Correction: it’s still 7:52. Kara bites at the inside of her cheek and sets her phone back on the soft tablecloth, face down, as though that will stop her from checking again in ten seconds.
She shifts in the high-back dining chair and re-crosses her legs. Smooths her palms over the chiffon skirt of her yellow dress until it resettles just above her knees. Runs her hand over the curve of her waterfall braid to tuck down any loose strands. Lets out a slow breath.
And checks her phone.
Kara’s heart starts to beat a little faster, and she looks back up toward the front of the restaurant. There’s a wood partition blocking her view of the maitre'd and the door, so she casually tugs at the corner of her glasses to look through as a couple walks in.
Not that she knows who she’s watching for, anyway. Clark had been vague on the details in his texts, offering little more than I have a feeling she’d be good for you, Kara and a series of emojis she’s pretty sure he doesn’t fully understand.
Nudging her glasses back onto the bridge of her nose with her fingertips, Kara picks her phone back up, nearly knocking over her water glass in the process.
Looking around a little self-consciously (and satisfied that absolutely no one is paying attention to her and how out of place she is in a restaurant like this), she pulls up her conversation with Clark and scrolls past the Do not be late tonight, she abhors tardiness and her thumbs up emoji response to type a new message.
Kara: I can’t believe I agreed to you setting me up on a playdate.
Kara: It’s just wrong. I was born before you. I should be choosing YOUR playdates.
The typing ellipses pop up immediately, and Kara feels the familiar warmth wash over her that her big-little-cousin is there for her so instantly.
Clark: OK, when I’m the one moving to a new city where I don’t know anyone, YOU can help ME find friends. How does that sound?
Kara: I don’t not know anyone here. I know Alex.
Clark: That sentence was messier than Lois’s spelling.
Kara smiles at the words, and smiles wider when it’s followed up by:
Clark: Don’t tell her I said that.
Before she can reply, Clark sends one more text.
Clark: Have a good time tonight, Kara. I think you two will get along.
The nerves start to come back as she realizes how close to eight it is now. She’s mid-way through typing to ask what this woman looks like when she hears the clipped, “You’ve made a mistake.”
Kara’s head snaps up. Texting Clark had done its job of distracting her, but a little too well; her “new friend” is standing beside the table with a waitress, and Kara hadn’t noticed them approaching at all.
Fumbling with her phone she shuts if off, message abandoned, and grips it in her hand as her mouth drops slightly.
The woman is beautiful. Elegant. Long, lean, graceful limbs that are somehow equally sharp and soft. She carries herself with an air of confidence that is almost stifling.
But that’s not it.
Her expression is as pointed as Kara imagines her stilettos must be: lips pursed and eyes narrowed as her hands settle at her hips, a designer clutched tucked between her wrist and waist. And she’s eyeing the waitress as though she is personally responsible for everything that must have gone wrong in her week.
But that’s not it, either.
No, the shocking bit is that Kara knows her.
Well, she doesn’t know her, know her. But Kara knows who she is. Knows that this is Cat Grant (i.e., media mogul, CEO of her own company, and, oh yeah, the most powerful person in National City) standing in front of her and attempting to use laser vision that Kara certainly hopes she doesn’t possess to set a staff member on fire.
The waitress stands tall even as her voice shakes a little on, “Ma’am?”
“I told you I was here to meet someone under the reservation for Kent. K-E-N-T.” Cat Grant looks at Kara for a long, judgmental second, as Kara fumbles her phone until it slips to the table. “An adult someone,” Cat turns back to the waitress.
“Oh, I thought…” the waitress glances down at the pad in her hand, and Kara stands quickly.
“You are. I mean, I’m her. Kara. Danvers,” she stumbles away from the table to hold out her hand. “I’m Clark’s cousin.” Cat doesn’t take her hand, just purses her lips and grips her hips harder, her knuckles paling.
Kara drops her hand back to her side, and gives Cat her brightest smile. It does nothing. Smile slipping a bit, Kara pushes forward. “And you’re Cat Grant. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m a big fan of—”
Cat rolls her eyes and opens her purse, pulling out her cell phone and starting to type away as she says, “Two vodka martinis.”
Blinking, Kara looks to the waitress and shakes her head. “Oh, no thank you, I—”
“They’re for me,” Cat says coolly, and Kara purses her lips and sits back down in her seat, following Cat’s lead.
The waitress rushes away from the table and Kara can’t blame her, suddenly jealous of the excuse to get away and collect herself. It seems impossible that she could have blown this dinner before it’s even begun, but Cat ignoring her as she texts seems like a pretty bad sign.
“So,” she starts, watching as Cat continues to text. “Have you been here before?”
“Mmm,” Cat hums, still typing, and offering nothing else.
Kara waits a moment to see if she’s going to engage. She doesn’t. “I haven’t,” Kara continues. She spins the water glass in front of her, trying to calm her nerves. “I’ve heard good things, though. Well, from Clark at least. And Lois.” Cat’s eyes flicker up at her, and it’s maybe a good sign, even though she looks a little angry; at least she’s acknowledging Kara. “I think they came here for their anniversary last month.” Cat’s attention falls back to her phone.
Letting out a silent sigh, Kara tries again. “I really appreciate you meeting me,” voice even peppier than it had been. Cat makes a half-hearted head-tilt, still on her phone. Laughing a little self-deprecatingly, Kara says, “I don’t know if Clark told you, but I just moved here last week and I don’t really know any—”
“You have five minutes,” Cat interrupts, and sets her phone down pointedly on the table, face still lit up. Kara can see the text to her driver: Come back immediately. Wait for me at curb.
Kara’s stomach drops a little at the thought that she’s failing this quickly. It’s almost a new record for ruined blind dates. Not that this even is one, really. A date. She can feel herself start to blush at the thought, her eyes falling to the beautiful curve of Cat’s lips. Exactly, not a date. A playdate. Because Cat could be her new friend, maybe. If she doesn’t screw this up. Which she very much is, judging by the purse of those beautiful lips.
Brows furrowing as she starts to process the text and Cat’s words and Cat’s face, Kara asks, “Excuse me?”
Cat sighs as though she’s repeated this five times already. Kara really hopes she hasn’t. “You have five minutes to persuade me to stay. To prove to me that I didn’t agree to a colossal waste of my time and yours,” Cat shrugs one shoulder, and waves her hand, “obviously more importantly mine, when I agreed to this dinner.”
Freezing, Kara isn’t quite sure how to respond to that. “I don’t think, I mean, I would hope this isn’t a waste of—”
“Five minutes,” Cat cuts her off again. “To convince me that this isn’t Lois Lane’s idea of payback for the Siegel prize last November—”
“I don’t think Lois would—”
Cat glares at her, and Kara snaps her mouth shut. “Five minutes to demonstrate that someone who still collects beanie babies—”
“I do not do that. Anymore.”
“—is more worthy of my Friday night than my son.” Leaning back in her chair, Cat slides one martini toward her, before lifting it up and looking pointedly at her watch. “Four and a half.”
Kara laughs awkwardly, a little thrown. But Cat is still looking at her, blatantly evaluating her discomfort. For a moment, she considers asking if she’s done something wrong. But she has a good feeling that if the answer is yes, she isn’t going to like the explanation.
