DISCLAIMER: Supergirl is an American superhero fiction action-adventure drama television series developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, that aired on CBS and sister network, The CW. It is based on the DC Comics character Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino. No profit or infringement is intended with this fanfiction.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: So Mon-El as Kara's love interest is just even more annoying than James ever was. Therefore, I need to just get this out of my system. This is a Kalex romance, if that's your squick, please don't read. Title comes from Superman (It's Not Easy) by Five for Fighting.
SPOILERS: Up to and including Season 2, Episode 8, The Darkest Place including the cross over episodes of Flash/Arrow/DC Legends of Tomorrow. Please note that there was no Sanvers kiss and that Maggie and Alex are only friends.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To Geekgrrl.lurking[at]gmail.com

Even Heroes Have the Right to Bleed
By Geekgrrl

 

The silence was deafening. Alex blinked, sure that it was that last shot of whiskey that was still rattling around her belly, causing the burn in her gut. She wished she had another one, that she could swallow down along with her unexpectedly raw feelings.

"So tell him the truth, Kara," Alex finally spoke, when she could breathe again, meeting Kara's worried gaze. "Tell him that we are already bonded."

 

Chapter One

What a fucked up evening it had been.

Alex Danvers sighed and flicked the light on as she entered her apartment, blinking as her eyes adjusted to the brightness. The friendly game of pool with Maggie Sawyer had turned into drinks, which turned into more drinks and then she was admitting things that she didn't really want to talk about. Not that that had stopped Maggie from asking.

Dropping her keys on the kitchen island, Alex flopped down onto her grey couch and let herself slide down sideways to rest her head on the seat cushions. Now if only that spinning sensation would stop, all would be right with the world. Despite spilling the beans about Kara being Supergirl, which J'onn was going to kill her for, Maggie had certainly told her share of secrets too, which she could deal with. Mostly. That whole still being in love with her ex-girlfriend back in Gotham City had certainly been the most painful.

A knock at the door pulled her from her thoughts.

"Go away." Alex mumbled into the sofa cushion underneath her. What the hell time was it anyway? Too late o'clock in the fucking morning to be knocking on her door.

"Alex?" A familiar voice drifted in from the hallway, followed by more hesitant tapping on the door. "It's me, open the door." Alex lifted her head and sighed. So much for falling asleep where she lay.

"Hang on." Alex grumped and forced herself upright. She shuffled to the door, running a hand through her hair and yawning before unlocking and yanking it open to find her sister standing there. "Kara, it's late. Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I guess." Kara Danvers offered up a lopsided smile and half shrug, before stepping through into the apartment. Kara glanced around the dark space, as if only just realizing the time and that she maybe should have called first. Still this couldn't wait until the morning and it wasn't something she wanted to discuss over the phone. "We need to talk."

"Ooo-kay." Alex frowned as she closed the door and flipped all the locks back into place. 'We need to talk' never led to good conversations in her experience. She watched as Kara made her way over to her sparsely stocked fridge and pulled out two bottles of water.

"So what's going on that I need to know?" Alex came from around her kitchen island to meet her, her dark eyes scanning for any injuries or damage. She took one bottle and cracked it open, trying to gauge Kara's mood.

"I just…I wanted to…" Kara's eyes began to fill with tears. She didn't even know where to start or how to explain the overwhelming frustration of what she was feeling. Luckily Alex didn't even hesitate, putting her water down on the island and pulled Kara close, into a much-needed hug.

"Hey, just take your time, I'm not going anywhere." Strong arms wrapped around her and Kara let herself sink into the embrace. She buried her nose in Alex's warmth, snuffling into the dark hair and breathing her in. Alex always felt so good, the scent of her calming her down almost as much as the hug.

"It's okay, it all just..." Kara smiled into Alex's shoulder, touched by the obvious concern. "Well, it's all kind of caught up with me. I didn't really have a lot of time to process destroying that poor environmentalist." Kara paused and pulled away, the bitterness of having failed to save the changeling still difficult to swallow. "And then when I was helping Barry and the others off world, I-I…" Kara came to a full stop and just wiped at the gathering tears in her eyes. It was always hard to talk about her Red Kryptonite experience, especially with Alex.

"Damn it, Kara. I knew I should have gone with you." Alex muttered, finding Kara's hand and leading her to the couch. They sat together, Alex's arm sliding across Kara's narrow shoulders, pulling a snuggly blanket over both of them. Kara sighed and melted closer into the offered comfort. She was glad Alex hadn't seen her controlled yet again. It had brought all the Red Kryptonite memories rushing back in a horrible wave.

"Tell me what happened in the other universe." Alex adjusted her tone, sure that something was bothering Kara. She reached out and pulled on long blonde hair, letting it fall through her fingers.

"It was horrible, I couldn't stop myself, again!" Kara pulled a pillow to her chest and hugged it, remembering being controlled mentally by the aliens, a shiver running down her spine.

"They had Red Kryptonite there?" Alex asked, pinching the bridge of her nose, afraid Kara had to live through that again.

"No, thank Rao. B-but the alien invaders, they were able to telepathically control me and some of the others. We were forced to attack Barry and a few of the team that had stayed behind at STAR Labs. I nearly killed…" Kara's voice broke and she wiped at her eyes.

"Hey, come on, you're safe now. No one was killed." Alex pulled her closer again. "You should have told me about this sooner. I could have cancelled my plans."

"I wanted to, I was going to see if you wanted to get dinner, but my debrief at the DEO was interrupted by a Supergirl emergency. J'onn said we could just continue tomorrow, and by the time I finally got back, you weren't answering my texts and Mon-El was at my door. Which y'know is fine, but then…well, ever since then I've been trying to talk him out of doing anything. I need some time to get my head together, not jump into something so quickly. However, he is rather stubborn… " Kara leaned back, shifting away as she babbled nervously, not making a lot of sense.

"Whoa, slow down. What did the frat boy do now?" Alex's lips pressed together into a thin line of disapproval. The Daxamite was more trouble than he was worth as far as she was concerned. She didn't understand the soft spot that Kara had for the big dolt.

"Well," Kara hesitated, not sure how Alex would react. "Before I left with Barry and Cisco, Mon-El…kind of kissed me." Kara bit her lower lip self-consciously and looked away.

"What!" Alex's gut dropped, the audacity of the man was unbelievable. Why had Kara not mentioned this development before? She had been so busy keeping Winn and James in line that she missed this completely.

"It was when Eliza was here and Mon-El was so sick and out of it. I didn't think he remembered, and it wasn't a big deal or anything so I never mentioned it." Kara leaned back again. There was a part of her that was flattered by the attention but another, bigger part of her was dreading having to deal with this. "But at my place tonight he admitted that he did remember. And then he said that wanted to follow protocol, that that he should do this right."

"Do what right?" Alex frowned, not sure what that really meant. Kara sighed and turned to face her.

"Mon-El has officially asked if he could court me." Kara fidgeted, pushing her glasses higher nervously.

The silence was deafening. Alex blinked, sure that it was that last shot of whiskey that was still rattling around her belly, causing the burn in her gut. She wished she had another one, that she could swallow down along with her unexpectedly raw feelings.

"So tell him the truth, Kara," Alex finally spoke, when she could breathe again, meeting Kara's worried gaze. "Tell him that we are already bonded."

 

Chapter Two

Kal-El's Earth accent all but made the ancient Kryptonian words of betrothal incomprehensible as he stumbled and bumbled his way through it. Kara resisted her sigh of frustration, making a mental note that she would need to work with him to get his vocabulary and speech patterns up to even working class levels. She worried briefly about what kind of education system they had on this backward planet. Kara said nothing though, instead biting her tongue and smiling as she finally belonged to the House of Danvers. As the eldest male member of her family, Kal-El was responsible for ensuring that Kara was looked after, that she was allied to a strong House. She desperately wanted to be a Danvers.

"*In the name of Truth and Honour, before the face of Rao, who kindled the sun and assembled the ground beneath our feet, I hereby declare these vows binding upon you.*" Kal –El switched to English. "For from this day forward, through all time and space, even unto eternity, the House of El shall be joined with the House of Danvers."

Kara stood straighter, squaring her shoulders and speaking the solemn vow in perfect Kryptonese. "*I so swear.*"

Kal-El nodded proudly smiling at his little cousin. Kara nervously glanced over at Alex and the elder Danvers. She desperately wanted to be part of this House, to try to fit in and move forward on this new world. Alexandra Danvers would be a fine mate, once they came to the Age of Ascension.

"Uh…I do?" Alex glanced over at her parents, Jeremiah and Eliza who nodded and smiled encouragingly. If Kara felt the need to formally join their Houses, whatever that meant and could finally sleep through the night, then they were going to play along. It didn't mean anything, any more than Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy hurt anyone. Once Kara was settled it could all be explained to her, calmly and over time.

Kal-El took the strip of cloth and wound their hands together. Kara smiled up at Alex as she entwined their fingers and they held hands. Alex gave a little squeeze of encouragement and solidarity. Kara knew everything would be all right now; Alex would always be at her side. She glanced back at her cousin.

