“You can’t keep me here!” Cat slammed a hand against the window, annoyance in her voice but panic in the frantic beat of her heart, managing to look fierce despite the fact that she was wearing only a thin gown, damp hair from her decontamination shower curling at the base of her neck. “It’s unconstitutional, and if you don’t let me out this instant - ”
“Actually, Ms Grant, we can keep you here.” Alex, standing on the other side of the glass, said, mouth pressed into a thin line as she consulted the tablet that was held in her hands. “For as long as we deem necessary. And protocol dictates - ”
“Fuck your protocol,” Cat interrupted, moving to try the door handle, instead, rattling it in a doomed attempt to force it open. “If you refuse to release me, I’ll sue you for all you’re worth.”
“You want to sue a government agency that doesn’t technically exist?” Alex asked, and though her voice was dry, the set of her jaw suggesting to Kara that she was more concerned than she was letting on, she seemed amused by Cat’s agitation. “You go right ahead, Ms Grant.”
“Then I’ll write an expose, instead. Front page of the Tribune, for all to see.”
“Do people still read newspapers these days?” Alex mused, and Cat looked like she’d just been struck. “Regardless, you can write that article if you like, but without any proof, is anyone really going to believe you? This is for your own good, Ms Grant. You’d do well to remember that.”
With that, Alex strode away. Unable to protest any further, Cat kicked out at the steel door with a bare foot before admitting defeat and throwing herself down onto the wooden bench where Kara had settled as soon as they’d been bundled into the containment room.
“She’s just doing her job, you know.” It wasn’t Kara’s first decontamination rodeo, but she understood why it might set Cat a little on edge. “We don’t know what we were exposed to.”
Having an alien crash into Cat’s office hadn’t been how either of them had expected their Friday night to go, especially one that might be responsible for a string of gruesome deaths throughout the city over the last few days. Kara hoped that they weren’t linked, because bleeding from the eyeballs wasn’t really how she wanted to go – not that they had any real idea if it would, or even could, affect her physiology in the same way, but they didn’t want to take any chances.
“Exposed to?” Cat echoed, turning towards Kara. “Do aliens secrete toxins nowadays?”
“I think we’ve both seen stranger things,” Kara pointed out, and Cat tilted her head in acquiescence. “Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?”
“I suppose.” But Cat still looked on edge, her heart thrumming a little too fast. Kara had long suspected she was claustrophobic and it seemed she was learning the truth now, but knew better than to draw attention to it and ask how she could help ease her nerves. “How long will we be in here?”
“I don’t know. Hopefully no more than a few hours.”
“Hours?” Cat looked pained. “This might be the first time I’ve ever been relieved that Carter is with his father. I don’t suppose there’s any chance of getting my hands on a tablet so I could at least use this time to be productive?”
“After you threatened to write an expose? Probably not.”
Cat heaved out a heavy sigh, and Kara tried not to smile, finding the petulance endearing. She’d never seen Cat like this, so thoroughly out of her comfort zone, stripped of the clothes that she wore like armour, her face bereft of makeup and her hair unstyled. She looked so different, even in her posture, back slumped in defeat, little trace of the woman that Kara knew almost as well as she knew herself, but she couldn’t say she minded it.
Cat shivered, goosebumps erupting on her arms, and Kara frowned. They were wearing the same thing, but Kara hadn’t considered that the thin cotton probably did little to ward off the chill in the air when you were human.
Knowing that, out of sheer stubbornness, Cat would refuse if she asked, Kara rose to her feet and crossed to the intercom by the door, feeling Cat’s curious eyes on her back as she pressed her mouth to the speaker.
“Alex? Can we get some jackets or something in here? It’s a little cold.”
It wasn’t her sister but a junior agent who soon appeared through the glass, and Kara stepped back as a bag was passed through the hatch at the bottom of the door. Inside were two black DEO standard issue jackets, and as Cat zipped hers up, Kara had to admit that it looked good on her.
It was about four sizes too big, almost reaching down to her knees, but she looked content as she snuggled into it, rolling the sleeves up so that her hands were free.
“Thank you, Kara.”
Kara was so preoccupied with tugging on her own jacket that it took her a moment to realize what Cat had said. When she did she froze, zipper halfway up her chest, eyes widening as she blinked at Cat in alarm.
“Really?” Cat’s eyes landed on her, lips pursed and one eyebrow raised. “Are we really going to play this game again?” Annoyance coloured her words, and Kara tried not to flinch at her tone. “Come on, Kara. I already knew, but even if I didn’t, seeing you out of that suit would have done it regardless.”
