Kara didn’t turn up in Seattle expecting to see Cat Grant. Really. She didn’t.
It’s not like she’d been counting the months. But six months was a lot, wasn’t it? Six months since she’d last seen Cat. Even people who missed their former bosses a normal amount would notice that. Of course Kara wasn’t still hurt over how abruptly Cat went off “diving”. It was fine. It didn’t upset her that Cat had abandoned her when Kara needed her the most, for what Cat herself would have once called “a cheap self-help metaphor”. Kara certainly didn’t spend lots of time talking over all the important scenes of Netflix shows, ranting to Alex about it. She hadn’t had to duck thrown popcorn and ignore the repeated groan of Oh my God just call her already.
This trip had nothing to do with Cat. It was a good opportunity for her career in the media. It didn’t matter that Cat was the keynote speaker at the conference. And yeah ok, if pressed Kara would admit she did miss Cat a little. Not a lot. A perfectly normal amount of missing. She did, after all, book into the Regent, a hotel she’d stayed at with Cat back in her assistant days. But that had as much to do with the room service waffles as anything else. She wasn’t hoping she’d run into her former mentor. Accidentally. Maybe at the bar, knowing Cat. And even if she did want to accidentally-on-purpose run into Cat, she didn’t still nurse any silly crush on her. That was long gone. It had been six months. But, of course, she wasn’t counting.
Kara had called the hotel last minute to make her booking. She wasn’t a big name on the ticket by any means, and so her addition to the conference had been a few days before it had started, when another writer had dropped out. She was still super keen, and surprised when she had managed to get a room at all.
Her plan for her first evening in Seattle was to turn up at the hotel, crash in her room with some potstickers and go over the talking points for her panel, before going to hear the keynote. Maybe afterwards she’d do a quick fly back to National City. Alex had assured her everything would be covered in her absence, but it wouldn’t hurt to check. But when she entered the lobby she heard a distinct voice rising in argument. She smiled when she saw Cat, who was leaning over the front desk, threatening the rather tall young man who stood behind it. She tried not to enjoy the view too much, or the way Cat’s skirt rode up slightly.
“Ma’am—” the man said.
“If you call me ma’am one more time I will make you choke on that pen,” Cat said. “I don’t care what your shitty little computer screen says. I know what I paid for.”
“Miss Grant,” Kara said.
Cat turned around. Her irritated expression melted immediately, replaced by a wide smile that she managed to quickly cover up with a look of practiced indifference.
“Well, if it isn’t the Tribune’s new star reporter.”
Kara blushed, and tilted her head.
“I saw you listed in the program for tomorrow, Kara,” Cat preened a little. “See? I told you I have the best instincts.”
The man at the front desk cleared his throat and Cat narrowed her eyes, but didn’t give him any indication that he mattered to her. She kept looking at Kara as she spoke.
“The braindead lumberjack they have hulking around their booking system seems to think he can rush me.” She pursed her lips and sighed. “After utterly wasting my time, when we both know I have the penthouse room booked.”
“Miss Grant,” the man said, sounding insistent but also a little nervous. “You are down in a corner room, second floor.”
“That’s where my room is.”
Cat narrowed her eyes.
“What number?” her voice was soft, but a little threatening. “Kara?”
“That’s the one,” the man confirmed.
Kara gaped and fumbled quickly for her booking email, nearly dropping her phone in the process.
“No, no no,” she flicked through, her hands shaking, smiling with gritted teeth. “This has to be a mistake.”
“It’s no mistake,” the man said. “Kara Danvers and Catherine Jane Grant, second floor, room thirty-two. Two nights. I can show you the booking confirmation if you want.”
“I have the confirmation here,” Kara said. “No, I mean… I booked for me. Just me.”
“I’m sorry ladies, I don’t know what to tell you,” the man said. “I’m checking you in now, and we’ll have someone to take your bags up in a moment.”
“Not if you value your life,” Cat snapped. “I want my room.”
“I’m afraid that’s no longer available.”
“This is beyond unprofessional. Give me a different room, then. Any damn room.”