Besides, she is new to the city, and—as humiliating as she finds the idea of Kal choosing her friends—the prospect of befriending Cat Grant, a woman she’s truly admired for years, is rather motivating. If there is anyway she correct the bad path this night has started down, she’s going to.
“OK,” she nods. “Five minutes.” Cat continues to watch her over the rim of her martini. “Well,” Kara starts, and crosses her legs beneath the table. “I’ve obviously heard a lot about you. And I’ve been following CatCo’s growth over the last few years. You’ve certainly created a business to be proud of.”
“Well, as long as I have permission from strangers to be proud…” she drains the glass and sets it down, immediately reaching for the next.
“I didn’t mean to imply—I just thought—” Kara presses her lips together tightly, trying to keep her calm. She can tell she’s being baited, it’s just really hard not to let it happen. “I just wanted to let you know I admire your company.”
Cat makes a show of looking at her watch, clearly worth at least half of Kara’s annual salary. “Three minutes, forty-five seconds.”
Brow furrowing, Kara feels the familiar pressure of a deadline and tries a different approach. “How was your day?”
“My day?” Cat asks too sweetly, and Kara braces herself in the face of what she knows has been another misfire. “My day began at five this morning, when I received an email from a member of my staff letting me know that a layout error would require reprints of the 5,000 issues of the magazine that had been accidentally ordered.
“Which, of course, required that I go into work early and and miss seeing my son off to school. Since it’s the beginning of the month I spent the majority of my day in meetings. And to avoid having another costly re-print fiasco, I went over every inch of this month’s issue in between those appointments.”
Cat lifts her fresh martini in her hand, the alcohol kissing the rim of the glass with each pointed gesture as she adds, “So if you’re trying to ascertain if you’ve simply caught me on a ‘bad day’, you haven’t.”
Eyes widening, Kara holds up her hands, knocking her silverware together in the process. “No! I wasn’t—I didn’t think that at all. I was just…” Cat looks a little defensive, but mostly she just looks bored with Kara’s stuttering, and so she stops. Kara takes a deep breath and meets Cat’s eyes, offering, “That must be really frustrating.”
“Like I said, it’s typical,” she says, and shrugs one shoulder. “Putting out fires and herding employees like cats to do their jobs—”
“That’s not what I meant.” Cat’s eyes darken a little at Kara’s audacity but her lips start to twitch like she’s trying not to smile, and so Kara represses the urge to apologize. “It must be hard doing clean-up, and delegating, instead of being out there,” she gestures toward the door. “Reporting, I mean. Being in the field.”
When Cat doesn’t immediately cut her off, Kara reaches up to readjust her glasses. They’re fine, of course, but this is the first time in four minutes Cat seems to be waiting to see what she’ll say next. The pressure’s on.
“I’ve read some of your articles over the years, and I’ve seen your work when you were with KXCU, and you were great.” Shaking her head as her words register, Kara rushes to add, “Are great. Of course. Just in a different way.”
Cat still says nothing, just sets her glass down, and runs her thumb over the stem.
Courage running out, Kara pulls her hands down to her lap and laughs quietly. “Or that’s just me projecting, since it’s still so new to me. Being out there, helping people. Figuring out what’s really happening and sharing it with the world.” With a gentle shrug, she says, “I can’t imagine giving that up.”
Cat’s hand stills on her martini glass, and her lips start to part as the waitress comes back to stand beside their table. “I apologize for the delay,” she says softly, and Kara’s pretty sure she was waiting to return until Cat calmed down. Smart girl. “Would you like to see a menu?” she holds one out to each woman.
“We’ll let you know in two minutes,” Cat taps the face of her watch, before draining what is left of her martini. Kara offers an awkward smile to the confused waitress.
“Alright. Can I get you another drink?” the waitress asks, and Cat slides her empty glass to the side as she nods.
Kara has no idea if this is normal for the other woman, but she’s getting the impression that it is. “One for me, too, please,” Kara adds as the waitress clears the empty glasses and leaves, unused menus under her arm.
“You’re a reporter,” Cat says slowly, after a moment. It’s oddly accusatory for such a quiet statement.
“I am. I was a stringer for the Morning Globe in Opal City for a while after college, and I start at the Star on Monday.”
“Of course you do.” Cat smiles for the first time all night, but it’s sharp and predatory. A little frightening, in all honestly. And when she laughs it’s hollow, and short. “You’re my competition.” Cat points a bony finger at her and her smile grows into something more victorious. “That’s why Lois set us up.”
Lois wouldn’t do that, is on the tip of her tongue, but she holds it back. Cat’s almost opening up to her in this moment, showing more interest than she has all night, and it’s thrilling, even like this.
So she tries to be light when she shakes her head. “That’s not what it sounded like to me,” she runs her fingers over the condensation of the water glass, watching her movements. “I think Clark had to talk her into it.” Kara’s eyes flicker up to Cat.
Cat hums, lips curled up in a way that makes Kara’s body warm. “So Lois wants this to go poorly? How interesting.” She taps on her phone until it lights back up.
She sighs rather dramatically. “I suppose that buys you five more minutes, Kiera.” With one hand she types out wait there and sends it to her driver.
Kara tries to cover up the surprise on her face before Cat meets her eyes again. “It’s Kara,” she says when she does. Cat just blinks in response, and Kara’s victory feels rather fleeting. “I, uh, I thought you and Lois were friends?” she asks, changing the subject. “Clark’s always said—”
“Clark Kent has the infuriating habit of seeing the best in other people. And, apparently, of seeing civility while in public as friendship.” Cat’s face darkens as she sits up straighter. “I don’t want to talk about Lois Lane.”
Kara bites at her lips, and tries not to point out that Cat has been the one bringing her up. Instead she nods, and rests her hands back on the table. “OK, fair enough. Why don’t you tell me about your son, instead?”
Cat stiffens. “Why?” It’s less a question and more a guarded demand.
“Why?” Kara repeats, laughing awkwardly. “Isn’t that, you know, the point of this? Getting to know one another?” Cat doesn’t look convinced, so Kara shrugs. “It’s pretty clear he’s important to you. I just figured you might like to talk about him. I’d like to know what he’s like. I don’t—it’s not like I’m planning to write about him or something. I don’t start at the Star until Monday, remember?” she tries to tease.
Cat’s evaluating her again, but this time it doesn’t feel like it’s for show, or to make Kara feel inadequate. It feels cautious, but searching. For the first time all night, Kara thinks she might have started to actually succeed in righting the night.
“He’s...special,” she starts, simply, but her mouth is already curling up on the words. “And not in that every-child-is-special millennial nonsense way. He’s truly gifted.”
Kara smiles, and lets out a breath. “In school?”
“In everything. He’s brilliant. Patient, kind, empathetic, sensitive. Perhaps a little too sensitive for his own good. He knows everything, but he’s humble. God knows where he gets that from.” Kara can’t stop the easy laugh at that. To her amazement, Cat cracks a smile of her own, and it’s genuine. And soft. And absolutely lovely.
“How old is he?” Kara asks, lifting her glass to take a drink of water.
“Almost fourteen,” Cat rests her hands in her lap, and starts to look relaxed for the first time. Kara wants desperately for that to continue.
“Wow,” she sets her glass back down. “Is he in high school, then?”
“He just started this year.”
Before Cat can continue, the waitress returns, with two drinks and the menus tucked against her waist. “Here you go,” she sets the glasses down. “Would you like to take a look at the menu, now?”