"Therefore by the power invested in me, I declare your Houses joined."

"*El mayarah.*" Kara smiled softly, meeting her new mate's dark eyes, something settling deep inside. She started as Alex repeated her words, in perfect pronunciation.

"El mayarah, Kara Zor-El Danvers." Alex smiled, pleased she had gotten the wording right. And the happy look of pride in the smaller girl's eyes made it even more pleasing.

Stronger together.


"So tell him the truth, Kara," Alex finally spoke, when she could breathe again, meeting Kara's worried gaze. "Tell him that we are already bonded. That should cool his heels."

Kara stared at her for a long moment before finally looking away.

"Actually, that's what I needed to talk to you about. Well, part of it anyway." Kara stood, nervous energy becoming too much, and began to pace. She knew she should have dealt with this when she hit the Age of Ascension. It didn't seem like it was ever going to be an issue. Who could have anticipated someone from her home solar system dropping in and screwing things up?

"Just spit it out, Kara." Alex watched Kara as she moved, tugging on her fingers and chewing her bottom lip. She sighed and closed her eyes, sure that she wasn't going to like where this was headed. She hadn't had nearly enough to drink to deal with this.

"We aren't fully bond mated. We aligned our Houses, when I first arrived here on Earth, yes. And I took the Danvers name, but that was more like what you would call a betrothal. A declaration of intention, as we were both too young to actually complete the full ceremony." Kara sank back down on the couch, and took Alex's hands and hunted for the right words to explain.

"I am forever grateful, as it gave me a home here, a sense of belonging. The ceremony helped me to adjust, to feel like I was part of your family." Kara smiled, remembering the event like it was yesterday. "But you didn't understand what the ritual truly meant. Neither did your parents, nor Kal-El for that matter. For me, it was normal for houses to merge for political reasons. No one would bat an eye that we were declaring a match at that age."

"So we didn't just merge houses, we are technically betrothed but not fully bonded?" Alex said wrapping her head around the distinction. She didn't think that sounded so bad. A little more serious though than anyone had really realized. Cultural differences caused so much miscommunication.

"Yes, exactly. By not completing the full bonding ceremony when I turned 18, the Krypton Age of Ascension, well, it left us in a kind of limbo. I was happy to just leave it be, since it allowed us to see others." Kara looked at their joined hands, not mentioning her own growing doubts of ever finding a true bond mate. Alex was probably as close as she would get, and if she was honest with herself, that was fine by her.

"Okay, but I don't see why we can't just tell Mon-El that you're taken and that's the end of it." Alex said, trying to keep the intergalactic playboy under control was the priority here. The rest of it could be sorted out over time.

"Mon-El apparently got all enthused while I was away for the week off world and decided to talk to Kal-El." Kara closed her eyes and leaned back. It was all such a mess. "Mon-El understands that distinction and has seen his chance. The Daxamites were always critical of our practice of marrying for politics not love. They were a passionate group of people, gotta give them that." Kara nodded, appreciating the thought. "Anyway, Mon-El wants a chance to court me, to challenge the betrothal. He has officially declared it." Kara stopped and shook her head, not believing the audacity. "He spoke to Kal-El about it."

"Well, shit." Alex sighed not anticipating that wrinkle. "What did the big guy say?"

"What could he say?" Kara leaned back further and stared at the ceiling above, dejected. "As the oldest male member of the House of El, he had no choice but to allow the challenge."

"Thanks for nothing, Clark." Alex muttered. Fuck, she needed another drink, or better yet an ibuprofen, to nip her threatening headache in the bud. "So now what?"

Kara sighed. This was the embarrassing part. Why did Mon-El have to stir stuff up?

"You need to accept the challenge." Kara said quietly. "And defend our betrothal by declaring that you want to be my bond mate." She glanced over at Alex, trying to figure out what was going through her mind.

"So is that like a duel to the death or something?" Alex frowned. She wasn't sure she would survive combat with Mon-El, even if she did kind of want to pound him into the ground at the moment. Her mind began to plot, perhaps if she had the right weapon, a lead knife to stab him maybe…

"No, no! Nothing like that, thank Rao. I think we can just go through with some of the courting rituals until I can persuade Mon-El that we are together, just taking our time, and then with luck he will lose interest and leave me alone." Kara ran a hand through her hair in frustration. "I-I just need some time to get my head together, to figure out what I want. To process some of the stuff that's been going on lately. I can't take on much more. I already feel bad enough about letting James down, without adding Mon-El into the mix. Rao, I'm such an idiot…" Kara's eyes began to tear up again.

"Hey, it's okay." Alex leaned forward, she just wanted to scoop Kara up and protect her from it all. "You are not an idiot. And Mon-El is smarter than I gave him credit for. Of course I will pretend to be your seriously offended betrothed. How dare he try to poach my territory!"

"Your territory? Really?" Kara snorted into the cushion she was hugging and laughed at Alex. Alex smiled back, mission accomplished, making Kara feel better about the whole mess. Kara grew quiet again before glancing back at Alex.

"Hey, seriously though," Kara said softly, their eyes meeting. "Thanks for your help."

"No worries," Alex smiled back. "You know I've always got your back. Stronger together." Her arms were suddenly full with a very appreciative alien. Alex soaked in the warmth for a minute, relishing the intimacy. She was going to kill Mon-El if he fucked this closeness up for the two of them.

"I think it's time for bed, are you staying over?" Alex asked, emotionally drained and ready for sleep. Her whiskey soaked brain couldn't take much more, and she was more than willing to worry about the courting rituals tomorrow. In the meantime, she wasn't sure that she wanted Kara to be alone with everything still so fresh from her time off world.

She clearly had said the right thing, as Kara grinned and disappeared in a flash into the bedroom.

"Do NOT hog that blanket, Kara Zor-El Danvers. I have a popcorn maker and I know how to use it!" Alex flicked off the lights and smiled as she heard Kara giggling madly from her bed.

Some things would never change.

 

Chapter Three

What a day.

Kara Danvers flopped down onto her couch with an exhausted sigh and stared up at her apartment ceiling. She was beginning to wonder if her promotion had been worth it. She missed her old job, her neatly organized desk, hell, she even missed Ms. Grant's sniping tirades. Change can be good, but not everything all at once. Nothing was the same anymore, and it was leaving her very disheartened. She just needed a little peace and quiet.

Kara's cell phone vibrated on the coffee table. She sighed, making no move to see who it was. There was no need, she knew exactly who it was. It was the same person that had been ringing her all day. It was the same person that she had been ignoring, all day.

Mon-El was nothing if not persistent.

Kara briefly considered using her laser vision to fry the offending device but she didn't even want to think about the paperwork the DEO would make her fill out. Or the face that Winn would make when she asked him to reload all her stuff back onto it. The phone finally stopped and she closed her eyes trying to shut down her racing thoughts.

To be honest, Mon-El's interest in her was flattering. He did know things about her home world, reminding her of the old days and she liked mentoring him, but the kiss in the infirmary had been surprising. Pleasant enough, but surprising. And then when he didn't remember doing anything, well, it had been a relief. Kind of like how breaking up with James had been.

Kara pulled her glasses off and pinched the bridge of her nose. She didn't want to think about it any more. How no one seemed to fit in her life the same way that…

Kara tossed her glasses onto the coffee table beside her silent phone. Nope she was not going to go down that road right now. Not when there was a quart of mint chocolate chip ice cream with her name on it in the freezer. She would just take a moment to soak up the silence. No ringing phones. No sirens or honking horns. No loud voices, crying or cursing into the early evening air, just blessed peace and quiet.

Wait a minute…it was too quiet.

Kara's eyes snapped open and she sat up with a start. She tried to pick up Mrs. Wilkie's heartbeat in the apartment upstairs. No luck.

"What the hell?" She glanced around trying to discover what was going on, when she noticed a small package on her table. She briefly wished for telekinesis as one of her super powers, so she wouldn't have to get up, but she her curiosity was too strong. She made her way over to the table and picked up what appeared to be a small gift, if the bow was any indication.

"Alex!" A wide smile broke out as she recognized a familiar scent on the paper. It was confirmed by the attached card, which was written in her familiar confident scrawl, Kara would recognize it anywhere.

'I know things are crazy for you right now. I've been tinkering in my lab again, and I was going to give this to you for Christmas, but thought you might appreciate some quiet time to just relax now. The silver button on the side turns it off and on. I can explain the details tonight. Love you, Alex'

Kara smiled sadly. She could always count on Alex. She hadn't even hesitated about defending their betrothal, just jumped right in. Kara wished not for the first time that she had taken care of this years ago, but she had thought that there would be plenty of time. Besides, Alex wasn't into girls, or so she had always thought, but now…

Kara didn't want to dwell on those possibilities much either.


Kara paced in the living room, glancing out the window as Alex hopped into her friend Vicki's car. They were off to go surfing, which was almost as much fun as flying, probably as close as Alex would ever get on her own anyway. Kara didn't really want to tag along anyway.

