The keynote address had a packed auditorium. Kara hadn’t expected anything less. She was a little preoccupied though. The couple’s massage had left her on edge, which was definitely the opposite effect a massage was meant to have. It was just… All that skin and all the sounds Cat had been making. The way Cat had met her eye afterwards with a little smile.
They hadn’t had a moment to talk. As soon as she was done Cat had rushed to gather herself together, already running late to meet one of her handlers before her event. So that left Kara on her own. She managed to find a seat somewhere towards the back. A place she knew would grant her some anonymity, and no chance of Cat’s laser-focus falling on her.
Cat made her way to the podium, the sounds of chatter died down around Kara until everyone was silent.
“Well,” Cat said, and she smiled, looking out at the audience. “Here we all are again. In the throes of self-congratulatory orgasm. Fanning our faces over this story or that story, and clutching our prizes and accolades like precious little pearls. Here we are, talking about ourselves again. My, is there a lot to talk about. And very little of it is good. In fact, there never was a better opportunity to take a good hard look at journalism. At the stories we chase and why. At our responsibility when we do publish. To look at our own culpability, after the Electoral College just absolved themselves from their own responsibilities. “
Kara felt Cat’s gaze on her, even though it was too far away for it to be possible.
“Responsibility. That, I think, should the word of the year. Because all of us, sitting here?” Cat paused and said the next three words with emphasis. “We are responsible.”
She continued in that fashion, ending with the conclusion that they all needed to raise the bar. To change the conversation, the standards, the accountability. To take ownership, instead of complaining about the lowered standards, the state of the world.
Kara gravitated towards Cat afterward. As if in reflex, Cat immediately grabbed hold of Kara’s arm. The close contact made her brain short-circuit a little and she forgot what she had been about to say. She definitely had opinions about the speech, but people were already approaching Cat. Some of her contemporaries were less than glowing in their responses, but the bulk of people appeared to be journalism students keen for some advice. Cat remained aloof and a little grandiose, but there was still a softness in her expression when she answered student questions.
Soon, a young man approached them. Kara figured he was Cat’s handler, judging from the slightly resigned look on his face. Cat waved him off when he tried to suggest she head out to have some drinks with a few fellow attendees. To someone who didn’t know her, Cat's behavior might come across as rude, but Kara could see the signs of an incoming headache. The way she pressed at her temples, wincing under the bright lights.
“We have plans,” Kara blurted out. “For now. Plans for right now. That Cat and I have to do. Together.”
The handler gave Kara a look she couldn’t interpret, but she was too busy fishing in her bag for aspirin to worry about that.
“Thank you,” Cat murmured, swallowing them down with the bottle of water she’d had on the podium with her.
When they got back to the room Cat slipped off her heels and headed straight for the bed. The only bed. Kara was at pains to remember.
Before they even had the chance to settle in, there was a knock at the door. She could hear Cat let out a low chuckle. The hotel worker smiled when he saw Kara, mumbled a congratulations before he handed her a gift basket.
“Kara,” Cat called from the bedroom. “It better be food.”
Kara sighed and brought it over to her, hoping Cat was decent. The images from the massage flashing in her mind suddenly. Thankfully, or perhaps unfortunately, Cat was still dressed. She was lying on the covers among a small scattering of rose petals. The remainder seemed to have been swept on the floor.
“It’s some kind of fancy basket thing,” Kara said, putting it on the bed.
“Hmm,” was all Cat said, looking at her with a suspicious squint. She appeared to be feeling a little better, perked up by the spoils of their fake honeymoon. She sat up and began to dig through it all. “Not bad, Sunny Danvers.”
Cat examined the brie and crackers, popping a grape into her mouth. She handed Kara a tin that looked like it had some kind of expensive candy inside it.
“It’s yours, after all," Cat hummed "You should at least get to eat some.”
Cat twitched her finger back and forth in warning.
“No, no,” she popped another grape in her mouth. “Take ownership of your decisions, Kara.”
“But they’re not…I didn’t…”
“You always did have some problems with follow-through,” Cat sighed.
“I do not!”
“I’ll concede that you’ve gotten better at not damaging National City Landmarks. But let’s not forget the whole milk in my latte, a full year after I hired you.”
“That was…I didn’t…” She shook her head, not even sure which thing to go after first. “Miss Grant…”
“Think carefully before you say whatever you plan to next,” Cat said. “And remember how much I despise being lied to.”
Kara hesitated, her face going red. She closed her mouth again. Cat sighed.
“Like I said, abominable follow-through.”
Cat had early dinner plans with some former Daily Planet colleagues. To Kara’s surprise, she seemed to assume Kara was coming along.
“What do you plan on wearing?”
“For the panel tomorrow?”
“No, dinner tonight,” Cat said.
“Me? Are you sure you want—”
“You did bring more than one outfit?”
“Of…course,” Kara said, letting out a forced laugh. “Many, many outfits.”
Cat rolled her eyes, “I’ll take you shopping before we’re due to meet everyone.”
“I don’t think…”
“It’s not like you know how to dress beyond the age range of junior high,” but she paused. “Unless you brought that little green dress…”
Kara must have looked confused, because Cat let out a breath.
But then Kara’s mind caught up.
“You remember what I wore to the launch party of the… first Supergirl cover?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“That’s what I wore.”
“Maybe it was red.”
“I never wear red.”
“Now, now,” Cat said. “We know that isn’t exactly true.”