Kara swallows hard, and looks to Cat. “Is my time up?”
Slowly, Cat holds out a hand, not breaking eye contact as she reaches for the menu. “I suppose I could give you a few more minutes. At least until my driver arrives.”
Biting back a smile at the lie, Kara nods to the waitress and takes her own menu, but doesn’t open it yet. “Does he like it?”
“Hmm?” Cat hums after taking a drink, this time much slower than earlier.
“Your son. Does he like high school?”
Cat stirs at the martini with the pick. “Yes and no,” she offers carefully. After a moment, she adds, “He’s very shy. Academically he’s fine. Excellent, really.”
“But you’re concerned about him socially?” There’s a brief glare directed her way, but it seems almost reflexive, and Cat lets the question settle, her silence confirmation. Kara takes a sip of the martini in front of her, and when she sets it down, she offers, “I get that. I mean, the social thing. Issue.” Kara’s brow furrows as she tries to sort out what she’s trying to say. “When I was younger, I was really shy. I mean, I guess I’m still kind of—I just mean—”
“That you were shy and you turned out fine?” Cat guesses, expression unimpressed. And a little judgemental.
“No. Well, yes, I suppose. But what I’m trying to say, is that maybe it’ll take him some time to get comfortable. But it’s OK if he doesn’t get there, too.” Kara shakes her head. “Which is something you know, I’m sure. It’s just that my foster mom, Eliza, used to worry about me not fitting in, and—”
Cat’s eyebrows raise, and she leans forward a little in her chair, menu open against the edge of the table. “You have a foster mother?”
Crap. “Oh, yeah. Her name’s Eliza,” she repeats, and wants to smack her forehead.
“So Clark is your foster cousin?
“Biological cousin,” she clarifies, and wants to smack her forehead again. “You know, it’s kind of complicated. Why don’t you tell me what you and your son would be doing if I wasn’t stealing you for dinner?”
Cat looks like she wants to ask more questions. Like the reporter instincts Kara had mentioned are still alive and well. It’s a little disconcerting. And more than a little appealing, too.
But Cat looks down to the menu in her lap, and scans it briefly before closing it and setting it to the side. Kara’s never made a decision about food that quickly in her life. “Honestly?” she asks.
“He wanted to watch a documentary on antibiotic resistance.”
Kara tries not to, but she bursts out laughing, hand flying to cover her mouth. She’d feel bad, but Cat is smiling into her martini.
“So, I should only feel sort-of bad about our playdate.”
Cat’s smile twists, becomes something darker. But in a good way, Kara thinks. Maybe. Her laughter starts to settle as she tries to figure it out.
“That’s... brazen,” she murmurs, still wearing that twisted smile. Kara laughs a little, confused at the shift in mood. And the way Cat’s eyes have fallen from hers to her mouth to her neck and—
“Oh!” Kara’s eyes widen.
“And wholly unexpected, considering the yellow prom dress,” she gestures.
“It’s a cocktail dre—nevermind. I—I didn’t mean,” her cheeks are flaming, and Cat seems to be enjoying her fluster. Squeezing her eyes shut, Kara holds out her hands. “I didn’t mean play date,” she squeaks. “I meant playdate. As in, friend date.”
“Friend date?” Cat’s eyes close slowly, and her smile twists again, but this time it’s bad. Tight, and fake. “ Friend date,” she repeats. “When Clark set this up, he wanted us to be friends.”
Kara’s brows furrow. “Yeah. Exactly. I’m sorry if I’ve made you feel uncomfortable, I didn’t mean—”
Cat holds up a hand, and slides her chair back. “I understand, now.” Standing, she picks up her clutch from the corner of the table and sets a few bills down. “I think our time is up, Kiera.” She grabs her phone and starts to text someone—her driver, Kara assumes—as she steps away.
“Cat, wait!” Kara isn’t quite sure what’s happened, but things had been going so well. Or, well, starting to go so well.
Kara’s a few steps away from Cat when it happens.
“Nobody move!” comes from the front of the restaurant as someone shrieks to Kara’s left, and a plate shatters to her right.
“This is a stick up,” the man at the front adds, and if he wasn’t holding and old but very real machine gun, it would be comical.
Cat takes a small step back toward the table, and Kara leans toward her, ready to pull her back depending on what’s about to happen.
“What a beautiful group of National City’s elite,” the man says, a smug grin visible below the shadow his fedora casts across his face. “And you all dressed for this special occasion,” he steps into the dining area, and taps the face of a man’s watch as he sits, petrified.
Kara looks to her right slowly, where a man has herded the kitchen staff out into the main room a pistol held up behind their backs. Scanning back to her left, she can see a woman standing at the end of a bank of tables, her own revolver held out in front of her.
“OK, let’s start this off right,” Front Door moves to the side, and when she looks through the partition Kara can see a thick chain wrapped around the heavy entrance doors. Windows line the front wall, but the curtains have been drawn, thick red velvet leaving the restaurant dim. “I see any of you try to run for help, I shoot you. I see anyone pull out a weapon, I shoot you. You move so much as an inch without explicit permission from me or my colleagues,” he grins, “and I’ll shoot you.”
Kara’s jaw clenches, blood boiling with instant rage and frustration. Because while she can’t get hurt, every other person in the building can. And she has no idea what to do. She hasn’t helped anyone— really helped anyone—in more than a decade, but she has to be able to do something.
“My colleague,” he gestures to the woman, “has jammed all cell signal, so don’t bother reaching for your phones.”
Cat angles her head, and Kara’s attention drops to meet her eyes. Surprisingly steely eyes, considering they are in the middle of an armed robbery. Cat’s a small woman in any physical sense, but she stands tall, and calm, and impossibly collected.
“Do exactly what we say, when we say it, and this will be over in a few minutes.” Cat’s attention shifts back to Front Door as he continues, and Kara follows. “And you can all go back to your lovely evening.
“Now,” he steps even further into the room, “every single person in this room needs to take out your cash, take off your jewelry, anything of value, and hold it up to be collected by me.” He looks down toward the man with the watch. “And if you don’t do as we say,” he pulls a smaller gun out of his coat pocket, and lowers it to the man’s hand before he pulls the trigger.
Gasps and cries and shrieks fill the room, and in front of her Cat tenses, arms stiff at her sides. The man raises his hand up, and Kara realizes why she didn’t hear a shot: it wasn’t an actual gun, but a multiple shot syringe.
The man isn’t bleeding, or crying out in pain; he’s staring at his hand, mouth open in shock as it starts to turn blue and translucent, spreading up his arm. As it passes his wrist his watch clatters to the table, no longer supported by his body. In horror, he reaches out to touch his fading hand with his other and it passes right through.
“We all understand?” Front Door asks the room, but nobody moves. “Or do you need another demonstration?” he moves to the next table, and holds the syringe out warningly.
“No,” the woman at the table shakes her head, and starts to unclasp the necklace she wears. The rest of the restaurant starts to follow.
Cat shifts, and Kara’s attention snaps back to her as she slowly sits back down at their table. “What are you doing?” Kara whispers, eyes wide as she does the same.
Opening her purse on her lap, Cat looks up at Kara. “What they said to,” she says, still surprisingly calm. Cat pulls her wallet out, but her other hand stays in her clutch, and when Kara uses her x-ray vision she can see that Cat’s trying to call the police even after they’ve said it won’t work.
