex and her last name had landed her in. If she was being target she needed to protect her interests; her company, share-holders, and employees, as well as see the attacks on her ended, even if she had to take the fight to the aliens.

“You don’t,” Supergirl said strongly, voice commanding in the small area of the vehicle. “We do. Your job is to stay safe.” She gave a little nod and shifted in her seat as though to place her hands on her hips in Superhero Pose, but settled for crossing her arms.

Lena didn’t hide her eye-roll. “You’ll protect me?” She asked sceptically and the hero’s brow furrowed and she looked at her startled.

“Yeah… of course? Why wouldn’t I?”

Lena arched a brow, a move she had learnt from her mother and was capable of making the privileged white men on various boards fall to their knees. “You have a job, Supergirl….. and I assume you have a day job.” The hero wouldn’t meet her eyes and she nodded. “You need to protect the people of this city more than you do me.”

“You are a member of this city,” Supergirl said, voice tipped with her namesake, steel.

Lena inclined her head as Alex pulled them up in front of what she recognised as her apartment, but the locks clicked, locking the door and keeping her inside. She shot the elder Danvers an exasperated look and she lifted her shoulders in apology.

“I have faith in my security,” Lena said sharply.

“Your human security,” Supergirl emphasised and Lena tilted her head.

“And it was I who saved you, Supergirl.”

The dark blonde’s jaw moved but she nodded, “Okay, but they can’t protect you against alien assassins.”

“Then I suggest, Supergirl, you capture them before they try to kill me again.” Her green eyes were cold as they lifted to the mirror. “I’d like to get out now, Agent Danvers.”

The brunette met her eyes in the mirror, glanced at the pouting Superhero, and nodded, flicking the lock open.

Lena immediately opened the door, once it was open she couldn’t be locked in again, she ignored the abilities of her companions for the moment.

“Miss Luth-Lena!”

Her name from the hero’s lips made her hesitate and she turned from where she had one leg out of the door to look at the hero.

“I can’t be everywhere at once and you are being targeted. Please,” the hero’s blue eyes were magnificent, even as they were soft and pleading, “let us give you a detail.”

Lena thought for a moment. “No,” and slid gracefully from the car. In the front seat Alex wound down her window, a business card appearing between her fingers.

“Hey, wait!” Supergirl was clearly used to getting her way when she used those eyes and pout, but Lena was made of sterner stuff. She shut the door behind her, hiding the hero from view. She didn’t think she would just get out of the car, she was trying not to draw attention to Lena, obviously, hence the passable car and darkened windows.

“If you change your mind, give me a call.”

Begrudgingly she took the card, she wasn’t a fool, having the number of an ‘FBI’ agent would only be beneficial to her.

She strode away from the car as it pulled from the curb and entered her building, smiling a greeting to the security guards in the foyer. A stream of the attack was being shown on the television and many eyes were on her and she pulled her experience and composure around her, cloaking her in a way not dissimilar to the Kryptonian’s. She was waved on, not needing to offer her ID, and it was only when she entered the elevator and when it closed did she allow herself to lean against the wall in exhaustion. Being a Luthor in the public was exhausting.

Her phone chimed and she straightened and dug around for it. Pulling it out she saw she had a text from Kara and quickly opened the message. She had rung and text the dark blonde multiple times after the attack trying to make sure she was okay, but hadn’t had a reply until now.

Kara: Lena! I’m okay, are you? Call me when you can, please. I need to make sure you’re okay.

Her day had been exhausting but as the elevator door clicked open Lena Luthor left the elevator with a smile on her face and a weightlessness to her step.

~*~

“Oi, Luthor,” called a large man as he tossed the prison meal through the bars to one of their high-profile prisoners. “See your sister saved Supergirl? Looks like they’re becoming friends,” he chuckled as he walked away and the bars clicked open to let him in through, the other guard falling in behind him, great gun in his hands. “Some legacy you left behind.”

The other gates clicked shut and the echoes in of their steps faded and in his cell in maximum security Lex Luthor’s knuckles turn white and a silent growl split his lips.

Chapter Text

“Hey, Kara,” one of the security guards emerged from the elevator with a large bouquet of flowers in one hand and a bag in the other. Already smelling what was in the bag her stomach choose that moment to roar its approval and she flushed slightly as Snapper looked at her and then at the flowers with disdain and rolled his eyes.

“I want you on the Luthor conference,” he growled as she slunk away, pulling his sleeves to his elbows. And Kara scrunched her face at his departing back and turned back to the security guard.

“Hi, Rob,” she beamed at him and heard his heart tick and he smiled back at her.

“These are for you,” he handed the flowers over and then passed the bag over before offering her a half-wave and awkwardly backing away back to the elevator.

“Thanks!” She grinned and quickly put the flowers on a nearby desk so she could open her potstickers and was halfway through the first container when she finally thought to look, really look at the flowers. She recognised them immediately and ran her tongue along her teeth and looked for a note. She knew instantly who the flowers were from, and when she found the note it was confirmed. I’m sorry-L. It was impersonal lettering and card but the message and gift meant more to her than Lena could possibly know and she smiled gently at the card before looking at the flower.

“Oooh, Danvers’ got a boyfriend,” cooed one of the other assistants as she clicked past and made to snatch the card from Kara’s fingers. Some of the other interns looked over curiously as Kara’s aversion to dating was well-known-James aside- and no one had ever sent her flowers before. Kara may have used Super reflexes to pull the message away and glared at the girl, watching the smile fall from her face. Kara Danvers didn’t glare. It was not a look that suited her, but by-god was she good at it. Her eyes turned artic and her face smoothened to marble, like one of those statues in museums.

Swallowing nervously the girl walked away quickly, and Kara’s eyes followed her to ensure she got the message. The flowers were hers. She could feel her ire fading as she looked back at the flowers and a smile rose unbidden to her lips and she ran her fingertips over the petals. They were soft, not as soft as roses petals, but still, and they smelt very good. She checked her watch and her eyes widened. She had less than half an hour to get across town if she wanted to be there in time for Lena’s speech. She was quick to take the flowers and potstickers to her office and then gathered her messenger bag, note-pad, and other essentials. She would deny using super-speed to devour her lunch but how else was she meant to eat them before she had to leave?

Minutes later she was on the streets, making her way to the bus and listening to her music as the bus wound its way through town.

She was very nearly late to the speech, and knew Snapper would certainly have her job if she had missed it, even though she was the only reporter to get anything out of Lena (she had refused to give interviews, directing reporters to her PR team). Lena was already on the podium with the L-Corp building standing guard over her and a group of photographers, journalists, and media teams in front of her, hanging on her every word.

She was wearing a tight mid-thigh length black skirt and had a tailor white suit jacket over a white blouse. It was similar to what she wore last time she spoke here, minus the green blouse and large white jacket. Her hair was falling back across her shoulders, making her face seem softer, even as her lipstick was a dark, promising red.

Kara caught her gaze as she scanned the crowd and felt something in her chest flutter when Lena’s lips parted in a smile and she offered a little, nervous wave. Lena’s smile warmed and Kara hurriedly jotted down notes of her speech, admiring the way the young CEO held the attention of the media and almost effortlessly moved through her speech. She made sure to emphasise that this incident in no way made her bare no ill will to the alien community, accepting that as the family of such a high-profile alien hater she would doubtless be target by those who feared she would turn out the same. She made sure to address the rumours of L-Corp developing anti-alien weapons, (though reporters, including Kara, would later note that she didn’t confirm the company had such weapons). It was as she was discussing her loss of her employees and L-Corp’s coverage of their funeral costs and the medical bills for those injured in the attack that Kara heard a familiar click.

Since she had landed on earth and developed her powers due to earth’s sun she had to learn to tune out much of the noise of everyday life. It had been very difficult for her when she first heard people crying for help and Alex would have to hold her as she cried about them needing help and her being unable to help them and how it was ‘so loud.’ Over the years she had gotten better at tuning it all out, solid in her role as Kara Danvers, nothing special about her, until, of course, she had outed herself as she saved her sister. Now she was more open to the city, blocking a lot of the noise with selective hearing, letting it filter through her mind unchecked and only pulling threads of sound when it caught her attention. The cocking of a gun certainly caught her attention.

Her head snapped up and she glanced around her, straining with her senses to catch the sound and heard the soft click of a trigger being pulled and all of her being was focused on the spinning bullet as it ripped through the air and towards the podium. Lena!

She was before the brunette as Supergirl in the span of a heartbeat, catching the bullet between her fingers and glaring down its path at the being that dared take a shot at the young CEO. The humanoid creature flinched away once the shot had been made and around her chaos erupted as the humans caught on to what had happened. She felt their heart rates leap and pound in their panic, but her main concern was on the heartbeat behind her. She could taste their fear in the air and felt her fury rise and crushed the bullet in her fist, feeling it crack and splinter and turn into dust as she closed her fist.

“Supergirl,” she heard breathed behind her and she spun around to make sure Lena was okay.

Lena’s fair skin was as pale as death and the only colour in her face was her lips, brows, and bright green eyes. Her breath was coming in short, sharp bursts, the rapid fire of an automatic gun, and her heart was trying to beat its way free from her chest.

“Miss Luthor, are you alright? I need to get you to safety,” she said quickly and the woman looked at her in disbelief, the typical underlying arrogance the rich and powerful had, and she almost felt small. The look was similar to the ones the girls in school had shown her, but only more powerful. She moved forward to pick Lena up and carry her to safety and the brunette’s head snapped up, heart thudding and she ground to a halt at the flash of fear she saw in her eyes. She felt like her feet were lined with lead, keeping her earthbound and was quick to assure the young CEO that she wasn’t going to hurt her. “I’m not gonna hurt you.”

The Luthor rolled her eyes and side-stepped the hero. Lena’s heels clicked as she strode off the podium, hair flaring behind her majestically and Kara hastened after her.

“Miss Luthor!” The shooter, or someone else, could hurt Lena while she was out in the open, and the brunettes heart rate abruptly increased and her eyes were frantic over the media, who were coming to their senses and had their cameras pointed on the two.

“Supergirl,” Lena spun and Kara nearly walked into her and had to quickly step back to avoid a collision. “Don’t you have a would-be assassin to catch?” And what was it with powerful women who managed to make you feel moronic with an eyebrow arch and the right intonation.

Hearing the murmurs of the media she glanced around to see them nodding in agreement. “Right, um, just, ahm, stay safe,” she said, not sounding as confident as she would like. Lena was like Cat, capable of commanding a room with her mere presence alone, and demanding your obedience in the same thread. It was very challenging.

She launched herself into the sky and flew towards the building where she’d seen the shooter, hearing the DEO channel crack into life.

“Supergirl,” Hank’s commanding voice echoed in her ear. “What’s the situation?” She quickly relayed what had happened and told them where she was heading. Alex came online and told her she and a few agents were on their way as well, the thud of a chopper in the background.

She was able to quickly catch the suspect, tracking him through the city via her x-ray vision. He hadn’t got far and surrendered the moment she roared to the ground in front of him, cracking the pavement with her landing. She dragged him to the DEO and then raced back to Lena, letting Alex and the DEO agents deal with the alien. Alex promised to keep her updated and inform her on anything they learnt the moment they did. Luna was alone surrounded by a sea of people as she searched over heads for something, or someone. A flare of warmth rose at the thought that maybe Lena could be looking for her? Not Supergirl, but Kara.

She landed quickly next to the CEO and ignored the cameras that swiftly turned on them both. “Supergirl, did you find-“

“The assailant has been taken into custody,” she said strongly, reassuring her friend that she was now safe. Her Super abilities allowed her to see Lena deflate slightly in relief but the press were pressing closer, eager for a word, for a picture. But she only talked to Catco reporters and they wouldn’t get a sound bite from her. She wanted to get Lena out of here. “Are you able to accompany me for a debriefing?”

The woman turned to her with brow furrowed and then was looking back at the crowds.

“You saved my life,” she said quietly as she shifted her handbag on her shoulder, eyes still scanning the faces. “Of course.”

Kara was reminded of footage of the youngest Luthor stalking forward with the grace and presence of a predator with a gun in her hand. “Wellll, you did save mine earlier in the week,” and then she was looking at her boots nervously, then glancing at the brunette through her lashes. She said it quietly enough so that it could come across as say it was for Lena’s ears alone, but loud enough that she knew some of the microphones would pick it up. As it was the crowd pressed closer at the words.

“ETA thirty seconds, Supergirl,” Vasquez relayed in her ear and Kara let her arm rise, ready to guide Lena through the crowds towards the vehicles. Alex and Hank and discussed the wisdom of debriefing a Luthor, but the alien had been more than willing to confess why he had tried to kill her, admitting there were others who felt the same and that they would continue to try to kill her, so the Head of the DEO decided that she needed to know she was in danger.

Lena was warm, almost burning as Kara rested a gentle hand at her back and walked at her side through the crowds, letting them part around the two like water did to a rock in a river.

Three black military vehicles screeched to a halt on the road and Agent’s with handheld guns scrambled from the doors to take up defensive positions. It was all very impressive and she could feel Lena tense and felt the trip in her heartbeat. She could understand why a Luthor of all people would be wary of a government agency that worked with aliens.

“It’s fine,” she said quietly and wished she could squeeze the brunettes arm in reassurance or something, but they weren’t that close, at least Supergirl and Lena weren’t, Kara could. Probably. The camera’s were still following them and half the city was no doubt watching with wide eyes. Kara placed her hands on her hips, at loss for what to do with them, as usual when she was around Lena. She could hardly play with her fingers, what kind of hero did that?

“I trust you,” Lena said after glancing at the crest and then looking into her eyes and Kara felt a smile tug at her lips and was helpless to it. She grinned back at the CEO as camera flashes went off around them. Lena was followed into the SUV by an Agent and then Kara hopped in. The brunette was squeezed between two of them and facing forward and Kara took the opposite seat (it was facing backward) and she folded her cape across her legs.

Her heart was doing a strange flipping thing in her chest and was warm and she didn’t stop smiling even as they screeched away from the scene in a wave of black, sirens flashing atop the roof. Lena was tense as they drove, smaller in between the two black-clad agents and she kept glancing nervously at their firearms. She also had her cell in her hands and was gazing at it as though it were a life-line.

“I love the Lion King,” Kara said suddenly and Lena glanced up from her phone with a tight brow. “We didn’t have movies on Krypton,” she shifted awkwardly on the seat, playing with her cape as bright green eyes focused on her curiously. “I dunno, I guess Simba having to leave his home and find a new one and a new family was something I could relate to.” The agents either side of Lena were facing forward, the picture of professionalism but she was certain they were paying attention.

“Kara,” she could hear Alex warn in her ear but she ignored her. Lena’s heart rate was steadying as she talked.

“Not Aladdin?” Lena asked, lifting a brow, and it was only because she knew Lena, that she was able to see just how shaken she was beneath her Luthor walls.

“No, that just made me sad…orphan and all…”

Lena leant back and nodded slowly, and she had a feeling the young CEO understood, she was adopted after all, maybe her parents had died as well. “I loved Be Our Guest, and Poor Unfortunate Souls from Beauty and the Beast and-“

“And the Little Mermaid,’ Kara finished for her, smiling over at her. “I love that movie!”

She leant forward in her seat. “Grass and birds were one of the things that fascinated me,” she said eyes wide with childlike innocence. “The animals here are incredible! Jer-er, my father… would play documentaries for me all the time, and I read everything I could get my hands on.”

Alex sighed over her coms but relayed what the alien was telling them, and it made Kara nervous, but not for herself, for the woman opposite her.

Lena was listening intently, green eyes curious and her heartbeat was steadying so Kara continued on. It was kind of nice to share this with someone who didn’t really know her, who couldn’t really judge her. And Lena was a good listener, just keeping her head slightly tilted and keeping her eyes on her. The time passed quickly then, and before she knew it they were pulling into an underground garage.

Using her senses she could hear Alex in nearby and she could smell the bowl of fried chicken she had brought and nearly ripped the door off in her haste to get out of the car. Lena followed at a more dignified pace.

“Hey Alex!” She sort-of shouted and opened the passenger door and happily took the chicken. She opened the door behind Alex for Lena and was around the other side and in the backseat before the Luthor had a leg in the door.

Their drive back to Lena’s apartment was a little tense, the Luthor’s semi-relaxation in the back of the SUV fading as the conversation went on. She was adamant that she would not be receiving help from the DEO, and Kara couldn’t understand why Lena didn’t want their protection. Aliens were trying to kill her, not that her family didn’t have a history of that, but still!

But Lena was not to be persuaded otherwise and their conversation ended when she (gracefully) stormed from the car and into her apartment. Kara scanned the building to make sure it was safe before flopping back in the seat with a groan.

“Go talk to her,” Alex suggested as she pulled into the traffic and started to drive them towards the city’s DEO department.

“She’s not listening-“

“As Kara,” Alex cut in as she wound her way through the traffic. “But you might want to check in with Biter.”

Kara’s brow furrowed and she turned away from the window. “Biter?”

“Your Boss?” Alex asked, voice rising in question and Kara smiled at her sister, knowing she knew her bosses name but was trying to cheer her up.

“Snapper. It’s Snapper, Alex,” she corrected and scrambled forward in the car to sit in the front seat, Alex shifting her firearm so she could sit there.

“Mh, Snapper. He’ll want your article on the attack, especially after Supergirl saved the day,” Alex emphasised and guided the car to a halt at the garage beneath the building, showing her ID, though the guard was more interested in her caped companion.

“Argh, right. Okay, I’ll talk to you later?” She asked and when Alex nodded she was gone before Alex had parked the car.

“I hate it when you do that,” she heard her sister mutter as she flew away and laughed.

Not really interested in going into Catco and facing the cheerful personality of her boss, and of the questions regarding her delivery of flowers just yet, she decided to pop by the hospital and see some of Lena’s employees. They might talk to her more than they would the press or authorities.

She landed easily outside the hospital and strode into the building, making sure her cape was flaring out behind her as she did so. The visitors to the hospital stopped what they were doing and were looking at her in awe.

“Supergirl!”

“Hello,” she waved and walked over to the reception desk. “I’d like to see the injured employees from L-Corp.”

It was probably against protocol but the nurse glanced at her family crest and nodded. “O-okay, follow me!” Her voice was raised, maybe in nerves or excitement and Kara could hear the jump in her heart.

Some of the injured employees were asleep or unable to talk with her, but those she did talk with spoke of how pleased they were to see Lena taking L-Corp in a new direction and how proud they were to work for her. They didn’t blame the brunette CEO for what had happened to them, and were eager to get back to work. They also asked Supergirl to give her a chance, she was nothing like her brother, they told her, she would see.

She thanked them and took a few pictures with the patients and staff and signed a few autographs before heading back. She flicked off a text to Lena as she was entering Catco, just letting her know that she was safe, and wanted to talk with her as soon as she could. The footage of the speech and then foiled assassination attempt and then Supergirl leading Lena into a black SUV was on loop on all of the screens inside Cat’s-James’ office, and he called her in as soon as he saw her.

“Kara!” He rose from his desk and came around to see her. “Are you okay? I know you were at the Luthor interview.”

She smiled at him and then looked past his relieved face to the screens behind the desk. “Luckily Supergirl was there.”

Luthor saved Supergirl? Was one of the headlines that Catco was running for and after making sure she was okay James turned to the news.

“Supergirl let slip today that Miss Luthor had saved her earlier in the week,” James lifted and eyebrow and folded his arms as he leant against one of the couches. Kara fiddled with her glasses and lifted a shoulder nervously.

“The government agency Supergirl works with retracted a lot of the report from the authorities,” she said watching her alter ego appear before the Luthor and catch the bullet. “I couldn’t source it so I didn’t write it.”

“Well she’s outed herself now,” Snapper growled from the door. “I want you to get an interview with Lena Luthor,” he ordered and then he was gone, back to work.

Kara huffed but her and James shared a smile.

“I’m glad you’re alright,” he said and pushed off the couch towards Cat’s-his-desk. “Now go do your job,” he instructed with a smile and she beamed back at him and bounced out of the familiar office.

“By the way,” he called. “Who’s your secret admirer?”

She turned to face him as she walked backwards towards the elevator. “No one,” she said warningly and he ducked his head but she could feel his eyes on her as she entered the elevator.

She would get to see Lena soon, she ignored the warmth stirring in her chest at the thought. She was just happy to have a friend that got her, that was it.

 

Chapter Text

 

“Kara!”

Kara rocked back on her heels as Lena Luthor threw herself at her and brought her arms around her in a hug. Startled for a moment she hesitated and then brought her arms around the CEO, completing the hug.

“I’m so glad you’re okay,” Lena said, flushing slightly as she pulled back and she looked lovely like this; hair down, red lips, skinny jeans, plaid shirt, and blushing.

“Me to,” Kara replied and moistened her lips, then she realised what she had said. “Not that I’m okay, well, I- not that I’m not happy that I’m okay, but that you…are…” she trailed off and felt her heart flip at the way Lena was biting her lips trying not to smile.

“Yeah… glad we’re both okay,” she nodded and adjusted her glasses, smiling sheepishly in response.

Lena’s green eyes were alight and she quickly pulled Kara into the apartment and shut the door.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” She asked gently, eyes scanning Kara’s body for injury as she kept her hands on her shoulders. She could feel the warmth through her cardigan and tried not to flush.

“Yeah, I got pulled behind a bench and then got dragged behind a car when Supergirl appeared,” Kara replied and nervously rolled her fingers together. “But enough about me! Are you okay? I know Supergirl saved you, it was all over the news, but are you sure...what?”

Lena was looking at her warmly, slight smile to her lips and her heart did a flip and she fought the urge to look away from Lena’s eyes. They were so pretty.

“Nothing,” she worried her lip and then lifted her arm, gesturing for Kara to come into the apartment. “I just-I was worried,” she confessed quietly and Kara felt her face warm at the concern her friend was showing her.

“I’m fine,” she lifted her arms. “As good as new,” she smiled over at Lena and saw the other woman take a deep breath and release it slowly, tension falling from her body.

“I-I ordered pizza, I hope you don’t mind,” she said as she led the way into the kitchen and Kara’s stomach growled, even though she had eaten on the way to the apartment.

Lena giggled. “I’ll take that as a no,” she said and walked over to her fridge and rattled off a selection of waters, fizzy, and wines.

Kara went with a coke and Lena pulled two cans from the fridge. There were four pizzas on the marble top with a garlic bread and Kara was almost drooling at the smell.

Lena offered her a coke and hesitated, suddenly shy. “I wanted to apologise for last time… I was-“

“Lena, it’s okay,” Kara said quickly, giving the brunette her full attention and smiling softly at her. “Really, there is nothing to forgive you for. The flowers were lovely, thank you.”

Lena’s smile rivalled earths sun and Kara felt the warmth of her smile sink into all parts of her, making her warm and fuzzy all over. Lena ducked her head and then slid the coke across the bench to her.

“I’ve something to show you, when we are done,” she said and lifted a pizza box lid.

Kara’s stomach growled its approval of the smell and she fought a blush, smiling nervously but Lena just laughed and told her to help herself.

“Where do you put it?” She enquired as she sank her teeth into the point of a Hawaiian slice.

“Eh, I have a really fast metabolism,” Kara said through a mouthful and Lena bit her lip in amusement and the pizza got stuck.

She coughed awkwardly for a moment, hacking loudly until her throat was clear and Lena was at her side, hand on her back and the coke in her hand offering it to her.

“Thanks,” she coughed a little, took a sip of coke, and let it ease its way down her throat.

“I have to eat every few hours, otherwise my weight gets dangerously low,” she said, repeating the lie that the Danvers’ had crafted for her to allow for her excessive calorie intake. Of course, once she started to use her powers she had to increase the amount, eating more than a grown man would need over several days in one. But she couldn’t help it. She got hungry very quickly. She worried the edge of a napkin. “Is that okay?” She asked hesitantly.

Lena dapped at her lips with a serviette, brows narrowed on her and leant forward. “Okay? Okay that you have to eat to survive? Of course that’s okay?” She seemed confused. “Why wouldn’t that be okay? I’m your friend, I want you to be healthy.”

“O-kay,” Kara stuttered out a breath and then hesitated before explaining that it sometimes bothered her friends how much she needed to eat and how often she had to. They didn’t understand.

“I knew a girl in boarding school- skinny as a twig,” she sounded almost bitter about the fact. “Who needed to eat an entire block of chocolate every few hours. Her doctors told her to never quit drinking or smoking because they would have to hospitalise her before her body ate her alive.” Lena was looking at another pizza, deciding if she wanted bacon or chicken. “You do what’s best for you, Kara,” she said as she settled on a slice dripping with cheese. “If your friends mind, then maybe you need to ask yourself if they are truly your friends.”

“Thank you,” Kara said quietly, looking at the pizza’s and glancing to see Lena tilting her head back to get the strings of cheese into her mouth. Some was stuck to her lip and she watched her push it into her mouth with a red nailed finger.

Lena gave her the thumbs up, more concerned with her pizza than acknowledging Kara’s thanks for something that didn’t require it. Reassured Kara didn’t hold back and easily ate two of the pizza’s before she started to feel full and then started to pick at the slices, deciding which one she wanted more, in case she couldn’t fit any more.

It took her a few more minutes to slow down and Lena had given up after her fourth slice with a sigh and was watching Kara devour the pizza, a small fond smile on her lips.

“You done?” She asked teasingly and Kara blushed and nodded, quickly forcing the rest of her pizza down as Lena began to clean up their mess.

“Come on,” she jerked her head to the side and began to walk through the apartment, Kara hurrying after her like a puppy after wiping her mouth on a napkin.

She followed Lena to the guest room bathroom and washed her hands and then the brunette lead her down the hall to the dead-end Kara had seen last time she was here.

“I was stressed last time and didn’t give you the full tour, I apologise,” she said and pressed against the wall. A section of it slid open to reveal a keypad and she tapped a few keys and then pressed her palm to the palm reader above the keypad. A few moments later and the wall slid into itself to reveal the entry to the secret lair.

The television screens were black, silent, and the computer was the same.

“This is my private study,” Lena said as she flicked the lights on and walked into the room. “I do a lot of my theoretical design and research here.”

Kara followed her, hiding her apprehension, into the room, she didn’t sense anything dangerous, but Lena was a Luthor, even if she didn’t know who and what Kara was.

“Impressive,” she said truthfully and was rewarded with a smirk from the brunette as she sat in her chair and clicked her computer into life. There was another door in the wall, it must reach out to cover the rest of the floor, making sense as there seemed to be space for four luxury apartments on this floor, but there was only the doors for three.

“This is what I’ve been working on,” she said gesturing for Kara to come closer and the dark blonde walked around the desk to stand behind the Luthor. The background to the desktop made her wince slightly and she hoped the expression wasn’t caught in the reflection- it was of Lena and of Lex, smiling at the camera in snow gear with their arms around each other. There were various folders and programs on the screen, design ones, and building ones, no doubt for her to send to another computer where the prototypes could be made.

“Christmas two years ago,” Lena said in explanation as she clicked into another file and passed the encryption. “A brief pause in his crusade against Superman.”

She clicked a few more times, typed something and then her latest project was up on the screen. Kara tensed behind her at the names of a file in a folder, but not the one that was opened.

“I’ve been working on this for a while,” she moved the mouse around and the small device on the screen spun 360 degrees. “It’s an anti-alien alarm,” she explained and went on to show Kara the features that would allow the user to press a button and bring any alien within one hundred feet to their knees.

“So that will kill aliens?” Kara asked nervously, gripping the back of Lena’s chair and feeling it creak under the pressure.

“No,” Lena said quickly and shook her head, pieces of her hair falling across Kara’s hand. “This is defensive only. Human brains operate at a different frequency…. That mess with Myriad proved that,” she voiced to herself, softer than Kara should have been able to hear. “This is designed to emit a screaming sound at just the right frequency that will knock them out, not kill them. There are weapons for that,” she added almost as an afterthought.

“You did save Supergirl,” Kara said quickly, trying to relax her hold on Lena’s expensive chair. She felt nervous and wondered if she should have told Alex she was coming here.

“Yes, but she is a good alien,” Lena clicked from the file and then exited the folder and spun to face Kara, who’s eyes were on the screen and the folder that had said ‘Kryptonite gun’.

“You yourself said there were bad ones,” Lena pointed out and rose to her feet, making Kara step back so they wouldn’t collide. “That is what I am interested in defending against,” she said and tilted her head. “Can’t you understand that?”

Kara hesitated but nodded slowly, rubbing her fingers together. “I-I guess… but-but what if these devices can get to a high enough frequency to- I don’t know, explode a brain? Or be turned on humans?”

Lena was nodding in agreement as she turned the screen off. “I thought of that,” she said and gestured towards the door. “I designed the software myself. I will be very impressed if someone manages to hack into it, and then alter the software. Very impressed,” she emphasised and followed Kara out of the room, touching the touchpad and letting the door close behind them.

“I’m very good with computers,” Lena explained as she proceeded to show Kara the rest of the penthouse. There was a small library/study/home entertainment room, a small private gym. Two double guest rooms, the guest bathroom that Kara had already seen, and Lena’s personal rooms. Her bed room was designed to catch the most sunlight possible and from the brief glance Kara had seen made her itch to see just how comfortable her big bed was. The laundry was off next to gym.

After the tour Lena lead them back to the lounge and curled up on one end of the couch. The sunset was fading but still magnificent and Kara enjoyed the sight for as long as she could, taking a seat on one of the two arm chairs facing the window. After a moment Lena joined her and the two watched day turn into night and the horizon merging into one, even as the artificial skyline awoke.

“I, ah, hate to ask but um-“

“Your boss wants an exclusive interview?” Lena asked with a raised brow.

“That's not why I'm here!” Kara was quick to point out and was relieved when Lena lifted a hand and placed it in her forearm. She could feel the heat if her touch burning through her shirt.

“Relax, Kara,” Lena said and her voice was soft and gentle, the hint of an accent coming through. “I know you’re not here for that. You’re here for me.” She sounded disbelieving of her own words but then came back to herself and let Kara go with a smile. The dark blonde could have sworn she'd left an imprint of it on her flesh.

“Okay, let me just get my notepad,” she said and rose quickly to fetch it. On her return she paused to admire, and maybe imprint in her memory, the silhouette of the brunette against the sky.

She ran through her questions and Lena was calm and relaxed as she admitted that for the second time in a week an alien had tried to kill her. She was cautious, she told Kara-the-reporter, of the alien refugees and wanted humans to have a defence against those that wished them harm, but didn't know how to get both humans and aliens to get along. Kara got some good quotes, and when she’d decided she had enough she put her notepad away, signalling the return of Kara-the-friend.

She was a little pre-occupied with the supposed super-computer Lena hinted at and also at the fact she had admitted she was good with computers, but Winn was good with computers, so what did that mean. She was ignoring the fact that the DEO had been hacked by a computer genius and she may be speaking with one. But the rest of the night was comfortable, they sipped an expensive red wine while they watched the night of National City awaken and go about its business. Her phone was silent, a part from a text from Alex asking to see her when she was free, and as the minutes slipped away Kara and Lena discussed everything, childhoods, schooling, television, and college. Lena was very disappointed to learn that Kara didn’t have any wild, drunken, stories.

Kara had also asked Lena how she was feeling about her safety which had started an argument, but Lena was more…gentle with Kara than she was with Supergirl and Agent Danvers. She argued that Supergirl and her team had an entire city to save, and shouldn’t be concentrating only on her-she wasn’t worth it, was what Kara had gotten out of the discussion. Her own arguments had fallen flat, but she had conveyed her concern that Lena was in danger and her human security might not be a match for aliens, wouldn’t the help of the government agency be better? Lena had arched a brow then, asking her that weren’t those agents human? Flushing, like she seemed to do around Lena, Kara had responded that they were used to aliens, and would be more prepared to fight off an alien attack. She just wanted her to stay safe, she admitted quietly and Lena had gone silent, contemplative before changing the subject.

It was approaching the middle of the night when Kara reluctantly rose to leave and Lena guided her to the door, eyes and voice soft and Kara felt her eyes on her as she left.

She dug out her cell to call Alex, and minutes later she was landing in the National City DEO HQ, her sister coming to great her.

Alex had a tense furrow to her brows as she walked towards her, combat boots thudding on the linoleum surface.

“Supergirl.”

“Agent Danvers,” Kara smiled and wrapped and arm around her sister.

“Winn’s been tracking the hacker and found something,” Alex said, wrapping her arm back around Kara and the two walked towards the podium where Winn was at his desk.

“Winn,” Kara beamed a greeting, “what have you got for me?”

“Well….” the agent drawled and spun in his chair to face her, grinning in response. “I managed to locate the source of the hack, it came from Lena Luthor’s flash-drive, the one she gave us of her footage.”

Kara felt her blood turn to ice and winced. Winn didn’t notice but Alex did and crossed her arms, eyes narrowing as Winn continued.

“I managed to trace it from an outside source, attached to the footage, probably before she gave it to us. The algorithm was designed to search for certain things, using the flash-drive to gain access to our systems….even though it was scanned…” His brow furrowed and he turned back to his computer, bringing up a section of computer code that Kara didn’t understand.

“It looks like the instruction was hidden in the footage, behind the bit that Lena obviously didn’t want us to share, the bit where the alien spoke to her.” He was shaking his head but in the reflection of his screen Kara could see the admiration of the work.

“Whoever it was knew we would make sure the footage was clear before uploading it to our system, they waited for us to open the door to let them in, and we did when Vasquez found the start of the video. She basically let the hacker in-not that she could have known,” Winn added hurriedly, seeing the Agent in question turn and give him a dirty look. “The tech behind this…. It’s something we don’t even have.”

“So what did they find? What were they looking for?”

“Anything on Cadmus,” Winn answered quickly and brought up another section of code. “Anything on alien weaponry, and…,” he ducked his head awkwardly and his expression turned pained, “anything on Kryptonian’s….”

Kara stiffened and Alex unfolded her arms, leaning forward intense.

“It was an algorithm hidden beneath the other orders…it was the first one executed…. They got everything we had…. But I don’t think they got your and Superman’s civilian identities….”

“You don’t think?” Alex’s voice rose to a high pitch, almost vibrating in her anger.

Winn shrugged helplessly. “We let them in to the system, whoever they are they are a computer genius, and I’m a computer genius!”

“Um,” Kara shifted nervously on her feet and tugged at the cord holding her sleeve to her palms, the heavy feeling from earlier returning tenfold.

“Kara?” Alex’s voice rose in warning and was an excellent imitation of Eliza’s.

“Well…. You know how I said Lena had a secret lair in her apartment?” Alex and Winn were nodding though Alex had folded her arms and was lifting a brow to get her to continue. “She took me inside it tonight, and, ah, she showed me one of the latest tech’s she’s working on.” She went on to explain what Lena had shown her, waiting for Hank to arrive before repeating it to him, then she added, “I saw a few other folders, one was um, Kryptonite Gun- but that isn’t everything I learnt!” She said quickly in the face of three disapproving masks and J’onn and Alex exchanging a look. “When I asked if the alarm could be used to kill aliens she said she’d be very impressed if someone managed to hack into it, and change the frequency…. She’s kinda a computer genius?” Her voice rose to a question at the end and Winn sat back in his chair blinking.

“So she gives us the edited footage, knowing we would look further, and sends in a Trojan to open our files and gets the information she needs,” Alex said, voice tense and features hard. “Let me go and get her,” she requested of Hank and the Head of the DEO shook his head again.

“We have no proof,” he began.

“Oh! Come on!” Alex shot back and proceeded to list the points against Lena’s favour. “She was attacked by an alien, twice, claiming revenge for Cadmus. She managed to severely wound one of them, who later died of the injuries, the tech she used is something we don’t even have, and we are the DEO! She lifted her gun on Kara, she has a program on her computer called Kryptonite Gun, and…” Alex’s voice was increasing in volume. “She admitted to Kara she was a computer genius! Her last name is Luthor! What more proof do you need!?”

“Evidence, Agent Danvers, evidence,” Hank said, iron entering his tone and Alex’s head shot back and she lifted her arms and shoulders to express her disbelief.

“Miss Luthor could have been targeted because of her last name, both times, it is not much of a stretch to assume she could be involved with Cadums. She is well within her rights to design anti-alien weaponry, we have anti-alien weaponry.” He lifted his hand to halt Alex’s protests as Winn and Kara watched with wide eyes. “She never took a shot at Supergirl,” he said warningly. “Being intelligent alone is not grounds for suspicion, and I am certain L-Corp is not the only company designing anti-alien weapons, not every Kryptonian is like Superman and Supergirl. You know that.”

Alex was huffing, crossing her arms, jaw rigid.

“She doesn’t seem so bad,” Kara offered quietly, in defence of her friend. “She hasn’t made an aggressive move.” The yet was unspoken but sat heavy on the air as though it had been shouted.

Alex’s phone made a chiming noise and her brow tightened as she dug it from her pocket, though her eyes widened at seeing the message.

“Speak of the devil,” she muttered and read the message out-loud.

“Agent Danvers. I have rethought your proposal. Please come see me tomorrow, when convenient, to discuss it further. Lena Luthor.” It was said with Alex’s voice but the cadence and tone of it was undeniably the CEO’s.

“Huh, wonder what changed her mind,” Winn pondered aloud and Alex stared down at the phone, pensive.

“What should I say?”

“Yes, of course!”

“It’s not that simple, Kara. She was a gun that could kill you,” Alex looked up from her phone to stare concernedly at her sister. “I know you want to trust her because she’s your friend, but she’s a Luthor.”

“And she needs our help,” Kara countered, straightening and folding her arms over her crest. “We can’t just ignore that.”

“What if it’s a trap?” Winn asked, and then shrunk a little in his seat at the withering glare Kara shot him.

“Innocent or not, Miss Luthor is being targeted by aliens and her human security cannot hope to protect her against them, even if she does outfit them with anti-alien guns.” Hank said finally, voice firm. “Agent Danvers,” Alex straightened slightly at the command. “I want you to arrange protection from our agents for Miss Luthor, at least until we have caught the aliens who want to hurt her.”

Alex sighed heavily but gave a grudging nod and tapped away at her cell. “I hope you’re right about her, Kara,” she said as she put her cell back in her pocket. “I don’t want her to hurt you.”

“She won’t, Alex,” Kara smiled winningly at her sister. “She won’t.”

 

Chapter Text

 

The rebuilding of L-Corp had been swift, four days after the attack and Lena was back in her office, though with increased security. Alex walked confidently into the ground level of the building with two Agent’s behind her and flashed her FBI badge to security. She had to wait a moment until they verified her identity, and those of her companions, and was thankful for the DEO tech that allowed their ID’s to change with the click of a button.

The trio were directed to the elevators and joined a few L-Corp employees on the way up and Alex kept her features blank as they got higher and higher. By the time they got to the CEO floor they were alone, and when the door opened they were greeted with two security guards standing alertly by Lena’s assistant’s desk. They were alert and watched intently as Alex and her agents approached and she could tell by the way they held themselves and looked over her that they were combat trained, and not the regular mall-cop security that was downstairs.

The PA was typing away and glanced up when she saw them and they flashed their badges reassuringly. “I’m Agent Danvers of the FBI, and this is Agent Cole and Agent Bronze. Miss Luthor requested to see us immediately.”

Perhaps overwhelmed by their badges or the guns they had at their sides, the PA waved them in.

The security guards watched them go but made no move to stop them and soon they were in Lena’s office.

The CEO was speaking with a tall African-American woman in a lab coat, who’s clothes underneath rivalled the CEO’s. Lena was leaning over a tablet and the other scientist was nodding slowly, as she followed what Lena was saying. “That would work.”

“I know you wanted to change it so we could mass produce it, but I don’t want this getting out, understand?” Lena stilled as she saw the three DEO agents and straightened quickly, flipping the cover on the tablet shut.

“Agent Danvers, thank you for coming,” Lena turned to her companion and nodded. “Thank you.”

Alex watched the woman until her lab coat vanished out the door before looking back at the Luthor, who’s surprise had faded beneath a calm CEO mask.

“I’m glad you agreed to our protection,” Alex said as she strode forward and stood in front of the CEO’s desk. “This is Agent Cole and Agent Bronze, they have been assigned your protection.” The two Agent’s nodded a greeting.

“Lena Luthor,” Lena said as she took a seat. “How will we do this, Agent Danvers? I don’t want my work compromised.”

“Your safety is important,” Alex interrupted.

“Yes…you can tell your sister I accepted D-“ she cut herself off abruptly and Alex felt the hair on the back of her neck rise, it sounded like she was going to say DEO. “I accepted additional protection, so she can stop looking at me with those eyes.” Lena flicked through a large folder, pen poised. And Alex felt a moment of kinship to the Luthor, Kara’s puppy eyes were lethal, she was surprised Lena had lasted as long as she had.

“Agent’s Cole and Bronze will shadow you 24/7 until the threat is neutralised,” Alex began and Lena’s head rose.

“There are some places where I don’t want company.”

Alex nodded understanding, but also slightly suspicious. “Of course. They are to leave you when you request it but when you go out in public they need to be with you.” She didn’t add that she would ask the Agent’s to follow Lena, just in case she was in danger, and not because she was interested in anything she could be doing that might prove her suspicions right.

Lena leant forward and pressed a button on her desk and moments later her secretary was opening the doors. “Miss Luthor?”

“Jess, these Agents are going to be accompanying me for the foreseeable further. Please show them around and give them a room down the hall to set up in.”

Her secretary showed the two agents out, and they could hear her introducing them to the two security guards.

“I don’t want it obvious I have government protection,” Lena clasped her hands together on top of her desk, casting a glance to her computer before looking back at Alex. “The Media are already all over me because of who I am,” she lifted a hand to wave it around her, “and because of the would-be-assassin last week.”

Alex shook her head. “While I appreciate that they-we-are professionals, our uniform is-“

“Agent Danvers,” Lena interrupted green eyes intense. “You couldn’t look less of a highly trained secret agent than you already do,” she said and ran her eyes over Alex. The Agent shifted slightly uncomfortable at the appraisal but stood straight when she reminded herself she was a covert-agent.

“You’re wearing black, have a side arm strapped to your leg, a utility belt, a hands free coms device, another gun off your belt, two boot knives, one on the back of your belt,” she looked back at the computer. “Several in under your shirt, what’s that, throwing knives?” She lifted her brow and then shook her head while Alex blinked at her. “Your companions are carrying machine guns,” she emphasised. “Their armour is to high tech for FBI, your guns aren’t standard issue, and no human agents have enough experience with aliens to be willing to protect me from them. Ergo, Agent Danvers, you don’t work for the FBI and considering you work with Supergirl… I’m willing to bet you work for another government agency, one that works with and deals to aliens.”

Alex’s fingers twitched with the urge to hold her gun, just to keep her grounded, not to wipe the smug look of the youngest Luthor’s face.

Lena turned her computer screen to face her, showing a live time view of the office as well as a second one that highlighted Alex’s weaponry and had its make and model details next to it. It was like some sort of video game, where the stats of each weapon was shown and it had the height and weight of the agent. There was also a live feed of Alex’s own camera, a small one hidden at her neck as an anti-strangling collar, and Alex felt her jaw unhinge slightly.

“I know,” Lena said and let a smirk curl her lips and lifted her shoulder in a faux impression of modesty.

“Now,” the Luthor was all business, fixing Alex with piercing green eyes. “If your agents are going to be protecting me, which you have insisted on, then I would like them to at least try to be less conspicuous.” Alex’s jaw worked and Lena’s gaze turned sly. “I have a feeling you don’t want the Media digging in to why I have ‘FBI’ Agents guarding me…”

Alex took a deep, calming breath, and let it out slowly. Lena had a point. She tapped her comms. “Did you get all of that?”

Winn was gushing in her ear. “Oh my god, that tech is amazing! Can you ask her about the-“

“Agent Schott,” Hank could be heard interrupting and the tech wiz quietened instantly. “We heard and saw everything,” he said and then sighed. “She has a point. Have Agent’s Bronze and Cole try for civilian clothing the best they can…and inform Miss Luthor that if I catch her hacking our feeds again I’ll be very, very unhappy.”

“Can you ask her to come in and work on our tec-“

“Agent Schott!”

“Yup, okay. Going back to work now,” Winn said and she could hear the faint sound of his keyboard tapping.

Lena was smiling at her desk but looked back at Alex and nodded. “Of course, Agent. I do apologise for the intrusion, but one can never be too certain of who they are speaking to. I’ll terminate the connection immediately… though I do suggest you alter your software. Your communicative software is allowing a constant signal which is open to hacking.” She hesitated and then proceeded to offer how the change could be made while Winn whooped in Alex’s ear, wondering how he hadn’t thought of that.

Lena clicked a few buttons with a small smile on her face and then turned the screen to show Alex. All that remained on the screen was the live camera feed from a camera above the door, and the x-ray of her weapons. “I removed myself from the network, but do look into my suggestions. I’d hate to see an anti-alien government agency hacked.” She said it with cool green eyes, but with a slight curl to her lips and Alex felt her own lips start to curl into a sneer but forced it down, she was a professional, even if Lena did basically just admit to hacking the DEO.

Alex could hear Hank and Winn discussing the suggestions and tapped her comms again, temporarily shutting the channel but still letting them see and hear all that she did.

There was a knock on the door and her agent’s came back inside and stood to attention behind her, and she felt powerful and confident with them at her back.

“Will that be all, Agent Danvers?” Lena asked as she flicked open another folder. Alex nodded, giving Lena then run down on what she was expected to do, and what her Agents would be doing, before nodding and leaving. Cole and Bronze followed her out and as the door clicked shut and she let out a sigh. She made sure the room that L-Corp had given her agents was satisfactory, and seeing that they didn’t need anything she bad them farewell and made her way to the elevator. She was in need of a coffee, and maybe something sweet. Maybe she’d go and see her sister, and see her new office.

~*~

Kara’s article on the attack on Lena Luthor had gone over well with Snapper, especially as she had gotten an exclusive interview with the CEO and had a few words from Supergirl, caught in passing. It was just luck. Really. She was starting to become known as Supergirl’s go-to, the voice when she wanted to speak to the public, and some of her co-workers had teasingly called the new Lois Lane- she’d heard James’ laugh from her little box when he’d heard it.

Over the past two weeks she had been out and about in the city getting interviews, talking to witnesses, and getting reports. She’d featured in Catco magazine multiple times, writing about a new park, additional officers to the NCPD, an upgrade to the mall-which was rumoured to feature alien friendly technology and games-and had been investigating the robbery-murder of a local Doctor, one that had moved here from Metropolis. She’d talked to Clark about it, and he had done some digging for her, and it was really good to talk to him, they didn’t really get the chance very often, so she had relished the time they had spent.

Kal had learnt that the Dr had had a modest practice which had very few clients, but those that he did have were of the social elite in Metropolis, the rich, influential, and famous. Many celebrities, politicians, and influential people had come forward to say how sorry they were to hear of the robbery gone wrong and that the Dr would be missed.

Something about the information she had dug up on the Doctor had seemed off, and the authorities were very quick in telling the public it had been a robbery that had gone wrong, but Kara’s investigations had told her there was nothing actually stolen. Of course when she had queried this, the law enforcement had laughed and said that that was because the good doctor interrupted the thieves in the middle of their job, and paid his life with it. Then they got spooked, they said in an official statement, and fled before they could steal anything. It seemed odd, as the forensic reports indicated a silencer had been used, and the Doctor had been shot in his study, in the head. Something in her felt uncomfortable with the police’s conclusions and she had asked Alex and Winn to look into the doctor, even as she wrote a fluffy article for the Magazine. The funeral was this afternoon, and it was a good day to have it on, for all that it would be a sombre affair.

Now she was in Snapper’s work-room, surrounded by all these impressive reporters, as he informed her he wanted her to investigate the rumour of a killer for hire entering the city and telling her to take Mitchel Mathes with her, a seasoned reporter who would show her the ropes. Snapper was impressed with her solo articles (for the most part), but they must have lacked something, or were very easy, so he was giving her a partner to shadow and learn from. It was real journalism, and she was very excited.

They would meet up later, after the funeral, which Kara was attending out of respect, and because she had gotten close to the family in the following days as they had tried to find the killer, and the police had eventually tracked him to a small hole in the less pleasant side of National City. He’d been in danger of dying of an overdose, and had been subdued easily. The gun he used was hidden under the bed and the clothes he used were in the washing hamper. The petty thief had denied it vehemently, saying he didn’t do it, but the evidence was right there, and he was arrested and charged with murder. His trial would be in a couple of days, but he was released on bail, a fee that a petty criminal charged with murder should not have been able to afford, which just made Kara even more uneasy.

Snapper went over the rest of the news for the morning and then sent the reporters off to do their jobs. At mid-day Kara made sure she was presentable, and grabbing her messenger bag, made her way across town to the cemetery.

There were already folks dressed in black gathering and walking in twos, threes and by themselves to the plot of earth. A few cars pulled up and the family got out, wearing black and with red-rimmed eyes and pale faces as they walked reluctantly to the coffin.

Kara waited at the back, behind the rows of people, relying on her super-hearing to hear the lovely ceremony and she was admiring the cadence and charisma of the celebrant when she smelt it; familiar perfume.

Turning her attention from the sweet words she scanned the crowds for Lena Luthor. The CEO was standing a bit to the back, with two men in suits who she recognised as the DEO agents Alex had assigned her. She looked delightfully sombre in black, regal and untouchable, and Kara wondered exactly what she was doing here. It couldn’t be a coincidence, could it? The young CEO was from Metropolis, so was the doctor, who catered to the elite, and now he was dead…. Surely the young Luthor didn’t have anything to do with his death.

Supergirl-mode activated she turned from the funeral and tried to sense anything out of place, all she saw apart from the black suits and clothing was a man in motorcycle clothing laying a rose over a gravestone a little bit back from the funeral.

She narrowed her eyes at him and used her supervision but couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. There was a figure approaching from the south but he was only carrying flowers so she ignored him and turned back to the funeral, her eyes drawn every so often back to Lena.

Her instincts told her to be alert, so she was a little tense and jumped a bit when the funeral ended, and they started to play some song as the coffin was lowered into the ground. She hated funerals, hated the people the dead left behind, hated their tears, their cries, the stuttering of their hearts. She hated death for what it took from the living.

The family were the first to leave the funeral, and clung to each other as they stumbled back to their vehicles. She could feel their sorrow, taste their tears, hear their loss and it took a little out of her. The figure with the flowers was closer now, and he had his hoodie up, and as suspicious as it was, she didn’t think he meant any harm, he didn’t have a gun or any weapon on him.

He was talking to the family and she didn’t deny her curiosity to listen.

“I didn’t do it, I swear!” He was saying and it was the young thief, Jake, who had been accused of shooting the doctor. His only weapon to the angry family was his flowers and he was offering them even as he vehemently denied his involvement in the murder of their father, son, brother, husband, and friend.

The family were angry in their grief and were demanding the man leave, but he was insistent, saying he hadn’t done it, saying he didn’t know how his gun had been the one to shoot the doctor, how he didn’t use anymore and how he was trying to turn over a new leaf.

They wouldn’t listen to him, and one of the men, maybe a brother, gave him a good, hard shove away from the family and the thief stumbled back, flowers falling from his hand as a shot rang out and blood blossomed across his chest.

Kara jerked and scanned frantically for the shooter, and the people began to scramble. She could hear the DEO agents grabbing Lena and dragging her across the grass and pushing the man in the motorcycle jacket away. He too was running, looking fearful for his life, even as it seemed false.

He was tall, slender and well- built and his steel eyes were sharp beneath dark brows and he had a slight scar on his right cheek, likely from a fist fight. His nose looked like it had been broken a few to many times and his dark hair was pepper with silver, but it was a good look on him. He bolted past the screaming guests and jumped on a motorbike and roared away as Kara looked for the shooter. She saw them on the top of a parking garage over across from the cemetery, and after making sure no one was looking at her, Kara Danvers vanished and Supergirl was seen speeding across the sky in a streak of blue and red.

The human shooter didn’t even protest when she took his gun and picked him up after dismantling it and putting it into the case he carried it in. She flew him to the nearest precinct and left him there, telling the officers that he was the one who had shot the man who had killed the doctor. They had expected her, apparently someone was currently calling them to say that someone had shot the young man that killed the doctor.

She returned to the cemetery as Kara Danvers, reporter, and was quick to see where she would be most useful as she heard her sisters voice come through her coms device.

“Supergirl, what’s happening? Agent Bronze said there was a sniper at the funeral. Are you alright?”

Kara quickly explained the situation and let Alex go when the arriving police officers wanted to get her statement. It didn’t take very long, and soon she was on her way back to Catco. Mitchel had text her while she was waiting to give her statement that the gun-for-hire they were going to investigate had been arrested for shooting the man who killed the doctor and as she flew over the skies she asked Alex to have her detective friend look into it, or look into it herself. On Krypton they didn’t believe in coincidences, and she was starting to think that that mindset was something she should look into more here on earth, especially with these two shootings.

Snapper was as good as his name when she returned to Catco, the office he ruled over was a mess, with him tearing other reporters to shreds and laying into Mitchel.

The slender black man towered over Snapper but seemed diminished in the presence of his shorter, irate companion as the more seasoned reporter demanded he write everything he had on the shooter, and do so right now. Already news outlets were reporting that the shooter was Jamie McCartney, an infamous hitman, who had been hired by the family to take out the shooter, Jake. Already rumours were flying about who had ordered the hit and how much it had cost them, and what the police were going to do about it. Snapper paid them no mind, he wanted the unbiased truth, not that mindless dribble that outlets like Fox liked to spew.

“I don’t have anything,” Mitchel was defending, lifting large hands the size of a dinner plate. “Kara and I were gonna look into it after the funeral, like you asked.”

Snapper didn’t appreciate the feedback. “Go out and get me that story, before the evening news,” his ‘or else’ was silent, but it didn’t need to be voiced and Mitchel threw his hands in the air in resignation.

“Kara,” his head turned around and he brightened. “There you are. Get your reporter kit and let’s go,” he paused to grab a leather jacket and a messenger bag and led Kara back out of the office.

“Er, okay,” she quickly fell into step behind him.

Mitchel used to be the War-correspondent but had retired from that after the birth of his daughter, a cute, brown-eyed cherub of a girl whose picture he liked to show to everyone. Kara fawned over each new photo appropriately, the kid was cute.

Mitchel had a knack for being in the right place at the right time, a trait he called instinct and curiosity and he was nicknamed the “(Black) Panther.” He found the nickname amusing, something his colleges had started to call him years back, for his grace, and cat-like curiosity, but he never said how the name had come about, remaining coy on the subject whenever he was asked and he changed the answer depending on his mood. Regardless of how he was called such, he was one of the best reporters in the business and was very charismatic and seemed to find leads where there were none. The reason he had known about Jamie being in town was because one of his drinking buddies wasn’t exactly on the right side of the law, as Kara came to realize when they made their way across town to a dive-bar, and he’d told Mitchel about it.

The bar was on a corner, with a small convenience store on one side and a mechanic shop on the other and Kara felt eyes on her as soon as she entered. The atmosphere was dark, with dull lighting trying to get through the layer of smoke and with tables and chairs were mismatched and broken and the cliental was a mixed bunch, but all looked dangerous and completely at home. Some were in booths drinking, others were playing pool, and one guy was throwing knives at a dart-board with chilling accuracy.

“Mitch.” A small girl at the bar looked ethereally pale in the light and Mitchel immediately made his way towards her, Kara-the-reporter, following on his heels. Up close the girl looked mid-late twenties, maybe, and had piercing in her ears, one on her nose, and a lip ring, but she was smiling as Mitchel leant across the bar to grip her hand. Her biceps strained under her shirt and her steel blue eyes were sharp as she took Kara in. She felt like she were being x-ray and fiddled with her sleeves.

“Who’s your friend,” she asked and cocked a hip against the bar, running a wiping clothing along the edge of a glass.

“Kara, she’s learning the ropes. Kara, this is Rachel, who prefers to be called Raven,” Mitch introduced, changing the name at the frosty glare Raven shot him.

‘Raven, Kara,” Mitch leant against the bar and tilted his head. “My usual, and…” he turned curiously to Kara. She fiddled with her glasses and shook her head. “I don’t drink.”

The waitress snorted but slapped a glass on the bench and sorted Mitch’s drink, rolling her sleeves to her elbows as she did and Kara could see the tattoos on them.

“There’s water in the tap if you want it, or we’ve got your normal mixers,” she said and slid the glass over to Mitch, who downed it, and replaced the bottle back behind the counter. Kara shook her head and the server lifter her shoulder in a shrug.

“Jamie McCartney,” Mitch said as he pulled out his wallet and Raven huffed.

“Yeah,” she had a nice voice, smoky-like, “figured you’d be here about that. Heard he was arrested.”

“Yeah, Supergirl caught him,” Kara piped up and fought the urge to look away when steel blue eyes focused on her. Those eyes had seen a lot, there was a shadow in them.

“Hm,” Raven turned away and leant over the bar. “You got what I want?”

Mitch smiled, dimples flaring. “Aw, Raven. You know I always come through for you,” he reached into his messenger bag and pulled out a small box and passed it across the bar. Raven grinned, looking like a devious teenager about to get into trouble and Kara wondered what was in the box. Expensive cigars, Kara soon found out when Raven eagerly lit one and brought it to her mouth with a sigh.

“Came here, like they always do. Didn’t say much,” she nodded her head as she worked at a spot on the bar with her cloth. She brought the cigar away from her mouth to ask, “Who’d he kill?”

“Jake Cole, the kid that killed that Doctor,” Mitch said and turned from the server to lean his back against the bar and look at the customers.

“That the one that they found trying to OD in his shithole of an apartment?”

“That’s the one.”

Raven snorted. “Yeah, heard about that.” A broad-shouldered man approached the bar with a singlet and an empty glass and his muscles bulged beneath his military insignia.

Raven eye’s fluttered as she inhaled sharply before pulling the cigar away and letting the smoke curl from her partially open mouth. “Were I you, I’d take a look at the kid again, especially the apartment.”

She inclined her head and moved over to take the empty glass and refilled it silently.

“I’ll catch ya, later.”

Dismissed but with new information Mitch rapped his knuckles on the bar and gave her a smile as he turned and gestured for Kara to leave the bar.

The city air was fresh and cool after being inside, and she saw Mitch squint in the light as he came out behind her.

“Raven’s former military,” Mitch said as they started to walk down the pavement. “She retired two years back after her old man died of cancer. We met in Iraq.” He waited until a car passed before crossing the street. “So, tell me what your journalist senses are telling you about the case.”

“Well… I don’t think Jake did it,” Kara hedged and Mitch nodded slowly.

“Alright, convince me.”

“Okay, so Doctor Alan was killed in his study in a robbery gone wrong, only nothing was taken and the security alarm was disabled by someone familiar with high-tech alarms, which Jake Cole isn’t, he’s a petty criminal, he doesn’t do big jobs. The killer used a silencer and left, only fingerprints on the doorhandle, and on the study door say Jake was there. He is then found with a needle in his arm in his apartment.” Kara turned to look up at Mitch who was following along easily, a slight smile to his face and he ducked his head to get her to continue.

“Right, so the police find the gun and silencer. And his shoes have dirt from the property, his clothes have gun-shot residue and his cell has a text message sent to his mum saying he didn’t mean to and he’s sorry and he is found trying to OD after trying to get clean,” Kara hesitated for a moment and then continued with the information she had found out, through Alex and maybe Winn doing some snooping into the NCPD servers.

“When he recovers he immediately denies the shooting, and then gets out on bail upwards of $5 million, when the evidence says it was him and there is no way he or his family could afford that, and then goes to the funeral of the man he supposedly killed, with flowers.” It was sounding worse and worse as she spoke and she cast Mitch a glance from the corner of her eye. “He is then killed by a hitman who’s been in the city for at least a week?” She raised her voice in question and Mitch nodded.

“It seems….fishy…” Kara finished, brow furrowed even as Mitch flagged down a taxi.

He was smiling at her. “We’ll make a reporter of you yet,” he said as he opened the door and she beamed at him. “But we have to be careful,” he added as she got into the car and he gave the directions to one of the NCPD precincts. “Whoever organised this has very deep pockets and is very good at covering their tracks. Think, Kara,” he said and turned to face her fully. “What is the outcome here? Who is at the epicentre?”

“The Doctor,” she said after a few moments of thought. Jake Cole was a recovering heroin addict and petty thief, he was a nobody on the scale of things. That left the good doctor. But why would someone want him dead?

Mitch tapped away on his cell phone before lowering it and looking at her. “So what is our next move?” He asked, clearly willing to let her take charge as he was just here to provide guidance.

The answer presented itself to her quickly. “We look into his clients.”

“We look into his clients,” he agreed as they made their way across town. “Did you find out anything when you were writing on the shooting?” He paused for a moment and looked over at her. “Was there anywhere you wanted to be dropped off?”

“No.” She shook her head, she could walk from wherever they ended up at. “My friend Clark, Clark Kent from the Daily Planet,” she said as she dug in her messenger bag for her folder. “He sent me some things but I couldn’t get the client list. Confidentiality….but we could talk to the clients who issued statements? We could go from there?”

“Work on the client angle,” Mitch said as the car rolled to a halt and the cabbie flicked the meter over. Mitch handed him a few notes and opened the door, waiting for Kara to slide out after him. “I’ll follow another lead. We can discuss what we find tomorrow, okay?”

He gave her a small salute and jogged the stairs and into the police precinct and Kara moved her messenger bag on her shoulder and started to walk down the street. A bakery caught her attention and she was quick to buy a half dozen hand-crafted donuts and sweet buns before ducking into an alley and quickly flying away.

She settled on her couch for the afternoon, a bottle of water nearby as well as her sugary afternoon snack and some paper-towels. Her computer was on her knees and she had a notepad and pen ready to take notes. She google searched Dr Mark Alan, first, and all sorts of varieties of the doctor. She hunted his practice page, his social media accounts, where she saw many of his clients tweeting or tagging him to offer their condolences for his death (@DrMarkA1an). Then she looked over the articles other people had written, seeing if they had any sources and it was then that she felt her blood turn to ice.

@LenaLuthor1 had issued a statement via Twitter. So sad 2 hear of @DrMarkA1an’s death. We will miss such a gr8 man & dr. #RIPDrAlan.

Chapter Text

“Lena! Hey!” Kara couldn’t hide her smile as she was shown into Lena’s office, nodding a greeting to the two DEO Agents who pretended they didn’t know who she was. They were dressed like civilians, sort of, evidently Lena had gotten what she wanted and the two were trying to blend in like regular hired-muscle, but Kara could see the outline of their guns in their suits.

The CEO was standing by her window, phone in hand and whoever she was speaking to was obviously not doing what she wanted. Lena spun and held her hand up in warning as she finished her phone call and Kara took a moment to look the CEO over.

She was wearing black skinny jeans and four-inch pumps and a lovely green silky shirt beneath a black jacket. Her lipstick was a dark red, and her eyes were framed prettily, and she looked better than she had the last time Kara had seen her, directly after the attack on her life. Since the DEO started to guard here there had only been one more attack, a bomb which had been found in one of her town cars. Thankfully no-one had been injured, but the attempts by both police and DEO to discover the culprit had fallen short.

“I don’t care for your excuses. I am aware of his rights and of mine. You don’t want me to get my lawyers involved.” She paused to hear what the caller had to say and shook her head, some strands falling from her messy bun. “No,” she said sharply, voice lowering an octave in warning. “I will be there on Sunday. You know what I want, now arrange it!” She sighed loudly as she hung up and shook her head slightly before the furrow to her brow was replaced with a smile as she looked at Kara.

“Kara, hi.”

“Work?” She asked curiously and nodded to the cell in Lena’s hand.

“Oh,” she shook her head and placed it on her desk. “No. Just,” she waved her hand. “Other stuff. What can I do for you?”

“Well,” she said and sat on the chairs in front of Lena’s desk, feeling oddly like a school girl before the principal, not that she’d ever been sent to the principal, but she’d seen the movies. “I’m doing an article on Dr Alan’s death.”

A cloud fell over Lena’s features and she sighed. “A tragic death. It’s a shame the boy didn’t live long enough to tell the family why.”

“Right,” Kara swallowed nervously and played with her glasses.

“Oh, god, I didn’t mean it like that,” the CEO partially rose from her chair, features slightly stricken and she held out a hand in apology. She shook her head. “I only meant that-“

“It’s okay, Lena,” Kara smiled gently and ignored the way her heart tripped when Lena smiled cautiously back. “I know what you meant. Did you, ah, did you know Dr Alan?”

A fond smile crossed Lena’s features and she nodded. “He’s my doctor,” she tilted her head to the side in thought. “I only saw him last week. I remember,” she was looking past Kara now and didn’t notice the way the blonde had tensed and the reinforced pen Jo’nn had had made for her cracked dangerously between her fingers. “When I was young I hated needles, I kicked him in the chest when he tried to inject me. I’d gotten a splinter in my leg you see,” she offered and then her eyes darkened slightly. “It was while Lex and I were playing, and when we pulled the splinter out it looked like more had remained inside, broken off. So the doctor had to open my leg to see… with a scalpel.”

She sighed. “He still calls me, or did call me, Little Bunny…” She turned from her memories and looked over at Kara. “What would you like to ask me?”

Kara quickly loosened her grip and asked Lena all the questions she had, and by the time lunch-time rolled around she was done with her interview.

Lena asked her to join her for lunch and she agreed, forcing her traitorously excited heart down.

“I have to wonder though,” Lena asked as she pressed the button to the elevator. “Why come and ask me now?”

Kara swallowed and nervously stuttered out an answer. “My boss thinks it’s a good fluff piece, but I don’t know if it will go to print.”

“Oh,” Lena shrugged and entered the elevator, her two Agents following her and Kara. “Well, he was a good man. The medical community will be sad to see him go.”

“Lena,” Kara asked cautiously as they began their decent to the cafeteria. “Where did you see him?”

“Hm? Oh, It was my flu shot,” Lena said and her brow tightened. “Though I don’t know how successful it was.” At Kara’s questioning look she elaborated. “The last few have made me feel off for a few days, maybe my immune system isn’t as strong as I’d hoped.”

The elevator dinged to the cafeteria level and Kara followed Lena out to lunch, feeling her stomach growl happily at the smells and Lena laughed and Kara forgot all about Lena’s weak immune system as she enjoyed lunch with her friend.

~*~

A knock on his glass door brought James’ attention and with it his gaze and he nodded in greeting to the intern who held out a letter for him. The intern quickly made his way across the office at James’ greeting and muttered a quick hello, falling into place as the communication desired it. He was awkward and gangly, clearly not grown into a man yet, for all that he wore a tie, sweater, and smart black jeans.

James watched him leave as he almost stumbled over his own feet in a hurry to leave Cats-his-office before turning to the letter. It was odd, most letters came at two times during the day, morning and night, and to get one in the middle of the day was curious. Assured that whatever it was it was safe-it wouldn’t have gotten through security otherwise- he looked over it.

James Olsen was written in neat and dare he say it-feminine- writing and he glanced at his own notes on a pad, sloppy and slanted and childish. The paper was standard office stock, he’d had his own desk stocked with similar stationary, but Cat had special stationary he was borrowing, and its price didn’t outweigh its use, but it was a nice touch.

Satisfied he gained all that he could from the outside of the letter he used a pen’s tip to open it, noting that it had a sticker seal, and not one that would seal by saliva.

A small note fell out and he froze as he saw the insignia on it. It was of a notepad, with the symbol of the House of El on it- Capitalism had soon seen the advantage and profit around the Man (and later the Girl) of Steel and soon had entire lines dedicated to the heroes. For his birthday James had given Clark an entire stationary set of superman themed items, and he’d even gotten him a set of pyjamas for a laugh. It was common enough, but the reason he tensed was the words on the stationary.

Mr Olsen. Superman may find this interesting.

It was followed by numbers, which he suspected were co-ordinates, and he leant back in his chair slowly, feeling his heart pound and his mouth run dry.

It wasn’t common knowledge that he was friends with Superman, sure the hero let him photograph him frequently, but that didn’t mean anything to most of the world. The fact that whoever had sent this knew he knew Superman personally, and could get a message to him, made his belly tighten with nerves.

His first thought was that it was a trap, and his second was that maybe he was in danger, but his third thought was that he had to tell Clark. His fourth thought was that maybe he could get a story out of it, and he was soon Googling the location. Google Maps told him it was an unassuming section of trees in the middle of a forest in British Colombia, Canada. There was nothing special about it, but he would bet his next Photography Award that there was some reason he had been sent these co-ordinates with the request for Superman to check it out.

He flicked Clark a message. Hey. Might have a story for Metropolis’ biggest hero. Give me a call when you’re free.

It was a phrase they had devised for when he needed to talk to Clark but it wasn’t urgent enough to summon Superman, and if anyone were to discover the texts, there was nothing incriminating about it. He and Clark could have a joke about the reporter being a hero for telling the truth no matter what, or something along those lines.

“I need a chopper in Cranbrook pronto,” said Snapper as he stormed into Cat’s-James’ office (he really needed to start calling it his) and James quickly slid the note under his notepad.

“Why?” James asked curiously, feeling something thick and heavy settling in his belly. The city was a few miles from the mystery co-ordinates. It couldn’t be a coincidence.

“Anonymous tip,” Snapper said, chewing his words. He hated having to get clearance from James, Cat had just let him be, trusting him to do his job, but James wanted to prove himself as big boss so any big deviation from regular reporter needs had to go through him.

“About?”

Snapper shook his head. “Are you gonna clear it or not? I haven’t got all day.”

There was no professional reason James could deny the request (even not knowing what it was-reporters were a cagey bunch at times), and it wasn’t as though this was out of the ordinary. Their reporters in various cities requested additional clearance for their stories all the time. Reluctantly he nodded and before he could make additional requests of the approval Snapper was out the door and barking orders to his assistant. The man could move when he wanted to.

His phone went off and he checked it to see a message from Clark.

Hey. Sure, where?

He gave the co-ordinates and added, Catco has a chopper headed out there now. An anonymous tip sent us the co-ordinates and apparently Superman is gonna be there.

It was a few moments until his phone chimed again and he glanced from his computer at it.

Okay, I’ll get someone onto it. Thanks

He sent back a picture of a thumbs up and left it at that. Superman would take a look, and hopefully the two media outlets would get a good story. He wondered if he should tell Kara, but decided she was busy enough, and the request was for Superman. Besides, if it were a trap, and Superman would be able to figure that out, then Supergirl would have to rescue him. But there weren’t many people who could trap Superman, and the only known one was behind bars in maximum security, and he wasn’t getting out any time soon. So James made the decision not to tell Kara and went back to work, ignoring the way his stomach clenched in warning. Clark would be fine, right?

 

xxxxxXXXXXxxxxx

 

The wind whistled in his ears as he soared over tree tops on his approach to the city and he dived up into the clouds to conceal his approach, straining his senses to the area before him, trying to find something out of the ordinary. There was the sound of a chopper ahead of him somewhere and he slowed down, scanning it for any threats. It was only a media chopper and he ignored it as he looked down at the earth below as he came upon the co-ordinates James had sent him. He could hear the humans inside the chopper speaking of his presence and heard their heartbeats increase at fear or maybe excitement for what he would bring and for what he could do.

Beneath him was still forest but there was a well-worn track and a few cars parked at the end of it and he scanned those to make sure there was nothing of interest in them. He picked up a few guns easily and then searched the area around them. There was a small building, like an old shipping container, and a large shed, something more the size of an aircraft-hanger than a barn. A quick scan of them both revealed he was right, there was an office, and in the shed there were a lot of motorbikes, buggies, and what looked like two teams worth of paintball gear. Which made sense, considering he did just fly over a giant dirt track with jumps and hills and turns, and there looked like car tires and little bunkers and old cars beyond that, clearly forming the boundary for paintball territory.

Humming to himself he spiralled down and landed in the middle of the gravelled turn and took a closer look at the office, deciding to look with his eyes rather than his laser vision. There was no sign, or healthy and safety warning as there should be for a paintball and motocross/buggy arcade, though it could be private. But still.

He could feel his cape fluttering majestically out behind him as he walked the few steps to the office and crushed the handle in his hand before forcing the door open. Once inside his eyes narrowed. It was startlingly bare of any personal effects and what had been placed there wouldn’t have looked out of place in a commercial for a small office unit in a shipping container, and he wondered briefly if that was what this office was.

Something was niggling in the back of his mind and he turned from the bare office and walked over to the shed, using his Super-speed of course. One of the members of the helicopter voiced his awe at the speed but he ignored it as he ripped the door to the shed open. There was the crunching sound of a vehicle coming towards him and he glanced down the drive to see a media van and he sighed as he looked back inside the barn.

Inside there were motorbikes of various sizes and shapes, along with buggies and mechanic’s equipment but the unease from earlier grew. The dirt that caked the vehicles was old, dry, and the floor was clean, very, very clean for a storage and repair shed for the vehicles. It was laid out oddly, something he had never seen before and he took a moment to examine it once, with his own eyes, and then again with his x-ray vision. Something wasn’t right, he grew up on a farm and knew that with this many vehicles there should be more dirt, more signs of life, instead it looked like they had never been used, almost like they had been placed there. And where were the owners of the two vehicles out front? He couldn’t hear them either.

There were little catches in the floor next to each vehicle and they were arranged on the outskirts of the shed, leaving a large empty space in the middle. He couldn’t see through the floor, as far as he could tell there was only earth below the building and maybe it housed the gear for a large family who came here during the summer or something.

A disturbance at the door drew his attention behind him and he saw the camera crews entering the building, the reporters looking at him eagerly.

“Superman!” Called one, and Clark sighed and looked around him again. “What are you doing out here? Can you give us a quick word?”

“Investigating,” he offered shortly, eyes drawn to a large panel against the wall. He was next to it in the span of a heart-beat and looked over it carefully. It looked all the world like a box for an old door lift, one for up and one for down, but there was a box by the door for that sliding door, and why would there be the need for another one.

Eyes narrowing he reached forward and pressed the green button and felt his entire being tense when a section of the wall slid open to show a keypad and a palm-print scanner.

He jerked back and cast a quick glance at the reporters. “Be ready to move when I tell you,” he warned and then fired his full laser vision into the box. The box sparked and then blew and the light turned from clear to red. Immediately an alarm began to sound, the kind you expected from a military building or some sort of facility, and the ground began to shake.

The humans were murmuring to each other, camera pointed on him and then on the shed floor as it began to open like something out of a movie. Maybe the Headquarters of some secret organisation and he felt the unease grow.

“Call the police!” He barked and was striding imperiously towards the hole as it opened, another alarm began to sound, an alert and he could hear people now, and with his x-ray vision he was able to see that through the thick steel there was lead, and beneath that what looked like a laboratory.

The thumping of boots met his ears and he glanced down to see a half-dozen men with ‘Security’ written across their chests running at him. They faltered when they saw him, but rallied and their guns came up.

He was grateful for earth’s sun as the bullets sped towards him and he realised they were made of Kryptonite and he let a silent snarl split his lips and moved through the men, knocking them down and out. He could feel the camera following his descent into the laboratory and halted to warn them off coming inside. He would not be dis-obeyed, not when he suspected who this lab belonged to. He didn’t have the time to guard the humans if they so foolishly risked their lives for a story.

He rushed through the lab, taking note of the technology, mess-hall, barracks, showers and toilets, and the entertainment room as well as the human scientists he dragged upstairs and into a corner. To save him the trouble of catching them if they tried to escape he tore the buggy’s and motorbike apart, building a cage in the corner out of their parts and dropping each scientist or worker in there when he pulled them from the laboratory.

The LexCorp logo was over everything and the hairs on the back of his neck were at attention as he prowled through the laboratory. The faint sound of sirens could be heard in the distance and he reached into the ceiling to tear the lead from the concrete. He pressed it together to form a box of sorts, and fashioned a lid which he would then melt on top of it. Hopefully it would be enough to contain the Kryptonite radiation.

He was slower than usual as he gathered the weapons and the caches of Kryptonite he identified, and had to launch himself out of the building and into the sun to avoid collapsing. The media were having a field day, the camera’s swinging from him to the approaching police and to the doctors inside. One reporter even edged down into the laboratory and he had to politely guide her from it.

He continued his task and before his strength ran out, melted the lead over the box, sealing the weapons and Kryptonite inside.

He heard the roar of the police and marched out into the sunlight to greet them, cape billowing out behind him, and he made a note to talk to James as soon as possible, he might even fly to National City. He needed to know who had given James the tip about this lab, and how they came by that information because as much as he would like to think it, it hadn’t been a trap. Someone had known about this lab and had directed him straight to it. Lex Luthor had many enemies, it was just a matter of finding out which one directed him here, and would they be willing to do it again.

 

Chapter Text

 

Lena Luthor loathed flying, but it was the fastest and supposedly safest way to travel-she ignored thinking of the last time she tried to fly by helicopter and had nearly been blown to pieces. Mostly she hated the landing and taking-off, especially when it was windy and her pilots gaze was tense as he worked the control and guided them onto the helipad. The landed jolted them and she tightened her jaw, wondering if she could split her muscles from her skin with the strain of how tightly it was clenched, and closed her eyes. Her heart was thudding in her chest, she could feel it trying to break free and sighed in relief as they settled onto the ground and the pilot shut the machine down.

She was more than eager to get out of it, and her legs were a little unsteady as she clambered down from the seat, but she could just as easy blame that on the size of her heels. A hotel employee was waiting outside the yellow circle and darted inside as she got closer, offering her a customary welcome. She waved him off, telling him to fetch her bags and bring them to her hotel room. He stammered for a moment as she brushed past him and jumped after her to hand her her key card and then bolted for the helicopter and for her luggage.

She shifted her handbag over her shoulder and dug out her cell-phone, checking to see if she was still on schedule as another employee directed her towards her suite, though the doors on the roof and into an exclusive elevator. She was less in awe of her than the other young man, but was still highly professional as she directed Lena to her suite and she made a mental note to tip the young girl well on her departure the next day.

The elevator journey was swift and soon she was in her room and disappearing in the direction of the bathroom, leaving her bag on the large bed as she passed by. She’d stayed in this particular hotel before, back when reporters had been camping outside her house during Lex’s trial and she had been impressed with the security and general manner the hotel staff had treated her with, it seemed that her wealth did compensate for her last name, at least a little. Either way, the hotel and suite had become a place for her to relax after a long day with judgemental eyes on her and she was very familiar with it.

It was a Sunday, very early in the morning but that was the best she had been able to manage to get away from L-Corp for, she’d be back in National City by noon the next day, if everything went to plan. She also felt relieved to get away from the eyes on her and of course, her wonderful DEO Agent bodyguards. Alex Danvers was a fool if she thought Lena Luthor was unaware of who she worked for and what she did, and she knew that the Agents were to guard her as well as keep an eye on her, so she had been very careful about arranging this little trip.

A sudden trip to L-Corp in the middle of the night, a helicopter on the roof, and a signal jammer, a switch at a local air field where another two helicopters joined the third and flew off in different directions. She knew if they really wanted to find her they could, but hopefully by the time they caught up with her she’d have done what she wanted. A car would be picking her up outside the hotel, code-word ‘Pandora’s Box’ and the responding phrase ‘A crocodile sheds no tears over its meal.’ Whoever had come up with the code exchange was an idiot, but, she had to admit as she stepped into the shower, no one would ever guess it.

The rest of her morning passed with her exiting the shower and making sure the outfit she’d ordered and had tailored and delivered was perfect. Where she was going required armour, she wished for a moment she were bulletproof, and fireproof, and unbreakable, but settled on her pantsuit. It consisted of black slacks, a black buttoned vest over a white blouse, and a black jacket. It was something that belonged on a run-way or a red carpet, but she needed to look the part. She’d paired it with one of her favourite pairs of heeled boots, she could use the height.

She spent over an hour and a half on her hair and make-up alone, and when it was time for her to leave she slipped on an elegant watch and checked her phone one last time. Though it was only mid-morning there was a text from Kara asking her to lunch, and she quickly flicked off a reply declining, before leaving it on the bed-side table to charge. Where she was going she wouldn’t be allowed to take it.

At ten fifty seven she rode the elevator down to ground level, putting on a pair of designer shades and made her way across the marble floor and through the guests to the front doors, putting her keycard in her pocket.

The doors opened for her and at ten fifty nine a black limo pulled up to the curb and a handsome black man got out of the passenger seat. He was tall, heads above her, even in her heels, and his suit couldn’t conceal the muscles underneath it and the calluses on his hands gave him away immediately. He was elite military and he tapped his ear comm as she hesitated at the archway of the hotel and straightened. He held the door open for her as she approached and she paused at the door.

“Pandora’s box,” she offered coolly and he gave a slight nod.

“A crocodile sheds no tear over its meal.”

She slid gracefully into the cab and sat in the middle, facing the two men in front of her. They were outfitted like the military, full combat gear-minus headsets- boots, knives, handguns, body armour, and machine guns.

“Miss Luthor,” said the man who greeted her. “For the purpose of this mission you may call me Ace. I am in charge here and if I think for a moment anything could go wrong I am pulling it, are we clear?”

Feeling it would not help her cause to tell the man what she truly thought of him, she bit her tongue and nodded regally, channelling every molecule of her being into being cold and as unmoveable as a glacier. They were beneath her, all she had to do was go along with it. Her pride could take it. It must.

“I understand, but as I told your companion, Mika, was it?” She enquired as the limo pulled from the curb and into the traffic. “I have no interest in anything you think I might be about to do. I am co-operating fully.”

He grunted and one of the other men passed over a black cloth and she sighed and rolled her eyes at Ace.

“Really?”

“Really,” he nodded and offered it to her. “Will you put it on-“

She snatched it from his hands and ducked her head into it, tying it down over her chin, but not before making a snarky comment. “You don’t share these around, do you? I don’t want to catch anything.”

One of the men snorted, maybe to hide a laugh, but she couldn’t tell who as the black fabric was already obscuring her vision.

“The last person to wear this smoked, didn’t he,” she commented, all alone in the dark but for the movement of the car. It scared her, not being able to see anything and she decided to fill the silence with sassy comments. It was expected of her, and she certainly wasn’t about to show her weakness to these men.

“About thirty a day,” commented one of the soldiers.

“Wonderful,” she replied dryly, injecting the word with as much disdain as she possibly could. “Do let me out of here before I get cancer from second-hand smoke inhalation, wont you?”

The same soldier who had answered her chuckled slightly and then they were silent for the rest of the journey. They stopped once, and she was guided from the car and through what must have been an x-ray machine and metal detectors. One of the soldiers stood next to her the entire time with a hand on her arm, and explained everything they did to make her feel more at ease. It helped, a little.

She was a nervous wreck on the inside when she was finally told she could remove the blindfold and she felt like shed been walking blindly for ages. She tore it off gratefully, face feeling hot and instantly felt relief as the cool air hit her and she took a deep breath before reaching up to pat her hair.

There were four large and heavily armed men that had joined her three and she tensed inwardly, feeling vulnerable with the seven large men all around her. Logic often fell flat when faced with fear, but she shoved that down, they had given no indication of hurting her, and she wouldn’t suspect them of it until they did.

“This way, Miss Luthor,” Ace said and walked down a corridor with great metal gates rolling open at the key command and identification card of the guard that stood there. They watched her warily as she was escorted into the prison, but otherwise remained at their posts, eyes alert and watching.

She felt somewhat like they were escorting her to her own prison cell but shook off the feeling, just as she ignored the cool air, metal bars, and concrete all around her.

The prison was what she expected of maximum security; lots of guards, steel, concrete, cold, imposing, and with very little colour. The curious eyes of prisoners followed her, some shouting lewd comments or telling her what they’d like to do to her but she ignored them as well, and they quickly fell back away from the bars when Ace borrowed a baton and smashed it against their fingers.

Eventually they made their way to the centre of the prison where the high-profile and most dangerous prisoners were kept and she was let into the cell. The guards checked their weapons and took up post outside, guns trained on the inside of the cell and she finally looked upon her brother.

“Lena,” Lex Luthor’s eyes were cold and harsh but lightened slightly upon seeing her. He was chained against the wall, sitting upright on the bed to allow him some form of comfort but little-or no-movement. Prison clothes didn’t suit him, he was pasty in the false light and looked gaunt and haunted. She swiftly squashed the pang of nostalgia for the brother she had known rather than the monster before her.

“Lex,” she entered the cell and sat gracefully on the edge of the bed, clasping her hands together and feeling her brother’s eyes rove over her, cold, chilling, calculated. This was why she had brought her armour, this was why she’d put so much time and effort into her appearance, but she feared her attempts had been lost underneath the captive hood for god knows how long.

Her brother’s intelligence was clear in his eyes and he lifted his thin lips in a half smile and ducked his head. “It’s good to see you,” he confessed quietly and then cast a glance to the at-attention guards. “Change of language?” For all that he had tried to have her killed he was her brother and that kind of affection didn’t just fade into nothing.

Her eyes narrowed slightly but she complied. She knew the security was listening to their conversation, would be recording it as well, but they didn’t need to make it easy on them.

“D’accord,” she offered in response and watched her brothers eyes light up, just like it had when they were young and had rattled off their conversations in different languages to annoy their nannies.

You tried to kill me,” she said calmly in French and tilted her head to the side. “Why?” Control worked wonders with her brother. He was like a shark -though to be fair all Luthor’s were, herself included- when it came to sensing weakness, and would pick and prod at the chink in someone’s armour until it cracked and then they would strike. She wouldn’t show how deeply hurt she had been by the action, by the betrayal, but had guessed that Lex had felt her betrayal first, even if she had wanted to save the world instead of destroy it.