She sank down onto the couch and tried to focus on the list of kids Eliza wanted her to invite to her birthday party. She was going to be eighteen years old next week, give or take, and not counting her years in the Phantom Zone. The Krypton Age of Ascension. Kara was dreading it, when she normally should be on top of the world. If they were on Krypton…

Well there was the rub. She wasn't on Krypton anymore. She was very much on Earth, with Alex about to head off to university. Kara knew that the Danvers didn't really understand the joining of the Houses. The political and emotional significance of it. To be honest, Kara wasn't even sure if she wanted to follow the old Krypton ways anymore. She might be the last daughter of Krypton but that didn't mean that she had to be a slave to a dead world's customs.

"What's going on behind those big sad eyes, Kara Danvers?" Eliza asked softly, sinking down onto the couch beside her, stroking her fingers through the fine blonde hair.

"I'm kinda torn between the old world and my new world I guess." Kara sighed, enjoying the rhythmic motion. Eliza just quietly waited for her to continue. "On Krypton, Alex and I would be entering the Age of Ascension." Kara hesitated on how to continue.

"What does that mean? You would both be considered adults and there is a ritual of some sort?" Eliza frowned, wondering if this was like a Krypton quinceaneras or bat mitzvah of some sort.

"Well, kind of," Kara squirmed, not quite sure how to put it. "More like consummate our marriage."

To give Eliza credit, she never stopped her gentle stroking of Kara's hair, or sharply inhaled in surprise. However there was no controlling the sudden shocked thumping of her heart. Kara swallowed hard and waited for the fall out.

"Marriage, sweetie?" Eliza leaned back on the couch and waited for more information.

"Do you remember the joining of our Houses ceremony? Not long after I landed here?" Kara pulled at the fringe of the pillow she was hugging, avoiding eye contact with her foster mom.

"That Kal-El came over for, if I recall," Eliza licked her lips. Fuck, what had they screwed up in ignorance this time?

"The joining of the Houses was the first step, like a betrothal. At the Age of Ascension the betrothed officially consummate their joining, and become full bond mates."

Kara didn't think she could blush any harder. Too bad Kryptonians weren't impervious to embarrassment. The good news was Eliza's heartbeat had calmed back down and there was a soft smile still on her face.

"I see. So what do you think you should do next?" Eliza asked gently

Kara pulled the pillow to her chest and pressed her chin into the soft warmth. There was so much she still wanted to do. Alex was already accepted to college and she would miss her like crazy, but she was just about ready to head off to college herself.

"I want to go to school and…" Kara hesitated, feeling awful.

"And?"

"And maybe meet new people? Date people?" Kara snuggled closer to Eliza. "What if Alex isn't my bond mate? What if she is but she doesn't want to be with me? She likes boys and I'm definitely not a boy. On Krypton it wouldn't matter, but here…" Kara's voice faded off. "Well, it's different. Besides, I don't want to screw up our family."

Eliza hugged her closer, it was all she could really think to do at this point.

"You know what Kara, there is no right or wrong way. You have honoured your Krypton elders and joined our houses. Now you need to figure out what you truly want, who you truly want to be with. And if that is someone you haven't even met yet, that's fine. And if it is meant to be with Alex then it will be. Nothing needs to be decided today."

"Thanks, Eliza." Kara murmured into the older woman's shoulder.

"So do we need to do a ceremony or anything for the Age of Ascension?" Eliza made a mental note to call Clark and give him an earful. A little heads up on this whole bonding and ascension stuff would have been helpful.

Kara leaned back and shook her head, feeling a lot better about everything. There was a lot of time to sort things out, no need to take care of it all now.

"Just a chocolate birthday cake would be nice." Kara grinned up at Eliza, who ran a hand through her long blonde hair. "With ice cream?"

"Of course, sweetie." Eliza kissed the top of Kara's head. They would figure something out, there was plenty of time.


Kara smiled at the memory. What would Eliza think of this whole mess, she wondered? She looked down at the gift in her hands, curiosity getting the better of her. She slid off the lid to discover what looked like a black Beats portable speaker that seemed to be emanating something that dampened external sound waves.

"Cool!" Kara grinned and hit the on/off button, immediately noticing the ambient noise coming back from outside. She hit the on button and it once again stopped. A big smile crossed her face. This was so awesome!

Her cell phone rang yet again. Hoping it was Alex, Kara quickly picked it up, but she noticed it wasn't a number she recognized.

"Hello?" Kara asked, wondering just who had her private cell phone number.

"Hey it's Detective Sawyer. I have a dead alien and my crime scene is crawling with feds. Alex is here, as is a certain Daxamite who may, or may not, have something to do with my db. Their conversation is pretty intense at the moment." Behind the amusement in Maggie's voice, Kara could make out very familiar voices yelling at each other.

"Fuck." Kara swore.

"Right, I thought you'd like to know," Maggie laughed outright at her reaction. "See you super soon, Baby Danvers."

Kara just looked at her phone as Maggie hung up and sighed. This day just got even worse.

 

Chapter Four

"Danvers, you need to calm the hell down!"

Maggie Sawyer tried to get her friend's attention as she slid her cell phone into the pocket of her leather jacket and moved closer to the fracas that was unfolding before her. It was bad enough that this was happening at her crime scene; she didn't need Alex getting busted down for brutality. With any luck Supergirl would be here to sort this out without anyone getting hurt.

Much.

Maggie had to hand it to the agent, she was not backing down from the much more powerful Daxamite. Alex was pretty fierce in a good firefight or hand-to-hand combat. It was pretty damned sexy actually and it reminded her on so many levels of her ex-girlfriend. Maggie winced as Alex pulled up on the tall man's arms completely and painfully immobilizing him, ignoring her advice completely.

"What part of no didn't you get, Space Boy?" Alex growled as she all but threw Mon-El against the side of a DEO standard issue black SUV. "Did that ship of yours land on your head or something?" Alex glared at the tall alien, shoving him chest first into the passenger side doors with alarming force. "I think Kara was pretty clear that she is taken."

"Alex, I don't want to fight with you about this." Mon-El struggled against the vehicle, trying to get a better foothold to push her off. She kept moving, never giving him a chance to get the upper hand, keeping him off balance. For someone so much smaller than him she was damn difficult to fight off.

"Well, too bad. You wanted to challenge my relationship with Kara, push your way into where you don't belong, then this is what you get." The silent 'asshole' was clearly heard in Alex's tone. She spun him around and slammed him against the vehicle again, pressing her forearm against his throat to keep him in place as she plotted her next move. Mon-El however couldn't help his dumb ass self and felt the need to sass back.

"I believe the immortal words of one of your musical poets sums it up nicely." Mon-El grinned. "If you liked it, you should have put a ring on it."

Alex's jaw dropped at the audacity of his words, anger rushing over her in a wave. She wanted to hit him, hurt him, wipe that damned cocky smirk off his smarmy face. Only the thought of all the paperwork involved kept her from reacting with her fist. That, and the disappointed face that Kara would make when she found out about it.

Still, it was awfully tempting.

"Agent Danvers, report."

Alex recognized the familiar voice instantly. She glared stubbornly at Mon-El before turning him face first onto the hood of the SUV and snapping her cuffs around his wrists. "I accept your challenge, in case you hadn't figured that out yet, so don't think this is over." Alex hissed and pushed herself away from the man to greet her superior officer.

"Director Lane," Alex turned and genuinely smiled for the first time in hours. It had been far too long since she had seen Lucy and her friends stationed at the desert DEO facility.

"How are things underground? Is Vasquez still running you off your feet?"

"Roger that. Susan keeps me out of trouble most days, thank God." Lucy laughed and nodded. She glanced over at the dark haired woman glowering at them with her arms crossed. "Who's your new friend?"

"Oh, uh," Alex glanced behind her, as Maggie frowned. "Science Police, an NCPD detective, her name's Maggie Sawyer. She's all right, she knows her alien stuff and you can trust her." Lucy cocked an eyebrow at the high praise and took a better look at the attractive brunette, but didn't comment. The DEO could use as many allies on the police force as they could get. And if Alex trusted her, that was good enough for Lucy.

"So, when can we catch up? Somewhere we can have a decent drink?" Lucy asked as her cell phone buzzed. She scrolled through the text message and Alex knew that duty was calling by the focus on her friend's face.

"I know a place, how's Friday? See if you can drag Vasquez out too?" Alex said quickly, before Lucy had to disappear.

"Sounds like a plan." Lucy slid her phone back into her black cargo pants pocket and glanced at the man leaning heavily against the SUV in cuffs. "Who is that?"

"Your team will want to talk with this…person of interest." Alex smirked over her shoulder at the cuffed man. A little time in a DEO holding tank would do him a world of good.

"Wait! What?" Mon-El's eyes widened as Lucy waved to her agents to collect him.

"Say hey to your sister," Lucy said before nodding to the detective and heading to her vehicle. Behind her, Maggie could see the dead alien being scooped from her crime scene, zipped up in a non-descript body bag and removed as quickly as possible. She knew the usual National Security bullshit would be trotted out whenever the feds showed up in a swarm like this. She understood the game though, and just politely nodded back at the departing DEO Director. Alex waved as the car sped off and headed over to stand next to Maggie, grinning.

