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


Chapter 10 – Brunch in Metropolis

"What the heck is taking so long?"

Kara grumbled to herself, glancing at her watch for the umpteenth time before pushing her glasses higher on her nose. The dark rainy sky outside reflected her mood perfectly.  It didn't help that she hadn't eaten since flying out of National City that morning, the text from Kal-El inviting her to brunch a nice surprise that she had quickly accepted.

Shifting in her chair, she sipped her glass of water and sighed softly. The Catco snafu with Snapper that had taken far too long to sort out. Then she hadn't slept very well, tossing and turning as her mind kept replaying her evening out. When Kara finally did drift off, it was to dreams of dancing among the clouds, spinning and looping while held securely in strong arms, a familiar leather jacket warm beneath her fingers. No face in the dream, but Kara didn't need to see one to know exactly who the mystery woman in her arms was.

Kara's cell phone chimed another notification at her. She glanced down at it, hoping that it was Alex checking in. She sighed with disappointment and slid the phone away from her. Mon-El had texted a few times now, just some cute little emoji faces which were easy to ignore. She was more concerned with the curt text she had received that morning from Alex, telling her that she had been called in to the desert facility to deal with a small crisis. Kara chewed at her lower lip, resisting the urge to check in with J'onn, but it was hard. After all she hadn't been asked to help, so she tried not to worry and trusted that the DEO team knew what they were doing.

She decided instead to look around the room and tried to remember the last time they had frequented this tiny hole in the wall diner in Metropolis, one of her cousin Kal-El's favourite spots. She knew it had been in the summer, she had sat near this same window. Alex and Lois had joined them, both women sporting tank tops and shorts. The conversation had been stilted, Alex steadfastly defending Lucy to whatever snarky comment Lois had made. Kara smiled softly with the memory, Kal-El had been late that time too. As if her wayward thoughts had conjured him, a familiar dark head was suddenly dashing past the window, followed by a cheery bell ringing as the diner door opened.

"Hi, Kara, sorry I'm late. There was a pile up on the bridge that needed some help." Kal-El suddenly sank down onto the chair across from her, his whole body settling with seeming relief at being able to stop. He grinned up at her and all of her annoyance evaporated with his boyish antics. "You know what it's like."

Kara smiled back and just nodded. Their waitress arrived quickly and obviously knew Clark Kent, as she asked if he wanted the usual. After taking their orders, they both sat back and finally could relax.

"Kal, how could you take up this challenge from Mon-El?" Kara sighed, cutting to the chase. Kal-El at least had the decency to look ashamed, ducking his head and running a hand through his messy dark hair.

"I'm sorry that happened, I was just trying to be helpful to meet with him while you were off world. Then he took me by surprise with the request." Kal-El glanced up and held Kara's gaze with his own steady determined one. "But I'm not going to apologize for trying to get you and Alex to finally get yourselves sorted out."

"Oh, my Rao, seriously?" Kara leaned back in her chair and blinked at her cousin in disbelief. The waitress appeared with their drinks, giving her a moment to gather her thoughts as Kal shifted uncomfortably under her stare. What the hell was he playing at?

"Kara, after you turned 18, Eliza called and tore a strip off of me, making me very aware of my lack of knowledge around basic Kryptonian rituals. So, I made a point of researching the Age of Ascension, the politics of merging Houses, and pair bonding with a lot more interest than I had before." Kal took a sip of his coffee and grimaced at the bitter taste, taking a moment to stir in more sugar.

"There is no rush—" Kara began, fidgeting with her straw, swirling the ice in her soda water, hoping that her cheeks weren't as bright pink as the heat from the blush might indicate.

"Kara, come on." Kal-El cocked his head and locked her with an appraising stare. "I've researched this at the Fortress. If we were on Krypton you would be considered a spinster. And as head of the House it would be my fault. Hell, for that matter if we were still there we both would be matched with a mate by the Matrix and it would be done." Kal shook his head, thinking that it didn't sound very appealing to him either. "But here, we have a choice. And even though we didn't know what we were doing when you arrived, I can't help but think that Alex and you are a good match."

Kara looked out the window at his words. He wasn't wrong. Alex was a great match, a perfect match. Better than he and Lois if she really thought about it.  They both looked up as their lunch arrived. Digging into their food, Kara decided to bite the bullet and admit what was niggling at her, deep down.

"I'm worried that Alex will be used as a pawn against me." Kara all but whispered, knowing he would hear it anyway. Tears stung at the back of her eyes, the familiar grip of fear biting at her gut.

"I get it. I do! I was too, with Lois, and we both know that it's a valid concern." Kal-El smiled gently, recognizing the look on his cousin's face. He leaned forward slightly, his finger tapping on the table top as he made his point. "Lois seems to go looking for trouble, but Alex…well she has chosen to be part of that world with you. She took steps to become highly trained and can take care of herself and then some. She has dedicated her life to helping you, to protecting you. Alex has dedicated herself to YOU. If that isn't a bond mate, I don't know what is." Kal leaned back his point made. "What are you waiting for?"

"I guess, I'm…" Kara hesitated, looking down at her crumpled napkin on the table. "Kal, I'm scared. What if she doesn't feel the same and just feels obligated? Like it's her duty or something because of our betrothal ceremony? Alex was so devastated by Maggie's rejection of her feelings, I don't want to stand in her way if that is who she's meant to be with."

"Oh, Kara," Kal-El reached forward, his big hand covering hers and giving a quick sympathetic squeeze. "Alex is on her own path. Trust that Alex can figure out what, and who, she wants."

"Ugh, I hate it when you're right." Kara groaned, running a hand through her long hair and glaring at her grinning cousin. "I need to get this sorted out, I guess now is as good a time as any."

Kal-El nodded and polished off his sandwich, reaching out to steal some fries from Kara's plate. A little flash of laser from Kara quickly made him pull his fingers away, chuckling as he claimed his greasy prize and popped them into his mouth.

"Okay, so the first step is to set up the official challenge. According to the history accounts I read, we will need to choose three elders to judge the challenge. As your eldest family member, I am automatically one of them."

"I think I'd also like J'onn," Kara sipped her drink thoughtfully. "He is fair and honest, and I consider him to be a father figure to me now."

"He could be considered biased to Alex." Kal-El countered. "But, if we chose someone neutral who would be favourable towards Mon-El then that would balance out."

Kara pinched the bridge of her nose. Who would be neutral to the newcomer that they could trust with the truth of their identities. Who could be a fair judge?

"I know!" Kara looked up as inspiration hit. "What about the AI of my mother? Alura is programmed to work in my favour but has no emotions attached to it. And she would be unfailingly by the book and fair, adhering strictly to the Kryptonian traditions and rules, whether I liked it or not."

As a former Kryptonian judge she would make an excellent choice. Kal-El swirled the black coffee in his mug, staring down into the depths as his mind whirled. The question was whether Mon-El would agree. Their options were rather limited.

"Ok. I will contact J'onn and arrange things." Kal-El smiled, pleased that the decision was made. "Then we will arrange the challenges according to the tiv girod and the eleven Kryptonian virtues. In the meantime, you should talk to Alex."

Kara ducked her head but nodded. It was time. One way or another this would be resolved.

A beeping alarm went off and Kal-El glanced down at his watch. Someone needed his help. He swore under his breath and stood. Looked like lunch was over. Kara stood too, realizing that duty called, and moved into his big arms, hugging him.

"Kal, I just want her to be happy." Kara murmured into his strong shoulder, soaking up the comfort. She needed all of it that she could get and prayed to Rao that she wasn't making the biggest mistake of her life.

"I know," Kal-El sighed and held her tighter, knowing there were no words that would help. He just wanted Kara to be happy too. And he would move heaven and earth to make it happen.


Chapter 11 - Just Another Day at the Office

"Alpha Leader in position."

Alex hissed into her headset, sliding down the rough hewn rock wall into a crouch before glancing across the walkway to the small band of DEO agents waiting for her command. An unholy howl reverberated through the desert facility hallways, echoing deep down in her chest and drowning out the insistent alarm that had been going non-stop.

"Fucking Hermalgamites." Alex growled under her breath. Of all the aliens to escape their cell during the power outage on Sunday it had to be that one. Always loud, always vicious. Always a stomach-turning stench. The four-inch scar on her left thigh didn't help change her opinion of the alien race much either, simply serving to remind her of their last exchange of pleasantries.

"Copy that, Agent Danvers." Vasquez' amused voice crackled through her earpiece. It calmed Alex down hearing her friend's voice on the other side of the comm. "Hold while Beta Team secures their location."

"Standing by." Alex signaled her team and they hunkered down to wait. This was going to be a tough fight, with a dangerous and wiley captive. She hoped her team would come out of this unscathed, but was realistic enough to know it wasn't likely. She checked her gear one last time when the orders finally came through.

"Red Leader, you are good to go." Director Lane's voice broke in over the headset this time. No hesitation on the command, Alex began to move forward, more than ready to get this show on the road.

"Roger that, Director." Alex flipped the safety off her blaster and felt her body settle, combat muscle memory taking hold. This insurrection had been dragging out for two days now and she had had enough. It was time to kick some ass. With two hand signals and a curt nod of her head, her team launched into action.

A trickle of sweat ran down between her shoulder blades as Alex sank into a squat and caught her breath. Three long, harrowing hours of crawling through the dark dank underbelly of the DEO facility and they still hadn't captured their target. It was getting damn embarrassing. 

Alex lifted her head, the smell of the Hermalgamite unmistakable. It was close, really close. That's when she heard the first scream.


Alex raced out of her limited cover and dashed down the hallway, rolling for cover inside the entrance way to the  small hanger on the right that Beta Team had been searching. She easily assessed that all hell was breaking loose. She heard the rest of her Alpha Team fall in behind her, moving to surround the furious alien, and try to take some of the heat off their comrades. 

The Hermalgamite lunged for the hallway door, but not before slicing open one of her men, grabbing the blaster from his limp hand as the agent bled out at it's feet. The alien turned and met Alex's gaze straight on, pointing the weapon right at her. It all happened so fast, she moved on instinct. Alex twisted and flung herself to the left, her body armour and flack jacket absorbing the energy blast that had been aimed at her head. Her own weapon was raised and before she hit the ground she was returning fire, the Hermalgamite roaring in pain and dropping like a stone. 

The stench of it's burning flesh was almost an improvement.

Water ran over Alex's aching body, washing away the grit and grime of the day, but not the bitter memories. Those would be burned into her psyche for a good long while. She winced as a muscle in her back twinged. There would be plenty of bruises showing up before long too. Three dead, six wounded, and her own near brush with death. The whine of the energy blast and the Hermalgamite's roar still echoed in her ears. No amount of water would wash that away.

"Hey, Danvers," Vasquez' called out from the locker room. "You melting in there?"