Yes. You disgraced the family name. How dare you try to re-write all I built, all I worked for,” he replied and tilted his head imperiously. She knew then that she was right, and he had seen her re-naming of Luthor Corp to L-Corp as a betrayal of their family, and had responded in kind.

The name Luthor is spat now, and that is not on me,” she let a little of her ire leak into her voice. “We are shamed, brother! Outcast! If you hadn’t gone after Superman-“

Superman calls himself a hero while parading around as a God,” Lex snarled and he strained against his restraints. A warning of ‘Lex’ came from the guards and he settled again.

Growling Lex proceeded to list a dozen instances where Superman could have interfered and saved the day but had not.

He could have shared his technology and power, given it to humanity so we could save ourselves!” Lex had switched to Russian now, words falling from his lips with a near perfect accent. “He said he wanted to help, that he wanted to lead humanity. To save it!”

Lena was silent as Lex continued his tirade, explaining in detail how Superman had come to him for help, to build a brighter future for the world and how he had taken that away, deciding to keep the power for himself when Lex had wanted to arm the human race against anything that wasn’t human, against any threats, which included the Kryptonian.

I had no choice,” Lex was speaking in German now, and she had a feeling the security and agents listening to their conversation would be scrambling to keep up, it was amusing, and she had no doubt Lex would be taking great pleasure in this small rebellion.

They call him a hero, when all he does is keep the power for himself. I wanted to share it with the world, make it better.”

Superman wants to save the world,” she pointed out, slipping into Italian and Lex shook his head wildly.

No! Why is it he only goes after criminals then? Why not defend instead of attack? He is a vigilante! He stands by and lets the world destroy itself! Humanity is a disease! You know this! He claims he want’s freedom for all but look at what mankind has done with that freedom! He protects people like him, the ones that have the power but do nothing!” Her brother had always been so passionate about saving the world, of course his version of saving it looked a lot like ruling it, but tomato potato. “Look at Hitler, at the genocide’s in Rwanda. Half the world is dying of starvation while the other half over-eats! He has the power but does nothing!”

To be fair Lex had a point. She had read his research into humans with extraordinary abilities, had suspected even before Superman showed himself, and had also wondered why these people, these gifted beings, hadn’t chosen to act, to protect the world they lived in.

And what of you, brother?” She enquired when Lex took a moment to breathe. “What of the deaths in Metropolis by your hand?”

Superman cannot be trusted if he cannot be controlled,” he said quietly, slipping back into his inner calm and relying on his brain instead of his heart. He had changed language again, Afrikaans now and she faltered slightly before catching on. She was more familiar with European languages, having never spent a lot of time in any African country like Lex had, though she suspected he was there for nefarious purposes.

What happens if he decides that the world needs to be cleansed?” He offered her softly, and she knew he saw her defences falter. “What of National City’s own hero? Didn’t she go bad? How many people did she injure? We don’t deserve to live in fear, Lena. There is no one that can stop them. Humanity is too weak to save itself.”

Supergirl was not herself,” Lena defended icily, slipping into Japanese.

Okay, but how was she stopped? How many lives would it take to put her down if she decided to go rogue again?” Lex shook his head.

“We have to protect ourselves from them. That’s all I wanted,” he said quietly, in English. “We need to be able to save the world, Lena. Can’t you see that? That is what I was trying to achieve. Unite the world, all of the people with one goal, to save it. To save all of it. No more war, no more needless death.”

“These so called Gods, these heroes,” Lex’s lips curled into a snarl. “They want to keep things the way they are, they don’t want it to change. Why do you think Superman tried so hard to stop me? If he wanted the world to be better he would have let me continue with my research, let me give the technology to the world and change it for the better.”

“And make a lot of money in the process, brother?” She arched an eyebrow wryly and Lex shrugged, or tried to in his straight jacket.

“Saving the world is expensive,” he said and tilted his head at her and she was reminded of when he was teaching her something when they were young-both smarter than any tutor and trying to make their own world easier, before turning on the rest of it. Lex would ask her something, have her figure something out, and he would look at her like he was looking at her now, head titled, eyes grave and serious, but with a slight smile as though he knew she would figure it out.

“Who decides who gets the power?” She queried after a few moments of silence.

“True understanding can only come from creation,” Lex offered her.

“So you’d lord the power over humanity. What was that in Metropolis then?”

“Only through pain and suffering can chaos be turned into control,” he replied with the wisdom of a man that should have belonged to an ancient one in a hard-to-get-to place in the mountains of Tibet.

“You’d take away free will and call it freedom?” She couldn’t believe what she was hearing, but part of her, the Luthor part of her, was agreeing with Lex, and she loathed herself for it.

“Look at what people do with their free-will. Look at the rapes, the murders, the abused, the starving, the dying. Look at War! Drugs! Look at capitalism! What about the pharmaceutical companies that are robbing people in exchange for their medicine! What about poaching! I know you adopted a Tiger! Look around you, Lena!” Lex’s heart was in control again and she sighed as he went on. “These things might still happen if we had the power, but certainly not as often and as much.”

“People would stop doing these bad things if they payed for it with their lives,” he sighed, the fight almost gone out of him and leant back against the wall, his feet dangling awkwardly over the edge of his bed.

“By that your life should be forfeit,” Lena said, almost amused.

“And perhaps it should,” Lex said quietly and that was when she realised he was truly serious about everything he had just said. He’d always valued his life, above the lives of many others, above their reputation and name. “I would be willing to sacrifice my life if it ensured that all lives would be equal. That humanity could be saved, if these heroes were willing to do it. No dealer would sell if he knew that a super powered alien would be coming to shut his operation down, he wouldn’t do it again if he knew he’d pay with his life. People wouldn’t abuse or rape or kill if they knew they’d die for their crimes. Mostly.”

“You want everyone to follow the rules.” Her voice was soft as she finally understood Lex’s vision. Take Superman’s power and technology and use it to ensure humanity followed the rules, share the resources, and guide the entire species, united, towards a brighter future. There would be no pain, in Lex’s vision, nothing like there was now; children dying of starvation, youth tossing themselves from bridges over the pain of being who they are, murders, rapes, thievery, children fearing their parents, their family, their friends. They could share knowledge, education, resources, cultures, there didn’t have to be any more needless violence and death.

“The sheep call them heroes, but I see wolves under the wool,” Lex said bitterly. “If they wanted to share my vision they could, but instead they stop progress.”

Lena was quiet and the minutes stretched on.

“I am sorry for trying to kill you,” he ducked his head a little, sheepish. It reminded her of when she first got a boyfriend and Lex had torn the teenager’s life apart, messages, family, emails, all to make sure he was worthy of her, and when he found he wasn’t, Lex had ensured he never came around again, sending him packing for trying to take his sisters, and their families, money. Of course he had been defiant and then sheepish as he told her what he’d done and what he’d found out, and had hovered awkwardly under her doorframe, socked feet scuffing the carpet, as he explained why he had done it.

“I can’t say I forgive you,” she cautioned him and then tilted her head. “But what is a little disagreement between siblings.”

She had missed him. Missed his smile and she moved closer as his eyes closed and a weight seemed to lift from his shoulders. “I want to help you, Lex. I want what you want, to save the world. But I don’t have the power,” she shook her head slightly.

“You need to neutralise the threats,” he said knowingly. “You need Kryptonite weapons.”

One of the guards cleared his throat pointedly behind her and twin glares moved to him. To his credit he didn’t faltered under the weight of two pairs of Luthor glare, but maybe he was used to it.

“Times up, Luthor. Out you come.”

Lena sighed and turned back to her brother, he looked saddened to see her go, a shadow falling over him and she wondered how he was being treated, but in retrospect he was responsible for the deaths of a lot of people, and did deserve his consecutive life sentences.

She stood and walked a few steps to stand in front of him and he looked up at her. She leant forward and pressed her lips to his forehead and pulled away for a moment. “ Narrken joul ver hethal grelfrean falkor der Krypton.*” She whispered it quietly, hopefully soft enough the microphone’s wouldn’t hear, but even if they did, it would take them a while to figure out she was speaking Kryptonian, and even longer to get a translation. By then she’d have what she wanted.

Lex smiled, it was feral. “Beintolair.**”

The guards came in to escort her from the cell, a strong hand around her arm and dragged her from the cell.

“I’ll see you soon, Lena!” Lex called as the cell door rolled shut with a clang behind her and for some reason she didn’t doubt it.

 

 

~*~

*Where can I find this Ore of Krypton: I figured that Lena wouldn’t want to mention Kryptonite out loud, and it is unlikely that Kryptonian has a word for what we call Kryptonite, so hence, ore of Krypton. (And you’ll find out later how Lena can speak it).

** Mercy.

 

Chapter Text

 

Supergirl and her companion set down lightly in the middle of the gravel driveway, weapons following them down and Superman strode over to the two with a smile. The Canadian military were in awe of the two heroes but remained their discipline and went back to their duties, though kept casting the caped aliens glances.

“Kal!” Supergirl said with a grin and embraced her cousin with the force of a train and he rocked back on his heels before returning her embrace, albeit with less enthusiasm. “Hey.”

“Superman,” J’onn said as he landed and morphed back into Hank.

“J’onn,” Kal nodded a greeting and all three aliens looked over at the laboratory.

“The army has taken the scientists into custody, and is negotiating their transportation with the FBI where they will be taken to trial.” They walked towards the laboratory as Clark explained what had happened that afternoon.

“Their forensic team has been in since one but I thought you’d both like to see this.”

He led the way past soldiers who stood straighter in the presence of the two heroes and down into the laboratory and living space.

“There is everything you need to function topside down here,” Kal explained. Pointing out the gym, shower, toilets, laundry, rec-room, barracks, kitchen, storage rooms, and the laboratory-including the holding cells (alien and human), which he had been livid to discover.

“From what I’ve gathered so far they were trying to merge the DNA and abilities of various aliens and give them to humans…but I think the humans volunteered, or at least agreed to the testing.”

Kara had gone pale, and shuddered in disgust. “Did they succeed? Where are the aliens? Or the humans? Do they need help? Are they okay?”

“They were taken to the hospital immediately, and quarantined the best the city could do. I’m sure the DEO would be willing to take them?”

Hank nodded and looked around him. “We’ll arrange it.”

Kal shrugged. “I don’t know if they were successful, but it seems like they were. One of the scientists had somehow managed to bind one of the abilities to a human, but they aren’t here.”

“What human?” Kara asked worriedly, brow furrowed.

“What abilities?” Hank was still stern and watchful as the army moved the equipment around and back up to the trucks above ground.

“I don’t know, and neither did the scientists, apparently they are only lower ones and lack the skill and intelligence to get the DNA match just right, but there are samples here. You should take those and have your lab look at them. I set off an alert when I came down here, and the tech guys say the scientists tried to wipe everything so I’m not sure what we will get from the computers.” Clark then led them down to the holding cells. There were soldiers here with big guns and they looked at the three but didn’t move from their posts.

“I wasn’t sure what to do with these. I couldn’t just let them out.” Clark explained wincing when Kara shot him a betrayed look and looked back at the cells and the aliens inside them. They wore white cloths for modesty and some were chained to their cells and others had dazed looks in their eyes, evidence of sedation. They were a mixture of humanoid and non-humanoid aliens and she recognised many of them from her fights for the DEO and from her classes on Krypton.

“We have to get them out of here, “Kara said quickly and looked beseechingly at Hank.

“We’ll move them to the DEO,” he said reassuringly. “And then take steps to see what kind of danger they may pose to society.”

“And….there’s one other thing,” Clark said hesitantly. “When I first came down here they shot at me with Kryptonite weapons.”

Kara spun and shared a look with Hank and then back at Kal. “Are you okay?” She asked quickly and he nodded reassuringly, smiling his winning smile that would make lesser women swoon.

“I’m fine, Supergirl. I just thought I would warn you that Luthor-Corp has weapons that can hurt us.”

Kara fidgeted with the fabric that held her sleeves down and Hank folded his arms.

“We don’t know for sure, Supergirl,” Hank said quietly, gently, and Kara’s head rose and a bitter-sweet smile crossed her lips.

“Sure we don’t,” she said reluctantly and turned to look at the aliens in the cells.

Brow furrowed Clark turned to Hank in question and the Martian shook his head. “Actually, Superman, how did you know about this facility?”

“Well,” Clark said as the three began to walk back out of the laboratory. “I didn’t. James Olsen received a note this morning telling him to tell me to look around.”

“Hm, I’d like to have a look at that note when we get back to National City,” Hank commented as the three walked up into the shed. It had been cleared of the motorcycles and buggy’s and was now providing temporary storage as the army dissected the lab.

“Agent Vasquez,” Hank spoke into his comms.

“Director.”

“I want a half dozen mobile containment units here ASAP. Bring the medical unit as well, and Bravo Team for protection. I want this area secure.”

The Agent was quick to reply. “It’s already being prepped sir, and has been since Superman called. I have our agents intercepting the FBI and taking control of the prisoners in… forty-two minutes if it goes according to schedule.”

“Good, and have Agent Schott flown out here. I want him to look at these computers.”

“Yessir.”

Hank turned back to both Super’s. “The DEO will take the technology and alien prisoners. We’ll make sure it stays in our hands.”

Superman was hesitant, visibly, but when Hank reminded him who was an official protector of earth and who had government authority he had to concede. After all, his day job was no-doubt calling him.

“Alright. But please let me know what you find,” he turned and looked at Kara and smiled at her. “It’s good to see you, Cousin.”

Kara looked away from the humans loading the equipment onto trucks and beamed at him. “Race you to the border?”

In response Superman launched himself into the sky, leaving a sizable crater behind him.

“Hey!” Kara yelled and leapt into the sky. “That’s cheating Kal!”

Hank just shook his head and rose slowly into the sky, as though to show the watching humans how a professional flew, and sped after the two supers. The DEO had Lex Luthor’s mess to clean up, and there were reports that Lena had had gone to visit him, and he wondered if maybe he oughtn’t pay the CEO a visit, surely he would be justified in using his powers on her if it would save a lot of lives.

 

~*~

“Lena Luthor.”

Lena lifted her head from her cell-phone and looked at the woman who had drawled her name as she slid into the seat opposite her.

“Mercy,” Lena inclined her head. “You’re looking…well,” she offered and took a pointed sip of her wine. She wasn’t looking well.

The woman sneered in response but ignored the jibe. “What can I do for you?”

Lena cast a glance around the restaurant and then leant forward and spoke lowly. “Lex told me you were the woman to see about a certain rock from Krypton?”

Her voice was barely above a whisper but she knew the other woman had heard her, or maybe read her lips, by the way she leant back in her seat and lifted her brow contemplatively.

“That would be correct,” she folded her arms and glanced at the sever who looked slightly nervous as she approached. The girl was one of the regulars that had served her during Lex’s trial and she knew the girl by sight and name. Melissa.

“Good-evening, what can I get for you…two…tonight?” The question was directed at Lena.

“My friend won’t be dining with me, I’m afraid.” Lena ignored the glare Mercy shot her. “But please cook her meal and bag it, she has somewhere she needs to be.” Terms given Lena turned cool green eyes on her brothers former assistant and lifted a brow. “I’ll have the Caesar Salad, thank you Melissa.”

“A salad?” Mercy sneered in disbelief. “You’re getting a salad?” She shook her head and turned to the waitress. “I’ll have a streak, fries, and two eggs-sunny side up.”

Melissa jotted the information down and then after a glance to Lena walked back to the kitchen and Lena took another sip of wine.

“Interesting that you come asking for that,” Mercy said and took a glass and started to pour her own wine. Lena allowed it, merely gazing over the top of her glass. “I didn’t think you agreed with the family views?”

“Let’s just say a conversation with Lex enlightened me…. and now our goals are aligned,” Lena lowered her wine glass and looked at Mercy squarely. “Are you going to help me or not?”

“Sure…for a price.”

Lena rolled her eyes. “Of course. How much?”

A Luthor like glint entered her eyes and she leant forward, eager to negotiate a deal.

 

~*~

The black unmarked convoy moved through the mostly silent streets of Metropolis with grim purpose, and in the cold night it was almost sinister. A four-door jeep led the way with four armed guards inside and with a group of them seated on the outside. A large truck followed with a shipping container on its trailer, and that was followed by a large black four-door ute. The rear tray had a cover over it, but it moved with the wind so whatever was hidden had some space beneath it.

It was the roar of motorcycles that first alerted them to the impending attack and they were swift to draw their weapons as orders were called. Down the convoy information was exchanged through earpieces and they determined that there were five motorcycles approaching from the south. The jeep in the front had soldiers in full combat gear, black and unmarked, and they were the first vehicle to be taken out.

There was a thunk and then a softer thump and the jeep swerved off course, the bullet hole in the windscreen evident to what had befallen the driver. The passenger was swift to the driver’s side, pushing the body from the seat and assuming control of the vehicle as a large SUV roared from a side street and slammed into the side with a shatter of glass. The jeep went rolling and the truck behind it drove on, gunfire spitting from the open windows.

The black canvas on the ute fluttered to the ground as a guard stood at a machine gun in the rear tray and he swivelled around and opened fire on the motorbikes, who returned fire with enthusiasm. The shops and windows of the street shattered and there were screams of passer-by’s and other cars swerved to avoid the convoy and its attackers.

A second SUV screeched from a side road and slammed into the cab of the truck, forcing it to the side. The responding bullets dove into the glass of the SUV but it was thick and the bullets only slammed into the glass, cracking the area around it but held and the driver drew away and then slammed back to the truck like something you would see in an action film.

The night was lit with the crack of gunfire and the spit of light from the muzzles of the weapons and three minutes into the attack the truck screeched onto the highway flanked by motorcycles as the ute followed and tried to shoot the attackers down. The bulletproof, and obviously reinforced, SUV had pulled away as soon as it had guided the truck onto the high-way and vanished into the night, leaving only motorcycles as part of the assault. As one of the bikers went flying into the concrete and the motorbike squealed and fell onto the highway the sound of a chopper could be heard.

A second mob of motorcycles emerged from the shadows of an underpass and fell upon the ute at the back of the convey, firing on the machine gun before it could be brought around to fire on them and the guard cried out and fell, the machine gun rearing up with the kickback and slamming into the cab. It swerved and jerked but eventually slammed into the concrete divider with smoke pouring from the hood. A jeep had followed the motorbikes and was following at the back of the attack.

The motorbiker’s that hadn’t been shot turned their attention to the container truck, and they had a passenger which held a handheld grinder and started to cut at the container. It sparked and groaned as the metal was sawn through and the drivers had to maintain a careful distance between themselves and the swerving truck as they tried to cut it in half. The truck was relying on its bulk to try and crush the smaller motor-vehicles and succeeded once, twice, before the drivers grew wise, the vehicle jumping as the bikes were caught under its wheels. One was stuck, pinning the driver between it and a wheel and his screams could be heard before he was pulled under the wheel.

“Police are three minutes out. Extraction in two,” a man commanded down the comms.

The squeal of the grinder’s cutting into the container and spitting sparks punctuated gun-fire as the reinforcements for the convoy arrived and a few motorbikes peeled away to engage the assault. There was a jeep and an SUV and they opened fire on the would-be hijackers and some of the motorbikers fell quickly.

The jeep moved forward and there was a guard leaning over the top and resting a gun against the rollbars, and it was a grenade launcher. There was a trail of smoke left behind it as it tore through the air and the Jeep managed to swerve it, but the SUV was soon lit like a bomb and was launched back through the air like a great ball of fire.

With assistance from the jeep the motorbikers were able to hold the reinforcements off, driving them back as the chopper they heard from earlier dove down from the sky. It had what looked like a great plug dangling from its belly, waving in the air like some sort of pendulum. One motorbikes pulled away and gunned up to the front door of the truck, veering away as the double barrel of a shot-gun emerged out the side window. A small semi-automatic came up and was fired furiously into the cab and the driver slumped forward over the wheel. The motorbiker drew closer and edged their leg over the side of the bike, maintaining their speed to match the truck. It was still maintaining a steady course, the cars on the highway pulling over and letting the convoy barge on through, perhaps the sound of gunfire or maybe the helicopter alerting them to the danger at their rear.

The motorbiker ripped the drivers door open and the dead driver was thrown down to the highway as the biker clambered inside and the truck jerked slightly as the tires rolled over him. Another jeep was pulling onto the highway from an entry ramp and was edging alongside the truck. The motorbikers gunned away, and returned to their wounded or dead companions down the highway as the sound of sirens could be heard faintly in the distance with the first jeep peeling back to provide transport.

“Ninety seconds,” the warning came and the helicopter hovered over the truck and the great plug clanked onto the top of the container and then the chopper started to rise. The cord snapped tight and the helicopter drew up short before straining and rising into the air.

The rear of the truck lifted from the ground, wheels spinning frantically and there was a straining and then an oddly musical tearing sound as the container was torn from the truck, edges jagged and glinting maliciously. The helicopter jerked in the sky and looked out of control for a moment as the swinging container top looked almost comical beneath it. Screeching and bouncing the truck’s rear-wheels returned to the ground and the chopper pulled back, dropping the container and magnet on the highway with a clank. It rolled a little bit, digging into the highway and ended up half on the divider. The chopper sped forward before catching up to the truck which was slowing down and crawling to a halt.

“Thirty seconds.”

The sirens were louder now and they could see far behind them where the blue and red lights lit up the night.

The shipping container’s edges were jagged and burnt and inside it there was a silver box, about a meter and a half by the same, with wheels on the bottom and it was locked into place by great clasps.

A line snaked down from the chopper and a man was soon to follow, unclicking himself and moving to the ties and sawing through them with a great big knife the size of his forearm. A second man landed and did the same with the other side and the driver of the truck got out and ran over to the second jeep as two men jumped from the back and carried over a rolled up mess of thick straps.

A hook was lowered and the four men on the ground were quick to roll the mat open and underneath the silver box before clipping it to the chopper and jumping off the truck. The helicopter rose for the second and final time and lifted the silver box away and flew off into the night as the four men entered the jeep and were quick to flee the scene. It was a little cramped but they made do.

“Mission successful. Package acquired. Move to your assigned locations and await further instructions.”

The men in the jeep cheered and clapped each other on the back as they left the highway and avoided the major roads and intersections until they got to the river. There they left the jeep and one took a can of fuel from the rear tray of another pickup and scattered it on the inside and along the hood. The others were peeling off their equipment and tossing it into the storage container on the pickup. There was another car there, a little red four door and as soon as two of the men were set in their clothing they entered it and drove away.

A man was left with a lighter and set the jeep on fire before entering the front passenger seat of the pickup and they left the scene. It was all very professionally done.

The men in the pickup drove around town for a bit, stopping at one fast-food joint and then another before eating at the port lookout and then heading back across town. News was all over the radio about the gunfight on the highway, but the more important news was of a fire at a local school where what sounded like the entire facility caught fire, and the police and fire-crews had been concerned with fighting the blaze and seeing to the borders instead of the gun-fight which authorities were already calling gang-related.

It was early morning when the pickup finally pulled into a closed saw mill at the edge of town towards National City, and there was a U-Haul truck waiting there as well as a sleek black Jaguar and their own vehicles.

A woman was leaning against the Jaguar and picking at her nails. She was wearing a tight black skirt and a white blouse and lifted her head as they got out of the vehicle.

They looked around, trying to find their companions and were feeling it was a trap when a shot rang out. The driver was forced back into his door and slid down the frame, leaving a smear of blood as the other two men were quick to go to their side arms.

A second shot rang out and the rear passenger fell with a cry, falling face first into the gravel and the front passenger huddled next to the car, peering through the window trying to find the sniper.

The woman was still examining her nails, seemingly unaffected by the shootings around her. A shot hit the pickup and the passenger flinched, it sounded like it hit far too close to home.

“You traitor,” called the passenger as he panted alone behind the protection of his four-door, his companions dead around him, and he suspected the rest of his team were as well. “We had an agreement!”

“Hardly,” the woman drawled and straightened and he really, really wanted to wipe the smug look off her face but didn’t dare move and give the sniper the shot he wanted. “This was the plan all along.”

She pushed off the jaguar with her hip and opened the passenger door and pulled out a small semi-automatic and brought it around to face him and he swore, cursing her mother, her womb, and calling her all manner of things.

“We were going to give you the money and keep our side of the bargain,” she said as she clicked the magazine into place and flicked the safety off. “But one of your comrades,” she ran her tongue along her teeth. “Looked into the box and our employer was very specific. No one knows what’s in the box, sorry,” she ducked her head sounding anything but, and her finger tightened on the trigger and on reflex he shifted and brought his gun up to fire at her.

A shot from the sniper soon brought him to his knees and the gun fell from his hands.

“What-what’s in the box?” He asked as he slowly toppled backward, blood flowering on his shirt.

She came closer, standing above him looking like the Angel of Death, haloed by the single light on in the mill. “Kryptonite,” she offered and the gun rose from the ground.

“Get that to National City,” she instructed the sniper as he came up behind her, large rifle in his hands, and turned the safety back on.

He grunted in agreement, grey eyes sharp, and strode over to the truck as she got into her jaguar and gunned from the yard, gravel scrunching beneath gleaming tires, her final words as cold as the night air. “And do it how Lena Luthor wanted.”

 

Chapter Text

 

“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.

Chapter Text

 

Her heart was beating steadily in her chest as she carefully moved the small piece of Kryptonite underneath the microscope. Over the past few days she had been setting up her experiments based largely on the research already done by the DEO, and surprisingly by Maxwell Lord (she may have taken a peek into his servers as well, just to confirm her information). And had started to set up for the basic tests she wanted to run, yes she already had the answers, but she wanted to get them herself, if you want something done right and all.

She had been in her warehouse since dawn, going over her findings and comparing them with what the DEO had, and made a mental note to return home and go over Lex’s own notes on the radioactive rock.

It was nearing twelve o’clock when she finally moved away from her computer and stretched, she was going to be late if she didn’t leave now. She had a notepad to her right and had made a few observations and jotted down a few questions she wanted to answer, and to her left there was a large tray of the radioactive rock. She had taken it out to look at it closer, and may have been enjoying the colour-yes she was aware it was radiation but she knew that she’d be dead long before any of the radiation damaged her cells enough to kill or change her, so she felt safe looking at it from a distance for a few hours.

There was an almost empty bottle of water next to her notepad; she’d been having sharp headaches lately and had taken to drinking more water than normal to try to combat it; it hadn’t worked, neither had the aspirin she’d been taking. She was almost ready to go to the doctor and then remembered that Dr. Alan was dead so she’d have to find another one.

She had planned to meet Kara in half an hour at Noonan’s near Catco, so she’d need to leave soon if she wanted to get there on time.

It was as she was rising that a bout of nausea hit her and her hand turned white on the edge of the table for a moment until it vanished, and she idly considered the thought she could be pregnant, but she hadn’t had sex in at least six months, and the last person she’d been with was a woman, so no baby for her. Breathing heavily she straightened and took a step forward when her headache roared with vengeance and she brought her hands to her head at the pain.

“Argh,” she groaned and stumbled against the table. To its credit it held fast under her weight, barely sliding at all.

Shaking her head she felt her heart rate increase as she realised her vision was slowly turning grey and she jerked her head around for her cell phone, before remembering it was over by her bike because she had purposely had this place built so that there wasn’t any reception unless you connected to the private Wi-fi-which would act as a signal tower.

She fell to the ground with a cry tearing its way from her lips, her chest was aching and contracting as though she had run a great marathon and she swore her ribs were trying to crush her. Tears were streaming down her face and she was thankful for her waterproof mascara, appearances were everything.

Panting she tried to rise to her feet, only to have them collapse underneath her, the chair rolling out of her reach. Her skull was pounding, increasing in tempo with her heart rate until it blurred into a solid sound and she screamed again, forcing herself upright, hands grabbing for something, anything.

One of her arms was half over the table, holding the rest of her weight up as her vision went black and she fumbled around. Her grasping fingers caught the tray of Kryptonite and she fell back with a scream, giving in to the pain as though someone were trying to crush her skull in their hands. The kryptonite tipped on her and it was heavy on her body, weighting her down even though it wasn’t physically heavy, and the small sharp edges were digging into her skin, she wondered if it was drawing blood.

She had never been in so much pain in her entire life, not even when she had fallen from a tree and broken her leg, it was like that pain only in every bone in her body, and all at once, and she couldn’t take it anymore. There was a roaring in her head getting louder of the steady drum o her heartbeat and she reached for it, anything to end the pain. Her vision turned to white, blinding white like the sun and then there was nothing.

 

~*~

10.43: Hey, Lena! What time are we meeting for lunch? (smiley face)

10:47: Twelve thirty good for you? (thumbs up)

10:47: Yup, sounds good. Noonan’s?

11:02: Sure! I’ll have to see if it’s as good as you say (wink face)

11:03: It is! I promise (devil face, and ‘okay’ sign)

11:03: I’ll see you soon. It’ll be good to see you! (sunglasses face)

11:04: See you soon x

12:17: I’m heading down now. (smiley face) I’ll grab us a table. Want me to order you anything?

12:37: Hey. Are you running late?

12:42: Where are you? (tongue out face)

12:49: If you are we can re-schedule

12:50: running late that is (smiley)

13:05: Missed Call: Kara Danvers

13:06: Lena? Please text me back. I’m getting worried.

13:11: I’m serious Lena, where are you? Ring me as soon as you get this okay. I’m really worried.

13:27: I rang L-Corp, they said you weren’t in today? Please tell me you’re okay.

14:16: Lena, if I did something that’s okay, just let me know you’re okay. Please?

14:10: Missed Call: Kara Danvers

15:21: I’m coming to your apartment with Alex

15:58: Missed Call: Unknown: Voicemail left at 15:58- seventeen seconds long

16:03: Unknown number: Where the hell are you Lena? I’m getting really worried now! Please, please call me back.

“She’s not answering, Alex,” Kara said worriedly and almost crushed her sisters phone like she had her own.

“Maybe she just got caught up in her work, you know how the scientist types can get,” Alex offered reassuringly, trying to calm her frantic sister. She hadn’t seen Kara this upset or concerned about anyone in a very long time, and considered that maybe Maggie had been right about Kara, but tossed that thought aside, Kara needed her first.

“Not Lena,” Kara shook her head. “I was texting her this morning, she remembered our lunch date. She was coming! I knew we should have kept the protective detail on her!”

“Okay, okay,” Alex said and looked around the CEO’s empty apartment. At any other stage she would have enjoyed the luxury, and maybe taken a peek at her secret lair- if she could get in-but with the apartment manager watching her, and with her sister almost wearing a hole in the floor, she was more concerned with locating the missing Luthor.

“Look, we’ll go into work,” she said carefully. “And see if we can get Winn, or maybe even Hank to try and find her.”

Kara’s head immediately snapped up and the fear in her blue eyes softened for a moment. “Good idea. Thanks Denis!” She shouted to the manager, grabbing Alex’s arm and dragging her from the room and towards the stairs. Alex was certain she would bruise come morning, if not later on this evening, by the tight grip the Kryptonian had on her, but she grit her teeth through the discomfort and let Kara virtually carry her down the stairs. She definitely went faster than a normal human should have been able to and almost sprinted from the lobby, dragging Alex along behind her. She tugged her sister behind the first dumpster she could see and was soon shooting into the sky in her red and blue uniform, clutching the agent under her arm.

“Karaaaaahhhhh,” Alex screamed at the sudden movement and turned green and Kara quickly slowed down.

“Sorry!” She turned her sister in her hold and held her tightly as she soared through the air towards the DEO, ignoring how her sister howled revenge into the wind, words snatched from her lips and thrown away.

“Winn!” Supergirl was a blur of red and blue as she skidded to a halt next to the computer whiz.

“Kara?” He spluttered out in surprise and she gripped his chair and spun it towards his computer.

“Lena’s missing. I need you to track her!”

Alex was still at the entrance and was doubled over, breathing great breathes and clutching the wall for support.

“What?” Winn was confused and rightly so, Kara had come in like a whirlwind and demanded he track Lena Luthor.

“Supergirl,” J’onn’s calm and commanding voice came from one of the corridors. “Slow down and explain.”

“LenawassupposedtomeetmeforlucnhbutshedidntshowandnowimworriedbecasueIcan’tgetaholdofherandIneedWinntohackhercellphoneandfindherlocation,” she said all at once and looked beseechingly at Hank and then turned her puppy eyes on Winn.

“What?” Winn blinked.

“Lena was meant to meet Kara for lunch and didn’t show. We can’t get a hold of her and her apartment is empty. Her secretary says she wasn’t coming into L-Corp today. Kara’s worried,” Alex finished as she got closer. She still looked a little green, but colour was slowly returning to her face.

Hank folded his arms and looked directly at Kara, brow furrowed and eyes serious.

“Have you tried to call her?”

“No!” Kara through her hands in the air like am angst ridden teenager, she channelled it quite well. “Of course not!”

J’onn wasn’t impressed and conveyed that through his gaze.

“Of course I did! She didn’t answer!”

She spun back to Winn. “Please see if you can track her.”

Winn shrugged and started to type away, ignoring how Kara was leaving finger dents in his chair as she leant over him awkwardly.

“Are you sure Miss Luthor didn’t just not notice the time?” Hank asked carefully and didn’t recoil under the glare Kara shot him, though lesser beings may have withered under its power.

“She isn’t like that, J’onn.” She said quietly. “Something’s wrong, I know it. Please?”

The director of the DEO took a deep breath and released it slowly, nodding once. “Okay. We need twenty-four hours to file a missing person’s report, but Winn can see if he can track down her cell phone. Maybe you and I can fly over the city, see if we can pick up anythi-omph.” He was cut off as Kara launched herself at him and squeezed him tightly.

“Thank you!” She said and then pulled away just as quickly to look at Winn. “Let us know if you find anything, okay?”

Winn nodded, eyes already narrowed on one of the National City cell phone providers websites, code screaming along the computer as he hacked it, searching for Lena’s name, or that of her companies.

The afternoon was lovely, the sun warm and with a cool breeze and it was a wonderful day to be out flying, if only she could stop worrying about Lena. She and J’onn soared over the city, passing the rivers and lakes and parks and the concrete jungle beneath them when Winn beeped in.

“Okay, Supergirl? I’ve got a ping off her cell-phone.” Winn relayed through the comms and Kara broke the sound barrier as she spun and raced towards the spot. “I’ve also got a motorcycle incident with EMT’s on the way.”

J’onn was left in the dust as she raced towards the co-ordinates and quickly took in the scene as she flew to land. There was a transportation truck parked next to a line of cars with its hazard lights on, and with a blue car buried headfirst in the line of parked vehicles on the other side. Its front was crushed and the windscreen was buckled and cracked, but on its side there was a fallen motorcycle. A group of people were on the sidewalk surrounding a person in motorcycle leathers and as she landed she heard their gasps of awe and wonder. Some people were directing traffic, blocking one side of the road and allowing some through, and then letting the other side past.

“Is she still here?” Kara asked as she strode towards the group of people, her stomach tying itself in nots. She didn’t like this. J’onn landed next to her and there were murmurs of surprise and unease as he walked after her-they didn’t know of another potential Kyrptonian, but he was with Supergirl, so he was good.

“Yeah,” Winn’s voice came down the line. “She’s right in front of you.”

Kara bounded over the crashed car and let herself float to the ground as people moved out of her way.

Lena Luthor was resting against the corner of a shattered shop window, her legs stretched out before her and with a scattering of glass around her. Her left arm was held at an awkward angle- even the humans could see there was something pressing against the leather where there shouldn’t be- and she was paler than usual, eyes closed as she matched her breathing to the man who was crouched next to her. He looked like he had been visiting the very store it looked like Lena had been thrown into, and had removed his jacket and had covered the young Luthor with it. Her motorcycle helmet was cracked and lying on the ground next to her as her hair fell across her shoulders and there was a dribble of blood following the curve of her jaw down into her collar.

“What happened?” Kara snapped out, fighting the urge to rush to Lena’s side. J’onn was gazing over the humans calmly, and she had a feeling he was listening with his telepathy. Not going into other peoples minds, of course, but just keeping an eye out for any thoughts that were shouted his way.

“Supergirl,” said the man holding Lena’s hand and pale lids flickered before opening and Lena’s bright green eyes were on her.

“Supergirl,” she nodded a greeting and then closed her eyes again. Kara could almost feel her heart beat stampeding in her chest, even as Lena’s chest rose and fell sharply, she could hear the creak of her ribs with each movement.

“The truck pulled out and that car swerved to miss it right in front of Lena here,” the man squeezed her hand and responded, jaw moving in pain.

“She didn’t have time to react and they collided. She ended up here,” he pointed to the shattered shop window, where evidently Lena had hit it, or at least the corner of it, maybe colliding with the frame as well, to keep her from going through the entire thing.

“Emergency services have been called,” J’onn said calmly, in his measured and reassuring way. “We are not-you-are not needed here,” he added in a quiet voice, so quiet that only Kara would have been able to pick up on it.

She cast him a withering glance as she turned her vision on the young Luthor. She was right, there were several fractured ribs and a definite broken arm. She could pick up the closest medical team through their dispatch and glanced at J’onn and back to Lena. She looked small and vulnerable here, bleeding and wounded and her skin was pale. She could be required elsewhere and it didn’t seem like Lena would suffer any more while waiting for the paramedics, but she was her friend, and she did want to help.

“Take her to the hospital, Supergirl,” J’onn sighed, sensing or maybe reading her indecision and Kara nodded, striding forward to crouch down next to Lena. J’onn was standing next to a woman who must have been the driver of the car. Kara scanned her and saw that she was alright, with no major injuries, apart from some cuts where she hit the windscreen-which the paramedics would sort- and then turned back to Lena.

“Miss Luthor.” Around her there were a few gasps of surprise and companions muttering to their neighbours. “I’m going to pick you up now, and fly you to National City General.”

“No, you’re not,” Lena rasped out, voice strained, accent thick, and Kara blinked in surprise. “You have a city to protect. Don’t waste your time on me.”

“You are a part of this city,” Kara pointed out, and fought the urge to straighten and place her hands on her hips and settled for glaring down at Lena. Lena’s lips were pressed together and her features were tight with pain, eyes held closed. “I will be taking you to hospital. You’re wounded.”

“I’m not going to swoon,” a green eye cracked open and Kara barked a laugh at the young CEO’s audacity.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” she told her and slid her arms slowly around Lena. Lena’s breath hitched and caught as she was lifted into Kara’s arms.

“Sorry,” Kara winced. “You have a few fractured ribs as well as the arm.”

“Wonderful,” Lena murmured dryly, taking short sharp breaths. “I needed a vacation.”

“I’ll make sure the doctor’s sign your medical certificate and give you the year off,” Supergirl promised as she straightened, feeling oddly powerful with the woman in her arms. The watching people stepped back, and some had their cameras trained on the two.

“Even if you have to promise to visit their kids schools?”

Kara chuckled. “Even if I have to take them flying.”

A green eye flickered open again. “You are not to toss anyone off their balconies.”

“That was an accident!” Kara defended and J’onn cleared his throat pointedly.

“Wait,” she said suspiciously. “How do you know that?”

“Supergirl!”

“Right, right. Okay.” She cast a glance at J’onn and then looked back down at Lena. “We’re going to take off now.”

“Argh,” Lena grunted. “Wait, my bike!”

“I’ll take care of that, Miss Luthor,” J’onn promised and then he frowned, head tilting to the side.

“Mh’kay,” her eyelids fluttered closed. Personally Kara thought the bike was a wreck, but she wasn’t about to tell the stubborn CEO that.

Kara rose into the air as quickly as she dared, trying to make the trip as easy as possible.

Within minutes she was gently landing in front of the hospital. Winn had already radioed ahead and told them she was coming in and they had a stretcher waiting for Lena. There was a few members of the press already there, already clicking away and Kara tried to turn away from them to protect Lena.

“I’m not getting on that with these vultures outside,” Lena’s voice was sharp and brittle and Kara cast the reporters a glace before nodding and carried the young Luthor into the hospital. The hospital staff followed with the stretcher and the doors closed behind them, the media inching forward and into the lobby after them. No doubt the headlines would be of Kara carrying Lena bridal style, and the image would make her heart warm, though she wasn’t sure why.

“I am perfectly capable of walking,” Lena grumbled and Kara had to smile. She was kind of cute.

Kara lifted her head and looked around. “I want security here,” she said after placing Lena gently on the stretcher. As gentle as she was she was still able to hear Lena’s muffled grunt of pain and winced apologetically as she pulled back. “The media have no business being in a hospital,” she said and placed her hands on her hip in her classic hero stance. Security was summoned very quickly to escort the press from the lobby and from the way they met her eyes as they passed her, she knew they’d stay at their posts.

Nurses were already talking to Lena and Kara was quick to point out her injuries, or at least the ones she could see, and they wheeled her away, dismissing the Super.

Lena’s parting words were sarcastic and Kara couldn’t help but sigh and shake her head. “My hero.”

Yeah, because in what world would a Super, would she be Lena Luthor’s hero?

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Kara nervously knocked on the hospital door and peered around the corner with a small smile. Lena was standing near the bed with her button up shirt wide-open and was fiddling with the bottom buttons and Kara instantly felt her face flush and she lifted her gaze.

“Kara!” The young CEO smiled winningly at her friend as she lifted her head from her belly and Kara smiled in response. “Come in!”

Edging around the door Kara offered her the flowers she had in her other hand, almost like a shield and pointedly didn’t look as Lena struggled with the buttons of her shirt with one hand. A small bouquet of flowers was on the table, a large handbag at its foot, and a pair of glasses were on the bed. There was also an ice pack wrapped in a light towel at the end of the bed, water darkening the fabric.

“Um, here.” There was a cheesy ‘Get Well’ helium balloon Kara had gotten from the store below and had tied to the bouquet of flowers she’d gotten.

“Plumeria’s,” Lena’s smile was sweet and her eyes were warm. “Thank you. You didn’t have-“

“I wanted to,” Kara said, pressing her lips together, but unable to hide her smile as her heart did some fluttery thing in her chest at Lena’s smile.

“Thank you.” Lena’s smile fell. “I’m sorry I missed our lunch,” she said earnestly and went back to doing her shirt up, grimacing as she did so, and moving cautiously onward.

“That’s okay. I’m just glad to know you’re okay. I was really worried,” Kara said sheepishly.

“I know,” Lena’s green eyes were bright as she glanced up from her shirt. “I saw your messages.”

Kara flushed slightly. “Yeah,” she ducked her head and scratched her hair. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be,” Lena said quickly as she smoothened her collar. “It was nice to know someone cares. I’m sorry I worried you.” She rolled her shoulder a little, grimacing in pain and then returned her arm to her sling, moving her hair out of the way.

“What happened,” Kara asked and then winced. “I mean, I saw on the news….but...broken arm,” she awkwardly lifted her hand holding the flowers in Lena’s direction and the CEO smiled and exhaled in huff of amusement at Kara. Kara blushed again, she swore it was all she did around Lena.

“I broke my arm, the bone went right through the skin,” Lena winced as she recalled the injury and snatched her glasses and tucked them over her collar and Kara cringed in sympathy.

“Ouch.”

Lena nodded as she slid her feet into her heels. “I fractured a few ribs as well.”

“Ouch. I’m glad you’re okay.” Lena lifted her gaze to see meet Kara’s and the blonde turned her head into her shoulder. “That you’re not like, dead or something…”

“Kara,” Lena shook her head, but something about the way she said her name made Kara want to look away from her gaze, but at the same time get lost in her eyes.

“Are you able to carry those for me?” She gestured to the flowers on the table-like a twenty dollar set from the downstairs chop- as she rose to her feet, drawing her presence to her. Lena Luthor, CEO of L-Corp, was now in the room. She took her bag from the floor and draped it across her shoulder.

“Mh hm,” Kara moved quickly to the table and gathered the flowers. Hers were nicer, if she didn’t say so herself, they should be-she’d flown to the Caribbean this morning to get them.

“Thank you,” Lena said and took a deep breath and straightened. She strode from the room and down the corridors with her head high and proud, Kara trailing behind her like a lost puppy carrying her flowers-there were not as many as Kara would have expected for her friend, but hers more than made up for it.

By the time she caught up to her Lena was at the desk, taking her forms and reading over them before signing them. The nurse was explaining after-care and procedures for her ribs and arm, and Lena was nodding- the doctors had already told her, but she accepted the brochures anyway. Outside there were a bunch of people with camera’s and Kara noticed Lena casting glances to them even as she read through her forms.

“Is it possible to get security here? Or go around the back?” She enquired gently, smiling at the nurse and her tired lips lifted. She glanced to Lena and back at the door where the press were waiting-they had been told what would happen to them if they dared enter the hospital without having an injury, and so had remained reluctantly outside.

“Of course,” the nurse nodded and picked up a telephone and called for security while Lena continued to sign her forms.

‘Thank you,’ Lena mouthed at her and she smiled across the top of her flowers at her and nodded once. It really wasn’t an issue. Normally it was Supergirl doing the protecting, but she found she really liked the warmth she got from Lena’s smile protecting her as Kara.

A few minutes later a curvy security guard approached in uniform and wearing a smirk, which grew when she ran her eyes over Lena, glancing over Kara, before returning her appraisal to Lena. Kara felt a flush rise. Of course the wallflower Kara-the-reporter-guise was designed not to draw attention. The jeans and knitted sweater she was wearing clearly gave a different message than the heels, skinny jeans-which how Lena got those on with one hand?!- and grey plaid long-sleeve shirt.

Kara didn’t like her immediately-a woman that pretty shouldn’t be a security guard, and she shouldn’t be eyeing the patients appreciatively, if Kara were to be the judge.

“Hi.” She was smiley too, very smiley and Lena paused and ran her eyes over her before smiling in response.

“Hello.”

“Jamie will take you out the back,” the nurse was eyeing the security-guard disapprovingly and she shrugged innocently. “Do you need a taxi?”

“I’ll talk to my driver,” Lena said and dug her cell out of her bag. A few minutes later and they were leaving the hospital, Jamie taking them around the back and away from the press while Lena followed stiffly and Kara brought up the rear with the flowers.

Jamie ran her ID through the door lock and it clicked open, the guard opening the door for all of them. She let them through and disappeared back into the hospital.

David-Lena’s driver- had the car purring outside and he quickly got out of the driver’s seat and limped to open the door for Lena. He was the driver that had been hurt in the mediocre bomb in Lena’s old car, and she’d given him indefinite paid leave until he was better or decided if he was coming back to work. He looked very smart in a black suit and he smiled at them both, dimples flaring at his cheeks.

“David, you know that isn’t necessary,” Lena rolled her eyes as she got closer and he flashed a boyish smile, all rogue charm.

“Miss Luthor,” he nodded his head in greeting and ignored her soft reprimand. “How are you feeling?”

“Like I hit a car,” she drawled sarcastically and ducked into the passenger door.

“David, this is Kara. Kara, David,” she introduced them and David’s dark eyes turned to Kara and he nodded a greeting as he held the door for her to get in as well.

The door closed behind her and Kara looked over at Lena. The Luthor had her head resting against the head-rest with her eyes closed and her brows and eyes were tight with pain.

“Do you have medication?” Kara asked worried.

“Mh,” Lena grunted as David returned to the drivers seat and started the car. “They gave me some this morning. Jess is picking it up for me and dropping it by later.”

“Okay,” Kara said and sat awkwardly in the car as David drove them back to the apartment.

“Did-um, are you-the police report said you weren’t to blame,” Kara offered as she looked around the sleek leather interior of the car.

Lena cracked an eye open and then closed it again. “My insurance and lawyers are taking care of it.”

“I didn’t know you rode?”

“Mh hm,” Lena replied sleepily. “I’ll take you for a ride when I get better.” She paused and her eyes flew open, just in time to take in Kara’s flushed cheeks. “If you want?”

Kara hesitated but then nodded eagerly. “I’ve never been on a motorcycle.”

Lena sighed and her eyes closed again. “It was my baby,” she murmured about her wrecked bike. “When I was in Europe I’d reach a hundred forty, hundred and fifty on the highways. I stick to a hundred around here…for the most part.”

“Lena!” Kara adjusted her glasses scandalised and Lena chuckled.

“I switch out the plates, they haven’t caught me yet,” she said and rolled her head around to look at Kara, resting it against her shoulder, green eyes blinking. “I love the feeling of the power, the rush of the wind, the thrill of it.”

“You like taking risks,” Kara said and Lena’s brow tightened for a moment before she nodded.

“That’s really dangerous!”

“I know.” Lena was almost smug about it and Kara frowned over at her.

“Miss Luthor, there are press gathered outside. I’ll take you downstairs.”

“Thank you, David,” Lena pressed a button on the door and replied to their driver.

The car tilted as it drove down into the garage and David paused to speak with the security and then they rolled on in.

“Did you want a ride home? David will take you anywhere,” Lena said as she unclicked her seatbelt, moving very slowly.

Kara quickly shook her head. “I’ll get an Uber later, I want to help you settle in.”

“You don’t-“

“I know,” Kara interrupted and smiled. “I want to make sure you’re okay.”

Lena didn’t say anything, but her soft smile was enough and Kara beamed back at her.

“Miss Luthor.” David opened the passenger door and held out a hand and Lena took it as Kara exited, taking her flowers with her. “Do you need anything else?”

“Thank you, David. No. You have a good night.”

David straightened and Kara was reminded of the agents she worked with and made a mental note to ask Lena who her driver was, he screamed military.

“Thank you, Miss Luthor. Call me if you need anything,” David nodded and returned to the drivers seat as Lena carefully walked over to the elevator and Kara followed, juggling the flowers as she tried to press the button before Lena could.

“Are you hungry or anything?” Kara questioned as they rode the elevator to the penthouse and Lena shook her head.

“No, thank you. I think I need to lie down though. Do you have to get back to work?”

Kara shook her head. “Mitch-my partner on the article- is doing his own investigating, I’ve already given him my notes. We’re meeting up again tomorrow.”

“Would-would you like to stay?” Lena asked as the elevator dinged at the top level and the duo walked out and around the corner to Lena’s apartment.

“S-ure!” Kara frowned at herself and then smiled over at Lena when the Luthor turned from her door to raise an eyebrow at her.

“Help yourself to anything in the fridge or cupboards,” Lena said as she walked towards the bedrooms, dropping her bag on the counter.

Kara put the flowers on the bench and then went looking for some vases-the nicer one would go with her flowers, naturally-and found some under the sink. She arranged them neatly, extending her senses to hear Lena wincing and gritting her teeth, before turning her attention back to her flowers. The CEO was obviously getting out of her clothes and into more comfortable ones.

She returned a few minutes later and Kara looked up from where she’d found a bag of crisps and was crunching happily at the counter, admiring her flowers. She looked small and pale in her a large Ivy League hoodie and baggie grey sweats with her hair piled on top of her head.

“Did you wanna watch Netflix with me?” She had a laptop in her right hand.

“Mh hm,” Kara nodded and chewed before swallowing.

“Popcorn is in the top cupboard, and there’s a popcorn maker at the bottom of the storage there,” Lena directed and Kara almost flew from the seat and around the island into the kitchen. She loved popcorn!

Lena vanished into one of the rooms down the hall and she could hear a television being turned on, the music channel blasting something before there were some clicks and it went quiet. Kara was quick to set up the popcorn and a few minutes later joined Lena in the entertainment room with a large bowl of popcorn, a soda, and a bottle of water for Lena.

Lena was curled up in the corner of an ‘L’ couch and had her laptop balanced on her legs, resting against the couch with her broken arm. The Netflix home-screen was on with Lena’s recently watched and suggestions and her face was lit by the computer screen.

“Hey!” Kara frowned over at Lena. “The doctors said no work!”

Lena lifted her head a little and then went back to her computer as Kara set down the popcorn and drinks. “I know, which is why I’m only seeing what’s urgent and then I’m going to fall asleep binging Orange is the New Black-probably. Unless you want to watch something else?” She yawned to punctuate her statement, and while it made Kara uncomfortable she wasn’t that close to Lena yet and couldn’t force her to rest. She’d take some work over all work.

“Fine, but you are taking your pills when you need to,” she said sternly, trying to channel Eliza. She had a feeling it didn’t work when Lena’s lips curled and she continued working.

Kara flicked on an episode of some new and apparently popular show about shock, a hero with powers, and settled back on the couch, bowl of popcorn between them and split her attention between the television and the working Luthor.

“You’re missing it,” Lena commented without moving her attention from her screen.

“What’cha watching?” Kara asked instead.

“The crash, and I’m catching up on news articles, in case PR wants to discuss anything.”

Kara winced. “How bad is it?” She enquired, having already seen the security footage of the crash and would not be forgetting seeing Lena thrown over the top of the car and into the shopwindow and fall, anytime soon. She’d been ready to toss the offending truck and car into outer space, but Alex had talked her out of it.

Lena ducked her head. “Bad. Here,” she shifted a little bit, wincing as she did and Kara was quick to move off the couch and stand behind it so that she could see the screen, rather than Lena moving.

She pressed play and they both watched though a grainy security video as the truck reversed out and the driver of the car swerved into the oncoming traffic to miss it. They both saw Lena react, dropping her weight to the side and turning the wheel, but not in time and they winced as she slammed into the side and was thrown into the air. A second video from the storefront showed a black mass flying through the air and then slamming into the corner of the window display, there was a thump, heard even through the poor quality camera, as Lena hit the wooden beams at speed and then dropped limp to the concrete, a shower of glass following her.

Many comments on the video and article below expressed their sympathy for the injuries.

“I think that one summarises it adequately,” Lena remarked yawning, and Kara barked a laugh.

Holy fucking shit! That’s gotta hurt like a BITCH!!!!111 How’d she only break an arm and some ribs?!’

“Maybe I should invest in a pharmaceutical company,” she pondered as she exited the tabs and placed the computer on the table next to her, flipping the screen down.

She yawned again and blinked sleepily.

There was a dong echoing through the house and Kara glanced behind her. “I’ll get it.”

She was gone before Lena could complain, though she heard her, loudly, protesting as she got to her feet, amidst groans, and follow her through the house.

Lena’s assistant was at the door with a large brown paper bag and some take out and she recoiled slightly at seeing Kara answer the door.

“Miss Danvers…. Hi,” she said suspiciously, eyes narrowed.

“Hi, Jess. It’s Kara, please,” she smiled and stepped to the side to let the assistant into the apartment.

“Miss Luthor! You should be in bed resting!” Jess exclaimed when she saw Lena slowly making her way across her wooden floors. Lena was rubbing the back of her neck and blinking sleepily and a lazy smile of greeting crossed her face at the sight of her assistant. Kara ignored how Lena looked made her feel.

“I am resting, Jess. I promise. Aren’t I Kara?” Green eyes narrowed warningly in on the blonde.

“Yup, sure! Absolutely no work going on here. No sir’re. Work? Pft, what work?” She trailed off and fiddled with her glasses before smiling encouragingly at Jess.

“Riiight.” Jess cast her a disbelieving look and then looked back at Lena. “I got you some take out as well as your meds. I didn’t want you to have to cook if you were hungry.” She cast a curious glance at Kara.

“Thank you,” Lena smiled and moved over to the counter to take the medication bag.

“Here; the list of when and what and with,” Jess dug out a printed list of medication with what Lena should be having it with, and what for. It reminded Kara of when she went through Cat’s medication, when she fell ill, and would type up the medicinal needs and match Cat’s schedule around it. She was glad Lena had someone who cared enough about her to do it.

Jess made sure Lena didn’t need anything and then after casting a final suspicious glance at Kara, left the apartment.

“Argh,” Lena was reading her prescription instructions and a sneer curled her lips as she glanced at the medication. Lena took a few pills with a large glass of water and leant her weight against the bench for a moment before pushing off it. “I definitely should invest in a pharmaceutical company, maybe several.”

She sounded so frustrated about it that Kara couldn’t help but giggle quietly and Lena gave it a few seconds before joining her.

“Ah, ow!” She complained after the first movement of her chest and brought her right arm up, grimacing in pain. “Don’t make me laugh,” she shot Kara a faux- glare as though it were her fault and Kara bit her lip, sheepish. She went pale and Kara heard her heart stutter and her blood rush through her body and was able to catch her as she fainted before she hit the floor.

“Lena?” She asked worriedly and quickly sped the brunette to her bed and laid her down. “Lena?”

Lena’s heartrate was returning to normal and at her next worried call the brunette’s eyes slowly flickered open.

“Lena?”

“Mh, Kara?”

Kara ignored how her heat summersaulted at how her name sounded coming from Lena’s lips; husky, and raw.

“Hi! You fainted!” Kara said brightly and Lena groaned and laid her right hand over her eyes.

“Yes, I can see that-how’d I get here? You carried me?”

Kara’s cheeks warmed in the afternoon light streaming in through Lena’s open curtains in a ray of oranges and reds. She lifted a shoulder delicately. “I was just about to call for help,” she said earnestly and gave a little nod in affirmative.

“It’s just the pain,” Lena groaned. “The meds haven’t kicked in yet.”

“Well, duh,” Kara said and sat on the edge of the bed. “You did just take them.”

“Shuddup,” Lena grumbled through her arm and Kara smiled over at her. With Lena’s gaze pre-occupied by her arm Kara took a moment to look around Lena’s room.

There was a large walk in closet, she could see clothes through the partially open door, a door which lead to an ensuite, and a-

“You have a balcony?!” Kara didn’t mean to sound so excited, but balconies were kinda her thing.

“Mh. Have a look if you like. This apartment has the best view of the city I could find.” Lena’s voice was muffled, and a little slurred, maybe her meds were kicking in faster than she’d thought, or she was in need of sleep to heal.

Casting a final glance to Lena she pushed gently off the bed and strode over to the curtains and pulled them open. Lena curled into her pillow as Kara pulled open the two double doors and they slid into the glass and revealed the balcony. It was sleek and modern, whites and greys like her office. There was a spa pool to the corner, a telescope pointing at the sky next to that, a series of couches around a small coffee table, and a pair of sun-bathing chairs on the other side. A glass barrier ran around the entire thing, separating the building from the sky, but still allowing unrestricted lines of sight to the city and across to the sea and back up into the farms and eventually the forests. It was covered to allow 24/7 access to the roof with protection from the elements, mostly.

“Wow,” Kara breathed as the wind playfully tugged on her hair. Her phone chimed and she glanced at it to see a message from Alex asking to go out tonight, and she tucked it back in her pocket.

Behind her she could hear Lena’s heartbeat regulating and realised she had fallen asleep.

Smiling fondly, her heart warm with some kind of light, she returned to the room and locked the balcony doors and closed the curtains. Her supervision was able to pick out the sleeping Luthor and she hesitated before walking over and gently removing Lena’s arm from her head and untied the sling around her broken arm. She spared a second to pull the covers over her before returning to the kitchen and getting a glass of water and after glancing over Jess’ medication cheat-sheet she grabbed the right pills and carried them to Lena’s room, snatching her pen and pad from her messenger bag on her way.

She lowered them gently onto one of Lena’s bedside tables and quickly jotted down a note, telling Lena which pills were for what, and wishing her a swift recovery, and she’d be bringing her lunch from Noonan’s tomorrow at noon (Ha, get it?) and have a nice sleep. Kara x.

She left the note on the bedside table, and after one last look at Lena, removed herself from the room and apartment (putting the takeout in the fridge on the way out).

 

~*~

It was a dry throat that awoke Lena Luthor from her pain-filled sleep and she fumbled around a moment in bed before she got her bearings enough to relax. Her side was throbbing painfully, overshadowing the pulsing in her left arm and she groaned and flapped around with her right in search of her bedside table lamp.

She was starting to regret ever getting on her bike and decided that maybe her fainting had been a warning for her not to get on it, like some sort of premonition. But she had felt fine when she came-too on her floor in the warehouse and hadn’t even been unsteady as she walked to her bike, and had tossed up whether to call David, or just ride home. She decided to protect her secret, after all, she didn’t have a scratch on her from her fall, and headache, and rode for home. She did regret it now, as her side groaned in protest as she finally found the bottom of the touch-light.

It lit the room with a dull glow and she saw a glass of water and a container of pills and she sighed. It seemed too far away. She flung her arm out and the glass of water flew across the space over her bed and appeared in her hand. A sharp pain split her head and a bright light appeared behind her eyes before she fell into it. In the morning she saw the wet patch on the top of the bed and the empty glass and assumed she’d fallen asleep with it in her hand.

Chapter Text

 

“Hey, Alex,” Kara smiled as she landed in the DEO, and offered her sister a bag of her favourite pastries. “From that store you like in Paris.”

“Yessss,” her sister hissed and grabbed for the bag. “Gimmie.”

Handing them over with a smile she looked around and saw Winn typing away at his computer and she waved at him, he nodded over at her but was intent on his screen, fingers flying and headset on. Hank was standing with Agent Vasquez looking over something on her screen.

Alex dove into the first pastry with an exaggerated moan and Kara shot her a look and she shrugged, to content with her sugary sweet to respond. J’onn was looking over at them both weirdly, but he smiled in greeting.

“Supergirl,” he straightened. “I have some information for you, and I thought we could go and see Lena Luthor.”

“I’m meeting her for lunch,” Kara said and ignored the sharp look Alex shot her. “Should we go before?”

The director of the DEO nodded and picked up a manila file from the desk and strode down the steps towards her.

Kara looked hesitant. “Can we-lets no scare her, okay?”

J’onn tilted his head curiously and lifted a brow but nodded.

“We’ll go in the front door,” he agreed nodding his head. “It will give her time to become aware of our presence.”

“Okay, cool,” Kara was smiling now and lifted her arm in an obnoxious ‘after-you’ gesture. J’onn sighed and rolled his eyes but led the way from the building. He morphed into his true self as he lifted from the building and into the sky. He had told her he liked the freedom of being him when he flew, and not Hank, which was something Kara understood. There was freedom being Supergirl, even if it did come with its own chains.

As they flew Kara strained with her senses for Lena’s heartbeat and paused in the air, partway to her apartment building.

“Supergirl?” Hank flew past her a bit and then wound around to hover with her in the air.

“Lena’s not at her apartment,” her brow was furrowed and she tilted her head to the ground, instinctively trying to find L-Corp. She sighed. “She’s at work. Can you give me ten minutes please?”

Confused but trusting Kara J’onn nodded and flew off in the direction of L-Corp, but slowly, in no rush.

“Hey, Winn?”

“Shoot, Supergirl,” her friend was quick to reply.

“Can you see who’s Lena’s insurance company for her bike?”

She could hear hum typing away even as he asked her why. “Can you just find out please?”

She could almost hear his confusion, and J’onn’s, but she ignored that and three minutes and forty seven seconds later he was telling her the name of Lena’s insurance. She’d worry about the privacy breach later. “And can you get me the request for her motorcycle?”

“Already done. It hasn’t been delivered yet, if that was your next question,” Winn said and she could picture his satisfied smile as he leant back in his chair. He told her the dealer and after a ‘thanks’ she was flying through the air towards it.

She landed easily and held the door open for a startled young man who was walking out with some bags. “Hi,” she smiled at him and his smile seemed frozen on his face.

She was able to edge past him and into the store and immediately strode up to the front counter. She hadn’t been in a motorcycle store before but figured the lines of shiny and new motorbikes were customary, as were the racks of helmets, hangers with jackets and pants, the stands for boots, and the little hangers for all the other gear was normal. It smelt like leather and some sort of polish, It smelt new.

“Hi there…Shaun,” she said, seeing his name tag and smiling winningly at the young man manning the desk. His heart was kicking in his chest and he swallowed nervously.

“Hi,” he had to clear his throat again as his greeting came out very high. He blushed. “Hi. How can I help you…Supergirl.”

“I’d like to speak with the manager or the owner, if that’s okay.”

“Y-yeah. Yes. Right away.” He picked up a phone and pressed a button, bringing the device to his ear as his throat bobbed.

“Um, Dave. There’s someone at the front desk to see you.”

Kara could hear the voice on the end of the line complain, rather loudly.

“You need to come out here. Like now,” Shaun winced and then looked back at Supergirl in awe and maybe a little fear. “Like right now.”

The grumbled protest of ‘Dave’ could be heard down the line and Shaun cringed slightly, looking at her apologetically as he hung up.

She just kept on smiling and cast a glance at the clock, checking to see how much time she had. She had five minutes until she’d said she’d meet J’onn. She could make that.

She could hear the moment Dave caught sight of her. His heart did a little twisting thing and she could feel his heartrate increase as he virtually ran towards her. She let him do it, keeping her gaze focused on the motorcycles and pretended not to notice his swift arrival, punctuated by his heavy breathing.

“Supergirl!” He would have been a handsome man in his youth; dark, expressive eyes, smooth brown skin, and sweet lips, but he’d fallen to time, as humans tended to do, and was approaching overweight and his beard was peppered with grey. He still had charm though, she noted as he smiled at her, years erased from his appearance, and he held out a hand for her to shake.

“Dave Mallory,” he ducked his head. “How can I help you?” He had a nice voice, rich and deep and smooth, and she could listen to him reading a manual on how to use a dishwasher all day. Heck, he could read the dictionary and she’d still enjoy his voice.

“My friend Lena was in a crash the other day.”

Dave nodded, calm and sure. He reminded her a bit like J’onn.

“And she needed to get everything replaced. Her insurance put in a claim for…” she waited for Winn to rattle off what Lena or her lawyers had claimed in the insurance (her full motorbike gear; leathers, gloves, helmet) and relayed it to Dave.

“Ah,” he nodded knowingly. “Miss Luthor.”

Kara’s eyes were quick on him, but he hadn’t spat the name and she raised a brow, lifting her hands to her hips, just in case he didn’t get the message.

“My daughter works for her,” he explained cheerfully, with no lack of pride. “She’s in R n D, as she calls it. I saw the news.”

“Right,” Kara nodded slowly. “So I wanted to make her feel better and deliver her, her gear?” She hadn’t meant to make it as a question but it came out that way. She didn’t want to intimidate anyone, especially not this friendly ‘grandfather-like’ man.

“It’s being processed,” he said and rubbed his beard and tilted his head thoughtful. “I’ll tell you what,” he said after a moment’s consideration. “Take what you need, what she claimed, and we’ll just take it off the claim when the paperwork comes through.”

Kara perked up, chest warming at Dave’s generosity. He nodded. “I’d give it to you for free, but I don’t think you’d both appreciate that.”

Kara’s rising protest died on her lips and she smiled sheepishly.

“What kind of bike was it? What size helmet, gloves, boots, pants and jacket were you after?”

Kara was quick to tell him, even as Shaun cast her a sceptical look and she considered then that her knowledge of the other Luthor (her hand size, head size, body size) might be a little bit dodgy.

“I-ah, I can see these things,” she said awkwardly and then made a show of looking over the teenager and owner before telling them their sizes.

She ducked her head. “Sorry.”

“Don’t apologise for what you are, Supergirl,” Dave said as he was typing something into a computer. He didn’t seem overly bothered by her displays of power, though she could hear his heart beating a little louder and stronger than what would be expected, but she appreciated his effort all the same.

“Do you know her preferred colour and design?” He asked and Kara whizzed around the shop to get the gear and piled it on the desk.

Shaun shuddered at the display of power but Dave merely blinked and carried on typing. He then ran the items up, Shaun seeming frozen, and pointed over to a bike in the stand.

“Can you bring me the ID sheet, please? It’s not the same, but it’ll do until she can come in and make the change.” In a blink Kara had identified the bike and had returned with the identification sheet.

“Thank you,” Dave said and proceeded to fill out the rest of the paperwork.

It was inching closer to the ten-minute mark and Kara turned eagerly back to the desk.

“Alright,” Dave said as he printed out a form. “If you sign here and here, I can send this to her insurance when the claim goes through.”

Kara used her Super-speed to read through the paperwork before signing. Just because she was an alien, didn’t mean she was a fool, and this was on Lena’s behalf, she didn’t want to cause any trouble for the CEO. It was all clear and she signed her name quickly, or rather, Supergirl’s name, she even used her heat vision to brand her crest into the paper. Shaun slumped against the desk and fell to the floor.

Dave and Kara looked at him and Dave sighed as Kara looked concerned.

“Leave him,” Dave said gently and Kara looked at him curiously. He was looking down at Shaun with a weird expression, a mixture of annoyance and exasperation and fondness. “I’ll see to him when he wakes up. He gestured to the bike and to the bag of things she’d just purchased.

“Go on,” he ducked his head and smiled. “Go take your friend her get-well present.”

There was some kind of weight behind his words, something Kara couldn’t pick up on, but she wasn’t going to be told twice.

“Thank you!” She beamed and gathered the gear and then raced to the bike and lifted it easily. She might have broken the clamps which bolted it to the floor in her haste and she paused with the bike over one shoulder.

“Eh, sorry. I’ll just,” she used her laser vision to solder them back into place and smiled sheepishly over at Dave. He just shook his head fondly and she smiled and was out the door in a blur of red and blue.

She had less than thirty seconds to get to L-Corp before her ten minute deadline and broke the sound barrier as she raced along, pausing just to make sure the bike could handle the speed without damaging it. She held it behind her as she flew, blocking the wind with her body so it wouldn’t get damaged, just in case.

J’onn was slowly descending from the skyscraper level, morphing back into Hank and she raced down to land beside him on the sidewalk, smiling at the people who started at their abrupt appearance.

“What’s that?” Hank lifted a brow and folded his arms and she handed him the bag of clothes and helmet and boots.

“A get well present,” she said and lowered the bike on her arm.

“No balloons or card?” Hank offered sarcastically as they walked towards the doors and Kara’s face fell.

“Should I have gotten her flowers as well?” She pondered as she followed the older alien inside.

He just sighed. “Didn’t you already?”

Kara nodded. “But as Supergirl, I mean.”

“You’re brining her a motorbike-“

“Yeah, but I didn’t buy it.” She brightened suddenly. “Be right back!” And the bike was on the floor in the middle of the lobby with Hank standing next to it. He sighed, loudly and shook his head as the employees behind the desk looked at him curiously. He was sure security was watching him intently but he didn’t have to wait long before Supergirl appeared back at his side carrying a huge bunch of flowers. There was a small teddy-bear in the bouquet and it was holding a small heart on a stick saying ‘Get well soon.’

“Hi!” Kara beamed as she stepped up to the counter. It was a nice counter, like the ones downstairs at Catco, though the woman behind it had a few photos of her family by her keyboard, Kara could see. And there were another two monitors and chairs for other employees and other personal affects.

“We’re here to see Miss Luthor?”

The receptionist blinked and then slowly reached for her phone.

“Hello Jess?” She started and blinked again, looking like an animal under the glare of headlights. “Um, there are some… people here to see Miss Luthor.”

Kara was able to hear Jess’s reply, ‘she doesn’t have any appointments until lunch, where she is booked for Miss Danvers. Tell them to make an appointment,’ and the receptionist hesitated and then added. “She’ll want to see these visitors, even if they don’t have an appointment. Um, it’s Supergirl.”

Kara heard a pause and then, ‘Are you serious?’ but was still preoccupied with the way her heart flipped upon hearing Lena had booked the afternoon for her.

“Y-eah,” the receptionist let out a shaky laugh and Kara smiled reassuringly at her, even as they were gathering an audience. “Supergirl is in the lobby.”

An extended pause. ’Just a sec.’ It was more than a second, but then Jess replied. ‘Send them up.’

“Um, they have a motorcycle.”

“It’s a present,” Kara said quietly, and nodded winningly to the receptionist’s surprised expression.

Okay….I’ll send her down. And have security on standby, just in case.’

“Okay,” the receptionist said and hung up, still looking a little shell-shocked.

“What’s your name?” Kara asked as she leant against the desk.

“L-Linda,” she stuttered nervously.

“Nice to meet you, Linda. You’re doing a great job!” The woman beamed at the compliment and straightened in her chair.

“T-thank you, Ma’am,” Linda replied.

“How long have you been working here?” Kara enquired and felt J’onn roll his eyes and punched him to quieten him, much to the amusement of the receptionist. They exchanged pleasantries, and Kara even took a photo with a brave employee before she heard Lena get out of the elevator.

“Supergirl!” Lena was as commanding as ever in a short sleeve green dress that flowed down her body and flared at her hips. She was wearing white pumps and dark make-up with white nails. The white cast at her left did nothing to hide her regality.

“Is there a reason you’re in my lobby distracting my employees?” She enquired without bite, in fact Kara could detect a hint of a smile.

“Miss Luthor, is there a reason you aren’t at home resting?” Kara countered and offered her the bouquet of flowers with a flourish.

Lena accepted the flowers and looked over them a moment, smiling at the teddy bear and then placed them on the counter. “Some of us have day jobs,” she said and looked over at Hank. “I know you.” It was almost the exact intonation she had used with Alex, but only less sharp and suspicious.

“Hank,” J’onn said and inclined his head. “I work with Supergirl.”

Lena’s eyes narrowed and Kara would have started to sweat if she were capable of it, was that what people faced with her laser eyes felt when she looked at them? Hank didn’t seem affected though, maintaining his cool and collected composure. “I recognise your voice,” she tilted her head to the side. Linda was watching and listening with wide eyes, gazing between the two aliens and her boss like one did in a tennis match.

“I haven’t hacked your feeds again, if that is why you’re here,” she said suddenly, and smiled. “Though thank you for the protection, Agent…?” She left it open and Hank nodded slowly.

“Director.”

“Ah,” Lena lifted her chin. “The…,” she ran her eyes over him slowly. “Man in charge.” Hank bristled but nodded sharply.

“We brought you something, well, I did….” Kara trailed off, for some reason wanting those green eyes back on her and not on the strange non-verbal conversation Lena and Hank were having.

“I know you totalled your bike so I went and got a new one…”

Lena straightened and steel entered her tone. “You shouldn’t have done that. My insurance covers-“

“Wait!” Kara lifted a hand. “That came out wrong. I just went and picked it up for you. Dave, Dave Mallory,” she said and saw recognition flare in Lena’s eyes. “Said it was okay to bring it to you. I also got your gear as well.”

Lena’s tense pose softened and she looked past Kara to the brand new bike sitting in her lobby. It wasn’t a diavel but a panigale, but she could work with that. There were blue and red bows on it, Supergirl’s colours (while she’d been getting flowers she had gotten the red and blue ribbon and tied the bows on), and she smiled and shook her head when she saw them.

“Thank you,” Lena said simply as she looked over her replacement bike.

“But that’s not the only reason why you’re here,” Lena said and looked over to Linda.

“Linda, please have Gareth take this down into the garage and arrange for it to be delivered to my apartment.”

“Oh, I can do that!” Kara interrupted and then shifted on her feet. “I mean, I should have thought about you getting it home.”

“No thank you, Supergirl,” Lena said firmly and turned back to Linda. “Arrange for it to be delivered to my apartment, and keep this until David arrives.”

“If you want to mingle with my employees,” Lena cast a glance to the gathered L-Corp employees who were hovering just beyond ear-shot as though too afraid to come closer. “Take pictures, sign autographs, and then join me upstairs when you are ready? I have a phone call to make.”

“Of course,” Hank nodded and Kara shot him a confused look before going along with it when he nodded reassuringly.

“Excellent. We’ll speak momentarily.”

She glided away, somehow managing to float on heels that should have defied physics, while Kara was left to deal with the employees who were clearly eager for a selfie or autograph or both. Hank passed over the bags and helmet and Linda propped them up against the wall behind the desk.

After everyone had had a few phots and she’d signed a lot of autographs Kara and Hank were escorted into the elevator by the security and stood awkwardly as it rose. The elevator was cheerfully giving information about L-Corp, things they had done, their vision, charity, and things they were working on as well as respect employees.

“Why are we here?” Kara asked quietly as they rose, keeping her head down. It was doubtful L-Corp had security feeds that could pick up her lips moving so fast, or her words so quiet, but one could never be sure.

“The robbery in Metropolis,” J’onn replied just as swiftly, and just as quietly and Kara understood that to mean they were here to ask about Kryptonite.

They rose to Lena’s floor and two security guards watched them cautiously and Kara recognised them as the ones Lena had hired after the first attack on her life. Jess wasn’t even pretending to type as she sat at her desk and watched them.

Kara knocked on the door before entering and shrugged when Hank raised a brow at her. It was polite, even if she knew they were coming and had probably watched them come up through her security.

“Miss Luthor,” Hank said as they entered. Lena was sitting at her desk, brow furrowed as she held her phone up to her ear and she lowered it in annoyance.

“What is it you are after?” Lena enquired and clasped her hands together, she was less polite now than she was earlier, maybe that was because she was in front of her employees and had a face to maintain.

J’onn and Kara shared a look and Kara shrugged, rolling her shoulder forward to signal he should be the one to talk.

“Last week a special shipment of anti-alien weaponry went missing in Metropolis. We have scanners and were able to detect it entering the city, but have since lost it.” Hank was straight into it, and Kara had a feeling he was reading her mind, or at least listening to what she was thinking as he was speaking, and Kara made a mental note to ask him about it.

“And you’re asking if I stole it?” Lena asked dryly and looked over at Kara. She looked at Kara and Supergirl differently, Kara noticed, and it made her happy and sad in both measure. Happy, because she didn’t think Lena smiled at anyone the way she did at Kara, but sad because she obviously didn’t like the alien side of her all that much.

“I didn’t steal anything,” Lena said calmly and tilted her head imperiously. “You can check with my assistant, and even my apartment building’s security. I haven’t left the city since I went-,” she cleared her throat as something dark flashed across her face. “I was here, when that shipment was stolen...”she paused and tilted her head. “Though surely you are aware this is L-Corp, formerly Luthor-Corp, and anti-alien weaponry is in high demand right now.”

“We are aware you no doubt have your own weapons in design, if not prototypes,” Kara interrupted, channelling her sister as she placed her hands on her hips. The discovery of Kryptonite weapons on her friends computer had been a bit of a back-stab, even if Lena didn’t know it.

Lena took a deep breath, wincing as she did so, and let the air out slowly. “There is no Kryptonite here,” she said slowly and ignored her two visitors’ surprise. “You are welcome to send in an agent, preferably a human one,” she emphasised, “if you feel I am not telling the truth. They can have a look around… in fact,” she hesitated. “Providing they sign the NDA’s I put in front of them, they are welcome to look at everything.” Her eyes narrowed and the air turned cold, even though Kara couldn’t feel it and there was no physical change in temperature.

“Why don’t you send Agent Danvers in? I’m certain she’d be more than amendable to my terms.”

Hank and Kara had both stiffened at the mention of Alex, and they had a feeling Lena had noticed when she leant back slightly and looked puzzled. “There are some things I’m sure a woman of her education would find fascinating.”

“No,” Hank said sternly and Lena blinked. “I don’t trust you.” Kara looked at Hank curiously. He had been the one to forbid the DEO from moving on Lena without evidence, but his aggression here was curious. Evidently the suggestion of any ill intention towards Alex brought out his paternal side, which, Kara was squealing on the inside and would definitely tell Alex later.

A bitter smile curled Lena’s lips. “Because I’m a Luthor?”

“Because we never said Kryptonite, and why would you request a specific agent.”

“Personal reason,” Lean said offhandedly, ignoring the Kryptonite comment. “And Kara, her sister,” she amended, “is a friend of mine. I’d never hurt her like that.”

“She would never know,” Kara pointed out, but something about how Lena had softened when speaking of her alter-ego made her go warm.

“Then provided she sign the same forms and you agree, she can accompany her sister.” Lena arched a brow. “Would that clear me of suspicion?”

“It’s a start,” Hank said.

“The world changed when Superman fell from the sky, Director.” Lena said calmly. “Earth knows it’s now home to aliens, of course there is an arms race. We are Neanderthals compared to gods on the evolutionary scale, the only way we can protect ourselves is with alien killing weaponry. It is the only choice we have.”

“Kal and I-” Kara began hotly.

“Oh yes…” Lena ran her tongue along her teeth. “Your lovely cousin.” Somehow Kara had a feeling she didn’t mean the words how they would look written down. “You do not hold the monopoly on what is a good and what is not a good alien, Supergirl. No matter how much you may wish it, there are and will be bad aliens out there. It is only logical to expect the human race to want to defend itself. You can’t halt progress. You can’t halt evolution.”

“Is what your brother did in Metropolis evolution?” Kara shot back, not appreciating the slight on her cousin.

Lena’s brow twitched but she tilted her head to the side. “While Lex went about it poorly and there is nothing that I can do to make up for his actions, he did have good intentions-at heart.”

Kara snorted and made to reply but Lena lifted her hand to halt her. “I’m sure we can discuss our own views on Alien’s and alien weaponry until we, or rather I, am blue in the face,” she said calmly and flicked open her laptop. “But I have a company to run.”

Her cool green gaze turned to look at Hank. “Director, have Agent Danvers check in downstairs and I will personally escort her through the facility. You can leave the same way you came in.” Lena turned back to her computer and started to type away, effectively dismissing them.

Kara sighed and vanished immediately, using her super-speed to get her from the building which was starting to feel oppressive. J’onn caught her a few moments later.

“Agent Danvers,” he was speaking into his comms as he soared next to Supergirl on the way to the DEO. “Have you been made aware of Lena Luthor’s request?”

Yes,’ Alex replied and she sounded certain as she added, ‘I think it’s a good idea. She is basically allowing me full access to the building. If there has been any Kryptonite in there the sensor Winn and I made should allow me to detect it.’

“I don’t like it, Alex,” Kara interrupted as the duo soared around the side of a building.

You said we could trust her,’ Alex pointed out.

“Yeah… with my life. You’re a little more breakable than I am.”

It’ll be fine, Kara. You’ll be with me, and Lena said she didn’t want to hurt you like that, so it will be fine.’

“Fine,” Kara grumbled and then remembered. “Oh, I’m meeting her for lunch, did you want to head over to L-Corp and I’ll meet you there?”

‘Sure thing. I’ll get ready and head over. See you soon.’

Kara pulled up next to a skyscraper a few blocks from the DEO and looked at J’onn.

“Was she telling the truth? Did you read her mind?”

J’onn nodded slowly. “I did,” he said quietly, though there was frustration leaking into his voice. “She didn’t steal the Kryptonite, but I notice she did avoid answering the question and her thoughts jumped all over the place. I got an image of it; a bright green light which faded into white and then into nothing. She’s in a lot of pain right now, but she’s hiding it well,” he added. “I get the feeling that she doesn’t want to hurt Alex or Kara, at all, but Agent Danvers and Supergirl, and aliens for that matter, is more complicated…” J’onn hesitated. “She doesn’t want us to die, but what she does want is to know who we are and what we are capable of and have a way of stopping us.”

He seemed contemplative about her. “I can see where she is coming from,” he finished and Kara threw her hands in the air.

“She has alien weaponry!” Her heart was hurting at the thought.

“Why are you so keen on crucifying her to others, when at the slightest thought she could be bad, you are defending her immediately, Supergirl?” J’onn’s voice was soft, even as he words were harsh and Kara looked down at the traffic below them, conflicted and confused.

“I think your feelings are clouding your judgement,” he continued gently. “I can see what Miss Luthor thinks, I know how she feels, but you don’t. Ask her, and listen when she talks. Maybe that will help sort out what you’re feeling.”

He smiled at her and shot off towards the DEO, leaving Kara confused and wondering what he had been talking about. She wanted to trust Lena Kara did at any rate, but Lena had that alien detection device and had guns labelled Kryptonite which would if not kill her, severely harm her and her cousin. She was having trouble merging the Lena that smiled at Kara and looked at her with fond amusement when she blabbed on about alien rights, and the Lena that had a secret stash of alien weaponry that was designed to hurt her.

Maybe J’onn was right, maybe her feelings were clouding her judgement. But if they were, what feelings were they?

 

~*~

SNEAK PEAK: There was a rumble, like thunder underground and the windows shattered and the glass launched itself free of their frames and out in all directions and then, slowly, ever so slowly, L-Corp Tower began to collapse in on itself.

"LENA!” Kara’s shout was drowned by the sound of tonnes of steel, wood and concrete plummeting to the earth, taking her heart with it. 

 

It’s heat threw her backwards even as the door slammed into place and the lights went out and then with an awful roar L-Corp Tower collapsed. She screamed, voice cracking with the strain, as she plummeted to the ground and spared a final thought for bright blue and sunshine. Something foreign and familiar stampeded through her veins and exploded behind her eyes and then there was nothing.

 

Chapter Text

 

“Kara!” Lena looked up from her computer as Kara was let into her office and she smiled over at her and Kara’s heart did that funny flipping thing it had started to do around Lena. At the same time she felt a sliver of unease. Lena didn’t look at Supergirl like that, open and friendly and generous with her time and smiles.

“Come in! How are you?”

Kara obeyed and walked across the office to sit in Lena’s guest chair and the woman pushed her computer away to give Kara her full attention. She felt her discord settle slightly in Lena’s presence and felt her guard lowering and she eased back into their friendship.

“You should be at home,” Kara cautioned and placed her take-out bags on the table. “Resting,” she added pointedly and Lena ducked her head.

“Yes,” she sighed and then winced. “I know, but this company won’t run itself.”

“I am heading home after our meeting, if it makes you feel better,” Lena added and looked over the paper bags.

“Noonan’s? Did you order the entire menu?”

Kara nodded eagerly and flushed a little, shifting on the seat. “I didn’t know what you wanted, so I got all of my favourites.” She proceeded to gush over all of the food and listed them in order of her favourite, or when she was feeling down, or when she was so happy, or ones that she associated with home.

Lena’s smile was sweet. “Did you want to eat over on the couch?”

“Oh, um, yup! Okay!”

Kara got to her feet and gathered the bags as Lena rose to her feet, a slight hiss escaping her lips as she did so, and she followed Kara slowly to the couch.

Kara quickly set out the food on the coffee table and Lena eased herself gently onto the corner of the couch, wincing as she did so.

“How’s your article going?” She enquired as she looked over the selection of food and her hand hovered above what looked like some sort of chicken and salad.