"Fuck, Danvers. Remind me to never get on your bad side." Maggie murmured under her breath and watched as several hulking men in black grabbed Mon-El and shoved him into another waiting vehicle, before quickly following after the first car.

"I certainly wouldn't advise it, Detective Sawyer." Supergirl floated silently down beside the woman, her arms crossed, clearly pissed if the look she levelled at Alex was any indication. "Where are they taking him?"

"The desert facility for questioning." Alex looked down at her boots, sorry that Kara was annoyed, but not really sorry for her actions.

"Is he even a suspect?" Supergirl asked Maggie, knowing the detective would give her a straight answer. Maggie glanced back and forth between the frosty looks being exchanged between the two women.

"He found the body, and maybe saw someone take off in a hurry. So yeah, he technically is a person of interest." Maggie hedged, shifting from foot to foot, wishing she could had dashed off sooner. "Or a witness. Maybe."

"Alex!" Kara glared as Alex just lifted her chin defiantly. "Really? Lucy can probably use his help. Was that necessary?"

"Come on, he was being a total asshole. I didn't hurt him! They won't hurt him either and eventually have to kick him loose." Alex crossed her arms. She had been rather restrained she thought. "You know, you're the one who asked me to help."

"Help, yes. Not get Mon-El interrogated for something he didn't do." Kara waved her arms in the air in frustration. So much for her brilliant ideas. Who knew Alex would play the part of a jealous suitor so well?

"Is it my fault that the two overlapped?" Alex asked, biting her lower lip to stop the smile that desperately wanted to erupt.

Kara rolled her eyes and didn't dignify that with an answer. She shot up into the air, heading quickly towards the underground DEO desert facility.

"She is so pissed at you." Maggie said softly, watching the blue and red streak disappear behind a bunch of skyscrapers.

"Yeah," Alex rubbed her neck and sighed. "Don't need to be bond mates to know that."

"Whoa, bond mates?" Maggie turned to Alex, shocked at this new bit of news. "With Supergirl?"

"Hey, when your ex is Bat Woman I wouldn't be pointing fingers, y'know?" Alex grumbled back. She looked back up at the sky, knowing that any chance of meeting up with Kara and talking about her present tonight was unlikely to happen.

"Shit Danvers, she could have laser fried me for flirting with you." Maggie frowned, her mind reeling with a million scenarios, none of them good.

"She would never do that," Alex said, placing a hand on Maggie's arm to try to soothe her worries. "It's complicated. Come on, I'll buy dinner and explain."

They took several steps in companionable silence, before Maggie's eyes widened again.

"She could have turned me into a popsicle..."

Alex pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. It was going to be a long conversation.

 

Chapter Five

"Well, look what the wind blew in," Susan Vasquez grinned, spinning her chair around from her computer board display, pleased to see her friend drop into the DEO command center.

"Still cleaning up your messes, Susan. Can't leave you and Lucy alone for a minute." Kara teased back. She didn't miss the dank underground facility but she did miss the people stationed here. With J'onn assigned to the new DEO offices in National City he had been able to hand pick his leadership team, taking Alex with him. Lucy was in command here now, and was flourishing with the challenges of maintaining a military base as well as a high security alien prison. The facility had an excellent reputation, the escapee that ended up dead in town not withstanding and Kara knew that Lucy and her team would get to the bottom of that as quickly as possible. However, throwing Mon-El into a holding cell was not likely the way to go about that.

"Vasquez, update." Lucy strode into the command room, shrugging out of her leather jacket and handing it to a passing assistant. She glanced up at the wall of monitors, quickly trying to assess where various teams were and what was in progress.

"Station is secure, Ma'am. All floors report operational, with no incidents. Construction crews are reinforcing the cells that were compromised in the explosion and the suspected escape route is being investigated with a fine-tooth comb by the engineering team. There is a preliminary report on your desk." Vasquez nodded and turned back to her console, awaiting further orders while continuing to monitor a variety of ongoing operations.

"Excellent." Lucy smiled and then turned to greet Supergirl. "I wondered if you would drop in. Our suspect kept saying it was all a huge mistake and to call you. He had very colourful things to say about Alex as well, but then who doesn't?" Lucy grinned wider at Kara's long-suffering expression.

"Detective Sawyer indicated that Mon-El might have seen something, but I don't believe he is involved in any of it." Kara said quietly as another agent arrived at Lucy's side, with several documents at the ready for her signature.

"I see," Lucy quickly scanned the paperwork and began to make short work of signing where needed. "Well, we will question him and see exactly what he does know about the situation." Kara frowned, that was not the answer she had really wanted.

"Ma'ams," Vasquez interrupted their conversation from her desk. "The Daxamite has arrived, we have interrogation room three ready. I have a fresh team of security already at the door."

"Lucy, really? Mon-El did not kill your prisoner." Kara tried again, not sure how else to get them to listen to her. She looked around trying to think of her next steps. Vasquez caught her eye, and then shifted her gaze up to the wall of monitors. Kara followed her look and glanced up as well, realizing these were likely the real culprits. "Who are those guys up there? Suspects?" She pointed up to the monitor array, with three rather nefarious looking aliens plastered across the screens.

"Mmm," Lucy murmured vaguely and just pursed her lips as she flipped to another form, scanning it before signing it in silence. Kara dragged her fingers through her long hair in frustration.

"Kara! I am so glad to see you." Mon-El called from down the hallway to their right, as he was unceremoniously dragged through to the interrogation room. "Tell them I had nothing to do with the death of that incredibly horrible smelling fellow that was killed. To be honest, someone did us all a favour. Not that these soldiers are much better." Mon-El waved his cuffed hands in front of his face to clear the stench from his sensitive nose. He didn't know how Kara could stand it here sometimes.

"Mon-El, just tell them what you know," Kara shifted and tugged at her fingers, wishing she could help more. "You can trust them, they are DEO as well, and are just trying to get to the bottom of this."

"Take him to three, I'll be there shortly," Director Lane crossed her arms and glared at the suspect. She appreciated Kara's words, but she still had a job to do. Kara sighed and nodded, hearing and understanding the note of finality in Lucy's voice. The security team escorted Mon-El towards the interrogation room. He glanced over at Kara sadly, before noticing the wall of monitors and freezing, excited that he recognized one of them.

"Wait, that's him! That was the other guy who drove off!" Mon-El jerked loose from the guard on his right and pointed up at the thin green grey alien displayed on the middle screen. He looked over at Kara and nodded, a wide smile breaking out across his face.

"Vincent Olango, from the planet Garva." Vasquez quickly pulled up the details on the suspect, eyes narrowing as a long list of offenses began to scroll across the screen. "Vinnie is a local runner and small time thug. Gambling, sharking, shaking down other refugees like himself to keep them hidden from authorities. The Science Police have had several run ins with him over the last year or so."

"Well, Kara, it looks like you are quite correct about your friend here." Lucy crossed her arms and smiled. She even had an idea where to find him. "I think this part of the investigation has fallen back into police jurisdiction."

Lucy looked over at Mon-El and Kara and smiled.

"Can I get you a coffee while we take your statement, Mon-El?"


An hour and a half later they wandered out of the DEO complex into the cool evening air, stars sparkling overhead. A DEO agent was coming to take Mon-El back to his place. Kara felt bad about the whole thing and was quite happy to wait with him as it gave them an opportunity to talk.

"I'm sorry about all this. Alex gets a bit intense sometimes…" Kara hesitated, searching for the right words, knowing that it was probably too little too late.

"Hey, don't apologize. I figured Alex would be angry with me. Besides, you are totally worth it." Mon-El ducked his head, his thick fingers scratching through his short hair self-consciously before he looked up at her again. "Thanks for sticking around until they let me out of there. I was worried that I might disappear."

"I wouldn't let that happen." Kara reached out and squeezed his arm. "Neither would Alex, despite what she might say." Kara was sure of Alex's intentions, even though Mon-El didn't seem as believing.

"You could make it up by going out to dinner with me?" Mon-El asked, his smile soft and eyes hopeful. "Maybe this Friday night?"

Kara glanced at him and couldn't figure out a way to get out of it. Especially after everything today. She really just wanted to crawl under a blanket on her couch with a pizza and start a marathon Netflix binge watch of The Crown. She had promised to wait and watch it with Alex, but she had said she was going out with friends, so there was no real reason to say no. Maybe if it was a horrible date he would take the hint. At the very least it might stop the constant texting she had endured all day.

"Uhm…all right." Kara sighed softly and flicked her hair out of her eyes. "Nothing too fancy though, okay? I just want something relaxing and low key." They both turned as the DEO vehicle pulled up in front of them.

Mon-El grinned and nodded before hopping into the car. He could do low key. Once he asked Winn what that meant, he was sure he would be able to do it.

Kara sighed and launched herself into the sky, already regretting saying yes.


There was a lone light on as Kara slipped into her apartment through the open window, landing softly on the wide planked hardwood floor. It was also blissfully silent; except for a very familiar heartbeat that Kara would recognize anywhere.