Alex snorted, gladly pulled from the memory of her close call. Too close if she was honest. It wasn't good to dwell on it too long though, or she would never want to come out of the shower, let alone get back in the field. She turned the water off and grabbed her towel, heading for her locker.

"Just trying to get that stench out of my hair," Alex answered as she towelled off, tugging on fresh underwear from her locker. It felt good to be clean again, almost whole. Taking her cargo pants and black t-shirt out, she sat on the bench behind her and began to dress. Vasquez wandered over from where her locker was situated, the concerned look in her eyes saying more than words ever would. 

They didn't talk about it. No one usually did. It was just part of the job. Risking your life, just another day at the office, right? Vasquez sat down next to her on the bench and nodded her understanding, the need to not dwell on the 'what ifs'. Alex was still here, so it was a good day.

"So, I was wondering if you were up for some target practice before you head out. Take the edge off the day?" Vasquez ran a hand through her short hair and waited.  It had been a really close call, having watched the whole firefight as it had unfolded. She knew how much adrenalin was probably still running through the senior agent's veins. "Give me some Hermalgamite whoopass pointers for the next time that ugly fucker breaks out."

Alex grinned at that and nodded at the invitation. Standing up she followed her friend out to the gun range. A little practice would settle her nerves. And it was a better offer than the bottle of whiskey calling her name. 

The DEO desert facility gun range was state of the art, with a wide assortment of human weapons and alien technology to choose from. Alex was certified on all of them, her current favourite was the alien energy blaster which had just saved her life.

"I think it's dead, Danvers." Vasquez sassed from the cubicle to her left, pulling her safety earmuffs off. The last half hour of target shooting had helped, but Alex still had some pent up aggression going on. And Vasquez didn't think it all had to do with the escapee situation.

Alex lowered her gun, tugged her own earmuffs off and hit the retrieval button, bringing her decimated paper target towards her. There was a huge hole taking out the torso of her target man, the paper smouldering and still burning around the edges. She sighed and bit the inside of her lip.

"I may have been imagining a certain annoying alien," Alex smiled over at her friend before placing her weapon down, and studying her target handiwork.

"Somehow I don't think you mean our stinky friend recuperating in his cell below." Vasquez squeezed off a few more rounds.

"No, my annoying alien isn't as smart," Alex yanked her target from the conveyor line. "But I will admit he smells better. Somewhat. I don't know what Kara sees in him." She noticed that she was still pulling to the left with the disruptor, she'd have to work on that. Luckily it didn't come back to bite her earlier today.

"You know your sister, always taking in strays, seeing the best in people," Vasquez paused, realizing what she had said. "Sorry, I suppose sister isn't the right word anymore." She glanced over at Alex, trying to gauge the mood. She didn't want to piss her off, but this change in relationship status was a new minefield to navigate. 

"Yeah, no. Maybe? I'm not even sure anymore," Alex shoved her charred target into the garbage can behind them and sighed. "Mom and Dad thought they were helping, calling us sisters. But we were more than sisters, more than best friends. We always have been." Alex ran a hand through her hair, feeling the truth of her own words. Today's close call had been a bit of a wake up call. Who knew how long any of them had, especially in this line of work. 

Alex couldn't get that damn dance out of her head either. Whatever little sleep she had managed to get the night before had been filled with dreams of spinning and looping among the clouds, strong arms holding her close, keeping her safe. 

"You should talk to Kara." Vasquez said gently, kindly. Maybe this thing with Mon-El was a blessing in disguise. 

"I know," Alex stared down at her booted toe, kicking at the dirt. "I guess I'm just worried that I might lose everything if I admit it to her. It was bad enough when Maggie..." Alex swallowed down her words, stuffing her hands into her back pockets. They had worked through the awkwardness to friendship, but the rejection still hurt. If she finally got the guts to say something to Kara and was rebuffed, Alex wasn't sure how she would deal with it.

"Yeah, I hear you. I've got my eye on someone too, have for a while. But I don't know if she's even interested. At least Kara is your betrothed." Vasquez levelled her weapon and focused her aim. 

"That was a stupid ritual from her past and has no real bearing on what she wants now or who she might want to be with some day." Alex let her spike of frustration flare before she cocked her head and turned, picking up her gun again and settling back into her firing stance, taking a breath to steady herself. "Of course, you know that fraternizing with superior officers is frowned upon in the DEO, Vaz," Alex lined up her shot with an easy precision and squeezed the trigger. "Mind you, Lucy would totally be worth it."

Vazquez' shot missed the target completely, causing Alex to smirk. Bullseye on that one.

"I--I…" Vasquez sputtered. She was saved by a young man making his way towards them.

"Commander." The new recruit appeared at her elbow, an envelope in the young man's hand. Grabbing it and dismissing him with a curt nod, Alex tore open the document,

"That looks fancy." Vasquez said, moving closer to take in the dark red seal and alien text.

"Yeah," Alex ran her fingers reverently along the parchment, knowing that it wasn't of this planet. The wax holding it closed was pressed with a familiar crest, one she would know anywhere. "It's the House of El seal on the front of it." Alex bit her lower lip. She knew it would be coming but it was still unnerving to get it.  Alex glanced down at the ancient paper, recognizing the Kryptonian script but automatically skipped down to the English translation. "The challenge has been accepted, the date has been set."

"You okay, Alex?" Vazquez put her weapon down, concerned that this was one too many surprises for the day. Alex nodded, her eyes calm, settled. Determined.

"I will be, Vaz." Alex knew the time had finally come. The official challenge was real. She would fight for Kara's freedom from Mon-El's claim. She would honour her house and defend their family. Now if she could just figure out what she really wanted.

Vasquez patted her shoulder and they headed out of the gun range. It had been a long couple of days and it was more than time to stop. Saying their goodbyes, Alex made her way towards the parking lot, glancing down to her hip as her phone chimed several times. It had to be Kara. Pulling it from her pocket, she thumbed her security code into her cell, smiling at the messages from Kara that soon popped up.

Hey! You finished playing in the desert yet? It's been two days!

Alex nodded, two long days with only a few hours sleep on a lumpy cot in the barracks. Her big bed in her quiet apartment was waiting for her and she was looking forward to a good night's rest. She scrolled to the next message.

Come over when you can, I have pizza and beer.

Alex sighed and glanced at the time. God, was it only 7:20 p.m.? It felt like midnight. Still, decompressing with Kara before crashing for the night was appealing. Her stomach took the opportunity to voice it's grumbling opinion as well. 

You can even pick the movie, nothing scary tho...

Alex snorted and shook her head. Some big superhero, afraid of a little spooky movie. She bit her lip and quickly typed back that she was on her way. 

Decision made, Alex slid her helmet on and mounted her motorbike, kick starting it to growling life. She knew there was really only one way to figure out what she wanted, what Kara wanted, what their next steps should be, and that was by talking it out. Regardless of the outcome, they always were stronger together, and this would be no different.

Alex turned her bike onto the open highway and headed home, to Kara.


Chapter 12 – Running Home to You


The scent hung in the air like sour perfume before Kara even got to her apartment the door. She couldn't have missed it if she had tried. Dried blood, antiseptic, gunshot residue, add the x-ray view of Alex slumped wearily  against her door frame, and it all added up to the same thing. Trouble. And Alex had been clearly fighting it without her. 

"Oh, my Rao," Kara muttered as she pulled open her apartment door and took in the exhausted woman before her. Kara knew she should have called J'onn, listened to her gut that there was something more dangerous going on out in that desert facility. She took another sniff and exhaled just as quickly. Hermalgamites,  if she had identified the underlying stench still clinging to Alex's skin correctly.  

"Hey, Kar." Alex's battle weary eyes filled in the rest. Kara gently tugged the other woman into her arms and held her close, her nose snuffling into the baby fine hair at Alex's temple. A moment of stiff awkwardness and self consciousness quickly bled away as Alex let herself just relax into Kara's strong arms. 

"Are you okay?" Kara murmured, waiting for a gentle nod. She slowly stepped back, their fingers tangling as she drew Alex deeper into the apartment, closing the door behind them. Kara glanced behind her, trying to do a subtle body scan for injuries. Alex rolled her eyes, but held her arms out and turned a complete circle.

"I'm fine," Alex cocked an eyebrow, tolerating the scanning for only so long. Kara gave her a look but smiled, having determined that everything was indeed fine for herself. "I'm just tired."

"I bet. Hermalgamites?" Kara smirked and waved her hand in front of her nose to clear some of the smell. It was heavier in the air now that Alex was gingerly slipping out of her leather jacket. Had she rolled on the aliens? "They're a nasty species on a good day."

"Sorry, I thought I'd got it all off me." Alex grimaced and sniffed, but knew she was probably nose blind to it by now.  Kara had a better sense of smell than the average dog, so it was probably overpowering to her. She sighed, maybe it would have been better if she had just gone to her apartment.

"Hang on, let me run a hot bath," Kara zipped away and back in a blink, water suddenly running in the bathroom. She tossed Alex some flannel jammie pants and a t-shirt. "Put this on when you're done. In the meantime I can drop your clothes into the wash. It'll be dry by the time our movie is done." Kara smiled, it felt good to take care of Alex, to pamper the girl who pretended to be so tough all the time. It would be nice to do it more often actually. Kara didn't want to analyse that thought too deeply.

Alex looked down at the soft material in her hands and nodded. The scent of lavender emanating from Kara's bathroom was calling her name. Showers were good, but nothing beat a long hot soak to get that deep ache out of her bones. She'd be a fool to pass it up.

"Ok, deal." 

Kara's smile grew wider, and she fluttered out of existence and was back again before Alex had even moved, a full glass of red wine in hand. 

"I have beer, but merlot always mellows you out." Kara handed the glass over, which Alex gratefully accepted. "Get in the tub, pizza when you get out."

"Thank you," Alex pulled Kara into a loose one armed hug. "You are the best."

Kara beamed as Alex shuffled towards her bedroom and the bathroom beyond. She noticed that Alex was stretching out her right shoulder and seemed to be favouring that side. She'd have to see if she had any healing oil  left from last time she solar flared. Kara went to go look as the bathroom door clicked shut.

Tealights flickered in a row along the vanity in the small bathroom, casting long streams of light up the white subway tiles. Another row was lit on the edge of the deep tub, with only one or two drowned out by an occasional sploosh of water. Scented bath salts and foamy bubbles complemented the incense burning in a holder safely housed in the sink. One thing about Kryptonians, they took their bathing seriously. 

Alex inhaled deeply and let out a long sigh. It was heaven after such a hellish couple of days. She could hear Kara rooting around in the the bedroom.

"Hey, Kara, what's that scent?  Lavender and something I can't place." Alex lifted a foot out of the water and rotated her ankle, feeling the stiffness slowly releasing. She dropped it back under the surface, the heat of the water so good on her tired body. 

