DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To Thornoarose[at]gmail.com
"How does it feel?"
The quiet air high up on the balcony of the one and only Cat Grant, punctuated by late night traffic, stayed still even as the woman waited for an answer. Cat was content to sip her drink and wait for the shadows near the far edge of her private balcony to answer her.
Seconds ticked by before a deep sigh preceded a clarifying question. "What is 'it'?"
The voice that answered was soft and a little weary but Cat suspected that was due more to the late hour than any sort of annoyance at the question.
"Flying," Cat simply responded.
She couldn't see the alien perched so precariously on the edge of her balcony where the street lights couldn't reach but she knew the slim figure of the girl who flew around National City saving the day very well; her picture graced the front page of CatCo News every day.
And it seemed like Cat's balcony was the roost of choice for the superhero. This is the fifth time Cat has caught her hanging around.
"It feels like a gift," Supergirl replied after a moment of thought. Cat hummed in response, neither asking of elaboration nor discouraging it. "I Krypton did not have a home in the sky for any animal." Narrowing her eyes at the solid shadow, Cat leaned forward in her seat. "Your yellow sun allows me to fly and I treasure this ability greatly."
Taking a sip from her almost empty glass, Cat hummed again, this time with a definite inflection. Supergirl heard and laughed. "I take it you do not enjoy flying?"
"Not especially," came a nonchalant answer that was anything but indifferent.
"Hm, too bad. If you ever change your mind or feel adventurous, let me know," Supergirl teased.
"So noted." Cat felt her eyebrow rise at the oddly flirtatious tone the young woman used. The ice in her glass clinked together when she swirled it in her hand. Out of liquor, Cat rose from the chaise lounge she sat in and made for the glass door leading in to her office.
"Good night, Cat."
Supergirl sounded a little wistful and sad at the idea of her leaving so Cat quickly looked over her shoulder and raised the glass. "Just going for a refill. Would you like one?"
"Oh!" Biting her lip, Cat tried not to smile at the embarrassed tone and flutter of cloak that came from her guest. "Yes, please. Although alcohol does not really affect me the way it does humans."
"That's a pity," Cat muttered under her breath as she poured two fingers into two glasses.
"Sometimes I think so too."
The voice was right in her ear and startled Cat so much she bumped into the table knocking everything over or not! She saw the two glasses tip and the decanter fall - and then just magically right themselves as if gravity forgot to hold on.
"Sorry," her voice ghosted against Cat's skin sending a shiver from head to toe; making her feel like a teenager next to her crush.
The warm body behind her moved away, oddly disappointing Cat yet releasing her heavy tongue from its paralysis. "That was amazing." Cat could have slapped herself at what finally came out of her mouth but the delighted laugh eased the burn of embarrassment.
Firmly taking hold of the two full glasses she turned and saw her branded hero up close in the soft light of her office lamps.
"Here you are," she said as she extended one of the drinks to Supergirl.
The smile was shyer than Cat would have ever believed could grace such a confident personality but also very adorable. Of course now that she had a closer look, everything about this girl was adorable right down to the chipped pink nail polish.
'Hm,' Cat had an idea to get the young hero to open up further. Brazenly Cat reached out and grabbed Supergirl's hand leading her to the sofa just to the left in the middle of the room. "Here. Sit."
Cat ignored the wide-eyed blush on the heroine's face, putting her glass on a coaster and sedately walking over to her desk. A drawer sliding open and a subtle clink of glass against glass filed the silence. Cat stood there looking down with her lips pursed in thought as she cataloged her choices.
'Too pale. Too coral. Ugh, too much! Why do I even own that shade?' Finally the perfect blushing pink hue drew her eye and captured her attention. "Perfect," Cat smiled.
The CEO lifted her head and her hand along with it. Between her thumb and forefinger dangled a clear glass bottle full of a warm, innocent shade of pink nail polish. "This, sweetie, is the perfect shade to compliment your gorgeous complexion without clashing horribly with that bold color playground of a hero suit you wear." Gathering another bottle of liquid and a jar of cotton balls, she sauntered over to the sofa and sat down a bit closer than was probably appropriate but it was so much fun watching her superhero show small signs of being flustered.
"Why don't you set down your glass before it starts leaking," Cat dryly instructed.
"Oh! Sorry!" Supergirl cringed as she finally noticed the spider web of cracks lining the fine surface of the glass she gripped a little too tightly.
Cat blinked in awe when the drink seemed to magically appear on the low table without Supergirl moving. If she hadn't seen Supergirl in action on the streets before, she would be a lot more surprised as to exactly how fast the heroine could be.