“Ohh, that one’s amazing,” Kara gushed, seeing her choice and handed her a plastic knife.

“Um, it’s going good, I guess.” She was already part way through a bowl of potsickers and paused. “It’s about the Alan murder.”

Lena hesitated with a mouthful of creamy chicken partway to her lips. “The robbery?”

“No,” Kara shook her head as Lena took her bite. “The murder.”

Lena lowered her fork and her eyes turned grave. “What do you mean? What happened?”

Kara took a while to swallow and tossed her options around in her head before finally deciding to tell Lena what she knew, she might have some insights.

“Jamie McCartney was hired to kill Dr Mark and use Jake as the scapegoat. When the OD didn’t kill him the bail was posted and Jake went to the funeral where he was shot and killed.” She carefully watched Lena for her reactions and the gasp and wide eyes couldn’t be faked.

“Oh no,” Lena brought her hand to her mouth. “That’s awful. Dr Alan was a great man, who would want to-“she paused and inhaled sharply.

“Who would want to?” Kara repeated feeling Lena’s heart rate peak suddenly and she was suddenly diving for her cell-phone.

“Lena?” Kara questioned, brow furrowing.

Lena shook her head and tapped away on her cell and Kara shifted to the edge of her seat. Lena’s brow furrowed slightly as she tapped away and the indent only deepened as the minutes went on.

“Lena?” Kara enquired as she moved on the couch closer to the Luthor who’d closed her eyes.

“Hey?” Kara said gently and placed her hand on Lena’s knee. Part of her hand was on her skirt and the other, a few fingertips was on skin, and it was warm under her touch and she felt her blood sing at the contact and try to reach the warmth underneath her hand. She could feel Lena’s pulse, her life, through that small contact and realised that this was maybe the second or third time they had touched, her heart did a flip at the thought.

Lena seemed to come back to herself and placed her phone face down on the couch. “In the months before Lex was imprisoned,” she said slowly, haltingly. “He would-this is off the record, right? As friends?” Lena’s green eyes locked on hers and she could see the vulnerability in them.

“I’m here as a friend, Lena,” she squeezed her knee a little and her heart almost leapt from her throat when Lena’s right hand moved down to take hers and held it tightly. Lena smiled, it was bittersweet.

“Lex visited Dr Alan a lot before he was imprisoned, once a week or so. He said they were working on something big, something that would level the playing field. I never knew what it was….” She trailed off and then picked up her phone again. She tilted it to show Kara. It was her online banking, or at least someone’s online banking, and there was a transfer of one million dollars as well as what looked like an automatic payment of ten thousand a week into another unknown account.

“It’s mine and Lex’s fun account,” Lena said bitterly. “When we were younger we had this account to play with.” Her smile was fond, with a hint of darkness. “We’d manipulate the stock market for fun and gamble….I shouldn’t be telling you this.” Kara just squeezed her hand and she took a steadying breath. “I noticed the balance had gone down the other day, but I thought nothing of it, we gambled with this money all the time and I hadn’t looked at it since before he was arrested.” Her eyes went glassy and her jaw moved. “And now it looks like he used that money to murder Dr Alan.”

“Hey,” Kara gently turned Lena’s head to face her and wiped away a tear with her thumb. “You don’t know that for sure.”

Lena snorted and her brows twitched and another tear fell. “Yes, I do. This account miraculously has an outgoing payment made regularly and a one million dollar payment made, and Dr Alan is murdered after meeting with my brother multiple times before his incarceration? I don’t think that’s a coincidence.”

Lena’s eyes were somehow a brighter green through their shine and they were so beautiful and Kara’s eyes roamed over her face as she wiped away the rest of her tears.

“Miss Luthor-oh.” Alex and Jess both freeze in the door way and Kara and Lena go ridged.

Lena pulls away quickly and runs her finger under her eyes to gather any mascara.

“Miss Luthor?” Jess’s voice is concerned but also protective and her eyes are narrowed in on Kara.

“Kara?” Alex asks cautiously as she steps into the room.

“It’s fine, Jess. Thank you,” Lena waves her assistant off. “Come in Agent Danvers.”

Alex comes into the room fully and edges across the floor to the couch.

“You got Noonan’s?” She asks after catching Kara’s slight shake of the head.

“Help yourself, if Kara doesn’t mind,” Lena said and turned her phone blank and edged back on the couch, snatching a tissue. “I’ve suddenly lost my appetite.”

“Lena,” Kara begins and Lena shakes her head.

“Agent Danvers, I’m sure your boss explained the situation?”

Alex was picking up a muffin. “Yup,” she said and tapped the bag hanging from her shoulder. “This will let me know if you’ve had any Kryp-“ she cast a glance at Kara. “I’ll be able to see if anyone has come into contact with anything radioactive.”

Lena nodded. “There’s a folder on the corner of my desk with your NDA’s.” She leant back with a sigh and closed her eyes and so missed Alex’s displeased look. But Kara directed Alex across to the table with a nod of her head and Alex shrugs and wanders over to the desk and grabs the folder.

“The FBI suspects one of my employees of trying to synthesise nuclear radiation,” Lena told Kara tiredly. “Your sister was asked to come and check the area out. You can come too, if you want to see what we are working on,” she hesitated. “But you will have to sign my NDA’s. Sorry, its policy.”

Kara nodded eagerly, already knowing why Alex was here and what she was looking for, but Lena didn’t know she knew and she wanted to keep it that way. “I still want to look at your Alien devices.”

Lena’s eyes flickered open and she looked over at Kara as Alex skimmed through the documents. “I’ll show you, if you listen to what I have to say.”

Kara paused, it seemed like she was echoing J’onn’s words, and even Alex lifted her gaze from the papers ad lifted a brow.

Kara met Lena’s gaze squarely for a moment before nodding. “I’d like to hear your point of view.”

Lena tilted her head to the side and nodded before smiling. “Okay.”

After Alex and Kara signed the NDA’s and then Lena had Alex remove her radiation detection device and they started to move through the upper offices and work spaces. Lena explained that most of their labs were on the middle to lower floors, and the important work was done underground. They went through each of the spaces one by one and Alex’s detection device thingy didn’t even blink, and Lena explained a little about the employees who worked on the various floors and their achievements.

As they descended lower the laboratories and work spaces became bigger and more complex, and they ended up on the ground level with still no sign of Kryptonite, and with a variety of woods, metals, beakers, glasses, liquids, cutters, benches, forges, and tools blurred into their memories.

“This way,” Lena walked from the elevator and around a corner outside of view of the lobby and behind the security desk, to what looked like a dead end with only a janitors closet. It was locked though, locked with a security card ID needed and a pin number and Alex and Kara shared a look as the door clicked open. Lena walked down a flight of stairs and then entered another elevator. This one was solid and large, clearly used for transporting things, if the scratches in the floor and the braces in the walls were anything to go by.

She had to offer her security ID again, her eyes for a retinal scan, her palm, and a password before the elevator doors shut and they moved downwards. Alex winced the moment the doors closed and removed her earpiece to hang it around her neck and Kara strained with her hearing but found it difficult to get through, though she could, it was just hard. No other communication would be able to get in and out, Kara knew instinctively. Lena just glanced at Alex and pressed a button.

“This is the heart of L-Corp’s work,” Lena said as they descended. “Only the best scientists and engineers are allowed down here.” She went on to explain that though the other employees did design and make things, they had a supervisor who would give the employee clearance to the more expensive and superior laboratory and work space if they thought their ideas were good.

Lena showed the Danvers sisters where they scientists were working on a new pesticide which would hopefully be environmentally friendly while improving the crops; a lot of mechanical devices which Kara and Alex had no idea what they were, though they were sure Winn would be having a field day over it.

“Hey, isn’t that the thing you used-“

“The night of the Gala?” Lena asked as they walked past a similar device to the one she used to destroy the alien weapons the night of the Gala. A few scientists or engineers were working on it. “Yes, your friend Whyte, was very impressed.”

“Winn!” Kara corrected and recalled how later on the tech expert had lost his shit over the device, marvelling at how quickly she had made it and how perfectly it worked. “Yeah, he was very, very excited about it.”

Lena ducked her head slightly and a small smiled graced her face. “Was he?” She worried her lips and gave a delicate shrug. “It is nice to be appreciated,” she paused and added. “And it was pretty amazing.”

“You wanted to know about the alien devices,” Lena said to Kara while Alex moved around the lab, scanning the air for signs of radiation.

“This is where we work on them.” This was another series of doors, solid steel and it required the same identification as the other two doors and a DNA match, which wow, Alex and Kara shared a look.

“Only six people, including myself, have access to this area and information,” Lena explained as she doors clicked open. The lab was a little smaller than the lab outside as it was tucked into a corner, but it still was as fully functional as the outside. There was a familiar face working, the dark skinned woman that had been in Lena’s office when Alex came to set up her security and she glanced up from where she was soldering a wire to a circuit board. She raised a brow but nodded a greeting and went back to her work as Lena walked past her towards a work bench in the corner.

“This is the Alien Alarm I was telling you about,” Lena offered a small rectangular box to Kara as Alex moved quickly round the room trying to find traces of radiation. Kara took it gently and looked at it, it didn’t look like much in its first stage, but looks could be deceiving, she were proof of that.

“How does it work again?”

Lena explained quickly and then took it back, lowering it slowly and looking at Kara with an unreadable expression.

“I know you think the best of aliens, but…” Lena lifted her shoulders and then seemed to regret it, wincing immediately. “There are bad aliens out there.”

“But the good ones stop the bad ones,” Kara was quick to point out, hoping now that she had an opening she could go in depth into Lena’s anti-alien views.

“Like the Kryptonian’s?” Lena rolled her eyes.

“Yes… Superman and Supergirl..” she exhaled and looked down at the device in her hand. “Do you think they knew, their parents knew, what planet they were sending their children too,” Lena cocked her head in thought. “Did they know they’d become gods with no one and nothing able to stop them?”

“They help people,” Kara answered, voice strained. Lena nodded.

“When it suits them. If they were truly all good then they would help everyone; that kid in school who wears long sleeves even in summer and never wants to go home, or that girl walking home alone in the dark after she missed her bus.”

Lena’s face twisted with something dark and haunted then before she shook it off. “You know Supergirl, she comes and speaks to you,” she looked at Kara. “Have you asked her why she doesn’t interfere with the abused or punish the abusers? Why she sits back and lets these things happen and then takes the criminals to jail?” Lena shook her head and her jaw was moving. “You can say what you want about my brother, but he wanted to save the world.”

“He killed-“ Kara began, eyes wide and Lena interrupted.

“Oh I know,” Lena said sharply. “I know,” her jaw worked. “I know their names,” she said and pressed her lips together. “But tell me, do these heroes know the names of their victims? Do you think the people they don’t save sing their praises before they go to bed?” Lena shook her head.

“They can either be all good, or not at all. Humanity has given them a mantle, they have to shoulder it.”

“They can’t be everywhere,” Kara said gently, trying to understand where Lena was coming from and not entirely liking what she was hearing.

Lena nodded and looked at her hands. “No, they can’t.” She took a deep breath, and the pain on her face seemed like it came from somewhere else than her ribs, but then she looked at Kara again.

“There are good aliens,” she said. “I’m sure they pay their taxes and follow the laws and just want to live their lives.” She shrugged. “But these devices, and yes, weapons, are designed to stop the ones that wish harm on humanity.”

Alex was hovering awkwardly behind Kara and her sharp eyes were taking in everything.

“I want to know who around me is an alien, Kara,” Lena said quietly. “I want to know what they can do to me if they so choose. And I want to be able to put them down, permanently if necessary, if they try to hurt me. Life is a war, it always has been, but now humanity is at threat.”

She walked over to another table and picked up a remote and a blank television screen came to life. Lena arrowed down the selection screen to a folder called ‘Alien attack,’ and clicked on it. A few moments later the television screen was lit with a battle between Superman and some villain. They tore buildings and the street in their duel before Superman finally subdued the bad alien. The next one was one of the first ones of Kara, and she bit her lip and fiddled nervously with her glasses as she saw the damage their fight left behind. Each time the clip changed to another alien, sometimes it was an alien versus normal police units, and they did not have the same success rates that Kara and Clark had. After the battles there were clips of the aftermath; people crying in broke streets about their homes, emergency services scrambling to take care of the civilians in the crossfire, the funerals.

Lena eventually turned it off, perhaps seeing Kara’s growing discomfort. “I don’t care for aliens, for the most part,” Lena said and Kara winced feeling like something had hit her hard in the chest and Alex placed a comforting hand on her back. “But I have no issue with them finding refuge on earth, as long as we are careful. Humans, normal humans, not these special ones like that speedy guy that worked with Supergirl a while back, have no chance against attacks like this, even if they aren’t the target. Humanity needs to be able to defend itself, and know what it has to defend against.”

“The president agrees with welcoming Alien’s,” Kara said was playing with her fingers, afraid to meet Lena’s eyes. The fight had gone out of her, and now she was just tired. So tired. She had tried weeks earlier when Lena had first shown her, her alien detection device, but her words apparently didn’t get through.

Lena didn’t say anything other than, “The fact the government has an entire agency devoted to the hunting down and containing of these aliens proves my point,” and led the two from the laboratory, and into the main section of the secret lab. They were all silent as they walked to the elevator and up the steps. Kara itched to get out of there, out of Lena’s presence when the CEO paused, Kara originally thought it was for breath, as the short flight of stairs had her panting quickly in pain, but changed her mind when Lena said, “I did consider what you said about the detection device.”

Kara’s head snapped up and her eyes widened curiously.

“And I accept that we can’t just out people who are different, for lack of a better term.” She may have been referring to the incident on the news where a homophobe had secretly infiltrated a LGBT+ friendly space and had then outed the members to the rest of the world, leading to abuse, discrimination, and harm of the outed people. Most of the world had rallied against the homophobe and there had been marching in the streets in protest as the news went public of the beatings, gang rapes, and even murders, but there was a small sector of society that applauded the action.

Kara tilted her head and her brow tightened, the unease in her settled a little.

“I don’t want to make any alien feel like-,” Lena paused, bit her lip and shook her head. “What happened to those people was…” she sighed and then lifted her head to look Kara directly in the eyes. “I can understand that fear,” green eyes flickered over to Alex pointedly and the Agent bristled. “Discrimination for who you are, and for something you can’t change, is not fair, and I will not allow something with my name on it to be the cause of such fear.”

Kara was visibly confused. “Wait, does this mean you’re getting rid of it?”

Lena shook her head. “No. I’ve asked my lawyers for a solution and have asked the peer reviewers for the device for other options. I only want it to be used after the suspect has done something against the law and there is a threat to public safety, or they may not be contained, or they might, ah, have additional needs…”

Alex inhaled sharply as she was the first to understand and Lena cast her a glance before inclining her head and started to walk away. “I’m sorry I wasn’t good company for lunch,” she said absently and dug her cell from her pocket. “I’d love to reschedule?”

Kara was beaming now and bouncing along behind Lena like an excited puppy. She had figured out what Lena had done, she was going to restrict the Alien Detection Device until the alien had done something bad, which was much better. “Okay! Sure, next week?”

While Lena and Kara discussed their next lunch date Alex checked in with the DEO, having lost her communications the moment the elevators closed on them and they started to descend.

“Agent Vasquez, this is Agent Danvers, come in.”

Agent Danvers! Thank god! J’onn was just about to come in guns blaze…’

Kara turned her attention back to Lena as she hesitated by the corner and looked down. “I- I’d prefer it if my last name wasn’t associated with your article,” she said quietly and Kara cocked her head.

“When you do more investigating,” Lena elaborated and waved her right hand about. “If it is true, could you please keep my last name out of it? I don’t want Dr Alan’s memory tarred with the Luthor name. He deserves so much more.”

Kara nodded slowly. “Alex has a cop friend, can I tell her and ask her to look into it? I’ll keep your name out of it.”

Lena nodded gratefully and smiled. “Thank you, Kara.” She hesitated and then leant forward to kiss the blonde gently on the cheek. It was a ‘thank you,’ nothing more, even though Kara could hear Lena’s heart thumping at her nerve and she bit her lip shyly as she stepped back.

Flushing she fiddled with her glasses and nodded, lowering her eyes to peer at Lena through her lashes.

“I trust you, and your superiors, will be satisfied, Agent Danvers?” Lena Luthor CEO asked of Alex and the agent looked between a flushing Kara and nonchalant Lena curiously but gave a curt nod.

“I haven’t found any traces of radiation.”

“Good,” Lena said and smiled back at Kara. “I’ll see you around.”

“Bye,” Kara lifted her hand and waved awkwardly and Alex smacked the back of her head lightly.

“Ow,” she said reflectively and glared at Alex.

“She isn’t interested in you, huh?” Alex asked teasingly and Kara flushed a little further, her heart turning over in her chest at the thought. Maybe, just maybe.

“Shuddup, Alex!”

Alex laughed all the way to the DEO after all, it wasn’t every day you realised your baby sister had a crush, even if her crush was a Luthor.

 

Chapter Text

The wind was blowing gently at the top of the penthouse apartment and Kara landed lightly on the balcony. She quickly scanned the house for Lena and saw she was in her bedroom and walked over to the door and knocked on the glass. She heard Lena’s surprise at the sound and her heartrate started to climb.

Hearing her footsteps Kara pulled away from the door and looked out over the city. Lena really had a wonderful view.

“Why am I not surprised,” Lena drawled and Kara turned to face her and felt her face turn the colour of her suit. Lena had obviously just had a shower; she was wrapped in a towel, had a plastic bag over her cast, and her hair had caught drops of water. Kara swallowed. Loudly. And quickly averted her eyes, and then closed them, maybe looking down wasn’t a good idea. Lena’s legs were looong. Like really long. Her stomach flipped over.

“Let me put something on,” she said and ducked back inside and Kara sped to the barrier and leant over it, not listening in for the drop of the towel behind her, nope, not her.

“Why are you here?” Lena asked and she sounded tired and Kara turned to face her fully. She was wearing a silk thigh high night gown which some ignorant person would probably call a Kimono. It was a lovely shade of dark, dark blue and sparkled in the light and it reminded Kara of the stars.

“I wanted to apologise for earlier,” Kara said, straight off the bat, wanting to lower Lena’s hostility, which, admittedly, was deserved. Lena relaxed a hair.

“I didn’t give you a chance to properly explain, and I think I need to,” Kara tilted her head and leant her back against the rail. “Would you like to tell me? I’m willing to listen this time.”

Lena took a deep breath, was twisting in pain and let it out in a rush and moved over to one of her couches and sat. Her hemline rode up, not that Kara was looking, no sir’re.

“I meant what I said earlier,” Lena said as she settled further into the cushions and directed Kara to sit opposite her with a lazy tilt of her head. Her hair was tumbling around her shoulders and pieces of it were caught by the wind which tugged on it playfully. “About needing weapons capable of killing aliens.”

Kara flopped on the couch with a huff and curled her legs up under her and leant her head on her hand and looked over at Lena.

She was silent for a moment, gathering her thoughts and then spoke.

“Did your parents- did Superman’s parents -know you would get powers when they sent you both to earth? Did they know that here you would be a god?” Lena asked suddenly and Kara had to blink, even though she was expecting a line of enquiry of the sort from her talk with Lena as Kara Danvers.

“Krypton was about to explode,” she said softly. “I don’t know if they thought about that, they just wanted us safe, I guess.”

Lena nodded. “I can understand the desire, but they gambled with an entire planet, countless species, on you and your cousin not turning into dictators. You can at least understand the concern of the average citizen. You can fly, can’t be killed by our most sophisticated weaponry, are faster than anything on earth, can shoot lasers out of your eyes, and are stronger than a hundred of us could ever hope to be combined.”

Kara fought down her urge to respond like she normally would and instead mulled over Lena’s words.

“Kal and I only want to protect earth, it’s our home now. We don’t want to lose another one,” she confessed quietly, weight of her culture resting on her shoulders and she swallowed the tightness in her throat.

“You don’t want to lose another home,” Lena said quietly and when she looked up to see her, green eyes were intense as they observed her. “Earth is and has always been Clal El’s home.” The thud of her heart gave away her almost slip and Kara stiffened and locked her gaze with Lena’s. She was about to say Clark, she knew it.

“Truthfully we are afraid,” Lena said quickly and shifted on the couch to a more comfortable position. “We humans cannot hold a candle against one of you,” she explained softly. “Even you know that. The ones who want to see Earth belong to the humans, and humans only, are afraid of your power, of what you can do. You and your cousin have unlimited power and wield it without consequence and fear. What happens if you go rogue, like you did earlier in the year?”

“That wasn’t my fault!” Kara was quick to protest. “That wasn’t me!”

“But it was you,” Lena emphasised, eyes grave. “You tossed Cat Grant off her balcony,” Lena pointed out. “And did countless other ‘bad’ things,” she struggled to do the bunny ears with one hand in a cast but got her point across. “What if that happens again, what happens if you decide that humanity cannot save itself and decide to cleanse the earth?”

Kara’s jaw dropped but she was silenced with a look.

“You say you are saviours, but what of the people you are saving from? Are you a new-age God like some claim? Think of the Crusades, how many were slaughtered in the name of their God? How many will die if you decide to rule over humanity?”

Lena ducked her head and examined her nails. “But let’s leave you and Kal alone for the moment. You are not alone here, there are other beings with your power and abilities who do not share your guardianship of earth and all that live on it.” Lena looked up from her nails as she continued and Kara shifted uncomfortable on the couch. She didn’t particularly enjoy being on the end of Lena’s green-eyed gaze, it reminded her of her vulnerability to Kryptonite.

“I can google alien attacks and get dozens of hits in a few seconds. The only way humanity can defend against these invaders is by developing weapons strong enough. We have to be able to neutralise these threats, otherwise we face extermination. Physically we cannot challenge these other beings, so our only choice is to develop weapons capable of doing it…. Unless you’d like us to hand them food and land? Because that worked out so well for the indigenous peoples all over the world.” Lena’s sarcasm was evident and Kara had to sigh, she was making a convincing argument.

“Some of us are refugees,” she said quietly, fighting the urge to play with the end of her cape.

“Yes, and for the most part many of you are staying in the shadows, getting on with your lives.”

“We don’t deserve to be banished into the dark!” Kara was on her feet, glaring down at Lena in a heartbeat, hands on her hips. Being left alone in the dark was a sore spot for her.

“Somethings belong in the dark,” Lena said and her smile was as brittle as fractured glass. “When you cast light on them you might not like what you see. That is the nature of the dark, it hides things…people.”

“Kara Danvers…” Lena hesitated and moistened her lips and Kara watched the movement, almost missing her words. “She made me realise that- I developed a device which can determine whether you are human or not by touch.” Lena rested her head back, exposing the smooth column of her throat and Kara could see her heart beating in it. She slowly sat back down.

“She convinced me that I shouldn’t mass produce it, because if aliens were hiding they were doing so because of fear. Fear of prejudice, abuse, and prosecution for just existing.” Lena sighed and tilted her head back to normal and Kara lifted her gaze from the smooth skin she could see peaking at her collar. “But that doesn’t mean something shouldn’t be done. Humans need to protect themselves against any extra-terrestrial threats… and unfortunately, that does include you and your cousin.”

Kara stiffened. That did sound like a threat, or maybe a promise.

“Oddly enough I trust you more than I trust your cousin.”

“Because he put your brother away?” Kara retorted, feeling the conversation taking a down turn.

“Superman, for all he has different biology, is human, wants to be human, just with his extra abilities. He can never carry the burdens you do. He will never truly feel the loss that you do. He is very self-righteous, and is sole-minded in that purpose. Oh yes, he can claim to understand all about what that symbol stands for,” she nodded towards Kara’s family crest. “But he can only hear it second hand, it doesn’t resonate any meaning for him. Not like it does for you, Supergirl.”

“Do you have a day job?” She asked suddenly and Kara blinked.

“I’m not telling you what it is,” she warned and was rewarded with a bitter laugh.

“I don’t particularly care what your day job is, Supergirl. Just that you have one.” Her eyes were as sharp as an eagles. “Why don’t you quit it, be a hero full time? Why doesn’t your cousin do the same? You’d be more of a help then.”

Kara settled on the couch and appraised the youngest Luthor. “I love being Supergirl, but I also love having human friends, and having a normal life. It’s like those Superhero movies, they always have a secret identity so that they can be a hero. It’s hard-” she faltered and then frowned over at Lena. “Can you be Lena Luthor, CEO of L-Corp, sister of Lex-alien hater and mass-murderer, all the time?”

Lena’s lips twitched and she gave a begrudging nod.

“I love helping people, so does Kal, but doing it full time would gradually chip away at me until all I was was Supergirl and not- not the other me.” She shrugged and Lena’s brow’s tightened at the movement.

“You want to belong,” Lena said quietly, and Kara was struck with the sudden feeling that Lena understood wanting to be more than a name, or a title. After-all, wasn’t it she who had asked Clark for a chance? An opportunity to be more than her last name?

Kara could only nod.

“You want to be more than your family,” Lena said shrewdly, and Kara was reminded of who exactly was sitting opposite her, sweet as a spring lamb. “More than a Super? Seen for who you are, not what you are?”

Kara nodded, a little more cautiously this time and fought the urge to adjust her glasses and instead tucked some hair behind her ear.

“I can understand that,” Lena said and lifted her right hand almost like a toast. “You want people to see past the name and their perceptions of it, and see who you are. To rise above what they expect of you. Yes, I understand completely.”

“I get what you’re saying though,” Kara said after a few minutes of pensive silence. “What if I make the wrong decision, or something, what if I hurt people.”

“I’m glad you brought it up. I’d hate for you to think I’m threatening you,” Lena drawled and shifted on the cushion. It was getting colder now, and she wrapped her arm around her legs. She looked small like this, vulnerable.

“The agency I work with, the D-er, they can stop me…permanently….if it comes to that.” Kara turned her head to look out over the city. “I think… I’d want that. I never want to lose sight of why I wear this uniform, of what this crest means,” she tapped it, right over the centre of the ‘S’. “I want to help people, bring hope to them, to let them know they aren’t alone.”

“We are all alone, Supergirl,” Lena said and rested her chin on her arm and Kara felt there was something she wasn’t saying.

“You choose to go after the bad guys, but that’s all you do. You fight, Supergirl. You don’t try to prevent any of the normal things in the first place.”

“I don’t understand,” she replied. Except, maybe she did. Lena had mentioned to Kara Danvers earlier if her and Kal had considered the people they didn’t help when they were off fighting aliens, or saving the world. But people would always suffer, these things would always happen, regardless of whether Kara was there to stop them, right?”

“Of course you don’t,” Lena snorted. “You’ve never been weak, or afraid, or-“

“I have!” Kara protested and when Lena’s eyes shot up she realised that she hadn’t really known fear on earth, hadn’t been weak. There was a dark shadow in those eyes, something unspeakable, one of the things that belonged in the shadows that Lena had mentioned earlier.

“You are a god here, Supergirl. There is nothing that can truly hurt you.”

“Well, there is,” Kara hedged, not liking the ghosts lingering in green eyes and wanting to return them to the light, where they belonged, not hiding scars.

“Yes, Kryptonite,” Lena drawled and cleared her throat. Kara went still, coiling like a spring, ready for danger.

“You have power, influence,” she lifted her hand to halt Kara’s protests. “Whether you want it or not, you do, and you don’t use it. You could use it for good, but you don’t.”

Lena unfolded her legs and rose slowly to her feet, features twisting in pain. “There are so many little hurts people carry, and many of them do, and you could help them, but you choose not to.”

She smiled at Kara then, a sad smile, a resigned smile. “Have a good night, Supergirl.”

Kara spent a long time on Lena’s balcony looking out over the city, deep in thought, even after the curtains closed and Lena had fallen into tormented dreams. Could she be doing more? She pondered it as she flew towards a car crash on the highway. Lena seemed so invested in this. What could she be hiding?

~*~

“Alright,” Alex said as she rose from her crouched position in the training room. “What’s wrong? You’ve been in the clouds since you got here.” She was covered in a light layer of sweat and brushed her hair off her face as she tapped the Kryptonite emitters and returned the room to normal.

Kara sighed loudly and rose to her feet from where she’d lain after Alex had tossed her through the air.

“Do I do enough?”

“What?” Alex looked confused as she draped a towel over her shoulders and picked up a water bottle.

“Do I do enough? As Supergirl? Could I do more?” Kara asked and walked over to the exit, shoulders forward and head lowered.

“Kara!” Alex didn’t understand. “You save the world! You help people all the time! Of course you do enough.”

“Yeah,” Kara sighed and Alex had to jog to keep up with her sister as she walked down the halls towards the exit.

“Hey, what’s up? Kara, talk to me,” Alex grabbed her sisters arm and even though she could have easily pulled away Kara halted and looked at her. She looked…lost, confused and Alex immediately wanted to hunt down the person who’d put shadow in her sisters normally bright blue eyes, destroy them for daring to believe they could diminish Kara’s light.

“I’m just-figuring things out Alex.” Kara smiled, or did her best to, but it didn’t reach her eyes and Alex grew worried. “I’ll let you know when I do.” She leant forward, gave Alex a hug, and then smiled in farewell and was gone in a blur.

Petit Paris was a small French inspired bakery near L-Corp and Kara landed a block away behind a dumpster and wandered out from behind it adjusting her cardigan and messenger bag.

She walked the block listening to the city around her, listening how the car horns and grumbling of engines provided the baseline to the city’s soundtrack. She moved through the people, passing them by without a glance and they responded in turn, too concerned with their own business to look at a girl in a sweet cardigan and sun-dress.

She did enjoy the anonymity being Kara provided her, especially after she became Supergirl, but sometimes she wanted someone to see her, and see all of her; Kara Danvers, the wallflower reporters; Supergirl, the fearless hero; Kara Zor-El, the girl who lost everything. But people only saw one of the two, or parts of all three and never the complete picture.

She smelt the bakery before she saw it, the humans could as well, and those that had the will to just walk past without entering did cast looks in the window as they past- Kara didn’t have that kind of strength. She had visited the bakery a lot since becoming friend with Lena and the staff behind the counter knew her on sight and smiled a greeting as they served the customers before her.

It was like a kingdom of bread and pastries; sweet and savoury, and smelt sooo good. Her stomach grumbled in agreement and the little boy standing next to her heard and gave a little giggle, hiding behind his mothers legs. She and Kara shared a smile and Kara’s attention was drawn to the television on the wall-usually it showed music channels, but when the news headlines were on, it changed briefly for the segment.

The news anchor was recapping the protests around the country, where people of all shapes and colours were holding rainbow flags and signs and marching for equality and #OneLove-the tag used by social media for the movement. The one in National City, like many others, was turning into a giant Pride Rally, celebrating their community as well as showing the world and any discriminators that love would win, and they would not be silenced.

Many political figures in the city were joining the march on Saturday and celebrities were speaking out in support of the movement, and calling for the discrimination and hate against LGBT+ to end. As the headline showed another rally in another city Kara turned back to the counter and placed her order. One of the great things about the bakery was that they made coffee as well and she ordered something sweet and sugary for herself, and a coconut hot-chocolate for Lena, which she had discovered was one of the CEO’s guilty pleasures, a hot chocolate made with coconut milk.

Surprise handed over and paid for Kara made her way from the store and walked across the small park to the L-Corp building. It was cool inside, the air-conditioning going strong and she walked across the lobby to the reception.

“Hi, Bronte. Linda,” she called as she approached and handed over a muffin each to the receptionists.

“Go on up, Kara,” Bronte said turning her head to the elevator and smiled in thanks.

“You’re an Angel,” Linda gushed and accepted her muffin happily.

“See ya later,” she waved as she stepped out to security. Normally she would be allowed straight past, but the new faces were stoned faced and demanded she step through the x-ray machine and have her bag scanned. Confused but accepting she shrugged and stepped into the elevator and wondered what she would say to Lena when she saw her.

She had been thinking over the CEO’s words for several days now, Mitch, and Snapper, had commented on it, and Alex was the last in a list of people to notice she seemed preoccupied. But how could she tell the people she worked with that she was questioning everything she did as Supergirl, and whether it was enough? Mitch would figure that out in a heartbeat, not to mention what Snapper would say. And she couldn’t really speak with the DEO about it, they thought she was doing a great job hunting down aliens with them, J’onn had even wanted her to join full time, she remembered that. That left her one friend, Lena, the woman who was making her question herself.

She offer Jess a smoothie and a date scone and the assistant almost groaned her name in thanks, sending Kara right on in with a wink, which Kara couldn’t place the reason for. The four guard’s security shared a knowing look as she got closer but let her in without comment.

She knocked and entered, letting them close the door behind and looked around for the CEO, the area was empty and she frowned, looking again. “Lena?”

She stepped into the room and strained with her hearing and then nodded, Lena was in the room somewhere.

“Lena?” She called a little louder and then followed her hearing to the balcony and realised Lena was out on it. She was lying on a lounger with her right arm over her face and a bottle of water on the small table with a pile of paperwork next to it.

“Lena, hey,” she said as she opened the door and Lena jerked on her seat. “Oh, gosh, sorry!”

“Oh,” Lena placed her hand on her heart. “Kara! You scared me,” she said but was smiling into the sun at her.

“You’re looking pretty today,” Lena offered as Kara took the other seat and placed her bag on the table. She almost dropped the container with their drinks in it and felt the blood rising to her cheeks as Lena smiled slyly and sat up.

“Did you bring me lunch? Thank you,” Lena said and moved to sit side-on and facing Kara.

They settled into a companionable silence for a moment, punctuated by chews and sips of drink. Kara finished first and sat rolling her napkin between her fingers.

“What’s on your mind, Kara?” Lena asked gently as she wiped her fingers on her napkin.

Kara glanced up from where she was watching her fingers shred the delicate paper and found herself caught by green eyes. Her breath caught her heart felt like it was trying to fly up out of her mouth as their eyes held for a long moment and Lena’s dark lips slowly split into a smile.

Kara tore her eyes away from the dark shade and looked out at the buildings nearby.

“I-I’ve been thinking…about what you said to me…about-about Supergirl.”

Lena straightened a little and tilted her head to the side, eyes encouraging, though Kara was afraid to look at them directly least she be caught in their orbit once again.

“About how she could be helping people… and… I-I think you’re right,” Kara glanced up briefly at the young CEO before gazing back across the city, fearing her thoughts would be written on her face. “She has a lot of political power, and she doesn’t utilise it.”

Lena was quiet as she nodded slowly. “That doesn’t make her a bad person, Kara.”

“I know,” Kara breathed, “but there are so many people she could be helping and doesn’t, or doesn’t know how.”

She didn’t have to be able to see Lena’s reflection in a building across the street to know she was nodding, her words to Supergirl a few nights ago had positioned her stance clearly.

“What would you have her do?” Kara asked suddenly, wanting to know what Lena would do with the power at her fingers, but also wanting to discuss it with her friend.

“What I think Supergirl, and Superman to an extension, should do?” Lena seemed surprised by the question and gave it a moment’s thought.

“I think she should take a look at the social things; things like bullying in schools, go in and talk to the kids. Then she could look at abuse, and things like that, and put her voice to the many volunteer not-for-profit organisations in the city.” Lena shrugged. “She could make a difference, even if it’s telling survivors that there will be someone there to listen and help them back on their feet. It might be enough to get them to speak out.” Lena looked out over the balcony, a weird infliction to her voice. “Even just knowing Supergirl, their hero and idol, the champion for justice and hope, tells them that being a victim is not something to be ashamed of. If it gets one battered spouse to walk away, one abused child to speak up…” She lifted a shoulder. “She says her crest means something, let her put it to good use.”

Kara didn’t know what drove her to do it, maybe the warmth flaring in her chest and rising in a wave of awe and affection for the woman opposite her, but she leant forward and quickly kissed Lena on the cheek, the first time her lips had ever touched Lena’s skin. Lena’s heart leapt, and she could hear her blood signing through her veins as she leant back blushing at her own nerve. “You’re amazing, she said blushing furiously but quickly gathered her belongings as Lena sat frozen in shock, heart pounding like some war-drum.

“Thank you,” she said earnestly as she slid her messenger bag on her shoulder, ignoring how her lips were tingling. “You’ve given me an idea. I’ll see you later!” She entered the CEO’s office and jogged across the floor, sent forward by the steady thumping of Lena’s heart and the small, shy smile that was her face as she flew past the balcony in a blur of red and blue.

 

Chapter Text

 

“You want to what?” Alex’s voice rose dangerously high to almost squeak territory and her jaw was partially open in shock.

“I’m going to-Supergirl-is going to attend tomorrow’s OneLove rally,” Kara repeated.

“Yes, I heard you,” Alex shook her head as though to throw off an errant fly. “That was me expressing my disbelief.”

Kara frowned, or pouted. Maybe. “Is it not a good idea?”

“Kara, what’s bought this on?” Alex avoided the question and asked her own. “Is this about the weird mood you’ve been in?”

Kara shook her head and then paused, gave it a moments thought and then nodded. “Y-yeah, actually.”

“If you wanted to come out you could have just said something,” Alex sounded wounded. “I thought after we talked about…me,” she glanced around to see there were no agents nearby. “We could talk about things like this.”

Kara quickly shook her head. “Gosh, Alex. No! It has nothing to do with you! You know I am so happy for you. You know that,” she said and rested her hands on her sisters shoulders. “I’m pretty sure I’m not gay-and there is nothing wrong with that,” she added quickly.

Alex just lifted a brow and huffed a long suffering sigh. “I know that, Kara.”

“Right,” Kara nodded enthusiastically. “Good.”

“So why are you going to the pride rally?”

“Why, afraid I’ll crash yours and Maggie’s date?” Kara teased and was rewarded with a slap on the arm. “Hey!” Ever since Alex had told Kara about Maggie on the afternoon Lena had returned to her apartment with broken ribs and an arm, Kara had been the annoying teasing sister she’d never had the chance to be. Normally it was her doing something and Alex doing the teasing, so she was enjoying her time teasing Alex, and delighting in how her sisters eyes would light up when she talked about Maggie, or how she would smile at her phone.

“It isn’t a date,” Alex sighed and rolled her eyes.

“Are you sureeeee?” Kara asked, drawing the word out.

“Maggie is working,” Alex said and gave her sister a pointed look. “I’m just helping out.”

“Riiiiiight.” Kara waggled her eyebrows playfully. “Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Helping out? Well…. I suppose you would be lending a helping hand…” Kara was clearly rethinking what she had just said if her fierce blush was anything to go by.

“Argh,” Alex rolled her eyes, but there was a smile she couldn’t fight on her lips and a glow to her that couldn’t be contained.

“So, really, why is Supergirl going to the rally?”

Kara took a deep breath and let it out in a rush. “LenasaidSupergirlisntdoingallshecouldforthecommunityandshewasrightallshedoesispunchpeopleandflyaround.”

Alex blinked for a moment, opened her mouth to speak and then closed it, eyebrows flexing and she blinked again. “Lena Luthor doesn’t think Supergirl is helping enough, and you decide to go to a pride rally?”

“OneLove rally,” Kara corrected, bouncing on her toes and pleased with her idea. Alex looked sceptical.

“Right. So Lena Luthor tells Supergirl she needs to help out more and now you are attending a OneLove march.” Alex nodded, pressed her lips together. Kara’s smile fell slowly from her face.

“Is it not a good idea? What’s wrong with it?” She was adorable when she was confused, but Alex had to focus more on why Kara was suddenly jumping to a LGBT+, rally of all things, after Lena Luthor, of all people, suggested it.

“It’s just,” Alex paused to consider her words. “You don’t see an ulterior motive behind her suggesting you go to the rally?”

“Oh,” Kara blinked. “She didn’t suggest it. She had loads of other ideas, which, do you think if I talked to Maggie we could get like, I dunno, some sort of shelter hotline going?”

Alex held up a hand. “Kara, please slow down and explain. Everything.”

Kara took a deep breath and nodded. “Okay, so you know how Lena talked about me and Clark when we-you-were searching L-Corp for Kryptonite, and she said we didn’t really help enough people? Well, I went back and asked her about it.”

Alex’s brow tightened and her features went pale.

“As me and Supergirl,” Kara quickly said. “I was subtle about it.” She ignored Alex’s disbelieving look. “And, well, she made a good point.” Kara was looking off into the distance. “I don’t help enough people.”

“Kara-“

“No, Alex.” Kara cut off her sister protest. “I don’t. Sure, I rescue people from burning buildings, and catch robbers and stop people before they shoot people, but that’s when it’s already happened.”

Kara started to pace, hands talking as her mouth did, brow furrowed and blue eyes bright. “I want to stop it happening in the first place. Lena said that I don’t go in and talk to like, school kids about bullying, or give my voice to like, woman’s refuge shelters and stuff. I want to do that, Alex.” She paused and looked in Alex’s eyes. “Even if I’m not gay, or whatever, if I go to this rally, maybe it will give some young teenager the courage to be themselves, or to at least see that it’s okay to be gay.”

Alex looked into Kara’s blue eyes for a long moment and then nodded. “Alright, how do you want to do this? What do you want to do?”

In the next moment Kara’s arms were around her and she melted into her sisters hug. “I love you,” Kara whispered into her hair.

“I love you to,” she said and pulled back, brushing some hair from her sisters face.

“So, how are we going to do this? You’re the media expert.”

Kara beamed. “First I want to know who’s in charge of the rally here, and then I want to go and talk to them, to see where I can have the most impact.”

Alex nodded as they strode towards the DEO mission control. “What about the schools, and abuse hot-line thing? Maybe you, Supergirl, should go and talk to Lena, see if she is willing to sponsor a gala or something for a shelter.”

Kara nodded slowly, considering. “Okay, I might do that after. Let’s see how the rally goes, and then I’ll talk to her.”

Kara was almost bouncing on her feet. “This is gonna be awesome! I’m glad I can help, even if it is for something as simple as this.”

Alex put a hand on her arm and halted her bouncing. “Kara,” she said seriously and shook her head a little. “It isn’t simple. For some of them,” Alex’s jaw worked. “For some of us, this will mean everything.”

Kara straightened and lifted her chest, showing her family crest proudly. “I know.”

~*~

They had picked a great day for it, or maybe the weather deities had decided to support the rally, for the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. There was a small breeze though, especially high above the rally and Supergirl lazily floated on the currents as she watched the march below her. It was a rainbow of colour, like a child had been let loose with small colour pots and a canvas, as its snaked its way through the streets. There were a lot of people down there, from all forms of life; young and old, coloured and not, tattooed or not, pierced or not. One girl, she could see, had the coolest hair; she’d died her hair rainbow and it was soooo cool and Kara was of half mind to dive down and tell her how awesome it was.

Many people were carrying pride flags or had peace signs and flags painted on their faces and arms. One group of people looked like they’d raided the local costume department and were going as Telly-Tubby’s, which, awesome!

As the morning wore on the march headed towards the park where they had tents of free food and drink, sponsored by large suppliers, for the supporters and there was a stage where the organiser of the rally was going to speak.

As with anything, though, there were protestors protesting the protestors and Kara was keeping an eye on them, as were the legions of police up and down the march path. It wouldn’t do any good for violence to happen at an anti-violence rally, but people were people.

Scanning the rally she picked out the leader, an olive-skinned black-haired boy at the front of the rally. He’d dyed his hair as well; three colours (purple, white, and grey) along the front where he had spiked it up in all directions. He was carrying a #OneLove sign and was walking next to another guy who held a giant pride flag, which no doubt required his enviable physique to carry.

She scanned the crowd again and picked out Alex and Maggie flanking the march in plain clothes but even then they looked like law enforcement, so people were giving them a wide birth.

There were groups involved with the rally as well. Scattered among the march were the uniforms of the military, police, and fire departments, walking in two’s or threes to show their support, but also, Maggie had relayed to Alex who had told Kara, they were keeping an eye on things.

The crowd was approaching the park, which really was a large, grassy area in the middle of the city. Many public events were held here, it had a stage, and even a playground in the corner. People usually were passing a ball around, or playing with their pets, or running around the outside of the park and taking the path through to the sea where it continued along the coastline. Today there were marques set up, rubbish and recycling bins, and portable toilets, and a medical bay- she’d already had to fly an elderly lady from the march to the marque because of the heat and excitement. There was even a segment of the press set up waiting, and she’d seen James ducking in and out of the crowd trying to get a good shot.

She pulled up and pulled her phone out of her boot and dialled the reporter.

“James,” she said as she watched the march edge closer to the end.

Hey. Are you here getting me a story?’ She could hear the amusement in his voice and knew that J’onn was pretending to be Kara Danvers as she tagged along with him.

“Thank J’onn again, for me,” she said and looked around. “Are you in a good position for the money shot?” She asked as she zoomed to a window and made sure her paint was still in place.

Alex had done it earlier, gently painting the rainbow across her cheeks, it was partly for her cover, but also because who didn’t like face paint? And it was a good cause. Alex hadn’t taken much convincing, especially once she realised Kara had turned her puppy eyes on J’onn to get him to go to the rally as her so that it wasn’t that suspicious when Kara Danvers later wrote an article interviewing Supergirl on her presence at the rally. It would also keep people from looking to closely at Kara Danvers and Supergirl if they were photographed together. But mostly she just wanted to paint her face-Halloween was her favourite time of year (next to Christmas) as she had loved dressing up and painting her face. Alex had loved to lord those photos over her, especially threatening to show her potential dates, and even her friends, but so far no one but the Danvers had seen them, thankfully.

She says ‘thank you’,’ she heard James tell J’onn and could pick up his grumble in her voice and laughed. ‘We are moving to the front now, how far out is your entrance?’

She could hear James’ camera bag jiggle as he no doubt jogged to the front of the rally, and her own shoes hitting the pavement after him.

“How long do you need?”

Ah, about three minutes?’ James was starting to pant and she laughed again, thankful for her biology that made physical exercise too easy.

“The moment you get there, I’ll be down. See you soon.”

She hung up and went to get her coloured balloons. She’d gotten the entire DEO behind the idea-J’onn had sighed and shook his head after each Agent had fallen to her pout- and they had spent much of the day before blowing the balloons up. Kara had flown and gotten pizza and soda though, so it was more like a party, and they were decent about it.

Seeing it was nearly time for her entrance she tore across the sky and lifted her giant sack of balloons carefully from the roof and began to fly towards the park, high enough to be out of sight.

The front of the march was almost at the grass and were ignoring the protestors set up at the tree line and she saw James and J’onn racing down the grass, and knew that was her cue.

She released her sack of balloons and watched as they immediately began to fall towards the earth. Calculating the force required she sent a gust of wind down on them, forcing them in a straight path towards the ground. Already people were gazing to the sky in wonder and she dove down, flying above the people’s heads until she appeared out of the balloons at the front of the rally. (She would later see James’ photo of it and would inwardly congratulate herself, it was an awesome picture; Supergirl with pride face-paint emerging out of a rainbow of balloons next to a pride flag and the #OneLove sign). The crowd went crazy, and they’d been making a bit of noise earlier, singing that Same-Love song by Macklemore.

The gaze of the media followed her down as she landed lightly in front of the rally and the big boy next to Mika handed her the flag with a smile, flashing perfect teeth as he took Mika’s hand. Beaming she took the flag and held it up high above the crowd and led the way into the park. Cameras were flashing on her and the front of the rally like crazy and she waved over at James and J’onn cheekily. J’onn was doing an admirable job of being her, admittedly, but he wasn’t quite getting her right, but no one would know her enough to notice.

The protesters had shrunk back a little at her appearance and she could see a few of them quietly leaving, but she was more concerned with the tears and screaming she could hear from the people behind her. They were ecstatic to her presence and she could already hear the message of her arrival being passed down the rally.

They walked across the grass to the stage, the rainbow people flooding behind them and spreading across the area. Mika walked up to the microphone and just stood there, eyes alight and a smile on his face as the entire area became packed with a rainbow of colour. Then he dug out his phone while his boyfriend, held up his own phone to the microphone and their theme-song, Same Love, echoed across the park. Apparently there was a playlist on Spotify for the OneLove rally’s and everyone was singing the songs as they marched. The crowd started to bellow it and press were everywhere taking it all in. She saw James and J’onn as herself moving through the crowd to the front, flashing their ID to the security at the front of the stage to be let closer.

It took a long time for the rest of the march to catch up and they had sung a few more songs from the playlist before he turned it off and Mika moved up to the microphone.

He greeted everyone, thanked them for their bravery, for their strength in showing up today, for their love. Mika went over the purpose of the rally, speaking about the awful events earlier in the month, and how their siblings in other cities were speaking out, joining together and rising up. Kara scanned the crowd as he spoke; she saw a lot of crying teenagers, lots of couples with rainbow bandanas, a lot of older people relaxed in the embrace of their partners, and even some old, old people, like grey-haired people, and that was really cool to see.

“And now our guest of honour, Supergirl! Would you like to say a few words?”

Kara blinked from her thoughts and turned to Mika, certain her face was showing her horror, even as the crowd screamed.

“Um,” she was fairly certain she was resembling Kara Danvers more than Supergirl right now, but then she thought of Alex, out there somewhere keeping people safe, and of the teenagers she’d heard burst into tears at seeing her, seeing her crest and her support and nodded.

“Sure.”

The crowd screamed again and she stepped up to take the microphone, ignoring her unease. Public speaking was not her strong point. She’d spent years trying to blend in as Kara Danvers that she had never stepped into the spotlight. Supergirl was different, she was a hero, all she had to do was give a statement about keeping people safe, and helping the community, and everyone lapped it up; she didn’t think her normal script would work here.

‘You’ve got this, Kara,” she heard Alex whisper, always able to pick out her sister out from a crowd, and straightened her shoulders.

She pulled the microphone free and looked over the crowd as it died down. Her face was up on the large screen, cheeks plastered with cracking rainbow paint and she saw her family crest on her chest and took a deep breath.

“Hello,” she said awkwardly and gave a small wave. “I’m not sure what I can say that expresses how I feel… how I feel being a part of this.” There were shouts and hoots of encouragement.

“I-I don’t-.” she hesitated and then took a deep breath. “On Krypton, we didn’t have sexualities, not in the way you humans seem to label them.” She ducked her head in through, letting her hair cover her face for a moment, ignoring how her throat caught as she considered her home-land. “We took mates, for the advancement of our House- sort of like arranged marriages.” She looked up and shrugged. “Love…love didn’t come into it, not then, but maybe later if it was a good match.” She hesitated, for such a huge number of people in the area it was quite quiet. “Love was something I learnt about when I came to Earth, love more than blood,” she cast a quick glance to where she heard Alex’s heart catch and smiled. “More than duty. More than expectation.”

She straightened and started to walk along the front of the stage, gathering her thoughts. “Where-ever I have gone, I have found love. In all peoples, in all beings, and that is something that unites us. Unites us all,” she paused looked out over the crowd. Some were crying, others were smiling, and more were nodding in agreement, offering their pride flags.

“Love…love is never wrong, and can never be wrong, no matter who it is between. And you are all….so brave, so strong, everyone is for loving another person. It isn’t always easy,” she trailed off thinking of her Aunt and of her parents. “Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it hurts so much you could break under its weight, but that is its strength.” She returned to the centre of the stage, feeling that she was getting off track. “There are so many other things you have to protect yourself against,” she snorted. “I know. 7th grade girls can be mean.” She smiled and ducked her head, smiling down at James. “And sometimes your bosses suck.” The crowd was grinning now and chuckling and she heard James scoff. “And you shouldn’t have to fight for who you love, which is why I’m here today. I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed for who they are…or for who they love.”

She looked over the crowd, locking eyes with politicians as she added, “So speak with your leaders, write them letters, vote in ones who are here today, the ones are who are supportive and are Allies and maybe together, we can get the world to see that love is strength. El Mayarah.” She gave a final wave and passed the microphone over to Mika. He finished up explaining that there was free food and drink, and he thanked their suppliers and sponsors, and asked that everyone be conscious with their rubbish and persons, and that they look out for and take care of each other.

A band walked on stage and started to set up and Mika shook her hand enthusiastically. “Thank you, Supergirl! You don’t know how much this means.”

She didn’t disagree with him, realising that maybe she didn’t understand what it meant having someone like her stand with them. After all, she’d never had a lack of love, first with her blood, and then with the Danvers and her friends. But she considered as she walked off the stage as the first notes of a song began, Astra and Non, mostly Non, had expressed disgust with her affection for the humans. Astra hadn’t understood, but had accepted it, whereas Non had wanted her killed for what he saw as a betrayal to their kind. So, she sorta got it, but not really. She wasn’t human. She didn’t grow up with the labels they insisted on giving to themselves and others.

Hearing her stomach grumble she floated over the heads of the humans and landed lightly near the hamburgers marque and was quickly handed one by a pimple-faced volunteer. “Thank you, Supergirl,” she gushed, and there were lines down her rainbow painted cheeks where she’d been crying. “This means so much. Thank you!”

Her heart went warm. “Aw, sweetie,” she cooed and held her arms open for a hug. “Do you need a hug?” She was fairly certain that if she hadn’t moved her body back to counter the force the girl launched herself at her with, she would have accidently been responsible for her bruising.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she murmured into her crest as Kara wrapped her arms around her and hugged her tightly. She was crying again, and when Kara pulled back she gently wiped her tears away, ignoring the streaks of paint it left on her thumbs. “You’re beautiful. Be strong.”

She was hugged again and picked up her burger and then was asked for a hug from another teen and so her day passed, she mingled with the LGBT+ and took photo’s, signed autographs (dodged press; she was Cat’s- and where was James and J’onn?), gave hugs, and listened to their stories, some heartbreaking, and others heart-warming.

Her heart was nearly overflowing when she heard a familiar voice behind her. “Supergirl.”

She spun and froze with a hot dog partially shoved in her mouth and Lena Luthor bit her lip in amusement.

“Mirth Luerthur,” she garbled out and then quickly devoured the rest of it and wiped her hands on a napkin, sped to a bin, and returned in the next heartbeat. “Miss Luthor, hi.”

Then she blinked and looked Lena over. The CEO was radiant in the afternoon light, huge heels making her tower over Kara, even though she was physically taller and was wearing her Super-boots, and black skinny jeans. Her hair was down, long and straight and was a stark contrast to her white blouse and tailored black jacket. She had a painted cast, rainbow coloured, and a rainbow flag over her shoulders, and Kara tilted her head.

“You’re gay?” She blurted and then brought her hand up to her mouth.

Lena raised a brow and tilted her head.

“Ohmygosh, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that,” Kara ran her hand awkwardly through her hair.

“I could ask you the same, Supergirl,” Lena said amusedly but waved off her apology. “But don’t worry about it.”

She looked around her and then focused back on Kara. “L-Corp was one of the first companies to promote and encourage LGBT employees in our companies,” she shrugged. “I’m continuing the support. It’s a good cause, good people, and a lovely day.”

“So you’re not gay?” Kara blurted again and green eyes were gleaming with amusement between furrowed brows.

“Why, are you interested?”

Kara turned as red as her cape and her mouth did its best impression of a fish. Her eyes darted all over and she thought she saw a familiar face in the crowd but someone moved and she lost sight of him.

“I am kidding,” Lena replied and appraised Kara, making her wonder if Lena’s eyes were somehow like Kryptonite, she couldn’t look away.

“Why are you here?” She asked eventually and started to walk past Kara towards the marque. People fell out of her way, perhaps sensing her regality, or charisma, or maybe seeing the Superhero next to her.

“Kara,” Supergirl said and she realised how weird it was referring to herself in third person. “Kara Danvers said she spoke with you, and came to me with an idea.” She shrugged and avoided Lena’s sharp gaze, which had snapped to her the moment she’d heard Kara’s name.

“I just want to help, and she gave me a way… but it was because of you.”

Lena accepted a sausage in bread and added some tomato sauce to the snack as she thought. The server was looking with wide eyes at the two, peace signs on his cheeks and silently offered a sausage to the Super, which she accepted.

“So you showed up to a pride rally, congratulations,” Lena said, and Kara didn’t miss the sarcasm. “You’re a wonderful ally,” she commented and started to walk through the crowd again, away from the gathered people near the food tents.

Frowning like a kicked puppy Kara followed Lena. “What’s that supposed to mean?” She paused and shook her head. “Wait, no. I know what that means, but why? I’ve heard so many stories, people have come up to me and said my being here helped. The social media page is blowing up with notifications of people, of kids saying I’ve given the courage to them to come out.”

“And while that’s great for them, no, really,” Lena said seriously when Kara seemed sceptical of her sincerity. “What else are you doing? Are you protecting the kids that get beaten up at school or at home because of their sexuality?

Kara hesitated and then shook her head, looking at Lena through her lashes.

“While I think it’s wonderful you want to help, and I do,” she said sincerely. “Showing up to one pride rally and saying what you said, isn’t going to change anything. Not really. You have to do something.”

Another familiar face appeared in the crowd, the girl from L-Corp, she was wrapped in the arms of a woman with short spikey hair that reminded Kara of Storm from X-men, and had a pride bandana around her head.

“Miss Luthor, oh,” she drew herself up short. “Supergirl! Hi! You don’t know what your words meant to us,” she looked at the woman she was with and then back at the Super. “It’s hard out there, but I’ve been on the twitter feed and I’ve seen everything people are saying. Kid’s are coming out, their saying their parents saw you on t.v. and it gave them the courage to be who they are. Thank you!”

“Can I get a picture?” The storm look-alike asked and Kara shrugged and nodded.

“Sure.”

“Cool!” She dug her phone from her pocket and hesitantly offered it to Lena who drew back and angled her body to take the shot as the two women stood on either side of Kara and smiled.

“That was Grace Mallory,” Lena said after the two had been swallowed up by the crowd. “I believe you met her father recently,” she said and glanced at Kara and started to make her way through the crowd again.

Mallory. The name was familiar but she couldn’t place it.

“Her father owns a motorcycle store,” Lena added helpfully.

Oh.

“Oh. I know him, yeah!” She shot Lena a glance as they hesitated under a tree, a little out of the crowd. “Dave seems to think Grace thinks very highly of you.”

The first genuine smile Kara had seen since she’d been in Lena’s presence crossed her face.

“She’s a brilliant woman. I’m lucky to have her. She could work anywhere in the world, but she chose L-Corp, and I will be grateful for that.” Lena’s pride in her employee was obvious and it was something she’d noticed earlier, Lena and her employees seemed to have a very good working relationship, based on respect and admiration.

“Did you like your bike?” Kara asked and Lena blinked and then smiled.

“It’s not the same, but change is good. I can’t wait to take it for a spin.” Kara smiled as well, thinking of Lena’s offer to take her for a ride on it.

“What was it Kara said?” Lena asked suddenly, and Kara had to quickly think of a lie.

“Well, just that you said I wasn’t doing all that I could, and that I could do other stuff. She mentioned schools and shelters and stuff…”

Lena nodded slowly and leant against a tree and looked out over the pride rally. There was that guy again, ducking behind a large flag and Kara lost sight of him in the crowd.

“Every day people suffer,” Lena’s jaw moved to the side and her brow tightened. “They carry their hurts and scars, often hidden from sight, maybe out of shame or fear, and the burden of their silence weighs them down.”

Lena licked her lips and sighed, wincing again as though she forgot about her bruised ribs, even though they would have started to heal, a week and a half out. “If you lending your voice, face and name to the causes that offer support or a shoulder to lean on or a listening ear to these people….then.” Lena inclined her head.

“Would you be willing to help me?” Kara asked quietly and Lena’s head snapped around.

“I don’t know politics like you do, and the people I work with,” she hesitated before rallying. “They are fighters, like me, but we fight in the shadows, with our strength.”

“Standing up for what you believe in, and for others, is strength,” Lena pointed out, but her emerald eyes were warm.

“A physical one, I mean.” Kara swallowed, there was something in Lena’s eyes, something she couldn’t read. “Can you help me with who to approach, and how to do it? I want to do it right.”

Lena nodded slowly. “Alright, I can do that,” and then looked out over the crowd who had started to shout, louder than before, the lyrics to a song.

Lena snorted and Kara smiled as she heard the, “Don’t cha wish ya boy/girlfriend was hot like me,” being shouted around the park, the gender pro-nouns being changed to suit the singer.

A group of reporters had spotted her out of the crowd speaking with Lena and were making their way over quickly, but she turned back to Lena.

“Where do we start?”

Lena ran her eyes over her and then reached up to untie the large pride flag around her shoulders and offered it to Kara.

Hesitantly Kara accepted the flag and stared down at it and then back at Lena. Her gaze was measured and steady, reading to guide, and not challenging like she was expecting.

Kara whipped her red cape off and settled the pride one over her shoulders and raised her chin.

Lena gave a soft nod.

“On one condition,” she said quietly as she too caught sight of the press headed their way. James was with J’onn-as-Kara, and had a Catco reporter team with him, obviously gunning for an interview. The other press were trying to get ahead and get an exclusive with the hero and CEO duo, but Kara-Supergirl was Catco’s.

“You pick another reporter.”

Kara blinked and turned to Lena with a frown. “What’s wrong with Kara Danvers?” She was a little hurt.

“Nothing is wrong with Kara,” Lena snapped out, with more emotion than she’d heard from her in a while. Lena took a steading breath as she watched the reporters close in. “Kara is the sweetest and kindest person you will ever meet. She just wants to help people, and your enemies will tear her apart trying to get to you." Lena said stiffly.

“I think she might surprise you,” Kara hedged, wondering where this conversation was going but not liking the insinuation that Kara-that she-couldn’t protect herself.

“If she gets hurt because of you,” Lena leant in, and later the internet would lose its shit over what they called the new power couple in the city-honestly internet. “I might not be a Luthor by blood, but by god,” Lena snarled, voice low and dangerous and even Kara, who’d faced aliens and humans invested in taking her life, felt a shiver of fear run down her spine. “If you get her hurt, I’ll show you exactly how much of a Luthor I can be.”

She pulled away and her features changed, a genuine smile crossing her face as J’onn-as-Kara and James got closer.

“Kara! How wonderful to see you!”

J’onn was a little stiff as Kara and she hoped she could later explain it as being in reporter mode, but he did okay. “Miss Luth-Lena,” J’onn corrected and Lena’s brow smoothened out. “Good to see you.”

“Mr.Olsen,” Lena inclined her head to James’ greeting.

“Would you be willing to give an interview to Catco? With Supergirl of course,” he added and glared at the other reporters nearby, obviously hoping for a sound bite or quote.

Lena ducked her head in thought and looked at Kara. “Of course,” she said smoothly. “Provided Supergirl doesn’t mind?”

Kara shook her head, still stuck on the fact that Lena Luthor had just threatened Supergirl about keeping Kara safe. She was threatened to herself to keep herself safe which, was a bit weird, but her chest was glowing, beneath the slight layer of fear on it-Lena was pretty scary when she wanted to be.

“Ah, yeah, sure sorry, um, can I have a sec?” She asked and looked at J’onn, trying to scream her thoughts at him.

“Maybe we can go somewhere a bit more secluded and set up while Supergirl goes and saves the city.” J’onn’s intonation and cadence falling from her own lips was weird, but James was nodding in agreement and already looking for a better spot, and Lena was just looking at Kara.

“Okay, sweet. Be right back,” she said and soared into the sky, rainbow flag flapping out behind her.

She heard J’onn begging off to the bathroom and a less than a quarter of a minute he was morphing into himself next to her on a building over the park.

“Want to tell me what that’s about?” He rumbled as he settled down next to her.

“I need you to be Supergirl,” she said and unpinned her pride flag and offered it to J’onn.

“Why?” He asked slowly, folding his arms and she sighed.

“Just-just read my mind and-“

“You forget, I can’t do that.”

“Oh yeah,” Kara frowned and then shrugged. “Okay, well I need you to be Supergirl-me, so I can be me-me, please?” She glanced up at J’onn as she removed her boots and he sighed but morphed down into a mirror image of her hero self.

“Thanks! Just-just hang around for the interview and then you can go, okay?”

“You owe me a Velslarav Venom,” he said and Kara smiled at the thought of his favourite alien alcohol.

“I’ll get you a bottle,” she promised as she rose as Kara Danvers, reporter. “Ready?”

J’onn rose slowly into the air and made a show of blasting across the sky towards the park and she raced after him, making sure to keep to the buildings and then tree-line out of sight so she could emerge out behind a tent as Kara with no one being any wiser to her body switch.

Lena was leaning against a tree and speaking into her phone but she looked up and smiled at Kara as she approached and Kara couldn’t help but smile back at her.

“Hey.”

“Hey,” Kara said and adjusted her glasses.

“I love that colour on you,” Lena said quietly, head tilted and appraising and Kara turned red.

She was wearing a sleeveless thigh high yellow summery dress cinched with a brown belt.

“O-oh, this? Um, it’s just, um, thank you.” She finally managed to squeak out and went redder as Lena stepped forward and reached out with her cast to brush some hair away from her face. J’onn-as-Supergirl descended from the sky, pride flag fluttering out behind him impressively and she was saved further embarrassment by pointing him out. “L-ook! Supergirl!”

Lena’s low amused chuckle did something to her insides and she was pretty sure the colour of her face could match her cape, but Lena pulled away and turned to face James, who’s eyes were wide, and the camera man and interviewer, who both seemed shocked-either at Kara’s obliviousness, or in Lena’s actions.

“Ri-ght,” James blinked and seemed to come to himself.

“Ah, Mark, did you want to set up? Supergirl, if you could stand over there,” he pointed to a grassy area before a tree, with a great view of the park and gathered rainbow rally in the background. “And Miss Luthor… could you do the same please?”

Lena glided away from Kara and walked over to Supergirl, and Kara moved to stand next to James as he directed Lena and Supergirl to stand a little closer. Lena inched over but the raised brow she gave clearly showed what she thought of the instruction. James backed off. Powerful, fantastically dressed female CEO’s had that effect on people.

The interview was conducted and Supergirl flew off after, claiming she was needed elsewhere.

Lena looked at Kara as the Catco team started to pack up gear. “Would you like to join me for dinner?”

Kara lowered her eyes. “I can’t, sorry.” Lena’s expression fell a little before she schooled her features. “I promised I’d go out with Alex and Maggie. Sorry.”

“Another time perhaps,” Lena said smiling, and leant forward to kiss Kara on the cheek before she glided off down the path, heading back towards L-Corp. Kara flushed delicately and watched Lena walk away. A guy in aviators and a motorcycle jacket was heading out behind her, a burger half eaten in his hand.

“You and Lena Luthor, huh?” James appeared miraculously at her side and raised a suggestive brow.

“What? Oh, we’re friends! We started talking when I tagged along with Clark, and we’ve been talking since.” She said happily and looked up at James

James pressed his lips together and then ducked his head in a shrug. “Sure you’re friends, Kara.”

Kara sighed. “Why does everyone keep saying that?!” First Alex and Maggie, and now James. Lena was her friend, she was allowed to be her friend and get lunch with her, even if she was a Luthor. She didn’t know why everyone seemingly had a problem with that.

James chuckled and started to walk away.

 

~*~

SNEAK PEAK:

The image of the fallen L-Corp Tower was the National City Headline for every news outlet in the city, and even featured on many all over the country. The crumpled building with folds of steel, wires, iron rods, and concrete and glass all thrown together in a tangled heap, ironically with the L of the tower undamaged and resting above the rubble. Supergirl was in the centre of the photo, hovering above the ground, blood-red cape fluttering behind her majestically, pulled by some unseen wind, with a woman limp in her arms, bridal style. They were both covered in soot and debris and the hero was gazing down at the woman in her arms, features too far away to make out, as ash fluttered down around them like snow. Sunlight lit the two, casting the Super and her rescuee in shadow, even as the rubble and torn buildings and broken surroundings glowed orange, red and yellow. It was a magnificent picture.

Hehe, only one more chapter to go folks! Then we see how and why :D

Chapter Text

 

Kara fiddled nervously with her napkin and cast another glance around the dark bar. It was the Tuesday after the pride rally and after the photo with Supergirl and Lena Luthor had gone viral, more viral even than Supergirl’s speech, her debut at the rally, and the information that Supergirl and L-Corp would be working together to help fundraise for refuge shelters, bullying hotlines, and other social justice causes. People all over the world were commenting on the supposed couple, and saying they were so cute and that it was Romeo and Juliet all over again, and that they ‘shipped’ them whatever that meant.

The bar hadn’t changed since she’d been here last, though now there was a beefy, tribal-tattooed dude behind the bar while Raven was playing pool with three big guys over in the corner. The same scrawny guy was throwing knives into the dartboard-though that looked like it was new- and a few familiar faces were musing their troubles over a beer. There where two teens looking suspicious over in the corner and she tilted her head to hear what they were saying.

‘It won’t be hard,’ one was whispering quietly, muffled as though they were unaccustomed to speaking without moving their lips. ‘We just follow her schedule and then take a drive. We’ll be away before the cop-‘

“I’ll have a rum and coke,” Mitch said as he slid onto the bar-stool next her and she jumped slightly, having not heard his approach.

“Hey,” he nodded and then turned back to the bar-keep, who was smiling a greeting.

“Mitchel, mate,” he held his arm up for a clasp and Mitch leant forward and gave him one.

‘G’day,” Mitch replied, stretching his vowels terribly and the bar-keep winced.

“Aw man, come on,” his accent was obvious now, Australian maybe, or a New Zealander. “No need for that. Don’t butcher it, you savage,” he said with a grin and set a glass down on the bench.

“Dengo! Asstralya! Fesh and cheeps!” Mitch was grinning as the mixer was poured into his drink and the bar-keep sighed and shook his head in disgust.

“Oi, Raven!” He shouted jovially across the bar and she turned around curiously. “Your boy here’s getting smart!”

“And what!” She shouted back. “Man up, you turkey!” And turned back to her game.

“I’m a Kiwi! And you’re one to talk!” He hollered back with a grin and leant against the bar looking at Mitch. “You watch yourself, Mitchel Mathes. I’d hate to have to take all of your money on game night….again.”

“Bah,” Mitch’s face contorted. “That was a cheap shot, and you know it!” He pulled out his wallet and placed a bill on the table and slid it across the table. The bar-tender took it and keyed it in to the till and placed the change in the tip jar with a cheeky smile.

Mitch put his wallet back in his pocket and reached for his drink, downing it and then sliding the glass back across the table. Obediently the bar-keep filled it again and passed it back, hands lingering for a moment brushing past Mitch’s as he took his drink back. There had been an exchange of a bill. It had George Washington on it and Kara’s eyes went wide.

“What have you got for me, Dan?” He asked seriously, all traces of mirth gone.

Dan sighed and leant against the bar, biceps straining and looked down on its gleaming surface for a moment.

“Do you want the good news or the bad news?” He asked quietly and rolled his fingers in a drumming pattern on the bar.

“Both,” Mitch said and Dan nodded slowly.

“Yeah, figured you would. Right then.” He proceeded to list all sorts of underhand dealings going on in the city; drug deals, trafficking, murders, robberies, gang initiations, and whispers he’d heard from the so-called low-life’s of the city. There was even tell of a gang getting behind the OneLove movement after seeing Supergirl on t.v, and warning their members away from any discriminatory beat-down. Kara blinked and took a sip of her coke. So this was the true reason Mitch frequented this bar and had asked her here. He got all of his information from the bar-keep’s, things he wouldn’t know of otherwise.

“Thanks,” Mitch said and pulled away from the bar, ready to head out to a booth and Dan halted him.

“Wait.”

Curious Mitch turned back and saw Dan tapping the bar thought then glanced at one of his tattoos and sighed.

“You can get this to your cop friend better than I…” and he leant forward over the bar, speaking so quietly Kara almost couldn’t hear him. His lips weren’t moving either. “There’s a mill hit out on the Luthor girl,” he said softly and Kara stiffened. Dan cast her a curious glance with dark eyes and then looked back at Mitch. “Came out of Metropolis Max, but it’s only for the pro’s,” he ducked his head and then listed the parties who he’d heard were interested in the job.

“Those kids over there,” he flicked his eyes towards the teenagers in the corner, who were still whispering quietly. “Spoke a little louder earlier and may be interested.” He shrugged and looked down at the table. “Word’s gotten out, even the scavengers are sniffing the air.”

“Why tell me?” Mitch asked quietly, dark eyes grave as he looked at the kids and back to Dan. “If word gets around that you-“

“Word isn’t gonna get around,” Dan said nonchalantly. “Hasn’t yet. And all I’m doing is talking with a mate.”

“If what you’re saying is true,” Kara began and dark eyes looked at her sharply.

“It is,” Mitch said quickly. “Dan’s got my back. He saved my life when I was investigating the drug trafficking.”

A genuine smile lit Dan’s face and he sighed. “Ah, now wasn’t that fun.”

“Fun for you, maybe,” Mitch shot back but he too smiled under Dan’s grin. “I spent two weeks in hospital… I got a Mayor’s award though.” Kara remembered the news well, it was had just started working for Cat and the famous Catco reporter Mitchel Mathes was given a medal for helping the police bring down the gangs involved. Drug’s weren’t as big of a problem now, the dealers kept to the shadows more than they did

“Yeah, and I was the one who got shot! Bloody bull shit!” Dan chuckled. “But Raven took care of me. Didn’t ya, babe?” He enquired of the bartender as she came up and sat on a stool cockily.

“Didn’t I what?”

“Take care of me I when I went in and dragged this guy,” he jabbed his thumb at Mitch, “outta that drug war.”

“Yeah, and you whined like a bitch about it too,” she leant over the bar and dug around for a bottle beneath it. Dan ducking down and handing her what she was after. She twisted the cap off with her arm.

“Your bedside manner is fucking terrible,” he shot back and crossed his arms.

“Wimp,” she said and tossed him the bird, throwing the screw-off lid at him in the same movement. His hand snatched out and caught it and he flicked it back at her head as she walked away.

“I love it when you play Doctor!” He called after her and she turned around to trap the bottle between her teeth and flipped him off with both hands. Dan chuckled and looked back at the reporters.

“Anyway, that’s free of charge,” he said, mirth fading. “But you best make sure nothing happens to her. That thing she’s doing with Supergirl is right-on.”

Mitch nodded. “I’m feeling like a donut,” he glanced at Kara. “How about you, kid?”

Not sure entirely what was going on Kara nodded. She’d ask Mitch why they, why Dan, hadn’t gone straight to the police with the information they knew in a minute.

“All right brother,” Dan said and offered his palm again and Mitch clasped it.

“Catch ya.”

They said their farewells and Kara was on Mitch’s heels as he left the bar.

“What-“

“Not here,” he said hurriedly and whipped out his cell-phone. She saw the app for Twitter and was even more confused as he sent of a tweet. Something about donuts being his favourite when chasing down leads because it let him pretend he was a cop?

Weird.

They flagged down a taxi while Kara was itching to send a message to Alex, or fly off to protect her friend. She’d just found out someone was trying to kill Lena, again, and she wasn’t doing anything! It went against all she was but she stayed silent, though her fingers were clenching and her feet were bouncing.

They took the taxi to the same bakery that Kara had been to the week before and Mitch deliberated for a long time over what he wanted before finally choosing a cinnamon roll. Kara couldn’t even be distracted by the sweet smell of food, and turned down the chance to buy one, too anxious. Mitch bought her something anyway and then they walked down towards the park. She was itching to talk but a sharp glare from Mitch kept her silent, and instead they talked about the pride rally, and the grouping of the Luthor and Super. It was weird talking about herself in third-person, but she managed it.

They settled down in the park next to a fountain and Mitch removed his treat from its paper bag and started to eat it, offering Kara her’s.

Reluctantly she took it, she did love cinnamon rolls. But she mostly wanted to know what was going on.

“If it isn’t the Black Panther,” a familiar voice drawled and Kara glanced up to see Maggie Sawyer approaching with another woman. She was short, it was the first thing Kara noticed about her, she was short and built on stocky lines and had her hair tied in a braid down her back. She was wearing jeans, and a singlet and had aviators tucked onto her collar.

“Detective,” Mitch said with a smile. “This is-“

“Kara Danvers,” Maggie interrupted and smiled at Kara. Her companion glanced between the two as though she had just figured something out. “We’ve met.”

“Hi, Maggie,” Kara smiled and took a bite of her roll. The other woman looked familiar, but she couldn’t quite place her.

‘Kara, this is Cassie Bennet. Cassie, this is Kara.” Ah, now Kara knew who she was. Cassie had been the rookie detective on the drug case and she’d been shot protecting one of her fellow officers.

“Alex’s sister?” Her voice was sweet and silky, lovely to listen to, and was startling. She didn’t look like she sounded.

“Yup,” Maggie said, popping the ‘p’.

“What’s up?” Cassie asked Mitch seriously, getting straight into it. “You only use that message when something big is on. So what is it?” There was a gleam to her eye, an excitement for a lead or clue.

“The Dr. Alan case,” Mitch said and Cassie and Maggie shared a look before they settled down on the grass near the fountain.

“What’ve ya got?” Maggie asked, glancing at Kara. “I know Kara told me a little about it.”

After a lot of deliberating Kara had finally told Mitch what Lena had told her. He had wanted to know immediately how she came by it, but she didn’t tell him, just that she had seen the evidence. He didn’t push, respecting her journalistic integrity and had immediately told her they would stop looking into it until he, and not her, he said it was okay. She gathered that he was worried about her, but she could take care of herself-not that he knew that. She had wanted to tell Maggie, but honestly, it slipped her mind.

She’d also told Alex immediately, and the DEO had scrambled to find a connection between the Dr and Lex Luthor, and had discovered that Lena was correct. Lex had been meeting with the Doctor for months before his incarceration. A scan of the files also found the doctors name connected to the information Winn had managed to scavenge off the destroyed hard drives from the facility Superman had found.

“The doctor was murdered,” Mitch began, licking his fingers free of icing. “Jake Cole was set up to take the fall and when his overdose failed he was released on bail he and his family couldn’t afford. He was asked to go to the funeral where he was shot and killed by Jamie McCartney, who pled guilty to the murder and that was all he said.”

Mitch scrunched the paper-bag and put it in his man-bag. “Kara found out that he has a sick daughter, and she also found out that his daughter’s medical needs are being seen to, likely for the rest of her life.”

“Who is your source?” Cassie asked Kara and she shook her head.

“I can’t. I promised.”

“If you’re protecting some-“ Cassie began and Maggie nudged her.

“Come off it, Cass. What else have you got?” She asked, looking to the two reporters.

Mitch summarised the rest of their information and the two police shared a look and nodded.

“And one other thing….there’s a million dollar hit offered for Lena Luthor.”

Cassie swore and Maggie let out a long exhale.

“Are you sure?”

Mitch nodded and dipped his hands in the fountain to rinse them. “Dan told me.”

“Well,” Cassie said and ran her hand over her face. “He’d know too.”

“I heard whispers about it, nothing concrete though. Everybody’s to scared to talk,” Maggie offered.

“For a million dollar hit?” Cassie whistled. “I’d be fucking scared to.” She looked at Mitch and nodded her head sharply. “Who called it?”

“Her brother,” Kara said quietly and Cassie sighed.

“Well, shit,” she rose to her feet and rubbed her bottoms free of grass and helped Maggie to her feet.

“I’ll look into Jamie’s accounts and see what I can find, you both will be the first to know. Thanks for the help.” Cassie looked over at Maggie. “You wanna be the one to tell the Lieu?”

Maggie snorted. “You’re on your own, Cass. I ain’t going near that.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Cassie sighed and waggled her fingers in fare-well. “Nice to meet ya,” she said as she stared to walk back across the grass, bringing her cell-phone to her ear.

“Thanks, you two. But be careful, all right?” Maggie nodded and then jogged after Cass, catching her quickly.

“I need to go see Lena,” Kara said quickly, deciding that with the reaction of the police officers, maybe Lena needed a Super, and pulled her messenger bag over her shoulder. “I have to warn her-“

“Let the police take care of that,” Mitch said waving a hand. “We don’t want to get involved in that any more than we already have. Half the criminals in the city will be turning their guns on her before long, you don’t want to get caught in the crossfire.”

“I have to,” Kara protested and rose to her feet. “She’s my friend.” She didn’t like Mitch’s decision to stay out of it, and wished she’d called Alex the moment she knew, but she did understand it. Mitch had a young family and he had been in danger because of his job before. He didn’t feel the need to risk his life un-necessarily when the police would take care of Lena.

Mitch grunted. “Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Stay safe.”

Kara said goodbye and then raced across the grass, maybe catching a few pairs of eyes at her sprint, and at her ability to maintain it for so long. She ducked behind one of the toilets near the trees and then was racing across the sky as Supergirl to L-Corp.

“Alex!” She shouted as she screamed across the sky and had to wait a few precious moments for her sister to come online.

Hey, Kara. What’s up?’ She asked quickly, sensing her sisters urgency.

“Lex Luthor’s put a million dollar hit out on Lena. I’m heading there now!” There was a moment’s silence in her ear, the only sound the rushing of the wind. She could hear the faint sound of sirens as she moved through the city, but that wasn’t unusual.

Don’t do anything stupid, oka-what?’

“Alex?” Her sisters voice had risen in surprise. “Alex, what is it?”

The fire alarm for L-Corp was tripped more than three minutes ago…”

Kara’s stomach dropped and she coiled and launched herself forward, breaking the sound barrier with a crack and leaving behind a scattering of glass in her wake.

She strained forward with her hearing and sight, desperately scanning the buildings for the CEO and noticed it was absent, bar the lone heat signature at the top of the tower. At the bottom of the tower employees were filing out of the tower at a steady pace, nothing frantic about their movements.

And then there was a flash of light rippling down the side of the tower and then a series of rapid booms, like gun-fire and plumes of smoke billowed out onto the street. People started to scream and scattered like ants caught in the rain and Kara forced herself forward to try and get there in time, but she was too late. There was a rumble, like thunder underground and the windows shattered and the glass launched itself free of their frames and out in all directions and then, slowly, ever so slowly, L-Corp Tower began to collapse in on itself.

“LENA!” Kara’s shout was drowned by the sound of tonnes of steel, wood and concrete plummeting to the earth, taking her heart with it.

~*~

It was only one thirty in the afternoon and Lena Luthor was drinking and she inwardly scoffed at what her mother would think, before shaking herself from such depressing thoughts. She had an open bottle of expensive champagne on her desk and was rolling the liquid around in a glass. Very rarely did she drink, and even rarer still was her consuming it during daylight hours, but she was celebrating. Her company had just cracked the genetic code to wheat which would allow it to be grown in harsh environments; less water, less nutrients in the soil, worse weather, and it was a true credit to her environmental scientific team. Sure, it had a ways to go, and likely a few years, but it was a start, and hopefully the environmental watch-dogs would approve of the seed and let her give it to the world.

She brought the glass to her lips, mentally re-arranging her schedule to fit in a visit down stairs to the scientists, maybe with pizza and beer, to reward them for their hard work when her intercom buzzed.

Miss Luthor,’ Jess’ voice cracked out of a speaker. ‘Dr. Rowden from engineering is here to see you. He says it’s urgent.’

Brow tightening Lena pressed the button to respond. “Please send him in, Jess.” She knew of the doctor, a young lad-recently graduated, top in his year, and hired by her recruitment team the moment his exams were over. He was a brilliant young designer and had already started to revolutionise some of their more outdated equipment and engineering processes.

She took a sip of wine and clicked out of her tabs on her device as he came in.

He was smiling, wildly, and she tilted her head at him as he approached her, hands in his lab pockets. He was cute, still at that awkward gangly stage between man and boy, but had a charming smile and fluffy blonde hair. His hazel eyes were wide and his excitement was obvious.

“Dr Rowden,” she said and rose from her seat to shake his hand. She’d met him before when he first started, she met all of her employees, but other than that he’d been busy when she had visited the engineering department and she hadn’t spoken with him a length.

He kept his hands in his pockets and her hand hovered for a moment before she withdrew it and sat back down. “You needed to see me?”

His hazel eyes were intense on her, hungry and she felt a shiver of unease trickle its way down her spine.

“Yes,” he said and moistened his lips. It was then that she noticed he was shaking, his face pale, and he was sweating, and she grew concerned.

“Are you alright?” She enquired as she half rose to her feet again.

“Hm?” He didn’t seem to be with her in the room and she let her fingers rest at the edge of her desk where her panic button was. “Oh, I’m fine.” He waved her off and then was suddenly leaning over her desk.

She started slightly at his abrupt movement and saw he’d removed something out of his pocket, a small black box, the size of a wedding ring box and felt her confusion grow.

“It’s funny,” he said suddenly. “All these people,” he waved his hands around wildly. “Say it’s so hard to get an engineering doctorate, but I did it in a two years.” He lifted his shoulders in a shrug and Lena frowned at him in confusion.

“You know,” he said and was gazing off into the distance, a shadow in his eyes, a loss. “My family used to tell me I’d change the world, that I could build great things, and I believed them!” He was animated now, to the point of erratic behaviour and her fingers inched closer to the button, he didn’t seem to notice.

“I believed them when they said I could do great things, and then I went off to college and left them at home. In our house. In Metropolis.”

Fear caressed the back of her neck, lifting the fine hairs there.

“My name isn’t really Rowden, you know,” he said swiftly and licked his lips shakily. “It’s Malcom. James Malcom.” Lena inhaled sharply and he caught the movement, or maybe her gasp of pain.

“Ah, so you know it then. Know my family,” he ducked his head, eyes shining and jaw moving. “They’re dead now, all of them. Because of your brother.”

Lena’s jaw clenched and she moved for her panic button but he was quick to bring up the box.

“Ah ah,” he said in a sing-song voice, high pitched and false. “Wouldn’t do that if I were you,” his voice turned cold, colder than frozen steel. “I press this button and the building goes up. Great set up you’ve got here, everything you need to make a bomb, right at your fingertips.” Lena paused and slowly withdrew her hand, curling her fingers into her palm and straightened. There was a little switch inside the ring box, she could see a few wires sticking out from underneath the soft cushion that a ring would sit on.