"Alex?" Kara said gently, smiling as a dark tousled head popped up from the couch, followed by a sleepy yawn as the other woman turned to face her. The silence between them stretched out awkwardly, their gazes meeting and holding as each waited for the other to speak.

"I brought a peace offering." Alex finally said, reaching to flip open the lid of a pizza box on the coffee table, the scent wafting through the living room. Kara closed her eyes and shook her head slightly as her tummy rumbled loudly. Alex grinned, knowing that she had at least gained some favour with the hungry woman. She grew serious again as Kara still stood there, not moving.

"I hate it when we fight." Alex said softly, genuinely sorry and hoping Kara was ready to forgive.

"Me too." Kara sighed, quickly moving to flop down onto the couch beside her. It was too hard to stay annoyed with Alex for any length of time. She laser zapped the pizza warming it up nicely again, before she pulled a slice out and began to eat. 

"I was just trying to…" Alex squirmed, feeling the need to try to explain.

"Intimidate Mon-El to leave me alone, like you used to do with all the bullies in high school who tried to push me around?" Kara cocked her head, not cutting Alex any slack nor taking any bull in this situation. 

"Maybe." Alex cleared her throat self-consciously and offered a lopsided grin in response, before taking a big swallow of water from her bottle. "Maggie got called back into work, apparently they got a lead on the suspect?"

"Yeah, Mon-El was able to identify someone. As he was being dragged through the communication hub on his way to interrogation." Kara looked pointedly at Alex.

"See! All's well that ends well…" Alex tried to fluff it off. Kara just lifted an eyebrow. Alex bit the inside of her cheek, knowing she needed to switch tactics. "Another slice?"

"Redirecting my attention to food is not going to work." Kara said, accepting the piece being offered. They lapsed back into silence for a bit. Kara knew she had to tell her about Friday night. She took another long swallow of water before saying anything. "He asked me out tonight, and I said yes."

Alex frowned, her gut suddenly churning and not from hunger. She didn't say anything though, it was her experience that karma was usually a bitch after all and maybe this was reward for today's games with Mon-El.

Kara knew that her point had been made and decided to take pity on the brooding woman before it went too far. After all she was the one that had asked for Alex's help.

"It was mostly to apologize for being detained," Kara leaned over and bumped her shoulder with Alex's before reaching for more food. "It was also partly so I can get some peace. He's been texting me non-stop all day."

"I could…" Alex stiffened, concerned that Mon-El was turning into a crazy alien stalker.

"NO! I think you've helped enough for today." Kara grinned as Alex settled back down beside her on the couch. Kara turned as a thought hit her. "Oh, thank you for my present, by the way. I LOVE it!"

"I finished it up the week you were off world." Alex immediately grinned, pleased that the gift at least had been discovered and was appreciated. "I had a lot to think about after everything with Maggie, and you know I think best when my hands are busy working on some project."

"I could always tell when something was bugging you or Eliza." Kara smiled and got up to take the empty pizza box into the kitchen and grab some ice cream from the freezer. "Hiding away in your labs for days on end until something amazing is made or a decision is made. Like mother, like daughter that way."

"Anyway," Alex grabbed some spoons from the drawer and bumped her hip against Kara at the comment, but didn't disagree. "After you returned and mentioned you were looking for a little peace and quiet, I thought I should give it to you now."

"Well, it's fantastic." Kara leaned close and carefully pulled Alex into a hug. " And extremely thoughtful. Thank you." She smiled as Alex slowly squeezed her back, feeling like things were almost back to normal between them again.

"I'm sorry I pissed you off," Alex finally murmured into the warmth of Kara's neck, relaxing into the closeness. She inhaled softly, enjoying the scent of strawberry shampoo and something all Kara.

"No, I'm the one who asked you for help with this. I should have realized what that would mean." Kara closed her eyes and held on just a little longer before finally pulling away. Snagging a spoon from Alex's fingers, she dashed back to the couch with the quart of ice cream and started to dig into its icy goodness.

"So, tell me more about what happened off world with you and Barry. His friends sound nice, even that cranky one you mentioned." Alex followed, pulling a blanket from a nearby chair and sinking down beside Kara, tucking it around their legs before stealing the container of ice cream and digging into it.

Kara smiled and watched as Alex licked some melting ice cream from her spoon. For all her adventures lately it was moments like this that she truly treasured. When she could snuggle up and share them with someone who cared. Alex turned to look at her, hair still mussed from her nap, a bit of ice cream in the corner of mouth, genuinely wanting to hear what Kara had to say. A bloom of happiness spread in her chest, and Kara tugged the blanket a bit higher.

It really was good to be home.

 

Chapter Six

"Whoa, dude! You have balls of steel!"

Winn spun around in his chair at his desk at the DEO, his eyes growing wide at Mon-El's news. Asking Kara out he understood, the tempting fate with the wrath of Alex's presumed shovel talk, well, no sane man would dare.

"No, not the last time I checked…" Mon-El glanced down at his crotch, his brow furrowed at his friends confusing words. "Is that a side effect of the yellow sun on my species? It doesn't sound very comfortable." It was bad enough that he had to wear underwear here, but perhaps that was to aid in keeping any metal bits supported?

"Never mind!" Winn closed his eyes and held up a hand, trying hard not to, and failing spectacularly at, visualizing Mon-El and his… "Okay, moving on now."

Mon-El crossed his arms and sat down on the edge of the desk, smiling at Winn's rather adorable embarrassment.

"Perhaps I should have you check to be sure?" Mon-El teased, enjoying the flush rising up Winn's neck. It would take nothing to bed the man he was sure, but Mon-El knew that he needed to keep his eye on the prize, and not jeopardize it for a dalliance just for sport.

"This is officially awkward now." Winn murmured under his breath and turned back to his computer monitor avoiding the topic completely. "Any way, we are discussing you taking Kara out on a date. You said she wanted something low key and relaxing."

"That's right," Mon-El grinned and took pity on his friend and went with the topic change. "I wanted a second opinion on my ideas for our night out and thought who better to ask but one of Kara's best friends."

Winn sighed, knowing he didn't really want to be a part of this but oddly compelled to do so. He pinched the bridge of his nose and spun his chair back to face the eager alien.

"Okay, but you owe me."

"I was thinking of taking Kara to the best restaurant in town, Chez L'Amour. And then we could head out to that new dance club that's opened up on the strip for a night of dancing…" Mon-El watched as Winn's face seemed to droop with disapproval with each word out of his mouth.

"Huh, what part of that is low key and relaxing?" Winn asked confused by Mon-El's choices. Not that it didn't sound like a great night out, but Kara would hate it. Pot stickers and a romantic comedy movie at her place was more along the lines that she would want.

"Well, dancing is pretty fun and relaxing. Gets a lot of pent up energy out of your system, plus I have this hot new shirt that Kara will love, it show's off my arms so nicely." Mon-El flexed a bicep and patted the bulging muscle. Winn swallowed and glanced away again. "The restaurant is quiet and has great food, also great for talking and getting to know each other. It shows I can provide her with the best things as a mate."

"Mate?" Winn froze at that last word. "This is just a date, you're not proposing to her or anything." He scoffed, and glanced up at the big guy, watching as Mon-El fidgeted and wouldn't catch his eye. Something was up, he could tell. "What the hell is going on?"

Mon-El's shoulders slumped, so much for keeping his challenge quiet. He glanced up at Winn's concerned expression. Perhaps this was for the best; it might be good to have an ally in this battle for Kara's affections.

"Let me explain…"


Director Hank Henshaw stood at the entrance to his office, glass doors open with a clear view to the work bull pen, his arms crossed and brooding, staring down at his agents toiling diligently away on the floor below him. Something seemed to ripple through the room, like a disturbance in the time/space field where they stood. He tried to tap into his Martian senses, honing in on where the mental anguish seemed to be coming from, realizing quickly it emanated from Agent Schott's desk.

"BOND MATES!?"

Hank shifted, put his hands on his hips and smiled. He had heard Winn's hushed exclamation loud and clear, without even needing to use telepathy to probe deeper. Well, bond mates would explain a lot of what he had always sensed between Alex and Kara, but there was still much to be figured out between the two women.

"CHALLENGE? ARE YOU INSANE?"

Hank frowned, tempted to reach out and listen in. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed another familiar face pausing down the walkway from his office door, also glancing down at the two men now walking quickly to the nearest break room, Winn's hands waving dramatically, Mon-El just smiling, smug, like the cat who ate the canary.

"Vasquez." Hank caught the attention of the pensive agent, who startled and then stepped closer.

"Yes, sir?" Susan turned to face her commanding officer. She had been working at both bases recently, pleased to be able to shorten her commute time at least a few days a week and to act as liaison for Director Lane. She stoically waited for further instructions.

"$50 on Alex." Hank said, their eyes meeting, an understanding settled between them. Whatever was going on with Mon-El, Alex would be more than a match.

"Roger that, sir." Susan smiled, message received. Hank nodded and headed back into his office, the glass door swinging closed behind him.