“I… how long have you known?” Kara’s voice turned quiet, her hands fidgeting with the sleeves of her jacket as she sat back on the bench, back pressing against the wall.
“But you kept it to yourself?”
“You didn’t want me to know,” Cat said, like it should be obvious. “So I let you keep your secret. It didn’t seem to matter too much while I was in Washington, and when I came back… well, I didn’t see a reason to reveal it.”
“I… thank you.” It meant a lot, to know that Cat would do that for her, that she cared enough to do that for her, especially when she usually kept her cards so close to her chest. “I appreciate that. And I’m sorry for getting you dragged into this. I doubt that alien would have turned up at CatCo if I didn’t work there.”
She attracted danger, she knew that, but she hated that it put the people she cared about in harm’s way, particularly those that were unable to defend themselves – not that she’d ever call Cat defenceless to her face.
“Yes, well, these things happen. It’s not exactly the first time I’ve been in a perilous situation. Although I can’t say the thought of an alien parasite is something I’ve ever experienced before.”
“Hopefully we’ll get the all clear.”
“And if we don’t?” Cat asked, her voice soft. “If I don’t?”
“My sister is the smartest person I know. She’ll figure it out.” There was no trace of uncertainty in Kara’s voice, because she couldn’t even begin to comprehend a world without Cat in it. She’d been out of her life for years, but Kara had always known she was out there, somewhere, making waves in Washington, and it had brought her comfort whenever she’d caught a glimpse of her at a press conference.
Cat had only been back at CatCo for a few short months, but Kara could barely remember what it was like to have her gone. She’d settled right back into the driving seat, and while they didn’t work directly together, it was comforting to see Cat stalking the halls, sowing fear in her wake.
But there was nothing comforting about Cat now. She had the air of a trapped animal, one leg drawn up onto the bench, her cheek resting against her knee, but the other was on the floor, bouncing restlessly, her hands messing with the sleeves of her jacket, and if she carried on she was going to drive Kara mad.
“Can you stop that? You’re making me nervous.”
“Sorry.” Cat stilled her leg, though it looked like it took a lot of effort. “You know that patience has never been one of my strong suits. Couple that with being stuck in what may as well be a padded cell…”
“It’s hardly a padded cell.” Kara wouldn’t say she was patient, either, but she knew they wouldn’t be in there for long, knew Alex would be doing everything she possibly could somewhere nearby to get them out.
“You didn’t orchestrate this, did you?” Cat asked, a few moments later, her voice casual but the careful way she refused to turn and look at Kara suggesting she was anything but.
“What?” Kara gaped at the side of her head. “Why on Earth would I do that?”
“Because I’ve been avoiding you.”
Were they doing this?
Cat turned to her, head tipped back against the wall, gaze steady but her heart pounding, and yeah, they were doing this.
“Do you actually think that I’d put you in danger just so that we could talk?”
“Of course not, you’re not stupid. But you could pretend that I was in danger, that we needed to sequester ourselves in this delightful little jail cell, corner me like you’ve been trying to do all week - ”
“Are you kidding me?” Kara scoffed, because really? “So, what, I’ve just enlisted the help of the whole DEO to play this little trick on you? I think you’re giving me too much credit.”
“I don’t think so. You’re a smart woman.”
Cat didn’t offer praise freely, but Kara was too annoyed to bask in it. “Well, no matter what you might think of me, no, I didn’t construct an elaborate plot just to get you alone in a room. I can’t believe you.”
Irritation drove her to her feet, to the window in the door, pressing her face against the glass but she could see no sign of Alex outside.
“And anyway, you’ve made it perfectly clear that you don’t want to talk about it, so I’m not going to force you to. If you want to ignore me and pretend it never happened, then that’s just fine by me.”
“It’s fine, is it?” Cat asked, her voice flat, and Kara nodded. “Then why are you about to rip that door off its hinges?”
Kara glanced down, at the hand that was gouging her fingerprints into the steel. She hadn’t even noticed she was doing it and quickly snatched it back, her fingers trembling, and Rao, Alex was probably going to kill her for that later.
“Kara.” A hand settled on her shoulder, Cat coming to stand behind her, the pressure achingly soft but it made her want to fall apart, her breaths turning shaky as the warmth of Cat’s touch sank into her skin.
