DISCLAIMER: Supergirl is an American superhero fiction action-adventure drama television series developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, that aired on CBS and sister network The CW. It is based on the DC Comics character Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino. No profit or infringement is intended with this fan fiction.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This fic was written for Secret Kalex Santa 2019 and is my gift for Daxolotl. I'm a huge fan of her stories (both Kalex and Dr Who fics too!) so I'm happy to have the chance to give back. I hope you like it! AN2: A bit of reframing of Alex's amnesia storyline, with rose coloured Kalex goggles firmly in place. Forgive the rehashing of Suspicious Minds and Red Dawn scenes in particular. The sunshine energy sucking from grass and woodlands seemed very weak to me. Besides, I didn't think you'd mind too much.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To Geekgrrl.lurking[at]gmail.com
Thanks for the Memories
"I know who you are," Colonel Lauren Haley calmly accused Supergirl, who stood helplessly in front of her. "And from now on you will do exactly as I order, exactly when I say." Haley's eyes narrowed in spiteful victory.
They should have just let the Morae assassin kill her. Except that wasn't who Supergirl was, and it wasn't the kind of person Kara Danvers wanted to be. And Alex Danvers knew it and loved her for it. So they stood in the lower cell level of the DEO facility and waited for the inevitable fall out. Kara would lose her world, everything important to her, again. Wasn't losing Krypton enough for one lifetime?
"She just saved your life," Alex refused to give up without a fight, a final plea to the Colonel's honour. She moved between the two women glaring at each other.
"Did I give you permission to speak, Danvers?" Haley turned her attention to Alex, who took a step back as the dressing down began in earnest. "You're lucky you're not in handcuffs for violating article 90 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice." The barely veiled disgust glittered in her dark eyes. "Your command is now mine."
Alex swallowed hard and racked her brain to come up with something to fix this, to protect Kara from this military monster. Without skipping a beat, Haley once more turned her attention to her new asset. It was going to be a glorious prize to present to the President.
"Kara Danvers' life is over. A member of the press working out of a secret military operation." Haley shook her head, galled at the audacity of the alien. Kara sighed quietly, shoulders drooping as it sank in that her world was about to be changed forever. "I'm going to recommend to the President that we immediately conscript you back into service." Haley paused and then made her final menacing threat, intended to scare the alien into submission. "If you have any reservations about obeying, you think about what would happen if your enemies found out about who you are. Your friends, your family, everyone you care about would have a target on their ba--"
Colonel Haley dropped like a stone to the cold cement floor, and this time no one made an effort to save her sorry ass.
Alex stood panting with fury. She barely realized she had moved, let alone slugged her superior officer, until she felt the jarring pain of her fist connecting solidly with the side of Haley's jaw, causing the older woman's head to spin, and knocking her unconscious.
"I had to!" Alex turned to face Kara, eyes wide, still stunned at her own response, and realizing the consequences it brought with it.
Still, it had felt damn good.
They dodged that speeding bullet, J'onn wiping Colonel Haley's mind, forcing her to forget all that she had learned. However as much as J'onn could erase memories, he could do nothing about her almost obsession to discover Supergirl's secrets. Alex's heart sank the next day when Colonel Haley wheeled her latest alien weapon through the DEO, a Vertullarian. The octopus like alien creature was better known as the Truth Seeker, and it even unnerved Brainy.
The meeting later at J'onn's office simply confirmed it. The Truth Seeker had one function, to expose lies. Anyone who knew Supergirl's secret was at incredible risk. Another impromptu meeting in the locker rooms and the other DEO agents who knew agreed to be mind-wiped, gladly to protect Kara's secret.
Alex had thought about it long and hard too, even consulting her mother, as it would affect Eliza as well. It was a significant decision, with so many repercussions, the consequences steep either way, but Alex knew it was the only solution. She loved Kara, more than she could ever say, and would protect her at all costs. She stood in J'onn's office now and watched Kara pace and struggle with what they all were volunteering to do, knowing the worst of it was about to come.
"I have to be mind-wiped, too." Alex sighed, knowing Kara would not like this solution. Hell, Alex didn't even like the decision herself. If she was honest, fears swirled in her mind constantly still. How would this change their relationship? What if it changed her fundamentally as a person? As much as it scared her though, Kara's life and very freedom was more important. The rest...well, they would figure it out as they went along.
Alex fervently hoped, anyway.
"What?" Kara turned back to face Alex, clearly not pleased. "No!" This was an unacceptable option. There had to be another way.
"I have to." Alex tried to convince her again. She had figured this wouldn't be easy.
"No, it's out of the question." Kara was getting angry now, which was never good. Kryptonian stubbornness would not be helpful right now either. Alex tried again.
"Look, even if I could beat the Truth Seeker, there would still be a danger that I would slip up." Alex said. Kara sighed and looked away, not wanting to accept the logic of her argument. "You know, with a text or just sharing information." Alex moved closer, willing Kara to accept the truth. "Or simply the fact that I love you."
"So... you will be smarter and more careful." Kara tried to reason with her. Surely there was a better way than a mind-wipe? It wasn't fair for Alex to sacrifice so much for her, yet again.
"If Alex's mind isn't wiped," Brainy finally spoke up, breaking into the argument with his unerring logic, hating that he had to do this to his friends. "There is a 100 percent certainty that Haley will still discover your secret identity."
Kara looked away, her arguments shattering in the cold truth of Brainy's words, her heart clearly breaking. Memories were still fresh from her recent adventures with the Flash and Green Arrow. Eyes welling with unshed tears, she moved closer to try one last time to get Alex to see reason. Nothing was worth losing your mind, your most private thoughts, couldn't Alex see that?
"I just came back from a world where you didn't know who I was." Kara shook her head, this was too much. It would all be too hard without Alex at her side. "I'm not doing that again."
"There's no other way." Alex knew the risks and chose to do it anyway. Together they could get through this. They had to.
"There is!" Kara flung her arms out, growing desperate. "You can quit. Just leave, get out of there--"
"Kara." Alex tried to calm her down, to get her to see the reasoning, that this decision actually made sense, as hard as it would be on both of them.
"Haley's not a danger to you, when you don't work there." Kara argued back, grasping at straws.
"I can't quit. You said it before. I have to stay and I have to fight this from within." Alex was wavering too, but knew it was the thing that had to be done. The path of a soldier in this battle was clear, she needed to be brave and follow it. For Kara's sake.
Kara sank down on the edge of J'onn's big oak desk, distraught. This was all wrong, they had to find another way, surely. The lies she would have to tell and maintain alone, it was overwhelming. Life without Alex at her side, hiding her true nature after so long together, it would be so hard.
"Who am I without you?" Kara looked up at Alex, her heart in her eyes. Alex sighed, and reached out her hand, offering what comfort she could with her touch. "The whole reason I became Supergirl was so that.." Kara's voice broke, the tears falling freely down her cheeks. The same terror of losing Alex that night was racing through her veins again now. "It was to save you."
"And I'm still going to be the reason." Alex blinked away her own tears, and moved next to Kara, sliding her arm around her shoulders, offering as much comfort as she could. "I'm still going to be me." Alex prayed this was going to be the truth. "And you're still going to be Kara. I just..." Alex was hit with the weight of her own words as she spoke them. "I just won't know that you're Supergirl."