"Thank you, Mr. Schott." Hank said under his breath, heading back to the paperwork awaiting his attention on his desk. Now they just had to wait to see what the fall out was going to be.

He had every faith in his girls.


Friday night arrived faster than a speeding bullet.

Or at least that's what it felt like for Kara. Right up until the last minute she had been hoping that Supergirl would be called into action, a reasonable way out of this silly situation she had gotten herself into, but there had been no such luck. She had to admit though that the date had been going better than she had anticipated. She had been pleased when she realized they were headed to their new favourite haunt, the alien bar was a place where they could chat, have some fun and really be themselves.

Mon-El had been charming and funny, ordering several tasty snacks and an assortment of drinks for her to try, each beverage having a varying degree of kick to it. It was only mildly annoying that he hadn't asked her what she wanted first, and had simply ordered for the both of them. However Kara didn't want to ruin the mood over that little niggling detail. Besides, the drinks were going down nicely.

Maybe that was why she had felt so off balance and unprepared for when Alex and their friends sauntered in as a laughing group a few minutes ago.

Kara glanced over the top of her menu and tried not to look over to where they were hanging out around a table near the bar. Of course they would be here at their favourite alien friendly bar on a Friday night, she should have put two and two together. When Alex had said she was going out with friends Kara had figured that meant hanging with Maggie, but the addition of Susan Vasquez and Lucy Lane was certainly unexpected.

Kara released a slow breath, and rolled her shoulders to release the tension lingering there. She settled back into the comfort of the padded booth she and Mon-El were seated in, trying to ignore the laughter and conversation going on across the bar. Kara gave herself a little shake, knowing that she shouldn't be wishing she was with the girls; she should be focusing on the man sitting across from her.

Try as she might though, it was clear that low key and relaxing was not going to be in the cards for her date tonight. Mon-El had meant well, picking a familiar place where they could be themselves, enjoying some dinner and drinks. It wasn't his fault that it was the same bar that Alex and their friends also ended up in.

Kara bit her lower lip and smiled softly. Alex had looked surprised at seeing her, them, but had smiled and even waved a little before settling down with the gang. So at least it wasn't something that Alex had planned to disrupt the date, although her presence was certainly proving to be distracting.

A familiar leather jacket caught her attention, and Kara thought it was Alex and Maggie out of the corner of her eye, possibly playing pool. Kara dared not turn her head and check though. It wasn't like she was spying on them or anything. She was just looking out for Alex, like any good sister would. Concerned that Maggie was stringing Alex along, even after breaking her heart. Kara tried to ignore the churning in her gut whenever she thought of them hanging out together. After all, Alex said that they were just friends, right?

Riiiiight.

Kara tipped her head back and drained her glass of its delicious other worldly goodness. Enough of these confusing thoughts about Alex, she was on a date, trying hard to not think about anything other than having some fun. She wiggled her empty glass at a passing server, wanting another of whatever this had been. She was definitely feeling floaty, possibly even tipsy, but she certainly wasn't giggly this time around. She felt confused, hot under the collar, fidgety even. In fact she was feeling a lot of things that she didn't usually let herself dwell on. Kara focused her attention back to the handsome Daxamite sitting across from her, trying to tune in to whatever he was droning on about now.

"…and then J'onn kissed Winn right on the mouth." Mon-El grinned at Kara's eyes widened at his words. "Aaaaand she's back, ladies and gentlemen!"

"Sorry." Kara closed her eyes, a slight flush colouring her cheeks.

Mon-El shrugged, casually turning to look over his shoulder, seeing Alex glance toward their booth and then quickly look away. Again. He had lost count the number of times she had looked their way since arriving at the bar. That, and the number of times that Kara had sought out the brunette in the crowded bar as well. His eyes narrowed and he wondered if he had under estimated his opponent. Or maybe he had misread the situation and it was a true bond mate relationship after all.

Naaah.

Kara was just playing hard to get and he could appreciate that. He was ready to earn her affections. Mon-El turned his attention back to Kara. His gut was telling him to go for it and where the ladies were concerned he always trusted his gut. Or sometimes a little lower than his gut.

"Hey, you can make it up to me on the dance floor." Mon-El smiled wider, finding her shocked expression rather adorable. "I've been told I'm the best dancer in three solar systems. Give me a chance to spin your world, Supergirl." He cocked an eyebrow and flashed his most charming smile.

Kara blinked and digested his words, forcing a return smile to her lips. She didn't feel like dancing, but Mon-El had asked so nicely after she had been so incredibly rude and there was no real reason to say no exactly.

Except for that big intense reason sitting near the bar watching their every move with studied nonchalance.

"Um…sure." Kara nodded hesitantly. Mon-El practically leapt to his feet and offered his hand to help her out of the booth. She slipped her hand into his larger one and he didn't let go as she followed him through the crowded bar as he led the way to the tiny dance floor.

Kara tried to relax, settle into the flow of the music. Allowed herself to take in the fact that she was in the middle of an alien bar, dancing in the arms of a fine male specimen, from her own home solar system no less, who was most definitely interested in her. Tall and handsome, funny and kind too, exactly what every woman could possibly want. She exhaled slowly and tried not to step on Mon-El's toes.

Mon-El took the lead, pulling her along awkwardly, his hands clammy where they were holding hers. He smiled down at her, tugging her at the waist with his other meaty hand, forcing her around, the movement clumsy and she stumbled a bit in his hold. He seemed oblivious and just continued to move along the dance floor, bumping into others behind her and to their left as they went.

Kara frowned, trying to figure out his next moves, failing to follow him with any ease. She was beginning to think this was a sign of things to come. She shook that thought off; refusing to talk herself into the fact that something was off. That somehow this wasn't enough, that it felt just like when she had been with James. Something wasn't right, the aftershave didn't smell right, the deep voice didn't resonate right, the large hands didn't grasp hers right, that something buried deep inside was screaming that this whole thing was just NOT RIGHT.

Kara paused and pushed her glasses back up her nose, smiling up at her date and tried to let that feeling float away, not wanting to think about it now. Not when the date was going relatively well. Kara tried to focus instead on the physicality of Mon-El's muscles flexing and flowing beneath her fingertips, as they gently swayed together in time to the music. It didn't take long for her to admit it was no use. Mon-El was everything Kara knew that she should want, and yet all she could think of was her.

Kara glanced over Mon-El's shoulder, her eyes moving towards the bar of their own accord, the familiar flash of dark hair catching her eye. She quickly looked away, she was not going to do it.

Kara was not going to think about the dark jeans Alex was wearing that clung to her hips in just the right way. Or the enticing scent of the leather jacket she wore like a second skin, the soft material flexing beneath her fingertips feeling so right. How the sound of her laughter rippled through her like a twinkling wave of joy, doing things to Kara that felt so natural and so DAMN RIGHT.

Kara closed her eyes and leaned into Mon-El. Despite her best efforts Kara's thoughts drifted stubbornly to her foster sister, drawn to the one who was always more than a sibling, more than a best friend, confidante or protector. Drawn to the woman who was all these things and more, rolled into one amazing package.

Oh, hell. Who was she kidding? Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the song, whatever it was, Kara finally relented and decided to stop fighting it. She smiled softly, letting herself fall into an old favourite memory, Alex teaching her how to slow dance in their bedroom as teens. Sunshine spilled in through the window, as she tried so hard to not to step on Alex's toes or crush her hand as she focused on the beat of the song on the radio. Any stumbles or mistakes just caused fits of giggling together, and then begin again, figure it out and get it right the next time. It wasn't long and they were in sync, as if they had been dancing together forever, their hearts thundering in time.

Mostly though, Kara remembered feeling safe. She was secure in Alex's arms, able to face anything while wrapped in her bond mate's embrace. El mayarah. Kara almost wished she could go back in time.

"Mind if I cut in?"

 

Chapter Seven

Well, this shit show just kept getting better and better.

Alex stiffened, her drink all but forgotten half way to her lips, watching as one of the regulars tried to cut in on Kara and Mon-El on the dance floor. It was bad enough watching Mon-El stumble and bumble around the small dance floor with Kara. Now she was going to have to endure a scene in the middle of the bar, because she was sure the big lug wasn't going to give up his dancing partner without some fuss.

Sure enough, a shoving match had begun as other dancers stopped and moved away, not wanting to be a part of whatever was going on. Alex put down her drink and half stood, just able to make out offended grumbling going on. Kara was gamely trying to smooth ruffled feathers, apologizing profusely while glaring at Mon-El, moving to reposition herself between the two men. Mon-El ignored her completely, all but growling at the other alien as Kara yanked him away. Finally things seemed to settle down and Kara let out a long sigh. She hesitantly glanced over towards Alex, adjusting her glasses as their eyes locked.

Crisis averted, no harm no foul.

Alex let out a long slow breath, and eased her alien disrupter back into the waistband of her jeans before settling once more into her seat. She didn't even remember reaching for the weapon, she just knew Kara might have been in danger and she was ready to fly into action if needed. Alex smiled encouragingly at Kara across the room before turning her attention back to her friends.

Specifically, registering Maggie's stare and annoyingly knowing grin.