“Don’t.” She shrugged her off, even though it took a herculean effort, because she couldn’t think straight when Cat was touching her, and she needed to keep hold of her anger, needed it to keep her strong.
“I’m sorry.” Cat didn’t apologise freely, the words sounding foreign on her tongue, but Kara could tell that she meant it. “I shouldn’t have been avoiding you, and I certainly shouldn’t be lashing out at you. I just… god, Kara, I can’t stop thinking about it.” Cat’s voice was a broken whisper, and Kara forced herself to turn around, leaning her back against the door because if they were going to do this, she had a feeling she might need the support.
“And you think I can?”
It was all she could think about.
‘It’ being the heat of Cat’s mouth, the taste of her on Kara’s tongue, the softness of her hair, tangled up in Kara’s fingers, the gasp that had escaped her lips when Kara had gripped her hips and pulled her close.
A kiss that never should have happened, but one that, if she was honest with herself, had always been inevitable.
It couldn’t have happened before, when Kara had been her assistant, the power balance untenable, but Rao, that didn’t mean that Kara hadn’t wanted to. And when Cat had come striding back into her life, no longer her direct superior but still breathtakingly beautiful, how could Kara have resisted?
She was strong, but no-one was that strong.
“It was a mistake,” Cat said, though her voice wavered with uncertainty. “Wasn’t it?”
Kara paused before she answered, considering her options. If she agreed, then she feared that that would be it, that they’d put this behind them and never speak about it ever again, and she didn’t know how she could continue to exist in a world where she was intimately familiar with Cat’s lips but wasn’t allowed to do anything about it.
But if she said no… well, that was opening up a different can of worms entirely, wasn’t it? That made it real, meant admitting that there was something between them, meant opening herself up for Cat to tear her down.
And wouldn’t she? Yes, she’d kissed her back, but Cat was notoriously guarded when it came to her emotions, even more so when it came to her heart, and Kara didn’t know if she could allow herself to be so vulnerable, if she could survive Cat telling her that she didn’t want her, even if then at least she’d know.
“Kara?” Cat prompted, eyes on her face and Kara wondered what she saw there, if her inner turmoil was plain for all to see.
“I…” She bit her lip, buying herself a few more seconds, and then forced out, “no, it wasn’t. At least not for me,” because she’d never been able to do the right thing when it came to Cat Grant, anyway. She made it difficult to think clearly, made Kara want to be reckless, and if this was the only chance she was going to get to push for something more, then she was damn well going to take it.
“I’ve wanted to kiss you for a really long time.” It came out on a sigh of relief, because it felt good to finally be honest, to not have to hide any part of herself anymore. “But I was never brave enough to try.”
Cat was frowning like she couldn’t understand what Kara was saying, her head cocked to the side like that might make her hear better.
“And I wouldn’t be opposed to doing it again. If, you know, that was something that you wanted.” Some of her confidence quailed under the weight of Cat’s heavy stare, her own eyes falling to the floor when she could no longer stand it, but at least the words were out there now, at least she wouldn’t spend any more time pining over a woman she couldn’t have, at least if Cat rejected her, maybe it would be enough to finally, properly get over her.
“Are there any cameras in here?” The question was so unexpected that Kara’s head snapped up, her eyes widening at the implication, and she found Cat watching her with an eyebrow raised and a dark look in her eye that had heat curling in her stomach.
“Um, yeah.” Kara’s gaze flickered to one of them, in the corner of the room, the red light blinking back at her.
“Well, if you want to kiss me again, perhaps you should disable them.” Cat suggested it as casually as if she were talking about the weather. “Not that I’m entirely opposed to a little voyeurism, but - ”
Kara disappeared fasted than Cat could see, tilting both cameras upwards so that they were pointing at the roof, careful not to break them.
“- I doubt your sister would want to watch me defile you.”
Cat blinked, a slow smile curling at her lips when Kara approached, grabbing her hips and pressing her back against the wall beside the door, away from any prying eyes that might come to check on them.
Arms wound around her neck as Kara ducked her head, Cat’s hands diving into her hair, tugging when Kara’s tongue slipped past her lips and stroked against her own, and Rao, kissing Cat was just as good as she remembered, her heart thundering in her ears.
Kara unzipped the DEO-issue jacket and pressed close, feeling the heat of Cat against her, their skin separated only by their thin gowns. Her thighs were bare, and Kara couldn’t resist the temptation, slid her hands down to explore soft skin, Cat moaning into her mouth when she dug in her nails.