It will be so weird to not know. It had been her reality for all of their shared life together. It was almost inconceivable, and yet it was going to happen.
"I'll have to lie to you every day." Kara murmured through her falling tears, her chest heavy with sorrow.
"It's not a lie. It's " Alex swallowed down her own uncertainty, rationalizing her actions. "It's keeping a secret."
Kara glanced over at her and shook her head, knowing full well it would be one of the hardest things she would ever have to do. Lie to the one person who she loved more than anyone, her zrhemin nim. Not that the ceremonial House merging when she had arrived on Earth had meant the same to any of the humans at the time. It was still a bonding, a political betrothal of sorts that she never followed through on. It didn't mean it wasn't there, deep inside both of them. Kara had no one to blame for not sorting that out but herself. And now, she would never be able to. Another lie she'd have to keep from Alex.
"And I'm giving you permission." Alex said softly as Kara began to weep harder. "Now let me save you this time." Alex pulled her into a tight hug, both of them needing a shoulder to cry on. Kara held on to Alex's arm, never wanting to let go.
They stayed that way as the other DEO agents came and went, minds wiped clean of any memories of Supergirl's secret identity. And then it was Alex's turn.
Kara stuffed her hands into her pockets, miserable. This was such a bad idea, on so many levels, she just knew it.
"You ready?" J'onn said softly after closing his office door as the last agent left. He turned to Alex, mentally preparing himself for the most intense and deepest mind-wipe.
J'onn would take care of her, Alex knew there would be nothing to worry about on that front. She was more worried about Kara right now. Alex sighed, and reached out, needing the warmth of Kara to calm her own nerves.
"Everything's going to be okay." Alex squeezed Kara's arm.
Kara hesitated and then shook her head. It was bad enough that she would have to deal with the consequences, she couldn't watch the recognition, the memories, drain from Alex's eyes.
"I...I can't." Kara turned and left the office, quietly closing the door behind her.
Alex sighed as Kara fled, a big piece of her heart going with her. They had always been a team, always had each other's back through thick and thin. Now that was all about to change. She let out a long breath and nodded at J'onn. Time to get this over with.
J'onn approached slowly, his eyes wise and sad. He raised his right hand, placing two fingers on her left temple. She closed her eyes a moment, trying to prepare, as J'onn began to probe into her mind. His fingers were warm, and there was a soft tingling. Slowly she opened her eyes again, finding J'onn focusing intently.
Alex stared deeper into the glowing red eyes as they grew brighter. The light was so bright, it felt like she was being swallowed up, sliding into the warmth that enveloped her, like sinking into a hot bath. She wondered if this was like the light of Rao, if this is how Kara felt on the sunbed, in the healing red light found there. Alex exhaled softly and let herself float in the light, focusing on her breathing, trying desperately to ignore her breaking heart.
Then there was silence and nothing more. Alex blinked, refreshed as if coming out of a deep guided meditation, and looked up at her old friend's kind eyes. Alex smiled, and felt a tear trickling down her cheek. She frowned, wiping away the moisture she found there, suddenly unsure. There was something...a moment ago. Wasn't there?
"J'onn, why am I crying?"
"Shall we begin, Director Danvers?"
Colonel Haley's smug grin did nothing to endear her to anyone in the interrogation room. Alex merely ground her teeth and nodded, pulling her right sleeve up to her elbow and then took the plunge without further hesitation. The liquid in the small tank was thick and warm, and Alex tried not to react as her fingers touched the cool Vertullarian's flesh. It quickly wrapped it's tentacles hard around her hand and wrist, it's suckers attaching easily to her skin. Alex swallowed hard and tried not to freak out, it wasn't much worse than having her blood pressure taken, and focused instead on the intense scrutiny of her commanding officer.
Haley paced back and forth, waiting as the Truth Seeker did it's thing. Alex felt a tingling along her arm, something pulling at her, thoughts started being harder to form. Alex blinked and looked up at Haley.
"Excellent." Haley stopped in front of Alex, the glee in the Colonel's dark eyes disconcerting, but Alex knew the first question would be the most obvious. No subtlety required when you are forcing your troops to answer truthfully.
"Do you know the secret identity of Supergirl?" Haley watched her every move carefully..
Alex's mind seemed to hum, a wave of heat flushed through her body and there was a brief fuzziness in her head, but there was no hesitation as she answered.
"No, I do not, Colonel Haley." It was an easy response because it was the truth. Her superior officer paused in her pacing, still watching Alex closely, clearly not believing it.
"You are attracted to women, correct? You've made no attempt to hide your...preferences." Haley offered up a knowing grin as she changed her tactics, moving once again.
Alex straightened her shoulders and frowned. 'Don't ask, don't tell' was no longer officially in effect, and she didn't hide that she was gay but still she was not overtly out either. It was in a military organization after all, conservative suspicious minds don't change that quickly. She glanced down as the tentacles tightened on her wrist and she didn't hesitate further in responding.
"Yes ma'am." Alex lifted her chin, refusing to be embarrassed.
"Hmm " Haley nodded thoughtfully. "Are you attracted to aliens, Danvers? More specifically, are you attracted to Supergirl?" Haley's eyebrow cocked and she waited for the answer.
"I--I : Alex swallowed hard, her cheeks burning. She hadn't really thought that hard about Supergirl. Sure they had worked together in the past, and were close when J'onn was Director. And who wouldn't appreciate the physique, the long legs and very short skirt? Alex's mouth was moving before she even realized what she was saying. "Yes, I find Supergirl attractive."
Haley's eyes widened, sensing a potential victory before she stepped closer, leaning into Alex's ear, the next question just as shocking.
"Have you ever had sexual relations with Supergirl?"
Alex's eyes widened and she sputtered at the inappropriate turn of questioning. Is that what they all thought, that she was Supergirl's secret lover? The suckers on her arm tightened and she glanced down at her arm in the goop again. What the hell was it doing to her?
"Answer the question, Danvers." Haley smirked, sure she had her this time. Alex's gaze snapped up and she locked eyes with her commanding officer. Fuck them all and their stupid gossip. She was confident of this answer.
"No! I've never had sexual relations with Supergirl."
Haley's features twisted with judgement and disgust, the next question coming just as fast.
"Do you want to?"
"I...I " Alex struggled, wondering. Did she? Was that what it was she felt when she was around the hero? She'd thought it was just admiration, maybe a little awe? Was that why Maggie had been so jealous of the time they had spent together working cases? The alien on her wrist pulled on her mind, forcing things she would never admit out of her mouth. "I don't know?"
Haley stared at her long and hard, assessing the answer. It was the honest truth and they both knew it. Alex wasn't sure and that kind of terrified her. It wasn't an outright yes, that could have been a weak spot to be exploited by Supergirl. But it wasn't a definitive no either. The Truth Seeker seemed to be laughing at her in it's tank. At least someone was enjoying this embarrassing situation.
"Aliens are not human, no matter how pretty it looks, Danvers." Haley pursed her lips and moved away, pacing again. "You would do well to remember that."
Alex could feel the disappointment in the Colonel's demeanour, but she could care less. Her answers felt like a victory to Alex, as confusing as they were. The questioning turned away from the more personal aspects of her life and continued for another half hour, going over various cases worked with Supergirl over the last few years. Haley was clearly looking for clues to Supergirl's life outside of the DEO, but to no avail. Frustrated but grudgingly satisfied with her responses, Haley finally dismissed her.
