Eve calls her in a panic, saying Miss Grant wants to see her now and does Kara know what other places to get Miss Grant’s morning lattes from? Because the ones at Noonan’s aren’t the same and have developed an “earthy flavor one should only be subjected to while hiking in a rainforest, Eva” and if-
Kara sighs. Ever since Cat got back from her journey, it feels like Kara never stopped being her assistant.
She scribbles on a post-it several cafes that Cat had deemed acceptable before settling on her beloved Noonan’s and climbs the three flights of stairs to Cat’s office, leaving the post-it and an incredibly grateful Eve in her wake.
Kara knocks twice on the open glass door. “You wanted to see me, Miss Grant?”
The woman doesn’t look up, still focused on the magazine in her hand. “Come in, Keira, and close the doors.”
Cat never closes the doors.
Even when Cat confirmed that she knew Kara’s secret and was insulted Kara thought she was foolish enough to be tricked by glasses, those doors had been wide open.
It had been after hours and the floor completely empty, but still.
Her feeling of still being Cat’s assistant grows tenfold. Except now Kara’s sure she’s about to be fired. Again.
Kara does as she’s asked and sits in the unoccupied chair in front of Cat’s desk, the other holding a large box of James’ knick-knacks that he’s yet to collect in the week since Cat’s return. She smiles when she notices the framed candid James had taken of her and Lucy eating ice cream.
“So.” Cat says and Kara’s head snaps toward her. They ignore the slight ruffling of papers on the desk. Cat sets down the magazine she was reading, the article now visible.
Kara recognizes it immediately.
It’s her exposé on Lena that was run yesterday. One she’d gotten a lot of positive feedback on for how in depth it was and how personal it felt. Even Snapper had grumbled something that, while indecipherable to anyone else, sounded like ‘nice job’ to her.
She’s confused and judging by Cat’s eye roll, she can tell.
“I may have been living in a yurt halfway around the world but I wasn’t living under a rock. I’m well aware of the gossip that takes place, particularly within the four walls of CatCo.” Cat stands up to walk over and collect her bowl of M&Ms on the bar. “I know, I know. I dismiss gossip and rumors on principle but…” she sits again, face too stern for someone currently picking out the red and orange M&Ms to eat.
Kara still has no idea what the hell she’s talking about.
“In the week I’ve been back, I’m starting to believe those rumors have some merit. So I’m going straight to the source.” She gestures towards Kara.
Kara blinks. Cat sighs.
“Are you in a relationship with Lena Luthor?”
Kara sputters, embarrassed to feel herself blushing and Cat takes note of it with interest.
“What? I...no, we’re…we’re friends. She’s my best friend!”
The words feel small to Kara, not encompassing all that Lena is to her.
Zhao Kara thinks, the Kryptonese rolling in her mouth easier than English ever will.
Zhao feels right. Feels like Lena Kara swallows. Like home
Cat’s not fooled. “I’m aware you’re friends, Kiera. Why else would the CEO of a billion dollar company give all the exclusives to a fresh faced reporter?”
Kara huffs. “She loves my articles!”
Cat’s partly amused face tells Kara she did not help her case.
“What I’m trying to figure out is if you two are only friends.” She waves off Kara’s rising anger. “And yes, it is my business if one of my reporters is writing articles on their significant other. That bias would threaten the integrity of my company and I can’t allow that.”
Kara deflates. “Yes.” She says softly. “We’re only friends, Cat.”
Cat stares at her, a look on her face Kara doesn’t understand.
She can hear the M&Ms melting in Cat’s hand, the older woman continuing to stare at her in an increasingly creepy manner as she tosses them into the trash and wipes the residue away with a napkin.
Kara looks away. Looks back.
Yup. Still staring.
With alarm, Kara recalls all the signs of a stroke Alex once taught her to look for.
Unnecessary though, because Cat taps her fingers thrice against the desk before sitting back in her chair. “Well,” Cat says in annoyance, “why?”
“What?” Kara’s shocked. She was not prepared for this when she walked into Cat’s office earlier.
“Indulge me a moment.” Cat tells her. “I like to think I know you better than most, Supergirl.” Kara’s grateful the doors are shut. “So I’m going to speak as a friend and not as your boss now. I know what you look like when your heart’s involved.” Cat flicks her eyes towards the box on the chair and Kara presses her lips together.
“Okay.” Kara says.
“And of the few interactions I’ve seen between you two this past week alone…well, you may have been able to hide the fact that you’re Supergirl for this long, God knows how, but you’re no good at hiding that kind of love, Kara.”
It’s the use of her real name that makes Kara unable to speak, not even attempting to deny what Cat’s saying.
“You love her.” Cat repeats unnecessarily. There’s a soft look on her face that Kara only sees when she looks at Carter.