"Well," she blinked and said quietly. "That is still much more impressive up close."
Supergirl's smile could only be described as radiant. "Thank you."
Cat hummed then held out her hand expectantly. Supergirl looked at her hand then face and back again. Cat chuckled and rolled her eyes.
"Come on," she said, wriggling her fingers. "We do not have the entire night. I have work in 7 hours and need sleep." The unspoken question of whether or not Supergirl suffered the same weaknesses lingered but went unanswered. "Chop, chop, Supergirl."
Hesitantly, she slid her hand into Cat's. The tentative touch made Cat fight back a smile. 'How precious,' she thought. Gripping the heroine's hand, she tugged it toward her. "Silly girl. I'm not going to hurt you."
The younger blond opened her mouth to say something but Cat interrupted. "Ah, ah. Unless your next words are your name and day job, silence until I'm finished. Cat Grant does not do anything halfway and that means full concentration."
The younger woman remained silent as Cat elevated the first finger and began removing the old nail polish. Out of the corner of her eye she saw her guest wrinkle her nose and start breathing through her mouth.
"Hm, I'm not a fan of the smell either."
Supergirl looked as if she wanted to comment but a quick look up through her lashes stopped any words from escaping. Cat did not linger on the removal but quickly and efficiently swabbed off the jagged remains from the previous application.
The quiet night stretched on as Cat put the cotton balls and remover aside and picked up the nail polish. "Alright Supergirl go wash your - !" Cat stopped when Supergirl disappeared one moment and reappeared the next, cheeky smile fully seen and hand outstretched.
Ignoring the slight tremor in her hand as she grabbed hold of Supergirl's hand again, Cat started applying the first coat. As she went she noticed that every time she blew on the girl's fingers to help the paint dry quicker a minute twitch would rock Supergirl's knee. By the last finger Cat was sure she knew why and could not help but tease.
"There, the first coat is done." She grinned widely as she ever had before when the only sound Supergirl could make was a whimper.
All too soon, though, the girl rallied. "Ms. Grant "
Pausing at the interruption, Supergirl inclined her head in agreement then continued. "Cat. I really should get going and let you go home."
Imperiously, Cat put her hand out, palm up, waiting. Supergirl sighed with a rueful smile and gave in.
"My son," Cat began as she started the next coat, "is with his father tonight so I spend this time getting work done and contemplating my next brilliant headline." A couple more strokes of the brush and gentle blows, then Cat looked Supergirl straight in the eye, one hand finished. "I also use this opportunity to check up on my hero, who seems to enjoy gazing at the horizon from my balcony." Snatching the other hand to start the last bit of polishing, Cat continued with a smirk. "One would think you have a crush on someone who works here."
Supergirl blushed brilliantly, her blue eyes sparkling and lip held between perfectly white teeth. "Oh no, Ms. - Cat! I just! Your building, is the highest I just like staring at the stars from here." Ducking her head, Supergirl's hair fell into her face, hiding the bashful look from Cat. "And, you're my hero," came the quiet confession.
Cat paused for a moment taking in the young woman beside her and felt her heart melt just a smidgeon. "Hm, well, I cannot stop a bullet but I certainly do my part to help bring criminals to justice," Cat jokingly said referring to the latest scandal Maxwell Lord had created with his unethical research into the use of human remains as a biological weapon.
With one last swipe Cat let go of Supergirl's hand, only to find her own fingers tangled in a firm grip. Sky blue eyes wide and earnest stared into her own hazel eyes. "I am serious, Cat." The way Supergirl said her name just then, confident and a little admonishing, caused a flush to crawl up the CEO's neck. "You are a hero. My hero. Do you know I strive to do good in this world if only to make a small difference and maybe be worthy of gracing the headlines of your news."
Now Supergirl dropped her head and looked away with a pained expression. "Sometimes I feel like I never do enough. There is so much I hear and see that I can't fix no matter how fast I fly or how strong my grip."
Cat heard the exhaustion laced in the soft voice and squeezed the hand in her own as hard as she could. Supergirl looked at their combined hands and sniffed back a couple tears.
"Perhaps what you need is a new perspective. There are always more sides to the same story. I heard your side now listen to mine." Cat sat up straighter and met the heroine's gaze head on while still holding her hand. "You rescued a young girl from a couple of schoolyard bullies."
Supergirl reared back, startled that Cat even knew about that rescue as it happened after school in the inner city when no one else was around.