“We’re actually booked solid for the next week,” the man said. “Three conferences going at once, an Arts festival….”
“You can shove your Arts Festival,” Cat said.
“Miss Grant,” Kara said. “I’m so sorry. I think this is my fault somehow.”
She might have willed it into being as if by magic.
“Oh, hardly,” Cat said. “It’s Lurch here who seems to think he can peddle incompetence and expect me to swallow it.”
For some reason, the concierge was already back tapping at his computer, as if the most terrifying woman ever to grace a podium hadn’t just threatened him several times.
“I think,” Kara said hesitantly. “Maybe he doesn’t recognize you?”
Cat rolled her eyes, but was stopped from making a cutting remark by the attendant who appeared to take the bags. She yanked one back roughly, making him quail with a single look.
“Um,” he said. “If you would follow me to the lift? Please. I mean, thank you.”
“You have the social niceties of a toddler,” Cat remarked. “Come along, Kara. Let’s see if this afternoon can be salvaged at all.”
It was comforting, somehow, seeing Cat behave as if nothing has changed. Walking with practiced grace and terrifying at least one member of hotel staff.
Cat let out an impressed hum when they reached the room. Bags left by the door, and a reasonable tip given (it’s not the bellhop’s fault, Kara reasoned). Cat swept through the room, taking in the sophisticated flower arrangements left on every free surface. The scented candles already burning. She turned towards Kara with a raised eyebrow.
“Expecting to entertain someone tonight?”
Kara widened her eyes.
“No! I don’t know why—”
But Cat was already headed to the bedroom. Kara heard her let out a low chuckle at what she found there, something Kara felt reverberate through her. She swallowed, afraid at what she might find when she followed. What she didn’t expect was Cat, lying back on the bed, surrounded by rose petals, a thoughtful look on her face. She forgot to breathe for a moment.
“My my,” Cat said. “This is getting better and better.”
“I didn’t book this!”
“Sure you didn’t,” Cat smirked, nodding towards the bathroom. “Go get the champagne.”
“In the bathroom?” Cat said. “Not the top shelf variety, but still fairly decent considering your pay grade.”
It was amusing as long as Cat found it amusing. They drank some champagne, Cat mostly, and then drifted apart a little as they worked on their individual tasks. Cat at the small table next to the window, going over notes for her keynote. Kara on the bed with her laptop, rose petals tickling her legs.
The knock at the door was unexpected. Kara found herself taking a peek, and before Cat could get there she was already sitting up in the bed, wishing she had somewhere else to be.
“What…” Cat said, door open. The two women smiled at her and pushed past, dragging two massage tables. They immediately started setting it up in the living area, shifting the couch out of the way.
Kara could hear Cat’s heartbeat speeding up a little as she drawled out the next sentence.
“As much as I feel like relaxing, I’m afraid we don’t have time.”
“This is part of your honeymoon package, ma’am,” one of the women said.
“Do not call me ma’am,” Cat said, before turning her head and calling, “Kara!”
When Kara entered the room, she already knew what was there. But she tried to look surprised when the masseurs explained the situation.
“Honeymoon package?” Cat asked. “Really?”
Kara let out a serious of nervous laughs.
“It’s a mistake,” she fiddled with her glasses. “I mean, obviously we don’t need it.”
“Why not?” Cat asked. “There’s two of them. Two of us.”
“It’s a couple’s massage, Miss Grant.”
“Well, golly,” Cat drawled. “I hadn’t noticed.”
She rolled her eyes once, and began to disrobe.
“Hurry up,” Cat said. “Don’t be modest. I’ve seen your arms.”
“It’s ok…I mean I don’t need…”
Before Kara could think of how to react, Cat’s shirt was unbuttoned. Her pencil skirt unzipped and then pooled on the ground. She nodded towards one of the masseurs.
“You—you’ll do. Is this enough? Or the rest of it too?”
“Bra as well.”
Kara’s breath hitched. She quickly turned around just as Cat unhooked it. She could hear Cat climb on the table. Then a little grunt as the massage presumably started. Then an annoyed sigh.
“Get undressed already, Kara. My keynote is in an hour.”