“Stop,” she hisses, terrified for Cat’s life. But Cat just meets her eyes as she continues to blindly dial.
Kara clenches her jaw, trying to decide if there’s any way she can disarm all three of them before Cat gets herself shot. Or dissolved. The man to her left might be the easiest—he’s tucked behind the kitchen staff and if she can speed back there she might be able to do it unseen.
She’s halfway to a plan when Cat hisses, “Shit,” and Kara looks through the table to see that her call has failed. Their eyes meet for a moment and Cat’s jaw tenses, the first visible sign of worry she’s shown.
“Put it on the table!” Front Door snaps across the room, threatening a couple with the syringe as they reluctantly set their items down.
Cat turns to look at what’s happening and Kara takes her chance, rushing back to the man she’d been eyeing and crushing his gun between her hands before she returns to her seat in a rush, the metal hitting the floor beside him with a thud.
“What the—” he starts, and spins around trying to figure out what had happened. “John!” He shouts, and Front Door—John—turns toward him. “My gun’s gone!”
“What do you mean your gun’s gone?” He asks sharply, and starts to cross the room toward his partner. “Bonnie,” he gestures with his gun for the female robber—Bonnie—to head over to him, and she starts to make her way there slowly.
Suddenly a crash sounds back toward the restroom bay, and everyone turns to see a few of the diners trying to sneak back toward the doors there.
John shouts as he starts to move toward the commotion and things are spiraling quickly. Kara takes a brief look around before she refocuses on Bonnie, now on the edge of the action. Using her heat vision, Kara focuses on the barrel of Bonnie’s gun until she yelps. The gun drops to the ground, melted barrel still smoking from the heat.
But John is still rushing toward the people trying to escape and before Kara can figure out how to stop him without fully exposing what she is, Cat stands up demanding, “Stop.”
Everything freezes for a moment as John turns to face her, and Kara’s legs twitch as she gets ready to rescue her very foolish not-date. “What did you say?” He asks, and Kara digs her fingers straight through the seat of the chair where she is gripping it.
"Don't do this," Cat says, standing tall. Before anything else can happen, sirens start to sound outside the building. Kara looks through the heavy curtains to see half a dozen cop cars arriving, parking roughly at the curb.
A small sigh of relief escapes her, before she realizes that John is moving closer, and faster than before.
“How’d you call the cops?” he asks Cat roughly, and pockets the syringe so he can hold his gun up with both hands.
A glass shatters back by the kitchen, and when Kara turns to look she sees a tray knocked to the ground, and John’s accomplices gone. “Clyde! Bo—You get back here!” He shouts, aiming his gun toward the doorway and cursing when they’re out of his sight line.
Their outfits, the cliche lines, the retro weapons start to click when she hears their apparent pseudonyms.
“Explain,” John—as in Dillinger—turns back to Cat more furious than he’s been all night, and Kara moves further off of her seat, ready to stand but not wanting to spook him.
“My name is Cat Grant,” she holds her hands up, eyes wide but voice calm.
“I know who you are,” John bites out with disgust.
“So you know that I can help you,” she holds her hands up. “If you let these people go, we can talk. Just the two of us.
“You can tell me about what you have there,” she points toward the pocket of his jacket and the outline of the syringe. “You created that, didn't you?” she asks, but doesn’t wait for an answer. “I bet there would be a lot of people interested in what that does.”
“You’d be wrong,” he sneers. “I spent every dime I had working on this and no one sees its potential.”
“OK,” Cat nods. She gestures with her chin toward the people huddled at their tables. “Let them go and you can tell me about that.”
For a moment he seems to consider it, one hand dropping from his gun to his pocket. The movement is gentle, surprisingly so, and Kara slowly stands up.
The action puts him back on alert and she winces, but makes eye contact as she guesses, “You wanted to help people.” He doesn’t deny it, and so she asks, “What would it do?”
Kara can feel Cat’s eyes on her, harder and heavier than the rest of the restaurant.
John struggles a moment, and finally says, “You saw what it does,” chin pointing toward the man he’d shot with the drug. When he moves Kara can see him, unfocused and almost invisible, the air distorted like a gas leak.
“Makes things invisible?” she asks, and he shakes his head, frustrated. “Tell me,” she presses, voice gentle.
“It makes things ineffective. Intangible. You can see him but he can’t touch anything, can’t change anything. Imagine that on a cellular level,” he lowers his gun a little and Cat catches her eye before they refocus on him. “You target specific disease and it’s as good as gone.”
“You’re trying to help people,” Kara repeats, nodding slowly. “So prove that to them,” she gestures to the rest of the room. “Let them go. No one else needs to get hurt tonight.”
He thinks for a long moment, until finally he jerks his head toward the kitchen. “Go,” he orders, and everyone starts to rush out. “You two, stay.”
Kara clenches her jaw, so close to being able to stop him. The crowd is almost gone, and if she can just distract Cat she can disarm John and get her out of here.
“You’ve done the right thing,” Cat says, voice still calm even as her hand shakes slightly. “Now let her go, too. You just need me to tell your story, John.”
“Cat, don’t,” Kara whispers, heart pounding as Cat takes a step closer.
“You’re better than this, John,” she says, ignoring Kara at her side. “You’ve show the police that by letting most of them go.” At the mention of police he starts to fidget.
“Stop,” he orders, his grip tightening on his weapon as Cat takes a small step. It’s stupid and brave and wrong, and Kara’s starts to feel sick.
“John,” she takes another tiny step, and Kara can hear nothing but her own heart beating heavily.
“I said stop,” he snarls, and when his hand starts to twitch more purposefully Kara reaches out for Cat, tucking her into Kara’s chest and spinning so that her back faces the bullet.
She feels it hit her skin with a small thwap, the metal no match for her body, and clatter to the ground as everything around them explodes with noise.
Another shot rings out and Cat tenses in her arms, but when Kara looks back she sees JOhn clutching at a gunshot wound in his shoulder. Police are pouring in from the kitchen and then the front of the restaurant once it’s open, and Kara breathes out “It’s OK,” against the back of Cat’s head.
For a moment they don’t move, just maintaining the connection as they settle down. But then Cat starts to step back, and turns to face Kara.
“You were amazing,” Kara breathes in awe, and Cat lets out a long, unguarded breath. Her brow furrows as she starts to scan Kara’s face, her body.
“He shot—” she starts to ask, but Kara cuts her off.
“He missed.” She wants to say more, to ask Cat if she’s OK, but police are moving toward them, asking if they’re hurt.
Cat is the one to break their eye contact, turning to answer the woman beside her. “I’m fine,” she says, and Kara turns to another cop to say the same.
The woman leads Kara over toward the front doors as Cat stays near their table, and with one last glance at Cat she exits the building.
“Make sure to get checked out by the EMTs before you leave,” the cop points toward one of the ambulances parked at the curb.
“Yes sir,” Kara smiles, lying through her teeth. He starts to nod and move, but Kara reaches out to stop him. “Is the man he injected going to be OK?”
“The toxin was temporary,” the cop assures her, and Kara lets out a breath. “He’s fine now.”
Kara thanks him as he turns to take the next statement. Exhaling, she turns back toward the restaurant, looking around at the witnesses still giving statements on the curb. She and Cat had gotten separated once the police had arrived, and for all she knew her sort-of-date had fled the second she got a chance.