"Hmm, oh, just a little iboga bark," Kara's voice floated back as she moved closer to the bathroom door, fidgeting with the hem of her t-shirt. " I picked some up in Africa last time I flew nearby. I find it soothing, especially if I burn strips of it, kinda like incense."

"Didn't you used to drink iboga tea?" Alex sank down a bit deeper, watching the bubbles rise higher along the edge of the porcelain tub. It was a pretty disgusting brew as she recalled, causing hallucinations and visions in humans. It seemed to calm edgy Kryptonians down though.

"Yeah, Clark likes it as tea and suggested I try it." Kara folded her arms and leaned back against the doorframe, looking out the large glass windows of her apartment. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, the slightly bitter woody scent filling her lungs as she sent a familiar centering prayer to Rao for strength and courage. "I prefer this though, the scent reminds me of Krypton."

Dealing with her zh'em hadahr since the age of Ascension had taken a bit of effort, but worth it in the end. The biological call to take a mate was strong, but Kara's relationship with Alex would always take priority, she never wanted to jeopardize her family for anything. That's why talking about her growing feelings was so scary and felt selfish. Kara chewed her lower lip. Maybe tonight wasn't the time to bring it up after all.

"Incoming towel drop," Kara shoved her troubling thoughts to the side for now. Turning, she opened the bathroom door wide enough to toss in some fresh, dryer warmed towels onto the closed toilet seat. "I'll go warm up the pizza. Think about what you want to watch." Kara closed the door again and headed for the kitchen.

Alex stretched one last time, feeling the tightness of her body mostly gone. Her right shoulder was still pretty sore from absorbing that blast, even with the body armour taking the brunt of the shot. If she had been a second slower…

Alex stood, water streaming off her body in little rivulets, taking her dark thoughts with it. Enough dwelling on the past events for one day.  She would just be better prepared next time. She wrapped the fluffy blue towel around her body, bringing a bit up to her face and inhaling. So warm and inviting, like falling into a hug. It was perfect.

God, she didn't deserve Kara.

Kara pulled Alex's damp clothes out of the wash and popped it into the dryer, getting it going quickly.  She made her way towards the familiar leather jacket, draped haphazardly on the back of the chair Alex always dropped it on when she came by. She lifted it up, the butter soft leather pressed to her nose, aired out by now of any alien smells. Just the solid scent of it's owner, permeated deep into every pour of fabric. 

"Rao, she smells so good." Kara muttered under her breath, placing the jacket back down on the chair. She frowned slightly, wondering just how long it had been since her last cycle, and started counting back in her head. Zh'em Hadahr was always such a pain in the ass. She glanced over at the cosy nest on the couch, duvet, pizza and tv remote at the ready. Regular movie nights had certainly helped keep her on an even keel, but Kara had a sinking feeling that timing was not going to be in her favour…

*Zh'em Hadahr* A biological urge to find and take a mate that all unbonded Kryptonians must endure. Not that knowing this made it any easier. 

"Fuck!" Kara felt like she was burning up, aching all over. She wiped her brow and kept chewing the iboga bark that Kal-El had gathered in Africa for her, but it wasn't helping. He said he usually would drink it like a tea, when he needed it.  The bitter taste reminded her of the brew that Alura and her aunt would often indulge in before heading off to the communal baths. 

Ok, really? This was getting too much. Kara sighed knowing she couldn't concentrate on her math homework feeling like this. Flipping her textbook closed, she pulled out her cell phone. There was no choice really, she had to contact Alex. She was her *zrhemin nim*, or would be if this was Krypton, damn it.   It wasn't right, but she was getting desperate, and she missed her dearly. One ring. A second ring.

"Pick up, pick up, pick up…" Kara chewed her thumbnail and paced back and forth between her bed and Alex's old one, finally sitting down on the unused bed. She missed watching the older girl sleep, deep calm breaths, kicking her blankets off as she would get warm in the early morning light, her sleep shirt riding up to reveal a strip of tummy...

"Hey!" Alex sounded tired but glad to hear from her. "What's up?"

"Uh, well…" Kara fidgeted, another aching wave starting to wash over her at the sound of Alex' voice.  She needed to see her in person, this was becoming very clear. "Can I stop by to see you?" Kara swallowed, afraid she would be turned away. Alex was busy with school, she shouldn't be so needy, surely there was another way to deal with…

"Uh, sure. This weekend?" Alex said, confused but not unwilling. Kara sighed with relief, which turned into a bout of shivers. Ok, maybe sooner would be better.

"Actually, I was thinking tonight." Kara blurted out and winced at her damned awkwardness, and the silence on the other side. She should just explain what was happening, but wasn't quite sure the best way to put it. 

"Kara, you know Mom doesn't want you using your --" Alex warned. Kara knew Eliza would be pissed if she took off, but this was becoming too hard, too much. She was only Kryptonian after all.

"Alex, I wouldn't if it wasn't important."  Kara interrupted, smiling softly when she heard the resigned  sigh at the other end of the line. 

"Ok, but be careful. If Mom finds out…" Alex relented. She knew she would! Bless, Rao!

Kara was out the window in a flash, skimming the treetops, following the coastline, staying low to avoid radar detection, but determined to make to Alex as soon as possible. It wasn't long and she saw the light from Alex's residence room window and then she was tapping on the glass.

"...we will be in such…" Alex glanced over to the window and frowned, then ended the call.  

Finally! Kara could smell her even through the glass pane. Opening it up, Kara zipped inside before she was spotted from below. Suddenly she was all but wrapped around Alex, needing the contact. Needing her.

"Well, hi! I missed you too!" Alex chuckled and wrapped her strong arms around her, squeezing tight, so Kara could feel it, really feel it. Something was up, but she didn't want to push. Kara felt warm to the touch, well, warmer than usual. Kara felt herself settle, nuzzling into the soft patch of skin below Alex's ear, inhaling the scent of her *zrhemin nim*, her betrothed. It eased the ache in her body, slowed her racing heart.

It wasn't long and they were snuggled on the small couch, watching a dvd of The Wizard of Oz. Alex knew it was one of Kara's favourites, and she wanted to soothe the slightly freaked out girl. Something was up and she wanted to get to the bottom of it. 

"We should do this more often," Alex said softly, her breath warm against Kara's temple. "Just hang out together and watch movies. Like when you first arrived." Her fingers stroked through the long blonde hair, the rhythmic movement almost hypnotic. 

Kara could feel the tension leaving her body as she began to fall asleep. Just being here had helped her immensely. She should just tell Alex about the Zh'em Hadahr and the bond, but she didn't want to mess up what they already had. How do you have that conversation anyway? Oh, by the way, we're married, sort of and I need to jump your bones now, okay? Thanks.

Kara shivered, her libido immediately latching onto the jump your bones portion of her thoughts, pulling the duvet around her. Flying monkeys, watch the flying monkeys...

"Hey, are you okay?" Alex leaned back, noticing that Kara was holding her stomach, like she was in pain. Her eyebrows raised as she put together her observations. "Oh, my God, are you finally getting your period?" It had always been most annoying that Kara did not have a menstrual cycle like humans. Another benefit of their weird baby matrix on Krypton.

Kara stilled. Well, it was similar she supposed. Raging hormones, body aches, chills, fever and killer mood swings. She wasn't sure the need to touch and practically inhale your potential mate really fit, but still.

"Maybe?" Kara looked away, not wanting to really lie, but it was a convenient excuse. "No blood though. I am built differently...uh...down there." Kara didn't think she could be more embarrassed, but if she couldn't share this with Alex, then she didn't know who else.

"Oh, sweetie, come here," Alex opened her arms and held her closer, feeling a full body shiver. Alex reached back and tugged another blanket over their legs. "I have some chocolate around here somewhere. Chocolate fixes everything, trust me."

Kara snuggled closer, and inhaled deeply, something shifting and settling deep inside. Alex fixes everything, she always has and she always will. But that conversation is for another day. For now, Kara had everything she needed right here beside her. However, she wouldn't say no to food either. 

"Chocolate sounds perfect."


Chapter 13 – So Close and Yet So Far

"Are you trying to kill me?"

Alex half-heartedly protested. Kara simply slid the last slice of pizza onto the empty plate, and focused her gaze, giving it an extra little zap to heat it up just that much more.

"Seriously, Kara, I won't be able to move off this couch if I eat all that." Alex rubbed her full belly. "At least help me. Take half." Kara hesitated, she was still a little peckish, if she was honest.

"Alright, if you insist." Kara jumped at the offer, tore the piece and then stuffed her half into her mouth, ignoring Alex's knowing grin. "Shut up and pick your show, you goof." Kara tossed the remote at the now chuckling woman before glancing down at her vibrating phone. "Susan wants to know how you're feeling?" Kara said, smiling at the thoughtful message. She really needed to spend more time out at the desert facility. It wasn't the same without Lucy and Susan around the DEO downtown facility on a regular basis.

Kara looked up at the prolonged silence, noticing that Alex had stilled with her words and then had gingerly leaned back on the couch, trying to act nonchalant. Alex was moving slowly, and even after a good soak was still favouring her shoulder. Vasquez' text merely confirmed her suspicion that things had gotten pretty rough at the desert facility.

"Then Vasquez ought to text me herself." Alex finally spoke, before blowing on the hot slice, slightly irritated and yet touched at the same time. She ignored Kara's pointed stare. There was no need to worry her after the fact.

"Do I want to know how bad the mission was?" Kara quietly asked. She watched as Alex took a big swallow of wine and abruptly stood, gathered their plates, and made her way towards the kitchen sink. "That bad?" Kara frowned, a small wrinkle of worry forming between her brows. Alex shrugged and topped up her wine glass. She grabbed a mug from the cupboard and turned the kettle on, watching the water start to boil before finally turning to glance back at her.

"I got lucky yesterday, Kara. A few seconds slower and…" Alex shivered at the memory. It had never mattered before, just serve and protect and damn the consequences. But now…well, now she had so much to live for. A life she was finally learning to live, becoming comfortable in her own skin for the first time. "I took a blast to my right shoulder, the body armour absorbed a lot of it, but that's why I am so stiff." Alex looked away and sighed. "It was close, Kara. Really close."

Kara let out a long breath she didn't realize she had been holding. She knew she should have checked in before she took off for Metropolis. "Next time, will you just call me in?"

Alex looked up and met her concerned gaze with a nod. Kara wasn't sure she'd follow through but it was the best she was going to get. Damn stubborn woman. Kara bit her lower lip and wondered how she would be able to handle Alex being in constant danger if they really were bond mates. She'd never really have to worry about Mon-El jumping into the line of fire. Being a hero didn't seem to be in his make-up despite her trying to train him to be more so. At least he wasn't yet anyway, maybe with more time and more maturity. And if Alex didn't slug him to the moon for being an ass.

