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The World Beneath Us

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It’s Kara’s night, and for once she isn’t uncomfortable being the center of attention without the protection of her cape. Tonight Kara Danvers has earned it without any assistance from her powers, and she intends to savor it.

In the years since she’d first become a journalist, stumbling into a world she hadn’t been even remotely prepared for, Kara has learned a lot. She’s written stories on every possible topic under the sun, getting better with each one until she’d finally begun to feel she’d earned her place.

Apparently someone else had thought the same thing, because tonight Kara will be taking home her first major award. Her long ago story on intergalactic human trafficking had been the first of many, and the most recent had finally built enough public attention to earn her one of the ten Kensington Awards for Investigative Excellence being awarded this year. It wasn’t quite a Pulitzer, but it was close. A lot closer than Kara had expected to get for a long time.

She’s still so often convinced that she’s just playing at being a reporter, even after years of learning and growing. This award is more than just recognition for a story well told, it’s a validation of a decision she made all those years ago. A decision she hadn’t understood, a decision she’d made without knowing what it actually meant.

The fact that it had still turned out to be the right decision is an adrenaline rush greater than anything else Kara’s ever known.

The only downside to the night is the speech, Kara still isn’t comfortable facing large crowds of people without the shield of her family’s crest to protect her, but she’ll manage. As long as she remembers that she’s addressing the crowd as Kara Danvers and Supergirl is only a source, she’ll be fine. And with ten honorees, her speech will be blissfully short. Her friends and family are in the crowd for moral support, so there shouldn’t be any problem getting through this.

It isn’t until Kara’s made it about halfway through the crowd (years as Cat’s assistant had taught her the importance of mingling) that she runs into the one thing that can derail the confidence she’s gathered. And that one thing is Cat Grant herself, standing in front of her in a stunning deep emerald dress and looking unreservedly proud, a sight Kara hadn’t realized she still longed for.

“Miss Grant, I didn’t expect to see you here,” Kara manages to get out, pushing her shock down as she takes in the older woman’s appearance. The years don’t seem to have touched Cat much, but Kara can catalogue every change from the still clear memories from before. What few outwards signs of the years there are suit Cat. And she seems softer somehow, less the commanding CEO and more the woman Kara had caught glimpses of so many times before. Just the sight of her brings Kara’s long forgotten crush forcibly to the front of her mind. Apparently forgotten doesn’t mean faded, because Kara has to take a moment to focus on Cat’s words when she starts speaking, lost as she is soaking up the woman’s presence once again.

“You’re being awarded the Kensington, Kara. Did you really expect me to miss that?” Cat says with a trademark eyebrow quirk, and the sharp crack of her words settles over Kara like a soothing blanket. There’s warmth beneath the bite, a familiar well of care that Kara falls into without a thought. Cat had come for her big night, no matter how she tries to play it off.

“I didn’t know you still paid attention,” Kara admits, not even trying to hide the broad smile stretching across her face.

“Of course I do, you don’t think after all the work I put into getting you ready to spread your wings I’d just let you fly off without another thought, did you? No, I kept tabs on your work over the years,” Cat says, a hint of pride all the emotion she lets show. But Kara can see the rest in the way Cat holds herself, in the way her smile is genuine rather than a mask.

“It means a lot to me that you’re here,” Kara says honestly, not bothering to hide her own emotions. Well, at least not her happiness and general gratefulness at Cat’s presence. Her crush is a secret she’s long used to keeping, so pretending those emotions don’t exist is easy enough.

“I wouldn’t have missed it,” Cat says, a little bit more of that pride seeping into her words. “I’m just grateful you found some fashion sense while I was away, I was worried you’d try to accept the award in a sweater vest,” she quickly covers, and Kara smiles at the familiarity of the barb.

“I wasn’t quite that bad, but my sister and her girlfriend dragged me out to buy this,” Kara admits, blushing as she looks down at the dress that she still feels a little uncomfortable in. It’s not even particularly revealing, and after years of wearing a miniskirt at this point she’s gotten fairly well used to having a little less fabric in her outfits, but the dress she’s wearing tonight is designed to draw attention to her in a way Kara Danvers isn’t used to.