Pulling down her sleeve Alex rubbed at the bruises on her arm that the Truth Seeker had left behind. His name was Arnold, he had imparted mentally as they began to separate from each other. She had wondered if he was treated well and he noted that he desired his freedom, but otherwise he enjoyed his work and was fine. With those parting thoughts, he wished her well and released her.
The next agent made his way into the interrogation room as Alex left. Colonel Haley was making notes on her laptop, preparing for the next round of questioning. She still had a lot of work to do. Someone had to know more than they were telling, and she was nothing if not patient. The door closed behind Alex as she stepped out of the room and she released a long breath.
She had a lot to think about.
"How are you holding up?" Eliza asked, coming from the kitchen and handing over a steaming cup of peppermint tea, Kara's favourite. The girl sat on her couch and looked miserable. It reminded her of when Alex had left for college. That had gone on for months.
"I miss her so much." Kara sighed as Eliza sank down beside her, pulling her into a loose hug.
"I know sweetheart." Eliza dropped a light kiss to the top of Kara's head. It was going to take some adjusting, but they were used to protecting Kara at all costs. Look at how far Jeremiah went, and Alex seemed to have inherited that overprotective character trait.
"There's more, that I haven't really mentioned before." Kara shifted away, out of the much needed hug and leaned forward, elbows on her knees, as she tried to find the right words. Was there a good way to tell someone they messed up your life?
"Okay? You know you can tell me anything, sweetie," Eliza's hand stayed on her back, making soothing circles. She was starting to get worried now. Nothing was ever simple in their family.
"Right." Kara fidgeted, reaching out to snag a cookie from the plate of them on the coffee table. "Do you remember the joining ceremony we had, when I first arrived?"
Eliza frowned trying to recall. It had been so long ago, what does that have to do with anything now? She thought back, trying to remember those first few weeks. Kara had been so quiet not really understanding English yet, how fascinated Alex seemed to be with her, the ongoing nightmares the poor girl had of everything burning. They had all been so worried about her, and then the powers started manifesting. Eliza snapped her fingers as it came to her.
"You were having panic attacks and weren't sleeping. Your powers were starting to fully kick in and everything was so overwhelming. Jeremiah and I were worried to death." Eliza sipped her tea and shook her head. It was so hard to know what to do with a normal teen, let alone a wee alien girl who had lost everything. "We called Clark, hoping he would have some ideas on how to help you settle, and he suggested the House joining. He'd been doing research at the Fortress and apparently at that age Kryptonian children have these ceremonies. We thought it would help you fit into our family if you joined the House of Danvers officially." Eliza smiled remembering how Alex volunteered to represent 'the House of Danvers'. It had been so cute.
"Yeah, it did help, but not the way you think," Kara pinched the bridge of her nose, embarrassed but needing to clarify the situation. She should have probably done it long ago. "They're bonding ceremonies, kids are basically betrothed to strengthen political allegiances between Houses and then when they are older are fully bonded."
"Bonded...as in " Eliza frowned, started putting it all horribly together. It was such a huge cultural gap in their knowledge. And Kara and Alex had been at the center of the ceremony that they had held. Which meant that they were essentially...
"Married." Kara said sadly. The English word wasn't even close to what a bonded pair was to each other. She didn't necessarily like the process, an arranged marriage for political favour, but it was Krypton tradition for better or worse. If Krypton hadn't been destroyed who knows who she would have ended up with. Alex was an amazing choice, Kara had been proud to join her house.
"Oh, Kara, I had no idea." Eliza flushed as she realized what they had done in ignorance. Kara stood and started to pace, shaking her head, not wanting Eliza to feel bad. It was water under the bridge now.
"It wasn't anyone's fault really. You thought you were helping me," Kara tugged at her fingers nervously as she walked, rationalizing what had happened. She'd had a long time to work through her feelings around it. "And I was too new to this world to understand you didn't know what you were doing. I trusted Kal-El, so did you and well...then it was done." Kara smiled softly. It had been a great day, she had been so happy. She finally belonged to someone, somewhere. Alex was so pretty and smart. However, it didn't take too long for Kara to figure out that there had been a huge misunderstanding though. "I thought 'sister' was the English word for 'zrhemin nim', my future spouse. When I realized the mistake, I...adapted."
"That's why you didn't want Alex to go away to college." Eliza kept connecting the dots, remembering things that didn't make sense at the time, but were easy to dismiss. Kara not wanting her own room, instead insisting that she keep sharing the one with Alex. How much Kara hated Vicki Donahue, Alex's best friend. All the sketchbooks filled with images of Alex. The year Alex was at college and Kara moped around the house, lost. Now, reframed, it all came together into a cohesive picture. "You were miserable for months."
"I missed her so much." Kara sank back down beside Eliza on the couch. "The connection was strong, we lived together, hung out together, even slept in the same room. It was enough to maintain the tentative bond, but with Alex gone, well, it took some getting used to."
Eliza reached out and placed her hand on Kara's arm. Such a strong woman, even at seventeen, making the tough decisions even then. Kara had never said anything to them, no complaining, nothing. Eliza had buried herself in her own work by then, with Jeremiah's death she had been hiding from her own heartache for years, and had thought Kara was just lonely. She felt horrible that the girl had gone through such a hard separation and she had been all but oblivious.
"When Clark and Lois married, didn't he say bonding is for life for Kryptonians?" Eliza asked, her mind still reeling trying to make sense of it all. "What about Mon-El?"
"Alex and I never completed the ceremony when we reached 18." Kara sighed, lowering her glasses to give her both her and Eliza's cooling tea a little laser zap to warm it up. "Alex accepted and loved me as her sister, we were headed to college, there was no need to complicate things and I didn't want to jeopardize our family. So...I just let it drop. By not completing the bonding ceremony it left us in a kind of limbo, free to love others."
And yet did it really?
"Besides, I didn't think Alex was interested in girls." Kara shrugged, letting the old hurts fall away. It did no good dwelling on them anyway. "On Krypton it didn't matter at all. With the birthing matrix, there was no stigma around any sort of mix and matched relationships. But, it's...different here."
Eliza bowed her head, Kara wasn't wrong. Throw in that they were foster sisters, living together under the same roof, it would have been awkward. Not unheard of though, plenty of foster siblings fell for each other. Maybe if Eliza had known, it could have been...easier? She sighed, knowing it probably still would have been challenging for all of them.
"Working with Alex and the DEO as Supergirl brought us together and we were getting closer again. She saw the real me, not just her little kid sister. My crush on James, well, it never really felt right. Then Maggie happened and Alex bloomed. I was so happy for her," Kara smiled sadly. " I was. A part of me wished it had been me, but soon I had Mon-El and it was enough for all of us. Until it all fell apart, and we were both on our own again. And I was afraid. It never felt like the right time to discuss it with her and Alex had already given up so much of her life, dedicated it to protecting me."
" I wonder if that's how the bond manifested itself in her," Eliza's scientific mind kicking in. It would be fascinating, if it wasn't her family embroiled in the middle of it. "She does have an almost obsession about keeping you safe, protecting you at all costs."
"How could I ask for more? And now " Kara began to tear up. "Now Alex is finally free of me."
"Oh, Kara," Eliza pulled her into a much needed hug, the weight of the situation so much worse than she had known. "I'm so sorry, honey."
Kara sank into the warmth and wept.