Kara's thoughts were broken as Alex returned to the couch and handed over a steaming cup of her favourite herbal tea. With her soft smile of thanks, Alex settled back under the comforter, before flipping through the Netflix menu. Soon they were engrossed in The Great British Baking Show. Kara recognized the subtle apology for what it was. Alex had even picked bread week, her perennial favourite episode of any season of the show. After the first challenge round, Kara glanced over as Alex once again stretched and rubbed at her neck.

"At least let me help loosen your shoulder," Kara offered, putting her mug down on the coffee table. "I could tell something was wrong, you've been favouring it all night. I found some healing oil, it works wonders. It will limber up that shoulder of yours." She waited as Alex hesitated and then scooted forward, making room for her.

Kara zipped off to get the oil and then slid behind Alex on the couch, a little shuffling and they were both comfortable. Kara squeezed a dollop of the oil out and began rubbing her hands together to warm it. She slid her hands under the back of the t-shirt, her fingers pressing into aching muscles, gently pulling and rolling the muscles and skin. Kara's naturally warmer body helped keep Alex pliant and soft, long fingers chasing aches and pains away as it smoothed and rolled along Alex's right shoulder and back. The soft moan of pleasure made her smile wider.

It wasn't the first time Kara had massaged the aches and pains from sore muscles. Or wiped blood from scraped knuckles. It was all part of looking after her personal human protector, had been since she had arrived. It was very sweet, and if she had only been able to show her own strength, unnecessary. In the end it was often the least Kara could do to thank Alex for defending her.

It had taken Kara years of practice to learn how much pressure to add without hurting a human. In the end it was the sound that the human body, the muscles and flesh itself, made when it was compressed to a specific point. That and the sound Alex made, kind of like the one she was making right now. The one that did funny things to Kara's stomach.

"Oh God, yessss…right there," Alex sighed, shifting under her strong fingers, unable to resist the pull and slide along her bruised and battered muscles of her right shoulder. Kara inched nearer, the heat from her body warming Alex, keeping her close. Alex's head fell forward as long fingers worked their way along the column of her neck, chasing aches and pains away as she went.

Kara couldn't help herself, and carefully nuzzled into still slightly damp dark hair, inhaling deeply. Alex was wearing her clothes, smelling of Krypton and lavender, oil slicked skin soft and pliant beneath her touch. She wanted desperately to slide her fingertips along more skin, further under the t-shirt and across the hills and valleys of Alex's stomach, feeling taut abs twitch. Running the pad of her thumb around the delicate hollow of her bellybutton, listening for the telltale hitch in Alex's breath, giving permission in the subtle invitation to keep moving, keep exploring. Dipping lower still, into uncharted territory, to claim what was hers, her *zrhemin nim*

Kara Zor-El wanted.

She wanted so much more, but Kara Danvers didn't know how to ask for it.

So instead of pressing soft lips to tender flesh, Kara took a ragged breath and leaned back. Slowly she ran her fingers from Alex's shoulder, up the long tendons of her neck and into thick dark auburn hair. Alex shivered at the touch and sighed, content, almost purring. It would be so easy to take her like this, make sweet love on the couch, completely relaxing into her intimate touches. Kara's heart ached for the beauty before her, trusting her, letting her guard down. Kara would do anything to protect this moment, to protect its fragile perfection. Slowly her movements stilled, and Alex leaned back, into her arms. They snuggled together, enjoying the comfort and the peace.

"I got the fancy challenge notice this afternoon." Alex finally sighed into the silence. They needed to talk about it, plan for it. Kara's arms wrapped around her tighter, holding her close. Alex sank into the warmth, her eyes drooping, and taking comfort there. She knew they would figure this out together.

"The invitation?" Kara nuzzled and inhaled quietly. "Yes, Kal-El said he would get working on that right away. J'onn and my mother's AI will be the other judges with him." Long fingers once again began to comb through the soft hair, enjoying the feeling of the strands falling between them. Kara swallowed, loath to do so, but knowing that she had to offer an exit. What if Alex didn't want to take the risk? She just had a close call of some sort, the challenge wouldn't be easy either. She closed her eyes and did the honourable thing. "Alex, you know you don't have to do this. There is still time to stop this."

"No!" Alex jerked in her arms at the words, turning to look at her, to meet her eyes. "We are betrothed. Besides, I said I would. I want to defend your House, your honour. Unless..." Alex swallowed hard, almost choking on the words as they left her mouth. "Unless you want to be with Mon-El?"

"Dear Rao, no!" Kara reached out and pulled Alex back into a hug, before sliding down lower onto the couch and tugging the comforter around them. "No, I just don't want you to get hurt."

"Don't worry about that. I can take care of myself," Alex all but growled. Kara grinned and held her closer, her tough human. "Mon-El will only get so far with his charm and good looks. Besides I think your mother's AI likes me." Alex waggled her eyebrows, earning a chuckle from Kara before they settled down to watch the end of the show.

They watched the rest of the episode in relative silence, enjoying the closeness and the warmth. Kara liked the weight of Alex on her, safe in her arms. She liked all of it if she was honest, and she wanted more. Before she knew it the credits were rolling and the countdown started for the next episode. Kara knew it was time to admit it all to Alex, if she was just brave enough to do it. Suddenly she was talking, words pouring from her heart, Rao only knowing how it would turn out.

"I've been meaning to tell you something, for a while now actually." Kara kept stroking through the soft hair, the steady movement helping her anxiety. Not waiting for a comment, she carried on before she chickened out. "I'm not sure when things began to change, Alex. It just seems like it's always been there, below the surface. And deep in my bones, I know that I'm meant to be wherever you are, with you standing there right next to me. No matter where I am or what I am doing, at the end of the day, all I want to do is come running home," Kara bit her lower lip and finished her thought. "To you, Alex. I want to be with you."

The silence was deafening.

Kara closed her eyes, bowing her head, sure she had just ruined everything. Why had she even thought Alex would be interested in her? See her as anything more than an annoying little sister. Who would want an alien girlfriend anyway, with all the trouble that would bring in this challenging political climate? The rejection rushed through her like lightning, searing and just as painful. And then she heard it.

A light snore.

"Alex?" Kara glanced down and realized that Alex was out like a light. Tears welled in her eyes ever so briefly, relief and frustration fighting for dominance. Kara wiped at her eyes as she let out a long breath and then pinched the bridge of her nose. So close, and yet so far.

Then Kara moved, gently floating from the couch to her feet, keeping the sleeping woman in her arms and making her way to the comfort of her bed. Alex barely shifted as she was placed on the mattress before snuggling down into the duvet pulled over her. Then once Kara slid in beside her, she rolled as if magnetically drawn, and settled back down, as if knowing in her sleep where she belonged.

Kara smiled and tucked Alex's dark head under her chin, holding her close once again. They stayed like that for a long time, entwined and warm, Kara watching over Alex, listening to the steady thump of her heart, until sleep finally claimed her as well.


Chapter 14 – Let the Show Begin

Why was it so hot?

Alex tried to shift under her blanket and realized she couldn't move. Something, or in this case, someone was weighing her down. A familiar warm body was sprawled half across her. She smiled and cracked open an eyelid.

Kara always was a bed hog.

Blinking the sleep from her eyes, she realized that Kara was unconsciously chasing a beam of sunlight spilling across the bed. Kara sighed softly and snuggled closer, burrowing into the curve of Alex's neck. Alex swallowed hard and didn't move, waiting for the younger woman to settle again. Trying to ignore the warm puffs of air against her skin, sending shivers down her spine. 

It had been a long time since she had slept over, and if Alex was honest, she missed it. Terribly.  Missed the closeness, the warmth, the gentle touches. That was partly why she had stopped staying over. It all seemed inappropriate. She could admit it to herself now, after her recent self-revelations. Vicki wasn't the only one she had been hiding her feelings about. She sighed and guiltily glanced down at the peaceful woman in her arms.

By God, Kara was beautiful in the morning.

The sunlight seemed to make Kara's skin glow, her hair mussed and tousled. Alex wanted to reach out and touch her, to see if she was real. Touch the otherworldly flesh pressed intimately against her. To trace those full lips with her own and explore their hidden depths. Stare into those vibrant blue eyes staring back at her.

Staring back at her. Oh…

"Morning," Kara's voice was a little raspy and deeper than usual. It was damn sexy, and doing fluttery things to Alex's gut, and regions further south. 

"Hey there, sleepy." Alex swallowed hard, letting the low-level arousal wash over her and not try to explain it away as anything else. She smiled gently, pushing a stray blonde strand from Kara's forehead. "Sorry for passing out on you last night."

Kara slowly blinked, a shadow seeming to pass over her eyes and then gone just as quickly, but not before making Alex wonder what caused it. Had she done something, said something weird in her sleep?

"No worries. You needed the rest and I like keeping my favourite human safe and sound." Kara nuzzled into the baby fine hair at Alex's temple and inhaled. Then, as if suddenly catching herself, she shifted away, moving to the other side of the bed. Alex missed the warmth immediately, and reached out to continue the contact. Needing it more than she thought possible. She watched Kara, feeling like something was off this morning, she just couldn't put her finger on what though.

"Breakfast before you need to rush off to Catco?" Alex rolled to her side to face Kara, long fingers reaching out to trail absently through the tips of long blonde hair. She wanted to prolong their morning together if she could.

"Pancakes?" Kara visibly perked up at the mention of food. 

"Of course." Alex chuckled. "Hop in the shower and by the time you're done I'll have at least the first batch ready to go."

"Deal!" She didn't even see Kara move, rather felt the mattress dip as the younger woman left the warmth of their bed. The shower suddenly started and Alex felt as if she had made up for whatever had been bothering Kara. Rising slowly herself, Alex bit her lower lip and headed to the small kitchen.

Maybe she would add chocolate chips to the pancakes, just to be sure.

"So I've been thinking," Alex said as she slid the last batch of pancakes onto Kara's plate, shaking her head as they just as quickly disappeared. She would have to keep a close eye on her own stack. 

"Mmm?" Kara paused her chewing for a quick sip of her coffee, eyes going wide, like a deer caught in headlights. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. If Alex was going to present the idea now was the time to do it.

"I think we might need to ramp up the public displays of affection, y'know, pretend to be more together to discourage Mon-El." Alex turned to put her frying pan and flipper down, avoiding direct eye contact. Could this be any more awkward? Still they needed to get that idiot to drop his challenge and that meant convincing not only him, but the world that they really wanted to be together. Even if it was all for show. Once the challenge had been called off, then they could figure out how the next steps. How to gracefully break their bond. Then her heart could shatter into a million little pieces, but at least she would still have Kara in her life.

"Right, pretend." Kara sounded a little disappointed, the tone piqued Alex's interest. Why would she be disappointed? Did she not want to pretend to be with her? She suggested it in the first place. Maybe Kara was uncomfortable with the whole gay thing after all.