“It’ll be fine, you can have this one night to show off,” Alex had said when Kara protested that standing out in a sea of journalists sounded like a bad idea. “Besides, we already planned on having J’onn drop in on a few trouble spots while you’re giving your speech. No one will suspect you if their phones are going off with alerts that Supergirl stopped a bank robbery or something. We even have Clark on standby to really make it a story if we have to.”

So here she is in a deep blue dress that perfectly complements her eyes and hair, which is carefully pulled into a professional bun to avoid as many comparisons with her alter ego as possible. But she still stands out on her own, and it’s taking some getting used to.

“Well, at least they have good taste. You look almost adult, Kara,” Cat teases softly before someone calls for Kara from near the stage. “I believe that’s your cue.”

“So it would seem,” Kara says, taking a deep breath and shooting Cat one last smile. “Wish me luck, Miss Grant.”

“You’ve never needed luck. You have everything you need without depending on luck, you and I both know that. Now go show the rest of the room.” Better even than a good luck, Cat’s mild reproach and unwavering support calm Kara enough that as she takes the podium to give her speech, her nerves are nowhere to be found.

They show back up once she’s climbing down of course, but the supportive smiles of her family and friends are waiting for her as soon as she’s back in the crowd. The hugs are warm, and help Kara reset after the adrenaline hits her, but they aren’t exactly what she wants. She’s surrounded by her friends every day, has their support at all times, but she hasn’t seen Cat in years. And now that she knows the older woman is here there’s no way she’s letting this night end with only one short conversation between them.

Alex finally catches on when Kara scans the crowd for the first time in search of that green dress. “Go on, go find her,” she says, leaning into Maggie’s side with a soft smile for her sister. “We can tell you’re tired of us, so get out of here.”

“I’m not tired of you,” Kara protests, because that’s not why she wants Cat’s presence more at the moment.

“She’s teasing you, Danvers,” Maggie says, lightly elbowing Alex as she laughs. “Now go on, go get the girl.”

“Wait, what?” Alex asks as she looks between them, but Maggie is already pulling her away, leaving neither Danvers sister with the opportunity to protest or ask what she means.

Not that Kara really has to ask, she’s already been well reminded of her crush tonight. She just hadn’t realized it was that obvious, and is suddenly worried that Cat picked up on it just as easily as Maggie had.

But no, surely Cat would have said something if she had, right? The former mogul isn’t exactly known for holding back. Even if she hadn’t addressed it directly she still would have said something. She would have discouraged Kara somehow. Politely, probably indirectly, but she still would have warned Kara off.

So really, there’s no reason to avoid Cat, because Kara’s crush is completely under control and definitely not immediately obvious. Maggie’s just a trained detective, one who knows Kara well thanks to dating her sister. She’d probably noticed something super subtle that no one else would ever pick up on, and figured out from that.

“I must say, you’ve certainly grown more confident, Kara,” Cat says from behind her after Kara’s been searching for her for a few minutes. “You didn’t stumble over your words once.”

“I got a great pep talk right before I went on,” Kara says as she turns, grateful that Cat seems to have sought her out. “I should thank you for that, actually. I was afraid I’d say something I really shouldn’t due to nerves.”

“Inspiration is what I do best,” Cat says with a wave of her hand, but Kara can tell the thanks is appreciated. “Though I must say, you wear it well.”

There’s a hint of heat to her words that nearly has Kara stuttering in shock, sure she’s imagined it. But she knows Cat too well to have mistaken any tone of her voice, and this one is definitely desire. It leaves her scrambling for a response, not sure how to react to this sudden shift in the dynamic between them. She’s had a crush on Cat for years, sure, but there’d never been any sign that her interest was reciprocated. Never any hint that Kara’s dreams had even a chance of becoming reality.

“Oh, not as well as you,” Kara says, falling back on the old standby of complimenting Cat. It had always been a safe gesture in the past.

But tonight as she does, with this hint of heat simmering between them, her words take on an entirely different meaning. What would under normal circumstances be nothing more than an innocent compliment tonight becomes a return of the flirting. It’s an expression of interest to match the one Cat had shown, whether Kara meant it deliberately or not. And from the way the older woman’s eyes darken, that’s exactly how she takes it.