"Fuck, Danvers, she can't keep her eyes off you." Maggie murmured as she leaned close to Alex's ear, the puff of her breath warm against her cheek. Alex closed her eyes, praying that the detective would just let it drop.

No such luck.

"And apparently neither can you." Maggie leaned back and grinned over the rim of her pint of beer, taking in the growing flush of her friend's face. Alex couldn't stop watching the dance floor any more than Kara could stop scanning the crowded bar area.

Alex's eyes snapped open and she glared before glancing away and taking a long swallow of her drink, pointedly ignoring Maggie and the comment completely.

"Well, hell." Maggie said softly to herself, clearly seeing the signs that the other woman refused to acknowledge. The 'Big Sister' protector act only went so far, these longing looks across the room were far more than that. Anyone with eyes could see there was more there than sisterly affection.

"They've always been like this," Vasquez said quietly, taking a slow pull on her bottle of beer. "The whole bonded angle to their story explains a LOT." Alex finally turned her attention back to her friends and fixed them both with her most intimidating glare. The two women just rolled their eyes at her.

"I told you our relationship was complicated." Alex sighed, taking another sip of her whiskey. She leaned back as Lucy appeared, finally making her way back from the bar, her drink sloshing and just missing her as the petite brunette reached her destination.

"So, I've been thinking about your bonded status with Kara," Lucy plunked down beside Alex, still a little shocked at what they had been discussing before she had left for a fresh drink. She shifted uncomfortably for a moment before finally finding her words again. "It's just…Lois said bonding is for life for Kryptonians. How is it just suddenly okay for you and Kara to both be seeing others? Did Lois get it wrong, or what the hell is going on?"

The entire table seemed to turn and stare at Alex at this new tidbit of information. Alex blinked, her mouth opening slightly as she thought about her next words. Technically Alex wasn't dating anyone, hadn't for like two years, and even then it had been a horrible blind date she didn't even want to try to recall. And Kara had that year of crushing on James, but they didn't really date that long before she ended it. Alex focused back on the question at hand.

"Well, for full bond mates that's true, and I understand that now but we didn't at the time. Besides it wasn't the full ceremony, it was more like the merging of our houses." Alex took another swallow of whiskey and winced at the burn as it went down, ignoring the twinge of hurt feelings that always flared at not being Kara's full bond mate. "Kara was freaking out when she first arrived and both Superman and my parents thought it would help her adjust."

"So they just decided to marry you off? Jeez, Danvers." Maggie shook her head, the situation too good to not yank her friend's chain "An arranged marriage with an alien child bride. And I thought I had a weird childhood." She grinned wider as Alex's eyes narrowed in further annoyance.

"Shut up, it's not like that with Kara." Alex growled. She didn't like how Maggie made it sound so…tawdry.

"What's it like then, Danvers?" Maggie cocked an eyebrow and waited to see what the other woman would say. Luckily Alex was saved by Susan's almost as annoying observance.

"Well, hell. No wonder Supergirl keeps giving Maggie dirty looks. She didn't want her hitting on her girl." Susan took another swig of her beer and watched Alex squirm.

"See! I told you it's not my imagination." Maggie said, vindicated that she was not paranoid. "I could have been flambéed!" She turned to Vasquez, before both of them began to laugh.

Alex rolled her eyes and took another sip of her drink. She was beginning to wonder if she would rather be on a date with Mon-El compared to this torment with her so called friends. Time to tease back in self-defence if nothing else.

"So… tell me more about your own up close and personal friendship with Batwoman back in Gotham City." Alex smiled, waggling her eyebrows, pleased to find a relatively equal point to poke back at Sawyer with.

"Don't change the subject." Maggie blushed, glancing away under Alex's shrewd gaze. Vasquez and Lucy simply shared a look of curiosity. They were learning a lot of secrets tonight.

"I think the subjects might be related…" Alex cocked her head and smirked, beginning to enjoy herself now.

"No, that would be you and your wife, Kara." Maggie couldn't stop the smartass remark, her beer sloshing as Alex elbowed her. "Or was that sister? I get mixed up."

"Shut it, Sawyer." Alex snapped back, but Maggie and Vasquez just laughed harder, well aware there was no bite in their friend's bark. Lucy shook her head at the two across the table and patted Alex's arm in solidarity.

"Dude, seriously though, you know Batwoman?" Vasquez asked Maggie, slightly awestruck. "Do you know Batman too?"

Alex tuned out their conversation as it swirled around her. She glanced instead back to the dance floor just in time to see Mon-El twirl Kara, grinding her teeth as he bumped and banged her into those around them. Kara met her gaze briefly, a small smile gracing her lips before she was all but launched into a large man next to them. Alex needed to do something and soon.

"God, he's like a bull in a china shop…" Lucy muttered under her breath to Vasquez. "Kara can do so much better than him." Susan sighed and sipped her drink in silent agreement.

"Alex, be brave and ask her to dance." Maggie said softly, easily reading the situation. Alex looked like she was going to explode. "Go fight for your girl."

 

Chapter Eight

"Hey, is that sexy smile all for me?" Mon-El murmured, all too sure of himself as he tugged Kara close. A powerful scent of something all Daxamite washed over Kara and she exhaled quickly trying to clear it from her nose. Pushing her glasses higher on her nose, Kara looked away, avoiding an answer. She didn't want to admit that her brief glance of commiseration with Alex across the room had conjured up her smile.

Mon-El chuckled, his ego jumping to all the wrong conclusions, irritating her more than anything else. Kara sighed and moved back from his tight embrace, as he continued to jerk her haphazardly around the dance floor. Glancing over his shoulder, Kara's gaze moved to the bar area once again, where Alex and Vasquez were chatting, catching up and comparing notes on the new DEO tower facility. Maggie was sitting there, laughing with them, joking with Lucy, clearly at ease. Kara rolled her eyes; of course the detective was fitting in just fine with the DEO agents.

Kara blinked as Alex turned, as if sensing she was being watched, and then their gaze met and locked. Moments passed slowly and everything else seemed to fall away, the thundering of her heart drowning out the rest of the bar noise. Kara felt herself settle, a genuine smile once more spreading across her lips.

Alex smiled back, but Kara realized that it didn't quite reach her eyes.

No, instead there was an obvious longing and sadness glittering there, beneath the calm surface. It seemed to echo her own strong desire to be there on the dance floor, together, with her. Kara quickly turned back to Mon-El as he stumbled over her foot for the millionth time. Wincing, she repositioned herself and once again let her mind drift.

What would it be like to dance with Alex again? Her earlier memory had been bittersweet, but what it would be like here and now?

Kara was sure their bodies would flow seamlessly together, Alex's sweet curves soft beneath strong hands, her smile lighting up the room. Dark eyes would never leave Kara's as she hummed so softly, the pleasure of the moment would make her feel floaty, unlike the drinks she had downed to get to the same point with Mon-El. Kara imagined her gaze moving lower, watching full lips twitch up into a gentle smile. Then she would, oh so slowly, lower her head and…

…and Kara's thoughts skidded to a sudden stop.

Whoa. Kara blinked, swallowing hard. Maybe she should have passed on that last shot of Orion ale Mon-El had given her after all. Or maybe there were bigger things going on here than she wanted to admit.

A movement caught her eye, as Maggie dropped down next to Alex, leaning closer to speak with her. Alex's eyes stayed focused on the dance floor, as if in silent communication with Kara from across the bar. Kara's steps slowed and she pulled back from Mon-El's lumbering form trying to stay in her sight line.

A flash of something hot sliced through Kara's guts, searing pinpricks of heat itching behind her eyes. She had felt it before, a few times now, in anger normally or strong emotions. Kara had always just pushed it down, didn't want to look at it too closely.

Maggie's hand reached out to squeeze Alex's arm, drawing her attention away from Kara's gaze. A blessing in disguise as the burning itch grew stronger, a soft glow starting around the edges of her vision.

Ohshitshitshitshitshit.

Kara slammed her eyes shut and took a deep breath to calm down, before anyone noticed them glowing. That was new. And unsettling. For once she was glad of Mon-El's total self-absorption, as she took a moment to get herself and her rampant emotions under control.

Maybe it was time to deal with this, whatever this really was, before it was too late. Before Maggie came to her senses and took what Alex had offered to her. Before Kara lost the best thing to come into her life, slipping through her fingers like sand. And yet she was torn. She didn't want to lose her family because of her misguided feelings. She had lost too much already and if it meant losing her family now, well there was no way she could risk it.

On the other hand, Mon-El was certainly not the answer to any of this. Oh, he meant well, of that she was sure. He just wanted more from her than Kara was able to give him. Feeling like she was back under control, Kara opened her eyes and glanced up at him, knowing she had to put an end this charade now before he got his hopes up more than he already did. Deep inside, Kara knew that what infatuation she might have ever felt for him wasn't nearly enough. Just like James before him.

"Hey, are you okay?" Mon-El frowned, as if sensing on some level the shift in her mood.