"We don't have to do any of this you know," Alex said softly, pushing a piece of pancake around her plate. "I don't want my being queer to change our—"

"Alex, I am fine with you being gay." Kara interrupted that thought before it got too far. "On Krypton, this wouldn't even be an issue. Plenty of same sex bondings happened, that was one of the up sides of the birthing matrix. Gender of the parents didn't interfere with having and raising a family together at all."

Alex frowned, digesting this information. Ok, maybe she got that twisted around. Maybe Kara wasn't as immune to the advances of women as she had thought. She had always suspected Kara had a crush on Cat Grant. Alex didn't want to analyze her feelings on that too deeply either, Mon-El was a big enough issue to deal with.

"We didn't get a chance to finish our talk last night." Alex tried again, taking another sip of her coffee. Kara all but fidgeted off her chair. That was definitely not normal, even for Kara. 

"Wow, hey, look at the time. I'm going to be late." Kara stuffed the last few bites of her pancake into her mouth. "Eat up. I don't want my girlfriend to fade away." Kara smiled, trying to make the mood lighter. 

"At least let your girlfriend drive you to work, it's on my way into the DEO tower." Alex smirked back, letting her off the hook for now. There would be more time to discuss what was bugging Kara. In the meantime they could start breaking the ice as a couple. 

Kara disappeared in a whoosh, returning with her laptop bag and sweater, before slipping her dark rimmed glasses into place. Alex shrugged on her leather jacket and followed out of the apartment.

Let the show begin.

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

"As sure as the last five times you asked me that." Alex glanced over at Kara, who was fidgeting beside her in the deserted elevator. She reached out and slid her fingers around Kara's hand, holding it just as their floor dinged and the doors slid open to reveal a noisy Catco office. She stepped forward, pulling a shy Kara behind her, leading the way to her desk in the sunshine. Several eyes turned their way, noticing their closeness.  No one said anything, it was business like usual, but it was a statement none the less. And if that didn't send the message, Alex wanted to make sure the word got back to Mon-El that Kara had a hot new girlfriend. 

"Here's your coffee, I'll call you about dinner later this week, ok?" Alex smiled as Kara slid her laptop case on her desk, and draped her sweater on her chair. Distracted and adorable, Alex couldn't resist leaning in and kissing her cheek. Kara froze and then leaned into the warmth of her touch, inhaling deeply before they just as quickly stepped apart.

"Uh…yeah…sure. Dinner." Kara pushed her glasses higher on her nose and tried to string more words together to make some sort of sense. "We need to discuss game night as well."

"Beware of the Danvers girls," Alex smiled and squeezed Kara's hand. "We should come with a warning." Alex's fingers dragged slowly along the palm of Kara's hand, causing the slightest shiver from the girl of steel. 

Kara's eyes seemed to glow around the edges, the blue of her eyes shining brilliantly. Well that was new and rather exciting. A blink and they were back to normal. 

Alex grinned and headed back to the elevator, feeling lighter than she had in a long time. She could get used to mornings like this with Kara. 


15 – Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

"Why is this so hard?"

Preparing for a date should not take this long. Kara made a face at herself in the full length mirror and tugged at her shirt sleeves for the millionth time. This preppy look was definitely not working for her. Neither had the too casual look before it, the bright sundress look, nor the skin tight black micro mini dress, although that last one definitely had potential use down the road. Kara hung her head and sighed in near defeat. Normally she'd have called Alex by now and asked for help with what to wear, but this date was WITH Alex.

It had seemed like a great idea at the time. Their morning act at Catco earlier in the week had certainly made the rounds at work. Kara was the hot topic of gossip, which was both excruciating and also kind of exciting. The bouquet of flowers that arrived on her desk, with Alex's invitation to dinner at a new restaurant they had talked about trying out scrawled on the wee card for all to see, helped to fan the gossip mill even more. Cat Grant's discarded plaything had found herself a hot new girlfriend. Who knew mousy Kara Danvers had it in her?

Kara flushed again remembering that particular overheard conversation in the ladies washroom at work. Her crush on Cat Grant had been more evident than she had thought. It was their jealous admiration of Alex though that still made her want to laser fry those sniping admins. Kara sighed, this wasn't helping her get sorted out for their date tonight. 

"It's just Alex, this should not even be an issue." Kara rolled her shoulders and looked up at her reflection again. It may have been just a test run, a way to get comfortable in a social setting in a couple kind of way, or at least that's how they had decided on framing the fake date. Still, if the jitters she was currently feeling were any indicator, Kara really wanted this date to go well. Even if it was a 'fake' date.

"Aaarrgg!" Kara ran her hand through her long blonde hair and resisted setting fire to her entire wardrobe in frustration. The pink shirt had to go, there had to be something in her closet that was a bit more interesting, less pastel. Her reflection seemed to shimmer in the mirror and then solidified again, this time wearing a nice dark blue blouse. Alex always said blue was her colour, and Kara had to admit she wasn't wrong.

"Hmm, better…" Kara turned to the side, appreciating the silky material clinging just right to her curves, and then back. She popped open a button, showing more cleavage, and smiled. Then she frowned and buttoned it back up. Who was she kidding, Alex wouldn't even notice. She shouldn't even be nervous about a simple dinner out with her…her what? Her sister? Her best friend? Her *zrhemin nim*? 

"All of the above." Kara murmured and chewed her lower lip. Well, that was the big question, wasn't it? Isn't that what Eliza had said to her all those years ago, that she just needed to figure out what she really wanted? And now that she had finally realized that it truly was Alex she really wanted, how did she find out what Alex wanted without screwing up what they already had? "Damn it, Mon-El, why did you need to stir everything up?"

Kara jumped as her cell phone buzzed, the reminder notification that she should be at the restaurant blinking on the small screen. 

"Time's up, Supergirl. Now stop being a coward and get your cape in gear." Kara shook her head and turned off the reminder. There was no easy answer, so she would just go with the flow for now, Rao help her. One last decision to make before she made her way to the restaurant. She looked back up into the mirror.

Glasses or no? Kara frowned, unsure. For once it would be nice not to hide, to just be herself. She straightened her shoulders, decision made. Tonight Alex was going out with Kara Zor-El, the last scion of the great House of El. Kara Danvers, foster sister and best buddy would have to wait her turn for the next Netflix binge night. She slipped the lead lined glasses into her purse, just to be safe, and smiled at her reflection one last time.

White canvas shoes with no socks, khaki capris that hugged her curves, a dark blue blouse with her hair loose and flowing around her shoulders, with a small diamond necklace and matching earrings complimenting the bright blue of her eyes. Kara nodded, she was as ready as she was ever going to be. 

Kara hesitated one moment more and then popped that pesky top button open again, and disappeared with a whoosh out the apartment door before she changed her mind. 

Alex opened the wine menu and wondered for the millionth time if this was a good idea. Yes, she had suggested being more affectionate in public, and had proposed they meet for dinner at the newest hotspot as a test run, but this had felt increasingly like a real dinner date. Sending the flowers had been a nice touch, more for show, but it did have the added weight of a romantic gesture. Kara posting the photo of it on her Instagram feed twisted the knife in Mon-El's back perfectly, if the sour face he made at her all that day at the DEO was any indication.

Alex smiled at the memory. He could stew in his own jealousy as far as she was concerned. However the preparing for the date part of this scenario had been harder than she thought. For a fake date it was feeling pretty real. She had spent the better part of an hour just trying to choose a lipstick shade and the pile of discarded shoes in her living room was testament to this being more than just catching a bite to eat together. In the end, she had gone with her usual festive black shirt and jeans, adding a lovely black and dark gold jacquard gothic vest. You can take the girl out of the punk scene, but it's harder to take the punk out of the girl. 

Alex had been pleased as she left her apartment, but the worrying had begun on the drive to the restaurant. What the hell was she doing? She knew this was all just a ruse to help Kara out of a jam, that her foster sister would never really be interested in her as anything more than what they already were. 

And yet…

Alex closed the wine menu with a quick snap, and shoved down the bloom of hope in her chest. This thing with Mon-El was opening doors that she wasn't sure she could survive being opened.

Movement on the other side of the intimate restaurant drew her attention and Alex glanced up at just the right moment. Her breath caught as Kara entered, the hostess showing her the way over. Alex smiled softly, taking in the almost glowing beauty before her. Kara seemed to glide across the room, people naturally parting the way for her. She glanced around, clearly searching for their table, nervously looking for her. That thought sent Alex's heart thudding, the familiar sound clearly catching Kara's attention as she zeroed in on her almost instantly. They finally locked eyes on each other, Kara's smile growing wider, stealing her breath away once more.  

So beautiful.

"Hey," Kara murmured, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear and a blush gracing her cheeks as she reached their table. Alex noticed she was wearing the diamond earrings and necklace she had given her for her 21st birthday. It made the blue of her eyes even more mesmerizing. Alex felt the warmth of that memory wash over her, her arms had been suddenly full of happy alien and the crushing hug that quickly followed and was pleased all over again. She shook herself slightly, realizing she was staring, and stood.

"You look nice," Alex leaned close to kiss her on the cheek, inhaling as she did so. Kara always smelled so good, but Alex didn't think she was wearing any scent tonight. It was something all Kara. It seemed to settle her nerves, like everything shifted into place and all was right with the world. Alex didn't want to think about that too deeply. 

"So do you," Kara ran a hand across the shoulder of her vest, admiring the texture beneath her fingertips. Her touch lingered a moment longer and then she smiled and moved away, taking her seat. 

Alex sat back down as well, cocking her head as she tried to place what was different about Kara tonight. It was more than the awkward tension in the air, the nervous energy buzzing between them. She seemed more confident, more sure of herself, calm and at ease. As Kara chatted with their server, she realized what it was. Kara wasn't wearing her glasses.

Alex blinked as the reality hit her. Alex Danvers was having dinner with Supergirl tonight. 

Well, fuck. There went her nerves again…

"Um, are you going to eat that?" Kara grinned, already knowing the answer. Alex rarely finished her meal without something being 'shared' with her. Stolen was such a harsh word after all. Dinner had been excellent, as had the company, as she knew it would be. The conversation had been wide ranging and a giggle fit had helped to dissipate the nervous energy flowing between them. 

"Maybe," Alex teased, stirring the strawberry into the chocolate sauce and then popping it into her mouth. Kara watched intently, the flesh of the fruit slipping across full lips, chocolate collecting there for a moment, before a quick swipe of tongue not missing a drop. Kara swallowed hard and shifted in her chair. Was it suddenly hot in the restaurant?

"Go on, you look hungry." Eyes dancing with mischief, Alex took pity and slid the plate of chocolate cake and strawberries drizzled in melted dark chocolate closer. 

Kara picked up her own fork and eagerly snagged a berry, not wanting to dwell on just what she was really hungry for. Stupid *zh'em hadahr* still racing through her veins. She didn't know how many more years she could endure it. If Alex wasn't going to be her true bond mate, then she needed to figure out what her next steps would be. Kara frowned, not wanting to go there. At least not right now, with Alex sitting across from her, candlelight flickering and catching the highlights in her eyes, as she watched her intently over the rim of her wine glass. 