"I'd really appreciate it if you'd address me as Director Danvers."
Asking had seemed like a good idea at the time, but the awkward moment with Supergirl at the frat house brawl had somehow set the tone to Alex's new relationship with the super hero, and sent it into a downward slide. Alex had hoped that by stepping back, keeping things more professional between them would keep Haley at bay. That she wouldn't be so suspicious of her loyalty or her motives. That it would give her some space to analyse her real feelings about the woman.
It had felt like kicking a puppy.
Supergirl took it well, if you didn't dwell on her sad eyes, and her immediate compliance was great. Alex knew she had been cold but it was necessary. In a way, she was protecting her former colleague too, and if she told herself that enough maybe she'd actually believe it.
Alex was off her game and that proved it. Deep down she knew something wasn't quite right, even though J'onn had scanned her and found nothing out of the ordinary. She needed to get her mind off of it though. A nice relaxing movie night with J'onn and Kara was just what the doctor ordered. Nothing like a glass of wine and a bit of mindless, violent sci-fi to help forget real life for awhile. And it was fine for a time, with popcorn and laughter filling the air. J'onn left not long after the end credits rolled, and Alex found she still couldn't get Supergirl off her mind.
Alex glanced down at her bandaged hand, wondering how long the laser burn would take to heal. Anger, or something close to it, churned in her chest for a brief moment. The alien was so damn arrogant and self righteous! Her own worry about what Haley would think, the Colonel's hateful words ringing through her mind, her burned hand stinging and Alex had lashed out. Harsh and unfair, she could see that now. Deep down she didn't really believe that Supergirl didn't know what it felt like to be vulnerable. She had seen it too often over the last few years, and knew better.
"Hey, dork, what's running through that big brain?" Kara asked, sinking down beside her on the couch, a bottle of white in her hand already moving to top up her wine glass. Her gaze lingered on the bandage wrapped around Alex's fingers, hoping it felt better than it looked. "Want to talk about it?"
"I don't know, Kar, I just feel ." Alex struggled to describe it. "Off. Like I can't think clearly sometimes, like I'm disconnected, vulnerable. I'm making stupid mistakes, things I should be able to handle are stumbling blocks now, and yet " Alex sighed and took a sip of her wine.
"Say more," Kara slid her glasses lower and scanned her neural pathways for subtle brain injuries, and found nothing physically out of the ordinary either. She glanced over and waited, wondering if Alex was feeling the loss of their connection. Maybe the mind-wipe hadn't been as successful as they thought and something of their bond was lingering, like a residue or an echo. "Do you think it has to do with Haley's questioning?"
"No, at least, I don't think so," Alex pulled her long hair back out of her eyes as she searched through her feelings yet again. Was that all that this was? "Maybe? I don't know anymore. J'onn checked me out and said I was fine." She took another sip of her drink, feeling bad about her run in with Supergirl probably didn't help. "To top it all off, I think I fucked up with Supergirl. I said some things and "
"And?" Kara looked away. it still rankled that Alex had been so harsh. She hadn't been so snippy with her since they were teens. Kara knew she just needed to suck it up, but it had stung all the same. "She's the 'Girl of Steel', couldn't she take it?"
"Actually, I think I hurt her feelings," Alex picked at the tassel on the nearest cushion. "I was still trying to come to terms with some of the questions Haley asked me. And I think I was trying to overcompensate. Distance myself from her in front of my agents." Alex fidgeted a bit more, swirling the wine in her glass a bit. How many of them thought she was Supergirl's bit on the side? "I didn't tell you but Haley thought I was sleeping with Supergirl."
"Whu-what?" Kara's eyes widened, and she sat up suddenly, pushing her glasses higher on her nose. She hadn't expected that! "That's...that's so inappropriate."
"Which? The question or... that I might be attracted to Supergirl?" Alex looked away, staring out the big windows and into the night. The silence was deafening. Great, now Kara was judging her too.
Kara's mouth opened and closed several times. She had never dared to hope that Alex would feel anything but sisterly affection for her. And now, with no memories associated with the alien version of her identity, a door was opening. Did she dare step through it?
"A-a-are you?" Kara finally sputtered out. She couldn't help herself, she had to know. At least then it would be put to rest, one way or another.
Alex was quiet, thinking. It was all she seemed to do these days. She missed the good old days when she was emotionally stunted and didn't deal with any of her feelings. Arguing with the alien had been aggravating, but also exciting. Alex took another swallow of wine, hoping it would help her forget the hurt look in those amazing blue eyes.
And there it was, that feeling that ran through her when she least expected it. The shiver that shot down her spine when Supergirl called her Director Danvers, her voice dropped lower. Her hands on her hips, muscles flexing, hair fluttering around her shoulders, and a special smile just for her, or so it seemed. A spark of something hot and not at all professional coursed through her veins. Alex sighed, there was no use denying it.
"Yes, God help me, I think I am."
"I hate Valentine's Day."
Alex had grumbled about it all day, to Brainy, to herself, to anyone who would listen. Marshmallow heart bouquets be damned, it only served to point out how pathetic her love life was, and she didn't need any reminders about that, thank you very much. Deep down though, Alex wanted to love it, she just needed to find the right someone to share it with. Stopping at Kara's apartment tonight, even to just share discounted candies with someone who cared about her had been a good plan. Being with Kara always made her feel better.
Their conversation tonight had been helpful. Alex needed to get back in the saddle and move forward with her life. She sighed and wandered down the street from Kara's apartment, heading for her parked bike. She pulled out the phone number Kara had gotten for Becca. Except Becca wasn't who Alex wanted to follow up with.
Alex glanced up into the night sky, feeling like she was being watched. Sure enough, hovering above the city was the familiar figure of Supergirl. She was alone tonight too it would seem. Ever vigilant, keeping an eye out for trouble. Or maybe, if she was being fanciful, was she making sure Alex made it home safe? Who was to say? Alex secretly hoped it was the latter.
"Happy Valentine's, Supergirl." Alex murmured and smiled, crumpling up the small piece of paper and tossing it away. She tugged on her black helmet and kicked her motorcycle to life, then pulled out into the night, confident that nothing would harm her on the way home.
"I didn't know you made house calls."
The first time Supergirl showed up at her apartment, Alex was definitely not expecting it. Maybe she should have, the way the woman had been hovering around her lately, showing up at crime scenes, helping out but staying out of her way. Supergirl walked in through the balcony doors and looked around, her eyes settling briefly on the big king sized bed and then quickly looked away.
Alex hid her smile with a quick sip of her wine. She couldn't shake the feeling that having Supergirl in her apartment was familiar, like it wasn't the first time at all. She chalked it up to that deja vu feeling she was getting more and more used to.
"Your place is great." Supergirl turned to face her, hands moving to her standard pose on her hips. No small talk then, straight down to business. The conversation had turned quickly to work, but it was a boundary that had been tested. One that Alex wasn't sure she minded being crossed.
Alex had felt bad, declining to join in, worried about her position and putting the DEO at risk. As Director she needed to think about those responsibilities, she couldn't just go gallivanting after a rogue superhero. Even if something deep inside was screaming at her to go help. Supergirl had been understanding and had headed for the balcony, blasting off into the night.
Alex stood in the cool evening air, watching the blue streak disappear into the night. The look on Supergirl's face haunted her, and the nagging feeling that she should be doing something to help was not going away.