Giving her an enigmatic smile, Cat continued. "The old man who plays chess in Center Park had the beginning symptoms of a heart attack and you got him to the hospital before it even occurred. The cab driver with a flat tire in the wrong neighborhood had a guardian angel making sure he got home to his family safely."
Supergirl's mouth was open in shock. "How did you -??"
Laughing the Queen of All Media swept her free hand at all the dark monitors lining her walls. "People talk. A lot. And you have helped so many who are grateful; they never stop singing your praises."
Bringing her hand back, this time to sweep a stray blond strand of hair behind the girl's ear, Cat leaned in closer. "When you feel like you need a break to remember all the good things in the world, come on back and I will remind you. The world may need you to be its hero, but with me you can just be you."
A full blown sob escaped Supergirl's lips as her nose turned red and tears fell from tightly shut blue eyes.
Sitting there, Cat stroked the tears from one cheek while she kept a wince from manifesting as the weeping girl gripped her other hand between both of hers.
"Thank you," the heroine said after she had gotten herself under control and calmed down.
Cat just hummed and pulled away to turn and grab the tissue box off the glass table in front of them. She offered the box to the younger woman but Supergirl just shook her head and grinned sheepishly. "If I blew my nose in those they would disintegrate."
A startled laugh erupted from Cat which prompted giggles from Supergirl. The duo fell into a bout of laughter, clearing the heavy air and bringing a peace to their hearts.
"That is a very interesting fact," Cat breathed through her giggles. "Maybe I will devote a section of the magazine to weirdly funny limits on hero powers."
"I would read it." Supergirl declared.
Cat's eyebrows rose. "You read CatCo Magazine?"
The younger blond nodded. "All the time. Even before I came out. As a hero, I mean." A blush accompanied Supergirl's amendment but Cat chose to ignore it for now.
"Oh? And what do you do during the day that allows you to read so much?" Cat asked, not-so-subtly fishing for more information. She expected the heroine to grin and tease her for assuming a secret identity would be given up for such a tactless question.
Instead Supergirl grimaced and shrugged, looking away as she admitted, "This *is* my job."
Hazel eyes widened incredulously. "No wonder you are such a mess!" Cat blurted out.
Supergirl's mouth dropped open and she gave a huff of disbelief. "Thanks," she said sarcastically.
Cat felt a small twinge of shame but quickly moved passed it to tell it like she sees it. "You're welcome," she snarked back. "Obviously you haven't heard this before but you need a life."
Now Supergirl was scowling and had crossed her arms over her chest blocking the bottom half of her emblem. "Ugh! You sound like my sister."
Cat visibly perked up and smiled slyly, watching with no little amount of amusement as the words finally registered with the heroine. At first her beautiful blue eyes widened in horror, then her sunny cheeks turned as red as her cape. "I - I mean! Um!"
Oh how enticing, she stuttered when caught flat-footed. Cat could not help but envision this girl in college casual, toeing the ground and stuttering when trying to lie to her professor about a missed assignment.
Holding up her hand to forestall any attempt on Supergirl's part to waylay the inevitable, the business woman shook her head. "Food for thought, but don't worry - your secret is safe with me."
Cat watched as Supergirl visibly deflated and relaxed, then she couldn't resist bringing that blush back. "However, you know you are not a very good liar. It's adorable."
True to form, the blush was back and Cat stared for a few more moments before snatching up the last hand for its second and final coat. Supergirl ducked her head and allowed her blond tresses to shield her from Cat's eyes but didn't pull away as the older woman applied the finishing touches to her impromptu manicure.
"So, what are you going to do about it?"
The question confused the younger girl. "About what?" she asked.
Giving a quick blow to Supergirl's fingers and internally relishing how the beautiful girl twitched in reaction, Cat clarified. "Getting a life outside of the hero business."
The matter of fact tone stopped any defensiveness on Supergirl's part and she took the question seriously, even if she could only respond with a wistful, "I don't know."
Capping the nail polish and setting the bottle back on the table, Cat pursed her lips in thought before asking, "Did you go to college? Or did you simply land here shortly before you came into the spotlight?"
Supergirl struggled with how she was going to answer before slowly admitting, "I have a Master's in Art."
Cat blinked, "Art?"
A shy smile crossed the girl's lips. "I really enjoy dabbling in painting and architectural design. And my sister suggested I continued in college."
Impressed despite herself, Cat leaned forward and swept her eyes over her companion in renewed interest. "Anything produced I would recognize? Are you secretly a famous painter or architect in National City?" Her grin grew as Supergirl's bashful smile got more prominent.
"Nooo, I'm not famous or anything, Cat."