Kara hadn’t even realized how her words would sound until Cat started looking at her like that, gaze roaming just a bit more than it had before. But she wouldn’t take it back, not when the force of that look has the power to steal the breath from her lungs without a single movement from Cat. Without a single word being spoken.

“Kara, an award like this deserves a proper celebration. Would you like to accompany me to my apartment, open a bottle of something of far better quality than what they’re serving here? You can tell me all about chasing down a story like this.” It’s an invitation that Kara wouldn’t know how to turn down even if she wanted to, for all that it’s couched in safe, unassuming terms. Cat still wields far more power than Kara Danvers after all. She can open the door, but it will be up to Kara to step through it.

“I would love to,” Kara says, stepping a half step closer, just enough that she’s barely within Cat’s personal space, voice dropping until she’s sure no one around them can hear what she’s about to say next. “But maybe we can do something other than talk.”

She’s not sure where the confidence comes from, the willingness to take a risk that could ruin everything. She’s dated more in the past few years as she’d found new confidence in herself and her work, learned how flirting works, and how effective it could be. But still, this is Cat Grant in front of her now. Kara should be a bumbling mess at the very thought of asking her out. And she hadn’t even asked her out, she’d all but propositioned her.

It must be something to do with the courage Cat has always been able to inspire, because even after the bold words fall from her lips Kara doesn’t back down. She doesn’t blush or look away. She’s made her move, and now it’s time for Cat to counter.

“My, you certainly have gotten bold while I’ve been gone,” Cat says with a smirk that almost overcomes the confidence Kara is clinging to. “I’ll call my car, if you’re certain you don’t feel like basking in the congratulations here any longer.”

“I think I’ve talked to everyone I needed to,” Kara says, fighting the urge to take another look around the room to be sure. Networking is important, but there’s no way she’s missing this opportunity. If she’s missed someone, she’ll find a way to talk to them later.

After all, a chance at a night with Cat Grant isn’t one that comes often, and Kara doesn’t know whether it will come again at all.

Making their way slowly towards the exit, Kara takes the time to find where Maggie and Alex have gone off to, making sure they see that she’s leaving so they don’t wait for her. Alex looks slightly pained but nods with a smile that’s only a little forced, and Maggie gives her a wink and thumbs up. Reassured that they know where she’ll be, and that she’ll be unavailable unless they really need her, Kara smiles back before turning to follow Cat out the door.

As they walk down the deserted hallways towards the exit, Kara can’t help but let her eyes wander over Cat’s outfit, loving how it looks. Particularly the way the slit along the side reaches far up Cat’s thigh, offering tantalizing flashes of skin with the speed of their exit. She’s always known Cat was attractive, but something about knowing where the night is heading gives the looks a new heat, a new edge of desire.

“If you keep looking at me like that we won’t make it to a bed,” Cat murmurs the third time she catches Kara staring, meeting her eyes with a knowing glint. And Kara should be embarrassed, but the flash of heat that rushes through her at the confirmation that they want the same thing pushes any other thought from her mind. “My driver won’t be here for another five minutes; I wasn’t expecting to leave this early.”

There’s more than a hint of implied compliment in those words, and even if Kara is currently immune to embarrassment this approval from Cat sends a flush across her cheeks that’s nearly as deep. Cat’s drivers are usually kept on standby within yelling distance of a venue, given strict instructions on how long Cat will be attending whatever event she’s at that night. For the car to be far enough away that they’re waiting means Cat had genuinely wanted to be there for Kara.

That thought sends another spike of desire through Kara, one that makes waiting impossible. She briefly wonders what Alex will say when she finds out, but Kara is too far gone to care.

“I can get us there faster that he can get here,” Kara says, reaching up to fiddle with her glasses as she waits for Cat’s reaction.

There’s a hint of shock that plays around her eyes before being replaced by a smirk, and Kara fights to keep from rolling her eyes. She knows that if they get into some competition that Cat will destroy her, and as pleasant as that might be with the current still running between them, Kara can’t help wanting their night together to be something different. Not necessarily soft, but working together rather than trying to gain an upper hand.