“Trying to sneak away?”
Smiling, Kara turns to face Cat and shakes her head. “Not at all. I wanted to find you and say goodnight.”
“Goodnight?” Cat asks, hands settling on her hips. “One armed robbery and you’re in for the night,” she clucks her tongue. “Amateur.”
“This amateur just started her new job two days early,” Kara says, crossing her arms and swaying a bit. “I got ahold of my editor and he wants my first-hand account for tomorrow’s issue.”
“Of course,” Cat smiles smugly, and Kara braces for whatever is about to come. “Too bad the Tribune will be featuring one of its own.”
“Of course,” Kara repeats, but she can only smile brightly as she says it. For a moment she just looks at Cat, suddenly so open and light in a way she wasn’t at the beginning of the night. A way that Kara really, really wish she had been. The way she wishes she'd been allowed to at least earn, if their night hadn't been cut so short.
But there’s something so genuine about this moment, in a way that—Rao, she hates to say—probably wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t both been working together to talk down a criminal.
Cat starts to tense a little under Kara’s stare, and so she takes a deep breath and holds out her hand. “It was nice meeting you, Cat.” Cat’s eyes narrow, and Kara laughs. Keeps her hand held out. “I mean it.”
Slowly, Cat settles her palm against Kara’s, and rests her fingers over the back of Kara’s hand. Her skin is warm, and soft, and she can’t stop herself from running her thumb over Cat’s knuckles in a gentle brush.
“I suppose the night could have been worse,” she concedes. “Somehow.” Kara laughs lightly, and Cat smiles just enough.
“OK,” Kara steps back and drops Cat’s hand to wrap her arms around herself, flattening her coat against her chest. “I guess I better start hunting for a coffeeshop or something.” At Cat’s look, she explains, “My internet won’t be set up until tomorrow and I'm not sure I'm up for first impressions at the office." She rocks her body as she looks down. "Someone said my dress looks like it's meant for a prom, I believe," she teases.
“I see. Well, good luck, then.” Kara watches as Cat walks towards her car, still parked at the curb.
“Goodnight,” Kara calls after her, waving to her back. Cat doesn’t turn, and Kara pulls her hand back down to her side quickly, before turning toward the direction of her apartment.
She’s barely a step away when she hears Kara, and when she looks, Cat is standing in front of the open car, hand curled over the door. “Get in,” she orders, before ducking down into the backseat.
Kara closes the distance quickly, and settles down beside Cat. She’s not quite sure where they’re going—though she assumes Cat is offering her a ride home—but she knows that she doesn’t want to part from Cat yet; she’ll go wherever her not-date-date wants.
“You can use my study,” she says, facing forward, and it must be enough of a direction for her driver as he starts to pull away from the street.
“Oh, that’s—thank you, but I don’t want to put you out.”
“You tried to save my life tonight,” Cat says it flippantly, but her eyelashes flutter down like it isn't a line. Kara wants to point out that Cat did the same for her, opens her mouth to speak, but Cat is already waving a hand and moving on. "After all, you didn't know he was a terrible shot. Besides, I’ll admit it’s always more fun to squash your opponent when you’re equally matched: your first-hand account versus my first-hand account,” she turns toward Kara, eyes sparkling.
“They’re going to be pretty much the same,” Kara says, brows furrowing.
“I guess that’s what we’ll find out,” she smirks.
The rest of the ride is short but quiet; Cat presumably processing nearly getting shot, and Kara racing through a million and one thoughts about tonight, her powers, Cat, the what-ifs, and so-on.
“Before the robbery,” Kara starts, deciding to address one of the easier questions nagging at her. “You were leaving.” Cat stiffens beside her, and doesn’t look away from her window. “Did you think this was a date?”
Cat stays silent.
“Cat,” Kara says quietly, and it’s a bit of a risk. It’s familiar and pushing, and a lot of things she’s pretty sure she hasn’t earned after one night. Even after this night.
“I can drop you at the next light,” she snaps, and Kara’s stomach drops. But then Cat looks over at her, and sighs dramatically. “I was misinformed.”
Kara wants to defend her cousin, to clarify that Clark would never lie, and neither would the Lois that she knows, for that matter. But color is rising on Cat’s cheeks, and she’s pushed at her enough. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
“Did you want—” Kara cuts herself off, lets the question go unanswered. Because the car is pulling up to Cat’s penthouse, and in the end it doesn’t matter if Cat wanted this to be a date; it wasn’t, and it was still the worst one imaginable.
Best to let it go.
Kara is on the side by the curb when the car stops, and so she gets out, holding the door open for Cat. Instead, Cat speaks softly to her driver for a moment, though Kara can hear her words clearly.
“Take the next two weeks off, paid, starting now....You are an excellent employee, Sam.”
Cat steps out after, and Kara shuts the door as Cat moves toward her apartment.
“He was the one that called the police?” Kara asks, connecting the dots.
“He was parked outside when he saw John walk in with the machine gun.” Cat pushes through the door, expecting Kara to follow as she adds, “Your terrible first impression turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”
Kara purses her lips at the backhanded compliment, and follows Cat into her elevator. As it starts to rise, Kara asks with a smile, “So your opinion has changed?”
Cat rolls her eyes but it’s almost playful, and Kara turns back to face the doors, satisfied.
“My son—Carter—is home,” Cat says after a moment. “He’s very shy to begin with, and I called him once we were safe in case he’d seen any news coverage of the restaurant.”
“Oh no, had he?”
“Fortunately no,” Cat starts, “but I have no doubt that the second I was off the phone he was searching for information.”
“Do you want me to hang out here while you talk to him first? Or I can find somewhere else to write, I don’t want to bother him. Or you.”
Cat looks at Kara for a long second, and when the doors open she steps out. “No, come in. I just wanted to make you aware.”
Kara nods, and follows Cat the few steps to her front door. She unlocks the door, and when she steps over the threshold a teenage boy launches himself at her shouting Mom!
“Carter,” she breathes out, like she’s been waiting to do just that all day. Her arms wrap around him and he tucks his head against her shoulder.
Kara feels like an intruder on this very sweet, very private moment, but at the same time she can’t look away. Carter Grant is every bit his mother’s son in the way he hugs her, face content and grip tight just like hers.
After a moment Carter pulls back, and says, “I’m so glad you’re OK,” before he hugs her again.
“Me too, sweetheart,” she nods, disturbing Carter’s messy curls as she strokes the back of his head. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” he nods back, and Cat cups his face when he lets her go. He smiles shyly and rests his hands on his mother’s forearms supportively. “Were you scared?”
“Your mom was so brave,” Kara says without thinking, and both Grants turn to look at her. Carter’s body tenses a little, his eyes wide but not quite fearful.
“Honey, this is Kara,” she introduces, and strokes Carter’s face before she lets her hands fall down to her sides. Carter follows suit and sidesteps toward Cat slightly. “She was in the restaurant with me.”
“Hi, Carter,” Kara smiles, and holds out a hand. “It’s really nice to meet you. Your mom told me a lot about you.” He smiles shyly, but doesn’t make a move to shake her hand. Like mother, like son. “You know,” she says, adjusting her glasses with the rejected hand. “My sister and my foster mom are both scientists, and when they talk about their work in front of me it’s just like,” she swipes a hand over her head as she goes whoosh.