Leaning back Cat pouted and tsked. "Too bad. I could use someone with a good eye in editing the art column lately."
It took a moment but when Cat realized what she had said, her mind latched on to the idea and ran so fast with it her face adopted a shocked look and she gasped. "That's it!"
Startled by the sudden change in her companion, Supergirl tensed and focused her senses on their surroundings in an automatic readiness response. "What is?" she asked, eyes flitting around the room in search for danger.
A suspicious gleam entered Cat's hazel eyes as she greedily stared at the heroine, reaching out to grasp her hands. "The solution to both our problems, of course!"
"I need an editor," Cat interrupted, "and you need to have something purely mundane to do to balance all the 'super' in your life."
Still gobsmacked and not quite sure she heard right, Supergirl extracted her hands from Cat's grip and fiddled with the hem of her red skirt. "Um, I don't think being an artist automatically qualifies me to an editor position, Cat." And!" She let go of her skirt and waved her hands in the air as if brushing aside that statement. "Besides! I'm not really sure I should."
Again the CEO interrupted, this time by placing her hands on the beautifully earnest face in front of her. "There is no reason you shouldn't. Now is the time and," she scoffed. "Of course I wouldn't just thrust you into an editor position without training. Really, Supergirl, keep up. You would be my assistant first and if you can last two years under my very demanding and abrasive attention then I will make a position just for you in my company in the art department."
Cat felt her heart pound in conviction at her bold statement. She meant every word. What she was offering was not easy but if anyone could prove to be worthy of Cat Grant's trust, this woman sitting there looking at her with such heartbreakingly hopeful eyes was the one who would.
"Really, Cat?" came the soft question, the veiled accusation, the plea to not lie.
Doing the only thing she could to prove she was a woman of her word, Cat let go of Supergirl, got up and rounded the corner of her desk to boot up her computer. Seconds later her schedule for the rest of the month popped up.
"10:15. Wednesday." Having stayed put, Supergirl could only watch as Cat typed a couple notes into the laptop then closed it with a decisive snap of the lid.
"Don't be late," Cat continued with a raised eyebrow from behind her desk.
Supergirl rose from the couch, bit her lip for a moment, assessing the woman more closely than she had the entire night. Finally she smiled warmly. "We will see."
Taking that as the promise it is, Cat could only nod and watch the superheroine walk away toward the balcony.
Just before she cleared the glass door, Supergirl turned back and said, "Thank you, Cat. I knew there was a reason your balcony is my favorite spot in the city."
And then she was in the air and flying away.
Cat's cheeks burned a bit as she gathered her purse and phone, leaving the nail polish and open balcony door for the cleaning staff to deal with.
"Too adorable by half," she grumbled under her breath as she left, taking her private elevator to the garage where her driver had just responded to her text. As the metal doors closed Cat shook her head and grinned. "I am in trouble."
"I'm sorry, excuse me, Ms. Grant," a timid voice pulled Cat's attention from an article she was vigorously tearing apart word by incompetent word.
"What?" she quietly snarled at the hapless peon that worked in her marketing department who obviously drew the short straw today.
"Um, there's a woman, someone here, for um..!"
Fed up with the entire conversation already, Cat held up a hand. "I'm going to stop you right there, Brittany," she ignored the stuttered correction of the name she used. "Give me the reason someone got past my incredibly overpaid security and tell me where my assistant, who should be handling my schedule, is."
The poor girl just stared stuttering again, but before Cat could even form the words to fire her, a cheerful voice helpfully interrupted. "It's okay, Becky. I can take it from here."
Not wasting another moment, Becky retreated to watch the coming carnage from a safer distance.
A young woman in pale white clingy pants and pastel pink blouse with a soft grey cardigan overtop stepped into Ms. Grant's office fearlessly and introduced herself. "Your assistant heard I had arrived and came to meet me at the front desk to wish me luck. Then he left." Smiling widely and pushing her glasses further up her nose, the girl watched realization slowly enter the hazel eyes across from her.
"Hello, Ms. Grant. I am Kara Danvers. Your 10:15."
A familiar smile spiced with laughing sky blue eyes behind thick black rimmed glasses brought Cat up short. Pulling her own glasses off and biting the end, Cat allowed herself a moment to catch her bearings before confidently striding out from behind her desk and approaching her visitor.
"Well? What makes you so special, Kiera?"
Kara just smiled and Cat couldn't help but return the gesture and wave her free hand at the desk now vacant of an assistant.
"Then stop standing around and get to work. Chop, Chop!"
"Yes, Ms. Grant."
Return to Supergirl Fiction
Return to Main Page