Kara was very happy to see Alex in one piece after everything was said and done. The President's secret satellite array was destroyed and Manchester Black and his band of so called Elites had been thwarted, if not captured. The clean up was in progress and it had felt like old times. She hopped into the back of the medical transport vehicle, watching Alex fiddle with her wound. "How's your head?"
"Don't worry about it," Alex struggled with the bandage, the damn cut was deep and probably should have stitches. She deserved it for letting Manchester Black get the best of her she figured. She glanced over at Supergirl, catching her eye. "Just don't tell the president."
"You were never here." Kara smiled, squinting slightly as she did a quick visual scan. No concussion or fracture, which was good at least. Before she could think better of it, Kara reached out, long fingers ever so gently moving the hair back from the wound. Alex stilled, watching as the woman gingerly applied the bandage, trying not to hurt her. Something about it seemed so achingly familiar...
Kara had always been the one bandaging up Alex after a scrap of some sort. Usually after the girl had beaten up some school yard bully on her behalf. Always her protector, even then. She smiled now, listening to Alex's heart suddenly beat faster. Their eyes met and Kara swallowed hard. She quickly finished up and moved slowly away.
"You did a good thing," Alex said, getting her racing pulse under control by checking the bandage in a mirror, appreciating the help. "Destroying that satellite."
"Well, I couldn't have done it without that suit." Kara had been so glad for Alex's quick thinking. If she hadn't have brought the super suit of armour Lena had designed, well, Kara would have found out just how long she could hold her breath for.
"The Elite are still out there." Kara sighed and glanced out into the night, knowing that the job wasn't done.
"Oh, we'll get em." Of that Alex was sure. She followed her gaze out into the darkness too. We, she said, and she meant it. They had crossed another line tonight, working together again. Supergirl was not their enemy, Alex knew it in her bones. She needed to start trusting her gut instincts again. "Um, look...officially I know we're not really supposed to communicate "
Kara stared intently back at Alex, hanging on her every word, afraid to hope.
"And I'm not saying you can show up whenever you want, but you know, occasionally," Alex needed to figure out how to balance this without pissing off Colonel Haley or getting herself into trouble. "From time to time, maybe...uh, we could--"
"Kick ass the way we used to?" Kara's face lit up. If she could have danced a little jig she would have.
"Something like that." Alex offered a half grin and a small shoulder shrug. Something inside seemed to loosen and glow, like a ball of happiness that grew bigger with each passing moment. Good decision, Danvers.
"I would really like that." Kara could hardly contain her happiness. Alex seemed pleased and excited too. Probably more than she should be, considering the trouble it could cause her at work. Still, Kara would take her victories where she found them. Which reminded her, she still had another visit to make this evening. "Wish me luck, I gotta go see a guy about a satellite."
"Good luck!" Alex smiled, not envying her that conversation.
Kara nodded and left the ambulance, blasting up into the sky, feeling lighter than she had been in weeks.
"I come bearing gifts, Director Danvers."
Kara slowly landed on Alex's balcony, pleased at finding her already outside, staring out at National City. She smiled and lifted the bottle of red she had picked up, direct from France. It was the second time Supergirl had just showed up at Alex's apartment uninvited, but she was determined to make it a lot less awkward. In fact, it reminded her a lot when she would drop in to visit Cat Grant on top of Catco. Rao, Kara still missed that woman and her sage advice.
Alex had been guarding Lockwood at the rally, they had both been at the riot afterwards. They had shared a look today, through the crowd, and it seemed like they had crossed another barrier. A deeper level of trust maybe, a shared faith in the goodness of people, and Kara was hoping they could maybe move closer to the way things had been before the wipe.
"Thank you, Supergirl," Alex smiled softly, checking the label. It was a favourite, how did she know? "And, I think in my own home, you can call me Alex." She popped back inside and returned quickly with a bottle opener and two glasses.
"How did you ever survive guarding Ben Lockwood?" Kara snagged the opener, had the cork out of the bottle and was pouring wine in an instant.
"Duty above politics." Alex just smiled and took a sip of wine. "Not that I enjoyed it." She ran a hand through her hair. "The whole thing was crazy today. I saw you marching, it made the 11 o'clock news." Alex leaned on the balcony railing. It as a beautiful night out, why not enjoy Supergirl's company. "I know we haven't been on the same page lately, but seeing you out there, hand and hand with everybody else, well, it was inspiring."
"Thanks," Kara ducked her head. "I needed to realize that I'm not just a superhero, I'm a citizen of Earth as well."
"I followed my beliefs not the rules today." Alex said, staring out at the twinkling city lights around them. "And it felt really good to take a moral stance." It felt like it had been way too long since she had.
"I think we all felt that way today," Kara said softly. "Seeing everyone come out and have their convictions heard, seeing people who had been fighting, helping each other, it was great. It just goes to show that alien, human, superhero, every action counts and every voice matters."
"And maybe the good guys will win in the end." Alex glanced over at Supergirl, feeling like they were finally back on the right track. Supergirl raised her glass, and she touched it with the rim of her own.
"I'll drink to that."
Kara felt great working closely with Alex again. James' recovery from being shot was a stark reminder that life was short. The arrival of Kelly Olsen, James' sister, was a welcome new friend. And then hunting Eve Tesmacher together with Alex and Lena, well that had been invigorating.
They had thought the Agents of Liberty were the problem, but Lex Luthor had been behind it all. And now there was another Supergirl, an evil clone that needed to be stopped at all costs. Alex and Lena had both trusted her, knowing that Supergirl wasn't behind the terrorism. That faith and trust above all else kept Kara sane.
Through it all she had felt the bond, the thread of their connection tying her and Alex together, growing stronger. For all Alex's interest in Lena and then Kelly, it was Supergirl she continued to follow with her eyes when she didn't think she was being watched. And Supergirl's occasional balcony visit every now and then, didn't hurt.
Kara clung to those small yet significant tells. Once this trouble with Lex was sorted out, she hoped she would be able to court Alex the way she deserved. Until then she needed to lay low, keep Supergirl under wraps, and work harder as Kara Danvers instead.
Tonight though, Kara sensed something was wrong with Alex. A sadness weighed on her, heavy in her chest. Kara had a text from Alex that something exciting was happening, but no details. Then a much later one that just said never mind and she'd explain when she saw her next. She couldn't follow up as Kara at the moment, maybe Supergirl could check in.
Would a late night visit be so bad?
"And it's funny, but I feel as if I'd known you all the time, but I couldn't have, could I?" Dorothy said on the tv set. Alex drank to that, she was very familiar with that feeling these days.
"I don't see how. You weren't around when I was stuffed and sewn together, were you?" Scarecrow said next.
"And I was standing over there, rusting for the longest time." The Tin Man followed logically. Alex shuffled down deeper under her blanket. She always liked the Tin Man best, tough on the outside, soft as butter inside.
"Still, I wish I could remember, but I guess it doesn't matter anyway, we know each other now, don't we?" Dorothy said as they started out on their trip to find the Wizard.
Alex smiled, The Wizard of Oz had followed Casablanca on the classic movie network, and after Kelly had left, she hadn't felt like going to bed. If she was honest, she was worried about having another weird dream. They were coming much more often, and they felt so real. It was getting worrisome.
The tapping on her window startled her, but the visitor was certainly not unwelcome.