“I’ll tell him we made alternative arrangements then,” Cat says, reaching for her phone as Kara looks around to ensure no one will see her spin into her suit. “I think I like you better in that dress, actually,” Cat says as she hangs up, reaching out to trace a hand along Kara’s arm and up to her shoulder. “Though I must say, the cape does wonders to excuse the rest of the outfit.”

The touch, even as innocent as it is, sends heat rushing through Kara. Apparently it has a similar effect on Cat, because without another word she’s stepping closer to Kara, arms reaching up to tangle around her neck.

“Hold on,” Kara warns her before lifting off, rising slowly to give Cat a chance to adapt to the sensation.

“It’s beautiful up here,” Cat says when she finds the courage to look up from where she’d tucked her face into Kara’s shoulder, fear leaving her frame as she looks around at the city spread beneath them. “God, Kara, how do you ever come down?”

“No one delivers up here,” Kara jokes, though she understands what Cat means. There’s a peace to the evening air around them. The world is still close enough below to feel the constant reassurance of its steady presence, but from this height the stars above them seem almost within reach. They’re both a part of the world and separate from it, able to see a beauty that’s so often denied to the average human.

Cat laughs, pulling herself closer even though Kara’s grip hasn’t wavered, and before Kara can register what’s happening their lips are meeting in a soft kiss that quickly surpasses anything Kara has seen or felt for sheer beauty. She’s never brought someone up here like this, never kissed someone so deeply without the barrier of secrets between them.

It brings the heat between them into sharp relief, and before Kara quite realizes it Cat’s hands are wandering over the texture of her suit. She isn’t searching for clasps or a way beneath, but each movement is deliberate as she searches out the places that make Kara shudder against her.

And as much as Kara loves that, she’s afraid of getting too distracted this far above the ground. She’d snap out of it if something happened, could easily catch Cat if it came to that, but it’s better to avoid those potential hazards. Dropping Cat because of a little groping would put a definite damper on the rest of their evening.

But that doesn’t mean they have to stop completely, Kara decides as a nip of her teeth against Cat’s bottom lip draws an honest whimper from the woman in her arms. In fact, stopping might just kill both of them.

Moving one hand from where it’s been firmly pressed into Cat’s back for support, Kara waits to see if the change makes Cat react in any way. Cat’s still securely held by the remaining hand low on her back and her own arms around Kara’s neck, but if the lack of that extra point of support had made her nervous at all Kara would have returned it immediately.

When Cat doesn’t react Kara takes it as a sign to continue, tracing searching fingers over the fabric of Cat’s dress in mindless patterns, exploring every inch of Cat’s body that she can in this position. She idly realizes they’ve slowed and inched higher over the past few minutes, but the heat from her body seems to be keeping Cat comfortable, and splitting her focus to get them back on track seems impossible right now.

A deep moan escapes from Cat as Kara breaks the kiss and moves her focus to the line of her throat, tracing gentle kisses along her pulse as her wandering hand grows bolder, slipping between their bodies to ghost over the side of a breast.

“You’d better be ready to make good on this teasing,” Cat pants as Kara’s fingers slip over a nipple, back arching just slightly against Kara’s hold. “We’re a little exposed for foreplay.”

“No one’s watching,” Kara promises, having kept part of her hearing tuned to the city beneath them as they flew. Not enough to be distracted by minor issues that the police can handle for one night, but enough that if anyone were to exclaim in surprise at the sight of them it would attract her attention.

“Then quit teasing and fuck me already,” Cat says, moaning as Kara’s shock at her words earns a particularly sharp pinch of fingers against the peak she’d been teasing.

Even after a few years Kara is still used to giving in to what Cat wants, and this time is no exception. The fact that she wants it as well doesn’t hurt, and without another word, teasing or otherwise, Kara finds that slit that had so enraptured her earlier and drags her fingers along the skin in reveals. It’s easy to pull it higher and gain access to where Cat needs her most, and Kara lets out a moan that matches Cat’s when her fingers find the lace pattern that provides the only barrier between them and slick flesh.