"Chocolate fixes everything," Kara grinned, scooping up the last bit of chocolate cake too.

"Pretty much," Alex took a sip of wine and placed her glass back down. "So I think I'm all set for the opening ceremony of the challenge. Saturday at high noon, in the holo room at the desert DEO facility. I think Clark's been watching too many westerns."

Kara smiled and took a sip of her own glass of wine, an excellent choice and one of her favourites. The flavours seemed to burst on her tongue and Alex knew it when she ordered the bottle for their table. Alex always knew what she liked. 

"I have the House of El family robes prepared, I will bring them with me." Kara glanced down. The thought of Alex wearing traditional Kryptonian attire was almost too much to bear. A deep wave of possessiveness washed over her. She didn't care if it was the *zh'em hadahr* talking, she wanted it all to be real, damn it. She just wasn't sure how to get to that point. She looked up as Alex reached out and touched her hand, squeezing gently.

"Hey, we will fix this. Mon-El will not break this, I won't let him. We won't let him. *El mayarah* Kara Zor-El Danvers." Alex tangled their fingers together. Holding hands across the table in a popular National City romantic hot spot, it was a lot for Kara to take in. And she was afraid to read more into it. After all the plan for the evening had been to practice being more couple like. Was Alex really such a good actor? Maybe it's what made her a great DEO agent.

"Game night is Friday at Lucy's, so our next step is being more affectionate in front of our friends?" Kara asked, staring at their entwined fingers, not wanting to let go, desperately wishing she could tell Alex how she was feeling. She wasn't sure she could do it again. The feeling of rejection was still fresh from that night, even if it was just imagined. Still, Kara would take what she could, for as long as possible. When the challenge was over, she could deal with the next steps, whatever they might be.  

"That's the plan," Alex said softly as they both focused on the thumb absently making small circles on the back of Kara's hand.  It sent a slow languid heat tickled along her veins and up her arm. Kara swallowed hard and nodded. She would go with the flow, wherever it led if she could just have this intimacy between them for a little bit longer. She just prayed to Rao that she was strong enough to endure it. She glanced up, lips twitching as another thought occurred to her.

"Winn's head is going to explode."

"Are you sure you don't want to come up?" Kara asked, ever hopeful as they stood outside her apartment building. "I still have some of that nice merlot waiting for you."

Alex smiled softly. If she was honest she didn't want this night to end either. It had been lovely, every minute of it. It was an evening she would forever consider as their first date and she didn't want to screw it up now by doing something stupid. 

"Tempting, but I shouldn't. I have an early start tomorrow," Alex leaned back against the passenger door of her car, glancing down at her shoes. Kara clearly didn't want it to end either, which made her feel better. 

"Ok, raincheck then," Kara fidgeted and shrugged a shoulder, trying to hide her disappointment. The silence stretched out between them. Alex knew what she wanted to do, but she couldn't bring herself to move. Their gaze met and she thought her heart was going to beat out of her chest. Kara offered her a lopsided grin, her thundering heart giving her away. Alex's eyes widened as she was pulled closer, into a much needed hug.  "Thank you for tonight, it was…"

"…yeah, it was." Alex murmured into soft skin, melting into the warmth, golden hair tickling her nose as she nuzzled along Kara's cheek. Her right hand naturally trailed down the hidden muscles of her back, tracing along her spine, holding her closer. When Kara shivered in her arms, she nearly came undone as they moved so slowly together, their lips finding their own way. Alex shifted ever so slightly instead, thinking better of making a huge mistake after such a great night, and gently bumped their foreheads together instead.

"Night Alex." Kara finally said, stepping back from the embrace. Alex missed the warmth immediately, the want almost overwhelming. She opened her eyes, smiling as Kara waved over her shoulder and stepped into her building. It was the last lingering look before disappearing inside that made her swallow hard. 


"Night, Supergirl." Alex whispered, knowing that Kara could easily still hear her. Probably could even make out her thundering heart, but she just didn't care. "See you Friday night."

Alex grinned like a kid and slid back into her car. Turning into traffic she headed home, knowing it was likely to be a long night for both of them.


16 - Game night 

"Okay, we can do this."

Kara bounced on her toes and released a long, slow breath, like a prize fighter getting ready to enter the ring. Except they were standing outside Lucy's apartment and it was just their friends and fun games waiting inside. Nothing to worry about, right?  

Kara chewed her lower lip and pushed her glasses further up her nose trying not to let the anxiety build too much. They had talked about ramping up their public displays of affection on their fake date that didn't feel that fake, at least to her. Kara had thought it was a good idea on a few levels. It was a way to test the waters to see if Alex was at all freaked out about being affectionate with her. They would have to fool their friends as well if they had any hope of dissuading Mon-El from taking the challenge very far. As the challenger, he could call it off at any point, and Kara prayed to Rao that he would just let it go. So turning up the chemistry between them had seemed like a good plan at the time, now though Kara wasn't so sure. Never mind Winn's head exploding, her own head was buzzing with a million 'what ifs'.

"Hey, relax. We absolutely can do this." Alex smiled, but it didn't seem to quite reach her eyes. Kara frowned at that. There was something else lurking there but she wasn't quite sure what. Was Alex having second thoughts?

Well, of course she was. This whole thing was a horrible idea and Kara was forcing her to do something she didn't really want to do. She was being totally selfish, secretly enjoying the closeness, all while Alex was once again putting her own life on hold to help her solve her stupid problems. What was she thinking?  Kara knew she had to stop this farce right here, right no--wuh…??


Kara glanced down at her hand, as Alex casually dragged her fingers along the inside of her wrist and tangled their fingers together. Kara swallowed hard and lifted her gaze to meet Alex' intense stare, who clearly wasn't having any second thoughts after all.

"I got you, Kara," Alex said softly. "My zrhemin nim." Her lopsided smile seemed to light up her eyes, and her thumb absently stroked across soft skin, the small movement calming Kara instantly. Alex reached out and pushed the doorbell to Lucy's apartment, never breaking eye contact. They heard thundering footsteps approach and then the door opened with a quick whoosh.

"About fucking time, Danvers." Lucy grinned at them, still chuckling at something Winn had called out from the living room. Her gaze took in their entwined hands, and an eyebrow slowly inched higher in surprise. "In more ways than one." Alex stepped forward and glared, as if daring her to say more, protective mode in full force. Lucy simply smiled wider and stepped back, making room for both of her guests to enter. "Get in here already. Winn is being annoying and it's getting harder to keep Vasquez from shooting him."

"Justifiable homicide." Maggie drawled from inside the surprisingly large kitchen just to the right, smirking as she also took in the couple holding hands, before taking a swig of her bottle of beer. "I'd swear to it in court." 

Kara rolled her shoulders and tried to relax as the familiar bantering began in earnest around her. So far so good, Alex hadn't dropped her hand yet or punched anyone. The night was still young though. Lucy and Maggie looked pleased and happy for them. Vasquez appeared through the other door into the galley kitchen, took in the general situation and smiled warmly as she handed her a glass of wine, which Kara accepted gladly. 

She should have known it would be too good to last.

"Kara, come sit here, I've saved you a seat," Mon-El called out from the living room, standing as he motioned to the spot next to him on the couch. The air seemed to leave the room and Kara hesitantly glanced at Alex, who was squeezing her hand quite hard considering she was a human and then was suddenly released. The wave of disappointment followed soon after. 

"Uh, thanks Mon-El," Kara turned fully to Alex and mouthed 'sorry' before heading past Vasquez and through the small dining room, into the living room to the sofa where Winn and Mon-El had been chatting. Kara focused on the gossipy news Winn was talking about some blockbuster movie he was a fan of, but she had an ear tuned to the kitchen conversation as well. 

"Who invited shithead?" Alex all but  growled under her breath, not taking her eyes off of the laughing group in the living room, Mon-El's fawning and preening was grating on her nerves already. God, she needed a drink.

"Winn got cornered and couldn't say no," Lucy sighed and handed over a beer. "Another reason Susan is ready to murder him. Sorry."

Alex shrugged a shoulder and took a big swallow of her drink. It was going to be a long night. Mon-El simply smirked at her across the room, and leaned closer to Kara. She genuinely smiled as Kara shifted away, getting up and moving to perch instead on the arm of the chair where Winn was sitting. 

"So, you and Alex are…uh..." Winn's awkwardness pulled Kara's full attention back, as he  struggled and waved his hands, trying to find the right word without putting his foot in his mouth. "Well, Mon-El mentioned that you...are...y'know...and Alex is...uh…and that the two of you are...uh...?" 

"Yes, Winn. We are," Kara jumped in, just wanting the painful questioning to end. "Sort of...it's a long story. Alex and I, well, we've been getting closer over the last year or so. We both are finally taking the time to figure out what we really want." She glared over at Mon-El. "A lot faster than we are really comfortable with, no thanks to this silly challenge." Mon-El just smiled and took a drink of his alien ale. Kara rolled her eyes and turned back to Winn.

"I thought you said you weren't gay?" Winn pulled her closer and hissed, confused. They had this discussion a long time ago on the top of the CatCo building. Why didn't Kara let him know that things had changed? He was her best Super Friend after all.

"W-well, pansexuality is a thing y'know." Kara stuttered out, cheeks flushing. "And I'm an alien, so there's that whole interspecies thing too." she winced, and wondered if Kryptonians could die from embarrassment. Where was a good old fashioned bank robbery when she needed one? 

"Huh...good point." Winn leaned back in the armchair and tilted his head to the side thoughtfully. A cheeky smile began to form on his lips and his eyes started to glaze over, so he didn't anticipate the whack upside the head from behind. "Ow!"

"Get your head out of the gutter, Schott." Alex grumbled as she passed by, not liking his expression. Kara was not someone's tacky fantasy, at least not while she was around. Satisfied he was suitably chastised, Alex handed a small plate of potstickers to Kara and sank down on the couch next to Mon-El, glaring at him for good measure too. Mon-El just blinked innocently and offered her the plate of chips and dip. Kara could almost hear her wishing for her alien blaster.

Kara smiled and popped her own delicious morsel into her mouth. Alex absolutely had her back and she wouldn't have it any other way.

"Sorry I'm late," James Olsen wrapped Lucy up in a friendly hug as he entered the apartment. There had been a few awkward months after their break up, but both were grateful that they had been able to salvage their friendship. Saving the world with Supergirl certainly made you realize that life was too short to hold a grudge.   

"Yeah, yeah!" Lucy pulled away and pushed him towards the kitchen. "Grab a drink and get ready for battle. Vasquez and I have been getting killed by Kara and Alex at Pictionary again. So not fair…"

James chuckled at the familiar grumbling of his very competitive  ex-girlfriend and hung up his hoodie in the small closet, just beside the door to the kitchen. Behind him was the hallway to the two bedrooms and the bathroom which was calling his name. He took a moment to peer into the living room, taking in the laughter and good natured ribbing happening. He also noticed Alex's arm around Kara's shoulder as they sat closer than normal on the couch. He raised an eyebrow as he took in Kara's hand on Alex's knee. 