"Hey, The Wizard of Oz!" Supergirl grinned as she stepped into the apartment. "It's my favourite."
"Then, come join me. We're not too far into the story." Alex waved her in and tucked that info away for future reference. Of course it would be, a girl in a strange land making her way back home. She never thought of Supergirl relaxing in front of a tv, but she knew the girl had a secret life. She probably liked Lilo and Stitch too. Alex flipped the far side of the comforter up on the couch and r to the couch,
The visits to her balcony had become a regular thing, and Alex was afraid to hope it meant more than just friendship to the alien as well. She always felt better afterwards, more settled. Supergirl sank down onto her couch, and tugged half of the comforter over her legs. Alex blinked, it was a very Kara thing to do, and she shook herself mentally. There was a brief buzzing almost in her mind and then she realized she had been staring at Supergirl. Alex turned quickly back to the movie.
It wasn't long and Alex noticed Supergirl's eyes were drooping and then she had nodded off. A light wheezy snore started and it was adorable. Alex pictured the woman in some fuzzy jammies and one of her old university sweaters. How could she ever have thought that Supergirl didn't know how to be vulnerable? Alex felt a wave of protectiveness wash over her, wanting to watch over the sleeping hero, keeping her safe.
"Whu--" Kara suddenly started, and opened her eyes. As she got her bearings, she yawned and stretched. "Sorry, long day." Kara noticed the sad look crossing Alex's features. Something was definitely up. "Hey, are you okay? Wanna talk about it?
Alex took a sip of her wine, and shook her head no. She didn't really want to go over the adoption falling though. It did make her wonder though, after all, she broke up with Maggie over it. What did Supergirl think about raising a family?
"Do you ever want to have kids?" Alex finally spoke, her voice so low, a human would have been hard pressed to hear. Supergirl started, clearly not expecting the question. Alex looked away, wishing she had said nothing.
"I--I do." Kara finally sputtered out. She may not have expected the question so directly, but she knew the answer, had for a very long time. If she had a family with anyone, it had always been pictured with Alex. Adoption, birthing matrix, some other way they hadn't figured out yet, Kara wanted it. She just had thought it wouldn't happen. "I always thought my bond mate and I would one day have a family."
"Bond mate?" Alex perked up at that. She knew very little of Kryptonian culture, she wanted to learn more. As much as Supergirl was willing to share.
"Like a spouse, but more." Kara explained briefly. "My wife and I would--"
"Wife?" Alex's eyes widened at this new facet of Supergirl's life. Her heart sank at the thought that Supergirl might already be spoken for. Of course she would have someone in her life. Look at her. She had to know for sure though. "So, are you married, or bonded?"
"Uh, I meant hypothetically. O-Or if I had a husband-- I guess." Kara pulled self-consciously at the blanket covering her legs. Alex looked relieved at the deflection, which was good at least. "Anyway, it didn't matter on Krypton at all. The birthing matrix removed the need for biological mating."
"So, you like men and women or " Alex prompted. She needed to know if there was any hope that there might be a shot after all. That it wasn't just wishful thinking on her part.
"I like people, Alex." Kara interrupted before any labels were applied. "It's the beauty of a person's heart that draws me in. Their strength of character and innate goodness. The cute way dark hair that falls across soft eyes " Kara reached across and pushed Alex's long bang to one side, tucking it behind a small ear, silky soft strands falling through her fingers.
Alex froze, heart thundering. Her gaze dropped to Supergirl's lips and back to those amazing blue eyes again. They were so close, breathing the same air, sharing the warmth of the fire and their bodies under the comforter. The air seemed to crackle with potential, and Alex inched slowly closer.
"Wait," Kara knew they shouldn't, she needed Alex to know the whole picture before they took another step closer. It would give them at least a fighting chance. "Alex, I want to tell you my name, I want you to know the real me."
"No, not if it makes it too dangerous for you." Alex hesitated. She should have thought this through further. Damn it, how were they ever going to make this work with Haley constantly sniffing around.
"Me?" Kara boggled, needing Alex to really think about what she was doing. "Your career could be at stake, possibly even your life if my enemies ever discovered " She paused, not wanting to go further, scaring herself.
Alex looked up and searched the sad blue eyes before her. "You know what, fuck that. I don't care about the consequences ." Alex reached out and cupped Supergirl's cheek. It was so warm, the woman was like a furnace. "We can figure it out."
Kara closed her eyes and leaned into the caress, inhaling deeply. She loved how Alex smelled, always had and she guessed she always would. Even now she slept with an old t-shirt Alex had left at her place. It soothed her, calmed her down, and helped her to sleep at night. Especially when she couldn't have the real thing in her bed.
At least not yet.
Kara swallowed hard. She needed to tell Alex the truth, so the woman could make a proper decision. Except she didn't want to drive her insane by forcing the memory. Kara didn't know what to do, so she did what she always did. She made the hard decisions.
"There's more, and I think it will matter to you." Kara sighed and moved away, looking off into the distance.
Alex knew she could handle Haley and anybody else that got in their way. She grabbed Supergirl's hand and squeezed, harder than a human would like, but that was the point.
"Hey, I know all I need to know. You are a good and decent being." Alex could feel the emotions between them, pulsing and beating like a shared heart. "You bring out the best in me, and I like who I am when I am with you."
"Alex we shouldn't." Kara felt her resolve slipping, and moved to cup Alex's cheek gently, wanting nothing more than to taste her soft lips. She knew though that they needed the whole truth between them or whatever relationship they might have would be in jeopardy.
She inched closer, watching Alex's lips the whole time. Would it be so bad to just kiss her once, so she would know what it was like? Before their whole world crashed around her and Alex wouldn't ever speak to her again. Before Alex ran away in disgust.
That thought brought Kara to her senses and instead, she shifted, simply touching their foreheads together instead, inhaling deeply. Alex's heart was beating like a hummingbird's. She wanted more, she could tell, they both did. And she was sorely tempted.
Somewhere a siren rang out into the night.
":Zhaol" Kara swore and hung her head. It was the story of her life, wasn't it? She stood, reluctant to leave the warmth of Alex's home, and the heat she found simmering in her zrhemin nim's eyes.
"Go." Alex said looking up at her, understanding completely. "Duty calls."
"I'm sorry." With a last lingering caress of Alex's cheek, the pad of her thumb was drawn across her plump lower lip, like a promise of things to come. "Good night, Alex." Then Supergirl was gone in a whoosh of air.
Alex stood and pulled the comforter up around her shoulders, the scent of Supergirl clinging to the material, and moved to the balcony. She watched the sky for a long time, finishing her wine. There are always second chances if you're willing to take the leap, Kelly had said. Alex had a lot to think about.
Neither woman slept very well that night.
"Come on! Mom, Kara, pick up!"
Alex raced along the familiar route home on her motorcycle, up Highway 101, then veer off a short distance to Midvale. She still had a good twenty minutes before she would be anywhere close. She didn't want to think about how many laws she broke getting there either.
Something was definitely wrong, she could feel it in her guts. Red Daughter was stalking her sister and she'd nearly had a panic attack. Supergirl's simple touch to her hand had calmed her right down. She needed to figure out what was going on between her and the superhero too. One scary thing at a time, Danvers.
The call from her mom had been surprising, how did Red Daughter find Kara's family? How was her sister tied up in all of this? Supergirl had said Red Daughter was there and that Eliza was in danger, before she blasted off. How did she know Red Daughter was there and not Kara? Alex needed answers and knew there was trouble brewing. Not for the first time she wished she could fly.