Her heart was pounding in her chest, she could feel it thudding though her veins.

“What do you want?” She asked quietly.

“I want you to die,” he confessed as though it were the simplest thing in the world, as though the sky were blue and grass were green.

Lena nodded slowly, mind whirling frantically for a way out of this. “Why?” She knew to keep him talking and apparently he knew it to, for he smiled warning at her, flashing his teeth, and he wasn’t so charming now.

“Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing,” he warned with a smile as brittle as shattered glass. “You can’t humanise yourself to me. You’re a Luthor,” he spat and she recoiled slightly at the raw venom that heralded her last name, spittle landed on her desk.

“So humour me,” Lena raised her brow and slowly edged around her desk.

He back up slightly, lifting his other hand warningly over the switch and she settled against her desk, moving the chairs out the way.

“Your brother took my family away from me,” he snarled, eyes bulging and spittle flying from his mouth. “They were everything,” he cried, voice cracking and he was crying now. “My mother and father and brother and sisters, all gone,” he croaked out, mournfully and she was reminded of the pitiful creature, Gollum, from Lord of the Rings. Mourning the loss of something that had become such a vital part of him, forever searching for it, lost.

“Your brother stole them from me!” He bellowed out and she flinched slightly at the sound and half hoped her sound-proof walls would fail, and hoped that they would not. If her security guards heard they would come in and hopefully subdue Mr. Malcom, but if they failed and he pressed that button, he seemed unstable enough to be telling the truth, it was the middle of the day, her building would be full and hundreds of lives could be lost.

“And I can’t image how that feels,” Lena said sincerely, voice soft and as non-threatening as she could make it. “But killing me….” She shook her head slowly, eyes on James. “That won’t bring them back.”

He didn’t seem to be listening to her, or maybe he couldn’t even hear her words. “Your brother stole everything from me, so I’m going to take you.”

Lena snorted now and it seemed to register with him, his brow tightened. “What? Why’s that funny?”

“Lex tried to kill me earlier in the year, didn’t you hear about it?”

That threw him for a moment and he looked down at the box in thought and Lena edged closer. Maybe she could smack him in the face with her cast, that was if she got close enough.

“Hey!” He warned and lifted his finger above the button. “I’ll push it, don’t think I won’t!”

Begrudgingly Lena fell back to her desk and leant against it, jaw tight.

“Stop,” he said sternly. “I can see your brain working, but there is no way out of this.”

“Lex Luthor took everything from me, my family…my friends… my life,” James was saying, almost to himself. “I can’t get to him, but I can get to you.”

He glanced up at her and reached down to take the switch.

“N-n-n-n-no! No! Wait!” Lena launched herself forward a few steps but halted obediently when he hunched over the device warningly, right hand outstretched beseechingly.

“Going to beg for your life?” He sneered and she quickly shook her head.

“What Lex took away for you… it left a hole nothing could fill, and you’ve filled it with hatred and a desire for revenge,” it wasn’t a question but he was nodding eagerly, a tongue flicking out to moisten his lips.

“Kill me if you must, for my brothers crimes, but please,” she held her hands up beseechingly. “Spare my employees. They don’t deserve to die.”

He was listening, some form of comprehension through the madness and she kept talking.

“Mia, from HR,” she said quickly, seeing some flicker of compassion. “She’s pregnant.” She smiled and swallowed. “And Michael, from IT, he proposed to his girlfriend over the weekend, he’s loved her since he was a child.”

She wet her lips, seeing the reflective twitch over the switch. “That hole that you have, don’t be the reason for it in the families of my employees. Please, I don’t have anyone, but they do,” she begged, and she would never beg for her life, but she would beg for another’s. She ignored the image of a bright smile and blue eyes flaring in her mind; maybe Kara would mourn her, but the sweet, kind-hearted girl would mourn any loss of life. “Please, don’t kill them to,” she breathed. “Don’t let the Luthor name,” she swallowed and closed her eyes briefly. “Don’t let my name kill them too.”

She opened her eyes to see him visibly conflicted and he hesitated and then gave a sharp nod. “Yes, only you…no one else has to die because of you…”

Almost faint with relief she lifted off her desk and slowly moved around it, explaining what she was going to do the entire time.

“I’m going to call my PA, Jess, you saw her on the way in-“

“I know who she is!” He spat, eyes wild and she nodded agreeably.

“Okay. So I’m going to call her on this button here,” she pointed down at it, seeing him edge forward to look at it. “Okay? If I do anything else…” she trailed off, not sure how she could tell him to blow the tower up, but he seemingly filled in the blank.

“If you do anything else, or if anyone enters this room, I blow the building!” He sounded like a villain from a movie, and she swallowed and lifted her finger to the button, noting her hands were trembling.

“Jess,” she called and her voice cracked and James moved as though to disturb an errant fly. Clearing her throat she forced all of her years of experience of living as a Luthor; ignoring the name calling, the dirty looks, the whispers, the jeers, the threats, the dinner parties, and channelled it into her voice.

“Jess, pull the fire alarm,” she instructed calmly and released the button.

Miss Luthor?’ She could hear her assistants confusion and quickly pressed the button again.

“Now, Jess. Evacuate the building- do not come into my office. Do you understand?”

There was a moment’s pause over the comms and she cast a glance at her increasingly agitated murderer. How odd, knowing the person who was going to kill you, and not being able to do a damn thing about it. Her heart was thumping in her chest strongly, traitorously, as though in defiance of what was going to happen before the end of the day.

Miss Luthor, is everything okay?’ Her assistant sounded worried and she felt a flicker of guilt for how Jess would feel after the dust settled, if everything went according to plan, being the last one to speak with Lena.

“Pull the fire alarm, and get out. No-one comes into my office. Do. You. Understand,” she emphasised and let a shadow of her mother leak into her tone.

I-yes,’ Jess said and few moments later the fire alarm started, the familiar high-pitched wailing sound and a robotic voice telling all employees to evacuate the building.

“You’ll know it takes three minutes to fully evacuate the building from your fire-training, give me four,” she asked, voice cracking with emotion. “Give me four more minutes to save my employees.”

Mr Malcom looked at his watch to set the time. “Four minutes, Luthor.”

She took a deep steading breath and nodded, tears were in her eyes but she refused to let them fall. The time went by quickly, inching ever so closely to her deadline and she clenched her fists as the time went down. She counted it out, two-hundred and forty seconds and when she was down to a minute she turned and looked out over the city. How often had she stood at this exact spot and not seen how the sun glinted on the ocean? How the hills flanking National City embodied life; wild and green and free, how the sounds of the city bet against her windows and were never let in. How its life remained on the other side of the glass and she in a tower, above it all and disconnected from it.

“Your four minutes are up.” He sounded shocked, like he almost couldn’t believe it. It was something he’d wanted for so long and now he finally had it and he seemed over-whelmed.

Lena moved away from the window, if she were to die, she would do so face-to-face with her killer, her pride would allow her that much.

She moved around the side of her desk and his hazel eyes widened and blinked to her in surprise as she glided forward.

Halting a safe distance from him, noting how he circled over the switch and his index finger and thumb cradled it, she released her breath. “The crimes of my last name are not my own,” she said quietly, in a last effort to convince him to not flick the switch. “But…. I hope that this brings you peace.” She smiled bitterly, eyes bright and watery. “My family owes you that much.”

He met her gaze for a moment and then smiled, a happy, peaceful smile, resigned. “It will.” And then his hand moved over the switch and there was an explosion far below her at the base of her tower and she could feel the power of it race its way up the structure and it shook as more explosions spat fire and glass out into the air.

Her heart started beating harder, pounding against the bone prison of her chest as though reminding her to fight, to fight for her life, and she felt ever shudder that her building went though and she mourned the loss of millions of dollars worth of time and effort and research, and years of time and man power, and mourned the loss of the final hope for her families Legacy. All her family would be known for was Lex’s madness, and his sister who died alone in her tower and rested in a coffin of torn steel and glass and concrete. And, she thought to herself, a lead lined safe room.

The thought drew her up short and as the rumbling started beneath her she launched herself forward and bolted towards her couch, where in the corner she had a safe-room. She opened it quickly, and James blinked startled at the room appearing from the wall.

“Come on!” She shouted and gestured to him. The roar of the collapsing building was getting loud and louder and she knew it wouldn’t be long until the top fell in on itself.

“You’ll die!” She tried again, hand hovering over the button to send the door roaring shut.

He smiled, a half smile that would have been handsome and closed his eyes and dropped the detonator. Lena slammed her hand down on the button as a fireball roared into the room from the main shaft where the elevator was.

It’s heat threw her backwards even as the door slammed into place and the lights went out and then with an awful roar L-Corp Tower collapsed. She screamed, voice cracking with the strain, as she plummeted to the ground and spared a final thought for bright blue and sunshine. Something foreign and familiar stampeded through her veins and exploded behind her eyes and then there was nothing.

Chapter Text

 

Supergirl fell from the sky as though she were human and with a crash in the middle of the street. She staggered, almost like she were drunk, out of the crater she’d left and gazed upon the crumbled tower with despair as the humans screamed and ran around her, away from the smoke and debris billowing away from the base of the building. Glass was falling from the buildings opposite and sirens were mingling with the shouts and cries and the barking of dogs.

‘Kara! What happened? Kara?

There was a sound in her ear, her name she knew. It registered, and she would later be able to relay everything that was said to her, but at the moment she couldn’t hear it over the thudding of her own heart. It was strangely quiet and earth had never been this quiet, she’d always been able to hear the whisper of the wind, the rumble of the ocean, the disagreements between cats and dogs, the beating hearts of its human inhabitants. She couldn’t hear anything and the humans ran past her as though they were in slow motion, smoke roaring behind them and pieces of glass and concrete and steel raining from the sky like it were snow.

‘KARA!’

Alex’s voice broke through the silence, her sisters voice high and panicked and she answered, like she’d always answer.

“Alex,” she whispered brokenly. “She’s gone,” her voice cracked and emerged as a groan and something inside her shattered and broke.

Kara.’ She could hear Alex’s desperation and the sound of her thudding heart, the faint shouts of a team being deployed. ‘What’s happened? Please, what’s going on.’

“L-Corp…its, it’s gone. It’s just a pile of-of-of rubble!”

Supergirl, snap out of it,’ J’onn’s calm and reassuring voice came down the comms and she clung to it as though it were a life-line. ‘People need you,’ he said and she blinked, he was right and the sounds of earth came back to her in a rush. Dogs were barking, cars were screeching to a halt, sirens were blaring, people were screaming, and debris was falling to the ground.

We’ve dispatched a team,’ J’onn continued. ‘We’re coming, okay, Kara? We’re coming, just hang on.’

Kara staggered forward and lethargically launched herself into the air to catch pieces of falling debris. On auto pilot she identified and caught the dangerous objects and then flew around the smouldering remains of the tower with her freeze-breath until all that was left was a crumbled, smoking pile.

People were coughing and screaming and crying and staring in shock at the fallen building and a few were stumbling back towards it. Supergirl landed near the tower and fell against a street light, bending it as it struggled beneath her strength. She stared at the smoking former laboratories, offices, and storage spaces and then gazed past it and the explosion of Krypton was all she could see.

She remained as still as a statue, lost in her memories, drowning in her pain as a few police cars forced their way through the streets and to the site and the two large fire engines bullied their way through the crowds. The public servants were quick to force people away from the building, and there was a lot of shouting and screaming and hoses were cast on the wreckage to stall any further fires. An officer approached her but she didn’t hear him, didn’t even register his presence in the way a mountain would an ant, and he returned to his companion exasperated and confused. Cell-phones were already live streaming the explosion and comments and mentions on social media were soaring and people were crying in frustration as the nearby cell-towers couldn’t cope with the sudden surge in traffic.

L-Corp employees were screaming, muttering in disbelief and shaking their heads, faces pale through the soot and ash and tear trails and one woman was being held up by two security guards. Other employees from the evacuated buildings nearby joined the carnage, as well as the shoppers from the ground, and the three officers and two teams of firemen welcomed reinforcements in the form of black vans and agents.

The arrival of the ‘FBI’, led by a woman in black with brown hair and dark, worried eyes helped them gain control of the situation and she immediately went over to the Superhero.

The agents forced the crowds back and helped the police form police barriers and ensured the surrounding builds were evacuated. All of this happened while Supergirl relied on a bent street light to hold her upright.

“Supergirl,” Alex said quietly as she got closer to her sister and felt her blood turn to ice at the vacant look in her sisters usually bright eyes. She hadn’t seen Kara look so…lost…since she’d first seen her, when she’d first landed on earth and was told of everything that had happened while she’d been in the Phantom Zone.

Kara,” she repeated and ignored her agent instincts telling her what a foolish move it was, and cupped her sister’s cheeks. She was directly in front of Kara now, and ignored the camera’s and gazes that would no doubt be turned her way. “Kara,” she cooed and ran her thumbs back and along her sister’s damp cheeks. Her eyes were unseeing, dim, but she was crying and Alex didn’t know what to do other than reassure her sister that she was here.

“Kara. I’m here, it’s gonna be okay.”

“She’s gone, Alex,” Kara croaked out and Alex wrapped her arms around her sister and pulled even as her heart split at how broken Kara looked and sounded. Her sisters eyes were dull and dark, a shadow in their normally vibrant hues and she looked defeated.

Somehow Kara let her carry her and she was quick to guide her over to one of the DEO vans and inside, shielding the super from sight. When she was sitting inside she took Kara’s hand and wrapped herself around her sister, keeping an ear out for what was going on outside, but focusing her entire attention on her sister.

‘Shsssh,” she hummed and pressed her lips to Kara’s hair, the blonde limp and unresponsive in her embrace. She ran her hand soothingly up and down Kara’s back and muted her ear-piece before starting to hum. It was one of the things that had first calmed Kara down when she first landed, one of the only things. She would curl up next to a rigid Kara (who was still afraid of her own strength and didn’t want to hurt anyone) and would hum any and every song she knew until her throat was hoarse and her voice cracked and eventually faded into silence. It grounded Kara like nothing else and was well worth the pain and sleepless nights and weird looks when she couldn’t speak the next day.

Agent Danvers,’ J’onn’s voice was reserved in her ear. ‘Superman is on his way.’

She knew that J’onn had either seen the footage of the broken Super, or had been told by the Agents and had called for the one person who might be able to get through to her, or at least was strong enough to deal with her if something happened.

Alex was part way through a terrible rendition of the Lion King’s ‘I just want to be King’, which was one of their favourite songs to sing together on Disney night-once a month one of their movies was a Disney Sing-along, and while her neighbours looked at her funny after a Disney night, her and Kara had bonded over Disney films, and it was one of her favourite things to do with her sister- when there was a knocking on the door and Agent Wolfe slid it open.

“Superman is here,” he told her and then pulled away and she could see the flicker of blue and red. It had been half an hour since L-Corp Tower had crumbled to the ground.

Superman poked his head in the door and his brow tightened as he saw her curled around Kara.

She glared warningly at him and held Kara tighter.

“What happened? What was she hit with?” He was quick to the point and climbed into the SUV, folding his cloak in after him and closed the door. “Why isn’t she-“ he frowned and looked Kara over again. “Why’s she like….?” He trailed off and looked back at Alex from his catatonic cousin.

“L-Corp Tower blew up and she couldn’t get there in time,” Alex said quietly still maintaining her soothing rubbing of Kara’s back, even as her muscles were starting to protest.

Clark was visibly confused and it was a curious look on Earth’s most beloved man. He hadn’t seen Kara look so defeated since Jeremiah had died, and then she had been strong, trying to hold up her fractured family even with the weight of her own grief.

“Lena was inside,” Alex reluctantly elaborated and when Clark looked like he would say something insensitive she added, “They were friends.”

‘Oh, right,” Clark deflated a little and shifted on the seat awkwardly. “Can-can you leave her with me?” He asked and Alex bared her teeth in a snarl.

“Not a chance,” she growled softly and Clark blinked confused. “I am not leaving my sister,” she said with finality to her voice and she wouldn’t, he’d have to forcibly remove her if he wanted to be alone with Kara.

“Alex,” he sighed, “It was just Lena Luthor,” and she snapped as he lifted his hands and winced, seeming to realise how what he’d just said sounded. “I didn’t mea-“.

“Don’t you dare, ‘Alex’ me,” her voice was low and dangerous and she ignored the fact that she was facing off with Superman in a cramped ‘FBI’ vehicle with an unresponsive Supergirl in her arms. “Don’t you dare, Clark,” she hissed and he recoiled a little.

“You may be her cousin by blood, but that is all that you are,” her arms tightened around Kara and she turned the full power of her glare on the Super. He seemed confused and a little bit amused by her hostility. “You don’t even deserve that right! You- you who handed her off to the first person you could and were glad to be rid of her! Your cousin, the last of your planet, all so you could continue with your perfect life- don’t deny it!”

Clark’s brow was tight and he seemed to diminish as she spoke, even though his sheer size in his suit made him take up half the car.

“You left her,” Alex’s voice cracked and she was pretty sure she was crying. “With us, and you didn’t care. She’d lost everything and needed you, her cousin, her family, and you just threw her away!” Her voice was bitter and laden with the tears that were running down her face and into Kara’s hair.

“And she forgave you, she accepted you because that’s what she does! She loves, and that has absolutely nothing to do with you. And if she wants to love Lena-” Alex’s words caught in her throat and she saw Clark’s expression turn incredulous.

“If she wants to love Lena Luthor,” she continued carefully, trying to pin Clark with her gaze. “Like she loves me, or Winn, or James, or-or Cat, or the pizza delivery boy, or-or potstickers,” she said trying to find the words to convey how she was feeling. “And then loses it? Then you had best show your support, you owe her that, even if you don’t approve. She just lost a friend, Clark.”

Superman took a deep breath and slowly let it out, eyes grave and understanding and he gave her a little nod, before looking at Kara.

Kara, eshnart val mel verlaree*,” he said quietly and Kara’s shoulder lifted, like she were disturbing a fly.

Verlaree, Kara,**” Superman said quietly, a soft plea entering his voice and a shudder ran through the body in Alex’s arms.

“You can go Alex,” she rasped and Alex instinctively tightened her grip, certain she could bruise come morning but not willing to let her sister go and not knowing how to help beyond her physical touch.

“Kara….”

“Please Alex.” Kara sounded so broken and small and Alex lowered her head to her hair and left a kiss in the blonde strands, ignoring the pieces of glass her lips touched. “I’ll be right outside. I’ll always be here, Kara.”

She unwound herself from where she’d curled around Kara, her muscles stiff and protesting at the movement and she hid her discomfort and glared warningly at Clark as she ducked out of the vehicle. There were two others parked in front of it, and she tapped her comms, “Thanks guys,” with the knowledge they would understand why she was thanking them, just as they understood why they were hiding the SUV from most peoples lines of sight.

“Give me an update,” she requested as she walked away from the van and two Super’s and saw a familiar face. It had been an hour since the explosion and there were media and emergency helicopters in the air and vans and people on scene. There were a lot more emergency personnel here now, and they had escorted the crowd back and were in the process of taking statements and seeing to the wounded. Miraculously the death count was still at one (Lena Luthor hadn’t reported in and the last to see her had said she was at the top of the tower), and the worst injury, a part from smoke inhalation and cuts from glass and debris, was a broken arm sustained as someone fled the collapsing building and fell over.

There was a disturbance over at the ambulances and a woman was struggling to get past the police and it caught Alex’s attention. “I just need to talk to Supergirl, please.” She had streaks down her face through the ash and her fine clothes had little burn marks on them and was dark with soot. “I need to tell her. I just have to tell-“

“Ma’am, if you could step back behind the-“

“Wait,” Alex said and strode across the street. It was still damp from the ice-melt from Kara’s breath and had joined with the ash and debris to form a lumped muck which sucked her boots as she walked and she knew she’d have to get another pair.

“What do you want to tell Supergirl?”

The woman blinked and narrowed her eyes at her through the held up arm of a police officer. “Agent Danvers?”

Alex gave a sharp nod, knowing the woman but unable to place her; covered in muck and soot as she was. She straightened proudly. “It’s Jess… Miss Luthor’s assistant?”

Oh. Right.

“Okay,” she looked at the officer. “Let her through.” But Jess had already ducked under his arm and was wobbling on the congealed sludge in her heels as she walked over to Alex.

“What did you want to tell her? Tell me,” she said and guided the woman away from the curious eyes of the civilians and the gaze of the cameras.

“I know what they’re saying,” she said suddenly, voice hoarse from crying, and smoke. She was referring, Alex knew, to the harsh comments about Lena and L-Corp that were being thrown around on social media; martyrdom, insurance fraud, an experiment gone wrong, some alien deciding to take the xenophobe out. Jess was shaking her head. “It’s not true,” she emphasised. “Miss Luthor-Lena, saved us.”

Ales went still and grabbed Jess by the shoulders, heart thumping and looked her in the eye.

“What do you mean? How did she save you?”

“I-I, she told me to pull the fire alarm,” Jess croaked and brought her hand up to her mouth to smother a sob, which quickly turned into a hack.

“Have you seen the doctors?” Alex asked concerned, but also interested to know about what had happened. The general consensus was that someone set the fire alarm off and then the explosion had happened, but so far the employees had no idea of who or what had caused it.

Coughing a little again Jess shook her head and spat out a great clump of black goo onto the street and whipped her mouth with the back of her hand, smearing soot over her face again.

“Yes, but I needed to tell Supergirl first.”

“Tell me what?” Kara croaked and Alex glanced up to see Kara and Clark standing near them. Kara didn’t look like she belonged in her suit, like a toddler on Halloween, even as it fit her perfectly.

“Supergirl,” Jess breathed, whites of her eyes stark against the grime on her skin. “I-I wanted to tell you, because I know you were kind of friends or whatever….” She trailed off confused, unsure what to call the odd relationship between her boss and the Super.

“What was it Miss Luthor did?” Clark enquired and Jess’ eyes widened at him as though she hadn’t seen him there and she quickly glanced back to Supergirl.

“It’s for Supergirl….” She seemed startled at her own nerve and Superman snorted quietly, flashing his teeth but obediently respected her wishes and wandered over to stand near the fallen building, Jess wasn’t to know he’d be able to hear every word she said.

“I just, I wanted to tell you that it wasn’t an alien weaponry-a weapon to kill aliens that backfired,” Jess said awkwardly, now clearly starting to question her decision to speak to the Super, wondering if what she knew was actually worth Supergirl’s time.

“She-she’d just had a doctor go in to see her.”

“What doctor?” Alex interrupted and flicked her hand for a DEO Agent to come closer. She had a computer out and was communicating back with HQ.

“Um, Dr Rowden, he worked in engineering?” Jess blinked.

“Anyway… he said it was urgent and went in to talk to her…. A few minutes later she calls me over the intercom and tells me to flick the fire-alarm…” Jess trailed off as Alex rattled off Dr Rowden’s name to the Agent.

“James, I think,” she said, brow tightening in thought. “James Rowden.”

“Bring him up,” Alex demanded of the Agent and then turned to look back at Jess.

Kara was still looking defeated and broken, like she’d lost her entire world again, and Alex made a mental note to discern just how her sister had felt about the Luthor. She and Maggie had picked it up when she’d come to her apartment after her not-date with Lena, and had discussed it a little and decided that maybe Kara felt something more than friendship for the brilliant scientist. But Kara was obviously completely unware of it, and they didn’t want to push as she seemed uncomfortable with the idea of feeling more than friendship for Lena, so they had decided Alex should keep her mouth shut on it, no teasing or asking about it.

“So this engineer goes in to see her and then she asks you to pull the fire alarm? That’s it?”

Jess blinked and hesitated. “No… I asked her if she was alright, she sounded stressed. But she told me not to come into her office, to not let anyone into her office, and demanded I evacuate the building, that I get out… I’ve never heard her sound like that.”

Kara’s eyes flickered with interest, even as her features were a blank mask and it reminded her of when she retreated into herself, thinking of her home, desperately homesick with no cure.

“So I pulled the fire alarm,” Jess shrugged. “Normally she is the last out of the building. It’s her policy,” she added seeing Alex’s confusion. “Each floor has a warden who checks everything is okay, everyone is out, and they sign off as they go downstairs, ensuring everyone is out of the building. Lena was always last, she said she never wanted to leave anyone behind, but when I realised she wasn’t coming down after me… it was too late for me to go back upstairs. Liam, one of her security, had to drag me down, he wouldn’t let me go back up…and then it-” she cut off, not needing the words to say what had happened to L-Corp Tower.

She wiped at her eyes, “I was the last person to hear her ali-” her throat went tight and she cleared it harshly.

“I-I just wanted you to know,” she said to Kara. “That it wasn’t because of Aliens….” She trailed off and looked apologetic and gave a little nod before slipping and sliding back across to the police line where she was going to give a statement.

Superman sighed as he heard her story and wondered how accurate it was. Jess’ heart rate was steady and strong indicating she was telling the truth, or the truth as she saw it, but the reporter in him knew that sometimes what you saw wasn’t the entire story.

He wasn’t sure why he did it, maybe to hear the resounding silence and confirm the last troublesome Luthor was no longer a potential problem, and it was then that he heard it. Far beneath the pile of rubble there was a steady but faint thud. Going as still as a cat about to pounce with all restrained energy, he strained with his senses and sent his x-ray vision into the ruins of L-Corp.

There was nothing there, only mangled and bowed pieces of steel and chunks of concrete and wood and broken vehicles, equipment, and supplies. But….there was something steady about the thud that bothered him. It could, he reasoned to himself, be one of the pipelines, trickling steadily, but….it didn’t echo the way water would, and it was too steady and controlled to belong to water. He blinked a few times to clear his vision and then looked again, he couldn’t see any sign of life… but ah, there. There was the water source he sighed quietly, it didn’t seem like Lena had somehow defied logic and survived. Drip….drip…drip…., he watched the water fall down and matched it to the thud, only to go deadly still. The drip and the thud didn’t match. The thud belonged to something else. The thud belonged to a heart. Lena Luthor.

“She’s alive,” he said to himself in shock. “She’s-she’s alive?”

It took Kara a moment to register his words and her head shot up and she stumbled towards him, hand beseeching and eyes wide, faster than any human could see.

“Kal? What-?”

“I can hear a heartbeat,” he said and spun her around to face the rubble. “I can hear her!”

Kara hesitated for a moment and then she was abruptly animated, full of energy, driven with purpose and she appeared at the base of the Tower and started to throw chunks of concrete and beams of steal and debris over her shoulder. Clark winced and then raced into the air, catching the debris and lowering it to the ground before Kara could cause any more damage to the buildings around the fallen tower.

“Supergirl, what is it?” Alex yelped as she got closer and reflectively ducked at seeing a large chunk of concrete flying at her the size of a car. Clark flashed her a smile as he caught it a foot from her face and moved it along, catching the pieces as Kara dove determinedly into the ruins.

“We believe Miss Luthor may still be alive,” Superman paused to inform Alex and then he moved around the rubble stabilising it as Kara dug her way inside like some sort of burrowing mammal.

“Alive?” Alex whispered to herself, feeling her heart mis-step and then she was turning and bellowing for a medical team.

Agents jumped and signalled for the ambulance team to come over. She knew the abrupt movement and noise drew the attention of the police and the citizens and knew that soon Lena Luthor’s body would be broadcast to the world, whether she were broken or not.

“Supergirl,” she spoke into her comms, slipping into work mode and taking charge. “We have a medical team getting ready and will inform N.C General of the situation.”

Kara didn’t reply, but a few seconds later there was an explosion of rubble and the superhero burst from the ashes of the tower and into the afternoon sun, cape billowing behind her, a woman limp in her arms.

 

xxxxxXXXXXxxxx

* Kara, talk to me. Please

**Please, Kara.

 

~(~

SNEAKPEAK:

The extraction team roared from the compound leaving it silent and eerie with more dead than living in its concrete and steel halls. The alarm’s heralded their exit and when the authorities arrived later, all that remained was silent halls, empty guard rooms, and fallen soldiers, with one top-security prisoner missing. The world knew by day-break; Lex Luthor had escaped from prison.

 

And yes, yes I did that :) But you'll have to wait a few dozen K before we get there :D I almost feel guilty. Almost.

 

Chapter Text

 

The image of the fallen L-Corp Tower was the National City Headline for every news outlet in the city, and even featured on many all over the country. The crumpled building with folds of steel, wires, iron rods, and concrete and glass all thrown together in a tangled heap, ironically with the L of the tower undamaged and resting above the rubble. Supergirl was in the centre of the photo, hovering above the ground, blood-red cape fluttering behind her majestically, pulled by some unseen wind, with a woman limp in her arms, bridal style. They were both covered in soot and debris and the hero was gazing down at the woman in her arms, features too far away to make out, as ash fluttered down around them like snow. Sunlight lit the two, casting the Super and her rescuee in shadow, even as the rubble and torn buildings and broken surroundings glowed orange, red and yellow. It was a magnificent picture.

The other photo’s on the front page were of the young CEO and Supergirl at the OneLove rally (evidently they started their love affair their), and of Supergirl being comforted by an unknown brunette woman (who was obviously a home-wrecker and Alex had to delete her social media accounts to protect herself from the back lash-people loved the idea of Lena and Supergirl together, and Alex was a perceived threat to that ideal). The main story carried on for three pages, the first, and then the inside, and had eye-witness accounts, theories, and authoritative reports of the explosion. Rumours were flying about why and how the L-Corp tower had exploded; everything from terrorist attacks, alien suicides, martyrdom, her brother, insurance claims, someone wanting to kill the Luthor for her xenophobia, were being flung through all media platforms.

Supergirl had carried Lena Luthor to an awaiting stretcher and once the medical team had deemed her safe for transport Kara had torn through the air to the nearest hospital. She didn’t have a scratch, bar her already existing injuries, and the medical team were proclaiming it a miracle, even as she lay in a coma for no apparent reason-CAT scan’s and MRI’s had revealed nothing out of the ordinary, but they couldn’t give a cause for her coma. The hospital had to increase security and had moved Lena to a private room the moment she was declared stable and the police department had two uniform’s posted outside her door day and night. She didn’t have many visitors, not in the first few days, only a small reporter from CATCO-cleared by security by Federal order- though how a nobody reporter from CATCO could have FBI sway, the hospital staff didn’t know- and a woman who was identified as the CEO’s assistant.

Supergirl also was shown striding in and out of the hospital, no thought given to proper visiting hours, but no one was about to say no to the hero. Groups were lobbying left and right, insurance claims being made, accusations being thrown, employees were left leaderless, and through it all Lena Luthor slept on.

Kara sighed as she tossed the latest article about the L-Corp Tower explosion onto the bedside table next to Lena. The young CEO had curls of wires and needles and tubes all around her and a nurse had carefully combed back her long, dark hair and tied it into a braid. For all that she was clearly a patient in a hospital, Lena looked as though she were sleeping, like she could wake up at any moment and smile that special smile at Kara and or laugh with her with her eyes.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Kara glanced up at the noise and instantly smiled a greeting at Lena’s assistant Jess. “I didn’t realise anyone would be here.” She was carrying a bundle of flowers and had a tablet under the other arm. “I’ll- I’ll come back later.”

“No. Jess, wait!” Kara half rose to her feet. “Don’t go,” she cast a glance at Lena and sighed. “I really should get back to work anyway.”

Jess came back into the room and her features twisted into a sneer. “Can you believe the shit they are writing?” She asked as she settled herself into the other guest chair, setting her bag down and Kara followed her gaze to the article on the front of one of the magazines. “No offense,” Jess added after a moment, realising she was talking to a reporter.

“None taken,” she said quietly and rose the rest of the way to her feet. “I understand. James-CATCO even- won’t allow such drivel to go to print.” She glanced over the article again and felt her ire rise. It was basically a trash piece, saying that it was all a plan by the Luthor to take the insurance money and went on to say some very nasty things about Lena, and the Luthor’s in general.

“I wish there was a way we could tell people what actually happened,” Jess sighed and Kara’s brow tightened. She knew the employees had been asked to stay silent until the investigation was over, and the only one who knew anything, or knew the most, was Lena’s loyal assistant, and she had been ordered to keep her silence. The only reason Kara knew any different to what the media were saying, apart from her belief that Lena would never risk her employees, was because Jess had told Supergirl.

“What-“ she began, a thought entering her mind.

“I can’t-,” Jess cut her off, obviously thinking she were about to ask her what had happened, like many people already had. “I can’t tell you, not until the investigation is over…. But I wish I could,” she said and glared at the offending article.

“I wasn’t going to ask,” Kara said gently and the thought whirled around her mind. “But….” She waited until Jess looked at her properly. “If Lena’s security footage were to be ‘leaked’,” she made the bunny fingers, speaking casually. “Then you couldn’t be to blame.” Kara lifted her shoulder in a shrug, eyes serious and looked pointedly to the door where the two officers stood and saw when Jess understood.

“That would be a shame, but anonymous hackers load things to the internet all the time….” Jess said and she was smiling now. “Or are given to the press…”

Kara allowed a full blown smile to cross her face. “Any source would have to be confidential, I mean, things are sent to reporters all the time. Untraceable.”

Jess was nodding slowly and Kara quickly reached into her bag and pulled out her note-pad.

The urge to use her super-speed to get her message across to Lena’s sweet assistant tingled her fingers, but she was as careful as ever to maintain her cover as she jotted down her message.

Noonan’s? Half an hour?

She turned it to face Jess and the assistant nodded.

“I think the police would have any footage anyway, if there was any to be recovered,” Jess trailed off. “Oh, are you off?” She asked innocently and Kara smiled as she slid her messenger bag onto her shoulder.

“Yeah, I have to get back to work. Thanks for taking care of her, Jess,” she smiled and then said goodbye. The police officers outside the door nodded to her and she walked slowly down the corridor, mind racing as she thought of how she was going to convince Winn to help her hack into Lena’s servers and release the footage, if there was any, or get the files from the NNPD.

Less than half an hour later she was opening the door to Noonan’s. “I don’t know, Winn,” she complained as she held it open for him and he ducked inside, laptop bag under one arm. “I just want to try.”

“Yeah,” he sighed. “Okay, but you’re buying.”

“Deal,” she beamed and scanned the café for Jess. She saw her sitting in a booth with a broad- shouldered black guy, heads bent together and waved when she saw her. Jess waved in response and the man twisted in his seat to look at them and then looked at Jess again. Winn gave her his order and then moved through the tables over to the booth and slid into the booth next to the man.

The barristers were quick with her order and within a few minutes she was carrying them over to the booth. “Hey Jess,” she said as she slid in next to the woman with a smile.

“Kara, hi. This is Michael, he’s the head of IT, or was, he designed the L-Corp severs,” Jess explained and Kara looked him over a she slid Winn his drink. He had black curly hair and it cut down through his sideburns into a tight beard which clung to his jawline and followed the curve of his chin at the same length. His lips were full and a little chapped and his black eyes were glinting kindly beneath dark brows which were on-point. He was wearing a faded Metallica t-shirt and had a piercing in one of his lobes.

“Mike, this is Kara.”

“Hi,” she held her hand over the table and he took it in his own, warm and strong and she looked over at Jess. “Okay, so you know Winn?”

“I said ‘hi’,” Winn said from where he was setting up his computer, plugging it in as well as another black box that she didn’t recognise, though apparently Michael did by the way his eyes widened.

“Is that a-“

“Yup,” Winn said smugly.

“Does it do what they say?”

“Yup,” Winn flashed him a smile and he almost groaned and looked at the box in awe.

“How did you-“

“Classified, dude,” Winn said mysteriously and Kara rolled her eyes, knowing he was enjoying acting like a proper agent.

“Winn works with my sister for the FBI,” Kara said quickly, glaring at Winn and he bit his lip sheepishly and ducked his head into his shoulders. “I asked him to help because he’s the best hacker I know.”

“Yeah, but I don’t know how we’re gonna get the footage you were after, it should have been destroyed.”

Michael shook his head and Jess was smiling as she sipped her latte. “No, Miss Luthor was very, ah, strict with how she wanted things done,” he said quickly, quietly, flicking his eyes around the café. “We had intense protocols with regards to the servers and the information on them, but they are relayed back to a second site and stored there. We never knew where, physically or digitally, but I designed the system to back-up to the other server every twenty-four hours, and everything went there, and I mean everything. I would have looked myself, but I-,” he ducked his head and winced a little and everyone understood. He didn’t want to break any laws, and may not have had the skill or equipment to hack into the back-up server.

Winn’s drink was forgotten as he tapped away at his keyboard and Michael was leaning close and checking out his processes. He did a bit more tapping and then handed the keyboard over. “All right, give it a go. This baby has the juice to get you into the FBI, NSA, CIA and Whitehouse at the same time.” His fingers pay have lingered loving on the laptop as he passed it over and Kara lifted her brows at him and he shrugged.

“Okay,” Michael was saying. “If I somehow replicated the data and send it back to the server and then,”

“And then follow it in and it should give you the digital location and then we can hack into it,” Winn finished excitedly and he and Michael shared a look before turning back to the screen, eyes narrowed in concentration.

Kara had half-drunk her cocoa-nut hot chocolate-for some reason she’d been wanting one, maybe to remind her of her friend stuck in a coma- when Michael crowed happily.

“All right, we’re in… wait, no we aren’t. Hm,” he said and rubbed his fingers together, seemingly eager for the challenge. Winn was leaning right in his personal space, almost leaning on him and was pointing to the screen.

“Do you…”

“Yup,” Michael responded and they both shared a look and Michael whistled in awe.

“That’s amazing!”

Kara and Jess shared a bemused look and then looked back at the two men nerding out.

“I’ve seen code like this before,” Winn was frowning. “But I don’t know where….”

Kara cleared her throat politely and Winn and Michael were wearing matching sheepish expressions. “Boys, can you geek out later?”

“Mh hm,” Winn pressed his lips together. “Gimmie,” he said and gestured for his computer back.

“Okay, let’s have a look at you,” he was murmuring to himself as Michael slid the computer back. “Come to daddy,” he whispered and his hands flew over the keys. Michael’s eyes were sharp as they followed him and occasionally he offered his own advice.

They were half an hour in and Kara tapped her fingers on the table impatiently and two glares rose to look at her and she halted, offering her palms apologetically.

Jess was doing something on tablet while Kara had given up on trolling Tumblr and re-blogging cute animal gifs.

“How long-“

“This is some serious tech, Kara,” Winn didn’t even look up from where his gaze was intense on the laptop. “Any door is a trap and we’ve had to defend against heaps of attacks. Just, let us do our thing.”

Kara huffed and leant her head on her hand and waited. It took another half hour, eight muffins (four for her) and six coffees until Winn launched his hands in the air with a cry of victory.

“Yess!”

“Nice!” Michael was saying appreciatively. “May I?”

Winn handed the laptop back and took a sip of his now cold coffee and winced before cracking his hands.

“Alright, if I go in as Admin I could….” He mumbled off to himself and to be honest, Kara had no idea what he was saying as he talked himself through the process.

It took another fifteen minutes before he nodded to himself. “Got it. I’m in,” he said and looked over at Kara and then at Jess. “What is it you’re after?”

“I want the video feed of Miss Luthor’s office,” Jess replied quietly, putting her phone down.

“She doesn’t have camera’s in her office,” Michael said confused.

“Yes, she does,” Jess, Kara and Winn said in unison and then Winn winced and Kara looked awkwardly at the far wall.

“And you know that how?” Jess drawled, suspicious and not trying to hide it.

“Um, Lena, um Lena told me. Yup, she told me one time…..” Kara trailed off and fiddled with her glasses and then smiled encouragingly at Michael. “So can you find it then?”

Michael blinked slowly and then looked back at the computer screen. “If she backs it up to her own sever, but uses the L-Corp one as a base, I should be able to track it back through to where she keeps her own data…..”

He gave it a few goes and then handed it to Winn, rolling his fingers together and letting the more rested tech expert give it a go.

“Oooh, I know where I’ve seen this before!” His face was lit and she could see the metaphorical lightbulb above his head. “It’s similar to the code that was on that footage that-” he cut himself off quickly and looked meaningfully at Kara as Jess and Michael looked at them confused. “That Miss Luthor sent to your sister at the FBI.”

Kara nodded slowly, just once, to show she understood, feeling a flicker of betrayal flare into life in her chest.

“Give me a second,” Winn continued and after a few minutes he tapped a button finally and moved the laptop to the edge of the table and angled it to face the four. It was from a high corner in Lena’s office and showed the entrance and up to her desk, in very, very impressive definition. “I found the feed and got the date and the time. The alarm went off at one thirty-five so if we just scroll back…” He trailed off and clicked a few buttons and a man was seen entering the room. Winn pressed play.

“Check the volume,” Jess suggested and after casting her a glance he obeyed and they leant forward to listen.

The news broke on CatCo’s platforms first and within an hour all media outlets in the city were running the ‘leaked’ footage and Lena Luthor standing before her would-be murderer with her hands raised pleading for her employees’ lives was the headlining photo.

In her friends room Kara muted the television as another channel played the footage for what felt like the hundredth time and she closed her eyes, just a moment, to rest them. People all over the city and the world were commenting on Lena’s bravery and courage and the tone of social media had changed and they were all wishing her a speedy recovery. Most of the protesting groups, the anti-Luthor’s- had fallen silent at the chilling footage, but one or two still maintained that this proved what a bad person all Luthor’s were and how many would have died if James didn’t have the compassion to wait until the building was evacuated.

Kara was exhausted, even for a Super. She had cried when she’d seen the footage, so had Jess, finally being able to see what little she had heard and realised what her boss had offered for her employees. Winn and Michael had seemed shaken and even the tech expert had come away from the small, illegal activity meeting, with respect for Lena that he hadn’t before. Of course he did go on to tell the DEO who had hacked them, which, had actually been expected, but they couldn’t do much about it. Kara had warned them off her and for the moment they obeyed. She’d taken a flash drive of the footage, after making sure Winn and Michael closed the gaps they made in Lena’s firewalls, and had delivered it immediately to James. He’d understood her silent request the moment he saw the footage and had put the entire thing online, and Snapper had written the accompanying article himself, hailing Lena as a hero.

But now Kara was just tired, it had been a long afternoon and week without Lena, and so she was enjoying the quiet in her hospital room. Her phone vibrated and she checked it to see a message from Alex and sighed, rising to her feet and forgetting that she had pulled the trolley closer to her. She sent it reeling into the side of the bed and winced at the loud sound it made and the rattle that shook Lena’s bed when they collided.

Lena’s heart rate, which had been steady and reassuring up til that point, spiked and Kara froze.

“Lena?” She asked curiously and pushed the trolley away, maybe with a bit too much force at it went rolling towards the door( a burst of super-speed caught it before it could smash against something else).

The heart rate continued to rise and she stood carefully over the bed and watched as Lena’s breathing quickened and her eyelids started to flicker.

“Lena,” she asked again, taking the hand that lay next to her. Lena’s skin was warm and soft and smooth, with delicate blue veins and soft palm lines and she ran the tip of her thumb over them and Lena’s fingers twitched.

Kara’s eyes flashed to her face and she watched as her lids flickered and bright green eyes slowly blinked open. Lena was awake.

 

~*~

SNEAK PEAK:

“So… she threatened Supergirl, huh?” He asked cheekily as they exited the elevator and walked across the lobby.

“Argh! Shut up, Clark!” She gave him a playful shove, one that would have tossed a human several feet.

“Aw, has my liddle widdle couzy got a crush?” He teased her lightly and she glared at him as he threw and arm around her shoulder and gave her a squeeze. “Come on. I’ll buy you lunch and you can tell me all about it.”

 

Chapter Text

Lena sighed in relief as she settled back on the hard hospital mattress, her tubes and needles having been removed, though they left behind a dull ache of where they had been. It had been a hectic twenty-four hours, and she hadn’t seen a friendly face since she woke to Kara looking down at her.

Almost immediately the nurses and doctors had swarmed her room and taken her away for tests and scans and she was thoroughly pleased to see the backs of them. She liked being poked and prodded by strangers as much as the next person, but then she thought of Kara and figured she’d probably beam at them even as they stabbed her with needles. Lena shuddered. She hated needles. It was hard for her, she didn’t remember anything from that morning, when apparently someone had tried to kill her by blowing up her building, but she couldn’t recall it. Nothing but flashes anyway, the gaze from her window, blue and gold and sunshine, and fire.

She’d also heard, though gossip and the nurses, that she’d been in a coma for a little over a week, and that the L-Corp Tower had been destroyed, though Superman and Supergirl had kindly removed the rubble for her. Which was curious-the super’s never seemed to care much about the mess once the ‘bad-guys’’ had been taken care of. She’d shed a tear of relief in knowing that her employees had been evacuated without any casualties, thankful that they were okay. Jess had shown up as soon as Kara had been thrown out, and she’d brought with her one of Lena’s laptops from home, a portable Wi-Fi box, some spare clothes, flowers-to join the admittedly large pile dotting the corner of her room, a new cell phone and SIM, and a whole folder of paper-work-though to be fair she’d been apologetic as she handed it over before she was escorted back out of the hospital.

Lena had asked one of the nurses-a portly no-nonsense woman- to plug both of them in while she was taken for her tests and scans-apparently her survival without a scratch and with some memory loss was hailed as a miracle-as she’d been in a coma for eight days since the towers collapse and they couldn’t figure out why. So now she was showered, thankfully-though having a matronly stranger helping her unresponsive body to the shower had been…an experience- and was wearing her own clothes underneath the unflattering hospital gown-she made a mental note to give Jess a raise or a generous Christmas Bonus- and was ready to catch up on what she’d missed. She didn’t even want to touch the mound of paper-work, and though the doctors had warned her to take it slow, she had a job to do, a rebuild to manage, and a reputation to maintain-but before that a little web surfing couldn’t hurt.

A quick google of her name and she was startled by the hits that came up: Luthor saves employees, CEO sacrifices self to evacuate building, and her favourite, Alien hater shows xenophobia doesn’t extend to humanity (Fox, of course-honestly). There were video’s, blogs, reviews, letters to the editors, social media posts, and all sorts of commentary on the first page alone and she was startled by the thumbnail on the video’s- of her facing off with a white guy in a lab coat- and wondered who had gotten it and how.

The news was very informative; she learnt that one of her employees, former employees, had come to her office and tried to blow the building but she had asked him to spare the lives of her employees. He had agreed and had then blown the building once everyone had been evacuated, how Lena got out she didn’t know.

Her mouse hovered over the link, ‘L-Corp CEO saves employees in ‘leaked’ footage’ and then clicked on it. It was exactly what the title said, a link to a video hosted on CatCo servers and was evidence of her actions, brave or foolish or otherwise. Her throat went tight as she watched herself beg for the lives of her employees- helped by subtitles along the bottom, how considerate- but wished they hadn’t uploaded the footage of her saying she didn’t have anyone, or aligning herself with her last name-but from the comments, most people were in awe of her. It was …humbling to see.

‘Wow! I can’t believe how brave she is! Good on her!’

‘Bloody hell! What a psycho!’ –she didn’t know if that was directed at her or not.

‘Wow, so he tries to kill her and she tries to save him? Okay…’

‘Right, so an employee conveniently decides to blow the place and she evacuates the building and then has a convenient safe-room that somehow survives the plummet, like, ten stories? Sure, Jan.’

Okay, so some of the comments were a little sceptical and disbelieving that it wasn’t just a stunt, but they were drowned out by the others who had rallied in support of her like they never had. She read a lot more articles, catching the image of her fallen building and feeling her breath catch, and caught up on all the news on her and her company since.

A quick check of the stock market and L-Corp was holding steady, even though it showed a great decline (obviously when the building blew up) and then a sudden increase (which must have been when the footage was leaked) the value was still lower than before the accident, but was much higher than she expected. So, that was good news. The bad news was that her entire building had been lost and years of research and planning and design had been destroyed and her employees were now jobless, maybe, unless she could get them back on track.

She opened up her emails to find over a four-hundred of them and sighed, that was just ridiculous. First things first, she needed to contact her lawyers and set up a conference call with Jess so that she could start the rebuilding process. At that thought she reached for the cell-phone resting on her bedside table and brought it close. It was fully charged and had a few numbers programmed in, Jess, her mothers, Kara’s, the lawyers and other important people to herself and L-Corp. She flicked Jess a text first, asking her if she were free to help her and thanking her for her assistance. Then she gently tapped out a message to Kara. She had no idea what to say to the blonde, or how to say it, and instead settled on. ‘Hey. It’s Lena.’

Groaning at her idiocy she tossed the phone down by her leg and lifted them both to help brace her computer. Typing one-handed was difficult, but she would manage. Maybe she should down-load some of that voice-to-text software, but she didn’t really like thinking out loud, and didn’t want anyone else to hear her, so she scratched that idea.

She scrolled through the most important emails and then settled down to reply. Her phone vibrated and she held her lap-top with her cast, noting it had been changed from its previous rainbow glory, and reached for it.

It was Jess, an enthusiastic reply from her loyal assistant and she opened up skype to talk to her, thankful her assistant had the hindsight to add her headphones to the electronics she’d brought over.

Disappointed but not knowing why, she let her cell slip down beside her and continued on with her work. It was a lot to get through, but one of the first things she did was compose a letter to her employees, thanking them for the loyalty to L-Corp and to her-she’d read their social media comments as well as seen interviews- and expressed how touched she was by them rallying around her. She told them that she was in the process of discussing L-Corp’s next moves and while she would be more than willing to give them a reference for their next employment, she hoped they would stay with her. Their wages would be seen to until the next quarter regardless-which, that would be a headache, but she wasn’t a multi-millionaire for nothing and she’d pay them out of her own pocket if necessary- and she’d issue another statement as soon as her lawyers and board had come to a decision. She was heartfelt but to the point, she wasn’t one of those people to beat around the bush, preferring honesty and transparency in her life and business.

Then she discussed business with Jess long into the night, ignoring the nurses when they came past and gently reminded her she should be resting-she’d sniggered and told them she could rest when she was dead. The same woman who appeared to be the nurse in charge of her- the one who plugged in her devices and bathed her-snorted and said she had very nearly had that rest, which had been sobering-not that people hadn’t tried to kill her before, but no one had ever come that close.

Still, the door was closed, and she could see the silhouette of police officers outside, which, she would have to investigate that later, and she continued working well into the night. Her phone was still silent and her eyes were sore and straining to read the black and white text. A quiet knock at the door drew her attention and she glanced up to see Supergirl gently peaking around the corner.

The Super seemed nervous and had a bouquet of flowers in her hand, something you’d buy from a florist for fair price; something not too cheap, but also something not overly expensive.

“Oh, you’re awake! Hi,” she waved the flowers a little, and a petal fell off and glided gently to the floor. The Super was watching it fall, a t twist to her lips and then she wiggled her nose and looked at Lena. Her blue eyes were glowing out of her features, the only colour she could see on her face and she stepped forward into the room, gently easing the door shut behind her. Something about the movement seemed familiar, but she couldn’t place it.

“Hi,” she said again and hesitantly offered her the flowers. “I’ll, uh, I’ll just leave these over here….” She walked over to the corner of the room where the nurses had been kind enough to bring in a table and it was overflowing with flowers of all shapes, sizes, and colours. She was very thankful she didn’t get hay fever or anything, she could almost start her own florist shop with the amount of flowers she’d been given.

“Supergirl,” Lena finally found her voice and straightened a little on the bed, wincing in discomfort. She didn’t like being so vulnerable before the Super, well, anyone really, but someone with supernatural abilities especially. “I suppose I have you to thank for my rescue?” That was one part of her memory that was blank, and the media hadn’t really help out with that, but she did remember having a safe-room, but didn’t remember getting to it, even as the footage showed she had, and she wondered how she had survived the fall. Her engineered room was good, but it wasn’t that good.

“Ahm,” Supergirl ran her fingers through her hair awkwardly. “Actually, no… we don’t know how you survived….only that you did.”

Lena frowned and looked over at the super as she stood awkwardly at the foot of her bed. “Take a seat,” she directed the hero while she thought.

“I don’t-I don’t remember what happened,” Lena said eventually on an exhale. “I remember…James, his face, and… fire… and um, the city?” Her head hurt and she reached up to hold it, knowing as she did that it wouldn’t do anything, but people were stupid that way.

Supergirl sat awkwardly on the visitor chair, her cape over her knees and was toying with the end. “You saved a lot of people, your entire building!” She met Lena’s eyes and then looked down at her hands, uncharacteristically nervous. “It was-it was really brave,” the Super frowned then and shook her head. “No-wait, not that it wasn’t brave,” she elaborated and Lena raised an eyebrow. Something about her was niggling at the back of her mind, but she couldn’t concentrate through her headache. “Because it was! It was really, really brave!” Supergirl hesitated. “It was also really stupid.”

Lena’s eyes narrowed. “And flying an alien spacecraft into orbit isn’t?” She was referring to the incident earlier in the year when a group of aliens had decided to kill the human race when enslaving them wasn’t an option and Supergirl had almost died in flying them into space.

Supergirl’s blue eyes narrowed. “That was to save people.”

“Case in point,” Lena replied and reached for her water. She took a pensive sip. “The Luthor name has killed enough people,” she said bluntly and Supergirl blinked. “I didn’t want it to be responsible for the deaths of more.”

Supergirl met her gaze squarely for a moment and then ran her eyes over her form. “You apparently suffered no additional injuries and your brain scans came back clean. Would you like to tell me why that is?” Her voice was strong and confident, more reassured discussing this than her own admittedly suicidal actions, but she had saved her staff, so there was that.

“Want to explain how you know that?” Lena returned her gaze even and her heart was thumping dangerously as she challenged the alien opposite her. “If I recall correctly-from the few lectures I attended on law- health professionals are not allowed to disclose any personal information to the public or any other party without the permission of the patient, and as I was in a coma, and my medical attorney wouldn’t have allowed it, you must have gotten your information else where. Warrant?”

Supergirl’s lips twitched. “I read it was a year of law.”

“Nine months,” Lena offered and ducked her head into her shoulder. “I had a crush on the lecturer,” then she sighed. “So…warrant?”

Supergirl lifted her shoulder in a shrug. “DEO hack,” she said squarely, meeting Lena’s eye head on.

“Touché,” Lena replied and leant back in her bed. “How was my server accessed? My contractor worked very hard to make it inaccessible, so I’d be very interested to know who and how.”

“Quid pro quo,” the superhero leant back in her chair and folded her arms. She looked impressive, even casually reclining on the hard chair in the dim light.

“Fair enough,” Lena shifted her lap-top, deciding she wasn’t going to be getting any work done tonight. “Though immunity in regard to alleged illegal hacking activities would go both ways,” her voice was tipped with playful poison, a cat toying with a mouse. “My lawyers would be very interested to find the person or persons, or Government Agency?” She emphasised innocently, “Responsible for hacking into my security network.”

“As would the government agency I work with. They were hacked recently, and the code used was similar to the one on your security network.”

“Coincidence, I’m sure,” Lena’s heart was thumping in her chest and a fire was running through her veins. It reminded her of destroying her enemies in the boardroom, only this time it was a woman in blue and red with untameable power she was facing down. How thrilling.

“Doubtful. I know you are good with computers.” The Super winced at the confession and then schooled her features blank. Curious.

“Alright, Supergirl,” Lena sighed and the Super perked up, looking like a summoned puppy. “I’ll tell you how I survived, if you tell me who hacked my servers,” she hesitated and tilted her head to the side. “My contractor would be very interested to know the….breach.”

“Deal. You go first,” Supergirl narrowed her eyes.

Lena ducked her shoulder. “Alright, fine. I don’t know how I survived,” she said and saw the frown flit across the aliens face. “No, really,” she added seeing the sceptical look. “I-when I see the fire,” she tapped her head with her right index finger. “I remember standing inside a room and a door closing in front of me and its hot… so hot. Like, -I spent a summer in Rarotonga once, with a, ah, friend, and one of the things tourists do is they go to the airport and stand behind the aeroplanes as they take off. It’s like being in a furnace. It was like that,” she said, locking eyes with the hero’s. “Hot and warm and burning. Then there’s nothing,” she shook her head and sighed. “I- I don’t remember anything of that day, nothing clear at any case.”

Supergirl was leaning forward, disbelieving. “There must be more to it!”

Abruptly tired she leant her head back on the pillow and closed her eyes. “I don’t remember. Would I lie to you?”

There was a moments silence from the Super and she nodded to herself. “Figured.”

“No, I…believe you…it’s just, you should have died.”

A wave of hurt rolled through her following the statement. “You sound disappointed,” she drawled, too tired to open her eyes.

“No!” The response was a surprise. “No, never!” She flickered an eye open to see the hero on her feet, eyes blazing. “I-we may disagree on some things,” Lena ducked her head a bit in agreement, “but I never want you to die! You are a good person, Lena Luthor. You’re going to help me make more of a difference.”

“Mh,” Lena hummed in response and closed her eye again. It was nice to be defended, even if it was by the self-righteous hero. “So, how was my server hacked? Deal’s a deal.”

The super huffed. “Deals a deal,” she sighed. “A friend of mine from the DEO and one of your people.”

Lena’s eyes flashed open and she turned to look at the super curiously.

Supergirl was smiling, almost fondly. “Michael someone? Your assistant wanted some help to make-uhm, what do you know of the days after the bombing?”

“I read up on it,” Lena said slowly, knowing that the rumours hadn’t held her in pleasant light, at least until the leak of her security video.

“Right, okay. Well your assistant wasn’t allowed to tell people what she knew, that you asked her to evacuate the building,” there was a touch of awe in her tone as she spoke. “So, w-sheeee and Kara Danvers got some friends together and hacked into your network.” The Super lifted a shoulder in shrug. “I don’t know how they did it, you’ll have to ask them.”

“Kara?” Lena leant back again, relaxing into the lumpy bed, a smile on her lips as she closed her eyes. “How sweet.”

Supergirl hovered awkwardly by the bed, she could almost feel her fidget and thought that it was such a human trait.

“If you are able to give me a few days to sort L-Corp out I’ll help you with your,” Lena lifted her left hand it her fingers looked off in the cast as she tried to find the word. “Your social justice crusade.”

Supergirl perked up. “I wanted to like visit schools and stuff…. I mean, I’ve done a little of that, but not like, speaking and stuff…”

“I have been considering it,” Lena said, looking down at her fingers and then looking at the puzzled hero once again. “I know you want to help, but maybe… maybe it would be best if you stayed out of earth’s social affairs.”

Supergirl’s jaw dropped and she looked wounded. “But why? I can help! You thought that I should!”

“My vision of justice is different to yours, Supergirl,” Lena cut in, voice darkening dangerously. “I’d have them punished for their sins, and not just sent to prison or fined or given community service.” She swallowed down her emptions, feeling them rising to the surface and threatening to cloud her judgement. She couldn’t afford a slip. In and out. In and out. Breathe. Focus. Don’t go there. Think of something else.

After a few moments where Supergirl remained quiet and let her gather her composure she tried again. “I am wary of giving someone so much power, when you already have enough…”

“You said I can use my influence to make a difference,” Supergirl said slowly, brow furrowed. “If I- I have that influence anyway… so I may as well use it for good. Isn’t that why you named re-named L-Corp?”

Lena felt her eyes narrow and Supergirl lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “I keep up with the news,” she offered in explanation. “You already had the power,” she pointed out in reference to Luthor Corp’s money and influence. “You just wanted to make it good. To make a difference. How is that different?”

“Because I can and will and have been accountable for my actions, Supergirl,” Lena shot back quickly. “You, however, are not. There is no prison that can hold you, no chain that can restrain you, no weapon to hurt you.” She didn’t mention the Kryptonite, knew she didn’t have to.

Kara ducked her head in quiet acknowledgement. “You said I didn’t know what it meant to be weak, to be afraid,” she said quietly and looked at her hands, eyeing the blue material that kept her sleeves down over her palms. “But- I have been afraid, and I’ve been weak and,” her throat bobbed as she swallowed. “I’ve ignored cries for help and I’ve heard and seen the aftermath. I-,” her voice caught.

“I’ve lived on a Campus. I’ve heard some of the things that happen when people have had too much to drink, and, and walk home alone, and I-“ Lena felt her respect for the Super grow. “I have power, you’re right, and maybe I shouldn’t use it. But I can make a difference if I help, and if I go and talk to people-kids especially- and can show them that they can be brave even if they are scared, that they can be strong enough to ask for help, that they can help people, that they can save themselves, then why shouldn’t I? If you changed your mind, then maybe you’re not the woman I thought you were….” Supergirl trailed off uncomfortably after her outburst and Lena swallowed her ire.

“You have no idea what I’ve-” she cut herself off abruptly. In and out. In and out. Her chest ached with her breathing. The Super twitched on the chair and she shot her a glare and she settled back into the seat with her hands raised peacefully.

“I do just want to help, to make a difference,” the Super said quietly after a few repetitions of Lena’s controlled breathing.

Lena sighed, letting her chest empty itself, ignoring the pain. “You’re right, I apologise. I know you’ve been hurt before and I know you’ve been scared, that was… short-sighted of me and I am sorry.”

Supergirl smiled over at her and something about the smile stirred at the back of her mind but she ignored it. “If I go to more schools and talk to the kids about bullying, and speak for refuge shelters, and for like, gay teens, and it helps just one person, makes just one life easier, then wouldn’t it be worth it? I know I can’t stop it all, that pain is a part of nature, but I feel like I’m not trying enough.”

Lena thought for a long moment, a moment so long it stretched into minutes. Was it right to give one person both physical and political power? To give them, to help them, basically, change society? Pain was inevitable, she knew that, but Supergirl was a hero, a champion of justice, and if she stood up, raised her voice, if it changed one life, was it worth basically handing her the power to do as she wished.

“I said I trusted you,” she said eventually and lifted her gaze to the Super’s. She was beaming at the confession, and she had such a pretty smile. It was familiar, somehow, but she didn’t have the brain power to ponder it at the moment. “And I do trust you, for the most part. I trust that you genuinely want to help, to make a difference… but so did Lex.” The Super’s face fell at the mention of her brother and Lena gave her a wry smile. “There are already celebrities and public figures that have lent their support and heft to shelters, to causes, to school programs, and they’re just ordinary humans.”

“With influence,” Supergirl pointed out, pointedly, and it was odd to hear the underlying tone of, it wasn’t jealousy, but it was something else, something Lena couldn’t put her name on, hurt maybe?

“Yes, humans with influence,” Lena added and the Super crossed her arms.

“That’s a bit xenophobic,” she offered mutinously.

“Fact,” the Luthor ducked her head in disagreement. “But I’ll not debate that with you now. I said I’d help you help people, but we’ll do it my way.”

“And what way is that?” And Lena didn’t miss the cautious note to her voice and she smiled over at her. Good, she was wary, that’d make her on guard for manipulation from others.

“You go to these other organisations and you ask them how you can help,” Lena said and watched as the Super listened to her explain how she should go about it. She wouldn’t operate outside of the organisations she was supporting, she would work with them, inside them.

“I do work with a team,” she offered, frowning slightly when Lena again emphasised that she would do as the PR experts for the organisations advised.

“Good, then you know that other people are the best at certain aspects of the team, and you stay out of their way so they can do their jobs.”

“I don’t want to be just a mascot,” Supergirl was frustrated and Lena let her voice soften.

“But you are,” she emphasised quietly. “You are an icon, a symbol for what humanity can hope to be. You, more so than your cousin, are a guide, a guardian of humanity. You’re a teacher, willing to shed light on the truth, but only once humanity as lit the match.” She shook of her terrible attempt at a metaphor- she was a science girl, not an English girl.

“You’re an idea,” Lena said quietly and titled her head to look at the Super. It was hard to tell in the dark, but she may have been blushing. “You will- did your college have a football team?”

Supergirl nodded.

“You’re like the mascot, the pride, the ideal, the driving force behind the passion. Your face is the one on the flags and uniforms, you- you give a connection, a way for the people to connect with what you stand for, your history, your ideals, your-” Lena lifted her hand around as she tried to find the words for what she was thinking, feeling. The Super looked to finally be understanding.

“You might not be the team captain, or a couch, or the star player who wins the games, but you are what the fans will remember, and they will associate you with that team, and all the team is.”

Lena frowned, not sure she should become a motivational speaker any time soon, if her current speech were anything to go by. Her metaphors were surely falling flat.

“Think of Mickey Mouse, or Ronald McDonald, or-or the bald bloody eagle! It doesn’t matter,” Lena shook her head. Thankfully she wasn’t an English student and instead had three science and engineering degrees-Mastery, of course. “The point is the mascot unifies the people, it embodies all the team stands for. That is your purpose here, if you want to help without throwing your weight around. You’ll motivate people to be their own heroes.”

Supergirl blinked. “I could be Mickey Mouse. Can you picture me with ears?” She was smiling as she brought her hands up to her ears and cupped them a little. She looked adorable, not that Lena would ever admit that, and it reminded her of something Kara would do.

“Argh,” Lena leant back on her bed with an exasperated sigh. Her brief moment of English brilliance fading away.

Supergirl smiled at her. “I get it, thank you,” she said softly and Lena nodded tiredly.

Lena shifted on the bed, yawned and reached for her computer again and moved it off her bed and onto the table. She rubbed her eyes and Supergirl rose quickly. “Oh, I forgot. You need to rest,” she said and offered Lena a half smile that seemed familiar. “I’ll, um, give you my number!”

She dug around, so quickly Lena couldn’t see, and then clicked it open. “Um, what’s your new number?” Seeing Lena’s sceptical look she added, “So I can ring you to talk about it…later. Maybe?”

Lena silently handed over her phone, having not had the time yet to memorise the number. Supergirl smiled as she put her number in and then looked up through her lashes. “You aren’t gonna use it to try track me, are you?”

Lena was exhausted, and perhaps that was why she answered so candidly. “Why would I do that?” She asked with a lazy smile. “You seem to be coming to me.”

The hero went still and her eyes widened, maybe in surprise and Lena let her eyes fall closed. “Good night, Supergirl.”

“Night, erm morning, Miss Luthor,” there was a hint of a smile to the hero’s voice and her footsteps faded, the door opening and shutting behind her with a click.

~*~

The day after she awoke from her coma Lena Luthor left National City Hospital A.M.A, and strode from the building with her aviators on amid flashing lights, camera’s and questions being shouted at her. David was waiting with the car, door open and eyes sharp as he scanned the crowd and one of her body guards, a slender, olive-skinned brunette woman who called herself Bella, kept a hand behind her back as she guided Lena through the gathered press to the car.

“Miss Luthor!” David was smiling at her and offered his closed fist for a fist bump and she returned it with a half-smile and ducked into the car. Bella closed the door behind her and moved around to the passenger seat, slipping between the gathered bodies with ease.

“I want to see it,” she said as the doors opened and Bella and David entered the vehicle. The doors closed and the silence inside the vehicle was brief.

She caught David’s dark eyes in the rear-view mirror and he gave her a nod, understanding what she wanted.

“How do you feel about take-out?” He enquired as he checked his mirrors and pulled out of the loading bay, camera-men and photographers jumping out of the way of the vehicle.

“Very strongly,” Lena sighed with her head back on the head-rest.

David listed a few options on the way and she waved her hand. “Choose whatever, David. What do you want?” She asked Bella and the woman turned her gaze from the window.

“I don’t eat junk food,” she said, speaking each word precisely and with the hint of an accent that Lena couldn’t place. She’d been trying since she first hired the woman after she’d had the Kryptonite delivered and was told the hit on her had skyrocketed. She was fluent in about four languages, had some special forces training, was a martial arts expert, and could fly helicopters or planes. She was also an expert marksman. David had helped her with choosing a bodyguard, talking to some of his ex-military buddies about who would do a good job, and had then sat down with the candidates and helped her choose.

Her other bodyguard was called Vince, a tall and well-built blonde who looked like he ought to feature as the pretty-white lead in a blockbuster film, probably in a singlet showing his arms, or maybe (even better) in a pair of board-shorts and coming out of the ocean in slow-motion. A girl could day-dream.

“Fair enough,” Lena shifted her head. “Go where-ever you want, David.”

“Right-o,” David nodded and flicked the radio on to some chart-hit station and let the music fill their silence as they drove. They stopped by the first fast-food outlet on the way and David guided them through the drive-through and ordered, handing over a bunch of bills before handing the take-out back to Lena.

She dove into her burger with relish, silently offering the fries to Bella, who shook her head silently, and David continued driving. She tried to avoid greasy meals with zero health benefits, but sometimes she just craved carbs. She was wiping her hand on a napkin when David pulled to a stop and she took a steadying breath.

Drawing her composure to her she set her features and made sure her glasses were settled and then opened the door. Bella was already looking about her and Lena spared her a glance, knowing she’d keep an eye out for any threats, and got out of the car.

They were parked in a loading zone before one of the storefronts near the fallen tower and Lena couldn’t smother her cry as she took in the crumbled remains of her workplace. L-Corp had been her baby, a way for her to make a difference, a way to take back her family name and legacy, and it was in rubble with police tape surrounding it and a few security guards keeping an eye out.

Pulled forward by a force she couldn’t explain she walked across the concrete, noting it was covered in a weird thick layer of…muck. The security guards paused as she approached and made a move to speak to her but she ignored them, removing her glasses and giving them a look and ducked under the tape and moved towards her building.

It was hard to explain how she felt staring at the broken remains of her hope, and she allowed herself one moment of weakness; a sigh and the closing of her eyes.

“Miss Luthor.” It was Bella and she turned her head in acknowledgement of her speaking. “People are starting to take photos. I’d feel safer if we go you out of here soon.”

She lifted her hand in acknowledgement and heard Bella move away but she couldn’t turn from her broken dreams.

“Miss Luthor,” Bella repeated a few minutes later and Lena sighed and lifted her glasses to her eyes.

Taking a deep breath she turned and started to walk back towards the car. Bella was right; passer-by’s had noticed her arrival and had their phones pointed at her, no doubt ready to sell their footage or pictures to the press and make a quick buck.

The magnitude of what she faced was obvious; the rebuilding of her tower-if that were even possible, and then the rebuilding of all of their hard work, and her employees would need to be taken care of, and the lawyers , and the insurance. She was booked solid for the next few days with meetings and had arranged for a meeting with her staff on the next Wednesday, (it was currently Tuesday afternoon) once she hopefully had some knowledge of their future, she could understand their anxiousness; they had bills to pay, but she hoped her decision to keep them paid until the next quarter eased their burdens for the moment.

There was a camera shoved in her face, over Bella’s arm, and she ignored it as she got to the car. David had the car running and was standing by her open door and guided her inside with a hand on her back as the cameras were shoved in her direction.

“Home please, David,” she instructed tiredly after the door shut. She closed her eyes and allowed the weight of her last name to rest heavily on her shoulders for a moment more, just a moment. The movement of the car jolting from park broke her brief respite and she straightened, accepting the burden of the Luthor crown, after all, what else did she have? Like she’d told James, she didn’t have anything else. Just a heavy crown and a broken kingdom.

Chapter Text

 

“D’ya wanna tell me what’s wrong?” Alex enquired as Kara sighed for what felt like the thousandth time and let her blank cell-phone fall onto her belly. It was a new one, as she may or may not have crushed it in her fist when she saw the video footage of Lena and James. It had taken her a while to get a new one, Winn and the DEO had special tech to make it stronger and to make it more durable for her speed and strength. She had missed Lena’s text message, to her furry, and had sent her a message as soon as she got it and then had to send a few more apologising for the late hour and ‘oh my god I’m so sorry I’ll let you sleep! Sweet dreams x’.

Kara let out a deep breath and rolled her head on the cushion to look over at Alex. The two were lying on Alex’s couch watching Netflix and had a pile of junk food, already mostly eaten admittedly, but the thought was there. Kara had been looking at her phone on and off since Alex had gotten here, about three hours ago, and she’d sigh when she saw it wasn’t lighting up with a notification.

“I’m just- Lena hasn’t gotten back to me about lunch,” she said, doing her best impression of a kicked puppy, pouting lips and sorrowful eyes.

“She has to rebuild L-Corp. She’s busy Kara,” Alex said and shifted on the couch to better look at her sister.

“Yeah,” Kara sighed and fiddled with the corner of a pillow. “I know….”

“Hey,” Alex hedged, cautiously deciding to approach the topic. “I did see her at the OneLove rally, is she-?”

“I dunno!” Kara burst out and then flushed. “She, ah, she didn’t give me an answer.”

“You don’t just ask someone if their gay, Kara!” Alex exclaimed aghast. Kara leant back on the side of the couch, it creaking with the force of her movement.

“Argh, I know! I just, she was there and I thought-Supergirl asked her anyway!”

Alex went still. “Supergirl asked Lena Luthor if she were gay at pride rally?” Her voice rose to a squeak and then she doubled over laughing.

“Alex!” Kara protested going red.

“OhMyGod! If the internet got a holda that!” Alex sniggered and dodged the pillow Kara tossed at her.

“Shuddup!” Kara grumbled and reached for the bowl of popcorn. “You’re the worst,” she announced and popped some popcorn into her mouth.

“Oh come on, Kara,” Alex smiled good-naturedly. “Surely you saw the twitter comments and stuff that came from you at the rally!”

Kara lifted her shoulder a little. “Well, yeah… I saw a few of them…but I haven’t been on since…”

Alex straightened and wiped her eyes a little and then snatched her phone from the coffee table. “C’mere,” she said and shifted and patted the area next to her. Kara sped to her side and curled up next to her as Alex started to scroll through the Supergirl tag and twitter mentions. A lot of the internet had lost their shit at seeing Supergirl at a-for all purposes-pride rally with her face painted and emerging from the rainbow balloons. There were heaps of photo’s of her with LGTB+ and even one she saw of her and Lena, which made both Alex and Kara pause. This was the photo that had sparked the fire that grew torrid and wild on social media (and on mainstream media where it was just gossip with the hint of something more).

Supergirl had her cheeks painted rainbow and the pride flag tied around her shoulders, a gust of wind billowing it out behind her. Lena looked stunning, eyes dark as she leant in to speak with Supergirl and it was one of the most popular photos from the event, second only to Supergirl flying through her rainbow balloons. Kara swallowed and Alex cast her a glance before clicking on the post. It had over a million notes and many Tumblr users were, well, losing their shit in the tags.

‘OMG! This is like the modern day Romeo and Juliet!’

‘Supergirl is gAY? OMG OMG OMG!’

‘WHhat the shit!!!!’

‘SupergirlxLena 4eva!’

‘OMG, Lena look’s thirsty af!’

‘Haha. Look at SG! Girl looks shook!’

‘Omg, thy r so cute!’

‘I totes ship it!’

‘Okbfgkbd THAT’S SO FUCKINGG HOT1!! *droolz8’

‘My new OTP!’

‘Luper? Lutoril? SuperLena? Super-L? Girl-Corp? Super-corp? Super-Corp!’

‘SuperxLena ship sets sail!’

‘lxkjnfdkgbljfkdns OMG osdfnmljgfdgjbfg’

‘I just can’t! These two are so cute! I ship it!’

Most of the comments and tags were of a similar thread and Kara felt her heart thumping steadily in her chest as she read them. Alex was pointedly silent, just scrolling down the notes and then she clicked open the SupergirlxLenaLuthor Tag on Tumblr.

There were photos and links to some articles. People had made fan art of them, nothing graphic thank Rao, and had theories of when they met or started dating and even had a few ficlets of how Supergirl felt when L-Corp fell and how she rescued her girlfriend. It was…. Odd, and Kara was an alien who spent her teenage years on earth, so she was used to odd. This was so much more.

“What, argh, ew,” Alex said and quickly scrolled on down and Kara’s brows tightened.

“What?”

Alex was shaking her head hurriedly. “You don’t want to know, trust me.”

Kara shot her a sceptical look and Alex begrudgingly added, “Smut.”

It took Kara a moment before she flushed bright red. “What?! Ah! Alex!”

“Hey! They’ve been writing it! I told you, you didn’t want to know!”

They scrolled to the end of the tag, and then Alex exited out of it and went over to Twitter where she looked up Supergirl. The same photo of her and Lena Luthor was in the top re-tweets and favourites.

“So…if she wasn’t asking you out, what was she saying?” Alex asked after a moments appraisal of her sister. Kara was staring at the photo like it belonged in a museum of precious art and wasn’t just a cheap-shot by a lucky photographer.

“Oh, um,” Kara rubbed her face nervously hiding her eyes for a moment. “She, ah, she was threatening me-Supergirl.”

Alex tensed and her head snapped around quickly. “She what?!”

“No, not like that!” Kara correctly quickly and blushed a little. “She was threatening Supergirl to keep me, um, Kara, safe…”

Alex relaxed slowly but narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “Right…” she drawled.

“It was actually kinda funny….”

“Kara,” Alex hesitated and then seeing her sister’s wide eyes rallied. “Do you think, maybe, Lena does care about you?”

“Well, yeah,” Kara said immediately, as though Alex had asked something obvious, like if the sky were blue, or if potstickers were amazing. “She’s my friend. Why does everyone keep saying it like that?”

Alex shook her head slowly. “And I’m not saying she isn’t,” she replied quietly, gently. “But maybe she is starting to care about you more than as a friend?”

Kara looked at her fingers and rolled them nervously on her lap and then looked up at her sister through her lashes. Her voice was quiet, a vulnerable undertone to it as she asked, “Do you really think so?”

Seeing how much her answer meant to her sister Alex hesitated and nodded slowly. “I think she cares about you a lot. I mean, you just said she threatened Supergirl over your-Kara’s-safety… think of what would happen if that got out? Everything she’s done for L-Corp and her name would be ruined, she’d never be able to come back from that.” Alex lifted her arm and Kara snuggled under it. “She was prepared to do that to keep you safe.”

“Maybe she’s just being a good friend?” Kara asked quietly and Alex was torn, did she push and tell her sister that it looked like Lena at the very least had a crush on Kara, and force Kara to face her own feelings, or did she stay quiet and just let it be. As far as she knew, Kara had never shown an interest in women. Still, Kara was being difficult with the subject, even obtuse, so perhaps she should push.

“Maybe,” she said after a moments pause. “Would it be so bad if she was interested in you?”

Kara sniggered. “What? Who, me?” She nudged Alex. “No, no, no, no, no, no. I’m not-she’s not-where not. We’re just good friends, Alex. I don’t-“

“Hey,” Alex pulled Kara tighter as she started to stress. The denial was strong with this one. “I’m not saying you aren’t friends- I think that is obvious.” Kara beamed at the thought. “And if she does like you, that’s okay. If you don’t like her the same way, that’s okay. If you like her, that’s okay too.”

Kara grumbled. “I know that, Alex.”

“Then why’d you panic before, hm?” She shifted her legs on the couch and dropped her phone on the coffee table.

“I just-she’s soooo out of my league, Alex. She’s smart and pretty and funny, and soooo pretty when she smiles, Alex.” Kara perked up and Alex hid her knowing smile. “And when I get her to laugh, like, it just creeps up on her and she like, laughs it out, she soooo pretty…. And I’m… just me.” Kara’s face fell a little and she was back to being nervous and unsure, the confident bubbly girl that spoke of Lena was gone.

“Well ‘just me’,” Alex kissed Kara’s head. “I think you’re pretty great.”

She could feel Kara’s eye roll.

“Come on, let’s keep watching.” She reached for the remote and pushed play and the opening credits of a Disney movie started. “Is the idea of you and Lena so terrible?” Kara tensed a little and Alex turned the volume up. “Sleep on it,” she suggested and the two settled into the rest of their movie night.

Was it such a terrible idea, Kara pondered to herself as Simba was presented to the animal kingdom. She and Lena got along well, bar the alien thing, and she would be happy to spend the rest of her life as Lena’s friend, seeing her smile, hearing her laugh, and even better, being the cause of it. The thought made her feel warm and fuzzy and floaty. It wasn’t such a terrible idea.

 

~*~

 

There was a reason night and darkness and shadow featured for the sinister plots of evil. Tonight was a night of starless skies and a cloud shrouded moon, and a soft layer of mist which a series of black vehicles emerged from. They drove slowly along the road, lights dim and vehicles purring silently and inside the men and women were in full combat gear.

“Five minutes out,” one of the men instructed and slowly the soldiers roused to alertness. They silently started to check their weapons and gear and the minutes passed quickly as they drove onward.

“One minute.”

Through the darkened glass windows they could see the outline of a great concrete jungle ahead, lights all around and towers and fences.

“Let’s go!”

The lights roared on and the vehicles launched forward and there was a shout and then the crack of gunfire and the spit from the muzzles. The vehicles each had their own instructions and some roared around the perimeter, drawing fire and firing back and the middle one drove directly at the gate. It was heavily reinforced; a heavy, lumbering beast but it slammed into the gate of Metropolis Max at over fifty miles an hour, and the heavy steel gates cracked and buckled under the impact. Wheels tore at the concrete driveway and bullets cracked the windscreen as the vehicle reversed.

Inside the prison the alerts were ringing out and snipers were firing from the towers and personnel were scrambling on the ground.

“Phase One!” At the instruction there was a great groan, a powering down of the electricity and the building went blind, the power shut down.

The ram roared back at the gate and it groaned and creaked and with a metallic scream ripped the gate from its fortifications. Another lot of vehicles blazed up to the prison and screeched to a halt inside the inner walls, machine gun firing spitting at the guards and then up at the towers.

“Phase two!” Bellowed the leader and the personnel in the vehicles jumped out and scrambled for the inner doors. A few moments later there was an explosion at each side of the door and they forced their way through it.

The first few through were met with gunfire and fell, but one of them tossed a few grenades into the building and there was a shout of ‘Grenade!’ before there was a loud boom and the men swarmed in, red lights guiding their guns and night-vision goggles guiding their movements.

“Make a left!” The team was swift and efficient, something out of an action movie as they moved through the pre-determined route to the prison and slaughtered their way through the guards as they went. As they got closer to maximum lock-up the guard skill increased and many had to break formation and engage and they lost many men by the time they reached the steel shutters before the maximum wing of the prison.

These guards had their own night-vision goggles and were a force to be reckoned with and the leader pulled back. “CS, you’re up!”

A hulking figure with a large machine gun stomped his way through the corridor and over the dead bodies, blue eye appraising. He launched himself forward and blasted through the human guards, tossing them left and right and moving at a speed that defied human ability. When he was done the prison guards were nothing but piles of muscle and bone in a sack of skin.             

“The door, if you would,” the leader asked, directing the cyborg at the final series of doors and he grunted and tore the steel from the concrete walls and crushed it between his hands. “Thank you,” the leader grunted politely and then strode forward into the high-risk area of the prison. A laser beam emerged past him and shot the prison guards here and they fell in smoking piles and he walked on.

The power croaked back to life and the trial of destruction the non-human had wrought was obvious. The dead were everywhere. Other prisoners were silent, though some came to the bars to beg rescue and received bullets to their foreheads for the trouble. Eventually he came upon a cell and a man sitting cross-legged on the concrete, eyes closed and looking pale in the orange prisoner garb.

“You’re late,” he said and lifted his head and rose fluidly to his feet.

“Mr Luthor,” the leader said and spoke into his mouthpiece. “We are at the door. Open it.”

A few moments later and the door to Lex Luthor’s cell opened and the man strode through.

“I expected you forty three seconds ago, Markus.” Lex drawled as he started to walk down the hall, the soldiers falling around him as guards.

“I apologise, Sir. They proved worthy opponents.”

“Not to worthy, I hope. Ah! Hank! How are you!” He said and a genuine smile moved over his pale features when he saw the half-human, half robot.

“Luthor,” Henshaw ducked his head in greeting.

The extraction team continued silently through the rest of the building, moving quickly towards the exit.

Abruptly there was the ping of a gunshot and Lex Luthor went still and slowly, ever so slowly, turned to face the prison guard that dared fire upon him.

“What the fuck,” the guard breathed out and Lex examined the bullet hole in his shirt and lifted his gaze to smile at the guard.

Markus had his gun up and shot him in the forehead and his head went cracking back and a splatter of blood shot across the concrete wall behind him.

Lex sighed, almost sorrowfully. “So messy,” he mused and the group continued walking.

Eventually they made it to the ground floor and were met with more soldiers. Markus ordered the team to continue with their instructions and they spread out, returning to their vehicles and dragging their dead with them.

The extraction team roared from the compound leaving it silent and eerie with more dead than living in its concrete and steel halls. The alarm’s heralded their exit and when the authorities arrived later, all that remained was silent halls, empty guard rooms, and fallen soldiers, with one top-security prisoner missing. The world knew by day-break; Lex Luthor had escaped from prison.

Chapter Text

 

Supergirl landed amid gasps of awe but ignored them as she strode towards Lena. “Miss Luthor!” The CEO was speaking with a group of men and a few women, her assistant standing next to her and taking notes. They stood inside the police tape line with hard hats and safety vests and were pointing to various parts of the building and looking at tablet devices. A crowd was outside the area, some were media teams, and others were just interested.

It was two and a half weeks (nineteen days) since L-Corp Tower had crumbled to the ground in a heap of bent steel, cracked concrete, wires, building materials and all manner of engineering materials.

Lena’s PR team had given a brief statement to the press in the days that followed, and she had issued a statement the day after her departure from the hospital, but she had yet to hold a press conference, seeing as she had so much to do already.

It would be held this afternoon, once she had spoken with her employees, and Kara would be attending and also trying to get an exclusive interview. On top of the mess with her building she also had to deal with the news this morning of her brother breaking out of prison- and the press, and indeed the public, were crying for an interview, wanting to know what she thought about it, and if she had helped. The police had spoken with her this morning, no doubt, and the DEO Agent Wolfe had been there to ask her some questions, but she was adamant she knew nothing.