A leg lifted over Kara’s hip, and she took the invitation, lifting Cat easily up and trapping her between Kara’s body and the wall, Cat’s ankles locking at the small of Kara’s back. She pulled away from Cat’s lips in favour of kissing her neck, Cat’s head thudding back against the wall when she nipped gently at her pulse point.
She made sure she was careful. Cat felt breakable in her grip, and Kara knew that it would only take a momentary slip in control for her to do some serious damage, but she drew strength from the fact that Cat trusted her.
Last time, things had ended almost as quickly as they’d begun, clarity dawning almost as soon as their lips had brushed, but now, there was no regret to serve as an interruption – they both wanted this, and they both knew it, too.
But still, there weren’t exactly in an ideal location, and Kara breathed a curse when Cat’s hips rolled against her stomach, because she wanted more than anything to slip a hand between her thighs and bring her to her knees.
“We should stop,” Kara said, panting against the side of Cat’s neck. Beneath her own gown she was slick with want, desire pulsing through her veins and clouding her mind, but she didn’t want it to happen like this. “Before we get carried away.”
“What’s wrong with getting carried away?” Cat asked, her own voice breathy and Rao if that didn’t do things to Kara’s insides.
“Not here. I want to take my time with you.”
“But what if I’m about to die from a mysterious alien parasite?” Cat asked, and that, at least, cut through the fog that had descended on Kara’s brain.
“What?” Kara leant away from Cat’s neck to look her in the eye.
“Isn’t that why we’re in here?”
Truthfully, Kara had almost forgotten. “I… well, yeah, but… that’s not the only reason you want to do this, right?”
If she said yes, if this was just because she thought that it would be a good way to spend her last night on Earth… well, Kara supposed that that could be considered flattering, but she knew that she would be crushed.
“Oh, Kara.” Cat must have seen her face fall, hands shifting from Kara’s hair to cup her cheeks, instead. “Of course it’s not.”
“No.” Cat urged her head up, the kiss that she pressed to her lips chaste where their others had been heated. “You mean more to me than you’ll ever know.”
Heart thudding in her chest, barely believing what she was hearing, Kara’s mouth opened. “I - ”
The rest of her words were lost to a frantic pounding on the door of the cell, Alex’s voice calling through a moment later, absolutely frantic. “Kara? Why the hell are the cameras off? Are you okay?”
“Oh, shit.” Kara shifted, setting Cat carefully on the ground and raking a hand through her hair, hoping it didn’t look too mussed, hoping that Alex wouldn’t notice her flaming cheeks, Cat smirking as she leant back against the wall, enjoying Kara being flustered.
She stepped into view of the window in the door, Alex’s face immediately relaxing at the sight of her. “I’m okay.”
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Why are the cameras off?”
“I don’t know,” she lied, hoping that Alex couldn’t tell. “Maybe there was a glitch?”
“Hm.” Alex didn’t look convinced. “Well, I’m afraid I need another blood sample from Cat. She is still in there, right? Because if you tell me that you messed with the cameras to let her out, I swear to God - ”
“Do you really think I would do that?” Kara interrupted, affronted.
“I think there’s a lot of things you’d do for her,” Alex muttered, and oh, if only Alex knew exactly how right she was.
“I’m here, Agent Danvers.” Cat stepped into Alex’s eyeline, looking perfectly put together as she rolled up the sleeves of her jacket. “Although I can’t say I’m thrilled by the prospect of another needle.”
“If it comes back clear, you’ll be out of here soon,” Alex promised, and Kara shifted out of the way to allow her sister access to Cat’s arm through the hatch in the door.
“Both of us?” Kara asked, because she was suddenly very invested in spending the rest of her evening with Cat.
“Uh-huh. I’ll be back to let you know the results as soon as I can.” Alex disappeared, and, back alone with Cat, Kara felt taught with tension, clenching her hands at her sides so that she didn’t reach out for her, because if they started kissing again, she had no idea how she would ever stop.
Cat’s eyes were on her, dark and stormy, and Kara’s throat felt dry. “Stop looking at me like that.”
“Like that.” Kara waved a hand in Cat’s general direction. “Like you’re thinking about me naked.”
“But I am thinking about you naked.”
“Well, stop it.” Kara pushed herself away from the wall and returned to the bench, as though putting a few metres of space between her and Cat might dampen the fire that raged between them. “Because you’re not getting me naked in here.”
“What about in my bed when we’re finally freed from this cage?”