Alex gunned her motorcycle engine and sped even faster down the winding roads to home.
She prayed she wouldn't be too late.
"Hope, help and compassion for all. That's what I stand for."
Kara stood watching Red Daughter, trying to make her understand that she was not the enemy. Lex was going to betray her, he was using her, not Supergirl.
"You will not be able to stand at all when I am done with you." Red Daughter crouched and tossed the edge of her cape out of her way. Kara prepared for the next onslaught. They raced towards each other on the road just outside of Midvale. Kara flew over, her fist extended, and Red Daughter slide below her, missing each other. Landing on the other side, Kara turned, not sure what the point of fighting each other would do.
"How do you think this ends? We have the same powers?" Kara tried to reason with her. There had to be some good in there somewhere. Maybe if she could just get through to her somehow.
"Not exactly. I am evolved." A dark purple ball of energy shimmered to life in Red Daughter's left hand. Kara's eyes widened as she realized that the other woman's suit had an upgrade. Probably from Lex or Eve using stolen alien powers or technology of some sort. The woman spun around and then launched her shot straight at Supergirl, hitting her dead center of her chest, sending her high up above the treetops. A bright purple bolt of energy followed behind, hitting her full blast. She cried out in pain, convulsing backwards, absorbing the energy. Then a huge ball of energy radiated out over the entire area, blacking out the sky.
Supergirl fell like a meteor crashing to Earth, leaving a scorch mark several yards long and deep. Red Daughter hovered overhead and then slowly sank to the ground, to make sure the job was done. No such luck, as Supergirl got to her feet and stepped from the burning trench, towards her nemesis.
"Submit." Red Daughter demanded.
"Not while I'm still breathing," Kara growled back and unleashed an icy blast of air. Red Daughter deflected, her arm icing up from the blast. She shook it off and the two women circled each other, continuing the fight.
It was far from over.
Alex had been surprised by the sudden darkness falling over the area. And then she could make out the flashes of a laser fight lighting up the sky. She was getting close she knew, the fight seemed to be located deeper in the forest than where the road went. Her gut was churning with worry, she needed to get to Supergirl and stop this madness. Alex parked her bike and pulled off her helmet, she would need to make the rest of the way by foot.
She ran into the forest, straight toward the light show, following by instinct, listening to her entire body practically screaming that she there as soon as humanly possible. She dashed up a small rise and there in front of her they were, battling it out. Body blow followed body blow, Supergirl taking a hard hit and falling backwards. It wasn't looking good.
Alex blinked, memories like her dreams starting to flash in front of her. She was remembering moments with each breath, each heartbeat. Kara using her laser vision to roast marshmallows on a camp out. Her and Kara walking along the Midvale bluffs and then they were falling. Kara was suddenly there, catching her, and then they were flying. She had been scooped up in Kara's strong arms.
Alex bent over to try to catch her breath, her head pounding and heart racing. What the hell was that? In the distance she heard Supergirl cry out in agony as another barrage of energy lit up the sky. Alex stumbled forward needing to get to the battle.
Another memory burst through her mind. Christmas time, in the living room, the big tree behind them, Kara laughing, blowing freezing air up to the ceiling, big fat fluffy flakes of snow falling down, kissing her cheeks and lips. Alex laughing beside her.
Another old memory, from when Kara had just arrived. A pinky swear, in their bedroom, that she would always be her person. Kara's face lit up and she swore as well, calling Alex her zrhemin nim. The pretty flush on Kara's cheeks when she asked what that meant. She never did tell her.
It was coming none stop now, in waves in time with her heartbeat, in time with the energy blasts hitting Supergirl. Like a conduit of energy straight to her head and her heart.
Alex remembered the plane to Geneva, the terror that she felt when she realized that they were all going to die. The relief as the plane suddenly levelled out, and then there was Kara, saving the day. Saving her life. She was so proud of Kara, standing on the wing of the plane, embracing all that she was and could be. Also the overwhelming fear of how would she be able to protect Kara now?
Another blast of energy, hit Supergirl, who fell to her knees and then to the ground. She tried to crawl away, to gather her strength, but she was being worn down, only to be grabbed by her cape and lifted up by Red Daughter. A purple bolt punched to the gut.
Alex squinted at the bright flash, her heart breaking as Supergirl was tossed around like a rag doll. Another memory burst in her brain, this one very recent. She was comforting Kara, holding her close, heart breaking with each word but knowing it was the right thing to do. It was the only way to protect Kara.
"Let me save you this time." Alex pulled her weeping sister closer. It finally all made sense.
Kara was Supergirl!
Something deep inside seemed to shift and click back into place, her world once more made utter and complete sense. She looked up in time to see a final harsh blow to the head, and Kara fall in a crumpled heap on the ground.
Supergirl was not moving.
"Kara, no!" Racing forward Alex launched herself at Red Daughter, grabbing the imposter's shoulders, trying to move her away from Kara's unconscious body, but to no avail. It was like trying to move a skyscraper, and Alex was simply tossed away like a bag of garbage.
Red Daughter turned back to Supergirl, determined to finish the job. She stared down at Kara on the ground, head cocked as if she was listening for something. The fight was finally over. Seemingly satisfied, and needed elsewhere, the woman blasted off into the night sky.
Alex struggled to her feet and stumbled over to mounds of dirt and debris to get to the fallen hero. Supergirl lay still, unnaturally so. Alex's heart shattered into a million tiny pieces as she realized it was too late.
Kara was dead.
Alex raced over to the lifeless form on the ground. Dropping to her knees, she leaned over and tried to find a heartbeat. She pressed her head pressed Kara's chest listening for anything, searching for any signs of life. Alex finally understood the feelings she had all this time. Not knowing Supergirl's identity had finally made her recognize the feelings she felt for what it was. More than sisters, more than best friends, it had always lurked there, just under the surface, but she had been afraid. Alex had buried her emotions so deep inside, deeper even than her crush on Vicki Donahue. Even Maggie's jealousy made so much more sense.
Alex was in love with Kara.
It was so simple and so complicated at the same time.
"You can't go now! I remember! Everything!" Alex leaned back and couldn't accept that this was it, that this is how it would all end. She had so much more she wanted to say to Kara, that they had to work out. It couldn't be too late. "And Kara, we're here...we're here together and I know you " She grabbed Kara's hand never wanting to let go, trying to will her to open her eyes, squeeze her hand, anything.
Eliza suddenly emerged from the bush, finally making it to where she had seen Kara drop from the sky. She saw Alex talking to Kara's lifeless body on the ground. All she could do now was watch with despair, sure that it was too late. Alex would need her more than ever.
"I know you better than anybody knows you, and I know that you don't quit. So you can't go now." Alex gazed down at Kara's motionless face, not wanting to believe her eyes. "Kara, you can't go." Alex pressed her head down to listen again for breath or a heartbeat, anything. She leaned back and held onto Kara's cooling hand, refusing to believe this was it.
"Alex!" Eliza's hand covered her mouth, tears stinging her eyes. This wasn't how it was supposed to end. Both her girls were supposed to live happily ever after, together. Flying off into the sunset together. Little super babies running around her feet. Tears began to fall down her cheeks as she moved closer.