Her lawyers were taking care of her insurance, and she was looking to be reimbursed in full-her lawyers were worth their enormous fee’s, and she and Jess had hired an entire team to sort through the rest of the mess and rebuild. The project manager was a young woman called Caitlyn Bell and she was looking to be very efficient and had already started to organise the re-build; rubble removal, building design, site clearance, planning consent (which money did help with) and then the eventual re-build. Even with the Luthor money, as tainted as it was, the re-build would take years and would be a constant uphill battle.

Lena looked exhausted as she turned from her team and looked over at Supergirl. She had dark rings around her eyes that her make-up was trying valiantly to hide and her skin was paler than normal and her eyes were heavy with the weight on her shoulders. The orange safety vest and hard hat clashed with her dark clothing and Kara wondered how she managed to walk over the rubble in heels that high.

“Supergirl,” she ducked her head and excused herself from her team and they went back to examining the ground around the L-Corp Tower. Removal crews were already carting the rubble away, what was left of it anyway, Kal and her had assisted, mostly her, when she had grown too restless while waiting for news on the CEO.

“Miss Luthor,” Kara gave her a smile and then looked passed her to the ruins of L-Corp Tower. “I’m sorry for your loss-um, for the loss of your building?” She amended when Lena lifted a brow in question.

Lena hummed and turned back to it, eyeing the ruins of her hope. She sighed after a moment. “If you’re here about Lex-“

“I’m not here for that,” Kara said quickly and then winced a little. “Well, not exactly.”

Seeing she had Lena’s full attention she quickly explained the situation. “The DEO thinks it would be best if you were given guards until your brother is captured-what?”

Lena sniggered and looked at Kara as one would a child. “You are a fool to underestimate Lex. Just how secure was the prison he was in?” She asked with faux innocence. “And it took him, what, about seven minutes to walk out of there?” Lena shook her head and looked over at L-Corp Tower.

“What Lex wants, Lex get’s,” she said and snorted. “It is one of his more admirable qualities. A Luthor trait admittedly.”

Kara shook her head and placed her hands on her hips. “He has a million dollar hit out on you, and now he’s escaped. You need protection.”

“I’ll not be babysat by glorified nannies,” Lena snapped and shot Kara a look. “Who no doubt will be keeping an eye on me just in case I decide to live up to the Luthor name and turn into a genocidal maniac.”

Kara lifted her shoulders in a sheepish shrug. “Yeah…. About that….”

“Don’t trouble yourself, Supergirl. I’ll be fine,” Lena said and signalled Jess and began to stride back across the pavement.

“Your brother is trying to kill you!” Kara cried, aghast and maybe it was a little louder than necessary, but it was the touch on her hand that made Lena spin around.

“You think I don’t know that!” She snarled and took a step towards the frozen Super. “You think I don’t spend every day thinking of that betrayal?” Her voice caught and she rallied, eyes turning glassy but no tear would fall. “I am very aware of just who is trying to kill me, Supergirl. More aware than you will ever be.”

“Then why won’t you accept our protection?” Kara didn’t like the broken glimpse she caught beneath Lena’s impeccable walls and she lifted her hands in a ‘peace’ gesture. “We can guard you better than any human security,” she said gesturing to the two security guards standing a way off, with eyes on the crowd.

“When Lex comes after me, Supergirl, and he will, then I’ll meet him knowing I didn’t cower behind an agency of the very beings he loathes.” She shook her head adamantly and Kara sighed and raised her hands in exasperation.

“Argh. I just want to keep you safe!”

Lena hesitated and her eyes turned shrewd. A brow raised and Kara was pretty sure she started to sweat. “You want to keep me safe?” She asked incredulously.

Fidgeting was more of a Kara Danvers thing than a Supergirl thing, but she was fidgeting now, under that cool green gaze. “Well-yeah. I mean, your like, kinda my friend?”

Lena blinked. “Right.” She blinked again. “Well in that case….” She trailed off and Kara perked up hopefully. “No.” Kara’s face fell. “You have a duty to the city, Supergirl. We’ve been over this before.”

“Yeah that was before-“

“Before what, Supergirl?” Lena’s voice was getting sharper. “Before Lex broke out of prison?” She shook her head and gestured for Jess again, and the assistant edged forward again. “It doesn’t change anything,” Lena said, voice soft. “I know he’ll come after me, it’s inevitable. And I’d rather not have you in the cross-hairs,” her eyes were a bright, warm green when she looked at Kara and the Super felt some of her anxiousness fade.

“I can take care of myself,” Kara pointed out, kind of wounded that Lena thought so little of Supergirl.

Lena snorted. “I’m sure you can,” she offered as she started to walk across the concrete and towards the police tape where the press and public were waiting. “Though you’ve never come up against my brother, perhaps you should speak with your cousin….”

“Kal defeated your brother once, he can-“

“The evidence that put Lex behind bars was circumstantial,” Lena paused and turned to face Kara fully and removed her hard-hat. How her hair still looked perfect after being under that for god-knows how long, Kara didn’t know. Maybe industrial hair spray?

“It was his word against Superman’s, and no-one wants to go against America’s hero.” There was an odd light to Lena’s eyes, something Kara couldn’t name. “Kal El and Lex’s battle destroyed a half dozen blocks of Metropolis, and killed hundreds of people. And Superman only just survived it.”

“Kal can-“

“You aren’t listening, Supergirl,” Lena shook her head softly, halting Kara’s protests, again. “Lex will be turning on Superman, and by extension, you, and he won’t be holding back. All of his resources will be brought to bear…and Superman works alone.” Lena’s green eyes seemed to hold Kara’s like some gravitational pull and she felt her protests catch in the back of her throat.

“Your cousin may be Superman, but Lex is a Luthor.” Oddly, she then reached out to touch Kara’s arm, and she could the heat from her skin burning her even through her suit. “Tell him to be careful… I’d hate for you to lose the rest of your family.”

Kara blinked confused as Lena smiled at her and then glided away, though the throngs of press shouting questions at her, (some were down-right mean) and shoving camera’s in her face. Jess held her head high next to her boss and she was joined by her security team and they guided her through the crowd and to her car. She’d be giving a press conference later, and for now the media would have to wait.

Did you get her to agree?’ Alex questioned in her ear and Kara shook her head and launched herself into the sky.

“No. She’s being difficult!”

Alex chuckled at the pout she could hear through the microphone. ‘What did you expect? She’s a Luthor.’

“She’s not like they are, Alex,” Kara defended quickly and soared through the skies towards the DEO.

Maybe not,’ Alex agreed after a few moments. ‘But she has her pride and its taken a beating in the past few weeks, months….years?’

Kara sighed but didn’t argue.

She was also correct in thinking we wanted to keep an eye on her,’ Alex said as Kara floated down to land in the DEO. “She has to be suspicious of us as we are of her,” she shrugged as she approached Kara and the Super sighed.

“I know. I just want to keep her safe! Lex has a million dollar hit out on her, and he broke out of prison.” They walked towards the command area of the DEO and Kara smiled as she saw Winn.

“To be fair,” the tech expert offered as they got closer. “I think she’s more concerned about Lex than the hit. What’s to stop him coming after her himself?” They didn’t have an answer for the question and Kara glanced at the time.

“Shoot! I’ve gotta get to work. Snapper wanted to talk to me n’ Mitch about our article. See ya later guys!”

“We’ll be at the conference!” Alex called after her departing sister.

“Okay! Maybe you can convince Lena to accept our protection!”

Alex snorted. Yeah, right. Lena wouldn’t be accepting help from anyone any time soon.

 

~*~

Lena took a long swallow of water and bemoaned the fact that her medication made her feel dizzy and sleepy and unguarded, unguarded enough that she may slip up and reveal herself to the press and the world so she had refused to have any today until the conference was over. She was regretting the fact as her body ached and she was getting a headache again. She would certainly be looking into investing in a pharmaceutical company before the day was over; drugs were such wonderful things. In fact, she considered, L-Corp could look into making better ones… it was a thought, but as she was currently in a lot of pain by just breathing, the thought was a good one.

Jess stood by with her speech and a few of her employees were still hanging around after their meeting. She had booked a hotel conference room and had provided them with a buffet as thanks for their patience, loyalty, and for being the reason they were almost killed. Progress was being made. She assured them that they still had their jobs if they wished them, and that she was going to look at relocating many of them to different buildings and even branches of L-Corp to try and get them back to work.

Michael, her IT expert, had informed her their data was still available and they could continue with their workloads as soon as they were settled in- she had informed HR of it and they were working to find placements for everyone. She had also bought a few new buildings and had started the process to have them renovated for work, and, to her great surprise, Maxwell Lord had offered her a floor of one of his buildings indefinitely. Apparently he had been impressed by her, but she was suspicious as to his motives. However, he said he had none, and only wanted to help her out, after all, she saved her employees and he respected that, respected that a lot.

So by the new week, a few days away, they should be settled enough to get everyone back to work and they would have to speak with their departmental heads about where they were located, and also the requirements they had for their tasks.

She had been applauded after she had addressed them, and many of them had brought their families, and she was sort of passed around for hugs, hand-shakes and tear-filled thank you’s. It was a humbling experience and she was still unsettled by her employee’s and their families’ gratitude. Gratitude wasn’t something that had been directed to her very often. Mostly she had mingled with her employees and seen how they were going, Mia had insisted she examine her baby bump-and that was a new experience as well- and had jokingly said she’d name her daughter, if it was a daughter, after her. At least- Lena had thought she was joking.

Ten minutes earlier the hotel employees had been instructed to allow the press inside and they had poured through the doors like water did an open dam and she’d quelled her initial snarl. Vultures, the lot of them, but she did feel her lips curling upwards when she recognised a certain reporter from Catco.

She had had to cancel her brief lunches with the sweet blonde because she just ran out of time, and when she did, she simply fell into her mattress until her alarm woke her a few hours later. It was good to see the reporter, and even better to see her sunny trademark smile and Lena felt some of her tension ease. Kara would ask fair questions and wouldn’t twist her words.

A few minutes later and Jess was standing in front of her with her speech set out and handed it over.

“What would I do without you?” She asked as her assistant handed over her pain killers and she downed them in the privacy behind a curtain. She felt safe knowing they would take a while to kick-in and she’d hopefully be done with the press by then.

Jess just smiled and hovered near her, ready to follow her before the press.

“Ready?”

Lena shook her head. “No, but shall we?”

Jess smiled encouragingly and Lena drew her composure to her like armour and strode forward and out onto the stage amid camera flashes and shouted questions. So rude. They could wait until she ran through her statement first.

The conference went how she expected it to. First; she read her statement and then Jess pointed out reporters for questions. A lot were about her brother, how she was feeling about him still trying to kill her, how she felt about James Malcom, how she saved her employees, what was happening with L-Corp (was she selling, giving up) what she thought on aliens and all the usual garbage one expected from people who delighted in twisting words and tearing other people down for money.

Afterward, when she grew tired of the harsh questions, she was exiting when she saw Kara and Alex Danvers hovering by the door, by many other reporters trying to get another word, and she paused to get Jess to let them through. Security swept her past the reporters and into another section of the hotel and a few moments later Kara and Alex joined her, the former smiling, like usual, and the latter with a stern glint to her eyes.

“Lena, hey!” Kara bounded up to her and wrapped her in a hug and Lena went still in surprise and Kara launched herself backwards, going bright red. “Ahm, hi,” she nervously adjusted her glasses while Lena got her heart under control. Alex was looking at her, decidedly smug, and Jess just looked satisfied. “I’m glad you’re okay! Well, not that you’re okay, because you aren’t-um, that you survived?” Kara’s face fell and she looked heavenward as though trying to find the words in her brain and Lena chuckled.

“Thank you for your concern, and for the flowers,” she said and Kara was back to beaming at her. “They were lovely. Thank you.”

“Agent Danvers,” she inclined her head to Alex and then her gaze turned shrewd. “How does it feel to be one of the most hated women in the city?”

Alex narrowed her eyes at her while Kara looked adorably confused.

“Half the city wants to be you and the other half wants to kill you.” She was referring of course to the photos of Alex comforting Supergirl after the Tower fell. Many rabid fans of the Super were now calling Alex her girlfriend and had been in parts jealous, and supportive of her relationship with the Agent. Alex had to issue a statement on her Facebook and had quickly gone silent on social media after her face was plastered all over it. Supergirl had issued a statement-through Catco- that she wasn’t dating the Agent, and that the Agent in question was already in a committed relationship with someone else. Still, it had caused a bit of havoc for the DEO, and the sects interested in Supergirl and Lena Luthor, and Supergirl and her Agent had quickly been at each other’s throats. It was an interesting lesson in the pack mentality of internet users.

Alex was quick to reply, obviously catching on. “The same could be said for you, Miss Luthor.”

Lena grinned, showing her teeth. She did enjoy it when people met her sharp tongue head on. “Not at the moment, I’m afraid. Having a building falling on you does ruin ones routine.”

“Huh?” Kara voiced her confusion and Lena took great pleasure in informing her her sister was dating Supergirl, and didn’t she know?

“What? No-she’s not-no way. Alex’s not-“ Kara was a stuttering mess while a graceful blush lit Alex’s features, but she was quick to reply.

“I heard she was dating you,” she said regally, and lifted her chin a little, but there was a curve to her lips, a smile in her eyes as Kara went beat red. Interesting.

“So I heard…seems like a lot of work,” she considered and Kara choked. “Are you alright?” She enquired of her beat-red friend and Alex bit her lip to hide her giggle.

“I’m good,” Kara rasped out.

“Right,” Lena looked back at Alex. “I seem to have all these women I’m dating. Honestly, I need two of me to keep up.”

Kara gave a little squeak and Alex laughed. “Yes, well. I had to delete my social media accounts and had to explain to my girlfriend what was happening, and then I had to have dinner with her family.”

Lena winced in sympathy. “I bet that was as enjoyable as the hospital romp Supergirl and I had once she rescued me from L-Corp.” Kara made another weird noise and went redder than she was before.

Lena did love making her friend blush, but did wonder at why she was reacting like this. Was she that much of a prude? Or was there something else?

“Sometimes the fans of celebrities can be…intense and have active imaginations,” she offered and then smoothened her features. “But I don’t think you’re here to discuss my personal life. What can I do for you both?”

Alex and Kara shared a look and then Alex spoke. “The DEO would like to move you into protective custody.”

Lena shook her head and examined the watch on her wrist. “I’ve had this discussion with Supergirl earlier.” Her gaze became stern. “I don’t want to put any of your people at risk when Lex comes after me. I’m sure you already have your hands full.”

Alex sighed but gave a begrudging nod. “Well, you have my number if you change your mind, but please at least consider it, we are better equip than they are,” she jabbed her thumb over at her human security team.

“I was hoping to catch up for afternoon tea, or maybe dinner?- if you weren’t busy, that is,” Kara’s enthusiasm faded as she continued and then she fidgeted with her messenger strap.

“Don’t you have an article to write?” Lena asked curiously and watched as Kara’s eyes widened.

“Oh yeah, ops. So, dinner then?”

Unable to deny the hopeful puppy anything Lena gave it a moments thought for effect and then nodded. Kara gave a slight squeal and jumped forward to give Lena a hug and then bounded back. “Okay! Ill text you when I’m coming over, and I’ll bring take out! See you!”

Alex and Lena watched in amused bemusement as Kara quickly left the room, past the security and out into the corridor where media were still trying to get a picture or another statement.

“Ya know,” Alex said conversationally. “I had to convince her not to talk to you about taking our protection. She’s worried about you.”

Lena felt her stomach do something funny and glanced over at the Agent.

“I hope she doesn’t get hurt while she’s with you.”

Lena couldn’t tell if it were a threat or not, but her defences went up. Hurting Kara was the last thing she wanted. “I told Supergirl the exact same thing.”

Alex looked at her squarely for a moment before nodding. “Be safe, Miss Luthor,” she called over her shoulder as she walked away, and Lena watched her ease through the security, place her aviators on her face, and exit the room. Her stomach was tight and knotted, uncomfortable. What is Alex was right? What if Kara was hurt while she was with her? She’d never forgive herself.

Kara was worth her pride, but… no. It wasn’t just her pride here. If any of the DEO got hurt while guarding her, they wouldn’t be available to help the Superhero and she couldn’t risk that, besides, she’d see the Super a lot in the coming weeks and months, they had a social crusade to wage.

As she walked to the door she saw Jess bringing her phone to her ear and likely ringing David and she passed through the throng of reports and ignored the camera’s shoved in her direction and the questions until one.

“What does your brother think of you dating Supergirl?!”

It was enough to cause a mis-step and she knew the cameras caught that. Schooling her features she turned to face the reporter, noting how the rest of the pack of them had gone quiet and instead directed their microphones at her.

“I have not given a thought to what Lex thinks of me since he first tried to kill me,” she said, knowing that if her brother saw her words he’d likely be livid( and call her a liar). “And Supergirl and I are not dating. Surely your reporting efforts would be better directed towards the social issues she is going to be involved in? Or do you not care about refuge shelters, bullying in schools, suicidal youth LGBT+?” She turned the full power of her Luthor gaze on him, the one she’d practiced in the mirror that her mum and Lex had aced, the one where you conveyed your absolute superiority over the other person while showing your disdain for them. It was a look that belonged on the face of some royal in a portrait, but she worked it well.

She gave him a satisfied smile as he faltered under her glare and ignored the rest of the questions and continued walking down the hall and into the lobby and out the door, security flanking her and Jess.

David was waiting for her with the other security guard she had hired, Vince, who looked like the handsome lead for a typical white-pretty boy action film as he leant against the limo. He was wearing aviators a thin white shirt which was several sizes to small, Lena thought as she got closer, and had black jeans and a leather jacket on. He cockily pushed off the side of the car and opened the door for her and she spared a glance at his biceps.

Jess had already admired his form before and she was certain that perhaps the two of them would get friendly after work hours and she left out a soft sigh of envy. He was very nicely built.

Bella slid in behind her and Jess and Vince walked around to the other door and got in and sat facing her and she lifted a brow in amusement as he picked up the packet of biscuits he’d obviously been eating on the way and dug in with gusto.

“Cookie?” He offered after inhaling the first few.

“No, thank you.”

He shrugged good-naturedly and offered the bag to Jess and Bella. Jess accepted with a shy smile and he winked at her and Bella just shook her head.

“I don’t eat-“

“You don’t eat junk food, right,” the security guard nodded and lifted his great shoulders in a shrug and rapped the back glass divider to talk to David. Idly Lena wondered if maybe there was something to Bella’s diet, some reason she was carb, sugar, and fat averse. Maybe she was diabetic.

“We’re all good, bud. Let’s go.”

David nodded in the gear-view mirror and eased the limo away from the curb. “Where to, Miss Luthor?”

“Home, please David. If we could drop Jess off on the way.” He gave her a nod and they eased into the traffic.

Lena scrolled through her phone, seeing that her social media notifications had blown up with the photo of her and Supergirl from this morning and she sighed at some of the comments and scrolled on. Normally she tried not to look down while in vehicles, otherwise she’d feel sick, but felt she could risk it enough to send off a quick tweet giving a short line about how she was excited to work with Supergirl in the future and make a difference to the lives of the people of National City. Of course immediately people were asking her if they were dating, and that this was proof, and all sorts so she retreated from the platform and stared blankly ahead.

Vince was still crunching happily, though it looked like he was working through a new packet of the chocolate chip cookies.

Eventually they stopped at Jess’ apartment building and Lena asked her to get in touch with a few of the not-for-profit organisations around the city that may be interested in what Supergirl was offering and get back to her in a few days. Jess was all smiles as she left and Lena caught Vince watching her leave and smiled to herself, and squashed her jealousy. It would be nice to have someone, or even have someone interested in her, rather than her last name and all the coat-trails that came with it.

Her mind flashed to Kara and their dinner tonight and she wondered if she ought to make her intentions obvious, or maybe just test the waters to see how Kara responded. She’d been complimenting her, which was only fair, Kara was gorgeous, but friends could do that without there being anything there, so maybe it was time to take it up a notch. She absently considered the tricks in her arsenal and had a semi-formulated plan by the time David pulled up to her apartment building and glided the limo downstairs.

The three of them took the private elevator (scanning her security card and offering a pin number) to her level, waving David good-bye, and exited once they were at the top. Bella went first, striding off down the hall and preparing to inspect the security she’d set up. Vince was strong and silent at her back and she clicked from the elevator to the hall.

“Clear,” Bella said and Lena nodded, unlocking her door and letting them inside. She checked the security panel inside the door and once she was satisfied it had had no tampering she entered the room.

“I’m not planning on going anywhere tonight, but Kara is coming over later on,” Lena said and the two nodded. She’d given them a guest room each and they were comfortable with the arrangement, even though they had to share a shower and bathroom. She’d also let them have free reign of her small gym, and entertainment system, as long as they kept the door closed while she was working. She let them sort out their own schedules for keeping her safe, though when she was making public appearances they both insisted on going with her.

They worked well together, for the most part. Vince was like an excitable puppy, all eager and bouncing and ‘chill’ as he liked to say. He was a gym junkie and was breaking in her weight sets as she hadn’t yet gotten strong enough to lift the heavy weights. But he was also a softie. He had an obsession with finding cute cat and dog videos on the internet and showing them to Bella and he was quick with a smile or an inappropriate comment. He was never cruel though, just funny, and he loved anime, and had drooled when he saw Lena’s nerd collection of animation, and sci-fi, and fantasy series (StarWars, Star Trek, Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Tiger and Bunny, Full Metal alchemist, to name a few). He had immediately started on a series and she had been caught in the net and dragged before the television and had spent many evenings watching her beloved cartoons.

Bella was a professional while she was working, but as soon as she was off the clock she became chatty and fun. Her sexual innuendos had Vince blushing and choking and she was fiercely competitive at her online games, and if the way she worked in her military games was any indication of her profess with a gun, then Lena pitied her foes. She also knitted, which Lena had found very surprising, but she said it calmed her down, and reminded her of her grandmother, and she did make such lovely clothes, which she apparently gave to homeless foundations. She was also very pleased to discover Lena’s music player and would blast the heaviest metal music through the speakers while she pummelled Lena’s punching bag. To say her gym was getting put through its paces was an understatement, but it was nice having other people around, odd, but nice.

She moved quietly through the apartment and into her room and spent a good half hour after her shower debating on what she should wear. Torn between showing enough skin that Kara would probably be red the entire time, and also wanting to be a normal person and have casual clothes, not to mention she was sore, she ended up choosing a pair of old sweatpants and a faded blue shirt from a triathlon she’d done in college. She even took the time to rub her ointments on her bruises, which had thankfully gone down, even though they were now a dull and faded yellowy green colour which was not very attractive.

Medication taken she padded through the apartment on socked feet until she came to her private study. She could hear the thump of a punching bag and the faint screaming music as well as the occasional swearing from her entertainment room and figured Vince was catching up on one of his television shows while Bella worked out.

The two knew about her laboratory, or at least, must have figured that out by the building layout. They hadn’t mentioned any need to see it or scout it, merely feigning interest in her secret lair, but they didn’t know about the other door to her laboratory.

She eased onto her work chair and powered up her computer and dove back into work. She was examining the budget for the next year, having found a few instances where the books were uneven, and with the rebuild and rearranging of the organisation she needed to know exactly where her money was going, and had taken it upon herself to go over every expenditure and track every cent. It was a mammoth task, L-Corp and its subsidiaries worked with billions of dollars, but something told her to look into it, so here she was, in her own time (though she didn’t really have her own time, she was CEO and it all belonged to L-Corp) chasing paper trails.

Pausing for a moment she clicked out of the documents and moved over to her iTunes and a few moments later the soft and soothing mix of classical music droned out of her speakers and she went back to work.

The numbers merged into one, a blur, and she jotted notes down on a work pad and it was only a knock on the door that had her glancing up from the white and black of her monitor. Blinking at the sudden changed she squinted a little and saw Bella at the door.

“Miss Danvers is on her way up.”

“Thank you.” Lena sighed and stretched her arms out and clicked out of her files and flipped her note-pad closed. Bella had long vanished into the hallways and had likely gone to annoy Vince like she liked to do. Though they had only just meet recently they got along like siblings and the thought made her heart ache for a moment as she thought of her own sibling, still out to get her.

You would have thought that with her shooting the last would-be assassin, and shooting the Alien, that Lex would get the picture she wasn’t to be messed with, and honestly he had seemed remorseful for trying to have her killed the first time. It was probably her decision to give Superman the co-ordinates for one of the other LuthorCorp laboratories that sparked this current killing attempt, though one million seemed a bit of a stretch, maybe he really, really wanted her dead for the betrayal. And, she nodded to herself as she closed up her secret room, it was certainly a betrayal, no matter how you looked at it.

She had given her brothers (im) mortal enemy the location of a secret laboratory which Lex had designated tasks and research with the goal of eventually bringing down Superman. No wonder Lex had increased the bounty on her head, he must have been irate at the betrayal.

Well, she considered as she wandered over to the fridge, he’d done it first. First; he’d decided to take their united goal of changing the world and turning it into a vendetta against a god, then he decided to have her killed after she tried to re-write what history would say about the Luthor’s, and because she hadn’t appreciated the attempt on her life, she had responded by telling Superman where to find one of Lex’s secret labs, he had decided to have her killed, again. It was actually rather petty. A simple sibling rivalry, though she wasn’t sure who’s sibling squabbles involved world-class assassins and a million dollar bounty. It was almost an episode out of one of those campy day-time shows.

She was a Luthor. She was used to death threats. Especially after Lex was put in jail. It just hurt that her brother was the one behind it.

She was removing a bottle of water from the fridge when the door-bell rang and she walked over to the door to check the camera feed. Kara had her hands full of take-out containers and was currently rubbing her chin on her shoulder. Smiling Lena opened the door, tucking the bottle in the top of her cast and sling, and Kara started at the swiftness of it before beaming back at her.

“Lena! Hi!”

“Hello Kara,” Lena stood to the side to allow Kara entry and she bounced through the door and placed her take-out bags on the table.

“Oh, hi!” Kara directed this at the tall and handsome blonde standing over by one of the doors.

Vince nodded in greeting, cast Lena a parting glance, and then disappeared back down the hall, clicking the safety back on his weapon.

Seeing Kara’s confused look as she shuffled the bags around Lena elaborated as she shut the door and set her security. “Vincent-Vince- and Bella are my two new bodyguards.”

“Oh… I thought I recognised him! Wait,” Kara’s eyes narrowed and her voice turned suspicious. “How long have you known Lex was out to get you?”

Lena pointedly ignored the comment and pulled out two plates and set them on the bench. “A while,” she answered eventually and opened the fridge. “What do you want to drink?” She rattled off her options and Kara went with water, seeing as Lena couldn’t drink alcohol and wasn‘t in the mood for soda.

“Lena,” Kara repeated warningly and Lena felt her ire at the comment rise. She could take care of herself and did not answer to Kara, but when she turned back she could see the worry on her friends face so her answer contained less bite than it could have.

“I’ll not live in fear, and not of Lex, Kara,” she said quietly. “I have no choice but to carry on.”

She smiled at the frustrated reporter and nodded over to the couches. “Bella and Vince are in the entertainment room, so we’re stuck out here for now.”

They dished up their meals and settled down on the couch and Kara was first to break the comfortable silence.

“How did you survive?” She blurted after a moment and then promptly blushed and shoved a potsticker into her mouth, cheeks bulging like a chipmunks.

Biting her lip to hold back her giggle Lena gave the answer a moments thought. “Off the record?”

Kara frowned and nodded and Lena narrowed her eyes a little at the look but answered.” I really don’t know,” she said as she speared a piece of broccoli and chicken on her fork. “I just remember the door to the safe-room closing and a fire ball and then screaming.” She lifted her fork to her lips. “I asked my engineers to look into it as well, and they said that the room shouldn’t have been able to withstand that kind of fall.”

She took a bite and chewed and swallowed. “Maybe the rest of the building cushioned the fall somehow.” She shrugged and peered at her plate, opting for some beef and a carrot and popped the mouthful into her mouth.

“Mh,” Kara said and then hesitated. “You know I’m here as your friend, right?”

Lena lifted a brow curiously and Kara met her gaze head-on.

“I mean, I’m not your friend for a scoop, you know? I’d tell you if I need to ask Lena Luthor, CEO, some questions, but me, Kara me, not reporter me, is here for Lena….”

She trailed off, obviously not as eloquent in person as she was on paper and Lena found the attempt adorable and something inside her settled as Kara added, “Just…assume I’m not a reporter until I say hey, I need to know and this is for Kara-the-reporter, and not Kara-the-friend…if you want to…”

The light blush on Kara’s cheeks was lovely and she sensed an opportunity arriving.

“Thank you, Kara.” She said sincerely and shifted on the couch to place her hand on Kara’s and gently ran her fingers along it before withdrawing, leaving goose-bumps in her wake. Kara had gone wide-eyed and swallowed loudly but gave her a shaky smile.

“You’re a great friend,” she added and leant over to grab the remote, balancing her plate on her knees and between her cast. It caused her a bit of discomfort but she was healing faster than she thought she would.

“What do you want to watch?”

The television came to life and Kara perked up. “What have you got?”

Lena chuckled. “Everything. Sports, movies, cartoons, news, game-shows…,” she trailed off as Kara brightened.

“Game-show it is.” She scrolled through her account until she found the program she wanted and started the episode.

“The Chasers are such intelligent people,” Kara was gushing as she spooned some noodles into her mouth. Lena nodded in agreement and settled back into the couch and rested her plate on her knees.

“Would you ever go on it? On the show?”

Lena thought for a moment and then shook her head. “No, I don’t think so. I don’t know enough.”

Kara snorted. “Sure you do. Your IQ is like, what, one fifty something?”

Flattered by the blonde’s almost aggressive support of her she merely hummed in answer. “Mh. Besides, I have no need for money.”

Kara couldn’t argue with that and went back to her dinner. They watched the show in relative silence, occasionally guessing the answers (with Kara surprising Lena in her global knowledge which led her to asking if Kara would go on the show. Kara blushed and fiddled with her glasses and shook her head).

Once Kara had inhaled most of the food and had placed her plate on the coffee table Lena had turned on one of those missing people programs, where investigators find long-lost relatives or family members. Kara was a ball of goo over it, and had hesitantly enquired about her birth parents. There wasn’t much to tell, really. She was three when they had died, she had a photo of them all, and when she was younger she’d strain alone in the dark and guided by a flashlight under the covers to memorise their faces, to force memories forward, but there wasn’t much. Her adoption records were sealed, and the Luthor’s hadn’t liked her to speak of her old family, not when she had a new one, and a new name she had to live up to.

“What about your parents? You were a teenager when they died?” Lena asked quietly, sensing the weight of the subject in the way only an orphan could to a fellow orphan, though she barely remembered her birth parents.

“I-they-we,” Kara was staring blankly at the television and Lena adjusted herself on the couch, moving to sit close, very close, to Kara and rested her head on her shoulder. Kara went still and stuttered a little and needlessly adjusted her glasses. She placed her hands flat on her thighs, tension write throughout her body.

“They died when I was twelve,” she said quietly, voice cracking and her chest rising with a sharp breath. Lena gently reached out and covered Kara’s hand with her own and Kara’s fingers curled beneath her palm, taking the tips of Lena’s fingers with her.

“I-I was the only one who esca-got out-of the fire. I lost everything…” her voice cracked and Lena brought her arm around her and tugged gently.

“Will you tell me about them?” She asked quietly, heart thumping in her chest and an ache in her throat.

“Mh,” Kara’s swallow was audible.

Lena lifted her hand from Kara’s, watching the twitch as though to follow her hand back.

“Kara… it’s okay.” The blonde’s cheek was smooth and warm and damp under her fingertips and she gently stroked her thumb across her cheek. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.”

Her heart clenched and Kara quickly shook her head adamantly and turned her head that brief distance to look her in the eyes. They were glassy behind their thick lenses and Lena made a mental note to see if she could find some powerful contact lenses for her friend.

“No! I- you-it’s okay.” Kara swallowed and Lena felt the movement down her hand. “It’s okay,” she gave a tight smile, eyes wet. “I’d…like to talk about them…”

Lena smiled encouraging and Kara took a shaky breath and talked about her father first. How he taught her to dance by having her stand on his feet; how he taught her about the stars (he loved Astronomy and that was why she knew so much about the galaxy, planets and stars) and he taught her his love of Physic’s. She started to cry part way through and Lena shifted on the couch again to hold Kara better. She was warm and solid in her arms and trembling, her body racked with sobs but she kept on going, this time about her mother. How she fought for justice, saw the good in everyone, how she taught her how to paint, and how to appreciate the beauty in everything.

The angle grew uncomfortable as the minutes went on and Lena leant back, gently tugging Kara with her and the blondes weight was solid on her, arms slung around her middle as she spoke of her Aunt Astra. Lena ended up running her fingers gently and soothingly through Kara’s hair and her scalp as Kara’s tears faded and she sleepily continued telling Lena about her family.

They stayed like that; Kara lying over Lena with Lena’s arms around her and running her fingers through her hair. Kara fell asleep after a while, and Lena kept her in her embrace, even as her ribs protested the weight and angle and rested her cheek on the top of Kara’s head as she too fell into slumber. She awoke in her own bed, tucked beneath the covers with her cell-phone on charge on the bedside table next to her. Kara was long gone, and something inside her ached at the thought but she brightened when she forced her eyes to focus and saw a note on the top of her phone.

She lifted her hand for it and held it before her eyes. It had many dots at the top and crossed out letters and words as though Kara had been unable to find the words, and she could picture how she would scrunch her face in concentration and the frustrated grumble that would escape her lips when she couldn’t find the words.

 

Morning sleeping beauty ;p

I’m sooooo sorry I fell asleep on you, like wow, so sorry. Um, thanks for listening last night. Call me later?

Kara xoxo

 

Her heart did something funny at seeing the ‘hug’s and ‘kisses’ and she reached for her cell phone with a stupid smile on her face. Her heart felt warm and glowing, like it was a heater or a fire warming her entire body.

Her cell was fully charged and she typed her password and opened her emails. Every morning she was sent the previous days business information, with a summary at the end of each week, and things she needed to be aware of. There had been a bit less of that since her business had been blown up, and her employees were in the process of being settled into new workspaces, but she still received the highlights, and of course, what the stock market and press were saying about the Luthor name and L-Corp.

Her heart thudded to a stop at seeing one of the headlines of a gossip rag and she swallowed, her warmth from the note immediately fleeing and her blood turned to ice. Groaning she let her cell fall on the bed and hid under her covers as the memories resonated and she felt her stomach churning.

The headline read; Who killed Lionel?

The subheading was in bold letters: Inside Luthor Mansion; abuse, alcohol, neglect, and violence.

She curled up on her side and squeeze her eyes shut, hoping to hide away from the world and escape the memories, but there was no running from your past.

 

Edit: 16/05/17- spoiler, and comment response removal.

 

Chapter Text

 

It took her less than three minutes to touch down at Alex’s apartment once she had awoken in Lena’s arms tense and ready for action. She was warm and safe and had embarrassingly left a small wet patch on Lena’s collar and had quickly launched herself from the brunettes arms. She had to use her powers to stop herself from landing on the floor in un-graceful heap and ended up panting with wide-eyes as she took in the sleeping CEO on the couch. Lena curled back into the back of the sofa, her cast resting over her stomach and her eyelids fluttered but didn’t open and Kara felt the steady thumping of her heart change from surprise into something else, something warm.

There was a faint light coming in from partially pulled curtains with the great view over the city and it was right on Lena’s face, and her eyes twitched as she shifted and Kara moved quickly to the curtain and closed it fully.

With the apartment in darkness she was able to gather her bearings and realised she had fallen asleep on Lena (and in her arms) after talking about her parents and family. Her throat was a little raw from talking and her eyes were a bit sore from crying, she hadn’t cried so much in years, but she was feeling refreshed, weightless, which was a new feeling. It probably had nothing to do with the way she’d rested for… she cast around for her cell-phone and checked the time, it was early, so she’d been a sleep for a little while.

She eyed Lena for a moment before reaching down and gently lifting her into her arms and felt her heart stutter when Lena gave a quiet murmur of protest and nuzzled into her neck.

She easily carried Lena down the hall and to her room, and told herself she was holding her close to her body in case her strength suddenly gave out, but in reality she just liked having her close, being able to feel her heartbeat through her skin. Her own had skipped to match Lena’s, and the thought made her feel warm on the inside, but then she felt tendrils of panic. She wasn’t gay, not that there was anything wrong with it, but she wasn’t, she just wasn’t. Her stomach twisted uncomfortably.

She was gentle as she left Lena on her bed and pulled the covers over her and quickly wrote her a note and plugged her phone in before walking back down the hall to the door. She got her messenger bag and then hesitated at the door. Lena had armed the apartment, and when Kara left she would probably set the alarm off, so, either she woke one of Lena’s bodyguards (because she was not waking her sleeping beauty) or left another way.

She considered it for a moment before she was walking back towards Lena’s room and silently entered. It felt odd now, being in her room without having a reason for being there, somehow intimate and she felt like an intruder. She walked quickly over to the balcony and slid through the curtains and opened the door. Casting a final glance back at the sleeping CEO, she closed the door behind her and leapt into the sky. There was a curling in her belly, unease that was only growing and she knew the one person she could talk to, could always talk to, was Alex, and so set off in the direction of her apartment.

Alex had chosen this one especially for its large open windows and always kept them unlocked, even if they weren’t open, and she slid them up on well-oiled hinges and ducked into the silent apartment.

It was clean and tidy, her sister being such a neat-freak after joining the DEO, but she figured it had something to do with her military training and wanting everything in order. But there was pizza boxes stacked by the rubbish bin and Kara felt her stomach growl. Smiling to herself, that even uneasy she still wanted food, she wandered over to the fridge and took a peak.

Yes! There was some pizza left. She took it out, knowing Alex wouldn’t mind, probably, and tilted her head, heating it briefly with her vision before trotting over to Alex’s door.

“Alex,” she said as she opened the door and then paused. Alex was in a relationship now, maybe she shouldn’t just be walking into her sisters room without knocking. She lifted her shoulder in shrug, she didn’t sense another person, and pushed the door open completely. She may have used additional force on accident and the sound echoed in the silent apartment like a gunshot in the night.

Kara paused, slice of pizza in her mouth as Alex launched herself upright with a gun in her hand and slammed her other one down on her touch-light bedside lamp.

“Oh my god, Kara!” She sighed and flopped back on her pillows and clicked the safety back on. “What are you doing here?” She groaned and lifted one of her arms over her eyes as Kara floated down onto the bed. “It’s two thirty in the morning…. What’s wrong?” Kara could tell the moment her sister looked at her, truly looked at her, because she straightened again and lifted the gun, scanning Kara for injury.

“Kara?” She enquired, all signs of sleep gone, and the Super sighed and scooted up the headboard and balanced the pizza box on her knees.

“What’s wrong? What happened?”

“How’d you know you were gay?” Kara asked quietly. “I mean, you thought you were straight your whole life but now you’re not straight?”

She self-consciously took another bite of pizza, taking more into her mouth than was wise in an attempt to not look at Alex.

Alex sighed and shifted up to lean against her headboard and dragged her blankets up, Kara levitating for a moment to let her drag the covers up. She chewed her pizza quietly as Alex stuttered and stammered and haltingly explained that she hadn’t, until she met Maggie, and she helped her realise some things. It was very similar to what she’d already told Kara, when she came-out as it were, but there was a little more added, and Kara got the feeling Alex was only telling her this so that she could gather her thoughts.

“Wanna talk about it?” She enquired when she had finished talking about her.

Kara took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Mh.”

“Kara,” Alex said warningly in an excellent impression of Eliza, and even her bed-head and old college t-shirt didn’t diminish the glare. “You came here for a reason, and it wasn’t just for the pizza,” she said, voice softening and snatched a piece of pizza.

“Do you really think Lena likes me?” Kara asked quickly, almost mushing her words together but not quite. Alex took a small bite of pizza and thought for a moment, she had been waiting for this moment for a few weeks now.

“Yeah,” she answered and nodded, looking over at her sister in the lamp-light.

“How do you know?” Kara asked and her voice was quiet and soft and vulnerable.

“Well,” the smile in Alex’s voice was obvious. “She stares at you and bites her lip a lot, she is constantly touching you, you go to her for interviews and you end up talking about everything but for hours,” she emphasised. “She always makes time for you, she threatened Supergirl to keep you safe, and she scraped her alien detection device because you asked her to.”

“I don’t know whether she scraped it entirely,” Kara said cautiously and Alex rolled her eyes.

“That’s all you got? Really, Kara?” She huffed in exasperation and took another bite of pizza as Kara pouted.

“But really,” Alex added once she had cleared her mouth. “I think she does like you, as more than a friend.”

Kara nodded slowly and then shot Alex a hesitant look from under her lashes. “I think I like her to?”

The news didn’t surprise her sister, if the eye-brow arch she received were any consolation, and she elaborated. “Like, I think I like her a lot…like I liked James…”

“Yeah?” Alex asked, a smile curling her lips. “What do you like about her?”

Kara beamed and then proceeded to list everything Lena did, or everything about her that she loved and it was well into the morning by the time she had finally run out of things to say.

“Kara,” Alex began. “You don’t have to label yourself, I know how you feel about them.” Kara gave a sheepish smile. “Buuuut,” Alex drew the vowel out. “It sound’s like you have a major crush on Lena Luthor.” She grinned as her sister went red, a shy smile on her face, and then tossed a pillow at her with a laugh.

“Shuddup Alex.”

Alex just grinned. “Kara and Lena kissing in a tree. K. I. S. S-“ She broke off her rendition of the age-old child’s rhyme with a yelp and lifted her hands up to protect her face as Kara attacked her with a pillow. They had a brief pillow fight, which mostly consisted of Alex trying to protect her face under Kara’s assault, and then flopped back breathing harsher than normal. Kara floated dreamily down next to her and looked over at Alex.

“Did you want to fly me to work?” Alex enquired as she looked over at the time. “We can get breakfast from Noonan’s first?” Kara perked up immediately.

“Yup! Okay!”

Alex got out of bed and padded over to get some clothes out and headed to the shower and Kara grinned and snuggled into her sisters warm bed and opened up her cell phone. It was probably too early for Lena to be up but she kind of hoped there would be a notification from her and swallowed her disappointment.

Bored Kara floated to her feet and wandered into the kitchen and seeing the dawn’s rays peeking through the blinds she opened them and let light flood the apartment. She could pick up the specks of dust in the air, glinting like glitter, as they floated to the ground and she eyed the refrigerator contemplatively. Maybe Alex had some cereal.

She was digging into a bowl when Alex emerged from her shower, drops of water clinging to her hair, and in her uniform. She paused as she clicked her service weapon onto her hip. “Is that the last of my cereal?”

Kara froze in her chewing for a moment. “Nooooo,” her voice lifted suspiciously at the end.

“Because it looks like it,” Alex said as she came closer and glared down at the milk left in the bowl.

“Isjersabowloffmik,” Kara protested and moved the cereal to her cheeks, making them bulge like a chipmunks. “See,” she partially stuck her tongue out and Alex leant against the bench and folded her arms.

“Mh hm,” she hummed in agreement. “Sure it is.”

“You love me,” Kara smiled and then quickly whizzed through the apartment and cleared up after herself and then bounded over to the door. “And because I’m your favourite sister you’re gonna buy me breakfast.”

“Sticky buns?” Alex asked deadpan with a raised brow and unfolded her arms.

“Yup!” Shaking her head she followed her sister out into the apartment complex.

“I swear the DEO spends more money on stationary and food for you than we do equipment. Maybe I should tell J’onn to invest in a fast-food chain or something.”

“Hey,” Kara protested from where she was already bounding down the staircase.

Alex just smiled and ran after her sister after locking her door. Being Kara’s sister was difficult, but it wasn’t without its main perk, that of being her big sister. And as her big sister she got to give any potential dates the shovel talk. A smile spread across her face. Lena Luthor had no idea what she was in for.

xxxxxXXXXXxxxxx

 

A knock on the door brought her attention from the article her and Mitch were working on. James was hovering awkwardly beneath the frame and he seemed…anxious, or maybe nervous. “Hey,” he said quickly and they nodded in greeting.

“Hey, what’s-“

“Have you seen the news?” He added the name of a familiar gossip tabloid site and Kara shook her head slowly.

“No?”

“You might want to,” he said and gave Mitch a nod and then disappeared back down the corridor.

Mitch and Kara shared a look. “Okay….” She drawled and gestured to Mitch’s computer. “Mind if I-“

“Go ahead,” he said and went back to editing their collaboration on the murder of Dr. Alan. They had been working on the final draft since this morning, having finally got the right sources and had figured out what had happened and were almost ready to present it to Snapper for final inspection, but they were just editing it first. Mitch liked to do it old school, printed and edited with red pen, which reminded Kara a little too much of being back in school but she was getting used to it. She’d been waiting for a call or a text from Lena all day, and it was past lunch time so she should have sent one already, and was starting to think that maybe she had screwed up last night somehow. Normally Lena text her back immediately, unless she was in a meeting.

“What the heck,” she yelped when she saw one of the headlines for the gossip tabloid and felt her blood run cold and her heart clench.

Who Killed Lionel?

Inside Luthor Mansion; abuse, alcohol, neglect, and violence.

She clicked on the article and saw the picture of a funeral with a small picture of an older man with a stern brow and tight smile-Lionel Luthor, the caption helpfully explained. And there were two pictures taking up a lot of the web-page, Lex Luthor, and Lena Luthor.

Mitchel looked up from his editing to look at the screen and his brow tightened, Kara could see the reflection of it on the monitor, but she ignored him and started to read.

It has been ten years since the tragic accidental death of the Luthor Patriarch and since then disaster seems to have befallen the once great family. Following Lionel’s alcoholic fall down the stairs the family soon fell apart. The arrest of Alexander (Lex) Luthor for his alleged part in the anti-alien crusade against Superman in Metropolis and his subsequent escape from jail not two days ago, and the recent explosion which destroyed L-Corp Tower and nearly killed it’s CEO Lena Luthor. It seems only fitting then, that one of their former staff-who wishes to remain anonymous for reasons you’ll soon learn-speaks out about the abuse and violence that ran rampant in the house-hold. For clarity reasons we’ll call this staff member Casey.

Casey worked for the Luthor family at Luthor Mansion for a number of years and watched the two young Luthor’s, Lex and Lena, grow up and speaks of….

Kara quickly skimmed the article, and later Mitch would comment on her swift speed, and certain words jumped out at her. ‘Abuse,’ ‘alcoholic rages,’ ‘violence,’ ‘terrifying temper,’ ‘slapped her around the face,’ ‘ was furious and shoved Lex,’ ‘the two Luthor’s were identified as being at the top of the stairs’, ‘bruised lip’, ‘torn clothes,’ ‘terrible nightmares’, ‘boarding school.’ It was a long article, with a lot of trash talk and was a clearly biased piece, and it ended basically accusing the two children of pushing their father down the stairs and the family doctor of helping them cover it up.

Kara swallowed as she finished and turned to Mitch. “I have to go-“

“Go,” he said and ducked his head towards the door. “I know she’s your friend.”

Thanking him quickly Kara packed up her stuff and walked swiftly to her office and dialled Lena’s cell the moment she got there. It rang and rang and then clicked onto voice-mail.

Hey. You’ve reached Lena Luthor. I can’t come to the phone right now but if you leave your name, company, and number I’ll get back to you. Thanks.’ It was all very formal, less formal than her ‘work’ phone, but still very formal. She rang again, multiple times before giving up and leaving a message.

Hey Lena, its me-uhm, Kara. I just wanted to see if you were okay, and um, yeah. If you wanted someone to talk to, let me know. I’m here for you. Bye.

It wasn’t the best of messages she could leave but she was a little concerned and after she hung up she walked over to James’ office. He was sitting at Cat’s-his- desk and had intent eyes on his screen but they flickered up to meet her as she knocked and entered.

“Did she pick up?”

“Is it true? She enquired of him, hoping that perhaps he would know.

He shrugged. “I’ve enquired about getting some records, but with pockets as deep as the Luthor’s you don’t expect much. How is she?’

Kara deflated a little. “She’s not answering… I’m gonna go-“

“Go and check on her,” James suggested with a smile and she beamed at him and a few moments later was flying over National City.

“Hey, Alex,” she enquired and waited a moment for her ear to crackle and announce the arrival of her sister.

So you’ve heard.’ Alex sounded tired. Resigned.

“Is it true? Did they kill Lionel? I-Lena isn’t answering my calls, and I rang Jess, but she didn’t pick up either.”

I-We-,’ Alex sighed. ‘You’d best come in and we’ll show you.

Hearing something in her sisters voice she changed direction and raced towards the DEO. She landed a little harshly, startling some near-by agents and smiled apologetically as she strode over to the command centre. Winn, Alex, J’onn, and Vasquez were all standing around and looking up at one of the monitors.

It was a police officer feed and was of a homicide and there were obvious signs of a struggle.

“Hey,” Alex turned to face her first and pressed her lips together.

“Alex?” She asked suspiciously. “What’s going on?”

Alex sighed and gestured behind her. “That’s the address of Dirk Hamshew, you may recognise the name as the one who-“

“He wrote that article, the one about the Luthor’s,” Kara said, recognising the name from her scroll to the bottom of the article.

“That’s his flat-mate.”

Kara spared a glance for the dead man on the screen.

“According to neighbour and witness reports, which are still coming in,” Alex warned. “A group of highly armed men stormed the apartment and took Dirk prisoner. And killed the flat-mate.”

“So Lena and Lex did kill their father?” Kara asked hesitantly. She felt uneasy. Lena had never come across as a killer, and Kara had looked killers in the eyes, but you could never really know.

J’onn and Alex shared a look and then J’onn instructed Agent Vasquez to bring up the files. “The Luthor’s weren’t as infamous then as they are now, but it still made headlines. The coroner’s report is…consistent with the supposed fall down the stairs.”

A lot of the medical information on screen was jargon and she looked over at Winn for a translation. “So, the article is a lie and they took him for what, ruining their name?” Because it was obvious who the men had been hired by, a Luthor, the question was, which one?

“Mh, no,” Winn said slowly, face contorted like he had a stomach ache. “This is the impact that would have killed him,” Winn pointed his mouse over a partially shattered skull and Kara winced.

But,” Winn emphasised. “We ran an algorithm and the marks don’t match any angle of the stairs he fell down…”

“Huh?” Kara was a little confused.

“At no angle could Lionel Luthor trip down the stairs and land with that specific impact to kill him. The stairs and the injury don’t match,” Alex helpfully explained. “But the only way we were able to tell is through our advanced technology. Ten years ago the injuries on top of it would have made it seem exactly what was said; Lionel had drunk too much and fell down the stairs. The impact killed him.”

Kara felt her heart fall into her boots. “So they did kill him then?”

J’onn shook his head. “We don’t know. But what we do know is that he was murdered and then the body was thrown down the stairs to disguise it. Either the coroner wasn’t very good, the Luthor’s paid them off, or they just couldn’t tell, but he was murdered.”

J’onn looked back at the screen. “The reporter who wrote the article has been kidnapped and his flat-mate has been killed.”

“Have you heard from Lena?”

Kara shook her head. “I’ve tried, a lot, and she won’t answer. It just goes straight to voice mail. Jess didn’t want to talk to me either, just had a message directing me to the L-Corp PR team.”

Kara was pretty sure she was pouting and linked her fingers together to stop her fidgeting.

“Why are you on this?” She asked, curious as to why the DEO had been reading trashy articles.

“Since Lex’s escape we’ve been keeping an eye out for any mention of the Luthor’s on all forms of media. It may have been a false lead, but we had to check it out anyway, anything that could lead us to Lex. Once the reporter was kidnapped we knew we had to watch it.” J’onn shrugged. “True or not, it has the attention of the Luthor’s so it has our attention.”

“Maybe Lena could do with a visit from her friend?” Agent Vasquez asked pointedly after a few moments of contemplative silence.

Kara sighed. “I don’t think she wants to talk.”

“Then don’t talk,” Alex suggested. “Eat food and watch Netflix or something. Just go be a friend.”

“Mh, okay!”

It took her less than quarter of an hour and she was getting out of her Uber outside Lena’s apartment. There were a lot more press there than usual, but she walked confidently inside under the gaze of the security at the door. Inside the lobby there was a lot more people than usual milling about on the couches and she cast them a suspicious glance before wandering over to the reception. She knew she wouldn’t be getting on the elevator without getting clearance first, if the two beefy dudes standing in front of it were any indication.

Lena’s apartment lobby was like a hotel lobby. There was even a gym, a pool, a small cinema, a few arcade games, and a restaurant on the various floors.

“Hi!” She smiled brightly at the receptionist and she mirrored the smile, even though she clearly tried not to.

“I’m here to see Lena Luthor. She’s not answering my calls, so can you like-“

The receptionist pressed a button and one of the security guards near the elevator moved towards them.

“Wait! I’m not a reporter-well, I am- a reporter that it. But I’m not here for an interview or anything. I’m here as her friend. I brought take-out!” She explained in a rush and lifted the bag of food and smiling winningly.

“Scott,” the receptionist drawled. “Please escort Miss Danvers to the elevator.”

Kara’s protests didn’t escape her lips and she blinked at the receptionist who smiled and went back to her computer.

“This way, Miss Danvers,” the security guard said and he had a nice, deep voice. Confused she let herself be guided across the floor and to the elevator. He swiped a key code and pressed the button and then exited, letting her take the elevator alone up to the top floor.

She walked down the corridor and around to Lena’s door and saw that it was shut as though trying to protect its inhabitants from the world and she frowned for a moment before adjusting her bag and pressing the button.

“Um, Hi Lena! It’s Kara! I brought food!” She released the button and then fidgeted a little and then started when the door opened. It was Vince who opened it, muscles flexing under a grey singlet and he eyed her a moment before stepping aside and allowing her access to the room.

“Miss Luthor gave us names and faces that were always allowed to get into contact with her. Yours is one of them,” he explained and shut and armed the door behind her. “That is the only reason I am letting you in.”

“I saw the article,” Kara said, eyes scanning for Lena, but she couldn’t see her. “How is she?” She asked as she turned and looked up at the body guard.

“She hasn’t left her room and she won’t talk to anyone.”

Kara glanced up to see Jess walking down the hall with her cell-phone tucked between her eat and shoulder and an open laptop balanced on her hand. “I hope you can get through to her.”

Kara nodded, eyes wide. “So…” she hedged and shifted a little, wishing she could adjust her glasses but her hands were full. “Is it true? Did they kill their father?”

Jess met her gaze with a blank stare. “I don’t know, and honestly… I don’t care.” She shrugged. “It isn’t my business to know or to ask, but either way, would you like having the world hear someone accuse you of killing your father? And basically call your entire family evil, and then wish death upon you?”

Kara swallowed and couldn’t answer.

“You know where her room is.”

Kara nodded and walked down the hall, keeping an ear out for Jess’s conversation. She sounded harassed. ‘No, I cannot comment on that. If you want a statement please talk to the L-Corp PR team. Their number is…’

Lena’s door was shut, just like she had left it early this morning and she hesitated before knocking. “Lena?” There was no answer. “It’s me… Kara… I just came to check up on you…” Hearing no answer she hesitated and then opened the door. To her surprise it was unlocked, but then she reasoned why would you need a lock if the only way into your apartment was to fly to the balcony, or go through the rabid security downstairs.

The room was dark, curtains pulled like a shield against the world and she could see a bundle hidden beneath the covers in a pile on blankets and pillows. There was a faint sound of music coming from under the covers.

“Lena?” She enquired and at having no response, or even an indication of her hearing moved a little closer. She could hear the music more clearly now, some classical sound obviously played far to loud for the eardrums of the person playing it and she lowered the food and her bag onto the end of the bed and walked around to the head of it. She could see a phone cord vanishing under the covers and gently sat on the bed. She heard the increase in Lena’s heartbeat as she realised she wasn’t alone.

“Go away, Jess,” Lena’s voice emerged from beneath the covers, voice raspy and hoarse and Kara’s heart clenched.

She started to pull the covers back and Lena groaned and pulled them tighter but really, she was no match for a Super.

“I said-“

Lena launched her head from the covers and it was only Kara’s super reflex’s that allowed her to miss their heads colliding. “Oh, um. Kara?”

Her eyes were red and wet and her hair was a tangled mess and part of her t-shirt as falling off her shoulder, exposing an expanse of creamy skin which Kara resolutely ignored. She was beautiful.

“I’m not one you want to fight in a blanket stealing war,” she said with a soft smile as Lena swallowed nervously and looked anywhere but Kara. “Alex says I’m just too strong.” It was a bit of a risk, alluding to her alien biology, but Lena looked like she needed something normal for the moment.

“Kara? Why are-I’m,” she faltered for a moment and closed her eyes. “I’m not fit for company at the moment, can you come back another time?”

Normally Kara would abide by such a request, but she figured Lena had been alone for so long anyway, and didn’t have anyone to hold her that she best stay.

“No,” she replied softly and Lena’s eyes flickered open in surprise. “You need a friend right now to remind you your human.” Which, ironic, considering Kara wasn’t, but Lena wasn’t to know that.

“What?”

“You’re gonna have a shower and get changed while I change your sheets, and then you’re going to cuddle with me and we’ll binge watch the Chase or something, okay?” She kept her voice soft and kind but there was iron to her tone and Lena blinked again in confusion.

“Kara, what?” She shook her head and her fingers tightened on her blankets. “No. Please just, go.”

She sounded so broken and small and Kara’s heart went out to her. It reminded her of a girl long ago, lost and alone with burdens resting on her shoulders and wanting the darkness to swallow her whole, and she nodded to herself.

“Okay,” she said and saw Lena’s immediate relief. “Only once you’ve had a shower, or a bath, and have eaten.” She pointed over to her take-out bag and Lena followed her arm, hand, and finger to the pile of food. She stared at it and frowned.

“I’m not hungry, Kara. Please leave.”

Kara sighed. “Alright. That’s enough wallowing.” She saw Lena’s green eyes tighten in confusion and then shock as Kara tossed the duvet back and reached for Lena.

“Wha-at?” Her voice rose into a squeal of surprise when Kara picked her up and cradled her close and she could hear Lena’s heartrate change as she bound her towards the bedroom. She was aware she should look like she were struggling to hold the brunette’s weight, but she figured Kara Danvers could scoff it off later and say she worked out or something if Lena ever asked. Honestly, she was a bit out of it at the moment she doubted she’d remember much of it.

Lena’s bathroom was large and sleek and modern with shiny taps and marble and gleaming mirrors. Her bathroom was to die for; it had black marble floors and a black marble benchtop with two white bowls and in the centre there was a large white bathtub. Over in the far corner there was a walk in shower with two showerheads and what looked like a seat, and there was another vanity with a tone of products on it and a large chair before the three big mirrors across the wall.

“Woah,” she breathed out and Lena finally seemed to come around, squirming a little in Kara’s hold.

“Put me down, Kara,” she demanded, sounding like a tired kitten learning how to roar and Kara had to hide her smile. She carried her over to the shower and had to stand there a while figuring out how it worked.

“Okay, so if I turn this one, this one comes on…” she mumbled to herself and shifted Lena for a moment so she could turn the shower head on. It was very confusing, there were a lot of buttons to push and various jets and she wasn’t quite sure how it worked. Her own shower was a like a door handle, turn for temperature and lift for water pressure, which was admittedly pretty poor.

She managed to get the water on and then lowered Lena gently to the floor. “Shower. Wash your hair or something. I’ll make the bed. When I’ve seen you’ve eaten something, then I’ll leave, okay? I promise. Now get in!” She didn’t wait to hear Lena’s reaction past a startled yelp as she pushed her under the spray and saw to the sheets, voice a little more harsh than usual in her attempt to convey her care.

Eliza had always done this for her when she was feeling down. Made her have a warm shower or a bath and had sent her to bed with clean sheets and food, and Alex would sometimes come and keep her company. It helped.

She returned to Lena’s room and bundled the sheets and duvet cover and pillow cases into her arms and wandered down the hall to the laundry and put them in the washing machine. As it started she turned and looked at the large storage cabinets and opened the doors. She picked some soft sheets, some new pillow cases, and a nice fluffy duvet cover and carried them back to Lena’s room.

She made the bed, still able to hear the shower running, and went and opened the curtains and partially opened the balcony door to let light and air into the room. Then she sat awkwardly on the corner of the bed and waited for Lena to finish. She had waited quarter of an hour before she narrowed her eyes at the door and after hesitating at the morality of it, looked above the rim of her glasses to see what Lena was doing and then her heart sunk. The CEO was curled up on the bottom of the shower still in her clothes and letting the water fall over her. She let her senses back out and heard the rapid thumping of her heart and could hear the sharp rise and fall of her chest.

Kara rose to her feet and quickly moved through the bathroom and towards the shower. “Lena,” she said gently, trying to get her attention and not startle her any further than she was, she was obviously having some sort of panic attack. Her long dark hair, darkened almost black by the water, was plastered to the top of her head and hung down over her clothes limply and she had her arms curled around herself, cast getting wet, and clothes clinging to her body. Her chest was rising and falling at an alarming rate and her heartbeat was as frantic as a humming bird’s.

She kept her head down as Kara got closer and she could see that she was shaking and so Kara being Kara took of her shoes and socks and stepped into the shower with her.

Lena’s head rose at her presence and when she lifted her eyes Kara hid her wince, there was a shadow there, something dark and dangerous, and she flinched, actually flinched away from Kara, scooting into the far corner of the shower and hiding her head. It was gone when she lowered her chin to her arms and Kara ignored the shock of the water and how her glasses immediately steamed and had flecks of water on them and sat down next to Lena and lifted her arm.

“Lena?” She asked again, soft over the sound of the waterjet’s and the CEO flinched again, shifting back into the corner of the shower, her heart rate accelerating again.

“Hey, it’s okay,” she said gently and shifted away from Lena, noting how dark green eyes were wide as they watched her. “I’m not gonna hurt you. It’s okay. You’re safe.” She kept talking quietly until Lena’s heart rate slowed and her breathing shifted to match Kara’s, in and out. In and out. Something had triggered Lena, and the thought made her stomach tie its self in knots as well as feed the flare of rage igniting in her chest at someone daring to hurt Lena. She knew a panic attack when she saw one; she spent a lot of her time around soldiers, PTSD was a thing.

“Lena,” she said quietly after it looked like she had come back to herself from whatever hell she had been locked in. “Can I hug you? I’ll just sit here with my arm out,” she said slowly and inched to the side and lifted her arm and waited. Lena’s eyes followed her and darted back to her face and she knew she looked silly with her glasses fogged up and running with water and with her hair all wet and tangled.

The young Luthor didn’t move bar a sharp short nod and Kara eventually had to pull her into her arms and hold her there gently. “You’re safe. I’ve got you,” she said and rested her chin on Lena’s head, she was shaking a little and instinctively Kara’s arms tightened, though quickly relaxed when Lena tensed. “Shhhhsh. I’m sorry. I’ve got you. I’ll keep you safe.” Lena’s feet were almost touching the glass barriers and she leant against Kara and turned her head into her chest and stayed there, Kara’s arms wrapped around her as the water bet down on them for countless minutes.

It was occurring to Kara that this reaction wasn’t what someone would consider a normal reaction. Lena was almost catatonic and there had to be something more behind the reaction than just finding out she was accused of killing her father a decade ago, but Kara couldn’t pin-point what it was. But there was something heavy and sickening lining the inside of her stomach, something she wasn’t ready to name just yet, but the thought of it made the ire in her chest ignite and darken to a malicious black flame.

Her body was pruning by the time she finally decided to get them both out of the shower. She hesitated as she gathered her muscles and then slowly lifted them both to their feet. Having been seated for so long Lena’s legs were unsteady, like a newborn lamb, and Kara kept a strong hold on her as she reached for the container that held her shampoo. It was a bit intimate, especially being in the shower with her, but she knew the benefits of a hair wash. Alex had been the one to wash her hair once or twice after she had gone on about how magical her hairdressers hands were, which on reflection did sound just a little gay, and so Kara had demanded she show her, because she couldn’t go to the hairdresser as her hair would break the scissors. After that whenever she was down she would make Alex wash her hair, massage the shampoo into her scalp. It was heavenly, and she could see why Cat had her hair professionally washed twice a week. She was doing it for the massage.

Lena’s shampoo was sweet and flowery and once she was sure she had Lena standing she started to massage the shampoo into her dark, raven locks, blocking the showerhead with her own body. She was thankful Lena had infinity hot water, otherwise their shower would have been cold for the last ten minutes or so.

Lena stood quietly, mind obviously elsewhere as Kara gently washed and shampooed her hair and then she hesitated and directed her to turn around.

Her eyes were no longer as blank as they had been, but the darkness was still there, and it reminded her of when Lena had talked to her about some things remaining in the dark, and she wondered exactly what Lena was hiding from.

She looked a little confused to see Kara there and blinked the water from her eyes and lifted her cast up to rub them, before staring at the soggy goo it had become in surprise.

“Kara?” She tilted her head to the side curiously.

“You need to get out of your clothes,” Kara said gently and leant back to look down at Lena. She was a few inches taller than the CEO, something she hadn’t really noticed as Lena always wore heels.

Lena frowned and nodded and Kara reluctantly parted from her warmth and exited the shower, leaving water puddles along the floor as she padded towards the black cupboards in search of a towel. She flicked Lena’s towel heater on and left a brand new towel there for her and took her own to the corner of the bathroom, out of Lena’s sight and slid from her wet clothes, grunting in annoyance at how her jeans stuck to her skin.

She heard Lena hesitantly start to remove her clothes and made an obnoxious sound as she exited the bathroom in search of some spare clothes, fluffy towel wrapped around her.

Lena’s clothes were in a large walk-in wardrobe which was probably the size of Kara’s bedroom and bathroom combined (and then some) and she marvelled at the rows of shoes and racks with purses. There were countless drawers and hangers and a large comfortable looking couch on a soft fluffy rug. She looked like a drowned rat in the mirror and quickly removed her glasses and bit them between her teeth as she looked for some casual clothing. Which, she knew Lena had some, only she was struggling to find it. Most outfits would likely cost her a weeks rent, so she settled on some pyjamas, these at least Lena had in abundance, and they weren’t all silky lingerie, but, yeah… she didn’t even let her mind go there.

She changed quickly and wiped her glasses on the soft shirt she was wearing, it was a cute grey one with cats on it and quickly found a set for Lena, but didn’t feel comfortable enough going through her underwear draw. She knocked softly on the bathroom and waited for instruction to enter before hesitantly peaking around the door-frame.

Lena was dripping water in the centre of the bathroom with the fluffy white towel wrapped around her and her lips pressed together fleetingly in resemblance of a smile when she saw Kara brought her clothes. The shower was silent but the pile of Lena’s clothes on the floor was obvious and Kara picked her own up and wandered past Lena to the shower and grabbed Lena’s.

“I’ll shove these in the dryer,” she cast a parting glance, saw something different glinting in Lena’s eyes, and carried on past her now cold food and to the laundry. Bella was in the kitchen at the stove, and Kara’s stomach grumbled in approval of the divine smells coming from it and she raised a brow as Kara walked by with dripping wet clothing and hair, and in pyjamas. She blushed a little but kept on walking when the bodyguard didn’t say anything. Jess was working at the kitchen table and cast her a glance before going back to her typing.

She placed the clothes in the dryer, yes she was going to dry her jeans, oops, and exited back down the hall way. Loud shouts came from the entertainment room and she dimly heard a, ‘What the actual fuck! Oh my gawd! My gayby’s! Ahhh!’ and cast the door a bemused look as she walked past. Vince must be watching his television shows again.

She ducked back into Lena’s room and dug out their take out, it could be reheated so she returned to the kitchen, after hearing Lena blow dry her hair. She dug out a few bottles of water while she waited for the food to heat in the microwave and stood awkwardly in the kitchen while she did. She wanted to say something, to ask her about Lena’s now obvious triggered-panic attack, but didn’t know if Jess knew, or if she should ask, or speak about it without talking to Lena first.

It must be something private- Lena was a CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, and a Luthor- otherwise the media would have pounced on that like a cat on a mouse. She wondered what it could be, and the unease from before made her almost unwilling to eat and she wondered if maybe, just maybe, there had been some truth to the article. She sort of wanted to ask Lena about it, and her panic attack, but figured she would provide comfort and silence, if she wanted it. If Lena wanted to talk she’d be here, but she wouldn’t push.

The microwave beeping took her out of her thoughts and she carried the hot (though she didn’t feel it) plates back into Lena’s room, wondering if she had a no-eating in bed policy, which, frankly, was a bizarre concept. Eating ice-cream in bed and watching movies had been one of her favourite ways to pass the time with Alex while they were in school.

Lena was sitting awkwardly on her bed with her hair mostly dry and had her arms wrapped around her and lifted her head to look up at Kara as she came in. She could see the emotions cross her face, raw as she was; there was fear, wonder, and shame. Lena’s jaw worked and she could hear her swallow as she looked back at her duvet. Her heart rate was still elevated above normal but the fear in her eyes had softened.

“A-after my parents died,” Kara began haltingly and lowered the food onto the bed. “I’d have nightmares…f-or months I had nightmares…” she fiddled with her hands nervously. “It’s not-Eliza told me…,”she frowned a little and then looked directly at Lena. “Surviving is nothing to be ashamed of.” She swallowed and her throat caught and Lena met her eyes, and she was caught in their orbit.

“Things out of your control are nothing to place blame on…if it isn’t your fault…your willing and knowing actions…then how can you feel guilty over it?” her brow tightened and she shook her head for a moment. “I mean- I know you can feel guilty, but you shouldn’t, I shouldn’t,” she looked up at Lena again. “We shouldn’t. It wasn’t our fault.”

“Survivor’s guilt,” Lena rasped and Kara’s heart went out to her as she toyed with the top of her duvet. “I am aware.”

There was silence for a long moment stretching into several blinks and a dozen heartbeats. “Did-did you wanna talk about it? Or we could just eat and cuddle?” She blushed after the latter offer, feeling it was an off choice of words for her friend. I mean, her and Alex could do it, they were sisters and best friends, but the word did have an intimate connotation, and she and Lena weren’t there yet.

Lena lifted a brow at the word and she felt her blush grow.

“I ah, I just don’t want you to be alone right now…. Not that that’s like a bad thing or anything but I just want you to know you aren’t alone and Alex would always crawl in with me when I woke her up and we would cuddle under the blanket and talk about stuff or like watch movies and like we marathoned all the Disney sequel movies one night and Eliza was so mad because she had to ring school and -oh. Um,” she went even redder and Lena lowered her hand from where she’d raised it to halt her rambling. She lifted her hand to her glasses and realigned them to hide her face, but she was pretty sure Lena had seen how red it was.

Lena got off the bed and moved over to the curtains and shut them and then grabbed a remote from her bed-side table and slid under the covers. Kara blinked for a moment and then Lena sighed and shifted the covers open, a silent invitation, and Kara beamed. She quickly got the plates and the waters and moved to the head of the bed as Lena flicked her massive t.v on and signed into her online accounts.

She settled on Ice Age and Kara grinned and settled down into the bed next to her, passed her a water bottle silently and passed over a plate and a knife and laid out the heated food around them.

They didn’t say anything further but the movie was punctuated by their giggles (again mostly Kara’s, but Lena did laugh at Seth’s antics) and more than once Kara found herself gazing over at Lena and smiling and quickly looking back at the television least she get caught. They, well, Kara, ate most of the food. Lena didn’t seem to be able to stomach much more than a few bites, but she steadily drunk the water, which was good.

Together they watched the sequels as afternoon wound into night and the world moved on without them outside their little bubble. After a while Lena settled against Kara, relaxing into her warmth in a way that she hadn’t earlier, and Kara knew she was fighting slumber. Instead she lifted her arm and let it rest above Lena’s shoulders, giving her the option of accepting her touch or not.

To her surprise Lena immediately snuggled closer and brought her arm around her and Kara felt her breathing hitch. Lena didn’t appear to notice and lazily flicked the next movie on and settled in to watch it, resting her head against Kara and holding her close. Maybe it was her heartbeat, Kara thought to herself as Lena’s breathing steadied out and the grip on Kara’s pyjamas slackened.

She took the remote and turned the sound down and let the movie play in the background and shifted down further in the bed so that they were both more comfortable. The lullaby of Lena’s breathing and the steady pulse of her heart sent Kara into deep meditation and she closed her eyes and relaxed, letting her mind slip away.

 

xxxxxXXXXXxxxxx

Chapter Text

 

Kara woke at the first sign of Lena’s fight, caught in a nightmare as she was and she was quick to hold Lena close and coo nothing’s into her ear until she stilled and the furrow to her brow smoothened. It happened multiple times through the evening and into the night, and Kara had to retrieve her cell-phone when it rang before it could awaken Lena. It was Alex.

“Alex, hey,” she breathed and made sure Lena slept on. “What’s up?”

I haven’t heard from you since you went to see Lena, are you okay?’

‘’Yeah. I’m fine… Lena’s just… I’m just helping…”

She could hear the pause on the other end of the line and could picture Alex’s furrowed brow.

Well…okay….but we need you back here. There’s a fire down at the port, a big one.’

Kara sighed and closed her eyes.

They need Supergirl.

“Yeah…okay,” she breathed. “On my way,” she said and then hung up. It was a little rude, sure, but her sister was making her leave Lena. Making her leave the woman currently cuddled around her like a Koala and she really, really didn’t want to go. She was warm, sleepy, and had a gorgeous woman in her arms. Who would have thought ‘I’m not gay’ Kara Danvers would feel at home in Lena Luthor’s bed? She took a deep breath, watching her chest rise and fall with Lena resting on it and couldn’t help the fond curl of her lips and then she reached down and gently lifted Lena’s arm off her. The cute grumble of protest Lena gave at the movement made her heart twirl but she was resolute and gently slid out from under her and let her rest on the bed. If she noticed how Lena curled into her pillow and how her heart warmed at the sight, she ignored it in favour of packing away their dishes and moving quickly through the house to the dryer and her clothes, dropping the empty take-out on the bench.

The rest of the house was silent, a light was on under one of the guest room doors and after she had changed she knocked on it gently, pulling her messenger bag over her shoulder.

Vince answered the door in a pair of boxers and she averted her eyes from his admittedly well-defined chest with a blush. He caught her look and leant cockily against the door and folded his arms. “What can I do for you?” His voice had lowered and he waggled his eyes playfully and Kara flushed.

“I-I need you to let me out. Please,” she said and re-adjusted her glasses as he pushed off the door with a nod and began to pad silently out to the kitchen.

Kara pulled a piece off her note-pad and hastily wrote Lena a note and folded it up and wrote Lena’s name on the outside and left it on the bench.

Vince was over by the door and had entered the security pin and opened the door for her. He winked at her as she left and she felt her cheeks heating and awkwardly waved goodbye as she left. She heard the door shut behind her and wandered down the hall to the elevator and took it down to the lobby.

It was mostly quiet down here with the shift of security guard changed and another receptionist at the desk and she smiled at them all as she exited the apartment building. There weren’t any members of the press outside and she walked quickly down the road, the cool breeze brushing the warmth from her body, and ducked into an alley. Moments later she was at her apartment getting changed and was thankful she had decided not to wear the suit today, seeing as she had ended up almost naked in Lena Luthor’s apartment.

It wasn’t that she didn’t trust Lena, she did, it was just….she was cautious of revealing who she was to any one, especially someone who had such a high profile last name.

“Come in, Alex,” she said as she launched herself off her balcony and into the night and headed towards the port.

The fire started in a warehouse, we aren’t sure why yet, but it looks like a storage warehouse.’

“Okay.”

Kara coiled and then forced herself forward, feeling the deep boom as she broke the sound barrier and raced towards the port. The closer she got to the ocean the more she could taste it’s tang on the back of her tongue, smell the salt in the air. It smelt like fish, salt, the ocean, oil, machinery, sweat, and now the acidic curl of smoke. She saw the fire before she could smell it and was quick to fly around the burning building with her laser vision to see if anyone were inside. It was empty and she hovered above it and took several great breaths, filling her lungs to capacity and feeling her chest strain with the force of it, before breathing out harshly. Her frost breath fell on the flames like a wave and she slowly flew over the top of the building, blowing out as she did so, before reeling back into the sky, taking another set of deep breathes of clear air, and passing over the fire again.

It’s heat lapped at her skin and it was oddly pleasant, like something warm and soft and abruptly there was a crack in the air and she looked over to the other side of the warehouse to see Kal smiling over at her.

He returned his attention to the burning building below him and cast his own breath on it, and under the combined power of the two Super’s the flame collapsed in on itself and ash fell and formed a heavy sludge on and around the building.

“Kal!” Kara beamed and zoomed to her cousin and collided with him in mid-air with a thud. “Hi! What are you doing here?” She enquired as she pulled back from their hug and he playfully tussled her hair and she shot him a glare.

“Hey, cuz.” He hovered in the air above the building and gaze a small shrug. “Interview,” he said and then nodded a little. “With Lena Luthor…”

~*~

“Miss Luthor, thank you for seeing me,” Clark said as he was let into Lena’s apartment and he cast Kara a glance. “Us,” he corrected, “on such short notice.”

Lena was looking tired, drawn and gaunt, even in the sun as she worked next to her large windows. Her assistant was surrounded by a pile of papers on the kitchen table and Vince returned to where he was preparing his daily shake at the kitchen bench.

“Of course,” Lena said politely, eyes flickering to Kara and back to Clark. “Anything for Metropolis’ finest hero.” Both Super’s tensed and Lena paused where she had a pen hovering over a piece of paper. "Third nomination this year, am I right, Mr Kent? Metropolis’ bulletproof reporter…perhaps you will finally beat your wife for the award this time around.”

Clark inhaled sharply in relief and ducked his head with a smile. “She is determined to beat me again.”

Lena hummed and looked over at Kara. “Kara,” she said with a smile and the reporter beamed back at her.

“Hi Lena,” she gave a little awkward wave and Lena looked back at Clark.

“Please,” she gestured to the couches. “Take a seat. Feel free to move them if it would make you feel more comfortable. I’m sure it will be no trouble.”

“You got your cast off?” Kara blurted as she shifted the couch around and then flopped onto it. Clark raised an eyebrow and moved to the corner and settled in.

“Hm? Oh, yes,” Lena said and looked at her arm. “This morning. It was due to come off anyway. I healed faster than I thought I would.”

“Are you okay if I record this?” Clark asked and moved his reporter pad to his lap and lifted his phone.

Lena flicked a glance to Kara and then back at Clark.

“You don’t have a super memory?” She asked, curl to her lips as she added innocently, “Don’t all reporters?”

Clark’s features were still, carefully neutral and Kara looked between the two.” Not all of us, I’m afraid.”

“Go ahead, Mr Kent. Catco doesn’t want in on the exclusive?” Lena enquired of Kara, brow lifting curiously.

Kara flushed and fiddled with her glasses. “Um, well, kinda. Y-yeah?”

Lena took a deep breath and nodded. “Kara the reporter, then?” She asked gently and Kara hesitated but nodded a little.

“Okay,” Lena said softly and turned to take a sip of her water as Kara dug her note-pad and pen out, ignoring Clark’s curious gaze.

The interview was long, pointed, and at sometimes a little harsh, especially from Clark with regards to Lex, but Lena was graceful and poised and dodged some of the frankly, rude, questions Clark was asking. Kara even glared at him a few times when she could hear Lena’s discomfort through the stutter in her heart. Lena said she didn’t know where Lex was, and didn’t know who had helped him escape, though her pulse had shifted a little there, and she hadn’t helped him. Yes, she had visited him to talk, and discussed the attacks on her sent by him, which, was frustrating, she had admitted, but said he clearly thought she had betrayed him and deserved it.

She found it difficult to associate her brother, the boy she grew up with, and the man he was now, and the things he had done. They discussed the reports she was going to be working with Supergirl to help various not-for-profits around the city.

They were interrupted part way through by a local team of glass experts and Kara watched them with narrowed eyes as they moved down the hall towards Lena’s room and she could hear them discussing the balcony door windows. She kept an ear out but turned her attention back to Lena.

They asked her about her surviving the tower explosion and her smile turned fond as she talked about her employees and their families and how they were remaining with her, with L-Corp. She didn’t know how she had survived, it was through sheer luck that her safe room had managed to survive the fall.

“A lot of people are calling you a hero, for saving your employees,” Kara asked and Lena’s green eyes gazed through her. “What is your response to that?”

It took Lena a good moment to answer and she looked out the window and over the city as she did. “I think,” she said slowly, “that humanity has it in them to be heroes every day, without grand acts.”

She cast a glance to Clark and then looked back at Kara. “Human’s are heroes every day and we just don’t realise it because these things we do in our lives aren’t like flying, or super-strength, or being bullet proof. It’s people like you,” she ducked her head, eyes kind and gentle. “Who are heroes, more so maybe, than people like Superman and Supergirl. People who seek truth and justice and are kind and generous and look for the good in people. So, no,” she said and looked back out over the city. “I don’t consider myself a hero. I had the opportunity and I couldn’t just do nothing. My employees deserve better from me than that.” Her heart tripped over itself and she shifted uncomfortably and Clark smiled and rose to his feet.

“Thank you for your time, Miss Luthor.”

Kara nodded and started to gather her belongings as well and Lena’s voice made them pause.

“Superman.”

The two went still again and turned slowly back to Lena.

“Lex had many notes on Superman,” Lena said and tapped her pen quickly on her piece of paper, rolling it end over end. “And he will be coming after them both-Superman and Supergirl.” She looked over at the two reporters. “I know you are her friend, or at least,” she hesitated and her brow tightened. “You speak with her sometimes. But that makes you a target… as well as any member of the DEO that Supergirl works with. Your sister,” she looked directly at Kara and Kara tensed a little at the threat. “Your friend Mr. Olsen,” she looked between them both and then settled back on Kara. “You need to be careful. You aren’t bulletproof,” she said, a wry smile on her lips. She didn’t hide her look at Clark and then flicked her green eyes back to Kara. “I’d hate for you to get hurt.”

Clark was stiff as he said he would talk to Lois and Superman and Jimmy about keeping them all safe and Kara hesitated and stepped towards Lena.

“I’ll see you in a minute, Clark. Kay?”

Clark’s jaw moved but he nodded and he thanked Lena again and walked towards the door.

“Hey,” Kara said quietly and looked Lena over. She looked like she needed more sleep, and her eyes were haunted and she was wearing large, bulky clothes as though she could hide in them, but there was a feverish glint to her eye and she pointedly turned whatever she was working on over as Kara got closer.

“Are you doing okay? I would have stayed, but….”

“I don’t need a baby sitter, Kara,” Lena said quietly and looked down, toying with her long, elegant fingers. “But thank… you,” she said tightly and her eyes were glassy as she looked over at Kara, lips pressed together in the best smile she could manage. Sensing Lena didn’t want to talk about it Kara nodded and smiled.

“I’m here for you, any time,” she said and nodded again to solidify her point.

“I’ll be careful,” she said in response to Lena’s earlier comment about staying safe. “But Supergirl, what the Super’s do…. Its important.” She gave a little nod. “They protect people.”

Lena sighed. “I wish you would stop talking to her,” she said quietly. “Her enemies…. They aren’t always human, and you’re kind of ….soft,” she said delicately and tilted her head. “Can she keep you safe?” Lena asked softly, eyes intent and pinning Kara in place.

Kara nodded, how could she not, of course she would do her best to keep herself safe.

Lena gave a sweet snort. “You know,” she ducked her head into her shoulder. “I actually threatened her to stay away from you."

Kara blinked. “I know…. She told me!,” she added when Lena’s brow lifted. “She thought it was sweet…misguided but sweet.”

“And what do you think of it?” Lena asked curiously, a tilt burdening on her lips.

Kara blushed and faltered and fiddled with her glasses. “Um, well, I guess um. It’s nice you want to keep me safe? But um…. Its my decision.”

Lena nodded and sighed again. “I know, and I am sorry. I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

“I know,” Kara said simply and smiled softly at her. “Um, can I- um when you’re next free, did you wanna do lunch or something?” Her feet were suddenly interesting and she chanced a glance to see a radiant smile on Lena’s face, and felt her heart twist and summersault.

“I’d like that,” she smiled and Kara felt the warmth of it settling in her chest and warm her from the inside.

“Okay! Cool! Text me!” Kara beamed as she backed away from Lena and she tripped and fell over the back of the couch and landed and Lena was out of her chair and over next to her so fast she’d swear she had Super-speed.

“Kara! Are you alright?!”

Kara lay on the floor and gazed up at Lena and grinned. “Oops,” she giggled and Lena sighed and rolled her eyes. She rose to her feet with a fond smile and shook her head as she offered her hand to help Kara up.

“You’re so clumsy, Kara,” she said with a smile to her voice and Kara pouted.

“Am not.”

“You just fell over the corner of my couch…. You’re clumsy.”

“I was looking at you,” Kara blurted and then blushed and Lena’s heart did a little dance and at the sound she blushed harder and gave Lena a shy smile. “Yup, I’m just gonna... Bye. Text me!” She almost bolted for the door and heard Lena’s soft laughter heralding her exit.

“I think Lena knows who I am,” Clark said as they walked towards the elevator and her happiness faded like the light around a dead candle.

“Um, maybe?”

“Kara!” Kal was exasperated. “No one uses that many euphemisms in a conversation without there being a motive behind it.”

Kara shrugged. “I figured she knew, I mean,” she elaborated when Clark shot her a look. “We, Supergirl, and her were talking one night and she slipped up, nearly calling you, well, you…. And then I thought back to our first meeting and it seemed like she knew.” Kara shrugged as Clark rested his head against the elevator.