"That's new." James said, as he turned to follow Lucy into the kitchen to grab a beer from the fridge. Something was definitely up, if Mon-El's scowl was any indication. 

"Not exactly," Lucy elbowed him as he stole some snacks from her plate. "Turns out they're bonded, well, betrothed really. Since Kara arrived on Earth as a teen apparently."

"Holy shit." James' eyes widened. Bonding was for life for a Kryptonian, nothing to be done lightly. Another troubling thought crossed his mind. "What the hell was she doing with me last  year then?" James frowned. If Kara had been all but bonded then had she just been toying with him all along? 

"Calm down, I don't think it is as far along as Clark and Lois. In fact it seems pretty glacial paced, as  they sort their stuff out. Alex is finally accepting her attraction to women, and Kara seemed scared to rock the boat and was letting sleeping dogs lie. Anyway, Kara wouldn't do that to you. At least not on purpose." Lucy glanced over at his familiar glower, trying to smooth ruffled feathers. She topped up her wine glass and slid the bottle back into the fridge, letting that last thought sink in. "Mon-El however didn't seem to get the memo, and has thrown his hat into the ring now and it's moving stuff along."

"I knew something was up with him at Thanksgiving." James' eyes narrowed. He hadn't liked the way the Daxamite's gaze had followed Kara around, or how he had pumped them for details about her. The whole Alex angle made a lot of sense once you looked back at things. He should have been more observant, Kara talked about Alex practically non-stop. That should have been the first big clue.

"No wonder Kara dropped me like a hot potato." James shook his head, and Lucy simply nodded and sipped her wine. 

"And you're lucky Alex didn't realize her feelings yet," Lucy patted his shoulder. "Or I'd still be looking for your body." They both chuckled at the truth of that. They looked at each other, letting the laughter die, enjoying the familiar closeness they once shared. 

"Break it up, lovebirds," Maggie grinned as she squeezed between them, pulling the fridge open to grab another beverage. "Jesus, is there something in the air tonight?" 

"Bathroom and booze break," Vasquez said, following Maggie into the kitchen,  her smile fading as she noticed James and Lucy standing so closely. She stepped around the pair and joined Maggie, who was mixing something strange in a glass on the counter. Lucy bit her lower lip and sighed, upsetting Susan was not how she wanted this night to go. 

"Go team up with Mon-El and give the rest of us a break, Olsen." Maggie grumbled. She had been stuck with him as a partner for half an hour and was more than ready to pass him along to the next sucker. 

"On it," James smiled down at Lucy, and nodded knowingly towards the clearly sulking Vasquez. Lucy pushed him towards the door, and taking the hint, he headed to the living room much to Winn's delight. 

"Hey there," Lucy said as she sidled up next Susan, who was watching Maggie carefully measure out a glowing blue alien run into a glass. 

"James seemed happy to see you." Susan finally said, her tone even, giving nothing away. Maggie took some white wine and splashed it into the blue fluid, grinning as it turned green.

"Suze, it's not like that." Lucy said softly. "You know that's been over for a long time now." She reached out and put her hand on Vasquez' wrist, her thumb moving in soothing circles. She'd been afraid to move too quickly but clearly Susan had some feelings for her, if the death glare at James had been any indication. Maybe she needed to worry about finding  James' body after all.

"Will you two just  fuck already and get on with it." Maggie muttered to herself,  squeezing the juice of an odd looking fruit into the glass before stirring with a piece of celery. Pleased with herself, she took an experimental sip. Maggie smiled happily, the alien cocktail was perfect. She turned triumphantly to find the two women glaring silently at her. 

"Shit, I said that out loud, didn't I?"

Kara stood looking out the apartment window, appreciating the break between games. This was harder than she had thought it was going to be. While she loved the attention Alex was showering on her, it was also killing her at the same time that it was all an act. She swirled her wine in her glass, watching the light reflecting in the golden fluid. Tomorrow she would see Alex wearing her Kryptonian family robes and a part of her yearned to see it. She wanted to claim Alex as hers for real and all this was doing was proving it to her. If only Alex felt the same. 

So wrapped up in her thoughts, Kara didn't hear the woman approaching behind her until the familiar scent broke through. Leather, gun oil and something all Alex, and it was intoxicating. Kara closed her eyes as she felt Alex slowly slide her hand along her stomach, taut abs twitching with the intimate touch. She smiled at the warmth of the woman tucked up along her back, Alex's chin landing on her right shoulder, holding her for all their friends to see. 

"Penny for your thoughts," Alex whispered in her ear. Kara's knees almost buckled. She was sorely tempted, but instead she just shook her head and leaned back into Alex's body, enjoying the comfort she found there. 

"Fuck that's hot," Susan murmured across the room, breaking into Kara's thoughts. Kara took another sip of wine and glanced over the rim of her glass, watching as Vasquez, Lucy and Maggie all wandered out of the kitchen. She hid a smile as the all took a long drink of their beverages. 

Winn's eyes also widened and James grew very quiet. Lucy handed him a fresh beer and sat down beside Mon-El, who did not seem happy at all. Smiling at that, Kara tangled her fingers with Alex's on her belly, and squeezed gently.  

"Be right back."

Mon-El's eyes narrowed and he watched as Kara made her way to the washroom.  

"Nice show, but I don't buy it." 

Mon-El crossed his arms and leaned against the hallway wall outside the bathroom, as Kara stepped out, blocking her way. 

"Let me through, Mon-El," Kara looked up at him, a fist clenching. What did she ever see in this big lump of wasted potential? He was no match for her, if he wanted to test that she would be happy to oblige. 

"I think your little human is simply a diversion, like a marriage of convenience, not strong enough to be your true bond mate." Mon-El shifted so Kara could pass.  "Sure she's sexy enough, I'd take her for a tumble, but why tie yourself to a puny human as your mate, when you could have all this?" Mon-El smirked and stood to his full height, not so subtly flexing his muscles.

"Dear, Rao," Kara rolled her eyes, and turned back to reply, anger beginning to churn in her guts. "Alex is so much more than you could ever hope to be. There is no need for all this."

"I think I have just what you need right here," Mon-El leered, his hand sliding along his trousers, cupping himself. Kara's eyes widened. Mon-El puffed up, sure she was impressed, when actually Kara was filled with disgust. 

"I know what I need, and it's definitely not that." Kara poked a finger into his chest, pushing him back a good foot. She moved closer, anger starting to crackle along her veins. Mon-El frowned realizing he may have stepped a bit too far. He was almost relieved to see a familiar face come around the corner. 

"Kara? You disappeared for a bit." Alex came further down the narrow  hallway, concerned. She took in the closeness of the couple in front of her and frowned. She moved closer to Kara, wanting to make sure Mon-El wasn't being a bigger ass than usual. They had been pushing his buttons all night after all. "Is everything okay?"

"It will be." Kara glared up at Mon-El, her heart thundered as she made her decision. He wanted to know what she needed, well she would show him exactly what that was. 

Kara reached out, long fingers finding and tangling with Alex's, before tugging, careful not to hurt her but enough to pull the woman to her. Alex only had a moment to register what was happening, her eyes growing large and dark. Kara's eyes softened and slowly her gaze dropped  to the full lips before her. 

TIme seemed to stand still, as Kara ducked her head and moved closer, her lips stopping a hair's breadth away, waiting for Alex's permission. She didn't wait long, as Alex closed the distance. 

Their lips met, hesitant at first, almost shy. And then Alex responded, tilting her head and deepening the kiss. Long moments pass, lost in each other, giving and taking.

Kara finally pulled away, opening her eyes to meet Alex's wild eyes, taking in the soft flush of her cheeks, the slightly mussed hair, knowing that the both of them are shaken. Kara smiled as something inside seemed to slide into place, finally making sense.

"If you think this display changes anything, think again." Mon-El stepped closer to Alex, Kara quickly moved in between. "Have your dalliance with your human, it's of no consequence. You will be mine, I can feel it in my bones. Besides, it's not like she can provide your House with an heir, like I can. The challenge will be the true test of worthiness to the prestigious House of El." 

"Oh, I'm more than worthy, asshole." Alex pushed back, and Kara's eyes began to glow, a warning the Daxamite would do well to heed.

"Hey, hey, hey! Break it up." Lucy appeared suddenly, quickly assessed the situation and stepped in between before all hell broke loose. "Mon-El, thanks for coming, but time to head home buddy."

Mon-El turned and looked like he was about to argue the point, but instead he blinked and stepped back. This was not the time, or the place and he knew it. He could be patient. Mon-El rubbed at the back of his neck and moved down the hallway toward the door.

"Right, sorry, it is time to head out. We can finish this conversation tomorrow at noon like civilized people." Mon-El smiled, his eyes hard. He turned to the quiet group in the living room and waved. "Night all!" And then he headed out the door, Lucy closing it behind him. 

"Sorry, I tried to redirect him when I saw him try to follow Kara, but he got past me." Winn stepped out of the kitchen, fidgeting with his drink and feeling like he had messed everything up. 

"It's okay, no harm no foul." Alex smiled. It wasn't his fault that Mon-El was a douche bag. Besides, she could never stay mad with him for long. Winn disappeared back into the living room with Lucy not far behind, leaving them alone in the hallway. 

"Don't listen to anything Mon-El said," Kara murmured as she tangled her fingers with Alex's and  tugged her closer. "Daximites never really understood what Kryptonian bond mates were to each other. The birthing matrix provided heirs. Bond mates are so much more than parents, they're  best friends, political allies, defenders and protectors and yes...lovers." Kara reached out to gently run the pad of her thumb along Alex' lower lip, fixing her smudged lipstick, desperately wishing she could smudge it even more. Her eyes glowed softly at the thought, before she reluctantly pulled her hand away.

Alex' eyes widened and she swallowed hard. She could get used to seeing this side of Kara. It had been pretty amazing to have all that attention focused on her so intensely. They would have to talk about the kiss, but for now Alex just wanted to enjoy the closeness. She could freak out about it later.

"I'm sorry if I overstepped…" Kara began, terrified that Alex was offended, that she had taken advantage.

"No, don't apologize." Alex ran a hand through her hair and let out a long, slow breath, trying to get her emotions under control. "It was all part of the plan really, right?"

"R-right."Kara swallowed hard, disappointment washing over her like a bucket of cold water.. Part of the plan. Of course. Nothing more than an act. Kara needed a drink, something stronger than the wine she'd been sampling all night. Maybe Maggie would share her alien rum with her.

