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Owning It

Chapter Text

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.

“Oh, well…”

“I saw you listed in the program for tomorrow, Kara,” Cat preened a little. “See? I told you I have the best instincts.”

Kara laughed.

“You did.”

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.”

Kara frowned.

“That’s where my room is.”

Cat narrowed her eyes.

“What number?” her voice was soft, but a little threatening. “Kara?”

“Thirty-two?”

“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.”

“Champagne?!”

“In the bathroom?” Cat said. “Not the top shelf variety, but still fairly decent considering your pay grade.”

“No, but…”

“Chop-chop, Kara.”

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.

“What…”

“Hurry up,” Cat said. “Don’t be modest. I’ve seen your arms.”

“It’s ok…I mean I don’t need…”

“Now.”

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.”

“Fine.”

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.”

Chapter Text

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.”

“It wasn’t—”

“I’m sure.”

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.”

“I didn’t…”

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.

“Never mind.”

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.”