“She hasn’t done or said anything. I mean, all she’d have to do is put a statement on social media and its all over.”

“Kara! She’s a Luthor!” Clark hissed. “I know you have feelings for her but-“

“Woah-feelings, what feelings! I don’t- feelings. Complete absence of feelings. No, not me-er,” she shuffled nervously and Clark lifted a brow, which- not fair, she was the oldest and he could not use that look on her. “Fine. I like her okay? She’s my friend.” She ignored the brief flash of triumph on his face before he went serious again.

“This is dangerous Kara. Does she know about you?”

“I don’t think so,” Kara shook her head. “She seemed to be talking to you when she said like, bulletproof and stuff… and she warned us about Lex.”

Superman sighed and adjusted his reporter bag.

“She hasn’t done or said anything,” the ‘yet’ was silent. “And she was warning us to keep safe, well, me to keep safe….Can we just let her be?”

It took Clark a moment to consider but when he did he exhaled loudly and gave his cousin a begrudging nod. “Just stop pouting at me.”

Kara beamed and bounced from the elevator.

“So… she threatened Supergirl, huh?” He asked cheekily as they exited the elevator and walked across the lobby.

“Argh! Shut up, Clark!” She gave him a playful shove, one that would have tossed a human several feet.

“Aw, has my liddle widdle couzy got a crush?” He teased her lightly and she glared at him as he threw and arm around her shoulder and gave her a squeeze. “Come on. I’ll buy you lunch and you can tell me all about it.”

Kara beamed and felt warm all over. First she had a special smile from Lena, then she had Kal here, and…. He was going to buy her lunch. “Just wait,” she said with a grin. “I’ll eat Superman’s meal before you do,” she said, referring to the meal a local restaurant had out, which was said to feed the Super. It was a giant steak (72 OZ), chips, two eggs, three bread rolls, and a salad as well as a gallon of your choice in fizzy drink or beer, and if you ate it all in an hour, you got it for free. So far they’d had it every time Clark was in town and looked like they were pregnant when they were finished. It was a big meal, even for the Supers.

Clark scoffed as they exited the building. “Yeah right. I’ll be carrying your comatose ass home before long, Kara.”

Last time the two of them had had to cradle their bellies as they staggered from the restaurant, amidst clapping and awe from the staff, and had not spent the rest of the day on the couch. Nope, because that would be irresponsible of the Superheros. Their picture looked very odd among the giant beefy guys in leather or wearing caps, either bikers or truckies, and there was Kara and Clark, two meek little reporters wearing cardigans and beaming at the camera. It was something she and Kal had done when she was younger and her picture, a meek small girl-growing through the years- looked out of place on the wall of fame among big guys who looked like they could snap her in two.

She grinned at him, showing her teeth. “Nah ah. I’ll be carrying you. Just like when you were yay big,” she said, holding her hands out in imitation of a baby and he rolled his eyes.

“Put your money where your mouth is.”

“Oh, I plan to!”

Yes, it was a beautiful day.

 

Chapter Text

xxxxxXXXXXxxxxx

 

Supergirl sat awkwardly in the corner of the SUV and fiddled with the edge of her cape. Lena was on the other side, doing something on her phone. Vince and David were at the front and looked very secret agent-y, much to Kara’s amusement when she first saw them. They were in suits and had glasses and looked very bad-ass like something you’d expect from an action film involving the president. Apparently Bella would be meeting them there. Lena was wearing white skinny jeans and gold heels with a loose light brown shirt and gold bracelets. She had her hair tied tightly at her left ear and had a pair of aviators hanging over her collar, ready for the sunlight.

It was over cast, not clear and blue, but the sun had been trying valiantly all morning to breach the clouds, and it was bright outside the tinted windows of the SUV.

Lena had contacted Supergirl via text and told her she had the first school lined up and the not-for-profit organisation involved had sent an email and a few brochures overlying what they wanted Supergirl to talk about. They would be meeting a representative before they talked, or Supergirl talked, to the kids, and she’d give the hero an overview of what she wanted her to discuss.

Kara had been practicing, a little, looking up other people on YouTube you had gone in and talked to schools. She was pretty sure she had this; she was gonna talk a little about Clark as well, how he was picked on, and how she was certainly teased for being different. She would need to be careful, but she wanted to share her experiences. She also planned to tell the kids about how they can be heroes, every day, how they inspired her.

They pulled into the school and to her surprise Alex was there leaning against a bike with Maggie and Kara beamed, not noticing Lena’s curious eyes on her.

“Alex, hey!” She said as she almost ungracefully stumbled from the car and out onto the pavement.

“What are you doing here? Hi, Detective Sawyer.”

Alex shrugged and turned her gaze on the CEO who was getting out of the SUV. “Actually, we’re here to talk to Miss Luthor.”

“Agent Danvers,” Lena inclined her head as she gracefully walked across the car-park. “Are you here to support Supergirl?”

Maggie shot her a weird look and introduced herself. “Detective Maggie Swayer,” she said and held out her hand.

“Lena Luthor,” Lena accepted the hand shake and turned to raise an eyebrow at Alex. “You didn’t answer my question, Agent Danvers.”

“No,” Alex said and cast a glance at the two security guards coming up behind Lena. “I’m here to talk to you, actually. If you have a moment,” she added, but her tone indicated it wasn’t a request.

“Of course,” Lena ducked her head. “Just a moment.” She returned to David and spoke through the window to him and a few moments later he was winding the window up and exiting the car. He nodded and proceeded to walk down the street, locking the vehicle behind him.

Kara looked after him curiously, and was going to listen in but heard a quick heartbeat and swift clicking approaching and turned around to see the woman they were meeting.

She was grinning, showing a lot of teeth, and was wearing a pretty blue shirt with black shiny diamantes on it and had a clean cut black skirt and sensible heels. “Supergirl! Hi!”

Supergirl cast Lena a glance as she approached and then gave her full attention to the representative.

Alex took the moment to walk up to Lena and stood with her hands on her hips, staring down at the Luthor.

“Are you here to give me the shovel talk?” Lena asked quickly as Alex inhaled to begin and then she paused.

“Yes. I care about Kara,” Lena began, answering Alex’s questions before she could speak them. “No. I don’t plan on hurting her. If you think that then maybe take a look at Supergirl and her enemies. Yes. I know you’re secret agent but you will have to get in line. Anything else?” Lena arched her brow curiously and Alex blinked and fumbled a little and then shook herself.

“Um…” she cleared her throat and straightened. “The Agency I work with believes you are responsible for a recent hack of our servers… we have proof.”

Lena smirked just a little. “And the only reason you came by this information was due to an illegal hack of my servers. Were I the hacker, I’d tell you to contact my lawyers, but…. “ She tilted her head to the side. “I have a feeling that you don’t officially exist and would like to keep it that way. Call it a truce, Agent Danvers? I’ll speak with my contractor about it.”

Alex’s jaw went tight but she had been backed into a corner and she knew it. The only reason they knew Lena was good with computers was because of Kara, and the only reason they were able to match the two codes was because Winn illegally hacked into the L-Corp servers (with help) so any lawyer would tear them apart, and Kara wouldn’t let them just take her in.

She inhaled and released it in a stiff huff. “Truce.”

Lena knew the smile she was wearing was very satisfied but couldn’t bring herself to care.

“Detective,” Lena turned her cool green gaze on the police officer. “What did you wish to speak to me about?”

David was jogging back up the street and had a coffee crate in one hand and brown paper-bag with grease stains on it in the other. Lena turned to face him and beamed and took her coffee with a smile and looked back at Maggie as she answered.

“It’s about your brother.”

The small smile on Lena’s face dropped and her features went still. “Yes?” She asked quietly.

“Dirk Hamshew is dead,” Maggie said, eyes shrewd and dark and Lena didn’t even flinch as she heard the news. “He was killed and a video recording was sent to the Daily Planet and to Catco…. Lex was there…”

Lena said nothing for a moment and was still bar her initial sharp inhale. “Thank you for telling me, Detective. Is that all?” She had been trained from adoption to be charismatic, to be unrelenting and unmoving in the face of the public and outwardly there was no indication of her inner unease.

“We would like you to re-consider our offer of protective custody,” she lifted her dark gaze over Lena’s shoulder to Vince and then over to Bell who was leaning against the school walls a few meters away. David was next to her, offering her a cup and a treat and she was smirking as she took her slice.

“Your guards are talented,” she ducked her head to Vince who crossed his arms and smirked. “But we think-“

“With respect, Detective,” Lena interrupted and tilted her head. “I turned down Supergirl herself,” she lifted her gaze to the Super who was in discussion with the representative. “I do not want your protection. As I told Supergirl, you have a city to protect.”

“And as I told you, Miss Luthor,” Supergirl said as she strode forward, the rep on her heels. “You’re a member of this city as well.”

“And you have more important things to trouble yourself with,” Lena smiled over at the Super and then gazed at the rep, who was still a little star-struck.

“Shall we?” She gestured to the school and Supergirl nodded and then she beamed.

“Is that for me?!” This was too David who had a spare drink in the cup-holder and he looked at it a moment and then offered it to her silently.

“Thanks!” She grinned and then took a sip and her eyes widened in delight. “My favourite! How did you know?”

He shrugged and smiled at Lena. “Miss Luthor told me to get it.”

Supergirl turned to look at Lena curiously. “How did you know it’s my favourite?” There was a hint of suspicion in her tone, but she took another sip and sighed happily and Lena smirked into her cup.

“Lucky guess.”

A sleek black car was pulling into the driveway and Bella and Vince tensed and moved closer to Lena, forming a human wall, even though they tried to make it look like they weren’t protecting her. It was a Jaguar, shiny and new and the window wound down as it got closer and Lena tensed a little.

The woman inside cut the engine and waited, face half hidden by aviators but rested a finely manicured hand over the side of the door.

Supergirl cast her a glance and took a hesitant half step forward and scanned the car to make sure there was nothing dangerous about it. All she picked up was a cell-phone and the regular parts of a car.

“Can you give me a moment, please?” Lena requested of Supergirl, the representative, and cast a look at the detective and agent, and farewelled them and then strode over to the car.

Bella and Vince didn’t like it, if their disgruntled looks were anything to go by, but with the superhero around they figured she would be safe.

“Miss, um, Supergirl?” The representative asked hesitantly. “Shall we go in now? They’re expecting us in five….”

The caped hero cast a glance at Lena and then over at Alex. She shrugged and made her way back to her bike. “We’ve gotta head back to work. See ya later, Supergirl.”

Supergirl nodded and then after a final glance over to Lena by the car she turned and followed the representative into the school.

Her talk went….well…yes, well was a good word. The kids were fairly young- as Lena had wanted to start her with the more open ones, the innocent ones, on her first talk- and had mostly been in awe of her. They had been excitable…. Their energy was boundless, and coming from an alien that was saying something, and she spared a moment of pity for the Kent’s, who would have had to deal with a toddler alien and then she grinned to herself at the mental image that invoked.

It was easy talking to these kids, they were open and innocent, unjaded by the world and it was refreshing. They wanted to see her fly around a little, and she even lifted their principal above the shoulders (with his permission of course, and he had been laughing with his kids), and she took photo’s and signed pictures and handed out snacks (provided by L-Corp).

Lena had joined her ten minutes into the presentation, guided into the hall by the staff at reception, and there had been something weird going on under her careful mask. But she had stood off to the side and just listened as Supergirl talked about coming to earth and going to school and about how she had been bullied and felt alone. The kids had been shocked by that, she could see it in their little round faces, but she had explained that because she had been different and ‘not normal’ her classmates had taken advantage and had teased her for her accent, for her faux pas-her social screw ups, she had said. It had taken her a long time to get friends, and that was only once she learned to hide what she was and had blended in.

They had a lot of questions, especially the older kids, and the innocence and curiosity they had was humbling and she came away from it feeling their light and wonder in her chest, right under her House Crest. She explained what it meant, what the ‘S’ stood for and ended her speech with something cheesy about trusting each other and being truthful to themselves and striving for goodness.

All the while Lena’s cool green gaze was watching and no doubt taking note of everything. The teachers and staff had been very thankful and had insisted on shaking her hand multiple times and she had emphasised many times that this had been Lena’s idea, but she was reluctant to leave the side of the hall and step into the limelight, and had murmured, only for Supergirl’s ears, that she didn’t want to taint this with her name.

Supergirl hadn’t been happy about that and had made sure to mention it was Lena who had convinced her to do this, and had smirked at the grumbling Luthor when she was embraced by the principal, who actually seemed like a really cool dude. Lena’s smile had gone a little stiff and she had gone very tense but the principal didn’t seem to notice as he enthusiastically shook her hand and directed her to his heads of faculty where she had to make small talk with them.

Supergirl mingled with the kids, tossing a few in the air at their request and played a few games with them while Lena acted like an adult and was stuck dealing with the more adult-ier adults. She heard Lena, through clenched teeth, bite out how she’d get her for this, and had grinned and spun another pair of kids around, laughing with their loud giggles.

Eventually they left, Lena with a small, soft smile on her face, and Supergirl beaming as she walked out the doors with Lena at her side and Vince ahead of them and Bella behind. It was Vince’s warning that prepare them for the press outside and Lena sighed and shifted away from the super and David could be seen getting off the hood of the car and into the drivers seat.

As they walked down the steps the camera’s flashed and the press shouted questions and Supergirl smiled at Lena and then winked. “See you later!”

As she took off she felt Lena’s glare on her and heard her growl out, “Chicken shit.”

She laughed as she flew through the air and left Lena to deal with the press as she had been doing for much of her life; with ease and grace.

She flew quickly to the DEO and landed gently and wandered over to the command centre and saw Winn was chewing on a burger and leaning over his desk and she snuck up behind him.

“Don’t let Vasquez catch you eating over your computer,” she said quickly and he startled.

“Damn it, Kara!” He removed his headphones self-consciously and she beamed at him and stole an empty seat and lifted her legs, spinning around on it. It never got old.

“Don’t do that!” He glared, heart still recovering from his fright and she grinned and spun around one last time. And then she spotted his fries and snatched one.

“Where is everyone?” She asked curiously, having noted the DEO didn’t have as many agents around as normal and Vasquez was focused on the monitors in front of her with predator like intensity.

“They’ve gone to check out the warehouse where Dirk was killed.” Winn said as he leant back in his chair and folded his arms. Kara’s face fell as she remembered being told. Alex had suggested she stay with Lena and do her talk with the kids instead of going to check out the warehouse. It had seemed like Lex had laid a trap for the Super’s there, so J’onn hadn’t wanted her there.

“Can you show it to me? Do we know if Lena’s seen it?”

Winn spun back around and started to tap his fingers on his keyboard and brought up the footage via Catco’s servers. “It was sent in about an….” He checked his watch. “About three hours ago. Not much to go on though.”

The footage was actually pretty clear, even if the cameraman/woman/person was holding it with one hand as they moved around the warehouse.

A man they identified as Dirk was tied to a chair in the middle of an empty concrete floor and there were a series of armed and masked soldiers around him with some very big looking guns. He looked worse for wear, tussled hair and a bloody face and there was a gag in his mouth.

He had yesterday’s paper open on his lap to show the front page, the one where he had accused the two Luthor’s of killing their father and of the house-hold in covering it up. Lex Luthor was there as well and he walked up to Dirk with a flash of gold on his wrist and a tailored dark navy suit. He still looked a little pale after his incarceration but otherwise he was in complete control.

“People of National City,” he began and clasped his fingers before him as though he were about to pray. “This is Dirk Hemshew, a reporter,” his thin lips curled into a sneer at the word and his eyes flashed. “Normally I don’t care what maggots like him say but,” he drawled out the vowel. “You brought up my sister.” He was suddenly fierce and the reporter flinched away from him. “And the only person that fucks with my sister is me…” he smiled suddenly, all teeth and dark eyes like a shark.

There was a muffled protest behind the gaga and Lex blinked and spun around slightly. “Why is he gaged?”

“He wouldn’t shut up, Sir. Just kept screaming.”

“Well, ungag him. I want to hear him apologise.”

The soldier marched forward and flicked out a knife and Dirk’s eyes bulged and he shook his head frantically as he screamed again.

The soldier wasn’t gentle as he gripped his hair and jerked his head back and then dragged the blade across the gag, caring little for the streak of blood he left behind.

Immediately Dirk began to whimper and plead and apologise and it took about ten seconds of it before Lex flicked his fingers at the soldier and he marched forward and rammed his fist into Dirk’s gut, crunching the newspaper in the process. Dirk’s breath left him in a hurry and he panted harshly, eyes watering but kept his mouth shut.

“Thank you.”

“Sir.” The soldier nodded as he returned to his post

“Now, Dirk… can I call you Dirk?” Lex enquired politely as though they were two guys just meeting for lunch and one hadn’t arranged for the kidnapping of the other.

Dirk gave a sharp nod as though terrified of moving any more than his head and Lex smiled at him again.

“Good,” he said and then walked up to him and took the paper off his lap and smoothened it out. “Now. I wanted to discuss some of the nasty lies you’ve been telling.” He was speaking calmly and softly, like he were talking to a naughty child and it was chilling, the undercurrent of rage was obvious. Dirk swallowed. You could hear it on the camera. Could see his throat bob.

“You reporters always speak about integrity and professionalism…but, then you go and use your-selves as sources. You break into places, use conversations that were private and then you have the audacity to claim it all as fact and then say you were doing it for the greater good.” His voice rose a little, something dark and bitter entering its tone. “You get close to people to use them and then when you’re done you toss them aside like they are scum and call yourselves a hero. Think you’re all bulletproof. Made of steel.”

Lex took a steadying breath and then turned back to Dirk. “But I am getting off track. I want you to apologise for the lies you’ve been spitting about my sister and then we’ll no longer have a problem. Understand?”

Dirk nodded quickly. “I’m so, so sorry for lying. You’re right, I-I made half of that up and-and none of it were true.”

“It’s not me you should be apologising to,” Lex corrected in a sing-song voice which was so very out of place.

“Miss Luthor,” Dirk said swiftly head turning to look at the camera. He looked half crazed like this; eyes red, blood down his face. “I am so, so sorry for the lies I told about you and-and I hope that you can forgive me. I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry for what I called you and-

“And you’ll accept any repercussions her lawyers decide to take against you.” Lex guided and Dirk cast him a glance before quickly repeating it.

“Right!” Lex clasped his hands together and smiled. “I’m glad we had this little chat. Now, we no longer have a problem. Goodbye, Mr Hemshew.” He spun around on gleaming leather shoes and shoved his hands into his pockets and Dirk sagged in relief and looked at the ground and missed one of the soldiers raising a gun.

The shot echoed in the warehouse and Lex paused and shifted his head, blinking a few times at the noise before turning to the soldier. Dirk slumped in the chair, blood dribbling down the bridge of his nose.

“What was that?”

“You said we no longer had a problem. Sir.”

“I didn’t mean to shoot him,” Lex said and he almost sounded upset about it. Almost. He sighed and muttered, “It’s hard to get good help,” to himself before lifting his head and shaking it. “Oh, well.”

He strode from the frame and the camera turned to follow him a little. “Send this to the Daily Planet…and to CATCO…. Let their pets come clean up this mess.”

The footage cut on Lex’s broad shoulders as he walked away and Kara blinked and turned to look at Winn.

“He knows who Kal is,” she said quietly and the thought made her stomach twist itself into knots. “Or… at least suspects. Either that or it’s a dig at Clark.”

Winn nodded and exited out of the footage. “J’onn and Alex went to check out the warehouse but they said there was nothing there. They’re on their way back now.”

“Okay, well. I’ve got an article to go and write and I’ve gotta talk to Snapper. I’ll see ya later?”

Winn nodded and lifted his headphones to his ears again. “See ya later Kara.”

As Kara darted off to return to Catco she flicked off a text to Lena, from Kara of course, and asked her if she’d like to join her for breakfast.

Lena replied as she was walking into Catco as Kara-the-reporter and she grinned at her phone as Lena said she’d love to join her but was busy in the morning, and would the afternoon be better?

She replied quickly with a lot of smiley faces and took the elevator up to work. Snapper and Mitch had been discussing their article on Dr Alan and she knew they would now be careful as they put it to print. But with the news break of Lex’s man killing Dirk and the media out for blood, she figured she’d soon be sent back to Lena for an interview.

She was pleasantly surprised when she wasn’t. Lena had already issued a statement, or rather her lawyers and PR team had- distancing her from her brothers actions. As it was there was no proof she was even involved so the police was letting that go. Instead Snapper was going over the final copy with Mitch when she walked into his workspace. He liked seeing the copy in paper as well as Mitch, she figured it was an old school thing, but unlike Mitch, Snapper wrote his comments in capital letters, even if they were meant to be lowercase. It was odd, seeing the capital form several sizes smaller than the actual capital, but she had gotten used to it, figuring he just liked to use Cap’s. Or maybe the cap-lock button on his computer was stuck in place.

Snapper wasn’t happy she was maintaining her silence over her source for the hit, but the other evidence they had gathered was enough for them to use her information as it overlapped with other sources. All in all, she and Mitch had done a good job, or at least, Mitch had, according to Snapper. He hadn’t had much to say to her, other than a comment about her run-on sentences, but coming from him she guessed that was praise.

He had been apprehensive about letting the article go to print, especially after what had just happened to Dirk Hemshew, but had allowed it, even by-passing James and sending it off himself.

The report would go to print the next morning and she was very excited, even if Mitch’s name was first. It was her first article, well not her first, but the first one that she hoped would make a difference and make her more of a mainstream reporter. Her article for Lena on L-Corp had been surprisingly well received, but wasn’t as important as this one.

Snapper had cautioned the two of them and they both would be working from home for the next two days, but he had also advised them to not be predictable. Lex could decide to come after them as well. But Kara was confident she would be safe, and Mitch was an old hand, so Snapper had let it slide.

He’d assigned her to an article of the birth of a tiger in N.C. Zoo which was, according to the latest newsletter from the Zoo, going to happen within the week. Snapper wanted her on something softer, he said it was because she was the newbie, but she thought it over and decided he wanted to get her out of the limelight-her name shouldn’t be on the headlines so soon after her and Mitch call out Lex on murdering Dr. Alan.

Alex would be furious, she thought as her day ended and she took the elevator home. She didn’t need to have her name and maybe face (depending on what editorial did) on the front page when they accused Lex of murder, just after he was (indirectly) responsible for the murder of the last reporter to slander the name. But, she considered as she elevator opened and she smiled at security on her way out, everything they were saying was true, so maybe Lex wouldn’t come after them.

Either way, she’d be able to handle anything he threw at her. She was Supergirl. It’s not like he knew that.

xxxxxXXXXXxxxxx

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Lena leant back from her notes and let her breath gush from her lips. It took her a moment for her brain to kick-start again and she shook herself before rising quickly to her feet. It couldn’t be a coincidence.

She strode quickly and quietly from her study and locked the room on her exit and quickly walked to her room. Her motorcycle gear was in her room, in her wardrobe but in the area of her clothes where she kept her more… meaningful clothes. She had her college sweatshirts, that one t-shirt from her ex- before Lex’s face was plastered all over the world and she had turned her back on Lena-she had a few of her favourite cosplay costumes there, as well as her comfort clothes. And maybe a onsie or two.

Her mind was running as she pulled her leathers on and tied her hair back. It was ten in the morning and she had cancelled her meeting with her lawyers in favour of digging through her own medical history after she had read the article on Dr Mark Alan this morning. She had smiled at seeing Kara’s name on the by-line before she had skimmed the article. Then she had frozen and read it in more depth.

Dr Alan had been her families’ doctor for years, and he had been the one who had called Lionel’s death an accident-he had signed the papers. She didn’t know what had set the alarm bells ringing in her mind, but some thread of the article was magnetic and called fragments of her thoughts and memories into being and she started to wonder. Started to wonder why several years ago, before Lex went on his crusade, he insisted she go to the doctor and get her shots. Started to wonder why there had been more injections than usual. Started to wonder why she had fallen ill almost immediately after her visit to the doctor. Started to connect the dots.

Dr Alan was one of their leading scientists, a brilliant man, and on his good days Lex had been obsessed with super-humans, not alien, but what were now called Meta-humans, humans with extraordinary abilities. He had many of them, she had found out, some willing and others not, in laboratories where he was trying to duplicate their powers and abilities and combine them. To level the playing field. Dr Alan had been working with Lex to make a super-human.

She had to know.

She bypassed her bodyguards, and slipped from the apartment, she’d apologise for ditching them later, and made her way to the elevator. She’d pointedly left her cell-phone on her kitchen table and had grabbed only her keys and helmet.

The elevator music was some popping upbeat song and she struggled to drown it out as she thought. She preferred music, not white noise, when she was working.

Her new bike was in the basement where it had been dropped off after Supergirl had delivered it to her and she pulled on her helmet and started it. It rumbled into life and then rested on its stand purring as she swung her leg over.

She could feel its dormant power beneath her as she rumbled over to the gate and pushed the button to be let out and reeved the engine as she drove up the ramp to the second gate.

Exit allowed she pulled from the garage and rode away, conscious of a few photographers chasing her a little down the street just in case the motor-biker was actually her. She was a bit frustrated that her crash had been news because that meant one of her favourite pass-times was now public knowledge and they would be on the look-out for a bike leaving the building.

She wound her way through the streets, and seeing she was low on gas, glided into a petrol station in the opposite direction to where she wanted to go. One of the things she had learnt was to never go anywhere without some money, and she had a slip on the inside of her helmet where she shoved notes in, in case she forgot her wallet.

A few minutes later and she was pulling away again, with only one or two people maybe recognising her, thankfully. She drove a little more and then turned around in a loop and headed for her warehouse. She had enjoyed being able to open the motor up on her way to the industrial sector and may have broken the speed rules once or twice, but she was loving the power roaring beneath her too much to care for the speed limit. She knew there wasn’t any cops around anyway.

Once inside she parked and moved over to one of her tables. It had been untouched since she had fainted here the first time, and after she had put everything away and she strode over to her design desk. It was a large table with pens, rulers, measuring tools and a large pile of paper where she drew the majority of her designs on. It had a large corkboard above it and she did some quick scribbling- a timeline. As she worked a heavy, sick feeling started to churn in her stomach, but she continued, she had always liked to see things for clarification’s sake, rather than using her impressive intellect alone.

With everything all written out she let out a sigh. It wasn’t a coincidence and the thought was bitter-sweet.

She had dates of her appointments, dates when she fell sick, and they repeated in a sick pattern over four years, with the latest not two months ago, when she had had her final set of shots from doctor Alan.

She’d deal with her feelings on that later, for the moment she had to consider what exactly it was that they had done to her.

And they had done something to her, she knew that now. Windows didn’t simply explode and it did explain a lot about how she had known things about Vince and Bella that she had no right knowing.

She knew Vince was thirty-six and had spent his childhood in and out of trouble and was given the choice of the military or prison. He’d had four tours and was honourably discharged and had been doing security work ever since. But what his file didn’t say was that he hated snakes, was allergic to peanuts, his first concert was Genesis, his favourite colour was green, like a forest, he hated the water due to nearly drowning as a child, and he attended Comic-con as Thor frequently. He also did the same for the children’s hospitals where-ever he was working.

Bella was in her late twenties but didn’t look it, and used to be boxing champion but her career ended after a drunken brawl. Then she went into security work, graduated top of her class, and ended up falling in love with one of her clients and decided to move country. She had been in the US for seven years and enjoyed the long hours and the constant need to keep an eye open. She has a tattoo of an octopus on her hip, and an elephant along her back, her favourite colour was lavender and she loved candles. On her off days she went into shelters and youth centres and taught them how to box and she loved spicy food.

For the past few weeks, or at least she was noticing it a lot more in the past few weeks, she’d been…aware… of the people around her and she had just known things. It was difficult to explain. Like when she had sent David for coffees, she had rattled off everyone’s orders as though she had been doing it her entire life, but she had never heard how they had their coffees, let alone how Supergirl did, so how she knew these things she didn’t know.

She’d broken her windows as well, only a few days ago. Her nightmares had returned, and when she woke up, at the height of her nightmare, there had been a weird fire burning in her skin, warm but not burning, and it had built and built until its release and when it had…. Every glass item in her room shattered. Her balcony door and glass windows had cracked and splintered, her balcony wall had crumbled to the concrete street below. The glass in her shower had great cracks in it, evidently saved from her wrath, but her mirror, which was closer, was destroyed. Her television screen shattered and the lights sparked on and died with a tinkering of glass.

The power fled her, leaving her drained but full of energy and sitting up in her bed surrounded by shattered glass.

She had known instantly that it had happened because of her, but only shadows of whatever it was remained and to be honest she had too much on her plate to mind whatever this strange power was, so she’d compartmentalised. It didn’t appear to be at her command, she’d only felt it that once, and then it had fled but… her internal musing drowned to a halt. That was a lie. She had felt it before. When L-Corp Tower collapsed. She’d felt the power then.

So that was how she’d survived, she considered as she leant back in her chair. That made sense. But what kind of power was it?

She idly wondered how Lex had figured out how his lab-rat meta-humans had their powers and considered a journey to her storage in Metropolis (under another name) to check it out, but figured she had too much to deal with to add that journey on top of it.

What she needed was blood tests, and CTI scans. The later would be difficult, but she had shell companies and surely one of them would have access to the equipment needed for brain scans.

She started with the blood test, she had that sort of equipment here in her warehouse and she could cross a lot of things off her mental list while she sorted out her other problem.

The hours slipped away as she drew her blood and preformed every test she knew on it and came up empty. As far as she could tell, her genetic make-up was as it always had been. 100% human with no added surprises.

Groaning in annoyance she kicked away from the table she had moved to-the one where she had been working with the Kryptonite- when she was brought up short. Her chair jerked and there was a harsh screeching sound that rattled her ears and she blinked away the pain and tried to shift her chair again. It wouldn’t move, only turning around in a circle and she frowned in annoyance and stood and sidestepped the chair. Crouching down she found the problem wheel and saw it had caught a stone inside and she straightened to snatch a pen from the desk before crouching down again.

It took a bit of work, but eventually she freed the stone and then she went still. She could feel warmth underneath her skin, pulling on her veins and directing it to her fingers where a bright green glow emanated from the shard of Kryptonite.

Oh.

Heart hammering she launched herself to her feet and jogged over to the microscope that still held a small drop of her blood on a microscope slide. Her blood pounded through her body, she could feel it drumming in her skull as she placed the kryptonite next to the sample and lowered her eyes to the sample. Her skin went cool immediately, the warm energy in her fingertips fading into nothing.

It took her a moment for her eyes to adjust but when they did she gasped in shock. Near the small shard of radioactive alien rock her blood sample had come alive. The small parts of her DNA were actively moving towards the Kryptonite!

Exhaling sharply she pulled away from the microscope and took several deep breathes to calm her racing heart before looking back at the sample. Her DNA didn’t seem to be changing any, in fact it was, almost, regenerating.

Brain firing, she could feel it straining and felt the adrenaline blazing through her body at what she was seeing, she pulled the Kryptonite away and jogged over to where she had stored the rest of it. She unlocked the case and withdrew some, for-going safety gear in her rush and ran back to the microscope. The larger rock glowed a vibrant green, alive, and she changed out one of her other samples for the ones she had put in the bin, ready to be vaporised.

It was an old sample, one of the first ones she had used so if her cells were regenerating in the presence of Kryptonite then this would let her know for sure.

She slid back onto her wheelie chair and slid the sample under the microscope. The effect of the radiation was almost immediate. Her cells started to restore, taking a slight green aura before looking as though they were brand new.

Theory confirmed she leant back in her chair and eyed the glowing radioactive rock contemplatively. So. Somehow one of the injections Dr Alan (and Lex) had given her had altered her DNA in the presence of Kryptonite. Altered it for the better, it seemed. The radiation was helping her cells, not destroying them. She idly wondered what normal radiation would do to her, but cast that thought off. If the Kryptonite was making her more than human, then maybe it was the source of her powers. If that were the case, then she had to figure out what exactly they were. She’d need help for that, she knew, but she wasn’t sure who she could trust. Plus she needed someone who knew what they were doing.

Her phone beeped and she cast a glance at it to check the time and blinked before quickly starting to pack away her materials. She was going to be late, again, if she didn’t leave in a hurry and was glad that she had set an alarm to remind her.

As she exited her warehouse she wondered who she would trust with this new information. If the press ever found out, or indeed, anyone found out that she may have superhuman abilities-which she didn’t know what they were- then she’d likely never see the sun again. People didn’t trust her as it was. And they certainly wouldn’t trust her with superhuman abilities. It gnawed at the back of her mind as she drove back into the public sector of National City to meet Kara. She needed an expert, one that could be trusted, one that already knew at least a little about Super-humans. The question was, who?

~*~

Agent Danvers was cleaning her side arm when her phone belted out a familiar tune and she lowered her cleaning cloth and reached for it.

“Hey, Mum,” she answered after clicking it onto ‘speaker’ mode. “What’s up?”

Alex.’ The strain to her mothers usually calm voice made her straighten and she went still. ‘Can you track a laptop for me? Or find out if someone’s DNA is in the system or something?’

“Mum, what’s going on? Are you okay?” Alex picked up the rest of her side-arm and started to put it back together. “Tell me what’s going on.”

A shaky exhale came down the line and Alex mentally calculated the time it would take to get to Midvale by car, plane, helicopter and by Super.

I’m fine. I received a laptop a week ago and a-a small green radioactive rock today,’ Eliza trailed off pointedly and Alex rose to her feet snatching her phone and tucking it to her ear as she clicked her gun into place at her hip.

She turned the speaker off and quickly made her way from the room, phone to her ear.

“Where are you now? I’m coming to you.”

No, Alex. There’s no need,’ Eliza protested but Alex wasn’t hearing any of it. Her heart was pounding in her ears and she jogged out of the barracks and down towards the command centre.

J’onn! She shouted mentally as she ran, hoping that such a blatant call of his name would summon the Martian, even though he wasn’t actively listening for her.

“No, mum. I’m coming to see you. Has anything happened? What was on the computer?”

Alexandra!’ Alex winced at the full name but kept jogging and J’onn appeared out of no-where next to her. ‘I told you. I’m fine. I just need to know if you can trace it.’

“I’m with J’onn and you’re on speaker,” Alex said and pulled her phone away from her ear and put it on speaker.

Eliza huffed. “You’re over-reacting, Alex. Hello J’onn.’

“Hello Dr Danvers. Maybe she is. Just tell us what happened,” J’onn said in his calm and reassuring manner. “

Fine.’ Eliza sighed. ‘About a week ago I was sent a laptop and a letter. The letter said that they were a doctor. They didn’t give much details on who they were and said I didn’t have to look into it, but they paid my application for a research grant in full…so I had a look. It was the least I could do.’

“The point, Mum. Get to the Kryptonite- the radioactive rock.” Alex was vibrating with impatience.

Don’t take that tone with me, Alexandra,’ Eliza warned and Alex looked sheepish and glanced around her to make sure no-one had heard her mum’s ‘mum voice’. J’onn smothered a smirk admirably, but she caught it and glared at him.

On the computer were a series of files; lab reports, and video footage of cells. It looked like Human DNA, and the letter said it was so I had no reason to suspect it wasn’t. The thing is…. The cells…. They weren’t human, or at least, weren’t like any human cells I had seen before. They were ordinary at first. There was a before and an after. The first picture was what you’d expect to see from a fresh sample. The second picture was the same, I’d have thought it were the same sample if not for the ‘after exposure’ tag on it.’ Eliza paused a moment to gather her thoughts. ‘The samples continued throughout the course of whatever time-lapse they decided as well as exposure to heat and cold, and other causes of degeneration. The ones on the left showed the expected decomposition and degeneration but the ones on the right…’

“Muuum,” Alex groaned, getting impatient with how her mum seemed to be going off track.

‘The ones on the right, after exposure to whatever the doctor was testing against, were as though no time had passed and nothing had been used to aid degeneration. They had completely regenerated at an astronomical rate. They sent me a video, after I called them a liar, and Alex… you should have seen it! It was amazing!’

“That’s all well and good, Eliza. But please, what is this about Kryptonite?” Hank enquired.

I wanted to know how it was done, what sort of drug they were testing, because the medical possibilities of such a thing are-‘

“Mum,” Alex cut in.

They sent me a new sample of blood today, the first I’d had, as well as a small shard of radioactive rock. It was labelled as radioactive and protected as such- but there was another letter, this one telling me to run my tests. I knew what the rock was, of course, but ran the test anyway. Everything was just like I had been sent… Alex, this person or being or whatever flourishes under exposure to Kryptonite. The cells absorb it.’

“Where are you now, Eliza?” J’onn enquired and started to walk towards the staircase which would lead them to the stairs.

Eliza responded that she was at home now and J’onn nodded and proceeded to bark orders.

“Vasquez! I want a Hawk ready to fly ASAP. Agent Schott! Get whatever you need to travel with pronto. I want you to look at a computer. I want Wolfe and Dr. Martin ready to fly as well.”

Winn launched himself from his set and bolted down one of the corridors and Vasquez was speaking into her headpiece as they walked across the command room.

This isn’t necessary, J’onn.’

The DEO Director ignored her. “Stay inside, away from any windows and close the curtains. Don’t sit near a light, in fact, maybe go sit in the bathroom or something with the lights out.” He ignored her outraged inhale and Alex turned pale.

They haven’t tried to hurt me.’ Eliza said sternly.

“Not yet, Eliza. I promised Jerimiah I’d protect you all, and I don’t want to break that promise. Please, go somewhere un-predictable.”

I’ll stay on my chair, thank you all the same,’ Eliza’s voice came back sharply. ‘I’ve got Grandpa’s shotgun over the fireplace if I hear anything.’

“Argh,” Alex sighed but knew there was no convincing her mother when she’d made a decision. Alex didn’t get her stubbornness from her dad. “Fine.”

She cast a glance at Hank as Agent Wolfe jogged up in full combat gear and with a large automatic in his hands.

“Should we maybe call Kara?” She asked with a frown and J’onn hesitated and shook his head.

Suddenly suspicious Alex’s eyes narrowed. “Why not?” She asked carefully, slowly.

“Supergirl requested to not be on call tonight,” J’onn said eventually and jogged up the stairs and led the trio up onto the roof. They could hear Winn and the Dr talking down the stairs below them but Alex was more interested in why Kara decided suddenly not to be Supergirl for the evening.

“Why?” She said, voice sharp and eyes fierce.

Yes. I’d like to know why as well,’ Eliza said and Alex started. She’d forgotten her mother was on the phone.

J’onn briefly glanced heavenward as though the dark clear skies could offer him salvation and then sighed, loudly. “She’s on a…a date.”

“A date?!” Alex repeated, certain her voice was imitating one of the chipmunks from that singing movie with that Earl guy. “What date? With who?!”

J’onn marched quickly to the sound of the flight team preparing a Hawk as though it could distract Alex from her questions but she wasn’t about to be deterred.

“Who, J’onn, is on a date with my baby sister?” She said, still as fierce as a mountain lion, but there was a hint of hurt there to.

Hearing the underlying pain J’onn hesitated and turned to face her. “I don’t think she knows it’s a date, or even realises she wants it to be one… but she’s with Lena…Luthor.” Were it not for the way she was blinking Alex could have been a statue.

She started nodding slowly. “So Kara’s on a not-date.”

“Yes.”

“With Lena Luthor.”

J’onn eyed her cautiously and Agent Wolfe stepped away. Winn and Dr Martin were looking between Alex and the director curiously. “Yes.”

“Right,” Alex said nodding slowly and her hand wandered down to her side arm. “You could fly to Midvale, right? No need for me to come with,” she said with false cheer and turned slowly. Her knuckles were stark contrast to the rest of her skin.

“Oh, no you don’t,” J’onn gripped her around the upper arm firmly. “Leave them be for tonight. We have work to do.”

“Kara‘s on a date with Lena Luthor and she didn’t tell me!” Alex protested and struggled a little against J’onn’s grip. “Let go of me, J’onn.” She demanded

“Miss Luthor has no intention of harming Kara, you said so yourself that you believed her.”

Winn gaped and J’onn directed all three agents to the helicopter and they marched quickly to it as once of the ground crew started it. The steady whump, whump of the blades firing into life matched Alex’s pulse.

“That was before I knew she was going out with my sister!”

“They aren’t dating, yet,” J’onn said calmly and let Alex go. “And if you rush in there and interrupt you’ll hurt Kara.”

“I won’t be hurting Kara,” Alex said icily and the look on her face said, quite sufficiently, Imma kill a bitch. J’onn did not want to be Lena Luthor at that moment.

You’ll stay out of it, Alex.’

“But mum,” Alex whined, having forgotten that she still had her phone on speaker.

No buts, Alex. If your sister wants to date this woman then you’ll stay out of it.’

“Argh,” Alex bemoaned. “Why did I tell you I thought Kara had a crush?”

Because I’m your mother.’ Eliza’s smugness could be heard between the thumping of the helicopter, as well as a hint of motherly pride. ‘I’ll see you soon, ok.’

“Okay, okay. We’ll leave Kara to her not-date. See you soon, Mum,” Alex said and finally released her grip on her gun and strode towards the helicopter as she hung up. “Shall we go?”

J’onn could only shake his head and follow after Alex, and was briefly thankful to whatever deity that was listening that Alex had let it go. He didn’t want to have to be on the end of Kara’s disappointed pout. Alex might be able to handle Kara’s puppy-eyes but he couldn’t, she was obviously made of sterner stuff, or, he considered as he walked to the chopper, she was used to it. But, he decided as he took his seat and the door closed behind him, Alex was more worried about Kara’s safety than her puppy-eyes. But she didn’t need to be, he was fairly certain Kara was in good hands. As of yet Lena had done nothing to indicate any reason or desire to bring any harm to Kara. If anything, he thought, she wanted the opposite.

 

 

xxxxxXXXXXxxxxx 

 

 

Chapter Text

They took Lena’s Camaro to the Zoo, and Kara had never been in a car so flash before. It smelt brand-new and the leather was gleaming and there wasn’t a speck of dust on it that Kara could see, and that was saying something.

Perhaps seeing her awe Lena commented, “I will pay for quality…and it’s such a nice car,” as she guided them from the garage.

“Yeah!” Kara agreed and looked at the dashboard. There were a lot of buttons and a screen and the radio was in there somewhere with the air-conditioning.

“So why are we going to the zoo at,” Lena cast a glance at the digital clock, “four-thirty in the morning? Not that I don’t enjoy your company,” she added hurriedly. Kara beamed.

“It’s a surprise! I thought you might like it, that’s the only reason I woke you.” She swallowed and chanced a glance out the tinted windows into the early morning of National City.

What she didn’t mention was that she hadn’t slept a wink, and instead had laid rigid on the opposite side of Lena’s bed while the CEO slept. She was not being creepy when she watched her sleep, no not at all. Lena was just so pretty and so soft when she was sleeping and Kara couldn’t tear her eyes away. Not to mention Lena was warm, and her own body was acutely aware that she was sleeping nearby and she’d been so wired at the thought she hadn’t dared closing her eyes. She didn’t want to wake up curled around the CEO because friends didn’t do that and she didn’t want to make it awkward.

But still, part of her had ached for that, had wondered what it would feel like to have Lena’s warm, soft skin pressed against hers, hear her heartbeat under her ear instead of across the air, wondered if it would be clearer and stronger if she rested her head on Lena’s chest. Would Lena curl back into her? she had wondered as the minutes ticked by and she mapped every inch of Lena’s face. She was studying the contours of her lips when her phone vibrated and she had reluctantly torn herself away and checked it. It was a notification from the NC Zoo, telling her that their tiger, Regina, had been in labour for four hours now and her contractions were getting heavier and soon they would be welcoming babies into the world.

She’d spoken with the Zoo once Snapper had given her the assignment and they had agreed to allow her access to the birth so she knew that if she went there they’d let her in. She sat up and cast her sleeping companion a thoughtful glance. Lena would probably enjoy it.

Her heart had clenched and gone warm when she’d awoken Lena, more so at the soft sound of protest as she was gently shaken awake. Her eyes had been green, so green and Kara had frozen when they blinked up at her sleepily, a crease forming on her brow as she curled into her pillow.

“Mh, Kara?”

Something in her had flared at the sound of her name, raspy and husky with sleep, falling from Lena’s lips-the lips she’d just been admiring. She’d swallowed and had smiled and told Lena to wake up and get changed, she had something to show her.

The two had snuck from the apartment, with Lena writing a note for the two body guards- Kara had assured her she’d be safe. No one knew where she was going and it was the middle of the night. They’d taken the elevator down to the basement yawning and Lena had asked what she was going to show her. Kara had grinned and motioned zipping her lips. “Secret.”

Lena had sighed and rolled her eyes but had been a good sport about it and had just smiled with her eyes as they had gotten into the car. Kara hoped she’d get to drive on the way back. She crossed her fingers at the thought.

“What are you thinking?” Lena asked as they drove through the mostly quiet streets. “You’ve got a smile on your face.”

“I was thinking about your lasagne,” Kara replied quickly and beamed at the small, pleased smile that flickered across Lean’s features as they passed under street lights. “Make a right here.”

Just thinking of the lasagne made her stomach growl appreciatively and she felt her cheeks warm and Lena giggled at the sound as she flicked her indicator on. “You can’t still be hungry! You ate almost the entire dish!” Normally such words word make her self-conscious and defensive but there was nothing but playful jest in Lena’s tone so she grinned.

“It was soooooo good though! I never knew you could cook!”

“Mh, so you said…. Multiple times…. And sometimes with your mouth full,” Lena replied and cast the streets a glance but her eyes still held no recognition.

Kara crossed her arms and pouted. “I had to tell you how good it was,” she said defensively. “It’s ah-maze-ing!”

“You sure you aren’t just saying that so I’ll make it for you again?” Lena teased and followed Kara’s direction to take another right turn.

“Nooooo,” Kara drawled out the vowel and cast Lena a look from the corner of her eye, her lips tilting.

“I will have to make it for you again. The dessert too.”

Kara perked up immediately and gave an exaggerated groan. “Argh, that was soooo goood!”

Lena was visibly pleased and Kara wasn’t exaggerating. Lena’s cooking was amazing, and if it kept her friend happy, and she got to be the reason for her smile, then she’d continue to compliment her cooking. Plus, if it ended with another invite for her to come and have some of Lena’s cooking, then she was down for that.

She unlocked her phone and tapped away a message and then looked back to check where they were.

“I’m glad you enjoyed it,” Lena said and her eyes were narrowed on the road and it looked like she’d figured out where they were heading. “I don’t get to cook as often as I’d like. It’s hard to find the time, and the effort when it’s just me seems like too much.”

Kara patted her full belly happily. “Well, I’ll come over every night if you wanted. You’re a goddess…in the kitchen…. Goddess in the kitchen.” She moistened her lips and gave a sharp little nod.

Lena’s heart did something funny but Kara couldn’t hear it over the pounding in her own ears. “Oh? Just in the kitchen?,” she asked with a playful arch to her brow and Kara started to ramble again.

“No! I mean! Yes! Wait, no-I. Not that you’re not a goddess because you are, anyone with eyes can see that even if they have glasses and stuff and you’re like really, really pretty and I think you’re like the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen- not that I’ve looked at many pretty girls because I’m not a creep like that and oh my god you probably think I’m being a perv right now but like as your friend I can say you’re pretty because you are and you’re my prettiest friend, not that you need to be pretty to be my friend but-um…” She’d mostly broken herself of the habit around Lena, but sometimes when she was nervous it just came back to her. But she thought Lena found it sweet, at the very least endearing, so she didn’t feel so embarrassed usually. She never really felt embarrassed around Lena. Somehow the CEO seemed to get her, and went out of her way to make her feel completely at home, not that she had to try very hard. Kara and Lena got a long pretty good.

Take last night for example, they’d spent the evening laughing over wine and lasagne (her mouth started to water again) and had settled down to watch a movie. Afterward Lena had shown Kara a few of her Cosplay idea’s and they had spent the rest of the evening on Pinterest looking up other idea’s. Kara had never been to Comic-Con or made her own costume, but Lena’s own shy excitement about it had made her excited for it too, and she was considering going with Lena.

It had been late when they finally pulled away from Lena’s design tablet and she had insisted Kara stay. Of course Vince and Bella were in the two other rooms, and Lena had refused to let Kara sleep on the couch, stating ‘it was for sitting not sleeping and her bed was plenty big enough, if that wasn’t an issue?’

Kara hadn’t known she could sweat, but she certainly started to, and her mouth went dry and her heart bet out a sharp rhythm, but she followed Lena obediently to her room. Kara had stood awkwardly in Lena’s room, noting the new television and the new sticker on the balcony glass door and had peered curiously outside and seen the warning ropes across the ledge. It had drawn her attention from the way her body was humming and she’d been standing over by the door rather than awkwardly in the middle of Lena’s room (eyeing her bed as though it would bite her) and clenching her hands. She felt a shiver of apprehension. She easily recalled the last time she’d been in Lena’s room, in Lena’s bed. She wondered if they would ever discuss it. Lena didn’t seem like the type to want to air her baggage, and it was clear she had some.

Her stomach churned at what it could be – she’d googled panic attacks and triggers and the reasons for them, and had not liked what she’d read. The thought of anyone hurting Lena made her blood boil.

“Here. I’ll be in the bathroom. Come in when you’re ready. I’ll get a spare toothbrush,” Lena tossed her a set of pyjamas, thankfully cotton, but they had a very familiar logo on the side and she looked up with a small smile.

“Superman pyjama’s?” She couldn’t hold her smile and she wondered how she’d not realised what a nerd her friend was.

“Supergirl actually,” Lena corrected from the bathroom and Kara started. How could she have missed that?

She got changed quickly, casting glances over her shoulder all the while in case Lena came back in. She wasn’t sure if she wanted her to or not.

“What happened to your glass?” Kara asked as she padded into the bathroom in pyjama’s with her own logo over them. It gave her mixed emotions; she didn’t much like seeing her family crest used to promote capitalism, but Lena owning a pair made her heart warm and fuzzy.

Lena was bent over the sink and Kara noticed the glass was new as well, it had a freshly peeled patch where a sticker would have been.

“It broke,” she said as she lifted from the bowl and directed Kara to a toothbrush on the bench. It was still in a pack.

“All of it?” Kara asked sceptically, feeling something more was going on. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I’m fine.”

She had felt her suspicion grow when Lena quickly changed the subject. “Do you want a particular side of the bed?”

Kara shook her head and let her suspicion fade. “I normally just sleep in the middle. Where-ever,” she said with a shrug.

Lena nodded and wandered back into her room and Kara looked in the mirror and took a few deep breaths and then continued on her routine. Once she had finished she stepped out into the bedroom. Lena had a pair of thick-rimmed glasses on and Kara felt her heart screech to a halt as the CEO looked through something on her phone. Her hair was shiny and falling over her shoulders and she was wearing a faded band t-shirt.

Feeling on edge but not sure why she tried one last time to get out of having to sleep with Lena. Not sleep with sleep with, like actually sleep with. In the same bed. No touching or anything. Just… like dreams and stuff.

“Get in Kara,” Lena had responded and lifted the covers in invitation and Kara had obeyed. It took Lena a few minutes to turn her phone down and remove her glasses and the bed shifted as she shimmied down under the covers. Settled in she cast Kara a soft smile and then she looked confused. “Aren’t you going to take off your glasses?” She yawned and Kara went still. She hadn’t thought of that.

“Oh yeah,” she said and shifted nervously. “Sometimes I forget.” She carefully tilted her body and then removed her glasses, acutely aware of the eyes like Kryptonite watching her. “Night,” she said, faking a yawn and rolled away from Lena’s bright eyes, least they linger to long and find out her secret.

“Night Kara,” Lena said quietly and turned the light off and set the room into darkness. “Sweet dreams.”

Lena’s breathing evened out faster than Kara’s, and once she was sure the brunette was asleep she rolled back over and curled her hand under the pillow.

There was a stray piece of hair over Lena’s face and her fingers itched with the desire to remove it and she slowly, cautiously inched forward and brushed the tip of her finger against Lena’s cheek to move the hair.

Then she jerked her hand back as though burnt, or rather how she had seen other people react when they were burnt. Her skin tingled where she had touched Lena, and she was pretty sure some of Lena’s warmth had melted to her skin, because it was warm. Lena’s bed was as heavenly as she remembered but she was acutely aware of the brunette near her in a way that she hadn’t been last time she was with Lena in her bed. She decided it was because Lena had needed her then, needed her support, so some part of her, the part that was itching to get closer, had shut off. She almost wanted to shut it off now but there was a warm, electric feeling humming beneath her skin, the lazy energy of a sun lit river as it wound its way to the sea.

She was brought from her thoughts by Lena’s burst of laughter and as she flushed she smiled because she had been the reason for Lena’s laugh. The thought made her insides glow like she’d stored the heat and light from the sun in her cells.

“I get it Kara,” Lena said with the laughter still in her tone. “You’re my prettiest friend too.”

Kara’s cheeks went warm again but she glanced over at Lena through her glasses and saw a shy smile on Lena’s face and the glow inside her grew; golden, warm and bright.

“I’d like it if you came over more often…it’s nice having someone to cook for.”

Kara beamed and then her smile faltered. “I don’t come over for the food, but it is a bonus! I like spending time with you…”

Lena’s answering smile could have rivalled the sun. “I like spending time with you too.”

“Oh! Make a left up here and keep going,” she instructed and Lena cast her a bemused glance.

“Why’re we going to the zoo?”

Kara felt her enthusiasm drop slightly. It was a kind of dumb idea. “Have you been?” She asked hesitantly as they passed under the large archway with the ‘National City Zoo’ and the logo with the animals on it.

Lena shook her head. “No… but it doesn’t open for another,” she looked at the clock. “Three, four hours.”

Kara beamed. “Not for us,” she said and grabbed her messenger bag off the floor. “Come on!”

Lena parked the car in the empty car-park and grabbed her phone and they exited the car and walked towards the gate.

Lena looked sceptical but followed Kara towards the gate and was very surprised when there was a staff member in the grey-green colours of the zoo ready to let them inside. He had dark skin, shaggy dark hair, striking pale eyes, and looked as though he needed to chase a few more animals around the zoo, but he was quick to offer a cheeky smile and his hand. The muscles in his arms flexed as he pulled open the gate for them and the keys at his belt jingled. There was a set of work gloves peaking from his pocket and there was a silent radio hanging on the other side next to an industrial flashlight.

“Hi!” Kara beamed and bounced up to the staff member with her hand out. “You must be Leon! I’m Kara, and this is my friend Lena!”

Leon shook Kara’s hand enthusiastically and she could feel his strength in his shake, though he was firm and not crushing, and his hands were callused from hard work. He cast Lena a curious look and then was caught by her own expression and Kara knew she was pouting and pulling the puppy-eyes and he shrugged, what was one more guest, and shook Lena’s hand.

“Nice to meet you. Come on, she’s getting close.”

Kara could feel Lena’s curiousity but she didn’t say anything as Leon led them through the dimly lit pathways and towards one of the enclosures. The zoo was eerily quiet and she was glad she’d told Lena to wear something warm as she had a feeling it was quite cold. They walked for quite a while and at a swift pace and she was fairly certain Lena was warm by the time they got to their destination.

Through the darkness they could see a building with a lot of lights on and she figured that this was where they were heading.

“So. I’ve read the other releases and we talked a bit on the phone, but what is it you want us to do?”

Leon nodded and scanned his key-card on one of the doors which read ‘Staff Only’ and let them into the building. “We have a camera set up and a t.v. feed inside. You’ll have to stay there with the other keepers but when she’s settled in, if it doesn’t bother Regina too much, you can meet the cubs.”

Kara was fairly certain her mouth had fallen open in joy and she turned to see surprise turn to pleasure on Lena’s face.

Leon led them inside and they saw it was a big building, bigger than the surrounding trees would give it credit. “We call this building the Cat Cave,” Leon said as he led them further into the building. There was a large area in front of them with freezers, fridges, tables and a lot of storage with animal food and the bins had pictures on them of various carnivores. “All of our big cats are housed in this area- apart from lions-and wolves.” He directed their attention to a large map of the zoo on the wall. They were currently centred in a loop with pictures of tigers, cougars, a cat with long ears, jaguars, puma’s, what looked like the cheetah’s and some smaller cats she didn’t recognise. There was also a picture of a wolf to the side.

“The enclosures all back onto this building. We have food, storage, around there is the bedding and some of the medical supplies. Toys as well. We have more cages behind each enclosure.” He pointed out each corridor as they made their way into the main room and rattled off their supplies and a basic overview of their purpose. “And this is our favourite room,” he said and walked through a final door into a small staff room with a long table laden with food and drink, a small kitchenette, a fridge, a few chairs and couches, and more importantly, a few desks and a lot of filing cabinets and folders on the wall.

In response to Lena’s puzzled eye lift he elaborated. “The couches are heavenly,” he grinned. “Like sleeping on a cloud.”

One of the listening keepers snorted and drew their attention to where they were all crowed in a half circle around a big monitor. A large orange and black tiger was on the screen surrounded by straw and was breathing heavily on its side. “And by ‘like sleeping on a cloud’ he means you don’t feel a thing because you’re out of it.”

“Jay,” Leon said sounding scandalised. “Don’t scare our guests off becoming a keeper. He lies,” he said turning back to the two. “The couches are to die for.” He winked at them both and Kara couldn’t help but smile back it him.

“When you pull an all-nighter it doesn’t matter what surface you crash on,” Lena offered and Leon beamed at her.

“Exactly!” Then he sobered. “Not that that is something we keepers do…. No hard work for us….can’t have the young-ones deciding it’s too much for them.” He beamed again and Kara decided she liked him.

A few of the keepers chuckled and Jay nodded from where he sat and lifted his soda in greeting. “Jay. Wolves.”

One by one the keepers introduced themselves and, she guessed, the animals they were in care of. There was Harry-short for Harriet- who looked after the Leopards with Ryan; Alexis who did Lynx’s and Leopards; Jojo and Phil, who did jaguars, Lynx’s and Leopards; Kate, who along with Matt and Mark did the Tigers under Leon; Kevin, Amanda and Steph went where-ever they were directed. The cheetahs were taken care of by a team of Blair, Rhys, Toby and Jessie; and Anton, Emma, Mike and Lou took care of the rest of the cats and the latter two worked with Jay with the wolves and two others. (‘Yeah, they like the pussy,’ Jay had sniggered and Alexis had slugged him in the arm, hard. But it was all good natured. ‘More than you ever get, Ass,’ Jessie had replied and high-fived Kate).

“Hi”! Kara had beamed and waved. “I’m Kara! I’m with Catco. This is Lena,” she jerked her head over at Lena who smiled a greeting and ducked her head.

“Grab a seat, babe,” Steph had her arms folded and directed her head to the few chairs left. “Make yourself comfortable. We’ve a while to go yet.”

Kara wasn’t sure who she was talking to but both her and Lena took up chairs on the edge of the circle.

“So this is your surprise?” Lena asked quietly, casting a glance at the keepers.

Kara nodded. “I have to cover the story for Snapper. He wanted me out of the spotlight after-” she cut of abruptly and worried her lip and saw Lena’s moment of understanding.

“After your article on Dr Alan,” she breathed and Kara winced apologetically. Kara saw a brief flicker of guilt before Lena’s features softened and she pressed her lips together in a barely-there smile.

“It’s okay,” she said quietly and pointedly turned her attention back to the tiger birth on the screen. They hadn’t discussed it, hadn’t discussed Kara’s name on the front page calling Lex out for killing their family Dr, but Lena had sent her a message the morning of the article saying ‘I hope your Super friend is keeping an eye out for you. Stay safe.’ Kara wondered when and if they would talk about it, but decided she wouldn’t broach the subject. The ball was in Lena’s court.

The birth wasn’t as fast as Kara was expecting. It took an hour for the first cub to show itself, and then another hour and a half for the other two to grace the world with their presence. At the birth of the first one, when it lay still and unmoving as the mother turned to lick at it, Lena had grabbed at her arm until she found her hand and hadn’t released her death-grip on it until the cub had gasped and given a small, weak squeak. She was pretty sure she and Lena melted at the sound and all of the keepers were smiling at the screen and they cheered and clapped.

She had her reporter pad balanced on her lap and would occasionally jot down notes. She asked a few questions of the keepers, wondering how they saw what they were doing here, how people reacted to zoos and their breeding programs and the like. She got valuable insight to what they were thinking, and it was more emotional than press releases or statements, it seemed more real.

The keepers popped in and out, sometimes leaving for a lot of the time, and they explained they were going to their duties, but everything was being recorded so they wouldn’t miss out.

Lena interlinked their fingers and Kara cast her hand a glance and then looked back at the screen, feeling her smile but she hoped she could pull its giddiness off as the joy of the cub birth, even though it was a little bit gross and wet. Lena didn’t move her hand until they made to leave and the tips of her fingers ghosted over Kara’s palms as she pulled away and Kara grinned broadly.

Steph was elected to show them around the Zoo, and she’d grinned and poked her tongue out at Jay when he grumbled. She briefly went through the Cat Cave with them and then led them around the rest of the zoo while the keepers were seeing to the animals and the zoo staff were preparing for the morning. They were mostly done with their jobs so all that was left was the more pleasant sides to the job, the feeding (of animals that weren’t feed in view of the public) and the cuddling-if it were safe to do so.

Lena had been on her phone for a bit of the birth, Kara hadn’t wanted to ask, but she’d seen the familiar logo of online banking and wondered what Lena had been doing with her money.

They both took photo’s as they went around (with permission) and Kara got one of Lena feeding one of the red-panda’s and wanted to post that one online but didn’t. The red-panda was more than happy to clamber into Lena’s lap and eat the fruit from her hands when offered the chance, and Lena’s smile had been…something… Kara’s heart had fluttered at the sight of it.

The animals were clearly awakening if the bird calls and hooting and general sounds roused animals made were to be any indication and the sun was ascending to its throne in the sky. Steph talked about the various animals and stories the other keepers had told her as they went and they were thoroughly entertained by her.

They ended up back at the Cat Cave by the time the Zoo was officially open and Leon allowed them access into the cages behind the enclosures. They passed through a lot of storage rooms, the meat preparation kitchen, and the large freezer and chiller duo.

Leon was careful to explain that these rooms were only used for medical uses or when introducing new animals, and that the animals were not kept in these cages. They had dens and pools and toys as well as natural foliage, fresh running water, and various man-made platforms for the cats to explore outside. They were fed inside as well, in individual cages on the inside of the building and the public were able to see these meals at certain times each day as they had various parts to their large enclosures and rotated the big cats to keep them from getting bored. They were careful to keep the animals separate if they needed it and the series of cages were simple but effective even if they were a bit cell-like with guillotine doors and individual bared rooms.

Regina and her cubs were set up in cage to the side with straw on the floor and bowls of water and food near-by- but she hadn’t touched any of that.

She was dozing quietly in the corner and had a keeper with her cooing quietly as he stroked her.

Leon was very careful to explain, in a quiet and slow voice, how they treated their animals- especially the ones in the breeding programs and in the Close Encounter programs.

Kara jotted down notes as he discussed their processes and said they liked to form bond’s with the animals, and each handler was committed to the animal’s in their care. He showed them where Kate was gently examining the cubs under the watchful eye of Mum, and explained that they did everything to ensure that the cubs imprinted on Regina rather than them, and that everything they were using was as close to her scent as possible.

She was a ‘chill’ cat though, and had been through it before, so they doubted she’d give them any trouble. Were she any other cat, and any other handler, they wouldn’t be so intrusive, but they had enough faith in her to examine the cubs with her nearby and not cause any one any distress. Her last cubs were around the world and she had raised them well with no complications and the team was familiar with how it should all work. They were prepared though, to interfere if anything wasn’t going well, and would even take the cubs if it seemed like the best option. But he didn’t think it would come to that.

He’d been hesitant about it, but had asked them if they would like to hold one and Kara had seen Lena’s eyes light up at the thought.

Naming them was interesting and the keepers had been debating all morning via radio on some good names. There were two boys and a girl. It was the girl’s name they were debating on. Henry and Aaram had been chosen for the two boys, and Steph and Jessie had giggled at Henry’s name and said something about a Swan that Kara didn’t quite catch. They were wanting to name the girl after Supergirl, which was flattering and Kara had flushed and nervously adjusted her glasses.

What about hope, then?” Matt suggested as they went around the circle of names again and one of the cubs was gently lifted into Lena’s arms in a fluffy blanket. Leon’s phone vibrated and he glanced at the number and then excused himself down the hall.

She gazed down at it in awe, eyes soft and glowing and seemed almost hesitant to hold it. Kara couldn’t help but take a photo of it and Lena’s head lifted at the slight click her phone made.

Nah,” Harry said. “That’s so cliché. You want something different for this special girl.”

“I want to pull a Lion King so badly right now,” Lena murmured with a smile as she looked at the cute bundle in her hands. The cub was a little wet still and its coat was a dark rusty orange and black, and it was wrinkled and had its face scrunched up but was still cute.

“Ohmygod I know,” Kara gushed out, mindful of the cubs and the snoozing mother. “My all-time favourite movie ever.”

Lena’s brow twitched and the smile on her face slid slightly.

Just call her Supergirl and be done with it,” Jay groaned, obviously done with the disagreement. He’d been fortunate enough to send his subordinates out to take care of his animals and was lying in the Cave with a pillow over his face on the couch when they walked past earlier.

We can’t just call her Supergirl,” Rhys was saying and they heard the clink of a stirring cup through the radio.

Well, what’s your idea genius?”

“Elle,” Lena said suddenly and Kara went still. “You want her to embody hope but not be corny, call her Elle.”

“Why Elle?” Kate glanced up from where she was packing up her equipment.

“Elle for El,” Lena explained quietly and cast Kara a glance when she inhaled sharply. “The House of El of Krypton… the ‘S’…. it stands for hope.” She glanced down at the cub in her hands. “Superman and Supergirl wear it because of what it represents. Hope.” Lena shrugged again and Kara felt her heart summersault, even though Lena didn’t know she and Supergirl were one.

“What about Elle? It’s the ‘S’ crest on Supergirl’s uniform. It stands for hope.” Kate asked through the radio and Leon’s strode back into the room and gave Lena a weird look.

There was a moments pause and then affirmation came across the radio.

Elle…. I like it!”

Much better than hope.”

Elle it is.”

How’d you know that?”

Kate hesitated at the final question and cast Lena a glance. She shrugged in response but Kara could feel her apprehension.

“Miss Luthor told me.” Ah, so they had known who Lena was. But they hadn’t treated her any different and Kara felt a wave of affection for them for treating her like a normal person.

There was silence again and Kara was waiting for the backlash but it never came.

“Well.” This was said by Leon. “You would know.” Lena meet his gaze squarely and he shifted his head to the cub in her arms. “Elle it is.”

With the Head of Tiger’s giving his input the decision was final and National City Zoo had three new Bengal tiger cubs to introduce to the world.

Lena looked down at the cub in surprise and then a small, pleased smile crossed her face. “Hello Elle.” Kara’s heart melted at the sight.

“Do you wanna hold?” She asked and shifted around to face Kara and the reporter could feel her grin and lowered her messenger bag to the floor. She held her arms out for the bundle and brought it close. She was always aware of her strength when faced with something so small and fragile and she cradled it gently and smiled at Elle’s little yawn and at the thrumming of her heart.

“Smile,” Lena asked and Kara’s head shot up, smile stuck on her face, and Lena took a photo.

“Do you mind if I upload this?” She asked after staring at it for a moment. She looked to Leon for confirmation and he hesitated.

“Can you wait until after the press release has gone out?”

Lena nodded immediately and after smiling at the photo, tucked it back into her pocket.

Kara handed the cub back to Kate and she returned Elle to her brother’s and mother and she gave a little squeak as she curled up next to Regina’s warmth.

“So cute,” she was nearly squealing but was mindful of where she was.

“I’ll walk you out,” Leon said, with another weird look at Lena and Kara decided it looked searching. Lena didn’t notice, she was more concerned with staring at the cubs as though she’d never seen a newborn animal. And, maybe, she hadn’t. Kara supposed she took that for granted. She’d spent a summer at the Kent’s when she was a teenager and they’d had a few babies born and she’d been captivated.

After a final glance at the four tigers they followed Leon from the Cat Cave and wandered towards the entrance gate. A few members of the public were already making their way towards the big cat enclosures and they passed them by without a glance, but that was probably because Lena was wearing casual clothes and wasn’t dressing to impress.

They were the only people going towards the exit and already there was a bit of a que to come inside and Leon hesitated and turned to Lena.

“Someone made a generous donation to the Zoo this morning… to the Big Cat Enclosures…”

Lena met his gaze squarely and tilted her head and Kara looked between the two curiously.

“Anonymous donations are meant to stay anonymous,” Lena said and shook her head a little.

“Thank you.” The sincerity in his voice was clear. Lena held his eyes for a moment before inclining her head and smiling sweetly.

“It’s been an experience. Thank you.”

He flashed them a friendly smile and was back striding through the gates and waving to the people on duty taking entry fees.

Kara shuffled closer to Lena as they walked towards her car. It had friends now, but was still clearly the most expensive one in the park.

“Thank you. Kara,” Lena said as they got closer and her fingers were brushing Kara’s as they walked and Kara kept her body still. Lena glanced at her from the corner of her eyes. “I-I’ll never forget this.”

Kara beamed at her. “Me either. It was awesome!”

Lena’s smile made her as warm as the sunshine and as they got closer to the car Lena hesitated and Kara could hear her heart-rate increase.

Gentle, warm fingers guided Kara around and she looked down into Lena’s eyes and blinked, caught in their orbit.

“Thank you,” Lena said quietly, almost a whisper, and the green of her eyes was tinged with gold in the morning light and Kara swallowed nervously. She kept still as Lena slowly leant forward and pressed a lingering kiss to the corner of her mouth and waited there a moment too long to be considered friendly. Even Kara couldn’t mistake this kiss as anything but romantic in its intention. Kara’s heart nearly flew from her mouth and it took concentrated effort to keep her feet on the ground.

Lena’s heart was doing its own little dance and she swallowed as she stepped away and there was a dusting to her cheek bones.

“Did you want to get breakfast or do you have somewhere you need to be?” She enquired, all business, but Kara could still hear the twirls her heart was doing so knew her mask was a façade.

“I-ah. N-no place to be,” she gave a little nod and was certain she was blushing something fierce but she couldn’t stop smiling and was pretty sure it was a goofy, giddy one. Lena had no comment bar a small, shy smile and as they drove back into the city they kept casting glances at each other and pulling away with a smile on their lips. It had been a wonderful morning.

 

 xxxxxXXXXXxxxxx

 

 

Chapter Text

 

“Okay, so you want me to-what?” Kara blinked, confused and folded her arms over her suit.

Alex sighed and rolled her eyes. “Maggie’s invited us to play a softball game this afternoon with some of her work buddies.”

“I got that part,” Kara nodded.

“Winn, James, a few guys from work are invited as well.”

“Yup. Got that too…. But… why am I inviting Lena?” She tilted her head like a confused little puppy.

Alex shrugged, but her heart rate increased just a little and it was enough for Kara to narrow her eyes at her sister.

“Alex?” She enquired warningly.

“All right. Fine,” Alex threw her hands in the air. “Maggie want’s her there.”

“Why?” Kara was certain she’d get confusion lines (instead of frown-lines) if Alex kept this up.

“I dunno!” Alex shrugged. “She just wanted her there… wanted you to invite her,” Alex corrected with a sly smile. “So…. How’s that going? I heard you were dating.” She enquired and lifted a brow.

Kara blushed and fidgeted and shook her head. “Alex,” she whined. “We’ve been over this! I’ve been getting death threats!”

Alex was grinning broadly. “Oh, I know! It’s-“

“-It’s not funny!” Kara crossed her arms and was pretty sure she was pouting.

“Aw, don’t worry. I’m sure Lena will kiss it better…. If Supergirl doesn’t kill you first.”

Kara’s pout deepened. “It was a cute photo, okay? I didn’t think people would think we were dating.”

Alex shook her head. “Kara, Kara, Kara. You posted the photo of Lena with the cub and said ‘look at this cutie’ on twitter. She’s a celebrity, of course her followers saw it and commented.”

Kara’s hand shot out. “It’s not my fault she re-tweeted it and asked if I was referring to her or the cub.”

Alex inhaled and then let it out slowly. “You were basically asking for that response.”

Kara opened her mouth to protest but Alex’s sharp look cut her off. “Fine. So I didn’t have to say it. But now people are saying Supergirl’s gonna kill me for taking her girl and that they’ll kill me if I get between the two!”

She was pouting again and folded her arms like an impertinent child.

“That’s not fair,” Alex pointed out. “Half of them think you guys are ‘hella cute’ together and want Supergirl to stay out of it.” She even did the bunnies ears, grin firmly in place between them.

“Argh!”

“That was rather loud,” J’onn rumbled as he passed the command centre. “What’s wrong?”

Alex was smirking as she told him. “Kara’s upset because people are sending her death threats and she’s in a love triangle with herself.”

“It’s not a love triangle! It’s not a love anything….” Kara shot back quickly and J’onn just looked between the two girls and sighed. He was shaking his head and muttering about teenage girls as he walked away.

“But you liiiike her.”

“Shuddup Alex!” Kara’s cheeks had a delicate flush to them.

“So,” Alex said quickly changing the subject as she saw the redness in her sisters cheeks. “Lena. Softball. Yes?”

Kara shrugged. “I dunno. I mean, I can ask. But she’s probably busy.”

“She’ll say yes,” Alex said confidently and called over her shoulder as she walked away. “Tell her to meet us at four, and we’ll get drinks later. Losing team buys the first round.”

“But Alex!” Kara whined. “What makes you think she’ll come?”

“Of course she’ll come,” Alex shouted back. “It’s for you!”

 

~*~

 

“Holy shit,” commented one of Maggie’s work mates from the fence line and his eyes were wide.

Maggie nodded from where she was standing next in line under the shade of the trees. “Damn Little Danvers! Your girl’s got game!”

Kara was just standing in the shade with her mouth a gape and eyes wide as Lena straightened from her batting pose, bowed slightly to the applauding members of her team and jogged over to first base and then over two second and then third. The ball she had just struck was high in the air and well over the fielders heads and she dropped her bat and jogged towards first base as the occupants of first and third raced for home.

One of the opposite members of the team, the right fielder, went bolting for the ball and Lena smirked a dangerous smirk as she passed each of her bases with time to spare. The members of her team already on the field crossed the ‘home’ base with grins on their faces and Kara blinked in surprise and almost forgot to write the two runs.

The reporter’s eyes were slightly wide and if her mouth remained open any longer it would be commercial.

“Hey, little Danvers,” Maggie nudged Kara with her shoulder. “Careful, you’ll swallow a fly.”

Kara instantly snapped her jaw shut with a click, but she couldn’t hide the blush that crossed her features.

“Where’d your girl learn how to hit like that?” Asked one of Maggie’s police colleges and Kara just shook her head.

“I-she’s not-we’re not-um… I don’t know?”

Kara was flushing and delicately re-arranged her glasses as the original speaker nodded and stepped up to bat, a bat over his shoulders cockily.

He was quick to hit and soon Lena was jogging past the home base and grinned as she slowed to a walk and reclaimed her bat with a fist-bump to a member of her team.

“Nice one Luthor!”

Lena ducked her head in acknowledgement and brushed some grass off her bat.

“Where’d that come from?” Maggie asked and held her hand up for a high-five.

Lena shrugged and she looked the part with her tight black exercise pants and her singlet, even if it did match and wasn’t team colours.

“I had a crush on the Captain,” Lena grinned, showing her teeth and shrugged coyly again. “I figured getting on the team would be a good idea.”

“Got any other tricks?” Asked another member of Maggie’s team and Lena grinned again, glancing around her to size up the area.

“Sure…” she said, considered for a moment and then proceeded to twirl the bat like it was a baton or like it were a staff and she some sort of martial art’s expert. She rolled it over her arm, across her neck and back down, bounced it off her foot and then kicked it into the air before she snatched it again. Then she spun it around again, dropped it on the ground, flicked it behind her back and into the air where she spun around and caught it, and then spun it back behind her and caught it again. She finished by swirling it between her legs and rolling it back across her wrists in a quick motion and then grabbing it with a small smile. It looked effortless and graceful, but there was rigid control to each of the movements and they were timed to perfection.

A pained noise croaked from the back of one of the men’s throats and Maggie cleared her throat and then grinned. “I see this being the start of a beautiful friendship.” She took a few steps forward and slung her arm over Lena, but Lena didn’t seem to mind even though she was usually so careful over personal boundaries. Maggie was just one of those people who managed to get through walls without any effort and made you feel like you had known her all your life. She was a cool girl.

“Tell. Me. Everything,” Maggie said and drew Lena away. “I think you are our new secret weapon. Jason’s team doesn’t stand a chance!”

“I’ll do it,” Vince said and took the pen and pad from a limp fingered Kara. He crossed off the run as Kara gazed after Lena in amazement, the glazed look in her eyes not dissimilar to the looks on the other players around her. Though it could have been more the ‘I had a crush on the captain’ rather than the awesome trick, because that was one way of coming out without saying it. (He would later discuss with Bella the news that Lena’s little reporter friend had a crush on their employer, and should they get them together? The answer was a raised brow and a departing back, but they were very cute together, so maybe he could work his magic and get them together. ‘Don’t be unprofessional, Vince.’ ‘Suit yourself. I think they’d be cute.’ So far he hadn’t come up with a solid plan, but it looked like the two were heading there without his influence so he let it be).

“Danvers,” one of the men said with hushed awe. “Your Mrs is awesome!” Kara flushed but didn’t comment and when Lena heard and turned in confusion she smiled sweetly over at the CEO before Maggie drew her back into conversation.

“Hell yeah!” Another woman agreed. “Maggie should invite you both more often!”

“We’re gonna cream them! I can’t wait to rub my victory beer in Jase’s broken little face,” this was said by the last woman across the home base and she was grinning, hair wild behind her. “This is gonna be great!”

Four hours later and Maggie was lifting a beer in toast while a surly looking white guy sulked beside her.

“To victory!” She crowed and the group of winners laughed and cheered and lifted their glasses while the losing team groaned and shook their heads good-naturedly. The only one who seemed put-out by the ass-kicking they got was Jason, who looked like he’d swallowed a lemon when he bought Maggie her beer.

“Victory!” Echoed her team and a few drops of beer went spilling down the side of glasses at the movement.

“To our new friend, Lena!” Maggie singled Lena out from where she was leaning against the bar with Kara at her side. She inclined her head a little and her expression changed from startled to pleased as the group, the winners, echoed the toast.

“Lena!”

“To softball!”

“Softball!”

“To friendship!” Maggie was beaming, still running on her high from winning, in no small part due to Lena’s impressive skills on the field.

“To friendship!” Echoed the rest of the players, and all were involved now, even the losing team, all but Jason.

“To kicking Jason’s teams ass!” There was cheering and some mild, exaggerated groans from Jason’s team.

“All right! Drink responsibly. Bottoms up!” Maggie shouted and then downed her beer in a very impressive display. Around her, her colleges were doing the same and when they finished they slammed their drinks down on the tables and whooped. A few high-fived each other again and others wandered back to the bar for another drink.

“You were pretty awesome out there,” Kara began and Lena turned to her, wondering if this is what had been occupying the reporters mind for much of the afternoon.

“Thankyou?” She hedged and gestured for the bar-tender and cast a glance to Vince in question. “Drink?”

The body-guard hesitated, glanced around at the buoyant police officers, who were still wearing their departmental t-shirts reading NCPD, and then shook his head. Lena nodded in acceptance and looked at Kara’s lemon, lime and bitters. It was half empty. “Want another one? Or anything stronger?”

Kara shook her head. “I don’t drink. Besides,” she smiled winningly. “Someone has to keep an eye on Maggie.”

Lena chanced a glace behind her to see Maggie already trash-talking at the pool table. “I think your sister has that covered.” Alex was standing near the officer with a drink in her hand and an amused smile on her lips.

“Are they dating?” She enquired as she turned back to Kara and browsed the selection of wines, beers, spirits, and pre-mixed drinks.

Kara nodded and smiled. “Yeah… for about a month now. Alex’s so mushy its almost disgusting.”

“They’re sweet,” Lena offered and dug her wallet out, and pulled out a card as the bar-tender came over.

“Hey. What can I get for you?” She asked and she cast the group at the pool table an amused glance when there was a loud cheer and laughter and a muted, ‘Fuck you, Maggie.’

“They come here often?” Lena asked and the bar-tender nodded.

“Every second Friday night. They get a bit loud but they always have watchdogs and they pay for any damage.” She shrugged. “Besides, watching newcomers try to drink Maggie under the table is always fun to watch. What can I get you? Food or drink?”

Kara’s stomach rumbled and she blushed under the dual amused glances Lena and the bar-keep tossed her way.

“I want to set up a tab. Five hundred dollars. Annnnd,” she glanced up at the food menu. “Three orders of the sea-food platter, five meat platters and,” she glanced at a frozen Kara. “How many chips do you think you can eat?”

Kara blinked for a moment in shock and then shook her head slightly. “Oh. Um. I’m not- you don’t. I can-“

“Five bowls of chips and three wedges please,” Lena turned back to the bar tender who was jotting everything down. Kara just blinked and went quiet as Lena did her thing. She was channelling the CEO right now, even as she was dressed down in her softball gear. The bar-tender either recognised her or recognised her authority and had whipped out a pad and pen the moment she started to speak. “And two lemon, lime and bitters. Thank you. And a ginger beer.” Vince shifted from the counter and cast Lena a glance but went back to watching the crowd.

“Right, so that’s three sea-food platters, five meat platters, three wedges, five bowls of chips, two bitters, a ginger beer, and a five-hundred dollar tab.”

Lena nodded, card dangling between slender fingers. Kara was watching as she rolled it between the digits.

“Did you want that taken off the tab or added to it?”

“Added. Please.”

The bar-keep nodded and rung the number on the till and Kara blinked at the amount but didn’t say anything, fearing that would embarrass Lena, herself, or would lead to a disagreement.

Lena didn’t even flinch as she paid the fee and smiled at the bar-tender as she said she’d give this to the kitchen and be right back to make their drinks.

“You didn’t have to do that,” Kara said quietly and her voice was soft but her blue eyes were intense with some sort of emotion Lena couldn’t name.

She smiled, there was an undercurrent of bitterness to it. “No one makes me do something I don’t want to do. Not anymore,” she added almost darkly and there was a shadow in her bright green eyes.

“Thank you,” Kara said sincerely and looked over at the officers and Maggie and Alex high-fiving as she sunk a few balls. “In case they don’t realise or forget.”

Lena smiled genuinely now and ducked her head and accepted the ginger-beer the bar-tender passed over the counter.

“Vince,” she slid it down the bar and the body-guard caught it on reflex and glance down at it and back to Lena, surprise on his features. She met his gaze for a moment and he inclined his head in thanks and tore the cap off in a smooth movement.

“Get what you want all night,” Lena said and he nodded in agreement and took happy sip of the bubbly, amber liquid.

“Here.” She put the two lemon, lime and bitters on the counter. “Bar tab for the NCPD and your food will be about fifteen, twenty minutes.” Kara’s stomach announced itself again and Lena bit her lip to hide her giggle as Kara flushed and quickly turned away, snagging her drink. The bar-tender just laughed as she walked away.

“Wanna play pool?” Kara asked and a sly smile crossed Lena’s features.

“You don’t want to play against me,” she said and smirked and Kara gazed at her a moment before nodding.

“You good?”

Lena’s smile widened. “One of the perks of having an-above average intellect and no friends.” She offered as she moved over to one of the few empty tables on their side of the bar. The NCPD crowd seemed to have claimed this side of the bar for themselves and the other regulars were sticking to the other side, but were calling greetings, or lifting their glasses in hello.

Kara slid onto the seat opposite her. “I’m learning lots of new things about you today,” she said and there was a light dusting to her cheeks and she fiddled with her hands a moment. “I, ah, I l-like it.”

She swallowed nervously and flushed all the harder but Lena’s pleased smile was enough to chase her embarrassment away.

“I like it too,” Lena confessed quietly, cheeks slightly pink and she ducked her head to her drink as Kara flushed with pleasure. She could hear Lena’s heart thumping with nerves.

“So… you played softball in school?” She was rolling her fingers, a nervous habit she had yet to break, and as she’d had it since she was a child on Krypton, she doubted she’d be rid of it on Earth.

Lena pulled away from her straw and her green eyes were contemplative as she took Kara in. Kara felt the power of them, so like Kryptonite, draw her in and hold her still.

“Yes,” Lena smiled and Kara felt herself fall further into her eyes. “I had a crush on the captain and I didn’t just want to be a nerd.” Lena ducked her head into her shoulder a little. “So I joined the team and learnt how to play.” She sat back with a sigh and shook her head. “I was trying to impress her.”

Kara choked on her drink. “H-her?” She swallowed as Lena’s fond smile faded and she looked over at Kara with a slight furrow to her brow. She hadn’t expected Lena to be so open with it, so upfront about it.

“Is that an issue?”

Kara shook her head frantically and was bright red. “No-ope! No, of course not! I’m- I mean.. Alex and Maggie,” she waved her hand in her sisters general direction. “That’s cool. I was just, um, surprised. Yup.” She gave a little nod. “Surprised.”

She swallowed again and nervously adjusted her glasses. Her heart was hammering in her chest, but was also doing cartwheels of delight. “So… you’re, um, gay?”