"Come on," Alex stepped back, unsure about the sudden change in mood. Fucking Mon-El, ruining everything. She couldn't wait to get into the ring with him. Maybe she could smuggle in a lead knife tomorrow. "Let's go burn up some of that energy and kick some butts at Pictionary, partner." Alex reluctantly made her way down the hall and away from Kara's side. 

Kara nodded and moved to follow Alex back into the living room. She took a quick glance through the apartment walls to make sure Mon-El had truly left. He was going to be a bigger problem than she had thought, but she had faith that they could figure it out. They were stronger together after all. 

And they would need to be, for the upcoming challenge.


Chapter 17 -  The Other Shoe Drops

"Breathe, Danvers."

Maggie leaned back against the kitchen counter in Lucy Lane's kitchen and sipped at her bubbling and steaming green alien cocktail. Game night had taken a decidedly weird turn, Mon-El being a douche not the least of the twists tonight. 

"She kissed me." Alex absently touched her lips, her mind clearly spinning. She didn't want to hold too much stock in the surprise lip lock, or get her hopes up, but it had been...wonderful. 

"Excellent." Maggie cocked an eyebrow and grinned, happy for her friend. She didn't think Kara had it in her to take that first step. And to see the joy on Alex's face was priceless. Although it didn't last long, as Alex closed her eyes and immediately seemed despondent.

"NO, not excellent," Alex sighed and took a quick sip of her beer. "It was just for show." It didn't feel like it was just for show though. And then the glow to Kara's eyes, that wasn't exactly normal either. No, Kara just saw her as her sister and anything else was just wishful thinking. Damn it.

"For show? Seriously?" Maggie frowned, not liking the way this seemed to be heading. What the hell was Supergirl doing toying with Alex this way? Using her to solve her problems without any regard for Alex's feelings. Hell, Kara could just yeet that idiot Mon-El into outer space, there had to be more to it than the alien was letting on. "Alex, you need to talk to Kara and tell her what you're really feeling."

A yell went up from the living room. It looked like Winn had finally won something at Yahtzee. A round of laughter soon followed. 

"I should be getting back in there. I have more thinking to do anyway before I do anything.  Thanks for y'know...listening," Alex shrugged, embarrassed that she was so pathetic in this type of situation.  She was a grown woman, not some lost teenager, but this all felt so out of her depth. She was glad she could talk about this all with someone, at least as much as she was able to at this point.

Maggie reached over and slid her arm around Alex's shoulder and gave her a quick hug. If Kara was going to play games with Alex's emotions, then someone needed to give her a taste of her own medicine. And if Kara was just being oblivious to Alex's real feelings, well, a boot to the ass might wake her up.

"Anytime. Hang in there." Maggie murmured, her eyes meeting Kara's as she entered the kitchen. She almost laughed at the look on the girl's face, except the cold stare directed at her spoke volumes and for a moment Maggie was afraid she'd literally be turned into a popsicle. They quickly moved apart and Alex smiled softly back at her before heading into the living room, giving Kara's bicep a quick squeeze as she went past.

"You two were pretty chummy there," Kara said, turning and pulling open the fridge with a little more force than she intended. Maggie smirked at the jealousy she could practically feel coming off the blonde. She just hummed non-committally and waited for Kara to grab a bottle of water from the door of the fridge and close it again, before meeting stormy blue eyes.

"Listen, I know Mon-El is pushing you with this challenge, but it's cruel to keep dragging Alex into the middle of your business like this." Maggie looked down into her glass and swirled the beverage with her wilting piece of celery. "Kara, if you're not really interested in Alex then what the hell are you doing?"

"What?" Kara blinked, the words echoing in her mind and hitting hard. What the hell was she doing? She swallowed and looked down, guilt flooding her churning stomach. It wasn't anything she hadn't said to herself a million times over the last little while. The guilt soon turned to anger, though. Maggie was one to talk, butting into Alex's life like this. Kara looked up and fixed a hard stare on the other woman. "Why do you care, you shot her down pretty quick when you had the chance."  

"Yeah and I feel shitty about that." Maggie sighed. She did feel horrible for breaking her friend's heart, but it had been the right thing to do. And they both knew it, as painful as it had been for Alex, it would have ended sooner or later. At least this way they could be friends. Maggie glanced up, and decided on a calculated risk. It was time to twist the knife a little and see what the Girl of Steel was really made of. "But, Alex is my friend, and I care, maybe more than I realized before. In fact, I may be reconsidering my options."

Maggie leaned back, smile firmly in place, which slowly faded as she realized she may have poked this particular bear a bit too far. She swallowed hard, watching as Kara's eyes turned a menacing red. Very interesting, if a little terrifying.

"Alex is MY *zrhemin nim*, MY betrothed," Kara all but growled and took a step closer. "And you would be wise to remember your place, *snagriff*." 

"Hey, what's going on?" Alex appeared suddenly in the doorway, followed closely by Lucy and Vasquez. "We heard raised voices."

"No worries, Alex. Little Danvers and I were just having a chat about missed opportunities and second chances." Maggie downed what was left of her cocktail and put her glass down on the counter. "Well, this has been fun, but it's time for me to head out, ladies. I'll just say goodnight and show myself out."

Alex glared at Kara, who ducked her head and brushed past the three women. Maggie had her leather jacket on and was out the door before anyone knew it. Alex just sighed and shook her head. It was clearly time to head home. Alex shrugged at her two friends and turned to get Kara so they could leave too. Tomorrow's challenge was fast approaching and she had had enough for one day. 

Lucy and Vasquez stood in the middle of the kitchen, not sure what the hell had just happened.

"You sure know how to throw a party," Vasquez elbowed Lucy and grinned. It had been quite an eventful evening, all considered. 

"Yeah, no kidding." Lucy ran a hand through her dark hair and sighed. "Next time, it's just you and me." Her eyes widened as Lucy realized what she'd just said, but Vasquez just smiled wider and nodded.

"It's a date."

What a disaster of a night this had been. 

Mon-El stumbled down the deserted alleyway in search of a good stiff drink, and he knew just the place to find it. The door at the end of the alley creaked open with a good shove to reveal a dark, dingy hole in the wall dive bar, where questionable patrons of every shape and size could be found nursing their drink of choice. It wasn't his usual alien hangout bar, no this one reeked of humans, their sour stench lingering too long in his nose. No this is where he came to conduct business. His eyes adjusted to the dim light and he surveyed the room. 

In a corner booth sat a woman, the only female in the place except for the rough looking one falling out of her tank top tending bar. He grinned and focused his attention on the one in the booth. His night was looking up after all. She perched on the seat as if she was a queen surveying her court, and the expression on her face clearly indicated she found it wanting.

Mon-El  had to admit she was a beautiful creature. Deadly and conniving, just his type, and she knew it. She used it to her advantage, and he allowed it for as long as it served his purposes. The snake tattoo twisting along the curve of her leg beckoned, disappearing under the hem of her slit skirt. Mon-El smiled, remembering tracing those enticing lines along her twitching skin with his tongue more than once. Roulette was magnificent, both in and out of the bedroom.

Their eyes finally met, her dark eyes lighting up as she noticed him standing there, before settling back into her usual sardonic stare.

"Your Highness," The dark beauty murmured with a seductive smirk. "Always a pleasure." She snapped her fingers and the lump of flesh sitting in the seat across from her, slid out and lumbered his way to the bar to fetch drinks. 

"Roulette," Mon-El smiled and sank down into the vacated spot, his eyes continuing to travel over her curves and hollows. He may have lost at game night, but the night was still young. Plenty of time for much more...interesting games. A glass of Daxam whiskey appeared, the bottle left on the table for his pleasure. Yes, they knew him well here. Mon-El took a long swallow and enjoyed the burn of alcohol sliding down his throat. Finally a real drink on this hell hole planet. He shifted to keep an eye on the door and the other low life patrons. He didn't think he had been followed, but no need to be careless either. "Where are we with the glitch in operations? My contact doesn't like to be kept waiting."

"The gateway is functioning at 83.57 percent and we are almost ready to begin transport of the cargo to Maaldoria again. With Olango out of the picture due to your handy work," Roulette raised her drink in salute. Stroking his ego was always a good idea. "We now have the entire National City slave trade syndicate under our…I mean, your control."

"He should have taken my offer, the fool." Mon-El snorted and shook his head. Vincent Olango was smart, he would have made an excellent lieutenant in his operation. He grinned as he recalled the thrill of snuffing the life from the man, the snapping of bones beneath his fingers. It was a shame that he wasn't fast enough to get Olango's odourous bodyguard into the car trunk before the police arrived. Still, it had been convenient to blame the missing Olango for the dead body and maintain his dopey good guy cover with the DEO. "The body was taken care of?"

Roulette smiled and dabbed her lips with a napkin. "The cook makes an excellent Garva stew, I highly recommend it." Mon-El's grin widened. Nothing like a little violence to get him all riled up. Time to push him just a bit further. "So speaking of taking up your offer, any movement on the Supergirl front? Or is she still resisting your considerable...charms?" Roulette cocked an eyebrow and waited. She could get backhanded for her impudence, or something more pleasurable, if she played her cards right.

"Supergirl will be mine shortly and then completely under control. As my wife she will have to obey me, as any good Daxam bride must by law." Mon-El grumbled at the woman across from him. "And the entire House of El will be tied to me, by a very handy old Krypton/Daxam peace treaty, so if I go down, so do they." 

Mon-El took a long drink to settle himself, not liking the woman's audacity to question him. As prince of Daxam he had been forced to learn all the ancient protocols and inter-galactic treaties. He silently thanked his parents for his royal political training, even if he had hated it at the time. It was coming in very handy right now on this backwater planet. Roulette just blinked innocently at him across the table, waiting for his next move. He would be more than happy to show her a few of his moves.

"I just need to play along a bit longer and then it will all fall into place, exactly as it should be." Mon-El stood and grabbed the bottle of whiskey, then held out his hand. Roulette smirked and took it, sliding out of the booth and practically wrapping herself around the tall man. 

"In the meantime, my dear Roulette, I have a little pent up energy I'm sure you can help take care of." Mon-El raked his eyes down her body and back up again, his interest clear.

"As you wish, your Highness," Roulette smiled, but it didn't quite reach her eyes. He was certainly riled up now, she only hoped the bruises afterwards would be hidden from view this time.

Mon-El's mirthless laugh did little to reassure. He led the way to the upper rooms, where his private play space awaited his return. Earth was a very pleasant place to pass the time while he plotted his revenge on the remaining Kryptonians left in this universe. His plan to disgrace the mighty House of El and the last remnants of the Kryptonians who destroyed his home planet would not be thwarted. Mon-El swore to avenge the fall of his homeworld if it was the last thing he did. However, now that he had secured a power base and income flow, it was time to at the very least enjoy some of the fruits of his labour. 

Kara Zor-El, the last Scion of Krypton, her sad little human pet, and their little band of pathetic Super Friends, wouldn't know what hit them.

To Be Continued

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