Cat’s words in her ear urge Kara on, and in seconds she’s slipped beneath that barrier to feel Cat hot and wet against her, mind nearly going blank at the sensation. Only Cat’s pleas for her to move, to stop teasing keep her focused, and without much conscious thought Kara’s fingers begin a steady movement against Cat’s clit. The angle and fact that she’s supporting Cat’s weight against the pull of gravity keep her from sinking inside, but she explores as much as she can, already looking forward to repeating this on an actual bed once they’ve gotten this first round out of their systems.

“Open your eyes, Cat,” Kara whispers when she can tell the other woman is close. “Open your eyes for me, look at the city beneath us. It’s so beautiful Cat, but it’s nothing compared to you.” She keeps talking as Cat shudders in her arms, working her slowly through the force of her orgasm.

“I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed flying this much,” Cat says as her breathing returns to normal, resting her head limply against Kara’s chest.

“I think this just made my list of favorite flights too,” Kara admits, taking a risk and placing a soft kiss to the crown of Cat’s head. It’s gentler than anything that’s been shared between them so far, and it probably tells Cat exactly how deeply Kara’s feelings run, but Kara can’t help it. She’s finally gotten something she’s wanted for years, and she can’t pretend otherwise.

“Get us to a bed, and we’ll see what other favorites we can find for the night,” Cat says as she tilts her head back to look up at Kara, familiar smirk in place.

And maybe Kara shows off just a little with her speed as she rushes them to Cat’s penthouse, but she’ll never admit to that. No one needs to know that, just like no one needs to know it’s less about showing off and more about needing Cat’s hands on her as soon as possible.

X

“Mm, shut it off,” Cat grumbles the next morning as Kara’s phone goes off.

It takes Kara a moment to focus on the phone when Cat shifts against her, leg thrown over her hips and seemingly reluctant to let her go, but the beeping from next to her is annoying enough to break through her distraction. Especially because it’s Alex’s ringtone.

“What?” Kara asks sleepily, hoping it’s nothing serious.

“We’ve got a rogue alien downtown, wanted to know if you wanted in. We can take him, but you get all pouty when I don’t call,” Alex says, and Kara sighs in relief when she realizes it isn’t serious at all.

“I’ll let you handle it then,” Kara says, looking down with a fond smile to where Cat has slipped back into sleep, head pillowed on her chest. Her even breathing gives Kara the courage to slip in a pun she never would to Cat’s face. “I’ve got a Cat laying on me, moving is out of the question.”

“God, Kara, I didn’t need to know that,” Alex says, and Kara can picture the scrunch of her face. “I didn’t realize you were still over there, it’s after noon.”

A quick glance at the clock on the bedside table shows that Alex is telling the truth, and Kara can’t help the grin that stretches across her face at the realization. “We had a late night.”

“Again, did not need to know,” Alex nearly yells, and Kara can’t help laughing at the disgust in her sister’s voice. “Just for that, I’m spending all of our next movie night making out with Maggie.”

“Then we’ll just have to put on a show of our own,” Cat says sleepily, eyes still closed as she snuggles closer to Kara. “And believe me, I have no problem ensuring we win.”

“You know what, I’m just going to let you two go,” Alex says quickly, hanging up before Kara can say anything in response.

“You want to come to movie night?” she asks Cat instead, trying not to get her hopes up before Cat answers her. It could have been nothing more than competitiveness after all, but something about the way Cat is still holding her makes it seem like more than that.

“I assumed it came with the territory,” Cat says, finally opening her eyes and smiling up at Kara before raising herself up just enough to give her a gentle kiss. “I know we have a good amount to discuss, but I know I didn’t intend for last night to be a one-time thing.”

“Good,” Kara breathes, leaning down to place a deeper kiss to Cat’s waiting lips. “Because I don’t take just anyone flying.”

Kara would say more, but before she can find the words her phone is lighting up with a text from Alex.

New rule. First couple to make the other throw things buys the snacks next time,' the screen reads, and Kara can’t help but laugh as she shows Cat.

No matter what else, movie nights will definitely be interesting from now on.