Carter smiles softly. “Your mom says you’re really good at that stuff. Maybe someday you could try to teach me a little something so I can understand them better?” she asks, and Carter’s smile widens slightly.
“Sure,” he says quietly, but he looks a little excited when he turns to look at Cat. Tensing, Kara realizes how presumptuous she’s being, and she looks over at her, too. But Carter is starting to talk about the documentary he wants to watch, and a study he’s doing in school, and Cat’s face is open with surprise.
“...but that’s just for extra credit,” he finishes, quiet but excited, and Kara can’t help but beam at his enthusiasm.
“You would get along with my sister so well,” she laughs, and Carter smiles as he tucks his head down a bit.
“Carter,” Cat says after a moment, and touches him softly on the arm. “Kara is a writer, and she’s going to work for a while in my office here. Why don’t you go into your room while I get her set up, and then I’ll come in talk to you. Is that alright?” He nods, and Cat smiles at him. “Is Mrs. Nelson in the kitchen?” He nods again and she says, “OK, please go thank her for watching you tonight and let her know I’ll come talk to her in a few minutes.”
Reluctantly he leaves her side, and starts down a hallway to the left of the open living room. “You can hang your coat there,” Cat directs her toward the coatrack in the corner as she slips her own off of her shoulders.
“Thanks,” Kara follows, dropping her purse on the floor as she drapes the jacket on a peg. Pulling her phone out and holding it tight in her hand, she heads after Cat, moving in the opposite direction Carter had.
“You can work in my study,” she announces as she pushes open a door, slightly ajar, and enters her office. There is a desk in the far right corner, and bookshelves lining the entire wall to the left. A couch sits between the space of the door and the desk, two lamps on either side of the arms.
“I prefer to sit at my desk, so you can sit there,” she points at the sofa, “and use one of my laptops.” She picks up a MacBook from the coffee table, and sets it on the edge of the desk to open it.
Kara watches as she leans over it slowly, curves on display with the movement, and tries to listen as Cat continues. “It’s charged right now, but there’s a plug-in down there,” she gestures vaguely to the wall by her desk, “if you need it.”
She stands back up and carries the computer to Kara, a blank document open. “This should go without saying,” she starts slowly, eyes narrowed as Kara reaches for the laptop. “But if you decide to use this as an opportunity to go digging through my information, or looking for a second story, I will make your life a living hell.”
Her words are calm and careful, but Kara doesn’t doubt for a second that Cat Grant would do exactly that when wronged. “Noted,” she says after a moment, and Cat searches her face for a long moment.
“I’ll be back shortly,” Cat says finally, brushing past Kara towards the doorway. In the threshold she stills, fingers playing with her necklace. “Don’t do anything stupid.”
She leaves without waiting for a response, and Kara settles down on the couch, computer open on her lap. Alone in the space she takes a minute to absorb it; the range of books on Cat’s shelves, the framed photos of Carter—and her with Carter—sprinkled through the room, the well-stocked bar in the corner.
It’s warm and it’s personal, and Kara feels herself settle back against the couch as she starts to write.
When Cat comes back, Kara is already three paragraphs in, her fingers cramping slightly as she tries not to speed-type and burnout Cat’s keyboard.
“Carter doesn’t like a lot of strangers,” Cat says, as soon as she’s shut the door, and Kara looks up from her writing, fingers stilling as Cat sits down behind her desk. “But he seems to actually want to get to know you,” she continues as she flips on the desktop computer, and leans back in her seat.
Kara’s stomach clenches as she remembers her words in the living room. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t think—”
“Did you mean it?” she asks frankly, and doesn’t blink as she watches Kara.
“I—” she’s not sure what the right answer is here, but she sets the computer down on the coffee table to turn and face Cat fully. “Yes. He seems like a really great kid, Cat. And I remember what it was like to be nervous around people, and uncomfortable socially.” She shrugs. “I realize it's—that we aren’t even really friends. Yet,” she adds quickly, and breathes a little easier when Cat purses her lips but doesn’t disagree. “But maybe when we are—”
Kara’s stomach growls. Hard. Her eyes widen and her cheeks get pink, but Cat body relaxes back against her chair, the heaviness of her question broken. “Uh,” Kara hedges, “Would it maybe be OK if I ordered us some pizza?”
Kara finishes her ninth piece of pizza, and rechecks her article for a third time. Satisfied she hits send, and exits her accounts.
“Finished?” Cat asks from the desk, her own pizza now cold on the plate beside her.
"Yeah, you?" Kara stretches her arms out and stifles a yawn.
"For an hour now," Cat smirks, and rises from her seat to the bar in the corner. Her feet are bare, her heels discarded beneath the desk, and she moves silently across the room. Kara watches the muscles in her back shift as she pours them each a glass of alcohol, and turns around.
“Thank you for letting me work here,” Kara smiles up at her, sliding her hands over the closed cover of the computer. Cat holds out a glass. “Thank you,” Kara says as she takes it. Her skin starting to buzz with nerves, no longer distracted by her task of writing.
Cat settles down on the other end of the couch, tucking her legs up under her as she angles to face Kara. “You were quite the hero tonight.”
Kara blushes, and holds the glass between both of her hands, suddenly terrified she’ll spill all over herself. “It was nothing,” she shakes her head. “You were doing fine before I spoke up.”
“I was amazing,” Cat corrects, tossing Kara’s words back at her, and takes a drink. “But I suppose you may have helped speed things up.”
Kara’s only known Cat for a few hours, but she’s got a strong feeling that such a concession is about as good as it gets when it comes to Cat Grant. Unsure how to respond, she smiles down at her lap.
“And then,” Cat continues, “you saved my life.” Blush deepening, Kara looks up to see Cat’s attention focused completely on her. She’s got one arm on the back of the couch, the other on the glass resting against her knee, and she’s just watching her with an unexpectedly open expression on her face.
"Which wasn't really in danger," she lies.
“Mmm,” Cat hums, and takes another drink. The study is dim, with the door shut and the only light from the lamps by the couch. It’s peaceful, and calming, and—Kara notices the way the shadows drape over Cat’s body, the way the light catches on her golden curls—romantic.
Cat has always been beautiful to her, but after the ways they’ve bonded over the course of the night, Cat is something else to her now. Something deeper. Something that makes her stomach feel hollow and tight all at the same time.
Wrapping her fingers over her wrist, Kara looks at the face of her watch: 1:50. “Wow, it’s so late,” she looks up at Cat. “I should let you get some sleep.” Cat’s lips twitch at the comment for some reason.
Setting the rest of her scotch down on the coffee table, Kara stands, borrowed laptop still tucked against her with the other hand. Cat watches her rise, and there’s something dark in her eyes, but light. A little mischievous.
Kara’s heart beats faster.
“Thank you again for letting me work here. And loaning me this,” she holds out the computer, and Cat takes it, still holding eye contact.
“Of course,” she murmurs, and Kara feels herself lean closer on instinct. “I’ll walk you out,” Cat stands, and Kara follows her through the study toward the front door.
She pulls her coat from the rack by the door, and holds it against her front, not quite ready to put it on. Her purse is on the floor beside it, her phone in her pocket. She has everything she needs. It’s late. She should leave.