No, she was anything but okay. Kara almost laughed, almost cried. Beyond letting Mon-El know her true feelings, she also needed to stop whatever this was with Alex, before she became too accustomed to having a true bond mate. Alex deserved to be free to love as she wished. If you love something set them free, right? Kara frowned knowing it was the right thing to do. It was the honourable thing to do.

Then why did it hurt so damned much?

Kara opened her mouth to respond when a very familiar voice interrupted.

"I believe this is our song, :zrhueiao."

Author Notes: :zrhueiao = beautiful

 

Chapter Nine

Well, so far so good.

Alex refused to fidget while waiting for her answer. Instead she watched Kara turn her head in surprise at the endearment and Mon-El's head nearly explode with jealousy. That made her genuinely smile. Clearly dusting off her Kryptonese had been a good plan. Usually Alex stuck to swear words, but she knew enough of the alien language to make Kara laugh or to embarrass Clark whenever she got a chance.

Alex lifted her chin and stared the tall Daxamite down, standing confidently beside them on the dance floor. She was all but daring him to refuse her very clear claim on his dance partner.

"Uh…" Mon-El frowned, definitely not wanting to step away, but not sure that he could intimidate Alex the same way he had the earlier bar patron either. For all his bluster about courting Kara, he did recognize that Alex as her betrothed, real or otherwise, had the point of privilege in this suddenly awkward situation.

"Sure!" Kara happily jumped in, a wave of relief, or something like it, washing over her. Alex cocked her head and smirked up at Mon-El, who finally took the hint and left them, making his way over to the bar to find a fresh drink. He steadfastly ignored the table of Alex's friends, all giving various degrees of high fives and thumbs up to her victory on the dance floor.

"Rao, thank you so much for the rescue." Kara visibly relaxed as Alex smoothly began to sway to the music. The tempo had changed, slowing down. Kara slid her arms up to rest on Alex's shoulders, long fingers tangling into her dark hair, their bodies moving together effortlessly to the new beat.

"You know I've always got your back." Alex swallowed hard, hesitating a moment before shifting her hands to Kara's hips, pulling her closer. Trying to erase the image of Mon-El's meaty paws touching Kara there too was proving harder than she thought. She closed her eyes for a moment and inhaled, enjoying the familiar warmth and scent of the woman in her arms.

"So, how's the date going?" Alex finally asked, not really wanting to know. This whole evening had pretty much sucked, until this very moment on the dance floor. She sighed softly and tried to soak up the warmth that Kara always seemed to radiate.

"Ok, I guess," Kara murmured into the nearest ear, enjoying the closeness. "I kind of wish I was hanging out with you and the girls though."

"Yeah, me too." Alex grinned, expertly turning them to avoid a couple behind them. "I was surprised to see you here actually. I thought for sure Mon-El would take you out somewhere to show off."

"I thought you were going to O'Finn's near the DEO?" Kara's fingers tickled along the base of Alex's skull, momentarily distracting her train of thought.

"Oh, well, Winn had mentioned the alien bar to Vasquez at lunch the other day," Alex swallowed hard and refocused. "And she was curious about it, so Maggie suggested it might be a good place to go tonight for drinks."

Kara grumbled something under her breath before stumbling and stepping on Alex's toes.

"Oh, Alex, sorry!" Kara moved away, glancing down at their feet. "Are you okay? I guess I had one too many drinks."

"No worries," Alex frowned and rolled her left foot. She was fine, but glared over at a sulking Mon-El nursing his drink back in his booth. She noticed several empty glasses on the table as well. "Has he been trying to get you drunk, Kara?"

"Drunk? Ppshh…no, Mon-El just wanted me to try some new drink combinations with him." Kara didn't want to mention that it was helping her pass the evening with him as well. "He's actually pretty knowledgeable about mixing drinks. I wonder if he could get a job here. Maybe I could find out about some bartending classes…" Kara bit her lower lip in thought. Mon-El didn't seem too interested in anything she had suggested as a potential job. He said he had it all under control, but she still worried.

Alex turned her attention back to her dance partner and tried to relax, enjoying the moment. They moved gracefully through the small group on the dance floor, with Alex easily communicating her intentions by moving herself and at the same time subtly inviting Kara to follow along. Her eyes stayed alert to their surroundings, scanning the floor ahead of them, watching traffic flow around them and yet tuned in to what was happening right in the circle of her arms.

It was like a dream, Kara moving in perfect harmony, feeling Alex's warmth, the familiar thump of her heartbeat was music to her ears. Alex kept her eyes focused on Kara and yet every thing seemed planned in advance. Nothing was forced or awkward, she simply had to trust and follow Alex's every movement. If she missed a step Alex simply adjusted, reinterpreting the dance slightly differently than intended, adapting instead of forcing Kara to change.

Kara felt safe and secure in Alex's arms, knowing she could depend on her to lead her anywhere. And she would gladly follow. The dance was going so smoothly in fact that Kara had to double check that she wasn't indeed floating. Kara glanced up and realized that there were a lot of eyes on them.

"Alex," Kara exhaled, her heart suddenly beating faster. "Everyone is looking at us."

"Really?" Alex smiled gently, squeezing her hand a little and not bothering to look around. She didn't really care, just wanted to hang onto this moment with Kara for a little while longer. "I hadn't noticed."

Kara smiled, closing her eyes and just relaxed, adapting to Alex's movements, letting herself just feel where they were and what they were doing. She was happy just to let Alex take command, trusting her explicitly, with her safety and well-being on the bar's dance floor. She finally decided to just everything go, to be in the moment and follow Alex where ever she pleased to take them on the dance floor. She could feel Alex relax in her arms as well. The moment was perfect.

At least until her cell phone chimed.

"Who the…" Kara pulled the offending device from her back pocket and checked the text. She sighed and met Alex's worried gaze. "Sorry, it's CatCo. I gotta take this." She moved away from Alex's warmth and stepped from the dance floor with one last regretful glance before heading to the relative quiet of the alley outside.

Alex just watched her go, disappointed their dance had been interrupted. Even more disappointed when Mon-El appeared beside her.

"What did you say to her to make her leave?" Mon-El demanded.

"I didn't do anything." Alex all but growled back. "Which is more than I can say about you and your steady stream of drinks. Were you trying to get her drunk and take advantage?" Alex poked an accusing finger into his chest. If he wanted a fight she would be happy to oblige.

Two phones vibrated almost simultaneously. Mon-El and Alex both glanced down at their devices.

Mon-El sighed and shoved his phone back into his pocket. So much for his big romantic plans with a bottle of off world wine back at Kara's place. He had even worn underwear for the occasion. He glanced over and watched as Alex scrolled through her messages.

"Well, it would seem that I win the dancing portion of this competition, big guy. I hope you got this silly courting thing out of your system, because I don't share well." Alex winked at the glowering man, before making her way back to her table of friends.

Mon-El watched her go, took in the laughter at the table, most likely at his expense. It didn't matter. None of it would matter in the end.

"You may have won this battle, Alex Danvers," Mon-El grumbled under his breath. "But I'm determined to win the war."


"Danvers, what is going on inside that big brain of yours, hm?" Maggie asked gently, after their drinks had been refilled and the laughter of their group had died down once again.

"I need to step things up, protect Kara." Alex took a deep swallow of her whiskey and tried to drown the thoughts swirling around her head.

"Protect her?" Maggie leaned forward and lowered her voice. "She's freakin' Supergirl. I'm pretty sure she can handle herself just fine."

"You know what I mean." Alex took another sip of her drink. Maggie just stared at her for a long minute, silently calling bullshit on her motives, until Alex finally looked away. Maggie sighed and reached out, squeezing her friend's arm.

"Hey, I want you to think about what is going on with you. What are you really feeling?" Maggie squeezed her arm is support once more before shifting away and grabbing her own drink. "Remember, no more stuffing your emotions down, Alex. You're in a brave new world now, right?"

Alex swirled the amber liquid in her glass and sighed. As much as she hated to admit it, Maggie was right. It was time to admit some stuff that she had been ignoring, to herself if no one else. Her crush on Vicki back in high school was not the only thing she had been avoiding thinking too deeply about over the years. Feeling Kara in her arms tonight had been…amazing. And terrifying. This whole courtship fiasco could be her chance to spend time with Kara romantically and put this whole thing to rest. To get whatever was going on out of her system and prove that there is no chemistry there between them.

Or prove that there was.

Alex closed her eyes and slammed back the rest of her drink, decision made.

"Interested in coming to a game night, Sawyer?" Alex smiled as she focused her attention back to her friends and set her glass down gently onto the table top.

"Like, board games? Or more like poker?" Maggie blinked, a little taken aback by the sudden change in topic. Their conversation was not over, but for now she would stop poking at Alex and let it rest.

"Yes. To both. Plus usually copious amounts of alcohol and laughter." Lucy leaned over and cocked an eyebrow at the police detective, smiling at the thought of fresh meat. "I think it must be my turn to host one of these shindigs, right Alex?"

Alex simply nodded as Lucy continued to fill in some of the details for Maggie. Game night would be a perfect opportunity, a good non-violent way to showcase what a loser Mon-El was and to spend some quality time with Kara. Alex smiled to herself.

Let the games begin.

The End

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