Rao, just the mere thought had Kara’s eyes fluttering closed, swallowing thickly as she imagined pressing Cat down onto silken sheets. “I… I wouldn’t be opposed to that.”
“Good.” Cat stayed where she was, and Kara wondered if she was worried about her self-control slipping if she came to sit beside her.
“Can I ask you something?”
“It’s not like we have anything better to do. Go ahead.”
She tried to summon some of her Supergirl bravery, no mean feat with Cat’s gaze resting on her. “Why did you avoid me? If this was something that you wanted?”
Cat pursed her lips, and Kara wondered if this was the thing that meant she’d pushed it too far. “Because I… I was scared by how much I wanted it. How much I wanted you. Do you have any idea what you do to me, Kara? How easily you could destroy me?”
Physically, with her powers, she was well aware – but she had a feeling that that wasn’t what Cat meant, and the thought that she could destroy her emotionally was… incomprehensible.
“You’re half my age, Kara. It shouldn’t work. You shouldn’t want it to.”
“But I do.”
“I know.” Cat’s eyes fluttered closed, and she exhaled a shaky breath. “So do I, no matter how bad of an idea it is.”
It was confirmation that this was more than a meaningless fling to Cat, and though it wasn’t exactly an enthusiastic endorsement, it was enough.
“Then can I take you out? On a date?” She couldn’t keep the hopeful note out of her voice, Cat’s eyes flicking open to meet hers.
Kara had been planning something very different for the night ahead, but she supposed she could take Cat out for dinner first. “If you want?”
“What I want is for you to fly me home and fuck me senseless.”
Rao, Cat was going to be the death of her.
She could see the headlines now:
Supergirl suffers sudden heart attack, cause unknown.
“Oh. W-well, I can do that.” Her face felt flushed, and Cat was smirking, obviously enjoying having this effect on her. “Why don’t I take you out for breakfast, instead?”
“That would be acceptable compromise.”
Kara cocked her head to the side when her hearing picked up the sound of footsteps nearby, praying to Rao that it was Alex because she didn’t know how much longer she could take being in this room with Cat and not having her hands on her.
Luckily, it was.
“Everything came back clear, so you’re both free to go,” Alex said, sliding open the lock of the door and yanking it open.
“Thank god for that,” Cat said, her relief palpable. “Are those my clothes?” Cat nodded towards a clear plastic bag that Alex held in one of her hands. “They’d better not be creased. Do you have any idea how much they cost?”
“Enough to horrify me, I’m sure.” Alex handed her the bag, and Cat snatched it from her with a tut. “There’s a bathroom down the hall you can use to get changed. Agent Daniels will escort you there. Just in-case you get any ideas about that expose of yours.”
Cat stalked away, muttering to herself, and Kara had to admit that watching her and Alex bickering was incredibly enjoyable.
“Here’s your suit.” Alex tossed it at her, and Kara had it on in the blink of an eye. “You want to get pizza and have a movie night? We haven’t done that for a while.”
“Oh.” Kara paused, halfway out the door. “I, uh, actually told Cat that I’d take her home.”
“Is she incapable of making her way there herself?” Alex asked, arms folded across her chest, eyes shrewd, and Kara wanted to sink into the floor. “I checked the cameras, you know. It was the strangest thing… a flicker of movement before they went black, almost as if someone with superspeed did something to them. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”
“I…” Over Alex’s shoulder, Cat re-appeared from the bathroom, and Kara lost her train of thought. She was in the sinfully tight pencil skirt and blouse she’d been wearing earlier that day, and though there were a few wrinkles, she still looked drop-dead gorgeous.
Alex turned to see what she was looking at and groaned, pinching the bridge of her nose between her fingers. “Please do not tell me you’re sleeping with Cat Grant. Kara, please don’t do this to me. She just threatened to expose us!”
“She was joking!”
“Kara - ”
“I appreciate your concern,” Kara interrupted, starting to slowly edge away from her sister’s murderous glare, hands out in-front of her, “but I’ve got it handled, okay? She’s not going to do anything that would hurt me.”
“Get back here.” Alex lunged for her, but Kara danced out of the way. “We need to talk about this!”
“And we will,” Kara promised. “But tomorrow, okay?”
Alex gaped at her, and Kara was going to have to deal with the consequences tomorrow (and probably put her phone on silent tonight), but as she turned to Cat and found her smiling at her, heat in her eyes, Kara found that she didn’t really care.
“Shall we get out of here?” Kara asked, looping her arms around Cat’s waist.
“I thought you’d never ask.”