"Mom, it's okay, she's going to be fine...." Alex was in denial. Eliza shook her head, worried about Alex now, knowing that the bond between them was probably in tatters as well. How would Alex be able to heal that unbreakable bond?
"It's just dark, and there's no sunlight to help revive her." Alex began to grow frantic. There had to be something to rejuvenate her before it was too late, but they were running out of options fast. She thought about starting CPR but knew she wouldn't be able to make a dent to Kara's Kryptonian body. Damn super genetics!
"Kara, please " Alex's voice broke, terrified. Too much time had passed and she knew it. "Please don't leave me!" Alex's heart was breaking. She was a doctor for God's sake there had to be something she could do. She lowered her head to Kara's chest and wept.
Kara was truly gone.
Alex lifted her head, her eyes travelling across Kara's face, pausing to memorize the small scar near her eyebrow, the straight angles of her nose, the strength of her jaw. When the emotion of the moment became too much, Alex closed her eyes, the tears dropping unheeded, and a sob was pulled from her chest.
All the lost time, never telling her how she really felt. It hurt so much. Alex blinked open her eyes and slowly reached out to touch Kara's cheek. She would allow herself one kiss, a final acknowledgment of what might have been. Slowly she bent forward, nuzzling into the baby soft hair at Kara's temple, finding the shell of her ear and whispering.
"I've loved you for so long, you have no idea..." Alex murmured. Then ever so gently, she shifted and pressed against the waning warmth of the full lips beneath her. Tentative at first, almost shy, then the kiss grew more intense as Alex moved closer, as if demanding a response that would never come. A tear fell and landed on a pale cheek, trickling down to the forest floor below them. The world seemed to stop and mourn the passing of its hero.
And then, something fundamental changed.
There was an undercurrent of something more, of some sort of energy flowing up and through, pushing and pulling between them. Alex had felt snippets of it before, but now she finally let herself melt into it, feeling it crack something open deep inside. She welcomed it, willing to let the energy between them do what it may, even if it destroyed her in the end. Alex couldn't be more ruined than she already was and if it finished her too, well, that was a happy ending in its own way, wasn't it.
A sudden roll of energy was completely unexpected, the heat of it sparking and flowing along Alex's veins, then moving through and into Kara, as if filling up her very soul. Tendrils of energy wrapped around Kara's body, starting at her feet and moving up along her still form. Alex didn't move away, instead she deepened the kiss. She didn't dare hope, but she couldn't help herself. Something amazing was happening.
Suddenly Kara inhaled, a long shuddering breath, her, eyes snapping open, and then a thrilling jolt of recognition.
Kara whimpered, mewling and weak like a kitten, as the energy moved onward, twisting and curling along their bodies, snapping and crackling through every pore and out into the universe in a shockwave. In that instant Alex knew it was the beginning and end of everything, that she had experienced true love's kiss. With Eliza standing right there watching it all. She didn't care though, Alex was too busy enjoying herself, as brief as she feared it might be.
"Wow," Kara murmured soft and intimate, nuzzling close, not yet aware of the full situation.
"Wow is right," Alex blinked away tears, her heart all but stopping as she waited to see what would come next. Kara looked around, getting her bearings, eyes growing wild. "Hey, I'm here, I'm right here. I remember everything."
Kara's eyes widened, then filled with tears as she realized what Alex had said.
"I missed you so much."
"I really missed you, too." Alex broke down and they wept together.
Eliza dropped down beside her girls and smiled. If she hadn't seen it with her own eyes, she wasn't sure she would have believed it.
"Let's get you two home. We have a lot to talk about."
"It was true love's kiss, and I'm sticking to it."
Kara grinned and drank down the hot, sugary drink Eliza had mixed up to try to boost her energy levels. The headache was starting to fade and her bruises were healing practically before her eyes. Not to mention she felt a vibrant energy coming almost directly from Alex. Their bond was open and complete. The joy of that alone was enough to heal any hurts she still had. The portable red light on the coffee table, that Alex had stored at Eliza's for just such emergencies, probably helped too.
"Shut up," Alex grumbled, but squeezed her hand harder. "I'm still wrapping my head around being betrothed and not knowing it." Kara looked down, but smiled shyly. Alex all but melted and smiled back. There was a lot to get used to, now that they both knew the whole truth.
"Actually, I think the kiss opened up the bond fully, that exchange of energy at just the right time solidified it," Kara said seriously. "You saved my life, Alex. We're bond mates. The next step would be a formal joining ceremony." Kara hesitated. If you love something set it free, didn't the old Earth saying go. Time to test that theory. Kara swallowed hard and offered the out. "I don't want to trap you into anything you don't want, Alex. If you don't feel the same way "
The kiss was certainly unexpected, but not at all unwelcome. It definitely answered Kara's question.
"If you think you can get rid of me that easy, think again." Alex murmured, enjoying the thrum of energy pulsing between them. It tickled and sang along her skin and seemed to shoot out her fingertips. If this was just from kissing, sex was going to be out of this world. Bond mates. It would take a little getting used to but she was willing to take that journey with Kara, wherever it lead. "So, how do you say wife in Krpytonian?"
"My Zrhemin ," Kara smiled, turning her head into the warmth of Alex's neck, before burrowing deeper into the collar of her shirt, inhaling the clean scent of her. The old wound borne from a simple cultural misunderstanding was healing in a different kind of light. The light of love.
Eliza came back into the room, two mugs of hot chocolate at the ready. She smiled at the sight of her girls, their worlds back where they belonged.
El Mayarah. They truly were stronger together.
Life had finally started to settle down, once Lex Luthor had been defeated. At least, as much as that was possible for Supergirl and the Director of a secret government agency. They had met at J'onn's office for game night with the Super Friends and then headed home for a quiet evening together. They sat on the couch in Kara's apartment, like a normal sister's night. Alex smiled, they'd have to start calling them date nights.
It was still early days, but at least it felt like they were on the right track together now. They were still learning what being bond mates meant. How their connection was the same, and different, from couples on Krypton. Kara's mom had been very helpful, and was looking forward to their next visit to Argo City. She was already wedding planning, much to Kara's embarrassment.
Alex wasn't quite sure if she was ready for that just yet. Thankfully they had time, lots of time. Sitting on the couch at Kara's apartment, Alex flipped up the comforter as Kara slid in beside her, two glasses of wine in her hands. It didn't take long and they were cuddling, Kara wrapping Alex in her arms, both of them laying together along the couch. Alex turned slightly and nibbled along Kara's strong jaw, finding a tender earlobe and sucking on it. The Girl of Steel had her weaknesses, and turned into a puddle of molten fire, if you knew her secrets.
"Do not start something you can't finish, Director Danvers." Kara grinned, enjoying the shiver she felt travel along Alex's body.
"Don't tempt me, Supergirl." Alex waggled her eyebrows, more than willing to play.
"We agreed, just catching up on our shows tonight." Kara giggled, loving this side of Alex. "No Netflix and chill, unless you count that pint of ice cream in the freezer."
Kara snuggled closer, softly breathing in her mate. The formal ceremony was still in the works, they just needed to sort out the timing. Alex grabbed the remote and started flipping through the programs listed, pulling up the Great British Baking Show.
"Bread week!" Kara smiled, it was her favourite. "You remembered!"
Alex smiled and dropped a sweet kiss to Kara's lips before pressing play.
"Some things you never forget."
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