She’s not used to talking about it. She knows Alex supports her no matter what but there’s still a protective caution in her eyes whenever Kara mentions Lena. She wouldn’t know how to begin explaining it to J’onn. James and Winn are out. And Lena is off the table for obvious reasons.
The only person Kara has told about falling for her best friend so completely and without hesitation is her mother’s hologram, her native language flowing freely from her lips as she talks about everything Lena to the forever smiling image.
Kara always leaves that room feeling lonelier than before and the hole in her chest where Krypton sits grows a little wider.
It’s a stark relief, having her feelings out in the open. And with Cat of all people, someone whose opinion means a lot to her. Her friend and mentor.
“Does she know?” Cat asks.
Kara scrunches her eyebrows. “If she knew I’m in love with her, I don’t think we’d be having-”
“Does she know your secret?” Cat interrupts.
Oh, that makes more sense.
“Yeah, she does.” Kara tells her.
Cat actually looks surprised at that.
“Oh, I see.” Cat smiles. “Well, that certainly makes things easier.”
Kara semi glares. “Easy for you to say when I’m the one that’s been struggling to tell her.”
“In all honesty, I thought that was the reason you hadn’t told her yet.”
“No, it’s…it’s not that.”
Cat leans forward. “Then what is it?”
Kara takes her glasses off, pinching the bridge of her nose in order to prevent the headache she swears she feels forming but is impossible for her to get.
“I’ve lost everything once.” It’s harsh, the weight visibly stunning the other woman. “And that loss eats at me every day of my life.”
Cat doesn’t say anything, unsure of what she possibly can say, and Kara continues.
“If I tell her and she doesn’t want to be anything more than friends, I can deal with that. It’ll…it’ll hurt, of course, but I’ll still have her in my life. But if she doesn’t want to see me anymore? The two of us being friends is crazy enough, believe me, but what do I do if this makes things too complicated for her?” Kara gulps. “I…she doesn’t have many people in her life that she can depend on, if any. I don’t want to put her in the position of not even having me when it could have been avoided and…I don’t want Lena to be another thing I’ve lost. I don’t think I could handle that.”
It’s silent. Kara cleans her glasses before wearing them and if she pretends not to notice Cat quickly wipe her eyes, so be it.
There’s a siren somewhere downtown. Kara determines they don’t need her help and almost wishes they did.
Cat takes a deep breath. “I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose an entire world. And I’m not going to pretend I can. So I’m going to give you advice on something I can help with.”
“However bad you might be at hiding your feelings for her, she’s much worse.”
Kara’s eyes widen. “What?”
“I’ve seen you two together.” Cat reminds her, rolling her eyes. “I’ve seen the smiles she’s sent your way, the looks, the way she physically stops herself from touching you so often because she’s afraid you’ll figure out how badly she wants to.”
Kara warms at the thought.
“The way you feel, Kara, I’m willing to bet she feels the exact same way. And you know I don’t care for gambling.”
Kara gives a tiny laugh before shaking her head. “And if you’re wrong?”
“It’s happened before, yes.” Cat tilts her head. “I understand that having multiple divorces doesn’t make me an expert on having a happily ever after, if you’re into that mundane sort of thing. But,” there’s a wistful look on her face, “I don’t regret those four times. And I wasn’t wrong about them. I may not have been right but I wasn’t wrong. And for what it’s worth, I don’t think I’m wrong about this either.”
“Well, for what it’s worth, I hope you’re right.” Kara says.
And Rao, does she ever. The fear of destroying what she has with Lena would be enough to quiet her forever-
If it weren’t for that hope of Lena returning her feelings, that possibility of the two of them being together and having their own happily ever after, that little what if inside her that knocks loudly every time Lena says her name.
She doesn’t want to lose Lena. She knows Lena doesn’t want to lose her.
Maybe…maybe the next time that little what if inside her knocks, she’ll answer.
Kara takes a deep breath. “Okay.”
“Good.” Cat smiles for a moment and then waves her away. “Now, I’m extremely busy so-“ she points at the doors “leave those open on your way out. It’s far too quiet.”
Kara’s just about to open them when she turns. “You’re not just saying all this because you want an exclusive if this were to ever get out, do you?” She teases.
“For both your sakes, I sincerely hope the press never gets wind of it. However,” Cat looks at her, “if it were, CatCo gets that story. Imagine the headlines. I’d like to see Lois beat that.”
Two weeks later, while Carter is trying to pick a movie for them to watch on Netflix, Cat gets an email that says
Due to extremely recent developments, I will no longer be able to write articles about Lena Luthor and L Corp without bias.
I apologize for the short notice.
P.S. You were right. Thank you.
She gets a reply instantly.
Her name is Kara.
And while I do feel responsible for causing you to reassign your best reporter, any apology I give would be insincere since I am not sorry.
“Mom, what are you laughing at?”