But Cat is just standing in front of her, watching Kara shift back and forth. They’ve had a terrible night (that was also kind of not terrible, to be honest), but Cat hasn’t kicked her out. Hasn’t even been short with her since before the robbery happened.
In fact, Kara’s seen her looking content for the past few hours. “I had a nice night,” she says again, and this time Cat doesn’t scoff.
Instead, she settles one hand on her hip. “Mmm,” she hums. “I suppose I’ve had worse non-dates.” She thinks for a moment. “Well, no actually. But it had its moments.”
Kara smiles, laughs quietly. “That’s a pretty good review, considering.” Cat smiles, and steps a little closer.
It’s late, and she should leave.
“For what it’s worth,” she says instead, and swallows hard as her confidence falters. “I wish this hadn’t not been a date.” She winces at her sentence. “I mean,” she starts, but trails off as Cat takes a step closer. And then another.
Cat is right in front of her now, close enough to smell the faint traces of her perfume without using her supersenses at all. “Yes?” she asks, resting her fingers on Kara’s free right arm, hanging at her side.
The fingers of her left curl into the fabric of her coat, and her gaze drops down to Cat’s mouth, still slightly parted from her question.
“I wish this had been a date,” she whispers, and Cat’s thumb brushes over the long line of her forearm.
“Better,” Cat whispers, and when she steps in once more, Kara dips her head down to kiss her.
For a moment it’s a simple kiss; closed-mouthed and tentative and gentle. But then Cat’s hand slides up Kara’s arm to the curve of her elbow, and Kara reaches out for her waist. Fingers curling into the fabric of Cat’s dress she tugs her closer, lips twitching at the almost silent gasp Cat makes.
When she can’t wait any longer Kara angles her head, letting her coat fall to the floor so she can hold Cat’s neck as she deepens the kiss. Cat’s mouth is soft, and warm, and when Kara brushes her tongue over the curve of her bottom lip she can think only of ocean and sunlight.
“Is this OK?” Kara pulls back to ask, because it might be the last time she has the breath to do so, willing as she is to drown in this woman.
Cat hums her agreement and tugs at the front of Kara’s dress with her free hand, the other making its way to Kara’s shoulder so she can tug as she moves backwards to the wall.
Kara stumbles after her until they make contact, Cat’s shoulder blade hitting against a framed photo with a clatter. They both freeze at the sound, and Cat clamps one hand over Kara’s mouth, looking down the hallways to Carter’s room.
The photo settles and the apartment is still and silent, save for Cat’s heavy breaths warm on Kara’s cheek. She pulls her attention away for a moment, listening for Carter in the other room. When she hears nothing but gentle snoring, she pulls her head back until Cat pulls her hand back a bit.
“He’s still asleep,” Kara whispers, and Cat looks at her warily. “I have really good ears.”
For a moment, Cat stares at her, eyes still slightly narrowed. Her breathing has slowed but her chest still moves heavily. After a beat, her attention drifts back down to Kara’s mouth, and she reaches up to run a thumb over her lower lip.
“My bedroom,” she murmurs, the pads of her fingers replacing her thumb, and Kara’s mouth falls open slightly at the implication and the touch.
“Are you su—” Kara starts to ask, but Cat is already leaning up the short distance to kiss Kara once more.
“My bedroom,” she repeats when she’s kissed most of the sense out of Kara, leaving just enough to know to follow Cat when she turns away.
Cat’s home is beautiful, elegant but simple, and so incredibly warm. Her chest feels heavy as she realizes how much she likes being a part of it, if even in this little way.
They near a closed door, and Kara’s eyes fall back on Cat’s body; the curve of her spine, her full hips, the skirt of the dress pulled tight against her ass. Kara’s face flushes as she lingers on the sight, and flushes deeper when Cat looks over her shoulder with a smirk before pushing the door open.
Kara follows her through, and then past, as Cat shuts the door with a quiet click. Her room is as beautiful as the rest of the apartment, and when Kara turns back to tell her so Cat is moving toward her, the perfect picture of her namesake.
“Cat,” Kara whispers just because she can, and when Cat gets close enough Kara pulls her the rest of the way into another kiss.
It’s harder now, deeper and sweeter and Kara’s head rushes with the knowledge of everything that has happened to bring them here.
Kara’s hands settle on either side of Cat’s neck, holding her as she tries to get enough of the other woman. But Cat is impatient, tugging at Kara’s dress until she finds the side zipper and pulling it down with one stuttered pull.
“Cheap fabric,” Cat scolds as she leans away, distaste at the material under her hands clear.
“It had pockets,” Kara defends, earning an eyeroll from Cat before she finishes loosening the dress and pulling it down Kara’s arms. It falls to the floor with a thud, the phone in said pocket hitting the hardwood floors under their feet.
“Quiet,” Cat hisses, and before Kara can worry about the device or point out that, technically, that was Cat’s fault, she’s being pulled back into her arms so Cat can place searingly hot kisses on her neck.
The OK that falls from Kara’s lips is involuntary, and for a second she worries that she’s setting a very bad precedent with Cat about taking responsibility. But then Cat’s teeth scrape over her throat and she decides that she really, really does not care.
Kara moans low, and her fingers start to dig into Cat’s back on reflex. It’s a little too hard, she’s not monitoring her strength enough, but Cat groans—almost too loud, and if there is a next time Kara makes a note to comment about double standards—and Kara feels herself grow slicker between her thighs.
The bed is close, but they struggle to get there until finally Kara lands on the end, Cat falling across her lap. Her dress is too tight, the skirt trapping Cat’s legs too close together until Kara slides her hands up her thighs and pushes the fabric up to her hips.
Cat’s legs fall apart instantly as she settles across Kara’s legs. Her center is hot against Kara’s bare stomach, and matching moans fill the room when Kara presses on Cat’s lower back, holding them closer together.
For a moment, Kara is overwhelmed by everything: Cat’s mouth on her skin, Cat’s arousal from her touch, Cat’s soft skin beneath her hands. Her head is fuzzy and clear all at the same time, alert to each sensation but drowning in them, too.
“Cat,” she says softly, and grips Cat’s hips with enough pressure to get her to look up. Kara’s skin tightens as the cool air hits the trail of open-mouth kisses Cat has made, and she shivers as they make eye contact.
Their heavy breaths are the only movement for a moment, until Kara slides her hands to the back of Cat’s dress. She pulls at the zipper slowly, not blinking until it hits the end of the line in one smooth run.
“I bet it doesn’t have pockets,” Kara whispers, and Cat’s expression opens, the same way it had earlier that night. There’s something oddly intimate about Cat in these moments, and Kara smiles brilliantly.
Like the semi-complement in the study, Kara would bet that this is something rare, and special.
Cat rolls her eyes again but she’s almost smiling as she does it, her fingertips settling on Kara’s shoulders.
Kara’s pretty sure this is something special, too.
Slowly, she pushes the dress further up Cat’s hips, the material slack enough to pull all the way off her arms and over her head. Kara lets it drop to the floor, and tries not to swallow embarrassingly loud when she sees Cat almost bared before her.
Her hips are wide, her waist dipping in, and Kara follows the slope with her eyes up to her breasts; small, and beautifully framed by the lace of her bra. Kara meets Cat’s eyes again before she leans forward, dropping a kiss to the center of her chest. The lace tickles her cheeks as she presses slow, deep kisses across the swell of Cat’s breast, smiling when the other woman’s head drops back with a groan.