Lena was a little defensive now, she could see the walls in her eyes drawing closed like great shutters over the life they held within, and Kara was desperate to get that light back.

“I didn’t realise it would be an issue,” she said softly, almost sorrowfully and took her glass in her hands but didn’t drink it.

“No!” Kara’s shout was a little loud and drew a few curious looks but Kara ignored them and her hand shot out to grab Lena’s as it drew away.

Lena inhaled sharply, heart stumbling and then accelerating and Kara quickly snatched her hand back.

“No. It’s not an issue,” she said firmly. “I was just surprised. You’ve never-“

“It isn’t something I shout from rooftops, Kara,” Lena said carefully. “While I am not ashamed of my sexuality I find it…difficult to…find companionship….due to my last name, mostly. I’ve had to deal with people after my money and name since I was adopted, and I’ll be the first to admit I have trust issues…”

Lena looked down and was rolling one of the rings on her hands, a nervous habit Kara had noticed once before, but it seemed she controlled that habit when she was CEO. It made her heart warm that Lena trusted her enough to tell her this and to let her guard down around her.

“We all have baggage,” Kara offered and shrugged. She certainly did. An entire cultures worth. But what was a little hand luggage? She said so and delighted in the sharp, startled laugh it drew from Lena’s lips, almost against her will.

“To hand luggage,” she said with the laugh still present in her laugh and lifted her glass in a toast.

Kara grinned and clinked her bitters with Lena’s as though it were expensive champagne or something.

She was itching to ask but didn’t want to ruin the laughter in Lena’s eyes.

“NDA’s,” Lena said after a moment of silence between the two. “When I first-Mother…” she trailed off. “Once mother realised-“ she cut herself off and shook her head. “My partners sign NDA’s so tight that one word and my lawyers will skin them.” She pressed her lips together and her eyes darkened, not in anger or in pain, but with something else. “It doesn’t make much for a good start but,” she shrugged. “It’s part of the business. I’m owned by L-Corp and as such need to be protected as an asset. Can we talk about something else?”

Kara was only too happy to move the conversation away from dangerous territory, and to do something to bring the light back to Lena’s eyes.

“So, you joined the softball team for a girl… did you get her?” She asked teasingly, but there was some part of her that really, really wanted to know. The answering Luthor smile Lena gave made a shiver run down her back, she told herself it was fear, fear for whoever that smile had been directed at in the past. She was lying to herself.

“Mh,” Lena gave a non-committal hum. “What about you? Anyone special in your life?” It was odd that they’d been friends for months now and were just learning this about each other.

“What? Pffft. Me? No, no way! To, um far too busy! Yup!” She needlessly adjusted her glasses and peeked through her lashes over at Lena, who was hiding her smile in her glass.

“Good,” Lena murmured, to her-self and Kara felt her world screech to a halt.

“Huh? Good?”

Lena’s heart summersaulted. Kara shouldn’t have heard the word whispered into bitters but due to her super hearing she had.

“I mean,” Lena blushed and swallowed. “Good that I don’t have to feel guilty for taking your time from someone else.”

Kara blushed to match Lena while inwardly her heart was dancing.

“Y-yeah… you get me all to yourself!” She blurted out and then went even redder but Lena’s heart flickered and her eyes darkened with something decidedly not dark and Kara’s heart thumped in her chest.

“Good,” Lena said firmly, quietly.

Kara nodded. “Yeahp. Yup. Good. Good. That’s, ah, that’s good.”

Lena shook her head fondly and took another sip of her drink and her eyes shifted to something over Kara’s head and she smiled.

“I have a sea-food platter and a wedges,” said the bar-keep as she came up to the table. “Where do you want the food?”

“Leave those two here,” Lena instructed and shifted their drinks to make space as Kara’s belly growled at the smells. Kara dove for a wedge, drizzled in cheese and bacon and dipped it in the sour-cream before it was on the table a second. “And divide the rest to the other tables… unless you want a meat platter as well?”

Kara hesitated, wedge part-way to her mouth and Lena sighed and shook her head fondly again. “And a meat platter here. Thank you,” she said and the bar-keep nodded and left the two plates on the table. “Be right back.”

“Help yourself,” Lena directed this to Vince, who was still nursing his ginger-beer and was eyeing the sea-food platter with greedy eyes.

He immediately pushed off the wall and snatched a scallop wrapped in bacon and groaned in delight.

Lena eyed the platter a moment and picked what looked like a deep-fried prawn and lifted it delicately to her mouth. Kara watched the shrimp’s journey with wide eyes and her mouth went dry as Lena closed her eyes in delight and she sighed in pleasure.

“Thanks,” Vince said and Lena’s eyes flew open and she nodded to him and licked the drop of sauce from her lips. Kara swallowed and quickly averted her eyes as Lena blinked over at her.

“Sweet!” Came a call from over by the pool table and they looked over to see another bar-tender handing over some fries and a meat platter. “Thanks whoever!” The players descended on the platter and fries like rabid wolves and the noise in the bar dimmed quite suddenly.

“So, you’re above average intelligence, hm?” Kara asked, tearing her attention from Lena’s lips and scrambled for a subject for conversation, otherwise she’d be caught just staring at Lena.

Lena smiled and nodded. “Only a little,” she said humbly and Kara snorted.

“I doubt that,” she said as she shoved some more wedges into her mouth. Lena’s brow tightened as she watched the steam on them ribbon into the air.

“Aren’t they hot?” She enquired, amused and Kara paused.

“Yup!” She said decidedly and quickly picked up her nearly empty bitters and downed it. “Better.”

“Did you want another one?” She asked and pointed to Lena’s almost finished glass.

Lena nodded and Kara almost ran from the table, Lena’s curious green eyes following her.

She leant forward and picked a wedge, and had to roll it around her fingers as its heat was immediately known. She left it on the edge of the plate closest to her and frowned over at the reporter standing meekly at the bar, looking for all the world like a teenager trying to buy alcohol and get away with it. Something prickled the back of her mind, but as she tried to grab the thought, it was washed away, helped by the presence of a dark haired police officer.

“I think I might have to keep you, Little Luthor,” Maggie announced as she pulled up a chair and propped her chin on her arm and stared at Lena. Lena looked startled at the nick name. Alex cast a slightly hurt look to her girlfriend and glanced at Lena before looking back at Maggie and her girlfriend winked at her. Understanding, Alex relaxed and settled back to watch how this would play out.

“Um, excuse you, but she’s mine.” This was from Kara, slightly frosty as she glared at Maggie leaning towards Lena and looking adoringly at her. “And you have Alex.”

Alex took another seat and just looked between the two and then helped herself to a piece of pork from the meat platter Kara had balanced on her arm as she carried the two bitters in her hands.

“I know,” Maggie said winningly and took the platter from Kara’s arms before it could fall. “But your girlfriend is awesome!”

Kara blushed as she placed her bitters on the table. “She’s not my girlfriend,” she muttered and slid onto her seat.

“But you just said she was yours?” Maggie said with the innocence of a child caught surrounded by cookie crumbs.

Kara stumbled and stuttered and turned as red as her cape as she stammered out how she meant Lena was her friend and not Maggie’s, not that she had to be Lena’s only friend, but she was her best friend, and while she didn’t hold the monopoly on who Lena was able to be friends with, she was Lena’s friend first and it wasn’t her decision who Lena decided to be friends with and it was cool that Maggie saw how awesome Lena was and wanted to be her friend but she was Kara’s first but it wasn’t like she didn’t want Lena to have other friends or hang out with other people or anything but-

Lena had to halt Kara’s rambling by putting her hand on Kara’s arm and Kara drew to a halt and stared down at Lena’s pale and graceful hand on her arm before following it up to Lena’s eyes. “Kara.” They were a bright, eye-catching green and were glowing with…something. “You’ll always be my first friend in National City, Kara,” she said and her fingers lightly ran up and down Kara’s skin where they were touching and Kara looked at her with wide eyes. She glanced over at Maggie.

Alex was trying to hide her smile but Maggie wasn’t. The detective was smirking like the cat that had the cream and her dark eyes were delighted.

“I wouldn’t be opposed to having a… new friend,” she tried out the word and then smiled at the detective. “I hear you also consider yourself a pro pool player… fancy a game? I don’t get to play much.”

Maggie grinned and leant forward. “Oh, you’re on, Little Luthor.”

Lena frowned at the name a little as she rose to her feet. “Little? I can’t be more than three years younger than you-how old are you?”

Maggie’s smile didn’t slip. “Didn’t you know it’s rude to ask a Lady her age?”

A snort would never pass Lena’s lips in public but the sound she made was close. “I don’t see a Lady.”

Maggie chuckled and slung an arm around Lena’s shoulders. “Oh, I am defiantly keeping you!”

“All right boys!” The detective shouted as she got closer to the pool table. “Next game is me n Little Luthor! Girl thinks she’s got what it takes!”

There were chuckles and nods of agreement and Kara and Alex wandered over, the former with her bowl of wedges, and the latter carrying their drinks.

“Think she can beat Maggie?” Alex asked as they took up position around one of the pool tables, the one that looked like the game that was almost done.

Kara nodded. “She said she was good.”

Alex sniggered. “If she wins I’ll never hear the end of it.”

“Shall we make this a little more exciting?” Maggie enquired with a smirk and a sly glance over at Kara. Lena followed her gaze and the reporter tried to wave and ended up nearly losing her bowl of wedges to the wooden floor. Alex laughed and slapped her arm and Kara glared at her before looking back at Lena and Maggie.

“Sure,” Lena hedged and eyed the detective suspiciously. “What did you have in mind?”

“Loser has to kiss the girl we came with,” Maggie said suddenly and Lena’s smile faltered. There was a choking sound.

She glanced back at the Danvers sisters and hesitated.

“Unless, of course, you aren’t game enough?” Maggie suggested, the innocence in her voice betrayed by the smirk on her face.

Lena hesitated again, cast Maggie a glance and then looked back at Kara and Alex. Alex was patting Kara on the back as the blonde coughed and spluttered and went red.

“I feel like you are getting the better part of the deal,” Lena said, trying to buy herself some time, and ran her eyes over the pool table. “I don’t really play.”

“Nice try,” Maggie smirked and folded her arms. “Yes or no? If you aren’t game, we can have the loser have to down, say, six shots?”

Lena’s lip twitched and she glanced back at Kara, who was recovering and was looking over at the two with wide eyes and Alex just looked amused.

“Deal,” she said strongly and turned back to Maggie. Maggie raised a brow and her smile widened, impressed.

“Is there a time limit?”

“Thirty seconds.”

“Ten.” Lena countered, heart hammering.

“Twenty.”

“Fifteen,” Lena said firmly and Maggie nodded.

“Tongue for five of those seconds.”

Lena hesitated again and then gave a begrudging nod. “Deal.”

“Deal,” Maggie accepted her hand and they shook on it.

“Excellent!” She beamed and turned back to the pool table.

“All right!” She shouted to the group.

“Me n Little Luthor have a bet going. Loser has to kiss one of the Danvers.” There was cheering and laughter and Alex and Kara went red and blinked back at the eyes staring at them. Alex folded her arms defensively at the eyes and Kara looked down at her nearly empty bowl of wedges.

“Tongue for five of fifteen seconds,” Maggie added and there was wolf-whistling and general cheering.

She clapped her hands excitedly and accepted a cue stick and checked its size. Lena was already over at the rack and was looking some over. They were in relatively good condition for being a part of a bar set.

One of the former players was already putting the balls in place and Lena looked the table over.

“I’ll let you go first,” Maggie offered smugly. “Since you don’t play.” Lena arched a brow and cast her a glance.

“Are you sure?” She asked demurely and Maggie nodded.

“Gotta give you a chance,” she said and leant against the table cockily.

Lena eyed the table again and lined up the white ball. As she leant forward to take her shot she let her smile cross her face and locked eyes with Maggie. “You’re gonna regret that,” she said and her muscles coiled and released and the white ball went flying forward. It collided with the coloured balls. They scattered like ants in the rain, with an accompanying crack like thunder and several of the balls were sunk immediately.

Maggie blinked as Lena took up position and proceeded to choose her set-full colours.

“Don’t play pool my ass,” Maggie said as Lena sunk her first shot quickly.

The Luthor grinned. “Not anymore, I said.”

“You got hustled!” Laughed one of Maggie’s team mates and she gaped.

“Yeah. Guess I did.” She grinned again. “Game on, Little Luthor!”

Lena smiled at her and lined up her next shot. “Game on.”

Lena won, naturally, and she was surprisingly demure about it, merely shrugging it off to a lot of hours playing at home basically because she had no friends. Maggie had apparently decided to adopt her as soon as she won, and Maggie’s co-workers all seemed fond of Lena as well, which was awesome. But… because she won, she didn’t have to kiss Kara. Not that Kara was disappointed about that, no siree. But that meant she had to watch her sister and her sisters girlfriend make out for a bit amidst cheers and cat-calling.

It would have been better for her and Lena to make-out. Not for any reason other than to spare her eyes, of course. Still, Alex pulled back eventually with a dazed look and a goofy grin and the joy in her eyes was almost worth Kara having to bleach her brain to rid herself of the image. She did not need to see her sister make-out with her girlfriend.

She was actually surprised Alex allowed it, being a ‘Baby Gay’ as Maggie called her. Dating the detective had certainly brought her sister out of her shell, not that she was in one to begin with, but she was happier now, and cared less what people thought of her. It was probably in part Maggie, as well as learning some things about herself.

David drove her home. Lena insisted. And she sat in the back of the car next to Lena while Vince looked between them and they navigated the mostly quiet streets to her apartment. Lena wouldn’t hear of her ‘getting an Uber’ (read: flying home), so she was now in relatively cramped conditions next to the woman she may have been crushing on after she admitted that she was gay, or bi, or whatever. That she was in to chicks, or maybe it had just been that one chick…. Hm. She’d have to ask Lena about it at some stage, but she would need to be sneaky.

Some part of her knew getting involved with a Luthor of all people was dangerous, but the other part didn’t care and wanted to feel what Lena made her feel, and was desperate to know if she felt the same way…Or could be convinced through elaborate plan to feel the same- Alex was secretly a rom-com nut and Kara had plenty of resource material to choose from if Lena was open to the idea of maybe, sort of, dating Kara.

It didn’t take very long until they arrived at her apartment block and she hesitated for a moment as the car idled.

“Thank you for coming,” she said and quickly darted forward to brush her lips on Lena’s cheek. Lena flushed immediately, but not as much as Kara did, and she nearly tripped as she stumbled from the SUV and onto the pavement. She left a small crater in the inside of the gutter and hoped no one would notice it.

“Bye!”

“Goodbye, Kara,” Lena chuckled, voice dark and rich. The sound made her stomach flutter.

They waited until she was inside the building before David pulled away from the curb and she waved goodbye through the bared window on the first flight of stairs, even though they couldn’t see her.

When she got to her apartment door she hesitated and then approached it cautiously. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but her senses were telling her something was amiss.

She cautiously, slowly, unlocked her door and peered inside and then blinked at the occupant at her dining table.

“Hello Kara.”

xxxxxXXXXXxxxxx

 

Chapter Text

 

 

“Wait, so...what?” Kara glanced over at J’onn and Alex momentarily in betrayal, and then looked at her adoptive mother again.

“Someone has been exposed to Kryptonite,” she said patiently and Kara nodded.

“They also somehow appear to be regenerating under its radiation…at an incredible rate.”

“Got that as well. But that doesn’t explain why I wasn’t asked to go with you,” this she directed to her sister, who cast a glance to J’onn.

“I know it can hurt me, but it’s Eliza,” she turned back to her earth mum. “It’s mum! I’d always come to save you, you have to know that?”

Sensing her sisters hurt Alex moved forward. “We know, Kara. But like we said, nothing indicates this is anything more than a co-incidence.”

“What we are more concerned with is that someone has Kryptonite, and we don’t know who, and we don’t know what they know about it.” J’onn rumbled and arranged his form against the wall.

They were in one of the DEO meeting rooms, J’onn, Kara, Alex, Eliza, and Winn had the laptop plugged into some of the DEO technology. He had taken his field kit with him, but hadn’t been able to break the fire-walls on the computer, so J’onn had requested Eliza take a trip to National City to see her daughters. She had readily agreed and had driven in the night before and ended up staying with Kara. Normally she would get a hotel, or even stay with Alex, with the latter taking the couch, but seeing as she was dating Maggie, Eliza hadn’t wanted to interrupt and Alex had given her, her key to Kara’s apartment.

“I don’t think they know who I am, or at least, not who you are to me,” Eliza said, looking over at Kara with a smile.

“I asked Eliza here so we could protect her, if necessary, and also to see if we can trace this doctor and their patient using our technology.”

Kara looked over at J’onn and sighed. “Fine. Okay,” she lifted her hands in the air.

“Tell me everything,” she demanded of Eliza, though not without kindness.

Eliza inhaled and then sighed, obviously prepared to recount the events again.

“I received a laptop and a letter a few weeks ago,” she began.

“What date, if you can remember,” Alex asked and jotted down the response.

“They had paid my request for a research grant, I found out.”

“How?” Alex enquired, pen poised.

Eliza shot her daughter an exasperated look. “I applied for a research grant and it was declined. Two weeks later I get the amount in full, anonymously. Then I receive the letter and the laptop. They don’t use names, but merely say they are a doctor and are very interested in my work, and paid my research grant as a gesture of good will, but didn’t expect me to help- you know what,” Eliza said and pulled a folder out of her bag. “Read it.”

She tossed the folder onto the desk. “It’s a print out of every report they sent me, as well as the original letter.” She shrugged at Winn’s curious glance. “I like seeing it on paper.”

Kara was first to the letter and turned it over to look at it. “No prints apart from yours,” she said to Eliza and moved it around. “I smell latex and rubber….gloves,” she added and looked the piece over.

“What did it come in?” Alex asked.

“Fed-Ex.”

“Alright, we’ll see if we can track that, but I don’t know.”

“Nothing else to see. Just a bit of dust. No hair, no prints. Whoever sent this didn’t want to be found,” Kara offered as she turned the letter back over. “Ordinary paper and default font and layout. It’s pretty generic.”

“Read it out?” Winn asked from where he had the laptop, admittedly older model, connected to a mini-generator looking thing and to the power.

Kara cleared her throat.

‘Dear Dr. Danvers,

I normally wouldn’t use such cloak and dagger methods but I hope that you will help me. I paid your research grant (#4906752D.E.Danvers) in the hope that it will at least give me a minute of your time, though I do not expect it. Feel free to cast aside this letter and laptop.

I have a human patient with the most curious mutations. They have been exposed to some sort of radiation in Metropolis, but unlike normal radiation, this radiation regenerates their cells at a rate that should be impossible. As one of the leading scientists in your field I thought you could offer some insight.

On the computer are the lab reports I have so far, as well as additional observations and tests. There is also communication software, in case you would like to share your thoughts with me.

Again, I apologise for the deception, but it would be safer for everyone involved if you did not learn my name, or my patients.

Regards, ’

Kara lowered the letter with a crease between her brows.

“So, I looked at the laptop.” Eliza said with a shrug. “It seemed the least I could do, even though I was apprehensive about it. It had no password, just normal lab tech programs and files, and a communication program.”

“I was able to find a previous owner for it,” Winn said as he worked away at the laptop, various lines of code on the screen. “A Michele Baton from Metropolis. She sold the laptop to a pawn shop. They sold it to a guy called Zachery Augustous Hamilton…But it was stolen in a break in at his place. I checked them both out… they have no background in any medical, science, or engineering field. He’s retired and she’s a florist.”

J’onn grunted in annoyance.

“Did you try asking who they were?”

Eliza shook her head. “Yes, but they didn’t answer and changed the subject. They only seemed interested in my mind…what I thought of the patient.”

“We tried tracking the other username, but it was only made the day before they talked to Eliza, and every one since has been a new email and a new account. Impossible to trace.”

“IP?” Kara asked rather desperately.

Winn shook his head. “Not a chance. As old as it looks, there is some serious modifications on the inside. Who-ever sent this knew what they were doing, or someone did. This tech is simple but brilliant.” Winn was grinning now, eyes alight at the masterful technology. “It took me a while to figure it out, but it basically sends any search from the device back to it, and diverts it from there…. Its like a boomerang of sorts, you send it out, it comes right back. It’s awesome…”

“Yes, thank you Agent Schott,” J’onn rumbled and the agent swallowed and went back to his work.

“Any difference in time zones we could use as a lead?” He enquired after a moment’s thought.

“I thought of that,” Alex said and shook her head. “When Winn gave me the transcripts I looked at that, they alter with no discerning pattern. I even tried to find a speech pattern, but that came up empty. Only who-ever it is uses precise language, evidence of a higher education, according to Dr. Kellin.”

“I haven’t talked to them since,” Eliza offered as the room descended into silence. “They must be wondering where I am. Usually I’d respond immediately, but not since they delivered the Kryptonite.”

Kara perked up. “We could track it’s radioactive signature.”

Alex shook her head and Kara slumped again. “No, it came in a lead lined box.”

“So… if they’re waiting for you to comment, then maybe we can use that to our advantage. What if we track them while they are online and talking to Dr Danvers?” Winn asked and looked for approval.

“We can try.” J’onn nodded.

“Or, we could just ask them what they know and what they plan on doing with their information,” Kara asked and then shrugged under the looks shot her way. “It can’t hurt to ask.”

“Right,” Alex said and then looked at her mum. “Are you okay with talking to them again?”

Eliza’s eyes glinted. “I’m fine,” she said firmly. “But if they think they can hurt my daughter they have another thing coming.”

Kara beamed.

It didn’t take them very long to set it up. Winn had one of the private DEO servers connected to the laptop and Eliza sat in front of it. They’d sent of a request to talk as soon as the decision to talk to the Dr. had been made, and now they waited. Supergirl managed to stop a robbery, help out with a traffic collision on the highway, and get to the little food truck in Chicago that Alex loved. Now they were just sitting around and waiting for a friend request to come through while the empty lunch wrappers sat around them.

A beep drew their attention and they crowded forward around the device.

‘Rache4L1es87’ wants to message you! Said the little notification and Eliza clicked to accept the request.

There was no picture, or bio, or anything on the profile and the only sign of life was the little green icon signalling they were online.

“Wait for them to speak,” J’onn suggested and they waited. It took three minutes for them to comment.

Rache4L1es87: Enjoying the change of scenery?

The group in the DEO went stiff as Winn tapped away on his computer trying to connect to the other user’s.

DrDanvers56: What makes you think I’m not at home?

It took a while for a response.

Rache4L1es87: I’d tell you it was an address change, but that might frighten you. You normally are…enthusiastic…when responding. I grew…concerned…over your absence, especially with regards to the package I sent you. I hope you are well, Dr.

J’onn’s face went red. “Are they hacking us?” He demanded of Winn and he shook his head quickly.

“No! At least, nothing I can find. Wait…..” he cast a suspicious glance at the laptop. It looked innocent as it sat there whirling away.

“End the conversation! Now!” He demanded and launched himself across the desk to try reach the computer. He ended up tangled in his own cords and desk chair, but Alex was quick to unplug everything and Eliza exited the app and started the shut-down process immediately.

“Agent Wolfe,” J’onn spoke into his head-set. “Report.”

The response came back immediately. ‘Nothing to report, Sir. All clear.’

“Vasquez?”

All clear here, Sir.’

The computer powered-down and unplugged allowed them to relax a hair.

“What is it, Winn?”

“I didn’t want to take it apart, just in case,” Winn said and his eyes were narrowed on the laptop. “But when I said there had to be some modifications to it to make it run so well, I was serious. Maybe they added a GPS to it?” He shook his head. “I’ll take it apart now, but I’ll do it in one of the secure rooms. No signal in or out. It will take me,” he glanced at his watch, “about an hour, so meet back here say, half three?”

There were nods of agreement.

“I’m gonna go fly around, just in case,” Kara said and launched herself to her feet, eager to be moving to find the potential threat.

She was up and out of the DEO before anyone else had risen from their chairs and sighed as she soared into the sky. Her phone vibrated in her boot and she dug it out and glanced at the name.

‘Lena Luthor.’

Her first response was to smile but her second was to frown. She had her Supergirl sim in, which meant Lena wanted Supergirl.

She dialled the number without even looking at the message as she flew towards the temporary L-Corp offices, a building downtown renovated to suit L-Corp’s needs.

“Miss Luthor! Are you okay?” She asked the CEO as she flew above the buildings. It took her a moment to reply and in those precious seconds she envisioned all sorts of scenarios.

Supergirl? What is it? I’m fine.’ She sounded confused, and a little amused when she answered.

Kara floated to a halt. “You text me. I thought you could be in trouble.”

I’m fine.’ Lena said, chuckle in her voice. ‘Did you not read it?

Kara let her silence speak for her and was rewarded with a soft laugh. But it wasn’t at her, so that made it okay.

That’s sweet of you.’ Lena said and Kara felt her chest inhale with pride. ‘I only text because N.C. Zoo want’s to present their cub to you and asked me to pass the message on.’ It had been big news; National City Zoo naming one of their cubs after their caped protector, but the Zoo hadn’t said as to the origin of the name, and were waiting until the cubs were a week old to present them officially to the world. The press and public had figured out that the girl was named for Supergirl, but couldn’t figure out why Elle was her name. The Zoo was silent on it for the moment.

“Really?!” Kara nearly squealed at the thought.

Yes. Really. Shall I tell them you’ll be there?

“Yes!” Kara beamed into the sky and then a thought struck her. “Will you be?”

There was a moments pause. ‘I...hadn’t planned it.’ Lena said cautiously.

‘I’d like you to be. It was your idea,’ Kara responded immediately and then winced. There was a long moment of silence and Kara counted every second of them, waiting with baited breath for Lena’s response.

How do you know that?’ There was a suspicious tone to her words and Kara swallowed and scrambled. She could feel her brain firing as she thought of an answer.

“Twitter,” she blurted and could hear Lena’s confusion. “I saw the photo of you on Twitter,” she elaborated, already liking this not-entirely-true-truth. “Kara Danvers doesn’t know what my crest means….I didn’t know you knew either?” Hm, she’d have to look into that. What else did Lena know about her Super-family that she didn’t know she knew.

Lex had impressive files on Superman,’ Lena responded eventually. ‘Every quote he could get from your cousin. Kal El mentioned what the ‘S’ stood for…. In an interview with Lois Lane, I believe?’

Ah, that explained it. But she really needed to see these files that Lex had, maybe Lena would tell or show Kara.

“Oh, yeah. I read that one as well…so will you come?”

Okay.’ Lena replied and Kara couldn’t hide her smile.

“Okay! Cool!” She was reluctant to hang up and evidently Lena was too, for a few moments later she asked, ‘So, you stalk me on Twitter?’

Kara inhaled sharply and spluttered out a denial.

Lena just laughed. ‘Denial isn’t just a river in Africa, Supergirl. So you have a Twitter account, I should follow you.

Kara hummed, “Um, yeah? Kinda.”

Ah, your secret identity then.’ Lena said.

“Yeah.”

You should get an official Supergirl one.’ There was a creaking sound as though Lena had moved in her chair.

“I’m not sure what I’d post…”

Up to you,’ Lena said and there was the clicking of a pen. ‘Did you need anything else?’

Kara shook her head before realising that duh, Lena couldn’t see her. “No, thanks. I’ll ah, I’ll let you get back to work.”

Thank you. Oh, and ‘One call away’? Really?

Kara just laughed. So she may have programmed that song as her ring-tone when she added her phone number to Lena’s.

“It’s a good song,” she laughed. “And Superman’s got nothing on me!”

Lena just laughed. ‘I’ll see you at the Zoo. Goodbye.

“Bye!”

The warm sound of Lena’s laughter filled her and she did a cartwheel in the sky before heading back to the DEO. She’d have time to patrol the city before Winn was ready for them.

~*~

“Okay, so I found this in the laptop,” Winn said as he held up a small chip the size of a fingernail. “GPS locator. It doesn’t work while it’s not connected to the laptop, the computer has to come online for it to activate so its safe like this.”

Eliza had gone a little pale and Alex’s hands were clenched into fists.

“What for? What could they have to gain?” She was mad, very mad, spitting the words out through clenched teeth. But it was out of fear for her mother. Her mum had been talking to this stalker psycho for weeks, well, like, ten days, but still.

“If you’re sure its secure, maybe you can ask them?”

Winn nodded to the Director. “There was nothing else there, and it’s not even a good GPS tracker, its very basic. Would give the general city, nothing specific.”

“Let’s try again then,” Eliza said and sat down at the computer. It booted quickly enough and she logged on to her communication app. The user Rache4L1es87 had gone inactive and any attempts at tracing the name would be like finding a needle in a group of needles.

The request for a friend was almost instantaneous. ‘Unecatchpasmoi’ wants to be your friend.

“Unecatchpasmoi?” Alex muttered as she say the user name.

Eliza accepted the request and the message was instantaneous.

Unecatchpasmoi: Was that necessary, Dr? I hold no ill intention towards you. Are you enjoying the weather? The news says it’s a wonderful day in National City.

DrDanvers56: You say that, but then you go and track my location. Very stalkery.

“Kara,” Eliza sighed and took the keyboard back. Kara just shrugged. She had to get that in there.

Unecatchpasmoi: Stalkery? Not a word common in your vocabulary. Perhaps more suited to your youngest daughter? The oldest seems to mature for such words.

Kara tensed. Alex growled and J’onn straightened, fists tightening at his sides.

Unecatchpasmoi: Wait, that came across wrong. I truly mean you and your family no harm. I just need to remain anonymous. For your safety and mine.

DrDanvers56: Then why don’t you tell me your name? Or show me your face?

Unecatchpasmoi is typing….

Unecatchpasmoi is typing…

Unecatchpasmoi is typing…

Unecatchpasmoi requests video call.

“Turn your camera off,” J’onn instructed and Eliza looked around.

“I don’t think there is an off button, it’s an old sever. Typing and calling, nothing like Skype or anything.”

Video call ended.

Unecatchpasmoi is typing…

Unecatchpasmoi: Well, that was rude.

“What if you put something over the camera?” Alex asked.

“Right. Post it sticker?”

Kara handed over the post it stickers and Eliza gently placed them over the camera. It wasn’t good but it would work for now.

She took a deep breath. “Ready?” She looked around and saw the steely determination in the eyes of the people around her.

DrDanvers56 requests video call...

The response was immediate and the screen extended to show a grainy picture of a person with a motorcycle helmet on. A generic black one. They were against a concrete wall with nothing on it and there was the sound of music in the background. Some new beat from the radio.

I considered making you sweat but thought better of it….what is that, a piece of paper? No, hm, post-it note?” They sounded amused, even through the voice modifier they were using.

Fair enough. Trust goes both way’s I suppose. Now, Dr. Why haven’t you contacted me earlier?’ They sounded a little upset about it. ‘I was certain after my last delivery you would be jumping to speak to me. Unless….’ The head tilted and then, ‘Curious radioactive rock, wasn’t it?’

“Do you know what it is?” Eliza asked calmly, and held a hand to silence her companions as they looked like they were to speak.

Do you?’

“Probably more than you do,” Eliza shot back. A dark chuckle was twisted by the crackling of the connection and the voice modification.

Touché, Dr. You are more knowledgeable than I first thought. I am pleased I contacted you.

“Who are you? What do you want? Who is your patient? How did you get the Krypto-“

Kryptonite?’

The occupants of the room stiffened and the head turned a little on the screen, as though seeing them.

Show me your companions Dr, and I will speak freely. Perhaps they can be of assistance.’

Eliza looked around the room and saw each of them nod, Kara, Alex and J’onn. Winn would be out of sight, still trying to find the stalker person through the internet.

She took a moment and then removed the sticky note from the camera.

A sharp inhale came from the helmet.

Impressive company you keep, Dr.’ The head moved slowly, surely, pointedly gazing at each of the figures around Eliza. ‘Now, what have you determined from the sample I sent you?

“Ah ah,” J’onn shook his head. “You answer my questions first.”

Hmmm, no.’

“You need answers,” Alex said desperately.

Yes. But I am just as capable of finding them from other scientists. Dr Monroe recently published a truly brilliant piece on Genetic Engineering. I am certain he could help me.’

“You contacted me for a reason,” Eliza said strongly.

Yes. I was unaware of your access to the Kryptonian and I apologise for any stress it has caused you. I truly do just want some answers.’

“Are they for yourself of for someone else?” Kara asked suddenly and the helmet turned to face her.

The seconds stretched and then they spoke. ‘A moment.’ The camera went blank and they could hear footsteps echoing on what sounded like a concrete floor.

“Hey, come back!”

It took a few minutes, and they could hear jostling and the scruff of fabric on fabric and the clattering chime of a metal object. The camera blinked awake a moment later. They were back against the wall with a laptop on their knees.

You are correct, Supergirl.’ The helmet said and they lifted their arm to show pale blank skin, a black jersey rolled up to their elbow.

I need answers for myself.’ They lifted a scalpel, hesitated a long moment staring down at their arm, before taking a deep breath and drawing it down their skin. A trail of blood bloomed after the silver scalpel and the sharp inhale of pain wasn’t missed.

They lowered the scalpel, still dripping with blood and then brought up a very familiar green shard. Kryptonite. They held it up to show the captivated members of the DEO and Eliza, and then ran it across their arm. Then they used a cloth to wipe the trail of blood. There was no mark. The skin was as unblemished as it had been before they had run the scalpel over it.

“Incredible,” Eliza breathed and they nodded their head and let their sleeve back down.

I was in Metropolis when Lex Luthor and Superman were at the height of their feud. I…came away from the fight with this,’ they held up the shard, ‘and those regenerative abilities.

“Tell me where you are, and we can help you!” Kara said earnestly, leaning forward to speak to the helmet.

I don’t trust you. I have seen enough movies to know I shouldn’t get into a government van. I have little desire to become a lab rat.’

“We have more resources-“

And cages,’ the helmet interrupted. ‘I only contacted Dr Danvers because I thought she-you, could help me figure out what was happening. You are one of the leading bio-engineers in the world and I thought you could help me. I didn’t know you knew what Kryptonite was, otherwise I would never have approached you. I apologise. Goodbye.’

Wait,” Eliza called out and the helmet hovered with an arm out stretched to the laptop. “I do want to help you. Can we arrange something?”

The helmet hesitated.

How can I trust you?

“How can we trust you?” Eliza responded. “You won’t give us a name, you have radioactive rock from an alien planet, and you had a tracker in the laptop you sent me.”

That was to make sure that if you got rid of it, I could retrieve it. I didn’t want my results ending in the wrong hands.’

There was a pause.

“You know where we are?” Alex asked suspiciously. The helmet turned to her.

Of course. The GPS is accurate to one hundred feet. I’m sure you only found the decoy. Do not worry. I don’t really care where you are. I just want my property returned to me.’

“So now you know our location as well? How can we trust you?”

If I arrange a meeting you will be followed,’ the helmeted gaze looked to the Superhero. ‘I don’t want to be found. Goodbye.’

The screen went blank and Unecatchpasmoi went offline. A refresh later and the account had turned inactive.

“Great,” Alex groaned and looked beseechingly at Winn. “Are you sure you can’t trace them?”

Winn shook his head, still in shock.

J’onn’s voice was like a low rumble of thunder. “I thought,” he said slowly, carefully, holding back his rage, “you said it was clear of any tracking technology.”

Winn was pale in the ceiling light, maybe because he could have just lead an unknown person to their location, or because of J’onn’s anger. He shook his head. “If what they said is correct then…. It’s technology we don’t even have.” He shrugged helplessly. “I’ll go over every component again…. But I don’t know where it was hidden.”

J’onn appraised him for a moment. “Do it with Hill,” he commanded and Winn ducked his head a little, accepting the command for what it was, a rebuke.

“I don’t want you going out alone, Eliza,” J’onn said as Winn packed up his gear. “Can we give you protection or-“

“I’ll continue staying with Kara, thank you,” Eliza interrupted, politely but with steel in her tone and J’onn inhaled but nodded in agreement.

“Alright. But… please be careful… no unnecessary risks.” He smiled. “We don’t want to lose you.”

Eliza met his gaze a moment and nodded. “They don’t seem to want to hurt me, but I will be careful. I’ll be staying with Supergirl,” she added and smiled at her daughter and Kara beamed. “How much danger could I be in?”

 

Chapter Text

 

Lena took a steadying breath as she waited outside Kara’s apartment and took a moment to shake off her work persona and adopt her more personal one. She had barely knocked on the door when it was opened by a beaming Kara Danvers. Her traitorous heart fluttered at the smile on Kara’s face and danced as she saw the light blush grace her features. Clearly she remembered the last time they had met and Lena had kind-of kissed her on the cheek. Kara’s blush gave her strength and she smiled warmly in response.

“Lena! Hey!” One of her favourite things about Kara was her joy, the light she drew from the world and reflected ten-fold, whether it was to the mailman or to the cashier, or even to aggressive paparazzi.

“Hey,” she said softly and bit her lip a moment before offering Kara her bags. “It’s not home-made, I’m afraid,” she said apologetically as Kara took the bags of cheesecake and ice-cream and…

“Oooooh, are those donuts?” Kara’s eyes had zeroed in on the familiar brown paper bag from her favourite bakery.

Lena nodded. “Yes. I know they’re your favourites.” She lifted a bottle of wine as well.

Kara lifted her head and beamed at her and Lena felt her heart stumble at the warmth in her smile. Kara’s lips tilted even further, if that were even possible, as though she knew that Lena’s heart was pounding against the walls of her chest like some sort of mini King Kong.

Her eyes were warm and oh-so blue and bright, like the ocean on a beautiful day; varying shades of blue and glinting like gems.

“Are you going to invite your guest in? I raised you better than that, Kara Danvers!” A voice came from inside the loft and Lena started a moment before looking over Kara’s shoulder. For a moment she had forgotten that she and Kara weren’t alone, and by the way Kara was blushing, so had she.

An elder woman was standing in the kitchen and had just shut the door to a pale green fridge freezer and was arching a brow at Kara. She had long blonde hair, blues eyes, a soft chin and a quick smile.

“Um… right! Come in!” Kara gestured and stepped to the side to let Lena in and Lena smiled at her a moment before stepping into the apartment. She hadn’t been to Kara’s apartment very often and was always startled with how warm and homey it felt. Further inside two brown heads were close together on the couch and watching some campy looking television show. Kara took the chilled items and stored them in her fridge and returned for the wine. Lena handed it over as the woman, obviously Kara’s mother, finished stirring something and smiled over at her.

“Hello! I’m Eliza,” Eliza said as she came forward and with a tea-towel over her shoulder. “It’s nice to meet you!”

“Dr. Danvers,” Lena’s manners kicked in and she held her hand out to shake.

Eliza scoffed and took her hand happily. “None of that! A friend of Kara’s is a friend of the family’s,” she said and her shake conveyed the warmth in her eyes. “Eliza, please.”

“Lena,” Lena said quietly, feeling a smile cross her face almost unbidden and she wondered for a moment if this woman was where Kara got some of her strength from. She was warm and strong, whereas Lena was used to one or the other, usually combining into cold strength, like steel or even diamond.

“Kara’s told me a lot about you.”

Lena instantly felt a prickle of unease creep its way down her spine.

There was a loud screech and Lena quickly looked past Eliza and to the table where it looked like Kara had tripped over a chair and was sheepishly holding it and blushing. She was placing the wine on the table and fiddled with the cutlery a moment as she cast glances at Lena and her mother.

Eliza just sighed and then looked back at Lena.

“All good things, I promise,” she added and Lena felt her unease fade. It was hard not to feel at ease with the warmth in the apartment.

Smiling Lena looked over at the couch a moment before looking back at Eliza. “Thank you for inviting me,” she said politely, unsure of where to stand or what to do. “Can I help with anything?” She added, feeling stronger in her role. She could work, but she didn’t like to make idle conversation with strangers, not unless she wanted to tell Kara’s mother exactly how she felt about her daughter.

“No problem,” Eliza said cheerfully and walked back towards the small kitchen. “As I said, any friend of Kara’s is a friend of ours and always welcome. You don’t need to do anything, just sit until dinner is ready.”

She commanded the kitchen in the way that Lena did a boardroom and the CEO was impressed.

“Hey,” Kara said softly and Lena blinked to see her friend right in front of her.

“Hey,” she felt her own smile rising unbidden to her lips as it always did when she was around Kara.

“Hey Little Luthor!”

Lena tilted her head to see a familiar face peaking up from behind the sofa.

“Long time no see! You’re coming to this weeks game, right?”

“Hello Detective,” Lena said and strode further into the room. She at least knew Alex and Maggie as well as Kara, even if Kara had told her enough stories about her mother for her to almost know her. “And still with the nickname?”

Maggie beamed, dimples out in full force and slung her arm across the back of the sofa, hand near Alex’s head. “Course,” she beamed. “So, you’re coming to next week’s game, right?” Alex and her were almost snuggled together on the couch with an almost empty bowl of chips in front of them.

Lena sat on the corner of the second sofa and looked over at the detective and shrugged. “I’ll have to see if I can clear my schedule,” she replied neutrally and Maggie scoffed and lifted her beer to her mouth.

“See that you do! I want Jase to buy me another beer,” she said gleefully.

“Want anything to drink?” Kara asked as she hovered awkwardly between the kitchen and the couch, torn between joining her sister, her sisters girlfriend and her friend, or staying and helping her mum.

Lena shook her head softly.

“Yup,” Alex lifted her empty bottle above her head in silent request and Kara padded across the room to take the empty bottle.

“Maggie, you good?”

“Yup,” the detective said, popping the ‘p’ sound. “I’m good,” she said and shifted on the couch closer to Alex.

The Agent cast her a startled, pleased look and then sort of glanced around to make sure it were okay before leaning back into her girlfriend.

Kara trotted to the kitchen and returned a few moments later with another beer.

She passed it to Alex and then flopped down on the sofa next to Lena.

“How’s your week been? I haven’t seen you since we-um, yeah…since I saw you last….” Kara nervously adjusted her glasses and Lena caught her shy smile and smiled sweetly back.

“The usual,” Lena shrugged. “Death threats, masochist board members, new prototypes, oh I spoke with Supergirl.”

Kara, who had tensed at the ‘death threats’, adjusted her glasses again. “Did you? What-um, what did you talk about? You didn’t threaten her again, did you?” She asked with a smile.

Alex stiffened and shot Kara a glare as Lena shook her head fondly.

“No, our conversation was amicable. I promise… and I didn’t threaten her,” Lena corrected after a moment’s thought. “I just made her aware of my feelings on a matter and the consequences of it.” Lena blinked from her memory and smiled over at Kara. “We reached an agreement.”

Kara nodded and brushed some hair behind her ear. “So, um what did you talk about?”

“You know the cub we held? Elle?”

Kara nodded and Alex looked at her sharply but took a slow, steady sip of her beer, eyes piercing. Maggie had obviously sensed something but was keeping quiet, eyes watchful.

“Well… N.C. Zoo contacted me asking if I could contact Supergirl… they wanted to present the cub to her at their revealing ceremony tomorrow. She gave me her number once and I rang her and asked.”

“So… are you going?” Kara asked after a moments thought. “Naming her was your idea,” she held the ridge of her glasses a moment as though to move them again and wet her lips.

“Yes,” Lena said and tilted her head. “I thought she would have told you? Seeing as you were the reporter for the event. Isn’t Catco sending you to the ceremony?”

Kara nodded and smiled weakly. “R-ight. Yup, I am going to the ceremony. To report. Yeah…”

Lena tilted her head curiously at Kara and was going to respond, something about how she thought Kara would have already known all this, seeing as she talked to the hero and was the reporter for the birth.

“Dinner’s ready,” Eliza interrupted and there was a stampede towards the table. Alex and Maggie fighting each other playfully on the way. Alex nearly lost her beer. Kara was surprisingly first to the table, entering the squabble and coming out of it remarkably quickly and without any sign of struggle. Something pricked the back of Lena’s brain, just a thought, something about how wrestling Kara was always unfair because she won every time. Shaking it off she rose gracefully and walked calmly to the table as though to show the children how an adult aught act.

Eliza had done well. There was a roast steaming in the centre of the table on a wooden board. There was also tongs for the roast vegetables and a pitcher of gravy and a salad that admittedly looked amazing, and there was garlic bread being handed around the table. Alex had lost the fight to the table and as such had to get the drinks and brought over a bottle of juice and had to pop open the wine, for Lena and Eliza who wanted it. Kara had agreed to try some.

Maggie was already helping herself to the pork and was passing some more out to the plates offered her. Kara was at the other end spooning some salad onto a plate and that was how it went; plates being passed around and food being piled on to it.

“I’d forgotten how much you eat,” Eliza commented as she settled in for her meal and Lena glanced up and over at Kara’s plate. Instead of blushing, as she had caught a few times when Kara was ashamed of her appetite, she was smiling and poked her tongue out playfully at her mother.

“Better than a dog, this one,” Alex commented to Maggie and Kara scrunched her face at her sister as she smiled fondly at her. Maggie just laughed softly.

“I don’t know,” Lena commented, feeling like she ought to defend Kara, even though the jibe wasn’t said hurtfully. “Blonde, loyal, playful, happy….pouts when you leave… She’s definitely a puppy,” Kara blinked at her and Eliza paused with a potato part way to her mouth.

“Probably a lab,” Lena added as she saw that Kara had already devoured her two pieces of garlic bread and was working on her potatoes and carrot. “You have the appetite,” she smiled fondly, hoping to take any bite from her words. Kara just smiled across the table at her and continued to eat.

“Do you like dogs, Little Luthor?” Maggie asked and Lena tore her eyes from Kara’s to see a sly smile on Maggies features. She couldn’t quite place the ‘why’ of it, but knew it had something to do with her and Kara. For some reason a radar suddenly popped into her head, like one of those old ones you’d see in military boats, with the green lines and black empty space.

“Yes,” Lena replied after a moment. “Lex-“ she began and then halted and swallowed and glanced at the table a moment, silently cursing herself for reminding herself, and everyone at the table just who she was. There was a moment of silence and she rallied. She would not be ashamed. Her brothers crimes were not her own.

“We-ah, we had dogs growing up…” she trailed off awkwardly. “Albert was mine.” She would usually blush at her dogs name, she had been young when she had named him, and she may or may not have named him after Albert Einstein…. He had been a gift from Lex for her tenth birthday, and was a reward for her SAT scores being in the top percentile. She was a Luthor, intelligence was once synonymous with the name, instead of being crazy and evil, and the SAT tests had been a fun challenge for her at age ten. Lex had, of course scored higher than she had, but he had tutored her in the months leading up to her taking the tests and he had been so proud of her and had brought her a puppy as a present. Her mother couldn’t say no to that, not if it was her darling boy’s idea.

“We had this mutt,” Maggie said drawing Lena from her thoughts. “Called her Mavis. Was a runty thing. Would bark like crazy whenever anyone came up the street.” She shook her head fondly as she speared her piece of pork on her fork. “Did you have pets?” This was directed at Alex, and then at Kara.

“I had a cat,” Alex said and Kara shook her head.

The conversation was mostly light as the dinner progressed and compliments for the food were passed around and then Lena innocently enquired as to why Doctor Danvers was in town.

Alex, Kara, and Eliza stiffened, enough so that even Maggie, who was in the bathroom at the time, came back and noticed it.

“I had a, ah, work thing,” Eliza said eventually.

Lena took a sip of wine. “And you’re in the bio-engineering field, right? What made you choose that one?”

Eliza relaxed a little and started to explain her fascination with genetics and how they could be manipulated.

“What do you think about Meta-humans, I think they are called? Human’s with powers?” Lena asked as she lifted a carrot to her lips. “From a scientists point of view I find them fascinating.”

Eliza looked at her searchingly but nodded slowly. “Scientifically speaking it is incredible how the body changes itself to adapt, to develop extraordinary abilities…but there are dangers with it.”

Lena nodded in agreement. “Society needs to be careful of anyone with superhuman abilities,” she said and a familiar ‘s’ crest popped into her mind.

“What do you think about aliens?” Eliza asked and it was a loaded question. She knew exactly who was sitting at her daughters table.

Lena lowered her cutlery, aware of everyone’s eyes on her, especially a pair of blue ones.

“Alien’s or the Super’s?”

“Both,” Eliza said squarely. “And not a bullshit answer.”

Lena exhaled but tilted her head to the side as Alex shot her mother a wide-eyed warning look.

“I think that society has to view these…beings,” she said delicately, “as having the potential to be the threats that they can be. These be-“

“People,” Kara interrupted, and there was something hidden in her voice, something hurt. Lena looked at her a moment searching, trying to find what it was.

“People,” she said finally, keeping her eyes on Kara’s. “Have extraordinary abilities that place them on another tier to humans.” When she was always talking about this there was always a mantra running through the back of her mind ‘don’t sound like Lex, don’t sound like Lex’ even if what she was saying was reasonable. She was always afraid people would hear her but hear Lex’s words and intonation when she spoke. It was a subconscious fear, perhaps, but one that kept her from engaging in proper discussions with Kara and Supergirl about her fear of aliens, she didn’t want to come across as another ‘xenophobic Luthor.’

“I think we need to be able to protect ourselves, and contain these threats if they arise,” she finished and turned back to Eliza and lifted her brow. “There were reports of a man in Moscow that could walk through walls…and a girl in Egypt that can ‘see’ the future…. And I am not saying that they would or will use their gift’s for nefarious purposes but there is nothing to stop that man walking into a bank, or into someone’s home, and nothing to stop that girl from seeing economic trends or race winners or the lottery numbers.”

“They can’t help being what they are,” Kara said almost desperately and Lena felt a shiver of unease. Alex and Maggie had long stopped eating and were watching and Eliza’s eyes hadn’t left Lena since she first asked her question.

“I know,” Lena said strongly, hoping that her and Kara’s friendship was solid enough for her to speak without judgement and repercussion. “That’s why I’m not saying that they should be locked up or monitored or put on lists… at least not until after they have committed a crime. I don’t believe in pre-mature punishment.”

“What about the Kryptonian’s?” Eliza asked and if Lena weren’t so sure her greeting and offer of friendship were genuine she would have thought the woman was trying to sabotage her friendship with Kara, or expose her for her supposed anti-alien sentiments.

Knowing she had to step carefully she chose her words with caution. She knew Alex worked with Supergirl, and Kara spoke with her, and Eliza apparently knew her as well, at least in passing.

“What about them?” She asked, wanting Eliza to spell out exactly what sort of response she was expecting Lena to make. The young Luthor had practice at it, and had learnt early on that if you played dumb the other person would eventually word their question in such a way that the answer they expected from you was obvious.

“Do you think we should have weapons for them? Or prisons for them?”

Lena flicked a glance to Kara and then back to Eliza. The Dr. certainly wasn’t beating around the bush.

“Yes,” Lena said after a moment’s thought. Kara let out a soft little gasp and instantly drew Lena’s attention and she looked concernedly over at her friend. Alex shifted uncomfortably at the table and Eliza drew in on herself and Lena got the feeling she was closing down on her, turning her warmth back to polite distance. Lena found she missed it a little. It was nice.

“Don’t misunderstand me,” she said quickly to Kara, a soft plea to her voice. “I think that they don’t wish any harm on humans, at least for the moment, but they aren’t the only ones out there with their abilities. I’d only want to see weapons turned on them, on anyone,” she added and emphasised, “if there were no other choice.”

Kara fiddled with the table cloth and lowered her eyes. “Yeah… I guess…” No one else said anything and the silence grew until it was booming like thunder in the room. Lena wanted her cell to go off with an emergency so she could leave.

To her surprise it started to ring and she excused herself from the table and walked to the bathroom to answer it. “Sorry….. I have to take this….”

Inside the bathroom she saw the number and smiled and lifted it to her ear.

“Yes?”

We are ready,’ her caller responded and Lena smiled and saw her reflection in the mirror. She looked a little crazed if she were being honest with herself, a Luthor smile on her lips.

“Good. Move ahead with the plan.”

Okay. We’ll call when it’s done.’

Lena hung up and stared at her screen saver, the picture of her holding the cute cub, until it faded to black. She had work to do and the phone call was the perfect opportunity to leave what was becoming a stifling environment.

She slid her phone back into her pocket after calling David and wandered back into the lounge. Maggie was at the sink rinsing dishes while Alex was over having a hissed conversation with Eliza and Kara. They hushed and silenced as she got closer and she felt a prickle of ire, she would rather people told her what they thought about her to her face, but usually no one had the ovaries to do so.

“I’m sorry, it’s important… I have to go,” she said quietly and cast Kara a soft glance and when she didn’t move she walked over to the door, feeling her stomach churn and her heart feel heavy.

She gathered her bag in awkward silence and opened the door.

“See ya Little L!” Maggie called from the kitchen, not caring for the awkward silence any more.

Lena smiled genuinely over at the Detective. “Bye Detective.” She let her eyes cast over the other three. Eliza was watching her go with a blank expression and Alex was nudging her sister. Kara hadn’t looked at her since she’d looked down at her plate and Lena sighed softly.

Another friend lost. She should have just kept her mouth closed and agreed with everything Kara did. But then, a traitorous voice in her whispered, you wouldn’t be being true to yourself. It sounded suspiciously like Lex and she mentally swore at it to shut up.

She called goodbye over her shoulder as she left, years of charm groomed into her since adoption, and let the door close behind her. She would not cry, even as her throat went tight and her eyes turned glassy. She started to walk towards the exit, checking her phone to see David’s text telling her he was waiting outside.

“Um, hey.” Lena started and turned to see Kara sheepishly in the doorway. Her features were a mix of emotions; chastened, sheepish, apologetic, defiant, hurt, caring. It was very hard to determine which one was currently ruling the reporter’s heart.

“Um, sorry for back there…. Um,” Kara adjusted her glasses and then lowered her hands and found her fingers together, not looking at Lena.

“Um, Mum, um, she…she knows um, Superman?” Kara’s voice lifted at the end and Lena tilted her head to the side. “Um, they, um, Eliza and Jeremiah helped him learn about his, um, powers and stuff…. So she’s like, kinda protective of them so…..”

“So she doesn’t want a Luthor around her daughter?” Lena asked bitterly, jaw tight and finally Kara’s head shot up.

“No!” She said and shook her head, eyes wide with earnest. “No, not that! It’s just, um, she wanted to…” Kara trailed off, she couldn’t really justify what her mother had done. She had picked a fight, there was no better word for it, and Lena had rode into the battle with no choice. At least she had managed to convey her thoughts on the matter, but she didn’t think they were as eloquent as she would have liked.

“It’s okay, Kara,” she said quietly, savouring the way it felt saying Kara’s name and wondered if that would be the last time she’d be able to, if this was the end of their friendship. At least she was following her out, her old so-called ‘friends’ had just shut her out completely ignored her texts, walked away from her in person, until she realised they didn’t want her around.

“No, it’s not,” Kara said firmly and reached out hesitantly to wipe a tear from Lena’s cheek. She hadn’t even realised she’d started to cry. Kara meant a lot to her obviously, more than maybe she was willing to admit and the thought of not having her around or being around her made her feel heavy and sick.

Kara’s fingers were warm and gentle on her skin and lingered there a moment. She stepped closer and hesitantly lifted her arms. “You’re crying,” she said softly as though the thought were something unbearable.

“I’m just being silly,” Lena said and wiped her cheeks herself. “This isn’t the first friendship that’s ended because of my last name…”

Kara’s eyes widened and she blinked in surprise, the expression would have made Lena laugh, but her heart was too heavy for it.

“Wh-at? N-o, no! We aren’t breaking up!” She said strongly and then blushed and fiddled with the seam of her shirt. “I mean, we, um, we aren’t not being friends now? Um, we are still friends,” she said and then nodded firmly. “Right?” She added after a moments hesitation and looked beseechingly at Lena, all the Labrador puppy Lena had called her earlier in the evening.

“Yes, Kara,” Lena replied, warmth entering her heart. “We’re still frien-omhp!”

Kara stepped back from her impromptu hug with a sheepish smile and a blush to her cheeks. “Ooops, sorry,” she said and shifted on her feet nervously, looking at Lena from under her lashes.

“I don’t mind a hug, Kara,” Lena said and was pretty sure her heart was hammering. “Just some warning would be-omph,” she grunted as Kara hit her again and she felt her tense and move to pull away and grabbed her arms and held her there. After a moment she let her arms wind around Kara and let herself be held. “Warn me next time,” she said and there was laughter in her voice.

“Mhkay,” Kara murmured and her heart nearly leapt out of her chest. She could feel the blonde’s breath on her neck. She shivered and Kara pulled her tighter, nuzzled in further, and maybe she wasn’t a puppy, maybe she was a kitten. It was the best hug she had ever had. Kara was warm and soft and hard and smelt like sunshine and something fruity, her shampoo maybe? And Lena felt safe, oddly enough, in Kara’s embrace and her heart eventually settled, but thumped louder than before. She wondered if Kara could feel it, and the thought made her warm all over.

“I’m sorry for what my-Eliza said,” Kara said quietly and Lena rested her head on Kara’s shoulder. She was taller than her without her heels on, but she found she didn’t mind the height difference so much. Kara was perfect.

“I’m used to it,” Lena said softly. “I shouldn’t have risen to the bait.”

Kara’s arms tightened and she didn’t feel trapped, she felt safe. “You shouldn’t be,” her chin moved a little as she spoke and Lena pressed into the hug a little more. Kara was firmer than she thought and she wondered what kind of exercise routine the blonde did.

“Eliza still shouldn’t have said what she did,” Kara said and Lena felt her head tilt and her heart accelerated as she felt warm and soft lips resting against her pulse point. She was fairly certain Kara could hear it now, it was all Lena could hear anyway, the roaring of her blood in her veins as it tried to get closer to Kara.

“Don’t be mad at her, okay?” Lena requested and found she couldn’t feel anything but love and affection for the world while she was held in Kara’s light. “She’s right to be cautious… I would be.”

“But you’re not, though,” Kara said and her lips brushed Lena’s skin as she spoke and she swallowed harshly. “You’re kind and warm and gentle and sweet…. Nothing like, like…” she trailed off and sighed softly.

Lena didn’t want to argue, or bring up anything that could make Kara pull away so she bit her tongue.

Her phone vibrated again and she lifted it above Kara’s shoulders to read it. It was David, wondering if she was okay, and she could picture her driver reaching for the gun in his glove box and getting ready to storm the building looking for her.

“I have to go,” she said as she reluctantly moved away from Kara. Her hear swelled when Kara’s grip tightened and she moved with her.

“No,” the reporter groaned and the sound made Lena’s inside flip and a bolt of electricity shot through her body. “Stay,” she demanded and Lena could hear the pout in her voice.

“I can’t,” she said and pulled back and Kara let her go reluctantly and sure enough, there was a very impressive pout on her features when Lena glance up at her.

“Enjoy the rest of your time with your family,” she said sweetly and faltered. Kara’s eyes had been caught on her lips and Lena’s mouth went dry as they flicked from her lips to her eyes, danced across her face as though unable to meet them, and then went back to her lips. Lena’s breath hitched and she wet her lips. Kara’s eyes darkened. Lena’s pulse thundered in her ears.

Lena hesitated a moment, eyes searching Kara’s features for something and when the blonde finally looked up she saw her eyes and made a decision. She leant forward slowly, giving Kara plenty of warning, and kissed her gently, ever, ever so gently on the mouth. Kara’s eyes fluttered closed and she sighed, sighed like she had just sat down after a long day, sighed like she’d just had a warm drink after being in the snow, and sighed after stepping into a warm shower after the rain. Kara had sighed like she’d come home.

At least, that’s what she wanted to happen, and pictured happening later in her room before she went to sleep, but in reality Lena was a coward. Instead of kissing Kara as she so desperately wanted, she left a soft and gentle kiss to her cheek and lingered there a moment before pulling away and smiling softly.

Kara was blushing in the faint light in the hallway and her fingers toyed with the hem of her shirt and she looked at Lena from under her lashes and through the thick lenses of her glasses.

“I’ll see you later, Kara,” Lena said softly and smiled sweetly before turning and walking away, cursing herself for her cowardice.

Kara deserved better.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

There was already a large crowd at the Cat Cave and Lena and her two guards easily navigated the crowds and moved around to the side where they would get a good view but not be in the way. It was mostly children near-by, one of the local schools had timed their annual trip to the zoo perfectly and would get to see the cubs for the first time since their birth. There were also adults here, mostly reporters or people wanting to see Supergirl.

After she had spoken with Supergirl she had contacted the Zoo and told them they would both be attending and the Zoo had gone ahead with their presentation ceremony. She wondered if it would be like the Lion King, with Leon holding the cubs up like the monkey did to Simba, and the people would clap and cheer. It was an amusing mental image to consider as she avoided the press and public. Truthfully her mind was elsewhere and she was thankful for her impressive intellect that allowed her to focus on more than one thing in its entirety.

First; she had nearly kissed Kara. She was too much of a coward to go through with it and wondered if she would ever have the heart to do so, but doubted it. She was running the numbers and didn’t have enough data to confirm if her feelings were reciprocated. Aware that she had three options; one being, to kiss Kara or do something of the sort to pronounce her affection and desire to date her and risk her rejection and the subsequent deterioration of their friendship. Two: be content as ‘just friends’ and try to ‘contain the gay’ and be happy for Kara if she found someone else. She wasn’t entirely fussed on option two; she was a Luthor, she went after what she wanted, she liked having answers, so the ‘what if’ of it would probably drive her to an early grave. The third option was to collect more data and base her next action off of it, so…. That required delving into Kara’s dating history a little and seeing what she was up against. If she didn’t have a chance then she’d save herself a lot of trouble, but if she did….. Option three it was!

Secondly; she was anxious about her…guest for the evening, and knew she would have to ditch her body guards as she didn’t want them involved. She had been apprehensive about asking her old guard Haz for help, but she had run out of options. He was former military, retired now, but had once been the loyal Luthor guard before Lex had gone on his anti-alien crusade. Haz hadn’t been able to stomach staying, but had been apologetic when he farewelled Lena, and had vowed to always be a call away. So, she had called him and basically asked him to kidnap someone for her...it would be interesting. He had been surprising about it, waiting for her to explain before jumping to conclusions, and had eventually agreed and had asked for a few days.

He text her off a burner phone when he was in town and he and some trusted friends set everything up. All she had to do was wait for their call. It would happen today, and she was very nervous about it. If anything went wrong she would probably go to jail for it, but….she needed it to go right. It had seemed like the best option for her as she did want help.

Initially she had been…. hesitant about approaching Dr. Danvers, especially as she was Kara’s mother, but Eliza was one of the leading scientists in the world, and if anyone could help her figure out what was happening to her, then it was Eliza. Her preliminary thoughts on the Dr had been correct and they had shared many insightful discussions into her DNA abnormality’s via the laptop she had sent her. And she hadn’t meant to come across as a stalker when she realised the doctor was in National City, but she’d, had a headache and wanted some answers.

Realising that Eliza had access to Supergirl and knew what Kryptonite was had been….enlightening, and she wondered what Eliza had shared with her daughter… it seemed that Kara was the only one not in the family business of working with aliens. Perhaps she should ask her what she knew as well, rather than just assuming Supergirl would try to keep her safe by not telling her anything. While the thought held merit she did not want to get Kara more involved than she already was by association… she couldn’t bare it if Kara was hurt because of her. So maybe she shouldn’t speak with Kara.

On that thought she at least knew not to let the DEO in on her latest secret… she didn’t know how they would react to a Luthor, of all people, having powers apparently drawn from Kryptonite, but she would place one of her many bloated bank accounts on as a bet for it not going down well. Probably like L-Corp Tower. Which had led her to her latest problem. Eliza Danvers was a very desirable resource, at least with the little…development… that Lena was experiencing, and she wanted her. She didn’t have the time to go to Midvale, and truthfully the journey would raise eyebrows and she doubted she’d be able to get away with it without raising questions. She could, of course, speak with Eliza via the phone or email or text or even another letter, but that would mean she risked exposing herself before she was ready and didn’t have a way to make sure Eliza ‘forgot’ who the patient was.

So, really, the only option was to discuss it face-to-face and have a drug with her to ensure Eliza didn’t remember if things didn’t go well. She may have gone over-board with the kidnapping, but, hey, no one would know who she was, and Eliza wouldn’t remember either, if it didn’t go well. It wouldn’t be the first time she had broken the law and lied to get around the consequences…

Still. Eliza had seemed interested in meeting her, especially once she saw what happened to her under the effects of the radiation, so maybe she’d be okay with the kidnapping. Maybe. Probably not.

And….. maybe cutting herself hadn’t been the best option…she had spent much of the night with hands in socks and her head forced back on a pillow with music blaring in her ears least she return to old habits, but she had wanted to show the Dr she was serious, and did need her help.

“Penny for your thoughts?”

Lena started and glanced over at Supergirl and smiled at her. “Not worth all that much, I’m afraid,” she said and ran her eyes over the crowd before giving her full attention to the Super. She seemed happier than usual, like she were glowing on the inside and radiating it outside and Lena arched a brow.

“You look happy,” she commented, an observation, nothing more. Supergirl beamed and the brightness of her smile triggered something at the back of her mind.

“Yup!” She said, popping the ‘p’ enthusiastically and Lena lifted her brow again.

“Care to share?”

Supergirl grinned and shook her head enthusiastically. “Nope.”

“Well…. Alright then,” Lena shrugged and glanced over at the podium where the Zoo’s director would soon speak.

“But really,” the Super said and floated down to stand next to her. “You seem…preoccupied…. Something on your mind?” She hesitated and tilted her head. “Or maybe…someone?”

Lena cast her a glance and then looked at Vince who was standing nearby with his eyes on the crowd, no doubt he was listening. He had an unhealthy interest in her dating life for an employee. Of course, he had said it was in case any of her psycho ex’s decided to come after her and he needed to be prepared. Lena didn’t call him out on the lie.

“Perhaps,” she said, seeing the hero was waiting for an answer.

“Ooooh, do tell,” Supergirl cooed, features animated and Lena felt a slight thrill at having this powerful beings complete attention. “I won’t tell anyone!” She even held her finger to her lips and then mimed locking them and tossing the key over her shoulder. It was such a human thing to do that Lena could fight her smile.

She shook her head. “Quid pro quo, Supergirl. What’s on your mind?”

The hero frowned playfully at her, and they were the same height with Lena’s heels.

Lena’s shrug wasn’t even apologetic.

“Is it a girl? It’s a girl isn’t it,” Supergirl continued conspiratorially and Lena arched a brow.

“What makes you think it’s a girl?” Her tone wasn’t particularly icy or accusing, just curious, and she was rewarded with uncharacteristic nerves from the hero.

“Well, um, I-you, um, you were at um, that Pride Rally? I just figured…sorry…. That was very short sighted of me…”

“Considering you can see through walls you are bound to miss something,” Lena offered, feeling bad for how upset the hero looked. She looked like a child that had just had its fluffy toy taken from it.“….And yessss…… a girl.” She felt her smile come back in full force as she thought of Kara. The Kryptonian had a curious display of expressions on her features at that news, one was what Lena could only describe as elation, but it was quickly swallowed by despair.

“Nice,” she said eventually, looking slightly lost, and turned her head to where the Zoo officials were getting ready. Lena’s brow furrowed and she tried to see past the ‘S’ to what the Super was feeling, but couldn’t see much past the famous crest. She lifted off the ground and Lena followed her gaze to see officials gesturing for the hero. “See you later,” Supergirl said as she rose into the air and floated over the heads of the gathered children, offering her hand for some high-fives.

She paused a moment and then zoomed back to Lena. Lena took a step forward to meet her and raised a brow as she tilted her head up to her. “Yes?”

“Quick question…. Should I pull a Lion King?”

Lena blinked. Huh. It was an abrupt change from how upset she had looked just moments earlier.

“Like, the Lion King is like one of my favourite movies and I totally lifted my sist…er, um, should I lift the cub like they do in the Lion King?”

Oh. She felt a smile curl her lips. Kara had wanted to do the same thing, she could tell, when she had held the cub the first time. The movie was truly the bane of all animals everywhere, especially with millennials, you couldn’t run from your childhood.

“I think that would be funny…..are you gonna sing the theme-song as well?” She asked innocently.

Bright blue eyes widened, evidently she hadn’t thought of that. “Wait and see!” She called and then zoomed back to land next to the officials. Lena had a feeling that that particular part of her day would be all over the world by the time she finished work this evening, the hero returning to say a few quick words to the Luthor… her PR Team would need to speak with her.

The cubs were much cuter now their fur had grown a little and they weren’t so wet and wrinkly and the ceremony went how Lena expected. They talked about their breeding program, thanked everyone for their continued support, hoped they’d continue to support them in the future, and thanked Supergirl for being there today to present the cubs.

Then they presented them, well, Leon and Kate did with Henry and Aaram, and Lena finally understood the Swan reference when Kate said, “Because we are Regal Believers in what this little guy can do for Tiger’s everywhere, his name is Henry.” She had lifted the cub up and everyone cooed and clapped appropriately. They did the same with Aaram, though Leon didn’t have anything extra to say and then it was Supergirl’s turn.

It was the moment everyone had been waiting for and she was grinning down at the cub as though trying to contain her squeal.

The Zoo Chairman was dressed in his best and went on about how they wanted to name their new girl cub after the hero but couldn’t find the right now, and how she would hopefully contribute to their breeding programme and give back to tigers everywhere. They wanted her to be hope for the Tiger population and yahdie yah. To be honest it was the same sort of speech Lena would be expected to make at a gala; thanking people for their money, asking people for their money now, and then ensuring they would get their money in the future, it just had cute cubs as the main event.

“And now Supergirl will present her to you!” He held the microphone up to the Super’s face and evidently she hadn’t expected that but she blinked and rallied.

“Um, okay. Hi everyone! I’d wave but I’ve got this little ball of fluff in my hands so, um, hi! Thank you all for coming today! It’s really important we try and protect the animals and environments we have left.” Supergirl looked down at the little cub in her arm and then looked back at the audience. Eyes and cameras were following her.

“My last name is Zor-El… El being the House of my father… Kal…my cousin… has told you that it stands for hope…. It does, but only because that is the closest word, in all of your languages, that comes close.” Supergirl paused and she looked out over the crowd and later the reporters would comment on how her eyes darkened with the shadows of her past or something, very Rita Skeeter like.

“El Mayarah is the phrase of our house, like ‘Winter is coming’ or something,” the super smiled as the crowd chuckled at the Game of Thrones reference. “It means stronger together…. But its actual translation is roughly, together we can achieve life, again, there is no Earth word that can explain what El Mayarah truly means. It is a mix of things, a mix of emotions, but it is that feeling of accomplishment, or that feeling when there is new life,” she looked down at the cub in her arms. “It’s climbing the corporate ladder,” she said as she lifted her head again.

“It’s helping people, it’s even failing…because you know you tried your best, and you will try again and you will learn. El Mayarah is life. It’s winning and failing, living and dying, but it goes on. It is standing together and knowing you aren’t alone, because no one can go alone, nothing that lives can live separate. That is what El Mayarah is, the hope for all that is in Life.”

She looked down at the cub again. “I suppose that is truly fitting for this girls name. Life is a circle,” there was a wry smile to her lips as she looked over at Lena.

“Everyone,” Supergirl said and adjusted the cub and someone near Lena murmured, ‘Oh my gawd! She’s going to pull a Lion King! Ahhhh!” Her friends giggled.

“Meet Elle!” And she lifted the cub out in front of her, just like hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands of humans had done to their pets before her, just like the Lion King.

The crowd cheered and whooped and clapped and Lena chuckled and shook her head when the hero caught her eyes. She gave a modest shrug, as though she likely hadn’t planned it from the start, and went back to grinning at the public of National City.

She handed the cub back to the officials and as she passed the microphone they could hear her humming a familiar tune.

A group of girls in front of Lena were singing the start to the ‘Circle of life’ softly to themselves, giggling all the while at their admittedly poor attempts at the unfamiliar language- it was mostly just mumbled words but when it turned English they gained traction. Supergirl’s head shot up.

“Yeah! Like that!” She said and bounced over to them. They were a little startled but at the hero’s encouragement kept singing, only stronger this time, and with the hero joining in.

Supergirl could sing, who would have known, but only the people around her could hear it. “..more to do than can ever be done….!”

Lena watched in amused amazement as the crowd slowly started to sing it, and the theme song gained traction.

“Come on, Miss Luthor!” The Super beamed as she bounced up to her. “Sing a little!”

Lena shook her head. “I don’t sing, Supergirl. Sorry,” she shrugged, not sounding apologetic in the slightest.

“Aw, come on,” Supergirl was pouting and it was oddly familiar but she couldn’t place it.

“I really don’t sing,” Lena protested and the Super slung an arm around her shoulders as the crowd got louder. Phones were out and people were smiling.

“I’ll get a twitter,” Supergirl said quickly and Lena cast her a quick glance and a brow raise. The Super beamed back at her encouragingly and she sighed.

“But the sun rolling high,” she sang softly and was rewarded with the sun in the shape of the Super’s face. “Through the sapphire sky,” the Super lifted her pitch sweetly to harmonise with Lena, and was beaming at her. They weren’t loud, not enough that anyone would be able to pick up on their voices, but they were loud enough anyone watching could tell they were actually singing, and not just lip-sinking.

“Each great and small… on the endless round…” Their voices fit together…well… better than well, actually, not that anyone but her and the Super could hear her singing. She didn’t sing. Period. Didn’t have anything to do with music. Not anymore.

“The circle of life!” Boomed the crowed. “And it moves us alllll!”

Lena had a sudden thought and dug her phone from her pocket and quickly put it on video. Supergirl was dancing through the crowd and singing next to random members of the public before moving on to the next one. It was… powerful… the entire crowd was singing, at least the ones who knew the words were. It was kinda awesome.

Lena stopped singing to video the crowd a little and then turned it back to selfie mode and suddenly the Super was behind her, grinning into the camera and waving.

Lena ended the video and took a moment to upload it to her social media. She didn’t tag it with anything, just let it be, and then exited out of the app.

“I want to see an official Supergirl account by sundown,” she said softly to the hero next to her and Supergirl sighed but nodded.

“Alright, I can do that. I’ll follow you,” she said, suddenly animated and beamed.

“Don’t you anyway?” Lena enquired and lifted a perfect brow and the Super just grinned at her.

“Yup!”

“Well… wonderful to know I have your attention whenever I want it.” She didn’t intend to come across quite so flirty and clearly the Super hadn’t been on the other end of her attempts at it, because she blushed a moment and gaped like a fish.

Then her eyes narrowed. “I know what you’re doing.”

Lena just tilted her head and smirked. Her phone vibrated and she dug it out of her pocket to check the notification and stared a little at the message banner before putting it back.

“Duty calls,” she nodded to the Super and started to walk away.

“Oh hey! Miss Luthor!”

Lena paused and turned. “You’re pretty awesome!” Supergirl shouted and then cast a glance around at her audience and floated to the CEO. “I mean….I uhm, think you’re pretty cool… ya know, as a friend?”

She seemed sheepish and shy and Lena felt something in her chest stutter but ignored it.

“That’s nice… I don’t really have friends…” she said absently, mind returning to her only friend and she felt a smile break out across her face.

“Friend’s then?” Supergirl asked, eyes wide and earnest and so like a puppy.

Lena considered her a moment and then turned again. “I didn’t realise we were that close.” Bella and Vince fell into step around her.

“I’m growing on you,” beamed the hero, clearly taking some other que than her verbal one. “Admit it.”

“Like a fungus,” Lena intoned dryly, barely fighting her smile. She did enjoy banter, even if she were the only one who knew it, like when she talked with Clark Kent.

“You should probably get that checked out!” Supergirl said and floated along above her with a scrunched expression before grinning back at her.

Lena chuckled dryly. “How about an associate?”

The hero shook her head. “Nope, we passed that stage a while ago.” That caught Lena’s attention.

“Exactly how many stages does our relationship have?” She enquired and was rewarded with the hero faltering a little. “Have you planned it all out? A Luthor and a Super?”

Lena was actually curious now. While she did trust the hero and would help her with her ‘protecting the city and the world’ goals, she didn’t really consider her a friend. They didn’t know each other well enough, and some part of her was reminded of Lex and Superman, and didn’t want that to happen with her and the Super.

Supergirl floated to the ground and walked alongside her.

“Welll….. no, but I think you’re a pretty cool girl…and I’d like to be your friend…. If you wanted….”

Lena thought a moment as she strode away. “Alright,” she said eventually. “Friends then,” she said and the hero beamed.

“Awesome!” She floated into the sky. “Bye friend!” She called and Lena watched her go bemused.

Guess I have two friends in National City, she thought to herself as she made her way to her car. A Luthor and a Super, who would have guessed it.

 

~*~

Eliza Danvers let out a growl of exasperation as she pulled onto the side of the road and stared for a moment at the disappearing cars and flicked her hazard indicators on. Of course she gets a flat tire five miles from the fuel and service station she had just stopped at. Why couldn’t it have happened earlier.

Sighing she got from the car and slammed the door, perhaps with a little more force than necessary, and walked around to the side to inspect the damage. It was on the shoulder side of the car, close to where the road turned to gravel and poorly mowed grass and then shifted into paddocks and livestock. The tire was sad, deflated and wrinkled like the face of a cliff and she sighed and kicked it for good measure. It coughed a little and she heard the wiz of air and then it went quiet again.

Grumbling about how of course the weekend from hell couldn’t get any worse she walked to the back of the jeep and shoved some of her bags out of the way and onto the ground. It took her a few minutes to get her spare tire out and she leant it against the back of the vehicle by the rear-lights. She was digging for her jack and the tire-change kit when she heard a vehicle pull up behind her.

She cast it a glance and saw it was green four door, one of those small economic cars you expected old people to drive, and she wasn’t surprised when an elderly man, probably a decade or so older than her by the looks of him, got out of the car and ambled over to her. He was a little slow and a bit unsteady but he looked determined, even as he was bent by age.

He was balding with a white crown of finely cropped hair and wiry muscle covering his frame. He looked like he’d spent his life outdoors and his eyes were a cloudy, pale blue but he had a cheeky, boyish smile.

“Are you alright there?” He asked and she could see some sort of military tattoos on his arms.

“I’m fine. Just a flat tire,” Eliza replied.

“She need a hand, Pop?” Called another voice and Eliza turned to see a younger man, about Alex’s age get out of the back of the vehicle. He too had military insignia branded to his skin and had a short, sharp haircut and shadows in his eyes.

“Think she’s got a flat, Jase. Wanna give her a hand?”

The young man jogged over, gravel crunching beneath his boots and he had a quick, charming smile.

“Yessir,” he said respectfully and grabbed the tire immediately.

“You really don’t need to,” Eliza started to protest but the older man smiled gently at her and the young man, Jase, was already looking at the tire.

“Of course we do,” the old man said and turned back to the car.

“Heath! Mind cracking open the thermos! It’s time for tea!”

The front passenger door opened and a short, portly older woman got out and glared over the door at him.

“You just had one!”

“It’s time for another!” He protested and turned back to Eliza. “My wife thinks I need to cut back,” he told her as Jase ducked around to grab the tool kit and went back to the front tire.

“Zachery, she says,” the old man continued in a high, and grumbling voice, clearly trying to imitate his wife. “You don’t need another tea! You just want a biscuit!” He paused and then grinned at Eliza and she cast Jase a glance to see he was working quickly on the tire and had the jack up under the car already.

“I tell her it’s good for me health,” the man, Zachery, she guessed, said.

“Oh, where are my manners!” He said suddenly, as though he had forgotten. “Zachery Augustus Hamilton. Nice to meet you!” He held out his hand and flashed her a grin that would have once made women swoon, she was sure of it.

“Eliza,” she replied and shook his hand. He had a strong and firm shake, but didn’t try and squeeze her hand.

Back at the car the old woman had opened the boot and had disappeared under it and she ducked around. “How do you have your tea, dear?” She shouted and Zachery frowned.

“What?” He hollered back at her. “Speak up woman!”

“How does she have her tea?!”

Eliza had heard her the first time but wasn’t particularly thirsty.

“It’s fine,” she told Zachery. “I’m okay, really.”

“Nonsense,” he scoffed, as though not wanting tea was blasphemous. “How do you take your tea?”

“Milk, one sugar,” Eliza sighed and he shouted it back at his wife.

“Okay!” She shouted back and vanished behind the car.

“You really don’t have to do this,” she said and felt her heart warm at the kindness of strangers.

“It’s no problem,” he said, “None at all. We were passing through.”

They made polite talk for the next few minutes while Jase saw to the tire and his wife brought over the tea.

A few motorists slowed down to be certain they were alright and Zachery waved them on, telling them his grandson was sorting the tire out but thank you and have a safe drive.

Eliza’s tea was warm and she sipped it easily as the old couple told her all about their lives. Zachery and Heather met while he was on leave from the military and fell in love and when he retired he married her. Of course, before they got married they’d had some…fun… while he was back in the States and when he came back from his tour she presented him with a daughter…. So he married her a few years later and the rest was history! Her son was Jason, the young man who was currently sliding the flat tire off the car, and he waved a little when Zach barked at him to wave hello.

They were coming back from National City after visiting an old family friend.

Eliza yawned and took another sip of tea to try and stay awake. Suddenly she felt exhausted and figured the drive and stressful weekend were starting to get to her.

Zachery took a careful sip of his tea and watched her carefully. “Are you alright?”

Eliza yawned again as she thought about how tired she suddenly was. “I’m- I’m fine… “ She yawned again. “Just tired. It’s been a long week,” she smiled and blinked sleepily at the strangers.

“Tire’s done,” Jase said as he walked around to the back of the car with the flat in his arms.

“Are we ready to go?” He enquired, casting Eliza a glance and then looking back at his grandfather.

Eliza slumped against the car and blinked sleepily.

Zachery suddenly straightened and the air about him seemed to swell with authority and he didn’t look like a frail old man anymore.

“Drugs kicked in,” he said and tossed his tea out to the roadside. “Get her in the car.”

Eliza heard the words trickle into her brain as Jason left the tire and grabbed her. She tried to force her body to co-operate but it refused to do so and she was limp in his arms as he walked her back to the car and settled her inside. He buckled her in as her head lolled and she tried to get her cell phone from her pocket. He got to it first and smiled at her. “Can’t have you calling for help,” he said and his face was blurry and his words were distant. “There’s someone who wants to meet you, Dr Danvers.”

Eliza fought against her rising panic and the drugs in her system as he gently laid a blanket over her and shut the door. She fumbled for the door handle only to find it locked, probably with the child proof lock, and as her hands felt heavy she let them drop to the top of the blanket.

She hadn’t said her last name, and she hadn’t said she was a Dr. Oh, shit, she thought to herself as her vision went black and her head rolled forward.

Eliza came too slowly, dimly aware of the music playing and the rumble of the car beneath her. She grunted and tried to lift her head but it was heavy and it was easier for her to rest it on her chest. The area there was damp, evidence she’d been out for a while, and had been drooling.

The song ended and the radio hosts started talking about the current top news story in National City; Lena Luthor and Supergirl evidently being friends. Eliza listened even as she tried to look about her and get in control of her body. She recognised the signs on the highway and blinked confused, she was being returned to National City. She forced her head to the side so that she could try to see through to the front of the car and peered at the clock.

It was six thirty, so she should have made it home by now and would have sent a text off to Alex to let her know she arrived safely- it was a habit she had given to her children and she did the same, especially after the weekend. So she figured Alex hadn’t gotten her text and was out looking for her, or at least aware she was missing. Soon she’d have Kara out looking as well, so she just had to be patient and wait.

“ah, so you’ve finally woken up! Had us worried there for a moment,” Zachery, if that was his real name, said as he glanced back in the mirror and saw her.

“Sorry about all this,” he said and waved his hand around vaguely, but Eliza could guess what he meant. “It’s nothing personal.”

“Isss ffffells pessnal,” Eliza grunted out, through an unmoving mouth and lips.

“Hm?” Zachery asked and cast her another glance in the mirror. “It is just business, but if you co-operate you’ll make this easier on yourself.”

“We have a few rules,” Jason said and turned around to look at her as Zachery drove.

“Mostly, we just need to keep you with us, alive and mostly intact, until we get to our destination… how pleasant the journey is, is up to you,” he flashed her a boyish smile but she wasn’t charmed by it.

“We don’t want to draw attention to ourselves, or you, and we certainly don’t want you screaming for help or any such nonsense.” He turned back and grabbed something out of the glove box and showed her it. It was a hand gun.

“This is a tranquiliser… I don’t want to use it, carrying people around gets noticed, but I will use it if I have to,” his amused eyes grew serious again. “I also have the real thing. Don’t give me cause to use it.”

Zachery took the off ramp into the city and Eliza looked out the window to see where they were, just in case.

“Second,” Jase continued. “Please don’t talk. We know you have a….friend…. with special talents that has interest in your safety and return, and we don’t want her to find us.”

“We’ll give you instructions and you follow them and everybody’s happy, okay? Just nod in agreement for now. The drugs might take a while to leave your system. Are you thirsty?”

Eliza was willing to kill for a drink but she kept her gaze measured and stared him down.

“Suit yourself,” he said and shrugged, turning back to face the front.

“Take-out?” He enquired of Zach and the elder man nodded.

“McDonald’s?”

“Sure, we have plenty of time.”

They drove a few blocks and then Zachery pulled into the drive through.

“If you call for help, or do anything to indicate you aren’t with us willingly, I swear,” Jase emphasised. “You’ll regret it.”

As much as Eliza may have wanted to protest or shout for help or do anything to show she had been kidnapped her body was unmoving and her mouth struggled to form words.

“Burger or wrap?” Zachery asked as he guided the car to a halt. There was a long line to wait, but they had time.