“Can I take this off?” Kara asks, moving up her chest to her neck, gently nipping just above her shoulder.
“Now,” Cat urges, and Kara pulls the clasps open so she can add to the growing pile on the floor.
Kara’s hands scale the smooth plane of Cat’s back, from the curve of her ass to the nape of her neck. “Kara,” Cat moans as she sucks on the sensitive spot below Cat’s ear, and rolls her hips into Kara again and again.
The heat of Cat’s core against her body is maddening, and when she can’t take it anymore she spins them, pinning Cat to the mattress and spreading her thighs as she leans her weight into her.
Cat’s moans start to threaten the edge of quiet, and so Kara presses their mouths together, sweeping her tongue inside as she settles one hand on the edge of Cat’s panties.
She teases the fabric for a moment, needing to ask but not ready to stop kissing Cat either. Finally, Cat pushes her head into the bed beneath her and hisses, “For god’s sake yes, Kara.”
When Kara’s hand slips beneath the silk and brushes Cat’s clit, she stifles her moan by biting into Kara’s shoulder.
It’s hot and it’s desperate, and Kara brushes her fingers over the nerves again and again until Cat’s hips are rolling on each touch. Cat starts gripping at any part of Kara she can reach, from her shoulders to her breasts, to her back and hips, urging her to get closer, harder, and rewarding Kara with a stuttery breath every time she makes it better.
Cat bites at her lip as her hips speed up, her eyes pressed together tightly as she arches her back. Kara can’t stop watching Cat’s face she she gets closer and closer, the desperate desire as she whispers Kara’s name sending another flood of arousal through her body.
Cat’s back arches even higher, and Kara watches in awe as Cat clamps her lips shut and turns her head into the pillow near her. Kara’s fingers slow, each small touch making Cat’s body stiffen with aftershocks.
As she comes down, Kara pulls her hand back so that she can move enough to pull Cat’s underwear completely off. It falls to the pile with the others and Cat is bare before her.
Kara presses her palms in the hollows between Cat’s pelvis and thighs, spreading her open. She’s slick and her lips are swollen, and when Kara brushes them with her thumbs Cat sucks in a breath.
Eyes moving back up to Cat’s face, Kara watches her eyelids flutter open, sight finally settling back on Kara. Cat raises one hand up to Kara’s cheek, and brushes back a lock of hair that has fallen from her braid.
It’s gentle and familiar and Kara smiles in response. And when Cat tugs at her glasses, Kara lets her take them, dropping them gently on the bedside table.
Kara waits until they settle before she scoots down and tugs Cat by the knees, and dipping forward to taste her.
Cat’s hips twitch immediately, body still tender, and Kara keeps her kisses soft and slow as she explores.
This time, Cat’s noises are stuttered breaths and shaky exhales, and when Kara slides two fingers inside her, a long and low oh that makes Kara smile against her center.
“Ka-ra,” comes out broken and soft, but the way Cat claws at her neck as she adds enough is anything but gentle.
“Are you OK?” she asks immediately, eyes wide in concern as she settles over Cat with an arm on either side of her. She scan’s Cat’s body immediately, terrified she’s lost control and hurt the other woman.
But Cat just murmurs, “Come here,” and drags Kara down by the back of the next for a long and deep and wet kiss. And when Cat pushes her back up and says, “Take those off,” gesturing vaguely to Kara’s lingerie, she does immediately, still a little dazed from Cat’s mouth.
Completely bare, Kara leans down for another kiss, and when it ends she lets Cat tug her down to her side.
It’s oddly intimate like this: facing each other, bare, and evenly matched. Everything feels deeper, suddenly, in a world of their own as they hold each other’s gaze.
Kara’s heart starts to beat a little faster, the realization of how heavy everything is for a relationship that barely even exists. The realization of how unexpected the entire evening was, how many ways it could have gone differently. And the realization that there’s something here, as ridiculous as that sounds.
When Kara listens, she’s pretty sure Cat’s heart is beating fast, too.
“Would this be a weird time to ask you out on an actual date?” she blurts out, and wants to take it back immediately.
But Cat laughs, small and quiet but utterly honest, and Kara just needs to kiss her when she makes that sound. Cat kisses back, light, broken by a smile, and utterly perfect.
And then Cat’s fingers creep over the firm curve of Kara’s stomach, over her back and down to cup a breast. Her thumb brushes over Kara’s nipple, and she tenses, rolling her lips to stifle her moan.
Cat tugs at her nipple as her other hand brushes between her thighs, teasingly and frustratingly light. She does it for only a moment, though, before her fingers are sliding inside of Kara, thumb brushing over clit over and over.
Kara’s too slick for much friction, and when Cat presses her thumb harder against her clit and rubs in tight circles, she has to bite the inside of her cheek to stop her scream.
Cat’s thigh settles over hers, spreading herself open again, and she understands why when Cat whispers in her ear, “Touch me, Kara."
The permission is like a band snapping as she reaches between them to mirror Cat’s touch on her body. They’re both cresting toward their climax, hips moving unsteadily as they try to find the right amount of pressure.
Cat comes first, her orgasm slow, rolling through her body in a single long wave as her head falls into the curve of Kara’s neck. Kara pulls back quickly this time to let her sensitive folds rest, and drops her hand to Cat’s back to hold her close.
Kara is close, body growing tauter with each thrust. Cat’s fingers speed up to match Kara’s hips, and she kisses Kara’s neck beneath her lips and up toward her ear. When she breathes out, “Kara,” her body breaks, climax rushing over her hard and repeatedly until she can catch her breath.
When she finally does, Cat is caressing the top of her ass and breathing against her neck more steadily. They’re both quiet, barely moving, and Kara feels herself start to relax into the mattress.
“Do you want me to leave?” Kara murmurs the question against Cat’s ear, breath disturbing the fine strands of hair there. She doesn’t want to, but she understands that there are a whole lot of reasons it might be a good idea, least of all being that they’ve barely known each other six hours.
Her hand trails over Cat’s spine as she waits for the verdict, fingertips slipping over the light sheen of sweat she’s caused. Warmth spreads through Kara’s chest as Cat’s thigh moves farther over hers, hips tilting into Kara’s touch.
“I suppose you can have five more minutes,” Cat says into her neck, face still tucked into the curve there.
Kara smiles, lips brushing over Cat’s cheek as she lets her eyes flutter closed.
Kara’s phone buzzes at a little after two o’clock the next afternoon, as Kara is unpacking a box of mugs. Setting it down with one hand, she reaches over with the other, tapping until her phone lights back up.
It’s a message from an unknown sender, and Kara nearly pulls the mug right back down as she tries to open it. A photo comes through first, of a simple RSVP for an upcoming gala, and two option boxes: I will be bringing a date and I will not be bringing a date.
There is a checkmark next to the first option. And at the edge of the photograph, Kara can see a corner of this morning’s National City Star sitting just out of frame.
Unknown: The museum is hosting one of the world’s rarest diamonds and I hear their security team is lax. Make it 2/2?
Kara beams at her phone, and leans back against the counter remembering the way Cat kissed her that morning before she shooed her out of the door at the crack of dawn. How beautiful she looked as the sun came in, and how her lips were curled up just a little as she said goodbye.
Kara: It’s a date.