“Burger, duh,” Jase said. “Oooh, I feel like a sundae as well. You hungry, Dr?” He enquired and Eliza glared at him.

“Yes or no. Nod or shake- yes?”

Eliza had nodded.

“Burger combo?” Eliza nodded again.

“Beef or chicken? Fish? Right-o, beef it is.” He asked her what burger she’d like, and she just agreed with the first one, and he went with Coke for the drink.

“Now, are you a chocolate fan, Dr? I mean, I personally hate it on a sundae, its too rich, but this old man loves it,” he jabbed his thumb at Zachery who shot him a look but put the car into gear and inched forward. “Don’t know why,” Jase continued but the way he spoke now wasn’t with familiar affection, it was respectful sure, but not loving. So maybe they weren’t related.

They pulled up next in line and Zachery grew serious again. “Don’t make a move you’ll regret, Dr,” he warned and Eliza nodded. She couldn’t make her body move even if she wanted to, she was just getting control of her hands and arms, but her legs were still immobile. She would then have to open the door, but that was child-locked from the outside, so she wasn’t getting out. She could scream for help, but she could sense the danger in the men in front of her, the calm and collected way they spoke about killing and knew they would likely go through with their promise of her regretting moving.

She kept quiet. She kept quiet as Zachery ordered for the three of them, getting another combo for some reason. She kept quiet as he drove forward and paid. And she kept quiet as their food was handed to them and the slightly frazzled drive-through staff sent them on their way.

The heavy scent of take-out made her stomach grumble and Jase was already trying to cram as many fresh fries into his mouth as possible and he groaned in delight.

“Your vehicle has had it’s tire replaced and will be left outside your house in Midvale,” Zachery said as they continued through the streets. “Your cell-phone will be left in the glove box. We sent a message to your daughter. Sorry.”

Eliza felt her heart sink. Alex wasn’t looking for her, neither was Kara. These people could do whatever they wanted to her and no one would even know where to start looking. It was a terrifying thought.

Her body as starting to awaken from its forced slumber and she started to curl her fingers and toes in an attempt to get them moving faster.

They wound their way through the city and Jase tapped his fingers on his jeans to one of the new songs and they drove and she could hear what sounded like an airfield getting closer. She was right and they soon pulled the National City Airport. Zachery scanned an ID and entered a pass-code and soon they were driving along the airfield and into a private hanger. It wasn’t very loud inside the hanger but she knew that even if she did scream and Kara was listening for her, she’d be hard pressed to hear her over the sound of a busy airport.

Jase got out and jogged over to the doors to shut them and left a partial gap. Zachery turned to Eliza. “Please don’t scream or beg or try to run away. Our employer will be here soon. Then you will be free to go.”

He hesitated and then looked at her. “You can talk now, but…silence is golden.”

Eliza swallowed and tore the blanket off her, it was getting hot under it.

As she unbuckled her belt with fumbling fingers Zachery opened her door and took a few steps back and then went to the rear of the car and opened the boot. As she got out on unsteady legs Jase and Zach got out a camping chair and table set and started to set it up.

She braced herself against the car and looked around. The hanger was empty, but it had all of the equipment to maintain and take care of a small private plane.

“Here. Sit,” Jase instructed and went back to the front of the car to get her combo.

Eliza obeyed, tottering a little and stumbling but she eventually collapsed on the chair. Jase tossed her burger and fries combo on the table and took a sip of his drink.

“It’s not drugged this time, promise,” he said and leant against the car. “She on her way?” He enquired and Zachery nodded.

Eliza was hesitant but very thirsty and she had seen the staff hand her drink over and had not seen Jase or Zach put anything in it, so she carefully drew it forward.

It was the most delicious thing she had ever drunk and she quickly sipped a good half of it in less than half a minute. Then she turned to the burger. Even cold it was amazing and she ate quickly but neatly. Zach was on his phone and making his way through his own combo and Jase had taken out his guns and started to clean one, keeping the other in reach of him and almost daring Eliza to lunge for it with his eyes. She did not. She had a feeling he would get to it before she did and would likely make her suffer for it.

They had been waiting about half an hour when there was a different rumble to the sounds of the aeroplanes and Jase took out his gun and straightened from where he’d been lounging on a chair.

Zachery looked at his watch and grunted. “Right on time. Atta girl,” he said and a motor-bike drove in through the small gap in the door and across the empty concrete towards them.

Jase was still wary and kept his eyes on the stranger but did move from his position even as the bike came to a halt and the rider clicked the stand up. The purr of the engine echoed in the empty hanger a moment and the silence seemed odd.

“Haz, you know how I feel about guns.” To Eliza’s shock a female voice came out of the helmet and she lifted her hands to it to unbuckle it.

Zachery shrugged and Jase clicked his safety back on and tucked the gun back into his holster.

“It’s better to be prepared, aint it?” he protested and crossed his arms.

The woman removed her helmet and Eliza gasped as she saw the raven locks and bright green eyes of a very familiar person.

“I apologise for meeting like this,” Lena Luthor began and rested her helmet on her handle bars. Eliza was irate.

“How dare you-“ she began rising to her feet and ignoring the warning look Zachery shot her.

“Quite easily, I assure you, Dr,” Lena said and unzipped her jacket a little. “It was truly no trouble. When we leave I suggest you look into your personal security, if only to save your daughters any stress.”

“What the fuck is this?” Eliza demanded and ignored the potential threat to her children. “You kidnapped me!”

“I needed to speak with you and this seemed the easiest way to go about it… especially as your…association with Supergirl and the DEO.”

“You-“ Eliza suddenly realised. “You’re the one who sent me the letter and the kryptonite and everything….”

Lena nodded. “I could hardly come forward as myself…. Imagine the outcry,” Lena said bitterly. “A Luthor with supernatural abilities affected by the only known substance to harm the Super’s…. I’d be thrown in jail or worse….”

Lena trailed off and sighed. “I- I just need some answers and Kara said you helped Superman… so I thought that maybe you could help me.”

Eliza swallowed her rage at how lost the young Luthor looked, but kept her guard up and narrowed her eyes in suspicion.

“What else can you do?”

Lena looked over at Zachery and he nodded and straightened and walked away, gesturing for Jase to follow him. Their departing footsteps were offset by the sound of music starting to play from Jase’s phone.

Turning back to Eliza Lena cocked her head to the side. “Before we get into that I need to know where you stand. If you choose not to help me your memory will be erased and you will be returned home. Unharmed. I promise. But if you do choose to help me I will grant you access to my full medical files, my resources as CEO and as a Luthor, and of course, I will pay you for your work…but you will need to keep quiet about it. I-“ Lena hesitated and swallowed. “I don’t want anyone else to know….at least unless I tell them… and you can’t tell Kara,” Lena said and lifted her head, eyes suddenly intense. “She’ll want Supergirl to help me and I-can’t,” Lena said finally. “I can’t.”

Eliza was silent a moment before nodding slowly. “Just….” Lena’s head rose and she tilted her head curiously. “Answer me one question… no, make that two…”

“Of course,” Lena said agreeably.

“What do you feel for Kara?” It was a sudden question, obviously unexpected by the way Lena’s eyes widened and she blinked in surprise.

“Kara?” A smile curled Lena’s lips, unbidden and her eyes warmed. “Your Kara? Kara-Kara?”

“Yes,” Eliza answered, but she could see Lena’s answer in her eyes, it was written all over her face.

“I care very deeply for Kara,” Lena said softly, shyly, carefully. And she was smiling gently. “She is…. The kindest and bravest and sweetest soul I have ever met and every moment spent with her is a moment not wasted. She’s,” Lena smiled and shook her head. “There aren’t enough words to describe Kara. Her heart is just,” Lena lifted her hands as though the size were immeasurable. “Kara is a light…. One I never want to see dimmed and out of my life.” Lena blinked a moment and then turned serious again.

“And your second question?”

“Supergirl,” Eliza said and watched for the display of emotion across Lena’s features. “What are your intentions towards Supergirl?”

She was surprised, obviously but then her eyes narrowed and she sighed. “This again? Perhaps I didn’t make myself very clear last night,” she said firmly. “But my thoughts on all aliens are neither here nor there. I admit that I am afraid of the abilities of many of them, and so I should be. So should we all, of beings with that much power. But,” Lena emphasised and her eyes were flashing and it reminded Eliza of Kryptonite. “I don’t want to see anyone harmed or killed or imprisoned or, worse, just because of their biology.” Lena took a steadying breath. “I want humanity to have weapons and even prisons to defend against and contain such threats….. but… only once they become threats.”

Lena locked her eyes on Eliza’s. “As long as Supergirl, and Superman,” she added. “Continue to view protecting earth and its inhabitants as their duty they’ll receive no opposition from me. I do just want to help. I always have.”

Eliza sighed and took a moment to think it through. By her words she had realised that Lena didn’t yet know who Kara was, but she still seemed very defensive of her, so it was doubtful Lena was willing to hurt Kara. But, she was willing to go to war with the Super’s, and she was a Luthor, but only if they did something to hurt humanity… which, was fair. Fairer than she had expected from someone with the last name of Luthor.

“I am actually growing fond of Supergirl,” Lena said, and looked startled she had said it but she kept her gaze clear and Eliza didn’t sense any deception.

“I,” Lena sighed and rubbed her face tiredly. “I’m just tired…. Can we just… can you just view me as a patient and help me? Without our…. My,” she said slowly, “family name getting involved? I do need your help, you are one of the best in the world… and I don’t really want to go to another Dr with Kryptonite. Just in case.”

Eliza sat in silence for a moment and thought it through before lifting her eyes. Lena looked uncharacteristically nervous as she waited for an answer.

“Two conditions,” Eliza said eventually and Lena straightened. She was furious, there was no doubt about that, if she could breathe fire she was certain the hanger would be in flames but… Lena looked so lost and desperate and she wondered if anyone had ever helped the young Luthor out, just because they could. She had been following her a little, especially once Kara started to interact with her, and may have also followed her on social media, just in case. Kara had also talked about her…. Talked about her a lot and she was always smiling when she did so. So there was something there…something more than friendship maybe, or at least on Kara’s end, even if she didn’t know it.

Lena didn’t seem like her brother so perhaps she did just want to help. And… she didn’t seem like she had hostile intentions, kidnapping aside, but they had treated her well.

“First. I want to know all you have on Superman, Supergirl, and Krypton… all of it. Every last word and rock. I want what Lex had.”

Lena nodded slowly. “I can give you access to what I have, but I don’t even know where Lex kept all of his.”

“Fair. Second,” Eliza said and her tone grew serious and she could feel her protective instincts rising to the surface. “If I find anything I don’t like, any weapons or information that you can use to hurt the Super’s… I walk…. I won’t talk… but I walk.”

“Agreed. Though,” Lena hesitated. “Does Superman’s identity count?”

Eliza blinked. “You know who he is?”

Lena scoffed. “Of course I do. I do enjoy teasing him with it whenever he asks for an interview.” Lena grinned, a definite Luthor grin. “I don’t think he’s figured it out yet.”

Eliza didn’t have much to say on that, her thoughts on Clark Kent were…. Tinged with bitterness over how he abandoned Kara.

“Also….” She waited until she had Lena’s full attention and her features turned serious again. “If I think you have any intention of harming anyone, human or alien or animal, I walk…. And I talk. I’ll tell J’onn and the DEO and Alex. Heck, I’ll even tell the media.”

Lena’s eyes had narrowed at the threat but she kept her features carefully blank. Her eyes seemed searching, but Eliza was fairly certain the only thing she was giving off was a protective vibe.

“Do we have a deal, Dr?” She asked eventually, straightening regally.

“Do we?” Eliza countered and Lena inclined her head.

“Yes.” She held out her hand to shake on it. “Where would you like to start?

Eliza shook her hand and then frowned. “I’d like to get home, first of all. And I want all of your notes and research,” she said.

“Would you object to relocating to National City for the moment? My responsibilities keep me here. I would take care of the arrangements, of course.”

Eliza thought for a moment. “Give me a few days and then I’ll move here until we are finished.”

Lena nodded in agreement and cast a glance down to Zach and Jase before looking back at Eliza.

“So, apart from regeneration under Kryptonite, what else can you do?” Eliza’s eyes were sparking with interest and Lena felt her own scientific mind rise and fought a smile.

“Let’s find out,” she smiled.

“Oh, and don’t think I’ve forgotten the kidnapping, by the way,” Eliza’s voice was sharp and Lena ducked her head, apologetic and chastened.

“I am sorry about that. I just needed to make sure you wouldn’t be followed or tell anyone,” Lena said sincerely.

“What makes you think I wouldn’t just tell you what you wanted to hear?”

Suddenly Lena grinned, and it was a Luthor grin. “Let’s leave that for the moment, Dr Danvers. I’m sure you’re tired. I’ll have Zach take you to a hotel?”

Eliza sighed, resigned. “Fine, but I’ll be seeing you tomorrow.”

Lena ducked her head. “I have no plans for the weekend. I’ll show you everything I have and then arrange for you to be taken home. Would you prefer to fly or drive or be driven?”

“Fly,” Eliza answered. She wanted to get home as soon as possible so she could organise her absence and temporary relocation to National City. She had actually been considering making the move permanent as her daughters were both here and she would like to see them more often, this little trial would be a good test to see how she liked the city… plus she could keep an eye on Lena Luthor.

She hadn’t forgotten the way Kara had acted once she had seen Lena off last night. Didn’t miss the goofy, happy smile, or the way she virtually floated above the ground. Alex had to warn Kara that Maggie was still here for her youngest daughter to come back to herself and settle on the floorboards, but she had been grinning and dopey and happy all night, so they had figured something had happened, and she figured it was because of the woman who smiled when she spoke her daughters name.

Lena Luthor wouldn’t have been Eliza’s first choice for Kara, but…. The CEO seemed smitten and her daughter certainly talked enough about Lena for her to realise that her youngest felt something for the CEO. She just hoped that if and when Lena found out about Kara and Supergirl that her affection and love for her would be enough to see them through the tough times on the horizon.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Come in Supergirl,’ Alex said in her ear and Kara grunted in acknowledgement as she threw a punch at the newest alien threat to National City.

A group of D’atherian’s. The one before her was seven, eight feet of wiry muscle and was the largest she’d ever seen. It was scaled like a snake and loped along on two legs, unnatural but with an animalistic grace. If Kara had to describe it she would say it was like a human dinosaur hybrid, with snakelike skin and black, fathomless eyes. It had poisonous claws, capable of shutting the human body down if they got so much as a scratch, and were sharper than steel. They were less sentient than other races, and were often hired muscle. This one had been in the middle of robbing a bank with it’s Clan when Supergirl had interrupted.

Mum’s moving here. Did you know?’

“I’m a little busy at the moment, Alex,” Kara said as she dodged to avoid a sweeping attack that would have sent her to the opposite wall had it hit her. She darted towards the ceiling and then something collided with her and she went tumbling to the marble floor with a crash.

Groaning she looked up to see another one standing over her, lifting its great paw/hand and thrusting it towards her head as its body morphed back into its black scales. She’d forgotten they were able to turn their skins into their background, it was why they made such excellent guard dogs, you didn’t even know they were there until you were dead.

Cursing she dove out of the way and rolled to her feet. “How many of you are there!?” She whined and quickly spun to catch another one and let out her frustrations on his face. He let out a screeching hiss of pain and stumble back.

‘I know… it’s just…. It’s a bit sudden, don’t you think?’ Alex continued and she could hear her moving in her seat, hear the whirl of the engine beneath her as the DEO sent agents to back Supergirl up.

“She’s been talking about it for a while,” Kara offered as she shot into the air and fired her heat vision at one of the aliens. It hit it and it feel to the ground smoking and groaning, but not grievously injured. Kara flew at one of the pillars holding the bank up and used her momentum to guide her around it and then slammed her feet into the oncoming D’artherian. Alex hummed, perhaps in agreement, as the D’artherian hissed in furry and pain and stumbled back to the earth and glared up at her. A pair of them were already dragging bags of gold from the vault and Kara intercepted them, punching left and right and taking a few blows herself as she fought them.

ETA Thirty seconds,’ Alex said and she could hear the roar of the vehicles as they approached the bank.

“If it makes you feel better, at least she’ll be here where we can keep an eye on her,” Kara said as she flew in to engage with one, hand to claw/paw. They were very strong, and she felt her muscles strain at the pressure but she held fast and kicked out with her feet. It was like kicking steel in the training room under the Kryptonite emitters, nothing gave, expect her leg began to ache.

Growling she focused her eyes and fired her vision directly into its chest. Howling it released her and she took the brief respite to grab and throw it into the ground, leaving it to rest in a sizeable crater.

The thudding of boots and the spitting of guns announced the arrival of her backup and with the DEO’s help, Supergirl soon had the aliens in custody. The bank director was torn between being thankful for her arrival and the subsequent safety of her bank and the riches inside, and furious at the mess their duel had left behind. Kara quickly left the scene, trusting the DEO would take care of the legal matters and rebuild. She was fine, powers still operating, so Alex was fine to let her go home.

She pondered her role as she soared through the air. She mostly just showed up, beat things up, contained them until the DEO arrived, and then left. Her sister and her colleagues took care of the financial mess she tended to leave in her wake, and saw to the imprisonment and debriefing of the aliens. Heck, they even went to court when called for, for the human trials. It was difficult, Kara reflected, being a bad-guy in National City. Kara could see and hear and stop everything that she wanted to, no suspect ever had a chance… it was rather unfair of her. Still, she helped a lot of people and she didn’t have to clean up the mess or foot the bill, which was nice. She wasn’t really held accountable, not really. The only reason she got away with it was because she was Super human, an alien, and the humans loved her, for the most part anyway.

She returned to her apartment and was quick to get changed. Lena was coming to see her soon. The thought made her smile and she was still smiling as she stepped into the shower, showered, dried and got changed.

Hearing Lena’s heartbeat got closer, which was not creepy, she just knew the heartbeats of the people she knew well and could pick them out, Lena’s just happened to be one of them, she put down her brush and checked her reflection in the mirror. Hair? Check. It was in a ponytail. Glasses? Check, she thought as she adjusted them on her nose. Clothes? She glanced down to see casual black jeans and a long sleeved blouse covered by a cardigan. Check.

Smiling at herself she paused and then looked intently in the mirror.

Knowing she had a while until Lena text her she opened her drawer and grabbed one of her rarely used tubes of lip gloss and gently coated her lips. Her phone buzzed and she knew it was Lena and she was grinning as she snatched her phone, her messenger bag, and her keys. She locked the door behind her and happily jogged down the hall and towards the stairs. She could take the elevator, but running was faster.

She may have relied on her super athletic skills to get to the ground floor faster than usual, but she wasn’t about to tell Alex that.

Almost flying through her apartment building door she came to a halt as she arrived at the top of the steps.

Lena was leaning casually against a familiar black motorcycle with her eyes on her phone. Her helmet was on her seat with another one next to it and she lifted her eyes when she heard the door shut behind Kara. Kara instantly felt her breath leave her at Lena’s welcoming smile and the warmth in her eyes.

“Kara,” she smiled and straightened and Kara blankly walked down the steps. The large SUV David had taken to driving since the threats on Lena’s life was parked in the loading Zone and Vince waved cheerfully from the front seat.

Kara waved back and then looked at Lena.

“Lena! Hey… um…,” Kara scratched her head and looked Lena over.

The breeze was tickling strands of her long, dark hair and drawing it across her face and she brushed it back and smiled warmly as Kara got closer. Her motorcycle jacket looked like it was the one that Mr. Mallory had given to her and she could see a shirt collar peeking out from under it. She was wearing black jeans and had new boots on as well.

“Up for a ride?” Lena asked and offered her a helmet. Kara blinked at it a moment, still trying to recover from seeing Lena in leather and hesitantly took it. She cast a glance at the SUV behind them, waiting patiently.

“I had to compromise,” Lena said, laugh entering her voice. “Vince wasn’t happy that I-“ she cut off abruptly and looked at something over Kara’s shoulder. “He doesn’t want me out by myself. I wanted to ride…so we compromised.”

Kara examined the inside of the helmet and saw it was hardly worn and then looked back at Lena.

“Bella’s out there as well…. Just in case I decided to break the speed limit,” Lena said sourly, as though she had quite intended to do that and wasn’t pleased she’d have a baby-sitter for it.

Kara frowned at her and she sighed.

“I know it sounds spoiled and bratty, especially as I hired them to protect me, but sometimes I want my own space.”

Kara just gave her a look and took the helmet and jammed it on her head. It fit well, and she could hear her blood rushing in her ears, and it sounded like the ebb and rise of the ocean. Lena was trying to hold back her smile and bit her lip and then reached out to help Kara tighten the straps. She blinked up at the Luthor as she opened the visor so she could see.

“There. You look cute,” Lena commented with a shy smile and then hurriedly turned back to her helmet. She put it on and tied the straps before pulling her gloves on.

“Where are we going?” Kara asked and Lena shook her head.

“You said it was important,” Kara pointed out as Lena straddled the bike and lifted the stand up. She turned it on with the press of a button and it rumbled into life, purring quietly in idle.

“It is,” Lena said and her face was a bit scrunched up by the foam on the inside of the helmet. “You’ll see when we get there.”

Kara sighed and eyed the bike a moment.

“It’ll be fine, Kara,” Lena said gently, green eyes concerned. “I’ll keep you safe.”

Kara knew it would be fine, she was Supergirl, of course it would be. What she didn’t want to tell Lena was that she was more apprehensive about being pressed up against Lena and with her arms around her than she was of the motorbike.

“Okay…” she said quietly, more to herself than anything, but Lena heard it and the resulting smile made Kara’s heart twist.

Swallowing, and glad no one could see how nervous she was, she put down her visor and hesitantly got on to the bike behind Lena.

“You’ll have to come closer, Kara,” Lena said as she straightened and talked over her shoulder.

Kara hesitantly eased forward and swore she could feel the heat from the brunette in front of her burning through their jeans. She swallowed again, mouth suddenly dry.

“You can hold me,” Lena said, sounding amused, but Kara could hear the way her heart was thumping wildly.

Kara inched forward until she was pressed against Lena and was half thankful she had her bag between them, and half disappointed.

“Um, can you move your bag. Please?” Lena asked and cleared her throat and Kara could hear the blood rush through her body at the request.

“Su-re,” she stammered and quickly shifted her bag so it was at her side and not between them. It probably was a bit big for that. After all, it did contain her Super suit.

She took a moment to adjust the straps so it was firm against her body and wouldn’t be pulled by the wand then slowly slid her arms around Lena. She wasn’t sure whose heart was beating the loudest, her’s had quickened to match Lena’s.

“Ready?” Lena asked, and the question made Kara’s heart twirl with how breathless Lena sounded.

She nodded and when she realised Lena couldn’t see her, she lifted her hand up in a thumbs up gesture.

Lena patted her hand, pulled her visor down, and then shifted on the bike and Kara lifted her legs up. Lena braced them a moment and Kara caught her turning her head to check for traffic before they were gunning it out into the street.

Kara reflectively tightened her grip and Lena took her hands of the handles a moment to squeeze her hand before returning it to the steering. Kara just held her tighter and was thankful that Lena seemed confident enough to drive with one hand even though it was very dangerous.

Lena obeyed the road rules perfectly, ducking in and out of traffic with the ease of a pro and Kara felt some of her tension ease. Lena knew what she was doing, that would lessen the chance of her getting hurt. She was the model driver at least until she hit the motorway heading out of town. Kara could feel the body in front of her gearing up and felt her heart flutter in excitement, but Lena waited until they were gliding along the highway, David and Vince shadowing them, before she turned her head and shouted into the wind.

“Do you want to go faster?”

Kara heard her easily, and knew what Lena wanted, so she tightened her grip and offered Lena a thumbs up again.

She heard Lena’s heart trip over itself and felt the movement in her body before the bike rumbled and roared forward, tearing forward like a horse from the gate.

Wind lashed at them as they shot along the highway and Kara just hoped that there were no police or police cameras otherwise Lena would get into trouble. The pavement flew by beneath them as Lena wove in and out of cars and out of no-where another bike caught up to them.

Lena cast the driver a glance before sighing, but Kara was quick to use her x-ray vision just in case the rider was a threat. It was Bella and she could see the woman’s grin through her visor and then she was shooting ahead, lifting the bike on to two wheels.

Lena laughed and it was beautiful and she zoomed up behind the body guard and then wound around her and further down the highway. After a few moments of excessive speed, and Kara was Supergirl, she knew what speed was a good and safe speed, Lena relaxed off the throttle and gradually slowed them down.

It was almost effortless the way she guided them between the cars and it felt like they were hardly moving at all and then she sudden eased off completely and gently squeezed the breaks. It took Bella a moment to match them but when she did the two bikes were going an acceptable speed as they rounded the corner and a patrol car eased up onto the motorway.

Kara released a breath she didn’t realise she’d been holding and thanked Rao that Lena had slowed down when she did, otherwise they may have been in a police chase because she had a feeling that Lena wasn’t about to stop. Supergirl had been called for a few police chases, especially when it looked like it could get ugly, ugly being someone dying or getting grievously injured, so she did not want Alex ringing her and asking her to go stop a motorcycle on the highway. Awkward. She wasn’t sure how she would explain that one to her sister.

They followed the motorway for a while, Kara just content to hold on to Lena and Lena just happy to be out on the road, and then they took an off ramp into a small town, if you could call it that. It was basically just a diner, truck stop, petrol and service station, and a little corner dairy.

Lena took the main road through town and then wound her way towards the countryside, away from the massive highway.

They drove for another half hour or so before Lena took another road, or more like a gravel driveway, towards a building with big fences around it and danger signs pined to the wire.

Kara felt anxiousness uncurl in her belly. Why was Lena bringing her to a gun range? Bella drove in beside them so that the dirt wouldn’t be in her face and the two bikes drove slowly up to the parking. There was only one vehicle in the car park, a large four-door ute that screamed ‘American’ and the sign on the door said closed, so did the one back down at the driveway where the shooting range logo and sign was.

Lena glided them to a halt and turned the bike off and kicked the stand down before settling and removing her gloves. Kara was quick to get off the seat, even as the dust kicked up from their tires waved its way across the gravel.

“A shooting range?” She asked bemused as Lena swung her leg over the side. Bella slid to a stop on the gravel and dismounted and started to stretch.

“Yeah,” the CEO replied and pulled her helmet free. She took a moment to roughen her hair and had Kara’s complete attention from the moment she shook it free to the moment she paused, fingers still curled in her long, thick, dark hair, to look at her curiously.

Kara flushed and tore her eyes off the vision that was Lena Luthor with tussled hair and a breathless smile and glowing eyes and leather.

Vince and David pulled in behind them a few minutes later as the three stretched and Kara fought the urge to ask what they were doing here.

After a moment’s thought Lena spoke. “I don’t like guns,” she said suddenly eyes on her interlocked fingers as she rested her weight against one of the pillars near the front door. The sign still said it was closed, but Kara could hear a heat-beat and soft music inside so she knew someone was here.

David took a large case from the back of the SUV and carried it across the gravel and he looked like something out of a film, dark glasses and clothes and carrying a silver case. It looked like it could have held drugs or money or diamonds or some bio-weapon.

Kara fought the urge to lower her glasses and examine it, she didn’t want to risk Lena catching her do that. The Luthor was smart, genius actually, and would soon be able to figure her secret out, especially if she gave her such a large hint.

Lena pressed her lips together in a slight smile and walked towards the door. She was shorter without her heels on, but only by a little as she was wearing boots that had probably been designed for the runway and cost more than Kara’s weekly wage.

The door opened easily and Bella slid in first and went back into ‘work mode;’ scanning the scene for any potential threats. The amount of guns inside would have made Alex drool. There were big guns, little guns, guns you expected someone with a serious grudge to have, and guns that you could hide easily in a purse. Some were showcased on the wall and others were on stands all around the room. At the top of the wall there were animal heads and skins and trophy pictures and even targets with holes near or on the middle. There were display cases and security doors and holsters and cleaning and maintenance kits and even scopes, barrels and silencers. To the far end there was brand hunting gear; clothes, boots, glasses.

There was a beefy older white guy at the counter and he had a large rifle on the counter and was rubbing it down with a cloth and some oil and it was sharp to Kara’s nose.

He ran his eyes over them all before nodding in greeting and reaching down under the counter. There was a click and a door rolled open with a thud and Lena nodded politely and headed straight for it. Kara cast him a glance, imprinting him to memory, just in case, and followed Lena in confusion.

Lena led the way as though she had walked it many times and soon they were arriving at the indoor shooting range of the complex. Instead of heading to the front where glass and steel dividers kept the shooters apart from each other, with benches in front of them for ammunition and weapons, and a hook for earmuff’s, Lena flicked a few buttons and pressed a few keys and then they were inside. Inside the actual range where the targets were. It was a long and blank space with a few shots in the walls on either side but a great many holes down the end and it looked like it was repaired or replaced frequently.

David set the case down and wandered over to the wall, sticking behind the two, just in case. Bella and Vince stood with him and watched.

Lena looked down at the case a moment and then lifted her gaze with a sigh.

“Kara. I-“ she hesitated and shook her head. “I don’t like guns,” she said softly and then gave a soft shrug. “I know how that sounds, being who I am and where we are but-“

“I get it,” Kara interrupted wanting to do something to make the shadows in Lena’s eyes fade. “I don’t like guns either.”

Lena smiled at her, a brief pressing of her lips, nothing like her true smile, and then her features turned serious. Kara studied the curves of her jaw and the contours of her lips as she added, “I hate guns. I hate designing them and I especially hate using them…. That being said,” she said firmly. “I am aware of their importance, to both this country and the world, and know how vital they are.”

Kara blinked, she had never figured a Luthor for a being anti-weapons, but she was wondering what Lena was getting at.

“I-,” Lena cut herself off abruptly and sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. “I don’t design guns,” she said softly. “Not anymore. They’re always pure theory….until their not… and I don’t want to be responsible for something that is designed to kill.”

Kara didn’t know if she liked where this was heading and tensed, ready for anything.

“I-,” Lena paused again and hew jaw rippled and she took a moment to draw her thoughts. Kara was just ready for her to blurt it out, she couldn’t take the tension any more.

“I don’t believe that they are good or bad, not really…intention is everything after all,” she was gazing over Kara’s shoulder to the wall as she added, “it’s how you use them that matters…that is the judge of what is and is not just…”

“Lena,” Kara said softly and gently reached out her hand to touch Lena’s when she went quiet for a long moment. The CEO started as though she had forgotten where she was and that she was not alone.

“I don’t, not anymore,” she said and shook herself. But… I need you to be safe.”

Kara blinked. It sounded like….

Lena bent down and pressed her print to the case and the lid clicked open and she lifted it to reveal a small hand gun and a magazine of glowing blue bullets. If she were to name the colour she would call it electric, a blue as blue as the ocean but glowing like the moon.

“I-forgive me if I have over-stepped,” Lena said carefully, and wrung her hands together as Kara stared down at the gun nestled between foam. “I-,” Lena huffed and took a deep breath. “You matter to me, Kara.” Lena began nervously and Kara finally tore her eyes from the gun to look at the visibly apprehensive CEO. “I care for you a great deal and I-,” she cut herself off with a low growl and ran her fingers through her hair and shook her head a little, pressing her curled fingers flat against her scalp.

Kara was still mute in shock.

“I care about you,” Lena said quickly, as though she could force the confession out, or limit its magnitude. “A lot. And I want you to stay safe. To be safe,” she said and her hands were moving at chest level, speaking a language of their own. “I know you aren’t mine, or, or I have any right to do this but- I want you to be safe and you aren’t safe. Not with who you associate with.”

Lena suddenly pulled out her phone and tapped the password in. “Your and Supergirl’s association has not gone unnoticed,” she said hurriedly, clearly hoping to get her reasons out in the open as fast as possible. “I can show you comments on social media where it has been noticed, idle thoughts where people have wondered about your friendship, and if I can find it so can Supergirl’s enemies!”

Lena lowered the phone and her bright green eyes were darkened with loss. “I don’t want anything to happen to you… so I-um.. I built a gun?” She trailed off awkwardly and swallowed as Kara blinked and tried to understand what, exactly, had just happened.

“You,” she began and exhaled, loudly. “You made me a gun?”

Lena nodded, and then crouched down to pick it up and as she stood she held it out to Kara.

Kara didn’t take it. Lena hesitated and pulled it closer to her and then proceeded to list its specks and its tech and everything about it while Kara just stared blankly at Lena.

“It kills aliens?” Kara asked and that was what she was getting from all of this. Lena had designed a gun to kill aliens.

Lena hesitated and Kara felt her heart sink.

“Y-es,” she hedged. “But only with excessive firing. I designed it to stop aliens…any alien…” Lena trailed off and looked a little nervous. “I designed it to only stop any attacker, human or alien, and there are two settings. If you press for rapid fire it will be a half shot, minimal damage. It will bring down any human in a heart-beat when you change the setting…if you press and hold then… it will stun any other life form…. The longer you hold it, the more deadly the shot.”

Kara was still trying to wrap her mind around it. “You made me a gun, Lena,” she hissed, eyes wide. “That can kill aliens! What happens if this falls into the wrong hands? Or, or is copied or something? What then?”

Lena was calm now, oddly in control and it made Kara think of the CEO Lena Luthor, the one used to defending her technology and her words.

“It has a biometric scanner in the grip,” she said clearly, eyes drilling into Kara’s. “If you agree to take it I will scan your prints and it will only work for you.”

“That could be hacked,” Kara pointed out, wanting to focus more on protecting everyone else rather than her thoughts on Lena making her a gun.

Lena shook her head. “No. It can’t be. Any attempts will trigger its self-destruct, as well any attempt at opening it up, or removing the bullets. I wanted you to be sure of that.”

Kara hesitated and glanced down at the gun again.

“So I’m the only one that can fire it? And it will blow up if anyone tries to tamper with it?” Lena nodded on both counts.

“I know that I have no place in making something like this, especially after-“ she cut herself off and continued. “But I wanted to feel reassured that if one of Supergirl’s enemies tried to come after you, you would be safe. She can’t protect you all the time and I-“

“You thought you could?” Kara interrupted but it wasn’t done in malice, if anything there was a warmth in her chest.

Lena had taken a great risk, designing an alien stunning gun that had the potential to kill them, but she had done so, ignoring the risks of her company and reputation if it got out. L-Corp would be called out and Lena called a liar and all the work she had done to try and re-write her family name would be lost, and she had risked it for her, for Kara Danvers. She had also known how Kara felt about it and had made sure it couldn’t be duplicated or hacked, which made Kara feel better.

Lena was trying to protect her, she didn’t know she was fully capable of protecting herself, but she had done so the only way she knew how.

“I-I don’t want you to stop doing what you love,” Lena said, and her eyes caught and held Kara’s and it seemed like there was some other message in the depths of them. “But I want you to be safe while you do it…. And this was all I knew how…. I’m sorry if I overstepped but you mean so much to-“

Kara stepped forward and pulled Lena into an embrace and after a moment of surprise Lena returned the hug. She sighed and relaxed into Kara and Kara felt her press into the hug and could hear her own blood pressing forward, trying to get closer to Lena. Lena leant her head against Kara’s collar and curled into the embrace and Kara tightened her hold. She was tingling all over and was fairly certain she was blushing something chronic when she finally pulled way.

Lena met her eyes a moment, the green in them guarded. “You don’t mind?”

Kara smiled at her and hesitantly reached up and let her fingers hover above Lena’s cheek. Her blood sang at the close proximity and she swore she could feel Lena’s warmth sink in her fingertips and radiate inward. Lena shifted her head, just slightly and faltered and the tips Kara’s fingers touched the warm and soft flesh of the CEO’s cheek.

“When I went to college Eliza gave us pepper-spray,” Kara said, a fond smile playing on her lips and she let her fingers edge closer until the tips of them were light against Lena’s flesh. “It was powerful enough to bring down a bear, or so she said,” she added with a little laugh. “She was trying to protect me… just like you are….” And from Lena’s point of view she was trying to keep her safe, if a little misguided and unnecessary, but the intention to protect her, Kara, was there, and that was worth so much more than Lena could ever know. She wanted her to go out and do the things she wanted to, to help ‘Supergirl’ and write and find out the truth, but she wanted her to be safe while she did it. It was different than James and Winn and even Mon-El, who wanted to keep her safe by keeping her away from the things she cared for, or wanted to do. Lena trusted her to be safe, but wanted to help her.

Seeing no opposition in Lena’s eyes she gently ran her thumb across the sooo smooth and soft skin of Lena’s face.

Lena’s eyes fluttered closed and she pressed ever so slightly into the touch, heart racing.

Kara wet her lips and concentrated on imprinting the feel of Lena’s skin under her to her memory. It would remain selfishly guarded in the chest of her cherished memories, alongside the ones of Krypton, her parents, Alex, Eliza and Jeremiah, her friends, and of course, all the other memories she had of Lena.

“Thank you,” her voice was barely above a whisper and was more her breath falling over Lena’s lips than her words. Lena inhaled sharply and Kara inched forward a moment as though pulled by her breath closer to her lips. She hesitated, lips a few inches out from Lena’s and could hear the brunettes pulse in the chambers of her chest.

“Have you ever fired a gun before?” Lena asked and took a steadying breath and stepped back. Kara instantly missed the warmth beneath her fingers but she shook her head. Kara Danvers didn’t know guns, Supergirl did, but not Kara Danvers.

“I’ve asked David to show you the basics, if that’s okay?” Lena was still hesitant, as though she were over-stepping and Kara felt her heart go out to her. She seemed smaller and more vulnerable but earnest and eager to keep her safe and happy, and she wondered why no one else had never seen the light that the youngest Luthor had within in, just trying to break free.

But then she answered her own question. No-one saw past the Luthor name, and no-one took the time to get to know Lena, rather than Miss Luthor, CEO of L-Corp, and sister to Lex Luthor, alien hater. She nodded in response and adjusted her glasses nervously.

Lena crouched down and put the gun back in its case and clicked it shut. “If you are feeling confident enough I’ll key it to your prints later,” she said as she rose to her feet and smiled at Kara.

She was warm, Kara thought as she followed Lena back across the room and out of it, but she didn’t seem to know it. In fact Lena seemed fairly certain she was a true Luthor, for all that she postured about trying to change the world for the better and repay society for what her brother had done. She didn’t believe in herself, in her own goodness, no matter how she tried to distance herself from her last name. Kara steeled her shoulders as she passed through the doorway. She’d show Lena her own light if it was the last thing she did.

 

Chapter Text

 

“Welcome home!” The group of Alex, Kara, Maggie, James, Winn, J’onn, and Mon El cheered Eliza as she looked back at them. She raised her own glass in response and they all clinked glasses to celebrate the Dr’s move to National City.

Alex was still suspicious about it, or at least wary and wondering why it had happened so soon.

“I wanted it to be a surprise, Alex,” Eliza sighed and looked at her daughter fondly. Alex still wasn’t convinced.

“You should have said something! We would have helped you move,” she said and gestured between her and Kara, who was enjoying the peanuts offered by the bar and Kara nodded in agreement.

“But that would have ruined the surprise,” Eliza protested and took a sip of her beer. “Besides… I have it all sorted.”

“You’ll have to have a house warming,” Maggie suggested and picked a chip off the bowl just placed in front of her.

“Yeah!” Kara said animated. “It’s sssoooo flash!”

Eliza just smiled and shook her head. “I’m being set up while I work on this job,” she explained at Alex’s curious look. Her older daughter hadn’t seen her new apartment yet, but Kara had flown past and had nearly drooled at its luxury. It was as nice as Lena’s one.

“You haven’t said what that is,” Alex pointed out and lifted her beer to her lips.

“And I can’t,” Eliza shook her head. “Confidentiality.”

Her daughters pouted. “Can you at least give me a hint as to what you are working on?” Alex asked, slightly envious if she were to be honest. Her mother was one of the best in the world, so was her dad, and if she was personally asked to contribute to a project, and put up in a five-star apartment complex for the duration of it, then it was probably very important.

Eliza thought for a moment and tilted her head. “No,” she shook her head. “Sorry.”

Alex grunted and took a sip of her beer. “Best tell me as soon as you can,” she said and then eyed the bowl of chips.

“Are we gonna order or not?”

Their night was full of laugher and a lot of teasing and friendly ribbing and when it came time for them to go their separate ways Kara offered to ride home with her adoptive mother. Eliza kept casting her glances as she gazed out the window and she wondered what her daughter wanted to speak to her about.

They paid the Uber driver and were let into the apartment building. Kara was right when she had said it was nice. It was. Very nice, and in the heart of the CBD.

The security smiled politely as they walked in and to the elevator and Kara was rolling her fingers nervously and fidgeting. It was one of her youngest daughters more endearing traits and was a habit she’d had long before she got to Earth.

She swiped her entry card into her apartment and flicked on the lights.

“Wow,” Kara breathed as she took in the wooden floors, high ceiling, modern kitchen and living space, and the large glass windows that even had a small balcony.

Eliza left her bag and keys by the door and wandered into the kitchen and got a glass from the cupboard.

“Did you want a drink?” She asked and Kara shook her head and sat on one of the bar stools at the island while Eliza filled her glass with chilled water from the fridge.

Eliza leant against the island while Kara stared down at her fingers and waited for her to speak. When it became obvious that she wasn’t going to she opened the conversation.

“You remind me of Alex,” she said softly and Kara’s head snapped up. “When she tried to tell Jeremiah and I she traded her bike for a parrot for you, so you could teach it Kryptonese.”

Kara couldn’t help but smile at the memory. She hadn’t been on Earth very long then, and was feeling lonely and abandoned and Alex, her sweet and protective sister, had traded the bicycle she’d been wanting for months (apparently) to a kid at school for a parrot so Kara would have some company while she was at school. Eliza and Jeremiah hadn’t been impressed and had spoken with the parents of the other kid and exchanged the bike back, but had compromised and cut back their hours at work so that Kara would have some company. They had then taken family trips, fortnightly, to museums or art galleries or the cinema or even the countryside, just so Kara felt included and could learn. Those times were some of her favourite memories, even as they were almost crushed by the weight of her memories of Krypton.

“Just come out and say it. It’ll be okay,” she said gently and Kara sighed.

Then she straightened, bracing her shoulders and lifting her gaze to Eliza’s.

“The way you treated Lena,” she began, hesitating before rallying and Eliza internally sighed. So that was what this was about. “That wasn’t…. she’s my friend,” Kara said firmly and gave a little nod. “And I want her to feel welcomed and included and you just… you attacked her, Eliza.”

Carefully Eliza placed her glass on the bench and looked down into Kara’s eyes. There was confusion there, love, but also determination and even through the glasses her daughter looked like her moniker.

“She’s a Luthor,” Eliza began and lifted her hand to cut Kara off when she opened her mouth to protest, frown furrowing her brow.

“Whether you like it or not, she is,” Eliza emphasised and sighed. “She was raised in an environment where aliens were viewed as a threat, or at least, became viewed as a threat. Her brother tried to kill your cousin, and nearly succeeded, and killed a lot of people in his crusade.”

“Lena isn’t like Lex,” Kara defended firmly.

“No,” Eliza cut back. “She’s even more dangerous.” Eliza huffed and shook her head at herself for her little slip and then rallied. She couldn’t tell Kara why she was more dangerous or at least not the real reason, but she could tell her another reason.

Kara bristled at the accusation and then blinked confused and opened her mouth again.

“Because she has the power to break you, Kara. Not Supergirl, but you, Kara Zor-El Danvers.”

Eliza leant forward over the bench and offered her daughter her hand.

“You care about her, as much as any of your friends, and that is what makes her so dangerous. You are an alien, and she is a Luthor. Not only that, but you are a Super.”

Kara took her hand, almost absently. “I trust her! She’s my friend,” she replied and looked searchingly at her Earth mother. “She doesn’t want to hurt me!”

“If you truly trusted her, you would have told her who you are,” Eliza said gently and Kara didn’t have a response for that. Everyone who knew were either family, associated with Kal like James, or Winn, who she counted as her best friend for years. Truthfully she was starting to want to tell Lena who she was, or at least hint that she wasn’t technically human, just to test the waters, but had been too afraid.

“And I don’t think she wants to hurt Kara Danvers… Catco’s baby reporter… but you aren’t just Kara Danvers…. And I had to know where she stood.” Eliza hesitated and squeezed Kara’s hand. “I wanted you to see where she stood.” Kara tore her hand back. It stung, but she didn’t let that show. Her daughters eyes were wide with hurt.

“What does that mean?” Her voice was harsher than normal and her lip was quivering, in rage or with tears Eliza didn’t know.

“You care about her,” Eliza said and choose not to mention just how deeply she thought Kara cared for Lena. “That makes you blind to her faults.”

Kara’s jaw moved but she had no words.

“Have you talked about her alien views with her? As you or as Supergirl?”

Kara hesitated and shook her head and Eliza nodded slowly. “Why is that?” She asked gently and Kara’s shoulders slumped.

“She doesn’t-I mean, it’s not that she- she wants….” Kara trailed off and sighed, curling in on herself. “We haven’t really talked about it,” she confessed quietly. “I’m… to afraid to bring it up.”

Eliza slowly reached forward and took Kara’s hand again and held them gently, reassuringly. “Why?” Her voice was still gentle and a tear fell from Kara’s eyes.

“Because I don’t want her to reject me.” Her voice cracked and she swallowed. “What if she-I couldn’t bear it if-“

Kara sniffed and wiped at her eyes with her free hand and the hand in Eliza’s hold tightened to the point it was borderline painful.

“Oh, honey,” Eliza said softly and pulled away and caught Kara’s wounded look before she rounded the bench to come next to her.

“Come here,” she instructed and Kara fell into her embrace and let a few more tears fall and Eliza ran her hand up and down Kara’s back.

If and when you choose to tell her… she’d be an idiot to stop being your friend….” She waited until Kara choked a laugh and pulled back to smile at her through her tears. “And from what you’ve told me…. Lena Luthor is no idiot.”

Kara’s watery smile grew as it tended to do, Eliza had noticed, when she was talking about the youngest Luthor. Then it turned serious. “Okay…. Thanks…. But please don’t attack her like that again…” she lifted her hand to her glasses and suddenly looked like a sheepish child. “I-I want her to feel safe with me…”

Suddenly her cell started to ring and she glanced at it a moment before her eyes narrowed. “That’s Lena…” she said and quickly dug it from her pocket.

The gentle smile that rose to unbidden to her lips as she saw the caller ID confirmed Eliza’s suspicions. Her daughter had, at the very least, a crush. Eliza felt her heart pang and wondered if her daughter even knew.

“Miss Luthor,” she said and Eliza witnessed Kara change from bright and sunny Kara Danvers into the city’s fearless protector. “Is everything alright?”

Kara nodded to what she was hearing but her brows tightening in confusion. “Are you sure? I can- yeah, okay. Sure. See you soon.” She hung up and stared at her phone pensive and then shook herself.

“Lena want’s to talk to Supergirl,” she said and then looked at Eliza and bit her lip nervously. “Um… will you be okay here?”

Eliza had known Kara for over a dozen years, and recognised the look in her eyes, the one that said ‘I want that last pot-sticker,’ or ‘I’m craving ice-cream,’ or when she finally adjusted to her strength, ‘I need a hug.’ It was a look similar now, beneath the glasses and ponytail and nervous smile, it said pot-stickers, ice-cream, Alex and her family, it was a look that said, ‘I want to go home.’

Smiling gently she nodded and squeezed her daughters hand and let her go. “Go,” she instructed and Kara beamed at her and was gone, the only sign of her absence was the fluttering curtains by the balcony.

Sighing Eliza walked over to the balcony and gazed out into the night and wondered what she was going to do with her daughter and Lena Luthor. She hadn’t lied. Lena was far more deadly than Lex when it came to Kara. Kara kept her heart on her sleeve for the world to share, and most of the world returned the pieces of it with a fraction of themselves, and it only grew and grew and grew. But Kara had never given her heart to someone, not in its entirety, and Eliza worried into the night what ruin Lena Luthor could bring if she wasn’t careful with Kara’s heart.

 

Chapter Text

 

Lena paused where she was reviewing L-Corp’s latest numbers and glanced up at the television. It was playing a movie in the background after she’d been catching up on the local news and it caught her attention. She was easily able to recognise Professor X, and Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine, she didn’t know anyone who wasn’t aware of the iconic roles. It was an X-Men film, one of them, honestly she’d only seen them once, with Lex, a long time ago so she wasn’t sure which one was currently playing. But she remembered the basic premise. Magneto = bad, and Charles = good. But… she understood it wasn’t as black and white as that.

She watched a little further as she considered the similarities between the Mutants in film and the aliens in real-life. Mutants and aliens stood apart of humans, and even the ones that were able to blend in felt alienated by the humans. Some wanted peace, but others sought more violent paths. She supposed it came down to the person and she tilted her head in thought. Eyes narrowed she reached for the remote, turned the volume up and restarted the movie. She watched the first and second, and was part way through the third when she decided to do something she should have done months ago. She called Supergirl.

It took the caped hero a moment to answer and in that time Lena wandered to her fridge and grabbed a bottle of water.

Miss Luthor. Is everything alright?

“Yes. Everything’s fine. I’m sorry for the late hour,” she nudged the door shut with her hip and wandered back to the television and turned it off.

Are you sure? I can-?’ The Super sounded concerned.

“I just wanted to speak with you-if you weren’t busy. Nothing’s wrong.” She powered down her tablet and flicked it closed as she wandered towards her room. “I’m home at the moment, if you have the time.”

Supergirl didn’t even hesitate.

“Okay. I’ll see you soon.”

See you soon,’ came the reply and she turned the kitchen lights out as she left the room. The motion-sensor lights clicked on as she walked down the hallway to her room and she eased the door open.

She gave her room a customary scan and then shrugged and walked over to the balcony. She hesitated a bit out from it and then narrowed her eyes. She slowly lifted her hand, and with her eyes narrowed in concentration, made a sweeping motion with it, as though ordering the door to roll back by its self. Nothing happened and she sighed and shook her head before taking a deep breath and trying again.

Closing her eyes she picture the door. She knew her room, knew the door and what it was made from. She could picture the glass, unmarked and new, and the metal frame that held it together. She knew the exact chemical components for each, could make it in her sleep, and envisioned the door releasing and then rolling back. She swiped her hand across the front of her, palm facing the wall and the direction she wanted the door to roll.

There was an odd sensation in her body, a warm fire that burnt and hurt but she ignored it and made the swiping movement again. The fire built until it was some sort of pressure, like she were adjusting to the difference in altitude, when your head goes all heavy and funny, and then there was a pop in the pressure and the fire flashed out.

The pain was instantaneous and she fought her nausea to stumble backwards onto her bed and place her head in her hands, breathing harshly and deeply, trying to calm her stomach. Her head was roaring in her ears, a headache she hadn’t experienced in a while, not since her headaches first started, but it was an empty pain, like something was missing.

She uncapped her water bottle with trembling fingers and tilted her head back and let the cool liquid ease its way down her throat. Sighing she finally opened her eyes and blinked before allowing a satisfied Luthor smile to cross her lips.

The door was open, open a few inches maybe, but it was open.

She was grinning at the door when Supergirl touched down and walked towards her.

“Miss Luthor,” the Super smiled and Lena rose to her feet.

“Supergirl,” she offered in greeting and the Super placed her hands on her hip in her classic superhero pose.

“You wanted to talk?” She enquired and there was something to her tone, something that Lena was starting to notice when the Super spoke with or interacted with her. When they first met she had been strong, and distant, clear and cold, trying to put space between them or maybe, and more likely, come across as the Super she was. Lena knew she could be intimidating, and with her last name and Superman and Lex’s history, she was right to be wary, even though it did hurt a little. But now though the Super spoke to her with…affection and respect, and didn’t try to distance her-self very much. She seemed much more natural in Lena’s presence and the thought did please her.

“Yes,” Lena said and walked past the hero to her balcony where the glass had finally been replaced. “Though I’m not sure where to start.”

Supergirl blinked and then she was leaning against the same balcony as Lena, staring out over the city she protected.

“Um, okay… did you want to start with why now? Or what brought this on?” She suggested and Lena caught the curious look she shot her from the corner of her eye.

“I see you got an official Twitter,” Lena smiled and the hero shot her a look but went along with her deflection.

“Yeah…. I have, like, four-million followers already.”

“I know,” Lena replied and Supergirl crossed her arms and raised her brows playfully.

“Been keeping an eye on me?” It was an unnecessary comment.

Lena had tweeted a welcome to the Super (like many others as soon as the account TheRealSupergirl was verified) and warned her, playfully, that her followers might get rabid. Supergirl had responded with a tweet about how maybe she could use the doctor Lena was using for her fungal infection if she was bitten and needed a rabies shot. Lena had burst out laughing on the way to work and had watched in amusement as her followers and Supergirl’s immediately started tearing the hero’s reply to pieces and speculating on it. Though the questions directed at her about her sexual health and or dating life (with Supergirl?) were a little intrusive. It took two minutes for Supergirl to reply.

 

@TheRealSupergirl:

OMG I am so sorry @LenaLuthor I did NOT mean it like that! I was just referring to your comment earlier at the Zoo. I am so, so sorry.

And another one:

@TheRealSupergirl:

Also, guys. Lena doesn’t have thrush. It was a private conversation we had. It’s out of context!

And another one:

@TheRealSupergirl:

             @Justaboredemo: What, NO! We aren’t dating! We haven’t even kissed or anything!

And another:

@TheRealSupergirl:

              @TheCatGrant: No, Miss Grant! I swear I didn’t mean it like that! We were just talking at the Zoo. We aren’t dating. Again, @LenaLuthor: I’m so sorry.

And another. Supergirl didn’t seem to be able to help herself and Lena just watched as her notification’s skyrocketed. It was actually a source of amusement for the CEO. Usually her notifications were full of death-threats or people being unnecessarily cruel even with the filters on, so having the hero stumble around on her first foray into social media to try and protect her was amusing.

 

@TheRealSupergirl:

              @HaroldtheGay: What, no! I didn’t say that! She’s really pretty but we aren’t like a thing! I think love is love. Love who you want!

 

@TheRealSupergirl:

              @heyleethomass: I don’t know! Why are you asking me that! Ask her if she’s single!

 

@TheRealSupergirl: Okay, some of these tweets are repulsive. How, why would you even?!

 

@TheRealSupergirl:

              @maximuskeen: That is disgusting…and very degrading. How dare you refer to women like  that?

 

@TheRealSupergirl: I’m not sleeping with Lena Luthor!

 

There was a few minutes where there was no reply from the Hero and Lena took a moment to fire off her own tweet.

@LenaLuthor: @TheRealSupergirl: There is a quality filter in your account settings. You may want to turn it on. Just a suggestion.

Her notifications had come pouring in but Lena had ignored them in favour of the meeting with her lawyers and had been in there for several hours before she was able to check her phone again.

Her notifications had doubled, so had her followers, and she scrolled through the most liked and re-tweeted tweets on her dashboard.

@TheRealSupergirl:

              @LenaLuthor: Thanks. Found it now. Phew. #nopornonthisTwitter (it was trending, so was     #Supergirlisadorkable and #WelcomeSG, to welcome the Super to Twitter.)

 

@TheRealSupergirl: Okay… you guys made me break my phone.

 

There was a grainy photo of a broken-crushed- cell-phone on her time-line

She answered a few more tweets, stumbling around awkwardly trying to explain and also defend Lena. She had to confess she found Lena pretty and would date her, then had to backtrack and say it wasn’t like a thing and then had to keep defending herself. One of the minor celeb’s in the city started a trend #Supergirlsdiggingahole.

Supergirl told them what Lena and her had discussed at the park and that had set off a whole new attempt at a Twitter trend (#SupergirlxLena is #relationshipgoals) and also calls that they were flirting, and they should totally date because that was so hot. It was a bit of a mess, amusing yes, but still a mess. Supergirl was trying, valiantly, to defend herself and Lena but she was just digging herself a deeper hole. Lena paused as she got into her car and then sent off her own Tweet, ignoring the people asking if she and Supergirl were dating, and would she consider it, and did she have thrush.

@LenaLuthor:

              @TheRealSupergirl: Would you like a shovel? #supergirlisadorkable

 

Her followers lost their shit, which was cute, her notifications were over run with people screaming and crying and saying they would be the cutest couple, like Romeo and Juliet. Supergirl replied a few moments later. Of course there were the usual comments about how that was a threat and Supergirl should stay away from the bad Luthor and how she should be arrested, or worse, for threatening Supergirl.

@TheRealSupergirl:

              @LenaLuthor: You have no idea. <3 #Myhero

 

That got its own garbled response that Lena ignored.

 

@HomeDepotNC:

              @LenaLuhtor: @TheRealSupergirl: We have a large range of shovels to suit all needs. I’m  sure we can help National City’s resident hero with any hardware supplies she requires.

Lena had laughed out-loud and had instant re-tweeted the comment. Vince just shot her a knowing look, as he was on his phone as well and no doubt following the conversation on Twitter

@LenaLuthor:

              @TheRealSupergirl: See, @HomeDeoptNC: Home Depot has your back. Do you think NCDC   would mind if you decided to dig in the park? Otherwise there are sections going in Stone  Oak Heights. We could Crowdfund that. @Followers: What do you think? CrowdFund a   section so Supergirl can go dig herself a hole?

So maybe she really, really shouldn’t have said what she did, but she was laughing to herself as she scrolled through her tweets, and it was nice to see people just sitting back and laughing, rather than jeering at her. People were being, well, not kind exactly, but they weren’t calling her a xenophobe or telling her all Luthor’s should die or anything like that. Her conversation with the Super was actually making her happy, and it was an odd experience. A Super making a Luthor happy, making her laugh.

@TheRealSupergirl:

              @LenaLuthor: Very funny Miss Luthor. ;p

`             @HomeDeoptNC: Thank you for the offer, but it’s not necessary.

              @NCDC: @LenaLuthor’s joking. I’m not going to dig myself a hole in the park.

 

@PandaBanana:

              @TheRealSupergirl: Thts b couz u al redy hav lol #supergirlisadorkable               #supergirlisdiggingahole #itscute

 

Lena laughed again and was certain she was smiling at her cell as they pulled up at her apartment and Bella and Vince guided her from the car. She didn’t see or hear the paparazzi outside as she was too engrossed in her cell and her Twitter account.

 

@LenaLuthor:

              @TheRealSupergirl: I can’t imagine what you’re reading right now…screenshot some of your   favourites and send them to me?

 

She rode the elevator to her apartment still engrossed in her Twitter notifications and she replied to a few polite ones.

@TheRealSupergirl:

              @LenaLuthor: I blame you for this!

There was an accompanying screenshot of what was trending, and three of the top trends were about the caped hero. #Supergirlisadorkable #supergirlisdiggingahole #WelcomeSG

#CrowdfundSupergirl was also gaining traction and Lena looked at it a moment before scrolling through the tweets to see what it was about.

She waited until she was in her room and then dove for her lap top. Her phone was still open to Twitter so it continued giving her notifications as she did a quick Google search. She tapped away for a few moments, had a read, laughed out-loud and then clicked pledge.

She then turned her camera on to selfie mode and moved around trying to get a good angle. She eventually decided to go out onto her balcony and had the city as her backdrop. She let her laptop sit on the coffee table and then, checked her makeup and hair and pressed record.

“Welcome to Twitter, Supergirl,” she said and gave a little wave. “And look what I found,” she said and turned her camera to face her laptop where an open page was to ‘KickStart Supergirl getting a hole’. They were aiming for two-hundred thousand and fourteen dollars, which was the price of a modest piece of land… and a shovel, and Lena laughed a little.

“Look, it already has three hundred and twenty four backers and they’ve made three percent already! They work fast!”

She turned the camera back to face her and clicked out of the first page and then opened the second. “Now, I normally don’t do this but…. Oh! Would you look at that!” She turned the camera back to face the computer and showed the Crowdfund page. “Someone just donated two-hundred thousand!”

“Oops,” she said and turned the camera back to face her. “Supergirl….since you’ve probably got a home already go give the land or money to charity, or,” Lena paused for a moment. “Turn it into a playground or a public orchard or something.” She eyed the camera a moment and then smiled. “Or you could just dig that hole,” she was grinning as she waved goodbye and shut the camera off. She took a moment to check her twitter feed from her laptop. Already someone had noticed someone had paid the entire thing and were shouting and screaming and speculating who it was, and calling for Supergirl to notice them.

Lena uploaded the video and tagged Supergirl in it.

@LenaLuthor:

              @Supergirl: I’d offer to help you dig the hole but I think you’ve got that part under control.              #Supergirlisadorkable

 

So maybe Lena shouldn’t have added fuel to the fire, but it was highly entertaining and she couldn’t help it. Her PR team would later caution her but it had been a bit of fun for her after a hard day of meetings. Supergirl had taken a few minutes but then her phone was buzzing with screenshots and their conversation had featured in the news that evening as a soft and fluffy piece, nothing like what was usually expected from a Luthor and a Super. Supergirl had asked for the money to be donated to one of the children’s hospitals and had even promised to show up and mingle with the kids if it were done.

Now days the Super just posted pictures from the sky, or from her current charity event, or re-blogged cute animal videos. She sometimes answered questions, but they were never about her, just her giving advice to people and trying to spread her light.

Brought from her memories Lena just smiled and went back to examining National City by star-light.

Supergirl sighed next to her as the descended into silence. “You have a marvellous view.”

Lena nodded. “Sometimes I like to stand here and watch. It’s….”

“It’s so big?” Supergirl enquired but then shook her head. “No, it’s like, you know you aren’t alone?”

“It’s peaceful,” Lena offered instead and looked directly at the Super. The wind was running soft fingers through her long, blonde hair and teasingly tugging it across her face. By the moon-light her features were soft, but otherworldly, with the kind of grace and beauty expected to be immortalised in the finest marble in times long past.

“You should see it from above the clouds on a clear night,” Supergirl said, and the smile in her voice was obvious.

“Are you offering?” Lena enquired, not entirely sure if the Super was being suggestive or making conversation.

Supergirl blinked, blue eyes bright and then she smiled and shrugged and the movement seemed so…human… “Sure! If you want. I could take you flying….”

Speaking of… one of the last scenes she had seen before turning the television off was the one where the scientist guy’s son was trying to cut his wings off. She knew how the rest of the movie went, the mutant would cast off his chains and fly, metaphorically and literally.

“Have you seen the X-men movies?” Lena asked abruptly and could see the confusion in the Super’s face.

“Um… well, yeah?”

Lena hummed and went back to looking over the city. “What do you think of the parallels between the mutants and aliens?”

She could see her question had surprised the super because her brow furrowed, the crinkle in it scrunched adorably, and it was….familiar, but she couldn’t quite place it. Only the feeling that she wanted to do something to ease that discomfort. It was odd, having it directed to the Super.

“I-,” Supergirl opened her mouth and then closed it and her head tilted in thought. It took her a long moment before she spoke, and when she did she was looking out over the city.

“I guess there are…. Why?”

Lena swallowed but drew her strength. She needed to discuss this with the Super, and with Kara, seeing as she was so pro-alien, but first she wanted to get the Kryptonian out of the way.

“I wanted to talk about us…” she didn’t miss the way the hero’s blue eyes widened in panic but rallied. “Luthor and Super…”

The relief in Supergirl’s eyes was obvious and she relaxed a little. “Um, okay?”

“I feel like I haven’t been fair to you,” Lena said, looking out over the city least she loose her strength by looking at the woman whose strength made hers look like a mountain to an ant.

“I’ve been hot and cold and treating you well sometimes, and then not well other times…”

She could see Supergirl shrug from the corner of her eye. “It’s okay-“

“-No,” Lena interrupted sharply. “It’s not. I endeavour to be fair and transparent in my dealings with people. I like knowing where other people stand, and I find it gets me better results when I treat my colleagues and staff with respect. They know what I expect, and I know what to expect from them. It gets me results.”

Lena took a moment to gather her thoughts. “You are an alien. I am a Luthor. That is fact, yes?” Supergirl nodded, even though it was a mostly rhetorical question.

“I… originally didn’t know quite how to treat you,” Lena said softly, forcing the confession from her lips and the hero shifted and she could almost feel her heat next to her in the chill of the evening air.

“Your cousin betrayed Lex-let me finish!” She said, voice turning cold when she saw the Super start and opened her mouth. Supergirl’s eyes narrowed a little, and lesser people would have quailed under the stare but Lena was built from sturdier stuff.

Her jaw rippled but she nodded.

“I grew up with Superman monopolising my brother’s time and resources. I didn’t mind,” Lena shook her head and laughed bitterly. “He said he was going to save the world… it was what we always wanted… to help people. He would tell me…sometimes… some of the things he and Superman were working on. What he was putting his brain and our money towards and the things they would do.”

Lena sighed and closed her eyes and felt her throat tighten. She shook her head. “But… that isn’t what I asked you here for. You aren’t your cousin and I’m not my brother.” She lifted her head and looked over at Supergirl whose brow creases had deepened.

“In a way I was afraid of this conversation…. Thinking all you’d hear is Lex’s words and mouth when I spoke, but that isn’t fair on either of us.”

Lena looked at Supergirl a moment, trying to see past the ‘S’ she wore as a badge and see the woman beneath it. She couldn’t, not really. All she could see was the steel in her bearing, the sense of righteousness, the….hope.

“I don’t trust aliens, Supergirl,” Lena said strongly and saw the hero’s eyes tighten. “I also don’t trust crowds, or guns, or,” she ducked her head a little. “Large, strong men. They have the power to hurt me, and I can’t stop them. That is how I feel about aliens.”

Supergirl was frowning now, but was waiting for her to finish and she continued, hoping to get her point across.

“You can carry a plane on your shoulders. Your Martian friend can read, and control minds. He can even erase memories. Most aliens are stronger and faster than any human can be, and that makes me afraid because what happens if they decide to hurt humans?” Lena paused a moment to collect her thoughts and then continued. “Krypton is lightyears,” she smiled wryly, “ahead of any earth technology. Surely your parents knew what environment they were sending you to and what would happen to you when you got here?”

Supergirl hesitated but nodded slowly. “Earth was chosen for that reason…”

“So your parents sent you to a planet where you would become a god?” Lena crossed her arms and sighed, fully turning to face the super now. “I know that people choose which of their passions to follow, just as I know that as there are good aliens like you, and your cousin,” she added as an afterthought. “But there are just as many aliens who want to harm and abuse humanity.”

“Not all aliens-“ Supergirl began and Lena nodded in agreement.

“Yes. Not all aliens. But enough of them that there is an entire government agency devoted to the tracking and containment of these aliens… the issue, Supergirl, is that we humans are hopelessly outmatched.” Lena took a steadying breath. “I am not concerned with the ones who come here to hide, or keep their true forms hidden- not that that’s an issue,” Lena added quickly, seeing Supergirl frown. “I am just concerned with the ones who can, will, and do use their superiority to abuse humans.”

“The DEO and I work to contain these threats,” Supergirl said and her hands were on her hips again and her chest raised proudly.

“And how many people have died before you could?” She didn’t ask it harshly, with no reason other than gentle rebuke but Supergirl deflated like a balloon.

“Too many,” Supergirl confessed quietly. “Too many have been killed, or hurt or had their property damaged or stolen.” She sighed and Lena suddenly saw the weight that she carried on her strong shoulders.

“I want weapons designed for these aliens,” she said, laying her metaphorical cards on the table. “I want weapons and prisons for all aliens, just in case.”

Supergirl’s head lifted and her eyes were searching. The blue of them was haunted and cast in shadow.

“I don’t want them outed against their will, not if they are peaceful, and I don’t want them on lists or locked up just for being who they are.” Lena hesitated and met Supergirl’s gaze squarely. “I want contingency plans for when aliens go rogue, but only after they have become threats.”

“Do I scare you?” Supergirl asked suddenly and Lena felt her body betray her.

“Yes,” she answered honestly, knowing her heart-rate would give her away. Some of the light in Supergirl’s eyes faded and her shoulders lost their proud bearing.

“I would never hurt you,” she protested sincerely, eyes wide and earnest.

“I’m afraid because there is nothing that can stop you if you do decide to hurt me, or anyone. I’m afraid of what you can do. Of what they,” she flicked her hand out over the balcony, “can do. I don’t want anyone, or anything, having that much power.”

“Human’s have power,” Supergirl pointed out and folded her arms. It highlighted the muscles beneath it and for a moment Lena’s gaze was appreciative but then she caught up to the moment at hand.

She nodded in agreement. “That’s fair. What my brother did and will try to do again is worthy of imprisonment. But he is only human and can be contained, and what he can do and has access too, humans can match.”

“He escaped.”

“Yes, “ Lena nodded and exhaled for a long moment. “With human technology and innovation and man-power. If someone with your strength and power decided to take, say, the president out…. Then there would be no stopping them. That is what frightens me.”

Supergirl was quiet for a long moment. “You’re afraid of the power we would have over you, of any of you, if we decided to use it? That’s why you are wary?”

Lena nodded, thankful it appeared like she was getting her point across and she wasn’t sounding like a ‘Luthor.’

“I… can understand that. No really,” she said when Lena lifted her eyebrow. “I’ve been to other planets… before Earth… where I wasn’t the strongest there. I get wanting to feel safe. I do, but… have you considered that that is why so many come to Earth?”

“Enlighten me, Supergirl,” Lena said and though her tone was square she was curious to the Super’s defence of aliens on Earth.

“Some are refugees, others land here by accident…. But some choose to come here…. Because they will be stronger…” Supergirl started to pace and for a moment Lena was concerned her balcony might not take it.

“When I first landed I was so scared,” she said and her thoughts were clearly elsewhere. “Kal got to me first, but… I’ve heard stories where the ‘good guys’ don’t get there first… humans are terrifying, Miss Luthor,” Supergirl said and spun to face her. “Your capacity for violence and hatred against anything that isn’t you, or against the ‘other’ is astounding. I took history on the World Wars, and I support gay people and I have POC friends, so I know how humans treat each other. How do you think they would treat something different? Kal and I… we fit in because we look human. For all appearances we are human…. We are what the humans aspire to be. We are what they consider the highest life form…. Like you told me, we are ideas, a goal for humanity.” Supergirl paused and Lena glanced from her speaking hands and back to her face.

“Human’s can be terrifying, especially when they are in a group, or are following an idea like zealots….I’ve seen people beaten to death in Russia for being gay, or the religious crusades, or all this racial violence, and I…” Supergirl stopped and ran her finger though her hair distractedly. “What could they do to another life form? One that doesn’t look like them?”

Blue eyes were earnest as they looked at her. “Some aliens chose Earth because they will be stronger, because that can ensure their protection like nothing else can.”

She hesitated and took a deep breath. “But, um, I think we’ve gone off track….um…”

Sheepish was a curious expression on the Girl of Steel’s features and Lena half expected her to toe the balcony floor with her boot and looked down at her feet.

“Well…. That was… interesting….” Lena thought for a moment. “Thank you for telling me that, but you are right… we did get off track. It’s refreshing to speak to someone without being afraid all they’ll hear is Lex.” She cut herself off abruptly, having not wanted to be so candid, but could see from the smile the Super shot her that she understood.

“So… I wanted to apologise for how I have been treating you,” Lena said and felt a weight lift of her shoulders that she hadn’t even realised was there. “Sometimes I treated you like you were good and other times I’ve treated you like you would snap and kill me at any moment.”

Supergirl coughed. “A bit of an exaggeration,” she said and offered her a friendly smile.

Lena ducked her head in acknowledgement. “True. But, anyway, I am sorry that I haven’t made my positon clear with you.”

“Um, you still kinda haven’t?” Supergirl blurted and then her eyes went wide and she placed a hand over her mouth. “Oh, um, I’m so sorry!” Her words were muffled by her fingers and she looked mortified.

Lena shook her head, feeling amusement lift her lips. “No. It’s fine. I like to know where I stand with people. Your honesty is refreshing.”

Supergirl sighed in relief. “You can count on me to be honest!” She said and she sounded so sincere, like a child heading into their parents work place, all eager and prepared to shoulder burdens they knew nothing of.

“Want to tell me your name?” Lena said suddenly and the Super paused and frowned playfully over at her.

“It’s Supergirl,” she hedged and her fingers played with the fabric keeping her sleeves down.

Lena smiled at her having not really needed an answer from the Super.

“Where we stand….” She mused thoughtfully. “I think that you’re doing a lot of good,” she said quietly, voice level. “Especially with going into schools and shelters.”

Supergirl’s expression lit up. “I went to the hospital last week, with the sick kids. It was amazing!” Her shoulders curled slightly. “Really sad…. But those kids are…. Awe inspiring.”

Lena nodded in agreement. She’d been donating to children’s organisations all over the world for years, but the Leukaemia Ward’s tended to hold a special place in her heart. She had, on multiple occasions, funded many upgrades and equipment purchases and medicinal treatments. All anonymously of course, she didn’t do that for the publicity, would never do something like that for the ‘good press.’

“I want you to keep being you,” Lena said and waved her hand over the ‘S’ crest. “I want you to continue giving people hope, inspiring them to be better, and I want you to save them.”

Lena tilted her head a moment and hesitated before rallying. “But….” She waited until Supergirl’s eyes were on her. “If you decide to rule humanity from a throne….” She ignored the way the hero spluttered in out-rage. “I’ll help stop you… permanently if need be.”

“I’m not- I won’t- I- how dare- I,” the hero was red with rage and Lena felt her heart-rate spike and wondered if she had made a foolish move. She took a step towards Lena and she couldn’t contain her flinch when the concrete of her balcony cracked a little under its force.

Suddenly the hero paused and looked at her searchingly. She took a visible step away from Lena and lifted her hands peacefully. Sorrow was quickly replacing her anger.

“Is that- I…” she sighed and her shoulders dropped. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you,” she said and sighed again, louder this time.

Lena’s heart rate returned to normal as the hero looked out over the city. There was silence for a few minutes, the longest of Lena’s life, and then the caped protector turned back to her.

“I don’t like that you want to have guns for aliens, but I do get it… but you have to understand…. The same way you look at aliens…. Is the same way aliens look at you.”

Lena’s jaw worked for a moment before she managed to get the words out. “I haven’t done anything!”

“And neither have they!” Supergirl shot back. “But you judge them too.”

“I’m not like him,” Lena rasped out, voice cracking with rage. “My concerns are justified.”

“Isn’t that what Lex said?”

It was a low blow, and especially coming from the woman wearing the same crest as the one that had driven her brother into madness.

“Humans have every reason to be afraid of what aliens can do! After all, didn’t you go rogue a few months back?”

Supergirl didn’t hesitate as she shot back. “That wasn’t my fault! I was drugged!”

Lena’s brain caught the slip but was more concerned about getting her point across. “It doesn’t matter! You still did it! You terrorised the very people you were supposed to protect!”

“I didn’t mean to! I wasn’t in control of myself!”

And that was exactly what Lena was afraid of. “Exactly,” she said softly, ire gone at the way the Super realised the magnitude of what she had said. She froze and then her shoulders slumped and she curled in on herself. “You say you lost control of yourself, what happens if it happens again? What then? I may be just a Luthor, but I can be controlled and stopped very easily. Cuffs, tranquiliser, even bullets. What about you? And that is what I am afraid of. You aren’t the only one out there.”

Supergirl took a deep breath and let it out, rage draining in the face of Lena’s cool composure, but on the inside her heart was hammering.

“The agency I work with has contingency plans for if… anything like that happens…. For Kal and I,” she added and gazed out over the city. “I-we, we talked about it and I made my position clear. I don’t want to hurt anyone… if I can’t be stopped… I want to be brought down.”

Lena swallowed at the sincerity in blue eyes and at what the Super was telling her.

“I’d like you to help…. If need be…. I- I want to help people. I always have. I don’t want to cause fear or hurt people. If it comes to that…”

Lena inhaled sharply at the request being made of her, of what Supergirl was giving her permission to do if it was needed. A Super was basically giving a Luthor permission to kill her.

“I trust you more than your brother, even if other people…and aliens don’t. I’ve seen you, I’ve watched you… not! in a creepy way!,” she added hurriedly, eyes wide, “and I know you’re like me,” Supergirl pointed to herself. “You want to help, to do good. Even with your last name.”

There was a moment of silence while Lena took in the hero’s words. It made her feel warm on the inside, a feeling only one person had been able to do for her lately.

“I’m not Lex,” she said firmly and the hero nodded in agreement, and their eyes met and they shared a moment of understanding. Lena felt relieved that she had managed to convey her point of view to Supergirl, without their family history getting too involved. And Supergirl had made some valid points, hopefully now they could move forward.

“I know. So, we good?’ The hero asked, almost clapping her hands and she was bouncing a little on her feet.

Lena nodded. “We’re good.”

Supergirl lifted off the ground and then paused, floating next to the railing.

“I never want to see this,” she tapped her crest lightly. “Become a source for fear.”

“Neither do I,” Lena said quietly. “But I do trust you,” she said gently and was rewarded with the hero beaming at her.

“You’re a good egg, Lena Luthor,” the Super smiled, maybe at her own words, and Lena rolled her eyes.

“And here I thought you were a millennial at heart. My mistake.”

Supergirl laughed as she floated back away from the balcony. “You have a good night, Miss Luthor.”

“You too, Supergirl,” Lena smiled as she watched the hero soar away and pushed off from the railing.

Inside her room she focused again on her door and ordered it to slide shut. To her surprise there was less resistance this time, the heat in her mind a little less and the pressure eased much quicker.

Hm, it was certainly something to discuss with Dr Danvers when they next spoke. So far they hadn’t looked at her abilities yet as they were still waiting on the equipment Lena had ordered under a shell co-operation. Soon though, the Doctor would take her through her paces, and she was both nervous and excited for it. Who knew what she was capable of?

 

xxxxxXXXXXxxxxx

 

Chapter Text

 

 

“Okay. Ready to try again,” Eliza instructed and Lena took a deep breath and steadied herself. They were based in a private hospital that had recently had an anonymous buyer purchased the building and company and then revamped the entire security systems and also had provided brand new, state of the art equipment and facilitates. It had all happened in under a week.

Dr Danvers was given a private wing in the hospital (a few rooms), with full security clearance and accessed to all facilities, and had designed a program to test what was happening to Lena Luthor. She had started with, before the facility had upgraded equipment, Lena’s blood and had run the same tests on it that Lena had, and had come to the conclusion that, at its core, Lena’s DNA was still human.

Currently she had Lena hooked up to a monitor with cords at her temples measuring her brain waves. Lena’s singlet was damp with sweat and her hair was plastered to her forehead. She was panting and her pale skin had darkened to a fatigued red but her eyes were narrowed in concentration as Eliza held a small scalpel to her forearm. She had mentally ran through her responsibilities for the week and had determined she could wear long sleeves for her public appearances and had agreed to go forward with the doctors testing.

They were trying to make the tests as equal as possible and so Lena had offered her body as collateral. Dr Danvers had been reluctant to go down that path, but Lena had made some excellent points. Just by examining her DNA wouldn’t tell them the scope of her regeneration abilities, and she really wanted to know. Who knew what the radiation was doing to her body? The doctor had eventually agreed, reluctantly, and they had started small.

First they had made a few small cuts and then with some of the most expensive camera technology, had held small shards of Kryptonite up to them. All most instantly the wounds closed up and it was as though there had been no damage in the first place. Then they went further, monitoring Lena’s vitals the entire time for any change. The cuts on her arms increased in length, width and depth as they moved down her arm, and Lena had grit her teeth and born the pain as the doctor systematically made them.

Eliza’s eyes were gentle but her hands were firm and steady as she held Lena’s limp hand by the wrist and carefully made her last incision. Lena’s hiss and inhale was her only indication of pain and she let her breath out in a shaky exhale. They took video and photo evidence of the entire process and stored the information, and the other results Eliza had found, on a hidden, private server behind a firewall so high and deep that it’d make Fort Knox look like a city’s public park.

Eliza gently dabbed the blood away and wiped the arm down with anaesthetic before starting to bind the bloody arm. They had decided to leave one to heal naturally, as a base line, and then go from there. Eliza had poured over all of the records Lena had given her, the ones from her childhood, and the medical records from her crash as well as the L-Corp Tower explosion.

Together they had decided, Eliza determining and Lena confirming, that her childhood statistics fell within the ordinary, and that any change had started with the injections Dr. Alan had been giving her… around the same time that Lex came home talking about other life-forms and the danger they possessed to humans. A year and a half later and her injections started, she’d been sixteen and Lex twenty-one. They increased in frequency and volume after Superman became public and then climaxed with Lex’s war with the caped-hero. It was very obvious something else had been in those injections, and they weren’t just her flu shots.

So far she hadn’t been able to find out what was in them, couldn’t find a paper or digital trail, and well, she wasn’t about to ask Lex.

Going off her x-rays Eliza had estimated a thirty percent maximum regeneration over the average population, but hoped with more monitoring they could get further accuracy. Her next tests would be with some more of Lena’s blood and she was hoping to use a Petri dish to create some skin and see if it would have the same properties as Lena did.

They hadn’t tested any other of the abilities Lena appeared to have been developing, and Lena wasn’t volunteering just yet, she wanted to look into it herself first. Besides, the entire process was weighted. She was learning just how different she was, and it was another barrier between her and the rest of the world, including her last name and intellect.

One of the tests that had made her cry was holding Kryptonite up to one of her scars and watching as it faded before her eyes, leaving her skin as unblemished as it had been before she’d taken a razor blade to it and drawn it across her skin, desperate to feel something, to have a reason for the pain. She tried not to think of that time in her life, of the things she did to herself and what others did to her, but watching the thick, ugly lines, the scars of her past just fade away had brought her to tears.

Eliza hadn’t said anything, had only squeezed her arm and gone over to fiddle with a microscope and a sample, and had left her to her silent tears.

“When you’re ready, if you can tell me how old those are, we can add that to the data,” she said gently, almost off-hand as she examined some degenerating samples, one’s Lena had taken when she first realised something was different about her.

Lena had taken a few minutes to gather her composure, sitting in the chair and watching as the scars she hid from the world were held out in the open, her jeans low on her hips and her shirt unbuttoned. The smaller one she’d just healed left a curious emptiness, a blank space on her skin where she’d once marked over and over until her skin ran red and she could name the pain she was feeling. She stared down at the lines, some pale and angry, even after all these years, and others a soft silver line like a spider-web in moonlight, and she cried and cried and cried.

She told the few lovers she’d had that they were stretch marks and then distracted who-ever rarely shared her bed so they didn’t question her statement. Usually they were in the dark, and she’d direct curious hands to other unblemished skin or have a no-touching rule, so no one ever questioned it. Or she’d ensure her lovers got shit-faced after so that the night was a blur. It wasn’t healthy, but…. She wasn’t ready to share them with the world, didn’t think she’d ever be willing to let them see the light.

It was an out of body experience, pointing out the ones she’d had since her teenage years, back when her intellect out-shone her emotional state and she struggled to voice what she was feeling. At the time it had been all she had, when things were out of her control and she was alone, but as she recovered she’d seen them for what they were. Signs of her weakness. Etched into her body like tally marks. Logically adult Lena was aware of her emotional state, environment, and burdens as a child and teenager, and could rationalise it now…. But back then it was all she had.

She did not hate her younger self for her pain and didn’t regret her coping mechanisms, there were plenty of worse ways to cope. Lex had tried to help her when she first started, and she had left her arms and legs to keep him happy, but under her clothes she’d carved her story into her skin. She was careful. Luthor’s were not permitted to show weakness or anything other than strength, arrogance, intelligence, and since Lex, insane xenophobia. No one knew of her hurt, and no one ever would. It was her burden to bear and she’d bear it alone, like she always had and always would.

She spared the woman turning the camera on (and angling it down to the thick line following the curve of her hip) a brief, hesitant glance but Eliza was composed. Maybe prepared for the scars. She could see the band of her underwear on the screen and the scars along her bellybutton and could see her belly-button ring. Eliza held the shard of Kryptonite Lena had brought and her gloves gave way to a small section of her arms on the camera. The silver tongs moved closer and with her other hand Eliza moved the camera into position and guided them both down the contour of Lena’s right hip.

Nothing happened and Eliza tried again and then spoke into the camera as she placed the shard directly on Lena’s skin. “We will test exposure for five minutes, starting now,” she said and pulled away and Lena looked past the rise and fall of her chest and down her stomach where the shard rested on her hip bone. The open folds of her button-up rested down at her sides. Her cell-phone was on the table next to the chair and she reached for it and the Kryptonite shard trembled.

Eliza sat down on her own chair and took a sip of water.

“Kara told me you built her a gun,” she commented and Lena paused as she unlocked her phone. They tended not to discuss their private lives or indeed, anything other than their own education and science and experiments. Lena found Eliza to be an engaging listener and her experience and intelligence made their conversations flow easily. While they waited for results they would discuss the latest medical and technological advances and Eliza was an ideal debating partner. She was quick and witty and very intelligent and most importantly, willing to listen to what Lena had to say and so few people in her life ever were.

Lena nodded and rested her cell on her chest and let her eyes close. She was exhausted, mentally, emotionally and physically, it had been a trying few hours.

“I also saw the footage of you aiming a gun at Supergirl.”

Lena went still and her eyes flickered open. Eliza was looking at her squarely, but the steel in her eyes revealed how badly she wanted the question, for it was a question, answered.

It took her a while to speak, but when she did, she felt she explained herself adequately enough.

“For over a decade I’ve had to listen to my family rant and rave about aliens and what they can do…what danger they possess to humanity. I’ve sat through dinners on how their extinction from Earth would go about, and how they would be dissected first.” Lena hesitated as she saw Eliza flinch slightly and recoil. But it was fact. Luthor’s loathed all things Alien, a